Free Markets, Free People
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales fell another -0.6% for the week, and only up 3.3% from last year. Redbook also reports a weak 1.9% year-on-year sale growth rate.
Business inventories rose 0.3% in November, vice a 1.0 percent rise for sales. The inventory-to-sales ratio rounds out to 1.28, the lowest ratio since May.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell more than a point to -8.10, indicating a deepening contraction in manufacturing.
The Commerce Department reports rose 0.5% in December. Sales ex-autos rose 0.3%, while sales ex-autos and gas rose 0.6%.
The Producer Price Index fell -0.2% in December, while the core rate rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI rose 1.3%, while the core rate rose 2.0%.
One word: Libya. Seriously… many of the armaments and fighters came from Libya and their fight there to overthrow the government. All, of course, aided and abetted by the Obama administration and their brilliant foreign policy.
Over the last four years, the United States has spent between $520 million and $600 million in a sweeping effort to combat Islamist militancy in the region without fighting the kind of wars it has waged in the Middle East. The program stretched from Morocco to Nigeria, and American officials heralded the Malian military as an exemplary partner. American Special Forces trained its troops in marksmanship, border patrol, ambush drills and other counterterrorism skills.
But all that deliberate planning collapsed swiftly when heavily armed, battle-hardened Islamist fighters returned from combat in Libya. They teamed up with jihadists like Ansar Dine, routed poorly equipped Malian forces and demoralized them so thoroughly that it set off a mutiny against the government in the capital, Bamako.
A confidential internal review completed last July by the Pentagon’s Africa Command concluded that the coup had unfolded too quickly for American commanders or intelligence analysts to detect any clear warning signs.
Then an American-trained officer overthrew Mali’s elected government, setting the stage for more than half of the country to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists. American spy planes and surveillance drones have tried to make sense of the mess, but American officials and their allies are still scrambling even to get a detailed picture of who they are up against.
Now, in the face of longstanding American warnings that a Western assault on the Islamist stronghold could rally jihadists around the world and prompt terrorist attacks as far away as Europe, the French have entered the war themselves.
Exceptionally well done, no? /sarc
That’s what leading from behind brings you — oh, that and “Arab spring”.
Can you imagine what will happen when Syria finally collapses?