by Max Brantley
You gotta love Arkansas Red's blind 28-percenter devotion. He counts this as great news:
The economy struggled through the first three months of 2008, weighed down by the housing slump and a hesitant consumer, but export sales and inventory growth helped stave off a contraction.
The gross domestic product grew at a 0.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, holding steady from the last three months of 2007.
The expansion, however slim, came as something of a relief to Wall Street, which had been bracing for a contraction. Many analysts have labeled the current downturn a recession, but the economy appears so far to have avoided the informal definition of two consecutive quarters of contraction.
Still, the report showed the economy had slowed to a crawl.
So, remember, as you struggle with $4 gas, rationed rice, upside-down mortgages, huge increases in health insurance costs -- it is not, technically, a recession. Hooray. Lunch is on Arkansas Red and thanks, Red, for the tip.