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Responses to economic peril not grounded in reality

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This bizarre time resembles a sci-fi epic involving three alternate universes -- one real and two political -- at each change of scene each universe moving more distant from the others.Reality first. Today's reported 163,000-job net gain in July has surprised markets expecting more bad news, and thus triggered a short-covering rally in stocks and a dumping of safety-bought bonds, with market moves magnified by thin attendance during vacation season. The job gain was half-again the forecast, but other aspects of the report were as weak as prior months: more part-time workers unable to find full-time jobs, and fewer people in the workforce able to find any work at all.The Institute For Supply Management reports for July were on the cusp of weakness, manufacturing shrinking slightly at 49.8, the service sector at 52.6 a hair better than hoped. June personal income grew 0.5 percent, spending not at all. June factory orders were expected to rise and instead fell 0.5 percent; excluding a n...