The O now stands for “zero”

For the first time since WWII, the US economy posted zero job growth for the month of August.

Yes, you read that right.

The US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August, fueling concerns that the US is heading for another recession.

It was the first time since World War II that the economy had precisely net zero jobs created for a month.

Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 75,000 jobs created, an unusually low number considering the US is technically more than two years removed from the end of the last recession.

Stocks sold off sharply following the report, while bond prices rose and the US dollar fell nearly 2 percent against the Swiss franc.

Markets had been closely watching the August report in hopes that the employment picture would begin to show signs of recovery.

Stocks have slumped more than 10 percent since the beginning of May as concerns grew that the debt and deficit problem was beginning to overwhelm hopes of a recovery following the depths of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Private payrolls actually rose 17,000, but that was offset by continued shrinkage in government. The number of people unemployed remained unchanged at 14 million.

And there you have it.  Our economy is in the toilet, and President Obama remains clueless about what to do.

By now it should be abundantly clear that President Obama cannot run for reelection based on his White House record.  Nor can he run on “hope” or a positive message, since there is little positive energy in the country right now.  All of the emerging signs are pointing toward a long and nasty election season, with the tone of the election to be set by the White House.  And make no mistake, the Obama campaign will have no interest in the “civility” that liberals were begging for in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.  Instead we will see a desperate campaign based on hate-mongering and fear.  The message will be simple: the Obama Administration may be a world-class clusterfuck, but at least they’re not idiotic religious nuts under the control of greedy racist Teabaggers.

Get ready folks.  2012 is going to be an ugly year.

Frank Rich: Obama presidency has been "rhetorical and...substantive failure"
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