Welcome to the recovery!

That’s what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in the New York Times this week. And such good news! We’ve all been waiting to be told that the economy was improving, after all.

Consider: Conan O’Brien, surely one of the nation’s most famous unemployed folks, just made $25 million, one of the highest prices paid for a Manhattan apartment this year. Someone’s buying—even if they got a bit of a break. The apartment was originally listed for $29.5 million!

Geithner noted, "We all understand and appreciate that these signs of strength in parts of the economy are cold comfort to those Americans still looking for work." Indeed, Geithner doesn’t want his declaration of Mission Accomplished over the economy to go the way of that other one. It’s a confusing clutch of contrasting news coming to us courtesy of the NYT. Geithner on the Op-Ed page, Conan in the real estate section—and on the front page Michael Luo reporting on the "99ers," those unemployed people who have “exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits."

There are about 1.4 million of them, including Alexandra Jarrin, who’s profiled in the piece. She’s living in a motel off borrowed money, applying for jobs to pay off her student loans and unfinished MBA. She’s had her first job interview in over a year this past week.

But hey, someone tell her that the economy’s recovering! Conan sold his condo! Surely it won’t be long now…

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.