James Pethokoukis

This is what Pelosi should have said about cap-and-trade …

June 30, 2009

This is much punchier than “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” James Lovelock (via the Climate Progress blog):

Why Europe wants America to raise taxes

June 30, 2009

When the G20 went after tax havens last April, I said it was just a first step toward a push for “tax harmonization,”  a fancy phrase that really means getting low-tax nations to raise their tax rates. Then I see what the prime minister of Finland is advocating:

Doing the PPIP shuffle

June 30, 2009

A Treasury insider talk about the ever-shrinking PPIP (via Noam Scheiber):

If you had asked–I don’t want to speak for the secretary–what’s problem number one? I think he’d say capital. Problem two? Capital. Problem three? Capital. Everything was in the service of that view. The legacy loans program was meant to help clean balance sheets. It was not an independent good in itself. It was seen as friendly to equity raising. Now people say the legacy loans thing is not gaining as much traction, so is that a failure? But because we had a good outcome in terms of raising equity, they [the banks] were able to raise equity without shedding assets … you should be okay with that.

Is Obama blowing it?

June 30, 2009

Some liberals think so, says Ezra Klein:

Late last week, I was summoned to a windowed meeting room overlooking the White House to sit with members of one of Washington’s nimbler, smarter think tanks. The assembled thinkers tried to convince me that Barack Obama was missing a historic opportunity: The legislation that was traveling under his name was increasingly unlikely to bind the middle class to his presidency or party. Cap-and-trade was a mess. Health reform was going to fail on cost control. And what of jobs? Obama, they said, had to take a firmer hand with the Congress. His hands-off approach was a fiasco. Leadership matters. It’s important. It’s needed.

Pelosi, a vision in white — but not green

June 30, 2009

It was Nancy Pelosi’s star turn. (The blindingly white pant suit — Armani? Lovely.) The House speaker giving the closing argument at the end of the cap-and-trade debate that she personally pushed to the floor. The final pitch. “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Let’s vote for jobs.” Then the victorious vote. The greatest achievement of her legislative career. “An extraordinary piece of legislation,” said President Obama.

Stimulus? Any day now …

June 29, 2009

White House economist Christina Romer says government stimulus is “going to ramp up strongly through the summer and the fall.”  This implies that a lack of stimulus explains the poor economy — not that the Obama stimulus plan is simply not working. Yet what stimulus is flowing into the economy isn’t working, as many predicted — including me and Milton Friedman. Listen to Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg (bold is mine):

The face of fear

June 29, 2009

Scott Grannis, the Calafia Beach Pundit, think market fears have ebbed, but they may not return to previous low levels:

Obama’s techno-optimism

June 29, 2009

The president on cap-and-trade, via the WSJ): “My strong belief is, is that innovation and technology are going to accelerate our process beyond these targets, and that we’re going to look back and say we can do even more.” Despite conservative naysaying about alternative technologies, there could well be huge leaps forward. But the same is also true of nuclear energy technology, which is why it is such a shame that the Obamacrats want to push it out of the debate .

Krugman: Dem green job claims are bogus

June 29, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the cap-and-trade bill was about “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” But liberal economist Paul Krugman tells National Public Radio a different story (thanks to OpenMarket):

Sotomayor watch

June 29, 2009

Will the Supreme Court decision on the Ricci case affect Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s chances of making it on the Supreme Court? It gives GOPers a stronger handhold during questioning, no doubt. I will be keeping an eye on the betting markets with this one. So far they are not moving and still rate her a 95 percent probablity of being confirmed.