James Pethokoukis

Live blogging President Obama’s news conference

July 22, 2009

My quick spin: I think he made a better case That Something Needs to Be Done than Dem Plan Needs to be Done …also hammers deficit and control cost issue.  He was still making diagnosis rather than why his treatment is the best …did not advance argument.

Paging Alan Frumin! Why reconcilliation may be no Dem silver bullet for healthcare reform

July 22, 2009

Trying to push healthcare reform through the Senate (via the reconcilliation process) with just 51 votes is problematic at best for the Dems. This, from my pal Rich Lowry:

4 reasons why a second stimulus is a bad idea

July 22, 2009

Wells Fargo/Wachovia economist John Siliva makes his case:

1) A second stimulus would add fuel to the already recovering economy and would create the false impression that all is now back to the “happy days” of an overleveraged consumer and strong growth. Therefore, estimates of top-line revenues are likely to overstate the true sustainable future pace of sales in a deleveraged economy.

How Obama redefines the ‘Chicago School of Economics’

July 22, 2009

Joel Kotkin writes a great, great piece for The American on why Red State economies have better long-term prospects than Blue State economies. But this excerpted hunk is especially insightful:

Bad economy overwhelming Obama’s agenda

July 22, 2009

Just how much trouble is President Obama and his economic agenda in?  Allies will point to the president’s still-robust 55 percent approval rating, according to pollster Gallup, but that number has been declining steadily from a high of 65 percent in early March. (He’s actually a point lower than George W. Bush at similar points in their presidencies.) And while the House of Representives has passed historic cap-and-trade legislation, the bill seems to be going nowhere in the Senate and the president may have little to crow about at the December climate change conference in Copenhagen. Even his plan for a consumer financial protection agency looks like it’s in doubt. Then, of course, there’s healthcare reform, which Obama again will be making the case for during a prime-time news conference tonight.

Did the Blue Dogs just rollover on healthcare?

July 22, 2009

Pelosi seems upbeat, but Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross less so:

The Blue Dogs share the President’s goal of providing the American people with quality, affordable health care reform that’s deficit neutral, and we have put forth a number of substantive policy proposals over the past several months aimed at achieving this goal.

Why you should or should not bet against healthcare reform

July 22, 2009

jamespethokoukiscropThe chances of sweeping healthcare reform have dropped dramatically over the past month or so.  (I still think the president will have something to sign by year end.) Mark Halperin of The Page gives his reasons why healthcare reform still has a good chance of happening, though what “healthcare reform” means is left undefined — and that is kinda important:

Jindal’s GOP healthcare reform alternative

July 22, 2009

Bobby Jindal takes a shot at a Republican alternative for healthcare reform in the WSJ today: 1) IT-driven consumer choice; 2) health savings accounts; 3) medical lawsuit reform; 4) insurance reform; 5) pools for small business; 6) pay for performance rather than procedures; and 7) tax credits to help low-income working Americans buy health insurance. Fine, fine, I guess. But wouldn’t it better to describe how a real plan would work in people’s day to day lives and what it might cost or how it might reduce costs? Does this really change the debate at all, or merely show Jindal as wonky potential presidential contender?