James Pethokoukis

So goes Australia on cap-and-trade ….

December 2, 2009

This is one piece of non-Hugh Jackman news that is resonating in Washington:

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia’s parliament rejected laws to set up a carbon trading scheme on Wednesday, scuttling a key climate change policy of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and providing a potential trigger for an early 2010 election.

Corker: Bernanke confirmation may not be a done deal

December 1, 2009

From The Hill:

Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), a GOP member of the banking committee holding hearing on Bernanke’s nomination to a second term in charge of the Fed, said he wasn’t sure yet whether the chairman had the votes on the Banking committee or in the Senate as a whole.

Is the ambitious Obama agenda freezing the US labor market? CEOs think so

December 1, 2009

Just took a break from the Innovation Economy Conference sponsored by the Aspen Institute. Particularly interesting was a joint Q&A with GE’s Jeff Immelt and Intel’s Paul Otellini.  The latter said he was concerned about the “amount of variability in the system” created by Washington. Fluctuating policy when it comes to healthcare, energy, taxes. “It is very difficult for anyone to make a hiring decision” when the future is so uncertain, he said. Immelt added he would just like to “know what the rules are.” About ObamaCare, Immelt said healthcare “costs probably aren’t going to be coming down.” He is also worried about cost shifting due to proposed Medicare cuts