James Pethokoukis

A case for long-term high unemployment in America

September 11, 2009

A fantastic article by Joshua Cooper Ramo looking at whether the US is doomed to years of high unemployment. Read the whole thing, but this a key bit:

Why the Dems may implode in 2010: 4 scenarios

September 9, 2009

A Democratic meltdown next year? Washington is abuzz with speculation by prominent political handicappers such as Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg. Republican hopes for a huge congressional comeback in the 2010 midterm elections rest on three pillars:

How high unemployment undercuts Obama’s agenda

September 4, 2009

At the end of the 2000 film “The Perfect Storm”, a Gloucester swordfish boat captain (played by George Clooney) finally accepts that his crew won’t escape a monster hurricane in the North Atlantic. “She’s not gonna let us out,” he says as the trapped vessel moves from the eye of the storm and back into the raging winds.

What does 9.7 percent unemployment mean for Democrats?

September 4, 2009

Marc Ambinder looks at this question and concludes a) that anything under 10 percent is better than expected, b) 0.3 percent makes a big difference politically, and c) Team Obama will be able to more or less successfully blame Bush. His bottom line:

Are Obama’s healthcare troubles actually a good thing?

August 24, 2009

Mickey Kaus gives his theory:

It’s easy to forget that, even if Obama’s health care effort is bogging down, the effort itself still serves his presidency as a crucial time-waster, tying up Congress and giving him a reason to postpone (or the public a reason to ignore) those other divisive, presidency-killers. Obama needs some excuse for putting off unpopular Democratic demands; health care’s a good one. If he keeps failing to pass health care until spring, that might not be such a bad outcome. In fact, even quick passage was maybe never in his interest. There are things more unpopular than struggling. … Cap and trade, immigration legalization, “card check”—these are not what you’d call confidence building appetizers leading up to the main course of Obama’s presidency.

John Wayne Syndrome: Americans like tall, square-jawed presidents during tough economic times

August 18, 2009

Will Americans go big in 2012? President Obama is a smidgen under 6’2″, Mitt Romney is 6’2″, Sarah Palin is 5’5″ … Tell us more, New Scientist:

Why the unemployment rate is headed higher

August 7, 2009

There were no high-fives at the White House today because of this probable economic reality, as explained by the guys at RDQ Economics (the great John Ryding and Conrad DeQuandros):

Poll: Obamanomics has too much spending, too much government

July 24, 2009

Notice particularly the the stats for independents …

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Independents souring on Obamanomics (Virginia version)

July 9, 2009

Very interesting (via Politico):

A Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia found Obama’s approval and disapproval numbers effectively tied, with independents disapproving of the president’s job performance, 52 percent to 38 percent. “That is fairly consistent with all our polling around the country — Obama tends to be really well-liked personally, but he’s starting to lose a majority of the independents,” said Public Policy’s Dean Debnam. Democrats have “had long enough in some voters’ minds that they’re getting blame for nothing happening, and Republicans are scaring them around health care and tax increases.”

The econ chart that should worry David Axelrod and the Dems

July 9, 2009

Brad DeLong worries that the downturn in bond yields is hinting at an anemic economic recovery.