Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Prospects for Consumption Growth In the comments, General Glut asks the salient question in the wake of today’s unemployment report: “How long until these poor jobs numbers (and the even poorer wage and salary numbers) start eating into US consumption levels?” Good question! This is especially important when you consider that consumption spending (spending by […]

Bush Approval Drops Below 50 The AP just released its poll results this morning. It’s the second major poll this week (the other was Gallup) that shows Bush’s approval rating sinking below 50% for the first time. Do chickens really come home to roost, even for the Republican machine? For your edification and amusement, here’s […]

Sluggish Job Creation The new unemployment report is out. The estimate is that 112,000 jobs were created in January. That’s more job creation than we’ve seen in a couple of years, but still below expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, thanks to a continuation of the surprisingly low labor force participation rate. All in […]

Meet the Press In a sign of desparation, optimism, or perhaps possession of very incriminating photos of Tim Russert doing things that Rick Santorum can only dream of, President Bush will be on Meet the Press this Sunday. Most expect Russert to lob softballs at the president, but even so, it’s not Bush’s best forum. […]

Costco I put part of this year’s Roth IRA money(*) into Costco. In part, it was because they have industry leading productivity and revenue per-square foot. In larger part, it’s because they pay their workers more and because they offer benefits (CEO Sinegal said back in the early 1990s, “We pay $1 more an hour […]

Dick and Tony: Conflict of Interest Dwight Meredith explains it: So while a case about whether or not Dick Cheney must turn over documents that some think will show undue influence by energy companies, the defendant and one of the judges take a hunting trip together hosted by the head of an energy company. Wait, […]

Those Wacky Liberals at The Economist (and they’re anonymous!) On Bush’s budget: “George Bush presented Congress with a $2.4 trillion budget for the next. Think of it as a campaign brochure, complete with glossy pictures of the president bringing relief to the elderly, restoring the environment and exhorting the young.” The Economist writers also appear […]

Georgia Decides Not to Mandate Ignorance College biology teachers in Georgia (or anywhere that admits students from Georgia) can breath a sigh of relief that they won’t have to start out teaching at the 8th grade level: Georgia’s school superintendent Thursday dropped plans to remove the word “evolution” from the state’s high school science curriculum. […]

Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corps? USA Today has a column by Roy Blunt (R-MO) titled, “Bush Pushes Fiscal Discipline.” Not surprisingly, the argument is rather typical and not particularly interesting or convincing. The odd part comes at the end, where the USA Today makes this note: Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is the […]

Good News in the President’s Budget! No, it’s not that this year’s budget contains glossy ads. Nor is it that the 1/2 trillion dollar in the red federal government will be paying a Republican ad agency (the makers of RATSTM brand Democrats) $9.5 million to tout the benefits of the $400b $535b Medicare package. Instead, […]