–The unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6% in August as the economy shed 54,000 jobs. The somewhat silver lining: It’s not as bad as predicted, private companies continued to expand their payrolls and some who feared a precipitous drop into a double dip are breathing a sigh of relief. But the hard reality remains that job creation has ground to a near halt.
–Krugman says ‘I told you so,’ calls for more Keynesian stimulus. Brooks say ‘I told you so,’ calls for more tax cuts and credits (sort of). The Economist call for a mix of fiscal and monetary stimulus.
–The White House is weighing a payroll tax holiday and extension of the research tax credit. There’s nothing new about those ideas, there’s no way they can pass Congress and have any real effect before November, but it may be a way for the White House to get the ball rolling. From a superficial political standpoint, at least one Democrat was rankled by Obama’s divided attention in recent weeks:
“We did the mosque, Katrina, Iraq, and now Middle East peace?” said a Democratic strategist who works closely with multiple candidates and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And in between you redo the Oval Office? It has become a joke.”
–Obama’s press conference and jaunt to the Midwest next week should give him an opportunity to appear proactive.
–Senator Feingold will be indisposed for the presidential visit.
–The AP doesn’t want its reporters parroting Obama’s lines on Iraq.
–David Plouffe is waiting by the phone.
–And David Frum as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
What did I miss?