The Corner

Krugman’s Cat Gets Some Rest

At least according to James Pethokoukis at US News (though I think he’s hardly alone). A snippet:

You know the “five-second rule,” the one that says you can eat food dropped on the ground for five seconds and it’s still good. Well, maybe, there’s a five-day rule for presidential candidates. Maybe Fred Thompson can still drop right back out of the presidential race—no harm, no foul. Today’s job numbers were that bad for Republicans and that good for Democrats. I mean, if you’re a political junkie who likes to bet a few sawbucks now and then, it might be time to snag a few “Democratic Party Candidate to Win 2008 Presidential Election” contracts over at the TradeSports online betting site.

The economy lost 4,000 jobs in August instead of gaining the 100,000 that economists had been looking for. All around Wall Street, investment firms are upping their estimates that the economy will go into recession later this year or early next. Swiss Re, for instance, cranked up its recession odds to 35 percent from 20 percent. And some of Merrill Lynch’s fancy computer models put the odds at 70 percent.

More and more, 2008 is starting to look like 1980, when a election-year recession dashed whatever chances Jimmy Carter had of being re-elected. (Don’t expect the Bernanke Put to save the GOP, either. Fed rate cuts may help the stock market but will take six to nine months to help the economy, according to former Atlanta Fed President Bill Ford.)

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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