Breakfast Buffet, Tuesday, April 7

Happy Days Are Here Again?: Obama's still got it: Two-thirds of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a new New York Times poll. And though 70 percent of respondents said they were worried about layoffs affecting their families, the percentage of people who thought the country was on the right track jumped from 15 percent pre-inauguration to 39 percent today. That's the highest it's been since early 2005.

Prodigal Son: The son of ex-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is staying busy during a down economy trying to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Portland, Oregon. He's committed $50 million of his father's fortune (which he earned in his pre-government role as CEO of Goldman Sachs), but he wants the city to pony up $65 million. He's finding it a tough sell, especially since Oregon, as we learned yesterday, is the saddest state in the nation.

Reverse Offshoring: The head of Sallie Mae, a U.S.-based student lending company, has said it will bring back to the U.S. 2,000 jobs that had previously been offshored to places like India, Mexico and the Philippines.

Elections as Economic Stimulus: And you thought Obamamania was excessive -- Indonesian politicians are handing out loads of trinkets, baseball caps and food packages to win votes. The total could add one a percentage point boost to GDP this year. Compare that to the U.S., where last year's campaign expenditures reached 0.3 percent of GDP.

And Now For the Bad News: Economists Barry Eichengreen and Kevin H. O'Rourke say that while the recession in the U.S. is not yet as bad as the Great Depression, if you look at the global picture, the data look just as grim -- or worse. Globally, "t