No Line On The Horizon – The Informed Speculation Review

U2′s 12th studio album, to be released Tuesday but widely available thanks to an early leak in Australia that prompted an offical MySpace streaming preview, wastes no time in going for the jugular.  The title track crashes though the speakers with a bruising, pounding guitar riff reminiscent of such Achtung Baby-era rockers as “The Fly”, [...]

The Bravest Man In Washington?

It takes no guts at all for a Republican to oppose Barack Obama’s reckless budget that projects a one-year deficit of $1.75 trillion (or more than 12% of the size of the entire yearly output of the U.S. economy, and one that still relies on overly rosy economic forecasts even at that).  It would be [...]

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The Problem With Obama’s State of The Uni…er, Nation

It was certainly bold, it was well-delivered, it had a number of applause lines (particularly for Democrats), and it had all the trappings of a traditional State of the Union.  So was it perfect?  Of course not…some have criticized Obama’s relative neglect of foreign policy, while others decry the massive expansion of government the speech [...]

2010 News Already?

Yes, I know Obama is speaking in primetime in just a bit, but really, do we expect any actual news from that?  I doubt it…so here’s a first peak at next year, in my own backyard. I don’t know why Kay Bailey Hutchison has decided to leave a safe Senate seat to take on an [...]

Reid Says Economy Is Improving

I’m all for positivity, and there has been some criticism of Barack Obama, including from Bill Clinton, that he has been too negative during this economic crisis, but do the facts support Harry Reid when he says this? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Monday that the banking industry is “very close” to [...]

Oscar Night

No liveblogging this year – I’m just not that into you – but a few thoughts. It’s shaping up to be a “Slumdog” night, based on the early awards. I had thought “Benjamin Button” might win Best Picture, because of a bit of Indian backlash against “Slumdog”, but that’s not the way the wind is [...]

Blacklisting Myself: The Informed Speculation Review

One of the perks of being a blogger is that you are sometimes offered review copies of books.  Being a voracious reader, this was great news to me – but after a while, I quit accepting review copies, because I felt obligated to read the book (after all, that’s why it was given to me), [...]

Obama and Protectionism

It’s still anybody’s guess, after President Obama’s visit with the Canadians, whether Obama intends to be a protectionist or not.  On the one hand, he talks of expanding trade; on the other, he’s still speaking about changing NAFTA: Q Thank you, to both of you. I’ve got a question for both of you. Mr. President, [...]

An Open Letter To Kent Hance, Gerald Myers, and the Texas Tech Board of Regents

I realize most of you could care less about Texas Tech football, but there’s no point in having a blog if you can’t discuss the things that mean the most to you, and right now, as ludicrous as it sounds, Texas Tech appears to be on the verge of firing head coach Mike Leach because [...]

Umm, Yeah, I Think That MIGHT Have Been Relevant

Roland Burris, resign your seat. Is any politician from Chicago clean? I sure hope our president is…the last thing we need right now is more bad news (not that I’ve seen any indication that Obama is crooked, don’t get me wrong – I’m just saying that Chicago politics gives Louisiana politics a run for its [...]

Captain, That Does Not Compute

My last post talked about the erroneous idea that opposition to the Democratic stimulus bill (with just three Republican votes in the Senate, and none in the House, and given that Democrats control both houses and the presidency, I think that’s an accurate description) equates to a desire to do nothing about the economic crisis.  [...]

A Stimulus, Yes, But At What Cost?

The latest lefty talking point is that Republican opposition to the Obama stimulus bill means Republicans would rather score partisan points then rescue the economy.  That is, of course, nonsense.  Let’s start from the reasonable assumption that both parties want desperately to get out of the economic slump we are in.  The stimulus package as [...]

Hall Of Shame

The Informed Speculation Hall of Shame is hereby dedicated on February 13, 2009, with three initial members: Arlen Specter** Susan Collins Olympia Snowe These three inductees are so honored because they chose to vote for the Obama stimulus bill.  This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing.  A stimulus is probably needed under [...]

All Right, So It’s Over

I fought the good fight from my tiny perch, but with 59 votes in the Senate and with Sherrod Brown on his way to cast #60, it’s clear that the stimulus bill will pass, watered-down protectionism and all. I’m disappointed, but I’m not the type to hope for something bad to happen just so I’m [...]

So Are We ALL Keynesians Now?

Certainly not George Will: Thirty years ago, some conservatives were certain that their tax cuts would be so stimulative that they would be completely self-financing. Today, some liberals are certain that the spending they favor — on green jobs, infrastructure and everything else — will completely pay for itself. For liberals, “stimulus spending” is a [...]

Kill This Bill!

It’s clear that President Obama DID NOT heed the calls of our trading partners and is going to acquiesce in the beginning of a global trade war: Congressional negotiators have reached a deal on controversial “Buy American” provisions that reflects language added by the Senate to address concerns raised by U.S. trading partners and President [...]

Think I’ve Been Too Doctrinaire On “Buy American”?

Well, in case you think this is just a conservative throwing up obstacles to a Democratic bill, let the editorial board of The Economist tell you what’s at stake: MANAGING a crisis as complex as this one has so far called for nuance and pragmatism rather than stridency and principle. Should governments prop up credit [...]

What Now?

So, the stimulus will clear the Senate. Not a surprise…but my own view is unchanged. I don’t have a problem with Senators Collins, Snowe, and Specter crossing over to support a Democratic bill.  These are tough times, and a stimulus is needed. However, I’m still going to call them out.  Why?  Because I promised I [...]

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Changing This Site…

…that is to say, things didn’t work out quite as planned.  So I’m trashing my plan and I’m going to do it on the fly. First things first:  this site is no longer Decision ’08 (surprise!).  It’s now Informed Speculation (maybe you like the name, maybe you don’t – but let me tell you this [...]