Michael Maiello's picture

    Equifax and the CFPB

    Two days before we found out that credit reporting agency Equifax had been hacked and 143 million consumer records were compromised, I received an alert from my credit card company that somebody had attempted to buy $200 worth of merchandise at a Foot Locker in Queens.  Later, the Equifax website did acknowledge that my information may have been compromised.  I took the necessary steps to change cards and passwords.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Record Levels of Median Income (Not What It Seems)

    Last week, we learned that the median household income in the U.S. 2015 had jumped by around 5% to $56,000 a year. The news was greeted with good cheer and David Brooks even wrote a column in the Times proclaiming that capitalism is not broken.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Amazon Should Go to H--

    I expect you've all noticed that Amazon has started up a race to the bottom among suitor cities who would like to house it's next headquarters.  I think I've come up with a better spot...  I can't take the credit, though. Hail Satan!

    My third McSweeney's piece!

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    VP Mike Pence has Lost His Innocence

    Vice-President Mike Pence on the tragic deaths revealed today of 8 nursing home residents in a private nursing home in Florida, when the facility exceeded legal temperatures due to the loss of effective air conditioning:

     ....................................................(nothing..)...........................................................

    Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) on the family that requested voluntary removal of life support apparatus and subsequent passing of irreversibly brain damaged Terri Shiavo in 2005:

    Washington, Apr 1 - 2005:

    "I grieve with the Schindler family and millions of Americans at the death of their precious daughter, Terri Schiavo. With her death, America lost not only a precious citizen, America lost its innocence.

    "Although Terri Schiavo's life may be over, the debate over the rights of incapacitated Americans is not over. Congress must right this wrong by ensuring that incapacitated Americans may not be deprived of their inalienable right to life without the assurance of the due process of law that our federal courts were established to protect. This will be Terri Schiavo's legacy."

    Richard Day's picture

    ANOTHER RANT ON RUSH?

    I swore I would not rant about Rush anymore.

    But here it is.

    Rush went on a rant about Hurricanes and the conspiracy of media with entrepreneurs to scare citizens into purchasing the necessities of life.

    Trump's Dream is The Wall

    He needs it. He wants it. He must have it. The Wall. How about take some hostages?

    What better ploy could he pull than after giving a kill date for DACA, then, if our government survives the plethora of deadlines on budgeting and debt,  demand the necessity of starting The Wall? Keep more of those hard workng, America loving, ambitious, pesky dreamers out! 

    Combined Wall funding DACA legislation?

    librewolf's picture

    Do Not Mix: Chemical Plants and Natural Disasters

    The consequences of Hurricane Harvey go on and on. Even under the "best" of circumstances the flooding caused by the days of torrential rain would be hazardous as the toxic fluids from automobiles, gas stations, businesses, and household chemicals mix with flooded sewers and sewage treatment facilities. In other words, flooding around any modern town or city is going to result in a toxic stew. However, this region of Texas is far more than a modern city (or collection of cities). It is the petrochemical capital of the United States, as well as having significant numbers of chemical production facilities.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Birth of A Myth, Death of A Dream

    Monday was the 54th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech. Americans took to social media and proved once again why this speech is possibly the best and worst rhetorical device for confronting systemic racism in America.

    Dr. King's speech was a mix of the Bible, America’s founding documents and some of his earlier sermons. His words were seamlessly woven into a message that condemned the status quo while simultaneously offering a prophetic vision of a better day. Dr. King talked about the hope that came with the end of slavery and the heartbreak that followed when Emancipation turned into a 100-year nightmare sponsored by Black Codes, Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan. His words aren’t the problem; the willful distortion of those words and his legacy undermine the events of that day.

    Trade Policy Reality Check - neither Scrooge nor Sucker

    I've noted this over and over, but maybe this one will get through. Below's a chart showing the largest countries. The 2 largest are down at the bottom with pathetic GDP per capita of China's $10K and maybe $4K for India. China has roughly 5x our population, India 4 1/2x. And while their income is awful, China's rose about 500% from super awful over 25 years, while India's has more than tripled.

    For some reason we're not able to ever think of that as *OUR* success, that rather than sending Bibles and powdered milk, we have found a real way to lift almost 3 billion people out of poverty in just 2 countries, and it certainly doesn't end there.

    Of course much of the credit belongs to them - cutting their birthrates drastically, producing productis and services that are wanted by the rest of the world, steady incremental improvements and attention to obvious areas like infrastructure & education, and less obvious ones like government regulations & judicial reform and various human rights. In the meantime, the last 8-10 years, we've been flat.

    librewolf's picture

    Joe Arpaio, Trump's Kind of Lawman, Pardoned

    Joe Arpaio is Trump's kind of lawman: cruel to the point of sadism, racist, makes his own law, and self righteous to a fault. Unfortunately, I am not embellishing the truth. After decades of effort by civil rights organizations and many citizens of Maricopa County and beyond. Arpaio had been ordered by the court (in 2011) to stop racially profiling people assumed to be Latino, stopping them, and turning them over to immigration authorities (ICE). Many of those stopped were citizens or legal residents, and many were not Hispanic; however, all that was required was that a patrolman, or a deputized citizen (and there were lots of those) believe you were Hispanic. Arpaio flagrantly ignored this order and continued his practice of harassment and illegal detention. So he was brought back to federal court and U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found him in criminal contempt of court.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Necessary Anachronism of The Presidential Pardon

    I think it goes without saying that the best way to stop president from pardoning racists like Joe Arpaio is to not elect presidents who support such racism.  None of the angry commentary matters to Trump.  He didn't do this to please lefty, centrist or even mainstream Republican critics.  I suspect Trump had a bunch of reasons, ranging from a cagy signaling to associates who might be asked to court Robert Mueller's contempt to the banal "because he could."

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    Democratic Opportunity

    The Democrats have a great chance to win back many of the working class Midwesterners who were pivotal in last year’s election even if some Trump voters are deplorable racists who cannot be reached through rational argument. A study by professors from the University of Minnesota and Boston University concludes that Hillary Clinton’s narrow loss may be attributed to her relative hawkishness. For example, Trump came out in opposition to the Iraq War far earlier than Clinton grudgingly admitted it was a mistake. Likewise, analyses from such disparate and credible sources as Scientific American, CNN, and Fortune Magazine see Trump’s opposition to free trade as an important factor in his victory.

    Is Trump a Racist?

    I've seen a lot of discussion on this question this week. The right has been making the claim that Trump is correct when he pointed out that there was violence on both sides. The left that one cannot make a moral equivalency between those who protest for white supremacy and those who counter protest. I have just one small point to make on the question.

    Trump claimed at his last news conference on the issue that he watched all the videos of the Charlottesville protests, better than you all did, he told the reporters. He claimed the protests on Friday night were peaceful and about the statues.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Charlottesville, Salem Witch Trials and Historic Monuments

    In the winter of 1692, Massachusetts Bay Colony was rocked by allegations of witchcraft. In January, a group of young girls from Salem Village claimed to be possessed by the devil. The girls were taken to a doctor who determined they had been “bewitched”. The girls aged 9 and 11 accused a local slave named Tituba of witchcraft.

     

     

    In early February Tituba was arrested and admitted to being a witch. During her confession, she accused other women in the village of being witches. By May of 1692 governor William Phips established a special court to handle the trials of those accused of witchcraft. On June 2nd, Bridget Bishop was convicted of witchcraft and hanged eight days later. This was the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials.

     

    If you travel to Salem, Massachusetts you can visit the Victim’s Memorial, take tours of the jail and visit several preserved structures in Danvers and Salem. What you won’t find are monuments built to honor the brave men who had to hang and torture the women and men accused of witchcraft. This bothers me. They were husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. They did what they had to do to protect their way of life. They are part of history. Where are their statues?

     

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Trump Does Not Care If People Get Hurt

    President Trump's impromptu press conference today was a shocking display of his moral depravity and his allegiance to bigotry. There are so many things wrong with it, in so many stunning ways, that everyone is trying to digest it and focusing on different parts. But one particularly scary thing has not yet gotten much attention: Trump shows a nearly complete lack of interest in preventing more bloodshed like this. That is unprecedented, and extremely dangerous.

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    What Trump did during his summer vacation: crashing and burning via "Fake News." For the record, Aug. 15, 2017

    Looked at the front pages tonight, too much bad Trump news for the "In The News" section, and not just on the Charlottesville story. Not including op-ed, only Editorial Board

    Richard Day's picture

    VOX POPULI

    Dwight David Eisenhower had to deal with the racial unrest in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

    There is context here.

    There are tomes discussing this context; these tomes abound.

    This previous Supreme  Commander of the ETO and of course the principal director of the Allied DDay Invasion subsequently became the Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in WWII. 

    Ike ended up President of The United States of America.

    This great man from Texas had never been a champion of Civil Rights. He once rued the day that he had appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice of our Supreme Court.

    But Ike had to 'step up to the plate' when Little Rock exploded whilst 'Negro Children' were attempting to enter school.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Taking Care With Language, Part II

    I should probably take down my last post, since NCD eviscerated it with, of all things, a dictionary, but I've waded so far into the river of blood that we may as well keep on wading, especially after this insane Times column by Bret Stephens this morning where he puts language in some sort of complex chokehold to argue that Trump failing to immediately condemn white supremacy is really no different from Obama's failure to call out "Islamic Extremism" during his terms in offi

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Taking Care With Language

    We use language casually.  I suspect we always have, but if it appeals to you for me to say we use it more casually now in an era of constant news and Twittering, I'll at least say that a crush of imprecise language can probably warp our collective understanding of events.

    In Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was murdered by a 20-year-old named James Field Jr., who used his car as a weapon. He injured 18 other people in the attack.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Gravity of the Office Cannot Change Character

    The terrifying power of the presidency was supposed to have tempered the judgment and actions fo Donald Trump, the way I think we all kind of imagine it would temper all of our worst traits, were we to somehow find ourselves in the Oval Office. I assume we all dream about it a little bit.  Oh, the wonderful things we might do.

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