Ramona's picture

    When the cameras leave Flint, Michigan Will Still Be Michigan

    On January 1, 2011, Rick Snyder, Michigan's new governor was sworn in.  Almost immediately after he solemnly swore to uphold the duties of his office, he made it clear that Michigan was in for a drubbing.  He was going to Make Michigan Great Again. The message was clear: "I'm the boss and you're not. I have friends in high places and you don't. Thanks for the votes, now get outta here."

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Trump vs Hamilton

    A brash loudmouth from New York City has been taking America by storm lately, to the consternation of the traditional political elite. I'm talking, of course, about Alexander Hamilton, and about Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's monstrous, Grammy-winning Broadway hit.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: An Artistic Dilemma

    I think that a problem artists have, when trying to deal with the world, is that we tend to know ourselves better than we know anyone else and we tend to be a cerebral, analytical and, to borrow an old term from Woody Allen, "verbal," lot.  David Foster Wallace was, artistry aside, a genius level intelligence.  He was not only extremely facile with the English language and possessor of a large vocabulary, but was highly educated in arcane modern branches of philosophy and mathematics as well.  He also had excellent understandings of music and competitive sports.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A Personal Note

    As many people who read this blog know, my mother has been very ill for some time. I don't have much to say about that, but having mentioned how sick she was it seems strange to let the topic drift off inconclusively.

    My mother has passed away. We had her funeral a week ago. I may have more to say about that later, but right now I do not.

    If you are a praying type, spare a few thoughts for my dad, who was married to her for more than 47 years, and who has suffered the heaviest loss of all. Thank you.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Acceptable Blacks Bernie Sanders And Race

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an Uncle Tom as: 1 : a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals). Politically, this derogatory term was almost exclusively used to describe the 5-7% of African Americans who identify as Conservative or Republican, but lately it's being used to describe African Americans who support Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders' inability to win over black voters in the south has caused some of his supporters, irrespective of race, to choose the easier path of Ad Hominem attacks to explain this electoral rejection instead of finding the disconnect and working to fix it. Bernie, like anyone "new" to the southern political scene, was going to have a hard time taking support away from Hillary Clinton. Yes, for the 1,378th time, I know he was part of student protests in Chicago and marched in Washington during the 60's; I know he publicly supported Jesse Jackson at a time when it wasn't politically advantageous to do so, but where has he been since then? This isn't a rhetorical question. Bernie's political career as a mayor, congressman, and senator happened in a state with virtually no racial diversity. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, will black voters in the south support Bernie Sanders?

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    Ramona's picture

    Bernie and Hillary and Me: Can't We All Be Friends?

    I agree with Bernie Sanders on almost everything.  I agree that the minimum wage should be raised--even higher than Bernie advocates.  I agree that workers are being shafted and our jobs have to come back from overseas. I agree that health care for all without stipulations or roadblocks has to become reality.  I agree that we can't keep funding wars around the world.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    I'm With Her

    In 2008, I supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. I would have backed Hillary in the general, happily. But I saw Obama as somewhat to Hillary's left, and I saw him as a superior campaigner who would make a stronger candidate.

    This year, I am voting for Hillary Clinton. She is strongest general election candidate the Democrats have this year, she will make a more effective president than any other Democrat in the field, and she is far better qualified than any other candidate in either party. My decision could not be simpler.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: The Stages of Grief

    Within the first third of Infinite Jest we learn what happened when Hal Incandenza, a brilliant tennis player on the rise and son of filmmaker James Incandenza and brother of professional football kicker Orin Incandenza, found James after his suicide by microwave.

    James is the auteur behind the movie "Infinite Jest."  His suicide, perhaps on impulse after relapsing into alcoholism, was extremely gruesome.  He rigged a microwave so that he could put his head inside, effectively turning his cranium into a pressure-activated flesh bomb.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Bernie's Dream Is Set In A Nightmare

    1. (1) Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million.
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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Republicans' Choice: It's Trump or the Convention

    Donald Trump is now, after South Carolina, clearly leading the Republican primaries. Donald Trump has also been unable to get much beyond 35% of the vote in any primary or caucus. He has the largest share of support, but that share is only about a third of the Republican vote, and sometimes less. None of the other candidates can beat Trump, but that doesn't mean he's going to win.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: Umberto Eco Is Dead

    I’ve never seen David Foster Wallace connected to Umberto Eco.  That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. But sometimes it is too tempting to compare writers just because they happen to write long books that are intellectually driven.  There are many ways to conquer the beast of the novel of ideas and these two writers may not have shared many tactics.

    Ramona's picture

    When Maureen Dowd Lost Hillary Clinton

    In the latest chapter in Maureen Dowd's never-ending story of the Clintons, "When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism",  the long-time New York Times columnist builds her case in the only way Maureen seems to know how: by putting words into Hillary's mouth and thoughts into Hillary's head. 

     

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Praying for Nino, and Planning for What's Next

    This morning in church I prayed for the soul of Antonin Scalia, and asked for him to receive God's mercy. I disagreed with him sharply during his lifetime, and sometimes judged him harshly, which made prayer all the more incumbent on me. Some of my friends have argued with me about this on social media, taking it as some sign of approval or absolution. Let me be very clear: I believe that Scalia is very much in need of mercy. (I have a beloved aunt, a former Sister of St.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Bernie Can't Win In Virginia: Neither Can Hillary!

    This election cycle has provided more than its share of political theater; however, after Iowa and New Hampshire there are still some questions we aren't any closer to answering. Can the GOP establishment sabotage Donald Trump without alienating the right-wing of their party? Can Bernie Sanders win electoral support in minority communities? When will Jeb Bush admit defeat and suspend his campaign? Can Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination after three decades of personal and political attacks from conservatives and liberals?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: Hamlet as Baseline

    One of David Foster Wallace’s goals (he said, sometimes) as a fiction writer was to help people combat loneliness.  Writing fiction allows the writer to reach out to an audience of strangers.  Reading it allows the audience to reach out to an author they will likely never meet.  Reading texts in common, like with Infinite Winter, gives us a chance to have a shared experience. I think a shared intellectual experience is why a lot of us have nostalgia for school (both high school and college).

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    New Hampshire Primaries: Slouching Toward the Brokered Convention

    It's still early, with only two-fifths of the returns in from New Hampshire tonight. But Sanders is comfortably ahead of Clinton and, on the Republican side, chaos is comfortably ahead of consensus.

    Recently, on one of Mike W's threads, I argued that:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What If Bernie Broke Up The Banks?

    I'm not blogging politics right now because Infinite Jest.

    But if Rolling Stone has room for me, who am I to say no?

    Here's my take on what would happen if Bernie got his way on Wall Street.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A New Hampshire Primary Memory

    It's the New Hampshire primary today. I grew up in New Hampshire, and I remember those elections fondly.

    One of my my favorite memories, which I've blogged about a few years back, involves my Mom getting into it with Al Haig on the campaign trail back in the 80s. Haig was, of course, a retired general, former Supreme NATO commander, Nixon's last Chief of Staff and Reagan's first Secretary of State. Mom was a police lieutenant.

    So, Mom, who was interested in the question, asked Haig a question about women playing combat roles in the military.

    Ramona's picture

    The Flint Water Crisis: It's All Obama's Fault

     

    Jake May—The Flint Journal-MLive.com/AP

     

    Nearly every day I'm hearing from people who are just now paying attention to what's been going on in Michigan  Their reactions to the latest and the worst insult--the water poisoning in Flint--are many and varied, but tend to follow the same theme:  WTF??

    I'm not here to judge, but it's not as if our bleating protestations haven't been wafting through the air for years. (They have been--even before 2011, when the GOP gerrymandered their way into absolute power and Rick Snyder took the oath he pretended he didn't hear.)

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Mr. Robot

    You know who I'm talking about. At first, I thought I was experiencing a deja vu. My wife thought there was a technical glitch. After the third repetition, she became convinced that he was suffering from a neurological condition. I just started laughing.

    This was was Rubio's Howard Dean scream. Not just because the performance was cringe-inducing and is destined to be endlessly rehearsed and enhanced on YouTube but because it cemented the perception that he's an automaton.

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