Michael Maiello's picture

    Service Guarantees Citizenship

    In the dystopian Starship Troopers an Earth at war with a race of sentient insects solves its military recruiting problems by tying military service with the right to vote.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    "They're Not Sending Their Best..."

    Of the many foul things His Fraudulency has said about the asylum seekers who cross our southern border, one of the worst has been that they are "not sending their best" people.  It's an obvious slander and it's also just downright audacious for anybody comfortably in America to deny the obvious courage, skill and perseverance that it takes to journey from Guatemala, through Mexico and then into the United States.

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    The Politics of Personal Immunity

    Last night, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and entourage were booted from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia by a co-owner who just couldn’t bring himself to serve a servant of the Trump Administration and boy was she mad about it and boy are the usual suspects, members of the namby-pamby D.C. press commentariat concerned about civility, too.  This on the heels of Trump adviser Stephen Miller and Department of Homeland Security Head Kirstjen Nielsen being heckled by fellow diners while separately trying to dine out on high end Mexican food.

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    Michael Cohen and AT&T

    To me, the most striking thing about AT&T paying Michael Cohen for, I guess, “advice” about how the Trump Administration might handle the Time Warner-AT&T merger is what a waste of money it was.  If AT&T thought that Cohen could influence Trump in favor of the deal, it was money ill-spent.

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    Ross Douthat: Sexual Moronae

    Of course, Ross Douthat is writing about the "Incels," which are guys who can't get laid and then turn to the dark side of blaming women for their sexual failures and mostly ranting online about it. Spoiler alert for the cultural infinity wars: Ross thinks that lefties are equally to blame for the attitudes of men who think they're owed a screw.  Further spoiler alert -- like an incel waking from a deep sleep, Douthat is all wet.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Our Narrow Focus on Subsistence and Working for the Economy

    There are two pieces in the Times today, separated by the chasm of sections and seemingly unconnected, that to me tell and interesting story.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    It's Fine To Destroy Wells Fargo

    To most people, and for good reason, a bank is a bit like a doctor's office or a mechanic's. It is supposed to employ experts who give well-meaning advice in areas where the lay person, busy with work, friends and family, cannot be an expert.  Yes, there is potential for abuse in this.  My doctor could milk me for a lot of money by convincing me I am sick when I am not.  A mechanic could scam me for a new flux capacitator.  A consumer banker could push me into inappropriate loans or sell me investment products that are too expensive or that I don't need.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Go Nixon, Go!

    I wasn't planning on enthusiastically supporting Cynthia Nixon's bid to become New York's governor, which should lead to a primary challenge against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, absent shenanigans.  I was planning, instead, to hear her out, given that I am largely unsatisfied with Andrew, who has proven annoyed me by feuding with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio when he should be doing right by the people who pay most of the taxes around here. which is us New Yorkers.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Do You Have The Right to Secrets?

    The world is not consistent on this point, but I think I've been pretty reliably of the belief that people's consensual and private romantic entanglements really aren't anybody else's business, absent naked hypocrisy on the issue by people in public life. That way, I can forgive Bill Clinton and John Edwards their affairs and not so much Newt Gingrich, who is a public scold and worse.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    I Really Want To Go Into The Cockpit (And It's My Right)

    I'm a good person and not at all crazy or harmful to anybody in any way.  It's just that when I fly, I have my preferences.  Some people like to drink.  Some people nap.  Some read or watch movies or listen to music.  I like to go into the cockpit to talk with the crew.  I've been doing it since I was a kid.  They used to give you little plastic wings to pin to your shirt on American Airlines and TWA. There is nothing more sacred and American than this.

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    The Enemy of The President is Not Your Friend

    Donald Trump tends to turn things upside down just by being Donald Trump. Of late, His Fraudulency has hurled himself into a feud with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, turning the agency into an arm of the resistance.  Except that the FBI is not a leftist organization, not by a long shot, and it never has been and neither is the rest of the security/intelligence apparatus in the U.S.

    James Comey is not a good guy.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    When You're Adorable to Deplorables

    Our friend Josh has been making the point that public revelations of predatory behavior only matter to people and entities who have to serve constituencies that care about such things. This seems an obvious point. The bachelor party at Scores is not going to get worked up about people objectifying the dancers, at least not on that particular night.  It does mean, however, that the political/social consequences of engaging in such behavior will differ more based on who you are or what you serve than what you did.

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    Then They Came for Bill Clinton (Again)

    Really, liberals?  Really?  More than seventeen years after we movedon.orged this issue, we're going to turn on Bill Clinton? As with most progressive mistakes, this seems to come from a well-meaning place.  We lefties like to be intellectually and ethically consistent and we are trying to make the world a better, more inclusive place, after all.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    On Donna Brazile...

    ...yeah, no, I just can't.

    Except to say that I really don't believe that Bernie Sanders ever expected a warm embrace from the party establishment that he was explicitly running against.

    Also, the warm embrace of the party establishment does not seem to translate automatically into winning the general election, so there's that.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Social Media Sucks and Taibbi and Ames Are Not Rapists

    In 2000, Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames wrote a book called The Exile, about their time in the 1990s running an English-speaking alternative newspaper in Moscow, after the fall of the Soviet Union and during what we now look back on as the rise of oligarchs and Vladimir Putin.  The Exile crashed together the ethos of gonzo journalism from the Hunter Thompson years (still ongoing) with the style of the self-published Zine movement (not yet displaced by blogs) with what we might still recognize as "regular journalism" (which no longer exists, I kid.)

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Starship Troopers Phase of Trumpism

    In 1997, Paul Verhoeven took a militaristic Robert A. Heinlein novel and satirized it as a movie.  When it came out, a lot of the audience missed the joke. Since then, a cult following has brought people along and now everybody gets it.  A big part of the Starship Troopers joke is society's compulsion towards military service. Mankind has branched out into the stars and found wars to fight. In order to preserve an all-volunteer military while compelling people to enlist, the "Terran Federation" has come up with a new form of governance:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Amongst Its Diverse Weaponry Are...

    “A powerful social media network that, with no physical presence, allows it to spew propaganda, claim responsibility for terrorist attacks, and not just inspire attacks but also help plot and execute them remotely.”

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    There Was a Shooting and Who Wants This Fight Again?

    Honestly, I have nothing to add about 58 people (58?  Really?) being murdered at a music festival by somebody with a weapon of mass destruction.  It's all just too repetitive, isn't it?

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