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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    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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    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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    Michael Maiello's picture

    War and Words and Words and War

    Today, our president uttered threats at North Korea that sounded comic book villainish or, to take it to the real world, a little more like what I expect from saber rattling emergent enemies of the United States who might make reference to "The Great Satan" or say thinks about streets running red with the blood of innocents, or even that the United States is "not worth an old shoe." Yep, our president sounded like somebody who had come to power through heredity or coup, rather than an election. 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What They've Wanted To Repeal For Seven Years

    Ever since the Affordable Care Act became law, Republicans have sought to repeal it. In the most recent failed attempt, I've seen numerous references to the difficulty of repealing an "entitlement" once people have grown used to having it and the use of that word mostly reminds me of just what a paltry entitlement the ACA is for most people.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Donald Trump Jr. Really Is Patrick Bateman

    Josh Marshall remarks that the Trumps are not really "political," by which he means that they are not actually interested in policy as an end to itself:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The War on New York: State Medicaid Director on Trumpcare

    No commentary from me here, just a signal boost for a caring public official.

    **

    Michael,

    As New York's Medicaid Director, I couldn’t be more appalled by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care plan.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    David Brooks Does Not Understand How Wages Work

    Today, David Brooks made the absurd claim that the construction industry is experiencing a labor shortage because Americans won't take construction jobs:

    "Construction is hard, many families demean physical labor and construction is highly cyclical. Hundreds of thousands of people lost construction jobs during the financial crisis and don’t want to come back. They want steadier work even at a lower salary."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Happy Friday, Dag

    Captain America Richard Spencer Nazi Punch
    make action GIFs like this at MakeaGif
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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Identity Politics is Actually Important

    Since the election numerous critics of the left, some from the left and some not, have identified "identity politics" as a culprit in Democratic political failure and the election of Donald Trump.  Identity politics is a great term for this because it, ironically, covers up more than it reveals.

    Best I can tell, identity politics just means that religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, largely through the Democratic party or left of center political movements, make the case for equal and dignified treatment in society.  This should not be controversial, but it apparently is.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Donald J. Trump: Beyond the Thunderdome

    I guess I missed it, somehow... the ruination of America, the collapse of society, the onset of post-history.  I thought Donald Trump didn't read much and was not a reflective man, but he does seem have to a taste for Cormac McCarthy:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Actual Reason Markets Do Not Work In Healthcare is... Pain!

    Today, David Brooks asks whether or not markets function well in the American health care system and he seems to think that, when it doesn't, it's largely because health care providers know so much more about health and wellbeing than health care consumers:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Rage and Outrage Economy

    The Daily Beast asked me to write about the relationship between Carl Icahn and Donald Trump.  I responded with a piece about how Icahn's decades of shareholder activism are the foundation for Trump's corporation-focused Twitter rants.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Truth Before Transition

    Barack Obama will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST, before his family heads on their annual (well-earned) vacation to Hawaii.  We can hope for something important tomorrow as the White House has now made the following statements about Russia's election hacks:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    That Nicaragua Feeling

    It's already become a transition cliche that Donald Trump is turning the US into a banana republic.  We've got the situational diplomacy, the crony appointments and the massive conflicts of interest as the president-elect clings to his global real estate and branding business even as he is about to take power.

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