Michael Maiello's picture

    The Obama Era

    Late in the week, The Daily called with the kind of assignment that no opinion writer could turn down.  Obama has a chance to be the Reagan of the left, they said.  If he gets a reasonable amount of what he wants in his second term, what will America look like?  Writing this longer essay was an exercise in optimism and, though I tried to be realistic, I also found it kind of a tonic for cynicism.  Things can get better, with just the ideas that Obama has expressed and hinted at.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Philip Roth Has Retired

    At 78, Roth says he hasn't written anything of substance in 3 years and that 2010's Nemesis will have been his last novel.  Oddly enough, I picked up

    Michael Maiello's picture

    About This Nov 7th Stock Crash...

    It's noon and the Dow is down over 300 points (about 2.4% in this age of big numbers) and so, if it hasn't started already, people are going to try to say that the markets are rejecting the public's choice of a second Obama term, and of a larger Democratic majority in the Senate, or both of those things.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Do The White Thing

    Ramona asks, flabbergasted, why this guy Romney is even able to make a race out of this.  Over at Slate, Tom Scocca seems to have the answer.  Race.  Well, and gender.  It's white guys who are giving Romney a fighting chance, even though, as Daggers like DF have concluded, it's still Obama's election to lose.  E

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Don't Play Around, Even In Safe States

    As a New Yorker, I've always been willing to vote third party in general elections.  Heck, when my wife and I moved this year and needed to re-register, we both switched form Democrat to Independent.  We'd only joined the Dems to vote for Hillary when she ran in the Senate primary.  Overall, we both have the same problems with mainstream Democrats that many of you do.

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    Meanwhile, Bondholders Are Murdering People In Greece...

    There's just no nice way to say this.  Greece's creditors are murdering Greece's citizens.  When Greece went to the Troika (the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission) for a loan to keep itself solvent in 2011, the country had to agree to stop covering hospital treatments for unemployed, uninsured citizens.  These people, sick and with no hope of finding work, are now required by the terms of the loan agree

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Rich Never Expire

    I really think that we should forbid the government from passing temporary laws, especially tax cuts with sunset provisions.  By enacting tax cuts that would eventually expire, George W. Bush was able to win the long-term "budget scoring" game, while also setting a trap for whoever occupied the White House after him.

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    Why Is Romney Being Taken Seriously on Libya?

    Mitt Romney keeps swinging and missing on the Libya issue, but it doesn't seem like anyone in the media is telling the Republican nominee to move on.  The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi is still being treated by the mainstream as some sort of Obama administration failure.

    Yet, the complaints seem very picayune in the context of Libya's recent history.

    Romney's first complaint, issued nearly as the attack was underway, was that the Obama administration had signaled weakness by "apologizing" for an anti-Muslim Youtube video.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Panditocracy

    I think that most of us Americans who work for others worry about keeping our jobs.  Today, the board of directors of Citigroup has reached an agreement for Vikram Pandit to leave the board and step down as chief executive.  Pandit was the successor CEO to Charles Prince, who followed the legendary Sanford Weill.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Maureen Dowd Gets Paid For This?

    "President Obama likes to be alone," is the lede of Maureen Dowd's column today.  What follows is a completely plausible sounding, totally BS 800 words that I just can't help but excise and comment on, bit by bit.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Romneybot, Transform!

    Mitt Romney, Mormon Meets The Eye

    Mitt Romney, Centrist in Disguise!

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    President Do-Over

    This is hardly a deep observation and it's certainly not very complicated, but a good chunk of Mitt Romney's argument for his candidacy is that he will undo and then redo the major legislation of the Obama administration.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    When Will Our Leaders Ask Us To Sacrifice?

    I didn't know that there were journalists out there who haven't read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where our hero, high on extract from the human adrenal gland, is confronted with the mocking visage of Richard Nixon on the television urging "Sacrifice.  Sacfrifce.  Sacrifice."  But, Frank Bruni seems to have missed it.  When, he wants to know, will our leaders come clean with the American people and demand of them the sacrifices necessary for us to move forward?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Hi, We're Going To Offend You

    In his speech at the United Nations, President Obama did not apologize for the B movie that may or may not have sparked riots throughout the Middle East.  And, of course, the President owes no apologies.  We're a classically liberal democratic republic.  That means that we allow our citizens to be stupid, to be rude and even to be hateful.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Bernanke is Easy

    Yesterday, the Federal Open Markets Committee decided, under the guidance of chairman Ben Bernanke, to engage in a new round of quantitative easing (open market purchases of mortgage backed securities at a rate of $40 billion per month for as long as necessary) and also promised to keep interest rates at extraordinarily low levels through 2015.  I'd remind people, by the way, that the Fed could hike rates 200 basis points and still claim to be at historically very low levels (we'd be just over 2 percent).

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    But, Log Cabin Republicans Are Uncle Toms!

    The Internet is great, in part, because it reminds you that some of the old arguing rules from high school are useful in real life.  If I call you Hitler for disagreeing with me, I am wrong.  Because you are really Pol Pot.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama is Magic!

    Last night, I was underwhelmed by Obama's speech but in the light of morning I think I was perhaps expecting a little too much, given the context of an extremely effective and well put together convention.  He is the president, not a cheerleader and he's trying to defend his program while showing how it will play out if he's given more time.

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    Clinton's Real Lesson For Obama

    Tonight, the most recent two-term Democratic president will address the party’s convention to make the case for Barack Obama’s re-election.  If everything works out, Obama will face a second term that will resemble Bill Clinton’s, where the President faced a powerful opposition party determined to undermine him.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Labor Day and the Myth of Henry Ford

    Every so often, somebody tells the story of Henry Ford, friend of the working man.  You see, he paid his workers a higher wage, helping to transform a population of Detroit immigrants into part of a mass affluent American middle class that supported America's economic growth for the better part of the 20th century.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Ross Douthat Wants To Be Ruled By The Rich

    Since David Brooks made a funny, the universe has been out of balance.  Ross Douthat, Brooks' mini-me conservative in The New York Times op-ed land, has righted the balance with a perfectly ridiculous column about Ann Romney's convention speech.

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