Michael Maiello's picture

    Should We Raise Taxes On The Middle Class?

    It's speculative, but some non-partisan tax specialists have looked over Paul Ryan's budget and have come to the very reasonable conclusion that the only way you can cut taxes on rich people while maintaining budget neutrality is to raise taxes on the middle class (probably the amorphous "upper middle class," that everybody thinks they're part of.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's Brilliant Immigration Move

    Actually, I don't mean brilliant politics here.  It may be.  But I really mean brilliant ethics.  There is no doubt in my mind that people who came to the United States as children, who were raised here and work here and who consider this their culture, not should be allowed to stay.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Stop Making Sense (Left and Right Edition)

    Funny day in Op-Ed land.  David Brooks veers hard right to try to explain why Republicans have veered hard right.  His line is, "This is the source of Republican extremism: the conviction that the governing model is obsolete. It needs replacing."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Respect Your Betters!

    Spare me, David Brooks.

    His column today is about columns.  Well, it starts off about monument designs and why they stink now.  Seriously, who really sees the relative decline of monument esthetics as emblematic of what's wrong with America today?  The music used to be better, too, David.  Maybe that's the problem?  Or maybe you're just wrong?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The European Union Should Collapse

    I admit that, years ago, I was entranced by what Jeremy Rifkin called "The European Dream," which was not just a monetary union but, in his mind, a political union that could, unlike the United States, expand almost without limit to include an ever widening periphery, someday stretching as far south as northern Africa.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    President Mitt Romney

    A colleague of mine, a very smart man but not in sync with me politically, told me a few weeks ago that he believes that I will come to my senses before the election and pull the lever for Mitt Romney.  I will make this decision, he assures me, based solely on Obama's mishandling of the economy and I will realize that the various issues that I have with the Republican party, Tea Party crazies and the religious right, do not apply to Romney.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Thomas Friedman Almost Gets It Right!

    Yesterday, as I was riding in a taxicab through one of New York's Indian/Pakistani neighborhoods, next to its dreadful airports that are inferior to everything in China, the cab driver said something amazing to me.  "Every dog has his day," he said.  I thought about this.  I realize that it had something to do with dog racing.  And maybe even Thomas Friedman who, has a writer, generally makes a pretty good Greyhound.  Though, seriously, you should see the busses in Calcutta.  They don't just have Wi-Fi, they run on Wi-Fi, floating effortlessly above the pavement.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Joe Nocera Gets Facebook Wrong

    This morning, Joe Nocera writes an interesting column about the Facebook IPO which I think is ultimately wrong. Nocera's take is that, aside from people angry that the investment banks lowered their revenue forecasts without telling all clients (and simultaneously raising both the price of the IPO and the number of shares sold) that investors don't really have a lot to complain about.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Hijinks Of The Conservative Mind

    Remember back when Rand Paul got into trouble for saying that he wouldn't have supported the landmark civil rights legislation that outlawed such perverse practices as segregated drinking fountains and "whites only" lunch counters? 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Homes and Castles

    This morning, as I was walking to the gym, I passed a small apartment building, nestled amongst the townhouses of West 10th street.  From somewhere on the upper floors of the building I heard a woman shouting and finally screaming.  First it was "Leave me alone!"  Then it was "Get off of me!  Get off of me!"  This was punctuated by screams, but they sounding like shrieks of anger rather than terror or pain, though it takes a lot of assumptions to get to that judgment.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    You Can Take It With You

    Eduardo Saverin, something of a villain in the Facebook tale, is about the become a billionaire, assuming the social network's initial public offering, scheduled for this week, is successful.  From the $15,000 he invested to help Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg pay for servers, Saverin will get an estimated $4 billion payday.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Willard Scissormitts

    We all did stupid things when we were young and the private preparatory academies of the type that Romney attended in the fifties and sixties were settings for all sorts of bullying and boorish behaviors and boys forced unnaturally together in search of A Separate Peace.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    In Defense of The Generalist Columnist

    No, I'm not defending Naomi Schafer Riley as any art form, including the writing of an 800-900 word newspaper article can be practiced badly.  To not even read what you're criticizing is pretty low.  But Dr. Cleveland, Professor of Dagblog, sets a very high standard for columnists.  Paul Krugman, who sticks (usually) to his discipline, is praised while David Brooks and Ross Douthat are singled out for writing on a broader array of topics which they cannot, by definition, claim expertise.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is Our Columnists Learning?

    "Is Our Adults Learning?" asks David Brooks in The New York Times today (the paper where columnists don't appear to be edited much.)  In this column, Brooks talks about the fight between stimulus supporters and austerity supporters.  He concludes that both sides relied on grand theories but that three years and $800 billion later, we are none the wiser as to which policy choice was better:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wise Men

    I'm certainly not the first to make this observation.  Logicians going back to Aristotle and probably prior, have warned us about the potential tyranny of experts that can arise in any society.  Even people with credentials can be wrong.  Einstein made mistakes.  When William F. Buckley joked, a long time ago, that he would rather be ruled by a random sampling from the Boston telephone book than the faculty of Harvard, he did have something of a point.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Silver Spoons

    I was actually a little embarassed for Talkingpointsmemo when I read its kind of breathless coverage of Obama stating the obvious fact that he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."  TPM's editors seemed to think this was some sort of Oscar Wildean bon mot or Mencken-style broadside worth repeating.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Unforced Obama Errors

    I have a lot of sympathy for the position the president is in with our intransigent opposition party in control of part of Congress.  Yes, the stimulus was too small and yes, his advisors urged him to concede that fight too early, but given that the other side was bent on "doing nothing," I understand the reasons for the outcome.  With healthcare, traitors within his own party's caucus sealed the fate of the public option.  No speech will make Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman come around to a more liberal solution.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Term Limits For Supreme Court Justices

    When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, there's no shortage of pundits willing to tell me that the promises the government made to us in the past can no longer be kept because people are living longer, healthier lives than they used to. These arguments tend to be bogus because they ignore the fact that lifespans have increased, in part, because infant mortality is down.

    But there's one group of people who are certainly living longer, healthier lives than they were back when the nation was founded -- the influential, rich and powerful justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, who have unfettered access to the best health care in the world along with jobs that ain't exactly coal mining when it comes to the toll taken on the body.  This is why in my Daily column today, I argue for term limits on Supreme Court justices.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Pistol Whippin'

    In my column this week at The Daily I argue that it's time to give up on a strict second amendment interpretation and allow for states and municipalities to decide on their own gun control laws.  Since I grew up with guns, I'm actually sympathetic to states that want to have concealed carry laws or or that want to allow unregistered gun ownership (like former home state, New Mexico).

    But, it makes no practical sense to me that in a country where you can have countries where alcohol can't be sold and towns where strip clubs can't be built, but that you cannot have a town or state where gun ownership is banned, even if that's what the residents want.  All this because of an amendment to the Constitution that seems to me was explicitly included because, at the time, the Framers were worried that they might have to call on every able bodied man to lock, load and get ready for the next British or French invasion (or, more likely, to repel a perfectly justified attack from a Native American tribe).

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Unhinged Character Assassination Of A Dead Teenager

    Sorry for writing about Trayvon Martin again, but it's a topic I can't let go.  Once the President decided to comment on the issue, his political enemies have gathered in a predictable attempt to turn his from the heart honesty into a political liability.

    But they can only do that by proving that the President was foolish to comment on the issue and they can only do that by establishing that the President didn't know the facts and that he rushed to take sides based on race.  Obama's critics have, of course, found an enthusiastic audience for this argument.

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