Michael Maiello's picture

    "Unfortunate" Republican Bigotry

    If you're in a really generous mood, you can kind of forgive a few people for shouting "let him die!" in response to a question about a person without health insurance who is suddenly stricken ill.  That shrieking answer might well be directed at the hypothetical itself and not any one individual.  Hypotheticals like that can be frustrating, particularly when you lack a non-sociopathic answer.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Death Watch

    I never even know even the most scant details about most death penalty cases and that I only  take notice when one makes the national news -- that's sad.  In a lot of ways, that's understandable, but it's also, given the magnitude of the punishment that society is about to deliver, unforgivable.

    It's also, at least by my watching of CNN over the last hour, very disturbing to me as an observer of human evolution.  This "death watch" coverage is very bread and circuses. 

    If I can be Stone Column Punk about it:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The U.S. Will Never Pay Off Its Debt (Update)

    So, when I posted this, it looked as if my column, "The U.S. Will Never Pay Off Its Debt" would not be published.  I had hoped that by posting it here, you guys would ferret out its flaws for me.  But, instead, it was well received, which made me think, "darn it, this should be published."  The Daily now seems to agree.

    But, they'd also like me not to scoop my own column, in the event that we run it next week.  So, I'm taking the draft down, but leaving the very good thread intact.  Thank you all for the help on this.  I thought I was losing my mind.

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Open Spaces

    It's rare that I praise Nicholas Kristof because, most of the time, he typifies the kind of "conventional wisdom of the TED Conference" type that I just can't stand.  You know, the pro-globalization, let's let a blue ribbon panel of tech billionaires and former maverick politicos solve all of our problems, bunch.  The Bloombergians.  Oh wait, but I'm not here to bury Kristof but to praise his column, "We're Rich (In Nature)."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Capitalists Starting To See The Truth

    Investor Jeremy Grantham, well known for years and around the world (he manages more than $100 billion) has recently come around to the idea that some mortgage debt forgiveness might be necessary.  Given that Grantham invests in bonds from time to time, this is amazing stuff.  Bond investors hate the idea of debt forgiveness.  They usually prefer "debt repayment at all costs, or I get to take your stuff."  I recommend reading Grantham's latest letter to clients, which you can find here, or perhaps my

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    I'm Ron Burgundy?

    He has the hair.  He doesn't know anything about science or history.  He likely misuses the phrase, "when in Rome."  My column for The Daily this week is about Rick Perry, the conservative superstar and great Republican hope of the moment who reminds me entirely of Ron Burgundy.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Tax The Poor!

    The media is so allergic to common sense these days that nobody has reported on the obvious implications of the Republican complaint that nearly half of Americans had no income tax liability in 2010.  Republicans want to raise taxes on the poor.  This is the subject of my column in The Daily this week.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Things To Like About Conservatives

    Playing Diogenes, good ol' jollyroger asked us to name some respectable conservatives.  It's a tough game because they all have sins.  I used to cite William Buckley as a personal favorite for his general tone and writing style, but would always be confronted with the crass and ignorant things the guy said about homosexuals in response.  From our lens, none of them are perfect.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    People Who Want To Hurt US

    My column for The Daily today is about the S&P downgrade and its effects but, beyond that, it's about an undercurrent of belief in the U.S. that we should be collectively punished for the sins of borrowing and profligate spending.

    There's actually a whole school of "hard money" economics adherents, known as the "Austrian School," that believes this very explicitly.  They see stimulus packages, quantitative easing, Keynesian money printing and other Federal Reserve tactics as ways of avoiding necessary economic pain.  Ron and Rand Paul are in this camp.  They believe that you deal with high unemployment or stagnant wages or even inflation by... living with it.  These are the necessary results of speculative bubbles that you never should have let happen in the first place and if you'd just let the supply of gold be the disciplining factor in economic life, you wouldn't have had these problems in the first place.  I tend to believe that if we did that we'd still be living in 15th century conditions, but that's another story.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Obama Sacrificed

    I see over at Swampland today that likely casualties of the budget deal include the long-term unemployed (who are unlikely to get another extension of unemployment benefits) and, of all things during a time when we're encouraging people to get more education to be better at their jobs, graduate students, who will lose the ability to take out federally subsidized loans.  One can only hope that pulling subsidies for those loans will eventually bring the costs of graduate schools dow

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    March Of The Centrists

    My latest column for The Daily was a reaction Thomas Friedman's recent New York Times column calling for a third party presidential candidate to be selected by some Internet Web site that he says is backed by flashy hedge fund money.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is Obama Losing The Debt Ceiling Debate On Purpose?

    This morning, Paul Krugman praised a New York Review Of Books article by Elizabeth Drew called "What Were They Thinking?" that I recommend you all read.  It's depressing stuff but it at least offers an explanation as to why Obama never called the Republicans on their debt ceiling bluff and why he's made so darned many compromises that it's almost inconceivable that this whole debate ends as anything other than a Republican victory.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Ending The "Bush Tax Cuts"

    I used to think that the most lasting effects that a President can have on the country are his appointments to the federal courts.  But George W. Bush has changed my mind about that.  If you really want to have a lasting voice in the national conversation, just put your name on a big, fundamental piece of legislation and make it sunset after you're out of office.  The "Bush Tax Cuts," designed from the start to expire after Bush's two terms were, were a devious trap, set to explode in the face of the next president, preferably a Democrat.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Don't Raise Taxes Yet

    The largest single economic problem the U.S.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Let's Step Up And Do It!

    Over at TPM, the early response to Obama's presser seems to be that this was a political homerun for President Obama.  I get the logic here.  He used his bully pulpit to very clearly articulate that all of the debt ceiling obstruction is coming from the right.  He tortured House speaker John Boehner by praising his honesty and intentions, thus making the rest of the Republican party look a tad insane.  This could, as David Kurtz argues, cost the Republican some stature with the press, if not with vote

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Real People On Trial

    I have criminal trials on the brain this week with Dominique Strauss-Kahn and now Casey Anthony dominating the non-political news.  But, as I said in a previous post, I'm not a crime news junky.  I am, however, very interested in procedure and civil liberties.  When something like the DSK case happens I almost immediately wonder, "what happens to the accused when they are not fabulously wealthy?" Which is the topic of my column for The Daily this week.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Strange Verdicts, Casey Anthony and Murder Trials

    I don't follow murder trials closely and I can't stand Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor who seems to think that no innocent people have ever been accused of a crime in America ever.  When juries acquit in what we outsiders are assured are "slam dunk" cases, I don't get angry about it.  It's pointless, after all, and the jury generally knows better than anybody whether or not a prosecutor has surmounted the "reasonable doubt" hurdle.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Rights Of The Accused

    Must be an awkward day for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.  His case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is reportedly collapsing and the most serious charges might be dropped.  Prosecutors are likely hoping to save face by getting Kahn to plead guilty on some misdemeanor charge but Strauss-Kahn has proven himself a fighter.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Greek Mistake

    A few minutes ago, the Greek parliament voted in favor of the austerity plan being pushed on its governments by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.  The result will be falling living standards in Greece, lower growth (if not outright recession) and much suffering in general.  But, Greece will receive the n

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Michelle Bachmann Dozens

    Michelle Bachmann is...

    ...so flaky that when she showers with Head and Shoulders, she disappears.

    ...so flaky that if she eats a Hershey's Kiss she becomes pan au chocolat.

    ...so flaky that she snowed in her own cross country bus tour.

    ...so flaky that when she goes to KFC, biscuits order her.

    ...so flaky that she could sell herself in Japan as panko under the brand name Pannko.

    …is so flaky that she thought the first primary debate would be held on the Food Network.

    …is so flaky that the Gorton’s Fisherman chases her around.

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