Michael Maiello's picture

    Hating On Workers

    I took a chance with my column this week and wrote about something other than Libya.  I'm always more comfortable with social and financial topics anyway as I totally hate relying on my B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in dramatic writing when people ask my what qualifies me to bicker with generals over combat strategy.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nothing's Ever Simple In War

    Juan Cole's strongly worded "Open Letter To The Left" about Libya seemed designed to take down a very dangerous bit of information that's come out recently but hasn't gotten nearly enough attention in my opinion -- the Libyan rebels we're defending have real and substantial ties to Al-Qaeda.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    I Think We Have To Get Over Rwanda Guilt

    There, I said it.  It was not an easy thing to say.  Especially not after reading this from the Atlantic 10 years ago.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Lost Amidst All Of These Wars...

    ...are the still unresolved issues stemming from the financial crisis.  For example, the FDIC filed suit against three Washington Mutual executives last week seeking to recover $900 million that the government lost arranging for the bank's eventual sale to JPMorgan Chase.  I wrote about the suit and the absurd defense of the bankers in my column today.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Budget Hawking All Over Libya

    KGB wants to know why so many Keynesian, "the debt is not an issue" lefties have become budget hawks where the Libyan war is concerned.  I'm certainly guilty of this.  When it comes to the economy, I'm so Keynesian that Keynes would question my sanity.  I have advocated using the powers of the Federal Reserve to pay people's credit card bills.  I believe that Social Security benefits should be expanded, not cut.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Why We Shouldn't Intervene In Libya

    While my wife and I were gallivanting in Barcelona, which is a heck of a town, some pundits here at home and even some world powers, began beating the war drum once again.  To be fair, nobody is calling for an outright invasion of Libya (right?) but they do want the U.S. to impose a no fly zone, to bomb Gadhafi's air defenses and to basically use its might to tip the balance of power in favor of Libya's rebels.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Why Jay-Z and Beyonce? Oh, For The Money

    I was really disappointed to see that Beyonce took seven figures to perform for the Gadhafi clan and that she and her husband Jay-Z then partied with the dictator's family after the show.  I wrote about it today for The Daily and pretty much make my case there.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Unions and Utopians

    The most ridiculous critique of civil service unions I've heard so far this week goes like this: "It isn't fair that the union members can vote for the people who will ultimately meet them on the other side of the negotiating table.  Even worse, the unions contribute money to campaigns and thus have undo influence over there negotiating partners in government."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Secret Plan To Cut Your Benefits?

    This Slate article is pretty darned amazing.  John Dickerson imagines that President Obama is secretly working with the Republicans on some hardcore budget cutting.  Dickerson writes of this approvingly, as if a back room deal is the only way that we'll get to the Social Security and Medicare cuts that he believes we need.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Globalization, Dictators and Your Money

    I hope you'll all indulge me once a week if I post the lede to my new column here, along with a link back to "The Daily."  Because, heck... I want to discuss this stuff with you guys.  But they own it because I sold it to them for money that I wanted.  I mean, "that I needed."

    So, assuming your indulgence (since I'm not going to wait for an answer), here's the first bit:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Don't Mess With Switzerland

    Former President, and some would say war criminal George W. Bush cancelled an appearance at a Swiss human rights gala because he feared being arrested.  So now Bush joins Henry Kissinger in the ranks of Americans who don't feel that they can safely travel to or even through certain countries, not for fear of assassination or kidnapping, but for fear of arrest and trial.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Snappy Gorebacks To Stupid Questions

    Then Why Is It Snowing, Mr. Gore?

    The former Vice-President and climate change activist offers a number of responses to this most pressing question.

    By your reckoning, the Earth is 6,000 years old.  Give it time.

    Because you keep voting for people who make sure that you can’t afford to retire some place tropical.

    It snows on the righteous and the just and, well… you. 

    It’s not snow, it’s angel kisses. Feel better now?

    The Ski Resort Industrial Complex.

    Soros!

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Joe Lieberman Wants To Be Dictator Of Egypt

    Simply stunning.  The lesson that outgoing (but not outgoing) Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman has learned from Egypt's oppressive dictator Hosni Mubarak is that the President needs to be able to order the shutdown of Internet access in the U.S., too.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Private Internet

    This is outside my usual subject matter so forgive me if it's trite or has been done before, but I've had a couple of Internet experiences lately that have really driven home for me how much things have changed.  When I started using the Internet back at the end of high school (around 1993) it was a bunch of bulletin boards with text interfaces.  It probably wasn't a commerce thing for me until around 1998/99 (making me a late adopter, I know, but for awhile I got an employee discount at a book, movie and video store so why Amazon?)  Throughout, there was a sense of the public square to the

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Home Economics With Destor

    So I got paid on the 15th and something bugged me about the number I took home.  It was lower than it was in December and yet it shouldn't have been.  This pay cycle was the first one where I benefitted from the 2% payroll tax holiday, something I believe I touted here before when Obama agreed to it.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Happy Gulf War Day

    Maybe that's a flip way to say it, but the one thing I remember most about the first Gulf War was all of the hyperbole around it.  Saddam Hussein was Hitler.  Kuwait was Poland.  If we didn't stop him then, we'd never be able to stop him as he rampaged throughout the region, taking over Saudi Arabia and Iran in the process.  Saddam Hussein had, we were told again and again, the fourth largest army in the world.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Silly, Silly Other Countries

    Every now and then Atrios has a short post that says something like "Silly, Silly, Japan - hostile to immigration."  His point, so much as it needs explanation, is how often we criticize other countries for acting stupidly and making obvious mistakes that only serve to make life worse abroad than it is here at home, where everything is great.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Whiny, Whiny, Centrists

    The mushy middle has spoken and the bipartisanship that we saw during the extraordinarily productive lame duck congressional session just won’t do.  Yes, that’s right.  The very people who have been agitating for both parties to “reach across the aisle” are not happy with the way in which it was done.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Work, You Wretches!

    Meanwhile, back over at TPMCafe, Jon Taplin makes an interesting argument in his post "Merchants Of Fear."  Two, actually.  The first is that some people, especially peddlars of gold and survivalist rations, are purposefully overselling the state of American decline in order to make a buck.  Granted.  But then there's this:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Assange, Irony and Secrets

    I agree that hearing Julian Assange's lawyers outrage that leaked information pertaining to the rape charges against him should have never been made public is funny.  I also agree with David Seaton that politics is politics and that anything that makes Assange look like a hypocrite is bad news for him.  In the game he's playing image is important.  You can't be for the release of all secrets except for your own.  All absolutists find their petards hoisted sooner

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