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.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    What If Obama Loses?

    I'm pretty bad at the politics part of politics.  Sure, I can read opinion polls and guess at what messages will play well in communities I know well, but I don't have a great crystal ball for predicting how groups of people will react to major events.

    When I look over at the Republican ticket I see one threat (Mitt Romney) and a lot of nothing else.  I also think Romney is eminently beatable and that so long as the economy is improving, even if it's improving too slowly, Obama has to be the odds-on favorite to win in 2012.  But, hey, anything can happen, right?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Corporate Power and American Democracy

    Writing a weekly column and blogging here adds up to a lot of spilled words every week.  I'm even starting to sense an evolving theme that wouldn't have been the one I'd necessarily chosen if I'd set out to write a whole bunch of little pieces that were going to add up to something.  Don't worry, I'm not going to go all meta on you here.  Just introducing the idea I've been struggling with -- the role of the economy as an organizing factor in society and the role of corporate executives as the most influential, powerful and unaccountable leaders.  My column for

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Will Barack Obama Work For GE?

    Update: after considering Genghis' comments, I edited the headline here and I want to add one thing, for those of you who have already read the post.  Even according to the Times story I linked to, Obama and Geithner are right now skeptical about the idea of a repatriation tax holiday.  It also looks as if the lobbying effort for this dates back to 2010.  So, yes, I probably did get ahead of myself.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's Down and Out On Wall Street

    Apparently, President Obama is having trouble raising Wall Street money for 2012.  One anonymous champion of capitalism even complains that it's because "Obama simply doesn't like rich people."  I figure a statement like that will draw cackles around here.  If Obama doesn't like rich people, who the heck does he like?  And, if he treats the people he dislikes as well as he's been treating the rich, how do I get on the big guy's bad side?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Corporate America Breaks Up With The Middle Class

    American businesses are breaking up with the middle class.  This won't be news around here, though it might stir up some controversy over at The Daily today.  In my column this week I looked into some of the potential implications of two big changes in American business.  They used to rely largely on domestic middle class consumers to make their profits.  This was true even in the 1990s, when the main effect of globalization was overseas exploitation in order to sell cheap goods ba

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's New Stimulus, (He's Still Not Getting It)

    I was delighted to see this Bloomberg story about the White House pursuing additional stimulus after the failure of QE2 and the recent rise in unemployment.  But the method he's pursuing -- a temporary holiday for the employer portion of the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, is not going to fix things, even if the Republicans go along with it.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Legalize Drugs, Gambling and Prostitution

    My social libertarian side comes out in my column for The Daily today.  I've always been a live and let live and let your freak flag fly type of person.  I think that people who want to live an atypical life should enjoy being chemically, sexually, physically and emotionally adventurous, so long as that's what they want to do.  If we only get one go at life, there's probably no point in returning your rental body without a few dings in it.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is Obama Giving Up?

    Over the weekend, Austan Goolsbee went on the chit chat shows to tell people that the economy is out of the emergency zone, that slipping into a Great Depression is no longer what we all fear and that the government isn't going to do anything else dramatic to put Americans back to work, to say nothing of raising wages and living standards.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Big Brother Obama

    My column for The Daily today is about the reinstatement of The Patriot Act and how the fact that the government can and will spy on 300 million Americans is now just an accepted fact of life, and is no longer something that inspires serious debate.  I believe that we will live with The Patriot Act forever and that government and corporate abuses of privacy are just going to get worse.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Go Lose Yourself, David Brooks

    Sorry for the second entry of the day, but I don't seem to be crowding anyone out today and David Brooks really ticked me off this morning.  I probably should let that emotionally stunted geek get under my skin, but I think it's a pretty horrible thing when somebody takes to The Freaking New York Times to specifically tell ambitious and hopeful college graduates not to follow their bliss, not to pursue their dreams and not to find themselves, as Brooks did today in a rhetorical back alley abortion called "

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Ongoing Lies In Libya

    "NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday that Qaddafi's 'reign of terror' was coming to an end, underscoring western countries' ultimate goal of removing him from power." -Foreign Policy Magazine morning e-mail for 5/31/2011.

    Interesting.

    Because when this whole thing started, deposing Qaddafi was not a stated goal of the NATO operations authorized by the United Nations.  The goal, by which I mean the whole, entire goal, was to "protect civilians."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama Is Breaking The Law

    What I hate about war is that it makes good people do bad things.  Also, that people have their lives cut short for bad reasons, that money is wasted and that generally only the world's worst people are any better for all the sacrifices made.  But also that it makes good people do bad things.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Untaxed 51%

    Lately, we've been hearing from conservatives that 51% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes.  This is meant to put the kibosh on any attempts at raising taxes on wealthy individuals by painting everyone from the middle class on down as freeloaders.  We are already, the argument goes, letting the wealthy pay for the upkeep of the country, so the next sacrifice needs to come from working people.  I took this issue up in The Daily this week.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Truth About ConocoPhillips and Taxes

    ConocoPhillips CEO John Mulva thinks that denying tax breaks to his highly profitable global oil and gas company is "Un-American."  People have been really taken with his rhetoric on this one, but his words sent me to his company's 10K.  The truth about Conoco's taxes is buried in the footnotes and it's very revealing.  It's at the core my my column for The Daily today, but I want to get a bit more granular here.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Rape Apologists, Elite Apologists Or Something Else?

    It's very difficult to talk about (okay, I'll say it) outgoing IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, if you want to say anything other than "let's let the justice system turn and accept the ultimate result," without swallowing your own foot.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Noodling About Newt

    I don't believe that Newt Gingrich's candidacy for the Presidency is real in the slightest.  Like Ron Paul or Sarah Palin, Newt makes a great deal of money selling books and himself as a speaker and lecturer, to conservative groups.  This candidacy is a way of using donor money to promote himself as a lecturer, author and pundit.  For Palin, it happened by accident.  But Newt's been an industry ever since he left office.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Raise The Capital Gains Tax

    Since the 1990s, both the Democrats and Republicans have agreed that capital gains taxes should be kept lower than income taxes in order to encourage investment and to support the economy.  It's really pure trickle down theory and further proof for the cynical that whenever the Democrats and Republicans agree on something, it's bad.  Setting capital gains and dividend taxes at the same level as income taxes is the subject of my column today in The Daily.

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