Michael Maiello's picture

    When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

    Marvel comics is soft-rebooting all of its titles.  Marvel is, along with Star Wars, Star Trek and pro wrestling, a huge part of my pop-cultural life.  I'd love to say, "my childhood," but we all know that's too kind.  

    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Ruth Marcus and Brookings Don't Get About Microeconomics

    Thanks to Hal for referencing The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus on Hillary Clinton the other day.  I don't read Marcus too regularly, but when I do, it reminds me why not reading her is probably an IQ booster.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    A Gun Truth Movement for Gun Truthers

    I admit, as a smoker in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I found those "Truth" anti-smoking ads to be pretty obnoxious and I expected that they would be no more effective than the "Just Say No," anti-drug ads of the 1980s.  But I was actually a little older than "The Truth" was aiming for, and a little too set in my ways. I had to find my own path away from nicotine. The Truth ads, meanwhile, were effective enough that a whole lot of people who were 5-15 years younger than me never had to waste any time or money on tobacco, much less endure the trial of quitting.  Good for The Truth.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Cadillacs All Around

    In the U.S., most people get their health insurance through their employers because... well, because the government wants it that way. 

    During World War II, American industry needed workers to meet the industrial needs caused by a gigantic war.  That demand for workers resulted in enormous wage inflation and the government decided to stop that by putting compensation caps into place.  Remember that next time somebody tells you that the government can't interfere with the markets by, say, regulating drug prices.  When it came to wages for ordinary people, the government interfered in the markets without much regret.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Religious Leaders Want Theocracies

    A common answer to a liberal who objects that Pope Francis decided to meet privately with Kentucky County Clerk and homophobic bigot Kim Davis is that, hey, he's a Catholic and he doesn't support same sex marriage anyway, so what's the problem?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    We Brought Over-Policing On Ourselves

    Interesting piece in The New York Times about the origins of the Rockefeller drug laws and the tough on crime stance of Harlem social activists in the 1960s.  It seems a classic case of a community giving up power for safety and being abused for it.  I only take issue here with the total focus on black communities within the city -- over-policing is now a problem throughout America.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Trump, Evangelicals and Showbiz Politics

    The great thing about Donald Trump is how he totally freaks out The New York Times while making CNN salivate.  The day after the debate, we get Frank Bruni bemoaning the blurred lines between politics and entertainment, an objection that makes me wonder where Bruni has been since the 1980s, when Trump ascended into the popular culture, Yes, CNN salivates at the prospect of a president that it can probably cover through sitcom, but let's not give into Bruni's yearning for a serious politics of yore that never was.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Guys, Hillary Clinton Is Going To Be A Great President

    I like Bernie, too.  I'm going to vote for him in the New York primary, unless he's out and has endorsed Hillary Clinton by then.  Call it my political Pascal's Wager.  If I vote for him and he wins, I'll be plenty happy.  But I'm also wagering in New York, where Hillary's popularity is intact. She's not likely to lose the New York primary.  So, there you go.  I like Bernie.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Our Continued Demand Slump

    The world economy still suffers from a global lack of demand.  That's what caused the market correction in China that sparked a (temporary?) contagion in the rest of the world.  When it comes to the economic basics -- energy, grains and metals, everything's in a bear market.  The Daily Beast asked me to write about the markets and I took my stab. Basically, I think that China is deflating too early.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Black Lives Matter & It's Not The Economy, Egghead

    Over on another site, I instinctively defended the premise that the Black Lives Matter protesters were foolish, at best, for protesting at Bernie Sanders events. No real need to recap the arguments here, but I've since read some convincing explanations for why BLM should, in fact, target progressive events where they want to emphasize the importance of their message in the line-up of priorities being discussed.  Heck, while I immediately took the "don't shout him down, free speech doesn't work that way," stance, Sanders went back to the drawing board on his own policies and priorities.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Trumpamania

    Over at TPM, I wrote a piece about my enjoyment of Trump's using pro wrestling style rhetorical tactics against his fellow Republicans.  While I would, of course, like to see a steel chair, lead pipe or figure four leglock involved...

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Reading David Brooks While White

    Dear David Brooks,

    Thank you for writing to Ta-Nehisi Coates on behalf of white America!  Since you took that on yourself, I suppose the rest of us lumped into this class have been saved a lot of time.  Though, could you have been less embarrassing and condescending about the whole thing?

    When you say:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Problem of Waiting on Civil Rights Issues

    In 2003 and 2004, I had the unique opportunity to have written an experimental musical that was produced off-off Broadway and in the New York International Fringe Festival.  The framed poster from the debut is in my apartment.  To me, it's a major accomplishment.  Somewhere along the run, two men met and fell in love.  They were together for years after I went separate ways with the company that produced the show but technology has allowed us all to meet, disperse and stay in touch.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Dag Pardon and Clemency Project

    President Obama will be in office quite awhile longer but the time to tell him who to pardon on the way out is now.  It won't due to wait until his last months in office because the decisions will largely have been made by then.  Let's start a pardon and clemency list.  Put your suggestions for who should be pardoned, and why, in the comments and I'll sweep through and move all of the new suggestions, without comment, into the main thread.  Of course. we can debate the merits below.

    Pardon and Clemency List

    1. Piper Kerman

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Seveneves: A Short Review of a Long Book

    By sheer coincidence, I finished Neal Stephenson's Seveneves a couple of days before learning that two friends from college, including the former managing editor of The Daily Lobo, our independent school paper, were in town.  Back in the 1990s, the staff of our paper passed around copies of Stephenson's Snow Crash, a witty send-up of the cyber-punk genre.  We loved that book. 

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Financial Illiteracy and Bill Clinton's "Secret Company"

    The right wing is all agog about Bill Clinton's "secret" company called WJC LLC.  The "secret" company, which has twice incorporated itself with public documents naming Bill Clinton as its majority shareholder in two states (New York and Delaware), is not actually a secret company at all.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Re-Free Martha Stewart

    This week brought news that five large global banks had admitted to felonies and agreed to pay $5.6 billion in fines to the U.S. Treasury for colluding to rig global currency markets.  The amount of the fines captured headlines but the amounts are actually relatively small.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Well, A Blog I'll Just Call Crime and Punishment

    Federal prosecutors convinced a Massachusetts jury to give Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty.  One might assume that would be a tough sell in a highly educated blue state and maybe it was a tough sell that happened to close.  Few tears will be shed, even by the staunchest death penalty opponents.  Tsarnaev is not a sympathetic person.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Age of Marvel

    I haven't seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet, but there's no doubt that will happen.  I actually haven't seen the second Captain America either.  Parenthood will do that.  But I have seen most of the Marvel movies, I watch Agents of Shield and just finished Daredevil on Netflix.  I know what all the plans for the Marvel cinematic universe are and I know the term "Marvel cinematic universe."

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Nature of Poverty

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and then don't give him a rod, a boat, a bucket, bait, access to well-stocked waters and a place to store, cook and eat his catch, then you must be some sort of sociopath.

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