Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Boss Makes A Lot Of Decisions For You

    Doctor Cleveland says this morning

    "Your religious freedom is yours, alone. It does not belong to your employer, to your landlord, or to anybody else. The deepest stupidity of the inane Hobby Lobby decision is that it uses religious freedom to let your boss take away your religious freedom. That is not acceptable. And it is not sustainable. Five allegedly rational Supreme Court justices have just opened the door to vicious religious conflict. Because letting your boss make your religious decisions is not acceptable, and over the long run people will not accept it."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Domestic Policy People Think, Part I

    Here is a Wonkblog article by Zachary A. Goldfarb about why taxes have to eventually rise on the middle class.  Whether or not you buy that premise, look at this:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part VI

    This is easier to write than Rocky!  It does all of its own work.  I'll try to stop soon. But this, from Brookings, is hard to take.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part V

    Today's edition is about track records.

    Here is Anne Marie Slaughter, more than a year ago in the Washington Post, telling us all exactly what would happen, and how the world would react, if the U.S. failed to act militarily against Assad in Syria:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part IV

    This time, from Rand scholar Karl P. Mueller, about civilian casualties in the event of air strikes against Iraq:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part III

    Here is a New America Foundation blog that gathers various perspectives on how the U.S. should deal with ISIS.  There are outright calls for the use of force and absolutely no one explicitly takes the position that the U.S. could make matters worse by intervening militarily in either Iraq or Syria.  But, aside from the uniformity of voice in a supposedly diverse round-up, only one participant considers the idea that U.S. military involvement could end involve U.S. sacrifices.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part II

    Oh, wow.  Anne Marie-Slaughter has resurfaced in The New York Times to upbraid Obama for not having acted to stop the formation of ISIS in Syria two years ago. She begins:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People and Presidents Think

    I read Robert Kagan's essay "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire" with an eventual blog post in mind, likely one that would attempt to rebut Kagan's latest call for greater American military action in the world, including dangerous neighborhoods like Syria and Ukraine. But I think that those of you who know me know where I stand on that and for those of you who don't (Hi!) I have to admit that my anti-war arguments are not particularly novel.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wall Street Should Be Terrified?

    Interesting post at Business Insider about how the loss of Eric Cantor is a blow to Wall Street.  The establishment Republicans love the Street while the Tea Party insurgents are enemies of finance and friends of the real economy.  I used to actually buy something like that when, during the financial crisis, I saw an opportunity for anti-bailouts liberals and libertarians to make common cause but... that was a mirage.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Chekhov's Gun

    Anton Chekhov probably never actually said that "If a gun is on the mantel in act one it must go off by act three," but there is something in that little aphorism that tells us how to write drama and also warns us about how to live life.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    BREAKING: NYT Reveals The Problem With Feminists

    "This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men
    slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not
    lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons,
    despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men."
    Just want to start your Sunday morning with some clear thinking.
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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Bitter Turn of the White Male Killer

    I was interested in Brittney Cooper's take on the Santa Barbara Killer because I think she's definitely on to something about the white male snapping.  It's an old story that goes back to the age of "Going Postal."  It's happened enough that it should be addressed.

    But Cooper's take is all privilege without nuance and so it leads her down this road:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Reparations Open Thread

    The Case For Reparations is as good an essay as everybody says.

    Discuss?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The New York Times Op-Ed Page Reacts To The Unveiling of the Death Star

    Thomas L. Friedman: The bathrooms are much cleaner than the bathrooms at La Guardia airport.  Another triumph for the fast growing Empire and proof that “small moon” is another word we can remove from the lexicon of our hyperspace-connected  age where average isn't good enough because your job might be pulverized into atoms at any time.

    Nicholas Kristof: There are no girls on the Death Star except for one kidnapped Princess.  Maybe if there were girls on board it would be a Peace Star.  That’s an idea we can all get behind.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Central Planning Envy

    I'd be way late to the game if I tried to mock the recent David Brooks column where he says we need less democracy at the top and more Simpson-Bowles commissions.  It's all been said and I didn't blog about it right when I read it because you've heard it all from me before. Anyway, here's a good way into the issue, if you're interested.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Kind Of Country Is This?

    Where they can make you sell your own professional basketball team?

    When I was a kid, a man's professional basketball team was a man's professional basketball team and no other man could come take it away for gobs of money.

    This is like armed robbery except instead of a gun the robber is using between half a billion  and a billion dollars to get what he wants.

    What are you going to do when they come for your basketball team?  Or yours?  Or yours?

    Well, I'll tell you this -- when it happens, don't go crying to Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy for help.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Conspiracy Against The Middle Class

    There's a kind of New York Times story that Atrios likes to mock where somewhat wealthy New Yorkers complain about the massive inflation of prices for certain goods in the city, particularly real estate and private school tuition.  Real estate is probably the biggest issue as anyone who wants to buy in the city has to compete not only with ultra high net worth locals but with wealthy buyers from abroad.  So you get stories of people who have managed to save a million dollars and try to buy an apartment with all cash only to be outbid and forced into a mortgage.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Corporations Are Oligarchs, My Friend

    There is the Princeton oligarchy study and there is Thomas Picketty and now you really have to check out what Daniel Denvir has to say about Comcast, coming soon to the Time Warner Cable dominated market near you.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Freedom to Defend...

    I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

    "Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Charming Tax Receipt

    If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number.

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