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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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Rachel Dolezal and the de-Professionalized University

    Rachel Dolezal, currently this week's Object of Public Shame on the Internet, has apparently been fired from her job teaching at Eastern Washington State. Or rather, I learn from today's New York Times, they didn't have to bother firing her. You see, Dolezal was what's called an "adjunct instructor," someone who teaches on a course-by-course basis for low pay without any security for the next semester. There are more adjunct teachers than normal salaried professors in American universities today. So, EWU didn't have to fire her. She's just not hired for any classes for next fall.

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    Ramona's picture

    No More Making Fun of the Iowa Straw Poll. Except This One Last Time

    Just got the news that Iowa has decided to dump their traditional GOP fundraiser, their presidential-hopeful-quasi-indicator-of-nothing, their old-fashioned, hilariously awful Iowa Barbecue and Straw Poll .  I thought I would be happy when they finally took my advice and got rid of that thing, but now I feel sad.  I've laughed so much over their shenanigans, I feel the way I do whenever a favorite comedy show bites the dust. Sad, but so glad for the memories.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The TPP and the Washington Post

    The Washington Post's jihad against American workers continues with its latest [June 10] unrestrained attack on critics of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Since March, the newspaper that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos purchased in 2013 has promoted the multi-lateral free trade deal in a number of lead editorials.

    Currently, Republican House leaders are trying to round up enough votes to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). If TPA is granted, the House and Senate would only have the right to vote up or down after negotiators finalize the TPP's language. This would almost certainly lead to the bill's passage.

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    Ramona's picture

    Beau Biden: What Might Have Been

    I awoke yesterday to the news that Beau Biden has lost his battle with brain cancer.  The pain I felt, even though I didn't know Beau Biden personally, was a visceral as if I had lost a dear friend.  It's no secret that I adore his father, Joe, and much of what I'm feeling, I'm feeling for him.  (I wrote about him here.)  The grief, the sorrow, must be awful.  He lost his first wife and his small daughter in a tragic car-truck accident, and nearly lost Beau and his brother, Hunter. He should not have to endure another loss of a beloved child.
     

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The Case for a Fossil Fuels Tax part 4

    This is part 4 in a series. The first three parts are here, here, and here.

    The truth is out there. Indeed it is Mulder and Scully. In fact, the truth can sometimes be found in such unpromising soil as a column by conservative pundit James Poulos or an address to investors by the CEO of Exxon. Poulos is known, if at all, for posing in print the antediluvian question: “What are Women For?” Yet Poulos provides real insight into how to solve anthropogenic global warming (“AGW”). As improbably and in conjunction with Poulos, 

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Do We Have a Constitution, Officer?

    A country is only as democratic as its police, and Constitutional rights are only as real as its police treat them. The fight over police work in America is ultimately a fight over whether or not the United States Constitution is real.

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    Ramona's picture

    Breaking (Old) News: Bush and Cheney Lied us into Iraq.

    In a startling conversation on Tuesday--three days ago by my calendar, not that you would know it by the mainstream media coverage--Chris Matthews, bless his passionate, irritating bulldoggedness, pulled the truth out of Michael Morell, George Bush's CIA intelligence briefer during the lead-up to the Iraq war: the Bush White House lied about WMDs in order to get us into a war with Iraq.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    False Consciousness isn't False

    This is the 2nd in a series. Part 1 is here. Historian Corey Robin and his critics reject “false consciousness” as an explanation for working class support of anti-labor legislators.  Nevertheless, it seems clear that it is a thing.  False consciousness theory posits that voters may support a politician even after he pursues policies that objectively harm them. A Pew Research poll released this past January on the Trans Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) exemplifies this phenomenon.

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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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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The TPP is likely to empower China in the long-run

    President Obama apparently recognizes that China's rapidly growing economy and military pose significant problems for the US and the rest of the world. In response, he urges swift passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). "If we don’t write the rules, China will write the rules out in [the Trans-Pacific] region" Obama warned in a Wall Street Journal interview. That outcome would mean: “We will be shut out—American businesses and American agriculture. That will mean a loss of U.S. jobs.” The President's analysis is flawed.

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    Ramona's picture

    Sarah Palin: Out. Carly Fiorina: In

    In 2007, the story goes, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and a few GOP movers and shakers went on a cruise to Alaska  and met a certain Sarah Palin, then-governor of that great state.  It's safe to say she knocked Kristol's socks off (and his head cockeyed, though he didn't know it at the time).
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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    In praise of the Baltimore protesters . . . police . . . and civil authorities

    0 dead, 98 injured, 235 arrests.  This appears to be the final tally of the Baltimore protests. Despite four centuries of provocation catalyzed by the depraved indifference of six Baltimore cops to the life of a young African-American man who was wrongfully arrested and then killed, black Baltimoreans acted with extraordinary restraint.

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    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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    Ramona's picture

    No Excuses: Angry Thugs and Looters are Still Thugs and Looters

     

    I know you might hate this, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm going to write this as a mother, as a grandmother, as a card-carrying citizen of the United States, as a goddamned human being.

    I'm white, but if you dare hold that against me you're no better than those who hold color against anyone.  We're going to talk about those stupid vandals who rampaged through their own Baltimore neighborhood the night before last, looting, burning, destroying nearly everything in sight.  They were black kids and they used the funeral of a young black man as an excuse to raise so much hell we'll be adding Baltimore once again to the list of the worst riots in the U.S.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The TPP is a bad deal

    Friday night I attended a town hall meeting on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Bethesda, MD.  The TPP is:

    a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty. As of 2014, twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region have participated in negotiations on the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Drones -- Making War Safer!

    At Slate William Saletan has long defended drone warfare because it minimizes both civilian and military casualties.  Drone are preferable, certainly, to high altitude bombing.  From the U.S. military perspective, only the equipment is at risk.  From the perspective of civilians, drone strikes are more carefully targeted than bombs from 50,000 feet or cruise missiles launched from hundreds of miles away.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Marathon, Democracy

    It's Marathon Monday in Boston, the second Marathon since the bombing. A Massachusetts jury is currently deciding whether the surviving bomber should serve life in prison or be executed, but that jury  will not meet today, because it is a holiday. Today is Patriot's Day.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Botched Rollout

    For married-with-children New York suburbanites in the 1970s and 80s, nothing spelled success like a Mercedes S-Class Sedan in the driveway.  After the big promotion, hot shot investment bankers, law firm partners, and ad agency execs headed over to Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.  There they handed Hans a fat check and the keys to the family's now superfluous Gran Torino before cruising back to Scarsdale or Darien in 450 SEL splendor.

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