Orlando's picture

    I Can't Effing Take it Any Longer. Snowden is not a Hero and Nothing is Black and White (Except that)

    For fuck's sake.

    The comments on some of these blogs are unbelievable. I'm specifically referring to a news item at TPM announcing that what's-his-face has made the move from China to Russia and will soon be traveling to Cuba with the intention of settling in Venezuela. Hero? America as a fascist dystopia? Obama as the worst dictator in the world? 

    Newsflash. If Obama is the worst dictator in the world, every single idiot claiming that to be true in yelling, hysterical, incredibly public fashion would not be here tomorrow. 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    In Praise of Gentle Ben

    Larry Meyer of Macroeconomic Advisers is a smart guy and, as a former Federal Reserve Governor, is one of the more looked to voices for opinions about Fed policy moves and appointments.  He believes that Obama has essentially fired Ben Bernanke and that the president wasn't kind about it.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Iran's Last Chance

    Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, will serve for four years. By the end of his term, Iran and the U.S. will either reach an agreement, or they will go to war.

    Last March, Obama told an Israeli television station that it would take "over a year or so" for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, the first time an American president stated a timeframe on the record. The dates coincide with a U.S. intelligence estimate during George W. Bush's administration: "sometime during the 2010-2015 time-frame."

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    Ramona's picture

    If Ed Snowden is a Hero, we're a Nation Bereft

    There is nothing wrong with being young. Nothing wrong with not having a high school diploma. Nothing wrong with being idealistic.  Nothing wrong with distrusting the government if something they're doing doesn't strike you right.

    There is something wrong with taking a job so sensitive to national security it requires a solemn oath to keep what you've seen secret, and within three months of your starting date you've already disregarded the oath and have stolen the very secrets you promised to protect.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Banned Words (In The Interests Of Freedom!)

    Just some things I don't want to see on any blogs anymore, anywhere.  These words and phrases are now banned until further notice on all of the Internet.  I will be working with my friends at the NSA to enforce this. By the way, they aren't all that prevalent at Dag.  This is just stuff irking me on the rest of the Internet.

    The List

    We the people...

    Duly appointed officials...

    Duly elected representatives (or president)...

    He (She/They/It) broke his (her/their/its) oath... (I'm so sick of it).

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    I Don't Give a Damn About Privacy

    Go ahead, collect my phone records, track my websurfing, analyze my email.  I don't give a damn.

    I do not write this out of any loyalty to Obama or because I worry about the Terrorist Threat.  I simply do not care about my data privacy and never have.

    Why should I? My buying habits are ordinary, my emails are pedestrian, my phone calls would bore any spy to tears, my political opinions are very public and published under my own name. As long as no one spams me or steals my identity, why should I care what they do with my data?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Edward Snowden: Your Technoutopian/Libertarian Hero Traitor?

    This morning, my favorite columnist in the world, David Brooks, gave his quick take on Edward Snowden, ultimately condemning him for antisocial behavior driven by a hyper-individualistic morality formed out of his refusal to conform to various social norms (he didn't finish high school, or community college, didn't want to be friends with his neighbor, hadn't put a ring on his girlfriend, no organized religion, etc.)

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    Ramona's picture

    Guest Post: A New High School Graduate Takes on the Gun Issue

    In the 4 1/2 years I've been writing this blog I've never felt inclined to bring in a guest poster.  Today I do, and I couldn't be happier that Briana Morganroth has agreed to let me reprint the essay she wrote about her thoughts on gun control.  

    She is the granddaughter of my friend, Ramona Moormann, the publisher of The Marcellus (MI) News (where my own pieces sometimes appear), and I first read this essay in her newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

    But here--I'll let Ramona tell you about her granddaughter:

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's Eyes and Ears

    Back in the 2008 primaries (ah, those days that no progressive blogger out for anything other than a fight really misses) I though it was a big deal that Senator Obama didn't support people's right to bring class action civil suits against telephone carriers who broke privacy laws in order to share information with security agencies.

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    Ramona's picture

    FRIDAY FOLLIES: Bachmann's Adios, Hitler Tea Kettle, Michigan Dreaming, and Scandalous Cheerios

     

    Michele Bachmann to leave Washington to spend more time with her "family".  Prompts the resurrection of FRIDAY FOLLIES.  (What?  Every Friday?  Uh. . .we'll see how it goes.)

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Boston and the End of the War on Terror

    Five weeks after a terrorist attack on Boston, President Obama has declared that the War on Terror, "like all wars, must end."  If I had told you a year ago that he would make such a speech a month and a half after a high-profile terrorist attack on a major American city, neither you nor I would have believed me. But the lessons of Boston drive home the wisdom of the President's decision. It showed us that a terrorist attack is meant to be lived through and that Americans are ready to live through one.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Defeat The Press

    I don't think there's much doubt that, in terms of law enforcement we are headed down a path that will lead to the prosecution of a journalist for publishing something classified.  My guess is that the first target will not be a strictly mainstream journalist, but I could be wrong about that.  It will almost certainly be a target that doesn't have much public sympathy.  It's not going to be somebody who has revealed unmitigated wrongdoing.  The Attorney General, whoever it is that first goes down this path, will want to contend with at best, a divided public.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Obama Scandals: The Quest for the Perfect "Gate"

    At last! Republicans have been awaiting this moment for five long years, the day that Obama finally gets his gate. You see, every two-term president has a defining scandal that renders him permanently villainous and/or ridiculous. By hallowed convention, the scandal must end with word "gate."

    Nixon started it with the gate to begin all gates, Watergate. Ronald Reagan followed up with Irangate. Bill Clinton enthralled us with Monicagate. George W. Bush gave us Plamegate.

    And now Obama has got his own gate...or rather his own gates. Since no single scandal is big enough bring him down, Republicans and pundits are eagerly gathering them up in a big stinking pile of nefariousness: IRSBenghAPgate!

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Biggest Political Scandal Ever...

    ...played out in the wrestling ring, years ago.

    When Irwin R. Schyster (always announced as "I...R...S!")

    Fought the red, white and blue blooded (but orange-skinned) Patriot!

    That's all that needs to be said about this latest scandal, right?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Slaughter In Syria?

    I worry when I write about the Middle East because I have no confidence that I know what I'm talking about and probably less interest in the differences and similarities between a Shiite and an Alawite than I do in whether or not I think that Richard Foreman's latest play at New York's Public Theater was any good (it was not.)  I sometimes confuse Wahabi with the condiment for sushi.  Heck, I don't even feel bad about this -- if the sectarian issues of

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Tyranny of Breakfast In L.A. Schools

    At Esquire, Charles Pearce flags a National Review article wherein some person named Dennis Prager complains that free breakfasts for public school children in Los Angeles will damage the character of the city's young, who will grow up thinking that life is nothing but a bunch of government hand-outs.  Oh, and, he says, it encourages lazy parents not to feed their kids before school.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why It's Hard to Smear Jason Collins (and Not as Easy to Smear Keynes)

    It's been a tough week for elite gay-baiting. First Howie Kurtz, hack journalist extraordinaire, lost his job at the Daily Beast because he badly botched an attempt to smear NBA center Jason Collins. Part of what Kurtz botched was the facts, claiming that Collins had concealed the fact that he had once been engaged to a woman when Collins had "concealed" that fact by explicitly stating it in his Sports Illustrated coming-out article. ("When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged," is pretty straightforward.) Kurtz, to his credit, has made a full apology.

    Then, Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson (also a columnist for the Daily Beast) was also forced to apologize after publicly gay-baiting landmark economist John Maynard Keynes. Ferguson decided to tell an audience that Keynes wasn't interested in long-term policy effects (itself a gross distortion of Keynes's position) because Keynes was a homosexual in a childless marriage. Yes, really. That's the standard of logic and evidence to which Ferguson holds himself.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Unhealthy Austerity

    An Oxford University economist and a Stanford University epidemiologist have combined their considerable breadth and knowledge to conclude the Great Recession and accompanying austerity have caused 10,000 suicides and a million diagnoses of depression in the U.S. and Europe.  If you find that hard to stomach, here's something more concrete -- AIDS is once again a full blown epidemic in Greece where budgets have been cut from HIV-prevention programs.

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    Ramona's picture

    Forcing Religion in Public Schools is not Frowned on in Mississippi. I'm Shocked.

     

    So one day somebody at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Mississippi came up with the idea to hold a series of mandatory Christian assemblies, where students would be required to watch a Christian video and listen to ministers (and fellow students) from the Pinelake Baptist Church preach to them about the importance of being a Christian. 

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Mathematical Proof That Thomas Friedman Is An Idiot

    This morning, Thomas Friedman writes that it is unfair for lefties to criticize Obama's Chained CPI Proposal.  In his words:

    "It was good to see President Obama put out a budget proposal that addressed all three needs. The attacks on him from the left are unfair because, ultimately, we will need to do all three even more. As Bloomberg News reported on Monday: 'Typical wage-earners retiring in 2010 will receive at least $3 for every $1 they contributed to the Medicare health-insurance program, according to an Urban Institute study.'"

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