Michael Maiello's picture

Personal Information

Website
http://www.dagblog.com
Superpowers

Figure Four Leglock.

Favorite Quotes

"Don't panic.

Biography

Michael Maiello (also known as "Destor23") is a New York based columnist, performer, fiction author and playwright. He is the author of Shuts & Failures, Rejected New Yorker Pieces (Also Rejected by McSweeney's!). He worked for ten years at Forbes Media, writing and editing for both Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com and also appeared frequently on CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, CNN and MSNBC.  He is also the author of the 2004 book Buy The Rumor, Sell The Fact: 85 Wall Street Maxims and What They Really Mean. He has performed stand up comedy at The Laugh Factory, The Comic Strip and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Mama D's Arts Bordello and The Lost and Found Show. He has had four plays published (Night of Faith and Waiting For Death by Playscripts.com; Principia and Troy! Troy! Troy!by The New York Theatre Experience/indiethieatrenow). He has written for The Daily, Reuters, Esquire, McSweeney's the Liar's League reading series and theNewerYork.

History

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Blog Posts

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Democracy's Tricky Ending

Over at Vox, Matthew Yglesias argues that American Democracy is Doomed.  The flaws that have taken down every other constitutional republic in the world will one day come for America, irrevocably altering the system and ending the experiment of 1776.  It's a neat essay.  He's also set up his argument so that you'd have to be an extremist American exceptionalist to say he's wrong.

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Leonard Nimoy Open Thread

I admit, it hits me whenever somebody from the original cast dies and I'll probably feel the same way about Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager.

The whole Star Trek vision and, believe me, some of it has its problems, has always struck me as a bit of necessary hope in a society that can very easily turn cranky.  The whole show, and Nimoy embodied this, has always been about humanity overcoming its want for resources and its inane and unproductive tribalisms.

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How WalMart Fooled The World

Yesterday, The Daily Beast asked me for my take on WalMart's big "wage hike." WalMart raised its starting wage to $9 an hour across all locations, with the goal of getting all of its 1.4 million employees to $10 an hour next year.  The company handled the PR very well.  From the press I saw, you'd think WalMart had grown a heart, that economic conditions had improved for our lowest wage workers and that the system basically works.

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Why Don't Overworked, Underpaid People Get Involved In Politics?

Adam Seth Levine, a professor of government at Cornell University, took to The Times this morning to promote his book American Insecurity: Why Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction.  We on the left have been wondering forever why people "vote against their economic interests" or why progressive political messages fail to inspire or convince so many people.

Levine observes, based on experiment:

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Surviving The Daily Show

The Daily Show was obviously a great thing for American comedy.  At its best, it showed us what comedy can really do for society and reminded us why, in Shakespeare's King Lear, the Fool alone was able to speak truth to power.  The best moment for The Daily Show, to me, was when host Jon Stewart appeared as a guest on CNN's Crossfire in 2005 and so embarassed its host that CNN ultimately had to abandon the show.

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What Is The Point Of All This Capitalism?

If capitalism isn't functioning to make the world a better place for, at the very least, most people, than it is an exercise in cruelty.  If the benefits that accrue to most are dwarfed by the benefits that go to the very few on top, it's just a more complex rationalization of the divine right of kinds.

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Nudge the Anti-Vaxxers

At least on the internet, the anti-vaccine people have become social pariahs.  But, life is not the internet.  Life is more complicated than that. Phil Plait at Slate reminds us that the anti-vaccine movement is not a growing, nationwide phenomenon.  In aggregate, people are getting more vaccines, not less.  But pockets of anti-vaccination sentiment are growing and hardcore pockets can do damage even if overall numbers rise.

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Obama's Middle Class Legacy

The early, very early, take on the Obama legacy is that it will be marred by the declining fortunes of America's middle class under his presidency.  This will be a tough narrative to counter.  But this is really not just Obama's fault.

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Common Sense About Making Fun of Islam

When 12 people die violently and needlessly and a newspaper essayist doesn't have a lot of time to process events, things get said.  In The Financial TimesTony Barber gave us this:

This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims.

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What Passes for Democratic Heroism in 2014

Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island, says Frank Bruni of the New York Times.  As Treasurer of Rhode Island she addressed a public pension shortfall by completely suspending cost of living increases for already retired workers, in effect clawing back promised compensations from people who had already given their time and labor (commodities that, once given, can never be returned).  She was then elected Rhode Island's governor.

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