Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
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. He 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 and now reads regularly with Mama D's Arts Bordello in New York. 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). From inception to dissolution, he wrote a weekly op-ed column for The Daily, a News Corp. publication designed for tablet computers and he is an occasional op-ed contributor to Reuters and Esquire.
"Hi, nice to meet you. I'm David Mamet. Fuck." - David Mamet
Figure Four Leglock.
No, I'm not defending Naomi Schafer Riley as any art form, including the writing of an 800-900 word newspaper article can be practiced badly. To not even read what you're criticizing is pretty low. But Dr. Cleveland, Professor of Dagblog, sets a very high standard for columnists. Paul Krugman, who sticks (usually) to his discipline, is praised while David Brooks and Ross Douthat are singled out for writing on a broader array of topics which they cannot, by definition, claim expertise. [Read more]
Superman, Where Are You?
By Thomas L. Friedman
I had to catch a train in Washington last week. The paved street in the traffic circle around Union Station was in such poor condition that I felt as though our very planet was going to disintegrate beneath my feet and that I should consider building a rocket ship to send my son to live on some other planet, or, failing that, a better run country like India. I traveled on the Amtrak Acela, which really should be called the Decela, am I right? I also experienced several dropped cellphone calls and sent several text messages that were garbled by my phone’s autocorrect feature. America needs a renewal.
"Is Our Adults Learning?" asks David Brooks in The New York Times today (the paper where columnists don't appear to be edited much.) In this column, Brooks talks about the fight between stimulus supporters and austerity supporters. He concludes that both sides relied on grand theories but that three years and $800 billion later, we are none the wiser as to which policy choice was better: [Read more]
I'm certainly not the first to make this observation. Logicians going back to Aristotle and probably prior, have warned us about the potential tyranny of experts that can arise in any society. Even people with credentials can be wrong. Einstein made mistakes. When William F. Buckley joked, a long time ago, that he would rather be ruled by a random sampling from the Boston telephone book than the faculty of Harvard, he did have something of a point. [Read more]
I was actually a little embarassed for Talkingpointsmemo when I read its kind of breathless coverage of Obama stating the obvious fact that he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." TPM's editors seemed to think this was some sort of Oscar Wildean bon mot or Mencken-style broadside worth repeating.
It's a fine thing for Obama to say, though I wish he'd avoid cliche when he does it. Everybody knows that Obama is self-made and that Romney's dad was a business executive and the former Governor of Michigan.  [Read more]
I have a lot of sympathy for the position the president is in with our intransigent opposition party in control of part of Congress. Yes, the stimulus was too small and yes, his advisors urged him to concede that fight too early, but given that the other side was bent on "doing nothing," I understand the reasons for the outcome. With healthcare, traitors within his own party's caucus sealed the fate of the public option. No speech will make Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman come around to a more liberal solution. [Read more]
When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, there's no shortage of pundits willing to tell me that the promises the government made to us in the past can no longer be kept because people are living longer, healthier lives than they used to. These arguments tend to be bogus because they ignore the fact that lifespans have increased, in part, because infant mortality is down.
But there's one group of people who are certainly living longer, healthier lives than they were back when the nation was founded -- the influential, rich and powerful justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, who have unfettered access to the best health care in the world along with jobs that ain't exactly coal mining when it comes to the toll taken on the body. This is why in my Daily column today, I argue for term limits on Supreme Court justices. [Read more]
In my column this week at The Daily I argue that it's time to give up on a strict second amendment interpretation and allow for states and municipalities to decide on their own gun control laws. Since I grew up with guns, I'm actually sympathetic to states that want to have concealed carry laws or or that want to allow unregistered gun ownership (like former home state, New Mexico).
But, it makes no practical sense to me that in a country where you can have countries where alcohol can't be sold and towns where strip clubs can't be built, but that you cannot have a town or state where gun ownership is banned, even if that's what the residents want. All this because of an amendment to the Constitution that seems to me was explicitly included because, at the time, the Framers were worried that they might have to call on every able bodied man to lock, load and get ready for the next British or French invasion (or, more likely, to repel a perfectly justified attack from a Native American tribe). [Read more]
Sorry for writing about Trayvon Martin again, but it's a topic I can't let go. Once the President decided to comment on the issue, his political enemies have gathered in a predictable attempt to turn his from the heart honesty into a political liability.
But they can only do that by proving that the President was foolish to comment on the issue and they can only do that by establishing that the President didn't know the facts and that he rushed to take sides based on race. Obama's critics have, of course, found an enthusiastic audience for this argument. [Read more]