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Michael Maiello's picture

Bill de Blasio Would Make a Great President

Rumor has it that Bill de Blasio will be announcing a run for president some time next week and the response I’ve seen has been all snark and chortles, even from the left.  I get it — in such a crowded field, another candidate almost seems absurd on its face at this point.  Another issue is that de Blasio is not a particularly popular mayor here in New York City, which invites jokes that we residents are trying to export him to the rest of the country.

Michael Maiello's picture

Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren

book cover

I'm hoping you all remember friend of Dagblog, Colin Asher, who has spent the last seven years working on a literary biography of Nelson Algren, once one of the most famous and celebrating working novelists in the United States and always a solid progressive and friend to the working class.

I haven't read Colin's book yet, but I have read the article in The Believer that was the genesis of the project.  Colin's onto something big here, perhaps one of the last untold stories of McCarthyism.  He's also a terrific writer and this is going to be a great introduction to Algren's work for a lot of us.  It's not every day you get to discover a lost novelist of quality.

The book's been getting great reviews, including five stars from Publisher's Weekly and serious treatment from The Nation and The New Yorker.

You can make Algren spin in heaven by purchasing this book from Jeff Bezos.  Such is life.

Michael Maiello's picture

You Can Never Undo Losing an Election

Picture it... November 2000.  George W. Bush loses the popular vote to Al Gore but is declared President anyway because a Supreme Court made up of key people appointed by George W. Bush’s father decided that vote counting should cease in a state where George W. Bush’s brother was governor.  I was 25 years old.  I thought, for a months, “there’s no way this will be allowed to stand.”

It was allowed to stand.

Michael Maiello's picture

Is the US Heading for Anti-Hate Speech Laws?

Was reading this morning about people in New Zealand being criminally prosecuted for downloading, distributing and even making statements in favor of the Mosque shooting.  New Zealand is a free and open society where freedom of expression is protected, but free speech rights are not quite so clear as they are here in the U.S.

Michael Maiello's picture

Amazon’s Big Swingin’ Di—

Well, The National Enquirer seems to have stepped in it by trying to go toe-to-toe with Jeff Bezos and his unlimited wallet.  The lame supermarket tabloid published details of Bezos’ affair (which I do not know because I never got caught up in the story) which has led to an impending divorce and Bezos wanting to know how those losers got information about his private life and having the means to launch his own investigation.

Michael Maiello's picture

Three Week Refuge from The Purge Open Thread

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Try to be nice to Peter (not verified). 

See, the thing is, Trump was playing Battleship and Pelosi was playing checkers, and you can't play Battleship without a wall, so Trump quit.

Michael Maiello's picture

The Shutdown is Killing the Capital Markets

So many of us are rightly worried about how long the Transportation Security Administration can keep pushing people through screening lines for free that, or how much food the federal government can inspect for safety for free, that we're just ignoring the huge work slowdown at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Michael Maiello's picture

How the Shutdown Could Wreck the Economy

The China trade war seems to be costing both the U.S. and China, as trade wars do.  President Trump is probably correct that China is suffering more, but if you look at Apple's warning about diminishing iPhone sales, you see that punishing China has something of a boomerang effect for American multinationals.  Of course, anything that hurts Apple hurts the entire semiconductor supply chain, so there are far reaching consequences. Still, if Trump's argument is that China will eventually give because it's feeling more pain, then I think I can at least entertain the notion.

Michael Maiello's picture

Is the Fed Messing Up?

I really don't know!

The good thing about the Fed is that if it is messing up, it can always reverse course.  Interest rates remain low, but the central bank now has a lot of room to cut or even go back to QE, if the economy seems too tempered.

Michael Maiello's picture

We Never Should Have Had Military Forces in Syria in the First Place

The collective wisdom seems to be that President Obama blundered when he drew a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then did nothing when Assad’s dictatorship crossed it.  I remember things differently.  I look at it through the lens of all the things that didn’t happen.



TypeTitleAuthorRepliesLast updated
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