Blog Posts

Michael Maiello's picture

What If Bernie Broke Up The Banks?

I'm not blogging politics right now because Infinite Jest.

But if Rolling Stone has room for me, who am I to say no?

Here's my take on what would happen if Bernie got his way on Wall Street.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Infinite Winter: The Hurt of Smart and Talented

A huge theme of Infinite Jest is that there are pains inherent with talent.  A big part of this is athletic talent, which David Foster Wallace could write about because he was an immensely talented tennis player, just shy of pro. Another part of it is intellectual talent, which he could also write about because, well, if you’ve read him, I don’t have to try and convince you.

Michael Maiello's picture

DFW Told You What About A Fish?

We have reached the 20th anniversary of the publication of Infinite Jest and I have just finished reading Signifying Rappers, a short book of essays written by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello, designed to ape the style of the late music critic Lester Bangs, but about the burgeoning commercial and underground rap artists of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  It was a bit of a shock to realize that DFW hated The Beastie Boys but then, those were the “Fight For Your Right To Party” Beasties.  We have all grown up so much these days and some of us have died.

Michael Maiello's picture

Live Blogging the Democratic Debate (Without Watching) OPEN THREAD

Opener.  Bernie looking confident.

Bernie:  You're going to be first against the wall when the revolution comes!

HRC: Bring it, Trotsky.

Martin O'Malley -- will not be utilized for these purposes.

***

HRC: I was actually a member of Seal Team 6, then.  Never mentioned it before as it was classified. We dumped him in Mississippi.

***

Bernie: Guns wouldn't be a problem if people had unions.

***

HRC: I can't tell if The Revenant is a great movie or just a shallow revenge tale.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Trump-o-Nomics or, How To Bully China

Okay, this is a brilliant reveal of the Donald Trump worldview which is, really, that a big borrower has all the power in the world, assuming people want to get paid back. Discussing how, as president, he would force China to handle the problem of North Korea, he says:

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Michael Maiello's picture

Obama's America: The Final Year

Four years ago, The Daily assigned me my last piece -- a look back at Obama's America from the vantage of 2016.  The finished product is no longer online, but I do have a draft in my Google docs.  In a broad sense, my predictions turned out pretty well.

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Michael Maiello's picture

The Revolution of the 1%

I know that I'm supposed to fear that the political ascendancy of Donald Trump is just evidence of our society sliding, like Weimar Germany, into unrepentant fascism, but I still think his campaign is a lot of fun because he is a very powerful man bent on speaking truth to power.

Take, for example, his "sorry, not sorry," apology to Republican power brokers:

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Michael Maiello's picture

Obama Should Not Have Spoken Tonight

What happened in San Bernardino represents an unwelcome threshold between the ideal behind Islamic-inspired international terrorism and homegrown violence.  Obama made a mistake tonight by elevating a criminal event into an international incident.

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Michael Maiello's picture

The Social Safety Net Isn't Good Enough

A fascinating analysis in The New York Times today takes a crack at the Thomas Frank problem of why people vote Republican, against their own economic interests. Alex MacGillis reports his way to a new conclusion -- people using government assistance aren't voting at all.  Those who have used it, successfully, to clamber into the lower rungs of the middle class are voting and they are voting against the programs that helped them succeed.

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Michael Maiello's picture

The Anger of the West

Richard Roger Cohen, who seems more and more like a left-leaning Western declinist with each column, writes angrily today in The New York Times about America's incapacity for anger in the wake of the Paris attacks.  Cohen is remarkable tone deaf, given the history of Western anger in the Middle East and what it has wrought for us since 9/11.

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