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Michael Maiello's picture

The Private Internet

This is outside my usual subject matter so forgive me if it's trite or has been done before, but I've had a couple of Internet experiences lately that have really driven home for me how much things have changed.  When I started using the Internet back at the end of high school (around 1993) it was a bunch of bulletin boards with text interfaces.  It probably wasn't a commerce thing for me until around 1998/99 (making me a late adopter, I know, but for awhile I got an employee discount at a book, movie and video store so why Amazon?)  Throughout, there was a sense of the public square to the

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Michael Maiello's picture

Home Economics With Destor

So I got paid on the 15th and something bugged me about the number I took home.  It was lower than it was in December and yet it shouldn't have been.  This pay cycle was the first one where I benefitted from the 2% payroll tax holiday, something I believe I touted here before when Obama agreed to it.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Happy Gulf War Day

Maybe that's a flip way to say it, but the one thing I remember most about the first Gulf War was all of the hyperbole around it.  Saddam Hussein was Hitler.  Kuwait was Poland.  If we didn't stop him then, we'd never be able to stop him as he rampaged throughout the region, taking over Saudi Arabia and Iran in the process.  Saddam Hussein had, we were told again and again, the fourth largest army in the world.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Afghanistan Forever

There's a little fight brewing between a couple of media lights -- Joe Klein of Time is angry that Ed Schultz of MSNBC held up a sign that said "get out now," during a segment the two did about Afghanistan.  Joe found the action, the sentiment and the policy idea to be trivializing.  The two have traded barbs ever since and you can read Joe's latest recap here.

Michael Maiello's picture

Silly, Silly Other Countries

Every now and then Atrios has a short post that says something like "Silly, Silly, Japan - hostile to immigration."  His point, so much as it needs explanation, is how often we criticize other countries for acting stupidly and making obvious mistakes that only serve to make life worse abroad than it is here at home, where everything is great.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Whiny, Whiny, Centrists

The mushy middle has spoken and the bipartisanship that we saw during the extraordinarily productive lame duck congressional session just won’t do.  Yes, that’s right.  The very people who have been agitating for both parties to “reach across the aisle” are not happy with the way in which it was done.

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Michael Maiello's picture

Work, You Wretches!

Meanwhile, back over at TPMCafe, Jon Taplin makes an interesting argument in his post "Merchants Of Fear."  Two, actually.  The first is that some people, especially peddlars of gold and survivalist rations, are purposefully overselling the state of American decline in order to make a buck.  Granted.  But then there's this:

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Michael Maiello's picture

Assange, Irony and Secrets

I agree that hearing Julian Assange's lawyers outrage that leaked information pertaining to the rape charges against him should have never been made public is funny.  I also agree with David Seaton that politics is politics and that anything that makes Assange look like a hypocrite is bad news for him.  In the game he's playing image is important.  You can't be for the release of all secrets except for your own.  All absolutists find their petards hoisted sooner

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Michael Maiello's picture

The Mandate Stinks Anyway

While I’m definitely not for the GOP ironically using the courts to reverse Obama’s signature accomplishment, I’ve never been a believer in the morality or necessity of the health insurance mandate.

First, I’m skeptical because the industry demanded it.  Obviously anyone in the business of selling a product would love to have the government declare that everyone must buy it.  I’m sure Burger King would say yes to a whopper mandate.

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