Blog Posts

Michael Maiello's picture

The Austerity Blunder?

It's non-farm payroll Friday, where we celebrate the work of everyone who isn't a farmer.  The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 9.6% with government employment falling by 159,000 and private sector employment (mostly in health care, hospitality and mining) rising by 64,000.  Barry Ritholtz has the no-nonsense quick-take here.

Michael Maiello's picture

Yes, He Can Veto!

Welcome news from the Obama Administration today.  The President will veto (either outright or as a pocket veto) the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010.  The bill orders federal and state courts to recognize the the marks of out of state notaries.  It's actually been floating around Washington for a long time, getting nowhere but then it was suddenly and unanimously (and quietly) passed by the Senate on its last day in official session, right when homeowners, plaintiffs a

Michael Maiello's picture

The Third Party Challenge

We got into a discussion of third parties a bit over the weekend.  Over the last week, there were a couple of items in the larger media that touched on this, but as is usually the case, not in the way that we would like.

Michael Maiello's picture

No, TARP Was Not A Success

We're now getting a flurry of stories from the Treasury telling us that TARP, unpopular though it may be, was not only effective but cheaper than the worst case scenarios that the government envisioned when the program began.

The New York Times says the program is only going to wind up costing $50 billion, rather than the $700 billion committed or the nearly $400 billion spent.  If our exits from AIG, GM and Ally Financial go well, we could even make money!

Michael Maiello's picture

Oh No, Tom Friedman Again!

Damn you, Red Planet!  I almost forgot to read Friedman this morning.  I was having such a happy day but now I've read this.  Actually, the all-knowing mustache makes a pretty good point that we should seek to compete with China and other economies by encouraging America's well-educated, creative and driven individuals to follow their bliss in new and hopefully lucrative directions.

Michael Maiello's picture

Left vs. Right Is Over?

In my last career I was fortunate to be able to get to know Barry Ritholtz.  I reviewed his excellent "Bailout Nation" back in 2009 and did a nice Q&A with him soon after.  But enough about me and Barry.  I really want you all to read what he has to say here:

Michael Maiello's picture

The Power Of The President

In this week's "New Yorker" former Vice President Walter Mondale, who has a book out, draws comparisons between Obama and Carter (ultimately concluding that Obama has many political strengths Carter lacked) and says something interesting (paraphrase): "When people lose their jobs or can't keep their house they become irrational.  They lash out. They expect the president to do something." The whole, short article is here.

Michael Maiello's picture

Bodybuilding Buffalo Bilkers

Ever wonder how "welfare queen" stories get started?  Over at Time's Swampland, I think we saw one get born.  Joe Klein, on the road searching for the soul of America or something, decided to uncritically and unskeptically relay a tale told to him by Mark Kirkwood, a resident of the Detroit area.

Kirkwood had a classic welfare queen story to tell:

Michael Maiello's picture

Muslims Need To Speak Up!

I don't usually care what Marty Peretz of The New Republic has to say.  I just usually dismiss him as a crazy old coot and perhaps some one past his intellectual prime.  So, whatevs.

Michael Maiello's picture

What Is Going On Out There (A Koranamania Post)

So I try to take a little break from politics and what happens?  A Radical Christian Cleric decides to throw himself a Koran burning in Gainesville, Florida.  Actually, he announced it a long time ago and when I first saw the headline about it on Gawker I was absolutely livid because I misread it as "Korean Burning."  Burning Koreans is just wrong.

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