Michael Maiello's picture

    Stop Hating on the Clinton Foundation

    On a slow news Friday in August both Slate and New York ran thumb suckers calling on the Clintons to shut down their foundation.  This is in response to a Clinton promise that the foundation would take no foreign donations during a Clinton presidency. Look, I get it.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Would You vote for Ted Cruz to Keep Sean Penn out of the White House?

    Slate has run with a thought experiment that serves as a kind of counter to calls by people like President Obama for Republicans to repudiate their own nominee, for the good of the country.  The idea here is that if populist Democrats had somehow handed the nomination to somebody like Sean Penn, people left of center would not take kindly to being told to vote for Ted Cruz in the name of apple pie and American values.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Tim Kaine Freak Out Thread

    Please reserve space in the comments below for Hal to make fun of me if Hillary Clinton picks Tim Kaine as her running mate this afternoon.

    The rest of you do not have to wait, though, and can make fun of me now.

    Happy Friday!

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Fetch The Smelling Salts, RBG Violated a Norm!

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued some mildly opinionated statements questioning Donald Trump's fitness to be president and now the idiot wing of lefty America has stirred to admonish her for... saying what any reasonable person would expect her to believe about Donal Trump any way.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Spirit of 68

    You don't need me to recount the week of police-violence and resulant lone wolf terrorism, so let's just stipulate that you all read and watch the news.  In New York Magazine, Johnathan Chait assures us "It Is Not 1968." It's a well done essay but somehow when Chait says something declarative, I suspect it just isn't entirely true.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Brexit is Good

    Quick thought here --

    On the merits, were I a UK citizen, I believe I'd have voted to stay with the EU.

    However, that would have been in spite of a lot of preaching and hectoring by the elites who brought the Uk into the EU in the first place.  As an outsider, I kind of hoped for an "exit" outcome if only to see, for once, a referendum pushing back against what we've all been assured is "the right thing to do," by people who seem immune to the falling wages and abdications of democracy that seem the result of the new capitalist global order.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Florida Shootings -- Stop Missing the Point

    My liberal Twitter and Facebook feeds are all abuzz with anger at the NRA over the terrorist attack in Orlando. That's fine.  There are plenty of reasons to be angry at the NRA.  Our lack of reasonable gun control is a problem. I'm with you.  But let's not miss the point here.

    A man shot at hundreds of people, killing more than twenty and wounding more than forty, because he was angry that he saw two men kissing in public.  The man reportedly has connections to Islamic extremists.  Gun or not, his motive was to export his intolerance, specifically his hatred of homosexuality.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    That Trans Pacific Partnership Needs Nation Building at Home

    Roger Cohen's a confirmed internationalist -- a believer in global trade and in America being engaged militarily and politically, with the rest of the world.  So his chagrin over the sudden opposition to the Obama Administration's signature trade deal is not surprising, but it's good to know what the other side thinks.

    Cohen doesn't make any shocking arguments in favor but he hopes the TPP will be approved by Congress before the next election so that:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    UPDATED Sanders Has No Business Debating Trump

    In Rolling Stone a wise friend wrote that one of Donald Trump's great weaknesses is his inability to back down from a fight. Because he's so predictable in that regard, Hillary Clinton will be able to employ numerous surrogates to attack Trump on the theory that he will find himself embroiled in fights with some or all of them. Trump's eagerness to debate Bernie Sanders in California seems evidence of that.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Bernie Sanders Is Getting Old

    You know how sometimes grandpa seems so cute and well-meaning but then somebody gives him a bourbon and asks him about how the neighborhood has changed over the years and he starts in on the really uncomfortable talk about how everything was fine before the Koreans moved in?

    That's where Bernie is now.

    He's now arguing that the primary process is biased against him and so the super delegates who he had once claimed were all unfairly in the tank for Hillary Clinton should give him the nomination at the convention.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Hillary Clinton vs. The Fed

    This week Hillary Clinton quietly announced plans to overhaul the U.S. Federal Reserve System by removing bankers from the boards of directors of the regional Feds.  I think that more than anything this highlights how Clinton's knowledge of the government and its institutions will work to make her an effective agent for change once she's in the White House.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Address To Morgan Stanley Managing Directors

    Official Transcript

    Date: June 26, 2014

    Location: Moretti Grand Ballroom at The Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C.

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Another Celebrity Death Worth Noting

    So, the day we found out Prince died, we also lost Joanie Laurer, who wrestled in the WWE during the "attitude era" as Chyna, where she used the nickname "The Ninth Wonder of the World."  If you're not a wrestling fan, you know that there are seven wonders of the world.  If you are a wrestling fan, you know that Andre the Giant is the world's eighth wonder and that Chyna was the 9th.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    So Far, 2016 Is Far Less Glamorous Than It Should Be

    First we lose Bowie, now Prince?  Friends, this is no way to run an economy and it's definitely a damned poor way to run a culture. I want a word with whoever is making these decisions.  They need to be removed from office, at the very least, if not put on trial for out and out incompetence.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: Journey's End

    Infinite Jest is back on the shelf, a little more than two months after I had decided to re-introduce myself to the complex opus.  I think I remarked in my first post how impressive it was that in the fledgling days of the internet and the height of MTV that David Foster Wallace decided that he could succeed by releasing an entertainment both long and difficult and requiring work from the reader.

    But Wallace always found pleasure in work and must have bet that others would, too.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Topics: Catching Up On Goldberry

    This one goes out to you, whomever you may be...

    The significant numbers of city mayors or EMs closing schools, then creating private charters with TFA instant teachers? 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: The Monsters We Carry

    I have just reached a scene in Infinite Jest where 17-year-old Hal Incandenza reflects, in conversation with his deformed brother Mario, about the monsters he once feared and what he fears now:

    'Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there's simply no well to tell. The ones who give nothing away.'

    'But then how do you know they're monsters then, then?'

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Trump: The Republican Civil War Has Begun

    Hmmm... I swear there was a post here, but it disappeared.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: The Causes and Effects of Terrorism

    Infinite Jest is a terrorism novel. This is, in a lot of ways, no surprise.  David Foster Wallace counted Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo as influences and both of them were interested in the topic of terrorism.  Also, it's an interesting topic for fiction and though we tend to talk about it in terms of a post-9/11 vocabulary, terrorism has always been a way that a few people have tried to influence masses and it hasn't changed all that much.

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