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.

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    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.

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    On Breaking up Google - this is not your Grandma's Monopoly

    Another election and another round of liberal posturing - "how do we beat down the corporates, how do we dismantle their power?" "Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple...," exclaims Elizabeth Warren, "along with their little subsidiary acquisitions". Let's call these The Big Four.

    So let's tear this down - first, are these the monopolists you're looking for? Back in the day of the Robber Barons, we had goons showing up to beat up the competition - quite a bit of heat brought down on anyone who was in competition. This kind of activity is pretty rare these days - mostly it's just that customers are flocking to the big boys, and that's just tough on the rest.

    The IT age truly hit when Microsoft ended up with a practical monopoly on the desktop. Sure, Apple could scrape out 4 million laptop & desktop sales a quarter with a huge comparative margin, and techies could go for Linux or lately Chromebooks, but in terms of units at home and in the workplace, DOS-Windows machines predominated since 1982, and still do. Microsoft went on to do quite well in the Office software and database business - and people howled to break them up. But in the end, they went from a dominant consumer company to a dominant enterprise software company, with the whole industry resigning itself to the fact that the OS is boring, and is best off boring, and all the OS wars in the 70's and 80's mostly led to things not working with each other, whereas the Windows behemoth solved that problem. Until the Web came along and made everything interoperable in a different way, so the Windows monopoly became a "who cares?" We got a little flurry of excitement when Steve Jobs decided to put a knife in the heart of Flash and Adobe itself, pretending to go to a new standard that was far from market ready - and suddenly we saw what we'd avoided for 2 decades - having to choose when we really didn't care. Sure, Excel rolled over Lotus-1-2-3 and M$ killed some other fine mail & database software companies, but it was the 90's, baby - the Internet Age, and if things hadn't just worked, that would have harshed our mellow. 

    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.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Governor Northam: Exhibit (A) In The Case Against Politicians

    Rudolph Cardwell Sr., Perlista Henry, Ralph Northam, Linda Cardwell, Danny Cardwell 

     

    Ralph has to go! There's no way he can continue as the Governor of Virginia. This is a painful sentence to write, but a necessary one. I've covered the Governor at a debate, a ribbon cutting, and a few other small events. I've met him a handful of times. I sincerely thought he was the real deal. He came off as a kind and caring person, but he has to resign. I was fooled. We all were fooled. He. Has. To. Go.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    When Satire Exposes Hate

    Nancy Pelosi is one of the few politicians who can say they have favorability, likeability, and approval ratings comparable to the president. According to a Monmouth University poll, Nancy Pelosi’s approval rating doubled after the government shutdown. The poll found that 34 percent of voters thought she was doing a good job— twice as high as the same poll found in November of 2018, when her approval rating was 17 percent. She doubled her approval rating and was still 16 points below 50%. There are legitimate reasons to like or dislike Nancy Pelosi, but more times than not people base their reasoning on the caricature of Nancy Pelosi.

    2020 Rejects & Remainders

    Ok, was trying to stay out of this, but so far the "no way Jose" list:

    - Tulsi Gabbard (Fox hawk if not Russian asset in Hawaiian hulu skirt with jackboots)

    - Howard Schultz (latte corporate vulture with an odd sense of "centrist" looking more like "blame the Dems for asking for nice things" misguided conception of "independent", while pitching a well-tarnished "businessman saves America" deficit-scold message. 15 years ago maybe - plus a business run only on young hipster easily-exploited youth hardly seems like it offers a breakthrough message for the rest of us)

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    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.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Legacy of Fighting Bob

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fascinates the press and electrifies progressives, but some Democratic colleagues just want her to pipe down and behave. One anonymous Democratic rep told Politico, “She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star? There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.” According to the article, Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues are particularly dismayed by her history of backing primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, and they warn that she will have “a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.”

    If Ocasio-Cortez does start to feel lonely, I urge her to visit the Senate Reception Room at the other end of the Capitol. There’s a man she should meet. His portrait hangs on the wall, the old guy with the bow tie and the enormous pompadour. Few remember him these days, but Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin was a political sensation in his day, loved by the press, hated by his Republican colleagues. They loathed him for his radical ideas, his outspokenness, and his disloyalty to the party. President Theodore Roosevelt called him “a shifty self-seeker” and “an entirely worthless Senator.” In 1907, a journalist memorably described him as “the loneliest man in the United States Senate.”

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Lies Are True; We Just Don't Get It!

    Donald Trump has convinced his followers that reducing the trade deficit with Mexico would pay for his wall; this lie, like the 7,000+ other lies he's told since becoming president, has been swallowed up whole and regurgitated by his base.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!!

    Today, at last, is Public Domain Day in the United States. For the first time in decades, some American copyrights were actually allowed to expire naturally, a mere thirty-nine years later than planned. So after years of blogging, every January first, about what wasn't entering public domain and what would have entered public domain under earlier laws, I can finally blog about what is entering public domain.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

    Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Harvard and David Hogg

    Parkland survivor David Hogg, one of the most talented of that talented crop of activists, just got into Harvard. I’m happy for him. He was immediately attacked on social media by haters who called him unqualified. But he is a perfect example of Harvard’s long-standing admissions process, the “holistic” method they’re currently being sued over. That method is once again favoring a white kid. But it’s a reasonable and smart decision by Harvard.

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    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.

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    Now We Know: Hillary Was A Great Candidate

    There are many more details to come out of our continuing political saga, soap opera, meltdown, but at this point we have enough details to know what should have been suspected all along: Hillary was a great candidate.

    This doesn't mean she didn't make a bunch of mistakes - whom among us has not?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nobody Misses the WASPs

    "Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success, that sent men like Bush into combat alongside the sons of farmers and mechanics in the same way that it sent missionaries and diplomats abroad in the service of their churches and their country."

    This is hilarious.  Of course it's Ross Douthat because, what other self-hating Catholic and devotee to slave morality would write a column about how much the U.S. needs and misses the old line New England WASPs that used to specifically exclude Catholics like him from high society?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    If It Cries in Terror, It Doesn't Lead

    Last night I was on the Twitter and started seeing photos of children on Mexico's side of the border with the United States running from clouds of tear gas. The photos I saw were distributed by Reuters and it was clearly reported that tear gas had been fired into Mexico by agents of the U.S.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Where Is Donald? Veterans Day Edition

    Today, Veterans Day 2018, the President of the United States stayed in the White House. He did not go to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath. He did nothing to commemorate Veterans Day. The excuse was a forecast of rain. This makes no sense.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Fun at the Ballot Box (Election Open Thread)

    Voting from the safety of a blue, blue state, I get to have a little more fun with my ballot than a lot of people in battlegrounds.

    Sorry, Andrew Cuomo -- you'll win anyway, so I voted for Howie Hawkins.

    Sorry, Kirsten Gillibrand -- I couldn't resist writing in a vote for Al Franken.

    If you're a friend of mine, I might have written you in for New York Supreme Court or for Civil Court judge. Let me know if you win.  You're welcome!

    Anyway, here's an election open thread.

     

     

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