Maiello's Book-Almost Hits the Metaphorical Stands
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
Two light bulbs lit up this week which key into my current hub of the universe mental state and I am writing them down here because I would be embarrassed to exhibit such conspiratorial tendencies after I get off these pain killers.
The first bulb was the revelation about the Petraeus/Kagan off-balance-sheet war investment committee. The second was the flash fact that Grover Norquist is a board member of the NRA. These two little known situations are part and parcel of what appears to be a fifth estate in our country---a continuing and contiguous network of right wingers operating a non-conforming government.  [Read more]
I have just had knee surgery and the drugs have induced a hub of the universe mental state which last time around produced my piece, "Jamie Dimon as William Holden"---which received my own unanimous favorable ratings.  [Read more]
I am shocked that anyone is shocked that a high ranking military officer engaged in extra marital sex. It's been decades since I had direct involvement on a military base but the story of Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell leads me to the conclusion that some things never change. What's news here is that not all the participants were in the direct chain of command. In my experience, military cheaters prefer to stay close at home which reminds me of the rule which was promulgated at a New York club at the time it went co-ed: "Women may be the overnight guests of members provided they are wives of members."  [Read more]
I don't think there are many who think Romney won't take another bite at the Benghazi apple on Monday night. After all, the host of the original 47% soliloquy is giving another fundraiser there in Boca Raton so why shouldn't Romney double down on his Libya attacks, even though he put his foot in his mouth the first time around on both accounts,
But after reading David Frum's Daily Beast column this morning, I wonder if the stage isn't set for a broader critique of Obama's foreign policy in the Mideast. The broader argument of course is whether the entire strategy on the Arab Spring has been correct.  [Read more]
Obama lost the first debate on style---low energy, low engagement, and not parrying Romney's staccato speech and rote memorization of soliloquy and facts. I think Obama's deficiencies in style are the easiest things to correct in tomorrow's debate. What seems more important are the structure and forethought in specific attacks on Romney and how not to have internally competing strategies.
There is always the possibility that Romney would shape-shift again and perhaps introduce something completely from left field---how about, for example, a program to refinance student loans, or a new kind of health care guarantee? Or attempt to shift the debate to the Benghazi tragedy. I hope that the Obama team has already gamed some of these possible outliers. But my guess is that Romney will double down on his attacks on Obama's record, try to exploit his newfound Daddy-will take-care-of-business role, and further muddle the arguments on tax reform, Medicare and "Obamacare."  [Read more]
well The 2012 national election is now a jump ball. The Clinton convention bounce is gone and then some. Whether Obama or Biden can effectively counteract Romney's new persona is an unknown. Romney has now established himself as the father figure and Obama as a kid who doesn't know how to defend himself and people are wondering if Obama has just been out of his league all along. It has been suggested that Romney was channeling his own father during the actual debate. I doubt that Barack Obama would have achieved much by channeling his father, and therein might lie the difference between his performance and Romney's.  [Read more]
Because of Obama's terrible debate performance we are staring a Romney presidency in the face and I am trying to come to terms with the possibility that after living through Bush/Cheney, Mitt Romney's mug will be on the T.V. screen for eight years. My gut is so sore from thinking about a failed Obama and a new Romney presidency that my health may be failing. So I am changing gears and adjusting. Certainly I will cancel my cable subscription. I am also threatening to move to Canada but I already have a house an hour from the border so I'm not sure that moving sixty miles North achieves all that much.  [Read more]
I nearly laughed out loud when Romney sidekick Paul Ryan said this weekend, "We've had some missteps, but at the end of the day the choice is really clear." Acknowledging missteps is a useful persuasive tactic---that is, leading with a "negative" sometimes enhances credibility. But Ryan's acknowledgment that this election is now a choice, not just a referendum, is a huge error and joyously so. The Romney crew are now playing on Obama's turf. The irony is that Romney's initial plan to make the election a referendum on Obama probably ended the moment he picked Ryan as a running mate, making the election not about a sluggish economy but about vouchers, vaginas and vehicles---a field of "play" on which Obama is winning. [Read more]
Romney isn't that dumb, or not dumb enough to launch a dumb riff about airplane windows not going up and down when he's standing right in front of his wife who has just had a near death experience on a smoke filled jet at thirty thousand feet. That's not even not dumb, but worse. Notice she was not looking at him and she was definitely not even not smiling. I hope Mitt wasn't dumb enough to try to collect on his marriage benefits that night.
So what's Romney---the world's walking definition of a smart business guy---trying to achieve by appearing to be dumb and not even dumb, but beyond our consciousness of dumb, a kind of Kenyan dumb---inhabiting an alterative reality beyond the dumb of our own shores?  [Read more]
The latent ethos of self-reliance in the American experience has, in my opinion, enabled the Republican party to meld the disparate factions of the wealthy and modest income whites into a successful coalition for the past thirty years. But Romney's broad definition of "victim" includes many in the Republican party who consider themselves to be self-reliant. Like oil and water, self-reliance and victim-hood are not miscible.
According to Romney a "victim" is a person who receives government benefits---which then must include many modest income whites upon whom the wealthy Republicans have depended to maintain power. Romney has put the Republican base in a predicament. As victims they are not the strong and self-reliant persons who in such beliefs steel themselves against the reality of their declining incomes and job opportunities. If they are not victims, are they self reliant enough to vote against their own benefits?  [Read more]