Maybe it never bothered me before, but I realized that Midnight Commander has been really slow to start so I did a little digging and it looks like mc is making some net traffic during startup that's getting blocked by my iptables rules for the OUTPUT chain. Below are the four lines in my OUTPUT chain, which by default is set to DROP if it does not match the rules.
$IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
$IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -m state -p ICMP --state INVALID -j DROP
$IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -p ALL -j KEEP_STATE
$IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -s 0.0.0.0/0 -d 0.0.0.0/0 -j ACCEPT
From the looks of it that last line is causing the issue... if I remove that line mc starts up nice and fast, but nothing can get out anymore! Anyone know why this might be? That last line should be allowing everything out, should it not?!