Free Rolltop Desk

May 7, 2019

Free Rolltop Desk

rolltop desk

Rolltop Desk

The desk. It nags at me like a millstone around my neck. Huge—72” x 36”—and non-functional, except as a beautiful exemplar of a bygone era, and as a repository for anything and everything which can end up on a table or in large drawer.

The desk came my way in 1980, as an early law school graduation gift. My mom, early on in her interior design career, found the desk for a close friend / client who became a gentleman rancher in his early 40s. MG loved the desk! My mom did too and got MG to promise her he’d sell it back to her before he’d part with it.

Skip ahead a couple /

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Godwin’s Law, and Taking Offense

May 6, 2019

Godwin’s Law, and Taking Offense

godwins law

Mark Rubin

A friend Facebook-posted a litany of informational fragments which equate Hitler to Liberals circa 2019. You’ve seen these things: prepackaged “projectiles” which have as their sole purpose provocation.

Usually, I ignore this crap. In particular, I try to leave my friend’s nonsense alone, for he’s a good soul gone wrong when it comes to politics. But, there’s Godwin’s Law! Attributed to Mike Godwin, it holds that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Here, the discussion started with Hitler.

So, with trepidation, I responded: “Not guessing you can possibly understand just how offensive your post is.” Not my finest moment, and maybe

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My Sunday Nights

May 1, 2019

My Sunday Nights

sunday dinner

Mark Rubin

In February 2016 my mom spent several days and nights in the hospital. She’d had a major abdominal insult in 2002. Then, no one expected her to live through the night; we certainly didn’t think she’d be alive and thriving in early 2016.

When the hospital said, “Go home,” the doctor said, “You really need to focus on what you eat.” Lean proteins. Fresh vegetables. No more chazzerai. In English? No more junk food.

I couldn’t do an everyday cooking thing, but I could carve out Sunday nights for my mom and her BFF / LOML Irwin. And I did! Without fail, just about.

Something grilled. Veggies. And roasted potatoes. Max joined me, too.

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The Mueller Report

April 20, 2019

The Mueller Report

mueller report

President Donald Trump

Have you read the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Election aka The Mueller Report? Not me, completely, but I’ve read some key parts, and plenty of commentary from people who have read the whole thing. More than enough to make my points.

The Mueller Report – that’s what I’m calling it, official title be damned – represents the product of what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein directed Mr. Mueller to do when he appointed him on May 17, 2017. The primary charge? Determine whether there were “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald J. Trump.” The conclusion? Both

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(More) Complete Estate Planning

April 3, 2019

(More) Complete Estate Planning

estate planning

Mark Rubin

Four years ago I wrote Complete Estate Planning. I focused on some of what needs to be done, over and above having a lawyer prepare a fancy-dancy set of documents. Now, I’m back with fresh thoughts on the nuts and bolts of truly planning for what happens when you’re gone.

We learn from our experiences and our errors. The past can help us avoid bad outcomes.

Older people often have annuities or life insurance. These products can serve useful purposes although, in too many cases, annuities purchased later in life offer more benefits for the selling agent than the purchaser. That issue aside, we see plenty of situations in which the policy owner

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For the Record

March 27, 2019

For the Record

The Mueller Report

For many years, many pronouncements in my home began with “For the record, I just want to say … .” They came from the mouth of our youngest resident. As a lawyer, “for the record” often had me checking the room, looking for the taping system or a court reporter I hadn’t noticed.

Of course, there was never a record. There were, though, opportunities to misinterpret or, more certainly, to forget. Still, with every “for the record,” my daughter reminded me that we live in a very uncertain world, full of people wanting the certainty that can’t exist.

Cate Rubin’s words brought into focus the latest news from l’affaire Trump. Lots of noise

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Alan Krueger, RIP

March 20, 2019

Alan Krueger, RIP

RIP

Professor Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger died on Saturday. I’m grieving, even though I never met him, and he’d know me … not at all.

Professor Krueger taught at Princeton University for 30 years, minus stints at the U.S. Department of Labor and as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for two years during the Obama Administration. But his legacy really involves curiosity and a willingness to dump economic orthodoxy.

I’m not an economist, but many of my best friends are … if an undergraduate degree in economics makes someone an economist. Degrees aside, I’ve spent a chunk of my adult life studying—if deep reading qualifies—the work product of those who no longer accept the notion

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Presidents’ Day: America, the Ruled!

February 18, 2019

Presidents’ Day: America, the Ruled!

presidents day

President Donald Trump

Happy Presidents’ Day. Not so much in Tucson / Pima County. Here, we let the kiddies out of school to celebrate the rodeo later this week. A Tucson thing! And, although with closed courts Rubin & Bernstein shuttered its office, LB and I worked and encountered plenty of professional offices, open for business and fully staffed. (Staff: no rodeo days for you, and we need to examine holiday policies.)

I heard a fine discussion about presidential power on the NewsHour this evening. Is expanding presidential power inherently bad for democracy was up for discussion. The answer, from historians Douglas Brinkley and Andrew Rudalevige? Probably.

We have elected 43 men to lead

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SOTU … or the Jerry Lewis Telethon?

February 5, 2019

SOTU … or the Jerry Lewis Telethon?

sotu

President Donald Trump

The man gave a good speech. He did, truly! Boring and predictable, and surely lacking in truth here and there. Still, competent. Wait. What? Pen•in-s(h)u•la? Eh! No BFD. Wait. What? “The Madero Maduro regime.”

Did some words piss me off royal? Absolutely. With respect, if someone I love gets shot, do I care about the identy of the shooter? Undocumented person, as opposed to someone whose gun comes courtesy of Second Amendment rights?

Talking about long wars, started by his party’s last president, without any acknowledgment that he knows Jacksh*t about the issues. Hello?

Does Wall nonsense infuriate me? Obviously, physical barriers in urban centers make sense. Just as clearly,

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Obituaries … and the New York Times

February 1, 2019

Obituaries … and the New York Times

obituaries

Mark Rubin

Like many of us, I imagine, I have an early morning Internet drill. First up? Tucson obits. The functions suck (and don’t get me started on marginal newspapers and their lack of investment in tech infrastructure), but I need to know what’s up with my people.

Next? The New York Times. First, I glance at the headlines. Then, I read anything from Paul Krugman. (A few of my Wingnut friends have Econ degrees. I love listening to them spout off about why he did not deserve the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.)

Before I leave the Times, I always read the obituaries. Not, here, checking for people

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