Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

November 17, 2018

Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

Perfect

Voltaire

Le meglio è l’inimico del bene­—the best is the enemy of the good—gets credited to Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire often but, in fact, it’s an old Italian proverb he cited in his Dictionnaire Philosophique, first published in 1764. Sadly, it fits our times, too well!

The Ds control the House of Representatives, beginning on January 3, 2019. The House elects a Speaker, who can be a Congressperson or not, although every speaker has been a member of the House of Representatives.

The Ds will have a solid majority, once the remaining races get resolved. Still, there’s doubt about whether Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will serve as Speaker.

I can offer and

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Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

November 9, 2018

Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

slow counting

Mark Rubin

Waiting

Here we are, waiting on final election results. Arizona, California, Georgia and Florida provide the headlines, but the issue presents itself in any state—50, at last count—which accepts any ballots by mail.

Voting live on Election Day? Some machines let you walk away when you’re done, and the machine has already tallied your selections. In other instances, you fill in bubbles on a paper ballot, and place your ballot in a secure box. Box emptied. Reader software reads and tallies.

Voting by mail? Ballot counting requires extra steps. Opening envelopes. Signature checking. Then, reader software … .

If the ballot gets mailed in promptly, elections personnel handle it early. Signatures get verified day

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Mid-Terms Misery

November 6, 2018

Mid-Terms Misery

mid-terms misery

Mark Rubin

I begin this missive at 7:54 p.m., MST. ‘twas a wave, I wanted. I wanted to win one of the two big lottery drawings, too. No such luck, on any front.

The Night

I expect a change of control in the House of Representatives. Maybe the Native Americans will pull Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – N.D.) through, maybe Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D – Tex.) will vanquish Senator Ted Cruz (R – Tex.), and maybe Jupiter will align Mars, peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars. Not … and, thus, President Trump can give us more judges and Cabinet members who serve us not at all.

The world got complicated a while

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Say Anything

October 18, 2018

The Say Anything World

say anything

Mark Rubin

Many years ago, I tried a lot line dispute. Soon before the trial I asked my clients a question. The answer, unfortunately, contradicted everything important they’d already told me. “So what,” they said, “everyone else is lying too.” Not, actually! Unfortunately, I paid for their dishonesty by forcing a settlement which resulted in their not paying me. They got a much better outcome than they deserved. Me? Not so much.

Recent stuff brought my old case bubbling up for me. Jamal Khashoggi, specifically. And more.

The evidence suggests very, very strongly that Mr. Khashoggi died on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. (You could describe what happened, with the

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The Big Four

October 15, 2018

The Big Four

big four

Mark Rubin

I wrote Estate Planning for Smart People two years ago, and updated it recently. Complete Estate Planning, written three-and-a-half years ago, focuses on practical issues. One practical issue no one should ignore: selecting the right bank to hold your money.

The Big Four

The four largest banks in America are Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. How big are they? Chase holds total assets of $2,530,000,000,000. That’s trillion! The 15th largest bank in America, HSBC, has assets which equal 8% of Chase’s asset base.

So what? Big bothers me not at all, if the bank services its customers. Unfortunately, not so much with the Big Four in my workaday world.

Bad

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Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

October 14, 2018

Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

I attended a political fundraiser recently. Great candidates. Cool company. And, after, martinis at the Inn.

Only one exchange marred the evening: during the Q and A, a woman I don’t know raised the subject of retaining Arizona Supreme Court justices. I’ll get back to the exchange momentarily, but I need to provide some background first.

Arizona law provides for merit selection of the seven members of the Arizona Supreme Court, judges on the Arizona Court of Appeals, and trial court judges in counties with more than 250,000 residents. (Counties with less people can opt in, too.) Merit selection involves committees of lawyers and lay people who, through a

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Corporate America Run Amok

October 11, 2018

Corporate America Run Amok

corporate america

Mark Rubin

[Note: Working on a project—stay tuned—I ran across this piece, first posted on October 9, 2008 on a blog site which morphed into Mark Rubin Writes. Nothing much has changed in corporate America in the past 10 years, but we might notice the problems less, what with having a pseudo-populist POTUS who steals the air out of every room he enters.]

I wrote this essay in the summer of 2007, when corporate greed seemed like not much more than an irritant. Now, knowing what we know about the recklessness on Wall Street that went hand-in-hand with the greed, and now that we know the greed involved truly unfathomable sums of money, the essay seems

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Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

October 6, 2018

Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

Kavanaugh

Justice Brett Kavanaugh

It’s over! Thirty-three days ago, I wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lots of noise since then, but we now have a full complement on the Court, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Party Rules

Voting matters, majorities matter, and politicians vote party first. Only Senators Joe Manchin (D – W. Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) crossed on the Kavanaugh vote, and both did so for seemingly different reasons.

Senator Manchin represents the most pro-Trump state and he’s running for re-election. As for Senator Murkowski, she runs again in 2022. Alaska likes Rs, but it likes Murkowskis too. Senator Murkowski’s father Frank served as Senator and Governor. The current Senator Murkowski won re-election

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Still More on L’affaire Kavanaugh

September 29, 2018

Still More on L’affaire Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

From There to Thursday / Friday

President Donald Trump and 11 angry white men who comprise the majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee. What a crew!

They got their guy right up to the finish line by mid-day on September 28, after an 80-day span from nomination to committee vote. Then, they sounded like stuck pigs because the Ds had the temerity to be unhappy after they got their one-day hearing. You’d have thought the Ds destroyed the confirmation process as we know it, to listen to Senator Lindsey Graham (R – S.C.) (No, we never liked him, even though he hung around with Senator John McCain (R – Ariz.), who we liked

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The Kavanaugh Affair, Again

September 27, 2018

The Kavanaugh Affair, Again

Mr. Goody Two-Shoes

Brett Kavanaugh

The Testimony

Well, that happened. Ugly, but at least I won’t read any more comments about how the *** won’t even show. (Right Winger foul language about women leaves me cold.) She showed up. She spoke. And for no personal or political gain.

As my day played out, I heard more from Brett Kavanaugh. No one should vote for this man to serve on any court, based on his performance. Sure, he was under pressure and felt attacked. Still, he—a sitting judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia—sounded and acted like a thug. He interrupted senators. He offered snarky responses. Rude and surly.

Of course, President Donald Trump

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