Mr. Joe Arpaio, President Donald Trump, and the Pardon Power

August 14, 2017

Joe Arpaio, President Donald Trump, and the Pardon Power

arpaio trump

What a Pair!

Trump says he’s considering pardon for Joe Arpaio by Matt Zapotosky for the Washington Post gives you today’s disgraceful news.* And it’s our jumping off point!

I wrote Pardon! and No Egos at Mark Rubin Writes. Pardon? in June and July, respectively. When I wrote the pieces I really expected President Donald Trump would give his family his first high-profile pardons. No matter, for those pardons will surely follow. For now, the Arpaio pardon raises some interesting issues.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was sued several years ago.** The suit involved racial profiling. Judge Murray Snow, a U.S. District Judge in Phoenix, held the sheriff and others in civil

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Cacophony of Crap: The Trump Decades

August 3, 2017

Cacophony of Crap: The Trump Decades

cacophony crap

Cacophony of Crap, Mess of Merde, Superadundance of  … well, you get the idea! The man has been in office for just about 194 days. Roughly 16.693 million seconds. I’m exhausted, and not shy about fessing up!

Remember when President Donald Trump fired James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Within a day or so the president said, about the firing: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” We all screamed obstruction of justice. Remember? Wait. What? “Who’s James Comey?” Feels like eons ago!

There’s good stuff happening in the Time of Trump, for sure. Check on your retirement accounts. You’ll smile. For me, at

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You Can’t Go Home Again

July 28, 2017

You Can’t Go Home Again

mark hat

In April 2012—more than five years ago—I wrote You Can’t Go Home Again. (Truth be told, and I only note this because I read the piece again, I wrote the piece, mostly, in April 2011, when my daughter enrolled at my and her mother’s alma mater.) Alas, I had more Can’t Go Home experiences this week.

Two-day strategic planning conference. “Show up!” I did, and I gave myself a mini-staycation at our venue, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The resort sits less than a mile from the home my former spouse and I built and first slept in on Friday, March 13, 1992. The place our daughter called home for almost 24 years.

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the Promise

July 24, 2017

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the Promise

Mr. President

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels came to mind a bit ago, as I contemplated yet another piece of high drama in the never ending “let’s mess with health care” drama.* Truth be told, I don’t know whether there’s any plot linkage between repeal and replace, and the twists and turns associated with the Big Con on the Riviera. (Not a movie I ever saw.) The title fits, and that’s more farce than this despicable disgrace deserves.

Republicans offer one primary justification for repeal and replace: the promise. Ladies and gents, have you ever made a promise, only to find out later that what you promised won’t work anymore? Or, reflecting, that you were wrong from the

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The Loft Cinema and Dunkirk

July 23, 2017

The Loft Cinema and Dunkirk

loft cinema

dunkirk

I saw Dunkirk Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at the Loft Cinema. We don’t do movies at Mark Rubin Writes, Father’s Day 2016, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Loft Cinema excepted. But I’m obliged to shout out for the Loft Cinema and independent theaters, and I have some thoughts about movie-watching.

Film—and, for now, I use that word most loosely—and my DNA don’t link up well. I watch almost no television. I never see more than one or two of the Best Picture Academy Award nominees, and a year having seen none happens. (Truth be told, in the last few years the show put on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts

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No Egos at Mark Rubin Writes. Pardon?

July 20, 2017

No Egos at Mark Rubin Writes. Pardon?

Mr. President

Here at Mark Rubin Writes we keep our egos in check. Truth be told, that’s not a challenge. There’s just me, Mark Rubin, and I show up with not a lot of ego. Psychoanalysis might explain the situation—the last go around, years ago, provided some insights—but for a lot less time, effort, and money (the 45 minute hour ain’t cheap), I’ll just stick with the length of my subscriber list, and views per day. Short, and not so many, and both explain adequately the lack of ego!

Ego issues aside, I read with interest Trump Team Seeks to Control, Block Mueller’s Russia Investigation, from the Washington Post on July 20. (The

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The Anti-Israel Boycott Act … and More

July 19, 2017

The Anti-Israel Boycott Act … and More

I ran across U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign against Israel recently. Glenn Greenwald—who worked with Edward Snowden*—and Ryan Grim wrote the piece for The Intercept, an impressive journalism enterprise which Mr. Greenwald started with others.

The story reports on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S. 720, and a companion bill which sits in the House of Representatives. S. 720, among other things, prevents U.S. persons who are engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from:

Requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or

Supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international

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Gotta Love Those Rs on Health Care

July 15, 2017

Gotta Love Those Rs on Health Care

Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)

Republicans love them their free markets. In response to any problem, we hear about markets. Free markets require rational, knowledgeable buyers and sellers, acting freely. Advocates tell us free markets will always allow us to achieve optimum outcomes. That’s the mantra!

Rational

Rational? Easy it is to talk about too much spending in the last year of people’s lives, but if it’s your mom or dad, well … that’s different. I’ve been there, at both ends of the spectrum. When you love someone, don’t expect rational judgments.

Knowledgeable

Knowledgeable? Uh, no! We spend a fortune educating and training health care providers, and I say we because, while students pay

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The Trump Administration: Farce? Tragedy?

July 11, 2017

Mr. President

The Trump Administration: Farce? Tragedy?

Today, Ezra Klein wrote The Trump administration isn’t a farce. It’s a tragedy. Mr. Klein is the Editor-in-Chief for Vox, and one of our very best writers. He’s also only 33, born 117 months, to the day, after President Richard Nixon waved and left the White House grounds on Marine One on August 9, 1974. Read the next paragraph, please, for his age matters.

In his excellent piece Mr. Klein posits that “this must be what it was like to live through Watergate.” His statement begs the question, for as a 33-year-old he was not around. I was!

Honestly, Trump-i-stan feels much, much worse than Watergate. President Nixon was bent, evil, and surely mad.

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Single-Payer Health Care Saves Money

July 9, 2017

Single-Payer Health Care Saves Money

Cornell University Economics Professor Robert H. Frank wrote Why Single-Payer Health Care Saves Money recently. He offers a simple thesis: single-payer saves money.

Yes, taxes will increase. However, individual insurance premiums go away, as do most out-of-pocket expenses. Professor Frank estimates a 30% aggregate health care cost reduction. From where? Lower administrative costs. No advertising expenses. And the government can make more favorable deals with providers and pharma.

B-b-but, Medicare’s crashing. Not true, in fact. More to the point, though, Medicare self-selects older, sicker people. A pool which includes everybody captures the tens of millions of healthy people whose health care costs are minimal.

Without doubt, single-payer presents challenges. Daniel Kahneman, psychologist, Nobel

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