Proposition 101: Tucson Sales Tax Increase

May 1, 2017

Proposition 101: Tucson Sales Tax Increase

Tucson has an election coming soon, on May 16, 2017. Voters will decide whether they want to increase the city sales tax by ½ of one percent to pay for road maintenance and public safety. Here’s a link with details, courtesy of Ballotpedia. Here’s the key takeaway regarding the spending plans:

Proposition 101 increases the sales tax by an additional 1/2 percent between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2022. The 0.5 percent tax would bring in an estimated $250 million over the five years.

Of the revenue raised by the 0.5 percent sales tax, 60 percent would be deposited into a Public Safety Improvements Fund and 40 percent would be deposited

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The First 100 Days: Some Thoughts (Part 1 of 2)

April 29, 2017

The first 100 days of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States came and went today.* For smart, take-no-prisoners analysis from the absolutely terrific Editor-in-Chief of the New Yorker, David Remnick, read A Hundred Days of Trump. And for an “outside the box,” kinda-sorta view, read Andrew Sullivan’s piece for New York magazine, Maybe America Wasn’t Crazy to Elect Donald Trump.

I have a somewhat different take. Mr. Trump correctly notes the fact that 100 days mean nothing, really. And the fact that he made the 100 days a big deal several times (before he realized he has accomplished zippo), and can’t decide which side of the line he wants to be on—both, as usual, seems

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Only Give Trump So Much Attention

April 27, 2017

Only Give Trump So Much Attention

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” — Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

President Barack Obama shared “fellow American” Atticus Finch’s words in his farewell address on January 10. He used them to tell us our hearts must change. “For blacks and other minority groups,” he said, “it means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face—not only the refugee, or the immigrant, or the rural poor, or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged white

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Capitalism and Fantasies

April 26, 2017

Capitalism and Fantasies

Stay tuned soon for a report on my visit to Rochester New York, to see Cate Rubin and her boyfriend, Zack Tennies. I’d be on the trip, and the fine food my daughter and SO Zack shared with me, but sharing from phone to computer to blog post takes time. Alas, I am a mere 10 days away from my first trip to a place off this continent and its ambient islands.

I will be in London, Bath, and Oxford from May 5 through May 12. After contributing to several trips to Europe for Cate and her mom, I’m more than a wee bit excited about going myself. (Ya, ya, I know GB has started to exit

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Passover in 2017 / 5776

April 22, 2017

Passover in 2017 / 5776

My Personal Passover

Passover passed several days ago, on April 18 at sundown. Eight days earlier, on Monday, April 10, it started.

Passover came freighted with emotion this year. No Rochelle Rubin, and no Hirsches, as our dear friend Bob was only two days gone. And we dined at my mom and Irwin’s home, and used my grandmother’s china.

Sadness aside, our Seder offered its moments. We welcome strangers at Passover: Tucson newbies joined us, as well as close friends for whom Passover represents a cross-cultural opportunity. (With respect for Biblical dictates, “new friends” feels more positive and uplifting than “strangers.”)

There were also flat out misses. We had to kindle the Passover lights in

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Sean Spicer: the Hitler and al-Assad Comparison

April 12, 2017

Sean Spicer: the Hitler and al-Assad Comparison

Sean Spicer doesn’t know from Godwin’s Law, more or less. (Godwin’s Law, in its truest form? The longer a discussion lasts on the Internet, the more likely it is that someone will compare someone to Adolph Hitler. Shorter version? By the time you bring up Hitler, you should have shut up already.)

Washington Post reporters Jenna Johnson and Ashley Parker wrote Spicer Apologizes after Receiving Sharp Criticism for Saying Hitler Didn’t Use Chemical Weapons on Tuesday, April 11. (Sean Spicer will rue this day for the rest of his life, one hopes.) Mr. Spicer suggested that Bashar al-Assad was somehow worse than Mr. Hitler because he—Mr. Hitler—did not use chemical weapons

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My Weekend, Up and Down

April 10, 2017

My weekend, up and down.

My mom died 24 weeks ago. Since then a former law partner, hero and role model’s wife departed. (The former law partner is Lowell Rothschild. More on him below.) A great, great attorney and larger than life man, Steven Phillips—who was a landlord, mentor, and dear friend—died suddenly the day after Thanksgiving. Just before the end of the year, friends for 50 years lost their wife and mom. She was the woman who asked me and her oldest daughter, driving us home from high school one day, why the school did not teach elocution. (No answer, for I had to look up the word in my dictionary, but I’ve never forgotten the fact that Joan

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The U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, and Originalism

March 20, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, and Originalism

The Senate Judiciary Committee commenced its hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The seat has sat empty since February 13, 2016. (For those who count, the number of days happens to be 401, but it might be an even 400, if Justice Antonin Scalia was alive after midnight.)

I won’t waste time on the nonsense associated with the 401-day gap. (Historians will give the Republican Senate no mercy, for sure.) Instead, I’m prompted by What Gorsuch Has in Common With Liberals, a piece which Professor Akhil Reed Amar wrote for the New York Times on March 18.

Professor Amar

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Congressman Roger Marshall, Poor People, and Obamacare

March 5, 2017

Congressman Roger Marshall, Poor People, and Obamacare

I read Republican Congressman: Repeal Obamacare Because Poor People Don’t Want to Be Healthy by Jonathan Chait for New York magazine with interest for several reasons. First, Mr. Chait writes very smartly about health care policy. Second, health care policy and Obamacare repeal fascinates me. Finally, hearing Rs ‘splaining poor people always entertains me.

In this case the congressman comes with credentials. He’s Roger Marshall, M.D. He was an obstretrician, and he’s a first-termer in Congress. He ran against and defeated Congressman Tim Huelskamp (Rep. – Kans.) easily in the Republican primary, and won the general election more easily. He’s the moderate to Congressman Huelskamp.

Here’s what Congressman Marshall said:

Just like Jesus

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We Didn’t Start the Fire (Annotated)

March 4, 2017

We Didn’t Start the Fire (Annotated)

[We dedicate this reposting to our ahistorical POTUS. If anyone knows the man, pass this along. The ignorance should astound everyone.]

Donald Trump

“Here at MRW we don’t routinely cite to ourselves, and I’m pretty sure we’ve never re-posted. No rule is absolute, however, and when reason dictates that we deviate, we’ll do the right thing.”

Those were our words on April 5, 2015, when we reposted We Didn’t Start the Fire (annotated). We Didn’t Start the Fire was first posted on July 13, 2014. It’s a long piece—5000 plus words—and lots of effort went into putting it together. Billy Joel, a very intelligent, serious songwriter/singer, wrote the song and chose the people

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