47 Again – The Letter to Iran

March 13, 2015

Remember 47? in case you don’t, Fact-checking Romney’s “47 Percent” Comment by Lucy Madison for CBS on September 25, 2012 will refresh your memory.

I mention 47 because the number is back in the news, brought to you again by the Rs. On Monday, March 9, Senator Tom Cotton (Rep.-Ark.) authored a letter to the Iranian government about the nuclear proliferation deal being negotiated between Iran, the U.S., and five other nations. Here’s the letter, signed by Senator Cotton and, you guessed it, 46 other Republican senators. If one more or less senator’s signature was on the letter, my theme would have been blown!

Numbers, theme, and kidding aside, the conduct at issue should shock anyone who

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February 5, 2015

Measles in early 2015; where do I begin? Tough, let me tell you, but MRW is at your service.

Let’s start with a few facts … because, Lord knows, there’ll be plenty of non-facts coming soon! Viral fear—my term—should be a function of the risk of: (a) death or serious health problems; and (b) getting infected.

Ro is the number of people a sick person will likely infect. A bigger Rmeans contagiousness is greater. (Information comes from No, Seriously, How Contagious Is Ebola?, written by Michaeleen Doucleff for NPR last October.)

So there’s Ebola. The Ro for Ebola is 2. Death is definitely possible, but it’s not likely I’ll get Ebola.

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December 18, 2014

Cuba! It’s certainly a touchy topic, but it’s no longer ignorable, or a topic which can wait. So, I’m all in here.

Formal relations with Cuba do not exist. The signal feature of the relationship, however, is the embargo on trade. The embargo had as its purpose forcing Fidel Castro and his Communist regime from power. It began on October 19, 1960, under President Dwight Eisenhower. It has lasted for more than 54 years, albeit with many exceptions. (Several MRW readers have been to Cuba in the recent past, traveling from Miami on cultural exchanges.) Ten successors to President Eisenhower—Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama—have come and, excepting President Obama, gone. And the Castro brothers,

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