The Wednesday Curator – 3/11/15

March 10, 2015

The Curator shares much—well, everything, truth be told—with MRW. Thus, this week we start with Sotomayor May Have Saved Obamacare by Cristian Farias for Slate on March 6. The piece offers a recounting of the way in which the federalism issue developed last week in the King v. Burwell oral argument. Interesting to me? How little credit Justice Sonia Sotomayor has gotten in the mainstream media for seemingly setting the hook for Justice Anthony Kennedy and, perhaps, Chief Justice John Roberts.

Michael Tomasky edits Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, and writes about politics and related matters. Here, for the March 19, 2015 issue of The New York Review of Books, he has written 2016: The Republicans Write, which provides some analysis of the upcoming presidential election, along with short reviews of the Republican candidates’ books.

Somehow I missed How California Bested Texas by Vauhini Vara for The New Yorker on January 8, 2015. Interesting, short, and very easy reading. Two big lessons. What goes up will go down, and what’s down—especially if it’s California—will likely rise again. And, when politicians stop claiming credit for the rising of the sun, they’ll have an easier time with dusk. Much of the Texas miracle related to oil and gas prices and taxes, and in California the real estate crash explained much. Now, times are better, rich people in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Beverly Hills are paying state income tax on sales of appreciated stock, and Texas oil and gas tax revenues are … well, you can imagine!

I was a weekly reader of Randy Cohen, The Ethicist for the New York Times from 1999 until 2011. For reasons I don’t know, he’s not there anymore, and the new crew has a hip-hop tone which I—at 57, decidedly middle-aged—find annoying. Still, the March 4, 2015 post, Can I Hide My Beliefs during Jury Selection? caught my eye. No, no lying during jury selection, at all, both because you take an oath and because, what with social media and such, your lie will likely be discovered. As for the remaining questions, if you pay for a parking space in Manhattan, you can still park on the street if you find a space. And, if a charity glues a nickel into its mass mailing ask, you can keep the nickel and not donate to that charity. BTW, if anyone needs an ethicist/writer, I’ll work for quarters!

I’m plotzing here, just thinking about Deli Man, the new documentary about the Jewish deli. The New York Times review, Review: ‘Deli Man’ Is a Documentary on Jewish Delis, Schmaltz and All, was written by Ben Kenigsberg—nu, you though Manny Hernandez should do the review—and it’s worth your time. I’m also told, with authority, that thinking about pastrami cannot increase your cholesterol level. (The authority? I spoke with my concierge doctor, an MOT, and he assured me that reading reviews about salty, fatty food will not kill me.) As for the Yiddish—when my daughter, the beautiful blonde daughter of a Jewish man and Ms. J, who is not Jewish, asserted herself at counter at B&H, the camera store extraordinaire, she was asked, “Are you Yiddish?—plotzing means, in the food context, stuffed, and nu means “so” or “what” or some such.



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