Daily Archives: March 9, 2018

2018 State of the City address by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (D) delivered his annual State of the City address today at the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Tucson Convention Center.

Here’s the link to his website and his speech entitled

“Tucson 20/20”:


Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Mayor Rothschild is a Democrat, first elected in 2011, re-elected in 2015. In his first race he defeated Republican contender Rick Grinnell and Green Party candidate Mary DeCamp. He ran unopposed in his 2nd bid.

So this is his 7th speech to the City of Tucson. The previous years speeches are also on his website at the same link (on the right side of that page).




February jobs report exceeds expectations

Steve Benen has the February jobs report. Job growth soars in February, exceeding expectations:

Headed into this morning, most economic observers expected the new jobs report to show steady growth, with roughly 200,000 new jobs. As it turns out, the projections weren’t nearly optimistic enough.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 313,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which is very low.


Just as encouraging, the revisions for the previous two months – December 2017 and January 2018 – were both up significantly, pointing to an additional 54,000 previously unreported jobs.

Before Donald Trump starts tweeting that these are record-breaking numbers, let’s note that while this is certainly the strongest report of his presidency, the nation topped 300,000 monthly jobs seven times in the Obama era: April 2011, January 2012, April 2014, June 2014, May 2015, and October 2015.

Also keep an eye on the Federal Reserve’s reaction to the new data. If the markets start to drop today, it’s probably because of fears of rising interest rates.

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10 Reasons Why the Government is a Good Thing

Good governmentAs English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in 1651, life without government is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Don’t let the Republicans control the narrative that government “is bad” or “is the problem.” The argument is bogus.

My father used to say that “civilization is the last bubble in a long fermentation.” He was a City Manager and believed that a city was the loftiest expression of society. He grew up when FDR was President and believed that public service was the highest calling of a citizen.

How far the image of the government has fallen since my father died. Years of propaganda from right-wing libertarians have made “government” a bad word. Disinformation from the billionaire Koch Brothers has brought attacks on “government schools” and “big government.”

The next time you meet someone who thinks the government is a bad thing, talk to them about this list of 10 reasons that government is a good thing. The government carries out the rules of our society and takes action for the public in efforts that people cannot do as well individually. Government activities that everybody likes are law enforcement, roads, the courts and trash pickup.

But there’s so much more that we get from the government:

Environmental safety that guarantees us clear air and water. Without this, we’d have choking air pollution like in Shanghai and Delhi, India, and poisonous rivers like the Ganges in India and the Yellow River in China. When government is working properly it promotes a clean power plan, works to combat climate change, establishes flood building standards, prohibits coal dumping in streams, and participates in world climate agreements. 2017 was the hottest year on record in Tucson, and only government can prevent it from getting worse. Continue reading

Social media killed the truth

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – attributed to Mark Twain.

Ironically, he never said this. But Jonathan Swift did write “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”

A new study proves that lies (fake news) spread faster than truth. Robinson Meyer reports at The Atlantic, The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News:

It was hyperbole three centuries ago. But it is a factual description of social media, according to an ambitious and first-of-its-kind study published Thursday in Science.

The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

“It seems to be pretty clear [from our study] that false information outperforms true information,” said Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And that is not just because of bots. It might have something to do with human nature.”

The study has already prompted alarm from social scientists. “We must redesign our information ecosystem in the 21st century,” write a group of 16 political scientists and legal scholars in an essay also published Thursday in Science. They call for a new drive of interdisciplinary research “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”

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