Is Cape Town thirsty enough to drink seawater?

Michael Kiparsky quoted by WIRED, Feb. 9. 2018

“Cape Town is a warning shot for us,” says Michael Kiparsky. … “What we can see is that it’s very possible for water crises—which emerge all the time around the world—to get close to the point of real, massive human disaster.”

Chemerinsky: Free speech at the Supreme Court

Erwin Chemerinsky writes for ABA Journal, Feb. 8, 2018

In a term filled with potential blockbuster decisions, it is striking that there are five cases involving issues of freedom of speech. They touch on many different aspects of First Amendment jurisprudence and collectively have the potential for significantly changing the law in this area.

A bid to solve California’s housing crisis could redraw how cities grow

Ethan Elkind quoted by WIRED, Feb. 7, 2018

“People first look for cheaper housing as far away from their jobs as they can that is still a reasonably feasible commute,” says Ethan Elkind. … “When we push people into areas like Phoenix and Houston, we see the climate impacts, from flooding to sprawl, with people in these high-polluting areas where they don’t necessarily even want to be.”

State AG bans employer-ICE cooperation. Can he do that?

John Yoo and Jesse Choper quoted by California Magazine, Feb. 7, 2018

Yoo: “States don’t have the power to interfere with federal operation. … If the state is trying to prevent people from obeying federal law, they might be committing obstruction of justice—which is a crime.”

Choper: “For California to pass a law to regulate private citizens, telling them that if they follow federal law they’re in violation of state law—that is very different than the state simply saying, ‘We’re not going to enforce [the federal government’s] law. If you want to [enforce] it, do it yourself.’ That’s a major step that I do not think is within the state’s power.”

The new tax law creates a huge boon for Uber and Lyft drivers

Mark Gergen quoted by CNBC, Feb. 5, 2018

So those who have income from “non-corporate enterprises” can deduct 20 percent of that income before filing taxes on it. This includes those who have money in private equity, venture capital or publicly funded partnerships, says Mark Gergen. … He adds that these pass-through deductions were not created with the explicit intention of helping gig workers — that was a side effect.