Monday, May 7, 2018

Green Thoughts

It is that time of year to finally shed the winter/spring doldrums of inconsistent weather and spend time in the garden. Be it a garden on the patio or a garden in a twenty by twenty-foot patch in the back yard. There is a lot to be said about the calming, relaxation of spending an hour or two working outside in the soil and weeds of a new garden.

I plant tomatoes every year, no big deal, but just those two or three plants bring a proper perspective to the stress of every day life. How much food, enough water, the proper light, all are decisions I welcome this time of year in the garden.

Gardening has long been a national passion in England and its traditions have influenced those in other countries, including America, Canada, France and even Russia. The design and study in designing a garden can be the best thing you do this time of year.

Chauncey Gardiner, the famous Peter Sellers character, in the 1979 film “Being There” explains; “… growth has its seasons.” And, yes, “there will be growth in the spring.” He explains further; “As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.”

You can learn plenty about dealing with life by being a gardener.

WORKPLACE - Congress: The most family-unfriendly workplace in America: The only institution constitutionally created to reflect our national values - Congress - is arguably the least family friendly institution in the country. The same people who set policy for millions of families in America serve in a job that literally splits families apart. If Congress had more family friendly rules, more women would run for office. And if more women were elected, our laws would be more conducive to the basic struggles most families face - housing, education, health and transportation.

Millennials vs. Boomers - Beset by big college loans, inherited wars and an uncertain work future, a majority of millennials say baby boomers made things worse for them — and a lot of boomers agree, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters, if it persists, the generational divide could turn into political rivalry as the generations compete for limited tax dollars — millennials seeking government help as automation takes hold, and boomers insisting on promised levels of Social Security and Medicare.

The findings: 51% of millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) blame boomers (51- to 69-year-olds) for making things worse for their generation. Just 13% said boomers had improved things.

Boomers were split on the issue: 30% said policies created by their generation had made things worse, 32% said they had made things better, and 34% that they had done neither.

Days until the 2018 election: 183

CICLAVIA 2018 - People came by the thousands to enjoy the warm spring weather while bike riding with friends to celebrate the Ciclavia Earth Day on Sunday April 22. It was a fun event, with pit stops along the way in Claremont, Pomona, La Verne and San Dimas. With streets devoid of cars along the 6.5-mile route, bikers were in no hurry for the ride...or the end. With hundreds of booths along the way, the festive atmosphere had something for kids of all ages.

Enjoy this video:

CORD CUTTING - More customers are dropping cable TV as they turn toward streaming services like Netflix Inc., a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that was on display this week in painful earnings reports from cable and telecommunications companies.

As viewers flee traditional TV for streaming-video services, Netflix has arguably been the biggest winner, adding subscribers at home and abroad at a clip that has outpaced Wall Street’s expectations.

Other tech companies are also angling to capitalize on consumers’ changing habits. Inc. now has more than 100 million customers for its Prime subscription service, which includes a video offering the company has been pouring money into, including a deal on Thursday to keep streaming NFL games.

Google Inc. is ramping up its YouTube TV streaming service, an online bundle of cable channels that competes with the likes of Hulu Live and Sony PlayStation Vue.

And Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. have each set aside as much as $1 billion for original programming meant to lure more viewers away from traditional TV.

Amazing stat: The upheaval in the pay-TV economy is stark. From the beginning of 2015 through the end of last year, nine million Americans have either cut the cord or chosen not to buy a traditional cable package when moving into new households.

KA-CHING, KA-CHING - CROSSING OVER: That new 21 percent corporate tax rate might have just landed its biggest fish so far.

The private equity power KKR announced Thursday that its board had unanimously voted to switch to corporate status in July after years as a partnership, in what Reuters called "the biggest shake-up" in the company's structure since it went public a dozen years ago. Ares Management, another private equity firm, also announced it was becoming a corporation a couple months back, though it has about a third of the market capitalization of KKR.

KKR's decision could start to answer one of the big questions set up by last year's GOP tax cut: Would more businesses become traditional C-corporations after the tax rate for those companies was slashed from 35 percent? Swarms of businesses - both small companies and titans like KKR and other big private equity firms - had increasingly been organizing as pass-throughs in the decades leading up to the new tax law, in no small part because organizing that way allows them to pay a single layer of tax. (Corporations absorb a second layer after paying out dividends to shareholders.)

KKR officials said the new setup was "designed to broaden our investor base , simplify our structure and make it easier to invest in our shares. We believe this change, together with continued strong performance, will increase our ability to generate significant long-term equity value for all of our shareholders." The firm's competitors will surely be interested in whether that's the case, but it remains to be seen whether other large pass-throughs will follow KKR's lead. The company's change "will provide a serious test case for peers Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N), Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) and Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) as to whether the higher tax burden is offset by the market attributing a higher valuation to the stock," Reuters noted.

MICHIGAN STATE'S BOND RATING TAKES A HIT: Moody's Investors Service downgraded the university's bond rating - a move that could make it more expensive for the scandal-plagued school to borrow money it will likely need for settlement costs with 300 of Larry Nassar's victims, the Detroit Free Press reports . That could run costs into the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the report. The ratings agency cited the unknown costs of the settlement, as well as ongoing uncertainty about senior leadership of the school, along with several investigations into the school by state and national agencies, including the Education Department.

SHARK TANK - Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million shares in Apple — “an unbelievable company,” in Warren Buffett’s estimation — in the first quarter.

RICH GET RICHER - The largest U.S. companies found a new formula for success in the first quarter: larger pretax profits and smaller tax bills—mostly compliments of the cut in the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. More than half of the combined net income reported by 200 large public companies in the first quarter stemmed from a decline in their effective tax rates, a Journal analysis of quarterly financial data from Calcbench found. Through Wednesday, first-quarter after-tax earnings for S&P 500 index companies were on track to come in 25% higher than a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters. That would mark the seventh straight quarter of per-share profit growth and the strongest gains in more than seven years.

Dear Rink Rats:

Before I married my wife two years ago, she had huge amounts of debt to her name, including large amounts of student loans. After we married, we diligently almost paid everything off, helped by my salary being three times that of my wife.

She recently asked for a divorce, saying she was taking the house and my retirement. My question is: Does the fact we paid off her debts she held before get spread evenly? Had I not paid all of her debts our net worth would be near the same with a better outcome for me.

We’ve only been married a few years, and frankly I can’t help feeling taken advantage of. The only advice I can find discusses whose responsibility the student loans would be, but now it just seems that she got me to pay all of her debts, and got some new stuff, while I threw away years of my life.

Please tell me there’s hope.

Squeezed in Fort Worth

Dear Squeezed,

I’m sorry you feel squeezed or played. But I can’t argue with that. After two years, that’s a tough break, especially given all the help you gave your wife with her student debt. That’s a particularly unusual kind of debt, in that it’s virtually impossible to discharge. So if your wife was planning to wipe out some debts with your help before she filed for divorce two years after your marriage, that was the one to wipe out first.

The good news: Texas is a community property state so, where you have not co-mingled your assets, you take out of the marriage what you brought into it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the money you gave your wife to pay off her loans. But if you had a home before you married, for instance, you will walk away with that. Document all your financial transactions with your wife. The court has discretion to divide community property in a way it deems fair and reasonable.

Another development in your favor: In Texas, judges don’t instruct one party to pay the other alimony if they’ve been married for fewer than 10 years. There are exceptions to this rule — if there is a minor child involved, whether there’s been domestic abuse and/or whether the partner in question has a disability — but it’s unlikely that a judge will tell you to pay your wife alimony. So whatever result you do get, from a financial perspective you will be free and clear.

Typically, the court will divide retirement plans equally between the two soon-to-be former spouses. Given the short length of your marriage and the help you gave your wife paying off her student loans, you certainly have a good chance of fighting this particular rule. You may not be entirely successful, but a good divorce attorney will advise you on how to approach this delicate matter. Your wife is divorcing you, after all, and where there is flexibility in the law, there is opportunity.

What is key is the short period of marriage, the importance of choosing a good divorce lawyer, the perils of mediation (given that you have a relatively strong hand walking into divorce court) and a forensic accountant to examine your retirement accounts both before and during your marriage.

The best thing you have going for you right now is your honest intentions going into this marriage and your (good) behavior throughout. Having examined all the details, the judge may not be able to say the same thing about your wife. Also, if I were you get out of Texas, any state represented in the Senate by Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is a state you want to avoid.

Sincerely, Rink Rats

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to James Baker III (88) Houston, TX.; Tony Blair (65) London, England; George Clooney (57) Santa Barbara, CA.; Chris Krich ….famous student mentor; Robb Suffredini ….famous brother-in-law.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - The disappearing Chinese student visa, there was a 17% drop in international students in the U.S. last year — mostly due to a 28% decline in Indian students and a 24% decline in Chinese students receiving visas.

Why it matters: The downturn, which can be partially attributed to President Trump's immigration policies, could have a notable economic effect. Foreign students contributed $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the NAFSA Association of International Educators.


Date                           Commencement Speaker                          Institution

05/06/18                   HANNAH STORM,  ESPN Anchor                 The Univ. of Portland

05/11/18                   OPRAH WINFREY                                            USC Annenberg

05/12/18                   CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF                          Claremont McKenna

05/13/18                   TIM COOK,  Apple CEO                                  Duke University

05/20/18                   DAVID McCULLOUGH                                   Providence College

05/25/18                   PRESIDENT TRUMP                                      U.S. Naval Academy

06/02/18                   ART ACEVEDO, HOUSTON POLICE           Univ. of La Verne

06/15/18                   CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS                      California Institute of Tech.

MARKET WEEK – California has reclaimed its spot as the world's fifth-biggest economy, passing the U.K. and trailing only the U.S. as a whole, China, Japan and Germany.

All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California's higher GDP, said Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California Department of Finance.

Financial services and real estate led the pack at $26 billion in growth, followed by the information sector, which includes many technology companies, at $20 billion. Manufacturing was up $10 billion.

California's strong economic performance relative to other industrialized economies is driven by worker productivity, said [UCLA economics professor] Lee Ohanian... The United Kingdom has 25 million more people than California but now has a smaller GDP.

Why it matters: The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California's economy, home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world's entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation's salad bowl in the Central Valley agricultural heartland. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession.

As the yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched 3 percent for the first time since 2014, companies warned that the earnings cycle might have peaked. While 3 percent is meaningful on the 10-year, rates are still very low and not about to choke off growth. And it's not like we haven't been here before with people worrying that the bond vigilantes were about to exact vengeance.

Expect the 10 year Treasury yield to continue to rise gradually and to eventually climb to about 4% by 2020. ... We believe US growth will remain resilient. However, rising rates will put pressure on refinancing costs for highly leveraged companies and households.

RENT - In 2017, about half of American renters paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing, and a quarter paid more than half.

OUT AND ABOUT – SPOTTED at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Baseball and Softball Championships this weekend at the University of La Verne: DeAnne Bland, Roger Auerbach, Kevin Marshall, Brian Clocksin, Alexis Schifff, Jennifer Dubow (Executive Director SCIAC), Jonathan Reed.

JOHN MCCAIN - As Sen. John McCain battles brain cancer and the debilitating side effects of his aggressive treatment, he's "reckoning with his history and the future, as he and a stream of friends share memories and say what needs to be said:

McCain, 81, ... has been leading conference calls with his staff in a strained voice, grinding out three-hour physical therapy sessions and rewarding himself most days with a tall glass of Absolut Elyx on ice.

No one is saying goodbye, not explicitly. ... But his visitors are telling him they love him, how much he has meant to them — and together they are taking care of unfinished business.

McCain is using a new book and documentary to reveal his regret about not selecting former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman as his running mate in 2008.

His intimates have informed the White House that their current plan for his funeral is for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the service to be held in Washington’s National Cathedral but not President Trump.

Some of his associates, though not his family, have started to quietly put out word that they want a 'McCain person' eventually appointed to fill his Senate seat, a roster that includes his wife, Cindy.


MLB Game of the Week – New York Mets (17-15) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (18-15), the winner is next in line to battle the Atlanta Braves, Phillies win 6 – 2.

Season to Date (14 - 9)

DRIVING THE WEEK - House expected to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) bill to cancel the CFPB's "Indirect Auto Lending Rule," per Axios' Jonathan Swan ... President Trump holds a roundtable with auto industry CEOs on Friday where he is likely to get an earful on the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs and what could happen to supply chains if NAFTA blows up ...

House Science subcommittee has a hearing on blockchain on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. ... Brookings has an event Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on economic mobility ... Consumer Prices at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.3 percent headline and 0.2 percent core ... Univ. of Mich. Consumer Sentiment at 10:00 a.m. Friday expected to dip to 98.0 from 98.8.

Next Blog: Confirm or Deny.

Until next time, Adios

Claremont, California
May 7, 2018


Monday, April 23, 2018

"A Simple Case of Color Blindness"

LE COUPE DE STANLEY - The regular season has been completed. The 16-team playoff table has now been set. The Stanley Cup playoffs kicked off Wednesday, Apr. 11. It’s the best two months in all of sport, where every shift, every check and every play matters.

In the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils are all in it. As of this date Philadelphia and New Jersey have begun their summer vacations.

In the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche all advanced. Colorado, Minnesota, Anaheim and Los Angeles have already been given the Queen of Spades.

The Los Angeles Kings were swept out of the tournament by a team that did not exist a year ago. The Anaheim Ducks were swept by a team they had passed in the Pacific Division standings during a late-season surge that fizzled when the playoffs began.

The 82-game regular season is essentially a rehearsal for the playoffs, when three-on-three overtime and the gimmicky shootout are replaced by unlimited, never-fraying, sudden-death play. There is nothing like the two-month test of will and pain thresholds, all to earn a slice of immortality and get your name etched on the Stanley Cup.

As we enter the second rounds of the Stanley Cup tournament, perhaps now is a good time to update our readers on the fine art of How to Talk Like a Hockey Player - Possibly more than any other sport, there is a unique culture that surrounds hockey. It’s a tightly knit group that is as dedicated to their sport as any in the world. As a result of this relationship, a unique corresponding ‘hockey slang’ has developed among players to describe hockey-specific things or events. If you’re not a member of the community, you would be clueless as to what hockey players are talking about when they use some of their off the wall terms.

Below you will find the common terms of hockey player lingo.

Barn: rink or arena.

Barn Burner: used to describe a game that is high scoring, fast paced, and exciting to watch.

Beauty/Beautician: a player on the team that’s talented both on the ice and off and loved by the rest of the team. Typically has great flow, great hands, can wheel ladies off the ice (see below), and always has some good locker room stories.

Biscuit: the puck.

Chiclets: teeth, usually used when describing the lack thereof for certain players.

Chirp: trash talk, directed toward an opponent, their bench or the refs.

Clapper: a slap shot, in reference to someone with a powerful slap shot or a slap shot that results in a goal.

Coast to Coast: a goal scored when a player starts the play near his own net.

Facewash: When a player sticks his gloves, palms first, into an opponent’s face just to annoy him.

Fishbowl: a helmet with a full plastic shield instead of a cage. Typically used as an insult in trash talk. Opinions vary widely on fishbowls, but if you wear one you’re likely one of the best players on the ice, or the worst.

Flow: great hockey hair, typically long that flows out of the helmet when the player skates.

For the Boys/FTB: used to describe any actions that the rest of the team enjoys or when a player makes a sacrifice for the team.

Gordie Howe Hat Trick: when players scores a goal, gets an assist and is in a fight, all in the same game.

Grinder: a player that populates the lower lines or lower pairings. Has hands of stone, but is physical and works hard when he’s out on the ice. Usually beloved by the rest of the team.

Grocery Stick: a player that sits on the bench the whole game between the forwards and defense, acting like a separator like the checkout line at the store. Also a duster, and maybe a bender.

Hey Hazzie, you shoot da puck pretty fair: The player has a hard and heavy shot. (Jacques Martin)

Hoser: another name for a loser, typically intended as an insult in trash talk. Comes from the early hockey days when the losing team had to hose down the ice with water after the game because the Zamboni had not been invented yet.

Jesus H Christ, maybe you haven’t seen my ID: I am your new roommate. (Bill “The Breeder” Reid).

Light the Lamp: to score a goal, in reference to the red light that goes on behind the net.

Lip Sweater: mustache, typically grown out during the month of November for the “Movember” cause to support male health issues.

Lumber: a hockey stick, named when sticks used to be made of wood.

Playmaker: a player known for great stickhandling and passing, not necessarily scoring.

Pylon: a player that is extremely slow out on the ice, and can easily be skated around. Likely a big guy. See: Mike Rathje, Derian Hatcher.

Ride the Pine: when a player spends the entire game sitting in the bench, and not getting any playing time. Usually reserved for benders and dusters.

The Show: the NHL, used in the context of “making it to The Show”.

Sieve: an awful goalie that has many holes to shoot through.

Snipe: a powerful or well-placed shot that results in a pretty goal. Every bar down shot is a snipe, but not every snipe goes bar down.

Simple case of color blindness: Player makes a pass to a member of the other team. (Howie Meeker)

Where Mama Keeps the Peanut Butter: goal scored in the uppermost part of the net.

You da da eh bye: No idea what this means??? (Paul “Caper” Gallagher)

Hockey player jargon is an ever-evolving language. Certain words will cease to be used, and new ones will become popular. But with this list as your basis, you’ll have at least have a simple understanding of hockey talk.

Enjoy the playoffs: The Swami has Nashville winning the Cup over Pittsburgh.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Gene H. ….famous Father; Ashley Judd (50) Lexington, KY.; Joe Z. ….famous Jacob Javits Republican; Queen Elizabeth II (92) London, England.


          Monday: Trump has lunch with Mike Pence. Trump and the First Lady host Macron and the French First Lady for a private dinner at Mt. Vernon.
          Tuesday: Meetings all day with Macron. Trump has lunch with Defense Secretary James Mattis, and that evening hosts the Macrons for a state dinner.
          Thursday: Trump and the First Lady host the "Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride." Trump will also welcome the press corps' children to the White House for "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day."
          Friday: Trump hosts Team USA — U.S. Olympic athletes — at the White House. He also hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - High-school graduation rates continue to rise, but a new study by the Center for American Progress found that in 46 states a high-school diploma isn’t enough to qualify students to attend a public university.

A survey released on last week found that 36 percent of college and university students don’t have enough to eat, and nearly the same share don’t have a secure place to live, The Washington Post reports.

BOFA, CORNELL TEAM UP - Bank of America and Cornell University are joining forces to boost women entrepreneurs. At Thursday's session of the World Bank Group-IMF spring meeting, BofA Vice Chairman Anne Finucane announced the launch of the Bank of America Institute for Women's Entrepreneurship at Cornell, an "online learning portal that provides women entrepreneurs the skills, knowledge and resources to build, manage and scale a successful business."

Women are starting their own businesses at record rates, with nearly 11.6 million businesses bringing in more than $1.7 trillion in revenue annually. "Our signature collaboration with Cornell University demonstrates how we continue to deploy capital and invest in partnerships that advance women entrepreneurs and building thriving economies," Finucane added. BofA also invests in women by way of its Small Business Banking and Global Wealth and Investment Management businesses.

MARKET WEEK – The threat of a more restrictive U.S. trade policy is already having an impact on the economy, a development that stands to keep investors on edge after a period of stock market volatility.

President Donald Trump's announced tariffs on steel and aluminum, as well as his threat of further tariffs aimed at China, are driving up the cost of steel, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book of economic anecdotes from across the central bank's 12 districts, released Wednesday.

The Fed wrote: "There were widespread reports that steel prices rose, sometimes dramatically, due to the new tariff." That contrasted with the otherwise moderate pace of price increases.

It's not just economists watching for the impact of tariffs. When Mr. Trump announced the new trade policies last month, the stock market sold off sharply as investors fretted about an escalating back-and-forth between the U.S. and China. The market only recovered as those fears died down.

Now, the Beige Book shows, a firm in the Boston district reported that, "'thin gauge foil' is produced only in China and tariffs raised the price three-fold; the contact argued that 'these tariffs are now killing high-paying American manufacturing jobs and businesses.'"

Investors are predominantly worried that a trade war could drive up prices of goods or weigh on consumer confidence, both of which could hit companies and their share prices.

"If things got a little bit tit-for-tat, then there are, obviously, risks at a minimum that we need to be attentive to," said Martin Anstice, chief executive officer at Lam Research Corp., in a call with analysts this week. Mr. Anstice, whose Fremont, Calif.-based semiconductor company does some business in China, said his company hasn't seen an impact yet.

But there are broader concerns that an escalation of tariffs could hamper economic growth, an outcome that would further unnerve investors who are already on edge. Responding to an audience question at a speech on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said, "A tariff war would be a terrible, terrible outcome."


MLB Game of the Week – New York Yankees (11-9) at Los Angeles Angels (14-8), The Yanks come to town, Angels win 5 – 4.

Kentucky Derby - Bolt d'Oro To Win.

March 10 at Santa Anita saw one of the most thrilling finishes thus far on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie, two top Derby contenders, locked in a head-to-head stretch duel in the San Felipe Stakes (G2). McKinzie crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified following a stewards inquiry and placed second, making Bolt d’Oro the winner of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Bolt d’Oro earned 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby (G1) with the victory, and secured his spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses on May 5 at Churchill Downs. Bolt d’Oro won for the fourth time in five starts, which includes a pair of Grade 1 wins.

Season to Date (14 - 8)

ON THIS DATE - The old Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Fenway Park in Boston had their debuts 106 years ago, while the Chicago Cubs played their first game at what is now Wrigley Field 102 years ago.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Big week for European visitors to the White House. French President Emmanuel Macron arrives Monday for dinner followed by bilateral meetings, a joint press conference and the first State Dinner of Trump's presidency on Tuesday night. The Iran nuclear deal, and Macron's hopes to save it, will be high on the discussion list ... German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the White House on Friday.

The American Bankers Association holds its annual summit, April 23-25, featuring remarks from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting. ... Senate Finance has a hearing at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on the tax bill ...

House Financial Services subcommittee has a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on HUD and rental insurance ... House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has a hearing on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. on CFIUS.

BARBARA BUSH (1925-2018) - Barbara Bush was remembered as the 'first lady of the Greatest Generation' during a funeral Saturday attended by four former U.S. presidents and hundreds of other people who filled a Houston church with laughter as much as tears, with many recalling her quick wit and devotion to family. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked that his mother called her style of raising him and his siblings '"a benevolent dictatorship" - but honestly, it wasn't always benevolent.'

"She was widely admired for her plainspoken style during her husband George H.W. Bush's presidency and was known as 'The Enforcer' in her high-powered family. Jeb Bush said he could feel her presence Saturday inside the nation's largest Episcopal church and that she would likely have given him advice: 'Jeb, keep it short. Don't drag this out,' he said to chuckles.”

"He met her expectations with a speech lasting about seven minutes . He choked up at one point while addressing the roughly 1,500 people seated inside St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where his parents regularly worshipped, when saying his mother - known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and white-gray hair - was 'beautiful' until the very end."

Invited to Barbara Bush's funeral was the owner of her favorite pizza restaurant. She wanted to include people who were a part of her life and she loved their restaurant. It was not all big names but all very important people to her.

A slice of history: a gathering of presidents and first ladies come together for Barbara Bush's funeral services.

Next Blog: Dear Rink Rats and identity politics.

Until next time, Adios

Claremont, California

April 23, 2018

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Tax Season Is Over, The New Yorker