Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sula

Rink Rats has many followers who are outstanding citizens and professionals. What sets these individuals apart (in our opinion) is they do not blow their own horns. They do not use social media, email, brochures, meetings, parties to announce how great they are and how blessed we are to be in their presence. If I hear the phrase this person is “a dynamic” leader one more time, Betty Ford Clinic here I come.

In Rink Rats’ opinion an individual who just does their job and helps their fellow citizens quietly and without fanfare is the true “dynamic” person.

We would like to highlight one of these people this week, Sula Vanderplank. Sula is a botanist who specializes in native plants. But she is also a humanitarian, an environmentalist, a good pool player, and a wonderful human being.

Like many of our Rink Rat followers what sets Sula apart is she could care less about pats on the back and Facebook bragging. She cares about her profession, her friends, and the world she inhabits. Her work in research and cataloging native plants in Mexico and Southern California is outstanding. Her photographs and journals of her experiences are truly a wonder to view and read. Sula truly cares about her friends and their well-being.

This writer is truly blessed to have friends and colleagues like Sula to share experiences, a beer, and friendship with. I just wish there were more people like her.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Mel Blount (65), Andy Garcia (57), Ethel Kennedy (85), Julian Lennon (50).

BILL CLINTON WATCH - "Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Wendy Greuel to be Los Angeles' next mayor a few weeks back, saying that her track record, including a stint working in his administration [as a senior adviser at HUD, helping manage Northridge earthquake relief], makes her a proven leader ... The support comes at a critical time in Greuel's campaign, as she tries to move past a rocky stretch that included a staff shake-up and continued questions about her ties to labor with less than two months to go until the May 21 runoff with City Councilman Eric Garcetti. ... Clinton has frequently endorsed people who have been loyal to his family, either helpful during his time at the White House or supporters of his wife's unsuccessful 2008 presidential run. Greuel fits both categories."

ANTHONY LEWIS, 1927-2013: Reporter Brought Law to Life, Anthony Lewis, a former New York Times reporter and columnist whose work won two Pulitzer Prizes and transformed American legal journalism, died on Monday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85. The cause was complications of renal and heart failure, said his wife, Margaret H. Marshall, a retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. ... His column, called 'At Home Abroad' or 'Abroad at Home' depending on where he was writing from, appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Times for more than 30 years, until 2001. His voice was liberal, learned, conversational ... Before Mr. Lewis started covering the Supreme Court, press reports on its decisions were apt to be pedestrian recitations by journalists without legal training, rarely examining the court's reasoning or grappling with the context and consequences of particular rulings. Mr. Lewis's ... articles were virtual tutorials about currents in legal thinking, written with ease and sweep ...

"Lewis's coverage of the Warren court helped expand as well as explain its impact ... Joseph Anthony Lewis ... joined The Times as an editor in what was then the paper's Sunday department, but he left after four years to work on Adlai Stevenson's 1952 presidential campaign. After that he was hired by The Washington Daily News, a lively afternoon tabloid, and won his first Pulitzer there, in 1955, when he was 28. The prize was for a series of articles on Abraham Chasanow, a Navy employee unjustly accused of being a security risk. The Navy eventually cleared and reinstated Mr. Chasanow, who credited Mr. Lewis's work for his vindication. Mr. Lewis returned to The Times that year, hired by James B. Reston, the Washington bureau chief, to cover the Justice Department and the Supreme Court. Mr. Reston soon sent him off to Harvard Law School on a Nieman Fellowship ... to study law ...

"Bringing independent intellectual scrutiny to news coverage was an innovation often associated with Mr. Reston, who was known as Scotty. ... 'Scotty ran interference' for Mr. Lewis's 'analytical reporting, moving away from sterile news agency "objectivity,"' said Max Frankel, a former executive editor ... In 1969, Mr. Reston, after a brief stint as The Times's executive editor, called Mr. Lewis [then London bureau chief] to offer him the No. 2 spot at the paper under Mr. Reston's eventual successor, A. M. Rosenthal. But the job was not Mr. Reston's to offer ... The paper's publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, apologized to Mr. Lewis and offered him a consolation prize. 'Out of the ashes of the Reston-Rosenthal wars arose a columnist who occupied a part of the Op-Ed page for more than three decades,' Mr. Reston's biographer, John F. Stacks, wrote ... Lewis's first marriage, to Linda J. Rannells, ended in divorce. The couple had three children, Eliza, David and Mia, who survive him, along with seven grandchildren. Chief Justice Marshall, whom Mr. Lewis married in 1984, wrote the Massachusetts court's landmark decision in 2003 recognizing a right to same-sex marriage. She retired in 2010 to care for her husband - 'so that Tony and I may enjoy our final seasons together."

POPE FRANCIS AFTER 3 WEEKS - "Pope's foot-wash a final straw for traditionalists, Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world's poorest, but he has devastated traditionalist Catholics who adored his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy. Francis' decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls -- a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic -- during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key priorities of Benedict's papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic Church. ... Virtually everything he has done since being elected pope, every gesture, every decision, has rankled traditionalists in one way or another. The night he was chosen pope, March 13, Francis emerged from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica without the ermine-rimmed red velvet cape, or mozzetta, used by popes past for official duties, wearing instead the simple white cassock of the papacy. ...

"Francis ... received the cardinals' pledges of obedience ... not from a chair on a pedestal as popes normally do but rather standing, on their same level ... Traditionalists ... fondly recall the days when popes were carried on a sedan chair ... In the days since, he has called for 'intensified' dialogue with Islam ... The church's liturgical law holds that only men can participate in the [foot-washing] rite, given that Jesus' apostles were all male. Priests and bishops have routinely petitioned for exemptions to include women, but the law is clear. Francis, however, is the church's chief lawmaker, so in theory he can do whatever he wants. ... The inclusion of women in the rite is problematic for some because it could be seen as an opening of sorts to women's ordination. ... Francis is clearly opposed to women's ordination."

THE PRESIDENTS CLUB TO CONVENE - "Obama, Both Bushes, Clinton and Carter, the 'World's Most Exclusive Club,' to Reunite: On April 25, President Barack Obama will be united with his four living predecessors [and their five spouses] in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University ... [B]oth Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be on hand when the 43rd President's library and museum are dedicated. The last time all five met was in January 2009 before Obama was sworn in, in a meeting and lunch hosted by Bush in the Oval Office ... The opening of a presidential library is traditionally attended by the living and former Presidents, with one memorable exception. Carter skipped the 1990 opening of the Nixon library in Yorba Linda, Calif., citing scheduling conflicts."

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday April 12, 4:30 PM ET, ESPN2: the national NCAA semifinal – Yale Bulldogs (20-2-3) vs. Mass-Lowell River Hawks (28-10-2). In what is a very surprising NCAA hockey playoffs, where the Eastern teams are winning, this should be a good one. Yale (ECAC) has been a true surprise, with senior Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) leading the way. We like Yale to win over the River Hawks, 4-2, and go on to win the NCAA title. Go ECAC!! (Season to date (9-5)

SPORTS BLINK: Double jinx? Like Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine picks the Washington Nationals to win the World Series. ESPN The Mag says Nats beat Detroit Tigers; SI had Tampa Bay Rays in Series.

RINT RATS MLB 2013 PICKS – American League: (East) Tampa Bay Rays, (Central) Detroit Tigers, (West) Los Angeles Angels, (Wild Card) New York Yankees, Texas Rangers. National League: (East) Washington Nationals, (Central) St. Louis Cardinals, (West) Los Angeles Dodgers, (Wild Card) Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants. World Series: Detroit Tigers to win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS:  ice – (NCAA) Yale 4 Mass-Lowell 2, golf - (Masters) Tiger to win at 12 under par.  Season to date (65-37)

REMEMBERING MARGARET THATCHER - "Mrs. Thatcher, the sharp-tongued veteran political operator, and Mr. Reagan, the genial outsider from California, may have seemed too different in style to mesh personally. But they shared humble working-class backgrounds ... and they were ideological soul mates, on both economic policy and international affairs. They also were linked by their successful, parallel efforts to launch conservative revolutions that upended long periods of more liberal governance ... They rose to power 18 months apart on opposite sides of the Atlantic, and their ascension was seen as heralding a new conservative wave across the Western democratic world. Indeed, Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan were followed to power by Helmut Kohl in Germany and, in France, by Fran├žois Mitterrand, who, though a leftist by ideological background, sometimes proved nearly as hawkish when it came to relations with the Soviet Union. Together, Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan began exerting pressures on the Soviet Union that helped speed its unwinding." Free in Google; paste in headline

RINK RATS BOOB TUBE REVIEW: Don Draper: Stuck in place as 'Mad Men' drifts. The two-hour opener [for the sixth season] was ... a disappointment - even annoying - for how much it demanded from the viewer and how little it offered in return. ... Ad man Don Draper (series star Jon Hamm), though still married to his adoring mate Megan (Jessica Pare), was still tormented, brooding -- and philandering. As his inaugural tryst of 1968, Don cheated with the wife of a physician neighbor who was called away from the Drapers' New Year's Eve party on a medical emergency. ... Meanwhile, Don's agency partner Roger Sterling (John Slattery) was still gin-soaked and sardonically bleak. ... Don and Roger and the other principals of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce took turns posing for company photos. Their individual portraits seemed to capture what's happened to many of these characters: They operate more than ever in isolated spheres, barely able to relate to one another, barely able, it seems, to even stand one another."

DRIVING THE WEEK - Congress is back! The initial focus will be on guns and immigration but budget issues will also percolate ... President Obama's FY2014 budget, which Republicans have already dismissed as dead on arrival for including new revenue in addition to Social Security and Medicare cuts, is due on Wednesday ... US Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Capital Markets Summit on Wednesday. M.M. hosts a panel in the afternoon on the regulatory environment featuring heads of many of the big financial industry lobby groups (more info below) ... First quarter earnings start today when Alcoa reports. JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo kick off bank earnings season on Friday ... Fed Chair Ben Bernanke today keynotes the Atlanta Fed's Financial Markets Conference ... Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today begins a two-trip to meet with European economic officials to urge a renewed focus on growth over austerity ...

NFIB survey on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. EDT expected to dip to 90.5 from 90.8 ... Treasury budget at 2 p.m. Wednesday expected to show deficit of $109 billion in March down from $198 billion mostly due to calendar effects plus they payroll tax hike and spending cuts ... FOMC minutes at 2 p.m. Wednesday expected to show no change in policy ... Initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to reverse some of last week's big jump, dropping to 360,000 from 385,000 ... Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. on Friday expected to be flat ... Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment expected to tick up to 78.8 from 78.6 ... Senate Banking subcommittee on Thursday holds a hearing on the use of independent consultants in home foreclosures ...

WALL STREET WEEK - "With U.S. companies set to begin reporting first-quarter results on Monday, big investors are shaking off lukewarm profit forecasts and gloomy economic data and betting that central-bank action will help keep stocks rolling. ... On Friday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its retail-sales report for March. Those figures may show whether consumers' surprising resilience this year is likely to persist.

Next week; On the Cheap, words of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

La Quinta, CA
April 8, 2013

#III-51, 156

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