Monday, August 26, 2013

Vacation Notes

We are back, thank you Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Rico, and Marion Roach Smith for filling in for us while we were on holiday.

It was a dirty job but vacation is now over, here are some notes from my travels:

  • Every American Citizen should visit the Gettysburg battlefields at least once.
  • PJ Clarke’s is one of the best bars in the land.
  • Commercial flying is one big pain in the a _ _ .
  • It hurts to drive around the City of Detroit.
  • Every American Citizen should visit Washington D.C. at least once.
  • The 9/11 crash site in Shanksville, PA is another must see. To honor those heroes.
  • Jackson Country Club dining is overrated; Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is underrated.
  • Comerica Park in Detroit hot dogs rate a 6 on a hot dog scale of 1 – 10 (Portillo’s in Chicago being a 10).
  • Ohio Turnpike rest stops are the best I have seen in America: Panera Bread, Starbucks, I wanted to stay the weekend.
  • Oberlin College in Ohio has a very lovely campus.
  • An evening tour of the Washington monuments is breath taking.
  • 25 year old nephews should not be so disciplined and centered.
  • Diversity is not a common theme in the Mid-West of the United States.
  • A great Reuben sandwich is to be had at the Rusty Nail Lounge in Canton, Michigan.
  • The St. Regis Hotel in Washington D.C. has a cool lobby.
  • The Pine Grille in Somerset, PA sells a bottle of Rolling Rock beer for $2.00.
  • Chelsea, Michigan is a town you always want to come back to.
  • I miss my Dad.

LIVING HISTORY -- "In 1963, The Post 'blew it': How "I have a dream" wasn't covered: An overlooked dream, now remembered," by Robert G. Kaiser, an associate editor of The Post, and managing editor from 1991-98: "There was no rush-hour traffic on Aug. 28, 1963; almost no one went to work. Downtown, the sidewalks were empty and businesses were closed. But at Union Station, the joint was jumping. So was the Greyhound bus station on New York Avenue. Scores of thousands - mostly black but about a third white - streamed out of trains and buses and began to march along the Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial. I was a Post summer intern - a kid reporter on his first big story - and one of 60 staffers the paper deployed that day. ... Ben Gilbert, the imperious city editor, had spent weeks planning the coverage. With help from colleagues, he was about to make one of the biggest goofs of his long career. ...

"I was sent to watch celebrities arrive at National Airport, where I attended a news conference by Marlon Brando ... I was then dispatched to the corner of Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Post reporters were stationed on every block of Constitution and throughout the Mall to cover any untoward incident. A sea of good-natured, well-dressed humanity paraded before me. The marchers carried signs but shouted no slogans. ... I was afraid of Gilbert, so I stayed at my post for several hours. Eventually I wandered toward the Lincoln Memorial, where the speeches had been delivered. ... I was too late to hear the speeches but soon heard about them, particularly the address by John Lewis, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This is the same John Lewis we know today as an avuncular Georgia representative, a gentle though forceful agitator ... In 1963, Robert F. Kennedy's Justice Department considered him a dangerous radical. So he got a disproportionate share of attention from reporters and officials.

"The Post's courtly civil rights reporter , Robert E. Lee Baker - he used Robert E. Baker as a less-provocative byline - reported: 'Lewis had intended to scorch the Kennedy Administration and Congress and "cheap politicians" in a highly emotional speech.' But, Baker wrote, 'he toned it down.' ... The main event that day was what we now call the 'I Have a Dream' speech of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. ... We were poised and ready for a riot, for trouble, for unexpected events - but not for history to be made. Baker's 1,300-word lead story ... did not mention King's name or his speech. ... In that paper of Aug. 29, 1963, The Post published two dozen stories about the march. Every one missed the importance of King's address. The words 'I have a dream' appeared in only one, a wrap-up of the day's rhetoric on Page A15 - in the fifth paragraph. We also printed brief excerpts from the speeches, but the three paragraphs chosen from King's speech did not include 'I have a dream.”

THE WAY TO WIN - "Handwritten Notes Are a Rare Commodity: They're Also More Important Than Ever," by John Coleman, a co-author of "Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders": "When I was a college student interning in Washington, D.C., a senior manager, Bridgett, made a habit of treating each intern to lunch over the summer. When my turn rolled around, it was no surprise that Bridgett proved an adept conversationalist and an excellent host. Several weeks after I'd returned to college, however, I was surprised to find an envelope from Bridgett in my mailbox. It contained a handwritten note and a copy of Flannery O'Connor's 'Mystery and Manners,' a book she'd recommended over lunch. I barely knew Bridgett, but her note said that I'd helped her organization and that she appreciated it and wished me luck. It was a gesture that stayed with me and forever led me to view Bridgett as a thoughtful person. ... Handwritten notes mean more because they cost more. Emails, tweets, texts, or Facebook messages are ... easy to write and free to send, and you and I produce hundreds of them every day. ...

"Handwritten notes ... are often notes of gratitude, civility, and appreciation that reach beyond the conventional thank-you. Robert Cialdini, in his classic work 'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,' profiled legendary car salesman Joe Girard. Perhaps the most successful salesman of his generation, Joe would send a handwritten message to all his clients once a month with simple messages printed inside like, 'I like you.' Joe believed these little notes were one of the reasons his clients stayed so loyal to him. Because handwritten notes are so painstakingly slow - to draft, to send, to assure delivery - they're often a poor way to ask for things. Instead, they're more frequently used to remind others that you value your relationship. ... [I]n a world where so much communication is merely utilitarian, these simple acts of investment, remembrance, gratitude, and appreciation can show the people who matter to your life and business that they are important to you."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Richard Attenborough (90), Ben Bradlee (92), Warren Buffett (83), Elliot Gould (75), Carla Gugino (42), Scott Hamilton (55), Jean-Claude Killy (70), Sen. John McKain (77), Van Morrison (68), Lou Piniella (70).

'OLD' ECONOMIES RISE AGAIN - "The balance of world economic growth is tipping in another direction. Just as economists have begun lowering their forecasts for China and many other developing economies, the American economy is bouncing back. Japan appears to have turned a corner. ... Economic data out of Europe last week provided the first solid indication that many countries in the euro zone may be escaping ... recession. ... It is certainly not clear, based on only three months of data,  that Europe's recession has ended. But it is further evidence that the older engines of growth are revving into gear as the most recent sources of growth have been slowing down.”

"The growth of the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - has raised living standards in those nations and in others in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Those four nations had an even broader global impact by also providing new markets for American products. ... So a decline in their growth rate should be worrisome to the United States. But Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who coined the term BRIC more than a decade ago, thinks one of the new beneficiaries of the shift in the global economy is most likely to be the United States. 'I find myself thinking the U.S. is going to be one of the biggest winners,' said Mr. O'Neill."

TOP QUOTES FROM THE WATERGATE TAPES released this past week by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. These are "the last 340 hours of more than 3,700 hours of phone calls and private meetings" Nixon recorded:

--Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, on June 23, 1972: "The only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC, who did a massive story on the Cuban -

--NIXON, on Aug. 1, 1972: "Let's just be fatalistic about the goddamn thing."

HALDEMAN: "If it blows, it blows."
NIXON: "And if it blows, it blows. And so what?
HALDEMAN: "And we'll ride it out."
NIXON: "We didn't have to kick [Vice President Spiro] Agnew off the ticket, did we? So what is this?"
HALDEMAN: "Exactly. We'll ride it out."
NIXON: "So what is this? I'm not that worried about it, to be perfectly candid with you."
HALDEMAN: "Well, it's worth a lot of work to try and keep it from blowing."
NIXON: "Oh, Christ, yes. I still don't like the idea."
HALDEMAN: "But if it blows, we'll survive."

--White House counsel John Dean, on March 21, 1973: "I think that there's no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we've got. We have a cancer within - close to the presidency, that's growing. It's growing daily. It's compounding. It grows geometrically now, because it compounds itself. That'll be clear as I explain, you know, some of the details of why it is, and it basically is because (1) we're being blackmailed; (2) people are going to start perjuring themselves very quickly that have not had to perjure themselves to protect other people and the like."

2016 WATCH - "The Clinton dramas: Here we go again: Tabloid headlines. Personal dramas. Organizational disarray. Score-settling between rival factions documented in news accounts like a soap opera. Does this have a familiar ring? No one - or mostly no one - truly believes the swirl of headlines surrounding Bill and Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2013 should lead to a grand conclusion about whether another iteration of a Clinton campaign can be run effectively, free of the internecine warfare and incessant drama that marked her 2008 bid. But if Clinton and her supporters were hoping to allay those doubts well ahead of a possible 2016 run, the past few months have not been helpful. Clinton supporters would point out, fairly, that much of what has happened to them this summer - the steady stream of unseemly stories about Anthony Weiner's continued virtual liaisons, his wife and Clinton confidante Huma Abedin's very public decision to stand by him, and reports of mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation - has been beyond their control.”

"But it has all still renewed the question that hangs over Hillary Clinton: Has she learned from the mistakes of the past, and can she finally break some recurring cycles in her public life? Can she manage a functional, and focused, national campaign? ... The consensus among Clinton allies whose support dates back decades is some version of this: Bill Clinton and his wife have done enough good work to mitigate the periodic bouts of negativity from their world. But the coverage of late has been a reminder to Democratic operatives, Clinton donors and even their allies of years past. Asked his take on the latest round of headlines involving the Clintons over the past month, former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville said, 'Thus it was, thus it is and thus it shall be.'"

1).  Stanford Cardinal                                   6).  Georgia Bulldogs
2).  Alabama Crimson Tide                           7).  Ohio State Buckeyes
3).  South Carolina Gamecocks                    8).  UCLA Bruins
4).  Oregon Ducks                                        9).  TCU Horned Frogs
5).  Michigan Wolverines                             10). Clemson Tigers

ACC – Florida State Seminoles
Big 12 – Texas Christian University
AAC – Louisville Cardinals                 
Big Ten – Michigan Wolverines
Pac 12 – Stanford Cardinal                
SEC – Alabama Crimson Tide
Independents – Notre Dame             
BCS Champs – Stanford over Alabama
Ivy – Harvard Crimson                      
SCIAC – Cal Lutheran Kingsman

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – We are off and running with another season of NCAA Div-1 College Football, who will The Swami like this year? Saturday, 8/31, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN from Arlington, Texas the #12 ranked LSU Tigers vs. #20 ranked TCU Horned Frogs. A big inter-conference tilt; we like the Tigers to win and cover the spread of five points, 28 – 21 over the TCU Horned Frogs.   Season to date (0-0).


(NCAA, Aug. 29) Hawaii 24 USC 21
(NCAA, Aug. 31) LSU 28 TCU 21, Georgia 32 Clemson 30
(MLB, Aug. 31)  Detroit Tigers 6  Cleveland Indians 3
Season to Date (17-10).

JACK ASS OF THE MONTH – An easy choice this month, Bob Filner soon to be former mayor of San Diego. What a Jack Ass. San Diego is such a beautiful place to live and work. Why do they have such a difficult time finding decent people to govern their city? Mr. Filner’s record of sexual harassment is definitely an illness. Get some help and just get out.

DRIVING THE WEEK –  Today, Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter in a ceremony at the White House. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the president will host a White House reception on Tuesday, and will deliver remarks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday. On Friday, Obama will meet with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania and President Andris Berzins of Latvia at the White House.

Consumer confidence at 10 a.m. on Tuesday expected to dip to 78 from 80.3 ... Q2 GDP at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday ... Initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday expected to fall to 330K from 336 K ... University of Michigan consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. Friday expected to remain at 80 ...

San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks at 6:50 a.m. Monday in Gothenberg, Sweden ... Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 2 p.m. on Thursday in Newport News, Va. ... St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday and again at 9 a.m. on Friday in Memphis .

RINK RATS POLL – Who will win the BCS National College Football Championship this year?

Alabama                     Ohio State
Oregon                       Stanford
Georgia                       Michigan

Next week, words and quote of the month and what is different about this new academic year?

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
August 26, 2013

#IV-19, 176


  1. Lovely notes. you really travelled around during a short summer vacation

    1. Yes Janice, we covered a lot of territory but at the same time had a great time.

      Thanks for reading.