Monday, March 17, 2014
A Wee Bit O'Irish
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
To help celebrate this day, first a Rink Rats list of the best twenty Irish Pubs we have had the pleasure of visiting:
Arcadia, CA: Matt Denny’s Ale House – Matt McSweeney proprietor says watch out for the Michael Collins
Atlanta, GA: The Marlay House – Jell-O shots to die for
Baltimore, MD: Mick O’Shea’s – try the “stew and brew”
Boston, MA: Eire Pub – the best corned beef sandwich
Canton, NY: The Hoot Owl – plenty of lime rickeys to go around
Canton Township, MI: The Rusty Nail Lounge – Robb McIsaac proprietor
Chicago, IL: Cork and Kerry – great beer garden
Dallas, TX: The Publiner – talk “real football” not The Cowboys football
Denver, CO: Nallen’s Irish Pub – Jameson and a pint (enough said)
Las Vegas, NV: McMullen’s – half dozen Irish beers on tap
Los Angeles, CA – Ireland’s 32 – really in Van Nuys
Nashville, TN: McNamara’s Irish Pub – Nosey Flynn, a great house band
New Orleans, LA: Finn McCool’s – Baileys and hot chocolate on a cold night
New York, NY: Molly’s Shebeen – bangers and mash, the best
Philadelphia, PA: McGillin’s Old Ale House – oldest operating tavern in Philly (1860)
Phoenix, AZ: Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub – owner Seamus McCaffrey recommends the Guinness lamb stew
Portland, OR: Kells – great cigar room
San Francisco, CA: The Irish Bank – Irish coffee at it’s very best
Seattle, WA: Conor Byrne – 57 whiskeys on the drink list
Washington, DC: The Dubliner – near Union Station, only bar in D.C. to serve Smithwick’s pale ale
A FEW IRISH TALES –
One night, Mrs McMillen answers the door to see her husbands’ best friend, Paddy, standing on the doorstep.
"Hello Paddy, but where is my husband? He went with you to the beer factory"
Paddy shook his head. "Ah Mrs McMillen, there was a terrible accident at the beer factory, your husband fell into a vat of Guinness stout and drowned"
Mrs McMillen starts crying. "Oh don't tell me that, did he at least go quickly?"
Paddy shakes his head. "Not really - he got out 3 times to pee!"
An Irishman was flustered not being able to find a parking space in a large mall's parking lot.
"Lord," he prayed, "I can't stand this. If you open a space up for me, I swear I'll give up drinking me whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday."
Suddenly, the clouds parted and the sun shone on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the man said, "Never mind, I found one."
A Texan walks into a pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, "I hear you Irish are a bunch of hard drinkers. I'll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back."
The room is quiet and no one takes up the Texan's offer. One man even leaves. Thirty minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. "Is your bet still good?", asks the Irishman.
The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness. Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses drinking them all back-to-back. The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement.
The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and says, "If ya don't mind me askin', where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?"
The Irishman replies, "Oh...I had to go to the pub down the street to see if I could do it first".
Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.
"Did you see the paper?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died!!"
"Yes, I saw it!" replied Finney. "Where are ye callin' from?"
And Finally… Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Alexandria Ball …famous political consultant, Bonnie Blair (50), Lesley-Anne Down (60), Orrin Hatch (80), Eddie Money (65), Ric Ocasek (65), Bobby Orr (66), John Sebastian (70), World Wide Web (25).
JOE McGINNISS, who died last Monday at age 71, in "The Selling of the President 1968," his behind-the-scenes classic on the Nixon campaign's TV strategy, published in 1969: "Politics, in a sense, has always been a con game. The American voter, insisting upon his belief in a higher order, clings to his religion, which promises another, better life; and defends passionately the illusion that the men [!] he chooses to lead him are of finer nature than he. It has been traditional that the successful politician honor this illusion. To succeed today, he must embellish it. Particularly if he wants to be President. 'Potential presidents are measured against an ideal that's a combination of leading man, God, father, hero, pope, king, with maybe just a touch of the avenging Furies thrown in,' an adviser to Richard Nixon wrote in a memorandum late in 1967. ...
"Advertising, in many ways, is a con game, too. Human beings do not need new automobiles every third year ... It is not surprising then, that politicians and advertising men have discovered one another. And, once they recognized that the citizen did not so much vote for a candidate as make a psychological purchase of him, not surprising that they began to work together."
"Joe McGinniss and the dark arts of modern politics": "In 1968, when Roger Ailes was ... a whip-smart 20-something trying to make Richard Nixon look good in staged television town halls, he told a young journalist named Joe McGinniss, 'This is the beginning of a whole new concept. This is it. This is the way they'll be elected forevermore. The next guys up will have to be performers.' ... Just as the 'observer effect' in physics changes the very phenomenon being measured, McGinniss's rich and rollicking insider account helped change the way politicians and the press dealt with each other. 'The War Room,' 'Game Change' and even POLITICO's 'Playbook' are McGinniss's direct descendants.
"Before McGinniss, political reportage ranged from the kind of mindless daily box score, horse-race coverage that still endures, to Theodore H. White's stately, myth-making, novelistic narratives. After McGinniss, informed voters and readers could never again see politics in anything approaching the old heroic light ... A television-era candidate, McGinniss wrote, 'is measured not against his predecessors ... but against [the late talk-show host] Mike Douglas. How well does he handle himself? Does he mumble, does he twitch, does he make me laugh? Do I feel warm inside?'"
COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Parents of college-age kids and prospective students in the U.S. have probably heard admissions officers boast about the success of graduates in the job market. But now as college debt balloons, we find that schools are under increasing scrutiny to actually back up those claims with solid proof. Colleges, however, say that hurdles stand in the way of gathering and conveying meaningful figures. There is an intensifying debate over new efforts to measure the value of higher education—initiatives that are opposed by many schools. The controversy took a new turn last week when the New America Foundation think tank released a report criticizing school lobby groups for their efforts to "keep students in the dark" on outcomes information. What is the impact of college majors on salary prospects? Also what are the pros and cons for students and parents? These questions are increasingly being asked by potential college candidates.
MAUREEN DOWD, "Dems In Distress: Obama will never be king of the Democrats ": "So now Democratic panic has set in. ... Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks. ... The state of relations between congressional Democrats and the administration has been deteriorating every week, but now it's hitting a new bottom ... Hill Democrats are seething at Obama ... Obama's approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn't do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he's gone terminal and contagious. ...
"Due to the inability of the president and congressional Democrats to move their agenda through Congress, the president is having to govern through executive order and revising federal regulations. Republicans have latched on to this to make the case ... that Obama is a dictator and an imperial president. But governing through executive order isn't a sign of strength. It's a sign of weakness. And it's that weakness that has Democrats scared to death."
OBAMA INTERVIEW GONE VIRAL - In case you somehow missed President Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns," catch it here, it's hilarious. http://bit.ly/1oJ3qkc
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - POPE FRANCIS MARKS 1 YEAR since his election - How a modest but canny man is approaching the complex task of leading the Roman Catholic church: High birth rates in the developing world mean the number of baptised Catholics, around 1.2 billion, continues to grow. But there is an ever-widening gap between the doctrines of the church with regard to sex and marriage and what Catholics, particularly in the developed world, think and do. Clerical sex-abuse scandals, and the church's complacent response, have also seen many Catholics in western Europe and North America turn away in disgust. A fear sometimes voiced privately in the Vatican is that Catholicism risks one day becoming a religion largely for Africans and Asians, confined elsewhere to a self-consciously reactionary fringe. Much therefore depends on this frugal, likeable man.
With a memorable pic of "The new pope mobile": "Benedict departed from the Apostolic Palace after his unexpected resignation in February 2013 in a Mercedes limousine. Francis drives a 1984 Renault of the sort owned by many French farm laborers’.
COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 3/21, 4:00 PM ET (FCS); ECAC semi-finals from Lake Placid, NY – Cornell University Big Red (17-9-5) vs. Union College Dutchmen (26-6-4), The Dutchmen go for their third straight ECAC title. Union wins big 6 – 2. Season to date (6-4).
THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS –
(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 21) Michigan State Spartans (11-17-7) at Ohio State Buckeyes (16-13-5) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament; we like the boys in Green, MSU to pull the upset, 4 – 3.
(NHL, Mar. 22) Boston Bruins (45-17-5) visit Phoenix Coyotes (38-24-6), a must win for the desert dogs, and they do win, 3 – 2.
(NCAA Men’s Final Four): South – Florida Gators, West – Wisconsin Badgers, Midwest – Louisville Cardinals, East – Virginia Cavaliers.
2014 Season to date (17-20), ouch!
MARKET WEEK - With no surprises in Ukraine and Wall Street coming off a losing week, U.S. stock futures powered higher in early trading today. The Fed will be in focus this week, as Janet Yellen holds her first news conference as central bank chair. The week begins with several economic reports of note, starting with the Federal Reserve’s February reading on industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m. ET. Economists look for a 0.2 percent increase in industrial production, partially reversing a January drop of 0.3 percent, with capacity utilization remaining at 78.5 percent.
DRIVING THE WEEK - Congress is gone for the St. Patrick's Day recess ... President Obama today meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today "to review progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations" ... Lew is Sao Paulo today for meetings with Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega and Brazilian Central Bank Governor Alexandre Tombini "to discuss boosting global and regional growth" ... Lew is in Mexico on Tuesday ... Industrial production at 9:15 a.m. expected to rise 0.2 percent ... NAHB Homebuilder Survey at 10:00 a.m. expected to rise to 50 from 46 ...
Consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.1 percent headline and core ... Housing starts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise to 913K from 880K ... FOMC announcement at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday expected to include $10 billion more in tapering split between Treasuries and MBS ... Yellen meets the press for the first time as Chair at 2:30 p.m. ... Existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to be unchanged at 4.62M ... Inded of leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.2 percent.
Next week: Rink Rats semi-annual Top Five listings, words and Jack Ass of the month.
Until Next Monday, Adios.
March 17, 2014