Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day, though the two events have distinctly different purposes. Memorial Day is for remembering those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle, according to the Veterans Administration. Veterans Day, held in November, is set aside to thank and honor all those who served in the military – in wartime and peace. The day does honor veterans who have died but is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service.

This underscores the "fact that all of those who served- not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty," the VA said.

History of Memorial Day - Now observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and dates back to the years following the Civil War. At the time, groups would decorate the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers, a practice still acknowledged with people often visiting cemeteries to decorate veteran graves.

While the tradition existed throughout the U.S., in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York – which had commemorated the day since May 5, 1866 - the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1868, May 30 was set aside as a nationwide Decoration Day, with the date selected because it didn't correspond to the anniversary of any particular battle.

After World War I, the day became known to honor veterans of both the Civil War and the more recent conflict. It remained on May 30 until 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the late Monday in May to create a three-day holiday for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971, the same day Memorial Day was designated a federal holiday.

SUMMER TRAVEL NOTES - The Transportation Security Administration has become public enemy No. 1 in recent months thanks to maddeningly long security lines at major airports throughout the country. As wait times have ballooned, some travelers have turned to T.S.A.’s pre-check as an out, but it seems that the program—designed with the sole purpose of getting people through security faster—might not even help fliers circumvent long airport lines.

The program’s detractors argue that it is simply a profit source for the T.S.A. that fails to expedite travel and address the spike in the number of travelers passing through airports. Between 2011 and 2016, airport-security-checkpoint traffic has surged by 15 percent, while the number of security screeners has fallen over that same period.

Receiving as many as 10,000 applications per day for the pre-check program, the T.S.A. is facing a major backlog with applicants in some cases waiting months for approval, Fox News reports. Even travelers who have paid the $85 and undergone an F.B.I. background check, fingerprinting, and a face-to-face meeting, however, don’t have the option to use their pre-check status at all airports.

A T.S.A. spokesperson said that the pre-check line isn’t always open if the demand isn’t there. “Ideally we would like to have more pre-check lines. Similar to a highway toll, the goal is to be open,” he said.

But more lines mean more staff, which seems very unlikely due to T.S.A. budget cuts and a 10 percent drop in the number of full-time T.S.A. employees since 2013. At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing earlier this week, T.S.A. administrator Peter Neffenger said the department is too underfunded and understaffed to handle the 740 million people expected to go through airport security checkpoints in the U.S. this year.

T.S.A. has faced withering criticism from Congress for airport inefficiencies and for habitually failing security tests conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Vice reports. Earlier this week, Neffenger fired the T.S.A.’s head of security, Kelly Hoggan, who, despite routine security lapses, pocketed $90,000 in bonuses during his first 12 months in the top security position.

DISK DRIVE - AMERICANS USED 9.6 TRILLION MB IN 2015, CTIA STUDY FINDS - Americans used 9.6 trillion megabytes of data in 2015 and are relying more than ever on smartphones, according to a new annual survey from CTIA being released this morning. There were 228 million smartphones in 2015, up 10 percent from 2014, according to the survey. The 9.6 trillion megabyte data figure is more than double the 4.1 trillion megabytes Americans used in 2014. CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker credited the wireless industry with investing "more than $30 billion to keep up with our demand and support millions of jobs" in a statement and said the growth "highlights the continued need for a national focus on making more spectrum available to the mobile industry."

CEO PAY: TOP 10: 10 highest-paid CEOs for 2015, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm. 1. Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia, $94.6 million ... 2. Leslie Moonves, CBS, $56.4 million ... 3. Philippe Dauman, Viacom, $54.1 million ... 4. Leonard Schleifer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, $47.5 million ... 5. Robert Iger, Walt Disney, $43.5 million ... 6. Sandeep Mathrani, General Growth Properties, $39.2 million ... 7. Brian Roberts, Comcast, $36.2 million ... 8. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo, $36 million ... 9. David Cote, Honeywell International, $33.8 million ... 10. Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com, $33.4 million.

SUMMERS ON TRUMP - Larry Summers: The possible election of 'Demagogue Donald' dwarfs congressional dysfunction as a threat to American prosperity. Beyond lunatic and incoherent budget and trade policies, Donald Trump would for the first time make political risk of the kind usually discussed in the context of Argentina, China or Russia relevant to the United States. How else to interpret threats to renegotiate debt, prosecute insubordinate publications and rip up treaties? Creeping fascism as an issue dwarfs macroeconomic policy!

LA BUSINESS JOURNAL RICHEST LA COUNTY CITIZENS 2015:

1. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Brentwood $15.4 billion
2. Elon Musk, Bel Air $13.3 billion
3. Eli Broad, Los Angeles $7.64 billion
4. Sean Parker, Holmby Hills $7.62 billion
5. John Tu, Rolling Hills $7.1 billion
6. David Geffen, Beverly Hills $6.9 billion
7. Sumner Redstone, Beverly Hills $5.5 billion
8. Tamara Hughes Gustavson, Malibu $5.49 billion
9. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, Beverly Hills $4.99 billion
10. Do Won and Jin Sook Chang, Beverly Hills $4.76 million

MOVING DAY - Presidents have put Kalorama on the map: President Obama would follow a flock to the leafy locale, just like these five presidents before him. The tony Northwest neighborhood of Washington D.C. perched above Rock Creek and just northwest of Dupont Circle is where the Obamas are expected to settle in January ... While their younger daughter Sasha finishes high school, the family will rent the home of Joe [and Giovanna Gray] Lockhart ...

The White House has not discussed the move, which was first reported by Politico ... They purchased [the home] two years ago for $5.3 million ... The nine-bedroom mansion on Belmont Road offers castle-like turrets, three fireplaces, parking for up to 10 cars - and a neighborhood dripping in presidential history. ...

Woodrow Wilson ... moved into 2340 S St. NW, a 28-room mansion, on the day he left office in 1921. ... Eight years after William Howard Taft left the White House, he returned to Washington as chief justice ... and settled into the mansion at 2215 Wyoming Ave. NW, where he lived until his death in 1930. ... Warren Harding ... lived just a block away, at 2314 Wyoming Ave. NW, from 1917 to 1921, when he was a senator from Ohio ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt ... rented a house at 2131 R St. NW while he was assistant secretary of the Navy .... from 1917 to 1920. ... Herbert Hoover ... called Kalorama home during his pre-presidency years, buying a house at 2300 S St. NW when he was appointed Harding's commerce secretary in 1921. Hoover left for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 1929 but returned to the 22-room house in 1933 after losing to FDR, and stayed there until 1944.

HOLIDAY WEEKEND READS - "Letter from Oberlin: The Big Uneasy," by The New Yorker's Nathan Heller: "What's roiling the liberal-arts campus?" http://bit.ly/1OSdCoi

--"How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke," by Pablo S. Torre in the March 23, 2009 Sports Illustrated: "Recession or no recession, many NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball players have a penchant for losing most or all of their money. It doesn't matter how much they make. And the ways they blow it are strikingly similar." http://on.si.com/1TJPmck

TRUMP: IF YOU AREN'T RICH, YOU SUCK - Donald Trump on Thursday formally passed the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland. Then he promptly said this in Bismark, N.D.: "You have to be wealthy in order to be great, I'm sorry to say." Coming soon to an attack ad near you. ... Trump then got all Messianic: "I will give you everything," he said. "I will give you what you've been looking for for 50 years. I'm the only one." OK then. I'd comment on this (what about Reagan!?) but it's the Friday before a three day weekend and really what's the point?

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Gladys Knight (72) Wilmington, NC; Louis Gossett, Jr. (80) Atlanta, GA; Jerry West (78) Bel Air, CA.; Kathryn Simon …famous college administrator; Belated Birthday wish to Ray Skelton ….THE Man.

WORDS OF THE MONTH –

Donnybrook - \DON-ee-brook\

noun
1. (often initial capital letter) an inordinately wild fight or contentious dispute; brawl; free-for-all

Quotes
“The crime reporter told the story in a high-pitched nasal voice that was nearly as grating as the sound of the donnybrook the Dunphys' were having downstairs.” -- Scott Phillips, The Adjustment, 2011

Viejo –

adjective
1.      Like old, the adjective viejo can be used to describe things or people.

Quotes
‘Estos zapatos ya est├ín muy viejos.’
‘These shoes are very old now.”

GOLF HANDICAP - Q.  What is the current method for adjusting my hole scores under Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)?

A.  ESC is an adjustment of individual hole scores (for handicap purposes) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player's potential ability. ESC is applied after the round and is only used when the actual score or the most likely score exceeds a player’s maximum number. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can take on a hole depending on Course Handicap™. Apply ESC to all scores, including tournament scores. Below is the maximum number a player can take:

Course Handicap       Maximum Number
9 or less                       Double Bogey
10-19                            7
20-29                            8
30-39                            9
40 and above             10 & Start Drinking

Please visit Section 4-3 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.

THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS

Major League Baseball Game of the Week: Saturday June 4, 6:15 pm CT, Fox; San Francisco Giants (32-20) at St. Louis Cardinals (26-25). It is time for the Cardinals to make their move, but do they have enough pitching? Not today, Giants win 7 – 4.

Season to date (48 -31)

POTUS WEEK - Monday, the President will host a Memorial Day breakfast reception at the White House honoring military service organizations, Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, veterans service organizations, and senior military leadership. ... Later in the morning, the President will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and deliver remarks to honor members of the US armed services ... On Tuesday, the President will visit the FEMA headquarters to receive the annual hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing. In the afternoon, the President will welcome the NCAA Champion Villanova University Men's Basketball team to honor the team and their 2016 NCAA Championship. ...

On Wednesday, the President will return to Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana - the site of his first trip as President. More than seven years after that visit, the President will highlight the economic progress that Elkhart and America have made, the economic challenges that remain, and the decisions that face Americans in communities like Elkhart. While in Elkhart, the President will take part in a town hall hosted by PBS, where he'll have the opportunity to hear directly from Elkhart residents. In the evening, the President will travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he will remain overnight.

On Thursday, the President will address the 2016 graduates at the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony. In the evening, the President will return to Washington ... On Friday, the President will travel to Miami, ... where he will attend DSCC and DNC events. In the evening, the President will travel to Palm City, Florida, where he will remain through Sunday. On Sunday, the President will return to Washington.

Next week: Summer reading, movies, travel.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Chicago, IL

May 30, 2016
#VI-44-306


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