1. Today is Thursday, March 19, 2015. For Italians, and especially those with Sicilian roots, it’s St. Joseph’s Day. So buona festa di San Giuseppe!
2. It will come as a complete shock to anyone living on the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia northward. But this, according to the National Climactic Data Center, was the warmest winter since record-keeping began. That’s despite the fact that the snow cover last month was well above average. Living in New York is supposed to have its advantages — clearly that wasn’t the case this winter.
3. I’m a fan of President Obama. But I’m disappointed in him today. Picking unbeaten Kentucky to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has no distinction — it’s front-running and will be totally unsatisfying should, in fact, Kentucky win the tournament.
If you’re from Kentucky or went to the school, I understand picking the Wildcats. Otherwise, why? Face it, you really want someone else to win. If enough of us believe in someone else, I’m convinced someone else will win.
Since Northwestern remains unable to crack this tournament, I’m picking fellow Big Ten school Wisconsin for national champ. And I think my daughter’s alma mater, Maryland, will celebrate its first Big Ten season with the giant-killing victory over Kentucky.
4. There apparently are more fans of President Obama than you might have thought. A new CNN/ORC poll shows that 50% of Americans believe his time in office has been a success. The percentage thinking it’s been a failure is 47 — seemingly, Republicans’ favorite number, as in Mitt Romney’s infamous speech and the senators who signed that dopey letter to Iran.
If anything, I think history will be kinder. The forces working against this man have been overwhelming. And yet, he has been undaunted.
5. The president is floating the idea of mandatory voting. Many countries have that. My first thought is that it wouldn’t work in the United States because of the nature of the people who don’t vote. They don’t know much, and are proud of it. So I suspect that if people were required to vote, we’d see a lot of votes for cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Trump.