McMahon will have a busy time of things in the context of the Obama stimulus plan because he has secured a seat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“As a Member of this committee I will work first to ensure that New York City gains the maximum funding to maintain our infrastructure during these trying economic times and additional funding in the president’s stimulus to get local projects off the drawing board and shovels into the ground to improve the quality of life of New York residents and jobs for our communities,” said McMahon in a statement.
Nothing like the shovels in the ground, but what about getting stuck into the old sod? Well, interest and action can be expected from McMahon who has already visited Ireland in the company of such as attorney Brian O’Dwyer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Caroline Kennedy has been doing the rounds of relevant congressional offices as part of her bid for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. One of the offices was that of Congressman Joe Crowley. “IF” understands that Crowley delivered a full and frank briefing to Kennedy regarding the realities of life in his district, which is mostly in Queens, but also stretches into the Bronx.
Crowley, of course, was an avowed supporter of Hillary in the Democratic primaries last year while Kennedy was a leading name in the Obama camp.
THE OTHER UNCLE JOE
All sorts of interesting stuff comes to light this time of year, what with the release of state papers in various countries under 30 year rules and variations on same.
This gem, which came to light in Dublin, revealed how Irish military intelligence was somehow aware that the Soviets were keeping a close eye on singer Joe Dolan, who toured the USSR back in 1978, a time when the war was still cold, the Berlin Wall was still very much standing, and Checkpoint Charlie was open all hours.
The biggest star to ever come out of Mullingar since, – or the biggest star period perhaps – seemingly went down very well with his Soviet fan base. There were (iron) curtain-calls aplenty.
Dolan, now sadly no longer with us, may well have been inspired by all the Cold War shenanigans in the land of Joe Stalin when he recorded an album inspired by James Bond called “Double 0 Joe.”
Either that or Dolan – who was well known for his like of fast cars – secretly had machine guns in the front and rear fenders which, luckily, were never employed on what passed for the main roads into Westmeath during Ireland’s pre-motorway years.
The above headline is an old reliable for newspapers in Cork, both city and county, but this time it’s true, if a tad exaggerated.
The Irish Independent reported that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declined an invitation to attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cork City.
Lord Mayor Brian Birmingham had issued a personal invitation for a gubernatorial visit during which Schwarzenegger would have been accorded a civic reception, the report stated.
But while stressing in his reply that he was “deeply honored” by the invitation, Schwarzenegger declined due to prior commitments.
He could have said he was being torn limb from limb with invitations but nobody would have believed that. Anyway, the Cork parade is nevertheless being staged with a special American theme this year while the city is also twinned with San Francisco.
Still, Cork Snubbed stands in the most literal sense, though that has to be better than being terminated.
VISA ON THE MENU
History turns on dimes, and on lunches too if Tim Pat Coogan is on the money. Coogan, whose memoir was recently published in Ireland, has been one of Ireland’s foremost journalists and historical commentators for years.
He has also been a bit of a player in some of the events that have shaped the present Northern Ireland.
Coogan writes that for years he was a visitor to Belfast, even in the darkest days of the Troubles, and that he became a close friend of Fr. Alex Reid, the Clonard Monastery-based priest who was a crucial early figure in the peace process and, if history so decides, may someday be seen as the almost hidden hand that first opened the door to a viable peace process.
Anyway, Coogan describes in his memoir a lunch he hosted for Reid and Jean Kennedy Smith, the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, during the period when a U.S. visa for Gerry Adams was increasingly being viewed as imperative in the effort to kick start a process possessing the potential to actually succeed.
Coogan followed this with a lunch for Jean and her brother, Senator Edward Kennedy. It was over this table, where aperitif met said imperative, that Coogan writes that he impressed upon Teddy the absolute need for an Adams visa.
“No Irish policy would have stood a chance of succeeding with the White House if Jean and Ted Kennedy had opposed it,” Coogan states.
Given what transpired it’s fair to say then that Tim Pat was a persuasive host. So, presumably, the hospitality at his South Dublin home – which is named “Eventually” – played its role too in what followed. Just a little food for thought.