St. Patrick's Day and beyond
"Slainte, says @SpeakerRyan A special St. Paddy's Day #speakeasy," is how senior editor Tom Lowry describes this festive CNBC interview of House Speaker Paul Ryan, made especially timely thanks to Ryan's heritage. "Irish-American @SpeakerRyan agrees w/interviewer that Irish immigration once wasn't popular," points out Niraj Warikoo at the Detroit Free Press. "And finally, Ryan not joining #NeverTrump 'We're going to have to work with whoever our nominee is,'" points out The Atlantic's David Frum, before continuing, "Careful what you wish for: Ryan says US cant continue w divided govt. Urges big clarifying election." "Boy, Speaker Ryan and President Trump are not going to see eye to eye," reacts Trip Gabriel with the New York Times. In other Irish-y things, NASA captured Ireland from space on a moonlit night under an appropriately green aurora. Thanks, Universe! And then there's this: "On Wikipedia’s list of Irish inventions, there’s a 300-year gap after the invention of whiskey," realizes Deadspin's Barry Petchesky. And because we love holiday round-ups, please top off your Guinness with USA Today's 7 St. Patrick's Day traditions explained, Newsweek's 8 Irish movies to watch today and Voice of America's explainer on how, in America, everyone is Irish on March 17.
In news that isn't Irish, Sea World announced today that they're ending their breeding program and here's why (well, according to them, anyway!). "Wow: SeaWorld says it's stopping orca captivity. I truly believe this a result of @GabCowperthwait's film," concludes Amy Kaufman at the LA Times. In other revelations, Secretary of State John Kerry declared actions by ISIS against minority groups in Iraq and Syria to be genocide. Which possibly feels like, "well, duh," but it's remarkable in that it's only the second time a U.S. executive branch has formally classified an ongoing conflict as genocide. "Really big deal: U.S. declares genocide in Iraq & Syria (compare that to slow US response to Rwanda in 1994)," points out CNNMoney's Heather Long. And in another stunning move, Google just puts Boston Dynamics up for sale. "Someone explained to Google why they don't want to be a military contractor selling bots that make ED209 look subtle," theorizes Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing. And now there's finally definitive proof (kudos on that, ProPublica!) that doctors who take company cash tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs. "Say you're a drug company & you want a doc to prescribe your drug. What great lengths must you go to? Buy him dinner," reveals Megan McCloskey there.
Oh, and they finally unmasked Startup L. Jackson, arguably Silicon Valley’s favorite Twitter persona. First Santa Claus, now this?
Turning to the political beat, rabbis are calling for a boycott of Trump’s planned speech to a pro-Israel group. "Trump may be edging out Netanyahu's speech last year to be the most controversial AIPAC event," reflects Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere. More GOP operatives and conservative leaders are meeting to try to thwart Trump while ambassadors are joining in on the freak-out train. Elsewhere, Ted Cruz is assembling an unlikely team of foreign-policy rivals. "Ted Cruz's foreign policy team includes two people who participated in SELLING MISSILES TO IRAN. Abrams and Ledeen," shares National Institute fellow Eli Clifton. And Apple CEO Tim Cook offers a peek inside his fight with the FBI: “Is it bad for Apple? I think it’s bad for America, really bad for America,” Cook tells TIME.