The Enemy Within

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The assumption is that the kids from podunk towns or kids from urban centers aren't as prepared for college as the suburban kids who didn't crack the top 10. But, at both UT and Texas A&M, the 10 percent kids have consistently outperformed everyone else in their class, regardless of SAT score or high school attended, according to studies conducted at UT and A&M. And, this year, the incoming class at UT will be more diverse than any other since the courts struck down affirmative action in '96.

Senator Royce West, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education, says he'd like to see some form of the 10 percent rule withstand the legislative session.

"No, we don't need to repeal it," he says. "But do we need to look at some cap?" --Paul Kix

Naming Rites

FEARGAL McKINNEY, owner of the best pub in Dallas, the Old Monk, needed a beer--so he left his bar and went to EastSide, across the street. McKinney's swillery was too crowded, even for its owner. It's not unusual for the Old Monk to be so jam-packed, since the serious drinkers in town flock there. Its success has given McKinney, an effusive Irishman, the money, time and experience he needs to do something foolish: open another bar. So he has leased the former O'Dowd's space on McKinney Avenue, across from Hard Rock Cafe.

"We've got some names for it," he says conspiratorially, leaning into the table so that, presumably, the waitstaff or the couple four tables over can't steal his ideas. "Here's the first name. Tell me what you think," he says, pausing for effect, smirking, eyes wide. "The Idle Rich."

We need hear no others. "The Idle Rich" rolls off the tongue; that is to say it is lyrical. It is multilayered, in that it not only suggests the leisure class but also, to the Irish, can mean a beggar (all classes welcome, in other words). It can be easily shortened: We decide regulars will dub it "the Idle."

Most important, though, is the name's history and connection with Dallas. The original Idle Rich Bar operated out of a gorgeous, Moorish building near Farmers Market downtown. It was a longtime hangout for cops, cop reporters and other working-class men and women. It closed in 1996, when, says the building's owner, the clientele was nothing but a few drunken cops who, once overserved, would empty their revolvers into the moose head above the bar. What remains are an architectural firm and an oil-on-wood painting called "The Detectives," which shows six men and one woman posing at the Idle bar.

McKinney takes another drink. "Besides that," he says in his Irish lilt, "it's a pretty damn good name."

Now, several months later, The Idle Rich has opened on McKinney Avenue. On the side of the building, it says simply, "The Idle." --Eric Celeste

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