The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Tunes

The Politics of Music

Beyonce  went on American  Idol last week and sang her  new song.  It’s called 1+1, and I think it’s the best thing she’s done in years. [American Idol]

Lady Gaga’s album dropped last week.  This is  its latest single.  You’ve likely  already heard it a billion times on the radio already. [Judas]

My Morning Jacket’s new CD  comes out today, its called Circuital.  This song is also called that.  [Circuital]

I don’t listen to a lot of country music, but Brad Paisley’s new  album, This Is Country Music, is quite good.  Here is a song from that album, featuring the song’s namesake.  [Eastwood]

Speaking of  Clint Eastwood, Daniele Lupi–who made his name writing music for spaghetti westerns–recorded an album with Danger Mouse entitled Rome, which  features vocal  talent by Norah Jones and Jack White.  It’s my favorite  album of the month.  [Two Against One]

The music world lost  a great  one last week with the passing of Gil Scott-Heron.  Here is my favorite recording he ever did.  [The Revolution Will Not Be Televised]

While a great man passed, another great man celebrated his 70th year of life last week.  Here are a bunch of  people covering a great song by that man–Bob Dylan.  [Pearl Jam] [Don McLean] [The Roots] [Staple Singers]

Jeff Smith: Is Bachmann a Threat to Palin?

As Sarah Palin takes significant steps to potentially enter the Republican primary for President in 2012, Politico’s Arena asked Jeff Smith whether Michelle Bachmann poses a real threat to Palin’s chances to capture the nomination.

Here’s Jeff’s reply:

Both parties have a primary within a primary in presidential elections. Democrats have a shot-and-a-beer versus wine-and-cheese primary, with the long-term trend favoring the wine-and-cheese candidate (Clinton and  Gore representing the former type, Kerry and Obama the latter). Republican primaries have a similar structure, the culture warriors vs. the blue-blood establishment. Bachmann and Palin represent the former  while Romney and Huntsman are pure blue-bloods.

To become the nominee, 1) you need to be the leading candidate in your mini-primary and 2) you want fewer people in your mini-primary than the other mini-primary.

Read the rest of his answer here.

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of the Media

The next presidential election is still a year away, but things are already getting dirty on Twitter. [Time]

Did you miss last week’s final episode of Oprah? New York magazine gives us the highlights in three minutes. [NY Magazine]

Read the statement from Genette Cordova, the college student who was sent a lewd picture on Twitter by Congressman Anthony Weiner’s hacked account. [NY Daily News]

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the NYPD Special Victims Division, the group responsible for catching Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other criminals. [Newsweek]

The winners of YouTube’s recent talent competition went through social media boot camp in New York City with Google. Here are the results. [NY Times]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Fashion

The Politics of Fashion

If only I had a Chanel bike when I was little! Check out these extravagant bikes designed by Kate Spade, Tory Burch, and even Gucci:   [Fashionista]

Thought Google Wallet was the answer to your shopping prayers? Well, the new app may have just landed itself in some hot water!   [Mashable]

Uh oh! Is Miley Cyrus the reason why BCBG can’t pay its bills?   [NY Mag]

What do M&Ms, Coca-Cola cans, and teddy bears have in common? Click the link to find out!   [Fashion Gone Rogue]

The ‘Red Sole’ battle between Christian Louboutin and Yves St. Laurent continues! Who will reign supreme?    [Huffington Post]

Two Months In, and It’s Been a Great Journey

It’s hard to believe that The Recovering Politician completes in second full month today.

With 18 contributing recovering politicians, 8 Friends of RP, and 9 outstanding staff writers, we’ve produced more than 300 posts filled with news, entertainment, opinion, and hopefully a bit of humor.

Of course, ever the impatient expansionist (I haven’t fully recovered from politics yet), I will continue to explore ways to improve upon this Web site.

In the coming weeks, we will feature a few new contributing RPs.  The next two are nationally known political figures, one from each major party. (Hint:  They both have been answers to recent New York Times crossword puzzles.)

Further, as our writing crew gets gigs at other publications, we’ll be doing more cross-posting.  For example, I’m now writing for The Huffington Post and co-hosting No Labels Radio; Jeff Smith is a contributor to Politico’s Arena, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is blogging for The Atlantic.  Of course, each of us will be offering plenty of original material at The Recovering Politician as well.

And since yesterday’s Memorial Day experiment was so successful, expect us on occasion to enlist our readers to contribute their thoughts on the site’s home page.  If you were one of the lucky outdoors and away from the Web yesterday, take a scroll down yesterday’s postings.  I think you will find a great deal of inspiring, eloquent tributes to some true American heroes.

So, two months in, the journey continues.  We hope you are enjoying the ride.

Thank You & Tomorrow at The Recovering Politician

When I put out the call for our readers to share their stories about beloved veterans on this Memorial Day, I had no idea what to expect.

And what an amazing surprise it turned out to be.

In one of those coincidences that would prompt my wife to remind me that there are no coincidences, I received precisely 16 posts, one for every half hour of the work day.  The essays were alternatively touching, funny, sentimental, inspiring and emotional.

Thanks to all of you who shared your stories with The Recovering Politician today.   You made my Memorial Day extra special.  As I hope it was for our readers as well.

Tomorrow we return to our usual fare.  Thanks for joining us today.

Jane Samuel: The End of an Era

My husband’s father passed away in late March at the age of 87.  I wrote this piece the next day. It originally appeared on my blog MavenMama on

Everyday approximately 1,100 World War II veterans die. I was floored when my husband shared this statistic with me, until I realized how many served in that war – 16.1 million.

Tonight, my father-in-law joined the ranks of these comrades in arms and passed quietly away. At eight-seven, he had lived long and hardily all the way to the end.  Just an hour before he collapsed he was sitting in his favorite recliner watching his much loved hockey team on the television in the assisted living apartment he shares with his wife of sixty-four years.  

As my husband and I sat alternately weeping and laughing he wondered aloud if we are ever really ready for the passing of a parent.  Even when our parents have had more than their fair share of life, and are ready to journey to their Heavenly Father, it is still a blow, a sad surprise.  Even when the best and worst case scenarios of “ways to pass” have been discussed and played out in long distance phone calls and in quiet conversations, and the best case scenario does indeed come to fruition one is not prepared. 

And with the passing of Frank, and other veterans like him, who protected us and liberated millions more in allied countries, it is the end of an era.  An era of brave men who served their country and then returned to marry their sweethearts, go to college on the GI Bill, buy their first home, and raise a family in a middle-class-town.  

Yes, he served his family and his country well and it is indeed the end of an era.

Paul Whelan: My Uncle, My Hero

My Uncle Allen J. Whalen; a native of Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky.

He was a member of the US Army Air Corps during WWII in Asia, including China and Guam.

He spent his adult life as a farmer in Bourbon County, KY.

Kristen Hamilton: Remembering Granddaddy

At a very young age, my grandfather, Charles Hamilton, fought in the Korean War.

My grandfather never said much about the war, but he did tell the family about the time his comrade accidentally shot him in the foot after which he would always chuckle. I doubt that my grandfather knew that he was my hero, but he was. Even though he is no longer with us, his legacy continues to live on.

I love you granddaddy.

Randolph Hollingsworth & Richard Greissman: Honoring Our Fathers

Both our fathers, Harry Greissman (who died in 1997) and Kent P. Hollingsworth (who died in 1999), proudly served in the U.S. Army. 

Their service was a decade apart. 

Harry Greissman

Harry Greissman was from Brooklyn, New York and served as a lieutenant in the Seventy-eighth (Lighting) Division during World War II.

His letters to a Southern sweetheart Anne Hetrick describing the European Front and the horrors of that war have been immortalized in the book, LOVE STORIES OF WORLD WAR II, compiled by Larry King. 

Kent Hollingsworth grew up in Scott County, Kentucky, and followed his older brothers’ example by enlisting in the Army. In 1952, he graduated from Armored Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox and served as a tank gunnery instructor, close combat instructor, trial judge advocate for regimental special courts martial, resigning from active reserves as a captain in 1962. For the next 23 years Hollingsworth served as editor of the Blood-Horse, a weekly magazine devoted to Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and his eloquent writing remains a model few can master. 

Both men could light up a room with their wonderful humor and captivate us all with their spellbinding way of telling a story.  Both married beautiful women who knew how to throw a great party.  We miss them terribly, and yet we are comforted knowing that they were – and are – our heroes.

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