Tomorrow at The Recovering Politician

We have a lot in store for you on Thursday at The Recovering Politician.

We lead off with a Friend of RP whose first piece actually made the RP cry.  Hint: He’s been kvelling with pride about this 15-year-old writer.

You’ll also hear from the RP about his opinion of the media’s coverage of the Schwartzenegger/Shriver divorce.  For a spoiler clue, read this.

And we’ll also debut the stylings of one of our outstanding young RP Staff, Robert Kahne, who has been writing Weekly Web Gems on Tunes, the Screen, the Diamond and Hoops, and will share tomorrow his first full length piece.

Speaking of WWGs — plenty of them to go around, sharing with you the best of civil discourse from the Web.

See you tomorrow!

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

The Politics of Laughter

Loves death metal music? Really? [picture]

Batman vs. Superman [comic]

Cops bust teen party, dubbed root beer kegger. [MSNBC]



Bat-Mentsch and Mrs. Robinson? Jew-ish Gentile UPDATE

My piece yesterday about Jew-ish Gentiles in pop culture  (The most popular non-Jeff Smith post our site’s long, storied history!) sparked considerable discussion.

My challenge to identify a “should-be-Chosen-person that I failed to choose” was met ably by John Newton who suggested Anne Bancroft, who was raised Catholic, but who brilliantly and realistically played Jewish characters (such as in Keeping the Faith) on screen.  But as Diane Hertz Warsoff noted, Bancroft ultimately converted to Judaism when she married Mel Brooks.  (Who’d have thunk he was Jewish?!?)

However, surely her iconic character, Mrs. Robinson, qualifies.  We can be confident that Benjamin Braddock’s Cougar was not a Jewess, as her authorized biographers (both real Jews) noted: Jesus loves her more than she would know.  Wo Wo Wo.

Another reader, Mark Schneider, made a terrific discovery.  Apparently, I am not the only person who has theorized that Batman/Bruce Wayne is a Jew-ish character.

Check out this 2005 piece, “Bat-Mentsch” by Alan Oirich in the Jewish World Review:

The Dark Knight, as he has come to be called, is not generally considered to have such transparently Jewish beginnings as, say, Superman whose escape from Krypton was based on the story of Moses in exodus, or Fantastic Four’s The Thing, who was officially outed as a member of the Jewish people in a comic book a couple of years ago.

But there have always been some Jewish underpinnings to Batman, and the newly released origin film “Batman Begins” addresses some of them in a way that previous films about the character never came near. If Superman is a Moses, a Samson, then the newly begun Batman is An Abraham, A Pinchas, a Maccabee…

Read the rest here.

Jeff Smith: Dirty Tricks: On Race, Redistricting, and Stalking Horses

Last week I wrote about congressional redistricting, and the messy inter- and intra-party hostility it engenders – and is currently sparking in my home state of Missouri.

Congressman Russ Carnahan

And as hypothesized, more hostility developed in Missouri following the Legislature’s override of Governor Nixon’s veto of the map. Because Missouri lost a seat during the apportionment process, the new map divides up Congressman Russ Carnahan’s district among four other districts, and Rep. Carnahan has been lashing out – first a few weeks ago at his fellow Missouri Democrat Rep. Lacy Clay, and then a few days ago at another Missouri Dem, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, for going along with the decimation of his district.  Of course, he is more privately seething at the four Democratic members of the state House who defected and voted for the override.

Does anyone really think Rep. Carnahan would be working to kill the map if the Republican Legislature had proposed to divide Rep. Clay’s district four ways and force him to run in an overwhelmingly white district? If you do, you’ve probably never seen Jane Elliot’s famed Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes experiment – and you don’t know much about human nature. Instincts for self-preservation are strong, power intoxicating, and race often wielded as a tool to gain and maintain it.


Now, surely Rep. Carnahan is angry at the Republicans for drawing these maps, but that anger is mild: he had to have expected it from them. Carnahan’s more visceral fury has been directed at his co-partisans.

Read the rest of…
Jeff Smith: Dirty Tricks: On Race, Redistricting, and Stalking Horses

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

New York Times writer David Colman discusses being a recovering alcoholic in the age of Facebook. Is anonymity in Alcoholics Anonymous even possible anymore? [NY Times]

On Monday, the United States’ first full face transplant patient went home from the hospital (note to the squeamish: this article contains pictures). [CNN]

For the first time this year, World Press Photo is awarding multimedia in its annual competition. One of the finalists is Blanco, an Italian project that explores blindness around the world. [Time]

After their capture of Bin Laden, the Navy SEALs are officially the United States’ coolest soldiers. [Newsweek]

Someone that’s probably recovering from a great week: the kid in this video. He’s got game! [Youtube]

Sherwood Boehlert: Can the Party of Reagan Accept the Science of Climate Change?

Our newest contributing RP, Sherwood Boehlert, served in the U.S. Congress from 1983-2007.  A proud Republican, Boehlert was a staunch environmentalist and a passionate advocate for measures to battle climate change.  While that may seem incongruous today, Boehlert suggests that supporting science is very consistent with the legacy of President Reagan. 

Read Boehlert’s recent op-ed on this issue from The Washington Post:

Watching the raft of newly elected GOP lawmakers converge on Washington, I couldn’t help thinking about an issue I hope our party will better address. I call on my fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party’s line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities.

National Journal reported last month that 19 of the 20 serious GOP Senate challengers declared that the science of climate change is either inconclusive or flat-out wrong. Many newly elected Republican House members take that position. It is a stance that defies the findings of our country’s National Academy of Sciences, national scientific academies from around the world and 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists.

Why do so many Republican senators and representatives think they are right and the world’s top scientific academies and scientists are wrong? I would like to be able to chalk it up to lack of information or misinformation.

Click here to read the full essay.

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