The Politics of Fashion: An American Girl in Paris, Part 1

The Politics of Fashion

Wow. It is almost here. In two more days, I will board my first flight ever and embark upon an unforgettable adventure. As I prepare to leave for Paris later this week, I am reminded of how much I despise packing. I was forewarned to not shop before leaving for Paris, but I could not resist consistently stalking Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and American Apparel throughout the summer in hopes of turning my college-girl wardrobe, i.e. the typical t-shirts and jeans combo, into Parisian chic. Apparently, French fashion is a big deal (duh?!), so let’s just say I had to make some new additions to my already overbearing wardrobe. Outside of worrying about my hair (don’t judge me; I hear France has hard water!), one of my biggest concerns is looking fashionably cute. Vain, right? I know. But I can’t help it – I am going to the fashion capital of the world.

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The Politics of Fashion: An American Girl in Paris, Part 1

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

Rest in peace, Nick Charles. CNN’s first sportscaster died on Saturday after a two-year struggle with bladder cancer. [CNN]

New York legalized gay marriage over the weekend, and you better believe that Twitter went crazy. Here’s a list of the 11 best celebrity tweets from the weekend. [Time]

Speaking of gay marriage… Jon Stewart let the New York Senate have it when, during the time they could have been working on passing gay marriage, they debated about making sweet corn the state vegetable. [NY Magazine]

Lindsey Lohan recently let cameras into her house to film a commercial for a penny auction website. It turns out, LiLo’s house is decorated with… photos of LiLo. [Gawker]

A viral news story this week reported that Jews couldn’t fly on Delta Airlines’ new flights to Saudi Arabia, and the story was completely untrue. Here’s how the story became a sensation. [Poynter Institute]

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: The Pursuit of Happiness: What the Founders Meant—And Didn’t

Last week, I wrote about my father, Robert Kennedy, and his critique of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the measure of national well-being. He said, “It measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Had my father lived, we might have started work a lot sooner on truer ways to measure the state of the nation. Sadly, that did not happen. His critique of the GDP was forgotten. Instead, other values came to govern American life.

In 1968, David Frost asked both Ronald Reagan and my father to speak on the purpose of life. Ronald Reagan answered:

Well, of course, the biologist I suppose would say that like all breeds of animals, the basic instinct is to reproduce our kind, but I believe it’s inherent in the concept that created our country–and in the Judeo-Christian religion–that man is for individual fulfillment; for our religion is based on the idea not of any mass movement but of individual salvation. Each man must find his own salvation; I would think that our national purpose in this country–and we have lost sight of it too much in the last three decades–is to be free–to the limit possible with law and order, every man to be what God intended him to be.

My father said:

I think you have to break it down to people who have some advantages, and those who are just trying to survive and have their family survive. If you have enough to eat, for instance, I think basically it’s to make a contribution to those who are less well off. ‘I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.’ You can always find someone that has a more difficult time than you do, has suffered more, and has faced some more difficult time one way or the other. If you’ve made some contribution to someone else, to improve their life, and make their life a bit more livable, a little bit more happy, I think that’s what you should be doing.

Ronald Reagan’s views came to dominate the political landscape. Later, when he was asked what he meant by freedom, he described driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible with the wind blowing through his hair. Here was a man truly doing his own thing, alone.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had nice houses. They could have enjoyed contented private lives. But it was not just about their property.

What Ronald Reagan is remembered for does not reflect what he actually did. Of course, he believed in public engagement. He was a six-term president of the Screen Actors guild, calling union membership a “fundamental human right.” He was governor of California and president of the United States. He spoke eloquently about America as a “shining city on a hill.”

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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: The Pursuit of Happiness: What the Founders Meant—And Didn’t

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

The Politics of Tech

Net Neutrality has been a hot topic in the U.S. for a while now. While we have made little progress, across the pond in Europe, strides have been made. The Netherlands recently became the first European nation to adopt Net Neutrality as a law. [BBC]

Many of us have access to the latest wireless network, 4G. We know 4G is fast. How fast is it? That is something we aren’t really sure of. However, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) recently introduced a bill that would force wireless carriers to inform customers of their minimum 4G speeds. [Slashdot]

Are you into photography? You may be interested to know that a start-up company called Lytro is claiming that a camera they are releasing later this year “will bring the biggest change to photography since the transition from film to digital.” [All Things D]

Late last week there were leaked memos from Verizon revealing their plans to introduce tiered data plans, effectively ending the unlimited variety we are used to seeing. If you want to keep an unlimited plan hurry and sign up so you can be grandfathered in once the change occurs. [ZD Net]

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

New York’s same-sex marriage law protects religious organizations from lawsuits and government penalties for refusing to provide their buildings or services for same-sex marriage ceremonies.  The New York Civil Liberties Union accepts the exemptions–its executive director says the legislation “respects the right of clergy, churches and religious organizations to decide for themselves which marriages they will or will not solemnize or celebrate in keeping with our country’s principles of religious freedom.” [NY Times]

92% of people surveyed in a recent gallup poll say they believe in God or a universal spirit. []

Can atheists play a role in the Interfaith movement?   [Religion Dispatches]

U.S. engages in talks with Afghan Taliban to discuss future negotiations.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describes this action as “not a pleasant business, but a necessary one.” [Washington Post]

Check out this blog on religion and American political culture from Trinity College’s Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. [SpiritualPolitics]


Are You Bi….Partisan?

Not that there’s anything wrong with it…

Cute new ad from the people at the No Labels Generation:

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

The Politics of the Web

Upgrade or else: In rush to release Firefox 5.0; Mozilla neglected to tell users of 4.0 that they were no longer being protected from the latest malware. [Tech News World]

Regulating the internet in our multifaceted world. [New York Times]

The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into Google: is Google abusing its dominance? [Christian Science Monitor]

The theology of Apple’s iCloud. [Mac World]

Apple iCloud vs. Google Music vs. Amazon Cloud. [KPTV]

Hacker group “LulzSec” disbands after 50 days of high-profile hacking attacks. [TG Daily]


Greg Harris: Standing My Ground

I didn’t expect at age 39 to already be writing about my political career in past tense.

I grew up with a love of politics, and tended to worship political heroes over, say, sports or movie stars.  My earliest political memory is of Jimmy Carter’s 1980 defeat to Ronald Reagan.  I didn’t understand how such a good, decent and honest man could possibly lose, and wrote him a letter conveying my anguish.  The President and Mrs. Carter responded with a nice letter and a booklet about his presidency.

My first volunteer experience came with Adlai Stevenson III’s run for Governor in 1982.  The Stevenson’s were from my hometown of Bloomington, IL—the same town where Abe Lincoln often practiced law just down the road from his hometown of Springfield.  His father was so honest that he didn’t intervene when the local paper, which his family owned, actually endorsed Eisenhower when he challenged him for president.

The 1982 Governor’s race was a nail biter, with Stevenson losing by the narrowest of margin.  The contest was rife with accusations of vote fraud committed by his incumbent opponent.  For the second time in two years, my man lost.  I certainly experience a lot of political disappointment by age 11!

My knight in shiny armor came in the likeness of a man who donned thick horned-rimmed glasses, big ears and a bowtie.  Paul Simon was kind of a paradoxical figure, his nerdy likeness met by a commanding baritone voice; a leading thinker in the Senate who was also a college drop out.  I read several books he authored, and probably attended a half dozen of his frequent town meetings conducted throughout the state.  Senator Simon showed me that the “good guys” can prevail in the end.  Moreover, he was a liberal Democrat who won a good deal of Republican votes, indicating to me that folks are capable of voting for someone they disagree with if they trust his integrity and motives.

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Greg Harris: Standing My Ground

Next Week on The Recovering Politician

Witha  full week that began with Fathers’ Day tributes and ended with anti-Semitic insults, we here at The Recovering Politician are relieved that the weekend has arrived.

But next week, we will be up in full force again.  On Monday, we debut our newest recovering politician, Greg Harris, who served as a Council Member for the City of Cincinnati and now is doing some great work for his hometown from the private sector.

We will have much more as well, including a bunch of stuff that we can’t even anticipate right now.  So rest up and join us on Monday!

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

The Politics of Wealth

Why did President Obama tap the strategic oil reserves now? Stock market analysts break-down the strategy behind the decision. [CNBC]

The Wealth Report: What it’s like to party like an NHL Stanley Cup winner. [Wall Street Journal]

Surprise, surprise: There are more millionaires now than there were before the recession. []

Mad Money’s Jim Cramer lists five major bank stocks that the analysts “love to hate” right now. [The]

GOP negotiators pull out from the budget talks. [WSJ Politics]


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