Jeff Smith: The Politics of Mitt

The Politics of Mitt

Want to hear what Mitt should – but will never – say about Bain and how it shaped him? Check out this amazing op-ed: [CNN]

Timothy Noah lucidly explains the roots of Mitt’s London gaffe: [The New Republic]

Undeterred by diplo-disaster, Romneyworld vows “not to let Obama camp get us off message…w/ surprise attack”. Um, OK. [Buzz Feed]



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

This summer’s heat is affecting more than just the nation’s farmers. []

Adding iron to the ocean can help stem climate change, but what could the negative consequences be? []

Part of the interconnectedness of our planet is the spread of disease through air travel. MIT took a look at the 10 airports that spread the most disease. []

The federal government creates energy zones for the development of solar power. []





Jason Grill: Must Read Piece on Aurora Tragedy

Must read, well done piece about two cross country bikers — one shot in Aurora, Colorado Dark Knight theater tragedy. [Washington Post]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Costco & Theological Inisghts

Costco and Theological Insights.

As I walked in Costco today I had a serene feeling overtake me. It was bustling with pleasant people and had almost everything imaginable to choose from and at bulk rate pricing.

In some weird way it got me thinking about Heaven.

No, not about shopping in heaven but something more metaphysical and deeper; namely; I wondered if Heaven isn’t more open and accessible to the than many imagine. I always expected it would be….and still hold out hope it will be.

There’s something about the feeling of being in Costco that I just like. Very different than shopping at a over-priced formal place like, say, Tiffany’s, which I dislike and have only been to once or twice.

A lot of Christian spokespeople talk about Heaven more like it’s in the mold of a Tiffany’s than a Costco. I disagree with them. I think God is more forgiving and gracious than that. I can’t really explain why I think this. I just always have. I have never been able to imagine God as being petty and punitive as his primary raison d’être or “reason for being.” Though some of his loudest publicists would have you believe otherwise.

And I don’t believe that God has broadened the entry barrier to Heaven (as Costco has to shoppers) in response to market pressures. I think it’s always been that way. God was way ahead of the market on this one.

I left Costco today without buying a single thing but felt spiritually uplifted and grateful for a loving God that is as comfortable hanging out in the corners of Costco as the greeting lobby at Tiffany’s.

Full Disclosure: I did become a Costco “Executive Member” to cover my bases in case Heaven is somewhere between Costco and Tiffany’s.

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

Harvey Weinstein is calling for a movie industry summit to discuss violence in film. [New York Daily News]

Warner Brothers is a studio with a penchant for making violent movies, writes The New York Times’ Michael Cieply. [NYT]

Critic: Class in America is depicted on screen in various forms and fashions – some inciting disgust, others humor. [Washington Post]

Olympics 2012: Networks looking to compete with NBC’s primetime coverage. [CNN]

Mona Tailor: Dealing with Tragedy

A lot has changed since my last post, people met, places seen, experiences had, and lives lost. Despite how young I am, I have lost a lot of loved ones be it family or friends. As I find others who also suffer loss in the most recent weeks, most recently being the families in Aurora, CO, I reflect on those that I have lost. All those adages we share “time will heal”, “they are in a better place”, “at least they did not suffer”, may be the first thing that comes to our minds, but only hold some truth.

My grandmother passed away after a prolonged hospitalization following a coronary artery bypass surgery about 10 years ago. In those years immediately following, the pain of her loss was the first thing that came to our minds. The painful memory made it difficult to make our peace with it, along with seeing my grandfather’s pain of missing her. Our peace with the it came after my grandfather passed away. Now, the memories that come back are happy ones, but there is still the constant reminder that you will never hear their voice again, see them laugh, or just experience that wonderful hug filled with love as you wrap your arms around your grandparents. With those memories those adages that are supposed to make you feel better really do not make any difference at all.

How do you take that and talk to other people who you realize are also going through the pain of losing a loved one? Well, you cannot tell them you know what they are going through. You have an idea of what loss is, but you do not know what they are going through. Their situation with that loved one is different, how that loved one was lost is different, and how they are dealing with the loss of a loved one is different from you. All you can do is be there to listen, be a shoulder to lean on, and just always remind them that you will be there for them.

Read the rest of…
Mona Tailor: Dealing with Tragedy

Jeff Smith: More Unintentional Irony

More unintentional irony from North Carolina Congressional candidate George Holding, the biggest hypocrite in US politics: Dawn of the Mommy and Daddy PACs. [Politico]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Character

“Reputation” is the way others view us.

“Character” is the way we really are when nobody is watching.

“Irrelevant” is the way people view us when nobody is watching.

OK. I think I probably took this too far and should have stopped at “Character.”

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

The Politics of Tech

Buckyballs are being banned in the US. Really, Consumer Product Safety Commission? [Wired]

“Black Hat hacker gains access to 4 million hotel rooms with Arduino microcontroller” What is an Arduino microcontroller? Well if you know what you’re doing you can make one out of $50 worth of tech. [Extreme Tech]

Samsung returns fire in its ongoing battle with Apple. [BGR]

“Leaked Report Reveals Music Industry’s Global Anti-Piracy Strategy” [Torrent Freak]

Really worthwhile TED talk on cell phone data retention and monitoring. [YouTube]

Artur Davis: Obama – The Master of Negative Arts

Count me in the camp that is not yet wringing hands about Mitt Romney’s prospects in the fall, largely because this script is so familiar. The narrative of impending doom (or blown opportunity) plays out every four years when Washington’s pundit class is forced indoors because of the heat.  In the summer of 2008, the conventional wisdom among Democratic seers was that Barack Obama had hit a glass ceiling due to his disconnect with the white working class and that the campaign had drifted into a vague, impressionistic state. In 2000, the same chattering class pronounced Al Gore a weak, wooden nominee who had wasted the spring and early summer and was in danger of being run off the court by the Bush machine.

It’s not that the summer never matters: John Kerry’s offhanded remark that he had supported the Iraq invasion before he was against it was a precious kind of self-inflicted injury that happened during the summer lull.  But for the most part, the fluctuations in campaign performance and the free media squalls of the convention run-up are over-borne by larger electoral forces. The fatigue with the Bush years and John McCain’s inability to separate himself from that record trumped Obama’s lull; the fundamentally even dynamic of the 2000 contest, a race between two broadly popular, non-polarizing figures in a largely contented electorate, was too fixed to be shaken by momentary plot twists. And the list could go on: for every defining moment in June or July, like Kerry’s gaffe, the list of half-time perceptions that proved flat wrong is far larger and more telling.

The fact is that this race is frozen, and polling as recent as today suggests that Romney’s tax returns and the new surface wounds around his private equity days (must the producers of the Batman installment opening this week have chosen as its evildoer a menace named “Bane”, rhymes with “Bain”?) have not changed the race much, if at all. (William Galston, the most perceptive Obamian at the New Republic, agrees).

But Republicans would still be wise to understand the exchange of blows in July as revealing of a pathway that could pry open the deadlock if Camp Romney is not careful.

Specifically, the Obama team, which seems at any given moment overwhelmed or bored with the domestic side of governance, has a way of wearing down its opponents with a disciplined, untroubled capacity at gut-fighting. The already forgotten takeaway of 2007-08 was the extent to which the Obama/Hillary Clinton match turned on two reinforcing strategic narratives. The first was the Obama campaign’s ability to disrupt the flow of the Clinton effort by literally driving them to distraction: the early burst of slime about Bill Clinton’s social life: the jabs at Hillary’s ties to lobbyists; the shots at the 42nd president’s historical legacy; the put-down that Hillary was riding her husband’s coattails; the heavy-handed insinuations that the Clintons had a racial complex that was seeping out into view all looked unbecoming the days they were launched, but they did the damage they were meant to do, by knocking the Clintons off their game and into a defensive crouch.

Second, the Clinton campaign matched Obama’s ruthlessness with its own hesitance about returning fire with the same kind of aggression. It is entirely understandable that the Clintonites pulled their punches on Jeremiah Wright in a party where racial ethnic politics is so primal, far less defensible that they shrunk from leveling sustained fire at Obama’s gamey pattern of avoiding controversial votes in the Illinois legislature, or his links to a notorious influence peddler in Chicago, or even more inexplicable, that it never exposed blue collars and rural Democrats in Indiana and North Carolina to Obama’s far-left leaning record in the trenches of Illinois politics (including a lone wolf vote to reduce imprisonment for sex offenders).

Clinton’s strategists were neither inexperienced nor immobilized: their error was in their conviction that Obama’s manifest greeness and the haziness of his public profile were destined to defeat him. It’s hard not to hear some echoes of that mis-placed confidence in Republican circles now, when the case is made that Obama’s economic record is so weak that voters are bound to reject it.  It’s equally hard to miss that Republican frustration this cycle at Obama’s resilience sounds, verse for verse, like the post-mortems in Clintonland around a candidate who seemed so overmatched the first nine months of the race.

Read the rest of…
Artur Davis: Obama – The Master of Negative Arts

The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show