By Jonathan Miller, on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 1:30 PM ET
One of my favorite and funniest college memories involved a pick-up basketball game that took place in a small public park near my college dorm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The game was usually a mix of Harvard geeks and city kids, the latter usually three or four levels of talent above us.
One day, I was encouraged by my teammates to guard a particularly large and muscular player on the other team. After he completely ran over me twice, my teammates laughed and informed me that the huge guy I was guarding was indeed the esteemed small shooting guard for the Michigan Wolverines, Rumeal Robinson, home from a school break.
Later that year, Robinson would hit two of the clutchest free throws in the history of roundball to win the NCAA championship against Seton Hall:
Watch them here:
Today, Robinson is serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for a 2010 conviction on bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution. Dan Wetzel interviewed him for Yahoo Sports (h/t Tony Cruise):
He strongly maintains his innocence, partly on the grounds that his request for new representation just before his trial should have been granted. He says while he did a poor job of handling sophisticated loans and debts, he is not a criminal.
Robinson points much of the blame on prosecutors and Helen Ford. In an effort to help fund the casino/resort project, his adoptive mother signed her home over to Robinson’s business group – she says unwittingly. The house was eventually lost to foreclosure.
Nearing 70, the now widowed Helen lives in a smaller apartment in the Boston area. Robinson claims she “conspired with the feds” in his case. She also took part in numerous media stories that, he said, made it seem like the lost house was the center of the case. All while, he said, discounting the Mercedes, the mink coat and the other gifts he provided her through the years.
She eventually testified on behalf of the prosecution, a devastating blow Robinson said.
“People are going to believe your mother when she says you were doing things,” Robinson said. “… The damage was done before [I] stepped into court. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about my case.”
There is little regret, plenty of defiance.
Ronald E. Longstaff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa saw it differently. He criticized Robinson’s stance as a demonstration of “absolutely no remorse, absolutely no acknowledgement of fault. The record is replete with significant fraud.”
As the founder of a site dedicated to second chances, I am hoping that my former court adversary is able to turn things around for his second act upon his prison release in a few years. He inspired a lot of us two decades ago. I pray that he can do the same again.
By John Y. Brown III, on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET
I don’t like to brag and it really is against my nature to do so…but I just couldn’t resist.
After several days of promoting my new eBook, not only have I broken through the almost impenetrable sales threshold of selling into the doubledigits (10 or more), I have actually skyrocketed all the way up to the highest teen number (19!) as of an hour ago.
Now, yeah, sure…that counts my own purchase and my mom’s.
But that doesn’t take away from these staggering runaway sales numbers that now seemed to have leveled off —but fortunately for now anyway– seem to be holding steady and not dropping.
Which means…maybe, just maybe, I should hold on to my day job.
On the other hand, the report below tells the tale.
What kind of tale? I’m not so sure. Just a tale where the number 19 is becoming increasingly my favorite new number and a number I haven’t ever given enough of a chance.
Hey, and look at the irony. Even my favorite band, Steely Dan, sang an entire song about the number 19. You and I both know it wasn’t about my eBook sales. But the fact that it could have been, means a lot to me. And makes me really proud in that mysterious, magical, low sales, Karma kind of way…. Very cool. And, again, forgive my hubris! ; )
“Latest report: # Net Units Sold Musings from the Middle 19″
I feel silly writing about Spring as I sit at my desk with the heat on blast, but I’m the positive type, and I know that in a few short weeks Spring will be here. In fact, I’ve already been shopping for warm weather clothes for my clients. Now is the perfect time for that, just as stores are loading up with their best selections. With that in mind, below are 6 garments to get you through the coming months in stellar style.
Lightweight jacket (bonus if it’s suede or leather)
Don’t underestimate the power of a perfectly-fitting leather jacket. Click for my guide on how to accomplish this. It’s the perfect reminder that Spring is just around the corner.
By Jonathan Miller, on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM ET
Click here for a printable version of the Sweet 16 NCAA 2013 bracket
At The Recovering Politician, we not only believe in second chances; it is the very mission of our site.
So please join our Second Chance Sweet 16 prediction tournament — No Bracket No Pay II Chance II
But this is your last chance — you must sign up AND fill out your brackets by 7:15 PM EDT TONIGHT!!! Just click here to sign up and fill out your second chance NCAA bracket.
It may be too late for the 52 teams already eliminated, but it is not too late for you to win!
(It’s also never too late to join the rapidly growing No Labels movement — hundreds of thousands of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, dedicated to problem-solving instead of hyperpartisanship, with smart, common-sense proposals like No Budget, No Pay. Sign on to our army by clicking here today!)
By Jonathan Miller, on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM ET
Be sure to subscribe to The Recovering Politician‘s KY Political Brief: click here RIGHT NOW to do so — It’s delivered daily to your inbox FOR FREE!
It’s been an exciting 24 hours at The Recovering Politician and its hot new email venture, the KY Political Brief. We were almost first to break the news of Ashley Judd’s decision not to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell. (Ashley Judd’s Twitter, of course, beat us by a few minutes.) And Bradford Queen has yet again done an extraordinary job of sifting through the digital morass to identify the latest news on the 2014 U.S. Senate race, Rand Paul’s presidential ambitions, and the flurry of new laws passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in its waning minutes.
Here’s an excerpt from today’s KY Political Brief:
JUDD OUT : “I have decided,” she wrote in a tweet around 5 p.m. yesterday. Those were the words that tipped the political world to Ashley Judd’s announcement that she would not seek a McConnell challenge next year.
—Actress Ashley Judd won’t run for US Senate – AP’s Roger Alford – “Actress Ashley Judd announced Wednesday she won’t run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky against Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, saying she had given serious thought to a campaign but decided her responsibilities and energy need to be focused on her family. … The 44-year-old Judd had hinted last week that she was nearing a decision about the race. Now living in suburban Nashville, Tenn., Judd has said little publicly about her intentions. However, she has been meeting with several Democratic leaders, including Gov. Steve Beshear, to discuss a possible run.” [AP]
—ASHLEY WRITES, “Thank you”: “… It would be the greatest honor of my life to be entrusted as a public servant to our beloved Kentucky. Perhaps someday I will be. However, with the help of my pastors and mentors, I have thoughtfully and prayerfully concluded that I won’t run for the United States Senate at this time. I have never been intimidated by the prospect of serving Kentucky – and I remain unafraid of the Washington insider political machine that has controlled this Senate seat for three decades.” [AshleyJudd.com]
—Will Ashley Judd Run in 2016? – ABC News – “Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is up for re-election in 2016 and per Kentucky law (unlike other states) a candidate cannot run for both Senate and president of the United States simultaneously. Paul is widely believed to be considering a 2016 presidential bid, but even if he does not, this same source says Judd has been counseled by both Washington, D.C., and Kentucky advisers that this is the better race for her to enter “in order to give her time to establish residency, secure the grassroots, and that is impossible with the current timetable.”” [ABC News]
—The BACKSTORY: Jonathan Miller gives context to Ashley Judd’s decision on The Terry Meiners Show [WHAS]
AL MAYO, writing for KY Political Brief: “Not to say I told you so, but Judd is OUT. I applaud her action, and her promptness in making the announcement right away. She originally set Derby Day as the deadline. But I -along with many others-urged her not to drag things out that long. … Judd has made a good call in remaining sidelined as a candidate. … If Judd is truly serious about being considered for public office, she needs to get involved in local politics. It matters not where she gets involved, she should just do it! Ashley Judd has a powerful pulpit with her celebrity recognition, to inform, and enforce change no matter if it’s in Kentucky or Tennessee. To sit back and fire potshots randomly is a waste of that power and forum.” [KPB column]
FOCUS TURNS TO GRIMES : Ashley Judd will not run for Senate, Grimes to explore race – WHAS-TV’s Joe Arnold – “… Judd’s exit leaves the Democratic field open for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who had already spoken with the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Grimes plans to file the paperwork for a exploratory campaign committee as early as next week, the sources said.” [WHAS-TV]
—Grimes hasn’t made decision about Senate yet but needs to be ‘deliberative,’ consultant says – CN|2’s Ryan Alessi – “Grimes hasn’t ruled out running in 2014 for the chance to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. But she has repeatedly deflected questions about the race saying she was focused on working on her priorities in the 2013 state legislative session. The General Assembly ended Tuesday night. Dale Emmons, a political consultant who worked on Grimes’ 2011 campaign and is a close family friend of the Lundergans, said Judd’s announcement isn’t an indication that Grimes has made up her mind. “I don’t think there’s any connection between the two,” Emmons told Pure Politics after Judd’s announcement went public. “The good news is that this allows Alison to make any decision she’s going to make out of the fog” of having to be concerned about Judd’s plans.” [CN|2 Politics]
MORE SENATE DERBY : Mitch McConnell’s scorched-earth strategy – POLITICO – “Kentucky is the Bluegrass State, but by the time Mitch McConnell is done with his reelection campaign, it may be better known for scorched earth. The top Senate Republican is preparing to wage a ruthless campaign to hang on to his job. He’s already on the air with nearly $200,000 in TV and radio ads, is assembling streams of data to target voters with tailor-made messages, and has quietly moved to lock down support from virtually every state GOP legislator. He says he’ll use “every penny” of a war chest certain to exceed the $21 million he spent in 2008. … McConnell’s strategy is similar to recent efforts by Senate stalwarts Majority Leader Harry Reid and John McCain, who each won reelection with big fundraising numbers to discourage possible opponents and constant attack ads to discredit those who do run. … “My view is if you’re going to be a bigger target, you’re going to adopt different tactics,” McConnell told POLITICO in a wide-ranging interview this week before Judd dropped out. “I think we’ve made it pretty clear … that we intend to be very aggressive from Day One. And we are. And that involves not ignoring any potential opponent.”” [POLITICO]
—Rand Paul endorses Mitch McConnell in 2014 Senate race, won’t back tea party challenge – The Daily Caller – “The Daily Caller has learned that Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is endorsing Sen. Mitch McConnell for re-election in 2014, ending speculation that Paul would back a tea party challenge to the Senate minority leader. “Rand Paul has endorsed McConnell,” Jesse Benton, McConnell’s 2014 campaign manager, told The Daily Caller. Benton, who has worked for both Rand Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, is credited by insiders with brokering Paul’s support for McConnell.” [Daily Caller]
—McConnell campaign launches new radio ad using pieces of his CPAC speech [CN|2 Politics]
‘RAND PAUL 2016′ WATCH : Paul says he won’t make decision on presidential bid this year – C-J’s Mike Wynn – “Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that he will not decide on a potential bid for the U.S. presidency until at least 2014 and described his recent high-profile appearances as only an attempt to steer the national debate on important issues. … Paul is also scheduled as the headline speaker at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Day Dinner in May — an appearance that previous GOP candidates have used before launching a campaign. He told reporters he can’t deny that politicians like to speak in Iowa because it garners attention, but argued that “if you want to have an impact on how the Republican Party grows, and what the country does and where we go, going to Iowa is a very important place.” Paul has indicated that he is considering a run for president in 2016.” [C-J]
MEANWHILE, BACK IN FRANKFORT it appears a special session has been avoided.
Legislature dropped tax reform, killed telephone, scholarship bills – H-L’s Jack Brammer and Beth Musgrave – “Legislative leaders on Wednesday praised the work of the General Assembly and said that a special legislative session was not needed this year. … Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, described the session as “fairly successful” in that it “handled several large pieces of legislation.” … Both House and Senate leaders said Wednesday that there was little will to tackle tax reform this year. Beshear established a task force last summer that came up with dozens of recommendations to tweak the tax code that would generate upwards of $700 million. … House Bill 160, a proposal to use coal severance money to finance scholarships for college juniors and seniors from coal-producing counties, had appeared to be on track to pass late Tuesday but time ran out before the bill was acted upon by the House. … Senate Bill 88, a telephone deregulation bill that was pushed by AT&T, died in a House committee after being approved in the Senate.” [H-L]
Hemp lobby waiting on Beshear to sign bill, ready for Washington – H-L’s Janet Patton – “Supporters of growing hemp on Wednesday cheered the General Assembly’s last-hour passage of a bill to license Kentucky farmers. And they made plans to take to Washington their case that industrial hemp should be legal. After a speech in Lexington, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, said he’s “very excited” about the hemp bill and Kentucky’s chances for a waiver to grow it. … Paul said he would ask the governor to join him in requesting the waiver. Beshear “is going to review the bill and talk with law enforcement before making any decision,” Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said Wednesday. Paul will lobby in Washington with U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. … Former Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller will act as liaison to the White House for the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, of which Comer and Miller are members. Comer is currently the chairman but will step down to vice chairman with the new legislation.” [H-L]
Good stuff? Be sure to subscribe to The Recovering Politician‘s KY Political Brief: click here RIGHT NOW to do so — It’s delivered daily to your inbox FOR FREE!
And speaking of good stuff, here’s the clip of my appearance today on CBS This Morning:
Oh you thought I meant steroids? No, juicing is not about adding extra hormones in your body, this is about increasing your energy levels, improving your immune system and being healthy. OK. Lets start over. Recently, I decided to start adding juicing into my regular diet. I had heard the benefits of juicing but wasn’t clear on ALL the benefits it had and what it could do to my body. So, me being me, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it. The first juice I had tasted like roadkill. No seriously it tasted that bad but again, me being me, I was able to force it down. Over the next few weeks I tried several different types of juices and found some miraculous things. My energy levels were boosted, my workouts were better and I felt healthier (a relative term but I acutally feel this way).
Not only do I feel better but the taste of organic kale, beets and other vegetables has improved dramatically. So you may be asking why would you start doing that? Or how can you stand to drink that stuff? And probably you are asking what are the benefits? Well, I want to cover all of these topics. Lets start with what juicing actually is.
Juicing is typically done through a juicer, whereas combinations of different fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) are put into a machine that mixes it together and creates a “juice.” What is lost through the juicing process is the fiber. Most juicing purists argue leaving the fiber out of the juice allows the body to absorb the nutrients faster, I tend to believe this as well because fiber naturally slows down digestion. It does take a lot of vegetables/fruits in order to get a sizable amount of juice (this is why I buy the juice instead of doing it myself). Locally, I have bought juice from the Lexington Juicery and also found a brand of juice at Whole Foods called Suja that acutally has an expiration date longer than juice made at the juicery. This is helpful to me so I do not have to go to the juice store everyday.
OK JB. What are the health benefits?
Well there are many. Here are a few:
1. Digestion- very little energy is needed to digest fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus, juicing increases the effectiveness of our digestion system. This is important when considering how long it takes to digest a pound of lean beef.
By Jonathan Miller, on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM ET
In a message to her followers on Twitter and at her Web site, actress and humanitarian Ashley Judd announced today that she will not be running in 2014 for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Here is her statement:
After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family. Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate. I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won’t be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!
As someone who had encouraged Ashley to consider the race, this obviously wasn’t the announcement I was hoping for. Her celebrity platform would have enabled a desperately-needed debate on critical matters of public policy such as poverty remediation, women’s health, environmental protection and economic growth. Her compassionate and incorruptable worldview would have made her an extraordinary U.S. Senator.
But as her friend, and as someone who has joyfully left the political arena — in part because of the brutal way modern politics treats candidates and their families — I can completely understand and commiserate with her decision.
I am also quite confident that we haven’t seen the last of Ashley as a potential candidate, particularly after she has had a chance to throughly put to rest questions about her residency and her commitment to public service in her home state of Kentucky.
I’m also very optimistic that Kentucky Democrats can identify a strong, serious candidate to challenge McConnell. So I encourage all Judd fans to join me in supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever she or he turns out to be.
UPDATED 7:30 PM 3/27
This is going to sound like typical politician horse-hockey, but I’ve been both blown away and amused at the dozens of emails and Facebook messages I have received encouraging me to run against Senator McConnell now that Ashley Judd has withdrawn from the race.
With sincere gratitude to all that have contacted me, I hereby issue the following statement:
STATEMENT OF JONATHAN MILLER ON THE PROSPECTS OF HIS RUNNING FOR THE U.S. SENATE IN KENTUCKY AGAINST MITCH MCCONNELL IN 2014
UPDATED 8:00 PM 3/27
Tune in to CBS This Morning tomorrow at 7:00 AM to catch me talking about Ashley’s decision not to run for the U.S. Senate. Check out the picture of our taping at right.
We will post the full video of the appearance below as soon as it is available.
UPDATED 10:30 AM 3/28
Here’s the clip of my appearance on CBS This Morning: