Nick Paleologos: The Case for Compassionate Capitalism

The notion that America is sharply divided between free market capitalists and big government socialists is complete baloney. This country is lousy with consensus around an economic value system, which is deeply embedded in the DNA of most Americans and based upon generations of experience with capitalism in this country.

For the first third of the 20th century, America was the Wild West. Low taxes. No regulation. No unions. Anything goes. We called it the Roaring ’20s. The rich got filthy rich. Everybody else just got filthy. The Roaring ’20s officially ended on October 29, 1929 when the entire American economy crashed, ushering in a decade of unrelenting misery and despair featuring 25 percent unemployment, widespread bank failures, bankruptcies, foreclosures and food lines. We called that the Great Depression. The closer we looked at capitalism, the more we found it wanting. So we did what Americans always do when we see a problem. We fixed it.

In this case, the fixer-in-chief was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The damage done to the country during the Depression convinced him that unregulated capitalism always favors the rich at the expense of everyone else. So to save capitalism from itself, FDR introduced what turned out to be the crucial missing ingredient: compassion.

Nick paleologosRoosevelt understood that compassion did not grow naturally in the harsh climate of an unfettered free market. He knew instinctively that fairness — essential to any functioning democracy — was an alien concept to pure capitalism. So FDR gave us a new, improved version. Call it compassionate capitalism. No senior citizen ends up destitute (Social Security). Banks and Wall Street don’t get to gamble with peoples’ savings (FDIC and SEC). Anybody who serves their country goes to college (GI Bill). Everybody who wants to work gets a job that the country needs to have done (CCC and WPA).

Far from hobbling private sector growth, these programs actually fueled it. Tons of people got very rich. However, the immense wealth created in America during the post-Roosevelt years was much more evenly distributed — with the biggest chunk going to a rapidly expanding middle class. Compassionate capitalism worked for everyone without busting the federal budget.

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Nick Paleologos: The Case for Compassionate Capitalism

Clearing Up the Disinformation in the Potential Ashley Judd/Mitch McConnell Battle

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!), for all the news on the potential epic 2014 U.S. Senate battle between Ashley Judd and Mitch McConnell.

As Ashley Judd considers making an historic bid for the U.S. Senate against Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, GOP forces — abetted by a handful of Democrats  — have been spreading piles of disinformation about the race.

In separate stories, ABC News and CBS News have helped clear through the fog of spin.

ABC reveals this morning that the widely reported tale that former President Bill Clinton was actively opposing an Ashley Judd candidacy is, in fact, a fabricated myth:

ABC News has learned that Clinton encouraged Judd to enter the race and promised he would help her, according to several Kentucky political sources. That conversation happened sometime between the November election and President Barack Obama’s second inauguration…

The Clintons are longtime friends and allies of Grimes’s father, Jerry Lundergan, a former state party chairman, and Grimes herself who became secretary of state in 2011 after beating her primary challenger who was backed by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. Allies of hers say she is considering this race, but has not made a decision. Jerry Lundergan was a strong supporter of Bill Clinton, but also of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008, and they remain close.

However, the Clintons are also close to Judd, who publicly backed Hillary Clinton over then Senator Obama in 2008 and even campaigned with Bill Clinton on behalf of Hillary in March 2008. Just days before the Texas primary, Clinton and Judd campaigned together standing in the back of a pickup truck at a private airport hangar in Abilene, Texas. She entertained the crowd, while Clinton was hours late due to a lightning storm…

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) is Judd’s most vocal proponent in the state and in an interview said Grimes would also “be a strong opponent against Mitch McConnell,” but “nobody brings to the table the unique assets that Ashley Judd does.”

“There are a lot of Democrats right now who are expressing some concern about her candidacy and what I would say to them is, We’ve tried five conventional campaigns in a row against Mitch McConnell and been unsuccessful,” Yarmuth said, adding that he called Grimes, but she had not called him back yet.

Meanwhile CBS This Morning ran this following clarifying piece on the race:

Krystal Ball and Daughter Ella Talk Politics

Do you talk politics with your children?

We all know that RP and MSNBC’s “The Cycle” co-host Krystal Ball loves to talk politics all over MSNBC. She is not afraid to dish out her opinion about what is going on in the political world. But, did you know that her five-year-old daughter enjoys talking politics as well? Like her mom, Krystal’s daughter Ella is not shy to voice her opinion when it comes to President Obama, what is happening in Washington, and even her thoughts on Mitt Romney.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

CBS News Profiles Kentucky’s U.S. Senate Battle…

…and watch The RP make a cameo appearance.

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!), for all the news on the potential epic 2014 U.S. Senate battle between Ashley Judd and Mitch McConnell.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Politicization of Fast Food

I just went through Chik-fil-A drive through in my hometown in Louisville. Mainly because it’s after 9pm and most their clientele are home for the night —praying with one another, talking about heterosexuality, and getting ready for bed.

At least that’s the media stereotype we have in my mind

I figure that between 9-10pm each night the city’s liberal and hypocritical underbelly slithers through the Chik-fil-A drive-thru wearing sunglasses and masking their real voice as they order. And not making eye contact as they ask for extra ketchup for the Waffle Fries before careening out of the parking lot before one of their liberal brethren recognizes them and turns them into the local Whole Food Market.

But the food is so good at Chik-fil-A, otherwise idealistic Ashley Judd Democrats (it is Kentucky) are, at least during a weak moment (between 9-10pm Mon-Sat, but not Sun) willing to risk everything they stand for to munch on a Spicy Chicken Sandwich or toasted Chicken Salad Sandwich.

Is that really so wrong?

Of course it is!

jyb_musingsRand Paul was willing to talk for 13 consecutive hours last week (4 1/2 hours longer than his typical interview and floor speech) because of what he believed. Period. A conviction politician with a consistent and principled ideological diet. No carry-out order of Dan Dan Noodles from the ultra liberal and multicultural PF Changs would have caused him to waiver.

Shame. Shame. I know your name! John Y Brown III! You Daniel in the Lion’s Den! Or Chik-Fil-A’s double drive-thru line.

But at least I had the decency NOT to park and eat in Chik-fil-A parking lot. I clandestinely drove across the street and parked in the Taco Bell parking lot where I noticed two other cars parked with Chik-Fil-A bags on the dashboard with incognito drivers wolfing down a chicken pot pie.

But then I saw something truly shocking. It was, if true, reminiscent of the moment when Sen Joe McCarthy was castigated by the Army Colonel and General Counsel, “At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?” Only worse because it was more brazen and nakedly hypocritical.

It was a high profile and celebrated local republican operative, whose name I’ll leave anonymous for now (or someone who looks just like him) wearing dark sunglasses in a corner booth eating a Bacon Club Chalupa inside Taco Bell. As he chewed blissfully he simultaneously belied his party’s rigid policy position on immigration, symbolically anyway. “What a sanctimonious hypocrite!” I thought to myself.

Sure,I was outraged and wanted to lash out at this blatant policy hypocrisy. But I thought to myself, maybe –just maybe—all this hyper partisanship had gone a step too far. Instead I asked myself what would Democratic Patron Saint US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan do if he were alive and found himself in this identical situation? Easy. He was discreetly walk inside Taco Bell and quietly offer his political nemesis his now empty Chick-Fil-A bag to disguise the rest of his Taco Bell order.

But Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a better man than I am. I left the scene and am posting the entire episode on the Recovering Politician blog!  For sake of our children and our children’s children’s future. Or something like that.

As Grover Norquist taught us, “Bipartisanship is another name for date rape.” Or, I would add, an unreported partisan breach involving a Taco Bell Bacon Club Chalupa or Chik-fil-A Charbroiled Chicken Wrap.


Josh Bowen: End All Be All (Tales of the Dreaded Scale)

I’ve often wondered about certain strategies gym goers employ. The one strategy that has vexed my mind is a ritual of sorts and a lot of people do it every day. You know if you do something every day and expect a different result, that makes you crazy rightJIt is at like the Holy Grail, the very reason people come to the gym and try to eat right, it’s the difference between a good day and a bad day, it is the end all be all. It is stepping on the scale! Don’t try to pretend you don’t do it because we all are guilty, especially in a place where there are scales and we are trying to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same. But the very fact people are control by this instrument, this measurement of body mass can be alarming and skewed. The end all be all may not be “all” its cracked up to be.

joshLet’s back track for a second. What are we trying to do? Most people? Answer is losing weight. Statistics show the most common goal for any gym goers is losing weight. But that should really be the goal? The answer is yes and no. If you are 50 lbs overweight and you need to lose 50 pounds then I would say losing weight would be a great goal for you. However, if you are trying to lose 10-20 pounds, does it really matter what the scale says as long as your body fat changes? Of course not! I use to tell clients all the time; if I could have you weigh the same weight you are today and look 100% different, would it matter what the scale said? 9 times out of 10, the number didn’t matter.

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Josh Bowen: End All Be All (Tales of the Dreaded Scale)

Final Chance to Sign up for “No Bracket, No Pay II” March Madness Forecasting Contest

Click here to display printable NCAA Brackets

Time is running out to sign up for “No Bracket, No Pay II” — The Recovering Politician’s second annual contest for college hoops forecasting mastery.

We are offering 2 spectaculat prizes to the winning entry:

1. A No LabelsMake the Presidency Work” book, signed by former Clinton and Obama Chief of Staff William Daley and former Bush II Chief of Staff Josh Bolten.

2. A copy of John Y. Brown, III’s new book, “Musings from the Middle,” autographed by the author!

You can be assured that NO OTHER NCAA BRACKETS CONTEST is offering those 2 prizes.

To read up on the the latest of the “No Budget, No Pay” proposal by No Labels, and how it applies to the presidency, please click here.

And most importantly, click here to sign up for No Bracket, No Pay II, and fill out your brackets today!

Good luck!

Michael Steele: Reince Priebus is ‘numb nuts’

From The Examiner:

The catfight between former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and his replacement, Reince Priebus, has reached screech level, with Steele belittling the party’s new focus on minorities as old news.

Appearing on the “Andrea Tantaros Show,” a nationally syndicated radio show, Steele called the GOP establishment that on Monday unveiled a $10 million minority outreach effort a bunch of “numb nuts” for ignoring the plan he instituted four years ago.

Steele also sounded ready to beat up Priebus. Asked by Tantaros who would win in a cage fight, Steele said, “Oh, no question, I would clean his clock.” How? “Just one knock on the head. It’s done.”

The Steele-Priebus battle is, in a way, a repeat of their 2011 duel for the RNC chairmanship. Steele didn’t have the votes and pulled out, clearing the way for Priebus, a former Wisconsin Republican Party chairman.

What’s more, he said that the current Republican Party is bloated. “The bottom line is you’ve to to be focused on what the purpose and the role of the party is. The national party is too big for its own britches right now. It’s centered around itself.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Is Technology an Inside Job?

Technology is supposed to make us more organized, efficient and punctual.

But I often wonder if each of those things aren’t more of an “inside job” that has more to do with internal factors than the screen size and processor speed of the latest smartphone.

Think of it this way, with a little mathematical license thrown in to make my point: Before cell phones and the internet and GPS and laptops and tablets, I had a tendency to over commit myself and always running a few minutes late.

But that’s all changed now with technology to thank, right?

With two cell phones, one laptop, an iPad, and GPS system in my car and on my cell phone, I have increased the likelihood of being somewhere on time, by 3.75%. That means, at that rate of increase (and factoring Moore’s Law of advancing technology), I will be on time to appointments 100% of the time starting in mid August in the year 2114.

jyb_musingsSo, is the conclusion that technology is just not advancing fast enough to fix this deficit? Or perhaps I need to spend more money on more technology?

Or maybe, just throwin’ this out there, not saying it’s true or anything, but just maybe it’s on me –and regardless of all the wonderful promises of technology making our lives simpler, better, more efficient, maybe there are limits.

And it will always be thus.

Jeff Smith: Do As I Say — A Political Advice Column

Jeff SmithQ: In House of Cards, Congressman Russo is having sex with his aide, while House Majority Whip Underwood is having sex with a journalist. Which happens more often?
A.S., New York City

Great question—it actually inspired me to write a separate column on the fact and the fiction behind House of Cards.

The answer is, definitely the former. During my time in the Missouri Senate, I never knew of a legislator sleeping with a journalist, but there was a lot of sex with legislative aides—though it generally happened with other people’s aides, not one’s own. Something about working with someone 16 hours a day makes them decidedly less sexy. I even knew of one legislator who slept with a constituent who visited his office to lobby for special needs children (though it happened after several meetings). They are now quite happily married.

Q: Our campaign is preparing to hire a bunch of summer interns to canvass this summer. I saw in the documentary about your race that you had this awesome group of interns who worked their hearts out for you. How did you find them? Did you have to weed a lot out?
J.L., New York City

Well, I was lucky. As a college prof I was blessed to be in contact with a lot of young people who were into politics. And as I used to joke, it’s amazing how much you can motivate students to engage with passionate teaching…and a little extra credit.

But the key was the weeding out process. During my 2004 campaign for Congress, I implored anyone who expressed a scintilla of interest to become an intern. Most did, and about a quarter of them ended up not working out.

In my 2006 campaign, based on the twin notions that the desperate guy at the bar goes home alone and the girl who plays hard to get usually attracts many suitors, I decided to do things differently. When a student inquired about volunteering, I’d give her my email address and tell her to contact me in the next 48 hours to learn more about the application process. If she did that, I’d ask her to send her résumé to my campaign manager in the next 48 hours. If she did that and her résumé wasn’t terrible, my manager would tell her we still had one to two internships available and ask for a time she could come in to interview in the next 72 hours. If that went smoothly, my manager would ask for three references he could call within the next 48 hours. But by that point, we barely even needed to call them (though we did), because we could tell that the student was responsible, aggressive and committed to the cause. We didn’t lose a single intern that campaign.

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Jeff Smith: Do As I Say — A Political Advice Column

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