When it comes to a full-throated defense of Obamacare, there’s been no stronger advocate than my old boss, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Whether you agree with him or not (I am certainly proud of his passionate defense of the expansion of Medicaid in our poor state), you’ve got to admire the chutzpah of a Southern Governor defending the signature program of a President who has been crushed in his state twice.
In his op-ed in today’s New York Times, “My State Needs Obamacare. Now.” Beshear reminds me of Harry Truman, sticking it to the modern version of the do-nothing-but-complain Congress:
Frankly, we can’t implement the Affordable Care Act fast enough.
As for naysayers, I’m offended by their partisan gamesmanship, as they continue to pour time, money and energy into overturning or defunding the Affordable Care Act. It’s shameful that these critics haven’t invested that same level of energy into trying to improve the health of our citizens.
They insist that the Affordable Care Act will never work — when in fact a similar approach put into effect in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor, is working.
So, to those more worried about political power than Kentucky’s families, I say, “Get over it.”
The Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land.
Get over it … and get out of the way so I can help my people. Here in Kentucky, we cannot afford to waste another day or another life.
Click here to read the entire op-ed.
Call me a glutton for Los Pollos Hermanos and the blue crystal, but I believe that Breaking Bad is not only the best television show in the medium’s history — it eaked by The Sopranos in its extraordinary, explosive, Gus “Face Off“ Season 4 finale — but that it is simply the best thing that has ever appeared on any video medium, be it the telly, film, Web streaming or even RPTV.
And I mean it.
So like many of you, I’m counting down the minutes until the Series Finale this Sunday night at 9:00 PM.
The suspense is eating at me like acid in a bathtub. Will Walt live? Will Jesse escape the Neo-Nazis and then call them “bitches”? Will Lydia and Todd consummate their uber-bizarre flirtation? Will Hank rise from the dead? Will “Better Call” Saul open a vaccum cleaning store in Nebraska? Will Walt Jr. legally change his name to Flynn? Will Holly reveal herself as a dwarf imposter? Will Huell EVER LEAVE THAT HOTEL ROOM?
Best yet — will Walt turn himself in, enter witness protection, and start a new family — with a Final Big Reveal: Breaking Bad was merely the prequel to Malcolm in the Middle?
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Let us know what you think in the comments section below — and for those of you who subscribe to The RP’s Kentucky Political Brief (KPB) – be prepared to win big prizes in the KPB’s “Breaking Bad” contest:
- The KPB subscriber whose predictions most closely track the actual series finale will win my awesome two lower-level Rupp Arena tickets to the University of Kentucky’s home basketball game against UNC Asheville on Friday, November 8.
- The KPB subscriber whose predictions are so funny, that they make our trusted panel of RPs (Myself, Michael Steele, Jeff Smith, Rod Jetton and John Y. Brown, III) laugh the loudest, will win autographed copies of both The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis AND John Y. Brown, III’s Musings from the Middle.
Rules of entry:
Click on the flag to sign up for The RP’s Kentucky Political Brief
1. Only subscribers to The RP’s Kentucky Political Brief (KPB) can enter. If you haven’t subscribed, it’s easy and it’s FREE: Click here, fill out the form, and you will receive a FREE email in your inbox every weekday morning with all of the latest Kentucky political news — on Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Steve Beshear — every link to every important story in this exciting election season.
2. To win, you must make your entry in the comments section of this post, below.
3. Only one serious entry and one funny entry per person.
4. All entries must be submitted below on this post by 8:30 PM EDT, Sunday, September 29.
5. The winning entry for the UK tickets will be determined solely at the discretion of Jonathan Miller, using his subjective review. Hint: A critical determination in the accuracy of your entry will be in predicting who dies in the episode, and at whose hands they perish. In particular, a detailed description of Walt’s fate will be essential.
Read the rest of…
Win 2 UK Basketball Tickets in The RP’s Kentucky Political Brief “Breaking Bad” Contest
On KCRW’s “To the Point”:
Climate Change and the ‘War on Coal’
Power plants are by far the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the US, and now the Obama EPA has issued regulations that Democrats in some regions are calling the first battle in a “war against coal.” It could be extended and bitter. The President wants to get around Congress, with other countries looking for US leadership in reducing greenhouse emissions. We hear about national and international politics as climate scientists are about to release their latest findings.
Click here to listen to the broadcast
Second Acts: Recovering from Scandal
Crisis management and scandal recovery have captured the moment, from big-league sports to New York City’s recent political silly season. PR firms are rebranding themselves as crisis advisers. Ex-White House aides are peddling their bona fides. While the public sees scandal through a tabloid lens, at its heart are flawed human beings making mistakes, acting emotionally, and trying to preserve their reputations and careers. “Recovering politicians” who suffered highly publicized scandals share their stories, offer guidance, and comment on the latest attempts to launch second acts.
A conversation with:
Krystal Ball, co-host, MSNBC’s “The Cycle;” former Virginia congressional candidate
Jonathan Miller, Daily Beast columnist; No Labels co-founder; former Kentucky state treasurer
Michael Steele, co-chairman, Purple Nation Strategies; former Republican National Committee chairman
Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, The New School; former Missouri state senator
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street (between Fifth and Sixth avenues), 2nd Floor
Admission is free but you must RSVP.
In his latest column for The Daily Beast, The RP takes a controversial position on Big Sport’s War on Steroids — he claims that anti-PED hysteria is misplaced, hypocritical and completely ineffective. And his viewpoint is very personal. Read an excerpt:
I’m coming clean: I use performance enhancing drugs.
Indeed, I’ve had a serious testosterone problem.
Of course, unlike my fellow Jewish recovering politicians (ahem…Mssrs. Spitzer, Weiner and Filner), my body doesn’t produce enough of the über-manly hormone. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a free testosterone level akin to an octogenarian eunuch. Who’d been dead for a decade.
The option of traditional testosterone therapy, however, frankly frightened me. I’d heard the woeful tales of back acne, hair in strange places, ‘roid rage, the link to prostate cancer. I also remember vividly football superstar Lyle Alzado‘s final days, blaming his brutal death from brain cancer on PED overuse. And as an ESPN Radio addict, I’d been bombarded for years by its omnipresent, perversely mixed messages: the screaming sports host anti-steroid hysteria, interrupted every twenty minutes by snake-oily “Low T” elixir ads, using the kind of incredulous performance hype that would discomfit even Bernie Madoff.
So I tried an alternative route — medically-sanctioned natural vitamins and minerals, prescribed by a well-respected M.D., whose practice focused on integrative health.
Nothing. And I was suffering.
While our sex-obsessed culture focuses on the libido-suppressing side effects of a “Low T” diagnosis, the ramifications for me were quite more significant. My immune system was shot; my body had become a petri dish for every new virus of the week. Worse, my mood and energy levels had plummeted: Despite enjoying perhaps the happiest and most successful years of my life, there were far too many mornings when I struggled simply to get out of bed.
Click here to read the full piece.
Look who is sandwiched in between Bill Murray and dogs that look like Vladimir Putin:
When we last left episode 5.13, “To’hajilee” of “Breaking Bad,” we were left with a tense cliffhanger — who would survive the standoff between the Neo-Nazi allies of Walter White and DEA law enforcement — with Walter and his former partner, now-bitter enemy, Jessee PInkman, in the crossfire?
We know from the flash-forwards at the beginning of the season that Walter survives. But what about Jesse? Walter’s DEA brother-in-law, Hank? Hank’s loyal partner Gomez?
My initial thought was that only Gomez would die — it is too early and too banal for Jesse and Hank, now the series’ moral centers, to perish.
But how would it be possible, given the Neo-Nazi’s massive weaponry, for only Gomez to survive?
So my bet is on a truce being reached, with no deaths. What say you?
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a great piece this week on my friend, John Roulac, who as CEO and Founder of Nutiva, has turned hemp seeds into a $70 million/year business. I excerpt a few of my favorite passages from the interview, which you can find here in full:
Q: Why do you think you’re one of the fastest-growing companies? Is it the popularity of your products? Is there no competition? Or is it a particular way you’re running your company? Because $70 million for hemp and chia seeds, really?
A: We’ve been fortunate that the categories we’re in – organics – are fast growing. We have a lot of competition. But the fact that we were pioneers gives us an advantage. I’ve also been good at predicting the next big super food.
Our distributors thought we were crazy when we started doing coconut oil in 2003, given concerns about saturated fat. But now we’re the No. 1 seller of organic virgin coconut oil. We also have strong brand loyalty. And I think the fact that we’re focused on only four items helps. Focus is important.
Q: Let’s talk about hemp and chia seeds and coconut and red palm oils. Why do you think they’ve become popular with consumers?
A: The American people have been subjected to a science experiment, fed on a steady diet of genetically modified industrial foods grown with huge amounts of pesticides and made with preservatives and chemicals. That diet produces diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hormonal disruption and allergies. Even our dogs have issues. In the 1960s and 1970s our dogs ate food and ran around happy. Now they have all kinds of problems.
Q: Are you sure it’s the dogs and not their owners?
A: Maybe so, but people know something is wrong. They’re in search of an answer. Turning to a diet based on ancient principles is a good place to start. They’re returning to a time when people in other parts of the world ate a lot of coconuts, ate a lot of chia seeds. People are still going to eat pasta and salads, but they know if they make 10 to 15 percent of their daily calories nutrient-dense foods they’re going to be healthier.
Q: Who are these customers?
A: Our prime customers are women between 25 and 60.
Q: Is there concern that these are trendy foods right now that could eventually go out of style? For instance, does anyone buy acacia any more? Or carob? What ever happened to carob?
A: (Laughs) Are almonds trendy? I don’t think so. But I see your point. The trick is knowing what people want to eat a few years before they do – or before Dr. Oz. I have been able to make those predictions. Then the biggest challenge is supply.
Q: Are you constantly looking for the newest super foods to stay relevant?
A: I search the world over. I’m pretty sure we’ve identified two new ones.
Q: Really? What are they?
A: Well, we’re not quite as secretive as Apple, but we’re still in the research phase and not ready to make any announcements. Keep checking our Facebook page.
Q: What’s the end goal for Nutiva?
A: To see Monsanto bankrupt. We would like to create an organic, non-GMO world, even if customers go elsewhere to buy it. If they want to buy it from us, that’s great, too. But we have plenty of business. The important thing is to change the supply chain and make it more organic and more healthful.
From Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism:
Ethan Kadish is a 13-year-old boy in great need of the Reform Jewish community’s help.
On June 29, 2013, the afternoon peace of Shabbat at URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute(GUCI) in Zionsville, IN, was shattered by a lightning strike that left three campers unresponsive on the athletic field. Thanks to the skill, courage, and quick thinking of the GUCI staff, all three campers made it to the hospital and survived this unimaginable tragedy.
This heartrending incident tested the GUCI family, the URJ camp community, and the entire Reform Movement, but none more than the families of the injured campers. Their strength has been nothing short of inspirational. Two of those families’ children, thankfully, recovered and returned home; one even returned to camp. The third camper, Ethan Kadish, remains hospitalized in Cincinnati, OH.
To date, Ethan’s recovery has included a series of successes that began with his survival and includes milestones like opening his eyes, breathing independently, and responding to stimuli. Ethan is in the care of a fantastic medical team and undergoes several hours of intense physical therapy every day. His family looks forward to the day he will return home, but they recognize, too, that even once he’s home, his challenges will continue. Ethan will require regular therapy and constant medical care, which, once he leaves the hospital, likely will not be covered by insurance. Ethan and his family face a long, hard, and, yes, expensive road ahead.
The Kadish family’s remarkable strength comes largely from their faith – faith in the healing power of God, faith in the skill and wisdom of Ethan’s physicians, and faith in the support of the URJ and GUCI communities. We are pledged to maintain that support, ensuring that throughout the challenges ahead, their faith in our communities will not waver.
This week – the week before Ethan was to have celebrated his bar mitzvah – a fundraising campaign in his honor has been launched with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that assists the transplant community and those who have sustained catastrophic injury. The funds will help Ethan’s family meet immense financial challenges associated with uninsured therapies, home modifications, and other injury-related expenses. All contributions made in Ethan’s honor will be administered by HelpHOPELive, specifically and solely for his injury-related expenses.
Our tradition teaches that Kol Yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh (all Jews are responsible one for the other). Indeed, together with HelpHOPELive, the Reform Jewish family can honor Ethan and his family, sending a strong message that we stand together with all of them during this time of need.
To make a charitable contribution by credit card, please call 800.642.8399 or visit Ethan’s page at helphopelive.org.
To make a donation by check, make checks payable to: HelpHOPELive and include this notation in the memo section: In honor of Ethan Kadish. Mail to:
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law. This campaign is being administered by HelpHOPELive – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing fundraising assistance to transplant and catastrophic injury patients – which will hold all funds raised in honor of Ethan in its Great Lakes Catastrophic Injury Fund.