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I’m very excited to announce The Recovering Politician’s wonderful service to our loyal RP Nation: The RP’s KY Political Brief — a FREE email delivered every weekday morning, straight to your inbox, that provides you with a complete wrap-up of the latest political news and notes from the Bluegrass State.

You don’t have to be a Frankfort statehouse junkie to appreciate this free service — The RP’s KY Political Brief provides you with a one-stop shop for all of the latest news, commentary and analysis about what could be the hottest 2014 campaign in the country: the re-election attempt by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who looks like he will face the challenge of his career from Ky. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.  And The RP’s KY Political Brief is your best place to find all of the latest stories about Tea Party favorite (and potential 2016 presidential candidate) Rand Paul.

Best yet, we offer this service with no political biases; much as in the No Labels style of The Recovering Politician, we provide links to the state’s and nation’s best journalists, as well as opinion pieces by writers from all over the political spectrum.

KakiemugbyjacksmithYour tour director is former editor of The Kentucky Enquirer, Kakie Urch, who took over for founding editor Bradford Queen. She is currently an assistant professor of multimedia at University of Kentucky in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Kakie also served as assistant managing editor of The Kentucky Post and as assistant managing editor at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif. In 2011, Kakie served as a professor-in-residence on “The Caucuses” site of the Des Moines Register for coverage of the Iowa Caucuses.

In these roles, she had the honor of editing some of the best political reporters in Kentucky and had responsibility for Washington, Frankfort and Sacramento bureau coverage for the newspapers and their Web sites. Her favorite political ad of all time is the Kentucky radio spot from an 1980s campaign that said “Just because you sit in the garage for 10 years, that don’t make you a Buick.”

Kakie is up every weekday morning at the crack of dawn to compile the latest and best news about Kentucky politics.

Want to try it out?

Click here to read the debut entry of The RP’s KY Political Brief.

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John Y’s Musings from the Middle: I’m Easy

I’m easy, cheap, and proud of it.

On Facebook anyway.

Is that a bad thing?

I just found out about “deactivated” accounts of people who are Facebook friends and that you should probably delete or “unfriend” them since they are no longer active on Facebook.

That made sense until I got my real lesson from the process. Some of the “friends” I discovered with deactivated accounts included names like:

Jon Doe

A Fish Sandwich

Carissa Carmos Wayfm Shinefm (totally made up name)

John Doe (with an ‘h’)

And more…

jyb_musingsIt’s not my fault that my friendship with a fish sandwich or an imaginary person didn’t work out. At least I tried. If they were having fun at my expense, heck, well….it’s their loss.

And besides, I can comfort myself by knowing I was probably the best friend that fish sandwich had in its entire imaginary life. At least the longest. We were apparently friends for several years.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What’s On Your Mind, Facebook?

Facebook needs to decide what they really want to know about us.

Ya know?

I mean, when I joined Facebook a few years ago, the empty status box always stared at me with the question, “What’s on your mind?” It was a respectful question that showed interest in my intellect and lured me in initially. Someone (rather “something”) wanted to know what little ole me was thinking. At that moment. And so I’d try to answer best I could. About what I was thinking at that moment. Even if I hadn’t been thinking of anything at all, I’d still come up with something because my intelligence was being respected and inquired about. And I didn’t want to let Facebook down. It was a wholesome and respectful relationship.

That lasted for awhile.

And then Facebook took an intimate, touchy-feely turn. The status box suddenly started asking, “What are you feeling?”

That’s a little too personal for me, to tell you the truth. It felt like being asked, “What color underwear are you wearing?” What happened to all that respect for my mind? It sounds contrived too…. like the kind of line you’d hear if the characters played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers took over Facebook. The red head in that movie should never have trusted Vince Vaughn’s character. And we shouldn’t trust the new “warm and fuzzy” Facebook solicitousness. I just don’t believe Facebook really genuinely wants to know about my feelings. And that there must be some self-serving motive behind it. And they may even make a funny  movie about this question one day starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson….and the laughs could be at our expense. No, thanks, Facebook. My feelings are strictly between me and my mood ring.

But now I see we have a Facebook inquiry 3.0. I guess we weren’t the only ones who were “on to them” about the faux feelings “status” line. So Facebook is now trying to put all that behind them and go “Hip.” That’s right, “hip!” As in the new status box inquiry, “What’s happening, John?”  Like they know me and are my new bro. It comes off over the top and feels like something akin to “Yo! Whassup John?!!”  It’s just too informal and inartfully hip. We all know what Mark Zuckerberg is like. He’s brilliant and tireless and one of the  great tech visionaries and innovators of our time. But hip? Nah.   As Seth Meyer and Amy Poehler would say without having to even think about this one, “Really, Facebook?”

jyb_musingsAnd I just checked to see if they had changed the question in the status box since I started writing this post 10 minutes ago. And they have. The newest iteration is the annoyingly invasive school marmish question, “What are you doing, John?” Geez!  “What are you doing, John?” I immediately felt like looking down and trying to find my Number 2 pencil. I can’t decide if the sentence is coming to me through the visage of SNL’s Church Lady or the machine, HAL, from 2001 A Space Odyssey. Either way, I don’t like the accusatory way the question is posed. It’s as if by staring into the Facebook status box I am presumed to not be taking life serious enough. Why else would I need to be stared down with the paternalistic question, “What are you doing, John?” That feels bleak…and disrespectful. A far cry from “What are you thinking?” I even feels a little like “Gotcha journalism.” There’s just no winning. How can you answer that query in a way that you feel good about yourself?

“What am I doing now? Oh, staring at the Facebook status bar and trying to respond to…..trying to respond to an important social issue or event…I mean, trying to say something that is really, really important about something important that is happening now or just happened recently.

I mean….I know not everything I post on Facebook has a socially redeeming value and I’m glad you are asking this tough question in a pointed way to force people like me to be less shallow on Facebook. And maybe a little ashamed if they aren’t doing something socially useful in their status updates.

Which is what I’m trying to do right now. And can’t. So, you know what? I just won’t write anything at all then!  You want to know what I’m doing? Not writing in my status box on Facebook.

That’s what. At least for now.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Why Facebook Won’t Save Your Life

Why Facebook won’t ever save your life.

Today I was working from my car (something I do often) and both phones were out of charge and and I had left my charging cable at home.

I mean….the whole point of having a back-up phone is in case the primary phone runs out of power but it was drained too. Having a back up phone is especially critical if your primary phone is an iPhone (which holds a charge about as long as you can drive on a spare tire) And note, iPhones are terrible back-up phones to another iPhone. It’s like replacing your spare tire with another spare tire.

But here’s how I realized Facebook isn’t a great vehicle for a blast text message screaming out for help. Of course, I didn’t need to scream out for help. But I did have a few minutes left on my laptop which was connected to wifi. And it made me wonder what would happen if I did post in big bold letters on Facebook, “Help Me!!”

And I realized instantly what would happen if I was being beaten and kidnapped moments before posting my desperate plea for help….assuming I survived to check my Facebook page the next day.

I would have received maybe 25 “Likes” and had about 10 comments along the line of “Hilarious!,” “No, not him. I need help! LOL,” “You should use a red octagon sign,” “OMG, that happened to me once and all I got were “likes.” Good luck!” And maybe a few “shares.”

But, then again, if something like that ever did happen, it would make a really funny Facebook post.

Gun Control and Internet Memes

Since the horrible tragedy in Connecticut on Friday, I’ve been seeing the picture above shared by hundreds of my Facebook and Twitter friends.

While I share the sentiment, I’m curious about something: If indeed 42 people were killed “last year” in “West Germany,” what are the figures “last year” for the Soviet Union?

Or Transjordan?

Or New Amsterdam?

Or Gaul?

Seriously, this country, I hope, approaches a desperately needed and vigorous debate on gun control in the country, let’s make sure that we have our facts straight. I’m confident that the real data is still powerful.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: LinkedIn & Peeping Tom

The new LinkedIn Peeping Tom notification.

That’s what I’m calling it anyway.

I miss the good ole days when you could look at someone’s resume profile and not feel dirty.

LinkedIn has a new feature “Someone just viewed your profile.” And I gotta say it’s a little creepy. I don’t think I like it.

I just got a notice about somebody looking at my profile.

My first.

And I went and looked at their profile so they will be notified—notified that I know they are peeking at my profile and trying to go unnoticed. But aren’t.

I hope this is the message that LinkedIn intends for users to send. It seems a little odd, though, if you ask me.

Then again, maybe I’m being proactive. Another possible consequence of this new service is that it will become customary to “return the favor” when someone peeks (or peeps) at your profile. So that if someone peeps at you and you don’t return the favor, it could be construed as an insult –like being dissed?

Not sure I see a lot of good coming from this new LinkedIn innovation.

RP Relationship Guru Nancy Slotnick Written Up in

From Emily Frost of

UPPER WEST SIDE — Nancy Slotnick has been setting people up in New York City for decades.

But now the longtime Upper West Side resident is bridging the gap between online  dating and traditional matchmaking with a new concierge dating service called Matchmaker Cafe.

Slotnick has spent the last year building a database of single people, now  3,000 members strong, who can browse each other’s Facebook profiles before requesting a meeting that Slotnick  and her team help orchestrate.

Matchmaker Cafe fights the inertia that Slotnick said usually accompanies  online dating, where two people end up talking online for a while but never  meet. Her service “cuts to the quick,” she said.

“People have more of a tendency to put [a meeting] off or to stand each other  up without the matchmaker,” she said.

Slotnick picks what she calls “hot spots” that lend themselves to easy  transitions from coffee to drinks or to a longer meal, or to meeting other  singles if the date doesn’t go well. She then meets both parties at the arranged  spot and introduces them. The meeting serves to reduce the anxiety and  awkwardness of a blind date, she said.

“It adds the hand-holding through the process,” she said.

Matchmaker Cafe has been in beta mode since 2011, but this month Slotnick  launched the paid model, in which clients pay $39.99 a month for the ability to  request meetings with other members.

Women tend to be more passive on the site, creating a membership for free and  then waiting for others to ask about them, Slotnick explained. However, she said  that anyone serious about finding love should devote 15 hours a week to the  search, which means going out to traditional dating spots like bars, but also becoming open to  interactions at places like gyms, grocery stores or even the subway.

“With careers, people don’t have qualms about strategy, but with dating it’s  supposed to magically happen,” she said. “You do have to have [finding love] on  your radar screen as a goal.”

Behind the scenes, Slotnick makes herself available to customers with advice  about how to make it work, an added service that she said distinguishes her  model from existing online dating companies.

But, “I don’t believe you can outsource [the work of creating a  relationship],” she said.

Slotnick spends part of her time moving around the city scouting new  locations for dates. She said she hopes to eventually create partnerships with  these dating hubs.

Slotnick once owned one of these hubs herself, when she started Drip Cafe on  East 83rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue in 1996 as a place devoted to helping people  find relationships. In the pre-internet, pre-online dating era, cafe customers  could spend time flipping through binders of hand-written dating profiles, and  then Slotnick would help them schedule a date at the cafe. She said that at any  one time, 20 to 25 dates were happening at Drip.

During the cafe’s eight-year run, “we made hundreds of marriages,” Slotnick  said.

Drip had a liquor license and offered counter service, which Slotnick  believes are essential elements for creating the kind of freedom of movement  that promotes interaction among guests.

Though Slotnick believes the Upper West Side went through a period when many  of the neighborhood’s residents, and Drip’s customers, settled down and started  having children, there has been a resurgence of singles in the area lately, she  said.

“The Upper West Side is getting single again,” she said, noting the many  singles moving to the Lincoln Center area.

One of her favorite places to arrange meetings is the lobby of the Empire Hotel. She said she also sees possibilities at the new  restaurant The Smith in Lincoln Square.

Click here to read the full article.

Saul Kaplan: How Not To Get “Netflixed”

The nuclear industry measures how long a radioactive material will retain its potency by its half-life — the time it takes for the material to lose half of its radioactivity. The half-life of Uranium-235 is 700 million years, for example. During the industrial era the half-life of a business model was typically measured in generations. Once the basic rules for how a company creates, delivers, and captures value were established, they became etched in stone, fortified by functional silos and sustained by reinforcing company cultures.Those days are over. The industrial era is not coming back. The half-life of a business model is declining. Today’s leaders are either going to learn how to change their business models while pedaling the bicycle of the current one or they are going to be “netflixed.”

If netflix isn’t a verb it should be.

1. to cause disruption or turmoil to an existing business model
2. to destroy a previously successful business model
3. to displace the way value is currently created, delivered, and captured

Blockbuster started out with a compelling business model. Its value proposition was clear, enabling consumers to watch hit movies in the comfort of their homes. Blockbuster established an extensive value delivery network with stores conveniently located on every corner. Its first store opened in 1985 and it quickly grew to have over 5,000 retail outlets and 60,000 employees. It also had a smart financing model to capture value. It rented hit movies at a price consumers found attractive relative to the price of going out to the movies. Instead of paying a large upfront fee to buy videos from the studio (up to $65 per video) Blockbusters entered into a revenue sharing model with the movie studios including little to no upfront costs per video which gave them a huge advantage fueling explosive growth. Blockbuster started out on a roll. At its peak in 2002 Blockbuster’s market cap rose to $5 billion. In 2010 in filed for bankruptcy. So what happened? Blockbuster was netflixed.

Read the rest of…
Saul Kaplan: How Not To Get “Netflixed”

Obama’s Secret Plan to Win a Third Term

Now that the election’s over, my satellite radio’s tuning system is stuck permanently on ESPN.

Between the “male performance” ads and the dating services promoted, there’s been an ad running regularly urging listeners to check out a Web site that exposes President Obama’s “secret plan to retain power through 2020.”

I clicked on it, but got too bored after a few minutes of Obama-bashing and investment self-promotion.

So if any of the RP Nation wants to persevere and report back, our Web page will be open.

Here’s the link to

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