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

The Politics of the Web



Throw-back tech: in case you ever get lost, you need to be able to make fire. [Gizmodo]

AT&T purchases Qualcomm’s “FLO TV” spectrum. [Engadget]

Ron Paul: live by the internet, die by the internet? [Huffington Post]


Rod Jetton: Remembering a Hero, Part 3 – Living, Dying, Remembering

(Click Here to read Part 1 of Rod Jetton’s 4 part series: “Losing a Good Friend”; and Click Here to read Part 2: “Trane McCloud: Putting Duty First”)

So far, I have told you a little bit about Trane’s military career and tried to give you an idea of the kind of person he was. 

I know we all say nice things about those who have passed on, but with Trane it’s all been true.  The worst I can say about him is he was headstrong, but he was always headstrong at the right time for the right reasons.

This is a guy who prayed before every meal, never lost his cool, always had good advice, and never had to be the center of attention.  He is the kind of person who makes the very best kind of friend.  As I talked to others at his funeral that had served with him, they all felt just like me, that he was their best friend.

As good of a Marine as Trane was, he was an even better husband and father.  He loved kids.  Cassie and I used to take our kids over and let Trane and Maggie watch them when we were at Camp Lejune.  The both loved kids and we were always happy to have someone take them for a few hours and give us a break back then.

He and Maggie had three children; Hayden, Grace, and Meghan.  Every minute he was not doing something for the Corps, Trane was with his family.  He applied the same work ethic to his family as he did to the Marines.  I only wish I had the wisdom to find the balance between career and family like Trane did.

Read the rest of…
Rod Jetton: Remembering a Hero, Part 3 – Living, Dying, Remembering

The RP on Southern California Public Radio

The RP was catching some waves in Southern California last week…Er, he was actually home on his phone calling into the public radio station…Whatever…The RP was sharing the No Labels “Make Congress Work” gospel with the people of the Left Coast at KPCC, Southern California’s Public Radio.

Click here to listen in.

And click here to help Make Congress Work.

John Y.’s Musings from the Middle: The McDonalds’ Menu

You know how when you are talking to someone who is undergoing hormone replacement treatment in preparation for gender reassignment surgery it can sometimes be awkward?

You know, how you try to make the other person feel like you have no idea they are about to change from a man to a woman or vice-versa and try to bring up banal topics like basketball or the weather?

Of course you do.

And it is confusing.

Sometimes –given how far along the person is in the process–it can be confusing about which “brand” (so to speak) they are leaving and which one they are becoming.

I just went through McDonalds drive-thru a few minutes ago and was struck with that same awkward feeling I have when around people getting sex changes.

The drive-thru menu was very feminine, so to speak, splattered with colorful pictures of apples, oatmeal, fruit and all manner of healthy foods and fancy girly coffee drinks.

This used to be a fry and burger joint with hot black coffee that would burn your skin off—a fast food joint with more of a guy’s personality. But I went through the drive thru anyway.

As I paid I looked the person working the register in the eye as if to say, “I have no idea what you are going through and it is none of my business. I do not judge. I’ve known people who have gone through transformations like this and they are good people and I wish you the best. Please just give me my Big Mac and fries while I still recognize this place so I can leave because I have nothing to add about basketball or the weather.”

I think the person at the register understood what I was communicating and appreciated the subliminal gesture. It was the right way to handle an otherwise awkward situation.

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

Politics of Fashion

BREAKING NEWS: Ready to spend your Christmas money? Check out Zara’s semi-annual sale this Friday!   [Fashionista]

Trouble at Barney’s?   [The Cut]

Lindsay Lohan is making a comeback, and this time, it is with the help of fashion!   [Fashionista]

Now that Christmas is over, it is now time to ring in the New Year with one of these fabulous dresses!   [SHEfinds]




TSA plans to expand beyond airports. [L. A. Times]

Jeff Smith: Some Unsolicited Advice for Cong. Carnahan

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan has led a charmed political life. After losing a congressional race in rural Southeast Missouri in 1990, Carnahan moved to St. Louis and ran for the state House in 2000, when his father was a popular two-term governor. He ran against a political neophyte and prevailed by 64 votes. In 2004, he ran in a 10-way primary for ex-House Leader Dick Gephardt’s seat and won by 1.6%. (Disclosure: I finished second, and six years later went to federal prison after lying to the government during an FEC investigation stemming from a Carnahan complaint.) In 2010, in a district Obama carried by 20 points, he edged Tea Party favorite Ed Martin 49-47. None of those election results was determined until the wee hours of the morning.

But in 2011, Congressman Carnahan’s luck ran out.

Congressman Russ Carnahan

After Missouri lost a congressional seat, the Legislature eliminated his district and split it into four other districts, one represented by black Democrat Lacy Clay and the others by Republicans. Clay did not discourage the Legislature from passing the map. Unlike Carnahan, he built relationships with state Republican leaders, engaging them throughout the process. When the map reached the state Senate, which experiences frequent filibusters that are rarely ended via cloture (fewer than ten times in 50 years), the Republican leadership braced for an all-night filibuster by Senate Democrats. But none spoke; the bill passed immediately.

Read the rest of…
Jeff Smith: Some Unsolicited Advice for Cong. Carnahan

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

The Politics of Faith

Happy Kwanzaa!  While many people think Kwanzaa is a religious holiday, this seven-day festival is actually a celebration of African-American heritage and culture.  []

Here are four things that both atheists and believers need to stop saying. []

Praise “Jizas”–for the first time, the Bible is being translated into creole. [BBC]

Movie and Chinese food: Yesterday, non-Christians engaged in their Christmas traditions while Christians celebrated the birth of Christ (and consumerism at its finest). [CNN Belief Blog]

Rod Jetton: Remembering a Hero, Part 2 – Trane McCloud, Putting Duty First

(Click Here to read Part 1 of Rod Jetton’s 4 part series: “Losing a Good Friend”)

I remember an old Colonel giving a speech to all the young officer recruits back in boot camp.  He told us about the Marine Corps and what being a Marine was all about.  This talk always stuck in my mind because he said, “There is an easy way and a hard way.  Marines always take the hard way.  Marines don’t take shortcuts; we work harder, fight harder and think smarter.”

This was new to me and seemed wrong.  High school and college was about finding a better and easier way to do everything.  Our teachers and society pushed taking the path of least resistance.  I didn’t know exactly what he meant at first.  The colonel gave examples using past wars where U.S. Marines made tough decisions, and won battles that changed American history.  He pointed out that many times their decisions made it harder on those Marines.  Sometimes, they even lost more lives when faced with a tough choice, but they always accomplished the mission and followed their orders.

I can’t remember the name of the Colonel who gave us that talk, but it might as well have been Trane.  He never took shortcuts.  He always knew what the Marine Corps rules and regulations were, and he always kept us on track.  He was calm and cool in all situations and nothing ever seemed to ruffle his feathers. 

In time, I came to understand better what the Colonel was saying, but I have always been a rebel.  The Marine Corps is hard on rebels.  They want team players that will work hard, follow orders, be smart and do their duty.  That’s why the Corps was so good for me.  I learned to depend on other people.  I learned that, no matter how good I was, if I worked with others I could accomplish much bigger things.  By myself, I was helpless on the battlefield.

By the time I met Trane he already knew these things, and he is a big reason I learned some of these lessons.   Now, I don’t want to paint a picture of Trane as some robot that just said, “Yes, sir.”  He was far from that.  His last name is McCloud, which is Scots-Irish, and he was VERY stubborn.  If you were doing things right he never said much, but if he thought you were not doing it the best way he would calmly give you his thoughts. 

The thing we loved about Trane was he didn’t care if you were a fellow lieutenant or the commanding general, he wasn’t afraid to speak up and correct you.

We had this captain who wasn’t a very good commander.  This drove me crazy, because, back then, I always had a better idea of how to do things and I liked being in charge.  This guy made following orders very difficult for all of us.

Read the rest of…
Rod Jetton: Remembering a Hero, Part 2 – Trane McCloud, Putting Duty First

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

The Politics of Wealth




Is Oracle warning of another tech slow-down? [Fortune]

Elite hedge fund managers’ top global stock picks. [Forbes]

The House GOP agrees to a 2-month extension of the payroll tax cut. [Washington Post]

The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show