The RP in the HuffPost: How Adam Sandler Saved the Jews

The RP is back in The Huffington Post this week with a provocative column crediting Adam Sandler with saving the Jewish people.  Sort of…

Here’s an excerpt:

But as silly as his lyrics were on the surface, Sandler’s sing-songy outing of pop culture icons with Jewish blood was sort of revelatory to his fellow Chosen People. Who knew that James Caan — Sonny Corleone— lit the Hanukkah menorah?  And while the Jewish-ness of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) was well-known (we all learned in Hebrew School that the Vulcan hand salute was a tribute to a rabbinic blessing gesture), the Hebraic faith of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) was a welcome surprise. And Harrison Ford being a quarter Jewish? Not too shabby.

(Actually, Harrison Ford is fully half-Jewish. And contrary to another Sandlerian stanza, baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew — whose wife and children were Jewish — did not convert: The former California Angel and Minnesota Twin was never a Member of the Tribe.  But who’s kvetching?)

I remember picturing myself as a child in the ’70s, literally the only kid on my block (with my sis) without a Christmas tree. What I would have given to have known at the time that the epitome of coolness — The Fonz himself (Henry Winkler) — had a Bar Mitzvah! I imagined millions of other children learning the same way that many of their celebrity idols spun the Hanukkah dreidel, just like they did.

Click here to read the full column at The Huffington Post.

And have a Happy Chanukah!

John Y.’s Musings from the Middle: Airport Tele-transporters

Improving Kentucky’s public image.

I try when traveling to help boost how others perceive Kentucky.

No, we aren’t barefoot and uneducated as we are too often portrayed in the media.

To the contrary, I believe we are as shoe-rich and literate as about a…ny other state; and, in fact, have a well above average degree of common sense and common decency.
So last week I was in the big city of Atlanta’s mega-modern airport on my way home. I was going through security and was identified as a random person to do a body scan. I was especially friendly and pleasant about it, and explained I was from Kentucky and hadn’t seen one of these machines before but had seen seen them on TV.

I walked inside the cylindrical contraption and was told to stand in the center, be still, and raise my hands. The doors closed shut. After about 15-20 seconds, the doors re-opened and I was told to walk out the other side.

I did and smiled broadly at the security personnel and said “WowWee! I love fancy technology! Am I back in Kentucky already? I never thought I’d see the day….. but here I am. Just like in Star Trek!”

Read the rest of…
John Y.’s Musings from the Middle: Airport Tele-transporters

The RP’s BREAKING News: The Politics of Tech

Jacob E. Goldman has passed away at the age of 90. Goldman, a physicist, did so much during his life for the world of technology. His most prominent achievement was the founding of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center which went on to invent the personal computer. Goldman was a lifelong Democrat and one of Xerox’s first high-ranking Jewish executives. [NY Times]

Artur Davis: Authenticity and Politics

The political cliché of the moment is “authenticity”, which its most avid users describe as a consistency of stated political beliefs; it is regarded as the moral opposite of “flip-flopping” or “pandering”. By the standards of the “authenticity” test, Mitt Romney is deeply flawed, having shifted views on the usefulness of healthcare reform, the legality of abortion, the literalness of the Second Amendment, and having discovered new reservations around the rights of gays and the claims of illegal immigrants.

This is a fair enough description. Romney rose as a Republican fending for votes in the most liberal state, Massachusetts, and neither his run against Ted Kennedy nor his governorship sounded very much like the standard form conservative trolling for early state Republicans today.

But the “authenticity” test finds fault in unexpected places. Barack Obama gets mixed grades at best. In the span from 2003 to 2008, his criticisms of the death penalty gave way to support for extending it to non death offenses like sexual abuse of minors; his support for stiffer gun laws turned into an endorsement of the Supreme Court’s rejection of tough local gun restrictions. The Patriot Act he assailed during the Senate campaign was a thing he voted to renew as a senator.  As president, the forthright critic of non-judicial detention of suspected foreign terrorists has more or less copied the last administration’s playbook on the same subject. The candidate who jabbed his principal Democratic opponent for wanting to require that individuals purchase health insurance is now a president who has converted to the “mandates” cause.

Obama has gotten no real grief for directions in the past several years that don’t match the things he said in the heat of campaigns to win liberal hearts in Illinois, and then the country. In contrast, it is George Bush who draws considerable ire for staying fixed in stone on Iraq, even when the results were a quagmire that nearly undermined the success of dethroning Saddam. If memory serves, Bush also won not much praise for sticking to his moderate stances on immigration: the Texas governor who aggressively courted Latinos was the same president who infuriated his base for favoring a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Read the rest of…
Artur Davis: Authenticity and Politics

Boehner Bumps the RP Off CNBC

Oh, well.

House Republicans, fearing the tongue-lashing they were about to receive from the RP on CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company” agreed to the payroll tax cut, prompting CNBC to shift programming and cancel his appearance tonight.

So, if you know any TV producers out there, please recommend the RP as their good-luck charm.

Maybe if he knew that the RP was about to appear on Al Jazeera, Bashar Assad will finally step down in Syria…

Maybe if they knew that the RP was headed for Sportscenter, the Duke Blue Devils would just call it a season and cede the NCAA Championship to the Kentucky Wildcats…

Maybe if they knew that the RP was joining Ryan Seacrest on E! News, the Kardashians would just go away…


We still need your help building the No Labels army to “Make Congress Work.”

For a primer on “Make Congress Work,” click here to read the RP’s column today up at The Huffington Post.

Click here to read how “Make Congress Work” has impressed nationally-respected political columnist Ezra Klein.

And most importantly, click here to read the full “Make Congress Work” plan and to GET INVOLVED.

Tune in to see the RP on CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.”, TONIGHT at 7:40 EST

The RP is back on the national TV tubes tonight talking about No Labels’ ambitious “Make Congress Work” proposal.

This time, he will be appearing on CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company” at 7:40 PM EST.

For a primer on “Make Congress Work,” click here to read the RP’s column today up at The Huffington Post.

Click here to read how “Make Congress Work” has impressed nationally-respected political columnist Ezra Klein.

And most importantly, click here to read the full “Make Congress Work” plan and to GET INVOLVED.

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

The Politics of Tech

It seems that the entertainment industry invested about $50k a year over the course of 10 years in Rep. Lamar Smith to convince him to propose SOPA. [boingboing]

Google and Android are surging ahead of the Apple iPhone. Google is activating around 700,000 Android devices per day. [CBS News]

Have you ever wanted to go to MIT? Well, the prestigious and notoriously difficult school to get into is planning on offering free online courses to the public. [MIT News]

This week a man that uploaded a workprint copy of the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine was sentenced to a year in jail. [Tech Dirt]

Over the past few years hackers ran a scam on Subway by using digital credit card data to accumulate $3 million in fraudulent charges. [ars technica]

Ezra Klein Salutes No Labels’ “Make Congress Work”

Ezra Klein, one of the nation’s leading political analysts (formerly of The Washington Post, now with Bloomberg View), used his column this week to salute No Labels’ “Make Congress Work” proposals, launched with much fanfare last week.  Klein, formerly a No Labels’ skeptic, lauds “Make Congress Work” as a meaningful reform proposal.

Here’s an excerpt from Klein’s, “No Labels Stops Whining; Offers Political Agenda” from today’s Bloomberg View:

Enter No Labels. Rather than confine themselves to wishful thinking about a third-party candidacy or endless scolding over partisanship, its members have come out with a robust agenda for congressional reform.

Some of the items on the agenda are symbolic at best. Holding bipartisan monthly meetings and seating Democrats and Republicans together in Congress isn’t likely to usher in a new age of bipartisanship. Members of Congress are grown-ups responding to real pressures within their parties, and real demands from their most engaged constituents. They don’t need more play dates with the other side. But you know what? More play dates with the other side aren’t likely to hurt anything, either. So why not?

Some of the items on No Label’s agenda would transform the workings of sclerotic and dysfunctional institutions. Nominations to executive or judicial positions, for instance, would get an up-or-down vote after 90 days. If the federal budget was late, members of Congress wouldn’t get paid. Filibustering senators would actually have to do the Mr.-Smith- Goes-to-Washington thing and hold the floor of Congress by talking. No more filibustering without actually working for it. Oh, and filibusters could only be mounted against the passage of a bill — currently, the motion to move to debate is frequently filibustered, which means the filibuster is used to choke off debate rather than protect it.

Click here to read the full column.

And, even more importantly, click here to learn more about “Make Congress Work” and to join No Labels’ critical efforts.


The RP Summarizes “Make Congress Work” in HuffPost

As the No Labels’ campaign to “Make Congress Work” continues to pick up steam, the RP published a summary of the 12-point plan in The Huffington Post.

Here’s an excerpt:

More than a dozen current and former Members of Congress joined us last week to announce our action plan. And throughout 2012, No Labels will conduct an intensive campaign to mobilize one million Americans behind our efforts to Make Congress Work. Our goal is simple: To see most, if not all, of these reforms adopted when Congress convenes in January 2013.

This is our movement’s first step.  But it’s a big one.

If you too are tired of our poisoned political system, click here to become part of the solution, part of the first-of-a-kind grassroots movement to reform Congress from within.

The time to act is now.  Will you join us?

Together, we can Make Congress Work again.  Together, we can help restore history’s greatest democracy to its rightful perch, as a light unto the nations.

Click here to read the full article at The Huffington Post.

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

The Politics of Food

Save money by not letting food go to waste.  Here are 15 easy tips to help you do so. [MSN Money]

Good news for the local food movement–the USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program offers grants to promote local and regional food production and sales. []

Ecto Cooler, RIP

Here’s a list of 25 foods you may remember from your childhood that can no longer be found on your grocery store shelves. [Buzzfeed]

If The Christmas Song has you thinking about roasted chestnuts, here’s how you can make them at home. []

The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show