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

The Politics of Laughter

Don’t be ridiculous, dog. [picture]

A Guide to Gang Signs [picture]

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich [Cyanide and Happiness]

“So It Has Come To This” [xkcd]

How to cook pork and caramelised chestnut stuffing. [picture]

Paul Jr. helping out Paul Sr. Funnier if you’re familiar with the show. [picture]


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

What’s your biggest regret? Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that for most Americans, it’s a missed romantic opportunity. [NY Times]

Feeling a little back pain or numbness? Your skinny jeans or stilettos may be to blame. [Wall Street Journal]

New research from Britain shows common sleep medications may be linked to a shorter lifespan. But don’t stress yet, insomniacs– many doctors are doubtful of the study’s validity. [CNN]

When is it okay to give your child a sick day home from school… and when is it okay to send them, despite their sniffles? [Washington Post]

New research shows that richer people are often less ethical because they view greed differently than other demographics. [Time]

John Y’s Musings in the Middle: “Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good”

“Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good!”

Remember the old saying, “I feel like a million bucks!”?

That was very popular a few decades ago and meant you felt good physically and were on top of the world.

I have done an economic analysis based on when that saying was at the height of popular usage and have adjusted for inflation.

In today’s monetary terms, the proper saying should be “I feel like $2,435, 721.32”

However after adjusting for what each individual on average owes over their lifetime based on our national debt, the new adjusted number is roughly “$6.48.”

So, if you are feeling especially good today…and especially positive about the future, cock your head, put back that gleam in our eye and say, “Hey there, pal! I’m feeling like roughly $6.48 today, adjusting for inflation and my portion of the debt!”

It’s not quite as catchy as the original line, but spirit of that expression is still in there somewhere.

On the other hand, if you aren’t feeling especially good today physically or about your personal future, you will need to adjust further downward if someone asks you to estimate your dollar value based on your frame of mind today.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of wiggle room. I guess what I’m saying is I hope everyone is feeling, as Larry David likes to say, “Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good” about things. Figuratively speaking. ; )

Evan Bayh & George Voinovich: No Budget, No Pay

While we were public servants, our constituents counted on us to represent them well in Washington. It was our job to deliver to the best of our abilities.

Unfortunately, both today and while we were in office, Congress has simply been unable to deliver on one of its most fundamental responsibilities — passing, on time, the spending bills necessary to fund and run the government.

It has been more than 1,000 days since Congress last passed a budget on time, and well over a decade since it did so with all appropriations bills.

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Evan Bayh & George Voinovich: No Budget, No Pay

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

Marketers are finally targeting new categories of see today’s women: young urban professionals, working mothers, and luxury-seeking older women. [Adweek]

WikiLeaks is about to release 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private intelligence firm based in Texas that specializes in international affairs. [CNN]

Why are Twitter death hoaxes still so popular? [NY Times]

The Washington Post steps into the world of paid online content, with an iPad app about politics. [Poynter Institute]

Now that the Oscar winners have been announced, relive the magic with these (some unintentionally) hilarious moments frozen into awkward GIF files. [NY Magazine]

Update on Jeff Smith’s Stories RE: Missouri Redistricting

In several well-read pieces here at The Recovering Politician, former Missouri State Senator (and contributing RP) Jeff Smith has analyzed the impact of redistricting on his one-time political rival Congressman Russ Carnahan, and then predicted that Carnahan would ultimately choose to challenge his fellow Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay.

Turns out, Jeff was right. Here’s an excerpt from Real Clear Politics,Carnahan Files for Congressional Seat.”

Scores of hopeful candidates turned out Tuesday to file for political offices in Missouri, including a pair of incumbent St. Louis congressman now poised to square off in a Democratic primary, despite legal uncertainty over the district boundaries.

The candidacy filing period for the 2012 elections kicked off as planned, even though Missouri still lacks a final map for the state Senate districts and the Missouri Supreme Court has yet to rule on challenges to the state and U.S. House districts.

The first to file Tuesday was Democratic U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan of St. Louis, whose 3rd District was carved up and re-assigned to surrounding districts under a reapportionment plan enacted by the Republican-led state Legislature after the 2010 census. Until Tuesday, Carnahan has steadfastly affirmed he would run again in 2012 but had remained silent about in which district he would run _ hoping the Supreme Court would toss out the new map and order a do-over on the boundaries.

Carnahan filed to run in the 1st District in St. Louis, which currently is held by Democratic U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay. Not too far behind Carnahan in line, Clay also filed to run for re-election Tuesday, setting up a battle in the August primaries that both congressmen declared they could win.

Read the full piece from Real Clear Politics here.


John Y’s Musings in the Middle: Midlife Crises

Advantages to being a slow learner.

A friend of mine today broached the topic of mid life crisis in men…and wondered if he, at 44, was in the midst of his own midlife crisis.

We talked about it and I’m not so sure. I explained that even if he was, he had plenty to be upbeat about.

“Like what?” he asked.

“Well, look at it this way,” I said. “I had my midlife crisis at around 38….I consider that young for a midlife crisis. I was sort of an AP mild life crisis type—you know, kinda precocious for that stage of development. But here’s the silver lining for you. If that was truly midlife for me, my life expectancy is only 76. You, on the other hand, are a little slower to get around to passing through your midlife crisis “right of passage”–but if 44 is midlife for you, your life expectancy is, well, 88. That means you’ll live 12 years longer than I will based on my mid-life math.

Sure you may be more confused and depressed than me this year…and you’ll say silly and pathetic things, maybe even quite your job or buy a tacky looking sports car. But you get to outlive me by over a decade! I guess sometimes it pays to be a slow learner.”

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

Politics of Fashion


Toddlers and Tiaras’ Eden Woods has her own fashion line. And yes, she is only six years-old. [Fashionista]

Review: Versace goes gothic.  [Fashionista]

Behind on Project Runway All Stars? Check out this recap of Episode 8: [Racked]

Preview: Banana Republic’s Mad Men Line. [Racked]

Artur Davis: Race & College Admissions

The Supreme Court announced last week that it will revisit the perennial hot button of affirmative action in the college admissions process. The case, which involves the University of Texas’ admission practices, is a constitutional cliff-hanger: the 5-4 majority in 2003 for the proposition that colleges can treat race as a vague, non-specific factor rested on the now retired reed of Sandra Day O’Connor. Her successor, Samuel Alito, has a history of skepticism toward racial preferences. Adding to the peril for defenders of affirmative action, the court’s emerging liberal superstar, Elena Kagan, has recused herself.

The Texas plan provides automatic admission for the top ten percent of students in every Texas high school. To fill out its freshman class, the university deploys a formula that does not assign a specific point value to race, but unmistakably makes it a factor. It is precisely the kind of half-measure the court endorsed nine years ago, and which seems to be the prevailing practice in all manner of elite public and private colleges 9 (full disclosure: it’s also the kind of plan that admitted me to Harvard 25 years ago).

Count me as a conflicted spectator who chafes at both poles of the debate.

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Artur Davis: Race & College Admissions

Betty’s Back!

The RP’s favorite TV show premiere is less than a month away — Sunday, March 25.  From their latest sneak preview, it turns out that despite her divorce from the series’ anti-hero, Don, Betty Draper — played by January Jones — is back.

Check it out:


The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show