The RP: Told You So…

A little over a year ago, I came out of the closet in support of marriage equality, and urged the President to do the same.  While my own announcement was personally gratifying, I believed that Obama’s support could provide trmendous momentum for the gay marriage movement:Indeed, there’s one politician whom I’m confident supports marriage equality, but has been afraid to admit it. I suspect he’s waiting for the right opportunity to announce it, when the electoral benefits outweigh the political downside.

Mr. President, the time is now. Yes, you can… trigger the tipping point. Exercising bold leadership — instead of waiting to follow the generational tide — might be your most enduring legacy.

Early evidence seems to prove that I was right.  Esteemed New York Times pollster Nate Silver detects a pronounced shift among the electorate, particularly among African-Americans:

President Obama’s self-described “evolution” on same-sex marriage — from opponent to proponent — appears to be catalyzing a similar shift among some of his most loyal supporters, African-Americans. Although evidence for such a shift is preliminary — there are just a few data points and a number of caveats — Mr. Obama’s announcement may have accelerated the acceptance of gay marriage among blacks.

Read Silver’s full analysis here.



The RP’s Breaking News: The Politics of Pigskin

On Thursday Giant’s WR Hakeem Nicks broke a bone in his right foot. This is certainly a setback after Nicks’ breakout season contributed to a Super Bowl win last year. The normal recovery time for this injury is 12 weeks, which bumps right up against the beginning of the season. [ESPN]

Jeff Smith: Is Bob Kerrey Too New York for Nebraska?

There is cruel irony in the notion that Kerrey’s decade here at The New School will hurt him in Nebraska. The irony is that, well, most people here didn’t like him very much. Indeed, the last time he stood for election was not 1994; it was a no-confidence vote brought by the faculty of the New School.

The overall vote was reportedly 271 to 3 against Kerrey, with the vote among tenured faculty 74-2 against, and Kerrey announced his resignation soon thereafter. (I was not on faculty then.)

This occurred after Kerrey went through five provosts in seven years before naming himself provost in addition to president, which helped trigger student occupations of the administration building (back before the word “occupy” was capitalized).

Admittedly, The New School is a politically charged environment and certainly not an easy place to govern. And a decade is a long time to run anything, let alone a university with a long and vibrant tradition of dissent. But to say that his New School tenure was rocky is like saying that Nixon had a bumpy presidency.

So in my view, he ought to try to make lemons from lemonade: find some footage of himself clashing with unkempt student protesters (he called police during the occupation and students were forcibly removed) and have someone put it up on YouTube. Say that he got pushed out because people rejected his “common-sense Midwestern approach.” 

Read the rest of…
Jeff Smith: Is Bob Kerrey Too New York for Nebraska?

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

The Politics of Tech

After going public Facebook’s stock dropped 11% below, below the IPO price. [Washington Post]

IBM banned employees from using Siri after it was revealed that Apple got a copy of everything you spoke to it. [Wired]

Google has won the patent infringment case brought against them by Oracle. [The Verge]

The original Rick-Roll video has been taken down from YouTube do to copyright claims. Sad day. [Torrent Freak]

SpaceX update here: Dragon has performed a practice lap around the International Space Station. [CBC News]


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

The Politics of Pigskin

Roger Goodell recently held a press conference and touched on some of the major issues and storylines the NFL is facing in the near future. [Star Tribune]

Read more about the knee and thigh pad mandate with this link. [ESPN]

The Seattle Seahawks recently turned down HBO who came with an offer to be featured on this season of Hard Knocks. They are just the most recent team to decline following several others who were also not interested. Who will end up the show? Will there be a Jets encore? []

American football earns the second most of any sport in the world. It comes in a distant second to the other football, known in the US as soccer. [graph]

Check out Calvin Johnson participating in BP at a recent Tigers game (Detroit really likes their big cats). Spoiler alert: He goes yard. [Fox Sports]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Rapper’s Delight

The most embarrassing impressive thing I did my junior year at Central High?

I knew every single word to this song….and was happy to prove it to you.

It was impressive. And very embarrassing in retrospect.

But at the time I felt it would help distinguish me as a new student “to watch.” I was wrong about that.

And I still know most of the words to Rapper’s Delight.

And worry there will never be much of a pay off for me.

Beautiful Tribute to Robin Gibb

A lesser-known part of my biography is that my first elected office was serving as Co-President of The Lexington School’s Bee Gees Fan Club.  I was 10.

During my college years, I arrogantly scoffed at my youthful indisrections.  But by the time my own kids were at The Lexington School, I resumed my fanaticism for the Brothers Gibb.

Like all Bee Gees fans, I was very saddened by the recent death of Robin Gibb,  and I was moved by this beautiful tribute by the only remaining Gibb brother, Barry, that also features his other deceased brothers, Maurice and Andy.

I hope you enjoy as well:

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Artur Davis: Hispanic Losses, Gay Victories

A decade ago, the Hispanic political community and the gay rights lobby were in a substantially similar position: both with agendas that were largely under radar, far enough off the grid that their cause was neither a rallying point for friends nor a wedge issue for their adversaries.  The demands of both groups were mostly inconsequential in a national election.

Adjust the dial to 2012 and both gay rights and immigration have turned into cultural flashpoints. But the fortunes of the respective constituencies have taken sharply divergent paths. By any measure, gay rights advocates are on the rise. A once far-fetched goal of theirs, repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, survived congressional gridlock to become one of the Obama administration’s signature achievements; an even more implausible seeming cause, full-fledged marital status for same-sex couples, has just won the endorsement of the President of the United States and has become a major policy commitment of that president’s party.

In contrast, Hispanic interest groups are in the midst of a bad run. They are winless at the congressional level in the preceding decade—losing badly in their campaign to open up citizenship opportunities for much of the illegal immigrant population, and failing in a more incremental bid to legalize young undocumented adults who join the military or complete college. During Barack Obama’s term, they have actually lost ground. Alabama and Arizona have passed sharply restrictive laws aimed at making their states all but unlivable for illegal immigrants. The Democratic Party that generally wins Latino votes has been an ambivalent ally, with two major elements of their base, labor unions and African Americans, skeptical of any broad liberalization of immigration laws.

Read the rest of…
Artur Davis: Hispanic Losses, Gay Victories

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

The Politics of Laughter

Facebook has it rough right now. [picture]

The Death Star was an inside job. [picture]

Awesome teacher [picture]

“I wish I’d never been born!” [comic]

You can’t eat soup with a fork! [picture]

“Choose” your own adventure [picture]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Concerts by Generation

Generational changes, concert-wise.

My first rock concert I was 14 and went to see the band Chicago with my mother and two younger sisters.

It was held at Freedom Hall. We didn’t pose for pictures beforehand. And I wasn’t sure why we even went.

I think my mom wanted to go because she Chicago was her favorite band at the time.

Fast forward 30+ years and my daughter, age 14, is attending her, like, third or fourth concert. At the new Yum Center.

Back when I went to my first concert mention of an “antebellum lady” conjured images of a Southern belle in a hoop dress.

Today talk of Lady Antebellum conjures a very different image. Still a Southern gal but without hoop dresses ….and who is more likely to give the vapors to others than get them herself.

And pictures are taken before the concert. And the 14 year olds don’t go because their parents make them go see the parents favorite group. I think all in all, that’s probably progress. Mostly.

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