Video of The RP from Last Night’s Ohio Historical Society/No Labels Panel on “Bridging the Political Divide”

Negative ads. Robo calls. Finger pointing. Divisive politics… How did it come to this?

With Ohio once again in the spotlight of an important presidential race, the Ohio Historical Society partnered with No Labels, a Washington-based movement seeking bipartisan political reforms, to host a panel discussion, moderated by Ann Fisher, host and executive producer of WOSU’s “All Sides with Ann Fisher.”

The panelists included:
Bob Taft, former Governor of Ohio and research associate at the University of Dayton
Senator Charleta B. Tavares, (D) District 15 – Columbus
Tom Suddes, editorial board member of the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Gene Pierce, Columbus-based political consultant
Jonathan Miller, No Labels co-founder and former treasurer for the State of Kentucky

Here’s the video of the event:

John Y’s Musings From the Middle: Losin’ It

I rarely ever lose my cool. And even when I do, it usually goes unnoticed.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate someone who can “lose it” easily—and really put it to impressive uses.

Here is one of my all time favorite “losing it” scenes from one of my all-time favorite movies about the mindset of criminals.

And the consequences of provoking their sometimes hair trigger temper. Unforgettably played by Dustin Hoffman.

Oh, and let me forewarn you, I once had a college counselor 30 years ago suggest to me that I had a “low frustration tolerance threshold.” He may have been trying to tell me that one day I could be capable of doing this too.

Just giving fair warning.

Jeff Smith: Why Todd Akin Could Win

As I predicted when Rep. Todd Akin’s ignorant comments first broke, the anti-gambling zealot was going to call the party’s bluff. And despite the fact that the Republican Party’s reversal is an embarrassing sign of the party’s captivity to its lunatic fringe, yes, East Coast establishment, he could actually win.

Before explaining why, it’s worth noting that the NRSC’s about-face is also a story of personal ambition: Sen. John Cornyn understands that he’ll never become Whip (or ultimately, Majority Leader) if he blows his second chance to retake the chamber. With Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Connecticut especially difficult in a presidential year; North Dakota, Montana, and Indiana unexpectedly difficult in a presidential year; and Virginia, Wisconsin and Nevada all trending poorly, Cornyn realizes that any Senate majority goes through Missouri And given the specter of Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell, Cornyn also knows that there won’t be much forgiveness in his caucus if he blows it again courtesy of a nominee who could’ve been avoided had the primary field been limited to two.

So, how could Akin win? Since 2008, Missouri has swung as hard to the right as has any state in the country. First there are long term demographic shifts at play – not exactly a new trend, but an accelerating one. In a nutshell, ascendant conservative Republican legislators have repelled gays, immigrants, and young, mobile progressives, just as the continuing growth of Branson, Mo. (the live music capital of the world) and the conservative Springfield metro area have attracted hordes of conservative evangelicals and retirees. It was a vicious cycle: the more retrograde the political debate, the more progressives left Missouri or avoided it in the first place. And the more progressives disappeared, the more conservative the electorate became, and the more reactionary the debate. The burgeoning strength of grassroots conservatives in Missouri became apparent in 2010 when Republicans rode the wave to legislative majorities of 106-57 and 26-8 in the state House and Senate, respectively.

Read the rest of…
Jeff Smith: Why Todd Akin Could Win

RP EXCLUSIVE: A Full-Throated Appeal For Government Stimulus…By George Romney

Recently, while cleaning up his law firm files, Friend of RP Harvey Burg uncovered a gem of a speech by the late Michigan Governor (and HUD Secretary) George Romney, who’s earning greater renown as the father of the GOP’s current presidential nominee.

In vivid contrast to his son — and to the current direction of much of his own Grand Old Party — George Romney makes a well-reasoned appeal to stimulate private participation by investors, by having the government prime the pump and put in place appropriate and coordinated programming.  Mitt’s dad understood that federal government programming on a major level was required to stimulate the economy.

Here are several excerpts:

Speaking about his Republican government’s accomplishments in 1969, Romney states:

 “Despite the worst credit crunch in modern times…we were able to keep enough capital flowing into the mortgage market to sustain housing production…”

Speaking about needed ingredients of a national housing policy, he lists among his components:

“adequate levels of government assistance for housing low income families.”

“efficient administration and prompt processing in government programs” and

“effective concern for the economic and social implications of housing, including equal job and enterprise opportunity for minority citizens.”  

Read the rest of…
RP EXCLUSIVE: A Full-Throated Appeal For Government Stimulus…By George Romney

Profile of The RP/No Labels in ThisWeek Community News

Columbus, Ohio’s community newspapers — ThisWeek Community News —  ran a feature on tonight’s panel at the Ohio Historical Society, that features The RP’s introduction of No Labels, discussed here earlier today.  Here’s an excerpt:


After nearly two decades in public service, about half in elective office, Jonathan Miller had had enough.

Elected twice as a Kentucky state treasurer and later appointed secretary of finance, he watched the partisan nastiness grow out of control.

“I call myself and consider myself a recovering politician,” he said. “The system is a mess. Hyperpartisanship is the cornerstone of the problem. That’s where we’ve really deteriorated.”

Miller, a Democrat, might have gotten out of politics, but he’s still trying to fix the system.

The 45-year-old is co-founder of No Labels, a Washington, D.C.,-based movement seeking bipartisan political reform.

The Ohio Historical Society and No Labels will host a panel discussion on “Bridging the Divide” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, addressing Ohio’s role as a battleground state for the 2012 presidential election. The event, to be held at the historical society, 800 E. 17th Ave., is free and open to the public, although a donation to the historical society is recommended.

Panelists include former Republican Gov. Bob Taft; Democratic state Sen. Charleta Tavares; Tom Suddes, an editorial writer for the Plain Dealer; and political consultant Gene Pierce. Ann Fisher, host of All Sides with Ann Fisher on WOSU Public Media (89.7 FM), will be moderating.

 Click here to read the full article.

Political Ad of the Year: Samuel L. Jackson Tells Voters to “Wake the F%^&* Up!”

The most important political ad of the presidential campaign, censored for your family viewing enjoyment (unless, of course, you are a Mitt Romney fan):

Central Ohioans: Join The RP TONIGHT for “Bridging the Divide”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Urban Outfitters

If you are in an urban area and need to buy an outfit and see a store called Urban Outfitters, you’d think your problem was almost solved, right?

Not necessarily.

I took my son in and strode up and down several rows of men’s clothing. Or it could have been boy clothing. Or man/boy. Or maybe unisex or genderless.

The point is that I liked it but none seemed really to work. A few shirts made me look like a skateboarder. Another like a Native American celebrating his cultural heritage.

Another just made me very uncomfortable because it was tight in all the wrong places.

And so finally, I gave up and decided to leave.

At the door was a young lady greeting customers and I said,

“Excuse me….What age range does Urban Outfitters cater to?”

“We cater to 16-24 year olds,” she said.

“Hmm.” I wasn’t sure whether to pretend I was there to shop just for my son or fess up.

I said, “Do any of the clothes work for people slightly over age 24?”

“Oh, yes.”

“How about all the way up to, say, 49?”

“Absolutely! We sure do.” She cheerfully encouraged.

I laughed and thanked her and said she didn’t have to exaggerate Urban Outfitters target market to make me feel better, but I appreciated it.

But I’m not sure I did.

I thought to myself, I am ready to accept my age being off for some hip clothing stores.

Even by 25 years. But not ready to have young people lie to me about age issues to avoid hurting my feelings.

Tomorrow I may go back and buy something just to make a point that I don’t want anyone’s sympathy.

And if you see me in an multi-colored Native American designed shirt next week…. I’m not wearing it because of my culture. But because I can!

Ahmadinejad Does “Gangnam Style”

Apparently, the South Korean sensation, “Gangnam Style,” is going global.  Just yesterday, during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets of New York City, and was joined by Hafaz Assad and the late(?) Ayatollah Khomeini for a stirring rendition.

Let’s go to the videotape (h/t Daily Beast):

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

The Politics of Tech

The country of Brazil has ordered for a Google executive to be arrested after Google refused to remove a video from YouTube that criticizes a candidate running for mayor of a city in Brazil. [Washington Post]

The future is now – driverless cars have been made legal in the state of California. [Bloomberg]

The iPhone 4 faced adversity with it’s antenna being susceptible to the “death grip” and now its newer brother the iPhone 5 has its own controversy over Scuffgate. [Extreme Tech]

Verizon CFO, Fran Shammo – “Unlimited is just a word, it doesn’t really mean anything.” Alright, then. [engadget]

More Apple news as this week they lost a touch-screen patent case against Samsung and Motorola in Germany. [Washington Post]

Iran is preparing to block Google from the country in response to the anti-Islam independent film “Innocence of Muslims.” [Guardian]

The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show