Redskins’ Foes: Ironies Only A Yankee Would See

July 7, 2014
Redskins is disparaging because it focuses on skin color?  Oklahoma should be on notice--the state's name is Choctaw for "red people".

Redskins is disparaging because it focuses on skin color? Oklahoma should be on notice–the state’s name is Choctaw for “red people”.

There’s a certain sort of modern irony–a sweet, sweet irony–in the uproar among the very small minority in the media, academia, and in the public at large who find the Washington Redskins to be an offensive team nickname.  That is, it would be sweet, if the preposterous nature of the public crusade didn’t involve real attempts to ruin real people.  For several years there have been those in the sports media: Michael Silver and Bob Costas, for example; those in the political sphere like Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, and those professional offense-takers and publicity hounds, such as Ray Halbritter and Amanda Blackhorse who equate the naming of a football team the Redskins as akin to using the “N” word for a team nickname.



Let’s pause for a moment.  If we are discussing the relative offensiveness of two words and you won’t even say one of them, you already lose.  By your own standard.

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Presidential Pool Bracketology: Obama v. Carter

March 12, 2013

Barack Obama (6) v. Jimmy Carter (11)

Another matchup of deeply flawed presidents presents itself here between two Democrats, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Carter is widely regarded as one of the very worst presidents of all time, but Barack Obama despite and perhaps because of the refraction caused by a lack of historical perspective, is regarded by at least 51% of the population as a pretty good president. The rest of America, not so much.


Carter tried a little too hard. James David Barber of Duke’s book “Presidential Character” analyzed the modern presidents based on their character traits. Carter reportedly invited Barber to the White House and spent the day carefully scripting his actions so as to produce what he deemed a positive analysis in the next edition of Barber’s book. He was not fooled.

Jimmy Carter, a lowly 11 seed in our tournament, is most known for writing thousands of useless cookbooks and self-help guides once he left office in shame after one term in 1981. During his presidency, he is most known for his platform for human rights. Largely, this was an accident of circumstance stemming from his campaign which polled well when he was seeking the Democratic nomination and needed to woo disparate parts of the Democratic Party to unify behind him. Read the rest of this entry »

March Madness Bracketology: The Presidential Pool

March 10, 2013


In the spirit of March Madness, I’ve begun to work on a series (that will take as long as it needs to) of blog posts for a presidential bracket. I think it is a fun way to look at some of the lesser known attributes of some of our Chief Executives, to think about what makes a good president, and to perhaps rethink some of our own prejudices and notions about America’s political history. 44 presidents (including two Grover Clevelands) will compete in four different regions for the title of best president of all time. The selection committee has set the field, divided into four regions (East Wing, West Wing, Oval Office and Rose Garden Regions) and the participants will compete based on several criteria:

  • Problems that the president faced internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • Problems that he caused internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • How the president affected the prestige of the office or conducted himself.
  • Short term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • Long term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • How did the president upheld the oath of office?
  • How did he use presidential power?
  • How the president changed or shaped the presidency–was he shaped by events or did he control the narrative?

Fill out your brackets, argue about it with your friends and family, and then strap yourself in for this series. We will start the tournament off with the Rose Garden Region’s play-in games. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Electoral Update 2012

October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard as the 2012 presidential election reaches its most feverish pitch, and there is a torrent of prognostication out there.  With roughly two weeks left before the 2012 presidential election there is still a lot of bluster about who will win. My blog space is no exception, but the reader should rest assured that your author came within a handful of seats in the 2010 mid-terms of predicting a perfect 63 seat swing.  This in the face of myriad pundits and political analysts who called my careful estimates wishful thinking, bordering on homerism and insanity.  Rest assured, Exile reader, though I clearly favor Mitt Romney, this is purely objective.

Mitt Romney has a clear advantage in the popular vote, holding onto about a 51-47 advantage. When undecideds are factored in on Election Day, the majority of undecideds choose the challenger in 82% of elections, so that number should widen just a little bit, probably to 52-48. This doesn’t amount to a hill of beans without a victory in the Electoral College which requires 270 electoral votes (for those of you who are curious, an election which is tied in the Electoral College gets kicked to the House, where Mitt Romney would undoubtedly win due to the enormous Republican advantage there). In one final election update here, I will try to project the final tally. Read the rest of this entry »

Five V.P. Candidates Romney Should Avoid and Five He Should Embrace

August 11, 2012

Jindal for V.P.? Conservatives would swoon should Romney name the Governor of Louisiana as his running mate.

On the Eve of Mitt Romney’s announcement of his running mate, I offer no speculation as to who he might select. The vice presidential running mate has not traditionally won or lost presidential elections for the head of the ticket. Neither does the Vice President hold any real particular power in governing or policy making. However, there are a number of individuals who can consolidate or shore up weak areas for the presidential candidate. In a close election, the vice presidential nominee may even make the difference, for better or for worse for Mitt Romney. In keeping that in mind, I have compiled the top five vice presidential picks that could be considered front-runners (no Donald Trumps, Jeb Bushes, or Allen Wests) that Romney should not pick, and then the nominees that would serve Romney well.

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NPR, Senate Races & Thought of the Day

September 22, 2010

Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer and other conservatives' relationship with the conservative wing in the Republican Party is damaged because the conservative wing does not root for the Reppublican Party, win lose or draw, regardless of what it stands for.

Karl Rove (pictured), Charles Krauthammer and other conservatives' relationship with the conservative wing in the Republican Party is damaged because the conservative wing does not root for the Republican Party, win lose or draw, regardless of what it stands for.


  • So, I am scanning through my FM stations while driving through downtown Knoxville yesterday, and I happened to be unfortunate enough to stumble upon the local National Public Radio station.  All Things Considered, a poor excuse for a radio program, was in the midst of a piece about Democrat Representative Betty Sutton of Ohio’s 13th Congressional District.  The whiny rag by Robert Siegel lamented that she is in a unexpectedly tight race against Republican Tom Ganley, due to the tsunami of discontent with pseudo-socialist policies being rammed down Americans’ throats–ehh, that last part was paraphrased.  In any case, the district is supposed to be safe for Democrats, according to political scientist Dave Cohen: “This is a seat that should not be in play. This is a seat that should be on nobody’s radar… [and the reason] is that a few years ago, a very popular Democratic Congressman here was making noises about running for Governor, against then-Republican Governor Bob Taft.  The Republicans were in the process of re-districting…and so, the Republicans decided to make this district more safe for him as an encouragement for him to stay right there in the U.S. Congress and not challenge Taft for the governorship.” (NPR)
  • This tale by the ever-so-objective NPR reminded me of a minute fact that I’d run across regarding gerrymandering of Congressional Districts.  Not only do Democrats gerrymander to make Democrat seats safer, Republicans do the same for their Democrat colleagues!  So much so, in fact, that a Slate article last year documented the most gerrymandered districts in America.  Finding?  Well, by golly, apparently 16 of the 20 most gerrymandered districts in America belong to those ethically inebriated Democrats!  Including none other than everyone’s favorite Banking Committee Chairman, Barney ‘F’ Frank…  Not surprising at all, actually, now that I think of it.


  • Mike Castle is exactly the type of Republican that the establishment Republicans told us in 2008 that the Party needed to become.  This, after the ‘transformative’ election of Barack Obama.  I remember it all over the punditry; gleeful accounts of conservatism’s hull, creaking and bowing, the last gasp before breaking up completely and sinking to the bottom of the proverbial ocean.  Now, they said, the Colin Powells, Lindsey Grahams and Al DaMatos and the rest of the Rockefeller Republicans could paddle out in their dinghies, to take back the Party–or the junk heap that would be left–preferably as a permanent minority–y’know, all the golfing and celebrity benefits but none of the responsibility.  The old Republicans that “got stuff done”, but never did anything?  Those ones.  We work best as a permanent majority, right?
  • Think back.  Which types of candidates are the first to be ousted from office in liberal leaning states like Delaware when Republican electoral momentum wanes?  Is it the right-wing Christine O’Donnell types, or the moderate Mike Castle ones?  The conservative fire-brands or the squishy liberals?  Of course, everyone remembers how in 2006 and 2008 all of those right wing Republicans were thrown out on their kiesters in places like Rhode Island and Ohio…  Err, wait, I think it was the other way around…  It was the liberal Republicans, like Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, Mike DeWine in Ohio, Ted Stevens in Alaska, Norm Coleman in Minnesota, and a long list of other moderate to liberal Republicans who lost their jobs.  Not those crazy conservatives.
  • In any case, we are now to believe that conservatives are best served by nominating John McCains, Lisa Murkowskis, Charlie Crists, Mike Castles and other liberal establishment Republicans.  We’re told this by…  establishment…  Republicans…  Hmm.  In any case, these guys lose elections, they don’t win them–and if they do win, they don’t do a darned bit of good from a policy perspective, a la six years from 2000-2006 under Republican control when we got nothing done of note.  Karl Rove is the most ardent of the numbers guys to espouse this notion, that nominating moderates who presumably stand a better chance of getting elected gives Republicans just barely enough seats for majority power.  True?  Maybe, yeah.  But what kind of power?  Will those moderates go along with policy initiatives to enact real, tangible conservative changes?  The kind that work?  No.  They won’t.  But Republicans will get Chairmanships and Speakerships back, short term, and long term we will lose elections, because moderate policies suck.  And, if you follow political parties like you do your favorite football team–that is, rooting for them to win, sans ideological investment–then that is great (hello D.C. establishment, talkin’ ’bout you!).  And that is what Karl Rove is.  He is a good guy, don’t get me wrong, and it was a pleasure working under him.  But he is a math guy.  His job is to get Republicans power–not to enact transformative changes.  To right America’s current wrongs, we need transformative people.  Not Mike Castles.  Isn’t it about time to let the unelectable likes of Sharon Angle, Scott Brown, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Joe Miller, Bob McDonnell, Marco Rubio and Christine O’Donnell have a shot at this thing?  I think so.


  • Representation without taxation is more nefarious than taxation without representation.  The latter depends merely on the good intentions of the few, wherein a benevolent oligarchy may in fact benefit the people, for a time.  The former empowers the tyranny of the mob, and falls victim to the Law of Averages in regard to human nature, ensuring misery for all.


Is Your Name On It?

February 6, 2010

Is it truly a sign of America's racism that in November, black Americans, who make up 12.2% of the U.S. population, will have no representation in the Senate? Well, only if you believe that skin color equals representation.

The Associated Press and other media outlets on Friday were wringing their hands about Senator Roland Burris’ exit at the end of the year because it could potentially leave the Senate without a black member.  In the Washington Post, Deanna Bellandi wrote that the “historically all-white club known as the U.S. Senate is likely to lose what little diversity it has after November’s elections.”  The idea apparently is that, without a Black man or woman running to replace Burris, that the Senate’s “black seat” will be lost.  This mentality is prevalent in Democrat politics.  Burris was appointed to replace Barack Obama, another Black man.

Liberals were all in a tizzy in 1991 when Thurgood Marshall retired and the threat to the “Black seat” on the Supreme Court was palpable.  They probably would have rather done away with the black seat, in retrospect, granted the fact that Clarence Thomas is the Justice that succeeded him.  Likewise on the court, liberals were so upset by the fact that the “Jewish seat” on the court was filled by an gentile for twenty four years that President Clinton went ahead and nominated two Jewish Justices, Ginsberg and Breyer, to make sure such a travesty should never occur again.  The question I have is, what’s with all the hate? Read the rest of this entry »