Real solutions require internal change

Mother of Exiles
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When I read Ann Coulter’s endorsement of Trump I knew I couldn’t stay silent any more. I shouldn’t have been surprised that she might endorse Trump, after all, Ann has never been one to shy away from a confrontational approach on issues she cares about (although she spends more time being right on the issues she speaks about than Trump does) so his style shouldn’t be a huge negative in her eyes. The only reason I read her article was that the title was intriguing (“I was hoping for a taller honest man”) and I wanted to know her reasons for deciding to hold her nose and choose Trump. When her message was a complaint that people either dislike him or feel they have to hold their noses to vote for him combined with an emphasis on his approach to immigration I knew it was time to speak out about how the GOP at large is missing the mark on immigration – which is why the childish plan from Trump’s imagination (“Mr. Putin, we’re going to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it to boot.“) has so much appeal among party members. Continue reading

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How the Big 12 should structure their conference championship

With yesterday’s rule change on holding conference championships the Big 12 has an opportunity to get their “13th data point” but they can structure it so that they only hold a championship when they don’t have a clear champion already. The way to do that would be to only hold a championship game when the team with the best conference record doesn’t have at least a two game lead in both their conference record and their overall record. (They might make an exception to the two game rule if the conference leader either lost to the team two games behind them or won on their home field.)

The two game rule means that most years they would be holding a championship game but it allows them to avoid a trap game for their conference champion when they already have a clear winner. (That 13th data point doesn’t mean much when 12-0/9-0 #1 team beats 9-3/7-2 #2 team again but it sure hurts the whole conference if they lose.)

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Carly Fiorina

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Even as I begin writing this I haven’t decided where I stand on Carly Fiorina. She sounds like a strong candidate when she speaks – I can understand Holly’s enthusiasm based on what Carly says – but I’m not yet convinced of how much substance is behind the rhetoric. I’ve had concerns about her performance at HP because that’s the only real sample we have of her capacity to lead. Carly declares on her campaign website that “her record as CEO speaks for itself” and some of her critics would undoubtedly agree (while arriving at the opposite conclusion that her supporters do). After consideration I have concluded that her record as CEO doesn’t speak for itself any more than the data in a scientific study speaks for itself. Data is data but without context (or with incomplete context) the same data can lead to vastly disparate conclusions.

If the question before me were “should Carly Fiorina be our next President?” the answer would have to be I really don’t know yet. Thankfully the question right now is simply, “does Carly Fiorina deserve serious attention as a candidate?” The answer to that one is yes she does. I endorse Carly Fiorina for president – she brings an important voice and perspective to the debate and may yet prove to be our best option.

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John Kasich

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John Kasich was among the long list of GOP candidates that I had no particular opinion of going into this process. As a multi-term governor of Ohio I anticipated a decent amount of political experience but was surprised to find a cross between Rick Santorum (more political experience than expected) and Ted Cruz (“judge me based on what I’ve done”).

The more I learned about him the more convinced I became that for this election cycle in the GOP there is an inverse correlation between real political experience and polling numbers. If the primary voters in the GOP decide that maybe they should do something other than a wholesale rejection of those with political experience then they should seriously give John Kasich strong consideration. I very much endorse John Kasich for president because even when we need a change of course experience is a valuable commodity.

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Lawrence Lessig

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I was surprised to hear that Larry Lessig had declared that he would run for the Democratic nomination. Having followed his work on intellectual property law for years I have always liked Larry because he has proven to be someone who has a solid understanding of the information age – which is uncommon among elected officials. With that background I was really hopeful that he would be a good candidate.

Unfortunately this promise killed any chance of being endorsed:

If elected, he says he will be the first “referendum president,” promising to serve only as long as it takes to pass his Citizens Equality Act of 2017 — a bill aimed at reforming campaign finance, voting rights, and Congressional representation. Once the bill is passed, Lessig said he would then step down, handing over the reins to his vice president.

Sadly, Larry isn’t running to be president, he is running to enact a particular piece of legislation. I can’t endorse Larry Lessig for president. Even if the legislation were correct and very important (which is a matter for debate) I would consider it irresponsible to endorse someone in hopes that he chose a good vice president to succeed him.

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