Off the Main Trail

Finding a Progressive Path in Kentucky

Ric Caric

Ric Caric
College Town, U. S.
May 14
Regional University
I'm married with two daughters and have been teaching at a state university in a red state for 21 years. My blogging covers a lot of issues but I'm a progressive kind of guy who tends to focus on political process, conservatism, and religiosity. Living in the Bible Belt gives me a little different though not necessarily more friendly perspective on conservatism. I also get in the occasional sports post.

Ric Caric's Links

Last week, my wife Mary and I went on our traditional underachieving vacation, this time to Abingdon, Virginia in the southwestern corner of the state.  Barely able to rouse ourselves for lunch by 4:30 in the afternoon, we found ourselves in a nightmare of Confederate commemoration when we final… Read full post »

Before Texas governor Rick Perry became this week's Great White Hope for the Republican presidential nomination, he organized a prayer-fest in Houston called "The Response"  for this Saturday.

There are a lot of questions associated with the event. Should Perry be inviting gay-baiting
Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2011 7:58AM

Jon Huntsman and the Prom Queen

A pretty dumb moment from Jon Huntsman. Yesterday, Huntsman claimed that the media only paid attention to Michele Bachmann because she was pretty.

In a long story running in this week's New York, Huntsman -- who recently abandoned his lackluster Mr. Nice Guy campaign in favor of taking direct swipesRead full post »
JULY 29, 2011 7:05PM

Eleven Theses on the Debt Showdown

Given the problems of the American economy and political institutions, it's a good time to give a nod to Karl Marx.  Here's some quick ideas on the state of play in the Debt Limit Showdown modeled after Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach."

I.  Are We Exceptional?  American exception… Read full post »

Texas Governor Rick Perry hasn't announced yet, but the Rick Perry For President campaign has begun in earnest as Perry seeks to mend fences with the most determined haters in the social conservative movement--professional gay rights opponents.

Perry had to mend fences because he responded to the pas… Read full post »

The Last Couple of Plays in Regulation. Nobody really knows what's going to happen with the Debt-Limit Showdown. Talking Points Memo and Nate Silver think it's going to be settled before Aug. 2. Andrew Leonard of Salon thinks not. I'm with Leonard. My best guess is that Obama, the Democrats,… Read full post »
JULY 19, 2011 8:47PM

Mitt Romney is Doomed! Doomed!

There never was much reason to think that Mitt Romney had a fighting chance of winning the Republican nomination in 2012. Sure, Romney has all the right stuff on paper. He's a former Wall Street honcho and he saved the LA Olympics, served two terms as governor of Massachusetts, and looks… Read full post »

Golly, that liberal media is tough. Newsweek puffs Sarah Palin to the hilt.  I could swear I heard Peter, Paul, and Mary singing "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the background as I read the article.  Newsweek even has a couple of cheesecake wilderness shots.

The hard-bitten journa… Read full post »

This is a revised version of my live-blog of the GOP New Hampshire debate on CNN tonight.   The cast of contenders includes The Leader (Mitt Romney), the Zealot (Ron Paul), the Clown (Herman Cain), and the Woman from the Religious Right (Michele Bachmann).   Those are thRead full post »

America is soon going to find out if Sarah Palin still matters. After more than four months out of the limelight, Palin is embarking on a historical tour of the Northeast.

The first stop will be at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally. Palin will then travel up the East

Read full post »
I don't know how sincere this is, but Republican possibilities now say that they're dropping out because they fear the possibilities of WINNING.

The conventional wisdom on Mitch Daniels was that his family didn't want to revisit the story of Cheri Daniels leaving the Indiana governor, getting married/… Read full post »

I've never been a big fan of the New York Times, but the Jeff Zelenzy/Jim Rutenberg "story" on the Mitch Daniels decision not to run for the Republican nomination is a particularly poor example of political journalism.

The biggest weakness of the article is that it conveys an impression that the… Read full post »

Even though several leading Republicans are running for President, none has declared a candidacy.  Here's a quick breakdown on why they will or will not run.  I'll start with the top contenders and work my way down.


Sarah Palin.  With Sarah Palin, it's all about the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 12:23AM

The Kindness of Strangers

Today, the kindness of friends and relatives reminded me of the many kindnesses I've received from strangers as well.

I just wish my car didn't have to break down for this to happen.

Today's car incident happened while travelling on Interstate 64 between my home in Morehead, KY and the city… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 12:23AM

The Kindness of Strangers

Today, the kindness of friends and relatives reminded me of the many kindnesses I've received from strangers as well.

I just wish my car didn't have to break down for this to happen.

Today's car incident happened while travelling on Interstate 64 between my home in Morehead, KY and the city… Read full post »

Paul Krugman proposes that the Republican deficit plan be called "Eat the Future."

If you didn’t understand that logic, you might be puzzled by many items in the House G.O.P. proposal. Why cut a billion dollars from a highly successful program that provides supplemental nutrition to pregnant m

Read full post »
JANUARY 17, 2011 4:40PM

MLK's New Birth of Freedom

The Vitality of the Day. Martin Luther King's birthday means many things and it should mean many things if it is to remain a meaningful holiday. Martin Luther King was an extremely protean figure. He was the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a creative force in social protest,… Read full post »

HuffPost is leading with a teaser quote from China Ambassador Jon Huntsman about running for president in 2012.

Now, it appears, the ambassador is ready to make some noise of his own. Sitting in the echo-y living room of his new Washington home, Huntsman, a tall, lean man with silver hair… Read full post »
DECEMBER 23, 2010 10:14AM

End the Filibuster in January

Yesterday, every returning Democrat in the U. S. Senate signed a letter calling for changes in Senate rules to limit filibusters and holds. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Carl Levin of Michigan are talking about making Senators actually recruit 40 votes to begin a filibuster and then staying on the… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2010 12:54AM

The Rand Paul Memory Song

In my attempt to capture the spirit of Rand Paul, I've made an adjustment to Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were."  My humble apologies to Ms. Streisand even though the movie was overblown crap.

 The Rand Paul Memory Lane Song

Mmm. Mmm.

Memories, of before we fell behind

Misty watercolor me… Read full post »

AUGUST 25, 2010 8:11AM

Sarah Palin's Little Finger

The latest reports out of the battle for the Republican nomination to the U. S. Senate from Alaska has incumbent Lisa Murkowski trailing unknown Joe Miller.

Incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski was thought to be a big favorite coming into Tuesday's primary against Sarah Palin-backed challenger Joe Mille… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 4, 2010 11:26PM

Gay Rights Victory Creates Opportunity for Conservatives

A federal judge overturned the gay marriage ban adapted by California as a result of Proposition 8. Judge Vaughn Walker was both comprehensive and direct.

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence show… Read full post »

Yesterday, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska announced that he would vote against confirming Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. That makes Nelson the only Senate Democrat to oppose Kagan.

Nelson has made a point of being a particularly difficult vote for the Senate Democrats over the last couple of years. F… Read full post »

1.   What is your favorite word?  Love.  I've reached for it, have it, and still don't quite believe it.  "Oh!  What a world!"

2.   What is your least favorite word? Bitch.  It kills me to see my daughters embrace it.

3.   What turns you on? Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 13, 2010 1:39AM

Elena Kagan Needs Smarter Friends

In "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Martin Luther King criticizes white Southern ministers for responding to the civil rights movement in Birmingham with "pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities."

Unfortunately for Kagan, that's pretty much what she got from Randall Kennedy's effort in HufPos… Read full post »