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Pundit Roundtable

Hi! Welcome back to Pundit Roundtable, I am your host, Ken McCracken.

My mind is a bit fried on politics lately, so I went a bit more speculative with the topics this week, which are these:

Topic 1: You have the power to mind meld with any person from the present or past, and you can interface with their thoughts, memories and emotions. Who do you choose and why?

Topic 2: Does God want New Orleans to be a chocolate city?

I welcome back Rob Port of Say Anything - Rob, what do you think?

I would mind-meld with Teddy Roosevelt. The man was a brilliant politician and statesman, an energetic sportsman and explorer and led one of the most interesting lives I have ever had the pleasure of learning about.

On the political side of things I think he was the perfect conservative. His approach was to allow the freedom of individuals and businesses to flourish while still recognizing that a certain amount of government regulation and involvement is necessary for a healthy society. On the personal side of things, being an avid hunter and outdoorsman myself, I would enjoy having Teddy's memories of hunts and adventures as well as his vitality and energy.

Topic 2: Does God want New Orleans to be a chocolate city? Personally, I'm not convinced that there is a god, but if there is one I'm pretty sure he'd recognize that a chocolate city (especially in the Louisiana climate) would be a melted, sticky mess.

And now I welcome Will Franklin, proprietor of this very blog. Will?
Abraham Lincoln. He made some extraordinarily controversial and difficult decisions throughout his life, and lived through an extraordinary period in history.

Topic 2: When Pat Robertson says something like that, it's the big news of the day. When New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says it, it's sort of something a handful of news outlets and blogs pick up. If we're talking about making a conscious effort to repopulate New Orleans with a high percentage of African-Americans, let's be clear about why anyone would even really worry about this in the first place: Louisiana Democrats running in statewide campaigns cannot win, cannot even come close, without a concentrated base of political support in New Orleans.

The Host's Last Word: if I could mind meld with anyone, it would have to be Thomas Jefferson I think. It would be thrilling to access that genius, peer into the full life he had, and experience the founding the United States from inside the mind of one of its most important prime movers. Plus I suppose I would get all the inside dirt on all the other less-than-elevating things that went on in his life . . . but hey, no one's perfect!

Great minds think alike, and I too considered both Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as victims in this thought experiment as well. Teddy Roosevelt was my hero growing up, I wanted to be someone with his energy and sense of adventure. I actually think Abraham Lincoln is an even greater man than Jefferson . . . but, Lincoln went through travails that made Job look like a pampered prince. I am not sure I would want access to the dark pits of doom he had to contend with as President.

As for New Orleans . . . it has been rather fascinating to watch the plummeting political fortunes of Ray Nagin. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Nagin was briefly given minor hero status for his candor at press conferences, and the press lauded him for being the right man at the right time. And then the wheels came off - it became apparent that Nagin was part of the problem, not the solution, and now he is reduced to this: an odd parody of Pat Robertson.

Should New Orleans be a 'chocolate city'? Well, why not? If New Orleans has historically been a majority black city, there is no reason why it should not continue to be so. Bending government policy to try to engineer such an outcome is of course loathsome, but there is no need for it. New Orleans will continue to be black, and so God's wishes will be fulfilled.

According to the Prophet Nagin, anyway.

That's it! Thanks for coming by to our brief installment of Pundit Roundtable, we will be back next Sunday as usual!

Posted by Ken McCracken · 22 January 2006 03:45 PM


I wish we could have another Ronald Regan! Somehow he could bring the masses together. Whatever your politics were, Ronald Regan had a certain persuaviness and charisma! He chose his Vice President well too! ...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 22, 2006 04:23 PM

I would mind meld with one of the originators of a world religion. Just to see what they were thinking while becoming people who changed the world.

Posted by: business babe at January 22, 2006 06:20 PM

It would be kind of fun to get into the minds of some of the great sports figures too!... How fun would it be to be Mickey Mantel or Michael Jordon for a few days! Lee Trevino would be a cool one too! Just to be able to do some of the impossible shots that he has done!... Churchill would be interesting...BUT he suffered from that manic depressive thing which isn't particularly appealing!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 22, 2006 07:46 PM

Hmmm. Chocolate City. I say we surround it with a bunch of suburbs made up of overweight white people and call that a marshmellow city. Then when the wrath of God strikes because they don't teach Intelligent Design like God and Pat Robertson (who speaks to Him personally don't you know) and God burns the place down, we can make 'smores! Mmmm, smores.

Nagin wants a Chocolate City since only uneducated black folks like the ones that were out looting and robbing and calling Bush a racist could be hoodwinked into electing a dumbass like him or the stack of politicians that looted the money from the levies and left busses to rot instead of hauling folks out of the city.

Posted by: Justin B at January 23, 2006 03:23 AM

Justin B: You can say that again!...
It amazes me how the individuals who cry racism the loudest are always the most racist! Don't most communities after a disaster get out and clean up their own mess???

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 23, 2006 12:26 PM

Zsa Zsa,

The saddest part of the entire situation is that the Black Community in the country routinely allows themselves to be represented by Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, Nagin, etc., and allows their real interestes to be put in the backseat whenever something like Tookie Williams comes along or there is another opportunity for a hand out.

This is not an idictment against an entire race of people, but rather against the folks that have absolutely no agenda and no plan. If the real agenda was to reform the South and create an environment of equality for blacks, the right answer is integration, not creating a Chocolate City. If we want a white city so that we can hang around with only white people and provide fairly homogenous communities, we are called Klansmen or worse.

Go ahead and build an all black community in New Orleans, just don't blame Bush and Republicans for all of the problems created by the complete lack of leadership within the black community that you have. And Kanye West called Bush the racist...

Posted by: Justin B at January 23, 2006 01:56 PM

Justin B.
You are so right! ... BUT I still don't understand why the Katrina victims have not gone out and cleaned up the mess that Katrina left? The Florida hurricane victims have had as much devistation over and over again and again! AND the community seems to get out and rebuild and use the FEMA funds or whatever government funds are given to them to rebuild??? Is it just me or is there something terribly different about the New Orleans catastrophy than all the others?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 23, 2006 03:51 PM