Roy Exum: My Mid-Week Musings

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Put me down as a huge proponent of Amy Coney Barrett to take the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat on The Supreme Court. The more I read about her the stronger I feel. And when I happened across an article in the South Bend, Ind., newspaper, it solidified my belief that for our nation to have any doubts whatsoever and try to trip her on perceived ideological flim-flam is just horribly wrong.  "If she’s being considered by a Republican administration, that means they think she’s going to be more conservative," said Paolo Carozza, a Notre Dame law professor and director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. "But people are reducing Amy to an ideological category instead of taking her for who she is: an intelligent, thoughtful, open-minded person."

Guess what? The entirety of the Notre Dame law faculty feels that way, as do the great majority of her students.

In this realistic world, the “Re-Elect Trump” chapter in South Bend ain’t a particularly large one. The liberal bias in higher education is obvious, and the Holy Catholic Church is hardly a Republican bastion with Roe vs. Wade and its similar views. But make no mistake, all are solidly convinced Barrett is the No. 1 choice for what is best for America. When President Trump nominated her for Chicago’s 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2017, the law faculty sent a huge letter of support for her, which was even more notable because it was unanimous and the signatures were gathered in the same day. (When was the last time a hard of lawyers agreed on anything on the same day?)

She gets up every morning between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to a rigorous Cross-fit routine and then gives her youngest of seven children – the one with Down Syndrome – a piggy-back ride down the stairs. Since joining her alma mater’s law faculty, she has been voted as the Professor of the Year three times. As a fellow professor told a South Bend reporter over the weekend, she’s mind-blowing intelligent, and she’s also one of the most humble people you are going to meet. Judge Barrett is the complete package.”

* * *


At last Saturday’s SEC football opener between Florida and Ole Miss, players from both teams knelt in what was described as “a show of unity.”  While the kneeling was done on both team’s sidelines and was not during the national anthem, the public’s response has been what you might imagine – the fans were not happy at all. Professional sports have suffered grievously for allowing social woes and political anger to worm their venom into our games and a majority of Americans are hoping this won’t start a distasteful trend marring the innocence and purity of collegiate athletics.

* * *


The News York Times published a blockbuster story about the President paying $750 in income taxes and alleged that some years he pays none. First, the story is unsubstantiated; secondly, the NYT has a “blockbuster” about Trump every week its downright hatred is so blatant, and nowhere in the inflammatory story was the fact he donates his entire paycheck back to the country through various federal agencies. The president’s salary is $400,000 a year but with his real estate empire, he’s our first billionaire president and, sure, his businesses still make money. As such, he pays millions in yearly taxes. Please. (Incidentally, Harry Truman and John Kennedy gave their salaries back to the country, too.)

His quarterly donations of $100,000 each:

For the year 2017

Q1 National Parks Service

Q2 Department of Education

Q3 Health and Human Services

Q4 Department of Transportation

- - -

For the year 2018

Q1 Department of Veterans Affairs

Q2 Small Business Administration

Q3 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Q4 Department of Homeland Security

- - -

For the Year 2019

Q1 Department of Agriculture

Q2 U.S. Surgeon General’s Office

Q3 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health

Q4 Department of Health and Human Services

* * *


I was able to watch a live stream view of the Nashville Election Commission trip and stumble all over the room when the time came for them to either approve or deny a special December election that would contest a withering 34 percent tax increase approved earlier this year by the city’s Council. Rather than simply vote yes or no, the five-person committee tucked tail and ran, deferring to some judge on a legality issue. On Tuesday, the Nashville group hired a lawyer, this in prelude to a more comical goat-roping than ever witnessed at any Tennessee farm.

The truth is that the State of Tennessee will most assuredly swoop down on embattled Nashville’s Democrat Mayor John Cooper any day for gross mismanagement. The word is the state Comptroller’s staff is feverishly making plans for the take-over and “it ain’t going to be pretty.” Just hold on – there will be acres of goats to rope.

* * *


After the worst and most nauseating abuse the Regional Planning Agency has ever committed on a good corporate citizen and top taxpayer in the history of Chattanooga, the Florida-based grocery giant Publix will at long last hold a groundbreaking at the foot of Lookout Mountain this morning. The planners, at the whim of Mayor Andy Berke’s “Design Studio,” forced Publix – at great expense -- to submit well over one dozen plans that were then hijacked by a miniscule but loud bunch of kooks that did everything conceivable to block the much-needed and greatly-desired project. By the time Publix gained hard-fought headway, it was universally agreed that Publix has been horribly mistreated by a collection of louts “who are only here to help.” Fiddlesticks!

* * *


In the swelling aftermath of George Floyd’s death, a teacher at Seattle's Catherine Blaine K-8 public school prepared a power-point presentation entitled, “Current Topics: Racist.” Nothing wrong with that, not until teacher Rachel Shine taught the students that according to a group identified as racial equity and gender-equity consultants, preferred that rioters should be called “freedom fighters” and that the word “riots” was wrong. “Call them uprisings.” Shine instructed the students to send cash to Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a bail-bonding effort to help the freedom fighters get out of jail quickly.

* * *


A tiny Texas town has registered over 1,000 airplanes in recent but there is one hitch … Onalaska, Texas, doesn’t have a landing strip. Nor an airport. According to alarmed Federal agents, that makes one-in-three citizens a plane owner but, no each airplane lists one of two post office boxes. It turns out that Onalaska allows foreigners – and anybody else -- to anonymously register their planes, the aircraft tail numbers all starting with “N” with a number unique to each plane.

Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) is a Congressman who chairs the National Security Subcommittee for Congress. If you are a foreign national … you can register a plane and the government will never know anything about it. Come on! It’s laughable,” he said. “It requires less information than it does to register a car!”

 “When you can conceal the true ownership of a plane, you are placing a lot of people in jeopardy,” former FAA Special Agent Joe Gutheinz told a Dallas TV station. If you are a terrorist and you find a way for concealing your secret ownership in a plane in the United States, you are going to do it.”

That is, until you get caught, and there are about 1,000 aircraft owners night now whose aircraft are registered in tiny Onalaska Texas, who the authorities are eager to talk to.

* * *

Wow, can you believe tomorrow is the last day of September, that you won’t see another 80-degree day until next spring, and that 40 members of the now-No. 5 Notre Dame football team are benched after coronavirus testing.

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