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Race to the National Stakes

by Dear Jon
May 12, 2009

Dear Reader,

A recent sort had me rate the names of American presidents. I did not actually rank them, only commented on each name in order in my assessment as to whether the name communicates dignity or dweebity.

The Triple Crown season now in high gear, and everyone is fawning over the jockey (whose name I won't remember until the Preakness is televised, but I think it's Calvin something or other from Louisiana and I'm pretty sure he had a Cajun brogue, since repeatedly calling a female news reporter "dahlin'" is otherwise an offense punishable by emasculation in the public media) and his second long-shot victory in three years. The horse's name is "Mine That Bird."

As I try to build on the hype so that people read my column, two big questions come to mind. Is "Cajun" still an appropriate, sensitive designation for a distinctive culture within Americana?

Second, would not "Economic Stimulus" be a really GREAT name for a racing horse? That got me thinking about other current or semi-current buzz words in our politically divided culture, which might also work as names for race horses.

So I have thought of enough buzz words to fill out SIX fields worth of racing cards. (Race Card is not one of the names I am proposing.) What I would like you to do, dear Reader, is cast your vote, or "bet" on your favorite buzz word horse names. You may use either the comments section, the actual letter form. Both forms appear below for your convenience, as they do, ahem, at the end of every single article I write.

From each field choose three horses you would like to see advance from the Qualifiers to the Triple Crown. Rank them in order. I will assign one point for every third place vote (to show), two points for every second place vote (to place) and three points for every first place vote (to win).

Before we get to the names of the horses in each field, here are the names of the races:

Field One: The Upside Downs
Field Two: The Winner Take All
Field Three: The Unilateral
Field Four: Public Trials
Field Five: Raucous Caucus
Field Six: Midterm Races

The top three vote-getters from each field will compete in the Triple Crown Races:
The D.C. Derby
The Freakness
The National Stakes

The top two vote-getters from each field will compete in the D.C. Derby. The Freakness will be run by the top six finishers in the D.C. Derby versus the third-best vote-getters from the qualifiers. The National Stakes will pit the top six race horse names against each other.

All you have to do is vote. Vote early, vote often; there are no limits, just a dead-line. Every Monday at 7 PM Central Time I will tally the race-winners for publication the following Tuesday.

Best Buzz Words as names for Race Horses. The post has sounded!

Field One: The Upside Downs
Media Clip
Sound Byte
YouTube Moment
Smoking Ban
Hidden Fees
Bail Out
Economic Stimulus
Merger by Fiat
Return the Bonus

Field Two: The Winner Take All
Green House Gas
Climate Change
Renewable Energy
Trade Summit
Inconvenient Truth
Zero Tolerance
Rush to Judgment
No Child Left Behind
Intelligent Design
Fossil Record
Prayer in School (Scratch. Voting for this one is illegal)
Moment of Silence (late entry. May be ruled ineligible on appeal)
FEMA to the Rescue is a scratch; the trailer never made it to the stables.
Katrina Mission Trip has been put into the field by the same manager of the horses
Blind Faith (and)
Religious Nut.

Field Three: The Unilateral
Peace Dividend
China Sea
Rogue State
Axis of Evil
Regional Conflict
Shock and Awe
Old Europe
Coalition Partner
Mission Accomplished

Field Four: The Public Trials
Fog of War
Back-Door Draft
Department Memo
Patriot Act
Is It Torture
Hot Zone FUBAR
Whiskey Pete
Border Patrol
Restart Button

Field Five: The Raucous Caucus
Hanging Chad
Popular Mandate
Family Values
Budget Deficit
Blue Collar
Negative Campaign
What's Michele Wearing
President of a Different Color
Obama Nation
Abundance of Caution

Field Six: The Midterm Races
Hope He Fails
Legal Brief
Balance of Power
Filly Buster
Killed in Committee
Executive Order
Guided by Facts
Tax Return
Unable to Serve (long-shot)
Fleeting Glory

And they're off. I have my own favorite to win the Triple Crown. What are your picks?

About the Author:

Dear Jon does not gamble on horses and discourages betting in this "Race to the National Stakes" event. However, Dear Jon is thoroughly corruptible, and will take bribes. Even so, the best way to get your horses to win is to vote early and vote often, and it won't cost you a cent.

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