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Mugwump (at the time a slang term for 'kingpin') was a term of derision given to prominent, mostly Eastern, Republicans who publicly refused to support the 1884 presidential candidacy of James G. Blaine of Maine, who was seen as being too politically corrupt to be worthy of support. Given the time, this was a remarkable standard for Blaine to have reached. Mugwumps were independent, reform minded and widely seen as arrogant and moralistic (all of which are not worthy of emulation), and included Mark Twain and E.L. Godkin (editor of The Nation) among their members.

Why the name? Besides being unused (perhaps for obvious reasons), it also represents some actual and some aspirational elements of my outlook, though not its core. Its core is the Christian faith, as interpreted through Reformed, Protestant evangelicalism. But the other elements, all held loosely in comparison to the core, strive to be independent and reformist, but are other things as well, often unintentionally. A disclaimer - not all positions grow straight from the core, though I hope they are informed by it and, at the very least, don't contradict it.

My name is Randy. I grew up in Michigan, attended Wheaton College (IL) where I studied history and philosophy, the University of Notre Dame as a graduate student in American history, and the Yale Law School, where I was certified to practice as a lawyer. I'm married, have three children (twin girls, born my first semester of law school, and a son born before my third year) and practice law in Chicago.

And as I said on the front page, nothing on this site reflects the opinions, the assistance, or even the knowledge of my employer.