Late start tonight; busy day led to a busy evening.
Did get time to step outside into the crystal clear 13°F night to gander at the lunar eclipse.
Very cool. Cold, actually, but fun to see.
Puts our everyday concerns into perspective, when you get that all too rare chance to slow down, pause and look up to see the cosmos working in its own time and rhythm.
As part of the NYTimes series of extended coverage of the presidential candidates, they’ve just published the following:
For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
By JIM RUTENBERG, MARILYN W. THOMPSON, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and STEPHEN LABATON | Published: February 21, 2008
WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.
Stephen Boitano/Getty Images | Vicki Iseman at an awards dinner in 2004.
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.
Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.
Straight talk my …
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk – New York Times
I respect the man as a decorated war hero and courageous POW beyond measure.
As a politician, however, regardless of his “straight” talk, McCain’s actions, according to the Times’ writers, don’t match up.
All politicians have baggage. They don’t get to high office (or even dog catcher) without donations from people who expect that their contributions are not altruistic in the slightest.
Republicans specialize in McCain’s kind of lobbyist related baggage, which I imagine most of the country feels is preferable to the kind manifesting itself in men’s rooms and with Congressional pages.
We’ve talked of Ms. Clinton’s baggage.
Mr. Obama, in national politics for a much shorter time, has a smaller briefcase, but baggage all the same.
Baggage comes with the territory.
No wonder so many have been so apathetic about politics as practiced in this country. Especially young people, who have seen it all on CNN and Fox News and have turned away with disgust.
No wonder there’s been such enthusiasm for those candidates and potential candidates who are viewed as outside mainstream politics.
But even the Huckabees and Ron Pauls of this election season come with baggage; they didn’t get invented yesterday, after all.
It’s why this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© has been so intrigued by Michael Bloomberg. As a self-made billionaire, Bloomberg is by definition impervious to lobbyists and other special interests.
Of course he comes with baggage too. His name, after all, isn’t Blair.
Well, that’s all I’ve got tonight. Read the NYTimes story, all six writers’ worth, and remember that the inspiringly heroic John McCain of the Vietnam era has grown into an entirely conventional politician. With baggage.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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