mm416: Obama a pragmatic politician – we’re shocked, shocked

June 20, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Barack Obama announced Thursday that he would reject public financing for his campaign, after claiming this primary season that he would follow the lead of his Republican opponent. McCain had already announced (he had no choice, that well is pretty dried up for him) that he would rely on public campaign finance for the general election.

Obama is taking much heat from all sides for this change of position. For example,


The Two Obamas

Op-Ed Columnist | By DAVID BROOKS | Published: June 20, 2008

God, Republicans are saps. They think that they’re running against some academic liberal who wouldn’t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn’t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they’re running against some naïve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson….

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mm261: 21-January-2008: Blue Monday

January 21, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings


Louis XVI of France was executed 21-January-1793.

lenin Wikipedia

Vladimir Ilych Lenin, first leader and principal architect of the Soviet Union, died 21-January-1924.

hiss Wikipedia tells us that Alger Hiss was convicted as a spy of the Soviet Union on 21-January-1950. For you kids, check out the Wikipedia article — this case was controversial my entire life.

Further depressing anniversary from On 21-January-1916:

The National Board of Review, founded in 1909 as the National Board of Censorship, agrees it will not accept nudity in films. The board, a volunteer group of film fans representing movie studios, served as an industry watchdog to help studios avoid government censorship….


Okay, let’s cheer up. Let’s remember Viet Nam and Jimmy Carter. The day after his inauguration, tells us:

On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants.

Never had heard this before today, but the third Monday of January is reckoned to be the most depressing day of the year.

Okay, we need to balance this out. How about this? Who was born on 21-January?

Found a couple of websites that feature this type of information. The most comprehensive is a site called Gregsite, from Greg Duncan. Most of the following information comes from the 21-January page.

Happy Birthday! to…

1338 Charles V (the Wise), king of France (1364-80)

A little obscure, that. Can you give us something more relevant?

How about an inventor, a pioneer, and a couple of Confederate generals, including THE Confederate general?

1743 John Fitch, inventor (had a working steamboat years before Fulton)

1813 John C Fremont, [Pathfinder], map maker/explorer (western US)/Gov (AZ)

1821 John Cabell Breckinridge, (D) 14th US VP (1857-61)/mjr-gen (Confed)

1824 Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, Lt Gen 2nd Corps (ANV, Confed)

stonewalljackson Wikipedia

A composer I’ve heard of, and a weapons designer:

1855 Ernest Chausson, Paris, composer (Poeme for Violin & Orchestra)

1855 John M Browning, US, weapons manufacturer

An actor from the old days, probably more disappointed than we are about that 1916 ruling:

jcarrollnaish Wikipedia

1897 J Carrol Naish, NYC, actor (Charlie Chan-Adv of Charlie Chan)

Assorted people you may have heard of:

1905 Christian Dior, Normandy France, fashion designer (long-skirted look)

1922 Paul Scofield, British actor (Man for All Seasons, Train)

1924 Benny Hill, Southampton England, comedian (Benny Hill Show)


Benny Hill. [“I was named after good Queen Victoria!” “Not too long afterward, either.”] Who knew?

1924 Telly Savalas, Garden City NJ, actor (Acapulco, Kojak)

1926 Steve Reeves, Montana, actor (Hercules, Hercules Unchained)

1939 Wolfman Jack, [Bob Smith], Bkln NY, DJ (Midnight Special)

1940 Jack Nicklaus, Columbus Ohio, golfer (Player of Yr 1967,72,73,75,76)

1941 Edwin Starr, rocker

1941 Placido Domingo, Madrid Spain, opera tenor (Pinkerton-Mme Butterfly)


Quiet Sunday, one of the Three Tenors (with José Carreras and the late Luciano Pavoratti), but so much more.

1941 Richie Havens, Bkln, folk singer (Here Comes the Sun)

1942 Mac Davis, Lubbock Tx, singer/actor (Mac Davis Show, North Dallas 40)

1947 Jill Eikenberry, New Haven Ct, (Ann Kelsey-LA Law, Manhattan Project)

1948 Yr (justifiably) humble svt, aka “MUDGE” Chicago, IL, Blogger (Left-Handed Complement)

1950 Billy Ocean, Trinidad, singer (Suddenly, Caribbean Queen)

1957 Geena [Virginia] Davis, Wareham Mass, actress (Beetlejuice, Fly)


Geena Davis. Sigh.

1961 Gabrielle Carteris, Phoenix Az, actress (Andrea-Beverly Hills 90210)

Hell of a day. This year, more than most.

It’s it for now. Thanks,


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