mm321: Barack Obama tackles race in the U.S. head on

March 18, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

A defining moment in history? Please judge for yourself.

I had a difficult, tiring, news-free day today. Dragged myself home. Dealt with a clogged toilet. Ugh.

Thought I would “phone it in” as far as the blog was concerned.

Then, I encountered today’s speech, Barack Obama’s response to his pastor’s inflammatory sermons that have raised such a hullabaloo of late. Doesn’t seem to matter that McCain’s endorsements from Evangelical wingnuts are glossed over without comment.

The NYTimes was impressed, as you’ll see.

But, please click the “continue reading” link; I’ve posted the speech in full (YouTube version, thus in 4 parts).

Dare to invest the time, as I did. It will repay your 38 minutes.

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mm304: Mike, now I’m done!

March 3, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Independent nonpartisanship has a flexible definition for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A frequent subject at this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©, we’ve been intrigued for most of a year with his potential independent candidacy for U.S. president.

See below for a list of links.

Bloomberg left the Republican party last year, many believed in preparation for a run at the presidency as an independent.

Apparently, though, the Republican party in New York State is still close to his heart, or his wallet.

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mm302: Fair Election Foundation: a modest proposal

March 1, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

2008’s presidential election promises to have the largest turnout in many years.

An engaged electorate. That’s the good news.

The bad news? The need to accommodate the influx of voters who are galvanized:

  • by the issues;
  • by the desperate need to get the past eight dysfunctional years behind them;
  • by the opportunity to cast a vote for a candidate from a group (women? people of color?) not previously available on a presidential ballot;

all these have created something of a perfect storm for election officials nationwide.

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mm301: Sorry, Mudge, Mayor Mike says the answer is no!

February 29, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Last post, Michael Bloomberg told us that no, he is not a candidate for the presidency in 2008.

Today, some interesting commentary.



Declining to Enter Field, Mayor Eyes Sideline Role

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and DIANE CARDWELL | Published: February 29, 2008

For more than two years, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had the ultimate presidential campaign that wasn’t. Aides spent hundreds of hours and untold dollars plotting out a route to the White House. But the prospects for his maybe-I-will, maybe-I-won’t campaign were never tested in the quiet of a voting booth.

This week, as Mr. Bloomberg officially ended his flirtation with a presidential campaign, he said he would seek other ways to influence national politics and spread his gospel of “independent, nonpartisan” politics, perhaps to whoever takes up residence in the White House next year.

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mm300: Bloomberg: I’m not running, but…

February 28, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

It’s only fitting, for mm300, to return to a most intriguing topic here at this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©, the potential independent presidential ambitions of Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City.

Faithful reader won’t mind being reminded of some of our previous posts that consider Mr. Bloomberg’s elaborate dance over the past several months.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC for U.S. President 2008

mm024: Bloomberg?
mm038.1: Jews Sorta Like Bloomberg Even Though…
mm051: Bloomberg’s Money, Visibility…
mm054: Chicago Tribune news: An Idea for Bloomberg
mm057: Bloomberg for President?
mm058: What Kind of President would Michael Bloomberg?
mm064: How to take down plutocrat Michael Bloomberg…
mm066: Michael Bloomberg’s Knightly Ambitions
mm069: The Votes Are In for New York’s Mayor Mike
mm086: Bloomberg Takes School Plan… to Midwest
mm110: Grading Mayoral Control
mm117: The cure for the Electoral College is worse…
mm208: Overdue a Bloomberg post
mm238: Bloomberg’s candidacy — closer to real?
mm248: Political Potpourri
mm254: Bloomberg – just won’t go away…
mm263: This man -so- wants to pull the trigger
mm280: Bloomberg for Vice President? Take 2
mm285: Mayor Mike tells some hard truths
mm290: Gassing ’bout birds and supermen

Indeed, mm066 is the single most hit post on this site.

Obviously, he intrigues many of you as much as he does yr (justifiably) humble svt.

So Mayor Mike wrote an opinion piece in today’s NYTimes.

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mm296: Symmetrical political writing: Raising hackles right and left.

February 25, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

You’ll recall the uproar NYTimes precipitated last week with their hazy “revelation” of a purported John McCain affair. We even deigned to notice it here in this  nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©.

That was the outrage-inducing lead of what actually was a reasonably good rehash of the good senator’s lobbyist affinity over the years. He apparently never met one he couldn’t do business with.

But sex sells even for the Gray Lady of Times Square, and that’s what McCain supporters zeroed in on, along with the rest of us.  The ferociously detailed dotted ‘i’s and crossed ‘t’s of McCain’s lobbyist dealings over the past 20 years thus easily became the 95% of the Times story that not enough people read.

Word was that the story has caused the Republican party’s loony wing to bury their concerns with McCain, in the immortal spirit of “the enemy of my enemy must be my friend.”

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mm292: Voting technology: –Fragmented, fragile, in flux–

February 21, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

All of this fancy electronic equipment we’ve been blithely voting with… how accurate is it, really? And even those paper ballots and those infamous hanging chad laden punch cards… how careful, how bullet proof is the counting and authentication process?

This is a topic that during this marathon of an election season continues to trouble yr (justifiably) humble svt, so much so that we’ve tackled it a couple of times over the past few months (here and here most recently).

ars technica is a site that stirs guilty feelings, as one never gets there frequently enough. Tonight, as is typical, the long delayed visit was rewarded by a fresh look at the topic of ballot authentication.

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mm291: White (haired) man speak with forked tongue

February 20, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

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.

To business.

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


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.

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mm290: Gassing ’bout birds and supermen

February 19, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

Quirky things going on out there, folks. None seem expansive enough to go all expansive on you, so we’re going to have another episode of SASB:

shortattention_thumb2 ©


A couple of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have, they claim, found a way to turn airborne carbon dioxide back into gasoline.


Scientists Would Turn Greenhouse Gas Into Gasoline

By KENNETH CHANG | Published: February 19, 2008

The scientists, F. Jeffrey Martin and William L. Kubic Jr., are proposing a concept, which they have patriotically named Green Freedom, for removing carbon dioxide from the air and turning it back into gasoline.

The idea is simple. Air would be blown over a liquid solution of potassium carbonate, which would absorb the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide would then be extracted and subjected to chemical reactions that would turn it into fuel: methanol, gasoline or jet fuel.

This process could transform carbon dioxide from an unwanted, climate-changing pollutant into a vast resource for renewable fuels. The closed cycle — equal amounts of carbon dioxide emitted and removed — would mean that cars, trucks and airplanes using the synthetic fuels would no longer be contributing to global warming.

Of course, there’s a hitch, there’s always a hitch.

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mm285: Mayor Mike tells some hard truths

February 14, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

Time for another in the continuing saga of Michael Bloomberg, billionaire mayor of New York City, and his interesting feints at running for president this year.

At the bottom of this post, we’ll provide our ever lengthening link list, as this story has intrigued this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© for many months now.

Yesterday, 13-February, President Bush signed the tax rebate legislation that he, George III, promises will lift this nation out of its recessionary funk.

The mayor, who knows a thing or two about matters financial (made his not inconsiderable fortune reporting financial news to professionals by harnessing novel technology to do so), spoke quite colorfully today.

He characterized the rebate as “like giving a drink to an alcoholic,” and said the nation “has a balance sheet that’s starting to look more and more like a third-world country.”

Not sure, but Burkina Faso might have just been insulted.

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