Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Third-party Bloomberg?

The political highlight today was not Hillary Clinton's new campaign theme music, but that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, is now a former Republican and has officially declared himself to be an Independent. The scuttlebutt became how much money he has socked away in his piggy bank--$6 Billion Dollars--therefore it was reported he can afford to spend $1B (perhaps a bit less) on a presidential campaign. It was reported that Mayor Bloomberg wants to focus on being Mayor for the remainder of his term, an Independent Mayor mind you. Yet the Media went on trying to figure out if he ran, could he win? Or if he lost, from whom would he take votes?

Addressing the question of will he run, Bloomberg has name recognition from being Mayor of New York City since the election in 2001. Perhaps more people are familiar with the name Bloomberg from his financial business established twenty-six years ago, but it's more likely people recognize his name from the media. Like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg is a media mogul with his own magazine, television program and radio show. He publishes books and has a very popular financial news website, During my mortgage broker years, it was my favorite go-to site for daily financial news and still is.

As important as name recognition, it's vital that the candidate have very deep pockets and/or access to same. Suffice to say, Mr. Bloomberg will never worry if he can pay the mortgage or afford to take a vacation, $6 Billion should cover it. Most people with regular bank accounts could not run for the Oval Office. It doesn't matter that most of us with any sense would not care to run nor want the job.

So let's say that Bloomberg is going to run for President.

Taking a stroll down a painful memory lane, recall that Vice President Al Gore lost the 2000 election by 537 votes in Florida (one source checked said 543 votes). This was in spite of winning the popular vote with 537,179 more votes than the other guy. The irony is Gore lost the election by .10% of the very margin that he won the popular vote. For the record, I'm still not over it, but I somehow manage to get through the day.

Gore could have used another 544+ votes in Florida. Third party candidates in Florida, all 8 of them, received 138,027 total votes. The Socialist Workers party alone received 562 votes. As we learned, there were many extenuating circumstances; the significant number of disenfranchised voters, the fact that 12% of Florida Democrats voted for Bush, and the involvement of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet the fact remains that third party candidates had an impact on the outcome of the election.

If Bloomberg runs he'll take votes from someone, though there is the off chance he could win. I certainly hope it's from the Republican candidate.

[Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rambling, Rambling, Rambling...

I went ahead and put a title in the space, knowing full well this may not be the one that I keep. David St. Lawrence and Colleen Redman's voices were in my head (at the same time--an interesting combination), telling me not to worry. "Just write and the title will form as you go," they said. But as I typed, after David and Colleen were gracious enough to quiet down, the lyrics to "Rawhide" popped into my brain. You know this song, sing along with me (just part of it, be a sport).
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them dogies rollin'
Rain and wind and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride

Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Count 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, count 'em out,
Count 'em out, ride 'em in

Okay. I feel better, you?

Monday, June 11, 2007

What the Hail?!

It is a beautiful late spring day in Floyd County and though it feels like summer, the Summer Solstice is still ten days away. A storm cloud approached, the trees swayed and leaves blew in the wind. The storm blew over so we continued with our outside chores; Scott mulching an asparagus bed and red raspberry patch, while I removed all traces of bindweed from a long row of flowers. We finished our chores just in time to come in before the next storm cloud approached.
This one meant business. The trees swayed, the sky darkened and...what the hail?! Yes, for the second time in a week, Floyd County received hail. For two or three minutes it hailed like a son of a gun, larger than pea-size hail bouncing off the deck and accumulating in corners. Then it was over. Like nothing ever happened.

The sun is back out and I need to stake a forlorn hollyhock lying on the ground.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Last Night's Dreams

My dreams usually don't make sense. As I've become older, I occasionally have a dream that isn't weird, but that's not the norm.

Last night Scott and I watched the movie The Field (1991) starring Richard Harris, who gives a superb performance. We saw the movie before but forgot that it has some disturbing scenes. It's a good movie so I won't ruin it if you want to see it again or for the first time.

Because of the movie, I went to bed with strange images floating through my brain. I told myself to forget them and have a good night's sleep. Sometimes it works.

These were the dreams I recall from last night.

Dream #1 - My family and some unidentified people were in a large room and were expecting an earthquake at any moment. Emerson was strapped to me with a belt--in front so I could hold on to him. Scott and Spencer were several feet away and others were milling about. We all got down on the floor, for some reason, when the quake began. The floor shook and rolled and we could see buildings move outside a window. Furniture slid back and forth but it wasn't disastrous. There was a break for thirty seconds when everything stopped. Then the quake began again, but this time it was the real deal. The floor buckled and cracked into a few large pieces and seemed to be falling into the floor below. Emerson and I were thrown across the room. I could see a building falling over outside the window. Then the dream ended.

Dream #2 - It was pouring rain and I was driving in what seemed to be slow motion on a divided four-lane highway. Coming in the other direction at top speed was a fire engine with lights flashing and sirens blaring, but it was an extra long engine, like tractor trailers you see on the highway that are basically two trucks. I could clearly read Philadelphia Fire Department on the door. Behind the engine was another extra long fire truck. They were approaching a corner in the highway but I knew that they didn't know about it and weren't going to make the turn. As the fire engine entered the corner it hydroplaned and the back slid out. I watched the driver turn the wheel and try to regain control. The vehicle slid into a road and driveway of another fire station. The fire engine crashed and I saw the driver fall out of his door. The passenger was stuck inside. Then the dream was over and I woke up.

Now I ask you, what good comes from dreams like these? They don't help me with my life. I've long called them anxiety dreams. The last couple days were stressful with a problem we had with our live-in client, but not that stressful and the movie wasn't that disturbing. Not enough to warrant experiencing an earthquake with my family and watching fire trucks crash. Nobody died or was killed and sometimes that happens in my dreams, so it could have been worse.

Emerson will be gone at camp for three weeks this summer, perhaps that's why I wanted him connected to me. Hopefully tonight's dreams will be peaceful and shed insight on my life (ha!).

Do you have 'anxiety dreams'?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stuck in Spin

It's been a month since I've posted. Some blogger I am.

I have this crazy idea that I have to come up with the title first and this often stops me in my tracks. I always have thoughts swirling around in my mind. It would be better to get them out than let them tumble in an endless loop like an ADD word-filled washing machine stuck on spin cycle.

Can you post without a title? I haven't tried.

[Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.]