OK .... I've gotten the gasket for the sediment bulb. It is back on without any problems. I reconnected the fuel line to the carb. I then removed the drain plug at the bottom of the carb.
A supply of gas poured out and then a constant trickle. The trickle was about equal to the trickle I had coming out of the disconnected fuel line at the carb yesterday.
I put the plug back in and tapped on the carb with screw driver as you suggested. I started the engine and it ran for a bit and died again. I still noticed the surging in the idle speed.
Eventually after enough sessions of running and dying the temp went to the green/red mark. It then seemed to drop and not go as high but I can't say for sure. Without the engine running for any substantial length of time it is hard to say if it is cooling or not.
I am not sure how quickly fuel should drip into the sediment bowl but it just doesn't seem all that fast to me. It is a drip not a steady line of fuel. Maybe it is suppose to drip, I don't know.
I'm frustrated. Frustrated with my tractor and myself.
I certainly can replace the coil and I can replace the carb or even rebuild it if necessary. However, I'm beginning to envision some horrible problem that may mean paying someone to do some drastic repairs.
Thanks Randy for your suggestions. I wonder if I should try these things before proceeding back to the coil/points side of things?
Maybe after a nights rest I will be a bit more optimistic about things.
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm amazed at people's efforts to help.