Friday, January 06, 2006

New Jersey's Search for Slogan Coming to End

New Jersey's search for a new state slogan will be coming to the end in the upcoming weeks. The choices to replace the outgoing slogan of "New Jersey and You, Perfect Together" are:

"New Jersey, Expect the Unexpected"
"New Jersey, Love at First Sight"
"New Jersey, Come See For Yourself"
"New Jersey, The Real Deal"
"New Jersey, The Best Kept Secret"

Personally, the existing slogan is my favorite, but if I had to choose a new one, I like the first because it is catchy and true, although I am not sure how many more tourists its going to attract than any other slogan.

Death Penalty Moratorium Pending in NJ Legislature

Via Center Of NJ Life, two highly publicized pieces of legislation will be up for a vote in the state assembly on Monday.

The first, a moratorium on the capital punishment, is representative of a national trend against the death penalty, and specifically in cases without DNA evidence to support guilt.

The second, an indoor smoking ban, is a phenomenon that has little support outside of the tri-state area. It seems as if the initiative has a lot of political clout, especially among Democrats, however, it wouldn't be surprising to see if fail in the assembly. The tobacco lobby should be worried about this bill. Not only are cigarettes in New Jersey already absurdly expensive, but people in the process of quitting would be much more likely to succeed if they're not surrounded by smoke during social outings in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Minimum Wage as the Democrats' Gay Marriage Issue

For those of you who didn't catch the NY Times' article and editorial on efforts to raise the minimum wage in the states, check them out. It's a pretty interesting issue, and apparently one that will have much larger national political implications than you might think.

Last November, Republicans in 11 states - including super-swing state Ohio - put gay marriage amendments on the ballot, hoping to bring out conservative voters to the polls and boost the vote totals for President Bush. The tactic proved brilliant. All 11 states approved the amendments, and Bush won 9 of the states. The amendment's presence on the ballot in Ohio may even have won the President the election.

Whether or not it's intended as a direct counter-strike, Democrats will be firing back. According to the Times' editorial, "This year, there may be ballot initiatives in seven states, including Ohio and Michigan. Some political analysts say the initiatives could help Democratic Congressional candidates by drawing low-income voters to the polls..." Watch the Ohio vote especially closely. Republican corruption there and Iraq veteran Paul Hackett as a potential challenger could give Democrats a shot at taking seats in Ohio.

Personally, I'm proud to support a party that draws out voters by raising the wages of America's workers rather than excluding people from marriage.

For You College Football Fans Out There

Many sports analysts and even Congressmen argue that the BCS is a flawed system. They say that it too often ends in "sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers." However, if you look back at the short history of the BCS, you will find one thing, it works, and it works better than the system it replaced. The previous system was so flawed that the top 2 teams in the country could not and would not face each other due to such constraints as the Rose Bowl always hosting the Big 10 v. Pac 10. If you look at the BCS since its existence, it has pitted such foes as Ohio State v. Miami, Tennessee v. Florida State, and this years great Texas v. USC match up.

The BCS has been a fair way of bringing the top 2 teams picked by the coaches, writers and computers into the same game, something very rare before 1998. Look at this years BCS lineup. All but one of the games were decided by 3 points. All of the games were exciting and intriguing match ups that pulled in many television viewers. And you got to see perhaps the most anticipated and hyped up college football game in history, something that would not have happened due to the silly constraints of the old college football system. So next time you think of criticizing the BCS, just remember that it is a vast improvement from what was before.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Toss Up Senate Races

According to the Cook Political Report, in the upcoming midterm elections for the Senate, there are 5 toss up races and 9 races where the contests are likely to be competitive. Among the 5 toss up races, 4 are republican incumbents, Senators Dewine(OH), Santorum(PA), Chafee(RI) and Frist's seat (TN), and only 1 democrat, Dayton(MN). However, among the 9 races where it is likely to be competitive, 7 democrats(Including the Ind. Jeffords) and only 2 republicans. Interesting how this seems to shake out.

The Rich Political Action Committee

If you look at a list of Jack Abramoff's political contributions, the donation that will surely stick out is a $5,000 gift to the RICH POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE.

I don't know what that PAC is, but the name is too good to be true. Why bother with the formalities of the "lobbying for the people,"? Jack Abramoff knows who he's serving.

Why Is Hillary Going Unchallenged?

Atrios had an interesting little snippet about the Hillary Clinton senate race. No, the GOP doesn't have a real chance to beat her, but imagine the fundraising opportunities! As Democrats contribute to get rid of DeLay, so will Republicans pay to beat a Clinton.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2008 Presidential hopefuls

According to a CNN/Gallop Poll conducted in mid December, it appears that if the primaries for the Democratic nomination were held today, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have the support of 33% of voters, with former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry coming in second with 17% of voters. Poll. Looking at the same poll for the Republican nomination, it appears that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have considerable more support than the rest of the challengers. Undoubtedly, these numbers and candidates will change in the next two years, but should any of the candidates listed in these polls race against each other, the republican candidate would have the advantage according to the poll. Curiously, former democratic Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, a dark horse candidate and the man I would like to see run, only garners 3% of support. While the general election is still a long ways away, it is never too early to discuss what could be the most important election in this nation's history.

Pray for Jack

Who will he name? If there's anything that is going to kick this blog into motion again, it's the Jack Abramoff case. The implications of this case are to huge to ignore for anyone interested in the 2006 elections.

There will be plenty of skeptics who will dismiss the hype as premature Democratic celebration. But who can blame the Democrats? I'd be celebrating too if I was one. Wouldn't you name a few crooked congressmen to avoid 9 1/2 to 11 years in prison?

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