When your generation runs for office

A former colleague of mine (and friend) Gray Chynoweth is running for the New Hampshire Executive Council this fall (related note: learn more about this odd institution that could only exist in New Hampshire). Last fall another longtime friend Will Stewart won the Alderman Ward 2 seat in Manchester.

It’s good to see my generation starting to really flex their political muscles in the city I call home, Manchester. I strongly believe we can make government a respected and competent institution: it just takes the right people to run and make a difference. If you want to make a difference, I highly suggest checking out the folks at Run For Something.

That town called Unity

If you have been paying attention to the news, you probably know that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will be making their first joint appearance Friday in a little town called Unity, NH. The Concord Monitor has a good article about the town and event.

It is pretty amazing that any presidential candidate is going there. I grew up in the next town over (Goshen), a town that was even smaller then Unity. No one of any importance ever goes to small towns in that area. There is just nothing there and no money either (thus pretty hard to get people to donate much). The bigger towns and cities in the area get visited occasionally (Claremont, Newport, Sunapee, New London) in the primaries, with Claremont seeing a sitting President or Presidential nominee occassionally. But a town like Unity? Never. Not even in the primaries here. Most candidates looking for a small town to visit go up North.

I just find it real funny that it is happening there. This is a town with no stoplights (at least Goshen has a blinking light or two), 1 general store, no high school, no high speed internet or cable TV, 1 main road in/out of the town, few if any businesses, etc. It is the type of town where they will put a town historical event marker in that spot where the rally is held, because in hindsight it will be so remarkable that it happened.

Pretty neat. Wish I could attend.

Even candidates for President have credit card debt

It does not make me at ease to know that Senator McCain and his wife have $225,000 in credit card debt. How the heck do you get that much credit card debt? I have roughly $700 left on my lone credit card that I don’t pay off every month, an amount that should be paid off in a couple of months.

Yeah, that is who we want to run our country, a guy who can’t even keep his plastic card paid off. I am sure that is a good omen for our national debt.

R.I.P. Tim Russert

One of my favorite journalists passed away today. Tim Russert, famous for his tough interviews on Meet the Press, passed away today from what appears to be a heart attack. He was one of those few journalists who you could genuinely believe that he had no agenda except to find out the truth and that you could trust what he said. One of the best things on TV was to see him catch some politican in a lie, with a video clip ready at hand to prove that the politician lied.

Watching him during the coverage of this year’s election was fascinating. He looked so excited to be witnessing a historic election between Obama and McCain. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to report on the conclusion.

Unfortunately these days, there are precious few of these journalists anymore. Now there is one fewer.

Watching everyone on MSNBC right now trying to report on the news is heartbreaking. The anchors are crying or trying badly not to, the guests have wonderful stories, etc. 

R.I.P. Tim.

Obama in 2008

For the first time since I became interested in politics, I am 100% proud that I voted for the person who turned out to be Democratic Party nominee. Senator Barack Obama matches everything I have ever hoped that a politican could actually be. He has wonderful ideas, a vision to carry them out, and the will to do it.

The contrast between McCain and Obama cannot be any greater. There is no excuses when you vote in November…these candidates are not the same and represent two distinct directions that this country can go in.

Suspending the gas tax

There has been some recent talk about suspending the roughly 18 cent federal gas tax. The basics are that Clinton and McCain think it is a great idea, while Obama is totally against the idea.

I was skeptical from the start of the idea, as it seemed like the perfect scenario of an election year posturing that will not help the general public at all. Reminds me a lot of the tax rebate check I should be getting in the mail any day now (how can you have a rebate when the government is way in the red this year? I can’t figure that one out). Not to mention the thought of losing millions of dollars in federal highway funds (which go anywhere from building new highways to repairing them) and the thousands of workers who’s jobs would be threatened since no money = no construction projects.

Jabberwonk.com has an online calculator that you can punch in your numbers and figure out how much gas tax you will really save over the course of the 15-week gas tax suspension.

For me, 15-weeks of driving should equal out to roughly 3,000 miles of driving. I am assuming I will get 24 mpg.

To put it simple, my gas tax savings would be exactly $23.00.

I side with Obama on this one. Stupidest idea I have heard in awhile. A classic case of a politican’s (in this case, McCain and Clinton) election year promises that are not even close to being a good idea in reality. I much rather my $23 go towards fixing a red list bridge or fixing a pot hole.