Saturday, October 14, 2006

So Long Mark Warner

In case anyone failed to notice, I retired a link on my sidebar last night. Yup... it's true, one of my early favorites for the 2008 presidential election has bowed out of the race early by declaring he is no longer considering a run for the presidency.

I liked Mark Warner. He was a centrist Democrat who had a history of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He wasn't overly idealogical in his views, and he decried the bitter partisan atmosphere that has engulfed politics in recent years. I believe he is a good man who would have made a good president.

In announcing his decision, Warner said:

This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my Dad's 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter Madison to start looking at colleges.

I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I'd been thinking about for many weeks that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge at this point, I want to have a real life.

And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn't move forward unless I'm willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner.

This has been a difficult decision, but for me, it's the right decision.

It's not a decision I have easily reached. I made it after a lot of discussion with my family and a few close friends, and ultimately a lot of reflection, prayer, and soul-searching.

It remains to be seen whether a moderate can weather the primary process anymore, but in the hope that one still can, I'm now leaning the way of Senator Evan Bayh.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Game On

PokerStars, the second largest online poker company, should put on a clinic in the art of statutory interpretation. They're currently doing quite the interpretive two-step in response to some anti-gambling legislation that Congress unexpectedly passed last month as a rider to a pretty uncontroversial port safety bill. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act purports to ban basically all online gambling, something it defines as "a sporting event or a game subject to chance." So what is an online gaming company to do? Well, PokerStars just announced that its lawyers have determined that the Act doesn't apply to it. How might it make such a claim that you ask? Simple... because Poker is not a game of "chance," but of "skill."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Greatest Ballot Initative Ever...

Ready or not... it's that time again. Election season. Regardless of how you feel about it, every two years October inevitably brings with it four weeks of complete and total saturation in all things political.

Candidate campaigns running ads 'round the clock, political pundits analyzing every last sneeze of their random samples in an effort to predict election outcomes, and ballot initiatives on everything from banning gay marriage to raising the minimum wage smothering you from the left and the right in a vain attempt to swing your vote.

It's almost enough to make you want to throw in the towel and cry "uncle"... unless you live in Arizona that is. Why you ask? Because Arizona has what some argue is the greatest ballot initative ever up for a vote this fall. It's a proposal that would award one lucky Arizonan voter $1 million big'uns just for casting a ballot. If it helps you conceptually, think of November 7th as "Powerball Tuesday"... except you don't have to pay anything to pick your numbers and you are exempt from any guilt if gambling happens to be against your religion (it being your civic duty to vote and all).

Question is, as apathetic as Americans are, is this really the key to voter turnout? And if it is... who's likely to benefit more? The Repubs' or the Dems'?