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PolitickerNJ Observer’s Elected Officials Power List 2016

  • GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE
  • U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER
  • SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY
  • JERSEY CITY MAYOR STEVEN FULOP
  • ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE JOE DIVINCENZO
  • NEWARK MAYOR RAS BARAKA
  • SENATOR NICK SACCO
  • SENATOR BRIAN P. STACK
  • SENATE MAJORITY LEADER LORETTA WEINBERG
  • CONGRESSMAN BILL PASCRELL
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Why You Don’t Labor on Labor Day

tt125.jpgOn Monday, we will celebrate Labor Day. For many, it represents the “unofficial” end of summer. The day that follows this holiday also signals a return to numerous classrooms. Labor Day remains a punctuation date that some welcome and others treat with a touch of regret.

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From Battlefields to Boardrooms

tt124.jpgBeing unemployed can be difficult for anyone, but it is particularly painful for one special group: our military veterans.

There is a saying that comes with those who have given of themselves to defend our country, “Some gave all, but all gave something.” This statement underscores the covenant that thousands of men and women have made with our country. An agreement that demands that we honor their service by treating them every day with the dignity and respect that these patriots deserve.

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The Agony & the Ecstasy

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ABC’s “Wild World of Sports” was a popular TV program that ran for 37 years. It had a memorable intro, “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat,” as it showed the spectacular wipe-out of a Slovenian skier, who was unhurt. That slogan remains in our lexicon to this day.

The show was wildly popular not only because it highlighted major sporting events, but also minor sports that seldom got any media attention. I also think then, as now, it allowed all of us a moment of vicarious pleasure to daydream about how it must feel to win or lose in pursuit of an athletic goal. That’s a feeling that many viewers must be sharing as they watch the Olympic Games.

As I watched the greatest sporting display on earth, I couldn’t help but wonder whether there weren’t lessons that we could pluck from the games by simply being an observer. The Olympics, like everyday life, is far from perfect. But mostly in this great competition the vast majority of competitors, with some notable exceptions, have taken the high road, looking for commonality and camaraderie in the pursuit of a common goal — victory — even as they compete against each other.

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Preparing For A Financial Rainy Day

tt122.jpgThe difficulty with complicated economic issues is that many of us find it difficult to see the relationship between a major fiscal policy and its impact on our own pocketbook.

Rainy day funds are an exception. I believe we all fundamentally understand this concept.

Let’s assume that you’ve set money aside for a long weekend at the shore in late August. The day before you leave, your air conditioning unit breaks, and the HVAC technician comes out and quotes a $900 repair. Do you still go on vacation? If you’ve been prudent, you dip into your savings (You always keep the equivalent of three month’s living expenses, right???), write the check and enjoy your vacation.

But what if you’ve been imprudent? What if you haven’t been saving money or if all you’ve saved is $300? You have a shortfall, and the fiscal problem is apparent.

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What’s in a Word?

tt121a.jpgOne of the earliest life lessons that my parents taught me was in the importance of the language we use in our interactions with others. So often, a word or a phrase can reshape a relationship or re-frame a moment if we are not careful in how we employ their usage. I was reminded of that lesson as I sat down to write this week and thought about the word “feminism”.

Having been exposed to many powerful strong woman over the course of my 43 years on this Earth, I believed I knew what the word meant. However, I don’t think I have fully considered what “feminism” means to me or as my parents taught me the importance of this word. I wonder if it’s the “ism” that becomes a jarring note. In some circles, it’s a proverbial red flag, used with the intention of conjuring up negative images of a stereotypical man-hating women bent on a tirade of anti-male criticism directed at men.

 

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The All-of-the Above Energy Strategy

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It would be difficult to volunteer a word that has more potential for raising a reflexive concern than the term nuclear.

While we know the benefits it provides — plenty of affordable, reliable energy to the world — we allow, privately at least, to fall into the valley of doubt, skepticism and fear.

For that reason, the role of energy and the environment both now and for future generations is an unending discussion. And if we are to offer our intelligence, creativity and problem-solving skills, then every possible answer is something we must carefully analyze. When it comes to solving the growing need for energy, while reducing carbon emissions to deal with climate change, then honest debate on the pros and cons of nuclear energy should be on our collective agenda. 

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NJ Democrats ready to rally in Philadelphia

Anne Creter is accustomed to standing on the outside of major political events.

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NJ Democrats kick off convention on the Battleship New Jersey

The opening gavel of the Democratic National Convention isn't until Monday afternoon, but New Jersey Democrats got an early start on the festivities Sunday evening during their own kickoff reception aboard the famous Battleship New Jersey.

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When It Comes to Declawing, Reality Bites

New York could have become a more humane state for cats had two bills to ban declawing passed. The bills, introduced in New York’s Assembly and Senate, sought to prohibit declawing unless medically necessary to treat injured or diseased paws. It would have made New York the first state to ban this veterinary surgery.

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