Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of 2009 #1: "CityCenter, CityCenter, CityCenter!"

Come on, you knew this was coming. It's the largest private construction project in the nation's history. It's created at least another 12,000 jobs for Nevadans badly in need of work...

And will likely come in handy to save Harry Reid's job in DC...

And it's refueled a long simmering controversy over the death of "Old Vegas" and whether a CityCenter-like business model is better for the Nevada gaming industry than the type of business model "one of the boys" would "think up".

Well, we know for sure that "one of the boys" wouldn't think this up!

Or this...

Or this...

Or this...

And especially this!

An environmentally friendly Vegas casino? REALLY??!!

So obviously, there is plenty to talk about CityCenter. And going into 2010, this will still be a major development in the ongoing saga of The Las Vegas Strip.

So first, let me remind you of something I wrote late last month about how quintessentially "Las Vegas" CityCenter really is.


So The Sun has a big story today on City Center's grand opening. Jim Murren's putting on his confident face for the grand occasion. MGM Mirage continues to reassure us that Dubai World's debt crisis won't send Las Vegas' newest attraction crashing to the ground. So City Center starts opening this week and all of Vegas holds its breath.

I really think Jim Murren's heart was in the right place with City Center. Despite what all the critics are saying, it is exactly what Las Vegas needs. Until very recently Las Vegas has lacked an urban center, an artistic edge, and forward-thinking design. But now with City Center, we finally have something to call our own... Not just another carbon copy of yet another world landmark, but a stunning collection of postmodern architecture that we can really call our own.

It just seems like this was cursed with bad timing and bad financing. MGM Mirage has relied on Dubai World to help complete this project, but now Dubai is collapsing on its own debt load. MGM Mirage has also taken on more debt than it could handle in trying to monopolize almost all the west side of The Strip. In many ways, the tale of City Center so far is a reflection of the George W. Bush era of unbridled corporate greed let loose to cannabalize our economy.

I guess in many ways, City Center is a reflection of Jim Murren himself. We see his beautiful artistic side with the whimsical design of the buildings, the public art adorned all over, and the "green" defining this entire project. However we also see Murren's darker corporate side with the construction death scandals, the now hot mess with the Dubai World financing, and the constant reminder that the era of "New Vegas", started 20 years ago when Steve Wynn opened The Mirage and brought the "Wall Street Raiders" to conquer Las Vegas, has come to a brutal end here as we contemplate how to move forward in a "New New Vegas" with a more sustainable, both environmentally sustainable AND economically sustainable, future.

I still hope for success with City Center. We need some success in Las Vegas for a change. I guess I'm now also hoping that this become a wake-up call to all of us that Las Vegas needs to change. "Old Vegas" left the building long ago with its mafia history and Old Hollywood glory, and "New Vegas" didn't quite work out as planned, fueled as it was by unsustainable real estate speculation and "construction begetting construction" that was long doomed to fail. Now the cynics and skeptics that always predict the fall and demise of Las Vegas have somehow always been proven wrong, as we somehow always adapt for survival and undergo a metamorphosis to ultimately thrive. But that's just it, we succeed when we change what's wrong and do what's right.

Las Vegas could have died when the luster of the new railroad wore off, but instead we legalized gambling and made marriage (and divorce) so damned easy that almosr anyone could do it. Las Vegas could have died when World War II ended and the military build-up eased off, but instead The Strip was born and Hollywood glamour transformed our once sleepy outpost in the Mojave Desert into the cutting edge of "cool". Las Vegas could have died when the mob was driven out of town by the feds and the gaming regulators, but instead Howard Hughes ushered in a new era of "corporate casinos" that led Kirk Kerkorian to build bigger and inspired Steve Wynn to build better. Las Vegas could have died with the post-9/11 tourist slump, but instead this town became the "it destination" that's now made us the most visited place on earth.

I really think Las Vegas is at another turning point today. And interestingly enough, City Center may lead us to our future. We will be reminded of Wall Street greed gone wrong, but also inspired by eco-friendly design done right. We will be horrified by the massive corporate debt loads and shady "wheelin-dealin'" enabled by the corporate right and conservative wet dreams of hyper-deregulation, but we will also be awestruck by the moving public art that will encourage us to let our imagination run wild and free.

City Center now embodies Las Vegas. It tells the story of our past, warts and "beauty marks" and liposuctions and facelifts and triple bypass operations and all. It reflects our present, a jarring contrast of celebrity panache and inglorious economic collapse. It shows the way to our future, hopefully one that includes living in concert with Mother Nature and building a stronger community with a sound economy.

So let City Center open and start a new chapter in the great Las Vegas story.


And now, I'll move onto something I wrote this month when I was a little miffed at MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren "dissing" us Vegas locals.


Jim Murren is now in the hot seat over City Center. It's just starting to open up, and people are starting to wonder what will be next for MGM Mirage's big bet.

Will it fail?

Will it succeed?

What happens now to Las Vegas?

We'll all soon be finding out in the coming days, weeks, and months. In the mean time, a mini-scandal is emerging over what Murren said in the last video clip above. Steve Friess first caught this in the transcript of last night's "Face to Face", when Jon Ralston asked Jim Murren about what he had earlier told Friess for his LA Weekly write-up on City Center.

Here's the original clip from LA Weekly:

I’ve never been in Encore, when did it open up? I’ve never been into Palazzo. It’s not that I don’t care, I just don’t need to go. But I do know – I have nothing against either one of those guys, especially Steve Wynn, I like him a lot. But [CityCenter] is not going to be, for most people, the same as just another resort opening up. I know it won’t.

And in case you haven't yet started uploading that second video, here's how Murren made it worse.

"I live in Summerlin. I have a great community. I coach my kids. I have a lot of restaurants out there. If I didn't work in the resort community, I probably wouldn't come down here much. That was my point. That is my point as a counterpoint to CityCenter. I really believe it is not a casino-hotel. I really would not be upset at all if people never visit Aria that live here. ... ." [Emphasis mine.]

Donde los yikes??!! Does Jim Murren really want to kick sand in the locals' faces? And worse yet, does he really want to hand over all these potential customers to Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos on a silver platter? Many of my neighbors already complain all the time about how expensive everything on The Strip is, how much traffic always plagues The Strip, and how snooty all those fancy-schmancy hotels on The Strip are. By Jim Murren adding to "the snooty factor", how will he ever get my neighbors out of Green Valley Ranch, Sam's Town, or The M to venture to The Strip to see City Center?

I guess if he's really not all that upset if locals never visit Aria, Tony Marnell will really appreciate keeping more local business at The M.

But really, this is just one of the many concerns MGM Mirage should still have about City Center. I toured Crystals with my dad last weekend after I gave him an intimate "birthday celebration" at Aureole at Mandalay Bay. (By the way, I'm obviously NOT one of those Strip-hating locals!)

Now let me say that I just LOVE the design of this place! It's very "eco-chic", and I'm digging it. However, my dad wasn't...

That is, he wasn't finding Crystals all that attractive. For one, not all the stores are open yet. Furthermore, most of the ones that are open have already set foot in Southern California (where Dad still lives), in exclusive "shopping resorts" there like Orange County's South Coast Plaza and LA/Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive. So not only might Jim Murren have a problem with Vegas locals, but he may also have trouble finding Californians to jump up the 15 to see something that they think they've already seen in LA and OC.

So what's his plan to lure in travelers who aren't all that into postmodern architecture and/or high-end designer label shopping? Does he have one?

I hope he does... And he thinks of one fast. I really think City Center can be a huge success, but only if it actually entices people to come and spend money in it.

And guess what? This means making it easy to move around City Center. This means making gamblers feel comfortable gambling in Aria. This means not alienating locals and SoCal weekenders. Oh yeah, and this means keeping up with the competition! I'll let Steve Friess explain that last bit some more.

Whoa, whoa, WHOA! [City Center President Bobby] Baldwin said Aria's casino is the economic engine of the whole she-bang and Murren knows that. But Murren doesn't even care if his neighbors ever see it and, if he didn't have to because he gets millions to do so, he might never bother either! This is not a ringing endorsement of the most significant financial element of your new endeavor, is it?

So let's remove Aria from CityCenter. Without it, you're left with four buildings containing private residences, two of which are also hotels that contain no shows or casinos. And you have a 500,000-square-foot "retail and entertainment district" with some of the most expensive products anyone can sell anywhere in the world, not exactly a locals-friendly shopping experience. Plus a whole lot of terrific art and an oft-mentioned pocket park that Murren recommends as a neat place to sit even though there's no place (yet) to sit. [...]

Again, there are lots of elements of CityCenter I love. But it is worrisome when a massive gaming company is being piloted by someone who isn't personally aware of his competition and seems so personally uncomfortable with the heart of his business.

Again, don't get me wrong, City Center is a great concept. I'm even liking the new ad campaign for Aria.

I just think MGM Mirage needs to remember that this needs to offer great products, great comfort, and great service for this to be a real success.


And I'll finish with this piece from November, when I shocked y'all here with my "commie lovin' socialist pinko!" self agreeing with Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson on something: Viva Las Vegas! :-D


Well, we have some bad news and some good news. First, the bad: MGM Mirage's bottom line REALLY bled red last quarter. The good news? They're looking at a better 4th Quarter so far.

With its CityCenter resort set to open, MGM Mirage today reported a loss for the third quarter as revenue fell on the Las Vegas Strip -- but also said its results are improving in the fourth quarter.

"We continue to show sequential improvement in our operating results over the course of 2009,'' Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Murren said in a statement.

MGM Mirage lost $750.4 million, or $1.70 per share in the third quarter vs. a profit in the year-ago quarter of $61.3 million or 22 cents per share. Net revenue of $1.533 billion was down from $1.785 billion.

The results include previously announced noncash accounting charges against earnings of $1.17 billion. These include a $956 impairment charge for the company's investment in CityCenter and $203 million to write down the value of condominiums under development there.

Yikes! Those are some serious losses. So why the hell is Jim Murren still so upbeat? MSNBC (via Stiffs & Georges) provided some answers earlier this week.

[Union Gaming Group analyst Bill] Lerner and others also predict a rebound in visitation of up to 5 percent next year as people check out CityCenter, take advantage of the ongoing bargains and begin to feel better about their own financial situation. International visitation is also increasing, says Jicinsky, and now accounts for about 15 percent of the total. (Last week, British Airways started daily, non-stop service from Heathrow; next May, XL Airways will start twice-weekly charter service from Paris.)

All of which bodes well for both CityCenter and Las Vegas and, perhaps, for travel in general. “We’re a good microcosm of the broader business community,” says Murren. “The next six months are going to be muted, but business travel and consumer activity are going to improve, particularly by April or May of next year.”

And so far, even Murren's cross-Strip rivals are cautiously optimistic about City Center's ultimate success.

"We hope it grows the market," said Steve Wynn, chief executive at Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O). "But so far, the talk has been about its problems, instead of about what an incredible, unusual place it will be." [...]

Rival Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N) is also rooting for MGM. "It think it will succeed," said Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. "If it doesn't, they will lower the room rates and that will affect everyone."

Wynn said he is unable to predict 2010 hotel rates "with any degree of confidence," given the wide number of market variables related to CityCenter and the general economy.

I guess this is one of those rare times when I'll agree with both Steve Wynn AND Sheldon Adelson! I may be perceived as some "crazy extreme left socialist", but in reality I'm also rooting for MGM Mirage and City Center right now. I really do hope they ultimately succeed.

And so far, there's good reason to hope. The worst of "The Great Recession" is over, and once unemployment turns around more people will have more money to spend on such discretionary items as trips to Vegas.

Still, everything isn't coming up roses just yet. Again, unemployment is still high and even a lot of people with jobs are focusing on saving money right now just to stay on top of the bills. Unfortunately for the big casinos (but good for savvy travelers!), room rates are likely to remain in the bargain basement just to lure all those tourists here to see the shiny new Vegas attraction next to what was our shiny new attraction 11 years ago.

So don't fret too much, Las Vegas will very much survive the rest of this recession and ultimately recover. Just don't expect a return to 2000 or 2005 hey days so quickly. There may be some bumps along the way, but City Center will bring in the tourists and Sin City will go on.

Best of 2009 #2: "Maine (& Washington, & Nevada): Why Marriage Matters"

Probably one of the biggest disappointments for me in 2009 was the stinging marriage loss in Maine just one year after Prop H8 stole fundamental civil rights away from LGBTQ Californians. Conversely, the biggest victories for me were the comprehensive DP wins here in Nevada and up north in Washington State. So as I reflect on all that's been queer in 2009, I want to go back to something I wrote just before the November election on why marriage matters.


OK, so the Yes on H8/Yes on 1 anti-equality forces are now saying they "don't oppose civil rights". Uh-huh. So they just want "equality by another name"?

Not really. After all, why did these same religious right forces fight SB 283 here in Nevada that isn't even marriage?

And by the way, Maine Domestic Partnerships are not even comprehensive like ours in Nevada. They're very limited to only a few medical decisions and property rights. Is this type of third-class (since it isn't even second-class) citizenship what Yes on 1 calls "equality"?

OK, so let's assume some of these Yes on 1 folks are serious about "changing" Maine's domestic partnership law to look more like Nevada's. I did my homework on SB 283, the domestic partner law that's now being practiced here in The Silver State. I did my homework and I know what's in the bill and what isn't. Let me give you the gist of SB 283.

[State Senator and SB 283 author] David Parks wasn't joking when he said that this is NOT marriage. While SB 283 provides for domestic partnerships (DPs) that are supposed to treat "domestic partnered" couples just like married spouses, let's remember that this theory doesn't always work out in practice. So while we celebrate the first major advance in civil rights in Nevada in decades, let's keep working toward the final goal of true civil marriage equality. [...]

But again, we must stress that DPs under SB 283 are not marriage and will not be treated by the federal government as such. Even if you and your partner file for a DP this fall, you will still not be able to file a joint federal tax return. You won't be able to receive any spousal benefits from the military or the VA. You won't be able to sponsor your partner for US citizenship or permanent residency if he/she is a foreign national. Unfortunately, DOMA still applies here as it does across the nation. This is why it's crucial that not only Nevada law change to give our families full equality, but that federal law change as well.
When it comes to federal law, marriage is marriage is marriage. And even if DOMA is repealed soon and same-sex marriages will be recognized by the federal government, comprehensive DPs and civil unions will still not be recognized by the feds and treated as "marriages". So all of us in Nevada will still be left in the cold and so will Mainers if Question 1 passes.

And even worse, comprehensive DPs and civil unions are not even treated equally when it comes to state law. That was the experience in Vermont until marriage equality was legalized there. That's what New Jersey is dealing with in regards to their civil unions. That's what California, Oregon, and Nevada are now facing with DPs. No matter how well intentioned the "separate but equal laws" are, separate is simply never equal.

Marriage equality is important because it gives LGBT families the same equal rights and responsibilities under the law as straight families. And even more so, civil marriage equality gives our families the same respect and dignity they deserve.

And again, I doubt the anti-equality folks will even allow DPs. After all, Richard Ziser is attacking us here in Nevada once again. DPs are under attack in Washington state this year. This is just another excuse for the anti-equality religious right to make LGBT families in Maine and elsewhere suffer. Don't believe them.


And I'll finish on an upbeat note by bringing back this explanation in November why the R-71 win in Washington is our glimmer of hope for equality in the future.


Well, at least not all the news from last night was bad. Washington looks to be expanding domestic partner rights. If this holds up (and so far the returns and the locations of the remaining uncounted ballots are pointing this way), Washington will be the very first state to approve of relationship recognition rights by popular vote.

In Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill in May granting same sex domestic partners all the rights of married couples. That same month conservative interests announced they would attempt to overturn the new law and enough signatures were collected enough to place R-71 on the November ballot.

Gay rights supporters were not ready to declare victory Tuesday night.

"We are hopeful, but we are not stupid. We know better than to think we've got this in the can," said said Jody Lane of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "They may be recounting 'til January, for God's sake."

Before the first batch of results came in at 8:15 p.m., supporters laughed as a clip of Stephen Colbert jokingly endorsing Washington's domestic partnership law played on a projector at the Pravda Studios party.

With a bigger crowd by 9:05 p.m., they were still having fun -- but no one was celebrating. "We are really very guardedly optimistic, remembering that a very very large percentage of King County ballots have not been counted," campaign manager Josh Friedes told the crowd.
So far, so good. Washington is on the right path... And here's why it's so important and why we should care about it.

First, the opposition made this about "gay marriage" even though people were actually voting on DPs. They called themselves "Protect Marriage Washington" and warned about how approving R-71 would "put Washington on the path to let teh gayz merry!" Ironically, this proxy war over marriage equality will encourage pro-equality activists to one day go for full civil marriage equality in Washington.

Secondly if the anti-equality forces couldn't muster an off-year election in Washington, what makes them think they can pull a win in Nevada next year with Harry Reid, Rory Reid, and a number of other high-profile races on the ballot? Nevada Democrats have now proven to have a superior turn-out machine than the Republicans, so I doubt voters in a regular general election will be in the appetite to hate on LGBT families just for the sake of hating on them.

And finally, this is truly historic. Again, R-71 in Washington is the first time EVER that voters in any state approved legal relationship recognition. And again, if they can't win in an off-year election like this it gives me hope that 2010 and 2012 won't be so scary for us after all.

And really, I need hope now. The Maine results still scare me. I guess they were just too religious right there... And Obama (again) was hurting us there. Whatever went wrong, hopefully one day it will be made right in Maine.

But at least today, Washington is making baby steps toward equality... And we can breathe a little more easily about Nevada coming along as well.

Best of 2009 #3: "All About Reid"

OK, so 2008 gave Democrats a massive victory... And everyone is now wondering what will become of that in 2010. And in the center of all the election banter, all the Senate chatter, and all the idiot punditry on the radio and the teevee is our own Senator. Yes, of course I'm talking about Harry Reid!

We've heard it all on how Nevada's Senator is simultaneously so powerful, so vulnerable, so conniving, so wimpy, so strong, so meek, so funny... And so Nevada! I still remember when I let go of my misgivings and embraced the aura of the all powerful Reid.


I signed up. You should, too. Why?

Well, let's face it. Harry Reid isn't perfect. Yep, he votes the wrong way a few times. Sometimes, he doesn't fight strongly enough for what progressives stand for. Before I moved to Nevada, I didn't like him at all.

I guess you can say I'm a reformed "Reid hater". I know that while he occasionally goes off the farm, he's nonetheless a mostly consistent ally of progressive causes. He's fighting for a better health care bill with a good public option and fairer Medicaid reimbursement funds fort Nevada. He's been fighting for important LGBT civil rights bills like The Matthew Shepard Act (hate crimes) and Military Readiness and Enhancement Act (repealing the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" open military service ban). He's working for a good climate and energy bill that will solve the climate crisis and bring more "green collar jobs" to Nevada. Come on, Harry Reid more often than not has our back!

So consider this my penance. While I'll still call out Reid when I think he's wrong, I won't hesitate to praise him when he's right. And if he follows through on his promises to deliver on important matters like health care and climate change, we should have his back to make sure we still have one rational, hard-working Senator to look out for Nevada.

So yes, Erin Neff and ProgressNow Nevada, I'll join you for now and support Harry Reid. If he doesn't deliver, I'll reconsider and put him on notice. But if he does, I'll make sure he gets reelected next year by the strongest margin possible. :-)


And I'll close with this from earlier this month on the "quality" of the GOP opposition.


Yippee, we have ourselves some real GOP infighting! No really, Lil' Tark Shark sent out a recent Human Events blog post (that suspiciously sounds like a list of Team Tark talking points) in a fundraising appeal that points to Baby Danny as "the true conservative" in the race. How precious. When fewer and fewer Nevadans consider themselves "Republicans" and sound more and more progressive every day, the best thing to do for a Republican trying to knock off Nevada's most powerful politician is to tack to the extreme right!

Good thinking, Lil' Tark Shark... For Harry Reid!

And of course, these attacks against Suzy Lowdown come just as she starts internal GOP warfare against all her fellow primary candidates... Since of course, we know how popular Miss Suzy is among her fellow Republicans.

But wait, there's more! We now have "Batsh*t Crazy Sharron Angle" (since we know this is her full name) topping both of the "GOP frontrunners" by:

- Wanting a "national referendum on Harry Reid"... HUH???!! I thought he was our Senator here in Nevada?

- Shut down the stimulus... To take away Nevada jobs.

- Make sure the repaid TARP funds don't get spent on creating more Nevada jobs.

- Freeze the national budget to screw with the livelihood of even more Nevada families!

Oh yeah, Sharron Angle wants to make sure this state suffers some more. I'm sure that will win her plenty of support from the teabaggers... And absolutely no one else!

So there you have it, the radical right is getting even more radical and planning to further alienate themselves from the sane majority in this state. Now perhaps if Harry Reid grows the spine that The Obama White House is so afraid of, he might actually beat any of these GOoPer losers in a landslide!

Just a thought.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009 #4: "Climate Bill By Copenhagen? Nope... And Will We Even Get One in 2010?"

For all the talk of 2009 being the year of major, real climate action in the US, President Obama still hasn't yet signed a climate bill into law... And ConservaDem Senators are now threatening to stop any more progress on the bill so we can ruin Planet Earth some more and hasten the death of humanity. Oh yes, polluters need more time to keep our economy mired in the 20th century when the rest of the world is already leaping into the "green future".

So this is what I'm thinking about as I remember this from July on the first announced delay of the Senate's climate bill shortly after the House passed its version. Will we ever take serious action on the national level on climate change? Or will Nevada need to "go rogue a la California" to make more progress here?


(Also at OC Progressive)

Late last week, we found out that Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wants to delay her committee's vote on the Senate climate & energy bill and move it to September. And furthermore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) supports this move as he'll have more time to round up votes. However, we don't really know if this is good news or bad news.

The delay bodes ill for passing a climate bill this year. It shows leaders are not confident they would have enough votes to pass the bill and want as much time as possible to rally support. Boxer also noted that many key senators with a role in crafting climate policy are also leading the debate over health care, another major congressional priority for this year.

[...] Several environmental groups have written in to say that they think today’s announcement is good news for climate legislation.

“We don’t think that this is a problem at all,” said Josh Dorner, spokesman for Sierra Club. “In fact, we think it’s a good thing. It’s a huge organizing opportunity, both here in D.C. and in the field. It also shows they are taking the time to make some meaningful, positive changes to the bill.”

Environmental Defense Fund was equally optimistic. “From our perspective, this is the right decision,” said Tony Kreindler, media director for climate at EDF. “It gives senators more time to review and understand the historic bill just passed by the House. It signals a serious intent to seek agreements on key issues going forward. And it gives Boxer and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle more time to reach those agreements. After all, the chairman has the ability to move forward today if the goal were simply to push any bill through.”

Honestly, I don't mind the delay that much... So long as this delay results in a stronger bill with more votes in time for the international climate change summit in Copenhagen this December. Let me explain my thoughts some more down below.

Last month, I explained why I feel we need to take serious action on the climate crisis.

New Orleans may sink into the sea by 2100. Much of Florida may also be underwater by then. Drought will likely become the norm out West, meaning California could no longer provide the food we depend upon. Las Vegas may become downright inhabitable.

No, I'm not fabricating any of this. These will be the consequences of inaction if we continue to delay implementing the solutions we need to solve the coming climate crisis. But for some reason, may of our supposedly wise lawmakers in Capitol Hill are either willfully ignorant of the facts or downright lying about our future.

Seriously, we can't allow any more of this.
However, the bill we ended up with in the House was badly weakened. And if the Senate passes an even weaker and more meaningless climate bill, then we might as well scrap "ACESA" and restart from scratch. After all if we were make a truly honest effort to prevent any more worsening of the climate crisis, we'd just implement a carbon tax.

Unfortunately, it seems that Democratic leadership is afraid of pushing for something as bold and effective as a simple carbon tax. But fortunately, there may still be a chance of at least strengthening the carbon caps and getting a better bill out of Senate EPW. Barbara Boxer has always been solid on environmental issues, and several more pro-environment Senators sit on EPW.

Still, we have challenges. Even though evidence has proven that renewable energy and energy conservation are our best and only hopes for a brighter energy future, Senate Republicans are already hinting that they will completely oppose ACESA if it isn't porked up with funding for dirty nuclear power. And of course, we'll again face the "clean coal" myth, the ridiculous opposition to efficiency measures that would actually save consumers money, and the typical "big government, big tax, big spending" crap that Republicans can't help but throw around.

This is why we must fight like hell to refute the "climate skeptics", point out the fallacies in the fossil fuel industry's disinformation campaign, convince the Blue Dog "ConservaDems" to stop stonewalling and start doing something good for a change, and encourage environmentalist leaders and Democratic leaders to fight for a better bill. Our future is at stake... Literally! We can not afford any more inaction, and we can not afford a bunch of half-measures that add up to a whole bunch of nothing.

So if this delay in the Senate's consideration of ACESA can result in a stronger bill that will be passed by the end of this year, then I welcome the extra time for us to organize and mobilize. I'm not sure if this is exactly what President Obama and Senators Boxer & Reid have in mind, but this is what we need them to do. Let's remind Obama & Reid that we expect more than just bragging rights for Copenhagen.

Best of 2009 #5: "Health Care, Health Care, Health... WHAT??!!"

We've been consumed by it all year... And it looks like we'll still have to be dealing with it in 2010. The health care debate has taken some interesting twists and turns ever since President Obama was inaugurated early this year. And when Arlen Specter switches parties, Al Franken was seated, and Democrats finally had "60 votes" (at least on paper) in the Senate, it seemed like universal health care was a go...

But was it ever really? Now that the Senate bill is passed, a real debate has opened on what to demand out of the final bill, whether to support the final bill at all, and how to work with Democratic leaders (including President Obama and Senator Reid) from now on. So considering how important this is nationally, as well as how big of a role Nevada has played in the health care debate with Harry Reid often taking center stage (just before the 2010 Election), I figured I just couldn't leave this off the list.

So on this note, let me start with something I wrote earlier this month...


There we have it. Senator Reid couldn't have said it better. It's about us, our stories, our struggles, our health care. Besides, I thought this would be a nice segway from all the talk lately of the politics of Harry Reid and 2010 to the facts of the matter.

We haven't stopped by and visited Desert Beacon in some time, and that's all my fault. Sorry. Now pay attention to what she says:

The difference between legislation and public relations (campaigning) also serves to obfuscate the issue. This crucial difference gets lost in the efforts to offer prognostication about the passage of reform measures. There is a common narrative in American political reporting which is often more applicable to NASCAR than to the legislative process. Simply put, the narrative seeks to find winners and losers, who is leading, who is behind, whose poll numbers are up, and whose are down. What is the "percentage" prospect that a particular bill will be passed, and what are the "odds" it will fail? This narrative frame works well when discussing which drivers have the best statistical chance of placing in the top 12 contestants for the Sprint Cup, but not quite so well when attempting to explicate the legislative process.

The narrative frame is useful for describing the political implications and ramifications of races, national, statewide, and district; but, it rarely serves well as a vehicle for policy analysis. The upshot is that Americans get a healthy serving of political news each and every day, but not quite so much in the way of legislative process information, and even less policy analysis and discussion.

Most of the stories from political reporters are precisely what a reader should expect from political reporters...politics: The summation of poll numbers; The probability of electoral success; The nature and viability of the opposition. If we take as given that most of the news average citizens are getting about health care reform legislation pertains to the political maneuvering and ramifications thereof, then it's easy to conclude that process will run second, and the policy analysis will be the stepchild in the narrative. This, too, adds to the confusion factor.

The health care reform legislation debate is a prime example of how imbalances in coverage (or perceived coverage) translates into electorate confusion. Republicans are eager to note that they've captured the "narrative," and that the Democrats have made inadequate efforts to secure public favor for their proposals. But, wait; notice the internal numbers in the polling cited in the opening paragraph. Only 9% of Nevadans are pleased with the status quo. Only 16% say the system needs only minor changes. If the Republicans are pointing to a generic dissatisfaction with Democratic proposals, they may be missing the specific dissatisfaction with the status quo they are attempting to maintain. In short, the GOP may have "won" the road race narrative but appear to be well behind in policy acceptance, perhaps because legislation doesn't happen on a perfect oval.

There you have it. Behind all the pundits saying this and predicting that, and behind all the confusion created by all the ads flooding the media, we have people who want to see reform but don't know what to think of what's being discussed in the media.

And of course, what Digby says:

In opinion polls a majority of the nation’s voters display generally progressive values. But they do not label themselves liberals. A majority of Americans (57%) also agree, “When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful.” Thus, a skeptical public needs to be convinced of the renewed competence of government. This is not an overnight task particularly in light of the massive failings of the Bush era. Activist government requires very good communication to the public. This is the President’s hallmark.

So this is the problem. Americans are increasingly espousing progressive values and support for "activist government", but they don't know yet if the government can actually be made to work. We can thank the GOP and "ConservaDems" for that.

And when they constantly hear of more corporate bailouts, more talk of protecting HMO profits, and more giveaways to the pharmaceutical companies, they must be wondering what this health care debate is really about. And again, this is the problem.

We need to cut through the lies and give people health care reform that they can understand and they will actually benefit from.

There. Simple as that. Perhaps Reid made some errors in letting "The Baucus Caucus" spend so much time confusing everyone over co-op this and co-op that, Perhaps Obama made some errors in not showing leadership early on in clearly defining what he wants presented to his desk to sign into law. Ultimately, there's still time to cut through the BS and deliver to the American people what they want out of this big mess.

Let's hope that happens ASAP.


And I'll finish off with something I wrote more recently. And yes, I promise to talk more about health care when Congress is back in session after the holidays and we finally see a final bill. I just hope it will be worth supporting, and that it will actually do some good for people in need.

But in the mean time, I'll just end with this.


Honestly, I'm exhausted right now. I'm tired. I'm drained. This health care fight has delighted me at times, infuriated me at times, and has left me fighting with just about everyone over everything.

So what exactly am I fighting for? Thank goodness Desert Beacon is here to remind me!

[S]top sweating the small stuff. OK, it's not small to you that there is no public option proposal in the Senate version of the legislation, and it's not small to you that there is no Medicare buy-in for those aged 55-64. Those were proposals (and reasonably good ones) intended to bring down the cost of health insurance plans sold by private corporations. They are not now and never were central to the health care reform legislation. While we got down in the weeds with public options and buy-ins we've not been focused on the essential feature of the proposals -- the subsidy levels for insurance premiums and the income standards attached thereto. If anything, we ought to be arguing about whether or not the standard 250% above our unrealistically low assigned poverty level is sufficient to assist most working families in this country. I'd like single-payer, but that was never in the cards; and, I'd have been pleased to get a public option included in the insurance exchange and/or Medicare buy-ins, but I'm not ready to toss the positive aspects of the current Senate bill out with the bathwater du jour.
Yep, she brings up some valid points that I remember discussing last week, back when the Medicare buy-in became the "conflict du jour". There are still worthy elements of the bill worth passing, such as the increased regulation and improved subsidies.

However, I must admit I'm still afraid of any type of individual mandate to buy insurance if there's no public option available on Day One of reform. As I was saying yesterday, this is simply bad policy because it forces the working poor and middle class to buy crappy HMOs that they really can't afford. And of course, this also makes it bad politics since Democrats will be taking ownership of the individual mandate.

But then again, would it really be better for us to throw it all down the drain, as some progressives are now suggesting? Is reconciliation the "magic bullet" that we really want? Again, I'll defer to Desert Beacon.

Third, nothing would please the Republicans in the Senate and their corporate masters quite so much as to have the liberal and moderate wings of the Democratic party do their work for them. It's been the GOP intention all along to scuttle any and all health care reform legislation. We can assume this is so because they've hewed to their Luntz Talking Points from the beginning: Government Takeovers, Rationed Care, Bew-row-crats in your health care. They carped about imaginary "Death Panels," and they've whined about "Killing Granny." However, it's reasonably obvious that the last thing they wanted was to directly address the insurance company practices (exclusion/rescission) that helped create the crisis in health care we face today. Instead of addressing specific issues, they've consistently resorted to generalities and fear-mongering. Instead of steadily working on the legislation, they've consistently stalled and obstructed any attempts at progress (witness the Gregg Memo). Tossing the package out now because it doesn't sate progressives' advocacy for single-payer/public option/Medicare buy-ins plays directly into GOP obstructionist hands.

Fourth, there are no cheap fixes. The much touted, and much misunderstood, reconciliation process in the Senate is not an option if we really want the insurance reform we say we do. [Emphasis mine.] Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) explained, "reconciliation is a very spare and thin process with limited opportunities." Reconciliation applies only to the money parts of the bill; it would not serve to pass insurance reforms that are at the heart of regulating the insurance corporation practices as they abuse their exclusion and rescission clauses.
So there you have it. Reconciliation can be done, but with tight limits and requiring far more time. And since it already looks like this process (as it is now) will drag into 2010, do we really want to risk health care being drawn out even closer to the midterm elections? And do we want to complicate things further by trying to figure out what can be done with reconciliation and what can't?

Again, we face some tough choices in the next few days... So maybe it's best for us to wait and see what happens next. After all, we don't even know all of what's in this new bill yet!

Oh yeah, and we finally have some good news in House Democrats inserting themselves back into the debate by demanding Conference to merge the House & Senate bills. This is good for us, as this actually keeps the public option alive and kicking. After all, remember that the House version has a public option and that House progressives are refusing to support any final bill with no public option.

And getting back to the Senate, let's remember something else. As hard as I've been sometimes on Harry Reid, I still understand that he doesn't have an easy job here. Matt Yglesias explains.

I think it’s worth sparing a thought in this regard for the much-maligned Harry Reid. It seems like it was only three years ago that [Beltway pundit] Jacob Weisberg was explaining to people that Reid and Pelosi were so icky, liberal, and inept that Republicans could stay in power forever or something. And liberals have rarely found themselves hailing Reid’s leadership. But the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59 Democrats, one loosely Democrat-aligned Independent, and two slightly moderate Republicans into 60 votes for a package that’s simultaneously a dramatic expansion of the welfare state and a measure that reduces both short- and long-term deficits.

On top of the intrinsically difficult nature of the task, he’s facing a really ugly political situation back home. Since Beltway mores dictate that you can never hold a member of congress morally culpable for actions undertaken in the name of raw politically self-interest, it must have been very tempting for Reid to get distracted. But he’s stayed on point and focused, dealt with the timid members of his caucus, dealt with the ignorant members of his caucus, dealt with the egomaniacal members of his caucus, and dealt with the all-too-typical Senatorial combination of policy ignorance, egomania, and political cowardice among some members. For his troubles it looks like we’re going to get a bill that liberals feel churlish about at best. But it’s really an extraordinary achievement.
So let's remember this. All of this. The final bill that emerges won't be perfect, but we still have time to possibly improve it. The Senate still requires 60 votes to get this done, since reconciliation isn't the "easy backdoor process" that some progressives dream of it as. And no matter how good and/or bad the final bill is overall, there are some inherently good elements of it that need to become law ASAP (before the window on health care closes yet again on Capitol Hill).

So excuse me while I take a breather for a bit. I will be analyzing and investigating whatever is thrown out next as "today's official Senate health care bill", and I will do my best to be more careful before praising it or trashing it.

Best of 2009 #6: "Utah Is So Queer!"

Remember that state next door to us? You know, the Zion to our Sodom & Gomorrah? Yes, boys & girls, it's time to go to UTAH!

Video Courtesy of

There have been so many interesting Utah stories, especially LGBTQ stories in Utah, this year that it's hard for me to pick just one for Best of 2009. We've seen everything from the "kissing" controversy to the ongoing Prop H8/Mormon saga to the still embarrassing KKKhris Buttars... But for now, I want to remember something that really amazed me in a good way.

So for now, go back to November and check out what I found about a great police officer overcoming major challenges in a town called Bountiful.


I found a great story in today's Salt Lake Tribune, one I wish I could read in the paper more often.

As a child, Kerry Bell dreamed of growing up to become a policeman -- both a police officer and a man.
Becoming a cop was relatively simple -- Bell joined the Bountiful Police Department 14 years ago. Becoming a man took more time.
Born female, Bell came out as transgender about a year and a half ago and started a transition to a new life as a man. He always had felt male, but did not think switching genders was a viable option until he saw transgender people gaining wider acceptance, along with advances in medical technology.
Surprisingly, the 42-year-old -- working in what many perceive as a super-macho culture -- says he did not fret about telling the police chief or his co-workers to start referring to him as "he," not "she."
"I wasn't worried about coming out at work," says Bell, who has had hormone treatments and surgeries. "I've worked for Bountiful for 14 years. I know everybody I work with."
Although some employees have trouble remembering to use masculine pronouns, Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross says, "everyone's done a great job of accepting Kerry and staying focused on why we're here in the first place."
Bell, a corporal and SWAT member, is a "well-rounded police officer," Ross adds. "We're glad that he works here."

As we've talked about before, transgender people still face horrible burdens of discrimination. It's worse here in Nevada where our state anti-discrimination laws don't cover gender identity, and even worse in Utah where their state has no anti-LGBT-inclusive discrimination laws whatsoever. So it's really encouraging to see more LGBT police officers come out in Utah and serve proudly.

And honestly, it's good to see more police departments forge good relationships with the community for a change.

That many LGBT officers now serve openly at several Utah law-enforcement agencies speaks volumes to how far society has progressed, says Salt Lake City Capt. Kyle Jones, a founding member of the [LGBT Public Safety Committee].
"Twenty years ago, they wouldn't have been [welcome]," says Jones, who was inspired to get involved with the LGBT community after his son came out as gay. "The current crop of officers, by and large, don't give it a second thought."
Jones, along with other committee members, recruits potential new officers at the annual Utah Pride Festival for the Salt Lake City Police Department.
"Our department has tried for years to recruit from the populations that we represent," Jones says. "Anywhere from 8 to 12 percent of [Salt Lake City] is thought to be LGBT so we should have 8 to 12 percent of our cops who are LGBT."

Long before Stonewall, our LGBT community has had a rocky relationship with the cops at best. One need not look further than the recent Fort Worth bar raids and Newport Beach Police homophobia scandal to see that tensions still exist and many queer folk still think they have good reason not to trust the cops.

Hopefully with more LGBT police officers joining the ranks and police departments becoming more accepting of this, the often antagonistic relationship between the police and the community can change. It needs to if our community is to trust the police to be our public servants and keep us safe as well.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009 #7: "SB 283: What We Have & What We're Still Being Denied"

Probably one of the biggest Nevada stories of 2009 was SB 283 becoming law. Sure, it's not marriage... But it's something so new for Nevada. For once, we've become somewhat of a leader on LGBTQ equality. On May 31, 2009, "Luv-Guv" Gibbons' veto was overrode and Nevada became the first Mountain West state to recognize LGBTQ relationships and offer "marriage-like rights".

OK, so those "marriage-like rights" still don't ensure health care benefits for everyone and they still do nothing at the federal level. That's the problem, but hopefully one day this will change and these "marriage-like rights" will actually become full civil marriage equality.

But in the mean time, let's reflect on SB 283 with this piece I wrote here back in August.


(Also at the Stonewall Blog)

As we've been talking about for some time, SB 283 will officially become law on October 1. This will bring about some major changes in the law, mostly helping us. However, there are some things that we need to remember. Secretary of State Ross Miller hasn't yet updated the Nevada SoS site to include a domestic partnership page (as California's SoS does)

First off, David Parks wasn't joking when he said that this is NOT marriage. While SB 283 provides for domestic partnerships (DPs) that are supposed to treat "domestic partnered" couples just like married spouses, let's remember that this theory doesn't always work out in practice. So while we celebrate the first major advance in civil rights in Nevada in decades, let's keep working toward the final goal of true civil marriage equality.

Probably the most significant reminder of the challenges LGBT families face in this state is the section of SB 283 considering workplace health care benefits. Simply put, employers are NOT required under Nevada law to provide health care benefits to domestic partners of employees as they do to other employees' married spouses. Fortunately it is at least optional, so you'll continue to receive DP benefits at work if your employer already provides them. And if your employer doesn't yet provide DP benefits, you can still try to convince them to do so. Just don't expect the State of Nevada to make them do so... At least until we can improve the DP law.

Nonetheless, SB 283 will change Nevada law for the better for our families. One major example of this will be in family law. Specifically, child custody laws will be improved to make it easier for gay & lesbian couples looking to have children to do so. And considering the current headaches LGBT families with children have, this is quite a welcome development.

And in many other matters, our families will receive more legal protections. Hospital visitation (should the partner become ill) will be easier. Community property laws will apply to domestic partners. State tax benefits currently afforded to married spouses will also be extended to domestic partners.

But again, we must stress that DPs under SB 283 are not marriage and will not be treated by the federal government as such. Even if you and your partner file for a DP this fall, you will still not be able to file a joint federal tax return. You won't be able to receive any spousal benefits from the military or the VA. You won't be able to sponsor your partner for US citizenship or permanent residency if he/she is a foreign national. Unfortunately, DOMA still applies here as it does across the nation. This is why it's crucial that not only Nevada law change to give our families full equality, but that federal law change as well.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions you may have about SB 283 and its imminent implementation. I'll keep the Stonewall site updated with any new information from the Secretary of State, as well as new legal opinions on what will and will not be covered by SB 283.

Best of 2009 #8: "The Compromise Mystique"

For #8, I had to go back to Cali again. Sorry, but this really should teach us a lesson... And it's a good lesson for Democrats both in Washington and Carson City.

No matter how much President Obama wants us to compromise on health care, Republicans will never allow reform. And no matter how much Bill Raggio promises us that he just wants a nice "compromise", there's really no rational solution halfway in-between what this state really needs and what Jimmy "Luv-Guv" Gibbons wants.

So without further adieu, let me present to you what I wrote for OC Progressive back in June. Again, just replace "Arnold" with "Gibbons" and their legislature with our legislature, and we have a recipe for disaster if Buckley and Horsford fall for another non-sensical budget that's balanced on the backs of the working poor and middle class.


Overall, I thought The LA Times put an interesting editorial in its paper today on the ever-worsening budget crisis. They rightly call out Arnold and his GOP for their frighteningly disgusting cut proposals that would destroy the social safety net that the working poor (and increasingly now, middle class) depend upon for survival. However, there was something about it that just did not make sense.

What perplexed me was how The Times tried, as it so often does, to be "fair and balanced" by equating GOP adherence to their corporate overlords and their Grover Norquist "drown government in the bathtub" ideology with Democrats being "too deep in union pockets" and somehow too progressive. Now don't get me wrong, I've said before that Democratic leaders aren't innocent in creating this mess. However, I don't think the problem is Democrats being too progressive or too union-friendly. Rather, the problem is they're not being progressive enough.

Now I know many in the media are obsessed over "split the middle", "moderate", "sensible solutions" that will supposedly magically bring Democrats and Republicans together, balance the budget, and create a happy centrist middle ground where everyone should be satisfied. But honestly, how is this supposed to work? Democrats in Sacramento have already been compromising with Republicans by avoiding the real tax problems and making budget cuts. We compromised our way to the "center" a long time ago, yet the Republicans keep with this hard-line, "no new taxes", "cuts only" plan to throw the entire state off the financial cliff. How can we possibly compromise this? Only throw the state halfway down the cliff?

OK, so maybe I need to explain myself more clearly again. I don't think we should be a mirror image of the Republicans and refuse to compromise. We just shouldn't force ourselves to make a "compromise" halfway between an already compromised centrist budget and a hard-right Grover Norquist wet dream.

Yes, yes, I've already heard that "the votes aren't there" for progressive tax reform. That's just hogwash. Judging from the recent votes, "the votes aren't there" for Arnold's brutal cuts. But since we obviously can't have no cuts and no tax changes, something's got to give.

Obviously, we'll need to compromise some to get the 2/3 vote necessary for this budget this year. However, Democrats should not adopt the GOP's "penny wise, pound foolish" approach that will endanger people's lives along with federal matching funds. We need a smarter plan, something like the one that The LA Times actually allowed to be published in the business section last month, to get out of this mess. And if Arnold & the GOP legislators doesn't want to budge, we need to make the case to the public why we must change these ridiculous budget rules that allow an entrenched minority to derail the entire state.

Compromise is a means to an end, not a goal we should all desire just for the sake of it. If we can get a reasonable compromise, we should take it. But if "compromise" means another lousy budget that fails to address the problems causing the crisis, Democrats shouldn't feel obligated to take it.

Best of 2009 #9: "My Poem in Honor of Johnny Casino"

Oh yeah, you think I forgot about that @sshole?! Think again, bitchez!

Back in July, Ms. Vegas Tea Room gave me inspiration... And I had no other choice but to fart this out just for Senator Ants-in-His-Pants:

Sure, I apologized
But I'm still mesmerized
By that other lady
Yeah, I know I'm so shady
I'm such a dirty sinner
Yet my lust will still simmer
Me and my slick silver mane
Can just never be tame


Best of 2009 #10: "Equality Summit, Camp Courage, Looking Back, Thinking Ahead"

OK, so today starts my series of what I think are my favorite blog stories from 2009. It's been a wild and crazy year... But hey, we need to start somewhere!

So today, I'd like for us to be goin', goin', back, back, to Cali, Cali, for this one. Back in January, there was still much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth after the Prop H8 marriage ban passed in California. I got my "restart" in activism by attending two major LGBTQ events in LA that really changed everything for me.

So to better understand the fight for LGBTQ equality today, as well as my own personal transformation from ordinary young California Democrat to rabblerousing Nevada Progressive, I'd like to take you back to this piece I wrote for OC Progressive in January.


Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

(Originally posted at The Liberal OC)

In case you missed it, I had to cross "The Orange Curtain" last weekend to attend two major LGBT civil rights events in LA, Equality Summit and Camp Courage. And even though I hardly got any sleep Saturday night, I'm glad I did both. One helped me understand what went wrong with the No on H8 campaign last year, while the other helped me realize what needs to be done to make it right in 2009 and 2010.

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

On Saturday, I attended Equality California's Equality Summit in Downtown LA. I didn't quite know what to expect when I first stepped in the Convention Center. But once the summit began, I quickly realized what this was becoming.

When the leaders of the No on H8 campaign began speaking, anxiety was already beginning to fill the room. And when some of them didn't really want to answer the questions on what went wrong, the anxiety quickly turned into anger. The election may have been nearly three months ago, but that doesn't mean LGBT people aren't still hurting after losing fundamental rights at the ballot box. People wanted accountability, but the campiagn leaders still seemed afraid to own up to what happened.

Well, not everyone was afraid. Some, like EQCA's Geoff Kors, actually seemed open to learning from mistakes. And better yet, the folks from Marriage Equality USA seemed ready to undo the damage. However, others just preferred to shift blame to someone else. Fortunately, the lovely Eva Patterson of Equal Justice Society was able to calm the crowd after a storm of fury. She broke to us the hard fact that we'll eventually need to forgive and move on if we intend to build a strong coalition.

After the venting was done, we were then able to engage in some constructive dialogue. David Binder, one of the Obama Campaign's pollsters, gave some definitive answers on what went wrong in the Prop H8 vote. Also at the summit, I was able to meet with local leaders to talk about preparing a winning plan for OC. All in all, I found good use out of Equality Summit.

If Equality Summit was about dealing with the past, then Courage Campaign's Camp Courage seemed all about preparing for the future. I could feel something different in West Hollywood yesterday as I stepped in the auditorium. Instead of the soul searching and frustration I had witnessed the previous day, this event would be more upbeat and action oriented. But hey, what should I have expected from an event modeled after Camp Obama?

I'll be brutally honest, the "Fired Up! Ready to Go!" and "Yes We Can!" chants seemed a little creepy at first. As someone who supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary (before moving to Barack Obama for the general election), I was starting to feel uncomfortable. But once the program got rolling, I was blown away... In a good way.

We had "old school" civil rights activists, like Lisa Powell and SEIU's Liz Moore, train us on telling our stories and persuading voters. We also had newer activists, like Calitics blogger & Courage organizer Julia Rosen, train us on new tools like Courage's Equality Hub. All in all, I felt like I was actually being empowered to undo the damage of H8 at Camp Courage yesterday.

And ultimately, this is why I'm glad I did both. This is why the LGBT community needs to have both experiences. The marriage equality battle has been tough, and numerous mistakes have been made in the past, so we need to vent and scream and shout and forgive and understand and ultimately learn from our mistakes. And then, we need to move on and start figuring out what we must do now and in the future to succeed in the beautiful struggle for equality.

But hey, this doesn't come cheap. EQCA can't do this alone, and neither can Courage Campaign. We need to support the statewide groups that are working hard in court and on the ground to overturn H8. Oh yes, and let's not forget the local groups that are doing the same here in OC. We need to look back, look ahead, and ultimately get to work to make equality happen.

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail

Sprint PictureMail