Friday, July 30, 2010

On Medicare's 45th Anniversary, One Must Ask if Sharrontology Will Let It Like Any Longer

“I’m not sure just where in the Constitution the federal government is even supposed to be involved in our Medicare. You know, these are things that could be done on the state level much better.”

Don't believe this? Skip to 2:20 in this video and watch for yourself...

Yep, that's right. Sharrontology wants to abolish Medicare. Well, at least that's what she said last year, back when Sharrontology was Sharrontology and RNC/NRSC campaign minders weren't monitoring her... But what happens when the minders are gone? Most likely, it's back to the same ol' Obtuse Angle that Nevadans remember her as.

No wonder why more and more Nevada seniors have had enough of Obtuse Angle's wackadoodle "ideas" on Medicare and Social Security.

Sharron Angle is just too extreme for all of us in Nevada, including our seniors who deserve a safe retirement.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NV-Gov: First Sharrontology, Now "Gibbons-Lite" Brian?

Oh, fun. Now our Gubernatorial election gets interesting...

A new Rasmussen poll of the Nevada governor's race shows Republican Brian Sandoval 10 points ahead of Democrat Rory Reid, but Reid appears to be gaining some ground. Sandoval's 50%-40% lead is narrower than the commanding 21-point lead he had in Rasmussen's previous poll from July 12.

Other recent polls have shown Reid -- the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who's also up for reelection in Nevada -- far behind Sandoval, a former federal judge. The last surveys of the contest from PPP and Mason-Dixon both showed Sandoval up 14 points.

By the way, this is the same Razzy poll that actually showed Harry Reid leading "Scary Sharry" for the first time, so this must really stink for the Nevada GOoP!

Well, it doesn't help when Brian Sandoval insults many hundreds of thousands of Nevadans... Including his own family!

All of a sudden, it seems Brian Sandoval is Hispanic. How curious! The saying that you never know where life will take you is definitely true. In fact, on his life journey, Sandoval must have taken a fall, lost his memory and woken up believing what his campaign advisors are telling him -- “you’re Hispanic.” [...]

As for Sandoval, many people were left with their mouths wide open (including this columnist) with the candidate’s commercial recently launched on Hispanic television, which literally says, “With your help, Brian Sandoval can become the first Hispanic Governor in the history of Nevada.” It took a few minutes for me to recover after hearing that for the first time. I couldn’t believe it. Not even Bush, in his best moments of stuttering and muddled thinking, had shocked me as much. I thought it was one of his opponent’s commercials, or maybe it was meant to be ironic. But no, it wasn’t part of the Democratic strategy, or a parody; it seemed like a bad joke, but it was real [...]

Before he launched such an affirmation on television, his campaign must have psychologically prepared him so he wouldn’t suffer some sort of trauma upon seeing himself identified as Hispanic. It wasn’t long ago that he said in an interview on Univision that he vehemently supported Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. In reference to the same law, he was asked how he would feel if he his children were stopped in the street and asked for their papers. He answered, with a note of pride in his voice, “my children don’t look Hispanic.”

So Brian Sandoval is now ashamed of his own heritage? And he thinks he can get away with exploiting the Latin@ community by asking for their votes in front of them, but embracing anti-immigrant xenophobia when he thinks we're not looking? Ridiculous.

As usual, Brian Sandoval flip-flops and tries to be everything to everyone. If you're "Hispanic", he's your hombre! If you're anti-immigrant, he also hates brown people and is glad his kids don't look brown. If you're queer, he supports your equal rights. If you're a homophobe, he believes in the "sanctity of marriage" (even Gibbons'? Ensign's?). If you're concerned about education, he says his plan is better than Rory's. But if you're a teabagger, he promises not to raise taxes or deal with those icky unions.

I guess all Brian's lies are finally catching up with him...

And no matter what Sandoval tries to do to deflect criticism to Rory Reid, he can't hide from the fact that he has nothing to offer... On education, on jobs, on Nevada's future. All we see is empty rhetoric. I guess he's been listening to Sharron Angle too often...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LATE BREAKING: Parts of AZ SB 1070 Blocked from Implementation

From The LA Times:

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents -- including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. [...]

"There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law)," Bolton ruled. "By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a 'distinct, unusual and extraordinary' burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose."

Honestly, I don't know how this illegal and unconstitutional "law" can survive through the higher courts. How can US citizens be subjected to the kinds of privacy invasion mandated by Arizona's SB 1070? Hell, how can anyone? Ever hear of something called the Fourth Amendment? (Hint: unreasonable search & seizure)

Still, there's no guarantee as to what might happen next, so I'll keep monitoring the tense situation next door. But for now, I'm glad to see justice prevailing for once and people's Constitutional rights not being trampled upon for the sake of petty politicking.

Netroots Nation: Pics from Last Weekend

Some final scenes from Netroots Nation last weekend. Enjoy!

(P.S. I'll look through the UStream and share with you some of the best moments from last weekend. Hey, I promised you I'd share the best of Netroots Nation here!) ;-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Netroots Nation, Dan Choi, Harry Reid, & My Equality

(Also at Pam's House Blend and Daily Kos)

So today, I get a nice little message from Lt. Dan Choi and GetEQUAL. I read they want to "keep Sen. Reid accountable to his promise" to ensure the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". OK, I agree with that. I'll toast to that.

I just want to say that this should be easier than some expect. In the last year that I've lived here in Southern Nevada, I've learned things about Harry Reid that I never knew before.

Netroots Nation,NN10,Las Vegas,Nevada,Democrats,progressive values,Harry Reid,Stonewall

Before I moved here last year, I just assumed that Reid was just "Mr. Mormon Limp Dick" who didn't know what he was doing. But as soon as I moved here, I learned things I had never realized before. Reid's a master vote counter who can count his way to a win better than anyone else I know. He's the best friend Nevada's LGBTQ community has had, and the door is always open for us to go and ask about what's happening with ENDA or DADT. And for being so "conservative", he's much better than past "Democrats" elected as Senators here (Pat McCarran was a notorious McCarthy ally, Howard Cannon lost his touch with the locals, Richard Bryan was never interested in anything progressive).

There's an interesting back story on Reid that I've been learning since I moved here, and the more I know the more I come to love "Grampa Harry". He's not perfect, but he's our Senator and he's done a damned good job for us.

Netroots Nation,NN10,Las Vegas,Nevada,Democrats,progressive values,Harry Reid,Stonewall

Because Harry Reid is Mormon, it's often assumed he's a "homophobe". Maybe in the distant past there were problems, but today that couldn't be further from the truth. He received plenty of flak from his church when he publicly disagreed with the church leadership's decision to finance California's Yes on H8 campaign to repeal marriage equality. When the National Equality March went to DC last October, Harry Reid proudly endorsed it.

Las Vegas,Nevada,LGBTQ,queer,Las Vegas PRIDE

Plus, I can tell you about what I've observed since I moved here to Vegas. Whenever we at the Stonewall Democratic Club (Disclosure: I'm the Secretary & Political Director) have wanted to talk to him about ENDA or DADT or hate crimes, the door has always been open and he's always been on the same page. When the Las Vegas LGBT Center needed help with a new TV for the youth program, Reid's office got it for them. When we were preparing for Las Vegas PRIDE in early May, Reid's office was there for us and made sure we had enough resources to do voter registration and be a major presence.

OK, so Reid isn't perfect. Who is? I wasn't impressed at first... Hey, I was used to calling Barbara Boxer my Senator! But you know what? It was all these little things, combined with some really important big things, that created the soft spot I have for Harry Reid.

And this is why I know we can count on him to fulfill his end of the promise to end "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and make sure what happened to good soldiers like Dan Choi won't happen to anyone else again. I think my change in attitude toward Reid is similar to his evolving relationship with our community. As he's come to know all of our LGBTQ families in Las Vegas, in Reno, in Winnemucca, in Pahrump, and all around our great state of Nevada, he's become more of a friend to us.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses. And I'm not saying it's wrong for GetEQUAL or any other LGBTQ advocacy group to demand full equality. As a gay person myself, I'm 110% there with you! I'm just saying that Harry Reid is NOT the enemy, but rather a friend who I know wants to do the right thing. Sometimes we need to give him the extra push and "make him do it", as both he and Nancy Pelosi said on Saturday at Netroots Nation. But in the end, it's important to keep building these relationships, holding leaders like Reid and Pelosi accountable when necessary, but also remembering that these are our friends and we don't have to fight against them.

OK, enough of my rambling rant. I have some phone calls and door knocking to get back to. ;-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sharrontology vs. Sharrontology

Who are we to believe? The old Sharron Angle or the new Sharron Angle?

The new Sharrontology?

Or the old Sharrontology?

Can we believe anything Ms. Obtuse Angle says these days?

Policy: "Tea Party" FAIL? And Progressives' Opportunity?

A year ago, they were heralded as the most significant sea change to happen in American politics since... Well, since Barack Obama's election as President. (Ironically.) But now? The "mainstream media" are asking if they're more of a nuisance than a benefit to the Republican Party.

Now, as Republicans try to capitalize on what is widely expected to be a difficult election for Democrats, the Tea Party could become more of a hindrance than a help. In addition to a lack of organization, the movement has suffered a number of public relations scandals nationally that could distract from its message of fiscal conservatism and constitutional principles.

“A lot of the Tea Party’s problems are created by the Tea Partyers themselves,” conservative political operative Chuck Muth said. “They are just new and not organized and sometimes they are their own worst enemy.”

In the most recent example, Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams penned a racially charged blog post responding to an accusation by the NAACP that the movement includes racist elements. The post, which Williams described as satire, prompted the national Tea Party Federation to expel the Tea Party Express from its coalition and Williams to resign.

Ah, yes, Tea Party Express... Sharrontology's very best friends! And this is what they're really concerned about. Did the rush to embrace Sharron Angle put them at risk to lose the Senate election? Perhaps so.

Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated with Sharron Angle and her lackluster campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), fearing she is jeopardizing what they had long viewed as a sure pickup and costing them a chance to reclaim the majority.

Senate Republicans quietly acknowledge that Angle’s controversial views on some issues remain a political liability. But the former Nevada Assemblywoman’s larger problems are a progression of unforced errors stemming from a lack of campaign experience and an amateurish staff incapable of offering her the necessary guidance. However, Angle has proved to be adept at fundraising, corralling $2.6 million in the second quarter. [...]

“It’s dysfunctional,” a Nevada Republican added, when asked to give an assessment of the Angle campaign. “She can still win, but the operation seems odd at best.” [...]

“It gets down to pure message discipline, and she doesn’t have it,” a second Nevada Republican said. “There’s no one in the campaign to enforce it.” [...]

The Nevada race is too prominent, and too affordable, for the NRSC to ignore. But Cornyn cannot even threaten to withhold committee funds to pressure Angle to hire specific personnel because she is raising plenty of money on her own, and outside groups are expected to spend millions in an effort to unseat Reid. “The NRSC is in an awful position,” the GOP operative said.

And more than that, the "tea party" risks losing whatever credibility they have left. Despite all their corporate handlers and attempts at slick campaigning, they can't hide the fact that they have no real ideas to get the country moving again.

Think about it. They complain about unemployment and home foreclosures, but they don't like any sort of government action to address it. They complain about debt and deficits, but they don't address the expanding deficits during the Bush Administration and they don't provide any realistic plan to slash their feared debt. The point here is that the teabaggers know how to yell and shout and scream, but they don't seem to care about discussing serious policy and real solutions to what presently ails us.

This is their ultimate dilemma. I know, I know, I'm just a "policy wonk romantic" and most Americans don't really care about real policy... Supposedly. But you know what? I know they do. When I hear from my neighbors, the school teachers, about having to buy their own supplies for the kids because Clark County School District cut the budget again for school supplies, I know they care. When I hear from my cousin and her husband about their recent scare over "being between jobs", I know they care. When I hear from friends worrying about how they'll get all their needed credits when UNLV is considering cutting the very classes they need to take, I know they care. People care about policy... It just needs to be tangible for them!

I was thinking about this last weekend at Netroots Nation when I dropped into a few panel discussions on the election, campaigns, and messaging. It was something bloggers and activists were talking about, but this is something I've now come to know about from real life experience. Living here in Las Vegas can do this to someone. I hope we all understand this.

The teabaggers have nothing to offer but hot air. We all realize this. So now it's up to us to explain what's happened in the last year and a half, explain what still needs to be done, and explain the kind of policies we need that will have a real, positive impact on real people's lives. Let's be up for this challenge.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Netroots Nation: On Being "On the Scene"

@HarryReid & Elisa & moi... I <3 my Senator! WOOT!... on Twitpic

Moi & @ellinorianne  w/ @alfranken  @HarryReid  #NVDems #... on Twitpic

You know what? This Netroots Nation thingy was quite something, wasn't it? Once upon a time, they were mocked as "nutroots"... But now, even the traditional "mainstream media" are noticing.

And so are candidates and elected officials all over. I heard from Congressional candidates in California, a Lieutenant Governor candidate in Texas, a Congressional candidate in Minnesota, a Congressional candidate in New Hampshire, and far more. Oh yes, and I heard from this guy. ;-)

Yep, that's Harry Reid, all right! Our friends at ProgressNow Nevada hosted a very special reception with Senator Reid at The Rio yesterday, and I had a chance to listen in on these quick comments. Oh yes, and I got that picture at the top. I think the Senator is starting to recognize poor lil' moi!

And that was before this...

Obviously, people were getting frustrated over what seems like the lack of progress on a number of issues, from climate & energy to LGBTQ equality to job creation. And I understand. Yes, there are times I'm quite frustrated. However, it hasn't been easy to accomplish what Congressional Democrats like Reid and Congresswoman Dina Titus have done since President Obama took office. As I was trying to explain to Steve Friess yesterday (It wasn't in full context, but I think my point still comes across), this has been the most productive Congress since the Depression Era, with much progress being made on health care reform, financial regulatory reform, economic recovery, and civil rights. However, there is still plenty of work to be done and it's our job as the progressive netroots & grassroots to build support for progressive change on the outside while urging those on the inside (like President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi) to deliver that change.

And in the next couple days, as I share more of my thoughts and observations from Netroots Nation, I hope you'll see this. This was a chance for Democratic leaders to come and explain the progress they've been making on enacting a better, progressive agenda, and for "we the activists" to urge them to keep moving forward. I believe Reid got the message, and so did Pelosi and many of the other Democratic leaders there. And I believe activists are getting smarter on how to win campaigns, and on how to better choose winning progressive candidates.

It was just so awe-inspiring to be right in the middle of all of it. The rumors that GetEQUAL would disrupt Pelosi's and Reid's respective keynotes to ask about ENDA and DADT. The private chats with Reid himself at the ProgressNow reception. The breakout sessions on messaging. The candidate speeches in the main hall. The panel discussions on what to watch for in this year's Congressional elections. The Nevada Democrats' after party with Al Franken. I was inside. I was outside. I was all over the place.

And hopefully in these next few diaries, I can show you some more of what was happening while I was on the scene at Netroots Nation.

(And by the way, there's even more from #nn10 at my Twitter @atdleft.)

@LtDanChoi acknowledged by @HarryReid as he promised action o... on Twitpic

@progneff discussing her experience covering @sharronangle in... on Twitpic

A view of the crowd yesterday @ #nn10 #p2 #nvpolitics #Vegas #fb on Twitpic

@alfranken @HarryReid #NVDems #nn10 after party! WOOT! :-D #n... on Twitpic

Moi & my media pass 4 #nn10 :-) #p2 #Vegas #nvpolitics #fb on Twitpic

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Netroots Nation: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What Faux News Is Really up to...

Steve Friess, as usual, stepped into something interesting... But this time, he stepped into my territory, dammit! Oh, just kidding. Hey, I appreciate him catching something like this at Netroots Nation on Thursday.

Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, in a conversation at the Netroots Nation convention, said his network blew up the Shirley Sherrod story, that Senate candidate Sharron Angle “always seems confused,” and agreed that his network boosts the Tea Party.

Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, chatting with a Daily Kos contributor in the media room Thursday at the liberal blogger convention Netroots Nation, mocked his Fox colleagues’ behavior on the Shirley Sherrod scandal and tacitly agreed that the cable network had fueled the rise of the Tea Party movement.

Cameron, speaking to blogger Dante Atkins shortly after Atkins had been interviewed for a Fox segment about the Netroots event, nodded as Atkins repeated comments he made on camera that the Tea Party movement was largely organized by Fox News hosts like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

“Tell me about it,” Cameron smirked.

As the conversation continued, Atkins, a Daily Kos front-pager, cited examples of Fox’s undue sway over events. Cameron then offered one of his own.

“The Sherrod case is an example of some at Fox News trying to have more influence than it probably should,” Cameron said.

Now I should disclose that I knew Dante Atkins back when I was raising hell in California. I asked him about it, and he confirmed what Steve reported (both from asking and eavesdropping) was all true.

And if this is really true, it confirms what I've suspected for quite some time, which is that Faux News really is the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and corporate right agenda. The whole Shirley Sherrod saga was manufactured by the "RightRoots" right-wing bloggers, then parroted on Faux and used by the GOP to accuse President Obama of "reverse racism". Hell, even with all that crap spewed at Sherrod completely discredited, I STILL hear righties call Obama and Sherrod "racist"!

But hey, it doesn't stop there. In fact, the blogger and the Faux News "reporter" then chatted about our election.

During the conversation with Atkins, Cameron also opined about Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of Nevada, who is facing off with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November. Angle is a Tea Party icon who has advocated eliminating Social Security and Medicare, says that teenagers who are impregnated through incestuous rape ought to be required to bear the child, and has said she supports the prohibition of alcohol.

The former assemblywoman has lost a substantial lead in the polls since her June 8 victory as Reid hammers her in TV ads. Angle is making an issue out of the fact that Reid called banks in March 2009 when an $8.5 billion development owned by MGM Resorts International on the Las Vegas Strip was hours from bankruptcy. MGM was able to secure the loans and finish the project, keeping 10,000 construction workers on the job and currently employing 12,000 others in its operations.

The conversation in the media room between Cameron and Atkins turned to Angle. Angle has been criticized for being unavailable to reporters since her primary victory, and Atkins noted Angle has stated she was appearing on Fox News because it was good for fundraising. Cameron said that she hadn’t appeared on the network “much.”

At this point, this reporter noted that she had appeared at least twice, including last week when a Fox News anchor confronted her—and confused her by doing so—on her use of the term “bank bailout” to describe Reid’s MGM intervention.

“Sharron Angle always seems confused,” Cameron said.

So even the Faux News personalities realize Sharrontology isn't a great candidate? Obviously, there must be an objection! Someone? Anyone?

I guess not. But hey, how often do we hear of candidates who base their decisions on media appearances on how much fundraising they can do?

Well, it sounded like quite the conversation those two had about our politics, and about the role of the media. This was just a taste of what's to be experienced at Netroots Nation this weekend...

And I'll have more later! In the mean time, follow my updates at Facebook and Twitter for everything #nn10.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sharrontology Exposure... WaPo Investigates, Obtuse Angle STILL Runs Away from Local Media

This inside look of Sharrontology Obtuse Angle's campaign from The Washington Post (Huh??!! She won't answer local reporters' questions, but will allow "East Coast media elites" to track her campaign??!!) pretty much says it all.

A local actress named Dee Drenta asked Angle what she would do to help people find work. But instead of seizing what seemed like an easy chance to explain her jobs plan, the candidate revealed that she didn't have one.

"It really comes from the statehouse to incentivize that kind of stuff in our state," Angle said. "Truly, the lieutenant governor, Brian Krolicki, you should have this conversation with him. That's his job, to make sure that we get business into this state. My job is to create the climate so that everybody wants to come."

The woman gave her a puzzled look. "I'm sure you're probably planning on working with these people to do these things," Drenta said, hopefully. "Because it's the end result that matters, whether it's specifically in the job description or not."

Of course, technically it's correct that the Lt. Governor's job is to encourage economic development. But you know what? It's not like our US Senators are powerless in this area! Come on, Harry Reid himself has proven this!

And even Sharron Angle's own inner circle are freaking out.

Instead of cheering Angle on, her staff members let loose with their frustration that the campaign and the candidate were floundering. They were buried in calls from voters wondering what to make of Reid's ads and upset that Angle wasn't responding. The two big topics were Angle's statements, now widely distributed courtesy of Reid, that she wants to "phase out" Social Security and that people who receive unemployment benefits are "spoiled."

"Sharron, the people who are working the phones a lot, especially the last couple of days, it's been really tough," said Jeri Taylor-Swade, one of the 20 or so campaign workers crowded into a sparsely furnished conference room.

And even the "Anybody Butt Reid" crowd are reconsidering.

"Nevada is struggling right now; it's really bad," said Nan Okuda, a Las Vegas business consultant who attended the lunch with Angle. She's no fan of Reid, but she didn't come away very impressed with Angle.

"It's like, 'Hmmm, what are you doing back there in Washington?' " Okuda said of the majority leader. "But if he's the best of what's happening, then yeah, I'll go with him."

If even "the base" is getting jittery and "expected supporters" aren't actually going her way, Sharrontology has a problem... A rather BIG problem. And you know what's making it worse?


So Sharrontology has time for the increasingly racist and inflammatory Tea Party Express? And take direction from out-of-state Republican operatives like California political consultant Sal Russo? And she has the time to let The Washington Post do a feature story on her? But she doesn't have the time to take questions from local reporters? And she doesn't have the time to answer questions from us the Nevada voters?

Sharrontology is quickly becoming just another DC Republican, answering to the RNC and "Tea Party, Inc." while ignoring us here in Nevada... And she hasn't even been elected? Well, I guess she's now going out of her way to lose this election...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kenny Guinn: End of an Era?

Even in death, Former Governor Kenny Guinn has brought people together.

"Kenny Guinn had a record of public and private service unequaled in our state. Long before he himself sought public office, Guinn was the go-to guy to head up various independent committees for both Republican and Democratic governors in Nevada. He was the superintendent of the school district, a successful CEO in the business world, and of course, a former Governor of Nevada, a true public servant," said former U.S. Senator and Nevada Governor Richard Bryan. [...]

In a statement, Nevada Congressman Dean Heller said, "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Governor Guinn. I had the privilege of serving with Kenny while Secretary of State and was proud to have called him my friend. His service to Nevada and his legacy will be remembered by all who worked with him. My thoughts and prayers go to Dema and her family during this very difficult time."

Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus said, "Nevada has lost a true public servant who devoted himself to the people of the Silver State. I was honored to serve in the state legislature during Governor Guinn's time in office. As a former Clark County Superintendent, Governor Guinn was a respected leader in the efforts to improve Nevada's system of education, and through our shared commitment to Nevada's students and teachers we became friends as well as colleagues."

So will we ever see a truly "post-partisan" leader like Kenny Guinn ever again? Honestly, I don't know.

In many ways, Kenny Guinn represented the best of Nevada's not-so-distant political past. Back then it didn't matter so much if one was a Democrat or a Republican, since everyone was a Nevadan first and foremost. This really shone through with Guinn when he made tough decisions, decisions that a number of conservative Republicans did not like. Guinn pushed for the Millennium Scholarships that enabled many thousands of deserving Nevada students to attend college, regardless of family wealth. He pushed for tax increases, what could have been first steps toward a fairer tax structure, when many in his own party were just saying "no". And yes, he even pushed for better schools and a better social safety net to look after all Nevadans, even the working poor. These days, we don't hear very many Republicans speaking like this.

Sure, Kenny Guinn was not perfect. For gawd's sake, he chaired the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign! And sometimes, I wondered if he couldn't see the coming "Tea Party" storm... Or if he did, and just gave up toward the end. And of course, we can't forget how he was elected in the first place... It was that damned "casino-mining-industrial complex" (you know, the same one that usually prevents our state from enacting the progressive tax reforms we so badly need) that hand-picked Guinn for Governor.

But you know what? No one is perfect. And damn it, even as a Republican, Kenny Guinn was quite the damned good Governor our state needed.

And really, I just wonder if we'll ever see someone like this in Nevada politics ever again. The Nevada Republican Party has made an effort of late to push out just about anyone who veers even the slightest bit off the teabagger party line of pure rhetorical "no new taxes hocus pocus" bullshit. And let's face it, we Democrats have our own problems as we often wrestle with ourselves and each other over "the soul of our party". Honestly, is there room in either party for a passionate and compassionate, but still pragmatic and practical, problem solver like Kenny Guinn? Would he pass muster with today's Tea Party, Inc., or today's progressive dirty fucking hippies?

What's to become of Nevada politics beyond Kenny Guinn?

And by the way, I do see the bizarrely tragicomic irony of this happening during Netroots Nation weekend. And for all you hoping for some good #NN10 morsels from me, I'm sorry to disappoint. It's hard enough just to keep an eye on the Senate race now, let alone focus on whatever training and discussion sessions happening at The Rio. Hopefully tomorrow, I can jump back into there.

But tonight, I just needed to stop for a moment and think about what just happened. Really, what just happened?

Thanks, Senator Reid...

Sometimes, it takes some silly political ad to get one thinking. And you know what? To paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden, this newly passed financial regulatory reform really is a big f*cking deal. And why the hell would we want to get rid of it before we even see it put to work?

Do we really want to repeal the Wall Street reform law before the ink is dry? Do we want depository institutions like commercial banks and bank holding corporations to gamble with proprietary funds so that when they create another bursting bubble we'll have to bail them out again? Don't we want something like Title III section 214 that says no taxpayer funds can be used for bank liquidation? We don't want an audit of the Fed for the period between 2007 and 2008 pertaining to its actions during the financial crisis? I thought these items were considered important features of regulatory reform.

Would we like to repeal the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and go back to the "old ways" in which mortgage agents could generate "no-doc" (liar's loans) and other highly questionable financial products? Do we want to go back to the bad-old-days when over the counter derivatives were unregulated and not required to be sent through some form of clearing house? [FT] Do we like being gouged by exploding interest rates and fees?

Some of the bill's critics are correct in saying that it won't absolutely, positively, guaranteed 100%, prevent the next Wall Street manufactured credit calamity. However, it's a whole lot better than the current system which just about guarantees absolutely positively 100% that Wall Street -- left to its own devices -- will create another whopper of a mess. At the very least they'll be playing with their own money, and the taxpayers won't have to clean up after them.

The Republican offering was to create a voluntary financial industry panel of some sort to "oversee" banking and credit operations... We had a good look at how well the financial industry policed itself from 1999-2007, and it wasn't pretty. Reid spokesman Jim Manley summed things up: "The ink hasn’t even dried yet on our bill that takes away big banks’ ability to gamble away our jobs, savings and houses, and Republicans already want to give it back. This is the Republican job-killing agenda in full effect: they want to go back to the system that cost 8 million Americans their jobs because that’s what their friends on Wall Street want, and that’s who they’re looking out for.” [DemSen] Once more, the essential question is simple: Which side are you on? Working Americans? Or, Wall Street financial corporations?

Since of course, Sharron Angle would have rejected any effort to rein in Wall Street greed run amok... Even if we (again) had to bail them out on our taxpayer dime.

So thank you, Harry Reid, for delivering financial regulatory reform that starts to right that badly wronged Wall Street ship... And for health care reform, and for unemployment aid, and for all the Recovery Act aid that meant local jobs in my community AND much improved roads, and for fighting against ridiculous boondoggles like the Yucca Mountain dump and Sloan Hills gravel pit... And, well, the list goes on.

It's really nice to have one Senator who puts Nevada's best interest over the big Wall Street corporate interests.

And by the way, if you don't think Reid has been all that perfect (he's not) or progressive, think of what Sharrontology Obtuse Angle would do. She's in the pocket of the Wall Street corporate interests and California Republican operatives pulling all the strings at Tea Party, Inc.

Again, why would we want that?

Farewell, Gov. Guinn

Former Governor Kenny Guinn (R) died earlier today. And I still can't believe it.

Former Gov. Kenny Guinn, who served during Nevada’s most explosive growth, leading with a pragmatic streak and fierce determination to do what was right rather than what more partisan elements in his party thought, has died.

Guinn guided Nevada from January 1999 through the end of his second term in 2006. He died this morning in Las Vegas after a fall from a roof after suffering a possible heart attack. He was 73. [...]

Guinn, a Republican, helped push through Nevada's popular Millennium Scholarship program, which made it easier for high school graduates in this state to attend Nevada colleges. [...]

After Guinn left office, he laughed about being labeled a RINO – Republican in Name Only. He pointed to conservative acts like cutting $350 million in spending when he first took office in 1999 and accomplishments like privatizing the states workers' compensation system. But he was equally proud of the Millennium Scholarship program now named after him and for the tax increase he advocated in 2003, which was then the largest in state history.

Stories of Guinn and his policy knowledge, particularly when it came to details of the budget, were legendary. He would be in his office on weekends crunching numbers. He would corner reporters to discuss looming unfunded liabilities in the pension system until they begged off.

Farewell, Governor Guinn. I may be a proud "Yellow Dog Democrat", but I respected Kenny Guinn for being willing to "tell it like it is" and make the right decisions for Nevada regardless of party lines or rigid ideology. He was a true gentleman, a proud Nevadan, and an all around good guy. Yes, he was a Republican, but he was one of those politicians who knew how to be practical and how to make things work.

If only Jim Gibbons, Brian Sandoval, and Sharron Angle could understand...

Former Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, a Democrat from Henderson, called Guinn the consummate gentleman. "He was the type of public servant we would all like to be. He didn't play partisan politics. He had a great love for the state and that's what drove him.

"I remember a lot of times sitting in the den at the mansion and that's the way we worked things out -- such as saving the Millennium Scholarship." Despite the difference in parties, Perkins said, "I call him my friend. He really cared about people and the services for people in the state. The guy was truly a robust man. It will be a great loss for the state."

Perkins said Guinn's wife, Dema, "had such an influence over him and how he governed. She was a true partner in the office and how the state was governed."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Run, Sharrontology, Run... Away!

A local Reno reporter just wanted to ask Sharron Angle a question. She did say she was "ready to go to war". (Against American English?) So what happened instead?

And she ran, she ran so far away!

And by the way, this is what scared Sharrontology so much:

Again, even Republicans find her too extreme! And she thinks she can trick the rest of us into handing her our votes?

Reid & Titus AND Heller & Ensign United Against Sloan Gravel Pit Too Close to Henderson... What About Angle? And Heck?

Remember when I told you about that nasty, dangerous gravel pit being proposed not too far from my house, and only 3-5 miles away from Anthem and Seven Hills? Well, now we're seeing some real progress in stopping it.

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee passed a bill today that will block a proposed Sloan Mine gravel pit near Sun City Anthem in Henderson.

The bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in May, would block 800 acres of land from being used as a gravel pit.

Mexico-based Cemex and Service Rock Products of California have applied to use sand and rock from the quarry to make concrete during the next 20 years.

In a statement, Reid said he had received comments from thousands of Southern Nevadans who opposed the pit. Many residents expressed fears about the noise, dust, traffic and possible decline in property values they said the pit might cause.

“This bill is vital to protect families in Henderson and I am pleased that it is moving quickly through the Senate,” Reid said in a statement.

Thank goodness Harry Reid cares about the well being of Henderson, and of Nevada as a whole.

And thank goodness Dina Titus is working to gather the House votes to stop the gravel pit.

Even Dean Heller is working to stop this! Hell, even John Ensign took a break from... Well, I shouldn't get into detail on that... I'm just glad he took time last month to testify for this legislation to stop the Sloan Hills Gravel Pit.

But what has Sharron Angle said about this? Well, all I hear is...

So what say you, Sharrontology? And for that matter what say you, "Checks for" Heck? Are they waiting for Cemex and Service Rock to donate a few thousand bucks? Or did they already get the money via Tea Party Express?

Again, why would we give up representatives who actually give a damn about Nevada for a bunch of corporate funded stooges?

How to Have Fun in Vegas During Netroots Nation

OK, outsiders. You're here. Welcome to Nevada, welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, and welcome to Netroots Nation 2010!

So Erin has some advice for you. It all sounds good. Still, let me give you some more advice you'll need.

1. As Erin noted, Rio is part of the Harrah's empire. And since Harrah's is all union, 100% pro-LGBTQ equality, and good to Nevada Democrats, you're fine staying and playing at any of the Harrah's casinos on or near The Strip (Rio, Caesars, and everything from Planet Hollywood to Harrah's along the east side of Las Vegas Blvd.).

2. MGM Resorts is also good, as they're also pro-union, pro-equality, and good to local Democrats. You're also allowed to stay and play at MGM Grand, Mirage, Circus Circus, and everything from Mandalay Bay to Aria to Bellagio along the west side of Las Vegas Blvd.

3. But whatever you do, DO NOT PLAY at Venetian or Palazzo! Not only are they hosting the "right-roots" this weekend, and not only were they slated to host the teabagger convention before it was postponed, but owner Sheldon Adelson is VERY anti-union, anti-progressive, and pro-Republican.

4. RTC is fairly good for transit. The ACE Gold Line is fantastic for traveling up and down The Strip, and even to Downtown! But if you want to come out here to the 'burbs, watch out... Some routes don't do late night service and/or only run on an hourly frequency.

5. For good grub, The Rio has... Oh hell, who am I kidding! Go across the street to The Palms for Simon, or across The 15 to Caesars for Serendipity, Rao's, Bradley Ogden, Guy Savoy, or Munchbar! Oh, and don't forget the sweets at Payard!

6. For more good eating tips, check out the foodie fun files of this blog and my Urbanspoon reviews.

7. Cirque du Soleil has a number of great shows worth seeing. "Mystere". "O". "Zumanity". "Love". Now trust me on this, "Criss Angel Believe" is NOT one of them! Really, your significant other would rather have the gambling money.

8. And speaking of gambling, bon chance! No really, you'll have really good luck at the video poker machines at The Palms... They're 99% payback! Whatever you do, don't expect to win much at The Rio. (Their machines can be a little on the tight side.)

9. If high prices really piss you off, just go Downtown already and be done with it! Fremont Street is the one place left abounding in "Old Vegas spirit". That's why it often smells like puke, you don't have to venture too far away to find the "working girls & boys", and most of the food sucks. Oh, and did I mention there are tons of penny machines and $5 blackjack tables there?

10. Believe it or not, the Las Vegas you will most likely be experiencing these next few days is FAR DIFFERENT from the Las Vegas I live every day. It may be 24/7 party central at your hotel room, but my 'hood is quiet as usual... Except for the occasional rowdy kiddies at our community pools. Over here in the 'burbs, we socialize, do grocery shopping, go to church/synagogue/mosque/temple/insert-other-house-of-worship, get ice cream, and go hiking like any "normal town". But again, I don't suggest staying out here in "Real Vegas" too late if you're relying upon RTC... ;-)

(And don't worry, I'll have more travel tips ready for you in the next day...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharrontology FAIL... UPDATED w/ Wayne Newton's Crickets!

Sharrontology is trying to change the subject by showing us ponies and unicorns, but even more evidence surfaced today that her campaign is spinning out of control. Hell, even radical right radio queen Heidi Harris admitted this last week!

And now, Public Policy Polling confirms what we've all known since last week.

Given the gift of an opponent who's even more unpopular than him, Harry Reid leads Sharron Angle 48-46 in the Nevada Senate race. When PPP last looked at the state in January Reid trailed Sue Lowden by ten points.

So why the dramatic shift? Well, look closely. When Suzy Lowdown lost the GOoP nomination to Obtuse Angle, the Nevada GOoP lost much more than they could have ever imagined.

Only 36% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Angle, while 52% see her negatively. 50% consider her political views to be 'extremist' while 39% label them as 'mainstream.' Earlier this year Reid was bleeding a lot of Democratic support and getting absolutely crushed with independents but voter uneasiness about Angle's ideology has caused big shifts on both of those fronts. Where Lowden had led Reid 62-27 with independents, Angle has only a 51-41 advantage. Where Lowden had held Reid to a 75-17 lead with Democratic voters, Angle's nomination has allowed him to expand that to 85-10.

But why? Oh jeez, need we mention this again?

And by the way, Democrats have just jumped to a 49-43 lead in Gallup's generic "Congressional Ballot", so in many ways this is also reflecting the national GOoP's overall struggles in balancing the teabagger crazy with some sort of message that actually resonates with movable voters.

So what's happening? Basically, more and more Nevadans are realizing for themselves how batsh*t crazy Sharron Angle really is.

With all due respect to Majority Leader Reid, who has run an excellent campaign of late, the reason we know Sharron Angle is a right-wing lunatic is that she told us she is -- in her own words. It's her own ideas that have defined her -- not those of Harry Reid. And the reason she's going to lose isn't that Harry Reid says she's out of touch, it's that she actually is out of touch.

Oh, and major H/T to Jed at DKos for catching this newest chuckle courtesy of Sharrontology!


But while Sharrontology keeps taking the crazy to whole new levels, look what happened today.

The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday 60-40 to end a Republican-led filibuster of legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for an estimated 2.5 million Americans.

The procedural move sets the stage for a final Senate vote, possibly later Tuesday, and approval in the House on Wednesday.

Sharrontology may not like the idea of allowing people to survive while they're looking for work, but Harry Reid finally secured the votes to pass the badly needed extension of unemployment benefits.

And look what else happened today.

A new solar project that will bring 278 jobs to North Las Vegas is a welcomed boost to the city in the valley hardest hit by the Great Recession.

Amonix, a California-based solar power company, announced at a morning news conference it would construct a manufacturing facility at 4975 N. Pecos Road in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park near the Craig Road and Interstate 15 interchange.

Mayor Shari Buck said she had been on “pins and needles” waiting to hear where Amonix would locate its new plant. She said she was thrilled when she found out the company had chosen North Las Vegas.

“We’re going green, but … we’re making sure our economic development supports local businesses,” Buck said. “This is a sure investment in the future of North Las Vegas.” [...]

The new plant will also drum up $9.5 million in local tax revenue and $2.5 million in state tax revenue during the next five years, Zunis said.

The company said it is paying for the expansion with a $5.9 million tax credit from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and $12 million from private investors. [Emphasis mine.]

Once again, Sharrontology is proven wrong! She says she's "not in the business of creating jobs" and neither is Reid, but she can't speak for the Senate Majority Leader. In fact, Amonix is able to build this solar manufacturing plant thanks to the Recovery Act that Reid made sure to pass, and Reid was able to persuade Amonix to invest here in Nevada.

And the GOoPers are wondering why Sharrontology's poll numbers are dropping like a rock?

UPDATE! Oh my, another Republican for Reid speaking out!

So how's that Sharrontology working out for 'ya, Nevada GOoP? ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Programming Note: Netroots Nation Coverage Starting Wednesday

In case you haven't heard, those dirty f*cking hippie bloggers are coming to town. So of course, I'll be covering it all (or at least as much as I can) starting Wednesday! There will be guest speakers, Q&A sessions with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, training sessions... Oh, and did I mention the after parties? ;-)

I'll be here this week, and I'll take you with me... Well, digitally, through this blog. (Hey, I'm not made out of money.)

And if you'll be there in person, please stop by and say hi. See you at the Nevada Caucus!

Join Progress Now in Demanding Action on Clean Energy!

OK, so Independence Day has passed... But we still have time to declare independence from dirty fossil fuels... Just not much! Progress Now Nevada needs our help in ensuring that clean energy legislation passes Congress.

Of course, Harry Reid has been a champion of comprehensive climate and energy legislation. And thankfully, he's planning to introduce legislation this week!

But as always, the fossil fuel industry lobbyists are at work to weaken the legislation as much as possible, if not completely destroy it like they did The Gulf Coast. Of course, the current legislation about to be introduced is already pared back from more far reaching bills being considered last year... But that's still not enough for the fossil fuel industry, which would rather continue making profits on the cheap (for them, while we pay up the wazoo!) while endangering our planet and our economy... And in more ways than one.

Think about it. We primarily buy our oil from foreign sources (hence why we're so entangled with Middle East affairs, including two wars, right now), with much of the rest produced by way of dangerous offshore drilling schemes. We're endangering our own national security with every day we decline to act on our climate and energy crisis.

But right now, we can change this. We can act. So please contact our Senators and ask them to support comprehensive climate and energy legislation that will end our dependence on foreign oil, take action to stop the worsening climate crisis, and bring many thousands more clean energy jobs here to Nevada. Why are we waiting? It just makes sense to act now!

Wait, 2010 Isn't Looking So Scary After All?

Often when tuning into the national "mainstream media", they talk about some coming "red tide". And not that long ago, they were proclaiming Harry Reid "dead" (politically)... And even starting to delcare Dina Titus "near dead".

So what happened? Why are Reid and Titus now leading their opponents?

Well, let's see... Both Sharron Angle and Joe Heck refuse to offer any real solutions on anything. This state has suffered greatly during The Great Recession, but think how worse it would be today if Nevada had received no Recovery Act funds to save jobs at our schools and create jobs on things like transportation projects? And how worse it would be if CityCenter had failed and MGM Resorts gone bankrupt? And how worse it would be if renewable energy companies weren't investing here? Well, Sharrontology and Mr. "Heck Paid on Our Check" would not have worked for any of this. Even though both have benefitted greatly from their public sector jobs and taxpayer supported salaries, these two hypocrites refuse to ensure our government works for all of us!

Not to mention Sharrontology wanting to impose theocracy on all of us, since she's part of the extreme religious right that wants "the death penalty for homosexuals and abortionists". Is this what Nevadans want? I think NOT!

Of course, there are many more "Sharrontology moments" worth remembering. And her bizarre friends, like scandal plagued Tea Party Express Chair Mark Williams and California Republican consultant Sal Russo. And not to leave him out, Joe "Heck No" is dancing with the same radical righties that "brung him".

Long story short, the Republican Party has embraced the extreme radical right and offers no real solutions when voters are looking for them in this tough economy. And it goes to show that when it comes to elections, "It ain't over 'til it's over." Of course, this means we still have over 3 months until Election Day (and just under 3 months until early voting begins), but it does seem like that "red tide" crested too early... And the blue wave may very well wash out the remaining residue. ;-)

Friday, July 16, 2010

KLAS/R-J/M-D Poll: Whoops, The People Aren't Buying Sharrontology

So Sharrontology Obtuse Angle has been on a rampage lately, saying God chose her to run, saying the people are on her side, saying "big bad Harry Reid" has to go... In addition to her usual lunacy of letting CityCenter fail, privatizing and eliminating Social Security, repealing health care reform, and much more. So how has it worked out? Now, we finally have a better idea... And now, there's someone credible cosponsoring The R-J's poll as well!

A poll commissioned by 8 News NOW and the Las Vegas Review Journal has Nevada Senator Harry Reid leading Republican candidate Sharron Angle.

The poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research was released in Friday's edition of the Review Journal.

The poll asked residents in Nevada who they would vote for if the election were held today. Forty-four-percent of respondents said they would vote for Reid. Thirty-seven-percent said Sharron Angle. Four-percent said they would vote for someone else. Five-percent said none of the candidates. Ten-percent remain undecided.

So what happened? This!

And ultimately this...

Actually, one of our Clark County Commissioners summed it up best...

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani told the crowd: “Sharron Angle would not have lifted a finger to help any one of you ... If it’s not your job to create jobs, what the hell is your job?”

Oh yes, that's right. While Reid has worked hard to bring Recovery Act funds to Nevada, bring more renewable energy projects here, and prevent the collapse of Las Vegas' tourism industry...

Sharron Angle doesn't believe it's her job to ensure we have jobs.

Yep, that's right. If Sharrontology had her way, some 22,000 workers at CityCenter, along with many thousands more MGM Resorts workers, would likely be out of work.

"If @SharronAngle had her way, I would not have my job today.... on Twitpic

In fact, one of these workers, Penny Webster, spoke and reminded us just exactly what the stakes are in this election.

"If Sharron Angle had her way, I would not have my job today. [...] Thanks to Harry Reid, I have a job".

Whoops, indeed. People here in Nevada are hurting. And they're angry. But even though they're angry, they're also looking for someone with real solutions.

Of course, we all know Sharron Angle doesn't have any real solutions... Just real batsh*t crazy.

And the man from Searchlight smiles on... And does what he does best, quietly making sure Nevada gets back to work. ;-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sharrontology: Divine Intervention? UPDATED w/ New Poll #s

Why am I not surprised? Come on, this ad wrote itself!

Let's see, Harry Reid helped save 22,000 Nevada jobs. Sharrontology Obtuse Angle believes her job does NOT involve caring about any of our jobs. And GOoPers wonder why I and most everyone else I know consider Sharrontology a wackadoodle extreme right crackpot?

If it weren't for Reid making those calls to save CityCenter, most of us probably wouldn't even be here at this blog. (We'd all be fleeing a state in collapse...)

Oh, but Sharrontology believes God has a very special plan for her.

So is this really God's plan for her? And for Nevada? Is she really that much of a vengeful God?

Yes, and let's not forget Sharrontology is part of the extreme religious right that believes "God wants all the homosexuals and abortionists dead".

Perhaps that's the warped "Christianity" that defines Sharron Angle, but most people of faith here in Nevada would disagree with her on what God wants. Does God want her children to suffer from unemployment, lack of shelter, and lack of food? Does God hate the idea of bringing more renewable energy jobs into the state? Does God want young gay kids killing themselves because they think their families hate them and they're destined to go to hell anyway? Does God want young girls to suffer even more when someone impregnated them by way of violent rape?

But who knows, maybe God does have a plan for Sharron Angle... Perhaps a plan that involves showing Nevadans why we should NOT elect extreme right wing crazies?

UPDATE: Whoops! So is this God's plan for Sharrontology?

We now have something we haven't had in awhile: A poll, albeit a partisan poll, showing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) ahead of his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle. Also, the data looks a bit old.

As Jon Ralston reports, the new poll by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, commissioned by the liberal Patriot Majority PAC, shows Reid at 44%, and Angle with 40%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error.

Interestingly, the poll was conducted from June 28-July 1, giving us a fortnight-old data set.

Hmmm... And this was data from two weeks ago? BEFORE Obtuse Angle stepped into "CityCenter-gate"? And "Rape-victims-need-to-make-lemons-into-lemonade-gate"? And "Death-panels-for-those-who-disagree-with-me-gate"? And private polls are confirming what this one shows? Jeez, Sharrontology really is digging herself into quite the hole. Thank you, Lord! ;-)

"Pro-Business" Nevada... Has 4th Worst Business Climate in the Nation. Why?

SURPRISE! Yet again, we score a big EPIC FAIL... This time in business climate, something we're supposed to be "experts" on.

Nevada was ranked 47th of CNBC’s “Top States for Business” for the second year in a row.

CNBC measured the states in 10 categories, which included education, technology and innovation, cost of living, and quality of life. According to CNBC’s website, the group scored states on 40 metrics.

Texas, which was second overall last year, earned first place in 2010.

Nevada placed last in education and tied with Rhode Island for last place in economy — a measure of overall economic strength. [...]

The state scored 15th overall in business friendliness, which assessed “legal and regulatory” frameworks. Nevada ranked 19th for its workforce, as measured by the availability and quality of workers.

CNBC used test scores, the number of higher education institutions, class sizes and spending on education to rank each state’s schools. Education is important to businesses because it creates a strong base from which to recruit, the website said.

But wait, I thought we were a "shoo-in" to win this one. I mean, we do have the second lowest tax burden in the nation and the cheapest state government in the nation per capita (and, I might add, being far cheaper for the super-rich and big corporations than all the rest of us "unwashed masses"). So what caused this?

Oh yeah, that's right... WE HAVE NO REAL INFRASTRUCTURE! Our schools are constantly the butt of jokes. Our "transportation system" is always in a state of incomplete. Our "health care" system may actually be quite deadly. Basically, we're not the kind of place people feel comfortable living in and regularly doing business in.

And look at the places where people do feel comfortable living and working. Massachusetts and Minnesota have great schools. Virginia and Colorado have invested in the kind of infrastructure that has lured tech and biotech companies to their state. Even Texas, which scored #1 this year, invests far more in its state than Nevada!

Meanwhile, poor lil' Nevada, where the chamber of commerce always threatens to bolt when even hearing rumors of "the t word" coming, once again hits rock bottom along with "crazy, hippie, commie-loving pinko, lib'rul, anti-business" states like Mississippi, West Virginia, and Alaska. The common thread? Again, we don't invest enough in our own state and our own people!

I know some righties like to mock Rory Reid for talking so much about education (and occasionally not using his last name, whatever). But now that we think about it, is it really that crazy? Considering how states with great schools tend to have an easier time recruiting businesses, doesn't it now make sense?

Now if Rory could only come up with some plans to fully bring this state into the 21st century? Wait, that might require "the t word"? Well, look where all those "lowest taxes in the nation" got us so far.