Monday, June 20, 2011

Mark Amodei to Nevada: Drop Dead (You Red!)

(Also at Daily Kos)

So Mark Amodei, just after being crowned the GOP nominee in NV-02 (we'll see how long that lasts!), releases some silly ad full of xenophobia.

But the debt, THE DEBT!!! What about THE DEBT??!! Well, here are some facts about the national debt that Mark Amodei doesn't want you to know.

When George Bush was President, Republican Congressional leaders voted 19 times to raise the national debt ceiling by $4 trillion! Funny enough, I don't remember Mark Amodei screaming then about REPUBLICANS "surrendering to China"... But I do remember REPUBLICANS in Congress chiding anyone who tried to negotiate budget reforms into any debt ceiling vote.

So what changed? President Obama is now in office. And we're just barely getting out of a brutal recession that would only worsen if Mark Amodei has his way and we reduce public investment exactly when the economy needs more investment.

And by the way, why does Mark Amodei hate China? Clearly, he hasn't received the memo from the great titans of Nevada industry!

Yes, that's right. Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and Las Vegas Sands all have huge investments in Macau... Which happens to be a part of "BIG BAD COMMUNIST CHINA!!!" So is Mark Amodei ready to call these great Nevada capitalist institutions "COMMUNISTS!!!" for investing so much in China?

And is Mark Amodei also ready to hurl that same insult on the entire Las Vegas Strip corridor? As international tourism continues to pick up and the weak dollar continues to lure even more tourists to visit America, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) plans to invest another $3.5 million in international promotion, including opening an office in CHINA (!!!), in hopes of encouraging more of those international tourists to include Las Vegas in their itineraries.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors [last week] approved contracts for 10 international offices and an extension of its advertising agreement with R&R Partners as it said goodbye to five elected officials, including its chairman, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

The two-year deals for international representation run from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2014, and will cost the authority $1.7 million in fiscal year 2013 and $1.8 million in 2014.

In addition to approving offices in Canada, Mexico, Japan, several western European nations, Australia, China, Brazil and Russia, the board authorized a request for proposals for representation in South Korea, India and France.

The authority is developing a strategy to increase the percentage of Las Vegas visitors from other countries from the current 18 percent to 30 percent within 10 years. Last year, 6.7 million international visitors came to Southern Nevada and spent an estimated $6.6 billion, which would support 58,000 jobs.

International visitors stay longer and spend more money than their domestic counterparts. The U.S. Commerce Department says international visitation to the United States is expected to grow by 49 percent through 2016 and LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said Las Vegas needs to take the opportunity to get a good share of those visitors.

So when will Mark Amodei call out the BIG BAD COMMUNISTS!!! at LVCVA?

Let's face it: Our nation will suffer immensely if the debt ceiling is not raised very soon. We simply can't afford for the federal government to shut down after defaulting on its debt. All it would do is cause a global economic catastrophe unseen since The Great Depression.

And guess what? If all that comes to pass and the world falls into deeper recession, maybe even depression, following a failure to raise the federal debt ceiling, then I doubt Las Vegas will be able to bring in all those foreign tourists we had hoped for. And last I checked, Las Vegas tourism and gaming are the biggest source of revenue for the entire State of Nevada.

So does Mark Amodei really want to further cripple our state by killing what just happens to be propping up Nevada's sickly economy at the moment? Think of all the jobs Nevada would lose if Mark Amodei and the teabaggers had their way in holding our country hostage over the debt ceiling. And think of what prospective international travelers think of people in our government essentially spitting on them and their culture (which is what Mark Amodei is essentially doing). And again, why are they so gung-ho to push the economy off the cliff now when they refused to do anything about George Bush's deficit spending five years ago?

I smell something fishy here. Am I the only one?

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