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Monday, January 31, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of the State Round Up

Last night was an experience. Nevadans had the misfortune of discovering our new governor is a mouth breathing zombie republican.

Here's some reaction from across Nevada:

Launce Rake of PLAN:

But of course, the governor eloquently spoke to the necessity of firing school teachers - he told us, among other things, that having fancy-pants college degrees aren't important here in the Silver State when teaching kids who probably won't graduate anyway - and kicking disabled people to the curb. But don't worry! While one might think that Sandoval's entire program consists of three words starting with "no" and ending with "taxes," one would be wrong.

Not one, but two great pieces from Desert Beacon

So, in the State of the State Address our new Governor wants to end a teacher tenure system the state doesn't have, wants to hold teachers and administrators "accountable" just like the way we do it in NRS 385 already, and wants more money for "merit" pay and private school vouchers even if Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, and White Pine Counties wouldn't see any benefit? [DB]

Governor Sandoval gave an interesting State of the State speech...but a person would be excused from wondering what state he thought he was in?


In order for a voucher plan to be realistic there has to be a school available, with space available, with tuition rates such than a voucher would be generous enough to make the difference between private and public educational services. How generous would a voucher have to be? Las Vegas Day School charges $8,100 per year for grades K-8. The Meadows School charges $9,500 for K-5 instruction, $10,700 for instruction in grades 6-8, and $12,950 per year for grades 9-12. There is a $50 testing fee, and a waiting list. Bishop Gorman High School charges non-Catholic parents $6,550 per year, and Catholic parents $5,600 annually. Faith Lutheran charges $5,850 in annual tuition. [LHLV] Tuition at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno is $8,750 annually. There is a $450 parish affiliation discount. [BMHS] In other words, vouchers would be useful only to those parents who can already afford to pay most of the price tags referenced above.

Andrew Davey experienced some deja vu

I've seen this train leave the station so many times before in California. I've seen the devastating cuts that do nothing to help, and actually hurt economic recovery. I've seen the teabaggers (and their ideological predecessors) hold the budget hostage as they propose no realistic solutions. What I saw from Brian Sandoval in Carson City last night didn't seem all that different from what I experienced when Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled Sacramento. And I've seen far too many instances of legislators taking the easy road of toying with ridiculous budgetary gimmicks (moving money from this fund to that fund, calling taxes something else, playing games with bonds, stealing local funds to pay state bills, etc.) instead of solving the actual problems at hand. And funny enough, it's often the teabaggers here whining about "Nevada becoming California".

Sharron Angle pens a guest blog with this kids over at The Nevada View

Aristotle believed that some people are, by nature, meant to be slaves. It is the duty of the superior class of people (wealthy + white + Christian) to contain these other “heathen” people. So why waste money educating them? Just put them to work in our factories at extremely low wages, and America will regain its number one status in the world. It is the outsourcing of jobs to third world countries that has caused most of our problems. Blame unions and these lower class organizers who have a sense of entitlement who are to blame.

And lastly, Steve Sebelius' take. Possibly the last inclusion in the blog round up as he and Slash Politics move over to the RJ...and we all know how the RJ feels about sharing their content

That must be why Assembly Speaker John Oceguera‘s Democratic response seemed to contain more vision and more big-picture, long-range thinking than did the governor’s. It was Oceguera, not Sandoval, who said the state’s tax system obviously needs changing. It was Oceguera, not Sandoval, who reminded us we’ve already taken deep cuts. And it was Oceguera, not Sandoval, who noted the obvious: While money isn’t the only factor, you certainly can’t get to the top in education by funding at the bottom.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Nevada's pathetic state

Residents of Nevada watched (some of us in horror) for nearly an hour as new Governor Brian Sandoval giggled and grunted his way through his first Sate of the State address.

Much will be said within the next 24 hours about the speech. Numbers crunched, facts checked, soundbites and rebuttals broadcast. I quickly want to get out what bothered me the most about the speech (and I want time to do more research on Michelle Rhee who was at the address and is apparently going to help fix our education system. I worry that our press corps will not accurately represent her body of work in DC. I've already seen some fuckery on facebook and twitter).

Okay, so....Governor Sandoval said in his State of the State address that government is not the answer to our problems. That is a generic, bumper sticker slogan intended for the base to react with seal-like clapping. If the Governor truly believed that, he wouldn't have worked in government his entire adult life. He would've started his own private business and helped the state that way.

Governor Sandoval said he will terminate 20 (TWENTY!!!) government agencies. Who knows how many more unemployed people that means, or what Nevadans will be forced to give up. However, by the end of the speech, Governor Sandoval announced the creation of three (3) new government agencies.

I know, right?

Government is not the answer and can not solve our problems, so I will expand government to help solve our problems.


For a re-cap of live-tweets and live-chat, go here: http://laurakmm.coverpage.coveritlive.com

We have some funny people on Twitter in Nevada. Thought it was interesting there weren't very many right wing tweet.


Nevada State of the State

Trying something new: live-blogging the state of the state.

Cover It Live will bring all tweets related to the NVSOS to one spot you can keep your eye on

I hope this works!



Friday, January 7, 2011

01/08 Sausage Factory guests

I hope you can join me and Derek tomorrow morning for another--and sadly possibly last--episode of The Sausage Factory.

Listen live Saturday morning 10a-1p PST

Our legal eagle Ari Ezra Waldman will be joined by ACLU Nevada's Maggie McLetchie to discuss marriage equality

Derrick Mathis, blogger from the controversial Renwl

Irma Aguirre, owner of Mundo and member of the Latino Tea Party, the Tequila Party

George Knapp, investigative journalist and Peabody Award Winner from

Karen Abbott, local author

Byron Stringer of the Toe Tag Monologues

And as always Twitter Trends and our take on what's happened in Las Vegas and all around the world.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Joe Heck accepts government health care, for himself

Our new Representative from Congressional District 3 didn't want you to know if he'd accept government health care once elected, but now the cats out of the bag.

Delen Goldgerg of the Las Vegas Sun:

Rep. Joe Heck, in one of his first moves in Congress, opposed a measure that would have required members of Congress to disclose whether they will accept government health care.

Heck, in fact, will take advantage of the Congressional health insurance plan, his aides said.

Heck campaigned against your right to have the same quality, affordable health care that he now enjoys. And he's doing what his leadership says and fighting for the repeal of Affordable Care Act. A move that will cost Americans $230 BILLION.

Here's a reminder of how Joe Heck feels about Nevadans having health care: here's a screen grab from the Maddow show. That's Heck mugging for the cameras. Attendees shouted "white power", "Harry (Reid) is a whore" among other things.

Heck is associated with the radical Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The group that believes HIV doesn't cause AIDS and abortions cause cancer. He headlined and helped to organize their anti health care reform protest on the Las Vegas Strip a year before the Affordable Care Act passed.

Because of Sharron Angle's crazy and what seemed like contempt for Dina Titus, Heck's own radical views and positions largely went ignored by Nevada's press. And now we will pay the ultimate price.

If you will be in Nevada the next couple of days and would like information on action being taken against Joe Heck's decision to try and repeal health care, please email me at the address below.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today's Nevada news round up

Steve Sebelius on Raggio's retirement
The announcement has far-reaching implications for the upcoming Legislature, already presumed to be contentious because of Nevada’s budget crisis. Raggio pushed 10 years ago to expand the size of the Legislature as a hedge against growing population (and political power) in Southern Nevada, and it was generally assumed he’d push for that this time around, too. Surely, Raggio’s ability to cut a final deal at sessison’s end will be missed.

Anjeanette Damon was the first to break the news about Raggio and has done an excellent job getting information out. Follow her on twitter. From her blog:
For several sessions, Raggio's retirement had long been rumored as his political might began to wane in the wake of his support for several tax increases. Shortly after the election, his caucus ousted him as leader, ostensibly because of his endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid against Republican Sharron Angle. He also stepped down from the powerful Finance Committee, but had been expected to maintain a powerful negotiating position on budget issues and has been a key figure in calling for a tax increase to save state services from further cuts.

Raggio has held elected office for more than half a century.

The Gleaner takes Brian Sandoval and his "zombie economics"
Or as Gov. Brian Sandoval...chants in an unearthly tone while fellow soulless Nevadans wander aimlessly from one shiny/moving/warm object to another amid civilization's crumbling rotting remains, "no new taxes."

NV's longest serving state Senator announces his retirement

Republican William 'Bill' Raggio announced his retirement today, cutting short his 10th term as state Senator.

From Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun:

Citing health concerns, Northern Nevada's iconic state Sen. Bill Raggio said today he will retire this month. The announcement comes just two months after he was ousted from the leadership position he had held for two decades.

“I had hoped to complete the remainder of my 10th elected term, but my physical mobility simply does not allow me to function fully, and therefore it is time for me to step aside for someone who can give the position a 100 percent effort," Raggio said in a prepared statement.

Raggio ignited a hissy fit among far right wing of Nevada's GOP when he endorsed Democrat Harry Reid over Republican Sharron Angle in the Senate election, a move that cost him his role as minority leader. Raggio also ruffled the feathers of his party when he suggested raising taxes to fix Nevada's budget woes.

The Grind