March 31st, 2011
Harry Claiborne was a sinner and a victim, a shrewd and honest attorney and a dishonest and an unwitting patsy, a ladies man and a family man, a federal judge committed to justice and a metaphor for a corrupt community. If he sounds complicated, he was. Michael Vernetti’s new book tells a lot of his story, and shows that he was, above all, a metaphor for Las Vegas as it used to be, as many wish it still was and as some hope it will never be again.Read More »
March 31st, 2011
Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., announced a run for the Senate seat John Ensign is vacating, and Sharron Angle for the seat Heller is vacating. These are two separate-but-related facts—Heller wouldn’t have challenged a strong, popular, untainted Ensign, and his move made room for Angle to run for the House. But these matters are related in another, subtler way: which slot opened for Angle.Read More »
March 17th, 2011
Suppose you’re a handsome Nevada Republican who thinks you should be headed for bigger things. Your opponents don’t consider you the sharpest knife in the drawer, and not even your Republican allies adore you. But at least you all usually get along, and you consider them as convenient as they consider you. You have won some elections and lost some, but now you’re in a great position. Then you walk into a scandal. And once caught in that web, you keep getting in deeper and deeper. Finally, you end up almost a pariah, with your party wishing you would just go away. Say, what is Jim Gibbons doing these days, anyway? Oh, you were thinking of John Ensign? Well, that’s the point.Read More »
March 3rd, 2011
Recently, Howard Skolnik retired as director of Nevada’s prison system, saying he would rather leave than preside over his department’s dismantling. What we really need to dismantle are some of our attitudes about prisons and what they do.Read More »
February 17th, 2011
When Republicans recently marked Ronald Reagan’s centennial, two key figures were missing: Reagan and Paul Laxalt. Since Reagan has been dead since 2004, his absence is understandable. But the Reagan missing from the centennial wasn’t the physical Reagan, but the real Reagan.Read More »
February 3rd, 2011
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, an empty car pulled up to the State of the State Address in Carson City, and Gov. Brian Sandoval stepped out.
Sandoval’s attempt to raze Nevada’s government and become his party’s Senate or vice-presidential nominee in 2012 or 2016 wasn’t a surprise. He didn’t rise above his campaign rhetoric, and merely sounded like a broken record of some previous governors, especially his immediate predecessor.
Nevada’s economy is a shambles, and Sandoval wants streamlining and diversification. So do we all, and we have heard this song before. But other states throughout the West aren’t just talking about it; they’re doing it through partnerships between education and industries, and by combining cuts with increased taxes, knowing that gutting education won’t attract companies that need an educated work force that wants educated children.Read More »
January 20th, 2011
The following events are related because they reflect misplaced priorities and evolving politics: • State Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, retired for health reasons. He may just be sick of his caucus, which deposed him as leader when Southern Nevada Republicans decided to punish him for endorsing Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election, because he’s saner than they are, and partly (no doubt) because Sharron Angle challenged his re-election in 2008, lost 53-47 percent and still thinks she won.
• A lunatic killed at least six and shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., his apparent target, through the head. The blogosphere, including the left, focused on incendiary rhetoric from the likes of Sarah Palin and the aforementioned Angle, rather than immediately pointing out the need for gun-control legislation, which they have largely ignored as an issue in recent years. Also killed in Tucson was a federal judge, barely a year after a similar shooting in the lobby of the Lloyd George Federal Building here.Read More »
January 20th, 2011
Before I was a history professor, or even a history major, I was a cub reporter for The Valley Times. I started in April 1982, after the newspaper’s glory days, when it had regularly beaten the R-J and Sun on major stories and provided the first truly in-depth local coverage of gaming and politics.Read More »
January 6th, 2011
One of the state’s “most successful businessmen” recently spoke to Jon Ralston about his amazement that Gov. Brian Sandoval still sings from the “no new taxes” hymnal. Then came news that IKEA and EarthLink declined to move to Nevada because of our lack of college graduates.
Meanwhile, Sandoval proposes just to cut, including a reported 10-15 percent in education, especially higher education, which businesses such as IKEA and EarthLink care about.Read More »