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Expanded from the 8-16-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune
The Barbwire TV show will be in re-runs until SNCAT's studio move is completed. You may view them M-F 2-4:00 p.m. PDT on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16, 216 and high-def 80-295. Keep an eye on the Barbwire print edition for updates.
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Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008
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Gov. Jim the Dim has done it again. Like a good Bush-Cheney fellow traveler, he has decided that he can pick and choose which laws apply to him.
The Democrat-controlled Legislative Committee on Interim Finance recently administered a public spanking to our one-term governor by removing from his control about $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds.
Lawmakers had no faith that such an inept administrator could handle the action. They also knew, based on experience, that he would appoint a political crony to run the program. (Is Heckuvajob Brownie available?)
Legislators put state controller Kim Wallin in charge and reduced the posh salary (what fiscal conservatism?) the governor (who, me?) wanted to pay a new "stimulus czar."
The groping guv wanted $500,000 of Nevada taxpayer money to get the czar or czarina up and running. Lawmakers turned him down and further directed that the position be classified, which means that the person winning the job would do so based on what he or she knows, not whom they know.
Last Friday, Gov. Jim the Dim held a press conference to announce his signing of an executive order flouting Nevada law which says that the interim finance committee (IFC) rules when it comes to between-session fiscal decisions.
The Democrats blinked and let the sky pilot take his ball and go home.
One of the dark little secrets of Nevada government involves the questionable legality of the IFC. It has never been tested in court because there's a good chance that it's unconstitutional.
The IFC acts as a mini-legislature when the full body is out of session, which means its members are in charge for 20 months of Nevada's 24-month budget cycle.
The Democrats should go to court because it's a really win-win situation.
If the Supremes rule for the ledge, they will have removed the guv's documented incompetence and cronyism from the badly-needed stimulus process.
Lawmakers acted in the first place when they learned that Gov. Gibbons had also violated the law by failing to implement a green energy construction program the legislature passed earlier this year.
If the courts rule IFC illegal, it will make annual legislative sessions inevitable.
Meeting for four months every two years may work for some fourth-world backwater, but not one of the fastest-growing and least responsible states of the American empire.
THE BLEW BROTHERS. Two of Gov. Gibbons' strongest Republican supporters recently announced an alliance while distancing themselves from the guy who's made them both tons of money.
Political manipulators Sig Rogich and Jim Denton have started a new (don't inhale) joint consulting practice just in time for the next election cycle.
Denton appeared on two segments of Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers on KRNV TV-4 last week and is scheduled to do the show again this Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Victims of Charter Communications can catch the rerun at 9:30 Tuesday evening on cable channel 3.
I've known Sig Rogich for four decades and Denton for almost three. They are longtime members of the campaign manager's most prestigious fraternity, Sigma Ulterior Motive, SUM for short.
They are masters at brokering perceived influence over candidates they help elect, then walking away from the carcass after all juice has been drained.
Sig was in the bar in 2006 when then-Congressman Gibbons left with the ex-cocktail waitress who is now suing the governor for sexual assault.
Sig and I came up in Nevada follytix at the same time and we were both taught that one of the rules you never break is letting a high profile candidate go anywhere alone, especially close to election day.
Sig let the gov-to-be escort the tipsy lady to her car, which only means two things: Jim the Dim wanted to play escort service and he doesn't think that the votes of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers count for much.
The video surveillance tapes of the incident disappeared for several weeks.
Nevadans were shocked, shocked to find out they showed nothing when they finally surfaced.
Longtime Rail City residents will recall that Mr. Denton announced his retirement from political management just in time for his then-wife, Peggy O'Neil, to run for Sparks mayor against Tony Armstrong. Neither the retirement nor the marriage lasted much past the election.
Sig and Jim go whichever way the wind blows and the money flows. They are nice guys of no particular moral or political conviction, which makes them perfect proselytizers for today's GOP.
Wonder if they will be running resigning federal judge Brian Sandoval's purported campaign against the re-election of their old pal and dry carcass Jim Gibbons?
INSIDE BASEBALL. The Nevada State AFL-CIO held its annual convention last week at the Grand Sierra Resort and one thing is very clear: the Democrats have a very deep bench and don't need federal jurists to leave the judicial bench to fill out the ticket. A who's whom of political power addressed the gathering. The standout speakers were state treasurer Kate Marshall and Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, who will be seeking the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas. The Double K's could end of serving in the U.S. Senate together one day, just as the Gold Dust Twins (Harry Reid and Richard Bryan) of the 1969 legislative session eventually did.
HOT AUGUST STRIKE. The Teamsters Union may strike Granite Construction this week. Granite execs should have taken a look at NevadaLabor.com before ticking off the Teamsters. They would have found that there's one thing you don't do: mess with Local 533 in hot weather. In the past decade or so, that union has gone on strike in August and always won.
I know and have worked with these folks for a long time. They are not unreasonable. Earlier this year, the national union okayed major contract concessions to keep Yellow Freight (aka YRC Worldwide) rolling. That affected about 100 local workers.
But Granite Construction's demand that local drivers take an $8.00 an hour pay cut means only one thing: they want to bust the union and replace longtime skilled workers with minimum wage staff.
Time to dust off my "Jobs with Justice/Downsize This!" picket sign and report for duty.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, second vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate and editor of NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Reruns of his legislative session TV programs are cablecast Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m. on Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital channels 16 and 216 and high-definition channel 80-295, available on demand at Barbwire.TV. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
The Dean's List
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?
Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.
NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate.
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
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Copyright © 1982-2009 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail email@example.com.
He hosts news and talk Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter digital cable channels 16 and 216, high-definition channel 80-295. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988 and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.
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