STILL TRIANGULATING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
Former President Bill Clinton, who helped sell the Affordable Care Act to the public, broke with President Obama just a bit recently, saying the incumbent should “honor the commitment that the federal government made to those people.” In this case, “those people” are individuals in the private insurance market with health care insurance plans that don’t meet new federal standards, and as a result are being canceled. The move throws the implementation of the Affordable Care Act into further uncertainty. But instead of thinking: “Hey, didn’t I just get done unraveling Bill Clinton’s conserva-Dem triangulations from the 1990s, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy?”, Obama totally caved.
LAWBREAKING IS BAD, MMMM’KAY, SO LAWYERS SHOULDN’T DO IT
A divided Nevada Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that disgraced lawyer-lobbyist Harvey Whittemore — now a convicted felon in a fundraising scandal in which he illegally reimbursed donors to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — should have to surrender his law license. Notwithstanding Whittemore’s conviction, he sought to keep his law license while awaiting an appeal. That’s solid proof that while Whittemore may have lost any sense of morality, there’s nothing wrong with his gigantic brass balls. But there may be something wrong with this picture: Two justices opined it would be OK for Whittemore — did we mention the convicted felon part? — to keep his law license and practice law on a limited basis despite his conviction. We don’t want to name names, but Justices James Hardesty and Mark Gibbons.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
In a story sure to make the cover of next week’s No Shit Digest, the Washoe County Commission rejected an increase in sales and property taxes that would have allowed the Washoe County School District to fix up older school campuses. The matter came before the Nevada Legislature in 2013, but rather than raise the tax themselves, lawmakers punted, authorizing the commission to raise taxes, if they really wanted to, you know? That Profiles in Abject Cowardice chapter was repeated in Southern Nevada. where state lawmakers gave Mother May I permission for local commissioners to index the fuel tax for inflation (which they did). In the meantime, schools in Clark County — where voters overwhelmingly rejected a tax increase in 2012 — and Washoe County continue to age. But think of what we can do with all the money we saved.
NOW THAT’S EXTRA-SPECIAL!
Caesars Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman is being inducted into the Gaming [sic] Hall of Fame! But the reason may surprise you: It’s not because he’s loaded up his company with an industry-leading $23.7 billion in debt. (As it turns out, Loveman gets a little irked when people talk about the company’s debt, according to a Sunday profile by the Review-Journal’s Howard Stutz. Then again, Caesears officials also get irked when you call their new Ferris wheel a Ferris wheel, so there’s that.) No, Loveman is being honored for his achievements in the industry, which will shortly include a nice big Ferris wheel. But, hey, hall of fame, bitches!
GAMBLING BARONS AGAINST GAMBLING?
Not quite, but Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is readying quite the campaign against the latest shiny object to capture the attention of Las Vegas Boulevard: online gambling. Adelson — unlike his Strip brethren — thinks online gambling is a really bad idea, and for once, he’s right. Gambling addicts, children, the poor are all vulnerable to the predatory depredations of casinos once you turn every laptop, every smart phone and every tablet computer into a casino. Adelson is apparently very concerned about it, and is mobilizing a campaign known as the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Alas, the horse has left the barn and galloped to the ship, which then promptly set sail, with the fat lady singing her heart out on the fantail. Adelson is doomed to fail in this campaign — in spite of his good arguments — because of two things: People, especially young people, like to gamble online, and people, especially everyone in the industry not named Adelson, like to make money off those other people. But Adelson shouldn’t feel too badly about it. A federal ban of the kind he suggested would have just created a black market anyway. How do we know? Because that’s what’s happening right now.
OH, ONE LAST THING
Yeah, remember that idea to have a “party train” running between Orange County and Las Vegas on Union Pacific tracks? Yeah, that’s dead. So if you’re keeping track at home, that’s party train, dead; maglev train, fantastical; and XpressWest, not gonna happen. Good thing we still have airplanes, huh?