Remember when Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) thought hitting the links was more important than voting on a bill to “express displeasure at Bush’s open-ended troop surge?” The Las Vegas Sun does. Therefore, it was really important for him to be in Washington yesterday, to prove he meant what he said in the column he co-authored with Senator Clinton? But, it wasn’t important when the issue first came to the fore? (pun intended)
Erin Neff envisions yet another overtime session of the Nevada Legislature. Three weeks to go and the Assembled Wisdom are still wrangling over the Education budget. Neff argues that this is a direct failure of the lawmakers to “meet the deadline.” However, her support for this contention is hypothetical, “can you imagine what kind of damage they could do with more time.”
The last session that ended in 120 legislative days was that of 1999. This round might have gone just a tad more smoothly IF…the Governor hadn’t been making last minute budget adjustments, and Assembly Ways and Means Chair Morse Arberry (D-LV) hadn’t felt it necessary to ‘caution’ the administration about changes made to a budget a mere “few weeks old?” [LVRJ] Or, IF the Legislature weren’t saddled with the Education First Farce? Funding education first doesn’t necessarily translate to funding it better. All this serves to accomplish is further complicating a system of deadlines that hasn’t been working since the ’99 session. Or, IF so many legislators weren’t bound by “No new taxes” pledges thus boxing themselves into a corner when issues like funding infrastructure investment, health care, foster care services, prison maintenance and construction, and education come up?
Saying that the legislators are at fault for failing to make the deadline because they fail to make deadlines is tautological, and dismissing one possible reform with an breezy anti-government hypothetical is no substitute for thoughtful consideration of the origins and solutions to the problem.
In addition to the “Mess-o-potamia,” there’s another “Mess-o-potomacia,” Gary M. Beer, the CEO of the Smithsonian Institutions business unit is resigning, the latest resignation by the “high flying private sector culture installed to make the institution run in a more profitable, market based fashion.” In that it may have succeeded — replicating Enron and Tyco more than any business found on the Russell 2000: “The era of Small and Beer was marked by corporate-style compensation, executive-rich expense accounts and deals with private partners that clashed with the scholarly, public-sector ethos of the 160-year-old institution.” [WaPo] Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small left in March after an audit showed he was using museum funds for chauffered cars, private jets, top rated hotels, and catered meals. [NYT]
Quote of the week: “An official (of the World Bank) who had been briefed by a European board member said yesterday that the Bush administration’s proposal was deemed offensive by several members. “The staff were absolutely horrified by what seemed to be the Bush administration’s disdain for a clear-cut case of corruption at the bank,” an official said.” [WaPo] Disdain? Corruption? How do we say…Libby? Cunningham? Abramoff? Griles? Ney? Safavian? MacDonald? Robert E. Couglin III? (Justice Department), Theresa Shaw, COO of the Federal Student Aid Office? … for some small comfort read “Hang in there, America: Competent leadership is just 600+ days away,” from Joseph Galloway at McClatchy.
“We’ll stand by for a green light from you…” Kyle Sampson to Harriet Miers, November 15, 2006 e-mail including the list of U.S. Attorney’s to be fired. [CSM]
Astro-turf right wing “Move America Forwar(d)” will have Surrender Monkeys protesting at the offices of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). [Roll Call] Move American ForWar(d) was organized by California right wingers Howard Kaloogian, Melanie Morgan, and the PR firm of Russo Marsh & Rogers in 2004. [SW]