Bits and Pieces

Jig Saw PuzzleThe Nevada legislature continues to talk about taxation issues, and talk and talk and talk and talk. No bills yet from either side just more talk and talk and talk and talk.  Full story at LV Sun.

The Reno Gazette Journal has a map with the break down by party affiliation in Washoe County.   Democrats are just barely behind in total county numbers.

Whatever would we do without the Pahrump Valley Times continuing its soap opera series on the Nye County Commission and the Nye County Sheriff’s office?  Here and here.

Two men from Ely, NV have been charged as ex-felons in possession of firearms.  [Elko Daily Free Press]  One of the two arrested is an undocumented alien, now facing deportation.  Now, remind me why Senator Dean Heller was opposed to background checks at gun shows or for Internet sales to catch — FELONS, fugitives, undocumented aliens, the mentally ill, and minors to help prevent guns from getting into their hands?  This vote may not be helping Nevada’s junior Senator:

“Nevada Dean Heller has seen a more modest decline in his approval numbers, from 47/42 right before the election to 44/41 now. However with the independent voters who were critical to his narrow victory in November, his approval has dropped from 52/37 then to now 42/42.”  [PPP]

70% of Nevadans support expanding background checks to gun shows and Internet sales. [HP]

Meanwhile, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) is advising us that we can’t amend our statutes to prevent those who are on terrorist watch lists from having free and easy access to firearms.  Hint: His “logic” is a repetition of The Criminals Won’t Obey the Law argument.  Of course, criminals don’t obey laws — that is why we call them Criminals.

The Republicans can’t seem to get their narrative straight on U.S. options available for dealing with the Syrian civil war.  There’s the full on Let’s Have Another Lovely War Crowd, and the No Boots on the Ground Crowd, augmented by the I’m So Confused I’m Changing Positions faster than popcorn in a microwave group.

There’s this bit of news (old by now) from the U.S. Senate:

“The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester. Senators unanimously approved the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013″ — a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country. The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA’s budget — but not allocated to pay for other things — to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights a on time. It was passed by unanimous consent, which means no senator objected.”  [NBC]

For a group that usually moves with all the expediency and alacrity of molasses off a frozen spoon, THIS is amazing.  Now how about the 70,000 youngsters kicked off the Headstart rolls? The elderly cancer patients having reduced medical services?  The reduction in the food assistance programs?  The cut backs in long term unemployment benefits? —- Crickets.

But wait, there IS a topic on which two deficit chickenhawk allies ARE willing to spend more money — the Abrams Tank. The problem is that the Pentagon doesn’t want more Abrams tanks… more at Think Progress.  We ought to file this along side the dismal story of the F-35 production problems and spending issues. [Bloomberg]

What we haven’t been hearing much about are the problems related to the Other Disaster this month, the one at the West, Texas fertilizer plant.  The major media outlets gave it scant coverage.  OSHA records show the plant hadn’t been inspected since 1985. PHMSA did an inspection in 2011 and found the plant didn’t have an emergency plan. The EPA last looked at the plant in 2006 and levied a fine for the lack of a risk management plan.   Unfortunately, the list goes on. [TP]  Congressional Democrats are asking for work place safety hearings in the wake of the disaster. [Reuters] Neither the House Agriculture Committee nor the Education and Workforce Committee have posted scheduled hearings to date on the matter.   Deregulation, a popular theme amongst the GOP membership, has created a situation in which going to work can get a person killed.

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