Tag Archives: Washoe County

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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Filed under Defense spending, Gun Issues, Nevada legislature, Nevada politics, nevada taxation

Round Up

Wondering about the level of taxation in Nevada?  The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council says “We’re Number Three!” (Nationally) for being all sweet and cuddly for businesses disinclined to pay taxes. [NNB] But, we are going to collect sales taxes from Amazon.com for Nevada customers. [NNB] And, all this while Governor Sandoval tells us we don’t need any more taxes since the last batch has been extended. [NNB] So, we don’t have enough taxation to make business owners and corporations howl — and we don’t need any more business taxes — but we’ll happily collect more sales taxes (which obviously have a greater impact on those with lower incomes) on online purchases from the Big A…  The Lesson: It’s Only A Tax Increase If A Special Interest Has To Pay It?

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Washoe County, Nevada is still getting some backwash from the Housing Bubble Debacle.  Short-sales are up, wherein mortgage lenders agree to sell a piece of real estate for less than what is owed.  “In Reno, short sales have been accounting for about a third of all sales in the past couple of years, according to the Greater Reno-Tahoe Real Estate Report. Short sales accounted for 116 units sold in March — 31 percent of all home sales in the area. Foreclosures posted 123 unit sales during the same period, which was 34 percent of inventory sold.”  [RGJ]   Meanwhile, back with those Wonderful People Who Brought On The Housing Bubble With Their Insatiable Appetite For MORE Mortgages —

“In case their (derivatives traders/bankers)  lobbying falls short, the industry — largely dealer banks and commodities firms — has been pushing legislation that would pre-empt the rulemaking process and tie the agencies’ hands. So far, no fewer than 10 such derivatives bills have been introduced in the House; two have passed and several more have cleared committee.

Not satisfied with that, influential lawmakers have been not so subtly warning regulators to go easy on derivatives. This is incredibly intimidating: Congress controls the agencies’ budgets, and the increase in workload mandated by Dodd-Frank leaves them woefully short on funds.

And should a derivatives rule unpalatable to the dealers somehow survive this Beltway obstacle course, the agencies face an explicit threat of a lawsuit. This has had a chilling effect. As Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, told me, regulators fear there is “litigation lurking around every corner and down every hallway.”  [Lowenstein, Bloomberg]

Thus we have bankers, who having been bailed out once, have now decided that there is NO reason for any sentient human being to advocate regulation of their shadow system and their “private placement” activities — which got us into this Mess in the first place.  The only good news is that we may have found the bottom of this market. [Bloomberg]

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The bottom of the housing market may be upon us, but the litigation lingers on.   A judge has denied AIG’s motion in the Bank of America settlement. [Reuters] A federal judge denied Bank of New York Mellon’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by investors over the bank’s role as a trustee more mortgage backed securities  in the mess made by Countrywide.  [Reuters]

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Maybe the Republicans do have a “health care” plan?

Health care would be “addressed” by disabling the implementation of ObamaCare, which Mitt Romney has repeatedly said he’d do on his first day in office. Even if you believe Romney and other Republicans actually have their own agenda of “health reform,” it’s mostly just a matter of replacing today’s health care deduction for employers with a tax credit for individuals, and then passing one bill allowing interstate insurance sales; the “market” (i.e., the rush of insurers to states with little or no regulation) will take care of the rest, and besides, it’s not the federal government’s job to make sure everyone has health insurance, right? [WashMon]

Yes, and with the rush to those states with little or no restraint on health insurance corporations we can reasonably expect that those corporations will not provide insurance to individuals with pre-existing conditions, not include vaccinations under basic policies, not include wellness screening for prostate, breast, or other cancers, and not include tax breaks for small businesses which provide health care plans for their employees.  It’s the Bush System on Steriods.

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Some cheese with that whine?  Presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s saying Life’s Unfair!

“This America is fundamentally fair,” he said. “We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.”  [TPM]

Translation:  We will provide vouchers for parents to subsidize private schooling for their children.  We will stop assisting manufacturing companies with research and development.  We will attack trade unions.  We will further slash pay for government employees.  We will give tax breaks to the 1% and impose austerity on the remaining 99%.  There’s a good piece about privatizing education here.   H/T to Nevada State Employee Focus, there’s another excellent article on the attacks on public employees here.

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Speaking from friends in interesting places: The Soap Opera that’s become the Nevada Republican Party continues apace, and to read the gruesome details click over to The Nevada Progressive.

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More dispatches from the War On Women in the Sin City Siren.   Meanwhile anti-abortion activists are urging a “personhood bill” for the state of Oklahoma, the New Hampshire Senate has 6 abortion bills on its agenda, and a move to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio is on temporary hold, but could reappear at any time.   More restrictive bills are in process in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Iowa.

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Political items worth the click and read:  “The Koch Brothers Exposed,” Rolling Stone.   “Mitt Romney’s Attack Dog,” (Larry McCarthy negative ad guru), New Yorker 2/2012. “Don’t Let Business Lobbyists Kill The Post Office,” Rolling Stone.   “Campaign Tips from Cicero,” Foreign Affairs.

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Filed under Economy, financial regulation, Health Care, Heath Insurance, housing, Politics, Sandoval, Taxation, Union busting, unions, Women's Issues, Womens' Rights