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Nevada Preps for Presidential Role

In preparation for its newly influential role in the 2008 presidential nominating process (due to its Jan. 19 caucus), the Nevada Democratic Party is bringing in a team of national political operatives as advisers.

Jean Hessburg, who served as the Iowa Democratic Party executive director during the 2002 and 2004 election, will serve as the campaign director for the caucus. Jayson Sime, Rep. Leonard Boswell's (D-Iowa) campaign manager in his 2006 re-election race, will join the Nevada Democratic Party and serve as Hessburg's eyes and ears in the Silver State as Hessburg continues to live in Iowa. (That news was first reported by Nevada's top political reporter -- Jon Ralston.)

The communication effort for the Nevada caucus will be led by Jamal Simmons, Bill Buck and Roger Salazar. Simmons and Buck are partners in the D.C.-based New Future Communications; Salazar is part of Acosta Salazar, a campaign consulting firm based in Sacramento, Calif. All three have experience in national campaigns -- Buck and Simmons with retired Gen. Wesley Clark's 2004 campaign, and Salazar with the effort of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

"These...national political veterans bring tremendous experience in the presidential campaign arena and from a state with a long history of running caucuses at this level," said state party chairman Tom Collins.

The state party's decision to bring in a team to handle the caucus reflects the magnitude of the task before them. Nevada, which was awarded the caucus (sandwiched between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary) earlier this year, has never held such an event. Caucuses -- much more so than primaries -- require considerable involvement from the state party and necessitate experienced hands at the tiller.

Predicting the outcome and even who will turn out is a difficult venture, but operatives familiar with the state suggest that two organizations truly matter: the Culinary Workers Union and that of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The Culinary Workers Union represents 60,000 men and women who work in the hotels in Las Vegas and, as such, is a titan in local and state politics. They were a major mover behind the minimum wage increase that passed this November and can often make or break individual candidates at the local level. In 2006, the Culinary union endorsed state Sen. Dina Titus (D), who lost her race for governor. In the previous two gubernatorial elections, the organization had supported Gov. Kenny Guinn (R).

While an endorsement from the Culinary Union won't be decisive in terms of picking a winner in the Nevada caucus, it will be one of the major developments in the race. Early handicapping has Edwards, who enjoys a close relationship with John Wilhelm, the president of UNITE Here -- the parent union for the culinary workers -- with a slight edge in securing the backing of the influential labor group.

For his part, Reid has long been a player in Nevada politics -- dabbling in state elections by recruiting and supporting his preferred candidates. His ascension to Senate Majority Leader in the 110th Congress will only increase his clout. Given Reid's track record, it seems unlikely he will choose to stay on the sidelines in the presidential caucus, but who he might endorse remains a mystery. It won't be an easy choice as he will have served with all three of the candidates currently in the top tier -- Edwards as well as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.). Reid can count a number of other potential candidates as friends and colleagues, including Sens. John Kerry (Mass.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Joe Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.).

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 12, 2006; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

I think the top tier list for the democratic nomination must include Richardson. Richardson is actually meeting with top diplomats from N. Korea very soon. No democrat in the race, with possible exceptions of Wesley Clark and John Kerry, have the foreign policy experience that Richardson possesses. Clark is really un-electable in the Democratic primary and propably can't collect the funds to really be competitive. Kerry has the funds, but will be hard pressed with all of his recent gaps. Not to mention leading the losing ticket in 04'. This leaves room for Richardson, whom Reid would propably support over the rest of the field. It will be interesting because this is just getting started! 4 big nominee's for the dems: Clinton, Edwards, Obama and Richardson...alphabetically.

On the Republican side, I think Senator Ensign and Gov. Gibbons will propably endorse McCain in Nevada.That leaves him with a huge edge.

Posted by: reason | December 16, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

If there ever was a good reason for (mis)interpreting the 2nd Amendment, and letting idiots have arsenals, this Administration is it.

For those that have problems reading, the 2nd Amendment says nothing about "INDIVIDUALS." Nothing, nada, zip,... Framers' discussions may have, but the Amendment itself says "A well regulated Militia..." Notice the Capital M; it wasn't a typo.

The framers certainly didn't intend for every fruitcake and nut to be able to do whatever they want with a firearm, in spite of what the Wayne LaPierre toadies would have us believe.

Amen, on all of your observations above, Colin.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

According to the Borgen Project, the Millennium Goals won't be met at current rate of donation. Hopefully this change in majority will be for the better.

Posted by: flagrl118 | December 14, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

William -- as to the textual interpretation of the Second Amendment, you haven't actually addressed my question. To channel Justice Scalia, who I imagine you like quite a bit, I don't want to hear about framers quotes (which, again, can be used to support either reading)-- what about the WORDS. The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Your interpretation completely ignores the first two clauses of the amendment. There are ways to get around that, but you certainly have yet to make such an argument.

With respect to your definition of a "gun," I again think you are a little too sure of yourself. If the point of the second amendment was to allow for INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL PROTECTION then why wouldn't a grenade launcher be included within the definition of "arms?" Or, for that matter, a portable rocket launcher -- which does exist?

Finally, regarding crime rates, I LOVE your last line that makes the statement that WHITE areas have less crime than MINORITY areas. Somehow I'm not at all surprised that you felt obligated to discuss crime in purely racial terms -- ignoring, of course, the fact that the single biggest variable regarding crime rates is WEALTH. This may be shocking to you William, but white people aren't inherently less violent or likely to commit crimes than minorities. They're just more likely to be wealthy.

Posted by: Colin | December 14, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Colin,

1. The Second Amendment clearly supports the rights of INDIVIDUALS to own guns. I suggest you look up some quotes from the Framers, and notes and commentary from the constitutional debates on the matter. They make it abundantly clear that their goal was an armed citizenry, in order to protect against a tyrannical government, like the one they had just defeated (Britain.)

Some unscrupulous legal "scholars" (more like left-wing propogandists) claim that 2A is about the national guard or something like that. As I explained in detail in one of my previous posts, that interpretation is ludicrous.

The individual rights interpretation is the ONLY honest interpretation. That is the ONLY way a logical person can honestly interpret the Amendment, unless you are Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in which case I have nothing to say but "merciful heavens."

2. Guns fire bullets (in the 1700s this was a musketball.) Bullets do not explode, unlike artillery shells, missiles, etc. If you need me to give a definition of gun, I guess the best one I can give you is "a man-portable firearm that fires non-explodable rounds."

I don't know anyone who thinks an RPG is a gun.

Civilians should be allowed to own man-portable guns (not anti-aircraft 20mm guns, which are not manportable.)

So it is easy to draw a line between guns and missiles.

As I said before, the intent of 2A was to protect the right of citizens to own the standard military style firearms of the day (the musket, muzzle loading pistol, etc.)

Today, the standard military firearms would be the semi-auto pistol and an M-16 or AK.

3. There are many factors that contribute to crime, or that cuase it to decrease, including those that you mentioned. But to conclude that concealed carry did not or does not deter crime is rediculous. It certainly protects those who carry concealed weapons from criminals, and many of those people have used their guns to ward off criminals.

I believe that concealed carry laws are one of MANY factors that led to the decrease in crime.

Whether or not an area has high crime rates depends on a lot.

In general, white areas have relatively low crime, while areas with high minority populations, large numbers of immigrants, and poor urban areas have high crime.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 11:19 PM | Report abuse

William -- The fact that you didn't understand my sarcasm makes me worry about you. I don't have time to deal with all of your comments, but I would like to ask you a few questions:

1. You believe that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to gun ownership. Fine, that's a perfectly supportable position -- although not by any measure the only supportable reading. How exactly do you explain the second clause of the amendment that discusses militias? Since you've dubbed yourself a "strict constructionist" I would assume you don't simply IGNORE constitutional text. In constitutional interpretation, surplusage is - of course - frowned upon.

2. You draw a distinction between grenade launchers and fully automatic weapons; why? You say one is a gun and the other isn't, yet the technoly didn't exist for either weapon when the second amendment was drafted. You're drawing a clear line with that throw-away statement, but it's ultimately a rather arbitrary line. I suggest restricting semi-automatic and automatic weapons. You apparently would restrict ownership of grenade launchers, mobile land-air missile launchers, etc. I'm glad to hear you endorse SOME limits, but I honestly fail to see the constitutional basis for your distinction if mine is so lacking.

3. The economy's performance in the '90's along with the actions taken by the Clinton administration to put more police on the streets caused crime rates to go down -- not conceal and carry laws. To isolate conceal and carry laws as the primary variable behind crime going down is literally unfathomable from a statiscal standpoint. I don't think you're stupid, which means you know that but argued to the contrary anyway. That's a shame. Also, arguing that the Police aren't tasked with prevening crime is RIDICULOUS. Just because the Supreme Court -- and courts in general -- have correctly held that a failure to prevent crime isn't actionable doesn't refute that fact. It just means that the courts aren't clueless and that you enjoy engaging in logical fallacies.

Posted by: Colin | December 13, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

BlueDog, I thought you were a centrist Democrat, but some of your comments indicate otherwise.

Gun control has never decreased crime.

Regarding the courts, I am a strict constructionist. So no, I do not think the court should interperet the constitution in any other way than the ORIGINAL intent. If the time has come for the constitution to be changed, since some provisions are outdated or whatever, then it must be AMENDED. Not interpreted in a different way.

I respect the Supreme Court, but if you don't believe that the Justices' decisions are politically motivated, then I have a bridge to sell you.

Grenade launchers and howitzers are not firearms in the sense that was intended by the Framers. In 1789, 2A protected the right to own muskets and muzzle loading pistols. In 1870, it protected the right to own revolvers, lever action rifles, and shotguns.

Today, it protects the right to own AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons, as well as bolt action rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

2A protects the right of the people to own guns. An RPG or F-15 is not a gun.

In 1789, 2A did not protect the right of individuals to own a cannon or a warship.

Re: cop killer bullets.

This is a term invented by anti-gun groups (and perpetuated by urban and suburban anti-gun police officials and the ATF) which can be interpreted to ban almost any bullet.

In most states, cop killer bullets which can penetrate bullet proof vests are perfectly legal, and you dont need any license.

That has not increased the amount of cops being killed. Criminals can get "cop-killer" bullets illegally if they want to.

In any case, can't a .22 short be used to kill a cop? So wouldn't that make it a cop killer bullet?

Some criminals even wear Kevlar, especially gangs, like the bloods and the crips. To defend yourself, you would need the ability to penetrate that. Also, the LA bank robbers had kevlar, so criminals have access to it.

Do you think hollowpoints should be illegal too? They are safer to use for self-defense because unlike FMJs they will not go right through the criminal and hit someone else.

FMJs and JHPs each have separate uses. Both should be legal.

Millions, if not tens of millions, of Americans own semi-automatic rifles ranging from M1 Garands to AR-15s and AK variants.

Do you think all those should be banned? That is a far out position. Even most Democrats don't think all semi-autocatic rifles should be banned.

PLEASE, inform me, WHAT guns do you think SHOULD be legal? What bullets do you think should be legal???

Are you the "hunting" type who only thinks deer rifles and your "varmint shotgun" should be legal?

Do you believe semi-auto pistols should be legal? What about revolvers?

Which pistol calibers should be allowed?

Please, tell me what guns you think should be allowed.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Last, under your logic of "all federal gun laws are unconstitutional", fully automatic machine guns should be allowed. Why not grenade launchers, why not howitzers? How about a few RPG's just in case.

C'mon now, get real. If you want to be taken seriously, have a serious discussion instead of spouting off NRA talking points, or do you believe cop killer bullets should be available to the public too? If so, why not depleted uranium rounds for your M82A1 for all those "crips and bloods" running in your neighborhood. If you're only position is extremist, what's the purpose of engaging in dialogue with you?

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

h

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and your comment...

"ALL federal gun laws are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is a joke. Their rulings are based upon their political beliefs, not what the law says. Everyone knows that."

... leaves me wondering just what kind of American are you? One who believes that the courts should not interpret the Constitution as it applies to today's issues? You think that a major element of our Constitution, the court system, is a joke? So you must be for, what, a dictatorship, anarchy, what? Although I don't agree with the Supremes sometimes, I respect the institution. What exactly do you respect?

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, William, William.

"If gun control worked, Washington DC would be the safest place on earth."

I guess having Virginia next door, with some of the most lax guns laws in the country, has no bearing on DC crime. Your doing that whole "apples and oranges" thing again.

And somehow, I tend to think Colin actually does know who the Constitution was addressed to, and why. Gee, his humor about arming everyone seemed funny to me. Did it rub a nerve in you?

"Crime plummeted in the 1990s after most states enacted CCW laws"

Really? According to what source? I guess the extra 100,000 cops Clinton fought for didn't have any affect? I guess the redirection of Police Departments to enforce even minor laws as a "get tough" measure had no effect? I guess the dramatic increases in jail time due to "3 strike" laws had no effect.

So, if arming all the citizens is such a good idea, why didn't we allow that to continue in the "old west"? Because that too is a myth. In fact, western towns were quick to enact gun laws as a means of reducing gun violence in the late 1800's. Rural America is very safe because, what, everyone owns a gun? It is to laugh.

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

BlueDog, thank you for your detailed post, as well as your kind comments in your other post to me. I realize that I use words like "delusional" and "moron" sometimes, but I find the intransigence of some people on this site (not you), so frustrating that it really upsets me. Also, others have not been exactly polite to me either. Read some of the other peoples' posts to me; they are not nice.

I am also a gun owner, and I disagree with you on the issue of firearms restrictions. The Second Amendment simply states "shall not be infringed." Therefore, ANY federal law restricting gun ownership is unconstitutional. since the federal constitution takes precedence over those of the states, right guaranteed in the federal constitution cannot be infringed by the states. So Americans have, under the constitution, the right to own any firearm. Whether you or me or other people agree with this is another matter. Perhaps allowing Americans to own a Barret M82A1 is a danger (I dont think so, but some do.) But under the constitution, every American HAS the right to own a .50 caliber rifle. If some people think that is a danger, then they should try to start the process of Amending the 2nd amendment. I dont think they will find much support though.


"Williams interprets the statement...

"you do realize that the assault weapon ban is mainstream, right? Most Americans want restriction on military weaponry. It is not on the top ten list, so I'd rather not see it come up (pick your fights), but banning assault weapons is NOT "far out"."

...to somehow mean the writer is disposed to banning concealed gun laws and that one can't support the 2nd Amendment if they also believe that assault weapons should not be allowed to be privately owned."

I was responding to Colin's post, too, not just Adam's. Colin stated that he is a "pro-gun progressive" and thinks people should be able to own as many hunting weapons as they like, but he said that CCW laws are "rediculous" as are assault weapons. So I was responding to more than one post when I wrote that.

"As a gun owner, I'm not sure I can make that connection, William. I'm a former Law Enforcement Officer/Agent, and ex-military, and retired small game hunter. I own a small, old farm in Texas, where a shotgun is needed for varmints."

By "varmints" do you mean rodents, or criminals and illegal aliens. Bird shot is not all that effective on the latter two. Also, thank you for your military service.

"I live just outside DC, with one of the highest murder rates in the country and recognize and appreciate the need for self-defense. But don't tell me I need an assault weapon for any of that because you know as well as I do that there are many, MANY other firearms that will very effectively solve those problems. "

When the Bloods or Crips or Latino Kings or a gang of illegals are in you living room at 2 AM, suddenly an AR-15 with a 30 round mag doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

A pistol or shotgun is a good means of self defense as well, but not against large numbers of assailants, where a semi-auto carbine or rifle would be better suited. My home defense primary weapon is an M-4 type, not a shotgun.

Also, even though most people don't see this as a concern, semi-auto weapons are useful for fighting off foreign invaders (China, etc) or a tyrannical government, should one ever happen to come to power. I agree, neither are likely, at least in the near future, but why should we give up our right to own effective weapons when we have no idea what will happen 100 years from now. In 1930, I bet the Jews in Germany felt perfectly safe.

"So don't sidetrack the Assault Weapons issue by lumping ALL gun laws together. The right to conceal has little or nothing to do with Assault Weapons. The need for self-defense does not mean anything goes."

ALL federal gun laws are unconstitutional, as they "infringe" upon the right of Americans to keep and bear arms. If the need for restrictions is dire, then the constitution must be amended. Otherwise, all federal gun laws are unconstitutional.

"Let's just stick to ONE aspect of the gun issue and work that out, assault weapons.

Should they, or should they not, have restricted ownership? NOT BANNNED, just Restricted Ownership."

Even if you think that it is safer to restrict assault weapons ownership, for the good of society or whatever, IT STILL VIOLATES THE SECOND AMENDMENT, which says in an UNQUALIFIED manner, "shall not be infringed." It doesn't say "shall not be infringed unless the safety of the children requires it."

If some people think 2A should restrict gun ownership, then they need to change the amendment, which is a tough process.

"For instance, should any law abiding, non-felon, non-mentally ill American citizen be allowed to own, say, a Barrett M82A1? Without Restrictions? No registration, no training, no licensing? This is a .50 cal semi-automatic rifle with an effective range of over 1500 meters, with a recorded effective shot of over 2500 meters. It's rate of fire allows for 10 shots in less than 10 seconds. And it puts a hole in a human so large that one shot will literally take off an arm, explode a head, etc. It's designed for military and law enforcement purposes, but some private citizens own them for competition purposes. Due to it's devastating firepower, it's impractical as a "sporting" rifle since it causes so much damage to soft tissue. Not much left of a mule deer after getting hit by one of these. How about self defense? Gotta be able to shoot that threatening mugger/rapist from 1500 meters? Hmm, I think the courts might have a problem with that one. Gonna conceal this thing? You'll need a trench coat then, black should do nicely. So should there be some sort of restrictions on this, other than financial (it costs almost $8000)? Are you really saying that a weapon like this (yes, it's a WEAPON, not just a "rifle" or "firearm", let's call it what it is) should have UNRESTRICTED ownership?"


I am absolutely saying that .50 caliber rifles, and other such weapons, should have unrestricted ownership. Can you name ONE instance, when in the USA, a .50 caliber rifle has ever been used to kill someone? I can only think of ONE case where a .50 caliber gun was used in a crime, and no one died, and the perp was insane anyway, so he shouldn't have been able to buy the gun. I think he got it illegally. The right to own a .50 caliber gun is a freedom issue. THey are rarely, if ever, used in crime, so banning them will not make anyone safer. It will, however, make us all less free, and also infringe on the rights of competition shooters, whose property would have to be seized, which violates the bill of rights. Are you willing to have your taxes raised to compensate all the .50 caliber gun owners?

"Don't tell me what the law says, tell me what the law SHOULD say."

Um, in most countries, you follow the law, not what you want the law to say. Bank robbers probably think it should be legal to rob banks.

"70%+ of Americans (see below), which means at least SOME Republicans, agree that assault weapons should be banned or restricted (I'm for restrictions). The majority also agree that banning gun ownership, like many European countries, is NOT acceptable (I agree, I own several firearms and would not surrender them easily). But MANY Americans also think more restrictions or requirements should be in place for gun ownership, such as formal training, registration, limitations as to quantity and type, etc. Why do you hate Democracy, William? The MAJORITY of Americans want SOME form of restrictions (see below).

And just where does your "40% support the AWB" figure come from, when poll after poll, including ones done by conservatives, clearly show the voters want SOME restrictions. For instance...

"A University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey in April found that 71% of respondents, including 64% of those in households with guns, support a renewal of the ban."

This was not an outlier poll, it's atypical of the many polls taken nationwide. Spouting numbers without resource is a disingenuous and intellectually lazy attempt to "win by shouting". "

Well, as Disraeli said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. I am BY NO MEANS suggesting that you are lying, but i AM suggesting that the people at U Penn who did the poll may have been biased. U Penn is a pretty liberal institution. Recently, the president of UPenn was photographed with a guy impersonating a suicide bomber.

I have seen other polls that show most Americans oppose the AWB, but I realize that the Disraeli quote also calls the validity of my polls into question.

But think about it. If as vast a majority of Americans as your poll claims support the AWB, WHY was it allowed to sunset? Because the NRA is coercing Congress? Because the "gun lobby" has bought Congress?

No, because most Americans think assault weapons should be LEGAL!


"Finally, the 2nd Amendment debate on gun ownership is NOT absolute, as NONE of the rights in the constitution are. There are already some laws restricting gun ownership, so to say a new law is "unconstitutional" fails to address existing laws on fully automatic weapons. The constitution does NOT address "fully" "semi" "single-action" "double-action" etc. The Supremes have already ruled in FAVOR of ownership, but recognized the governments need to restriction."

ALL federal gun laws are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is a joke. Their rulings are based upon their political beliefs, not what the law says. Everyone knows that.

"This means that WE, as a nation, must decide for ourselves what level of restrictions are acceptable. It does NOT mean restrictions are NOT ALLOWED."

All restrictions violate the 2nd Amendment. If the time has come that restrictions are necessary, then 2A should be amended.

But I don't think people who want to amend 2A will find much support.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"After re-reading William's "Persuasive" arguments I've now changed my mind. The ONLY way to combat crime is to arm everyone to the tee at all times. In fact, I've now determined that the Second Amendment actually REQUIRES all citizens to pack heat 24/7"

2A doesn't REQUIRE people to own guns, or carry them 24/7. In case you didn't know, the COnstitution is addressed to the GOVERNMENT, and prohibits the govt from doing certain things. It doesn't tell people that they have to do anything.

But 2A certainly does not prevent a town or state from requiring all citizens to own guns. Some towns, such a Kennesaw, GA, require this. Crime in Kennesaw is non-existent.

And violent crime WOULD become almost non-existent, or at least plummet sharply, if EVERYONE went around armed. If you don't believe this, you really need to wise up.

If gun control worked, Washington DC would be the safest place on earth.

But it doesnt work. GUN OWNERSHIP works, which is why rural America is very safe.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting perspective. Espescially in light of the fact that (1) we have this thing called the Police that are supposed to help prevent crimes;"

Actually, the purpose of the police is not to prevent crime, it is to catch criminals AFTER crimes have been committed, and to preserve the civil order.

the Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot be held liable for their inability to prevent crime. A DC woman called the police to report a burglary. They arrived two hours later, after she was raped. She sued them, and the Court correctly ruled that it's not the job of the police to prevent crime.


" (2) there is NO indication that conceal and carry laws provide a deterrant to crime."

Crime plummeted in the 1990s after most states enacted CCW laws, and also, I would certainly feel safer carrying a gun then not.

If a mugger tries to attack me while I am carrying my Glock, he will find out what a deterrant guns can be. In fact, he will be deterred for the rest of eternity.

" In fact, it's equally likely that they escalate confrontations.;"

There's no evidence to prove that.Its merely a guess on your part. People who have CCW licenses have to pass FBI background checks, and are more likely to act MORE repsonsibly when they have a gun on them. I know a lot of people who carry guns, and the gun has never "escalated a confontation." The very idea of that is rediculous. A rock or glass bottle is just as likely to escalate a confrontation. And besides, since when to we outlaw something for everyone based on what SOMEONE MIGHT do? Should we outlaw cars since some people MIGHT use them to run someone over? Should we outlaw alcohol? THAT REALLY ESCALATES CONFRONTATIONS. Are you a prohibitionist?


" and (3)crime generally, and espescially violent crime, went down sharply in the 1990's when gun control legislation was at its peak."

Actually, starting with FL, concealed carry laws were passed in the early 1990s. Before that, only 3 states allowed concealed carry. So gun control was not at its peak in the 1990s, at least as far as carrying is concerned. I'm glad you admit that crime plummeted in the 1990s though, that proves my point.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse


Washoe County's (Reno)Democratic Party is extremely well organized. With a strong
grassroot structure parallel to the party's
central organization. The best in the state. Proven by GOTV results. Clark County? I guess the unions play a big role there. Hope union members are independent and "think outside the box" when they actually participate in Las Vegas
caucuses. (Because I support Evan Bayh.)

In 2004 a much higher percentage of Reno
Democrats turned out than Las Vegas Democrats. 1800 in Washoe County vs 6000 in Clark County. Here in Washoe we met in
a school gym. Period. There will be many
more meeting places (obviously) in 2008.
The hope and the expectation is for at least 10 times that to participate in 08.

We'll see. If it's not done well, we won't have this status in 2012, I'm sure.

Posted by: Mike J | December 13, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse


Washoe County's (Reno)Democratic Party is extremely well organized. With a strong
grassroot structure parallel to the party's
central organization. The best in the state. Proven by GOTV results. Clark County? I guess the unions play a big role there. Hope union members are independent and "think outside the box" when they actually participate in Las Vegas
caucuses. (Because I support Evan Bayh.)

In 2004 a much higher percentage of Reno
Democrats turned out than Las Vegas Democrats. 1800 in Washoe County vs 6000 in Clark County. Here in Washoe we met in
a school gym. Period. There will be many
more meeting places (obviously) in 2008.
The hope and the expectation is for at least 10 times that to participate in 08.

We'll see. If it's not done well, we won't have this status in 2012, I'm sure.

Posted by: Mike J | December 13, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse


Washoe County's (Reno)Democratic Party is extremely well organized. With a strong
grassroot structure parallel to the party's
central organization. The best in the state. Proven by GOTV results. Clark County? I guess the unions play a big role there. Hope union members are independent and "think outside the box" when they actually participate in Las Vegas
caucuses. (Because I support Evan Bayh.)

In 2004 a much higher percentage of Reno
Democrats turned out than Las Vegas Democrats. 1800 in Washoe County vs 6000 in Clark County. Here in Washoe we met in
a school gym. Period. There will be many
more meeting places (obviously) in 2008.
The hope and the expectation is for at least 10 times that to participate in 08.

We'll see. If it's not done well, we won't have this status in 2012, I'm sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I recieved an e-mail a couple of days ago from the Edwards campaign announcing that David Bonior had signed on as campaign manager. Won't this essentially lock up the unions for Edwards?

Posted by: Michigan Republican | December 13, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

After re-reading William's "Persuasive" arguments I've now changed my mind. The ONLY way to combat crime is to arm everyone to the tee at all times. In fact, I've now determined that the Second Amendment actually REQUIRES all citizens to pack heat 24/7.

Posted by: Colin | December 13, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

DK

Please, please don't be suckered in by Mr. Lott (no relations to Senator). His methodology has been well known for decades to be grossly flawed. He is a shill for the NRA, and most, if not all of his funding for "research" comes from them. He's the FOX News of the gun issue. As for the review you reference, no it does not say there's no evdience either way, it says Lott's Study was reviewed and could not be verified or discounted. Lott's study itself very clearly claimed violent crime decreased because of right-to-carry laws. The review of Lott's study simply says "Hey, the guy did a lot of work, give him credit for that at least". Nothing more.

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Regarding concealed gun laws-

2 points-

1. I'd sure like some statistical info on all those 19 yr old virgins and pregnant women being raped. I suspect there isn't enough info on this to make a case either way. Hyperbole?

2. Do The Google. I googled "concealed weapons rape rates" and this analysis of a Lott study was at the top: http://islandia.law.yale.edu/ayers/pdf/lottreview.pdf

It basically says there isn't any real evidence either way that concealed weapons permits have a significant effect on rape, murder, robbery and assault.

Posted by: DKinUT | December 13, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I know it's been a while since I've been online (shift changed) and I'd love to stay and play, but gotta go back to work. Been nice seeing the old gang here, Drindl, JEP, Nor'easter, KOZ, RMill, Bobby, Truth, etc. (I know I missed some). I'll try to drop in more often during lunch, if that's okay with you guys.

Note to William: Please keep the "moron", "idiot" "stupid", etc., insults to a minimum. It adds nothing to the discourse and dramatically reduces your credibility. I believe you are sincere in your statements and are not a provocateur. I also believe that you are much more effective when you disagree with supporting arguments backed by facts instead of rants with emotionally inflamatory rhetoric. I would suggest, say, RMill as a leading example of effective discourse. Facts, figures, sources, good analytical skills, consistent opinions, connected points. You have a lot to offer and I welcome your debate, if for no other reason than your views are intellectually stimulating, although I've found little you've said that I agree with.

See ya'll around.

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I realize this is "off-subject", but I just couldn't let this go.

Williams interprets the statement...

"you do realize that the assault weapon ban is mainstream, right? Most Americans want restriction on military weaponry. It is not on the top ten list, so I'd rather not see it come up (pick your fights), but banning assault weapons is NOT "far out"."

...to somehow mean the writer is disposed to banning concealed gun laws and that one can't support the 2nd Amendment if they also believe that assault weapons should not be allowed to be privately owned.

As a gun owner, I'm not sure I can make that connection, William. I'm a former Law Enforcement Officer/Agent, and ex-military, and retired small game hunter. I own a small, old farm in Texas, where a shotgun is needed for varmints. I live just outside DC, with one of the highest murder rates in the country and recognize and appreciate the need for self-defense. But don't tell me I need an assault weapon for any of that because you know as well as I do that there are many, MANY other firearms that will very effectively solve those problems.

So don't sidetrack the Assault Weapons issue by lumping ALL gun laws together. The right to conceal has little or nothing to do with Assault Weapons. The need for self-defense does not mean anything goes.

Let's just stick to ONE aspect of the gun issue and work that out, assault weapons.

Should they, or should they not, have restricted ownership? NOT BANNNED, just Restricted Ownership. For instance, should any law abiding, non-felon, non-mentally ill American citizen be allowed to own, say, a Barrett M82A1? Without Restrictions? No registration, no training, no licensing? This is a .50 cal semi-automatic rifle with an effective range of over 1500 meters, with a recorded effective shot of over 2500 meters. It's rate of fire allows for 10 shots in less than 10 seconds. And it puts a hole in a human so large that one shot will literally take off an arm, explode a head, etc. It's designed for military and law enforcement purposes, but some private citizens own them for competition purposes. Due to it's devastating firepower, it's impractical as a "sporting" rifle since it causes so much damage to soft tissue. Not much left of a mule deer after getting hit by one of these. How about self defense? Gotta be able to shoot that threatening mugger/rapist from 1500 meters? Hmm, I think the courts might have a problem with that one. Gonna conceal this thing? You'll need a trench coat then, black should do nicely. So should there be some sort of restrictions on this, other than financial (it costs almost $8000)? Are you really saying that a weapon like this (yes, it's a WEAPON, not just a "rifle" or "firearm", let's call it what it is) should have UNRESTRICTED ownership?

Don't tell me what the law says, tell me what the law SHOULD say. 70%+ of Americans (see below), which means at least SOME Republicans, agree that assault weapons should be banned or restricted (I'm for restrictions). The majority also agree that banning gun ownership, like many European countries, is NOT acceptable (I agree, I own several firearms and would not surrender them easily). But MANY Americans also think more restrictions or requirements should be in place for gun ownership, such as formal training, registration, limitations as to quantity and type, etc. Why do you hate Democracy, William? The MAJORITY of Americans want SOME form of restrictions (see below).

And just where does your "40% support the AWB" figure come from, when poll after poll, including ones done by conservatives, clearly show the voters want SOME restrictions. For instance...

"A University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey in April found that 71% of respondents, including 64% of those in households with guns, support a renewal of the ban."

This was not an outlier poll, it's atypical of the many polls taken nationwide. Spouting numbers without resource is a disingenuous and intellectually lazy attempt to "win by shouting".

Finally, the 2nd Amendment debate on gun ownership is NOT absolute, as NONE of the rights in the constitution are. There are already some laws restricting gun ownership, so to say a new law is "unconstitutional" fails to address existing laws on fully automatic weapons. The constitution does NOT address "fully" "semi" "single-action" "double-action" etc. The Supremes have already ruled in FAVOR of ownership, but recognized the governments need to restriction. This means that WE, as a nation, must decide for ourselves what level of restrictions are acceptable. It does NOT mean restrictions are NOT ALLOWED.

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

People move to Nevada to start a new life. As a group, Nevadans are determined optimists with noses for sensing new opportunities.

I bet Nevadans will get very juiced up about the "return to ethics" Democrat and the "return to basics" Republican, i.e. Obama and Giuliani.

Posted by: Amy | December 13, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Your comment that Reid is a player in Nevada politics is a joke. He is THE player in Nevada politics on both sides of the aisle actually. He is close to labor, gaming, mining and minorities. Also Chris, how do you think Nevada got this primary/caucus in the first place.

Never underestimate the "Nice Man" of american politics.

Posted by: J. Turtle | December 13, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

William -- I'm familair with Miller, but as you eventually point out, it doesn't resolve the Second Amendment issue in any way, shape or form. As far as conceal and carry laws go, I'm not sure how you prove that those are a good idea by noting that a majority of states allow for that kind of a permit. That's rather circular logic, don't you think?

As far as your policy arguments go, I'll boil down your position to "carrying a concealed weapon is the only way to prevent crime on the streets and therefore being against them means you have 'blood on your hands.'"

Interesting perspective. Espescially in light of the fact that (1) we have this thing called the Police that are supposed to help prevent crimes; (2) there is NO indication that conceal and carry laws provide a deterrant to crime. In fact, it's equally likely that they escalate confrontations.; and (3)crime generally, and espescially violent crime, went down sharply in the 1990's when gun control legislation was at its peak.

In closing, I'd like to echo JEP's comment from earlier. If you are pulling everyone's leg with your ditto-head views you really are brilliant. If, however, you are serious in all of your views I would seriously suggest you at least contemplate doing some independent thinking. Even the most ardent conservative is bound to depart from party orthodoxy on SOME issues if they are actually thinking about things for themselves. Why not give it a try?

Posted by: Colin | December 13, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Our rightwing friends have a fixation, you might say an obssession about the virginity of 19 year old girls. they just seem to think about it all the time, when theey aren't thinking about other guys [evangelists] and dogs [santorum].

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, you got us. I would prefer a girl to get raped than be able to defend herself. I'm liberal, so i dig that.

No, jackass, I'd just prefer that the gun she's defending herself with isn't an uzi. Plus, why is this girl walking in a dark alley by herself at night? Come on, people.

Posted by: JD | December 13, 2006 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I wanted to also thank Nor'Easter for his/her response earlier as well.

Posted by: Jason | December 13, 2006 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for this late response but I have been very busy today. Nice to read your entertaining posts again kingofzouk, not that I agree with them lol!

Posted by: Jason P | December 13, 2006 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"Conceal and carry laws should be outlawed. "

So you are one of the people who would rather see a pregnant woman or a 19 yr old girl raped and murdered than have an effective means of defending herself.
How do you tell an 80 yr old man who lives in a rough neighborhood or a 23 yr old nurse who works at an inner city hospital that they shouldnt be able to carry a concealed weapon?

I don't know how you look at yourself in the mirror each morning. The blood of victims is on the hands of anti-self defense people like YOU!

Thank Heavens most people don't agree with you and your positions are far out.

In 38 states, the police MUST grant a concealed carry license to anyone who has never committed a crime. This is called SHALL ISSUE.

In 2 states (Alaska and Vermont) NO license is even required to carry a concealed weapon.

So basically there are 40 states where anyone can carry a concealed gun.

In one state, Wisconsin, anyone can carry a gun openly with no license, but there is no mechanism for applying for a concealed carry permit.

In 8 states (HA, CA, NY, DE, MD, NJ,RI, MA) the police CAN issue you a license IF they think you need it. This is called MAY ISSUE. In some of these states a judge has to approve it. Some of these states, or counties within the states, are more or less strict. Some counties in CA are nearly SHALL ISSUE.

ONLY ONE state, Illinois, bans carrying guns completely. DC also bans guns, which is one partial reason why it has such a high crime rate, since citizens cannot defend themselves.

So your opinion that carry permits should be banned is extremely far out.

"Moreover, the Supreme Court has NEVER addressed the issue"

Do some more research. In the case of Miller vs. USA, in 1939, the Supreme Court ruled that sawed off shotguns were not constitutionally protected, after the defendent, Miller, argued that the National Firearms Act of 1934 is unconstitutional. The reasoning of the court was that since sawed off shotguns are not military-style weapons, they are not constitutionally protected.

The court ruled that only military style weapons ARE constitutionally protected. This would appear to guarantee Americans the right to own full auto M-16s, etc.

However, the court didn't know that in 1939, sawed off shotguns WERE in fact used by the military. The attorney representing the US either lied or was ignorant.

Miller had been released long before the ruling, when a federal judge in Little Rock ruled the NFA of 1934 unconstitutional.

Neither Miller nor any lawyer representing him argued the case or filed a brief before SCOTUS. The lawyer defending him in Arkansas had represented Miller free of charge, and could not afford to go to DC to argue the case, and did not file a brief.

So the Supreme COurt ONLY heard the US govt side of the case.

Anyway, there are plenty of quotes from the Framers, notes and commentary from the debates, etc, to demonstrate undisputably that gun ownership is an INDIVIDUAL right.

Do you know the difference between a semi-automatic and fully automatic weapon? Fully automatic weapons have been STRICTLY regulated as "Class 3" weapons since 1934.

Some semi-auto weapons are considered "assault weapons" by anti-gun groups because they have features like pistol grips, folding stocks, bayonets, etc.

Assault weapon bans ban guns with THOSE features, NOT semi-auto weapons.

So semi-auto weapons that function EXACTLY the same way but don't have "evil features" are perfectly legal even in NJ, CA, etc.

While you may MEAN well by opposing concealed carry licenses, in reality, bad people will buy guns illegally and carry them regardless of the law. Banning concealed carry licenses would only render law-abiding citizens defenseless.

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 11:49 PM | Report abuse

It really bothers me that every state now seems to want to hold its caucus or primary in January or February. During every presidential election cycle, politicians complain about the front-loaded nominating process and vow to do something about it next time -- ostensibly to force more states to go later. Instead, it becomes even more front-loaded the next time around.

Mark my word, more states will move up to January in 2012, which could result in Iowa and New Hampshire moving to December 2011. Hey, it could happen.

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 12, 2006 11:40 PM | Report abuse

William -- Are you a lawyer? Or have you atleast studied the constitution? Because if you have, you clearly glossed over the section on the Second Amendment. As it turns out, there is ample evidence dating back to the Founders to support either (1) a purely individual rights interp. of the second amendment; (2) a purely state-based militia reading; or (3) a hybrid reading that essentially acknowledges an individual right to possess guns FOR the purpose of forming a militia. Moreover, the Supreme Court has NEVER addressed the issue and you can find equal numbers of legal academics on each side of the issue. In short -- your certainty on this issue couldn't be more misplaced.

Incidentally, I say all of this as a progressive who is generally supportive of a qualified right to bear arms. Specifically, I think everyone should be able to possess a rifle or any other kind of a non-automatic weapon in their home. I think semi-automatic weapons are ridiculous and completely unnecessary. Conceal and carry laws should be outlawed. We should have more effective screening and waiting periods.

Now, I'm sure you will characterize my position as "extremely liberal." Which is interesting since my starting position is that EVERY CITIZEN should be able to own AS MANY GUNS AS THEY WANT. I simply support common sense restrictions designed primarily to (1) keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the black market; and (2) to preclude any confrontations on the street from devolving into gun battles. If that's "Liberal" then I shudder to think what you would consider conservative.

Posted by: Colin | December 12, 2006 10:45 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Wes Clark, Evan Bayh, Tom Vilsack and HRC ALL believe the second amendment is about individual rights, not the national guard.

I don't know Obama's beliefs but I bet he will not go against the beliefs of most Americans by taking an anti-gun stand.

Bill Richardson is especially pro-gun, has a concealed carry license, is against the AWB, and is NRA endorsed.

So basically, all of your Dem politicians agree with conservatives (and the constitution) that the 2A gives individuals the right to own guns.

I bet Sarah Brady is miffed that no one takes her seriously. Oh well.

The only 4 senators on record as saying that guns should be banned are Kennedy, Shumer, Lautenburg and Feinstein.

Enough said.

If even almost all Dems support gun ownership, it is obviously because it is supported by the vast majority of Americans and protected by the constitution.

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"you do realize that the assault weapon ban is mainstream, right? Most Americans want restriction on military weaponry. It is not on the top ten list, so I'd rather not see it come up (pick your fights), but banning assault weapons is NOT "far out"."

Nice try. You should know that most top Democratic strategists, and even Bill Clinton HIMSELF, attributed the 1994 disaster for the Dems to their foisting the AWB upon the American people.

There are some Clinton quotes on the matter. He gave a speech and stated that the AWB was one of the reasons that the Dems lost congress.

80 million Americans ages 18 and over own guns. Over 75% of Americans support gun ownership, and less than 40% support the AWB.

Or do you really believe that the AWB was allowed to sunset because "the shadowy NRA gun lobby bribed Congress and used mind control waves on the Congressmen who wouldnt do what they said"?

The AWB is unconstitutional, as it violates the 2nd Amendment.

And PLEASE, don't give me the garbage that the 2nd Amendment "protects the right of states to have National Guards."

There are numerous quotes from the Founding Fathers and Framers on the matter, as well as notes and commentary from the constitutional debates, that make it explicitly clear that the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of every law-abiding American to own guns.

Even the Brady campaign knows they are lying when they say 2A is about the national guard.

And no one believes them. All major politicians, both liberal and conservative, from both parties, acknowledge that 2A gives individuals the right to own guns.

Howard Dean was rated A+ by the NRA when he was Vermont's governor, and is a 2A supporter.

John Murtha, Harry Reid, and John Kerry all believe that 2A is about individual rights (not the national guard).

The VAST majority of even Democrats share this belief.

In fact, if you can name 10 senators who believe that the second amendment is about the national guard, I will be stunned.

That rediculous Brady argument was refuted long ago, and 2A is about individual rights, which is why it is legal to own guns and at least some type of assault weapons in all 50 states, including MA.

The American people are a gun-loving people, and if you don't like it, that's TFB.

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"far out legislation like an assault weapons ban"

you do realize that the assault weapon ban is mainstream, right? Most Americans want restriction on military weaponry. It is not on the top ten list, so I'd rather not see it come up (pick your fights), but banning assault weapons is NOT "far out".

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 12, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

and we are not afraid of being Un PC either :D

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 6:23 PM | Report abuse

we are not afraid of guns, unlike liberal loons, who think guns kill people.Anti-gun leftists would rather see a 19 year old girl raped and murdered than be able to have an effective means of protecting herself.

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the compliment, NorEaster.

Nevada is still a red state, and will be for the forseeable future. John Ensign easily won reelection, the majority of the Congressional delegation is R, and Gibbons won the governorship even though there was that whole assault thing. Even Reid claims he opposed abortion and supports gun rights, which are conservative positions.

States that are still red, but are at least in play, if the Dems nominate conservative candidates, are VA, MO, FL,NM, etc. I know VA seems like its going blue, considering that Webb is the new senator, and the last two governors were Dems, but remember, 8 of VA's 11 Congresspeople are Rs, and Allen's loss was mainly due to his own fumbles.

I think that conversely, blue states that have a chance of going red in a good GOP year (not necessarily in 2008) are WA, MI, WI, WV (2004 voted for Bush), and PA.

MN is sort of libertarian-ish. IA and OH seem to be solidly in the middle between left and right.

It all depends who the presidential nominees are. It also depends on what the Democratic controlled congress does. If they do well, or at least OK, the Dems will have a strong advantage going into 2008. If they don't do well, or try to ram through far out legislation like an assault weapons ban, then the GOP will be in better shape in 2008.

Also the GOP base is demoralized, and the Dem base energetic, but this could change by 2008. In 2004, many Republicans were predicting the demise of the Democratic party, but obviously that didnt happen. The climate can swing in 2 yrs.


If the GOP nominee is Romney, Guiliani, or McCain, GOTV will be a big problem for the GOP, as long as the Democrat is relatively moderate (ie not Kerry, Hillary, Kuchinich, or Obama).

If the Dem congress does relatively well, charting a moderate course, and the Dem nominee is a moderate, then Sununu in NH, Collins in ME, Smith in OR, Allard in CO, and Dole in NC could be in danger (though finding a strong candidate to oppose Dole may be a problem.)

I think Chris Cilliza basically had a post about this a few days ago.

Dems would love to take out Chambliss in GA and take revenge for the Osama Cleland ad, but I dont think they will be able to pull it off. I also think Alexander in TN is vulnerable, but he will probably pull through, especially if Ford runs again.

Some other GOP seats could be in play as well, due to retirements, such as Domenici's seat in NM, or Warner's seat in VA.

As for Richardson, he will certainly get the illegal vote if he runs for president.

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Intersting post about Obama on gay marriage - unfortunately the author in the linked article fails to state his source for Obama's changed position or even directly quote Obama - big words do not make for a valid argument.

I am not saying Obama has not given some feable explanation for why he favors civil unions, all I am saying is the referenced piece fails to give any direct information on the issue- and as the lawyer knows - "I object as conclusory, your honor." Sustained

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 12, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

We are not afraid of being unloved by France and Germany. we are going to take out vacations in Denmark and Poland from now on.
we are not afraid of fat. we are not afraid of pot. We are not afraid of booze. we are not afraid of wealth. We are not afraid of success. We are not afraid of big oil. we are not afraid of wall street. we are not afraid of pharm, in fact we owe them our lives after the booze and pot and all beef diet.

By we, I mean the other two dunces who happen to think exactly like me. Can't speak for any normal people. Generalize as you see fit.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2006 6:06 PM | Report abuse

We are not afraid of global warming. that is the enviro-fascist bogeyman. althought, it seems even the dimwitted UN has now refined their predictions about this down 25%. In three more years it will be down to 50% , then 75%, then it will go away. another story I saw today suggested that the nuclear winter after Iran bombs Israel and US will balance out the global warming.

See- technology will take care of it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Still here. but this mush doesn't charge me up. I prefer my meat red. If it wasn't for Vegas, who would ever want to go to Nevada. Pretty strange place, all that gambling, hooking, lights, sin, etc. and all legal. not sure if this is my idea of a Libertarian dream come true. a good test case but there are problems I am sure. Just look at who their Senator is.

you thought I would get out without tossing one stone. Not me.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 12, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Drindl said: "Can anyone out there name me one thing that wingers AREN'T afraid of? Every little thing seems to give them fainting fits..."

Yeah, smoking. That's the left wing extremist's boogeyman.

Posted by: JD | December 12, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to JEP - He already joined the sparring. A portion: "I still think you are just a provocatuer trying to keep the Dems stirred up, no one can really be that trapped in a cycle of overt ignorance.

"But many others think you are exactly what you appear to be; one of the most hilarious fossils on the blogs, your posts are too stupid to be true, and we thank you for them, whether they are real or not.

"If you are just playing with us, you're a pretty smart guy, but if you really believe what you write, I feel very sorry for you, you are ideological road-kill left squished in the tiretracks of the neocon party bus that just went over the cliff."

Ouch!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 12, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Jason - bhoomes congratulated those who supported the winners just after November 7th and disappeared. Too bad.

KOZ also congratulated those who supported the winners, and pops up periodically. He says that he monitors, and picks his spots.

There's a new player who began filling their role in within the past few days. Lots of information. A chunk of it is unsupportable, but that doesn't deter him. He's not one to let the facts get in the way. Questionable ethics - politics is a game, you only win or lose; political theory, economic theory, social theory, ethics, etc. don't matter to him. Haven't seen Drindl, JEP, Truth Hunter, etc. go after him yet. Could get interesting.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 12, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, what happened to kingofzouk and bhoomes? This blog is much more boring without their entertaining posts. Also, how is Gov. Richardson on labor? I think his labor record would be more important too Nevada voters than what part of the country he is from. I do know former Sen. Edwards is one of labor's strongest allies in politics and that should put him in good shape in Nevada. However, if Sen. Majority Leader Reid does endorse somebody that will probably be even more of a factor, especially since I highly doubt he would endorse a candidate that isn't labor friendly.

Posted by: Jason P | December 12, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama, Obama, Obama. Why has only one journalist had the courage to tell the indisputable truth? A conspiracy of silence?

When an African-American Harvard educated civil rights lawyer preaches righteous sermons about respecting the doctrine of separation of church and state but then offers only a religious rationale for denying 'fundamental' civil rights the cognitive dissonance should assail the ears of anyone with even a mere thimble full of legal knowledge. Enough is enough. This sham and travesty have gone too far.

"If a civil rights lawyer walked into court and argued that fundamental civil rights should be denied solely for metaphysical reasons one could fairly wonder if he were a charlatan who found his law degree in a box of Cracker Jack. Legally, Obama's position on civil marriage is intellectual rubbish. Audacity indeed!"

To read the entire article see "Untangling Barack Obama's audacious mumbo jumbo," by John P. Mortimer, Bay Area Reporter 11/16/2006 at http://ebar.com/common/inc/article_print.php?sec=guest_op&article=73 .

Posted by: Francois Aroutet | December 12, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I think better indications are places like Oklahoma and Colorado. Texas still has a lot of ground to cover before the GOP gets diluted down enough to be "in play".

I am not sure this is a real bonus for Clark's bid. He made appearances with Derby and Titus but the work Richardson did with Titus (and raising money) made this race competitive and will carry much more weight.

Posted by: RMill | December 12, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Bobby, You're right that there is a small amount of estrogen in soy -- but i seriously doubt that it 'causes' homosexuality. My point was the terror and panic -- the author calls it a 'devil product' that the specter of gay men aruoses in these people. It's just sad.

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse


http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/dec2006/ineq-d12.shtml

US income figures show staggering rise in social inequality

60 million Americans living on less than $7 a day
By Jerry White
12 December 2006


A recent analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax data sheds further light on the enormous gap that has grown between America's wealthy elite and the masses of working people over the last quarter of a century. The examination of IRS figures was conducted by the New York Times and reported in its November 27 article, "'04 Income in U.S. Was Below 2000 Level" by David Cay Johnston.

The article begins by noting that total US income in 2004--the latest year for which tax information is available--was $7.044 trillion, down from more than $7.143 trillion in 2000. The decline was attributed to two factors: the stagnation of median household income--which fell by 3 percent, or about $1,600, between 2000 and 2004--and the fact that the earnings of the richest Americans have not yet caught up with the peak reached before the Internet bubble on Wall Street burst in 2000.

Incomes in 2004 rose by an average 6.8 percent but the vast bulk of the increase went to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of all Americans--living in some 130,500 households with an average income of $4.9 million--who saw their incomes rise by 27.5 percent over the course of one year. During the same period the income of the poorest one-fifth of the population--some 60 million people--rose by only 1.8 percent.

The sharp rise in income for the wealthiest Americans--due in large measure to the Bush administration's cuts in capital gains taxes, corporate profit rates not seen in nearly 40 years and the recovery of the stock market--has led to a further concentration of wealth in the hands of the super-rich. According to a separate study by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans took in 9.5 percent of all pretax income, or about $679 billion in 2004, excluding unreported income.

Referring to this elite group, the New York Times article notes, "those very top households, which include about 300,000 Americans, reported significantly more pretax income combined than the poorest 120 million Americans earned in 2004, the data show. This is a sharp change from 1979, the oldest year examined by the I.R.S, when the thin slice at the top received about one-third of the total income of the big group at the bottom."

This staggering fact reveals a great deal about the economic and political processes that have unfolded over the last quarter century. While the portion of national income controlled by America's corporate and financial elite declined in the aftermath of the Great Depression and stabilized during the postwar period, over the last 25 years a massive social transformation has occurred and the share of the national income now controlled by America's social oligarchy is at the highest levels since 1929.

The Times article goes on to note, "Over all, average incomes rose 27 percent in real terms over the quarter-century from 1979 through 2004. But the gains were narrowly concentrated at the top and offset by losses for the bottom 60 percent of Americans, those making less than $38,761 in 2004." It continues, "The bottom 60 percent of Americans, on average, made less than 95 cents in 2004 for each dollar they reported in 1979, the analysis of IRS data showed. The next best-off group, the fifth of Americans on the 60th to 80th rungs of the income ladder, averaged 2 cents more income in 2004 for each dollar they earned in 1979.

"Only those in the top 5 percent had significant gains," the newspaper notes. The average income of those on the 95th to 99th rungs of the income ladder rose by 53 percent, almost twice the average rate. The largest gains, however, went to those at the very heights of American society. "A third of the entire national increase in reported income went to the top 1 percent--and more than half of that went to the top tenth of 1 percent, whose average incomes soared so much that for each dollar, adjusted for inflation, that they had in 1979 they had $3.48 in 2004," the Times article says.

The last 25 years has seen an enormous transfer of wealth from working people into the hands of America's economic elite. With the full backing of both the Democrats and Republicans, corporate America responded to the decline of its competitive position in the 1970s by launching an unrelenting attack on the jobs and living standards of the working class that continues to this day. The enrichment of those at the top has come at the direct expense of the vast majority of the working population in America, whose share of national wealth has plummeted.

At the other pole of society is an increasingly impoverished working class, including some 25 percent of all workers who labor for poverty wages. The Times article notes that the bottom fifth of all taxpayers earned below $11,166 and their average reported income was only $5,743 each. Because the IRS includes a single individual or a married couple in its definition of a "taxpayer" the poorest 26 million taxpayers account for the equivalent nearly 48 million adults and about 12 million dependent children. According to the Times analysis, this means the poorest 60 million Americans have reported incomes of less than $7 a day!

The official poverty line in 2004 was $27 a day for a single adult below retirement age and $42 a day for a household with one child--although the real cost of attaining basic necessities is far higher. The Times article notes that the IRS income data does not include the value of government benefits like food stamps, earned-income tax credits and subsidized medical care. But the social programs for the poor--including federal welfare assistance--have largely been wiped out or curtailed and what programs do remain are not sufficient to lift families out of poverty.

It is often noted that 3 billion of the world's poorest people live on less than $2 a day. In the US, where the cost of living is far higher, $7 a day is only enough to guarantee a life of destitution. The fact that 60 million people live in such dire poverty--and tens of millions more could face the same fate if they lost their jobs or confronted some other financial catastrophe--is a damning indictment of American capitalism and the free market model it touts around the world.

The levels of social stratification and inequality in the US are incompatible with genuine democracy. Political life in America is completely subordinated to the needs of a financial aristocracy whose pursuit of ever greater levels of personal wealth constantly collides with the social needs and democratic rights of the broad masses of people in the US and internationally. The needs of this elite--for further wars of conquest, tax cuts, the elimination of social programs and a drastic reduction of living standards--cannot be imposed, in the final analysis, without recourse to authoritarian means.

The social transformation that has occurred over the last 25 years has coincided with a shift to the right by both big business parties and in particular the abandonment of any program of social reforms by the Democratic Party, whose leading personal, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leading presidential contender Senator Hillary Clinton, are themselves multimillionaires. Insulated from the majority of the people and unwilling and unable to respond to their needs and concerns, the leading members of the incoming Democratic majority in Congress have already made it clear that they will not roll back the Bush-era tax cuts that have helped bring unimaginable wealth to their real constituents.

Posted by: che | December 12, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mill - grade "89" why - just because - we all know how university proofs grade - just because

seriously though - if they are going independent, at least here in Texas it means more votes for the Dems -

in my mind independents tend to me more pragmatic - if so, Clark may have a real chance in Nevada -

Bobby Wightman-Cervnates
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 12, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see some other posters pointing out Richardson's presence in these events.

Anyone who thinks Reid doesn't like the idea of a western dem getting the nomination would be foolish. Also - Richardson has a regional quality along with hispanic support that will be HUGE in affecting who gets labor endorsements or big name endorsements from the silver state.

It's going to be interesting, but just another note not to forget Bill, who's gonna come on strong here.

Posted by: Frontier Democrat | December 12, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The demographics of the new population influx into Nevada is mixed. It is obviously having an impact, as the Governor's race was much closer than originally expected and the closeness of the previous presidential elections.

The population growth has been racing at breakneck speeds but won't have its major impact until after the 2010 census.

There may be a trend towards Dems but many more independents. It is still a highly transient population and significant numbers of younger people, which have lower voting participation rates.

Nevada politics will come under close scutiny with Reid as majority leader and this early caucus. All the lingering questions and rumors of continuing organized crime influence and local scandals will be aired nationally. Who this hurts the most remains to be seen.

Nevada is a purple leaning state and will take extra effort to pry out of the red trend it has been on with respect to presidential elections.

Posted by: RMill | December 12, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Drindle, while I am a hugh advocate of Silk - soy milk - there is an ounce of truth to the allegations - soy has naturally produced estrogen - a female hormone-

this is in contrast to the synthetic estrogen in milk - which at least one nationally recognized study showed causes 12 year old boys to be more emotional at little league games than in boys who drink organic milk.

the milk industry is out to destroy the soy industry rather than just remove the synthetic estrogen from their milk

although I drink a quart of Vanilla light silk a day I do not recommend it for children or men who are trying to get their wife pregnant - just better to go with organic milk

Bbby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 12, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A question for someone with possible insight into Nevada politics - Nevada seems to be going through what Texas went through some 20 yeara ago - a major influx of new comers - in Texas the Yankee republicans did not realize thatTexas Democrats and Yankee Republicans are the same - it took them 20 years to realize Texas Republicans are so far right that make the KKK look liberal.

So my question is, how much will the influx of new people in Nevada change the political landscape? and in what direction and why? each subpart counts for 33 1/3 points - begin

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 12, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

'A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals

There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular.

The dangerous food I'm speaking of is soy. Soybean products are feminizing, and they're all over the place. You can hardly escape them anymore.'

just thought I'd share. this is from WorldNet, rightwing pub. Can anyone out there name me one thing that wingers AREN'T afraid of? Every little thing seems to give them fainting fits...

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Rank and file members of the Culinary Union will also have some affinity for Richardson and being a regional "native son" will also weigh heavily.

While Edwards has been busily courting union interests, his ultimate "electibility" will come into play sooner or later. Being on the losing ticket in 2004 will hurt his chances.

Posted by: RMill | December 12, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Good to know Simmons and Buck will be helping promote the caucuses. Wes Clark appears to be surging in Nevada thanks to his help for Titus and Derby and extensive campaigning there during 2006...

Posted by: anon | December 12, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

CC-

You missed one.

Reid served in the US House of Representativess from 1983-1987 alongside Governor Bill Richardson who served from 1983-1996.

Posted by: RMill | December 12, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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