If someone stuck a gun to my head and instructed me to say, on video, that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is the most conservative governor in the country and should be considered the best man for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, I’d really have no choice but to repeat such ridiculous words.
Like in a hostage video…or one of those North Vietnamese POW propaganda films.
Similarly, Las Vegas Fire Chief William “Fast Willie” McDonald has been holding a gun to the head of American Medical Response (AMR) – a private ambulance service that’s been operating successfully in Las Vegas for decades – and two weeks ago reportedly made AMR an offer it couldn’t refuse.
But first, some background…
AMR has been operating its private ambulance service in Las Vegas for over fifty years. For that privilege the company pays the city around $400,000 a year in “franchise fees.” The company earns its money from insurance companies and individuals for transporting people to the hospital. The fire department, by contrast, costs taxpayers a bundle to provide the same service.
Which always reminds me of the old conservative saying that if you can find it in the Yellow Pages, the government probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Which brings us to a caveat: AMR provides medical transport service for things like heart attacks from reading your property tax bill; it does not provide rescue services – such as using the “jaws of life” to extract a victim from their car in an auto accident. Rescue services are not what we’re talking about.
So here’s how things worked, quite well, in the old days…
Life-Saving Race to Your Place
Let’s say you’re having a cup of Maxwell House while reading the morning newspaper and suffer a mild stroke after reading that the City of Las Vegas actually wants to use millions of tax dollars to build a soccer stadium downtown.
After quickly checking online to make sure your life insurance is paid up, your spouse dials 911 and requests an ambulance.
The fire department takes the 911 call and dispatches both AMR and a taxpayer-funded ambulance to your house. That means two ambulances rush to your side, and whichever one gets there first immediately renders aid and stabilizes you.
Now, after you’re stabilized it only makes sense that the AMR ambulance would then transport you to the hospital so that the fire department ambulance crew – which, unlike the AMR folks, is capable of responding to the more serious types of rescue calls – is again available for service.
And this is where the problem lies…
Whichever ambulance actually transports you to the hospital, that’s the service that gets to bill the insurance company. If AMR does the transport, AMR gets the service fee. If the taxpayer-funded fire department ambulance executes the transport, the taxpayer-funded fire department gets the additional dough.
Enter Fast Willie
Over the years, it’s made perfect sense for AMR to handle the bulk of hospital transports. Until last March. After the new fire chief came to town.
Fast Willie McDonald knows the way to San Jose – though it’s not likely he’d be welcomed with open arms if he goes.
Just a little over a year ago Josh Koehn of SanJoseInside.com wrote a column headlined, “San Jose Fire Chief Leaves for Las Vegas Amid Unanswered Questions.” In it Koehn noted that Chief McDonald announced he was leaving San Jose just three days after announcing he was staying.
“The change of heart fits a pattern,” Koehn reported, “as McDonald, leaving a job he started almost exactly three years ago, has rarely stayed put for long. He’s now left fire chief posts in Fremont, Foster City, San Mateo and Scottsdale, Ariz., an unusual number of top-level leaps for someone just 55 years old.”
McDonald is said be a nice enough chap publicly, but one veteran San Jose firefighter quoted in the story said, “What he portrays of himself is absolutely the opposite of who he is behind closed doors and how he manages people. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
McDonald’s San Jose tenure was also tainted by an “inability to properly report response times” and included accusations of “gender and religious discrimination, amongst other charges.” Indeed, at the time of his departure a year ago for the greener pastures of Las Vegas, McDonald himself admitted that morale in his department was “very low.”
Ladies and gentlemen, your NEWWWW Las Vegas fire chief!
The Emperor Strikes Back
Under the pre-McDonald emergency medical response system, AMR was handling roughly 70 percent of the hospital transports and the fire department 30 percent. McDonald, intent on swelling the amount of dough going into his taxpayer-funded department’s coffers, radically changed that system last March.
Under the new McDonald system, 911 operators stopped giving AMR automatic notifications of emergency calls. Instead, fire department medics were dispatched to every call and AMR was notified only if the fire department thought they might be needed.
Don’t call us; we’ll call you.
But that’s not even the worst of it.
Last May, Jane Ann Morrison of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on a study conducted by the well-established/well-respected research firm Applied Analysis. And that study showed that, during the month of March 2013, “in lower income areas, the Fire Department is reducing the number of hospital transport calls.”
Now why, you might ask, would the taxpayer-funded fire department blow off emergency calls to low income areas?
Well, low income people are far less likely to have health insurance policies that cover emergency medical transport, that’s why!
Indeed, it looks like the fire department had started cherry-picking emergency calls in middle- and upper-income areas and sloughing off the low-income, predominantly minority areas because it’s much harder to collect the transport fee from poor people without insurance.
According to an RJ editorial on May 15, 2014, Applied Analysis’ study looked at the demographics in two ZIP codes…
“In 89134, which includes Sun City Summerlin and is 81 percent white, the Fire Department took 63 percent of 182 transports, leaving AMR 37 percent. In 89110 (my ZIP code!), which is 63 percent Hispanic, the Fire Department took 17 percent of 255 hospital transports, leaving AMR 83 percent. In 89134, the payment collection rate was 45 percent. In 89110, it was 21 percent. So the Fire Department, with the support of city management and the City Council, is having AMR pay a $400,000 annual franchise fee to the city for the exclusive right to lose its shirt.”
Holy screw job, Batman!
For his part, in response to the study, Fast Willie declared the claims “completely false” – even though he admitted that, um, he hadn’t actually, you know, read the study.
Spoken like a true butt-covering, turf-protecting government bureaucrat.
Is that a Horse’s Head in Your Bed?
Then on August 20, 2014, the RJ’s Morrison reported that “Las Vegas’ dual response system for emergency ambulances is dying.”
As such, instead of one ambulance from AMR and one ambulance from the city rushing to your aid in an emergency, “One or the other will be dispatched, not both.” This, according to Morrison, “after more than a month’s negotiations between the department and AMR.”
Apparently Scott White, AMR’s general manager, woke up one morning with his prized stallion’s head lying next to him in a pool of blood (Google “The Godfather”). Fast Willie appears to have made Mr. White a Corleonesque offer he couldn’t refuse.
The “agreement” – which clearly was “agreed to” under duress by AMR – is scheduled to be inked this week and presented to the Las Vegas City Council. McDonald predicts the “compromise” will result in the fire department doubling the number of calls it gets to 60 or 65 percent, while simultaneously slicing AMR’s piece of the pie in half.
In other words, the fire department, with this “agreement,” gets the gold mine and AMR gets the shaft.
And make no mistake: This boost in fire department transports will inevitably, down the road, lead to Fast Willie demanding increased funding to increase the personnel and equipment necessary to handle this increased workload. It is as certain as the sun rising in the east tomorrow morning.
So this “agreement” will ultimately not just be bad for AMR, and not just bad for patients requiring emergency assistance, but for Las Vegas taxpayers, as well!
As such, the best thing the Las Vegas City Council could do at their meeting this week is reject this “agreement” and instead vote to get the Las Vegas City Fire Department out of the hospital transport business altogether.
Because if you can find it in the Yellow Pages…
As I mentioned yesterday, GOP legislators were outraged on Thursday after Democrat Assemblyman Paul Aizley, Chairman of the Legislative Committee on Public Lands, ruled unilaterally that his committee would not pursue state control of certain federal lands in Nevada during a work session of his committee.
The response from Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (Reno-RINO) was delivered via Pony Express late yesterday morning, well after the news stories about the matter had already been written, published and broadcast.
And what a shame, because Hickey’s statement really let Aizley have it (not)!
Summoning up all the partisan fire-and-brimstone he could muster, Hickey called down the thunder and unloaded on Aizley in an email press release with the indecipherable headline, “Who’s pulling the strings on Nevada’s public lands?”
“The Chairman’s surprise decision to table recommendations on the issue of Nevada’s public lands, is a slap in the face to all 63 Nevada lawmakers who voted for the study, and all 17 Nevada counties who funded and staffed the legislatively-mandated task force,” declared Hickey in a sentence bearing at least two too many commas and a “who” that should’ve been a “that.”
Gotta wonder which English major in the GOP caucus wrote that sentence for Hickey and how Hickey, a former newsman, ever approved it. But that’s digressing into Ralstonesque territory, so let’s move on.
“The purpose of an interim committee is to study issues, take input from the public, and report back to the Legislature the conclusions arrived at by its members,” declared the former conscientious objector. “Whoever it was that influenced the Chairman to reject the Nevada Land Management Task Force’s recommendations, has done a disservice to the Nevada public and their elected representatives.”
Wow! What a scathing indictment…even with yet another comma that has no place being there. How will Aizley and the Democrats ever withstand such a virulent public display of Hickey wrath? Why, I’m sure Aizley will now “pull a Romero” and reverse himself immediately, right?
Come on. Hickey’s statement – issued not only well after the horse left the barn but after every news outlet in the state had already reported on the horse’s escape – was as lamely written and ineffectively delivered as…well, just about every other press release/statement issued by Hickey in the past.
And all kidding aside, exactly what is Hickey going to do about this “outrage” on Aizley’s part?
Well, if history is any guide, absolutely nothing. Hickey talks a good game – well, no, not really – but when it comes to taking firm, effective action, the man is a bronze statue. It reminds me of this old comedy bit from Robin Williams…
“In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say ‘Stop…or I’ll say stop again.’”
So Aizley will get away with the stunt he pulled because there is no opposition leader who will make him pay a price for what he did.
Hickey’s title should be changed from Minority Leader to Minority Eunuch.
If Republicans in the Assembly re-elect this guy to “lead” their caucus in November they will deserve every bit of humiliation and frustration they will inevitably again suffer in 2015.
You can’t fix stupid.
On Friday, Erin Bilbray-Kohn, the liberal Democrat candidate for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, issued a thoroughly desperate email pitch for money in an effort to take her faltering campaign off life-support and somehow at least survive in a comatose state through Election Day.
“Erin is fired up – it’s time to pull out all the stops and win in November!” wrote, well, um, “The team @ Erin Bilbray for Congress HQ” because, well, Bilbray-Kohn’s finance director either fled the sinking ship or was tossed overboard a few days ago and apparently no one else has yet to step up and fill the job.
“Sunday is our last end-of-month deadline before our big media buy and Erin needs to hit her goal to get on air,” The team @ Erin Bilbray for Congress HQ declared, continuing Bilbray-Kohn’s disingenuous practice of not telling her financial supporters exactly what that “goal” is.
“Erin cannot win without you,” The team @ Erin Bilbray for Congress HQ advised. “It’s crucial that we get her message out to every voter in Nevada! It’s go time!”
Actually, for this monumentally embarrassing campaign it was time to go long ago.
Many of you probably don’t know what “Uber” or “Lyft” are.
In short, they are “ride sharing” programs operated with your smart-phone. You sign up to be a customer – giving Uber and/or Lyft your credit card information – and then when you need/want a ride somewhere, instead of calling a taxi you request a ride from an independent Uber or Lyft driver via your smart-phone.
In other words, free market competition.
Not surprisingly, Nevada’s taxi and limo industries are using elected officials and the Nevada Taxicab Authority to keep Uber and Lyft out of Las Vegas. And former Las Vegan Steve Friess recently wrote a column for Las Vegas Weekly headlined, “Why Vegas Doesn’t Need Uber.”
But that headline totally misses the point. It’s not about “need.” It’s about consumer demand. Maybe Las Vegans don’t “need” independent ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft…I totally disagree, but let’s concede the point for argument’s sake…but do they “want” them?
Well, based on many of the comments posted in response to Mr. Friess’ column the answer to that question isn’t just a simple “yes,” but a Stone Cold Steve Austin-like “Hell, yeah!” A sampling…
“Since moving to Nevada, here is what everyone has told me: ‘Cabs are too expensive for locals.’ And I couldn’t agree more. I live 15 mins from the Strip and for me to travel there it cost me $60 not including tip! That’s crazy! In LA I would take an Uber or Lyft to the other side of town and it would cost me $15.”
“Was in San Francisco recently and my friend uses Lyft, 4 minute wait to be picked up, clean vehicle, unlike cabs, was friendly and it was $9 from home to center of San Fran. I live in Vegas and our leaders are knuckleheads. We want Uber or Lyft and we won’t get one cuz of the cab company owners are paying the politicians instead of their drivers well.”
“Uber would be a welcome addition to Vegas. A cab ride from Stoney’s to the JW Marriott in Summerlin was recently $70, with tip. That same distance in NYC would have been about $30. Way overpriced in Vegas. Bring on Uber!!!”
“Uber is the only way I go in NYC. Too bad Vegas can’t deal and just get over their addiction to the cab industry!”
“I live in Vegas and travel to DC and LA every week; I live off of Über in those cities. I come home and call a taxi from home and wait an hour, sometimes two. Unreal. How much propaganda and crap has to be paid? We get it the local taxi authority does not want it; boo for new commerce. This is why we stay stagnant.”
“It’s idiotic to refer to the calling method for rides rather than the so-broken Vegas taxi system that a percentage of cabs have to be restricted away from the most popular pickup areas because otherwise they would never pick up people at their homes. We need alternatives for normal people who live here, not just the visitors!”
“Taxis suck and they think we must put up with their ineffective policies and overinflated charging. Add that to the hold-up at most taxi lines created by the taxi stand attendant and you got steaming pile of doo-doo. Let the new technologies be introduced and get rid of the attendants and let the rides commence.”
“Vegas needs Uber, I get 2 hour waits at my shop when Western Cab is only 1 mile away.”
“I work for the only decent cab company in Vegas, A-Cab, but it’s not allowed to pick up on the Strip or the airport. What a travesty to drop off at the Encore Hotel and see 40 people standing in line in the hot sun waiting for a cab and watching you as if they could hear a pin drop and the disappointment when we refuse to haul them because the corrupt and defective TA (Taxicab Authority) will issue a fine if we do. It’s supposed to a city built on customer service. So where is it?”
“The rare times I need a taxi living in Vegas, no one is available for at least an hour.”
“As a group everyone must understand taxicab owners in Las Vegas are gods. Uber is not rich enough with only 1.5 billion dollars in their war chest to come to Las Vegas yet. One day Travis, the CEO of Uber, will fight these gods. It is only a matter of time.”
“When Uber and its ilk have attempted to prod city councils into forcing change onto the taxi industry, the industry has responded not with open minds and ‘Yeah, that’s actually a good idea’ comments, but rather veritable battalions of lobbyists and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations to ensure the status quo remains precisely the same. There is no reason whatsoever to expect otherwise once Uber, Lyft, and other ‘TNCs’ – transportation network companies, as they’re increasingly being called – make it to Vegas.”
“Las Vegas is the LAST place I wish for anyone having to take a taxi, and since these other ride services have popped up I’ve used them exclusively in other cities I visit that offer said services. Saves me time, money, safer drivers and less awkward people.”
“Exactly! It sucks. I drank too much one night and took the responsible choice to take a cab home. He said no, I don’t drive to Henderson and told me to get out! Yeah I just love being told to get out of the taxi because he doesn’t drive to Henderson! Hate the cabs around here.”
“Uber would help out so much in North Las Vegas. Try getting a taxi in North Las Vegas, like Aliante casino. Hotel called one up for me and they never came said it was too far.”
“I was living in LA for a year and all I did was take Uber and Lyft EVERYWHERE! Also you are creating more jobs for residents. I would hop into someone’s Lyft or Uber and have great conversation and learn that they love driving people around to earn extra money and set their own hours. I also had a regular driver who lived in my area so every time she picked me up we would catch up. She was Lyfting to save extra money for her honeymoon!”
A few weeks ago I signed up to be a customer for both Uber and Lyft and have used both services in Los Angeles and Phoenix. I’m a fan.
The argument that Las Vegas doesn’t “need” Uber or Lyft is irrelevant. I “want” ‘em, and so do a lot of other Las Vegans. And other than protecting the established taxi and limo companies that pay out big dough to elected officials and control the Nevada Taxicab Authority, there isn’t one valid reason for keeping Transportation Network Companies out of Nevada.
As one commenter to Mr. Friess’ column put it, “Vegas doesn’t need Uber? How about letting the market decide?”
Hell, yeah! How about it?
Although Google’s official birthday has moved around a bit over the years, it is generally accepted that the universe will celebrate the search engine’s sixteenth birthday on September 27th. And I know the perfect gift…
Congressional passage of the USA Freedom Act.
In fact, passage of the bill would be a fantastic birthday present for ALL Americans!
The Senate version of the USA Freedom Act would dramatically reform how the National Security Agency (NSA) is allowed to spy on American citizens and limit the NSA’s ability to strong-arm telephone and technology companies into coughing up large amounts of private, personal data without a court-ordered subpoena.
“The government has grossly overreached with its surveillance practices, and as a result, Americans’ distrust of their own government continues to grow,” U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), an original cosponsor of the bill, maintains. “The USA Freedom Act is a comprehensive approach that would end bulk data collection practices and help restore Fourth Amendment privacy rights to our nation’s citizens.”
In a floor statement in July, Heller offered a common-sense amendment to the bill that would eliminate bulk collection of phone and email records and require government intelligence agencies to “disclose to the American people roughly how many of them have had their communications collected.” Heller’s amendment would also allow tech companies to “to tell consumers basic information regarding the FISA Court orders they receive and the number of users whose information is turned over.”
This should hardly be controversial stuff; however, all too many post-9/11 Americans have adopted the dangerously misguided and Sovietesque notion that “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
In fact, I believe that’s the unofficial motto of the grope-and-grin government apparatchiks who run airport security, keeping air travelers safe from oversized toothpaste tubes and forcing little old ladies in wheelchairs to perform the “TSA Macarena” to distract other passengers waiting to be publicly humiliated for the privilege of flying the friendly skies.
But I digress.
If our government-owned/union-managed public schools still adequately taught our nation’s Founding history, citizens today would immediately recoil at the very notion of government agents being able to search your emails or computer files stored on Google Drive or Drop box without a court order.
When confronted with such a demand, absent probable cause or subpoena, in the name of “national security,” the appropriate citizen response would be to quote Benjamin Franklin, who so rightly and famously proclaimed that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
What he said.
Anyway, happy birthday, Google! Here’s hoping Congress wraps up the USA Freedom Act and presents it to you and the rest of the country before the month is out.
Folks, I didn’t build up my readership list here at Silver State Confidential by sugarcoating it or blowing smoke up your skirts. I am the Doctor of Harsh Reality. I call ‘em as I sees ‘em and, on occasion, get one wrong.
But the race in Nevada’s 1st Congressional District this year isn’t one of them. The numbers just don’t lie.
Republican challenger Annette Teijeiro is running against my old nemesis, Democrat Rep. Dina Titus. Believe me, NO ONE would enjoy seeing Titus lose to Teijeiro more than I would in November. But it just ain’t gonna happen.
Obama carried this district 66-32% in 2012.
Titus crushed Republican Chris Edwards in this district 64-31% two years ago.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, there are 122,996 registered Democrats in this district.
There are 55,302 registered Republicans. That’s more than a 2-1 advantage.
Titus has the power of incumbency. Titus has the voter registration. Titus has the money. Titus has the experience. Titus has the endorsements. Titus has the name ID. Titus has the political operation. Titus has the media. Titus has the unions.
Titus has it in November. Period.
Lower turnout by Democrats won’t change the outcome. Teijeiro being Hispanic won’t change the outcome. 41,628 registered non-partisans, most of whom lean Democrat, won’t change the outcome. That’s no reflection on Teijeiro; it’s just reality.
Now, if you nevertheless want to volunteer to work on Annette’s campaign or donate money to her, have at it. Tactically speaking for conservatives; however, I think your time and money would be FAR better spent helping to re-elect Republican Rep. Joe Heck.
But that’s just me.
I raise this issue today because some crackpot named Randy Rose – who is in serious denial and stopped taking his medications over the weekend – decided to go toe-to-toe with me over it. Here’s his first shot across the bow, sent via email yesterday morning…
“Stop bashing Republican candidates especially in CD1. You are the reason Republicans lose against your lover Dina Titus.”
Um, I didn’t “bash” Teijeiro. Didn’t say a single negative thing about her. Only ventured an observation about the reality of the CD1 race. But according to Rose…
“That causes Republicans to not vote. That is your Fault and you should be ashamed. The only way you can prove you are a Conservative, is to tell people to vote for Dr. Annette Tiereijo.”
Well, um, if Republicans choose not to vote, that’s, um, their fault…not mine. But OK: Vote for Dr. Annette Teijeiro!
Well, apparently not. Because this kook then went on to post the following on CraigsList (why on CraigsList, I have no idea) under the headline “Chuck Muth Loves Dina Titus”
“Chuck Muth is up to his old tricks again, He is bashing Republicans who run against his lover Dina Titus. Last time it was because Chris Edwards did not sign his tax pledge. Turns out that was not the reason. Chuck Muth drools all over Dina Titus so they must be lovers. Vote for Annette Teijeiro because she can beat Dina Titus but don’t tell Chuck because he always votes for Dina Titus. This proves that Chuck Muth is not a Conservative, but a RINO Progressive who always votes Democrat.”
Uh-oh. Rose is onto me! Yes, I am secretly a liberal mole embedded in the conservative movement for the sole purpose of undermining Republicans who can’t win or vote for higher taxes or…well, something.
You know, I think I’ve had a change of heart!
If a deep thinker such as Randy Rose believes Annette Teijeiro can beat Dina Titus in November…well, that’s good enough for me!
Please, everybody…vote for Teijeiro.
Volunteer to work on her campaign a minimum of 80 hours a week for the next two months.
And by all means, take out a second mortgage and sell all your worldly possessions and donate every last dime of it to Teijeiro’s campaign.
We’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! We’re…
This Las Vegas Review-Journal headline that came into my email box yesterday afternoon caught my attention: “Nevada Hispanic group endorses Teijeiro over Titus.”
“An influential Hispanic group on Saturday announced it endorsed Republican Dr. Annette Teijeiro over U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., delivering a blow to the incumbent in the 1st Congressional District,” wrote reporter Laura Myers (who Ralston now despises because Myers referred to him as a “blogger” in a Laxalt story earlier in the week).
I guess it really isn’t too much of a surprise that that Hispanics in Politics endorsed the Hispanic candidate over an old, lily-white candidate – I mean, that’s the way race politics is played.
But with a huge voter registration advantage in the district, the HIP endorsement is anything but a “blow” to Titus’ campaign. Teijeiro has no chance in this district unless Titus gets indicted for something.
And even then.
But that wasn’t the real story in the story. Indeed, once you got past the Teijeiro/Titus non-story in the opening paragraph, you learned of what should have been the lead in the story. Get this…
In Nevada’s 3rd congressional district race – pitting white Republican Rep. Joe Heck against white liberal Democrat Erin Bilbray-Kohn – the Hispanic members of Hispanics in Politics voted to endorse Heck.
A reasonable and responsible decision since Heck, as a member of the majority party in Congress, has been vocal in advocating for reasonable and responsible immigration reform that includes tougher border enforcement with no amnesty.
Nevertheless, we learned in the story that Fernando Romero – a Hispanic race hustler and president of the organization – unilaterally overrode the endorsement vote of his membership!
“We cannot see why we should endorse a man that does not support the wants and the needs of the Hispanic community,” Romero declared, equating “amnesty” with “wants and needs.”
“We’ll be endorsing Erin Bilbray.”
You are NOT reading this wrong.
The members of Hispanics in Politics voted to endorse Heck. But Romero and his “We Know Better” board told their members to pound sand. They’re giving Bilbray-Kohn the nod no matter what his members “want and need” because…well, I guess because Bilbray-Kohn is a liberal Democrat and that’s what Harry Reid wants.
I have to admit, I didn’t pay any attention to this year’s Little League World Series until the Las Vegas team made it to the championship game yesterday afternoon.
I tried to find it on my iPhone while sitting on the beach here in San Diego without luck. So I did the next best thing: I found the Little League World Series twitter feed and just kept refreshing it to get scores and updates.
Which got my blood boiling!
Tweet after tweet after tweet kept coming in from people rooting for the Chicago team. Why? Not because they were from Chicago. But because every kid on the team was black!
That’s right. The liberal race hustlers in America even ruined a little league baseball game by making it a black/white issue. Sickening and shameful.
So here’s my question…
If it was okay to root for the Chicago team simply because every kid on the team was black, does that mean it was okay to root AGAINST the Chicago team simply because every kid on the team was black?
What? If you did that you’d be a racist? Really? You mean there’s a double standard on race in this country? Who knew?
And since I’m on a shameful kick this morning…
I’m not called Nevada’s #1 irritator of liberals for nothing!
First, as we all know, Jon Ralston, Nevada’s #2 liberal blogger is a…liberal.
And in yesterday’s Silver State Confidential I laid a little smackdown on the prima dona after he hand-carried Democrat attorney general candidate Ross Miller’s water this week in the form of a leaked document showing brutally critical raw notes from a two-year-old performance evaluation of Adam Laxalt, Miller’s Republican opponent.
Now, here’s the thing…
When Ralston broke his story on Twitter – ‘cause no newspaper in Nevada carries his columns any longer – I learned of it from someone else who forwarded it to me because I stopped “following” Ralston on Twitter about two months ago. I mean, let’s face it, the guy is entirely predictable, a tool of the left and the GOP establishment (but I repeat myself) and, frankly, boring.
But he does like to use fancy multi-syllable words to try and impress people with his intellect. And it’s worked on some liberal inside-the-beltway media types in Washington, DC who think Jon is a god.
Alas, many of his media colleagues here in Nevada who actually know him think he’s a jerk. But for professional reasons, they aren’t able to say so publicly.
But back to the story…
Yesterday afternoon, after giving Ralston that e-wedgie in Silver State Confidential, I checked in on his Twitter feed to see if the twit had read it. And sure enough, it appeared so. Here’s the tweet the twit published…
“Have not employed the wonderful BLOCK option enough, have let my OCD get best of me and engaged. Time for new motto: Ignore the Trolls.”
Could I have irritated the liberal laughingstock so much that he “blocked” little ol’ me from “following” him even though I stopped “following” him two months ago?
When I tried to again “Follow” Jon just to see if it was me he wrote about, sure enough this message popped up…
“You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.”
I am SO honored!
I’ve now been “blocked” by two liberals: Nevada’s #2 liberal blogger and the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Mark Hutchison, whose water Ralston carried the GOP primary race against Sue Lowden.
Speaking of which…
Has anyone seen the strong statement of continued support that Hutchison has issued for his embattled fellow Republican candidate? ‘Cause if such a statement has been issued, I didn’t get it.
And while we’re at it, where’s the “We’re 100% behind Adam Laxalt” press release from Republican Senate Majority Leader “Moderate Mike” Roberson and Republican Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey. Their silence is deafening.
But nowhere near as deafening as the silence coming out of the governor’s office!
Indeed, Gov. Brian Sandoval is the party’s supposed titular head and is, indeed, running in November on the top of the GOP’s ticket. The Laxalt brouhaha broke last Wednesday night. It’s now Sunday morning. And all we’ve heard from the guv about his fellow Republican and attorney general running mate is crickets.
And it’s not like he’s completely disengaged in Nevada for some reason. Indeed, after the Las Vegas team lost in yesterday’s final game of the Little League World Series (more on that below), the governor tweeted, “We love you Mountain Ridge!”
So, um, where’s the “We love you Adam Laxalt!” tweet, Governor?
Something tells me Lt. Laxalt felt far more secure in a foxhole in Iraq than he does right now with Sandoval, Hutchison, Roberson and Hickey watching his back on Nevada’s political battlefield!
Speaking of which…
As the family and I are on vacation in San Diego at Campland on the Bay (that’s Gia to the right grillin’ up some burgers!), work is not exactly on my daily agenda – though I do have some meetings here scheduled for next week.
However, exposing the ever-pretentious Jon Ralston – Nevada’s #2 liberal blogger and unofficial spokesman for the Nevada Democrat Party – for the diva he is isn’t work.
It’s a calling.
Credit where credit is due: Ralston did get the scoop on Republican attorney general candidate Adam Laxalt’s performance review from his former law firm from two years ago. It was a good “get” and gave his acolytes something to drop to their “we’re not worthy” knees for (he writes ending a sentence with a preposition).
But Ralston’s well-known and deeply-ingrained insecurities began popping up almost immediately after others began reporting on the story he broke.
Laura Myers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on the Laxalt story shortly after by the Perfumed Prince of Electronic Print (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) broke it on his blog (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer). To which Ralston snottily tweeted…
As in, “Look at me, look at me! I broke the story and everyone else is sucking hind teat!”
And so it began…
Ralston’s ruffled feathers again showed up Thursday morning after he slithered out of bed and read the daily newspaper.
“(Las Vegas Sun) story is interesting,” Ralston tapped out on his Twitter account (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer). “No byline. And the Sun ‘obtained an image of Laxalt’s review.’ Explain,” he demanded of political editor Ryan Frank.
“Byline,” for those of you not in the newspaper biz, is the name of the person who wrote the story. In this case the byline for this particular story was simply “Sun Staff.”
And this shows just how uber-sensitive the prickly hyper-liberal blogger (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) is. The very next sentence in the story reads…
“The document was first reported by Jon Ralston.”
So the Sun gave Ralston full credit for breaking the story. But Ralston was still peeved that it didn’t give him, in his own legendary mind, ENOUGH credit.
Apparently, reporting that he first reported about the document without reporting what was obvious to everyone else – that the Sun obtained the image of the document from Ralston’s blog (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) – constituted some kind of ethical lapse on the part of the newspaper.
Pettiness, thy name is Ralston.
“Sure. I wrote it,” Frank replied on Twitter. “I typically use my byline when I do original reporting. In this case, I followed some guy with a political blog,” referring to the blog where Ralston broke the story.
“Ha,” Ralston replied. “Got it. Thanks for responding.”
A little later, Ralston burped up new outrage directed at RJ’s Myers…
“’Newspaper’ via [Laura Myers] taking on job of damage control for [Adam Laxalt]. Story of bad evaluations on 3B.”
You see, Ralston thinks it’s cute and clever to put the word “newspaper” in quotation marks when referring to the RJ – where he used to work before burning that bridge – to infer that it’s not a “real” newspaper because of its generally conservative editorial content.
It’s kinda like referring to Ralston as a “journalist.” But back to the story…
Later in the afternoon, Myers scooped Ralston by publishing a statement from Laxalt’s former law firm which defended Laxalt and undermined the leaked document Ralston originally disclosed. In response, Ralston tweeted (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer)…
“Oh, ‘newspaper.’ [Laura Myers] has no docs that have favorable comments re [Adam Laxalt]. She regurgitated firm release w/o context.”
Which is super-hypocritical since Ralston’s own scoop consisted of a document of unfavorable comments about Laxalt which were spoon-fed to him by a Laxalt opponent which Ralston blogged about (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) without context.
Shortly thereafter, Ralston sniped…
“[Adam Laxalt] news release appears in ‘newspaper’ as ‘news.’”
This poor guy just can’t help himself. Unless the mighty Jon Ralston breaks the news, it ain’t news…especially if it’s favorable to a conservative candidate. What an egomaniac.
The next day, the Ely Times published an interview it had conducted with Laxalt before the evaluation kerfuffle erupted. The interview didn’t mention the evaluation kerfuffle because it obviously was conducted before the evaluation kerfuffle erupted. To which Ralston tweeted (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer)…
“Meanwhile, in Ely, they are charmingly out of touch with what’s going on.”
Yes, unless you’re writing about Ralston’s partisan stink bomb, you are “out of touch.” You see, in Jon Ralston’s magnificently mashable mind it’s ALWAYS about Jon Ralston.
Later in the day Myers again scooped Ralston by publishing a story about Laxalt’s “rave performance reviews” from when he served in Iraq as a judge advocate general (JAG) lawyer. Myers’ story included this snippet…
“Laxalt, who is running for attorney general, released the fitness report and counseling records to counter critical notes leaked from a private law firm, Lewis Roca, where he worked starting in 2011. He was given a harsh job review in fiscal year 2011-12, according to the notes from four attorneys at the firm. His legal skills were called sloppy and inadequate. And he was described as ‘a train wreck’ who needed further training to meet basic legal standards.
“The leak of the notes by Jon Ralston, a blogger and TV host of ‘Ralston Reports,’ damaged both Laxalt’s reputation and his campaign in the Nov. 4 election against Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat and former Clark County prosecutor.”
And that sent Ralston over the edge and into e-rage!
“So now actual firm evaluations are ‘raw notes’ and I am a — wait for it – ‘blogger,’” the liberal blogger (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) tweeted (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer) with a heavy dose of righteous indignation after reading Myers’ story.
To which some liberal tweeting under the name of “WigglyBiggly” inquired of Ralston…
“Cheap shot by [Laura Myers]?”
“Of course,” replied the perpetually perturbed liberal blogger (‘cause no real newspaper in Nevada publishes his screeds any longer). “Also inaccurate, as is ‘raw notes.’ Her three stories have been printing Laxalt news releases.”
Um, duh. News releases don’t become non-news just because they are favorable to a candidate St. Jon opposes and are broken by a real reporter. Indeed, information in defense of Laxalt is every bit news as Ralston’s report on the raw notes (and, um, that’s exactly what they are) he published on Wednesday.
For all his “success,” Jon Ralston is such a small, petty fellow who doesn’t take criticism very well. The fact is he hasn’t been a “journalist” for many, many years. He’s a liberal political advocate.
Oh, and a blogger with a Twitter account.
And that’s exactly what he is. And that’s all he is. Ralston no longer has a “newspaper” column because nobody in Nevada will publish the Prickly Purveyor of Pap. As such, our legend-in-his-own-mind not only regularly lashes out at conservative activists who expose his partisan bias, but real journalists such as Laura Myers who write for real newspapers.
Back to Campland on the Bay, where I fully intend to beat my two lovely daughters - Jenna (left) & Kristen (right) - and make out like a bandit at this afternoon’s Candy Bar Bingo tournament!
Enjoy your misery, Jonny Boy.