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Scene and Herd on the Campaign Trail

The Las Vegas Business Press reports that “premiums for certain types of health insurance have started to escalate more rapidly than in recent years even though very few parts of (ObamaCare) have gone into effect.” Gee, who’d of ever predicted THAT would happen?

State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse (D-Henderson) recently said that because of the budget crunch every governmental expense will have to be justified and that we “need to reshape state government to make it as efficient as it can be.”

Funny. Fiscal conservatives have been saying the same things since, well, forever. But when they say it, they’re called “radicals” and “extremists.” Go figure.

Meanwhile, the Nevada Division of Forestry has received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to give away 2,500 free water-eating trees for non-profit groups to plant in the Clark County desert, as well as $30,000 to fund “tree care classes for Spanish-speaking green-industry workers.”

I thought that budget-busting “stimulus” bill was supposed to create jobs by funding “shovel-ready” public works projects to fix roads and bridges and other infrastructure stuff?

According to a recent newspaper report, “Nevadans involved in the long repository battle” over Yucca Mountain say that for a state to accept the project, “the feds will need to bring serious cash and perks to the table.”

Examples cited include: “At least $2.5 billion a year. A national laboratory or other prestigious research park. Substantial input on safety matters. Plus, a governor would need to be given the ability to kill the deal at almost any time.”

That said, Bruce Breslow, executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, still declared that Nevada – facing an alleged $3 billion budget crunch and the highest unemployment rate in the nation – wouldn’t be interested in the project at any price.

And some people still wonder why and how we’re in the fiscal pickle we’re in?

I found it interesting that the Nevada Republican Party declared it had achieved “unity” after last weekend’s state convention even though almost none of the losing candidates in the GOP primary bothered to show up to what was billed as the party’s Unity Dinner. In addition, the state’s top three elected officials – Sen. John Ensign, Gov. Jim Gibbons and Rep. Dean Heller – were AWOL from the convention.

I guess it all depends on your definition of “unity.”

And finally, are there any other nominations for “Dumbest Legislative Proposal of the Year” – or can we just avoid the Christmas rush and give it to state Sen. Mike Schneider (D-Las Vegas) for his ridiculous proposal to mandate that auto repair shops check your tire pressure under penalty of law?

Thanks to term-limits, next year will be Sen. Nanny State’s last session. I guess maybe term limits aren’t so bad after all.