Adelson involvement in issue not worthy of mention in his newspaper

The Wall Street Journal had a front page story recently about how the Justice Department has reversed course on its 2011 opinion that the 1960s Wire Act prohibited only online sports betting and not other forms of online gambling. The paper said the change “hewed closely to arguments made by lobbyists for casino magnate and top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson.”

WSJ reporters compared a memo sent to Justice by Adelson lawyers in April 2017 to the new opinion handed down in November and found the new opinion arguments similar to those in the memo. “Both writings pointed to some of the same case law examples,” the report said.

Adelson has spent millions of dollars campaigning to change the government’s interpretation of the law and spent tens of millions supporting Donald Trump’s presidential election bid. Adelson’s company has long argued that online gambling would hurt revenue at established casinos.

Today the Las Vegas newspaper also has a story on this topic.

“Now that Nevada has a law allowing interstate online poker, regulators will have to re-examine what that means under the new interpretation,” the story says. “Is it illegal and thus banned? Will Nevada’s laws be grandfathered in?”

But nowhere does it mention Adelson’s well known campaign against online betting, nor is there an italicized disclaimer at the end noting the Adelson family owns the paper.

Sheldon Adelson (John Locher AP pix via WSJ)

 

The rest of the story …

The Las Vegas newspaper carried about a quarter of Scott Sonner’s AP story about the new corral on the California-Nevada border that might allow the Forest Service sell more than 250 wild horses for slaughter.

For the rest of the story, go to the Elko Daily Free  Press.

There you will learn, no surprise, that a couple of self-styled horse hugger groups have already sued to try to prevent any slaughter.

“A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 in federal court in San Francisco on a motion filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and American Wild Horse Campaign seeking an injunction to block the sale of the horses captured in the Modoc National Forest in October and November for possible slaughter. The new pen is in the forest, about 170 miles northwest of Reno,” AP relates

Wild horses being warehoused at Palomino Valley near Reno. (Photo by Jo Mitchell)

Horse slaughterhouses are prohibited in the U.S. but are legal in Mexico and Canada.
The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act states: “The Secretary shall cause additional excess wild free-roaming horses and burros for which an adoption demand by qualified individuals does not exist to be destroyed in the most humane and cost efficient manner possible.”

But every federal budget since 2009, has stated, “Appropriations herein made shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”

The Forest Service has argued that the new pen in the Modoc National Forest allows it to bypass such restrictions at existing federal holding pens.
“The agency denies claims by horse advocates it has made up its mind to sell the more than 250 horses for slaughter,” Sonner writes. “But it also says it may have no choice because of the high cost of housing the animals and continued ecological impacts it claims overpopulated herds are having on federal rangeland.”
Justice Department lawyers were quoted as saying, “What has changed is that the Modoc now has its own short-term holding facility … which is not subject to congressional restrictions.”
The range is overpopulated and the market for wild horse adoptions is dwindling, but the horse huggers continue to litigate while the horses starve on the range and cost $50 million a year to warehouse.

Editorial: Keeping taxes low will keep Nevada prosperous

Welcome to Nevada

It is called voting with your feet.

From July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, Nevada’s population grew by 62,000 people to more than 3 million — a growth rate of 2.09 percent, the fastest in the nation. This included a net migration of 48,000 people 

Many of them came from neighboring California, with its high taxes, high housing costs and burdensome regulations.

So, let that be a lessen to our newly elected Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Democratic majorities in the state Senate and Assembly, which will be in session in a matter of weeks. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the eight fastest-growing states by population last year were Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Washington, Colorado and Texas. What do these states have in common? Relatively low taxes and business friendly government policies, a Journal editorial noted. Nevada, Texas, Washington and Florida have no income tax, for example. 

Then there is California. Since 2010, a net 710,000 people have left California for other states.

High-tax states Illinois and Connecticut have actually lost population as people flee.

According to the Tax Foundation’s latest figures, California has the 10th highest state and local tax burden in the nation at $5,842 per capita. This compares to Nevada’s rank of 29nd at $4,099 per capita. It should be noted that three years earlier, prior to some recent Republican-backed tax hikes, Nevada ranked 43rd lowest. 

In an article in The Wall Street Journal in 2009 under the headline, “Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich,” economist Arthur Laffer and WSJ economics writer Stephen Moore updated previous studies and found that from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day of the year relocated from the nine highest income-tax states — such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio — mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax — including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas.

Laffer and Moore determined that over that period of time the no-income tax states created 89 percent more jobs and had 32 percent faster personal income growth than the high-tax states.

“Dozens of academic studies — old and new — have found clear and irrefutable statistical evidence that high state and local taxes repel jobs and businesses,” Laffer and Moore concluded.

Federalism allows the states to compete for prosperity. Let’s hope our lawmakers take heed and act accordingly.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Care you don’t get doesn’t cost as much

Do the math.

Medicare or Medicaid for All really means no care for anyone.

An editorial in the morning newspaper makes that abundantly clear. Using the stats from a recent news story, the screed relates that the charge for neonatal intensive care at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is $14,815 per day per baby, but Medicaid, which is used by 70 percent of the families with such infants, pays only $1,487.

The CEO of Sunrise told the paper the underpayments cost the hospital $77 million this past year.

As the paper’s local political columnist points out on the cover of the opinion section, 20 percent of Nevadans are now on Medicaid. Imagine what will happened when that is increased to 100 percent?

A recent George Mason University’s Mercatus Center study found the Medicare for All plan amount to a roughly 40 percent cut across the board in payments to doctors and hospitals. With rural hospitals already going out of business, image how many more would have to close and how many doctors would retire or change professions.

About this time a year ago, the British socialized health system was forced to cancel 50,000 non-emergency surgeries due to hospital overcrowding. Emergency room waits were said to be as long as 12 hours.

Care you don’t get doesn’t cost as much.

A year ago the British government-run National Health Service abruptly canceled 50,000 nonemergency surgeries due to overcrowding at hospitals. (AP Photo)

‘How?’ is the question left unanswered

The basics of reporting: Who, what, where, when, why and how.

Who: Inmate Scott Dozier.

What: Committed suicide.

Where: In his cell.

When: 4:35 p.m.

Why: Had threatened suicide before.

How: Under investigation.

That’s the “how,” according to the morning newspaper, as reported in the 23rd paragraph of the front page story.

Just about every other news outlet, including The Nevada Independent, reported he was found hanging from a bedsheet tied to an air vent in his cell in Ely State Prison.

Scott Dozier (AP pix)

‘Find me candidates who believe in real conservative principles’?

One-note Root today offers his solution to the 2018 Republican election rout.

One can’t argue with his premise that Gov. Brian Sandoval did not live up to his election promises. Instead, he shepherded though the largest tax increase in state history to pay for the highest budget; pushed through the commerce tax on businesses; expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare; allowed illegals aliens to get driver’s licenses; and bailed on school choice.

But Root’s solution is:

Find me candidates who believe in real conservative principles and who know how to proudly and loudly sell that message, and I’ll show you a Nevada that is painted Republican red again. That’s a Christmas message of hope for the Nevada GOP.

Well, they don’t get any more conservative than Bob Beers, who lost the race for state treasurer to an unknown, much less-qualified Democrat. The same could be said for Ron Knecht, who lost his controller re-election bid, and Wes Duncan, who lost his bid for attorney general. And, yes, Adam Laxalt had said he would try to repeal the commerce tax and as attorney general defended conservative principles and values. He lost to a tax-loving Democrat. We’ll skip over tax-hiker Michael Roberson.

Root’s solution has already failed. What now, one-note Root?

Election analysis goes astray

Yes, the election was all about the unions turning out for Democrats in Clark County en masse. Yes, Trump overshadowed all the statewide Nevada races.

But can you believe the last graphs of the front page story in the morning paper?:

But many agree that to compete with Democrats, Republicans need to do better at being more positive and inclusive, with tighter focuses on more traditional fiscal conservative issues like job creation and wage growth as opposed to social issues.

That kind of messaging became the hallmark of outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval’s eight years in office, and Sandoval’s popularity with both parties remains high as he prepares to hand the office off to Sisolak.

(Republican political consultant Greg) Ferraro said Sandoval’s style should be emulated by Republicans if they want to match his political triumphs.

Sandoval was popular with both parties? The “Republican” governor who pushed through in 2015 the biggest tax hike in history, a tax hike that included a commerce tax, which had been rejected by 79 percent of voters just months earlier? We’re not sure how popular he was with his own party, much less Democrats.

Emulate Sandoval, who did not endorse his own party’s candidate for governor, probably because he had advocated repealing the commerce tax? Sandoval who was AWOL at most Republican functions?

Who are the many who agree? What social issues? The Republicans in the statewide races were almost exclusively about job creation and wage growth through fewer regulations and lower taxes.

Bottom line: It was all about the liberal union turnout in the urban areas. Republicans may have talked about avoiding Californication, but it is too late. It is here and now.

(Footnote: Recently the morning paper posted a breaking news story online on a Friday afternoon but did not get around to printing it until Monday. The story mentioned above appeared in print on the front page, but searches online turned up nothing. Right hand, meet the left hand. It showed up online just before 10 a.m.)

The late posted online version adds an additional paragraph:

“I think Republicans would be wise to look at the success of the Sandoval brand going forward, which was a message of inclusion, either bipartisan or nonpartisan or both, and practical not political,” Ferraro said. “One that appeals to Nevadans in a message of Nevada first.”

What the hell does that mean?