I am not sure why it is, but Las Vegas has never really enjoyed a good political show on any of the major commercial television stations.
There have been some efforts. They were either tips of the hat to the FCC for "public service" or they were so bad they never found a significant audience.
There are, no doubt, many reasons for this absence of good political commentary shows. May I suggest one: No one show here shoots for the mainstream middle-right of Nevada. Every one I have seen shoots to be an MSNBC clone. I also think -- and I am making a big generalizing here -- most of the political commentary folks resent living in Nevada.
I know some of my friends will challenge me on that. And that's fine. But I see a distinct thread in Nevada television commentary that seems to distrust the state's big industries -- mining and gaming -- and generally put down where Nevada is today as a state. These commentators treat their audience like children and Nevada like a backward state that gets what it deserves. Nevada, they seem to say, needs to look to California, to New York, etc.
But I say Nevada is Nevada. It's a good place with an ethic all its own in America. It's patriotic. It's independent. It can be liberal on some things. It can be conservative on others. It values faith. It values liberty. There's nothing the matter with any of that.
Nevada isn't perfect, of course. But let's start the political discussion with the understanding that Nevada's not chopped liver, either.
The fact is that in the bigger picture of liberal and conservative (Please note I am not saying "Democrat" and "Republican") Nevada is a fairly conservative state.
Yet very few political discussions I see on local television include fiscal conservatives, social conservatives (unless it for the purpose of making fun of them), business people, religious people, ranchers, miners, etc.
Believe me, if some local station stood apart from the liberal herd to produce a more "fair and balanced" roundtable on public affairs they'd find some good talent on the local scene. I can think of four local radio types who each could pull that kind of discussion. Or there's the young Mr. Glenn Cook at the Review-Journal with the kind of conservative perspective that too many television stations either ignore or treat as if it were a circus oddity.
Local TV ought to at least try a thoughtful conservative-right political commentary show. I believe they would find a receptive audience.
PS: Or look at it this way: No matter bad it is, it could not be worse that what we have.
Social Security numbers? Really?
It's still hard to believe how boneheaded the Obama Administration was in setting up Healthcare.gov. Here's the launch of what is supposed to be the centerpiece of the Obama reign, and one of the first things they do is require citizens to enter their Social Security Number to the site.
To compound it, the administration was warned before the site launch that the website was unstable and could result in the compromise of confidential information.
But in it's usual reckless fashion the O-Team went ahead anyway.
The website crashed and it is unknown whether any of the unsuspecting folks who put their SSNs in the website will later find them misused.
It does us no good that the Obama Administration now tells us it's reversing its course on the SSN requirement, or that it has now (NOW?) put its "best and brightest" on the rollout mess to have it ship-shape by Dec. 1.
You get one chance at a first impression. And for millions of people, the first impression of Obamacare was one of incompetence.
But if there is one thing that epitomizes this whole mess, it is the idea that Team Obama thought it was a good idea to have citizens divulge their SSNs on an untested website.
This tells us in a tangible way that the people in the "Give-Government-A-Chance" Obama Administration don't really understand the real world. We are warned day-in and day-out to protect our SSNs. Don't give them out over the phone or to websites. Yet this administration required it before you could even look at the health care options.
This administration passes one brain fart after another and we're told to simply sit back and enjoy the smell.
Forgive us, Father ...
I'm sure Barrack Obama doesn't know anything about this because, after all, he doesn't know anything about anything, but an Italian magazine now reports that the Obama government tapped the phone of Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he was elected Pope.
The information, according to Panorama, was divided into four categories -- leadership intentions, threats to financial system, foreign policy objectives and human rights.
So now we're spying on the Pope? Man, it's getting tougher by the day to defend this president and policies and his actions.
'The website never crashed'
In one of the funnier moments of the week, just before Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress about the failed rollout of Healthcare.gov, the website crashed.
The website remained down throughout Sebelius' testimony even as she said that at no time did the website ever "crash".
"It is functional," she said, "but at a very slow speed and very low reliability."
Wow? Where do we get these kinds of public servants? I'd blame Kansas for Sebelius, but my home state gives the nation Sen. Harry Reid. I have no place to talk.
Frederick Fact: After a certain age if you wake up without pain, you're dead. (Apologies to James Michener for the paraphrase.)