Reid gives Ensign some light reading

Santa Claus brought Sen. John Ensign an early present last week: the collected works of Al Franken.

The books were a gag gift Wednesday from Sen. Harry Reid at the annual holiday party the senators share for their staffs.

Franken, the comedian-and-writer-turned-politician, is haunting Ensign as the last Democrat still in contention to take a Senate seat away from Republicans this year. There were seven others.

But for the recount in Franken’s race in Minnesota against incumbent Norm Coleman, the book could be closed on Ensign’s two-year tenure as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Reid told Ensign the books would keep him company on long and lonely flights between Nevada and Washington.

The set contained five books, including Democrat faves “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and other Observations” and “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.”

A Reid aide pointed out the books were purchased brand new and were not bought used on Amazon.com.

It seems turnabout is fair play: Last year Ensign gave Reid a chunk of coal for Christmas, a reference to the Democrat’s ongoing crusade against coal-fired power plants.

PASSED UP

Incoming Rep. Dina Titus is expected to learn her committee assignments early in the new year. But her first choice is no longer available.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced new Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the Ways and Means Committee and the Appropriations Committee.

Those are considered the most powerful and desired assignments, and the hardest for a freshman to crack. Sure enough, there was no first-termer among the eight new members of the Energy and Commerce Committee that the Nevadan had requested.

Titus spokesman Andrew Stoddard said she always knew the Energy and Commerce panel, which handles issues as diverse as public health care, nuclear waste and tourism, would be a stretch. He said Titus remains hopeful of getting seated on a combination of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and Labor Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee.

ON THE TICKET?

Last month’s line on Sen. John Ensign: The Nevadan would be marginalized after Republicans lost seven seats on his watch as chairman of the party’s Senate campaign committee.

This month’s line on Sen. John Ensign: The Nevadan is an up-and-comer who might be “formidable” as a Republican vice presidential candidate.

Yes, the conventional wisdom in Washington does change that fast.

Nevada’s junior senator, who is 50, was the subject of much conjecture as the campaign committee he headed struggled through this year’s elections, outrecruited by Democrats and outspent by them as well.

Still, he survived, and emerged with a prize after Election Day. He was unchallenged in getting elected by colleagues to a post higher up in leadership. He now heads the Republican Policy Committee in the Senate.

Last Wednesday, a profile in Congress Daily, an arm of the respected National Journal, took Ensign even further. It looked ahead and saw a possible national future for him. It said “some Democrats acknowledge that Ensign might be formidable as a vice presidential candidate, especially coupled with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.”

“I think the way Nevada has gone, Ensign’s setting himself up to be a VP candidate one day,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was quoted musing.

In an effort to revive Nevada’s shattered Republicans, it said Ensign already has held “grow the party discussions” with officials in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, and also with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “who may have 2012 presidential ambitions.”

Ensign did not respond to the new speculation. The senator “is flattered to be mentioned, but his focus remains on representing his constituents across the state of Nevada,” his spokesman said.

CAN I TELL IT LIKE IT IS?

Gov. Jim Gibbons told a group of his fellow Republicans Saturday that he remains committed to not raising taxes.

However, he does plan to put one tax hike in the budget he submits next month: the 3 percentage point increase in hotel room taxes that voters in Clark and Washoe counties advised last month.

“I’m sure it will be (in the budget), because that’s part of what I’ve always said: If voters approve an increase in taxes, then I will accede to the voters’ request,” Gibbons said in an interview at the state GOP Central Committee meeting in Las Vegas that he addressed Saturday morning. “But I will not raise a tax on my own, nor will I let a small number of elected officials dictate that a tax will be increased. It has to be the people who pay the tax.”

Asked if the people paying the room tax weren’t mostly tourists rather than Nevada voters, Gibbons said they were both.

“I’m a state resident of Nevada,” he said. “If I go stay in a hotel, which I do all the time, I get charged this room tax. I’m a citizen of this state. I’m paying taxes. I had a chance to vote on it. If the voters of this state who also pay that tax, not just the mythical tourists coming across, they should be the ones who approve it.”

Gibbons also was asked who he had meant when he said in his speech, “I just don’t understand these state leaders who run around the state of Nevada, with certain news crews in tow, calling for higher taxes here, higher taxes there, and get away with it.”

Who was he talking about?

“I’m not going to name them specifically, because I don’t think I need to,” Gibbons said.

Pressed further, he said they might not be elected officials.

Pressed further, he cited the teachers union: “Isn’t that a state leader? He’s the head of a state teachers union, and he is calling for raising taxes.”

Because of his refusal to name names, it’s not clear whom Gibbons was referring to. The president of the state teachers union, Lynne Warne, is a woman.

In his speech at the Sahara, where about 120 GOP stalwarts from across the state met to do party business and hear words of encouragement, Gibbons told Republicans not to be discouraged by the election. Rather, he said, they should “lift our head back up, help set the goal and pride in our party to bring our state into the 21st century.”

Quoting a Crosby, Stills and Nash song lyric (from “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”: “Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now”), Gibbons advocated looking to the future.

“I trust we will see that economic recovery, and I promise you that the government that you know today will not look like the government you see tomorrow. Don’t worry. That economic recovery will come.”

In reports from party officials, Republicans at the meeting learned that only 22 percent of Central Committee members are reachable by e-mail and that the party still is carrying more than $100,000 in debt, most of it left over from January’s caucuses.

Former state Sen. Joe Heck, defeated for re-election last month, told the group he was confident Nov. 4 was an “Obamanomaly” that would not recur, and said he was eagerly planning for the next election in 2010.

Heck’s speech, advocating a return to core conservative values and a de-emphasis of divisive social issues, sounded like the words of someone running for office. But he said for now he is only focused on “working for the Republican Party.”

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

ad-high_impact_4
News
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skate Park
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skate park at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
Endangered Devils Hole Pupfish numbers enough for concern, but not panic
Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Death Valley National Park came together at Devils Hole, about 90 miles west of Las Vegas, for a biannual count of the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endangered species. Their count this time – 87. (Video by Patrick Connolly)
Hickey Elementary Students Put Harry Potter on Trial
Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School students learned how the judicial system works by putting Harry Potter on trial for the illegal use of magic.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
The Clark County Museum Turns 50 This Month
The Clark County Museum has an extensive collection, dating back to prehistoric times in Southern Nevada up through the present day. It was first established in April 1968 and has had several locations before it's current home on South Boulder Highway.
Route 91 Artifacts Will Be On Display This October
Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton explains what artifacts will be on display in October as part of the museums Route 91 shooting memorial exhibit called "How We Mourned."
Bullet grazes woman's head
Las Vegas police investigating calls of a shooting early Friday morning found a woman who suffered a wound to her head. A bullet grazed the woman's head while she was inside her Village Square apartment on Nellis Oasis Lane. She did not have to be hospitalized, and police said she might have been an "unintended" victim. The shooting occurred around 4 a.m. Police are looking for the shooter.
Aces Host Draft Party
The Las Vegas Aces host a WNBA draft party at the Mandalay Bay for season-ticket holders, and have the number one overall pick.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Transgender Man Running for Assembly District 42
U.S. Army veteran La Don Henry is hoping to become Nevada’s first openly transgender state legislator.
Erik Weihenmayer is the First Blind Person to Summit Mount Everest
Erik Weihenmayer talks about how he first got into mountaineering in 1995 with the ascent of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and what he loves about climbing.
New Theater Coming to Neonopolis
Ken Henderson explains his concept for Notoriety, a 57,000-square-foot theater complex on the third floor of Neonopolis intended to host comedy, music and theater acts.
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like