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Did I miss anything?

So, I was off last week, taking the last of my use-it-or-lose it vacation days. Did anything big happen while I was away? Oh, I see that it did.

• Nevada’s own Dirty Harriet, aka Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, did her best to show the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education that Nevada was still the wild, wild west. “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them,” Fiore told the Times. “The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”

Whoa! Slow down there Annie Oakley! First of all, since rape is crime of violence and power, sexual predators are probably eying the older girls, too. And since rapists are criminals and sexual predators, I’m pretty sure they will always want to assault their victims, regardless of potential consequences, including death by bullet to the head.

But yes, if a sexual predator targets an armed, young, hot little girl, and if that young hot little girl is proficient not only in firearm retention but combat shooting, and if she manages to draw and present her weapon without being overpowered and having it turned against her and if she’s a really good shot and puts a round in her would-be attacker’s head, and if her attacker isn’t also armed under campus-carry laws, then perhaps yes, at least that one particular sexual assault will have been prevented.

There are, of course, myriad other possibilities: She’s attacked and can’t get to her gun. Her attacker overpowers her and uses the gun to effectuate his crime. A campus police officer comes across a female suspect who has just shot a male and shoots the woman without realizing she’s an innocent victim defending herself from her crime. Other armed students make that same mistake. And so on.

My favorite line, however, had to be the one Fiore gave to the Chronicle of Higher Education, however, describing where she conceals her compact Kahr firearm: “It’s a hot, sleek, sexy 9mm gun. Actually, what’s great is it fits between your thighs in a thigh holster.”

I’m insulted! I remember years ago when Fiore first told me about that thigh holster! I thought I was the only journalist in whom she confided that little tidbit (well, me and former 8NewsNow photojournalist Alex Brauer, who was present). But it turns out Fiore tosses that line out to anybody, literally anybody, even a guy from the Chronicle for Higher Education!

And here I thought I was special…

• The American Gaming Association and immigration activists “welcomed” Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to town, where he came to sign copies of his book. (Is it just me or should every counter-Rubio event feature activists offering bottled water to the candidate?) Local immigration activists asked him about the issue, and he said at a brief news conference that Republicans should back away from a confrontation with the president over the Department of Homeland Security funding.

But the AGA’s welcome was a little more subtle: “We welcome Senator Rubio, a former Nevadan, to Las Vegas ahead of a potential campaign in which he would seek the votes of hundreds of thousands of gaming employees,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “We look forward to beginning a conversation with Senator Rubio and other potential presidential candidates about the path to the middle class gaming jobs are providing to voters in Nevada, Florida and other battleground states across the country.”

Translated: Hey, Rubio. You’d best make nice with gambling companies here and at home, or your fundraising and grassroots support in our money-rich industry will dry up faster than your mouth on national TV!

Yeah, I know. But I’ve been off for a week, so give me a little time to get back into the groove.

• Anybody remember those old Swanson Hungry Man TV dinners, the ones in the aluminum tray that you warmed up in the oven? The entree was in the big section, with your mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables in smaller sections, and a little brownie or apple pie for dessert up top?

Well, Nevada lawmakers would do well to remember that they shouldn’t eat their brownie or apple pie before they’ve finished their vegetables. And you’d think a physician such as Dr. Robin Titus, R-Wellington, would know that! But instead of concentrating on running roughshod over Democrats with bills to screw construction defect trial lawyers, disenfranchise voters without identification cards, make sure people can carry guns into elementary schools and college classrooms and strip construction workers of their prevailing wages, Titus is working to … make sure Nevada has an official dance.

Oh, that’s right: Assembly Bill 123 would designate the square dance as the official dance of Nevada. And while everybody made the obvious jokes — shouldn’t it be the pole dance, or the lap dance? — here’s a less-obvious point: Why are we even talking about this when there’s still serious business to be done?

From now on, there should be a new rule: Any bill to designate the official state anything, or to create a new license plate, or mint a new coin, or do anything not directly related to passing a budget or moving a policy bill, can only be taken up after all budget and policy bills have been debated and passed. Think of it like this: It will give lawmakers something to do in those hours while real bills are being hammered out in conference committees and reprinted before final votes take place in the closing days of the session.

Call it the Swanson Rule.

• State Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, is a smart guy. But for some reason he tried hard to hide that fact when penning this Review-Journal op-ed piece on construction defect reform. In it, he contends that the HOA fraud scandal that’s been the subject of a wide-ranging, years-long FBI investigation proves that construction defect laws have to be reformed.

But let’s be honest about what happened there: People conspired to intentionally defraud the system. They stacked HOA boards with co-conspirators, who voted to sue homebuilders over non-existent defects, throwing legal work and “repair” contracts to the masterminds of the scheme. It was criminal fraud, and the perpetrators are slowly being brought to justice. Those crimes no more obviate legitimate cases of construction defects than insurance fraud lawsuits augur for a ban on lawsuits forcing insurance companies to right legitimate wrongs. Brower must know that.

Oh, and by the way: We know about the HOA fraud scandal in the first place because the system worked exactly as designed; crimes were committed, federal agents investigated those crimes and the United States government prosecuted them. Sounds like justice to me.

• The city of Henderson repealed a particularly onerous media policy that said employees who speak to the press without permission could face discipline up to and including termination. Although the city initially defended the rule, City Manager Jacob Snow ultimately said he’d not read that portion of the policy when he signed off on it, and the city attorney hadn’t seen it, either.

So, it wasn’t so much a case of cracking down on reporters as it was bureaucratic ineptitude? As a resident of Henderson, I feel so, so much better…

• U.S. Sen. Dean Heller continued his what-passes-for-charm offensive, calling Gov. Brian Sandoval an “A-plus” candidate to run against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid next year. Heller, speaking on “Nevada Newsmakers,” which is a TV show, Heller laid it on thick, according to Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal:

“He is our ‘A-plus’ candidate, let me say that. He is our ‘A-plus’ candidate,” Heller said.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t have ‘A’ candidates and ‘B’ candidates out there. But there is no doubt, Gov. Sandoval is our ‘A-plus’ candidate.”

Got that, all non-Sandoval candidates? If Sandoval takes a pass on the race, as he has indicated he will, then at best, you are just an “A” candidate, and for sure a second choice. So says a vice chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee!

Whew! That’s a lot of news. I’d better not take any more time off, because catching up is a pain.

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