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If you’re not checking out the local blogs on reviewjournal.com, here’s just a sample of what you’ve been missing:


Did you want fries with that stock certificate?

From gaming columnist Howard Stutz:

Let’s say you have a few discretionary dollars burning a hole in your pocket. Would you treat yourself to a little something or buy a share of stock in a Nevada gaming company?

Here are a few comparisons between something small and casino shares based on Friday’s closing prices from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq National Market. Remember, a year ago gaming industry share prices ranged from the mid $50s to upwards of $149 a share. Girl Scout cookies are tasty and cost just $3.50 a box, the same as one share of MGM Mirage. Note: The ingredients used for the Girl Scouts’ "Peanut Butter Patties" are not part of the nationwide peanut butter recall. However, Friday’s announcement that MGM Mirage was drawing $842 million from its credit facilities caused credit rating services to recall their recommendations for the company’s bonds.

Are you craving a Starbucks venti Cappuccino? It will cost you $3.85, paid for nicely by one share of Boyd Gaming Corp. ($4.25), and will even leave you with some change for the friendly barista.

Looking for a Sunday Review-Journal to go with that coffee? You’ll need 22 cents and one share of Las Vegas Sands Corp. ($2.28) to cover the $2.50 cost. The friendly teenagers selling the paper outside grocery stores will thank you.

Hungry? One share of Bally Technologies ($18.60) will easily buy a family of three each a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, fries and a medium drink ($4.99 per meal deal). There will even be a few dollars left over for a round of McFlurries.

Lastly, do you want to check out the late Heath Ledger’s Academy Award winning performance in "The Dark Knight"? A share of Wynn Resorts ($20.95) will buy a copy of the DVD from Amazon.com ($18.99), but you may need to kick in a little bit more above the left over $1.96 to cover shipping and handling costs.

Happy shopping.

For more, go to www.lvrj.com/blogs/stutz/.


Obama plan for Iraq cribbed from McCain

From Publisher Sherman Frederick:

It is ironic to witness President Obama squirm when Democrats see the president’s plan to leave troops in Iraq indefinitely as a betrayal of a core campaign promise.

You will remember that it was candidate Obama who twisted the words of John McCain who had said he’d have no problem leaving soldiers in Iraq for 100 years so long as they were not in harm’s way, like in Germany, Japan and Korea. Obama made McCain’s statement a part of his stock campaign speech. Obama made it sound as if McCain was a warmonger in favor of an indefinite war in Iraq and that he was the candidate who would get us out of Iraq lock, stock and barrel.

Now fast-forward to today. Obama announces that the bulk of the troops will leave Iraq in 18 months, but a sizable military presence will remain for the foreseeable future. (This, BTW, is the McCain plan and it is a prudent path. We need Iraq to succeed.)

PBS anchor Jim Lehrer last week asked Obama about the discrepancy and a miffed Obama said anyone who thought he was going to get completely out of Iraq "just wasn’t listening."

A bit sensitive, I’d say. And certainly not an intellectually honest response.

For more, go to www.lvrj.com/blogs/sherm/.


Liberal mag dines on one of its own: Harry

From columnist Jane Ann Morrison:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is taking it on the chin once again from a liberal, rather than a conservative, publication. The latest issue of Mother Jones features an in-depth piece on the senator and the state’s mining industry.

The piece by Josh Harkinson sparked a lively exchange in the comments section between the author and the National Mining Association’s spokeswoman.

The senator from Searchlight is lambasted for blocking federal changes to the 1872 Mining Law which, according to Mother Jones, has allowed miners to take gold worth $408 billion from public lands without ever paying federal royalties.

The article said that since 1872, mining companies have been exempted from paying at least $100 billion in royalties, taxes and fair land prices. "It is the last great boondoggle for companies in the West," says Cathy Carlson, a policy adviser at the mining watchdog Earthworks.

Well at least Reid isn’t blamed for writing the law, but he’s thwacked repeatedly for protecting it and thus protecting the mining industry.

For more, go to www.lvrj.com/blogs/morrison/.

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