Why is this man smiling? Because it’s time for the Friday Slashback!

Electric cars, switching offices, an indictment that’s bad for Nevada and something worse than a lack of humility. This can only be the Friday Slashback!

• This doesn’t look good: So the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) wants us all to drive electric cars. But instead of doing what you’d expect — designing and building a safe, reliable and affordable electric car that can drive longer distances between rechargings — the group is calling on government to help.

From the Review-Journal report by reporter Sean Whaley:

“Nevada does not yet have the policy infrastructure to support mass deployment of electric vehicles,” said Mike Salisbury, author of the report, “Economic and Air Quality Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Nevada,” which includes state policy recommendations. “Several state policies that have proven themselves in other states are needed in Nevada.”

The report calls for state electrical vehicle (EV) policies that provide rebates for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle, deregulate utility electricity sales so that charging stations can sell electricity as a fuel, update Nevada codes to allow local governments to finance fleet purchases of the vehicles from fuel savings and charge an EV registration fee to support road maintenance and charging stations.

“We hope to get the conversation started with this report,” Salisbury said. “There is a lot of potential to push the market forward in Nevada.”

Now, one could ask the question of why we never have to “push the market forward in Nevada” for items that people actually want to buy, such as cheeseburgers, iPhones or, hell, regular gasoline-burning, internal-combustion cars. One could also ask the question of whether it’s a good idea to empty state coffers by sending a thank-you check to people who buy electric cars, which are generally more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

I’m just glad that there’s no requirement for Nevada residents to buy an electric car, say the $35,000 Tesla Model 3. Seriously, the Legislature just got done with a special session that gave Tesla pretty much everything else the company wanted in exchange for a big battery factory near Reno; why wouldn’t the state create a guaranteed market for the cars, too?

But seriously, SWEEP: Most people are concerned about the environment, and will do what they can to help, if the requests are reasonable. If there were better, less expensive electric cars that did what people wanted them to do, we’d buy them. Work on that, huh?

• Personal to “Cliven” in Bunkerville: If you want freedom, you’ve got to take the commensurate personal responsibility, bro. That’s how it works.

• It’s not just a title. It’s a whole bunch of stuff! A political squabble erupted this week, when state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson declared that his Democratic rivals in the upper house were “incompetent” and didn’t deserve to be in charge any more. “I regularly scratch my head and wonder what are these 11 individuals thinking,” Roberson said.

Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis shot back that Roberson just wants to be in charge, which of course he does! “This is just another desperate attempt by Michael Roberson to move his way up the political ladder,” Denis said. “He is willing to do and say anything if it means he gets a bigger title in front of his name.”

But that really doesn’t cover it. It’s not just a bigger title. It’s a much nicer office! Seriously, Denis’ suite of offices is located on the first floor, just steps from the Senate floor, and features a nice conference room and a secret back door that’s useful when you’re trying to avoid reporters hanging out in your lobby. (I’m not sure if the Senate side has this, but I’ve heard the Assembly speaker’s office has a private bathroom with a shower! Now that’s power!)

Roberson’s office? It’s much smaller and you have to go upstairs to get to it. Who wouldn’t want the majority leader’s title!

Not only that, but you get a bigger say in picking the staff that runs things in the Senate, you get to assign offices to other lawmakers (so if somebody has angered you, they get the worst office in the building!) and you get to sit right in the middle of the action on the Senate floor.

Oh, also, you get to assign committee chairmanships and control the flow of legislation. That’s kind of a nice perk, too.

• Personal to “Michael” in Henderson: You should really debate your opponent if you’re running for office. It’s the right thing to do. Remember, you can’t get the big office if you don’t do the work!

• It’s not our fault! Look, can we help it if Las Vegas is awesome? Can we help that we have some of the best resorts on the planet? The nicest, tastiest restaurants with some of the top celebrity chefs in the world? Free-flowing drinks 24/7, gambling whenever you want it, and great weather, too?

I mean, sure, yes, we did hire some of the best pros in the industry to coordinate conventions, which has made us a global destination for people wanting to do business. But that’s a good thing. We’re just trying to create jobs, OK?

But now, due to no fault of our own, all that gets tarnished, because some guy at the General Services Administration decided to go overboard on a convention and ended up getting himself indicted. Thanks a lot, Jeffrey Neely. Now every single federal government official with the power to schedule conferences is going to be totally gun shy about coming to Las Vegas, even if we are the best bargain for the money of any other place.

Yes, I know Nevada’s congressional delegation has inserted language into law that says you can’t boycott a particular city. But unless those officials are stupid enough to write a memo with the subject of “There’s no way in hell we can hold our meeting in Las Vegas!” it’s doubtful you could ever really prove there’s a boycott in place.

You know what this calls for? A giant, government-wide training session designed to show people that our city is a great financial deal as well as a place to have all kinds of crazy fun. And you know what? We can totally do that for you, feds! How’s December look for you? We could probably book you into the MGM Grand that month…

• Personal to “Mark” in Washington, D.C.: No, it’s not racist to release a statement saying “Thank you” in response to the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder. But it does make you look like a bit of a jerk. Let your conscience be your guide.

• How come people when people are arrested for engaging in First Amendment-protected activity, they have to go to jail, sometimes for several days, before things get straightened out? But then, when it’s determined that those arrests were improper, the officers who made the improper arrests are never themselves subject to arrest for violations of constitutional rights? The most that happens is that the innocent protesters sue the department, which then ends up paying damages, and life goes on.

I just bet if public officers who violated constitutional rights — even under direct orders from superiors — were subject to individual prosecution for doing so, we’d see a marked decrease in bookings for the heinous crime of making chalk marks on the sidewalk.

• The hell you say! What? Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez is leaving his job? You mean the one that school district trustees allegedly broke the Open Meeting Law to hold a secret meeting to fire him from? And after he was summarily dumped, he sued the district for the violation? And then the trustees, perhaps realizing their legal exposure, brought him back, but somehow, they just couldn’t work together anymore? That’s a shocker.

• No fair! If people on the ground are going to point lasers at police helicopters, then I say the police should be able to engage ground targets from the air. I’m thinking maybe Boeing AH-64 Apaches, or the Bell AH-1 SuperCobra, or maybe even the MD Helicopter’s MH-6 Little Bird. Now, where could Metro get its hands on some of those babies…?

• Diversity of Voices/High-Quality Journalism Update: Everybody had quite the laugh this week, after the Las Vegas Sun ran a big front-page photo of owner/publisher/editor/columnist Brian Greenspun underneath a headline about how he was “humbled” to be inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame. The headline went national, after media writer Jim Romensko wrote about it.

Sun Managing Editor Tom Gorman took full responsibility for the incongruity in comments on Romensko’s page, writing: “Catching up on this, I can tell everyone that I signed off on the design of this page. Brian Greenspun didn’t see it until he picked the paper off his driveway the next morning … and he let me know how embarrassed he was. So this is on me, folks.”

But are we possibility missing the real (and much less funny) story here? It’s not that the staff of a newspaper went overboard (Greenspun was nominated for the Hall of Fame by the aforementioned Gorman, recently departed editorial page editor Matt Hufman and newspaper librarian Rebecca Clifford-Cruz). It’s the fact that a guy who has taken reporters off stories or outright killed pieces because they didn’t reflect well on friends/political allies was nonetheless inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame!

Let’s just keep that in mind, shall we? Until then, see you next week!

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