Archive for May 2010

Holy Republican Herpes Batman! – That’s some rough GOP-on-GOP trash talk!

May 26, 2010

As the days close in on the would-be Harry Reid challengers, Sharron Angle’s getting some #30 grit sandpaper applied to her political hide by establishment Republicans. According to KOH news on Tuesday afternoon, State Senator Bill Raggio warned recently that an Angle victory on June 8 will send Republicans running into the arms of Harry Reid.

Then, Republican activist Bill Brainard described Angle on a Nevada Newsmakers pundit panel as “Republican herpes.” By which one assumes he means that she won’t go away. That’s the charitable interpretation.

Are they helping to set Angle up as the next Rand Paul? Will Republican warnings that a Democrat is preferable to Angle –  notwithstanding said Democrat’s powerful position –push primary voters who are sitting on the Lowden-Angle fence into  Angle’s camp? The Reasonable Reporter doubts that was the intention, but will it be the result?

And what will a fence-sitting, but sufficiently p.o.’d conservative voter do after hearing Angle characterized as a venereal disease?

This is not a normal political year. Let’s tick off a few of the names that remind us of it.  Bob Bennett…  Charlie Crist…  Trey Grayson…  Will Sharron Angle claim victory next month with the unwitting help of Republicans who would like to stop her?

I swear, Ty Cobb was nowhere near this sign…

May 14, 2010

Vandalizing political signs is not a single-party pursuit, as the following photos will attest.  The Reasonable Reporter snapped these while walking the dog on various days over the past six months.

Event #1 – The sign appears.

The sign first appeared in a quiet Reno neighborhood in the late summer of 2009.

Event #2- The sign is stolen from its mounting.

Shortly after the sign was put up...

Event #3- The sign is run over with a vehicle.

The Reasonable Reporter regrets not having been quick enough with the camera to record the next event in the series.  One morning the sign lay flat on the ground, metal poles bent.  Tire tracks indicated that a vehicle was driven over the curb to knock the sign down.  The sign’s owner (presumably the property owner) responded quickly, plunging the posts deeply into the ground, and bolting the metal sign to its plywood foundation.  Look closely at the next photo in the series to see the bolts on the white portion of the sign.  A heavy boulder was placed several feet in front of the sign, to discourage curb-jumping.  The sign enjoyed several months of safety, and then…

Event #4 – The sign is spray painted.

The message is altered... crudely.

Event #5 – The sign is kicked… or something.

Sometime after the sign was run over, but before it was spray painted, someone tried to dislodge it from its mounting.  This photo shows where the corner was kicked loose, or perhaps hit with a heavy instrument.

The attacker was not able to dislodge the sign.

The Reasonable Reporter will continue to monitor this political drama as it unfolds.

McCarran TSA agents flip the bird to departing Vegas Visitors

May 7, 2010

The last friendly face in Las Vegas belonged to the guy at the car rental return.  The Southwest terminal at McCarran is always a stampede, of course. One girds for it on the sidewalk outside, and then, summoning patience and courage, one steps inside.

The herd bottlenecked at the ID checkpoint, and a TSA agent pulled one of the stanchions aside, opening up a broad expanse of carpet.

“Over there.” he barked to the passengers, without actually indicating where the bodies should move.  It wasn’t obvious, and a few passengers looked around, confused, but nobody moved, because nobody wanted to lose their place in line.

“Choose another podium,” shouted the female ID checker at the front of the line, “I’m not the only one.”

“We don’t know where to go,” said a woman with an eastern European accent. “He didn’t tell us.”

“Well, I have a badge, too, and I’m telling you I’m not the only one,” the ID checker shot back.  “So choose another podium.” And then, with chilling mock-courtesy, she added, “Have a nice day.”

Next stop — plastic bin hell, where shoes and belts come off, toiletries are yanked from the dark privacy of backpacks, naked for the world to see, and laptops are parted from nervous owners. We are resigned to this, and frequent travelers have it down to a science. But today, there were no bins.  The line ground to a halt, and the shoeless herd awaited bin delivery.

At last, a new stack of bins arrived, and our hand-carried cargo moved down the conveyor belt. But the delay had altered the traffic flow.  We were forced to join a long line for the metal detector, enduring an extended and anxiety-provoking separation from personal belongings.

The Reasonable Reporter watched unhappily as purse and laptop disappeared from view. Finally, stepping across what should have been the finish line, a few forgotten coins in the pants pocket set off a signal that further surveillance was called for. An agent pointed toward the dreaded virtual strip search machine.

Nope.  Not this kid. There’s a principle at stake here. They’ve stolen our time, our anonymity, and our bottled liquids.  They shall not steal our clothing. Our final shred of privacy shall not be surrendered over a nickel and a few stray pennies.

“I’m not doing that,” the Reasonable Reporter stood firm, confident in the knowledge that passengers may refuse the body scan, and opt for a pat-down instead.  “And that’s my purse, waaay over there. I’d like my purse, please.”

“You aren’t finished,” he said.

“Fine, I’m not finished, but I want my purse.”

“DON’T YOU MOVE,” he commanded, as if an armed confrontation were imminent.

“I haven’t moved. I’m still standing on the same spot.  But I want my purse.”

The Reasonable Reporter was turned over to a female TSA agent for hands-on groping, which, all things considered, was conducted with courtesy and professionalism.  The woman also retrieved the purse, laptop and other belongings from their remote location.

Now a man’s voice rose above the general turmoil. “I know where I left it, and it’s not there,” he insisted.

“YOU CALM DOWN RIGHT NOW,” a TSA agent ordered, in a tone used mostly by mothers seeking an immediate halt to a toddler’s tantrum in the supermarket. It must have been a call for back-up, because several other agents moved in closer.

The passenger’s phone was missing, and TSA had apparently suggested it might be misplaced in one of the pockets of his backpack. A search of the pack turned up no phone. The passenger squared his shoulders and issued a triumphant sniff, and the exasperated agent huffed away, to consult his colleague at the x-ray monitor.

The passenger looked over at the still barefoot Reasonable Reporter, who nodded in silent solidarity.

“My phone is gone. How am I supposed to feel?” he asked.

A few moments later, the missing device was located, having fallen between the metal bars of the conveyor belt.

A lot of people who used to like air travel don’t like it anymore.  “I hate flying,” is an increasingly common phrase.

Word to southern Nevada officials at all levels.  You’d better do something, before a longer, angrier phrase finds popularity. Like, “I can gamble anywhere, why would I subject myself to the indignities that surely await me at the Las Vegas airport?”

The Reasonable Reporter will return, even after suffering a metaphorical jackboot to the butt on her way out of town.  But tourists to the Silver State can choose whether to come back. And they might not, if  this kind of hostility is dished out consistently.  Before one more dime is spent on visitor promotions, the TSA in Las Vegas needs some hospitality training.