Friday, July 02, 2010


What do you call a state with the highest unemployment rate, highest foreclosure rate and, percentage-wise, one of the worst budgetary messes in the nation? Nevada.

"Seven out, line away," the stickman said.

Politically, in Nevada, the name Reid is synonymous with Mudd. Just ask Harry's son, Rory, who's reduced the use of the family name in his bid for Nevada's governorship.
Rory 2010! Good luck with that.

Come November 2nd, Rory and his pappy might find themselves on a father-son outing. Out of politics, that is.

I have some friends with elderly parents living in Reno. They visit them at least once a month, sometimes two or three times. On their return, I require a Reno status report. Each time it's worse, and the latest was more of the same but with one additional item that flew under most economic radar screens.

Hot August Nights, the biggest annual Reno draw, is slowly beginning to leave town. HAN began 24 years ago and draws hundreds of thousands (800,000) of people to the city for a week-long party. It's an economic cash cow, but it's drying up. Locals are being told that the producers are moving the concert-car convention to other cities because too many people are signing up for the competition. Not enough room in Reno? BS. Locals know what the deal is, and if you look at the HAN website, you'll find the truth buried in one of their FAQ sections explaining the move. It boils down to protecting the "economic viability" of HAN. In other words: Reno is dying a slow, painful economic death and HAN is moving on to greener pastures. South Lake Tahoe and Long Beach, California will be reaping the influx of tourist dollars as HAN begins partial openings in those cities. A five year contract has already been signed with Long Beach. This is a huge blow to Reno; Harry and son will be feeling it in November, too--Chilly November Nights.

Many businesses in Nevada have closed, about to close or going through various forms of reorganization. Some famous, some not so famous. One of the more famous cases--historic as well--is the Cal Neva Resort located at Tahoe's North Shore. (North Shore is just down the road from Reno.) Because of its history, Cal Neva's failure makes for an interesting read, mainly because of its former owner: Frank Sinatra. Back in the '60s, Frank, Dean and Sammy filled the place to overflowing. It was the place to be... and to be seen. Except, of course, in the case of Sam Giancana. In '62, Marilyn Monroe spent her final weekend out at the Cal Neva. Days later she was found dead in Los Angeles. (As a side bar, I bet Burt Boyar could tell a few stories about the good ol' days at the North Shore with Sammy. Whenever I think of Sammy, I think of Burt.)

Months ago, however, Cal Neva finally fell victim to the current economic realities of doing business in Nevada. Business that dated back to the '20s. Even though it was some months ago, people won't forget the historic significance of Cal Neva's demise as they enter the polling booth; it won't be lost on the Reids, either.

Staying in the vein of gambling, let's move east to Massachusetts where those elected to misrun the state's business have come up with the solution of solutions to plug their massive budget gaps:
gaming expansion. Hey, it worked great for California. There isn't enough room here on blogger to explain just how bad this decision is, so I won't bother. Just enjoy the ride to economic and social Hell, Massachusetts.

Turning around and heading back west, the fine folks running the city of Maywood, California have also come up with a solution to solve their econ probs:
fire everyone. This includes the police dept. Their plan is to "contract out" all city services, thus becoming a "contract city." Police coverage will be contracted through the county, and other services will be contracted to nearby cities. How creative. Why not open a casino? Idiots. With this contract option, one question came to mind: what if a city decides to follow Maywood but doesn't have a nearby police force that's able to take the contract? What then? Maybe this is where Obama's grand plan begins to creep in.

As you go about celebrating this weekend,
take time to consider our nation's founding, its documents and what this nation means to you and to millions worldwide. And don't forget about those who wear our nation's uniform, either. They're about the only friends we've got.

If you find yourself hanging around the house on Sunday,
TCM is running Yankee Doodle Dandy at 5:30 PST. One of the best patriotic movies ever produced. "My mother thanks you; my father thanks you; my sister thanks you; and I thank you."

Frances Langford stars in this movie. I posted about her passing
here. She was a doll, and a true American patriot too.


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