Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wall Street Journal Lets Sharron Angle Lie

No, that is not a partisan statement in that headline. It is a journalistic one.

The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore has a profile of Sharron Angle up today that is riddled from top to bottom with factual errors, as Jon Ralston noted in a Tweet today. That's shocking enough because the WSJ, while possessing a notoriously conservative editorial page, usually does have some regard for facts even there. This piece is stunning in its misinformation and, clearly, most of it comes from Mrs. Angle, a woman who wears her religion on her sleeve but evidently believes that bearing false witness is cool with God. Angle, of course, is the GOP opponent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

It doesn't take long to get to a whopper. There's one big one in the very first paragraph, where Angle is allowed to state as fact that 30,000 people attended the Searchlight tea party in March. That's 50 percent greater than the highest estimates, coming from tea party partisans, of 20,000. The cops put it around 8,000, so does Sharron Angle think the police are dirty liars? Soon more people will allegedly have been at Searchlight than at the Polo Grounds for Bobby Thompson's homer.

Let's see. What else?

* Angle claims Reid's effort to delay a coal plant in 2009 cost 5,000 jobs. The folks in favor of the plant said it would have created 1,600 construction jobs and 200 permanent ones.

* Angle claims she was at the forefront of fighting the 2003 tax increases at the Legislature, that the governor singled her out and that Republican legislative leaders sought her out to try to get her to swing. Fact is, it was Assemblyman Bob Beers who held together the part of the GOP caucus that held back the two-thirds needed to pass the increases. Nobody would have bothered to bargain with Angle as she describes knowing that she was, as she also proudly describes, an unmovable force. Also, I can't find anywhere online where Gov. Guinn said at the time that anyone opposed to the increases was "irrelevant, irresponsible and cowardly," as the WSJ's Moore puts in quotes.

* The following is an unmitigated, total lie: "She spearheaded a movement to get the Supreme Court replaced. In the next election in 2006, voters threw out five of the seven members of the Nevada Supreme Court; the other two had retired." The controversial Guinn v Legislature decision was decided 6-1. Three of the six, Miriam Shearing, Deborah Agosti and Robert Rose, retired at the end of their next terms (2004 for Shearing and Agosti, 2006 for Rose), and one who perhaps Angle thinks she got to retire, Myron Leavitt, actually died. Only one justice from that group was ever unseated by ballot, Nancy Becker in 2006. In 2008, the one justice who dissented -- that is, who voted as Angle would have liked -- retired. Justice Mark Gibbons, who voted in the 6-1 majority but later repudiated it, was re-elected in 2008.

Two other points:

* Someone needs to tell Sharron she can stop bashing Sue Lowden now or Snow White might not help her convince moderates she's not as bat-shit crazy as Harry Reid says. In the WSJ piece, she says: "We had to have a candidate who would offer a sharp policy contrast. Someone who would not just pay lip service to limited government principles, but had a solid record of voting that way time and again."

* Moore says Angle "has Irish red hair." Dude, she's almost 61. It's called henna.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Times 4 Strip/Petcast... & Johnny Chan!

OK. We're shifting the schedule, possibly permanently, to accommodate Miles' working a lot of weekends. So, starting tomorrow, The Strip is live at noon PT and The Petcast is live at 1 p.m. PT at LVRocks.Com.

This week's guest on "The Strip" is two-time WSOP champ and "Rounders" star Johnny Chan, who had a remarkable run in this year's Main Event and finished up 159th out of 7,319. The legend has some tart words for the corporatization of poker, is dismissive of Phil Laak's recent 115-hour poker-playing stunt and fondly recalls his recently departed friend, Bob Stupak.

Then, on The Petcast, we'll chat first with Stephanie Hoefener, a board member for Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue which this week bought 172 wild horses to save them from slaughter. Then we talk to journalist Jason Cochran, who had a piece on WalletPop.Com comparing the costs of having dogs and cats.

Join us live at LVRocks.Com to listen live, see us via webcam and join us in the chat. You can also listen via mobile device. Or you wait for the podcast version, of course, and subscribe via iTunes or Zune to The Petcast or to The Strip in iTunes or Zune.

This week's LVW: Calling BS on Global Cash

Sorry, sorry, sorry for being a lousy blogger this week. Some weeks, I just don't feel it. I'll be back on track today and in coming days, I swear. In the meantime, here's this week's Las Vegas Weekly piece:

Cash is still king
Calling BS on Global Cash’s “cashless gaming” proposal


Many are the mornings I’ve busted out laughing while rolling through my morning newspaper. Usually, I’m amused reading about an allegedly God-fearing senatorial candidate who doesn’t see the sin in misrepresenting her own well-documented views. That Wednesday column in which readers ask one another where to buy, say, anise-flavored peanut butter is always good for a smile, too. And Argyle Sweater usually cracks me up.

Where I rarely get a good kick in the pants is in the business section. In fact, given the way things have been going lately, those headlines are why I save the comics for last.

But boy, I nearly busted a gut reading remarks from folks representing Global Cash, a company that owns and operates ATM machines inside casinos. They want the Nevada Gaming Commission later this month to let them dispense not just cash but ticket-in, ticket-out vouchers ready to use in slot machines.

“As we move toward the cashless gaming process, you will have less people handling cash,” reasoned Global Cash Chief Executive Officer Scott Betts to the Review-Journal. “This reduces the opportunity for theft or fraud.”

Why, that’s hilarious! The ATM dude is all about you!

He’s kidding, right? Well, no.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rich Little's Unfunny Joke, Redux

A reader who attended Rich Little's stand-up performance at The Cannery in North Las Vegas on Saturday night reports that the impressionist did his little Barney Frank joke again in a slightly different configuration than the one that cracked up the Nevada Republican Party convention on Friday. An excerpt of the account:

"He introduced a woman in the audience who he said was the best female impersonator besides for Barney Frank. I almost yelled that this was the Cannery, not Green Valley Ranch where he entertained last night."

The reader also noted that Little's best impression was of Andy Rooney but that the jokes themselves were lifted verbatim from Steven Wright, whom the reader said he has seen twice at the Orleans in recent years. The act was laden with anti-Obama, Carter and Reid gags, which is fine if they had been funny. Evidently, not so much.

Rich Little is an interesting figure because he was called upon in 2007 to perform at the White House Correspondents Dinner the year after Steven Colbert's scorcher embarrassed President Bush. The reviews were brutal but he didn't do much current-event political humor then.

I'm not one to write off someone just because they're old or they've been out of the public eye for a while. In fact, some of the most interesting interviews come from talking to such people. But it seems like Little wants to make himself relevant again by stealing material, resorting to incredibly simplistic homophobic humor and polarizing audiences who aren't expecting to be polarized. If you go to Dennis Miller or Bill Maher, you know what you're getting. Go to Rich Little and you're probably looking for a little nostalgia.

Little evidently was aware his act wasn't doing well last night, quipping, "If you bomb at the Cannery, does that mean you've been canned?" Ba-dum-dum.

My reader said that Little again noted that he's become a U.S. citizen so he could vote Republican. CityLife Steve Sebelius' clever Twitter zinger on that topic could teach Little a thing or two about political humor: "Recently naturalized Little says he can vote GOP. He's got prejudice down."

Show is UP: (S)Talking Brad Garrett

I think with this episode we've probably exhausted the Brad Garrett topic for now, but this was a really good interview -- he's a great conversationalist -- so check it out. Thanks to David McKee for guest co-hosting again, too. Check his out his blog. Click on the date below to listen or right-click to download and listen at your leisure or subscribe via iTunes or Zune.

July 12: (S)Talking Brad Garrett
SPECIAL: Brad Garrett's "Stalker" Speaks

The first line of his obituary will identify him as the put-upon brother in the classic sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” but before that role of a lifetime Brad Garrett was an accomplished stand-up comic who opened for Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and many others. That’s why his decision to slap his name on the space at the Tropicana that has traditionally been a venue for comedians is less surprising than it appears at first. Garrett, who performed for the first two weeks at the club and promises to appear at least one weekend a month going forward, chats this hour about how he regards his quote-un-quote role of a lifetime, how awkwardness about his size led to his comedy career and how the liberal actor keeps the peace with his notoriously conservative former co-star, Patricia Heaton. Also, Brad and I dig into the question of whether he is being stalked.

In Banter: Lots of restaurant talk, the Harmon is stuck, Sheldon Adelson is defying expectations, the Main Event is still healthy, Dallas’ NFR/boxing gambit and the ATM companies want to help you lose more and faster.

Links to stuff discussed:

Yelp on Johnny Smalls, Julian Serrano, Nu Sanctuary, Ferraro’s andFirefly
Get tickets for Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the Tropicana
Guest host David McKee’s blog, Stiffs & Georges
VegasHappensHere.Com posts on Brad Garrett’s stalker situation
Our special episode with Garrett’s stalker
The Las Vegas Business Press’ Tony Illia on the Harmon stagnation
Steve’s NYT piece when the Harmon was shorn
WSJ piece on the Dallas stadium hoping to compete with Vegas
Stiffs & Georges on the various Sheldon Adelson stories and the Singapore place’s seeming success
Minus 5 is opening at Monte Carlo
Hash House A Go Go opening at M
Rock N Rita opened at Circus Circus
The Main Event of WSOP draws 7,319
Terrance Watanabe’s settlement with Harrah’s
The Jeff German piece about how RICH out-of-control gamblers should be stopped
The Arnold Knightly piece about whether average gamblers should be enabled by the ATM