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Dennis Myers

Should Nevada enforce federal law?

Last week, U.S. Senate Democrats stopped a measure withholding federal funding for cities that provide sanctuary from federal immigration authorities for illegal aliens. The move got little attention, but one conservative website reported:

Which comes first, principle or commerce?

The attempt by Republican members of the Nevada Legislature to use government to permit discrimination against gays under the guise of religious freedom appears to have come to an end. I say “appears” because the closing days of most legislatures produce some surprises, and there’s always the chance the bills could be revived then under some parliamentary machinations.

Reid announcement occasion for more bile

The day Harry Reid announced his retirement, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch told a radio reporter, “Reid is one of my friends, but he’s been a pathetic majority leader as far as I’m concerned. He thought he was doing right by protecting his side, but I think the American people resented him because he got nothing done.”

Reid anoints his own candidates

Harry Reid’s decision to retire from Congress turned attention immediately to his replacements, not least because he himself promptly tried to influence his successors both as senator and as Democratic floor leader.

Lottery proposals wind up ‘screwing the poor’

“There’s a correlation between those who play the lottery and income,” Nevada economist Thomas Cargill said in 2005. “You know, the lottery is a regressive tax on people who are not very good at math. I saw that on a bumper sticker in California.”

State’s history needs better retelling

In Nevada’s early days, the state’s history was written mostly by club women rather than by trained historians. By some accounts Nevada did not get its first professional historian until the 1950s with the arrival of Russell Elliott.

Deception industry keeps growing

I spent part of a day last week writing an article about how the National Republican Senatorial Committee gets material for its attacks on Harry Reid from the Washington Free Beacon.

Plates were license to publicize Nevada

Last week, Richard Velotta wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the Nevada requirement for front vehicle plates. His article was prompted by a letter from a reader: “When I switched my truck over to Nevada license plates I was told that Nevada is a two-­plate state, one in front and one in the rear. After being here a couple of years now, I am noticing that a lot of cars only have the rear plate. Is this illegal or not?”

Politicians should not make assumptions

Back in the 1970s there was a report that U.S. Rep. David Towell, who served one term as a Republican U.S. House member from Nevada, sent out a questionnaire on current issues and got one surprising result. In those days, the state had only one U.S. House member, so such a mailing went to every Nevada household.

Journalists fail war on drugs — then and now

In 1979, the Nevada Legislature made medical use of marijuana legal in the state. Although little remembered today, this law was on the books until 1987. It was repealed after nationwide hysteria over drugs generated by President Ronald Reagan, other poorly informed politicians, and irresponsible media. Bad journalism is basic to bad policies.

Rivalry between north, south mostly fantasy

Years ago, when my column was running in a weekly newspaper, a new editor was hired. She let me know that she wanted me to make some changes. As it happened, the Nevada Legislature was in session, and she said she wanted columns that dealt with north/south rivalry.

Gentle Muslims serve as reminder against violence

The Charlie Hedbo attack came the week before Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it’s not hard to imagine how Martin Luther King Jr. would have reacted. When incidents of violence happened, he grieved. What is not known to King’s countrymen is that there is an Islamic MLK.

Bureaucratic heroes protect us, deserve recognition

In December, we saw those lists published of the people we lost during the year. These are lists that, in journalism’s inimitable way, are nearly always incomplete because they are published before the year has ended.

Jury still out on the full effects of fracking

Last week, there was an auction at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in Reno of public land parcels in Nevada for oil and gas exploration, an auction that raised concerns among opponents of fracking.

Bipartisan coalitions used to be possible, and worked well

With Republicans acting like the gang that can’t shoot straight as they approach taking charge of the Nevada Assembly, there has been some talk of Assembly Democrats luring a few of the more reasonable GOP votes to join with all the Democrats to create a bipartisan coalition to run the Assembly.

Blinders are poor garb for politicians, reporters

Without doing a lot of homework first, the Reno City Council last month passed a resolution calling on state government to smooth the way for Uber­-type ride services at the same time that the Nevada attorney general’s office was in court trying to shut the service down because it was allegedly violating state law.

No right way to use National Guard

Among the casualties of the Ferguson tragedy is the governor of Missouri. Jay Nixon is a Democrat who won re-election by 12 percentage points in a Republican state and was being mentioned for vice president after increasing the state’s Medicaid workload and vetoing bills that sought to override federal gun laws, extend the waiting period for abortions and cut state income taxes.