Tea Party of Nevada to Field Own Candidate in Senate Race

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that the Tea Party of Nevada has qualified as a third party in Nevada and will field its own candidate in the Senate race for the seat currently held by Senator Harry Reid, the Majority Leader.

The party has filed a Certificate of Existence but needs to get 1 percent of the electorate to vote for its candidate in November to permanently qualify, according to the report.

[Las Vegas Sun columist Jon] Ralston reported that Jon Ashjian will be the Tea Party's U.S. Senate candidate on the November ballot. Ashjian still must declare his candidacy.

According to the party's constitution, the Tea Party of Nevada will "promote this nation's founding principles of freedom, liberty and a small representative government. We believe that our government under both Democrat and Republican control has led to massive national debt, crushing deficits, increased taxes; while establishing a large and powerful federal government in a direct refutation of the founding ideals of America."

The move is likely to marginally help the embattled Harry Reid who has been trailing in most polls by a wide margin against potential GOP challengers. There are currently three Republican challengers vying to win the GOP nod: former State Senator Sue Lowden, former UNLV basketball star Danny Tarkanian and former State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle.

In addition there are six other third-party candidates going through the verification process to appear on the ballot as US Senate candidates — one Reform Party hopeful and five as independents.

White Defenders

In a private conversation reported in a new book, Reid described Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign as a "light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

I have to be honest that I am always a bit skeptical when white folks feel compelled to step up and defend black folks from other white folks. I am even more cynical when it is white Republicans doing the defending. This would be the same Republican party who has since the 60’s run on the southern strategy, whose conventions look more like all-white country clubs, and who have from his election sought to de-legitimize this President. Now we are to believe that they are so concerned with the delicate psyche of African-Americans that Senator Reid’s remarks rises to the level of Trent Lott? For those who don’t remember Trent Lott was the Republican majority leader who stated that the country would have been better off if unrepentant segregationist Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948.

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Roubini: The Job Loss is Permanent

In an op-ed in the New York Daily News economist Nouriel Roubini, known as Dr. Doom for his dire yet accurate predication for the global economy, warns the US labor market remains weak and should continue to shed jobs through the end of 2010 at the earliest. He adds that "the jobs just are not coming back."

As for a response, he advocates a second round of fiscal stimulus.

There's really just one hope for our leaders to turn things around: a bold prescription that increases the fiscal stimulus with another round of labor-intensive, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, helps fiscally strapped state and local governments and provides a temporary tax credit to the private sector to hire more workers. Helping the unemployed just by extending unemployment benefits is necessary not sufficient; it leads to persistent unemployment rather than job creation.

The long-term picture for workers and families is even worse than current job loss numbers alone would suggest. Now as a way of sharing the pain, many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Specifically, that fall in hours worked is equivalent to another 3 million full time jobs lost on top of the 7.5 million jobs formally lost.

This is very bad news but we must face facts. Many of the lost jobs are gone forever, including construction jobs, finance jobs and manufacturing jobs. Recent studies suggest that a quarter of U.S. jobs are fully out-sourceable over time to other countries.

Other measures tell the same ugly story: The average length of unemployment is at an all time high; the ratio of job applicants to vacancies is 6 to 1; initial claims are down but continued claims are very high and now millions of unemployed are resorting to the exceptional extended unemployment benefits programs and are staying in them longer.

Based on my best judgment, it is most likely that the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more.

While the U3, the nation's official unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, the broader U6 rate, which measures underemployment, is a stunning 17.5 percent. The U6 tops the 20 percent mark in Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, California and South Carolina reflecting a widespread coast-to-coast malaise.  

I think it is time to for the nation's first urban President since Teddy Roosevelt to think about rebuilding urban America that has seen a deterioration in its infrastructure. It's time to rescue Detroit and offer a vision for greener, smaller, sustainable Detroit. It's time to look at Portland's success as a urban model. An extensive light rail project has been integral to Portland's success. Rebuilding our urban transportation infrastructure, that we foolishly abandoned in the 1940s and 1950s, is the sort of national project that can provide jobs in the short-term while addressing our long-term energy needs.

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Meanwhile Back in Nevada

From the Associated Press:

Along a curve of desert highway near the gated home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, mechanic Bill Johnson is struggling to keep his checkbook balanced.

With Nevada's economy poisoned by recession and the nation's highest foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, business at Johnson's boat-repair shop has nose-dived 40 percent since last year. He cannot afford health insurance, and his sewer bill jumped to $875 a year.

"I really have to pose a question: Harry, what have you done for me lately?" asks Johnson, who vows to vote against Reid and other incumbents unless health care is made affordable.

I am not suggesting that Senator Reid did what he did to solely to enhance his re-election prospects but today Senator Reid did show that he can lead cutting through the morass that is the United States Senate and deliver for people like Bill Johnson back in Searchlight, Nevada.

There is also a measure of satisfaction from the GOP's response.

“A primary reason Harry Reid is one of the most endangered incumbents facing re-election in either party next year is due to the fact that he is viewed by many of his constituents as a partisan bully," said Brian Walsh, NRSC Communications Director.

Good on you, Harry.

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Delay, Derail, Defeat

In a story over at Politics Daily about the failure in the Senate tonight to proceed on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years, there is this tidbit:

Senate procedures give Republicans an array of tactical maneuvers that they have used to delay, if not derail, Reid's agenda. While the House has passed all 13 of its appropriations bills, climate change, and health care bills (at the committee level), the Senate schedule has lagged. When House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was asked Tuesday why the House schedule was so light, he said that the Senate has not sent back enough legislation for the House to respond to.

As Republicans have succeeded in stalling votes, Reid's statements have escalated from terse to downright angry. Last week he accused Republicans of trying to kill health care reform, saying, "Republicans will do everything in their power to stop reform this time." When asked Tuesday why the Senate had not passed an extension of unemployment insurance benefits, Reid responded, "The word starts with an R.' Republicans. Republicans."

On Wednesday, Reid said the entire Senate agenda was falling prey to the GOP of past and present.

"I think it's too bad that suddenly, (Republicans) have gotten religion," Reid said after the vote, visibly frustrated. "They never worried in the past about all these tax cuts being paid for. They never worried about the drug manufacturers getting all the free stuff they got. They never worried about any of this. They suddenly are being very frugal, very frugal when they've figured out it's a way to slow down what we do here."

Even with 60 Democrtic votes, veteran political watchers acknowledge that Reid's task of holding together his unwieldy caucus is difficult, if not impossible. "It's difficult to move things in the Senate," Hoyer said. "I think Reid has the most frustrating job in American government."

How is it that the nation is being held hostage by a caucus of forty?

Nor is it terribly reassuring that the Majority Leader can't keep his own caucus in line. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with the Republicans on the 53 to 47 roll call. The Democrats who voted against the party leadership were Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Bryon Dorgan of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Warner of Virginia, Jim Webb of Virginia, Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut also joined the GOP in defeating the measure.

Still it is more concerning that the Democrats are being outwitted tactically by Senator Mitch McConnell.

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