Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is a long-range and positive thinker.
Since 2006, he has worked on bringing the Winter Olympics to Northern Nevada, and he is hopeful about 2022. Now that’s long range.
He’s working on bringing the Republican National Convention in 2016 to Las Vegas. Now that’s positive.
Let me be frank. I don’t think that will happen. But it lays the groundwork for 2020, so it’s not entirely a waste of money.
Krolicki said the organizers are working with a budget of “a modest seven figures” to try for the GOP convention. - Las Vegas Review Journal
The new arena planned for Vegas won't open until Spring of 2016 which is well after the site selection will be completed. I personally don't think it's a deal breaker. Russia is still building arenas and stadiums for the Sochi Olympics in February.
DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
Today, the United States has lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice, and human dignity -- Nelson Mandela is no longer with us, he belongs to the ages.
Nelson Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man. His own struggle inspired others to believe in the promise of a better world, and the rightness of reconciliation. Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, he transformed South Africa -- and moved the entire world. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings -- and countries -- can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the life of nations or our own personal lives.
While we mourn his loss, we will forever honor Nelson Mandela's memory. He left behind a South Africa that is free and at peace with itself -- a close friend and partner of the United States. And his memory will be kept in the hearts of billions who have been lifted up by the power of his example. We will not see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. It falls to us to carry forward the example that he set -- to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; and to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice. For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 9, 2013. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
We told you last summer Columbus was considering a bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the bid is going strong, with Columbus hosting a breakfast Saturday at the Association of State Democratic Chairs in New Orleans. From State Chairman Chris Redfern:
This past week, on a procedural vote, the majority of the Senate decided that a simple majority could end debate and schedule a vote on nominations for executive branch positions and lower federal courts. In response, Mitch McConnell threatened that Republicans would potentially extend this precedent to Supreme Court nominations in the future.
As a threat, the threat is not much. In the past 40 years, the Democrats have only used the filibuster against two Supreme Court nominees -- William Rehnquist (twice) and Samuel Alito. All three nominations ultimately received a vote on the merits. A couple of President Nixon's earlier nominees were withdrawn in the face of the threat of a filibuster, but those nominations might have failed on an up-down vote if they had reached that stage. The only nominee that a president has withdrawn after a failed cloture vote was the nomination of Abe Fortas for Chief Justice by Lyndon Johnson. In short, the threat from Republicans is pretty much bluster. The reality was Harry Reid and the Democratic majority had a choice -- either they could decide to act like Republicans the next time that the Republicans gain the White House and vote against cloture on a large number on presidential nominations (including upping the stakes by expanding to the Supreme Court) or they could end the game-playing on nominations. They decided that the number of nominees who really deserved to be filibuster did not justify continuing this fiasco. Theoretically, this decision could allow the next Republican president to nominate more extreme candidates for the bench, but unless the Republicans gain a very large majority in the Senate -- such nominees could potentially fail on the merits.
What does this mean presently. Currently, there are ninety-three vacancies on the federal court (of which the President has nominated potential replacements for fifty-one). More significant is the age of some of those vacancies -- some of which have had multiple nominees blocked by the filibuster.
Of the ninety-three vacancies, four (two Court of Appeals, two district court) vacancies date back to when George Bush was president including the replace for John Roberts on the D.C. Circuit. There are nominees pending for three of these four (the fourth being a district court vacancy in Texas). From 2009-10, there are seven (two Court of Appeals, five district court) vacancies. There are nominees pending for three of the seven. From 2011-12, there are thirty-four (six Court of Appeals, twenty-eight district court), there are nominees pending for twenty of the thirty-four.
Additionally, of the currently pending nominations, nineteen have been pending since before July 1. To date of those nominated before July 1, the Senate has confirmed only thirty-eight of fifty-seven -- taking between two and six months to confirm a nominee. Looking at the gender breakdown of the nominees, the Senate has confirmed twenty-three of the thirty-two men (approximately 72%) nominated before July 1, but only fifteen of the twenty-five women (approximately 60%). If you use a June 1 cut-off, the numbers change to twenty-three of twenty-six men (approximately 88%) and fifteen of twenty-two women (68%). (It should be noted that six of the nineteen pre-July 1 nominations are still pending in committee, two men and four women, but the other thirteen are waiting action on the floor of the Senate).
Looking at the big picture, there are currently eighty nominations that are on the Senate calendar (i.e. the appropriate committee has held a hearing and reported the nomination to the floor). Of these nominations, two are military (i.e. promotions), twenty-two are ambassadors/other foreign service, thirty-eight are other executive branch appointments, and eighteen are judges. With any luck, all eighty can be confirmed before the end of this session.
KC remains full steam ahead, while a Cleveland bid is looking more likely:
Kansas City Mayor Sly James has sent a letter to the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus asking the Republicans to include the city it its search for a convention city for 2016. The letter from James states, “Kansas City is the perfect host city for the 2016 Republican National Convention and I’m looking forward to making Kansas City’s case”.
City officials confirm that the Republican National Committee has invited Cleveland to bid for its 2016 convention, an event that would make use of its newly-finished convention center.
And a spokeswoman for Mayor Frank Jackson’s office says that they’ve accepted that invitation.
Denver knocked it out of the park for the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the GOP would love to turn Colorado red again.
The Colorado GOP is preparing to make a bid for Denver to host the 2016 Republican National Convention — potentially delivering the state a repeat of the economic boost it received when it hosted the Democratic National Convention five years ago.
Party president Ryan Call confirmed the news to The Denver Post on Wednesday.
In addition to Denver's already proven record at hosting the massive four-day international event that draws roughly 50,000 visitors, a 2016 GOP convention in Denver would be apropos, Call said, because it will be "bookends of eight years of an Obama regime."
"A Republican convention in Denver will not feature Greek columns at Mile High Stadium," Call said, referring to the stage built in 2008 for President Barack Obama's acceptance speech. "But it will showcase the issues important to the West and to America."
Call acknowledged that both Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper would need to throw robust support behind the bid for the application to look attractive to national officials. - Denver Post
We know that the GOP is looking to hold an early July convention, but we now have a report that the Democrats may move their convention up also:
Republicans have all but officially decided to hold their convention the week before or the week after July 4, two months earlier than last time. The move is part of an effort to shorten the potential nastiness of the primary season (fewer debates are also part of the strategy) and to take fuller advantage of campaign finance law, which says only the formally nominated candidate may spend funds earmarked for the general election campaign. ... [The Democrats] will have their convention after the Republicans — the last-word advantage customarily awarded to the party in the White House — but almost certainly before the summer Olympics open on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro. The Republican and Democratic national committees won’t formally put the conventions out to bid before January, and they’re unlikely to announce the winners before the midterm elections. -Roll Call
We're still not convinced the GOP will do their convention that early. In 2012, there were major primaries on June 5th in CA, NJ, SD and NM, and other caucuses and primaries until June 26. And as Josh noted:
Again, recall that the Republican autopsy of the 2012 election and the primary process -- the Growth and Opportunity Project Report -- mentioned that a nominee needs "an estimated 60-90 days to prepare for the Convention". That is, there should be 60-90 days between the conclusion of the delegate selection process and any subsequent national convention. Even a late June convention means that delegate selection will have had to run its course in all states two to three months in advance. In the best case -- 60 day -- scenario, that's some time in April.
As the autopsy's convention point goes on:
"If the Convention were to be held in July, the last primary would need to be held no later than May 15. If the Convention were to be held in late June, the final primary would need to be held no later than April 30. Moving primaries up will require states and state parties to cooperate."
You think Democratic California's going to move their primary to help the GOP out? Not likely.
Now to the Democrats. Look, there have been recent successful Democratic conventions in both July and later August. In July 1992, Clinton and Gore stormed out of NYC on a very successful bus tour through the swing state. And of course in 2008, Obama's Denver convention was a winner.
But to me, 1988 still haunts the Democrats. Dukakis had an excellent convention in Atlanta, but he lost whatever momentum he had throughout the summer.
But let's get real. Until she decides she's not running, Hillary Clinton's team gets to sign off on any decision. And if she runs, she is very unlikely to face a contested nomination. So if she wraps it up by March, what will her team want. A late July convention to break up a long hot spring/summer, or a late August convention to set the momentum into the fall?
Obama's hometown is considering hosting the GOP in 2016:
Sneed has learned top Illinois GOPers are encouraging the city of Chicago to bid for the 2016 Republican National Convention.
And Sneed hears Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Dem dynamo with heavy Clinton/Obama credentials, is so interested . . . he has asked Choose Chicago, his new city tourism and convention agency, to crunch numbers.
“Mayor Emanuel is already anticipating putting a possible bid together when the RNC sends out their requests for proposals (RFPs) next week,” a top source said. ... Why would the GOP want to come to a big Dem City? “After a fumbled GOP convention in Tampa in 2012, they need to be in a town that really knows how to handle a big convention,” said the source. “It wasn’t just because Tropical Storm Isaac bore down on the city days before the convention, but the hotel situation was dismal. People were scattered all over the place.” -Chicago Sun-Times
Yes, yes....Virginia, NY and NJ...but here's something that won't make the national press. In my own little corner of Chester County, PA, we ran 5 candidates. Two for Supervisor at Large, two for School Board, and one for a Regional Supervisor. We won 4 of 5 races.
The two new Supervisors bring our township's historic number of supervisors to a total of four. That's right, over 350 years of being a township, f-o-u-r. The other two served separately, we've never before had two serving simultaneously. The School Board? One candidate was re-elected, and the other is the first African-American to serve in any elected position in the history of our township. The regional supervisor lost by 48 votes: if she runs again next time, she'll likely win. Her small area is the part of the township where GOP registration is highest.
Did our candidates work hard? Sure did, but they always do in all elections. There were two things that really helped. First, the government shutdown. Second, the township Democrats had signs all over that said things like "No Tea Party for our Schools: Vote Democratic". Our candidates ran as proud Democrats. The School Board candidates had the added advantage of running against actual teabaggers, as shown by their contribution histories to people like Cruz, Rubio and Bachmann, as well as photos with those folks.
Congrats to Murph Wysocki, Mark Freed, Scott Dorsey and Kevin Buraks. Taking our township forward.
“Double Down,” Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s follow up to “Game Change,” answers one of the more perplexing questions of the 2012 presidential campaign: Why did Mitt Romney’s team give carte blanche to Clint Eastwood to say whatever he wanted in the final hour of the final night of the Republican National Convention? That’s when Eastwood famously spoke to an empty chair, in which the actor went well over his allotted time and left most of the audience baffled. Romney’s senior strategist, Stuart Stevens, was backstage with Romney watching Eastwood, and while the Republican nominee “seemed to think it was funny — at least at first,” the authors write, Stevens was so upset by the “disaster occurring on stage” that he “excused himself, went into another room and vomited.” - Variety
If the 2016 Republican National Convention is held in Las Vegas, this is where the gavel will drop.
Arena partners AEG and MGM Resorts International unveiled renderings Monday of their $350 million, 20,000-seat venue on the Strip, showing exterior images evoking the Strip’s high energy and bright lights as well as Southern Nevada’s scenic mountains and desert.
AEG, the Los Angeles-based powerhouse entertainment and arena company, and MGM Resorts, which owns 10 Strip casino-hotels, have joined forces to build the sports and entertainment venue without public money on 12 acres between New York-New York and Frank Sinatra Drive. MGM will demolish two temporary office buildings on the site that are left over from the CityCenter project.
Groundbreaking is expected in April or May with a projected opening 22 months later, in spring 2016, said Tim Romani, president and chief executive of Denver-based ICON Venue Group, the project manager.
The arena will feature premium seating, suite and club offerings on different levels as well as in bunkers below the event floor. It will host at least 100 concerts, boxing, mixed martial arts, sports, awards shows and other events each year. - Las Vegas Review Journal
In 2009, when the Affordable Care Act was being written, part of the proposal included four basic conservative ideas intended to get bipartisan support for the bill:
1) Individual Mandate -- A concept that originated with the Heritage Foundation and George H.W. Bush that, rather than the general public bearing the responsibility for paying the hospital costs of the uninsured, that people should be required to take individual responsibility and obtain insurance. (To keep liberals on board and assure that everyone would be able to purchase insurance, the federal government would provide a subsidy to reduce the costs for lower income levels.)
2) Improving Access to the Market -- Rather than going through middlemen (insurance agents and brokers), individuals would be able to use the internet to comparison shop in Amazon-like on-line insurance marketplaces.
3) Federalism -- Rather than the federal government designing a one-size-fits-all national exchange, each state would design their own exchange to meet local needs.
4) Fully Funding Mandates -- While the overall program would include an expansion of Medicaid coverage, the federal government would fully fund the expansion initially and, in the future, would fund 80-90% of the cost of the expansion.
In setting up the schedule for when different parts of the bill would go into effect, the schedule implicitly assumed that Republicans would be on board for these basic concepts and, for the first several months, their opposition to the Affordable Care Act did not focus on these parts of the proposal. However, after some focus groups, they discovered that the individual mandate (their own idea) was unpopular and used it as the centerpiece of their opposition. More importantly, having done their best to make the Affordable Care Act unpopular, state level Republicans found themselves unable to accept any part of the Affordable Care Act -- even ones that they would normally take advantage of.
Unfortunately, that has led to many of the problems now emerging in the complaints about Healthcare.gov -- either directly or indirectly.
When the bill was drafted, the first assumption was that most states would adopt the Medicaid expansion -- particular as the options where to participate in New Medicaid or cease participation entirely. However, in an unprecedented decision, the United States Supreme Court found that somehow it was unconstitutional for Congress to change the rules governing a federally funded program run by the states and had to keep funding the old program for states that did not want to change. As a result, only about half of the states have adopted the Medicaid expansion, leaving more people needing to purchase individual policies in the market place.
A newly formed group, Nevada Host Committee, plans to make a formal bid to hold the 2016 Republican National Convention in Las Vegas.
"Las Vegas is the number one convention destination in North America. We do it better than anyone else in the country," Nevada Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki said. "We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for Las Vegas and all of Nevada."
The Washington Post is reporting that Sheldon Adelson is trying to bring the RNC convention to Vegas in 2016 (his home), while the Koch Brothers want it in Kansas City, only 200 miles from their base in Wichita. The article is here, and you'll find joy in the comments section.
Vegas is a great convention town (for anyone) because there are so many close hotel rooms. For a lot of other places, delegates have to stay far away, sometimes in the next state over, as happened with Charlotte last year. There's also enough arena space. In Kansas City, they've got the arena space but miss the hotel rooms. But the, um "aura" might be better.
In the interest of full disclosure, I've spent time in both cities. From the perspective of a convention-goer, Vegas wins hands down. Tons to do, easy to get around, lots of food, and flat. (Trust me, that last part matters because going to a convention means a lot of walking.) However, there are some peccadilloes peculiar to Vegas that make it an especially fun place to have a Republican convention. Fun for the Democrats, that is.
First, while there are no legal hookers in Vegas, there are lots of places for the GOP family values folks to enjoy. And this matters to them. Back in 2010, Oreo wrote about how (supposedly) one of the reasons Tampa was picked for 2012 was because it's the lap dance capital of the world. Vegas is home to hot and cold running boys and girls and we know how well that plays with the family values set.
Second, Vegas is a union town. A UNION TOWN. Oh joy!
Third, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that there's gambling goin' on in them thar casinos (and airports, grocery stores, drug stores and virtually everywhere). Another win for family values.
Fourth, Vegas is less than half white, and a young city, with a median age of 35. Republican registration is 33%, compared to 45% Democratic.
I want you to think of the photo op possibilities. The Republicans generally dress better then we do (I'm talking not of the candidates and professionals, but of the attendees). So, likely there won't be a lot of Hawaiian shirts, shorts, white legs, white socks and sandals, but we can always hope. Still: airport mens rooms (maybe Larry Craig will put in an appearance), pastors with their "flocks" of young men, lots of GOPers with free drinks in smoky casinos, and then off to the floor shows.
Finally, it's possible that Sheldon won't even be a free man by then, given his legal troubles both domestically and in Macao. If the convention went to Vegas and he had to watch it on TV from jail, it would be so very sweet.
OK, that was fun. Let's look at Kansas City. It, too, is flat. Which will be nice for all the buses and jitneys that will need to ferry people to KC from Lawrence, Topeka, and other surrounding towns up to an hour away. As an aside, Leavenworth is not that far, and it's nice that so many GOPers would be close to where they belong, but I digress. Seriously, there's a real hotel problem, and while there are nice shops and restaurants in downtown KC, there aren't the number of them necessary to serve the 40,000 people that will show up. If you recall, there were food problems in Tampa last year. Because Tampa, like Kansas City, has a limited area around the convention, lots of restaurants lost money as people stayed away to avoid the security. Places like Charlotte, Vegas, Boston, Philadelphia....lots of other cities...have far more geographically expansive areas so there are places to eat outside of the immediate convention area. You might not think it a problem, but within the convention area closed behind the gates, a lot of restaurants are rented by organizations and therefore it's not always that easy to find meals if you're not a guest of the specific events.
No matter who wins in the end, it's going to cost Sheldon, David and Charles a lot of money to duke this out. Under the heading of "if they only used their power for good instead of evil" it's sad that they'll spend tens of millions on the convention when it would be so much nicer if that level of private giving went to something important, like food stamps and health care for the poor. Sorry, couldn't help myself.
I've never been to a Republican convention, but I've seen the pictures: lots of white old guys. One needs tickets and passes. Compare that to the Democratic Convention, where all are welcome to come and hang out (yes, tickets still required in the arena, but we give out a lot more of them). In 2016, we will go to our convention happy and celebrating and united. We will cheer and dance in the streets. From that perspective, it doesn't matter where our convention is because the location will be secondary to the celebration. The Republican factions will arrive to their convention bloodied by the internecine war now raging within their ranks. They'll need good optics, and that's never been their strong suit.
So let's watch Sheldon, David and Charles fight it out. Like the Survivor-like debates, it's always fun to watch.