ITEM #2: We’ve pointed out on numerous occasions how Gov. Sisolak’s coronavirus-driven economic shutdown has been enforced with a great degree of inconsistency — heavy-handed in some cases, but more lenient in others, especially when it comes to those whom the Governor would seem to favor politically.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Victor Joecks breaks down the latest example of the Governor’s abuse of his power:
“King Steve Sisolak pushed Las Vegas officials to stop a recent Trump event. That’s according to emails and documents obtained from the city of Las Vegas via a public records request.
“On July 30, the Trump campaign announced that it was holding an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ rally. Because Sisolak currently limits church gatherings to 50 people, the Ahern Hotel provided the venue.
“Through his office, His Royal Highness worked to stop it. Scott Gilles, Sisolak’s senior advisor, emailed Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick to ‘flag’ the meeting. ‘What would the next step be to ensure this event, which looks to likely violate current directives, is not allowed to proceed?’ Gilles wrote.”
As Joecks explains, Kirkpatrick referred the matter to the City of Las Vegas, since Ahern Hotel is located within city limits. Subsequent emails reveal the city’s intent to “remind” the hotel about the rules limiting the number of event attendees.
However, as Joecks points out, “the governor’s edicts allow most businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity, even if that means having more than 50 people in one place. An Ahern Hotel official said fire occupancy for the room was 1,605 people. That implies an 800-person cap.”
Furthermore, “Ahern employees told city officials the event was a ‘peaceful First Amendment right to worship and assemble protest.’ Sisolak has frequently allowed protests to exceed his 50-person limit.”
So you’d think there should have been no problem with holding the event, correct?
Alas, you’d be wrong. Here’s Joecks:
“The event was scheduled to take place on Aug. 6. On the Tuesday prior, city officials issued a courtesy notice of a violation. On the day before the event, Robert Summerfield, the city’s planning director, told staff to ‘hold off on any more contact (with Ahern Hotel) on this until I hear back from CMO and CAO.’ That’s the city manager’s office and the city attorney’s office.
“Emails suggest those conversations took place over the phone or in person. By Thursday morning — the day of the event — something had changed. The city sent Ahern a notice demanding that it not hold the event. It threatened fines and to suspend its licenses.
“The governor was also personally interested, according to his staff.
“‘Do you have any update on what’s happening with this event[?]’ Gilles emailed on Thursday morning. ‘Chairwoman Kirkpatrick said CLV was on it. Governor keeps asking for updates.’”
The event was indeed held, and more than 500 individuals were in attendance, after which the city fined Ahern Hotel $250. The hotel is suing.
Joecks sums things up aptly:
“‘The Governor’s Office has no influence in the enforcement actions taken by local government, and it does not request that local governments shut particular events down,’ Sisolak’s press office wrote in an email.
“Gilles’ emails show that wasn’t true in this case. Through his office, Sisolak targeted this specific event and put pressure on local officials to shut it down. It’s logical to conclude that political considerations motivated these actions. That’s scary stuff.”
ITEM #3: Speaking of Sisolak, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has exposed how the Governor recently took in some dinner and live entertainment at Pizzeria Monzu.
The story notes that the Governor was engaging in exactly the kind of activity that’s been forced to cease under his own coronavirus-driven shutdown, and points out that “Saddles ’N’ Spurs on North Jones and E-String Poker Bar in Henderson have been forced to shut down live entertainment.”
Given the obvious hypocrisy, a number of people have responded by mocking and chastising the Governor.
The Review-Journal’s Victor Joecks tweeted, “Live entertainment is okay for King @GovSisolak, but not for you peasants.”
And Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt offered his own tweet:
“’The governor’s visit to the restaurant comes as state and city agencies have shut down the type of live entertainment the governor enjoyed in Las Vegas this past weekend.' Saddles ’N’ Spurs and Bobby Mao’s were shut down for this. But he wore a mask so the response: all good!”
ITEM #4: After noticeably ignoring the riots breaking out in cities all across the country for weeks, Democrats are now desperately rushing to denounce them. Of course, they only did so once it became clear their complacency was starting to come with a political cost, and might pose a real threat to the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket’s prospects this November.
But as The Federalist’s David Marcus reports: “[T]here is a problem: Harris is a financial supporter of the rioters she now claims to denounce.” He goes on:
“[T]he Democrats’ vice presidential candidate was a huckster for a bail fund that sought to free violent criminals who were rioting on the streets of Minneapolis, and she was very effective at it. In the wake of deadly fires and looting, Harris asked her five million plus Twitter followers to donate money to bail out the ‘protesters’ arrested in the riots.”
As Marcus reports, Fox 9 News in Minneapolis compiled a list of some of the criminals Harris assisted:
“Among those bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) is a suspect who shot at police, a woman accused of killing a friend, and a twice convicted sex offender, according to court records reviewed by the FOX 9 Investigators.
“According to attempted murder charges, Jaleel Stallings shot at members of a SWAT Team during the riots in May. Police recovered a modified pistol that looks like an AK-47. MFF paid $75,000 in cash to get Stallings out of jail.
“Darnika Floyd is charged with second degree murder, for stabbing a friend to death. MFF paid $100,000 cash for her release.
“Christopher Boswell, a twice convicted rapist, is currently charged with kidnapping, assault, and sexual assault in two separate cases. MFF paid $350,00 [sic] in cash for his release.”
Gee, we wonder why Republicans talked a lot about violence in the streets at their convention, while Democrats avoided the topic like the plague.
ITEM #5: Also this week in Democrat hypocrisy…
“Even as Nancy Pelosi blocked aid to the small businesses suffering under destructive shutdowns, she was treating herself to a blowout at an upscale salon in Pacific Heights, San Francisco — the most expensive neighborhood in the nation, in which Pelosi owns a $2.3 million estate.
“Pelosi had repeatedly pushed localities to keep businesses closed so as to combat what she calls the ‘Trump virus.’ Her salon treatment was still illegal under local bans on indoor salon activity.
“Fox News received the tip when the livid owner of the salon, Erica Kious, saw the security footage of a blatantly unmasked Pelosi sauntering around the premises as a client of an independent stylist using her salon's amenities not under the purview of the still-closed salon.”
The Washington Examiner has the full story here.
As Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt tweeted: “There are rules for the elite and then rules the rest of the serfs have to follow.”
ITEM #6: Last week we shared the news that left-wing politicians in California are proposing a wealth tax on residents with a net worth of $30 million or more. The tax would even follow residents who flee the state with their assets. Wealth taxes are indeed quite in vogue these days on the political left, with former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren among the more recent high-profile politicians to tout the idea.
Brad Polumbo, writing for National Review, addresses the folly of this soak-the-rich approach to taxation:
“There’s just one problem: These punitive taxes have serious negative consequences not just for the wealthy, but for the economy at large.
“‘Wealth is accumulated savings, which is needed for investment,’ Cato Institute economist Chris Edwards explains. ‘The fortunes of the richest Americans are mainly socially beneficial business assets that create jobs and income, not private consumption assets. Raising taxes on wealth would boomerang against average workers by undermining their productivity and wage growth.’
“This isn’t just a theoretical downside of wealth taxes. A mountain of research shows that they don’t work. The latest evidence comes courtesy of two Rice University economists, who in a new paper studied the effects of something along the lines of Warren’s proposals: a tax of 2 percent on household wealth above $50 million and 6 percent on household wealth of $1 billion or higher.
“The economists found that such a wealth tax would cause a 2.7 percent decrease in the size of the economy over the next 50 years. That may sound relatively small, but it translates to trillions of dollars in American wealth that would never get created. They further found that a wealth tax would destroy 1.8 million jobs. It’s not hard to see why. If you make your country’s policies hostile to the wealthy and successful, they’ll take their wealth — and their businesses — elsewhere. They’ll also adapt their behavior and spending decisions domestically to avoid the tax. So, it’s no surprise that the Rice paper also concluded the average household’s income would drop by roughly $2,500 as a result of this supposedly ‘progressive’ tax’s implementation.”
It's a useful reminder that anytime you hear a leftist bring up the need to make the wealthy “pay their fair share,” they’re really talking about a tax hike that’s likely to hurt everyone — regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Are you paying attention, Nevada Democrats?
ITEM #7: We just had to share this one.
After Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo of her son Joseph with President Trump at the Resolute Desk along with a White House made of Legos, Andrea Bernstein of WNYC decided it was time for some crack reporting.
She passed along, via Twitter, that: “I've asked the White House if 3-year old Joseph indeed built it of his own initiative, and if he had assistance.”
When the White House’s Carolina Hurley replied that no inquiry had been received, Bernstein responded with another tweet:
“Sent in a query this a.m: Did 3-year old Joseph in fact build a lego model of the White House of his own initiative? Did he have assistance?
“Ivanka Trump once told a story of how she had built a Lego model of Trump Tower at age eight, then acknowledged this was false.”
The exchange drew a barrage of responses mocking Bernstein for obsessing over a toddler’s architectural capabilities, but we especially liked this one from the Free Beacon’s David Rutz, who tweeted:
“WHEN DID JOSEPH BUILD THE LEGO MODEL? AND DOES HE STILL BELIEVE IN SANTA, SIR? SIR, DID HE WATCH DANIEL TIGER OR THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, SIR?”
Another banner day for our nation’s press corps.
“King Sisolak frequently complains about how busy he is dealing with the coronavirus. He somehow found the time to monitor a specific event put on by the opposing political party.” ― Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks
“Dems didn't even consider condemning the mobs until their political 'focus groups' and 'poll numbers' forced them to. They don't care about your safety or your property. They care about their politics. That's it.” ― U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise