Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Vegas Follies

Only in Las Vegas?

Hear Ye, Hear Ye. Court's in Session: In the old days when the Mafia ruled Las Vegas a saying often heard was, "An honest judge is one who will stay bought." Whether or not it was true those days are long gone, but not the follies from the bench. One judge was castigated for sealing the record of a fellow judge's divorce case. Another judge has decided not to run for reelection. No reason given but allegations have been swirling regarding possible misuse of campaign funds. Then there is the forever law clerk who ran for office and won.

Her term was still in its infancy when charges were made against her and she was temporarily removed - although still kept her hundred grand salary. The charges recently have become official and they include: looking for information in all the wrong places, the judge improperly contacted a family court hearing master to get the goods on an attorney who appeared before her, fell asleep during at least three trials, engaged in improper contact with deliberating jurors, assigned herself two unqualified people to act as bodyguards, attempted to breach computer security in order to read employee emails, and made false statements to the media. And we've not even addressed the sexual harassment allegations. The judge is still suspended... and still drawing a hundred grand salary.

Judge-ment Day Cometh: Despite the number of judges in and around Las Vegas who are having their own trials, the filing period for those who would wear black robes recently opened. Of the 40 seats in the Valley of the Dollars that will be seeking bench warmers, more than 50 have applied for anointment. And there are 10 more shopping - uh, I mean filing days until the courtroom door slams shut.

Reading, Writing, and Economics: Everybody has money problems these days, it seems. With the housing market in the tank it is no wonder that tax revenues are down. Our governor has hit on a solution with the battle cry, "Take money from the kids. Full speed ahead!" The little nippers are not required to give up their piggy banks, but the state wants at least 96 million of its budgeted dollars back. Cuts will probably occur in kindergarten (the littlest kids are easiest to take candy from), and remediation programs.

The Guv had said that state school districts would be exempted from the cuts. Liar, liar, pants on fire. One senator suggested the unkind cuts are unnecessary. The state has a so-called "Rainy Day Fund" of $ 267 million. Baby, the rain must fall, so tap the rainy day fund says the state senator. The superintendent claims that if the day is not rainy enough to tap the fund, at least count the $ 67 million that was not required because the school district came in below enrollment projections. It must be true: figures don't lie but liars figure.

A little blogging music Maestro... how about "Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down."

Dr. Forgot

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