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Almost as long as there's been a Jaunted, Nevada Senator and current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been pissing off Jaunted bloggers. In 2008 we took sardonic note of his idiotic statement blaming tourists for the annual DC summer stench. In 2009 we called him a "travel busybody" for killing a bill that would have limited how much Vegas hotels could benefit from stimulus funding. Later that year we rolled our eyes at his push to fine foreign tourists and use that money to promote "Vegas-style tourism." In 2010 we predicted that he'd keep doing that nonsense for a while.
Has the junket become an endangered species? Not if Harry Reid has anything to do with it! The U.S. Senate Majority Leader (D-NV) has unveiled the Protecting Resort Cities from Discrimination Act to keep destinations unfairly tagged by the recession from those sweet, sweet tourist dollars.
Reid is a travel busybody; he was criticized earlier this year for making sure the stimulus plan involved an allocation for a high-speed train from Las Vegas to Anaheim, but this time he means business.
The act, co-sponsored by Florida senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez, would prevent federal employees from writing off certain destinations in their convention plans. Which certain destinations, do you think? Probably places like Florida and Vegas. Rahm Emanuel even rolled up his shirtsleeves and got into the fray on this one, declaring in a letter that government agencies should strive for "reasonable" costs, rather than avoiding expenditures by how they might look.
If this bill not only goes through but is acted upon, Las Vegas will once again make out like those pirates on the Amazon this week. Good show, Harry Reid! Your suitcase full of cash is in the Presidential Suite at the MGM Grand.
· Sen. Reid offering government travel bill [UPI]
· How Does The President's Economic Recovery Plan Affect Travel? [Jaunted]
· Pirates Pop Up In The Amazon To Rob Luxury River Cruise [Jaunted]
· What Recession coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of the Las Vegas Airport: Bjørn Giesenbauer]
We'd heard the swamptown know as Washington, DC gives off a stench every once in a while, but we figured it was coming from those scumbags that call themselves Congress. According to Senate bigwig Harry Reid, though, it's the tourists who stink up the place:
The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened [Tuesday], may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: Tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore.
"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."
But it's no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.
Glad to hear we're not offending you with our underarms anymore, Mr. Leader! Good luck with that whole populist appeal thing.
[Photo: The Capitol Visitor Center]
US Senator and majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) unveiled what he's calling an anti-oil speculation bill on Wednesday, winning applause from the airline industry and even some scant praise from Republican senators. Reid's bill, which he hopes to put to a vote before Congress' August recess, would limit the number of oil futures an investor could hold as well as demand greater transparency from foreign markets and US traders who do business abroad.
Reid admits his legislation won't completely end speculative investing--isn't all investing speculative?--but his idea is to distinguish between investors actually in the market for oil to burn (like airlines) and those in the market for profits, with no intention of actually taking delivery (like hedge funds and investment banks).
While Republicans are also eager to score some points on the oil price issue this election season, they may have a chance to kill Reid's pro-regulation bill by tacking on drilling provisions. House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) says just stopping speculation isn't enough:
It's just another excuse not to drill. Without speculators, you have no liquidity in these markets.
· Reid Offers Speculation Bill, Drawing Mixed GOP Reaction [National Journal]
· US Senate Oil Speculator Bill Drops Higher Margins [Reuters]
· ATA Applauds Sen. Reid [MarketWatch]
· Oil Prices coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Clinton Steeds]