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Obama gave Reid political whiplash on Syria September 13, 2013

WASHINGTON—It’s not that easy, being Reid. At least not when the topic of the week is Syria. As senate majority leader, part of Harry Reid’s unofficial job description is to work the Democratic president’s policies through the Congress. But in the past few days, President Barack Obama’s official stance on striking Syria has changed with […]

A vote on military force in Syria is new ground for most of Nevada’s delegation September 6, 2013

WASHINGTON—Asking Congress whether the U.S. should strike Syria put President Barack Obama in an unusual position among U.S. presidents, who have usually engaged in military conflicts first and asked lawmakers for their opinions later. It’s also put the Nevada delegation in an awkward position. Thanks to the presidential history of asking Congress’ forgiveness instead of […]

Would shift in mortgage risk-taking affect Nevada’s rebounding housing market? August 9, 2013

WASHINGTON—A long-simmering plan to phase out home lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got a boost from President Barack Obama this week, increasing the chances that Congress will tackle housing market reform this fall. But this is one occasion when Nevadans might actually want Congress to drag its heels a bit. “We’re probably still […]

One strange bird could pave way for more fire prevention funds August 5, 2013

WASHINGTON—Nevada’s ability to deal with its worsening wildfires has been stuck for years in an iron triangle of federal problems: Thanks to stalled budgets, there’s no money to fight them; thanks to scientific disputes over climate change, there are no environmental policies to prevent them; and thanks to public-land regulations, there’s no way to circumvent […]

Nevada’s quick work on health exchange sets example for other states April 18, 2013

WASHINGTON—It’s crunch time for health care, as the states that elected to set up their own insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act enter the homestretch to Oct. 1, the date by which they have to start taking patients. It’s also panic time for a handful of states where legislatures decided only in the past […]

In wake of so-called fiscal cliff, Reid looks to Obama to carry more of the political water January 6, 2013

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—For the past four years, whenever the clock ticked down to the final hours before a government shutdown or default deadline, President Barack Obama put the ball in Sen. Harry Reid’s hands. Reid has been the reliable quarterback of the Democratic team, taking Obama’s policies and strategizing how to run them through […]

After campaign acrimony, could Reid and Romney forge working relationship in D.C.? October 17, 2012

By Karoun Demirjian From his Senate perch on the sidelines of the presidential campaign, Majority Leader Harry Reid has acted as the Democrats’ lead attack dog. Reid’s steady sniping at Republican Mitt Romney has inspired an angry exchange of accusations over everything from their economic plans to their undisclosed tax returns to whose politics are […]

Impact of looming ‘sequestration’ cuts to Nevada’s military bases difficult to gauge October 3, 2012

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON — In political America, all eyes and minds are focused on Nov. 6. But for Nevada’s military bases and defense personnel, Dec. 31 might be the more important day to circle on this year’s calendar. That, technically, is Congress’ last day to strike a deal to avoid pushing the country off the […]

Postal Service’s money troubles to spread Las Vegas-style delivery April 22, 2012

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON — Time is running out to save the U.S. Postal Service from insolvency. Unless Congress can come up with a plan in the next three weeks, the postmaster general will likely begin shutting rural stations and slashing delivery, jeopardizing the future of carriers and the letters they deliver. In an effort […]

Fissure forming in Nevada delegation on Yucca Mountain November 10, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—For the three decades that Yucca Mountain has been targeted as the best place to bury the nation’s nuclear waste, any discussion of funding its development has been anathema for Nevada’s representatives in Washington. That has changed in recent months. Now, not only are two of the five members of the state’s […]

Pahrump might unplug from Nevada, plug into California November 5, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian PAHRUMP — If all goes according to plan, sometime next year this rural community 60 miles from Las Vegas will become headquarters to Nevada’s hottest solar energy corridor. That a town best known for its state-sanctioned brothels could somehow pull itself to the center of the state’s renewable energy economy seems like […]

Timing, legal woes make legalizing online poker less attractive October 10, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—It took years to get gaming lobbyists, poker enthusiasts and sympathetic lawmakers to join in an effort to legalize online poker in the United States. But just as they appear close to success, their union is fraying. The online poker community has been reeling from federal charges against some of its biggest […]

After allegations, Rep. Shelley Berkley tougher to find September 25, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—Reporters don’t usually have to hunt down Rep. Shelley Berkley. More often than not, if you want to speak to her, she wants to speak to you. But ethics allegations do funny things to lawmakers. Article in PDF After former Nevada Sen. John Ensign became the subject of an ethics inquiry — […]

Military service is no sure thing for young job seekers September 16, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian Brandon Smith wants to study finance at UNR and maybe become an accountant someday. But college is expensive, so last Friday, he and his mother, Carolyn Evans, dropped in on military recruiters in Las Vegas, in hopes of signing up. “I’ve been thinking about it ever since I turned a senior,” said […]

Reid’s influence on debt deal hidden by his role behind the scenes August 7, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—Barely two days after passing a historic agreement to avoid defaulting on the national debt, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is one of the few lawmakers left on Capitol Hill. It’s vacation time in Washington, but not quite yet in Reid’s office, which on Thursday was still a pulsating nerve center of […]

Las Vegas gets stiffed on aid to fight drug-related crime July 6, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian Two years ago, the case of Zorra Penunuri put Las Vegas on the national map in the fight against cross-border contraband. The gun-smuggling kingpin from Southern California had purchased $100,000 worth of rifles and pistols from Las Vegas gun dealers to shuttle to drug cartels in Mexico, where the weapons would be used […]

Immigration court’s caseload keeps growing in Las Vegas July 4, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian Scheduling day at the Las Vegas Immigration Courthouse puts the problem in sharpest focus. “Brenda Minola Ng,” Judge Roland Mullins calls out from the bench on this day, drawing out a blue manila folder stuffed with paper. For the next few minutes, he flips through the client’s docket, verifies facts and clicks around […]

Financial woes trail Senate candidate June 16, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON—In any race for public office, candidates usually have to account for two things: their pasts as private individuals, and their positions on the issues. In the race to fill Nevada’s second U.S. Senate seat, the candidates have been clarifying policy positions for weeks. But as of Wednesday, everybody in the race […]

Another Rep. Weiner sexting partner emerges, reluctantly June 8, 2011

By Karoun Demirjian WASHINGTON – The identity of another of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s social media sexting partners is emerging, but this time, by accident. Lisa Weiss, Ginger Lee, and Megan Broussard were all too eager to provide the details, whether through photos or Facebook-strains of their online affairs with Weiner; and Gennette Cordova, the 21-year-old […]