Red warnings
Downticket Dems starting to worry
Expanded from the 10-17-201
0 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 10-22-2010
HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

"All I know is what I read in the papers" Will Rogers

SUING FOR SCHOOLS: Click here to view the new Barbwire show on your desktop

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.

Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution of the Dec. 6 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
from the 2009 legislative session

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

That said, please be advised that today's opening item is based on the same stuff you and I have recently been seeing via various media. I don't have access to any polls or any inside information.

In a long-ago book, CBS political guru Jeff Greenfield noted that campaigns can't help disclosing their strategies. We see where they think they stand on the street and on TV every day. More recently, Greenfield stated that we may be witnessing a wave election this year, one in which issues don't much matter.

I agree. As I noted several weeks ago, process and policy don't count when voters are acting on unreasoning emotion.

So what are major candidates telling us as evidenced by their recent strategies? With respect to a couple of Democrats, a bad moon is on the rise.

Secretary of State Ross Miller, son of a 10-year Democratic governor, and genetically-perfect-for-TV Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto, have broken their first TV spots.

Both viciously attack totally unknown opponents.

Why? Because they have lots of money to spend? No. If that were the case, you'd see birds, babies and bunnies on their commercials.

Because their opponents are running attack ads? Nope. Both guys have been as quiet as church mice at a tomcat convention.

The only answer is that Cortez-Masto and Miller have seen their unheralded opponents getting uncomfortably close in recent polls.

Why? Because the opponents have an "R" after their names.

Madcap Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick has the scarlet R, but nonetheless is attacking Democratic challenger Roger Whomes. Compared to Whomes' scathing negative ads against Mr. Gammick, the DA's commercial is softball. It could be normal candidate paranoia or maybe he sees Mr. Whomes' ads eating into what should be a comfortable lead.

The strategies of Gammick, Miller and Cortez-Masto reveal where they think their campaigns stand with the voters. Gammick vs. Whomes may be a local aberration between two guys who genuinely don't like each other. The statewide races are another story.

If we indeed face a wave election, then this year may be reminiscent of 1994 or 1980 when Republicans hit the political jackpot. Like this year, Republicans had effectively demonized the Democrat in the White House, the economy was the main issue and, alas and alack, Democrats responded ineffectively.

I just picked up rumbles along the infamous political grapevine that turning out the most loyal Democrats may prove the saving grace for some campaigns. More than nine of 10 African-American voters opt for Democratic candidates. The black vote in Gomorrah South as well as in many other states may save some elections for the Donkeyites.

Anticipating such a strategy, Republican operatives are reportedly mounting a massive nationwide voter suppression and intimidation campaign. Without such, Dubya never could have stolen Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004. The Dems are also pleased that the 18-24 vote seems to be holding steady. Whether or not they turn out is another consideration.

RED WARNINGS, PART DEUX. I don't envy the people in charge of Sparks City Hall in the next couple of years. More than $100 million in corporate welfare Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue (STAR) bonds remain unsold while existing bondholders are getting stiffed.

In two years, Sparks must pay $25 million to the RED Development bandidos from Kansas City. With STAR bonds in the morgue, city taxpayers will be on the hook. RED has already absconded with $9.5 million that the current council failed to restrict, which is why a lot of major construction at the Marina complex has not happened.

Adding insult to injury, Sparks citizens are now being asked to approve a regressive and shameful sales tax increase because the city can't afford enough cops.

RENO RED REDUX. Just as the undeveloping developers of the forever-delayed Sparks Marina hotel-casino recently won extension of their non-existent project, Station Casinos, freshly out of bankruptcy, has announced similar intentions. Where Olympia Gaming got a two-year extension on their exclusivity from Sparks, Station is asking Reno officials for five years with a ten-year buildout for their Mount Rose Highway project.

UPDATE 10-22-2010
Sparks Marina hotel-casino extension to be appealed
Daily Sparks Tribune / Posted 10-21-2010 / Printed 10-22-2010

More strange parallels, predictions and predilections of impending elections

Reid in '52 or Angle in '72?

Calvin Coolidge and prairie dog stew / 9-26-2010

Rory, Rory quite contrary

1982 — Chickens, Chicky Baby and My Sharrona / 9-12-2010

Gov. Raggio: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss / 4-25-2010

Warnings of worldwide depression / 5-29-2005

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. In 1980, singer Wayne Newton played to a packed house at Reno's MGM Grand to raise money for the re-election campaign of Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev.

At 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, Mr. Newton will speak to senior citizens at Kona Gold in the Mira Loma shopping center at S. McCarran and Mira Loma in southeast Reno.

He will be there supporting Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the man Laxalt defeated in 1974 and who succeeded him in 1987.

Newton told his 1980 Reno audience that if Democratic President Carter won re-election, he would move to Libya. Given the current economic depredations pioneered by the guy who prevailed with Mr. Newton's support that year, I wonder if his passport is current.

President Reagan's anti-environmental interior secretary James Watt once bounced the un-American Beach Boys from a DC concert and brought in Newton instead. Now, the former rosy-cheeked boy wonder comes to Reno to commune with superannuated hippies.

The times they are a changin'.

U-NEWS. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, will rally organized labor precinct walkers at the California Building in Reno's Idlewild Park at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. I guess that's a step up from 2008, when actor (Harold & Kumar, Superman Returns) and current White House aide Kal Penn did similar duty with union members.

COMING SOON: The new season of Barbwire TV just in time for an election near you. No stone will be left unturned (along with a few heads), some stones will be rolling (along with a few heads) while voters rock 'n roll to the polls. Support the cause at

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced on Sept. 18, 2010.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place for third year in a row.
Next year, we go for the sombrero.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

Barbwire Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006

The awful truth — Read it and weep, fellow suckers

Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know

Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Alternet 5-20-2007

Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.

Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate.

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below

ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press

     SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.

     By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)

     Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.

Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.

      BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey

      BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy

The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as second vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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