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Monday, June 1, 2009

President Obama, Jim Gibbons, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In the early part of February, President Obama chided all those companies that took bailout money and then proceeded with planned company trips to Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, Las Vegas boosters lashed back at comments by Obama and other politicians who say executives at companies taking taxpayer bailout money shouldn't hold meetings in Las Vegas.

They say harsh words citing Las Vegas meetings as examples of wasteful spending threaten to undermine a business sector that brought 22,000 events, $8.5 billion in spending and directly sustained more than 43,000 jobs in 2008.

This comment drew the ire of not only Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman but Nevada's Governor, Jim Gibbons. Since then several hundred conventions were cancelled and it's estimated that the cancellations have cost Las Vegas about $100 million. Las Vegas is also ground zero for the mortgage crisis with some of the country's highest foreclosure rates.

In the middle of last week, in a move filled with political irony, President Obama made a stop in Las Vegas to headline a fundraiser for Harry Reid. In anticipation of this trip, the Governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, made several attempts to schedule a sit down with the President but was ultimately denied. President Obama would only arrange a handshake at the airport as Air Force One landed.

Now, let's put this into perspective. Gibbons is in fact a Republican and so a political opponent. Yet, he is also a Governor of one of the fifty states the President currently leads. This governor made several attempts to arrange a sit down meeting with Obama. Obama was scheduled to be in Vegas for 18 hours and refused even fifteen minutes for the governor.

Now contrast this with the lengths that this same president is going to in order to arrange just such a meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has gone on world wide television to extend an olive branch. He has made a determination to spend much of his first year's foreign policy in order to arrange just such a meeting. Even as Iran fires of missiles, meets with the Venezuelans, and is reportedly working with the North Koreans, the president continues to make every effort to meet with Ahmadinejad.

Let's just think about that for a minute. The president stops in Las Vegas for eighteen hours and has no time to meet with the governor of that state. At the same time, he makes repeated efforts to schedule exactly such a meeting with a man that wants to wipe Israel of the earth, is developing nuclear weapons, and supporting terrorst groups all over the Middle East. My favorite Latin phrase is res ipsa loquitor. The facts speak for themselves here.

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