The Real Story Behind The Bundy Ranch Harassment

By now you’re familiar with the standoff between the federal government, i.e. the Bureau of Land Management, and 67 year-old rancher Cliven Bundy. (If not, check the backstory and my radio interview with him here.) The BLM asserts their power through the expressed desire to protect the endangered desert tortoise, a tortoise so “endangered” that their population can no longer be contained by the refuge constructed for them so the government is closing it and euthanizing over a thousand tortoises. The tortoises, the excuse that BLM has given for violating claims to easements and running all but one lone rancher out of southern Nevada, is doing fine. In fact, the tortoise has lived in harmony with cattle in the Gold Butte, Clark County Nevada for over a hundred years, or as long as Cliven Bundy’s family has lived on the land as ranchers. In fact, the real threat to it is urbanization, not cattle.

A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher. They want his land. The tortoise wasn’t of concern when Harry Reid worked BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore was convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Senator Reid. Reid’s former senior adviser is now the head of BLM. Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests. BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.

BLM has also tried to argue that the rules have changed, long after Bundy claims he secured rights and paid his dues to Clark County, Nevada. BLM says they supersede whatever agreement Bundy had prior; they demanded that he reduce his living, his thousand-some-odd head of cattle down to a tiny herd of 150. It’s easy for the government to grant itself powers of overreach, but it doesn’t make it right. Many bad things are done in the name of unjust laws. Just look at Obamacare. This heavy-handed tactic has run the other ranchers from the area and now Bundy is the last one. He’s the last one because he stood up to the federal government.

So why does BLM want to run Bundy off this land and is Reid connected?

I discussed this on “Kelly File” tonight, video via Jim Hoft.

*UPDATE: Those who say Bundy is a “deadbeat” are making inaccurate claims. Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM. The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy — or any other rancher — and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers. Bundy refused to pay BLM, especially after they demanded he reduce his heard’s head count down to a level that would not sustain his ranch. Bundy OWNS the water and forage rights to this land. He paid for these rights. He built fences, established water ways, and constructed roads with his own money, with the approval of Nevada and BLM. When BLM started using his fees to run him off the land and harassing him, he ceased paying. So should BLM reimburse him for managing the land and for the confiscation of his water and forage rights?

Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t that he didn’t pay — he did — or that his cattle bother tortoises — they don’t — it’s that he’s not a Reid donor.

**One last thought: For those conservatives saying that since BLM arrived in the late 90s, it’s the law now, well, so is Obamacare.

 

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The Western War: Last Remaining Rancher Vs The Federal Gov’t

Cliven Bundy is a 60-some-odd year-old rancher, the last remaining rancher in a southern Nevada county battling the Bureau of Land Management over his grazing rights. They’ve sent snipers, hundreds of heavily-armed agents, helicopters, and have closed roads and set up a heavily-mocked “First Amendment area.” They’ve taken 300 of his 900 head of cattle and reportedly killed a number of them. BLM claimed that it was to protect a desert tortoise that they are killing anyway. He told me in an interview today that he’s “paid for and inherited these rights” and explained that since the BLM’s recent arrival in the late 90s, they’ve tried to revoke a deal he and his family have had with the state of Nevada. You can listen to the full interview below.

 

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War On Women: Do Texas Democrats Pay Female Staffers Less Than Men?

Interesting, considering the narrative from chosen lightning rod, Wendy Davis. According the the Texas Tribune’s database on government employees, Texas Senate Democrats pay their male chiefs of staff roughly 37% more than they do their female counterparts.

The men:

Brandon Dudley Sen. Ellis $116,400
Gilbert R. Loredo Sen. Van De Putte $108,000
Sean Griffin Sen. Zaffirini $90,000
Luis M. Sanchez Sen. Lucio $96,000
Luis Moreno Sen. Hinojosa $75,000
Jason A. Hassay Sen. Uresti $90,000

The women:

Lara Wendler Sen. Whitmire $132,000
Sushma Jasti Smith Sen. Rodriguez $87,000
Susie A. Ramirez Sen. West $49,320
Sarah Howard Sen. Watson $56,592
Sara L. Gonzalez Sen. Garcia $54,000
Sonya Grogg Sen. Davis $42,000

Grogg is Senator Wendy Davis’s Chief of Staff. Daniel Buda was also previously listed as Davis’s Chief of Staff, and his salary was higher. Unless Senator Davis shows newer salaries than accessed at the end of last month, this seems to be a pretty big discrepancy from someone who plays the “war on women” card. Davis seems to share the White House’s pay inequality. I wonder if Democrat female staffers are “treated like meat” along with receiving lower pay?

 

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DLRS Interview: Senator Ted Cruz

Earlier today I spoke with Senator Ted Cruz about school choice, Ukraine, his relationship with Senator Rand Paul (despite media insistence that they fight), and more. Nine minutes.

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McCaskill Redefines Sexual Assault

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill held a press conference at Soldiers’ Memorial this afternoon in order to join St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in calling for renewal of the expired Workforce Investment Act. This federal legislation, according to Senator McCaskill, plays a vital role in helping military veterans find work when they return to civilian life after service.

A Navy veteran, friend, and Missouri District 1 Congressional Candidate Martin Baker attended the press conference and had the opportunity to ask a question. Citing the most recent DoD anonymous survey, he brought up a recent spike in military sexual assaults – most of them involving a male on male situation – and asked how the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was affecting those numbers.

Senator McCaskill’s response was multi-faceted. She first claimed that the numbers were not relevant because some of the assaults included occurred prior to the repeal of DADT. She then suggested that we would only have an accurate picture of the real numbers when the current investigation – controlled by a committee on which she sits – is completed. [In a shocking twist, those numbers are set to be released shortly after the midterm elections...] But the most telling response was the Senator’s final statement on the matter:

Those numbers are inaccurate because they don’t all necessarily reflect sexual assaults. Some of those are simply instances of unwanted sexual advances or contact.

Martin Baker, to his credit, did not laugh in the Senator’s face. He said afterward,

I’m confused. Unwanted sexual advances or contact? I thought that’s what sexual assault was.

Exactly. According to the definition used in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Sexual Assault includes any unwanted advance or physical contact. I don’t think think that she should be allowed to sit on a committee that investigates military sexual assaults when it is abundantly clear that she is unaware of what constitutes “assault.”

This is not the first time that the good Senator has had trouble with definitions – or, in fact, with the truth. In early 2012, she released a campaign commercial on a conservative radio station in which she claimed to have fought to stop abortions. Her voting record, however, tells a different story.

Over the last ten years:

She has voted against defining the unborn as “children” for SCHIP purposes, even though that would help pregnant women get low cost or free prenatal care.
She voted against SA 607, which would have prevented financial aid given to other nations from being used to fund coerced abortions.
Some states that require parental consent for abortions also have laws preventing minors from crossing state lines to obtain abortions. She voted against the amendment that would have provided funding to enforce those laws.
She voted against an amendment that would prohibit federal funds from being dispersed to groups that either encourage or provide abortions.
She voted against the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.
She even called upon the Senate during the debate over the healthcare bill to defeat any move to embrace the tough anti-abortion language in the House’s version of the bill.

 

So, Senator McCaskill, was it “not assault” before it was “assault?” Did you try to “stop” abortion before you did everything in your power to make it easier and more prevalent?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Mailbag Of Hate, Wednesday Night Edition

With love, from The Dana Show page on Facebook.

St. Louisan Jay Vines:

*An* eternity.

Las Vegas resident John Erkman, aka “uppity white liberal” whose marked forehead for Ash Wednesday is a nice touch:

I have a fascist slut? Oh, *you’re.*

While Hillary chum Sheryl Sandberg focuses on “bossy,” can we maybe look at this behavior and these words?

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