Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: April 25, 2014”

Suicide at Bunkerville

rainey BARRETT


Cliven Bundy is dead. A suicide by his own The hero of the far right - and Faux “News” - belched up a string of lies and racist B.S., drowning in a sea of disclaimers by former Republican supporters.

I swore I wasn’t going to revisit the Bunkerville mess again until something definitive happened. But suicides are hard to overlook. And this one in particular - so much of a “surprise” to right-wing politicians and Hannity - begs some last attention. There needs to be some separation of facts from all that B.S. - some definition of what “was” and “wasn’t.”

Let’s deal with the “wasn’t” first. The story wasn’t “ a Constitutional confrontation.” Wasn’t “First Amendment.” Or “Second Amendment.” Cliven Bundy wasn’t and isn’t a hero. For the purposes of this mess, he’s not a “patriot.” Neither are the whackos who’ve congealed around Bundy and proclaimed him a “freedom fighter.” He’s not a “freedom fighter.” Bundy’s family did not settle his ranch in the late 1800's. The BLM wasn’t singling Bundy out for some kind of special “persecution.” The story wasn’t about who controls the cattle at any given moment.

Now, what “was.” Bundy WAS - and IS - a deadbeat. Bundy WAS - and IS - a liar. Bundy’s family didn’t buy the ranch land until 1948 as proven by a recorded deed. Bundy IS in arrears to the federal government more than $1 million and has ignored legitimate payment demands required under his deal with the feds for more than 20 years. Bundy WAS - and is - in receipt of valid court documents - apparently served several times - ordering his cattle off the BLM land and requiring him to pay off his massive debt. The fact is, neither has been done. Bundy has a long history of being a local trouble-maker and has had numerous run-ins with county, state and federal authorities over the years.

The real issues here are cut and dried. Proper, clear and repeated court orders have been issued. And ignored. Bundy did stop paying two decades ago. When the BLM moved to take the livestock, it did so with well-supported authority. Facts show Bundy was spoiling for a fight for years and used this excuse to crank up his crackpot, verbal effluent to garner support from others who are similarly constitutionally illiterate. He has deliberately attracted several hundred well-armed folk to his side who are as deluded, as ignorant of history and as mentally vacuous as himself. They’ve been pumped full of phony right wing B.S. at the hands of the Limbaughs, Becks, Hannity’s, Coulters and others using wing-nuts to make millions. Bundy has absolutely no legal ground to stand on to have a face-off with the feds. If he did, he’d have gone to court many years ago.

But the feds DO bear some fault for this powder keg - most by the bureaucrats who didn’t step in two decades back when Bundy first stopped making payment on a duly executed grazing contract. A contract similar to thousands of others with ranchers and cattle operators - executed in good faith in dozens of states by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

Now the feds are in a corner. On one hand, they’ve let Bundy “cow” them while he’s gotten rich by not honoring his legal obligations. On the other, if Bundy is not prosecuted, other lessees in other areas may stop making the payments due on their contracts. That can’t be allowed to happen. For many good and legal reasons. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

GOP infighting hits grass roots (Boise Statesman)
Gold mine exploration draws lawsuit (Lewiston Tribune)
WA loses no-child waiver, mulls path (Moscow News)
Chaney not running, still could win (Nampa Press Tribune)
Update on captured soldier Bergdahl (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune, Nampa Press Tribune, Twin Falls Time News)
Lead-Lok company at Sandpoint bought (Sandpoint Bee)
Wings charter middle school to close (TF Times News)

Feds taking over Cover Oregon (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Astorian, Corvallis Gazette Times, Pendleeton East Oregonian)
About Corvallis first pot disensary (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Eugene, Lane County may swap downtown land (Eugene Register Guard)
Environmental groups sue over bird refuges (KF Herald & News)
FDA may reconider spent grain proposal (Ashland Tidings)
Oregon poor at moving people off aid, into jobs (Portland Oregonian)
Marion County quits medical waste disposal (Salem Statesman Journal)

Sex harassment suit filed against Snohomish (Everett Herald)
Plenty of failing WA schools (Everett Herald)
Fish viewed closely after mudslide (Everett Herald)
WA losing no-child waiver (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald)
Kelso councilman charged, jailed post-accident (Longview News)
Methanol firm may build at Tacoma too (Longview News)
Violent crime up a bit in Longview) (Longview News)
More discussions on $15 minimum wage (Seattle Times)
Transit cuts all over King (Seattle Times)
Cover Oregon will use fed system (Spokane Spokesman, Yakima Herald Republic)
Raises for Vancouver officials (Vancouver Columbian)

The mortgage fight

malloy CHUCK

In Idaho

Sen. Mike Crapo’s legislative effort to shake up the mortgage industry is the tale of two bills – and an example of why nothing gets done in Washington.

This is the best of bills and it is the worst of bills. It places stability in the mortgage industry and it destroys the mortgage industry. It preserves the 30-year mortgage and it destroys the 30-year mortgage. It saves taxpayers from potential economic disaster and it smashes the American Dream to bits. That’s what the special interests and hired guns are saying from both sides of the debate, and it raises the question: Who’s right?

This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats, because Crapo has been working with Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., on the legislation that would phase out the two government mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This fight is between special interests, which are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions, to either move the bill forward or kill it. Both sides say they are only out to protect the people, but I don’t buy it.

The intense lobbying effort tells me that the special interests are trying to protect themselves.
In this political dog fight, you have Crapo at odds with former Sen. Phil Gramm with a cast that includes the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association weighing in against a member of the Securities Commission’s investor advisory board – all of whom are creating different levels of confusion.

The only clear and concise message I’ve seen has come from a group called 60 Plus, which has run a series of attack ads against Crapo. Are the ads totally accurate? Probably not; but who cares? Run the ad enough times and a new truth emerges. The effort by 60 Plus has Crapo scrambling to try to reverse the negative perception. Unfortunately for him, dull op-eds and long-winded statements don’t cut it.

The 60 Plus ad shows side-by-side photos of Obama and Crapo as partners in a scheme to take over the mortgage industry and drive a wrecking ball into the financial futures of millions of Americans who have their financial futures tied up with Fannie and Freddie. The ad says that “ordinary Americans,” such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, could have their retirement savings taken from them. “The federal government will seize all profits,” the ad claims. (more…)