Posts tagged "Nevada"


Like a lot of people, Ed Kilgore is distressed at the outpouring of support on the right forNevada rancher Cliven Bundy:

Call it “individualism” or “libertarianism” or whatever you want, but those who declare themselves a Republic of One and raise their own flags are in a very literal sense being unpatriotic.

That’s why I’m alarmed by the support in many conservative precincts for the Nevada scofflaws who have been exploiting public lands for private purposes and refuse to pay for the privilege because they choose not to “recognize” the authority of the United States. Totally aside from the double standards involved in expecting kid-glove treatment of one set of lawbreakers as opposed to poorer and perhaps darker criminal suspects, fans of the Bundys are encouraging those who claim a right to wage armed revolutionary war towards their obligations as Americans. It makes me really crazy when such people are described as “superpatriots.” Nothing could be more contrary to the truth.

The details of the Bundy case have gotten a lot of attention at conservative sites, but the details really don’t matter. Bundy has a baroque claim that the United States has no legal right to grazing land in Nevada; for over a decade, every court has summarily disagreed. It’s federal land whether Bundy likes it or not, and Bundy has refused for years to pay standard grazing fees—so a couple of weeks ago the feds finally decided to enforce the latest court order allowing them to confiscate Bundy’s cattle if he didn’t leave. The rest is just fluff, a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorizing that led to last week’s armed standoff between federal agents and the vigilante army created by movement conservatives.

The fact that so many on the right are valorizing Bundy—or, at minimum, tiptoeing around his obvious nutbaggery—is a testament to the enduring power of Waco and Ruby Ridge among conservatives. The rest of us may barely remember them, but they’re totemic events on the right, fueling Glenn-Beckian fantasies of black helicopters and jackbooted federal thugs for more than two decades now. Mainstream conservatives have pandered to this stuff for years because it was convenient, and that’s brought them to where they are today: too scared to stand up to the vigilantes they created and speak the simple truth. They complain endlessly about President Obama’s “lawlessness,” but this is lawlessness. It’s appalling that so many of them aren’t merely afraid to plainly say so, but actively seem to be egging it on.

Source: Kevin Drum for Mother Jones

h/t: SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog

h/t: Dylan Scott at TPM

attribution: ABCNews

The far right-wing extremists and their enablers are defending a far-right domestic terrorist  lawbreaker by the name of Cliven Bundywho is threatening a “range war”against the federal Government.

SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog:

The core of the dispute is Cliven Bundy’s ongoing claim to the right to graze his cattle on a sensitive piece of southern Nevada’s Mojave Desert known as Gold Butte. Bundy’s family had grazed cattle in the area for generations, but in 1993 Cliven Bundy stopped paying his fees on the land, claiming that the United States government was not the legitimate landlord.

In 2013, a federal judge enjoined him from continuing to graze his cattle on the federal lands, an order he has studiously ignored. So this week, federal authorities moved into the area and began sweeping up Bundy’s trespassing cattle.

Bundy threatened a “range war” if Bureau of Land Management agents took custody of his stock, calling them “cattle thieves.” But, initially at least, the threats appeared to fizzle as the roundup of Bundy’s cattle proceeded apace, accompanied by a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene, while Bundy sputtered helplessly on the sideline. On Sunday, another adult son, 37-year-old David Bundy, was arrested after getting into a confrontation with the federal officers; afterwards, Bundy and his compatriots described for reporters their alleged ordeal the hands of federal officers.

BLM officials, meanwhile, defend the crackdown on Bundy’s activities by noting that he is the only rancher in the region who refuses to acknowledge or heed the federal permit system for grazing rights. “Cattle have been in trespass on public lands in southern Nevada for more than two decades. This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations throughout the West,” the BLM website noted.

Nevada Progressive:

It’s unfair to all the rest of us to allow one rancher to let his cattle trample upon the habitat of an endangered species (the desert tortoise). It’s especially unfair to let that rancher let his cattle run rampant and ruin land that belongs to all of us. And it’s particularly unfair to let this one rancher let his cattle run rampant when he’s refused to pay the fee that all area ranchers must pay to use that public land. (After all, the BLM has to maintain this land for everyone.)


Hey, someone had to do it. And since hardly anyone else is discussing the real reasons for outrage regarding this Cliven Bundy “scandal”, we figured we might as well wade into this hot mess. So to recap, some G-O-TEA politicians are screaming at the BLM because the BLM is enforcing existing law. A rancher is willfully violating the law and encouraging armed rebellion against the federal government because he doesn’t like the law. And meanwhile, the land itself and the original inhabitants of this land are reeling because we’ve allowed the land to be mistreated by the likes of Bundy… While we threaten the climate that’s supposed to sustain this land.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller disagree with the Bureau of Land Management’s recent actions.

"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," Sandoval told

Bureau of Land Management Kirsten Cannon told that contracted agents on Saturday and Sunday rounded up 134 cattle along the 1,200-square-mile stretch of rangeland as a last resort. They used helicopters, vehicles and temporary pens.

All of this is a reminder that the only good Bundy out there is Married… With Children's Al Bundy and that Cliven Bundy is NOT a “hero,” but a traitor who's actively harming America who should be in jail!!

(cross-posted from Daily Kos

Right-wing media are fanning the flames of a conflict between a federal agency and their new hero — a scofflaw Nevada rancher who’s threatening a violent range war against the federal government.

Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher in Nevada, has been fighting the government over grazing rights on public land for nearly a quarter century. In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In 1998, the government issued a court order telling Bundy to remove his cows from the land, as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise located there. And in July 2013, a federal court ordered Bundy to get his cattle off public land within 45 days or they would be confiscated. The confiscation began this month, and the cattle will be sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes.

Conservative media have held the confiscation out as a big government invasion of private property rights and have repeatedly hyped the rancher and his family as victims being intimidated by a heavily armed force of federal agents who are escalating the situation into the realm of notorious and deadly standoffs like Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Fox News hosted the rancher on the April 9 edition of Hannity, where Sean Hannity sympathized with Bundy’s claims against the government and argued that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.” 

Fox & Friends highlighted the situation and complained about the protections for the desert tortoise. Co-host Brian Kilmeade said, ”We’re not anti-turtle, but we are pro-logic and tradition.” 

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck’s played up the fact that the federal agents confiscating Bundy’s cattle were armed. Alex Jones’ posited that the government was attempting to “enslave us in an [United Nations] Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights.” During an April 9 edition of Jones’ conspiracy theory radio show, Jones said of Bundy, “So your bottom line, like Paul Revere, you’re making your stand, you’re telling folks we’re being overrun by an out of control tyranny.”

National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and described the government’s actions as a “siege.” The conservative American Thinker accused Attorney Gen. Eric Holder of enforcing the law against Bundy for racial reasons. 

But if anyone is waging a campaign of intimidation, it’s Bundy and his family, who have repeatedly threatened violence, invoked revolutionary rhetoric, and issued public statements making known that they own firearms and appear willing to use them.

The rancher told the Las Vegas Sun in 2013 that “he keeps firearms at his ranch” and promised to “do whatever it takes” to defend his cattle from being seized.

"I’ve got to protect my property," Bundy said as [his son] Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."

Bundy’s wife Carol told the Sun that she owns a shotgun and is prepared to use it.

Carol Bundy said her husband is not a violent man, just a person who will protect what he owns. For that matter, so is she.

"I’ve got a shotgun," she said. "It’s loaded and I know how to use it. We’re ready to do what we have to do, but we’d rather win this in the court of public opinion."

Grabbing another fistful of bacon, Arden said he wants to be part of any coming battle. His mother smiled.

When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked if he would resort to violence to settle the dispute, Bundy said, “I didn’t say I wouldn’t carry a gun.”

On Fox News’ Hannity, Bundy implied that the federal government’s seizure of his cattle amounted to an infringement on the rights of Nevada and said he’ll “do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.”

BUNDY: Well, you know, my cattle is only one issue that the United States courts has ordered that the government can seize my cattle. But what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public land, access to the land, and have seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people that like to go hunting and fishing. They’ve closed all those things down, and we’re here to protest that action. And we are after freedom. We’re after liberty.

HANNITY: How far are you willing to go? How far are you willing to take this?

BUNDY: My statement to the American people, I’ll do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.

Appearing on the radio show of conspiracy theorist Pete Santilli, a 9-11 Truther who previously threatened to shoot Hillary Clinton, Bundy repeatedly said the time has come to “make our stand.” Discussing his situation’s relationship to the deadly Waco and Ruby Ridge standoffs, Bundy said, “I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at”:

BUNDY: I told you that I did the legal thing and the political thing and the media thing and it seems like it’s down to we the people if we’re going to get it done. You know the things like militias. You know, I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at.

We got a strong army here, we have to fight, their [unintelligible] to back off. We don’t have our state officials not stepping up and saying no. So until the state people steps up and says no, the county sheriff says no, this thing is going to keep escalating until the point that we are going to have to take our land back and take our rights back and maybe that’s the time we are at in life, I don’t know, it just seemed like we worked our way all the way to this point, now are we going to back off? Or are we going to take it — somebody is going to have to back off. If they’re not, we the people are going to put our boots down and we are going to walk over these people.

During his appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Bundy said that he tells the government he will “do whatever it takes” to oppose the government and because he “make[s] that statement, they seem to say well this man, he can’t stand. We’re gonna have to take him down.”

Jones and Bundy also discussed a since-delayed plan for the Bureau of Land Management to auction off Bundy’s confiscated cattle in Utah to repay his debts to the government. Bundy urged his supporters to “go in there with force” and to stop the auction. Jones said a confrontation at the auction “could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case” and warned that “this could turn into 1776 very quickly,” garnering Bundy’s agreement: 

JONES: This could be how the shot heard round the world happens in this case or others that are happening. If they ever fire on innocent peaceful people trying to take stolen cattle and act like the mercenaries they are, this could turn into 1776 very quickly.

BUNDY: Yeah, and we’re totally disgusted with this type of government and I don’t think we the people are going to stand it, and I’m not going to stand it, I’m going to stand as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to get this —

JONES: Incredible, well we will get updates in the next few days, sir, to find out what unfolds.

Bundy may not have “called” any militia, but militias around the country are mobilizing to support him. And while the potential for violence continues to escalate, right-wing media keep egging him on.

h/t: Timohy Johnson and Brian Powell at MMFA

h/t: Keith Brekhus at PoliticusUSA


Cable news gave deadly Nevada school shooting less attention than the new iPad.


We’re pretty sure that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, an avowed backer of the Mitt Romney campaign, will not like what Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Senate Majority leader, had to say about his franchise while recently speaking on the Senate floor.

As everyone in the world seemingly must these days, Senator Reid then turned his attention to the New York Jets.

“Coach [Rex] Ryan — he’s got a problem. He’s got three quarterbacks. [Mark] Sanchez, he’s got Tim Tebow, and he’s got a guy by the name of [Greg] McElroy. He can’t decide who their quarterback is going to be. That’s the same problem the Republicans are having. Romney’s gone, but he’s still in the background. Who is the quarterback, Mr. President? My friend talks about the trillions of dollars of debt. Mr. President, we just had an election. The people overwhelmingly know why we have this deficit.”

By the way, this isn’t the first time Senator Reid has used a sports angle to further his cause. In June, he was asked if Senator Mitch McConnell was waiting for Romney’s take on President Obama’s immigration order before he spoke about it. Reid’s response?

That’s a clown question, bro.”


H/T: Yahoo! Sports’ Shutdown Corner

There are 12 battleground states that deserve close attention as Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney go head to head in Tuesday’s historic election:


OHIO (18 electoral votes)

Perhaps the crucial battleground, the state ravaged by industrial decline has trended Democratic after narrowly deciding the 2004 election for George W. Bush. But Romney has made a strong play for white, working-class voters. No Republican has claimed the White House without also winning Ohio. polling average: Obama up 2.3 percent.

2008: Obama 51 percent, McCain 47 percent.

FLORIDA (29 electoral votes)

The biggest battleground of all, the Sunshine State had the starring role in the chaotic 2000 election and is now struggling to handle large numbers of early voters. State voter ID laws, which required a photo ID to vote, limited some early voting, but parts of the laws have been curtailed by federal courts. polling average: Romney up 1.2 percent.

2008: Obama 51 percent, McCain 48 percent.

VIRGINIA (13 electoral votes)

2008 saw Virginia vote Democratic in a presidential election for the first time since 1964. The state’s affluent and populous north next to Washington has turned blue, but a battle rages in the area around Norfolk, home to several large military bases. With military cuts looming, Romney may have an edge. polling average: Romney up 0.5 percent.

2008: Obama 53 percent, McCain 46 percent.


COLORADO (9 electoral votes)

Fueled by an influx of migrants from liberal California and elsewhere, the traditionally Republican mountain state has been trending Democratic. It voted for Obama in 2008, but the incumbent is finding it hard to hold together his winning coalition of women, youth and minorities here. polling average: Obama up 0.5 percent.

2008 result: Barack Obama (D) 53 percent, John McCain (R) 45 percent.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (4 electoral votes)

With the race on a razor’s edge, even tiny New Hampshire is getting extra love from both candidates wooing notoriously independent Granite State voters. Obama has campaigned here this year at least six times, and Romney eight. polling average: Obama up 1.0 percent.

2008: Obama 54 percent, McCain 49 percent

IOWA: (6 electoral votes)

America’s bread basket took Obama to its heart in 2008, when he won the Iowa caucuses to launch his Democratic juggernaut. Romney won this year’s Republican contest — until a recount declared Rick Santorum the winner. Romney is holding tough; its top newspaper just endorsed him, after backing Obama four years ago.

RealClearPolitics polling average: Obama up 1.3 percent.

2008: Obama 54 percent, McCain 45 percent.

NEVADA (6 electoral votes)

America’s gambling capital was sucker-punched by high unemployment and the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and while jobless numbers have improved, they remain high. Obama has built big leads among Hispanic voters, but many Nevadans say he has not turned the economy around fast enough. polling average: Obama up 2.4 percent.

2008: Obama 55 percent, McCain 43 percent.

NORTH CAROLINA (15 electoral votes)

Obama won this traditionally red southeastern state by just a few thousand votes in 2008. The president came out in support of gay marriage this year, while North Carolinians approved an amendment banning it. The issue simmers. polling average: Romney up 3.8 percent

2008: Obama 50 percent, McCain 49.5 percent.

WISCONSIN (10 electoral votes)

Long in the blue column, Wisconsin is now in play, following a tumultuous recall battle over the Republican governor that forced the party to build up a vast political machine there. It’s paying off. Obama’s comfortable lead has shrunk. And Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is from the Badger State. polling average: Obama up 4.0 points.

2008: Obama 56 percent, McCain 42 percent.


PENNSYLVANIA (20 electoral votes)

Polls in this rust-belt state like next-door Ohio showed a safe bet for Obama six weeks ago, but the race has narrowed. Pennsylvania elected a Republican governor and Republican senator in 2010, and support for fracking for natural gas, which Romney advocates, is high in western Pennsylvania. polling average: Obama up 4.6 percent.

2008: Obama 55 percent, McCain 44 percent.

MICHIGAN (16 electoral votes)

Nominally Romney’s home state, Michigan hasn’t voted for a Republican since 1988 and Obama is still the strong favorite here despite recent polls suggesting a tight race. Obama’s bailout of Detroit auto giants GM and Chrysler, opposed by Romney but credited with saving the key industry in the state, could be the deciding factor. polling average: Obama up 3.0 points.

2008: Obama 57 percent, McCain 41 percent

MINNESOTA (10 electoral votes)

One recent poll raised eyebrows when it showed Obama leading by only three points in the normally safe blue territory of Minnesota. There is little doubt the state has moved more to the center from the liberal left in recent election cycles but the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” hasn’t voted for a Republican since the Richard Nixon landslide of 1972. polling average: Obama up 5.0 points.

2008: Obama 54.1 percent, McCain 43.8 percent

h/t: The Raw Story

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has donated more than $50 million to Republicans, is now pressuring his casino employees to vote for Mitt Romney. According to the Huffington Post, Adelson’s Management at Las Vegas Sands Corp. “has been distributing voter guides friendly to Republican nominee Mitt Romney and critical of President Barack Obama to its casino employees in Las Vegas.”

While the so-called Nevada “issues guides” don’t specifically endorse Romney, the pamphlets strongly imply that Obama’s policies could cause workers to lose their jobs. “Too much of big government doesn’t just affect our company; it affects our employees, our customers, and our shareholders,” the guide says. “Voting is an important way for you no only to do your civic duty, but to protect your job.” It goes on to misrepresent Obama’s health, tax, and energy policies — while painting Romney’s proposal in a favorable light.

Adelson’s efforts to elect Romney would greatly bolster his bottom line. A report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund found that Romney’s tax proposals, which call for massive tax cuts for the rich, corporate tax reforms that will encourage the offshoring of profits, and the elimination of certain investment taxes, could save Adelson more than $2 billion in taxes.

And while Adelson would benefit from Romney’s reforms, the workers receiving his brochures could see a $2,000 tax increase if Romney were to keep his plan to maintain current levels of revenue.

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Elections

The election could be won or lost weeks before Election Day thanks to early voting that has now spread in one form or another to more than half the states. With early voting kicking off Thursday in the critical swing state of Iowa, and with more swing states following close behind, including Ohio next Tuesday, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be banking real votes long before the frenetic final days of the campaign.

“I am forecasting in this election cycle that about 35 percent of the vote will be cast before Election Day,” George Mason University professor Michael McDonald, who researches early voting behavior, told TPM. “We know 78 percent of all votes in Colorado were cast prior to Election Day in 2008, and it probably will be around 85 percent in 2012. The election will essentially be won or lost before Election Day unless it’s a tight, narrow, razor-thin margin.”

With more than one-third of the votes nationwide expected to be cast early, Romney’s already shrinking window to erase President Obama’s current lead in public opinion polls before Election Day is closing even faster. While the presidential debates, for instance, remain Romney’s last best hope to shake up the current dynamics of the race, many voters will have already cast their ballots before all the debates are held. Time is running out.

The prevalence of early voting in 2012 — either via in-person early voting or no-excuse absentee voting — continues the modern trend. Some 30.6 percent of the electorate voted early in 2008, but the percentages were much higher in battleground states like Florida (51.8 percent), Nevada (66.9 percent), and North Carolina (60.6 percent).

Ohio, where Obama is surging in public opinion polling, is poised for the biggest boost. Recently the Obama campaign successfully blocked the state in federal court from eliminating three early voting days. But the bigger news is that election officials, for the first time, are sending every single registered voter in the state an absentee ballot request form.

One exception where the rules have moved in the opposite direction is Florida, which cut its number of early voting days from 14 to eight. The effects of the change are still unclear, however, especially as individual counties might offer longer voting hours.

Democrats dominated early voting in 2008 thanks to high enthusiasm among the base, an unprecedented ground game, and a huge cash advantage over John McCain. This time around, Republicans say things will be different: They have vastly improved resources thanks to stronger fundraising and more assistance from outside groups.

The Romney campaign says it has met many of McCain’s 2008 grassroots benchmarks weeks ahead of schedule. Among the stats cited, officials say they’ve knocked on one million more doors already than in the entire ‘08 campaign and made seven times as many phone calls as Team McCain volunteers had at the same point in the race. Conservatives groups and Republicans also ran successful early voting programs in victories across the country in the 2010 elections, though it should be noted that the midterm electorate is demographically much more conservative than the expected presidential electorate.

For its part, the battle-tested Obama campaign is counting on its own turnout operations to counter the expected advantage in late advertising dollars from Republicans and their allies.

There are early indications in first-to-vote Iowa that the Obama campaign’s work may be paying off. While the GOP has made gains in voter registration since 2008, Democrats have made five times as many absentee ballot requests, a figure that is alarming some state Republicans.

Former Iowa Republican Party chair Craig Robinson, who now observes politics in the state closely as editor of The Iowa Republican blog, said Romney’s early vote efforts in the Hawkeye State so far fall far short of where John McCain’s were four years ago.

“There was quite a bit of mail being sent out,” Robinson recalled Tuesday. “The McCain campaign was fundamentally sound. I don’t have evidence of that yet from the Romney campaign.”

Robinson said he’s seen no early vote mailers from the Romney campaign so far. He fears Romney has missed the boat on early voting, leaving the Democrats to bank perhaps thousands of votes weeks before Election Day.

h/t: Benjy Sarlin at TPM

Danny Tarkanian is the Republican nominee in a newly created congressional district in Nevada. He also seems to think his opponent has a very good makeup artist. During a speech to a GOP club earlier this week, Tarkanian went into a lengthy rant about how “all these black Democrats” have accused him of making a racist comment.

This is the man Tarkanian accused of pretending to be black:

Steven Horsford, the recipient of a race-baiting remark from Baby Tark.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress


A new Rasmussen survey in Nevada finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by eight points, 52% to 44%.

Rasmussen is mega-Republican leading.

Nevada is a Mormon-friendly state.

When even Repubmussen has Obama up by decent margins, it’s basically game over for the GOP.