Archive for the ‘American History’ Category

At least a 100 head of cattle will be released by the Bureau of Land Management from a corral outside of Mesquite, according to a deal struck by upset ranchers and BLM agents in the latest development in the roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The BLM, upset that Bundy has refused to pay federal grazing fees, rounded up at least one-third of Bundy’s cattle earlier this week, but on Saturday decided to halt the roundup due to safety concerns for its agents and the general public.

Interstate 15 is closed in both directions about seven miles south of Mesquite because protesters have blocked the freeway, according to Nevada Highway Patrol, KLAS-TV reported.

The protesters have gathered in support of rancher Bundy, and nearly two dozen police officers and a SWAT unit are on scene, KLAS added.

Earlier this week, the decades-long battle escalated when protesters confronted federal agents attempting to roundup Cliven Bundy’s approximately 900 “trespass cattle.”

Bundy does not own the land and has refused to pay grazing fees since 1993, contending he doesn’t recognize the federal government’s claim to the property.

“Historically, ranchers would let their cattle graze on public land, and the government didn’t stop them,” Jeremy Hudia, an Ohio attorney familiar with the legal claims being made, explained to TheBlaze in an email. “Back in the 1930s, however, the land was being harmed by all the uncontrolled grazing. So laws were passed to create a permit process to control the amount of grazing.”

“There is no ‘right’ to use public land for one’s personal gain,” he added. “If that were the case, I would start drilling for oil in Yosemite National Park.”

Read more here.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s decades-long battle against the federal government over grazing rights has heated to the point where militia groups have joined in and taken up spots against the feds who’ve circled his land — and talk is, they’re not afraid to open fire.

A spokesman for the one of the militia groups said as much to local 8 News Now: I’m not “afraid to shoot,” he said.

Margaret Houston, Mr. Bundy’s sister and a cancer survivor, said at a town hall gathering this week that the situation “was like a war zone” and that she felt “like I was not in the United States,” The Daily Mail reported.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal described it this way: “Serious bloodshed was narrowly avoided,” in a story about how dogs were unleashed on a woman who was pregnant while the rancher’s son was hit with a taser.

On Tuesday, armed Bureau of Land Management agents stormed Mr. Bundy’s property, escalating a court dispute that’s wound for two decades over the rancher’s refusal to pay for grazing fees.

Read more here.

The Hill reported:

The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.

As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.

Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.

The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.

“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday both said they had no updates to announce.

Late last year, the administration was grappling with the beleaguered HealthCare.gov and millions of canceled health plans in the individual market.

Emanuel penned this at The New Republic:

Americans hate health insurance companies. They are easy targets for everyone to beat up on. When premiums go up, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame the underlying hospitals or physicians who charge high prices that drive up insurance costs. When people with cancer, heart attacks, or other diseases are denied insurance, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame the underlying voluntary insurance market that necessitates underwriting. When our wish for a new high-priced drug is denied, we blame insurance companies; we do not blame drug companies that set the price at over $100,000. Politicians can always elicit an applause by attacking the health insurance companies, reinforcing this bad-guy image of insurance companies.

This is not to say that insurance companies are angels, but they are also not the devil incarnate. A lot of what people consider to be their bad behavior is the inevitable result of the way the health care system is structured and how it incentivizes and forces certain behaviors.

The good news is you won’t have insurance companies to kick around much longer. The system is changing. As a result, insurance companies as they are now will be going away. Indeed, they are already evolving. For the next few years insurance companies will both continue to provide services to employers and, increasingly, compete against each other in the health insurance exchanges. In that role they will put together networks of physicians and hospitals and other services and set a premium. But because of health care reform, new actors will force insurance companies to evolve or become extinct…

…In January 2012 Jeffrey Liebman and I predicted in The New York Times the end of health insurance companies by 2020. We might have been a bit optimistic—or provocative. But it is certain they will end. Insurance companies will largely cease to be the middle man—taking premiums, paying providers, saying no to consumers, and making a profit—that we blame. Whether we will come to love them is another matter. That depends on how well they actually care for patients.

The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.

Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”

“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”

Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.

Read more here.

Actor Steven Seagal, whose dozens of films feature action and violence but also have an underlying theme of seeking justice, says President Obama would be impeached if the truth about the Benghazi attack was revealed.

His charge came Feb. 22 in an appearance at the Western Conservative Conference in Phoenix

The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, by radical Muslims. While immediate intelligence reports indicated it was a planned terrorist attack, for weeks the White House blamed it on a spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video about Muhammad.

“Never in my life did I ever believe that our country would be taken over by people like the people who are running it this day,” said Seagal.

“I think that when we have a leadership that thinks the Constitution of the United States of America is a joke, when we have a president who has almost 1,000 executive orders now, when we have a Department of Justices that thinks that any kind of a judicial system that they make up as they are going along can get by with whatever they decide that they want to do – like Ted Nugent said the Fast and the Furious, what’s happening with the Fast and the Furious? What’s happened with the truth about any of the greatest scandals of American history that have happened right before our eyes?” Seagal said.

“If the truth about Benghazi were to come out now, I don’t think that this man would make it through his term. I think he would be impeached,” he said.

Read more here.

Vice President Joe Biden used Martin Luther King Jr. Day to launch an all-out attack on voter ID laws, which he implied were similar to poll taxes and literacy tests.

“This has been the ultimate fight because our opponents know the single most dangerous thing to give us is the right to vote,” Biden said Monday at a breakfast sponsored by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Washington, D.C. “Now we’re in a hail storm.”

The vice president went on to rip into the U.S. Supreme Court for weakening the Voting Rights Act.

Biden told the Sharpton group they are doing “God’s work” and praised both King and President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law.

“Dr. King, if you remember, you all do, in 1965 wrote from a jail in Selma, he said voting is the foundation stone for political action. Ever since that year, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been the mortar protecting and fortifying that foundation stone,” Biden said.

He said the 1964 bill was not enough in the area of voting.

Read more here.