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‘Saddle Up!’: Koch-backed GOP official and Bundy militants plan to challenge Obama’s monument designation

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Utah’s attorney general is planning to sue the Obama administration over the president’s designation of a new national monument in the state — and anti-government extremists are considering some type of action.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday designated the Bears Ears area in southeastern Utah and Gold Butte in southern Nevada as national monuments, which places wild places or historic lands under permanent protection. Obama’s move has already angered Attorney General Sean Reyes and rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters.

Bundy has grazed cattle for decades near Gold Butte but refused to pay for use of federally owned land, and his supporters engaged in a 2014 armed standoff with government agents who were trying to round up the scofflaw rancher’s herd.

His sons led an armed takeover of a federal wildlife preserve at the beginning of this year.

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has tried for years to place Gold Butte under congressional protection and urged Obama to designate the area while Bundy and his sons were jailed as they await trial for their roles in the armed standoff.

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Anti-government extremists like the Bundys and Koch brothers-backed elected officials — including Reyes — have found common cause over their objection to federal ownership of public lands.

The Bundys claim the U.S. Constitution generally prohibits the government from owning land, while Utah lawmakers have passed the 2012 Transfer of Public Lands Act, which was promoted by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council and Koch-backed American for Prosperity.

The 2016 GOP platform called for a reduction of the amount of land managed by the federal government by creating a way to transfer land to individual states — which the Bundys demanded during their armed actions.

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Reyes and Utah’s GOP Gov. Gary Herbert are considering a lawsuit, and the state’s congressional representatives may seek to have the Bear Ears designation defunded or rescinded.

If those efforts fail, Reyes said he hopes the incoming Donald Trump administration will “curtail or otherwise address the designation.”

Supporters of the Bundy family — including Jon Ritzheimer, who’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges related to the Oregon wildlife preserve occupation — are possibly considering some type of protest action after the president’s designation.

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“Saddle Up!!!!!” Ritzheimer wrote on his Facebook page. “President Obama just designated the Bundy Ranch a national monument today! Get your gear ready.”

Ammon and Ryan Bundy were acquitted for their roles in planning the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, and they’re scheduled to stand trial in February with their father in connection with the ranch standoff.

A poll taken shortly before Obama’s announcement found that 46 percent of Utah residents do not want the next president to undo the Bear Ears designation, while 40 percent do.


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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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Trump ignored being condemned by Congress and instead praised Republicans on Twitter for defending his racism

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President Donald Trump celebrated on Tuesday night despite the House of Representatives having voted earlier in the day to condemn his racist statements.

By a final vote of 240 to 187, Congress voted for a resolution saying, "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The resolution said Congress “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”

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The tortured madness of Donald Trump: It’s clear the president is out of his mind

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Where’s Shakespeare when we need him? Only the Bard of Avon could do literary justice to the tortured madness of Donald Trump, who fluctuates between petulant self-pity and weird self-praise.

His brags are especially weird because they usually involve achievements he hasn’t made. It’s as though his saying something makes it true — even though everyone except his most naive devotees can clearly see that he’s either hallucinating or lying. In June, for example, at a rally launching his reelection campaign, he retrumpeted an old campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” assuring the adoring crowd that “that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.”

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