Trump’s Land Grab

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Cheerful park rangers invite visitors to Trump’s newly designated national monument.

If there is such a thing as a Trump agenda it consists of nothing more than denigrating Obama’s actions and undoing his decisions regardless of the merits. You can see it at the EPA, in health care, the military, the budget, government websites. Clearly Obama got deep under Trump’s thin skin when he roasted the orange man at that White House Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2011.

Now we have the Department of the Interior led by Ryan Zinke, at the behest of Trump, taking aim at shrinking national monuments and loosening restrictions on the kinds of “extraction” that can take place there. One monument on the hit list is Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which Obama established at the end of his term. Zinke is recommending changing the borders so as to bring the 1.35 million acre parcel down to 160,000 acres (a reduction of almost 90 percent). Cutting the size of this monument so yugely would break all records – another thing to assuage Trump’s ego.

Republican state representative of Utah, Mike Noel, is pissed that Obama set aside so much land that could be better used for drilling, mining and grazing. And given that the U.S. government routinely leases this kind of land for a fraction of its value, ranchers and so-called extraction companies are on Noel’s side. Noel said, “When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over.” Bunny lovers and rock lickers? Is that an offshoot of NAMBLA?

Trump ordered Zinke to review 553 million acres of land and sea – most of which was set aside by Obama and hence must be reversed. The Republicans have long had a hard on for limiting designation of public lands and monuments and parks because their constituents tend toward rock breakers, not rock lickers.

So it’s odd that an administration that wants to get the country out of the land grab business would be so eager to confiscate the land of private citizens sitting in the path of the “beautiful” border wall. Trump’s Department of Justice has already notified 200 land owners in Texas that their property will be taken by eminent domain. Who knows how many acres of private land will be needed to build the wall (or fence, or whatever), but it’s easy to imagine the number being larger than many of the national monuments and parks already designated.

And knowing that Mexico will never pay for – in the words of former Mexican president Vicente Fox – “that fucking wall,” American taxpayers will be funding the confiscation of their fellow Americans’ land.

Maybe what Trump needs to do is pull an Obama and designate a couple hundred thousand acre strip of land from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean called Xenophobia National Park and Driving Range.

Whacking Weiner

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Terminal sexter and rampant pud-puller Anthony Wiener is facing prison time after his felony conviction for transferring obscene material to a minor. The crime could bring 10 years in the slammer; the prosecution is suggesting about 2 years. Of course, Weiner and his lawyers are asking for probation only – which at this point seems unlikely.

It’s hard to identify a bigger loser than Weiner who squandered his political career, his marriage and his reputation all over an obsession with texting dick pics to accidental voyeurs.

As a United States Representative once proclaimed, “Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.” That Representative, perhaps anticipating the actions of Weiner, co-sponsored the “Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act.”

Read the press release to learn more about the legislation.

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