Zinke, House GOP Approve Rules Change that Would Ease Federal Land Transfers

Conservation and sportsmen groups issues sharp rebuke against Montana congressman for ‘irresponsible’ vote

House Republicans including Montana U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke voted Tuesday night to overturn a rule requiring Congress to calculate the value of federal land before transferring it to states or other entities, removing a significant barrier to limit lawmakers from ceding federal control of public lands.

The provision, part of a larger rules package that passed by a vote of 233 to 190, dictates that transfers of federal land should be treated as having no cost to the federal government, therefore requiring no budgetary offset, even if the parcels generate revenue for the U.S. Treasury through logging or energy extraction.

Currently, the Congressional Budget Office provides “scorekeeping” estimates to measure the costs of proposed public land transfers by evaluating the economic impacts of existing uses.

The new rule, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, overturns that requirement, stating that “authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”

While the idea of transferring federal public land to the states has figured prominently into the GOP platform because it returns management authority to surrounding communities, opponents caution that states without the resources to manage broad swaths of federal land would be forced to sell it off to developers.

“This proposal is outrageous and absurd,” according to an internal memo circulated to Democratic House members by the Natural Resources Committee and obtained by the Beacon. “This is fiscally irresponsible, not to mention a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people. This proposal would allow the federal government to give away every single piece of property it owns, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value.”

There are more than 27 million acres of federal land in Montana, encompassing about 29 percent of the state. The Forest Service oversees 17 million acres, mostly in Western Montana.

Zinke, Montana’s lone congressman, was recently tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as the nation’s next Interior Secretary and has opposed transferring management of federal lands to states’ control, even quitting his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have made transferring federal land ownership to the states a priority.

He characterizes himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican and made his commitment to preserving America’s public lands a centerpiece in his recent campaign for re-election.

“I was extremely surprised by Ryan Zinke’s vote in support of this rule change,” Brad Brooks of The Wilderness Society said. “This rule greases the skids by removing the biggest obstacle preventing the transfer of public lands. Talk is cheap and votes matter, and this vote really mattered.”

Trump has also stated he opposes the transfer of public lands, telling Field and Stream magazine last year, saying “I don’t like the idea.”

“You don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump told Field and Stream. “I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Zinke’s vote in favor of the new rule prompted immediate backlash from the local conservation and outdoor recreation communities, whose advocates called it an about-face.

“This is an absolute affront to Montana’s way of life and to the millions of Americans who hike, hunt, fish, and camp on public lands,” said Brian Sybert, executive director of Montana Wilderness Association. “It’s especially troubling that Rep. Zinke, a self-proclaimed Roosevelt conservationist and possibly our next Interior secretary, voted for this measure, because this is a major attack on Roosevelt’s legacy.”

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers decried the measure and strongly criticized House members who voted in support of it.

“As the 115th Congress enters its first week, some of our elected officials are wasting no time in paving the way to steal our outdoor heritage,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Buried in a litany of other measures is language inserted by Congressman Bishop that would make it easier to give away America’s public lands. For sportsmen, this provision sticks out like a sore thumb. If it’s a fight they want, they’ve got one coming – and I’m betting on public lands hunters and anglers.”

When pressed for comment about his vote to ease the transfer of public lands, Zinke’s communications director Heather Swift stated in an email, “Ryan Zinke’s position has not changed.”

The primary impact of the rules change is that it inhibits lawmakers from raising a budgetary point of order if a land transfer bill lands on the floor. Under current House rules, any measure that costs the U.S. Treasury money must be offset by budget cuts or another provision to replace lost revenue.

Marne Hayes, executive director of Business for Montana’s Outdoors, joined in criticizing the House vote.

“The U.S. House just voted to make it easier to give away one of Montana’s prized business assets. We are sounding the alarm that this legislation will directly impact Montana businesses because it threatens our public lands,” Hayes said. “While Montana Representative Ryan Zinke voted for the package, we hope that in his new role as Interior Secretary, he will stand firm against future threats to Montana jobs and our outdoor way of life.”

Following the House vote, both U.S. senators from Montana stated their continued opposition to transferring federal lands to the states.

“I continue to strongly oppose the transfer of federal lands to the states while fighting to improve the management of those lands,” Republican Sen. Steve Daines stated.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester issued the following statement:

“This vote by the House is an underhanded assault on Montana’s outdoor economy, our hunting heritage, and our way of life.  Public lands belong to all Americans and Congress should be safeguarding them, not clearing the way to auction them off to the highest bidder. I ask all those who care about our public lands to join me in demanding more public access, not more attacks on our public lands, from their representatives in the House.”

State Democrats likewise joined in the chorus chastising Zinke’s vote.

“Montana’s hunters and anglers won’t soon forget this vote and we will continue to hold Congressman Zinke accountable as he asks for the nation’s trust in serving as Secretary of the Interior,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.

  • Matthew Koehler

    Is anyone really surprised that Zinke would vote to toss America’s public lands legacy in the garbage and sell it to the highest bidder, or just give it away?

    It’s worth remembering that a few weeks ago Land Tawney, CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, was literally falling all over himself giddy that Trump picked Zinke to be Interior Secretary. Tawney basically claimed on national TV that Zinke is Teddy Roosevelt reincarnate and even when pressed by the reporter to say something bad about Zinke’s voting record Tawney literally couldn’t do it. Why?

    Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Tawney’s group counts Donald Trump Jr as a lifetime member. One has to wonder just how much money Trump Jr. or Donald Trump has given to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

    Since Zinke just voted to pave the way for the selling off, or giving away, of America’s federal public lands will Land Tawney and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers retract their glowing endorsement of Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior? Will the Beacon look into the Trump $$$ flowing into Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, or ask Tawney specifically if he still supports Zinke to be Interior Secretary? I mean, the Beacon quotes Tawney in this article, but makes no reference to what Tawney said about Zinke just a few weeks ago.

    And after yesterday’s vote by Zinke to pave the way for selling off America’s public lands, does University of Montana political science professor Rob Saldins still think Zinke heading Trump’s Interior is “champagne-cork times” for the conservation movement?

    It’a also worth remembering that Rep Ryan Zinke has an established track record of being pro-coal, pro-fracking, pro-logging, anti-science and anti-endangered species act when it comes to managing America’s public lands and wildlife. This has earned Zinke an environmental voting record of 3% from the League of Conservation Voters and a National Parks voting record of just 9% from the National Parks Conservation Association.

    Let’s also not forget that Rep Zinke was just hand picked by President-elect Donald Trump, someone who is clearly assembling the most anti-environmental, anti-public lands, pro-oil and gas and pro-wall street cabinet and administration in U.S. History.

    To think that Congressman Ryan Zinke is going to be a strong advocate for America’s public lands, our national parks and fish and wildlife species – and not just do the bidding of his boss, Donald Trump and campaign contributors in the resource extraction industry – is simply delusional, and not being honest with the American public.

    • Caddisfly

      Great post, thank you.

      • Snowbird

        I agree

  • geraldcuvillier

    Well Matthew, no one is talking about selling the lands. Just think how much your taxes could be lowered if the state received the revenue from these lands instead of the federal government? Maybe, just maybe we will finally be on equal footing with the rest of the states and not continue being treated as a territory instead of a state. As for the Back Country Hunters and Anglers, they are not what they claim to be but just another green money grabbing non-profit that wants to tell the citizens how to manage the lands.

    • Rhett the Butler

      It has been brought up in the past.
      =============

      Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz Thursday introduced a bill to
      sell off government land for which, he says, the federal government
      really has no use. On the Senate side, Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and
      John McCain of Arizona have plans to introduce similar legislation.

      “While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection,
      there are lands that should be returned to private ownership,” said
      Chaffetz. “If the land serves no public purpose, and is ‘identified for
      disposal’ let’s return it to private ownership.”

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/17/congressional-republicans-push-to-sell-federal-land/#ixzz4Uq1rmDwQ

    • Peggy Johnson

      If you think our taxes will go down if federal lands are transffered to the state, I have some ocean front property in Noxon to sell to you. I voted for Zinke and I am very disappointed right now.

      • Livipedia

        Contact him! Write your senators! There is more to do. I too thought maybe he wouldn’t sell out. I feel foolish now.

    • Carla Augustad

      Can we do this with the military as well?

      • reggiewhitefish

        From the language in the legislation, Republicans can now give away any and all federal property for free to their wealthy backers.

        From one point of view, this is entirely the fault of the Democratic National Committee. If they hadn’t scuttled Bernie to wrongly award the nomination to Hillary, we would have a Democratic President to keep treasonous Republican legislators in check.

    • Robby Tienhaara

      Agreed geraldwillier. Why do you think the Federal Government wants control and power from the land? The land is wealth. American’s lands hold wealth, wealth is power.

  • Fast

    Like I said – history repeats it’s self – circa 1984 we Repu’s sent a lot of good young
    naive people to Washington only to be disappointed – when a fresh face in DC is indoctrinated by their cohorts and looks at the potential income over one’s career 💵💰💵💰most do sellout – it’s the system 💯💯💯 just plan your life around it ‼️‼️
    Hey where Bernie 🤔.?? Rupb’s are going to have a tough time in 2018 💀

  • Rational

    geraldcuvillier — “No one is talking about selling the lands…” Seriously?

    The guys you back just passed a rule that says that the federal government can’t assign any value to the property that the American taxpayers own. That doesn’t pass the smell test and certainly doesn’t pass any real world accounting tests.

    And if you think Montana taxpayers tax bill will go down if they are responsible for fighting fires on what used to be federal lands, you’re pretty terrible at math. Next time millions have to be spent trying to stop fires that might burn down an entire town it would be entirely the responsibility of Montana taxpayers to pay for the effort. There would be a big tax hike required to pay for stopping Western Montana wildfires. That certainly won’t make the farmers of eastern Montana very happy.

    • reggiewhitefish

      They are ahead of us in England, and selling all(?) assets to the wealthy. Including public transportation and buildings. As the unquenchable greed of the rich buys up farmland and water rights, how long before they figure a way to charge us for air?

      As both parties represent only their rich backers, are we already serfs in the country our ancestors fought and died for?

  • geraldcuvillier

    If he says to return the land to private use then it must have already been private property.

    • Rhett the Butler

      Except it wasn’t. You didn’t read the articles, did you?

    • badger

      You must have learning disabilities.

    • reggiewhitefish

      I caught that too, “return” is the wrong word there. Should have said “turn over” the land to private use, to be correct with the article.

  • geraldcuvillier

    I do not read anything you send out because everything about you is a fraud.

    • Rhett the Butler

      Confirming what we already knew. You prefer to surround yourself with willful ignorance.

  • BonzoDog1

    The House GOP leadership allowed Zinke to cast a few votes to make it appear he was for protection of public lands before the election, because they knew the issue is toxic. But the party’s platform was quite clear that the intention is to sell public lands.

    • kamwick

      And people actually voted for him? Wow.

  • badger

    Is anyone really astounded by Zinkes flip -flop? He is a typical GOP guy. He appears to be concerned about Montana. His actions speak louder than words. I predict that the folks that voted for little hands will be sorry they voted for his underling.

    • reggiewhitefish

      Sure hope you are right, but history doesn’t support your prediction. The Republican base hasn’t learned anything from all previous betrayals by their politicians.

      I wonder if Republican politicians will, again, overrule voters regarding medical marijuana?

  • Snowbird

    This not a good idea, our wildernesses need to be protected by the feds.
    I do not want to see our beautiful lands lose that protection

    • Ray Queen

      Federal forests are being poorly managed. Look at Helena National forest. Beetle kill suffocating our forest floors as the natural resources go to waste. Now we can’t walk through them nor can the wildlife habitat like they use to in the timber. This is a disgrace by the federal govt. Now watch it burn as we inhale smoke again like every August

      • Snowbird

        Yes, that needs to be vastly improved of course, however if states get control, im afraid they would sell off the land. Can you imagine the Bob being logged?

        • Ray Queen

          Why keep doing the same thing? The federal govt has show no initiative to fix it. YOu say that it needs to vastly improve. Have you seen any action?

          • Snowbird

            You are absolutely right on that, i have seen no action, primarily because of the environmental groups. That does need to change. No easy answer. My fear lies primarily in that if states got conteol they would not do any better because of lack of funds and the environmental groups, so the same situation, plus it would make it easier to sell off land to developers for easy cash, diminishing our wild lands.
            I dont know what the answer is obviously,, i just would rather that the land be protected from developers.

          • kamwick

            The reason that there is no initiative to better manage these lands is because for the last six years we have had a GOP obstructionist Congress. They would rather fund opposition, war and show trials than any true solutions. Dems have joined them in not making these lands a priority. Unless it involves selling things to the highest bidder. Don’t be fooled, those monied interests have no interest in conserving these lands for all to enjoy.

          • Ray Queen

            Are you kidding me. The democrats with their bs environmentalists have putting law suits on any logging job that is ready to be harvested. You need to go back to the drawing board

          • kamwick

            LOL…,,,you poor thing…

          • Ray Queen

            Funny how liberals could care less that we breathe in smoke every August now due to the lack of logging. Sarcasm shows no interest or no knowledge how the forests work. Helena National Forest has timber suffocating the forest floors with beetle killed timber when it should have been harvested. Now it is fuel and its not going to be pretty. I hope liberals such as Kamwick would take the responsibility for their poor beliefs that is hurting our children, pets, parents, grandparents and environment.

  • Caddisfly

    Why does this surprise anyone, he is a serial liar and people keep falling for it.

  • Anthony

    I am outraged by this move too, and really happy to read of opposition in many states throughout the nation.
    Also that it’s part of a ‘package’ of rules, each of which ought to be decided on their own merits rather than bundled and slipped-through in the dark of night.
    These lands belong to ALL Americans, and I will resist these giveaways with all my heart and soul.
    For most of us in the West, just knowing these wild lands exist gives us solace and comfort in troubled times.
    I do not want my portion of federal lands disposed of to state or corporate entities, at any price, but especially zero.
    So far this congress rates a zero for me.

    Anthony,
    Northern California

  • Livipedia

    Not only are our wilderness areas beautiful but lots of people depend on them for hunting and fishing and tourism. Really shooting himself in the foot here. Public lands have no value? Bullsh*t. I grew up in Montana and all you need to do is look outside, you idiot.

    • kamwick

      It’s one of the main reasons people come to visit your beautiful state. This is indeed heartbreaking.

  • NoLib

    I’m a GOOPER and I did vote for this guy.. Yes egg is on my face.. This is so disheartening.

    • Snowbird

      Im with you on that too as a conservative

  • Gene Dziza

    I was curious about what else was in the bill. Here’s a copy of it. I tried to read through it but failed. Maybe someone else has more time and a better attention span.

    http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20170102/BILLS-115hres5-PIH-FINAL.pdf

  • geraldcuvillier

    Well Peggy, if you voted for Zinke you only did what Hashaski told you to do as you PAC people cannot think fr yourselves. I did not vote for him because he is a RINO.

    • reggiewhitefish

      Don’t know about RINO, but he is still a WHY,NO! in the party of NO!….at least where it involves the known wishes of the public against the orders of cubic money.

    • kamwick

      Actually, no. He seems to be right in the current vein of the GOP today. Selling out to the highest bidder, and catering to the wealthy.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This is just the beginning for the regime of the billionaire’s club. You Republicans, so mad about Obama’s quest to bring affordable health care to the lower middle class, will OWN this, and the transfer of any remaining wealth, to the world’s elitist owners. Are you happy yet?

    • ccurtisp

      It is important to remind them of what eventually happens to landed gentry. Especially when it is plain to the general public land was acquired in a corrupt manner. The Brit aristocrats were smart. They handed over their land monopolies before they turned into France.

  • Snowbird

    Does anyone know if its true that Zinke is in favor of logging in the Bob? Just a rumor I heard

    • Matthew Koehler

      Hi Snowbird. Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed a “Sportsmen’s” bill, which included a provision that would have allowed for temporary road construction, dam construction and even commercial timber sales all within designated and protected Wilderness areas. To make matters worse, this road building, dam construction and logging would have been excepted from the National Environmental Policy Act. The bill number was HR 2406 and Ryan Zinke voted for it.

      • Snowbird

        Thank you for the information, I appreciate it.
        This would be obscene, and as a conservative, I’m ashamed of my side of the aisle

        • Livipedia

          Please contact your representatives. I’m a democrat, but conservatives currently have more power. I no longer live in Montana but I am heartbroken– I grew up hunting, fishing, and hiking in the Bob and surrounding areas. I want everyone to be able to enjoy them.

          • Snowbird

            I already have actually.
            This issue transcends political philosophy for all of us who love nature

          • Livipedia

            I totally agree. I was raised by conservatives and they loved nature just as much as I do. This new breed of politics is not conservatism.

          • Snowbird

            I am in complete agreemnet. I criticize the republicans almost as much as democrats.
            I do so because both fail us and have moved away from what they used to be.

          • Livipedia

            Also, thank you for doing that. It means a lot to me as a Montanan, personally. I really hope that more conservatives feel the same way.

          • Snowbird

            Im only half Montanan, (Bigfork). And half Arizonan. I hope more conservatives feel the same way too. I know the ones I associate with do, but I associate with hikers, campers, hunters,naturalists, etc.
            Im going to be agitating for them to call also.

          • kamwick

            Unfortunately, many tend not to vote in favor of conservation lately.

        • kamwick

          Conservatives used to actually stand for conservation. Maybe it’s time for a conservative conservation “tea party”?

          • Snowbird

            I’m for it

  • Ghostnwc

    Guess there’s no need for a Secretary of the Interior.

  • Tom Clark

    I think we are witnessing the end of a lifestyle that many of us in the western United States have taken for granted. In a few short years many of the areas that we have hiked, fished and hunted on will no longer be ours to use as they will be locked up either by large corporate owners or wealthy families. I have for years warned people that the gun control smokescreen the Republicans have used is only a cover for their intent to sell our public lands. I have said, what is the use of being able to own firearms without a place to be able to shoot them. Now the chickens have come home to roost, and the people you have elected have stabbed you in the back. This is only the first of many actions that will lead to Montana resembling Texas where 99% of the state is in private hands. The next step you will see is Weyerhauser charging for access to the million plus acres of land west of Kalispell. Do you really think that Zinke and Daines will fight them on this. Then we have the Montana land board which now has four Republican members, will Governor Bullock be able to stop them from selling millions of acres of school trust land to oil, gas, and coal companies for development. I fear we cannot even imagine the damage these people will do to our state. The ones I feel the worst for are the generations behind us, we have failed to protect our heritage, and they will be the ones who suffer.
    ,

    • reggiewhitefish

      After the revolution we can appropriate these lands back into public ownership from the 1% exploiters who survive.

  • Power10

    Here’s hoping that Zinke actually provides real leadership at DOI. I gotta believe that in his heart, as a Montanan, he will not allow our national lands to be screwed with.

    • Livipedia

      I would call him and write to be sure.

    • ccurtisp

      The language of the bill will make leave our public lands at the mercy of the highest bidder. Never trust a benevolent landlord.

      • Power10

        The land lord is the American people and federal land agencies.

        • ccurtisp

          It’s up to all of us to make sure it stays that way.

    • kamwick

      The trouble is, people like you are willing to rely on their gut “beliefs” than actual facts and logic.

      • Power10

        Huh? Zinke doesn’t have a horrible record on public lands like Bishop or Murkowski. I hope he listens to his better angels as DOI Sec. That’s all. Chillax why don’t you.

  • Fast

    This bill directs the Department of Agriculture, through the Forest Service, to convey to a state up to 2 million acres of eligible portions of the National Forest System (NFS) in it that it elects to acquire through enactment by the state legislature of a bill meeting certain criteria. Portions of the NFS conveyed to a state shall be administered and managed primarily for timber production.”
    https://www.outsideonline.com/2093281/great-public-land-heist-has-begun

  • AmericanCitizen

    These lands are owned by the federal government. The bill is supposed to transfer these lands to STATE management-people need to read the wording before commenting and making opinions. I don’t know about you but I would rather have Montana in charge than DC. I am also laughing at the above opinions from people who are in charge of Business for Montana Outdoors, Mr. Hayes calls it “Montana’s Outdoors.” Well technically they are the Federal Governments outdoors, Zinke is voting to make them Montana’s outdoors so this is hilarious.

    • Livipedia

      Montana can’t afford to maintain its own public lands. Do you know how much it costs to maintain a federal wilderness area or a national forest? Montana’s budget is already tight. As soon as the state heads get the opportunity, they will sell the land to the highest bidder. Frackers have been after the beartooth front for years. You can look to our neighboring states for examples.

    • ccurtisp

      It’s land that belongs to all people of all states not those in the local vicinity. And, yes, the bill will allow these lands to be sold to corporations or individuals the minute states can no longer afford them. It’s not a trust.

    • kamwick

      You’re posting name is truly Orwellian.

  • Power10

    States can’t afford to manage these national lands, which belong to all Americans. Wildfire management burned through 60 percent of the U.S. Forest Service budget last year. What state has that kind of money to deal with fires and all the other issues related to managing this land on behalf of the American people?
    The reality is that cash-hungry states would simply lease or sell off these lands if they got their mitts on them. Just look next door for proof. Idaho has sold off most of its state lands to private interests.

  • Liberty and Justice for All

    This is wonderful news! States and local communities can and should manage their lands. If people are so concerned about them not having the resources to manage them, the federal government can block grant the amount they would have spent on managing them to local governments, or reduce taxes to allow more money for local communities.

    • reggiewhitefish

      So the feds should give states the land and the money to manage it? Maybe the money to pay federal taxes too?

      Sounds great to me, people should be treated at least as well as banks in a government “of, by, and for the people”. Or was the best Republican President of all time wrong when he penned those words?

  • todd tanner

    Representative Zinke just voted to make it easier to sell off our federal lands. No matter how you look at it, that’s a direct attack on Montana’s hunters & anglers.

    • reggiewhitefish

      And hikers, birdwatchers, firewood gatherers, mushroom and berry pickers, sightseers, photographers, antler collectors…..all citizens really.

  • ccurtisp

    We are not pre WWI Britian. We are the United States of America. We don’t allow landed gentry to thrive here. Rep. Zinke don’t go there. Just don’t.

  • kamwick

    Thanks, Trump voters, for giving jerks like this guy like these the idea that they can get away with anything. How about taking a closer look at where he gets his campaign financing?

  • geraldcuvillier

    You will all thank the conservatives when the lands are handed back to the states. You will have greater access than you ever had. You will see better management of the forest and sage lands. You will see responsible resource extraction and a larger state budget from these resources. You will see a quicker response to wild fires instead of just letting the fires explode before attempting to control them. This will be a win win for everyone. And no, these lands are NOT owned by all Americans, they belong to the respective states.

    • Livipedia

      The question is, better management and with what money? Do you honestly think the state of Montana has enough money to manage all those millions of acres of federal lands? With other states, sales of public lands like this have not worked out the way you are suggesting. Do you really think MT taxpayers are going to shoulder that burden? I don’t think you know the same Montanans that I do.

      I was raised by staunch conservatives, and this is not a move that aligns with conservatism. Whatever the Republicans are now, they aren’t conservatives.

    • Power10

      Wrong. States would just sell the land.

  • geraldcuvillier

    Yes I do believe the state can manage their own lands. There is no reason for us not to. All of the revenue generated from the lands will pay to manage the lands. Look what we have now. It is NOT working. Why do you want to continue a failed policy? The states can and will manage the lands in a responsible way and they will be our lands, not the federal government to keep passing new regulations to keep us out. Quit believing all of the lies that the states only want to sell the lands.

    • reggiewhitefish

      You truly are a hard learner. Go back and read Rhett’s first post on this page.

      If you can’t learn anymore, perhaps you should retire from political activism. Because the old Chinese proverb is true; “The roots of belief are always green”. I believe this translates as; As facts emerge, beliefs change.

      You must acknowledge facts or offer countering evidence to remain in the conversation. Anything less is just blind, stubborn, partisan refusal to accept reality.

  • geraldcuvillier

    How do you expect to find the truth from anything a Cuban Communist lover says. and no the states will not sell the lands. The lands are in far more danger of being sold with the current situation. The national debt is near 20 trillion and that is a tempting morsel to reduce the debt.

    • donho1116

      You still allowed out in public without supervision, and does it seem to be getting more difficult for you to find someone in your immediate family that can respond on these comments for you that can actually read and write english?

  • geraldcuvillier

    I see you have been reading Rhett’s copy of Rule for Radicals. I am not offended by your comments trying to marginalize me. It is just like getting kicked by a mule. Once I consider the source, I think nothing of it.

    • Rhett the Butler

      I think you’ve been kicked by one too many mules and that’s why your thinking is so screwed up.

    • donho1116

      Rhett, this maggot never got kicked by a mule, he was dropped to the frozen ground in a failed abortion, and since then has lived in the puke and slime of his formation and his ability or lack thereof to be a part of normal and acceptable society and behavior, somewhat in the mode of a Hitler type.

  • geraldcuvillier

    Wow! Donho is really mad. My family does not believe in abortion. That is the way you democrats live. I see you survived your abortion attempt. While Obama care last, you can rectify the mistake your mother made by not aborting you as Obama has extended the period for abortion into eternity. So call your local murder, I mean abortion clinic and they will stab you in the top of the head with a pair of scissors and vacuum your brain out.

    • Rhett the Butler

      If it’s not your vagina, keep your nose out of it.

  • geraldcuvillier

    I do not believe your arm is long enough to reach the top of the gutter any more Rhett. Your name should be changed to Retch.

    • Rhett the Butler

      Women are the only ones who should be making decisions about their bodies, and their health care in consultation with their physician.

  • geraldcuvillier

    So you ah a woman killing your baby? If anyone follows your lead they will be led into a life of debauchery, disease, drug and alcohol addiction, slavery and utter misery. If you follow my lead, you will have life, property and happiness.

    • Rhett the Butler

      What is “ah”?

  • geraldcuvillier

    So I fat fingered the keyboard. That does not change my statement about your lifestyle choices. Go back to Cuba.

    • Rhett the Butler

      What do you know about my “lifestyle choices”? Nothing.

      Unlike you, I was born here. I’m not going back to anywhere. You’re welcome to return to your home swamps of Loseriana.

  • geraldcuvillier

    There are no Americans that subscribe to your communist ideas. You are the interloper here.

    • Rhett the Butler

      I’m not a communist.

  • Natalie

    Mourning for America’s lost this week … nothing is respected anymore… not even our parks for our future generations, not our treaties with Native Americans, not our many species that are becoming endangered and extinct.

    Some in our government are excited to say now our parks can be made profitable by selling them off to the highest bidder, mining them drilling them and clear cutting the forests.
    There is no value of money what these lands are truly worth and once gone they are likely never to be restored to their glory.

    Short sighted thinking is the most dangerous of paths for all great nations … we took our forefathers long sighted goals and threw their cautions to the wind and took the path none of them wanted us to take.