Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Sunday, January 08, 2017


Would England give away the Crown Jewels?

by Tom Sullivan

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana. Centennial Mountains and Wetlands Picnic Creek meanders in the foreground with marshes and wetlands stretching to the Centennial Mountains in the distant. Photo by James N Perdue.

Dylan Ratigan's epic 2011 "America is being extracted" rant comes to mind this morning.

In addition to the House ethics fiasco and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve. King's attempt to encroach on the Supreme Court's turf, on Tuesday a House Republican introduced a rule to make it easier for the United States to rid itself of public lands We the People own. Think Progress reported:

A new rule, written by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), establishes as fact that any legislation to dispose of public lands and natural resources would cost taxpayers exactly $0. This paves the way for the new Congress to get rid of vast swaths of public lands — all at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Bishop spokesman Parish Braden told The Hill:
“In many cases federal lands create a significant burden for the surrounding communities,” Braden said in a statement.

“Allowing communities to actually manage and use these lands will generate not only state and local income tax, but also federal income tax revenues, as well as reduce the need for other taxpayer-funded federal support, either through Payments in Lieu of Taxes or other programs like Secure Rural Schools,” he continued. “Unfortunately, current budget practices do not fully recognize these benefits, making it very difficult for non-controversial land transfers between governmental entities for public use and other reasons to happen.”
House Natural Resources Committee spokeswoman Molly Block repeated the talking point to the Washington Post, saying, “in many cases federal lands create a significant burden for the surrounding communities.” She went on, almost as if from a script:
“Allowing communities to actually manage and use these lands will generate not only state and local income tax, but also federal income tax revenues” she added, as well as reduce the need for some federally-supported payments. “Unfortunately, current budget practices do not fully recognize these benefits, making it very difficult for non-controversial land transfers between governmental entities for public use and other reasons to happen.”

But many Democrats argue that these lands should be managed on behalf of all Americans, not just those living nearby, and warn that cash-strapped state and local officials might sell these parcels to developers.
One might infer that is the intent of the divestiture.

Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued a statement critical of the move:
Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a notice to Democratic leadership today highlighting a significant change the Republican Conference has proposed to House rules. The new provision would help House Republicans pursue their long-stated goal of giving away National Parks, Forests, Public Lands, Wildlife Refuges and other federal areas – currently owned and used by the American people – by requiring the House to pretend such giveaways have no cost.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) already significantly undervalues federal land conveyances. If enacted, the proposed rule change would ignore even this meager accounting, allowing the 115th Congress to claim giving away public land has no cost to the American people, even if CBO determines otherwise.

“The House Republican plan to give away America’s public lands for free is outrageous and absurd,” Grijalva said. “This proposed rule change would make it easier to implement this plan by allowing the Congress to give away every single piece of property we own, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but it is also a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people.”

State and local governments are unlikely to have the budget or staffing resources to actually own and manage large units of federal land. If House Republicans succeed in giving public land to states or localities, they would likely be forced to sell the land to the highest bidder.

“The proposal is one more example of the Trump Republican’s plans to use federal resources to enrich wealthy developers by making it easier for them to get their hands on invaluable federal lands currently owned by, and open to, all Americans.”
After a search of the non-digital archive inside my skull, I seem to remember conservatives in the 1970s opposing "radical" land reform efforts in third-world countries. Private property was sacrosanct. Redistributing land from rich, large landholders was insidious, creeping communism. Giving land to poor peasants might seem to liberals like a feel-good way to empower them, but really most cash-strapped peasants would simply sell their small plots right back to the oligarchs for cheap and in the long run be no better off. Or else, you'd have to prevent them from selling, in which case the property wasn't really "theirs" and you turned the peasants into serfs bound to the land. Dumb, freedom-hating liberals, etc. That was then.

Now Republicans consider We the People the rich, oppressive landowners. Our public trust properties must be redistributed to cash-strapped (mostly) red states so they can be quickly sold off for a short-term gain. Just not back to government oligarchs. To private ones. See how much better that is?

Ratigan called plans not to address the extraction he saw underway "reckless, irresponsible and stupid."

I've traveled by car to every state except Hawaii (for obvious reasons). America's wild lands are our Crown Jewels and belong to us all, to We the People. But we are being ruled by thieves eager to plunder our national heritage to enrich their already rich friends. Fight these bastards.