Liz Fields reports: A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public”
— BLM Director Neil Kornze
Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.
Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a “range war” against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.
The Washington Post‘s Melinda Henneberger has a good item this weekend, she starts with a Fresh Air interview with actress Edie Falco, to make a point about blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. Nancy Pelosi‘s familiar habit of creating an imaginary enemy (straw man) and shamelessly using it as a voodoo doll, in public remarks, is one she unfortunately shares with Harry Reid and Barack Obama.
During the six seasons the two played New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano and his wife, Carmela, on the HBO hit series “The Sopranos,” they so rarely saw each other out of character, Falco said on “Fresh Air,’’ that “he really existed only as Tony to me.’’ That “there wasn’t a lot of information about Jim, the guy who showed up to play Tony,’’ she said, helped her inhabit Carmela.
Now, nobody ever talks like that — including Falco herself right after her TV husband died last year. (“It’s Jim the man, the very dear man, that I will miss the most,’’ she said then, although when you think about it, that should go without saying.)
So Falco’s interviewer tried to give her an out, asking, “Were you particularly sad when he died that you never got to know him as a man?” Not really, she said after a pause: “I mean, I love Jim very much, but we both had very, very full lives on different sides of the country.’’ Tony, on the other hand, she was so close to that she avoided watching the show because “I didn’t want to see him with other women.” She purposely blurred fact and fiction, role and reality, narrative and normal life for the sake of her work.
In the political theater, that kind of compartmentalizing and denial can be helpful, too, and one of this week’s stop-the-car moments in Washington came when Nancy Pelosi, Democratic minority leader of the House, gave an inflammatory answer to an awfully leading question, accusing congressional Republicans of racism and issuing an even more blanket indictment of sexism.
“Pelosi: House GOP holding up immigration bill because of race,” was our headline. What she said was slightly more nuanced than that, but “I think race has something to do with the fact that they’re not bringing up an immigration bill” isn’t a headline.
“That was a tough story for me to read, I just wanted you to know that.”
“Lab-grown vaginas.” I defy you not to giggle just a little at that. And yes, it’s a real thing, lab-grown vaginal organs were successfully implanted in four teenage girls. A big victory for science! But a very awkward story to cover on the local news. WGN Morning News anchor Robin Baumgarten did her best to power through the story, keeping a straight face as she did a report where the word vagina was used twice.
After the brief report, she remarked, “That was a tough story for me to read, I just wanted you to know that.” In came co-anchor Larry Potash, cracking wise and asking her if saying “coochie-coo” would have made it easier to get through.
Charles Krauthammer writes: Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to the Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.
“Long a staple of academia, the totalitarian impulse is spreading.”
The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.
The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.
“There is no logic. What’s at play is sheer ideological prejudice — and the enforcement of the new totalitarian norm that declares, unilaterally, certain issues to be closed.”
Sometimes the word comes from on high, as when the president of the United States declares the science of global warming to be “settled.” Anyone who disagrees is then branded “anti-science.” And better still, a “denier” — a brilliantly chosen calumny meant to impute to the climate skeptic the opprobrium normally reserved for the hatemongers and crackpots who deny the Holocaust.