Obama Subverts Antiquities Act to Unilaterally Seize Land
Dan Calabrese writes: When you think of a national monument, you probably think of a beautiful statue or some stately structure that honors a former president. They’re nice to have, nice to go look at. You probably don’t think of a “national monument” as 1.5 million acres of land that contains crucial natural resources the nation needs, but thanks to the national monument designation, can’t touch.
“It is extremely disappointing that President Obama has declared another national monument here in Utah, ignoring the voices of so many in our state, particularly those closest to the designated space. By significantly restricting access to a large portion of public lands in Utah, the President weakens land management capabilities and fails to protect those the Antiquities Act intended to benefit.”
— Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
Welcome once again to the final days of the Obama presidency, in which the whole point is to take abuse of executive power to new and, Obama homes, irreversible new heights. Screw your neighbors. Screw your own country. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and you think you’ve come up with a way to do it that leaves your successor helpless to reverse your abuses once you’re gone. One day it’s drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic. The next it’s the de facto declaration of war against one of your best allies.
“Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.”
Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.
“Obama sees governing as a form of ideological combat. However much he may pretend he wants to help Trump get off to a good start, his actions say exactly the opposite. This gigantic federal land grab is only the latest example of Obama cleverly abusing executive powers in his waning days to hamstring the incoming administration, while structuring his actions in such a way that Trump can’t simply revoke what Obama has done.”
And if that means you’re seizing 1.5 million acres on the thinnest of premises, hey, you’re Barack Obama. At this point, it’s what you do:
The White House announced that The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will cover 1.35 million acres in the Four Corners region. The move is a victory for Native American tribes and conservationists for whom the land is considered sacred, but sparked intense opposition from Republicans. Read the rest of this entry »
Steven Shepard writes: Donald Trump wasn’t wildly popular to begin with. And now he’s becoming even more disliked among American voters, creating a significant threat to his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination.
“If Trump misses the threshold to win the nomination outright in bound delegates, it will be more difficult to persuade unbound delegates to put him over the top if they see him as a general election disaster-in-the-making due to his high unfavorability ratings among all voters.”
Trump is, by far, the GOP delegate leader — and the only candidate with a realistic shot at winning a majority of delegates before the July convention. But at the same time, nearly two-thirds of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and his image rating has declined since Republican voting began in February.
The danger for Trump is two-fold: His declining popularity is taking a toll on his standing in the 17 states that will hold primaries between now and the end of the process in early June. Losing some of these states — or even winning fewer delegates in proportional states — makes it more difficult for Trump to secure a pre-convention majority of 1,237 delegates.
That’s where Trump’s horrific poll numbers could haunt him again: If Trump misses the threshold to win the nomination outright in bound delegates, it will be more difficult to persuade unbound delegates to put him over the top if they see him as a general election disaster-in-the-making due to his high unfavorability ratings among all voters.
How bad are Trump’s image ratings? The HuffPost Pollster average of recent national polls puts Trump’s favorability at only 31 percent, while 63 percent view him unfavorably.
That’s a notable decline from late January, on the eve of the first votes in the GOP nominating process, when Trump’s average favorability rating was 37 percent, with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably. Read the rest of this entry »
“Regardless of color, regardless of income status, you are not predestined to be poor.”
— Mia Love
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, sits down with The Daily Signal and shares her goals in Congress and why the conservative message remains strong.
Answer after the jump Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES THEY DID: Washington Driver Gets Six Months for ‘Marijuana-Related’ Crash That May Have Had Nothing to Do With MarijuanaPosted: May 19, 2015
Jacob Sullum writes: Today a Vancouver, Washington, pot smoker received a six-month jail sentence, followed by five years of probation, in a case that seems to illustrate the injustice caused by his state’s new definition of stoned driving. Scotty Rowles was driving his 1995 Ford pickup truck on East Mill Plain Boulevard around 6 p.m. on December 17, 2012, when Donald Collins stepped from the median into the street in front of him. According to KPTV, the Fox station in Portland, Oregon, “Investigators said Collins was close to two different lit and controlled intersections, but stepped out in the middle of traffic to try and cross the road.” On the face of it, Collins’ death was not Rowles’ fault. But a police officer smelled marijuana on Rowles, who admitted that he had smoked “a little bowl” one or two hours earlier. He was charged with vehicular homicide.
Prosecutors dropped that charge after concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support it. But they changed their minds after a blood test put Rowles’ THC level at 7.2 nanograms per milliliter, 2.2 nanograms above Washington’s new cutoff for driving under the influence of marijuana. Because of that rule, which was included in the marijuana legalization intitiative that voters approved a month before the accident, Rowles was guilty of DUI even if he was not actually impaired. Read the rest of this entry »
VANILLA IN MANILA: Mitt Romney and Evander Holyfield Stare Down During Weigh-In Before their Charity Boxing MatchPosted: May 15, 2015
Former Massachusetts Governor and two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and five-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield stare down during their weigh-in before their boxing match in Holladay, Utah May 14, 2015. The two will box on Friday to benefit the medical charity CharityVision.
Undocking coverage lasts from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT, while landing coverage is scheduled to run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Mike Wall reports: NASA will test-fire the booster of its Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket today at 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT), and three astronauts will return to Earth from the International Space Station in the evening. You can watch the space action live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
“What’s impressive about this test is, when ignited, the booster will be operating at about 3.6 million pounds of thrust, or 22 million horsepower. This test firing is critical to enable validation of our design.”
— Alex Priskos, manager of the SLS Boosters Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
The SLS rocket booster test takes place at the facilities of aerospace firm Orbital ATK in Promontory, Utah, with webcast coverage beginning at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). There will be no spaceflight involved: Engineers will fire the 177-foot-long (54 meters) booster for two minutes on the ground, in a horizontal configuration.
“What’s impressive about this test is, when ignited, the booster will be operating at about 3.6 million pounds of thrust, or 22 million horsepower,” Alex Priskos, manager of the SLS Boosters Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said in a statement. “This test firing is critical to enable validation of our design.”
Another booster test is planned for early 2016, NASA officials said.
The SLS will incorporate two of the five-segment boosters, as well as four RS-25 engines, on its first two flights, which will be capable of lofting 70 metric tons of payload to low-Earth orbit (LEO). NASA intends to scale the rocket up to deliver 130 metric tons to LEO, to enable manned missions to faraway destinations such as Mars. The first SLS flight is currently scheduled for 2018.
This evening, NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova will wrap up their nearly six-month-long mission aboard the International Space Station and come back down to Earth. Read the rest of this entry »
Since the facility was built, Utah government has had up to 300 million attempted attacks a day
Five years ago, Utah government computer systems faced 25,000 to 30,000 attempted cyberattacks every day.
At the time, Utah Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires thought that was massive. “But this last year we have had spikes of over 300 million attacks against the state databases” each day: a 10,000-fold increase.
Why? Squires says it is probably because Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems. Read the rest of this entry »
After 10 days of premieres and deals in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival jury handed out honors across a range of categories on Saturday evening.
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity.”
— Me and Earl Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity,” said Earl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon upon accepting the grand jury prize.
Meanwhile, The Wolfpack, a look at a family of six siblings living in Manhattan, claimed the U.S. grand jury prize for a documentary. Robert Eggers, whose film The Witch was acquired by A24 films shortly after the festival opened, claimed the directing award for U.S. dramatic title.
Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope, which was acquired by Open Road and given a June 12 theatrical release, claimed the special jury honor for excellence in editing while Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment took home the U.S. dramatic screenwriting award. Read the rest of this entry »
— NRCC (@NRCC) November 5, 2014
We did it! Thank you!! pic.twitter.com/F2eOEXPeQA
— Mia Love (@MiaBLove) November 5, 2014
There are five African American women who are likely to be members of the next Congress, including Utah’s Mia Love. If they all win, it will bring the number of African American women in Congress to 20, the most ever.
— Mia Love (@MiaBLove) August 4, 2014
— Mia Love (@MiaBLove) March 17, 2014
FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.
“We’re just two local prosecutors but everybody who was supposed to look at this evidence above us has made a decision not to, and by default left it to us to investigate and prosecute at the state level.”
— Sim Gill, chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County
But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.
“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody…If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”
— Sim Gill
Senator Mike Lee knows…
District court ruling finds key parts of Utah polygamy laws unconstitutional
Jim Dalrymple writes: Judge Clark Waddoups’ 91-page ruling, issued Friday, sets a new legal precedent in Utah, effectively decriminalizing polygamy. It is the latest development in a lawsuit filed by the family of Kody Brown, who became famous while starring in cable TV channel TLC’s reality series “Sister Wives.” The show entered a fourth season at the end of the summer.
Statement from Kody Brown:
The entire Brown family is humbled and grateful for this historical ruling from the court today. Like thousands of other plural families, we have waited many years for this day. While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our beliefs. Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs. There are so many families who have waited for so long for this ruling and, on their behalf, we can only say: thank you, Judge Waddoups, for your courageous decision. We want to particularly thank our lead counsel Professor Jonathan Turley who represented us through the criminal investigation and then led the fight against this law. We also want to thank the team of lawyers and students from George Washington, including our local counsel Adam Alba. We are so honored and blessed to have been able to serve as the vehicle for this milestone ruling. Professor Turley has pledged to defend this decision on appeal and we are equally committed to fight to preserve this great victory.
Waddoups’ ruling attacks the parts of Utah’s law making cohabitation illegal. In the introduction, Waddoups says the phrase “or cohabits with another person” is a violation of both the First and 14th amendments. Waddoups later writes that while there is no “fundamental right” to practice polygamy, the issue really comes down to “religious cohabitation.” In the 1800s — when the mainstream LDS Churh still practiced polygamy — “religious cohabitation” in Utah could have actually resulted in “multiple purportedly legal marriages.” Today, however, simply living together doesn’t amount to being “married,” Waddoups writes.
“The court finds the cohabitation prong of the Statute unconstitutional on numerous grounds and strikes it,” Waddoups later writes.
(CNN) — Utah doctor Martin MacNeill was found guilty of his wife’s murder in a verdict read early Saturday morning.
MacNeill showed no emotion as he learned his fate, but a yell came from the section where his relatives sat.
He will be sentenced later.
MacNeill had said his wife’s death was an accident.
In the end, jurors believed prosecutors’ allegations that MacNeill drugged then drowned his wife, Michele MacNeill, in the bathtub of their home on April 11, 2007, to be with his mistress.
1,500 to 2,000 supporters of Senator Mike Lee, waving American flags and holding home-made signs, gave a ten minute ovation to their favorite Senator at a rally in Salt Lake City, Saturday morning, to counter the media narrative that ‘his constituents don’t like him.’
The Experts Have Spoken: Instagram Pictures of Food Will Ruin Your Meal
Eliana Dockterman reports: When your friend stops you from digging into your delicious meal so that she can Instagram the food, it spoils the eating experience. And there’s science to prove that.
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that over-exposure to food photos on Instagram ruins your meal. Marketing professors at Brigham Young University asked 232 people to look at and rate pictures of food.
Half of the participants looked a pictures of sweet food (cakes, pastries), half at pictures of salty food (pretzels, chips). Both groups were then asked to have a salty food snack. Those who had looked at pictures of salty food enjoyed their snack less. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: Tune in to Filibuster in progress – Live Video – C-SPAN2 – Butcher
Andrew Johnson reports: UPDATE: 2:48 p.m. “I intend to speak until I can no longer stand,” Cruz said in his opening remarks of his filibuster. Cruz was joined by his partner in his effort to defund Obamacare, Utah senator Mike Lee. Cruz has already played on the theme to “make DC listen” early on in his remarks and his Twitter account has started using the #MakeDCListen hashtag.
A Republican Senate source tells NRO’s Betsy Woodruff that Texas senator Ted Cruz will mount a “talking filibuster” this afternoon to stop a cloture vote on the continuing resolution that would defund Obamacare, which is set to come up for a vote tomorrow. Cruz is expected to begin the filibuster shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Asked how long he’ll keep it up for, Cruz said, “We’ll see.”
A packet of information sent to Mayor Mia Love’s office that city officials described as racist launched a police investigation Tuesday…
City Manager Mark Christensen described the contents of the thick envelope as “disturbing” and “pretty creepy stuff.” He said it included a picture of Love and her husband, Jason, and a hooded Ku Klux Klan character. There also were pictures of aborted fetuses, he said.
“I couldn’t tell if it was threatening or anything. It kind of shocked me, what I saw,” he said.
Love, a Republican who is locked in a heated battled with Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in Utah’s new 4th Congressional District, took a defiant tone when asked about the mailing…
“I want you to know, I want everyone to know I am comfortable in my skin. I’m comfortable and proud of my heritage. I’m proud of who I am. I know where I’m going and I know what we need to do to get this country back in order again. There isn’t anything that anyone can send me that will distract me from that so they can bring it”
Christensen said the envelope contained fliers, pictures and pages printed from the Internet. He said the city has received mail aimed at Love four or five times before, but the latest envelope caused enough concern to involve police…