Friday Reads: Cliven Bundy and the Real Threat of Right Wing Domestic Terrorism


Good Morning!!


What a difference a few days can make! Take a look at the transcript from Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show on Monday April 21:

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The rhetoric from the left about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters is getting worse and worse by the day. First, as the country marked the 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing over the weekend, vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile made this disgraceful comparison after talking about how the feds backed down. Watch this.


DONNA BRAZILE, DNC VICE CHAIR: That was the right thing to do, to try to, you know, simmer things down. Remember, this is the 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing. So this notion that Mr. Bundy has no other recourse but violence is — anti-government violence — is absolutely wrong. He’s been waging this battle for two decades. He’s lost. Everybody else is paying their grazing fees. He should pay his fees, as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we should be reluctant to compare Bundy to Timothy McVeigh.


HANNITY: And that’s not all. Earlier today, runners embarked on the first Boston marathon since last year’s terror attack. And just days ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had this to say about Bundy family supporters. Watch this.


SEN. HARRY REID, D-NV.: These people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists.


HANNITY: Pretty unbelievable. Now, given the events in Oklahoma City and at the Boston Marathon, we really know what real domestic terrorists look like, and that’s not Cliven Bundy or his supporters.

That was  before Bundy gave a rambling press conference and let the world see exactly who and what he is. From The New York Times yesterday morning: A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side.

Armed supporters of Cliven Bundy wield weapons against Federal agents.

Armed supporters of Cliven Bundy wield weapons against Federal agents.

BUNKERVILLE, Nev. — Cliven Bundy stood by the Virgin River up the road from the armed checkpoint at the driveway of his ranch, signing autographs and posing for pictures. For 55 minutes, Mr. Bundy held forth to a clutch of supporters about his views on the troubled state of America…

Most of all, Mr. Bundy, 67, who was wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat against the hot afternoon sun, recounted the success of “we the people” — gesturing to the 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him — at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.

Mr. Bundy’s standoff with federal rangers — propelled into the national spotlight in part by steady coverage by Fox News — has highlighted sharp divisions over the power of the federal government and the rights of landowners in places like this desert stretch of Nevada, where resentment of Washington and its sprawling ownership of Western land has long run deep.

Others who have loudly supported Bundy’s cause are Senators Rand Paul of KY and Dean Heller of NV. and Texas candidate for governor Greg Abbott. Claiming that the Feds wouldn’t come around to bother him again soon, Bundy took the time to share some of his opinions on other topics:

Next the NYT reported some remarks Bundy made on Saturday to a group of about 50 supporters along with one reporter and one photography

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Whoops! Suddenly right wingers who had supported Bundy or just ignored his unlawful behavior did a 180 degree turn.  Here’s Sean Hannity on his radio show yesterday:

Conservative media titan Sean Hannity, formerly one of Nevada rancher Clive Bundy’sstrongest advocates, expressed his vehement disgust Thursday with the latter’s remarks on slavery.

Bundy’s comments “are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me,” Hannity said during his radio show.

Still, he claimed, Democrats are wrong to use Bundy’s racist, misogynistic remarks to attack Republicans.

“They want to say that conservatives are racist. Conservatives hate women,” Hannity said. “Conservatives want old people to die, granny over the cliff. They want the young people to fend for themselves. They want to poison the air and poison the water.”

“People that for the right reasons saw this case as government overreach now are branded because of the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments of Cliven Bundy,” he said.

Because Bundy was not sophisticated enough to wrap his racism in euphemisms as many Republicans do, his “mainstream” supporters will have to back off. But what about the militia types and their rifles? Will they be turned off by Bundy’s racist rhetoric? Not likely. From Think Progress:

James Yeager is calling from Cliven Bundy’s front yard, where he’s one of several (he won’t say how many) providing 24-hour security to the Bundy family. He and his friend packed up “a full medical kit and a camera” and drove 26 ½ hours from their home in Camden, Tennessee last week to document what he calls “a tremendous overreach of federal power.” He’s been posting daily videos to his YouTube site.

When asked if he also packed weapons, Yeager said, “of course. I’m always armed. This is not any different than any other day for me.”

Yeager is one of hundreds of supporters who journeyed to Bunkerville, Nevada in support of the rancher’s standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management. Though federal agents released Bundy’s cattle over a week ago, many have remained on the ranch to protest and protect the rancher’s family. They’ve hailed Bundy — who owes the federal government over $1 million in unpaid grazing fees — as an “American hero.” The Mormon father of 14 has even inspired futuristic fan fiction from his most ardent admirers: “Yes, it’s been a great half-century for America, and we owe much of our good fortune to the bravery of Cliven Bundy.”

They call themselves militia members, oath keepers, protesters and patriots. Senator Harry Reid calls them “domestic terrorists.”

Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management's base camp

Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management’s base camp

Harry Reid is right. Check out these images and commentary by Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart:

“I’ve got a clear shot at four of them,” the man with a rifle beside me said, as he aimed his weapon in the direction of U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officers.

We were on a bridge in southern Nevada in the midst of a tense standoff between the BLM and a group of angry ranchers, milita-members and gun-rights activists. It seemed as if we were a hair’s breadth away from Americans killing Americans right in front of me.

This showdown had come after the BLM started rounding up cattle belonging to rancher Cliven Bundy, who had been letting his animals graze illegally on federal land for over 20 years….

I decided to leave the protesters’ rallying point and drive several miles to where BLM and National Park Service (NPS) officers were holding Bundy’s impounded cattle but when I got there, there didn’t seem to be anything new to report.

I was making my way back to the protest site when Jennifer called me. She said the demonstrators were coming in my direction to go to the BLM facility and demand that Bundy’s cattle be released. My heart skipped a beat and anxiety set in, as I realised the armed group was heading this way looking for a showdown.

The convoy arrived just a few moments after I did and began to clog lanes of traffic on the south side of the interstate, the opposite side to the BLM base

Read more at the link. I don’t know about you, but I find this entire episode frightening. Who are these angry, violent people in our midst?


And Cliven Bundy isn’t apologetic. He told CNN last night that he doesn’t regret his racist comments, “I think I’m right.”

Cliven Bundy — the Nevada rancher turned conservative folk hero for bucking the federal government’s attempts to stop his cattle from grazing on public land — admits he doesn’t understand the bipartisan uproar over his comments suggesting blacks might have been better off under slavery.

But he understands what he meant by those comments, and he’s not backing down.

“I don’t think I’m wrong,” Bundy told CNN’s Bill Weir on Thursday night. “I think I’m right.”

The rancher said he doesn’t feel “abandoned” by the uproar by the likes of right-wing radio firebrand and Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has ripped what he called the “ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments.” [….]

He backtracked somewhat, insisting he “didn’t really mean it to compare (African-Americans’ current plight) with slavery. I meant to compare it with maybe life on the farm or life in the South, where they had some chickens and the gardens, and they had something to do.”

At the same time, Bundy stood by his general premise that blacks once had better lives — stating that, right now, “they don’t have nothing to do with their children, their family unit is ruined … That’s what I was referring to I don’t think they have the life that they should have” because of the government.

I admit I didn’t pay much attention to the Bundy story at first. I live in a city and community where I’m very insulated from people like this and where Republicans are a tiny minority. Of course we still hear ignorant remarks on talk radio, but on the whole people who are vicious racists have to tone down their rhetoric or be marginalized. But once I began reading about Bundy in JJ’s and Dakinikat’s posts over the past two days, I realized this is no joke.

Having a black man as a two-term president has terrified and enraged these racist militia types and brought them out of the woodwork to express their ugly opinions more blatantly than before. As Harry Reid has said, they are domestic terrorists and they must be brought under control. What will happen if we elect a women president?

These people are far more dangerous to our country than foreign terrorism. The FBI should be infiltrating milita groups instead of running stings on muslim-Americans if they want to minimize terrorism in this country. When we have a Supreme Court Justice advocating–even tongue-in-cheek–that unhappy taxpayers should overthrow the U.S. government, we have to understand right wing extremists are a serious threat to our country.

So . . . this ended up being a one-subject post. I know there are plenty of other things happening in the news. What stories are you following today?


48 Comments on “Friday Reads: Cliven Bundy and the Real Threat of Right Wing Domestic Terrorism”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Oh boy. Now Bundy is trying (not very well) to apologize. I guess he realized he had managed turned off even creeps like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry.

    NY Daily News:

    ‘Maybe I sinned…maybe I don’t know what I actually said:’ Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy attempts befuddling apology

    Cliven Bundy has his cowboy boot in his mouth following a befuddling attempt to apologize for his racist remarks.

    “Maybe I sinned and maybe I need to ask forgiveness. Maybe I don’t know what I actually said,” Bundy said Friday, when asked to defend his opinion that black Americans would be better off as slaves.

    “I took this boot off so I wouldn’t put my foot in my mouth with the boot on,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, suggesting he was ready to back down and strike a more conciliatory tone.

    But that hope was short-lived as Bundy soon dived in to criticize people for being too sensitive.

    “When you talk about prejudice … we don’t have freedom to say what we want.”

    “If those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive than Martin Luther King hasn’t got his job done yet.”

    • RalphB says:

      WTF does he mean? He is free to express his noxious views but people don’t have to like them, or him, for them. What a dumbass old racist!

    • Fannie says:

      LaPierre of NRA started in on the same damn lies (those old white lies) “we don’t have freedom” to say what we want, to gather, on and on he went, just like Cliven. Yes, they are bitter old men, because they want to tell you, like they told the field negro’s what they need to do and what they don’t need to do. This applies to women, otherwise they are going to put you women on the firing line, and you are going to take the bullet.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    According to media reports militias have increased threefold since Obama was sworn in. The racism has run rampant ever since.

    The “sophisticated” have learned to disguise their rhetoric by calling for proof of his birthplace. But the Lunatic Fringe has been less subtle. And because these comments have been covered by the mainstream press more and more of the nutjobs have come out of the woodwork and staked a claim in congress. This is what the Tea Party has produced.

    Serious bigotry that has me as worried as you, bb, because they are being taken seriously as they find themselves elected to seats of power. The GOP has been overridden by crazies who long to use their weapons and it is not that far off in the future.

    The treatment of women. The cut off of food and medicine to the poor. The lack of access to education. The assaults against Planned Parenthood and voting rights all come from a radical group of fanatics – primarily the GOP – who have become entrenched in both national and regional governments that pave a way for people like Bundy to make their case.

    I would not be surprised to see a bloodbath take place somewhere in this nation where people like Bundy and his ilk are able to satisfy their trigger finger and declare war on law enforcement, something they have wanted for years.

    The trouble is there are more “Bundy’s” out there then ever before. All you need are enough self righteous idiots, armed with guns and bibles, to gather together to “take back our country”.

    And we can thank a gutless congress along with a host of Right Wing radio jocks who fuel this effort on a daily basis.

    • There is a deep seated hatred for the Feds with that group of folks who have the same deep seated hatred for Obama, that is associated with the hatred for blacks and other non-white amuricans…in general. I swear it comes from the same thing hides under the guise of states rights and old south shit like that…not to mention all this under the name of Jesus and the real Constitution.

      Like BB says, it is something I see all the time here in banjoville. And another thing these racist bastards are too…is misogynistic. That includes the women too. It is disgusting.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Right Wing Watch:

    Jim DeMint Asserts The Federal Government Played No Role In Freeing The Slaves

    Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint appeared on Vocal Point with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries last week, where he insisted that “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.”

    DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina, told Newcombe that “the conscience of the American people” and not the federal government was responsible for the end of slavery.

    In the interview, DeMint seemed to confuse the US Constitution with the Declaration of Independence and implied that William Wilberforce, a British politician who died almost thirty years before the Civil War, did more to end American slavery than the federal government.

    • NW Luna says:

      Sounds like DeMint flunked American History 101.

    • List of X says:

      I may not know my history too well, but I don’t remember this Conscience of the American People ever being elected to White House or Congress.

      • Fannie says:

        Amen ……….this is the Cliven Bundy Animal Farm of 2014, and the Shut the down Government knuckleheads.

    • Fannie says:

      If the federal government didn’t, well who the hell did then? Constitution sure in the hell didn’t, blacks were considered 3/5 of a person. Well, it must be my imagination, the civil war didn’t really happen, isn’t that what the knuckleheads have been saying about the holocaust. Never happened.

      He ends by saying God was in charge of Abraham Lincoln, and that marriage equality is breaking our families up. What marriage equality, we haven’t had any, we are working on it, but “justice” for all doesn’t seem to apply to gays.

      Bundy and the boys, will not denounce racism, nor the sexism. They are painting every day life in America as HATE days. I blame the media, you once again adds the fuel to the smoldering fire, and now it’s out of control, and like Christ Christie is in need of Federal Funds to control it. (I understand NJ has a big forest fire going on).

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Vanity Fair has finally posted the full Edward Snowden interview on-line.

    The Snowden Saga: A Shadowland of Secrets and Light

  5. bostonboomer says:

    In Milford, CT, a boy upset about being turned down by a girl he asked to the prom “allegedly tried to strangle the girl, then pushed her down the stairs before stabbing her in the throat…”

    She is in the hospital in critical condition.

  6. NW Luna says:

    Cliven Bundy is a selfish and ignorant bully who enjoys freeloading off the government. He doesn’t want to give up the food stamps for his cattle, and he thinks Might makes Right.

    Very concerning that he is so far getting away with it. A few drones dispersing knock-out gas to Bundy & his trigger-happy “militia” could be a good idea. Then charges of theft of public property and domestic terrorism.

    • RalphB says:

      Aiming a weapon at a federal officer is a good sized felony. They have those people in pictures and on film for identification. All of them should be charged with the crimes. It simply is a terrible idea, not to mention the horrid example, to let them get away with it.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Last night Maddow did an excellent piece linking these extreme right wing militia groups all the way back to Posse Comitatus, Sovereign Citizens Movement, The Aryan Brotherhood, and the KKK All of these groups, at their root, sprung up in an effort to push the “White supremacy” doctrine and to attack the Federal Government for ending slavery, creating laws to protect minorities and banishing their beloved Confederacy. I know Dak remembers the Neo-Confeds from SC who posted on this blog about a year ago. I think she even had to block them from posting. I live around these characters and I can tell you they’re all nuts.

      And to bad Rachel can’t school Jim the DeMented on the subject of “WHO FREED THE SLAVES”.

      • dakinikat says:

        ah, mousie beat me too it but i got the link below!!

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Thanks for that link Dak. I’d like to revisit Rachel’s great presentation.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I just watched it. Very powerful. She mentioned Gordon Kahl–the man from North Dakota I mentioned the other day. Apparently he was from that same group.

        • Fannie says:

          For some reason, Gordon Kahl didn’t click in my mind, until Rachel explained how it began and how it ended.

      • Fannie says:

        She did an excellent job. Wonder if we can get the video up. Everybody needs to understand how this all connects, and for how long.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I’m on board with the drones. It’s time to chase these crazy ass militia lovers out of their comfort zone. They run around in the woods, playing soldier and brandishing their weapons, all of which they intend to aim at the U.S. Government if they every get a chance. They’ve hidden behind the “freedom” veil for too long.

    • Fannie says:

      The Cattleman’s Association did not stand with Cliven Bundy, that inself speaks loud and clear. They wanted him to pay his share, or be gone.

      • Oh yeah, hey had Hannity go on Fox News TV and said anything yet? Any mention on the network about the lies being told about when Bundy family bought the land?

  7. dakinikat says:

    Not sure if any of you watched Rachel last night but she traces Bundy’s roots to the Posse Comitatus and Sovereign Citizen movements which sprung up after reconstruction and don’t recognize the federal government

  8. dakinikat says:

    Here’s the introduction to “Capital in the 21st century” if you want to read it.

  9. bostonboomer says:
    • Fannie says:

      Yup, it varies, it is about 10 times as much on private land. Your average rancher having 160 acres (that is what the Bundy’s purchased in 1948) runs about 75/80 cows on ideal pasture land. Bundy had something like 900 cows, he turned them lose on 6,000 acres of federal land. I don’t get it, but when you have a lease with BLM, you are given a set date as to when you can move them in, how many you can move into the land, and when you must have them off the land. Bundy didn’t follow any rules on his lease. He should have been run out of town by the locals. I don’t know the amount of BLM land, and total restricted land, and the amount of illegal pasture involved. Again the courts should hold Bundy responsible. I do remember seeing the helicopters sent in to local the cows.

      Listen, I lost my home, and I didn’t have nobody come and “support” me by the numbers to get it back. It’s gone. It’s a humbling experience, and I’ll probably never forget how Wells Fargo treated me and my husband. I hate them to this day.

  10. dakinikat says:

    WATCH: Hillary Clinton Blasts Edward Snowden for Fleeing to Russia and China

    “I have a hard time thinking that somebody who is a champion of privacy and liberty has taken refuge in Russia under Putin’s authority.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Read the comments. The emoprogs won’t support Hillary, but they weren’t going to anyway. I wonder who they’ll vote for? Rand Paul? Hey–he supports Snowden and legalization of pot.

  11. RalphB says:

    Esquire: It’s Time For Some SEC Problems For Chris Christie

    The SEC is working with the NY District Attorney to investigate dealings at the Port Authority. Christie is going down, one way or the other.

  12. RalphB says:

    Strike Two: Right-Wing Media’s Newest “Land Grab” Freakout Still Not On The Side Of The Law

    The current right wing BLM freakout, including Greg Abbott and Fox:

    On April 21, Breitbart Texas claimed that Bureau of Land management (BLM) is “reviewing the possible federal takeover and ownership of privately-held lands which have been deeded property for generations of Texas landowners.” Breitbart argued that the BLM had attempted to “seize” property from Texan Tom Henderson in 1986, and baselessly speculated that because the BLM is “in the process of developing a Resource Management Plan,” the office may be planning on “simply confiscating the land.” Breitbart described the old case by claiming “Henderson sued the BLM and lost 140 acres that had been in his family for generations. Now the BLM is looking at using the prior case as a precedent to claim an additional 90,000 acres.”

    The truth of the matter is the entire story is made up from whole cloth, a flat-out lie:

    These claims are entirely baseless. The 1986 case that the right-wing media’s narrative relies on — Currington v. Henderson — did not pit a local Texas landowner against the federal government. Currington was a land dispute between two local property owners over a portion of land on the Texas-Oklahoma border. A federal district court ultimately found that, in fact, neither claimant had rights to the land, which was already owned by the United States government.

    The agency has done nothing to signal plans of a future “land grab” and has even said that it “is categorically not expanding federal holdings along the Red River.”

    Douchecanoes being douchecanoes!