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Rod Miller: Liz Cheney And A House Divided

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By Rod Miller, columnist

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Thus, Charles Dickens opens his classic, “A Tale of Two Cities”. Dickens could just as easily been describing today’s Republican Party and the schism that makes the GOP look like a house divided, warring against itself.

As the GOP leadership, both in Wyoming and nationally, purges from the ranks any voices critical of ex-president Trump, the ideological schism widens. The result will be a party containing two cities – one loyal to a demagogue, and one loyal to the U.S. Constitution.

So, what’s the solution? Let’s take a look at another old, dusty document and see if we can get a hint.

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

Dissolving political bands seems, in times like these, to be a wise idea. The Republican party (or one or the other of the factions within it) should summon up the intellectual honesty to admit that the current schism will not heal, and that the opposing internal ideologies should divorce.

Break-ups are always painful and angsty, but often necessary. The modern GOP is, in fact, the result of the Whig Party dividing over the question of slavery in the new western states back in the 1850s.

The new Republican Party, only a couple of years old, lost its first presidential election in 1856, when John C. Fremont was the candidate. They took their lumps in the first contest, but won four years later with Abraham Lincoln leading the ticket.

So, history teaches us that being a brand new political party splitting off because of ideological differences is NOT the kiss of death.

The Whigs split over slavery, but today the shear point in the GOP is the personality of one man. One element of the Republican Party would gleefully follow Trump over a cliff just to kiss his ass. The rest of us owe fidelity to the Constitution, rather than to any individual. The only solution is to divide the party.

The Trump wing should proudly disavow itself of any political impetus other than what comes out of his mouth, thus freeing themselves totally from any constraints that the Constitution might impose. And they have an instructive example from Argentina in the first half of the 20th Century with Juan and Evita Peron and the Peronistas.

The rest of us should re-read “Conscience of a Conservative” and re-dedicate ourselves to a party that embraces the Constitution, the rule of law, fiscal constraint, individual (rather than governmental or corporate) rights and responsibilities, peaceful transitions of power, civil debate, and good grammar and punctuation. We should also take a firm stand against the designated hitter rule.

These two approaches to a nation’s civic life simply cannot co-exist within the same party. Its time for a break-up and a new political party. I suppose we can flip a coin to see who gets to keep the name “Republican”, but if this current situation goes on much longer, that name won’t have much meaning anymore.

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Dave Simpson: What In Sam Hill Does That Mean?

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

Heterodox.

It’s one of those words that you’d like other people to think you know the meaning of, but which, if someone put a .44 to your head, you’d have to admit that you don’t know what the ding-dong heck it means.

(Ding-dong is an expression which people who know the meaning of heterodox are unlikely to use. I use ding-dong all the time, to add emphasis. And zing. I also used to use the exclamation, “Gnarly, Dude!” until my wife made me stop. I don’t know why.)

Many otherwise smart people are hazy on what heterodox means. I asked my aforementioned wife – who has more advanced degrees than you can shake a stick at, and actually knows what “T-cells” are – and she had to think awhile before coming up with what in Sam Hill heterodox means.

(Sam Hill was a Michigan surveyor in the 1800s who “allegedly used such foul language that his name became a euphemism for swear words,” according to Wikipedia, so it has to be true. Another source says it’s a euphemism for “hell.”)

A political pundit used the word heterodox on TV the other day, and even though I spent many years as a reporter and editor, and am proud to say I’m an “inveterate” reader (chronic, repeated, habitual), I didn’t know heterodox from Hydrox Cookies. (I miss them.)

Turns out – according to the dictionary they made me buy when I was a college freshman – heterodox means “departing from or opposed to the usual beliefs or established doctrines, especially in religion.”

(My wife would be wont to say, “Then why in Sam Hill didn’t you just say opposed to usual beliefs  instead of heterodox?” She can be kind of touchy.)

Instead of saying heterodox, a normal person might say “hare-brained notion,” or “cock-and-bull story,” thought up by someone experiencing a “wild hair.” That’s how folks who aren’t pointy-headed intellectuals talk. And heterodoxy, adding the “y,” is apparently the habit of telling cock-and-bull stories to assuage one’s wild hair. Simple as that.

Of course, people on television, who make way more than normal people and have much better hair, have to say things like heterodox because that’s the way beautiful people at cocktail parties talk.

That’s why they also use the word “tranche.” This one wasn’t even in my old college dictionary, so I had to turn to the computer to find a definition.

Turns out tranche, according to something called “Investopedia,” is “a French word meaning ‘slice’ or ‘portion.’”

Normal people like us might be tempted to say, “Well, why in the dickens didn’t you just say ‘slice’ or ‘portion’ then?” (I’m giving Sam Hill a rest here.)

People on the stock channels on TV, and some political reporters, like to slip in the word tranche to imply that they know French, in reference to yet another big slice or portion of money, usually borrowed federal money, that is being moved in installments to wherever, for whatever reason. (Probably to no good.)

You could substitute “boatload,” or another “load” expression I can’t use here, instead of tranche. But then people wouldn’t think you know French. And we can’t have that.

Back during the last administration (I can’t even remember the name of that last president, can you?) the pundits were fixated on the word “dystopian.” You heard it all the time to describe our sorry state. It means “an imagined world or society in which people lead dehumanized, fearful lives.”

(Journalists are a sunny, optimistic bunch, aren’t they?)

The good news is that with our new president, nobody in the press corps is using the word dystopian anymore. (Call me heterodox if you like, but I’m feeling kind of dystopian today.)

Speaking of the press corps, they like to call each other “colleagues.” I never worked at a paper large enough to have colleagues, just “people I work with.” Sad.

Years ago, the word “gravitas” (depth, heft) shot to the top of the charts, and all God’s journalists had to work it into their stories. But they plum wore it out, and you hardly ever hear it anymore.

Maybe heterodox and tranche will go the way of gravitas.

We can only ding-dong hope.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at davesimpson145@hotmail.com

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Dennis Sun: And Now For Some Much-Needed Wyoming Good News

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By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup

I always figured the first of May was a good time to plan for summer months and keep in mind the positives out there. As I write this column, it’s raining out, so I guess our rain dances – weather permitting – are paying off. Most of us are still dealing with the drought, but we know each day passed is one day closer to a good rain.  

Most of the state is trying to get their livestock turned out and hoping the grass will grow. We all get a little anxious this time of the year, and then we realize we don’t usually have grass until a certain time in May anyway, but we’re always hoping.

On the state level, it looks like the books are showing more dollars from tax revenue coming in than they expected, which we’ll gladly take. In a press release, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group had the state General Fund around $45.5 million over what they predicted around the first of the year. 

The group also showed the state Budget Reserve Account had grown by $25.7 million over what they had predicted. I believe the state is projected to receive around $1.2 billion from federal stimulus dollars in October. 

We’re gaining, but we’re going to need some energy dollars to get into the black in the future. But, the state is going in the right direction.

With the number of fat cattle in the system, the packers are not having a problem filling their needs. The cattle feeders are having a tough time keeping current, while the consumer and retail groups are currently paying top prices for beef, as the demand is strong. 

We just need to get the glut out of the feedlots. Last week’s slaughter was estimated at 649,000 head, compared to 438,614 head last year, making the total year-to-date slaughter 3.5 percent higher than this time last year. 

Here at home, the cull bull market has hit $1.25 a pound and cull cows hit around 90 cents last week. We certainly hope these positives will last through the video calf and yearling sales this summer. 

I saw an article in BEEF Daily which talked about new research at the Sioux Falls’ SAB Biotherapeutics labs where a herd of genetically modified cattle are producing human antibodies that can neutralize COVID-19. 

This trial research is being tested as a potential treatment sponsored by the Natural Health Institute. Who knows, these treatments may some day work with other diseases.

This past winter’s meat shortage was an opportunity for some livestock producers to sell their beef and lamb directly to the local consumers. Those consumers had good experiences, not only with the meat product, but with those who raised the animals. 

They ended up with good feelings for the producers and in turn, listened to them as they shared about raising the animals. Those good feelings opened the door when producers explained how they care for the livestock and how important animal welfare is to them. 

Consumers also learned of the producers’ care of the land and what sustainability really was.

This is good, positive marketing.

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Bill Sniffin: Today’s Grads Face Both Head Wind And A Tail Wind

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Today’s grads face one of the most uncertain times in history.

I call it a merging of two seemingly mutually-exclusive ideas – they have a tail wind behind them PLUS a head wind facing them.

The tail wind is the fact that there just are not enough workers for the jobs that are out there. If you have skills, a good resume showing success at previous jobs, and a good attitude, your future should look very, very bright.  One of my mottoes is that someone is looking as hard for you as you are looking for them – you just have to knock on enough doors.

The head wind is the fact that the world is changing.  With the spending of trillions of dollars on new programs, there will be a tax bill to pay some day. It will fall to these young people.  Here in Wyoming, we are suffering because fossil fuels have fallen out of favor. That may force some young people to leave the state.

This is a about what grads should be thinking about looking ahead at their future life. For years at this time, I have written a column called my “message to graduates.” 

To you grads, your youth is your greatest asset.  You sit there at your graduation as an “unformed human being.”  Your whole world is out there ahead of you.

I recall my high school graduation.  The overriding thought that ran through my head was “what is going to happen to me?” 

Although scary, this is the most exciting time to be alive. Approach these times with optimism and love for your fellow human being and you should turn out just fine.

A favorite quote: “The problem with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.”  How true.

So, to you new grads, what can you do about it?  How can you make a good future for yourself in the face of such uncertainty?

As an old guy, I can stress your number-one advantage in coping with all this is your anticipated long life span.  However this all turns out, if you work hard and pay attention, it can be argued you will be a better person because of all these uncertain times you will live through.

Responsibility and good character often do not come from an easy life.  They come from overcoming adversity and surviving tests that are often unpleasant.  The real definition of maturity is where a person ends up after dealing with a series of problems and solving them. You do not mature by running away from or hiding from your problems. Or having someone else solve your problems.

I believe it was free enterprise, capitalism and rugged individualism that made this country great. I hope you grads can grasp these concepts and realize how they can make a big impact on how you will be able to survive these difficult times.

My parents and grandparents used words like “gumption” to describe someone who worked extra hard to try to get ahead.  What your generation of graduating seniors needs, to cope with what’s ahead, is gumption.

Now here are five secrets about what you should do to get ahead:

• Although working hard is a virtue, working “smart” is genius. 

• Education is the key but I am not talking about advanced degrees here.  I am talking about identifying a field you would like to work in and then learning everything you can about it. Best way to do this is talking with people in the field.  Or volunteering to work in the fringe parts of that industry.  Scanning the Internet for everything you can find out about trends in that field helps, too.  You can never learn enough.

• It is not who you know or what you know that counts in getting a good career going.  It is who you know AND what you know that will make all the difference. Locate and cultivate mentors.

• Responsibility, honesty and ethics are critical.  Many in your generation are assumed to be lazy and not loyal.  If you are loyal to those who you work with and for, you will be stunned by how far that will get you in your career.

• Timing is the single most important thing in getting ahead.  You must stay on top of trends and always, always check which way the economic winds are blowing.  You must be a man or woman of action.  Jump when you need to, but look before you leap.

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Rod Miller: What the Hell is Cheney Doing?

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By Rod Miller, columnist

Amid all the noggin-scratchin’ and perplexity over Rep. Liz Cheney’s recent actions, there is wild conjecture about what her endgame is. Folks justifiably wonder what her ultimate goal might be as she prods and pokes at the Trump machine that is gobbling up the Republican Party.

History might offer an answer. Lets look back to the Second Punic War, a couple hundred years BC, when Rome and Carthage tussled over control of the western Mediterranean.

Two prominent military/political families, the Scipios from Rome and the Barcas from Carthage, were front and center as they led their respective nations in war. Each family send brothers to do battle with brothers from the other family.

Hannibal Barca was the Carthaginian leader, and you’ll remember him for taking a herd of elephants across the Alps to attack the Roman Empire from the north. Elephants…as in the symbol of the GOP. His counterpart on the Roman side was Scipio Africanus.

The Roman Legions had never seen elephants before and scattered in terror as Hannibal marched south toward Rome. Scipio’s Romans knew they couldn’t win against such a terrible weapon, and never offered Hannibal the satisfaction of a set-piece battle to decide the outcome of the war.

Instead, the Romans holed up within the walls of the city, hoping the Carthaginian would just go away. To convince the Romans to come out and fight, Hannibal captured one of Scipio Africanus’ brothers, cut off his head and threw it over the wall of the city as a challenge.

He is quoted as saying about this tactic, “If a battle is inevitable, make it immediate”.

Liz Cheney has, in a figurative but elegantly political sense, tossed the severed head of Donald Trump over the MAGA wall to get his troops to come out and fight. She is making the inevitable battle immediate.

By calling bullshit on “The Big Lie”, Cheney has drawn a line in the sand and we all must choose our side now. Not later. Now while the blood is hot.

It matters very little whether Cheney’s ambitions are toward a presidential run, retention of her seat as GOP Conference Chair, or re-election to her house seat in Wyoming. Her greatest contribution to her country and state is to get the rumble started, to force citizens to take one side or another in an inevitable conflict without which there would be no resolution.

That, in and of itself, takes considerable courage my friends.

Liz Cheney is making the fence a very uncomfortable place to sit. She is almost single-handedly obliterating the middle ground. Like Tom Paine, Cheney is publicly shaming the “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots”.

This moment of cathartic decision for the nation, the Republican Party and the State of Wyoming is brought to you by Liz Cheney. The Rubicon has been crossed and the die is cast. There is no turning back from this inevitable clash of ideology. Trump will lose, or not, depending on the outcome of this battle that Cheney has provoked.

When the dust clears, we will have learned a great deal about ourselves.

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Jerry Kendall: Dad Sold Favorite Fishing Pole So His Boys Could Enjoy July 4th

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By Jerry Kendall, guest columnist

JEFFREY CITY – Once again, Memorial Day is on the horizon. It’s a day for reflection. A special time set aside for remembrance of the folks who have made a difference in our lives. The people who made the world a better place to live. We keep them alive by remembering.

A while back my big brother told me a story about our father. He was killed in a mine accident in 1960. I was 10 years old then and at 71 years, I still love to hear stories about him or anything that has to do with him. I miss him every day.

My big brother was over at a friend’s house one day and the talk got around to fishing. His friends uncle was there and he asked my brother if he knew that he had one of my dads’ old bamboo fly rods. “No, how did you come by that?” My brother, excited by the prospect of seeing something of Dads.

The old man smiled and took a seat on the sofa. “Well, your father had seen me a eyeballing his bamboo fly rod on many occasion. One day, he come to me, pole in hand. “I have seen you admiring this pole for a long time now, so I got a proposition for you. I have no money for fireworks for my boys this year so I will sell you this pole and reel so that I might give them a good 4th of July.”

My brothers eyes filled with tears.

He knew that the pole had been special made for Dad and it meant a lot to him. “He sold you his prize fishing pole so that we could have fireworks? Can I buy it back from you?”

The old man smiled sadly and said. “No, I’m sorry son but he was my best friend and it means too much to me to part with. When I’m fishing with it, I feel that he is standing right there beside me.”

When I heard this story I realized that, I missed my father every day and loved him so very much. But knowing how he must have loved us boys, to sell his bamboo fly rod, that meant so much to him, so that we could have a happy 4th of July.

The very thought of it was like the feeling I used to get when I would fall asleep on the floor in front of the TV and he would gently pick me up and carry me to my bed, tuck me in and kiss me on the forehead. “Goodnight Son.”

We keep them alive by remembering.

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Liz Cheney: The GOP Is At A Turning Point. History Is Watching Us.

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By Liz Cheney, guest columnist

In public statements again this week, former president Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen. His message: I am still the rightful president, and President Biden is illegitimate. Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6.

And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again. Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” Now, McCarthy has changed his story.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval.

America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American “miracle.”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country.

Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people.

This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear.

First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.

Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate.

We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.

Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.

There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s.

Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

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Karen Budd Falen: Will Biden’s 30 X 30 Plan Be A Repeat of History?

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By Karen Budd Falen, guest columnist
Karen Budd-Falen is an attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming and former Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks at the Department of Interior.

I remember my dad saying, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” But before we get to the history lesson, consider this:

• Under the 30 X 30 Plan, President Biden wants to add an additional 440 million acres to the 67 million acres of land managed in its “natural state” to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change. The federal government owns 563 million acres already, but the Biden Administration says only 12% of that land is managed in its “natural state” to protect us from the climate crisis.

• According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between livestock and crops, agriculture accounts for about 10.5% of all U.S. climate change emissions.

• The Biden Administration’s goal is to have net zero global emissions by mid-century.

• By 2030, the world’s human population will increase to 8.5 billion people.

• To feed all those people, the world needs farmers and ranchers. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average American farm feeds 166 people, but with the increase in the world’s population, the world’s farmers will have to grow 70% more food than they did in 2019.

Now for the history lesson, anyone of driving age in 1974—or who had a father who loudly complained when driving I-80 across Wyoming—remembers the 55 miles per hour speed limit. That was a time, based on the 1973 Arab Oil Crisis, that Congress mandated that States should “voluntarily” reduce their speed limits to 55 mph to lower gasoline consumption because the U.S. was not energy independent.

The catch was that the receipt of federal highway funds was tied to the “voluntary” speed limit reduction. In other words, if a state reduced its speed limit to 55 mph, it would receive its share of federal highway funds; if a state didn’t comply, no federal highway funds would come its way.

Most states complied and the few that didn’t, quickly took “voluntary” action once the checks stopped coming. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congress can constitutionally use the power of the purse to “influence” decisions that are normally reserved to the States.

So why reminisce about the 55-mph speed limit when talking about Biden’s 30 X 30 Plan? It is because I worry about Biden’s requirement to “voluntarily” reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint by “us[ing] Department of Agriculture programs, funding, and financing capabilities, and other authorities, . . . to encourage voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices.” Sec. 216 (b)(i).

This Administration is already making progress on its climate change goals. First, it has cancelled its federal oil and gas lease sales mandated under the Mineral Leasing Act, on the theory that perhaps wind and solar can replace oil, gas and coal as our energy source. I have not found a lot of affordable commercial all-electric tractors that could be used on farming or ranching operations today.

Second, the Department of Agriculture has just significantly increased its “payment rates and financial incentives” to convince landowners to enroll additional acres into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). While landowners have to right to do with their land what they want, I worry about paying agriculturalists not to produce.

Third, there are those advocating that USDA use its other “financial tools” such as federal crop insurance programs, farm payment programs and increasing collaboration with federally backed agriculture lenders to encourage “voluntary” climate smart agriculture (CSA).

There are plusses and minuses with all CSA, but the landowner needs to be able to consider those without the federal government tipping the scales by “voluntarily” withholding certain payments or getting between a landowner and his ag lender if the landowner does not pick the program chosen by the federal government.

And I also wonder this? How are farmers and ranchers going to feed 8.5 billion people in 2030 if there is no American oil and gas for tractors, we are paying landowners not-to-produce or produce less, and multiple use on federal lands is curtailed or eliminated to reach the 30 X 30 Plan goals? And what I am really warning is that the history of the federal government’s “voluntary” 55 mph speed limit NOT be repeated today.

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Frank Eathorne: It’s Just Joe Being Joe

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By Frank Eathorne, guest columnist
Eathorne is the Chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party

Joe McGinley of Casper recently published yet another hit piece against the Wyoming Republican Party, accusing his fellow Republicans of “extremism.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with Joe, you may be surprised at the vitriol and contempt that he directs towards the Republican Party. You may be thinking that anyone who would be so vicious must have something big driving his passion and complaints. That, however, is not the case; it’s just Joe being Joe.

For those of us who have worked with Joe for the last several years, his latest smear comes as no surprise. It is simply the latest rant of someone who has been entirely unsuccessful in convincing his fellow Republicans to follow his lead as he seeks to compromise our long-held Republican principles, and to fundamentally alter the Republican Platform to where it is meaningless as a guiding document.

The officers of the Republican Party have been largely silent as Joe has thrown his public tantrums and spread falsehoods and misinformation. The State Central Committee is tasked with addressing these issues, and we have deferred to those grassroots members to set policy and to respond. We have always recognized Joe’s attacks for what they are – the antics of a sore loser who has been unable to get a foothold in taking over the State Party, with his fellow Republicans on the Central Committee also seeing him for what he. We only respond now at the request of a substantial number of Republicans around the State who are tired of his attempts at defamation and his efforts to destroy our Party from within.

While Joe spun his latest opinion piece in the vein of a recruitment letter asking folks to get involved, his real intention is obvious. He has again watched County Party after County Party around the State elect conservatives to their leadership team (Chairman, State Committeewoman and State Committeeman), and has realized that his dishonest and inaccurate hit pieces against the State Party have gone unheeded.

It is likely that Joe is thinking ahead to the upcoming state officer elections at next month’s Central Committee meetings, and is making a last-ditch attempt to smear anyone not on his personal slate of candidates by resorting to his favorite tactic – branding his fellow Republicans as “extremists.” This is clearly not the Dale Carnegie approach in “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” but again, we are dealing with Joe McGinley here, someone who thinks it is appropriate to call those same Republicans “cockroaches.” Perhaps we will soon be elevated to “extremist cockroaches.” You just never know what Joe will come up with next.

It is also important to understand that, while Joe’s disdain for the Republican Party and his fellow Republicans appears to be limitless, he doesn’t spend the same effort challenging Democrats or their policies. By way of example, while the Democrats in Washington, DC have publicly announced their intention to destroy Wyoming’s energy industries and indoctrinate our children to hate our Country, Joe has chosen to spend his efforts “warning” anyone who may be interested in becoming active with the Republican Party that they will first need to root out the “extremists.” He never says why they are “extremists,” everyone is just supposed to take his word for it.

Joe has a single-minded obsession with getting rid of the conservatives in the Republican Party. That seems to be a rather confounding way to further the goals of the Republican Party, but that has been Joe’s approach, and we doubt that he will change course now. That is just Joe being Joe.

As for the substance of his accusations, what Joe calls “extremism” is nothing more than a belief in and adherence to the conservative ideals and principles set out in the Wyoming Republican Platform (voted on and approved by grassroots Republicans from every County).

Because the Republicans of this State do not agree with Joe’s efforts to water down or, in some cases, entirely nullify, what we stand for, he decided that the best approach was to form a new group, one calling itself the “Frontier Republicans,” the purpose of which appears to be perfecting what would charitably be described as “how to be a moderate,” which, in today’s politics, is kind of like aspiring to be tapioca pudding.

If you think of Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake, and Lisa Murkowski you will get an idea of what the “Frontier Republicans” stand for. If you think of the now infamous “Lincoln Project” (formed solely to attack President Trump) you will get an idea of the purpose of the Frontier Republicans. These folks do not seek to further the conservative agenda; they seek to destroy those who believe in it.

You can say one thing for Joe, he knows how to follow the lead of the Biden administration, the Democrats and the national media. He has learned well that it is best to avoid engaging in a serious discussion about the issues, when calling your opponents “extremists” seems to further your agenda.

The policies and agenda coming out of the new administration in DC pose the greatest threat to the future of this Country that we have seen in our lifetimes, including open borders, campaigns to undermine and defund the police, Nancy Pelosi’s bill to destroy free and fair elections, packing the Supreme Court, attacks on private property rights, taking away our guns, destruction of our mineral industries, the closing of our coal-fired power plants, and energy poverty. These are just some of the threats that we face from Biden’s socialist policies.

The Wyoming Republican Party and its officers have been actively involved with pushing conservative solutions to counter the threats from DC, while also fighting for liberty and freedom. That is the agenda that we will continue to pursue. While Joe may consider our efforts in that regard to be “extreme,” few others do. Now is not the time for Joe’s petty internal party squabbling and name-calling. We have serious work to do to preserve the State and nation we know and love.

We expect that Joe will continue to sling mud, distort the facts, make baseless accusations, and pursue his quest to ruin the names of anyone who sees the world differently than he does. Please remember as you read one of his future diatribes, that it is just Joe being Joe, and most likely means that he lost yet another vote or another election. If you later run into him on the street, pat him on the head and tell him that you wish him well with those Frontier (Lincoln Project) Republicans.

Frank Eathorne
Chairman, Wyoming Republican Party
David Holland
Vice-Chairman, Wyoming Republican Party
Corey Steinmetz
National Committeeman, Wyoming Republican Party
Harriet M. Hageman
National Committeewoman, Wyoming Republican Party

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Joe McGinley: You Are The Solution To Political Extremism

in Joe McGinley/Column
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By Dr. Joseph McGinley
Dr. McGinley served as chairman of the Natrona County from March 2017 – March 2021

My name is Dr. Joseph McGinley. I have served as the Chairman of the Natrona County Republican Party (NCRP) for the past 4 years and as Vice Chairman the 4 years prior. Over this time, I have witnessed the implosion of the Wyoming Republican Party (WRP) and many of the County Republican Parties across our great state.

Over the past 4 years, there have been several physical altercations at WRP events, corrupt elections, verbal attacks, voting manipulation, secret investigations, negative national news stories, support of conspiracy theories, smear campaigns against our own elected officials, lawsuits against the WRP, support of out of state Republican officials being investigated for sexual activities and a general lack of decency.

The response of many good Republicans has been to say, “That’s not what I believe in so I’m not going to participate”. This approach however is exactly how we ended up in this situation.

When I was elected Chairman in Natrona County, we were on the brink of extremism. My position was immediately challenged by the extremists, and they even attempted to hold their own meeting to appoint a new chairman. Fortunately, those elected to serve spoke up, reaffirmed my elected position and from that point forward the NCRP focused on building a positive organization based on our values, principles, and constitutional commitment.

We have seen unprecedented success in our county. In the past 4 years, we have had a 100% success rate electing Republicans, seen the largest number of people volunteer as precinct representatives, engaged the young members of our community, volunteered at community events; but most importantly, held true to our values and did not compromise for personal gain.

The extremism we are currently witnessing in the WRP is the result of apathy. True Wyoming Republicans are currently sitting on the sidelines, too disgusted and embarrassed to participate.

The problem however is not our great Republican Party, the problem is those currently in power have twisted the meaning of being Republican. They are willing to name call, lie, manipulate, intimidate and bully to maintain their small sliver of power. However, there is hope, you are the solution to this problem!

This is a call to action! I ask you to stand up and say, “NO” to extremism! I did just that 4 years ago and this encouraged many others to do the same. Good conservative Republicans said “NO” to extremism. We pointed out the hypocrisy and for our efforts, we have been attacked for our voice of consciousness. I personally have been censured by the WRP three times for nothing more that speaking up and speaking out.

However, we did not back down, these attacks just reaffirmed our purpose. The current positive approach and message of the NCRP is the result of many people volunteering many hours to make our community a better place for everyone. We believe in the voice of the individual, we believe in actions over words, we believe in our constitution, and most importantly we believe your participation matters!

Now is the time to act, we need your help. We need good people in every county to speak up. Join our efforts today for we are a volunteer group of Republicans focused on restoring integrity, honor, and respect to the Wyoming Republican Party.

Our group of Wyoming Republicans welcomes your opinion and voice. Our goal is to embrace differences, speak up against bullying, encourage conversations, listen to others, support those in need, offer hope, create opportunity and be respectful of diverse opinions. As Republicans, we believe in the voice of the individual. As Republicans, we will fight for everyone’s right to an opinion, even when, or ESPECIALLY when, we disagree.

Our values teach us to lead by actions and not by words. Now is your time to be part of the solution and better your community. Now is the time for you to open your heart and offer a listening ear to those who have been led astray by the temptations of anger, fear, and deceit. Do not be led down the path of extremism due to false temptations. Instead, engage in conversation with your colleagues about the issues.

Your voice matters and only YOU can make a difference. If we eliminate apathy, we will overcome extremism!

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