Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bourbon bandits...Wild Turkey whisked away

The mystery of who's been spiriting away barrels of Kentucky bourbon might soon have a resolution, as authorities seem close to revealing details about a possible theft ring. So far, one person has been arrested in the theft of Wild Turkey bourbon from a Kentucky warehouse, but a prosecutor signaled Friday that the case is much broader. Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said he expects multiple people to be indicted as his office prepared to present the case to a grand jury in Frankfort, Kentucky. "If all things fall into place and nothing else develops, we'd go and present that case for indictment on Tuesday," he said. Investigators have recovered barrels and bottles of stolen whiskey; the volume is significant, the prosecutor said. "It's more than I could imagine one person drinking in a lifetime," Cleveland said. Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the case has mushroomed from an investigation that began with the recovery of barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon found behind a shed, with spray paint covering the labeling on top of each barrel. Bourbon barrels weigh hundreds of pounds each when filled with aging whiskey. "I'm amazed at the amount of bourbon that we've recovered, the amount of bourbon that's been stolen," he said...more

Court: Navajo presidential election cannot be held Tuesday

A Navajo Nation judge has ruled that election officials cannot move forward with Tuesday's belated presidential contest, but the decision is likely to be appealed. Window Rock District Judge Carol Perry's ruling Friday centers on a bill tribal lawmakers passed earlier this year to fund a referendum that essentially would eliminate the Navajo-language fluency requirement for the tribe's top two posts. Perry said she knows Navajo voters and the presidential candidates have been affected greatly by a widespread debate over the role the tribe's language plays in politics and culture. But she said the bill is clear that the referendum must be held before Navajos choose their next leader. "The logic in determining the qualifications of candidates first and thereafter holding an election is not only sensible, but it is the law," she wrote...more

Texas Thieves Target Beef Brisket

A smoking new crime trend has taken off in barbecue-obsessed Texas this year, mirroring a spike in the price of beef: People are stealing brisket. Even after the capture of a brisket bandit in San Antonio this month, restaurateurs aren't resting easy, because of fears that copycat criminals could prey on their barbecue pits. San Antonio police caught up with Allen Meneley on April 12, nearly two months after he became a prime suspect when a surveillance video appeared to show him snatching 13 smoked briskets and 10 cases of beer from Augie’s Barbed Wire Smoke House.  Texas-style smoked brisket has become trendy across the country in recent years, helping fuel a surge in prices that has also been linked to a string of barbecue-related thefts in Austin. Brisket prices have somewhat come down recently, though they remain well above their historic levels.  In Austin, a Texas man was convicted this year of stealing at least $2,000 worth of brisket from several local supermarkets. Detective Rickey Jones, who is investigating the case, said he is still trying to determine the whereabouts of his accomplices—as well as the pilfered meat. He suspects the thief might have sold it on the black market...more(subscription)

President Says ISIS Camp in Mexico Vindicates His Amnesty Policy

President Obama says that evidence that the Islamic State has opened a training camp in Mexico, just a few miles from El Paso on the Texas border, vindicates his decision to grant expedited amnesty to illegal immigrants from Latin America. "We've all seen the atrocities these terrorists are capable of," the President observed. "Who can blame Mexicans for fleeing? To deny these refugees sanctuary would be inhumane. To deport them would be cruel and unusual punishment. To delay their integration into our society merely on the grounds that Congress has failed to enact the necessary legislation would be barbaric." Obama ruled out the possibility of any aggressive action aimed at neutralizing the ISIS threat near El Paso, claiming "it would be an unconscionable intrusion on Mexico's sovereignty...more

ok ok, so its satire...I just had to post it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

'Mad Cow' Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

It began with anxiety and depression. A few months later, hallucinations appeared. Then the Texas man, in his 40s, couldn't feel the left side of his face. He thought the symptoms were because of a recent car accident. But the psychiatric problems got worse. And some doctors thought the man might have bipolar disorder.  Eventually, he couldn't walk or speak. He was hospitalized. And about 18 months after symptoms began, the man died.  An autopsy confirmed what doctors had finally suspected: the human version of mad cow disease, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.*  The case, published Wednesday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, is only the fourth one diagnosed in the U.S. In those previous cases, people caught the disease in another country. It can take more than a decade for symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to the mad cow protein. But in every reported case, people had eaten beef in the U.K. or in a country known to have imported contaminated meat.  The source of the infection in Texas is less clear, says Dr. Atul Maheshwari, a neurologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Maheshwari was one of the doctors who took care of the patient with vCJD, and he led the study. The patient had lived in the U.S. for 14 years before becoming sick. Maheshwari says he most likely didn't catch the disease here. The country has recorded only a handful of mad cow cases in cattle since it began testing in 2003. And the U.S. didn't import contaminated beef from the U.K...more

Billy Currington Pulls Out Of Tim McGraw’s Gun Control Concert Amid Fan Outrage

Country fans were outraged and on April 16, Currington announced he was pulling out of the concert.
According to the International Business Times (IBI), the gun control concert got the wrong kind of exposure when Breitbart News reported that concert beneficiary Sandy Hook Promise “is a vehicle through which various relatives of Sandy Hook victims have joined to push gun control until it passes.”
Currington announced his decision to pull out via Facebook:
I’ve never been one to take on controversial issues – I’m a singer. I do feel strongly about honoring and supporting the Sandy Hook community and will be making a donation to a local organization. I appreciate people’s freedom and passion for whatever cause they want to support, however, I am choosing to step aside from this fundraiser and will focus instead on the rest of the tour dates as I look forward to being on the road with Tim and Chase and having a blast with all of the fans.
Source

Tim McGraw, Billy Currington headline fundraiser for gun control

On July 16 2015, country singer Tim McGraw along with Billy Currington will headline a fundraiser for gun control group Sandy Hook Promise in Connecticut.  Sandy Hook Promise is a vehicle through which various relatives of Sandy Hook victims have joined to push gun control until it passes. Newtown father Mark Bearden joined the group pledging to “dedicate the rest of his life” to pursuing gun control.
McGraw says he supports the Sandy Hook Promise, “Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence and as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News has repeatedly reported the phrase “Gun Violence”, especially in Connecticut, is gun banner speak for more Gun Control.  Well 10,000’s McGraw fans did not take well to him kicking their 2A rights in the groin and took to McGraws Facebook page to protest. That is where the Mcgraw team decided free speech was bad too.  As the protest comment filled their Facebook page they proceeded to delete any unfavorable comments from pro gun fans...more

Oregon gold miners in BLM dispute call on armed supporters to stand down

A man who owns a gold-mining claim on federal land in southwestern Oregon asked for help defending it after U.S. authorities ordered him to stop work, but he is now telling his armed supporters to back off. Rick Barclay said Thursday that he hoped to prevent his fight with federal regulators from turning into the kind of high-profile standoff at a Nevada ranch last year.  He initially called in a local chapter of constitutional activists known as the Oath Keepers because he thought the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would seize the equipment on his mining claim outside Grants Pass. The agency had served an order to stop work at the mine after finding it lacked the necessary paperwork. Armed activists started showing up Monday at the mine and a rural property about 20 miles away, Oath Keepers spokeswoman Mary Emerick said. She said the group was still recruiting people to help provide security for the mine but would not say how many activists were there. Now, Barclay is telling his supporters that the mine is not under attack, posts online by "keyboard warriors" have gotten out of hand and he was not interested in a repeat of the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff.  "We are not looking for Bundyville. We are not looking to challenge anything. We are just holding our constitutional rights and property rights in reserve until we get our day in court," Barclay said.  He and his partner, George Backes, believe they do not have to file an operations plan demanded by the Bureau of Land Management because they hold the surface rights on the mining claim, Barclay said. The claim has been continuously owned since 1858, predating the Bureau of Land Management's authority and other mining laws, he said...more

Criticism of federal-to-state land transfer idea is a sign of traction

By Fred Birnbaum

You can tell when an idea is gaining some traction, critics will attack it from all angles. The transfer of federal lands to Idaho, and other Western states, is one such idea.

And it’s an idea whose time has come.

If we go back to our history books, we see the federal government has already transferred more than 1.275 billion acres to the states and their residents since the country was formed. It is easy to forget states like Illinois and Missouri were once more than 90 percent federal land. This transfer process slowed down greatly in the late 1800s after the Western states were admitted into the union.

Even if we suspend the discussion about whether further legal claims to federal lands by the states have merit, it cannot be disputed that the U.S. Congress has the power to transfer federal lands under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution, and that Idaho could accept these lands if Congress agreed to give them up.

Opponents of the transfer of federal lands to Idaho make the following points: Idaho could not afford to maintain these lands and would have to sell all or some of them and therefore access and use would be restricted or eliminated. These same critics apparently have failed to notice access and use restrictions continue to grow on federal lands.

It is the endless repetition that access and use will be restricted that has generated opposition by some sportsmen and recreationists to transfer. However, there is every reason to believe transfer could be completed in a manner that had the federal government retain ownership of national parks and other sensitive areas, with states retaining perpetual ownership of the balance.

House Bill 265, which would have had Idaho join the Interstate Compact on Transfer of Public Lands, died in the Senate Resources and Environment Committee after passing the Idaho House. However, the sentiments of both the House and Senate committee members were overwhelmingly in favor of the view that Idaho could better manage these lands than the federal government. Support for the legislation foundered on the language of the legislation, not its intent. A better bill will likely come back next year, providing Idaho with the opportunity to join Utah and Arizona in the compact.

Support for the view Idaho could better manage these lands is partly grounded in research conducted by the Property and Environment Research Center of Montana, in its report, “Divided Lands.” Four Western states that manage similar state trust lands spend one-sixth of the cost per acre versus what the federal government spends in its management of public lands. The Forest Service and BLM lose $2 billion each year managing federal lands. This is important because it debunks the notion states can’t manage public lands effectively and would have to sell them. States already do manage public lands, and the view that states would follow the poor management practices of the federal government is simply not supported by decades of evidence.

The evolution of U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo’s view on public lands is to be applauded; it does not represent a flip-flop. Rather, it is the federal agencies that have done the political somersault. If anything, congressmen from Western states have been too slow to recognize that federal agencies have moved away from genuine multiple use and wise resource management to policies of restriction and environmental gamesmanship. These practices are choking urban residents with smoky fires from ill-managed timber lands and plunging rural communities into poverty.

The collaborative approach to federal land management is working as designed, by slowly squeezing rural residents out while providing political cover to unelected federal bureaucrats. Recognition of this situation has led many members of Congress, as well as legislators in Western states, to call for the transfer of federal lands back to the states. The issue of land transfer will not go away because the underlying problems of federal land management will not improve. Idaho’s congressional delegation and state lawmakers should press this issue.

At some point sportsmen and recreationists will have to decide whether to continue to side with the “bicoastal” environmental gentry or partner with Idahoans who understand that multiple-use can work; with peaceful co-existence among hunters, anglers, back-country enthusiasts and foresters.

Fred Birnbaum is vice president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Idaho Statesman 

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/04/16/3752915_podium-criticism-of-federal-to.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

NPS centennial aims to attract millennials, raise big money

Corbin Hiar, E&E reporter

In 1953, an influential magazine piece lamented that national parks were beginning to "go to hell" from a lack of maintenance and reluctantly called for closing many of the most popular sites.

That Harper's essay is credited with helping launch "Mission 66," the last major campaign to restore the park system, which was timed to coincide with the National Park Service's 50th anniversary.
Nearly half a century later, the service is still dogged by maintenance issues and budgets that supporters believe are inadequate to address them.

But it is also facing a new challenge: the need to connect with millennials -- a generation of potential visitors who are more comfortable in front of a screen than a sweeping vista.

To address these twin challenges, NPS this month launched a pair of landmark campaigns to promote its centennial celebration next year and to lay the groundwork for the service's next 100 years.

One effort will use social media, interactive kiosks and other digital tools to attract a more diverse range of visitors to parks. That awareness campaign will be funded by large corporate sponsors and be led by a major New York advertising agency.

The other push will be an unprecedented fundraising drive. It will include a specific list of projects donors can give to. It also will feature local events such as biological surveys or 100-mile hikes and bike rides, playing on the centennial theme.

The most visible component of the centennial effort is an awareness campaign encouraging Americans and international visitors to "Find Your Park." A website and social media campaign of the same name are attempting to connect the tech-savvy millenial generation to public lands.

The awareness campaign is something of a digital-first reimagining of the "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet" radio and television jingle that NPS co-opted to promote public lands during its Mission 66 effort, according to NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE


Elk Deaths Are National Park Service's Fault, Says Group

More than 250 native tule elk have died at Point Reyes National Seashore since 2012, and a wildlife protection group says fences are to blame. At issue is the Pierce Point herd of tule elk, which roams the extreme northern extremity of the Point Reyes peninsula in western Marin County. The herd's numbers have fallen from 540 in the autumn of 2012 to 286 two years later. According to the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, that's because an elk-proof fence maintained at the urging of Point Reyes dairy farmers is keeping the elk away from sources of fresh water, and the animals are dying of thirst as a result. The news comes as the Park Service considers a plan to install more elk-proof fencing elsewhere in Point Reyes National Seashore, which activists say could consign Point Reyes' other elk herds to the same thirsty fate. As part of a proposed Ranch Management Plan that would cover 28,000 acres of dairy and beef ranches in the Seashore and the nearby Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Park Service is considering fencing in or removing other elk herds while extending grazing leases to a 20-year term. Miller charges that move would benefit ranchers at the expense of wildlife...more

House approves estate tax repeal

House members on Thursday voted 240-179 to repeal the estate tax, a tax that some ag groups say unfairly hurts farm businesses. The tax, also called the "death tax" by some groups and legislators, imposes taxes of up to 40% on some estates. Ag groups argue this hurts capital-intensive family farms, and effectively penalizes the transfer of family farms from one operator to the next.A similar bill to repeal the "death tax" also has been introduced in the Senate by John Thune, R-S.D. But the White House has previously threatened to veto estate tax repeal legislation, favoring tax cuts that focus on education or lower-income Americans. Other opponents of the bill suggest the revenue it eliminates – nearly $269 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation – is a drawback...more

American Cowboy Magazine Receives 2015 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Magazine Article

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has selected “Not for Sale”—written by American Cowboy’s Editor-in-Chief, Bob Welch—as the 2015 Outstanding Magazine Article recipient of this year’s Western Heritage Awards. The article was originally published in the October/November 2014 issue of American Cowboy and features the victory of southeastern Colorado’s ranching community over the United States Army in a modern-day fight to preserve their land, their livelihood, and their families. “Of course, receiving the Western Heritage Award is extremely humbling,” said Welch in response to the recognition. “However, I’m more humbled by the chance to tell the story of these ingenious and tenacious ranchers. They were smart in their tactics, steadfast in their approach, and committed to save their land. Their story serves as an example to anyone facing any kind of challenge. Some might say that the cowboy has become merely a symbol—even a myth. But the men and women in this story prove that the American cowboy is alive and well, still pointing the herd toward greener pastures.” Welch will be presented with the award on Saturday, April 18, 2015, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Patrick Wayne and Ethan Wayne will be the Masters of Ceremonies for the event...more

You can read the article here.

Ranch Radio Share

Didn't have time to "roll my own" this morning, so sharing Billy Mata & Texas Tradition performing Stars Over San Antone.

https://youtu.be/rXFvtaezOb0?list=PLH1-1DOjlNmbQyNxZHTA8r7MOsB_Qi_Sf

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Clean Power Plan Litigation Begins

The first major step in what will likely be a long, drawn-out legal process will begin today, April 16. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral arguments from 16 states and a handful of energy companies. The two consolidated cases led by the state of West Virginia and the Ohio-based Murray Energy Corporation seek to prevent EPA from finalizing the already proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). The two lawsuits contend that EPA cannot legally regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act since – in finalizing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) – the agency already regulates coal-fired power plants under Section 112. This prohibition is meant to prevent duplicative or redundant air standards. Supporters of EPA, however, contend that the law prevents EPA from doubly regulating the same pollutant rather than source under the Clean Air Act. The biggest hurdle that the petitioners will likely face during this initial hearing will be whether or not they have standing before the rule has been finalized. EPA’s brief contends that the 16 states and Murray Energy cannot demonstrate injury until after the regulation has been finalized...more

Surprised solar customers find themselves with liens

Jeff Leeds says installing SolarCity’s panels on the roof of his home in the Northern California city of El Granada was the sorriest day of his life. Agreeing to the company’s 20-year lease was like partnering with the devil, he claims. He says he has endured skyrocketing electric bills, installation of an inferior system and contract violations because SolarCity refuses to clean the panels or to provide a payment for his system’s poor performance. The latest surprise: a notice from his bank telling him that SolarCity had placed a lien on his home, and that his equity line of credit application could not proceed until the lien was removed. SolarCity say it’s not a lien, but a “fixture filing” that stakes the company’s claim to the panels, which it owns if consumers have taken part in its popular 20-year lease program. Owning the solar electricity-generating system allows SolarCity to claim lucrative state and federal subsidies available only to system owners. SolarCity has received approximately $500 million in tax subsidies and grants over the years. During a Feb. 12 Capitol Hill hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., grilled Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about solar company liens. Flake singled out SolarCity’s rival Stealth Solar as the offender.  “After entering into these long-term agreements, a lot are in for a surprise when they realize they have to pay off a lien put on their house,” said Flake. “What role, if any, can or does DOE plan to play in ensuring these companies who access federal tax incentives in particular  … aren’t misrepresenting what they are doing to their customers?” Moniz was apparently caught off guard by the question and stammered that he didn’t know anything about liens but would look into it...more

Obamaville song

This made the rounds a coupla years ago, but still worth a listen...

https://youtu.be/xEYFFiEnUjQ

California water wars: Farms vs. everybody else

If you tuned in to talk radio in Los Angeles last week, you might have heard some screaming. "The farming industry is using 80 percent of the water, and they're 2 percent of the economy, justify that!" shouted John Kobylt of KFI radio's "John and Ken Show." Kobylt was ripping into Brad Gleason, who manages almond and pistachio operations in California . When Gleason argued that the actual water usage was lower, and that nuts use less water than other California commodities like dairy cattle, Kobylt wasn't having any of it. California has the most people and the biggest farm economy, but an epic drought is turning the two against each other. Craig Underwood's family has been farming in California for decades. He's survived pests, floods, and (so far) drought. Nothing, however, has prepared him for the PR onslaught farmers now face as California runs dry. "We're producing food and fiber which is vital to our existence," Underwood said, standing in a lemon grove. "Currently crops are doing better, farms are doing better, and all of a sudden we're being criticized for doing better." Farmers are being criticized for using too much water and not sacrificing enough in the state's four-year drought. "They're growing almonds, which takes 10 percent of the water supply in a desert climate. How nuts is that?" Kobylt asked during a break at the KFI studios. (Disclosure: This reporter occasionally fills in on KFI.) Co-host Ken Chiampou believes that asking cuts from city residences and businesses, who use only 10 percent of the state's water, is penalizing the wrong group. "I need to eat," he said, "but I don't need to eat pistachios." The threat of less water and higher prices now has some farmers taking aim at each other. The Associated Press reports that authorities are investigating the disappearance of water from the Sacramento Delta after complaints from water agencies representing some farmers in the Central Valley. The main culprits could be farmers closer to the source who tell the AP they aren't breaking any rules because they have senior water rights in a system that goes back a century...more 

New California Water Restrictions' Impact on Horses

Jim Hendrickson, president of the California Horseman's Association, does not believe that Brown's restrictions will have a major impact on horse owners. Many horse owners reside in rural areas and water horses with wells on their own properties, Hendrickson said. Those lucky enough to live near rivers will fare better than those who do not, he said, adding that the hardest hit will be those whose wells are already burdened by the drought “In some areas the aquifer that feeds wells is so low that they have to truck in water,” Hendrickson said. Tawnee Preisner, operations manager for the Horse Plus Humane Society in Bangor, California, hasn't had to secure outside water yet. But no matter what owners and ranches do to conserve resources, Hendrickson believes that the real cost of the drought lies in the loss of the state's hay fields. “It's not a water issue, it's a feed issue,” Hendrickson said. “Some farmers have already stopped growing alfalfa and started growing trees.” As a result, Hendrickson said he's seen the price of alfalfa hay rise from $6 to $25 or $30 per bale this year. In response, he said, some ranchers began using alfalfa pellets. However, he said he's seen the cost of the pellets rise, as well, from $54 per 250-pound barrel to $75 per barrel. Still, no matter how many rules horse owners impose on themselves, Preisner expects California to mandate more water restrictions in the future. “It has only rained five times this winter," she said. "The longer this drought continues, the more regulations we are going to see.”...more

NM Governor says state’s water crisis is ‘real and it is serious’

Without sustainable sources of clean drinking water, New Mexico won’t be able to attract companies or capitalize on economic development opportunities, Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday. Martinez spoke to a roomful of water managers gathered for a meeting hosted by the New Mexico Rural Water Association. The association’s members have been looking for ways to make the most of the drought-stricken state’s limited fresh water supplies while grappling with aging wells and pipelines. New Mexico needs an estimated $1 billion for water infrastructure, according to state officials. “The water crisis we face is real and it is serious,” Martinez said. “And as I’ve said before, we cannot control the duration or intensity of the drought, but we can control how we respond to it.” In 2013, when New Mexico led the nation with the worst and most widespread drought conditions, the state identified nearly 300 drinking water systems that were considered vulnerable. Many of them depended on a single source of water and had no backup plan if conditions worsened. Lawmakers answered in 2014 with nearly $90 million in state funding for public works projects related to water and wastewater improvements, as well as the restoration of watersheds. New Mexico has been through four straight years of severe drought, and the past decade has seen more dry years than wet ones. However, the last two monsoon seasons have helped, and forecasts call for above-normal chances for precipitation this spring...more

Cyclists geared up for a fight

The Bitterroot National Forest recently released the final draft of its first new forest-wide travel plan since 1976—and some local mountain bikers aren’t happy with the proposed limits on cycling. The new plan closes off about 102,000 acres of the Blue Joint and Sapphire Wilderness Study Areas to motorized and mechanized transport, which includes snowmobile and mountain bike use. Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists President Lance Pysher says he was “pretty shocked” by the final draft, which restricts motorized and mechanized access from 178 miles of trails, including popular paths in the Bitterroot like Blodgett Canyon and Bear Creek Overlook. Bitterroot Forest Supervisor Julie King says she views mountain bikers as “a valuable partner,” but she believes the Forest Service’s hands are tied by federal law regarding wilderness and proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Act doesn’t mention bicycles, but explicitly bans motorized vehicles and “mechanical transport,” which has been interpreted as including bicycles. Additionally, King says they took into consideration the precedent set by a 2011 case in the Gallatin National Forest, where wilderness groups won a lawsuit that demanded more restrictions on snowmobile and bicycle use. Mountain biking advocates nationwide have long argued against the Forest Service’s interpretation of the Wilderness Act, citing studies that indicate cycling has less impact on trails than other kinds of recreation. A 2006 National Park Service study concluded that “Horse and ATV trails are significantly more degraded than hiking and biking trails.”...more

Audit: ‘Broad and Pervasive Mismanagement’ of USDA Farmers Program

A program intended to give financial assistance to “socially disadvantaged” farmers is riddled with “broad and pervasive mismanagement,” leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector general to question millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. The Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), established by the 2008 Farm Bill, administered $38 million in grants in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found no supporting documentation for any of the grants issued in those years, and suggested that the USDA may have awarded them in violation of federal law. “OIG found a pattern of broad and pervasive mismanagement of OAO grant funds in FYs 2010 and 2011,” the audit said. “This occurred because grant approval processes were informal and undocumented and regulatory processes were disregarded.” Among the audit’s findings included $20 million in “potential” Anti-Deficiency Act violations issued under the OAO’s Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as Section 2501. The report found that the office issued grants to applicants “who may not have been the most meritorious,” did not monitor grant spending, and did not ensure that recipients followed regulations. The OIG questioned the program’s grants because the USDA did not use a competitive process, despite it being required by law. The OIG found similar problems with the program in prior audits, noting that lack of oversight of the program, nepotism, and conflicts of interest have been a “consistent theme.”...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1415

Here's a song written and sung by Ray Batts titled Bear Cat Daddy.  The tune is on Disc 2 of the Bear Family Records collection Tennessee Jive.

https://youtu.be/WWB8BcENpMI