That’s what it’s going to be all about.  It makes the world go round.  It won the second world war.  In some ways, it was what the war was all about.  The Japanese went to war for oil.  German military strategy was all about oil.  If you want to understand the importance of oil, read Daniel Yergin’s “The Prize”.  It will open up your eyes.

And, whether we like it or not (and I don’t), the fight over the Reagan Project will be about oil.  Leading the fight against us will be the Center for American Progress, led by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  There are subsidiaries, like the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for Western Priorities.  But the CAP is the lead dog.  Soros, of course, is the main money man.  But it gets money from Fortune 500 companies as well, along with Gates money.  And, tellingly, almost a million dollars from the United Arab Emirates.  I wonder why?

They stopped us in Montana.  We had enough Democrats to pass the bill in the House, despite their efforts.  But then these guys got to Gov. Bullock, and he killed it.

They’ve got the money but we’ve got the issue.  Last week Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R. AK) put in a budget amendment calling for the disposal of excess federal lands.  It passed 51-49 on a party line vote, with only three Republicans opposed.  It’s in a non binding budget resolution, and has no chance of becoming law with Obama as President, but it shows there is political support for something like the Federal Lands Commission.

We’ve also got Clive Bundy on our side.  What a character.  He ranches on federal land in Nevada and refuses to recognize federal authority.  He and his buddies got in armed standoff with the federales not long ago, which they won, and he was in Carson City last week to testify on a bill.  The Center for Western Priorities keeps track of these things, and says there are about 65 of these bills introduced in various legislatures.  Speaker Mike Chenault has got one going up in Alaska.

All these bills are about trying to do what the Reagan Amendment does.  But they’re unconstitutional.  Everybody knows that.  These state legislators, all across the country, are trying to do something to get their land.  They just don’t know how to do it, so they get frustrated and try to pass these meaningless bills.

At some point CAP is going to try and get the Maryland legislature to rescind their BBA Resolution.  It’s just a matter of time.  I’m kind of surprised they didn’t do it this year.  Maryland adjourns in less than two weeks, I’m pretty sure, and they’ve run out of time this year.  When we get close to 34 they’ll make their move.

I’ve never counted on Maryland, not from the get go.  If we lose it next year we’ll need to get Virginia or Montana to make up for it.  We need to get the conservative Republican Governor in Maryland, Larry Hogan, to raise hell when they make their move.  Make a big public stink about it.  That’s about all he could do.  He’s got no say.  The Maryland legislature will be under a lot of pressure from the national Democratic Party to do CAP’s bidding.  That’s a very difficult fight for us to win, but we’ll try.  If the BBA, and the Reagan Amendment, have captured the public’s attention we’d at least have a chance.

So this is the fight.  The Reagan Project vs. the Center for American Progress.  George Soros against the sons of the Gipper.  We’ll see who wins.  He’s a very smart and a very rich man.  But he’s not an American, and he doesn’t understand this country.  He’s playing politics, and he’s an amateur.  He’s also, in my opinion, an evil man.  I think he hates this country and everything it stands for.  We’ve got nothing to fear from him.  I want to kick his ass.

It’s not a fight we could have avoided.  It won’t be because we’ve tweaked the original BBA, and turned it into the Reagan Amendment, and somehow provoked them.  They’ve been out to get us all along.  They proved that in Montana, before the idea of the Reagan Amendment came up.

Lisa Murkowski is in the Senate seat that I wanted, and her daddy gave her.  I knew her quite well, back in the day.  She’s over her head.  But she is an Alaskan, and she’ll want to help.  One of these days I’ll give her dad, Frank, a call and tell him about the Reagan Amendment.  I know what Frank will do.  He’ll tell his daughter to lend a hand.  Frank and I go back to 1980, when I was his deputy campaign manager.  They hired me to do a hit on Clark Gruening, the Democrat he was running against. I pulled it off, in spades, and Frank has liked me ever since.  He was running even with Gruening until I pulled my little stunt.  It put Frank ten points up, which is what he won by on election day.

When I got elected to the state senate Frank came to Juneau and stopped by to see me.  He knew I couldn’t stand Ted Stevens, and he wanted to tell me a story.  Stevens’ wife was pregnant and the old goat was very proud of himself.  He’s down in the basement of the Capitol, getting a massage from an old Swede, talking about how his wife is having a baby.  So the old Swede asks him, “Who do you suspect?”

Frank and I had a good laugh over that, I can tell you.  He really didn’t like the little prick either.

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