The Trials of Snack Team Six: The Contemptening


When last we left our intrepid heroes they were attempting to impeach, post facto, the credibility of Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward. In our most recent installment, however, Ammon Bundy’s attorney has decided that what this trial needs is more references to the late LaVoy Finicum! Maxine Berstein, doing yeoman’s (yeowoman? yeoperson?) at The Oregonian, has the details:

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown on Thursday threatened to hold Ammon Bundy’s lawyer in contempt of court each time he defies her order and tries to delve into the circumstances surrounding the officer-involved fatal shooting of refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum during trial.

The judge told attorney Marcus Mumford that she’d fine him $1,000 each time he raises the issue in front of jurors in the federal conspiracy trial of Bundy and six others stemming from the 41-day takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“I have ruled on this issue and it appears to me you disregard it,” Brown told Mumford after excusing the jury for a morning restroom break.

“Do you understand what I’m saying … yes or no?” the judge asked Mumford as he was about to explain. She cut him off, requesting a simple answer, just as he’s done to witnesses on the stand.

“I don’t understand. Your honor says I’m asking improper questions?” Mumford said.

The judge pointed to Mumford’s questioning of rancher Andy Dunbar, whose property is adjacent to the eastern Oregon refuge, about what he learned on Jan. 26 about the fatal shooting of Finicum.

“You are not to do that,” Brown said.

“You’re telling me I’m allowed to inquire about the shooting, but not the circumstances of the shooting?” Mumford asked.

Brown reminded him: Anything about Finicum’s shooting death, beyond that it occurred and the date, isn’t allowed to be discussed in front of jurors.

“I can understand the words,” Mumford told her.

“I hope you can comply,” the judge said.

The admonition followed days of directions by the judge to Mumford about restricting his questions during cross-examination to the testimony elicited during prosecutors’ direct examination of witnesses. She has frequently sustained prosecutors’ objections to Mumford’s lines of questioning because they were either irrelevant or “beyond the scope” of the direct testimony during the past two weeks of trial.

The judge instructed Mumford and all other attorneys to take any concerns up with her outside the presence of the jury if they want to ask questions that go beyond her order.

Tune back in on Monday for our next installment of How the Snack Team Digests. Same Bundy time, same Bundy station!

About Those “Conservative” Principles



Ted Cruz on Friday said he would that he would vote for Donald Trump for president.

“After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Cruz said he endorsed both because of his primary pledge to support the party nominee, as well as his concerns about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word,” Cruz said. “Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.”

The announcement follows months of waiting for Cruz’s stance on Trump, as well as the political ramifications of an endorsement following the Texas senator’s bitter, personal primary race against Trump.

“If he announces he endorses, it destroys his political brand,” said someone who had worked for Cruz’s campaign.

Before, when they thought Trump was going to lose, conservatives thought the best plan of action was to boldly oppose Trump so it would benefit them as the heir apparent to the “conservative” cause. Now they think he can win, so they are all reversing thrusters to full because they think it will benefit them (check out the divinely inspired backtracking from Trump’s catholic liasion). There are two conservative principles. One is cleaks law. Cleek’s Law:

Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.

It’s always about what’s best (or what they think is best) for them at this very moment. Always. It’s why they embraced the bugfuck crazies in the tea party movement. It’s why they all saw starburts with Sarah Palin and then eight years later boldly disassociated themselves from her. It’s why they embraced Joe the not actually a plumber and currently a union member.

The second conservative principle is they hate you:

I was a winger for years, and we can discuss that particular psychosis at a later date, but what I can explain to you right now is that they fucking hate you.

They just do.

They hate you because you respect gay people as normal human beings.

They hate you because you respect African-Americans as normal human beings.

They hate you because you respect Asians, Latinos, and everyone else who isn’t a straight white male.

They hate you because you respect a woman’s right to choose.

They hate you because you respect the right of people to be with who they love.

They hate you because you respect the right of anyone to adopt a child.

They hate you because you respect international law.

They hate you because you believe in economic and tax fairness.

They hate you because you respect the right of anyone to worship any way they want.

They hate you because you respect scientists and their collective knowledge.

They hate you because you respect teachers and the work they do educating Americans.

They hate you because you respect the human dignity of every American.

They hate you because you respect the rights of people over corporations.

They hate you because you respect nature and think we have a duty to take care of the environment.

They hate you because you respect your right to vote, and they don’t think you deserve it.

They hate you because you respect the constitution and the rule of law.

They hate you because you respect laws against torture.

In short, they hate you. Period.

They masquerade their bullshit in the words of Jesus and the all-knowing free market, but it is transparent what motivates them. Not love for their fellow man, not love for their fellow citizen, not love for country- what motivates them is hate for the other.


They fucking hate you. They want you, and everyone who speaks for you, and every institution that represents your values, whether it be Planned Parenthood or food banks or ACORN- you name it. They want it destroyed.

So when slimy pseudo human Ted Cruz is running in four years against Hillary, and the usual clowns start fapping about him being a true conservative and not like the Trump aberration, remember this.

Absolutely Rudderless at the New York Times


Cancelling my subscription last week just looks smarter and smarter. Today’s “good lord what the hell are they thinking” moment is provided by public editor Liz Spayd:

Suppose that Donald Trump stops insisting President Obama was born outside the United States, and then saddles Hillary Clinton with starting the rumor in the first place. Is that stretching the truth? An unfounded assertion? An error? A falsehood?

Or is it a flat-out lie?

The New York Times voted for “lie” in writing last Friday about Trump’s decision to abandon the birther movement, using the word in two stories and a front-page headline: “Trump Gives Up a Lie but Refuses to Repent.”

It’s not all that often that The Times newsroom throws around the word “lie,” but Trump seems to bring it out in the place. Another story that ran in recent days used the term to describe Trump’s deception on his plans for a $1 trillion small-business tax cut.

How about calling something a lie WHEN IT IS A FUCKING LIE? But wait, it gets better:

I asked the political editor Carolyn Ryan about when that word gets clearance for use. Her definition of a lie is when there’s a deliberate attempt to deceive — when someone knowingly fails to tell the truth.

“A lie is different from the spin, exaggerations and squabbling between candidates that are commonplace in politics,” she said. “It is not a word we will use lightly.”

These are the factors that Ryan said would determine the conditions under which the word is used:

■ It is not used for matters of opinion, but only when the facts are demonstrably clear.

■ Intentionality is important — in the case of Trump and birtherism, he repeated the lie for years, in the face of overwhelming facts that disproved it, suggesting this was a deliberate attempt by Trump to deceive.

■ It is not used to police more frivolous disputes among political candidates or political factions.

“Lie” is a loaded word, all right, a favorite of campaign operatives. You score every time you can get the media to catch your opponent in one, and it’s into the bonus round if you can get them to actually call it a “lie.”

Oh, jesus fucking christ. According to the NYT’s alchemical handbook, a lie is no longer a lie when it is a minor or frivolous lie. These people have completely lost the plot and the NY Times is a rudderless organization at this point. Right now there are thousands of journalism professors hoping their students who work at the NY Times don’t have their school name published in their bio.

If a house was on fire, and the NY Times was the fire department, the news team would come up and describe in glorious detail the size and color of the flames, the smell of the smoke, the extent of the damage, all the while missing Donald Trump sitting on a pile of empty kerosene containers juggling road flares. The analysis squad would then swoop in and point out that this is going to make living there hard, that other house have been on fire before and were rebuilt, and that really, both sides have had house fires and right now the polling data says it is 50/50 as to whether the fire should be put out.

Ross Douthat would write that the fire was God’s will, Brooks would note that sometimes true conservatism means just letting things burn and that out of this may arise a Burkean renewal of spirit, political arsonist Maureen Dowd would run to the back yard and set the shed on fire before putting on her Pradas and calling in to flirt with Don Imus, and Paul Krugman would single-handedly save all the occupants of the household and then pass out from exhaustion as the only person manning a firehose.

A couple days later, Liz Spayd would show up to wank about the true nature of a fire hydrant, when it is and is not appropriate to use one, describe the platonic ideal of firefighting, and then piss on the ashes. A month later Dean Baquet would show up reeking of absinthe and crab boil, mumble something about needing to do a better job next time, and then fuck off out of sight for a month until the next time the New York Times shits the bed.

The whole organization is fucking hopelessly lost right now.

It’s the Little Things in Life

I was reading a story about some scumbag wingnut who lost a lawsuit to a couple of Muslim he was harassing, when something caught my eye:


Look at the lower right hand corner, and you will notice that the photo credit is to the John Hugh Gilmore fan club. What kind of wrong turns must you have taken in life that you are a proud member of the John Hugh Gilmore fan club? At what precise point do you think things started to go so badly for you.

The Trials of Snack Team Six: Day Three


Today was the third day in court for the members of Snack Team 6. When last we left our stalwart, masticating patriots their leader Ammon Bundy (call sign Munchies 6) was making the political statement that he was a political prisoner. But that, good citizens, was yesterday and what everyone* wants to know is what happened today. So without further ado…

Snack Team 6 opened with a motion to declare the trial a mistrial this morning. Ammon Bundy’s argument, made by his attorney Marcus Mumford, is that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward’s testimony on the first day was highly prejudicial and that Judge Brown had not done enough (anything?) to deal with it. As always The Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein is on the case:

Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford had asked Ward during his cross-examination Wednesday if he had conducted his own investigation into the 2014 armed standoff that occurred near Bunkerville, Nevada with federal officers attempting to corral Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s ranch cattle. Cliven Bundy is Ammon Bundy’s father.

Ward explained that what he learned about the Nevada standoff “scared the hell” out of him. The sheriff went on to note that he had discovered during a Google search on the Internet that “some unstable people who had left that situation” killed two police officers while they were eating lunch in a restaurant.

In court, Mumford asked the judge to strike Ward’s comments, arguing they were unresponsive. The judge denied his motion.

Bundy’s older brother, Ryan Bundy, then stood up and objected, also asking the court to strike Ward’s statements, initially citing a hearsay objection but quickly contending instead that the comments were prejudicial.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown found merit in Ryan Bundy’s objection, and told jurors to disregard Ward’s references to events in Bunkerville that had to do with police officers being killed.

Now, Mumford argues that the judge’s instructions to jurors didn’t go far enough.

“While the Court offered a curative explanation to the jury, that instruction was inadequate in light of the highly inflammatory and prejudicial insinuations that Mr. Bundy’s actions are somehow related to a high-profile, double-murder of police officers,” Mumford wrote in his motion. “Accordingly, Mr. Bundy moves for a mistrial and dismissal with prejudice.”

If the court isn’t inclined to grant a mistrial, Mumford offered the judge three alternatives: strike all of the sheriff’s testimony, hold an evidentiary hearing to inquire further about what Ward learned from other law enforcement about the Bunkerville standoff, or tell the jury Ward’s statement was unfounded and intended to prejudice his client.

“Sheriff Ward is a governmental agent and a central governmental witness who was clearly aware of the prejudice he was unfairly creating with his testimony, which he intentionally directed at Mr. Bundy and his counsel, as indicated by his indignant use of the word “sir,” in the answer at issue,” Mumford wrote.

Moving quickly along, the Prosecution called a number of FBI agents to the stand today and they testified about the Facebook postings and other social media messaging written and/or sent by the Bundys and their followers before and during the standoff at the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge.

Four FBI agents who combed through about 300,000 pages of 23 Facebook accounts belonging to defendants in the federal conspiracy case, searching for terms relevant to the alleged conspiracy, also testified. They read aloud the messages and posts, as prosecutors put them on computer screens so jurors could read them.

In several of Ammon Bundy’s posts, he criticized Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, claiming the sheriff was “collaborating with the violators,” while he vowed to “do whatever it takes” to protect Harney County ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steve Hammond from having to return to federal prison on arson convictions.

“We as people desire to live in peace and tranquility, but we will defend our friends if necessary, Respectfully Ammon Bundy,” one post read. During the occupation, Ammon Bundy uploaded a video of him seated in a refuge office, saying, “We basically came out here not to protest, stomp our feet…We came out here to make a difference.”

As always click across if you want to see all of The Oregonian‘s great coverage of the trial.

We’ll be back Monday with another edition of How the Bundy Bounces – same Bundy time, same Bundy station!

Stay hungry citizens!

* Everyone being defined as Bella Q and LAO.

Late Night Sideshow Open Thread: Colin Powell, Latest Victim of the ‘Trump Touch’

Gormless Midwestern bigot-politicians, anti-immigrant immigrant spokespersons, Mexican finance ministers — nobody who gets close to Donald Trump comes away without reputational damage. It’s like the Midas Touch, but in reverse!

Colin Powell has become another victim of the Trump Touch. Ever since garnering favorable attention from the Right People for his strong defense of William Calley, Gen. Powell has made a nice second career working the “We’re not racist, we just gave this reassuringly deep-voiced Black guy a six-figure sum to speak nicely to us” circuit. Not even his “aluminum tubes” stint shilling for Dubya’s Excellent Iraq Adventure could ding his reputation… maybe a few DFHs complained, but phhtb, hippies. Powell even made friends with Hillary Clinton, as they crossed paths while she was doing her own “We’re not vampire squids, we just gave this Democrat lady a six-figure sum” memoirs & speaking tours, and was kind enough to give her some advice about keeping her emails private.

But then Donald Effing Trump decided to get off the running-for-president pot, the Russian apparatchiks got busy in his support, and next thing you know, “Leaked Emails Reveal That Colin Powell, A 79-Year-Old Black Man, Acts Exactly Like Every 79-Year-Old Black Man*. Very funny, VSB! Now Colin Powell is just another joke-target on the internets!

The Washington Post reports:

Donald Trump is “a national disgrace and an international pariah” who gave voice to a “racist” movement to question President Obama’s citizenship, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell tapped on his keyboard.

Hillary Clinton, he typed in an email to another friend, is a “greedy, not transformational” figure who messes up everything she touches because of her “hubris” and has a husband still, well, entertaining “bimbos” while she is away.

Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter are “idiots” flacking their new book, and the Iraq War was mishandled from the get-go by the Defense Department’s top officials.

Other than that, the retired general and statesman wrote in one exchange, “alls well with the Powells.”
Read more

Snack Team Six Trial Day 3: The Political Prisoner is in Court Your Honor



Today, Ammon Bundy the leader of Snack Team Six, appeared in court wearing his prison scrubs to make the point that he is a political prisoner.

“Mr. Bundy desires to appear as he is, a political prisoner not free to dress as if presumed innocent,” attorney J. Morgan Philpot said, reading his client’s statement. “He would prefer to drop the facade and appear as the political prisoner he has been made.”

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown asked Bundy to stand. She inquired whether it was his choice to appear in jail attire, and if anyone took his suit away.

“Your honor, I have no comment,” he replied.

The judge told him she must know if his decision was voluntary.

“I have no comment,” he repeated.

Philpot interjected, “Mr. Bundy feels he really has no choice — that that’s been taken from him.”

It appears that Mr. Bundy and the rest of Snack Team 6 seem intent on turning Judge Brown’s court into a circus to suit their own purposes. It remains to be seen just how successful they will be.