Bundy Bunch Update: The Trial Begins


(Worst Episode of Hollywood Squares Ever!)

Much to LAO and Bella Q’s delight, the trial for the remaining defendants – as in those who hadn’t pled out or had their charges dropped – in the Bundy family led Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Occupation began this week in Federal Court in Oregon. The lines to get in were long! The Prosecution opened up their case today, delineating how the Bundys and several of their codefendants had carefully planned their actions and that they were in clear violation of numerous Federal laws.

Barrow, during opening statements in the long-anticipated Oregon standoff trial, used Ammon Bundy’s own words caught on video Jan. 2 to argue that Bundy and his co-defendants aren’t being prosecuted for holding a political protest, but for leading an armed occupation of the refuge.

He played a video of Bundy standing atop a snowbank in the Safeway parking lot in Burns in his blue plaid flannel jacket and cowboy hat, declaring, “Those who understand what has happened here … I’m asking you to follow me to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. We’re going to make a hard stand. … We’re going to insist the Constitution be protected here in this country.”

“We are not prosecuting the defendants because they don’t like the government,” Barrow said. “In Ammon Bundy’s words, ‘This was much more than a protest.’ They were taking a ‘hard stand.’ ”

One of Ammon Bundy’s attorney’s, however, laid out a competing argument to justify his clients actions:

Marcus Mumford, a lawyer for Ammon Bundy, told the court that the peaceful demonstration was an effort to draw attention to the federal government’s illegal control and mismanagement of public lands. He said Bundy was attempting to use a provision of the law known as adverse possession to retake land improperly seized by the federal government many decades ago.

“The government has been squatting on this land for years, illegally and contrary to how (the U.S.) Congress intended,” Mumford said in a telephone interview on Monday.

We’ll be checking in all week, in between restocking the Balloon Juice Bunker – just in case… Those of you readers in NY and Ohio that are on LAO and Bella Q watch – please confirm receipt of your schedules and acknowledge your shift assignments in the comments!

Images Are Worth a Thousand Words




* Image found here.

** Image found here.

*** Image found here.

Late Evening Open Thread: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid


For those in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area please be extra careful: there’s a creepy clown on the loose!

“Creepy Clown” spotted in Green Bay

Green Bay, WI — Neighbors in Green Bay are on edge after seeing a person dressed like a clown by the intersection of Mason and Adams Street around 2 a.m. Tuesday. 

The pictures are going viral on Facebook. The original post has almost 8,000 shares. A Facebook page has also been created to post future sightings of the clown, called Gags – The Green Bay Clown.

Police say they’ve received a few calls about the clown. 

“A person can walk down the sidewalk dressed however they want as long as they’re in a place they legally can be, and they’re not in a place that has a closing time, like a park,” said Captain Kevin Warych with the Green Bay Police Department. 

Police say their options are limited in dealing with the situation. 

I alerted Omnes directly this afternoon, but any other Juicers in Wisconsin may wish to take extra precautions!

Open thread to complain about clowns, people that are scared of clowns, people that torment people that are scared of clowns, or whatever!

* Image found here.

Don’t Try This at Home or In Public or Anywhere for That Matter!

Some knucklehead in Phoenix decided to see what would happen if he lit an entire fireworks display on fire (h/t: Sploid) inside a Wal-Mart. This is not a very good idea. Aside from starting a low explosive fire, and fortunately there weren’t any higher powered fireworks on the display or this would have been much, much worse, Arizona is a Constitutional Carry state. This means one can open carry without a permit, as well as conceal carry with or without a permit. The prankster is lucky someone didn’t hear several pops and decide there was an active threat that needed responding too!


They Are Who We Thought They Were

Exhibit A, from Trump’s “butler”*

Anthony Senecal told West Virginia newspaper The Martinsburg Journal on Friday—one day after a Secret Service agent called Senecal regarding online comments he made calling for Obama’s death—that he believes the President is a “traitor” who deserves to be killed.

…“I think they (Secret Service) wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go there with a rifle,” Senecal told the newspaper. “I told them it was too far to drive…

The 84-year-old…told the newspaper that he stands by the comments he made in his Facebook posts.

And then, there’s this guy, who is actually (attempting) to stake a claim on Washington:

“Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call President, because he’s an animal, OK — seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country…


It’s hard to pick where to start.  Should it be with the backwards-jacket level delusions concerning Obama-the-Destroyer? (Damn that doubling of the stock market; damn that cut in unemployment by half; how will we survive millions of our fellow Americans gaining access to health care; how wretched it is for our troops not to be on their fourth or fifth deployment and so on).

No: it is with the raw racism — enabled since 2009 (and really, since 1968) by the more “genteel” members of the Republican Party, who have made the fact of a black President such a horror to those who know in their bones that such a event cannot be permitted to happen in any well-behaved universe.

So yeah, while it’s easy to point and laugh at an aging crazy who perhaps sipped too much of whatever it was he brought The Donald, or to slap down Beruff’s vile manners, never forget the story behind the story:  these folks feel empowered to speak of the best president of a generation (or more) as if he were disqualified from the human race by those who trained ’em up.

There are lots of reasons the Republican Party must not merely be defeated this fall, but wrecked, utterly.

This is one.

*I swear that has to be code for some other function. Pharmaceutical grade toad purveyor, perhaps?


Image:  J. W. M. Turner, The Shipwreck1805

He’s Got the Electrolytes We Need

With little commentary, I present this, Del. Azinger (R-Wood County), explaining why he voted for the WV RFRA pro-bigotry bill:

I got nothing. Well, this:

So Near And Yet Shofar

Because I could(n’t resist):



Posted by Blaine Cooper on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Just to ram the point home: if I were those guys I’d think long and hard about the story of Nadab and Abihu. False prophets do not usually achieve happy endings. A sheepish withdrawal is by far their best outcome…which would let them get back (continue) to fleece their flock.

But I’ll say this: those big horns are not that easy to blow. Kudos for that at least.