Florida Woman! (Not BettyC!)

Florida Woman strikes again:

Police have arrested a 24-year-old Waldo woman who they believe called in a bomb threat to the University of Florida last week.

Jessica Ward was charged with making a false report concerning planting a bomb, which is a felony, according to a news release today from UF police.

The threat was made against the university’s engineering building, and Ward worked in the building’s Java Hut Coffee Kiosk, the release says.

Students were evacuated from the building Wednesday after a note was found on the first floor of the building in a restroom, and classes in the building were canceled for the rest of the day.

Later, during an interview with police, Ward said she wrote the threat. She told them she wanted to leave work at the threat’s indicated time so she could have “me time,” according to the release.

Ward was arrested this morning and remained at the Alachua County jail on a $15,000 bond.

Open Thread!



Thursday Evening Open Thread: Thank the Trickster God for Joe Biden Memes

… and thanks TPM for the roundup.

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Apart from snark, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Bundy Bunch Trial Update Day 2!

The first witness called by the prosecution as they began to make their case today was Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward.  Sheriff Ward testified that:

“I was told my responsibility was to prevent them from going to prison, and if I didn’t do those things, they would bring hundreds of people to town to do my job for me,” Ward testified.

The ultimatum “in my mind, sounded bad,” the sheriff said.

Bundy also referenced the 2014 standoff with federal officers outside his father Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, calling Bunkerville “a great victory” because the federal government was forced to retreat.

Ward said he encouraged Bundy and Payne to work through lawful channels rather than contemplating civil unrest, and stressed that the community would not tolerate the type of actions that occurred at Bunkerville.

Ward said he made it clear to the two men that, “We could not have violence or bloodshed in our community.”

He also testified that:

In a followup call, after it became apparent Ammon Bundy was taking a leadership role, the sheriff cautioned him. If anything goes wrong in the community, Ward said, “you’re going to be held responsible for it.”

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office was being flooded with with emails and phone calls seeking his intervention in the Hammonds’ situation. The agency was seeing 10 times the usual volume, he said, and it was impossible to keep up.

Among those were two November 2015 emails from co-defendant Neil Wampler. On Nov. 17, Wampler wrote that the sheriff had two options for handling the Hammond case: Protect your constituents or “see your county invaded by some of the most determined and organized and armed citizens alive in this country today.

“The Bundys have sent out a nationwide alert.”

Three days later, Wampler sent another email to Ward. Part of it read, “I assure you that our determination to protect the Hammonds is no Bluff…Hundreds of armed citizens, including yours truly, are prepared and waiting for the call WE AIN’T PLAYIN’. As Sheriff Poindexter said, let the chips fall where they may.”

Ammon Bundy also issued him an ultimatum:

“You have one week, sheriff,” Ward said Bundy told him, before adding something to the effect of, “One week to do the right thing.”

Click on over to read all of Maxine Bernstein’s excellent coverage of the trial. Here’s the rest of today’s highlights and a lay out of where things go from here.

We’ll be back tomorrow night, good citizens, to check in on how the Bundys Turn. Same Bundy time, same Bundy station.



Bundy Bunch Update: The Trial Begins

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(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!



The “Alt-Right” Is… Neither an Alternative, Nor Correct

From the Washington Post, company paper in the town whose monopoly industry is national politics:

On the eve of a planned speech here on Donald Trump’s ties to the “alt-right,” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused her Republican opponent of “taking a hate movement mainstream.”

Clinton is scheduled to deliver remarks Thursday about a conservative movement often associated with white nationalism and fervent anti-immigration views that has cheered Trump’s candidacy, including his campaign’s recent hiring of the chairman of a website that caters to the alt-right.

“Donald Trump has shown us who he is, and we ought to believe him,” Clinton told host Anderson Cooper Wednesday night on CNN. “He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He’s brought it into his campaign. He’s bringing it to our communities and our country.”…

The alt-right began with a speech conservative writer Paul Gottfried delivered in 2008, after the Republican Party’s electoral wipeout. Gottfried called for an “alternative right” that could defeat “the neoconservative-controlled conservative establishment.” That idea was soon adopted by the “identitarian” nationalist Richard Spencer, who founded an Alternative Right website, but it was also claimed by supporters of Ron Paul and conservatives who opposed multiculturalism…

And “misogynist neo-Nazi xenophobes” just didn’t seem mainstream-friendly.

But it was Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that brought the movement into the mainstream. From the moment he told a national audience that Mexico was sending rapists and drug-dealers across the border, Trump surged in the polls….
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Open Thread RNC Recap, Day One: “The Weaponization of Fear”

Commentor Raven pointed out that’s the honest tag for the goals of the RNC opening day, aka “Make America Safe Again”. There is so much richness to choose from… like a fishpacking facility catching fire and setting off an explosion in the fertilizer factory next door…


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Late-Night ‘Good Show, Melania!’ Open Thread

One suspects (hopes) this can only get better…

Look at it from Melania’s point of view. She’s a nice sensible bureaucrat’s daughter from the Balkans, who fought her way up from a suspiciously nice apartment and somewhat better outfits than any of her schoolmates could afford, to a design school in Italy, through the slog of low-level ‘modelling’ in New York, to a fortuitous introduction to a celebrity real estate developer and (what we’re told is) a nice secure pre-nup contract. Life as the arm-candy to a D-list celebrity “rich guy” isn’t exactly a sinecure, but she’s put in the work. Her only son attends an expensive Manhattan private school, her parents have a nice apartment in NYC, and there’s lots of professional athletes work harder at staying in peak physical condition for far lesser rewards. Now — just as the old man should be handing off his more strenuous tasks to the offspring of previous wives — a bunch of ambitious underlings have talked the dumb bugger into pouring his money, energy and market reputation into a noisy, embarrassing, tedious pursuit of a job he’s not gonna get.

Think of her little son, Barron; the older Trump kids have finished their expensive educations, they’ve all got their own side businesses (siphoning money out of the family till), once this public sh*tshow falls apart they’ll scatter to the upper-class winds and pretend they had no idea what maggot Daddy got into his brain. But Barron? Melania’s elderly parents? The only resource they’ve got is… Melania.
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