Point, Counterpoint


Dana Loesch, the St. Louis, MO based conservative commentator, made the following membership drive (I think it’s to promote joining, but it’s hard to tell) video for the National Rifle Association back in April. For some reason it floated below the surface until it got noticed on social media this week.

I think Josh Marshall’s analysis is pretty accurate:


(Image 1: Ryan Payne from a 2014 Missoula Independent cover/profile)

This past week Federal prosecutors in Oregon made sentencing request for some of the people that followed Ammon Bundy in occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. The Oregonian reports:

The government will recommend Ryan Payne receive three years and five months in custody, the longest sentence of those who entered guilty pleas to conspiracy, Gabriel said.

Payne is still facing Federal charges in Nevada related to his actions in the Bunkerville standoff. As The Missoula Independent reports, was:

On April 7, Ryan Payne, a 30-year-old Iraq War veteran, packed his ’93 Jeep Cherokee with two sleeping bags, two cots, the rucksack he’d more or less lived out of during his five years in the military and a Rock River Arms Operator LAR-15. He was on his way to the southern Nevada desert to defend the oppressed from the tyrannical force of the federal government, and he knew he might have to fight.

As people came, Payne emerged—reluctantly, he says—as the militia’s de facto leader.

“I’m an advisor and coordinator for OMA,” Payne says, “and I was Mr. Bundy’s militia liaison. He would tell me what he had planned, and then I would advise him as to what the militia could accomplish in support of that.”

He organized the militia into units and pursued the objectives he and Bundy had agreed upon. As he set about planning a strategy for accomplishing those goals, Payne drew heavily on his Army experience.

Stay frosty!


The Trials of Snack Team 6: The Embezzling!


While the Prosecution has rested in the Trial of Snack Team 6 and the Defense has begun to present their case, including calling Franklin Graham to the stand, we have news relating our intrepid heroes that originated outside the courtroom. The Idaho Statesmen is reporting that Brandon Curtiss, the leader of the Idaho III% Militia, took $2,901 of donations meant to assist four Idaho III% members who have been charged in the 2014 Bundy family led Bunkerville standoff (h/t: TPM). As a result 36 members of the Idaho III% Militia have resigned because Curtiss has allegedly taken this money and spent it on a variety of items that have absolutely nothing to do with funds to assist the four of his members and their families as they wait for their upcoming days in Federal Court.

The group’s PayPal account was in Curtiss’ name. PayPal records show Curtiss paid $295 on Aug. 7 to Rollin Smoke Diesel, an Indiana company that supplies aftermarket parts that allow pickups with diesel engines to produce thick clouds of black smoke in what has become a fad in some areas. The next day, the company credited $13 back to the account.

On Aug. 8, the account was billed $30 from Mister Car Wash in Nampa. Other payments that month for which the business purpose wasn’t clear include $37.50 to Adele’s Storage in Clarkston, Wash.; $30 to, an online company that provides criminal records, personal financial information and contact information for people; $18.55 to a Taco Bell in Ontario, Ore.; and $71.59 to a Maverik store in Fruitland, where Curtiss resides.

That same month, the Mountain West Bank statement shows a $98.44 charge for an Idaho Parks and Recreation camping reservation and a $5 iTunes music download. There were also $292 in gasoline and food charges in Winnemucca, Nev., and Roseville and Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 3 and 4, along with an Aug. 3 Walmart purchase in Sacramento.

By Sept. 13, the bank account showed a balance of $12.58. Six days later, the account was closed. It’s unclear whether 3% of Idaho has another existing bank account or what financial resources it still has.

Also, Curtiss appears to be a general, all around deadbeat. He was fined for not paying the Workman’s Comp premiums earlier this year for his Bail Recovery Agency, the Sons of Liberty Fugitive Recovery Service.

Tune in tomorrow for more updates. Same Bundy time, same Bundy station.

(I am not sure if it is kosher to mix Roman numerals with a % sign. But that’s how these guys do their name/symbol. I apologize if this is shaatnez.)

Bundy Bunch Update

Since its been an eventful day here at the Balloon Juice bunker, now that we’ve secured from general quarters and returned the site to both JuiceCon 5 and threat assessment level puce, I thought it only appropriate to finish the night off with a Bundy Bunch update.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service released new photos of the damage done by the Bundy Bunch to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They are currently estimating $6 million in damages. Click on through to see just how much damage was done.

The redacted, final indictee on the Bundy Bunch indictment for the Malheur occupation has now been revealed as 27 year old Jake Ryan from Montana (h/t Bella Q). He’s still at large and the Bundy’s fellow travelers have decided to start working the refs, and the local sheriff, to try to keep him from being taken into custody. This includes, but is not limited to,  Shawna Cox who is on release while awaiting trial, Jeanette Finicum, Gavin Seim, and Ryan’s parents. CSPOA has removed its searchable list of “Constitutional Sheriffs”, so it is not possible to determine if Sanders County Sheriff Tom Runnels is a member. Sheriff Runnels did make a statement that he intends to ensure that due process is followed, Mr. Ryan’s rights are protected, and that he does not think that Mr. Ryan is in Sanders County right now.

Despite his lawyer’s claims that he would fight extradition, Jerry DeLemus’s attorney did not file an objection with the Federal Court in New Hampshire to DeLemus being extradited to Nevada. As a result the Federal Court in New Hampshire has ruled that DeLemus will be extradited to Nevada where he will sit in jail and await his trial in regards to the events that occurred at Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville Ranch in 2014.

The Koch backed/funded American Lands Council, some of whose members that are elected officials have gotten themselves on the rader of Federal Law Enforcement for their interjecting themselves into the Malheur Occupation, including its planning, has recruited a perfect candidate to run for the Montana State Legislature. This should be fun…

Finally, and courtesy of admitted Bundy junky (that’s junky, not groupie – ewww….) LAO, we have this lovely manifesto written by Ryan Bundy as an answer to News2Share’s questions to him. Click across to read the whole thing. They have both his handwritten responses, which you can click on to read, and transcriptions they made for ease of reading.


Bundy Bunch Update – Updated at 8:50

For those who want to listen to it, here’s the 90 minute audio recording of the meeting between the Coalition of Western States folks, Harney County Judge Gratsy, and Sheriff Ward:

Oregon Public Broadcasting has reported that the Coalition of Western States people, who are state and county officials in a number of western states, knew that the Bundy’s planned to occupy a federal site well in advance of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Occupation. Specifically:

(Greenlee County, Arizona Commissioner) Corbell told OPB that coalition leadership knew Ammon Bundy planned to take over U.S. government property in Harney County before it happened, but were unsure which federal outpost it would be. The federal government owns about 75 percent of the land in Harney County.

“We knew he was going to do something,” Corbell said, “because something had to be done.”

OPB is also reporting that the State of Oregon’s Department of Justice has begun an investigation into Grant County Sheriff Palmer. This is in addition to the Oregon State Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s looking into the complaints against Sheriff Palmer that it has received.

Finally, as several commenters in other threads have mentioned, Cliven Bundy refused to plead at all, has been denied bail, and is claiming he was not involved in the standoff at his ranch against the BLM in 2014. He seems to be claiming that he was just there, hanging out at home, when the whole thing happened, but it didn’t really have anything to do with him. Regardless of this line of legal reasoning, he will remain in custody through his trial in Nevada.  His sons Ammon and Ryan, as well as several others, have convinced the Federal judge in Oregon currently handling their case that they should not be extradited to Nevada until the Oregon case is resolved as it would prevent them from receiving a speedy trial.

—–Update at 8:50 PM——-

Here’s a horrifying tale of both abuse of power and just what happens when one of these “Constitutional” Sheriffs is allowed to run amok.

Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff: The US Government Responds to Peter Santilli’s Request for Bail

Yesterday the US Attorneys in Oregon and Nevada responded to Peter Santilli’s request to get bail. Santilli’s argument is that he’s not a party to either the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Occupation, nor the Bundy Ranch Standoff of 2014. Rather, he’s a journalist and was at both locations in that capacity and is therefore protected by the 1st Amendment. The US government’s response to this request is in the pdf below and its an interesting read. The government’s argument is that Santilli was not at Bunkerville as a journalist, but was rather a major participant, planner, and leader of the standoff.


Among other interesting and related cases, Schuyler Barbeau, who is alleged to have been one of Cliven Bundy’s bodyguards, has filed his own pleading in his case in Washington state. The pdf of his handwritten pleading is below*:


Finally, and thanks to commenter Trollhattan in the comments in my earlier thread, the High Country News has posted a rundown on what is going on with and around the Bundy arrests and arraignments. This includes a nice summary biography of each of the major individuals indicted to this point. It also points out that there is significant concern among members of the “Patriot” movement that anyone who was at the Bundy Ranch standoff to show their support or provide security are at risk for arrest. And here’s a great article by Les Zaitz on how the eyewitness reports to LaVoy Finicum’s shooting matched up with the evidence, including both the FBI’s surveillance footage and the eyewitness’s own footage. Short answer: not well.

——–Update at 9:25 PM——-

Here’s an interesting article on emails sent, expressing concern, about Grant County Sheriff Palmer and what he might or might not do in regards to the Malheur occupiers (h/t: Judy Thomas on twitter). And here’s a link to a YouTube video where LaVoy Finicum’s widow claims that Sheriff Palmer invited the Malheur occupiers to visit him (h/t: Ryan Haas on Twitter).

* I’m pretty sure I found this last week linked to on JJ MacNab’s twitter feed.

Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff Update: We Have Twelve Additional Arrests

The US Attorney’s Office in Nevada has announced charges for fourteen additional individuals in the Bundy Ranch Standoff of 2014 in Bunkerville, Nevada (h/t HGTomato). Twelve of the fourteen were taken in to custody earlier today, two – Blaine Cooper and Brian D. Cavalier were arrested last month and are already in custody.

The twelve individuals who were arrested today are: Melvin D. Bundy, 41, of Round Mountain, Nev., David H. Bundy, 39, of Delta, Utah, Gerald A. DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, N.H., Eric J. Parker, 32, of Hailey, Idaho, O. Scott Drexler, 44, of Challis, Idaho, Richard R. Lovelien, 52, of Westville, Okla., Steven A. Stewart, 36, of Hailey, Idaho, Todd C. Engel, 48, of Boundary County, Idaho, Gregory P. Burleson, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz., Joseph D. O’Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Ariz., and Micah L. McGuire, 31, and Jason D. Woods, 30, both of Chandler, Ariz.

You’ll notice on that list are two more of Cliven Bundy’s sons: Mel and David Bundy. The other big names include Eric J. Parker, seen below in an overwatch sniper’s position pointing his AR* pattern rifle at Federal law enforcement officers, and Jerry DeLemus.


DeLemus is the retired Marine who has claimed to be the head of the militia/security at the Bundy Ranch Standoff. He is also a New Hampshire Tea Party activist and the co-chair of Veterans for Trump.

The charges, and their maximum penalties, are:

Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States – 5 years, $250,000 fine

Conspiracy to Impede and Injure a Federal Law Enforcement Officer – 6 years, $250,000 fine

Assault on a Federal Law Enforcement Officer – 20 years, $250,000 fine

Threatening a Federal Law Enforcement Officer – 10 years, $250,000 fine

Use and Carry of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence – 5 years minimum and consecutive

Obstruction of the Due Administration of Justice – 10 years, $250,000 fine

Interference with Interstate Commerce by Extortion – 20 years, $250,000 fine

Interstate Travel in Aid of Extortion – 20 years, $250,000 fine

* AR stands for Armalite, the company that first developed this style of semi-automatic rifle. It is unclear from this, or other pictures, if it is an AR 15 or an AR 10. The default chambering for the former is usually NATO 5.56/.223 Remington and for the latter is usually NATO 7.62/.308 Winchester.

** Image found at High Country News.