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But please, tell us again how you're Rosa goddamned Parks


A jury in Las Vegas deadlocked on almost all charges against six men being tried in federal court for the 2014 standoff between federal law enforcement and armed loonies supporting welfare rancher Cliven Bundy. The jury did manage to agree on guilty verdicts on some counts against two of the men, but was unable to reach a verdict on the rest. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial on the unresolved charges and scheduled a new trial for June 26, the same day that ol' Cliven and other leaders of the standoff will go on trial.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the skinny on the partial convictions:

Gregory Burleson, a formerly active member of Arizona militia groups who used to be a paid FBI informant, was convicted of assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, interference with interstate commerce by extortion, obstruction of justice, interstate travel in aid of extortion and multiple gun counts. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 57 years.

During the standoff, Burleson was photographed holding a long gun on a mesa, perched above the dried-up wash where Bureau of Land Management agents were impounding cattle.

Despite having been a paid informant, Burleson was happy to talk about his hopes of killing him some federal officers in recordings made by undercover FBI agents. The FBI had a very cunning plan for getting statements from several participants in the standoff: They pretended to be filming a sympathetic documentary about the Bundy Freedom-n-Guns Jamboree, with the working title "America Reloaded." Here's hoping once the trials are over, some clever documentarian makes an actual movie by submitting a FOIA request for that footage.

The other guilty verdicts came against Idaho gun humper Todd Engel, one of the Bunditarians who carried guns on a highway overpass above the federal agents, who was convicted of obstruction of justice and interstate travel in aid of extortion, for which he faces up to 20 years. The jury couldn't reach verdicts on remaining counts, which seems incredible since he was representing himself.

Even though they were convicted, Burleson and Engel may still be retried on the remaining charges against them. They'll be sentenced on the guilty charges in July.

Another Idaho defendant, Eric Parker, the guy who became famous after being photographed aiming at feds from behind a concrete barrier, was among those the jury couldn't reach a verdict on, despite the photos of him training his rifle on law enforcement officers. Militia expert and Forbes columnist JJ MacNab summed up the astonishing outcome quite nicely in a single Tweet:

Parker fans are even happy to sell you a t-shirt, cap, or beer cozy commemorating his brave fight against tyranny:

But come on, the guy was a patriot who was just defending himself against tyranny. It's not like he was a black guy reaching for his wallet during a traffic stop and getting shot to death for putting a cop in fear for their life. Yes, yes, we're racists for even suggesting such a comparison.

None of the six defendants were found guilty on two key charges of conspiracy, which could present a challenge in the retrial, according to one of the defense attorneys, Todd Leventhal, whose client, O. Scott Drexler was one of the four defendants the jury couldn't quite find any reason to convict:

I think it should show the federal government that they have a much weaker case than they thought going into this, because we’ve now had two months of testimony from over 50 prosecution witnesses, and they couldn’t get 12 people to agree[.]

The six defendants in this trial were charged as gunmen for a conspiracy organized by Cliven Bundy, who'll face trial in June along with other organizers of the attempt to prevent the seizure of cattle for which Bundy had spent years refusing to pay grazing fees. Bundy has his very own special version of the U.S. Constitution that says the federal government can't own any land or have any law enforcement agents, either. Prosecutors had previously said the six were the "least culpable" of the 17 defendants who will eventually be tried; after the mistrial was declared, prosecutors didn't comment on whether they plan to go ahead with a retrial.

Fortunately, there's no chance at all "Patriot" groups will be emboldened by the mistrials or anything. It's not like they have a skewed view of reality, as this ALL-CAPS Tweet from during the trial proves:

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click the "Donate" clicky below, or the jackbooted federal thugs will take away your guns!!!! (Hey, that works wonders for NRA fundraising...)

[Las Vegas Review-Journal / JJ MacNab on Twitter]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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