Those Y'allQaeda militia martyr wannabes seizing federal buildings up in Oregon - you know, the ones who DIDN'T PLAN AHEAD - finally found themselves confronted by the federales and state police, and had themselves a brief shootout during the arrest attempt that left one of the militia guys dead and the rest in jail for the charges of "Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats" under US Code 18 s372.
It's telling to note these yaybos haven't been charged under a more serious Seditious Conspiracy law (the Impede Officers carries a max of 6 years, Sedition a max of 20), although such charges can be brought later depending if the federal system wants to open up a grand jury investigation after things wind down.
There's still about ten of the Oregon militia terrorists housed at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which the law enforcement finally have surrounded to prevent more would-be wingnuts to add themselves to the standoff. The leader of the group, Ammon Bundy (one of those arrested last night), is calling on the remaining gunmen to "stand down" and leave the park, mostly because he's already got what he and his Far Right buddies wanted: he forced a confrontation with the federal government, and he's got his martyrdom. But the standoff is still happening, and it's not over yet.
This isn't a good situation for the people of that Oregon county or the surrounding communities, and it isn't a good situation for the state and federal authorities. These anti-government militia types - with their skewed interpretation of the Constitution and "sovereignty" that doesn't fit how the U.S. really works - are at the point where they want these confrontations to win their arguments, bully their way out of them, or make themselves "heroes" to their cause to ensure a violent reaction from their allies still at large.
When Bundy and Buddies started their takeover of the park earlier in the month, the local and federal authorities were stuck in a lose-lose situation. On the one hand, those militia jokers were breaking a sh-tload of laws and there needed to be a hard response to that. But on the other hand, that was exactly what Bundy and his ilk wanted, hoping for a gory battle akin to the Waco and Ruby Ridge tragedies.
It didn't help that the immediate response for a lot of Americans - granted, most on Twitter - was disdain over how those gunmen who were most (if not all) White men were getting the kid glove treatment for days while unarmed minorities pulling even non-violent protests would have been tear-gassed, arrested, and beat up within hours. While the feds' actual response was reasonable - don't give them the fight they want - it was bad optics. That they've finally made arrests is a good move... but there's still the damned-if-you-do reality that this is not going to calm things down.
Those Sovereignty / Militia types are going to react to this with more threats, more posturing, more likelihood of violence if not directed at law enforcement then definitely at the cultural scapegoats - immigrants, Blacks, women - they despise.
That said, the second thing of note among the wingnuts is how their Primaries standard-bearer Donald Trump finally blew a fuse and is refusing to show up for next Thursday (already?) FOX-led debate all because Megyn Kelly was going to show up as a moderator and be mean to him.
The first reaction I had hearing the news was "what a p-ssy." Pardon my Swedish.
Seriously. This guy wants to be Leader of the Free World and he's publicly upset about someone hurting his feels. You never see Obama wimping out like this. Even Dubya showed up for press conferences once in awhile.
But on the other hand, Trump's entire campaign style is all about "dissing" others: it's been the ultimate Politically Incorrect campaign since George Wallace in 1968. He's expressed this disdain for the media - even as he phones them for interviews and preens for photo ops - to where he needs to keep up his anti-Establishment persona to keep his fanbase cheering.
Kicking Fox Not-News over something as soul-sucking as a political debate - which have been spectacles of bad behavior and boring cliches - actually won't cost Trump anything among the people who count: his Primary supporters that make up 35 percent of the Republican party's likely voters. Boycotting what will be yet another clown show debate is actually a shrewd move at his point of campaigning: it's a massive middle-finger to the RNC and to the Conservative Establishment media like National Review that's been growing in outrage towards him, and it can draw away interest from the entire show to the detriment of the Republican Party.
Worse: Just how crazy will the other candidates get to pose and bluster for the Far Right voter base so they can steal some of Trump's Primary mojo?
Peak wingnut has yet to happen.