Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 14, 2020

A Presidential Pardon For Julian Assange?


The tweet below has not been confirmed but I hope it is true.

Pastor Mark Burns @pastormarkburns - 16:19 UTC · 14 Dec 2020

BREAKING: President Trump will pardon Julian Assange.

Mark Burns is 'Trump's pastor'.

A pardon for Julian Assange will be a huge middle finger shown towards the 'deep state' which tormented Donald Trump with four years of 'Russiagate' nonsense.

It is also the right thing to do. Assange has not committed any crime. He has helped his sources to publish data through Wikileaks that incriminated states and powerful persons and companies.

That was and is plain old journalism and deserves support.

UPDATE - 18:32 UTC:

Oh, well:

Pastor Mark Burns @pastormarkburns - 17:57 UTC · Dec 14, 2020

Regarding #JulianAssange tweet, Inadvertent tweet, faulty source, please disregard!

Still - the 'inadvertent tweet' was so far retweeted 20.000 times and has received 90.000 likes. It thereby shows how popular such a move would be.

That may will give Trump additional impetus to really do it.

Posted by b on December 14, 2020 at 17:07 UTC | Permalink


That will revive the Democratic Party trope that Assange was always in cahoots with Putin. Notice how the Deep State has suddenly revived the Russian hacking fiction?

Posted by: Maracatu | Dec 14 2020 17:22 utc | 1

Many here predicted it.


Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 14 2020 17:30 utc | 2

The first question that comes to mind is how can Trump pardon someone not convicted of a crime?

Putting that aside I would want Trump to pardon Snowden and like another commenter posted, Leonard Peltier. Then there are all those in prison for pot related crimes......

Trump's "job" in office was to upset the applecart and he has done a righteous job of that. Even before Covid there was no going back to "normal" for the US.

And still only outliers like me droning on about how those who own global private finance are the one moving the levers behind the the elite continue to be safe from the masses of humanity they control. Why is there going to be a right/left crisis in the US when the reality meme is top/bottom?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 14 2020 17:36 utc | 3

Pardons for Assange and Snowden would be very good news. However I wouldn't put it past the Biden/Harris administration to find a way to circumvent the process, to the applause of "proper Journalists" The future is bleak I fear.

Posted by: Ramon Zarate | Dec 14 2020 17:42 utc | 4

But how can Trump pardon an australian that never did anything wrong and that Uncle Sam never had any right to convict for anything?

Posted by: Trond | Dec 14 2020 17:48 utc | 5

You are positing a non-existent contradiction as - Right=Top & Left = Bottom - unless you/they/we/them are doing it wrong.

And anyway, it's not just as simple and black and white as your 'global private finance elite' makes it seem. Every organisation (or quasi-organisation)is composed of layers, factions, diverging interests etc.

So what is needed is a theory of what we are being opposed by and how to counter that. Marx elucidated his theory over 100 years ago, and it has not been bettered since. If you are serious about your opposition, you must also be serious about the theory behind your opposition - none of this nonsensical US 'individualist revolution' and Ayn Rand style far right (anti) anarchism.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Dec 14 2020 17:54 utc | 6

I imagine the pardoning means that extradition to the U.S. would not yield any state prosecution.

IOW, what are the Brits gonna do with him now?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 14 2020 17:54 utc | 7

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 14 2020 17:54 utc | 6

The 'Brits' (soon to be only the 'English') will have to free him if there is no longer an extradition order.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Dec 14 2020 17:58 utc | 8

Craig Murray predicted that Assange would very likely be released very soon in appeal after his very likely conviction, because the UK high court(if that is the name) is fairly independent. Given that prediction it becomes possible that the current judge Baraitser(and those behind her) and/or US government try to preempt that by releasing him themselves. This would not stop their war against him.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 14 2020 18:04 utc | 9

psychohistorian @ 3 says: "The first question that comes to mind is how can Trump pardon someone not convicted of a crime?"

Ha ha, silly question. If every President can pardon, in every Thanksgiving in White House, a turkey (which is the most harmless animal and never commits a single crime in the entire history of human beings), why can't they pardon Assange/Snowden?

The irony is that, after each "pardon" ceremony, the President and his family would go back into the White House to have a feast of turkey dinner - after the chefs slaughtered the "pardoned" turkey's family and friends. Tragic.

Posted by: d dan | Dec 14 2020 18:05 utc | 10

do hope this is true.

it would be even more interesting to watch the MSM's reaction to it
they'll probably go ballistic about it ( i'm being ironic )

probably also give BoJo nightmares to find out that the US are giving his sovereignty back to him.

Posted by: chris m | Dec 14 2020 18:06 utc | 11

update : that was bullshit

Posted by: rototo | Dec 14 2020 18:07 utc | 12

@psychohistorian #3
Your understanding of the Presidential Pardon is wrong.
Ford pardoned Nixon even though Nixon was not formally charged with anything (yet). So it isn't even theoretical, what Trump may be planning with regarding a pardon for Assange.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 14 2020 18:08 utc | 13

@ psychohistorian | Dec 14 2020 17:36 utc | 3
The first question that comes to mind is how can Trump pardon someone not convicted of a crime?

George H.W. Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger and he was never indicted, tried or convicted. It's not necessary to be convicted of a crime to receive a pardon. No one complained when Weinberger was pardoned.

However, the pardon would only apply to federal crimes, not any others. Julian Assange isn't a U.S. citizen but if he was ever extradited to U.S. he would certainly be charged with a crime even if they had to make one up.

Posted by: LM | Dec 14 2020 18:11 utc | 14

Ford pardoned Nixon and Nixon hadn't been charged. So, yes he can pardon someone neither charged nor convicted.

Posted by: erik | Dec 14 2020 18:13 utc | 15

Psychohistorian asksThe first question that comes to mind is how can Trump pardon someone not convicted of a crime?
I think The DA could make a deal non prosecutorial with Assange. Assange will tell Trump how to spell trump's name in exchange of immunity for all crimes state, federal and international committed to date and agree to give Assange protected witness for the rest of his life..

amd Jams o'Donnel @ 7 responds to by: NemesisCalling @ 6 who said "The 'Brits' (soon to be only the 'English') will have to free him if there is no longer an extradition order. "

Posted by: Snake | Dec 14 2020 18:15 utc | 16

That would be long overdue, but good in the present situation. I hope it is true, but believe nothing until I see it confirmed.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 14 2020 18:16 utc | 17

Posted by: Snake | Dec 14 2020 18:15 utc | 15

And your point is?

Posted by: Jams O,Donnell | Dec 14 2020 18:18 utc | 18

@LM #13
Treason and what not are all federal crimes.
Assange hardly even touches the soil in the US - hard to see how he could be convicted of a local crime.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 14 2020 18:25 utc | 19

Everything Russia, Russia, Russia started with Snowden's asylum in Russia. Ending that with a pardon would end the reason behind the new Cold War. With those two pardons, Trump would vindicate himself and stab the incoming neoliberals in the heart.

Posted by: DinoReno | Dec 14 2020 18:26 utc | 20

Would be nice to get Assange home. And pardon Snowden. And Manning. And Reality. After the Electoral College confirms Biden today, we can expect some dramatics from the Drama-Queen-In-Chief. But doing the right thing probably won't be among them.

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 14 2020 18:53 utc | 21

Go ahead, Donald.
Give 'em the right, to the point answer.
People from all over the world will applaud the gesture.
Presidential pardon to the profile of courage, Julien Assange.

Posted by: augusto | Dec 14 2020 19:02 utc | 22

Of course he should drop the charges against Assange and pardon Snowden. But let's not forget that Trump didn't mind upping the ante against Assange (Obama did not charge him with the extra shit Trump brought forward, Obama saying it was against first amendment rights and chilling to journalism, etc), and that Trump is the one who put Manning back in jail on some seriously fucked up bullshit after her sentence was commuted by Obama. (Obama should have pardoned her, obviously.)

Trump is as much to blame for the messed up lives in these cases as any of his sick predecessors. No doubt he'll pass around pardons and bask in some undeserved accolades because people tend to forget who did what when.

Posted by: teri | Dec 14 2020 19:36 utc | 23

@c1ue | Dec 14 2020 18:25 utc | 19
hard to see how he could be convicted of a local crime.

Well. US sees it differently. For example:

Washington wants British authorities to extradite Assange to the U.S. to face a court over charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The Department of Justice has indicted him on 18 counts, alleging 17 forms of espionage and 1 instance of computer misuse crimes connected to WikiLeaks' dissemination of secret U.S. military documents provided to him by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Posted by: LM | Dec 14 2020 19:38 utc | 24

I'll believe it when I see it.

Biden silent! Too stupid to know whats happening, too captive to even squeek. The msm too owned to comment, too craven to care.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 14 2020 19:58 utc | 25

Trump will absolutely, definitely, 100% pardon Assange (and Snowden too) ...

... when hell freezes over.

<> <> <> <> <>

The rumors are just more atmospherics meant to strengthen the pretense that Trump is a "populist outsider" that is anti-Deep State.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2020 20:17 utc | 26

If you thought Julians' or Snowdens' lives were in danger before a presidential pardon, just consider what the THE DEEP STATE would do after a pardon?

Might be better to decline a pardon OR for Julian to get to the Russian Embassy ASAP.

As for Snowden, stay put no matter what happens!

Posted by: James Cook | Dec 14 2020 20:41 utc | 27

How does "the President's pastor" inadvertently make a tweet like that?



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2020 20:42 utc | 28

How anyone in their right mind can continue to believe, Trump is not the "deep state", really need to have their head examined. Puh leeeze, people, wake up. Take it from a former New Yorker, Trump is deep state. Always has been always will be. To think otherwise is simply delusional. The deep state loves to fu*k with your heads.

Posted by: Peter Durant | Dec 14 2020 20:42 utc | 29

It is entirely possible that the original tweet was true but sent accidentally. The retraction may be an effort to cover the slip.

We can still hope.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 14 2020 20:49 utc | 30

@Rob (30)

How does one “accidentally” send a tweet suggesting a very specific outcome on a very specific issue? Actually, how the hell does one accidentally send a tweet, period? Riddle me that my friend. It’s almost as inconceivable as “accidentally” sending an email.

Posted by: Dork | Dec 14 2020 22:21 utc | 31

If this is true, the Orange cockwomble must be truly desperate. So desperate he's even willing to free Barabbas (not a perfect analogy, but ...).

When you've tried every evil under the sun, all that is left is to turn to the good to improve your ratings ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 14 2020 22:36 utc | 32

Donald J. Trump was mentored by noone other than the infamous Roy Cohn.

Roy Cohn rose to power as senator Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel during the Army–McCarthy hearings. Before that Cohn had already been a board member of the American Jewish League Against Communism.

After moving out of the political spotlight, Roy Cohn established a legal practice in New York, where he became the prime political fixer for the Mafia. He was quite influential, judging by these quote from wikipedia:

Cohn's other clients included retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who has referenced Cohn as "the quintessential fixer"
(Yes, that Alan Dershowitz, of Epstein fame..)
Rupert Murdoch was a client, and Cohn repeatedly pressured President Ronald Reagan to further Murdoch's interests. He is credited with introducing Trump and Murdoch, in the mid-1970s, marking the beginning of what was to be a long, pivotal association between the two.
(Donald Trump, toootally not part of the deep state, just like Murdoch.)

Another quote comes from "My Bizarre Dinner Party with Donald Trump, Roy Cohn and Estee Lauder":

The two met in 1973 when Trump, then 27, and his father were being sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination. Cohn counter-attacked, accusing the federal prosecutors of using “Gestapo-like tactics.” Later, Cohn secured for Trump massive tax abatement deals from the city for Trump Tower and even introduced Trump to Roger Stone, Richard Nixon’s dirty trickster who’s currently The Donald’s in and out chief braintruster. Cohn was legally indispensable but socially indispensable, too, introducing Trump to nightclub owners, media heavyweights and underworld figures. And, of course, there were the politicos, which included most of the city’s major elected officials and a handful of New York City judges who were said to be at Cohn’s beck and call 24/7. His win-at-any-cost style, brashness and love for the spotlight made an impact on the younger Trump.

Wikipedia's biography of Roy Cohn is heavily sanitized and make no mention of his frequenting lurid nightclubs and running various sexual blackmail schemes. It is rumored that his involvement reached all the way to Brussels - seat of NATO and of course of Dutroux fame. Roy took his young apprentice Donald with him to the sex clubs and it is anyone's guess to what extent Donald Trump participated in the blackmail operations. Additionally, Cohn's association with Dershowitz makes one wonder how far back Trump's friendship with Epstein goes.

So this Roy Cohn, "whose wit and seemingly unlimited capacity for evil came to fascinate me" (dixit Peter Manso of the bizarre dinner quote) is all over the most blatant mob circles and the swampiest parts of the government and the ugliest areas of the deep state (to an extent unpublished) and is the single most influential formative influence in Donald J. Trump's public life as a socialite, yet Qanon keeps assuring us to see things differently. And so many desperate magatards keep swallowing it wholesale. At the same time, those evil liberal medias intent on the destruction of The Great Leader, never really delve into these festering roots that feed the core of the Trump phenomenon.

When Trump first announced his cadidacy, I smirkingly commented to people how Trump and Clinton shared a good friendship with Epstein. People were baffled "Epstein who?"

Next I told them that Trump must be fucking evil, because he was taught in the arts by Roy Cohn himself. People are still baffled "Roy Cohn who?"

Click here to see a funny picture of Roy Cohn visiting a party with his student Donald Trump - yes that is The Donald for you.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 14 2020 23:36 utc | 33

This is so cute.
A Trump underling 'mistakenly' publishes a tweet about freeing Assange, out of the blue and for no reason, then retracts it.
But the cat's out of the bag now and thus free to take its place among the pigeons. It'll be interesting to see if the MSM sluts begin asking questions.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 14 2020 23:57 utc | 34

by: Snake 15 And your point is? by: Jams O,Donnell @ 18 In response, I am suggesting that the AG makes deals with criminals and witnesses all of the time, IANAL but I believe Trump might be able to accomplish liberation and exoneration for Assange in several ways.
1. deal with the AG
2. drop the extradition request and grant assylm
3. retroactively declassify the documents exposed by Assange..
4. and probably a few other ways..

I am not a lawyer but if Trump wanted Assange relieved of criminal and civil responsibility for Assange's acts
Trump could probably find a binding way. I just don't think Trump has the freedom to take such action.

Posted by: Snake | Dec 15 2020 0:09 utc | 35

Alistair Crooke describes Washington's "herd immunity" to critical thinking:

‘Thinking Machiavelli, Acting Mussolini’

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2020 1:03 utc | 36

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

Posted by: bemildred | Dec 15 2020 1:07 utc | 37

The really interesting news that Bernhard H missed is where Pastor Mark Burns heard or found the rumour about President Trump giving Julian Assange a pardon. Who was the faulty source?

Any possibility that in the midst of billowing black smoke, there actually is a small fire?

Posted by: Jen | Dec 15 2020 1:48 utc | 38

Mr. Lurk

Your post on the Education of Mr. Trump is consistent with the opinion I have formed of him during his presidency: an unprincipled man who looks to human affairs to be pure transactions: the currency being power, favors, or money.

He does not comprehend, per his education (which you have outlined), that there are men that cannot be bought, that their honor cannot be sullied, and that he is just another low-life to them.

Regardless of what Mr. Trump does in the cases of Mr. Assange or Mr. Snowden, he remains yet another evil thug that started yet another war against another Enemy of Israel, and in that manner, brought yet another dishonor to the United States.

It is a testament to how deep the rot is in US Body Politic that such acts of dishonesty & dishonor scarcely get discussed by her population.

Posted by: Fyi | Dec 15 2020 3:05 utc | 39

Thus, no pardon for Julian.

Posted by: Pete Richards | Dec 15 2020 2:29 utc | 40

Interesting speculation. However, one suspects that the Ordinary People who believe that whistle-blowing should be legal outnumber the people who do not. And Trump is remarkably good at helping ideologues to ambush themselves.
There's a 2020 TV doco about it called Enemy Of The People - Trump and the Political Press.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 15 2020 3:23 utc | 40

@LM #24
Did it escape your notice that the charges in question are all federal?
How exactly does a state charge Assange over a national/military/intel agency computer intrusion?

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 15 2020 3:35 utc | 41

Can Russia charge members of the CIA for breaking into their classified computers and file to have them extradited to Russia? Would people laugh?

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Dec 15 2020 5:35 utc | 42

Western MSM were rotten already during JFKs run: FK - The Speech That Killed Him - About Secret Societies :

The CCP being a secret society even before the CIA became one. (inter)National MSM being uncritical of autocrats was a key element, expected in China but unexpectedly also against freely elected leaders like Trump, Modi, Orban or Morawiecki.

Assange and Snowden has to go to great lengths to circumvent these private gatekeepers. China was not safe for them; Russia was.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 15 2020 7:40 utc | 43

Roy Cohn's big sin seems to have been that he was gay, at a time that that that was a no-no. Along with everyone else in the gay circuit, he could take a certain level of brotherhood for granted. And that hardly constitutes blackmail. (It's like an American Jew meeting an Indian Jew, and the latter lady telling the former right away, without worrying in the least about the consequences, "I would love to spy for Israel.") I searched through all the footnotes in Whitney Webb's diatribe against Cohn and that's all I could find, that he could take it for granted that any highly placed gay would go out of his way for him. By the way, Senator Joseph McCarthy was right, and the people who have been using his name as a smear should be eating humble shit now that those people have come to power. By that measure Cohn was a patriot. Everyone forgets that the Jewish media never took Cohn's name without mentioning he was an antisemite. He was a lawyer and he had a whole lot of nasty clients, for whom he did his best. I thought that's what the Anglo-Saxon legal system is all about. I agree that when he was dying of AIDS he looked demonic, and shame on him for that.

Posted by: sarz | Dec 15 2020 9:02 utc | 44

@40 Pete "On the other hand, his nationalist base just as surely views Assange and Snowden as traitors to America."

A bit hard to call Assange a "traitor to America" as he lacks the most essential ingredient i.e. the dude is an Aussie.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 15 2020 9:13 utc | 45

@38 Jen yeah that was my first impression: someone in the know spoke too soon, and that allowed Burns to overheard something he shouldn't have

Doesn't mean it wasn't being discussed, it just means that no-one is meant to steal The Donald's thunder.

I wonder how you read the Riot Act to the man? As in: how many expletives-deleted is one allowed when the object of your ire is also your Pastor?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 15 2020 9:22 utc | 46

@ sarz | Dec 15 2020 9:02 utc | 46

Note that nowhere in my post did I mention Roy Cohn's sexual orientation or ethnic roots, as I think it is mostly irrelevant and a huge distraction from what role he played. BTW multiple source state that Cohn himself blackmailed other gay men for their homosexuality.

What you totally ignore is how closely Roy Cohn links the mob, top echelons of the state, elements of the deep state and .. Donald Trump. Cohn wasn't some innocuous guy who just happened to be caught in the middle of some scene he had nothing to do with. The "seemingly unlimited capacity for evil" illustrates his involvement plentifully.

Your attempted whitewash is pathetic and you can eat your humble shit yourself, I ain't having none of it.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 15 2020 10:42 utc | 47

Two possibilities as I see it:

  1. Trial balloon to see what the "Trumpsters" really think about Assange. Large proportion of the faux left and the "professional/managerial class" assert that they understand Trump's base and know what their driving concerns are (hate, white-supremacy, racism, misogyny, homophobia, more hate), but these hopelessly delusional non-STEM (university Special Ed) identity politics indoctrination products are completely wrong. Since the mass media and think tanks are composed entirely of this kind of useless trash who bask in their own illusions of superiority that is based upon (let's be generous here) "less than rigorous" academic backgrounds, Trump & Co cannot rely upon the #FakeNews media and big-business-backed professional analysts to gauge what people really want. Examples of how disassociated the PMCs are from reality and thus useless for judging where the population's mind is? Check out the huge divergence in ratings of recent big budget popular media products provided by the "professionals" versus the general public: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Captain Marvel, The Last of Us Part II (disclaimer: I've not consumed any of that media and cannot offer an informed opinion on it). Despite the manipulation of results by oligarch Jack Dorsey, it is still far more accurate to gauge public opinion by watching the responses to a Twitter post than it is to ask some self-important jackass with a non-scientific degree in sociology/psychology whose job it is to track that stuff.
  2. Part of Trump's inner circle trying to put on the pressure to get Trump to do the right thing. Despite being "Trump's pastor", the guy probably doesn't get much access to the President that isn't mediated and managed by scumbags from the CIA/State Department. A loose Twitter post with tens of thousands of reposts will get Trump's attention without giving his handlers from the Deep State much of an opportunity to instantly kill the suggestion. Outflanking the Deep State, basically.

This court intrigue is fun to speculate about.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 15 2020 12:19 utc | 48

Well Putin has finally recognized Biden as President, that means its all over for Trump. Biden will start making more moves now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2020 12:29 utc | 49

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 15 2020 12:19 utc | 50

Yeah, Trump does like his A-B testing, he seemed lost without it. Now he can do rallies again he seems more confident, if just as demented. My wife & I were trying to decide is he stays here or goes into exile in Brazil.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2020 12:33 utc | 50

"...Trump's ethnocentric, America first (last and only) base of supporters..."

Though the poster forgot to include "misogynistic" and "homophobic", this is precisely the faux left and the "professional/managerial class" mindset that I mentioned above that is steeped in masturbatory but empty delusions of moral superiority and that thus renders its analysis worthless. How could anyone possibly hope to even incrementally approach truth when building understanding from such a narcissistic and Manichean "Me good, they bad!" foundation?

What is even more fascinating about these morons who consider themselves sophisticated (sophomores?) is that they project their own egocentric and simple-mindedly dualistic way of looking at the world onto those "deplorables" whom they despise. Their certitude in their own superiority is probably why when vk dissects their middle class ideology and exposes its emptiness they get so outraged.

"But noooo!! We really are superior! We middle class white people have the humility to admit that working white people are terrible human beings! That's proof of the depth of our introspection and self-knowledge and moral perfection!"

Ha, sophomores...

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 15 2020 14:04 utc | 51

Trump won't pardon Assange for the same reason he didn't go to the end with a coup d'État against Biden: moral hazard.

Moral hazard is a capitalist (liberal) principle which states that you always have to weight the pros against the cons and, in an affirmative case, the ends justify the means.

In Trump's case, the moral hazard of pardoning Assange for the Empire is too great. It would open a precedent for a true free press not just in the USA, but the whole West. In a context where he wants to go back to the commanding heights of the imperial machine in 2024, it's better for said machine to still be there - intact - for him to command it.

Long story short, the Empire is larger than Trump's immediate interests, and he knows it. He will take one for the team - the imperial team.

The rest of the world will soon realize that, as with Rome, in the USA the Empire is also larger than life. Literally.

Posted by: vk | Dec 15 2020 14:19 utc | 52

William Gruff @Dec15 14:04 #54

"...Trump's ethnocentric, America first (last and only) base of supporters..."

Though the poster forgot to include "misogynistic" and "homophobic", this is precisely the faux left and the "professional/managerial class" mindset ... that is steeped in masturbatory but empty delusions of moral superiority and that thus renders its analysis worthless. How could anyone possibly hope to even incrementally approach truth when building understanding from such a narcissistic and Manichean "Me good, they bad!" foundation?

Take the plank out of your eye. The "moral superiority" of the right has led us straight to hell: record wealth inequality; support for dictators and ethnic-cleansing; record military spending and return to Cold War; an inept response to the virus and environmental hazards (because the poor are most affected), etc.

Extreme-partisanship leads BOTH sides to take a manichean POV. Divide et impera.

And the right justifies its selfishness and bigotry with the pseudonym "culture war". You shame the left for seeing through that?!


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 15 2020 15:07 utc | 53

@Michael Weddington #44
Any country can do that. But almost every country finds it utterly pointless and stupid.
Only in the spiritual home of the trial lawyer, is this practice celebrated...

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 15 2020 15:28 utc | 54

For the bunny:

The faux left see nothing but straw men and their own personal demons that they externalize. I shame them because they should know better, and if they were to develop authenticity to justify their self-applied label of "left" then they would know better. Sadly, their own hypocrisy likely makes that impossible.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 15 2020 15:30 utc | 55

Even if Trump pardoned Assange and Snowden, they still would not be safe.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Dec 15 2020 15:30 utc | 56

@JackRabbit #57
I agree that the Republicans/political right is no more morally upright than the limousine liberal Democrats/political left.
Nonetheless, you are wrong that there is no difference between them, at least in my view.
As I've stated before, the biggest problems I see besetting Americans are, in order:
1) Health care costs/spending
2) Jobs offshoring
3) Over-militarization
4) Monopoly rent extraction in many secondary areas like college education etc.

The Democrats are bought and sold completely on 1) and 4). They were complicit in 2) and 3) except for fossil fuels. The present day Democrat platform addresses none of these areas.

The Republicans, at least under Trump, actually have reined back small parts of 1); have made a major platform on 2). 3) is the same as the Democrats while 4) is mostly under the radar except for tech.

Morality has nothing to do with it - but advancing the most American people's interests, is.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 15 2020 15:34 utc | 57

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 15 2020 15:34 utc | 61

1) Unemployment rose under Trump.

2) Military spending under Trump continue to follow the historical trend.

3) He only did something about medicine prices after he lost the elections, as a clear personal vendetta against Big Pharma for delaying the vaccine announcement.

4) USA trade deficit rose under Trump - including against China.

So, your hypothesis - that Trump republicanism is nationalist - is not empirically verifiable.

Posted by: vk | Dec 15 2020 16:00 utc | 58

@ c1ue | Dec 15 2020 3:35 utc | 43

Did it escape your notice that the charges in question are all federal?
How exactly does a state charge Assange over a national/military/intel agency computer intrusion?

Your quarrel is with the DOJ, not with me. They are the ones making the charges. I merely told you what DOJ's position was.

Posted by: LM | Dec 15 2020 16:11 utc | 59

Well Putin has finally recognized Biden as President, that means its all over for Trump. Biden will start making more moves now.
Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2020 12:29 utc | 51

It's just a diplomatic formality. Putin believes that the World would be a better place if AmeriKKKa and Russia enjoyed a cooperative, rather than an adversarial relationship. It means nothing more than that.

The sleuths and Bush Lawyers over at SST, including Pat Lang, himself, believe that Trump was robbed and are far from convinced that he has exhausted all of his options OR should roll over and admit defeat before Inauguration Day.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 15 2020 16:20 utc | 60

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 15 2020 16:20 utc | 64

It would be bad strategy for Putin to take a side before we've made up our minds here ourselves. So yeah. All the whining is for domestic consumption.

I haven't been to SST for ages, unless somebody posts a link. Lang doesn't annoy me like he does some people, I'm just not interested. He's very informative and interesting on certain subjects, and otherwise subject to the usual political brainwashing here. Some of his writers are good.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2020 17:35 utc | 61

c1ue, gruff

I don't agree with the extremes of socialism and capitalism.

That makes me hated by the partisans.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 15 2020 19:57 utc | 62

c1ue | Dec 15 2020 15:47 utc | 225

Sadly, your reading comprehension is poor no matter what you think it is.
I never once said marijuana was made illegal - what I said was that the previously open policies are being reined in.

You said that it had been legal. That I pointed out as incorrect. Then you revealed the violent nature of your willful ignorance. Yawn.

The facts are that cannabis has never been legal in the Netherlands, it has been deprioritized, that's all. The Netherlands has always feared the wrath of bigger countries like Germany, France and the USA and for that reason, cannabis has always remained strictly illegal. In practice, cannabis has been condoned by means of deprioritizing enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

It is funny to witness how the Dutch political elite fear provocing the USA wrath over transgressing against international treaties banning cannabis, where several states in the USA don't care about these treaties at all and have legalized cannabis without much ado.

BTW, 70% of the Dutch are in favor of legalizing cannabis, but that somehow doesn't translate into a political majority. So much for "democracy works".

The decline of the number of coffeeshops has halted and recently there has been a very slight increase.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 15 2020 23:04 utc | 63

Covid-19 Relief Draft Bill Provides $100 Billion “Double-Dip” Tax Deduction for the Wealthy
No stimulus checks, but big tax giveaways for well-connected business owners.

A draft of coronavirus relief legislation, circulated by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, eschews direct payments to average Americans but contains an unusually generous handout to the very wealthy.

The draft legislation, the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020, was released this week as part of a package of two major bills to confront the ongoing crisis.
The bill provides that businesses claiming expenses reimbursed by PPP forgivable loans, which are already tax-free, can be further used as deductions when calculating taxable income. In other words, the change would allow a corporation that claimed $1 million in PPP reimbursements to apply that money as a deduction on its tax return, reducing taxable income by $1 million.

Critics of this idea, first circulated by a bipartisan set of legislators last summer, note that it provides an unprecedented tax advantage that overwhelmingly benefits investors and high-net-worth professionals. IRS rules have long prohibited tax-free government grants and reimbursements from being used as deductions.

Posted by: b | Dec 16 2020 12:29 utc | 64

@vk #62
Jobs were improving until COVID, so your assertion is not grounded in fact.
So was income for the middle tiers of US society.
But the biggest error you (and Democrat/liberal talking heads) make is assuming that working on a problem means it is immediately fixed.
That's not how the real world works. It took a long time to destroy the protections American workers fought for, and it will take a long time to bring them back even assuming the Democrats resume their role in that (a very unsafe assumption).

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:20 utc | 65

@LM #63
DOJ by definition is federal.
At least try to understand the lay of the land.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:21 utc | 66

@Lurk #67
The sad fact is that you have repeatedly supported what I said: which is that the Netherlands and Amsterdam are reversing decades old policy of marijuana tolerance.
So you can quibble all you want - the fact is my statement that they're "pulling back" is 100% correct, and that clearly some significant number of people in the Netherlands and Amsterdam do not agree that marijuana is harmless.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:23 utc | 67

@b #69
The airlines are getting $17B in bailouts.
So while my assertion that no stimulus was going to happen until February at the earliest, is technically wrong, in reality the US middle classes are still screwed.
The lowest classes still have their welfare checks and the upper classes are reaping the benefits of WFH, rising stock prices and lower labor costs.
Again - note that I am not saying the Republicans/McConnell are right either. The fact though, is that a $1.8T deal could have been signed in October but wasn't.
The Democrat proposals were all one-sided; if Pelosi really cared about the middle classes more than ensuring Trump lost, then the Democrats would have agreed to it.
The "negotiations" over this stimulus bill are like sheep negotiating with a velociraptor.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:27 utc | 68

Re: c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:23 utc | 72

If you can't honestly debate the cannabis issue, then probably your views on other things are of limited value. Lurk factually explained the Netherlands situation. Your last sentence shows you have no interest in learning but instead resort to argument twisting to claim you are right.

"Prohibition with expediency principle" is how the Netherlands cannabis policy is described. That country actually has similar prohibitionist laws (as dictated by international drug treaties.) as other countries. The difference is that the government also decreed that in the interests of general societal wellbeing, some laws relating to cannabis would not be enforced (within certain bounds) and thereby no penalty (which were written in those laws) would arise. That has been the case for over 45 years. Those certain bounds have been changed here and there over the years because of prohibitionistic forces and outcomes. Most of those forces are not Dutch. But Lurk's referenced statistic of 70% of Dutch supporting legalising cannabis shows upto 30% are not so smart. That 30% is still a significant number...

Posted by: tucenz | Dec 16 2020 21:21 utc | 69

@ c1ue | Dec 16 2020 16:23 utc | 72

Yes the facts are sad.

The fact is that clearly you did literally say that cannabis had been legal in the Netherlands, and not just tolerated.

Then I pointed out that that is incorrect, that cannabis had always been illegal.

Apparently you are emotionally incapable of coping with your own mistakes as you felt the need to responded with baseless ad hominem attacks and a plain denial of what you had said. In response I pointed out what you had actually said and that your denials made no sense, which caused you to go into ever more violent forms of denial.

Once during during our "dialogue", I made the mistake of posting a reply to the wrong thread (which I corrected with a repost in the proper thread), and you hijacked this as an opportunity to continue lying in the unrelated thread, in the vain hope that other people will not be able to readily find out the orignal facts that you have been bluntly denying all the time.

Of course, you already know the facts, especially since I spelled it out for you earlier in the other thread, with references to your actual postings.
For convenient reference, you can find in this summary in the thread that you now try to dodge - in vain.

@ tucenz | Dec 16 2020 21:21 utc | 74

C1ue goes beyond mere argument twisting, he is plain lying about what he said. That or he has some genuinely serious mental issues that make him unable to remember and reflect upon his own words and actions.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 16 2020 21:36 utc | 70

Psychohistorian. Good question. Assange hasn't committed a crime but the US convened a Grand Jury (think ham sandwich) who have indicted Assange for dozens of crimes including treason. Trump could and hopefully will pardon him from prosecution from the Grand Jury fairy stories.
The only crime he committed in Briton was jumping bail for a crime he never indicted for. Jumping bail for a real crime is an offense that is usually punished by a fine not incarceration. Since he jumped bail in order to avoid political persecution, a charge that has since been proven, the bail thing is in doubt as well.
Did the Britons have the right to remove Assange from what is Ecuadorian soil and did the right wing dictator that was just elected (perhaps) have the right to cancel Assange's asylum are two more questions demanding answers.
He is a political prisoner being kept on ice in a maximum security prison by a nation that has surrendered it's autonomy to the US.
British law forbids extradition to nations that still practice the death penalty like the US. But that has not stopped them from participating in this charade or allowing a magistrate to preside or the extradition hearings who's husband and probably her own good self were exposed by a WikiLeaks publication.
There is no doubt that Assange has undergone psychological torture which is illegal everywhere. There is no doubt that the last place he belongs is in prison.

Posted by: Carol Davidek-Waller | Dec 21 2020 2:23 utc | 71

I would love for Assange to be freed, however I don't think Trump is likely to pardon him. If it doesn't benefit Trump, he is unlikely to do it. By pardoning his friends he may try to use that as a gift for future bargaining, what does he get from pardoning Assange? I think it is more likely he would pardon Snowden as he is seen far more favourably than Assange is. Either way I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by: Mighty Druken | Dec 22 2020 12:43 utc | 72

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