Sunday 28th of February 2021

pardon me...


A self-pardon of federal crimes could be taken as an admission of guilt, as Trump and his family face inquiries from both the state of New York and the District of Columbia. Both New York Attorney General Letitia James and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine have made the media rounds in recent weeks. They’ve made plain that they are licking their chops to get to the bottom of Trump’s business conduct— or criminal misconduct.

Scaramucci is, of course, estranged from Trump and his family, becoming in league with “NeverTrump” and its political fundraising house, the Lincoln Project. 

But Scaramucci, a self-made financier from New York, has swam in the same waters as Trump for years. For what it’s worth, he adds that Trump will likely rule out pardons for Donald Trump Jr., White House Senior Counselors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Eric Trump, because if they accept a pardon, it “will extinguish their political ambitions.” 

Scaramucci’s thinking could be criticized as stuck in an old paradigm, in which senior American politicians don’t run against the legitimacy of the legal system, as is more common in countries such as Israel and Brazil, where politicos, even presidents, are commonly indicted. 

For now, President Trump is still mostly fighting the last war. 

He is plotting a last stand early next year when Congress must certify the votes of the Electoral College, which named Joe Biden president-elect last week. This weekend, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Trumpist stalwart, told a gathering in Palm Beach of the prominent conservative youth wing Turning Point USA that he had been successful in helping in the effort to recruit Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville to formally object to the College’s results. Both a House member and a senator are legally essential to lob any formal complaint. 

“I had a chance to speak with Coach Tuberville just moments ago,” Gaetz said of the former college ball coach. “He says we are done running plays from the establishment’s losing playbook. It is time to stand and fight. … It may be fourth and long, but we’re going for it on January 6.” As essentially conceded by Gaetz, outside a diehard contingent of Trump supporters, such efforts are seen as near-certain to wind up being vainglorious, and potentially setting the stage for the GOP to forfeit its Senate majority in upcoming elections in Georgia. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognized Biden as president-elect last week, and is privately concerned about losing the majority that has been the work of his career. Further dangerous for McConnell: some on the right have even mused, without Trump as president, that it would be better to lose

So preoccupied is Trump with the possibility of clinging to power that he has met at the White House in recent days with a coterie urging him to fight to the bitter end. 

This set includes: former national security advisor Michael Flynn (who Trump recently pardoned), former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne (who alleges widespread voter fraud, and was ousted from his company after revelations of a sexual relationship with Maria Butina), the quite controversial attorney Sidney Powell (who was sacked by Trump’s campaign, and faces a potential bevy of lawsuits for her recent behavior), and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump’s personal counsel. The recent exchanges have reportedly spooked even Giuliani, who has emerged during the Trump era as the president’s perhaps most renegade defender. 

Giuliani is said to have conferred with the president about a pardon for himself, as first reported by The New York Times. It’s unclear what past actions are making Giuliani anxious, but he was at the center of the Ukraine scandal that resulted in Trump’s impeachment earlier this year, the third of a U.S. president in history. 

If Trump’s hopes are finally, decisively dashed in early January, such conversations are likely to become frenetic, as Trump must clean out his desk by the twentieth of next month. 

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who rose to political prominence side-by-side with Trump before the duo had a nasty divorce, has been indicted on fraud charges in New York, in a trial set to begin next May. Bannon has been a vociferous champion of the president’s in recent years, despite their personal fissure, though his style has landed him in separate trouble with the large tech firms taking on increasingly outsized power in American life. 

And then there are the figures with whom Trump has no personal rapport, past or present. 

Wikileaks founders Julian Assange, who sits in prison in Britain, and whistleblower Edward Snowden, an exile living in Russia, came to prominence — and entered into a legal cyclone — before Trump stormed Washington. Congressman Gaetz and Sen. Rand Paul (who has also recently backed Trump on his voter fraud claims), among others, have called for the pardon of Snowden, who came to prominence in 2013 after revealing the previously unreported, vast capabilities of the National Security Agency. 

Assange’s case is generally considered hotter than Snowden’s. 

Foreign policy hawks allege the hacker-journalist deeply wounded American national security. Democrats and some Republicans have contended that Assange’s behavior during the 2016 presidential election was tantamount to the behavior of Russian agent, a charge of course also lobbed at the president. 

Unlike the more general election interference by Moscow in 2016, those claims against Assange never conclusively demonstrated; Assange has maintained his source for his notorious publications in 2016 was not a “state actor.” He came to international prominence in 2010 when he revealed footage of U.S. soldiers air-raiding Iraqi combatants in a gleeful manner. “The behavior of the pilots is like they’re playing a video game,” said Assange.  

Gaetz and Paul seem to have stopped short of picking up Assange’s case, but others have.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic presidential candidate, has called for a pardon. Republican Congressman Thomas Massie previously joined with Gabbard in calling for the U.S. to drop its case against the publisher, which could result in his extradition. “The ongoing attempts to prosecute Julian Assange threaten our First Amendment rights, and should be opposed by all who wish to safeguard our constitutional rights now and in the years to come.  I join my colleague… in calling for an immediate end to all charges against Mr. Assange,” Massie said in October.

If Trump were to make any such moves, it would heighten the now well-known contradictions in his own administration. His secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has consistently called for the executions of both Assange and Snowden.  

Trump is said to relish his pardon power. He has given reprieve to political figures from earlier eras, seemingly almost randomly. 

Though he is a trenchant of President George W. Bush, Trump former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, something Bush declined to do and permanently sundering the duo’s relationship. Trump said he heard Libby was “treated unfairly.” Trump also pardoned Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor and a Democrat, convicted of essentially trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama in 2008, after his election to the Senate. Blagojevich’s wife made repeated appeals on cable news for Trump’s mercy, and former Governor Blagojevich has since fundraised for Trump, at the Republican National Convention. Blagojevich now calls himself a “Trumpocrat.”  

Trump is, of course, keeping the option of seeking the White House again in 2024 wide open. 

He has cleaned house at the Pentagon in recent months, and is trying to shoehorn last-minute withdrawals of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Africa, long the aim of devotees of realism and restraint. But further, a pardon of Snowden or Assange — to say nothing of himself, his comrades and his family — could set the stage for a Trump encore, one as undaunted as the man himself. Those around Trump maintain the president remains as wily and unpredictable as ever, even more so after a surprise, strong showing in the popular vote, to say nothing of personally surviving COVID-19. The announcement of a vaccine in 2020, and the completion of a second stimulus package this week, add to the impression among the president’s loyalists that things could have easily been different. 

That Trump may attempt to define himself, however tendentiously, as the ultimate opponent of the establishment — its foreign policy, its “rigged” elections, and its courts said to be conspiring against him — is something that simply cannot be ruled out.



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rats in the ranks...



Although some Republican leaders have joined their Democrat colleagues in accepting Donald Trump’s defeat to rival Joe Biden in the 3 November election, others have stuck by the President, joining him in accusing opponents of trying to "steal" the vote via a systematic campaign of fraud in key swing states.

The Washington Post has come under fire from conservative circles after publishing a cartoon by editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes depicting the 100 or so state attorneys general and members of Congress who she says “collaborated with President Trump in his attempt to subvert the Constitution and stay in office.”


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Is this "devolution" of the human species?

why I draw pelosi like a hawk...

Some of you might be confused. Democrats equal social justice, do they not? Republicans equal bum-rush dog-eat-dog for all, do they not? So why do I draw Pelosi, (and have called her the "mad-old-woman" a few times) like a hawk?... Well here is an article from May, 2020. It was published here (I have removed the links within the article for not being rejected by the automatic SPAM control of this YD site):


Pelosi’s legacy: Warfare abroad, class warfare at home


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has consistently tyrannized the Medicare For All debate with one question: “how do you pay for that?” Yet Pelosi’s concern over ‘the deficit’ vanishes in other contexts, including her support for unchecked spending on the U.S.’ military empire.

Social spending reduces inequality. National security spending does the opposite. Yet for Speaker Pelosi, deficit politics apply only to the former. So while Pelosi subjects social programs to neoliberal austerity, the Speaker subsidizes U.S. military empire and the endless wars it produces. The Speaker’s selective use of ‘fiscal responsibility’ represents one of the clearest expressions of class warfare by Democratic and Republican leadership. Banishing this hypocrisy from political life will take time, but removing Pelosi can happen this November.

Welfare for warfare, austerity for healthcare

‘Paying for’ something in this context means either raising taxes or moving around funds within the existing budget. Of course, you can also ‘pay for’ something by adding to the deficit. But that’s not what the political establishment means when they ask the how do you pay for it question.[1]

While Speaker Pelosi invokes the deficit to shoot down programs that would save lives, she makes no mention of it when it comes to funding initiatives that take lives. Pelosi entered Congress in 1987. No wars since she assumed office have been ‘paid for.’ This includes the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars,[2] as well as the broader Global War on Terror, which is being waged in 80 countries.

Pelosi appears intent on further entrenching endless war as ‘politics as usual’. She voted against an amendment introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee in 2015 that would have blocked funds for the 2001 AUMF (H.Amdt. 482 to H.R.2685), the authorization that ‘legalizes’ the endless ‘global war on terror’. The Speaker again rejected an amendment offered by Lee in 2017 that would have repealed the 2001 AUMF entirely (H.Amdt. 1033 to H.R. 4909). 

Pelosi said nothing about the deficit when she opposed a war tax for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I am not in support of [a war tax],” Pelosi said. For social programs, however, the Speaker’s reverence for[1]  ‘the deficit’ returns. Pelosi has repeatedly invoked the pay-as-you-go provision (“PAYGO”), which functions as an austerity measure to limit social spending. Notwithstanding that military spending represents one of the largest deficit burdens, the Speaker’s vision of ‘fiscal responsibility’ remains limited to social programs.

‘Fiscal responsibility’

Speaker Pelosi insists that the Democratic Party is serious about ‘fiscal responsibility’, and she has linked that supposed virtue with proper national leadership. But at the same time, Pelosi has also supported the highly irresponsible status quo in which well over half of federal discretionary spending is sacrificed in the name of ‘national security.’ This distribution of public funds is obviously a problem in and of itself. But for someone who distinguishes herself from Republicans on the basis of ‘fiscal responsibility’, Pelosi’s voting record is unseemly: military spending is one of the largest contributors to the federal deficit, and the Department of Defense failed its first and only audit.

Pelosi voted for Trump’s first military budget (H.R. 2810) that poured money into Pentagon slush funds like the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account and the National Sea Based Deterrence Fund, the fraudulent F-35 fighter jet program, and authorized the purchase of a new nuclear cruise missile. So too did she support the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) that fueled corporate welfare in pretty much the same way (H.R. 5515). Most recently, Pelosi supported the authorization of the 2020 iteration (H.R. 2500), which ballooned the Department of Defense budget to $733 billion.

The Speaker’s commitment to corporate welfare for defense industry giants is beyond doubt. Pelosi voted against an amendment that would have reduced the DOD budget by a mere 1 percent (H.Amdt. 1034 to H.R. 4909). In 2018, Pelosi voted against an amendment that would have cut funding to the OCO slush fund, which recently surpassed $2 trillion in total expenses (H.Amdt. 635 to H.R. 5515). In 2016, Pelosi voted against an amendment (H.Amdt. 1206 to H.R. 5293) that would have prohibited the use of OCO funds for anything other than contingency operations, which was introduced by a Republican.[3]

If Speaker Pelosi is fiscally responsible, it is toward her corporate donors: specifically, her donors from the military-industrial complex. So far in the 2020 cycle, Pelosi has accepted $48,452 from the defense industry. Since 1989, the Speaker has taken in$359,893 from these publicly-subsidized firms.

Enforcing (social) order, at home and abroad

Pelosi’s track record befits the establishment’s tendency to place utmost importance on preserving hierarchy abroad (between states) and at home (between classes). While ostensibly a foreign policy issue, military spending is essentially a wealth inequality machine. So the Speaker’s endorsement of Trump-era defense budgets is a tacit endorsement of worsening inequality.

This is also evident in her behavior outside of Congress. Pelosi helped ensure that yet another Democrat with a disastrous foreign policy record would remain in office by endorsing and holding a DCCC fundraiser for conservative Democratic incumbent Henry Cuellar. The global working class would have benefitted from a victory by Cuellar’s primary challenger, Jessica Cisneros, but the same is true for the U.S. working class. While Cisneros sought to empower the working class, Cuellar voted with Trump nearly 70 percent of the time during the 115th Congress (last session), accepted campaign contributions from payday lenders and the fossil fuel lobby, and made history by being the first-ever congressional Democrat to receive reelection assistance from Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC bankrolled by billionaire Charles Koch. No member of Congress — Republican or Democrat — has received more money from for-profit prisons so far in the 2020 election cycle than Cuellar.



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See toon at top.


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Gus's opinion: without Pelosi, Biden would have ben toast... Meanwhile crazy Trump is pardoning everyone under the glow of his backside...



ps: in the cartoon at top, the only true saying is of course by Albert Einstein: Am I or are the others crazy?...

a stone upturned...

President Trump pardoned both Paul Manafort and Roger Stone among others. Stone speaks to Tucker Carlson exclusively. Stone, among 26 to receive pardons from Trump Wednesday night, called Trump "the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln."

"My trial was a Soviet-style show trial in which the judge denied us any powerful line of defense, in which the judge, we now know, hid exculpatory evidence from us," Stone told host Tucker Carlson. "Because I knew on Election Day, when no one was watching, the Justice Department released the last remaining redacted sections of the Mueller report in which they admitted that they had no evidence whatsoever of my colluding with Russia, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, trafficking in emails."

"They had no factual evidence that I had advance notice of the source or content of the WikiLeaks disclosures, those things that I was accused of lying to Congress [about] ... The whole thing has been an outrage, and my hat is off to the president, the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln, who had the courage to correct this injustice."

"They must have mistaken me for [former Trump attorney] Michael Cohen," Stone remarked. "But they had the wrong guy and I refused to do this. Now the left invents a totally new canard, which is Stone traded his silence regarding misconduct by the president in return for commutation of his sentence and now a pardon. That is a lie. There is no corroboration or evidence to prove that. It is the typical rewriting of history by the left."


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Former ABC "World News" anchor Sam Donaldson said President Donald Trump's "cult followers" should be allowed to be brought back into "the fold" so we can "reach them." In an interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo on Tuesday, the former journalist said America is like the film "Apocalypse Now" and Trump is "the Horror" that is described by Marlon Brando's character Colonel Kurtz.

"What we're seeing now is 'Apocalypse Now,'" Donaldson declared. "Colonel Kurtz up the Mekong River hiding out, muttering about the Horror. Only this time, Donald J. Trump is the Horror."

"I think he's creating chaos in his last few days, on purpose, because in his mad way, he thinks that if he could get his base riled up, and he'd get other people wanting those $2,000, on the 6th of January, something will happen that make the Congress to overturn the will of the people, and make him president for another four years," he said.


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"They" got their $2,000....

a mad messianic stone...

Thousands of people poured into Washington, D.C. for the Jericho March on December 12, an ecumenical prayer rally to protest the alleged theft of the presidential election. Emceed by evangelical author Eric Metaxas, the gathering featured Catholic clergy (including an archbishop), Protestant pastors, Messianic Jews, an Orthodox speaker, and a man honking vigorously on a star-spangled shofar created just for Donald J. Trump, who buzzed the crowd in Marine One on his way to Andrews Air Force Base. (“That’s not the Messiah, that’s just the President,” Metaxas clarified.) Many speakers, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, shared prophetic dreams and visions about Trump.

Then Roger Stone showed up on the Jumbotron, speaking via livestream. “It was Jesus Christ who gave our president Donald Trump the courage and the compassion to save my life when I was unfairly and illegally targeted in the Mueller witch hunt,” he said. The crowd roared their approval.

Perhaps nobody encapsulates the strange fusion of Trumpism and Christianity better than 68-year-old Roger Stone, the infamous political dirty trickster who has worked on GOP campaigns since the 1970s. Stone, whose career was the subject of the 2017 Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, has worked for Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Trump. According to Stone, he’ll do anything that isn’t illegal—but after the Mueller investigation in November 2019, he was convicted on seven felony counts, including lying to investigators and witness tampering. On February 20, he was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. Five months later, Donald Trump commuted his sentence. Between his sentence and his pardon, Stone claims he decided to embrace Christianity. I reached him by Zoom to ask him how it all came about.

Stone was raised Catholic by strict parents, but after he headed to Washington and got involved in politics, he promptly abandoned church. A proud libertine, he was famously busted advertising in swinger magazines with his wife in the 1990s and forced to resign his position with Bob Dole’s presidential campaign. His return to the Church, Stone told me, was a result of the “persecution” he faced from Mueller’s “dirty cops” who “targeted me for explicitly political purposes.” Stone carefully curates his testimony for a Christian audience, referring to his prosecutors as his “persecutors,” stating that their attempts to get him to flip on the president would cause him to “bear false witness,” and sprinkling liberal references to “the Lord” throughout.

As Stone tells it, his arrest (a ridiculous spectacle in which 29 FBI agents surrounded his house and frogmarched his deaf wife onto the street in a nightgown and bare feet as CNN cameras rolled) and prosecution were the turning point. “I became very depressed, very angry,” he told me, baring his teeth like a cornered possum. “I kind of hit rock bottom, and a number of friends told me it was time for me to renew my faith in Christ in this crisis.” Alice Butler Short, founder of Virginia Women for Trump, gave him a Bible. At a GOP event, Pastor Randy Coggins “began counseling me to reach out to the Lord” and became his spiritual advisor. Coggins would eventually call on the president to pardon Stone: “Roger has stood tall for President for over 30 years—now I ask President Trump to stand tall for him.”

Coggins arranged for Stone to meet Franklin Graham in January. When he was 12, Stone saw Billy Graham preach at a crusade in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and met Graham again in 1971 when he was working for Nixon. The son, Stone said, did not disappoint. “Graham told me he’d put in a good word for me with the president, but the most important thing I could do would be to turn to Jesus.” At Graham’s revival event in Florida, the evangelist called on those in the crowd who wished to be saved to stand up and repeat a prayer. “I did, because it felt like the right thing to do,” Stone explained. “I turned the whole thing over to the Big Man. I prayed every day that he would deliver me from my persecutors.” He exited the event in a flurry of selfies and autographs as fans approached him. It was just like a rally.



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History was written by Robespierre... 



On July 27, 1794, Robespierre and many of his allies were arrested and taken to prison. He was able to escape with the aid of a sympathetic jailer and hid in the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris. When he received word that the National Convention had declared him an outlaw, he tried to commit suicide but succeeded only in wounding his jaw. Shortly after, troops from the National Convention stormed the building and seized and arrested Robespierre and his followers. The next day, he and 21 of his allies were executed at the guillotine.

Ironic Aftermath

After the coup, the Committee of Public Safety lost its credibility and the French Revolution became distinctly less radical. France saw the return of bourgeois values, corruption and further military failure. In 1799, a military coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the Directory and established him as the first consul, with dictatorial powers. In 1804, Napoleon proclaimed himself emperor of France.


and by Pierre Cardin 



Fashion designer Pierre Cardin was a supreme innovator - for 70 years, he ripped up convention and captured the zeitgeist. His thirst for the new and surprising was never satisfied. 


He will be remembered for his futuristic designs - some were inspired by the space age, some were even impossible to wear. 

He carved his own way through the fashion industry. Parisian haute couture had always been exclusive - its high priests believed it should be high-end, individually tailored and eye-wateringly expensive. 

Cardin broke the mould. He launched "ready-to-wear" collections, bringing high fashion to the middle classes. His designer peers were aghast, and threw him out of their club.

In the 1950s, men wore traditional suits which made the young look like their fathers. Cardin threw out the boxy jackets and stiff white shirts, creating a revolutionary look for a new, progressive generation.

Gone were the bulky details; collars, lapels, tails and cuffs. Trousers were tapered and hung loosely on the hips.


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Of course you know that the word PIERRE in French means STONE...


welcome to sanity, alan...


From Alan Kohler:




At the eight-minute mark of this remarkable video shot inside US Congress as it was stormed by rioters on January 6, something strange and telling happens: They start praying.

“Let’s all say a prayer,” says the guy who wore a bison skin on his head, with horns, and painted his face red, white and blue. “Thank you heavenly father for gracing us with this opportunity (indistinct). Thanks heavenly father. Amen.”

It was a sign that this was not just a protest about fabricated election rigging. It was also, in part, a religious event.

It was also a clue that while the inauguration of Joe Biden as president will mean the end of President Trump, it will not mean the end of Trumpism.


America’s political dysfunction – and insurrection – runs deep.


My holiday reading has been mainly spent trying to understand why America is still largely a fundamentalist Christian nation, having started life as a secular Enlightenment project in 1776.

It’s true that the place was settled 200 years earlier by deeply religious Puritans, but neither the US Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence mentions God, and the framers of the Constitution saw themselves as Enlightenment thinkers, inspired by Voltaire and Hume among others to entrench the separation of church and state.

I haven’t got to the bottom of that question, despite burying myself in Enlightenment philosophers.

I simply don’t know how so many Americans have remained impervious to evolution, 162 years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species and why two-thirds of the population still believe in God while the rest of the western world has largely secularised, adhering to science rather than belief.


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Alan, welcome to the bottom of that question... The Yanks don't say "God bless America" for nothing... If you read this little site (YD) from cover to cover, it could take you a couple of years or more... But you can short-cut to the articles of sciences versus religions. There are many, including the latest one: I hope he's read it... especially the bit about peace and turning the other cheek... We might make you the honorary 146, 589th official reader if you are fast enough. You do not have to join, just read — or see the cartoons...


As a simple sample:


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