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      Let’s run thru the most likely possible victories in the upcoming federal election and consider what they mean for America’s future. Put them in 4 baskets. Trump wins. He does more bad stuff, situation continues to get worse, American post-WWII style multilateral hegemony and trade order takes huge hits. Biden or Harris win. Harris will […]
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NYT concedes the case against Assange “less flawed” than his supporters have claimed (UPDATED)


Swedish Police Report Details Case Against Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who was released from a British jail late last week, is facing a new challenge: the leak of a 68-page confidential Swedish police report that sheds new light on the allegations of sexual misconduct that led to Mr. Assange’s legal troubles.

[…]

But the details in the police report and dozens of interviews in recent months with people in Sweden linked to the case suggest that the Swedish case could be less flawed than Mr. Assange’s supporters have claimed. As for the prosecutors’ actions, interviews with legal experts suggest that it would not be abnormal for such a high-level case to move up the hierarchy of prosecutors, with disagreements over how to apply Sweden’s finely calibrated laws on sexual misconduct.

[…]

After the two women were interviewed at the police station, prosecutors issued an arrest warrant within hours. Mr. Assange said at the time he did not know who his accusers were. “Their identities have been made anonymous so even I have no idea who they are,” he said to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

The police report quotes lengthy passages from Mr. Assange’s interview with investigators, which occurred when he voluntarily submitted to questioning in Stockholm, before the prosecutors’ office allowed him to return to Britain. Throughout the interview, he insisted that he had committed no offenses in his sexual encounters with the two women, while declining in many instances to respond to detailed police questioning about sexual details. Speaking of his relationship with Ms. A, the report quoted him as saying that “I had no reason to suspect that I would be accused of something like this.” He added that the complaints made against him included “a number of false statements” and “a bunch of incredible lies.”

Mr. Assange’s suspicions of political interference in the case were confirmed, he has said in recent days, by the decision of the Swedish prosecutors to drop the initial arrest warrant, and to downgrade the investigation to one of “molestation,” a minor offense. Those decisions were reversed in late August when the chief state prosecutor, Marianne Ny, overruling a subordinate prosecutor in Stockholm, Eva Finne, restored the original allegations, saying that rape was the appropriate charge for the evidence on file with the prosecutors.

Legal experts in Sweden have said that the decision was not unusual given the success that the women’s movement in Sweden has had over the last 30 years in recasting Sweden’s criminal laws on sexual issues, making them extremely protective of women’s rights.

There is a lot more and everyone should read it. But for anyone who thinks extradition to Sweden is just a ploy to allow the United States to grab Assange, there is this story:

There is a consensus growing among US constitutional lawyers and others, while rehearsing all the problems attached to bringing a prosecution, that Assange will be indicted. But they doubt the chances of obtaining his extradition from Britain, and they think it will be harder still should he be sent to Sweden.

There is no “lynch mob” after Julian Assange. He is currently free on bail and staying in a mansion pending an extradition hearing. Assange, his team of lawyers and his supporters claim the case against him is a “bunch of hooey” but he sure isn’t eager to get into court and prove it.


UPDATE:

Lawyers cry foul over leak of Julian Assange sex-case papers

LAWYERS for Julian Assange have expressed anger about an alleged smear campaign against the Australian WikiLeaks founder.

Incriminating police files were published in the British newspaper that has used him as its source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.

In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange’s closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. One witness is said to have stated: “Not only had it been the world’s worst screw, it had also been violent.”

Bjorn Hurtig, Mr Assange’s Swedish lawyer, said he would lodge a formal complaint to the authorities and ask them to investigate how such sensitive police material leaked into the public domain. “It is with great concern that I hear about this because it puts Julian and his defence in a bad position,” he told a colleague.


Hey! We’re the only ones who can leak stuff to the media!

I guess somebody must have leaked the information. Leaks are good, right?



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Curb your enthusiasm


It looks like DADT will finally be repealed. It was a bad law, a compromise to prevent something worse. I’ll remain skeptical until it is dead and buried and gays and lesbians are serving openly in our military.

But lets not get too excited. When Truman desegregated the military it didn’t end segregation in the rest of the nation, and it also meant that young black men could be used as cannon fodder in the jungles of Vietnam.

Despite what Rachel Maddow and others might think, Obama didn’t cover himself in glory on this issue. He fought court challenges against DADT and when he lost he appealed. Even now the White House won’t commit to ending discharges of gay and lesbians:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-releated investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

But even if gays and lesbians can now serve openly they still can’t get married.

DADT only affects a minority of the LGBT community. Repealing DOMA and legalizing gay marriage affects all of them.

BTW – What is to stop another Congress and POTUS from reinstituting the ban on gays in the military?

The court ruling that is under appeal said that DADT was unconstitutional. The repeal of DADT doesn’t affect it’s constitutionality.


Successful Holiday Parties

Good party

Ok, sports fans, you’ve been sitting at your keyboard for far too long.  Admit it.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Just one more page and I’ll get up and put the laundry away.” or “I just have to finish watching this 12th version of Giselle’s solo from Act I and I’ll clean the bathroom.  Ooo, look, there’s one from the Bolshoi!” (BTW, I’ve watched almost all of them and Gelsey Kirkland’s ethereal Giselle is the best so far.)

Anyway, you know you should be doing other things.  Like preparing for a holiday party.  Dave Barry has some tips on how to throw the perfect Christmas party:

Festivity Level One: Your guests are chatting amiably with each other, admiring your Christmas-tree ornaments, singing carols around the upright piano, sipping at their drinks and nibbling at hors d’oeuvres.

Festivity Level Two: Your guests are talking loudly – sometimes to each other and sometimes to nobody at all, rearranging your Christmas-tree ornaments, singing “I Gotta Be Me” around the upright piano, gulping their drinks and wolfing down hors d’oeuvres.

Festivity Level Three: Your guests are arguing violently with inanimate objects, singing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” gulping other people’s drinks, wolfing down Christmas-tree ornaments and placing hors d’oeuvres in the upright piano to see what happens when the little hammers strike.

Festivity Level Four: Your guests have hors d’oeuvres smeared all over their naked bodies, are performing a ritual dance around the burning Christmas tree. The piano is missing. You want to keep your party somewhere around Level Three, unless you rent your home and own firearms, in which case you can go to Level Four.

The best way to get to Level Three is eggnog. Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink invented by the English. Many people wonder where the word “eggnog” comes from. The first syllable comes from the English word “egg,” meaning, “egg.” I don’t know where the “nog” comes from. To make eggnog, you’ll need rum, whiskey, wine, gin and, if they are in season, eggs. Combine all ingredients in a large, festive bowl. Then induce your guests to drink this mixture.

If your party is successful, the police will knock on your door, unless your party is very successful, in which case they will lob tear gas through your living-room window. As host, your job is to make sure they don’t arrest anybody. Or if they’re dead set on arresting someone, your job is to make sure it isn’t you. The best way to do this is to show a lot of respect for their uniforms and assure them you’re not doing anything illegal.

Read the whole thing here.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  But, wait, you say.  I have C.H.A.O.S, Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  Ok, so you’ve been glued to political blogs for the past 3, er, 5 years and your house is a total wreck.  No time like the present to spruce it up.  Or at least make a dent in the papers that are in a pile on your desk, or in your car.  Do one room today until the end of the week and voile!, you’ll be ready for Christmas before you know it.  If you’re really serious about cleaning up your act, check out this post at Apartmenttherapy: “How to clean your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days”  For day 19,

19. Clean entryway, sweep porch (if you have one), clean out car (because they’re often our home away from home)

Sounds like a plan.  Hop to it, Conflucians.

Here’s a little ditty to irritate you into action: