Saturday Night Cheap Snark Open Thread: Free Julian the Cat!

Srsly? Srsly:

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has directed his legal team to launch proceedings against the government of Ecuador for “violating his fundamental rights.”

In a statement, WikiLeaks said Friday Ecuador had “threatened to remove his protection and summarily cut off his access to the outside world.”

It added that the embassy has refused journalists and human rights organizations to see him as well as installed signal jammers to prevent phone calls and internet access…

The memo, which was written in Spanish and first published by Ecuadorean website Codigo Vidrio, specifies that Assange must pay for his own expenses like food, medical and laundry, that visitors must have prior authorization, and that he must not only keep the spaces inside the embassy clean, but also take care of his cat. It also reiterates the position that he is not allowed to interfere in any other country’s political matters.

The leaked document says that the 47-year-old is at risk of losing both his pet and his asylum status if he does not comply….

65 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    No sooner do I squeeze it into the latest thread than an Open Thread appears.

    So, again. FYI.

    Numbers? We don’ need no es-stinkin’ numbers.

    A new instruction has been issued to all members of OPEC – not to talk about any price level. This is indeed the new guidelines given to its members. This is aimed at avoiding any future legal actions following an American law that could be introduced. Source

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Someone needs to get the RSPCA on this.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: This one’s only been driven to schul on Saturday evenings by a little old lady for havdalah.

  4. 4
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Maybe Julian can move in with Edward Snowden?

  5. 5
    BC in Illinois says:

    The Ecuadorian Foreign Service people can surely find someone to adopt a cat. Or send out a bleg — I’ve seen them work.

    But the question of internet access is even more easily handled. I checked Google Maps.

    The Starbucks on Brompton Road is only two blocks away. They have wi-fi.

  6. 6
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Do we have any England-based jackals willing to mount a rendition – for the cat?

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @A Ghost To Most: If they have a bone saw, they can also do a welfare check on Assange while they’re there.//

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    Guess the Ecuadorans are concerned about how he administers Kittyleaks.


  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    Assange walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy with his pet cat? No one reported that at the time.
    We need to know more about this cat. What it its name? How old is it? What does it look like? Is it well? We jackals love cat pix need to see more evidence.

  10. 10
    ruemara says:

    I confess to having made it a hashtag. #FreeAssangesCat

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    On behalf of the like-minded, thank you for that strikeout.

  12. 12
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: delete your account.

  13. 13
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Assange walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy

    Needs a good punchline!

  14. 14
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Yasiel Puig interview: Garrett Morris saying “beisbol been very very good to me!”

    ETA: trifecta! Changing my nym to “TenguPhule”

  15. 15

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Changing my nym to “TenguPhule”

    *hovers cursor over ‘blacklist’ icon*

  16. 16
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    I know polls typically tighten around the election but should this be worrying?

    To galvanize their voters, Republicans are airing attack ads that argue Democrats would target Trump and Kavanaugh, unleash mob rule and threaten cultural values.

    “Closing with a little fear,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, describing the GOP approach. Reed predicted that Republicans would keep their losses to 20 House seats, just under the 23 Democrats need to return to power.


    Among registered voters, Democratic candidates led 53 percent to 42 percent, a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted this month showed. Election forecasters and analysts estimate that Democrats need a six- to eight-point advantage to win a majority.

    But the same poll showed Trump’s approval rating, another indicator, had risen five points, to 43 percent, after tying a record low in August. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) who chaired the House GOP campaign arm during a difficult 2008 election cycle for Republicans, said there is a different sentiment among Republican incumbents now.

    “They were resigned in ’08,” said Cole, who ventured the chances of holding the majority improved from one-in-three to one-in-two. “I think the mood is we have a real shot,”

    In a memo to donors, Corry Bliss, the head of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), wrote that the map was moving in a good direction for Republicans, but Democrats had the financial advantage. He said his group had raised $10 million in two weeks, but that Democrats were outspending the GOP on TV in top races.

    Just wishful thinking on the GOP’s part and horse race BS on the part of the press?

  17. 17
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: yeah, I pied myself!

  18. 18
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Oh, come on! He can be funny sometimes in dark kind of way.

  19. 19

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: nobody really knows what’s going to happen, but the (real) forecasters, like Silver and Wang, know better than some dude at the chamber of commerce. Silver’s model has Dems at 6/7 for the house and 2/9 for the senate. This forecast has poll tightening factored in already. The biggest threat to such models is what happened in 2016, when pollsters all got the turnout model wrong for white assholes in the upper Midwest.

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: but do we really need two goku

  20. 20
    But her emails!!! says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    Does that article even contain poll tightening? As far as I can see, it’s all some douche commenting that they’re going to pull this off using fear mongering and racism.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Right in the article:

    He estimated Democrats have a 70 to 75 percent chance of winning the House.

    It’s horserace bullshit. This election will be more about turnout and Democratic anger more than anything.

    Also: wouldn’t put too much credence in any polls showing Dolt45 getting more popular. the Khashoggi mishegas is going to be dragging that back down here soon.

  22. 22
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I’m not as relentlessly negative as he is nor as bloodthirsty (anymore).

    I guess that makes me feel a little better. I hate the MSM and their need for horse race coverage.

    @But her emails!!!:

    IIRC, the article mentions polls tightening and a “shifting political landscape” based on little aside from Repub wishful thinking and Trump’s rising approval rating (43%).

    Christ, that 43%. Who the fuck are these people and what’s wrong with them? I can’t believe these are the same people who have been around for decades and should know what the normal poltical process should be like; like what the world was like before Trump was “elected” or even when Obama was? It’s like they don’t remember a time when there were two relatively sane parties that respected democracy (sure it was a brief period during the Cold War but it happened, damn it!).

  23. 23

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: didn’t intend that as a swipe at you. As for the 43%, it’s mostly the same folks that have always been the republican rump. We share this country with a large number of bad people.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: There is no poll tightening. Trump’s approval is up a little because the headlines aren’t about his crimes right now. But Trump is not on the ballot. In the House races the Democrats seem to be pulling away– the peak is coming at the best time. The pessimists are mostly looking at the Senate and somehow extrapolating from there, but the Senate map is not the whole country; it’s pivoting on a couple of very red states.

  25. 25
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That tweet of Scalise defending Trump of praising the bodyslaming of reporters was vile. This is a man who almost died in a shooting partially because of a charged poltical atmosphere. It boggles my mind sometimes.

    Remember when I complained about “flag desecration” and the Thin Blue Line Flag? I wasn’t upset at flag desecration, I was upset at the right’s hypocrisy. I’m upset at their willingness to overlook their beliefs when it’s convenient for them. I’m angry that POS like Scalise never had a “come to Jesus moment” when he was shot at by a madman with an automatic weapon. I keep expecting them to waver when this shit happens and they never do! And it pisses me off even more when they don’t.

    I guess I’ve fundamentally misunderstood how people act and think all this time. You can’t just beat the living shit out of someone and have them magically turn into a better person afterwards, basically.

  26. 26

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: people have to want to change, and we live in a country that rewards republican politicians for being vile pieces of shit, so…

  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I know, and the worst part is it seems to be spreading to other countries. There’s nowhere worth a hill of beans to run to in order to escape this neofascist movement.

    And on top of that, we have about 10 years left just to prevent irreversible catastrophic climate change. Think that’s likely with neofascist nationalism raising it’s ugly head now?

  28. 28
    sukabi says:

    @NotMax: I think the Ecuadorians’ issue is Assange refuses to clean up his kittie leaks…… And also that he’s a slob and a leech.

    I’m surprised they haven’t kicked him out. The rape charges have been dropped, and he’s unlikely to be charged with anything here while trump is in office.

  29. 29
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It’s a shame that the Senate map isn’t the one we’ll have in 2020. The GOP would lose complete control of Congress if that were the case


    Thanks. I thought that’s what it was it’ll be interesting to see the effect of will have on his approval. But this guy never changes. These people who loses over and over again must have constant whiplash from changing their mind every second.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Terms matter. Don’t buy into their codification. Only something sacred can be desecrated. The flag (any flag) is not a sacred item. It can be defaced, it can be burned, it can be mangled, etc., etc. It cannot be desecrated; calling it so provides validation to the claim of it being sacred to begin with (i.e., a worshiped religiously affiliated item) to begin with.

  31. 31
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I get what you’re saying, but I’m pissed at them for not having consistent standards and recognizing that the Thin Blue Line flag is a form of flag desecration as they would understand it. If somebody decided to add a hammer and sickle to the American flag you can bet your ass they’d pitch a fit, though. Most of all, I’m angry when they don’t see the inconsistencies in their ideology and rethink it. It pisses me off that they don’t because I expect that they should.

  32. 32
    MoxieM says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Re: That puzzling 43%: I was reading an article about Sen.Prof. Elizabeth Warren, and the filming of her recent video in her hometown of Norman OK. They* quoted one woman as saying, “well I just don’t think she comes from around here in the Bible belt.” (approx.) I mean, what the ?!? Warren’s brother still lives in the neighborhood, and she’s being filmed walking around her childhood home.

    All I can take from this is that there is an enormous gap between reality and self-constructed worlds of these people. Because evidently 2+3=17, or something. Not liking Warren’s political positions is fine (although it mostly makes a person an idiot, IMHO); but flat-out denying that she grew where she did, because she doesn’t match your current-day perception of “people from here,” is just nuts.

    *can’t remember, either WaPo or BostonGlob.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Blithe hypocrisy is a feature, not a bug.

  34. 34
    Keith P. says:

    Do we know the cat’s name?

  35. 35
    smike says:

    @Keith P.:

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    @Keith P.

    What possible difference does that make? Would all suddenly be forgiven and forgotten if it is Princess Boo-boo Sungglewuggums?

    Or, FSM forbid, Tunch?


  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    The Met Police still want Assange for jumping bail, and would presumably arrest him if he set foot outside Embassy grounds. So he’s not totally free and clear.

  38. 38
    sukabi says:

    @Keith P.: probably depends on 1) what was stepped in and 2) who stepped in it.

  39. 39
    sukabi says:

    @Amir Khalid: so he trades free room and board at one establishment for another….not seeing the problem.

  40. 40
    Aleta says:

    Using the money given by his followers to pay for a cleaning/pet service would be cheaper than paying lawyer and court fees for this suit. Seems like losing the case doesn’t matter to him– it’s about publicity and fundraising. Dropping out of the sight of the world is worse to him than this ridicule. Either way he’s mad as hatters.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What this jackhole needs to do is move to the Saudi Embassy. They know how to deal with people who refused to clean the litter box.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: After the Met police arrest him, MI 6 can deal with him at their leisure.

  43. 43
    Aleta says:

    I wonder what has happened with the Mueller investigation regarding Cambridge Ana. and the meeting with Assange. I wonder if wiki leaks has had bitcoin losses.

  44. 44
    lgerard says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Saudi embassy in Turkey was recently repainted. Upgrade!

    They also have a cleaning service

  45. 45
    Raven Onthill says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: “Should this be worrying?”

    Perhaps. They are trying to turn out the rapist and rape apologist vote. I wrote about this a week ago:

    ” Question is: how big is the rapist vote? Sexual assault is distressingly common in the USA. But how many perpetrators are there? My quick searching shows nothing, which means there is probably no widely publicized study of the matter. RAINN’s summary of perpetrator statistics shows that most are men, many repeat their offenses and that, of perpetrators reported to the authorities, many have criminal records.

    “Beyond the actual rapists, there are rape apologists. If the water was muddy before, here it opaque. Fantasies of sexual desire are a staple of our culture among both men and women – probably of every human culture – and distressingly many people don’t distinguish between the fantasies of desire and the realities of sexual assault.”

    So it could be a small number or a big one. It continues to astonish me that any woman supports Trump, let alone Kavanaugh.

  46. 46
    sukabi says:

    It’s not a kitty or a dog but is oddly satisfying.

  47. 47
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: What happened to that guy? Did he have a terrible meltdown and leave? Is he sick?

    And where is Yarrow?

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    I don’t have a link, but did you see the Trevor Noah monologue about how the right wing weaponizes male fears of being falsely accused of rape against rape victims?

  49. 49
    NotMax says:


    Fairly sure TenguPhule mentioned in passing that he’d be going away somewhere for several weeks and would be more or less off the grid.

  50. 50
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yutsano: I saw some idiot bragging on Suzan Del Bene’s Facebook page that she was the only democrat he’d voted for because she isn’t swamping the place with scary negative ads, like Patty Murray. I hope he doesn’t live in my district because I want to keep Manka Dhingra in the state senate and I’m a little worried now that a white man with a recognizable last name is running against her.

  51. 51

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I read an interesting article about the rise of the epithet ‘baizuo’ in China, and how it’s akin to ‘libtard’, and more generally the rise of an international nationalism. ( I think)

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @opiejeanne: I don’t know how the state Senate boundaries track with the House seats. There might be some overlap but maybe not much. Also: that guy is an idiot since Patty’s not running this cycle. She’s up in 2020.

    Shorter me: I smell either troll or Russian bot,

  53. 53
    Keith P. says:

    @NotMax: Well you’re putting the cart before the horse here…I was just interested in whether or not it’s got a ridiculous name or not. Chill out a bit.

  54. 54
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:


    Blithe hypocrisy is a feature, not a bug.

    True that, but one better, GOP hypocrisy is more than a feature, it’s the fucking operating system. Not your point, NotMax, I realize, but these fucking people *dare* you to call them out. One of the gen-u-ine tragedies of our age (among a great many) is that folks who oughtta know better wouldn’t say shit if their mouths were fulluvit. Me, I’d rather take my chances with being considered “shrill” by the likes of Modo and JoeScar and David”AlwaysWrong”Brooks than try’n “reach across the aisle” “to find common ground” inna “both sides do it” circle jerk. “Everyone’s to blame so no one’s to blame!”

    Fuck that. I know who’s to blame, n it ain’t Democrats.

    Dems ain’t perfect but least they ain’t complicit (if not accomplices) in perfidy. Be nice if they made that explicit.

    Name, blame and shame. If there’s any hope for our benighted country, i.e. if we’re not irredeemably fucked already, it’ll help navigate the troubled waters if folks’d say, out loud n infront of God n ever’body, *exactly* who’s fucking us. N that’d be Republicans.

    Trump is awful and embarrassing and dangerous, yes, but he’s merely symptomatic of a larger problem, which is 40+ years of being-wrong-about-everythingRepublicansim.

    Living inna wild outpost out here in the hinterlands, must confess it’d cheer my heart to hear that transparent truth proclaimed.

    (fwiw, I live in Alaska. Thankful to say I ain’t took an ass-kicking for being an enemy of the people as yet, but I have had more’n one heated altercation. Will also say our guv dropping out took a lotta peeps by surprise; it gives Begich a shot against the odious Dunleavy, whereas the vote was like to split betwixt Walker and Begich, thereby giving the race to Dunleavy. No one’s sure of Walker’s rationale as yet but … thanks.)

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    You notice how the curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL 😠

    Talking about a President polling around 43% as a surge in popularity…
    If 44 couldn’t break 50%, we never heard the end of it. It was a sign of his unpopularity, and what a disaster the President
    But now, with Dolt45, 43% is a surge in popularity.😠😠

  56. 56
    sukabi says:

    @rikyrah: that curve is especially bent in favor of right leaning wealthy white men….it’s a tribal circle of jerks.

  57. 57
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    There’s nowhere worth a hill of beans to run to in order to escape this neofascist movement

    “Some people stop livin’
    Long before they die
    Work a dead end job
    Just to scrape on by
    But I keep livin’
    Just to bend this note in two
    And I can’t die now

    ‘Cause I got another show to do

    ‘Cause there’s some
    Motherfuckers that are due”

    Apologies to Patterson

  58. 58
    Zinsky says:

    Julian Assange is a self-righteous tool who the Trump campaign used as a conduit to get the stolen HRC/Podesta e-mails into the public domain. (Yes, keep repeating to your conservative fiends those were STOLEN!) In any case, this shithead played a major role in HRC not being the current president. That alone, should make him an international pariah.

  59. 59
    Raven Onthill says:

    @Mnemosyne: it’s at

    I went out and looked for it.

    I find it distressing that after near on 50 years of feminist raising these issues and a longer period of the observation that fascism depends upon mobs feeling victimized, it still comes as a surprise.

  60. 60

    I’m really concerned for that cat, though

  61. 61
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: That is to keep the GOP donars sending in the cash in a lost election. Remember, the Republicans are only about the money.

  62. 62
    germy says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Animal neglect. Seems like he uses the poor thing more for image building (“I’m a real human who is capable of love”), there are photos of it staring out windows wearing a bowtie. But if he doesn’t care for it, the poor thing can’t be too happy.

  63. 63
    jc says:

    All I want to know is whether Robert Mueller can compel Assange to testify, or is Ecuador protecting from that too.

  64. 64
    jc says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Who the f*ck is thinking: yeah, I know Trump lies All. The. Time. but I really hate Hillary Clinton and those evil Demon-rats who want to give me affordable health-care that covers pre-existing conditions and fair retirement benefits. (?)

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    Perhaps the RSPCA could drop by the Ecuadoran Embassy and attempt to take charge of Assange for cat abuse? It would be a good excuse for the to get rid of him, non-political, just gotta save the cat from his abuser, right?

    I just can’t believe they haven’t thrown him out one morning at dawn, without so much as a wallet, belt or shoelaces for safety’s sake. Or put him on suicide watch on a diet of lukewarm oatmeal, no salt or cream. Something. What a tool !!!

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