“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"The Taliban are basically Pakistani military without uniform. They started beheading westerners after 9/11 but we were being beheaded by these religious butchers long ago."


'Taliban are Pakistani military without uniform In the wake of the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's killing by American elite troops, DW takes a closer look at Pakistan's "other" war in a rare interview with a prominent Baloch leader.

Hyrbyar Marri is the fifth son of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, a veteran national leader and the head of the largest Baloch clan. In the late 1990s Hyrbar Marri went into exile in Britain. In 2007, he was arrested under a warrant issued by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and held in Belmarsh - a maximum security prison in southeast London. Prominent British human rights advocates such as Peter Thatchell campaigned for Marri and accused the British executive of collaborating with Musharraf's regime. Marri was eventually acquitted in 2008 by a British jury and remains in Britain where he has recently been granted asylum.
DW: What's the current situation in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan?
Hyrbyar Marri: Islamabad wants access to the Baloch land to fill it with settlers and steal our resources. In the meantime, our people are being picked up by the Pakistani secret services and their dead bodies appear a few days later, bearing torture marks, cigarette burns and slogans -"long live Pakistan"- carved on their bodies with knives by the intelligence agencies. East Balochistan (under Pakistan control) was an independent state for nine months until it was occupied by Pakistan in March 1948. Since then we've been subjected to a genocide in slow motion under Islamabad's boot, a process of extermination that has left our language, culture and identity on the brink of extinction.
Some Baloch are asking for self-determination but you've demanded independence. Why is that?
Asking for self-determination equals to accepting that we've been part of Pakistan on a legal base and that we now want to decide whether we want to remain or leave. In my opinion, that's like denying the fact that we've been occupied for over 60 years. We declared our independence even before Pakistan did so today many Baloch are asking for independence because that was actually our status before we were occupied.
You reject parliamentary politics and many people argue that you support the armed struggle, and even lead it. What's your stance on that?
I reject parliamentary politics as they are understood today, As an occupied land, Balochistan's regional parliament endorses occupation. As for the armed struggle, I'm a man of peace but I also think that every nation has the right to defend themselves from any aggression, a right which is actually recognized by the United Nations. The International community should intervene and help us solve the issue through peaceful means instead of forcing us to fight against the invaders.
Why is the international community doing nothing about this issue?
Baloch leader Hyrbyar Marri
Hyrbyar Marri is demanding independence for Balochistan
Because the international community has been historically blackmailed by Pakistan and Iran by calling us "terrorists" and even "religious extremists." Nonetheless, I think that the West is now beginning to understand that it's very much the other way round: The Baloch are historically a secular people and it's actually Pakistan that's been backing religious extremists in the whole area to fulfil their agenda in the whole region, including Afghanistan. The paradox is that these fanatic groups were initially backed by Western powers and, today such groups have become a nightmare for everybody and especially for the Baloch.
A British Red Cross worker was killed in Balochistan by the Taliban recently. How do you feel about this?
The Taliban are basically Pakistani military without uniform. They started beheading westerners after 9/11 but we were being beheaded by these religious butchers long ago. We have informed the International community about the evil intentions of the ISI - the Pakistani secret services - but our plea has been stubbornly ignored. There is still time for the West to support the Baloch freedom movement if they want to stop the spread of religious madness in the region.
How would an eventual American withdrawal from Afghanistan affect Balochistan?
I have no doubt that the levels of violence against us will increase when the Americans leave Afghanistan. There'll be even less space for secular people as ourselves. This is one of the reasons why an independent Balochistan would not only be good for us but also for the rest of the world. As we are secular people we would not allow extremism coming from Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan.
You ask for a foreign intervention but is such a move plausible in a nuclear country like Pakistan?
The Geneva Convention doesn't mention any exception should be made if a country has nuclear weapons or not. If a nuclear power occupies a country, there should be a resolution for their pullout. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Gillani has even spoken about conducting a referendum in Balochistan but, tell me, when the French, the English, etc pulled out from their colonies, was there any referendum whatsoever? We're also a colony so Islamabad should leave without any pre-conditions. The only point to negotiate with Pakistan is the unconditional withdrawal of its occupation forces.
The Baloch are historically divided due to their tribal nature but you say you're trying to bring forces together through the so-called Liberation Charter. What is this initiative about?
Der Anführer der Aufständigen in Belutschistan Hyrbyar Marri kämpft für die Unabhängigkeit.  
Baloch fighters at an undisclosed location in southern Pakistan. 
Copyright: Karlos Zurutuza, DW Mitarbeiter, London, April 2012
Bildzulieferer: Robert Mudge
A new charter will attempt to bring the various Baloch factions together
It's a document which has over 80 articles but it's still in progress. It's main goal is to draw the lines of the country we want before we get our independence. I have presented the charter to other prominent Baloch leaders such as Brahumdagh Bugti, Suleman Daud Khan and Akhtar Mengal. We are still waiting for their feedback. It's both a road map and a contract with the people of Balochistan. Many nations have historically talked about independence but without previously setting the bases of the kind of country they want. Accordingly, we want to have our homework done beforehand.
So what are the basic lines so far?
Two of the basis points in Charter cannot be changed or compromised and the others are open to suggestions and amendments if necessary. Those two first points are the independence of Balochistan and the parliamentary system after independence. Basically, we want a country whose leaders are elected democratically, where religion is a private issue which doesn't play a role in the state affairs and where women, every creed and ethnicity share equal rights.
But you are also a tribal leader of the Marri, the biggest Baloch clan. Can the tribal system be integrated into the democratic society you mention?
The tribes or clans are part of our identity but they should not prevail over a legal judiciary system. Maximum power should be given to the state judiciary and state administration. The tribes should remain as a cultural aspect of our society as we are already in the 21st century.
A tiny part of Balochistan lies in southern Afghanistan but Iran hosts a significant Baloch community. Is there any coordination between the Baloch from Pakistan and Iran?
Yes, there is understanding between us and we do coordinate at an international level. We have also presented the Balochistan Liberation Charter to two main parties of Western Occupied Balochistan. They already gave their suggestions and feedback which we've found positive and encouraging. Needless to say that we fully support the Independence of Western-occupied Balochistan from Iran.
Interview: Karlos Zurutuza, London
Editor: Rob Mudge


  1. This is a fascinating story. Take the time to watch the video.

  2. Any enemy of Pakistan is a friend of mine.

    1. lol, except for Bibi of course,,,,

      can't be friends with him can we....

    2. I did not realize that Pakistan was also on Bibi’s hit list.

    3. The boy has quite an appetite.

    4. The Beloch want the same thing that all decent people want, freedom. Freedom from despots and foreign aggression.

    5. Never heard of Daniel Pearl?

  3. A drawing based on information from inside an Iranian military site shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that UN inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted there. Iran denies such testing and has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a chamber.

    The computer-generated drawing was provided to The Associated Press by an official of a country tracking Iran’s nuclear program who said it proves the structure exists, despite Tehran’s refusal to acknowledge it.

    That official said the image is based on information from a person who had seen the chamber at the Parchin military site, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of that informant.

    This latest piece of the Iranian nuclear puzzle to be revealed ought to put more pressure on the countries invested in the P5+1 talks not to allow Tehran to spend the next few months stalling as the centrifuges continue to spin. With the next round of talks set for later this month in Baghdad, the image of the testing device ought to serve as a reminder to President Obama and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that there will be a terrible price to be paid for allowing diplomacy to serve as a convenient method for the ayatollahs to run out the clock on efforts to prevent an Iranian nuke.

    Though we can we expect that those who have rationalized every Iranian attempt to obfuscate the issue will dismiss this latest revelation, the evidence ought to be enough to scare those who have been throwing cold water on the immediacy of the Iranian threat. The existence of the testing chamber is consistent with previous information released by the IAEA:

    IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said in March that his agency has “credible information that indicates that Iran engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices” at the site. Diplomats subsequently told the AP that the experiments also appear to have involved a small prototype neutron device used to spark a nuclear explosion – equipment that would be tested only if a country was trying to develop atomic weapons.

  4. The report goes on to state that it appears the chamber may have been built with Russian assistance. Iran’s apologists and critics of Israeli efforts to raise the alarm could argue that just because the Iranians have the device, it doesn’t mean they’ve used it. But it appears that’s not likely either:

    The IAEA has voiced alarm at unexplained “activity” at the site — a term diplomats familiar with the agency’s concerns say stands for attempts to clean up any evidence of the kinds of experiments the agency suspects were carried out.

    A second senior diplomat familiar with the investigation recently told the AP that spy satellite images shared with the agency show what seems to be water streaming from the building housing the chamber. He said it also depicts workers removing bags of material from that building and put on vehicles outside.

    This information should raise the stakes for the West at the Baghdad talks. Though there are increasing reports that Ashton and the EU would happily settle for a compromise with Iran that would leave their program in place, the existence of a military testing device ought to mean the West’s goal must be the dismantling of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, not just the removal of what the Iranians say is their supply of refined uranium. Because there is now even more credible evidence of weapons research, President Obama is obligated not to let Ashton allow the talks to drift for months while testing continues in Iran.

  5. When you get to the 36 minute mark, you get to the meat of the matter.

  6. Dan Hannon is on to something about ethnographic borders.

  7. Mitt Romney should visit Israel soon, Republican lawmakers say, claiming that such a trip would highlight the fact that President Obama has not been there during his first term.

    Congressional Republicans told The Hill that there would be many benefits for Romney should he go to Israel, explaining that it would both advance U.S.-Israeli relations and help him politically.


    1. Palestinians raised millions for Obama in Gaza illegally last time...

      I dont see anyone visiting them.....

      But you dont see any value in Israel, we all know that...

      Maybe if you actually took a trip there you might learn something

  8. Israel unfairly uses truth and it's people to sway visitors.

    Go to Israel, do not go on an official trip, ride a bus, stay in a youth hostel, walk the streets, talk to any and all of it's citizens from arab to jew, black to white, indian to hispanic...

    It's Israel's secret weapon...

    It is as great a nation, a people, a culture as I say, only 10 times better..

    for those that are ignorant haters?

    your loss.

    You can't say that about ANY islamic nation.

  9. Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood fires up mobile female genital inspection/clitorectomy units, cruise neighborhoods.

    Clearwater Paper to open toilet paper plant in Vegas.

    Vegas home market still the shits (if you are a seller)

    Our aspiring black quarterback's cousin is killed in shootout in LA. Left behind a couple of kids, his girl, and a tight end position here.

    Lilacs coming into bloom.

    Hansen may not run in the Preakness Stakes.

    I'll Have Another will go out the gate as big favorite.

    Quirk still struggling with novel.

    That's all the news you really need today, folks.


  10. Write your congressman/woman, oppose US drones spying on you.

    Where's the court order?

    For spying on you?

    There isn't any.


  11. 'Rufus Pill' developed -


  12. You have a hard time separating my opinion of Netanyahu from my opinion of the people of Israel. I have contempt for any politician that wants to drag the US into war, unlike you and your neocon friends. I know the difference between a neocon, an Israeli and a Jewish anything, tinker , tailor, soldier, spy. I have Israeli friends and they know my position. Most of them say they would prefer a less dependent role with Washington and one in particular would be much closer to my position than yours.

    Israeli foreign policy over the last ten years has been a public relations nightmare. Guys like you don’t help. A lot of israelis know that. I don’t spell America , Amerika. You do. Your position is clear to everyone who reads this. I hope mine is as well. State your own position and not mine. I’ll return the compliment.

    1. I do have a hard time separating your opinion of Bibi, Jews and Israel.

      I have never seen you say anything positive about Jews, israel or Bibi.

      I have seen you say nasty things about Israel and Bibi. Your actions about "jews" is less easy to observe.

      For years you allowed certain members to be openly anti-semetic at the same time giving them title of bartender all the while NEVER appointing any Jew as one. You had no problem in allowing vicious anti-semitic comments to be posted, so on that count your "anti-semetic/anti-Jew record is clear...

      As for allowing any "politician to drag the US into war, you seem to hold Bibi to a different standard than any other "politican" in the entire world. Bibi has not "dragged the USA" into ANY war. And IF war breaks out with Iran it is not Israel doing the dragging, rather it's America's self interest or American leaders that CHOOSE to do so.

      Your negative comments about Congress being on the dole of Israel speaks loudly as to your opinions about "israel" after all that is not a "bibi" issue.

      I would like a less dependent role with Washington as well, and that IS the position I lobby for, America has done MUCH harm in the middle east and has prevented a real peace process to occur by interfering with the rightful position the arabs SHOULD be in, which of course is a DEFEATED position. America's billions in aid to the arabs has caused tens of thousands of deaths. It should be stopped.

      As for the LAST 10 years? israel's public relations is hardly a nightmare. There has been an effort by those that hate Israel to cause problems but in the end? They not Israel are looking more radical day by day.

      As for your assertion "guys like me dont help", that is your opinion and your right to think, but in my eyes? people like you are the real problem. Making excuses for iran, denying the fact that it is the islamic totalitarism that the real problem not Israel or it's prime minister.

      I spell America "Amerika" when America is going down the path of insanity. Supporting and funding BILLIONS of dollars of aid to sharia compliant nations that are the modern day islamic nations is the very definition of the word "Amerika"

      A President that can sign an executive order calling to the killing of an American citizen without trial? Amerika.

      And when you look at the TSA and how it treats Americans? Amerika.

    2. I have never seen you say anything positive about Jews, israel or Bibi.

      I don’t care about your religion or anyone else's. No one has had more free access to this blog than you. I didn’t make you a bartender because you and Rat were heads and tails of the same coin (dare I say Shekel?) The bickering was many things but to me it was deadly boring. Israel is no more or less interesting to me than any other national state. I go with the flow. I think Congress is beholden to the AIPAC lobby and so do many Jews. I think The Americas are far more important to the US than Israel, Portugal, Belgium, France, Finland and Greenland. I intensely dislike Putin, Netanyahu, George Bush, Barrack Obama and a few Faisal’s or two. All my personal experiences with Iranians have been positive, the same with Iraqis and Israelis. I lived in Germany for two years and that was enough for me. My father despised anything German. I didn’t. I spent many years in Costa Rica but disliked their government. Come to think of it, I dislike most governments including the current Israeli government as do most Jews. In that particular case I am down with the Jews and you are not.

    3. " I dislike most governments including the current Israeli government as do most Jews. In that particular case I am down with the Jews and you are not."

      Which jews?

      The American Jews that are attached to Obama's ass?

      Or the Israeli Jews that now support Bibi with a majority in their congress with a 87% support rating?

    4. All my personal experiences with Iranians have been positive, the same with Iraqis and Israelis.....

      Fernandez has labelled this the "agency problem" and I think that's a helpful formulation. USA has "slight" edge in repairing the divide(s) that separate government from the will of the people, given that the will of a diverse population can be articulated ... but that's the other side of the equation. At any rate, I am betting/hoping that this country will course-correct, at least faster than the rest of the world, simply because the Founders left us with the institutional mechanics to make the future adjustments that they knew damn well would be required.

      But I would also say that it's easy to be nice to your neighbor, or a stranger walking down the street. It's much harder to play the role of agent. The Iranians, the Iraqis, the Israelis and the rest of us have to step up to the plate. Being Nice ain't the End Game.

  13. Israeli foreign policy over the last ten years has been a public relations nightmare.

    I don't follow that reasoning.


    Free Balochistan!


  14. Free Kurdistan, free the Bahai, free the Christians, free the Copts.....


  15. Stop the drones --

    “We're deeply opposed to the militarization of civil society. We have all kinds of aversion to it. This is importing it because it's cheap, easy, silent. [The use of remote-controlled aircraft for domestic surveillance is] something that you can easily deploy. It will be I think the bane of our existence. Stop it here. Stop it now. Strong letter to follow.”

    -- Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”


  16. They found that, down on the Mexican border, a Cessna w/infrared sensors was much cheaper, And More Effective.

    As for the Balochistan, or however you spell it, sorry about their bad luck, but they'll just have to save themselves. We're "all saved out."

  17. . . . on the impact of ethanol on domestic gasoline prices was released today, showing that ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $1.09 per gallon nationally last year. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says this peer-reviewed study shows how ethanol is keeping gas prices lower than they might otherwise be . . .

    Dinneen explains that the $1.09 a gallon savings means that ethanol reduced the average American household’s spending on gasoline by more
    than $1,200 last year, based on average gasoline consumption data. “Since 2000, ethanol has helped save $39.8 billion annually in excess gasoline costs – or roughly $349 per household per year,” he said.

    Peer-Reviewed Study

  18. RE Dan Hannon and ethnographic borders

    In the ME, yes, less so in EUrope, the latter being at a different stage of ... well, just about everything.

    Is there anywhere in EUrope separated by seven miles of nothing?

    Max Notes Version:

    "secrecy and lack of command structure that will make sure the Balochan insurgents are not defeated"

    "innocent women and children"

    "no man's land"

    "irrelevant throughout history"

    "refuge area for people who could not be accommodated in the Indian or Iranian empires"

    "we think it's an occupied territory"

    "establishment miscalculated"

    "every nation wants to be free"

    "adamantly opposed any compromise with the Pakistani government"

    "control the economies of the oil - this is a great game you could say"

    "the Baloch people live in a state of war"

    They are stupid to expect us to cooperate"

    "they burn people alive and throw them in vats of boiling tar"

    speaking of lying 'tells' - that Pakistani military guy @41 minutes is lying through his teeth [editorial comment]


    Remarkable sense of color, fashion-wise.


    My Takeaway?

    First, a quite good piece of broadcast journalism, courtesy al Jazeera.

    Second, enough information in that 45 minutes of reporting to define a pretty good psychological profile of the antagonists, meaning that the "we lack HUMINT" to respond properly to global hotspots is a diversionary canard. Information available aplenty I think. It's far from being an "analyst" problem.

    Third, these folks are living in another reality. I remember when I was growing up being told that differential development throughout the world would inevitably create tensions that would demand a "redistribution" of resources to "close the gap." Which is hardly an insightful observation but sometimes the obvious gets lost in the Mensa musings of "new" and "smart" solutions.


    Free North Dakota from the Drones

    1. Free North Dakota from the Drones


      Establish your community and forests and farmland as drone free zones!

      (There is heavy surveillance in the Frank Church Wilderness Area already, believe it or not)


    2. Why is there surveillance in the Frank Church Wilderness Zone, bob?

      Checking on illegal no permit rafters, pot growers, trashers of camp sites, those that pack it in but don't pack it out, illegal fishing, poachers, motorized vehicles, etc.

      And fires.

      All this may seem reasonable enough, especially fires, though they often let them burn themselves out these days, like in Yellowstone fire which burned, what, a third of the park down. Which incidentally is the reason for the increase in elk numbers there.

      But it is a Wilderness Area. I can't recall ever reading about drones in the skies, back in the day.....

      It is too much.


    3. Nice analysis Max. I am continuously surprised at where I have to fo to find some really great analysis. 45 minutes, no commercials, aljazeera. I appreciate your input.

  19. Is there anywhere in EUrope separated by seven *hours* of nothing?

  20. The Right’s Righteous Frauds


    Say what you will about Bristol Palin, she’s a quick study. It didn’t take her long to master the ways of her elders on the censorious right and decide that personal circumstance and past error needn’t prevent someone from claiming righteous leadership. Uncle Rush must be proud.

    Soon after President Obama stated support for same-sex marriage, Bristol publicly weighed in. Because, you know, the world was on tenterhooks.

    In a blog post she focused on the reference that Obama made to his daughters — and to the same-sex parents of some of the girls’ friends.

    “It would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends (sic) parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage,” wrote Bristol, making her heady debut as the new Dr. Spock for a nascent millennium. She added that “in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.”

    Fathers like...Levi Johnston? It’s with him that she conceived her child — out of wedlock, at the age of 17 — and by most accounts, his relationship with her and the Palin family isn’t any warmer than Juneau in January. A mother/father home is not what he and Bristol have succeeded in creating.

    What’s more, she has made sure that their son, Tripp, will at some point be treated to a worldview-shaping image of Dad as something akin to a date rapist. That’s the description of him immortalized in her memoir, one of her many efforts to monetize her surname. It recounts the loss of her virginity as a result of getting drunk and blacking out in the company of Levi, who pounced. What a gift that narrative is to Tripp, now being hauled into a TV reality show, “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” already in production. Little children are known to thrive in such environments.

    I hesitated before picking on Bristol because she’s an easy target. It’s like shooting moose from a helicopter flying low over the tundra.

    But she so perfectly distills the double standards and audacity of so many of our country’s self-appointed moralists and supposed traditionalists: hypocrites whose own histories, along with any sense of shame, tumble out the window as soon as there’s a microphone to be seized or check to be cashed.

    She proves that they’re not going away anytime soon — a new generation rises! — and that they haven’t been daunted by the ridicule justly heaped on Newt Gingrich during the Republican primaries, when he dared to cast himself as a religious conservative.

    Certainly Rush thunders on. Last week he bellowed that Obama had decided to “lead a war” on traditional marriage. Seems to me Limbaugh started those hostilities long ago, if not with his first divorce then certainly with his second and third.

    For entertainment at Wedding No. 4, to a woman 26 years younger than he is, he hired Elton John (who very questionably took the gig). Gays shouldn’t be allowed to tie the knot, but they sure can carry a tune.


    1. Go Bristol!

      Her punditry puts that of an Ash to total shame and stuttering.


  21. Comments to a drone article on Drudge - the people resist! -

    oedoakes202 20 minutes ago

    I guess all the trap shooting will finally be put to good use . . .


    The government and Obama will finally find a way to unite the nation . . . whack the drones . . . I could just see the movies to come . . . proud jewish rednecks, of which I'm a card carrying member, will unite with my liberty loving brothers, black, red, yellow, including old ACLU loving Paleface herself Elizabeth Warren, on the roof tops . . . as we merrily whack the drones out of the sky . . .

    Stop this before it gets out of hand . . . because it will.
    Buster BM and 12 more liked this

    White Troll 4 minutes ago in reply to joedoakes202

    It has already gotten "out of hand".

    White Troll 17 minutes ago

    America has become a police state.
    1Reasonable1 and 8 more liked this

    FedsMadeSarahPalinClick4Proof 16 minutes ago in reply to White Troll

    We are a police state don't kid yourself

    FedsMadeSarahPalinClick4Proof 14 minutes ago

    I think it's time for the federal government to strip search everyone on the street, slim jim their way into their cars when the park them and break into their houses while they are at work. Oh wait never mind, they already do all of these things now that they've destroyed the Constitution and taken control over the media. All hail the police state that's above all laws!
    1Reasonable1 and 7 more liked this

    Christopher Gadsden 12 minutes ago

    Good Americans will help these crash land whenever they are in a pattern.
    me_gusta_mucho and 6 more liked this

    Gunner 19 minutes ago

    Target practice
    Younis Mourabi and 6 more liked this

    kjatexas 10 minutes ago

    Perhaps citizens should start shooting these drones down. The government doesn't need to be monitoring law abiding citizens, using crime control as an excuse. That is not American.
    Auric Maston and 5 more liked this

    Auric Maston 5 minutes ago in reply to kjatexas

    Agree completely.
    1 person liked this.

    Doc 11 minutes ago

    When are we gonna be able to start buying portable emp generators to knock them out


  22. Ash quotes an openly gay, bulemic, lard ass restaurant critic with the NYT to bolster his hatred for a Palin.

    Atta boy, Ash.

  23. Interesting Gag, I got half way through it and thought , this guy has to be a flamer. It looks as if he wraped the piece around his too cute by half, I hesitated before picking on Bristol because she’s an easy target. It’s like shooting moose from a helicopter flying low over the tundra.

    He hesitated…he was overwhelmed by his self-satisfied-judged cleverness.

  24. Max is quite correct, say what you may about the Baloch, they do have a sense of style, not a reversed NY baseball hat to be seen.

  25. Here'a a car for Rufus to trade up to -

    Porsche 918 Hybrid Hyper Car -


  26. General Motors Co. plans to stop advertising on Facebook after the auto maker's executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers' car purchases, people familiar with the matter said.

  27. Last Friday, Gallup released a poll showing the country almost evenly divided on Obama's gay marriage endorsement, but 26% of Americans said Obama's move made them more likely to vote against him while 13% said it made them more likely to vote for him. By a 12-point margin, independents said they were more likely to vote against Obama because of his endorsement of gay marriage.

    Two new polls on Obama's endorsement of gay marriage find similar results. ABC/Washingon Post:

    All told, 46 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll express a favorable impression of Obama's statement in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts last week that he personally has come to support gay marriage, while 47 percent respond unfavorably. That includes a 10-point tilt toward "strongly" negative rather than strongly positive views, 38 percent vs. 28 percent.


    As Politico reported last week:

    In the end, people close to the president say, Obama’s decision to go public with his support for marriage equality wasn’t a tough call after Biden’s remarks. The core of their argument against Mitt Romney is that he has no real convictions.

  28. After placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a wringing-wet President Hollande took the time to talk to each veteran in the parade. He then walked across to the crowds at the top of the Champs Elysées to shake hands with well-wishers.

    Later, when leaving a lunch at the Elysée Palace, Mr Hollande stopped his limousine and spent a few minutes shaking hands and exchanging kisses with members of the public.

    He has promised that, as far as possible, he will not allow himself to be cocooned by the flummery and protocol of the presidency.

  29. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will no longer be actively campaigning in forthcoming primaries for the Republican presidential nomination. But the libertarian politician's legacy - including controversial yet popular stands on everything from auditing the Federal Reserve to withdrawing troops from abroad to radically cutting government borrowing and spending - is just getting started.

    Paul, says Brian Doherty, a Reason senior editor and author of the new Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, "is leaving in his wake a set of institutions, and a set of hundreds of thousands of energized intelligent youngsters who are unquestionably going to shape American politics moving down the line."

  30. On this day in history:

    Lyman Frank Baum was born in 1856 - Author of children's books ('The Wonderful Wizard of Oz')

  31. He has promised that, as far as possible, he will not allow himself to be cocooned by the flummery and protocol of the presidency.

    "cocooned by the flummery and protocol"?????????????

    Sounds like a French Jimmy Carter. Jeez, the French are 30 years behind.

  32. I was cocooned by flummery once. What an awful experience. I felt like a pupal and underwent strange transformations, as if following some alien protocol.


  33. Stimulus funded erectile dysfunction studies...


    Well what the hell is a stimulus program supposed to do?


  34. Krauthammer groans about drones -

    There is a considerable body of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence that applies to this subject. Even if the Framers never considered drones, the underlying search principles still inform us: Is the surveillance capable of searching private areas for which the police would otherwise need a warrant? Can it be limited to public areas where people have no expectation of privacy, where cops patrol even if there is no suspicion of criminal activity, and where drone surveillance would not be any different in kind from surveillance cameras (which are increasingly ubiquitous)? Is the use of a drone reasonable under the circumstances (i.e., is there some serious crime or threat, or do they want to use drones to see who’s running red lights)? What are the possible ways the executive branch can abuse the technique, and can this potential be discouraged short of an outright ban?

    Even Ruf who can't stand Krauthammer will probably agree with him here.



    1. People us to laugh at our former Representative Helen Chenowith cause she was always talking about black helicoptors. She was just ahead of the times.

      She was one of the few who abided by her promise to quit after three terms.


    2. Rufus, it's time to put that still underground.


  35. “The Republican position that tends to prevail in these primaries was expressed by the gentleman who beat Sen. Lugar, who said, 'I’m just against compromise, we need to stop it, it’s weak, it’s foolish, our views are irreconcilable, we have to force the American people to choose which one of us is right' -- if that prevails, we’re toast. We’ll look like a bush-league country.”

    Clinton said his side shares blame for the gridlock in Washington, but predicted that enough Democrats would be willing to reform some of their cherished programs for the sake of making progress. He also said voters share blame for political gridlock because they elected the Tea Party-backed freshmen who ran promising to avoid compromise.


    1. He also said voters share blame for political gridlock because they elected the Tea Party-backed freshmen who ran promising to avoid compromise.

      My arse.

      Bill, that's a bunch of b.s.


    2. The Republican version of reality goes, briefly, like this: Boehner and Obama shook hands on a far-reaching deal to rewrite the tax code, roll back the cost of entitlements and slash deficits. But then Obama, reacting to pressure from Democrats in Congress, panicked at the last minute and suddenly demanded that Republicans accede to hundreds of billions of dollars in additional tax revenue. A frustrated Boehner no longer believed he could trust the president’s word, and he walked away. Obama moved the goal posts, is the Republican mantra.

      This is of course the truth, though I wouldn't mind seeing Boehner out of a job along with Obama.


    3. I read most of it. I'm in an uncompromising mood, I want them all replaced.

      I have been called an extremist.

      At my age, trying to avoid taxes, so I can have a micro-moment in the sun.

      To hell with the entire government, is my current motto.

      And what I am going to actually get is droned upon.


    4. "To hell with all of them" is a luxury of Old People.

      The ones left standing have to do something.

      From the Matt Bai link:

      And yet, in the end, while both leaders had profound reservations about a grand bargain that would threaten their parties’ priorities, what’s undeniable, despite all the furious efforts to peddle a different story, is that Obama managed to persuade his closest allies to sign off on what he wanted them to do, and Boehner didn’t, or couldn’t. While Democratic leaders were willing to swallow either a deal with more revenue or a deal with less, Boehner’s theoretical counteroffer, which probably reflected what he would have done if empowered to act alone, never even got a hearing from his leadership team.

      The so-called "Tea Party" Republicans need to learn how to actually govern.

  36. Bill Clinton is a talent. Obama wants a place in history, he would be well advised to listen to him. The operative word being "listen."

    1. :)

      My thinking, a big FWIW, is that Valerie Jarret needs to be replaced.

      With some big dogs from The Other Side.

    2. The Pubs could stand to do a little "listening," their damned selves.

    3. I despised the Clintons from the word "go," but the man knows how to "do politics." And, he's a damned good Economist.

  37. Fischer is 3300 votes behind Bruning in the Nebraska Senate Republican primary, with 30% counted. Maybe just maybe that from the 'cities' and the farmer and rancher vote is still to come.


  38. Whooooa - whooopee!

    Fischer is now AHEAD of Bruning by 5696 votes!

    With 77% of the vote counted.

    Go Rancheress!


  39. Election has been called for Fischer, who is now ahead by 6,438 votes with 80% counted.



  40. The company has said it is on pace to generate more than $2.5 billion annually in mobile revenue, or around 5% of total revenue. That figure includes sale of ads on Apple devices, on which Google's search engine is preinstalled.

    Mobile researcher Horace Dediu recently estimated that Google generates around $2 in revenue per Android device per year and that the vast majority of mobile revenue comes from ad sales on Apple devices. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

    The Chinese government is currently conducting an antitrust review of Google's Motorola deal, which both companies have said they expect to close this quarter.

  41. Here is Deb Fischer -

    Another Sarah/Todd Palin endorsed candidate.


  42. .

    . . . on the impact of ethanol on domestic gasoline prices was released today, showing that ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $1.09 per gallon nationally last year. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says this peer-reviewed study shows how ethanol is keeping gas prices lower than they might otherwise be . . .

    Ruf, my reply button isn't working again.

    The statement looked extraordinary to me when I read it. You provided the link but since this study merely contained updatee numbers from previous studies these guys put out, I had to go back to the two previous studies to get all the assumptions.

    The authors claim ethanol is currently savings us on average $1.09 per gallon on gasoline, that there is a reduction in refinery profits because of the ethanol usage, and that in those regions where ethanol is used more, we are being saved more.

    Based on historical EIA data on WTI crude prices, refinery gasoline wholesale prices, and prices comparisons between regions (again from EIA) the authors claim do not seem to be justified as far as I can see. In addition, some of the key assumptions in the study should be questioned. And I always worry when I see conditionals like "may", "possibly", and "potentially".



    1. Tacos cost more.


    2. .

      My original comment should have read;

      "...but since this study merely contained updated numbers for the previous studies these guys put out in 2008 and 2010, I had to go back to the two previous studies to get all the assumptions..."


  43. You can chalk this one up to Sarah -

    Last week, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Fischer, and the Tea Party darling voiced robo-calls on her behalf. The momentum appeared to shift toward Fischer in the final days of the campaign, with a pair of polls showing her a few points ahead. In the final weekend, a super PAC run by Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts spent $200,000 in ads supporting her. The Bruning campaign called foul, as those spots used some of the same video that appeared in a Fischer campaign ad.

    ShePAC, a Republican group that supports conservative women and comprised of former Palin aides, backed Fischer, promoting her through Facebook ads, Web videos, and emails. The Ending Spending Fund also ran two ads in support of Fischer -- one touting her ranching roots and casting her two opponents as “lifetime politicians,” and another attacking Bruning on ethical matters.

    --and ShePAC


  44. In Nebraska, state senator Deb Fischer’s stunning primary victory Tuesday night over the establishment favorite, state Attorney General Jon Bruning, is just the latest grassroots-fueled upset. Fischer, whose campaign was virtually ignored by political insiders, received a jolt of momentum after Sarah Palin endorsed her candidacy last week.