“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."

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Iron Ore -- the Chinese Connection to the Michoacán Crisis and how President Nena plans to end it.

Luis A. Marentes explains ...

According to the Wall Street Journal, drug cartels have been in the mineral export business to China for a few years. In 2010, for example, police arrested 40 people involved in illegal mining in territory in which ArcelorMittal was supposed to have exclusive rights. This scheme was associated to La Familia, the precursor to the Knights Templar. <b>According to the report, in that year the cartel made approximately $40 million exporting over 1.1 million tons of mineral to China.</b> In response Virgilio Camacho, representing ArcelorMittal, negotiated a deal with local landowners and truckers. Under the deal, the transnational would pay $16-$18 per ton of the iron-rich hematite, yet Chinese buyers offered $65-$85 for the same amount.

Much of the recent coverage of the autodefensas growing uprising in Michoacán has focused on their drug trade, and their extortion and protection rackets. Recent articles by Al Jazeera America and Fusion have also focused on the Knights Templar links to the growing avocado business. Much less has been written about these large mining interests, their relationship to the drug trade and human trafficking. Yet the signals of these links are beginning to trickle, and the state's autodefensas also begin to come into the picture.

A recent article in Imagen del Golfo focuses on mining support for the autodefensas. The article talks about protection schemes between Knights Templars and miners, and emphasizes recent agreements between the autodefensas and the miners. Asked about this in the article, a commander named Simón or El Americano answers "Oh, yes. The Chinese and them [the miners] are supporting [us]."

I have recently affirmed here that  "it is way too early to reach conclusions as to the results of this uprising, but one can clearly see that its causes and consequences are international in nature." At the time my focus was on returned migrants in the autodefensas, and historic linkages between Michoacán and the United States, but a closer examination indicates that the international nexus is much larger.

A recent article by the Mexican collective Jóvenes ante la Emergencia Nacional digs much farther into the current Michoacán juncture, and China again becomes central. Their analysis focuses on the state's natural wealth, its growing infrastructure and investments, linking it to a very important North American economic corridor. It looks at a growing multidimensional struggle for control of resources and trade routes, and also links recent economic, political and military events to a larger worldwide economic restructuring, including recent plans to renegotiate NAFTA and efforts to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This article, written in Spanish, is well worth reading.

I look forward to investigative reporters digging deeper into the causes and consequences of the current Michoacán crisis to help us understand the many layers that lay behind a conflict that is often reported as one between evil extortionists and a noble popular uprising.

Follow Luis A. Marentes on Twitter:

While at the same time, Patricia Rey Mallén describes how the government of President Pena ...

Plans To Economically Suffocate Michoacán Cartels

The government’s strategy to stop the conflict is based  on reasserting territorial control, which began by sending the air force and navy to the 27 counties of the state, with helicopters and ships. Next on the agenda is to actually capture the cartel members, and for that, vigilantes are invaluable with their knowledge of the ground and of who's who.

“The most important asset of the vigilantes is not their weapons but their wealth of information,” Castillo said. “That is what we are focusing our efforts on, providing them with safety in exchange of information.”

The commissioner also explained how the vigilantes need to turn into “rural guards,” an outdated security figure from the 19th century that might be brought back by the government. They would receive training and weapons licenses.

Castillo believes the nail in the coffin of the Templarios will come from choking off their source of income. That would be accomplished by revising all licenses and ownership of local businesses and industries, like mining, to make sure they are not in the traffickers' hands, as well as monitoring the exports from the biggest port, Lázaro Cárdenas.


  1. Well, good to know we have focused our attention on our neighbors in the Middle East, since these folks, and their partners, The Chi-Coms, are of little interest.

  2. Isn't burning a Beer Truck a human rights violation?

    (Even if it's swill, like Corona)

  3. How a Rotating Bolt Works

    This little foreign faggot with his language difficulties reminds me yet again how much I HATE today's know-nothing frenetic video-obsessed youth that flash their "knowledge" up on the screen for one-half a gnat's ass.

    Captivating, even.

  4. Replies
    1. Damn good thing Farmer Bob's not here, he'd be stroking out. Even I wonder if the Wolf Lobby didn't influence that at least a bit.

    2. One things for certain:

      Them Tar Sands are big time trouble for the environment, and possibly even the Global Ecosystem.

      Yet Ash has been mute.

      Probly a big-time investor.

    3. The next guy after the wolves, doesn't speak English, far as I can understand. A bit dodgy, too, I might add.

      I did get the basics of the Ant Raft, tho, I think.

    4. I didn't stick around for the ant raft. Too excited about the wolves. :)

    5. I got to doing a little calcylatin', and the best I can figure it, if the renewables in California, alone, were converted to natural gas we would be down to ezzackly ZERO in storage, right now.

      I'm figuring that renewables are replacing approx. 1.4 Trillion Cu. Ft of Natural Gas in California every Year.

      Ca Renewables

    6. That 1.4 T cuft might be all bolloxed up. It's too early, and my tired old brain is stuck in granny. I'll try again, later.

    7. Looks like I'm high by a factor of ten. More like 140 Billion cu ft. (maybe) :)

  5. .

    Lobo, the wolf-god, spreads his beneficence across the land and all is right with the world.

    Farmer Bob and the other villagers will still stay awake at night, cowering in their huts around small fires, pitchforks at hand, telling their children frightening tales of the wolves at their door.

    Actually, the hicks and the guides and the outfitters and their minions in government dislike the wolves because instead of being able to shoot deer and elk off their back porches they have to actually get dressed and walk up into the hills to hunt. The only thing they actually have to worry about is a heart attack because they are actually forced to move their fat asses.


  6. According to West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, over 87,000 residents have been enrolled for health care coverage through the Medicaid Expansion...

    Jeremiah Samples, assistant secretary for the DHHS, said that number is about 70 percent of everyone eligible for the expansion....

    The total estimated number of West Virginians eligible for coverage under the expansion is 130,000, according to Samples.

    By Feb. 13, a total of 87,135 people have enrolled, which Samples said is about 25,000 more than the projected number for 2014.

    W. Virginia - kickin' it

    1. .

      Naw, the Feds are kickin it.

      Money for nothing and the chicks are free.


    2. Jes gettin' a little healthcare for the po folks, Q.

      Jes gettin' a little healthcare for the po.

  7. .

    The latest on the Detroit bankruptcy.

    The proposed cuts to Detroit pensioners, the real people most affected by the city’s historic bankruptcy, aren’t what Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr proposed back in June.

    They’re less severe, according to documents filed Friday in the city’s Chapter 9 case. And pensioners can credit the Detroit Institute of Arts rescue effort, a coalition of 10 foundations, museum benefactors and the state of Michigan committing $815 million to bolster pension payouts.

    Under terms proposed by Orr, police and fire pensioners could recover as much as 96 percent of the current monthly payouts if they settle with the city this spring. Payouts to members of the General Retirement System would be 74 percent of current levels, considerably more than Orr suggested in last June’s proposal to creditors.

    It is “a much greater recovery than we anticipated,” said David Heiman, one of the city’s many Jones Day bankruptcy attorneys. “And part of that is the money that the foundations, the state and the DIA are preparing to put it.”

    The city’s latest bankruptcy filings, including the so-called “Plan of Adjustment” and accompanying “Disclosure Statement,” mark a critical turn in the landmark Chapter 9 case. The nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy in its most impoverished major city is expected to set new precedents that could reshape the public finance markets and the sanctity of public pensions.

    The foundation-led rescue of the DIA, augmented by a proposed $350 million in state contributions over 20 years, is the linchpin in the proposed workout. Without the fund — conceived by Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, lead federal mediator in the case — proposed payments to pensioners would be more meager and the DIA’s collection would be vulnerable to creditors.

    “The bargain is so good it’d be madness to let it fall through,” Orr said from Philadelphia, where he is speaking at a conference. “I don’t know anyone who could walk away from almost $1 billion. The DIA is an asset of the city, and we have to resolve this one way or another.”

    If Orr doesn't know anyone who would object, he probably shouldn't be the EM. In fact everyone involved objects, from the bond holders to the pensioners. We'll have to see what the judge says.

    From The Detroit News:


  8. Rasmussen -

    Obama at 41 - 46 on Healthcare

    He was at 30 - 55 in November.

    20 point improvement.

    Likely Voters

  9. Yulia Tymoshenko to be freed!

    Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko, Oleh Tiahnybok signed a deal this morning to end the bloodshed that has taken over Kiev and the surrounding area this week. While they agreed on a coalition government and early presidential elections, there was one name that went ignored: Yulia Tymoshenko.

    Known for her persistence and perfecly coiffed blonde braid that wraps her head, Tymoshenko first emerged as the thorn in Yanukovych's side when she co-led the Orange Revolution — a wave of protests and political events calling out an allegedly rigged presidential election in 2004.

  10. Never one to accept defeat, Tymoshenko nearly beat current president Yanukovych in the 2010 election, losing by a very narrow margin. She claimed the vote was rigged, but she could never prove it.

    But political turmoil and official titles aside, Tymoshenko represents a modern Ukraine. She was outspoken about breaking ties with Russia and campaigned hard to eradicate corrupt clans in Ukraine. She wanted to shed the Soviet cloud that still hangs over the country — a mindset that anti-government protesters blame on Yanukovych.

    One year after losing the presidency, Tymoshenko was jailed for abuse of office. Many people claimed her trial was rigged. And her supporters — many of whom are the same people taking to the streets in this three-month-long clash with Yanukovych's regime — have campaigned for her freedom ever since.

  11. Now watch the communist wannabe rats flee

    KIEV, Ukraine — In a move that elicited cheers outside on Independence Square and inside the Ukrainian Parliament, lawmakers on Friday voted to allow the release of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an opposition leader and arch-rival of embattled President Viktor Yanukovych.

  12. Ukraine president leaves Kiev as unrest continues. Hang the prick!

  13. Waiting for the Ceaușescu moment.

    1. I think that this was a big win for the State/CIA. What do you think?

    2. I know this. There will be no Russian tanks to come to the rescue and Putin better start thinking about where to retire. The Chicoms can’t be too happy either.

    3. Ahh, Pootie's probably fine. After all, the Ukrainian Russians were on the asshole's side.

      Russians are Not "normal folks."

    4. Too much wishful thinking on my part:

      Russia appears to be preparing a grab for parts of Ukraine. Senior Moscow delegates in Kharkiv. Crimea asking for “protection" from Rus army!


  15. It should be only a few hours before the cops and military start to defect.

    1. That Unanimous vote by the Parliament was the "crash and burn" moment.

  16. ... time to tear off that uniform and get rid of the sniper rifle

    KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainians awoke Saturday morning to rumors and reports that President Viktor Yanukovych had fled to his hometown in the east or left the country. Protesters gathered at the president’s residence while other government offices were shuttered amid reports that workers inside the public prosecutor’s office were destroying documents.

    Police have abandoned the center of Kiev to protesters who have commandeered water cannon trucks and claim full control of the capital.

    On Friday, Yanu­kovych signed a deal with opposition leaders to dilute his powers, form a caretaker government and hold early elections. Lawmakers introduced an article of dismissal for Yanu­kovych and chose Oleksandr Turchynov as the new speaker of the Ukrainian parliament. But the accord appeared likely to be a hard sell among the thousands of demonstrators who vowed that nothing short of his ouster would get them off the streets.

    Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was also ordered released from prison, according to Associated Press reports.

    Earier, the AP reported a spokeswoman for Tymoshenko had said she was released shortly after parliament’s vote. The spokewoman later said Tymoshenklo was still awaiting release.

  17. no cops in sight on the feed

  18. Love a revolution in the morning without US participation

    1. "without US participation" ?


      Jes doin' what we do best - disbursin' the moneys. :)

    2. Every step we take, the footprint gets smaller.

      The street smart operator is gettin' it done, especially when compared to the Yale grad that stumbled and lost a trillion dollars...

    3. Yeah, if he'd just keep his ass out of N. Africa, he might just come out of all this looking "ok."


  19. A tale of two cities. Riot police welcomed back from Kiev by crowds in Sevastopol.

    1. the ethnic groups of Sevastopol include Russians (71.6%), Ukrainians (22.4%), Belarusians (1.6%), Tatars (0.7%), Crimean Tatars (0.5%), Armenians (0.3%), Jews (0.3%), Moldovans (0.2%), and Azerbaijanis (0.2%).[

      from wiki

  20. Reuters reports that President Viktor Yanukovich’s car came under fire but showed no signs of injury in a television interview.
    “My car was shot at. I am not afraid. I feel sorrow for my country,” he told UBR television and Internet outlet.

  21. Centrifugal forces at work as residents of Sevastopol demand union with Russia.

    1. Can't really blame them. The Russians built it, and all the Euros ever did was "put it to siege."

  22. The leaders of the paramilitary police who fought protesters have appeared on television to say they are “with the people”.

  23. A Ukrainian Rabbi has told Jews to flee Kiev. Interesting.

    1. The Ukrainians have never been too fond of their Jewish brothers, have they?

    2. 'Fear and Loathing in Ashkenazistan' ..
      A chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained rollicking good times.

    3. No, the level of political correctness is appallingly low.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. There is always a method behind madness. A great number of Ukrainians were murdered and died from starvation in the early 1930s because Stalin confiscated the food supplies and farms in Ukraine in order to feed the Russians.

      It was called the Holodomor in Ukrainian. Consequently, because of Soviet occupation many Ukrainians aligned themselves with the German army in WWII to drive out the Russian Communists occupiers. The Germans were seen as "liberators".

      Because of those actions, post-war Ukraine was branded an anti-Semitic nation by the Jewish lobby and neocons. Those same Jewish lobbyists and neocons lobbied and had Ukraine blacklisted by placing them under the
      Jackson-Vanik Amendment which forbade trade or assistance to that nation? This is the same Jackson-Vanik Amendment that has been applied to Cuba, Iran, and N Korea.

      This led to a great economic recession in Ukraine and the ouster of its pro-western President. The result was the former (current) Communist Yanukovich was elected.

      Yanukovich imprisoned members of the opposition party, made Russian the official language in Ukraine, and has agreed to sell out his nation to Russia for $15B.

    6. Bottom line, the law of unintended consequences rules.

    7. Ukrainian media have reported that a former Israeli army officer is playing a leading role in the anti-government protests in the former Soviet republic.

      According to reports, the unnamed Israeli commands a group of 20 Ukrainian militants.

      Four other Israelis, who had previously served in the army, were recently reported to have taken part in opposition rallies in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.

      They were born in Ukraine but migrated to Israel and joined its armed forces before returning to the European country for the demonstrations.

      Meanwhile, Ukrainian media said that an Israeli tycoon provides financial support to the opposition in Ukraine, adding that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is one of the instigators of the unrest in the country.

      Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests since President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union on November 29, 2013, in favor of closer ties with Russia.

    8. That's interesting, Jenny. Thanks.

    9. .


      Speaking of unintended consequences, what would the EU and US do if they got the Ukraine? Economically, it is a basket case and needs an influx of aid. The EU doesn't even have enough money to lend to its own members and they are going to lend to the Ukraine? The EU hasn't offered the Ukraine membership yet and many doubt they will. US aid to the Ukraine? Why not? It would only require running the printing presses on Saturday for a while. However, do they really want to put money into the Ukraine before they know what Russia will do? Would the US do it to get back at Russia for Syria or is the US actually grateful to Russia for giving them a way out? Does the US really want to get in more of an argument with Russia right now?

      Russia supplies 31 percent of EU gas imports, 27 percent of crude oil imports, 24 percent of EU coal imports, 30 percent of total EU uranium imports, and is the EU’s third-largest supplier of electricity. In turn, the EU is not only easily Russia’s largest trading partner, but it is the market for 88 percent of Russia’s oil exports, 70 percent of its gas exports, and 50 percent of its coal exports. Russia and the EU are co-dependent on each other.

      Many of the Russian pipelines run through the Ukraine. Russia is not in great shape financially itself. However, Ukraine is important to Russia militarily, commercially, logistically, culturally, and politically.

      - What if Russia cuts off supplies to the Ukraine or the EU to punish either?

      - What is the Ukraine disrupts pipelines and supplies to the EU to punish Russia?

      Unintended consequences?

    10. On December 6, 2005, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) pleaded with the U.S. House of Representatives to delay Ukraine’s graduation. ADL’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman stated:
      We expect more from democratic states than we do from totalitarian ones. This year alone has seen a steep increase in acts of violence and vandalism against Jews across Ukraine. There have been attempts to ban everything from Jewish organizations to Jewish holy texts. The university MAUP, with more than 50,000 students enrolled, actively promotes anti- Semitism of the most vicious kind. While we recognize that Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has issued a statement against anti-Semitism, we believe the government must go beyond words and take the kind of strong action we expect from a democracy. Until then there is no reason for the House of Representatives to agree to remove Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik and grant beneficial trading status. We should remember that it was the struggle against anti-Semitism which inspired Jackson-Vanik in the first place. That struggle is not over.


    11. Abe Foxman, The Jewish lobby’s Al Sharpton.

    12. .

      We expect more from democratic states than we do from totalitarian ones.

      A familiar meme.


    13. I think I've said something similar a few times. :)

  24. I wonder what’s happening in Moldova, where there is a similar situation on a much smaller scale?

    1. I have been to Moldova:

      In this edition of Reporter euronews is in Moldova. Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, this former Soviet republic is facing a choice between furthering ties with the EU or Russia.

      Recently Moscow reignited this debate by halting the import of Moldovan wine. For a country heavily reliant on such exports to Russia, the decision has had a major impact on producers.

      Victor Bostan, owner of the Purcari vineyard, Moldova’s most profitable, complained: “This is an embargo just for political reasons and has nothing to do with the quality of wine. This is already the second Russian embargo we’ve suffered. The first one was in 2006 and now another started in 2013. We had huge losses, in 2006: we lost 80 percent of our earnings. In 2013, it was less: 20 percent. In 2006, I lost over $10 million through the embargo and now, in 2013, I lost so far over $1 million.”

      The vineyard still turns a profit. Learning from the events of 2006, Victor decided to reposition his wine towards EU markets, Now just one in five bottles are sold to Russia, before that figure was four out of every five.

      But the relative success of Purcari is not matched by the rest of the industry.

      Most other wineries are making a loss and urgently need access to investment capital, as Victor noted: “The European Investment Bank has taken major steps to help Moldova, right now the E.I.B. is offering credit lines of 75 million euros so that wine-makers can invest and modernise the wine industry.”

      The Moldovan Centre for Alcoholic Beverages and Testing checks all wine before it is exported When the Russian authorities complained about impurities, the team there double-checked, with the help of EU labs, they found nothing wrong.

      The wine is quite good.

    2. Where else could it go?
      The wine in Walmart is from Australia, shipping should not be a major impediment to sales ...

  25. You got tp love the Poles:

    Radislaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, has said there was no coup in Kiev and that the actions of parliament are legal.

    He was speaking after his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, had contacted him to express his concern over the events in Kiev.

  26. Devolution is a beautiful thing:

    Los Angeles (United States) (AFP) - A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures.

    The seemingly far-fetched initiative, sponsored by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, claims "political representation of California's diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable."

    And on Tuesday, the California Secretary of State’s office gave the movement a boost, saying that proponents “may begin collecting petition signatures.”

    1. Ten new Senators!

      From the Left Coast ... Would the Texans match 'em or stand pat?

    2. :) ya gotta love it.

      You can bet that the areas that vote in favor will be the very areas that will require "funds" from the other states.

    3. The Mexican Annexation lands ...

      From Texas to California and those states in between... controlling the politics of the nation.

      US Grant wouldn't have believed it.

    4. Yeah, Arizona would be good for what? Two States? Three?

      This could get to be fun.


    5. Split north and south.
      Phoenix in the north ...
      Tucson in the south.

      There are natural political, cultural, geographical, divides.
      As far back as the Civil War, and before.

      The fracas in Tombstone ... the Earps were 'carpet baggers' come to town.
      The 'Cowboys' were all local ranchers and homesteaders.

    6. Maricopa County, same size as Israel.

      The City of Scottsdale, it has the same size footprint as the Gaza Strip.
      If Gaza is considered to be an independent 'country', why not Scottsdale become a US 'state'?

      There are lots of ways to fragment a society.

    7. "You can bet that the areas that vote in favor will be the very areas that will require "funds" from the other states."

      Areas with all the money would vote for it also.

      Much of the Central Valley is now poorer than Mississippi.

    8. California Poverty Rate Highest In Nation Based On New Census Department Figures..‎

    9. LA County leads California in poverty rate, new analysis shows - Los ...‎
      Los Angeles Times
      Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties,

    10. California is the Blue State that you've been crowing about, Rufus!

      Occidental Petroleum and some Billion Dollar Software Company just left LA and San Diego for Austin, Texas.

      Brownie's New Taxes were the straws that broke their backs.

      Most of the workers will be left behind, unemployed.

      Perry Wins, Brown's a Two Time Loser.

    11. Median Income -

      California $57,287.00

      Texas $49,392.00

    12. Almost all of the income is from a Narrow slice of land from 50 miles north of San Fran, to San Diego, with a couple of back to nature spots for them to enjoy.

      The Central Valley, and Some Communities in LA live in miserable conditions and are wracked by massive unemployment.

      Obama and the boys just made it worse by turning the Farmer's water off COMPLETELY.

      You really wouldn't want to live there.


    13. Poverty in California- Not so golden - The Economist

      One third of America’s welfare recipients live in the state. California is also hollowing out: between 2007-09 and 2010-12 the number of people earning between $50,000 and $100,000 fell by almost 75,000 while every income bracket above and below grew.

      Income inequality is higher than in almost any other state, by one measure.

      The elites of the Bay Area are thriving, and growing in number, even as the poor of the Inland Empire struggle to survive. Without some sort of policy fix, and soon, California will be the Golden State only for the few.

    14. Compare the cost of living in Texas vs California:


      Many Texas jobs are low wage. Wages mean nothing without the context of cost of living. California has the fourth-highest cost of living in the nation at 132 percent of the national average. Texas has the second-lowest cost of living at 90 percent. Thus, California's $8 minimum wage can buy $6.06 of goods and services while Texas' $7.25 minimum wage can buy the equivalent of $8.04.

      Texas vs. California - myth-busting time - SFGate‎
      San Francisco Chronicle
      Feb 7, 2013 - Texas has the second-lowest cost of living at 90 percent. [...] California's $8 minimum wage can buy $6.06 of goods and services while Texas' ...
      Texas vs. California, Revisited | National Review Online‎
      National Review
      Apr 9, 2012 - It appears I struck a nerve a couple of weeks ago with “Texas vs. ... Also, the cost of living in California is 42 percent higher than it is in Texas.
      Jobs Aren't Leaving California For Texas, But People Are - Forbes‎
      Feb 12, 2013 - Let's take a closer look at California versus Texas. ... Source: Home prices from Trulia; unemployment rate from BLS; tax burden from the Tax Policy Center. ... Trulia has unique info on the areas people want to live

    15. That's why they're leaving.

      The Weather may not be better, but the Business Climate is.

  27. Republicans Beware

    (I think) : - /

    Obama and Obamacare are picking up steam much quicker among "Likely" voters, than among "Adults."

    A Republican that "runs against Obamacare," Spring, Summer, and Fall, only to find out that he/she is on the wrong side of the issue with the likely voters in his/her district come November might find himself/herself lost in no mans-land.

    1. That's not really a "dream." I just think it's kind of interesting.

    2. For instance, if you're a Dem, do you go on a "voter registration drive" kick?

    3. I mean, just to set the record straight; there's no way the dems will pick up the house, and there's very little chance of the pubs getting the senate (8 out of 9 is a tough pull,) and it wouldn't make a heck of a lot of difference if they did.

      I'm just grasping at straws, trying to find something "interesting" about the deal. :)

    4. .

      For instance, if you're a Dem, do you go on a "voter registration drive" kick?

      Or do you just stick with scanning the obituaries?


    5. ""For instance, if you're a Dem, do you go on a "voter registration drive" kick?"

      No need. The Dems will pay the Unions off enough to git er done.

      That and the IRS preventing conservatives from funding campaigns.

      Plus Quirk's dead folks, of course.

  28. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was captured, officials confirmed the United States and Mexico. According to reports, the drug dealer last night was located by soldiers and the Attorney General's Office (PGR) in a hotel in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, while he was on a fellowship. At this location also intervened U.S. intelligence, officials said. PGR is performing DNA testing to ensure the arrested man's identity is Guzman.

    1. There was a five million dollar bounty of 'El Chapo" Guzman..

      It is said that his men gave him up, in Mazatlan.

    2. :) Yeah. I bet they had NO idea where HE was.

  29. If I'd been Yulia Tymoshenko, after the 2004 elections I woulda become an NFL Cheerleader.

    Somebody said: "How do we know this election won't be rigged"

  30. That same somebody said this all got started after Putin had made some kinda deal that involved giving Ukrania (do they have Uranium in Ukrania?)

    but the shit started when he welched out on them and said

    "Make that 10 billion" dollars.

  31. Rufus IISat Feb 22, 08:58:00 AM EST

    "Looks like I'm high by a factor of ten."

    Anyone know anyone besides Rufus who's so stupid he is not aware that Dope's not what it used to be?

    1. Some would say that I've "been high by a factor of ten" my entire life. :) :) :)

  32. "Christine O'Donnell: I was a victim of the IRS...

    Universities in Probe Got $1.8 million from Soros...

    Echoes of IRS scandal...

    DOJ revises 'media rules'..."


    Good thing we got the First Amendment.

    ...and a Dept of JUSTICE. (for all, Armen)

    1. The IRS is singling out "witches," now?

    2. Just Conservative Witches.

      Old Fat Creepy Crowley ones get a pass.

  33. "STUDY: Half Of Water Taps Test Positive For Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires'..."

    Well that explains it.

    I always knew I was a Vet of some Valorous Legion Somewhere.

    1. I knew I was about to go down when I foolishly tried to save the country from Rufus and Obamacare.

      Always best to know when to fold em.

      It was a nice country while it lasted.

  34. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were without question two of the most important Founding Fathers. They were also the fiercest of rivals. Of these two political titans, it is Jefferson—–the revered author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—–who is better remembered today. But in fact it is Hamilton’s political legacy that has triumphed—–a legacy that has subverted the Constitution and transformed the federal government into the very leviathan state that our forefathers fought against in the American Revolution.

    How did we go from the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government to the bloated imperialist system of Hamilton’s design? Acclaimed economic historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo provides the troubling answer in Hamilton’s Curse.

    DiLorenzo reveals how Hamilton, first as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later as the nation’s first and most influential treasury secretary, masterfully promoted an agenda of nationalist glory and interventionist economics—–core beliefs that did not die with Hamilton in his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. Carried on through his political heirs, the Hamiltonian legacy:

    • Wrested control into the hands of the federal government by inventing the myth of the Constitution’s “implied powers”
    • Established the imperial presidency (Hamilton himself proposed a permanent president—–in other words, a king)
    • Devised a national banking system that imposes boom-and-bust cycles on the American economy
    • Saddled Americans with a massive national debt and oppressive taxation
    • Inflated the role of the federal courts in order to eviscerate individual liberties and state sovereignty
    • Pushed economic policies that lined the pockets of the wealthy and created a government system built on graft, spoils, and patronage
    • Transformed state governments from Jeffersonian bulwarks of liberty to beggars for federal crumbs

    By debunking the Hamiltonian myths perpetuated in recent admiring biographies, DiLorenzo exposes an uncomfortable truth: The American people are no longer the masters of their government but its servants. Only by restoring a system based on Jeffersonian ideals can Hamilton’s curse be lifted, at last.

    From the Hardcover edition.

    1. "• Wrested control into the hands of the federal government by inventing the myth of the Constitution’s “implied powers”"

      If he'd known about Penumbras, he woulda sounded even smarter.

    2. DiLorenzo's car wasn't worth a shit.

    3. Yeah, but he made great movies. :)

  35. Mexico captures Sinaloa cartel boss "El Chapo" Guzman

    Mexican authorities, based on a series of arrests in recent months, got wind that Guzman was moving around Culiacan, capital of his home state for which the cartel is named.

    Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam described an operation that took place between Feb. 13 and 17 focused on seven homes connected by tunnels and to the city's sewer system.

    He said they had Guzman in their sights several times during that period but were unable to mount an operation earlier because of possible risks to the general public. The house doors were reinforced with steel, which delayed entry by law enforcement, presumably allowing Guzman to flee several attempts at his capture before Saturday.

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