Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

LinkSwarm for May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

All sorts of news bubbling up, reportage of which is in various stages of completion.

  • 49 headless bodies found in Mexico.
  • Bork bork bork.
  • Cherokee genealogist to Elizabeth Warren: “Your ancestors are found in plenty of historical records, and every time, they are found living as white people among other white people. Never are your ancestors ever found living among the Cherokees.”
  • Ten things about Rille Hunter. Words “crazy” and “golddigger” strangely absent. But the fact her father once paid a hitman to kill his own daughter’s horse is plenty weird…
  • Even with a Republican House, spending cuts are still a tough sell. But not as tough as they once were. Baby steps…
  • But high ranking Republicans are still addicted to earmarks.
  • Boehner growing a spine?
  • Holly Hunter has more on Lee Ann Seitsinger’s endorsement of a Democrat.
  • A look at the Senate District 5 race I supported Ben Bius the last time around, mainly because I thought Steve Ogden had been in the office too long, was dismissive of constituent concerns and insufficiently conservative. This time around, I’m a lot more comfortable with Charles Schwertner’s conservative bonafides than I was with Ogden’s. Schwertner will probably win the race running away.
  • The astrotruf campaign for UT President Bill Powers.
  • The Wisconsin recall effort may be backfiring.
  • Today’s amusing Twitter tag roundup: #Fauxcahontas, #LowerUnderObama”, and #ObamainHistory.
  • LinkSwarm for April 27, 2012

    Friday, April 27th, 2012

    Working on a major senate race post, so enjoy another Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Maureen Dowd has a fairly limited range of issues upon which she’s actually worth reading, but the personal scandals of sleazy corrupt politicians (in this case the John Edwards trial) is well within that range.
  • Obama is now as unpopular among independents as Democrats were during the 2010 election.
  • “This Sunday marks exactly three years since the Democratic majority in the Senate last passed a budget, on April 29, 2009.”
  • Hispanics overwhelmingly oppose laws against illegal aliens. And by “overwhelmingly” I mean “within the margin of error.”
  • What various college majors earn.
  • NYT notices that liberals are driving Blue Dogs out of the Democratic party. Though I don[t seem to remember them running articles on how “Redistricting has been bad for the country” back when Democrats were the one with the Gerrymandered majority…
  • The public employee union aristocracy is on the ballot in Wisconsin.
  • The Las Vegas gambling industry just invested a lot of money in Texas House speaker Joe Straus. Err, that is to say, in his family’s business.
  • And remember, to stay Speaker, Straus not only has to fend of his own primary challenger, he also has to help out his committee chairmen.
  • Texas Democratic State Representative Ron Reynolds is charged with barratry, which seems to be “a lawyer being a dick just to get business.” The fact that Reynolds himself voted in favor of the law he’s now charged with is just the cherry on top.
  • More skulduggery on the Round Rock ISD school board.
  • One Hell of a Fundraiser

    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    Democratic Party candidate for Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable Robert “Bobby” Maldonado has a little problem. He’s been charged with money-laundering, as police found money in the trunk of his car.

    $1,068,930, to be precise.

    One might wonder why someone with that much money was bothering to run for office at all, but I suspect being Constable would offer up a lot more lucrative avenues for Mr. Maldonado as a cartel’s man on the inside of law enforcement.

    (Hat tip: Must Read Texas.)

    LinkSwarm for January 9, 2012

    Monday, January 9th, 2012

    Like a squirrel hording nuts for winter, I’ve set aside a few tasty links for you to chew on:

  • George Will offers up a masterful column on why big government actually increases, rather than decreases, inequality.

    Liberals have a rendezvous with regret. Their largest achievement is today’s redistributionist government. But such government is inherently regressive: It tends to distribute power and money to the strong, including itself.

    Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society’s primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.

    [snip]
    Not only does redistributionist government direct wealth upward; in asserting a right to do so, it siphons power into itself. A puzzling aspect of our politically contentious era is how little contention there is about the ethics of coercive redistribution by progressive taxation and other government “corrections” of social outcomes it considers unethical or unaesthetic.

    This reticence, in an age in which political reticence is rare, reflects the difficulty of articulating principled defenses of these practices. They go undefended because they are generally popular with a public that misunderstands their net effects and because the practices are the political class’s vocation today. The big winners from these practices are that class and the interests adept at collaborating with it.

    Government uses redistribution to correct social outcomes that offend it. But government rarely explains, or perhaps even recognizes, the reasoning by which it decides why particular outcomes of consensual market activities are incorrect. When taxes are levied not to efficiently fund government but to impose this or that notion of distributive justice, remember: Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them.

    Call it The Dennis Moore Effect. “He steals from the poor, and gives to the rich…”

  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindel makes the case for Rick Perry:

  • Mark Styen on the left’s idea of empathy: “In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin’s live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one.”
  • Speaking of Steyn, here are his wishes for a Happy New Year in his usual gloomy, depressing, acerbic way.
  • And speaking still further of Steyn, he once noted that China will get old before it gets rich. And just what is it like to be old in China now? It really sucks. It turns out Communism’s claims of taking better care of the helpless was just as big a lie as all communism’s other claims…
  • “Detroit is Ground Zero for the breakdown of the Blue Social Model.
  • There are at least 28 different drug cartels the Mexican government is fighting. (Hat tip: Bruce Sterling)
  • How Clinton’s FBI tried to entrap Newt Gingrich. (Hat tip: Sipsey Street.
  • A fuller list of speakers for Saddle Up Texas. Dick Armey and some of the U.S. reps certainly add some luster to the proceedings. I still don’t see anyone ponying up $20,000 to be a top-level sponsor. Or $1,000 for a booth.
  • Hat tips: Real Clear Politics, Insta, Ace.

    LinkSwarm for December 26, 2011

    Monday, December 26th, 2011

    Still getting back up to speed after Christmas, so here are a few links that I’ve been squirreling away like nuts for winter:

  • Is Obama preparing for war with Iran? This interview with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta sure makes it sound that way…
  • If I’m reading these tea leaves correctly, Gary Johnson is about to give up running as a Republican and run as a Libertarian. Which is a shame, because the Republican Party needs more libertarians. But his campaign never caught fire. Alternately, he’s going to pull out and endorse Ron Paul, which his front page sort of hints at.
  • To clear the air on Ron Paul: He’s not an Anti-Semite, he just wishes Israel didn’t exist, and he’s not a homophobe, he just refuses to shake gay’s hands or use their bathrooms.
  • Amy Alkon gets a TSA agent patdown. And by “patdown” I mean “repeatedly stick their fingers in her vulva.”
  • Jill Stanek on Christopher Hitchens and abortion. And Hitchens’ own, fairly conflicted thoughts here.
  • The Zeta Drug cartel has built their own national radio system. Let’s hope that Eric Holder didn’t give them that as well. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Rebel Syrians holding a sign slamming Obama and praising Bush. Real, or Photoshop? I try to have a healthy suspicion of things that fit too neatly into my worldview.
  • Additional hat tips to Insta and Ace.

    Documents Shows Fast and Furious WAS About Promoting Gun Control

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

    Continuing her excellent reporting on the issue, Sharyl Attkisson drops another bombshell: Just like us “paranoid” right wingers thought all along, Fast and Furious was about promoting gun control:

    Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

    [snip]

    ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3″. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

    On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

    “Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

    On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”

    Read the whole thing.

    The best, most favorable explanation is that Fast and Furious was instituted for some still-undisclosed purpose, and that some ATF agents saw it as a ghoulish opportunity to promote gun control.

    The worst: The Obama Administration designed and implemented Fast and Furious in a premeditated fashion, breaking the law and helping kill hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry, all for the sole, express purpose of promoting gun control.

    They had to kill people with guns in order to save them from getting killed by guns.

    It shows that just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

    Hat tip: Powerline, where John Hinderaker says: “If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history.”

    Indeed.

    Fast and Furious Update: Obama Administration Now Laundering Drug Cartel Money?

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

    So says that bastion of right-wing propaganda, The New York Times:

    Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

    [snip]

    The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

    [snip]

    Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”

    Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious

    I suppose it’s progress of a sort when even The New York Times realizes something went horribly wrong in Fast and Furious. And even if the money laundering program was working, what chance does it have now that the cover has been blown?

    Does anyone actually believe the Obama Administration has an effective, coherent plan to take down the cartels?

    What next? Will we find out that U.S. agents actually carried out cartel assassinations?

    Also this:

    The former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.

    If Fast and Furious is any guide, those “hundreds of thousands of dollars” will turn out to be tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    LinkSwarm for Friday, November 11, 2011 (11/11/11)

    Friday, November 11th, 2011

    I hope you’re celebrating both Veterans Day and Nigel Tufnel Day (11/11/11) today. A few bits of news:

  • Willisms debunks a lot of false claims about Texas jobs.
  • He also notes that Texas leads the nation in exports.
  • Care for a disabled child in Michigan? The SEIU can deduct union dues from your social security check. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
  • I’ve not been keeping up with the situation in Killeen, but evidently City Council members voted to give the City Manager a $750,000 buyout, then refused to justify their actions to the taxpayers. The result? All five remaining City Council members were successfully recalled. Note to politicians across the state: Texas is not California. Try to get away with this sort of self-dealing here and we will boot your ass out of office. (Hat tip: Blue Dot Blues.)
  • Mexican cartel gunmen crossed into the small Texas town of Escobares in the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Speaking of cartel violence, the Mexican government evidently has the La Familia Michoacana drug gang on the ropes. La Familia was previously allied with the Gulf Cartel, but more recently worked with the Zeta cartel. I’d previously mentioned La Familia (and their activity in Austin) here.
  • Obama to tax Christmas trees in order to pay for a board to promote Christmas trees.
  • Democrats on the “SuperCommittee” propose…wait for it…wait for it…spending more money! Remember, any time a congressional Democrat says they want to cut spending, they’re lying. (If a Republican says they want to cut spending, there’s at least a possibility that they’re telling the truth.)
  • David Brooks praises Mitt Romney as “smart” and “sophisticated.” Yeah, like conservatives needed another reason to vote against Romney…
  • By contrast, George Will says that in Romney “Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis.” (What’s the difference between David Brooks and George Will? One is a well-dressed, articulate, sophisticated, respected conservative columnist, and the other is David Brooks.)
  • Related.
  • Search and Rescue trailer stolen from NW Austin. Contact your local police if you spot the trailer shown in the picture.
  • I already mentioned this yesterday, but here’s the video of Sen. John Cornyn laying the smackdown on Eric Holder as to the difference between Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious.

  • I’ll try to do a Greek/Euro debt update just as soon as I figure out just what the hell Europe is actually doing…

    Fast and Furious Update for October 11, 2011

    Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

    Either I’m getting a little better handle on things, or Fast and Furious revelations have slowed down just enough for me to keep up.

  • Looks like a subpoena is heading Eric Holder’s way.
  • Holder does not look like a happy camper:

  • The DEA appears to be even more involved with Fast and Furious than previously reported.
  • Obama’s popularity is dropping steeply with Hispanics…and Fast and Furious isn’t helping.
  • The MSM seems to have noticed that the Mexican cartels employee heavily armed paramilitary units, which anyone following the story on blogs would have known for, oh, at least a year.
  • The myth of the good drug cartel.
  • Report from the front lines of the Mexican drug war.
  • (Hat tips: Sipsey Street, Say Uncle, and the usual suspects.)

    Fast and Furious Update For October 10, 2011

    Monday, October 10th, 2011

    You know, when I started doing Fast and Furious updates, I didn’t realize I’d have to update this daily. But events are moving at a pretty brisk pace:

  • Rep. Daarrell Issa says to Holder that he owns Fast and Furious, no matter how much distance he may put between himself and the scandal.
  • Sipsy Street puts up a third post on Hillary Clinton’s possible involvement.
  • In the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen calls Eric Holder “Obama’s albatross,” and lists a litany of bad decisions coming out of his office.
  • You know what’s worse for Obama than if Eric Holder is lying? If he’s telling the truth.
  • The Truth About Guns explores why Fast and Furious seemed to be arming the Sinola cartel in particular.
  • M. Catharine Evans compares Holder to Anthony Weiner.
  • She also links to this April 2009 transcript of a joint White House press conference with Mexico President Felipe Calderon, in which arms being smuggled to Mexico is the central topic.
  • Investors Business Daily says that “Either Holder is the most aloof attorney general in American history or the most incompetent — or worse.”
  • Large swathes of the press may love Obama, but David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun says that Fast and Furious shows that Obama doesn’t return the favor, at least when reporters actually do their jobs. “Team Obama is in full campaign mode, and because of their fundamental contempt for the press, that means they reward those who come on bended knee and they punish those who dare to question them. The bended knee boys include Brain Williams, the bowing anchorman. Have you noticed how many “exclusive” interviews Obama has given NBC recently? Oh yeah, NBC is kowtowing to Obama.” Zing!
  • The economics behind weapon smuggling. Don’t expect anything to change soon…
  • Indirectly related: Jeremy Schwartz at the Statesman has been doing some interesting reporting on the La Familia cartel, which has been using Austin as a base of operations.
  • Finally, not related at all (except also involving guns), but I wanted to point out that Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, points out that yes, the roots of gun control in America are racist in nature.