Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Fast and Furious Update for October 9, 2011

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Updates to the Fast and Furious scandal are coming…well, you know.

  • Here’s the complete text of the memo that Sharyl Attkisson quoted from on Friday. It’s even less believable and more self-serving than the excerpts alone.
  • Rep. Darrell Issa is going to issue some new subpoenas.

  • Ten Arizona Sheriffs call for a special consul to investigate Holder.
  • Mexico is not wild about Fast and Furious either.
  • Richard A. Serrano reports that many Fast and Furious weapons were found in a Mexico cartel enforcer’s home.
  • A primer on the big differences between Operation Wide Receiver and Operation fast and Furious. At least Wide Receiver attempted to track the guns being sold.
  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn says Holder has to come clean:

  • And, by way of Sipsey Street and Belmont Club, here’s the inevitable Hitler parody:

  • (Hat tips: Instapundit, Sipsey Street, etc.)

    Holder Goes With The “I’m Incompetent and Let My Subordinates Handle All Memos” Defense

    Friday, October 7th, 2011

    CBS lets Sharyl Attkisson decloak long enough to print Eric Holder’s “I didn’t lie, I swear, I was just incompetent” defense for the Fast and Furious scandal:

    Holder says that his testimony to Congress, stating he first heard of Fast and Furious earlier this year, “was truthful and accurate… I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious prior to the public controversy about it.”

    In other words: I’m so out-of-the-loop that I didn’t know my underlings were involved in a massive, illegal, and deadly plot to break the law resulting in over 200 deaths. Way to be on top of things, Mr. AG!

    Holder maintains he didn’t know about the controversial gunwalking tactics used in the case.

    The Sgt. Schultz defense.

    The Attorney General says that while he was sent received memos on Fast and Furious, they are “actually provided to and reviewed by members of my staff and the staff of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”

    The Richard Nixon “I was out of the loop” defense. Didn’t work so well for him either.

    As CBS News has reported, the Deputy Attorney General during Fast and Furious, Gary Grindler is now Holder’s Chief of Staff. Documents provided to Congress indicate Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious in March of 2010 and made handwritten notes on briefing materials.

    However, in the letter, Holder says Grindler “was not told of the unacceptable tactics employed in the operation in his regular monthly meetings with ATF…”

    “I now understand some senior officials within the Department were aware at the time there was an operation called Fast and Furious although they were not advised of the unacceptable operational tactics being used in it,” says Holder’s letter.

    There’s a word for this sort of denial: it’s called bullshit. Bureaucracies are good at one thing: Following the rules. Even as stupid as some of the cowboys in ATF are, there’s no way some field-level supervisor got the bright idea: “Hey, let’s directly violate the federal laws we’re supposed to enforce! Plus I won’t tell anyone higher up! What’s the worst that could happen?” Doesn’t pass the smell test. You don’t isolate top officials from this sort of info, you make sure they’re in the loop to cover your own ass. Fast and Furious is so far off the reservation that the order for it had to come from way up high. Not necessarily Holder (though that’s a distinct possibility), but someone far enough up the food chain to make such an outrageous order stick. Like Obama.

    Plus this:

    In his letter, Holder also criticized the House Committee investigating Fast and Furious, saying he cannot sit idly by “as law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered ‘accessories to murder’.”

    Well then, maybe you should have, oh, I don’t know, provided enough oversight to make sure they weren’t accessories to murder. Shouldn’t be that hard.

    There are two possibilities:

    A. If Holder knew about Fast and Furious, he’s an accessory to murder, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.
    B. If Holder didn’t know about Fast and Furious, then he’s manifestly incompetent, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.

    There is no option C.

    Democratic Senate Candidate Ricardo Sanchez Comes Out for Illegal Alien Amnesty, Teachers Unions, and…Tax Cuts???

    Saturday, June 11th, 2011

    Ricardo Sanchez finally has a website up, though Google still can’t find it, and it was only announced on his Facebook page yesterday. I wonder why it took so long, since he announced back on May 11; it doesn’t take a month to put up a website.

    Also, he’s apparently going to be running as “Ric Sanchez,” though most of the media (save the Dallas Morning News) don’t appear to have gotten the memo.

    The website actually contains some policy substance, though you have to wade through lots of vague, boilerplate, focus-group tested blather to get to it:

  • Sanchez, after some hemming, hawing, and hand-wringing, supports the Dream Act illegal alien amnesty. Despite some vague comments on “enforcement of our existing immigration laws” and a nod to the drain illegal aliens put on state and federal budgets, there’s absolutely no mention of completing the border fence, and no mention of the narco-terrorist war raging in Mexico.
  • He also supports teachers unions. He mentions vouchers (but not school choice or charter schools), but in the sort of highly-qualified way that makes you think he only wants them for public schools. And he slams the No Child Left Behind Act, critics of which are not exclusive to the left.
  • So far, so standard for liberal Democrats. However, in “The Economy and Job Creation” section, in addition to the usual “green jobs,” “social safety net” and “infrastructure” blather all Obama-era Democrats parrot, there’s this: “The best approach to creating jobs in Texas is for us to provide tax cuts, incentives, and increase financing support for small businesses.” Never mind that the entire page is vague to the point of distraction, never mind that the words “budget deficit” and “national debt” are nowhere to be found; the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for the Texas Senate seat actually came out for tax cuts. Even more shocking is that there’s no mention of that holiest of Democratic talking points, “tax hikes on the rich.” Indeed, a Democratic candidate calling for tax cuts is so out of character that I feel compelled to take a screen shot in case the Nutroots read him the riot act and force him to scrub it, so here it is:

  • It’s in the third paragraph. Click to embiggen.

    Granted, anyone can say anything on their website; it doesn’t mean they believe in it, and it doesn’t mean they won’t jettison it ten minutes after they’ve won election. But for a major Democratic candidate to call for tax cuts not before the general election, but even before the Democratic primary, suggests that either Texas is even more conservative a state than even we on the right realize, or (and I mention this only as a possibility) Ricardo Sanchez actually believes in tax cuts as a way to create economic growth. That would put him in agreement with the all the major Republican candidates, but it’s pretty close to heresy in today’s Democratic Party.

    We’ll see what sort of reaction his positions get, assuming people can actually find his website…

    LinkSwarm for June 2, 2011

    Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

    Taking some time to get back into the post-Memorial Day swing, so here are a few links of interest:

  • California passes new Let’s-Drive-As-Much-Business-to-Texas-As-Possible law. Thanks, California Democrats!
  • Another interesting Michael Totten piece, this one on Jewish settlers in Hebron.
  • Just in case it wasn’t already blindingly obvious, the economy still sucks.
  • Holly Hansen covers Rick Perry’s conference call.
  • Stratfor on the ambush of a heavily armed convoy of drug cartel gunmen by another cartel. “In an environment where drug cartels can mass dozens of gunmen and arm them with powerful weapons like machine guns, .50-caliber sniper rifles, grenades and RPGs, there is no such thing as a force that is too big to be ambushed.” It also suggests that Mexican drug gunmen make incompetent soldiers.
  • Speaking of the drug war, something that produces a mass grave of 226 people has to be classified as a serious war…or a serious atrocity.
  • A freedom ranking of states. Texas comes in fifth. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • How “smart growth” policies helped contribute to the housing bubble. (Hat tip: Powerline.)
  • I haven’t been following Weinergate because so many others have, but I wanted to point out Ace of Spades shocking, inconceivable theory:

    We are all agreed that someone had an interest in sending a picture of Rep. Weiner’s erection to a coed. Even Rep. Weiner agrees on this much—he’s basically told us yeah, that’s my junk. And he’s proud of that. Would I sound very boring if I were to suggest that the person with the means, opportunity, and motive to send Rep. Weiner’s dicpic to the coed was none other than Rep. Weiner himself?

  • LinkSwarm for Monday, January 17, 2011

    Monday, January 17th, 2011

    Just got back from a family trip, so here’s a small LinkSwarm while I get back into the swing of things.

    • “For a decade, from the election of Bush 43 forward, the Left has lied and cheated as it tried to return to power. The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade. Bite me.”
    • The Texas Public Policy Foundation had their annual legislative orientation over the weekend, including one on border security issues, one of several Blue Dot Blues covered.
    • More than 40 year’s after Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, blacks are free to be anything they want to be…except Republicans.

    LinkSwarm for Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Saturday, November 20th, 2010

    Time for another LinkSwarm, with a good dollop of Texas political news:

    Nuevo Laredo Shootout Update

    Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

    Warning: Graphic Material Contained in Links Below

    Dwight linked to this after-action report on a two-hour gun-battle between the Mexican Army and members of drug cartel in Nuevo Laredo. (Warning: Includes some graphic images.)

    Later, some people pointed out that at least one of the images looked strangely familiar. Some commentators doubted whether such a gun-battle had even taken place at all.

    But there are many news bulletins about the battle itself. Also, the vast majority of those photos appear to be from that shootout, many of which are also shown here. (Again, remember that graphic clip warning. We’re talking serious, non-CGI exploded skulls here.) Of course, maybe that set of photos is from another shootout as well, but the photos do seem to be, at the very least, compatible with the (admittedly sketchy) news stories on the event.

    On the other hand, those stories of drug gangs taking over ranches on this side of the border appear to be bunk.

    El Paso vs. Juarez

    Monday, February 15th, 2010

    I’m not big on linking to The New York Times, and this is the sort of story that Dwight over at Whipped Cream Difficulties covers more than I, but this article reveals some pretty shocking details about the drug war going on in Juarez. Like the fact that Juarez had 250 homicides. Last month.

    By contrast, in 2008 (the most recent year I was able to find annual figures for), El Paso proper had 17 murders (plus another two for “other reporting areas,” which I take to mean unincorporated parts of the county). While it’s possible that the drug war across the border has increased that some, it’s fairly shocking to find out that more people are killed in Jaurez in a week than are killed in El Paso in a year. (Indeed going through each of the individual zip codes here, it appears that there have been no homicides so far in El Paso this year.)

    Why the vast difference? A few thoughts:

    • Say what you will about U.S. government officials, but they’re at least a couple of orders of magnitude less corrupt than their Mexican counterparts. If drug cartels started killing government officials on a regular basis, Uncle Tex and Uncle Sam would come down hard. The rule of law matters.

    • Honest police officers seem to be a luxury good; rich nations can afford them, poor nations can’t. There are, of course, exceptions, but I can’t help believing that the average American cop is much more likely to be honest and responsive
    • Guns don’t cause crime. Texas has some of the loosest gun laws in the U.S. Buy contrast, Mexico’s gun controls are fairly strict.
    • Would legalizing drugs in America help? Probably. But I doubt it would solve all the problems, which are large, systematic, and endemic.

    (Note that Reason (for which I’ve penned the occasional piece) covered this same paradox early last year, though I wasn’t aware of their article when I started working on this blog post. I do not agree with their conjecture that illegal immigration actually reduces crime, but pointing out problems with their reasoning would take a longer (and only tangentially related) blog post than I’m interested in penning to reply to a year-old piece.)

    Further reading: Articles from The El Paso Times on the situation in Juarez.