Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

10 questions for Obama (That won’t be asked or answered tonight)

March 24, 2009

Politico has offered ten possible questions for the media to ask of President Obama tonight.

Here are a few of my own:

Why should we enact card check?

China says their factories make goods for the U.S., thus the pollution in China is U.S. pollution and Americans should pay to clean it up.  What say you President Obama?

What in the consitution gives the U.S. the right to tax anyone like AIG executives at 90% and what gives the U.S., in the constitution, the authority to take over businesses?

Your kids go to private schools in Washington DC.  But poor parents will lose their vouchers if the government of the District has their way.  If this a good thing?

See:
http://www.politico.com/news/st
ories/0309/20422.html

From Politico (the entire essay is very good and is at the link):

1) You’ve dismissed the stock market’s frequent zig-zags, but do you think Monday’s rally in the Dow amounted to a Wall Street stamp of approval for your bank bailout plan?

2) Given that 15 of the top 20 AIG bonus recipients are now returning their bonuses, do you think the House acted too hastily to pass a bill levying a punitive tax on those individuals?

3) You talked on “60 Minutes” about missing the ability to talk to everyday Americans, but can you tell them for a moment how this economic downturn is impacting you and your family? 

4) Wall Street is, understandably, coming in for significant blame over the current financial crisis. But what responsibility, if any, do average Americans bear for the problem?

5) On health care, you included a government-run insurance option in your campaign platform. Is that a must for comprehensive legislation? Also, some in your own party have expressed concern about paying for healthcare by, in effect, raising taxes on upper-income taxpayers, as you have proposed. Are you willing to pay for it through other means?

6) How many appointees have received waivers from your new ethics rules barring lobbyists from working in government?

7) Larry Summers told New York Magazine last summer that he hoped you didn’t believe what you said about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while you were touting your opposition to the treaty on the campaign trail. So where do you stand now — will changing NAFTA become a priority for you, or not?

8) Throughout the campaign, you said Afghanistan represented the central front in the battle against Islamic terrorism but on “60 Minutes,” you said there must an “exit strategy.” How long do you expect to keep American troops on the ground there?

9) Appearing before a crowd chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei rebuffed your video outreach to this country last week. Is there any hope of reaching a new, less contentious relationship with Iran?

10) Most modern presidents have found it useful to confer with the other living presidents because of their unique insights and perspective. Can you tell us which presidents you have consulted since entering the White House and generally what you discussed?

Related:
Obamagasm Media: Start Asking Questions; The Budget Is Full of Them

Obama Believers Thought They’d Hear More On Immigration By Now

Teleprompter White House: Packaged People, Messages

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/24/bre
aking-news-arlen-specter-acts-like-a-c
onservative-for-once/

Advertisements

Immigration embers could turn into political fire for Obama

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, already burdened with pushing through the president’s massive agenda, seem to be sidestepping the issue of illegal immigration.

But with Hispanics expecting big things from the party they helped put in control of Washington last year, fancy footwork won¹t be enough. Hispanic lawmakers went to the White House last week to find out why Obama’s overflowing agenda left out the immigration reform he promised during his campaign.

By Susan Ferrechio
The Examiner

Days before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had drawn criticism when she told an audience in San Francisco that some raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency are “un-American” because they separate illegal immigrant parents from their U.S.-born children.

The remarks brought quick denunciations from opponents of illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But putting a halt to such raids has been one of the top priorities for Hispanic leaders. At their meeting with Obama last week, the Hispanic lawmakers managed to get the president to pledge that he is “pursuing ways”
to end such raids.

That may be the closest Obama gets to reforming immigration anytime soon.

“Immigration reform makes Social Security reform look like a walk in the park,” said former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas., who chaired the House Democratic Caucus from 1999-2003. “It is the single toughest, meanest subject Congress has to deal with. Given the scope of the problems they are facing right now it would be very hard to put immigration reform into the mix.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/
politics/Immigration-embers-could-tu
rn-into-political-fire-41631172.html

Related:
 La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

immigrants protest INS raids
“Stop the racist raids” signs are held by Latino activists as they protest recent immigration raids across the country at a demonstration and news conference in front of the downtown Federal Building December 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was met with “profound disappointment” by the National Council of La Raza. The Latino advocacy group would have preferred another candidate.

But La Raza will get over its disappointment once they learn more about Perez. Maryland is one of three states that gives driver’s licenses to people without worrying if they recently snuck across the border. Perez, a former Clinton administration official, lives in Takoma Park, Md., a “sanctuary city” that allows illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. He’s also a former president and board member of Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit group that receives millions of tax dollars — in addition to a $1.5 million donation from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Casa is suing Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the first Maryland sheriff to participate in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program, which deputizes local police forces to enforce federal immigration laws. In just 10 months, 309 of 337 illegal immigrants arrested in Frederick have been slated for deportation — including MS-13 gang members, a Nicaraguan sniper, and others with drug, child abuse, rape and burglary convictions.

On March 4, Sheriff Jenkins told the House Committee on Homeland Security that his first 287(g) case involved a man caught driving drunk in a school zone. For doing his job and protecting his community, Jenkins now stands accused by Casa of breaking the law.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Ariz., is also under investigation — by the same Justice Dept. office that Perez will soon head — for alleged racial profiling in dealing with illegal immigrants. His accusers include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, whose city has become America’s kidnapping capital — where drug cartel thugs intimidate terrified Mexican nationals. Ten Republican congressmen warn that targeting Arpaio will have a chilling effect on other law enforcement agencies battling Baghdad-like levels of drug violence now spilling over our southern border.

James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says only a three-pronged approach will quell this ongoing invasion: Beef up law enforcement in Mexico, promote strong community policing in border states, and follow up with integrated prosecution efforts at the federal, state and local levels. “Without those three things, you don’t have a strategy,” Carafano says. With Perez at Justice, La Raza will be pleased to learn, at least two of these essentials will go by the boards during the Obama administration.

The Examiner
http://www.sfexaminer.com/opin
ion/41604157.html

Trade Barriers Could Threaten Global Economy

March 18, 2009

At least 17 of the 20 major nations that vowed at a November summit to avoid protectionist steps that could spark a global trade war have violated that promise, with countries from Russia to the United States to China enacting measures aimed at limiting the flow of imported goods, according to a World Bank report unveiled yesterday. 

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer

The report underscores a “worrying” trend toward protectionism as countries rush to shield their ailing domestic industries during the global economic crisis. It comes one day after Mexico vowed to slap new restrictions on 90 U.S. products. That action is being taken in retaliation against Washington for canceling a program that allowed Mexican truck drivers the right to transport goods across the United States, illustrating the tit-for-tat responses that experts fear could grow in coming months.

The report comes ahead of an April 2 summit in London in which the heads of state from those 20 industrialized and developing economies will seek to shape a coordinated response to the economic crisis. Their inability to keep their November promises is another indication of how difficult it will be to implement any agreement reached next month on a global scale.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy
n/content/article/2009/03/17/AR200
9031703218.html?hpid=topnews

Obama: Mexico Tests His Free Trade Talk

March 17, 2009

A long-simmering trade dispute boiled over into sanctions on Monday after Mexico said it would raise tariffs on $2.4bn of US exports in retaliation for ending a pilot programme to allow Mexican trucks on American roads.

By Alan Beattie in Washington
and Adam Thomson in Mexico City
Financial Times
.
The announcement marks one of the first big tests for trade policy under President Barack Obama, who has sought to tread a fine line between assuaging his domestic constituencies and upholding the US’s international obligations.

Mexico said it would increase tariffs on 90 industrial and agricultural goods, likely to include politically sensitive farm products, after Congress last week killed a pilot programme allowing a limited number of Mexican trucks on American highways. Mexico obtained a judicial ruling in 2001 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) allowing it to impose such sanctions, but has held off since the US introduced the pilot scheme.

The sanctions, which Mexican officials say are set to be imposed later this week, will be one of the largest acts of retaliation against US exports. US goods exports to Mexico totalled $151.5bn last year. On Monday, Gerardo Ruíz Mateos, Mexico’s economy minister, said: “We believe that the action taken by the US is wrong, protectionist and in clear violation of Nafta.”

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ce24
31c4-126b-11de-b816-0000779fd2ac.html

Obama’s Wimpy Response:
http://petemurphy.wordpress.com/200
9/03/17/wimpy-response-by-obama-to
-mexican-trade-challenge/

Obama Can’t Ignore Mexico, Latin America:

 Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”
.
Pressuring Obama: International Actors Take Risks Amid Uncertainty

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

41% Say U.S. Focus on Economy Raises Risk of Terrorist Attack

March 12, 2009

“He who defends everything, defends nothing,” said Frederick II (1712-1786).

President Barack Obama is defending everything: the economy, earmarks, his health care plan, environmental plan, energy plan, education reform, government spending, bigger government, the rights to free and open seas (re: China), a stronger U.N., an encircled North Korea, the Muslim world, the power of negotiations (with Syria, Iran, and others), the ramp up of troops in Afghanistan, etc.

You get the idea.

In many ways I see this president as going the right things.  But then again he is doing everything.

He is pro-immigration and today he said he’d send troops to our border with Mexico, maybe.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/12/obamas-border-talk-i-call-bull/

Michelle doubts that.

But then again: doesn’t everything depend upon the economy; followed closely by national security and stoppong terrorists?

But terrorists and terrorism are gone from our public discussion….deleted from the Obama lexicon.

Hmmm.

*****************

From Rasmussen Reports
.
Forty-one percent (41%) of U.S. voters worry that America’s preoccupation with the ongoing economic crisis will make us more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

But 43% disagree and say it’s not a concern while 16% are not sure.

Forty percent (40%) also say America has more enemies than friends among the nations of the world, although 44% say we have more friends.

Voters are closely divided, too, over whether the current worldwide economic crisis is more likely to create tension between the United States and other nations or more likely to foster cooperation. Forty-four percent (44%) see more tension to come, while 43% expect greater cooperation between America and other countries.

Confidence in how America is doing in the War on Terror dropped dramatically in late February, but it is not yet clear whether the numbers are a statistical blip or a reflection of recent news developments.

Iran continues to be the country the plurality of voters (35%) expect to be the first to seriously test the Obama Administration. Nineteen percent (19%) say North Korea will be the new president’s first major threat, while 12% predict China. Eight percent (8%) say Russia will be the first serious challenger, but one-out-of-four voters (25%) are not sure which country is the greater threat.

Read the rest:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_con
tent/politics/general_politics2/41_say_u_s_
focus_on_economy_raises_risk_of_terrorist_attack

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

March 12, 2009

President Obama weighed in Wednesday on the escalating drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that he was looking at possibly deploying National Guard troops to contain the violence but ruled out any immediate military move.

“We’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense,” Obama said during an interview with journalists for regional papers, including a McClatchy reporter.

By Maria Recio | McClatchy Newspapers

“I don’t have a particular tipping point in mind,” he said. “I think it’s unacceptable if you’ve got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens.”

Read the rest:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2
27/story/63800.html

Top U.S. Military Leader Offers Help to Mexico; Briefs Obama

March 7, 2009

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques after returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels.

Mexico could borrow from U.S. tactics in the fight against terrorism as it battles a crisis of drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques.

Adm. Mike Mullen would not be specific about what kind of intelligence or surveillance help the United States might offer, but said he saw ways to employ experience the United States has gained in the ongoing hunt for extremists and terrorists.

He would not say whether there may already be U.S. drones flying over bloodstained cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where 17 bodies came into the morgue on one day recently, including the city police force’s second-in-command and three other officers.

“Obviously it affects us because of the relationship between the two countries,” Mullen said during a telephone news conference as he flew to Washington following meetings in Mexico, his last stop.

Mullen referred to the spike in violence as a crisis, and said it occupied much of his discussions with Mexican military leaders.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence this year. In 2008, the toll doubled from the previous year to 6,290. Both the U.S. and Canada have warned that murders related to drug activity in certain parts of Mexico, particularly along the border with the U.S., raised the level of risk in visiting the country.

There are signs the violent competition among Mexican drug and smuggling cartels is spilling across the border, as cities in Arizona report increases in such crimes as home invasions. More than 700 people were arrested as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating inside the United States, the Justice Department said last month.

Last weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he also saw opportunities for the U.S. military to help with military training, resources and intelligence.

“I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past. Some of the old biases against cooperation with our — between our militaries and so on, I think, are being set aside,” Gates said in an interview that aired last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It clearly is a serious problem,” he said.

Related:
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/o
bama-mullen-discuss-mexicos-drug-wars/

******

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

President Barack Obama was briefed Saturday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen about the drug wars in Mexico and wanted to know how the United States can help.

“Clearly one of the things the president was interested in was the U.S military capability that may or may not apply to our cooperation with the Mexicans,” said a U.S. military official who requested anonymity because the discussions were private. “He was very interested in what kind of military capabilities may be applied.”

Mullen briefed Obama Saturday morning about discussions with Mexican military leaders about the drug wars there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
8/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mexico_9

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/america
s/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/index.html

http://mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com/200
9/03/03/factbox-ciudad-juarez-mexicos-m
ost-violent-city/

Mexican Drug War Inside The U.S.: Phoenix Now Kidnap Capital

February 12, 2009
Juan Francisco Perez-Torres was abducted last month in front of his home and ransom demanded. Hundreds of such incidents occur each year in Phoenix, and Mexican drug-smuggling is usually involved.
By Sam Quinones
Los Angeles Times
February 12, 2009
Reporting from Phoenix — In broad daylight one January afternoon, on a street of ranch-style houses with kidney-shaped swimming pools, Juan Francisco Perez-Torres was kidnapped in front of his wife, daughter and three neighbors.

Two men with a gun grabbed the 34-year-old from his van and dragged him 50 yards to a waiting SUV. His wife threw rocks at the car, then gave chase in her own SUV. Neighbors in northwest Phoenix called police. Yet when police found her later, she at first denied there was a problem.

….

Arizona has become the new drug gateway into the United States. Roughly half of all marijuana seized along the U.S.-Mexico border was taken on the state’s 370-mile border with Mexico.
.
One result is an epidemic of kidnapping that many residents are barely aware of. Indeed, most every other crime here is down. But police received 366 kidnapping-for-ransom reports last year, and 359 in 2007. Police estimate twice that number go unreported.

In September, police spun off a separate detective unit to handle only these smuggling-related kidnappings and home-invasion robberies. Its detectives are now considered among the country’s most expert in those crimes.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/
nation/la-na-drug-kidnappings12-2009feb12
,0,1264800.story?track=rss

Related:
Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21
.
Torture, Murder of Top Mexican Anti-Drug Man; “Out of Control” Drug War

Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21

February 11, 2009

Mexican soldiers fought gun battles with drug cartel hitmen near the U.S. border on Tuesday after gangsters abducted local police in violence that killed 21 people and left bodies strewn in the desert.

By Julian Cardona
Reuters

Soldiers pursued the hitmen through freezing desert in the northern state of Chihuahua after they dragged nine people, including some police, out of houses and shot six of them at a ranch in the early hours of Tuesday, the army said.

Heavily armed soldiers burst into the ranch, near the Texan border, and shot dead several of the hitmen, later chasing another group by helicopter before killing them too, army spokesman Enrique Torres said from the area.

“The bodies were strewn across the desert outside the nearby town of Villa Ahumada,” said Torres. An army sergeant was among the dead.

It was one of the bloodiest scenes this year in a spiraling drug war that killed more than 5,700 people across Mexico in 2008, damaging the public’s faith in President Felipe Calderon and raising fears of a spillover into the United States.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090211/
wl_nm/us_mexico_drugs