mexicocontrol

80% of Mexico Is Controlled by Cartels

The map above, prepared by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), shows that 80 percent of the country’s 266 districts recently targeted for enforcement by the Mexican National Guard in a new counter-cartel operation are either controlled (57.5 percent) or disputed (23.3 percent) by the cartels. All of the major cities and all of the main border crossing areas in Mexico are no longer considered by the Mexican government to be under their control.  Of course, the Cartels make their money primarily by smuggling drugs and people into the US.  You can read more details here.

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This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense. The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president. Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation. The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only because Democrats will not fund border security. My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

 – President Donald Trump, 1/8/19, Full speech transcript available here.

Historian Victor Hanson Davis provides his usual insight and understanding to the Mueller Affair.  Here is a long-ish excerpt with a link to the full analysis at the end.

Russian Collusion

The 13 Russian nationals whom Mueller symbolically indicted will not come to the U.S. to face trial, and they will certainly not be extradited, a fact known by Mueller.

Yet Christopher Steele, a British subject and de facto unregistered foreign agent, is imminently indictable and extraditable. He was paid through two firewalls (Fusion GPS and Perkins Coie) by Hillary Clinton to tap Russian sources to compile a smear dossier on her opponent, with the intent of warping the U.S. election — a classic example of foreign-agent interference in an American campaign. If we were to take away that one purchased document, then the FISA court warrants, the informants, and all the CIA, FBI, and DOJ machinations would likely have disappeared or never arisen.

Obama-administration officials Bruce Ohr (whose wife worked on the dossier) at Justice, James Comey at the FBI, and John Brennan at the CIA all in some manner colluded with Steele, either directly or indirectly, to monitor the Trump campaign and then to seed the dossier among government agencies and courts, both to ensure its leakage and to brand it with a stamp of official seriousness, warranting investigations and media sensationalism.

Speaking of FBI informants, quite a different one has testified that Putin’s Russia had sent millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm, in hopes of persuading Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to use her influence with federal officials to close the so-called Rosatom Uranium One deal. At roughly the same time, Bill Clinton was given a lucrative half-million-dollar fee for speaking in Moscow, while millions of dollars from Uranium One investors had poured into the Clinton Foundation — which after Clinton’s 2016 defeat has seen its contributions precipitously decline.

In another related matter of Russian collusion, Barack Obama in a hot-mic exchange with then–Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, in March 2012, eight months before Obama’s reelection, asked Medvedev to give Putin the assurance that if Putin would give Obama “space” during his reelection campaign, then Obama in turn would have “more flexibility” on issues such as missile defense “after my election.” That quid pro quo was clarified six months later when an unusually quiet Putin darkly announced to the world that any deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile-defense systems would be targeted against Russia in a Romney administration — as compared with the actions in supposedly less bellicose Obama presidency. And after expressing no interest in interfering in an American election, Putin clearly made it evident that he preferred an Obama victory.

Most observers now laugh off this entire sordid incident. But in the present climate, if Donald Trump had been caught in a similar hot-mic exchange with a top Russian official, and had Putin later expressed the idea that he preferred a Trump presidency to a Democratic one, and had U.S.-led missile-defense efforts abruptly stalled in Eastern Europe, then Robert Mueller would be hot on Trump’s trail — given that such an overt quid pro quo, benefiting a candidate’s reelection campaign, is far more explicit than anything Mueller’s 18-month investigation has yet turned up. – One-Eyed-Jack Law, Victor Hanson Davis (via NRO)

Recently, a cable news personality made provocative claims about who the “real” terrorists are threatening this country.  So I decided to review the data.

In the last 20 years, over 3000 Americans have been killed on US soil by radical Islamists. The number killed by white “right-wing extremists” is less than 100. (The worst attack committed by a right-wing terrorist is the Oklahoma City bombing from the 90’s, when 168 people were killed.) It is true that the numbers killed by these groups are much closer during the Trump years, but that’s because there are far fewer terrorist attacks under Trump than Obama. 70 Americans were killed on US soil by radicalized Muslims between 2013 and 2016. That’s many more IN TOTAL than have been killed in the US by terrorists of any type since then.

Of course, any terrorist act committed by any criminal is to be condemned.  Terrorists and violent criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law regardless of their motivations, background or race.  (That’s how the law is supposed to work.)  And journalists should do their job and use facts when presenting news about terrorism, not just their feelings or political views.

If you would like to check my numbers, here are some good resources:  US Terrorist Attacks Fast Facts (CNN), Countering Violent Extremism (US GAO), Terrorism in the United States (Wikipedia)Note that none of these includes the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting where 11 people were murdered.  Details here.

In 2013, Beijing launched the belt and road plan, a global development blueprint involving about 60 countries from Asia, Europe to Africa to stimulate economic growth with large-scale capital investment and infrastructure construction projects.

Two years later, China started printing 100-rupee notes for Nepal, Liu wrote in an article in China Finance, a bi-monthly journal run by China’s central bank in May.

Since then the company had “seized the opportunities brought by the initiative” and “successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland,” he said.

But that could be just the tip of the iceberg. The actual number of countries that have or plan to outsource currency printing to China could be much bigger, according to one source in the corporation. Some governments have asked Beijing not to publicise the deal because they are worried such information could compromise national security or trigger “unnecessary debates at home”, the person said.

Read the full article here.