Archive for December, 2012

In Silvio Canto’s podcast

Monday, December 31st, 2012

US-Latin America: The year in review, live at 6PM Eastern, and available at your convenience after.

A Canadian Rock Star and the Pacific Rim Fab Four
Only 11% of Chile’s population is living in poverty now, according to a recent U.N. report

I said “Chavez is in Caracas”, when I should have said he’s in CUBA, aargh!

Benghazi: Hillary should still testify once she recovers

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said.

She is expected to remain at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor her condition and treat her with anti-coagulants, said Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.

I wish her a prompt and full recovery. This can be a most serious condition.

There are a number of questions, though,

“Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion,” Reines said.

Head concussions do not cause leg or lung clots.

Was she ever evaluated in an Emergency Department? Did she even go to the hospital? Did she undergo head CT scanning? This is standard of care for head trauma patients.

As I understand it, a complication such as a blood clot is only found in polytrauma patients, in which case the question of did she ever go to a hospital for the concussion is more important. Particularly since it prevented her from testifying on Benghazi.

What’s Happening to Hillary? Only a clod would say the clot is a plot!

We weren’t told the site of said blood clot. Was it her brain (recently concussed)? Was it her leg (where she had a blood clot back in 1998)? The former is a big deal, the latter, not so much. Why not specify the site, since it make such a big difference, medically? Oh, but we’re told we must not display any skepticism, any hint of suspicion that the SOS is trying to avoid having to testify about Benghazi. The woman is ill. Only a clod would say a clot was a plot.

How serious is Hillary’s condition?

We are left with a story that is not easy to connect up with sparse information from the inside crowd, who could easily deflate speculation with two or three more measly facts.

Back to Althouse:

The suppression of information — the site of the clot — suggests 2 radically different theories: 1. fakery/exaggeration to evade testimony, or 2. something horribly serious.

Let’s pray that she will soon recover in full; after which, she should testify on Benghazi.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.



are you saying that Hillary (who has a history of DVT’s) suffered an intracranial hemorrhage 3 weeks ago that went unnoticed by herself and her crackerjack team and did not so much as require a visit to the ER or a simple CT head scan?

The New Year’s Eve Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Argentina Court Declines Intervention in Media Case

Argentina Congress hosts “Islam for peace” seminar

Muslims sense of belonging in Argentina, ratifying their right and proud to be Argentine citizens, challenges the sense of injustice that the Muslim community faces, unjustly, in the 21st century-world.

via Gates of Vienna

Spain’s Iberdrola Has 4 Units Taken Over by Bolivian State

Coca Licensing Is a Weapon in Bolivia’s Drug War

High Stakes in Brazil After Outage
A day after power outages left travelers at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport in the dark, President Dilma Rousseff tried to calm fears that Brazil was facing the kind of energy shortages that upended national politics a decade ago.

Corruption in Brazil
A healthier menu
As the historic trial of those guilty of a legislative votes-for-cash scheme draws to a close, Brazilians digest the verdict

Obituary: Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribiero de Almeida de Niemeyer Soares Filho, architect, died on December 5th, aged 104

Sister of Colombian Drug Cartel’s Founder Killed

We came, we saw, we were appalled

Hillary shall remain concussed while in Punta Cana

Banana Republic v. Chevron

Latin America, the Mideast, and the Pope

Cartels Clash in Mexican Town
Armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men, then dumped their bodies as part of a war between Mexico’s two most powerful cartels.

Old PRI, new PRI? In Mexico, a New Approach to Stanching Drug Violence

Mr. Peña Nieto’s six-point program includes better government planning; increased intergovernmental coordination; protection of human rights; more social investments and crime-prevention programs; additional evaluation of government programs; and institution building.

It also proposes a 10,000-member force to secure municipalities and states where law enforcement is powerless against organized crime. The administration has said it will focus on street gangs and criminals employed by the cartels, a shift from former President Felipe Calderón’s emphasis on eliminating top drug trafficking bosses.

Paraguay’s awful history
The never-ending war
How a terrible but little-known conflict continues to shape and blight a nation

Puerto Rico Introduces New Guidelines for Hate Crimes

Latino Muslims are shaping a new US identity, via Gates of Vienna

Seven more Years!

The week’s posts:
Mexico: 120-yard tunnel near the Nogales entry into Arizona

Where will Assad go?

Argentina: Squeeze and “creativity”

Benghazi “sloppiness”

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Yesterday on Meet the Press,

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Some individuals have been held accountable inside of the State Department and what I’ve said is that we are going to fix this to make sure that this does not happen again, because these are folks that I send into the field. We understand that there are dangers involved but, you know, when you read the report and it confirms what we had already seen, you know, based on some of our internal reviews; there was just some sloppiness, not intentional, in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies. So we’re doing a thorough-going review. Not only will we implement all the recommendations that were made, but we’ll try to do more than that. You know, with respect to who carried it out, that’s an ongoing investigation. The FBI has sent individuals to Libya repeatedly. We have some very good leads, but this is not something that, you know, I’m going to be at liberty to talk about right now.


The murders of four Americans during a seven-hour long attack, due to “sloppiness”?

Twitter users are rightfully outraged by President Obama’s callous dismissal of the incompetence that caused the tragic deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.


Again, Mr. President — you’re trying to install an unsupported narrative here. This embassy was vulnerable for at least the 6 months prior to the attack on September 11th; it had been attacks twiceprior.  The security of this consulate was already at a dangerously low level.  There were warningsthree days before the attack, which were ignored. Even the Ambassador himself asked multiple times for more security. Instead of granting those requests, his security was actually cut back. (Related: State Department withdrew 16-member special forces team from Benghazi one month before 9/11/12 terrorist attack)

This is not about sloppiness. Sloppiness implies security was implemented, but did it in a manner leaving things in a state disarray. Mr. President, you didn’t implement anything, you removed it and in doing so, thereby leaving your Ambassador Stevens and his staff wide open to attacks. Attacks this administration was warned about from several sources. What transpired wasn’t sloppiness, it was criminal.

In other news, Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen has offered to pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country.

Linked by Hot Air (thank you!),

Ahem. Obama conducted an unauthorized war against Moammar Qaddafi that decapitated the regime the previous year, which gave free reign to networks of Islamist terrorists in eastern Libya. That was no secret; in fact, it was pretty well known that those “militias” participated in the uprising we enabled. There had been a series of attacks on Western interests by these networks in 2012 before the September 11th attack that killed four Americans, including a few attempts on Americans before that. Despite all this data, State deliberately dismissed military security for the consulate and insisted it could rely on local militias for security.

And this is “just some sloppiness, not intentional”?

This year’s favorite gift: the mini-crockpot

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

1.5 quarts is big enough to cook a stew containing 1.5 lbs. of meat, plus vegetables, which will feed at least two. The inner pot comes out, can be taken to the table, and is dishwasher safe.

My friend gave me one for Christmas, and I love it!

Venezuela: Those pesky rumors

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Here’s what’s known:
Hugo Chávez hasn’t tweeted since November 1st. His family and his VP are now in Cuba, supposedly at his bedside. Evo Morales had traveled to Havana but was not allowed to visit with Chavez. The Chavez government released 11 political prisoners last night.

Here’s the speculation:
A lot of people think he’s dead; others say he’s in an induced coma.

Venezuelan Dr. Jose Rafael Marquina, tweeting from Naples, Florida, has been saying that Chávez had a pulmonary embolism, but that, even when Dr. Marquina has no updates, Chávez’s “condition can not get more serious.”

Journalist Nelson Bocaranda, who’s traveling in South Africa, tweeted that the news from Havana is not good, which is why the VP and other ministers met at the hospital in Havana.

So, as you can see, we have again endless rumors about a Latin American dictator dying or not in Cuba.

As I have said multiple times about Fidel Castro, I’ll believe it once the official announcements are made, the corpse is shown to the public, and the CSI people can confirm it’s him.

Until then, the only “advantage” dictators get from that excellent free Cuban healthcare is a cloak of secrecy.

Hillary shall remain concussed while in Punta Cana

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Hillary hospitalized with blood clot.

Hillary, who shall remain concussed until next week, has taken her concussion on holiday to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Gateway Pundit posts that Hillary Clinton So Sick She Had to Travel to Punta Cana Resort to Celebrate the New Year.

The poor woman will not only be nursing her concussion at the tropical resort, she’ll also be nursing her hangover in Bill’s presence,

According to press reports, the Clintons will celebrate New Year’s at the Puntacana Resort & Club and could also attend a fashion show scheduled for December 29, which will be held in honor of famous Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta.

Worse yet, Anna Wintour will be at the party. “Just don’t be late!”


Linked by Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!

State Dept. Says Clintons Are Not Partying in Dominican Republic as Was Reported; where are they partying, then?

Did she have a facelift, maybe?

Mexico: 120-yard tunnel near the Nogales entry into Arizona

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Mexican Authorities Find Smuggling Tunnel Equipped With Electricity Near Border

Mexican authorities have discovered a sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with electricity and ventilation not far from the Nogales port of entry into Arizona, U.S. and Mexican officials said Friday.

The Mexican army said the tunnel was found Thursday after authorities received an anonymous call in the border city of Nogales, Sonora, south of Arizona. U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed that the Mexican military had discovered the football field-long tunnel with elaborate electricity and ventilation systems.

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Victor Brabble said the tunnel did not cross into the U.S.

This is not the first, nor the only; in fact,

More than 70 such tunnels have been found since October 2008, most of them concentrated along the border in California and Arizona. In Nogales, Arizona, smugglers tap into vast underground drainage canals.

In other drug war news, the war is not only against law enforcement, it’s also cartel vs. cartel, for territory:Nine slain in Mexican town as cartels clash in Sinaloa

A group of armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field as part of a war between Mexico’s two most powerful cartels, officials said Wednesday.
Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez said the town of El Platanar de Los Ontiveros had become part of a dispute between the Sinaloa cartel controlled by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted man, and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva cartel who have allied themselves with the Zetas, a paramilitary organized-crime group founded by ex-members of the Mexican special forces.

Another cartel fight is raging to the south, along the border between the state of Jalisco and Michoacan. At least seven people have been killed in the area since Sunday. Officials in both states said Wednesday they could not confirm local media reports of more than a dozen new deaths in clashes in the area. Michoacan authorities did report the slaying of a mother and her three children in the capital, Morelia, which has been mostly spared the worst of the state’s drug violence.
Prosecutors said 41-year-old Maria Elena Lopez Bautista and her 19-year-old daughter and 18- and 13-year-old sons appeared to have been tied hand and foot with wire and burned to death inside their home on Monday.
Officials did not speculate on the motive for the crime, but the border with Jalisco has been hit by clashes between Michoacan’s dominant Knights Templar cartel, and the New Generation cartel that operates in much of Jalisco.

With the PRI back in power in Mexico, and marijuana legalization in the USA, 2013 will be an interesting year.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.


Friday, December 28th, 2012

Roger Kimball ponders Putin’s pawns,

What I’m thinking about at the moment is not jailed pop singers, murdered journalists, or poisoned former KGB agents.  There are plenty of those.  No, I’m thinking about Russia’s most helpless citizens (subjects?), the babies who might have been adopted by American families eager for children.  In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, you could be shot for trying to escape.  In the bad new days, Putin signs a bill banning U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. “Russian officials,” The Wall Street Journal reports, “portrayed the latest legislation as a tit-for-tat retaliation against a new U.S. law that seeks to punish Russians accused of human-rights violations.”  Right.  Leave aside the question of whether the U.S. law in question makes political sense.  The outrage here is that Putin responds by punishing his own citizens, denying them freedom and a chance for a better life in America. “Critics allege that the law makes political pawns out of Russian orphans,” the WSJ writes, noting that their “living conditions can be dire and prospects for adoption often slim.”  That about sums it up.

Nor are Russian babies the only pawns in this game.  The legislation that Putin signed today also bans U.S. charities from operating in Russia, thus depriving Russians of the sustenance those many charities offer.

Putin’s all about his power.

Hillary shall remain concussed until next week UPDATED

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Just yesterday Dr. Krauthammer was saying,

“We haven’t heard anything. We know as much about her concussion as we know about (Venezuelan president) Hugo Chavez. This is an open society, she is the secretary of state, she has disappeared,” said Krauthammer, who called the media’s handling of the Benghazi story since Sept. 11 “astonishing.”

Today we hear that Hillary Clinton, post-concussion, back to work next week.

No word as to when she’ll testify about Beneghazi, but there’s reason to believe she may be expecting a gallbladder attack any day now.

Senate Republicans refuse to confirm Kerry until Hillary testifies about Benghazi