In the U.S., the Establishment is on the Run

The waking of the United States of America has begun.  All over the country, incumbents traditionally in bed with corporations have been voted out of office again and again and again.  Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states saw the break of dawn with different eyes as grassroots supported candidates took over senate seats from Establishment candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.  While only a few years ago people simply could not see through the smoke screen called partisan politics, it took many Americans only six months to realize that Obama was just another disappointment.  Therefore, many of the President’s allies are now being booted out of office.  The massive awakening has started.  May this awakening serve as an example for more Americans to keep on fighting for liberty and freedom.  May this movement infect patriots in other countries so they also defeat the tyranny of the Establishment, the Globalists and their conquest agenda.

Politico

Rand Paul, the first-time candidate for elective office who has emerged as a symbol of the national tea party’s clout in Republican politics, appears to have clinched the GOP’s nomination for this state’s open Senate seat – in a victory certain to jolt the political order in Kentucky and across the country.

The 47-year-old Bowling Green ophthalmologist – who until last year was best known for being the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whose staunch libertarian views have spawned a national grassroots following – knocked off Trey Grayson, the Kentucky secretary of state who had been the favorite of this state’s political heavyweights, most notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back,” Paul, with his parents and the rest of his family by his side, declared to roaring supporters at a posh country club here in his hometown.

With his attention-grabbing views railing on Washington and its ballooning budget deficits, the fire-breathing Paul successfully connected with this state’s furious Republican primary voters, something that the more subdued Grayson was unable to accomplish in the fight to replace the retiring two-term Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).

“The electorate is pissed,” said Mike Shea, a long-time political adviser to McConnell. “Rand did a really good job of tapping into those themes and tapping into that anger. Trey is a nice guy, but in his commercials and everything else, he seemed completely unable to generate any kind of dialogue to indicate he was tapping into that. If you meet him, he didn’t seem like he was angry.”

With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Paul appeared poised to seize a huge victory – leading Grayson by 59 percent to 35 percent of the vote. The Associated Press projected that Paul would win the race.

A packed crowd here at the Bowling Green Country Club let out a loud cheer when the AP projected the race for Paul, who was expected to address some 100 activists here later Tuesday.

But many of the Paul supporters had expected nothing less than resounding victory.

“I kind of expected it actually,” said Brent Young, a 45-year-old tea party activist who works with a local firm researching swine production. “I’ve really been a big supporter of his dad, and I really hope he can be elected in November. Time will tell but we really do think he’s a different kind of politician – and hopefully send a message to the GOP that we want something different.”

Paul is expected to face either Lt. Gov Daniel Mongiardo or state Attorney General Jack Conway, who are in the middle of a neck-and-neck battle for the Democratic nomination. Conway’s views are more in line with the Democratic base’s positions, and he is seen by national Democrats as a safer choice. But Mongiardo is seen as more unpredictable on the campaign trail, though his conservative views that break with the White House could appeal to rural and right-leaning voters. Conway is leading the race in early returns.

While polls showed Paul building a comfortable lead in the final weeks of the primary campaign, his win is still poised to send a shockwave threw the Republican establishment. It’s the first clear statewide victory by the disparate national tea party movement, which propelled his victory based on his calls for radical reforms to Washington, including imposing term limits on senators, mandating Congress be more sensitive to its constitutional prerogatives, constitutionally mandate Congress to balance its budget and force all legislation to directly apply to lawmakers. Absent from Paul’s campaign was much focus on socially conservative and national security views that have generated enthusiasm among tea party supporters in other states.

Conway was leading the race by just two percentage points with 92 percent of the precincts reporting.

“It’s not a real good time for any individual to be in a political position,” Republican state Sen. Carroll Gibson said simply.

Tuesday’s voting turnout appeared lighter than usual in much of the state, due to inclement weather and a lack of a presidential contest this midterm season. The day was colored by allegations from the Grayson camp that Paul’s supporters had been intimidating voters outside polling stations and had improperly sought to verify that voting machines were properly being used, allegations Paul firmly rejected.

Paul appears to have his work cut out for him uniting a divided GOP electorate here. A Public Policy Pollingmemo issued Tuesday found that 53 percent of likely Grayson voters had an unfavorable view of Paul, and 43 percent said firmly they would not vote for the tea party-favorite.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Paul said nothing about Grayson and declined to extend an olive branch to his opponent’s supporters. Instead, he launched a fierce attack on President Barack Obama, accusing him of “apologizing” to the dictators and running the country towards socialism.

Beyond that, he’ll have to face a newly energized Democratic Party, which views his victory as a bright spot in an otherwise dim election year since it puts the Republican-held seat immediately in play. Already, Democrats are planning to pounce on a number of Paul’s more politically controversial views, including his calls to eliminate the Education Department, severely cut agriculture subsidies to farmers here and his advocacy for increasing the age for Social Security eligibility.

“Sometimes people run primaries different than they run general elections,” Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of theNational Republican Senatorial Committee, told POLITICO when asked if he were concerned that Paul’s views would make him unelectable in a general election. “We’ll see what happens.”

But Paul said he will not “weave and dodge” from the tea party’s message, and he insisted that he will not moderate in the general election.

Grayson, 38, had been viewed as a rising star in the state’s Republican Party. Young, telegenic and seen as a pragmatic-minded conservative, he is one of only five living Republicans to win statewide here, where a majority of voters are either Democratic or independent. With the quiet backing of McConnell for months, Grayson was seen as the heir apparent to Bunning’s seat.

But in the final hours of the campaign that slipped away from him, Grayson’s allies began looking back at what went wrong – and the explanations ranged from failing to account for Paul’s rise early enough, a subpar advertising campaign and a failure to effectively communicate fiscal views to the electorate.

“It seemed to me that he got off to a slow start,” said state Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican who backed Grayson. “We never really picked up the momentum. It seemed like Rand Paul had the momentum from the beginning and just didn’t lose it. They ran a good campaign.”

And several people here said Grayson failed to push back against the notion that he was the establishment choice, a politically toxic label this election year that he could have more forcefully sought to affix to his opponent.

“He accepted the mantle of being the ‘Washington D.C.’ candidate despite Paul’s obvious ties to his father, and he ceded ground on key fiscal arguments,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist based in Louisville. “Grayson wanted this primary to be about national security because that’s where they thought they had the best opposition research. But this race was about spending and fiscal issues from the beginning, and Grayson’s lack of focus on that cost him early momentum which he never regained.”

As late as Monday, Grayson had complained that he couldn’t get traction on what he considered a key Paul gaffe: that a nuclear-free Iran wouldn’t be detrimental to national security. Paul had responded with a television ad calling Iran a threat, and the tit-for-tat never quite resonated with voters.

“We ran an ad and a quote from him saying that – I don’t know what else we could have done,” Grayson said. “On an issues discussion level, I’m not sure what more we could have done.”

In addition, Paul has positions that stray from the conservative line, including his hesitation over building a fence along the southern border with Mexico and for endorsing a federal ban on same-sex marriage; such positions didn’t seem to resonate with GOP primary voters in an election-year with many concerned about the budget deficit.

And Paul seemed to squash any momentum that Grayson seemed to muster. Last month, for instance, Bunning – who has a strong base of support in the conservative northern part of the state – grabbed headlines when he endorsed Paul, just a day after a new poll found the race tightening.

“I was very surprised because he had said to me straight up that he was going to stay out of the race,” Grayson told POLITICO about Bunning’s decision. “I was surprised. Based upon the things he said to me, I couldn’t reconcile that with what his actions were a month or so ago.”

But Paul benefitted greatly from his name identification as result of his father’s quixotic presidential run for the 2008 GOP nomination that spawned a buoyant band of libertarian followers. And he seemed to be doing something Grayson did not: speak directly to the mood of Republican primary voters angry at President Barack Obama’s agenda – and that anger seems to have cost Grayson his bid for the nomination.

“Obama is the best thing to happen the Republicans, but also the worst thing to happen to some Republican [politicians],” said Todd Inman, a Republican Party activist who supported Grayson.

But Paul credited a “nationwide movement” that helped him win his primary.
“What I say to Washington is, ‘Watch out, here we come.”

Who is Behind Mexico’s Drug War?

Eurasia Review

On Friday, two patrol cars were ambushed by armed gunman in downtown Ciudad Juarez. In the ensuing firefight, seven policemenmexican drug war were killed as well as a 17-year old boy who was caught in the crossfire. All of the assailants escaped uninjured fleeing the crime-scene in three SUVs. The bold attack was executed in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of the city. According to the Associated Press:

“Hours after the attack, a painted message directed to top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in downtown Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea gang, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“This will happen to you … for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea,” the message read.” (“7 Mexican police officers killed in Ciudad Juarez”, Olivia Torres, AP)

The massacre in downtown Juarez is just the latest incident in Mexico’s bloody drug war. Between 5 to 6 more people will be killed on Saturday, and on every day thereafter with no end in sight. It’s a war that cannot be won, but that hasn’t stopped the Mexican government from sticking to its basic game-plan.

The experts and politicians disagree about the origins of the violence in Juarez, but no one disputes that 23,000 people have been killed since 2006 in a largely futile military operation initiated by Mexican president Felipe Calderon. Whether the killing is the result of the ongoing turf-war between the rival drug cartels or not, is irrelevant. The present policy is failing and needs to be changed. The militarization of the war on drugs has been a colossal disaster which has accelerated the pace of social disintegration. Mexico is quickly becoming a failed state, and Washington’s deeply-flawed Merida Initiative, which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations, is largely to blame.

The surge in narcotics trafficking and drug addiction go hand-in-hand with destructive free trade policies which have fueled their growth. NAFTA, in particular, has triggered a massive migration of people who have been pushed off the land because they couldn’t compete with heavily-subsidized agricultural products from the US. Many of these people drifted north to towns like Juarez which became a manufacturing hub in the 1990s. But Juarez’s fortunes took a turn for the worse a few years later when competition from the Far East grew fiercer. Now most of the plants and factories have been boarded up and the work has been outsourced to China where subsistence wages are the norm. Naturally, young men have turned to the cartels as the only visible means of employment and upward mobility. That means that free trade has not only had a ruinous effect on the economy, but has also created an inexhaustible pool of recruits for the drug trade.

Washington’s Merida Initiative–which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations–has only made matters worse. The public’s demand for jobs, security and social programs, has been answered with check-points, crackdowns and state repression. The response from Washington hasn’t been much better. Obama hasn’t veered from the policies of the prior administration. He is as committed to a military solution as his predecessor, George W. Bush.

But the need for change is urgent. Mexico is unraveling and, as the oil wells run dry, the prospect of a failed state run by drug kingpins and paramilitaries on US’s southern border becomes more and more probable. The drug war is merely a symptom of deeper social problems; widespread political corruption, grinding poverty, soaring unemployment, and the erosion of confidence in public institutions. But these issues are brushed aside, so the government can pursue its one-size-fits-all military strategy without second-guessing or remorse. Meanwhile, the country continues to fall apart.
THE CLASHING CARTELS

The big cartels are engaged in a ferocious battle for the drug corridors around Juarez. The Sinaloa, Gulf and La Familia cartels have formed an alliance against the upstart Los Zetas gang. Critics allege that the Calderon administration has close ties with the Sinaloa cartel and refuses to arrest its members. Here’s an excerpt from an Al Jazeera video which points to collusion between Sinaloa and the government.

“The US Treasury identifies at least 20 front companies that are laundering drug money for the Sinaloa cartel…There are allegations that the Mexican government is “favoring” the cartel. According to Diego Enrique Osorno, investigative journalist and author of the “The Sinaloa Cartel”:
“There are no important detentions of Sinaloa cartel members. But the government is hunting down adversary groups, new players in the world of drug trafficking.”
International Security Expert, Edgardo Buscaglia, says that “of over 50,000 drug related arrests, only a very small percentage have been Sinaloa cartel members, and no cartel leaders. Dating back to 2003, law enforcement data shows objectively that the government has been hitting the weakest organized crime groups in Mexico, but they have not been hitting the main crime group, the Sinaloa Federation, that’s responsible for 45% of the drug trade in this country.” (Al Jazeera)

There’s no way to verify whether the Calderon administration is in bed with the Sinaloa cartel, but Al Jazeera’s report is pretty damning. A similar report appeared in the Los Angeles Times which revealed that the government had diverted funds that were earmarked for struggling farmers (who’d been hurt by NAFTA) “to the families of notorious drug traffickers and several senior government officials, including the agriculture minister.” Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:
“According to several academic studies, as much as 80% of the money went to just 20% of the registered farmers…Among the most eyebrow-raising recipients were three siblings of billionaire drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, and the brother of Guzman’s onetime partner, Arturo Beltran Leyva”. (“Mexico farm subsidies are going astray”, Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times)

There’s no doubt that if the LA Times knows about the circular flow of state money to drug traffickers, than the Obama administration knows too. So why does the administration persist with the same policy and continue to support the people they pretend to be fighting?

In forty years, US drug policy has never changed. The same “hunt them down, bust them, and lock them up” philosophy continues to this day. That’s why many critics believe that the drug war is really about control, not eradication. It’s a matter of who’s in line to rake in the profits; small-time pushers who run their own operations or politically-connected kingfish who have agents in the banks, the intelligence agencies, the military and the government. Currently, in Juarez, the small fries’ are getting wiped out while the big-players are getting stronger. In a year or so, the Sinaloa cartel will control the streets, the drug corridors, and the border. The violence will die down and the government will proclaim “victory”, but the flow of drugs into the US will increase while the situation for ordinary Mexicans will continue to deteriorate.

Here’s a clip from an article in the Independent by veteran journalist Hugh O’Shaughnessy:

“The outlawing and criminalizing of drugs and consequent surge in prices has produced a bonanza for producers everywhere, from Kabul to Bogota, but, at the Mexican border, where an estimated $39,000m in narcotics enter the rich US market every year, a veritable tsunami of cash has been created. The narcotraficantes, or drug dealers, can buy the murder of many, and the loyalty of nearly everyone. They can acquire whatever weapons they need from the free market in firearms north of the border and bring them into Mexico with appropriate payment to any official who holds his hand out.” (“The US-Mexico border: where the drugs war has soaked the ground blood red”, Hugh O’Shaughnessy The Independent)

It’s no coincidence that Kabul and Bogota are the the de facto capitals of the drug universe. US political support is strong in both places, as is the involvement of US intelligence agencies. But does that suggest that the CIA is at work in Mexico, too? Or, to put it differently: Why is the US supporting a client that appears to be allied to the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico? That’s the question.   More…