A Democratic Tea Party and a Turning Point on Opposition to the War On Drugs and Political Suicide

“Mr. O’Rourke’s stance in favor of marijuana legalization is also something to watch. Conventional wisdom holds that such a view will kill a political career. But Mr. O’Rourke may have been helped by it. Don’t forget that Cuidad Juarez, where Mexico’s drug war has claimed the lives of thousands in the past six years, sits cheek-to-jowl with El Paso. Culturally and commercially, the two cities are almost one in the same. Mr. O’Rourke has argued that making the drug legal but regulated would weaken cartel financing and thereby reduce violence. The Times reports that he does not plan to make the issue a priority in Washington because it is not a priority for voters. But it is nonetheless interesting that his position does not seem to have hurt him.”  Mary Anastasia O’Grady  in the WSJ’s Political Diary, a daily subscription newsletter.  (Click here to go to the posted article.)

Who Cares About Haiti? Extortionists drain the country’s economic lifeblood while the U.N. stands by idly. If this doesn’t convince you that it takes more than throwing money at a problem to raise the standard of living for the poor, nothing will.

by Mary Anastasia O’Grady
Ten months after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake killed more than 200,000 Haitians and destroyed an already decrepit infrastructure, some 1.3 million impoverished souls are still barely surviving in tent cities around the country. Living conditions are deplorable and after nearly a year, optimism about a way out of what were once dubbed “temporary” camps has dimmed.

Now more than 1,100 people have died in a cholera epidemic, and riots that began in the northern city of Cap-Haitien spread to the capital of Port au Prince last week. Protesters allege that the United Nations peace-keeping mission brought the disease to Haiti. The jury is still out on the source of the cholera, but the unrest has taken a further toll.

And so it goes. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, more poverty, violence and sorrow conspire to increase the sense of helplessness in what is the ultimate economic basket case in the Western Hemisphere. Millions of people the world over watch from afar and wonder why something can’t be done.

Here’s the $64 million question: Is Haiti’s seemingly intractable misery the result of a society and culture that is incapable of organizing itself to create civil order and a viable economy? Or is it the consequence of ruling kleptocrats—abetted or at least tolerated by influential foreigners—treating every economic transaction in the country as an opportunity for personal enrichment? Click here to read more

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You like Chris Christie? You think he says it like it is and gets it done? Meet Luis Fortuño

Move over, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. You’ve got a tax-cutting, pro-growth competitor who may be even bolder than you. His name is Luis Fortuño and he is the governor of Puerto Rico, a place that, if you can believe it, is in worse fiscal shape than the Garden State.

When Mr. Fortuño took office in January 2009, Puerto Rico had a 46% budget shortfall equal to $3.3 billion. Things were so bad, he told me in a telephone interview from San Juan on Tuesday, that he had to fly to New York while still governor-elect to explain his fiscal plan to the investment community in order to avoid a sharp downgrade of Puerto Rican debt. “We were one step from junk status,” he says.  Click here to read more

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“It is far from clear that Proposition 19, as it is known, will pass. The combination of conservatives who fear that legalization would transform us into a hash-happy heap of hippies, drug warriors who make a living off of the criminalization of pot smoking, and gangsters whose profits are tied up in prohibition could be enough to defeat it by a narrow margin.”

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, opinion writer for the WSJ, expert on The Americas, pens a column weighing in on Prop 19 in CA. It’s about the The Economics of Drug Violence.

The Economics of Drug Violence
Competition in the narcotics trade is preferable to monopolistic syndicates.
Click here to read more.

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Arizona’s Real Problem: Drug Crime The vicious violence the border states are experiencing is not committed by migrant laborers.

The organized-crime epidemic in Latin America, spawned by a U.S. drug policy more than four decades in the making, seems to be leeching into American cities. Powerful underworld networks supplying gringo drug users are becoming increasingly bold about expanding their businesses. In 2008, U.S. officials said that Mexican drug cartels were serving their customers in 195 American cities.

The violence is only a fraction of what Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia live with everyday. Yet it is notable. Kidnapping rates in Phoenix, for example, are through the roof and some spectacular murders targeting law enforcement have also grabbed headlines.

While this has been happening, would-be busboys, roofers and lawn mowers from Mexico and Central America have been using the Arizona desert to get to the U.S. because legal paths are closed and they want work.

Technically both groups are law breakers. But it is a tragic mistake to paint them with the same brush.Click here to read more…

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Revolutionary Anti-Semitism: Chávez imports Ahmadinejad’s ideology to Latin America.

Sometimes I ask myself if Hitler wasn’t right when he wanted to finish with that race, through the famous holocaust, because if there are people that are harmful to this country, they are the Jews, the Israelites.

David Romero Ellner

Executive Director

Radio Globo, Honduras, Sept. 25, 2009

Meet one of Honduras’s most vocal advocates for the return of deposed president Manuel Zelaya to office. He’s not your average radio jock. He started in Honduran politics as a radical activist and was one of the founders of the hard-left People’s Revolutionary Union, which had links to Honduran terrorists in 1980s. A few years ago he was convicted and served time in prison for raping his own daughter.

Today Mr. Romero Ellner is pure zelayista, hungry for power and not ashamed to say so. This explains why he has joined Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Mr. Zelaya in targeting Jews.Click here to read more

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