sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bloody Mexico - Fast and Furious

Two guns sold to a Mexican cartel and used in the high-profile kidnapping and murder of a Mexican lawyer last year were purchased under the U.S. Justice Department's failed anti-gun trafficking program Operation Fast and Furious, sources tell Fox News (LINK).

U.S. law enforcement sources and officials in Washington told Fox News that two AK-47s were purchased in Arizona by a straw buyer — someone who legally buys guns, then illegal sells them to a third party – and were allowed to “walk” into Mexico. Police recovered the guns in the course of their investigation of the kidnapping of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez.

Gonzales, brother of the now former attorney general of Chihuahua, Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez, was kidnapped in October. He was taken by six gunmen from the Sinaloa cartel and tortured extensively over two weeks.

Three videos posted online show Gonzalez surrounded by hooded armed men with his hands and feet bound and apparently being electrocuted with electrical devises attached to his feet. Three videos posted online show Gonzalez surrounded by hooded armed men with his hands and feet bound and apparently being electrocuted with electrical devises attached to his feet. 

The incident received heavy publicity in Mexico – not just because he was a family member of a top law enforcement officer, but because he claims in the video that his sister, while attorney general, protected the Juarez cartel, and that she ordered the murder of two journalists and a member of the Mormon community in that state.

Gonzalez’s body was found last November in a shallow grave outside the city after armed federal police forces raided the kidnappers' compound. Mexican officials arrested the suspects and confiscated the guns.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the US Department of Justice hasn't responded to Fox News yet and say that they're investigating the report. I wonder if it will take a Congressional subpoena to get them to release their findings?

Remember, a Mexico vacation is the antidote for civilization...

Home Values - Still in the Tank

It's good news if you never owned a home and want to buy one, but it's bad news if you want to sell your home or are upside down on your mortgage. (LINK) Standard & Poors Composite Home Price Index shows that the price of homes will fall 5% in 2011 will remain static or fall lower in 2012. So much for the promise of "happy days are here again" refrain that we've heard from Vice President Biden, the 'Recovery Czar'.

Home sales have generally been falling since the expiration of popular home-buyer tax credits (made at VAST public expense) last year. Home sales in April, the most recent month available from the National Association of Realtors, was 12.9 percent below its year-ago level.
(Reuters, op cit) With home prices still falling, many potential buyers are sidelined and banks are more stringent with loan applications and credit scores, Wells Fargo's Vitner said.
"It is not that I am pessimistic about the housing market, it is just that I am not optimistic and a gradual recovery probably will not happen until 2013 or 2014, with a full normalization not until 2015," he said.
Another contributing factor to the dour outlook for the U.S. housing market is stubbornly high unemployment and underemployment.
Home prices will fall another 3 percent from their current levels, according to the median forecast in the poll.
The hope and change mantra that has echoed through the country (promise of the ObamaNation) is very clearly reflected here. There are [conservative] areas of the nation where the economic problems we face
are not as severe - such as Texas. There are other [mostly liberal] areas where it's felt like a depression. And wherever you are and whatever you're feeling - the forecast is that there is really no end in sight. Best case you're looking at the end of the decade to see an improvement in the economic condition providing that Obama is removed by the voters.

Retaining the Obama Administration in power would sink us deeper into the hole. Obama clearly can't run on his record -- and he hasn't put forth any sort of coherent plan as his financial advisors regularly quit for "health reasons" or "to return to academic life".