Friday, March 13, 2020



MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman
Ben Hubbard. Random House/Duggan, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-9848-2382-3
Journalist Hubbard debuts with an incisive portrait of modern Saudi Arabia and 34-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, better known by his initials MBS. Though much about MBS’s early years remains unknown, Hubbard details his close relationship with his father, the governor of Riyadh, following the untimely deaths of two of MBS’s older half-brothers, and his willingness to threaten with violence those who don’t fall in line. After his father’s ascension to the throne in 2015, MBS took control of the royal court and became minister of defense. He implemented ambitious social and economic reforms, including rolling back the kingdom’s ban on women drivers, and courted Western investors with plans to build a $500 billion “smart city” near the Red Sea. He also declared war on the Houthi rebels in Yemen, escalated tensions with Iran and Qatar, detained hundreds of ministers and royal family members in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in a move billed as an anti-corruption push, and empowered underlings to aggressively silence dissidents—a campaign that led to the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Turkish consulate in 2018, severely damaging MBS’s international reputation. Hubbard enriches the narrative with informed discussions of Saudi history and culture, illuminating the kingdom’s complex blend of religious fundamentalism and technological ambition. This deeply researched and vividly written account provides essential insight into a figure poised to lead the region for the next half century. (Mar.)

Saudi Arabia's crown prince responds to coronavirus by getting rid of enemies

David A. Andelman

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is facing some existential problems. He's losing the war in Yemen, the coronavirus has forced him to scale back visits by millions to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and the plummeting price of oil on the back of a supply war with Russian President Vladimir Putin are together shaking the most fundamental underpinnings of his leadership — not to mention threatening a global recession.
So what does he do? He takes a leaf out of President Donald Trump's playbook by getting rid of some of his most (allegedly) troublesome opponents. Instead of a simple purgehowever, the crown prince, known by his initials, MBS, took the far more dramatic step of arresting his cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef; his uncle, Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz, as well as one of Nayef's brothers and one of Abdelaziz's sons. The first two have been charged with treason, which carries the death penalty. The crown prince was already in hot water for allegedly ordering the execution-style slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But with this escalation, the Saudi leader is pushing the boundaries once again to see what exactly he can get away with.
All these issues have been brewing for some time. The crown prince has given no quarter in five years of war in Yemen, which has turned very much into a proxy war with Iran — each power supporting opposing factions for control of this strategic corner of the Arabian peninsula.
The Saudis have long been watching anxiously as demand for oil ratcheted down and new energy sources, particularly from the United States, have come online. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for oil has plunged even further.
To hold prices in line, the Saudis called an emergency meeting last week of the OPEC oil cartel to lower production quotas. Russia balked at OPEC's demand, led by Saudi Arabia, to cut 1.5 million barrels a day in output and stabilize prices at $40 a barrel. Putin has no problem with low oil prices, since Russia's cost of production is under $20 a barrel. But he would like to see America's fracking efforts — an already costly proposition to — become uneconomical.
Without a deal, Saudi Arabia said it would sell oil to China for a discount and potentially raise its own output by as much as 2 million barrels a day — moves that would result in flooding the market with oversupply. Oil prices around the world plummeted more than 25 percent Monday to $31 a barrel. Since oil still underpins the Saudi economy, accounting for 50 percent of its GDP and some 70 percent of its export earnings, this is a serious gamble for the crown prince, who has pledged to modernize and diversify his country's financial future.
And then along came the coronavirus. Here the crown prince has been forced to make some of the toughest decisions of his career. The one that has already sent shock waves through the Islamic world was his decision to suspend the year-round umrah pilgrimage in which as many as 20 million faithful — most from Saudi Arabia itself — take part every year. This has also raised the question of whether the annual hajj pilgrimage, which attracts millions Muslims more from every corner of the globe, would be allowed at the end of July.
Throughout, criticism of the crown prince has quietly been mounting at home. He wants desperately to succeed his father on the throne; King Salman is now 84 and said to be frail. Still, the day after the arrest of the four princes stunned the kingdom, the king was shown in photos released by the royal palace to be in good health, receiving foreign ambassadors and reading state documents. Perhaps the king is anxious to remain in power to welcome world leaders to the G-20 summit in Riyadh in November.
What has allowed the crown prince such a free hand? Certainly he has benefited from the unalloyed support of his father, who seems to accept his son's overt power grabs. Unanimity is vital since the next king is not chosen until the previous one has died. The crown prince clearly wants nothing left to chance.
But he also has innumerable enablers — world leaders and business leaders alike — who have repeatedly failed to confront the leader. Amazon's Jeff Bezos was photographed beaming next to him not long before the crown prince was revealed to have ordered the disastrous hacking of Bezos' cellphone.
Trump is a particularly bad offender. Trump has never fully accepted the conclusions of his own intelligence system that the crown prince personally ordered the savage murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi. Not surprisingly, Trump said nothing about the arrest of the four senior royals this past weekend.
But the crown prince's manipulations — and Trump's inaction — have a price. In the early morning hours on Tuesday, the prince and Trump talked on the phone, according to a White House official. Hours later, the Saudi prince flooded the oil market, hammering world stock, bond and currency markets.
This price war, of course, has implications for Trump's own re-election in November — especially if it threatens the American oil industry, which employs some 9.8 million American workers and is projected to add as many as 1 million more U.S. fracking jobs in the next five years.
The crown prince and Trump are currently facing a very similar set of challenges: The coronavirus threatening Americans at home and Muslims in Mecca and Medina; oil price and supply disruptions affecting the economies of both nations; unresolved and increasingly expensive wars respectively in Afghanistan and Yemen.
Perhaps now is the time to begin to break that circle of dependency before an impending crisis becomes a real crisis.

MNUCHIN SAYS TRUMP IS DEDICATED TO SERVING AND SAVING THE RICH AGAINST ANY LOSES. Isn't that what Obama - Biden did for their crony bankstes?

Mnuchin Vows ‘Massive Amount of Liquidity’ to Counter Coronavirus Market Turmoil

March 13, 2020 Updated: March 13, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his office was working closely with the Federal Reserve to ensure an ample supply of liquidity to markets that have been rocked by the coronavirus epidemic.
Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview Friday that he and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell were “in constant conversation” about financial crisis management tools that could be deployed to counter the virus-driven fallout.
“We don’t have the same authorities we had before Dodd-Frank and the financial crisis, but we do have authorities and we will be looking at using those,” Mnuchin said, noting that the Fed had already announced the injection of over a trillion dollars of short-term liquidity into markets, in what he said was an “unprecedented move.”
The New York Federal Reserve said Thursday it would make $1.5 trillion available for overnight lending markets and start purchasing a broader range of U.S. Treasury securities as part of its monthly purchases. The central bank offered $500 billion in a three-month repo operation on Thursday and will offer an additional $500 billion in one-month repo and $500 billion in three-month repo loans on Friday.
“We’ll be rolling out other programs,” Mnuchin said. “There will be a massive amount of liquidity.”

Epoch Times Photo
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks with reporters outside White House in Washington, DC, on March 13, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

‘No Stigma’

The Treasury Secretary also encouraged banks to borrow from the Fed’s so-called discount window, which is a monetary policy tool banks have often been reluctant to use.
“There’s no stigma about going to the discount window,” Mnuchin said. “They should feel free to draw from the discount window. That’s another great source of liquidity for them to lend to companies.”
A Fed research note explains the “stigma” dynamics: “For decades, banks have demonstrated some reluctance to use the discount window in this manner out of concern that the act of borrowing might send a negative signal about their financial conditions to their counterparties, their competitors, their regulators, and the public.”
“At various times, the Federal Reserve has made adjustments to discount window operating procedures in an effort to reduce stigma, but stigma likely persists today,” the note says.
Mnuchin also said the Trump administration was considering a range of alternatives to ensure the economy does not seize up in the face of coronavirus-related travel disruptions, event cancellations, and business closures.
“We’re going to look at every tool in the toolbox,” he said, adding that the Trump administration was considering a temporary suspension of student debt payments amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“That’s on our list of 50 different items we’re bringing to the president for a decision,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” after being asked if he would consider a three-month suspension of payments.
“The president is all about action, action, action,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks with reporters outside White House in Washington, DC, on March 13, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the Treasury Department would defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted, aiming to provide more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy.
Trump also said the Small Business Administration will provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus by providing low-interest loans to small businesses in affected states and territories, effective immediately. He also suspended all travel from Europe, with a few exceptions, to the United States for 30 days starting on Friday.
Earlier, Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to combat the spread of the virus and develop vaccines for the disease.
Mnuchin also told CNBC that he believes the stock market plunge will be short-lived and so represents an attractive buying opportunity.
“This is a short-term issue. It may be a couple of months but we’re going to get through this and the economy will be stronger than ever,” he said.
“I look back at people who bought stocks after the crash in 1987, people who bought stocks after the financial crisis. For long-term investors, this will be a great investment opportunity,” he added.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM

Fed Minutes Shed Light on Interest Rate Cut as Economic ‘Uncertainties’ Remain

November 20, 2019 Updated: November 21, 2019
The Federal Reserve has released the minutes of its Oct. 29-30 meeting, shedding light on the central bank’s decision to cut interest rates and signal a policy of wait-and-see.
“Most” of the Fed’s rate-setting officials saw the October cut in the federal funds rate as enough “to support the outlook of moderate growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective,” according to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes, released Wednesday.
The Fed’s October decision is the third time the central bank cut interest rates in 2019. The minutes indicate that the reduction in the federal funds rate to a target range of between 1.50 percent and 1.75 percent would be the last rate move over the short term.
The federal funds rate is a benchmark that influences many consumer and business loans, including mortgages, auto loans, and student loans. By lowering the cost of borrowing, lower interest rates are intended to stimulate the economy by encouraging more borrowing and spending.
The cuts have been positioned as “a mid-cycle adjustment” to help shield the U.S. economy from the effects of the U.S.-China trade war and slowing global growth.
“Many participants judged that an additional modest easing at this meeting was appropriate in light of persistent weakness in global growth and elevated uncertainty regarding trade developments,” the minutes said. By contrast, “some” policymakers were against the reduction, viewing the economic outlook as still favorable, inflation moving back to the Fed’s goal and “in light of lags in the transmission of monetary policy, preferred to take some time to assess the economic effects of…previous policy actions.”
Following the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled the Fed was effectively on hold with interest rates and said that would only change if there was a “material” change in outlook for the U.S. economy.
The minutes indicated the Fed’s interest rate policy “likely would remain” where it is “as long as incoming information about the economy did not result in a material reassessment of the economic outlook.”
Epoch Times Photo
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on July 10, 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Powell said at a press conference on Oct. 30 that the committee believed “monetary policy is in a good place.”
“Of course, if developments emerge that cause a material reassessment of our outlook, we would respond accordingly. [The] policy is not on a preset course,” Powell said. He noted that the weakness in global growth, trade tensions, as well as “muted inflation pressures” have led the Fed to lower rates.

Another Cut ‘Unlikely In the Near Term’

The minutes show the Fed signaled at its FOMC meeting that it plans no further cuts unless it finds clear evidence that the economic outlook has deteriorated.
“A couple of participants expressed the view that the Committee should reinforce its postmeeting statement with additional communications indicating that another reduction in the federal funds rate was unlikely in the near term unless incoming information was consistent with a significant slowdown in the pace of economic activity,” the minutes stated.
This raises the bar for another cut at the FOMC’s next meeting on Dec. 10-11.
New York Fed President John Williams told WSJ reporters Tuesday that a sustained downturn in inflation or global factors that cause the economy to slow down more than expected could both build a case to cut rates again.
President Donald Trump has criticized the Fed for not taking a more aggressive rate-cutting stance. Speaking at the Economic Club of New York last week, Trump accused the Fed of stifling growth by being too slow to slash rates.
Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump gestures with Jerome Powell, at the time his nominee to become chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, at the White House in Washington, U.S., on Nov. 2, 2017. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
“The Fed has called it wrong from the beginning, too fast, too slow,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Oct. 31. “They even tightened in the beginning. Others are running circles around them and laughing all the way to the bank.”
On Monday, Trump and Powell met for around 30 minutes at the White House, in a meeting attended by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Trump said he had a “very good and cordial” meeting with the central bank head, while the Fed said in a statement that “Chair Powell’s comments were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week.”
“Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others, etc,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Later that day, the president wrote in a Tweet: “At my meeting with Jay Powell this morning, I protested fact that our Fed Rate is set too high relative to the interest rates of other competitor countries. In fact, our rates should be lower than all others (we are the U.S.). Too strong a Dollar hurting manufacturers & growth!”
The Fed said in a statement that its boss “did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy.”
“Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.”

‘Uncertainties About This Outlook Remain’

When FOMC members voted on Oct. 30 to proceed with the rate cut and continue monitoring activity, they acknowledged that “uncertainties about this outlook remain.”
“This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain,” according to a summary statement.
In the minutes, there was little discussion of what a “material” reassessment of the economic outlook would involve, bar two policymakers who wanted the Fed to make plain that another rate cut would be unlikely in the near term unless there was a significant slowdown in the pace of economic growth. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan has since said the price of his support was such a statement being made.
The Fed is forecasting the economy growing 2.2 percent this year, slightly above its potential, which the central bank estimates at around 2 percent.
While economic growth has slowed this year, fears that sectoral weakness could spread to the wider economy have not materialized as it continues to expand at a moderate pace with unemployment near a 50-year low and consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, still holding up.
That dissonance has left the committee increasingly divided. Boston Fed’s Eric Rosengren and Kansas City Fed’s Esther George voted against October’s rate cut and since the meeting several other non-voting policymakers have said they were against the October decision.
The FOMC’s October vote also encompassed approval of the statement below:
“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports remain weak. On a 12‑month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.
“In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent. This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain.”
The statutory mandate of the Fed is to foster maximum employment and price stability.



Flop Sweat: Democrats try to assure Bernie voters that Biden's practically the same

Bernie-ites are furious at how this whole election has been going. They were determined to see that this election, unlike the last one, in 2016,  not be rigged.
The sentiment intensified when they practically had the nomination in their hands, post-Iowa and post-New Hampshire just a couple weeks ago. Their victory dance was at hand. They almost had it. Then two days before Super Tuesday, all of a sudden, most Democratic rival candidates dropped out, nearly all at once, the better to consolidate behind jurassic old Joe Biden, who doesn't even know which state he's in. It had the look of rigging again, and this time in a different way. Democrats know seven ways to Sunday how to rig elections.
So now, via Weaselzippers, we are seeing things like this:
Asked about "how far Biden should go" in incorporating Sanders platform of Medicare for all, free education and a green new deal into the Biden platform, DNC chairman Tom Perez replied: 
" of the things that gives me great optimism as we move forward, is that what unites us as a party far exceeds what our differences are..."
Which is a not so unobvious bid to bring the scattering and demoralized Bernie voters into the Biden fold, same as the others. 
Which for sure signals desperation, given that so many Bernie-ites are now planning to either stay home or worse still, vote for Trump. Their internals must be atrocious for them to put on such a show. Sounds like flop sweat.
For the rest of us, though, it pretty well exposes as a canard the idea that Biden is "moderate" and Bernie is the 'extremist.' If the pair of them have the same ideas, all things being equal, why would any voter pick addled Joe over sentient Bernie? Joe's a guy they've practically put in a cone to keep him out of trouble. Everyone knows Joe's got a bunch of puppet-string pullers behind that curtain no one's supposed to pay attention to.
This is why it won't work.
But more to the point, if Bernie and Joe are indistinguishable, why shouldn't Trump go to town with it? It looks like they might be, given that a site called GOP War Room is onto the matter already, here. If Joe's ideas are as bad as Bernie's now, Trump has a ready made plan to run against socialism. No more Mister Moderation for them. 
No matter which way you pull this, Democrats can only lose.
Image credit: PBS / GOP War Room, via YouTube, screen shot

And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. RYAN COOPER

The Rise of Wall Street Thievery
How corporations and their apologists blew up the New Deal order and pillaged the middle class.
America has long had a suspicious streak toward business, from the Populists and trustbusters to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It’s a tendency that has increased over the last few decades. In 1973, 36 percent of respondents told Gallup they had only “some” confidence in big business, while 20 percent had “very little.” But in 2019, those numbers were 41 and 32 percent—near the highs registered during the financial crisis.
Clearly, something has happened to make us sour on the American corporation. What was once a stable source of long-term employment and at least a modicum of paternalistic benefits has become an unstable, predatory engine of inequality. Exactly what went wrong is well documented in Nicholas Lemann’s excellent new book, Transaction Man. The title is a reference to The Organization Man, an influential 1956 book on the corporate culture and management of that era. Lemann, a New Yorker staff writer and Columbia journalism professor (as well as a Washington Monthly contributing editor), details the development of the “Organization” style through the career of Adolf Berle, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brain trust. Berle argued convincingly that despite most of the nation’s capital being represented by the biggest 200 or so corporations, the ostensible owners of these firms—that is, their shareholders—had little to no influence on their daily operations. Control resided instead with corporate managers and executives.
Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream
by Nicholas Lemann
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 320 pp.
Berle was alarmed by the wealth of these mega-corporations and the political power it generated, but also believed that bigness was a necessary concomitant of economic progress. He thus argued that corporations should be tamed, not broken up. The key was to harness the corporate monstrosities, putting them to work on behalf of the citizenry.
Berle exerted major influence on the New Deal political economy, but he did not get his way every time. He was a fervent supporter of the National Industrial Recovery Act, an effort to directly control corporate prices and production, which mostly flopped before it was declared unconstitutional. Felix Frankfurter, an FDR adviser and a disciple of the great anti-monopolist Louis Brandeis, used that opportunity to build significant Brandeisian elements into New Deal structures. The New Deal social contract thus ended up being a somewhat incoherent mash-up of Brandeis’s and Berle’s ideas. On the one hand, antitrust did get a major focus; on the other, corporations were expected to play a major role delivering basic public goods like health insurance and pensions. 
Lemann then turns to his major subject, the rise and fall of the Transaction Man. The New Deal order inspired furious resistance from the start. Conservative businessmen and ideologues argued for a return to 1920s policies and provided major funding for a new ideological project spearheaded by economists like Milton Friedman, who famously wrote an article titled “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” Lemann focuses on a lesser-known economist named Michael Jensen, whose 1976 article “Theory of the Firm,” he writes, “prepared the ground for blowing up that [New Deal] social order.”
Jensen and his colleagues embodied that particular brand of jaw-droppingly stupid that only intelligent people can achieve. Only a few decades removed from a crisis of unregulated capitalism that had sparked the worst war in history and nearly destroyed the United States, they argued that all the careful New Deal regulations that had prevented financial crises for decades and underpinned the greatest economic boom in U.S. history should be burned to the ground. They were outraged by the lack of control shareholders had over the firms they supposedly owned, and argued for greater market discipline to remove this “principal-agent problem”—econ-speak for businesses spending too much on irrelevant luxuries like worker pay and investment instead of dividends and share buybacks. When that argument unleashed hell, they doubled down: “To Jensen the answer was clear: make the market for corporate control even more active, powerful, and all-encompassing,” Lemann writes.
The best part of the book is the connection Lemann draws between Washington policymaking and the on-the-ground effects of those decisions. There was much to criticize about the New Deal social contract—especially its relative blindness to racism—but it underpinned a functioning society that delivered a tolerable level of inequality and a decent standard of living to a critical mass of citizens. Lemann tells this story through the lens of a thriving close-knit neighborhood called Chicago Lawn. Despite how much of its culture “was intensely provincial and based on personal, family, and ethnic ties,” he writes, Chicago Lawn “worked because it was connected to the big organizations that dominated American culture.” In other words, it was a functioning democratic political economy.
Then came the 1980s. Lemann paints a visceral picture of what it was like at street level as Wall Street buccaneers were freed from the chains of regulation and proceeded to tear up the New Deal social contract. Cities hemorrhaged population and tax revenue as their factories were shipped overseas. Whole businesses were eviscerated or even destroyed by huge debt loads from hostile takeovers. Jobs vanished by the hundreds of thousands. 
And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. Neighborhoods drowned under waves of foreclosures and crime as far-off financial derivatives imploded. Car dealerships that had sheltered under the General Motors umbrella for decades were abruptly cut loose. Bewildered Chicago Lawn residents desperately mobilized to defend themselves, but with little success. “What they were struggling against was a set of conditions that had been made by faraway government officials—not one that had sprung up naturally,” Lemann writes.
Toward the end of the book, however, Lemann starts to run out of steam. He investigates a possible rising “Network Man” in the form of top Silicon Valley executives, who have largely maintained control over their companies instead of serving as a sort of esophagus for disgorging their companies’ bank accounts into the Wall Street maw. But they turn out to be, at bottom, the same combination of blinkered and predatory as the Transaction Men. Google and Facebook, for instance, have grown over the last few years by devouring virtually the entire online ad market, strangling the journalism industry as a result. And they directly employ far too few people to serve as the kind of broad social anchor that the car industry once did.
In his final chapter, Lemann argues for a return to “pluralism,” a “messy, contentious system that can’t be subordinated to one conception of the common good. It refuses to designate good guys and bad guys. It distributes, rather than concentrates, economic and political power.”
This is a peculiar conclusion for someone who has just finished Lemann’s book, which is full to bursting with profoundly bad people—men and women who knowingly harmed their fellow citizens by the millions for their own private profit. In his day, Roosevelt was not shy about lambasting rich people who “had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs,” as he put it in a 1936 speech in which he also declared, “We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.”
If concentrated economic power is a bad thing, then the corporate form is simply a poor basis for a truly strong and equal society. Placing it as one of the social foundation stones makes its workers dependent on the unreliable goodwill and business acumen of management on the one hand and the broader marketplace on the other. All it takes is a few ruthless Transaction Men to undermine the entire corporate social model by outcompeting the more generous businesses. And even at the high tide of the New Deal, far too many people were left out, especially African Americans.
Lemann writes that in the 1940s the United States “chose not to become a full-dress welfare state on the European model.” But there is actually great variation among the European welfare states. States like Germany and Switzerland went much farther on the corporatist road than the U.S. ever did, but they do considerably worse on metrics like inequality, poverty, and political polarization than the Nordic social democracies, the real welfare kings. 
Conversely, for how threadbare it is, the U.S. welfare state still delivers a great deal of vital income to the American people. The analyst Matt Bruenig recently calculated that American welfare eliminates two-thirds of the “poverty gap,” which is how far families are below the poverty line before government transfers are factored in. (This happens mainly through Social Security.) Imagine how much worse this country would be without those programs! And though it proved rather easy for Wall Street pirates to torch the New Deal corporatist social model without many people noticing, attempts to cut welfare are typically very obvious, and hence unpopular.
Still, Lemann’s book is more than worth the price of admission for the perceptive history and excellent writing. It’s a splendid and beautifully written illustration of the tremendous importance public policy has for the daily lives of ordinary people.
Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at the Week. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New Republic, and the Nation. He was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2012 to 2014.


Human Smugglers Leave Pregnant Migrant, Unborn Child to Die After Fall from U.S. Border Wall

A migrant jumps the border fence to get into the U.S. side to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall …
AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Mexican cartel-connected human smugglers 
abandoned a pregnant Guatemalan woman at 
a border wall near Clint, Texas, on Saturday 
night and encouraged her to climb the 20-foot
barrier. She fell and landed on her back, 
causing injuries that eventually took her life 
and that of her unborn child.
El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents patrolling near Clint came upon a critically injured pregnant woman who fell from the barrier according to her male companion, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials reported. Doctors were unable to save the unborn child as well.
“Despite the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, sadly more lives have perished at the hands of human smugglers,” El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said in a written statement. “Someone in Mexico guided this eight-month pregnant woman from Guatemala to this section of the border and encouraged her and helped her climb the steel mesh border barrier. We will engage our law enforcement partners in Mexico to find those responsible for placing these lives in danger.”
CBP officials said the human smugglers encouraged her to try and climb the wall, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters that the woman, identified by Guatemalan officials as Mirian Stephany Girón Luna and her male partner were taken to the border by smugglers and left them there in the darkness. He said they were attempting to climb the barrier when she fell.
When Border Patrol agents found the injured woman they called for an ambulance who took her to a regional hospital.
“Tragically, the mother and the child died from the injuries from the fall,” Morgan stated.
Guatemalan officials reported that Girón sustained a cerebral hemorrhage, a pelvic fracture, and internal organ injuries from the fall. They said she fell more than 19 feet on Saturday.
Doctors attempted surgery, including a C-section, to attempt to save both lives. After multiple surgeries, the doctors declared both patients deceased, CBP officials reported.
CBP told reporters they have no record of previously encountering the woman at a port of entry. She also was not part of the “Remain in Mexico” program.
Tekandi Paniagua Flores, the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas, told the AP that he spoke with Girón’s partner who is currently in Border Patrol’s custody.
“He said that if he had known that the risks were this high, he would not have done it,” Paniagua told the AP reporter.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


Texas Sheriff Says Mexican Cartels at the Heart of Border Crisis

February 25, 2019 Updated: February 25, 2019
WASHINGTON—A porous southwest border is the gift that keeps on giving to Mexican cartels, whose multibillion-dollar businesses depend solely upon getting illicit goods into the United States.
Sheriff Andy Louderback of Jackson County, Texas, said border securityefforts need to focus more on disrupting the cartels.
“The cartels remain at the heart of the problem here in the United States. They have unlimited funding. … They’re very good at what they do. They’re very powerful, very powerful, in this country,” he said.
Louderback said the cartels are exploiting weak borders and are “profiting hugely off human misery in this country—profiting off of Americans.”
“It’s imperative that the American public understand the criminality of what we’re facing. That alone is enough to secure the border,” he said.
Mexican cartels, otherwise known as transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), show continued signs of growth in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in a 2018 report.
The cartels control lucrative smuggling corridors, primarily across the southwest border, and maintain the greatest drug-trafficking influence in the United States, states the DEA.
“They continue to expand their criminal influence by engaging in business alliances with other TCOs, including independent TCOs, and work in conjunction with transnational gangs, U.S.-based street gangs, prison gangs, and Asian money laundering organizations,” the DEA said.
Local police, the fire department, and deputy sheriffs help a man who is overdosing in the Drexel neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 3, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Almost 90 percent of the heroin in the United States comes from Mexico, according to the DEA, and Mexican heroin production grew by 37 percent from 2016 to 2017.
“Mexican cartels continue to make large quantities of cheap methamphetamine and deliver it to the United States through the southern border,” the DEA said. Seizures of meth at the border increased from 8,900 pounds in 2010 to more than 82,000 pounds in 2018.
The cartels also export significant quantities of cocaine, marijuana, and fentanyl into the United States.
“The drugs are delivered to user markets in the United States through transportation routes and distribution cells that are managed or influenced by Mexican TCOs, and with the cooperation and participation of local street gangs,” the DEA report states.
“Illicit drugs, as well as the transnational and domestic criminal organizations that traffic them, continue to represent significant threats to public health, law enforcement, and national security in the United States.”
A load of marijuana is seized by Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2018. (CBP)
Most of the drugs that are seized are found in vehicles coming through ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection officials seized the largest amount of fentanyl being smuggled in a truck through the Nogales, Arizona, port of entry on Jan. 26.
A Mexican national was arrested after officers found nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl valued at approximately $3.5 million and almost 395 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $1.1 million. That amount of fentanyl had the potential to kill 56 million people, based on the DEA’s estimation that ingesting as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to a few grains of salt, can be fatal.
A large group of 325 Central Americans were apprehended by Border Patrol agents near Lukeville, Ariz., on Feb. 7, 2019. (CBP)
But cartels are also using the large groups of asylum-seekers, mostly from Central America, to tie up Border Patrol resources in areas along the border.
“In many instances, criminal organizations are saturating areas with large groups with the belief that they can smuggle narcotics or other contraband into the United States while Border Patrol agents are occupied,” CBP said in a statement on Feb. 11.
Border Patrol agents have encountered more than 58 groups of 100-plus people so far this fiscal year, compared to 13 in all of fiscal 2018.

Remote Border Areas

A civilian group in Arivaca, Arizona, sets up hidden trail cameras on the border in a remote area where it’s rare to see Border Patrol, and the fence, where it exists, is merely four-strand barbed wire.
Arizona Border Recon’s trail camera footage is eye-opening—groups of eight to 10 people crossing the border in camo gear, humping backpacks, and trekking purposefully northwards, deeper into the United States, in carpet shoes to hide their tracks.
The group’s founder, Tim Foley, said that in an average two-week period, one camera on just one of the hundreds of branching trails picked up 400 illegal aliens and 100 drug mules—all led by “coyotes,” or smugglers.
Arizona Border Recon’s Tim Foley stands at the U.S.–Mexico border, where a gate gives way to a four-strand barbed wire fence, south of Arivaca, Ariz., on Dec. 8, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Cartel scouts sit on the mountaintops on both the Mexican and U.S. sides, as if they are air-traffic controllers, ensuring safe passage through.
“About a year ago, our cameras quit picking up the burlap sacks with the 20 kilos of marijuana, but now we’re seeing that they’re running a bigger camouflage pack than the regular illegals,” Foley said in December. “It’s better made. More space in it. They’re running meth, heroine, cocaine, fentanyl.”
Foley hopes to add to his eight trail cameras and continue to pass information on to Border Patrol.
“Cartels are basically the Hispanic version of ISIS,” he said. “We’ve got enough of our own bad guys. We don’t need to import more.”

National Emergency

President Donald Trump signed an executive order three weeks after taking office, instructing federal law enforcement to go after cartels.
“These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery,” the order states. “In particular, the trafficking by cartels of controlled substances has triggered a resurgence in deadly drug abuse and a corresponding rise in violent crime related to drugs. Likewise, the trafficking and smuggling of human beings by transnational criminal groups risks creating a humanitarian crisis.”
On Feb. 15, the president announced a national emergency after Congress failed to provide the $5.7 billion he was asking for to erect 234 miles of fencing requested by the Department of Homeland Security.
Congress provided $1.375 billion toward border fencing, and Trump intends to supplement that with $6.1 billion of reappropriated defense funds.
“We have a State of Emergency at our Southern Border,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Feb. 25. “Border Patrol, our Military and local Law Enforcement are doing a great job, but without the Wall, which is now under major construction, you cannot have Border Security. Drugs, Gangs and Human Trafficking must be stopped!”
President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 11, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Louderback said he supports Trump calling a national emergency to get more border fencing in place.
“The saying is, you build a 10-foot wall, you provide an 11-foot ladder. I got that, and many of us do. Can we inhibit, slow, and catch … by putting in infrastructure in certain places on our southern border? The answer’s absolutely yes,” he said.
“Are there going to be folks that tunnel under? Certainly. Are there going to be ones that climb over? Certainly. Is there going to be fewer? Absolutely. The expectations are, when you put the infrastructure there, that you’re going to do a better job of controlling that piece of real estate.
“If you’re able just to walk across, that’s not operational control of our border.”

‘El Chapo’

The recent trial and conviction of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman provided an insight into the Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzman oversaw the smuggling of narcotics to wholesale distributors in Arizona, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and elsewhere, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The billions of illicit dollars generated from drug sales in the United States were then clandestinely transported back to Mexico, the DOJ said.
“Guzman also used ‘sicarios,’ or hit men, who carried out hundreds of acts of violence in Mexico to enforce Sinaloa’s control of territories and to eliminate those who posed a threat to the Sinaloa Cartel,” the DOJ said in a statement.
A witness at the trial, Alex Cifuentes, who said he used to be Guzman’s right-hand man, told the court that Guzman paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
On Feb. 21, the DOJ announced indictments against two of Guzman’s sons—Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 34, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 28—on drug conspiracy charges.
Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted by marines in Mexico City on Feb. 22, 2014. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
“The rise of the cartel power, their ability to penetrate our border, their ability to move fluidly and silently in any different direction with a 10-minute phone call to make massive changes in what they’re doing, to reroute a load, to reroute humans. … This is the kind of flexibility and the kind of enemy that we’re actually dealing with here,” Louderback said.
“You know who doesn’t want border security, who doesn’t want a wall? And that’s certainly your drug cartels, that’s certainly your MS-13, that’s your rapist, that’s your drug dealers, and sadly, some Democrats that do not want a wall.
“They don’t want operational control of our border. And that’s very sad. It’s tragic and it’s sad. It costs American lives.”
Louderback said the problem exists in every state, but the solution has to start with border security. Once the United States has control over its southern border, it will take full cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement to decimate the cartels.
A graphic showing Mexican cartel control in the United States in 2015. (DEA)

The 6 Main Cartels Active in the US

The DEA identifies six cartels that traffic the most drugs into the United States: Sinaloa Cartel, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), Juarez Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas Cartel, and Beltran-Leyva Organization (BLO).
The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States, while CJNG’s domestic presence has significantly expanded in the past few years, according to the DEA. Although 2017 drug-related murders in Mexico surpassed previous levels of violence, U.S.-based cartel members generally refrain from extending inter-cartel conflicts domestically.
Sinaloa Cartel
·         Based in the state of Sinaloa.
·         One of the oldest and more established drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.
·         Controls drug trafficking activity in various regions in Mexico, particularly along the Pacific Coast.
·         Exports and distributes wholesale amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
·         Has distribution hubs in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago.
·         Illicit drugs primarily smuggled through crossing points along Mexico’s border with California, Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas.
Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)
·         Based in the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco.
·         The most recently formed of the six and one of the most powerful and fastest-growing cartels.
·         Rapid expansion due to willingness to engage in violent confrontations with Mexican government security forces and rival cartels.
·         Drug distribution hubs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.
·         Smuggles illicit drugs using various trafficking corridors along the southern border to include Tijuana, Juarez, and Nuevo Laredo.
·         Manufactures and/or distributes large amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.
Juarez Cartel
·         Operates in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, south of west Texas, and New Mexico.
·         One of the older Mexican cartels.
·         Endured a multi-year turf war with Sinaloa Cartel, which, at its height in mid-2010, resulted in many drug-related murders in Chihuahua.
·         Supplies drug markets primarily in El Paso, Denver, Chicago, and Oklahoma City.
·         Mainly traffics marijuana and cocaine, though recently, it has expanded to heroin and methamphetamine.
·         Recent significant increase in opium cultivation.
Gulf Cartel
·         Based in the state of Tamaulipas
·         In operation for decades
·         Traffics mostly marijuana and cocaine, but has also recently expanded into heroin and methamphetamine.
·         Smuggles drugs mostly into south Texas between the Rio Grande Valley and South Padre Island.
·         Maintains a presence in Atlanta, and holds key distribution hubs in Houston and Detroit.
Los Zetas Cartel
·         Base of power is in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
·         Formed in early 2010 after splintering from the Gulf Cartel.
·         Currently divided into two rival factions: the Northeast Cartel (Cartel del Noreste, or CDN), representing a rebranded form of mainstream Zetas, and the Old School Zetas (Escuela Vieja or EV), which is a breakaway group.
·         Smuggle drugs primarily into Texas between Del Rio and Falcon Lake.
·         Traffic cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
·         Key distribution hubs in Laredo, Dallas, and New Orleans, and a known presence in Atlanta.
Beltran-Leyva Organization (BLO)
·         Asserted independence after a split from Sinaloa in 2008.
·         Remnants of the cartel operate in various parts of Mexico, including the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Nayarit, and Sinaloa.
·         Most prominent subgroup, Los Guerreros Unidos, operates independently due to its role in the heroin trade.
·         BLO subgroups rely on their loose alliances with CJNG, the Juarez Cartel, and Los Zetas for access to drug smuggling corridors along the southern border.
·         Primarily traffics marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
·         Distribution hubs in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.
Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottecuthbo



Married Couple Executed, Teen Daughter Raped by Cartel Gunmen in Tijuana

AP File Photo/Guillermo Arias
 25 Apr 20197

A married couple in Tijuana reportedly involved in the drug trade was executed while their 17-year-old daughter was raped after being lured into a trap by cartel gunmen.

Jaqueline and Andrés Martínez were summoned to a meeting on April 10, with an associate they were allegedly involved with in the drug trade. Prior to driving to a residence in colonia Pedregal de Santa Julia, the couple picked up their 17-year-old daughter at school and had her join them. Upon arrival, they were met by cartel gunmen. The couple was immediately separated from their daughter so she could be taken into a room and raped by two of the men, according to a new report and Breitbart law enforcement sources. The cartel gunmen originally started to strangle the daughter with a piece of rope but later decided to let her live, prior to the rape. The couple had their hands and feet bound and forced into the trunk of their car. The couple was then executed with at least one gunshot each to the head, according to a report.
After cartel gunmen finished raping the 17-year-old, they ordered her to leave the property and take the vehicle she arrived in. She was told that her parents were in the trunk. The daughter drove away and eventually stopped at a gas station in a traumatized state. She asked for help and told the station attendants that her parents were inside the trunk. The station summoned the police, who noticed blood dripping from the rear area of the vehicle. Police discovered two deceased adults partially covered in blankets, according to recently released information by the state attorney general’s office.
Jaqueline and Andrés Martínez were married for approximately 20 years and owned a wholesale merchandising business. They were also involved in trafficking drugs into the United States, according to the state attorney general’s office. Once investigators located the residence where the double murder and rape took place, the cartel gunmen had already fled.
Breitbart News reports extensively about the ongoing cartel violence in Tijuana with shocking numbers of homicides to include a record-breaking year in 2018, which totaled 2,518. By comparison, San Diego tallied 35 the same period.
A recent study released in March by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (El Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal) listed Tijuana as the deadliest city in the world per capita, based on its 2018 registered homicide count. The bloodshed is generally related to turf wars involving Cártel Tijuana Nueva Generación (CTNG), aligned with El Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, against the Sinaloa Cartel.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at


EXCLUSIVE: Cartel Hitman Behind Mexican Border Beheadings Unmasked

Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles
 12 Apr 20194

Breitbart News learned the identity of a hitman responsible for performing numerous beheadings and dismemberments throughout the border state of Nuevo Leon on behalf of the terrorist-led Cartel Del Noreste, a faction of the Los Zetas.

Known by the nickname “El Negro Cadereyta,” Jesus Enrique Flores Ramirez is a top lieutenant with the CDN under the command of Hector Raul “El Tory” Luna Luna, the cartel boss behind the 2008 grenade attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart News identify Flores Ramirez as the man who led a CDN group in Monterrey linked to at least 16 dismemberments.
Under orders of El Tory, CDN hitmen carried out 16 executions in a six-month span, where they left the remains of their victims in public places next to poster boards or banners with threats directed at rivals. Law enforcement sources say the moves are meant to terrorize rivals and intimidate independent drug distributors into exclusive collaboration with the CDN. The executions were ordered by El Tory through his right-hand man in direct contact with Flores Ramirez. By controlling local distributors, the CDN is able to control drug prices in the Monterrey Metropolitan area.
Earlier this year, detectives with the Nuevo Leon’s State Investigations Agency tracked down Flores Ramirez and his top hitmen, David Ricardo “La Galleta or Cookie” Martinez Lopez and Samuel Eduardo “El Sammy” Luna Escobar. State detectives were able to identify the men in a Chevrolet Aveo previously used to kidnap and kill two lookouts from the Gulf Cartel.
Breitbart News accessed police reports linking Flores Ramirez to the kidnapping and murder of 51-year-old Felipe de Jesus Ramirez Serrano and 17-year-old Jordan Arcenis “Cocoy” Nunez Garcia. Negro Cadereyta allegedly arranged for the two victims to unload a tractor-trailer filled with drugs, in reality, the job was a ruse to capture the two men who were then recorded claiming to work for the Gulf Cartel. Flores Ramirez and his henchmen allegedly beheaded and dismembered the victims, whose remains were discovered in February at an industrial park in the community of Escobedo.
Flores Ramirez’s boss, El Tory, currently controls the CDN in Monterrey and the border city of Nuevo Laredo. He was in a Mexican federal prison beginning in 2010 but was mysteriously released in mid-2018. Since assuming command of the CDN, El Tory ordered numerous dismemberments in Nuevo Leon and the neighboring states of Tamaulipas and Coahuila. El Tory previously issued direct threats to law enforcement using banners, specifically targeting a state police building in Nuevo Leon for a bombing.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at 
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at
Tony Aranda from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report. 

GRAPHIC — Terrorist-Led Mexican Cartel Tortures Citizen Journalist

Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles
 13 Mar 20191

NUEVO LAREDO, Tamaulipas – Cartel gunmen working for a convicted terrorist kidnapped, tortured, and humiliated a citizen journalist who recorded a recent gun battle and dared to share the footage on social media. The attack is the second of its kind in recent weeks where Los Zetas tried to scare locals into silence.

This week, gunmen from the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas tortured an unidentified man and spray-painted him. He was left in his underwear in the streets of Nuevo Laredo as a warning to all residents to not record or photograph cartel gunmen.
The man claimed to be the individual who, over the weekend, used his cell phone to record a fierce gun battle between Mexican soldiers and the CDN. As Breitbart News reported, Mexican soldiers killed six CDN gunmen during the clash.
Earlier this year, Los Zetas tortured another man who they stripped and spray-painted with a message warning other citizen journalists to not document violence.
The CDN faction of Los Zetas has absolute control over the local news outlets in Nuevo Laredo and is able to suppress coverage of cartel violence. The faction also employs misinformation tactics to blame the consequences of criminal violence on officials. The tactic even duped United Nations officials into critiquing Mexican military forces. In addition to using the media for political gain, the CDN faction has leveraged local news outlets into praising their so-called charity work.
Currently, the CDN faction of Los Zetas is led by convicted terrorist Hector Raul “El Tory” Luna Luna, the man behind the 2008 grenade attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. Since assuming operational control of Nuevo Laredo, El Tory has been linked to numerous gruesome executions where victim’s bodies were dismembered and placed inside ice chests as a warning to rivals. El Tory’s gunmen were also tied to numerous attacks and threats on law enforcement, including a warning they would bomb a state police building in Nuevo Leon.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas. 



GRAPHIC: Cartel Dumps Tortured Bodies Along Mexican Border City Highway

Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles
 27 Jan 2019441

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Gulf Cartel gunmen dumped the bodies of three victims along one of the highways in this border city. A large deployment of police forces responded to secure the crime scene. The violence comes at a time when rival factions of the Gulf Cartel continue their fight for control of the border region.

Early morning motorists moving the Libramiento highway called authorities upon spotting the three bodies. Tamaulipas state authorities rushed to the scene and set up a perimeter while forensic investigators documented the crime scene and collected the bodies.
Breitbart TV
The cartel gunmen wrapped one of the victims in a blanket, a second one plastic, and a third was dumped tied and semi-nude. All three victims showed signs of torture, law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart News.
The discovery of the three bodies along the highway in Reynosa follows almost a dozen similar cases of executions where the victims were dumped along rural roads near the city. As Breitbart News reported, Reynosa residents witnessed a rekindling of violence where the two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel that have an ongoing power struggle set off fierce firefights involving dozens of armored vehicles with gunmen carrying machine guns, grenades, and .50 caliber rifles.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas. 




Eight-Time Deportee Accused of Trafficking $850,000 in Meth, Cocaine

 15 Jan 201957

Police arrested an illegal alien in Utah, who had been deported from the U.S. eight different times, for allegedly trafficking $850,000 in meth and cocaine.

Jose Olegario Lopez, a 44-year-old Mexican national from the state of Sinaloa, was traveling with his 16-year-old son on Saturday when Utah County officers pulled him over for suspected traffic violations.
But Lopez reportedly did not stop the car, causing authorities to surround him until he was forced to stop.
Breitbart TV
Officers who initially searched Lopez found he had traces of cocaine on his body, authorities said.
When officers and a K9 conducted an in-depth search of Lopez’s vehicle, they discovered multiple individually wrapped packages. Detectives say they recovered 2.35 pounds of cocaine, worth $106,000, and 16.7 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of more than $750,000.
Authorities charged Lopez with two first-degree felony counts of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, one count of failing to respond to obey an officer, and one class A misdemeanor charge of drug paraphernalia possession, according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Lopez is currently in custody and a judge ordered that he be held without bond.
Officials say the son was not involved in the trafficking and they released him into the custody of his mother.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials confirmed that Lopez is in the U.S. illegally and has been busted for illegally re-entering the country eight times.
ICE officials placed a detainer on Lopez, meaning that if he is released from prison, ICE can take custody of him and deport him out of the U.S.
Lopez is not the only eight-time deportee to make headlines. One judge threw the book at a Honduran national who had been deported from the U.S. eight times, sentencing the illegal alien to five years in federal prison.

GRAPHIC – 7 Human Heads Dumped in Mexican Border State

Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles
14 Sep 2018446


Police discovered seven heads abandoned in an ice cooler Friday morning in the rural community of Bácum, Sonora–sparking fears of an escalation in an ongoing territorial cartel war.

Security elements of the State Public Security Police (PESP) and investigators assigned to the State Attorney General’s Office responded to a report of heads in a cooler at approximately 4 am, according to local media. Authorities determined that all victims were males between the ages of 25 and 40 and were believed kidnapped several hours earlier in the town of Francisco Javier Mina.
According to authorities and Breitbart Texas law enforcement contacts, the Friday morning executions and the general escalation in violence in the region can be attributed to a territorial dispute between “Los Salazar,” aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel, and Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). This dispute began in 2017 as CJNG moved into southern Sonora to challenge the Sinaloa Cartel’s dominance over routes to the U.S. drug markets.
According to local media reports, the small community of Bácum has registered 150 homicides.
Sonora Homicides per Year
2016 – 580
2017 – 693
2018 Year to July 31 – 653
Source: Mexican Secretariat of National Public Security
In early August, Breitbart Texas reported that the United States Consulate General in Hermosillo issued a security alert prohibiting federal employees from traveling to the popular tourist locations of San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme, Sonora, due to recent violent activity. Breitbart Texas also reported that more than 200 federal and state police personnel supported by elements of the Mexican Army were deployed to Guaymas amid increasing violence.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at

GRAPHIC: Cartel Gunmen Carry Out Early Morning Hits in Mexican Border State

Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles
 15 Sep 201856

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas — Cartel gunmen escalated the number of executions in capital city of this Mexican border state. Hitmen began a new tactic where they are now raiding homes early in the morning. The raids are designed to surprise their sleeping victims and kill them at point-blank range.

This week, Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, witnessed a series of executions where a group of assassins arrived at the houses of their victims at dawn and used assault rifles to kill them. The first execution took place in the Horacio Terán neighborhood in the southern part of the city where 52-year-old Hortencia “N” and an unidentified man died after being shot three times in the head.
According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by state authorities, neighbors reported hearing several gunshots at 6 a.m. so they called the authorities. By the time authorities and emergency personnel arrived, the victims were already dead and the gunmen escaped from the scene.
The double murder occurred at about the same time that another group of hit men killed an ex-convict named Ricardo “El Riki” Gonzalez Villanueva. According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by authorities, the gunmen also caught the victim by surprise at his home when two cartel hitmen entered and shot him multiple times in the head.
Also this week, a group of hitmen executed two men outside a house in the Luis Echeverria neighborhood. The gunmen shot their victims with machine guns at close range before fleeing. According to police sources, the executions are related to the territorial disputes between rival factions of Los Zetas cartel called Northeastern Cartel or Cartel Del Noreste and Old School Zetas or Zetas Vieja Escuela.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “Francisco Morales” from Tamaulipas. 


40% of all Federal Border Crimes are by invading Mexicans!

25 MINUTE VIDEO OF ACTUAL MEX INVASION. Illegals pour over Texas rancher’s property.


You truly want wider open borders with NARCOMEX?



BEHEADINGS LONG U.S. OPEN BORDERS WITH NARCOMEX: The La Raza Heroin Cartels Take the Border and Leave Heads


“Heroin is not produced in the United States. Every gram of heroin present in the United States provides unequivocal evidence of a failure of border security because every gram of heroin was smuggled into the United States. Indeed, this is precisely a point that Attorney General Jeff Sessions made during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 18, 2017 when he again raised the need to secure the U.S./Mexican border to protect American lives.” Michael Cutler …

The illegal stabbed her to death with a screwdriver and then ran her over with her car.

“The greatest criminal threat to the daily lives of American citizens are the Mexican drug cartels.”

“Mexican drug cartels are the “other” terrorist threat to America. Militant Islamists have the goal of destroying the United States. Mexican drug cartels are now accomplishing that mission – from within, every day, in virtually every community across this country.” JUDICIALWATCH

“Mexican authorities have arrested the former mayor of a rural community in the border state of Coahuila in connection with the kidnapping, murder and incineration of hundreds of victims through a network of ovens at the hands of the Los Zetas cartel. The arrest comes after Breitbart Texas exposed not only the horrors of the mass extermination, but also the cover-up and complicity of the Mexican government.”
“Heroin is not produced in the United States. Every gram of heroin present in the United States provides unequivocal evidence of a failure of border security because every gram of heroin was smuggled into the United States. Indeed, this is precisely a point that Attorney General Jeff Sessions made during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 18, 2017 when he again raised the need to secure the U.S./Mexican border to protect American lives.” Michael Cutler …

Overall, in the 2017 Fiscal Year, officials revealed that a record-breaking 455,000 pounds plus of drugs had already been seized. In 2016, that number amounted to 443,000 pounds. The 2017 haul is worth an estimated $6.1 billion – BREITBART – JEFF SESSION’S DRUG BUST ON SAN DIEGO

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has testified before a Congressional committee that in 2004, 95% of all outstanding warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; in 2000, 23% of all Los Angeles County jail inmates were illegal aliens and that in 1995, 60% of Los Angeles’s largest street gang, the 18th Street gang, were illegal aliens. 

“The drug epidemic is the product of capitalism and the policies of the capitalist parties, both Democrats and Republicans. There is, first of all, the role of the pharmaceutical companies, which have amassed huge profits from the deceptive marketing of opioid pain killers, which they claimed were not addictive. Prescriptions for opioids such as Percocet, Oxycontin and Vicodin skyrocketed from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 259 million in 2012. What are the numbers and profits now?



American middle-class is addicted, poor, jobless and suicidal…. Thank the corrupt government for surrendering our borders to 40 million looting Mexicans and then handing the bills to middle America?

“While drug distributors have paid a total of $400 million in fines over the past 10 years, their combined revenue during this same period was over $5 trillion.”

“Opioids have ravaged families and devastated communities across the country. Encouraging their open use undermines the rule of law and will do nothing to quell their continued abuse, let alone the problems underlying mass addiction.”