Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday's show: A chat with Joao Cerqueria, author, about the politics of Europe


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Friday's show:   
A chat with Joao Cerqueria, author, about the politics of Europe








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Friday's video: Obama Care enrollment is down from last year

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Friday's video:     
Obama Care enrollment is down from last year





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The only winner of the GM bailout was Obama 2012


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Back in 2012, the Obama reelection team reminded us that they got Osama bin Laden and saved GM. 
It probably gave Obama Ohio at less than 200,000 votes out of 5 plus million cast.  It did not hurt in Michigan.  It certainly energized the unions to cast ballots for the man who “saved” their jobs.
Yes, they got Osama bin Laden.  But they didn’t really save GM or do the workers any favor on a long-term basis.
Looking back, the GM bailout was a partisan band aid.  I like what Kevin D. Williamson wrote about this:     
What did U.S. taxpayers get for their $11.2 billion bailout of GM? About ten years of business-as-usual, and one very expensive lesson.
Bailouts don’t work…
GM’s sedan business is weak because GM’s sedans are weak: Virtually all of the best-selling sedans in the United States are made by Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. 
The lower and middle sections of the market are dominated by Asia, and the high end of the market by Europe: Mercedes, Audi, BMW. GM can’t compete with the Honda Civic at its price point or with the Audi A7 at its price point. 
Consumers like what they like, and they aren’t buying what GM is selling. It isn’t winning in the dino-juice-powered market, in the electric-car market, or in the hybrid market, either: GM is not exactly what you would call a nimble corporation.
So, things are grim for GM.
On the car front, anyway. GM has a much healthier business selling trucks and SUVs, a business that it now will focus its resources on — as it should have done long ago. 
Why didn’t it do that?
With all due respect and concern for the employees out in the cold, GM should have been allowed to go into the bankruptcy courts.   
Yes, I understand that some jobs would have been lost.  However, all that the bailout did was to keep a business going that was going to eventually lay off people.
The GM bailout was a classic case of government picking winners and losers.   
A better solution would have been what they call a managed bankruptcy.  In other words, allow GM to restructure itself, leaving the courtroom as a healthier enterprise more in tune with the reality of the market.  
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter……..

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We remember Rob Grill (1943-2011)


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If you recall Top 40 AM radio then you probably purchased a few 45's by The Grass Roots.

We remember Rob Grill who was born in Los Angeles on this day in 1943.  He died in 2011.   He was the founder, composer and lead vocalist.

The Grass Roots had a great sound and a dozen Top 40 hits, from "Let's live for today" to "Midnight confessions".



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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday's show: The Mueller probe, DACA & the wall plus other stories


Thursday's show:   
The Mueller probe, DACA & the wall plus other stories





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Thursday's video: The GM bailout years later


Thursday's video:   
The GM bailout years later



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A wall plus DACA

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As we move toward 2020, the GOP has to improve its standing with Hispanics, as our friend Richard Baehr wrote here last week.
Let me make this suggestion to President Trump and the GOP: the wall plus DACA!
Negotiate the wall, plus other actions to curb illegal immigration, and legalize the so-called “DREAMers” who meet certain standards.
I like what Donald Graham wrote:
Earlier this year, the president offered to give a chance for legal status not only to nearly 700,000 “dreamers” – those undocumented immigrants [sic] brought to the United States as children – through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but to a million others who were either too young to apply or chose not to.  (I presume that, to get legal status or a path to citizenship, all 1.7 million would have to show, as DACA recipients do, that they have never been convicted of a felony or a serious misdemeanor.)
Why not pass a simple bill: an appropriation for the wall, alongside an eventual path to citizenship for DACA recipients and long-term legal status for the rest?
It sounds like a sensible compromise to me.
President Trump gets the wall and keeps a promise.  The Democrats get DACA. 
Best of all, you do away with a contentious issue that the Democrats keep using against the GOP.
Will it happen?  I’m not sure that it will happen in the lame duck session.
However, the Democrats need to do something in the majority.  They can’t come back in 2020 and say it’s all Trump’s fault.
Also, opposing the wall is going to be a lot more difficult for Democrats after what we’ve seen on the border over the last two weeks. 
Before you tell me I’m calling for amnesty, let me repeat that many of these “DREAMers” are already here.  Many are working and going to school.  It makes no sense to keep them without a legal status any longer.  Obviously, anyone with an additional criminal background will not be approved.
So let’s think: DACA and the wall.  My guess is that most Americans will support that.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Remember Eric Nadel on the radio?



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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday's election: A chat with Richard Baehr Chief Political Correspondent American Thinker


Wednesday's election:   
A chat with Richard Baehr Chief Political Correspondent American Thinker





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Wednesday's video: The wall plus DACA

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Wednesday's video:   
The wall plus DACA






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Now Mexicans are screaming ‘migrants go home’

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My guess is that the people behind the caravan didn’t plan for things to work out this way.  As that Bee Gees’ song goes:  “Oh If I’d only seen that the joke was on me”.
The caravan planners have a few problems:
First, they were not expecting President Trump to take a firm stand and then enforce it;
Second, they didn’t see those anti-caravan marches in Tijuana happening; and most importantly,
Third, they didn’t realize the terrible situation that all of this would put President-elect Andres Lopez-Obrador in.
This is from the New York Times and right on target:  
After more than 15 years of campaigning as a leftist firebrand, Mr. López Obrador must swiftly decide: Will he stand up to Mr. Trump and defend the migrants’ pleas to be allowed into the United States, even if many of their asylum requests will ultimately be rejected? Or will he acquiesce to Mr. Trump’s demands and the economic imperative of good relations with the United States?
“The Mexican government is in a dead-end alley,” said Raúl Benítez Manaut, a professor of international relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. 
“López Obrador is facing a baptism of fire, and a dilemma of whether he should maintain his promises of humanitarian policies, or stop the masses of migrants trying to reach the U.S.”
Baptism of fire?  More like a no-win situation.  
The article finishes by saying that Mr. Lopez-Obrador needs to calm things down because they are very heated south of the border.
Here are a couple of things to remember:
Tijuana is in the north of Mexico, or the states that border with the U.S.  This is the home of the PAN, or the right-center party.  
These states are very skeptical of Mexico’s central government.   I recall a Mexican friend in Monterrey saying this:  “Why am I paying taxes so that those people in Mexico have a cheap metro, or subway?”
These Mexicans are more prosperous and closer to the U.S. than the rest of the country.  In other words, the Dallas Cowboys are on TV every Sunday, at home and “la cantina” where men get together for a beer.
This is not the part of the country that elected Lopez-Obrador.  Instead, this is where you find cities like Tijuana and Monterrey with large middle class populations.   Many professionals work for Maquiladoras (foreign companies) or send their kids to U.S. colleges.
Also, it’s impossible for Mexico to defend the caravan.  That will just invite more caravans.  
Finally, Mexico’s political class loves illegal immigration when Mexicans are going north and send remittances to Mexico.  In this case, we are talking about Central Americans, not Mexicans.  What are they sending back?  Nothing!  They don’t even pay a toll when they go through Mexico.
The caravan has blown up in the faces of its framers.  The days of caravans through Mexico are over.
President-elect Lopez-Obrador has to make a decision.   Do I pick a fight with Trump and the Mexican middle class that I can’t win?   Or do I send the Central Americans home?   Hopefully, the incoming president has the common sense to make the right call.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Final score 2018



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The 2018 election box score


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The final score for 2018 is finally in.
The Democrats won 40 districts or translated to a 16-seat majority in the House of Representatives, a chamber of 435 members.
Over at the US Senate, the GOP picked up 2 seats and now enjoys a 53-47 majority.
The bottom line is that Trump had a better midterm than Reagan in 1982, Clinton in 1994 & Obama in 2010.  By the way, all 3 were re-elected!
The chief consequences of these results is that Trump will get his judges confirmed!  This is going to be very important if another opening happens in the Supreme Court.
I think that both sides can claim some level of victory.  However, the Democrats face the task of moving from “the resistance” to governing.  Let’s see how they handle that responsibility.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday's show: The caravan & the incoming Mexican president plus other stories


Tuesday's show: The caravan & the incoming Mexican president plus other stories





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Tuesday's video: The caravan and the problems for the new President of Mexico


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Tuesday's video:  
The caravan and the problems for the new President of Mexico


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The Dallas Morning News sings the ‘Beto blues’

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As you may remember, The Dallas Morning News endorsed Representative O’Rourke on the grounds that we need a change of tone in Washington.  In other words, Beto would bring us together!
What has Beto done to bring anyone together?  The answer is nothing, as I wrote here.  How can a man who voted for partial abortion, to abolish ICE, and for socialized medicine bring anyone together?  It sounds to me that Beto was a “party line” representative who never stood up to his leadership.
On Monday, The Dallas Morning News is a bit shocked that their Beto is moving left
So we were surprised and more than a little perplexed to see that O’Rourke’s first big public action following the midterm elections was to weld himself to one of the leading progressives of his party.
This week, he joined with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in signing a letter aimed for the desk of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis over the issue of troops on the border.   
Are you kidding me?   The editorial board at The Dallas Morning News is surprised that a man who voted with Representative Pelosi is now joining forces with Senator Warren?
Can someone check the coffee over at 1954 Commerce Street?   Call it the “cult of Beto” going around.
Beto got very sweet treatment.  After all, did anyone write a story about his father in law?  How can a candidate say that the Trump benefited the wealthy and not a get a question about his father in law?
My guess is that the Beto endorsement resulted in a few subscription cancellations.  I can’t prove it but many of my friends did indeed cancel. 
In the meantime, skip the coffee the next time they call you in for an interview.  You may walk out of the meeting saying that Beto should run for president because only he can bring us together.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter..

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More Trump Derangement Syndrome



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Brain dead Democrats and a few other thoughts



We saw a couple of confirmations of just how “brain dead” the Democrats are.
First, it’s Christmas so it’s time to criticize The First Lady and The White House decorations. Frankly, attacking The First Lady over Christmas decorations is just the latest demonstration of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I would rather hear how the new Democrat majority is planning to pay for their health care promises; and
Second, a Democrat  Senator accused the US of using chemical weapons on the border. He quickly deleted the tweet; and . . .
Is everybody brain dead in the Dem party?

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My sister is a year older BUT nobody mentions her age!


Our parents, my brother and I, cousins, daughters, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, friends, acquaintances, people she used to know, current and old neighbors, sales clerks at malls all over the country, the salesmen and saleswomen at shoe stores that she drove crazy over the years, etc......everybody in the world wishes our sister a very happy birthday.

Again, I know that she is younger than me but nobody discusses her age anymore.


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Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday's show: The border & caravan crisis Cuba still very repressive & other stories


Monday's show:   
The border & caravan crisis Cuba still very repressive & other stories





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Monday's video: Castro still dead and Cuba still very repressive


Monday's video:  
Castro still dead and Cuba still very repressive




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Castro still dead, Cuba still repressive

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Two years ago, we heard that Fidel Castro died of whatever.  
Two years later, the dissidents are complaining that they didn’t get the political reform memo.  This is from Briebart:    
Speaking to Breitbart News, leaders of the Cuban counter-revolution – which, contrary to the Aspen Institute analysis, does exist — lament that any opportunity to ease the repression of dissident voices in the country appears to have passed without incident. 
Both Fidel Castro’s death and the substitution of Raúl Castro as the Revolution’s international envoy with loyalist Miguel Díaz-Canel in April have done little for political freedom in the country, they agree.
“The situation in Cuba for dissidents remains very similar to that which we had during Fidel Castro’s life, and in some ways is even worse,” José Daniel Ferrer, the General Coordinator of one of Cuba’s largest dissident groups, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU),” told Breitbart News. 
“The current dictator, Miguel Díaz-Canel … takes orders directly from Raúl Castro [and] leaves clear who truly wields power.”
So let me translate: the old boss dies, his brother appoints a successor and nothing changes in Cuba.  Cue the Four Tops: “It’s the same old song”.
The good new for dissidents, and those of us outside who want real reforms, is that the Cuban economy is on unsustainable path.
In other words, there is no USSR out there to bail out the regime or European banks lending money to the regime.  On the contrary, more and more countries are treating Cuba like a nation that can’t pay its debts, i.e. no cash no laundry!
Back in July, President Diaz-Canel lamented that the island’s economy is slowing down and the country faces a liquidity crisis.  The economy grew 1.1% in 2018 after 1.6% the year before.  
Castro is still dead but repression is alive and well.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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I am confused.about this story.......


Confusing.  This is a ABC News headline:  "Mueller report will be 'devastating' for the president".   The story is based on an interview with Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Then you read the story and see this: 
".....although it will have a strong political impact, is unlikely to result in criminal charges."  
So what's devastating about it?

I am confused.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday's show: The week in review with Bill Katz, the week in review


Sunday's show:  
The week in review with Bill Katz, the week in review




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Sunday's video: US, Mexico and a caravan deal

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Sunday's video:  
US, Mexico and a caravan deal


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In Cuba the week of Kennedy Ruby and Oswald

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By late 1963, we were waiting for “el telegrama” to leave Cuba.  It was routine for Cubans to announce their decision to leave the country and then be forced to wait for a departure date.  It was generally an opportunity for the regime to mock you, for thugs to scream in front of your home and call you traitors, and for your dad to be squeezed out of any way of making a living.  My father’s employer, a Cuban-owned bank, had been expropriated, so that put him in an even more difficult position.
Our resources were limited, and my parents kept having their differences with the local CDR, or the so-called “Comité de la Defensa de la Revolución,” the local neighborhood spy gang that would watch your every move like a hawk.  It was not a fun time for my parents and many other Cubans on the island.
In the middle of this, I recall President Kennedy’s assassination and then the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald.
During this past week in 1963, millions of people in the U.S. watched Jack Ruby, a Dallas businessman, shoot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged killer of President Kennedy.  Oswald died shortly after.
Down in Cuba, my father learned about it from the Spanish service of The Voice of America.  I remember my father updating my mother, and her shocked face said it all.
As my father recalled, they weren’t sure what would happen to Cuba.  Would the new President Johnson invade Cuba and blame the assassination on Castro?  Would Castro go into panic mode and shut down departures from the island?  Would more men be arrested, as happened after the Bay of Pigs or even the Missile Crisis?
Ruby’s action also opened the door to a ton of conspiracy theories about the president’s assassination.
For the record, I believe that Oswald shot President Kennedy on his own.  I came to that conclusion after reading Gerald Posner’s Case Closed in the 1990s.
Ruby died of cancer in 1967.  As far as we know, Ruby never changed his story about why he killed Oswald.  Apparently, Ruby did not want Jackie Kennedy to come to a trial.  He took that explanation to his grave.
Down in Cuba, it was a week of extra tension for all of us stuck down there.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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We remember Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006)



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Augusto Pinochet was born on this day in 1914.   He died in 2006.

There are no shades of gray with this man.  People love or hate him.

Many of us remember Pinochet as the man who saved Chile from misguided socialism and created the most successful economy in Latin America.

Like any dictator, he was also responsible for attacks on his political enemies.

To be fair, Pinochet's opposition had a huge advantage over dissidents in Cuba like Armando Valladares or the torture chambers of North Korea.

Pinochet was bad but he allowed the foreign press to cover domestic events.

Let me ask you this:  How many times did the international press visit a Cuban or North Korean political prison?

Did the Kremlin allow Western reporters in The Gulag Archipelago?

Some of us are old enough to remember what Allende did to Chile or the country that Pinochet inherited.

By the summer of 1973, Chile was a disaster.  It was pure economic chaos.  To be sure, Allende had gone too far and most Chileans were scared. 

In other words, Allende was not the romantic figure that the anti-US left created.  He was an incompetent leader who started a leftist revolution in a country that did not vote for one.

On September 11, 1973, Pinochet overthrew Allende.

Pinochet quickly moved to fix the Chilean economy.    In fact, he presided over an economic miracle.   Pinochet inherited triple digit inflation and left an economy that is the envy of the continent.    .

Later, he brought in Milton Friedman's "The Chicago Boys".

They cut spending, privatized public enterprises, provided generous incentives for foreign investors, deregulated the banks, lowered trade barriers and promoted exports.

It worked. Chile has been the best economy in Latin America for many!   No one disputes that!

Pinochet also made mistakes. However, he accepted a referendum and walked away from power in '88.

How many dictators have held a referendum and respected the results?
For many years, Chile has had elections and no one has reversed Pinochet's economic plan.

The left hated Pinochet. The left criticized Pinochet for human rights abuses and kept its mouth shut on Fidel Castro's excesses. As always, the international left showed its selective indignation on human rights abuses.

Like any strong leader, Pinochet leaves a mixed record. However, I would rate him as a positive for Chile.

He gets low marks for "human rights" and very high marks for economic policies.

My overall grade is very good!

Latin America has had a lot of bad leaders. Pinochet was not one of them!

In fact, I would argue that Pinochet ranks rather high compared to his contemporaries:   the aforementioned Fidel & Raul Castro, Mexico's disastrous Echeverria and the corrupt Lopez-Portillo, Venezuela's irresponsible Carlos Andres Perez and the Hugo Chavez disaster still ongoing, and some of the juntas that governed other South American countries.

In sum, Chile could have done a lot worse than Pinochet!



PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

P.S. Secretary Kissinger wrote about Pinochet and Chile 1973 in this book:










We remember the great Joe DiMaggio (1914-99)

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The great Joe DiMaggio was born in San Francisco on this day in 1914.    He died in 1999.

We've posted a lot about his 56 game hitting streak.   Of course, Joe was more than the streak.   He won MVP's and led the Yankees to several World Series titles.    He was the best player in the best team in baseball.

DiMaggio retired after the 1951 season:   a .325 average, 361 HR, 1,537 RBI in 1,736 games.  

In this book, you will learn that Joe was very quiet and shy but he could hit:



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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday's show: Kennedy 1963 & the latest from the caravan with George Rodriguez in South Texas


Saturday's show:   
Kennedy 1963 & the latest from the caravan with George Rodriguez in South Texas





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Saturday's video: Ruby, Oswald & JFK 1963

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Saturday's video:  
Ruby, Oswald & JFK 1963






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Mexico dropped the ball on the caravan

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According to the latest news reports, President Trump is planning to drop the caravan in Mexico’s lap.  He wants the “asylum” seekers to wait in Mexico rather than cross to the U.S.  
Central Americans who arrive at U.S. border crossings seeking asylum in the United States will have to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed under sweeping new measures the Trump administration is preparing to implement, according to internal planning documents and three Department of Homeland Security officials familiar with the initiative.
They call it “Remain in Mexico” and that’s exactly where the caravan will remain.
Most of my Mexican friends are dumbfounded by the caravan story.  Naturally, they have turned to conspiracies along with more charges of plain incompetence by President Henrique Pena-Nieto. 
Let’s look at the incompetence story.  They repeat that President Pena-Nieto is just plain stupid and was outmaneuvered by President Trump. They tell me that the  caravan was one bridge away and all you had to do was block the bridge.   Why were they allowed to rush in?  What “tonto” (fool) gave that order?
The other is a conspiracy theory, something that Mexicans are really good at.  The conspiracy is that President Pena-Nieto wants President-elect Andres Lopez-Obrador to deal with this mess on day one.  In about a week, the new president will face a country that is starting to sound a lot like the mayor of Tijuana and people in the streets calling on the caravan to go home.   Who knew that the caravan would create the “Make Mexico great again” movement?
Frankly, I don’t know if it was a conspiracy or a lack of leadership that allowed this problem to get out of hand in Mexico.
But one way or another, the caravan is now Mexico’s problem.  
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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