Friday, March 31, 2023

Friday's podcast: Trump indicted, Mexico fire and the Biden border policy and more


Friday's podcast:    

Trump indicted, Mexico fire and the Biden border policy and more....

Click to listen:

Frida's video: Trump indicted, Mexico fire and the Biden border policy and more


Trump indicted...Mexico fire and the Biden border policy...Brazil and China...LBJ 1968 and other stories...

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Brazil turning Chinese -- I really think so


 (My new American Thinker post)

What could go wrong?  You elect a leftist in Brazil, China comes calling and the U.S. president is too busy with what he calls equity.  Well, the Brazilians sing you a samba called "adeus norte-americano" or goodbye, North American. Yes, nice knowing you and your "Dinheiro" (money) but we are turning "chinês" (chinese). To paraphrase that song from the 1980s, Brazil is turning Chinese -- I really think so.

Well, here is the story:   

The deal, announced Wednesday, will enable China and Brazil to carry out trade and financial transactions directly, exchanging yuan for reais -- or vice versa -- rather than first converting their currencies to the U.S. dollar.    

The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) said the new arrangement is expected to "reduce costs" and "promote even greater bilateral trade and facilitate investment." 

China is Brazil’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than a fifth of all imports, followed by the United States, according to the latest figures. China is also Brazil’s largest export market, accounting for more than a third of all exports.     

China overtook the United States as Brazil’s top trading partner in 2009. Today, Brazil is the largest recipient of Chinese investment in Latin America, driven by spending on high-tension electricity transmission lines and oil extraction. 

Officials from both countries reached a preliminary agreement to ditch the U.S. dollar in January and the deal was announced after a high-level China-Brazil business form in Beijing.    

Brazilian President Luiz da Silva, sworn in on January, has moved to strengthen ties with Beijing after a period of rocky relations under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, who used anti-China rhetoric on the campaign trail and in office. 

"Come on, man…" everything is great.

Down in Argentina, China is learning to tango quickly:  "Argentina and China formalize currency swap deal."

Beyond trade and currency, this is a slap in the face because other countries will see this as China rising and the U.S. falling.  That's exactly the image that China wants to project to the Third World.  In other words, China is the future and Washington is the past.

During the campaign, we were told that the smart people had to replace the crazy Trump.  We needed Biden's experience to work out all these foreign policy issues.  So far, it looks like the only smart people here are the Chinese. 

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Happy # 88 Herb Alpert


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We say happy birthday to Herb Alpert, who was born in Los Angeles on this day in 1935.

In the early 1960's, Herb Alpert hit the charts with The Tijuana Brass.  His career included number one hits & many albums that charted on Billboard. They also won 8 Grammy's and sold 70 million albums around the world.

Alpert is also the only artist to hit # 1 with an instrumental "Rise" in 1979 and as a vocalist with “This guy's in love with you" in 1968.

Not bad for a guy whose first hit was "The lonely bull"!


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Happy # 88 Shirley Jones

Image result for shirley jones partridge family images

We say happy birthday to Shirley Jones who was born in Pennsylvania on this day in 1934.   

She appeared in lots of films, from "Oklahoma" to "The music man".    


I guess that most of us remember her as the mom in "The Partridge Family".

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Thursday's podcast: China and Brazil, Opening Day 2023, Vietnam 1973 & more


China and Brazil......Opening Day 2023.....Yankee Stadium 1923.....Vietnam 1973 and other stories...

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Thursday's video: China and Brazil, Reagan 1981, Vietnam 1973 & more


China and Brazil......Opening Day 2023.....Yankee Stadium 1923.....Reagan 1981....Vietnam 1973 and other stories.....

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The world today reminds us of the post-Vietnam era


 (My new American Thinker post)

If you remember Vietnam, then you may ask a simple question:  Where did 50 years go?   
 
Better than that, you may look around today and see a lot of international conflicts like we did after our embarrassing departure from Saigon.
 
It was 50 years ago this week that U.S. troops left Vietnam. It ended a war that began when President Kennedy sent some advisers, then was later escalated under President Johnson to 500,000 troops, and finally was ended by President Nixon.  As you know, the parties signed a ceasefire in January 1973.   It followed the "famous Christmas bombing" when President Nixon forced the communists to sign the agreement.  We called it "Operation Linebacker" and it was effective.  The bombing missions were so good that the communists were shortly begging for a paper to sign.   Where do I sign Mr. Kissinger?

Twenty-seven months later, or on May 1, 1975, the North walked into Saigon, and we’ve known it as Ho Chi Minh City ever since.  
 
Did it have to turn out that way?   No it did not.
 
Yes, there were many mistakes in Vietnam, from using the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to send 500,000 soldiers to war to not fighting to win.   I believe that the biggest mistake was not preserving our gains, or a South Vietnam that would have looked a lot like South Korea today.  Again, it could have turned out very differently, especially for the many who served in Vietnam.  They won the battles, and the politicians lost the peace.  
 
And last but not least, Vietnam promoted the idea that the U.S. was weak and the bad guys jumped on the opportunity.   Weakness inviting aggression is not a cliché.  It's the truth.
 
By the way, doesn't that look a bit like walking out of Afghanistan last year?  The world looks a bit like it did in the late 1970s when U.S. weakness in Vietnam and the Carter presidency made the world very unsafe for U.S. interests.  It took the election of Ronald Reagan to put things back in order.  It will take another election in 2024 to put things back to order again.
 
Let me say it again, remember the Vietnam veterans.  They did their jobs and did it well.  We salute all of them and honor the 60,000 who did not make it home.
 




Happy # 78 Eric Clapton


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Eric Clapton is one of the best "rock guitarists" ever!    He was born on this day in 1945.

Clapton's career goes back to The Yardbirds, Cream, and his own solo work.

My favorite Clapton guitar performance is "White Room" recorded by Cream, i.e. Clapton, Ginger Baker & Jack Bruce.  According to Songfacts, Eric Clapton used a Wah-Wah pedal on his guitar.  It was great.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wednesday's podcast: A chat with Barry Jacobsen, military historian and US Army veteran


Guest:   Barry Jacobsen, military historian and US Army veteran.....we will discuss the latest on gun control........and other stories.....

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Wednesday's video: A chat with Barry Jacobsen, military historian and US Army veteran


Guest: Barry Jacobsen, military historian and US Army veteran.....we will discuss the latest on gun control........and other stories.....

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NPR now stands for Not Popular Radio

 


(My new American Thinker post)

Best wishes for all of those NPR employees who got their layoff notices.  
 
It's not nice at all to get the word that you are out.  
 
This is the story:   
 
NPR itself confirmed Thursday that it had cut 10% of its workforce on Thursday, impacting roughly 100 employees, adding that it tends to roll back the workforce from 1,200 to an estimated 1,050 employees, the "largest reduction in staff since the 2008 recession."
 
"We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It's that important. It's existential," NPR chief executive John Lansing told NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik.
 
Apparently, ad revenue will drop $30 million in 2023.   
 
Back in the 1980s, I lived and worked in Mexico, and would listen to NPR's "Morning Edition" every morning via Armed Forces Radio on my Radio Shack shortwave radio.  In the evenings, I would catch "All things considered" when I was wrapping up my day or making a few more phone calls.  
 
It was my news source when I was shaving and getting ready for work.  As I recall, they weren't Rush Limbaugh, but as leftists, they weren't crazy.  
 
In other words, I could pick up the bias but it wasn't like today when listening to NPR is like paying for a subscription to a Beto O'Rourke podcast.  
 
How crazy is NPR today?   Not long ago, they broadcast an abortion.  The editor did issue a warning that the audio of a woman while getting a surgical abortion may be disturbing.   Really?   Broadcasting an abortion like a play by play call of a game may be disturbing?
 
 
Are we crazy yet?  So NPR became Not Popular Radio because sane people do not want to listen to an abortion or believe that women can compete with men and keep winning trophies.
 
Good luck NPR, but don't blame the economy for your misfortune.   Your staff has a serious diversity problem and I don't mean race, gender or LGBTQ whatever.


Happy # 79 Denny McLain

Image result for denny mclain images
We remember Denny McLain who was born in Chicago on this day in 1944.  

Denny broke with Detroit in 1963.    

He became a regular in the starting rotation in 1965 and won 108 games over 5 years, including 31-6 in 1968 and 24-9 in 1969.     

McLain won The Cy Young Award in 1968 and shared it with Mike Cuellar in 1969.  

His career fell apart in 1970 after some gambling allegations and was out of baseball in 1972 at age 28.    

McClain won 131 games.

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We remember those who served in Vietnam, 1961-73

Today We Celebrate Vietnam Veterans Day - Welcome Home Brothers ...
On this day in 1973, US troops left Vietnam.  

It ended a war that began when President Kennedy sent some advisers, was later escalated under President Johnson to 500,000 troops and finally ended by President Nixon.  

As you may know, the parties signed a cease fire in January 1973.   It followed the "famous Christmas bombing" when President Nixon forced the communists to sign the agreement.  We called it "Operation Linebacker" and it was effective.  The bombing missions were so good that the communists were shortly begging for a paper to sign.

Twenty-seven months later, or May 1, 1975, the North walked into Saigon, and we’ve known it as Ho Chi Minh City ever since.

Did it have to turn out that way?    

President Nixon did not think so.  He wrote about it in No More Vietnams, a book that gets better with age.  The point is that we choose to win wars or lose them, the latter of which we did in Vietnam.  To win would not have required a single soldier – just a few B-52s to remind the North that we meant to enforce the ceasefire.  We should remember that North Vietnam was devastated in 1973.

The tragedy of Vietnam is that the USSR could not believe that we let South Vietnam collapse in 1975, as Stephen J. Morris wrote on the 30th anniversary of the disintegration of Saigon:
If the United States had provided that level of support in 1975, when South Vietnam collapsed in the face of another North Vietnamese offensive, the outcome might have been at least the same as in 1972. 
But intense lobbying of Congress by the antiwar movement, especially in the context of the Watergate scandal, helped to drive cutbacks of American aid in 1974. 
Combined with the impact of the world oil crisis and inflation of 1973-74, the results were devastating for the south. 
As the triumphant North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Van Tien Dung, wrote later, President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam was forced to fight “a poor man’s war.”
Even Hanoi’s main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely. 
Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed. 
Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support. 
The former Soviet chargé d’affaires in Hanoi during the 1970’s told me in Moscow in late 1993 that if one looked at the balance of forces, one could not predict that the South would be defeated. 
Until 1975, Moscow was not only impressed by American military power and political will, it also clearly had no desire to go to war with the United States over Vietnam. 
But after 1975, Soviet fear of the United States dissipated.
No kidding that fear of the U.S. dissipated.  

The post-Vietnam years contributed to the perception that the U.S. was weak and unwilling to defend its interests.  From Nicaragua to Iran to the Soviets in Afghanistan and Cuban troops in Africa, it was a time of U.S. weakness.  

Thankfully, it ended with the Reagan presidency.

Yes, there were many mistakes in Vietnam, from using the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to send 500,000 soldiers to war to not fighting to win. 

I believe that the biggest mistake was not preserving our gains, or a South Vietnam that would have looked a lot like South Korea today.

Again, it could have turned out very different, especially for the many who served in Vietnam.  They won the battles, and the politicians lost the peace.

This is President Nixon's book and for some of the young people who don't remember.

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We remember Senator Eugene McCarthy (1916-2005)


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Senator Eugene McCarthy was born in Minnesota on this day in 1916. He died in 2005.

My first memory of Senator McCarthy was 1968, or the year that he shocked the Democrats by doing so well against President Johnson in New Hampshire.

He ran again in 1972 but it was all over by then. McCarthy was "a one-issue" candidate and Vietnam was not a concern in 1972 now that most of the troops were out or coming home.

Some people tried to compare Governor Howard Dean in 2004 to Senator McCarthy.  Not really. I think that McCarthy had more class!

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tuesday's podcast: The world is a mess, School shootings, NPR layoffs and other stories


The world is a mess......School shootings......NPR layoffs.......and other stories....

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Tuesday's video: The world is a mess......School shootings......NPR layoffs.......and others


Tuesday's video: 
The world is a mess......School shootings......NPR layoffs.......and others

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It would be nice if Fetterman gave us his predictions for the Phillies....


 (My new American Thinker post)

The defending National League champs will open the season against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.  There is lots of excitement in Pennsylvania about this team and I'm looking forward to catching a game this weekend. 

Wouldn't this be a wonderful opportunity for Senator John Fetterman to tell us he is doing well and wish the Phillies success in 2023?  It wouldn't be a long press conference but it's be nice to know what the newly elected senator is up to these days.  So far, he is today's version of "The Invisible Man," the 1933 movie about a secret experiment that made a man invisible.

It would be nice to see him, as Matt Margolis wrote:    

Fetterman’s staff has reported that he is making good progress in his recovery and is preparing to resume his duties in the U.S. Senate. However, information about his condition has been limited, and attempts by his aides to present the impression that he is still performing his job have been questionable at best.

But the bottom line is that Fetterman has now been at Walter Reed for over a month, and there’s still no timeline for his return. So what’s going on?

“We understand the intense interest in John’s status and especially appreciate the flood of well-wishes,” Fetterman’s communications director, Joe Calvello, said in a statement earlier this week. “However, as we have said, this will be a weeks-long process and while we will be sure to keep folks updated as it progresses, this is all there is to give by way of an update.”

If this update was meant to reassure us that Fetterman would be back to work at the Capitol soon, don’t be fooled. Fetterman’s aides have repeatedly been moving the goalposts on us. Earlier this month, Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, similarly told us that Fetterman was “well on his way to recovery” and would “be back soon.”

At this point, I suspect we’ll hear the same thing about Fetterman’s “progress” in a few weeks, followed by yet another one after that, and another, and another. How much longer are we going to be subjected to this ridiculous farce? Fetterman’s staff must be clueless about his actual condition (or hiding something) because their so-called “updates” have been about as informative as a Magic 8 Ball. It’s like they’re just kicking the can down the road, hoping nobody notices how little they’re actually saying, and avoiding the inevitable.

In the meantime, the farce is giving us its own "Paul is dead" moment.  Remember the rumor that Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash and replaced by a double? The latest on the senator is a "body double" story, that there’s someone out there pretending to be the senator.  It’s a crazy but that’s what happens when people don’t see you.

The people of Pennsylvania deserve more than "he'll be back soon." This is why I am suggesting just a simple meeting with the press where he takes a few softball questions about the Phillies and proves that he is actually recovering.

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday's podcast: The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda



Guest:.......
Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda.....Former Pres. Trump vs DA Bragg.....Trump rally and Gov DeSantis.....Foreign policy messes.....Border mess.........and other stories.....

click to listen:

Monday's video: School shootings......Where is Senator Fetterman? Colts say goodbye to Baltimore....


School shootings......Where is Senator Fetterman? Colts say goodbye to Baltimore 1984........and other stories.....

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.

So long, Baltimore Colts


Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I went to school and started my banking career in Baltimore.  The crabs were great and the city loved their sports teams.  Good seafood, a passion for sports, and I was right at home.

Today the Baltimore Ravens are a very successful franchise.  They won two Super Bowl championships since the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996.  In fact, no one younger than 40 remembers the team that used to play in the old Memorial Stadium on 33rd. Street.  I remember watching an old Johnny Unitas and then Bert Jones lead a team that won the AFC East three years in a row.  Those Colts had the misfortune of losing to the Super Bowl champ, twice the Steelers and then the Raiders.  Nevertheless the Colts were fun to follow.

In the early 1980s, the Orioles were winning and the Colts were not selling out on Sunday.  All of a sudden, there was talk of the team moving but nobody believed it. The Colts leave Baltimore? You kidding?  We have an old-fashioned marching band and a fight song.

Back in the last week of March 1984, the unthinkable happened, as Brooklyn Dodgers fans said when the team moved to Los Angeles.  Jim Irsay, the owner who had bought the team in 1972, had the movers pack up the offices in the morning while the city slept.  It was a bit sneaky, to say the least.  The moving trucks showed up when the city slept and the Colts were gone.  Here is the story:   

Rick Russell was having lunch at the Indianapolis Athletic Club on March 28, 1984, when a phone was brought to his table. It was Johnny B. Smith, Mayflower CEO and chairman. Russell, president of Mayflower's moving operations, had to return to the office immediately.

The Colts were coming.

Fourteen tractor-trailer trucks were dispatched to the Baltimore Colts facility in Owings Mills, Md. Drivers weren't told their destination until the next day: The soon-to-be-famous 600-mile trek to Indianapolis.

"It's probably the most famous sporting move ever," said Russell, 68 and retired in Longboat Key, Fla.

Back that day, I was working in Mexico City for a Maryland bank.  The phone rings at 6 a.m. and I heard from a colleague from the bank.  He said, did you hear?  I responded half sleep, wondering if Mexico had devalued the peso again.  He said no it's worse than the peso, the Colts are gone.

To say the least, there was little time for international finance that day.  My telex machine was running all day with colleagues sending me the latest reports.  No Internet or texts, only expensive long-distance calls and a telex machine that we used to do business with.

Thirty-nine years ago, the news was about the Colts leaving and nothing else mattered much.  The unthinkable happened!  And best of all, the bank president did not fire us for running the machine all day with Colts news.  

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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sunday's podcast: Our chat with George Rodriguez, South Texas conservative.....


Guest: George Rodriguez, South Texas conservative
.....Trump in Waco.....More dead at the border........and other stories......

click to listen:

Another border tragedy


(My new American Thinker post)

During the campaign, we often heard that the Biden approach was going to be more humanitarian.  That was then, and this is now, or another story about people found in a truck or train.  This is the story:

Two undocumented immigrants [sic] died Friday afternoon after being trapped inside of a train car a few miles east of Knippa.

There were 15 people trapped inside the car in need of immediate medical attention, according to a statement from the Uvalde Police Department. Five of those individuals were flown to San Antonio hospitals, while five others were sent to area hospitals for treatment.

U.S. Border Patrol was able to reach the group after receiving a call at 3:50 p.m. notifying them that people traveling by rail were "suffocating" inside of a train car

"911 got a call — don't know if it was from a family member or one of the migrants who were locked in the shipping container," Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Texas Public Radio.

McLaughlin said that the train was locked and baking in the sun on the tracks for three hours.

The initial reports are reminiscent of a tragedy that occurred June 27 in which 53 people died in an abandoned tractor trailer near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

The incident was the single deadliest migrant smuggling case in U.S. history, claiming victims who were citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

What an outrage to say the least.

This is what happens when you create an incentive for people to come north unconditionally.  The poor people in that train car probably heard that there was a window to get into the U.S.  So jump on the train because the U.S. is the next stop.

As someone who came here legally with my parents, I find this appalling and as inhumane as it can get.  What is humanitarian about encouraging people to get into trucks and trains and die along the way?

Bring back "Remain in Mexico," because that was the real humanitarian policy.

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Happy # 79 Diana Ross




We remember Diana Ross who was born in Detroit on this day in 1944.

Question: Is that possible? I guess that time really does fly by!

We have followed Diana Ross from The Supremes to her solo career.

The Supremes had a bunch of # 1 singles.   In the late 1960's, they were one of the most consistent hit makers along with
The Beatles.   In the 1970's, Diana went solo and the hits kept on coming.

She is a great performer and artist!

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday's podcast: Trump in Waco.....and other stories..

 


Trump in Waco.....and other stories....

P.S.  Check out my blog for posts, podcasts and videos. If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

Saturday's video: Trump in Waco.....and other stories...


Saturday's video: 
Trump in Waco.....and other stories...

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AMLO takes on the U.S. State Department


 (My new American Thinker post)

This week, Secretary Antony Blinken went before the Congress and answered a question about Mexico.  It went like this:  

Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed Wednesday that he believed parts of Mexico are controlled by the drug cartels and not by the Mexican government. 

Blinken was being questioned by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who held a press conference earlier this month and said he wanted cartels to be labeled terrorist organizations and pressed Congress to authorize the use of military force to destroy Mexican drug labs.   

Graham then asked Blinken if he believed 'that fentanyl coming from Mexico is killing Americans by the tens of thousands.'

'It is. And it’s also killing Mexicans,' Blinken replied.  

And then you  heard a nuclear bomb go off in Mexico.   

By coincidence or because he had prior warning of Blinken's remarks, President Lopez-Obrador unleashed an attack on the Biden administration.  As reported by Keith Dillon of Pulse News Mexico:    

“If you see the report of the little department of the Department of State, it’s a ‘bodrio;’ you’ll have to check the dictionary,” said AMLO on his Wednesday morning conference. According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, “bodrio” means something of very poor quality or badly made.

“It says: According to experts, it is presumed, it is pointed out that there are serious human rights violations,” said López Obrador. “But there is no evidence; the little department of the State Department is slanderous.”

“In Mexico, there is no torture, there are no massacres,” added the federal executive, completely contradicting the fact that massacres are rising under his administration and that the AMLO presidency is well on track to become the most violent administration in Mexico’s recent history. According to data from the daily Mexican newspaper Reforma, there were 306 homicide victims from 42 massacres perpetrated in the first semester of 2022 alone, and 318 pending investigations of human rights violations purportedly committed by members of Mexico’s Armed Forces...     

“The Mexican state has ceased to be the main violator of human rights. In Mexico, freedom of expression is guaranteed, no one is persecuted, no one is repressed, let them not be confused,” concluded López Obrador, ignoring the fact that his administration recently passed a law to fine journalists who criticize the president, that his “Who’s Who in Lies of the Week” segment has continually launched vitriol against members of the press who speak out against AMLO’s initiatives, and that Mexico is consistently one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to operate in. 

…AMLO then went on to comment on the case of U.S. company Vulcan Materials, whose ship was supposedly forcibly entered by rival company Cemex alongside elements of the Mexican Armed Forces at the Maritime Terminal in Playa del Carmen without notifying Vulcan Materials on March 14 -- actions Blinken and Republican senators alike characterized as having the potential to “very negatively impact” investment from the United States into Mexico.

But from López Obrador’s perspective, Vulcan Materials and its subsidiaries have been committing “ecocide” through their operations, and subsequently called the U.S. outcry against the March 14 port situation as full of “double standards,” alleging U.S. lawmakers only support the environment when it is convenient for them. 

Who knew that Mexico was concerned about "ecocide"?  That's a new one for me.

Nevertheless, talk about Blinken hitting a nerve.  AMLO did not like it one bit.   

Back in the days of President Trump, we had a better relationship between the presidents.  Maybe it's because # 45 got some concessions from AMLO, such as "Remain in Mexico," but kept  human rights off the front pages.    

We move forward remembering all that stuff from the campaign about Joe Biden's experience and how it would facilitate our relations with our neighbors.  

Mean tweets vs sober experience was the word.

So far it's not working.  AMLO is not working with us and doesn't look like he is in the mood to do anything.  

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