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Archive for February 21st, 2009

NPT Juxtapose: In Mexico, who can you trust?

From the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2009: Mr. Fasci thinks the gangs are trying to goad the police into a crackdown that would generate antipathy for the authorities and the army. “We’re not going to fall for it,” he says. Neither will the Mexican government call off the soldiers. Mexico has no choice but to deploy the army to do what corrupt and inefficient state and local police forces can’t, says Mr. Fasci. And the protests are likely a sign the military is having success pressuring the drug gangs, say officials.

From NPT, Oct. 16, 2008, Human rights official decries military takeover, abuses in Juarez: Last year, 20 violations of human rights were reported to the Chihuahua State Commission of Human Rights. This year, since the arrival of the military to Juarez, more than 250 violations – including torture, robbery and kidnapping – have been reported.

From NPT, May 1, 2006, Of Juarez and the “Dirty War” in Mexico: A draft of an unprecedented report by Mexico’s government on the nation’s “dirty war” of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, published on The National Security Archive Web site, shows that during the administrations of Presidents Diaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverria (1970-1976) and Lopez Portillo (1976-1982) hundreds of Mexican citizens — uncounted innocent civilians as well as armed militants — were murdered or “disappeared” by military and security forces. Thousands more were tortured, or illegally detained, or subjected to government harassment and surveillance.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 11:30 pm

NPT Capitol: Everybody loves Marquez

marquezState Rep Marisa Marquez’s committee assignments rock, according to Veronica Escobar, Willy Gandera and Anthony Cobos, especially County Affairs.

“The committee is central to the organization, creation, boundaries, government, and finance of counties. County Affairs is also key in determining the compensation and duties of county officers and employees, and districts for electing governing bodies within counties,’ said Marquez’s press release.

Marquez also got in to EPISD’s good books, by filing a bill that would provide more state reimbursement for school districts when it comes to transportation costs.

“The El Paso Independent is extremely pleased to see that Representative Marisa Marquez is proposing a bill that increases the transportation reimbursement that school districts receive from the state. Our district applauds Representative Marquez for taking the initiative on this critical issue,” said Dr. Edward Gabaldon of EPISD.

— Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

NPT DC: Obama chastises Perry over stimulus

From the Dallas Morning News: “The president … joked about the fact that we need transit dollars in Houston, although the governor of Texas has said that maybe Texas won’t take money from the stimulus bill,” Houston Mayor Bill White recounted afterward. [link]

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Speaking to a gathering of about 80 of the nation’s mayors at a White House meeting, Obama specifically mentioned Houston’s need for transit dollars but said Texas could lose money if Perry does not apply for all the federal aid for which the state is eligible.” [link]

Why did Obama feel the need to make these comments despite the fact that if Perry turns down stimulus aid, the legislature can request it? [link]

perry2Simple. Because Perry (and other governors too) have worked out that a lot of the stimulus aid will require much tweaking of the state budgets. And you can’t tweak a state budget without the governor’s signature.

Any creation/expansion of a state program (say, providing pro-rated unemployment benefit for seeking part time work) could bring down bucket loads of supplementary federal dosh (in addition to the one time windfalls for things like transportation projects.) [link]

But… that sort of thing requires the Governor’s say-so, as well as the feds and the lege.

Hence Obama’s singling out of Perry. The stimulus package is not just about fixing the economy. It is also about expanding the scope of state government by providing massive incentives. (Paid for with the national credit-card) In this sense it is as much about colonization as relief. But HR1 is structured in such a way that Governor’s can take the relief and reject the colonization.

Perry said Tuesday, “In Texas, we actually know it is a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth.” This glitch in the stimulus package means h that states can drink (at least half of) the milk without putting a deposit on the cow.

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

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