Quick Hit News

Rep Says Democrats Like Bank Robbers

Sandy Fitzgerald, NewsMax:

Idaho Republican Rep.Raul Labrador said on Sunday that he’s “not really sure”
Democrats want to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, and that they’re like “bank
robbers” who want to raise taxes on everyone.

Labrador, appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” also believes President Barack Obama has successfully provoked a civil war among Republicans, which has been the Democrats’ goal from the beginning.

“They have tried to get us to fight against each other on taxes when — I’m not really sure that they don’t want to go over the fiscal cliff,” said Labrador.

Meanwhile, Labrador was one of the House Republicans who opposed a plan by House Speaker John Boehner to raise taxes only on people making more than $1 million. But he said if Democrats really wanted to avoid the fiscal cliff they could have voted for the bill.

“There were only about 50 of us in the House who said that we were not going to vote for
John Boehner’s deal last week,” he said. “All they needed was 50 Democrats to vote for the deal, and it would have passed last week.”

But, Labrador said, the Democrats have been trying to divide Republicans “from day
one.”

“They have tried to get us to fight against each other on taxes when — I’m not really sure that they don’t want to go over the fiscal cliff,” he said. “They want to expand the growth of government. They need more revenues. You know, Democrats are like bank robbers. You don’t have the money in the 2 percent — the money is in the 100 percent. They want to raise taxes on everyone.”

Labrador also said history will repeat if leaders talk about raising taxes.

“What happens in Washington is that we talk about raising taxes today and then we talk about cuts 10 years from now,” Labrador said. “It happened under Reagan, it happened under Bush, and it’s what’s going to happen to us once again.”

Milk Prices to Skyrocket

Reuters:

Farm-state lawmakers have agreed to a one-year extension of the expiring U.S. farm law that, if enacted, would head off a possible doubling of retail milk prices to $7 or more a gallon in early 2013.

The extension would end a 32-month attempt to update farm subsidies dating from the Depression era, when farmers were crushed by low prices and huge crop surpluses, to meet today’s high-wire challenges of tight food supplies, high operating costs and volatile markets.

Traditionally, the dairy program sets a minimum price for milk through government purchase of butter, cheese and dry milk. If Congress does not act, the dairy support price will revert on Tuesday to the level dictated by an outmoded 1949 law and which is roughly double the price now paid to farmers.

The potential retail milk price has been estimated at $6 to $8 a gallon versus current levels near $3.50.

Mexican Smuggling Tunnels

Associated Press:

Mexican authorities have discovered a sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with electricity and ventilation not far from the Nogales port of entry into Arizona, U.S. and Mexican officials said Friday.

The Mexican army said the tunnel was found Thursday after authorities received an anonymous call in the border city of Nogales, Sonora, south of Arizona. U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed that the Mexican military had discovered the football field-long tunnel with elaborate electricity and ventilation systems.

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Victor Brabble said the tunnel did not cross into the U.S.

The army said the anonymous caller was reporting gunmen standing outside a two-story house in a hilly neighborhood near the international bridge where motorists travel between Mexico and the United States.

Inside the house, soldiers discovered a fake wall inside a storage closet under a staircase that led to a dark room with buckets and clothes. After lifting a drain cover in that room, soldiers found another staircase at the entrance of the tunnel that went 16 feet underground and measured a yard in diameter. Light bulbs lit the underground passage and pipes stretched across the 120-yard tunnel that Mexican army officials believe was built to smuggle drugs.

It was unclear whether officials made any arrests, but the house where the tunnel was found was seized by the local government. Military officials did not say how long they believed the tunnel had been under construction, but authorities say it can take six months to a year to build such a passage.

Sophisticated secret tunnels stretching across the international border have become increasingly common as drug cartels invent new ways to smuggle enormous loads of heroin, marijuana and other drugs into U.S.

Better Than a Moat

by: Leah Barkoukis at Townhall

Last year, President Obama turned border security into a joke when he said Republicans wouldn’t be happy until they get a moat…with alligators in it.

No, the Texas Department of Public Safety hasn’t gotten said reptile-infested moat to combat the growing problem of violent drug cartels crossing into the U.S. via the Rio Grande. They did, however, get a bold new force in the form of ‘gunboats’ that are sure to make Somali pirates green with envy.

“These patrol vessels and the newly formed Tactical Marine Unit represent a significant enhancement of the department’s ability to detect, disrupt and deter illegal activity along the Rio Grande River and Texas coast,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We are honored to name these boats after our State Troopers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting the people of Texas.”

The press release continues to say:

The black and white patrol vessels are equipped with advanced law enforcement technology, including multiple automatic weapons, ballistic shielding and night vision capabilities. All six patrol vessels are funded by the Texas Legislature and federal homeland security grants.

According to Fox News, the price tag on each of the boats comes in at $558,000. Four of the boats are now patrolling the waters with two more to be commissioned soon.

Given that U.S. ranchers along the border live in fear, thousands of lives have been lost due to drug-related violence and the fact that just a few weeks ago, an ICE agent was shot in Texas while on surveillance – I’d say it’s a pretty good investment.

Fox reports:

Since 2007, roughly 56,000 people in Mexico have been killed in the escalating drug cartel violence. The U.S. government and local police agencies are working around the clock, 365 days a year to try and stop the flow of drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants into America from our southern neighbor.

Of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, about 1,200 of it is in Texas. The terrain here is very different compared to California, New Mexico and Arizona — states with dry land on the border.

The narrow and winding Rio Grande, meanwhile, is a hotbed of activity, since you can literally swim from one side to the other in just a few minutes. Officials say this makes it extremely enticing for smugglers, which is why authorities have to be one step ahead.

Check out the boats in action:

Ahh…Peace in the Middle East

Commandos from the Israeli navy’s Flotilla 13 unit boarded a cargo ship, the HS Beethoven, in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday night on suspicion it was trying to smuggle weapons to the Gaza Strip.

The ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, was intercepted by Israel Navy vessels approximately 260 km. from Israel’s coast. Commandos boarded the ship with the captain’s consent and began searching cargo containers for arms.
Searches were still ongoing at press time and IDF officers said that they could continue until the morning.

The IDF said that the operation was part of a routine patrol and that the ship’s route was likely what raised concern that it may have been carrying weapons for either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

The HS Beethoven left Beirut on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in Alexandria, Egypt, on Monday evening. Before stopping in Lebanon, it had stopped in Limassol, Cyprus. If the ship was carrying arms, they were likely meant to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels located under the Philadelphi Corridor between Sinai and Gaza.

Last March, the navy intercepted a cargo ship called Victoria that was carrying some 50 tons of weaponry and was on its way to Egypt. It was also flying a Liberian flag and was headed to Alexandria.

The weapons seized on the Victoria included a number of sophisticated radar-guided Iranian anti-ship missiles that were intended for terrorist organizations in Gaza.

Attribution: Jerusalem Post