NYT: Clinton "Campaign Declined to Say Whether Ms. Machado’s Background Had Been Vetted."
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In Vox, Matthew Yglesias explains how carefully Team Clinton plotted to trap Donald Trump at the debate by accusing him of racististically fat-shaming victimized Latina immigrant / new voter Alicia Machado:
Hillary Clinton laid a surprisingly intricate trap for Donald Trump, and he blundered into it

Updated by Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias [email protected] Sep 27, 2016, 4:00p

Donald Trump wants America to know that he’s smart. … But in Monday night’s debate he not only revealed himself to be a bit of an ignorant, blustering fool. He also showed that he’s not nearly as shrewd as he likes to think he is by stumbling into an elaborate trap: Alicia Machado. …

Clinton laid an elaborate trap

And it now turns out there was nothing remotely spontaneous about any of this.

Cosmopolitan is out today with a long feature story on Machado headlined “Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Won't Be Defined by Donald Trump's Fat-Shaming.”

The author of the story, Prachi Gupta, is the person who conducted a devastating interview with Ivanka Trump earlier in September. The Machado article includes photographs that were taken a week ago, making it clear that the groundwork for the debate moment was laid some time ago. And the story advances the anti-Trump narrative with new anecdotes about his crass behavior:

As she prepped for her portrait session, Machado recalled another incident of Trump’s fat-shaming. Toward the end of her reign of Miss Universe, she was writing thank-you cards in the Los Angeles Miss Universe office when he asked her what she wanted to do next. “You’ll never be an actress,” he told her, “because you are too fat to be an actress, and nobody wants fat girls on TV shows.”

The tagline at the bottom of Gupta’s story reads, “Election day is Nov. 8. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so here.”

… It turns out Machado also set up an interview with the Guardian’s Lucia Graves, timed perfectly for the debate clash; the New York Times also has a fresh Machado story based on interviews. .

… The Clinton campaign laid surprisingly intricate groundwork to turn her into a major story both at the debate and in the days following it.

And Trump fell for it, revealing a new side to himself that the public hasn’t really seen before.

Actually, I would think that getting into a dragged-out argument with the parents of the dead soldier in August was a much better example of Trump’s tendency to take everything personally.

What’s interesting about this latest Clinton campaign set-up of Trump, however, is how much of a botch it is. The dead soldier’s parents really were the parents of a solider who is dead. This example, however, of a New Immigrant Vibrantly Putting the Old White Man in His Place is comically absurd. Keep in mind that this was the Grand Climax of the entire debate that Hillary left to the end:

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet… she’s going to vote this November.
The fact that the HRC campaign and the national media have been laying the Alicia Machado trap for Trump for months makes it even funnier that the whole thing has blown up on them because they hadn’t bothered to do any vetting, whether extreme or cursory, on the Venezuelan self-promoter, who has been involved in at least four major scandals.

While the funniest scandal involves Machado cheating on her baseball slugger fiance Bobby Abreu on a night vision lens on a reality TV show, probably the most serious scandal is the Mexican Attorney-General’s charges that the father of her anchor baby, whom she claims was born in Miami in 2008, was the notorious drug cartel boss and hit man Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez.

Univision, the Spanish language network owned by Hillary’s financial backer Haim Saban, reported in 2010 (via Google Translate):

The former beauty queen, Alicia Machado, has been linked with Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez “El Indio” Beltran Leyva operator.

By: Univision

Published: April 23, 2010 | 2:04 PM EDT

Detained 18 gunmen

MEXICO CITY – After the arrest of drug trafficker Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, alias “El Indio” or “The Chayán” Mexican media revealed on Thursday that the arrest is the father of the daughter of former Miss Universe, Venezuelan Alicia Machado, of according to an investigation by the Attorney General.

“El Indio”, stated to be the operator of the cartel of the Beltran Leyva, was arrested Wednesday night during an operation carried out in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, during which he took place a shootout between soldiers and gunmen the drug dealer, informed the Secretariat of Marina. La former beauty queen was linked to “El Indio” as it emerged from a preliminary investigation published the newspaper Reforma in its digital version.

Some media such as Reforma and Grupo ACIR news, highlighted the alleged relationship between Machado and the operator of the Beltran Leyva cartel.

On the paternity of the small D*******, Machado’s daughter, there are conflicting versions. Recently [s]he said the girl ‘s father was a businessman Rafael Hernández Linares.

I’ve asterisked out the child’s name.
Even the newspaper Reforma noted that according to a preliminary investigation by the authorities, protected witnesses claimed that the baptism of small D******, held in 2008, attended as invited Arturo and Hector Beltran brothers, Edgar Valdes Villarreal “La Barby” and the Colombian narco Harold Mauricio Ojeda, “the Rabbit”.The protected witness Edgar Bayardo del Villar gave his first testimony on October 29, where the alleged loving bond between Machado and the arrested man appears.
El Indio is a bad man. From the U.S. Department of State, which, by the way, Hillary used to be in charge of:
Narcotics Rewards Program: Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez



Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez ALIASES: “El Indio,” “Chayan”

DOB: February 24, 1965

POB: Mexico



HEIGHT: 6 feet 1 inch

WEIGHT: 205 pounds



The Sinaloa drug trafficking organization is considered one of the most powerful and violent criminal organizations currently operating in the Republic of Mexico, with distribution cells throughout the United States. …

Although originally a part of the Sinaloa cartel, Arturo Beltran-Leyva broke ties with the organization in 2008 and established the Arturo Beltran Leyva (ABL) drug trafficking organization with several other former Sinaloa cartel members. Today, the ABL is responsible for the procurement of arms and ammunitions from the United States in furtherance of their criminal enterprise and is responsible for the trafficking of illicit drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine. The ABL is also credited with rising rates of violence within Mexico, as they are reportedly responsible for kidnapping, torture, murder, and various other acts of violence against numerous men, women, and children in Mexico. The ABL’s enforcement arm, the Fuerzas Armadas de Arturo, is considered one of the most ruthless and brutal in the way they dispose of their enemies. The organization is connected with the assassinations of numerous Mexican law enforcement officials.

Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez was a key member of the ABL drug trafficking organization and believed to be responsible for facilitating communications between ABL hierarchy and Central and South American sources of supply for cocaine. Alvarez-Vasquez was also believed to be responsible for overseeing the ABL narcotics-related activities in multiple cities of Mexico and to be actively involved in major bulk crystal methamphetamine procurements. He coordinated the movement of illegal narcotics into the United States and oversees the repatriation of narcotics-related proceeds. Alvarez-Vasquez was charged in a 1997 four count indictment in the Southern District of California. Alvarez-Vasquez was arrested by Mexican authorities in April 2010.

Keep in mind, however, that this is Mexico, the labyrinth of solitude, so you can’t trust what anybody says.

Machado denied Alvarez-Vasquez’s paternity, claiming the child’s father was another man. On Youtube there is a video of the actress having her toddler baptized in a very respectable looking ceremony, with no obvious gunmen looming. Commenters below the video debate the topic of who’s-your-daddy.

But GotNews this week has found that in 2014 Machado filled in a Miami-Dade County form for her child (for the purpose, I’m guessing, of qualifying for free public school) listing her child’s last name as Alvarez Machado.

That’s a new finding by GotNews, at least in English, but in general you don’t have to do a lot of digging to find a lot of facts on Machado. You don’t even have to read Spanish. Here’s a 1998 Reuters news story in English on Machado that I found on the website of Turkey’s English language daily Hurriyet.

Ex-Miss Universe stars in real-life Venezuela soap

HDN | 2/7/1998 12:00:00 AM |

Judge accuses Alicia Machado of threatening to kill him after he ordered her boyfriend’s arrest

Reuters Caracas-

Venezuelans are turning in droves to a torrid real-life drama starring a former Miss Universe that promises to outdo the steamy soap operas that dominate local network schedules. The latest twist in a story of shootings, threats, suicide and kidnapping came when a judge accused 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado of threatening to kill him after he ordered her boyfriend’s arrest.

Machado, who grabbed world headlines for nearly losing her crown after a sudden weight gain, burst back into the limelight last month when lawyers named her as the getaway driver for her boyfriend in a shooting last November.

In a theatrical news conference last week, which some commentators said should help her budding acting career, Machado said she was at home with stomach pains caused by a diet. The 21-year-old brunette, who won her crown in Las Vegas in May 1996 and promptly gained 22 pounds (10 kg), said she did not believe her boyfriend was involved either.

“This is the man I love and love is based on trust and respect,” she said, after testifying for two hours in a closed-door meeting with Judge Maximiliano Fuenmayor.

Venezuela’s beauty queens are a national institution. The annual Miss Venezuela beauty pageant is the nation’s equivalent of the U.S. Super Bowl and has produced more international title winners than any other organization.

So the scent of scandal now surrounding Machado has fueled a media frenzy not seen since former President Carlos Andres Perez was drummed out of office in 1993 to face corruption charges. Newspaper front pages blare daily updates on the case and television and radio stations carry live each twist in a thickening plot to an insatiable public.

Fuenmayor ruled on Wednesday there was insufficient evidence to implicate the woman once described as an “eating machine” by the Miss Universe organization president, New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump.

But he ordered Machado’s boyfriend, Juan Rodriguez, jailed as the main suspect in the case. By the time police went to arrest Rodriguez at his home on Thursday, he was nowhere to be found.

According to the judge, a woman identifying herself as Machado called him after the ruling and “said she would make sure, using her friendship with the president (Rafael Caldera), that my career as judge is ruined and then she would kill me.” Fuenmayor, who reported the alleged threats to police, said he traced the caller through an incoming call identity function on his mobile telephone.

The facts of the case date back to the Nov. 21 funeral of Maria Rodriguez, who committed suicide by jumping from her fifth floor apartment. She was eight months pregnant. Lawyers for Francisco Sbert, husband of the deceased, say her brother, Juan Rodriguez, shot Sbert in the head and made off with Sbert’s 11-month-old son, his nephew, in a car driven by Machado.

Rodriguez, a 26-year-old graphic designer with movie star looks, says he merely struck Sbert, who survived the incident, with the butt of his pistol.

One possibility is that all of Machado’s scandals are just kayfabe, but that raises a variety of other issues.

From the comments section of The Atlantic:

Sarita La Cubanita • 4 hours ago

… As a Miami person, Cuban-American, and one who has watched huge amounts of Hispanic TV and read a lot of Hispanic media, I am quite familiar with that creature who goes by the name, Alicia Machado. This is a person who attempts to hang on to the coattails of the Hispanic media on the basis of scandals she herself creates.

These scandals were previously unknown to people outside of Miami and the Hispanic world, but today these scandals became known to people outside of Miami – such things as, threatening to murder a judge, being married to a narco and having to appear in court about this, beating up a well-respected and loved Mexican actress,

That’s a new one to me.
having sexual relations on live TV, and so on.

We Cuban-Americans had already heard all this trash before, back in our little corner of the world, because this woman just won’t go away. She’s like a gnat. She has been hanging around Miami forever, and keeps trying to make a living by being an obnoxious lawbreaker, and making ends meet that way.

And concerning her winning Miss Universe, which many Hispanics were shocked by because she is the least attractive Miss Universe according to many Hispanics, her entire complaint is like all her other scandals – bs.

By the time she met Donald Trump and broke the contract of Miss Universe by going from 116 all the way to 170 lbs (the weight of a sizable man), she had already been through Miss Venezuela. For those who don’t know, the Miss Venezuela pageant is the world’s most vicious, mean, cruel, savage, and infamous beauty contest, filled with experts and critics who tear up the contestants and make them cry, force them to become anorexics, and have them undergo plastic surgery or else they are kicked out.

This commenter does have a point. From the indispensable Daily Mail:
Butt implants aged 12, waists crushed into painful straps for weeks and intestines removed by 16: Inside the extreme Venezuelan ‘beauty factories’ where girls go to shocking lengths to become Miss World
From the New York Times in 2013:
Osmel Sousa, the longtime head of the Miss Venezuela pageant, takes credit for the [plastic surgery] trend. He recommended a nose job for Venezuela’s first Miss steve_sailer_blog_posts_-_the_unz_review_-_2016-09-29_11-40-07Universe, which he says made her victory possible more than three decades ago.

“When there is a defect, I correct it,” Mr. Sousa said. “If it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?”

For Mr. Sousa, beauty really is skin deep: “I say that inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.”

The Atlantic commenter from Miami continues:
Someone who willingly remained in the Miss Venezuela pageant with all its savagery, is no stranger to being required to look her best, and surely is no wallflower. And yet she proceeded to break the Miss Universe contract, something which Trump rescued her from by making sure she lost the huge amount of weight she had gained by eating too much. And now she pretends that she’s a delicate flower, or that Trump said things to her which were unpleasant (but which no witnesses witnessed).

But none of that matters now. Her entire scandalous, ridiculous, criminal life has finally broken out of Miami, and is now on to the world stage, and everyone now gets to feast its eyes on this truly disturbed woman. Now they too get to share what we in Miami have had to endure from this nutjob.

Evidently, nobody at the Clinton campaign or at the New York Times, which made Machado’s tale the anchor anecdote in a long denunciation of Trump on May 15, bothered to Google her. Here’s an interesting bit in a new New York Times article today:
Clinton aides said Ms. Machado, who recently became a United States citizen and can vote, contacted the campaign during the Democratic primary, wanting to help. The campaign declined to say whether Ms. Machado’s background had been vetted.
Heckuva job, Establishmentie!

By the way, as I’ve often noted, this just another bit of evidence that white people in America have lost all interest in Latin America, finding it too tacky to pay attention to. American writers and artists, such as Ambrose Bierce, James Michener, John Ford, William Burroughs, John Wayne, and Ken Kesey, used to be fascinated by Mexico. But Cormac McCarthy and Mel Gibson appear to be the last of a dying breed.

Other than the occasional Celtic Republican like McCarthy or Gibson, white Americans are bored, bored, bored with Latin America. Except that a whole bunch of American elites, such as Hillary, want to import tens of millions of Latin Americans to crush at the polls other American elites, like Donald. What could possibly go wrong?

One interesting issue, since Hillary celebrated it at the debate, is how exactly did Ms. Machado become a United States citizen and voter this year? Did she disclose to the U.S. government her background, such as giving her child the surname of a drug lord for whom the U.S. government had offered a $2 million reward? How much vetting does the government do of immigrants?

That seems kind of topical. Perhaps Hillary might wish to comment?

[Comment at Unz.com]

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