Aggie Volleyball Swept By No. 5 Hawai'i Report
The Aggie volleyball team was swept by No. 5 Hawai'i on Sunday night in Honolulu as the Wahine took the match by winning the first set 25-18, the second set 25-10 and then holding off the Aggies 25-23 in the third set. The Wahine hit .384 on the match while the Aggie offense struggled hitting just .140. Kayleigh Giddens was the only Aggie in double-digit kills with a match-high 12 as she hit .194 for the match. Kanani Danielson was the only Wahine is double-digit kills with 11 and hit .240 for the match but also added three service aces, a solo block and two block assists.

Kelsey Brennan finished the match with five kills but also had four attack errors hitting .059. She added two digs and a block assist. No other Aggie had more than three kills and Desiree Scott, Amanda Tonga, Whitney Woods and Michelle Kuester each recorded three kills. Kelsi Phillips led the Aggies with seven digs.

After torching the Aggies for 11 kills on 12 swings in their first meeting, Brittany Hewitt once again punished the Aggies finishing with eight kills on 11 swings hitting .727 on the match. Emily Hartong and Michelle Waber each finished with seven kills and hit .400 and .500 respectively.

After failing to record a block in the first meeting, the Aggies finished with four total blocks but were outblocked by the Wahine who finished with seven total blocks.

The Aggies fall to 15-10 on the season and 9-2 in WAC play while Hawai'i improves to 21-1 and 11-0 in conference play. Click here to read more.


Difficulties With the "Base"

Democratic Party difficulties with getting out the “base,” deserves some exploration. For starters, committed progressives are angry. Indicative of this fact is the strange absence on the laundry list of elections issues of how to fight the War on Terror. No doubt if McCain had won the presidency the wisdom of an escalation of U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan would be a front and center issue. Almost since President Obama took the oath of office, progressives have been shocked, puzzled, or downright irate over the remarkable similarity of the Obama and Bush policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would seem that the new president’s reading of a steady flow of daily intelligence briefings have led him to reach much of the same national security conclusions of George W. Bush. Another troubled plank of the Democrats’ base is the youth vote. Unfortunately for the president and his party, the energy of the youth vote is gone. Perhaps the energy has been diverted towards an exhaustive and mostly fruitless job search. There have been two graduating classes since the magic of the 2008 “hope and change” campaign.
The youth group now includes millions of young voters that may well be wondering if President Obama knows enough about economics to ever create an environment chock full of employment opportunities. Reality is replacing the platitudes and naïve job rhetoric of the aging campaign songs.

Yet another plank of the Democratic base includes millions of racial and ethnic minority voters. In this sphere, not only have job opportunities been virtually non-existent, there has been no sign of the start of the “post racial” era in America. In fact, the topic of “race” keeps surfacing, and it keeps being brought to the surface by the president’s proponents, not by the so-called diversity antagonists. It is becoming increasingly apparent to all minorities that the constant conjuring up of the specter of race is more often a thinly disguised attempt to manipulate perceptions for political gain rather than for promoting real justice and equality……the most recent evidence being the Juan Williams firing by NPR. The efforts to suppress Williams’ free speech rights were met with nothing but silence from the ACLU, and other alleged freedom fighting organizations in the so-called “base.” The lack of outrage was remarkable.
Finally, we turn to the female plank of the so-called Democratic Party base. Here too the actions of those holding the majorities have not mimicked their drumbeat of pro-female rhetoric. Shrill calls for “tolerance” of those that embrace subjugation and intolerance of the rights of women have been ringing hollow for two years and counting. This inconsistency has also not gone unnoticed by female voters in the U.S. It has thus far been a gross miscalculation for the Obama administration, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid to extend remarkable new levels of sympathy and tolerance for governments, societies, and cultures that treat women like second class human beings. It also does not go unnoticed that embracers of the concept of Sharia Law are being treated far more politely by partisan Democrats than the mainstream American GOP women that happen to be running for office.
With a just few hours left before the vote counting begins on the mid-terms, the partisans in the Democratic Party are scratching their heads while trying to explain why they are having to scramble so furiously to “get out their base.” The explanations run the gamut of excuse making. “Irrational voter anger,” a new era of “knownothingness,” and the “party of no” simply managing to win the fickle P.R. battles more cleverly are but a few excuses floated about. There is a more simple explanation. These four planks of the “base” are paying very close attention to inconsistencies in so-called philosophy along with the massive wasteful spending under their watch. Too few traditional Democratic Party base members like what they see or hear from those in control.


Get Out the Laugh: Stewart Draws Huge Crowd in D.C.

From The - Tens of thousands of people poured onto the National Mall on Saturday to hear comedian Jon Stewart plead for tolerance and temperance in politics and the media, and for a greater culture of cooperation in Washington. Along with fellow Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert, Stewart led a lively but restrained rally that was part variety show, part music festival, and, in the spirit of the season, part Halloween parade. There was plenty of liberal irreverence at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, but pop culture often trumped politics. Read here:

Rage Against the Machine - Washington D.C. is THRIVING

From by Salena Zito - WASHINGTON – A friend once told me, after completing a cross-country drive, that he always thought you should feel somehow different as you crossed a state line. No doubt it was a feeling left over from grade-school geography classes, in which U.S. maps showed each state in different, vibrant colors. Instead, the difference is unnoticeable. Changes in terrain can be the most dramatic but usually are gradual; so are changes in dialect. Whether they live on Elm Street in North Platte, Neb., or Mulberry Street in Springfield, Mass., Americans remain the same at their very core. Read more:

Borrowing Goes Non-Stop

News New Mexico did a quick check of the national debt clock to determine the latest total borrowed on behalf of every income tax paying citizen in the nation. Almost fittingly, on Halloween the total stands at $123,983. Tomorrow morning when NewsNM hosts take the air at 6:00am they will begin their fifth month. During the first four months (since July 1st 2010) the federal government, in addition to spending every nickel of tax revenue it has received from the private sector, has borrowed $5,241 dollars for every taxpayer in America. This comes to $1,060.25 for each of the four months we have been on the air. Taxpayers will head to the polls on Tuesday. In part the elections will be about whether citizens feel they are getting good resource management from elected officials.


The Meteorologist Approach to Investment

Jim Spence
Note - This week's column was written by Sheila Walton, Director of Research at Spence Asset Management
Operating an investment advisory business often involves wearing many hats. In addition to the roles of money manager, business manager, and researchers, firms also sometimes find themselves stepping into other roles such as counselor, mediator, cheerleader, taxi driver, punching bag, and hand holder. In the bigger and ever more powerful government era the meteorologist role can help create success in investing. Knowing which way the government winds are blowing can be critical. Living in southern New Mexico and enduring countless wind filled springs can help one gain an understanding of the nature of wind. Brown outs, finding sand in your ears and discovering your patio furniture in your neighbors’ yard is all part of the fun of Las Cruces in the spring. Usually, the wind blows from the west but sometimes it seems to be swirling all around the Mesilla Valley in every direction.
The recent global financial crisis was a swirling wind at hurricane force that did more than move some furniture. Many institutions are still “cleaning their ears” and for many investment portfolios, a “brown out” would be putting it mildly. It may be years before the domestic economy has its financial “hair” back in place.
Today, the wind continues to blow. Political winds have shifted and are perhaps shifting again as we all head to the polls. Predicting the shift of political winds is difficult, dangerous and frustrating for most. However, the professional investor must hone in on which companies have the winds at their backs and which are facing stiff headwinds given the current political environment.
The financial services industry and especially the banking industry are currently facing the stiffest of headwinds. FDIC costs have soared; heightened regulation and weak loan demand are all weighing heavily on the profitability of domestic banks. Given the large loan defaults of the last few years, persistent high unemployment and new laws regarding fees on electronic transactions, most banks won’t see calm winds for many years.
Real estate is another industry and aspect of our economy struggling to hold its ground despite unrelenting squalls. Residential real estate has a large oversupply of homes that need to be worked through while commercial real estate has to survive the downsizing of companies across the country. Capital for real estate investment is more difficult to obtain for those who do want to borrow but for most investors, deleveraging continues while the return expectations of property owners have had to downsize.
Speaking of downsizing and deleveraging, the average consumer’s mission has become a reduction in discretionary spending. The retail industry, as well as the travel and leisure industries, in general are staring straight into the gale of such reductions. Although such impairment to the consumer is not "permanent," recovery to previous discretionary spending levels is likely to be years away.
Moving from a more discretionary industry to one that is at the heart of the political headwinds is the health insurance industry. Current legislation seeking to expand coverage to all Americans requires insurance companies to offer more benefits all the while restricting the price of those benefits. Health insurance companies will find it difficult to maintain margins AND navigate the new legislative environment. Also within the health care industry and facing headwinds are the pharmaceutical companies; generic competition, the Food and Drug Administration, and pharmacy benefit managers have squeezed margins for many pharmaceutical companies so tightly it is leaving them little incentive to continue to develop new drugs.
Conversely, the political winds are blowing in favor of some industries. Infrastructure, in general, is one such industry receiving funding from various government stimulus programs. Companies that have the scale, the experience and the technologies to win these contracts are experiencing the growth and the margin expansion that helps produce investment returns.
Technology is another industry with a strong tailwind. Companies are being forced to be more productive with less, to automate and to improve their current offerings. Smart phones, digital media and healthcare technology are all strong pockets within the industry as we all work to increase efficiency whether we are at the doctor’s office or on the road.
Speaking of being on the road, the Energy industry is another that is experiencing tailwinds. Higher prices stemming from increased global demand is helping energy companies to grow and prosper. Within the energy industry, clean energy is enjoying the strongest of the favorable breezes with political and environmental pressure building to find energy saving alternatives. Coupled with higher energy prices, the clean energy sector is likely to continue to experience prevailing winds for some time. A headwind, a tailwind or a predictable wind from the west, the direction and speed of the wind will continue to grow in importance for investors and for domestic corporations. Anticipating this influence means wearing the investing meteorology hat.