Judge Halts License Verification Program

From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A judge issued a temporary restraining order for a program requiring foreign nationals to prove they live in New Mexico or lose their driver's license. The order means that the thousands of illegal immigrants and foreign nationals who were required to prove that they do in fact live in New Mexico don't have to show evidence for now. The judge's restraining order said the state is required to stop the license verification program until a court hearing. The decision was a result of a petition by a number of legislators and immigrants' rights groups who called the driver's license verification program unconstitutional. The protesters said that foreign nationals were being unfairly targeted because of their place of birth. Until the hearing, all of the license verification and in-person interviews with the people targeted by the investigation have to stop. There can also be no additional license cancellations connected to the investigation. Read more


Indians defend legislative districting

From KRQE-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Native American leaders are urging lawmakers to protect Indian-majority House and Senate districts as the Legislature redraws the boundaries of elective office districts. There are nine districts - six in the House and three in the Senate - in which Indians account for a majority of the population. A group representing tribes and pueblos in New Mexico outlined redistricting proposals to a legislative committee on Wednesday that will continue to provide for that number of Indian-majority districts. Read more


Senator on Driver's Licenses: " That’s what my constituents seem to overwhelmingly want.”

Capitol Report New Mexico - If Gov. Susana Martinez is going to overturn New Mexico’s statute allowing illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses in the upcoming special session, she’s going to have to get at least six Democrats in the state Senate to switch their votes. She may have picked up at least one. On Wednesday (Aug. 31), Sen. Steve Fischmann (D-Mesilla Park) said in a radio interview he’s seriously thinking of voting in favor of rescinding the law. In the 60-day legislative session earlier this year, Martinez — with Rep. Andy Nuñez leading the charge — was able to get a bill overturning the law through the House of Representatives. But the bill died in the Senate, on a 25-16 vote with every Democrat except one (Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming) voting against the measure. Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) missed the vote but was expected to have voted against the bill, so in order to win over a majority in the Senate, Martinez will need six Democrats to flip — a tall order. Well, that number my be reduced to five because Fischmann said Wednesday on the News New Mexico radio program: Read rest of story here: News New Mexico Listen to archive of interview with Senator Fischmann here: News New Mexico

Protestors Want to "Manage" PNM

KOB - TV - The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission plans to have a hearing to consider several protests filed over Public Service Company of New Mexico's plan for meeting future demand for electricity. The groups protesting PNM's resource plan argue the utility failed to consider anticipated environmental regulations and didn't adequately consider natural gas as a resource for weaning the company from its reliance on coal. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Confederacy memorial to be dedicated Saturday

From the Clovis News Journal - Saturday marks the dedication of a new confederacy memorial in Portales Cemetery. The memorial was bought and is being dedicated by United Daughters of Confederacy, the Ellen W. Jones Chapter 1022 in Portales. According to president of the chapter, Janelle Foster, the memorial is in honor of confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War and includes the names of the 30 confederate soldiers buried in Portales Cemetery along with the names of 25 confederate soldiers buried in rural cemeteries in the surrounding area. “I think it’s important that people know where their ancestors are buried,” Foster said. “Many people don’t even know they have ancestors who fought in the war.” Foster said the UDC has owned the circular area in the center of the cemetery since about 1913 and they have dedicated it to confederate soldiers and their descendants. The memorial stone with the names was added last month in the center of the graves, where a UDC monument also stands. It was built in 1930. The dedication will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the site. Read more


Fast and Furious



New Mexico awards HMS Holdings a 4-year contract

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HMS, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:HMSY), announced today that is has been awarded a contract by the State of New Mexico, Human Services Department/Medical Assistance Division (HSD/MAD), to provide third party liability (TPL), program integrity, Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC), and revenue enhancement/expense reduction services. This is a four-year contract and extends through May 2015. “This is the first comprehensive TPL procurement New Mexico has ever issued,” said Maria Perrin, Executive Vice President of Government Services for HMS. “We are excited about this opportunity to help the state optimize its Medicaid program and contain costs.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


Corrupt Columbus officials enabled killing in Mexico

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - New Mexico has seen lots of government corruption exposed in recent years that involves stealing money from taxpayers. But the recent weapons-smuggling case involving Columbus village officials takes government corruption to a more egregious level. The (now former) mayor, police chief and a city councilor were involved in a ring that helped smuggle firearms to the La Linea cartel in Mexico and also provided it with ammunition and tactical gear. In other words, public officials in a tiny border town in New Mexico used their jobs to help arm a cartel in Mexico, where the drug war and other lawlessness have claimed tens of thousands of lives in recent years. Is it a stretch to say that former Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Trustee Blas Gutierrez and Police Chief Angelo Vega enabled the killing of people in Mexico? I think not. Public corruption that enables killing, in my view, dwarfs the thefts of millions of dollars that we’ve seen in some high-profile public corruption cases in recent years. As the Las Cruces Sun-News has reported, the 15 defendants in the case allegedly bought about 200 guns – including AK-47-type pistols and 9mm pistols – from a gun store in Chaparral and smuggled them to the Juárez-based cartel. Dozens were intercepted by law enforcement before they crossed the border, but most apparently were not. Three were found on dead individuals in an SUV in Juárez. Read full commentary here: News New Mexico 


Heads Start to Roll: "Fast and Furious" Fallout at Justice

Dennis Burke
Fox News - Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights. Melson's step down from his role as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Programs is effective by close of business Tuesday, administration officials announced. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones will replace Melson. U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Deming Gun Store Owners Arrested

KOB TV - Federal agents have raided a Deming gun store and arrested the owner, his wife and their two sons on a 30-count indictment accusing them of smuggling guns across the border with Mexico. According to the federal indictment, the firearms sold by the defendants included 27 AK-47-type rifles, three AR-15 rifles, two .50 caliber rifles, and two 9 mm pistols - weapons favored by Mexican Cartels. U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales says Rick and Terri Reese and their sons, Ryin and Remington, were arrested in nearby Las Cruces where they were opening a new shop. Read full story here: News New Mexico

We Must Remember to Thank Our Veterans

Steve Pearce
By U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce Sixteen million Americans served in World War II. Their courage and sacrifice has rightfully earned the label of “The Greatest Generation,” and there are veterans throughout New Mexico’s Second District who deserve that same recognition. Recently, I was honored to take part in an event hosted by the Spirit of ’45 in Roswell, New Mexico. The purpose of the event was to commemorate the victory of World War II.  Spirit of ’45 is a group that annually recognizes the service of WWII veterans. Their mission is “to preserve the legacy of the men and women of the Greatest Generation so that their example of courage, self-sacrifice, ‘can-do’ attitude and commitment to community can help inspire a renewal of national unity in America at a time when our country once again must come together to meet historic challenges.” This year’s event in Roswell was held to honor five WWII veterans: John Anderson, Fred T. Bartlett, James E. Goss, Rudy Cummins, and Lloyd Soleman. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Harbison: The importance of the Military

Jim Harbison
Recent surveys reflect that the youth of this nation have an unfavorable opinion of military service and those who served. Schools taught this generation global citizenship instead of national sovereignty. Prominent universities have banned ROTC from their campuses and professors increasingly disparage our military and those who serve in it. This attitude is also reflective of many supporters of the Obama Administration. His administration threatened not to pay military personnel during the recent budget crisis and structured future automatic budget cuts to the military if the Congressional “Super Committee” cannot reach an agreement. The military is not the cause of our budget problems.
Unfortunately, these same government officials did not recommend suspending the pay and benefits for members of Congress or the White House staff. Nor did they suggest defunding those non-essential government agencies such as the dysfunctional Department of Energy, Department of Education or the job killing Environmental Protection Agency.
We have a Congress where few have ever performed any military service and yet they are the ones that make policy decisions that send our military into harm’s way. The security of this nation has been maintained by the US military since the beginning of our history. The military has remained apolitical and has traditionally been restricted from displaying political signs, bumper stickers, or engaging in any political activity while in uniform or on military installations. This Administration and segments of society seem bent on destroying the power and prestige of our military services and view them all with contempt.
As many of you know I avidly oppose the United Nations Agenda 21 and its sustainable development policies. The United Nations Conference on Environment & Development was adopted at Rio de Janerio’s Earth Summit in June 1992 but it has never been ratified by the US Congress. We also know that President Clinton signed an Executive Order in 1993 to administratively implement the provisions of Agenda 21 by executive fiat. A policy repeated by President Obama.
On March 19, 2011 President Obama announced in a White House Press Release that he reaffirmed it was imperative to move toward sustainable development and that he was fully committed to establishing an international world order. He created the White House Rural Council for Sustainable Development on June 9, 2011 and extended government control over every aspect of rural America.
Its stated purpose was to coordinate Federal programs and maximize the impact of Federal investment to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in our rural communities. It also will coordinate federally directed growth and development and facilitate economic opportunities associated with energy development, outdoor recreation and other conservation related activities. All objectives and policies right out of Agenda 21.
Why do I mention that? Perhaps it is because this United Nations program also calls for all governments to self-fund the implementation of Agenda 21. According to section 33.16 (g) of Agenda 21 one of the methods is “the reallocation of resources at present committed to military purposes”.
One of the criteria for worldwide implementation of UN Agenda 21 is to dismantle or neutralize a nation’s military. President Obama’s actions and announcements clearly demonstrate his support of this global agenda. His policies implementing components of this UN program attempt to weaken our military diminish our national sovereignty and forfeit our constitutional rights. President Obama and our youth admire global citizenship over national sovereignty and see the military as a threat to this UN vision and want to denigrate and eliminate it. Thankfully, our military is committed to preserving our Constitution rather than Obama’s quest for an international world order.


Albuquerque suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

NewsNM - Swickard - If the story is true, good response from the police. Anything less would have gotten other people killed. From KOB-TV.com - By Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4; Tracy Dingmann & Danielle Flores, KOB.com - Albuquerque Police have confirmed that a suspect has died in an officer-involved shooting Tuesday afternoon on the city’s West Side. According to police, the man identified as 31-year-old Michael Marquez told officers he would not go without a fight. Police say Marquez was a registered sex offender and they had a warrant out for his arrest for three separate robberies. Albuquerque police were looking for Marquez Tuesday morning when they received a tip he was staying with friends or family in the area of 60th and Central. Officers surrounded the area and said Marquez exited the house and walked into a field carrying a bag containing a weapon. Police say they used a bullhorn to try to get Marquez to surrender, but he resisted. That is when police took their shot, killing Marquez. "His hand was inside the bag, this is an AK-47 assault type rifle with a pistol grip and he was deliberately turning and pointing the bag, which contained the rifle in the direction of officers as well as making comments basically prior to the events of today that was not going to…either go back to prison or not be taken alive," APD Police Chief Ray Schultz stated. KOB Eyewitness News 4 asked Chief Schultz why officers did not use less-than lethal measures first. "Because the fact that he's armed with a rifle, he was out in a field, less than lethal technologies and weapons have effective ranges and uses and that distance was not able to be utilized by officers who were on the scene," Schultz explained. Read more


Pelosi vows in Santa Fe to protect Medicare, Social Security

From the Santa Fe New Mexican.com - by Steve Terrell - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party leader in the U.S. House, found a friendly and receptive audience Monday at a federally supported senior center in Santa Fe. The California lawmaker and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., spoke at the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center about protecting Social Security and Medicare during the ongoing deficit and budget battles in Washington, D.C. Pelosi, former House speaker, said the words "Social Security" shouldn't even be used in the same sentence with "deficit reduction." More than 100 people, mostly senior citizens, crowded into the center on Alto Street. Among them were state Reps. Luciano "Lucky" Varela and Jim Trujillo, both Santa Fe Democrats, along with Mayor David Coss, City Councilor Patti Bushee and County Commissioner Virginia Vigil. The event featuring Pelosi, who was a major focus of Republican attacks during the last national election, was not widely publicized in advance. Without using the name of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Pelosi criticized the Republican presidential candidate for referring to Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme." Read more


Governor Martinez is a Crack Shot

Susana Martinez
According to Roundhouse Roundup's Steve Terrell, Governor Susana Martinez re-qualified for a conceal and carry weapons permit at a shooting range recently. The Governor says she is a better shot than law enforcement husband Chuck Franco. Might be time for a fundraising shootout at the range between these two firearm experts. You can see the video of the Governor's prowess with a weapon here: News New Mexico

Thinning Key to Forest Management

KOB - TV - The Sandia Ranger district is thinning out the forest in the East Mountains, saying the area is just as ripe for future fires as the area ravaged by the massive Wallow Fire this summer. "Annually, we just get out there and clear dead branches and clear dead limbs," said private homeowner Travis Johansen. Johansen and his wife Charla say they are trying to do the responsible thing and thin out dense foliage on their property but they are afraid even that won't protect their home from forest fires. "How is it going to help us going to help us if we clear our land and our neighbors don't clear their land?" said Charla Johansen. Their concern is shared by the Sandia Ranger District, who says the forest is unnaturally thick. They look to Alpine, Ariz,, which was spared from the monster Wallow Fire this summer, only because of proactive forest thinning. Read full story here: News New Mexico



State senator throws Susana a curve at news conference

From Capitol Report New Mexico.com - On Monday afternoon (Aug. 29), Gov. Susana Martinez held a news conference announcing her decision to re-introduce a bill ending the practice of what’s called “social promotion” (allowing students to move on to the next grade even if they have not mastered the school work required). A number of legislators showed up at the newser, standing figuratively and literally with the governor in support of adding the legislation to the upcoming special session of the legislature. But when it came her turn to speak to reporters, Garcia — a Democrat from Doña Ana County — announced that she had changed her mind about placing the social promotion bill on the call for the special session. “I’m sorry, governor,” Garcia said. “I made this decision last night after hearing from so many of my constituents … Perhaps if it comes up in January [during the legislature's regular, 30-day session], I would support it … It’s premature. Governor, I hate to disappoint you … we need to concentrate on redistricting.” Later, when talking to reporters, Garcia said that while she endorsed a bill in this past 60-day session that would prevent third graders who have not mastered reading skills from getting promoted to the fourth grade, she thinks the social promotion bill and other pieces of legislation Martinez wants placed on the special session docket should be postponed. “I say, let’s wait,” Garcia said. But speaking moments after Garcia’s about-face, Martinez said lawmakers — and students in New Mexico — can’t wait. “I’m not satisfied with being 49th in the nation,” Martinez said, referring to a number of recent educational studies showing dismal results from New Mexico schools. Read more


Rail Runner Eating into Road Maintenance Funds

KOB - TV - Gov. Susana Martinez's administration plans to ask the Legislature to provide $41 million for road maintenance across the state to help offset a drain on the Transportation Department from costs of the Rail Runner commuter train system. The Republican governor wants lawmakers to provide the money in a capital improvement bill during a special legislative session next week. The Martinez administration developed the request after reviewing the Rail Runner's long-term costs. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Block Unlikely to Face Impeachment in Special Session

Jerome Block Jr.
Capitol Report New Mexico - With the special legislative session scheduled to start in exactly one week (Sept. 6), New Mexico legislators were told Monday (Aug. 29) by the director of the Legislative Council Service, the Roundhouse agency that works with lawmakers of all political stripes, that should legislators decide to impeach Public Regulations Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. the proceedings should not be done during the special session. Instead, director Raul Burciaga said impeachment should be reserved for what’s called an “extraordinary session” because of what Burciaga says is the serious nature of an impeachment hearing. Speaker of the House Ben Luján (D-Nambé) last week approved the formation of a subcommittee to look into whether the allegations facing Block Jr. rise to the level of impeachable offenses. The special session is expected to last for two to three weeks and given its time constraints, Burciaga said Monday “it would be inappropriate” to hold impeachment proceedings in the same session as the subcommittee looking into the Block case. Instead, Burciaga recommends having the legislature call itself into a separate, extraordinary session. It takes three-fifths approval of each chamber of the legislature to convene itself into extraordinary session. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Lujan Enlists Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi and Ben Ray Lujan
Capitol Report New Mexico - Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) made a trip to Santa Fe on Monday morning (Aug. 29) with Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico), portraying themselves as defenders of Social Security and Medicare with Pelosi saying Republican calls for reining in entitlement spending “isn’t about the deficit … Republicans didn’t say boo during the (George W. Bush) deficit.” Luján told a group of more than 100 supporters at the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center that “working people need our help … our message is to protect our Medicare and hands off our Social Security.” Luján also told the crowd some sitting Republican lawmakers want to privatize Social Security (apparently alluding to a bill introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas that would allow people to opt-out of Social Security and have 6.2 percent of their wages sent to a savings account) and pointed to comments made in the past couple days by Texas Gov. Rick Perry that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme for young Americans. “These are programs we have to protect,” Luján said. But how do you do that when 10,000 baby boomers per day are turning 65 and the federal deficit is more than $14 trillion? Read full story here: News New Mexico

Federal Judge Blocks Alabama Illegal Immigration Law -- For Now

From Fox News.com - BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, ruling Monday that she needed more time to decide whether the law opposed by the Obama administration, church leaders and immigrant-rights groups is constitutional. The brief order by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn means the law won't take effect as scheduled on Thursday. The ruling was cheered by opponents who have compared the law to old Jim Crow-era statutes against racial integration. But Blackburn didn't address whether the law is constitutional, and she could still let all or parts of the law take effect later. The judge said she will issue a longer ruling by Sept. 28. Instead, she said she needs more time to consider lawsuits filed by the Justice Department, private groups and individuals that claim the state is overstepping its bounds with the law. Both supporters and opponents say Alabama's law is the nation's toughest against illegal immigration. Among other things, it would require schools to verify the citizenship status of students. Officials say it wouldn't prevent illegal immigrants from attending public schools. Read more

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

Charles Ponzi
A Ponzi scheme is an investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. Typically the Ponzi scheme entices new investors by offering "guarantees" other investments cannot make, in the form of promises of returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of a Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going. These systems are destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors.


Astronauts May Evacuate Space Station in November, NASA Says

From Yahoo News.com - The International Space Station may have to start operating without a crew in November if Russian engineers don't figure out soon what caused a recent rocket failure, NASA officials announced today (Aug. 29). The unmanned Russian cargo ship Progress 44 crashed just after its Aug. 24 launch to deliver 2.9 tons of supplies to the orbiting lab. The failure was caused by a problem with the Progress' Soyuz rocket, which is similar to the one Russia uses to launch its crew-carrying vehicle — also called Soyuz — to the station. Currently, six astronauts reside on the space station. They shouldn't be unduly affected by the Progress crash, NASA officials said, because they have enough supplies to last a while on orbit. But three of these astronauts are due to return to Earth next month, and the rest are scheduled to come back in mid-November. At the moment, the Soyuz is the only way to get astronauts to and from the station. So if the rocket anomaly isn't identified and fixed soon, a fresh crew won't be able to reach the orbiting lab before the last three spaceflyers head for home. That situation would leave the $100 billion orbiting lab unmanned for the first time since 2001. Still, it wouldn't be a disaster, according to NASA officials. "We know how to do this," NASA's space station program manager Mike Suffredini told reporters today. "Assuming the systems keep operating, like I've said, we can command the vehicle from the ground and operate it fine, and remain on orbit indefinitely." Read more

Perry Calls Social Security a Ponzi Scheme

Rick Perry
Daily Caller - There goes Rick Perry again, saying things that make liberals’ heads explode. Speaking to a crowd in Iowa this weekend, the Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful doubled down on statements he made in his book, Fed Up!, that Social Security is essentially a pyramid scheme. “It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people,” Perry said. “The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”  Read full story here: News New Mexico

Cracked Head Club


Governor Kicks Off Centennial Celebration

Susana Martinez
LAS CRUCES – Governor Susana Martinez is in Las Cruces this weekend to kick off New Mexico’s Centennial Celebration at SalsaFest on Main Street. “This is a time for all of us to be proud to be New Mexicans,” said Governor Martinez. “I’m looking forward to taking part in all of the great activities at SalsaFest and enjoying New Mexico’s rich history and vibrant culture. Our Centennial anniversary is a time to celebrate and SalsaFest is a great way to kick it off.” Governor Martinez has also signed an executive order directing all state cabinet agencies to create, encourage, and promote Centennial celebration activities, such as community celebrations, commemorations, educational projects, and legacy projects that will educate and remind New Mexicans about the state’s unique history. The executive order also instructs agencies to coordinate with the Department of Cultural Affairs in promoting the Centennial commemoration.
“The Centennial is an opportunity to instill a legacy of appreciation for our state’s history, culture, and values that will last for the next hundred years and beyond,” said Governor Martinez. “I am asking each cabinet agency to play a role in commemorating this important anniversary through community activities and other projects that will make a difference now and for years to come.”


State audit could show impact of movies on state

Carlsbad Argus - SANTA FE — Movies in New Mexico have never been bigger or more controversial. The state paid a record $102 million in subsidies to television producers and filmmakers for the budget year that ended June 30. Even so, the number of jobs the film industry has created is still being debated by New Mexico's legislators. Is it 2,000 or 10,000 who make their living because of moviemaking? Nobody can say for sure. Another cloudy part of the debate is how much of a financial return the state received after using subsidies to lure movies. Answers should crystallize by fall, when the first results of detailed state audits of the movie industry will be finished, said state Sen. Timothy Keller. Keller, D-Albuquerque, authored a bill that tightened rules for the rebates that filmmakers and television companies receive for doing business in New Mexico. "We will be able to determine how much is spent on the film industry, and how much return there is on our investment," Keller said in describing his Senate Bill 44. Gov. Susana Martinez, who spent much of her first months in office trying to lower the movie subsidy, signed the bill into law in April. About that time, moviemakers began rushing to to file for rebates under the state program that entitles them to 25 percent back on qualified production expenses. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Mexican federal police reportedly beat, threaten Juárez police spokesman

From the El Paso Times - By Marisela Ortega Lozano - Three Mexican federal police officers in Juárez allegedly beat and threatened a Juárez police spokesman, officials said. Adrián Sánchez was allegedly attacked Friday night when he changed lanes on De las Torres Avenue, Sanchez said in a telephone interview. Upon getting pulled over and stepping out of his vehicle, which was marked as an official police unit, federal police officers reportedly verbally abused, pushed and kicked Sánchez on the legs, Sánchez said. "I followed their instructions all the time, so there was no reason for their behavior," Sánchez said. "But when I identified myself as an official from city police, they (federal police officers) acted up even worse." According to Sánchez, one federal officer instructed him to open his legs to search him while their partners checked Sánchez's vehicle thoroughly and began calling him names. "Once they found out I work as the local police spokesman, they threatened me and told me they're going to beat me up the way Juárez police officers beat federal officers, they said," Sánchez added. The whole incident happened in a 15-minute timespan in the middle of a busy avenue located in south Juárez. Read more


Driest Year Ever on the East Side

The Republic - ROSWELL, N.M. — Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in north Roswell is known as an oasis in the desert, providing vital wetlands in an arid environment to thousands of migratory birds and endangered species and plants. But the oasis is drying up due to exceptional drought conditions, the worst drought category possible, that still persist in southeast New Mexico, Bitter Lake biologist Jeffrey Sanchez said in a recent interview. Wetlands are at an all-time low capacity, just below 50 percent, and the refuge has received a mere 1/2 of an inch of rain since the beginning of the year, drastically low compared to its usual lush 12 inches of rainfall per year, Sanchez said. "It is the driest year so far, and it shows in the wetlands," Sanchez said. "I haven't seen any documentation of the wetlands being this dry in the past." The first seven months of 2011 have been the driest start to any year on record for New Mexico, according to the National Weather Service, and through August, about 47 percent of the state remains in exceptional drought. The statewide average precipitation has only been 42 percent of normal through July 2011. Read full story here: News New Mexico


The "Ayatollah of Climate Change" Issues a Fatwah

Al Gore's Lear Jet
Daily Caller - One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, at least so says former Vice President Al Gore. In an interview with former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky broadcasted on UStream on Friday, Gore explained that in order for climate change alarmists to succeed, they must “win the conversation” against those who deny there is a crisis.
“I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me,” Gore said. “My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, ‘Whoa! How gross and evil is that?’ My generation asked old people, ‘Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?’ And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.”
The former vice president recalled how society succeeded in marginalizing racists and said climate change skeptics must be defeated in the same manner. “Secondly, back to this phrase ‘win the conversation,’” he continued. “There came a time when friends or people you work with or people you were in clubs with — you’re much younger than me so you didn’t have to go through this personally — but there came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Noon: Coal and Oil Provides the Shelter from Irene

Marita Noon
Townhall - “Coal is making us sick. Oil is making us sick.” So said Senator Harry Reid. With the entire East Coast facing a fierce Irene, nothing could be further from the truth. America’s energy is what is keeping people alive despite nature’s fury. The news is filled with clips of governors, mayors, and police chiefs begging people to evacuate and escape the storm and shots of highways are filled with cars heading out. Reports warn that gas stations are running out of gas and major power outages are predicted. Some areas could be out of power for as long as two weeks. Buried between the lines of “storm surges” and “wind gusts,” is an untold story of the importance of energy in saving lives. One hundred years ago, the rate of death in America due to extreme weather was dramatic with 8000 people being killed in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Today, the death rate per million has dropped from 241.8 in the 1920’s to 3.5 in the 2000-2006 period—a decline of 99%.
The Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events report, indicates that better transportation and communication systems have played a major role in the decline of death rates. People hear about the storm through TV, Radio, and the internet. They get into their cars and drive away. Coal is keeping people alive—not making them sick. Coal provides the electricity for the communications. Oil is keeping people alive—not making them sick. Oil provides the gas for the transportation. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Re-Visiting Faith-Based Global Warming

Charles Darwin
Reason.com - No, my kids haven't been chewing over Charles Darwin text or the Holy Bible in elementary school. There's simply no time. Not with global warming out there. Perry, not surprisingly, was also recently asked about "global warming." He responded that "the issue has been politicized" and that pouring billions of dollars into "a scientific theory that has not been proven and ... is more and more being put into question" is not worthwhile. It is interesting watching the nation's defenders of reason, empirical evidence, and science fail to display a hint of skepticism over the transparently political "science" of global warming. Rarely are scientists so certain in predicting the future. Yet this is a special case. It is also curious that these supposed champions of Darwin don't believe that human beings—or nature—have the ability to adapt to changing climate. Like 99 percent of pundits and politicians, though, I have no business chiming in on the science of climate change—though my kids' teachers sure are experts. Needless to say, there is a spectacular array of viewpoints on this issue. The answers are far from settled. There are debates over how much humans contribute. There are debates over how much warming we're seeing. There are debates over many things.
But even if one believed the most terrifying projections of global warming alarmist "science," it certainly doesn't mean one has to support the anti-capitalist technocracy to fix it. And try as some may to conflate the two, global warming policy is not "science." The left sees civilization's salvation in a massive Luddite undertaking that inhibits technological growth by turning back the clock, undoing footprints, forcing technology that doesn't exist, banning products that do, and badgering consumers who have not adhered to the plan through all kinds of punishment. Yet there is no real science that has shown that any of it makes a whit of difference. So no doubt, it is reasonable for voters to query presidential candidates about their views on faith, religion, God, Darwin, and science. It matters. Sometimes, though, it matters less than they'd like you to think it does. Read full column here: News New Mexico


The Week in Review

Before we get to another New Mexico week in review that is packed with strange happenings, let’s give kudos to Artesia’s Landry Jones, now the quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners football team. A major Heisman Trophy candidate, Jones leads his team into the season with the #1 A.P. pre-season ranking.
We began this week with California Congresswoman Maxine Waters telling the tea parties to, “Go straight to hell.” It would seem that all efforts at civility in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson earlier this year have officially ceased within the Waters organization.
Not to be outdone by the viciousness of Maxine Waters, Mexican drug cartels staged a pitched gun battle outside of a soccer stadium in the beleaguered country. Players on both teams were seen on video sprinting for the exits in the middle of the game while fans also took cover. It made Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s calls for tourists to come to a safe Mexico, ring just a bit hollow.
Sidonie Squier
HHS Secretary Sidonie Squier announced that New Mexico’s Medicaid costs continue to skyrocket. Estimates are that this year the state’s additional burden will rise by $330-360 million. Is anyone paying attention? Those earning as much as 235% above the federal poverty level qualify for taxpayer financed handouts in our state.
The Albuquerque Police Department is coming under more intense criticism and scrutiny these days. Some family members of suspects shot by APD officials over the last two years say there are “rogue” elements in the department with quick trigger fingers. Probes are underway.
Regular guest columnist Jim Harbison exposed dubious anti-jobs policies passed recently by the Las Cruces City Council. In an era where construction jobs are particularly precious and city payrolls remain bloated from the recent construction boom (now turned bust), the Las Cruces City Council, in its infinite wisdom, decided to slap prohibitive impact fees on all new development and construction. One can only wonder how many jobs must be lost before the voters in the second largest city in New Mexico realize what is happening to them.
An earthquake struck the East Coast at midweek causing damage in Virginia. Eyebrows were raised up and down the east coast. A previously unpublicized “fault” was identified as the culprit. There was an immediate push to change the name of that fault. We have unconfirmed reports that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wanted it to be re-named the “Bush Fault,” while Maxine Waters argued vehemently that it should be dubbed the “Tea Party Fault.”
An Albuquerque hero admitted he is in the country illegally last week. The admission came just a few days after a daring rescue thwarted the kidnapping of a six year old. Hero Antonio Diaz Chacon admitted that he found the paperwork process involved in gaining legal status too cumbersome. Chacon is married to an American citizen. Is there a message here?
Excel Energy called for reduced electricity consumption at mid-week thanks to a shortage of production capacity. One can only wonder how many blackouts lie ahead when President Obama’s clueless EPA shuts down coal fired plants in the Four Corners region (and other areas of the nation) to “save the planet.” Radical environmentalists defended the anti-coal anti-oil and gas policies suggesting they might not do much harm ………. if we never have summer or winter again.
Gary Johnson
We had to laugh as we posted comments from former Governor Gary Johnson this week. Johnson was weighing in on “social” issues. He said social issues would be a losing hand for the GOP in the upcoming presidential contest. While we tend to agree with the governor on this point and many others, it seemed somewhat ironic that G.J. would be talking about a losing hand as part of a strategy to do something about his own…..losing hand.
Ben Lujan
New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan sent a letter expressing his intent to look at impeachment proceedings against estranged PRC commissioner Jerome Block Jr. We don’t have enough space to talk about all the hot water Block is in, let alone publish a list of everyone from both sides of the aisle who have called for him to resign.
Rob Nikolewski of Capitol Report New Mexico published a report on his website this week documenting the fact that Senator Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich claim they are too busy working on job creation ideas to conduct town hall meetings. Apparently both Heinrich and Udall are not too busy to hold fundraising events in Washington D.C. for fat cats. Heinrich wants to grab the Senate seat being vacated by town hall averse Senator Jeff Bingaman. Udall is not up for re-election until 2014.
Rep. Lee Alcon took a big shot at Governor Susana Martinez late in the week, suggesting the governor would give you a kick in the kidneys if you were down. When offered a chance to soften his statements by Rob after his press conference Alcon took the opportunity to get harsher saying that the Governor “Has no heart.” It seems that Alcon is very upset that the Governor wants to heed the wishes of 75% of the voters and reform the driver’s license laws in the state. And then, with almost uncanny timing, multiple indictments were handed down by a grand jury in Albuquerque Thursday drawing attention to yet another crime ring that set up shop in New Mexico to take advantage of the state’s absurd driver’s license laws. Three leaders of a Chinese crime ring stand accused of using fraudulent documents to secure New Mexico driver’s licenses for over 60 illegal immigrants from out of state. They are now facing over 1,150 counts of felony charges.
It would seem that there is widespread heartlessness within that Albuquerque grand jury. Only the “heartless” would bother with prosecuting a little fraud, forgery, and conspiracy. People falsifying affidavits and engaging in perjury should not face a prosecutorial “kidney punch.” Anyone with some compassion should realize that all it takes is just a little “heart” to tolerate altered, forged, or fictitious driver’s licenses. Just ask Rep. Lee Alcon, he’ll tell you. And finally, in what has to be labeled a sign of the times, illegal immigrant advocates in Albuquerque are planning a “peaceful protest” in front of…… get this….. the Department of Motor Vehicles on September 1st. Organizers say they are upset that Governor Martinez is going after the wrong people. In an interview with KOB TV one advocate is quoted as saying, “It's difficult to tell if the person applying for the license is in New Mexico to work or to commit crimes.” It might be somewhat helpful to point out that it is illegal to “work” if you are in the U.S. illegally. Isn’t that the reason why our government fines employers who hire illegals?