Social Security and Medicare: The boomers hit the fan

From Capitol Report New Mexico - A sobering story from CBS News about the looming Social Security and Medicare crisis that’s now on top of us since the Baby Boomers are retiring: Rob says, "The only argument I have about the package is Sheryl Attkison’s claim that many of the angry people at town hall meetings were upset about the government cutting entitlements. No, most of the angry folks at those meetings were ticked off about lawmakers who don’t have the guts to talk frankly about out of control entitlement spending." more

Obama Administration Holding Secret Peace Talks with Syria

From -Barack Obama nominated a US ambassador to Syria in February of this year after a 5 year absence. The US recalled its Ambassador in the wake of the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 and speculation over Syrian involvement. Iranian regime President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian dictator Assad and Hezbollah terror leader Hassan Nasrallah met for dinner this year in Damascus. Hassan Nasrallah (far right) has made few public appearances since 2006. This dinner was held right after US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns’s visit with Assad in Damascus. A Kuwaiti paper reported on Saturday that the Obama Administration is holding secret peace talks with Syria. The report said Syria really wants to change.  More here

Susana Martinez: Potential VP Candidate for 2012?

From -When she takes the oath of office Saturday morning in Santa Fe's historic plaza, Susana Martinez will become New Mexico's — and the nation's — first elected Latina governor. The 51-year-old, four-term Doña Ana County district attorney is also a rising star in national Republican circles, already being mentioned in the blogosphere as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2012. But as she takes over from Bill Richardson — a termed-out Democrat whose final two years in office were clouded by federal investigations into pay-for-play allegations — Martinez faces stiff challenges as New Mexico deals with a high unemployment rate and a hefty budget deficit.  More here

Medicaid Provides Healthcare to 1/4 of New Mexico's Population

From -New Mexico is receiving a bonus of $8.5 million from the federal government because of its efforts to provide health care to more children through Medicaid. The Human Services Department said the federal government provides extra Medicaid money to states that streamline the enrollment system and sign up more children in the health care program. The agency said the federal money will help the state cope with a budget squeeze this year. Medicaid provides health care for about one-fourth of New Mexico's population. The program will cost nearly $4 billion in state and federal money this year.

Martinez Takes the Oath - Begins the Cleanup

Governor Martinez
Santa Fe New Mexican - With temperatures in single digits, Gov. Susana Martinez took the oath of office Saturday on the Plaza, promising to promote job creation, reform public education and decrease government secrecy. In addition to her ceremonial appearances at inaugural events, she also immediately exercised her new authority by halting pending regulations by executive branch agencies under her control to determine whether they hurt businesses in New Mexico. Martinez also directed agencies to review rules and regulations that are in place and determine by the end of the month which ones should be scrapped to improve economic development and job growth. Shortly after taking office, Martinez issued an executive order to suspend pending and proposed regulations for 90 days while they are reviewed by a task force. Read full story here:

December of 2010 Lakeland, Florida's Coldest

Al Gore
The Ledger - by Tom Palmer - Lakeland, Florida - The new average low temperature record of 53.2 degrees for December 2010 is lower than the old record set in 1935. At the end of December, you could venture out without a jacket, but during most of the month, mittens wouldn't have been a useless fashion accessory. That's because this past month was the coldest December on record for Lakeland, according to the National Weather Service. The record low average temperature up until this year was 54.8 degrees, set in 1935. The new record is 53.2 degrees. That's not surprising since the low temperature dropped below 32 degrees on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 27, 28 and 29, setting record lows for most of those days. The cold weather devastated crops, tropical fish farms and home landscapes. Read full story here:

Nikolewski's Take on Inauguration Speech

Rob Nikolewski
Capitol Report New Mexico - Hundreds of New Mexicans turned out despite frigid conditions that dropped the wind-chill factor below zero to watch America’s first Hispanic female governor get sworn in at the Plaza in Santa Fe. Susana Martinez urged the crowd, “Let’s be brave together” during a speech that lasted about 15 minutes. Martinez, a Republican who takes over for Democrat Bill Richardson, also vowed that her administration will appoint only the best-qualified applicants — “It won’t be who they know, but who they are” – and added that “nothing we do is more indispensable” than ensuring a quality educational system for the state’s students.
Martinez, who inherits a state budget deficit estimated at roughly $300 million, also urged Democrats and Republicans to work together at the State Capitol so that, “We will grow an economy that offers opportunities to every New Mexican willing to seize them. In a not-so-subtle reference to the Richardson admistration, which was plagued by ”pay for play” allegations, the 51-year-old former prosecutor from Doña Ana County said, “We will shine a light into the dark corners of state government in order to regain the public trust and to ensure that public officials are putting the people’s business first.” One light-hearted moment came during the middle of her speech when Martinez said, “No lawmakers will have no stronger adversary,” and then quickly corrected herself to that no lawbreakers will be see a tougher adversary. Give the tough fiscal times ahead, the verbal slip could prove prophetic. While most of the attendees at the inauguration were Republicans, Democrats Luciano “Lucky” Varela, Rhonda King and attorney general Gary King were spotted in the crowd. Read full story here: