Santa Fe – When the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee received a new Chairman (Brian Egolf), House GOP members said they were willing to work in a spirit of fairness. It now appears the new Chairman may not share that desire, especially with those who have serious concerns about his aggressive "global warming" agenda. While raising what seemed to be reasonable questions about the credentials of a witness during the Committee meeting on Monday, Rep. Donald Bratton (Hobbs, Dist. 62) was abruptly silenced by Egolf. Rep. Bratton was told by the Chairman he was "out of order" in his questions. “If it’s out of order to question the credentials of a witness,” says Rep. Bratton, “then I’m wasting my time and the people’s money.” In response to the Chairman’s actions to push his own agenda, Rep Bratton decided to leave the hearing.
After Bratton's departure members of the House GOP who serve on the committee decided on their own to follow. “The purpose of this committee is to determine fact, not to disseminate propaganda,” says Rep. Bratton. House GOP members of the committee are now raising concerns about how the committee will operate. Rep. Bill Gray (Artesia, Dist 54) the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee says “When one member of the Committee is silenced so are the people they represent, the people of New Mexico deserve to be heard.” The stated agenda for the meeting called for "Presentations of the impact of rules on oil and gas production," each House GOP member on the committee represents a district where oil and gas production takes place.
House Energy Chair Egolf is reportedly a vocal supporter of Al Gore's so-called Cap and Trade legislation which is languishing at the federal level. Egolf also appears to strongly support the progressive movement's push for the process that delegated law-making power to a quasi-government entity known as the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB). The EIB of New Mexico unilaterally made rulings on election day in New Mexico in 2010 that will curb both energy production and the state tax revenues that come with that production. This move which was engineered by former Governor Richardson infuriated incoming Governor Susana Martinez. Egolf's dictatorial style may well be a sign of things to come in the days and weeks ahead. Experts speaking to News New Mexico have indicated that any legislation that damages energy production and diminishes severance tax revenues will surely be vetoed by Governor Martinez.
From washingtonexaminer.com -New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may prefer "No Labels" but in his case, I think "gun grabber" is a pretty fitting one. As part of his misguided crusade to tighten up gun laws nationally, TheNew York Times reports that Hizzoner sent undercover cops to gun shows in Arizona and found they were violating the law: In two instances, the New York undercover officers specifically said before buying a gun, “I probably couldn’t pass a background check,” but were still sold guns, city officials said. In a third case, an investigator bought a Glock pistol and two high-capacity magazines like the ones used in the Tucson shooting. Such purchases were made without any background check but were perfectly legal. Mr. Bloomberg’s office, which will release details of the undercover investigation on Monday, has for years pushed for tighter firearms laws. Since the Tucson shooting, Mr. Bloomberg has enlisted in his effort Daniel Hernandez, an intern in the office of Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. The congresswoman was the most seriously wounded, and Mr. Hernandez held her until emergency personnel arrived. More here
NYC Mayor Bloomberg Running Gun Show Sting Operation in....Arizona
From KOB-TV.com - State lawmakers will soon consider a bill that would affect license renewals for elderly drivers. Democratic state Senator Peter Wirth is proposing that drivers 75 to 84 would have to renew their license every two years, ages 85 to 89 would have to renew every year, and drivers 90 and older would have to renew every six months. The renewals would be free. Wirth's measure also calls for anyone over 75 to undergo tests of reflexes, reaction times, motor skills and coordination with each license renewal. Drivers over 90 would take eye and reflex tests twice a year. Read more
On this day in New Mexico history February 1, 1896 – One of the most enduring mysteries of New Mexico occurred on this date. Albert Fountain and his eight year old son Henry disappeared on a trip from Alamogordo to Las Cruces in a buckboard wagon. They were never found. Fountain had gone to Lincoln New Mexico to testify against cattle rustlers and was returning home. He brought his son along in the mistaken thought that no one would harm the boy. It is widely accepted by historians they were killed on the trip and their bodies disposed of without record. Fountain was both loved and hated, equally, his friends were legend and his enemies numerous. As an aside, he was the attorney assigned to defend Billy the Kid when he was tried in Mesilla and then sentenced to hanging when found guilty. That was fifteen years earlier. Famous lawman Pat Garret was brought in to solve the mystery as were the Pinkerton detectives, to no avail. There are a number of websites and books about this subject that are worthy of your interest. I have posted a couple websites to get started on what happened to Albert Fountain and his son Henry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Jennings_Fountain
The good people of New Mexico were outraged at this murder and it was one of the moments that delayed statehood until 1912. The lawlessness of the territory in those times knew no bounds.
Steve Pearce provided News NM listeners with an hour long interview on the major topics facing all American citizens, expecially energy policy, the problem with government spending, and the jobs creations solutions. You can hear the entire interview here:
Townhall - The Republican take away from President Obama’s State of the Union address should be unwavering opposition to an unconditional increase in the U.S. debt limit. The statutory debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion dollars will soon be reached. Republicans should oppose increasing it to permit more borrowing without meaningful spending cuts as part of the deal. The vision that the president presented to the nation in his speech, that we need more government, a lot more, to address the challenges before us, shows he sees the world no differently than he did when he entered office two years ago. He’s added a trillion dollars, almost a 40% increase, to federal government spending over this time. The federal government’s take from our economy has increased from one dollar out of every five to one dollar out of every four. Aside from the point of principle that with every incremental increase in the scope of government there is a corresponding decrease in the freedom of every citizen, there is also no practical argument to justify this vast government takeover. Unemployment has hardly budged and the economy, although recovering, remains sluggish. This economic machine clearly needs an oil change and a different kind of fuel. The president clearly doesn’t see things this way. Republicans need to offer a clear alternative and let the American people choose. Read full column here:
Santa Fe, NM – A measure (HB 256) that would expand the DNA testing requirements of Katie’s Law to include all felony arrests was introduced by Rep. Al Park (D-Albuquerque) today. In 2006 Katie’s Law was adopted, but only includes certain felonies which are predominantly those of a violent nature. Rep. Park said. “The biggest fact is we will prevent crimes with this bill. Currently only people arrested for sex crimes or violent crimes are required to submit DNA samples. We want to expand it so all felony arrests require a DNA sample.” He added, “People will be held accountable for their crimes, and as a result, they won’t be out committing more crimes and hurting more people.” In 2006, the New Mexico State Legislature passed legislation called “Katie’s Law” named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and murdered in 2003.
Under the provisions of that law, DNA samples in New Mexico are collected for certain felony arrests. Those include sex offenses, death, great bodily harm, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, larceny, robbery, aggravated stalking, the use of a firearm or an explosive or violation of the antiterrorism act. HB 256 would require anyone over 18 years of age arrested for any felony to provide a DNA sample. The bill alters the original DNA restraints of the current law. “We hope that this bill will remedy some of the state’s cold cases and provide justice and closure for families,” Rep. Park said. HB 256 heads to the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts. The order signed by Governor Martinez directs law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of those who are arrested for committing crimes.“This order takes the handcuffs off of New Mexico’s law enforcement officers in their mission to keep our communities safe,” said Governor Martinez. “The criminal justice system should have the authority to determine the immigration status of all criminals, regardless of race or ethnicity, and report illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal authorities. Meanwhile, it is important that we safeguard the ability of victims and witnesses to report crimes to law enforcement officers without fear of repercussion.”
Governor Martinez Ends NM "Sanctuary" for Illegals
Washington Times - A federal judge in Florida ruled the new health care law unconstitutional on Monday in the broadest rejection yet of Democrats’ chief success over the last two years. District Judge Roger Vinson‘s ruling is the second to find that Congress went beyond its authority in requiring Americans to buy health insurance, but he went further by ruling that makes the entire law unconstitutional.
Judge Vinson said President Obama can continue to enforce the law while the case winds its way through the courts toward an eventual Supreme Court showdown, but said in his ruling that if the individual mandate is unconstitutional, the entire law must fall. “I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate,” Judge Vinson wrote in his 78-page ruling, adding that while Congress can do some things to address health care, “the principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here. Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.” Read full story here:
From the weeklystandard.com -Here are excerpts from Judge Vinson’s 78-page opinion, in which he ruled (1) that Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and (2) that since the individual mandate is “the keystone or lynchpin” of the entire act, upon its removal the entire 2,700-page act must be invalided. [T]his case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation, or whether it will solve or exacerbate the myriad problems in our health care system. In fact, it is not really about our health care system at all. It is principally about our federalist system, and it raises very important issues regarding the Constitutional role of the federal government…. [A]ll of the plaintiffs challenge the “individual mandate” set forth in Section 1501 of the Act, which, beginning in 2014 will require that everyone (with certain limited exceptions) purchase federally-approved health insurance, or pay a monetary penalty….I previously rejected the defendants’ argument that this penalty was really a tax, and that any challenge thereto was barred by the Anti-Injunction Act…. The Constitutionality of the individual mandate is the crux of this entire case... More here
From jpost.com -Barrage of fire from Gaza hits southern Israel; rocket lands near building where wedding is taking place in Netivot; 4 treated for shock, vehicle damaged; Color Red rocket alert system fails to go off.The relative calm in the South was shattered on Monday night when Palestinians in Gaza fired a barrage of powerful Grad rockets and mortar shells at the western Negev. One Grad-type rocket fired from Gaza smashed into the town of Ofakim and a second rocket slammed into Netivot, not far from a building where a wedding celebration was taking place. More here
From The Guardian -The world's current economic model is an environmental "global suicide pact" that will result in disaster if it isn't reformed, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, warned today. Ban said that political and business leaders need to embrace economic innovation in order to save the planet. "We need a revolution," he told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on how best to make the global economy sustainable. "Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete." He called the current economic model a recipe for "national disaster" and said: "We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change, time to ensure sustainable … growth." The Guardian revealed yesterday that Ban is ending his hands-on efforts to reach a global climate deal through UN negotiations, and move to focus on a broader sustainability agenda. More here
Ban Ki-moon: World's Economic Model is 'Environmental Suicide'
From thehill.com -Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a stern warning to Mexican drug cartels on Monday as she vowed to push Congress to revamp U.S. immigration laws. Napolitano, speaking at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the southern U.S. border has never been more secure than in recent years and public officials who argue otherwise do so to “score political points.” Assessing the number of seizures of illegal drugs, weapons and cash as well as the increasing number of deported criminals who had been in the United States illegally, Napolitano said critics of that border's security were wrong. “It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control,” Napolitano said in prepared remarks. “This statement — often made only to score political points — is just plain wrong.” More here
Napolitano: “It’s Just Plain Wrong to Say Border Is Overrun With Violence and Is Out of Control"
This editorial is based on an article from the American Policy Center and is the first of two parts. In his book “Earth in the Balance” Al Gore warned that a “wrenching transformation” must take place to lead America away from the horrors of the Industrial Revolution. The process to do that is called Sustainable Development. The objective of Sustainable Development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainable Development calls for changing the very infrastructure of the nation, away from private ownership and control of property through central planning of the entire economy – often referred to as top-down control. Truly Sustainable Development is designed to change our entire way of life. It is a form of wealth redistribution. It is a masterful mixture of socialism (with its top-down control of the economy) and fascism (where property is owned in name only-with no control).
Locally, the operative term is Sustainable Growth. The language which the City Council now uses includes such terms as “community development,” “historic preservation,” “public-private partnerships,” ”visioning,” “open space,” and “consensus.” These terms are all necessary to implement Sustainable Development which has come to mean denied use of and protection of resources from the people. It has become a code word for “social justice.” Accepting the perception that Sustainable Growth is simply good environmental stewardship is a serious and dangerous mistake. It insists that society be transformed into feudal-like governance by making nature the central organizing principle of our economy and society. Every societal decision must be determined by how it might affect the environment. To achieve this transformation sustainable growth initiatives focus on three components: global land use; global education; and global population control. Private property is incompatible with the premise of Sustainable Growth especially when you consider the UN’s report from the Habit conference which said “Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice.” Read rest of column here:
Sustainable Growth – A Threat to Private Property (Part 1)
Las Cruces, NM (January 30, 2011) This week, Congressman Steve Pearce will join other U.S. Representatives in a congressional delegation studying border security in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Mr. Pearce is expected to be the only member of the delegation from a border district, and is eager to draw a spotlight of national attention to the violence and exploitation that occur along the border.
“For too long, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have given lip-service to the disturbing situation at our borders,” said Pearce. “Their response has been inadequate and it is time to act. I look forward to joining my colleagues to see firsthand the changes we face along our borders. Ideally, these visits and meetings will help to bring about focused and responsible solutions from Washington. I want to help get beyond the beltway rhetoric of border security, and work toward solutions that reflect the complexity of the problem. Lives are at stake on the border, and lives have already been lost.”
The security issues at the border are numerous.
Drug cartels operate in the area with increasing power and boldness, feeding a culture of rampant violence. Illegal drugs and weapons flow across the border each day. Human traffickers, too, thrive on inaction, preying upon countless innocent victims. Our nation’s enemies, including terrorists, are known to exploit our weaknesses at the border. For the sake of national security, policies are needed that address every aspect of the crisis. In addition, the millions of undocumented immigrants who take advantage of weak border security must be addressed. The issues created by a porous border range from vast administrative and safety issues in the United States to environmental damage in heavily-travelled areas.
The delegation, led by Rep. Phil Gingrey from Georgia, will tour border sites in El Paso before visiting Columbus, New Mexico, to discuss border security with local ranchers, residents and business owners in a public hearing to be held at noon on Tuesday, February 1 at the Columbus Community Center, 500 N. Broadway Ave. The group will also visit Playas, New Mexico, to review training methods for border security personnel. The delegation will meet with members of both the Retired Border Patrol Officers’ Association and local officials, including Hispanic civic leaders, while touring sections of the border.