FL Governor Signs Bill Requiring Drug Tests for Welfare Applicants

Gov. Rick Scott
From CBS Miami -Expect challenges to a bill signed by Governor Rick Scott which will require welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.  The bill also requires that those who apply for welfare must pay for the drug testing out of their own pockets. However, the cost would be reimbursed if the person passes the drug test. Republicans said the measure was needed because if taxpayers are screened at their place of employment, so should welfare recipients. The drug testing bill was a priority for Scott.  More News New Mexico

New Mexico to End Food Stamp Supplement

From newmexicoindependent.com - New Mexico will end a food stamp supplement for elderly and disabled residents, according to the Associated Press. The cuts come just as Congress is considering cuts to the food stamp program even as a record-high amount of people are receiving the benefits. The AP reports that the Human Services Department will stop the supplement on July 1 because there is no money in the state budget for the program. The program cost half a million dollars last fiscal year. Federal law requires that those who receive food stamps receive at least $16 a month. New Mexico currently provides at least $25 a month for those who qualify for food stamps.  More News New Mexico

KOB reporter charged with criminal trespassing

From KOB-TV.com - A KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter, Cristina Rodda - pictured on left - has been charged with criminal trespassing while checking out a tip about a rave at an Albuquerque night club. Rodda visited Tumbleweed on Centeral near 106th street on April 29th. KOB thought it was worth checking out because six people were arrested there in February for selling ecstasy during a rave. Rodda went with the station's camera to get video outside of the building. In the video, a nightclub employee is seen approaching her and questioning if she can be there. A KOB photographer was also in the parking lot and said when Rodda was asked to leave, she started walking toward her car. Rodda says a police officer hired by the night club that night called her back and demanded that she turn over the station's camera. According to the police report, she willingly turned the camera over to the officer. The camera was returned to KOB a few days later, however, it appears video from the camera was deleted. Read more

Kokesh arrested in D.C. after dancing at Jefferson Memorial

From the New Mexico Independent - (NewsNM Swickard) Watch the video here. It makes me think the Capitol Police should be disbanded and a different law enforcement agency used. -

By Matthew Reichbach - Former congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Adam Kokesh was arrested this weekend after dancing at Jefferson Memorial. Video of the arrest has over half a million views on YouTube, and Kokesh is planning to dance at the memorial again. Kokesh, a libertarian Republican, ran for Congress in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District in 2010. He lost in the Republican primary but has since begun hosting a radio show. Kokesh is planning another dance at Jefferson Memorial this Saturday. Nearly 2,000 people have said they will attend the “dance party” on Facebook. The Facebook page says that this is not a protest. The Facebook event says, “You don’t have to risk arrest, you can dance on the steps outside in support or join us in civil disobedience in the memorial!” Read more

Judges should have reported Murphy’s claims

From NM Politics.net - By Heath Haussamen - The bribery case against Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy has created a scandal that rivals any other the New Mexico judiciary has seen in recent times. With more than 100 judges joining Murphy in being appointed by former Gov. Bill Richardson, the public has reason to question the integrity of the entire judiciary. And if witness statements released by prosecutors are to be believed, a number of judges share the blame for that. The state’s Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge who “receives information indicating a substantial likelihood that another judge has committed a violation” of the code to “take appropriate action.” If the offending judge’s “fitness for office” is in question, the judge who learns of it is required to “inform the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission.” Similarly, the code of conduct for all attorneys in New Mexico – which includes judges – requires any who “knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge’s fitness for office” to report it to the commission. According to an incident report released by the case’s special prosecutor, I count at least 12 judges and two other attorneys who knew about the claims Murphy was making, some as early as 2007. But no one notified the Judicial Standards Commission until several weeks ago. Read more

"Official" 2011 Juarez Murder Count is 843

Juarez Mayor Hector Murgia
El Paso Times - Five people were gunned down in Juárez on Friday, the day before the mayor declared that Juárez is no longer the most dangerous city in Mexico. Chihuahua state prosecutors said two men in their late 30s were ambushed while riding in a gray 2000 Pontiac Grand AM without license plates at Aeronáutica Street and Panamerican Highway. In the northern part of the city, across from New Mexico, a man was shot to death Friday afternoon in the grocery store he owned, officials said. José Gómez Marín, 36, was attacked in his store at La Conquista and Hipocampo streets in Anapra. In another incident, a man in his mid-30s was shot to death in the middle of a street late Friday, authorities said. The victim was found at General Máximo Castillo and Caridad Bravo Adams streets. Also Friday night, a man in his mid-20s was found dead at Libertad and Ignacio Ronquillo streets near downtown, officials said. As of Friday, 843 people had been killed in the city this year. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Who Is "Middle Class?"

Reuters - "Most people tend to think of themselves as middle class unless they're (billionaire investor) Warren Buffett or really poor," said J.D. Foster, an economist and senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Foster regards the upper 20 percent of earners as "upper income" and the lower 20 percent as "lower income." He regards the 60 percent in the middle as middle class, with household incomes roughly between $25,000 and $100,000. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Defense No Longer GOP Sacred Cow

The Pentagon
Bloomberg - As the House Budget Committee worked on a Republican plan to cut more than $6 trillion of government spending over a decade, the panel’s senior Democrat proposed a symbolic amendment saying national security costs should be included in any responsible deficit-reduction effort. Seventeen of 22 committee Republicans, including Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, joined all 16 Democrats in an April 6 vote backing Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen’s measure. For the party of Ronald Reagan, who made bountiful Pentagon budgets a cornerstone of his “peace through strength” foreign policy, it was a telling vote: As anti-tax, small-government Tea Party sympathizers gain influence, defense is no longer sacrosanct for Republicans. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Confident German Businesses Just Keep Adding Jobs

Angela Merkel
Bloomberg - German unemployment fell in May for a 23rd straight month as export-driven growth and increased spending by businesses and consumers extended a jobs boom. The number of people out of work dropped a seasonally adjusted 8,000 to 2.97 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. Economists forecast a drop of 30,000, according to the median forecast of 30 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The jobless rate declined to 7 percent, the lowest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. Read full story here: News New Mexico

U.S. Consumer Confidence Dives in May

Bloomberg - Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly declined in May to a six-month low as Americans’ outlook for business conditions and the labor market soured. The Conference Board’s index dropped to 60.8 from a revised 66 reading in April, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise to 66.6. Other data today showed a drop in home prices and weakening manufacturing. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Housing Prices Back to 2003 Levels

Bloomberg - Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped in March to the lowest level since 2003, showing housing remains mired in a slump almost two years into the economic recovery.  The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.6 percent from March 2010, the biggest year-over-year decline since November 2009, the group said today in New York. At 138.16, the gauge was the weakest since March 2003. A backlog of foreclosures poised to reach the market means prices may stay depressed, dissuading builders from taking on new-home construction projects. Unemployment at 9 percent and stricter lending conditions are signs that any recovery in housing may take years.  Read full story here: News New Mexico

Running Mates

Steve Terrell
Roundhouse Roundup - Unlike Bill Richardson with Diane Denish, Gov. Susana Martinez will never be accused of getting too touchy-feely with her lieutenant governor, John Sanchez. And even if Martinez’s popularity takes a nosedive before next year’s election, it would be a real stretch for Democrats to try to talk about the “Martinez-Sanchez administration,” the way Republicans derisively referred to the “Richardson-Denish administration” in attacking Denish during the last gubernatorial race. Several pundits have noted that Martinez and Sanchez aren’t exactly close. And neither has done much in the way of disputing that. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Gessing: Federalism the Key to America's Future

Paul Gessing
NMPolitics - Without actually debating the issue head on, the concept of federalism is back as a central focus of American political debates. Federalism, at least as conceived by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, meant that the central government in Washington had a few, strictly-limited powers, but that an overwhelming majority of what was to be done was to be left to the states and people. The belief that Washington’s powers were few and limited was so important to the founders that two separate amendments essentially re-stated this. The 10th amendment clarifies the issue, simply stating, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Read full story here: News New Mexico