Three arrested for illegally feeding homeless

From the Orlando Sentinel - By Susan Jacobson - Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park. Food Not Bombs movement began in the early 1980s. The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall. Arrest papers state 40 people were fed Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people. Police waited until everyone was served to make the arrests. Orlando Food Not Bombs has been feeding the homeless breakfast on Mondays for several years and dinner on Wednesdays for five years. The penalty for violating Orlando's ordinance is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both. Read more

Oh la la! French ban the words 'Twitter' and 'Facebook' from being used on TV and radio

(Swickard) Visions of the US government in the future? From the Daily Mail - In a controversial move the French government has said that it will enforce a law so that the words 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' will not be allowed to be spoken on the television or on the radio. President Nicolas Sarkozy's colleagues have agreed to uphold a 1992 decree which stipulates that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs. Broadcasting anchors from now on are forbidden to refer to the popular social networking site and the microblogging phenomenon, unless it is pivotal and relevant to a news item. Read more

Facing the Nation

Nancy Pelosi appeared on the television show “Face the Nation” over the weekend. Her overriding concern seemed to be all about protecting the “middle class.” This sounded pretty good and it led to the questions: Who are we protecting? Who belongs to the middle class?
Nancy Pelosi
We asked public labor union activist Carter Bundy last week if the “middle class” paid income taxes. He became evasive. Eventually Bundy dodged the question. When pressed for an answer, he suggested that the middle class supports the Medicare and Social Security programs. This is true. But since everyone with earned income pays into those programs, it did not help us define exactly what is meant to be part of the “middle class.”
Carl Jacobi
Carl Jacobi liked to invert tough questions. If we do not know who the “middle class” is, perhaps it would be easier to figure out who the middle class isn’t. Any household that is so indigent in our society that we do not require that household to contribute a dime to the costs of government should NOT be designated as “middle class.” It’s pretty simple. Middle class American households contribute taxes to help fund all of the necessities government provides.
We consulted The National Taxpayers Union to get some simple statistics on who pays federal income taxes. As of 2009, the median (50 percentile) household in the U.S. does not pay any federal income taxes, which means half the nation does not qualify for middle class status.
Within the remaining group of taxpaying households in America:
(1) The lower half of the taxpaying households in the U.S. contributes 13.66% of all federal income taxes collected.
(2) The upper half of all households that pay income taxes accounts for 86.34% of all federal income tax collections.
The next time you hear someone (a politician) talking about “protecting the middle class” it is important to know half of all American households are already PROTECTED from bearing a nickel of the nation’s federal income tax burden. And it is also important to know that of those household that are not “protected” from the burden of federal income taxes, the lower half bears a small fraction of the burden and the upper half carries nearly 90% of the burden. Now that we know who the middle class is and how much protection they are receiving, perhaps defining who the “rich” are, isn’t going to be all that necessary.


Mexican Drug Cartels May Form Pact to Shift Power

From -The drug war in Mexico already seems far from over, but a new pact between two cartels could make that even more so.  According to KFOX14's media partners at the El Paso Times, the Juarez drug cartel and the notorious Zetas have formed a war pact in a strategy to try and defeat the Sinaloa drug cartel. The announcement came in messages that appeared Thursday in the city of Hidalgo del Parral in the southern edge of Chihuahua.  More News New Mexico

Johnson Not Invited to CNN GOP Debate

Gary Johnson
From -Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson was not invited to the first New Hampshire debate of the Republican primary on June 13. The debate, sponsored by CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader, does however include Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has not yet announced her candidacy for president. Johnson did not meet the criteria for participating in the debate. The criteria were based on opinion polling done both nationally and in New Hampshire. The candidates could either reach 2 percent in national polls conducted in April or May or at least two percent in New Hampshire polls conducted in May.  More News New Mexico

The Week in Review

John Edwards (left) and his mistress Rielle Hunter (right)
 Former Democratic V.P. candidate John Edwards was indicted late in the week on multiple felony counts. It should be an interesting to hear what prosecutors learned by following the money and what Mr. Edwards has to say about the evidence against him. Speaking of indictments, a spokesman for Bill Richardson was quoted as saying the former governor does not comment on “political witch hunts.” This came after questions were asked about the possibility of Richardson receiving a subpoena to testify in the Judge Michael Murphy’s bribery trial. Some might say the mere use of the phrase, “political witch hunts” is a comment on the case.
Apparently the only thing Rep. Martin Heinrich does faster than gathering union endorsements is provide observers with curious contradictions of his own stated positions. Heinrich made a big to-do about wanting to bring our troops home in an April letter he wrote to President Obama. This week Heinrich voted to support the president’s military incursion in Libya when he could have cast a vote to “bring the troops home.”
The 300 miles off-reservation Jemez Pueblo casino scheme was back in the news in Southern New Mexico this week. We posted a column listing seven stubborn facts regarding the horrible economic precedents that would be set by allowing an off-reservation casino. Facts have always been very stubborn things. Credit should be given to the slick marketing campaign behind this wealth transferring tax avoidance scheme. Amidst all the publicity pomp to drum up local support for the scheme, all discussion of the most relevant facts, have been cleverly sidestepped.
President Obama was at an auto factory late this week extolling the virtues of the United Autoworkers bailout. Unfortunately, unlike presidential claims that the government is paid in full, Chrysler will never repay all the money that taxpayers plowed into the company.
The Labor Dept. announced on Friday that the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in May. With the president’s own E.P.A. restricting energy supplies and driving up fuel prices, he was able to keep a straight face while blaming higher gas prices for the alarming jump in unemployment.
Greg Sowards
On News New Mexico Thursday U.S. Senate candidate Greg Sowards stood alone in openly supporting Paul Ryan’s spending reform-based budget plan. Both Hector Balderas and Martin Heinrich have openly opposed spending reforms and none of the other GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate are on the record yet as either being for or against the only budget reform proposal before Congress.
Radical environmentalists suffered a mild setback at the hands of the Martinez Environmental Improvement Board this week.
Four Corners Power Plant
After hearing testimony, the EIB quickly opted for a plan that calls for $77 million of pollution control equipment to be installed at the Four Corners Power Plant. The EIB rejected a radical proposal that would have effectively shuttered a coal fired generator, cost the state millions in precious tax revenues, reduced the supply of reliable electricity, and put hundreds of people out of work in San Juan County.
Anthony Weiner
And finally, Christmas came early in the week just passed for late night television talk show comics. It is no secret that “Weinergate” has become the mother lode of raw material from which bawdy one-liners are made. Forgive us for punishing you with a few of our own Weinergate quips on the show this week, but there’s golden humor in “them thar hills.” Until we can find something better to make fun of, in the days ahead we suspect we might not be able to resist the occasional temptation to point out some of the more notorious boners the New York Congressman has pulled.


O'Reilly: Poverty is Cultural

Bill O'Reilly
Townhall - The key to defeating Obama is understanding him. He is driven by one thing above all: social justice. He fervently believes that prosperous Americans have a moral obligation to help the deprived not only in the United States, but all over the world. This cause influences just about all of his decision-making. The problem is that Obama does not really understand what drives poverty and hopelessness. Writing in the publication "Public Square," theologian R.R. Reno clearly defines the issue: "A Christian who hopes to follow the teachings of Jesus needs to reckon with a singular fact about American poverty:
Homeless Man Taking Cellphone Picture
Its deepest and most debilitating deficits are moral, not financial; the most serious deprivations are cultural, not economic. Many people living at the bottom of American society have cell phones, flat-screen TVs, and some of the other goodies of consumer culture. But their lives are a mess."  Read full column here: News New Mexico


Weiner: An Example of the Peter Principle?

Anthony Weiner
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1985, Anthony Weiner worked on the staff of then-Congressman and current Senator Chuck Schumer (1985–91). In 1998, Congressman Chuck Schumer unseated U.S. Senator Al D'Amato and Weiner won the congressional seat held by Schumer. Over the years Weiner has become known as one of the most intense and demanding members of Congress. He amasses unpaid parking tickets in Washington D.C. and is said to have one of the highest staff turn-over rates of any member of Congress. At one point, Weiner went through three different chiefs of staff in an eighteen month period. Over the last week, Anthony Weiner's inability to explain away a crotch-shot photo of him that was sent out on his twitter account has him floundering politically. Armed only with degree in political science and zero real world experience many observers are arguing that the amazing advancement of Weiner up the political ladder is a perfect example of the "Peter Principle."