License check exposes and confirms fraud

From KRQE-TV.com - Nearly a third of the letters requesting residency checks for foreign nationals with New Mexico driver's licenses have been returned because individuals no longer live at the addresses, or in some cases, never lived there. "We're not surprised," said Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla. "We were already aware of addresses being used multiple times and we had those rings coming into New Mexico for the purposes of obtaining a drivers license." Last month, the Motor Vehicle Department sent out letters to 10,000 of the 85,000 foreign nationals who have obtained a New Mexico driver's license, requiring them to schedule in-person interviews and prove they still live in state or have their licenses canceled. Of those, 2,812 letters, or 28 percent, have been returned for various reasons, according to governor's spokesman Scott Darnell. The bulk of them were returned because the people no longer lived there or never lived there. Read more

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"Disruption" in the NM Environment Dept.

From therepublic.com -The deputy secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department has stepped down, marking the latest administrative shuffle within the agency in the last three months. Solomon's departure is one of a few staff shifts at the department since Gov. Susana Martinez took office in January. Environmentalists have been concerned about the shuffling. Rachel Conn with the group Amigos Bravos says the personnel changes have caused a lot of disruption in the agency and a loss of productivity.  More News New Mexico
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Gary King Sues to Protect NM Water

AG Gary King
From currentargus.com -The Office of the New Mexico Attorney General Gary King today filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation asking the court for declaratory action and injunctive relief to protect water that lawfully belongs to New Mexico. According to Attorney General King, "The lawsuit is necessary to prevent the BOR from unilaterally releasing New Mexico's water stored in Elephant Butte Reservoir for delivery to Texas."  More News New Mexico
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Hispanic Republican Group to Meet in NM

Sen. Norm Coleman
From mercurynews.com -A Republican group formed last year to woo more Hispanics to the GOP will hold its second conference in Albuquerque next month. The Hispanic Leadership Network, which is backed by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman and his American Action Network, on Wednesday will announce plans for the gathering Sept. 23 and 24 at the Hyatt Regency. The group's inaugural conference was held in January in Miami and co-chaired by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.  More News New Mexico
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Use holster and safety: Arizona man hospitalized after accidentally shooting himself

NewsNM Swickard: Darwin moment? I think so. From the New York Daily News - A hapless Arizona man was facing possible gun charges Tuesday after he accidentally shot himself in his private parts - with his fiancee's little pink pistol. Joshua Seto was walking with Cara Christopher to a convenience store in the town of Chandler, AZ, last week when he began stuffing her gun into the front waistband of his pants - and it went off, police said. The bullet pierced the 27-year-old Seto's organ and passed through his left thigh and the blood immediately began gushing. Seto was hospitalized and later released. "We don't know if he suffered any permanent damage," Sgt. J. Favazzo of the Chandler Police Department said Tuesday. "The case remains under investigation and we are still in the process of determining whether to press charges." Favazzo said he did not know what kind of weapon was involved in the accident. Local news outlets reported only that it was pink. In the meantime, police said what happened to Seto should be a lesson to all gun owners who take their safety cues from unrealistic TV shows that depict tough guys stuffing their weapons into their waistbands. Read more


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Ruidoso moves to ban all firearms from its buildings

NewsNM - Swickard: So are we to assume that the Village of Ruidoso accepts all liability if someone is injured because they could not protect themselves? From the Ruidoso News.com - A new sign posted on the entry door to Ruidoso Village Hall bans all firearms in village buildings by order of the mayor. The only exception is certified law enforcement officers. Mayor Ray Alborn said today it's his job to protect the six councilors sitting at the council table and people in the audience. After an incident last month when the police chief disarmed a member of the public who was coming to the podium to speak to the council, the notice is timely. In a typed statement taped next to the notice, Alborn wrote that in his capacity as mayor and under authority granted to him by New Mexico State Statutes, 1978, 3-11-4 and 30-14-4, he issued the order banning firearms from all public property, except by certified law enforcement officers. Under Section 30-14-4, wrongful use of public property consists in part of, "Any person occupying or using public property under the authority of a permit shall submit to a search for firearms or other weapons and surrender any firearms or other weapons to any peace officer, who has jurisdiction, upon request." "As used in this section, 'public property' means any public building, facility, structure or enclosure used for a public purpose or as a place of public gathering, owned or under the control of the state or one of its political subdivisions or a religious, charitable, educational or recreational association." Read more

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House GOP wants to consider Block impeachment

From NM Politics.net - by Heath Haussamen - With calls for the resignation of Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. thus far not resulting in him stepping down, House Republicans plan to ask Speaker Ben Luján to create a committee to consider impeachment. Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, confirmed that Minority Leader Tom Taylor is preparing a letter to Luján asking him to create the committee to consider removing the scandal-plagued Block from office. “There’s clearly a pattern of abuse by Commissioner Block,” Gentry said. “We need to review the evidence and, if necessary, begin the impeachment process.” The last time the House considered impeachment was in 2005, but then-State Treasurer Robert Vigil, who faced federal charges including extortion, resigned before the House could act. Read more

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Michigan Dumps 30,000 College Students From Food Stamps Program, Saves $75M

From Fox News.com - About 30,000 college students are getting a real-world lesson in economics after cash-hungry Michigan kicked them off of food stamps to save roughly $75 million per year. Under the new rules, only single moms and students who work 20 hours a week may be able to keep their benefits. Michigan's program provides Bridge cards, which can be swiped like debit cards at grocery stores. But earlier this year as part of a crackdown on welfare fraud, abuse and waste, the state announced that starting in April students would have to show "true need" to keep collecting food stamps. As the new school year starts, Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan told The Detroit News on Monday that the 30,000 students who were booted out of the program just were about twice as many as officials expected. Read more

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Progressives issue death threats; call for roundup of 'Tea Baggers'

From the Examiner.com - by Anthony Martin - In a shocking display of violent rhetoric given that Leftists routinely plea for 'civil discourse' and decry the 'tone' of conservatives, Progressives are increasingly issuing death threats to Patriots who are dedicated to the primacy of the Constitution in U.S. law. One such propitious champion of 'kinder, gentler' dialogue called for the systematic roundup of what he calls 'Tea Baggers'--the derogatory term coined by Progressives to smear members of the Tea Party--in order to subject them to a year's worth of 're-education' at so-called 'green' internment camps. To those who have followed the Left ever since the 1960s, such vitriol is no surprise. From Saul Alinksy to Cloward and Piven, from Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn to Ward Churchill and the Symbionese Liberation Army, Progressives have consistently called for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Constitution and the murder of persons they identify as the stalwart defenders of American freedom and capitalism.

Here is a sample of such rhetoric: Progressive, Jeffrey Wells, had this to say on his website: Many times I've riffed on a dark, delicious fantasy about rounding up Tea Bagger types and sentencing them to green re-education campsfor minimum one-year terms. Not to punish per se but to expose these contemptible morons to facts, to truth, to the way things really are and how they're being played by the rich, and the fact that Boomers have taken almost everything and that diminished lifestyles and economic security are being bequeathed to Genx and GenY for decades to come, and that the best is definitely over. The infra-structure that once provided decent, fair-minded quality of life to middle-class people in this country is disintegrating. The game is rigged. This is the fall of the Roman Empire. All largely because of impediments to logical, intelligent governing put up by the knee-jerk, mule-like, corporate-kowtowing mentality of Tea-Bagger types and their 60 or so looney-tunes Congresspersons now in office. Read more


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It is looking bad:

S&P downgraded the US from AAA to AA+, and it gets worse.

Today, Italy, England, and Greece un-friended us on Facebook.


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For Fourth Night in Row, U.K. Set Ablaze by Rioters

NewsNM Swickard: How close are we in the US from these scenes? From The Blaze - LONDON (The Blaze/AP) — Thousands more police officers flooded London streets Tuesday in a bid to end Britain’s worst rioting in a generation as nervous shopkeepers closed early and some residents stood guard to protect their neighborhoods. An eerie calm prevailed in the city, but unrest spread across central and northern England on a fourth night of violence driven by poor, diverse and brazen crowds of young people. Scenes of ransacked stores, torched cars and blackened buildings frightened and outraged Britons just a year before London is to host the summer Olympic Games, and brought demands for a tougher response from law enforcement. London’s Metropolitan Police department put thousands more officers in the streets and said that by Wednesday there would be 16,000 – almost triple the number present Monday. Violence flared in Hackney’s Mare Street area today. John Domokos talks to local residents as police dog units move in. While the rioters have run off with sneakers, bikes, electronics and leather goods, they also have torched stores apparently just for the fun of seeing something burn. They were left virtually unchallenged in several neighborhoods, and when police did arrive they often were able to flee quickly and regroup. Some saw Britain’s economic crisis and deep cuts planned for social benefits as a deeper underlying cause for the outburst of violence. Manchester’s assistant chief constable Garry Shewan said looting and arson had taken place there on an unprecedented scale, but appeared to have little motive. “We want to make it absolutely clear – they have nothing to protest against. There is nothing in a sense of injustice and there has been no spark that has led to this,” he said. Read more

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Martinez and Pearce to Appear Wednesday

Susana Martinez
Congressman Steve Pearce and Governor Susana Martinez headline a newsmaking Wednesday for News New Mexico. Pearce will join Jim and Michael at 7:00am for thirty minutes of discussion on the financial markets, the U.S. Treasury debt downgrade, the huge drop in interest rates, and the federal budget negotiations. Susana Martinez will follow the congressman. Martinez provided an exlusive interview for Spence and Swickard on Tuesday that will played in the 7:30am to 8:00am segment.
Steve Pearce
During the discussions the Governor addresses a wide range of issues including the job creation that will come as a result of the new Union Pacific project at Santa Teresa. The Governor also take the time to talk about the upcoming special legislative session in September. Martinez will also address the critics of her efforts to reform the laws regarding the issuance of driver's licenses in the state. It should prove to be another power-packed middle hour on News New Mexico.

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Block Faces "Symbolic" No-Confidence Vote

Jerome Block Jr.
KOB TV - Embattled Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. may now be facing a no-confidence vote from his fellow commissioners at a meeting on Tuesday. Late Monday afternoon, PRC Chairman Patrick Lyons told KOB Eyewitness News 4 that he planned to take up a vote of no confidence during a meeting scheduled for Tuesday and expected it to pass. Lyons said if it does pass the PRC will officially ask Jerome Block Jr. to resign. The request is largely symbolic and under the state law the commission has no authority to remove an elected member from the PRC. Governor Susana Martinez and the Democratic Party have also called on Block to resign from his $90,000 a year position but so far there has been no indication that Block intends to step down. Under the New Mexico Constitution, the only way Block could be forcibly removed from office without being convicted of a felony would be for lawmakers to impeach him. Read full story here: News New Mexico

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NM Environmental Dept. Continues to be Re-shaped

Susana Martinez
Santa Fe New Mexican - Another administrative shake-up has occurred at the New Mexico Environment Department, which has seen turmoil since Gov. Susana Martinez took office this year. Raj Solomon has stepped down as deputy secretary and was replaced temporarily by Butch Tongate, head of the Environmental Protection Division. Solomon already had left the office Monday morning and was unavailable for comment, according to Environment Department staff. "Raj Solomon is no longer with the department," said spokesman Jim Winchester, who declined to discuss the details of Solomon's departure. Solomon's leaving Monday morning coincided with the return of Jim Davis as director of the department's Resource Protection Division. Davis had resigned from the position July 19, a day after a bureau overseeing hazardous-waste sites, such as those at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was moved to a different division. The decision to move the division, which some people familiar with the situation believed was a factor prompting Davis' resignation, was made by department Secretary F. David Martin and Solomon. Effective Monday, the Hazardous Waste Bureau was moved back to Davis' division. Winchester wouldn't say if any of these changes were related. The Resource Protection Division also includes bureaus overseeing groundwater quality, surface-water quality and petroleum storage tanks. "We're just thrilled [Davis] is back in that position," Winchester said, declining to discuss details. "It was a process, but we're happy to have him back." Read full story here: News New Mexico
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NM Oil and Gas Proposes Fracturing Disclosure Rule

 
Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 8, 2011 - The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association today filed a proposed rule with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division that would require disclosure of the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids for new and recompleted oil and gas wells. “Because some companies have historically sought to protect the composition of their hydraulic fracturing fluids as a trade secret, wild speculations bordering on conspiracy theories have emerged,” said Steve Henke, President of New Mexico Oil & Gas Association. “By proactively calling for disclosure in New Mexico, the industry is expressing its confidence in the proven safety record of the process and embracing transparency.”
Hydraulic Fracturing Explained: After a well is drilled, a mixture of pressurized freshwater, sand, and a specifically formulated fracturing compound is pumped thousands of feet down to create tiny, millimeter-thick fissures in targeted sections of rock. These tiny fractures free the trapped oil and natural gas. The process of hydraulic fracturing occurs at great depths – generally a mile or more underground, thousands of feet below freshwater supplies. Hydraulic fracturing, also know as "frac'ing” is a proven technology that has been used for more than 60 years to safely enhance the production of natural gas and oil from more than one million wells in the United States. In New Mexico, the majority of the 52,000 oil and gas wells currently in production have undergone fracturing. NMOGA Chairman Jason Sandel said, “NMOGA is proposing a common sense and scientifically-based approach to regulating our industry. We want to assure New Mexicans our industry operates safely and in an environmentally responsible manner. While extremists often vilify our industry, oil and gas development is good for New Mexico and the state’s communities and citizens.” A hearing on the proposed rule is expected to begin later this year. A copy of the proposed rule is available here: News New Mexico
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Flash Mobs in Philly Draw Rebuke and Curfews

Philadelphia Mayor - Michael Nutter
Washington Times - PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Michael A. Nutter, telling marauding black youths “you have damaged your own race,” imposed a tougher curfew Monday in response to the latest “flash mob” - spontaneous groups of teens who attack people at random on the streets of the city’s tourist and fashionable shopping districts. “Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer,” Mr. Nutter, the city’s second black mayor, said in an angry lecture aimed at black teens. “Pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.” “If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. “You have damaged your own race.” Mr. Nutter announced that he was beefing up police patrols in certain neighborhoods, enlisting volunteers to monitor the streets and moving up the weekend curfew for minors to 9 p.m. Parents will face increased fines for each time their child is caught violating the curfew. Read full story here: News New Mexico

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