Udall & Bingaman Want to Know More on Domestic Spying

Roundhouse Roundup - Both of New Mexico U.S. senators -- Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall want to know more about the numbers of Americans whose emails and other communications have been peeped at by U.S. intelligence. Bingaman and Udall joined 10 other senators from both political parties to send a letter to James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence. They requested information about Americans’ communications that have been secretly collected by the federal government under the 2008 the FISA Amendments Act. "We are concerned that Congress and the public do not currently have a full understanding of the impact that this law has had on the privacy of law-abiding Americans,” the letter said. “We are alarmed that the intelligence community has stated that ‘it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located inside the United States whose communications may have been reviewed’ under the FISA Amendments Act." Read More News New Mexico


Rahm welcomes help from Farrakahn, ignores anti-Semitic remarks

Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Sun-TimesIgnoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods. Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), an Orthodox Jew, has said it’s good that Farrakhan is “helping” in the fight against crime, “but it doesn’t eradicate the comments that he’s made about the Jewish community.” Emanuel offered no such caveat. Although Farrakhan has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, Chicago’s first Jewish mayor has no interest in revisiting that controversy. He’s more concerned about reducing a 40 percent surge in Chicago homicides that’s become a media obsession and threatens to undermine his efforts to market Chicago to international tourists.“People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy,” the mayor said. Read More News New Mexico


One-third of U.S. doctors plan to leave practice in 10 years

New Mexico Business WeeklyA third of U.S. doctors say they will leave the practice of medicine in the next decade, according to a new study by Jackson Healthcare. The reasons for doctors wanting to quit medicine included higher medical malpractice insurance and overhead costs, and not wanting to practice medicine in an era of health care reform, the study said. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed cited economic factors for wanting to leave medicine, and 51 percent cited health care reform, Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare said in a news release. “Physicians are retiring in large numbers just as baby boomers are starting to turn 65. That creates a real health care access problem. Many are demoralized and weighing their options,” said Richard Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare. Read More News New Mexico


A/C Turn Off Program Draws Volunteers

NM Business Journal - Thousands of PNM Resources Inc. customers are volunteering to let the energy company shut off their air conditioners during peak periods throughout the summer in an effort to save energy and help prevent blackouts.

According to a KOB.com report, PNM has a network of more than 30,000 private refrigerated air conditioner units in homes and small businesses that can be centrally controlled and dialed down when the need arises. The list was created through voluntary customer participation in the energy saving program. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Dam Water Bills Could Triple in Las Vegas

NewsNM note - We posted this story on the dam in Las Vegas a year ago.
KOAT - People living in Las Vegas may see their water bills go up as soon as September, and by 2016 rates could triple. City officials said the dam is leaking so badly, about half the water flowing from the river to the faucet gets wasted. They said the dam needs to be fixed and made bigger, so the city has more water storage during drought years.
"This is good water that the folks from here aren't able to drink or cook with," Gov. Susana Martinez said.
Martinez visited Las Vegas Wednesday, getting a first-hand look at the leaking dam she's advocated to fix. Martinez blames state legislators for not using their capital outlay allotments to fix the dam, but rather proposing projects like a high school weight room and a parking lot. Martinez vetoed those projects. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Librarian "Booked"on Voter Fraud Charges

KOB - Two more people have been charged in connection to alleged voter fraud in a New Mexico border town. Authorities say 56-year-old Luz Vargas registered El Paso, Texas, resident Mary Ann O'Brien to vote in Sunland Park's municipal election in March.
They were charged Wednesday with false voting, conspiracy to commit false voting, registration offenses, falsifying election documents and false swearing. The Las Cruces Sun reports that Vargas serves as director of the town's library. O'Brien told investigators that Vargas approached her in Sunland Park and told her it was OK to register and vote in New Mexico as long as she didn't also vote in El Paso. Read full story here: News New Mexico

GOP Holds "We Did Build This" Rally

Heather Wilson
Roswell Daily RecordThat was the message propelled countrywide, Wednesday, by Victory 2012, the nationwide campaign to elect Gov. Mitt Romney president. The Romney campaign held 24 “We Did Build This,” events in 12, mostly swing states, in response to comments made by President Barack Obama at a campaign event in Roanoke, Va., on July 13. Obama, touching on the government’s role in aiding entrepreneurs, said at the campaign stop, “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” “We didn’t build it? Well I’m trying to figure out who did,” said Jim Mannatt, owner of Mannatt and Co. Realtor. Joined by wife Marilyn, Mannatt spoke to an audience of area Republicans, as a small-business owner of a real estate company with five employees, and two small energy companies. “When your leadership comes from the public sector, and has no experience in making a payroll, or meeting the responsibilites of the private sector, and never had a job in the private sector, that tells us as Americans and residents of Chaves County how dangerously out of touch our leadership in Washington is with what goes on in America on Main Street that makes this country great and creates jobs,” he said.In addition to Mannatt, former congresswoman and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson spoke at the Roswell event, hosted at the Volunteer Center, 1400 W. Second St. Wilson, who previously owned a small business in Albuquerque, protested Obama’s desire to curtail the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000 annually. Citing an Ernst & Young study, Wilson said, “That tax increase alone here in New Mexico would result in another 4,300 lost jobs. If you want to kill job creation in America then you increase taxes on small businesses that are the engine of economic growth in America. I think it’s time we send some people to Washington who believe in small business, who believe in economic growth, and who don’t want to manage America’s decline, but build another American (century) and that’s what I’m going to do in Washington.” Read More News New Mexico


In New Mexico, daredevil skydives from 18 miles above Earth

Baumgartner courtesy of Jay Nemeth
ReutersAn Austrian daredevil jumped from a balloon flying at an altitude more than 18 miles above Earth on Wednesday, falling at speeds topping 500 miles per hour (805 kilometers per hour) in a training run for his attempt to make the world's highest skydive. Felix Baumgartner landed safely in a desert near Roswell, New Mexico after leaping from an estimated 96,940 feet wearing a pressurized space suit equipped with an oxygen supply. The test parachute jump was the second for Baumgartner, who is on a quest to complete a record-breaking skydive from 120,000 feet in the coming weeks. He also hopes to become the first man to break the speed of sound at 700 mph in a free fall. "Only one more step to go," Baumgartner said in a statement. The current record for the highest altitude skydive is 102,800 feet. It was set 52 years ago by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who is serving as an adviser to Baumgartner. Read More News New Mexico



MIT Scientist Rains on Sandia's Climate Change Parade

Dr. Richard Lindzen
“The reward for solving problems is that your funding gets cut. It’s not a good incentive structure.”
NMWatchdog - Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT spoke at the invitation of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico to offer his criticisms of the the theory that human activity is causing the planet to warm at a dangerous rate.
Lindzen, the ninth speaker in Sandia’s Climate Change and National Security Speaker Series, is Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology in MIT’s department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and is the lead author of Chapter 7 (“Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks”) of the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Third Assessment Report. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.
“Climate scientists have been “locked into a simple-minded identification of climate with greenhouse-gas level. … That climate should be the function of a single parameter (like CO2) has always seemed implausible." Read full story here: News New Mexico

No Spending Cuts in Sight: Senate Democrats Attempt to Raise Taxes

CNN - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a Democratic plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for middle income Americans while rejecting a Republican alternative to continue all of the cuts -- twin votes that help to crystallize the position of the two parties on a critical issue heading into the fall campaign.
The Democratic proposal passed in a sharply polarized 51-48 vote, while the Republican plan was defeated 45-54.
Vice President Joe Biden, the constitutional presiding officer of the Senate, was on hand to cast a tie-breaking vote if necessary.
Strategists on both sides of the aisle acknowledge that neither plan has a chance of passing both the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. GOP leaders in the House have indicated they have no intention of bringing the Democrats' plan to a vote. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Weill - "Split Up Investment Banking from Banking"

CNN - The man responsible for creating Citigroup -- the world's first financial supermarket -- said Wednesday that the nation's largest banks should be broken up in order to protect taxpayers. Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill -- who engineered a series of corporate takeovers and lobbying efforts to create Citigroup -- explained during an interview on CNBC why he now thinks a firewall between commercial and investment banks is needed. "What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking," Weill said. "Have banks do something that's not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that's not too big to fail." Read full story here: News New Mexico

Duke City Black Widows in Big Numbers

KOAT - Black widow spiders are descending on the metro in untold numbers this summer. The spider, which carries a poisonous bite, is more prevalent this year, according to experts like Jay Lee. "The warm winter just has a higher population," says Lee, who runs Pirate Pest Control out of Rio Rancho.
Lee says he has seen a huge spike in calls about the spiders. It isn't a suprise to Lindsay Balmer, who tells Action 7 News there are at least two dozen webs in her backyard alone. "The females are about silver-dollar size," says Balmer. Read full story here: News New Mexico