After 20 years of protection, owl is declining but forests remain

From the Vancouver - Twenty years after northern spotted owls were protected under the Endangered Species Act, their numbers continue to decline, and scientists aren't certain whether the birds will survive even though logging was banned on much of the old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest where they live in order to save them. The owl remains an iconic symbol in a region where once loggers in steel-spiked, high-topped caulk boots felled 200-year-old or even older trees and loaded them on trucks that compression-braked down twisty mountain roads to mills redolent with the smell of fresh sawdust and smoke from burning timber scraps. Regionwide, the owl populations are dropping 2.9 percent a year. In Washington state, they're declining at 6 to 7 percent a year.
While that may seem like a small number, it adds up, said Eric Forsman, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Ore., who's studied the owl since 1968. "Nothing we do seems to work for the spotted owl," Forsman said. The fight over the owl, however, perhaps the fiercest in the history of the Endangered Species Act, was always about more than just protecting a surprisingly friendly, football-sized bird with dark feathers, dark eyes and white spots. It also was about the future of the ancient Douglas fir, red cedar and Western hemlock forests that once stretched from northern California through Oregon and Washington state into British Columbia, and the habitat they provide for hundreds of species. The owl was considered an indicator species, reflecting the health of forests where trees as old as 1,000 years grow. When the owl was listed as a threatened species in the summer of 1990, it was seen not just as a way to halt the decline in owl populations but also to end logging in the federal old-growth forests. Read more

Deficits, Bailouts, Stimulus, and Zero Interest Rates

This is a picture of what Japanese Nikkei 225 Index has experienced as a result of 20 years of terrible government policies that involve:
1. massive deficit spending
2. massive government bailouts of politically connected industries
3. gigantic government action labelled as stimulative
4. interest rates near zero for two decades
It is not a pretty picture. The peak was reached in 1990 just under 40,000. Overnight the Nikkei 225 closed at 9369. Can you say.....unfunded pensions and retirement benefits cuts? I knew you could.


Internal Squabbles at Fed

Federal Reserve officials are publicly disagreeing over the benefits of pursuing new monetary stimulus in a sign that Chairman Ben S. Bernanke hasn’t secured a consensus on whether to buy more Treasuries. Policy makers have the tools to act and should respond “vigorously, creatively, thoughtfully and persistently” to a slow recovery, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said yesterday in a New York speech. Separately, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said in New Jersey that the central bank risks its credibility by taking actions, such as additional securities purchases, that may fail to help the labor market. Read more here:

Richardson Backpedalling on Childcare

Bill Richardson
From The New Mexico Independent - Nearly $2.5 million in federal stimulus money will go to boost children’s programs facing budget cuts, Gov. Bill Richardson announced today. Most of the new money — $2 million – will help thousands of children stay in childcare services administered by the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department for a couple of more months, according to a news release Richardson’s office issued Wednesday. But Voices for Children New Mexico, while applauding Richardson’s decision, said his action ”amounts to using an aspirin when what’s needed is a transfusion.” Read more here:


David Corn: Campaign 2010

David Corn
Five weeks. Thirty-five days. Eight hundred and 40 hours. Fifty thousand 400 hundred minutes. Or 3,024,000 seconds. That's how much time is left between now (that is, this Tuesday morning) and the 2010 midterm elections. Is that sufficient time for President Obama to do anything -- and I do mean anything -- to change the political landscape before Nov. 2? Weeks ago, as the final stretch began, Democrats in Washington were beginning to grouse that Obama was not revving up the base -- let alone winning back alienated (or disappointed or angry) independent voters. Read more here:


Duran puts Herrera on defense in forum

From the Santa Fe New - by Steve Terrell - State Senator Dianna Duran, (left in picture) the Republican candidate for secretary of state, went on the offensive in a Wednesday night debate with incumbent Democrat Mary Herrera. "In 98 years of our state's history, I don't believe I have seen a state office with so many problems, where three top-level employees have resigned or been fired alleging criminal misconduct," Duran said during the hour-long forum recorded at Santa Fe Community College. Herrera, who is seeking a second four-year term in the Nov. 2 election, was on the defensive for most of the encounter. While she didn't respond to all of Duran's attacks, she said she has fulfilled all her promises to provide a competent and professional office for overseeing elections and campaign reports, among other duties. Herrera also said she has saved taxpayers millions of dollars. But after Herrera said she had run her office "like a business," Duran said, "With so many, many problems and with that amount of turnover, if this had been a business, it would have gone under." Read more

Palin Targets Health Overhaul

From - WASHINGTON — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is urging her supporters to oust lawmakers who come from districts she and presidential running mate John McCain won in 2008 and who voted for the health care overhaul. Palin, the Republicans' 2008 vice presidential nominee and a potential 2012 White House hopeful, launched a website Thursday to "Take Back the 20." On a U.S. map, Palin places bull's-eyes on the districts where, she says, "we've diagnosed the problem." "Join me in standing against those who stood with Obama and Pelosi in voting for this disastrous bill," Palin says, referring to President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The Democrats from 20 districts we carried in 2008 voted for Obamacare. Now we can vote against them." Palin urges supporters to vote for "good conservatives who will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, results-driven, free market reform that provides solutions to people of all income levels without bankrupting our country." Read more

Czech president tells UN to stay out of economics

From Reuters - UNITED NATIONS - Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Saturday criticized U.N. calls for increased "global governance" of the world's economy, saying the world body should leave that role to national governments. The solution to dealing with the global economic crisis, Klaus told the U.N. General Assembly, did not lie in "creating new governmental and supranational agencies, or in aiming at global governance of the world economy." "On the contrary, this is the time for international organizations, including the United Nations, to reduce their expenditures, make their administrations thinner, and leave the solutions to the governments of member states," he said. Klaus appeared to be responding to the address of the Swiss president of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, who said on Thursday at the opening of the annual gathering of world leaders in New York that it was time for the United Nations to "comprehensively fulfill its global governance role." Read more

Aggie Volleyball Swept By No. 6 Hawai'i Report
The Aggie volleyball was swept 3-0 by the visiting No. 6 Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine on Wednesday night in the Pan American Center. The Aggies played close with the Wahine in the first set before Hawai'i pulled away winning the first set 25-16. The Wahine would win the next two sets by identical scores of 25-14. Hawai'i sophomore middle blocker Brittany Hewitt dominated the Aggies finishing with 11 kills on 12 swings hitting .917 and breaking the Hawai'i school record for hitting percentage of .867. Hewitt also caused problems for the Aggie blockers as she finished with five block assists as the Aggies were outblocked 7-0. "Give Hawai'i all the credit in the world, they're doing what they need to do. Just 10 attack errors in three games, we didn't block a dang ball the whole time." said head coach Mike Jordan after the match.
The Aggies started off strong against the Wahine as they lead early 5-4 after a kill by freshman outside hitter Amanda Tonga. The two teams would trade the lead back and forth with Hawai'i holding a slim 11-0 lead after a kill by Whitney Woods. The Wahine would go ahead 15-12 on a service error by freshman Rocio Gutierrez but the Aggies would pull to within two at 15-13 on a kill by Kayleigh Giddens. The Wahine took a four point lead at 18-14 on a kill from Kanani Danielson but the Aggies would respond by cutting the lead to two points at 18-16 on a kill by Whitney Woods and an attack error from Kanani Danielson. However, the Wahine would buckle down and score the set's final seven points to take a 25-16 set victory.
"We played really well in the beginning of games for the most part except for game three and were point for point for a little while and then they'd go on a run and we'd cave in," said Coach Jordan.
The Aggies hung tough again in set two as they lead the Wahine 4-2 early. However, Hawai'i would go on a 6-0 run to grab an 8-4 lead forcing the Aggies to call a timeout. The Aggies would trim the lead to three at 11-8 after an attack error by Kanani Danielson, however, the Wahine would outpace the Aggies 10-3 to take a 21-11 lead. The Aggies would get kills from Kelsey Brennan, Whitney Woods and Kayleigh Giddens, however, Hawai'i would close out the set 25-14 on a lift violation called on setter Jennah DeVries.
Set three saw the Wahine lead the Aggies from start to finish as the Aggies would trail by just one at 5-4 after a service error by Brittany Hewitt, however, a 5-0 run would push the Aggies' deficit to six points at 10-4. The Aggies would cut the lead down to four points at 12-8 after a kill by Kayleigh Giddens but the Wahine would put together a 6-1 run to go ahead by nine points at 18-9. The Aggies would score five more points in the set, however, the Wahine would score seven points taking the set 25-14.
The Aggies were led offensively by Kayleigh Giddens who finished with a team-high 12 kills and was the only Aggie in double-digit kills. "She did a good job attacking the volleyball tonight," said Coach Jordan. "Some of her errors came out of system and she was trying to be aggressive so that's no big deal there. She did what she could," said Coach Jordan. "We've really got to three pass more and give her better opportunities." Giddens finished with seven attack errors and hit .119 for the match.
Aggie middle blocker Kelsey Brennan finished with six kills on 12 swings with two attack errors hitting .333 for the match. Whitney Woods added six kills but also recorded six attack errors on 20 swings and hit .000 on the evening. Freshman outside hitter Amanda Tonga saw extended minutes and finished with three kills but had five attack errors on 14 swings and hit -.143 for the match.
"Some of our other players just had just had terrible offensive nights and made way too many mistakes."
Hawai'i was led by middle blocker Brittany Hewitt and Chanteal Satele who each finished with 11 kills. Outside hitter Kanani Danielson finished with nine kills and five attack errors on 27 swings and hit just .148 for the match. Emily Harton, a middle blocker for the Wahine finished with five kills on six swings and hit .833 for the match. The Aggies were outblocked 7-0 and outdug 48-27. The Wahine outhit the Aggies .383 to .078 on the match as the Aggies finished with 29 kills but tallied 21 attack errors. Hawai'i finished with 41 kills but just 10 attack errors on the night.
The Aggies return to action on Sunday when they host Arizona at 5:30 p.m. MT. The match will be aired on AggieVision.


John Arthur Smith Criticizes Richardson

Sen. John Arthur Smith
From Capitol Report New Mexico - Gov. Bill Richardson’s plan for a wild horse sanctuary has run into a tangle of barbed wire because he wants to use $2.8 million in federal stimulus dollars to fund it. State Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) criticized Richardson — and so did his Lt. Governor, Diane Denish and gubernatorial rival Susana Martinez – saying stimulus dollars should go to social programs aimed at helping struggling families in light of the state budget crisis. Smith said the governor could instead tap into a state “natural heritage conservation” fund if he wants to build a wild horse park. Read more here:


Steve Pearce: Getting New Mexico back to work

Steve Pearce
From - Over the last three years, Americans have witnessed their friends and family, or they themselves, losing their jobs. Despite trillions in federal spending, our economy remains stagnant. In fact, just last month, 4,400 fellow New Mexicans lost their jobs. What is going on? Right now, businesses and individuals are scared of the pending tax increases, increased regulation, and the explosion in government spending and debt. Keeping taxes high will actually cost far more, due to lost revenue from lack of job growth, and according to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation, it will cost the entire country an average of almost 800,000 jobs annually. While there has been a lot of talk from both the White House and Congress about extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the lack of results shows that they never took this issue seriously to begin with. Read more here:

Morris and McGann - Obliteration?

From - Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Democratic Party is facing the biggest defeat in bi-elections in the past 110 years. The modern record is a loss of 74 seats set in 1922, by the Democrats, at the height of the Harding/Teapot Dome scandals. This year, the Democrats will lose at least 80 House seats and perhaps as many as 100, and will also lose control of the Senate. Currently, according to published polls, Republicans are leading in 54 Democratic House districts and, in 19 more, the incumbent congressman is under 50 percent of the vote and his GOP challenger is within five points. That makes 73 seats where victory is within easy grasp for the Republican Party. The only reason the list is not longer is that there are 160 Democratic House districts that were considered so strongly blue that there is no recent polling available. Read more here:

Laura Hollis: The Missing American Entrepreneur

Laura Hollis
Having worked in entrepreneurship education for ten years, I’m no longer surprised how little attention the actual founder of a company gets in the national conversation about business and how few people really understand such a person. We talk about “business” as if it were a disembodied life form: “small business,”“big business,” “international business.” But there is precious little discussion about the American entrepreneurs who launch businesses: who they are, where they come from, what motivates them, what they risk, and most importantly, what they contribute to our way of life. The entrepreneur is simply missing in this conversation. This gap is astonishing and unfortunate. Without an understanding of the American entrepreneur, there is widespread ignorance of our distinctiveness as a nation, our ingenuity, our liberty, our basic decency, or our prosperity. Read more here:


News New Mexico - Still Waiting

Dr. Terry McMillan
News New Mexico listeners and site visitors are waiting patiently. In recent days we have received plenty of commentary regarding our recent interviews with Rep. Jeff Steinborn and Dr. Terry McMillan, opposing candidates in the State House District # 37 race. Most of the correspondence we have received has come from people who recall the wide range of expert guests we have had on the show offering facts regarding the increasingly controversial "Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act." And the overwhelming majority of the responses we have received are in agreement with Dr. McMillan’s preference for exploring an “open space” designation rather than the more onerous "wilderness" designation for the lands in question. Also, we have heard from several experts that suggest claims made by Steinborn that this wilderness bill will “improve border security” are preposterous.
Rep. Jeff Steinborn
In addition to all the testimony we have heard on border security here on News New Mexico, we have also listened to the observations made by both U.S. congressional candidates (Pearce and Teague). Both are openly concerned about the damage that will be done to border security if the bill becomes law. We have also had several hours of discussions with highly credentialed career range science experts. Each has pointed out in painstaking detail all the damage this poorly labeled “wilderness” proposal will do to the ranching industry as well as to local soil conservation efforts. And finally, we have heard from several experts on the idea of flood control. Each guest made it obvious to us that the nightmarish provisions in the wilderness bill will result in exposing many areas of Dona Ana County to flooding. 
Border Patrol Will Be Forced to Patrol on Horseback

There is great irony in the details of this story. Representative Steinborn arrived in a "mechanized vehicle" to make his case for forcing law enforcement to use only horses and their boots to patrol near the border. Also Steinborn is an employee of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, an activist environmental organization. Accordingly, we were somewhat startled when he seemed particularly miffed that the “wilderness issue” was introduced as a topic of interest during his appearance on News New Mexico. In fact, even after Steinborn declared that his position on the issue was “mainstream,” he remained openly irritated that discussion of the wilderness proposal had come up at all. One would think if his position was in fact truly “mainstream,” he would have been exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to expose the “non-mainstream” position of his opponent. When pressed, Rep. Steinborn insinuated that law enforcement officials, range scientists, ranchers, and flood control experts we spoke to were spreading misinformation and crossing ethical lines purely for political reasons. He also suggested that News New Mexico set aside time for a “balanced” discussion on the topic.
Drug Smuggler Under Arrest
Along with this programming suggestion, he also indicated he could provide people who would bring “facts” that might explain why the provisions in a “Wilderness” designation are so much better for Dona Ana County than protecting the lands in question with a less onerous “Open Space” designation. We agreed with Rep. Steinborn that it would be a good idea to have a balanced discussion. However, it has been nearly two weeks since his appearance, and News New Mexico is still waiting for any credentialed and fact-bearing individual to step forward. We are anxious to go over the language of the bill word-for-word on the air and hear credible contradictions of the assertions made by the guests from the fields of range science, law enforcement, ranching, and agriculture who have already appeared. So far, the indications of people seemingly in command of the facts have almost universally indicated that Rep. Steinborn is dead wrong about border security, range management, and flood control when it comes to the a “wilderness designation” rather than “open space.” Oh to live in the fantasy world of radical environmentalism.


Doing Same Thing Expecting Different Result?

Bloomberg - Lockhart Says Need for More Fed Easing Not Foregone Conclusion - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said policy makers haven’t agreed on whether to begin a new program of buying Treasuries, and the need for further monetary easing isn’t clear. “For me, personally, it is not a foregone conclusion that more accommodation is required,” he told reporters after a speech yesterday in Sewanee, Tennessee. “I am not yet of a firm mind of what exactly that problem is, and for that reason I’m not yet committed to a particular course of action that might involve further accommodation.” Policy makers said after a meeting on Sept. 21 that too-low inflation and sluggish growth may warrant a second round of unconventional easing. Fed officials “must come to grips” in the coming weeks “with the question of whether there is anything they can do to improve the situation in the economy and, if so, what that action should be,” Lockhart said in his speech about the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision. Read more here:


Big Labor, Not Tea Party is Biggest Threat to Workers

Michellle Malkin
The Service Employees International Union plans to send 25,000 rank-and-file workers on 500 buses to Washington this weekend to protest the tea party movement, Republicans and Fox News. If SEIU members had any sense, they'd be demonstrating at their own bosses' D.C. headquarters. It's the Big Labor Left, not the Tea Party Right, that is flushing rank-and-file union workers' hard-earned dues down the collective toilet in these hard times. Read more here:


Mayor Miyagishima to Appear on NewsNM

Ken Miyagishima
Mayor Ken Miyagishima will be a guest on News New Mexico at 8:00am this morning. We will discuss the controversy surrounding the city's decision to create a mandatory recycling ordinance. We will also speak to him about so many other efforts being pushed by certain councilors that are likely to kill jobs in the area.


Local Governments and Their Strange Budget Priorities

Jim Harbison
Did you ever wonder why your taxes never go down even when old bonds are retired and the debt paid? Ever wonder why there is that constant thirst by County and City governments for more taxes? A political expression says to “follow the money.” Perhaps we need to question some of the things that our County Commissioners and our City Council spends our money on. While the projects may be worthwhile are they appropriate in the current financial and economic reality? Are they the best use of our limited resources at the current time or do they just satisfy the ego of the elected official and the special interest groups who demanded them?
We seem to have money to create seldom used bicycle lanes and walking paths that service a minority of our population while entire neighborhoods continue to exist without curbs and sidewalks. We cannot find adequate money to fill the potholes in our roads, install curbs and sidewalks, or resurface worn out streets but they can find creative ways to find matching funds for State and Federal grants for projects that were not on our funded projects priority list. How many pot holes could be filled or feet of curbs and sidewalks could be created with these funds? Those underserved and ignored neighborhoods pay property taxes have a right to expect that their taxes be used for their benefit instead of special interest groups in the City. How do our elected officials justify these priorities?
It is apparent that the special interest groups are receiving the benefits. For example, a special interest group with membership less than 4% of the population dictates through the City Council that we have bicycle lanes on older major streets that seldom see a bicyclist. This causes significant traffic implications for the majority of the public that relies on the automobile to get to and from work, or the doctor, or do their shopping, etc. Many of those no longer able to drive an automobile now have to rely on our inadequate public transportation system or the good graces of family and friends to get to their appointed rounds. My real issue this week is not about the priority for bicycle lanes but the City and County jointly owned and operated Animal Shelter. They fund an animal shelter but cannot provide housing for the homeless. Our 911 call center continues to be inadequate because the County and City cannot find the funds to fix it even though they could find the financial resources to create a $36 million City Hall, a $20+ million Convention Center, and a multi-million dollar Aquatic Center (without a proper swimming pool).
A "Loon"
I find it absolutely appalling that the tax payers are paying over $200,000 to retrofit and repair the air conditioning, heating, and air filtration system on the Animal Shelter at a time when we were forced to release incarcerated juvenile delinquents because they could not find the funding to make the necessary repairs to the roof and other parts of the building that cost approximately half of the amount allocated to the Animal Shelter. How do intelligent people create unintelligent priorities? What is the thought process they use? Who do they value more, the people, the environment, or the animals and wildlife? I would submit that the direct support of the people should be the first priority for all expenditures of public money. Are your Councilors or Commissioners looking out for the welfare of the totality of its citizens, just the people in their respective district, or some special interest group? Perhaps you should ask.


Obama Blasts Fox News

President Barack Obama is blasting Fox News as "destructive," saying the cable channel's point of view is "undeniable." Obama made his comments in a Rolling Stone article, reports The New York Times, and he said Fox was tune with legendary newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst and other media giants who expressed a point a view. “The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history,” Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone. Read more here:


John Stossel - Taxing the Rich

John Stossel
Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. Sunday's New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don't get it. As I've said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some -- by force -- and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated. Read more here:


Walter Williams: Liberals Confuse Me

Walter Williams
Christine O'Donnell, U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware, has faced considerable criticism and news media attention about her youthful association with witchcraft. Have we seen similar news media attention given to other politicians who have made bizarre remarks that border on gross stupidity -- possibly lunacy? 
Rep Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)

During a congressional Armed Services hearing in March, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., expressed concern that stationing 8,000 Marines and their equipment on Guam, our Pacific territory, could cause the island "to become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Such a remark is grossly stupid but the liberal press didn't give it anywhere near the amount of attention and derision that they gave Christine O'Donnell. Read more here:


Europe: Austerity Implemented Confidence Rises

From Bloomberg - European confidence in the economic outlook unexpectedly improved this month as executives and consumers weathered tougher government budget cuts by countries struggling to convince investors that they won’t need external aid. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations rose to 103.2, the highest since January 2008, from a revised 102.3 in August, the European Commission in Brussels said in an e-mailed statement today. That compares with economists’ forecast for a decline to 101.3, based on the median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Europe’s recovery may lose some momentum after surging exports and a rebound in investment helped fuel the fastest growth in four years in the second quarter. While business sentiment in Germany also unexpectedly rose this month, the European Commission on Sept. 13 forecast a more “moderate” expansion in the second half of the year as governments from Ireland to Portugal step up spending cuts to push down deficits. Read more here:

Kids' science kits may take hit from safety ruling

From the Santa Fe New - WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the tools that teachers use to get kids jazzed about science — hands-on science kits — could face an uncertain future amid a debate on safety. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been mired for weeks in deliberation as it writes guidelines on what makes a product a "children's product." That guidance, expected Wednesday, is supposed to help sort out which products have to be tested under legislation passed by Congress over two years ago that requires rigorous safety checks for lead, chemicals, flammability and other potential dangers. Plenty of companies, from makers of handmade toys and Halloween costumes to firms selling science kits, have flooded the CPSC with requests for exemptions on some of their products. For the makers of science kits, it is an issue that they say could lead to fewer hands-on science experiments for younger children. The industry has asked the commission for a testing exemption for "general use" items such as rulers, rubber bands and paper clips inside the kits. They say the products aren't harmful to children, would be too expensive to test, and shouldn't have to be tested because they are everyday items found in homes and schools that don't have to be tested if bought separately at retail. Read more

Feedback from Listener

Feedback Message via our comment link:
I realize that I may not be your normal AM radio listener (as a 25-year-old female), but I appreciate hearing your show as I commute to work every morning. Thank you for getting out there and adding your voices to the mix. I am proud to be an independent voter in New Mexico and I can't express how happy I am to hear more and more people turning away from the corruption and the "way it is" attitude that seems to fill the streets (and minds) in Washington, DC. I know that politics is always a tricky thing, but I am thrilled to see the populace becoming fed up with the norm. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep listening and spreading the word about your show! (from our feedback link)

Steny Hoyer - Portrait of a Bald-faced Liar

Steny Hoyer (D- Md.)
 A top House Democrat is pushing to rebrand the looming expiration of tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush as a "Republican tax increase," arguing that the GOP deserves the blame because the tax cuts were originally written to run out at the end of the 2010. But in the game of political chicken that has sprung up over the tax-cut stalemate, Republicans say that is a misreading of history, arguing that Democrats should bear the blame for blocking past efforts to make the tax cuts permanent. Read more here:

Priorities and Politican-Speak Santa Fe Style

News New Mexico has figured out what was sacrificed so that Governor Bill Richardson could divert federal stimulus funds into a ranch purchase. The money is going come out of the pockets of people who provide childcare for low income families in the state. See story on ranch purchase September 17, 2010 here:
From - On Monday September 27directed the Children, Youth & Families Department to extend child care assistance to 5,000 families that had been notified they would lose state aid next month. At the Governor’s direction, CYFD Secretary Bill Dunbar will take the appropriate steps to cut provider rates by 10 percent in order to save $6 million and ensure that families will continue to get child care assistance until the Legislature meets again in January. “Facing a drastic loss of federal money, combined with budget cuts mandated by the Legislature, I am still determined to provide families with access to child care during these tough economic times,” Governor Richardson said. “This effort will help working families.” There are currently about 25,000 children enrolled in the state’s childcare assistance program. Read more here:

2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra Retired

Rachel Alexandra, who was unable to return to her 2009 Horse of the Year form, has been retired from racing, her connections announced Tuesday afternoon. After winning all eight of her starts - including defeating males three times - as a 3-year-old filly in 2009, Rachel Alexandra won only 2 of 5 starts in 2010. Most recently, she was beaten one length by Persistently in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Aug. 29. Though she had worked three times at Saratoga since then - presumably to run in Saturday’s Grade 1 Beldame Invitational at Belmont Park - owner Jess Jackson decided to pull the plug on Tuesday. "As you know, despite top training and a patient campaign, Rachel Alexandra did not return to her 2009 form," Jackson said in a news release. "I believe it’s time to retire our champion and reward her with a less stressful life. We are delighted that she will retire healthy and happy to our beautiful farm in Kentucky." Jackson said he would breed Rachel Alexandra to his two-time Horse of the Year Curlin next year. Read more here:

Interest Rates on Treasuries Continue to Fall

Treasury 10-year yields were within five basis points of the lowest level since January 2009 before a report this week that economists said will show manufacturing activity slowed. Five-year yields were close to the least in two years after the Conference Board said consumer confidence dropped more than economists forecast, spurring expectations the Federal Reserve will take further measures to keep borrowing costs low. The U.S. is scheduled to sell $29 billion of seven-year notes today, the last of three note sales this week totaling $100 billion. “The set of incoming data will show sluggishness in the U.S. economy, and bode well for bonds, supporting expectations for additional monetary action,” said Masashi Nakamura, a Tokyo-based economist at Mizuho Research Institute Ltd., a unit of Japan’s second-largest bank. “This will add to downward pressure on bond yields.” Read more here:

Morgan Stanley Institutes Hiring Freeze

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, halted hiring at its investment-banking group for the rest of 2010, a person briefed on the decision said. The firm ruled out layoffs through the end of the year, the person said, speaking anonymously because the matter hasn’t been publicly disclosed. Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on the hiring freeze. He said the company intends to hire brokers for the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney unit, a joint venture with Citigroup Inc.
The freeze, which includes the New York-based firm’s sales and trading units, comes as weak trading and equity underwriting volume may lead the five largest Wall Street banks to post their lowest revenue from investment banking and trading since the fourth quarter of 2008. Bank of America Corp. is firing as many as 400 employees in its global banking and markets division, a person briefed on the matter said last week. Read more here:


CEO's Souring on Sales and Hiring

Chief executive officers in the U.S. turned less optimistic in the third quarter as fewer projected sales and hiring will improve, a survey showed. The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index fell to 86 in the July-to-September period, the first decrease since the beginning of 2009 when the gauge dropped to a record-low of minus 5, the Washington-based group said today. Readings higher than 50 coincide with an economic expansion. The gauge fell from a second-quarter reading of 94.6, the highest since 2006. Read more here:

Consumer Confidence Lowest Since February

Mounting gloom over the outlook for jobs and wages caused American consumers to lose confidence in September, indicating spending will take time to recover. The Conference Board’s sentiment index declined to 48.5 this month, lower than the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the weakest level since February, according to figures from the New York-based private research group today. Another report showed home prices cooled, hurt by a slump in sales following the end of a government tax incentive. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy, may be constrained by a jobless rate this is projected to average more than 9 percent through 2011. Best Buy Co. is among companies planning to use promotions to spur sales during the year-end holidays in order to overcome shoppers’ somber moods. Read more here:


Progressive Magazine's Obama/Biden Grievances

Obama told Rolling Stone that it’s “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” for Democratic voters not to turn out in droves on Nov. 2. “Buck up,” he said. And Biden said Democrats should “stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives.” But Democratic voters, and for that matter, progressive and independent voters, aren’t children who can be sent to their rooms without supper until Election Day. They’re citizens. And many of them are disillusioned with the Obama Administration, and for good reason. The progressive base has repeatedly been kicked by the Obama administration—from single payer all the way to Afghanistan. Progressives didn’t vote for more drone attacks on Pakistan. Progressives didn’t vote for giving the President the right to assassinate U.S. citizens.
Progressives didn’t vote for Obama to keep Guantanamo open, or to continue with kidnappings of people to Bagram Air Base, where they are deprived of due process. Progressives didn’t vote for Obama to let the FBI raid the homes of leftwing political activists. Rank and file Democrats, as well as Independents, can’t point to enough tangible things the Administration has done for them. Official unemployment, after all, stands at 9.6 percent. Real wages are down. Foreclosures are rampant. Read more here:


Williams - Cash Flow Dilemma

Armstrong Williams
Are banks and state governments unwittingly colluding to prevent millions of Americans from being able to afford to pay their bills or profitably run their small businesses? Several pieces of economic data have raised serious questions about the ability of a whole subsection of Americans and small business owners to take the first steps toward building wealth — namely, lack of credit. For many Americans, this will preclude their ability to meet short-term financial commitments let alone achieve long-term financial stability. What is driving these negative trends in consumer and business credit? It is the same banking regulators who are supposed to be looking out for and protecting consumers. In fact, the constriction of consumer credit is the product of banking regulators who have continued to add to the hurdles that banks must meet to make loans, including raising the banks' reserve requirements. As a result, it makes it nearly impossible for the banks to meet the credit needs of this growing population of Americans — nearly 100 million strong. Read more here:


Obama Campaigns for NM Democrats

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - ALBUQUERQUE — The White House billed it as a backyard visit in Albuquerque's south valley, a chance for a disabled Marine Corps veteran, his family and their neighbors to pull up a lawn chair and share concerns with President Barack Obama. But it sure sounded like a campaign stop to prop up New Mexico Democrats. Obama addressed about 40 people at the stucco-sided home of Andy and Etta Cavalier, speaking on the importance of education in ensuring America's economic future before taking questions from the group on matters ranging from immigration reform and veterans issues to why he is a Christian. In the audience were Gov. Bill Richardson, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who suggested to Obama that he visit the semi-rural south valley, where a breeze smelled of alfalfa from an adjacent pasture and two horses grazed while the president spoke. Read more here: