NMSU Women's Basketball Schedule 2010-11

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head women's basketball coach Darin Spence released the Aggies' 2010-11 hoops non-conference schedule that includes a half dozen games against teams that played in post-season tournaments a season ago. Read more here:

LCPS Verifies Essential Elements of Council Inaction

News New Mexico met with highly placed representatives of the Las Cruces Public Schools yesterday. The goal was to either verify or learn important new facts associated with an emerging policy snafu involving the Las Cruces City Council. In the meeting, LCPS officials verified virtually every important fact this site has reported over the last few weeks related to the blocking of a Special Assessment District critical to this area.
Like LCPS officials did yesterday, Mayor Ken Miyagishima (left), in an interview on our daily radio show on Wednesday July 7th also confirmed what we have been reporting. News New Mexico posse members and citizens that regularly attend city council meetings have also confirmed the essential facts related to the inaction. The facts are fairly simple:
Though the Special Assessment District funding never came to a vote, it seems that every councilor except the Mayor appears to have supported a policy that amounted to a refusal to accept $10 million dollars of unencumbered private funding for the extension of North Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. The city was NOT "at risk" for a single dollar.
In stonewalling, the council has now created a very expensive and open-ended set of complications for the day-to-day operations of Monte Vista Elementary School (right). These include the safe transportation of school children over a substandard road. This unexplained action has forced LCPS to do a "change order" for the building of a second access road to this school. Forced last minute plans at LCPS now call for the building of a sub-standard road with no provisions for flood controls. Clearly, according the mayor and other interested parties, LCPS will waste funds to build this temporary road.
Thus far no city councilor other than Councilor Dolores Connor (left) has stepped forward into the public spotlight to defend their position. Connor, who is vacationing this week, has agreed to appear on News New Mexico on Tuesday July 20th. We are anxious to hear her views on this subject since no vote has been cast yet. All other city councilors have refrained from public comment. Each has merely responded to inquiries from their constituents with vague insinuations that News NM is "spreading misinformation." No councilor except Mrs. Connor has stepped forward to our open invitations to clear the air and make their case.
Based on public statements by the Mayor, private statements by high-ranking officials at LCPS, many citizens that regularly attend city council sessions, as well as the property owners in question, News New Mexico asserts that city councilors through tacit neglect are condoning job killing policies. The economic multiplier effect of a $10 million infusion into the Las Cruces economy has gotten lost in the shuffle. Over $600,000 in gross receipts tax revenues alone are being reduced to lost opportunity by council inaction. No doubt there are countless jobs, available for the taking, that are being lost in the wake of the inaction. Additionally, open-ended liabilities are looming for LCPS as it tries to make due with a substandard road based on the inexplicable inaction of council. All of these avoidable calamities continue while councilors continue to stall.
In the end, if News New Mexico, the mayor, LCPS, concerned citizens, and property owners (who are ready willing and able to ASSESS themselves to pay for this road) are mistaken, and citizens are being mislead by misinformation, we anxiously await any councilor’s willingness to step up and make their case in a public forum before we speak with Councilor Connor to determine her position on Tuesday July 20th.


How Wall Street Operates

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers take contributions every day from corporate executives and lobbyists hoping for their votes. The question of whether that represents business as usual in Washington or an ethics breach is at the heart of a far-reaching Congressional ethics investigation that is stirring concerns throughout Washington and Wall Street. Read more here:

Time to Enact Voter I.D.

by Jim Harbison - I just returned from a 3-week vacation to Italy. We had a wonderful visit with some old Italian friends and we traveled from Venice to Rome and throughout northeast Italy. I was amazed about the number of times we, and our Italian friends, were required to show our I.D./passport To the Europeans being required to show a valid I.D. was a common thing that they do without giving it any thought. If you wanted to conduct any banking transaction, exchange currency or rent a car, access tourist attractions, use your credit card, or rent a hotel room you needed to show your I.D /passport
When we visited the Vatican we were required to show our I.D. just to purchase a ticket for entrance. Many of the World Heritage sites and other tourist attractions that charged admission also required proof of citizenship to purchase a ticket. Most of the European Union tourist attractions offered discounted admission for EU residents. This obviously required them to display their I.D. to receive the discounted price. They have to show their I.D. cards when they cross national borders or fly from one country to another. Needless to say, they must also show I.D. when they vote, sign up for any government service, apply for a job and a list of other activities too numerous to list.
Here in the United States we are so concerned about personal freedom that we oppose any form of a National Identification card. Isn’t that amazing since we have already forfeited that freedom through our Social Security Administration account number which for American born citizens is established at birth? Very soon everyone will be required to show a government I.D during your doctor’s visits to confirm you are entitled to use the Obamacare healthcare system. With the pending implementation of Obamacare everyone must have health care and all will required to have a government issued I.D. card.
We have an unstoppable flow of illegal immigration and New Mexico not only condones this practice but offers driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Under the Clinton Administration the Motor Voter Law was passed which requires all Motor Vehicle Department offices to register voters when they get their driver’s licenses. This requires they provide two documents that confirm residency (i.e. utility bill, rent receipts, etc) but no actual proof of citizenship. John Fund’s book “Stealing Elections” cites this law as the biggest source and cause of voter fraud in American
Why is it we require I.D. to drive, open a bank account, cash a check, pick up our mail at the Post Office or even visit the governor but we still refuse to require positive identification to perform the most sacred function of a democratic society which is to vote? Isn’t this the time for America to implement Voter I.D. for every eligible voter? Why is it OK to require proof of identity for nearly every function but resist its use to validate someone’s voting eligibility? Why has New Mexico continued to resist compliance with the National Identification requirements? Soon New Mexico driver’s licenses will not be acceptable for air travel.
It’s time for New Mexico to catch up with the rest of the world and use positive identification documents to ensure that its citizens are protected from those would obtain goods and services fraudulently and whose illegal vote could jeopardize and subvert the will of the legal citizens of New Mexico and forever change the nature of the society we live in.

Susana Martinez on Heath Care

Below is a summary of the Susana Martinez positions on health care.  Our commentary is italicized at the bottom of this article.
    Martinez says, "While much attention has been given to federal legislation regarding health care, we need to focus our efforts here at home, in New Mexico. Big government is not the solution to our health care problems. However, we do need to reform the system with a focus on lowering the cost of health care to make it more affordable for thousands of New Mexican families, while reducing the rolls of the uninsured.
    Too many doctors are being forced to practice defensive medicine, which is driving up health care costs. As governor, I will work to pass tort reform legislation to reduce the number of junk lawsuits which benefit trial lawyers and hurt virtually everyone else. Tort reform will help reduce the cost of health care and improve the quality of care received by patients.
    I believe that individuals need to be empowered to take responsibility for their own health care. We need to provide better general wellness information, comparative information on health plans so people can choose the policy that best meets their needs and focus on prevention.
    One of the biggest challenges the next administration will face is over Medicaid. This is one of the fastest growing parts of our budget, and with shrinking state revenues and more Washington, D.C. mandates, we will have to confront some hard realities head on. Most importantly, I believe we need to strengthen and support our New MexiKids programs so children have the care they need and deserve. Our Medicaid dollars have been spread thin and we need to re-focus on core priorities, such as protecting our children, while rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the system.
    I also support an incentives-based approach to health care reform as opposed to government requirements. I support providing businesses in New Mexico with tax credits to help extend coverage to their employees, and individual tax credits for those who choose to purchase their own coverage. Small businesses should also be able to band together to enjoy the same purchasing power of the larger companies, and allow consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines injecting increased competition into the system resulting in better options and lower costs."
    News New Mexico Analysis: Family physicians know more about health care than we do. When we talk to them they speak of the hours of time wasted every day due to mal-practice litigation threats that force them to practice defensive medicine. Avoiding lawsuits that enrich tort lawyers swallows enormous amounts of time. The topic of tort reform should be central to solving the nation's health care dilemmas. The doctor's office we visit for our annual checkup routinely has a jam-packed waiting room. We spoke to a medical student recently who often serves 30 hour shifts in her residency training. The short-term sacrifices made by med students are enormous. And once they enter practice, they are sure to be swamped. On the other hand, in a good year any clever tort attorney might have a handful of major cases to pursue. However, when one of these lawyers can successfully point an accusing finger and convince a lottery-minded jury that an error has been made by a physician doing his or her best, lawyers rake in huge fees. In the meantime, by and large, physicians continue to take on tremendous workloads. After a dozen years or more of schooling doctors do the hardest professional work in society as they go about the business of trying to heal people.
    The difference in the Denish and Martinez position papers on health care is like night and day, as are the primary sources of their campaign funds. More than 450 lawyers and lobbyists provide the very foundation of the Denish fund-raising machine. We encourage readers to evaluate the healthcare issue carefully and comprehensively and determine for themselves which candidate's approach contains more common sense regarding best practices, elimination of wasteful nonsense, and the addition of government programs.

Fed Job Forecast Dims

Federal Reserve officials (Chairman Ben Bernanke photo left) predicted the expansion will be too slow to return to full employment in the next two years while also saying further measures to boost the economy probably won’t be needed in the short term. Policy makers said the outlook had “softened somewhat” and that risks to the recovery had risen, according to the minutes of their June 22-23 meeting released yesterday in Washington. The Federal Open Market Committee “would need to consider whether further policy stimulus might become appropriate if the outlook were to worsen appreciably.”  Read more here:


The History of Government Interventions

Columnist Thomas Sowell offers readers a history lesson on what happens when we give in to the urge of calling for government intervention to fix or "save" the economy. He begins with the Great Depression. Can someone please send a copy to former Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his successor.  Read here:

Diane Denish on Healthcare

News New Mexico provides exclusive analysis of the Diane Denish campaign's position paper on healthcare. Our commentary is italicized at the bottom.
    Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish seems to have a four-pronged approach to improving healthcare in New Mexico. Here is some information from the position page on her campaign website:
    1. Making it Easier for Small Businesses to Provide Coverage to Employees: The majority of New Mexicans work for small businesses, but during these tough economic times, the cost of health insurance is simply too high for many small business owners. That’s why Diane Denish led efforts to attract small businesses into a program that would give them the option of buying health insurance for their employees for $75 a month per worker. Diane also proposed a plan to provide tax credits to small business owners that offer health insurance to employees.
    2. A National Leader on Children’s Health Care Issues: Diane Denish believes that every child in New Mexico should have health insurance, period. She has consistently fought for legislation and programs that help more New Mexico children get the coverage they deserve. And she has earned national recognition for her commitment to children’s health care issues, including the 2004 Child Health Advocate Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was honored to deliver a speech on children’s health care issues at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
    3. Promoting Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles: Diane Denish believes that every individual must take responsibility for his or her own health, and that starts by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. And when New Mexicans are healthier, there are fewer visits to the ER and the doctors, which will help drive down everyone’s premiums. To encourage healthy lifestyles, Diane has proposed a tax credit for employers who provide gym memberships to employees.
    4. Fighting the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity: Both to improve our children’s’ health and to control future costs of health care, Diane believes that we must tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. To help address this problem, Diane has fought for more gym teachers in our schools and for programs that ensure that children have access to fresh locally-grown produce at school.
   Analysis: The Denish positions on healthcare are consistent with most of her other positions. The common central theme running through her thought processes seems to be to use government “programs” to solve problems.
    Denish says throughout her career in public office, she has led the fight to make health care more affordable and accessible for New Mexico families. Voters will have to decide if whatever she has been fighting for is a best practice.
    Denish says she has led the fight to tackle childhood obesity and has promoted smoking cessation programs and legislation. Denish says she has fought for more gym teachers in our schools and for programs that ensure that children have access to fresh locally-grown produce at school. It is our observation that most high schools offer very limited physical fitness courses. Also, the waste and spoilage at school cafeterias of any type of produce, fresh or otherwise is legendary. Voters will have to decide if programs designed in Santa Fe are the most efficient way to improve the fitness and dietary habits of the state’s student population. Detractors would suggest these approaches have been tried and have failed and are another example of wasting taxpayer’s money. Can state government bring influence to fitness and diet habits through the administering of “programs” or is this aspect of life primarily a parental responsibility?
    Denish points out that she led efforts to attract small businesses into a “program” that would insure employees for $75 per month. She also claims to have made a “proposal” for tax credits for small businesses for purchasing health insurance. There would seem to be several questions that need to be answered. How many businesss qualified for the subsidized $75 per month “program” she tried to attract businesses into? How was this program administered? What was the total cost to state taxpayers of adminsitering it. Was the tax credit she mentions merely something she “proposed” or did this proposal actually become law over the last eight years?
    Denish says she believes that every child in New Mexico should have health insurance, period. This certainly is an admirable objective. The question is, where does she plan to get the tax revenues or offsetting spending cuts to pay the monthly premiums involved in achieving this admirable goal? Will all children qualify? If not, how many bureaucrats will it take to administer the qualification processes and determine which children do.
    To encourage healthy lifestyles, Denish has proposed a tax credit for employers who provide gym memberships to employees. Assuming some in-state employers take advantage and enroll their employees, where will she get the revenue or offsetting spending cuts to pay for this idea? Also, can employees that already have health club memberships qualify for subsidies through their employers? Would they have to quit and re-join? If only under certain “conditions” can employees and employers qualify, how many bureaucrats will it take to administer the program to make sure employers and employees comply with fitness gym regulations?
    The motives of this candidate are pure. Voters will have to determine if Denish has a good grasp on best practices.