Larry Elder has Jesse Jackson's Number

Is NBA star LeBron James a victim of racism? The Rev. Jesse Jackson thinks so. When James decided to leave his hometown team to play elsewhere, the owner of his former team accused James, among other things, of "cowardly betrayal." He felt jilted, and his team suddenly lost perhaps half its market value. Maybe before commenting the owner should have taken a cold shower. Read more here:

Fenton Rexford Makes the ANWR Case

Inupiat Eskimo Fenton Rexford, a native American who lives in the area know as the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) speaks for eight of every nine Inupiats in the area. In a video on the subject of recovering the energy reserves there his common sense resonates. Congress should be heeding his advice in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill. Watch the video here:

Jon Barela Raised $244,000 in Q-2

According to the New Mexico Independent, NM Congressional candidate...........Jon Barela raised $244,000 in the second quarter, his best fundraising quarter so far. However, Barela’s opponent Martin Heinrich earlier announced that he had raised $375,000. Barela also trails in cash on hand through June 30. Barela had $536,000 cash on hand as of the end of June, while Heinrich had more than twice that; Heinrich has $1.3 million cash on hand. Read more here:

Chamber - Our Free Enterprise System at Risk

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a summit Wednesday to highlight its views on creating jobs and challenge Obama administration policies it believes have allowed the country's employment rate to stagnate.

"For the first time in my 40 years of observation, I truly think our free enterprise system is at risk," said Tom Bell, chairman of the Chamber's board of directors, opening the summit. "If you hear the conversations in Washington and read the popular press, everyone seems to see earning profit and creating wealth not as the heart and soul of our economy, but as a nefarious activity that works to the detriment of our society." Read more here:

Residents Still Support Oil Drilling Despite Spill

Despite the significant economic, environmental and emotional toll of the BP oil spill, residents of the Gulf Coast still overwhelmingly support off-shore drilling, according to a new poll. Perhaps it is because they drive cars, want to stay warm at night, and have food on their tables. Read more here:

Kathryn Lopez - What Women Don't Want

Columnist Kathryn Lopez offers her views on Sara Palin......"We don't like this fundamental transformation, and we're going to do something about it." With that line, in a savvy "Mama Grizzly" video recently posted on her Facebook page, Sarah Palin may have captured not only the political mood of much of the country, but also nailed why women seem prone to making tea and political hay this year. Read more here:


Thomas and Mayor Disagree on SAD

News New Mexico exchanged e-mails with City Councilor Sharon Thomas (below right) yesterday. It is clear there is enough of a difference in opinion between Thomas and Mayor Ken Miyagishima to keep the $10 million extension of North Sonoma Ranch Road Boulevard delayed indefinitely. Thus far, the Special Assessment District (SAD) project, which includes a major road LCPS desperately needs has not even come to a final vote.
    It seems that the contention on this issue lies in Mayor Miyagishima's belief that the City’s bond counsel and the City’s financial advisor were satisfied with the land that was proposed to include in the SAD. These are experts that were hired by the City to facilitate the SAD process. Both had extensive experience with SAD proposals throughout the state. Though Councilor Thomas had her own ideas about which properties belonged in the SAD, neither the bond counsel or the financial advisor pointed out compliance problems at meetings. Instead they indicated the funding from the New Mexico Finance Authority was in place to build the $10 million thoroughfare.
    On the News New Mexico radio program on Wednesday July 7th Mayor Miyagishima indicated he believed the project had not moved forward for approval because of "inexperience" on the part of some members of council. He also cited the spreading of misinformation by certain groups of people in the city that took advantage of this inexperience. Councilor Thomas gave no indication of a willingness to come on News New Mexico and provide facts to refute the Mayor's views and affirm her own. Thus far News New Mexico has not become convinced that the mayor has this story wrong.
    Councilor Dolores Connor (above left) is the only councilor who has accepted an invitation to come on the show. She will appear on Tuesday morning at 7:30am. We are hopeful that somehow, in some way Councilor Connor can bring this $10 million privately funded road building project to a vote. To date, Councilors Silva, Pedroza, Small, and Sorg have remained silent as to what their positions are on the fully funded $10 million road project that will not go away.


Linda Chavez - Financial Disaster

Anytime Congress passes a 2,300-page law that creates more than 500 new regulations and sets up a new, complicated bureaucracy, we should be nervous. And the major financial overhaul that has cleared the final hurdles in the Senate proves the rule. The legislation -- the brainchild of Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. -- is the biggest overhaul of the nation's financial industry since the 1930s. Its Democratic supporters claim it was necessary to prevent another economic meltdown like the one we suffered in 2008. Read more here:

Mexican Police Officers Murdered

    An explosive blasted Mexican federal police and rescuers when it detonated as they went to the aid of a wounded police officer in Ju├írez on Thursday night. Authorities said it had not been determined if the blast was caused by a grenade or a car bomb, but the attack appeared to follow the tactics of terrorists in the Middle East. Late Thursday night, federal police said a federal police officer, a municipal police officer and a rescue worker were killed. Read more here:

Leak Remains a Gusher

    The gushing flow of red ink that pollutes our economic base, undermines confidence, and piles debt on every taxpayer in America continues unabated. So far in July of 2010 the federal government has borrowed $541 for every taxpayer in the nation. See the details here:

Leak Capped for 2nd Day

NEW ORLEANS — The hemorrhaging well that has spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico remained capped for a second day Friday, providing some hope of a long-term solution to the environmental disaster. Read details here:

Guv candidates clarify statements on immigrants

From - Both gubernatorial candidates are clarifying their statements published by earlier today on what to do about the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States illegally. Republican Susana Martinez’s original statement said that, “in principle,” she believes the United States needs “a legal immigration process for those who are in this country now and wish to stay here that is practical, while at the same time does not invite the next wave of illegal immigrants.”Democrat Diane Denish’s original statement said that she honestly doesn’t know what should be done about the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States illegally. Read more

The real contamination of New Mexico

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. -

Opponents of the New Mexico oil industry would have you believe that life in New Mexico hangs by a thread due to the potential disasters tied to oil exploration, development and production. Further, they insist that the state government must intensify the rules on drilling or the water, air and land of New Mexico will be ruined for generations. Not true. There was a time when New Mexico was very contaminated, and it has taken decades for that terrible pollution to abate. Many New Mexicans were sickened by this pollution and the human damage remains to this day. This pollution was not by oil, rather, it was plutonium. No one seems to remember this.

The first atomic explosion was a test of an implosion-design plutonium device. It was set off at Trinity Site roughly between Socorro and Carrizozo, July 16, 1945. There was one aspect that surprised scientists. The explosion stirred the landscape below the 100 feet tower and then spewed this toxic material into the atmosphere while subsequent rains flushed the fallout down the Tularosa Basin, Pecos and the Rio Grande Valleys. The plutonium acted upon generations of unknowing New Mexicans.
When the U.S. dropped the two devices on Japan they used an “air-burst” method at about 2,000 feet to keep from really contaminating these areas. While that helped Japan, it was not much help to already contaminated New Mexico.
Of interest: there were three nuclear devices over two years at the Trinity Site and only two of them exploded. One device underground did not explode and was dubbed Sleeping Beauty. The unexploded nuclear device was finally dug up in 1967 and removed. The triggering device used car batteries with a life of seven years so the scientists waited 21 years to declare the batteries really dead. Of course, visitors to Trinity Site in the 1950s and 60s did not know about Sleeping Beauty. The federal response to concerns about nuclear contamination and danger was, “We beat the Japanese, what do you want?” I would like to know if it was worth making New Mexicans sick.

The current phobia about oil contamination pales in comparison to our plutonium contamination. Any problem with oil can be dealt with no lasting effect. But we must understand the notion of oil contamination for what it is: an attempt to impose political agendas upon New Mexico. The environmental lobby is foremost concerned with an agenda that places the environment ahead of everything else in New Mexico. Know this: for truly pristine air, water and land the nation must stop using all oil products. The environmentalists may say, “Good riddance.” What about New Mexico’s school children? They are dependent upon the revenue that oil and gas brings to our state.

So how much pollution is acceptable if zero tolerance removes the funding for all New Mexico public schools? Right now the state is in a flutter due to too much spending and not enough resources. Public school teachers are being fired. All over New Mexico in potential oil development areas and especially in places like the Otero Mesa we must wonder how attractive is the political ideal of no pollution if generations of New Mexico school children get a lesser education. Again, the money for the schools comes from the oil industry which is being hammered by the environmental lobby. New Mexicans cannot have it both ways with plenty of money from the oil industry to fund the schools and no pollution.

A good example is the new “pit rule” which oil people say makes New Mexico less competitive. Environmentalists say it protects New Mexico from pollution but it would seem that the way it protects is it sends many drillers to other states instead of New Mexico. A pristine Otero Mesa provides no financial resource for the schools. Which is more important: schools or the Otero Mesa?

The decision to develop an oil field is made on four factors: first, the current and projected value of crude oil, secondly, the projected amount and quality of the crude oil in that field, thirdly, the cost of developing, drilling and bringing into production the wells, and, finally, the amount of hassle it takes to do this business.

Example: more rigs will start when the price of crude oil reaches $100 a barrel and no rigs will even pump if it falls below $10 a barrel. More to the point: if the ease and cost of drilling is better in one state, it will attract more drillers. The drillers are not married to New Mexico, there are many other places for them to go but New Mexico is tied to oil and gas to fund their public schools. The rigs may just go somewhere else and New Mexico is the poorer.

Any contamination by the oil industry must be weighed with the benefits both financial and by the use of oil. In theory at least, we can do away with all of the oil contamination from cars, trucks, roads, roof repairs, etc. Without any oil we are confronted with not having the value of paved roads, inexpensive mobility along with goods and services brought to New Mexico, not to mention heating/cooling our houses.

On this 65th anniversary (July 16) of the contamination of New Mexico by plutonium maybe we should worry about real contamination rather than political anti-business environmental ideals. What is best for our children?

Cancer statistics high for Otero, Lincoln counties

From the Alamogordo Daily News - Editor's Note: This is the third and final installment of a series of stories about the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium and the possible effects the Trinity Site test may have had on residents of the area developing cancer.

"I hate the fact that we have been treated as insignificant scientists have been compensated but our community has been ignored," cancer survivor Tina Cordova said. "We have to fight for the recognition that our environment was damaged and, in the process, we were also damaged. It is a shame that they did not come back and tell us our food supply is compromised." Cordova, who grew up in Tularosa, was a medical student for two years before creating her own business in Albuquerque. After much discussion, she and Tularosa resident Fred Tyler formed the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium to collect data and see what they could do to help survivors in the wake of the 1945 Trinity atomic bomb explosion that shook the Tularosa Basin. In July 2005, they worked with several volunteers to collect cancer histories from local residents ending up with well over 100 documents of a cancer culture that had festered quietly among generations of families. Cordova said she found statistics on the Internet under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for autoimmune diseases and cancers. For example, in 1999, the national average was 202.7 per 100,000 people, but in Otero County it was 694.6 and in Lincoln County it was 764.5 per 100,000 people. Read more


Cut the number of elections to reduce money’s role in politics

From - By Dick Minzner - Public discussion of the possibility of reducing the role of money in politics, including Michael Swickard’s recent post on this site, has omitted one effective solution: We could decrease the number of elections. The United States holds elections for more offices than any other country. Our elections are very frequent, and, because of our system of primaries, holding an election probably means holding two. It should come as no surprise that candidates feel a need to raise large amounts of money and spend much time and effort doing so. In New Mexico, we should consider three possible steps to reduce the role money plays in our system. First, reduce the number of offices subject to primaries. Second, make some elective offices appointive. Third, lengthen the terms of elected officials. Read more

Goldman Sachs Agrees to $550 Million Fine

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s $550 million settlement with U.S. regulators yesterday will benefit the firm by ending three months of uncertainty at an affordable price. Now the rest of Wall Street begins calculating the cost. Read more here:

Ken Blackwell - It's About Freedom

Ken Blackwell weighs in on some fundamental misconceptions.........James Carville, Bill Clinton's political strategist supposedly coined the now infamous: “It’s the economy stupid.” This admittedly smart strategy, widely attributed to have won Clinton the Presidency, is now being chanted, mantra-like, by the mainstream media and the Washington political elite as they fundamentally misunderstand the brewing anger and frustration amongst everyday Americans. Read more:

The Progressive Defends Octavia Nasr

Is the Progressive Magazine anti-Israel? Here is what they have to say. You decide.........The media in the United States, which genuflects daily on the altar of freedom of speech, simply can’t abide employing anyone who doesn’t toe the line on Israel. First, Helen Thomas had to go. Now, Octavia Nasr. Read more here:

The need for regulations and good regulators

From - by Bill McCamley - “In today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules.” – Bernie Madoff
The word regulation means different things to different people. For some, it sparks immediate disgust as a hindrance to business. For others, the word provokes frustration as regulatory bodies are seen as inept and needing to do more. But what is regulation, and why is it important to New Mexico? Lets’ start off with an undeniable fact: Capitalism works. Competition incentivizes people to produce more goods and services at cheaper costs. The end of the Cold War witnessed the fall of the last large, state-owned, centrally-planned economies because they couldn’t compete. Even China has come to this conclusion and has gradually implemented policies turning its economy more market-oriented. Read more

Green Jobs

Rod Adams -- I attended a heart warming press event this morning that gave me the same kind of goosebumps that I feel when listening to the Star Spangled Banner after an American wins a gold medal at the Olympics. Considering the potential economic and environmental impact of the product that will be produced as a result of the announcement, that is probably a gross trivialization of the importance of the event. Read more here: