State agencies dodge furloughs

From the Santa Fe - by Barry Massey of the Associated Press - No state workers will be furloughed or laid off because of a new round of spending cuts to balance New Mexico's budget, Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday. The governor will provide $1.4 million in federal economic stimulus money to several executive branch agencies and the courts to prevent furloughs that otherwise would have been necessary because of cutbacks that began Wednesday. That move also will at least temporarily avert the closing of some courts. Budgets are being trimmed by 3.2 percent to help overcome a $151 million shortfall in New Mexico's more than $5 billion budget this year. The cuts were ordered because state revenues are lower than expected. Read more

Bright Side: Economic Data Can't Get Much Worse

The U.S. economy is so bad that the chance of avoiding a double dip back into recession may actually be pretty good. The sectors of the economy that traditionally drive it into recession are already so depressed it’s difficult to see them getting a lot worse, said Ethan Harris, head of developed markets economics research at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research in New York. Inventories are near record lows in proportion to sales, residential construction is less than half the level of the housing boom and vehicle sales are more than 40 percent below five years ago. “It doesn’t rule out a recession,” Harris said. “It just makes it less likely than otherwise.” The possibility of the economy lapsing into another contraction during the next year is 25 percent, he said in a Sept. 1 report. Harris cut his forecast for growth this year by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6 percent and lowered his 2011 estimate by a half point to 1.8 percent, according to the report. Read more here:

Border Bandaid

From the El Paso Times - LAS CRUCES -- An additional 72 New Mexico National Guard soldiers began a 10-month deployment Wednesday along the state's border with Mexico. Their assignment began after they received special training and were certified by the U.S. Border Patrol. The soldiers are part of President Barack Obama's order to send 1,200 National Guard soldiers to the Mexican border with New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California. The presidential order came after many reports of violence, allegedly by illegal immigrants from Mexico, and the soldiers were required to be on the border by Wednesday. But few, if any, of those reports of violence involved New Mexico, and state officials said it has been rather quiet along the state's approximately 180-mile border with Mexico. They want it to stay that way. "Violence along the New Mexico-Mexico border is a major concern, and we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our citizens," Gov. Bill Richardson said. "I am pleased that New Mexico is one of the first of four border states to have our guardsmen trained and fully operational along the border following the president's order for additional troops." Read more here:

King Leads Chandler in Polls

Gary King
From - Attorney General Gary King has big leads over challenger Matt Chandler in two newly released polls of the race. I already mentioned the first poll in an article published Monday – an internal poll released by the King campaign that had King, the Democrat, leading the Republican Chandler by 19 percentage points. Today, the Albuquerque Journal released an independent poll that had King leading by 15 percentage points. The poll released by King’s campaign had him leading with the support of 47 percent of likely voters to Chandler’s 28, with 25 percent of those surveyed undecided. The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted Aug. 2-4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Journal poll had King leading 48 percent to 33 percent with 19 percent undecided. The survey of 942 likely voters, conducted by Research and Polling Inc. from Aug. 23-27, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Read more here:

Chandler: No Excuse for NM Driver’s License Policy

Matt Chandler
From - In 2003, Governor Bill Richardson signed legislation to allow those who are in this country unlawfully to obtain a New Mexico driver’s license. Seven years later, however, it is clear this experiment has failed, and yet the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Gary King, is still defending the policy – even as recently as this week. New Mexico is now one of only three states in the country that doesn’t require proof of citizenship or legal residency to obtain a state-issued license, and we’ve learned the hard way that being part of this exclusive club has left us vulnerable to fraud, crime and abuse. How? Because in the 47 other states that issue driver’s licenses, along with other privileges, this form of identification signifies that the bearer is someone who is in our country legally. So, you can see why a New Mexico driver’s license becomes so attractive to illegal immigrants. With that in mind, it is understandable that a recent analysis found that following the passage of Arizona’s immigration law, there was a 60 percent increase in the number of licenses issued to immigrants in the three states which have the most relaxed licensing laws – including New Mexico. Read more here:

Haussamen: The truth about the Baby Brianna bill

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia recently accused Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez of misrepresenting her role in the passage of a bill that resulted in tougher penalties for child abuse resulting in death. But the reality is that it’s Garcia – not Martinez – who is misrepresenting the facts. The criticism from Garcia came last week in a letter she sent to media outlets across the state. It was in response to this campaign ad from Martinez. It’s no secret that Garcia and Susana Martinez don’t like each other. Martinez once prosecuted Garcia’s brother-in-law and nephew, Miguel O. “Mike” Gonzales and his son, Michael Gonzales Jr. Garcia has told me in the past that she doesn’t like Martinez for that reason. I’m glad they were able to come together in spite of that in 2005 to get this bill passed. It’s a shame that Garcia is now distorting the facts about what happened. Read more

White House's Christina Romer - "Spend More Tax Less"

Christina Romer
The Obama administration, concerned about the weakening U.S. recovery, is pushing Congress to approve proposals to stimulate growth in the final two months before congressional elections. “The only surefire ways for policy makers to substantially increase aggregate demand in the short run are for the government to spend more and tax less,” Christina Romer, the departing White House chief economist, said in a speech in Washington yesterday. “We should be moving forward on both fronts.” Romer’s comments as she leaves her post tomorrow as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers highlight the Obama administration’s worries about slowing growth and a jobless rate forecast to remain above 9 percent through midterm elections in November. She warned that a failure by Congress to do more to bolster hiring risked “making high unemployment permanent” as idled workers’ skills deteriorate. Read more here:

Gunman Was Obsessed with Pollution/Environment

James J. Lee
James J. Lee, the 43-year-old gunman who was killed by police Wednesday after a hostage standoff at the Discovery Channel's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, was a radical environmentalist obsessed with the Daniel Quinn novel "Ishmael." In 2008, Lee staged a protest where he threw thousands of dollars in cash into the air outside at the Discovery Channel building. TheWrap uncovered a series of postings on an "Ishmael" messageboard that reveal when Lee discovered the book that shaped his radical ideology and the source of the funds that financed his obsessions. "Ishmael," which was written in 1992, features a telepathic ape that discusses solutions for humanity's problems. Lee's interpretation of the book led him believe that humans must cease breeding to stop overpopulation. In the list of demands to the Discovery Channel that he published just prior to the Sept. 1 standoff in Silver Spring, Lee wrote: "The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's 'My Ishmael' pages 207-212 ...
Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution." Before going to Maryland, Lee lived in California. On December 6, 2006 he sent an email to a man named Mike Thayer about a "new group" he was organizing "focusing on the works of Daniel Quinn and his books." The group met weekly at a Borders Bookstore on G Street in San Diego's Gaslamp district. "Active discussions, lectures, topics of interest, readings, debates, science, and leadership training will be discussed ... Let's do it. Let's do this now," Lee wrote. Read more here:


Crossings into the U.S. on the decline

From the El Paso Times - For the first time in two decades, the flow of undocumented immigrants is dropping, a new report shows. An unstable labor market and tougher immigration enforcement are deterring immigrants from crossing the border and staying in the United States illegally. The Pew Hispanic Center released a report Wednesday that shows the number of undocumented immigrants arriving to the United States declined by 64 percent in the past decade. "Unemployment is really high in the United States," report author Jeffrey S. Passel said. "With the state of the U.S. economy, it is harder and more dangerous for undocumented immigrants." An annual average of 300,000 people crossed illegally into the United States during 2007-2009. The number was 850,000 during 2000-2005. The research center uses government data and U.S. Census Bureau estimates to calculate the number of undocumented immigrants. The number of immigrants living in the United States illegally also dropped from 12 million in March 2007 to 11.1 million in March 2009. It was the first time the research center reported a drop of undocumented immigrants in the country. Ever since 2000, the number had been growing from 8.4 million people. It peaked in 2007 with 12 million immigrants and then decreased to 11.1 million in 2009. Texas had the second-largest undocumented immigrant population at 1.6 million. About 6.5 percent of the people living in Texas are undocumented. California was first with 2.6 million undocumented residents, and Florida was third with 675,000 people. Read more here:

Sixteen Migrants Kidnapped Held for Ransom

(CNN) -- At least 16 migrants, including a woman, were being held for ransom by human smugglers in Tijuana, Mexico, according to a migrant who was freed, authorities said late Wednesday. "With respect to the man, we are not releasing his name but he is between 20 and 25-years-old. We can tell you that his family paid a ransom for his liberty and it was after that he came to us and told us there were others that were being held in Tijuana," Municipal Police Officer Jose Varela told CNN by phone. It was unclear how much the family paid, but reports from local journalists said the fee for freedom was $4,500. Varela could not confirm that to CNN, but said, "that sounded right."
"We don't know who is responsible for the kidnapping, but it's likely tied to drug traffickers," Varela said. The whereabouts of the other migrants was unclear, but the migrant who was released said they were "bound by both hands and feet," according to the police. Read more here:

Chapman - The Pointless Prosecution of Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens
If it were a crime to venture onto Capitol Hill to reveal yourself as a self-absorbed liar with an inability to admit mistakes, there would be tumbleweeds blowing through the vacant halls of Congress. Fortunately for members of the legislative branch, that is not a crime. Unless your name is Roger Clemens. The eccentric baseball legend is not one to let people disparage him without a forceful response, any more than he was one to let batters crowd the plate without retaliation. A couple of years ago, after being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, he voluntarily appeared before a House committee to heap scorn on the charge. His denial was not very convincing, since other witnesses -- notably longtime teammate Andy Pettitte -- had given statements contradicting him. He was repeatedly reminded by skeptical interrogators that he was under oath. Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis joined together afterward to advise the Justice Department that "significant questions have been raised about Mr. Clemens' truthfulness." Read more here:

Kudlow - The Business of America is Business

Larry Kudlow
Profits up, rates down, tax cuts, and a stock rally. Corporate profits are at all-time highs and bond rates in the Treasury market are virtually at record lows. That’s a good combination for stocks, and it helped trigger a 255 point rally in Wednesday’s trading. What’s more, a surprisingly positive read on the ISM August manufacturing report delivered a strong blow to the double-dip recession pessimism that has plagued investors for many months. Without question, the jobs picture is going to remain cloudy. There’s just too much uncertainty over the economy and the tax-and-regulatory threats coming out of Washington. Businesses can’t be sure about the costs of hiring. Meanwhile, over in housing -- our other weakest sector -- an inventory glut threatens further price declines. Read more here:

Hurricane Earl Will Scrape East Coast

Residents and travellers on the east coast of the U.S. are bracing for Hurricane Earl, which is marching closer. Hurricane warnings and watches have been issued. Read more here:

National Debt Per Taxpayer Update

News New Mexico began tracking "DEBT PER TAXPAYER" when we took the air on July 1, 2010. In just two months, the amount of new debt issued per taxpayer by the federal government has increased from $118,759 to $120,753. This works out to $1,994 of ADDITIONAL DEBT since July 1. At the present rate the U.S. federal government will borrow nearly $12,000 per year for every taxpayer in the country. This amount is in addition to all the taxes it collects from paychecks and businesses. Why is it that nobody is feeling confident when more borrowing and spending is offered as the solution to our problems? See details here:


Aggie Volleyball Overwhelms Cal - Bakersfield

From - Aggie Volleyball Cruises To 3-0 Sweep Over Cal State-Bakersfield - The Aggie volleyball team opened up the 2010 home schedule with an easy 3-0 sweep of visiting Cal State-Bakersfield on Wednesday night. The Aggies never trailed in the match and were never threatened in any of the sets as they won handily 25-13 in set one, 25-14 in set two and 25-11 in set three. Kelsey Brennan and Kayleigh Giddens overpowered the Roadrunner defense as Brennan hit .727 on the evening with nine kills on 11 swings with just one hitting error. Read more here: