Obama edits out the word ‘Creator’ while quoting Declaration of Independence

From Blaze.com - Two days before the country was set to celebrate Constitution Day, President Obama decided to invoke the words of another founding document: the Declaration of Independence. Except he changed the words. Towards the end of a speech on September 15 to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Obama began quoting the famous “rights” line from the founding document. But partway through, he omitted where those rights come from: a Creator. The line is supposed to read: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Read more

Commentary: Time for the GOP to Unite

From the American Thinker - by Richard Baehr - There has been much ink spilled on the Delaware Republican Senate primary. I am in the Charles Krauthammer camp on this one. Krauthammer is a fan of the Buckley rule, promulgated by William F. Buckley. In essence, conservatives should support the candidate in the party primary who is the most conservative of the potential nominees who is also electable. In Delaware, that rule would have suggested backing Congressman Mike Castle. Nate Silver, the numbers maven of the website fivethirtyeight.com, gave Castle a 94% chance of winning the general election for Joe Biden's old seat over Democrat Chris Coons before the primary last week. Castle had a solid 11-point lead over Coons. In a very blue state, Castle had already won statewide twelve times. The nominee who came out of the primary, Christine O'Donnell, had lost her only prior statewide run by 30% and is given a 6% chance of winning the seat by Silver. I think Castle's chances were slightly less than 94%, and O'Donnell's may be slightly better than 6% (the first post-primary poll shows her down by 11%). But in essence, the small number quibbling on probabilities does not matter. The GOP will likely lose a seat it easily could have won. Some conservative purists are happy with this result. I am not. I want the health care bill to be repealed. For that to happen, the GOP needs to win the White House in 2012 and hold both Houses in the Congress sworn in in 2013. The loss of the winnable Delaware Senate seat makes that harder to accomplish. Castle voted against the health care bill and was a vote for repeal. Chris Coons will not vote for repeal. Read more

Artesia refinery fined $707,000 for safety lapses associated with deadly blast

From the New Mexico Independent - (photo on left of Navajo refinery by Glembly) Story by Bryant Furlow - The Navajo Refining Company has been fined $707,000 for after state investigators found the company knowingly failed to correct safety problems before a deadly March 2 storage tank explosion and fire at the company’s plant in Artesia, N.M. Two workers, Natividad Andajo and Victor Villa, were killed in the blast, their bodies were burned beyond recognition. Two other workers, both critically-injured, were airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. The plant processes crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. The state Occupational Safety and Health Bureau has issued citations for one “serious” violation and 10 “willful” violations — the most serious category of infraction. Violations included the company’s failure to train employees to recognize explosive hazards, failing to maintain fire prevention and fire protection programs, and allowing workers to conduct welding operations in the presence of flammable vapors. Read more

O'TOOLE: 'Trannie Mae' and special interests

From the Washington Times - Commentary by Randal O'Toole - President Obama's proposal for a transportation infrastructure bank has been lauded as a way to bring "rationality" to federal transportation spending. In fact, such a bank - call it "Trannie Mae" - will just increase the politicization and reduce the effectiveness of transportation dollars.
A real bank lends money for projects that are likely to cover their costs and repay the loans. Many of the projects Mr. Obama wants the new "bank" to fund, including high-speed rail and rail transit, will not see a single dime; they won't cover their operating costs, much less the capital costs of the projects. So much of Trannie Mae's money will have to be in the form of grants, not loans. Read more

Denish Plan: Holding big corporations accountable

NewsNM wonders if the below statement is actually what Susana Martinez is saying?

From NM Politics.net - by Diane Denish - Turn back the clock a few years with me. Wall Street running wild, predatory lenders taking advantage of families, people losing their homes and President George W. Bush embracing the economic philosophy of letting the powerful corporations do whatever they want. New Mexicans know those harmful policies caused this national economic meltdown, and we can’t afford to go back to those days. That’s why Susana Martinez’s economic plan should give every New Mexican pause for concern. Like President Bush, Martinez believes that powerful corporations should be allowed to just do as they please. Martinez is going around the state saying that she would put a moratorium on all corporate accountability measures passed over the last few years. Read more

Thomas Sowell - The Politics of Resentment

Thomas Sowell
Michelle Rhee
Few things have captured in microcosm what has gone so painfully wrong, where racial issues are concerned, like the recent election for mayor of Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, under whom the murder rate has gone down and the school children's test scores have gone up, was resoundingly defeated for re-election. Nor was Mayor Fenty simply a passive beneficiary of the rising test scores and falling murder rates. He appointed Michelle Rhee as head of the school system and backed her as she fought the teachers' union and fired large numbers of ineffective teachers-- something considered impossible in most cities across the country. Mayor Fenty also appointed the city's chief of police, Cathy Lanier, who has cracked down on hoodlumism, as well as crime. Either one of these achievements would made mayors local heroes in most other cities. Why then was he clobbered in the election? Read more here:


Blackwell - Losing Colin Powell

Walter Cronkite
By Ken Blackwell for Townhall - “If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America,” said President Lyndon B. Johnson at the time of the Communist Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968. Walter Cronkite was then the CBS News anchor man, often described as ‘the most trusted man in America.’ Just a few weeks after he said that, LBJ withdrew from his party’s nomination contest. No one thinks President Obama is in that much trouble—yet. But he has just been criticized by his highest profile endorser from the 2008 campaign. When retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell backed Barack Obama for President two years ago, it was a huge leg up for the liberal Democrats’ prospects. Gen. Powell, a former Secretary of State and a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave Obama instant credibility on defense and foreign policy issues.

Colin Powell
Now, Gen. Powell is criticizing the Obama administration. This is a very high level defection, if defection it is. If Gen. Powell is not the most trusted man in America today, it would be hard to name someone of higher standing. In fact, if Colin Powell had been pro-life, he probably would not have had to run for President. He would have been carried into the White House on his supporters’ shoulders. In that event, Barack Obama would probably still be sitting in the Illinois State Senate. Read more here:


Armstrong Williams - Ethics Charges

Armstrong Williams
Like many, I like to spend my summer months catching up on some good books and vacationing in Europe. Only this year, I’ve stopped reading fiction. Why bother when real life is so much more interesting? In fact, I think I’ll stop reading books altogether for the next several weeks. All I need are the latest editions of The Hill and the Washington Times to cover the scintillating scandals that have totally rocked Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel (NY) and Maxine Waters (CA). I know fiction writers are green with envy on these developing storylines. The latest developments surrounding the Waters and Rangel cases have both looking like they will spend 2011 in retirement; perhaps even in the pokey if there’s another shoe that has yet to fall. Read more here:

Drivers: By Law You Must Pay Attention! ............................... City Councilors? Well Maybe Sometimes

Jim Harbison
Guest Column by Jim Harbison - At the most recent City Council meeting Councilor Dolores Connor proposed a simple straight forward resolution that would have the Council members pledge not to use cellphones, send or receive emails, text, do internet searches, or play any electronic games during the conduct of the City Council meetings. She wanted to insure that the conduct of the Council would not violate the provisions of the “Open Meeting Act” or give the perceptions that the Council was not in compliance with it. Furthermore she believes that the Council should be focused on conducting the public business and not be distracted by electronic devices or conducting internet research during Council sessions.
This resolution which was drafted by one of the leading attorneys’ from the New Mexico Municipal League and is used by other cities was immediately met with opposition from the other members of the City Council. Acting City Attorney Pete Connolly explained some of the constraints of the Open Meeting act and believed the resolution was in support of the act. He gave several judicial examples supporting it.
Objections from other Council members centered on several issues.
· It was a poorly written, not well thought out, and unnecessary resolution (Pedroza, Silva, Thomas, Sorg). They wanted the NM Adjutant General to conduct a work session on the need for this resolution (Silva, Sorg, Thomas, Pedroza). Councilor Connor explained that the AG has conducted four training sessions on this over the last three years and that each Councilor has had the opportunity to attend if they had desired.
· It restricted their ability to make decisions because they apparently cannot do so with the (inadequate) information provided by the staff or poorly informed presenters. It is necessary for them to have access to additional internet provided data (Sorg, Thomas, Small). The Council receives their packet of information five days in advance of the Council meeting which should be sufficient time to do any necessary research before the Council meeting. It they didn’t have sufficient time prior they certainly do not have adequate time to do comprehensive research during the Council meeting when they should be attentive to the issues being presented.
· That the judicial examples cited by City Attorney Connolly were claimed by Council members to blur the distinction between judicial and legislative bodies and that they were not judges so judicial rules of the court should not apply to the Council. Furthermore, that the Council was not a jury so judicial standards should not apply (Sorg, Pedroza, Small).
· It would be difficult to enforce and did not know how this could be accomplished (Pedroza). The public in the gallery certainly knew how to enforce it and vocally expressed it. Simply by the individual INTEGRITY of each Council member
· It restricted contact with constituents and others not physically present during the conduct of the meeting (Silva, Pedroza and implied by others). Isn’t that the intent of the Open Meeting Act? Unfortunately, those citizens who are physically attending the meeting are not currently allowed that same access to members of the Council nor can they call them on the phone during the sessions to get their questions asked.
Ultimately the resolution was modified to allow internet research during Council sessions and it was passed by a vote of 4/3 with Pedroza, Sorg and Thomas opposing it. The issue was about ethical conduct and INTEGRITY and it was quite obvious that Council members simply did not get it. Perception is reality until you change that perception. It is time for the Council to change its perception


City Votes to Jam Recycling Down Citizen's Throats

News New Mexico Summary of the City Council meeting held on Monday, September 20, 2010. Councilor Thomas was not present but participated telephonically. Presentations and Proclamations:
· The “Pet of the Week” was presented.
· World War II veteran Charles Miles was recognized for his service with the 63rd Infantry Division in Germany in 1945.
· The daughter of our Sister City, Nurnberg, Germany was presented a key to the city by Mayor Miyagishima. She is currently an intern with Southwest Environmental Services.
· A proclamation was read that declared September 26th as Playful Day in recognition of the efforts of the Playful Committee and Cyclovia group for their efforts to get Las Cruces recognized as a National Playful City
· A proclamation was read that declared Saturday, September 25th as National Hunting and Fishing Day in honor of their more than 30 years of conservation efforts. They will have demonstrations at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday thanks to the space provided by Councilor Small
· The Las Cruces Women’s Tailgaters softball Team was recognized for winning Third Place in the World Hispanic Softball Tournament recently in Gilbert, Arizona. Congratulations to them. They will play again in the Whole Enchilada Festival Tournament this weekend.
· The Mayor read a statement about the Closed Meeting on 9/16/10 concerning pending litigation involving Motel 6 and others.
Public Participation:
· Latoya Garcia spoke in support of recycling
· Bert Jones, VP, Heaven on Earth also supported recycling
· Ryan Daley congratulated Terrence Moore and Robert Garza for opening up the academies for Police and Fire. He wants to know if the City is going to form a committee to take public comments and recommendations for the candidate for City Manager. He also asked if there is a City Code concerning removing signs from closed businesses? If so, why isn’t it being enforced. T. Moore said there was and he will be having discussion with the new Police Chief to enforce it. Mayor Miyagishima said sometimes it is better not to enforce it because boarded up buildings without signs give a negative impression of the City.
· Marlin McCormick spoke in favor of more bicycle safety
· Jim Harbison expressed concerns about selective enforcement of City Codes and Ordinances based on the Mayor’s statement to selectively not enforce some of the sign ordinance.
· Jacqueline Drummer expressed concerns about the trash on Bataan Memorial Parkway and the safety hazards it presents for bicyclists. The Mayor encouraged her to contact himself or members of the City staff to get it cleaned up.
Resolutions and/or Ordinances for Consent Agenda
Items #1, 4, 7, and 9 through 12 were removed from the consent agenda and all others were approved by a vote of 7/0
Resolutions and Ordinances for discussions
1. Item #1 concerned applying for a $200,000 BLM grant. Councilor Connor wanted to know why we were just now asking for approval to apply for the grant when we had already received it. Staff informed her that sometimes the suspense is too short to get it on the Council agenda. It was approved by a vote of 7/0.
2. Item #4 concerned the language in a resolution supporting Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign efforts. The resolution specifies property near Hadley field. Councilors Thomas, Pedroza, Mayor Miyagishima and Director Denmark want the resolution to have more flexibility in location of any future Boys-Girls Club. It was approved by a vote of 7/0
3. Item # 7 concerned a 25% match of $76,000 for a NMDOT grant of $228,000. Councilor Connor questioned this since the project (and matching funds) weren’t funded in the budget. It passed by a vote of 7/0
4. Item #9 concerned the Police purchase of additional carbine-rifles. They will be funded from the Asset Forfeiture Fund. Terrence Moore stated this was consistent with previous actions. It was approved by a vote of 7/0
5. Item #10 concerned contract funding for Sandoval Construction Pricing Agreement.
Acting City Attorney Connolly said there was no legal issue and it was approved by a vote of 7/0
6. Item #11 concerned the purchase of one Front End Loader at a cost of $194,923. It was approved by a vote of 7/0
7. Item #12 concerned an additional $19,963 for a micro-surfacing contract previously approved by Council. Councilors Silva and Connor expressed concerns that their districts were not on the project lists. It passed by a vote of 7/0
8. Items #13 & 14 concerned approval of Liquor Licenses for St Clair Winery & Bistro and since there was no public opposition they were approved by a vote o 7/0
9. Item #15 was a straight forward resolution proposed by Councilor Connor that concerned the restricted use of cellphones, emails, texting, and electronic games during council meetings to prevent any conflict with the Open Meeting law. This proposal resulted in long and heated discussions between Council members themselves and the public. Councilors Small, Pedroza and Thomas expressed opposition to it and wanted more information and workshops presented by the State Attorney General on any need for it. Councilor Pedroza stated it would be too hard to enforce. The public responded their “integrity” should enforce it. Councilor Sorg doesn’t believe judicial standards apply to the “legislative process” of the City Council. City Attorney stated that the 3rd Judicial Court has previously ruled against the Council and that municipal governments are different from legislative bodies. Public comment included comments from Wynn Jacobs, Russ Warner, Ron Camunez, and Jim Harbison. Most had previously observed inattention of Council members due to their use of their laptops. One of the concerns is that the public cannot call Councilor members during meetings but others could privately communicate by emails. Several Councilors acknowledged that they read or exchanged emails from the public during Council meetings. Unfortunately, some members of the Council chose to publically condemn those who disagreed with their positions and comments. After being amended it was passed by a vote of 4/3 with Councilors Pedroza, Sorg & Thomas voting against it.
10. Items #17 concerning a routine Budget Adjustment, item # 18 concerning a memorandum of understanding between the City of Las Cruces and the Amador Hotel Foundation, and Item #19 concerning the restriction of public funds to purchase bottled water and to promote City of Las Cruces Municipal Drinking Water were approved by votes of 7/0
11. Item #20 concerned curbside recycling and also resulted in a lengthy discussion. Councilors Sorg and Pedroza indicated that they received overwhelming support for curbside recycling. Sorg wants a vigorous education program to educate the public on the what, where and how of recycling and was informed it is included in the contract. There was mixed public comment that generally supported recycling but not this program. Some felt it was the wrong time economically to impose additional fees on the public. Others were concerned about the role of government. Mayor Miyagishima said it was cheaper to pay the monthly fee than to drive to the recycle drop boxes. Councilor Thomas said that recycling is a public safety issue and the role of government. Furthermore the role of government is to make recycling convenient for the public. Councilor Connor said that she is 100% in support of recycling but not this resolution because there is no requirement to recycle but rather a requirement to pay the recycle fees. Many seniors will not fill a recycle container in four months but will still have to pay the monthly fee. She supports adding more collection bins. Councilor Small stated that recycling is a public safety issue and since it reduces our demand on foreign oil it is also a national security issue. Councilor Silva wants a comprehensive approach to reduce costs which would ultimately reduce “grappler” service to once a month to offset some of the costs. It was passed by a vote of 6/1 (Connor voted against it). NOTE: Approval of this resolution will only allow the Council to make a recommendation to the Utilities Rate Board to adopt this proposal. The public will still have an opportunity to express their concerns there.
Board Appointments or review of any proposed ordinances
The Mayor appointed John Muir to the Veterans Advisory Board and Will Mathews to the Airport Advisory Board.


Garrey Carruthers to Appear on NewsNM

Dr. Garrey Carruthers
Former New Mexico Governor Dr. Garrey Carruthers will appear as a guest on News New Mexico at 8:00am this morning. Carruthers currently serves as Dean of the College of Business at New Mexico State University. He has one of the most impressive resumes of any guest to appear on our show. He was Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1974 to 1975, director of the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University, State Chair of the Republican Party Of New Mexico from 1977 to 1979, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Land and Resources from 1981 to 1984, the 27th Governor of New Mexico from 1987 to 1991, and was President and CEO of the Cimarron Health Plan from 1993 to 2003. Carruthers has a Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University. Always an engaging speaker with a great sense of humor, Carruthers will discuss many topics of interest to listeners.


City mandates curbside recycling charge

From the Las Cruces Sun-News - LAS CRUCES - You've had a brown one for years, but soon you'll have a blue one, too. That brown 96-gallon container is for trash. Soon it will have a blue-colored "brother" for curbside recycling. The City Council approved an across-the-board $2.59 monthly charge Monday for the approximately 29,000 city solid waste customers. The monthly charge for the new bi-weekly service will begin sometime early next year. But to mirror the fact that not all city solid waste customers are going to participate in curbside recycling, the council's decision to assess the $2.59 monthly charge was not unanimous. Councilor Dolores Connor was the lone dissenting vote on the seven-member council, and said she was representing the perceived minority of residents who do not, and will not, support the program. Read more

"Wilderness" Bill Support Appears to be Withering

Steve Pearce
News New Mexico website visitors and radio show listeners have long known U.S. House candidate Steve Pearce's position on the so-called  "wilderness bill" being carried by Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall. Pearce is dead set against the senate bill based on obvious border security concerns not to mention the negative impact the proposed law would have on range management and flood control in Dona Ana County. However, citizen voters in this area have continued to wonder where U.S. House of Representative member Harry Teague would come down on the poorly named "Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act."
Harry Teague
Yesterday we got our answer. "Until we can be sure that there is not any hindrance to the Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies, we have to keep looking for ways to make that happen," Teague said in a radio interview Monday morning. After the interview the Las Cruces Sun News reported that a Teague spokesperson elaborated. Jessica Borchert said that congressman (Teague) is, "Cautious to endorse legislation until we know more about how the drug war could impact our national security and it can be conclusively established that the bill will not hinder Border Patrol and local law enforcement efforts to restrict criminal activity, protect against the drug violence. ... and secure our border."
Jeff Steinborn
Dr. Terry McMillan
It would seem that Congressman Teague has positioned himself in complete disagreement with Jeff Steinborn who claimed in an interview on News New Mexico just last Friday, that the proposal will "expand" law enforcement's ability to patrol in the southern part of the county. As director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Steinborn also claimed that the proposal is "popular" despite the fact News New Mexico has interviewed one expert after another that have offered a long list of reasons why the bill is poorly thought out, poorly written, and as a result, a very bad idea for Dona Ana County. Based on the comments made by Congressman Teague yesterday, as the details of the great damage to border security the bill will do are exposed, support for the bill is withering away. Representative Steinborn is opposed in November in District 37 by Dr. Terry McMillan. Dr. McMillan has already expressed his opposition to the senate bill. McMillan says his opposition is based on a wide range of concerns including border security, flood control, and range management that have been expressed by experts from a wide range of professions.