Rethinking Open Range Laws

From the New York Times - By MARC LACEY - They have startled the residents of Ahwatukee, a bedroom community in southern Phoenix. They have tramped on lawns and damaged vehicles in Rio Rancho, a neighborhood of tract homes outside Albuquerque. A Border Patrol agent lost his life crashing into one of them near the Mexican border in Texas. Free-range cattle roam widely across the West, protected by centuries-old laws that give them the right of way while grazing and force landowners to fence them out. But as urban sprawl has extended into what used to be seemingly endless pasture land, cow-friendly open range laws are under fresh scrutiny, criticized as anachronistic throwbacks to the Wild West days before Interstate highways and tract homes. “People have been killed in collisions with large cows,” said Daniel Patterson, an Arizona state representative from Tucson who is pushing to scale back the rights given cows and their owners in his state. “We need to get rid of this antiquated law from the 19th century. It’s important for ranchers and other livestock owners to keep their cattle where they belong.” Read more

The Washington Post’s Moral Collapse

From Human - by Robert Spencer - Several years ago, in a key defeat for free speech, newspapers cowered before Muslim rage and refused to run cartoons of Muhammad. Now at the Washington Post they’re going one better, and refusing to run cartoons that don’t depict Muhammad—again, believe it or not, for fear of enraging Muslims. And once again, one of the nation’s most influential mainstream media outlets fails to see the free-speech implications of their cowardice and enabling of Islamic supremacism.Last Sunday’s “Non Sequitur,” a single-panel comic strip that runs in around 800 newspapers, did not appear in the venerable WaPo: editors decided that the panel, which depicted a scene of busy activity with the caption “Where’s Muhammad?,” might, in the words of Post ombudsman, “offend and provoke some Post readers, especially Muslims.” This despite the fact that Muhammad isn’t actually depicted in the strip at all.“Non Sequitur” artist Wiley Miller was apparently not informed of the Post’s decision to drop his drawing: “I have absolutely no information on why any of the editors chose not to run it,” he said. But he did note the irony: he said that he intended his cartoon to poke fun at “the insanity of an entire group of people rioting and putting out a hit list over cartoons,” and at the “media cowering in fear of printing any cartoon that contains the word ‘Muhammad.’” Read more

Cost concerns weakened Forest Service's assault on Station fire, study says

From the Los Angeles Times - A desire to control costs slowed the arrival of "critical resources" in the attack on last year's disastrous Station fire as the U.S. Forest Service delayed ordering reinforcements from other agencies that had crews and equipment at the ready, according to an internal federal review.The finding contradicts statements made for more than a year by Forest Service officials, who have insisted repeatedly that cost concerns never impeded the Station battle. It is likely to sharpen questions about the firefighting decisionmaking as a local congressional panel prepares to examine the Forest Service's actions.The review by the Agriculture Department, which runs the Forest Service, echoes a Times report last fall that a Forest Service directive to reduce spending might have dissuaded fire managers from using more state and local strike teams and aircraft on the fateful second day of the blaze. Read more

Marriage Shows the Way Out of Poverty

From the Heritage Foundation - By Jennifer Marshall - (photo for this blog posting by Michael Swickard June 14, 2005)

For years, the slogan "Stay in School" has communicated an anti-poverty message to young people. Now it's time for an even more important poverty-fighting theme: "Get Married." Every student knows that dropping out of high school will hurt her chances of succeeding in life. Major media, public education campaigns and government programs have told her so. But does she know that having a baby outside marriage will put her and her child at serious risk of living in poverty? Last year, poverty in America grew more than ever before in the 51 years that the U.S. government has tracked the poor, the Census Bureau reported Sept. 16. The total climbed by 3 million to 44 million — or one in seven Americans. The search is on for solutions. Regrettably, too little of the conversation is turning to the principal cause of child poverty: the collapse of marriage. Waiting until marriage to have children is the second of three "golden rules" for avoiding poverty that researchers identified over the years: (1) graduate from high school; (2) marry before having children; and (3) get a job. Actually, being married is even more significant than graduating from high school for avoiding poverty. Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, shows this in a new paper, "Marriage: America's No. 1 Weapon Against Child Poverty." Read more

U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation

From the Brookings - Cooperation between the United States and China on clean energy has continued to move forward despite other tensions in the relationship. Seven programs on clean energy that were announced by Presidents Obama and Hu during their 2009 Beijing summit have resulted in significant opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in many aspects of clean energy, including research, technology, manufacturing, regulatory policy and low carbon-development strategies. There are also serious concerns, including American worries that China’s growing industrial base for wind and solar power equipment threatens the United States’ own potential to create new high-tech manufacturing jobs in these sectors, that China may make dangerous compromises on environmental and safety concerns as it ramps up its nuclear program, and that Beijing is doing too little to address carbon emissions coming from its massive increase in coal utilization. China in return worries that the U.S. will use environmental issues as a pretext to constrain China’s economic growth. Read more

Lobo Basketball Picked Third in Mountain West

 The Mountain West Conference released its men's basketball preseason media poll and all-Conference team today at the league's media day being held at The Mtn.-MountainWest Sports Network studios in Denver, Colo.
Conference media selected defending MWC Tournament champion San Diego State as the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference men's basketball regular-season title in 2010-11. The Aztecs captured 21 of 30 first-place votes and 261 points for the top spot in the poll. BYU collected five first-place votes and 220 points to finish second, followed closely by New Mexico, who garnered three first-place votes and 214 points for third place. UNLV claimed the remaining first-place vote and 203 points to land in fourth. Colorado State received 132 points to finish fifth, followed by Utah (105 points) in sixth, TCU (92 points) in seventh, Wyoming (88 points) in eighth and Air Force (35 points) in ninth to round out the poll.  Read more here.

Rk. School (First-Place Votes) Pts.
1. San Diego State (21) 261
2. BYU (5) 220
3. New Mexico (3) 214
4. UNLV (1) 203
5. Colorado State 132
6. Utah 105
7. TCU 92
8. Wyoming 88
9. Air Force 35


Beyond 2010: Will Dems turn to reformers like Balderas?

Heath Haussamen
From - Many Democrats I’ve been talking with lately are discouraged. They think Diane Denish is going to lose the governor’s race. They’re worried that the 2nd Congressional District seat may slip out of Harry Teague’s hands. They see polls that have the state’s other congressional races pretty close. Some of them are discouraged because they think Mary Herrera is going to lose the secretary of state’s race. Others are discouraged because they want Herrera to lose but worry she’s going to drag down the rest of the ticket. In short, many Democrats I’ve been talking with expect Nov. 2 to be a bloodbath for their party. Read more here:


Treasury Revival of Nuclear Industry Getting Botched

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant
From Bloomberg - A U.S. loan-guarantee program is testing how much risk the Obama administration is willing to take to revive the nuclear-power industry. Constellation Energy Group Inc. said last week it was pulling out of talks on a $7.5 billion loan guarantee to build a reactor at its Calvert Cliffs facility in Maryland. The estimated $880 million the company would have to pay the Treasury Department was “shockingly high,” Chief Operating Officer Michael Wallace said in an Oct. 8 letter to the Energy Department. The administration offered terms no better than Constellation could get from private investors, said Christine Tezak, a senior energy and environment analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co., a Milwaukee-based brokerage. Read more here:


Obama: Anti-Business Rhetoric at a Fever Pitch

From Bloomberg - President Barack Obama is returning to the rhetorical roots of Democratic politics in the final weeks of this election: setting up a battle of the classes. Presenting Democrats as the party that will fight for the “middle class,” and Republicans as the party that will look out for “millionaires and billionaires,” Obama in campaign speeches and at fundraisers has sought to make his point using a populist lexicon that aligns Republicans with big businesses as the forces behind the worst recession since the Great Depression. His cast of villains makes repeated appearances, including in Obama’s remarks at an Oct. 10 rally in Philadelphia: “special interests,” “Wall Street banks,” “corporations,” the “oil industry,” the “insurance industry” and “credit- card companies.” Read more here:

Salazar Lifts Drilling Ban - Sort Of

NewsNM note- New uncertainty over fresh regulations will leave environmentalist attorneys with more ability than ever to use U.S. Court system to block drilling permitting processes. - From Bloomberg U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar lifted the Obama administration’s ban on deep-water drilling, citing new safeguards intended to prevent a repeat of BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deep-water drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set,” Salazar said today on a conference call with reporters. Drilling contractors rose in New York trading. Read more here:


Japan Set to Pass China as Obama's Chief Financier

From Bloomberg - Japan is poised to pass China as the largest U.S. creditor for the first time since August 2008 as growing demand for U.S. government debt reduces borrowing costs for President Barack Obama as the deficit swells. Japan added $55.3 billion of Treasuries this year, swelling its holdings 7.2 percent to $821 billion, Treasury data show. China, which overtook Japan in September 2008, cut its stake by $48.1 billion, or 5.4 percent, to $846.7 billion. Japan made its biggest purchase in 10 months in July, just after China cut its position by the most on record. Read more here:


Williams: Why Pelosi Will NOT Be Speaker in 2011

Armstrong Williams
From - There's an interesting storyline playing out in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol this week. Yes, Congress is in its fall recess, members having returned home for the last stretch of campaigning before that first Tuesday in November. But all is not so quiet on the Eastern front; the Washington punditocracy is still flourishing, reading the tea leaves to discover the fate of every House and Senate incumbent. Read more here:


Dr. McMillan to Appear on NewsNM

Dr. Terry McMillan
In the 7:30am segment Today we will visit with Dr. Terry McMillan. We will ask Dr. McMillan about his dreams for our state and what he thinks are the most critical challenges ahead. Visit his website here:


Feingold Versus Johnson

News New Mexico note - It is probably a very good thing for Senator Jeff Bingaman that he is not up for re-election in 2010.
Jeff Bingaman
From by Thomas Sowell - One of a surprising number of old, well-established politicians being challenged in this year's election by some unknown newcomer is Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. In a recent debate between Senator Feingold and his new challenger, businessman Ron Johnson, the difference between the old pol and new guy on the block stood out. Feingold was clearly smoother and more glib-- and his arguments may have sounded more plausible to those unfamiliar with the facts. But what Ron Johnson said would have resonated better with those who did know the facts. How many people are in which category may determine the outcome of this election. Read more here:


Richardson Casts a Pall on Denish

Bill Richardson
From Capitol Report New Mexico - The Friday, Oct. 8 edition of the New York Times has a story about Bill Richardson’s plummeting popularity and how it’s affecting the race between Diane Denish and Susana Martinez: "But voters have grown so weary of Mr. Richardson that the Martinez campaign has opted to link the two, referring to “Richardson-Denish” as if it were a candidate itself and even challenging Mr. Richardson, who is prevented from seeking a third term, to debate the issues with her."
For New Mexicans, the article reports what political followers in the state already know: That Denish is distancing herself as far away from Richardson as possible and Martinez constantly reminds voters of Denish’s eight-year tenure as Lt. Governor under him. Read more here:

Smearing of Chamber Business as Usual

From by David Limbaugh - The most noteworthy aspect of President Barack Obama's slander of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for allegedly "stealing our democracy" by laundering foreign corporate donations is that such disgraceful behavior is par for the course for this self-described post-partisan president. It is a mistake to believe that he was making a mistake. The baseless charge was calculated and part of the Alinskyite strategy he and his thuggish team have used in virtually every political battle. That's all they know. They pick, isolate and demonize targets instead of debating the merits of their policy agenda items. We saw this approach on cap and trade, the stimulus bill, Obamacare and the financial reform bill, and now they're using it for the upcoming elections. Read more here:

Feds delay Ariz. release of wolves

From the Durango Herald - ALBUQUERQUE - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is delaying the release of Mexican gray wolves in the Apache National Forest of Arizona until sometime next year. The federal agency and the Arizona Game and Fish Department had expected to release eight wolves in the next few weeks under a program that began reintroducing the animals into the wild along the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1998. But when it became clear there wasn't unanimous agreement on the release site, "we stepped back to re-evaluate where we were, what we knew, what had been accomplished, what hadn't been accomplished," Tom Buckley, a spokesman for the agency in Albuquerque, said Friday. "It just wasn't the right time for a successful release."Fish and Wildlife Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle decided this week to postpone the release, Buckley said. The agency has not set a new date except to say it will be in 2011. Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity called the delay a major setback. Biologists had predicted a self-sustaining wild population of 100 wolves by now, but the latest count early this year found 42 between the two states, down from 52 the year before. There's "a clear call by scientists to get more wolves out there and more genetically valuable wolves out there," Robinson said. At least three uncollared wolves have been reported in the area in the rugged area of southern Greenlee County, Ariz., where the new wolves would be released, said Arizona Game and Fish endangered species coordinator Terry Johnson. In addition, he said, ranchers worry about more wolves killing their cattle. Read more