Drive-by shooter has bonded out of jail

From - An Albuquerque man accused of shooting another man in the mouth has bonded out of jail. David Saiz, 28, appeared before a judge Sunday, charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to a criminal complaint, Saiz was the gunman in a drive-by shooting October 20th at the intersection of Hardy and La Vega. The victim was shot in the mouth and has survived. Police say the shooting appears to be gang related. Saiz posted a $50 thousand cash or surety bond in the shooting case. Read more

Official: 18 people killed in Ciudad Juarez Saturday

From CNN International Edition -- Eighteen people were killed in separate shootings throughout Mexico's Ciudad Juarez on Saturday, marking it as one of the bloodiest days this year in the nation's most violent city, officials said Sunday. In one incident, a family of seven was slaughtered while they were outside their home in the southeastern part of the city, Chihuahua State Attorney General's Office spokesman Carlos Gonzalez said. "Among [the seven killed] were two brothers who we believe were targeted," Gonzalez said. Local newspaper El Diario de Juarez reported that five of the bodies were found inside a car and another two bodies were found lying in the street. In another gruesome incident, an unidentified dismembered body was found wrapped in a blanket inside a bag, Gonzalez said. "The most violent day we had here was earlier this year when 24 people were murdered," he said. "This is becoming too common." Figures provided by the Chihuahua Attorney General's office and corroborated by Gonzalez showed that 352 people were killed in the month of October, making it the bloodiest month in Juarez since Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched his war on organized crime four years ago. Read more

Schwarzenegger bans welfare cards at psychics

From the San Francisoco Chronicle - Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneger says welfare recipients can no longer use state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics and other businesses whose services have been deemed "inconsistent with the intent" of the program. The Los Angeles Times reports that Schwarzenegger sent a letter to county welfare directors Monday announcing that ATMS and point-of-sale card readers in such businesses will be removed from the network that accepts California's Electronic Benefits Transfer cards. Other businesses affected by the ban include bail bond establishments, bingo halls, cruise ships and tattoo parlors.Read more:

Richardson wants Obama to name Otero Mesa a national monument

From the New Mexico Independent - Governor Bill Richardson wants President Barack Obama to designate Otero Mesa a national monument to help protect the area.As governor I have fought hard to protect Otero Mesa, but if we are going to ensure the protection of this national treasure for future generations we need a permanent federal designation,” Richardson said of the southern New Mexico grassland area. Richardson sent a letter to the Obama administration in March in support of naming Otero Mesa a national monument. Read more

Educators seek budget solutions

From the Clovis News Journal - State budget concerns had eastern New Mexico educators huddled in Portales on Saturday to try and come up with a game plan to avoid job cuts and unpaid furloughs for teachers. Over 50 district superintendents and school board members — the Eastern New Mexico Educational Research Council — gathered at Portales High School to discuss the upcoming legislative session, beginning in January, and what the state may do to education funding. Superintendents reported hearing a 5 percent cut will be handed down, which doesn’t sound bad, but Texico Superintendent R.L. Richards said it’s much worse in reality. “We’ve already been cut 10 percent by the state but we’ve been propped up by federal money,” Richards explained. “And that federal money is going to stop, probably this year. So if we get cut 5 percent, it’s really 15 percent.” Richards said most district’s budgets are 88 percent salaries and benefits. “So when you cut that deep, it starts to mean people,” he said. Richards and Regional Education Center Director Patti Harrelson organized the meeting. Harrelson said she was glad that so many gave up their Saturday morning. Read more

"Blame" Wins

Americans love their sporting events. It is arguable that we love sports a bit too much. If only Americans competed as hard to be better at math and science as we root for our favorite players and teams. Thoroughbreds manage to touch me more deeply than other athletes for a number of reasons. I love them because they are innocent and they love the sheer joy of competition. I love them because they are uniquely brave creatures during competition. Many thoroughbreds are so courageous they will give their very lives for their sport. And unlike the vast majority of modern elite human athletes, racehorses are modest. They do not engage in shameless self-promotion.
LeBron James
The only body-graffiti and adornments thoroughbreds require are the identification numbers that are tattooed on the inside of their lips and the shoes nailed to their hooves. And the only “attention” that these thoroughbreds ever purposely call to themselves after their success on the battlefield is the attention they might need because they are injured. It would seem that God gave racehorses way too much class to show up their opponents after they have prevailed over them in competition. Equine athletes never demand a contract re-negotiation because it turned out they were far more capable of doing their job than their agents previously thought. There were a number of New Mexico connections associated with the efforts of the great thoroughbred mare Zenyatta and her efforts to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic yesterday. For starters, New Mexico-bred racing mare Peppers Pride and Zenyatta had both won 19 consecutive races.
Peppers Pride After Her 19th Consecutive Win
Though Zenyatta had been racing the best horses on the planet and Peppers Pride raced only in New Mexico, both were tied for the most consecutive wins in North American racing history. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, the rider of Zenyatta, hails from Roswell, New Mexico. The story of Zenyatta transcends athletics. It offers citizens a microcosm of human behavior and entrenched power structures. Five years ago Zenyatta went through the sales ring in Kentucky with a pesky rash that marred her appearance. The result was she was ignored by racing experts and was sold for a bargain price to her owners Jerry and Ann Moss. By 2008 Zenyatta had been carefully developed by a patient trainer, John Shirreffs, into an outstanding athlete. She was named the best racing mare in North America at year end even as she made plans for the 2009 season. In 2009 wine mogul Jess Jackson shelled out many millions of dollars for an already proven three year old filly named Rachel Alexandra after a 20 length win in the Kentucky Oaks race.
Though the filly was brilliant, it was Jackson who saw to it the filly skipped the Breeder’s Cup Classic. This manuever left things up to Zenyatta to face the best male horses on the planet. Last November Zenyatta did just that and she beat them all. However, at year end a huge block of east coast-based (mainly New York turf writers) gave their “Horse of the Year” votes, not to the still undefeated Breeders Cup Classic champion Zenyatta, but to Jackson’s high-priced filly, even after she skipped the biggest race of the year.
Yesterday Zenyatta returned in the same race. Again she was the only female in the Breeders Cup Classic and this time she was the oldest horse in the race. Zenyatta remained unbeaten going into the race having won five more times in 2010. Her career record was 19-0. In the end yesterday, after weaving her way through traffic, Zenyatta came up a few inches short. When the photo flashed at the finish line, Zenyatta had passed a wall of great horses, but one of her male competitors, another fine racehorse aptly named “Blame” was a head in front. Of course Zenyatta went by Blame a couple of steps after the wire, but it was not at the point on the track where the finish line had been drawn. Surely she must have thought she won the little game she enjoys so much. But all of us more intelligent humans knew she had just missed. Immediately, the New York based turf writers in the television media anointed Blame as “Horse of the Year” by virtue of his winning of the “big race.”
With all that can go wrong in our human-dominated world, a place where money from Wall Street banking firms in New York tends to corrupt the rules we are all compelled to live by, it is hard to explain why the existence of a spectacular racehorse could move millions for more than a moment.
Perhaps it is my own silly sentiment that is to “blame” for my adoration of Zenyatta. Still, I am reminded with nearly every passing day, that alarming news comes from places like Afghanistan and Yemen thanks to groups conspiring in schemes that might cause more Americans to pay the ultimate price for opposing the murderous intent of radical Islam. In the magnificence of Zenyatta I am reminded that people of nearly all religious faiths including Islam are particularly fond of thoroughbreds. It would seem that no athletic endeavor we know of seems better suited than thoroughbred racing competitions, to bring together people who seemingly have so little else in common. Maybe it is in this sense that the particularly noteworthy efforts of Zenyatta represent such a unique phenomenon. Only such a rare event could bring such a sense of mutual joy and excitement to people all over the world, even those considered to be bitter enemies.
In the end the accomplishments of Zenyatta will pass into the folklore of racing legend and each of us will go back about our daily business. In the weeks ahead, east coast turf writers will cast their votes for “Blame,” the New York Yankees will survey the talent landscape and use inflated New York bailout dollars to bid on the best free agents in baseball. The U.S. House and Senate, flush with fresh campaign contributions for the next cycle will contemplate what if any additional stimulus Wall Street investment houses and commercial banks might need to "save the country." In the meantime Zenyatta will head off to Kentucky where Peppers Pride already lives. She will enter the glorious world of motherhood while the rest of us go about our lives. The power in the racing business is a microcosm of life and perhaps we are all to “blame.”


Top Democrats in Denial

Barney Frank
From - by Jonah Goldberg - In 2007, when police busted Rep. Barney Frank's partner for illegally growing pot, Frank waved away the controversy by saying he hadn't noticed since he's "not a great outdoorsman" and has trouble recognizing any plants. Twenty years earlier, Frank endured another controversy when his one-time partner, personal aide and roommate was revealed to be running a prostitution service out of Frank's home. The Massachusetts congressmen insisted he hadn't noticed anything amiss until informed by his landlord.
And when Frank helped fuel a housing bubble that nearly crippled the economy for a generation, he again failed to notice anything was awry until it was obvious for all to see. While lesser men, perhaps those not dubbed the "brainiest" man on Capitol Hill by congressional staffers, might worry about accountability, Frank considers it an affront, given his personal and professional record. In short, Frank has a very solid record of obliviousness, denial and entitlement. Watch his remarks from election night on YouTube, if you missed the spittle-flecked invective live. It's a rare specimen: an angry victory speech.
Jim Moran
He seems simply aggrieved that he was forced to take a race seriously. Indeed, he was aggrieved that Republicans refused to get off the mat. "The collective campaigns that were run by most Republicans were beneath the dignity of a democracy," he huffed, as if he's a particularly respected arbiter of democratic dignity. Frank was hardly alone in the sore-winner caucus. Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia refused to accept a congratulatory concession call from his opponent. Why? One reason might be that Moran, like Frank, believed it was beneath him to have to compete for his seat in the people's House. Or perhaps it was simply because his opponent, Patrick Murray, wasn't worthy in Moran's eyes. After all, Moran had complained that Murray was a "stealth candidate" who hadn't "served or performed in any kind of public service." Apparently rising to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army and serving in Iraq didn't count as public service. To his credit, President Obama eschewed the nasty arrogance of Frank and Moran. But his denial runs just as deep. Read here:


Former N.Y. Fed President "Uncomfortable"

From Bloomberg - E. Gerald Corrigan, former Federal Reserve Bank of New York president, said he’s concerned that the central bank’s effort to boost inflation by expanding stimulus risks causing price increases out of the Fed’s control. “Even in the face of substantial margins of underutilization of human and capital resources, efforts to achieve an upward nudge in today’s very low inflation rate make me somewhat uncomfortable,” Corrigan, chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s bank subsidiary, said in prepared remarks at a Fed conference on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Corrigan was scheduled to deliver the comments on a panel discussion today alongside Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan. Corrigan, 69, was a policy maker under former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who raised interest rates as high as 20 percent to beat inflation, pushing the economy into the 1981-82 recession. Read here:

Learning Economics by Trial and Error

Austin Hill
From by Austin Hill - We could call it President Obama’s “mission accomplished” moment. After less than two years in office, Barack Obama has successfully forced his way into the position of “de facto CEO” over huge chunks of the economy. Car companies, lending institutions, insurance companies and healthcare providers – he has spoken, and they are reacting. Yet after having achieved his goal, the President seems unhappy. And the American people are most certainly unhappy with him. Why? Read here: 


Progressive: Republican Win Bad for the "World"

From - The Republican electoral victory bodes ill for the world. It will further diminish the chances of anything constructive happening in the international arena. The Senate is the chamber that has more control over foreign policy, famously through its power of “advise and consent.” This is manifested through Senate approval of treaties and appointments. With the truncated Democratic majority, whatever little momentum that existed for arms control or global warming agreements has been further decreased. The new nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia faces uncertain prospects. If the Obama Administration feels inclined to arrive at a binding agreement to limit planetary greenhouse gas emissions, the chances of the Senate ratifying it are close to zero. And other multilateral compacts the Obama Administration was diffidently inching toward, such as the International Criminal Court, are now doomed. Read here:


Progressive Calls for Olbermann's Return

The bosses over at MSNBC have blundered badly by suspending Keith Olbermann indefinitely, without pay, for contributing to Democratic candidates. And they’ve done so because they worship the false idol of “objective” journalism.
Keith Olbermann
There is no such thing as “objective” journalism. Every journalist carries along his or her own set of beliefs, biases, likes and dislikes. It’s actually unhealthy for society when journalists and their bosses pretend otherwise or try to mask these preferences. And it’s grossly unfair to the journalists to strip them of their citizenship rights. Some journalists, like Jim Lehrer, are so concerned about having their “objectivity” called into question that they don’t even vote! Read here: