Aggie Hoops Blown Out By Arizona In Second Half, Fall 83-57 Report
The Aggie men's basketball team trailed by nine at halftime and was blown out in the final 10 minutes the second half falling 83-57 in Tucson on Thursday night. The highly anticipated battle between Aggie forward Troy Gillenwater and Arizona forward Derrick Williams did not disappoint as Troy Gillenwater scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds while Derrick Williams finished with 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

The Aggies grabbed an early 9-7 lead after a three pointer by Gordo Castillo who scored all five of his points in the first six and a half minutes. The first media timeout came at the 13:25 mark and Arizona head coach subbed out his entire starting lineup and the newcomers sparked the Wildcats to a 12-0 run giving Arizona a 21-9 lead. The Aggies would fall behind by 14 points after a jumper by Arizona's Jesse Perry gave the Wildcats a 28-14 lead with 4:54 left in the half.

The Aggies would go on a 10-2 run to trim the deficit to just six points but a fast break layup by Derrick Williams followed by a Williams free throw gave the Wildcats a nine point lead with 1:56 left. The two teams would trade jumpers in the final 90 seconds as the Aggies would head to the locker room down 35-26 at the half.

Coming out the the break the Wildcats would outscore the Aggies 6-1 to take a 41-27 lead just 2:12 in the half. The Aggies would answer with a 6-0 run to cut the Wildcats' lead to eight points with 15:38 left to play. The Aggies would trail by seven points with 13:24 left to play but over the next five minutes the Wildcats would build their lead out to 15 points. Troy Gillenwater would get a layup with 6:53 left to play to cut the Aggies' deficit to 13 points at 61-48 but the Aggies would get no closer as the Wildcats would go on to win by 26 points.

The Aggies fall to 2-1 on the season and travel to Springfield, Mass for the Hall of Fame Tipoff. Click here to read more.

Rio Grande Foundation: Tough Cuts Needed to Close New Mexico’s $450 Million Deficit

From Capitol Report New Mexico - by Paul Gessing - There is no doubt that Governor-elect Susana Martinez faces a difficult task. Not only does she have to put together an Administration to operate (and hopefully improve) New Mexico’s sprawling government, she now faces a $450 million deficit that must be dealt with in the next legislative session. Making the situation even more difficult is the fact that Martinez, during the campaign, seemingly removed 60 percent of New Mexico’s budget from belt-tightening. Of course, that was based on “only” a $260 billion deficit and, given the recent budget news, it might be possible for Martinez to find some cost savings in K-12 without making them obvious “cuts.” Regardless of this, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have put together a list of potential spending cuts that works from the assumption that K-12 and Medicaid are indeed “off the table.” We also assume that simply “cutting administration” and “reducing waste” will not get the job done. The fact is that tough decisions need to be made. These are tough decisions that have been put off for years by a combination of irresponsible leadership and so-called “stimulus” money which has dumped the tough decisions onto the new Governor. The following policy moves are by no means the only ones that can be made, but they should be seen as a serious starting point for the incoming Martinez Administration.

- Taxpayers could save $60 million annually by repealing legislation that expanded the impact of New Mexico’s law relating to the Prevailing Wage Rate on Public Works Projects. This prevailing wage law should be repealed and work should be done at market rates.

- New Mexico spends approximately $50,000 annually on salary and benefits for each government employee. With 22,000 state employees (not including higher education), New Mexico could save $20 million simply by reducing the work force by 4,000, less than two percent of the state’s total work force.

- Considering that New Mexico’s government work force is 51 percent larger than the average state’s, a cut of this size is tiny. Such reductions would not require significant layoffs as they could be largely achieved through worker turnover.

- New Mexico taxpayers could save at least $20 million annually by shutting down the Rail Runner and its “feeder” bus routes and re-directing the state subsidies for that system elsewhere.

- $19.5 million could be saved by diverting most non-violent drug offenders out of prisons and diverting from prison probationers and parolees who are revoked for technical violations of their supervision.

- New Mexico could save $30 million annually – and gain better control of its budget – by capping the state’s 25% film subsidy at $30 million annually (the program cost $60 million last year).

- If the number of branch campuses found throughout the state were cut in half, with an emphasis placed on preserving the most important and cost-effective branches, taxpayers could save an estimated $35 million annually. This does not include one-time gains from selling buildings and reducing other infrastructure needs. According to the Legislative Finance Committee, New Mexico raised about $1,827 per student Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) in net tuition in FY09, the second-lowest amount nationally. The national average was $4,100. With approximately 84,000 FTE students at New Mexico institutes of higher learning, the state could take in $190 million annually just by raising tuition levels to the national average. We recommend gradually increasing tuition to the national average with a goal of $100 million in additional revenue during the coming fiscal year.

The fact is that New Mexico faces tough budget times now and into the future. Tax hikes have failed to solve the problem. Instead, it is time for bold and effective action to change the way New Mexico’s government operates.


West Side Albuquerque interchange renamed after Richardson

From - By: Magdalena Sharpe, - The Coors/Interstate 40 interchange has officially been named after Governor Bill Richardson. The Department of Transportation approved the naming Thursday. The $91 million interchange was funded through GRIP, Governor Richardon's Investment Partnership, in 2003. A spokesperson for the department of transportation says it's too early to know how much the naming will cost. It's not too soon, however, for some people to have formed their own opinions. "I think it's a little far fetched. If you are going to name it, name it after a soldier or somebody who has done something for the city. Bill Richardson, I think enough has been done for him," said local resident Anthony Montoya. On the other side of the issue, Linda Saunders, another area resident, agrees with the name. "I think it's a pretty good name. Governor Richardson had done a lot for the State of New Mexico. He's brought a lot of jobs I think it's pretty good," Saunders said. Read more

Already rare driving privileges for people without legal status in the United States may soon disappear

From the New Mexico Independent - By Elise Foley - New Mexico, Washington and Utah are currently the only states that allow undocumented immigrants to drive. But in all three states, immigrants face threats to their right to drive as agencies step up residency proof requirements or politicians argue for eliminating illegal immigrants’ driving privileges altogether. Backlash against driving rights for illegal immigrants is nothing new: After 9/11, a few groups lobbied hard at the state level to change laws that allowed undocumented immigrants to receive licenses, claiming they could be used by terrorists to assume false identities. Anti-terrorist fervor has since died down, but the push to clamp down on illegal immigration has not, and measures to take away driving rights for the undocumented have broad support. In New Mexico, for instance, Governor-elect Susana Martinez, a tough-on-immigration Republican, said last week that she has the public’s backing to change laws that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. “Around 80 percent of people in New Mexico don’t want the people who are here illegally to have a driver’s license,” Martinez said on Univision Nov. 7. “They want to ensure that those who get licenses are from the United States.” Advocates of licenses for illegal immigrants say they put more money in states’ coffers through vehicle registration and licensing fees. They also increase the number of licensed drivers, who must undergo tests and are required to buy insurance. This increases overall public safety, according to proponents, because licensed drivers are, overall, less likely to be involved in serious car crashes. One-fifth of fatal car crashes involve at least one unlicensed driver, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Read more

Domenici-led group pushes new national sales tax

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - A bipartisan group co-led by former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici released its recommendations for dealing with the nation’s debt and deficit on Wednesday. Among its proposals is the implementation of a 6.5 percent national sales tax. You can find details about the “Restoring America’s Future” plan from the Bipartisan Policy Center here. In short, the plan would slash the debt by $6 trillion, but it would do so through some controversial means – the most controversial being the sales tax that’s already being attacked as regressive. The proposal includes many measures, including suspending some payroll taxes for a year, freezing discretionary domestic spending for four years, and freezing discretionary defense spending for five years. In September, Domenici warned in Las Cruces that the proposal would include tax increases and cuts. “We’re not going to ask everybody to love us,” Domenici said at the Domenici Public Policy Conference. “We’re hoping and praying that the public won’t hate us.” Read more

Bingaman Wants to Pass a Renewable Energy Standard

From the New York Times - Key Senate Democrats continue to hope they can pass a renewable electricity standard and other smaller energy bills this year despite the dwindling time and interest in the lame-duck session. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and other lawmakers have been talking with one another and leadership this week on how to move several pieces of energy legislation in the remaining time and with a schedule crowded with expiring income tax cuts, appropriations and a Russian nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) inflicted a severe blow for action on an RES or other energy issues when he decided this week not to proceed on a procedural vote for a natural gas and electric vehicle incentives measure yesterday, the only obviously germane bill on energy issues scheduled for floor time in the lame-duck session (E&E Daily, Nov. 17). But Dorgan said yesterday that Reid's decision was not "the last chance" for energy this year. Read more

Forget the 2nd Amendment and Concentrate on our Constitution

Michael and Conrad
By Michael Swickard - Our Constitution’s Second Amendment does not mention guns. It speaks to “arms,” but the word “militia” makes it impossible to understand today. So, let’s forgot it entirely. Instead, we should focus on something constitutionally far more important. Our country has spent too much time on the concept of a right to bear arms and too little on our right to defend ourselves from attack. Our right of individual defense seems the core argument in our Constitution. To understand, we must mingle two concepts. The first concept is one of property. Are we our own property? Said another way, do I own myself? Do I own my brain and my muscles, the product of my thinking and my labor? Do I own myself entirely? Or, can someone else own me? Read here:

U.S. Economy Figures Improving

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose for a fourth consecutive month, manufacturing surged in the Philadelphia area and jobless claims climbed less than forecast, signaling the world’s largest economy is accelerating. “The soft patch is behind us,” said Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York. “We have a little more momentum. Employers are getting a bit more optimistic about the outlook and don’t need to cut costs like before.” Read here:

What's Next? Burn the Books?

Jay Rockefeller
From Fox News - A powerful Democratic senator, pointing the finger at cable news for a politically toxic climate in Washington, unleashed a stunning tirade in which he expressed his desire to see the Federal Communications Commission shut down Fox News and MSNBC. "I'm tired of the right and the left," West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Wednesday during a Senate hearing on retransmission consent. "There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, Out, Off, End, Goodbye. It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future," said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Read here:


Progressive Magazine Loves QE2

From - We’re going to get a nasty serving of Republican policies in the next couple of years. And they’re already sending around a sampling. Republicans in Congress are proposing to amend the charter of the Federal Reserve Board not to make it more responsive to the people or less beholden to the banks. No, Republicans in Congress want to strip the Fed of any responsibility for promoting full employment. Since 1977, the Fed has had a dual mandate: curb inflation and boost jobs. But Republicans don’t care about boosting jobs. They don’t want Obama to do so by another stimulus package. And they don’t want the Fed to do so by either keeping interest rates low or by pouring money into the system, as it’s doing now. Read here:

New Mexico: Amber waves of hemp?

From Capitol Report New Mexico - by Rob Nikolewski - Let’s talk hemp. But first, let’s dispense with all the Cheech and Chong jokes and I promise this post will not include any lame puns about pot or weed or getting the munchies, etc. Let’s get the facts out first: Hemp is not the same thing as marijuana. It is a fiber that is produced by the cannibas family of plants. You cannot smoke hemp. (Well, you could but it would not get you high, just sick.) The hemp fiber is used to make things like rope, clothing, textiles, lotions and even construction materials such as strengtheners for concrete. Some energy bars include hemp seeds because the seeds are rich in Omega 3s, 6s and 9s.In countries like Canada, the Ukriane and France, farmers and ranchers grow industrial hemp as a cash crop because
A) it’s easy to grow
B) it doesn’t cost much to maintain or water, and
C) it’s profitable.
For example, in 2008 Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps sold $29 million in hemp-related products. Okay, but what does this have to do with New Mexico? Well, state Sen. Cisco McSorley (D-Albuquerque) would like to see the state pass a bill allowing the production of industrial hemp. He thinks it could help farmers and ranchers, who are struggling in the current economy. After all, New Mexico has plenty of land and its climate may be conducive to the growing of hemp because the fiber does not need much water. Read more

Former New Mexico Inmate Goes Shopping Using Jail's Checking Account

From AOL News - (Nov. 18) -- Some people get out of jail free. Others get out of jail and rack up thousands of dollars of charges on the detention center's dime. That's what investigators say happened in New Mexico, where a recently released inmate used a check issued to him by the jail to make dozens of fraudulent purchases. Like all inmates incarcerated at Albuquerque's Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, Thomas Stegall was given upon release a check equivalent to the amount of cash he was carrying when he got locked up. But authorities say Stegall copied the check and used the jail's bank account number and routing number to make more than $5,000 of fraudulent purchases, mostly at a Lowe's home improvement store, according to Stegall -- who had just been released after serving time on car theft charges -- allegedly sold the newly purchased goods for drugs. Ronald Torres, chief of corrections at the Metropolitan Detention Center, told that from a security standpoint, it's safer for the jail to issue checks than deal with cash. "From a system standpoint, the less cash-handling, the better," he said. Stegall had already been taken into custody for parole violation when he was hit with 42 charges of fraud.

NM unemployment benefits drain state's coffers

From - According to current trends, the New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions could run out of money for unemployment benefits by next August. On Wednesday, officials for the Department presented several options to the legislative finance committee at the Roundhouse. One idea is to cut down on unemployment payments for full time New Mexico students. Another benefit which could be scaled back is payments made to dependents. The state gives out $25 each for up to four dependents weekly if the main provider, a parent for example, loses their job. By December, the state will be paying out over a million dollars a day in unemployment benefits. “The state alone has had a 500 percent increase in unemployment claims since June of 2008, so we are paying and serving close to 50,000 people currently on unemployment,” said Carrie Moritomo with the department. Officials stressed that payments would not stop for people receiving unemployment benefits; any decrease to benefits would only affect those claiming future unemployment. The state could have to take out a loan from the federal government to keep paying benefits. If that happens, raising taxes on employers would almost be unavoidable say officials. Read more

Palin Envy

Sarah Palin
From - Embarrassingly for CNN host and liberal commentator Kathleen Parker, not only does she suffer from a severe case of SPDS (Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome), but -- like a smitten tween trying to emulate her favorite actress in the Twilight series -- obvious envy and jealousy have prompted her to try and steal Palin's look based on the leather jackets Parker has been sporting of late on the air. Ironic behavior to say the least when you consider that just last week, Parker loudly, proudly, and with a finger wagging, proclaimed on CNN that "I led..." the media assassination of Sarah Palin. That in response to filmmaker John Ziegler's accurate observation that Parker was partially responsible for the character assassination of Palin. Clearly, "partially" was not nearly enough credit for Parker. She wanted --- and her various insecurities demanded -- that she be credited with throwing the first bucket of mud which slimed Palin. Strange. Read here:
From - There are now two Democratic House members exploring the possibility of forming coalitions with Republicans to unseat Speaker Ben Luján, and Luján has also reached out to Republicans in an attempt to shore up support. House Minority Leader Tom Taylor of Farmington said Saturday that Thomas Garcia of Ocate has talked with some Republican members about forming a coalition to become speaker. And Luján has called some Republicans to seek their support, Taylor said. I’ve already reported that Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces has been in touch with Republicans about possibly seeking their support to become speaker. House Republicans discussed the situation during their meeting on Saturday. Taylor said they made no decision about which Democrat, if any, they might support. Read here:


Malkin: Dude Where's My Obamacare Waiver?

Michelle Malkin
From - More than one million Americans have escaped the clutches of the Democrats' destructive federal health care law. Lucky them. Their employers and labor representatives wisely applied for Obamacare waivers earlier this fall and got out while the getting was good. Now, it's time for Congress to create a permanent escape hatch for the rest of us. Repeal is the ultimate waiver. As you'll recall, President Obama promised repeatedly that if Americans liked their health insurance plan, they could keep it. "Nobody is talking about taking that away from you," the cajoler-in-chief assured. What he failed to communicate to low-wage and part-time workers across the country is that they could keep their plans -- only if their companies begged hard enough for exemptions from Obamacare's private insurance-killing regulations. Read here:


Larry Elder: The "White" vote

Larry Elder
From - "White America does not like having a black president." Thus pronounced Michael Moore in an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher." And Maher agreed, "That is the truth." "The statistics don't lie," Moore plowed ahead. "I'm not talking about polls. I'm talking about that the young people in '08 was the only -- do you know this? -- it's the only demographic -- white demographic -- that Obama won, 18- to 29-year-olds. Every other demographic, over 29, Obama lost the white vote. Every single one." Crime solved. Case closed. Book 'em, Danno. Except for one minor detail: No Democratic presidential candidate has won the "white vote" since 1964. Read here:


Government Motors Goes Back to Well

News New Mexico Note - We recall the idea of allowing individuals to make private investments in their Social Security accounts being shot down as a terrible idea. The same naysayers were all for using taxpayer dollars to prop up GM.......curious. From Bloomberg -- General Motors Co., which went bankrupt last year after almost a century on the New York Stock Exchange, returns to public trading today following an initial public offering that raised more than $20 billion. GM’s owners, including the U.S. Treasury, sold $15.8 billion of common shares at $33 each yesterday in the second- largest U.S. IPO on record, according to a statement. The company’s offering of $4.35 billion of preferred shares and an overallotment option may boost the total to $23.1 billion, more than the $22.1 billion raised by Beijing-based Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. in the biggest IPO of common stock in history. Read here:

Egg on Face of Eric Holder

1998 Embassy Bombing in Tanzania
From Bloomberg - The Obama administration may want to seek other ways to prosecute Guantanamo Bay inmates following a New York jury conviction of an alleged al-Qaeda bomber on only one of 285 counts in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, a Tanzanian citizen and the first detainee to face civilian trial, was found guilty yesterday in Manhattan federal court of conspiracy and cleared of all other charges, including 224 counts of murder stemming from the bombing of the embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Twelve U.S. citizens were among the dead in the near-simultaneous terrorist attacks. Read here:

GOP Writes Letter of Concern to Fed Chairman

John Boehner
From Bloomberg - The four top Republicans in Congress wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke today expressing “deep concerns” over the central bank’s second- round of Treasury bond purchases. “While intended to improve the short-term growth of the U.S. economy and help maintain a stable price level, such a measure introduces significant uncertainty regarding the future strength of the dollar,” the letter said. The purchases could “result both in hard-to-control, long-term inflation and potentially generate artificial asset bubbles.” Read here:

Irish Look to E.U. for Bailout Funds

Patrick Hoohan
From Bloomberg - Irish central bank Governor Patrick Honohan said he expects the country to ask for a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund worth “tens of billions” of euros to rescue its battered banks. Ireland will probably pay an interest rate close to 5 percent, he said in an interview with Irish state broadcaster RTE today. A final decision hasn’t been reached, he said. A 5 percent rate would be similar to that offered to Greece when it requested a bailout in April. Read here:

Bernanke Briefs Senate Banking Committee on QE2

Ben Bernanke
From Bloomberg - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke met with Senate Banking Committee members on Capitol Hill today, in what two congressional aides said was a briefing on the Fed’s latest round of monetary stimulus. The meeting started around noon and 10 senators, including Republicans Richard Shelby of Alabama and Bob Corker of Tennessee, were seen entering the committee room. The session was held behind closed doors. Read here: