Dream Act Nightmare:2.1 Million Future Dem Voter Recruitment Drive

Michelle Malkin
From Michelle Malkin.com - Let’s be clear. The open-borders progressives’ “DREAM Act” is an electoral nightmare. It’s not just an illegal alien student bailout. It’s a 2.1 million future Democrat voter recruitment drive. The “path to citizenship” dangled by Obama is a superhighway to generations of big government-birthed, identity politics-nursed dependents. Misguided Republicans have supported illegal alien amnesties dating back to the Reagan era. And they have paid a steep, lasting price. As bankrupt, multiculti-wracked California goes, so goes the nation. The progs’ plan has always been to exploit the massive population of illegal aliens to redraw the political map and secure a permanent ruling majority. Illegal alien DREAM Act radicals have coopted civil rights language and tactics — they’re staging hunger strikes across the country now — to cast themselves as “victims” while they cut in front of the line. Where are all the Republicans who talked tough on border security to get themselves re-elected? More here


Dems to Force Through Judgeship for Huge Campaign Donor

From legalinsurrection.com - I have written several times before about the controversial nomination of John J. "Jack" McConnell, Jr. to an open federal court seat in Rhode Island. It appears that Democrats will use the lame duck session to force through McConnell's nomination, which has been stalled for most of this year. McConnell, who made a fortune in the tobacco litigation and led a failed effort against paint companies in Rhode Island, donated several hundred thousand dollars to Democratic lawmakers, including to McConnell's primary sponsor, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). As reported by The Providence Journal last March: During the 2008 campaigns, the McConnells gave almost $160,000 to elect Democrats, including $77,000 to national party organizations that helped to finance the campaigns of presidential, Senate and House candidates, according to the Washington-based CRP. The McConnells gave a total of $15,500 to the individual presidential campaigns of Mr. Obama; now Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; former Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. More here


Four in Ten Say Marriage is Obsolete

From time.com - WASHINGTON — Is marriage becoming obsolete? As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family. A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together. More here


NM Legislative Report Questions The Use of Endowment for Economic Development Incentives

From canadienbusiness.com - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Economic development investments by a state endowment fund have cost New Mexico $12 million a year that otherwise could have financed public schools and governmental services, according to a legislative report released Thursday. With New Mexico facing a budget squeeze, lawmakers seized on the report to question whether the $3.7 billion severance tax permanent fund should continue to make economically targeted investments, such as providing capital for startup companies in New Mexico or interest-free loans to film projects. "We need to make the decision, `Do we want to see this fund grow or live or do we want to have economic development?' I think to combine the two of them is probably not the most prudent thing to do at this juncture," said Sen. John Sapien, D-Corrales. According to the report by staff of the Legislative Finance Committee, economically targeted investments account for more than $400 million, or 11 percent, of the severance tax permanent fund. More here


NEA of New Mexico: ERB and SIC Burned by Madoff

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - New Mexico's main teachers union says a Texas investment firm's connections with Bernie Madoff led to $25 million in losses from state investments and a teachers pension fund. The National Education Association of New Mexico accuses Austin Capital Management and related companies not only of failing to exercise due diligence, but also of maintaining personal and business connections to the Ponzi scam artist. "A key purpose of due diligence — and therefore a critical reason to hire a firm like Austin Capital — is to detect and avoid fraud," the complaint says. Austin Capital has ceased operations in Austin, Texas. Geoffrey Ritts of the Jones Day firm of Cleveland, which represents Austin Capital's Ohio-based parent company, KeyCorp, declined comment on the allegations. Read here:

Murdock: Stop Slamming China

Deroy Murdock
From National Review - President Obama should lay off China. The only thing keeping U.S. capitalism afloat these days is Chinese Communism. During his recent Asian adventure, Obama discussed China with journalists in Seoul. He said, “It’s very important that it [China] act in a responsible fashion internationally.” Obama added that the question of China’s currency “is an irritant not just to the United States, but is an irritant to a lot of China’s trading partners and those who are competing with China to sell goods around the world.” To Chinese ears, this must sound like a temperance lecture delivered by a man holding a pitcher of martinis. Read here:

Linda Chavez: Travesty of Justice

Linda Chavez
Not since the infamous acquittal of O.J. Simpson has the American jury system so utterly failed as it did this week in acquitting on all but one charge former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, an al-Qaida terrorist responsible for the deaths of 224 people. A New York City jury managed to convict Ghailani on only one charge -- conspiracy to destroy U.S. government property -- in the attack on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. But the failure is not just that of one criminal jury but of the Obama administration, which decided to try enemy combatants in American criminal courts. Instead of admitting their serious error in judgment, administration officials said they were "pleased" with the outcome because Ghailani would serve a minimum of 20 years in prison for his crimes. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, a Clinton-appointed federal judge who presided over the case, was even more reprehensible in his remarks after the trial. Kaplan complimented the jury on its verdict, suggesting that "American justice can be rendered calmly, deliberately and fairly by ordinary people, people who are not beholden to any government, not even ours." Read here:


Why Sarah Palin Should NOT Run

Mona Charen
From Townhall.com - By telling Barbara Walters that she thinks she can defeat President Obama, Sarah Palin has dimmed hopes cherished by sensible Republicans that she might decide against a run for the White House in 2012. Here are just some of the reasons she should not run. The Republican nominee should be someone with vast and impressive experience in government and the private sector -- and a proven record. Voters chose a novice with plenty of star power in 2008 and will be inclined to swing strongly in the other direction in 2012. Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity, not sizzle and flash. Read here:


Martinez Stock Rising in RGA

Susana Martinez
From NMPolitics.net - In a further sign of her rising national star power, Gov.-elect Susana Martinez was chosen by her Republican peers on Thursday to be on the Republican Governors Association’s leadership team. According to The National Journal, Martinez will be an at-large member of the leadership committee. There’s lots of new diversity among GOP governors, and they were quick to tout it at Thursday’s meeting. From The New York Times: “There was plenty of fanfare here for Ms. Haley and Ms. Martinez — and not just for their fiscal ideas. Mr. Pawlenty introduced them in a panel discussion, ‘The New Face of the G.O.P.,’ the group’s not-so-subtle way of highlighting a burst of diversity in its ranks. With Mr. Jindal, an Indian-American, and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, there will be two Hispanic and two Indian-American Republican governors.
“… Later, Mr. Pawlenty called Ms. Martinez and Ms. Haley ‘clear stars’ in a new class of governors that reflected ‘different walks of life.’” Read here:

House Dems Can Forestall Coalition

State Senator Dede Feldman
From NMPolitics.net - The results of the recent election present tough choices for Democratic legislators, adding to the majority party’s task in dealing with a huge budget shortfall. The double whammy of lost seats and a slow recovery isn’t as bad as in some states, but it could make for some dramatic moments in the session to come. Ten years ago, in 2001, after another heartbreaking election in which Democrats felt cheated by a Supreme Court that handed the election to Bush, the New Mexico Senate opened with a bang. A coalition of three Democrats and the entire Republican delegation united to overthrow President Pro Tempore Manny Aragon. The surprise move came after several days of standoff, broken when then-Gov. Gary Johnson convinced Republicans to support Sen. Richard Romero. Read here:

Hawaii Leaves WAC, Joins Mountain West- HonoluluStarAdvertiser

After months of anxiety, the University of Hawaii's athletic future suddenly came into focus last night with the stunning revelation that it expects to leave the Western Athletic Conference to join the Mountain West Conference in football and place most of its other sports in the Big West Conference.  Read more here.


Politico.com: Shaken senators start prep for 2012, Bingaman weighing retirement

From the Politico.com - By MANU RAJU - The 2010 campaign has so rattled senators up for reelection in 2012 that they’re already moving quickly to figure out how to survive. Veteran Democrats such as Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico are weighing retirement. Establishment Republicans such as Orrin Hatch of Utah and Dick Lugar of Indiana are already moving to fend off potential primaries from the right. Freshmen like Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Jon Tester of Montana are stepping up fundraising, and red-state Democrats like Claire McCaskill of Missouri are talking up their independence from the party. “Of course, I’m concerned about a primary, but I would think my rivals would be even more concerned if they actually look objectively at the facts,” Lugar said, citing what he said were strong poll numbers and a flush war chest. Some senators are hedging a bit, uncertain what the 2012 landscape will look like after a brutal 2010 for Democrats. The 62-year-old Conrad said he’s deciding “whether or not I want to do this another eight years.” Some senators realize they’re going to have to make the case that they’re independent of a party that got shellacked in 2010. Read more

Proposed NM educator retirement changes lead to outrage

From NM Politics.net - by Heath Haussamen - There’s outrage over a proposal that would require public education employees in New Mexico to pay more into their retirement funds and potentially work longer before they can retire. The Albuquerque Journal has the scoop on the proposal from the N.M. Educational Retirement Board: “Under the new proposal, all school employees would be required to increase their annual contributions to the pension fund by an additional half-percent of salary. Employees earning less than $20,000 each year would pay 8.4 percent; employees earning more would pay the fund 9.9 percent of their salaries. The half-percent would create about $14 million in new annual revenue for the retirement fund, said ERB Executive Director Jan Goodwin.“The program will also delay retirement for some. In order to retire, teachers and staff would be required to have at least 30 years of service to retire at age 60 or older; they would need 35 years of service to retire before then. Current eligibility allows retirement after 25 years of service or any combination of age and tenure that adds up to 75.” Read more

Federal Land Grab Looking Grim for Bingaman

Jeff Bingaman
From the New York Times - Congress may lose its best chance to pass a suite of public lands proposals that would protect more than 2 million acres of federal lands as wilderness if it fails to move an omnibus measure in the lame-duck session, conservation groups say. But while a key Senate lawmaker last week said he was bundling several dozen public lands bills into a draft package, Democratic leadership is mum about whether such a measure could move amid a crowded Senate schedule of higher-profile issues including a continuing resolution, tax extensions and other measures. "It is on a list of items that are possible for consideration during the lame duck," Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said of a draft public lands proposal by New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D). "We have a long list of items that are possible and not much time to do so." Reid is speaking with fellow Democrats and Republicans, Read more here


Is Tom Taylor a Leader or a Spectator?

Tom Taylor (R-Farmington)
The political opportunity of a lifetime for Tom Taylor is sitting on a silver platter. As New Mexico House Minority Leader, Taylor of Farmington has a unique window of time where he can garner a seat at the table for his party for the first time in many years. Voters hoping for meaningful change over the next two years in this state are keeping a close eye on his leadership skills. Will Taylor seize the day, or will he passively fold his political straight flush and sit back and see what happens during the House Democratic Caucas? At this stage of the process the doors are closed and nobody is talking. Amongst even the most astute observers of New Mexico politics nobody knows if Taylor even sees the opportunity at hand. And if Taylor does see the opening, nobody knows if he will decide to seize it. What is becoming clear for New Mexico citizens is pretty simple. The House of Representatives could quickly become a functional and constructive bi-partisan chamber under dynamic new leadership. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces has provided precisely one-half of the components necessary in a political equation that will lead to sweeping change. By making it clear that he is ready to assume the role of speaker, Cervantes has paved the way for Taylor to be a hero for both parties. In his own party, the only way for Republicans to improve their lot in life in the House for the next two years is for Taylor to lead the charge and provide the necessary impetus for a change in house leadership.

Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces)
If Taylor cannot or will not lead the Republicans and convince them to assert themselves between now and Saturday, the House seems destined to continue to be a "business as usual" chamber where important policy making meetings are completely partisan. Does Taylor possess the vision and communications skills within his own caucas that are necessary for facilitating change, or is he timid? We will find out soon. One way or the other, Tom Taylor is going to choose the Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Will he choose the passive route? If Taylor does nothing he loses by default. And he will become a non-factor in the post caucas era. Can NewsNM make a prediction? Not really. Taylor's political instincts and his leadership abilities are unknown quantities around the state. Few we speak to even have a educated guess about the level of his skills. We were rather amused by comments from one source....."Should Taylor choose to rise to the occasion and heal the state, may the force be with him."


NM Wage Theft Claims Rise

From the SantaFeNewMexican.com - Something's been puzzling Alicia since her boss at a Santa Fe restaurant asked all kitchen workers to accept a 10 percent pay cut one year ago — promising he would restore wages when the economy rebounded "Our boss told us he had to shut down, that the only way to stay afloat was if we accepted a 10 percent discount," Alicia said. The 55-year-old cook did not want to be fully identified for fear of losing her job. "We weren't happy, but we accepted," she said. "It's been a year, and we haven't gotten any money back, but his business is busy seven days a week and he's expanding." Read more


New Mexico GDP Slipped 2.2%

From New Mexico Business Weekly - New Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 2.2 percent in 2009 to $68.4 billion. New Mexico was one of 38 states that saw its GDPs fall in 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday. Those overall declines were led by downturns in durable goods manufacturing and construction, the BEA said. In New Mexico, the mining sector saw its GDP fall by 1.46 percent. Other sectors that saw GDP decreases were construction, by .59 percent; retail trade, .29 percent; transportation and warehousing, .22 percent; durable goods manufacturing, .17 percent; wholesale trade, .09 percent; and non-durable goods manufacturing, .02 percent. Nevada recorded the largest GDP drop, at -6.4 percent, while Oklahoma had the fastest growth, at 6.6 percent. GDP growth in several states was fueled by growth in agriculture, forestry, fishing and the oil and gas industry, the BEA said. New Mexico ranked 31st among the states for the size of its GDP.

Republicans Embrace Earmark Ban

John Boehner
From Politico- House Republicans Thursday morning passed a ban on earmarks, joining their Senate Republican colleagues in giving up the pet projects. The measure passed in a closed-door conference meeting on a voice vote. It marks the second time that the GOP conference passed the ban. “Earmarks have become a symbol of a Congress that has broken faith with the people,” speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio said in an emailed statement. “This earmark ban shows the American people we are listening and we are dead serious about ending business as usual in Washington. Senate Republicans passed a similar ban, and Boehner and Majority-Leader in waiting Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called on President Barack Obama to veto bills with earmarks.


Obama: National Guard Withdrawal in February

U.S. Border Patrol Helicopter
From the Washington Examiner - The Obama Administration plans to withdraw National Guard troops from the Texas, New Mexico and California borders by the end February under a new Southwest security plan, even as turmoil in Mexican border cities grows, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner. A letter sent to various members of the Texas Congressional delegation from Texas' Gov. Rick Perry's office says, "In February, 2011, the Texas, New Mexico, and California National Guard forces that were deployed to the border in September, 2010, under President's Obama's Southwest Border Augmentation Plan, will have 30 days to complete a total draw down of forces." The roughly 550 troops will have the month of February to redeploy back to their units, Texas Congressman Ted Poe told The Examiner. Troops would not be pulled off the Arizona border under the plan, and about 100 of the troops would re-deploy there from other states, officials said. Poe received the letter today. His office confirmed with Department of Homeland Security officials that the plan came from the administration. "I'm surprised the president would so quickly remove troops from Texas. They're not supposed to leave until July," said Poe. More here