Aggie Men's Basketball Falls 71-57 To UMass Report
Troy Gillenwater finished with 13 points and seven rebounds as the Aggies dropped their second consecutive game losing 71-57 to UMass at the Hall of Fame Tipoff in Springfield, Mass on Saturday night.

The Aggies trailed 44-23 at halftime behind hot shooting by UMass and ice cold shooting by the Aggies. UMass hit 65.4 percent of their shots in the first half while the Aggies hit just 30.4 percent. Hamidu Rahman paced the Aggies with 10 points in the first half but did not score the rest of the game. UMass jumped out to a 6-1 lead and by the under 12 minute media timeout the Aggies trailed 20-7. UMass would go outscore the Aggies 7-2 and at the under eight minute media timeout the Aggies trailed 27-9. The Aggies would fall behind even further trailing 35-13 with 5:27 left. The Aggies would cut the deficit to 14 points down 37-23 with 3:02 left but the Aggies would not score the remainder of the half and trailed 44-23 at the break.

The Aggies would trail by 23 points early in the second half but would put together a run to cut their deficit to 14 points at 48-34 with 16:00 left to play. UMass would counter with a 6-1 run to push their lead back out to 19 points with 13:21 left to play and would maintain a comfortable cushion as they led 63-48 with 7:07 left to play. The Aggies would trim the lead to 12 points at 63-51 and again at 65-53 with 3:24 left to play but could get no closer as the Minutemen would go on to win by 14 points.

The Aggies drop to 2-2 on the season and are back in action on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. MT for a contest against the USC Trojans.

Aggie Football Falls 52-6 To No. 18 Nevada
The Aggie football team fell 52-6 to No. 18 Nevada on Saturday afternoon. Tyler Stampler hit two of three field goal attempts to account for the Aggies' only scoring.

Nevada received the ball to start the game and drove 75 yards on 14 plays for a touchdown taking a 7-0 lead. The Aggies' first drive started at their own 21 yard line and on the first play from scrimmage Andrew Manley hit Taveon Rogers for a 44-yard completion down to the Nevada 35 yard line. Manley would complete a pass to Marcus Allen for seven yards but the Aggies' drive would stall after back-to-back incompletions. Tyler Stampler would miss a 46 yard field goal just his third miss of the season.

The Wolf Pack would take over and drive 53 yards on seven plays settling for a 36-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead. Following the field goal the Wolf Pack would score touchdowns on three of their next four possessions while the Aggies would get a second quarter field goal, a 47-yarder from Tyler Stampler as the Wolf Pack held a 31-3 lead at halftime.

The Aggies would get a 39 yard field goal from Tyler Stampler on their second drive of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 31-6 but the Wolf Pack would add a third quarter touchdown and two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the score 52-6. The Aggie would have three drives end in Wolf Pack territory in the fourth quarter as an Andrew Manley pass was intercepted at the Nevada 10 yard line and returned 90 yards for a touchdown and the Aggies' Robert Clay would fumble on the Nevada 14 yard line.

The Aggies finished with 309 yards of total offense while Nevada recorded 494 yards of offense.

The loss drops the Aggies to 2-9 on the season and 1-6 in WAC play. The Aggies close out the season next Saturday against Hawai'i on Senior Day at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

With GOP House Leadership Silent This Week, Lujan Survives as Speaker........For Now

House GOP Minority Leader Tom Taylor and House Whip Keith Gardner had the basketball equivalent of a layup. Instead of banking it in for the game winning points they intentionally turned the ball over and then sat back and waited to see what would transpire. With the opportunity to aggregate thirty-three GOP House member votes and cast them for meaningful change they could have struck a deal that would have ended the long and torturous dictatorship of House Speaker Ben Lujan. For reasons known only to the old guard in charge of the House GOP caucus, these men chose to dither.
And when House Democrats emerged from their caucus this afternoon in the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, the outcome News New Mexico had projected as a foregone conclusion became official. For now, Ben Lujan will remain Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Mexico and House GOP members can look forward to more of the same.......being rudely ignored and shut out of all input at the policy-making table. It would seem that with eight additional seats to work with in New Mexico, the GOP leadership could not figure out what the rest of the nation has been screaming so loud and clear. The voters want change! What they got today in Santa Fe, this time from the GOP, at least in terms of the inner workings of the House of Representatives, was more of the same. Will GOP members and leadership change their passive mindset between now and the beginning of the legislative session in Santa Fe early next year? Only time will tell.


Sheer Federal Government Authorized Insanity

News New Mexico note - There is a certain mindset out there. It festers mostly within the so-called "Progressive Movement." This mindset prefers to read through reports like the following, rather than see reports that the Transportation Safety officials in the United States are adopting a common sense TERRORIST PROFILING approach to airport security. This mindset is dominating policy-making in Washington D.C.

From - CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte-area flight attendant and cancer survivor contacted WBTV after she says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down. Cathy Bossi lives in south Charlotte and has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, working the past 28 for U.S. Airways. Read here:

Kurokawa: Attacking "The Wealthy" Hurts Everyone

Nicole Kurokawa
From - All eyes are back on Congress as the lame duck session continues. One topic on everyone’s mind: extending the Bush tax cuts. In fact, the showdown over the cuts is likely to be one of the biggest policy fights of President Obama’s term to date. For months, the Administration officials said they would only accept an extension for the middle class, and fully intended to raise rates on “the wealthy” (defined as those making over $250,000 per year). So who are “the wealthy,” exactly? In many cases, the “wealthy” are small businesses. Given that many small businesses aren’t structured as formal corporations, their owners file as individual taxpayers – meaning they are subject to increases in the income tax rate. According to the Internal Revenue Service’s 2008 Statistics of Income Data, there are 30 million small business owners in the country – 22 million sole proprietors, and 8 million partnerships and S-corporations. Ryan Ellis, director of tax policy at Americans for Tax Reform, estimates that two-thirds of small business profits face tax rate hikes under the White House’s plan. Those successful small businesses – the ones with profits – are the ones who hire workers. They are the ones who purchase goods and services from other companies. These are the people who will be hit with tax increases. In an increasingly interconnected economy, it is impossible to penalize the few without injuring many. Pillaging these businesses' profits will mean less expansion, fewer jobs, and diminished output and will decrease incentives to be successful. Read here:

O'Reilly - Bush and Obama

From - America is a fascinating country. If you don't believe me, consider this: In the space of just ten years, we have elected two men to the presidency who could not be more opposite. That fact was clarified for me last week when I spent some time with George W. Bush. After disappearing for almost two years, President Bush is back in the public arena with a book about his decision-making during the eight years he spent in the Oval Office. But the former president is not interested in commenting on Barack Obama, nor does he want to reinvolve himself in the political process. He simply wants to sell some books and go back to the golf course. In a televised interview, he told me that he would most likely not campaign for Republicans in 2012 and would only offer private advice if it is sought. Read here:

Headwinds and Tailwinds

Living in New Mexico and enduring countless wind filled springs, we consider ourselves experts on wind. Brown outs, finding sand in your ears and discovering your patio furniture in your neighbors’ yard is all part of the fun in the spring. Usually, the wind blows from the west but sometimes it seems to be swirling all around our state from every direction.The recent global financial crisis was a swirling wind at hurricane force that did more than move some furniture. Many institutions are still “cleaning their ears” and for many investment portfolios, a “brown out” would be putting it mildly. It may be years before the domestic economy has its financial “hair” back in place.
Today, the wind continues to blow. Political winds have shifted and are perhaps shifting again as we all head to the polls. Predicting the shift of political winds is difficult, dangerous and frustrating for most. However, as investors, we must hone in on which companies have the winds at their backs and which are facing stiff headwinds given the current political environment. The financial services industry and especially the banking industry are currently facing the stiffest of headwinds. FDIC costs have soared; heightened regulation and weak loan demand are all weighing heavily on the profitability of domestic banks. Given the large loan defaults of the last few years, persistent high unemployment and new laws regarding fees on electronic transactions, most banks won’t see calm winds for many years.
Real estate is another industry and aspect of our economy struggling to hold its ground despite unrelenting squalls. Residential real estate has a large oversupply of homes that need to be worked through while commercial real estate has to survive the downsizing of companies across the country. Capital for real estate investment is more difficult to obtain for those who do want to borrow but for most investors, deleveraging continues while the return expectations of property owners have had to downsize.
Speaking of downsizing and deleveraging, the average consumer’s mission has become a reduction in discretionary spending. The retail industry, as well as the travel and leisure industries, in general are staring straight into the gale of such reductions. And although we don’t feel such impairment to the consumer is permanent, we see recovery to previous discretionary spending levels likely years away. Moving from a more discretionary industry to one that is at the heart of the political headwinds is the health insurance industry. Current legislation seeking to expand coverage to all Americans requires insurance companies to offer more benefits all the while restricting the price of those benefits.
Health insurance companies will find it difficult to maintain margins AND navigate the new legislative environment. Also within the health care industry and facing headwinds are the pharmaceutical companies; generic competition, the Food & Drug Administration, and pharmacy benefit managers have squeezed margins for many pharmaceutical companies so tightly it is leaving them little incentive to continue to develop new drugs. Conversely, the political winds are blowing in favor of some industries. Infrastructure, in general, is one such industry receiving funding from various government stimulus programs. Companies that have the scale, the experience and the technologies to win these contracts are experiencing the growth and the margin expansion that we demand from the companies that we own.
 Technology is another industry with a strong tailwind. Companies are being forced to be more productive with less, to automate and to improve their current offerings. Smart phones, digital media and healthcare technology are all strong pockets within the industry as we all work to increase efficiency whether we are at the doctor’s office or on the road. Speaking of being on the road, the Energy industry is another that is experiencing tailwinds. Higher prices stemming from increased global demand is helping energy companies to grow and prosper. Within the energy industry, clean energy is enjoying the strongest of the favorable breezes with political and environmental pressure building to find energy saving alternatives. Coupled with higher energy prices, the clean energy sector is likely to continue to experience prevailing winds for some time.
Knowing the direction and speed of various headwinds and tailwinds will continue to grow in importance for investors and for domestic corporations.


All Signs Point to Lujan Return as Speaker

“Off the record” was the theme of the day on Friday as Newsnm continued to survey elected officials from around the state regarding the prospects for a change in the Speaker of the House. On Thursday this site posed the following question: “Is Tom Taylor (NM House Minority Leader) a Leader or a Spectator? We think we now have enough input to suggest that neither Tom Taylor nor Minority Whip Keith Gardner have organized a cohesive unit of politically instinctive Republicans in the House. Instead, it appears that Republican House members are a fragmented and disorganized collection of individuals. Newsnm contributors Heath Haussamen ( and Rob Nikolewski (Capitol Report New Mexico) suggested this might be the case over the last two days in our discussion segments on the radio show. 
Tom Taylor
The bottom line? It seems that House Republicans are not the least bit inclined to choose leaders that will band them together to vote for an alternative Democrat in the Speaker position despite the fact that this step would enable them to take a seat at the policy making table as apportioned equals.
Naturally Newsnm draws these conclusions without the benefit of “on the record” comments we can publish. Fearing vindictive backlash from current speaker Ben Lujan, nearly all of the input we received was the "off the record" variety. Often we were forced to corroborate multiple second hand inputs from various sub-sources. Still, the consistency of descriptions we received regarding the passive attitudes of the House Republicans was unmistakable. They strongly suggest that their voters have leadership in place that is hardly ready to advance its fortunes via across the aisle cooperation and consensus building. The preference seems to be to "sit back" and see what happens.
Keith Gardner
Accordingly, constituents in this state that delivered eight new Republican House members for leadership to work with are likely to have to wait for the next generation of leadership. One week ago, on November 13th, the House Republican caucus gave the first signs of its intent to render the numerical advancement of the 2010 balance in headcounts as a mere footnote in New Mexico political history when it opted for a passive approach to their increased numbers. What is likely to happen in Santa Fe today is the emergence from a relatively mild behind the scenes fray of a weakened but still triumphant House Speaker Ben Lujan. And in the words of one observer we spoke to (of the record of course), because the House still seems to always do what it always did, “Each and every member in the New Mexico House of Representatives will richly deserve to continue to always get exactly what they have always got.”


NM Ranks 14 For Smoking Prevention Funding

From New Mexico Business Weekly - New Mexico ranks 14th in the nation in fiscal 2011 in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report by a coalition of public health organizations. The state currently spends $7 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is 29.8 percent of the $23.4 million recommended by the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Mexico spent $9.5 million in fiscal 2010. New Mexico’s tobacco-generated revenue, from settlements and tobacco taxes is $129 million for fiscal 2011.
“New Mexico's tobacco settlement funds are governed by a law passed in 2000 by the legislature and signed by [former] Gov. Gary E. Johnson that placed 50 percent of the state's tobacco settlement payments in a permanent trust fund," the report noted. "Under the law, the other half of settlement payments are placed into a program fund that can be spent on a variety of health-related programs appropriated through the state's annual budget process."
Read more


Bingaman Will Announce Future Plans in 2011

Jeff Bingaman
From - There’s lots of talk about whether U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., is going to seek another term in 2012, but his spokeswoman says he’s not likely to make an announcement until late winter – probably in March. “That’s what we fully expect him to do,” Bingaman spokeswoman Jude McCartin said today. She noted that Bingaman has typically made re-election announcements around that time in the past. Politico reported today that Bingaman is “weighing retirement,” but it didn’t cite a source or quote Bingaman or anyone close to the senator. Others have speculated that Bingaman will seek another term. Read here:

Esteban Camacho: The Case for Federalism

Esteban Camacho
From - Throughout the last several days, I have come across a wide range of debates, discussions and arguments that have to do with one very important area of our system of government: federalism. For those of you that are not familiar with the term “federalism,” it is simply the allocation of power between the state and federal governments. There are basically two sides to this issue: The Supremacy Clause: This is the basis of argument for many who believe that the national government has sovereignty over the several States in almost all functions. The Supremacy Clause comes from Article VI Clause 2 of the Constitution and it reads:  Read here: