Grady resident protests school-sponsored coyote hunt

From the Clovis - Ranchers say the coyote is a menace and a threat to the way of life around the ranching community of Grady. May be, a community newcomer contends; but killing them is not supposed to be sport and there are more appropriate ways to raise money for school athletics. Cliff Sagnotty, who moved to rural Curry County from Iowa this summer, said he was shocked early this month when he received a flier advertising a coyote hunt — and noticed it was sponsored by the Grady schools girls athletic department. The Coyote Calling Contest is scheduled Friday and Saturday. Competitors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and show a Hunter’s Safety Certificate to shoot. With a $75 team entry fee, the team with the most coyotes wins with ties broken by weight, according to the flier, which states, “Grab a partner (or two) that are good shots and sign up.” “From a rancher’s perspective, they’re a menace to society (and) that’s what this community is; we’re farmers and ranchers,” said Alicia Rush, director of Grady’s girls athletic program. “They (coyotes) kill our cattle, they kill our cattle dogs. There’s no regulations (on hunting them). We’re not doing anything illegal — we wouldn’t do anything illegal.” Read more

NM med marijuana user appeals lost rent subsidy

From the Santa Fe - ALBUQUERQUE — A hearing officer on Wednesday will take up the case of a 70-year-old cancer patient who is appealing San Miguel County's decision to revoke his federal housing subsidy because he uses medical marijuana. Robert Jones joined New Mexico's medical marijuana program in October 2008 when he was diagnosed with cancer. The retired political consultant said he was upfront about it, telling county housing authority officials he used marijuana before signing a statement agreeing to follow a rule not to participate in drug-related criminal activity. "I wanted to make sure they didn't think that was criminal," he said. "They said, 'No, no, Mr. Jones, that's fine."' But the housing authority sent him a letter Oct. 12 telling him he would be dropped from the housing program as of Nov. 30. Although medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico, it's illegal under federal law, and his use violated the rule against drug-related criminal activity, the letter said. Jones takes exception to that description. "I certainly am not engaged in drug-related criminal activity," he said. Read more

Commentary: NM can’t afford to get it wrong when it comes to Medicaid

From NM - By Sireesha Manne - Governor-elect Martinez will soon have to deal with the daunting fiscal challenges facing New Mexico while honoring her promises, most notably to protect Medicaid from further program cuts. Her commitment to Medicaid is a wise one: few policymakers doubt the powerful and vital role of Medicaid in New Mexico’s economy and health care system. The program has been a saving grace for the state, providing health care coverage to more than half a million people. The program also brings $3 billion in federal dollars into our economy that supports more than 50,000 jobs, mostly in the health care sector. Yet there has been considerable misinformation in the public eye due to recent news coverage about the costs of the program and about its services in comparison to the programs in other states. Lest New Mexico shoot itself in the foot by taking a slash-and-burn budget approach to a program that has helped the state weather the continuing economic storm, it’s critical to set the record straight about Medicaid.
• Medicaid is facing a $360 million shortfall primarily because the state borrowed a huge sum of money from the program that has not been returned. When New Mexico received federal stimulus funds for Medicaid in 2009, the state removed approximately $200 million in state general funds from the program and used it to bail out other parts of the budget in a time of economic crisis. The federal stimulus funds will expire by the end of this fiscal year, requiring the state to replace the money it borrowed from Medicaid. The Legislature should repay the loan now as it always intended to do. Read more

Seeing red over the “Blue Book”

From Capitol Report New Mexico - It’s been a staple of journalists, lawmakers, teachers and just about anybody else interested in the New Mexico legislature and history. It’s simply called “The New Mexico Blue Book” and has been published since 1917. And now, even the humble “Blue Book” has become a cause for political controversy. Even though there is barely a month left in the terms of numerous state office-holders, outgoing Secretary of State Mary Herrera’s office is coming out with the 2010 version of the Blue Book in the coming weeks. Herrera says her office reduced the cost of publishing the 2010 version of Blue Book from about $75,000 to $44,000 by printing 5,000 rather than 15,000 copies. But at a time of severe budget problems, Rep. Larry Larrañaga (R-Bernalillo) criticized Herrera on KRQE-TV Monday night, saying:
“I’m dismayed that the secretary of state would take that action at the very close of her administration when we could be looking at saving money and helping the next administration. It’s not a book that people are holding their breath to read as it comes out.” Read more

Dancing with the Death Threats - Hatred of Palin is "Progressive"

Bristol Palin
From - Bristol Palin's bid for the "Dancing with the Stars" crown has taken another ugly turn. The former Alaska governor's daughter and her dancing partner, Mark Ballas, have been receiving death threats in the lead up to Tuesday night's finale, TMZ reported. The threats resulted in ABC beefing up security in Los Angeles on Monday. Sources tell the gossip website that the show may break from its traditional format and not allow the duo to be interviewed outside Times Square if they head to New York, TMZ reported. Instead, it's likely Palin and Ballas will be interviewed inside the studio where it's safer. "Everyone is on high alert," a source told AOL gossip website Popeater. "It's like a scene from ‘The Bodyguard' with Bristol playing the leading lady." Read full story here:

Sowell: Airport Security?

Thomas Sowell
From - No country has better airport security than Israel-- and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists. Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts. Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs? "Security" may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travelers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures. Read full column here:

Not in the Kennedy's Backyard?

From Bloomberg - Cape Wind may become the first U.S. offshore wind farm after Massachusetts regulators approved a contract permitting it to sell electricity, overcoming critics including the Kennedy family and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities posted the decision on its website today. The state’s governor, Deval Patrick, supported the project as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy production. The contract with utility National Grid Plc may pave the way for an additional 6,300 megawatts in various stages of development, said Charlie Hodges, an offshore wind analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London.
The U.S. generates more power from wind than any country, all of which is based on land. “This is a significant win for Cape Wind and may help build momentum for other offshore wind projects,” Hodges said before the announcement. Massachusetts agreed to let National Grid Plc, a London- based company that delivers power to about 3.3 million customers in the U.S. Northeast, buy half of Cape Wind’s output for 18.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. That price will increase 3.5 percent annually for the 15 years of the contract. That rate is more than three times the average wholesale power price in the region of $55.02 a megawatt-hour, or 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, over the past year. Read full story here:


Financial Visionary Barney Frank Appalled by Republicans

From Bloomberg - Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he’s “appalled” by Republicans who he said have sided with some foreign central banks in criticizing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. “I was appalled to see a group of Republican economists from the Bush and Reagan administration” arguing against the Fed’s asset-purchase program. “Republicans are joining the central bank of China in attacking Bernanke. This is really distressing to me.” Frank, who spoke in an interview today on Bloomberg Television’s “In Business with Margaret Brennan,” called the Fed program to purchase $600 billion in assets through June “a very reasonable thing” that isn’t fueling inflation, as Republican critics contend. Read full story here:

Kim Jong Il's Negotiating Ploy

Kim Jong Il
From Bloomberg - North Korea’s attack on a South Korean island, along with its disclosure of nuclear advances, is part of a strategy to draw the U.S. back to the negotiating table, analysts in the U.S. and Asia say. It isn’t likely to succeed, and the result could be increased tension between the U.S. and China, North Korea’s closest ally, said the analysts, including Bruce Klingner, a former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Korea branch. “If anything, it’s likely to have the reverse effect, in that Washington and Seoul are likely to be more determined to resist” North Korean tactics, said Klingner, now a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington research group. Read full story here:

The Trouble with Socialism

Angela Merkel
From Bloomberg - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the prospect of serial European bailouts was “exceptionally serious,” sending the euro to a three-month low as officials estimated saving Ireland will cost 85 billion euros ($114 billion). Irish bonds dropped and the premium that investors demand to hold Spanish debt over German counterparts jumped to a euro- era record as the relief rallies triggered by Ireland’s Nov. 21 aid request evaporated. Traders are now betting the turmoil that started in Greece a year ago will spread to Portugal and Spain. Read full story here:


Climate Change Math in Treaties Flawed by Suspect Calculations

Brooklyn Bridge (has been sold many times)
From Bloomberg - Euan Nisbet, a University of London earth sciences professor who has traveled the world testing the air for greenhouse-gas pollution, makes his way to a rocky outcropping on the eastern coast of Hong Kong Island on a sunny November afternoon. He takes out a battery-operated pump connected to a thin tube and a plastic bag to capture traces of the wind. “This is a good day for collecting samples,” says Nisbet, 61, looking out to sea. “There’s a good, strong breeze blowing in from the mainland. It’s the breath of China.”  Hooking up his air-sucking device, Nisbet says the world puts too much faith in government estimates of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue. That’s because companies and countries base emissions calculations on the raw materials that go into a factory or power plant; they don’t check the pollution that comes out. “It’s like going on a diet without weighing yourself,” explains Ray Weiss, a geochemistry professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, whose article with Nisbet in the June issue of Science argues for measuring the atmosphere. Read full story here:

Save Us From the Intellectuals

Charles H. Franklin
From - by David Limbaugh Super-genius political science professor Charles H. Franklin of the University of Wisconsin, Madison recently gave loud voice to a widely held liberal belief: Ordinary Americans, especially conservative ones, are stupid. At a conference by the Society of Professional Journalists, alternative newspaper editor Bill Lueders asked Franklin why "the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires, for instance by electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit with fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich." Franklin responded: "I'm not endorsing the American voter. They're pretty damn stupid." (Excuse my impertinence, but is there a grammatical glitch in the genius's formulation?) First, we should note that Franklin implicitly accepted Lueders' premise as fact: The voters who claim to be motivated by a passion to end reckless Washington spending had just elected candidates who will be fiscally irresponsible because they support "reckless giveaways to the rich." Read here:

More Down the Throat Cramming from Jeff Bingaman

Jeff Bingaman
From - U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman hopes to pass an omnibus public lands bill during the lame-duck session that could include protection for hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Doña Ana County. “As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, Sen. Bingaman is working to develop a package of public lands bills that could be considered if there is time on the Senate floor during the lame duck session,” Bingaman spokeswoman Jude McCartin said. Read full story here:

North Korea Fires Shells at S. Korean Island

From Xinhua - SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired Tuesday scores of artillery onto a South Korean island and into waters off the west coast of the divided peninsula, killing a South Korean soldier and prompting a return fire, officials here said. Reportedly fired at 2:34 p.m. local time, some shells landed on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island near a tense western maritime border between the two former wartime rivals. Apart from one reported death, several residents and soldiers have also been injured, according to media reports. Read full story here:

Dollar to Become the World's Weakest Currency

From - Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar may fall below 75 yen next year as it becomes the world’s “weakest currency” due to the Federal Reserve’s monetary-easing program, according to J.P. Morgan Chase Co. The U.S. central bank, along with those in Japan and Europe, will keep interest rates at record lows in 2011 as they seek to boost economic growth, said Tohru Sasaki, head of Japanese rates and foreign-exchange research at the second-largest U.S. bank by assets. U.S. policy makers may take additional easing steps following the $600 billion bond-purchase program announced this month depending on inflation and the labor market, he said. “The U.S. has the world’s largest current-account deficit but keeps interest rates at virtually zero,” Sasaki said at a forum in Tokyo yesterday. “The dollar can’t avoid the status as the weakest currency.” Full story here


Al Gore Parts Ways With.......Ethanol

Another Embrace
From - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore reportedly has had a change of heart on ethanol, telling a conference on green energy in Europe that he only supported tax breaks for the alternative fuel to pander to farmers in his home state of Tennessee and the first-in-the-nation caucuses state of Iowa. Speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank, Gore said the lobbyists have wrongly kept alive the program he once touted. "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Reuters quoted Gore saying of the U.S. policy that is about to come up for congressional review. "First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small. Read full story here:

Ground Zero Mosque Applies for $5 Million Grant

From - Read this in full here or you’ll miss the enjoyable tone of befuddlement and dismay from professional centrist John Avlon, who clearly wants to defend Park51 from those darned wingnuts who object to the location and yet can’t understand why the developers would do something this tone-deaf. The smart move would have been to take advantage of the calm after the media storm to quietly fundraise among private donors and to reach out to wavering pols to reassure them about the project’s intentions. Instead, not only are they after public money, they’re trying to tap a fund that’s explicitly tied to 9/11. You wanted to know where the funding’s coming from. Well, good news: Potentially, it’s coming from you. Full story here


Obama's UN Officials Silent on Nine Anti-Israel Resolutions

From - The United Nations Human Rights Council this month adopted nine resolutions against Israel. The United States opposed nothing. The Council, engaged in a “universal periodic review” of human rights protection in Lebanon, was examining a report by that country which expressed its objections to "the establishment of the Zionist entity on Palestinian territory.” Every United Nations member state was asked to submit a report to the Council on its national human rights record, which was then reviewed by U.N. members who engage in a short dialogue with the state representatives. Full story and video here


FBI Report: 8% of Religious Hate Crimes Against Muslims, 75% Towards Jews

From - WASHINGTON (AFP) – Blacks and Jews were the most likely victims of hate crimes driven by racial or religious intolerance in the United States last year, the FBI said Monday in an annual report. Out of 6,604 hate crimes committed in the United States in 2009, some 4,000 were racially motivated and nearly 1,600 were driven by hatred for a particular religion, the FBI said. Blacks made up around three-quarters of victims of the racially motivated hate crimes and Jews made up the same percentage of victims of anti-religious hate crimes, the report said. Anti-Muslim crimes were a distant second to crimes against Jews, making up just eight percent of the hate crimes driven by religious intolerance. Full FBI report here

Barbara Bush Hitting Palin to Help Jeb?

Barbara Bush
From - That’s what Jonathan Alter argued during our panel on MSNBC’s ‘Dylan Ratigan Show’ today. Personally, I think Barbara Bush’s Palin-bashing (assuming saying she hopes Palin stays in Alaska qualifies as “bashing”) has more to do with her moderate political philosophy than it does with any strategy for helping elect her son. Having said that, I am starting to hear rumors that Jeb is telling potential prominent supporters to “keep their powder dry,” meaning not to endorse or support any 2012 candidates until they check back with him. There is no doubt that Jeb Bush is highly qualified, and if his name were “Jeb Smith,” he would be the 2012 front-runner today. In any event, this is good, fun speculation. Video here


Progressive's Obsession with Palin Unabated

Matthew Rothschild
From - Sunday was the day the New York Times woke up to the reality that Sarah Palin could become President. Frank Rich devoted his entire column to that possibility, and the Sunday Times Magazine gave its cover over to Palin and her coterie. I can’t tell if this is panic on the part of the Times, or an effort to warn people about what might be coming, or a signal to the Republican establishment to get out their long knives and go after her. But the prospect of Palin in 2012 is not one to be sneered at—much less hoped for, and I know a lot of Democrats are doing both. Be careful what you wish for. I can remember Democrats sneering at the prospect of Ronald Reagan winning the Republican nomination in 1980, and look what happened then. Read here:

Fears Well Founded - Velma Hart Loses Her Job

Velma Hart
From the - Nobody is safe. Velma Hart, who burst onto the media scene after telling President Obama she was scared about her financial future, has been laid off. Hart was let go as the chief financial officer for Am Vets, a nonprofit Maryland-based veteran services organization. Like most of us, Velma Hart just wanted a little reassurance at Obama's town hall. Hart has become another casualty of the tough economy in which so many people have lost their jobs. "It's not anything she did," said Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched." King would not say whether the organization had had other layoffs. "Velma was a good employee," he said. "It was just a matter of looking at the bottom line and where could we make the best cuts and survive." Read full story here:

Irish Eyes Are NOT Smiling

From the Economist - AT THE height of the banking crisis two years ago, Ireland’s government thought it was calling the market’s bluff when it rashly promised to back all of the debts accumulated by its overheated banking sector. Stand firm, and the speculators will fold, was the wisdom of the day. As it turns out, it was the government itself that had the weaker hand, and now its bluff has been called. Having tried valiantly to restore stability to the public finances through impressively harsh austerity measures, the Irish government has been dragged down by the sheer weight of the bad loans on the balance-sheets of its banks. On November 21st, having abandoned its earlier insistence that it was not in need of a bail-out, the Irish government agreed to ask for help from its European neighbours. Its request came after a tumultuous two weeks in which the trade in Irish government bonds and those of some other European states almost dried up, and the cost of borrowing surged to unsustainable levels. Read here: