Sowell: Can Republicans Talk?

Thomas Sowell
From - Guess who said the following: "It is incredible that a system of taxation which permits a man with an income of $1,000,000 a year to pay not one cent to his Government should remain unaltered." Franklin D. Roosevelt? Ted Kennedy? Nancy Pelosi? Not even close. It was Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury under conservative Republican President Calvin Coolidge. What was Mellon's point? That high tax rates do not necessarily result in high tax revenues to the government. "It is time to face the facts," he said. Merely having high tax rates on large incomes will not bring in more tax revenues to the treasury, because of "the flight of capital away from taxable investments." This was all said in 1924, in Mellon's book, "Taxation: The People's Business." Yet here we are, more than 80 years later, still not facing those facts. It is not just a question of what Andrew Mellon said. It is a question of hard facts, easily checked in official documents available to all-- and ignored all these years.
Internal Revenue Service data show that there were 206 people who reported annual incomes of one million dollars or more in 1916. But, as the tax rate on high incomes skyrocketed under the Woodrow Wilson administration, that number plummeted to just 21 people reporting a million dollars a year in income five years later. Read full column here:


Locksley Survives

Mike Locksley
From the Santa Fe New Mexican - ALBUQUERQUE — Mike Locksley will return next season as New Mexico's coach. Officials made the announcement on the school's athletics website on Thursday. Athletic director Paul Krebs says he has finished his evaluation of the football program and determined that Locksley will return. Krebs says the announcement was made "to quiet speculation about our head football coaching position." Krebs says it's important for recruits to know Locksley is coming back. Read full story here:

NM Budget: Good News and Bad News

John Arthur Smith
From Capitol - The New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) got a rare bit of good news on Thursday (Dec. 2) when budget experts revised their fiscal year 2011 estimates upwards by $55.8 million. But nobody — neither the budget analysts nor the members of the committee — were doing cartwheels upon hearing the news because the state still faces a budget deficit of roughly $300 million. Read full story and watch video here:

N. Korea Protected by Great Wall of China

From Bloomberg - China’s refusal to condemn North Korea for its expanding nuclear program and its attack on a South Korean island limits the retaliatory options for the U.S., Japan and South Korea. “Not much can be done,” said Sue Mi Terry, deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council from 2007 to 2009. “China is the key, but when it comes down to any kind of action, they are not willing to play ball,” Terry said in an interview. “So I believe the situation is going to get worse.” China has refused to back a bid by the U.S. and Japan in the United Nations Security Council to condemn North Korea’s latest provocations, Japan’s Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida said in an interview. “The Chinese have always been resistant” to directly accusing North Korea of wrongdoing, Nishida said. “This is always the argument.”
Kim Jong II and Hu Jintao
With the Security Council deadlocked, the U.S. plans to host high-level talks next week with South Korea and Japan. President Barack Obama’s top military adviser called on China to use its influence to persuade North Korea to end its “deeply destabilizing behavior.” “China shares a relationship with the North that is not matched anywhere else in the world,” Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday at the Center for American Progress in Washington. Read full story here:


Two GOP Senators Onboard With Debt Commission Plan

Mike Crapo
From Bloomberg - Two Republican senators on President Barack Obama’s debt commission endorsed a plan by its co- chairmen, putting half of the 18-member panel on record in support of a $4 trillion budget-cutting proposal. Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mike Crapo of Idaho said today that, while they didn’t like many elements of this week’s revised proposal, the nation’s fiscal challenges are so severe they must put aside their objections.
Tom Coburn
 “I would have written a totally different plan,” Coburn told reporters. “I can’t have my way” and “our country deserves us to sacrifice like the call we’re going to make to everyone else to sacrifice to accomplish what we have to accomplish and that is to get out of this hole.”  Read full story here:


Home Sales Jump - Light at the End of the Tunnel?

From Bloomberg - Pending sales of U.S. existing houses unexpectedly jumped by a record 10 percent in October, indicating the industry at the center of the last recession is stabilizing as the job market improves. The increase in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes followed a 1.8 percent drop in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Another report showed claims for jobless benefits over the past month on average dropped to a two-year low. Combined with figures showing chain-store sales topped estimates last month, the reports added to evidence the world’s largest economy is strengthening, sending stocks up for a second day. Cheaper borrowing costs, lower prices and more jobs may entice homebuyers in coming months, helping the real-estate market regain its footing after the end of a tax credit caused demand to slump. Read full story here:

Progressive Weighs in on Document Theft

From - The single biggest Wikileaks revelation is not that the Saudis are still funding Al Qaeda, or that Hillary Clinton ordered the State Department to spy on foreign diplomats and the U.N., or that many Arab countries favor an attack on Iran. No, the real eye-opener is the reactionary impulse of people in power to repress those who disseminate information. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the disclosure “not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community.” Rep. Peter King echoed her comments, saying, “This is worse even than a physical attack on Americans, it’s worse than a military attack.”
Matthew Rothschild
All right, just wait a second here. Pearl Harbor was an attack on America. 9/11 was an attack on America. The Wikileaks document drop was not an attack on America. Our nuclear weapons are not on heightened alert (at least I sure hope they’re not). The Pentagon isn’t calling up more troops. No one was killed; no one was injured. Read full column here:

Share/Bookmark Nina Martinez Still In For GOP Chair

Nina Martinez
From - Nina Martinez says she won’t drop out of the race to become chair of the Republican Party of New Mexico even though a number of GOP elected officials are backing her opponent. “I have no intention of dropping out of the race for RPNM state chairman. This is a lifelong goal for me,” Martinez, the party’s current first vice chair, wrote in an e-mail. Earlier this week, Gov.-elect Susana Martinez (no relation), Congressman-elect Steve Pearce and others signed a letter to the party’s delegates urging them to make former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman the chairman when they meet Saturday. But Nina Martinez said Newman “has not been active in the party and isn’t even a member of the state central committee. He can’t even vote for himself or any other officers on Saturday.” Read full story here:

Deficit Reduction Committee Issues its Final Report

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson
From - WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s special bipartisan deficit-reduction panel issued its final report Wednesday, one that is expected to frame the debate over how America should tame its out-of-control federal debt for the next two years and beyond. The report urges a sweeping range of controversial proposals, from deep cuts in most government spending to overhauling the tax code, reducing defense spending and trimming future Social Security benefits — all to slash $4 trillion from projected budget deficits by 2020. Read full story here:

Blackwell: Guarding Jimmy Carter's Tongue

Ken Blackwell
From - Fans of Hollywood’s imaginative take on American politics may remember the movie, Guarding Tess. That 1994 comic hit featured Shirley MacLaine as a former First Lady who was being guarded by a Secret Service detachment headed by Nicolas Cage. Tess was something of a composite figure, part feisty Bess Truman, part liberal activist Eleanor Roosevelt, and part small town belle Rosalynn Carter. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, no part of Tess could be mistaken for a Barbara Bush or a Nancy Reagan. Even the fictional former First Ladies have got to be on the side of the Hollywood donor angels.

Jimmy Carter
The movie reminds us that when we elect a President, we get him and his missus for life. We provide Secret Service protection for the President, of course, but for the ex-Presidents, too. Ever since communist guerillas kidnapped and murdered ex-Premier of Italy, Aldo Moro, Americans have recognized that our former Commanders-in-Chief could require guarding. Read full column here:


Alford and Menzies to Appear on NewsNM

Steve Alford
Marvin Menzies
The Rio Grande Rivalry renews in men’s basketball Saturday as the New Mexico Lobos and New Mexico State Aggies tip off in the Pan-American Center at 7:05 p.m.  Both head coaches, Marvin Menzies of the Aggies and the Lobo’s Steve Alford will appear live on the News New Mexico radio program Friday morning to preview the rivalry game.  Alford is scheduled for 8:30 and Menzies at 8:45. 


Towery: Gridlock You Can Believe In

Matt Towery
From - As the week unfolded, it appeared that the last days of the lame-duck session of Congress might well end in gridlock. Many issues had been left to the last days, but certainly the biggest issue was whether the so-called "Bush tax cuts" would be extended for not only the "middle class," but for those fabulously wealthy individuals who have the audacity to earn more than $250,000 a year -- the "wealthy." The Democratic leadership remained steadfastly unwilling to realize that most of the "wealthy" are not Bill Gates-like billionaires, but instead owners of small businesses whose wealth is tenuous. That means, of course, that the jobs of their employees are tenuous, too. Democrats in the House scheduled a vote only on extending the tax cuts, set to expire at the end of this year, for those under the $250,000 threshold. This ploy was designed to place Republican members in the position of appearing to be against the middle class (a term I despise but use like everyone else). Not surprisingly, Republican leaders said they wouldn't fall for the ploy. Read full column here:

Dems Divide and Conquer Strategy Doomed Today

From Bloomberg - House Democrats are pressing ahead with a vote on extending 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for middle- income taxpayers over the objections of Republicans who say that passage would harm the economy by causing an implicit tax increase for those with higher incomes. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said his chamber would vote today on a bill that would continue the tax cuts on the first $200,000 of an individual’s annual income and the first $250,000 for a married couple filing joint returns, even as some Democrats signaled that they might vote with Republicans. Unless Congress acts to extend the cuts, taxes will increase across the board on Jan. 1. “It is a shame that what we have agreement on is being held hostage by that on which we do not have agreement,” said Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat. Read full story here:

OPEC: $100 a Barrel a Fair Price for Crude

From Bloomberg - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is unlikely to change its output quotas when it meets in nine days time and $100 represents a “fair” price for a barrel of oil, Venezuela’s energy minister said. Gas-exporting nations also need an OPEC-like body to “regulate” prices, Rafael Ramirez told reporters today. The Venezuelan is one of several ministers attending a meeting in Doha of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a gas producers group that does not set supply quotas. Libya’s top oil official, Shokri Ghanem, said yesterday in Doha that OPEC is unlikely to change its oil production quotas at the oil group’s Dec. 11 meeting in Quito, Ecuador. Instead, oil ministers from the 12-nation group will seek tighter compliance with OPEC’s existing output guidelines when they meet, Ghanem said. Read more here:

U.S. Ready to Borrow for IMF

From - The United States would be ready to support the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money from the International Monetary Fund, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday. "There are a lot of people talking about that. I think the European Commission has talked about that," said the U.S. official, commenting on enlarging the 750 billion euro ($980 billion) EU/IMF European stability fund. "It is up to the Europeans. We will certainly support using the IMF in these circumstances."
"There are obviously some severe market problems," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "In May, it was Greece. This is Ireland and Portugal. If there is contagion that's a huge problem for the global economy." Read full story here:


Harbison: We the People

Jim Harbison
Conservatives cannot sit back on their laurels now that the elections are over. Politicians traditionally make all kinds of promises to get elected and this past election was no different. Unfortunately, as soon as they get elected they either forget or abandon, their promises to pursue their Party’s agenda or their own. They become so enamored with their own power that they begin to believe that their personal beliefs mirror those of the electorate and often forsake those who elected them. The TEA Party movement played a significant role in shaping not only the composition of Congress and the State Legislature but their agendas as well. This highly vocal and politically active group plans to hold the newly elected officeholders at all levels accountable. They will be monitoring the activities of all elected officials, new and old, irrespective of Party affiliation.
TEA Party members will be tracking legislative actions against their political promises. Liberal members of these elected bodies will also be monitored. Those that want to increase the size of the government, erode our Constitutional rights, nationalize private businesses, and continue the spending that increases the national debt will be targeted for defeat in the next election cycle. No one person can tract the activities of all the elected officials nor should they try. A more sensible and realistic approach, using military terminology, is to “divide and conquer” all those who oppose our Constitution and our capitalistic economic system. This type of strategy will enable many people to individually track a single issue, organization, or elected or appointed government official and report back to the larger political action group. There are sufficient conservatives and TEA Party members willing to pursue this strategy. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the influence of the TEA Party and politicians across the entire political spectrum should be cognizant of it. The 2011 local elections afford conservatives an opportunity to significantly change the direction of the City Council. There will be three City Councilors (Silva, Small, Connor) and the Mayor up for re-election. It is time for us to elect individuals that want to preserve the culture, history and traditions of Las Cruces, encourage job growth, and insist on improved financial stewardship of our tax dollars. Those who continue to advocate more government, social and economic programs (means taxpayer funded) will be shown the exit door in November.
“We the People” will no longer allow our elected officials “who know better than us” to create policies that infringe on our individual rights or govern without our input and consent.
The TEA Parties throughout the State of New Mexico are organizing a rally to coincide with the opening session of the State legislature on January 18th. Their intent is to inform the legislators, new and old and all parties, that there is a major political force that will hold them accountable and demand fiscal responsibility be returned to the State of New Mexico and the National government as well. I would encourage conservatives and TEA party members to participate and remind our representatives that they were elected to protect and serve us.
While our government isn’t perfect, most of us believe it is the best in the world and that it only requires an occasional “tweaking” and not the massive changes advocated by the current administration. If you do not support the total transformation of America or our well proven economic system get involved and work to insure your elected official works to preserve and maintain the unique form of government that makes so many people around the world want to become Americans.