Obama's Last Hope:Bill Clinton?

From pajamasmedia.com This afternoon, President Barack Obama held a White House meeting with the last Democrat to hold that office, and the only Democrat to win re-election to that office since LBJ, Bill Clinton. After the meeting, the two held a brief press conference in which Obama offered a quick introduction before turning the Q&A over to Clinton. The subject of all this is the deal that Obama and the Republicans reached concerning the Bush tax cuts. Clinton did a much better job of selling those cuts than Obama did during two press events earlier this week. He noted, in his wonkishly informed way, how the deal isn’t perfect but it’s better than what Obama can reasonably expect to get after the GOP takes over the House in January. He also noted that, overall, the tax cuts will help the economy. And he even went into a detailed discussion of how they payroll tax cuts that are part of the deal will help us become more competitive internationally. Clinton was in command of the facts, and did strong work selling the tax cut deal — the deal that Obama has so far failed to sell to his own party. And then, an extraordinary thing happened. Obama said he had kept the first lady waiting for half an hour, and told the press they were in “good hands.” And he left the briefing. Clinton did not. More here

It's Official - Hawaii Out of WAC in MWC

The University of Hawaii officially announced its sports programs will leave the Western Athletic Conference and join the Mountain West Conference football and Big West Conference in all other sports effective prior to the 2012 academic year.

Goldberg: When Words Fail

Jonah Goldberg
From Townhall.com - Most theories for why the president came unglued like a papier-mache doll in a steam bath during his press conference this week center on the fact that he can't stand having his liberal bona fides questioned. When Iran unveils its nuclear program or slaughters dissidents in the streets of Tehran, Barack Obama keeps a steadier hand than G. Gordon Liddy's over a candle. Question his citizenship, his patriotism, even his jump shot, and he's all Vulcan poise. But if you doubt his commitment to The Cause, he turns into Charlie Sheen without his Ritalin. Read full column here:

Williams: Moral or Immoral Government

Walter Williams
From Townhall.com - Immorality in government lies at the heart of our nation's problems. Deficits, debt and runaway government are merely symptoms. What's moral and immoral conduct can be complicated, but needlessly so. I keep things simple and you tell me where I go wrong. Read full column here:


Chavez: The Dream and the Nightmare

Linda Chavez
From Townhall.com - The Dream Act, which provides a path to citizenship for those children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, passed the House by 216-198 this week, but will likely die in the Senate for lack of bipartisan support. Democrats knew they have no chance of passing the Dream Act, but tried to force the issue to a vote so they could hammer home their message to Hispanics: Democrats are your friends; Republicans are not. Read full column here:

Governors in showdowns with unions

From the Milwaukee Journalonline.com - Governor-elect Scott Walker raised the possibility of essentially abolishing state employee unions on Tuesday as one option to control rising employee benefits costs and eliminate the state's budget deficit. Walker, a Republican, said he's looking at a range of options that would weaken unions, including eliminating their ability to negotiate with the state. "Anything from the decertify all the way through modifications of the current laws in place," Walker said at a luncheon sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club at the Newsroom Pub.
"The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers and the people who care about services." Walker's comments were an escalation of an aggressive posture he's taken with state unions as he prepares to take office on Jan. 3.  Read more

Live Racing Returns to Sunland Park

From the El Paso Times - by Felix Chavez - Every year, it seems Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino plays a prominent role in the world of horse racing in the United States. And this year promises yet another sound season for the track, highlighted by more than 30 races worth $100,000 or more, and the meet's signature event, the Grade III Sunland Derby, which is set for March 27. "There is so much competition at the track and that's good," trainer Henry Dominguez said. "It's good times right now and it's going to be a good year." The 77-day season will offer a purse distribution of more than $19 million and there will be plenty of big races in both thoroughbred and quarter-horse events. Read full story here:

House Dems Reject Tax Cut Deal

From the hill.com The House Democratic Caucus on Thursday rejected the tax deal negotiated between the White House and Senate Republicans. The non-binding vote held during a closed meeting of the caucus puts tremendous pressure on House leaders to fight for changes to the proposal, and raises questions about whether the administration's deal will move to the House floor. "I don't think there's any doubt that [Speaker Nancy Pelosi] will follow the caucus," Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) told reporters. The White House has insisted the deal worked out with Republicans cannot be changed. Vice President Joe Biden visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to deliver the message to House Democrats that the White House viewed the deal as a "take it or leave it" accord. More here

Will Bingaman Jam SB 1689 Down New Mexico's Throat?

Note - News New Mexico has a copy of a letter sent to Senator Jeff Bingaman recently regarding his attempts to jam Senate Bill 1689 down the throats of New Mexico's citizens. We publish excerpts here as we find the communication quite compelling.
Jeff Bingaman
Dear Senator Bingaman: You responded by letter dated December 1, 2010 to my email expressing opposition to S.1689, the Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks Wilderness Act. I now wish to add some accuracy to your comments, which, sadly, are in wide variance with the facts in important areas.
You stated that “President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of Interior Manual Lujan recommended certain BLM lands in Dona Ana County for wilderness designation”. That statement is true, but you fail to mention that they recommended against wilderness designations for the Sierra de Las Uvas Mountains and the Robledo Mountains, both Wilderness Study Areas which the Interior Department determined did not meet wilderness characteristics. They recommended these areas be returned to multiple-use. Nevertheless, these areas are proposed for wilderness designations in S.1689.
In addition, S.1689 includes proposed wilderness designations in Broad Canyon and in the E. Potrillo Mountains, which were extensively studied by BLM and were not even designated as Wilderness Study Areas, due to lack of wilderness characteristics. You stated that “the City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County held numerous local meetings, and then forwarded their findings to the congressional delegation”. This is not entirely true. The findings to which you refer came only from the Dona Ana County Commission and so grossly misrepresented the facts from the 16 member city/county committee, the City of Las Cruces chose not to join the County in endorsing the letter you received. The committee process, in fact, was abruptly discontinued with a statement from the moderator, a city employee, that “it had become obvious no consensus would be reached.”
The actual “findings” of the committee, as reflected in the final report of the moderator, were wilderness designations in only 54,000 acres of the more than 250,000 acres proposed. The committee strongly favored withdrawal of the other lands or, in some cases, returning the lands to multiple-use. Withdrawal would provide that those lands could not be sold or exchanged, or leased for drilling or mining-----provisions far less restrictive than wilderness, but which would protect and preserve the lands in perpetuity under federal ownership.

Your letter describes changes in the legislation to address the “border security challenge”. Wilderness types are even suggesting such designations along the border will now “improve border security” without elaboration. It’s important to realize that they’re comparing this legislation to earlier, more unreasonable versions. That’s the “improvement”. A clever turn of phrase but tortured logic to be sure. One need only look at pictures of Organ Pipe National Monument, AZ for a glimpse of our future if your legislation becomes law: a safe haven for alien criminals, signs prohibiting American access for fear of contact with these miscreants, and square miles of garbage. For several reasons, there are no better experts to address questions of border security and to predict the outcome of border area wilderness designations than the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO). Their members have served thousands of man years on the border. They know the area. Moreover, their point of view is not corrupted by having a current job to protect. NAFBPO held a Border Security Forum in Las Cruces, in which they warned S.1689 would create corridors for illegal entry and drug and human trafficking in the Potrillo Mountains area, and would hinder law enforcement and fire protection in all areas proposed for wilderness in S.1689.
A recent report by Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Issues for Center for Immigration Studies titled “Will New Mexico Become the Next Arizona” supports and expands the conclusions of NAFBPO. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has predicted that the stepped-up enforcement efforts in Arizona will bring increases in smuggling and other criminal activity to New Mexico. You also stated in your letter that “it is my sense that there is broad community support in Dona Ana County for this legislation…”. I submit there is much broader and deeper opposition, which unfortunately you and Senator Udall continue to ignore. The wilderness proposal became a major issue in the recent election, helping to defeat at least two incumbent state legislators, who openly supported this legislation.
There exists a coalition of more than 800 businesses and organizations, plus a petition signed by 2,250 individuals opposing the legislation. The pro-wilderness equivalent lists only about 215 “businesses and organizations”. So, opponents of record total at least several thousand business owners, employees and members compared to a few hundred proponents. This is not speculation.