Martinez admits shift away from campaign pledge

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - Gov.-elect Susana Martinez says cuts to “certain bureaucracies,” including education and Medicaid, might be necessary to balance the state’s budget. “No final decisions have been made, but it certainly is a possibility,” the Martinez transition team told this week when asked if education and Medicaid funding might be cut. That’s an acknowledgement that Martinez is shifting away from one of the central promises of her campaign. She said repeatedly on the campaign trail that she opposed any cuts to education and Medicaid. Faced with worsening budget deficit numbers, Martinez has recently shifted the language she used away from that campaign promise, talking instead about protecting “classroom spending” and “basic health care for those most in need.” But this week’s statement to is Martinez’s first public acknowledgement that she is moving away from her campaign promise. Read more

New governor must tackle major shortfall in transportation funds

From the Santa Fe New - by Barry Massey, AP, New Mexico's financial woes go beyond a more than $400 million shortfall looming next year in the state budget that pays for public education, Medicaid and other key governmental functions including courts and prisons. The state's transportation network is caught in a separate financial squeeze, and that poses another big challenge for Republican Gov.-elect Susana Martinez, who takes office Jan. 1. Transportation Secretary Gary Giron warned that his cash-strapped agency is having trouble maintaining New Mexico's roads and bridges. There's a nearly $200 million yearly shortfall for routine maintenance, such as preserving pavement, chip sealing roads and preventive repair of bridges, Giron told lawmakers recently, and an additional $50 million a year is needed to replace bridges and make major repairs. To cope with budget cuts, he said, the department will emphasize maintenance of interstate and federal highways in New Mexico. "The risk is that some state routes will fall into disrepair," Giron told the Legislative Finance Committee. The Transportation Department isn't included in the state's main $5.2 billion budget, which is financed with revenues from sales, income and severance taxes along with energy production royalties and interest earnings from New Mexico's permanent funds. Transportation is funded separately by federal highway money and earmarked state revenues — taxes on gasoline and diesel, vehicle-registration fees and weight-distance taxes paid by truckers. The department has a budget of about $803 million this year, with federal dollars covering about half of the spending. State revenues for roads have dropped as New Mexico's economy sputtered and a recovery won't happen quickly. Read more

Change for tomorrow starts when we change leaders today

Posted on NM - by Michael Swickard - Many New Mexico politicians seem to think the same people who got our state into trouble ought to remain in power. I am not one of those people. Others think a change in leadership is appropriate. At the New Mexico Democrat caucus the leadership of the House was not changed despite a challenge to Speaker Ben Luján by Representative Joe Cervantes. In 2008, voters voted for change, and they voted for a different change this election. There are as many theories why people voted as they did as the number of people voting, but a central theme is that new eyes are needed. It was on Luján’s watch that the problems our state is facing developed. The attempt to change speakers of the House failed when Democrats closed ranks to retain Luján. But the joker in the deck is that the Republicans have enough votes, if they all vote together and are joined by only three Democrats, to effect a change. No one is talking right now because it is bad luck to signal what each is going to do ahead of time and give the opposition time to counter. I suspect a change will happen, and it will happen suddenly. Read more

The Incredible Shrinking President

From From the beginning of the week to the end, the president made crystal-clear to anyone who paid attention that he was over his head in this position and that he was startlingly disengaged in all but the most trivial of ceremonial matters. Obama's agents hammered out a proposed tax deal in which he seemed to play no significant role and which totally undercut his promise to end tax cuts for the rich. That redistributive, economically ridiculous position is one of the few things on which he has not heretofore been a slippery, tilting-at-straw-men con man. It is perfectly consistent with some 1930s view of capitalism in which there are starving, dispossessed Okies at one end of the economic spectrum and top-hatted, morning-coated fat plutocrats on the other. More here

Mexico is America's Next Afghanistan

From With the exception of, perhaps, Texas governor Rick Perry, no public official wants to publicly admit an obvious fact: The United States of America will likely be forced to invade Mexico. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. The question then becomes: What to do with Mexico after we invade it and wipe out the drug cartels (as much as can be). Does the United States merely return Mexico to a nation state of corrupt politicians, failed economic policies, and lawlessness, or do we annex Mexico and turn it into the 51st state? For many of us, there is a certain false security in believing that, since most of America’s streets are not filled with the murder and mayhem that is going on just South of our borders, we have nothing to worry about. The feeling that most Americans likely have is: Well, it’s their problem, not ours. However, that illusion of security is quickly being eroded with the stories of American police officers being threatened by Mexican drug cartels, of kidnappings and drug murders in Arizona and Texas, of control of certain parts of Arizona and forays into New Mexico and Colorado by drug cartels, of teenagers being turned into hitmen, and American tourists being kidnapped or killed while on vacation in Mexico. More here

York: Honor Thy Self

From the Washington Examiner - by Byron York - There was an extraordinary scene at the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Friday morning. The prize went to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was barred by the Chinese government from attending the ceremony. It was the first time since 1935 -- when the prize went to a winner imprisoned in one of Adolf Hitler's concentration camps -- that the Peace Prize winner or his repesentative did not appear personally to accept the award.
Byron York
Liu's absence was symbolized by an empty chair on stage. So on this notable occasion, the White House released a statement from President Obama on the awarding of the prize to Liu in absentia. And this is how Obama's statement began: Read full column here:


Hill: Big Government Economics Dead (Again)

Austin Hill
From - Does the government confiscation of private wealth stifle economic growth, or does government manage our money to better ends and produce greater economic results than private individuals? This is the question that has been weighing in the balance, as the President and the Congress haggle over taxation rates for next year. And there’s only one correct answer to this question – if it is our collective American goal to “grow the economy” and “stimulate job creation” then we absolutely must arrive at the correct answer – and yet the President and much of the Congress seem to want it both ways. Read full column here:

NRG Expands With Roadrunner Solar Project

From NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), through its wholly owned subsidiary, NRG Solar, will break ground by year end on the Company’s first generation site in New Mexico, the Roadrunner Solar Electric Facility, a 20 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar project. Power from the facility will be sold to El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE: EE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement. NRG Solar plans to invest a maximum of $21 million in the project over the next three years, subject to final negotiation of the financing terms and conditions. “I am pleased that NRG has chosen to expand its solar generation operations to New Mexico” The Roadrunner facility will be one of the first large-scale solar projects built in New Mexico and will be the state’s second-largest photovoltaic facility when completed in 2011. In addition to helping New Mexico diversify its generation portfolio and meet its renewable energy goals, the project will create as many as 240 construction jobs. At full capacity, the site will be able to meet the energy demands of approximately 16,000 New Mexico families More here


McCullough: Honoring Treason, Hating America

Kevin McCullough
From - "Perhaps Berkeley California needs a good old barn burning, complete with torches and pitchforks!" These were my sentiments at the hearing of what the lunatics who run Liberalville USA have actually taken a vote on and passed in their most recent city council meetings. In short, they want to subvert justice and accelerate the killing of American military and the sources who are helping them in Afghanistan and Iraq. They also wish to honor a person who has committed more than 250,000 acts of treason (or at best espionage) against his nation, his strict military code and command, and the general welfare of even his own family. Read full column here: