Farmington: Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Producers

From the New Mexico Independent - Citing a need for citywide regulations, Farmington city councilors instituted a moratorium on providing new permits for medical marijuana producers. The city councilors voted to institute the moratorium by a 3-1 vote at Tuesday night’s meeting. The Farmington Daily-Times reported that the six-month moratorium came after New Mexico Alternative Care contacted Farmington in hopes of becoming a medical marijuana producer in Farmington. “The city’s unified development code currently does not address the growth, production and/or distribution of medical cannabis,” Mary Holton, the city’s Community Development director, wrote in a memo to the City Council. New Mexico’s medical marijuana program went into effect in 2007 and is unique in that state health officials oversee the production and distribution system. The producers of medical marijuana in the state are nonprofits. Earlier this year, The Independent reported that the state increased the number of medical marijuana providers from 11 to 17. This came after the 11 nonprofits could not keep up with demand from medical marijuana patients. There are 16 conditions for which medical cannabis is allowed: severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, hepatitis C infection currently receiving antiviral treatment, Crohn’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice care. Read more

Border Patrol agent shot and killed near Rio Rico

From KVOA-TV Tucson - NEAR RIO RICO - BREAKING NEWS: The Border Patrol has confirmed an agent was shot and killed overnight north of Rio Rico. The Agent has been identified as Brian Terry. At least four suspects are in custody while one is still on the loose. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act." The FBI and the Santa Cruz County Sheirff's office are heading the investigation. Agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was waiting with three other agents in a remote area north of Nogales late Tuesday night when a gun battle with the bandits began, said National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner. No other agents were injured, but one of the suspects was wounded in the shootout. The FBI is investigating the shooting. Border Patrol spokesman Eric Cantu and FBI spokeswoman Brenda Lee Nath declined to confirm Bonner's account, but said that authorities have four suspects in custody and are searching for a fifth. Terry had served in the military and was a Border Patrol agent for about three years. He died early Wednesday. Bandits have long roamed border areas, robbing and sexually assaulting illegal immigrants as they cross into the country. Read more

U.S. Called Vulnerable to Rare Earth Shortages

From the New York Times - HONG KONG — The United States is too reliant on China for minerals crucial to new clean energy technologies, making the American economy vulnerable to shortages of materials needed for a range of green products — from compact fluorescent light bulbs to electric cars to giant wind turbines. So warns a detailed report to be released on Wednesday morning by the United States Energy Department. The report, which predicts that it could take 15 years to break American dependence on Chinese supplies, calls for the nation to increase research and expand diplomatic contacts to find alternative sources, and to develop ways to recycle the minerals or replace them with other materials. At least 96 percent of the most crucial types of the so-called rare earth minerals are now produced in China, and Beijing has wielded various export controls to limit the minerals’ supply to other countries while favoring its own manufacturers that use them. “The availability of a number of these materials is at risk due to their location, vulnerability to supply disruptions and lack of suitable substitutes,” the report says, which also mentions some concerns about a few other minerals imported from elsewhere, such as cobalt from the Congo. Read more

Our addiction fuels the Mexican drug war

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - Unlike many wars, there’s nothing ideological about the drug war that has consumed Mexico and threatens the United States. The motive behind the fighting is money. Rival cartels are fighting with each other for control of supply routes into the United States, and they’re battling the Mexican government for control of the nation. With Ciudad Ju├írez recording its 3,000th murder of the year Tuesday – making 2010 the deadliest on record in the border city – it’s important to remember that the cause of the drug war is simple economics. We – the United States – create the demand for the product. The cartels simply slide into the role of supplying it. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2009 in Mexico City. America has a ravenous appetite for drugs, legal and illegal. There’s a drug store on nearly every corner. When we have a problem, we generally don’t think about exercise, or eating better. We want to pop a pill and get on with things. Read more

Udall and Bingaman Snub Obama, Want Higher Taxes

Tom Udall
After voting for a massive health care system takeover by the federal government earlier this year (a key provision of the takeover was ruled unconstitutional earlier this week), and fervently supporting the capping and taxing of energy production and consumption by constituents, finally, and for all the wrong reasons, both of New Mexico's senators, Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman finally found a reason to part ways with one of President Obama's policies. The friction point? Both of New Mexico's senators would prefer a policy of huge tax increases on already strapped job creators to a basic budgetary diet for Congress.
Jeff Bingaman
So desiring of additional BIG GOVERNMENT policies that would destroy the quarterly budgets of job creators, these two senators were both willing to isolate themselves away from a compromise deal struck by President Obama with House and Senate Republicans. The implications for New Mexico voters are crystal clear. Without a shadow of a doubt voters should realize they are represented by two men in the U.S. Senate who are much more naive about economics and hold decidedly more anti-business views than the most ardent socialists making policy in the current administration. Despite a wave of electoral change that is fast approaching in the both the U.S. House and Senate, these two holdouts are likely to continue to support bad business as usual practices and oppose common sense approaches to government restraint. What a sad and embarassing day for New Mexico.


Fiscal Treason: Denial of Debt Insanity Continues

From Bloomberg - A 1,924-page “omnibus” bill to fund the government is headed for a U.S. Senate vote that will put lawmakers from both parties on the spot over the practice of earmarking money for their pet projects. The $1.2 trillion measure, unveiled yesterday by Democrats, includes thousands of earmarks and comes just a month after Republicans adopted a nonbinding moratorium on the projects. The Senate’s Democratic majority aims to overcome objections with the help of Republicans such as Senators George Voinovich of Ohio and Bob Bennett of Utah, who scoff at complaints over the projects. “I have a disagreement with my colleagues on earmarks,” said Voinovich, who is retiring after two terms. “We’re fooling the American people when we tell them the problem is earmarks.”
Jim DeMint
Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, urged his colleagues to deny Democrats the votes needed to advance the bill that funds federal agencies and programs for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2011. “All of us know that it’s really bad for our party to pass an omnibus with earmarks,” he told reporters. Read full story here:


Senate Passes "Keep Current Tax" Rate Compromise

From Bloomberg - The U.S. Senate passed an $858 billion tax-cut plan, giving bipartisan endorsement to an agreement crafted by President Barack Obama and Republicans that extends Bush-era reductions for all income levels. The 81-19 vote sends the bill to the House, where it will come to the floor tomorrow. The House will vote first on an alternative with a higher estate-tax rate favored by many Democrats. If that measure fails, the House would vote on whether to forward the Senate bill to Obama for his signature. Passage of the alternative estate-tax plan would return the tax issue to the Senate, where Republicans say they will refuse to make any changes. Read full story here:

Cuba Launches Its Own Version of Wikipedia

From On Tuesday, Cuba launched its own version of Wikipedia, called EcuRed, an online encyclopedia with user contributions. According to the homepage, the site “was born of the desire to create and disseminate knowledge of everyone for everyone; from Cuba and with the world.” Is it just me, or does it look like Fidel had the logo lifted from a recent political campaign here in the US?That’s not the only unoriginal thing about EcuRed, either. Its content mainly comprises a rehash of every anti-American meme uttered by Fidel, or for that matter, every anti-Bush attack on Democratic Underground, as the Daily Caller notes. There’s the Bush-is-a-drug-addict reference, the war-in-Afghanistan-an-excuse-for-world-domination reference, and of course the blockade-of-Cuba-cruel-and-inhuman statement. More here

TorC Has The Worst Housing Vacancy Rate in the State

From The New Mexico city of Truth or Consequences has the worst housing vacancy rate among cities in the state coming in a 21%, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Coming in after Truth or Consequences (21.06 percent) is Tucumcari (20.71), Chimayo (19.19), Clayton (18.33), Santa Rosa (17.9) and Gallup (16.52). New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque, has a vacancy rate of 5.54 percent. More here

Appeal Filed to NM Cap and Trade Program

From New Mexico's largest electric utility filed a notice of appeal Tuesday to the state's new cap-and-trade program. Public Service Company of New Mexico is seeking to appeal a plan to establish what state officials call the most comprehensive greenhouse gas pollution reduction regulations in the nation. The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board narrowly approved the program last month. More here

US National Archives Shows Collaborative Relationship Between Nazis and Muslims

From Nazis promised grand mufti of J'lem Haj Amin al-Husseini leadership of Palestine after slaughter of its Jews, according to US report. A newly released report by the US National Archives details the close collaborative relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, indicating that Nazi authorities planned to use Husseini as their leader after their conquest of Palestine. More here

US Census Bureau:1 in 3 US Somalis Live in Minnesota

From Nearly one in three people with Somali ancestry in the United States now live in the Minnesota, which has the largest concentration in the country, according to government data released Tuesday. The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey found about 25,000 of the 85,700 Somalis in the U.S. live in Minnesota. Ohio, Washington and California also had large populations of Somalis, but the survey data found no more than 10,500 of them in any state except Minnesota. More here

Border Patrol Agent Killed in Arizona

From Border Patrol Agent Shot & Killed Near Nogales, Arizona… 4 suspects in custody and at least one still on the loose. Agent Brian A. Terry was shot and killed after encountering a group of suspects near Rio Rico, Arizona in Peck Canyon area just north of Nogales. The incident investigation is being led by the FBI and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. More here

Williams: "Changing America"

Walter Williams
From Townhall.ocm - Dr. Thomas Sowell, in "Dismantling America," said in reference to President Obama, "That such an administration could be elected in the first place, headed by a man whose only qualifications to be president of the United States at a dangerous time in the history of the world were rhetoric, style and symbolism -- and whose animus against the values and institutions of America had been demonstrated repeatedly over a period of decades beforehand -- speaks volumes about the inadequacies of our educational system and the degeneration of our culture."
Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Obama is by no means unique; his characteristics are shared by other Americans, but what is unique is that no other time in our history would such a person been elected president. That says a lot about the degeneration of our culture, values, thinking abilities and acceptance of what's no less than tyranny. As Sowell says, "Barack Obama is unlike any other President of the United States in having come from a background of decades of associations and alliances with people who resent this country and its people." In 2008, Americans voted for Obama's change. Let's look at some of it. Read full column here:


Health Care Wars

Holly Pitt Young
From - The battle over health care took a turn for the better this week as Federal Judge Henry Hudson struck down certain provisions of the bill as unconstitutional. Unfortunately, things could take a turn for the worse for breast cancer patients by Friday as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides whether to ration the drug Avastin for breast cancer patients. The headlines are full of stories about the impact of ObamaCare – none of them good. Here is a recent sample:  Read full column here:


Stossel: Why Do People Believe in Fantasies?

John Stossel
From - We human beings sure are gullible. Polls report that 27 percent of Americans believe in ghosts, and 25 percent in astrology. Others believe mediums, fortunetellers, faith healers and assorted magical phenomena. I'd think the astrologers or the psychics or the ghost hunters would be eager to prove they were for real. Not only would they convince skeptics, they'd make a million dollars. That's what James Randi, the magician, author and debunker of bogus claims, will pay anyone who can prove he or she actually has an ability that can't be explained by science.
"You Will Be Contacted by Telemarketers"
"All people have to do is make a claim, come to us, fill out the form, arrange a protocol, and then we have somebody else do the test," Randi says. He won't do the test himself, he says, because when psychics failed in the past, they claimed that Randi put out "evil vibrations" to thwart their powers. Has anyone taken up the challenge? "We've done over 200 of them all over the world." These days, TV is filled with commercials that claim that a bracelet will make people stronger. One shows people who are easily pulled over when they're not wearing the bracelet, but who withstand the pulling when wearing one. Read full column here:


Malkin: Lame-Duck Land Grab

Michelle Malkin
From - Environmentalists hate sprawl -- except when it comes to the size of their expansive pet legislation on Capitol Hill. In a last-ditch lame duck push, eco-lobbyists have been furiously pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pass a monstrous 327-page omnibus government lands bill crammed with more than 120 separate measures to lock up vast swaths of wilderness areas. Despite the time crunch, Senate Democrats in search of 60 votes are working behind the scenes to buy off green Republicans. House Democrats would then need a two-thirds majority to fast-track the bill to the White House before the GOP takes over on Jan. 5.
Yes, the hurdles are high. But with Reid and company now vowing to work straight through Christmas into the new year (when politicians know Americans are preoccupied with the holidays), anything is possible. The Constitution is no obstacle to these power grabbers. Neither is a ticking clock. Read full column here:
NewsNM note- Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is playing a leading role in this land grab.


Is the Majority of Congress Still Deaf?

There are at least 6,488 earmarks in the omnibus bill under consideration by Congress. Below are just a few examples of the insanity: $277,000 for potato pest management in Wisconsin, $246,000 for bovine tuberculosis in Michigan and Minnesota, $522,000 for cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey, $500,000 for oyster, safety in Florida, $349,000 for swine waste management in North Carolina, $413,000 for peanut research in Alabama, $247,000 for virus free wine grapes in Washington, $208,000 beaver management in North Carolina,
 $94,000 for blackbird management in Louisiana, $165,000 for maple syrup research in Vermont, $235,000 for noxious weed management in Nevada , $100,000 for the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage Visitor’s Center in New York, $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii, $400,000 for solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas. John McCain offered this observation: “Additionally, the bill earmarks $727,000 to compensate ranchers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan whenever endangered wolves eat their cattle. As my colleagues know, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Gray Wolf program is under intense scrutiny for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars every year to ‘recover’ endangered wolves that are now overpopulating the West and Midwest. My State of Arizona has a similar wolf program but ranchers in my state aren’t getting $727,000 in this bill." Erskine Bowles head of the president's Debt Commission said, "The era of deficity denial is over." Oh really!


Bingaman for Tax Increases

Jeff Bingaman with John Kerry and Harry Reid
From - U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman announced Monday that he opposes President Barack Obama’s tax compromise with Republicans, while Sen. Tom Udall says he hasn’t decided whether to support the legislation. Bingaman’s announcement came as he voted with 14 others against a procedural move that advanced the legislation to a final Senate vote.
Tom Udall
Udall voted with the vast majority of senators in favor of the procedural move, but said that shouldn’t be interpreted as support for the legislation. Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, said the bill “does have some useful provisions to stimulate the economy, and I do strongly support extending tax cuts to New Mexicans who need it most.” “But this bill goes further than that,” he said. “It extends tax cuts to the highest earners and adds a substantial estate tax cut that will make it very difficult for the next Congress to act in a responsible way to (address) our serious deficit situation.” Read rest of story here:

The Tax "Debate"

From Capitol Report New Mexico - There’s been plenty of screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the debate (and I use the word “debate” advisedly) about extending the Bush tax cuts to households earning $250,000 a year or more. Liberals are on the warpath, saying it’s not just wrong but “borders on moral recklessness” in the words of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and point to a Congressional Budget Office report that estimates extending the Bush tax cuts would lead to greater debt in the long run.
Conservatives say that the $250,000 figure often includes small business owners who create jobs and that raising taxes on anybody in the midst of a deep recession is counterproductive. And they look at the same CBO study that says that keeping the tax cuts can help the economy right away. Admist all the hollering, I came across this very interesting chart put out by the Tax Foundation and reproduced by Nick Gillespie of It’s a breakdown of the percentage of income tax paid by each economic group from 2000-2008: See table and rest of column here:


Merkel: Enough Already

Angela Merkel
From Bloomberg - Germany stiffened its opposition to expanding government-financed aid for debt-plagued euro nations, leaving the European Central Bank to shoulder the bulk of the burden of fighting the crisis. With Chancellor Angela Merkel ruling out an increase in the euro area’s 750 billion-euro ($1 trillion) emergency fund, Germany yesterday put the spotlight on the ECB by endorsing a possible boost in its capital.Discord between Merkel and ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker on the eve of a European Union summit evokes the tensions during the first phase of the debt crisis, when Germany held out for more than two months before consenting to a loan package for Greece. Read full story here:

QE2 to Continue, Economy "Disappointingly Slow"

Ben Bernanke
From Bloomberg - Federal Reserve officials kept their plan to expand record monetary stimulus, saying the economic expansion hasn’t been strong enough to reduce joblessness. The Fed’s $600 billion of Treasury purchases are aimed at boosting a recovery that has been “disappointingly slow” and keeping prices stable “over time,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement today in Washington. The central bank repeated its pledge to leave the benchmark interest rate low for an “extended period.” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is bucking criticism from top Republican lawmakers by sticking with unconventional efforts to lower an unemployment rate persisting near a 26-year high. Gains in manufacturing, retail sales and inflation expectations indicate asset purchases may be helping. The strengthening dollar has defied skeptics who said the policy would weaken the currency. Read full story here:

Another Richardson Deal Draws Scrutiny

From - A proposal to build a multi-million dollar casino in the middle of Albuquerque has come up quickly and quietly, and it’s drawing some criticism from the area’s state senator and a neighborhood association. “I had no idea about building a huge new casino on the corner of Louisiana and Central,” said state Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, was quoted by the Albuquerque Journal as saying.The proposal, from Downs at Albuquerque president – and friend of the governor – Paul Blanchard would “extend the racino’s lease at Expo New Mexico for up to 40 years,” the Journal reported.
Bill Richardson
The proposal apparently will go before the State Fair Commission on Wednesday. The board’s seven members were appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson. As the Journal pointed out, “Blanchard is a major political ally and financial supporter of the governor.” Read full story here: