FL Governor Signs Bill Requiring Drug Tests for Welfare Applicants

Gov. Rick Scott
From CBS Miami -Expect challenges to a bill signed by Governor Rick Scott which will require welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.  The bill also requires that those who apply for welfare must pay for the drug testing out of their own pockets. However, the cost would be reimbursed if the person passes the drug test. Republicans said the measure was needed because if taxpayers are screened at their place of employment, so should welfare recipients. The drug testing bill was a priority for Scott.  More News New Mexico

New Mexico to End Food Stamp Supplement

From newmexicoindependent.com - New Mexico will end a food stamp supplement for elderly and disabled residents, according to the Associated Press. The cuts come just as Congress is considering cuts to the food stamp program even as a record-high amount of people are receiving the benefits. The AP reports that the Human Services Department will stop the supplement on July 1 because there is no money in the state budget for the program. The program cost half a million dollars last fiscal year. Federal law requires that those who receive food stamps receive at least $16 a month. New Mexico currently provides at least $25 a month for those who qualify for food stamps.  More News New Mexico

KOB reporter charged with criminal trespassing

From KOB-TV.com - A KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter, Cristina Rodda - pictured on left - has been charged with criminal trespassing while checking out a tip about a rave at an Albuquerque night club. Rodda visited Tumbleweed on Centeral near 106th street on April 29th. KOB thought it was worth checking out because six people were arrested there in February for selling ecstasy during a rave. Rodda went with the station's camera to get video outside of the building. In the video, a nightclub employee is seen approaching her and questioning if she can be there. A KOB photographer was also in the parking lot and said when Rodda was asked to leave, she started walking toward her car. Rodda says a police officer hired by the night club that night called her back and demanded that she turn over the station's camera. According to the police report, she willingly turned the camera over to the officer. The camera was returned to KOB a few days later, however, it appears video from the camera was deleted. Read more

Kokesh arrested in D.C. after dancing at Jefferson Memorial

From the New Mexico Independent - (NewsNM Swickard) Watch the video here. It makes me think the Capitol Police should be disbanded and a different law enforcement agency used. -

By Matthew Reichbach - Former congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Adam Kokesh was arrested this weekend after dancing at Jefferson Memorial. Video of the arrest has over half a million views on YouTube, and Kokesh is planning to dance at the memorial again. Kokesh, a libertarian Republican, ran for Congress in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District in 2010. He lost in the Republican primary but has since begun hosting a radio show. Kokesh is planning another dance at Jefferson Memorial this Saturday. Nearly 2,000 people have said they will attend the “dance party” on Facebook. The Facebook page says that this is not a protest. The Facebook event says, “You don’t have to risk arrest, you can dance on the steps outside in support or join us in civil disobedience in the memorial!” Read more

Judges should have reported Murphy’s claims

From NM Politics.net - By Heath Haussamen - The bribery case against Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy has created a scandal that rivals any other the New Mexico judiciary has seen in recent times. With more than 100 judges joining Murphy in being appointed by former Gov. Bill Richardson, the public has reason to question the integrity of the entire judiciary. And if witness statements released by prosecutors are to be believed, a number of judges share the blame for that. The state’s Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge who “receives information indicating a substantial likelihood that another judge has committed a violation” of the code to “take appropriate action.” If the offending judge’s “fitness for office” is in question, the judge who learns of it is required to “inform the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission.” Similarly, the code of conduct for all attorneys in New Mexico – which includes judges – requires any who “knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge’s fitness for office” to report it to the commission. According to an incident report released by the case’s special prosecutor, I count at least 12 judges and two other attorneys who knew about the claims Murphy was making, some as early as 2007. But no one notified the Judicial Standards Commission until several weeks ago. Read more

"Official" 2011 Juarez Murder Count is 843

Juarez Mayor Hector Murgia
El Paso Times - Five people were gunned down in Juárez on Friday, the day before the mayor declared that Juárez is no longer the most dangerous city in Mexico. Chihuahua state prosecutors said two men in their late 30s were ambushed while riding in a gray 2000 Pontiac Grand AM without license plates at Aeronáutica Street and Panamerican Highway. In the northern part of the city, across from New Mexico, a man was shot to death Friday afternoon in the grocery store he owned, officials said. José Gómez Marín, 36, was attacked in his store at La Conquista and Hipocampo streets in Anapra. In another incident, a man in his mid-30s was shot to death in the middle of a street late Friday, authorities said. The victim was found at General Máximo Castillo and Caridad Bravo Adams streets. Also Friday night, a man in his mid-20s was found dead at Libertad and Ignacio Ronquillo streets near downtown, officials said. As of Friday, 843 people had been killed in the city this year. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Who Is "Middle Class?"

Reuters - "Most people tend to think of themselves as middle class unless they're (billionaire investor) Warren Buffett or really poor," said J.D. Foster, an economist and senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Foster regards the upper 20 percent of earners as "upper income" and the lower 20 percent as "lower income." He regards the 60 percent in the middle as middle class, with household incomes roughly between $25,000 and $100,000. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Defense No Longer GOP Sacred Cow

The Pentagon
Bloomberg - As the House Budget Committee worked on a Republican plan to cut more than $6 trillion of government spending over a decade, the panel’s senior Democrat proposed a symbolic amendment saying national security costs should be included in any responsible deficit-reduction effort. Seventeen of 22 committee Republicans, including Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, joined all 16 Democrats in an April 6 vote backing Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen’s measure. For the party of Ronald Reagan, who made bountiful Pentagon budgets a cornerstone of his “peace through strength” foreign policy, it was a telling vote: As anti-tax, small-government Tea Party sympathizers gain influence, defense is no longer sacrosanct for Republicans. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Confident German Businesses Just Keep Adding Jobs

Angela Merkel
Bloomberg - German unemployment fell in May for a 23rd straight month as export-driven growth and increased spending by businesses and consumers extended a jobs boom. The number of people out of work dropped a seasonally adjusted 8,000 to 2.97 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. Economists forecast a drop of 30,000, according to the median forecast of 30 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The jobless rate declined to 7 percent, the lowest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. Read full story here: News New Mexico

U.S. Consumer Confidence Dives in May

Bloomberg - Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly declined in May to a six-month low as Americans’ outlook for business conditions and the labor market soured. The Conference Board’s index dropped to 60.8 from a revised 66 reading in April, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise to 66.6. Other data today showed a drop in home prices and weakening manufacturing. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Housing Prices Back to 2003 Levels

Bloomberg - Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped in March to the lowest level since 2003, showing housing remains mired in a slump almost two years into the economic recovery.  The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.6 percent from March 2010, the biggest year-over-year decline since November 2009, the group said today in New York. At 138.16, the gauge was the weakest since March 2003. A backlog of foreclosures poised to reach the market means prices may stay depressed, dissuading builders from taking on new-home construction projects. Unemployment at 9 percent and stricter lending conditions are signs that any recovery in housing may take years.  Read full story here: News New Mexico

Running Mates

Steve Terrell
Roundhouse Roundup - Unlike Bill Richardson with Diane Denish, Gov. Susana Martinez will never be accused of getting too touchy-feely with her lieutenant governor, John Sanchez. And even if Martinez’s popularity takes a nosedive before next year’s election, it would be a real stretch for Democrats to try to talk about the “Martinez-Sanchez administration,” the way Republicans derisively referred to the “Richardson-Denish administration” in attacking Denish during the last gubernatorial race. Several pundits have noted that Martinez and Sanchez aren’t exactly close. And neither has done much in the way of disputing that. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Gessing: Federalism the Key to America's Future

Paul Gessing
NMPolitics - Without actually debating the issue head on, the concept of federalism is back as a central focus of American political debates. Federalism, at least as conceived by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, meant that the central government in Washington had a few, strictly-limited powers, but that an overwhelming majority of what was to be done was to be left to the states and people. The belief that Washington’s powers were few and limited was so important to the founders that two separate amendments essentially re-stated this. The 10th amendment clarifies the issue, simply stating, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Memorial Day Reflections

There are many Americans who can routinely articulate, based on their own personal experiences, what the true implications of Memorial Day are. During the weekend just passed, any American patriot who was paying attention, had to realize that there are WW II, Korean War, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, and recent Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan war veterans in our neighborhoods. Only these heroes can explain on a first hand basis the true human risks involved in authentic battles for freedom. It has been reasonably suggested, that the best thing one can do if one has not performed military service for this nation, is to respect those who have actually contributed real life combat experience in defense of our freedoms. The vast majority of Americans live such sheltered lives. We are so unknowing. And we are mostly so totally unaware of our responsibilities to protect our military volunteers from the whims of politicians. Decisions to engage in reckless military incursions is a great temptation. Yet often doing the "right thing" missions are so ill-defined. It is such a delicate citizen assignment for all of us to know when we should approve of or disapprove of military actions. However unknowing, as participating citizens, the worst thing we can do is be hesitant in questioning what constitutes a battle for freedom, particularly when the said battle is most likely nothing more than a futile overseas incursion. Rational thinkers should rightfully argue for continuous debate. To blink on this topic, and always defer authority to those who might not understand the sacrifices, is to tacitly approve committing lives of others to the ultimate risks. As responsible citizens it is wise not to defer judgements or remain silent. As good citizens it is our duty to ask all relevant questions on these important questions. That is what Memorial Day means to me....since I never served. 


Wasserman-Schultz Puts DNC Tactics on Table

In the wake of President Obama's stunning defeat on his budget in the U.S. Senate last week (the vote was 97 - 0), DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz appeared on on Face the Nation yesterday. After hearing the chairwoman blast Paul Ryan's budget proposal guest host Harry Smith asked the DNC chair to explain what the Democrats are planning to propose. Given that Dems control a majority in the Senate it was a logical question. Despite the fact that the White House is veto-proof, Wasserman-Schultz engaged in a very curious exchange with Harry Smith when he quoted Medicare trustees with saying something has to be done. Below is the transcript of the question by Smith and the answer by Wasserman-Schultz:
Smith: "But the Trustees also said a couple of Fridays ago that this thing (Medicare) could be insolvent in the next decade. Doesn’t something really dramatic have to happen, and as the Congressman suggested, Republicans have a plan, do the Democrats have a plan?"
Wasserman - Schultz: Like I said [sic], the Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. What they would do is they would take the people who are younger than 55 years old today and tell them You know what? You’re on your own. Go and find private health insurance in the healthcare insurance market, we’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions. We’re going to give you X amount of dollars and you figure it out.
Instead of pressing the DNC chair further to see if there was a proposal Smith gave up and changed the subject. Observers say voters may well have eighteen months to decide if they will allow Senate Democrats to not cast a single vote for President Obama's budget or offer a budget plan of their own. The exchange between Smith and Wasserman-Schultz was telling. It is increasingly obvious that the political strategy of Democrats, despite having control of the Senate and White House, is to criticize the Ryan budget proposal and make the GOP defend it until the election in 2012. Will this tactic work? It might.


Hispanic Cultural Center Fined for Illegal Lobbying

Dianna Duran
VeritasNM - Updated – Citing a “serious breach of the law,” New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has fined the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation $5,000, the maximum allowed, for violations of the Lobbyist Regulation Act.Duran also demanded Foundation accounting records and expenditure reports for its lobbying efforts since 2006. Legislative appropriations secured by the Foundation are now at the center of a separate state investigation into alleged misappropriations and commingling of state funds with private money in the Foundation’s bank account.
Clara Apodaca
 “(I)t is clear from your own records that the Foundation engaged in lobbying for and obtaining appropriations without following the reporting requirements of the Lobbyist Regulation Act,” Duran wrote in a May 19 letter disclosed Saturday to Veritas NM. “This violation alone constitutes a serious breach of the law, and is exacerbated by the mutually contradictory reports you have filed. Therefore, I am imposing (a) fine on the Foundation in the amount of $5,000.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


Honor Our Troops by Bringing Them Home

John Nichols
The Nation - by John Nichols - It is unfortunate but true that on this Memorial Day -- when we pause to honor those Americans who have fought the good fights against British colonialism, the sin of slavery and the menace of fascism -- U.S. troops are currently bogged down in a quagmire of George Bush's creation in Afghanistan and an continuing mission of Bush's creation in Iraq. Appallingly, Barack Obama has maintained Bush's undeclared wars of occupation. And he has now steered the United States into another fight with Libya.
Aftermath of a Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan
Everything about these undeclared and open-ended conflicts is at odds with the vision of the founders of the American experiment -- who generally shared James Madison's view that "permanent war" posed the greatest threat to liberty -- and the serious intent of wars against kings, slaveholders and fascists. Soldiers fight wars because of a sense of duty. And the soldiers involved in America's current conflicts are good men and women. But these are not good fights. Nor are their necessary fights for the U.S. military. Read full column here: News New Mexico


And It Didn't Cost Me a Penny!

Jim Spence
From expensive motorized scooters to diabetic cookbooks and all products and services in between, advertisers run commercials every single day with senior actors and actresses declaring to everyone 65 and older, “And it didn’t cost me a penny!” Here's a basic economics news flash. Anytime the rules of society say something of value is “free,” you can expect the market place to provide virtually limitless supply and demand. The trouble is nothing is actually FREE. On July 30, 1965 the Medicare entitlement was created with a fatal flaw. Unlike virtually all other entitlement programs, Medicare benefits were given to EVERYONE over the age of 65. The qualification for the program is not based on NEED, it is based on AGE. Fast forward from the date of Medicare’s inception and you will find that even though taxes to fund Medicare have increased exponentially, it should come as absolutely no surprise the program is growing on the federal budget like a stage four cancer.
What should a fair minded society do? Is there any hope for reigning in entitlements? And is our society fair-minded? Perhaps there is a sliver of hope. The greatest forces of the 2010 elections were the so-called Tea Parties. Democrats were unceremoniously dumped by this movement in favor of supposedly more fiscally responsible replacements late last year. In 2011 the biggest question facing the so-called Tea Parties is also the biggest question facing the nation. So far most observers remain unconvinced that the Tea Parties really mean business. In observing Tea Parties all over the country in 2010, the age demographics were pretty unmistakable. Seniors make up a significant portion of Tea Parties.
The Tea Parties certainly got the attention of the Democrats in the wake of their congressional wipe out last November. However, it is one thing for a voting block to be angry and it is another thing to support real reforms when they might directly affect members of the angry group. Give the GOP some credit (but not much) for responding to what it believed was called for. At least the GOP is attempting, through Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” to re-direct senior health care expenditure decision-making back to the individuals. Republicans are also trying to establish sorely needed means testing of Medicare benefits into the federal budget equation. Yet already in Congressional District 26 in New York, there has been so-called "electoral push back." Suddenly the Tea Party influence got wobbly and actual reform met with stiff resistance. And accordingly, an unrepentant big government Democrat won an open congressional seat from a timid Republican. In the wake of the GOP defeat the media suggested Republicans do not know how to “defend” the idea of entitlement reform.
And so we have it. America comes face to face with the reality of unlimited promises of limitless benefits to all seniors, regardless of their individual means. With 51% of all American households not paying any federal income taxes, the tax revenue possibilities are extremely limited. And while those under the age of 65 who actually go off to work and pay taxes everyday, don’t seem to grasp the broad implications of not means testing a benefit, no doubt most Tea Party seniors have a pretty clear understanding of the inter-generational implications surrounding the fatal flaws of both Social Security and Medicare. So, what will Tea Party seniors do while the nation’s solvency hangs in the balance? It is a tough prediction to make because many who are 65 and up have deluded themselves into thinking their benefits have been paid for in full by what their generation collectively kicked into the pot years ago. While nothing could be farther from the truth, does the truth actually matter? Not in Greece. How about here?



Michael Barone
Townhall - "How many times in a row can something happen unexpectedly before the experts start to, you know, expect it? At some point, shouldn't they be required to state the foundation for their expectations?" One answer is that many in the mainstream media have been cheerleading for Barack Obama. They and he both naturally hope for a strong economic recovery. After all, Obama can't keep blaming the economic doldrums on George W. Bush forever. Unexpectedly! As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word "unexpectedly" or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy. "New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed," reported cnbc.com May 25. "Personal consumption fell," Business Insider reported the same day, "when it was expected to rise." "Durable goods declined 3.6 percent last month," Reuters reported May 25, "worse than economists' expectations." "Previously owned home sales unexpectedly fall," headlined Bloomberg News May 19. "U.S. home construction fell unexpectedly in April," wrote The Wall Street Journal May 18. Those examples are all from the last two weeks. Reynolds has been linking to similar items since October 2009. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Rawson: We've Got an Agency That's Running Loose

Lee Rawson
Capitol Report New Mexico - A month ago, we wrote about the New Mexico Small Business Corporation (NMSBIC), which has absorbed some $9 million in losses and asked in a headline: “Is this a big deal?” Apparently it’s a big enough deal for the entity that funds the NMSBIC to pass a series of recommendations aimed at changing how the agency is run. Some background: The NMSBIC was created 10 years ago by the state legislature as a way to encourage and grow small and start-up businesses across the state. It’s funded by the State Investment Council (SIC), which is mandated to send 1 percent of the state’s Severance Tax Permanent Fund the NMSBIC’s way. One percent may not seem like much but when you consider that the Severance Tax Permanent Fund is currently worth $3.9 billion — well, we’re talking about some real money here. So what’s the problem? Read full story here: News New Mexico

Los Alamos National Labs: Target of Job Killers

KOB - TV - It's a familiar scene in New Mexico: Peace activists, aging hippies, environmentalists and scientists lining up to oppose expansions of the military and nuclear facilities that are a major economic engine for the state. They were back in force this week, this time to oppose a $5.8 billion nuclear lab being designed to replace the 60-year-old lab at Los Alamos National Laboratories. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Memorializing the Week

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
Why watch sitcoms or reality television when you have politics? Not long ago DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was supportive of the autoworker's union bailout. She suggested if it were up to those damned Republicans, we’d all be driving foreign cars. It turns out she already is driving a foreign car. Only in American politics is it not necessary to remember what make of car you drive, before pointing the finger at others you want to accuse of not helping the domestic auto industry. God Bless America. The evolution of the union movement is accelerating. Over the last five decades union demands on private employers have chased millions of competition-sensitive jobs overseas. Not long ago union bosses realized future union growth was going to be easier in the public sector where bankruptcy was unthinkable. Union bosses are now doing to taxpayers supporting municipal and state governments what they used to do to the likes of Eastern Airlines, Bethlehem Steel and hundreds of other union-plagued and bankrupt companies. Unfortunately, state and municipal bankruptcies are now no longer unthinkable, and in some entire nations (Greece, Portugal, Spain) the public union's abilities to extort unrealistic wage and benefit concessions from their federal governments has taken several to the brink of bankruptcy.
This week MSNBC host Ed Schultz was suspended for a week without pay for calling someone he disagreed with (Laura Ingraham) a right-wing "slut." And this weekend The Nation columnist John Nichols characterized the subsequent apology from Schultz as “classy.” This leaves me wondering. Once we dumb down the idea of "classy" is there anything left?
Benjamin Netanyahu
The Nation hit the daily double this week. Columnist Robert Dreyfuss let us know that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went over the top in reminding us that one million Arabs living inside the borders of Israel have what those causing unrest all over the Middle East are purportedly fighting for……freedom. Pointing out the existence of human rights is over the top? How can we reconcile the Dreyfuss contradiction? Easy. Those fighting for human rights are noble, but those who simply remind us they are providing human rights are...“boorish.” It would seem that The Nation engages in a pitched battle almost every week with The Progressive for the “defying all logic” prize. This week The Nation gets the nod. Kudos to Nichols and Drefuss.
Finally, we come to the carefully crafted messages coming from Senator Tom Udall’s office. Udall posted a video on his website this week explaining why he voted against Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget plan. However, he offered no ideas whatsoever for spending cuts nor did he provide any explanation for why no Democrat in the Senate voted YES for either Ryan’s budget or……..President Obama’s budget which went down by a vote count of 97-0. It is also worth noting that like Udall, not a single Senate Democrat submitted an alternative to President Obama's budget or Ryan's budget.
Tom Udall
Hmmmm. Correct me if I am wrong but that is a lot of “no” votes. Now, some might accuse Udall of being nothing more than a cynical demagogue for pointing fingers at the other side, voting against the president, and not even bothering to attempt a pitiful fakeout regarding his own responsibilities of leadership. However, it is important to realize that while Tom Udall is no leader, he is also no political dummy. He has surveyed the mood landscape in this state and in this country. Seasoned lawyers do have skills and Udall's skills help him exploit both the selfish and the uninformed. He is pretty sure he can look the other way while America borrows $4 billion a day and not get fired. All he has to do is blast those detestable “rich” people and keep voting “no” on any and all budget proposals for the foreseeable future. Good call Tom. Can't wait for your next "no" vote video.


A Nightmare in Las Cruces

Charlie Minn
The nationwide DVD release of "A Nightmare in Las Cruces," the story of an unsolved bowling alley massacre that occurred in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1990 is coming on Tuesday, May 31st. Filmaker Charlie Minn (Cruces Divided, 8 Murders a Day) will be at the Barnes and Noble at 2:00pm in Cruces to introduce the dvd with some of the victims. The public is invited.


Brown: 5 Simple Truths About the Middle East

Michael Brown
Townhall - There is no such thing as a historic “Palestinian people” living in the Middle East. To be sure, there have been Arabs living in the land of Palestine for centuries. (The land of Israel was derisively renamed “Palestine” by the Romans in the second century A.D.). And it is true that some of these families have lived in Palestine without interruption for many generations. But at no time before 1967 did these Arabs identify themselves as “Palestinians,” nor did they seek to achieve any kind of statehood there. As expressed by former terrorist Walid Shoebat, “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?” Read full column here: News New Mexico

Amazing: Obama Budget Fails in Senate 97 - 0

NewsNM note (Spence) We received another form letter via email from Senator Tom Udall this morning. He went to great lengths to explain why he did NOT vote for Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity." Though the Ryan budget proposal did get 40 votes in the Senate, there were 57 votes against it. Senator Udall did not offer any explanations on his vote or the final vote count on Presdient Obama's budget which was defeated 97-0.
Politico - The budget proposal released by the White House back in February didn’t win a single vote in the Senate on Wednesday— the final tally was 0-97. Senate Republicans pushed for the vote as a counterpoint to the defeat of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. POLITICO’s David Rogers reports: “The vote on the president’s plan turned into a rout, with neither Republicans nor Democrats voting in favor of taking it up. At one level, the 97-0 vote showed how out-of-date the February requests can seem after so much has changed in the spending debate already this year. But for Democrats, it also proved a convenient way to mask their substantial internal differences over how to proceed” on addressing the government’s fiscal problems. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Debbie Does Hypocrisy

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has some explaining to do. The new Democratic National Committee chairwoman was heard in front of a microphone blasting the Republicans who opposed President Obama's decision to bailout the the American automakers. "If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side," said Wasserman-Schultz, "we would be driving foreign cars. They would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes." Somebody in Florida decided to track down the brand of the Congresswoman's own automobile. Yep, you could see this one coming. Debbie drives an "Infinity," and Infinity is a Japanese brand. Apparently, Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz could not find a domestic car worthy of her purchase, however she found plenty of autoworkers unions worthy of taxpayer subsidies. This sums up the economic philosophy of the DNC Chair. She will use her own money to buy foreign and use the taxpayer's money to subsidize domestic unions. Infinity is a good brand for Wasserman-Schultz, it describes her capacity for hypocrisy.


Harbison: Memorial Day is not for Phony Veterans

Jim Harbison
As we approach another Memorial Day honoring those military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their Country we are unfortunately also reminded of those who try to capitalize on the honorable and faithful service of others. Far too often we read in the paper or hear on the news of an individual falsely claiming to be a veteran, a former member of the Navy SEALs, Special Forces or some other elite military force to gain some favor or honor. America has an outrageous number of phony heroes who would steal the respect and dignity of our true military heroes and their families. These despicable individuals come from all walks of life; laborers, civic leaders, college students, Congressmen, veteran organization members, lawyers, business executives and even US military General Officers. Each has worn military decorations they did not earn and were not entitled. Among other things they are guilty of the crime of “stolen valor”. This is now epidemic and unfortunately the raid on Osama Bin Laden has brought out a fresh crop of these phony heroes that want public recognition for the bravery of others.
Navy Seals
The common thread with all of these insecure under achievers is that they lack the character, courage, fortitude, and integrity necessary to serve in these very special units. These elite units require hard work, dedication, commitment and an unswerving loyalty and fidelity to each other. They unselfishly sacrifice their lives to protect their team mates and comrades in arms. Never thinking about themselves they exhibited the unique courage and character that defines our military heritage.
Richard Blumenthal
Laws have been passed than make “stolen valor” a punishable offense. Unfortunately, our liberal judicial establishment consistently disregards the will of the people and the laws and either fails to prosecute these offenses or makes a plea bargain that results in nothing more than minimal community service. I consider this to be an offense against the character of all the men and women who honorably served in our military service.
Today’s military is an all volunteer force but military service used to be a burden shared by all men ages 18 to 26 via the draft. One’s former station in life became unimportant and once they put on the uniform they developed a common bond with each other. Dutifully, each one performed his or her service and most returned to civilian life.
Military service is a life changing experience and most servicemen are aware of the potential consequences of combat tours. Many combat veterans experience traumatic events that change their lives forever. Not everyone views their service the same but it does have a profound and lasting effect as evidenced by a Marine belief that “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Many successful individuals received their initial career training in the military or got the motivation to do something else when their term of service expired. Many have made significant contributions to the success of this nation and have remained proud of their military service. Monday will be Memorial Day and I encourage everyone to remember those who died in the service to this Nation.
There are plenty of people in society who did not serve but want to associate with those who did and falsely share in their respect. I would encourage you to be vigilant around those who want to exchange “war stories” that extol their courage or build up their character. Memorial Day is not about boasting about your deeds but about reverently honoring those who gave their lives for this Nation. Honor their commitment, service and sacrifice and remember them on Memorial Day.