Budget plug: No benefits for temp. legislative workers

From KOB-TV.com - Lawmakers spent time Wednesday reviewing the state’s budget in effort to prepare to dive into efforts to fix a deficit of up to $450 million. Governor Martinez is urging lawmakers to deal with the shortfall without raising taxes, or cutting more than one and a half percent from education spending. One way to save money, say some lawmakers, is to ban unemployment benefits for temporary legislative workers. According to published figures, about 500 temporary employees are employed during legislative sessions. Last year, about 100 of them were on unemployment all year long. The price tag for those unemployment checks this year is expected to be about $290,000. watch video

Malkin: The Hate Speech Inquisition

by Michelle Malkin - There isn't a shred of evidence that deranged Tucson massacre suspect (name omited by NewsNM) ever listened to talk radio or cared about illegal immigration. Indeed, after 300 exhaustive interviews, the feds "remain stumped" about his motives, according to Tuesday's Washington Post. But that hasn't stopped a coalition of power-grabbing politicians, progressive activists and open-borders lobbyists from plying their quack cure for the American body politic: government-sponsored speech suppression. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting rampage, Democratic leaders mused openly about reintroducing the Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine" — a legislative sledgehammer targeting conservative viewpoints on public airwaves. New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter assailed the Federal Communications Commission for failing to police broadcast content and vowed to "look into" more aggressive language monitoring. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey blamed "incendiary rhetoric" for triggering "unstable individuals to take violent action." In his own manifesto calling for resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, Democratic Rep. James Clyburn pressed public officials to "rethink parameters on free speech." This week's fashionable new media meme is to deride talk radio hosts for taking these speech-squelching threats seriously. Make no mistake: The Hate Speech Inquisition is real. And it's being fought on all fronts. Last week, using the non-radio-inspired Tucson massacre as fuel, the National Hispanic Media Coalition called on the FCC to gather evidence for the left's preconceived conclusion that conservative talk radio "hate speech" causes violence. It's Red Queen science — sentence first, research validation later. Read more

On This Day In New Mexico History - January 20

On this day in New Mexico History - On 20 January 1891, Lt. James Brett, commanding a small caretaker force at Fort Selden, filed the final post return, which reported: "All public property from this post having been disposed of, it was abandoned on this date." That ended Fort Selden's use by the US Army.

Fort Selden (at present day Radium Springs) was established in 1865 in an effort to protect settlers and travelers in the Mesilla Valley from desperados and Mescalero Apache Indians. Built near the banks of the Rio Grande, the adobe fort housed units of U.S. Army Infantry and Cavalry.The first troops to occupy the fort were companies of the 125th US Colored Infantry Regiment, a group of African-American enlisted soldiers from Kentucky who had been mustered into the Union Army near the close of the American Civil War. Several of the units assigned later, including the 9th US Cavalry and 10th US Cavalry, and stationed at the fort were also composed of black troopers, sometimes referred to as Buffalo Soldiers. As a testament to their bravery, nine Buffalo Soldiers received the Medal of Honor while serving in New Mexico Territory.

In 1884, Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr., 13th Infantry, was assigned as post commander. With him was his wife and two young sons, Arthur MacArthur III, age 7, and Douglas MacArthur, age 4. In his memoirs, Douglas MacArthur wrote that it was at Fort Selden that he and his brother learned to ride and shoot, even before we learned to read and write. The MacArthurs spent two years at Fort Selden before Captain MacArthur was transferred to Fort Wingate.

By late 1886, the frontier had rapidly changed. Geronimo's surrender to Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona ended the nation's long Indian Wars. As a result, Army commander-in-chief, Lt. General William Tecumseh Sherman, ordered a consolidation of six military posts in southern New Mexico and eastern Arizona. He favored a giant, one-square-mile installation large enough to accommodate six troops of cavalry and six companies of infantry. Sherman further ordered that the permanent post be located near the junction of the Santa Fe Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad in southern New Mexico. For a time, Fort Selden was the leading candidate for the site of the new post, but because the railroads had brought spectacular growth to the El Paso, Texas area, Fort Bliss, was selected.

Why We're a Divided Nation

Walter Williams
Townhall - Some Americans have strong, sometimes unyielding preferences for Mac computers, while most others have similarly strong preferences for PCs and wouldn't be caught dead using a Mac. Some Americans love classical music and hate rock and roll. Others have opposite preferences, loving rock and roll and consider classical music as hoity-toity junk. Then there are those among us who love football and Western movies, and find golf and cooking shows to be less than manly.
Despite these, and many other strong preferences, there's little or no conflict. When's the last time you heard of rock and roll lovers in conflict with classical music lovers, or Mac lovers in conflict with PC lovers, or football lovers in conflict with golf lovers? It seldom if ever happens. When there's market allocation of resources and peaceable, voluntary exchange, people have their preferences satisfied and are able to live in peace with one another.
Think what might be the case if it were a political decision of whether there'd be football or golf watched on TV, whether we used Macs or PCs and whether we listened to classical music or rock and roll. Everyone had to comply with the politically made decision or suffer the pain of fines or imprisonment. Football lovers would be lined up against golf lovers, Mac lovers against PC lovers and rock and rollers against classical music lovers. People who previously lived in peace with one another would now be in conflict. Why? If, for example, classical music lovers got what they wanted, rock and rollers wouldn't.
Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena. The lesson here is that the prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person's gain is of necessity another person's loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict-enhancing, while market allocation is conflict-reducing. Read more here:


Haussamen: Analysis of Coalition Collapse

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics.net - Though House Republican leaders wanted their caucus to support a coalition to make Rep. Joseph Cervantes speaker of the House, in the end, politics took over, and a coalition never truly materialized. The political dynamics that prevented the coalition were twofold: Some GOP members felt the pressure of lobbying from tea party groups around the state and were afraid they might face primary challengers in two years if they joined a coalition. Others thought they would have a better chance of taking control of the House in 2012 if Ben Luján remained speaker. In addition, some GOP members wanted more from Cervantes, who promised nothing except fairness and adherence to the rules. In the end, it didn’t matter that Minority Leader Tom Taylor and Minority Whip Don Bratton wanted their caucus to back Cervantes. Read full analysis here:

Who is James Eric Fuller?

Brent Bozzell
Townhall - OK, so conservatives have to be accused of fostering hatred with our alleged vitriol, the kind of vitriol that fuels the flames of violence, like we witnessed in Tucson except -- well, except there wasn't and isn't a shred of evidence that the killer was influenced by any conservatives since a) he didn't listen to or watch conservative programming and b) isn't a conservative. There is the hypothetical question: What if the perpetrator of violence were liberal? How would the media react then? How many would put Chris Matthews, Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann and Co. on trial for creating the "atmosphere" of "hatred" so often ascribed to conservatives only? In fact, it happened.
One of (name removed by NewsNM) shooting victims was a local leftist activist, James Eric Fuller, who last week was invited to ABC's taping of "An American Conversation." There, in front of all the cameras, he interrupted a local tea party activist by uttering what should be considered in this atmosphere to be a blood-curdling threat: "You're dead!" Police considered these words serious enough to have him removed and involuntarily committed to a mental institution. The very same media outlets that had spent seven days pounding conservatives with no evidence didn't find this threat worth more than a perfunctory mention, an asterisk.
Joe Wilson (R- South Carolina)
The same people who turned the words "You lie!" from Rep. Joe Wilson to Obama into a week-long scandal for conservatives now heard a man proclaim "You're dead!" to a tea party activist at a national news taping -- and they yawned. Which is not to say that the press wasn't interested in the pronouncements of this man. In fact, Fuller had been featured in an interview on the radical-left Pacifica Radio network the day before, and they dutifully broadcast his either dishonest or insane rant: "It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target. Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled -- senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even 9-year-old girls." Read full column here:


Economy in Need of a Surgeon's Scalpel

Armstrong Williams
Townhall - Armstrong Williams - There was a time when failed Wall Street investors hurled themselves from their high-rise offices. Now, their office windows are made of Plexiglas and they are rewarded $700 billion bail-out packages for sending the economy spiraling in on itself. In my weaker moments I pine for 1929-style personal responsibility. I am not alone. A lot was written in 2010 about how a greed-fueled mortgage industry nourished our current economic crisis by lowering lending standards, propagating the fallacy that home investment was safer than purchasing shares and selling mortgage backed securities while at the same time cranking out one dubious mortgage after another. The common threads being a lack of appropriate government oversight and the fact that our financial systems reward extravagant risk taking. This is to be expected on Wall Street where the primary actors are fattened on the core belief the market will always correct itself (and if it doesn’t, one might now add, the government will). REad full column here:

Sowell: Budget Crisis Rhetoric Part II

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - We all know not to take politicians' rhetoric at face value. But not enough of us have yet learned not to take media rhetoric at face value either, even when it appears in what looks like a "news" story, but is actually a disguised editorial on the front page. For example, a front page story in the January 14th issue of the San Francisco Chronicle began: "From Eureka's waterfront to San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, California's redevelopment program has transformed polluted and blighted areas across the state into thriving destination spots and commercial districts for nearly 60 years." This reads like a commercial for something-- and it is. It is a political commercial for continuing to spend taxpayer money on California's "redevelopment" programs costing billions of dollars, despite a budget crisis brought on by a record-breaking state deficit. Read full column here:

Smith Pleased With "State of the State" Agenda

John Arthur Smith
NMPolitics.net - One of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, a conservative Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, was largely pleased by what Gov. Susana Martinez had to say during her state of the state address on Tuesday. “When it comes to fiscal policy, tax issues and things like that, quite frankly, Gov. Martinez used some of my script that I’ve used for three years, so that was music to my ears,” said Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming. read full story here:

Martinez Outlined Her Agenda

Governor Martinez and Chuck Franco at Inaugural
Santa Fe New Mexican - Gov. Susana Martinez's first State of the State speech Tuesday carried a simple, clear message: Bill Richardson has left the building, and I'm in charge. Wearing a black dress and a corsage of baby pink roses and one white orchid, Martinez stood before the packed chamber of the House of Representatives to declare her intention to reinstate the death penalty and to revoke drivers' licenses given to illegal immigrants. Both acts were passed during Richardson's eight-year tenure as governor and would have to be repealed by the Legislature. Also making cameos in her speech were a healthy skepticism of state environmental rules promulgated during Richardson's administration and the idea of giving bonus pay to teachers. Another priority listed in her 38-minute speech was a long-sought Republican goal: Requiring New Mexicans to produce photo identifications at the voting booth. Most of all, though, Martinez spent a lot of time talking about small businesses. "It's the small businesses — the mom-and-pop shops, the small startups — that get lost in the layers of red tape," Martinez told the crowd. "We will help them, and in doing so, send a loud message and a clear message that New Mexico is open for business." Read full story here:

Nunez: An Island of Independence in a Sea of Partisanship

Andy Nunez
Santa Fe New Mexican - Democrat Ben Luján on Tuesday survived what appeared only days ago to be a growing movement to dump him as speaker of the House, and he did it with the help of very unlikely allies — supporters of the tea party. Luján's opponent, Rep. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, aborted his plans to make a bid for speaker. In the end, he wasn't nominated and even voted for Luján. Luján, who has been speaker since 2001, was re-elected with 36 votes. House Republican Leader Tom Taylor, nominated symbolically — as is the usual practice for the minority party — got 33 votes. Rep. Andy Nuñez, D-Hatch, a vocal Cervantes supporter, voted "present." The Nambé representative's re-election assures that Santa Fe lawmakers retained some power during the session. Last week, Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, said he feared that a coalition could mean Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela would lose his chairmanship of the Legislative Finance Committee and that Trujillo himself could lose his position as chairman of the subcommittee that oversees capital-outlay spending. As recently as two days ago, many were predicting Cervantes would have enough votes from Republicans and Southern New Mexico Democrats to win the speakership. But most of that talk stopped Monday when news broke that several tea party organizations were urging Republicans not to back a coalition effort for Cervantes. Shortly after the vote, Cervantes was asked by a reporter what had happened. "Tea party," he said. "Two words." Read full story here: