Another Triumph for the Greens: To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.

From the Weekly Standard - by Johnathan V. Last - My dishwasher is an amazing machine. The manual runs a brisk 63 pages. I read it cover to cover, highlighting and annotating as I went, marking the manufacturer’s preferred method of arranging dishes and the proper way to sit utensils in the dedicated wash basket. At first the dishes were so clean you could eat off of them. But a few months ago I started noticing problems. A fork would come out with food between the tines; a glass would have bits of grime stuck to the bottom. Surely this was a fluke? Alas, no. My dishwasher no longer shines. What went wrong? It so happens that in the last six months, a lot of people have suddenly discovered their dishwashers don’t work as well as they used to. The problem, though, isn’t the dishwashers. It’s the soap. Last July, acceding to pressure from environmentalists, America’s dishwasher detergent manufacturers decided to change their formulas. And the new detergents stink. One of the key ingredients in dish detergent is (or was) phosphorus. Phosphorus is a sociable element, bonding easily and well with others. In detergent, it strips food and grease off dirty dishes and breaks down calcium-based stains. It also keeps the dirt suspended in water, so it can’t reattach to dishes. Best of all, it prevents the washed-away grime and minerals from gumming up the inner-workings of your dishwasher. Traditionally, phosphorus was loaded into dish detergent in the form of phosphates, which are compounds of phosphorus bonded to oxygen. Prior to last July, most detergents were around 8 percent elemental phosphorus. Now they’re less than 0.5 percent phosphorus. Read more News New Mexico

Republican Bill to End Medical Marijuana Program

From -A bill put forward by a freshman state legislator would repeal New Mexico’s medical marijuana program. A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez said she would sign the bill if it came across her desk, according to the Associated Press The bill, put forward by Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park, would end New Mexico’s medicinal marijuana program by repealing the entire medical marijuana program law. The text of HB 593 is available on the state legislature’s website. The medical marijuana program “sends a bad message to kids, that somehow marijuana is good for you,” Smith told the Associated Press. The bill has not yet been heard by its first committee, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

Push For State Level Single-Payer Health Care

From - Obama cited that opt-out provision in his speech to the governors today as evidence of not only what a flexible program ObamaCare is but how interested he is in cost control. Yet while he was telling them that, the White House was telling the left something different: Health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter stressed on the off-record call that the rule change would allow states to implement single-payer health care plans — as Vermont seeks to — and true government-run plans, like Connecticut’s Sustinet. The source on the call summarizes the officials’ point — which is not one the Administration has sought to make publically — as casting the new “flexibility” language as an opportunity to try more progressive, not less expansive, approaches on the state level. “They are trying to split the baby here: on one hand tell supporters this is good for their pet issues, versus a message for the general public that the POTUS is responding to what he is hearing and that he is being sensible,” the source emails.  More News New Mexico

Google Backs Global Warming Insurance Company

From -Google on Monday was among investors pumping $42 million into a climate change inspired technology startup that calculates the chances of crops being ruined by weather.  WeatherBill launched Total Weather Insurance in 2010 as a way for US farmers protect themselves against being devastated by weather, which the US Department of Agriculture blamed for 90 percent of crop losses last year. "The flip flop of weather from one year to the next is the biggest challenge farmers face," said Steve Wolters, a farmer who grows corn, soybean and wheat in the US state of Ohio. "It makes sense to me to take advantage of WeatherBill's automated weather insurance programs that pinpoint the weather conditionns expected to affect my land and pay me if they happen." WeatherBill continuously aggregates weather data and runs large-scale weather simulations on its computers.   More News New Mexico

U.S. Sending Aid Teams to Border!

Newsnm note - (Spence) We got all excited when we saw this headline. Then we realized that it was not the Mexican border where tens of thousands of people (many of the victims Americans) have been murdered. Nope, this headline refers to another border, one that Washington D.C. cares much more about. The story is about the Libyan borders......with Egypt and Tunisia. Oh well. At least for a few brief seconds we actually thought somebody cared.
Hillary Clinton
Fox News  - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. is sending assistance teams to Libya's borders with Egypt and Tunisia. The teams will help desperate refugees trying to flee a potential civil war. Clinton says the U.S. has pledged $10 million to help refugees. Speaking after a day of discussions with European allies in Switzerland, Clinton says the U.S. is leaving all its options on the table to deal with Libya. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Increasing Transparency and Accessibility

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - by Heath Haussamen - When people ask what motivates me to publish this site, I point to instances like the exchange I had with two senators while I was in Santa Fe last week. Senators passed a rule that gives them the authority to quiz someone who wants to photograph or film a public committee meeting and then decide whether to allow them to do it. The rule – and the enforcement of it, as illustrated by the questions asked of me last week – is simply not constitutional. I detest attempts, intentional or otherwise, to shut the public out of the public’s business. So I devote a great deal of time to promoting government transparency and accessibility. Last week, that included calling senators out for their attempt to decrease accessibility. It also included publicly challenging the governor to webcast meetings of the State Investment Council, and it was rewarding to have her respond by announcing that she would do just that. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Schmitt: Senator Lopez Made False Statements

Harrison Schmitt
NMPolitics - by Harrison Jack Schmitt - The chairperson of the N.M. Senate Rules Committee, Democrat Linda Lopez, repeatedly has made false and erroneous statements about the reason for my withdrawal as secretary-designate for the Energy Department. The simple truth is that I agreed to background investigations by both the Rules Committee and the Department of Public Safety. I only said “no” to releasing Ms. Lopez’s handpicked private eyes from liability for the misuse of personal and family information. I did not say “no” to the committee having full access to that information. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Schmitt and Richardson Do Weekend Op-eds

Bill Richardson
Capitol Report New Mexico - Over the weekend, former Gov. Bill Richardson and former nominee for Secretary of the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, each appeared on the opinion pages of two different newspapers. The New York Times asked a number of former governors to write about “difficulties their successors face — and provide guidance on how to conquer them.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

NYC Pays 1,500 Teachers to Perform Union Duties

From -In the city's funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two. The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities -- and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom.  It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung -- at full pay -- to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.  With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it's time to halt the extravagant benefit. "In these tight fiscal times, it defies common sense to pay two different people to do one job," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog. "It's a waste of money." That $9 million would cover the salaries of 198 new teachers at the current annual $45,530 starting pay.  More News New Mexico