Richardson: Martinez ‘has not respected me’

The New Mexico Independent - Speaking to reporters former Gov. Bill Richardson said he believes Gov. Susana Martinez has not respected him in her time in office. Reporters asked Richardson how he thought Martinez was handling things in her first legislative session. “I really am not going to comment,” Richardson responded, according to Trip Jennings. “I think every governor should respect the previous governor, although this governor has not respected me. But I’m not going to comment. I am not going to get into legislative opinions.” When asked a follow-up, Richardson declined to comment. More News New Mexico

Swickard: Looking for a sustainable solution to the debate about driver’s licenses

Posted at NM - The debate should be about making it easier to obey the immigration laws than break them as it is now. Look at the incentives for following the law to see if they make sense. To understand this we should think of our standing in the world. Our country has been and is now the beacon of prosperity shining a light of freedom for all people in the world to see. Abraham Lincoln, in his message to Congress in 1862 wrote, “We hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” I am especially in awe of people who come to our country in search of freedom and opportunity. They must leave all they know and love behind for an ideal. Yes, we are a country that contains the ideal of freedom, opportunity and property rights. In many countries the strata in which you are born is the strata you will be in when you die. Not so our country. I am proud of our country as a beacon to all who want the opportunity to work for a better life. We are a big country with enough room for any and all who wish to come. We are made stronger by our immigrants who bring their desire for a better life. Our only requirement is that they do so overtly and legally. We are open to those who want to be free. But to become an American carries the responsibility of our laws. Let no one cheat the American people. Let all who yearn to be free come and join us. Let us defeat those who would tear our laws apart. Read Column

Barney Frank:"Lazy People Don't Immigrate"

From - Accepting an award from the National Council of La Raza at a black-tie dinner, Frank told the Latino group, “There’s a problem in this country with bilingualism. And the problem is that not enough of us are [bilingual].”  Frank also took a witty jab at certain anti-immigration arguments. “Lazy people don’t immigrate. I mean, who gets up and goes to a foreign country where they don’t speak the language and they don’t have any contacts?  More News New Mexico

Columbus, NM Mayor, Police Chief Accused By Feds Of Buying Guns To Illegally Export To Mexico

From -The mayor and police chief of the Village of Columbus, N.M., were among 10 people arrested Thursday morning on allegations of buying firearms in the U.S. to illegally export to Mexico, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Mexico.  The defendants charged in the 84-count indictment include Angelo Vega, the Columbus chief of police; Eddie Espinoza, the mayor of Columbus; and Blas Gutierrez, a village trustee in Columbus.  The indictment alleges that, between January 2010 and March 2011, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to purchase firearms for illegal export to Mexico. During this 14-month period, the defendants allegedly purchased about 200 firearms from Chaparral Guns in Chaparral, N.M., which is owned and operated by defendant Ian Garland.  In 1996, when Vega was a Lincoln County deputy sheriff, he was indicted on charges of extortion and intimidating a witness. A plea agreement reduced those charges to a misdemeanor, and Vega was placed on probation.  More News New Mexico

Rolling Blackouts, A Glimpse of the Future

Rolling electricity blackouts last month created great hardships all over New Mexico. When record cold temperatures caused freezing pipes to burst, carpeting was ruined as were sheet rock walls, wood floors, and other important household items. We all notice the dead cacti and palm trees all around our state. Are we still convinced the planet is suffering from man-made warming? Let’s look at the enormous cost of keeping the faith in the face of all the contradicting temperature data points.
Going hours without power and days without heat created severe health risks and untold damages. Many important electronic devices dependent on consistent power flow, failed. Do we think things might be different in the summers ahead? Don’t bet on it. We should get ready for third world conditions like those endured by countries without air conditioning. The number of elderly that may die from heat related issues can be expected to rise exponentially.
Our future does not have to be this way. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should be stopped from expanding the definition of pollutants to include CO2 (the lifeblood for plant life). If the EPA bureaucratic dictatorship is not checked, power generation is going to decline. Bureaucrats embracing the religion of radical environmentalism are now putting CO2 on the list with truly toxic substances like mercury and lead. If the radical EPA is allowed to do this without massive public outcry, it is going to lead to an epidemic of rolling blackouts. The EPA is already requiring the shutdown of three functioning coal-fired electrical generating plants in New Mexico’s Four Corners region. This action alone will put thousands of Native Americans out of work. Add to this travesty the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stonewalling the permits for all domestic new nuclear power plants and you have the makings of a perfectly horrible rolling blackout storm. In the meantime there are over 60 nuclear projects underway all around the world using American technology.
What else is looming in our near term energy future? Have you checked the prices at the gas pumps lately? How about the impact of our elected officials driving away offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico while our main suppliers from the Middle East are threatened by social insurrections? Or maybe we should see how the permitting processes for vast newly discovered domestic energy reserves are being systematically thwarted by those who have openly hoped for $7 a gallon gas. Perhaps a review of how a handful of extremists in the lower 48 states is denying Native American people living near the Arctic Circle the chance to produce domestic energy is in order. This is energy that could enable the Inupiat tribe to pull themselves out of an economic malaise and generate huge new tax revenues to reduce debt?
All these processes are happening right under New Mexico and America’s collective noses. Is there scrutiny of the wisdom of these practices? Not from a jobs perspective. Not from a declining standard of living perspective. Not from a tax revenue perspective. Not from a national debt perspective. Not from a common sense perspective. The only thing we can point to is some vague concept floated by dreamers. They have no answer to the dilemma that solar panels don’t produce electricity at night and wind generators that don’t produce electricity when the wind doesn’t blow sufficiently. All they can offer is some dubious assertion that while our economy and our way of life goes straight down the crapper we are “saving the planet."
There is a mountain of facts that suggest that President Obama’s idea of a “green energy economy” is not a viable. It is only an excuse to continue to commit well-intended economic suicide. At some point we have to reject economic suicide and admit that bankruptcy is not ECO-friendly. If you are in doubt about how falling living standards will affect the planet, just look at the “environment” in every third world nation and compare it to America's. All of these mindlessly reckless global warming/climate change policies are being orchestrated by a tiny sliver of the population. Complicit in this self-destruction is a socialist-oriented public education system that seems hell bent and determined to teach every successive generation of students that somehow energy production and consumption is bad……well at least for all the “other” people.
What we are doing will not help us become energy independent. What we are doing is accelerating the process of making the U.S. operate like a third world country. Rolling blackouts during the hottest days of summer are not far off in our future unless very soon, and at all levels, municipal, county, state, and federal government, we vote to completely eliminate people who are opposed to common sense energy policies. 
Finally, agreeing with the points made in this column will not be sufficient. Those who disagree with these points are better organized, better funded, and better connected politically. They are winning and America and New Mexico are losing.


Unrest in Saudi Arabia Perculating Hotter

MSNBC - CAIRO — Saudi police opened fire Thursday to disperse a protest in the mainly Shiite, oil-producing east, leaving at least one man injured, as the government struggled to prevent a wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world from reaching the kingdom. The rare violence raised concern about a crackdown ahead of more planned protests after Friday prayers in different cities throughout the oil-rich kingdom. The pro-Western monarchy is concerned protests could open footholds for Shiite powerhouse Iran and has accused foreigners of stoking the protests, which are officially forbidden. Despite the ban and a warning that security forces will act against them, protesters demanding the release of political prisoners took to the streets for a second day in the eastern city of Qatif. Several hundred protesters, some wearing face masks to avoid being identified, marched after dark asking for "Freedom for prisoners." Police, who were lined up opposite the protesters, fired percussion bombs, followed by gunfire, causing the crowd to scatter, a witness said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government retaliation. Read full story here: New New Mexico

Contreras: Speaker Vote is Over

Victor Contreras
NMPolitics - On March 3, N.M. blogger Heath Haussamen asserted on this website, “When Republicans opted against Rep. Joseph Cervantes’ attempt to overthrow House Speaker Ben Luján earlier this year, they made a political decision that they would have a better chance of taking control of the House in 2012 if the controversial Luján was speaker.” It is an unwarranted, inferential leap to claim to know the collective Republican motive for not giving support to Rep. Joseph Cervantes, or any Democrat, for speaker of the House. Most importantly, it’s over. In regards to HB 78, I don’t think it’s particularly important that Speaker Luján broke rules. Most of our House speakers have. I think the real meat of this story is that some members found a way to get together and execute the will of the people. Also of significance is the transparency we enjoyed in the debate and passage of HB 78. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Williams: Handous, Morality, and Common Sense

Waler Williams
Townhall - Whether Americans realize it or not, the last decade's path of congressional spending is unsustainable. Spending must be reined in, but what spending should be cut? The Republican majority in the House of Representatives fear being booted out of office and are understandably timid. Their rule for whom to cut appears to be: Look around to see who are the politically weak handout recipients.  The problem is that those cuts won't put much of a dent in overall spending. The absolute last thing a Republican or Democrat congressmen wants to do is to cut handouts to, and thereby anger, recipients who vote in large numbers. To spare myself ugly mail, I'm not going to mention that handout group, but members of Congress know of whom I speak.
More than 200 House members and 50 senators have co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution. A balanced budget amendment is no protection against the growth of government and the loss of our liberties. Estimated federal tax revenue for 2011 is $2.2 trillion and federal spending is $3.8 trillion leaving us with a $1.6 trillion deficit. The budget could be balanced simply by taking more of our earnings, making us greater congressional serfs. True protection requires an amendment limiting congressional spending. Read full column here: News New Mexico


The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise

JSonline - Madison - Demonstrators were carried out of the Assembly by police Thursday as Gov. Scott Walker's administration again closed and then reopened the building to the public. About 11:30 a.m., the statehouse was opened after police cleared the Assembly so the body could vote on Walker's bill on union bargaining. After protesters said they were willing to risk arrest to block a vote, police began escorting or dragging some of them out. "Shame! Shame! Shame!" demonstrators shouted. Taylor Tengwall, 21, of Duluth, Minn., said, "They grabbed me by the shoulders and took me out."
The statehouse did not open at 8 a.m. Thursday, which is the time it is supposed to open for business. The Assembly is scheduled to convene at 11 a.m. to take up the bill to repeal most collective bargaining by public employee unions, a measure that has sparked massive protests and drawn international attention. Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said he wanted to open the building up. But first, he said, he wanted demonstrators to clear out of the Assembly antechamber, gather on the ground floor of the rotunda and allow themselves to be checked with metal detecting wands. Read full story here: News New Mexico

More Hitting the Fan in Middle East

King Abdullah
Houston Chronicle - CAIRO — Saudi police have opened fire at a rally in the kingdom's east in an apparent escalation of efforts to stop planned protests. Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests around the oil-rich kingdom to press for democratic reforms. A witness in the eastern city of Qatif says gunfire and stun grenades were fired at several hundred protesters marching in the city streets Thursday. The witness, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared government reprisal, said police in the area opened fire. The witness saw at least one protester injured. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Federal Retirees Getting Hosed by Bureaucracy

Steve Pearce
By Steve Pearce - My offices have been contacted by an overwhelming number of constituents who have seen their federal retirement annuity withholdings increase for the 2011 tax year. The reason for the increase is that the Office of Personnel Management did not adjust their withholdings to reflect the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Because the tax cuts were extended so late in the year, the IRS was unable to take the extensions into account as they planned withholding amounts for this year. But instead of fixing the problem once the extensions took effect, they decided to leave the withholding amounts as they had planned, thereby increasing withholdings even though taxes have not increased. Federal retirees will get their money back, but not until their tax returns next April. Essentially, the federal government is demanding an interest-free loan from federal retirees on fixed incomes—those who can afford it the least. As an added injustice, if federal retirees can’t afford to wait over a year to get their money back, they must contact the Office of Personnel Management themselves. In short, the federal government has placed the responsibility on citizens to take back what is rightfully theirs. These men and women are veterans, retirees, grandparents—everyday people who have worked hard, and now rely on a fixed income to survive. They have already seen inflation drive their buying power down. A disastrous healthcare law has driven their insurance and medical costs higher. And now, the government has arrogantly assumed that it can simply take an interest-free loan from these individuals until next April. This is a truly startling development. The money was never the property of the government to begin with.
That they took it wrongfully is unfortunate; that they expect individuals to spend their time and energy to correct this error is shocking. This is simply the latest step in a trend toward the false idea that the government somehow has an idea to regulate and control our lives and our property. Still, I am committed to rectifying this problem that has inconvenienced so many of my constituents. I am fighting in Washington against this destructive expansion of government, and I want to fight in New Mexico to help you get the money that is rightfully yours.
If you are a federal retiree and you believe that you have wrongfully had your retirement dollars withheld, you can contact customer service at the Office of Personnel Management at 202-606-1800. Also, my staff is helping federal retirees get the money that is rightfully theirs, and is standing by to help more. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 855-4-PEARCE (855-473-2723) with any questions or concerns. I am happy to help you in any way I can.


TX Pro-Illegal Group Helps Illegals Obtain NM Drivers License

The Texas Dream Act Alliance website provides step by step instructions on how to obtain a New Mexico drivers license including some social engineering "hints" on how to successfully obtain a license.  The website also points out the inconsistencies with the New Mexico DMV: “Hint: If possible, make multiple appointments on different days at different MVDs in case you don't have all the proper documentation at the first appointment and must return to the MVD.  WARNING: The New Mexico MVD system is notoriously bad and inconsistent. One location may accept your documentation while another may reject that same documentation for completely arbitrary reasons. Your best bet is to bring as many different forms of documentation and visit multiple MVDs. Don't give up!”  The website can be seen here

A Senate That Will Do Anything

We heard about a compromise proposal to HB -78. The question begs to be asked…..precisely what was compromised in the Democrat’s version of House Bill 78? The answer is simple. What was compromised was the sacred right to vote of every citizen in New Mexico. Since 2003, those who have successfully slipped past Border Patrol checkpoints in the southern part of the state and taken up residence here have been able to obtain a driver’s license and register to vote. What got lost amidst all of the genuine compassion mixed together with sanctimonious hypocrisy in the Senate yesterday, was the simple fact that the will of the overwhelming majority of New Mexicans was thwarted. Why would the overwhelming majority of citizens care so much? It is because the policy of issuing driver’s licenses to people who are not eligible to vote destroys the value of the legitimate votes of all legal citizens. Why is this important? Because a Senate that will destroy the value of its constituent’s votes is capable of pretty much doing anything.


Janice Arnold-Jones Weighing House Run

Janice Arnold-Jones
With U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich considering running for the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman, former State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones announced today that she’s launching an exploratory as she considers running for the seat Heinrich currently holds. “Since the announcement by Senator Jeff Bingaman that he will retire at the end of his term I’ve received numerous telephone calls and e-mails asking me to run for several different offices,” the Republican Arnold-Jones said. “The majority of these calls have been supporters asking me to step forward and run for Congress. Forming an exploratory committee is the first step in a possible run.” “At this time I am not a candidate for office. I am testing the waters,” Arnold-Jones said. “The two biggest things that must be tested are whether or not we can raise the financial resources necessary and how much support can be generated.” Arnold-Jones said the possibility of Heinrich, a Democrat, vacating the seat to run for U.S. Senate “definitely helped lead to the formation of this exploratory committee.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Except for John Arthur Smith, Every Democrat in Senate Votes to Continue Issuance of Driver's Licenses to People Who Have Violated Federal Laws

Capitol Report New Mexico - Illegal immigrants will still be able to get driver’s licenses in New Mexico. A bill backed by Gov. Susana Martinez and Rep. Andy Nuñez (I-Hatch) – aimed at reversing New Mexico’s policy that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses — got derailed Wednesday night (March 9th) on the floor of the state Senate in a 25-16 vote that came after nearly five hours of debate that frayed nerves and saw senators accuse each other of taking the political low road. All Democrats present except Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming voted in favor of keeping the state’s policy intact with added enforcement provisions while all the Republican voted against the measure.
Just before midnight, the vote was finally tallied and I spoke to one of its supporters, Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Española), about it. Martinez sponsored the bill in 2003 that established the state’s policy granting licenses to foreign nationals, including illegal immigrants: Here’s Sen. Bill Payne (R-Albuquerque) on why he called the bill in its final version “absurd”: Right after the vote, Gov. Martinez released this statement:
“It is unfortunate that the Senate Democratic leadership rejected a bi-partisan compromise to repeal the law giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, which had passed the House with a significant bi-partisan majority. The people of New Mexico sent a loud and clear message that they want this dangerous law repealed, but some in the legislature chose to shut out the voices of their constituents in favor of partisan political gamesmanship. I promised the people of New Mexico that I will fight to repeal this law and that fight will continue.”
John Arthur Smith
What happens now? Well, the bill goes back to the House of Representatives, which can establish a conference committee to try to reach some agreement between the Senate and House versions, although most observers think it will die there, given the partisan differences on the issue. And even if it did manage to get through, Gov. Martinez would veto it in the bill’s current form. Read full story here: News New Mexico


The Ultimate NO CONFIDENCE Vote

Bloomberg - Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., eliminated government-related debt from his flagship fund last month as the U.S. projected record budget deficits. Pimco’s $237 billion Total Return Fund last held zero government-related debt in January 2009. Gross had cut the holdings to 12 percent of assets in January, according to the Newport Beach, California-based company’s website. The fund’s net cash-and-equivalent position surged from 5 percent to 23 percent in February, the highest since May 2008. Yields on Treasuries may be too low to sustain demand for U.S. government debt as the Federal Reserve approaches the end of its second round of quantitative easing, Gross wrote in a monthly investment outlook posted on Pimco’s website on March 2. Gross mentioned that Pimco may be a buyer of Treasuries if yields rise to attractive levels. News New Mexico

NPR Fights to Stay on Taxpayer Dole

Washington Times - Republicans said Wednesday that the resignation of NPR’s top executive in the wake of an undercover video sting will not blunt their determination to cut off all taxpayer funds for public broadcasting. NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller was ousted a day after the release of the video, which captured NPR’s senior fundraising executive denigrating tea party activists as racists and saying the organization would be better off in the long run without taxpayer subsidies.
Vivian Schiller
But NPR’s critics remained in full pursuit. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said the resignation of “one person at NPR” would not deter cost-conscious Republicans who are intent on cutting millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. President Obama has requested $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR’s parent company, for fiscal 2012, even as House Republicans have voted to slash all funding for public broadcasting for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Read full story here: News New Mexico