A plan to improve Congress

News NM update. Congress does pay into Social Security. However they do have a separate pension plan in addition to Social Security. Sent from listener.
The 26th amendment (right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months to be ratified because the people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure. I'm asking each person to forward this via their email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around. Congressional Reform Act of 2012.
1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below.. A. Two Six-year Senate terms B. Six Two-year House terms C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms.
2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when he/she is out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
4. Congress can purchase its own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses its current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws it imposes on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

NM Government Advisory Group Wants Children's Genes Tested

From The Telegraph -Children should be encouraged to undergo genetic testing before they become sexually active to check whether they could pass on “hidden” abnormalities to their offspring, a government advisory group will say this week. The Human Genetic Commission will recommend that so-called preconception tests should be much more widely available. The screening allows specialists to see if potential parents are hidden carriers of genetic conditions. The commission will advocate teaching children about the transmission of genetic conditions as part of their sex education, and encourage them to take a test before starting a sexual relationship. More News New Mexico

Hispanic Farmers Call USDA Biased

From chron.com - The federal government's plan to remedy discrimination by the Agriculture Department in handling loan requests from Hispanic farmers has its own legal problem: a lawsuit describing the proposed relief as discriminatory. A federal lawsuit filed last month by five Hispanic farmers from Texas and a sixth plaintiff from New Mexico contends the settlement proposed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack treats Hispanic and women farmers worse than African-American and Native American farmers in prior settlements of their discrimination cases. "Defendants have not been fair and evenhanded in settling the claims of minority farmers, all of whom (the USDA) similarly victimized, but have intentionally proceeded unfairly, unequally and disproportionately," the lawsuit filed by Washington, D.C., attorney Stephen Hill contends. More News New Mexico

Governor Sign's Expansion of Katie's Law

Susana Martinez
CARLSBAD – Governor Susana Martinez visited the hometown of Katie Sepich today to sign legislation that expands Katie’s Law. Senate Bill 365, sponsored by Sen. Vernon Asbill (R-Carlsbad) and Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces), and carried in the House by Rep. Al Park (D-Albuquerque), requires a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a felony in New Mexico. The measure received bi-partisan support in both chambers. Governor Martinez was joined at a meeting of the Carlsbad Rotary Club by the Sepich family, Sen. Asbill, Rep. Park, Sen. Mary Kay Papen, Department of Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden, and First Gentleman Chuck Franco. “This legislation is a critical tool for our law enforcement community as we fight to make New Mexico safer for our children and families,” said Governor Martinez. “For five years, we have seen that Katie’s Law has achieved real results – crimes solved, crimes prevented, and lives saved. Now, we are able to do even more. Requiring a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a felony crime will make this important law even more effective.
As Jayann Sepich said after its passage, New Mexico now has the toughest Katie’s Law in America, with the exception of California.” Katie’s Law was enacted in 2006, nearly three years after New Mexico State University student Katie Sepich was brutally raped and murdered. Though her murderer left behind traces of DNA under Katie’s fingernails, New Mexico did not at the time allow for DNA to be collected upon arrest. Governor Martinez fought for the passage of the original Katie’s Law legislation as District Attorney in Doña Ana County. “I am grateful for the hard work of Dave and Jayann Sepich, Sen. Asbill, Sen. Papen, Rep. Park, and everyone else who has fought to create safer communities across the state," continued Governor Martinez. "I am proud to sign this bill into law and I am committed to ensuring that New Mexico’s families do not have to suffer the tragedy that the Sepich family endured when their daughter Katie was murdered eight years ago.”


The Dumbest Dozen

Newsnm note (Spence) the following U.S. Senators win the prize for being the most conspicuous collection of clowns to ever draw air in the U.S. Capitol. They are Senators: Akaka (D-HI), Durbin (D-IL), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Reid (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY). This is the dozen that actually voted against repealing the absurd 1099 rule that was snuck into the Obamacare law. Voters living in these states should not wait for the next senate election. They should begin re-call proceedings against these people immediately. These people are not capable of voting intelligently on decisions affecting our nation.
(Reuters) - Bowing to pressure from business groups worried about an avalanche of paperwork, the U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to rescind a tax-reporting requirement included in last year's healthcare overhaul law. With bipartisan support, the Senate voted 87-12 to pass legislation sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Johanns that repeals a requirement for businesses and landlords to file a Form 1099 document with the Internal Revenue Service for purchases of goods and services exceeding $600 a year. The tax filing requirement did not directly relate to healthcare but was intended to help pay for the healthcare law that is considered one of President Barack Obama's top legislative achievements. The legislation earlier was passed by the House of Representatives and now goes to Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Udall Proposal for Higher Electricity Bills

The Hill - Democratic Sens. Tom Udall (N.M.) and Mark Udall (Colo.) are renewing their push to require utilities to ramp up the amount of power they supply from renewable sources like wind and solar energy. Their reintroduction Wednesday of legislation to create a “renewable electricity standard” — or RES — comes even as the White House is courting Republicans by promoting a wider utility standard that would credit other low-carbon sources including nuclear power. The Udall’s bill would require utilities to supply 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, while allowing a credit trading system to help meet the targets.
“Studies show that a federal RES would reduce energy bills, revitalize rural America, slow global warming and strengthen our energy security,” Sen. Tom Udall said Wednesday in a statement. An RES has long been a pillar of Democratic and green group energy plans and passed the House in recent years under Democratic control. But efforts to steer an RES through the Senate last year collapsed, and the terrain has only gotten tougher, now that Republicans control the House and increased their Senate numbers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Williams: Diversity Perversity

Walter Williams
Townhall - The terms affirmative action, equal representation, preferential treatment and quotas just don't sell well. The intellectual elite and their media, government and corporate enthusiasts have come up with diversity, a seemingly benign term that's a cover for racially discriminatory policy. They call for college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to "look like America."

Part of looking like America means if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees.
Behind this vision of justice is the silly notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be distributed equally by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There is absolutely no evidence that statistical proportionality is the norm anywhere on Earth; however, much of our thinking, laws and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let's look at some racial differences whilst thinking about their causes and possible remedies. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Beck Leaving Fox News

Glenn Beck
Bloomberg - Glenn Beck is leaving his daily talk show at Fox News, cable television’s most-watched news channel, to produce new programs for the channel. Fox News and Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts, will develop new projects for the network and the channel’s website, the companies said today in a statement. Later this year, Beck, 47, plans “to transition” off the program, the third most-watched daily news series on cable, according to the network. Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president of development at Fox News, is joining Mercury Radio Arts on April 24 to manage the partnership and serve as a liaison. During the 27 months “Glenn Beck” aired on Fox News, the series averaged more than 2.2 million total viewers a night and 563,000 in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, the news audience targeted by advertisers, Fox said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama Visits Spanish-Owned Wind Turbine Co.

Heraldnews - FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. — Pitching the promise of energy independence, President Barack Obama cautioned Wednesday that it’s going to be tough to transition from America’s oil-dependent economy and acknowledged there’s little he can do to lower gas prices over the short term.“I’m just going to be honest with you. There’s not much we can do next week or two weeks from now,” the president told workers at a wind turbine plant. It’s a theme Obama’s struck before as he tries to show voters he’s attuned to a top economic concern with gas prices pushing toward $4 a gallon.
Obama said he wants to move toward “a future where America is less dependent on foreign oil, more reliant on clean energy produced by workers like you.”
That will happen by reducing oil imports, tapping domestic energy sources and shifting the nation to renewable and less polluting sources of energy, such as wind, the president says. He has set a goal of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025. But the president said it won’t happen overnight and if any politician says it’s easy, “they’re not telling the truth.” “Gas prices? They’re going to still fluctuate until we can start making these broader changes, and that’s going to take a couple of years to have serious effect,” Obama said. Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle. “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.” NewsNM note (Spence) What does the limo get? Air Force One? Read full story here: News New Mexico

Kudlow: Ryan's Pro-Growth Budget

Larry Kudlow
Townhall - Of all the discussion about Paul Ryan’s big-bang budget plan, the element I like best was caught in this Wall Street Journal op-ed title: “The GOP Path to Prosperity.” In other words, it’s a growth budget. It has plenty of spending cuts, but it also has significant pro-growth tax reform. Obsessing over the debt is not by itself a policy. Advancing the economy and setting the stage for more job creation is a policy. Mr. Ryan kept an important dose of Ronald Reagan in both the spirit and reality of his plan. Limited government, lower tax rates, and deregulation (of energy) will all promote the path to prosperity. The other big-picture thought is that the fiscal-policy ball is moving in the right direction. Most of what is being proposed faces a rocky political future.
But the direction is unmistakable: less government, lower taxes. This really started back in December with the extension of the Bush tax cuts and the withdrawal of the trillion-dollar omnibus continuing-resolution spending bill. It continues into the new year with new CRs. Whether Speaker Boehner gets $30 billion or $40 billion in cuts, the direction is clear: lower spending. Just before the election, John Boehner told us he would stop the bad stuff. Looks like he has. And now Mr. Ryan keeps the drumbeat going with a 2012 budget that would cut $179 billion from the president’s budget baseline. In 2013, Ryan would take down over $220 billion. Again, the direction is more important than the actual number. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Elderly man says he was unfairly Tased

From KOB-TV.com - Only on Eyewitness News 4, an elderly man is on the phone with 911 when he’s Tased by a Sandoval County Sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop. Kenneth Lucas, 76, has been charged with disobeying an officer and reckless driving from the incident. He appeared in court Tuesday. Lucas says he didn’t do anything wrong to be pulled over, let alone Tased and arrested. He fears he could have died if both prongs of the Taser had latched correctly. “Get back in the vehicle, close the door. Get back in the car, close the door. Get back in the car, close the door. Get back in the car. Get down. Get down. Get on the ground,” Sandoval County Deputy Gilbert Sanchez can be overheard shouting on his lapel camera video during the October 2010 traffic stop. “He just shot me,” Lucas is overheard saying to an open cell phone he dropped during the encounter with the deputy. Lucas was on the phone with 911 when he was Tased. “Why didn’t you obey when I told you to get back in your vehicle?” the deputy says. “I didn’t see you say that or hear you say that,” said Lucas. The 76-year-old driver told the court that he never heard the deputy shouting at him. On the video you can hear the deputy repeating himself several times because Lucas can’t hear the commands. Outside the courtroom, Lucas told KOB that he called 911 because he wasn’t sure why he was being pulled over. “I’m thinking somebody’s commandeered this vehicle and they’re going to kill me and take my vehicle or something,” Lucas explained. Defense attorney Lisa Torraco calls this excessive use of force. Lucas had to go to the emergency room for chest pains and says the deputy was in a rage. Lucas says he feels betrayed by law enforcement. “You know, I’ve never had a traffic citation. I’ve never had a court. I’ve never had never even a misdemeanor and here I am,” he’s overheard saying in the video. read more

Supreme Court asked to suspend Judge Murphy

From NM Politics.net - The N.M. Supreme Court has been asked to immediately and temporarily suspend Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy, who is facing possible indictment on bribery charges. The state’s Judicial Standards Commission filed the petition with the high court on Tuesday. The court has sealed the petition, so details aren’t known publicly, except that it is a “verified petition for immediate, temporary suspension.” When the commission receives a serious complaint against a judge, it’s not unusual for the body to seek immediate but temporary suspension. Such petitions usually don’t charge a judge with ethical misdeeds, but instead seek suspension pending the outcome of the commission’s probe. While cautioning that he could not speak about any specific case, Commission Director Randall D. Roybal told NMPolitics.net that such petitions are usually filed when allegations are “serious enough that the commission believes the public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary is at stake.” read more

Proliferation of Higher Ed Campuses in NM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Cassandra Morlang likes Central New Mexico Community College's westside campus for a number of reasons. "Flexibility, the teachers, how they have many different campuses to go to," said the recent Rio Rancho High School graduate. "It just works with my schedule and stuff." And while Morlang lives in the most populated part of the state, even rural residents likely have at least one option for higher education. That's because the state's colleges and universities have opened lots of satellite campuses in recent years. New Mexico State maintains 13 separate learning centers throughout the state, while the University of New Mexico has eight and CNM has five campuses. Including four branch campuses for New Mexico Highlands University, two for Eastern New Mexico University and four for Western New Mexico University and it adds to a serious amount of higher education square footage. "So that's the good side," said Dr. Jose Garcia, secretary of the Higher Education Department. "That in the last few years, this proliferation has resulted in a huge increase in geographic access." Just take the Albuquerque area for example. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Two Paths to Choose From

Paul Ryan
Yesterday a real reform proposal called the "Path to Prosperity" was proposed by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. It has been widely heralded as the most sweeping government reform proposal made in several generations. Curiously, the plan follows most of the recommendations of President Obama's Debt Commission. Every informed citizen should take the time to read all the details of Ryan's plan here: Path to Prosperity. In making the proposal Ryan has shown a brand of political courage that has been so seriously lacking in Washington for so long. Unfortunately it did not take even the time required to read these ideas for those in favor of the insanity of the status quo to come out of the woodwork and point the finger at the messenger. While Ryan told the truth about the path to a debt crisis, it was a very sad day for New Mexico. One of the first elected officials to display cowardice rather than courage, was New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. You can watch Congressman's Lujan's economic double-talk on the House floor here: video.
Lujan offered an astoundingly circular argument. He called for the ever more powerful government to either pile additional burdens on the job creators in the private sector or borrow against the future earning power of all current and future generations. Using the rhetoric of what is good for "working families" as his shield, apparently Lujan feels that an America that chooses to live within its means is bad for working families. One had to reach the inescapable conclusion that our state cannot continue to send people to Washington to represent us like Ben Ray Lujan. Lujan lives in a perpetual state of denial.


Russell: What's Wrong With NM Legislature II

Brigette Russell
Capitol Report New Mexico - When I ran for state representative last year, I repeated the same phrase every time I gave a speech: We need representatives who run our government the way we run our households – taking care of the important things first and living within our means. In the 2011 session, there was no money for anything but bare essentials, so legislators had no choice but to live within their means.
Jon Barela
A spending spree wasn’t an option as it was when lawmakers and Gov. Richardson grew government 50 percent and precipitated the current budget crisis. The legislative class of 2011 did better than their predecessors at taking care of the important things first, since they did (at the last minute) pass a budget. In previous years, legislators failed to pass a budget during the regular session, which meant special sessions and added costs. Bu there were other important matters the legislature failed to address this year.
Hana Skandera
The senate left unconfirmed several cabinet secretaries, who will serve until the 2012 session as secretaries-designate. Jon Barela, Economic Development Secretary-designate, quips that they are “the few, the proud, the hyphenated.” The most prominent among the hyphenated is Public Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, whom some Democratic senators hinted might not be confirmed. If their plan was to delay her hearing until the last possible moment, then not confirm her, leaving the Governor scrambling for a replacement, it backfired. Read full column here: News New Mexico