Garcia: College branches unsustainable

From - 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." Turns out the state's funding formula rewards expansion and provides more money based on the amount of square footage educational facilities control. "And so some colleges have deliberatedly engaged in leasing and increasing their square feet," Garcia said. "Because it's productive on the formula, they get a bigger amount of money coming in." The state spends $52,000 for every college graduate it produces, ranking New Mexico 17th in the country. In all, higher education soaks up more than 15 percent of the entire state budget. State Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, co-chairs the Legislative Finance Committee and has been fighting the higher ed expansion for years. "There are three UNM campuses in Taos, New Mexico, and it's out of hand," he said. "The bottom line is you've had university presidents believe that they have total autonomy on that one and then turn around and send the Legislature the bill." Read more

Swickard: Borrowing money with no intention of paying it back

From NM - by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - After 50 years of not even talking about paying back the national debt, it is obvious that there is no political will to ever pay back the national debt. At least not from the elected officials we now have in Congress. The problem is that nations are getting wise to us not intending to pay their loan money back. Our country raises money for our treasury by offering T-bills. In the last couple of years there have been fewer buyers, if any. So we, ourselves are buying our own T-bills as if another country bought them, and then saying we have more money. We are in effect writing ourselves a check and proclaiming that we now have more money. Read more

Pearce Confronts Sand Dune Lizard Threat

Unemployment & High Gas Price Generating Sand Lizard
Artesia, NM (April 13, 2011) Congressman Steve Pearce will attend a rally in Artesia, New Mexico, to oppose the listing of the Sand Dune Lizard as an endangered species. The rally will be held on Tuesday, April 19th at 6:00 in the parking lot of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce, located at 107 North 1st Street. The event will promote a larger rally in Roswell the following week, to be held Thursday, April 28th, at the Great Southwest Aviation Airport Hangar in Roswell. The Roswell rally will immediately precede the public hearing held by Fish and Wildlife at the ENMU Performing Arts Center at 6:30. The BLM, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private entities, including the oil and gas industry, have been working together on the issue of protecting the Sand Dune Lizard.
Despite these efforts, the Fish and Wildlife Service reversed its original position and began working to list the lizard as endangered. Listing the species has the potential to jeopardize nearly all the oil and gas jobs in Southeast New Mexico. The same listing may jeopardize future development of the Nuclear Enrichment Facility near Eunice. Locals have spoken out over the proposed listing. Kyla Taylor, a native of Artesia who attends New Mexico State University, contacted Rep. Pearce to voice her concerns. She and her father plan to start a local herbicide business, but she fears that if the lizard is listed as endangered, her dreams may become impossible. Furthermore, she explains, her grandmother’s job at the Navajo Refining Company will probably disappear as a result of the listing, along with the jobs of her friends and neighbors.
Steve Pearce
“My hometown of Artesia and its economy depend heavily on Navajo and the other oil companies in the surrounding area,” said Taylor. “The federal government is placing more importance on the well-being of a lizard than on the livelihood of its hard working New Mexican citizens.”Pearce is speaking out on behalf of constituents like Taylor. “Most of the oil and gas jobs in southeast New Mexico are at risk” said Pearce. “In the 70’s, they listed the spotted owl as endangered and it killed the entire timber industry. Irresponsible, unbalanced overregulation limits the amount of energy produced, which kills jobs, causes severe budget problems in the state, and increases costs to citizens. In this time of high unemployment, we can, and must, do better.”
Congressman Pearce is an avid outdoorsman, and believes that conservation is extremely important. However, he believes that wise environmental regulation can—and must—be implemented without sacrificing a single job. He recently introduced legislation to restore jobs destroyed by reckless regulation in New Mexico’s timber industry, and is committed to preserving the rights of Americans to earn a living and support their families.


Senate Report Rips Goldman Sachs

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) - In the most damning official U.S. report yet produced on Wall Street's role in the financial crisis, a Senate panel accused powerhouse Goldman Sachs of misleading clients and manipulating markets, while also condemning greed, weak regulation and conflicts of interest throughout the financial system.
Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, one of Capitol Hill's most feared panels, has a history with Goldman Sachs (GS.N). He clashed publicly with its Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein a year ago at a hearing on the crisis. The Democratic lawmaker again tore into Goldman at a press briefing on his panel's 639-page report, which is based on a review of tens of millions of documents over two years. Levin accused Goldman of profiting at clients' expense as the mortgage market crashed in 2007. "In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled Congress," he said, reading glasses perched as ever on the tip of his nose. A Goldman Sachs spokesman said, "While we disagree with many of the conclusions of the report, we take seriously the issues explored by the subcommittee." Read full story here: News New Mexico

Atlas Shrugged Hits Big Screen

Helen Whalen Cohen
Townhall - It took a few tries, but Ayn Rand’s magnum opus is finally coming to the big screen. On Tax Day (appropriately), Atlas Shrugged will show in over three hundred theaters. The book tells a story about the importance of entrepreneurs and the free markets in which they thrive. It poses the question: what if the most productive people stopped producing?
What if they became so fed up by regulations and crony capitalism that they went on strike? The story takes place in a dystopia, in which intellectual elites team up with government bureaucrats to make the most successful people less so, all in the name of equal opportunity. What this amounts to is crippling regulation and handouts to less successful but better-connected business owners. The “anti-dog eat dog rule,” which forbids competition in some parts of the country and is meant as a favor to a bumbling business owner, is one example. Another is the Equalization of Opportunity Bill, which forbids anyone from owning more than one business and is aimed at a particularly successful industrialist. In both cases, the regulators claimed that the rules were needed to keep the little guy from being crushed by big business. The real purpose, though, was to transfer wealth from those who had earned it to those who wanted it. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Obamaspeak: "Tax Expenditures"

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
Townhall - Obama is a born again deficit cutter. He wants, according to his speech at George Washington University this week, to slim down nation's deficit by a whopping four trillion dollars in the next twelve years. To achieve this miraculous goal he has a top secret weapon. It is called the "tax expenditure." Now tax expenditures are not new, they have been around for many years, only we knew them by a different name. The old- fashioned name which is heretofore banned from the lexicon is: tax increase. But everyone knows tax increases are bad, so Obama and his team must be thinking that if they changed the name the voters wouldn't notice. There is a deeper philosophical reason for the changing language, and it has to do with the fundamental difference between his vision and the Republicans' vision for the future.
If you assume that all money belongs to the government and the people are privileged to get back some of the product of their labor, then the money doled out to the pockets of Americans must be expenditures. It works like this. You buy a home and pay lots of interest to the bank in the form of a mortgage. When at the end of the year we add up your income, you are allowed to deduct the interest you paid to the bank from that income. This lowers your overall income tax bill. Republicans believe that the lower tax bill is your total tax bill. Obama believes that your tax bill was actually higher, and the government was giving you money to help pay the mortgage. Hence, when he takes away your mortgage deduction, he is actually cutting government "tax expenditure." Read full column here: News New Mexico

NM Takes Another Step Into 21st Century

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - A new law requires government agencies to hand over public records in an electronic form if they exist in that form. It’s a small step toward increased transparency and accessibility, but an important step nonetheless. Gov. Susana Martinez signed the bill into law Friday. It was sponsored by Sen. Steve Fischmann, D-Mesilla Park, and Rep. Eleanor Chavez, D-Albuquerque. The new law, which takes effect July 1, was a response to some government agencies not wanting to provide digitized copies of documents. Currently, government agencies only have to make public records available for inspection in their office. That means if you live in Las Cruces or Farmington or Raton and want to inspect records held by a government agency in Santa Fe, and that agency wants to make it more difficult for you to access the documents, it can require that you drive to Santa Fe to view paper copies, rather than making arrangements to provide you with digital copies. Read full story here: News New Mexico

$226 Million Cut From Southern Border Fence

From gateway pundit -House and Senate appropriators revealed details of the 2011 spending-cut deal early Tuesday morning, missing a self-imposed midnight deadline. The Homeland Security Department sees significant cuts as well: $226 million is cut from the southern border fence at the suggestion of the Obama administration, and the number of Transportation Security Administration workers is capped. FEMA first-responder grants are cut by $786 million.  More News New Mexico

S. African Government Helps NM "Serial Killer"

Muziwokuthula Madonda
Pulaski note:  Madonda is here in the US on a student visa, he is 33 years old.
From - The South African government is providing consular assistance to a suspected serial killer who was arrested in New Mexico in the United States, the department of international relations said on Thursday. "We have heard about the case. Normally when a South African is in distress in another country, the embassy will render consular assistance," said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.He had been arrested for allegedly killing two men in a motel room and was being held in a Texas prison awaiting extradition to New Mexico.Madonda is reportedly in the US on a student visa. More News New Mexico


State Budget Sabotage: Off-Reservation Casino Back

Las Cruces Sun-News - LAS CRUCES - The Jemez Pueblo of northern New Mexico is close to reaching a benchmark in its quest to build an off-reservation casino in Anthony, N.M. The federal government announced Friday in the Federal Register that it soon plans to file the draft version of a key environmental document for the project. Also, federal officials are seeking public input about the proposal to build the gaming facility on a 102-acre parcel northeast of the city of Anthony. Santa Fe art dealer and developer Gerald Peters is the tribe's investor in the project, which calls for construction of a hotel, as well. The document, called the Environmental Impact Statement, is the Interior Department's "bible" in evaluating the project, said Ruben Smith, a former Las Cruces mayor who advocates for the casino. "That is key to us, because that is literally what we've been doing for seven years," he said, referring to length of time since the initial filing of the pueblo's application.
Still, it could be years until a final approval or rejection of the project comes through. The Interior Department secretary must make a decision. But New Mexico's governor - whoever that is at the time - has final say. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Harbison: Consensus is Not Agreement

Jim Harbison
All you need to do is look at how City Councils conduct business and enact policies to understand that the consent of the governed is no longer an operative characteristic of local governments. No longer are the voices of the majority heard to create policies that impact all of the residents. A few recent examples around the State of New Mexico include ordinances on red-light cameras, cellphones, recycling, and in Las Cruces, the Sustainability Plan. There was never a referendum from the “people” to demand any these policies be enacted. In fact, there was much opposition.
Did the public demand referendums to impose these new constraints on our liberties? No, they were developed by consensus of small advocacy groups and bureaucratic agencies like Metropolitan Planning Organizations, public/private partnerships, planning & zoning groups, and local special interest groups. There is no government accountability when policy is developed by group “consensus” and our private property rights are eroded and individual freedoms encroached. American tradition and founding principles established that the process for deciding public policy involved private citizens requesting their elected official to adopt a particular policy, followed by vigorous public debate by both those who favored and opposed the proposal.
This is the referendum process by which the governed give their consent to be governed and the only way to insure government accountability to the people. Referendums constrain the liberal elites and stifle their activities to socially redesign America and our communities. In order to implement social re-engineering changes government bodies at all levels have switched to using a new collaborative decision process called “consensus.” Unlike traditional decision making processes consensus is not agreement; it is the absence of expressed disagreement. Usually consensus involves projects that are sponsored or funded by Government grants. Government funding is frequently provided to pay organizations like the American Planning Association, Sustainable Resource Center, and other government or quasi-governmental bureaucracies to develop policies, procedures, and implementation strategies, including facilitation, at the local level.
Focus or stakeholder groups, rather than elected officials, are convened to discuss the issue “du jour” to achieve consensus. Discussions are usually led by a professional or well trained facilitator. Facilitators are trained to frame questions or statements in such bland and general ways that no reasonable person could object. Questions like; do you want to preserve the environment, do you want clean safe drinking water, do you want affordable energy?
The facilitator declares when consensus has been reached in response to one or more questions. Consensus is sometimes declared despite expressed objection or opposition, especially if the objector can be discredited or marginalized. Sound familiar? Discussions are orchestrated to preclude controversial issues and disagreement and any opposition is marginalized by using general non-specific statements. Consensus does not allow for alternative solutions discussion. The results of these facilitated sessions are reported to the governing body who then votes on the proposed ordinance based on this consensus. This by-passes the traditional discussion process and elected officials are able to avoid a public debate on the issue and more importantly avoid a public vote which would become part of the public record.
This process is effective in protecting the locally elected officials from the referendum process and insuring the government sanctioned or sponsored policy is implemented. It enables locally elected officials to adopt policies that would otherwise be rejected by the public to deny or impose severe restriction on private property rights. Advocacy group consensus does not mean general public agreement. We are not being governed by referendums of the public but by consensus of the unelected and this is a dangerous threat to our liberties.