Williams: Answers from a Perfect Sociology Test

Walter Williams
Townhall - The average American, as parent, student and taxpayer, has little idea of the academic rot at so many of our colleges. Save for a tiny handful of the nation's colleges, what distinguishes one college from another is the magnitude of that rot. One of the best sources of information about our colleges is the New York City-based Manhattan Institute's quarterly Web magazine, Minding the Campus, edited by John Leo, former columnist for U.S. News & World Report. The magazine's Winter 2010 edition contains an article by Dr. Candace de Russy, former member of the board of trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY), titled "Hate-America Sociology." De Russy's colleague sent her a copy of a student's exam from an introductory sociology class found lying in a room at an East Coast public college. The professor had given it a perfect score of 100. Here are some of the questions asked and the student's written response: Read full column here: News New Mexico

Finally an ADVOCATE for Job Creators

Jon Barela
Capitol Report New Mexico - Earlier this month, a report was released by the New Mexico Economic Development Department concerning attempts to make the state more friendly to small business. It calls for revising or rescinding rules and regulations the department thinks are inhibiting small companies in the state as well as reviving the Small Business Regulatory Advisory Commission (SBARC) and establishing a confidential hotline allowing companies to file complaints about government permits and/or state agencies they feel are over-regulating. “We’ve got our fiscal house in order with a balanced budget and no new taxes,” Jon Barela of the Economic Development Department said Tuesday afternoon (April 19). “If we can get this regulatory reform in place … New Mexico will be extremely, extremely well-positioned to compete for jobs here in the next several months.” Gov. Susana Martinez has repeatedly emphasized her determination to improve the economic climate in New Mexico, often saying that “New Mexico is open for business” in speeches and news conferences.
She assigned Barela to lead a 90-day process looking to help small business and on April 1, Barela’s department released a 13-page report filled with recommendations. Among the more specific recommendations involved environmental policies. The report urges the state to become an “observer” in the Western Climate Inititiative instead of an active participant. Late last year, the Environmental Improvement Board – stacked with appointees from the Bill Richardson administration — approved a measure that would place a limit on New Mexico’s greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists embrace the idea but business leaders across the state have criticized it, saying the program puts energy-producting companies at a competitive disadvantage to other states. The report suggests the state should “move to more of a ‘wait and watch’ for the science status [of global warming] similar to states such as Utah, Washington and Oregon who are not part of the cap and trade program.” The report also recommends that state rules and regulations — even those beyond environmental concerns – should not be more stringent than federal standards. As you’d expect, environmental groups are not happy with the report. Read full story here: New New Mexico


A.G. Update on 2009 Corruption Cases

Gary King
NMPolitics - by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King - Much has been said and written about the recent court ruling that removed my office from the public corruption prosecution of former N.M. Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and three others. I think it is important that New Mexicans understand that the grand jury indictment of these defendants still stands. The prosecution of this case will continue and I am confident that sufficient evidence exists to show beyond a reasonable doubt such crimes have been committed. I also think it is important that New Mexicans know that the judge who disqualified my office from prosecuting the case said he did not believe we did anything improper; he said he saw no evidence of bias or vindictive prosecution; he said he did not see any political agenda in the prosecution; and he said that there was no actual conflict of interest for my office to handle this case.
Rebecca Vigil-Giron
The judge simply said that, in his opinion, there were issues that cast shadows on the process and that, in an important case of government corruption such as this, those shadows had to be removed in order for justice to best be served and for the community to have complete confidence in the judicial process. While I may not necessarily agree with that assessment of potential doubt cast upon the process, I must respect the ruling. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Heath: Dianna Duran is Failing Open Gov't Test

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - Last month Dianna Duran claimed to have evidence of foreign nationals illegally voting in elections, but she won’t share that evidence with the public. I’ve identified several potential public records act violations stemming from her dealings with me. When Secretary of State Dianna Duran claimed last month that her office had evidence of 37 foreign nationals illegally voting in elections, I expected documents to be forthcoming.

Dianna Duran

Instead, I’ve spent a month going back and forth with the Secretary of State’s Office about my requests for records, and I have almost nothing to show for it except a handful of denials. Duran, in my view, has pushed the limits of what can be kept secret under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) and is on very shaky ground. In other words, I’ve identified several potential IPRA violations stemming from her office’s dealings with me. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Mexico Ambassador:Our Cartel Leaders Are Businessmen, Not Terrorists

Arturo Sarukhan
From Dallas News -In a letter to the editor today, Mexico's ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan, comes to the defense of these mass murdering, torturing, dismembering, bombing, beheading, kidnapping and drug trafficking organizations, arguing that they are businessmen, not terrorists. Folks, we have a first here. You will not, until now, have seen any top Mexican official actually defending the cartels to this extent. But Sarukhan, taking issue with our editorial last week in defense of a bill before Congress to put Mexico's six biggest cartels on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, strongly disagrees. Yes, they are very violent criminal organizations, he says. But "they pursue a single goal. They want to maximize their profits and do what most business do: hostile takeovers and pursue mergers and acquisitions." Again, in their defense, he says they have "no political motivation or agenda whatsoever beyond their attempt to defend their illegal business." More News New Mexico

Susana is "PACing" Heat

Susana Martinez
KOB TV - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has formed a political action committee to support legislative candidates backing her agenda. The governor established Susana-PAC in late February. Martinez political spokesman Danny Diaz said the governor formed the committee to elect candidates who share her views for changing New Mexico, including ending driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. All 112 seats in the Democratic-controlled Legislature are up for election next year. By forming a PAC, Martinez has flexibility to raise and spend money to influence legislative races without draining her re-election fund, which will be needed in 2014. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Does America Need Health Courts?

NY Daily News - Studies show that in the regular court system, at least one fourth of doctors are liable when they are truly blameless and are held blameless when they deserve blame. The current system does not even aspire to upholding reasonable standards of care. Instead it is an ad hoc process in which one jury may find a defendant liable, where another jury, considering the same facts, may not. That has bred a toxic culture. Doctors will do almost anything to avoid being dragged through the courts.
No wonder more than half of all states have caps on malpractice liability yet still have rampant defensive medicine. Nor is the current system effective for injured patients - it takes an average of five years for a case to be resolved, almost 60% of an award goes to lawyers and administrative costs and in those one-fourth of the cases in which doctors who made mistakes escape blame, the victims get nothing. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Obama Officials: Plan Dump of General Motors Stake

AFP - NEW YORK — A report that the US government plans to sell off much of its remaining stake in General Motors this year despite the firm's lackluster share price caused investors to flee the stock Tuesday. After the Wall Street Journal reported a government sale could come within the next six months, GM's shares fell by nearly 1.3 percent to end at $29.59. The government sale would "almost certainly" mean that US taxpayers would take a loss from a politically controversial $50 billion rescue of the auto giant in 2009, according to the paper. The government would need to sell its roughly 500 million shares for $53 dollars each in order to break even, but GM's stock is currently hovering at a price of just under $30 per share. At the current price, the government would lose more than $11 billion, but the Obama administration is willing to accept the loss in order to cut its last ties to the auto manufacturer, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Analyzing the Martinez Veto of SB 19

Thomas Molitor
NMPolitics - Intentions are always good when legislators introduce bills that attempt to create jobs in their state. Senate Bill 19 was a such a bill. Introduced by Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque and Rep. Larry Larranaga, R-Albuquerque, SB19 would have required a business to be established in New Mexico and paying state taxes for a few years before it could qualify for a preference law that gives local contractors a 5 percent advantage when bidding on public projects. Evidently, SB19 has broad support – from the business community, legislators, and Gov. Susana Martinez. Yet Martinez vetoed the measure last week, because of a five-word phrase in the bill that became a concern. The phrase that garnered her veto was the definition of a public body, which included the words “any entity on state-owned land.” She felt that the phrase leaves concerns that private businesses might be included under the definition. Read full story here: News New Mexico