A Point System?

LCPD Chief
 Richard Williams
Las Cruces Sun-News - LAS CRUCES - A "point system" at the Las Cruces Police Department directs patrol officers to make a certain amount of arrests and write a certain amount of tickets every month, or face disciplinary action. Internal memorandums obtained by the Sun-News detail a "patrol plan" instructing officers to "meet or exceed a 90 point rating every calendar month" through "a combination of predetermined point-valued activities." Written and weighted by Lts. Walter Jackson and Mark Nunley, the system in West Area Command has been in place since April 10, and in East Area Command since March 30. Officers on the streets are angry about the new system, according to Las Cruces Police Officers' Association President Todd Froats, and the union's attorney is challenging its implementation. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Details of Judicial Bribery Indictment Released

Michael Murphy
NMPolitics - Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy allegedly said he gave $4,000 to get appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Bill Richardson in 2006, and told several people that other judicial appointees had to give money as well. That’s according witness statements detailed in an incident report about the bribery case against Murphy. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler, the special prosecutor in the case, released the report and the grand jury indictment of Murphy today in response to a records request from NMPolitics.net. It’s the first time the facts of the case have been made public.
Bill Richardson
Read the report and indictment here. The report details efforts by Third Judicial District Judge Lisa Schultz to work within the judicial system for two years to stop what she apparently believed was a pay-to-play scheme that went all the way to Richardson, and Schultz’s reporting of the situation to then-District Attorney Susana Martinez in 2009 after concluding that nothing was being done. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Dueling Land Commissioners

Pat Lyons
Capitol Report New Mexico - The current commisioner of the State Land Office and the former commissioner are going after each other. Ray Powell says Pat Lyons didn’t properly care for state trust land during Lyon’s recently completed 8-year tenure. Lyons says Powell is an anti-business zealot who ignores the record-setting revenues generated on Lyons’ watch. It’s an old-fashioned feud matching two men who — between them — have run New Mexico’s State Land Office (SLO) for the last 18 years. The job of the commissioner is to manage the millions of acres of land granted to the state by the US Congress — which make up roughly 12,000 square miles.
Ray Powell Jr.
 The revenue generated by the trust is essential to funding the state’s public education system. But each man has a decidedly different management style — and philosophy. Powell, who ran the SLO from 1993-2002 before he was term-limited out, plays up his environmental record and when he re-entered the race for commissioner last fall, he decried what he called Lyons’ insider dealings, in particular a controversial land swap involving White Peak in northeast New Mexico. Read full story here News New Mexico


Bingaman's Senate Career Shows How to Get Rich in Public Service

From washingtonexaminer.com -Jeff Bingaman, the five-term Democratic senator from New Mexico, entered "legacy time" Tuesday. That's the traditional home stretch when conniving politicians magically morph into noble statesmen just before they retire. That should come as no surprise to anyone who's read Bingaman's financial disclosure reports. They show a man who entered the Senate in 1983 considerably less than a millionaire, inherited a Texaco oil and gas well in Gregg County, Texas, worth all of $15,000, and yet is retiring with investments worth $7 million to $20 million, and possibly as much as $50 million. The range is so wide because federal disclosure law frustratingly requires reporting investments only in nearly meaningless categories, like $6 million to $25 million, hiding even the approximate value of any asset or debt. Last year, Roll Call ranked Bingaman 40th richest of the 535 members of Congress and remarked that the investment portfolio of the senator and his wife, Anne, was unusually active, "racking up nearly 600 separate purchases and sales of stock in 2009, worth a combined total of more than $20 million" -- not counting their book of untraded stocks. More News New Mexico

Obamacare Waiver Count Rises to 1,372

The Hill - The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Democrats' healthcare reform law over the past month, bringing the total to 1,372. The waivers are temporary and only apply to one provision of the law, which requires health plans to offer at least $750,000 worth of annual medical benefits before leaving patients to fend for themselves. Still, Republicans have assailed the waivers as a sign of both favoritism and of major problems with the law. "The fact that over 1,000 waivers have been granted is a tacit admission that the healthcare law is fundamentally flawed," Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in March. Upton is one of three House committee chairmen who has used new oversight powers to investigate the annual limit waivers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Two Border Patrol Agents Killed in Chase

NewsNM note (Spence) - On Tuesday, President Obama mocked any American making the assertion that the U.S. border with Mexico is NOT secure. Forty-eight hours later two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed while chasing illegals in Arizona. Outrage with the administration's continuous flow of false claims regarding the border status, particularly amongst ravaged and outmanned law enforcement officials in Arizona, is reaching a a feverish pitch.

(Reuters) - Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed when their vehicle was struck by a freight train in southern Arizona as they pursued a group of suspected illegal immigrants, authorities said on Thursday. Lieutenant Justin Griffin of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said the freight train struck the agent's vehicle near Gila Bend, about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, at around 6 a.m. local time. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said in a statement that two agents were from the Border Patrol's Yuma sector, in far west Arizona. Yuma sector Border Patrol spokesman Kenneth Quillin told Reuters the agents were assisting colleagues "that were following a group of suspected illegal entrants ... coming from Mexico into the United States" when their vehicle was struck. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Are You Sure Who the Customer Is?

Who are voters to trust? The unemployment rate went up last month. Jobless or not, all citizens still have to eat. Don’t look now, but the price of beef has gone up 9% over the last year. And pork has gone up 16%. Filled up your gas tank lately? Gas prices have tripled since January of 2009. How can we be seeing these kinds of price increases in a soft economy where the customers are hurting? Unfortunately, while the fiscal and monetary policies of the Obama administration have not led to any job creation, they are most definitely taking effect on the prices we pay for virtually everything. Care to travel by air? Airline fares have climbed nearly 12% over the last twelve months. You think the “Cash for Clunkers” plan the Obama administration concocted to jump start job creation helped with prices? Oops. With the artificial destruction of the supplies, the ensuing scarcities of previously owned vehicles have caused prices on used automobiles to go up 15% since last May. Did you get seriously ill in the last twelve months? Yep.....you guessed it, hospital bills are up 5.4%. The truth is virtually all raw material costs are substantially higher too. Inflation is everywhere.
Senior citizens should be taking a particularly hard look at what their voting choices are in 2012. While GOP budget proposals are excluding anyone over the age of 55 from Medicare reforms, Democrats still believe the federal government needs even more tax money to work with. Lowering spending is called "radicalism" by Democrats. If you don't like what you are seeing on the price front it is important to realize that the policies of Democrats have been designed to drive interest rates into the ground. The justification for this policy has been that the government had to make a concerted effort to lower interest rates to “help the economy." Of course government benefited the most from this policy by helping itself to low borrowing costs. People with savings (mostly seniors) took the biggest hit in financing government's self-serving policies. The cause-effect story is now getting worse. The resulting drop in the U.S. dollar's value (due mainly to the low interest rate policies of our government) has driven global oil prices through the roof. While the assist provided to the U.S. economy by an ultra-low interest rate policy has been very debatable, the effects on the incomes of those relying on fair interest rates (seniors) is unmistakable.
Boogie Man
The choice presented by the approaching 2012 elections is centered on whether the majority of Americans want to empower Congress, the White House, and an army of Washington bureaucrats to act as all encompassing agents in protecting us from the market place. Why should we alter our trust paradigm? This week’s absurd ritual in Washington D.C. provided a vivid illustration of why a revolution in our thinking on the choice of trusting business more or trusting government more is needed. Once again Senate Democrats used the awesome power of a subpoena to drag busy oil company executives before Congress. Their old political shell game plan was pretty obvious. With unemployment back up to 9%, interest rates on certificates of deposits at fifty year lows, and prices on everything going through the roof, Senate Democrats are getting understandably nervous about what their "focus groups" are telling them about the polls. In the Democrat's caucus meetings it was decided it was time to print up the economic boogie man labels and slap them on the CEO's of oil companies.
Sadly, while these same Senators continue to support the borrowing of $4 billion dollars a day (until taxes can be raised), they actually believed posturing before the cameras and barking at oil industry executives would demonstrate leadership in the minds of voters. What was actually at stake in this charade was the amount of money our government borrows every twelve hours. What conclusions should we draw from our recent experiences? It is now time to trust competition amongst businesses more and government less. Why? Businesses tend to add value to your life while battling to win your business. Great businesses put their customers first. And while necessary for those responsibilities spelled out in the constitution, no government entity ever put anything except its own relentless mission of self-perpetuation first. Citizens will never get good customer service results from a government entity because citizens are not the bureaucrat's customer. Senators, House members, and the president are the bureaucrat's customer. Citizens are merely the tax revenue targets of pro-government politicians who are themselves the customers the bureaucrats must please. Think you are government's customer? Think again.


Attempting to Legalize Labor-Extortion

Townhall - by Erika Johnsen - "This is just plain egregious." From Christopher Corson, General Counsel for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, on HuffPo Business: “For many years, Boeing employees in the State of Washington have worked through their union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, to improve their work lives at the company -- all while helping Boeing prosper by building the best commercial airliners in the world.
Equally undisputed is that such activity was protected by law. So when Boeing itself announced that legally protected activities of its workers were the principal reason for moving a substantial portion of the company's 787 Dreamliner assembly to South Carolina, the company committed unlawful retaliation. The case is that simple.” The case is indeed a simple one, so it is dumbfounding that Mr. Corson and other Big Labor freebooters could turn it into such a crooked, preposterous, relentlessly profiteering ploy. Read full column here: News New Mexico

"Endangered" Species and the WildEarth Guardians

Pulaski note: WildEarth Guardians is the group advocating for the dunes sage brush lizard to be on the endangered species list. From hcn.org -Over the past four years, frustrated conservation groups like WildEarth Guardians have filed more than a thousand petitions to force the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to consider listing specific species, and pursued dozens of lawsuits when the agency missed deadlines. This tide of litigation has overwhelmed agency staffers and swallowed a big chunk of the budget; finally the Service, in its 2012 budget request, asked Congress to cap the number of petitions it had to consider each year. Now, a historic settlement between the Interior Department and WildEarth Guardians U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is expected to approve the plan later today. "For the first time in years, this work plan will give the wildlife professionals of the Fish and Wildlife Service the opportunity to put the needs of species first and extend that safety net to those truly in need of protection,” said Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes in a press release, “rather than having our workload driven by the courts." Optimistic words, but the settlement applies only to WildEarth Guardians, and there's still the Center for Biological Diversity to be reckoned with. More News New Mexico

NM Wilderness Alliance Film Festival

Jeff Steinborn
From publicbroadcasting.net - The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance presents the Wild and Scenic Film Festival which is organized by the South Yuba River Citizens League, a California group that advocates for protecting rivers through status designation. The nine short films in the series address a wide array of local and environmental issues ranging from corporate America to the struggle for open space.  Steinborn says one featured film focuses on the issue of lack of open space in the West which is something he says has been a hot topic in Dona Ana County recently.  More News New Mexico

Nasa Funded Group Caught Fudging Sea Level Data

From forbes.com - Faced with the embarrassing fact that sea level is not rising nearly as much as has been predicted, the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group has announced it will begin adding a nonexistent 0.3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. As a result, alarmists will be able to present sea level charts asserting an accelerating rise in sea level that is not occurring in the real world. Satellite measurements, however, show global sea level rose merely 0.83 inches during the first decade of the 21st century (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century), and has barely risen at all since 2006. This puts alarmists in the embarrassing position of defending predictions that are not coming true in the real world. The University of Colorado Sea Level Research Group is coming to their rescue. The NASA-funded group claims glacial melt is removing weight that had been pressing down on land masses, which in turn is causing land mass to rise. This welcome news mitigates sea-level rise from melting glacial ice, meaning sea level will rise less than previously thought.  More News New Mexico