Up in smoke: Gary Johnson loses Willie Nelson endorsement

From Capitol Report New Mexico - One day after the former New Mexico governor touted the country singer’s endorsement of Johnson in the 2012 presidential race, Nelson posted Wednesday (May 18) that he’s changed his mind. Nelson e-mailed the National TeaPot Party, which the singer is a co-founder of, writing: “My bad. Sorry. I still think he is a good guy but so Is Dennis [Kucinich] and if he decided to run I would personally vote for him. If it came down to either him or Gary I’m already commited to Dennis.” Kucinich received Nelson’s support in the race for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. When one of the National TeaPot Party organizers pointed out that the Johnson endorsement was only for the Republican ’12 nomination, Nelson still wouldn’t change his tune, saying, “This will blow over and the world moves on. No harm done. We sound like a bunch of pot smokers, that’s all… The more I get into politics the more I realize that I am a guitar player.” You can read the entire recantation account here on the National TeaPot Party blog page. Read more

Don't Endanger the Economic Life of NM

Dennis Kintigh
NMPolitics - Sadly most New Mexicans do not know how critical the oil and gas industry is to the economic health of our state. Currently 16 percent of the state’s revenue comes directly from the oil and gas business. Another 11 percent comes from interest on the permanent fund, which is filled with moneys from oil and gas sales. These figures do not include corporate income tax from oil companies, sales tax on equipment purchases for the oil fields, or income tax on the 23,000 individuals directly employed in the oil and gas industry. Whether we like it or not, this state’s economic health is dependent upon oil and gas operations more than any other activity. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Riordan Defended and Sued by State

Kate Nash
Roundhouse Roundup -My colleague Kate Nash had a very interesting story about former Bill Richardson pal and former Game Commissioner Guy Riordan late last week. As Kate reported, state records show that since September 2009, the state has paid $58,210 for defense costs associated with Riordan, who is a defendant in the Frank Foy whistleblower case. In one of those only-in-state-government twists, while the state is paying thousands to defend Riordan, it's also suing him. He's one of several defendants in two lawsuits filed this month in an attempt to get back the third-party marketing fees paid to various political figures by investment firms. (Among the other defendants are former State Investment Officer Gary Bland, Richardson political adviser Anthony Correra and his son Marc Correra and several figures involved in the New York investment scandals.) Read full story here: News New Mexico

Write Your Congressman (Or Congresswoman)

We ran across a very interesting website earlier today. It is called National Write Your Congressman. It provides citizens with non-partisan, unbiased information and makes it easy for them to communicate with their lawmakers. National Write Your Congressman claims to be the leading source of constituent mail received by Congress. We test drove some of the features and liked what we saw. They seem to have established a site that allows responsible Americans to use their site to influence Congress, by letting their voices be heard. It is worth checking out. Visit site by clicking here: News New Mexico

Apple Crop Was Ruined by Record Cold Temperatures

KOB - TV - It's hard times for New Mexico's most famous apple orchard - bad winter weather has almost completely destroyed this year's crop at Dixon's Apples, near Cochiti Lake. Growers blame the terrible deep freeze cold snap of early February for strangling the crop before it even blossomed. Dixon's has only about 5 percent of its usual crop this spring. Old Man Winter gobbled up the other 95 percent. Dixon's Apples owner Becky Mullane said it's only the second crop wipeout since she started working there with her grandfather, Fred Dixon, 25 years ago. Dixon started the orchard in 1944 on the site of an old dude ranch. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Will Vigil-Giron Walk Without a Trial?

Gary King
New Mexico Watchdog - In an Albuquerque courtroom Monday, a defense attorney accused Attorney General Gary King’s office of procurement violations. Another said attorneys working for the state’s top prosecutor flouted a judge’s order and ignored a deadline. Yet at the end of the day, it was the Attorney General’s office that got what they asked for. Second Judicial District Judge Albert Murdoch on Monday gave the AG’s office another 30 days to find a replacement prosecutor to argue charges against former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and three co-defendants. Defense attorneys want the case thrown out because they say their clients haven’t received a speedy trial in the August, 2009 grand jury indictment.
Rebecca Vigil-Giron
Vigil-Giron’s attorney on Monday noted that the AG had not asked for a stay that would have set aside the April 29 deadline Murdoch had set for the AG’s office to find someone else to take the case. No replacement prosecutor has yet notified the court they will handle the case. Vigil-Giron – a former two-term Democrat secretary of state – along with Elizabeth Kupfer, Joseph Carl Kupfer and Armando Gutierrez are charged with fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and giving, taking or soliciting kickbacks. News New Mexico


Like Sardines and Heading to a Border Near You

UK Daily Mail - Packed together in the tightest of cabins, with little air to breathe and no space at all in which to move, the migrants in this picture show just how far some will go to try to sneak into America. Mexican police found the 513 agonisingly squashed together in two trucks just outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas - an eye-watering 18-hour-drive away from the nearest US border. They were caught when the trucks sped through a vehicle scanner at a police checkpoint. After the astonishing X-ray image came up on screens, police gave chase, finding 240 people in one truck and 273 crammed into the other. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Williams: The Law of Lower Class Culture

Armstrong Williams
Townhall - Call a spade a spade. There is an absolute lower class culture. The victimization values of this culture create behavior that keeps poor people poor. It is not bigotry or prejudiced, nor is it condescending to call them lower class. They have a culture that is antithetical to creating wealth and accomplishment. This culture blames problems on others as opposed to making accountability a priority. As a result, the victims are discouraged from improving themselves; they are discouraged from working hard for the “man.” It promotes a zero-sum mentality leading to crime, especially theft, and welfare dependence. It disparages educational excellence. It encourages misogyny which leads to the breakdown of the their family structure and contributes to the lack of traditionally successful male role models. I can go on and on. The vast majority of positive accomplishments from this culture revolve around sports and entertainment, especially popular music. Unfortunately even the popular music tends to extol the negative aspects of this culture.
What they need most is a check, a reality check. Lower class value systems do not believe in planning for the future. They do not believe in sacrificing today for your own benefit tomorrow. There is a conflict between delayed gratification and the high that comes from fulfilling fleeting desires. As a result, lower class culture suffers from an epidemic of immediate gratification regardless of future consequences. Prudence, patience, and planning are not lauded enough, if at all. And yet, these are the very facets of character that allow a person to grow, accomplish, and, should they persevere, achieve excellence. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Williams: Income is Earned Not "Distributed"

Walter Williams
Townhall - The liberal vision of government is easily understood and makes perfect sense if one acknowledges their misunderstanding and implied assumptions about the sources of income. Their vision helps explain the language they use and policies they support, such as income redistribution and calls for the rich to give something back. Suppose the true source of income was a gigantic pile of money meant to be shared equally amongst Americans. The reason some people have more money than others is because they got to the pile first and greedily took an unfair share. That being the case, justice requires that the rich give something back, and if they won't do so voluntarily, Congress should confiscate their ill-gotten gains and return them to their rightful owners. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Malkin: Need Full Disclosure on Waivers for Favors

Michelle Malkin
Townhall - Pelosi and the Golden Ticket Administrators in Washington deny preferential treatment for waiver beneficiaries. But the stench of waivers-for-favors won't be dispelled until and unless the Obama administration releases a full list not only of those who won exemptions, but also of those who applied and were denied. With San Francisco businesses caught with their hands in the waiver jar, Pelosi's office could do nothing else but pout: "It is pathetic," said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, "that there are those who would be cheering for Americans to lose their minimum health coverage or see their premiums increase for political purposes." It is far more pathetic to have cheered, as Pelosi did on the one-year anniversary of Obamacare, the law's onerous benefits limits from which thousands of her own constituents have now been exempted. Once again, the rest of America wants to know: Dude, where's my waiver? Read full column here: News New Mexico

Letter From Udall: A Non-Response Response

Jim Spence
We continuously offer each and every elected official that New Mexico voters send to Washington an open invitation to appear on News New Mexico. Our hopes are they will explain what they are doing to solve the nation's enormous spending addiction. Since we have yet to secure an appearance by Senator Tom Udall, recently I corresponded with him and asked him to support Paul Ryan's budget plan (recently passed in the U.S House). I suggested it is the only credible budget reform proposal I had seen in my entire adult life.
Tom Udall
 What follows is what I would characterize as Senator Udall's non-response - response. SINCE THE SENATOR CLEARLY CHOSE TO OFFER ONLY VAGUE WORDS AND DUBIOUS PHRASES, I INSERTED MY OWN NOTES AND COMMENTS ON WHAT I THINK SENATOR UDALL REALLY MEANT. MY COMMENTS ARE ITALICIZED, AND CAPITALIZED. We are still hoping for an interview with him some day.
                                           * * *
As you know, Congress faces many tough decisions as we begin work on the budget for FY12. (LAST YEAR MY PARTY CONTROLLED CONGRESS AND WE NEVER PASSED A BUDGET) Two wars that we have not paid for (MAKE IT THREE WARS WITH THE PRESIDENT'S RECENT LIBYAN INCURSION), a trillion dollar tax cut for the wealthy (I HOPE YOU DON'T REALIZE 51% OF ALL AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS DON'T PAY ANY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES), and a severe economic slowdown took us from a budget surplus in 2000 to the staggering levels of debt we now face as a nation.
To put our nation on a sustainable path of fiscal responsibility, every federal program will be on the table for scrutiny. (BUT DON'T LOOK FOR ANY SPECIFIC SCRUTINY HERE) However, we also must work to ensure that any budget passed by Congress does not harm our still fragile economic recovery (I DON'T CARE IF WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW IS DAMAGING CONFIDENCE, IT IS ONLY WHAT WE MIGHT DO THAT WE NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR BECAUSE THAT MIGHT CAUSE POLITICAL PAIN FOR ME)  and includes provisions to keep America competitive in the long-run. Since we did not get in the hole overnight, to dig out, it will take both time and difficult choices in the future. (I HOPE YOU AREN'T EXPECTING ME TO NAME AT LEAST ONE DIFFICULT CHOICE I AM WILLING TO MAKE IN THIS LETTER BECAUSE I WON'T DO IT)
Bernie Madoff
To start the process, President Barack Obama released his FY12 budget request to Congress on February 14, 2011. While presidents traditionally present their budget priorities, it is Congress' responsibility to formulate the actual budget, using the president's proposal as one of many sources of recommendations. According to the president, his budget proposal would put us on track to reduce the deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years while keeping American competitive by investing in our clean energy future and in education. (I KNOW BERNIE MADOFF ALSO CALLED WHAT HE DID "INVESTING" AND I KNOW THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM WE MANAGE IS ALSO BANKRUPT, BUT YOU NEED TO CONTINUE TO TRUST ME WHEN I SAY WE ARE "INVESTING" IN ENERGY AND EDUCATION)
Specifically, the president's budget would invest $6.5 billion in renewable and clean energy to spur the creation of high-value jobs and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. It also would continue support for the Pell Grant award and programs that support teacher training in addition to $1.4 billion for new, competitive initiatives to strengthen and reform early childhood education. (I SURE HOPE YOU WON'T REALIZE THIS IS ACTUALLY JUST MORE SPENDING IN THE BUDGET). While the president's budget blueprint makes a dent in our national deficit and stays true to our national priorities, I do not agree with every recommendation. (DON'T ASK ME FOR ANY SPECIFICS ON WHAT I DISAGREE WITH BECAUSE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE AFTER 2012, I WANT OBAMA TO BE PRESIDENT AGAIN AND I WANT NANCY PELOSI TO BE SPEAKER AGAIN) It is important that we take a hard look at our commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have cost our nation more than $1 trillion since 2001.
In Iraq, I am pleased that operations appear to be moving smoothly towards President Obama's timeline for withdrawing all troops by the end of 2011. As operations continue in Afghanistan, I hope that the president also will stick to his plan for an "accelerated transition" to the Afghans. In a very real sense, this is their fight, and we need to let them begin to take the lead. (SINCE GEORGE BUSH IS NO LONGER PRESIDENT POLITICALLY SPEAKING WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE MISSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS......SO OBVIOUSLY I DON'T REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHY WE ACTUALLY NEED A "TRANSITION") Related to this issue, you may be aware that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) released a budget proposal, H.Con.Res. 34, that includes, among other provisions, a blueprint for changes in government spending on health care plans over a ten year period (FY2012-FY2021). 
Paul Ryan
Representative Ryan's plan includes repeal of many provisions of the 2010 health care law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), as well as drastic structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid. Specifically, this plan would cut government spending on health care by roughly $2.2 trillion over ten years, with $771 billion coming from Medicaid and $30 billion from Medicare. (YES, I KNOW THIS ACTUALLY IS A PLAN THAT OFFERS TOUGH CHOICES AND ACTUAL ENTITLEMENT REFORMS, BUT  THAT IS NOT IMPORTANT. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS I HAVE A CHANCE TO USE OUR SENIOR CITIZENS AS POLITICAL PAWNS IN THE NEVER-ENDING BATTLE FOR POWER IN WASHINGTON). The spending targets in Representative Ryan's proposal would be met by transferring the responsibility for the growth in Medicaid spending to individual states; a policy that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts would make it difficult for states to maintain their current Medicaid programs. As a result, states would have to choose (PLEASE DON'T REMIND ME THAT I ALREADY SAID WE FACE TOUGH CHOICES.  I PREFER TO ROUTINELY FEED THE C.B.O. BAD DATA AND THEN USE ITS FINDINGS AS A REFERENCE POINT WHEN I WANT TO SAND BAG ATTEMPTS TO CUT SPENDING) between maintaining current Medicaid service levels and other state priorities for spending (YES, OF COURSE I KNOW CONTINUING TO SPEND ISN'T TOUGH, AND CUTTING SPENDING IS TOUGH, BUT I REALLY FIND IT MORE USEFUL TO MY AMBITION TO PROMOTE ALL SPENDING AND CRITICIZE SPECIFIC SPENDING CUTS).
Additionally, this proposal would gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and would convert Medicare to a premium support- or voucher- system. Under this new system, Medicare would pay a portion- adjusted for age, health status, and income of beneficiaries' health insurance premiums. CBO predicts that Medicare beneficiaries participating in this system would bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the current program; as much as 43 percent more than under the current system. Some estimates show the additional out of pocket costs would be $6,350 per senior. Representative Ryan introduced H.Con.Res. 34 on April 11, 2011, and on April 15, 2011, the House passed H.Con.Res. 34 by a vote of 253-193. (I FIND IT USEFUL TO TALK ABOUT ENTITLEMENT REFORM....AND CRTICIZE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY VOTE FOR IT)
It is imperative that Congress tackle our budget deficit, but (I HOPE YOU NEVER REALIZE THAT ANYTIME I MAKE A STATEMENT FOLLOWED BY THE WORD "BUT,"  THAT THE STATEMENT I JUST MADE WAS ACTUALLY ONLY A DECEPTIVE SMOKE SCREEN) we must do so in a way that protects strategic investments to ensure America remains competitive for generations to come (THIS MEANS I REALLY WANT TO KEEP SPENDING AT THE SAME LEVELS WHILE I USE THE TERM "TOUGH CHOICES" SO I CAN MAINTAIN THE ILLUSION THAT I AM SERIOUS ABOUT DEBT). I also am committed to protecting and strengthening the Medicare and Medicaid programs for all New Mexicans and will do so as the Senate begins the process of crafting our version of the budget for FY12. (THIS MEANS I AM OPPOSED TO CONGRESSMAN RYAN'S ENTITLEMENT REFORM PROPOSALS, BUT I DON'T HAVE THE COURAGE TO OFFER YOU ANYTHING AS AN ALTERNATIVE BECAUSE I THINK I CAN GET AWAY WITH THIS TACTIC POLITICALLY AND MY PARTY CAN WIN IN 2012)


If Only New Mexico Had Democrats Like These Two

Mary Landrieu
Redstate - Democratic politicians once ruled the energy-producing states, but they are becoming quite a rare breed. Republicans scored strong electoral gains in the Congressional elections of 2010, particularly in Texas. Here in Louisiana, both houses of the state legislature have swung red, by a combination of election and defection; it’s no secret who owns the moratorium and a host of other energy-hostile policy initiatives. Sen. Mary Landrieu remains the sole remaining Democrat in a statewide elective office in the Pelican State.
Mark Begich
Mary and the other energy state Dems know upon which side their bread is buttered. Democrats in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana have a long history of working cooperatively with the oil and gas industry as a engine of jobs and economic growth in each of their respective states. But now, an openly hostile regime in Washington puts a strain on those historic ties. And back home, the energy state Dems must distance themselves as far as they can manage from Obama, Reid, and the national party leadership. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Richardson Denies "Pay to Play" Appointments

Bill Richardson
Santa Fe New Mexican - Former Gov. Bill Richardson, implicated by a Las Cruces judge in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, said Tuesday that campaign contributions had nothing to do with his judicial appointments and that "any suggestion to the contrary is outrageous and defamatory." Richardson, though a spokeswoman, emailed a statement to reporters in response to last week's indictment of state District Judge Mike Murphy on bribery and intimidation charges. Read full story here: News New Mexico