California Spends Too Much on Everything Except....

L.A. Times - WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ordered California on Monday to release tens of thousands of its prisoners to relieve overcrowding, saying that "needless suffering and death" had resulted from putting too many inmates into facilities that cannot hold them in decent conditions. It is one of the largest prison release orders in the nation's history, and it sharply split the high court. Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements" because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet. Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. Read full story here: News New Mexico

ICE Halts Deportation at ACLU's Request

From -In the latest collusion between the Obama Administration and the leftwing American Civil Liberties Union, Homeland Security officials have suspended the scheduled deportation of an illegal immigrant at the ACLU’s request. The move is part of a bigger plan to perhaps eliminate the federal program (Secure Communities) that identified the illegal alien in the first place. The influential open borders movement—which includes the ACLU—has aggressively pressured the administration to nix Secure Communities, which requires local authorities to check the fingerprints of arrestees against a federal database. The idea is to deport dangerous criminals, many of whom have fallen through the cracks over the years. But immigrant rights advocates insist the program is racist, has led to the removal of hard-working immigrants who contribute to society and has tragically separated families. They want the Obama Administration to get rid of it and that could very well happen as the president panders for votes in 2012. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General announced this week that it’s planning an investigation of Secure Communities.  More News New Mexico

Eric Holder's Vows Come Up Empty

Eric Holder
May 23 (Bloomberg) -- In November 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed before television cameras to prosecute those responsible for the market collapse a year earlier, saying the U.S. would be “relentless” in pursuing corporate criminals. In the 18 months since, no senior Wall Street executive has been criminally charged, and some lawmakers are questioning whether the U.S. Justice Department has been aggressive enough after declining to bring cases against officials at American International Group Inc. and Countrywide Financial Corp.
Prosecutions of three categories of crime that could be linked to the causes of the crisis -- corporate, securities and bank fraud -- declined last fiscal year by 39 percent from 2003, the period after the accounting scandals at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., Justice Department records show. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Not Everyone Wants Feasible Energy Independence

Protestors Anxious to Stop Access to Shale Deposits
Washington Times - WASHINGTON, Pa. — “All the sudden you’ve found yourself with an abundant source of energy … and, by the way, it’s made in America,” Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and homeland security secretary, said in an interview. Mr. Ridge now serves as an adviser to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a fraternity of natural gas drilling outfits. Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens and other energy moguls have launched public relations campaigns on behalf of natural gas, pushing for vehicle retrofitting and service station upgrades to take advantage of the Marcellus Shale. Some major companies, such as Waste Management Inc., have invested in natural gas fleets. Mr. Ridge said many others will follow suit, especially facing skyrocketing prices at the gas pump. Many still have reservations, and protests are common outside gas company offices. When drilling is on its way, township meetings are often contentious. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Progressive Movement Icon Weighs in on Bin Laden

Noam Chomsky
ZCommunications - It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany.
What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

President Obama with Joint Chiefs
Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement. There is also much media discussion of Washington’s anger that Pakistan didn’t turn over bin Laden, though surely elements of the military and security forces were aware of his presence in Abbottabad. Less is said about Pakistani anger that the U.S. invaded their territory to carry out a political assassination. Anti-American fervor is already very high in Pakistan, and these events are likely to exacerbate it.
The decision to dump the body at sea is already, predictably, provoking both anger and skepticism in much of the Muslim world. We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Read full commentary here: News New Mexico


Gingrich vs. Ryan

Star Parker
Townhall - The most sweeping reform signed into law during the Newt Gingrich era as House Speaker was the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act – popularly known as welfare reform. The landmark bill transformed welfare from entitlement to temporary safety net. Instead of welfare being available forever to any individual who met qualifying criteria, it was transformed to a time limited assistance program in which individuals had to also demonstrate their efforts to get to work. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Doan: More Bad News for Small Business Growth

Lurita Doan
Townhall - President Obama paid homage to small businesses last week in announcing Small Business Week explaining all the things his Administration is doing to encourage entrepreneurs and spark growth in small businesses. More and more, President Obama’s speeches are becoming a cruel joke. Even as Team Obama talks up the importance of small business growth, entrepreneurs are facing increased burdens imposed by the Obama Administration. The gap between the rosy scenario that Obama wants to portray and the hard realities that small businesses face is growing wider by the day. Small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs understand just how hollow the Obama Administration’s commitment to small business growth really is. The president delights in announcing new initiatives. The trouble is that these initiatives are not useful, never work as the President promised, and more often disguise the many business killing ideas that the President champions. Read full column here: News New Mexico

New Mexico SIC Funds Advance in Q-1

According to the Associated Press New Mexico's Land Grant Permanent Fund and Severance Tax Permanent fund increased $708 million during the first quarter of 2011 thanks to investment gains. Both funds play a pivotal role in the financing of public education. The New Mexico State Investment Council reported the Land Grant Permanent Fund produced a 5% with the market value standing at more than $10.6 billion. The State Investment Council aslo said the Severance Tax Permanent Fund earned 5.5% and closed the quarter with a value of $3.9 billion.


Bernalillo County Salary Info Now Available Online

From - Rio Grande Foundation has made Bernalillo County payroll information available online.  Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing of his organization’s role in releasing the data, “Taxpayers are the ultimate ‘bosses’ of government workers and should have access to this data. We applaud the Bernalillo County Commission for recently taking steps to place a variety of important information about how Bernalillo County is spending taxpayers’ money online, the Commission refused to make payroll information available on the site.”   More News New Mexico

Gary Johnson vs. Ron Paul

From -With Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels choosing not to run, there are now two libertarian-leaning presidential candidates in the GOP field for 2012: Ron Paul and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Which is a better standard-bearer for libertarianism? I think it’s Johnson by a wide margin. He’s both more libertarian than Paul on the issues and likely to be a more effective candidate.  More News New Mexico

Hogs Gone Wild

Pulaski note: Today on NewsNM the topic of wild hogs and their destruction was discussed.  The Discovery Channel airs a show called "Hogs Gone Wild".  From -The feral hog is strong, it's mean, and it's wreaking havoc on U.S. businesses, farms and homeowners. Follow three pest-control companies as they battle a dangerous enemy that is often more than twice the size of an average man.  More News New Mexico

Party Hosts May Face Charges IF Guests' Drive Drunk

Pulaski note: The end of personal responsibility. From -A recent court decision has opened up the possibility the party hosts could be charged if a person drinks too much at their home and drives drunk. It isn’t rare for restaurants or bars to be held responsible when someone drives drunk and then gets into a bad accident. But now, party hosts and homeowners could be on the hook for their guests’ decisions.  “Weddings, bachelor parties, graduation parties, Christmas parties, there’s no end,” DWI attorney Ahmad Assed said.  More News New Mexico

Gonzales "This Looks Way Too Calculated"

Javier Gonzales
The story of Judge Michael Murphy's indictment and pending trial rocked the state earlier this month. However, a "not-guilty" plea was entered by Murphy on Friday and the story was about to cool down. Waiting for adjudication of all charges by due process seemed to be the logical next step for all interested observers. It would seem that the cooling off period on discussions about the Murphy case will have to wait a little longer. Why? Because the head of the New Mexico Democratic Party reached the conclusion that additional discussions about this remarkable case are in order. According to an article written by reporter Diana Alba of the Las Cruces Sun-News, State Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales was not the least bit hesitant to insert his views on the Murphy case into the public dialogue. Apparently, Gonzales is questioning the circumstances behind the indictment of Michael Murphy. Gonzales is quoted by Alba as questioning, "The motivation - on the political side - of Matt Chandler and Susana Martinez," in the Murphy case. 
Susana Martinez
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News article, Gonzales offered the following summary of the involvement of Governor Susana Martinez: "She basically goes to the most politically motivated district attorney in the state and works to get him appointed as a special prosecutor and then they start going after this case. And so, people who shared with me their concerns from the legal community, said this looks way too calculated.'" Reportedly, Gonzales also said he questions whether the investigation "Can be fair and unbiased, if political motivations are involved."
Judge Michael Murphy
Gonzales is quoted as suggesting that roughly one hundred judges were appointed by former Governor Bill Richardson and they are serving ethically. Gonzales also said, according to Alba, that the allegation that the Democratic Party, "Solicits donations from anyone who wants political appointments is ludicrous." Javier Gonzales went on to suggest in the interview, that based on his assessment of Martinez's public comments, that she seems to have close ties to the investigation still, though she's now governor. According to the article, Gonzales is attributed with saying that, "Susana Martinez, for whatever reason, cannot let go of her prosecutor's hat and start governing New Mexico. She's been knee-deep in this process, and I'd say part of the strategy for how this whole process was unveiled."
This new twist in the direction of the public dialogue on the case makes for many interesting discussions. Are there actually political strategies on the part of Governor Martinez and Matt Chandler at work here? Or are the very nature of the troubling allegations in this case such that Javier Gonzales feels that a diversion must be created? Insinuations by Gonzales that politics are at work in the Murphy case certainly have the potential to create doubt in the minds of the voting public. And any effort that creates doubts will definitely provide political damage control for Democrats.
Matt Chandler
So which is which? Is the Murphy case simply another criminal indictment that is best left to our system of due process? Or are there behind the scenes maneuvers being conducted by Governor Martinez and Matt Chandler for political gain? Are these two elected officials guilty of engaging in politically motivated abuses of their powers as prosecutors? The comments attributed to Javier Gonzales make for fascinating political discussions because they now create two mutually exclusive conclusions for observers to reach.


Disappearing Homeowners Rights

Sheriff Dupnik
From -Whatever happened to the idea that your home is your castle?  An incident in Tucson is only the latest in a string of incidents in which homeowners have come under fire — sometimes, literally — by authorities, often breaking down doors of private residences with no-knock warrants.  On May 5, a SWAT team in Tucson shot a former Iraq War veteran 60 times and kept an ambulance from attending to the mortally wounded man for an hour and 14 minutes, according to the ABC affiliate there. The police raid was part of a drug roundup but so far, the police have not produced any evidence that any drugs were found in the home of the dead man.  More News New Mexico

Obama: What I Really Meant to Say to Israel

Reuters - President Barack Obama on Sunday sought to soothe Israeli fury over his new Middle East peace proposals by making clear that the Jewish state would likely be able to keep some settlements in any final deal with the Palestinians. Obama, addressing Israel's staunchest U.S. supporters, repeated his view that long-stalled peace talks should start on the basis of the Jewish state's 1967 borders, an assertion that angered Israel, exposed a deep rift in its relations with Washington and raised further doubts about peace prospects. But Obama, in his speech to Washington's most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, sought to ease tensions with the close U.S. ally over Obama's endorsement three days earlier of a longstanding Palestinian demand on the borders of their future state. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Greece: When Markets Stop Trusting

Greek Protestors
Bloomberg - Greek 10-year yields jumped 19 basis points to 16.76 percent as of 9:23 a.m. in London while yields on two-year notes climbed 12 basis points to 25.58 percent. Italian 10-year yields rose six basis points to 4.84 percent. The cost of insuring government and corporate debt rose in Europe, according to traders of credit-default swaps. Contracts on Greece soared 29 basis points to a record 1,373, Ireland jumped 14 to 655 and Portugal rose 9 to 649, while Italy increased 14 to 174 and Spain climbed 13 to 275, prices from data provider CMA showed today. In Athens, Papandreou is chairing a Cabinet meeting today to discuss his fifth austerity package since getting a 110 billion-euro rescue from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Fire Danger Limits Camping Opportunities

New Mexicans plannng camping trips over the Memorial Day weekend should check for forest closures. The dry conditions int state have caused authorities to close many forest areas. Restritions on all campgrounds that remain open are strict. All of the Lincoln National Forest has been closed. The Manzano and Gallinas mountains in the Cibola National Forest plus many campgrounds in the Gila National Forest have been shut down.