State plane used for TV prop, ok?

From - If a bird doesn't fly, is it still a bird? There's a new question about possible misuse of a state airplane. The rules say the planes are for official use only, but the state said renting one for use in a TV show was okay because it never got off the ground. Before she was governor, Susana Martinez made a big deal about the state's fleet of high flyers. Her message was clear, no more misusing the state airplanes. The state brokered a deal this February for the hit TV show in plain sight to shoot the plane as part of a prop in an episode. Here's the problem, the General Services Department, which oversees the state planes, has strict rules for their use, and it clearly states only for official use. GSD Chairman Edwynn Burckle said the rules don’t apply here because the plane didn’t take off, and that makes all the difference. Read more

Ceremony marks historic 1st Armored Division's move back to El Paso, Texas

From the El Paso Times - FORT BLISS -- The Army's historic 1st Armored Division and its estimated 16,000 soldiers is finally home after 40 years. The 1st Armored Division's flag was uncased here Tuesday during a change-of-command ceremony in which Fort Bliss commander Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard took control of the division. It was the first time the flag was presented on American soil since 1971. Activated in 1940, the division was named "Old Ironsides" by its first commander, Maj. Gen. Bruce Magruder, after the U.S.S. Constitution, which bears the same nickname. The division has been on campaigns in World War II, Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm and, most recently, Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. The division has also had tours in North Africa, Italy, Cuba and Vietnam, as well as peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. After setting up headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1971, the 1st Armored Division will now be based at Fort Bliss. Read more

Policy Teams and Political Teams

Jim Spence
People with reputations for being outstanding public servants earn them. And usually they earn them because their fundamental principles always guide them. Take Susana Martinez for example. This leader came from modest beginnings. She served Dona Ana County with distinction. At one point Governor Martinez was the only elected official from her county who called the Republican Party her home. It was pretty clear to independent observers that by 2010, Susana Martinez had grown and matured as a leader. A year ago Martinez demonstrated she had developed widespread public appeal in New Mexico.
Susana Martinez
She also showed the ability to persuade people that a pro-business approach was the only winning economic policy available to our state. In the November election, Martinez proved that it is virtually impossible to be pro-jobs without being completely supportive of businesses. She also demonstrated the communications skills necessary to expose the rhetorical lip service her opponents attempted to pony up during the tiny election time window. As a result, Martinez was provided with an impressive electoral mandate in a state where the GOP is at a decided disadvantage.
After the Governor’s convincing victory in November, she was faced with the task of assembling teams. On the policy front, Martinez performed brilliantly. The Governor has surrounded herself with a very deep group of experienced and highly skilled policy advisers. Her policy team is top shelf. Unfortunately, all governors also have to assemble a “political” team. And the political team is often made up of people that played roles during the election campaign. Sadly, it became clear with the press release from the Governor’s office on Tuesday, the same day that Lt. Governor John Sanchez announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, that Governor Martinez does not have a solid “political” team in place.
The press release attributed to the Governor was poorly conceived. It came off as self-serving and remarkably shrill. And worse yet, the release contained a not so subtle “holier than thou” overtone. The topic in the title was the “Senate Race.” Regrettably, the content contained a plethora of personal pronouns. Those of us who are policy wonks will always look past the ineptitude's of political communications appointees, particularly those who lack good manners, when they are working for a leader grounded in proper policy perspectives and principles. However, Governor Martinez would be well-advised to recognize early in her first term that is was HER policy positions, HER compellingly humble life story, and HER communications skills that created the post election employment opportunities for HER political lieutenants……not the other way around. Perhaps a little more humility should be prescribed for members of that team.


Wisconsin Moves Against VOTER FRAUD

WLUK - TV - MADISON (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Wednesday a requirement that voters in Wisconsin show photo identification at the polls, marking the end of a nearly decade-long push by Republicans to enact it. Opponents are expected to challenge the constitutionality of the law in court, but it wasn't clear if those would come soon after the bill's signing or after the first elections in 2012 when the photo ID requirement is in effect. Signing of the law was a major victory for Republicans who have worked since 2003 to see the requirement enacted. Read full story here: News New Mexico

ICE Releasing Illegal Aliens - A loophole exposed by FOX Undercover is in the national spotlight today as lawmakers in Washington, DC hold a congressional hearing.  It comes after our investigative team discovered the federal government releasing illegal immigrants with violent criminal records, even though it wants to deport them.  Mrs. Hutchinson's son was attacked while walking home from a football game in Suffolk County just outside of Boston,” said Rep. Gallegly.  Gallegly is referring to the murder of 16 year old Ashton Cline-McMurray who was killed by four teenagers in Revere 11 years ago. Loeun Heng, an illegal immigrant who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, received a 10 to 12 year sentence. In March 2010, Heng was released into the custody of ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which planned to deport him to his homeland of Cambodia. But the federal government eventually let Heng go, saying it had no choice because of a Supreme Court ruling. With few exceptions, ICE can only detain illegal immigrants for six months while trying to deport them.  More News New Mexico

The Case for Voter ID

From Wall Street Journal You can't cash a check, board a plane, or even buy full-strength Sudafed over the counter without ID. Why should voting be different? On Thursday, the Wisconsin legislature sent a bill requiring photographic identification for voting to Gov. Scott Walker's desk. This follows the enactment of an even stricter law in Kansas a few weeks ago. Drafted by my office, Kansas's Secure and Fair Elections Act combined three elements: (1) a requirement that voters present photo IDs when they vote in person; (2) a requirement that absentee voters present a full driver's license number and have their signatures verified; and (3) a proof of citizenship requirement for all newly registered voters. Although a few states, including Georgia, Indiana and Arizona, have enacted one or two of these reforms, Kansas is the only state to enact all three. Other states are moving in the same direction. The Texas legislature sent a photo-ID bill to Gov. Rick Perry's desk last Monday. And next year Missouri voters will get a chance to vote on a photo-ID requirement. Immediately after the Kansas law was signed in April, critics cried foul.  More News New Mexico

Udall & Bingaman Push For Worker Protection

Senators Udall and Bingaman
From New Mexico's two U.S. senators are throwing their support behind the White House as it pushes to extend American worker retraining as part of congressional negotiations over free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  President Barack Obama has said the trade deals are an integral part of his economic agenda, but administration officials have indicated they would be willing to delay the deals if the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program is not extended.  The program provides assistance for American workers who lose their jobs because of foreign competition.  Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall joined other senators Monday in writing a letter to Obama in support of the program.  The New Mexico Democrats say nearly 2,500 New Mexicans have relied on TAA benefits since 2009.

Dreyfuss: Netanyahu's Boorish Performance

Robert Dreyfuss
The Nation - Say what you want about President Barack Obama’s Middle East speech last week—that he didn’t address Jerusalem and the Palestinians’ right to return, and that he merely restated what has long been US policy in regard to Israel’s 1967 borders—at the very least the president has changed the subject, and in a positive way. Since 2009, in US-Israeli relations, most of the talk swirled around Iran. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, rather than address the core issue of what a peace deal with the Arabs might look like, constantly fought to shift the discourse to Iran. In 2009 when Netanyahu visited Washington, Bibi and Barack clashed openly on that topic, too, but Netanyahu succeeded for the most part, in making Iran, not Palestine, the central issue, by making hyperbolic, alarmist comments about Iran’s nuclear program and its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. And since, whenever “Palestine” emerged as a subject, Netanyahu crossed it out and replaced it with “Iran.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

MSNBC's Schultz: Ingraham a Right-Wing Slut

The Daily Caller - So much for civility, at least at MSNBC – the home of the “Lean Forward” mantra. On his Tuesday radio program, liberal talker and MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a shot at conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham for her criticism of President Barack Obama’s trip to Ireland, where he enjoyed a Guinness, while the Midwestern United States was being hit by severe weather. “And what do the Republicans thinking about?” Schultz said.
Laura Ingraham
“They’re not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They’re just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name?, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


NM E.R.B. Overpaid Hundreds Of People

From - The New Mexico Education Retirement Board manages the retirement assets of New Mexico's educators. When someone stops teaching unexpectedly, he or she can have their pension contributions refunded. It happened over 700 times last July and August, but the ERB admits it made a big mistake during those two months.  "The people who process our refunds, they thought the interest that was calculated was too high," said ERB Executive Director Jan Goodwin. Goodwin said the miscalculation was so high, the ERB overpaid interest for all those refunds by $1.7 million. "It was a mistake and we regret the error, and we're going to work as hard as we can to get this behind the recipients of the checks and us," said Goodwin. However, the only way to put the mistake in the past is by calling the hundreds of former teachers affected to apologize and demand their money back.  More News New Mexico

Governor Martinez Issues a "Statement" on Senate Race

SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez issued the following statement today on New Mexico’s United States Senate race: “I wish all of the candidates for the U.S. Senate well and do not intend to make an endorsement in the Republican primary at this time. “It is Lt. Governor Sanchez's decision to pursue what he believes is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run for the Senate. However, it is my responsibility to keep my word to the people of New Mexico by pursuing the reform agenda I promised and delivering the results they deserve. To prevent this race from becoming a distraction, Lt. Governor Sanchez will not be given responsibilities in my administration beyond the select few provided for in the state Constitution. “I promised New Mexicans that I would work hard every day to turn our state around and that work will remain my focus.”


Sowell: Dependency and Votes

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - The average wealth of older households is nearly three times the wealth of households headed by people in the 35 to 44-year-old bracket, and more than 15 times the wealth of households headed by someone under 35 years of age. If the wealthiest segment of the population cannot pay their own medical bills, who can? The country as a whole is not any richer because the government pays our medical bills-- with money that it takes from us. What about the truly poor, in whatever age brackets? First of all, even in low-income and high-crime neighborhoods, people are not stealing bread to feed their children. The fraction of the people in such neighborhoods who commit most of the crimes are far more likely to steal luxury products that they can either use or sell to get money to support their parasitic lifestyle. As for the rest of the poor, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University long ago showed that you could give the poor enough money to lift them all above the official poverty line for a fraction of what it costs to support a massive welfare state bureaucracy. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Barone: Reward Pals, Punish Foes

Kathleen Sebelius
Washington Examiner - by Michael Barone - Question: What do the following have in common? Eckert Cold Storage Co., Kerly Homes of Yuma, Classic Party Rentals, West Coast Turf Inc., Ellenbecker Investment Group Inc., Only in San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, International Pacific Halibut Commission, City of Puyallup, Local 485 Health and Welfare Fund, Chicago Plastering Institute Health & Welfare Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Teamsters Local 522 Fund Welfare Fund Roofers Division, StayWell Saipan Basic Plan, CIGNA, Caribbean Workers' Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Health and Welfare Plan. Answer: They are all among the 1,372 businesses, state and local governments, labor unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families, that have been granted a waiver from Obamacare by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. All of which raises another question: If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it? More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare's biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Senator Clint Harden: Sanchez Should Resign

Clint Harden
Heather Wilson released a statement from state Senator Clint Harden (R-Clovis) through a Facebood posting. Harden is calling for Sanchez to resign as Lt. Governor: “In the previous eight years the executive branch was always running for something else. New Mexico needs leaders who stay home and take care of business for a change. The Lieutenant Governor’s role is important especially as we do redistricting and we have some big problems in the state that need real focus. I think if Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez wants to run for the U.S. Senate, he should resign.”