Growing fire keeps I-25 shut near Raton; interstate motorists face 100-mile detour

From the Santa Fe New - by Tom Sharpe - A nine-mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Raton and the New Mexico/Colorado state line remained closed Monday as a 6,000-acre wildfire burned nearby. The blaze more than doubled in size in a matter of hours Monday as Raton residents watched trees on hillsides just outside the community burst into flames and smoke billow into the air. Closure of the main highway through northeastern New Mexico since Sunday afternoon was forcing traffic to make a 100-mile detour onto other roads between Raton and Trinidad, Colo. State police posted sign boards as far away as Santa Fe to warn interstate drivers to seek alternate routes. Read more

Mexican Drug Cartels Kidnapping Bus Passengers For Gladiator-Like Fights To The Death

From the Houston Chronicle - The elderly are killed. Young women are raped. And able-bodied men are given hammers, machetes and sticks and forced to fight to the death. In one of the most chilling revelations yet about the violence in Mexico, a drug cartel-connected trafficker claims fellow gangsters have kidnapped highway bus passengers and forced them into gladiatorlike fights to groom fresh assassins. More News New Mexico

NM Critical State in 2012

From - New Mexico is one of six states that could decide which party wins the presidency and control of the U.S. Senate next year, according to the Washington Post The Fix. The Fix regularly ranks seats most likely to switch parties, and it has the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., at No. 10. Of those 10 Senate seats, six – including Bingaman’s – are in states that are “likely to be targeted by the two national parties at the presidential level.” More News New Mexico


Texas teachers may get student criminal histories

(NewsNM Swickard) We wonder if this is appropriate? When do our young deserve to keep their record from their teachers and when do the teachers have a right to know. Send us your thoughts here - DALLAS (Associated Press) -- By DANNY ROBBINS -Texas is close to enacting a law that would provide teachers with detailed information about the criminal histories of their students, opening juvenile files that have always been confidential and are unavailable in most states. The legislation, spurred by the fatal stabbing of a high school teacher in Tyler in 2009, is adding to a national debate over whether teacher safety should outweigh the rights of young offenders, who traditionally have moved through the juvenile justice system with their privacy protected. Read more

Disney raises theme park prices for summer

(NewsNM Swickard) Economics 101... they did not raise the prices because of their costs going up, they did so because demand increased. Ah, Capitalism. Everything is rationed by price. The higher price may cut down slightly on the crowds which makes a better experience for those willing to pay the prices. Hint: expect the socialists to complain. From the Los Angeles - As the summer tourist season begins, the Walt Disney Co. announced an increase in ticket prices at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. As of Sunday, one-day passes for the Disney theme parks in Anaheim increased 5.3%, from $76 to $80. A three-day pass to visit Disneyland and nearby Disney California Adventure Park jumped 8.7%, from $206 to $224. Annual passes for Southern California residents, among the most popular ticket option, increased 8.1%, from $184 to $199. A Disney spokeswoman said the price increases were the result of a regular evaluation of rates and were not in response to the opening of new attractions this summer. This summer, visitors to the Disney theme parks in Anaheim can ride the new Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction, which opened this month at Disney California Adventure Park. At Disneyland, visitors can try the newly refurbished Star Tours attraction, which also launched this month. The higher prices are unlikely to discourage ardent Disney fans from visiting the parks, said Robert Niles, author of Theme Park Insider, an online guide to the nation's most popular theme parks. "If you're an out-of-town guest, four extra bucks is not going to make a difference in determining if you are taking a vacation in Anaheim," he said. Niles said the new attractions are already drawing huge crowds, particularly Star Tours, for which guest have waited up to two hours in line to ride. Read more

Southwest employee comes to aid of student who needed to buy second seat

(NewsNM - Swickard) A government agency would never have done this. From - HOUSTON – A college student traveling from Houston to Myrtle Beach almost had her vacation derailed Thursday when a Southwest Airlines employee told her she would need to purchase a second seat. Chiara Bagley, 22, said she knows she’s a woman of size, but she cried when a Southwest supervisor pulled her out of the security line and told her she’d need two seats on the plane. Bagley said she asked if she could be measured, because she’s fit into airplane seats before, or if she could try out the seat. But the supervisor wouldn’t let her. What’s more, Bagley said she couldn’t afford a second ticket, and Southwest wouldn’t refund any of her $415. She’d been saving for the flight since December. But that all changed when Ligi Thomas, a Southwest employee who works in the Internal Auditing Department, came to Bagley’s aid. "We care about people, and I get emotional when I say it, but it’s really true," Thomas said, choking back tears. "I’ve been at a couple of different places in corporate America – this is the only place that I’ve ever worked for where caring about people isn’t just something that’s written on a wall. It’s something that’s lived and breathed every day." Read more

Comparing Willie with Weiner

Well-informed parents understand the principle of consistency is one of the essential elements necessary to instill a strong sense of integrity in children. A wise older gentleman (who will remain nameless) once advised us to make only a few rules with our children. But he also wisely counseled that the rules we did make had to be enforced relentlessly, with absolutely no equivocating. The danger in backpedaling and equivocating on a specific rule he cautioned, would almost always lead to disaster. Sometimes politicians are a lot like children. And it seems like it has been a long time since the ghost of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal was resurrected. But it is time to do so.
With the surfacing of the Anthony Weiner revelations, we think it is instructive to re-visit the perils of letting someone off the hook on violating sacred rules, especially someone who sought and swore an oath to be the keeper of our sacred trust.
Partisans always tried to argue that the impeachment of Bill Clinton was a simple case of over-reaction. The man lied about sex was their thought process. That was it. He lied about something embarrassing. If only that one-dimensional explanation were true. At the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency he saw fit to strike a deal with the judicial system. He agreed to being disbarred from the practice of law for five years. He did so in exchange for the dropping of pending charges before his peers that he: (1) lied under oath (perjury), (2) tampered with witnesses (he was caught on taped phone conversations with Miss Lewinsky doing just that), and (3) he conspired to obstruct justice. Once Clinton made these admissions the U.S. Supreme Court banned him from ever trying a case before the court. Anyone who objectively followed the Lewinsky scandal realized that the Clinton political machine systmatically used lies and distortions to destroy the character of anyone who testified under oath about his many transgressions. However, in the end it was elected Democrats and Republicans, those who once swore they would never defend the indefensible, who did just that. And in doing so, our elected officials refused to send an unwavering message that basic integrity and truth are still all-important principles. Sadly, it was the average politician in Congress who was far more willing to look the other way. We should all be grateful where Clinton s concerned that the Supreme Court and the American Bar Association refused to tolerate cultural sabotage. Let us now fast forward to the absurd Anthony Weiner scandal. We all know the story (and the jokes). It seems that the embattled New York Congressman is now going to go with the: “I am going into rehab” angle. And those elected officials who are previously on the record of standing by someone who committed multiple felonies in the White House are suddenly, and with righteous indignation, calling on Mr. Weiner to resign. Ironically, and unlike Clinton, so far it would seem that the only thing Mr. Weiner did was to lie about sex.
Anthony Weiner
The purpose of this column is certainly NOT to make the case for letting Weiner get away with his behaviors. Of course Mr. Weiner should resign. However it is probaby high time to offer a historical reminder of what far too many Americans were willing to tolerate just before the turn of the century. In fact, upon reflection, we probably owe all lawyers an apology. Clearly the American Bar Association sets its code of conduct much higher than the American public did in the wake of all of Clinton's blatant felonies. With history in mind, we find no use in feigning surprise that people like Congressman Charles Rangel are having trouble understanding why putting the integrity genie back in the bottle is critical. Once America can be convinced to acquire a taste for ignoring perjury, witness tampering, and obstuction of justice, we can learn to tolerate just about anything. Good luck with rehab Mr. Weiner. You owe no apologies whatsoever to Mr. Clinton.

No Suspects in Link Murder

Rob Nikolewski
Capitol Report New Mexico - Mystery continues to cloud the investigation into the murder of the former owner of a ghost town-tourist business along the New Mexico/Arizona/Mexico border. Some three days after the body of Larry Link was discovered by a family member, no suspects have been named and investigators are waiting for lab results from an autopsy performed on the 68-year-old who was often referred to as “Uncle Larry” by tourists, friends and family members alike. Link’s wife of more than 50 years, Linda, is working on funeral arrangements along with family members, a New Mexico Department of Public Service (NMDPS) spokesman said Friday (June 10). “There’s nothing than that at this time,” Lt. Tim Johnson of NMDPS said to Capitol Report New Mexico. Within hours of the discovery of Link’s body, the Internet hummed with rumors that Link had been shot by an illegal immigrant but NMDPS has stressed that those reports are purely based on speculation and members of the Link family — interviewed by KGUN-TV out of Tucson — say they don’t want Link’s murder to be used for political gain when it comes to the illegal immigration issue. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Sanchez Takes Similar Stances

John Sanchez
NMPolitics - Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Sanchez recently attacked primary opponent Heather Wilson for praising U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s attempt to steer the budget conversation this year even though she voted against a “similar” Ryan budget amendment in 2007. Sanchez’s assault came earlier this week in response to an interview in which Wilson praised efforts by Ryan to steer the conversation about the budget and said he had done a service to the nation by presenting substantive ideas. In that interview, Wilson didn’t take a position on Ryan’s budget plan. Sanchez pointed out in a news release that Wilson was one of 40 GOP House members to vote against a 2007 budget amendment proposed by Ryan that Sanchez called “similar” to Ryan’s current proposal. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Miller: Governor Gets Bolder

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - Susana-PAC has been formed to help elect courageous state and local leaders committed to the types of reforms that will move New Mexico forward. We were all rather surprised when former-Gov. Bill Richardson kept his political action committee going strong even after he won his second term as governor and dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But now Gov. Susana Martínez has taken the idea a step further. First she used leftover PAC money from her campaign to buy radio ads and make robocalls to promote her legislative agenda. Now she has created a second PAC to help fund state and local candidates who agree with her issues. What are those issues? Martínez names three in her fundraising announcement — repealing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, school reforms and lowering taxes. Read full column here: News New Mexico

The Government is Always Good Economy

Austin Hill
Townhall - President Obama, of course, ran a successful campaign by portraying himself as the “un-George W. Bush” candidate. While painting his actual opponent John McCain as a “carbon copy” of Bush back in 2008, Mr. Obama was able to rhetorically juxtapose his policies on just about everything – economic matters included – with President Bush’s policies, and a majority of voters went with the guy who was offering “change.” The flawed assumption that many of our fellow Americans made – an assumption that many are still making today – is that President Obama’s policies must be good, because they’re different from those of his predecessor. This assumption not only entails a lack of knowledge of both Presidents, but it also entails some horribly wrong-headed assumptions about economics, itself. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Rasmussen: 75 Percent Support for Voter I.D.

Rasmussen - Support remains high for requiring voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast their ballots. An increasing number of states across the country are putting that requirement into law. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote. Just 18% disagree and oppose such a requirement. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans support a photo ID requirement at the polls, as do 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party and 63% of Democrats. But then support for such a law is high across virtually all demographic groups. Supporters of photo ID laws say they will prevent fraud at the polls; opponents insist the laws will discourage many including minorities and older Americans from voting. By a 48% to 29% margin, voters think that letting ineligible people vote is a bigger problem than preventing legitimate voters from casting a ballot. Read full story here: News New Mexico