40 Dead in Mexican Drug Wars This Weekend

Fox News - MEXICO CITY – Mexican officials blamed turf wars between some of the country's most brutal drug cartels for a wave of violence across the nation that killed more than 40 people in three attacks, including 21 people massacred in a night club in the northern business capital of Monterrey, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The bloodiest attack took place Friday night at the gritty Sabino Gordo bar when gunmen with assault rifles shot down patrons and workers in Monterrey, a business center that became a battleground between the Zetas drug gang and the Gulf Cartel from the neighboring state of Tamaulipas. That same day, 11 people were found shot to death in Chalco, just outside Mexico City. One person survived the attack. On Saturday, the decapitated bodies of 10 people, including three women, turned up in the northern city of Torreon in the trunk of a vehicle. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The Nation: Wiki-Leaker Manning a HERO

Bradley Manning
The Nation - We still don’t know if he did it or not, but if Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old Army private from Oklahoma, actually supplied WikiLeaks with its choicest material -- the Iraq War logs, the Afghan War logs, and the State Department cables -- which startled and riveted the world, then he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom instead of a jail cell at Fort Leavenworth. For bringing to light critical but long-suppressed information, Pfc. Manning has been treated not as a whistleblower, but as a criminal and a spy.

Here are four compelling reasons why, if he did what the government accuses him of doing, he deserves that medal, not jail time.
1: At great personal cost, Bradley Manning has given our foreign policy elite the public supervision it so badly needs.
2: Knowledge is powerful. The WikiLeaks disclosures have helped spark democratic revolutions and reforms across the Middle East, accomplishing what Operation Iraqi Freedom never could.
3: Bradley Manning has exposed the pathological over-classification of America’s public documents.
President Obama came into office promising a “sunshine” policy for his administration while singing the praises of whistleblowers. He has since launched the fiercest campaign against whistleblowers the republic has ever seen, and further plunged our foreign policy into the shadows.
4. At immense personal cost, Bradley Manning has upheld a great American tradition of transparency in statecraft and for that he should be an American hero, not an American felon. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Last Week's Key Polls

Rasmussen: There was more bad news on the unemployment front Friday, and Americans continue to express little optimism that the elected officials they have now will be able to do anything about it. They also strongly question the national security direction the country has taken. Read polling details here: News New Mexico

Maher Offers One Progressive's Take on Casey Anthony

Bill Maher
Daily Caller - The Republican Party is guilty of murder – no hyperbole here, right? On his Friday evening show, HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher did what he does best – he attacked the Republican Party. This time, for not being free-wheeling with government spending on social programs and for being partial to the private sector. He openly equated that position with the Casey Anthony verdict – with Casey Anthony as GOP politicians and their voters the jury. “And before you accuse me of equating the Casey Anthony verdict with Republican thinking – save your breath, I am,” Maher said. “I am. I’m equating them.
If you’re a working-class American who still votes Republican then you don’t get to bitch about that verdict.” The HBO host noted the divide in the country – half voting for Republicans, the other half for Democrats, but said it didn’t make sense for them to do so when government offers so much.
"Yes, Republican base, you are just like that jury. It’s pathetically clear who’s killing the middle class but you keep letting them get away with murder.”
Read full story and watch video here: News New Mexico

The Week in Review

Fire Damage at Ruidoso Downs
The 4th of July weekend featured a continuation of the New Mexico news background being dominated by forest fire stories. Accordingly, on Monday we posted pictures of the horrific fire damage done to the Ruidoso Downs area. As widespread as the damage is there, it pales in comparison to what has occurred in the northern part of the state where the Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos has shattered all forest fire size records for our state. Towards the end of the week the fires seemed to be coming under control.
We started off the holiday shortened week on a lighthearted note with a story about the Coney Island public toilets rationing toilet paper. Apparently public policymakers in the New York area have not figured out how to prioritize their budgets let alone calculate the cost of hiring a person to actually do the rationing of toilet paper. The result of this policy is sure to lead to a bad "end."
We posted an op-ed piece early in the week calling for a return to common sense forest management practices. The commentary was written by Congressman Steve Pearce just prior to his visit to our studio. We questioned the congressman on many topics including the subject of his op-ed piece. We learned that New Mexico now has: (1) very few jobs left in the timber industry, (2) virtually no tax revenues from the timber industry, (3) diminished cattle grazing in NM forests, (4) less revenue for the state from grazing leases, (5) less revenue from rancher's income taxes, (6) a devastated spotted owl habitat, (7) billions of recently burned trees, (8) the dirtiest air anyone can ever remember. With these facts in mind, maybe the radicals who have managed to insure public policies that don't control forest fuel loads (under the guise of saving the planet), will re-think some of their most extreme positions on forest management. Without public outcry a shift seems unlikely. We had Dr. John Fowler on the show again on Wednesday. He is a specialist in forest management. Fowler said that good forest management "science" is still being ignored by decision-makers running the U.S. Forest Service.
Hector Balderas
Diane Denish endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Hector Balderas in his primary race with Martin Heinrich. Balderas can only hope the Denish endorsement of him is more valuable than her endorsement of Bill Richardson was in the former governor's run for president. In the meantime, Martin Heinrich has gathered the endorsements of a wide array of union bosses. Terms of those recent "deals" were not disclosed. Both Heinrich and Balderas raised more than $400,000 for their senate runs in the second quarter.
We learned a bit more about the "Fast and Furious" weapons story that is quickly becoming a huge scandal for the A.T.F. and mother ship U.S. Justice Department. With the use of federal stimulus funds, we American taxpayers were unknowingly supporting state-sponsored gunrunning. And not only was this taking place in Arizona, the State of Florida was also a hot spot for allowing huge caches of weapons to fall into the hands of known gangs of criminals. Predictably, very few people in the Obama administration are talking about what appears to be one of the biggest blunders in federal law enforcement history. Perhaps now, we have a better understanding of what was meant by the stimulus funds being "targeted." The good news is ATF and Justice Department officials now seem to have their "shovels ready" for the upcoming congressional hearings on these bizarre decisions. And on an unrelated border note, government officials now admit the terror organization Hezbollah is entrenched in Mexico. Maybe they bought some of those ATF approved guns.
Late in the week we posted an op-ed piece that appeared in NMPolitics.net. It was written by Valencia County Democratic Party chair Lisa Chavez. Chavez reached the inexplicable conclusion that Susana Martinez, John Sanchez, Andy Nunez, Dianna Duran, and anyone else in favor of a voter I.D. law, is in favor of intimidating and disenfranchising Hispanic voters in New Mexico. We have unconfirmed reports that Chavez was actually able to write the entire op-ed piece while keeping a straight face.
Several media outlets reported that New Mexico Attorney General Gary King pocketed nearly $55,000 in campaign contributions from former Governor Bill Richardson not long before he supposedly investigated pay-to-play allegations against Richardson. Recently lawsuits were filed against the A.G. for these serious conflicts of interest. We noted on the show Friday that the first thing any self-respecting law office does before taking a case, is make sure there are no conflicts. Apparently one of the first things an Attorney General in New Mexico does when gathering campaign contribution money is to make sure he or she creates them. For a solution to money corrupting efforts to engage in best practices, see the 28th amendment proposal here.
Tom Udall wrote a letter to his constituents late in the week exhorting the virtues of his vote to "cap" debit card processing fees charged by banks. We spoke to the chairman of the board of a New Mexico bank on Friday about that vote. He said the rule would cost his banking organization $25,000 a month and force the raising of monthly fees on accounts with debit cards to offset the losses. Like President Obama, Senator Udall still believes government is at its best when it is micro-managing the economy, including setting prices for various services. Correct me if I am wrong. Didn’t Lenin, Stalin, and Mao already try this economic plan?
Speaking of the government micro-managing the economy through stimulus, bailouts, new regulations, and Obamacare, the Labor Department announced more results on Friday morning. It seems the nation's unemployment rate rose again for the third consecutive month to 9.2% in June. Job creation has come to a virtual standstill. Ironically, many of the college graduates who were encouraged by their professors to push candidate Obama over the top in his election two and a half years ago, can’t even find a job flipping burgers. All this comes after the president and super majorities in congress engineered a 35% increase in federal spending in 30 months and hoisted untold increases in debt service burdens on the backs of taxpayers. Predictably, the president appeared before an adoring press and issued a statement right after the facts on joblessness were released. He blamed every "circumstance" except the one involving all of his incentive killing policies before voters finally said "STOP" last November. Looks like the damage has been done.
And finally, we cannot help but end with yet another disturbing story of how the mindset of completely empowering government leads to arrogant bureaucrats assuming they always know what is best. This story comes to us from Oak Park, Michigan where a code enforcement officer decided that having a vegetable garden in the “front” yard does NOT constitute "suitable live plant material." Property owner Julie Bass refused to “move” her vegetable garden to the back yard. Now she is facing more than 90 days in jail for her horrible misdeeds. This provides a perfect illustration of how trusting bigger government is always going to be “anti-growth.” This poor woman, living in a modest neighborhood, is being told by a bureaucrat, using his own arbitrary interpretation of a "code" where to locate the vegetable garden on her property. Even Mao and Stalin did not throw peasants in jail for these sorts of "infractions."