Private security company to search border-crossers vehicles for hire

NewsNM Swickard - how bad is it on the border? People are hiring a private firm to make sure no one put drugs in their car. From the El Paso Times - A security company employee and a drug-sniffing dog check maquiladora tractor-trailers on the Mexican side of the border. Tourists and regular border commuters have approached the company to check their vehicles for possible drugs before they enter the U.S. Motorists don't want to undergo the ordeal of Ana Isela Martínez of Juárez, a teacher at an El Paso private school who spent a month and a half in prison after drug smugglers planted two bags of marijuana in her car. In January, El Paso resident Dr. Justus Opot and co-worker Marisol Perez were also detained in Juárez after drugs that didn't belong to them were found in Perez's vehicle. Read more

With Union Help Heinrich is a Cash Gathering Machine

Martin Heinrich
KRQE - Democratic Congressman Martin Heinrich reports having nearly $710,000 available for his campaign for New Mexico's open U.S. Senate seat. Heinrich collected $485,000 in contributions from April through the end of June. That's according to a fundraising summary released by his campaign. Democratic state Auditor Hector Balderas raised almost $408,000 during the last quarter. He reports cash-on-hand of almost $371,000 at the end of June in his Senate campaign account. Read full story here: News New Mexico


ACORN's Worst Nightmare Exposes Medicaid Fraud

James O'Keefe
Daily Caller - Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released the first installment in a new video investigation Monday morning, this one focused on Medicaid fraud. The first video in the series shows government employees in Ohio assisting two men who have described themselves as Russian drug smugglers with applications for Medicaid. In the video, the men explain to Ohio Medicaid workers that they are Russian immigrants who sell illegal drugs, drive a modified McLaren F1 sports car with a gold-coated engine, and use their underage sisters to perform sexual favors in exchange for drugs. In response, Ohio employees tasked with disbursing federal Medicaid dollars are shown coaching the men through the process of applying for benefits. “If it’s not something registered here, maybe I just wouldn’t mention it,” a Franklin County Medicaid officer named Traci Daniels tells the men, when asked whether they should mention owning a vehicle that retails for nearly $1 million, as they apply for government aid designed to help poor people. “Not that I can say that. You didn’t hear that from me. But, that would right there, that would throw him off. He would be immediately not qualified.” To view the must see video click here: News New Mexico

Nichols: Manipulating the News and Landscape

John Nichols
The Nation - Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch has manipulated not just the news but the news landscape of the United States for decades. He has done so by pressuring the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to alter the laws of the land and regulatory standards in order to give his media conglomerate an unfair advantage in “competition” with more locally focused, more engaged and more responsible media.
Now, with Murdoch’s News Corp. empire in crisis—collapsing bit by bit under the weight of a steady stream of allegations about illegal phone hacking and influence peddling in Britain—there is an odd disconnect occurring in much of the major media of the United States. While there is some acknowledgement that Murdoch has interests in the United States (including not just his Fox News channel but the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post), the suggestion is that Murdoch was more manipulative, more influential, more controlling in Britain than here.
Rupert Murdoch
But that’s a fantasy. Just as Murdoch has had far too much control over politics and politicians in Britain during periods of conservative dominance—be it under an actual Tory such as former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major and current Prime Minister David Cameron or under a faux Tory such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair—he has had far too much control in the States. And that control, while ideological to some extent, is focused mainly on improving the bottom line for his media properties by securing for them unfair legal and regulatory advantages. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Terrell: Wilson Getting it From All Sides

Heather Wilson
Roundhouse Roundup - Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson is getting it from all sides concerning her refusal to take a clear position on the Paul Ryan budget proposal. That's a situation she's used to being in. But if that recent PPP poll is anywhere near correct -- that she's got a wide lead among Republicans to win the GOP primary -- it might not be concerning her all that much. Her Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, just issued a statement saying she "hasn’t changed much from the liberal member of Congress she used to be." That's referring to a statement Wilson recently made in Politco: "I don’t agree with some of the things in his budget plan. There are a lot of things in there that cause some concern.” That's similar to what she told me in May. "I don't agree with everything in the Ryan plan, but I give him a lot of credit for trying to have a serious debate about saving Medicare. Democrats have not offered one single idea to save Medicare." Read full story here: News New Mexico


Activists Will Fight LANL National Historical Park

KOB TV - Anti-nuclear activists say they will fight a proposal to create national parks at Los Alamos National Laboratory and two other sites where the world's first nuclear bombs were developed. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released a study to Congress last week that recommends establishing a national historical park to commemorate the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama Opposes Cutting, Capping, and Balancing

President Obama - V.P. Biden Working on the Debt Ceiling
The Hill - The White House on Monday warned President Obama will veto GOP legislation to “cut, cap and balance” spending and the budget. In a statement of administration policy, the White House Office of Management and Budget labeled the GOP bill as an “empty political statement.” The House Rules Committee is expected to take up the measure Monday, and it is likely to receive a floor vote on Tuesday. The measure would cut spending in fiscal 2012 by $111 billion, cap future spending at 19.9 percent of gross domestic product and allow for the debt ceiling to be increased if a balanced-budget amendment is approved by Congress and sent to the states. Read full story here: News New Mexico 

Duran Praised and Attacked at Same Meeting

Dianna Duran
Alamogordo Daily News - ALBUQUERQUE - A legislator on Friday asked Secretary of State Dianna Duran to end a state police investigation of 64,000 registered voters, but Duran said she was duty-bound to continue it. She said the expertise of police investigators would help her office make sure that New Mexico's voter rolls were updated and accurate. State Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, said Duran had mishandled the case by involving police without any evidence that a crime had been committed. "I have a piece of advice for you," he said to Duran during the end of a three-hour legislative hearing. "Bring those files back from the Department of Public Safety. Hand them to the 33 county clerks" who have expertise in voter registrations and elections. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Pearce: Obama May Purposely Withhold SS Checks

Steve Pearce
New Mexico Watchdog - US House member Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico) said Friday (July 15) that if a debt ceiling agreement is not reached by the August 2nd deadline, he thinks President Obama will purposely refuse to send out Social Security checks. Earlier this week (July 12), Obama said in an interview with CBS News that “I cannot guarantee that [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Since then, a number of financial and economics experts have said that the US Treasury can and will be able to meet its obligations to Social Security recipients and Republicans accused the President of preying on the fears of seniors in order to score political points. Read full story here: News New Mexico

White House Budget Director Refuses Priority Questions

Candy Crowley
Real Clear Politics - White House Budget Director Jacob Lew dodged CNN's Candy Crowley's question if the administration would prioritize Social Security payments if a default occurred. Transcript of the exchange below:
CNN's Candy Crowley, HOST: "More immediately, you'd have to make some spending priorities -- payment priority decisions: Social Security benefits, and federal worker pay, and defense contractors. What are your priorities should the debt ceiling not be raised on the 2nd, when you have the bills that immediately come due? Social Security checks, federal worker pay, defense contractors?"
Jacob Lew, WH Budget Director: "Our plan is for Congress to do its work and the President to sign into law legislation that will make it possible for the United States as it always has, to keep its obligations. We'll be ready to deal with whatever happens. There is no plan other than meeting our obligations."
CROWLEY: "Surely you must have discussed priorities, though, we have to pay this?"
Jacob Lew
LEW: "The truth is this is a different situation the United States has ever faced. We've never gone into a situation where we didn't have enough money to pay our bills. We borrow 40 cents on a dollar right now. And if the time comes when we lose the ability to pay our bills, there will be a cash flow issue that is very real, and that's why it's critical that Congress take action before August 2nd."
CROWLEY: "Would you allow it to happen that those the Social Security checks would not go out? Would you allow that to happen?"
LEW: "As the President has indicated, it's not a question of what we allow and what we don't allow --"
CROWLEY: "But you get to decide priorities. There will be some money --"
LEW: "There will not be enough money to pay all the bills."
CROWLEY: "Of course not, that's why I'm talking about priorities."
LEW: "I think that once someone gets into the business of trying to ask about setting priorities it misses the question. Which is that it's unacceptable for the United States to be in a place whether it's Social Security recipients, or a soldier or somebody who is just owed money by the government can't be paid because we have not done our job." Read full story here: News New Mexico

GOP Ignores White House Deadline

The Hill - House Republican leaders have missed a 36-hour deadline President Obama set during a Thursday meeting for lawmakers to give him a plan to avert a national default. The deadline came and went Saturday morning without a response from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Instead, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) plan to move the Cut, Cap and Balance Act on the floor next week, which would require passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt limit is raised.
John Boehner
A House GOP leadership aide said at noontime Saturday that Boehner and Cantor did not send Obama a revised proposal to raise the debt-limit, as the president requested. A White House official said talks continue despite the missed deadline. "The president, vice president and staff have been in frequent communication with leaders and staff in both chambers and parties, discussing various options," said the official. Read full story here: News New Mexico