Another Fort Hood Massacre Averted

Naser Jason Abdo
Aljazeera - Police in the southwestern state of Texas have arrested a US soldier for planning what they called a "terror plot" against Fort Hood, the military base where a fellow serviceman went on a deadly shooting rampage in 2009. Army private Naser Jason Abdo, who gave several television interviews last year saying he was opposed to deployment in Afghanistan, became the target of suspicion after a gun shop owner noticed his unusual purchases of weapons and tipped off police. Police tracked down the 21-year-old to a motel near Fort Hood and arrested him on Wednesday afternoon, police said on Thursday. A Texas native, Abdo served at Fort Campbell in Kentucky but had deserted since July 4. He had gone AWOL since early this month after being charged with possessing child pornography. "I would classify this as a terror plot," Dennis Baldwin, the police chief of Killeen, Texas, located next to Fort Hood, told the AFP news agency. "We have interviewed him and the information as a result of the interview and other leads ... leads us to believe that military personnel were targeted," Baldwin told reporters, adding that the suspect acted alone. "I can tell you that we would probably be here today giving you a different briefing if he had not been stopped." He called the suspect "very dangerous" and noted he had only been in Killeen for a "relatively short period of time." Read full story here: News New Mexico

Judge Murphy arrested on new bribery charge

Michael Murphy
From NM - by Heath Haussamen - Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy, already indicted on bribery charges and suspended from the bench, was arrested this morning on a new bribery charge. Murphy was arrested at 8:45 a.m. and booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He’s facing a new felony charge of bribery of a public officer or public employee. Murphy has bonded out of jail and was released just after 10:30 a.m. Special prosecutor Matt Chandler, whose office filed the charges, said Murphy is alleged to have offered “several promises” to District Judge Lisa Schultz in December 2010 if she would agree to be the tie-breaking vote to make Douglas R. Driggers the chief district judge in Las Cruces. Chandler said prosecutors have an audio recording of the conversation between Schultz and Murphy. Read more

Need for Open Government is NOT Partisan

Sarah Welsh
Veritas New Mexico -  By Sarah Welsh, Executive Director, New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Well, we’ve come full circle. Five years ago, Bill Richardson’s administration was asked for state e-mails about an audit of the driver’s license program. It refused, claiming executive privilege, and the Republican Party of New Mexico filed suit. This year, Secretary of State Dianna Duran was asked for state e-mails about a similar audit – a cross-check between drivers’ licenses and voter rolls. Duran’s office refused, citing executive privilege, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has now filed suit.
It’s a stunning parallel, and the bipartisan principles underpinning open government are rarely on such obvious display. Open government is not a tool of the left or the right, of Democrats or Republicans. It’s simply a tool to hold powerful people accountable. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Chavez: Obama's Leadership Deficit

Linda Chavez
Townhall - When the history of the debt limit fight is written, the failure of presidential leadership will constitute a major chapter. Once again, President Obama has proven himself lacking in the most fundamental attribute necessary to the office he occupies: leadership. His idea of leading his party and the American people in a crisis is to give a speech, as he did earlier this week in prime time. But when it comes to fashioning a concrete plan or rallying support of his own troops, he's missing in action. Contrast President Obama's leadership to that of House Speaker John Boehner, who not only has worked diligently to come up with real numbers matched to federal programs to reduce future debt but has been personally engaged in trying to persuade skeptics within his party to go along.
And when the Congressional Budget Office determined the GOP numbers didn't add up as claimed, Boehner went back to the drawing board to come up with new ones that delivered what they promised. As of this writing, the vote on the Boehner plan has yet to occur -- but win or lose, the speaker has demonstrated he's willing to lead.But Obama's only contribution to the debt-ceiling debate has been partisan, class-warfare rhetoric. In his televised address earlier this week, Obama blamed Republicans for failing to produce a bill he'd be willing to sign because it would not include a tax rate increase on families and small businesses earning more $250,000 a year. Those Americans already foot the bill for more than 60 percent of all federal income taxes collected in the U.S., despite constituting less than 5 percent of taxpayers. The wealthy pay their fair share and then some.
Even if fairness weren't a consideration, a tax increase at a time when the nation's economy is hovering on the brink of a double-dip recession is a dangerous idea. But it plays well to Obama's political base, which wants someone else to pay for their entitlements. Read full column here: News New Mexico