APD: Remember to lock your windows and doors

NewsNM - Swickard: Really now. Do we need to be told that to keep bad people from entering our house and stealing our stuff we have to lock our doors and windows? Sadly, yes we need to be told. From KRQE-TV.com - Albuquerque Police are asking residents to close their windows and doors during these warm summer months to avoid being burglarized. APD Spokeswoman Trish Hoffman says there were 65 burglaries reported in Albuquerque from July 15, 2011 – July 27, 2011 and of those, 29 did not involved a forced entry. Hoffman says this means people are living their doors, windows and garages open.

Parts of Guadalupe Mountains to stay closed

From the Carlsbad Current-Argus - CARLSBAD — Although the Lincoln National Forest reopened for public use last Thursday, certain areas in the Guadalupe Ranger District in the Guadalupe Mountains of the LNF remain closed to all hiking and camping. The purpose of the closure is the health and safety of the public as natural processes stabilize the terrain in the specified areas of the Guadalupe Mountains. For those areas open to the public, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions remain in place for all districts. Those specified areas in the Guadalupe Mountains remaining closed are within the boundaries of the Last Chance and Queen fires. The boundaries are the forest administration line or boundary to the east; Highway 137 from near X-Bar Ranch road west to the Rim Road (F.S. Road 67); the Rim Road north to National Livestock Road (F.S. Road 277); National Livestock Road east to the forest boundary. The Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Site is within the closure boundaries along with the rock climbing area at the head of Last Chance Canyon accessed by Forest Service Road 525A off of Highway 137. Hiking trails in the closure area are 68, 68A, 212, 214, 215, 217 and 226, all within the Last Chance, White Oaks, Sitting Bull Canyon and Sitting Bull Falls trail system area. Read more

Greece in panic as it faces change of Homeric proportions

From the Guardian - In one of the biggest banks in the centre of Athens a clerk is explaining how his savers have been thronging to pull out their cash. Wary of giving his name, he glances around the marble-floored, wood-panelled foyer before pulling out a slim A4-sized folder. It is about the size of a small safety-deposit box – and those, ever since the financial crisis hit Greece 18 months ago, have become the most sought-after financial products in the country. Worried about whether the banks will stay in business, Greeks have been taking their life savings out of accounts and sticking them in metal slits in basement vaults. The boxes are so popular that the bank has doubled the rent on them in the past year – and still every day between five and 10 customers request one. This bank ran out of spares months ago. The clerk leans over: "I've been working in a bank for 31 years, and I've never seen a panic like this." Read more

New Mexican stores prepare for tax free holiday

From KOB-TV.com - By: Joe Bartels, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - New Mexico retailers are bracing for a very busy shopping weekend.The annual tax free holiday begins this Friday. The signs are up, the displays are set and shoppers are ready to get some deals on school supplies. People looking to take advantage of the holiday can buy qualifying items like shoes, clothes and classroom supplies without paying any sales tax. Store managers have been busy with back to school shoppers for the past three weeks and said they are ready for the crowds. Some people out shopping Tuesday afternoon forgot about the tax break. Read more

First day of football practice "should be a national holiday."

NewsNM - Swickard: There is no day like it, the first day of practice. Congratulation to all of the New Mexico students who go out for sports. From the Alamogordo Daily News - Tularosa football head coach Bryan Jones said he thinks it should be a national holiday. Alamogordo head coach Tommy Standefer said he felt the same way he felt when he was 15 years old. High school football is back as official practice for New Mexico schools began on Monday. For this season, practice began a week earlier and teams now have three weeks of practice before their first game. All other fall sports officially start practice on Aug. 8. Read more

Spending Cuts Seen as really an increase in spending

From the New York Times - By - WASHINGTON — There is something you should know about the deal to cut federal spending that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday: It does not actually reduce federal spending. By the end of the 10-year deal, the federal debt would be much larger than it is today. Indeed, both the government and its debts will continue to grow faster than the American economy, primarily because the new law does not address federal spending on health care. That is the reason that the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s and its rivals still are threatening to remove the United States from their lists of risk-free borrowers, although the other agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, both said Tuesday that they would watch and wait for now. It is also the reason that many conservative Republicans refused to vote for the agreement, calling it a grossly inadequate answer to a pressing problem. Read more

Rep. Paul introduces bill to cancel $1.6T in debt held by Federal Reserve

Ron Paul
From The Hill.com - Rep. Ron Paul on Monday introduced legislation that would lower the federal government's debt by canceling the roughly $1.6 trillion in debt held by the Federal Reserve. Paul has argued for the last few weeks that the idea represents a quick way to make the growing fiscal crisis more manageable. Under his bill, H.R. 2768, the $1.6 trillion that the Treasury owes to the Federal Reserve would disappear. The Federal Reserve began buying Treasury bonds in earnest late last year as part of its effort to keep long-term interest rates down. But Paul has argued that Fed purchases of Treasury debt represent a debt that the government owes to itself, and one that also leads to an unwanted and inflationary increase in the money supply. Paul has also said the Fed is allowing the federal government to continue a spending binge it otherwise would not be able to afford, and is forcing the Fed to print money to keep up. Read more


Phoney Hostage Taking and Limited Presidential Range

Rob Nikolewski
While a healthy number of fiscal hawks on the Republican side voted against the debt ceiling deal, it’s the reaction from Democrats that has been the most, uh, what’s the word? Incendiary? Irate? Or just sanctimonious? A congressman from Pennsylvania called Tea Party supporters terrorists during a closed-door meeting with Vice President Biden. The online journal Politico reported ”several sources in the room” said Biden agreed with the terrorist label, although Biden strenuously denied using the word in an interview with CBS News. New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman is lauded by his supporters as being even-tempered but in a conference call, he said this about conservative efforts in the debt ceiling debate: “One of the commentators here in Washington called this ‘government at gunpoint’ and I don’t think that’s a bad description.” Words like “hostage taking” and “extortion” are on the lips of Democrats across the board now that the debt deal is done, including New Mexico House members Ben Ray Luj├ín and Martin Heinrich. It’s odd that these words are being used just as Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to take her seat in the House.
Gabrielle Giffords
Aren’t these many of the same Democrats who lectured the country after Giffords was shot that people (read: Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party followers, Sarah Palin) should refrain from using words conveying violent images? President Obama said at the time we should ”make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.” Of course, that was poppycock then and it’s poppycock now. Tough language has always been a part of politics and those who pretend to get the vapors when they hear anything scabrous are simply whining or, to be more accurate, trying to defang their opponents by pretending to take the high road. Hell, I thought that line about the debt deal being a “Satan sandwich” was pretty funny. But spare me the self-righteousness and outright hypocrisy of wagging your finger at “the level of discourse” in politics today when you use the very language you supposedly deplore when your side takes it on the chin. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Las Cruces: 2nd Foreign National Verification Site

Alamogordo Daily News - SANTA FE - Gov. Susana Martinez's administration has authorized Las Cruces as a second site for foreign nationals to verify their New Mexico residency, her spokesman said today. Martinez, saying she was worried about fraud, ordered 10,000 people with New Mexico driver's licenses to travel to Albuquerque for the verification process. Because some of those summoned are illegal immigrants, they say they cannot travel to Albuquerque. The trip from Las Cruces requires a stop at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. Illegal immigrants say this would subject them to officers whose job is to keep them out of the country. But Scott Darnell, Martinez's press secretary, said the fact that Las Cruces is the state's second-most populous city was behind the decision to establish a second site. "Given the size of Las Cruces, yes, there will be certain time windows during which the certification process will be available there," Darnell said this morning. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Us versus Them, the Winners and the Losers, And of course, the Wealthy and the Middle Class

We have been perusing the so-called and conservative and progressive websites ever since the Senate passed the raising of the debt ceiling this morning. It is truly amazing how reducing the growth rate of federal government spending (there are no cuts) has been characterized as a “loss” for the middle class and a “win” for the wealthy on sites like "The Nation" and "Progressive."
The dialogue in the analysis pre-supposes that somehow if government is functioning properly, the middle class can benefit from bigger government, while it comes at the “expense” of the wealthy.
The stereotyping of public policy as an “us versus them” battle wherein the middle class benefits from maintaining the upward trajectory of federal government spending is the ultimate false assumption about how economics works. And of course, the suggestion that the choice must be made between the “wealthy” and the “middle class,” is the ultimate presentation of a patently false choice.
Just as the tea parties are characterized as racists and hostage takers, somehow the wealthy and the business owners are portrayed as exploiters of all others, especially those they emply who fall into the so-called "middle class." How sad it is in the second decade of the 21st century that we have not learned the basic lesson that big government only benefits politicians who vote for big government. Everyone else loses…..everyone. Still the progressives sites relentlessly bash and bash the tea parties most of all. I'm not a member of the Tea Party but I have met plenty of them. The great irony is very few are wealthy and almost all of them ARE MEMBERS of the so-called MIDDLE CLASS. Go figure.


Forum for Our Forest at Eagar, Arizona

Springerville, AZ (July 19, 2011) Today, Representative Steve Pearce (NM-02), chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, and Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-01) announced a joint “Forum For Our Forest” meeting, to be held at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, August 10th at the Round Valley Auditorium, located at 550 N. Butler Street in Eagar, AZ. The meeting will focus on forest management and wildfires, especially the recent Wallow fire. Rep. Pearce and Rep. Gosar hope to hear from constituents who have been affected by this and other wildfires.

“For decades, reckless forest management has killed logging jobs and contributed to dry, overcrowded forests,” said Pearce. “This year, we have seen the consequences as hundreds of thousands of acres have gone up in flames, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. I hope that this joint meeting will help draw attention to federal mismanagement of our national forests. Most importantly, we hope to give a voice to local residents whose lives have been affected by these fires, allowing them to tell Washington that enough is enough.”
“We must re-evaluate our forest management policies at all levels of government because the status quo is detrimental to our region’s ecological health, our safety, and our local and national economy,” said Gosar. “I have been working on solutions to reducing forest fuel accumulation and proper forest management since taking office. The recent fires, some of the largest forest fires in recorded history, simply add further urgency to this work. It is time for us to be honest about the problem as well as providing the solution. I am pleased to be working with Congressman Steve Pearce, who shares my concerns and is devoted to finding solutions. I am confident that together, with the help of our constituents and all vested parties, we can implement common-sense solutions that will make our forests healthier and our communities safer while jump-starting our local economy.”
Steve Pearce
Pearce and Gosar, along with Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ-06), introduced legislation last week to expedite removal of hazardous and dead or dying trees around the Wallow Fire area. The town hall meeting will discuss recent fires, U.S. Forest Service forest management policies, and other related issues.
The Congressmen plan to tour the Wallow Fire area earlier in the day and speak to local ranchers, officials, and others. Both Rep. Pearce and Rep. Gosar have made visits to the affected area for briefings and to meet with constituents.
The event is open to the public, and residents of affected communities are encouraged to attend. Media that wish to cover the town hall meeting as well as the day’s tour of the Wallow Fire area can telephone 575-517-7382.

Governor Sets Special Session Agenda

Susana Martinez
Santa Fe New Mexican - In addition to the divisive task of adjusting political boundaries of congressional and legislative districts, state lawmakers who arrive in Santa Fe in September for a special session could face a list of other issues. Aside from redistricting based on the latest Census numbers, Gov. Susana Martinez has identified at least four other items she wants the Legislature to tackle. These include bills dealing with the unemployment tax paid by businesses, the procurement code's preference for in-state bidders, greater authority for government officials to restrict fireworks and — perhaps the most controversial topic — a repeal of the law authorizing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals.
In addition to those items, Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said the governor is considering adding consideration of a capital outlay bill and funding for a state program that supplements federal food-stamp benefits. Read full story here: News New Mexico

GOP Violates "Pledge"

(CNSNews.com) - When the House of Representatives voted this evening on legislation to increase the limit on the federal debt by as much as $2.4 trillion, House Republicans broke a promise included in their 2010 Pledge to America to post the text of bills online “for at least three days” before bringing them up for a vote.

“We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives,” said the Pledge to America. “No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Pearce Explains Why Budget Control Act Isn't

Steve Pearce
Washington, DC (August 1, 2011) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce voted against S. 365, the Budget Control Act Agreement. “While today’s proposal isn’t the solution we need, it does show that the people are beginning to make their voices heard,” said Pearce. “For years, Washington has tried to spend our way out of debt through tax and borrow bailout schemes. The discussion in Washington this week has shown that those days are drawing to a close. The American people said in November that they want a new direction, and they are successfully holding Congress accountable. Still, the down payment on our national debt that was proposed today was simply not enough.”
“Job creation, not temporary cuts, will be the key to truly solving our national debt problem,” Pearce continued. “We need to reform the burdensome taxes and unnecessary regulations that are preventing small businesses across America from creating the jobs we need. Only by putting Americans back to work can we hope to truly solve our debt crisis.” While Rep. Pearce has always hoped to avoid default, he will not support a debt limit increase that does not include fundamental, lasting solutions to America’s economic turmoil. In recent weeks, he joined colleagues in the House from both sides of the aisle to pass the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011,” and the “Budget Control Act of 2011.”