U.S.-Mexico border more secure than ever, officials say

From the New Mexico Independent - By Nicolas Mendoza - The U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than it’s ever been, according to current and former top border officials who appeared at a panel hosted by the Center for American Progress on Thursday. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin defended the results of an unprecedented escalation and intensification of border security that began in the 1990s and accelerated under Presidents Bush and Obama. “The specific theory of action,” Bersin explained, “was to push people out of easy urban places to cross the border, to push them out of the situation where you could simply walk across the border, get into the transportation network and then move anywhere into the interior of the United States.” He pointed out that in 1993 there were 3,000 border agents; today, there are over 21,000 Read more

Sports: Locksley to address Twitter policy this week

From KOB-TV.com - Lobo defensive end Jaymar Latchison has 450 followers on Twitter and he’s tweeted over 20,000 times. It’s a number that’s gotten the attention of UNM head football coach Mike Locksley. Locksley says he doesn’t have a rule banning Twitter. But he does say he plans to talk with the team this week about responsible ways of using social media. Read more

Local soldier gets big surprise

From KRQE-TV.com - BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) - A New Mexico Soldier received a big surprise from family and friends Saturday. Petty Officer Second Class Justin Guerra just got home from a year long tour of duty in Afghanistan. At a welcome home gathering, Guerra was surprised to see his beloved Toyota Land Cruiser totally restored. “Absolutely surprised, this completely caught me off guard,” Guerra said. While the Navy Reservist was away his family and friends wanted to do something to thank Guerra for his service. The group decided to do what Guerra had always wanted to do but never really had the time to do, restore his old Land Cruiser. They created a blog called ‘Thank You For Your Service’ and kept tabs on the project, asking for donations of money, parts or even time to help them get the task done. Read more


Report: Mexican drug cartels adopting military tactics

From the El Paso Times.com - by Diana Washington Valdez - Mexican drug cartels are using military weapons and tactics while also recruiting Texas teenagers to carry out their operations, which are evolving into full-blown criminal enterprises, experts said. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven C. McCraw said last week in a report given to Congress that the cartels "incorporate reconnaissance networks, techniques and capabilities normally associated with military organizations, such as communications intercepts, interrogations, trend analysis, secure communications, coordinated military-style tactical operations, GPS, thermal imagery and military armaments, including fully automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades." McCraw, an El Pasoan and former FBI official, testified about his findings before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight, Investigations and Management. Read more

48 HOURS After S&P Downgrade – Obama Has Yet to Release Statement

NewsNM - Swickard: Maybe they have not noticed, yet. From the Gateway Pundit.com It’s been 48 hours since Standard and Poors downgraded the US credit rating and we have not seen anything from the White House. Perhaps there is no one at the wheel, eh? On Friday the United States lost its coveted AAA credit rating. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the nation’s rating for the first time since the U.S. won the top ranking in 1917. Can you really understand how 18 countries now have a better credit rating than the US. President of the United States Barack Obama has still not released a statement. An anxious nation awaits.
So Where is the Leader of the Free World? On Friday the United States lost its coveted AAA credit rating. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s rating for the first time since the U.S. won the top ranking in 1917. 18 countries now have a better credit rating than the US. So where is Barack Obama?The president has yet to make a statement on the historic downgrade. He is golfing at Camp David.

U.S. Stock Futures Tumble After Ratings Cut

From FOX Business.com - U.S. stock futures fell sharply on Sunday following the steepest weekly retreat since 2008 as traders reacted to Standard & Poor's downgrade of America's credit rating and ongoing concerns over the euro zone debt crisis. In electronic trading Sunday evening, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slid 178 points to 11,187, S&P 500 futures tumbled 19.2 points to 1,178 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 33.5 points to 2,153. Read more

MoveOn.org drives new liberal catch phrase: ‘Tea party downgrade’

From the Daily Caller.com - By Matthew Boyle - The left-wing activist group MoveOn.org picked up the new liberal slogan bashing conservatives for Standard & Poor’s U.S. credit rating downgrade: “Tea Party downgrade.” President Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry both used the phrase on Sunday talk shows. In a Sunday afternoon email to supporters, MoveOn.org accused tea partiers of being responsible for the first-ever credit downgrade in U.S. history. “This ‘tea party downgrade’ is a shameful blow to our nation’s honor and risks throwing us right back into recession,” Moveon.org wrote. “Worst of all? It was completely avoidable. But when given the choice between extremist posturing and responsible leadership, tea party Republicans chose wrong.” MoveOn.org added that “now, amazingly, they’re trying to pin the blame on Democrats.” Read more

No Chance of Default, US Can Print Money: Greenspan

From CNBC.com - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Sunday ruled out the chance of a US default following S&P's decision to downgrade America's credit rating. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Sunday ruled out the chance of a US default following S&P's decision to downgrade America's credit rating. Read more
Quote from Fred Thompson:

During his press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it was "inappropriate" for Democrats to call Tea Partiers "terrorists".

You know, that would mean a lot more if the White House didn't also think it was inappropriate to call terrorists "terrorists".


How the debt addicts are blaming the victims

From Big Government.com - by Wayne Allyn Root - Can you even imagine blaming a rape victim for being raped, or a terrorist victim for being murdered by terrorists? Of course not. In a sane world, it is the rapist and terrorist that is blamed for the crime, not the victim. But amazingly, this is exactly what Obama and his socialist cabal are now doing in the midst of the debt ceiling crisis- blaming the victims. Taxes aren’t the problem. Heavy federal, state, local, sales, property, and corporate taxes are already choking the entire U.S. economy. The addiction to spending is the problem. Raising taxes hasn’t helped Europe. The PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) are all insolvent and bankrupt despite much higher taxes than America. More money has never helped a single addict in world history. Only tough love, discipline and rehab solves the problem. And only hitting rock bottom starts the healing process and saves their lives. Obama is the mother of all spending addicts. He has an illness. Obama needs to stand up in front of America and say, “My name is Barack Obama and I am an addict. I apologize to the taxpayers, all of whom I have wronged. I apologize for spending our economy into insolvency and bankruptcy. I apologize for the historic levels of unsustainable debt. I apologize for trying to blame the victims (taxpayers) for my illness.” It all starts with admitting you have a problem. Read more

The Week in Review

We began the week with news of a “compromise” on the debt ceiling negotiations out of Washington. After last November’s election that signaled the voters wanted a change in direction, Democrats and Republicans fought for months. When it was all said and done the U.S. “stayed the course” to avoid a so-called financial catastrophe. We had to do it, we were told by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, because the “markets needed certainty.” The House passed the status quo extension on Monday and the Senate did so on Tuesday. What followed? The financial markets ruined all the Obama birthday fun at mid-week with a stunning repudiation of the status quo. By Friday the Dow had its worst week since 2008 and Standard & Poors downgraded U.S. Treasury debt. Of course the downgrade came over the vociferous objections of the Borrower in Chief.
Harry Reid
By Saturday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a brand new idea. Fresh off a shellacking in last year’s mid-term elections, followed by a successful fight that will keep increasing the mindless spending baseline, Reid wants to raise taxes.
Meanwhile back in the Land of Enchantment, the nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe thought about a strike, but thought better of it at the last minute. They approved an offer from management and kept working. In some ways we were saddened. We were just about to find out whether or not health care was a “right” or merely a service that had to be paid for. For the time being the nurses cleared everything up. We would have hated to see the president order them back to work no matter how bad their contract offer was, because he believes health care is a “right.”
It was almost comical to hear the elected officials from New Mexico talk about how much they hated the debt ceiling extension they voted for. Senators Udall and Bingaman and Representatives Lujan and Heinrich blamed the tea parties for taking the nation “hostage.” These claims are despite the fact the tea parties failed in their attempt to achieve a cut in spending. In the end, all four Democrats hated the bill that passed. Of course while hating it, three of them (Udall, Bingaman, and Heinrich) voted for it.
While Ben Ray Lujan voted no, he did so because there were no tax increases in it. In the meantime, lone wolf Congressman Steve Pearce also voted no. The Pearce no vote was cast because the debt ceiling extension did not come close to anything resembling significant spending cuts.
The polls were not good for the White House this week. 63% of Democrats now say the country is headed the wrong direction. And in a separate poll 69% of Americans believe it is at least somewhat likely that the data related to global warming has been falsified by scientists.
A bombshell was released at mid-week when it was revealed that a Sinaloa Drug Cartel member said that U.S. Dept. of Justice and A.T.F. officials in the federal government allowed tons of cocaine to come into the U.S. in exchange for “information” on rival drug cartels in Mexico. This is a story that won’t go away and we suspect A.G. Eric Holder is squirming somewhere.
Eric Holder
In what has to be one of the more bizarre news items of the year, Sunland Park Mayor Martin Resindez managed to capture the national spotlight for New Mexico. Resendiz, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House District #3, revealed during a deposition that he signed a large service contract obligating his city, while he was too drunk to understand, or be held responsible for, what he was doing. Did Christmas come early for Steve Pearce?
Martin Resendiz
Not to be outdone by Martin Resindiz, New Mexico Public Regulatory Commissioner Jerome Block seems to have been caught with his hand in the “free gasoline” cookie jar. It seems that Block charged roughly $9,000 worth of gasoline to the PRC. Both Governor Susana Martinez and New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales have called for Block to step down. In the meantime, we can stop wondering why El Paso Electric got a dubious rate structure change through the PRC that leaves churches and businesses in their service area in the lurch. There was nobody there to “Block” it.
And finally, an Albuquerque woman, Ana Hernandez, was indicted this week on more than 300 separate counts of providing false residency documents to foreign nationals. It was another good example of how New Mexico uniquely creates tremendous opportunities for all persons in this state illegally to obtain legitimate credentials that provide the appearance of legal status. Governor Martinez took the opportunity to repeat her calls for reforms to the driver’s license issuance system. And those who would thwart the ongoing voter fraud investigations in New Mexico continued to ignore the obvious connections of fraudulent residency document generation, fraudulent obtaining of driver’s licenses, and the widespread potential for the fraudulent casting of votes. We are reminded that requiring those cashing a check or making a credit card purchase to provide an I.D. does not “disenfranchise” them, it protects them from fraud. And requiring voter I.D. accomplishes the same thing. We either move to mandate voter I.D. or introduce bills that make it illegal to require I.D.’s for all other important transactions.


State Democratic Party Chair Joins Governor Martinez in Calling for Jerome Block to Resign

Javier Gonzales
Albuquerque, NM - Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Javier Gonzales released the following statement in light of the search of a state vehicle used by PRC Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr. and the reinstatement of charges that he misused public campaign funds: "Today I am asking PRC Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr. to step down from his position as PRC Commissioner in light of the newest allegations of misuse of public dollars. The constant controversy from the Commissioner has become a distraction for New Mexicans. The Democratic Party strives to be a voice for transparency and integrity, and the resignation of Commissioner Block will help to usher in a way forward for New Mexico that is consistent with those ideals." Read full press release and letter here: News New Mexico


Tribes Concerned About Medicaid Overhaul

Sidney Squier
Veritas New Mexico - Human Services Department (HSD) Cabinet Secretary Sidonie “Sidney” Squier got a skeptical reception at her meeting Wednesday with representatives from eight New Mexico Indian tribes, several of whom voiced concern that her agency’s Medicaid overhaul would create new barriers to American Indians’ access to health care. The tribes should have a substantive role in the Medicaid restructuring process, several tribal representatives said. State law requires HSD and other agencies to consult with the tribes before changing policies affecting their members. But Wednesday’s three-hour meeting at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque — HSD’s only scheduled Medicaid consultation with the tribes — was held during a week of seasonal Pueblo ceremonies and on the same day as a state redistricting consultation with tribal officials. As a result, only eight of the state’s 22 tribes were officially represented at the meeting. Read full story here: News New Mexico


New Prosecutor for Vigil-Giron

Rebecca Vigil-Giron
The Albuquerque Journal reported late last week that a prosecutor for the case against former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil Giron has been named. Forty-six year old former Santa Fe and Albuquerque prosecutor Joseph E. Campbell will take over the case. The Vigil-Giron case has run into one bizarre delay after another. First Judge Pat Murdoch ruled that Attorney General Gary King's office should not handle the case because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. Later Murdoch retired in the wake of rape charges.
Albert "Pat" Murdoch
In another irony, CampBell worked seven years in the 1st Judicial District in Santa Fe before being fired in 2008 by District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco. "Spence" made her own bad news this week when she admitted to botching a case involving a chronic drunk driver who severely injured two Colorado tourists in another D.U.I. incident. Campbell also worked in the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office until September of 2010 before entering private practice. According to the Journal, Campbell's contract with the state calls for taxpayers to pony up $200,000 for two years. 


Block Was Driving on a Suspended License

Jerome Block
KOB - TV - KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. was driving a state vehicle on a suspended license. It was our investigation that turned up $9,000 in questionable gas purchases on Block's state-issued gas card. We talked to the PRC chief of staff Saturday about how he uncovered Block's suspended license. PRC Chief of Staff Johnny Montoya said when he took his post, he requested a review of all PRC driver's licenses. That's when he discovered Blocks's suspended license. A spokesman for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department confirms Jerome Block Jr.'s license was suspended in July of 2010. Montoya says as soon as he discovered the license was suspended, he confronted Block, and Block voluntarily gave up his driving privileges with his state vehicle. That didn't happen until late June or early July—nearly a year after his license was suspended. Read full story here: News New Mexico

What is Going Wrong? Here's Fifteen Things

Jim Spence
There are fifteen unaddressed problems in the U.S. that continue to plague the economy. Here they are:
1) Despite the fact that al-Queada has been scattered, the Taliban removed from power, and Osama bin Laden killed, we have seen an expansion of U.S. taxpayer resources spent in Afghanistan with dubious value in return. We have also witnessed a tortuously slow unwinding of the costs of Iraq instead of a speedy withdrawal. And amazingly, President Obama has initiated yet another expensive and seemingly open-ended military conflict, this one in Libya.
2) The U.S. taxpayer continues to pay to maintain military bases all around the world for purposes that are out of date. There are tens of thousands of American troops in Germany and Japan left over in great part from WW II.
3) Obamacare contains nearly three thousand pages of law governing U.S. employers (not global employers). Compliance with Obamacare will drive up the costs for every paycheck signer in the nation. The mandate has changed the thinking patterns regarding the hiring a full time employees. Despite the uninformed denial of its supporters, the overhang of Obamacare is keeping us stuck in the economic mud.
4) The EPA, bolstered by a virtual army of radical environmental lawyers, continues to destroy efforts to make the U.S. independent of foreign energy. The EPA bars oil exploration in ANWR while we encourage offshore drilling in Brazil. Everywhere taxpayers turn, our court systems and our uninformed bureaucrats in Washington are assisting the process of job killing by employing relentless efforts to deny America access to reasonably priced oil.
5) Public policy is trying to make it impossible to maintain and enhance the productive capabilities of coal fired electric plants that produce electricity at a reasonable price. The fiasco involving the Four Corners power plants are a perfect example.
6) Those who are insisting on replacing efficient power plants with unreliable solar and wind at 7 times the cost are in control of policy. New Mexicans are going to pay more for electricity and face more rolling blackouts.
7) The Dodd-Frank law contains two thousand pages of financial system regulations and rules that place government in charge of virtually all lending and credit operations. The result has been a slower and more sluggish credit approval process that is slowing job creation. Read full column here: News New Mexico