New Mexico state jet sold for $2.5M

From the Santa Fe New - A New Mexico state jet, once criticized by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez as the "ultimate symbol of waste and excess," is being sold for $2.5 million, a government official told The Associated Press. A state official familiar with sales negotiations said a retired couple from Anchorage, Alaska, is buying jet and they are expected to take ownership and delivery of the plane on Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging a formal announcement of the sale later in the day. The twin-engine business jet, a Cessna Citation Bravo, was purchased new in 2005 by Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson's administration for $5.5 million. Martinez promised during her campaign last year to ditch the jet to cut government costs. Richardson was a frequent flier on the jet, but Martinez never used it. The jet was sold through a broker, which will receive a commission of 2 percent of the purchase price — about $50,000. Since Martinez took office in January, the jet has remained grounded except for routine maintenance. Read more


Michigan Bar Owners Bounce Lawmakers to Protest Smoking Ban

From Fox - Some days, politicians could use a drink. But lawmakers in Michigan may soon find it harder to get one. Hundreds of bar owners in the Great Lakes State plan to deprive lawmakers of their hospitality by banning them from their establishments in protest of the state's smoking ban. A new group, Protect Private Property Rights in Michigan, claims it has more than 500 bar owners statewide pledging to blacklist almost every lawmaker. The idea is to persuade the Legislature to at least revisit the ban, which went into effect last year. "We're going to have to remind Lansing that our bars are in fact private property, so therefore they are now persona non grata as of Sept. 1," said Stephen Mace, director of the group and a bar worker himself. How effective the ban is could depend on how much Michigan's lawmakers cherish their local watering holes. Mace said the primary goal is to get a discussion started again in the capital -- he said many of the Republican candidates who swept into office last November were opposed to the ban but haven't done much to address it since their swearing-in. "The bar owners and workers felt they were being ignored by the new Legislature," Mace said. Mace said businesses and the government have lost millions of dollars as a result of the smoking ban, which applied to most businesses across the state when it went into effect on May 1, 2010. Mace claimed that "in excess of 100" small bars closed down in the first year as a result of the ban. According to the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, overall sales at bars and restaurants were down about 20 percent between May and July of last year after holding steady in the months before the ban. Sales of alcohol, food and lotto tickets all fell -- the drop-off in revenue was more pronounced among smaller establishments. Read more


Obama Justice Department Shuts Down Gibson Guitar

NewsNM - Swickard - As a follow up from a previous story yesterday, (see here) the Holder Justice Department raided Gibson Guitar facilities in Nashville and Memphis this week because the company is using unfinished wood from India. The Federal Department of Justice suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of a law in India. Suggested?


Texas to Begin Deporting Foreign Convicts

From Fox - Texas parole officials can soon use a new state law to begin deporting some of the 11,000 foreign citizens who are incarcerated in state prisons. The Austin American-Statesman reports the deportations could save taxpayers millions of dollars. The state law, which takes effect Sept. 1, allows the parole board to approve convicts for parole on the condition that they are deported to their home country. The law covers foreigners convicted of both violent and nonviolent crimes. Parole officials are worried about how to implement the new law because in recent years, several hundred foreign-born felons were paroled and released to federal officials for deportation but were instead allowed to remain in Texas on parole at the cost of state taxpayers. Bryan Collier, deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said about 11,500 of Texas' 156,000 state prisoners are not U.S. citizens, and about 6,000 of those currently have a deportation order pending. Texas lawmakers have debated such a deportation program for nearly 20 years, with several unsuccessful attempts at legislation.
Lawmakers say the state could save as much as $100 million annually if as many as 5,000 foreigners were removed from state prisons and deported. The state spends about $3 billion a year operating the state's 112 prisons and related programs. Read more


Elder: Kerosine Maxine

Larry Elder
Townhall - "I'm not afraid of anybody. ... And as far as I'm concerned, the tea party can go straight to hell." -- Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Waters' list of insults, vulgarities and blame-whitey scapegoating easily makes her the Al Sharpton of Congress.
Let's go to the videotape:
Waters once said of the then-sitting president: "I would like to ... say ... very clearly that I believe George (H.W.) Bush is a racist." She routinely refers to the Republican Party as "the enemy." She also referred to Republican former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan as a "plantation owner."
Maxine Waters
She called the 1992 Los Angeles riots a "rebellion," and bellowed, "No justice, no peace!" She defended looters: "There were mothers who took this as an opportunity to take some milk, to take some bread, to take some shoes. Maybe they shouldn't have done it, but the atmosphere was such that they did it. They are not crooks." Waters said: "One lady said her children didn't have any shoes. She just saw those shoes there, a chance for all of her children to have new shoes. Goddamn it! It was such a tear-jerker. I might have gone in and taken them for her myself."
In 1973, the former Black Panther Joanne Chesimard shot and killed a New Jersey state trooper. Found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, Chesimard escaped from a New Jersey penitentiary and fled to Cuba. Congress passed a resolution urging Castro to extradite her to this country. But Waters wrote Castro a letter, urging him to keep the "persecuted ... political activist" and likened the cop killer to Martin Luther King, since Chesimard had been "persecuted for her civil rights work"!
Waters wrote a foreword for a book, "Dark Alliance," that accused the CIA of playing a prominent role in the Los Angeles area drug trade. Never mind that practically every major newspaper -- The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post -- all examined and rejected the charge. She even pressured former CIA director John Deutch into coming to Los Angeles to explain the CIA's alleged role. During a town hall meeting, Waters bellowed, "If I never do anything else in this career as a member of Congress, I am going to make somebody pay for what they have done to my community and to my people!" Read full column here: News New Mexico

Rep. Eliseo "Lee" Alcon: Governor Martinez "Would Kick You in the Kidneys If She Can"

Eliseo Alcon
Capitol Report New Mexico - An otherwise standard news conference in front of the State Capitol Building Wednesday (Aug. 24) took an atagonistic turn when Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Cibola and McKinley counties) attacked Gov. Susana Martinez. Speaking off the cuff in front of supporters of a lawsuit filed against the state in reaction to Gov. Martinez’s order to review some 10,000 driver’s licenses issued since the state passed a controversial law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses, Alcon told the crowd of a few dozen, “I believe if you were lying on the ground, our governor on the fourth floor [where the Governor's Office is located] would kick you in the kidneys if she can.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Former Detective Corrects Hearsay Story

KOB - TV - Congressman Ben Ray Lujan's name is being cleared by the fired Santa Fe police officer who has leveled serious accusations in his fight against the City of Santa Fe. At a news conference Wednesday, former detective James Vigil says he never told his deputy chief that Congressman Ben Ray Lujan was a target of an FBI investigation. KOB Eyewitness News 4 was there on Tuesday as Deputy Chief Gillian Alessio said under oath that James Vigil had pulled her aside and told her in confidence that he was working with the FBI on a cocaine investigation. Alessio testified that Vigil said the case somehow implicated Lujan and Santa Fe City Manager Robert Romero. On Wednesday Vigil said he told Alessio about alleged cases involving Robert Romero and another politician, but said he never mentioned Ben Ray Lujan's name. "I never told Deputy Chief Alessio that I personally was investigating Congressman Lujan," Vigil stated. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Hurricane Irene Heads for East Coast

Telegraph - The US is bracing for devastation as a large and dangerous storm roars towards the densely populated East Coast, including New York. Hurricane Irene is forecast to become a lethal Category 4 storm with winds of 135 miles per hour by as early as today, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Tourists have been fleeing from the storm's path through the Caribbean in recent days as Irene gained in strength, pummeling the Bahamas last night as a Category 3 monster. Evacuations have begun from the islands off North Carolina, near where the storm is predicted to make landfall on Saturday. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Jobs Gone From Apple

IB Times - Poor health took the better of Steve Jobs as he resigned on Wednesday, sending shockwaves through technology and media circles. Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in his pancreas on October 2003. He had tried a special diet to avoid surgery. But eventually he had to resort to surgery in 2004 . Nevertheless it was a successful one without the need for chemotherapy. Four years later, false reports of his death shocked the industry. Jobs himself gave a statement on Sept. 9, 2008, joking "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." During late 2008 Jobs was looking very frail and had lost a lot of weight, fueling more speculation. On Jan. 5, 2009, Jobs said a hormone imbalance was causing him to lose weight, but vowed to remain CEO during treatment. "The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward," Jobs said in an open letter dated Jan 14, 2009.
He had given up his day-to-day operations to Tim until June 2009, saying his health problems were more complex than originally thought. Jobs also said he would remain involved in major strategic decisions. "I look forward to seeing all of you this summer," he had stated in a letter to his employees. In June 23, 2009, Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis confirmed that Jobs had a liver transplant and had "an excellent prognosis." During his first public appearance after the surgery, Jobs said, "I am back at Apple and loving every minute of it". On Aug. 24, 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, marking an end to his reign at the consumer electronics giant he co-founded in his garage. Read full story here: News New Mexico