Martinez cuts state's PR corps

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - Gov. Susana Martinez, who has been working to trim the number of Cabinet-level agencies in state government, already has fewer people on the state payroll writing news releases and serving as spokesmen. As of last week, 27 public-information officers were working for the state, compared with 51 at one point in former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration. In addition to fewer such employees, their salaries are lower, drawing cheers from fiscal conservatives. "It's not atypical of what we have seen from her," said Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation think tank. Gessing said Martinez has cut back on spending compared to Richardson but "hasn't gone as far back" as the tight-fisted spending levels under the last Republican governor, Gary Johnson. "On one hand, I applaud her for cutting back and reducing pay in tough public times," Gessing said. "Is there more to go? Quite possibly." Read more

New York Times Krugman: The Years of Shame

From the New York Times - By Paul Krugman - (pictured receiving Nobel Peace Prize on left) Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued? Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd. What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons. A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity? The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it. Read more

Janice Arnold-Jones Suspends Her Campaign for the day to Reflect on 9-11

Janice Arnold-Jones
Congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones suspended her congressional campaigning for a day in observation of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. Arnold-Jones is an experienced leader with a rich military background. Her late father and her husband (John) both served as career military officers. Arnold-Jones is a former four term state representative from the Albuquerque area and is running for the U.S. House seat in New Mexico's First Congressional District. A former News New Mexico co-host, Janice has agreed to appear on the show again on Friday morning to discuss her dreams for New Mexico and the U.S.


"The Hole in Our Hearts"


The Fracking Facts

Aubrey McClendon
Newsnm note - Spence - Below is a transcript of the Keynote Address by Aubrey K. McClendon. He is Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chesapeake Energy Corporation. He made this speech at the Marcellus Shale Insights Conference, in Philadelphia on September 7, 2011. It contains the FACTS about the process known as "fracking" now under attack by anti-fossil fuel types who are pressing their radical nonsense agendas.
"It’s great to be in the City of Brotherly Love. From the greeting I received outside, I can see how the city earned its nickname! And I must say it made me proud to be an American. Only in this, the freest country in
the world, can people express their opinions enthusiastically and publicly. That holds for the so-called “fractivists” protesting outside and the “factivists” in this room. When I say “factivist,” I mean all of you who share a commitment to use knowledge and common sense to safely and responsibly produce the natural gas our country so desperately needs. Because we understand this industry, we also have an obligation to speak out – not just at this conference, but out in the community. The facts we convey about the safety of our operations and the benefits of our product should kindle the hopes and calm the fears of all who are fair minded. But as we all have discovered in recent years, not everyone we meet is fair minded, or honest about their motives. In a country where freedom of speech and freedom of the press are enshrined in the Constitution, the privilege of unfettered speech can lead to unfettered fear mongering… In addition, the privilege of uncensored publishing – if not balanced by rigorous fact checking – can lead to broad distribution of half truths and outright lies. I am reminded of the famous words of a truly great U.S. Senator from New York and an Ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who observed that, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
So let’s talk about the facts. FACT: The company that I lead, Chesapeake Energy, is the most active driller in the Marcellus and the most active driller in the United States, by a factor of more than two. We employ over 12,000 Americans directly and almost 100,000 indirectly. We have been horizontally drilling and hydraulically fracturing wells since I co-founded the company in 1989. Our company has performed this process 16,000 times – the most of any company in the world. And we are getting better at it with every well. Not only are we getting better economically, we’re getting better in terms of protective barriers, water management, wastewater recycling and air quality improvement.
FACT: The natural gas exploration and production industry has an excellent track record of safety and environmental integrity. Over 1.2 million wells have been fracked by our industry since 1949. Against that track record of over 1.2 million frac jobs performed by the industry, our critics can only find one or two instances of alleged groundwater pollution. And having examined those few instances ourselves, we don't agree that fracking had anything to do with the alleged groundwater contamination. Even in the limited gas migration incidents in Pennsylvania in the past three years that have drawn so much media attention, only a couple of dozen homeowners claim to have been affected – and these incidents were not related to fracking. They were related to issues of casing design." Read rest of speech here: News New Mexico


The Politics of 9-11

Ten years after the 9-11 attacks on America a question remains. What else can be done by civilized countries all around the world to confront the worldwide threat of radical Islam?
After the terrible problem of radical Islam landed in President Obama's lap in January of 2009, the discourse on this most pressing problem finally moved a bit beyond the partisan-obsessed “hatred” of warring domestic political opponents.
But some political residue remains. Clearly the personal and political hatred for George W. Bush retarded the process of problem-solving for years. Often it had been suggested by high profile Bush-haters that the nasty problem with radical Islam was simply overblown. Some even suggested (former Obama Green Jobs Czar Van Jones and actor Charlie Sheen) that President Bush actually knew in advance about the attacks and did nothing about his advance knowledge for "political gain." 
The history of evidence of the ongoing threat of radical Islam spans decades. There were mass murders at the Olympics at Munich in 1972, hostage taking at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, the murder of 250 peace-keeping U.S. Marines in Beirut during the 1980’s, mass murder over Lockerbie, Scotland, countless hijack killings, the deadly World Trade Center bombing of 1993, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, the deadly nightclub explosion in Bali, train bombings in London and then again in Spain in 2005, the most recent murder plot foiled by Scotland Yard on August 10, 2006 (which hoped to blow up as many as ten loaded passenger jets leaving London with liquid explosives), and of course the nearly 3,000 murders on 9-11. In recent years there have been many more attacks including an attack at Fort Hood, Texas that killed 13 and wounded 29. Still, until President Obama replaced George Bush in the White House, many Bush haters remained relatively comfortable in denying that there actually was an overwhelming threat to world peace posed by radical Islam.
Throughout history acknowledging  the reality of an “external threat” has always had a strengthening effect on incumbent political leaders. And politically speaking, it is an undeniable truth that in a philosophically divided nation, George W. Bush derived virtually all of his resurgence of political support amongst independents immediately AFTER radical Islam attacked America on 9-11. There can be little doubt that this horrible “external threat” posed by radical Islam helped Bush more than any other single factor, to become a two-term president.
With this psychological backdrop in mind, it is easier to understand why for the Bush-hating partisans, 9-11 was particularly painful “political event.” And accordingly, for Bush-haters, to actually admit that 9-11 is still the defining moment of 21st century history requires a concession that America actually had a real enemy that Bush had to fight. Reluctantly one must conclude that even the basic “premise” that radical Islam is a threat, created an reality pathway that no Bush-hating partisan wanted to start down. Denial became the preferred path for many.
Fast-forwarding to the present, with President Obama as Commander and Chief, the “communications interception tactics,” (like those used by Scotland Yard to thwart the plane bombings in London several years ago) have continued. And these preventive actions have continued with far fewer objections from the partisan ACLU and other Bush-haters. This has been good news for national security. Reality has jolted President Obama. And he is on the record now of saying he admired President Bush for reminding people of who America’s real “enemy is (al Queada - radical Islam). Earlier this week, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave great credit to President Obama for following through on the effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. At some point, and regardless of political leanings, all citizens must face the reality that radical Islam is like an inoperable cancer that still grows on the body we call the human race. There is no question that the acts of organized hatred that radical Islam is sworn to perpetuate, are dangerous to the freedoms of all civilized societies.
And so it is on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 that we reach the inescapable conclusion that the very process of engaging in “hatred,” whether it is partisan, religious, or some other form, will always cloud the judgments of any human being. Citizens who swear allegiance to best practices and never support dumb ideas or engage in illogical denials of basic facts based on political party considerations, are a far too precious commodity.
Today we will again see the chilling images of the towers collapse. We will also see images from Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. Finally we will see images of Presidents Bush and Obama and the First Ladies as they overlook Ground Zero. And as we do so we should all know that the 9-11 attacks should have never been about politics. However, like everything else, if we as a people allow moments in history to be about politics, they will be about politics.


Malkin - All the Wrong 9-11 Lessons

Michelle Malkin
Townhall - Are your kids learning the right lessons about 9/11? Ten years after Osama bin Laden's henchmen murdered thousands of innocents on American soil, too many children have been spoon-fed the thin gruel of progressive political correctness over the stiff antidote of truth. "Know your enemy, name your enemy" is a 9/11 message that has gone unheeded. Our immigration and homeland security policies refuse to profile jihadi adherents at foreign consular offices and at our borders. Our military leaders refuse to expunge them from uniformed ranks until it's too late (see: Fort Hood massacre). The j-word is discouraged in Obama intelligence circles, and the term "Islamic extremism" was removed from the U.S. national security strategy document last year.
Similarly, too many teachers refuse to show and tell who the perpetrators of 9/11 were and who their heirs are today. My own daughter was one year old when the Twin Towers collapsed, the Pentagon went up in flames and Shanksville, Pa., became hallowed ground for the brave passengers of United Flight 93. In second grade, her teachers read touchy-feely stories about peace and diversity to honor the 9/11 dead. They whitewashed Osama bin Laden, militant Islam and centuries-old jihad out of the curriculum.
Apparently, the youngsters weren't ready to learn even the most basic information about the evil masterminds of Islamic terrorism. Mary Beth Hicks, author of the new book "Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid," points to a recent review of 10 widely used textbooks in which the concepts of jihad and sharia were either watered down or absent. These childhood experts have determined that grade school is too early to delve into the specifics of the homicidal clash of Allah's sharia-avenging soldiers with the freedom-loving Western world. Yet, many of the same protectors of fragile elementary-school pupils can't wait to teach them all the ins and outs of condoms, cross-dressers and crack addictions. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Progressives Case: De-Authorizing War on Terror

John Nichols
The Nation - by John Nichols - Just as the voice of Mary Robinson -- then serving in her UN High Commissioner role -- was a lonely one in opposition to declaring a "war on terror" that would define a decade for the world, so Congresswoman Barbara Lee was the lonely voice of the U.S. Congress. Lee cast the sole vote against Public Law 107-40, the Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which effectively launched what is now know as the "war on terror. September 11 changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us," Congresswoman Lee said on September 14. "Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. (We) must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target," Lee concluded. "We cannot repeat past mistakes."
That wise counsel was not heeded. Cheney's "war on terror" language carried not just the day but the decade. But, now that the decade is done, Lee is back with a proposal to draw down the "war on terror."
Barbara Lee
"In reflecting on the rush-to-war in Afghanistan and President Bush's misguided war-of-choice in Iraq, my worst fears have unfortunately been realized," Lee said when she introduced legislation to sunset and repeal over a six-month period the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. "Over the last (decade), this broad authorization of force has had far-reaching implications which shake the very foundations of our great nation and democracy. It has been used to justify warrantless surveillance and wiretapping activities, indefinite detention practices that fly in the face of our constitutional values, extrajudicial targeted-killing operations, and a policy of borderless and open-ended war that threatens to indefinitely extend U.S. military engagement around the world," the congresswoman says. "It is time for Congress to reexamine, and ultimately repeal this flawed authorization. The alternative, to concede Congress's constitutional responsibilities and blindly accept the persistence of war without end, is unacceptable." Lee is right.
Her proposal has for the most part been neglected by the same media that has celebrated Cheney in recent weeks. But Lee has a few more allies as we approach September 14, 2011, than she did on September 11, 2001. Her proposal has been cosponsored by Democratic Representatives John Conyers Jr. (Michigan), Donna Edwards (Maryland), Keith Ellison (Minnesota), Bob Filner (California), Raul Grijalva (Arizona), Mike Honda (California), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Jesse Jackson Jr. (Illinois), John Lewis (Georgia), Jim McDermott (Washington), Pete Stark (California), Maxine Waters (California) and Lynn Woolsey (California). One Republican, North Carolina's Walter Jones Jr., has joined them. It is still lonely to speak out against the declaration of a "war on terrorism." But it is a little less lonely today than it was a decade ago. And our media could -- and should -- make it less lonely by highlighting the current legislative initiative of the woman who got it right on September 14, 2001. Read full story here: News New Mexico

"Tastes Like Justice"