Cuba Accuses Richardson of Blackmail

From - Cuba said on Wednesday it refused to let former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson see jailed American Alan Gross during a recent visit to the island because it was irked at some of his actions.  The Cuban government said in a statement that Richardson had used "slanderous" language by referring to Gross as a hostage in remarks to the media and had attempted to pressure the government into letting him see Gross, which made it impossible for the visit to occur. "Mr. Richardson was reminded that Cuba is a sovereign country that does not accept blackmail, pressures or arrogance," said the statement from Josefina Vidal, the Foreign Ministry's director of North American affairs.  More News New Mexico

Advocates Call For Resignations In Ruidoso Gun Ban

From - RUIDOSO, N.M. -- Gun advocates are calling for the Ruidoso mayor and village attorney to resign after the two defended a new executive order banning guns in village property. Advocates from Ruidoso, Roswell, Alamogordo, Eunice and even Virginia crowded a village council meeting Tuesday to express anger at Mayor Ray Alborn's order. Alborn made the order after Ruidoso resident Tony Seno showed up at a council meeting in July wearing a pistol and was asked to remove it. Alborn said the ban only applied to village buildings and was meant to protect village employees and residents. But Ruidoso resident Carl Kelley Jr. warned that the village faced lawsuits. In 1986, New Mexico residents voted to amend the state constitution forbidding local regulation of firearms. Read more

Mexican police seize rifles, handguns, grenade at Chihuahua prison

From the El Paso Times - by Daniel Borunda - Assault rifles, 18 handguns and a tear-gas grenade was among contraband seized from inmates in a Chihuahua prison last week, Mexican federal police said. Federal police said the search of the Aquiles Serdán prison on Sept. 8 began after an inmate was found with a .45-caliber handgun and gunshots were heard during the transfer of 15 prisoners. Police located the contraband hidden in a secret tunnel and cells. Police seized three AK-47 rifles, two AR-15 rifles and an Uzi submachine gun as well as 21 cell phones, various knives, 80 liters of homemade wine, 48 beer cans, heroin and cocaine. Inmates also had microwave ovens and plasma-screen televisions. Read more

Skandera’s brand of ‘education reform’ doesn’t work

From NM - by Michael Corwin, executive director of Independent Source Pac He is a licensed private investigator who has provided political opposition research and rapid response investigations in approximately 170 political races. - The National Research Council says Hanna Skandera’s brand of “education reform” does not work. So why is the Martinez Administration so gung ho about an approach that is clearly not what’s best for the children? Who really stands to gain from their faulty approach? So what really does work? According to the National Research Council, smaller class sizes, better-trained teachers and principals, challenging curriculum, high expectations, good after-school programs and summer school “can make a large and positive influence.” In other words, focus on the needs of the individual students, identify those that need assistance, and provide it to them. For generations, American students who had trouble learning to read were given pull-out training by remedial reading teachers. This was a very effective approach, but then districts eliminated those positions. Why not bring them back? There are also thousands of retired teachers and other volunteers who are happy to donate their time to do pull-out remedial reading. Read the column

Regulation Nation: farmers worry over crop of new rules

From Fox - By - Farmers are concerned that some new, tighter federal regulations on agriculture are stunting the growth of their businesses and say regulatory uncertainty makes it difficult for them to plan for the future. Steve Baker owns a small hog farm in Shenandoah County Virginia and while many of the federal standards that apply to larger operations wouldn’t normally apply to him, similar Environmental Protection Agency rules intended to cut down on runoff into the Chesapeake Bay do. He has a professionally developed nutrient plan that governs his manure management and he closely monitors and documents where and how each load of manure is spread on his fields. But as much as current regulations, farmers say that uncertainty about what could come from Washington is one of their main concerns. Baker says he hears that from farmers all over the Shenandoah Valley. “How their everyday practices may be affected and that change,” he said when asked about their worries. “They're not really sure of how change is going to affect them.” Read more

President Obama Responds to New York Loss


Malkin: Solyndra just tip of one big, green Obama iceberg

From Red Country - By Michelle Malkin - With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of "green jobs" out of his latest address to Congress. But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released this week are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate. After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans. Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra's books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast. Read more

47 Different Taxes We Pay: Can You Think of More?

From Godfather - When we think of taxes, we most likely look at what we pay to the Federal government and the states where we live, but there are dozens more, incorporated into everything we purchase. Every time we might the government to tax the corporations, we are asking them to tax us. Corporations view taxes as an expense like paying the electric bill. When they price an item for sale, they include all their expenses, including taxes. Here’s a list of nearly 4 dozen taxes. Can you think of some others? Think of George Harrison’s “Tax Man” (1966): If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet. Read more

Straight Party Votes Demonstrate the Power of Democrat Majority in NM Legislature

Nate Gentry
The Majority party in the House Rules Committee voted down a request from Republicans to hear legislation today. On 10-9 party line vote in the House Rules Committee, Democrats voted down a resolution introduced by Representatives Nate Gentry and Thomas Taylor that would have required all standing committees to convene and hear legislation that would empower job creation, improve public education and address a drivers license system full of abuse.
Yvette Herrell
“We are now in day eight of this special session and have yet to debate the merits of any non redistricting legislation,” said Representative Nate Gentry. “It is becoming more apparent as each day passes that the majority party in the legislature is resolved to block legislation that is crucial to New Mexico’s families. We have bills waiting to be debated that will benefit New Mexico employers and create jobs, give our students a better chance to succeed, and repeal the law that permits illegal immigrants from obtaining drivers licenses”
The Special Session is costing the tax payers of New Mexico approximately $50,000 a day and is budgeted for 21 days. “It is absurd that the Democrats are unwilling to get to work. We owe it to our constituents to accomplish a much as we can in the time we are here. The majority voted today to shirk their responsibility to New Mexicans. There are plenty of hours in the day, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the agenda hardworking New Mexicans are demanding we pass.” Said Representative Yvette Herrell, District 51.


John Arthur Smith Offers a Compromise on the Unemployment Fund Shortfall

John Arthur Smith
Santa Fe, NM - Senator John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, introduced SB-29 today (Wednesday) he believes is designed to reach a compromise with the governor on shoring up the state's Unemployment Compensation Fund. "This proposal would lower the unemployment insurance rates that New Mexico businesses pay from the rate the legislature believed was necessary earlier this year while raising it from what the governor indicated she would accept," Smith said. "We're splitting the difference evenly." Smith's legislation would set the rate schedule based on what is known as Contribution Schedule 2 for all of 2012 and 2013, except that the administration could raise the rates to Contribution Schedule 3 in 2013 if the Unemployment Compensation Fund drops below 30 percent of the benefits paid this year. Legislation approved earlier this year set the rates at Contribution Schedule 3 beginning in 2012, but the governor vetoed that provision, prompting a court challenge and casting doubt on what rate would apply in 2012.
Susana Martinez
"Without this new legislation, it's likely the Unemployment Compensation Fund will become insolvent, forcing businesses to automatically pay much higher rates," Smith said. "This proposal is a true compromise. It ensures the solvency of our Unemployment Compensation Fund at a time when out-of-work New Mexicans need it most. It guarantees businesses a low, consistent unemployment insurance rate for up to two years and it literally finds the middle ground between what the legislature and governor each support," Smith said.


Biden's Office Also Linked to Solyndra Loan Pressure

Joe Biden
Newsmax -In 2009 White House officials pressured the Office of Management and Budget to make quick approval of a $535 million loan guarantee for solar panel maker Solyndra, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post. The reason for the rush was to allow Vice President Joe Biden to announce the loan at an opening ceremony for the company’s factory in September 2009.
The loan had been approved by the Energy Department, but needed final clearance from the OMB. Solyndra was a vital piece of President Barack Obama’s effort to promote clean energy sources. The company collapsed two weeks ago, meaning taxpayers will foot the bill for the loan. Read full story here: News New Mexico


"Arab Spring"

NewsNM note - One of the excuses for the bad economy provided by the White House has been what it calls, "Arab Spring." This is the phrase used to describe the revolutions in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Maybe it was President Obama's "Arab Spring" as depicted by cartoonist Tony Branco back in May that lost New York's Congressional District #9. Until today that seat had been in the hands of Democrats since Calvin Coolidge was President.
Courtesy of


Progressive Explanation of "Pointless" GOP Win in New York's C.D. # 9 Held by Democrats Since 1923

Anthony Weiner
The Nation - Conservatives and Republicans pulled out all the stops to win Anthony Weiner’s former Congressional seat in Brooklyn. The Republican National Committee sent fundraising e-mails about the election. The National Organization for Marriage cut an ad attacking Democrat David Weprin. New York’s pair of neo-conservative former mayors, Ed Koch, a DINO (Democrat in Name Only), and Rudy Giuliani, campaigned for Republican nominee Bob Turner. Turner won. The good news for Obama and Democrats is that this race does not mean nearly as much as Republicans will claim it does. A special Congressional election garners extremely low turnout, which helps Republicans and hurts Democrats, especially Obama, as it makes the electorate older and whiter. Orthodox Jews are not representative of all Jews: most are more liberal on social issues and on Israel. Obama is not necessarily in any danger of losing New York state because of his 43 percent approval rating in NY 9. Nonetheless, the race was a curious, and potentially troubling, case. Democrats enjoy a thirty-seven-point registration advantage in the district, and New York City is synonymous with liberal in much of the country, so this will naturally be spun as a major blow to them. The truth is a little more complicated. Read full column here: News New Mexico

White House on New York C.D # 9: It's Not Our Fault

Jay Carney
NBC - New York - A Republican television executive with no political experience beat his Democratic opponent in a special election Tuesday for the open seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, becoming the first Republican to represent the district in an election watched around the nation. Voter frustration over the sour economy and President Obama's policies helped Republican political novice, Bob Turner, score an upset victory over David Weprin, a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent political family. The White House said Wednesday it does not view the defeat as a referendum on the president. White House spokesman Jay Carney says special elections are unique and don't reveal much about the outcome of future regularly scheduled votes. "You can make those predictions and look foolish in 14 months or not," Carney said. "I'm simply saying we do not view them that way." Democrats have a 3-1 registration edge in the Brooklyn and Queens-area district where voters cast their ballots Tuesday. In his victory speech, Turner said the results portend a perilous national environment for Obama as he prepares to seek re-election next year. "This message will resound for a full year. It will resound into 2012," said Turner. "I only hope our voices are heard, and we can start putting things right again." News New Mexico

Why Lower Rates Are Killing Credit Expansion

Bill Gross
Financial Times - “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke is a second-generation pilot. As he himself acknowledged in his now well-known 2002 speech, the term was an original of economist Milton Friedman. Whether father or child, the concept of showering money over national economies to combat deflation has been an accepted principle of monetarism for decades. A helicopter, however, is not your average aeroplane, and the usual laws of aerodynamics do not necessarily apply in all cases. Similarly monetary policy at the zero interest rate bound introduces a new dynamic that may conflict or even reverse standard logic that lower interest rates across the sovereign yield curve are everywhere and always stimulative to economic growth.
Ben Bernanke
This potential paradox arises not just from observation of the Japanese experience over nearly two decades, but from an analysis of our modern-day financial system and its potential inadequacies. Fractional reserve banking, where only a portion of bank deposits are backed by hard cash, as well as unreserved collateral-based lending on overnight repo have allowed for an expansion of credit beyond the bounds of a central banker’s imagination.
Borrowing short-term at a near risk-free rate and lending at a longer and riskier yield has been the basis of modern-day finance. Renowned economist Hyman Minsky explained that this was one of the inherent flaws of the Keynesian neo-classical synthesis. Borrowers wanted lengthy loans to match the practical lives of their plant and equipment, but lenders were disposed towards shorter maturities because of the resultant financial volatility. Over a secular timeframe, a grand compromise was struck somewhere between seven and eight years in terms of nations’ typical average maturity, but lenders demanded an additional feature – a positive yield curve with a substantially lower policy rate that would allow “rolldown” and incremental yield – especially if levered. Thousands of billions of dollars of credit were extended on this basis, some of it as short as a one-week or one-month maturity extension, but all of it – almost everywhere, nearly all of the time – on the basis of a positive yield curve encompassing potential rolldown and incremental returns.
However, in recent weeks, at least in the United States and perhaps soon elsewhere in the Fed dominated global monetary system, the rules have changed. Pilot Bernanke has changed planes from a fixed wing to a rotor-based helicopter by “conditionally” freezing policy rates for at least the next two years. As such the front end of the curve has for all intents and purposes become inert and worst of all flat as opposed to steeply positive. Two-year yields are the same as overnight fund rates allowing for no incremental gain – a return that leveraged banks and lending institutions have based their income and expense budgets on. A bank can no longer borrow short and lend two years longer at a profit. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Responding to Slowdown Accusation, Egolf Quotes Bible

Brian Egolf
Capitol Report New Mexico - Republicans in the Roundhouse say Democrats are dragging their feet in this special legislative session. Democrats insist they’re hard at work. The debate continued Tuesday (Sept. 13) on the floor of the House of Representatives, with Rep. Rick Little (R-Chaparral) saying, “I didn’t come here just for redistricting. There’s other work to do.” Rep. Thomas Garcia (D-Ocate) responded by saying, “Last night my wife said, ‘If you’re not doing anything, why are you getting home so late?”
A few minutes earlier, Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) accused Republicans of parroting “political talking points from the fourth floor” (home of the office of Gov. Susana Martinez) and then said he had talking points from a higher power. Egolf then quoted the New Testament, Matthew 6:1-6:4, which warns against self-righteousness. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Miller: Legislative Plan Becoming Evident

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - SANTA FE -- The master plan for this special session on redistricting seems to be falling into place. Although surprises always are possible in the give and take between the governor and lawmakers who aren't particularly fond of each other. Gov. Susana Martinez says the session can easily be over in two weeks. The Legislature appropriated enough money for three weeks. The maximum length allowed by law is 30 days but no one would benefit by it going that long. The likely scenario is for lawmakers to wrap up redistricting in about two weeks and then turn their attention to the governor's agenda for several days. By remaining in session, Gov. Martinez will have to act on the redistricting bills within three days. That will give lawmakers an opportunity to override any vetoes. It also allows for all sorts of horse trading. The governor will be very busy during those days analyzing the redistricting bills plus advocating for her own package of an expected 11 bills. Of course, Gov. Martinez said before the session that she was planning to work hard and intimating that most lawmakers weren't anxious to work. Some legislative leaders, during last winter's regular session charged that Martinez hadn't adequately prepared for the session. But she did prepare for this session. Rep. Paul Bandy, R- San Juan, has introduced a 72-page bill to merge the Tourism and Cultural Affairs departments. Reportedly two more governmental restructuring bills will be introduced soon. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Nevadans Sends Republican Mark Amodei to U.S. House

Nevada News Bureau - CARSON CITY – The results of the vote in the special election in the 2nd Congressional District went the way that most pundits had predicted: Republican and former state Sen. Mark Amodei will assume the seat vacated with the appointment of Dean Heller to the U.S. Senate. Amodei jumped out in front with more than 60 percent of the vote when the first results were posted from around the state, and the wide margin between the former Nevada State Republican Party chief and Democrat Treasurer Kate Marshall declined only marginally. Later results showed Amodei leading by 57 percent to 38 percent for Marshall, of Reno. Read ull story here: News New Mexico

Obama Repudiated in NY, House Special Election for Weiner's Seat Goes GOP for 1st Time Since 1923

The Hill - Republican Bob Turner won former Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) House seat on Tuesday, a bad sign for President Obama and down-ticket Democrats heading into next year’s election. Turner was leading Democrat David Weprin by 54 percent to 46 percent with 81 percent of precincts reporting right before midnight eastern time. The Associated Press has called the race. Democrats have held Weiner’s district since 1923, and it was Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) seat before he ran for the Senate. Obama will shoulder some blame for the loss, which comes at a pivotal time for the president as he pushes Congress to pass a jobs bill that will likely be a major part of his reelection campaign. National Republican Congressional Campaign Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) put out a statement immediately after the race was called, blaming Obama for the loss. Read full story here: News New Mexico