Study shows percentages of everyday objects covered in germs

From - It is that time of year for sniffles and sneezes and as you go about your day, you may be coming into contact with germs a lot more than you realize. A recent study conducted by Kleenex paints a nasty picture. The study says 40 percent of parking meters have germs caked on them and 71 percent of the gas pumps turned up with germs as well. Researchers found 35 percent of crosswalk buttons have germs on them and a whopping 68 percent of mailbox handles that were swabbed came back dirty. "I think about germs, especially handles. After I wash my hands, I take a paper towel and put it on the handle," said Albuquerque visitor Paul Primeau. Galia Rodriguez is a self-proclaimed germaphobe. "Constantly wash my hands, 15 seconds, constantly, constantly, constantly," Rodriguez said. And at the end of the day when all you want is that candy bar, don't dare touch the vending machine buttons. Researchers found germs on 35 percent of them. Read more

NM Redistricting judge rejects “special master”

From Capitol Report New - Last week, Gov. Susana Martinez called for establishing a “special master” to determine redistricting maps across the state in light of her vetoes of maps of Public Regulation Commission, and state House and Senate races as well as the Democratic Party-majority’s inability to produce a map for US congressional races. The move received approval from the editorial board of the Albuquerque Journal, which said of the Martinez suggestion: “This just makes sense. Gov. Susana Martinez and her advisers on redistricting have come up with a proposal that could save the state millions of dollars.” But on Tuesday (Oct. 25), the retired judge appointed by the legislature to determine redistricting matters, James Hall, struck down ”special master” request, saying in a court order the move “would not lead to greater efficiency, and, in fact, may well increase the time and expense involved in this litgation.” Hall went on to say that instituting a special master would insert “additional procedural steps to already complex litigation” and “will open the door to extensive disputes between the parties.” Both Republicans and Democrats — as well as Indian tribes — have filed suits over the redistricting maps. Republicans say the maps passed by the legislature unfairly tilt the political advantage to Democrats while Dems have gone to court to defend the maps they put before Gov. Martinez. What happens now? Hall will proceed to determine the redistricting lines on his own, as he was assigned by the state Supreme Court earlier this month. Read more

Mexican army raids bulletproofing auto shop

From the El Paso Times - MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Mexican army said it has discovered an auto shop used to bulletproof vehicles for drug gangs. The army says it arrested 10 people and confiscated 10 trucks of SUVs that were being bulletproofed, as well a six other vehicles in the warehouse in the northern state of Sinaloa. The army's late-Monday statement does not say which cartel managed the shop, but it was in the home state of Joaquin Guzman, who is known as "El Chapo." In border states such as Tamaulipas, soldiers have raided similar bulletproofing auto shops and found freight trucks completely covered in steel. Read more

Justice Dept. proposes lying, hiding existence of records under new FOIA rule

From the Daily - A proposed revision to Freedom of Information Act rules would allow federal agencies to lie to citizens and reporters seeking certain records, telling them the records don’t exist. The Justice Department has proposed the change as part of a large revision of FOIA rules for federal agencies. Specifically, the rule would direct government agencies who are denying a request under an established FOIA exemption to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist,” rather than citing the relevant exemption. The proposed rule has alarmed government transparency advocates across the political spectrum, who’ve called it “Orwellian” and say it will “twist” public access to government. In a public comment regarding the rule change, the ACLU, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and, said the move “will dramatically undermine government integrity by allowing a law designed to provide public access to government information to be twisted to permit federal law enforcement agencies to actively lie to the American people.” Anne Weismann, the chief counsel of CREW, said the Justice Department has a legitimate purpose behind the rules: to protect sensitive information about ongoing investigations. However, she said lying about the records “is an overbroad and improper response.” “The problem is, if you’re a FOIA requester and the agency says they don’t have the records, you have no reason to doubt that,” Weismann said. “But if they cite an exemption, you have the option to sue.” Those groups have suggested an alternate federal response that would not require any revisions to the rules. “We interpret all or part of your request as a request for records which, if they exist, would not be subject to the disclosure requirements of FOIA pursuant to section 552(c), and we therefore will not process that portion of your request.” Read more

Occupy Oakland protesters try retake camp, hurl paint at police while chanting ‘This is why we call you Pigs’

From The - A crowd of roughly 400 Occupy Oakland protesters clashed with police Tuesday evening while trying to reclaim a campsite that they had been ousted from earlier in the day. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the crowd marched from the public library toward Frank Ogawa Plaza at about 5 p.m., vowing to confront police. At one point, protesters threw paint at riot police officers’ faces and helmets while chanting, “This is why we call you pigs.” Read more

State Department buys $70,000 worth of Obama books

From the Washington Times - The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams from My Father” more than a decade after its release. The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show. About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams from My Father.” One month later, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records show. A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House. Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, said if the federal government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Mr. Obama’s books is a good place to start. Read more

HILLYER: Save Edison’s light bulb

From the Washington Times - Now Americans everywhere are demanding that Congress repeal the pending ban on incandescent light bulbs. Unfortunately, the light bulb still hasn’t switched on in the heads of congressional leaders, who have not made repeal enough of a priority. It ought to be easy procedurally, and good politics, too, to zip the simple repeal to the president’s desk sooner rather than later. Americans like the good, old-fashioned Edison light bulb for good reason. Its light is better than that of the newfangled compact fluorescent ones. On the front end, it costs only about one-eighth as much. It’s easier to dispose of, with none of the mercury dangers of fluorescents. Most important, Americans resent when government limits their choices. People are sick of government meddling. Read more

People Over Profits: Faulty Logic

From the Truth Project - by Dr. Del Tackett - One of the consistent signs exhibited at the Occupy Wall Street protests is the slogan: “People Over Profits”. If you hear them chanting anything, it will probably be this slogan. It is intended to make the reader or hearer believe two things:–1st that people and profits are a contradiction. That is, one can either support uplifting people or pursue profits, but obviously not both;–and 2nd, given this horrible dilemma, one must choose people. Now, if the 1st premise is true, then I would agree that choosing people is the better choice. However, this is a much-used ploy in attempting to fool the opponent with faulty logic by setting up a false contradiction. Maybe someone should start a group called “Up With Profits” and sing about how profits help people…immensely.–Profits produce food…–Profits produce clothes…–Profits produce tractors and plows and medicine and seat belts and sunscreen and chocolate ice cream. But most importantly, profits produce jobs…more jobs…and that is exactly what the poor need. So, next time you see someone with a “people over profits” sign, recognize the problems with their logic and engage them in a winsome conversation about how those two things are not contradictory. You may want to illustrate by showing them that the only way they could make the sign was to use the profits of the paper company and the profits of the pen company and even the profits of their teachers who taught them to write but failed to teach them logic. Read more

More Taxpayer Millions Thrown at "Green"

NM Business Weekly - The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions awarded $2 million in grant funding for three community colleges to expand green training opportunities. The grant, was funded through a $6 million award from the U.S. Department of Labor. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Protestors Picket UNM President

KOB TV - Protestors with the (un)Occupy Albuquerque protest marched to the UNM president’s office Tuesday morning in a final attempt to get a new permit. When they got there, there were in for a surprise – they were greeted by officers and locked doors. Officers were on standby, but overall it was a peaceful and organized march. The protestors are trying to convince UNM to renew a permit that would allow the group to stay at Yale Park. Monday, UNM announced that it would not renew the permit - and told the protestors they must vacate by 10 p.m. Tuesday. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Occupying the White House: Obama Hires Banking Lobbyist

Broderick Johnson
Daily Caller - President Barack Obama’s new senior campaign adviser is a longtime Wall Street lobbyist, and has the potential to damage the president’s aspirations to appeal to the protesters currently “occupying” New York City’s Zuccotti Park. Obama’s new adviser, Broderick Johnson, has an extensive history of lobbying for big banks and corporations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2007, he lobbied for JP Morgan Chase and in 2008 Johnson lobbied for Bank of America and Fannie Mae. From 2008 through 2010, he lobbied for Comcast and in 2011 he lobbied for Microsoft. Johnson is currently a partner at D.C.-based communications firm Collins Johnson Group, which boasts that it excels at “providing superior strategic planning and political consulting services to multinational corporations, government entities, political campaigns and parties, elected leaders, nonprofit organizations, issue groups, investors and entrepreneurs.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


Deming Has Plan to Keep Illegals of School Buses

KOB TV - Deming Public Schools has announced new safety measures after suspected illegal immigrants boarded school buses on at least two occasions. The Deming Headlight reports that Deming Public Schools Superintendent Harvielee Moore presented last week the "District and Border Protocols" to district transportation department drivers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Volt: Not Flying Off the Shelves Like the IPhone

Chvey Volt
Daily Caller - The White House’s green technology revolution is sitting in an auto lot in Butler, Pa., and nobody is buying. “Nobody comes in to ask, nobody comes in to look … The American people are smarter than the government — they’re not buying that car,” said Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, who owns the auto lot where one of General Motors’ combined electric-and-gasoline powered Volt autos sits unwanted, unsold and unused. The Chevy Volt would cost its buyer almost $40,000 — even after a $7,500 federal check — and that’s more than twice the price of a comparable Chevy Cruze, Kelly told The Daily Caller. “I just pay interest on it, insure it, and in another week or month, we’ll scrape snow off it.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Harbison: "Social Justice"

Jim Harbison
At a recent forum the mayoral candidates were asked to define “social justice” and explain how it would be used in developing city policies. All three candidates said that social justice was about discrimination and they opposed discrimination in any form. As mayor they would focus on policies to insure everyone was treated equally. It is pretty hard to argue with that concept except that social justice is not about discrimination and all of them knew it.
Karl Marx
Social justice is a concept advocated by Karl Marx that has historically meant the redistribution of wealth including private property. According to Wikipedia “social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system. The Constitution of the International Labor Organization affirms that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.” And the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education”.
It is very unsettling to think that each of the mayoral candidates chose to deceive the public about this commonly accepted definition. It is this same deceptive rhetoric that has people across the nation protesting at “occupy Wall Street” rallies. Over the last several decades our children have been taught that there cannot be winners and losers because that would be social injustice. We should all be deeply troubled, when these candidates are unconcerned about redistributing our wealth and our private property.
Elected officials and candidates make promises for the citizen’s vote. We have candidates claiming that social justice is about unfair or illegal discrimination and unjust economic opportunity. Like governments at all level they claim they can create jobs in the community - another blatant distortion. All governments can do is to create an environment that encourages job growth or create public sector jobs that do not create wealth but rather consume it. Governments in a free society cannot manufacture equality of outcome either.
President Obama has been extremely successful in creating class warfare and dividing our nation not only by political ideology but also by economic success. He has convinced people that they are economically disadvantaged by successful people who now need to be punished for their success. Jobless protestors today are shouting that corporate profits are a “social injustice” and that the government should redistribute the wealth to people who had no vested interest in the success of the corporation.
The Las Cruces City Council continues the rhetoric of social justice and climate change. These concepts were mentioned again last week during the visit of our German sister city’s mayor. Like most liberals this Council is not content living their lives but focuses on using social justice to equalize society and mandate how everyone else must live. Their unquenchable lust to control everything overshadows our constitutional property rights and freedoms. Social justice is another liberal attempt to fulfill Obama’s goal of changing America and reducing our freedoms and property rights. Sadly, many people are willing to surrender their freedoms for the false promise of economic equality social justice. Unfortunately, when that happens everyone loses and we will become pawns of a socialist state with little opportunity to work hard and take risks to improve our individual social or economic status. Remember this when you vote.


PNM Battles EPA Over a Few Particles Per Billion

KOB - TV - New Mexico's largest electric utility is asking federal regulators to reconsider their decision to adopt a plan for trimming emissions at a coal-fired power plant that serves customers throughout the Southwest. Public Service Company of New Mexico contends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider a plan by the state Environment Department that would have addressed regional haze stemming from emissions at the San Juan Generating Station. Read full story here: News New Mexico

"Speak of the Devil"


Miller: Behind the Senate Race Scenes

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - Any visible action still is sparse in New Mexico's congressional races. It is surprising because U.S. Senate contests without an incumbent usually happen only once every 30 years or so. House districts #2 and #3 are slam dunks but Congressional District 1 will be lively because Rep. Martin Heinrich is leaving it to make a run at the U.S. Senate. Labor Day is the usual kickoff for such races but it didn't happen this time. Neither did the kickoff of nomination petition signing in early October create a stir. But much has been happening behind the scenes. Here is a run-down of the action there.
In early September, I wrote a column reporting that Lt. Gov. John Sanchez couldn't be doing much on his U.S. Senate campaign for a while because he would be busy presiding over the state Senate's contentious redistricting session. Read full column here: News New Mexico

'(Un)occupy' protesters speak out about UNM's orders to leave

From - Un-Occupy Albuquerque" protesters are trying to decide what their next move is going to be. University of New Mexico officials said they will not renew the permit, so protesters have to be out of Yale Park by 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. The university said it is concerned with some of the people this protest is attracting, namely the homeless. UNM said it has gotten to the point where Yale Park has become volitale and dangerous. The protesters said that is ridiculous. "We didn't bring them. It's the capitalist system in this country that has brought that," said Amalia Montoya. She said the Un-Occupy Albuquerque movement has attracted the homeless to the camp, but she said it is now their home and they have every right to be there. Ellen Robinson agrees. "One of the things that we said in the meeting is that there are homeless people who've camped out here lots of times, individually. These are individuals camping out now, well, what's the difference?" Robinson asked. Robinson is 75 years old. She said she's been protesting a long time. "I've only been arrested for civil disobedience four times." Robinson said she hopes UNM will back down. She said organizers are planning to meet with administrators again Tuesday. Read more