Not the textbook way to pump gas in either lane


Eric Holder Scolds Daily Caller Reporter

A.G. Eric Holder
From -Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder today demanded The Daily Caller stop publishing articles about the growing calls in Congress for his resignation because of the failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.  As Holder’s aide was escorting the attorney general offstage following his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House, a Daily Caller reporter introduced himself and shook Holder’s hand. The reporter asked him for a response to the growing chorus of federal legislators demanding his resignation. Holder stepped towards the exit, then turned around, stepped back toward the reporter, and sternly said, “You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.”  More News New Mexico

Governor Takes Axe to Legacy of Cellphone Waste

Susana Martinez
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that her administration has significantly reduced cell phone, BlackBerry, and air card use, resulting in over $320,000 in projected savings over calendar year 2011. The administration has reduced the number of wireless devices in agencies and departments throughout state government by a net total of 500 from December 2010 to September 2011. These administration-wide reductions, along with a more efficient approach to pooling wireless plans, are projected to total $320,412 in savings by the end of 2011.  “This is a simple and common-sense way to save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars without affecting the necessary functions of state government,” said Governor Martinez. “Not every state employee requires a cell phone to fulfill the duties of his or her job. Reducing cell phone expenses is part of an ongoing effort to cut unnecessary expenses in New Mexico’s budget and make government more efficient.”
Savings include a net reduction of 59 devices in the Children, Youth, and Families Department, 52 devices in the Department of Transportation, 116 devices in the Human Services Department, 54 devices in the Corrections Department, 28 devices in the Regulation and Licensing Department, and 15 devices at the Higher Education Department.
“We have worked closely with Governor Martinez to identify unnecessary costs and ensure the efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” added Darryl Ackley, Secretary of the Department of Information Technology. “These simple and practical cost-saving measures will trim over $300,000 from the state’s budget.” The announcement of reduced cell phone use comes one week after the Martinez administration announced over $800,000 in savings due to lease re-negotiation and consolidation of state government office facilities. The number of state government vehicles has also been significantly reduced, with the state cutting its fleet by 253 since January, including a 56% reduction in take-home vehicles at the Department of Transportation. The moratorium that Governor Martinez placed on new vehicle purchases, with the exception of law enforcement vehicles, remains in place.


LULAC Tries to Draw Congressional Boundaries

Susana Martinez
Fox News Latino - Gov. Susana Martínez and other GOP state officials are opposing a Hispanic civil rights group's attempt to participate in a trial over congressional redistricting in New Mexico. The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, has asked a state district court to approve a plan that would create a Hispanic majority congressional district in southern New Mexico.
Joseph Cervantes
The redistricting plan was advocated by Democratic Rep. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces during a special legislative session in September. Lawyers for the governor, Lt. Gov. John Sánchez and Secretary of State Dianna Durán oppose LULAC's motion to intervene in the case. They contend LULAC missed court-established deadlines to become a party in the case and for submitting redistricting plans. A trial on congressional redistricting starts Monday. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Sowards: Answering America’s Iranian Challenge

Greg Sowards
An Op-Ed by Greg Sowards, U.S. Senate Candidate - As a candidate running for the U.S. Senate, it is my job to be well-versed in both domestic and foreign policy. When it comes to America’s Iranian challenge, it is necessary to make an argument on behalf of the American people that bluntly assesses the world as it is. As tough talk mounts between Israel and Iran over the nuclear question, what is apparent is a lack of leadership. For far too long, the global terrorist organization known as Hezbollah has been allowed to operate with impunity. Past statements by the leadership of Hezbollah are problematic. The leaders of the terror group have claimed that if Israel strikes Iranian nuclear sites, within one minute 11,000 rockets will rain down on Israel from southern Lebanon. In reply, Israel’s leaders declared that in the event of a full-fledged missile strike originating from Hezbollah, Israel will respond in kind and treat the whole of Lebanon as a hostile power.
In this frame, it is apparent that a jihadist arm of Iran, acting as a state within a state, has declared its willingness to bring Lebanon into a war that does not represent the national interests of the Lebanese people. Hezbollah now has well over 45,000 rockets in its arsenal. Those rockets are primarily short-range, unguided katyusha-grade weapons; but, as we saw in the 2006 July War, longer-range guided rockets like the Chinese silkworm missile have been smuggled into southern Lebanon. The use of human shields is a key element of Hezbollah’s antisemitic propaganda strategy. The terror group has built a bunker network of tunnels, weapon stores and firing positions beneath highly populated southern Lebanese towns and have already proven willing to fire rockets from these civilian areas, knowing full-well Israel will strike the source of the attack out of self-defense.
Perhaps the most disturbing reality of all is that Hezbollah, which claimed it would never turn its guns inward on the people of Lebanon, weakened the state’s leadership by backing an 18-month worker’s union strike and then mounted a putsch and took control of western Beirut. Why? Because the Lebanese authorities sought to strip Hezbollah of its airport security detail and to dismantle its secret telecommunications network. Hezbollah’s links to Iran and capacity to smuggle weapons into Lebanon were threatened, so the interests of the people of Lebanon became secondary to the ability of Hezbollah’s leaders to serve their masters in Iran.
Hezbollah’s rockets are now holding the people and the future of Lebanon hostage to irrational Iranian designs.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
In June, Hezbollah’s chief, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, stated that his group would destroy Tel Aviv if Israel struck Iran’s nuclear sites. When questioned about possible Israeli strikes, military leaders of Iran have shrugged off the need to respond with ballistic missiles, indicating that Hezbollah’s katyushas are now capable of reaching every Israeli town. In 2012, the American people should elect Senators who are prepared to restore our nation’s special relationship with Israel. In terms of securing regional peace in the Greater Middle East, America’s challenge is in determining the best way to help Israel defuse Hezbollah and to stop Iran from wielding the state of Lebanon as a geopolitical weapon. The Taif Accord, which was signed at the close of the Lebanese Civil War in 1989, gave the Hezbollah faction the right to retain its weapons of “resistance.” The legitimacy of the Taif Agreement should be challenged by world leaders the moment Hezbollah’s weapons are used on behalf of any country other than Lebanon. When elected as the next U.S. Senator from New Mexico, I will actively work to support Israel’s efforts to counter the Hezbollah menace.


Kintigh: Time for Judicial Accountability Review

Dennis Kintigh
NMPolitics - It has been with tremendous sadness that I have followed the recent developments regarding certain members of the New Mexico state judiciary in various parts of the state. There have been incidents and allegations that have diminished and tarnished the reputation and standing of this branch of government. Generally, people understand and expect the Legislature to be a partisan and contentious institution. I don’t believe that is a bad thing. Policy concepts that cannot survive the crucible of vigorous debate are probably not valid or worthy of implementation. Sometimes it takes years for policy to be implemented. During that time, each of us in the Legislature will critically examine the concept, and without hesitation challenge those we feel are invalid. It keeps all of us “on our toes.” Similarly, the executive branch is constantly criticized and held accountable primarily, but not exclusively, by the opposition party. Again, this is as it should be. This cycle of confrontation and partisanship serves us well and is expected in these two branches.
The judiciary is somehow expected to be above all this, however, and therefore immune to this contentiousness associated with the failings and shortcomings of mortal man. Read full column here: News New Mexico

"Writing on the Walls"