Postal cuts to slow delivery of first-class mail

NewsNM Swickard: The governmental answer to declining adoption of services is to lower the value of the services. Instead, they need to close all Post Offices immediately and let the market place figure it out. From the El Paso - WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day. The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail on Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the cash-strapped Postal Service to quickly trim costs, seeing no immediate help from Congress. The changes would provide short-term relief, but ultimately could prove counterproductive, pushing more of America's business onto the Internet. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix's DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities. That birthday card mailed first-class to Mom also could arrive a day or two late, if people don't plan ahead. Read more

Only Romney Can Beat Obama?

The media and "rhino" political organizations have told us all that Romney is the only candidate who can beat Barack Obama.  One questions I always ask when hearing this bogus media prophecy is "Why?" A simple but valid question, yet I have heard nothing to convince me.  Mitt Romney has made a political career of "flip flopping" on many critical issues such as single payer mandates, abortion, gun rights and TARP just to name a few. This election seems to be focused more on character than substance. Although character is important, a person's political past and former promises are crucial to voters in order to make educated decisions at the polls.  If you are interested in knowing the truth about Mitt Romney’s character and voting record please take a few minutes to educate yourself.  Watch the political ad provided by the DNC about Mitt Romney that focuses solely on his political inconsistencies.  Now how can we expect one flip flopper to win against another?


Train moving with combination of public, private money

From the Clovis News Journal - The locomotive sitting in Hillcrest Park is moving to a new home, with moving expenses in the $20,000 range from a combination of public and private sources. The train, which has been in the park since 1954, is heading to the Clovis Depot Model Train Museum at 221 W. First St. Weather conditions prevented an expected move last week, but city officials are optimistic this will be the week the 105-year-old No. 9005 will be moved across the city without the use of train tracks. The nearly 150,000 pounds will be lifted with a crane onto a truck, and towed like a trailer north on Sycamore Street, west on 14th Street, south on Prince Street, and south on Ross Street to its new address. The cost is estimated to be $21,512.50, Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said. About $15,000 will come from the city on moving day, but nearly $7,000 of that will be reimbursed by Clovis MainStreet. Read more

Fort Sill Apache Casino: Round 2

Sen. Jeff Bingaman
From -The Fort Sill Apache are gearing up for another round in their long-running fight to open a casino in southern New Mexico. The tribe last week was granted a 30-acre reservation near Deming – the first new reservation in the state in decades. With that status, tribal Chairman Jeff Houser says the tribe is again hoping to develop a casino. But as Houser prepares to travel the state to win support from the governor, opponents are also lining up. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman sent Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a letter this week outlining what he says is long-standing opposition to gaming by the tribe. More News New Mexico

"Synthetic Drugs" Illegalized in N.M.

From -Following an increasing problem, "legal highs", like synthetic drugs made of chemicals, bath salts, Spice and salvia, have now been made illegal to use, sell or distribute.
According to Executive Director and Chief Drug Inspector of the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy William Harvey, on Nov. 27, new additions to the NM Controlled Substances Act were made to make synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic drugs, bath salts and salvia illegal.  More News New Mexico

3 New Mexicans Nabbed for Toilet Paper Theft

 From -A New Mexico restaurant employee says he’s now seen it all, after three men left his diner with rolls of toilet paper and were nabbed in the parking lot by police. The three went into the bathroom and emerged carrying about a dozen rolls of toilet paper. They got in a car in the parking lot, but didn’t get far.  More News New Mexico

Senator Michael Sanchez: It's time to celebrate a birthday

From the Alamogordo Daily News - by State Senator Michael S. Sanchez, - Many of you are already aware that next year marks New Mexico's centennial -- 100 years of statehood. As we approach our 100th birthday, I think it is important to think about a few things. Like any birthday, our centennial is a chance to look back at how far we have come as a state. It is an opportunity to reflect on the New Mexico so many of us grew up in and the New Mexico our children and grandchildren will grow up in. We should be mindful of our history, not only because having a sense of history helps us understand how best to move forward, but also because it might help us to avoid repeating some mistakes. Our centennial is a celebration. It is a time to pause and give thanks to those who came before us; it is a time to gather with friends, family and community to acknowledge that what makes us similar is much greater than what makes us different. Our centennial should be celebrated like our own birthdays. Birthdays should be a time when close friends and family take a moment to be with each other in appreciation of one another. Read commentary

Government Drives Up Health Care Cost

From the Albuquerque Journal - by J. Deane Waldman - In the Journal of Nov. 28, economist Robert Samuelson claims that health care costs are “out of control.” Quite the opposite: They are totally in control – by the government. That is a problem. Health care refers to goods and services delivered by hospitals and providers to be consumed by patients. Costs to providers and institutions are driven more by government regulation and bureaucracy than by labor costs or MRI machines. Meanwhile, payments to providers and institutions – what Samuelson calls “costs” – are controlled by government. Note that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) cut “Medicare costs” by 21 percent, they cut Medicare payments to providers. Therefore, they cut services to patients. As Robert Moffit of the Heritage Foundation testified before Congress, “you cannot get more of something by paying less for it.” Meanwhile, the spending on – the costs of – the federal health care bureaucracy went up by six whole new agencies, hundreds (thousands?) of bureaucrats added to the payrolls, and multithousands of new rules and regulations. So the government controls and increases spending to/on itself, while it controls and decreases spending on patients. Want proof? Of all the money spent on “health care,” 40 percent – that is over $1 trillion in 2010 – disappears. It goes to health care but provides no care. Read - requires subscription

Payroll Tax Debate is a Sham

The latest “debate” over the need for extending a reduced payroll tax rate is emblematic of how much cowardice there is in Washington D.C. and how little most elected officials we send there respect the intellect of the majority of voters. If the Social Security system was being managed by the private sector, our lawmakers would have the perpetrators arrested and charged with crimes.
The actuarial realities of Social Security are dire. There isn’t a nickel set aside for workers who have paid trillions into the system and are on the verge of retirement. Collectively, current retirees and all of their predecessors have collected far more in benefits from the system than they collectively paid into the system. However, no politician will tell them the truth.
Many reform steps must be taken to save the system. First, the retirement age must be increased substantially to reflect the reality of longer life expectancies of participants. Second, either benefits must be capped and cut or payroll taxes must be INCREASED.
Unfortunately for working Americans, committing actuarial fraud is perfectly legal in Washington D.C. How else could President Obama and his predecessors get away with policies that make sure the Social Security system plunges deeper into insolvency?
Back in January Obama insisted on cutting the funds flowing into the already bankrupt Social Security system. He did it as part of a budget “deal.” Just three months ago the president threatened the nation’s seniors with a disruption of their Social Security checks IF the debt ceiling was not extended. Now this week the president insisted that the very payroll taxes that fund Social Security remain at a level that is far less than what is being paid out to seniors each month. And amazingly, Republicans are “divided” over what to do.
The reality is the president has no moral problem with borrowing to keep senior citizens placated. He has no problem supporting a policy that sets no money aside out of working people’s paychecks for their retirement years. How can he get away with this? He is betting that seniors don’t care that their benefits are not coming from what they paid in but instead are being borrowed. He is also betting the majority of working people don’t realize the insanity of putting money into a system that is not being invested for their own retirement. As terrible as this con game is, every citizen shares the blame for not screaming bloody murder.


Border Agent Fired for Expressing Personal Views

Bryan Gonzalez
Mercury News - PHOENIX — Border Patrol agents pursue smugglers one moment and sit around in boredom the next. It was during one of the lulls that Bryan Gonzalez, a young agent, made some comments to a colleague that cost him his career. Stationed in Deming, N.M., Gonzalez was in his green-and-white Border Patrol vehicle just a few feet from the international boundary when he pulled up next to a fellow agent to chat about the frustrations of the job. If marijuana were legalized, Gonzalez acknowledges saying, the drug-related violence across the border in Mexico would cease. He then brought up an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that favors ending the war on drugs. Those remarks, along with others expressing sympathy for illegal immigrants from Mexico, were passed along to the Border Patrol headquarters in Washington. After an investigation, a termination letter arrived that said Gonzalez held "personal views that were contrary to core characteristics of Border Patrol Agents, which are patriotism, dedication and esprit de corps." After his dismissal, Gonzalez joined a group even more exclusive than the Border Patrol: law enforcement officials who have lost their jobs for questioning the war on drugs and are fighting back in the courts. In Arizona, Joe Miller, a probation officer in Mohave County, near the California border, filed suit last month in Federal District Court after he was dismissed for adding his name to a letter by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which is based in Medford, Mass., and known as LEAP, expressing support for the decriminalization of marijuana. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Jesse Jackson Jr. Subject of Ethics Probe

Jesse Jackson Jr.
Washington Post - WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it will continue its investigation into allegations Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. or someone acting on his behalf offered to raise campaign cash for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate appointment in 2008. The committee also released an initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics that said there was “probable cause” to believe that Jackson either directed a third party or had knowledge of a third party’s effort to convince the since-convicted Blagojevich to appoint Jackson Jr. in exchange for campaign cash. Read full story here: News New Mexico

85 Year Old Granny strip searched by TSA

Lenore Zimmerman
NY Daily News - An 85-year-old Long Island grandmother says she plans to sue the TSA after a humiliating strip search on Tuesday by agents at JFK Airport. Lenore Zimmerman, who lives in Long Beach, says she was on her way to a 1 p.m. flight to Fort Lauderdale when security whisked her to a private room and took off her clothes. “I walk with a walker — I really look like a terrorist,” she said sarcastically. “I’m tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched.” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a review of closed circuit TV footage from the airport shows “proper procedures were followed.” But Zimmerman, whose hunched back puts her at 4-foot-11, said her ordeal began after her son, Bruce, drove her to the JetBlue terminal for the Florida flight. She lives in warm Coconut Creek during the winter. She checked her bags, waited for a wheelchair and parted ways with her doting son — her only immediate relative. When Zimmerman reached a security checkpoint, she asked if she could forgo the advanced image technology screening equipment, fearing it might interfere with her defibrillator. She said she normally gets patted down. But this time, she says that two female agents escorted her to a private room and began to remove her clothes. Read full story here: News New Mexico