Judge issues ruling in fight over N.M. hunting law

NewsNM - Shouldn't the issue be that out of state can hunt when there are no more New Mexicans wanting to hunt? From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Susan Montoya Bryan of the Associated Press - ALBUQUERQUE — A federal judge on Thursday sided partly with a group of outfitters from four Western states who complained their constitutional rights to conduct business in New Mexico were being upended by changes to the state's hunting draw.  The outfitters had asked U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo to issue an injunction and temporary restraining order to keep New Mexico's law from taking effect.  The outfitters are challenging language that specifies 10 percent of hunting tags awarded through New Mexico's annual big game draw would go to those hunters who hired New Mexico-based outfitters.  Before the law was changed last year, an outfitter's location didn't matter.  "This is brand new and that's why we challenged it," said Albuquerque attorney B.J. Crow, who is representing the plaintiffs. "Basically, it was excluding any out-of-state outfitter from doing business in New Mexico, which is unconstitutional."  Armijo ruled that the plaintiffs who operate as individual outfitters or sole proprietors would be eligible for the 10 percent pool for this year's draw. The plaintiffs include outfitters from Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington.  Read more

Why I’m voting for Heinrich

Bonnie Clark
From NMPolitics.net - By  - Mike Weber Goodenow’s recent attack on Martin Heinrich, published on this blog, was misleading if not outright untruthful. Though the column was eventually corrected by the editor of this blog, Goodenow falsely claimed that Hector Balderas “does not accept political action committee money,” when in fact Balderas has taken PAC money and has never made a pledge to reject such contributions. Martin Heinrich, on the other hand, fought as a city councilor to pass public financing for campaigns. In Congress, he introduced a constitutional amendment that would effectively eliminate super PACs. And while Martin will, like all other candidates this election season, play by the rules laid out (right or wrong) by the Supreme Court, his campaign is fueled by grassroots support. Those are the facts. Read more


Swickard: The new political fact of distraction

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - I am quite taken by the fact that facts no longer seem to be in vogue in our society. In the last ten years or so our news media seem to represent a “Truthless” society. Example: the electronic recordings of what one person says often are ignored by that person who says, “I never said that,” regardless of the contrary data.  Even more of a problem is the use of distraction to keep citizens from dealing with the real core issues. In today’s society opinions hold favor with people because they are so much more useful in political debate. For one thing, opinions do not have to be founded on fact, though I think they should be. Often opinions are framed as facts and held as facts when the listeners cannot distinguish between facts and opinions.  More so, in today’s society what you believe seems to be more important than the reality of the facts. In storytelling, of course, you should not let facts mess up a good story. But when we, as a society, are trying to deal with the important problems of our society, facts are ever so critical. How does distraction work? Perhaps call it deception, since the point is to get people looking at the wrong things, to get people thinking about lesser problems. Currently a huge deception is going on in the media where every day a myriad of lesser important things keep citizens from noticing the critical problems concerning the five core election issues: government reach, energy, employment, financial insolvency and security.  Read Column


What Is Fair?

John Stossel
Reason - John Stossel - President Obama says he want to make society more fair. Advocates of big government believe fairness means taking from rich people and giving to others: poor people; or people who do things politicians approve of, like making “green” energy equipment (Solyndra); or old people (even rich ones) through Social Security and Medicare.
The idea that government can “make life fair” is intuitively appealing to people—at least until they think about it. I’ll try to help.Obama says fairness requires higher taxes, but asThe Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore asks, “Is it fair that the richest 10 percent of Americans shoulder a higher share of their country’s income-tax burden than do the richest 10 percent in every other industrialized nation, including socialist Sweden?” Or as economist Art Laffer asked on my Fox Business show, is it fair that American corporations pay the highest corporate tax rate in the world? Beyond taxes, again quoting Moore, “Is it fair that President Obama sends his two daughters to elite private schools that are safer, better-run and produce higher test scores than public schools in Washington, D.C.—but millions of other families across America are denied that free choice and forced to send their kids to rotten schools?” No. Parents ought to be able to spend their education money at any school they choose. Big-government politicians bemoan income inequality, but would equalizing incomes make life fair? To many, it is intuitive that such inequality is necessarily unfair. If someone makes his income by looting the taxpayers—sure, that’s unfair. His gains are ill-gotten, and honest taxpayers are out hard-earned money. But there’s nothing unfair simply in making more money through productive work. People have a range of talents and ambitions. Some will serve consumers better than others and therefore make more money. Government should not worry about that.  Read More News New Mexico


Religious Freedom Rally in ABQ Friday

Albuquerque Journal - Albuquerque will be one of 120 cities across the United States to hold a Religious Freedom Rally at noon local time on Friday, according to a news release from the Traditional Values Action Committee – New Mexico. At least 15 Roman Catholic bishops and many Christian pastors will take part in rallies from Miami, Fla., to Kenai, Alaska, according to the release. Speaking at the Albuquerque rally, which will be held at the U.S. District Court House Plaza, on the northwest corner of 4th and Lomas, will be Michele Beglau, nurse and regional coordinator of SilentNoMore; the Rev. Stephen Imbarrato, president of Project Defending Life; Richard Cheney, president of Voices for Family Values; Dr. Harold Beeson of NASA’s White Sands Test Facility; and the Rev. Chris Donnelly of TVAC-NM. The reason for the rally is to protest the Obama Administration’s recent mandate requiring Catholic and other church institutions to provide abortion drugs, sterilizations and contraception free to their workers — through their insurers — despite their theological and moral objections. The noontime rally will be followed by a prayer vigil from 1 to 2 p.m. at Southwestern Women’s Options, an abortion services private clinic, eight blocks east of the federal courthouse on Lomas, according to the release. Read More News New Mexico 


AAA NM: Filling gas tank costs 6 cents more per gallon

New Mexico Business WeeklyThe average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in New Mexico jumped 6 cents this week, according to AAA New Mexico. The statewide average was $3.72 a gallon. It means that the average weekly 14-gallon-fill-up costs $52 this week, compared to $51 last week. New Mexico’s average gas prices remains 16 cents below the national average of $3.88 a gallon, AAA said. Albuquerque area prices were even lower, at an average of $3.64 a gallon. The Las Cruces metropolitan area had the highest gas prices at $3.79 a gallon. Oil prices have been driven by tensions with Iran, the European sovereign debt crisis and signs of an economic recovery in the U.S. and abroad, the AAA added. Read More News New Mexico


U.S. To Keep Data On Americans With No Terror Ties

NPR - The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines. Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism. Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009. "Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. "The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively." The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans . Read More News New Mexico


Supplies DO.....Don't Matter

The short stop over photo opportunity made by President Obama yesterday was one of the most eye-opening staged events in New Mexico political history. The carefully choreographed moments were all about creating images. In the background, as the president took the hastily arranged stage and got behind the podium, busy oil derricks were captured by New Mexico and national media cameras. Unfortunately, for anyone inclined to listen carefully, the president started speaking.
The amazing thing about the president’s brief address to the White House’s handpicked crowd was all the details he provided about how he was bringing more and more supplies of energy to the marketplace. He used “All-of-the-Above” as a catchy phrase to emphasize all the new supplies he was the champion of. All the blame shifting energy talking points were hit. Reducing dependence on foreign oil is always a big deal at a photo op. Obama cited a few out of context production statistics that are complexly unrelated to his restrictive policies to back up his claims for how he is bringing new supply to the marketplace.
And then like a true wordsmith magician using a verbal wand and top hat for distraction a sleight of the tongue was delivered. After making the case for why bringing additional energy supplies to the market were so important, Obama uttered a statement that turned his whole case one hundred eighty degrees. With an about face Obama said, “There is "no connection between the amount of oil and gas we drill in this country and the price of gas." Say what?
First, it is ridiculous to suggest that more supply will not reduce the price and second it was the president who made the case for more supply through an all-of-the above strategy. Sense became nonsense and sound economics became gibberish with one sentence.
Of course what the president did not reveal was how much more expensive it is produce energy using wind and solar. Nor was he truthful about oil companies and subsidies. But rather than get to those arguments, lets just say it is difficult to get to economic first base with this president’s energy policies when he first makes the case for more supply and then says more supply has no connection to price.


Obama: "No connection between the amount of oil and gas we drill in this country and the price of gas."

KOAT - President Barack Obama spoke about his "all-of-the-above" energy policy Wednesday evening from Maljamar. Obama said his "all-of-the-above" strategy relies on producing more oil and gas, biofuels, fuel-efficient cars, solar power and wind power in the country. "I believe this all-of-the-above approach is the only way we can continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and ultimately put an end to some of these gas spikes that we're going through right now," Obama said.
The president started his remarks by saying that domestic oil production in the United States has been and will continue to be a key part of his energy strategy. He also said that he was committed to drilling both on land and offshore. "Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than any time in the last eight years. That's a fact," Obama said.
But, he emphasized there is "no connection between the amount of oil and gas we drill in this country and the price of gas." Read full story here: News New Mexico

SEC: No Action Against Bland and Mallot

Gary Bland
 KOB - The Securities and Exchange Commission has notified two former state officials it has finished an investigation of New Mexico investments and will not prosecute them.
Former educational pension board chairman Bruce Malott on Thursday released a copy of a letter sent earlier this month from the SEC stating that no enforcement action will be taken against him.
Bruce Malott
Former State Investment Officer Gary Bland confirmed that he has received two similar letters from the federal agency. The SEC and the U.S. Attorney's Office have been investigating investments by the State Investment Council and Educational Retirement Board. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Pearce: Obama Talk Does Not Match His Walk

Steve Pearce
Maljamar, New Mexico (March 21, 2012) Yesterday, Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s visit to New Mexico:
“While I welcomed the President to New Mexico and greatly respect the office of the President, the simple fact is that his energy policies have failed New Mexicans,” said Pearce. “We are seeing rising gas prices and tremendous reliance on foreign oil sources. Additionally, New Mexicans are faced with the threat of losing their jobs in the oil fields as a direct result of this administration’s determination to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered. His visit did little to address these concerns, just as his energy policies have done little to actually help increase oil production. The President claims that he is increasing production, but the reality is that his policies are killing oil and gas jobs and have resulted in the decline of oil production on federal land.”
Today, President Obama visited an oil field in Maljamar, New Mexico to talk about his energy policies, which he claims have increased oil production. However, Congressman Pearce and many local constituents have spoken out, saying that his policies have done nothing of the sort. With his denial of the Keystone Pipeline and his administration’s persistence in the ESA listing of the lizard, the effectiveness of his energy policies has been called into question. While oil production on private lands has increased, according to the Institute of Energy Research, oil production on federal land was down 11% in 2011.
According to Tim Wigley, President of Western Energy Alliance, “Despite the President’s promise of reducing regulations on American businesses, the reality is that his own administration’s bureaucracies and broken policies are making energy development in the West increasingly difficult, time consuming, and cost prohibitive. It’s actually delaying the economic recovery he seeks.”
“American oil and natural gas producers have been able to increase domestic production from projects that started years ago, but this upward trend cannot continue unless we seriously reform the federal bureaucracy,” Wigley added.