Tuesday Guest 7:30 - Jack Swickard

NewsNM Swickard - A distant cousin Jack Swickard will be in studio Tuesday morning to talk about a National Geographic special, Helicopter Wars which features him as a young man while in Vietnam in an incident where he and another helicopter saved over a hundred infantry trapped in an enemy area. Click here for info.


Swickard: If two wrongs don't make a right, try three

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - The Confederate Flag controversy in Las Cruces last week is captured perfectly by Laurence Peter, “If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.”  The controversy started because of an Independence Day parade float by the Las Cruces TEA Party. It had the Confederate Flag among 21 other flags that have flown over New Mexico. The flag was displayed among the other flags but not prominently. Regardless, it jumps out at you. The TEA Party theme was: what flags have flown over New Mexico in its history? While that was not the centerpiece theme of the parade, the Centennial of our state’s founding, it was good enough New Mexico history that the judges awarded the TEA Party float the grand prize including a thousand dollars. It seems a political operative who was a TEA Party opponent realized that if this issue was falsified and twisted it could put the TEA Party in a bad light. So this operative protested that the Confederate Flag on the TEA Party float was the only flag flown, and you know what that means, wink wink nod nod. Not true but the political operative chortled at the chaos created. Let us look at the three wrongs in this story. Read column


DOE allocates $715,000 to NM to expand energy-savings in govt. buildings

New Mexico Business WeeklyNew Mexico will receive $715,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand energy efficiency efforts in state buildings. The money will be used to bolster projects by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, the Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD), the General Services Department (GSD), and the New Mexico Finance Authority. New Mexico was one of 13 states to receive funding following a winning proposal by the ECMD and GSD at the DOE’s 2012 State Energy Program Competitive Solicitation last spring. Winning proposals were judged on their ability to effectively demonstrate plans for programs that will increase energy efficiency in public buildings. New Mexico’s winning proposal was called “WISE,” or Whole-Building Investments in Sustainable Efficiency. “This award will help establish New Mexico state government as a leader in increasing energy savings in public buildings and lay the groundwork for expansion of energy efficiency in the private sector,” said ECMD Director Louise Martinez“This is a win-win for New Mexicans,” said GSD Cabinet Secretary Ed Burckle, “The mission of GSD is to make state government more efficient. By making these energy-saving upgrades, we will save taxpayer money, while leading by example in the field of energy conservation.” Read More News New Mexico


New System Passes Most NM Schools

KOAT - A new state rating system gives most of New Mexico's schools passing grades, although the bulk of those are Cs and Ds. Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday unveiled the first report card under a new grading system that allows officials to consider more than just annual student test scores. The grades were developed after the state won a waiver from the federal government to include others factors, like past test scores, academic growth, attendance and college preparedness. Read full story here: News New Mexico

New Anti-Fraud Policies on Driver's Licenses

KOB - New technology will soon be used in New Mexico to verify information documents presented by people seeking driver's licenses.
The state is grappling with recurring incidents of fraud, as critics claim New Mexico has become a go-to place nationally for illegal immigrants - or preying criminals representing them - wanting to obtain real driver's licenses.
Critics attribute most of the problem to the 2003 state law that allows foreign nationals to obtain New Mexico licenses, regardless of whether they are in the country legally. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Bullying Has Been Around for 7,000 Years

One of the media's latest obsessions with children's issues these days is based on the concept of “bullying.” To hear the media tell the bullying story somehow children are different these days versus hundreds of previous generations. They lead us to believe most children can generally be cast into two basic camps: unrepentant brutes or helpless victims of bullying. Adult intervention is now called for. In fact it finally seems so simple. Researchers have the solution! Throw a few billion taxpayer dollars at research into bullying and then use billions more in taxpayer dollars for anti-bullying programs.
It should be intuitive to anyone except those who are willing to throw tax dollars at anything that bullies have been around since the beginning of recorded history. Some kids are just meaner than others and many have a bossy-bully side while in social situations. Most bullying takes place.....in the home.
What hasn’t been around for decades is the anti-bully industry. Victim farming is also a much more recent cultural phenomenon wherein grant seeking types mine government agencies for dollars. Convincing government to throw money at anti-bully programs that don't work is lucrative.
Leave it to those who love to engage in desperate searches for new victims to try to take the bait. Convinced they can eliminate something so normal, that has been around for millenniums, and has not destroyed society. Consider this thought provoking article by Helen Guldberg on the bullying hysteria. News New Mexico

Texas to Obama's Medicaid Scheme: Nope

Rick Perry
Washington Times - Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday his state won't expand Medicaid or set up an insurance exchange, joining a growing number of Republican governors who are rejecting two key parts of President Obama's health care law.
"I will not be party to socializing health care and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government," Mr. Perry said.
He joins more than half-dozen GOP governors who have already said they won't increase the size of their Medicaid programs to cover Americans up to 133 percent of the poverty level, after the Supreme Court upheld most of the law last month but said states could opt out of the Medicaid expansion. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Attempt to Create "Scandal" Gets Bogged Down

Michael Corwin
 It seems that manufacturing an e-mail scandal is as messy as mudslinging. It is simply not quite as easy as Democratic Party operative Michael Corwin would have thought. More and more elected officials have been brought into the spotlight in recent days as questions abound about the proper use of public and private e-mail addresses.
Late last week New Mexico Attorney General Gary King held a press conference in which he accused the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM) of "intimidating" him by filing a public records request. Unfortunately for King, his use of private emails for public business were about to be brought to light.
Through its request, RPNM sought to determine just how common it is for public officials to use private emails. This followed Michael Corwin’s efforts to slap the "scandal" label on the Martinez administration for its e-mail conduct. The smear merchants were using e-mail data they knew was stolen.
Apparently the Attorney General and his staff routinely use private emails. Recently King directed a lawyer and $5,000 campaign donor to send him an email about official state business to his private email address. The lawyer previously emailed King at lglgking@nm.net — an address King indicates was incorrect. The subsequent email proves King had a private phone conversation with the lawyer and directed him to use "gary@garyking2010.com" to send him information about official state business. King then tells one of his government employees, "let's not forward the entire email."
You can review the above referenced email here: News New Mexico
Since Michael Corwin attempted to establish the precedent that use of private emails is a "scandal," a number of revelations have come to light:
1. Legislators have always used, and now promise to continue to use, private emails. Many will not produce records via public records requests.
2 Neither Governor Johnson, nor Governor Richardson ever used state emails.
3. Attorney General Gary King uses multiple private email accounts.
4. Public officials from around the state, including APS Board Member Martin Esquivel continues to use private emails for official business.
5. Governor Susana Martinez remains the only elected official to order all of her staff to exclusively communicate via email on state emails for official state business.
6. Apparently King has sent and received so much private email about official business that he requested additional time to review emails related to GOP's public records request.
It would seem that all of the efforts of Michael Corwin to try to smear the Martinez administration have sort of blown up in his face.


Obama Plans Fresh Round of Divide and Conquer

President Barack Obama can unite the country just as long as he can divide it. The president will propose a one-year extension of current tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 today, if Congress will simply allow him to increase income taxes on people earning above that arbitrary annual income amount. It is unlikely the president will explain that nearly 50% of all households pay ZERO federal income taxes.
With horrible more jobs numbers late last week and the U.S. economy taking on water, it appears this strategy is the latest political effort by the president’s and his advisers to do anything and everything that helps stop America from talking about the overall direction the nation is headed. It is doubtful the president will try to justify his killing of hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with the Keystone XL pipeline project during these upcoming events.
Instead, a series of cynical battleground-state events are on tap for this week where the president is expected to try to divide the nation's voters based on their income.
Of course, the president knows his divisive proposal will be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. But Obama isn’t seeking a growth strategy that will jump start the economy as much as he is an excuse to blame Congress for the terrible economic news that has decimated people’s views of the nation’s prospects.
For his part, Mitt Romney wants to extend current tax rates for families of all incomes. And oddly, it was just eighteen months ago that the president also agreed to extend the current tax rates for all taxpayers. As it is, all Americans face massive tax increases at the end of the year.
Many Democrats including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California elected officials in states with high income rates are on the record for keeping rates the same for families earning up to $1 million a year. It would seem that even Democrats have trouble defining how government should use its taxing powers to make life "fair."


Anniversary of Roswell UFO crash

KRQE -  Sixty five years ago Sunday, a legend was born out of Roswell New Mexico. The infamous Roswell UFO.  On July 8th, 1947, the Roswell army air field issued a press release stating they recovered the remains of a "flying disc" after a crash on a Roswell ranch.  Later on the army retracted that statement saying it was really a weather balloon. But years later, a number of retired Roswell army officers testified that the weather balloon story was a cover-up for something unexplainable. Now each July, thousands of tourists come to see the sight and debate the evidence. Experts and historians present their cases at the UFO Festival each year.  Read More News New Mexico


End of spectator citizenship—it is time to get engaged

Marita Noon
“The problem is,” a utility company executive told me, “that there is no one at the table who cares about the ratepayers. There is no one who cares about low-cost energy. Everyone is too concerned about looking PC instead of standing up for the consumer.” We were discussing the “stay” announced last week by the EPA that allows the state of New Mexico more time to find an alternative solution toward meeting the visibility requirements spelled out in the Clean Air Act. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Voter Fraud Strikes Home

New Mexico Watchdog - The canvasser for Martin Heinrich for Senate stood at my door. He asked if “Jennifer Wangler” was home. “No one by that name lives here,” I told him. “She’s registered as a Democrat to vote from this address,” the Heinrich canvasser insisted. “Never heard of her,” I replied. He showed me his clipboard, with a printout of the Democratic voters on our street. There she was, a complete stranger, registered to vote from our home address.
My wife and I have lived in the same house for 22 years. No one has resided with us except for some wonderful cats, none of which we have ever registered to vote. The previous owner lived in Pennsylvania and rented this property to a couple of English emigres whom we know. They are not named “Wangler.”
I called the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office to report this situation. I was told that I would have to go to court to get it cleared up.
That couldn’t be right. That’s a crazy way to deal with voter fraud. How many individual citizens will take it upon themselves to draft and file a lawsuit and see it through, or pay a lawyer do it for them, just to remove from the voter rolls a person wrongfully registered at their home? Not too many, including me, a former attorney at that. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Cruces Tea Party and Mayor Clash Over 1st Amendment

KOB - Bitter words are being exchanged between the Las Cruces mayor and the city's Tea Party over a parade float. The Tea Party's float won best of show at the Las Cruces Fourth of July parade. The float prominently displayed a Confederate flag. Mayor Ken Miyagishima is upset about the flag's placement on the float. "The Las Cruces Tea Party can believe whatever it wants, but to have this symbol and what it represents," he said. "Highlight the winning float at a celebration of our nation's independence is an outrage."
The Tea Party said the float celebrates the area's history. "The theme of the parade was the history of the State of New Mexico," party members said in a statement. "There was a lot of history that defined our state prior to 1912. We showed how we fought for our statehood and the sacrifices we made along the way, along with our triumphs."
History tells a brief tale about Confederate occupation in New Mexico. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Border Patrol Opens Fire on Border, Again

U.S. Border Patrol on Rio Grande
Washington Post - The U.S. Border Patrol says agents opened fire along the Rio Grande after being pelted by rocks and having a gun pointed in their direction.
Border Patrol spokesman Henry Mendiola says no agents were injured in the incident Saturday near Brownsville. He did not know if anyone else was hurt. The Mexican government was notified.
The Border Patrol released little details about the morning gunfire, including what the suspects were doing on the river.
Mendiola says one of the agents started shooting after being “unable to take cover” when rocks were thrown. He says another began shooting after seeing a suspect on the Mexican side of the river pointing a gun at him. Read full story here: News New Mexico