NM region’s economy ‘expanded moderately’ in June

New Mexico Business WeeklyThe economy in northern New Mexico and neighboring states “expanded moderately” in June, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Beige Book report, which gauges economic conditions. In the Fed’s Kansas City district, which includes northern New Mexico, consumer spending and real estate prices posted gains. Stronger automobile sales and a good start for summer tourism helped boost consumer spending, and sales growth helped to drive higher prices for commercial and residential real estate. Some banks in the district also said loan demand and loan quality were getting better. Despite the gains, expanding drought conditions slowed crop development in the region. Oil and gas drilling remained at peak levels, but were expected to slow as global demand falls. The Fed’s Beige Book report is published eight times a year. The Fed banks gather anecdotal information on local economic conditions, interviewing business contacts, economists and market experts. For more information, check out the report. Read More News New Mexico


S&P concerned about New Mexico authority's oversight

Reuters - Standard & Poor's Rating Services put the New Mexico Finance Authoirty's senior and subordinate-lien bonds on Creditwatch with negative implications on Wednesday, over concerns about oversight and fraud after the authority stated its fiscal 2011 financial results were not completed properly. "While the rating on the bonds reflects multiple credit factors, the potential lack of oversight or fraud regarding the authority's financial position could result in a lower rating," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst James Breeding in a statement, citing a press release the authority issued last week. S&P said it is primarily concerned about oversight of the authority's gross receipts tax revenues, borrower loan payments, common reserve fund and contingent liquidity account. Read More News New Mexico


Presidential Race Appears to Tighten in New Mexico

Washington WireCould President Barack Obama be vulnerable all of a sudden in New Mexico, a state he took by a landslide in 2008 and seemed likely to hold without much strain in November? Polls going back to February in New Mexico have shown Mr. Obama up consistently by double digits over his presumptive GOP rival, Mitt Romney. But a new Public Policy Poll of the state finds the president ahead by just five percentage points, 49% to 44%. Signs of a much tighter race in the Land of Enchantment come as Mr. Obama’s approval rating has slumped there since PPP last polled the state three months ago. In May, the president had a net approval rating of nine percentage points, while now, the state is evenly split among those who approve and disapprove of his job performance. Half of those polled disapprove of Mr. Romney, while 41% approve. The poll found Mr. Obama losing ground among both Hispanics and whites. Mr. Obama gets the support of 56% of the state’s Hispanics, compared with 34% for Mr. Romney—a sizable margin but far narrower than what the president enjoys among Hispanics nationwide. Read More News New Mexico


The Truth About "Outsourcing"

Volkswagen plant in Tennessee
Commentary by Jim Spence - President Obama has spent millions of dollars on vicious negative advertising this summer. The "strategy" is to falsely accuse Mitt Romney of engaging in outsourcing while at Bain Capital. Of course the Obama campaign does not mention that one of its chief fundraising buddies, Jonathan Lavine, was at Bain Capital after Romney left and is now Managing Director and Cheif Investment Officer. It was AFTER Romney left that the so-called horrific outsourcing occurred.
The entire dialogue on outsourcing is based on ignorance. Any American questioning the morality or ethics of the practice of outsourcing should have the words, “Economically Ignorant” tattooed on their foreheads.
Toyota plant in Kentucky
Complaining about the practice of so-called outsourcing in Chattanooga, Tennessee won’t fly. Why? The German manufacturer Volkswagen built an out sourced plant there. In doing so, Volkswagen created thousands of new American jobs. The uninformed would say Volkswagen is just an isolated example of outsourcing into America.
Really? How about South Korea's Kia Motors? Kia opened their very first U.S. plant in West Point, Georgia recently. There is always Toyota to consider. After successfully outsourcing manufacturing operations from Japan to Kentucky, Toyota announced plans to build an additional plant near Tupelo, Mississippi. Ironically it is there where Toyota will make anti-outsourcing progressive Democrats favorite vehicle, the beloved high mileage Prius.
BMW plant in South Carolina
Let’s see, are there anymore good outsourcing stories in America? How about Nissan which opened its Smyrna, Tennessee plant more than 25 years ago? Then there is Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There the community benefits every day from Hyundai outsourcing a plant from Korea. In Spartanburg, South Carolina the German automaker BMW decided they had found an ideal place to set up an outsource shop several years ago. Of course, we could also discuss the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama. Honda found the same advantages in outsourcing a plant to Alabama that Hyundai did. Perhaps we should return out attention to Nissan and discuss their plant in Canton, Mississippi.
Nissan plant in Tennessee
Are you starting to get the picture? OK just one more. Alabama also attracted Mercedes-Benz to outsource jobs to the state. There is more good outsourcing news for America. More than 1,000 automotive-related manufacturers and many billions in payroll dollars are paid to Americans each week as a result of moves by foreign companies to outsource jobs from other countries to right-to-work states in the southeastern portion of the U.S.
Don’t believe all of the bald-faced political lies. The Obama campaign strategy is designed to continuously promote economic ignorance. Outsourcing is not unethical, it is not immoral, and it is not Anti-American. Americans in every right-to-work state in the nation are ready, willing, and able to compete successfully for jobs.
Hyundai plant in Alabama
What is Un-American is pretending the federal government MUST come to the rescue of companies where ransacking took place for decades by predatory labor unions. The United Auto Workers union engaged in outrageous work stoppages and other strong-armed actions that enabled them to temporarily extort absurd labor agreements from hapless management teams. Eventually it was "union greed" and stupid management that paved the road for these unworthy employer's to go broke.
What is also Un-American is a federal government that ignores the outsourcing stories listed above. Instead of understanding the basics of competitiveness, the Obama adminstration has thrown our taxpayer dollars at closed union shop operations that thought they could get away with building overpriced low quality vehicles forever.
Recent photo of section of Detroit
President Obama and other Democrats will probably successfully fight right-to-work laws, the kind of laws that truly protect both jobs and consumers in blue states. In doing so, they will continue to prevent the long term viability of businesses that attempt to operate in anti-competitive closed shop areas. Why does the president do this with unemployment stuck at depressingly high levels? Simply so he can pocket the electoral votes available in places that refuse to compete.
Until American tax dollars were introduced to the mix, places like Detroit were getting exactly what they had earned. And for several decades American workers in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi have earned the right to build automobiles in “outsourced” plants from overseas. There is nothing more American than competition. And that is the truth about outsourcing.


Replacing American Exceptionalism Part II

Jimmy Carter
Much like President Obama today, Jimmy Carter tended to embrace the Denunciatory Ethic during his presidency. We were reminded of the essence of Carter’s presidency while watching an “Iranian hostage crisis” documentary recently. When Islamic extremists took American hostages at the U.S. embassy Carter declared, “We won’t abandon our struggle for a decent and fair society here at home.” The odd aspect of this statement being that Carter felt compelled to make it immediately following his condemnation of those who took U.S. Embassy officials and other occupants as hostages in Iran.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
It was clear by Carter’s declaration that even in the aftermath of that unprovoked assault on Americans he felt it was necessary to placate America’s domestic denouncers through a brief exercise in self-flagellation. In doing so, clearly Carter was hoping to head off any insinuations that his response to the obvious aggression might actually be a misconstrued as a colonial-like exploitation campaign against the new theocracy in Iran. And much like President Obama who has also bent over backwards to try to engage in diplomacy with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, President Carter was condemned by those in power there anyway.
Jeremiah Wright
    The Reverend Jeremiah Wright in Chicago and the leaders of al Qaeda both have asked their god to “damn” America. And it is worth noting that sponsors of suicide bombers benefit greatly from the basic ethical tenets that encourage the embracing of the Denunciatory Ethic in America. No doubt recruiters of suicide bombers are grateful for any thought process that convinces Americans to project the image of a country totally dissatisfied with itself.  One of the hallmarks of the Denunciatory Ethic is a accepting an international double standard. And this double standard adds barriers to solving the enormous problems presented by international and domestic terrorists. When questioning the wisdom of the actions of foreign terrorists or their sponsoring governments is almost always quickly described by denouncers as U.S. bullying or “cultural imperialism,” it tends to compromise domestic attempts to identify the sources of terror. The best example of this is the recent reluctance by some seemingly prominent members of the White House to simply point to the extreme radical elements of Islam as a primary source of terrorist activity.
    A “national self-guilt” game is initiated whenever an attempt to turn American attention towards border security and away from its own shortcomings is made. When denouncers apply stinging criticisms of America and yet refuse to apply the same standards of behavior to all other nations, they enable the swell of global anti-American sentiment to grow. We saw a fine example of this recently. With the full support of the White House, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon (below) was allowed to criticize Arizona’s new border security law which essentially mirrors Mexico’s laws.
Felipe Calderon
How has the U.S. media dealt with the denunciation movement? For several decades the majority of urban newspapers and national television networks appeared to practically fawn over anyone willing to utter anti-American rhetoric. However, in recent years not all domestic journalism outlets have directed sympathetic coverage towards the aims or words of denouncers. Since the late 1990’s the Fox News Network has provided significant weighting in the media to the recognition of American generosity and successes rather then place an emphasis on its shortcomings and failures. American citizens have responded to this non-denunciatory approach by making Fox News the top-rated cable news network In America by a wide margin.
    Many sources within the denunciation movement attack Fox News. These attacks tend to reflect growing anguish within the denouncer community. Prior to the ascension of Fox News to the top domestic ratings spot in television news, the best way for a denouncing politician to avoid being criticized for being “dangerously patriotic” or “insensitively unconcerned” was to simply lead campaigns that trumpet American shortcomings. These days when any prominent denouncer engages in America bashing, they can count on being confronted by Fox.
In Part III we will look at how denouncers connect their words to their most favored policies.


Egolf on NewsNM to Discuss Santa Fe Studios

Brian Egolf
News New Mexico has been one of several media outlets seeking answers from NM Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales regarding his involvement and subsequent "detachment" from Santa Fe Studios. The stonewalling by Gonzales has continued for so long his evasiveness has become the story. This morning at 7:30am Representative Brian Egolf of Santa Fe has agreed to come on the show and talk about a number of issues including the ethical obligation of one of the most highly influential political operatives in the state to fully disclose his involvement in a private business that managed through the political process to secure more than $20 million in funding from various government sources. New Mexico Watchdog - In Part 1 of the Watchdog investigation into the development of the Santa Fe Studios the Watchdog promised to look into current Democratic Party Chairperson, Javier Gonzales, and his role in making the nearly $25 million dollar film and media production facility south of Santa Fe a reality.
On the Democratic Party website, under Mr. Gonzales’s bio, it states, “currently, he is leading the effort to bring a state-of-the-art film studio to Santa Fe.”
Javier Gonzales
Time to update Mr. Gonzales’ resume. In an article appearing in the The New Mexican on September 28th, 2011, the reporter points out that Mr. Gonzales was previously a consultant for the Hool Brothers, “but that Mr. Gonzales said recently that he is no longer involved with the project.”
So which is it Mr. Gonzales, Are you in or are you out? Do you have anything to gain personally if the Santa Fe Studios should become a financial success?
In financial documents the Watchdog obtained from the EDD (Economic Development Department) and the County of Santa Fe weeks ago, there are no mentions of Mr. Gonzales either on signed papers or in the numerous emails the Watchdog reviewed in the correspondence between the State, the County, and the Hool Brothers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Udall-Bingaman Bill to Accelerate Spending

KRWG - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall have introduced legislation aimed at help rural and tribal communities meet their future water needs. The legislation provides that the Bureau of Reclamation may direct without further congressional action $80 million annually into high-priority rural water projects that Congress has already approved. These are funds that would otherwise be paid into the Reclamation Fund in the U.S. Treasury, which was established in 1902 for water project development in the West.
Currently, Congress appropriates only a portion of the Reclamation Fund annually, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars of unspent funds in the account. Yet, at the same time, rural water projects that Congress has already approved lack funds for construction.
Enacting this legislation would allow previously-approved projects to move ahead without an unnecessary second round of Congressional approval.
“Rural and tribal communities around the West know how to meet their future water needs, but in many cases they need help paying for infrastructure,” Bingaman said. “This bill would prevent long-approved water projects – like the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project and the Jicarilla Apache Reservation Rural Water System– from having to wait for years on end for the funding they need,” Bingaman said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Santa Fe Senator at Center of Controversy

KOB - Pressure is mounting on a state lawmaker to step down. KOB 4 On Your Side was the first to expose New Mexico State Senator Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe County, was in a police interrogation and appeared to be helping an accused child molester.
Nancy Rodriguez
Since that initial investigation, an anonymous group called “Fire Abe Maes” is pushing an online petition demanding Rodriguez resign her position as a state legislator. The petition claims Rodriguez abused her political power and advocated for a deaf and mentally disabled man accused of molesting a boy on video.
In an interview 4 On Your Side conducted with Rodriguez last week, she said, “I went there to make sure he had adequate communication."
In a video released by the Santa Fe Police Department, Rodriguez is seen in the interrogation room speaking with the accused Jacob Pinto.
Lt. Louis Carlos wrote in a police report “Senator Nancy Rodriguez was escorted by Chief Ray Rael to the investigations bureau. The senator was allowed to speak with the arrested even though it is not common practice allowed. It appeared the senator was using her political influence with Chief Rael.”
Chief Rael has since publicly disputed the claim that he was influenced by the state lawmaker.
"I went there as a volunteer advocate, someone who has known Jacob for over 30 years and is familiar with Jacob's impairments,” Rodriguez said in an interview with KOB. “I didn't go there as a senator at all, that never even crossed my mind." Read full story here: News New Mexico

Winston Brooks Criticizes Teacher Evaluations

Winston Brooks
KOB - The superintendent of New Mexico's largest school district is speaking out and demanding changes from the Public Education Department.
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks said the state's current teacher evaluation system is not good enough and he is hoping PED will reconsider.
"I applaud PED on one hand, for tackling this issue, but on the other hand, [I] hope we can slow down a bit," Brooks stated.
Brooks also said one his complaints is that student test scores account for 50 percent of a teachers overall evaluation, even if their subject has nothing to do with the test subjects of reading and math.
In response, A spokesperson for PED released a statement: “We’re grateful for the input, however nearly all of the concerns raised are based on misinformation. New Mexico’s waiver from NCLB (No Child Left Behind) requires a new system and several districts have volunteered to try it out. We invite APS to join them.” Read full story here: News New Mexico