Gov. posts names and salaries of classified employees on state's home page

New Mexico Govenor Susana Martinez
From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Kate Nash - Gov. Susana Martinez has decided to post the names and salaries of classified state employees in a new place after a judge ruled last month that Martinez must remove those workers’ names from the New Mexico Sunshine Portal. The state began posting the names of the classified employees along with titles and salaries last year. Prior to that, only the names, salaries and titles of exempt employees were posted, along with the titles and salaries of classified employees. Martinez pushed for the classified employees’ names to be posted as well, saying the information is publicly available in other spots, and argued that it boosts state government transparency. But members of AFSCME Council 18 decried the move, saying the law authorizing the sunshine portal called only for the exempt employee names, titles and salaries to be published. The union asked Martinez to remove the classified employees’ names, and when she didn’t, its members asked a judge to force her to take them down. Second Judicial District Court Judge Valerie Huling in July ordered Martinez to remove the classified names. The state now has the information posted as part of the state’s main home page, at The database lists the same information that was on the Sunshine Portal, for both exempt and classified employees. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said that next year the governor will push for legislation that puts in statute that all employee names should be posted on the website. Portal sponsor Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, worked this year to add the classified names, but that measure didn’t make it out of the Legislature. He has said he again will try to codify that change. Union members have said the information creates hard feelings among co-workers who earn different salaries for similar work. Others have expressed concerns over security when an employee’s department is listed online for anyone to see. A handful of employee names have been removed because of safety concerns. But Darnell argued the information is public and available in other places. Anyone can get employee salary information from state government, and newmexico.watchdog. org has published the information online. Darnell said the judge’s ruling prohibited the information from being posted on the Sunshine Portal “but it was widely acknowledged that this is public information and therefore may be displayed on another site.” Read more

Williams: Obama's Educational Excellence Initiative

From - Commentary by Walter E. Williams - President Barack Obama recently wrote an executive order that established a White House initiative on educational excellence for black Americans that will be housed in the Department of Education. It proposes "to identify evidence-based best practices" to improve black achievement in school and college. Though black education is in desperate straits, the president's executive order will accomplish absolutely nothing to improve black education. The reason is that it does not address the root causes of educational rot among black Americans. It's not rocket science; let's look at it.  The president's initiative contains not one word about rampant inner-city school violence, which makes educational excellence impossible. During the past five years, Philadelphia's 268 schools had 30,000 serious criminal incidents, including assaults -- 4,000 of which were on teachers -- robberies and rapes. Prior to recent layoffs, Philadelphia's school district employed about 500 police officers. In Chicago last year, 700 young people were gunfire victims, and dozens of them lost their lives. Similar stories of street and school violence can be told in other large, predominantly black cities, such as Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland and Newark.  If rampant school crime is not eliminated, academic excellence will be unachievable. If anything, the president's initiative will help undermine school discipline, because it advocates "promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools." That means, for example, if black students are suspended or expelled at greater rates than, say, Asian students, it's a "disparate use of disciplinary tools." Thus, even if blacks are causing a disproportionate part of disciplinary problems, they cannot be disciplined disproportionately.  Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he's poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework, see to it that he gets a good night's rest, fix a breakfast, make sure he gets to school on time and make sure he respects and obeys his teachers. Here's my question: Which one of those requirements can be accomplished by a presidential executive order, a congressional mandate or the edict of a mayor? If those minimal requirements aren't met, whatever else is done is for naught.  Spending more money on education cannot replace poor parenting. If it could, black academic achievement wouldn't be a problem. Washington, D.C., for example, spends $18,667 per student per year, more than any state, but comes in dead last in terms of student achievement.  Numerous studies show that children raised in stable two-parent households do far better educationally and otherwise than those raised in single-parent households. Historically, black families have been relatively stable. From 1880 to 1960, the proportion of black children raised in two-parent families held steady at about 70 percent; in 1925 Harlem, it was 85 percent. Today only 33 percent of black children benefit from two-parent families. In 1940, black illegitimacy was 19 percent; today it's 72 percent.  Too many young blacks have become virtually useless in an increasingly high-tech economy. The only bright outlook is the trickle of more and more black parents realizing this and taking their children out of public schools. The president's initiative will help enrich the education establishment but do nothing for black youngsters in desperate educational need.  Read column

LGBT volunteer shoots conservative group's guard

Washington police , FBI agents at Family Research Council
after a security guard at was shot in the arm. (AP Photo)
NewsNM: Swickard - 25 gay rights groups quickly condemned the attack on the Christian Organization. Like them, I believe there is no place in our society for violence. We must protest and advocate peacefully. Good job making a bad situation better. From CBS News - (AP) WASHINGTON - A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard in the lobby of a Christian lobbying group had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. A law enforcement official has identified the suspect arrested in Wednesday's shooting as Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va. Investigators were interviewing his neighbors. Another official says the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire. David Mariner is executive director of The DC Center for the LGBT Community. He says Corkins had been volunteering at the center for about the past 6 months. Mariner describes Corkins as "kind, gentle and unassuming." While police have not yet stated what motivated Corkins, a coalition of 25 gay rights groups released a statement through GLAAD condemning the shooting.  "The motivation and circumstances behind today's tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident," the statement read. The guard, who was an employee of the FRC, was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Read more

Obama Has Plenty of Time to Drop Biden

NewsNM: Swickard - Bill Richardson as the replacement for Biden? From the Weekly Standard - President Barack Obama has slightly more than 22 days to drop Vice President Joe Biden from the 2012 Democratic presidential ticket, according to lawyers familiar with the party nominating process. That is, Democrats have until September 6 to formally nominate their presidential ticket which will then be qualified for the 50 state ballots. And it is still possible for that ticket not to include the current vice president, Joe Biden. "As a sitting president and vice president, Obama and Biden are both considered the Democrats' presumptive nominees and will not be the official nominees until after Charlotte," a lawyer familiar with the party nominating process tells me. "Each party has to file paperwork with each state once the candidates become official nominees. So it's still quite possible for Obama to drop Biden and replace him with someone else and pay no consequences with listing on ballots." The nominating process will take place at the Democratic party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is being held September 3-6. Renewed speculation that Biden could be dropped from the ticket comes on the heels of yet another gaffe by the vice president. "They gonna put y'all back in chains," Biden said of the Republican candidates for president and vice president yesterday at a campaign stop. CNN reported that a senior adviser called Biden's comments "not helpful," and that "they believe the vice president has knocked them off track."  Read more

SSA Buying High-Powered Ammunition

From Business Insider - by Robert Johnson  - First the DHS needed 450 million rounds of ammunition, then the NOAA requested 46,000 rounds, now we've discovered an online request at FBO.Gov calling for 174,000 rounds of ammunition for the Social Security Administration.  The request actually calls for 174K .357 hollow points that arguably have as much stopping power as any bullet out there, and hollow points do as much damage to soft tissue as possible on top of that. R.K. Campbel at Gun Blast mentions his experience with .357 rounds: I observed the effect of the .357 Magnum 125 grain JHP once over the top of my own sights. The effect was gruesome. A solid hit that produced a severe blood flow AND dramatic effect from the rear, including lung tissue thrown perhaps three feet. The 125 grain and JHP (jacketed rounds) are exactly the ones requested by the SSA and their offices of Inspector General and Investigation. Read more

Feeble Growth, Exhausted Consumers, & Shrinking Paychecks: The AP’s Brutally Honest Report on the State of the Economy

Dorothea Lange's Florence Owens Thompson,
 a mother of seven in Nipomo, CA, March 1936.
From The Blaze - The Associated Press on Wednesday published a report on the state of the U.S. economy that is, as surprising as it may be to some, both honest and scathing. “The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression,” the report begins. “Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest,” the report adds. But that’s not all. The report continues: The ugliness goes well beyond unemployment, which at 8.3 percent is the highest this long after a recession ended. Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower. More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation. The AP goes on to argue that a good deal of the U.S.’ current economic problems can be traced directly to the burst of the housing bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. Read more

New Mexico exports increase to $1.5 billion

New Mexico Business WeeklyThe International Trade Administration’s latest export data shows New Mexico exports increased 63 percent in the first half of 2012 to $1.5 billion. The figure was $944 million during the same period in 2011. The national average in export percentage growth was 7 percent, according to the data. “Exports are an increasingly important part of New Mexico’s economic recovery as local businesses both big and small start to look beyond our borders to increase their customer base,” Francisco S├ínchez, undersecretary of commerce for International Trade said in a news release. New Mexico’s first half 2012 merchandise export sales outpaced the 2011 figures for Israel (up 606 percent), Saudi Arabia (224 percent), Chile (126 percent), Brazil (125 percent) and France (72 percent). Key merchandise export categories include computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products, machinery manufactures, food and kindred products and transportation equipment. Read More News New Mexico


Obama Campaign" Has "No Problem" With Biden Linking Romney and Ryan to a Return to Slavery

You can watch the incredible video of Joe Biden here: Free Beacon - Vice President Joe Biden told supporters that Republicans would “put y’all back in chains,” during a campaign speech Tuesday in Danville, Va.
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: "They’ve said it. Every Republican’s voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the—he said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules–unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains. He’s said he’s going to do nothing about stopping the practice of outsourcing…"
Biden was introduced at the campaign event by Center for American Progress Action Fund president Tom Perriello, who called Biden “the conscience of our nation’s capital.”
The Romney campaign reacted strongly to the remarks, calling them “not acceptable” in a statement released shortly after Biden’s campaign speech.
“The comments made by the vice president of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama campaign will say and do anything to win this election,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in the statement. ”President Obama should tell the American people whether he agrees with Joe Biden’s comments.”
But Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter the campaign has “no problem with those comments,” in an interview with Andrea Mitchell. Read rest of the story here: News New Mexico