Gore: Altitude threw Obama off (no, really)

Al Gore explains Mile High Syndrome
NewsNM: Swickard - I went to a Denver High School for two years - no wonder my grades were bad, eh? 

From KOAT-TV.com - CNN — Former Vice President Al Gore's analysis of President Barack Obama's debate performance Wednesday: the Mile High City may be to blame.

 Pundits and a CNN poll of those who watched the debate both found GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's showing to be stronger than Obama's, who some described as appearing tired and long-winded.

"I'm going to say something controversial here," Gore began. "Obama arrived in Denver at 2 pm today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. "When you go to five thousand feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know," Gore said, as other panelists in the post-debate discussion chimed in.

The video of Gore on his television channel, Current TV, was posted online by several right-leaning websites, as well as media-watching websites.

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Jennings-Pirtle state Senate race gets rough

From Capitol Report New Mexico - The election season has quickly turned into the mean season in the state Senate race in Roswell.

Long-time Roundhouse incumbent and Democrat Tim Jennings has launched a website with his re-election campaign called “They Hate Roswell” — referencing comments Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s chief of staff Keith Gardner made in a secretly recorded conversation released last month — that Republican opponent Cliff Pirtle says is an attack on his upstart candidacy against the sitting Senate pro tem.

Jennings says it’s because of fliers being distributed in Senate District 32 criticizing Jennings on a host of issues, including, Jennings says, linking him to disgraced former state Senate leader Manny Aragon, who is sitting in a federal prison in Colorado on corruption charges.

“People should know where these things are coming from,” Jennings told Capitol Report New Mexico in a phone interview Thursday (Oct. 4). “I think it’s all tied to the governor’s office and [Martinez political consultant] Jay McCleskey … I find [the Aragon comparison] extremely offensive.”

In an interview later in the day, Pirtle says he feels the same way about the Jennings website that, while not mentioning Pirtle by name, criticizes “unprecedented attacks by his [Jennings'] Republican opponent.” The site also highlights a TV and radio ad that refers to Jennings’ opponent as ”a puppet.”  “The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me,” Pirtle said. “They’re trying to make it out like I hate Roswell … He calls me a puppet in the ad. I’m my own man and I make my own decisions.” “I haven’t said anything about Pirtle,” Jennings said.

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NM gov. steps up when she sees baby left in car

NewsNM Swickard cranky a few years ago
From the Alamogordo Daily News - (AP) - SANTA FE, N.M.—When New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez saw a baby left alone in an unlocked and running car outside a Santa Fe store, she knew what to do.

She went into the Walgreens and got a clerk to get on the intercom to find the child's parents. And she lectured the child's father about leaving his 1-year-old girl unattended. 

KRQE-TV says Martinez's security details also called the police about the incident Wednesday. 

The father says the infant was sleeping and he didn't want to wake her up after a cranky day.

He says he was in the store to buy baby wipes. 

Santa Fe police questioned the man, but didn't press charges. But they will forward their report to the state Children, Youth and Families Department, which could take action.

The Story

Number of Americans working from home reaches record high

New Mexico Business WeeklyMore Americans are working at home than ever before.  According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday, 13.4 million people, or 9.5 percent of all workers, worked at home in 2010. That was up from 1999 when 9.5 million people, or 7 percent of all workers, worked out of their homes. 

Nearly one fourth of those home-based workers were in the management, business and financial occupations, and nearly half were self-employed. Metropolitan areas in the West, Southwest and Southeast had the highest percentage of home-based workers. 

Among the nation’s metropolitan areas, Boulder, Colo., had the highest percentage of home-based workers at 10.9 percent. In New Mexico, Santa Fe had the highest percentage of home-based workers at 8.3 percent. Albuquerque and Las Cruces each had 4.5 percent, and Farmington had 4 percent. Read More News New Mexico 


Obama did not forget, he calculated carefully

Commentary by Jim Spence - With the leadership of our nation hanging in the balance, one of the biggest questions lingering from last night’s presidential debate comes from progressive websites like The Nation, Mother Jones, and Progressive. It is this: Why didn’t Obama bring up the tape of Mitt Romney talking about the 47% of Americans that don’t pay any federal income tax?

As I went from review to review of the debate and read how badly progressives thought Obama performed, this curious question kept being repeated over and over. There was a drumbeat asking how could Obama forget to mention something that could put Romney’s lack of compassion on full display.
Jim Spence (left)
The answer is pretty simple. Obama didn’t forget. His team's entire existence is based on politics, polls, and focus groups. The Obama team knew full well they were going after undecided voters last night. No folks, Obama didn’t forget the 47% of Americans that contribute nothing in income tax to support government. He and his team realized that the last thing they wanted to do was get the independent undecided voters, people who actually support the cost of government, to start thinking about the implications of virtually half the country getting a free ride under Obama.
The problem for Obama and independent voters is Mitt Romney was telling the truth about why America is in trouble. Government makes big costly promises to all Americans. But Obama only asks half the country to fund those promises. When Ronald Reagan was president only 19% of Americans sat in the wagon while 81% of America pulled. Under Obama, half the nation sits and the other half pulls. Everyone sitting in the wagon in America knows they are sitting. And these people are already going to vote for Obama because he will let them sit while he blames others for our financial struggles.
On the other hand, the undecided voters in America are most likely pulling the wagon and the Obama team cooly calculated that it won’t do the Obama re-election chances any good to remind them of how many people are doing nothing to fund the cost of all his spending schemes while they work and contribute to the cause. Obama didn't forget. He calculated carefully.


Lawmakers call for action regarding payout to NMSU President

Dr. Barbara Couture
New Mexico State University plans to pay departing President Barbara Couture a nearly $454,000 severance package in January.  
The package was not required in her employment contract, which allowed the Board of Regents to end the contract with a majority vote.  
State Rep. Andy Nunez of Hatch told the Las Cruces Sun-News Wednesday that he'll support a bill banning such payouts for government employees. Rep. Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces says she wants to investigate how and why the university's Board of Regents agreed to the payout earlier this week.
The University says the payout will be funded with savings accumulated from as many as 15 vacant administrative positions.
NMSU spokeswoman Julie Hughes says the 10 to 15 vacancies should be filled early next year.
Couture's payout is drawing criticism from state lawmakers who say legislation is needed to stop so-called "golden parachutes" for highly paid employees who resign or are fired from state jobs.



FCC awards NM funds for internet access

The Federal Communications Commission has awarded about $18 million to telecommunications companies to expand access to high-speed cellular phone and wireless Internet service in central and southeastern New Mexico
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced on Wednesday that about $9.5 million will go to Plateau Telecommunications in Clovis, $6.7 million to Leaco Rural Telephone Cooperative in Dexter and $1.8 million to T-Mobile West.
 The companies were selected by the FCC after submitting bids for building new mobile telecommunications infrastructure. 
Udall says the projects are to be completed in three years and will offer advanced wireless network access to nearly 18,000 new road miles in the state.


Gary Johnson continues fight to debate

Gary Johnson
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson was unable to persuade a federal court to include him in Wednesday night’s debate, but a Johnson spokesman said the former New Mexico governor will keep fighting for inclusion in debates later this month. 
Johnson sued in federal District Court last week to compel the Commission on Presidential Debates to allow his participation in debates with President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. 
The Commission on Presidential Debates’ rules say that a candidate must poll at 15 percent or higher in major national polls to be included in a general election debate. 
Johnson contends the standard is unfair because many national polls don’t include him at all. Johnson is on the presidential ballot in at least 47 states, including New Mexico. 


Judge blocks state licensing program

A New Mexico judge is stopping Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration from reviving a plan to cancel the driver's licenses of immigrants who fail to verify whether they continue to live in the state.  
The administration announced the program last year but it was suspended by a state district court in Santa Fe after the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a lawsuit. 
District Judge Sarah Singleton issued an order permanently blocking the license verification program.
 A spokesman for the governor said the administration agreed to the order because the program would have been suspended for months if the lawsuit continued.


Matthews at MSNBC: "What was he doing?"

Commentary by Jim Spence - Chris Matthews of MSNBC was furious at Barack Obama last night. “What was he doing?” he asked repeatedly. Matthews was clearly exasperated at the performance by Obama in the debate with Mitt Romney.
“He should watch MSNBC,” Matthews suggested. “We’ve got our knives out,” the MSNBC host conceded, openly admitting that his network is nothing more than a hatchet crew with a mission of attacking Mitt Romney at every turn.
The problem for Obama is not which network he watches. MSNBC is not the only network providing unprecedented support for the mess Obama is making. If you surf through your television guide you will find at least eleven networks providing news coverage and ten of them are overwhelmingly supportive to Obama. They are: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Free Speech Television, PBS, Link Television, Current , Bloomberg, and CNBC. Only Fox News provides a viewpoint that shines the light on the results of the Obama policies.
No Chris Matthews, the problem for Mr. Obama isn’t that he is not surrounded by enough people who agree with him. And the problem certainly isn't that there are now ten different national news organizations that adore him. The problem for Obama is the facts. It is hard for him to defend these ten indisputable facts: 1) Gasoline prices have doubled since he took the oath of office, 2) the growth of GDP has declined for the last three years of his term, 3) 23 million Americans are either unemployed or under-employed, 4) American flags are being burned all over the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring he thought was a good thing, 5) his administration gave guns to Mexican drug cartels and they used them to slaughter people, 6) his embassy in Libya begged for security help in the days prior to the murder of diplomats there and his administration did nothing, 7) he has thrown billions of taxpayer dollars at alternative energy schemes that went bankrupt, 8) he has added almost six trillion dollars in debt after promising to cut the deficit in half, 9) the tax increases that will be imposed in Americans to pay for the federal government takeover of health care are looming, 10) fifteen million more people are on food stamps since Obama took the oath of office.
With a strain in his voice, Chris Matthews kept asking what Obama was doing last night? It is pretty simple really. He was on the stage with someone who kept bringing up the facts. Obama looked like a deer in the headlights because the facts are embarrassing. He was doing exactly what anyone would do when their record is indefensible. Obama shouldn't start watching MSNBC because it won’t change the facts that are so devastating.
The fact that the national polls are close and Obama is leading in New Mexico tells you exactly how uninformed the public is about the facts.