Sowell: Phony in Chief

Commentary by Dr. Thomas Sowell - Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a "phony."who is Phony in Chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.

 In his speech -- delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn't use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience -- he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.

Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be "part of the American family." But the people in New Orleans -- predominantly black -- "they don't care about as much," according to Barack Obama. Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined. 

Unlike Jeremiah Wright's church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against -- repeat, AGAINST -- the legislation which included the waiver. When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief. 

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Plant got $150M from taxpayers to make Volt batteries furloughs workers

From - President Obama touted it in 2010 as evidence "manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States,” but two years later, a Michigan hybrid battery plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds is putting workers on furlough before a single battery has been produced.  

Workers at the Compact Power manufacturing facilities in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem, have been placed on rotating furloughs, working only three weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells. 

The facility, which was opened in July 2010 with a groundbreaking attended by Obama, has yet to produce a single battery for the Chevrolet Volt, the troubled electric car from General Motors. The plant's batteries also were intended to be used in Ford's electric Focus. Production of the taxpayer-subsidized Volt has been plagued by work stoppages, and the effect has trickled down to companies and plants that build parts for it -- including the batteries. 

The 650,000-square-foot, $300 million facility was slated to produce 15,000 batteries per year, while creating hundreds of new jobs. But to date, only 200 workers are employed at the plant by by the South Korean company. Batteries for the Chevy Volts that have been produced have been made by an LG plant in South Korea. The factory was partly funded by a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. LG also received sizeable tax breaks from the local government, saving nearly $50 million in property taxes over 15 years and another $2.5 million annually in business taxes. Landing the factory was hailed as a coup when shovels first hit the ground.  



Spence: Who is this Romney guy?

Commentary by Jim Spence - It was quite telling to read Obama’s body language during the debate debacle. Not only did he not do what he needed to do to prepare be there. He actually seemed genuinely perturbed that answering tough questions would be required of him.
Jim Spence
It has been rather interesting to see the change in voter perceptions since the first debate when Barack Obama put his absence of work ethic on full display. Obama has paid the price. Voters were turned off and progressive websites are in near panic mode.
During the same time frame the nation is finally getting to know Romney. Search engines suggest there has been a barrage of hits on Romney's bio page at sites like wikipedia. We went there too.
It turns out Romney has been married to the same woman his entire adult life and has been faithful to her seeing her through bouts with breast cancer and MS.
There are no scandals or skeletons in his closet. In fact he is so clean he’s boring.
Romney did graduate cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School which he attended at the same time. His academic records, unlike Obama’s are not sealed. And also unlike his opponent, Romney doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, and he has never done drugs.
Like Barack Obama, Romney has a family. While the Obamas have two daughters, the Romneys have five sons. The Romney boys were raised by their stay-at-home mom Ann, who according to an Obama surrogate, "never worked a day in her life." Hmmm. Really?
Mitt Romney
Romney was born on March 12, 1947 which makes him 65 years old. After paying his dues in business, in 1984, Romney co-founded Bain Capital which is a private equity investment firm. Bain is now one of the largest such firms in the United States.
Bain Capital, started with one small office supply store in Massachusetts. Eventually it became Staples; now with over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people. Bain Capital also worked with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, The Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply and many others.
There are few more interesting facts about Romney. He served as unpaid President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he worked with a state legislature that was 87% Democrat, to eliminate a $1.5 billion deficit. He took no salary and worked as an unpaid public servant as Governor of Massachusetts for four years. When his father died Romney gave his entire inheritance from his father’s estate to charity.
No doubt about it. Compared to what we have seen the last four years he sounds real dangerous to me.


Newsbreak New Mexico Webcast

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich
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PTSD patients concerned about medical cannabis fate

Thousands of people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are worried about a local psychiatrist's petition to remove PTSD as a qualifying condition from the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program.
 Nearly half of all the people enrolled in the program suffer from PTSD. Many patients who are qualified under this condition are also veterans. Close to 3,300 patients at risk for losing access to the medicinal drug. 
Psychiatrist Dr. William Ulwelling is petitioning to remove PTSD from the list of qualifying conditions, citing a lack of scientific evidence.
 The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will review the petition on November 7. The interim health secretary will ultimately make the final decision.


Three PRC amendments on the November ballot

On Election Day, voters will make some big decisions about the Public Regulation Commission. 
There will be three constitutional amendments on the ballot that would reshape the scandal-plagued agency. Back in May, PRC chair Pat Lyons got into a physical fight at a meeting. There are also former commissioners Carole Sloane and Jerome Block Jr., who are both convicted felons. 
The three constitutional amendments would shift some PRC responsibilities, like registering a business and insurance oversight, to another part of state government. The change would also install a minimum-education requirement, most likely a college degree, for someone to be elected to the commission. 
But some commissioners think the changes will do more harm than good. 


UNM Hospital running out of space

A shortage of space at University of New Mexico Hospital means some patients have to stay in the emergency room even after they've been admitted. 

Officials say it is time to address this serious issue. There was a town hall meeting Monday evening to get the public's input on building a new hospital. Officials say it will cost too much to renovate UNMH, so their solution is to build a new 96-bed facility next door. 
The hospital is usually about 90 percent full, compared to the average hospital, which the Centers for Disease Control says is normally about 60 percent full.
 The $146 million proposal will use the hospital's reserve funds, so no new taxpayer money would be needed.


NM infrastructure given a rating of "C"

New Mexico's infrastructure has been given a rating of C from from the New Mexico section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

The grade has remained the same since the first report card issued in 2005. The report assessed the status of important systems such as bridges, water and airports, to develop the 2012 report card for New Mexico

The study, conducted by nearly 50 engineers, took 14 months to complete. 

In large part, the low grades are due to an aging infrastructure that is deteriorating, stressed by increasing demand and the lack of adequate funding to maintain and rehabilitate such systems.


Confederate flag flown at Southern NM Fair

Dona Ana County officials say a Confederate flag was mysteriously flown at the Southern New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo in an apparent joke. 
 Dona Ana County Commission Chairwoman Karen Perez says officials were trying to figure out who was behind the joke. She called the move a "disgrace." 
The Confederate flag was flown last week next to the American flag near the entrance of the fairgrounds west of Las Cruces. It was taken down late Friday afternoon shortly after county officials were notified. 
County officials did not know how long it flew over the fairgrounds.


APS lobbyist accuses Gardner of assault

Keith Gardner
An Albuquerque Public Schools lobbyist alleged in a letter to Gov. Susana Martinez that Chief of Staff Keith Gardner painfully gripped her arm and yelled at her in “in an extremely threatening manner,” during the legislative session in February. 
Gardner told the ABQ Journal on Monday he never grabbed Carrie Menapace’s arm or treated her aggressively, and points to surveillance video from the Roundhouse as proof. 
Menapace, a policy analyst and government liaison for APS, wrote that Gardner approached her during a recess of the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 12 as it was considering a bill to retain third-graders who cannot pass a grade-level reading test. That bill has been championed by Martinez and opposed by APS.


Grisham's first vote would be for Nancy Pelosi

Jim Spence (left)
Commentary by Jim Spence - The race for the open seat in New Mexico's U.S. House District #1 is an interesting one. The behavior of Michelle Lujan Grisham gives you an idea of how some candidates view the idea of sharing their views via debates. Grisham thinks she is ahead in the polls. Accordingly, she feels it is appropriate to dodge her opponent Janice Arnold-Jones. Grisham is refusing to take part in debates. In doing so she is depriving people in her district of the opportunity to learn more about her views.
Can a candidate who wants to represent New Mexico in Washington get away with refusing to debate? Maybe Grisham can. Apparently Grisham is betting that the people living in the area where she lives are not paying attention.
Since Grisham will not go to the podium and make her views known we need to project how she will behave when she arrives in Washington.
What we can be sure of with Michelle Lujan Grisham is her first vote will be cast for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House. It seems that Nancy Pelosi’s statement on Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it,” was not the least bit troubling to Grisham.
While Grisham’s support of Nancy Pelosi is puzzling, her debate dodging tactics actually make some sense. She believes that appearing on a debate stage with her opponent Janice Arnold-Jones would very likely show that Arnold-Jones is much more prepared to do the job. If Grisham wins she will prove that there is more to winning in politics than actually being able to articulate how you plan to do your job.