Sowell: 'Cooling Out' the Voters

Commentary by Dr. Thomas Sowell - Confidence men know that their victim -- "the mark" as he has been called is eventually going to realize that he has been cheated. But it makes a big difference whether he realizes it immediately, and goes to the police, or realizes it after the confidence man is long gone. So part of the confidence racket is creating a period of uncertainty, during which the victim is not yet sure of what is happening. This delaying process has been called "cooling out the mark."
The same principle applies in politics. When the accusations that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton first surfaced, he flatly denied them all. Then, as the months passed, the truth came out -- but slowly, bit by bit. One of Clinton's own White House aides later called it "telling the truth slowly." By the time the whole truth came out, it was called "old news," and the clever phrase now was that we should "move on."
We are currently seeing another "cooling out" process, growing out of the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on September 11th this year. The belated release of State Department e-mails shows that the Obama administration knew, while the attack on the American consulate was still underway, that it was a coordinated, armed terrorist attack. They were getting reports from those inside the consulate who were under attack, as well as surveillance pictures from a camera on an American drone overhead.
Why then did both President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice keep repeating the story that this was a spontaneous protest riot against an anti-Islamic video in America? The White House knew the facts -- but they knew that the voting public did not. And it mattered hugely whether the facts became known to the public before or after the election. What the White House needed was a process of "cooling out" the voters, keeping them distracted or in uncertainty as long as possible.
The White House had to know that it was only a matter of time before the truth would come out. But time was what mattered, with an election close at hand. The longer they could stretch out the period of distraction and uncertainty -- "cooling out" the voters -- the better. Once the confidence man in the White House was reelected, it would be politically irrelevant what facts came out. Read full column

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 10/30/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

PNM headed to east coast 
NM voters to decide constitutional amendments
Last day to request absentee ballot Nov. 1st
700lbs of pot seized at Santa Teresa port of entry


Candelario steps in as Raton's new mayor

Raton City Commission
With no fanfare or formal declaration, the title of Raton mayor has been passed to Chris Candelario.

Candelario, who has been mayor pro tem since March, when he ran unopposed for a commission seat after being appointed in January 2011 to fill a vacant seat, chaired Tuesday’s commission meeting as mayor for the first time. Candelario stepped into the role following the Oct. 10 resignation of mayor and commissioner Charles Starkovich.

Candelario and City Manager Pete Kampfer each said there are no specific city or state laws that specifically outline how to replace, in a commission-manager form of government such as Raton’s, a mayor who resigns, but city ordinance and state law have identical language that gets close to the matter. The laws say that during a mayor’s “absence,” the mayoral duties shall be performed by the mayor pro tem.

Candelario this week said there is “no protocol” to give the commission direction in selecting a new mayor under the circumstances other than for him to simply “move up.”

The commission selects a mayor from among its members every two years immediately after the municipal election that usually includes two or three commission seats on the ballot.

State law does spell out how the commission is to fill the vacant commissioner seat that used to belong to Starkovich. The commission can appoint a registered Raton voter to complete the term, although it remains to be seen whether the commission will make any appointment before an ongoing recall petition process is completed.

Recall petitions were submitted to the city clerk in late September seeking a recall election for every commissioner. The clerk purged many signatures from the petitions because they did not meet the requirements of state law, she said, leaving the petitions short of the required number of valid signatures to trigger an election. The process now awaits the possible reinstating of signatures of anyone who provides sufficient evidence to the clerk to show that his or her signatures should not have been purged. On Tuesday, the commission took the formal step of accepting the results of the clerk’s examination of the petitions.

Tuesday’s commission agenda listed Candelario as mayor and included an item calling for the commission to appoint a new mayor pro tem. However, the commission tabled action on that matter because Commissioner Jimmy Fanelli was absent from the meeting.

Candelario’s current two-year commission term expires in March 2014. He previously served on the commission from March 1998 to March 2002.

Starkovich resigned in order to pursue an effort as a private citizen to try to change what he called the city’s “discriminatory” at-large voting system that he alleged leaves Hispanic and other minority voters without an adequate political voice in the local election process and underrepresented on the city commission.

Read more at The Raton Range...

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 10/30/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

Last day to request absentee ballot Nov. 1st
NM Red Cross heads to the east coast
New film shooting in ABQ
Bill Richardson takes job at California spaceport 


NM horse racing industry wants better drug control

Some of New Mexico's biggest drug dens are at its five horse tracks, the executive director of the state Racing Commission told legislators on Thursday.
The commission is seeking a budget increase of almost $800,000, in part to test more racehorses for performance-enhancing drugs and to hire three more employees, including another track investigator.
"New Mexico has a drug problem," said Vince Mares, who directs the Racing Commission's day-to-day operations. "I've identified people who have doped horses and caused the deaths of horses."
Mares, testifying before the Legislative Finance Committee, said the underlying message of inadequate testing is that horse owners and trainers "have to cheat to compete."
State Sen. John Arthur Smith said afterward that Mares made a good case for adding money to the Racing Commission's budget.
"If we're going to attempt to salvage the industry, I'd say the chances are probably pretty good that it will happen," said Smith, D-Deming.
He said New Mexico horse racing was "under a cloud," and that lingering questions about its credibility would hurt the businesses unless improvements are made.
Legislators have paid close attention to horseracing for most of this year.
An investigation by The New York Times last March found that five of the seven U.S. tracks with the highest rates of horse breakdowns and deaths were in New Mexico.
Ruidoso Downs had the worst record of all from 2009 to 2011, at 13.9 incidents
per 1,000 starts, according to the Times.
The method of generating these statistics brought criticism from Mares and others. Still, Mares said the Times' story was valuable in that it alerted state residents to the industry's problems...


BREAKING: Evacuation order for Santa Teresa Industrial Park

BREAKING: An EVACUATION ORDER has been issued for the Santa Teresa Industrial Park, northwest of the Santa Teresa Airport, due to a HAZMAT situation in the area.  

A shelter has been set up at Santa Teresa High School for evacuees who live in the area.  The evacuation area covers 2 miles northwest of the Santa Teresa Airport, to include the Santa Teresa Industrial Park. 

We'll keep you posted with future updates as they become available.

Update: 10:51am

Santa Teresa High School is being used as a shelter for evacuees in southern Doña Ana County, where a hazardous-materials incident is developing. Air-quality testing is underway to determine what is making people sick in the area.  The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department Hazardous Materials Response Team has established a command post at Airport Road and the Pete V. Domenici Highway near the Doña Ana County Industrial Park and the Santa Teresa Port of Entry.
A mandatory evacuation is underway for an area up to two miles from the industrial park. Approximately 200 people are in triage for symptoms of difficulty breathing, light-headedness, nausea and dizziness. No serious injuries have been reported, and no one has yet been transported to area hospitals.
The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority has activated a reverse 911 call to alert residents and businesses within two miles of the incident to remain indoors, seal all doors and windows and turn off air conditioning and heating systems that bring outside air into the home or business.
The exact nature of the incident remains under investigation by authorities. Travelers and the media are advised to stay at least two miles from the area until authorities clear the area for traffic.
The Doña Ana County Emergency Operations Center is in standby status. Helicopters and equipment from various agencies in both Doña Ana County and El Paso County are standing by to assist if necessary.
Updates will be provided as more information is received.

Update: 2:50pm

 New Mexico State Police have requested a civil-support team from the New Mexico National Guard to deploy to the Doña Ana County Industrial Park at Santa Teresa to assist with monitoring and testing. That team is en route. The Las Cruces Fire Department’s Hazmat team is standing by to provide assistance as requested.


Millennials Are Turning Into A Generation Of Fiscal Conservatives

This generation of young Americans has been called many things, from civic-minded to "entitled." But fiscally conservative?
That's a new one, and it just might have an impact on the presidential election. 

Listen to Caroline Winsett, a senior at DePaul University, who considers herself fairly socially liberal but says being fiscally conservative matters most right now. 

"Ultimately, I'm voting with my pocketbook," says Winsett, a 22-year-old political science major who's president of the DePaul student body. 

She recently cast an absentee ballot for Republican Mitt Romney in her home state of Tennessee

To be clear, polls show that President Barack Obama remains the favorite among 18- to 29-year-old registered voters, as he was in 2008. No one thinks the majority of young voters will support Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, in the Nov. 6 election. 

Read more News New Mexico


The Angry Seas

Hurricane Sandy at Dewey Beach, Delaware


New Mexico voters to decide on constitutional amendments

New Mexico voters will consider approving five constitutional amendments and tens of millions of dollars in general obligation bonds when they fill out their election ballots. 

Far down the ballot are three amendments dealing with reforming the Public Regulation Commission. The three proposals would allow lawmakers to streamline PRC duties, move some of the commission's oversight to the secretary of state, and allow lawmakers to adopt minimum standards for PRC candidates. 

The other amendments call for creating an independent public defender's office and adding members to the state Judicial Standards Commission. 

As for the more than $140 million in proposed general obligation bonds, senior citizen centers around the state, libraries, and the state's colleges and universities would stand to benefit.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 10/30/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

ABQ Journal poll shows Lujan-Grisham up
Campbell trial set for NMFA scandal
Bill Richardson takes California spaceport job


Bill Richardson takes job at a California spaceport

Bill Richardson
ABQ Journal- Former Gov. Bill Richardson will be going to work for a California spaceport to help push lawmakers there for an expanded “informed consent” law protecting manufacturers and suppliers of private spacecraft from most civil lawsuits.  
Stuart Witt, executive director of the Mojave Air and Space Port, confirmed Monday that Richardson has been hired as a consultant. Terms of his deal will be made public Wednesday when the spaceport’s governing authority reviews the contract. 
Mojave is seeking expanded protection in California similar to the kind the Martinez administration is pushing the New Mexico Legislature to adopt for Spaceport America – a $209 million project near Truth or Consequences that was one of Richardson’s signature initiatives...


Campbell trial date set for alleged role in NMFA scandal

Greg Campbell
Former New Mexico Finance Authority controller Greg Campbell is scheduled to stand trial in February 2013 on charges related to his alleged role in a fraudulent audit scandal that prompted an agency shake-up. 
Making his first court appearance Monday since being arrested Aug. 8, Campbell sat alone in the courtroom before a brief hearing in front of District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer, who announced the trial date. 
Campbell, through his public defender, waived his right to a formal arraignment Monday and remains free on a $20,000 bond with certain release conditions. 
Campbell left his job with the Finance Authority in June, shortly before the falsified audit was discovered. He is the only current or former NMFA employee facing charges in connection with the audit scandal.


ABQ Journal poll shows Lujan-Grisham leading Arnold-Jones

Democratic 1st Congressional District candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham has maintained a wide lead over Republican Janice Arnold-Jones as the Nov. 6 election nears, according to a new ABQ Journal Poll.  
Lujan Grisham, a former Bernalillo County commissioner and state Cabinet secretary, was favored by 51 percent of likely voters or voters who already have cast an early ballot, according to a Journal Poll taken Oct. 23-25.
Arnold-Jones, a small-business owner and former state representative, was backed by 36 percent of likely voters. Thirteen percent of voters were undecided. 
In New Mexico’s two other U.S. House districts, incumbents Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat, and Steve Pearce, a Republican, had significant leads over their challengers, the Journal Poll found.


What if questions suggest journalists are a disgrace

Jim Spence (left)
Commentary by Jim Spence - The “what if,” questions surrounding the horror of Benghazi just keep coming. The first question is what if this incident had happened under George W. Bush’s watch. One thing is for certain. If six weeks after the Benghazi attacks Bush was still claiming his people were “investigating,” after he had initially sent out his staffers to make utterly false statements to the media......all hell would have broken loose long ago. Instead of all hell breaking loose, on ten of the eleven networks where people get their news (CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, Bloomberg, Link TV, Free Speech TV, Current TV, and CNBC) the subject does not even come up. Watching Sunday’s talk show circuit was astonishing. When some of the few inquisitive commentators brought the topic up, the so-called moderators at ABC and NBC dismissively changed the subject. It seems that only Fox News continues to ask legitimate questions that go unanswered.

Let’s try to get this straight. In far less than twenty-four hours the White House knew Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muhammed video gone awry. And more than six weeks later, with accounts of what actually happened including the calls for help all around them the White House can’t answer any questions.
Returning to the original premise of this column, if this had happened under Bush’s watch it would be front page news. It would be the lead story on every network including Fox every night until the White House came clean. Instead it is mostly backburner stuff because of an overwhelming bias in favor of Obama's re-election in the media. No wonder Fox News is commanding huge ratings compared to its competitors. Journalism in America has become an embarassment.

Obama Cares About Big Bird Not Real Birds

Commentary by Marita Noon - The number of days until the election can now be counted on both hands. Regardless of the outcome, we know one issue will be buried under the fiscal-cliff news—where it hopes to fly under the radar. This one issue? The extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy—which is bound to be present in lame-duck session negotiations, as it is currently scheduled to expire on December 31.
Using taxpayer dollars, the PTC supposedly “makes wind power more competitive with other sources of electricity”—though wind energy is still more expensive than traditionally fueled electricity and raises the costs for both residential and industrial users.
Throughout the year, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has been working valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to get the PTC extended. They are now down to the wire and are getting panicked—sending military veterans to meet with staffers of GOP members who are believed to be “persuadable,” and even calling on pension fund managers to put pressure on House and Senate leadership. Their only hope for salvation is the lame-duck session.
Should Romney win, the lame-duck pressure will be even stronger as he has stood in opposition to the PTC extension. In a Romney White House, wind energy will need to be viable without taxpayer subsidy or borrowing from China. After twenty years, it should be, but as we’ve seen, it isn’t.
We’ve all heard stories of birds and bats being killed by wind turbines—earning them the “giant bird Cuisinart” moniker. The birds being killed aren’t just sparrows or pigeons. They are eagles and raptors that “are protected by two of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Protection Act.” While the wind industry isn’t prosecuted for the “unpermitted bird kills,” the oil industry gets hauled into court and is required to pay hefty fines for the deaths of a few ducks.
The bird deaths have become so dramatic, 91 environmental groups have signed a petition asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create regulations to better protect migratory birds. “Eric Glitzenstein, a Washington, D.C.–based lawyer, who represents several environmental groups on the bird-kill issue, said: ‘It’s absolutely clear that there’s been a mandate from the top’ echelons of the federal government not to prosecute the wind industry for violating wildlife laws.”
Following Romney’s debate remark about defunding Big Bird, Obama has made opposition to the killing of Big Bird a campaign issue. Yet, Obama’s support of the PTC is, in effect, a plan to fund bird murder—a plan “persuadable” Republicans are being pressured to support. They are being told that there will be no problematic political fallout from including the PTC in a package of other miscellaneous tax-extender items. The PTC extension could well get buried in an omnibus bill, filled with some other things most Republicans want.
Right now, the PTC extension is being pitched to the House Ways and Means Committee (as a predecessor to coming to a vote for the whole House). Calls from constituents, especially to Ways and Means Committee members, can alert them that there is problematic political fallout if they move the extension forward. Will you pick up the phone (202-224-3121) and tell them that the real cost of wind energy subsidies is too high?
Don’t let the threat of killing Big Bird obscure the bigger issue of murdering real birds, of hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars per job, of mandates that are raising energy costs, and of obscene subsidies for an energy source that couldn’t make it in the free market. Tell your congressional representatives to say, “No,” to the PTC extension—regardless of the package in which it is hidden. Read full column