CARDENAS: Republicans too white, male, old

Al Cardenas
NewsNM: Swickard - Despite the fact that I am white, old and male, I am well fixed on the Constitution as were our Old White Male Forefathers. So I should turn leadership over to young people who have not read the Constitution, have not studied history... Most know so little that I am ashamed for them. The Republicans, of which I am not a member lost because they did not effectively sell the American Dream, they sold being true to your party.
Commentary by By Al Cardenas - Republicans did not win in 2012 because we are too white, too male and too old. Some still don’t want to face the truth that we lost because the fastest-growing sectors of our population are entrenched in the Democratic Party. We did not win because Republicans failed to acknowledge this reality and move forward fearlessly. If that doesn’t change, we will not just be committing political malpractice. It will be political suicide.
The 2008 losses were expected. We had had eight years of a Republican administration, the wear and tear of division within our ranks, and a Republican nominee whose strength was not the economy. The economy predictably was the focus after an unprecedented meltdown occurred in the final stages of that election.
Up until Election Day 2012, we fully expected to win. After a dismal four years economically, President Obama seemed to be the most vulnerable incumbent since Jimmy Carter. But the Nov. 6 elections resulted in one disappointment after another, leaving conservatives angry, bewildered and unsure about where we go from here.
There were not enough conservatives, establishment Republicans and a majority of independents combined  for us to win in 2012 and that won’t change in 2016 if our party maintains the status quo. We need support and votes from a larger share of youth, women and minorities. The greatest gains to be had are with Latinos the fastest-growing voting bloc in our country. In fact, 23.7 million Hispanics were eligible to vote in 2012, and most of them were young voters. When you consider that 1 out of 5 Americans today and one-fifth of all children in public schools are Hispanic, it is easy to recognize the importance of this community in discussions about electoral politics.
The Republican message has resonated with Hispanics before. Both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush received more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. This was not by happenstance. They worked at it, and they respected our community. Reagan and Mr. Bush also were the last two presidents to make immigration reform a priority, an issue on which the conservative movement and Republican Party need to take a lead in order to open the gates to a waiting constituency. Read full column

Sowell: Killing The Goose

Commentary by Dr. Thomas Sowell - Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is one of those old fairy tales for children which has a heavy message that a lot of adults should listen to. The labor unions which have driven the makers of Twinkies into bankruptcy, potentially destroying 18,500 jobs, could have learned a lot from that old children's fairy tale. Many people think of labor unions as organizations to benefit workers, and think of employers who are opposed to unions as just people who don't want to pay their employees more money. But some employers have made it a point to pay their employees more than the union wages, just to keep them from joining a union.
Why would they do that, if it is just a question of not wanting to pay union wages? The Twinkies bankruptcy is a classic example of costs created by labor unions that are not confined to paychecks. The work rules imposed in union contracts required the company that makes Twinkies, which also makes Wonder Bread, to deliver these two products to stores in separate trucks. Moreover, truck drivers were not allowed to load either of these products into their trucks. And the people who did load Twinkies into trucks were not allowed to load Wonder Bread, and vice versa.
There is also a reason why labor unions are flourishing among people who work for government. No matter how much these public sector unions drive up costs, government agencies do not go out of business. They simply go back to the taxpayers for more money. Consumers in the private sector have the option of buying products and services from competing, non-union companies-- from Toyota instead of General Motors, for example, even though most Toyotas sold in America are made in America. Consumers of other products can buy things made in non-union factories overseas.
But government agencies are monopolies. You cannot get your Social Security checks from anywhere except the Social Security Administration or your driver's license from anywhere but the DMV. Is it surprising that government employees have seen their pay go up, even during the downturn, and their pensions rise to levels undreamed of in the private sector? None of this will kill the goose that lays the golden egg, so long as there are both current taxpayers and future taxpayers to pay off debts passed on to them.  Read full column

Swickard: Putting the thanks in Thanksgiving

© 2012 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. I’ve seen better days, but I’ve also seen worse. I don’t have everything that I want, but I do have all I need. I woke up with some aches and pains, but I woke up. My life may not be perfect but I am blessed. - From Lessons Learned in Life
The other day I saw the above quote. It expresses well my feelings since it shows that which makes me an optimist. I have a powerful belief things could be better or worse and I would still feel blessed. The holiday for optimists is Thanksgiving. The most important part is to concentrate on the Thanks. I do give thanks that my friends and relatives are still alive, though this last year lost several. I am thankful for all who are still here.
Everyone has some small stuff and sometimes not quite so small stuff that is kicking them in the keister, but I submit that if we go back just a couple of generations people lived their entire lives very much like the poor unfortunates that we see struggling from Hurricane Sandy. A few generations ago there was always those kinds of problems heating and lighting houses.
Go back to 1912 and the stories of difficulties were even more stark. Not that those people really paid attention. Then we have the Pilgrims and their neighbors, the people already living in North America before the Pilgrims.
Which brings us to 2012. We have much to be thankful for and the pessimists among us give us an earful about the coming collapse of our society. Will it? No way to know but obviously this government must go over the fiscal cliff to stop spending money it does not have.
Again, I am an optimist and even more important, it does not take all that much to make me happy: a little love, good dog, cup of coffee and something interesting. It could be we as a society are going to be smacked around by life. The people in Greece and Spain say they lived so well for so long that it cannot stop, but for them it has somewhat stopped. But each woke up this morning. That is not so bad. Read full column

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 11/20/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Feds looking to help dairy industry in NM
Co-defendants in Vigil-Giron case want dismissal
Helicopter removal of wild horses comes under fire
Recession continues to hit ABQ job numbers 


Co-defendants in Vigil-Giron case want a dismissal

Rebecca Vigil-Giron
Lawyers for three co-defendants in the case involving former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron were in court Monday, hoping to get the same result she did. 

 A judge last week dismissed a string of corruption charges against her. The judge ruled the state had taken too long to bring that case to trial. The charges still stand against the other co-defendants and Monday, their attorneys told the judge they want the same fate as Vigil-Giron, on the same grounds.
 Judge Reed Sheppard didn’t rule on that Monday, but set another hearing for next spring. Court records show all three have multiple criminal charges against them in district court, including money laundering, tax fraud and kickbacks.


Mexican wolf found in NM at sanctuary in AZ

A Mexican gray wolf recently captured in New Mexico now is at a sanctuary near Phoenix.  

Officials at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale say the female wolf is in good health, eating well and settling into her new surroundings. She's currently being housed alone but does have other Mexican wolves living adjacent to her. 
The center houses 15 other Mexican wolves along with mountain lions, black bears, bobcats and other native mammals which are on display and can be viewed by the public. 
The Mexican gray wolf was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976.


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 11/20/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Helicopter removal of wild horses comes under fire
Las Cruces Diocese out nearly $2 million
Jobless benefits now online
Gov. Fighting for "Katie's Law"


Federal help coming to NM dairies

Dairy farmers are hoping for federal help after severe drought and high feed prices have closed around 40 dairies in New Mexico

Experts believe the U.S. Farm Bill could give dairy farmers relief by ending old price support systems. New Mexico State University Extension Dairy Specialist Robert Hagevoort says the proposal would create a regulated producer-paid insurance program. He says the program would make sure that if margins are upside down, insurance will pay out. 
Most of New Mexico's dairies are located in Curry, Chaves and Roosevelt counties, an area of the state most affected by the drought and high feed prices. 
Troubles began in 2009 when producers experienced an 18-month stretch of "unbelievable losses" caused by extremely high feed prices.


Feds wild horse removal proposal comes under fire

A federal agency's proposal to use helicopters to gather hundreds of wild horses in northwestern New Mexico has drawn criticism from animal advocates who are urging the government to use gentler tactics. 

The Bureau of Land Management office plans to round up more than 270 wild horses off the Jicarilla/Carracas Mesa area near Navajo Dam. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the federal agency's preferred option includes using helicopters. 
Over the last few years, the Carson National Forest has rounded up the horses by baiting them with hay and trapping them in hidden corrals.
 The federal agency says that method hasn't been effective enough. Wild horse advocates say helicopters frighten the horses and injure more of them during a gather than no-chase methods like bait-and-trap.


Diocese of Las Cruces out nearly $2 million

Records show the Diocese of Las Cruces loaned its former contract attorney $385,000, but the money won't be easily recovered.

  Former general counsel Daniel Dolan died in August and his widow has since sought bankruptcy protection.  An attorney disputes that the church loaned money to Dolan, but noted that money was advanced to the lawyer and says the matter is under investigation. 
Over the summer, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez disclosed that between 2004 and 2009 unauthorized loans totaling $1.9 million had been "appropriated" from a parish investment plan for "legitimate purposes," but without the knowledge of the bishop or the diocesan finance council.


New online system for jobless benefits

Jobless New Mexicans will be able to apply online for unemployment benefits under a new state system that will be launched in early January. 

The Workforce Solutions Department says the computer system also will help employers by allowing them to electronically submit required wage reports as well as pay taxes and track their accounts. 
The system will be launched Jan. 6, and is intended to eliminate the use of mail for much of the business involving unemployment compensation. People seeking or receiving unemployment benefits can go online rather than using a toll-free number to speak to one of the department's customer service agents.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 11/20/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Strip club coming to Las Cruces
Mike Sanchez not seeking top Senate spot
Gov. fighting for "Katie's Law"
Jobless benefits online 


Gov. arguing validity of "Katie's Law"

Katie Sepich
Gov. Susana Martinez says her administration will file written arguments with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case deciding the validity of laws in New Mexico and about two dozen other states that require DNA testing of criminal suspects. 

The nation's highest court will consider a case from Maryland in determining whether police can collect DNA samples from people arrested for certain crimes. 
Martinez said Monday her office will file arguments in support of what's known as "Katie's Law" — named in memory of Kathryn Sepich, a New Mexico State University student murdered in 2003.
Her killer was identified later with DNA evidence after being convicted of another crime.


Senate Majority Leader not seeking top job

Michael Sanchez
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez says he has decided not to seek the chamber’s top job, president pro tem – providing at least a bit of certainty in the chaotic scramble for Senate leadership. 
Sanchez, of Belen, is the sole survivor among top Senate Democrats targeted by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and her political allies.  President Pro Tem Tim Jennings of Roswell lost his seat, as did Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia of Doña Ana County.  
Sanchez had said after the Nov. 6 election that he would consider vying for Jennings’ job – a position voted for by all 42 senators – but he said Monday that he had decided not to go for it.  
Another powerful Democrat, Finance Chairman John Arthur Smith of Deming, said he, too, would be “perfectly happy” to remain in his position and isn’t running for pro tem.  
Smith said whoever is selected must be able to work with the GOP minority next year – Democrats will outnumber Republicans 25-17, according to unofficial election returns – as well as communicate well with the Governor’s Office. 


Strip club coming to Las Cruces

It appears that a strip club will be coming to Las Cruces

The Las Cruces City Council approved an appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to deny a special use permit to allow the adult entertainment business known as The Bronx.  It will be located at 2221 Westgate Court
 Several council members said while they do not approve of the business, they had no choice but to support the appeal, because the business met the requirements of the zoning code.
 The P&Z Commission denied a special use permit at its September 25th meeting.  But the city council overturned that denial by a vote of 6 to 1.