Aug 7, 2011

The Week in Review

We began the week with news of a “compromise” on the debt ceiling negotiations out of Washington. After last November’s election that signaled the voters wanted a change in direction, Democrats and Republicans fought for months. When it was all said and done the U.S. “stayed the course” to avoid a so-called financial catastrophe. We had to do it, we were told by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, because the “markets needed certainty.” The House passed the status quo extension on Monday and the Senate did so on Tuesday. What followed? The financial markets ruined all the Obama birthday fun at mid-week with a stunning repudiation of the status quo. By Friday the Dow had its worst week since 2008 and Standard & Poors downgraded U.S. Treasury debt. Of course the downgrade came over the vociferous objections of the Borrower in Chief.
Harry Reid
By Saturday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a brand new idea. Fresh off a shellacking in last year’s mid-term elections, followed by a successful fight that will keep increasing the mindless spending baseline, Reid wants to raise taxes.
Meanwhile back in the Land of Enchantment, the nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe thought about a strike, but thought better of it at the last minute. They approved an offer from management and kept working. In some ways we were saddened. We were just about to find out whether or not health care was a “right” or merely a service that had to be paid for. For the time being the nurses cleared everything up. We would have hated to see the president order them back to work no matter how bad their contract offer was, because he believes health care is a “right.”
It was almost comical to hear the elected officials from New Mexico talk about how much they hated the debt ceiling extension they voted for. Senators Udall and Bingaman and Representatives Lujan and Heinrich blamed the tea parties for taking the nation “hostage.” These claims are despite the fact the tea parties failed in their attempt to achieve a cut in spending. In the end, all four Democrats hated the bill that passed. Of course while hating it, three of them (Udall, Bingaman, and Heinrich) voted for it.
While Ben Ray Lujan voted no, he did so because there were no tax increases in it. In the meantime, lone wolf Congressman Steve Pearce also voted no. The Pearce no vote was cast because the debt ceiling extension did not come close to anything resembling significant spending cuts.
The polls were not good for the White House this week. 63% of Democrats now say the country is headed the wrong direction. And in a separate poll 69% of Americans believe it is at least somewhat likely that the data related to global warming has been falsified by scientists.
A bombshell was released at mid-week when it was revealed that a Sinaloa Drug Cartel member said that U.S. Dept. of Justice and A.T.F. officials in the federal government allowed tons of cocaine to come into the U.S. in exchange for “information” on rival drug cartels in Mexico. This is a story that won’t go away and we suspect A.G. Eric Holder is squirming somewhere.
Eric Holder
In what has to be one of the more bizarre news items of the year, Sunland Park Mayor Martin Resindez managed to capture the national spotlight for New Mexico. Resendiz, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House District #3, revealed during a deposition that he signed a large service contract obligating his city, while he was too drunk to understand, or be held responsible for, what he was doing. Did Christmas come early for Steve Pearce?
Martin Resendiz
Not to be outdone by Martin Resindiz, New Mexico Public Regulatory Commissioner Jerome Block seems to have been caught with his hand in the “free gasoline” cookie jar. It seems that Block charged roughly $9,000 worth of gasoline to the PRC. Both Governor Susana Martinez and New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales have called for Block to step down. In the meantime, we can stop wondering why El Paso Electric got a dubious rate structure change through the PRC that leaves churches and businesses in their service area in the lurch. There was nobody there to “Block” it.
And finally, an Albuquerque woman, Ana Hernandez, was indicted this week on more than 300 separate counts of providing false residency documents to foreign nationals. It was another good example of how New Mexico uniquely creates tremendous opportunities for all persons in this state illegally to obtain legitimate credentials that provide the appearance of legal status. Governor Martinez took the opportunity to repeat her calls for reforms to the driver’s license issuance system. And those who would thwart the ongoing voter fraud investigations in New Mexico continued to ignore the obvious connections of fraudulent residency document generation, fraudulent obtaining of driver’s licenses, and the widespread potential for the fraudulent casting of votes. We are reminded that requiring those cashing a check or making a credit card purchase to provide an I.D. does not “disenfranchise” them, it protects them from fraud. And requiring voter I.D. accomplishes the same thing. We either move to mandate voter I.D. or introduce bills that make it illegal to require I.D.’s for all other important transactions.

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