Local Viewpoints

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Pearce Votes To Repeal Affordable Care Act

Jan 6, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:   Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after the House agreed to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Reconciliation Act of 2015:

 Commentary: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that in 2015, wildfires burned a record 10,125,149 acres across the United States, surpassing the previous record set in 2006. The Secretary renewed the call for Congress to pass the bi-partisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act.

Friedrichs Case Brings Hope of Individual Liberty

Jan 6, 2016
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Commentary:  While the upcoming 2016 legislative session and presidential primaries dominate the news cycle in New Mexico, an upcoming US Supreme Court case is making individual liberty a not-so-distant reality for millions of Americans.

The battle at hand—Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association—is over labor law, and it grapples with a simple question: Can unions override the First Amendment and force employees who disagree with their agenda to support them financially? 

Udall: President's Actions On Guns Are "Modest Steps," But It's Not Enough

Jan 6, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  Commentary:   U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement:

D'Ammassa: Tragedy Is Not Always the Right Word for Bad News

Jan 6, 2016

Commentary:  A new year is underway, and it is a safe bet that 2016 will bring moments of happiness and moments of grief. How's that for prognostication?  There will be much to say in this column and across all media about unhappy events in this new year.

 

  Commentary:  Former Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford, who represented the district encompassing the Bundy Ranch until 2015, and the Center for Western Priorities today released a petition urging all elected officials to call for an end to threats of violence against public lands employees and cease incendiary rhetoric that fans these flames.

Commentary:  Mr. Stewart (Las Cruces Sun News, 1/5/16) has the idea that HB55, the so-called "NM Religious Freedom Act  “...will give protection not discrimination,” Just laughable.  Where is any factual basis for  his claim that “…homosexual individuals have knowingly and purposely…selected Christian businessmen to support their…lifestyle.”  This is false.  Mr. D’Ammassa’s recent column is actually correct.

Pearce Blasts President's Executive Action On Guns

Jan 5, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after President Obama unveiled his executive actions, including the expansion of background checks for gun ownership:

Heinrich Applauds President's Efforts To Reduce Gun Violence

Jan 5, 2016
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

 Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement today on new executive actions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer:

 
Commentary: New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence thanks Obama for not giving up and for his courage to help stem the tide of gun violence in our state and country.  President Obama stands with the 90% of Americans who want universal background checks. 

  Commentary:  President Barack Obama today hosted a meeting at the White House to shine a spotlight on the epidemic of gun violence in America. The president also announced several executive orders aimed at keeping more Americans safe from senseless gun violence.

 

  Commentary:  Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country.  Over the past decade in America, more than 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence—and millions more have been the victim of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun.  Many of these crimes were committed by people who never should have been able to purchase a gun in the first place.  Over the same period, hundreds of thousands of other people in our communities committed suicide with a gun and nearly half a million people suffered other gu

http://www.westernwatersheds.org/about/

  Commentary:  Western Watersheds Project is disappointed that the government’s acquiescence to ongoing law-breaking on public lands across the West has led to the armed occupation of one of America’s premier bird sanctuaries. This weekend’s militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is another battle in the “War on the West” that extractive industries have been waging for 150 years.
 

Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

Commentary:   Today, Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen (D-38-Doña Ana), Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo & Valencia) and House Minority Leader Brian Egolf (D-47-Santa Fe) sent a letter to Governor Susana  Martinez and Speaker Don L. Tripp urging them to join Democratic legislative leaders in requesting an extension of the deadline for REAL ID enforcement from the Department of Homeland Security.

O’ Connell: Capitalism Not Working for Majority

Jan 4, 2016
imagebase.net

 Commentary: Every first year student in Economics learns that Market Economics (Capitalism) has certain conditions that should be met if this system of exchanging goods and services will fairly distribute economic benefits to a  majority of people and businesses functioning in a given society. These conditions were 1starticulated by Adam Smith (considered the Father of Capitalism) back in the 18th Century.

Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo)

  Commentary: Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo) pre-filed a bill to create the Brittany AlertSimilar to the Amber Alert, the Brittany Alert creates a notification system for law enforcement when an individual with severe physical, mental or developmental disabilities goes missing.

Goodman: New Year's Resolutions

Jan 3, 2016
peter goodman

  Commentary:   It sounds foolish and old-fashioned to make “New Year's Resolutions,” so here goes:

One is to keep writing columns. (Three columnists quit writing columns this year. I'll miss their voices.) Yesterday I heard an old phone-message from a lifelong Cruces resident I've never met, just thanking me. There are people who told me confidentially of being treated badly by powerful people. After investigating I gave voice to their pain and sometimes even improve their situations. So I'll keep doing this awhile. 

   Commentary:  Rainwater harvesting, green infrastructure, and low-impact development were the focus of a two-day workshop put on recently by the City of Las Cruces, Stream Dynamics (SD), Watershed Management Group (WMG), and the New Mexico Environment Department.

Attendees came from as far away as Santa Fe and Tucson.  Many of those attending work for the City.  Also represented were Doña Ana County, NMSU, UTEP, and NMDOT. Tucked in among the dozens of engineers, planners, architects, designers, and developers were also a few regular folks like me.

  Commentary:  The second session of New Mexico's 52nd legislature will begin on January 19, and our elected rascals have quite a bit of work to do. 

Commentary: Santa Fe cops went to break up a loud party in a hotel room, then chickened out upon learning that one reveler was Governor Susana Martinez.

Doesn't bother me that the Governor got caught drinking. Does bother me that she threw her weight around, wasted the 911 operator's time, and showed her vindictive side – then gave us a damage-control “apology” containing bald-faced lies.

New Mexico Senate Democrats Press For Solution On REAL ID

Dec 24, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

 Commentary: Responding to a letter sent by most members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to Governor Susana Martinez, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Michael S.

Discuss Guns Without Rancor

Dec 24, 2015

  Commentary:  Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man grows.  Is a father screaming at his son just a beginning?  What level of inhumanity is defined by massacring 20 little angels at Sandy Hook - pure evil?   Does all such outrage stem from the loss of understanding of the value and dignity of life?  Who can truthfully and scientifically report on the reasons for this loss of life?  Some say that it’s mental illness in part due to the occurrence of film violence and video games played by our young men.

Santa Couldn't Manage Without The Post Office

Dec 23, 2015

 Commentary: A curious letter arrived in Desert Sage's mailbox this week. It was in a red and green envelope addressed in tiny calligraphic script. The postmark read, "North Pole."

"Dear Sage," the letter reads, "This is written in great haste during a very busy time of year. You wrote to ask whether the elves have a labor union. I don't delve into politics much but will put it this way: Santa's workshop is not an enterprise, I am not a boss, and the elves are not employees.

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

Commentary – Statement of Senator Michael S.

Pat Hynes: Here Comes Santa Claus

Dec 22, 2015

  Commentary:Here comes Santa Claus, Congress finally passed the federal budget. The 2016 Omnibus Funding Bill formally called the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 is a $1.15 trillion spending bill for Congress. A spending bill.  What if each of us got a $1.15 billion check from Santa, what would all of us good boys and girls do with this money? How would we spend one hundred and five million dollars a thousand times? A thousand million is a billion.  Congress has to spend $1.15 billion dollars a thousand times this year. Its hard work spending our money.

Goodman: Questions About Undue Influence

Dec 20, 2015

Commentary:  Differing beliefs are healthy.

Tricking vulnerable people into a situation where your beliefs have undue influence on them isn't.

Recently, a “pro-life” women's health center called The Turning Point (TP) put out, through columnist Jim Harbison, a very inaccurate portrayal of itself to encourage more women to patronize it. More pregnant young women full of angst and uncertainty.

Such women should gather as much information as they can, talk with good friends and family, and maybe meditate on what to do, then do what feels right.

Title Loans: Grand Theft Auto

Dec 20, 2015
Steve Fischmann

  Commentary:  Recently released government data on small loans in New Mexico confirms what consumer advocates have known all along.  Title loan borrowers may as well pay a thief to steal their car.

In Depth: New Mexico Priorities In Spending Bill Lauded By Udall, Heinrich

Dec 18, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Commentary– Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, andU.S. Senator Martin Heinrich joined the full Senate in voting 65-33 for a so-called “omnibus” appropriations bill to fund the government through September 2016. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill earlier today and it now heads to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. 

  Commentary:  Hundreds of immigrant families across New Mexico are speaking out this week in a series of vigils calling on legislators to pass a non-discriminatory driver's license policy that complies with the REAL ID Act. Tonight vigils will take place in Santa Fe and Clovis, with more tomorrow evening in Hobbs and Española, ending with a vigil in Los Lunas on Monday.

Christian Leaders In New Mexico Support The Reception Of Syrian Refugees

Dec 18, 2015

  Commentary:  Together with many people in our state, we have watched with deep concern the events surrounding the flood of refugees from war-torn Syria. The images of thousands of families fleeing the horror and terror loosed in their homeland, risking and sometimes losing their lives, fills us with deep pain. This pain and concern has now been amplified by the heartache of those who have experienced horrific attacks of terror in places like Beirut, Paris and Mali, and San Bernardino.  We experience the world in these days to be a violent and fearful place.

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