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What an eye-opening "workshop"

This writer/editor was asked to attend a flooding disaster (spelled—on the agenda as deisaster, which should have given me a clue) workshop.

I have long realized how insane our governmental bureaucracies have become. They are huge, with a lot of the personnel, not only in the same agency, but often across multiple agencies doing duplicative jobs, with one thinking the other is doing the work, when the reality is nobody is doing it. So multiple rules and regulations arise because someone somewhere dropped the ball.

And we the taxpayers suffer from this male bovine pile of manure.

The purpose of the workshop was to show the irrigators how to access "funding" to repair (and don't do improvements or you won't get reimbursed) their destroyed ditch infrastructure. "And be sure to call us for help." Why now, why not seven months ago?

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Sec. Haaland's potenial conflict of interest?

The Rio Grande Foundation is among the large number of entities concerned by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's lack of knowledge about basic environmental issues and her broader qualifications to perform the role of Interior Secretary.

Recently, the federal watchdog group Protect the People's Trust released documents obtained from the Department of the Interior that reveal alarming connections between organizers of a violent protest in 2021 and Secretary Haaland. On October 14, 2021, a protest was staged at Interior headquarters as part of a week of anti-fossil fuel activism in Washington, D.C. called People vs. Fossil Fuels. Events featured rallies of indigenous people from New Mexico opposed to leasing near the Chaco Culture National Historical Site. Organizers also planned civil disobedience actions in front of the White House, Capitol Building, and other locations in the city.

Events got out of hand, as planned, at Interior. Protesters breached the agency building, handcuffed themselves in place, and staged an unruly sit in. When security personnel from multiple federal agencies who'd been on alert all week attempted to remove the protesters, things turned violent. As a result, multiple police officers were injured, one was sent to the hospital, and 55 protesters were arrested.

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Op-Ed Joanne Ferrary (D-37) Soft on Crime

 With crime running rampant across the state of New Mexico, and indeed, the entire United States, you would think our Democratic Colleagues would want to pass bills that strengthened our Police Forces and punished offenders. One law that has been on the books for Two Thousand Years is "You shall not Steal."

Joanne Ferrary, head of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee has stalled multiple bills that would have enhanced law enforcements efforts to curtail crime. She has stalled bills that would increase penalties for possession of fentanyl, expand the State's definition for violent felonies, and would grant immunity from litigation, or tort claims related to "alleged" damages, or injury, for merchants who apprehend shoplifters.

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Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury votes against House Resolution 11

Does New Mexico have a real Representative in Melanie Stansbury, or do we have someone that kowtows to and is under the thumb of the Democratic Leadership in Washington?

House Resolution 11, which creates a Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States of America and the Chinese Communist Party earned an emphatic "NAY" from Representative Stansbury when the Resolution came up for a vote. A resounding "NAY" was also heard from Representative Stansbury when H.R. 22, which would prohibit the release of petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the sale of those products to ANY entity owned or controlled by the People's Republic of China, was put on the floor for a vote.

With information that Representative Stansbury must have at her disposal, she should realize what a danger the Chinese Communist Regime poses to the security, and prosperity of the United States. She must realize that the oil we produce and strategically store is for emergency purposes for use in the defense of the United States of America or to supplement our own needs.

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A Decade In, LFC Medicaid Report Highlights Program Failures

By Paul J. Gessing

In December the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) published a report on New Mexico's Medicaid program. Whether by design or accident, the report happened to coincide with the 10th anniversary of New Mexico's Medicaid expansion. Then-Gov. Susana Martinez decided to accept the "ObamaCare" expansion dollars which, at the time, was 100% federally funded.

The LFC report is full of great information, but it doesn't attempt to assess whether Medicaid expansion was worthwhile. Unfortunately, when it comes to government programs (especially here in New Mexico) increased spending and good intentions are not often followed by thoughtful assessment of whether the spending has achieved stated goals. Even less common are analyses of whether the new program itself was cost-effective in achieving those goals.

The media covered the LFC's report which focused mostly on difficulties the Committee's "secret shoppers" had in making appointments with doctors for Medicaid patients. For example, the LFC found that only 15 percent were able to make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Other doctors were not accepting patients, failed to return phone calls, or were no longer at that phone number. These findings highlight an important problem with Medicaid: having "coverage" (especially from a government welfare program) doesn't mean you have access to medical care.

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Gila National Forest opens comment period on issue of lethal removal of estray cattle

By: Taylor Riggins, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association

The Wilderness Ranger District of the Gila National Forest is seeking public input regarding their recent proposal to lethally or non-lethally remove estray cattle from the Gila Wilderness for protection of resources. Comments will be accepted through January 9, 2023.

In July 2022, the United States Forest Service (USFS), New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association (NMCGA) and others settled a lawsuit filed to prevent the USFS from shooting cattle from a helicopter in the Gila Wilderness. Under the terms of the settlement, USFS agreed it will give 75 days' notice before commencing any future helicopter sniper operations.

Following the settlement, NMCGA and stakeholders along with the regulatory agency for New Mexico health and livestock identification, the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), engaged in monthly conversations to come to a long term solution. All parties agree that estray cattle do not belong in the wilderness and need to be removed. During numerous discussions, groups looked at options that not only uphold the mission of the USFS but also recognize and uphold New Mexico's Livestock Code. Despite best efforts, the USFS has chosen to forgo stakeholder input refusing to construct critical infrastructure, improve upon existing fencing or employ individuals capable of humanely gathering and transporting livestock.

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"They" haven't a clue!

[Editor's Note: This is an article I wrote way back in 2010, and I believe that it is just as relevant, if not more so, today than it was then.]

I had an interesting conversation some years back with a government official. I made some comment about government getting too big, and I resented having to pay taxes for more governmental services.

He got all huffy, and said that he, too, pays taxes. I agreed with him, but asked him if he paid enough taxes to pay his salary. He retorted: “Of course not.”

Well, I asked: Who is paying your salary? He surmised that it might be part state funds and part federal funds. And Where do those funds come from? I asked.

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