Bush approves military bill

Staff and wire reports President Bush on Tuesday signed an increase in the Pentagon’s non-war budget that includes funding for the purchase of five CV-22 Ospreys destined for Cannon Air Force Base, according to Air Force Special Operations officials. Authorized was $453.7 million for the Air Force purchase of V-22 Ospreys, and $238 million for […]

Special operations gets funding in Pentagon non-war budget

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — Congress approved a big boost in the Pentagon’s non-war budget late Thursday. The budget includes money for Air Force Special Operations to modify CV-22 Ospreys and other funding that will boost several programs in eastern New Mexico, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. Cannon […]

Candidates’ plans will cost us big in the long run

By Freedom New Mexico As the primaries near, promises will get thicker than flies in a pigsty. Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton already sets the pace. Consider these, for starters. If you elect her, Sen. Clinton promises to give a $5,000 handout, which she calls a “baby bond,” to every newborn child to help them buy […]

Education Digest: Congressional act bolsters student aid

Congress will provide more than $17 billion for student financial aid in 2008, according to a news release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. A new law, named the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, restructuring the college aid program cuts private lender subsidies by about $19 billion and reduces interest on need-based loans to 3.4 […]

Cannon construction hinges on passage of bill

By Sharna Johnson: Cannon Connections A funding bill before the U.S. Congress could help Air Force Special Operations Command begin construction at Cannon Air Force Base earlier than planned if it meets with final approval, according to AFSOC officials. The U.S. Senate approved a bill Thursday that included more than $10 million in funds to […]

Military Feature: Senate panel endorses military raise

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers An endorsement from a Senate panel Tuesday could mean a 3.5 percent pay raise for military members and civilian Department of Defense employees. The pay raise exceeds the 3 percent recommended by President Bush. “It’s a very good pay raise considering the circumstances and what’s happening right now,” military spouse […]

Government racks up hefty travel bill

By Freedom Newspapers As big and costly as the federal government is, we wouldn’t expect that its travel budget would be a pittance. But last year’s total of more than $14 billion is still a shocker. Perhaps we can take solace in the fact that it’s lower than the 2005 bill by $1.3 billion. But […]

Ethanol boom raises intriguing questions

By Robert Hagevoort: Ag Sense The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard requires U.S. fuel production to include a minimum amount of renewable fuels, starting at 4 billion gallons in 2006, and reaching 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. In addition, starting in 2013, the renewable fuels must include a minimum of 250 million gallons […]

Congress needs fresh approach to Real ID act

By Freedom Newspapers The homeland security and counterterrorism legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate is being held up by two marginally related issues: efforts to unionize airport screeners and implementation of Real ID. It wouldn’t necessarily be a tragedy if the legislation were held up forever, given that the bill is more pork […]

Division might cure federal budget busting

By Freedom Newspapers We’re about to find out whether divided government really means more prudent spending by the government, as some of us have hoped. President Bush’s $2.9 trillion budget spending proposal, delivered Monday, offers a small dollop of hope. Whether the newly empowered Democratic majority in Congress shreds it by insisting on higher domestic […]

Defense bill includes payday loan limitations

By CNJ Staff WASHINGTON — With a long list of caveats, President Bush signed a bill Tuesday authorizing $532.8 billion in defense spending, including a 2.2 percent pay raise for members of the military. The measure, for the 2007 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, authorizes $70 billion in supplemental funding to support the war […]

Readers not shy about talking back

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist One of the perks of writing a state column is so many readers are most generous with their advice. It is only minimally disconcerting that oft times such advice has to do with anatomical direction, pinpointing that area where I might “stick it.” Some of the advice, though, is so […]

Space program innovation needs privatization

Freedom Newspapers The space shuttle Discovery made a safe re-entry landing Monday in only the second shuttle mission since the 2003 destruction during re-entry of the shuttle Columbia. The successful landing is a good time to discuss the independence of future space missions from government control and the federal treasury. Current Bush administration plans are […]

FEMA failures show D.C.’s inefficiencies

Freedom Newspapers The news about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to last year’s Hurricane Katrina just keeps getting more and more shocking. As Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins put it, “The blatant fraud, the audacity of the schemes, the scale of the waste — it is just breathtaking.” A survey by the New York […]

Ag Sense: Dairy industry leads state’s agricultural activity

By Victor E. Cabrera: Guest columnist New Mexico residents not directly involved in the state’s growing dairy industry may not realize the dairy business is now the leading agricultural activity in the state and a top contributor to the national milk market. In fact, New Mexico is the seventh-largest milk-producing state, providing 7.1 (4 percent) […]

Gates’ philanthropy raises bar for us all

Leonard Pitts : Syndicated Columnist In the first place, I never knew Bill Gates was a Spider-Man fan. But his stated reason for transitioning out of day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft two years from now to devote his energies to charity work (“… with great wealth comes great responsibility…”) comes suspiciously close to the creed by […]

Shift in funding could relieve pressure

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Joint Chiefs support a sharp rise in TRICARE fees for under-65 retirees and their families, they say, because retiree health costs are soaking up dollars needed to buy new weapons and sustain force readiness. The problem they describe is real but their solution is flawed, says Dov S. Zakheim, […]

Book exposes federal spending on pork projects

Freedom Newspapers Get ready for some squealing. The “Congressional Pig Book,” an annual exposé of some of the worst pork barrel projects conceived by Congress, is due out this week. The report’s release is never a happy occasion inside the Beltway, but this year it’s even less so, given the spotlight that lobbying scandals have […]

Congress should oppose proposed extra spending

Freedom Newspapers President Bush played Jekyll and Hyde in his State of the Union speech Tuesday. For each small-government conservative idea — making tax cuts permanent, for example — he offered at least one awful statist proposal — new subsidies for alternative-energy research. The pattern was no more apparent than in what he called his […]

Big business destroying Mom and Pop

By Leonard Pitts Jr. I don’t expect you to shed any tears because Aron’s is gone. Unless you grew up in L.A. as I did, you’ve probably never even heard of it. Aron’s was this used record and CD store that I discovered 30 years ago. It was a quirky place, an audiophile heaven where […]