Editorial

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 shone on […]

Shaming Congress away from pork barrel won’t work

Editorial There’s a serious flaw in the thinking of reformers who believe congressional pork-barrel spending can be curbed by forcing members to attach their names to the pet projects (or “earmarks”) they slip into appropriations bills, in circumvention of the normal budget procedures. They hope bringing more transparency and accountability to the process will shame […]

Puerto Rico’s statehood comes into question again

Freedom Newspapers The question of statehood for Puerto Rico is again bobbing to the surface like a mossy coconut, as it seems to with annoying regularity. Some Republicans — including a few in the Bush clan’s inner circle — apparently have convinced themselves this would mean a political windfall for the GOP, in terms of […]

Line between military, intelligence blurred president’s surveillance

Freedom Newspaper It was bad enough when the New York Times revealed that since early 2002, under an executive order from President Bush, the National Security Agency has been conducting surveillance inside the United States, almost certainly on U.S. citizens, without any sort of warrant approved by any sort of court. It was doubly disturbing […]

Base closure list approved, Cannon looks for mission

Staff Report The Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s recommendations for reshaping the Defense Department’s infrastructure and force structure officially took effect Wednesday as expected, Air Force Press Service reported. The nine-member BRAC panel delivered its final report to President Bush on Sept. 8, and he, in turn, sent it to Congress for legislative review Sept. […]

BRAC report to be finalized on Wednesday

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers The Base Closure and Realignment Commission report will likely be finalized Wednesday by Congress, officially ending the latest BRAC process, according to local base advocates and New Mexico delegation spokespersons. Congress has 45 days from the day it receives the report from the president to enact a joint resolution to reject […]

Americans deserve more accountability from government

Freedom Newspapers The FBI has committed at least 13 violations of the guidelines governing its conduct under the Patriot Act serious enough to be referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board. That’s an arm of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is charged with examining violations of laws and directives. These facts came to light […]

Money Congress set aside for evacuation plan went elsewhere

Rita Beamish: The Associated Press As far back as eight years ago, Congress ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a plan for evacuating New Orleans during a massive hurricane, but the money instead went to studying the causeway bridge that spans the city’s Lake Pontchartrain, officials say. The outcome provides one more example […]

Local Briefs 9-18

Code talkers focus of presentation AARP Volunteer Warren Salomon will conduct a special presentation featuring the experiences of Navajo Code Talkers during World War II to the Portales and Clovis AARP Chapters. The public is invited to attend. The presentations are scheduled for: Portales, Wednesday at Golden Acres on Ave. G, at 2 p.m.; and […]

President Bush accepts BRAC recommendations

Deb Riechmann: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday endorsed a plan for closing 22 major military bases and reconfiguring 33 others, leaving their fate to Congress. Bush had until Sept. 23 to either accept the entire report from an independent commission and send it to Congress, or return it to the commission […]

Rumsfeld: BRAC list will save money

Robert Burns: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has advised President Bush that a plan presented to the White House last week for closing 22 major military bases and realigning 33 others will yield large savings, even though fewer bases would be closed than Rumsfeld wanted, a Pentagon official said Monday. […]

President, Congress likely to accept BRAC list

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The military base closings that the Pentagon and a commission have recommended are likely to be approved by President Bush and Congress, leaving communities around the country with little hope that targeted facilities will be spared. Bush is now focused on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast rather than […]

Patriot Act reform a sign of change for the better

Freedom Newspapers In what may be a sign that President Bush is beginning to experience the “second-term blues,” the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 238-187 to prevent appropriated funds from being used to secretly obtain library patrons’ and book shoppers’ records, as allowed under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Although President Bush has […]

Pentagon plans to release base-closing data

By Lolita C. Baldor: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Under fire from Congress, the Defense Department on Friday promised to give lawmakers access by next Tuesday afternoon detailed material backing up its recommendations to shut down about 180 military installations across the country. Parts of the report are classified, so the Pentagon said lawmakers and […]

Each of us should decide whether we support the war

By Jim Lee: PNT columnist Celebration certainly isn’t the right word, but we recently observed the second anniversary of going to war with Iraq. When talk of sending combat troops to that country began, just about everybody I knew assumed war was inevitable. I appeared as an invited guest on a TV talk show with […]

Relying too much on Social Security might tarnish golden years

It seems Americans have caught a break on Social Security. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the program isn’t going broke as fast as people thought. CBO estimates the so-called trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2052. That’s a decade beyond the estimates of Social Security trustees. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of […]

ENMU to honor victims, heroes

PNT Staff Students and faculty will gather at noon on Thursday for a 20-minute ceremony honoring the heroes and victims of 9/11 at Eastern New Mexico University’s campus fountain. The memorial service is a product of the Multicultural Affairs Office and will include a tentative Cannon Air Force Base F-16 fighter jet fly-over and a […]