Health revamp begins with office cleanup

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama has appointed a worthy, even inspirational woman to be the country’s next surgeon general. Dr. Regina Benjamin founded the Bayou La Batre rural health clinic to serve an Alabama fishing village of 2,500. She has a refreshingly old-fashioned approach to her work, treating any and all patients regardless of […]

Obama has no regard for principles

By Tibor Machan: Freedom New Mexico columnist By now few who pay attention can have missed President Obama’s enthusiastic embrace of pragmatism, especially when it comes to the administration’s economic policies. Nor is it a secret that nothing much the president is proposing seems to be working. But if one understands pragmatism at its most […]

Obama shows no hesitation to grab power

Freedom New Mexico When the Obama administration took office, many people hoped it would relinquish, or at least not assert aggressively, some of the more extravagant expansions of executive power the Bush administration seized in fighting the global “war on terror” and the misbegotten war in Iraq. We had few such hopes. Presidents of both […]

Obama’s words of sacrifice vague

By Tibor Machan: Freedom New Mexico columnist I don’t know what President Obama means when he says “We must all expect to sacrifice during these times.” But never mind the details. Does he want to enact laws that force us to sacrifice? Is that his job? What exactly does the president consider a sacrifice? Does […]

Public losing confidence in president

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama’s news conference Tuesday may have marked the beginning of the end of the administration’s honeymoon with the Washington establishment as personified by the Washington press corps. Although the president was still firmly in command of his audience, the questions were sharper and more pointed, a little less reverential than […]

Big government on president’s true agenda

Freedom New Mexico It is almost difficult to parody the incoherence of the Obama stimulus plan and administration statements about the state of the economy in the past couple of days: Although only 6 percent of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in January has been spent, it has done the trick nicely, and the […]

Obama’s views on occupation similar to Bush

Freedom New Mexico President Obama’s address last week in Cairo, primarily directed toward Muslims in the Middle East but also toward an audience back home eager for signs of progress on issues that seem close to irresolvable, was an artful, nuanced and generally balanced invitation to discussion and diplomacy rather than hostility and conflict. Whether […]

Basic principles lost along way

By Tibor Machan: Freedom columnist Some of President Obama’s recent speeches have raised a vital issue that often lies in the background of particular policy discussions. For example, the president has made it abundantly clear that he is a pragmatist, especially about economic matters. And there is a perennial question involved here: Are there any […]

Obama plan aids disabled retirees

By Tom Philpott: Syndicated columnist As reported here last week, President Obama has asked Congress to phase in “concurrent receipt” for all Chapter 61 retirees — those who received a disability retirement from the Department of Defense. This week we explain more details of the plan which, if enacted, would boost pay for 103,000 veterans […]

Obama inherited mess from Bush

Some may have noticed the profound conflicts President Obama must be having about whether to let justice take its course regarding the Bush presidency, or to let alleged crimes slide in the name of political expediency. This much is certain. Obama has inherited from Bush a generational economic crisis, an out-of-control budget, an awful jobs […]

Obama urges Congress to act on credit card bill in N.M. stop

By Darlene Superville: The Associated Press RIO RANCHO — President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to quickly send him legislation ending abusive credit card practices. But his populist appeal also included a stern warning to shoppers whose eyes are bigger than their budgets. “There’s no doubt that people need to accept responsibility,” Obama said […]

Obama to hold town hall at Rio Rancho HS

The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE — President Obama will hold a town hall Thursday at Rio Rancho High School, where he is expected to discuss his efforts to stop credit card companies from taking advantage of consumers. Obama used his weekend radio and Internet address to outline proposed reforms. He challenged congressional leaders to send him […]

Obama strategy for Afghanistan poorly planned

Freedom New Mexico The Obama administration has announced it may have to turn to military personnel, mainly reservists with relevant civilian skills, to fill hundreds of posts that had been intended for civilian experts. The Obama strategy for Afghanistan announced last month included a dramatic increase in “nation-building” efforts that would include, as President Obama […]

E-records open up care to veterans

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist President Obama’s ambitious plan to establish a lifetime electronic record for service members and veterans will improve delivery of benefits, speed processing of claims and, over time, open VA health care to any veteran, regardless of their medical condition or income level. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki first raised the idea […]

Adding troops in Afghanistan not necessary

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Thursday that the “era of the blank check is over” in Afghanistan. But the plan he laid out Friday looks very much like a blank check for an increased military and civilian presence in Afghanistan that is unlikely to be successful or to end any time […]

Ute pipeline legislation headed to president

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico The Ute Water Pipeline project has cleared Congress. Senate Bill 22, commonly known as the Bingaman lands bill, contains 160 projects, including the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System. The bill passed the House on a 285-140 vote Wednesday, and now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk. Sen. Jeff […]

Obama handled defeat with style

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist President Obama won style points from veterans’ service organizations last week even as he was forced, under heavy fire, to withdraw his plan to have the Department of Veterans Affairs bill veterans’ health insurance for the cost to VA of treating service-connected medical conditions. “The issue should never have come […]

Veterans cheer Obama’s budget

By Tom Philpott: FNM columnist President Obama is drawing high praise from veterans’ service organizations for proposing a Department of Veterans Affairs budget that would exceed by $1.3 billion what even VSOs suggested be spent next year. No president before ever offered a VA spending plan that surpassed in size the “Independent Budget” presented to […]

Local reaction to president’s speech mixed

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico In the hours following President Barack Obama’s first address to Congress, local opinions ranged from optimism in the face of tough times to wondering how the president plans to keep all of his promises. Portales resident Sandra Robinson shed tears during Obama’s hour-long address. “I thought it was so […]

Canada trade deal needs to be protected

Freedom New Mexico President Obama’s visit to Canada was notable for the ever-so-slight undercurrents of uneasiness between two countries that have enjoyed generally amicable relations over the sometimes touchy issue of trade. Obama made foolish comments during the presidential campaign (in the heart of a Rust Belt filled with people and union leaders eager to […]