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Tacoma, Washington Police Officer Shot Dead; Suspect Killed After 12-Hour Standoff

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Tacoma police officer shot dead, barricaded suspect killed

This post has been updated.

Katie Mettler reports: After a nearly 12-hour standoff with multiple law enforcement agencies in Tacoma, Wash., a 38-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a police officer Wednesday was killed by a single bullet from a SWAT team member early Thursday morning.

“We’ve suffered a great loss and I think the community has suffered a great loss. And I don’t know how to put that into words other than to say that everyone here appreciates the kind thoughts and the prayers that are going out to us.”

— police spokeswoman, Loretta Cool

The man, whose name has not been released, had barricaded himself inside a three-story home on the city’s east side late Wednesday afternoon after unleashing bullets on two Tacoma officers who had responded to the residence after reports of a verbal domestic dispute between two people.

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“They showed great patience and restraint to make sure those kids were out safe. The whole situation is horrible. We have a deceased officer, but we have a whole lot of heroic ones that went in and got those kids.”

The man’s wife and another woman were able to escape the gunfire Wednesday, reported the News Tribune, but local authorities did not say until after the suspect was killed that two young children remained inside the home throughout the extensive standoff.

The boy and the girl, believed to be aged 8 and 11, respectively, were rescued from the home by a SWAT team around 3:20 a.m. local time Thursday, and were taken to the hospital for an evaluation, authorities said.

Police knew all along that the two children were trapped inside with the gunman, but didn’t share that information with the public for “tactical reasons,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer told The Washington Post.

“Our priority was to make sure those kids were safe,” Troyer said. “We weren’t going to let those children get hurt.”

Troyer couldn’t say exactly how authorities managed to pull the children to safety, but he told The Post that there were negotiators outside the home and law enforcement officers inside the home who “never left” for the duration of the standoff. The man, who was armed with multiple weapons, had barricaded himself and the two children in an upstairs bedroom and refused to let them go, Troyer said.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

The sheriff’s department SWAT team was able to rescue one of the children, Troyer said, then separate him from the second. Before he could reach his weapons, a SWAT officer fired a single, fatal round, and authorities were able to safely remove the children from the home. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Vault: V-2 Rocket; Assembling and Launching, 1947 

Reel 1 shows a V-2 rocket assembled from German parts at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico. The alcohol tank, oxygen tank, propulsion unit, and tail housing are placed in position.

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The rocket is carried to the firing area and raised to a vertical position. Reel 2, final checks are made and the rocket is fired. Its course is followed by radar. Parts are recovered after the rocket has crashed.


Prison Ahead For Woman In Vagina Gun Case

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Mini-revolver hidden inside arrested Tennessee teen

NOVEMBER 19–The Tennessee woman who had a loaded gun hidden in her vagina when she was booked into jail last year has pleaded guilty to an assortment of criminal charges that will cost her several years in prison, court records show.

“Following Archer’s arrest, a TSG reporter broke the news to Souther that his revolver had been stashed inside Archer. ‘Oh, gosh,’ Souther said. He added that while he wanted “the little fellow” returned, the revolver would need ‘a bath in bleach.'”

Dallas Archer, 21, is scheduled to be sentenced today for introducing contraband into a penal smallgat15facility, a felony for which she will serve a three-year prison term, according to a plea agreement.

Archer, seen above, has also copped to vandalism and failure to appear charges, the sentences for which will be served consecutively following the completion of the custodial term for the contraband count. She will also have to pay about $1000 in fines.

The Kingsport resident was arrested last April (when she was 19) for driving with a suspended license. As Archer was being booked into the local lockup, a female jailer searching the suspect “located an unknown item in her crotch,” according to a Kingsport Police Department report.

[Read the full story here, at The Smoking Gun]

Archer was then accompanied by the jailer and a female cop to a bathroom, where the investigators discovered that the teenager had a loaded handgun concealed in her vagina. After the pistol was “recovered,” cops determined that it was a .22 caliber North American Arms mini-revolver (which can hold five rounds).

A police check determined that the four-inch gun had been stolen in 2013 from an automobile owned by John Souther, a Kingsport resident.

Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Suspect Taken into Custody in Road Rage Shooting that Killed 4-Year-Old 

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Four-year-old girl fatally shot in road rage incident

A person of interest in a road rage shooting on a New Mexico interstate that killed a four-year-old girl was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, Albuquerque police said.

“We’re going to take our time with this. We’re going to take our time, get our appropriate documents, gather evidence appropriately.”

— Police spokesman Tanner Tixier

Police spokesman Tanner Tixier told reporters it was “too soon” to say if authorities captured the man involved in the deadly shooting, but said the person taken into custody matched an earlier description given out by police.

“We are in desperate need of info to help us resolve the conflicting information we’re getting right now. We’re begging for the community’s help.”

— Police Chief Gordon Eden

Tixier said the person of interest was found driving in a different vehicle than the one involved in the road rage incident. He said that vehicle may be in a garage, and authorities need to obtain search warrants to examine it.

“We’re going to take our time with this,” he said Wednesday. “We’re going to take our time, get our appropriate documents, gather evidence appropriately.”

[Read the full report here, at Fox News]

Albuquerque cops spent much of the day in a “desperate” search for a man believed to be in his mid-20s or early 30s who was seen driving a maroon or dark red Toyota sedan when he opened fire in a road rage incident that killed Lilly Garcia as her horrified father and seven-year-old brother watched.

Tixier said earlier Wednesday that police believe the assailant was driving a Corolla or Camry with a spoiler on the trunk and dark tinted windows. The car also had a University of New Mexico plate and may contain the digits “200.”

“We are in desperate need of info to help us resolve the conflicting information we’re getting right now,” Police Chief Gordon Eden said. “We’re begging for the community’s help.”

The killer was going west on Interstate 40 within city limits and pulled up alongside the car the unidentified child was riding in and opened fire around 3 p.m., shooting the child in the head. The child’s heartbroken father told police it was a case of road rage.

“The dad explained there was some type of road rage incident,” said police spokesman Officer Simon Drobik.

The information released Wednesday afternoon on the suspect’s age and the type of vehicle he was driving was the first bit of descriptive information released to the public. Read the rest of this entry »


The EPA’s Own Email Problem

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Kimberley A. Strasselrenocol_KimStrassel writes: When a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.

“Government workers don’t use private email because it is ‘convenient.’ They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal.”

The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.

“Records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to ‘pre-emptively’ veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits.”

Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law.

“But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in.”

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

In the normal course of law, Pebble would file for permits and the Army Corps of Engineers would get the first say over approval. The EPA has a secondary role. But records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to “pre-emptively” veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits. But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Robber Killed in Shootout With Former CNN Anchor Lynne Russell’s Husband

Both de Caro and Russell have concealed carry licenses

A cross-country road trip got derailed for a former CNN anchor and her husband after a would-be robber forced his way into their motel room and a shootout ensued.

Lynne Russell told reporters Wednesday that her husband, Chuck de Caro, decided to stop at a Motel 6 on Albuquerque’s western edge because they were tired after a long day of traveling. When she went out to the car to get something and returned to the room, a man was at the door with a handgun.

“He pushed me into the room and that’s when my husband came out of the shower and saw what was happening,” Russell told Albuquerque station KOB-TV. “We tried to calm him, confuse him and do everything we could do to just come out of it in one piece.”

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After grabbing her husband’s briefcase, the man started shooting at de Caro. Russell ducked behind the furniture and de Caro fired back, hitting the man.

The robber was killed and de Caro was wounded.

“It was a gun battle, and Chuck was bleeding heavily, but he didn’t stop firing because the man was firing on him,” Russell told The New York Post.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Russell said her husband was shot three times and was recovering at a hospital but she did not immediately know his condition.

“He’s in a lot of pain,” she said. “He took three shots, including a couple to the abdomen. But magically, his organs were not affected.

“He’s my hero. He saved my life,” Russell added. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Former White House Chef Walter Scheib’s Body Found in New Mexico

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 reports: Authorities have found the body of missing former White House chef Walter Scheib a few miles from the hiking trail where his car was last seen, New Mexico State Police confirmed.

“The body was discovered off the immediate trail approximately 1.7 miles from the base of the trail. No further details are available at this time. Rescue workers are still gathering information.”

— New Mexico State Police Sgt. Liz Armijo

Scheib, 61, was last seen on June 13 heading to hike a trail in the Taos Ski Valley 10 miles outside of Taos, New Mexico.

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State police and volunteers had been searching for Scheib since Wednesday, after a family member reported him missing and his car was discovered at the trailhead.

[Also see – Former White House Top Chef Missing After New Mexico Hiking Trip]

Cell phone data that showed Scheib’s last known location helped rescuers narrow their search – and eventually led them to his body Sunday evening.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

Heinrich Lauber, left, Chef in Charge of the Official Receptions of Switzerland, shows former White House Chef Walter Scheib, center, in this file photo, cooked lobsters, at the Willard InterContinental Washington, July 26, 2004. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

“The body was discovered off the immediate trail approximately 1.7 miles from the base of the trail. No further details are available at this time. Rescue workers are still gathering information,” New Mexico State Police Sgt. Liz Armijo said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »


Mystery: Where is Walter Scheib? Former White House Chef Missing In New Mexico

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New Mexico State Police said Friday that they have no leads yet on 61-year-old Walter Scheib, the White House chef for 11 years under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush….

Read more here…


Hallucinogenic Plants May Be Key to Decoding Ancient Southwestern Paintings, Expert Says

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Dozens of rock art sites in southern New Mexico, recently documented for the first time, are revealing unexpected botanical clues that archaeologists say may help unlock the meaning of the ancient abstract paintings.

“Every one of the sites where we find the tobacco, we also find El Paso ceramics, or we find other kinds of pots…that date generally in that same range.”

Over a swath of the Chihuahuan Desert stretching from Carlsbad to Las Cruces, at least 24 rock art panels have been found bearing the same distinctive pictographs: repeated series of triangles painted in combinations of red, yellow, and black.

A rock art panel found at Dripping Springs, New Mexico depicts abstract triangle motifs. At this panel and others like it, potent wild tobacco was found growing beneath the image. Photograph enhanced with DStretch. (Courtesy L. Loendorf)

A rock art panel found at Dripping Springs, New Mexico depicts abstract triangle motifs. At this panel and others like it, potent wild tobacco was found growing beneath the image. Photograph enhanced with DStretch. (Courtesy L. Loendorf)

And at each of these sites, archaeologists have noticed similarities not just on the rock, but in the ground.61A-gXHiStL._SL250_

[Order the book “Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers” from Amazon.com]

Hallucinogenic plants were found growing beneath the triangle designs, including a particularly potent species of wild tobacco and the potentially deadly psychedelic known as datura.

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Researchers believe that the plants may be a kind of living artifact, left there nearly a thousand years ago by shamans who  smoked the leaves of the plants in preparation for their painting.

“I think there’s a real good chance that they’re using tobacco in large enough amounts that they’re going into altered states of consciousness.”

“I think almost certainly that they’re trancing on this stuff,” said Dr. Lawrence Loendorf, president of the archaeological firm Sacred Sites Research, of the ancient artisans.

Wild tobacco found growing beneath rock art at Dripping Springs, with triangle motifs visible at right. (Courtesy L. Loendorf)

Wild tobacco found growing beneath rock art at Dripping Springs, with triangle motifs visible at right. (Courtesy L. Loendorf)

“I think there’s a real good chance that they’re using tobacco in large enough amounts that they’re going into altered states of consciousness, and I think that’s how [the hallucinogenic plants] are getting there.

“[They’re] getting to those sites because they were used for special ceremonial purposes.”

Wild tobacco bush (Solanum mauritianum)

Wild tobacco bush (Solanum mauritianum)

The region that Loendorf and his colleagues have been exploring was once home to the Jornada Mogollon, a culture of foraging farmers similar to the early Ancestral Puebloans, who occupied the territory from about the 5th to the 15th centuries. Read the rest of this entry »


Leaked Audio Recording of Confidential Meeting Reveals: 70% of Illegals Released by ICE Don’t Appear for Follow-up Appointments

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The AP reported in June that the administration would not say publicly how many immigrant families from Central America caught crossing into the U.S. it had released in recent months or how many of those subsequently reported back to the government after 15 days as directed. 

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“We only know this information because of a leaked audio recording (kudos to the whistleblower, whoever it is) from a meeting with anti-enforcement activists undoubtedly whining about how cruel ICE is.”

— Mark Krikorian

The AP noted that senior U.S. officials directly familiar with the issue, including at the Homeland Security Department and White House, had dodged the answer on at least seven occasions over two weeks, alternately saying that they did not know the figure or didn’t have it immediately at hand. The Homeland Security Department’s public affairs office during the same period did not answer roughly a dozen requests for the figures.

WASHINGTON (AP) —Alicia Caldwell reports: Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately.

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An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.

More from National Review OnlineMark Krikorian comments:

This should come as no surprise to anyone with a pulse. Yet it appears that Obama-administration officials think the released illegals are like the cowboys in Blazing Saddles, lining up to put a dime in the lone toll booth in the middle of the desert instead of just going around it. (If the Central American illegal aliens were so punctilious about obeying rules, they wouldn’t have snuck into someone else’s country in the first place.)

It’s true that ICE needs more family detention capacity, which is the reason for the planned new detention center south of San Antonio. But DHS has plans for a migration emergency such as we saw this summer, and it never activated it. They won’t say what’s in the plan, but from how Haitian and Cuban outflows were handled at Gitmo, I’d assume tent cities to enable detention of 100 percent of illegals are part of it. Once the politically appointed suits decided not to activate the emergency plan, it was inevitable that most of the illegals would simply be let go, never to be seen again.

No wonder morale among DHS employees is “abysmal.”

The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday’s meeting and separately interviewed participants. Read the rest of this entry »


Woman Accused of Poisoning Boyfriend, Having Sex with German Shepherds

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“Both the roommate and Walters’ ex-boyfriend said they noticed that the water they were drinking was strangely colored and that the food they were eating tasted different.”

Albuquerue Journal News‘  reports: A 53-year-old woman has been arrested after police said she tried to poison her roommate and boyfriend, upset that the boyfriend had broken up poison-red-thinwith her because she’d been having sex with her roommate’s two German shepherds.

“A veterinarian examined both animals and found minor injuries, as well as “unusual symptoms” in one of the dogs that could indicate sexual abuse.”

Sheriff’s deputies said Shari Walters’ roommate walked into a shed in Albuquerque in late July at their shared home and found Walters having sex with one of the animals, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Metropolitan Court. The roommate, who police said was “shocked,” walked back into the home and waited for Walters to return. Read the rest of this entry »


New Mexico: 57 Nuke Containers Packed with Kitty Litter ‘Substantial Threat’

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(AP) — Jeri Clausing reports: Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 barrels of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump, posing a potentially “imminent” and “substantial” threat to public health and the environment, New Mexico officials said Monday.

nukebarrel2State Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn issued a formal order giving the lab two days to submit a plan for securing the waste containers, many of which are likely stored outdoors on the lab’s northern New Mexico campus or at temporary site in west Texas.

The order says 57 barrels of waste were packed with nitrate salts and organic kitty litter, a combination thought to have caused a heat reaction and radiation release that contaminated 22 workers with low levels of radiation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad in February.

KITTY LITTER?

The kitty litter soaks up any liquid before drums of waste are sealed and shipped. Officials are investigating whether a switch from non-organic to organic litter is to blame for the leak. Read the rest of this entry »


What It’s Like to Spend 20 Years Listening to Psychopaths for Science

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For WIRED, Greg Miller writes: Ted Bundy, shown here in 1978, unwittingly had a role in sparking Kent Kiehl’s interest in psychopaths. Photo: Donn Dughi/Bettmann/CORBIS

Kent Kiehl was walking briskly towards the airport exit, eager to get home, when a security guard grabbed his arm. “Would you please come with me, sir?” he said. Kiehl complied, and he did his best to stay calm while security officers searched his belongings. Then, they asked him if there was anything he wanted to confess.

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Kiehl is a neuroscientist at the Mind Research Network and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he’s devoted his career to studying what’s different about the brains of psychopaths — people whose lack of compassion, empathy, and remorse has a tendency to get them into trouble with the law. On the plane, Kiehl had been typing up notes from an interview he’d done with a psychopath in Illinois who’d been convicted of murdering two women and raping and killing a 10-year old girl. The woman sitting next to him thought he was typing out a confession.

[Order The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience from Amazon]

Kiehl recounts the story in a new book about his research, The Psychopath Whisperer. He has been interviewing psychopaths for more than 20 years, and the book is filled with stories of these colorful (and occasionally off-color) encounters. (Actually, The Psychopath Listener would have been a more accurate, if less grabby title.) More recently he’s acquired a mobile MRI scanner and permission to scan the brains of New Mexico state prison inmates. So far he’s scanned about 3,000 violent offenders, including 500 psychopaths.

Read the rest of this entry »


Addict Alert: ‘Breaking Bad’ Final Episodes Hit Netflix on Feb. 24

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Todd Spangler  reports:  Netflix subscribers in the U.S. will get access to the last eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” on Feb. 24, the company said.

The last half of season 5 of the Emmy-winning drama finished its run last fall on AMC. Series, which stars Bryan Cranston as a New Mexico teacher turned crystal-meth overlord, is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Mutliple State Exchanges Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attack

This, from NRO. Boldly-featured on Drudge right now, too, here’s video:

Multiple state-run health-care exchanges are vulnerable to a type of Wi-Fi attack that can allow hackers to intercept usernames and passwords, KSTP, a Minnesota ABC affiliate, reports.

According to Mark Lanterman, the CEO and chief technology officer of Computer Forensic Services who ran the simulated attack for KSTP, state-run exchanges in Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to it.

Lanterman tested at least a dozen of the state-run exchanges to determine if they had the vulnerability. Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California did not. HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange, also is not vulnerable to the attack.

Read the rest of this entry »


Numbers Racket

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Obama has to keep lying

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  Putting on a brave face and opting for defiance rather than contrition, the president boasted on October 21 that his new website had been a hit after all. “Turns out, there’s a massive demand for it,” Obama said. “So far, the national website, Healthcare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times. [Applause.] Twenty million times.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Get Jacked For the Breaking Bad Finale With Sparkly, Potent, Super-Tasty Crystal “Meth” Doughnuts

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In the final hours leading up to Sunday’s highly-anticipated Breaking Bad series finale, there are a few things you could do. You could attempt to binge-watch the entire series up to this point. You could take this extremely comprehensive quiz to see just how much of a super-fan you are. Or, you could get yourself to Albuquerque to try an awesome Breaking Bad-themed treat.

A local shop called Rebel Donut has cooked up a few special items dedicated to the hit AMC drama. The most popular? A frosted doughnut topped with candy crystals that look exactly like the blue meth featured on the show. Even Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul himself has given these treats a try, and he definitely seems to approve: Read the rest of this entry »


9 Republican Rock Star Babes to Watch

They’re talented, they’re diverse, they have almost nothing to do with the mess in Washington, and they are destined to rock.

By Patricia Murphy

Nine GOP women with the potential to revitalize the right. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi visits the House to follow the progress of a mortgage settlement bill during a session of the legislature on April 30, 2013, in Tallahassee. (Steve Cannon/AP)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi visits the House to follow the progress of a mortgage settlement bill during a session of the legislature on April 30, 2013, in Tallahassee. (Steve Cannon/AP)

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama administration reverses course; NM will get its $26m back

 

[1] THE MONEY RETURNS: The U.S. Department of the Interior has reversed itself and will return $26 million in mining and energy royalty payments to New Mexico.

[1] THE MONEY RETURNS: The U.S. Department of the Interior has reversed itself and will return $26 million in mining and energy royalty payments to New Mexico.

SANTA FE – After complaints from officials in Western states, including New Mexico, the Obama administration made an about-face Monday and announced it will return mineral and energy royalty payments seized earlier this year.

For New Mexico, that means $26 million will not be taken from the state’s coffers.

In a letter to New Mexico Treasurer James Lewis [2], the director of the U.S. Department of the Interior [3] announced the decision. No specific reason was given for the reversal, but a combination of Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill — as well as governors such as Susana Martinez [4]— complained loudly to the Obama administration.

As reported by New Mexico Watchdog in March [5], the federal government took the royalty payments from 35 states, claiming that the money was fair game because of sequestration cuts.

“I’m relieved that we were able to reverse this aspect of sequestration and restore $26 million back to our state this year and in years ahead,” said Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico [6], in a statement. Together with senators from Wyoming, Udall planned to back a bill [7]that would have protected the royalty payments that states like New Mexico obtain through energy and mining on federal land.

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Crony Capitalist Blowout

A tax increase for everyone but the favored wealthy few.

In praising Congress’s huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that “millionaires and billionaires” will finally “pay their fair share.” That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress’s New Year celebration.

There’s plenty to lament about the capital and income tax hikes, but the bill’s seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary. Congress and the White House want everyone to ignore this corporate-welfare blowout, so allow us to shine a light on the merriment.

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Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus got the party started this summer when he said he would subject 75 special-interest tax breaks to a “tax reform” review. That was pretty funny. Nearly every attempt by Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) and others to pare back the list was defeated in a bipartisan rout.

The Senators even voted down, 14-10, an amendment to list the corporate interests that receive tax perks on a government website. This “tax extenders” bill passed Mr. Baucus’s committee, 19-5 (see the table nearby), and then sat waiting until Harry Reid and the White House stuffed it wholesale into the “fiscal cliff” bill.

Thus Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow was able to retain an accelerated tax write-off for owners of Nascar tracks (cost: $78 million) to benefit the paupers who control the Michigan International Speedway. New Mexico’s Jeff Bingaman saved a tax credit for companies operating in American Samoa ($62 million), including a StarKist factory.

Distillers are able to drink to a $222 million rum tax rebate. Perhaps this will help to finance more of those fabulous Bacardi TV ads with all those beautiful rich people. Businesses located on Indian reservations will receive $222 million in accelerated depreciation. And there are breaks for railroads, “New York Liberty Zone” bonds and so much more.

But a special award goes to Chris Dodd, the former Senator who now roams Gucci Gulch lobbying for Hollywood’s movie studios. The Senate summary of his tax victory is worth quoting in full: “The bill extends for two years, through 2013, the provision that allows film and television producers to expense the first $15 million of production costs incurred in the United States ($20 million if the costs are incurred in economically depressed areas in the United States).”

You gotta love that “depressed areas” bit. The impoverished impresarios of Brentwood get an extra writeoff if they take their film crews into, say, deepest Flatbush. Is that because they have to pay extra to the caterers from Dean & DeLuca to make the trip? It sure can’t be because they hire the jobless locals for the production crew. Those are union jobs, mate, and don’t you forget it.

Read the rest of this entry »