McManigal: Nature of government no shocker

I’m not a political libertarian. I don’t believe it’s possible to change government in any helpful way with political action, including voting. Political libertarians believe they can change government by becoming government. If this works, let’s all rush to join the Islamic State and the KKK so we can change them from the inside, too. […]

Render: State still has some military heroes

On Nov. 11 each year, we honor all veterans who have served our country. This Veterans Day will see the groundbreaking ceremony for a New Mexico veterans cemetery at Fort Stanton. This culminates more than a decade of hard work and lobbying. Nov. 10 is the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps and on […]

State needs too much to keep budget on track

New Mexico needs an additional $85.2 million next year to cover the Medicaid expansion it signed up for. It needs an additional $277 million to address a years-long backlog of prison infrastructure repairs and $12 million to pay more prison guards better, as guards now make around $13.65 an hour and work 64-hour weeks. It […]

McDonald: College, middle class linked

Politicians like to talk about how the middle class is struggling, and for once they’re right. Earlier this year, the non-partisan Pew Research Center reported that while middle-income households have remained steady since 2010 (when the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession), they’ve been on a 40-year slide. Middle-income families comprise about 51 percent […]

Moving beyond labels good day for education

An era in education could be ending — perhaps. President Barack Obama told the country last month that educational testing had gone too far — and recommended that students only spend about 2 percent of classroom time taking a standardized test. As with most recommendations coming from Washington, there’s even an acronym for the recommendation: […]

Sloan: Dying owed right to end suffering

Tuesday’s Portales News-Tribune carried an Associated Press article by Russell Contreras about the New Mexico Supreme Court deciding whether the state will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs. Assisted suicide is legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont. A few days before I had heard Barbara Vigil, chief justice […]

Wilson: We’re to blame for dumbing habits

Kevin Wilson

While nursing the world’s worst shaving cut that morning, I reached for my secret weapon. By the time the bleeding let up, I looked at this $2 investment the labeling called a styptic pencil. I searched for the phrase, and got, “a stick of a stypic substance.” Great, but what’s styptic? It’s an antihemmorhagic substance, […]

McManigal: Positive action always good idea

There are things you need to avoid doing if you don’t want to be a terrible person. Don’t use violence (including laws) against people who are not harming anyone else, and don’t violate the property rights of others. It’s simple to not be awful. If you stop there, no one can have any legitimate problem […]

Render: Hillary masterful performer, liar

Major news outlets covering the Benghazi hearings all agreed on two things: Hillary Clinton’s testimony was a masterful performance and no new information was provided to the committee. While her performance may have been masterful, had they listened to the hearings or read the transcript rather than watching the movie, they may have discovered some […]

Opinion: Curry County thumbs nose at transparency, again

The New Mexico Open Meetings Act Compliance Guide, published by the state’s attorney general, contains 48 pages of guidelines — all intended to help make government transparent. Of those 48 pages, four are specifically focused on closed meetings — state laws that must be followed before public officials can meet privately in a group. AG […]

Plea agreement for Duran soft, disappointing

Secretary of State Dianna Duran, leaving office in shame, did not go gently — despite resigning in the middle of the night on Thursday. Her news conference on Friday, after a plea deal was discussed before Judge T. Glenn Ellington, has further tainted her reputation. Rather than express sincere remorse and apologize for being caught […]

McDonald: We’re in for brutal, extreme winter

We’re still a couple of months away from the first official day of winter (Dec. 22), but forecasters are already saying it’ll be colder and wetter than normal in New Mexico, so be prepared to bundle up. It’s another El Niño year, which means the ocean-to-atmosphere interaction of temperatures, especially in the Pacific Ocean near […]

Grandstanding takes attention from solutions

Political grandstanding in Washington, D.C., continues to halt real progress on the issues that challenge the country — including the need to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. Both New Mexico Democrats, Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, cast important votes last week against legislation that would have punished New Mexico cities and counties for […]

Sloan: You can blame weather for that

My book-of-the-month summary for October is “The Handy Weather Answer Book” by Kevin Hile. As a kid, nothing seemed more boring than weather. Now, nothing is more fascinating. Without weather, we would not exist. Catastrophic weather can bring long-term benefits, lead to mass fatalities, political conflicts, and even determine the outcome of battles and romantic […]

Cantwell: We need a celebrity; just not Trump

I know the rest of New Mexico is pumped as I am about the excitement and intellectual stimulation of the political season. Through the magical medium of television, we join the rest of our countrymen in face to face engagement with America’s finest, one of whom will become president of these United States. How fun […]

Finance reform under Dianna Duran laughable

re·form – verb 1. make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it. What does embattled Secretary of State Dianna Duran not understand about the problem with putting her name and the word “reform” in the same sentence? It should be apparent to even the most […]

McManigal: Immigrants go where welcome

Does it not seem completely bizarre to you that people who seek to live somewhere without first getting permission from a gang of bullies — permission that is getting more difficult to obtain — would be an issue around which people would base their choice for new supreme slavemaster? I mean president. “Conservatives” yapping about […]

Render: Assisted suicide a slippery slope

New Mexico State Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Dona Ana County, writing for, states his belief that, “no government should stop a terminally ill, mentally competent adult from making their own end-of-life choices.” He also notes that California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the End of Life Option Act, which authorizes doctors to assist terminally ill […]

New training program hope for our youth

If and when opportunity knocks, young people need to be prepared to seize it, and a new state program should help put them in that position. It’s not news that New Mexico struggles with poverty, low-paying jobs and poor educational outcomes. Our poverty rate is 20.4 percent compared to the national rate of 15.4 percent. […]

McDonald: Presidential outsiders have edge

By the time New Mexico’s preferential primaries roll around on June 7, some 40 other states will have already voted for their party’s candidate. That means there’s a good chance the nation’s Democrats and Republicans will have already decided who their nominees will be, even if it isn’t official until they hold their national conventions […]