Reform more important than government power

Freedom Newspapers As President Bush would have it, the choice is simple. Either Congress renews the USA Patriot Act intact, with all the new powers for government now scheduled to “sunset” at the end of year and a few new ones to boot, or America will be fighting terrorism with one hand tied behind its […]

Bill considers right to eat enchiladas

By Ned Cantwell: State Columnist Should have known better. My teenage grandson said I just had to rent “Napoleon Dynamite.” I love Kyle and figure that sooner or later there has to be a movie we both like. You would think that after “Anchorman,” a real piece of doo-doo, the lesson would have been learned. […]

Patriot Act needs toning down, revision

Freedom Newspapers The debate in Congress over the USA Patriot Act, portions of which are scheduled to “sunset” at the end of this year, will not take place for months. But it’s heartening to see that a coalition of liberals and conservatives that has raised concerns about portions of the law is still together and […]

Hillary Clinton has gone moderately soft

Mona Charen: CNJ columnist A little immigration reform here, a little religion in the public square there, a little gentle talk about common ground on abortion — and what have you got? The birth of a new, moderate Hillary Clinton, announces the press. “Democratic Party appears to be getting softer on reproductive rights,” headlined a […]

New York’s 1973 anti-drug laws lighten up

Freedom Newspapers I t’s hardly a giant step toward decriminalization or even toward harm reduction. But the modest reform of the so-called Rockefeller drug laws in New York signed into law last week by Gov. George Pataki represents an important step in the direction of common sense in the way the government approaches certain drugs. […]

Lety’s noit rush into intelligence reform bill

Freedom Newspapers The failure to approve an intelligence reform bill in the House of Representatives over the weekend is not necessarily a tragedy. The 9/11 commission, whose recommendations were the basis of a bill passed by the Senate, does not have a monopoly on wisdom when it comes to reforming the “intelligence community,” as the […]

Federal taxes: Preserve cuts, pursue reforms

Freedom Newspapers We’re heartened that President Bush is determined to reform the nation’s complicated and maddening tax code. Since the election, he has continued to tout such reforms, such as at his Nov. 4 victory press conference. We can only encourage such moves. We believe there are two actions he should pursue. The first is […]

Bush needs to spend his political capital

Mona Charen If you knew nothing else about John Edwards than what you could see from his semi-concession speech on Nov. 3, it would be enough to dislike him. There was Kerry, standing behind him and attempting to keep his composure before what had to be the most difficult speech of his life, and yet […]

Time to reform, improve U.S. intelligence

Freedom Editorial The resignation of CIA director George Tenet, combined with the recent critical report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on pre-Iraq war intelligence and the still-evolving work of the 9/11 commission, may have created what some observers view as a “perfect storm.” It could lead to a serious overhaul of this country’s intelligence agencies. […]

New funds could reduce tax on benefits

Tom Philpott: Military update Using money unspent from a controversial Air Force tanker program, the House Armed Services Committee has voted for a speedier phase out of a sharp drop in survivor benefits for military widows and widowers at age 62. What lawmakers call the “widow’s tax” feature of the military Survivor Benefit Plan has […]

Quality of life a priority for 2005 budget

By Tom Philopott: Military Update With open enthusiasm and some private hand-wringing, Congress began debating this month two initiatives that military associations and key lawmakers identified as quality-of-life priorities for the 2005 budget: Survivor Benefit Plan reform and the opening of TRICARE to drilling reservists. Advocates for widows and reservists gained some traction in early […]

No one is safe when Legislature is in session

Freedom Newspaper During an election year, especially a presidential election year, Congress usually engages in more discussion and posturing than actual legislating — which is probably a blessing for beleaguered ordinary Americans. During election campaigns, the partisanship that is a normal feature in closely divided legislative bodies is heightened and intensified, and neither side wants […]

Republicans praise Bush vision after State of the Union address

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House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, applauds President Bush as Bush’s State of the Union speech is on television at Radio Shack Tuesday at the North Plains Mall. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth. By Robert Gehrke WASHINGTON (AP) — New Mexico’s congressional delegation praised President Bush’s strong stance on national security and terrorism during his […]

SBP, healthcare top retirees’ wish list

Tom Philpott Advocates for military retirees will press Congress this year to enact two more major benefit reforms, one to improve the oft-criticized Survivor Benefit Plan and another to move the government nearer to providing free healthcare to a generation of older retirees. Neither is expected to be backed by the Bush administration. The top […]

Medicare proposal does not consider long-term effects

Freedom newspapers T he congressional debate over Medicare — mainly centered on whether to add a prescription drug benefit to the health-care program for older Americans, although other issues are in play — almost looks like an inversion of the conventional wisdom. Republicans, including former House speaker and general gadfly Newt Gingrich, are pressing to […]

States are right on drug reform

Freedom Newspapers While the federal government in recent years has approached illicit drug policy along the lines of the classic definition of a fanatic — if it isn’t working, redouble your efforts — there has been a quiet rethinking of drug policy at the state level, beginning with the decision by California voters in 1996 […]

Tax reform could stimulate economy

A new report on poor taxpayer service at the IRS sheds the same old light on the same old problem: The tax code is so complicated even the experts can’t seem to figure it out. Remember a few years ago when the heads of the tax collection bureaucracy tried to convince us of a new […]

Constitutional change benefits children

By Michael J. Davis Even before New Mexico was a state, our leaders envisioned a state land trust that would provide support for public education. Today’s school children benefit from their foresight. Through continued careful management, we can help to guarantee that future generations are well educated in mind, body and heart. But we have […]

Politics could do with a shot of religion

By Ned Cantwell New Mexico’s food tax, this column has harped, is not fair. It places more of a burden on the poor than it does on the rich, and that is bad policy. Since the state of New Mexico needs this revenue to exist, it is argued, the food tax cannot be eliminated. Sure […]