Gregory Hollister

Trump’s amazing Iowa performance triggers Melanie Stansbury

In a striking display of political momentum, 45th President Donald Trump has decisively dominated the Iowa caucuses, outpacing his nearest GOP rival by over 30 points. This commanding lead has not only cemented the Republican primary landscape but has also sent shockwaves across the political spectrum for far-left Democrats, stirring reactions from various quarters, including New Mexico Democrat U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury of the First District.

Stansbury, known for her extreme progressive viewpoint, expressed significant concern following Trump’s overwhelming victory in Iowa. Her reaction mirrors the broader apprehension among progressives, who view Trump’s resurgence as a challenge to their policy goals and a potential shift in the national political dialogue.

“Donald Trump is the biggest threat to our democracy. We must beat him in November,” wrote Stansbury, proceeding to beg for campaign donations following the massive victory by the 45th President.

Trump’s triumph in Iowa is more than a mere numerical victory; it’s a potent symbol of his enduring influence within the Republican Party and his ability to mobilize a substantial voter base. His more than 30-point lead over competitors like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is a testament to his continued appeal among GOP voters, despite the controversies and debates surrounding his presidency and subsequent political activities.

For progressives like Stansbury, Trump’s performance in Iowa is a call to action. It highlights the need for unity and strategic planning within the Democratic Party to counter the Trump-led Republican momentum. The far-left factions, in particular, see this as an imperative moment to reassess their positions and strategies in anticipation of a potential Trump candidacy in the 2024 presidential race.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who claimed to be one of the two “America First” candidates in the race, called it quits shortly after Trump’s victory.

Court proceedings begin in NM’s legal fight over governor’s emergency powers

On Monday, the New Mexico Supreme Court was the stage for a major legal showdown, as it heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM), joined by GOP state legislators, the National Rifle Association (NRA), former law enforcement officers, and private citizens. 

The lawsuit targets far-left anti-gun Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Secretary of the Department of Health Patrick M. Allen, accusing them of using public health orders to infringe upon New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights via executive order.

Attorney Jessica Hernandez, representing the plaintiffs, challenged the governor’s emergency orders. She argued that these orders overstepped the bounds of emergency statutes, representing an invalid exercise of emergency power. Hernandez emphasized the concern of a single individual bypassing the legislature, having the authority to declare an emergency based on subjective and unspecified criteria, thereby making significant public policy and funding decisions.

Hernandez also pointed out that the public health order from the NM Health Secretary does not constitute an imminent threat. She argued that relying on data spanning over a decade does not establish an emergency but rather a chronic issue.

During the hearing, Justice Briana H. Zamora inquired about the limits of the governor’s power to declare public health emergencies. Holly Agajanian, the governor’s chief general counsel, admitted uncertainty, stating, “I don’t know.” This admission underscores the fear that such emergency powers could lead to future rights violations.

Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon reflected on the plaintiffs’ viewpoint, suggesting the potential for almost anything to be labeled a public health emergency from the governor’s perspective, although she failed to let Hernandez answer questions without consistently interrupting.

The justices posed several hypothetical scenarios, including one where the governor might declare an emergency to suspend driving rights due to DUIs, drawing parallels to the initial emergency order that suspended open and concealed carry of firearms. Agajanian differentiated, noting that the amended order no longer bans concealed and open carry.

The current public health order prohibits firearms in parks and playgrounds. However, Justice Michael E. Vigil observed that the emergency declarations lacked statistical evidence of gun violence issues in these areas.

Justice Zamora noted that many programs within the public health order could have been implemented without an emergency declaration, but the declaration facilitated funding. She expressed concerns about potential overreach through emergency orders, questioning the implications of granting unilateral power over fund allocation.

The lawsuit and the court’s eventual decision are poised to have significant implications for the balance of power in New Mexico and the interpretation of emergency powers in relation to constitutional rights.


NM’s conspiracy theorist Dems renew annual performative January 6 theater

On Saturday — the third anniversary of the January 6 incursion of the U.S. Capitol — New Mexico’s Democrat conspiracy theorists outdid themselves with manufactured outrage after the event, which resulted in the death of Ashli Babbitt, whom a Capitol Police Officer brutally murdered.

Democrat Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-CD-3) inaccurately claimed an “armed mob” stormed the Capitol, which was not true, as a vast majority of protesters that day were not armed whatsoever.

“On this day three years ago — just my fourth day in Congress — an armed mob of Donald Trump’s supporters desecrated our beloved Capitol Building in a deadly attack on Congress and American democracy itself,” Leger Fernandez wrote, adding, “Trump will undoubtedly try to attack our democracy again.”

Far-left Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-CD-2) wrote in an email, “John, today marks the 3-year anniversary of a dark day in American history. On January 6, 2021, extremists launched an egregious attack on Capitol Hill and our democracy.” 

Extreme far-leftist Melanie Stansbury, representative for New Mexico’s First District, wrote on X, “Three years ago we watched Trump spark an insurrection. We saw our capital attacked by extremists and we saw our very Democracy shaken. Today is a reminder that our voice and our vote matter and in 2024 we must defeat Trump.”

Socialist Sen. Martin Heinrich appeared to say January 6 was worse than horrific terrorist attacks, such as September 11, 2001, writing, “Three years ago, I witnessed the most foundationally shaking moment of my adult life. It is a sobering reminder that even our great democracy is vulnerable to those willing to hold on to power at all costs. That day, democracy prevailed. We must work to make sure it always does.” 

“Our Democracy isn’t given. We have to work to protect it. Three years ago this was proven. We all have the sacred responsibility of honoring the outcome of our elections. Those who do not must be held accountable,” wrote Sen. Ben Ray Luján.

The New Mexico Democrat Party added, “Even three years after the January 6th, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, NM Republicans are still beholden to insurrectionist MAGA ideology. Despite being largely rejected by the voters ever since the insurrection, New Mexico Republicans and their prominent figureheads refuse to respect our democracy.”

The Party continued, “New Mexican voters spoke loud and clear in the 2022 election and rejected Trump’s radical brand of extremism. But the New Mexico Republican Party continues to put Trump’s MAGA agenda ahead of the needs of everyday New Mexicans.” 

Unconstitutional Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote, “As we celebrate the 112th anniversary of statehood, we are also reminded of the duty we all have in upholding democracy. The acts of insurrection on Jan. 6 have no place in the United States. As governor, I commit to safeguarding democracy today and for generations to come,” despite unilaterally taking away New Mexicans’ gun rights via executive order — the opposite of “democracy.” 

Note: Not a single individual has been convicted for the charge of “insurrection,” while Democrats attempt to pursue “insurrection” charges to forcibly thwart President Trump from the ballot in 2024. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear the case on the matter. 

The ACLU once again turns on Gov. Lujan Grisham

In a recent op-ed, Kristin Greer Love, the Senior Civil Liberties Attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico, criticizes Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for an executive order that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition of antisemitism.” 

Love claims that this order, Executive Order 2022-118, poses a threat to constitutional rights, particularly free speech, as it could be used to suppress criticism of Israel’s policies and support for Palestinian rights. It is unclear, however, why the group is only speaking out about the 2022 order now.

The op-ed highlights students in New Mexico expressing their support for Palestine through various actions, including protests and calls to end state subsidies for a leading weapons manufacturer supplying Israel. Love says these actions are protected under both the New Mexico and U.S. constitutions.

Executive Order 2022-118 has drawn criticism for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which, according to Love’s interpretation, conflates criticisms of Israel’s government and support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism.

The ACLU of New Mexico has urged the governor to rescind the executive order. Love emphasizes the flawed nature of the definition, arguing that it inhibits legitimate criticism of Israel without being antisemitic, although attacks on the Jewish people of Israel is, indeed, inherently antisemitic.

The op-ed points to an incident in September where a pro-Israel group attempted to use the executive order to suppress speech at the University of New Mexico. The group claimed that hosting Palestinian poet Mohammed El-Kurd would violate the order, leading to concerns that the executive order could be used to chill speech in the state.

The ACLU of New Mexico advocates for the immediate rescission of Executive Order 2022-118, asserting that restrictions on peaceful speech, protest, and expression have no place in a democratic society. The op-ed urges Governor Lujan Grisham to reconsider the potential impact of the order on civil liberties, particularly on college campuses.

The ACLU has, however, been mum on antisemitic attacks on New Mexico students, including one incident in 2021 where a University of New Mexico student was violently attacked for speaking Hebrew.

Previously, the group attacked Lujan Grisham in September due to her unconstitutional anti-gun orders.

How spoiled are New Mexico’s dogs? A new survey has answers

A new survey conducted by Forbes Advisor delved into the pampering habits of dog owners across the United States. The survey, which included responses from 10,000 dog owners across the nation, aimed to determine which states boast the most indulgent pet parents, taking into account various aspects of canine care, from health prioritization to birthday celebrations.

Florida emerged as the leading state in terms of spoiling its dogs, with a remarkable 66.5% of respondents confessing to spending more on their dog’s health and grooming than on their personal well-being. In addition to this financial dedication, 43.5% of Floridian dog owners admitted to pushing their dogs in strollers, while a staggering 54% regularly organize birthday parties for their four-legged companions.

The following states rounding out the top five in the survey were Alaska, Washington, Colorado, and California, each showcasing a high level of devotion to their canine companions.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the survey highlighted the states where pet owners tend to spoil their dogs less. Oklahoma claimed the title for the least indulgent, followed by Indiana, Wisconsin, Idaho, and New Mexico. South Carolina also made the list of states where dogs receive relatively less pampering from their owners.

Jamie Street, Unsplash.

In New Mexico, which tied South Carolina at 45th out of all other states, 39.5% of dog owners brought their dog on vacation, 40.5% prepared homemade dog food or treats, and 11.0% pushed their dog in a stroller.

Forbes Advisor further identified the top five ways in which pet parents pamper their dogs. Topping the list was the practice of taking family photos with furry friends, with 58.7% of respondents nationwide admitting to this indulgence. Additionally, 53.7% expressed their love for pampering through the purchase of dog clothes.

Health care for dogs emerged as a significant aspect of canine indulgence, with 45.8% of respondents acknowledging that they allocate more funds to their pet’s health and grooming than to their own. Some dog owners even go above and beyond by preparing homemade meals for their dogs, with 45% engaging in this practice. Moreover, 43.2% have treated their dogs to restaurant-quality treats, underlining the extent to which some pet parents go to ensure their furry companions enjoy the finer things in life.

Read the full details of the survey here

Anti-gun org that broadcast it breaking law blocks critics after taking heat

In a post made on X, formerly Twitter, the anti-gun group New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV), run by Democrats’ anti-gun darling Miranda Viscoli, announced in so many words that it was breaking the law — then kept on digging itself in a hole when challenged.

“Pictured are unwanted firearms from one household in Farmington, NM.  Our gun buyback was [canceled] by the City, but local residents asked us to show up anyway. So, we spent today dismantling guns house by house,” wrote the group, with a photo accompanying the post. The post immediately sparked a fierce response.

“The @NMStatePolice should investigate a private party going door to door and sawing people’s guns in half without doing a background check as required for a transfer in New Mexico.  The @FBI and @ATFHQ (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) should also look into this since a private group does NOT have the ability to check NCIC to see if they are now in possession of a stolen firearm. So many crimes committed by this anti-gun group” posted state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park).

In 2019, the state Legislature passed S.B. 8, which Viscoli advocated in support of on behalf of her group. The group holds ineffective gun “buybacks,” which pay people for willingly giving up to the group, which then turns the firearms into gardening tools.

New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) wrote to NMPVG, “Shoutout to @NMPGVnow for joining forces with the ‘rogue sheriffs’ and ‘bad-faith critics’ by refusing to comply with laws criminalizing private firearm transfers in NM,” referencing a social media post by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who lambasted many of the state’s sheriffs for refusing to enforce the anti-gun law.

San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari has since initiated an investigation into the activities of the group, saying, “I have reached out to ‘New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence’ with questions. They have referred me to Attorney General Torrez. Both the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office are reviewing my assessment.”

On Tuesday, NMSSA and Rep. Lord announced that NMPVG had blocked them on X following their support for the group bucking anti-gun laws.

Lord wrote, “I guess drafting a bill today in @NMPGVnow ’s honor rescinding the Universal Background check struck a nerve. Either there is an investigation into your alleged violations of New Mexico guns laws, and federal violations, or the laws are worthless and should be removed. ‘All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced.’ There can’t be ‘laws for thee, but not for me.’ That’s not how this works.”

“And they blocked us,” wrote the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association.

The group also blocked a plethora of other pro-gun accounts, as they posted on X:

On Wednesday, the anti-gun group blocked state Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo):

It is immediately unclear the status of the investigation into Viscoli and NMPGV, but as soon as more information comes in, we will bring you the latest in the saga of the anti-gun group breaking the law.

Which New Mexico city is the safest?

New Mexicans all know its largest city, Albuquerque, is the deadliest in the state, according to World Population Review, but which New Mexico city is the safest?

Small towns are often celebrated for their close-knit communities and a sense of charm and safety. A recent analysis by MoneyGeek, a personal finance site, delved into FBI crime data from the past year to identify small towns and cities with populations ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 that excel in safety. The analysis aimed to calculate the cost of crime in each area, considering impacts on victims and the justice system. Violent crimes were weighed more heavily due to their typically higher costs.

Christmas on the Pecos in Carlsbad, NM. Photo: NM Department of Tourism.

Surprisingly, many of the safest small communities were concentrated in the Northeast. Monroe Township in New Jersey claimed the top spot, boasting low property and violent crime rates. Hillsborough Township, also in New Jersey, secured the second position. Other Northeastern towns like Wallingford, Connecticut; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; Westfield, New Jersey; Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; and Princeton, New Jersey, all ranked in the top 10.

Beyond the Northeast, Zionsville, Indiana; Mason, Ohio; and Lone Peak, Utah, also received high safety scores. Notably, California, often associated with high crime rates in larger cities, had two cities – Rancho Santa Margarita and Danville – in the top 15.

MoneyGeek further broke down the data to identify the small towns or cities with the lowest crime costs in each state. Notable mentions included Rancho Santa Margarita in California, Windsor in Colorado, and Shrewsbury in Massachusetts.

Carlsbad, New Mexico, emerged with a cost of crime per capita of $1,410, securing its place in the analysis as the safest city in New Mexico. This demonstrates the town’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for its residents.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Jirka Matousek, Wiki Commons.

Clovis had a crime cost per capita of $1,593, Santa Fe’s was $2,361, Hobbs’ was $2,841, Farmington’s was $3,006, and Roswell’s was $3,851, according to the study.

The nationwide crime landscape in 2022 revealed a drop in overall violent crime by 1.7%, with a significant 6.1% decline in the murder rate. However, property crimes surged by 7.1%, attributed in part to a notable increase in motor vehicle theft.

While small towns are often perceived as havens of safety, the study also highlighted exceptions. Monroe, Louisiana, for instance, experienced a higher crime cost in 2022 than the majority of large cities. Despite the overall trends, it’s evident that some small towns, like Carlsbad, are successfully prioritizing safety and community well-being.

Dem NM rep. refuses to apologize after inferring disabled people shouldn’t breed

Last week, State Rep. Susan Herrera (D-Embudo) said during a Legislative Education Study Committee meeting, “Many special ed kids get together, and you know, get married and have children. And that’s really difficult… to respect and help that group of people,” which sparked outrage in the disability community. It was first reported on by KOAT 7 News, which reached out to state Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo), who was in the meeting, for comment. 

Block, who is the founder and editor of the Piñon Post, told the outlet, “When she said that, I kind of shook my head a little bit because I didn’t really understand where she was coming from in the vein that she was talking,” adding, “You’re talking about cell phones, and then she starts talking about how kids and individuals with special needs should not be getting married and are a problem in our society. That’s that’s a pretty big stretch. I don’t know how someone could go from one to the other, so I would definitely want some clarity.”

“We really rely and trust these representatives to make decisions in the best interest of the communities that they represent,” said Donyelle Lucero, President of the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network, to the outlet. “A lot of people don’t really have a true understanding of individuals with special needs. They don’t know how to interact. They don’t always see them as equal.”

On Thursday, a constituent of Herrera called her after seeing the newscast where she appeared to disparage disabled people. Herrera not only refused to apologize but doubled down on the rhetoric, claiming Block was responsible, accusing him of taking the clip “out-of-context.”

The distressed constituent, who recorded the call with Herrera, reached out to Block on the condition of anonymity to convey her distress with Herrera’s refusal to apologize. The woman gave Block the recordings and allowed him to publish the Democrat’s words in recordings shared via X, formerly Twitter.

Herrera told the constituent, “This is something John Block does to all legislators. He takes something out of context, he blows it up, and he makes it appear what it — what is just isn’t true. If you know my voting record — and Liz Thomson would verify for me, legislators who work on Health and Human Services would verify that I always back special needs legislation or help [the] disabled or the handicapped in any way possible,” adding, “I think that’s my job. I have family members who are special needs kids. My sister adopted three special needs kids. She united them. They were in different orphanages. They have been a part of my life all my life, [Constituent’s Name]. And I have helped those kids (they’re adults now) all my life.”

When asked if she is “blaming John Block for all of this,” Herrera claimed, “No, well, I’m saying he took things out of perspective in that committee. I was talking specifically about one superintendent that I talked to, and I was worried because the special needs population was so high, and I was saying that these families really struggle. So, it’s our job as legislators to see how we can help them. So, he ignored all of that, and he took it out of context, and, yes, it sounds terrible. Was I saying that? No.”

“Well, what the news showed was that you were speaking about special needs people getting married and having kids,” the constituent responded.

“And I see nothing wrong with that. And I never said there was anything wrong with that. I said sometimes…. This is what the superintendent told me. He said, ‘You know, we have a lot of families here and they get married.’ I don’t have a problem with that. If you can find someone you love,” said Herrera, despite casting doubt on the numbers of disabled people in the referenced superintendent’s district.

Herrera then attacked KOAT 7 News, telling the woman, “They should have checked the story a little closer. They didn’t. But, you know, you don’t argue with the press [Constituent], because frankly, they get the last word. You know what I mean?” 

The constituent told Herrera, “No, I don’t. I saw what you said,” before the line was disconnected.

Block then posted the full video, with the full context of Herrera’s comment on X, writing, “Watch her full remarks before and after her comment in committee at the end of the video, which completely blows a gaping hole in her attempt to defend the indefensible. Disgusting how she is doubling down.”

The Democrat could have immediately apologized for the insensitive remark, and the story could have gone away as an unfortunate choice of words that the elected official did not truly mean. Instead, Herrera doubled down, which has sparked a new wave of outrage by disability rights activists. 

But that’s not all. On Friday, after Rep. Block posted the audio recordings, Herrera attacked disability rights activists angered by her comment, saying they took her comments “out of context, in an attempt to score political points.”

In the statement to KOAT 7, she again refused to apologize, telling the outlet, “My support and respect for individuals with disabilities is unwavering. I am disappointed that my comments during last week’s committee meeting were taken out of context, in an attempt to score political points. I regret that people misunderstood my remarks, which were intended to reflect how many families have been disrespected by the very systems that are meant to serve them. I will continue to be an advocate for families and individuals with disabilities in the legislature. My voting record speaks for itself.”

No legislative Democrat has come out to distance themselves from Herrera’s ableist comment or her tripling down on her bigoted comment, which continues to fester amid waves of criticism for the comment.

Lujan Grisham faces fury from all sides amid attempted NMPED rule change

New Mexico’s public education department faced a barrage of opinions from over 100 individuals expressing their concerns about proposed changes to the school calendar. These changes, mandated by legislation from the last session, aim to increase instructional time in public New Mexico schools.

One resident, Ronald Dixon, a grandparent of students at Grady Municipal Schools, passionately objected to the proposed changes. Traveling over three hours to Santa Fe, Dixon emphasized the importance of providing students and teachers with breaks. Currently, on a four-day school week schedule, Dixon’s grandchildren have thrived academically. He argued that a previous experience with a five-day school in Clovis did not yield the same success, making him a staunch supporter of the existing system at Grady.

The sentiment against the proposed changes was widespread, with hundreds of individuals converging in the state’s capital to voice their opinions. The legislature had earlier passed a bill to increase instructional time and extend the school calendar. This bill allowed districts with four-day school weeks to make adjustments to their hours.

However, the Public Education Department (PED) is now contemplating a shift for all schools to a traditional five-day school week. Critics, including Dave Hicks, the President of the Socorro School Board, deemed this move an “absolute overreach,” expressing discontent with the disregard for local school board members and the legislative process that had addressed the issue less than a year ago. Hicks stressed that a one-size-fits-all approach is inadequate, advocating for support tailored to the unique needs of each district.

Cabinet Secretary Arsenio Romero of the Public Education Department defended the proposed changes, citing the need to align policies with House Bill 130, which requires all public schools to provide 1,140 hours of learning time per year, including teacher professional development time. However, critics, including teachers, lawmakers, and school officials, strongly opposed the move, considering it an encroachment on local control and contrary to the spirit of 2023’s H.B. 130.

The verbiage of the proposed rule directly contradicts state statute, with H.B. 130 reading, “Up to sixty instructional hours per school year for elementary grades and thirty instructional hours for middle and high school grades may be used for professional work hours, which may be embedded during the course of a normal school day.” 

The proposed rule, in conflict with the statute, asserts that “all public school calendars shall include at least 180 instructional days per school year, exclusive of teacher professional work hours.”

Ron Hendrix, the Socorro Superintendent, echoed these concerns, fearing a potential loss of half their teaching staff if the PED enforces the schedule change. Both Hendrix and Hicks urged the department to acknowledge and support what is working effectively in individual districts rather than imposing a uniform solution.

The Public Education Department is set to review the comments gathered on Monday and is expected to make a ruling on the proposed school calendar changes in January. The fate of the proposed modifications remains uncertain, pending further deliberation by education officials.

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