Piñon Post

AOC loses it as President Trump dominates CNN town hall

On Wednesday, 45th President Donald Trump crushed it in his town hall with CNN, having an answer for all of the deceptive questions lobbed at him by the network’s Kaitlan Collins.

The President unequivocally refused to let CNN get away with saying the 2020 election was not rigged, while Collins repeatedly butted in, claiming it was not. 

She also repeatedly butted in and did not let him answer questions, to which he dubbed her a “nasty person.”

Here are some clips from the night:

But even more amusing was socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) freaking out on Twitter for the network hosting the town hall at all — a sign it was a slam dunk.

“CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this “town hall” to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim. The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host,” she tweeted.

She added in a subsequent tweet, “This falls squarely on CNN. Everyone here saw exactly what was going to happen. Instead they put a sexual abuse victim in harm’s way for views. This was a choice to platform lies about the election & Jan 6th w/ no plan but to have their moderator interrupted without consequence.” 

She then went on MSNBC to bemoan CNN for having the 45th President on the network for the town hall, saying, “I know you said earlier that you will not comment on the platforming of such atrocious disinformation, but I would. I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision … it was shameful.” 


President Trump currently holds a 41-point lead over his GOP primary rivals and the CNN town hall is likely to further cement his dominance in the race to reclaim the White House from Joe Biden, given the positive reviews from Republicans and Democrats alike. 

Former Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang wrote, “This #CNNTownhall is shaping up to be a clear win for Trump, certainly in the Republican field and probably overall.”

Biden’s Horn of Africa diplomat visiting New Mexico next week

Next week, Joe Biden’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOA) Ambassador Mike Hammer, is traveling to Santa Fe to speak at Global Santa Fe and the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum (SFWAF).

The forum is set for May 18th and will be held at the Santa Fe Community College Board Room.

Hammer was named the United States Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa on June 1, 2022. His most recent assignment abroad was as the U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 2018 to 2022.

“Ambassador Hammer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service class of Minister-Counselor.  His over three decades of service include serving as Acting Senior Vice President of the National Defense University (NDU) and Deputy Commandant of NDU’s Eisenhower School. He [was] U.S. ambassador to Chile from 2014-2016. Prior to his appointment in Chile, Ambassador Hammer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from March 2012 to August 2013,” wrote SFWAF. 

This is the latest visit from a Biden administration official to the state after U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited New Mexico in April.

Interestingly, Hammer has been appointed by both Republican and Democrat presidents to various roles, beginning in the Obama administration. President Donald Trump appointed him to be the DRC ambassador in 2018, a role he served in until 2022.

More information about the event can be found here.

Biden releases illegal immigrants into U.S. without tracking as Title 42 expires

In the latest concerning development in the U.S. southern border crisis, the Joe Biden regime is now planning to release apprehended illegal immigrants into the country “without court dates or the ability to track them,” as NBC News reports.

“The Biden administration began releasing migrants without court dates to alleviate overcrowding in March 2021, but had previously enrolled those migrants in a program known as Alternatives to Detention, which required them to check in on a mobile app until they were eventually given a court date. The new policy would release them on ‘parole’ with a notice to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office but without enrolling them in the program.” 

The move comes after 11,000 illegal immigrants were caught crossing the southern border on Tuesday — a record that surpasses expectations of 10,000 per day previously predicted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“We’re already breaking and we haven’t hit the starting line,” one DHS official anonymously told NBC News

The increase in illegal immigrant crossings is already ravaging ports of entry in New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Texas, as well as gaping holes left in the border barrier left unfinished by the Biden administration.

Title 42, a pandemic-era program that allowed the swift deportation of illegal immigrants, is set to end on Thursday, leaving the country in a crisis as limp Biden regime immigration policies have resulted in historic illegal immigrant crossings and a humanitarian crisis exploding on the border. 

Congress is set to vote on Thursday to extend Title 42, but it is unclear at the moment if the proposal will make it across the finish line to Biden’s desk by the 11:59 p.m. deadline when the program is set to expire.

El Pollo Loco expanding to New Mexico with nine new locations

The popular fast-food chicken restaurant ​​El Pollo Loco, specializing in Los Angeles-style fire-grilled Mexican chicken, is opening new locations in New Mexico with the signing of new development agreements. 

“A deal with Mass Equities EPL LLC will result in 10 units over eight years with the first restaurants due by December 2024 for Larimer County and portions of Boulder, Broomfield and Weld Counties in northern Colorado. The second and third deals, signed by CB Pollo NM 1 and CB Pollo Tx 1, respectfully, includes nine units for New Mexico and seven in El Paso,” wrote FastCasual.com.

“El Pollo Loco’s corporate team has made it an easy decision to grow our franchise operations with them,” Mass Equities Founder and CEO Drew Sobel said in a company press release. “The brand’s growth over the past few years is evident and its unique offering supported by excellence in operations is a strategic fit for our portfolio of businesses. Fueled by the brand’s initial success in the Colorado market, we look forward to bringing the El Pollo Loco experience to northern parts of the state.”

El Pollo Loco (“The Crazy Chicken”), Houston via Wikimedia Commons.

The chain is looking to increase its national footprint by featuring its latest dining room design options, an enhanced digitized experience with self-ordering kiosks, mobile to-go and delivery pick-up areas, and digital menu boards.

Since 1980, the restaurant has operated 490 company-owned and franchised locations across the United States. 

El Pollo Loco describes its food as the “SoCal lifestyle meets Mexican heritage. It’s better-for-you choices like fire-grilled chicken and tradition-inspired temptations like Overstuffed Quesadillas. It’s burritos, taquitos and tacos with a fresh California Twist. It’s a menu that can meet any dietary need from paleo to vegetarian to straight out craving. Simply said, it’s L.A. active, it’s Mexican proud and it’s exactly what you’ll find at El Pollo Loco.” 

Photo rendering of the proposed Holtec consolidated interim storage facility courtesy of Holtec International.

U.S. regulators deliver massive blow to NM Holtec project’s opponents

On Tuesday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted Holtec International a license to construct a facility in Eddy and Lea counties to safely and temporarily store spent nuclear fuel, according to the Associated Press.

During the 2023 Legislative Session, Democrats rammed through the extreme S.B. 53 despite bipartisan opposition to try and preempt the company from coming to New Mexico.

Sens. Moe Maestas (D-Bernalillo) and Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Bernalillo), as well as Reps. Ambrose Castellano (D-Ribera), Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Meredith Dixon (D-Bernalillo), Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup), and Joseph Sanchez (D-Alcalde) joined all Republicans in opposition to the unconstitutional bill.

These safe fuel rods, housed in secure casks, would be transported by rail to the facility on train shipments specifically for storage. The project would account for over 350 new jobs. 

The casks are immune to hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and even the impact of a plane crash. There would be no adverse effect on wildlife nor on groundwater, no radiological consequences in the event of a fire, and an inconspicuous design. 

The project previously got a positive environmental impact statement from the NRC.

The spent fuel would be stored at the Holtec site “until the Federal Government provides a repository for permanent storage or other permanent disposition as required by law,” according to Holtec. 

New Mexico is ideal for such a facility due to its “typography, arid climate, [the] sparse population at the site’s location, and proximity to transportation infrastructure,” Holtec wrote.

Even former Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, wrote that the state has no jurisdiction to ban nuclear fuel storage in New Mexico.

He wrote in 2018, referencing case law, “Taken together, both Bullcreek and Nielson clearly establish two principles: first, that the NRC has the statutory authority to license and regulate consolidated interim nuclear waste storage facilities, and secondly, that the comprehensiveness of that federal regulatory scheme preempts virtually any state involvement.” 

Balderas further wrote in the opinion, “While there are a large number of factors that are considered by the NRC in evaluating a license application, state approval is not among them.” 

Even the Joe Biden administration has recognized the need for nuclear fuel, writing that it “made a commitment to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the energy industry by 2035. Nuclear energy is a part of that solution.” 

Despite all sides coming together in support of nuclear energy being a viable solution to our nation’s energy needs, Democrats continue to harp on decades-old fear tactics to keep investment, namely the multi-billion-dollar Holtec project, from investing in New Mexico’s future. However, the court challenge to the unconstitutional law is imminent.

Leftist columnist reveals surprising take on email signature pronouns

The Santa Fe New Mexican’s columnist Randall Balmer, who says his “politics lean left, sometimes far to the left,” recently posted a column criticizing the use of pronouns in one’s email signature as over-the-top. He also commented on the grammatical incorrectness of using “they/them” and other words that are meant to represent more than one person in an article titled “Don’t look for pronouns on my email signature.”

“Aesthetically, the eclipse of singular pronouns — she/her, he/him — in favor of plural — they/them — has wreaked havoc on sentence structure. As an insufferable grammarian, I cringe whenever I hear statements like, ‘Everyone has a right to their opinion,’ utterly disregarding the fact that everyone is singular, not plural. My rejoinder is likely to be something along the lines of, ‘No, everyone are not entitled to their opinions,’” he wrote.

“Second Wave feminists argued that people should not be defined by gender but by their abilities and their attainments. Denying equal opportunity simply on the basis of essential characteristics related to sex and gender, they insisted, was inherently unfair. To appropriate Martin Luther King’s words, individuals should be judged not by external characteristics but by the ‘content of their character.’”

He then went even harder on the pronoun fad sweeping across the globe, writing, “The mania for specifying pronouns signals an unfortunate recidivism back to the days of gendered essentialism. People seem all too willing to reduce their entire identities to gender, whether female, male, trans, cis, bi, below the belt or over the top. It’s so important, they argue, that it needs to be stated prominently, whether in conversation or in the signature line of emails.” 

“I understand that this obsession is fueled in part by people struggling with their own gender identities. I sympathize; the road to clarity for many is fraught and painful. But the sum of an individual is infinitely greater than gender or pronouns or sexual preference and should never be reduced to that,” Balmer concluded. 

Although Balmer is a left-winger and even leans far-left on many issues, even he cannot stand the obsession over pronouns.

Colorado gov. signs bill banning women’s choice to stop chemical abortion

A new law signed by Democrat Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, S.B. 23-190, bans women from accessing abortion pill reversal if the mother chooses to terminate a chemical abortion.

The medication progesterone, taken within 72 hours of the first abortion pill, mifepristone, is effective in reversing the abortion pill’s effects, allowing the mother to save her child’s life. Heartbeat International, which runs the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, says it has confirmed that over 4,000 babies have been born since 2013 2013 after women underwent the reversal process.

Now, the Democrat-controlled Colorado is ripping away this choice for women by banning access to progesterone to counteract the abortion pill.

A summary of the bill indicates, “A health-care provider engages in unprofessional conduct or is subject to discipline in this state if the health-care provider provides, prescribes, administers, or attempts medication abortion reversal in this state, unless the Colorado medical board, the state board of pharmacy, and the state board of nursing, in consultation with each other, each have in effect rules finding that it is a generally accepted standard of practice to engage in medication abortion reversal.”

According to a report by PBS, “The bill also limits advertising by pregnancy resource centers, which do not offer abortions; rather, they are known to try to talk people out of getting an abortion.”

“Abortion pill reversal (APR) offered me a second chance at choice after starting and regretting a chemical abortion in early 2013. Because of the help I received, my son was one of the first of over 4,500 babies saved and born perfectly healthy because of the progesterone reversal-treatment,” said Rebekah Hagan, the research education coordinator for the Vitae Foundation. 

“I am deeply saddened and concerned by S.B. 23-190, which seeks to eliminate a woman`s choice to reverse her abortion by banning the practice of APR. Without this much-needed help as an option, women will be forced to complete abortions they no longer want to complete, and children who have the potential to be saved will now perish,” she added.

Democrats passed the bill using the pretext of a 2019 study by Mitchell D. Creinin, which attempted to disprove the efficacy of abortion pill reversal via progesterone. However, the researchers had to halt the study after too many women hemorrhaged and ended up in the emergency room. 

Dr. Creinin incorrectly attributed this effect to progesterone and deemed the reversal process unsafe. In reality, only one woman from the reversal group went to the emergency room and did not need emergency treatment. Several women from the control group (the group that only took the abortion pill and did not have the reversal treatment) needed blood transfusions and a dilation and curettage (D and C).  Creinin’s study proved that the abortion reversal process is 80% effective and that the abortion pill, mifepristone, is dangerous. 

Colorado now awaits word from the Colorado Medical Board regarding its results on abortion pill reversal in the state. 

Will Rep. Vasquez vote to avert border catastrophe by extending Title 42?

First-term U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District represents one of the two swing districts held by Democrats that include swaths of the southern border. The other vulnerable Democrat is Rep. Vicente Gonzales of Texas. 

Since Joe Biden took office, over six million illegal immigrants have flooded into the United States. Some of the immigration catastrophe has been averted due to Title 42, which was implemented first during the Trump administration, which grants removals by the U.S. government of persons who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present. However, Title 42 is set to expire on May 11, 2023.

Recently in El Paso, TX — just 46 miles from the Second District — over 1,000 migrants rushed the Paso Del Norte bridge border entry point.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a measure, H.R. 2, to extend the policy that has alleviated some of the border fiasco. 

According to Axios, “Months of work” on the GOP package have resulted in “the strongest border security package that Congress has ever taken up,” said Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA).

“The bill also includes money to improve technology for border security and additional border personnel,” reported the outlet.

“The crisis at the border is unfolding in these vulnerable Democrats’ backyards. They can either vote with their extreme party leadership or do something to alleviate the pain for their constituents – and we will be watching closely whose side they choose,” wrote National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Delanie Bomar in a statement to the Piñon Post

Vasquez is one of the most vulnerable House Democrats up in 2024, with the NRCC putting his seat on the shortlist of congressional districts being targeted in Next November’s election. Former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, who held the seat between 2021 to 2023, is running again for the seat with national figures, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was in Las Cruces for her election kickoff. 

Unions demand UNM wage hike despite just getting raises

The University of New Mexico teacher’s union, “United Academics” of UNM, along with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) New Mexico, are picketing on Wednesday from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the university for higher wages despite just being given a six percent raise bump.

But the raise was not enough for the militant unions, which are now demanding a “living wage” and scoffing at the six percent raise as not “real.”

AFT New Mexico wrote, “Are you fired up about the fight for a living wage? It’s time to make your voice heard! Join @UA_UNM for a Living Wage Rally to show we won’t stand for low wages! Together, let’s show our strength and commitment.”

A signup sheet for the picket claims, “Thousands of UNM employees, including hospital workers, faculty, graduate workers, facilities workers, and staff, struggle to make ends meet every day living on wages that often fall below the federal poverty line. The UNM Regents need to ensure that staff and educators (who are bringing up the next generation of New Mexicans, producing research advancements, and ensuring our university’s day-to-day functions) are paid a dignified wage!” 

In July 2022, UNM raised its minimum hourly wage for staff employees increased to $15. The average salary estimate for a UNM employee is around $21.29 per hour or $44,277 annually, according to data from August 2022.

The university’s guiding principles regarding salaries state that “[q]uantifiable, objective measures are used to evaluate the success of the University’s Compensation program over time.” The program notes some key factors in its pay adjustments include rewarding “individual excellence and promote employee growth and development” and promoting “fair and equitable compensation of its staff employees at all organizational levels.” 

The minimum wage of $15 an hour and competitive salaries for UNM workers aren’t enough to appease the unions, which are now moving the goalposts for a “living wage.” The unions have not said what salary number they are looking for to achieve the so-called living wage. 

According to MIT’s living wage calculator, for a single adult in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one would be making $15.97. The $15 minimum wage plus a six percent increase, as set by UNM, essentially matches this figure. However, it appears the unions want an even higher salary than a “living wage.”

Eco-leftists take out full-page ABQ Journal ad to attack Gov. Lujan Grisham

On Sunday, a full-page ad funded by multiple aco-left groups appeared in the state’s largest newspaper, the Albuquerque Journal, and the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Las Cruces Sun-News blasting Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The group angered over the governor’s veto of electric vehicle tax cuts, claimed the Democrat made “empty promises” on “climate change.”

The ad, paid for by the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC), was co-signed by a mirage of different “climate change” groups, including 350NM, the Center for Biological Diversity, ProgressNow New Mexico, the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter, WildEarth Guardians, among others. 

WELC wrote on Twitter, “After stymieing #ClimateAction for two consecutive #NMLeg sessions, we call on @GovMLG & #nmpol to #ActOnClimate,” adding, “The climate movement in New Mexico will not relent.”

ProgressNow New Mexico chimed in, “We hope @GovMLG takes her role on [the U.S. Climate Alliance] seriously and leads with a commitment to #ActOnClimate that she has shown in the past. There’s no time to waste,” referring to the group Lujan Grisham was recently appointed to serve. 

The outcry comes after the far-left Democrat governor signed 2019’s Energy Transition Act, which is the state’s version of the extreme socialist Green New Deal. Apparently, the groups are not happy with these extreme steps to harm the oil, gas, and coal industries, wanting even more New Mexico energy jobs to be stricken by the pen of Gov. Lujan Grisham.

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