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Mexican president praises violent bandit Pancho Villa for murdering 18 New Mexicans

In a recent statement, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador commended the actions of Francisco “Pancho” Villa, a key figure in the Mexican Revolution, for his 1916 incursion into Columbus, New Mexico, which resulted in the deaths of 18 Americans. López Obrador described Villa’s raid as a “daring feat” and suggested that it should be acknowledged for preventing what Villa viewed as betrayals. 

The Mexican leader’s remarks have brought attention to a historical event that has often been overshadowed by Villa’s broader contributions to Mexico’s domestic revolution against Porfirio Diaz’s dictatorship.

López Obrador’s reference to the Columbus attack as a form of resistance against imperialism, quoting historian Pedro Salmerón, adds a layer of complexity to the narrative surrounding Villa’s legacy. This perspective aligns with López Obrador’s previous expressions of admiration for Salmerón despite controversies surrounding the historian’s proposed ambassadorship to Panama, which was ultimately rejected due to allegations against him.

The attack on Columbus, executed by Villa and his forces, involved looting and setting ablaze homes and businesses, leading to casualties among both the local populace and U.S. military personnel stationed there. This act of aggression prompted President Woodrow Wilson to launch a military expedition into Mexico to apprehend Villa, an endeavor that ultimately proved unsuccessful.

The motivations behind Villa’s attack on Columbus have been a subject of historical debate, with some attributing it to a sense of betrayal by the U.S. government. Villa, expecting support from President Wilson, felt sidelined when the U.S. recognized the leadership of Venustiano Carranza, another revolutionary figure. Additionally, grievances against an American arms dealer, who allegedly supplied Villa with faulty ammunition, have been cited as contributing factors to Villa’s decision to strike.

President López Obrador’s recent comments highlight the enduring complexities of historical figures like Villa, whose actions have been interpreted in various lights, from national heroes to controversial figures. The acknowledgment of Villa’s attack on U.S. soil by the Mexican president underscores the evolving narrative of Mexico’s revolutionary history and its leaders’ roles in shaping the nation’s identity.

ACLU claims Texas is ‘dangerous,’ issues travel warning for New Mexicans

The ACLU has issued a panicked travel advisory for New Mexicans traveling to Texas, painting the state’s new laws directed at stemming illegal immigration as a dire threat to civil and constitutional rights. 

This move by the ACLU chapters from New Mexico to Arizona and even San Diego and Imperial Counties in California, has been seen by some as an exaggerated attempt to stir up concern and spread fear over measures that are yet to take effect until 2024.

The advisory warns of “the threat of civil and constitutional rights violations” for those traveling in Texas, suggesting a landscape fraught with danger merely for crossing state lines. It claims that the laws signed by Governor Greg Abbott, part of Texas’ Operation Lone Star, are a continuation of what it calls “extremist anti-immigrant actions,” including the use of “dangerous concertina wire and a deadly buoy barrier” along the border to stop the flow of illegal border crossers.

The ACLU erroneously claims that a new texas law, S.B. 4, “authorizes untrained police officers to engage in immigration enforcement,” creating a so-called “unconstitutional process” where individuals might be detained for merely being suspected of unauthorized entry into Texas. 

The ACLU goes as far as to say that individuals could face up to 20 years in prison under these new measures, a claim that has been criticized as fear mongering by those who view the laws as necessary steps toward securing the border and upholding the law.

Moreover, the advisory melodramatically states that “this law, when implemented, poses a risk to any person while in Texas,” implying that anyone, regardless of their reason for being in the state, could be ensnared by these laws. 

The advisory also touches on the issue of “human smuggling,” with the ACLU decrying the new laws for imposing “extreme mandatory minimums” that are “far out of proportion relative to the alleged crime involved.” It warns of a “risk for people while in Texas,” especially those traveling with illegal immigrants, further contributing to the portrayal of Texas as a state to be approached with extreme caution.

While the ACLU advises travelers on how to reduce their risk and assert their rights when stopped by law enforcement, the overarching tone of the advisory attempts to fan the flames of a false narrative to push for open borders in the United States. 

NM braces for ‘most violent wave’ of illegal immigration after SCOTUS ruling

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing Texas to enforce its S.B. 4, which allows law enforcement to arrest suspected illegal border crossers

This decision represents a notable albeit provisional victory for Texas in its efforts to manage unauthorized immigration.

This development follows a temporary injunction against the law, sought by the Biden administration, which has been challenging the legality of the measure, referred to as Senate Bill 4, introduced by Governor Greg Abbott in December. The administration’s lawsuit contends that the law encroaches on the federal government’s exclusive domain over immigration matters, reminiscent of a previous legal challenge to an Arizona immigration law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the decision, viewing it as a triumph over the Biden Administration’s opposition and a defense of the state’s sovereignty. The Supreme Court’s decision focused on the procedural aspect of lifting a prior suspension by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rather than the substantive legal questions at the heart of the case. Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, in a concurring opinion, emphasized the importance of allowing the appeals court to take the lead in such matters.

The legal saga is set to continue in the Fifth Circuit, which may revisit its decision, potentially leading to another round of Supreme Court deliberations. Governor Abbott sees this latest ruling as a positive step, albeit one within a broader legal and political battle over border security and immigration policy.

However, while the Supreme Court decision may be a victory for Texas, New Mexico will likely become the new epicenter for criminal trespass into the country through its over 50 miles of wide-open border that is not protected by any type of barrier.

State Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo) said after the decision via X, “Brace for the most violent wave of illegal immigration our state has ever seen after this Supreme Court ruling unless our state takes action. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham must immediately order a state of emergency due to the border crisis, direct the New Mexico National Guard to send personnel to assist agents at the border, and direct the New Mexico State Police to immediately begin arresting suspected illegal border crossers.”

This ongoing dispute is part of a series of confrontations between Texas and the federal government regarding border management strategies, including previous legal actions related to physical barriers on the Rio Grande and access restrictions to key crossing points. The issue of border security remains a pivotal topic in the political landscape, especially in the lead-up to the 2024 elections, with both President Biden and former President Trump articulating their stances during visits to Texas.

GoFundMe launched for fallen Officer Justin Hare’s family, services announced

New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare, 35, was murdered by suspected killer Jaremy Smith on Friday morning after Hare began to conduct a welfare check related to a vehicle stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 40, near mile marker 320 close to Tucumcari. The cop killer was on the run until Sunday, when Smith was finally apprehended in Albuquerque.

Tiffany Martinez, a friend of the family, is organizing a GoFundMe page for Hare’s children and girlfriend, Diazarre Quintana. 

“Officer Hare put on his uniform like any other day. Kissed her goodbye and I’ll see you after work. Only this time, she nor his children would see him at the end of his shift. Because of the evil act of a criminal, Daiz, and his 3 children will never hug and kiss him before the start or end of his shifts again. Instead, she got the knock on the door that no spouse ever wishes to receive. At that moment their lives were forever changed,” wrote Martinez.

“Justin, was an exceptional Officer but an even better provider, partner and father. Daiz was a stay at home mom and has been able to do so since the birth of their first child. She is currently pregnant with their third child, and overcome with grief and the unknown of what the future will bring,” she noted.

So far, the fundraiser has already grown to $77,204 of the $100,000 goal, with 837 donations as of 9:48 a.m. on Tuesday.

Officer Hare’s funeral services have also been announced. On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m. at Legacy Church in Albuquerque: 7201 Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121.

To find Officer Hare’s GoFundMe page, click here.

NM high court shuts down utility’s $5M rate hike to comply with ETA

The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled on a contentious matter concerning Southwestern Public Service Co.’s proposal to impose an additional charge on its customers, aiming to garner over $5 million in a span of three years. 

This proposed charge, known as a rate rider, was intended to offset the costs associated with augmenting the utility’s renewable energy output as a shift from traditional fossil fuel sources, mandated by the state’s Green New Deal, also known as the Energy Transition Act (ETA).

In New Mexico, the fully Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham-appointed Public Regulation Commission (PRC) oversees electricity tariffs. In 2021, the Southwestern Public Service Co. approached the PRC with a request to introduce this rate rider, positioning it as a necessary step toward fulfilling the state’s mandate for increased renewable energy production. 

New Mexico’s legislative framework mandates a significant push toward so-called “renewable” energy, setting strict guidelines for utilities to follow.

However, the PRC turned down this request, citing a need for concrete evidence from Southwestern Public Service Co. regarding their specific plans to invest in or develop new renewable energy projects with the proceeds from the proposed rate hike.

The state’s highest court has now affirmed the PRC’s decision, providing clarity on the issue. The court’s judgment underscored that the legislation encouraging the shift toward renewable energy was designed to promote the actual development and acquisition of clean energy resources. 

The justices pointed out that the utility company’s proposal failed to demonstrate how it would contribute to expanding renewable energy infrastructure, thus falling short of the legislative intent behind financial incentives for a “clean” energy transition. 

With utilities unable to increase rates for costly new eco-leftist mandates, it is unclear what utilities will be forced to do if no rate hikes are granted due to the apparent steep requirements mandated by the Democrat-run state.

See what grade New Mexico gets for its tax burden

Each state in the U.S. has its unique approach to taxation, significantly influencing residents’ financial health. The increasing trend of remote work has further fueled the discussion around the impact of state taxes, as individuals are no longer bound to live near their workplaces.

To determine the tax efficiency across the U.S., MoneyGeek undertook a comprehensive study, leveraging data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Tax Foundation, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey. This research culminated in a grading system ranging from “A” for the most tax-efficient states to “F” for those with the heaviest tax burdens, considering sales, income, and property taxes.

The findings revealed that Nevada stands out as the state with the highest tax efficiency, with residents facing an average tax bill of $2,949. In stark contrast, Illinois emerged as the least tax-efficient, where the average family tax bill soars to $12,472 annually.

The disparity in tax burdens is stark, with a typical middle-class family in Illinois shouldering $9,524 more in taxes annually compared to a family in Nevada.

The study also linked tax efficiency to population trends, noting that states with an “A” rating in tax-friendliness saw a population growth of 0.9%, while those rated “F” experienced negligible growth. Florida, in particular, enjoyed a substantial 2.1% population increase, the highest nationwide, coinciding with its “A” tax-friendliness rating. Conversely, New York, with a “D” rating, witnessed the most significant population decline at -0.8%.

New Mexico has a “C” rating, with the 20th-highest tax burden. MoneyGeek notes that the estimated taxes are $6,808, with a 7.1% tax burden.

In an in-depth look at the tax landscape, MoneyGeek’s analysis identified the ten most and least tax-friendly states. The study defined a typical middle-class family as a married couple with one dependent, earning the median national income and owning a median-valued home. This benchmark family found Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, and Washington to be the most tax-efficient states. Notably, all “A”-rated states, except Arizona, benefit from having no state income tax, a trait shared by South Dakota and Texas, which both received a “B” rating. In these tax-friendly states, taxes account for merely 5% of a typical household’s income.

Conversely, the least tax-friendly states impose taxes that constitute 11% of a typical family’s income. Illinois, the lowest-ranked state, sees taxes consuming an astonishing 13% of household income. Most of the bottom ten states are situated in the Northeast or Midwest, with Oregon being the only exception.

PNM shareholders get some good news

Albuquerque-based PNM Resources, Inc., which is one of the New Mexico companies on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: PNM), has announced that shareholders will continue to receive the increased dividend payment of $0.3875, which was first instituted on February 16th. This enhancement from last year’s dividend positions the yield at 3.7%, aligning with the industry’s average. The continued enhanced dividend is payable on May 10, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 26, 2024.

In Simply Wall Street’s December analysis of PNM Resources, it was noted, “PNM Resources’ Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions.” Despite the appealing dividend yield, it’s crucial to evaluate the sustainability of such distributions. The previous dividend consumed a significant portion of the company’s free cash flows, compounded by a scarcity of free cash flows, which could indicate potential long-term risks.

According to the outlet, EPS growth is anticipated to be 74.3% over the coming year. If the dividend trajectory remains consistent with recent trends, Simply Wall Street estimates the payout ratio to be around 52%, which suggests a sustainable model.

Reviewing PNM Resources’ dividend history reveals a commendable consistency in payments. Since 2013, the annual dividend has grown from $0.66 to the current $1.55, marking an average annual increase of 8.9%. This steady growth, without significant reductions, enhances shareholder value.

However, investors hoping for continued dividend growth might need to temper their expectations. Despite the company’s earnings growing at 11% per year over the past five years, a high payout ratio could potentially limit future growth opportunities.

In conclusion, while the increase in PNM Resources’ dividend is welcome, investors should proceed with caution. The stability of past payments is a positive sign, yet the high payout ratio raises concerns about future growth and sustainability. 

The latest PNM stock traded at $36.70 per share as of 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. Year-over-year, PNM Resources fell from a stock price of $48.66, possibly due to the international company Avangrid backing out of a merger with the company. 

This article is not meant to provide investing advice but rather to report on PNM’s newly announced dividend.

Officer Justin Hare’s murder suspect apprehended in ABQ

Early on the morning of Sunday, March 17, 2024, we shared the news that Jaremy Smith, the individual accused of fatally shooting New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare and being a key figure in the investigation into the death of Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic from South Carolina, was apprehended.

Sources, who chose to remain anonymous, have indicated that Smith was wounded by gunfire from deputies in Bernalillo County, per ABQ Raw. Although the New Mexico State Police were observed escorting the ambulance headed to UNMH, the specifics of Smith’s current health status remain undisclosed.

The vicinity of Anderson Hill and Unser is presently swarmed by law enforcement, leading to traffic advisories for motorists to steer clear of this area.

In a subsequent update at 9:30 AM, the New Mexico State Police confirmed that Jaremy Smith was captured following a car chase that culminated in an exchange of gunfire with deputies from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

The Multi-Agency Task Force has launched an inquiry into the incident involving the deputies’ use of firearms. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that none of their deputies sustained injuries during the incident.

Manhunt continues for murderer of NM State Police Officer Justin Hare

The New Mexico State Police continue to be in active pursuit to capture a suspect responsible for the death of one of their own. The individual in question, 32-year-old Jaremy Smith from South Carolina, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Justin Hare. The incident occurred on Interstate 40 near the 318-mile marker early in the morning around 5:30 a.m. last Friday. According to reports, Smith had stopped on the highway due to a flat tire and was attempting to wave down passing vehicles when Officer Hare arrived at the scene and positioned his patrol car behind Smith’s vehicle.

During a press conference held on Saturday, Chief Troy Weisler of the New Mexico State Police detailed the events leading up to the tragic shooting. He explained that Smith engaged Officer Hare in a brief conversation at the passenger side of the police vehicle under the guise of needing assistance with the tire, only to suddenly draw a firearm and shoot the officer. Smith then proceeded to the driver’s side, shot Hare once more, and forcibly moved him into the passenger seat before fleeing the scene in the officer’s vehicle. The stolen police car was found abandoned shortly thereafter, with Smith still at large and deemed extremely dangerous.

Chief Weisler, visibly moved, spoke of Officer Hare’s final act of kindness, “On a cold, dark, and windy morning, he offered help to a person he thought was in need,” highlighting the cruel irony that Hare’s last words on earth were ones of assistance to the very individual who would take his life.

It has also come to light that Smith was driving a BMW that belonged to Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic who was later discovered deceased in Dillon County, South Carolina. An investigation into her death is underway, with an autopsy planned for the upcoming Monday.

Chief Weisler further noted Smith’s extensive criminal record in South Carolina, which spans over a decade and includes both property and violent offenses. He emphasized the profound loss felt by the state police, marking the third officer to be killed in the line of duty within the last nine months—a stark contrast to the preceding 30 years without such an incident. Weisler expressed a fervent desire for such violence to end, mourning the loss of Officers Ferguson, Hernandez, and now, Hare, all of whom were “violently murdered in cold blood.”

As the police community mourns, they also stand resolute in their commitment to justice for Officer Hare, with Weisler firmly stating, “Jaremy Smith, we are coming for you.” Hare’s passing leaves behind a grieving girlfriend and two young children, a poignant reminder of the human toll of such senseless acts of violence.

NM residents ranked most federally dependent in the entire country: Study

According to WalletHub, New Mexico residents are ranked the most federally dependent, and the state at large is ranked the second-most federally dependent state in the union, only beaten by Alaska.

New Mexico’s federal dependence score was 76.70 out of 100, while Alaska’s was 89.52. 

WalletHub notes, “New Mexico is the second-most federally dependent state, in large part because it receives a huge amount of federal funding compared to the taxes that residents pay. For every $1 paid in taxes, New Mexico gets $3.26 in federal funding. Around half of the other states get less than $1 in federal funding for every tax dollar.”

“Federal funding makes up a large share of New Mexico’s revenue as well, at around 47%, and more than 3.5% of the Land of Enchantment’s workforce is employed by the federal government. Both of these rates are among the highest in the country, proving that New Mexico’s economy owes a lot to the federal government,” the study continued.

WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe noted, “Regardless of whether the distribution of federal funds is fair or not, living in one of the most federally dependent states can be beneficial for residents. For every dollar residents of the top states pay in taxes, they get several dollars back in federal funding, which often leads to higher-quality infrastructure, education, public health and more.”

However, Happe’s analysis shows that is not the case in New Mexico, which despite the incredible government subsidies, is ranked near the bottom of every economic, health care, well-being, and safety state ranking. New Mexico also had the 46th lowest gross domestic product in the entire country, per WalletHub.

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