Bring ’em back

Yesterday Gov. Lujan Grisham said she rejects the DC-based idea that there's a sinister emergency at the US-Mexico border and withdrew New Mexico's National Guard troops from that area. She says fewer than 20 troops ($) will still provide humanitarian aid to migrants and residents of Hidalgo County, but they're not there for any kind of defensive protection. She's recommended other states follow suit.

State of the media coverage

Lujan Grisham's rebuke of the president's border rhetoric came just hours before he delivered his State of the Union address, delayed a week due to the partial government shutdown. Watch the full speech here, from MSNBC; or, if you're like us and really can't stand audio of these things, read the full transcript here, from Time. If even that might make you queasy, CNN has a fact-check of various claims, as well as an analysis of the Democratic response from Stacey Abrams. The Washington Post also offers an annotated transcript ($).

Double-dipper

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber has been on a high horse about good, efficient government since he was elected last year, but when SFR asked about the retention of the city clerk making $173,500 through both a pension and a salary, the mayor was uncharacteristically tight-lipped. He said we need her to help us navigate the maze of municipal government, but doesn't seem to have any plans to simplify that maze.

Keep it zipped

The New Mexico Supreme Court has rejected the idea ($) that barring Independents from voting in primaries is unconstitutional disenfranchisement and taxation without representation. A few bills introduced this session in the Legislature, however, also would open primaries, and some of those bills would have a supporter in Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. She says she is pro-open primaries, but just doesn't think a lawsuit was the way to go about achieving them.

Tables have turned

Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil are about to dump $10 billion (with a b) into a liquefied natural gas export facility in Texas, inspired by the "renaissance in US energy production"—aka the oil boom in the Permian Basin. The facility would be up and running by 2024. Landlocked New Mexico is unlikely to see this kind of investment without a seaport.

No way. Way!

For a third time this week we're sending you over to the New York Times, but can you blame us when Santa Fe is the dateline? Now-local writer Julia Cameron, best known for her worldwide quasi-spiritual pan-creativity bestseller The Artist's Way, is the subject of a story this week ($) in which she discusses her storied life, her journey toward sobriety and living in a "spare adobe house" in Santa Fe after a life in big cities. Oh, and the article author spells chile "chili." Ugh, unforgivable.

Is he or is he not a crook?

Sources say that former UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs will be indicted today. The AG's office said it's looking into UNM's financial dealings, but declined to directly reference Krebs. NM Fishbowl has the story, plus a recap of the intrigue so far; starting in 2015, what could have remained a bunch of dry legal problems with money "ultimately unfurled into a Nixonian melodrama," writes Daniel Libit.

This ain’t gonna last

Gosh, yesterday was nice, wasn't it? The snow in the shade of our portal is almost totally melted, even. But don't get too comfy. Temps tumble today. They're forecast to make a rebound by the weekend. Bundle up for now.

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