Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alabama

If I weren’t an atheist, I would say there is a god. 

Scale

A person labeled as a terrorist yesterday set off a feeble pipe bomb in NYC that caused minor injuries to bystanders and a serious injury to himself.  Thankfully, no deaths.  But of course, the media and President go apeshit over this incident.

In the meantime, they ignored the fact that over 90 people were killed by gunfire in the US yesterday.  A major terrorist called the NRA is responsible.  And not a word.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Toasting Les

When I was State Liquor Director in the late 70's and early 80's the licensing system was corrupt and dangerous.  We set out, with the blessing of Bruce King, to try and fix things in a legislature rife with liquor lobby controlled members and organized crime involvement in the licensing structure.

After a couple of years of extreme maneuvering, we came up with a reform bill to be introduced to the Legislature.  The bill was carried by Senator Les Houston.   Les passed away this last week.

The effort he put out to pass the bill was heroic and successful.  His astonishing sense of humor carried the day and he beat the liquor lobby into submission.

Most of the reform was killed over the next few terms of office for Governor, but one thing really stuck.  And that was Beer and Wine licenses.  So the next time you go into a small place for dinner and a brew or glass of red, make a toast to Les Houston.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Of Course a Fire Sale

A submission by a good friend, Ned Farquhar.


Yes, if you are producing oil and gas, or want to, you do pretty well under the tax reform legislation moving through the Congress with the Trump Administration's strong urging and approval.  Significant wind energy tax preferences, however, will go toes-up.  As this article says, it's part of a concerted campaign FOR fossil fuels, and AGAINST renewable energy.  See "reward oil and gas while taking aim at renewables"  https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/The-GOP-Tax-Bill-Is-A-Big-Win-For-US-Oil-And-Gas.html

Another consideration: If you are an oil and gas entity, and you make a lot of political contributions, it will be really nice to deduct your contributions as charitable donations not subject to Federal income tax.  Just send them to a politically oriented church.  How's that?  The legislation now under consideration removes the prohibitions on political activity by charitable entities.  https://www.independentsector.org/resource/2017-house-tax-reform-talking-points/

Yet further, tax reform will reward residents and businesses in oil-rich states where there is no income tax - Wyoming, Texas, and Alaska, for example - by eliminating deductions of state and local income taxes from Federal income tax.  In contrast, residents of states with income taxes will suffer, paying taxes on the money they pay to their state governments in income tax.  (The big GOP objection to the inheritance tax has always been that it makes an estate pay tax on funds that were already taxed when they were earned - in other word, double-taxation.  But no objection to violating the same principle by double -taxing via elimination of the state tax payments tax deduction.  And big advantages to oil-windfall state residents, who tend to be very loyal to the GOP.  Remember, it's Alaska, Texas, and Wyoming...)

And oil and gas loopholes are preserved in this tax reform bill, which eliminates middle-class benefits and causes tax increases for many with incomes under $100,000/yr. 

Pretty nice gift to fossil energy from the GOP Congress and Administration - while renewable energy is pushed backward.



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

PED Stupid

Susana's Public Education department is being run by idiots.  They have condemned four Albuquerque Schools for having bad test scores.  They have denigrated the teachers who work the hardest in schools whose communities are in chaos and poverty.  Teachers from higher scoring affluent schools wouldn't last a week in these difficult areas because of the daily grind of not only teaching but trying to nurture kids from broken and parent addicted homes.  This bludgeoning by PED is criminal.  And think what it does to the kids that go to those schools.  One more black mark on their lives.

My hat is off to the courageous teachers and administrators who work in these kinds of schools  They are the bravest people in the school system.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Ravaged

As a former Director of the Bureau of Land Management, I am trying very hard to understand why trump and zinke are working so hard to destroy our heritage.  One of the things that have made our nation great is its public lands and conservation ethic.  Hard battles have been waged in protecting our great western landscapes.  And then these two, well, clowns, come along and set back our peoples efforts to a time before Theodore Roosevelt when watersheds, forests, rivers, and landscapes were to be pillaged.  The actions in Utah today by our psychopathic liar of a president and his minions in the oil and gas, mining and livestock industry will go down in infamy.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Corpse

How do you make a corpse out of a corporation?  The right-wing supreme court has said corporations are people.  And these people are destroying America by the tax cut, funding of right-wing politicians, denying decent healthcare to citizens, and interference in nurturing a strong middle class.  They are enemies of the people.

So how would one go about doing away with a corporation by assassination?  Is there a way to do it? I think not unless wholesale slaughter is visited upon the executives, boards, and stockholders.  So, is a corporation even a person?  Well the GOP thinks so even though there is no way to kill a corporation to protect the public health safety and welfare.

This is where the ultra-rich have taken America.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Damn Journal

The Journal just had to rag on Mayor Keller on his first day in office.  And they did it in an editorial that singled out an accomplished young Latina Woman, Oriana Sandoval as a scapegoat of some sort for being involved in human rights work.  They said her appointment was baffling.  Baffling?  Why?  Because she is Latina and believes in social justice, immigrant rights and environmental protection for the most vulnerable?   The Poor.  Because she has worked for a non-profit?  Because she is a highly educated woman of color?

Editor Karen Moses, Senior Editor Kent Walz and the Lang family have stooped to a new low.  That is what is baffling.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Era

Mayor Tim Keller has signaled his intention to have Albuquerque enter a new era.  His appointment of Oriana Sandoval as a Deputy City Attorney to oversee immigration issues, environmental fairness, and social issues is refreshing.  Mayor Berry's exit means the right wing influences on our city's policies that have favored compassion and fairness will now return.  I am not saying Berry was a crazy elected official as Dan Lewis turned out to be, but his political appointments did not help his image.

Lawrence Rael, who served during my term as Chief Administrative Officer, is back as Chief Operating Officer.  He knows where all the money is for sure and is a master at getting it to where it needs to be!  And one of the places it doesn't need to be.  That would be anything involving the Santolina development west Albuquerque.

Now,  Keller takes office in a few hours and the problems will fall into his lap.  It is not an easy job but picking the right people to help is paramount.  So far he is batting 1000.  Next up, a real economic development team and hopefully that will mean new faces.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How I Really Feel.

When trump and his Utah Congressional enablers meet next week they will destroy a historic tradition of protecting, honoring and valuing our National Monuments.  They will go down in infamy along with our current Interior Secretary zinke because they will cut huge amounts of acreage from National Monuments and protected areas in Southern Utah. Of course, trump and his gang are also slapping the Native American population in the face because those folks worked so hard on getting the Bears Ears National Monument designated.

The pressure to get rid of these psychopathic republicans is just building in many segments of the population.  I can honestly say now that I actually abhor anyone involved in this desecration of our publicly owned lands.  I almost wish we could build a monument to trump, zinke and Senator Hatch and his fellow Utahn congressional folks in some corner of the nations capitol in the shape of a spitoon.

If they go ahead and pass this GOP tax cut bill for the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor, then we should make the spitoon even bigger to honor the rest of the GOP.  All of these guys and gals names could be engraved, on the inside.