Friday, July 25, 2014

Dead Last

Is Governor Susana Martinez's abysmal performance catching  up to her?  I think it might be.  This morning, buried in the Albuquerque Journal, was a story quoting Forbes magazine saying that Albuquerque was dead last out of 200 surveyed cities for job growth.  Dead last!  Combine that with police shootings, bludgeoning deaths of homeless men,  and the growing aura of non accomplishment  in leadership and you have an impending disaster for Martinez and Mayor Berry.

Of course the first beneficiary of that is democratic candidate Gary King who is shown in a dead heat on the republican leaning Rasmussen poll against Martinez.  43 to 43 percent.  It is at first blush unbelievable, but after a little meditation, one could see it might actually be true.

I noticed a blitz by Martinez on TV in the last few days as some sort of panic attack on the part of her campaign.  Did they have some internal polling done which showed a slippage?  I am thinking that is exactly what happened.  And so, what we need to see now is some animation in the King campaign  that will convince people that his layed back approach to governing is less damaging that the current Governor's helplessness on economic issues.  It is  time for Gary to come alive.  And quickly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Raining

Time to open the rainy day flood gates of the New Mexico State Permanent Fund to get the schools in order.  By that I mean guaranteeing that every child in the third grade is reading at third grade level.  A little money aimed at that one specific will do wonders for the Land of Enchantment.  That will lead to fewer drop outs and the horrible consequences of that entry into poverty and crime.  As we have seen here in Albuquerque this week when a bunch of drop out losers slaughtered two defenseless homeless men to get their kicks!

The conservative legislators from the oil patch won't like that Permanent fund raid one bit.  Most of that money came from oil and gas royalties paid to the state for its resources.  The fossil fuel boys like to let everyone know it is really a tax.  But it isn't.  And they don't want to see that Permanent Fund depleted more that usual because they think they will see royalty rates go up.  And they haven't gone up since I raised them back in the 80's when I served as Land Commissioner.

So I am suggesting that any new leases sold up the ante on royalty rates.  That will help continue to fund some growth in the permanent fund while at the same time getting our educational system in order.  And the Teachers Unions better damn well get on board too.

And as for our Governor, your time is running out on showing anyone that you really have any leadership abilities.  It is probably too late anyway but the people just don't see your failures.  History certainly will.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Steve Pearce is the Hypocrite of the Year

Congressman Steve Pearce of the oil patch may be the biggest hypocrite I have ever known.  He has been constantly whining that the federal government is always organizing land grabs that hurt his constituents, the oil and gas boys.  Yes,  we have been lucky in New Mexico to get to great new National Monuments designated by President Obama.  This was done after years of public meetings and congressional hearings and input from every interested party.  Yet, Pearce still insists it is a land grab.

Now, Pearce who is chagrined because a renewable energy power line will be built on the northern edge of the White Sands Missile Range, has secretly put an amendment on a bill that would give the defense department control over 300,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management Land.  No public hearings, no input from interested parties, no notification of anyone including hard scrabble ranchers in the area who are feeling blindsided by a guy who usually will support them and their subsidies on public lands.

This all makes Pearce look pathetic and the Defense Department look scurrilous.  Maybe this giant blunder will give some added wind to the sails of his opponent in November.  Send Rocky Lara a check even if she isn't in your district.  Pearce needs to be shown the door.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Ugly Governor

There was a great book and movie back in the 60's called "The Ugly American".  It was really about the overall arrogance and ignorance of the American average citizen and their government employees.  It was about uninformed policy in government that was designed to keep the public uninterested while making profits for the few and enemies of all foreign nations.  It is as true today as ever in our own state government, especially when it comes to ignorance.

We  New Mexicans now have a truly ignorant Governor in the person of Susana Martinez.  Have you ever wondered why she never appears in a wide ranging news conference?  It is because she would not be able to answer policy questions in any rational way.  If  you have ever spoken with anyone who has had the opportunity to visit with her on issues that she should be knowledgeable in, then you know that her lack of depth really shines through.  She has her shadow neocons to divert any criticisms of her by attacking those who differ with her.

I spoke recently with some folks who were asked to meet with the governor on the spur of the moment.  She then proceeded to embarrass her self with her total lack of what laws and policies were on the subject she was ranting on.  The participants said it was truly remarkable.

She is aided and abetted in this by our sorry state of affairs in journalism in New Mexico.  How is it that the broadcasters and print folks haven't cornered her in a free wheeling sit down session in over four years?  How can that be?  Are they required to give a list of questions first?  And then not deviate from it?

I am betting that is exactly the ground rules for anyone interviewing Martinez who is obviously in way over her head even after four years of experience.  She is very vulnerable here and Gary King needs to hit this issue hard.  He must corner her at every turn to force her ignorance into the open.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dagger to the Heart

The Bernalillo County Commission is attempting to put a dagger in the heart of downtown Albuquerque.  They want to move county offices out of the historic core of the city, and that would fly in the face of modern urban planning.

Due to eight years of Mayor Marty Chavez not caring about the area after its renaissance began, and then following up with the incompetence of the Berry administration, the efforts of the city to have a heartbeat are dwindling.

Surely, there is a viable alternative in keeping county employees downtown and there  has to be a bright Commissioner that can find it.  Right?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Top Story

When the media has two top stories running at once you can see how broadcast journalism is really a mile wide and an inch deep.  When an Israeli invasion of Gaza takes second fiddle to some lunatics blowing an airliner out of the air, then you know you are not getting the full story on either one of them.  Not really.  They are doing their best probably on slashed budgets that make the Rupert Murdochs and Comcasts of the world richer.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Young Scapegoats


Stop and think about the new distractions the right wing has imbedded in the ignorant Tea Party type masses.  In order to take folks minds off the atrocious division of wealth and income in this country, they have now targeted children immigrants as the cause of all problems.  Children!  This country is truly in trouble when you see this hatred against the defenseless.  

Please read a thoughtful piece on this division of wealth in the Albuquerque Journal today.  

Misc.

I happened to catch an old movie last night called "Munich".  It is about the slaughter of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics and the ensuing revenge killings by Israeli operatives.  The assassins soon begin to doubt the outcomes of their actions because the people they kill are replaced by even worse terrorists.  And we look today at what is going on in the middle east and see that things haven't changed a bit.  On both sides.  Once again, it is not a crisis but a culture of killing each others children.  They are all nuts.

Governor Toney Anaya of New Mexico has pled no contest to security fraud.  The once hard fighter against corruption got caught up in not disclosing the fact that the company that  he served has CEO was really being run by convicted felons on the board.  This is pretty surprising to me in that I thought he was above all that.

The comments on my post on the Archbishop retiring are interesting.  Many commenters think I hate the Catholic Church.  I do not.  I just hate the hierarchal corruption and behavior I see in the church, and most other churches.  My being an Atheist really has nothing to do with it.  I have many friends who have strong religious beliefs who don't much like that corruption either.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Short Timer

My old friend Dick Knipfing is hanging up his microphone and stowing his makeup  at Channel 13.  After 51 years of broadcast journalism he is retiring.  I don't think I have personally ever known someone who has stayed in one profession for such a long time.  And it is a profession that has changed dramatically from days of real solid journalism to lost dog and sex stories interspersed with occasional good work that makes a difference.

I first met Dick while serving in the New Mexico Air National Guard.  I was a freshly trained photographer/cinematographer from tech school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver.  He was also a member of the unit and I knew him to be a reporter.  I had always wanted to work at a TV station at some point.  But I was a business major and was working as a trust auditor at the old First National Bank in Albuquerque while attending UNM.

True story.  One day I went down to the personnel department at the bank to make an inquiry.  While I was there a phone call came in to the receptionist and she said the call was for me.  I got on the phone and it was Dick Knipfing saying they needed a photographer at Channel 7, and would I be interested.  I said I would and that I could start immediately.  I hung up the phone and resigned on the spot to go start my new job.  It lead to a great career in journalism and politics before it was all over.

The photo above is from Channel 7's 1972 Primary election night coverage.  (Think George McGovern)  I had moved on to reporting and on air work from shooting film.  I have to say my time in TV News was amongst the best times in my life.  Sitting around the newsroom, smoking, wisecracking, and marveling at the stuff that came across our desks.

I have Dick Knipfing to thank for that.  I wish him well in a new stress free lifestyle.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Retirement Comes for the Archbishop

Bernalillo County taxpayers will take a hit in the pocketbook now that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has plunked down a half million dollars or more for the retirement home for the retiring Archbishop Sheehan. That property has been taken off the tax rolls and Sheehan gets a free home for life.  Taxpayers will take up the slack.

Don't forget that the Catholic Church moved all of its properties into trusts that could not be taken as compensation for victims of pedophile priests.  Also, one can only wonder what that half million dollars could have been used for in the way of helping poor people.

Maybe we can get a new Archbishop that will emulate the new Pope.  Let us hope so.