Monday, August 31, 2015

Trump

His racism against Mexican/Latino men, women and children should always be remembered in this famous quote.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) 

The Best Way

The APS Board bit the bullet and forced a resignation of the hapless new School Superintendent Luis Valentino.  He showed the good sense to get out of town with an unspecified buy out, which when he was hired said he would never ask for.  But, this was the best possible outcome.

Now Secretary of State Diana Duran should also resign, on her own, before her life becomes even more complicated than just having a gambling addiction.  She should do it immediately to save us all some tax payer money on further investigations.  Trust in the system governing voting and campaign reporting needs to be rebuilt.

And, Governor Susana Martinez had better get a wide ranging consensus on who she would appoint to serve out Duran's term in office.  For everyone's sake it better be a bipartisan appointment of someone who believes in getting people to the ballot box.  We will watch this closely.

And inquiring minds still want to know who ratted out Duran.  Perhaps a fired employee?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Deftly Done

Attorney General Hector Balderas handled the Secretary of State issue very professionally.  It would have been easy to hold a grandiose news conference to blindside the Governor on her good friend's problems.  But he called and briefed her.  Then he sent a news release out on a Friday afternoon about Diana Duran's stupendous alleged gambling and money laundering problems.  Then he left town so no one could get comments from him.  It was deftly done.

It should cut the republican party off at the knees on any charges of grandstanding.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Questions to Be Answered

Before I begin, look at the front page of the Journal today in which the alleged gambling fiasco and money laundering by the Secretary of State is so prominent.  At the bottom of the front page there is an ad for a casino.  An astounding thing.  Those casinos march on even after causing so much damage to gambling addicts.

Attorney General Hector Balderas's  charges against the Secretary of State Diana Duran are probably going to lead to all kinds of other issues.  Time will tell.  Here is a list of items that I think need some clarification.  Especially given the $450K plus money that was churned through slot machines and tables at our state's numerous casinos.

1.  Where did all the money she had come from? (She reported raising $356K for her last campaign)

2.   Was it all from siphoned campaign funds, or were there other sources?

3.  If she jiggered the campaign reports for herself, did she do it for anyone else?

4.  The Governor's muted response is weird and weak.  Is she somehow vulnerable?

5.  Who tipped off the AG?  That will be a story in itself?

6.  Will the media take a look at the GOP's bad week given the fines paid by Sandia Labs for Heather Wilson's illegal lobbying?

7.  And finally,  guffaw, will the Governor somehow blame this on Bill Richardson?  And will Maggie Tolouse Oliver say I told you so?

Friday, August 28, 2015

House of Slots

Remember earlier this week when, in posting on the APS disaster, that it 'just doesn't get any better than this."?  I was wrong.

Now our republican Secretary of State Diana Duran has been charged with 61 counts of using campaign money for  personal use, and it appears according to AG Hector Balderas, that she used the money in casinos around the state.

If this were a Netflix series it could be called "House of Slots."

Judgement

The famous SCI FI novel, "Childhoods End" by Arthur C. Clarke concerns the arrival of aliens known as Overlords who will prepare the human race for its next jump in evolution.  The Overlords would never approach a civilization unless it showed respect and love for the other lesser species on their Planet.

The actions of Governor Susana Martinez and State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn in allowing the existence of leg hold traps to obliterate mountain lions and other wildlife is just too much believe.  This is the most cruel and inhumane action anyone could take against native wildlife.  These two officials, both extreme right wing republicans, have shown their true selves in allowing such actions.  We would fail to pass any test by the Overlords for advancement.

They may have a lot of people fooled into thinking they are acceptable public officials, but for many of us who love nature and decency, we know that they are totally lacking in morality.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Misc.

Of course we can be assured that  the APS School Superiendent will now keep his job since the Chamber of Commerce announced support for him, as well as their bedmates at the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board.  Now, I am convinced that the Governor's Office is involved in this mess because Susana gets what she wants from those two groups.  It seems logical anyway.

The Governor has just had a giant dent put in her armor, and she probably doesn't realize since she has done nothing.  I mean that the national animal rights groups could well descend on New Mexico because Susana's Game and Fish Commission has just approved the barbaric practice of trapping our indigenous mountain lions in leg hold traps.  This is repulsive to most everyone I know and the Governor just sits and does nothing.  It will backfire soon if she doesn't do something to stop it.

I went out to a shooting range today with a friend to practice long range marksmanship.  He shot at 600 yards, I shot at 200.  I did well with my sixty year old scoped .270 hunting rifle.  He had a state of the art long  range gun and grouped his shots in a four inch circle.I have always been shooting sports kind of guy.  I was a member of the NRA as a kid learning gun safety.  I was an avid upland bird hunter for years and a clay shooting enthusiast.  I got to be pretty good.  But then when the NRA and the unrestricted weaponizing of America took over, I just lost interest.  But as today showed, I didn't lose all of the skill.

We talked out on the range about what it would take to close loopholes in the gun laws.  I said that the shootings yesterday, since it involved journalists, might finally create some velocity on the issue.  Dead school children didn't do it, but pretty young reporters got everyone's attention.  And sure enough there are a lot of journalists crying for action now, rather than just reporting another murder.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gun Sales

Another crazy disgruntled employee decided to off his coworkers on live Television.  The victims were young TV News employees.  Very sad.  The killer then attempted suicide.  Three dead and one wounded.

The winner in all this will be the NRA and gun manufacturers who will see a surge in fire arm sales.  But, maybe another winner could be a media who will wake up to the gun craziness in this country, now that some of their own are victims.

This whole situation is like being told you have lung cancer and that smoking more tobacco might help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Astounding

I don't see any real hard evidence yet that Governor Martinez and her hapless Public Education Head Skandera arranged the hiring of the APS school Superintendent.  But I am suspicious that they had their way there only because they are now blaming Bill Richardson for a lawsuit filed against them by the whistle blower at APS that was threatened by the Superintendent.  Remember the Super's email to  Skandera?  The sophomoric quote from them said, "These are false and unsubstantiated claims being peddled by a disgruntled APS employee who served under Bill Richardson and clearly has an ax to grind.” 

This juvenile rhetoric is the signature response to any thing that might harm the Governor's carefully constructed facade.  It is getting pretty nauseating.

And of course, the Albuquerque Journal has totally buried former GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson's complicity in illegal lobbying for Lockheed Martin's Sandia Labs Management Contract.  It will cost the taxpayers $4.5 million.  If that had been a democrat  there would have been photos and condemning quotes on the front page for weeks.  It just shows how you can not trust the coverage of political news by the Journal Editor Kent Walz.  He is the GOP mascot for New Mexico.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Something the GOP Presidential Presidential Candidates Never Read


I am pretty sure I have violated every one of these.

Grist

It just doesn't get any better than this.  Now we find out that Heather Wilson, our former Congresswoman and stalwart GOP right-winger has cost us dearly.  Lockheed Martin, which exists on federal tax money paid by us folks, will need to pay a $4.5 million dollar fine because they improperly paid Wilson to lobby for them and get them a no bid contract to manage Sandia Labs.  Let's see if this story gets legs.  But she is the ABQ Journal's darling so don't count on it.  And the rest of the media is busy with orgasmic coverage of the APS meltdown to even think much about anything else.

And who can blame them?  If you wrote a novel about this it would get one star ratings on Amazon because no one would find it believable. But, truth is stranger than fiction.

And now we find out this recently APS deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez had even more problems that charges of sexual predation against children.  They include domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon causing injury.  The DA in Denver is thinking of revoking his bonds and throwing him in the slammer.  But first New Mexico AG Hector Balderas is being quick to say he needs to do an investigation too.

And of course the School Board is stretching out the agony of whether to fire the new Superintendent Luis Valentino.  They won't meet about it until next Thursday after a five hour Sunday meeting.  Odds are that he will resign by the since I am pretty sure he doesn't want to be seen in public....ever again.  Meanwhile teachers have to by their own school supplies.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Deeper and Deeper

The crap gets deeper and deeper at APS after a newly hired deputy superintendent was fired after it was discovered he was a child sexual predator up on charges in Colorado.  The three month tenure of the Superintendent Luis Valentino now looks pretty shaky to me, especially after he blamed his Human Resources Department for the mess, when in fact it looks like he was warned about the situation numerous times.

This has to be an eye opener for the School Board who have backed themselves into a corner by supporting their new pick to run one of the largest school districts in the nation.  The new revelation will weigh heavily on them in a meeting they have scheduled for today.

At the end of the day it is evident that the new APS boss just let it get away from himself as he tried to take over, but he has really blown his credibility and should be given a graceful exit.

In a comment on my post yesterday someone opined that this is why we should have looked for a local person to fill that job.  That is the same kind of thinking that got us Gordon Eden as the new APD police chief.  We can see how that has worked out.

So, if a new search is needed for someone to head the schools, don't just look inside New Mexico, but let everyone with qualifications have a shot at this most important post.  A line on a map shouldn't rule anyone out of the process.

And then we can all put our attention back on the well being and instruction of our students.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Heads Please

When government screws up it is usually no different than when private entities screw up.  Think the recession caused by America's bankers.  That  was a big one.

So is the hiring of a deputy school superintendent charged in Colorado with sexual crimes against children, by the new APS Superintendent.

It is time for heads to roll.  The School Board should find new leadership immediately.