Friday, April 29, 2016

Go To

It is quite apparent that the go to Newspaper in New Mexico is now the Santa Fe New Mexican.  In an incredible story today the Department of Human Services has admitted in Court that  it doctored the applications of poor people who applied for food stamps to make them appear ineligible to receive them. The Magistrate Judge in the case stopped the hearing after telling administrators that they should lawyer up and maybe plead the 5th amendment and stop implicating themselves in committing a crime.

This story is about a lot of things.  First and foremost it is about the Susana Martinez administration's right wing dogma rolling down hill to affect the very poorest people in the state.  That would be hungry children and mothers.  It is an indictment of the very morals of Martinez and her minions.

This is a back page story in the Journal.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Full of It

As a former State Land Commissioner I can attest to the fact that our current Land Commissioner, GOP fundamentalist Aubrey Dunn, is full of it.  Dogma that is.  His dogma is that any protection of large swaths of watershed and natural places will cause school buses to explode.

He is now stating that a small piece of state land being enveloped within a proposed wilderness area in northern New Mexico will cause a reduction in revenues for the Permanent Fund.  What B.S.  The area is already designated as the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

That 1250 acres is providing maybe $1000 a year in grazing fees.  If there are any mineral properties under the land worth spit, they would have been developed long ago.  In my estimation that 1250 acres being protected as a small part of a larger area, will produce more revenue than anything else through added tourism.  Oh, and the cowboys can still run their cattle in there.  And the state will be able to swap out the land for other federal lands.

So Dunn is doing what rightwing republicans in the west normally do, they are screaming the sky is falling when it is not.  This Commissioner has the vision of a brick wall.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GOP Blues

The infighting in the GOP on all levels reminds me of that great ego, Ralph Nader, and his tearing down of the Democratic party some years ago.  Of course that led us to the reign of bush/cheney and the rest is history.

Except in the case of the GOP today their travails will lead to some years of competent and qualified leadership whether you like Clinton or not.  The machinations of Cruz and Kascish against the Donald is almost slapstick.  Third rate political intrigue rolled out for the media and twitter.  It is stranger than fiction.

And then there is the fight over the post for GOP National Committeeman in New Mexico.  The GOP's anti Martinez/McClesky cabal will attempt to remove Pat Rodgers from  that post.  Oil Mogul Harvey Yates Jr., a guy I have always enjoyed gouging on this blog, will try and take over Rodger's job.  I hope he does.  As much as I have criticized Yates for his bankrolling oil friendly GOP candidates, I know him to be a reasonable person on a few issues.  Taking down the extreme right wing of  this party would be a good thing.  And in doing so, maybe some hint of bipartisanship  can be returned.

During the current GOP era, it seems that New Mexico is on the top of every list  for bad news, and on the bottom of every list for good news.  Our latest bad news list is being in the top three for having children with parents in prison.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Misc.

Ted Cruz won't compete in New Mexico's primary in June.  I was hoping he wouldn't  show up with his fundamentalism.  Suddenly though, NM is in the game with its late Primary.  That means our failed Governor will be on Fox News for an evening.

Former Department of Public Safety head Darren White who quit his job with Governor Gary Johnson is now promoting his new medical marijuana business.  White left Johnson because Johnson wanted to legalize drugs.  White says marijuana helped him deal with pain from old injuries and he now realizes he was wrong in his views.  More likely he realized he was wrong in how much money he could make pushing the herb.  This kind of points out the fact that the GOP and right-wingers really can change, as long as there is money to be made.

I decided I would run for Mayor again.  I want to pass a law to allow confiscation of loud motorcycles and cars that exceed a certain decibel level. The noise yesterday on Central Avenue near the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens was terrible.  A lot of young men showing everyone they have big motors while making life miserable for the rest of us.   Just kidding about running for Mayor.  Life is too short.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day Guy

One of the original founders of Earth Day, along with Senator Gaylord Nelson, is a native of New Mexico and long time activist in Albuquerque.  That would be the guy in the brown beret in this photo which graced the cover of Life Magazine so many years ago.  His name is Arturo Sandoval and he runs a non profit group in Albuquerque called the Center for Southwest Culture.

Arturo is currently organizing and setting up business operations for small organic farms through out New Mexico.  The farms are employing people in areas with high unemployment and they are making use of good arable land that has gone fallow.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Speech Again

Okay, so some jock ESPN guy gets fired for his comments on social media about transgenders using restrooms.  Although this guy in my opinion is a complete idiot, does he deserve to be fired for  using speech to voice his opinions?  This is all a slippery slope.  Interestingly, limiting free speech is being exercised most by corporate America.  They fear loss of profits.  Other than that do they really care what someone says?  Maybe, or maybe not.

This is different from the commendable actions of some corporations in attacking fundamentalist legislator freaks in North Carolina for making discrimination legal.  This is a basic question of fairness and equality, not freedom of speech.

Even as a left of center guy, I think the left is often overstepping its credibility on wanting people harmed for exercising their right to voice an opinion, no matter how stupid it is.  Don't forget, some people on the left also say stupid things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Look

This chart pretty much sums up why Bernie Sanders has done so well.



ART

I received an insight today as to why the Albuquerque Rapid Transit plan by Mayor Berry and the City Council won't work.  And that reason would be the City Council.

The main idea around ART is that it will lead to high density housing along the Route 66 corridor that  the system will follow  But, will that  really happen when the neighborhood associations start looking at such development?   Here is what will happen.  The densification will be fought tooth and nail by  those associations and the parochial city council members along the ART route will cave in to demands that dense housing not be allowed.  Even after they have used denser housing as the reason for supporting the system.

Traditionally, city council members are cowards and so far as I can see it hasn't changed much, except in rare cases.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

New Maps

They New York Times had a great piece Sunday on the suggestion that America should draw a new map of itself to reflect its reality.  We have really morphed into a country that depends less on state borders to define itself.  It really is now a region based nation, from the deep south, the east and west coasts, the Rockies(including the Colorado Plateau), and the great and growing urban centers.  It has been my opinion that the rural America that people love to emote over is really a thing of the past.

Some 20 years ago during my short reign as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management I often bridled at the stupidity of the Agency's organizational chart.  Every public land state in the west had its own BLM fiefdom that existed mainly for the sitting politicians in Congress and the Governor's office.  They could apply political pressure for their funders, the coal, oil and livestock boys who Charles Wilkinson referred to as the "Lords of Yesterday."  I have always recommended that every pol and lover of the outdoors read his book, "Crossing the Next Meridian."

I have always thought the BLM should be organized much like the Park Service and Forest Service.  Those bureaucracies base their management on regional concerns.  It would make sense for the BLM to do likewise.  For example, the Colorado Plateau encompasses an area that covers four states.  NM, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  Yet there are four separate offices trying to deal with the management of a connected landscape.  Ridiculous!

Maybe now that the fossil fuel boys are rapidly approaching their fall from kingmakers to bankruptcy status, we might see some movement to reorganize that BLM white elephant.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

PC

Some native Americans are upset with the seal of the University of New Mexico because it shows two guys who are a part of history and fought with indigenous people. Yes atrocities happened on both sides.  

Maybe some effort could be better spent on economic inequality that keeps kids from getting educated at all. This is a waste of time and energy and is really another attempt at rewriting history. This is so typical of base level politics....get people to hate each other for something that happened hundreds of years ago and was caused by people you never knew, or would want to know. Kind of like the Middle East isn't it?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Effort Welcome

Intel is most likely laying off thousands of workers next week.  I drove by their Rio Rancho plant this week and was shocked by the empty parking lot.  There are still 2300 people working there, but what will happen to poor New Mexico's manufacturing job base after next week?

Probably the last person to know right now is Governor Susana Martinez.  She is out and about hoodwinking the media in New York and Florida.  There is not a lot wrong with working for your political party, but maybe she could call back home and ask the Lt. Governor or some business people if they might travel to Intel HQ to see if there is anything that might be done to save jobs in one of the poorest states in the nation.  That ranking is her responsibility after all.

History will take care of Susana Martinez's horrible record as Governor in New Mexico, just like it is taking care of Donald Trump and the rest of the wacko GOP presidential candidates that she will work at getting elected.  But in the meantime, very bad things are happening.