Friday, February 05, 2016

MISC

A National rating group says 25% of New Mexico's highways are in bad shape and costing citizens almost $2 billion a  year in vehicle damage and lost time.  The solution to this would be a simple 12 cent gasoline tax during a time of plummeting gasoline prices. And don't forget a lot of this tax would be paid by tourists and interstate commerce.  But don't hold your breath while the current ideologues hang out in Santa Fe.  The lack of leadership is appalling.

The peculiar saga of Mayor Berry's developed trail plan for the Rio Grande Bosque continues.  He and his administration are still ignoring public outcry on his quest to unnecessarily screw up that special place.  It is a tribute to stubbornness  on something that doesn't deserve the angst.  I just don't get it.  Opposition is overwhelming to this plan, and yet he keeps on pushing it.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Millenials

So, what is a candidate to do?  Millennials are up for grabs, but only if someone with real solutions could inspire them.  This focus group study from Democracy Corp is a must read for anyone that even cares about our future.  Bernie Sanders could be proof because of his support by young folks.

I was thinking this morning about our Democratic Party in NM.  Where are they?  Admittedly, I stopped taking their emails because I just couldn't stand the sophomoric statements in those missives. They are certainly not composed by someone who has any idea at all of what young people are dealing with in their lives.  Student Loans, lack of jobs, and non existent leadership have resulted in them bailing out of politics. All we get is  same old mantra from the Democratic leadership.  Probably the best thing that could happen to the Party in NM is to get a Chair  that is under 35 years old.  That might change things from a party of old-timers to a party of futurists.  It can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

School 1, TEA PARTY 0.

I am eating crow.  I really thought those school board bond issues were in danger because of the obsessive negativity of the Albuquerque Journal.  But smart people went to the polls and voted for education and kids.  Woo Hoo!  I feel great about being wrong.

Misc.

Ted Cruz is one scary messenger for the Christian fundamentalist fringe.  The only good thing about him winning in Iowa I think, (it is only Iowa after all), might be that he made that world renowned comb over ass a loser.  But we should all fear Ted Cruz, think about that book "The Handmaiden's Tale."  That would be his kind of America.  And how about Clinton?  Bernie showed that young people in that midwestern state are looking for some support for a future.  I have sent money to Sanders, but I am not so sure he would be a great president on the world stage.  But, I sure like what he says.

Will some brave soul in the NM Legislature really become a champion of increasing the gas tax?  There are some halfway attempts to do so at 5 cents a gallon.  But I am thinking more like 12 cents.  With our new era of gasoline prices,  this would be a painless thing to do while providing good revenue to fix our crumbling transportation infrastructure.  Where are the leaders that can broker such legislation?

What are the odds on the passage of the school bonds in the APS elections today?  Iffy at best.  The Albuquerque Journal's Editor has set up that scenario with his relentless obsession with some of the problems there.  When will the publisher of the Journal, Bill Lang, understand that his editor is out of control?  Is he absentee, or is he really as right wing as his editor?  He needs some heat and sunshine on  him as well.


Monday, February 01, 2016

Stomp the Worker

City Councillor Pat Davis is calling for support to squash Mayor Richard Berry's support for a bill introduced by his GOP handlers in the Legislature that  would lower Albuquerque's Minimum Wage.

I have been mostly a critic of Berry for his inability to handle tricky issues like APD's shooting sprees and hiring weak leaders for the department.  I think he is somewhat lost on many issues that require a Mayor's touch.  But, I had never really suspected that he would do something that could harm those people who work hard for minimum wages.  How does he think this helps our city?  While most jurisdictions debate raising the minimum wage, our Mayor supports lowering it.

We pretty much know who pulls the Mayor's strings.  The business community, the right wing GOP, the editor of the Albuquerque Journal, and his own Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry.  One might think they have no consciences.

Quite frankly, if New Mexico doesn't start electing some smart and compassionate leaders it is doomed to the cellar in terms of decency and prosperity.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Another Fall

The Land of enchantment used to be higher rated as a place for retired people to live.  This latest Kiplinger report has us at 3rd worse place for retirees in the nation.  Another Susana Martinez failure.  She dropped taxes for corporations, but not the elderly.  Click on the graphic to make it larger.

Pants on Fire

Is the New Mexico State Police Chief a liar?  Chief Pete Kassetas lashed out at a critic of Mayor Berry's plan to rehire police officers who retired and let them keep their pensions during a legislative committee hearing.  He said his department was not fully staffed.  But this letter says otherwise just a few months ago, and he had graduated a new academy class since then.  Apparently someone is not truthful here and could it be a GOP mandated lie to help a republican Mayor Berry get his legislation passed?   And, is this all an effort to weaken the Public Employees Retirement Association permanent fund so that future legislators can try and gut public employee pensions?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Susana's Legacy

Of course all of this isn't Susana's fault.  She didn't cause the great recession.  But in the six years in office she hasn't done anything to show she is working to improve things.  (This graphic appeared in the Journal this morning.  Their graphics person is very good.)

Take for instance the Coca Cola plant in Portales, NM.  It has been there since I was a kid.  We used to look on the bottom of the bottles of coke to see if they were from Portales.  Coke would do that to show you where it came from.  Has Susana been over there to chat with her supportive base to ask what she can do to help those 60 laid off employees?  Has she called Coca Cola and asked for a reprieve?  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rainy Day

Many lawmakers in Santa Fe have always called the State Permanent fund, valued somewhere north of $13 billion, a 'rainy day fund.'  That was always the reason they gave for never wanting to pull more money out of it to use on improving education.

The rainy day is here with the admission that new money this year in Susana Martinez's disastrous economic meltdown amount to only $30 million.  Huge shortfalls have occurred because of oil prices sinking to new lows and the Governor and Legislature giving tax breaks to the richest.  Her long time support of the fossil fuel boys has done nothing but help them on bad environmental decisions and continued kid glove treatment.  Her antigovernment stands have hurt government jobs, at all levels.  She continues to be silent on the continued job losses and falling population in the Land of Enchantment.  To be fair, the legislature deserves some of this criticism too.

Now, it is time to tap in to that Permanent fund to help education and job creation.  No time to waste. Will the Governor and Legislature deal with reality?  Or will they continue to dick around on unimportant issues like drivers licenses.  It is time to take names.

Heavenly Father

Bundy and his gang in Oregon were apparently caught with their special Mormon underwear down as they traveled to a meeting near their militia clown posse headquarters.  One of them who professed he would fight to the death got what he wanted.  The others were arrested.  This whole thing happened because the  Mormon Bundy family said that god wanted them to do this whole occupation thing.  Looks like 'Heavenly Father' changed his mind.

Apparently their deity decided that Teddy Roosevelt's dream of an America with abundant public lands was a mistake.  He even told them to take up assault rifles to threaten wild life biologists and scientists at the Wild Life Refuge they invaded.  Just another weird religious sect I suppose, but dangerous when mixed with weapons.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sounds of Silence--Updated

So, we have incarcerated hundreds of children at Holloman, Air Force Base in Alamogordo.  These central American children, yes children, have travelled thousands of miles on their own to find a better life.  Think of your middle school kids doing that.  Talk about desperation and courage.  And yet, has the Governor or a group of legislators said, "Let's go down there and make sure these kids have what they need?  Surely someone in Santa Fe ought to take a look at the situation from merely a parental view.  But the Sounds of Silence rage.

Update....It appears that the Health and Human services people are handling this well.  This story was just posted on the web.  

Silence emanates from the 4th floor of the Capitol building in Santa Fe in the wake of Sprint's summary firing of 400 New Mexicans from their jobs in Rio Rancho.  Two weeks notice with a go screw yourself attitude.  But, lets face it, that is corporate America's approach to it's employees.  But, government leaders should say something and it is silence we are greeted with by Susana Martinez and the economic development team in Santa Fe.

The only noise being made is on drivers licenses for undocumented workers who fix your roofs, clean  your houses and mow the yard.

Monday, January 25, 2016

MISC.

Sprint put another finger in the eye of the region's economy by their late Friday afternoon announcement that 400 New Mexicans lost their jobs.  That late PM announcement is always done before a weekend in order to lessen the media attention over Saturday and Sunday.  It is corporate America at its worse and if I had a Sprint phone I would dump  them.  And of course, where was the Governor and her minions as this happened?  Were there any entreaties from them to reconsider?  Did the Governor hop in the jet to go to Sprint HQ and camp out in the lobby  to get them to give a reprieve? Hell no, she sold the Jet and she doesn't give a shit.  She is busy with divisive and unimportant issues like driver's licenses.

And when will Mayor Berry and the media start paying attention to the upcoming franchise renewal for Comcast to provide services to this city?  Will anyone pay attention to the way this Corporate monster treats the population on internet prices?  What kind of sweetheart deal has been done to keep this in stealth mode?  Will anyone ask?  Where is the Journal on this?  Maybe a business reporter could do some comparisons around the west to see how we are faring in this non competitive market.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Science

Quigley's front page column in the Journal this morning laments the lost of luster in the pursuit of pure science.  It is a thoughtful piece.  Meanwhile, his newspaper's editor banished the new science facts on global warming to the third page.  This new report from  world scientists is ominous, but true to the fossil fuel boys the Journal, unlike just about every other daily newspaper, thinks that it doesn't deserve above the fold front page position.

It is pretty evident that the powers at be at the Journal fall into the group of American corporate leaders that think science is only good when it supports profits.

The continuing saga of the lead poisoned water in Flynt, Michigan is a perfect example of corporate funded pols, like the Governor there, denying science in the favor of saving tax dollars.  And now, all Americans have to pick up the tab for this SOB's corporate thinking.   They should take money from him personally until he is digging ditches.