Friday, February 29, 2008
One has to wonder if this will help slow down the Pinon tree powered generating plant in Estancia. Lyons gave a sweetheart deal to those developers to clear thousands of acres of our beloved state tree to burn as a fuel source. That was a no bid contract too.
I hope PNM, who has contracted to buy some of this power, will soon back out of the deal. It stinks all the way around and is hardly a renewable energy project that they like to brag about.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
As I went to my car at Starbucks my day got worse. Some jerk in a large vehicle had peeled back the whole right rear section of my parked BMW with his very tall SUV tires. He then left the scene and $1700 damage to my car. No one saw it happen. I hope he gets malaria.
The State Farm people had every thing figured out and within two hours I am all set to have the car fixed next week. I get to pay $250 deductible.
This is all pretty minor stuff and things actually can get a lot worse. This in truth is just a minor aggravation in the larger scheme of things. On the bright side when I went in to file a police report I was able to connect with a good old friend of mine and we had a great chat!
Back to the El Rey Theater. I remember when we were kids that we went to every movie theater in town, except for the El Rey. Probably because they specialized in Spanish Language movies. Looking back on it, that is where we should have been to increase our language skills. We sure didn't get any training in our catholic schools in languages, except for Latin in altar boy class. In fact the Dominican nuns would punish kids for speaking Spanish if they were already bilingual. It is good things have changed but a whole generation of kids missed out on early language skills.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Domenici issued a statement this week criticizing the Richardson administration's support for new regulations on making the oil and gas boys clean up their messes in New Mexico. Domenici's biggest supporters historically have been the Oil Industry and especially Yates Petroleum. Senator Pete is complaining that the new rules will cost the companies a lot of money. These are the guys that are raking in record profits in an orgy of greed unparalleled in recent history. Pete has even protected them from windfall profit taxes and the nation's deficit grows to unfathomable proportions. All this happens as oil approaches $4 a gallon by summer. Maybe that expensive gas will ultimately do in the industry as it makes just about every other alternative fuel look even better.
Enter the Santa Fe County Commission on another oil and gas matter. They have enacted a 6 month embargo on any drilling in the Galisteo basin. This comes on top of a six month moratorium enacted by the Governor's office.
The Front Line in battling the Oil and Gas industry now rests pretty much with local government and it will remain that way until bush leaves office. That will be just 11 months from now.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Business as usual at the Land Office! If any of
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
NeoCons have been using that bad information saying we must stay in Iraq because we are fighting people so bad that they are sacrificing the mentally retarded in suicide bombings. What will the war mongers do now? Retract those statements? Don't hold your breath.
I had an interesting comment on yesterday's blog about the need for policy summaries from Barrack Obama's campaign. The commenter said it really wasn't that important because it wouldn't make a difference in whether you would vote for Obama. That might be true. But, it will make a difference in how hard people work to get other voters out for him. Once again, you don't have to get extremely detailed in these summaries. For example on western issues we just need enough information to know that he does care about western wilderness, wildlife, landscapes, roadless areas and watersheds. This isn't minor stuff for many people.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
When I surfed back to CNN Hillary came on to the stage. I think the lighting on her was designed and provided by the ghost of Bela Lugosi. It was truly awful and we watchers all saw it as a metaphor for they way her whole campaign has been running. How could her 'producers' let this happen and how could she once again ignore reality and not even mention her defeats even in passing?
Then Obama came on and talked for 44 minutes. CNN cut from Hillary's coverage just as we all suspected they would. Obama has a tendency to run on a little but I have to say every time I was ready to surf again he would say something that was meaningful and we all agreed to keep watching. We thought CNN would cut him off at 8 PM but twenty mintues later they were still with him. Amazing. And then one of the commentators said he spoke to long. That figures coming from the folks who give presidential candidates on the news and average of 9 seconds in a sound bite.
I think it is all over for the Clinton effort. Now Obama has to put meat on the bone and start delivering some more specific policy on issues such as public land policy and water issues in the west. I know a lot of people that will help with that. These policy papers don't have to be extremely detailed. They should just provide everyone a feel for where he is headed.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It will be interesting to see if the city continues to fight this. One wonders whether there is enough money left in the city's risk management fund to pay it. Could the Mayor and city council have raided that fund for other things in the Mayor's spending spree over the last six years?
On another matter, can you believe the amount of money spent by former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil Giron on promoting herself when she was in office? Over six million tax payer dollars to put her face on TV. Of course now we know why. She is using the face time earned to run for congress against Martin Heinrich. Somehow that spending spree may not actually work for her, do you think?
I can't wait to see what happens in Wisconsin's primary tonight.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
It could be that many of the Legislators are like many of their constituents. They have health insurance and the issue doesn't seem like one that is deserving of concentration and action. But, for those who don't have insurance this is a really big deal. The fact is we are all paying inflated costs right now for our insurance because there are so many who are not covered. Okay, maybe that is not true but if you can mandate car insurance for drivers what is wrong with mandating health coverage for all of us?
The Governor is in a confrontation with the lawmakers on this one. This is the way the system works and if you look back to the Gary Johnson administration's relationship with the Legislature this current difference of opinion is hardly impressive.
The system naturally has tension in it, but Governor Richardson has had an overall great relationship with that other branch of government.
Finally, would someone please advise the NM Democratic Party on how to deal with the news media? Could someone possibly look over the Chairman's speeches before he gives them. There has been enough embarrassment?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Why did the Albuquerque Journal editorial this morning dump on the Governor and the Sports Authority for trying to help out with building an all purpose arena for Albuquerque? If they are trying to help, isn't that a good thing that shows cooperation with the city and county in trying to get something done? Go figure. Frankly, until the Mayor truly makes this a priority and spends some political capital on it, it will be difficult to do. That will only happen when the Mayor thinks more about city needs than his next race.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Today there is a story in the media about the possibility of Lake Mead becoming unusable with in ten years. This should be put in front of all of the candidates for President today so they can understand the precarious situation here in the west. Our public lands and watersheds simply must be protected if there is to be a future here. Climate change will exacerbate our future as well.
Hillary Clinton has no public position on these issues so far as I can see, although she must be knowledgeable about them. Senator John McCain knows the issues as a Western Senator, but his ratings by the League of Conservation Voters is abysmal. That brings us to my favorite candidate Barack Obama. I think his team may be a little clueless on the issues here because he is from a non public land state that sits on a Great Lake.
Obama is in somewhat the same situation that Bill Clinton was when he took office. He did not come from a public land state. He was clueless and seemed to put his decisions regarding these public land issues into the hands of Western Governors and Senators. That was a bad move back then but admittedly we have a better group in office now. But still, Obama cant let his team ignore these issues if he is to be elected.
Obama must come out with a solid western land and water policy paper that errs on the side of protecting wilderness and species, adding to wilderness inventories, protecting roadless areas, protecting watersheds and riparian areas, and generally taking care of our great landscapes. He needs an economic policy for the west that doesn't include the rape and pillage of land and water for the extraction of fossil fuels.
I talked with some Obama folks who are working on policy for him and they admitted they are behind on this issue. I know there are a lot of people who are smarter than me out there that can help them craft a sensible policy. It needs to be done soon.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
My Norton anti virus program didn't catch it. Even after several anti virus scans the little bugger is still popping into action unexpectedly. So now I have to call a guy who fixes this stuff for a living. Wouldn't you just like to get your hands around the necks of these virus builders. A slow 20 minute strangulation would be too good for them. Maybe a slow dissolving acid!
Speaking of dumb things I see where most of New Mexico's super delegates who stated a preference are Hillary Clinton supporters. The thing that is dumb about it is if she loses the popular vote designated delegates given her in the primary season(which is happening) but then wins with the super delegates added to her totals, then the Democratic Party can just pack up and leave town. It would be the worst nightmare imaginable. I am hoping these super politico super delegates think about this.
I am kind of hoping Governor Richardson will go with Obama. I think he could get into Texas for Obama and do him some good.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
At the same time I think the highly embarassed Democratic Party of NM is being dumped on a little harshly. Usually, it takes 33 county clerks and one Secretary of State to screw things up.
A friend of mine said at coffee yesterday that he thinks we should just get used to this because elections in New Mexico will just always be extremely close because of the makeup of our electorate. Lets hope that the nation doesn't have to wait on NM to decide the election via electoral votes next November.
In the meantime I am just blown away by Barack Obama's performance over the weekend. That dog barking in the distance I have been joking about has now turned into a rabid wild dog pack and they are on the heels of Hillary Clinton.
Friday, February 08, 2008
We had a nice dinner last night with Steve and Molly Cobble at a restaurant where the wait staff all are great vocalists and sing for you when they aren't bringing you another drink or a course of your meal.
Still no election results I see. As some one said the country no longer cares what our results are. Somewhere a dog is still barking. Off to the airport now.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
At least everyone I know in DC is incredulous that 48 hours later we still are not sure what is going on. I can only mumble and shrug my shoulders and say "Beats me." Every time my phone vibrates across the hard conference table people look at me hopefully for news but I can only look down at my coffee........somewhere in the distance a dog barks.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
As Obama and Clinton battle over the remaining delegates I think Obama must work very hard at making as many appearances as possible. I agree with many national analysts that the more contact he has with voters the better he does.
There is a lot of talk about his performance with Latino voters. The problem may or may not be real but you really cant lump Latino voters into one group. They can be diverse as America.
Let the good times roll up until the convention.
Monday, February 04, 2008
We can look to our Democratic delegation of Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall with pride. They voted against this tragic invasion of Iraq which earned us the enmity of the world and caused us to drop the ball in Afghanistan.
I have said it many times before on this blog, but I can't support Hillary Clinton for her vote to allow the invasion. Her vote along with the rest of the Congress resulted in this tragedy. It resulted in these 9 civilians losing their lives near Baghdad as the result of a "mistake." I could forgive Hillary, and will if she is the nominee, if she would just admit to this blunder. Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart is pretty much of the same opinion.
It appears to me that Obama has momentum going into tomorrow. Most politicos will tell you that is more important than any polls done over the last few months. Although this contest between Obama and Clinton is far from over, I think Obama may well be looked at as the victor tomorrow night because of dramatically closing the gap.
Bobbi and I will be in Washington, DC tomorrow night.(security systems on at the house along with the heavily armed house sitter.) I am doing some state business and attending a meeting of the Wilderness Society for a day. We have found an Obama election return party to attend near our hotel tomorrow night. It should be fun.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
Obama gave a great speech on economic issues and was impressive in his forcefulness.
Obama is the real deal It is going to be an interesting few days.
I snapped this photo on the way back from the event to my office. It was symbolic of where we are after eight years of bush rule. Things are in tatters and shrouded in sorrow, but the underpinnings are strong and things can be put right.