Sunday, August 31, 2008
My good friend Steve Cobble and I talked about this during a long coffee Sunday morning here in Washington, DC where we are visiting our son Justin and his wife Karly. We decided that the crucial issue that will wipe out Palin and then McCain in her wake is her position that bears in Alaska should be killed.
Think of it, a campaign to kill bears who are already running out of time since there is less and less flow ice to live on. Some smart Democrat has to get this information along with cute bear cub photos into every third grade classroom in the country. The sooner the better.
Here is a nice picture of Justin and Karly. Justin now works at the Solar Energy Industry Association and he is having a great time. Karly now will start looking for work too. They both have their Master's degrees from Syracuse University.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The scene in Downtown Denver is like Carnivale. It is a mass of humanity with most people, like me, just showing up there for the momentous nomination of an Barack Obama. It really is historic.
A guy dressed as a Toilet Seat was there. I didn't figure out why.
My friend Jim King, CEO of a high tech networking business was there, conducting business as usual.
Even the Hare Krishnas showed up on the 16th St. Mall. I didn't even know they still were around.
Seriously, there is a real air of hope here in Denver.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I will be heading up to Denver late Tuesday for the Convention. I am not a delegate but I will stay with friends up there and crash a party or two on Wednesday. It will surely increase my angst over what is happening right now on the campaign though. Here is my concern with the admonition that only someone like Governor Bill Richardson can save the day.
Are we heading for a rerun of the Kerry Presidential campaign? I am getting an uneasy feeling that may be the case. With Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden, both Eastern U.S. Senators, we have a case building that they don't understand the west, and especially the inter mountain west. Like Kerry and Edwards four years ago it will be difficult for them to hit western themes effectively if they don't get some practice in. It is not simply going to be pretending to love the Cowboys and the myth of the west.
Here are a few words for them that will show they at least understand some of the salient issues here. 1. Watersheds 2. Urban sprawl 3. Wilderness 4. Solar Energy 5. Oil and Gas pollution 6. Adequate clean water 7. Modern transportation systems 8. Humane Immigration Reform..........well, the list goes on but these few issues should be at least mentioned as Obama and Biden roll through our state which is being touted as a must win! Kerry never hit these themes which are so important to our region. There was no emotional connection on the issues that affect our quality of life. Bill Richardson could help big time in securing the west. I hope they put his knowledge of these issues to good use.
I am sure that McCain will hit on these issues occasionally just because he is from the west and knows of our concerns. He will just be on the wrong side of these issues. If you liked cheney's stands of western issues, (drill, drill, drill) then you will like McCains.
Usually, the Sheriff's office keeps its embarrassments kind of quiet compared to APD. The recent revelations on APD's problems once again begs the question of when they will change their 'boot camp' techniques. There is currently a recruiting billboard up on I-40 for APD that shows a guy in full camouflage repelling down a building in full battle gear. This should be a US Marine ad, not an APD one. Cops should be public servants, well trained and tough yes, but not trained as assault troops with an "us versus them" philosophy and culture. That view certainly showed itself when APD minions were called to Valencia County after the suspicious death of an APD officer's wife. They allegedly destroyed evidence.
The City Council should review the training courses given APD recruits to make sure they are being trained properly. I hope they have better luck at it than when I was Mayor and attempted the same thing. I got no where because of the culture there.
Friday, August 22, 2008
But, we will have a team in place in the White House, if Obama wins, that will most likely not know what the Bureau of Land Management is or what the issues are on over half the lands in the inter-mountain west. So, the importance of an Interior Department Secretary who is influential with Obama and knows the issues is paramount. Certainly, Bill Richardson could do it, but I think he is moving on to other possibilities.
The real vigilance on this predicament should come in the transition process between election day and inauguration day. That is when the Interior Secretary will be vetted and selected and the fate of the west and its dominance by the oil and gas industry will be decided. Pay attention then for sure.
As for McCain, he is from the west but would be only slightly better than bush and cheney.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here is the column you didn't see in the newspaper this morning.
The broadcast of the XXIXth Games of the Olympiad has been rudely interrupted by political commercials stating that offshore drilling will “get us off foreign oil.” The ads were placed by a
That organization - the Club for Growth - features an article titled “Drill, Drill, Drill is Working” on its website. Here’s a quote: “As Sen. John McCain and the GOP leadership nationalize the drill, drill, drill message, the Republican party might conceivably be riding a summer political rally. The question of offshore drilling, along with expanded domestic energy production, has suddenly become the biggest political and economic wedge issue of this election.”
Great! In ten years when offshore drilling still hasn’t dented our foreign oil dependence, barely replacing the domestic oil we are already using up, what are they going to do? Explain it all away and blame the Democrats? There couldn’t be a clearer indication that the drill, drill, drill message is about politics, not about solving
Here’s what I have to say to the Club for Growth:
“Offshore drilling won’t ‘get us off foreign oil.’ It won’t even produce much oil, at least compared to our demand. A huge investment in offshore oil would produce 5% of our projected demand - way less than the 60-65% we import today.
“Offshore drilling isn’t just a massively incomplete solution, it’s also a temporary solution. Maybe it buys us a few more years of energy insecurity and high prices and economic uncertainty. But
“Offshore drilling won’t reduce gasoline prices. It will take ten or fifteen years to get offshore oil into the marketplace. Offshore oil will be expensive oil. The platforms cost billions and billions of dollars, the drilling is more and more expensive. This is no solution to high energy prices.
“Offshore drilling is a ridiculous answer to a serious question: What are we going to do about our nation’s overdependence on oil? We need to diversify our energy supply and transportation technology, not concentrate more on oil.”
Now I will quit addressing the faceless moneybags in
Your eyes deceive you. Gasoline isn’t really $3.75 per gallon right now. It’s much more expensive than that. A true accounting would include the taxpayer-paid costs of defending world oil fields and transportation routes, as well as the costs of multiple military interventions in the oil-rich Middle East, and the human and economic costs of enriching oil despots from
I don’t oppose offshore drilling as a matter of ideology. What I oppose is political gamesmanship obviously oriented at preventing needed energy dialogue and investment in energy alternatives. We need to undo our addiction. Congress and presidential candidates should discuss the alternatives that could “produce” oil equivalents much faster, from energy efficiency to electric cars to renewable energy.
I also don’t hate “Big Oil.” What I hate is that the
The folks who are dragging energy policy into a ditch - offshore oil as the solution to our energy problems - are doing this nation a major disservice. National interest, and national security, clearly demand that the United States immediately and purposefully enact policies to cut back on our oil addiction, which is so costly to people and businesses around the country. Competition and choice in energy markets and technology, such as the electric car, are going to “produce” vastly more oil than all the offshore drilling the Club for Growth could ever dream up.
The nation is 97% dependent on petroleum to run an inefficient transportation system. That must change. It won’t as long as the energy dialogue is focused on offshore drilling.
There is some meat on the bone for the way Sheriff White is running his office. (Martin Heinrich take note.)
All of this comes on the heels of reports of Albuquerque Police Officers responding to a death of an APD's officers wife in Los Lunas which is certainly not in their jurisdiction. Charges of coverups and evidence tampering are now out in the open because of a civil law suit brought against the city. These abuses by officers and departments should concern us all. I give credit to the Albuquerque Journal for reporting on them.
At the same time, given current issues, wouldn't it be great if the Journal had reporters on the energy and environment beats like they used to have. I think the reason that they don't is the general malaise in the newspaper industry right now. It is hard to replace staff when revenues and readership are stagnant or falling.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
So, the Journal prints 110k copies on weekdays and 150k copies on weekends with the voting records on issues of importance. The non profits send out 20k mailers, and they are evil. But, they don't endorse candidates or say who the recipients should vote for. However the Albuquerque Journal does tell us who to vote for every election cycle and does numerous editorials bitching about the way politicians vote.
Yes, I know, they are journalists and I understand all of their importance , however waning, and their provisions under the Constitution. But if you really stop and think about it, it is all amazing. It is basically an uneven playing field where a powerful and wealthy family that owns a newspaper can do this, but non profits can not do it. So, maybe the nonprofits should open newspapers!
In the meantime, I would like to see someone start exposing the group that is doing a smear campaign on Democratic candidate for US Senate Tom Udall. This right wing "Club for Growth" is spending a lot of money doing what the right wing does best. Lying.
Monday, August 18, 2008
That is cheating I think. But putting aside all of that, what part of our constitution does America not understand when it comes to separation of church and state. This religious intrusion into our political system has given us the worst president in history, bush, and it has put us into an immoral war as a result.
I am not so naive as to think this will end any time soon and that we can stop influence of radical fundamentalists from swaying people who fear the wrath of God. I would however hope that these fearful people could at least look at reality for a few moments. Or, maybe I am naive.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
When will the legislature start looking at this? When the real estate, oil and gas, mining and livestock industry give them permission I guess. There needs to be some due diligence on the careless business deals the land office gets involved in.
Friday, August 15, 2008
That is why you can really get many folks to believe anything I guess. The "Swift Boat" jerks pulled it off in the last election against John Kerry and they are now trying the same thing against Barrack Obama. These folks are made up of ultra right wing crazies who hire two bit authors to write lies. But, many people will believe it and so it is one of those things in life that we just have to deal with.
They only way to fight this is with facts and truths and I am hopeful that Obama's campaign will expose this crap. No, I haven't read the book, "Obamanation" and I wont because if the Swift Boat crowd is behind it you can bet it is nothing but falsehoods.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
One of the reforms we initiated in 1982 was the creation of the beer and wine license. It can not be sold on the open market. It is issued by the state for a set fee every year. If a beer and wine license owner is cited, it is much easier to revoke the license, if necessary.
One interesting aside on this busted club is the Sheriff's office publicly saying the Department of Public Safety Liquor Agents were kept out of the bust because they couldn't be trusted. That should make for some interesting developments on future cooperation in crime fighting! Sheriff Darren White has stepped in it again. I think the DPS agents and Alcohol and Gaming Division have done a pretty good job under the Richardson Administration.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The County Commissioners get away with this because there is no one single person to lean on or to accept responsibility for the government's actions. The City has the Mayor, who is always a target, but the county gleefully gets away with major decisions that have little or no input by the taxpayer. It astonishes me.
Here are a few questions we should all ask about this deal. Who gets the real estate commission? Was there more than one appraisal? What will the operating costs be versus other possible solutions? What will this do to our tax rates? What were the alternatives?
Remember the baseball stadium we built for $25 million? That project was worked over with a fine tooth comb and debated for months. This county purchase dwarfs the cost of the stadium, which turns a profit, and yet it is all announced and the deal closed within a week!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Before we left Hawaii I got to thinking how hollow bush sounds in condemning putin in Russia for his invasion of Georgia. It is a terrible thing putin has done, just like bush did in Iraq. It is like a little boys club, these leaders who wage war and destruction to show how tough they are. But it is especially ironic that bush is now making America even less credible by criticizing another country for doing exactly what we have done. What is the old saying? "Do as I say, not as I do."
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We are spending our day in Hawaii. It has been great to get away to a totally different environment.
We are sitting out on the Lanai drinking coffee and watching outriggers race by. I perused the Journal and noticed more ink on the non profit group's voter education programs being questionable. There is certainly nothing wrong with looking them over and Attorney General Gary King says he is doing so. While he is at it I wish he would look closer at the money flow from the NRA and the Oil and Gas Industry into New Mexico politics. That is much more clear cut and much more damaging than a group that simply exposes how legislators vote.
If you stop and think about it, why has no one ever done a full analysis on those two special interest groups money influence on New Mexico Politics? Probably because it would take a gargantuan effort to really trace the money.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Here is the picture I wanted to take of Noelle in Hawaii. She is in her triatholon suit and was just getting ready to go on a 30 mile bike ride along the coast. She already did a swimming course of a couple of miles. This afternoon she will run.
One more night here in Hawaii before taking the red eye back Sunday night. We have had a good time.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I finally got around to reading the Journal story from yesterday on Senate candidate Steven Pearce. His rant on Tom Udall as not being a good American borders on psychopathic. I thank the Journal for just letting him say it and then printing it. I think it shows Pearce hates people who disagree with the Government, especially when it comes to waging war. That makes many of us a target. Can you imagine him moving up to the Senate with this kind of philosophy and/or psychosis?
Now back to watching Dolphins.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I also took this picture of a beheaded space alien looking at some pretty blossoms.(click on the photo) Speaking of blossoms, I am reading onc of the best scifi books in years by James Hogan. It is named "Moon Blossom" and I highly recommend it to anyone who still believes in truth and justice.
We are headed off for the Volcanoes this morning which have been spewing lava since last March.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
We spent some time with our good friends Erik Pfeiffer and his wonderful wife Canoe. They have been living in Kona for four years with their dog, Auctung! the Fourth. It's reason for living is to carry coconuts on the beach all day. Really. As you recall, Erik was the head of Economic development for the city for many years and he retired after I left the Mayor's office.
Erik and Canoe took me on a stroll across the lava beds for a mile or so. That is hard stuff to navigate. I only fell once.
Noelle found a great rock to read on in the back yard of the house we rented. She is glued to a SciFi book I gave her. Tomorrow---The Volcanoes!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
The three veteran Democratic legislators who bit the dust were Senator Shannon Robinson, Senator James Taylor and Representative Dan Silva. They all pretty much made their livings as part time legislators. Dan Silva retired as a city employee some years ago and was a good guy until his son became a lobbyist and Dan started voting differently. Now, some enterprising reporter should check out where they raised their money and which industry groups stand to lose now that they are gone.
None of them had faced serious opposition in years and frankly they just got their butts kicked because they had lost touch with their constituents. They all lost by huge margins. So, why not just walk into the sunset? Well, I have always said that some legislators feel they are much more popular and well known than they are. They are not used to opposition and get to feel they are invincible. Just look at the number of legislators that never draw opponents. These folks are also fawned over and cared for by lobbyists and losing that adoration is hard. But, suing to overturn elections that were blowouts seem kind of incredulous and desperate. Oh, and it seems silly too.
We are heading to Kona, Hawaii on Monday for a week of hiking, snorkeling and beach time. I will blog from the road.
Friday, August 01, 2008
We haven't been to Hawaii since 1984. We were in Kona when Bobbi was pregnant with Noelle. Now Noelle will get a better view. Time marches on.
As usual my heavily armed house sitter and attack Beagles will be guarding the house.