Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The point is that this kind of moronic parochialism would never end. It would carve us up into little city states of legislative districts where there is no common and binding institutions. Munoz is the kind of politico that would lead a charge to disassemble our infrastructure for his own petty political career. It is very sad.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Noelle and Luke had planned a big wedding next May in Colorado but decided a couple of weeks ago that it wasn't worth the stress or money. They are so smart. So they are getting a check from us instead of it going to the wedding planner and they will be married at the top of the ski slope Friday evening. Then a nice dinner with not to much to drink at 9,500 feet altitude. Luke's mom and dad will be there, Sue and Don, along with Luke and Noelles' friends from Fort Collins, Colorado where they have taken up residence, bought a home, work good jobs, and do their heavy outdoor athletic thing.
I should have some pictures and movies posted on Saturday assuming the snow doesn't stop us from getting into the airport.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
And then if you are a public employee you should not get paid your salary if you serve in the legislature. I can see room for debate on this matter, but if it is good for public employees then it should be good for all of the other legislators to not be paid by their employers too. Especially those involved in the oil and gas industry and other powerful lobbies in Santa Fe. Even the self employed should be made to live on $150 a day per diem in Santa Fe. That is not much money in the state capitol where food and lodging is very expensive.
These public employees are your neighbors, family members, and friends and yet they are being relegated to a second class citizenship by a continuing hate campaign by the right wing. It is sickening to our democracy. Who would be next?
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Albuquerque Journal, which arrived on my driveway and turned into paper pulp in the rain today, is now advertising on its own pages. In an ad designed to get political advertising it touts the number of democrats and republicans who read its editions on weekdays and Sundays. There were a lot more democrats than republicans that read the paper and yet the editor still insists on a lopsided editorial page that caters to right wing ideologies.
The New York Times did arrive in a nice plastic bag with out even a drop on it. I do have to say though that our Journal carrier is a very efficient and punctual person and that this rarely happens. I read the online version today. In a way it is easier because I can make the fonts easily readable.
Monday, January 23, 2012
If you talk with younger politicos these days who serve in congress you will find out they have no life. Their days are spent on the phone raising money and kowtowing to business group's pacs. They are miserable and their efforts are not spent on examining policy or legislation. They are full time on the money chase. So it would be great to see some of them, like Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, team up with other sane politicos of their own party and the other side of the aisle to try and pass a constitutional amendment to fix this corrupt system of the rich running everything. The President should start weighing in on this too. Big time.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The other big revenue source for our state is spending by the federal government on military, research and general federal programs. That is now under constant attack by the current Governor's right wing handlers. The budget cutting they want the feds to undertake will devastate New Mexico.
One thing that Bill Richardson did was try to diversify our revenue sources by attracting new industry. The Space Port and Film Industry got tax breaks but in the long run will pay dividends. I think Governor Martinez's softening of attacks on these two efforts shows she at least is beginning to understand their value.
The really bad situation here is the effective money laundering into the Super Pacs by the oil and gas boys that seeks to feather their beds even more. You don't see that kind of effort and political capital being expended on protecting New Mexico's federal revenues. Too bad. It will hurt us greatly in the future.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Bureau of Land Management is unleveling the playing field again. They are raising fees for citizens visiting some of our great landscapes and monuments while still charging less than ten years ago to the livestock industry for their grazing rights on publicly owned land. I don't have a problem with them raising fees for visitation if it is put back into protecting these places, but how is it they look the other way on the continued abuses of our watersheds and deserts by the ranching industry. Many ranchers are very responsible, but when the bad ones act up nothing happens for years. It drives me crazy. And the subsidies generated by outrageously generous grazing fees is ridiculous. The GAO in 2009 reported that Feds spend $144 million a year managing that live stock grazing. The fees that are charged are only around $21 million.
I see the Governor has sat down to chat with the catholic bishops and clergy. I wonder if she would do that with a group of muslims, hare krishnas or atheists.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Whenever I had the opportunity to deal with Ben Lujan as an elected official I found him to be forthright and honest about his positions. If he agreed with you he would let you know, if he disagreed with you he would be honest about it. I always appreciated that.
Ben Lujan will leave after his term is up next year as he battles lung cancer. We certainly need someone of his morality to come in and take up the reins. I think Rep. Ken Martinez of Grants could do so. He too seems to be one of those rare breeds of politicos. He has a heart.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Governor Martinez reminds me of the US Attorney's office. She never gives up even she it is obvious she should. She will bring the immigrant driver's license wedge issue, really a hate issue, up in the short session of the Legislature which begins today. It will take up valuable time which should be used on other issues. It is like the US Attorney's office continually rolling the dice on trying to get an indictment of former Governor Bill Richardson. Maybe it is time to admit their is no reason to do so, or that they are incompetent to do so.
As expected the Albuquerque Journal has done absolutely no followup on the case of Democratic Congressional Candidate Marty Chavez's live in girlfriend who is accused of embezzling three million dollars. It sort of leaves Chavez dangling in the wind to not know what he knew. If anything.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
I am having difficulty dealing with the Albuquerque Journal's kid glove treatment of Governor Martinez on the awarding of the contract for Casino operations at Expo New Mexico. If the protests about that contract procedure had happened a couple of years ago then Bill Richardson's name would have been in every other paragraph. Martinez was mentioned as appointing the contract review committee. Do the editors at the Journal think people don't notice this?
I am having difficulty in figuring out why the Governor is favoring the large internet retailers over small local businesses by making the locals collect gross receipts taxes which add to their merchandise cost, while not requiring it of the giants like Amazon and others. Plus, the amount of money that is being lost to state coffers is astonishing. Everyone should be treated equally. This is another case of corporate America running the New Mexico's State Capitol.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Little things like this might indicate that slowly but surely the American citizen might be thinking that there are limits to resources. Even after the oil and gas industry and coal industry's expensive lobbying campaign fighting scientific proof of global climate change, the majority of the American public still believes it is happening and that fossil fuels are responsible. They might have noticed that over 1,000 locations this month in our country have recorded record high winter temperatures.
I certainly hope President Obama gives some notice to this as he makes his decision on the Keystone pipeline. That is the line that will bring dirty tar sand oil from Canada to Houston. If he capitulates on this then he will have done a great disservice to future Americans. But he still looks good compared to the keystone cop lineup of republicans wanting to be President. Doesn't he?
And for a laugh today for Tebow....see Bubba Munster.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Albuquerque Journal's latest bias is against illiterate people who work for the state. They are upset that such a person worked for the NM Expo and the Richardson administration should have done something about it. That person was hired during the Gary Johnson administration. Apparently that person did the job of collecting refuse around the grounds. I guess the Journal thinks this illiterate person should be unemployed and homeless. The Journal was trying to use this person as an example of a flawed state personnel department. It was a heartless example.
Jury duty is still on but my group was excused today. Yesterday I went to be interviewed with 21 other folks for a DWI case, but I wasn't chosen to serve. Judge Linda Rogers impressed me with her demeanor towards us and she was very clear in her questions. Seven were chosen. I was sent back to the bull pen and then called again and told that I would undergo another interview several hours later. We left for lunch and exercise and returned to wait for the call. Judge Sandra Engel and an Asst. District Attorney then came down to apologize for the delay and said the case had been settled. They were very polite and professional. So far the experience has been positive.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 09, 2012
The City of Albuquerque's capital improvement program is in great distress. Much of the money that would usually go into paying off bonds for these projects were siphoned away during the Chavez years in the Mayor's office in order to fund pay raises for the police and others in the run up to his last election. During a strong economic era it was not evident but now we are paying big time. The problem is those capital programs for infrastructure improvements created jobs. While we are looking into this situation I would recommend that the city auditor take a close look at the revenues that are supposed to be going into transit services and road rehabilitation. The voters approved a special tax for that back when I was Mayor and it was renewed in a vote a couple of years ago. I suspect some of that may be misdirected too.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Friday, January 06, 2012
Thursday, January 05, 2012
We are entering our fourth hour of sitting in the jury room in Metro Court. There are about one hundred of us and every one has their nose buried in a book, laptop or newspaper. It is a very nice group of folks and everyone has been very patient. Only ten have been called out for service so far and most of us wish we were among them.
The facility here is very comfortable. Drinks are provided and one must bring their own food unless they are sitting on an actual jury. There is wifi which is pretty nice. No cell phones allowed though. All in all an astute group of people.
I am off to my second day of jury duty. The orientation yesterday was good and today we will sit around the metro court jury room waiting to be called for a jury.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
This really happened and it indicates to me those few remaining thinking moderate republicans are adrift in a sea of disbelief. I have to jump right in with them in watching a guy who can't tie his shoes come into a dead heat with his party's only hope, Mitch Romney. What we are seeing here is historic. Brought to us by the evangelical christians of the Iowa corn belt. And frankly, all brought to us by a teensy tiny percentage of American Voters. What a system!
The Board of Regents showed some courage in picking Kent State's Provost Bob Frank as the University of New Mexico's 21st President. This was the candidate that the faculty disliked. They will probably see this as a pretty big poke in the eye but some folks that I know think he is a very talented guy and he will win the faculty over. If they give him a chance.
Today I embark on that great American calling. I have been summoned to be a Juror in the Albuquerque Metro Court. I have never served as a juror before because of my political offices. I was always automatically released from such duties as no one would want me on their juries while holding elected or appointed office. It will be interesting to see if that still is the case.