Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Change

Tesla charging at the Burger King in Holbrook Arizona.m

Back to the 90's

We are off to Wine country in the Paso Robles area of California for a few days.  We will take a leisurely drive while our house sitter has cat duty.  We will drive rather than fly.  I suppose  this adds to this dismal look at travel into our state for business.  Another mark against the Governor and Mayor's lackluster economic development performance.  Less passenger movement than the 1990's.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More Charts

They speak for themselves.  Young people leave the state for jobs.  Any Comments Governor?
Mayor?


Monday, September 28, 2015

Says it All

Here is a chart put to together by Research and Polling Inc.  It is among many from an annual presentation to New Mexico leaders, and it says it all about New Mexico's leadership over the last seven years.

The bottom line is that  with a state population of around two million we have over 500 thousand people on food assistance due to the extreme poverty in this state.  That has doubled during the terms of Governor Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry.  Neither of them have a decent economic development program and their plan could be pretty much summed up as tax cuts for corporations.

This graphic underscores my objection to funding the Albuquerque Bio Park with the gross receipts tax hike that is on the ballot.  Business gets tax breaks while the poor build a better Zoo.

Overall, this last graphic says it all.


Friday, September 25, 2015

A Wonder

This Pope Francis is a wonder to me.  As an atheist, in case dear readers you hadn't figured that out, I really like this man and his return to the teachings of the Catholic Church which I loved so much.  My 12 years of Catholic schooling did teach me many great things as I have said before.  The Seven Acts of Mercy are the core teachings that I look too everyday.

I watched Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, become very emotional while in the presence of the Pope.  Today he has announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of October.  We can only wonder why, but I have a feeling that famous Catholic tool called, 'guilty conscience' may have something to do with it.  At least I hope so.

I wonder if the Pope last night had a chance to catch any American TV.  If he had he could have watched the promos for new TV series starting in the next few weeks.  Every single one of them had guns, beatings, intimidation and angst.  It was a sight I hope the Pope did see so he might talk about the extreme violence we see from both criminals and police in this country.  Those TV shows reflect our culture and it would give him good insight into the problems of America.

The Seven Acts of Mercy, as not practiced by many pols.

  1. To feed the hungry.
  2. To give drink to the thirsty.
  3. To clothe the naked.
  4. To Shelter the Homeless
  5. To visit the sick.
  6. To visit the imprisoned
  7. To bury the dead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Saying What You Think

In my political career I was always accused of saying what I was thinking on policy issues.  As State Liquor Director, Land Commissioner, BLM Director and Mayor I was almost always in trouble with someone.  But especially the Albuquerque Journal when I was Mayor.  Prior to that they had treated me fairly, but that all ended when Newt Gingrich and his insane minions took over the congress in 1994 and handed over our democracy to Corporate America.  And corporate America included many media outlets like the Albuquerque Journal.  Just look at them today with a right wing man as editor.  The editorial page there is one long rant of hate.

Now, we are coming full circle to seemingly liking candidates who speak their mind, even though they don't think much.  Of course I am referring the the GOP Presidential candidates.  How bizarre is this?  What is next?  Concentration camps for Muslims?  Forced labor for undocumented immigrants with American born children?  I can't wait to see what is next.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Misc.

It is laughable that the Governor and her GOP handlers hate government spending so much that they work to screw New Mexico's one good card in the economic game.  Federal government spending, that is.  ATA Aerospace of Albuquerque just scored a half billion dollar contract to work for NASA.  That  one contract is probably larger than all other business investment since the Governor and Mayor of Albuquerque took office six years ago.  And yet they ally with the anti government spending folks.

Last week before we left for Martha's Vineyard, Bobbi and I decided we would buy a new car for her when we returned.  We had settled on a Diesel VW Golf SportsWagen that would be better for Bobbi's frequent trips to Fort Collins, Co.  Then we get the news that the company is not to be trusted because they have lied to their customers and government regulators about the amount of emissions these cars are putting out.  The VW executive team should spend time in prison.  The fact that a CEO of a peanut butter producer was just sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly selling bad peanut butter that killed and sickened hundreds should have the VW folks worried.

Maybe the time of extreme greed in this country will start to decline if more of these so called industry leaders are put in jail for their crimes.  Scrutiny should be aimed at oil, gas, coal and mining interests in this country.

Have you noticed how GOP Secretary of State Diana Duran's crimes have now taken second fiddle to democratic legislators bad campaign reporting?  The Albuquerque Journal has successfully morphed this into a problem for democrats.  Sure, these dems need scrutiny too, but their screw ups seem much less criminal than Duran's, who is actually in charge of making sure campaign laws are followed.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Misc.

I read this morning that the Governor jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute while we were in Martha's Vineyard.  It is ironic that a right wing republican Governor had a good parachute when most of the elected officials in her party want to deny parachutes to most of our citizens.  You know, like social security and healthcare.  The only parachutes the Governor probably believes in are 'golden parachutes' for the one per centers.

We had an interesting discussion with some republicans on the Vineyard Fast Ferry yesterday on the way to Providence, Rhode Island.  They were moderate republicans it seems, because they admitted that the Citizens United Supreme Court Case that made corporations into citizens was way over the top and extremely damaging.  They sure hate taxes though and pay very high ones in their local governments, except for their sales tax.  It seems their taxes are more progressive.

I will reluctantly go vote against the Zoo tax today.  Using the gross receipts tax is putting the burden on the poorest in our community.  I hope this regressive tax hike fails.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

On the Island

We made it to Martha's Vineyard. The weather is perfect. And tonight we start a three day birthday party with a good friend. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Off East

We will be off for a few days while many politicos marvel at the Secretary of State's decision to plead not guilty.  Maybe she is, but I am not holding my breath.

We went to see "Book of Mormon" last night at Popejoy.  A great show.  Sold out.

We will post from the road.

Fun

Early golf at twin Warriors

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bad Government

I am usually 100% supportive of our US Senators.  But Heinrich and Udall did nothing but support the status quo in trying to keep any reorganization of the Bureau of Land Management offices in New Mexico and Arizona from happening.  There was an idea that the two states should be combined administratively.  It would not be a perfect thing, but better than what exists now.

Most federal agencies are organized into regions and that makes a lot of sense.  The National Park Service, the Forest Service, the EPA and others take a regional approach to things.  But the BLM has offices with State Directors in every western state which makes the BLM extremely political.  When  you have decent Senators and Congressmen who are not beholding to the natural resource extractors on BLM Lands, then it doesn't matter.  But when the oil and gas and fossil fuel boys get their hands on folks like Pete Domenici, Heather Wilson, and Steve Pearce, then the BLM is being run not by the Interior Department buy by those who give the most money to these politicos.

When I was Director of the BLM, I was constantly fighting State Directors who were in bed with their state's Senators.  One time I ordered removal of sheep from a Wyoming grazing lease because of destructive practices.  Within two hours I had calls from the state's entire delegation saying I shouldn't do it.  They were notified by the state director.

BLM should be managed regionally along sensible natural ecosystem borders, such as a regional office for the Colorado Plateau which would include parts of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.  They shouldn't be managed along political power lines drawn on a map to favor extractive industries.

On another issue, thanks to Senator Heinrich for sponsoring a bill to protect the American Bison. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Perfect Onion Humor


Mo Problems

The media is following up on republican Diana Duran's problems of violating campaign finance laws even as she serves as Secretary of State.  The followups consist of finding a democrat who has done the same thing.  The front page story on Representative Mo Maestas's careless campaign reporting is an eye opener.  I had always viewed him as Mr. Clean, but he is either suspect or really incompetent in managing his campaign money.  I am totally surprised and disappointed.  Anyone who has run campaigns must know that when 10% of the money you raise doesn't show up on the books, there is something really wrong. But, he stood  up and took the heat with an apology and attempted to fix things.

Diana Duran continues to hide in her bunker.  My bet is that  she is in negotiations with the AG to lessen charges against her to misdemeanors in order to keep her state pension.  We will see.

Someone posted a funny thing on Facebook today.   In order to fight crime legalize drugs.  And then put Comcast Customer Service in charge of distributing narcotics.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bullies

The City Council was bullied last night by the Albuquerque Police Command staff at a Council Meeting.  Councillors Lewis and Gibson, a bipartisan duo, called them out for it.  City Councillor  Ken Sanchez wimped out as usual instead of being a leader.  He tried to be on both sides of the difficult intimidation by the APD Brass.  He actually said he was scared in his own city.  And the City Chief Adminstrative Officer Rob Perry supported the bullies.

The Command Staff has been getting retention bonuses, even after the money ran out for such bonuses for the field officers.  Giving bonuses to the Command staff in the first place is questionable, but when that staff shows up to try to intimidate our elected officials then you know it is time for another round of Justice Department investigations.

At this point the best thing to be done is for Chief Eden to resign as a failed leader and for Mayor Berry to find a new CAO.  Our city is in the national spotlight for having a bad cop shop, and this latest incident isn't going to help.

The Albuquerque Journal buried this story for some odd reason.  Even their rightwing editor should see the dangers here. And Berry is no where to be seen.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Making Enemies

This is a picture of a sign urging participation in the October City election that would add a 1/8 cent to our gross receipts tax to support the ABQ Bio Park.  It is at the entry way of the zoo.  I am pretty sure it is illegal.

But the real crime here is that this tax will have poor people paying for a bigger share of Bio Park expenses than the rich.  And that is because the gross receipts tax is such a regressive tax.  This needed money for the Zoo should be funded with bonds supported by the property tax, which is less regressive.

I adore our Bio Park.  But, I will vote against this tax on poor people. Most of them can't afford to go to the Bio Park except on an occasional free day.  This is no way to fund daily narrow government operations of this kind, and it is all thanks to weak City Councilors and Mayors who don't want to upset small constituencies.

Does Mayor Berry support this tax?  I think so, since he has said nothing about it.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Public Servant

A decent man named Belarmino Giron died late last week in Pojoaque, NM.  He is one of the best and brightest public servants I ever knew.  His honesty was legend and his advice to the people he worked with was unrivaled.  He always had the back of the citizen taxpayer.  He had a knack for convincing the elected officials who he worked for to do the right thing.  I know he certainly did a lot rescues for me as I worked at reforming New Mexico's Liquor Laws back in the early 1980s.  After I was elected Land Commissioner he was my one of my first appointments.  With his wise counsel we raised oil and gas royalties, grazing fees, and pursued planned development on state trust lands.

All too often we just hear about public servants who get in trouble.  Rarely do we hear of honest and hard working men like Belarmino, whose only interest was a better life for New Mexicans.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Birthday Boys

This is a picture of my identical twin brother Tom and I on our 4th birthday with our new tricycles in about 1948 at our home on Quincy St. N.E. in Albuquerque.  We will be celebrating our 70th birthdays on Saturday.  I think I am the one on the right.  I was always a few pounds more identical than him.

Misc.

I think there was some good comments made by the APS Board on their decision yesterday.  They are under certain constraints that are mandated when handling personnel cases.  But then two of the Board members started talking about their responsibility to god.  Lost me there for sure.

We will really see how flawed an individual Secretary of State Diana Duran is when we see how long it will take her to resign.  Shall we start a pool?  I figure she will be out by November 1st.

Having four grand kids in the house for the first time is a test for our beloved cats Ajax and Casper.  Mostly they are hanging a round the back yard.  They come in at night to say hello at 2am.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Voting

Someone needs to check to see if the people who want a recall vote for the APS Board Members actually voted in the last school board election.  There was like a 3% turn out probably.  So it won't take many signatures to call an election.

That election would be one more way of ignoring students.  It would be a stupid thing to do.

And so, I am on vacation for a few days while all of our grandchildren visit and meet each other for the first time!  Woo Hoo.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Inoculation

Leave it to the editor of the Albuquerque Journal to do his best to inoculate the Governor and Mayor from any fall out for republicans on the Secretary of State scandal.  Today pictures of both Susana and Berry in the Journal helping people they usually wouldn't associate with much.  Susana with a school child, and Berry with homeless activists.  How can we trust the corporate Journal any more?  In fact, that is how we should refer to this newspaper from now on.

Meanwhile, I just can't wait to find out  where all the money came from that Diana Duran burned up at the casinos.  The campaign funds alone will never add up the stupendous amount lost. This story has very deep roots.

And then the Governor is inoculating herself by attacking the APS school board for firing the 90 day tenured Luis Valentino and giving him a settlement package.  The governor's right wing advisers, who are a hell of a lot smarter than the democratic operatives, figured out she should go on the attack to distance herself from the charges she and her Education Secretary were allegedly involved in with the attempted firing a a trusted APS employee.  Yeah, it is confusing.