Thursday, March 31, 2016


Do the math.  A $60 drug sting operation turns into a $6.5 million dollar settlement from the city after the police shot up their own officer during the operation.  Bernie Madoff would be proud.  And now by some estimates the APD, under the leadership of Mayor Berry and so called Chief Gordon Eden, has now paid out some $40 million in wrongful conduct settlements due to poor leadership at the highest levels at City Hall.  At least the Keystone cops were funny!

It won't be long until we are looking at city government having budget problems because of this inability to fix things.

It is actually worse than the situation at Bernalillo County Government which is facing a $19 million shortfall, even as Commissioner Art de la Cruz  takes a $20k trip to France on tax payer money.  My bet is that this will be fixed faster than the cataclysmic hemorrhaging of dollars at the City.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


The rest of the week will be busy around here.  All of our kids and grandkids are coming in for a week.  We will be interring Bobbi's brother's ashes at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.  Dave Miller died unexpectedly just after last Christmas of a heart attack.

There will be ten of us in our home.  Our son Justin, Karly his wife and their boys Simon and Finn.  Our daughter Noelle, Luke her husband and their twin daughters Alex and Kate.  This is a rare event as we are scattered all over the country.

We emailed Justin  this morning to prepare his family to greet a New Mexico dust storm shortly after they arrive today.  They have never experienced one.

I will be back next week.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sleepless in ABQ

I had a lot of trouble sleeping the last few nights.  But it wasn't the Hilary email story that was causing my restlessness.  It was some native pollen of some sort.  Kind of like I was sleeping with a cinder block on my chest.

I have to say that there is probably not a single person I know that is concerned about Hilary's emails.  It just doesn't mean anything.  It never comes up in any of the numerous political discussions I have every day.  Yeah, maybe it was a little sloppy, but when you consider the recent stories that the NSA would not give a secure phone to the Secretary of State because it was overly expensive, you have to wonder if emails even matter.  What would such a phone cost the government?  The cost of a Hellfire missile which we use up by the hundreds?

I might start losing sleep over one other issue, and that is the fact that our former google eyed Governor Gary Johnson is rising in the polls as he seeks the Presidency as a Libertarian.  That little factoid might stick down in my brain's sleep center for a while.  Generally, Johnson was a harmless and ineffectual Governor.  I agreed with him on his belief that the war on drugs was a farce.  But that is about all.

Currently though, my biggest worry is the lack of leadership on economic issues in the state.  Our Governor held another news conference on DUI, but to my recollection I don't think I have ever seen her hold a news conference on starting a plan to reinvigorate our job market.  Even Johnson might have seen some value in that.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Governor Martinez doesn't use email.  She is either a Luddite or a pol who wants no one to know what she is doing.  It smells of an assault on government transparency.  It begs the question, does she want to keep the public in the dark?  Obviously she sees an advantage to it.

The first inklings of GOP voter suppression in over a dozen states became evident in Arizona this week when voters there had to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots.  Watch for this to occur in every state where the GOP has passed laws aimed at keeping people votes from counting..  An it would be nice if someone in the media would get some assurances from our newly appointed Secretary of State Brad Winter that this will not happen in New Mexico.  Will there be enough polling places?  Could Brad just volunteer  this information on his own?  Could the County Clerks ask him for his philosophy on voter participation?

And is it any surprise that the Albuquerque Police Department  is teaming  up with a non profit made up of its own officers to study crisis intervention techniques.  The city is supporting a $250,000 grant for the group.  Does this stink?  How can Mayor Berry approve of this given the lack of confidence in the leadership of APD?

Only in New Mexico?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


The big news in NM is the story out of Roswell that a cheesy rendition of a flying saucer that was stored behind the UFO museum was stolen.  My advice is not to spend any public funds on getting it back,  What is needed is a new improved faux flying saucer.  Since the oil patch is in bad shape the only claim to fame down that way is the museum and a little investment there would be fitting.

Just like a little investment in a real economic development strategy could be used in Santa Fe.  Do you think the Governor or her minions have thought much about that recently?  Hopefully, they have stumbled on the fact that fossil fuels are on the way out and that renewables are the future.  Do they have a strategy on that?  Has she appointed any public/private partnerships to start thinking how to take advantage of this trend?

The Albuquerque Journal did a long editorial on the lack of progress and finger pointing over tasks mandated to make the Albuquerque Police Department function properly.  Not once did I see the name of the Mayor in the opinion.  No, the Journal is blaming the Department of Justice's monitor.  They are killing the messenger.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fair Warning

One can only wonder if our Governor or Legislative leaders are paying attention to coming trends.  For example, the fact that major American investment banks and money men are refusing to finance any new coal fired power plants in America.  The New York  Times had a story on this today.  I would advise our hapless executive leaders in Santa Fe including the Public Regulation Commission to start thinking about the ramifications for New Mexico.  And yet the subsidies continue for this dying fossil fuel industry while solar energy tax credits are non existent in arguably the sunniest state in the nation.

Perhaps our leaders might take a hint from this new graphic from the Solar Energy Industry Association.  Does this ring some alarms on putting investment towards renewables rather than fossil fuels?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fire Eden

Mayor Richard Berry and the hapless City Council should start the process of firing the Police Chief Gordon Eden.  It is pretty obvious that he just doesn't have the gravitas to order the old guard in the PD to get  on with reforms ordered by the Justice Department.  The Mayor really bears the responsibility for doing this, but because he has become invisible on all matters APD,  maybe the Council needs to send a clear message that there needs to be a change.  And it needs to happen soon.

The New Yorker magazine has a new weekly show on Amazon.  Front and center this week was the APD shooting spree.  It made Albuquerque look like a shooting gallery.  It was a  terrible thing to watch, especially when one knows it is true.

The level of political leadership in this city is heartbreaking.  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Premature Deaths

The Albuquerque Journal did a good story today on New Mexico's problem with premature deaths.  Of course the rampant drug problem in the Land of Enchantment is a major contributor to young people's deaths.  Coincidentally, last night we were conversing over corned beef and cabbage dinner last night about a friend who suffered a home invasion and burglary a couple of weeks ago.  His briefcase was stolen as he slept.  Five days later the case was found in a stolen car  that had crashed into a ditch in Bernalillo.  The car was full of used syringes.

It just got me to wondering again how much money is spent on an annual basis in New Mexico in the drug war.  Adding up costs of prison, police, court costs, parole officers and insurance payoffs for stolen goods is staggering, when compared to rehab services.  What is the ratio?  What good does the drug war do?

It does nothing and is a complete failure.  I remember as a young reporter in the late 60's and early 70's doing stories on fighting the heroin epidemic in Albuquerque.  It is like forty years later and the stories I did back then are just being rewritten for the 1000th time in 2016.

Why can't we change such a failed policy?  Because there is big money in it for the criminal justice system and private prison industries?  Probably.  But mostly it comes from a fossilized law making system in the nation that can't use logic and common sense.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Caste System

Sometimes I think we have a caste system in our country.  You might have seen an article in the media about the death of two New Mexico Department of Transportation workers who were struck and killed by a 92 year old motorist as they worked to make our highways safe.  But, it was a very small story tucked away in a back section of the newspapers  Two public servants dead and little said about it.

But if they had been police officers you would be seeing headlines telling us two heroes had died while performing their duties.  The story would have gone on for weeks and a funeral procession miles long would be in the future.  And yet both highway workers and cops serve us in the same way.  They try to keep us safe.

The media needs to get out of its prejudicial way of reporting, or not reporting, the news when it comes to the great work public servants carry out for us.  Just because one group wears a gun doesn't mean they are more important that a group that uses shovels. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

UNM in Shambles

I can't believe the UNM Board of Regents actually voted to do a power grab from the Health Sciences institution.  This is the result of the Governor's Office wanting supreme power through its puppet Regents at UNM.  Everyone else be damned.  This is akin to sabotage on a grand scale just so our Governor can feel the rush.

This isn't over.  The next Regents meeting will resemble a Trump Rally.

Meanwhile,  New Mexico media has tried to make things look a little rosier on the economic front by extolling the virtue of being slightly better in unemployment rates than Alaska and Mississippi.  Another great victory for our GOP Governor.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fumble Stumble

Governor Martinez and her mascot appointees to the UNM Board of Regents have stumbled and then fumbled the ball on an attempted coup to take over the Health Sciences operations at the University.  What the perpetrators thought could be a stealth power grab lasted but a few hours until the Journal did a fine story on the issue.  They deserve credit for that.  They even sucker punched the Governor and rogue Regents today in an editorial that made sense.

Another fumble is the revelation that  legislators are refusing to use email as a way of communicating.  That sort of begs the question that they have something to hide.  It shows transparency is dead, dead, dead, in the halls of the Round House in Santa Fe.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


This incredibly good story on Governor Martinez's shady consultant in the Santa Fe New Mexican this morning will test the Albuquerque Journal to no end.  Will they followup?  If not, then you know all is lost at that once adequate newspaper.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

We are not Alone!

When I say we are not alone, I mean in the political clown circus we call New Mexico.

I just got back from a two day meeting of the board of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.  If you think there are crazy pols here, you haven't been to Utah.  I could blather on endlessly about their members of Congress, but that is known on the national scene pretty well.

But, their legislature has to be the biggest bunch of fundamentalist wackos in the country.  They just voted to fund a non profit in southern Utah in the name of some worthy cause.  Actually it is highly  suspected that the money will be used to pay defense costs of a County Commissioner who was found guilty of leading a highly illegal off road vehicle caravan into a wilderness study area.  He lost in court and is now heavily in debt from his defense costs, so his right wing buddies in the Legislature cooked up this scheme to help him with tax payer dollars. Apparently, his attorney is running the new non profit entity.

Those same law makers just voted to give $55 million dollars to the developers of a new port facility in California which will ship Utah Coal overseas.  They are upset that the folks in California don't want to approve the port because of fossil fuels impacting the climate.  The Utah boys fell their  rights are being infringed on.  You know, their rights to help destroy human life on the planet.

Right now, NM looks okay.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


We watched some Primary election coverage last night on CNN, MSNBC and Fox.  Talking heads and pundits.  Yes, I am a talking head too, on a blog.  But what was fascinating about the evening was the performance of Donald Trump.  I had never really watched one of his 'speeches' before last night. I am completely dumbfounded by his meandering, senseless and seemingly never ending blathering.  Here is Trump, with more victories, with a chance to seem like a real serious man  and he never really rose to the occasion to talk about any thing that was serious.  And as for his supporters I am still trying to fathom what they get from him.  This whole candidacy is one for the ages.

And I have figured out what it is that bothers me about Bernie Sanders.  I actually like what  he says and what he stands for.  I sent him a donation.  But I have finally come to the conclusion that this man doesn't know how to use humor, or display it.  That bothers me greatly.  I am certain that any President must have a sense of humor or fail at their jobs.  Yeah, I was kind of a dour politician to the public, but I do have a gallows sense of humor that I deploy often.  I think if there is one thing missing in this 2016 election cycle, it is humor.

Even if we are headed to the gallows.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

New Pols

I have had a couple of calls in the last week from some young under 40 years of age aspiring politicians.  They wanted to have coffee and talk about some issues.  One of them didn't show up on Saturday morning and never called to reschedule.  Bad staff there.  The other one, a  young lady named Ane Romero is running for the Legislature in an incredibly diverse district that covers parts of the North East Heights, North Valley and West Side.

She was a breath of fresh air and full of strong feelings on how to make things work better in Santa Fe.  But the reason I bring this up is that most of us old pols, in office or out of office, aren't going to be relevant much longer.  There is a new crop coming up and they will be running things within the next few years.  I am hopeful they will be more willing to work across the aisle, but that will take both sides of that aisle willing to do so.

In my experience there are three kinds of people who run for office.  Those who just want power, those who want power and to pursue an agenda, and those who just have an agenda to work on.  That first group is pretty much self centered.  The other two groups can be good or bad officials, but they do have others in mind when carrying out their duties.  I am hopeful most of these younger folks are mostly from that third group.

Monday, March 07, 2016


I have been trying to figure out the people that support Trump and Cruz.  And then a new SciFi novel I just down loaded from a favorite author has explained it for me.  The novel is "Quantam Night", by Robert Sawyer.

The book deals mostly with psychology in a SciFi way.  He postulates that the human race is made up of three types of humans.  One group is named P-Zeds, short for Philosophical Zombies.  They are people who don't think, but just follow and regurgitate anything given to them.  The second group are classified as psychopaths.  In varying degrees they could be violent, but most are just greedy and controlling.  They think of no one but themselves.  The third group is called Q-3s.  They are thinking people who consider other humans in every decision they make.  They think about thinking and are highly functioning.  P-Zeds out number the other two groups which are evenly split.

I haven't finished the novel yet  but it is aimed towards some sort of breakthrough in making every one a thinker.  One could only wonder if this would be good, but I have to think it would be.  It might  lessen the ability of people like Trump and Cruz from gathering so many P-Zeds around their candidacies.   If only it were real.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

We Are Next

This WaPo Article shows what New Mexico will face when Susana Martinez leaves office.  The Louisiana former Governor gets all the heat while the American Corporate forces that pushed for the tax breaks get away with murder.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Missed Train

The fossilized leadership of New Mexico in the Governor's Office and Legislature has missed the train again.  While they are still allowing subsidies for the oil, gas and coal boys, they did not act on Solar Tax Credits for that clean and growing industry.  And we are arguably the sunniest state in the nation.

Read this report, in which my son is heavily quoted, to see how New Mexico is left at the station.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


The rise of the GOP wrecking Donald Trump is so funny.  The GOP created him through their non stop hatred of a Black American President and an extreme right wing agenda targeted at women and Latinos.  And now this bizarre individual will destroy the Party of Lincoln.  And Donald Trump, who never really wanted  to get this far, will  probably surprise us once again by pulling out of the race on some trumped up illness or emergency.  Or some crazy person with a gun, thanks to the NRA and GOP, will assassinate him.  It could happen to any of the candidates really.

If there was any doubt to the power of social internet media it should be dispelled by now.  All of those racists can meet and organize under cover of zeros and ones.  A digital shroud, so to speak.  And they can speak with one voice.  The voice of Trump.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Did the GOP Legislators insistence that NM not have an early Primary election pay off for them?  Bill Richardson had one back when he made his run for President in 2008, but then it reverted to June in NM once again.  After all the real decisions had been made in places like Alabama.  Would a good showing by a non Trump candidate in NM in February have made some sort of difference?  Maybe.  But, I have to say,  the shorter the campaigns the better.   I think in a short campaign people like our newly minted racist GOP banner carrier might not have picked up steam around the country.  This whole thing is a historical happening in America and will be watched closely by the world, and if the reaction of former Mexican Presidents is any indication, we may be in for an end to any global moral leadership.

If you didn't read the Dana Milbank oped in the Journal this morning, do your self a favor and enjoy it here.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas scores a good government gold star for charging former State Senator Phil Griego with nine felony counts arising from his profiting from the sale of a building that he manipulated the state into selling.