Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alabama

If I weren’t an atheist, I would say there is a god. 

Scale

A person labeled as a terrorist yesterday set off a feeble pipe bomb in NYC that caused minor injuries to bystanders and a serious injury to himself.  Thankfully, no deaths.  But of course, the media and President go apeshit over this incident.

In the meantime, they ignored the fact that over 90 people were killed by gunfire in the US yesterday.  A major terrorist called the NRA is responsible.  And not a word.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Toasting Les

When I was State Liquor Director in the late 70's and early 80's the licensing system was corrupt and dangerous.  We set out, with the blessing of Bruce King, to try and fix things in a legislature rife with liquor lobby controlled members and organized crime involvement in the licensing structure.

After a couple of years of extreme maneuvering, we came up with a reform bill to be introduced to the Legislature.  The bill was carried by Senator Les Houston.   Les passed away this last week.

The effort he put out to pass the bill was heroic and successful.  His astonishing sense of humor carried the day and he beat the liquor lobby into submission.

Most of the reform was killed over the next few terms of office for Governor, but one thing really stuck.  And that was Beer and Wine licenses.  So the next time you go into a small place for dinner and a brew or glass of red, make a toast to Les Houston.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Of Course a Fire Sale

A submission by a good friend, Ned Farquhar.


Yes, if you are producing oil and gas, or want to, you do pretty well under the tax reform legislation moving through the Congress with the Trump Administration's strong urging and approval.  Significant wind energy tax preferences, however, will go toes-up.  As this article says, it's part of a concerted campaign FOR fossil fuels, and AGAINST renewable energy.  See "reward oil and gas while taking aim at renewables"  https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/The-GOP-Tax-Bill-Is-A-Big-Win-For-US-Oil-And-Gas.html

Another consideration: If you are an oil and gas entity, and you make a lot of political contributions, it will be really nice to deduct your contributions as charitable donations not subject to Federal income tax.  Just send them to a politically oriented church.  How's that?  The legislation now under consideration removes the prohibitions on political activity by charitable entities.  https://www.independentsector.org/resource/2017-house-tax-reform-talking-points/

Yet further, tax reform will reward residents and businesses in oil-rich states where there is no income tax - Wyoming, Texas, and Alaska, for example - by eliminating deductions of state and local income taxes from Federal income tax.  In contrast, residents of states with income taxes will suffer, paying taxes on the money they pay to their state governments in income tax.  (The big GOP objection to the inheritance tax has always been that it makes an estate pay tax on funds that were already taxed when they were earned - in other word, double-taxation.  But no objection to violating the same principle by double -taxing via elimination of the state tax payments tax deduction.  And big advantages to oil-windfall state residents, who tend to be very loyal to the GOP.  Remember, it's Alaska, Texas, and Wyoming...)

And oil and gas loopholes are preserved in this tax reform bill, which eliminates middle-class benefits and causes tax increases for many with incomes under $100,000/yr. 

Pretty nice gift to fossil energy from the GOP Congress and Administration - while renewable energy is pushed backward.



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

PED Stupid

Susana's Public Education department is being run by idiots.  They have condemned four Albuquerque Schools for having bad test scores.  They have denigrated the teachers who work the hardest in schools whose communities are in chaos and poverty.  Teachers from higher scoring affluent schools wouldn't last a week in these difficult areas because of the daily grind of not only teaching but trying to nurture kids from broken and parent addicted homes.  This bludgeoning by PED is criminal.  And think what it does to the kids that go to those schools.  One more black mark on their lives.

My hat is off to the courageous teachers and administrators who work in these kinds of schools  They are the bravest people in the school system.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Ravaged

As a former Director of the Bureau of Land Management, I am trying very hard to understand why trump and zinke are working so hard to destroy our heritage.  One of the things that have made our nation great is its public lands and conservation ethic.  Hard battles have been waged in protecting our great western landscapes.  And then these two, well, clowns, come along and set back our peoples efforts to a time before Theodore Roosevelt when watersheds, forests, rivers, and landscapes were to be pillaged.  The actions in Utah today by our psychopathic liar of a president and his minions in the oil and gas, mining and livestock industry will go down in infamy.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Corpse

How do you make a corpse out of a corporation?  The right-wing supreme court has said corporations are people.  And these people are destroying America by the tax cut, funding of right-wing politicians, denying decent healthcare to citizens, and interference in nurturing a strong middle class.  They are enemies of the people.

So how would one go about doing away with a corporation by assassination?  Is there a way to do it? I think not unless wholesale slaughter is visited upon the executives, boards, and stockholders.  So, is a corporation even a person?  Well the GOP thinks so even though there is no way to kill a corporation to protect the public health safety and welfare.

This is where the ultra-rich have taken America.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Damn Journal

The Journal just had to rag on Mayor Keller on his first day in office.  And they did it in an editorial that singled out an accomplished young Latina Woman, Oriana Sandoval as a scapegoat of some sort for being involved in human rights work.  They said her appointment was baffling.  Baffling?  Why?  Because she is Latina and believes in social justice, immigrant rights and environmental protection for the most vulnerable?   The Poor.  Because she has worked for a non-profit?  Because she is a highly educated woman of color?

Editor Karen Moses, Senior Editor Kent Walz and the Lang family have stooped to a new low.  That is what is baffling.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Era

Mayor Tim Keller has signaled his intention to have Albuquerque enter a new era.  His appointment of Oriana Sandoval as a Deputy City Attorney to oversee immigration issues, environmental fairness, and social issues is refreshing.  Mayor Berry's exit means the right wing influences on our city's policies that have favored compassion and fairness will now return.  I am not saying Berry was a crazy elected official as Dan Lewis turned out to be, but his political appointments did not help his image.

Lawrence Rael, who served during my term as Chief Administrative Officer, is back as Chief Operating Officer.  He knows where all the money is for sure and is a master at getting it to where it needs to be!  And one of the places it doesn't need to be.  That would be anything involving the Santolina development west Albuquerque.

Now,  Keller takes office in a few hours and the problems will fall into his lap.  It is not an easy job but picking the right people to help is paramount.  So far he is batting 1000.  Next up, a real economic development team and hopefully that will mean new faces.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How I Really Feel.

When trump and his Utah Congressional enablers meet next week they will destroy a historic tradition of protecting, honoring and valuing our National Monuments.  They will go down in infamy along with our current Interior Secretary zinke because they will cut huge amounts of acreage from National Monuments and protected areas in Southern Utah. Of course, trump and his gang are also slapping the Native American population in the face because those folks worked so hard on getting the Bears Ears National Monument designated.

The pressure to get rid of these psychopathic republicans is just building in many segments of the population.  I can honestly say now that I actually abhor anyone involved in this desecration of our publicly owned lands.  I almost wish we could build a monument to trump, zinke and Senator Hatch and his fellow Utahn congressional folks in some corner of the nations capitol in the shape of a spitoon.

If they go ahead and pass this GOP tax cut bill for the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor, then we should make the spitoon even bigger to honor the rest of the GOP.  All of these guys and gals names could be engraved, on the inside.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Serious

It sure looks like Mayor-elect Tim Keller is serious about cleaning up Albuquerque's Police Department.  His interim Chief is coming over from the Rio Rancho PD.  Michael James Geier has ample experience as a Chief and a long career at APD before that.  Keller is also tinkering with the Deputy Chief positions, which is equally important.

I think it is really important to take another look at the way the Albuquerque Police Academy is training recruits.  I have long maintained they seem to want to turn out Marines instead of public service/police officers.  And let's make our force look less like a military assault force and more like a traditional police force.  I am really tired of seeing camouflage, armored cars, and wasteful purchase of cast-off military equipment.

I know this sounds corny, but maybe a new uniform for the officers is needed to show that a renewed Police Department is arriving in ABQ.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Petrified

We can see our Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce petrified in its beliefs.  They feel that trickle-down economic theory works and hence they support the tax cut bill.  They are totally fossilized in place and don't even realize how disastrous that bill would be for the State of New Mexico.  Once again, it is time for new leadership at the Chamber.

They have shown their complete lack of political insight in ignoring the potential of the new Mayor, Tim Keller, during his campaign.  Now, they will be arriving with hands out like nothing ever happened during the political changeover.  It will be interesting to see how Mayor Keller will handle them.  You have to work with them but insisting on some new leadership from them would not be out of line.

If you feel a need to get any more angry with the political rightwing bent of the power in America, I would suggest you read a book titled "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy MacLean.  I just started it and am convinced more than ever that corporate America needs to be castrated if we are to save our nation.  Time is running out.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Help Me

Help me understand.  One religious sect in Egypt slaughters another and trump says that proves we need a wall between us and Mexico.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Best Time

Thanksgiving is the best holiday.  No dogma, fairy tales, angry gods interfering with good feasts, family, and friends.  Have a great one.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Buggy Whips Again

The Legislative Mavens are celebrating buggy whips again.  They are happy that our boom-bust revenues derived from the oil and gas boys are in a boom phase again.  Instead, they need to do even more serious thinking about how to get out of this vicious cycle of constantly taking one step forward and one step backward on having a diverse economy.

If not, New Mexico becomes no better than places like Appalachia who feel mining coal is still the answer for their economies.  New Mexico just becomes another victim of low wages and stagnant job growth under that kind of thinking.

Those folks who live in the oil patch continually elect legislators with connections to the fossil fuel industry.  My suggestion is that they abandon this approach and find some good person who sees more to an economy than exhaust coming out of a tailpipe.  The sooner the better.

Monday, November 20, 2017

One More Reason

Michele Grisham Lujan doesn't want Michael Padilla to continue his race for Lt. Governor given his problems with sexual harassment from ten years ago.  Michele, the likely democratic party nominee just thinks it would be difficult to have him as a running mate.  And she is right.

 But the real question is why can't she just pick her own running mate?  It makes sense really because you need a number two person, who presides over the Senate, on board with your policies and initiatives.  We don't need another situation where a Governor can't leave the state because his or her  Lt. Governor will try and issue executive orders to overthrow standing policies.

I remember that some people used to warn Bruce King to never let Roberto Mondragon run the government for even a day.  It didn't encourage any kind of solidarity.  But really, about the only time this all would matter was if the Governor was incapacitated or dead.  The remainder of his term shouldn't end up being needlessly dismantled from a policy perspective by someone who was not on his team in the first place, even though they were forced to run together.  Maybe a Governor's candidate should just choose their running mate.

So, the better thing to do is try and get a constitutional amendment passed to change this situation.  And if that is attempted, why not just have a constitutional convention to take a long and studied look at New Mexico's Constitution to see if it still works one hundred plus years after it was written.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Into the Sunset

I attended my last meeting of the Board of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in Salt Lake City this week.  I have been on that Board for 24 years.  SUWA is probably one of the best run regional environmental groups in America.  It has managed to save millions of acres of stunning Utah Landscapes from the ravages of the peculiar politics in Utah.  It is a constant fight with the state's DC delegation who never saw a piece of wilderness they wanted to protect.

Now, the dangers are worse than ever with a psychopathic president and GOP Congress, and yet the effectiveness of SUWA still stands.  As trump and DOI Secretary zinke attempt to kill new National Monuments in Utah,  SUWA stands as a solid line of defense.

Please send some money to this great organization.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tax Reform

Tax reform leads to economic development the corporate folks say.  But think.  When the government gets tax money it spends it. It doesn't disappear.  On healthcare for the citizens, highways, research, etc. etc.

When tax reform gives more money to corporate America, it disappears.   They put the money in offshore accounts where it just sits and earns interest for the rich.  Compounding.  The money is doing nothing for America or its people.  It is all pretty simple really.

Of course, it is not quite that simple.  But mostly it is true.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Blow Out

Tim Keller won the Mayor's race with 62% of the vote, ahem, as I predicted.  It was a blow out brought on by a grassroots get out the vote effort and by a now failing genre of negative political advertising.  At least we can hope this basically Democratic minded city has meted out a message that these horrible right-wing strategies will no longer work.  Dan Lewis drank that Kool-Aid and he got just what he deserved.

The urban areas of this state will always be beacons of light, just as in most other areas of the USA.  The problem lies in the rural areas where economic stagnation and poor education hold sway.  The voters there are suckered by religious, conservative, corporate sponsored hucksterism.  Gerrymandering gives them way more power than they deserve, all enabled by Corporate America's money machine.

We can decry right-wing conservatives all day long, but it is Corporate America that is to blame.  Don't ever forget that.  And in the ABQ's Mayor's race for once they will pay the price.  I am thinking the developers of the Santolina sprawl development on the west side here.  If I were Keller I would give them an appointment for a sit-down discussion, and then send an intern to the meeting.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bled Out

I can't hardly take it anymore.  I feel bled out.  It is interfering with my golf game because of the stress.  Special Prosecutors called for against Clinton, well because, why not?  The Attorney General of the United States having severe memory retention problems.  The President not calling out that pedophile Senate candidate who will probably replace the forgetful Attorney General.   Dozens of christian pastors signing a letter of support for that pedophile s.o.b. Moore. The President saying he believes Putin but not his own intelligence agencies.

It is the death of a thousand cuts in which you finally just lose all feeling.  Bled out!  A once decent country turned into a large scale TV reality show.  It is unfathomable and the people who support this regime change are  truly the stupidest Americans who ever lived.  If trump asked them all to cut off their right arms,  I think most of them would do it.  It would be something to see.

There, my angst is dissipated.  Senses returning.  Breathing deeply.  But the twitch is still there.

Misc.

The Sandoval County Commission is rolling over for the oil and gas industry by passing a very weak ordinance allowing fracking.  How is it that a governmental board can be so out of touch?  Do they not understand climate change and the value of water and how that works in the New Mexican economy?  The Santa FE New Mexican had a good article on this today.

The Albuquerque City Council strangely passed an epic rewrite to city development processes on the night before electing a new Mayor.  I am not sure if this is a good rewrite or not, but this action just seems suspect.  Certainly, there was a need for some revisions but now there will have to be constant rewrites as the new administration sinks its teeth into dealing with it.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Back to Warmth

We hauled off to upstate New York for a few days to see our son and his family.  We arrived in a cold wind, some snow, and quality time with the grandsons.  I would never want to spend a winter there, however.

Returning to see Tim Keller's strong polling numbers was a good thing.  I still believe he could top 60% of the vote.  And get a decent city council.  And then maybe he can start getting a handle on the horrendous crime and police problems here.

 I don't envy the task before him.  When I was elected Mayor in 1997 the city economy was in good shape and revenues were curtailed but sufficient.  The gross receipts rate was about 5% and it now stands over 7%.  That regressive tax simply cannot be raised ever again.  So, if new revenue sources are required there is going to be some real innovation needed.

I can't wait to see the almost satanic owners of the Santolina development on ABQ's west side trying to get anything out of the City for their wasteful sprawl development.  Residents of Albuquerque will have to shift their focus to Bernalillo County Government to make sure they don't continue to feed that development any perks.  If so, it is time for legal action and recalls efforts to start.



Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Out of Sight

I have mixed feelings about the new street corner anti-begging ordinance passed by the ABQ City Council.  I think from a safety standpoint it is probably necessary and it puts the onus on drivers who pull out a couple of bucks to give to the homeless to cease their charity.

I have always chosen not to hand money out the car window because I give my donations to NGOs who do good work.  But I have always admired those street corner alms seekers because they prove the point that hard work isn't difficult for them.  If you disagree then try standing out in the summer sun and winter wind for 10 hours a day trying to get enough money for your next meal and narcotic fix.

No, most of these beggars are there out of necessity thanks to Ronald Reagan and the ACLU deciding that these often mentally disturbed people don't belong in institutions where they at least had food and shelter.  It is one big black mark against the ACLU in my opinion.  Although I still send them money.

I also think for many supporters of this ordinance that they just don't want to see these people.  It is hard to watch this suffering really, so let's make them invisible.




Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Misc.

We need to start a gambling pool to estimate the size of Tim Keller's victory next week.  I think he could possibly win with more than 56% of the vote.  Maybe even approaching 60%.  And the cherry on top will be having a majority of the City Council willing to work with him.  Possibly even veto-proof.  Now, it is mostly smooth sailing for Keller.  He will have to endure some ethics hearings conjured up by that GOP right-wing zealot Pat Rodgers.

Here is another great piece from the NYT this morning.






Sucker Punch

Watching the local TV News was like seeing someone get sucker punched last night.  Everyone is blaming the US Air Force in the shooting of those men, women, children, and infants in Texas.  No one is blaming the NRA, a corrupt congress, and the shooter.  It is bait and switch.  And another guy with an assault rifle is being called a hero.  He was courageous, but why did he need an assault rifle to get through life?

Read this article from the Times this morning.  It will explain it all to you.  Read it all the way to the last sentence.  Chilling.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Misc.

Pretty soon NRA and Congressional enabled mass shootings in the USA will be relegated to the bottom of the page and ends of newscasts because they are so common.   Kind of like convenience store robberies.  That might happen.  The only thing that will change the makeup of the NRA owned congress will be someone going postal in the GOP Caucus meeting of the House and Senate.

A guy named Roberto Aguirre who was found driving my meth-soaked stolen car has been sent away from the Luna County Jail.  I was notified of the move, but in order to keep track of him, I need to hear from Luna County about where he was sent.  I have called but can get no response.  He is a serial criminal who should never be outside a lockup again.

ABQ Police Chief Gordon Eden has retired from a short and disastrous career at APD.  All I can say is M'eh.




Friday, November 03, 2017

Rage Maybe

I just studied the so-called tax cut for Americans.  As a middle-class retiree, I will see my taxes go up about 20% while trump, rich people, and corporate America get to see their taxes go down.  And their rates are already low.  It is outrageous and if trump blue-collar supporters go along with it, well, they are even stupider than I imagined.

This is the kind of thing that can start revolutions.  Sign me up.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Big Challenge

How will Albuquerque's new Mayor, most likely Tim Keller, be able to remake the command structure at the Police Department.  It is not enough to rid the department of its hapless and inexperienced Chief.  The house cleaning must go much deeper than that if it is to be successful.  That will be a great challenge as many Captains and Deputy Chiefs will need to be reigned in or just plain fired.  Firing them will be a costly and drawn-out affair, but how could it be any more expensive than the payouts from lawsuits involving department screwups.

Surely, the first order of business will be the new Mayor putting together a respectable search team for finding a modern and progressive Chief.  Give them a deadline of March 1st and let them do their work.  Yes, internal candidates should be considered, but most probably we need new blood with great leadership skills.  Make sure the background checks are done in a timely manner for all candidates.  Then present three finalists for the Mayor to sit down with to see if they are willing to work with him.

This process is not rocket science.  It is a simple and effective way of getting this done.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

APD....Again

Secretly recording the monitor who is holding APD's feet to the fire.  The recording was done by a high ranking officer.  What could possibly go wrong?  Who will ever trust APD to have frank discussions ever again?

Now it is easy to see how the malignancy in APD works.  It flows downhill.  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Therapy

I have to admit that the meltdown in the trump White House is a good form of therapy for many of us.  That Greek guy, as one of my Greek neighbors said this morning, naturally, knows how to cover his ass.  This is serving up some angst in trumpdom.

Another therapy is watching Dan Lewis dissolve in front of us as he continues to use trumpian and GOP tactics in trying to upend Tim Keller in the race for ABQ Mayor.  At the end of the day, he will be asking himself, "how could I possibly have allowed these people to run my campaign?"  Unless he is truly one of them.

But the best therapy of all was what I witnessed while up in Colorado this last weekend.  It was a physical therapist teaching my granddaughter Kate how to sit up by her self.  She has CP and is getting a lot of help from everyone on both sides of the family.  She is a very smart little girl who will need a little help for a short time.  And she gets a lot of it from her twin sister Alex pictured on the right.

Monday, October 30, 2017

North

We were way up north for a few days to celebrate our twin granddaughters third birthday.  It was fun except for having to watch something the girls like called "Peppa Pig" on Amazon.  Like a lot.  It even had precedence over news, sports and drama.   G'ahhhh!

Once again traveling up to Fort Collins through the Denver area is always an eyeopener as one sees the robust economy in action as evidenced by the countless construction cranes.  I am not saying that would be perfect for ABQ, but some level of activity would be nice.

Our new Mayor will have two main things to think about.  Police/Crime issues, and economic development that makes ABQ a prosperous urban oasis for NM.  That will take putting together a first-class economic development team that can actually deliver.  It will be necessary to raise the Chamber of Commerce and others in the business community out of the eight-year coma and get them working again.  It just isn't enough to protect what they have, they must look at growing our economy and stopping the young folk's immigration to other regions.  Perhaps one of the first things is for the new Mayor to visit with Denver's Mayor and Colorado's Governor.  They seem to get it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Happening

It is kind of thrilling to see Senator Martin Heinrich coming to the aid of a GOP Senator who leaned out a window and shouted, "I'm mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore."

That would be Senator Flake from Arizona who said he wouldn't run for reelection essentially  because of the disgrace of the cheeto in the White House.  Heinrich and Flake became friends across the aisle.  They both were featured in a survival type reality TV show in which they were dumped on an Island and told to survive.  I watched it and they barely did so.  But they worked together.

Things are in such chaos in DC that one wonders if the GOP is on opioids en masse.  They sit by while the cheeto fiddles and burns away American International stature.  How sad.

But, where does the real blame belong on our long march into oblivion?  I would have to say it lies with corporate America.  Period.  It is their money that is making this horrible situation possible.  They are nothing less than the Harvey Weinsteins and Bill O'Reillys of the world.  And I can only hope they will get theirs.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ditch Riding



As I was contemplating on my walk this morning on how a President of the United States could possibly get himself into a situation of insulting a war widow, I realized it was better to take a picture of why I love living in the Valley so much.  It is nice to know that gravity still works and water still flows downhill.  This at least is something that the great cheeto hasn't attempted to call fake news.

This little lateral in the Thomas Villiage area is typical of the many serene ditch routes throughout the valley areas of Bernalillo County, where most of the money comes from to run the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.  It is another way we city slickers subsidize the agricultural sector in the four County District.  To me, it is worth the cost.

I was the General Manager of the District for a short time in the early 90's.  My grandfather Delfin was a long time Supervisor in the Cochiti District headquartered in Pena Blanca.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Code

The Albuquerque Journal's take on the candidates in their Sunday edition was a good read, even if they were trying to damage Tim Keller's campaign by pretending the Sanctuary issue is a big deal for voters.  The report was enlightening however in the contrasts it revealed in the Keller/lewis election battle.

I am trying to understand why lewis is trying to make the case for 'breaking up' the Albuquerque School System.  Could that be code words for segregation?   Put all the poor and brown kids in one district? And, all the white and more affluent kids in another district?  Because at the end of the day that is all that would result from the breakup.

It won't save money and it won't improve the overall underfunded education of our kids.  Period.  Yes, APS needs some reforms, but a dissolution of the system is silly.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Santolina Crime

The actions of Jeff Garrett of the Santolina sprawl project on ABQ's west side are criminal in my opinion.  His company has funded outrageous commercials that accuse Mayor Candidate Tim Keller of coddling sexual predators.  I have seldom seen a city race stoop this low on local TV campaigns.

We know that Garrett has been joined in the past by many Attornies at the Rodey Law Firm in funding candidates who favor this horrible development.  Are they doing so again?  I am talking about John Salazar, Dick Minzner, Justin Horwitz and Robert Lucero.  Have they lent their time and money to this dirty campaign on the behalf of dan lewis?  Will we ever know?  The same goes for the Bohannon Engineering firm.  Are they putting their great reputation on the line too?

The only other time I have seen something akin to these attacks is when I ran for Mayor in 1985.  Ken Schultz and the Aragon family, that would be Manny and Benny and their ilk, started a rumor campaign all throughout the Hispanic community that my wife Bobbi was a racist because she didn't carry my last name of Baca.  They also said my children did not, which was totally false.  But the campaign worked for them and he beat me by a couple of thousand votes in the runoff on the strength of those whispers.

So, once again I admonish all voters to get to the polls or we will end up with a christian fundamentalist mayor who lies and cheats through his supporters false TV ads. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Flavor

The flavor of the GOP is hatred and lies these days.  And the formerly moderate members of that one-time major political party sit by quivering as the lunatics run the show.  And even worse they have managed to seep into every level of government in acquiescing to the craziness.

Case in point, the runoff election for ABQ's new Mayor.  dan lewis has partaken of the fringe flavored Kool-Aid in trying to paint Tim Keller as a supporter of rapists in the new Lewis TV Commercial.  I just saw that piece of political fear mongering,  and any respect for I had for lewis is gone.  I had at one time thought he was a moderate man until the GOP/religious fundamentalism reared its ugly presence and took his decency.

I am hopeful we can prove that this hateful kind of campaigning doesn't work any longer.  But, it will have an effect on many voters who are scared of their own shadows these days.  So, getting out the vote is really important in this low turnout election.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Misc.

We spent a great weekend with friends in the wine country around Paso Robles, CA.  No fires there but lots of wine tasting and lazing about in friend's restored the Victorian home.  The political discussion just could not be kept away.

It looks like Dan Lewis has joined the trump/bannon brand of political discourse.  The account I read of their debate on Sunday made me think that Tim Keller will fight back strongly against silly and specious allegations from the extreme right wing.  Good for him.  Meanwhile, Lewis has sold his soul to the crowd that loves to hate.  So, from now on I will no long capitalize his name.  It is lewis from now on.

It was a joy to read that so many people turned out to voice opposition to Governor susana martinez's plan to turn New Mexico's public education science curriculum into a religious fundamentalist wacko inspired school system.  The way the hearing was conducted in Santa Fe was amateurish with few people getting into the undersized venue.  Thanks to all sane people who trekked up there.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Corporate Media

I often rail about corporate news media.  From our local TV stations which are owned by large conglomerates to the media giants like Comcast.  They will only allow in-depth news coverage of issues that don't affect their bottom line.

This latest scandal with another Hollywood mogul, Weinstein, proves the point as NBC has been called on the carpet by independent journalists for continually killing the story of this pervert's sexual predations.  How could anyone trust NBC to deliver any worthy journalism from here on out?

It reaches down to our local broadcasters.  When was the last time you saw any real investigative work done on anything but the government?  Yes, they will parrot some worthy reporting in the ABQ Journal, such as the wonderful work on the rip off industry of elderly guardians, but can you remember one TV news operation really taking on the big guys?  I mean corporate monsters.  Like Comcast itself?

We can only dream.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Misc

So the APS School Board is fighting Susana Martinez's attack on science in the public schools.  This is good.  Only one board member voted to favor religion over science and that was Peggy Muller Aragon.  She is the wife of Robert Aragon who is running for city council.  And that is a giant reason for keeping him out of office.  He has always been a political gadfly, but now the political/religious fundamentalism nutjobs are attempting to get another seat on the council.  Please vote for Cynthia Borrego in that race.  For the sake of your children's education.

The Albuquerque Journal's Dan McKay this morning used the term 'left-leaning' to describe some groups opposing attempts by Congressman Steve Pearce's move to gut National Monuments in New Mexico.  Yet the people and legislators who are defending the attack on these Monuments are given no label.  So much for editorializing in a news story.  I thought we had seen that stopped when the last Editor was kicked upstairs.

Meanwhile, the Journal editorial board has wussed out by calling for a ban on bump-stocks for assault weapons.  The NRA bait and switch worked.  You can still buy assault weapons by the truck load if you wish.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fiction or Truth

One of my favorite authors is Paolo Bacigalupi.  His latest book in the Drowned Cities series is called "Tool of War."  Its first page is timely.

THE DRONE CIRCLED high above the wreckage of war. A week before, it hadn’t been there. A week before, the Drowned Cities hadn’t been worth mentioning, let alone worth committing drones to overwatch. The Drowned Cities: a coastline swamped by rising sea levels and political hatreds, a place of shattered rubble and eternal gunfire. It had been a proud capital, once, and the people who inhabited its marble corridors had dominated much of the world. But now the place was barely remembered on maps, let alone in places where civilized people gathered. The histories it had dominated, the territories it had controlled, all had been lost as its people descended into civil war—and eventually were forgotten.

Bacigalupi, Paolo. Tool of War (Ship Breaker) (pp. 1-2).  Kindle Edition. 

Monday, October 09, 2017

Transition

It is remarkable that the ABQ Mayoral winning candidate will have only ten business days to conduct a transition before entering office.  I am assuming that will put a lot of heat onto Tim Keller if he wins, as I think he will.  Dan Lewis will march into office and mostly inherit Mayor Berry's team, except for the police chief I assume.

Besides having to run a campaign against Lewis who will get right wing money from the puppet masters in the GOP, Keller will have to think hard about his top appointments.  He will have a few months to fill in department heads after being elected, but his top choice for Chief Administrative Officer has to be solidified almost immediately.  And of course shove the APD Chief out the door while putting together a search for a new Chief from outside the Department.  And outside the State too.

And on one last note about Vice President Pence wasting money to fly to a walkout at an NFL game, one wishes the money the trip cost should have been spent on genetic engineering to assure fewer religious fundamentalist idiots like him are born.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Misc

Many people are trying to get credit for Tim Kellers great victory in the ABQ Mayor's race first round of voting.  Some even suggest that Bernie Sanders endorsement was key.  What rubbish.  Keller won by having a smarter and leaner campaign that wasn't concentrating on spreading fear and hate.  That seems to have sailed right over the head of City Councillor Dan Lewis who is already doing the attack approach.  He says Keller will be soft on crime.  Lewis has stood by as a Councillor for years while our Police Department imploded and crime got out of hand.  He gave only lip service to it and now is trying to push the blame off on others.  Weak.

The ABQ Free Press has gone the way of so many good and hard hitting news and investigative organizations.  They closed down with little fanfare.  The fact is that you can not survive as a real news outlet by asking for donations to support you.  It is sad but true.  And those journalists who worked there can't subsist on minimum or no wages at all.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Deviates

One really wonders what kind of satisfaction these NRA donation recipients get from actually harming our future and costing future innocent lives. It must be like how a sexual deviate feels when he opens his trench coat in front of a grade school. I have no other explanation.

Any Democratic Senate Candidate, House Candidate or Governor's candidate who does not come out for an outright ban on assault weapons should not be given any support.  Every time one of these tragedies occurs they all do a bait and switch by talking about more background checks etc.  The problem is assault weapons and bump stocks.  We all heard what they can do in the audio of the LV massacre. 


I will not send one more dime to any candidate for federal and state office who does not take a pledge to stop the sale of assault weapons and gather in all the existing ones.  Anyone who doesn't turn them in gets a year in a federal lockup.  Yeah, I know, they will lose votes but taking hard positions is part of the job.

Take a Ways

The first round of the ABQ elections are over.  Here are my take-a-ways.

Tim Keller had a killer ground game and was truly the best all around candidate.  His message resonated with voters and his nearly 40% share of the vote was astounding.  Now, he needs to get an even bigger tent.

The GOP will go all medieval on him.  He will face a well funded NRA and anti gay Dan Lewis who is an ordained baptist minister.  Look for Koch brother money coming in to the race.

Brian Colon suffered from the curse of being a former Democratic Party Chair.  The ability to fund raise and make deals just doesn't translate into charisma for being a successful candidate.  His TV commercials were pretty bad.  Kellers were pretty good.  Colon is a nice guy who needs to get his folks behind Keller.

Wayne Johnson, the anti sanctuary guy can now slink back into the Santolina owned Bernalillo County Commission.

Many Democrats voted against the sick leave issue.  It was just a  bridge too far after folks tried to read through the ballot language and saw how convoluted it was.  The opposition ran a good campaign.

I am all in for Cynthia Borrego in my old home District 5 Council race.  The last thing we need is Robert Aragon, another fundamentalist wacko.  Read up on his background to see what a disruptive person he can be.

Send money to this PAC that helps Tim Keller.  His election will make those clowns at the Santolina development pucker their sphincters. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Misc

One of my conservative democrat friends called this morning and said he and his spouse had taken a vow that they would never, ever, vote for a candidate again who accepts money or endorsements from the NRA.  I have accepted the challenge.  It may mean I don't vote for democrats ever again, but it is time to take a stand.  What else is there left for us to do?  When congress and others did nothing after the massacre of first and second graders the only thing left to do is vote as a one issue elector.

Tim Keller will slide to a first place in the ABQ Mayor's race tonight after the votes are counted.  Then a real donny brook will be set in place for the runoff against a pro NRA and antigay opponent.  The money will pour in to his opponent's coffers while Keller's publicly financed campaign will be limited.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has decided not to run for Congress.  I have a gut feeling there is more to this decision than has been revealed.  This Commissioner, who allows leg hold traps on State Lands for the cruel deaths of wildlife, might have been elected to Congress.  It is a strange move.  I have a gut feeling the fossil fuel boys were against him because of his favoring the livestock industry on contentious issues between the two 'buggy whip' state land users.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Timing

Timing is everything.  Dan Lewis has received the endorsement of the NRA and fundamentalist christians who want to burn gay people.  Does this help him in his run for Mayor?  He will be facing off against Tim Keller, who the NRA dislikes and who supports gay rights.

So, getting out to vote in the runoff election will be extremely important.  I can tell you the NRA and anti gay types will be there.  So every other candidate with any morals at all will have to get behind Keller.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Truth be Told

If one wants to support former political party chairs in New Mexico for elective office, just be prepared to lose.  The chances of the former party leaders at ever winning seems doomed, always and forever.  If any readers can ever remember a former party chair being successful,  just chime in here on the comments section.  Maybe it would give ABQ Mayoral Candidate Brian Colon some hope of getting into the runoff with Tim Keller.  A teensy bit of hope anyway.

What does seem to work for some candidates is what worked for trump.  Get voters who want to hate some group on your side.  Appease them by remaining cozy and silent when their xenophobias break out.  Dan Lewis, who I have always thought was one of the better city councillors, did just that when his religious supporters went full attack mode on the LGBT community.  He gained in the polls. He stooped to the level of  County Commissioner Wayne Johnson who went postal on brown people in his anti 'sanctuary' TV commercial.

It will be interesting to watch the sick leave ordinance outcome on the ABQ ballot.  I was truly surprised to see it had lost so much ground in the latest Journal poll.  The trend shows it could fail.  As a progressive, I did vote against it because it was way too complicated.  If it goes down then the city council and new Mayor should take a new stab at getting something workable.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Trickle Down

Mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson has decided the trickle down theory can work.  What is trickling down is racism and hatred for immigrants.  He has targeted them in what he might think is a subtle way, but really it is just an appeal to the trump white supremacists.  His commercial saying he will not let ABQ be a sanctuary city is really saying, "I will throw all brown people out."  What a dick.

And I can't imagine what his attacks on fellow republican Dan Lewis, a fundamentalist baptist minister, will end up doing to the already damaged GOP brand.  They deserve any blow back that occurs.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Roll Them Bones

These early endorsements for Governor seem risky to me.  One of the groups I support with a money drop every month is Conservation Voters New Mexico.  They went early with Michelle Grisham Lujan.  She would be a good candidate on green issues, but so might Jeff Apodaca.  But, will he ever even be recognized or asked?  And do these early endorsements actually mean anything in November of next year?  That is a long ways off.   An early news release is about all that comes out of this early cheer leading.

Also, it is quite likely that someone else might enter the race that would be even better on climate change and renewable energy programs than either of the announced candidates.  Then a real division takes place in the march to Primary election day.

It would have made sense for CVNM to play the field a little longer.  And other groups like them.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Misc.

If you are upset about the Public Education Department in Santa Fe trying to appease religious fundamentalists then please send in a comment.  As you know they are trying change science curriculum by removing evolution, climate change and age of the earth from our students knowledge base.  Unthinkable.

Actually, think a little about Alabama right now and the complete nutcase they just nominated for the US Senate.  He is a disgraced state Supreme Court Judge who takes all of his orders from god.  Even trump didn't like him.

Governor Martinez is saying all elected officials should be removed from the State Investment Council.  That would not be a blow for transparency.  Can you imagine leaving the state's billions of dollars in permanent funds under control of only the hedge fund CEOs and Bankers?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Grist

The latest FBI crime stats provide more grist for the mill in the Mayor's race in Albuquerque.  This comes as Mayor Berry says he is handing over a growing economy to the incoming Mayor.  Well, he might be right after almost eight dismal years in office with no economic program in evidence, along with do nothing Governor Martinez. About the only ones doing really well are the car thieves in NM.  Car thefts doubled in just a few years.  Those cars, like the one stolen from me last March, are headed in caravans for the border.  So, I suppose one could say that is bringing new money into the state.

Having said all that I want to thank Mayor Berry for his service to the city.  It is a tough job and every decision will upset someone.  And the criticism is severe since everything is localized.  I would say his only huge failure is the Police department.

Its bad enough taking abuse from anyone who hits a new pothole in the road, but to sit there while the parochial City Council endlessly gets away with poor performance is like watching trump give a speech.  Endless nausea.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Signs

Having run a lot of campaigns I can say one of my favorite ways to spend money is on yard signs.  In my subdivision off Rio Grande Blvd near Matthew St. it appears that Tim Kelly outnumbers every other candidate about 10 to one in yard signs that actually sit in front of a home, instead of on a street somewhere.  It tells me that Kellers underfunded public campaign is using its money wisely on grass roots.  Those people who actually vote.  The only other presence in this neighborhood is a lone Colon sign.  That is it.  None for Lewis or the other candidates.

The upcoming danger for Keller is the runoff.  That is when an opponent who has unlimited funding options will have some advantages.  Who ever runs against Keller, probably Colon, will uncork that money from irresponsible land developers.  Colon has been strangely quiet in the scurrilous attacks on Keller by CEO Jeff Garrett at the Santolina development.  Profit at any cost.  (Please don't forget the County Commissioners who sided with Santolina, but that will be a topic for a future blog.)


Sunday, September 24, 2017

M'eh

The ABQ Journal did a dual endorsement today of Colon and Lewis for Mayor.  Downright bizarre.  They endorsed this way because in their editorial board's twisted logic they must think it hurts Tim Keller.  Does it?  I think  it actually could help  Keller a little bit as it divides non Keller types that the Journal influences into spreading out their vote.  Does that make sense?

No matter what, Keller is in the runoff.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mr. Poster Child

Dear Mr. Jeff Garrett of the Santolina Abomination Development,

You really are a poster child for everything wrong with corporate America. Your oped in the Albuquerque Journal this morning has earned you that rating.  You don't give a damn about our city and state. You just want to make money on an ill concieved sprawl project that will hit taxpayers hard and fast. Mr. Garrett, I don't think you are really welcome around here. Go away.

Your interference in our local politics and your attacks on Tim Keller the front runner has demonstrated a new low in our political scene.  And, that is hard to do when we have a Governor like Susana Martinez.

I question your competence to be even the CEO of a Sno Cone stand.  I say that because I am pretty sure you picked some consultant to write that oped.  And you paid for it.  How is that a good management decision?

Damn, I could go on forever.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Served Cold

The people at Santolina development and their local mascots must have a screw loose.  Now that we know they are behind funding for ads that call the front runner Mayoral Candidate Tim Keller a protector of pedophiles, there will be a reckoning.

Really, how stupid can this corporate operation be?  If Tim Keller is elected do you think maybe Santolina's development plans might run into some obstacles.  I have been a Mayor.  I can sit here and think of about a thousand ways to stop this immense sprawl development on Albuquerque's West Side.  I plan on calling the new Mayor, no matter who, and possibly point out some dozens of studies that should be done before one shovel is put into the ground.


At the very least Santolina has shown themselves to very sophomoric.  Why would we want them building anything anywhere near our city?

Misc.

Mayor Berry's approval ratings are in the dumpster.  Not as bad as mine were after opposing the NRA back in 2001, but still not in good shape.  I don't think any Mayor in a major city can escape with good ratings.  That elected position is just to close to the fire and a focal point for voter's frustrations. Compare that with a City Council which has performed poorly also.  They are diffuse and get blamed for nothing.  But, that is the way things work in local government.

Mayoral Candidate Tim Keller is like a hurricane, gathering up every group in his path.  The fact that the Police Union has endorsed him must hit all the GOP fundamentalist candidates right in the kisser. Those crime all the time types are feeling pretty impotent.  When Keller takes office he will have his hands full with the unions and will need some real wisdom in dealing with all of them.

I can't wait to find out who is funding these horrendous ads against Keller accusing him of protecting pedophiles.  The real recipients of this campaign are the TV stations and billboard companies.  They will do anything for money.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mandatory Reading

Lies and still more lies.  You simply must read this from my friend Dennis Jett.

Trump Is Far More Embarrassing to the U.S. Than the Iran Nuclear Deal Is

If you had a serious disagreement with someone, would you begin to resolve it by insulting that person and threatening to kill them? That is the approach President Donald Trump took in his debut appearance before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

In his speech, Trump referred to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” and added that the U.S. was “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy North Korea.” It would be hard to recall the last time an American president resorted to that kind of childish name-calling. The threat, however, is even more ridiculous. To say that it is hollow is an understatement.

Of course, the U.S. has the capacity to destroy North Korea. But it could not do so without provoking the destruction of South Korea and much of Japan. Kim may be a tyrant, but he is not a fool. He is not going to hand a justification for his own annihilation to Trump. While the military option is always available, it is also unthinkable. One thing such a threat will accomplish, however, is making an acceptable solution to this issue all the more difficult to find.

The references to North Korea were not the only bit of Trumpian hyperbole in the speech. The president complained about the U.S. having to bear a “disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially” of the UN. The U.S. contributes 22% of the UN’s budget, which may seem like a lot until one considers that the U.S. also produces 22% of the world’s economic output. As for the military burden, when it comes to UN peacekeepers in uniform, 0.06% of them are Americans—a mere 50 out of 80,067 soldiers.

Another absurdity was the assertion that wherever socialism has been adopted, it “has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.” Perhaps someone should inform the Scandinavian countries. Studies to determine which countries have the happiest citizens typically put them at the top of the list even though their taxes are high. Trump asked, “Are we still patriots?” One element of patriotism is caring enough about a country to pay one’s fair share of taxes. Of course, whether that take on patriotism applies to the president will never be known until his tax returns are made public.

Trump’s rhetorical excess was not limited to just the UN and specific countries, as he described his foreign policy as one of “principled realism.” Unfortunately, it contains no principles and isn’t realistic. He mentioned sovereignty 21 times, which will be interpreted abroad as the U.S. no longer caring about democracy. Exceptions to that rule are made only for countries, like Venezuela, that are included in Trump’s axis of evil. Providing sovereignty as a shield for corrupt and repressive regimes will please Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but it is not a principle of which Americans can be proud.
The policy Trump outlined is unrealistic because today the real challenges and opportunities America faces are a result of globalization. That phenomenon, by its very nature and pervasiveness, makes it impossible for a single country to meet those challenges or seize those opportunities alone. Only multilateral cooperation through organizations like the UN can accomplish that.

Perhaps Trump’s oratory hit its lowest point when he called the Iran nuclear agreement the worst deal ever and an embarrassment to the U.S. The agreement continues to curb that country’s nuclear ambitions and is far preferable to any alternative strategy. If Trump walks away from it, he will do so alone.

In a speech that was an exercise in exaggeration and bluster, Trump demonstrated that, in fact, the biggest embarrassment to this country is Trump himself.

Dennis Jett, a former career diplomat, is a professor of international affairs at Penn State University and the author of The Iran Nuclear Deal: Bombs, Billionaires, and Bureaucrats.

Metaphor?

The Finches have embraced the Nyjer seed this year.  I have gone through at least twenty pounds of the stuff.  I really enjoy watching them while reading morning newspapers on my IPad as they all share the bounty.  It made me think about the latest GOP attempt to kill healthcare for all.  If these birds acted the same way there would only be one of them on the feeder.  It would probably have a Cheeto Color.

Crime

The ABQ Journal statistics on how our residents feel about crime was predictable.  Horrendous grades for Judges. They also rated the DA, the Chief and Officers.  The Officers got the best rating.  Strangely, the Mayor and City Council were not given grades on how they were handling things.  Although I am sure there will be numbers coming on the Mayor in the next few days.  Like the Governor's numbers, they will probably be in the tank.

Today I signed up for the VINE program which will notify us when the car thief found driving our meth infused car gets out of the County Jail in Luna County.  Supposedly he will be there for another year.  He is a repeat offender but a plea bargain got him 18 months and a promise of years in the state prison if he commits any more crimes.  I am told the County lockup is worse than the state pen.  One can only hope.

The VINE Program is a great tool.  When Roberto Aguirre of Albuquerque gets out, at least we will be aware of it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Brew Economy

The Journal's poll this morning showing a high level of angst over Albuquerque's economic condition is not surprising.  The big news in business today was that one of our kazillion craft breweries is expanding into Arizona.  So, new jobs in Arizona and local brewery maybe adding a few folks to the production facilities.

And a reinforcing story on the front pages today is the drop in enrollment at UNM.  What a tragedy!  I am sure there are many reasons for this drought in higher education, including Lottery scholarships waning, but surely if there were more good jobs here the young folks would see more of a reason to enroll.

How does this economic malaise translate into grades for the Mayor and City Council?  Probably an F for both.  Eight years of almost unmitigated disaster on the job creation front where it seems there was really no effort put forth at all.  And our Chamber of Commerce is just as guilty of thumb twiddling.  Tired old leadership all the way around.

However, it is not tiredness on the Governor's part.  It is just plain old incompetence peppered with nastiness.  Have you ever paid attention to the statements coming out of her communications people?  And her political consultants?  Pretty nasty.  Kind of like this blog sometimes, but unfit for a Governor.

Monday, September 18, 2017

War on Mother

The right wing Montanan Zinke who serves as trump's Secretary of Interior will go down in history as hating Mother Nature.  His unprecedented recommendations  to cut acreage and/or  open National Monuments to damaging practices will put him in the annals of landscape rapists.  As much or more than trump, his psychopathic twittering boss.

It is unclear whether protections for New Mexico's National Monuments will be affected.  It wouldn't do much good to keep the current acreage if damaging resource development and dramatically increased motorized traffic is allowed. The Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks landscapes will be less protected probably.

If they suffer little damage you can thank Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for their lobbying to keep them as whole as possible.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mayor's Poll

Tim Keller is in pretty good shape as shown by the Sanderoff Research and Polling survey this morning.  It is probably accurate because unlike robo call polls, the cheap ones employed by TV News and others, Sanderoff manages to get a right mix of both cell phones and landlines into his sample.  One could argue that few of Keller's young supporters have land lines.

An interesting demographic in the race concerns Brian Colon, former Democratic Party Chair, is that he is losing big time to Keller amongst Democrats.  I have referred to him as the "Pelosi" of New Mexico, and that might be showing.  Time for new leaders.  But, I can't recall any former Chairs of the Party who went on to win elections.

The knives will come out big time in the race now.  But where they will be planted is up for grabs.  Probably in Colon as the desperate GOP right wing tries to get one of their fundamentalists into the runoff.  Meanwhile, will ABQ City Councillor Lewis and County Commissioner Johnson go into war against each other?  Who knows.

The voter turn out will be low.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Barbaric

I was sitting behind a NM Game and Fish truck at a traffic light the other day.  It had a bumper sticker that said something to the effect of "Teach your children to hunt, fish and trap."

The hunting and fishing part don't bother me much.  The trapping is absolutely barbaric.  The use of leg hold traps fostered by the Governor and her handpicked right wing Game and Fish Commission is horrendous.  Why would anyone want to encourage their children to cause long painful deaths of New Mexico's Wildlife?

I frankly find the judgement of the Game and Fish Director to be poor.  To allow such a slogan on all of their trucks is pretty stupid.  They have stated on their website that they are looking for a new generation of Game and Fish Officers.  If they continue this trapping policy then only psychopaths need apply.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Angst at the Fair


Bobbi and I got up and decided to partake of the green chile fried cheese curds at the New Mexico State Fair.  But we had quite a wait.  We bought our tickets and then were shown to the security line that had about 500 people in it and more coming every minute.  There were more than a few disabled people in the line.  There were four ticket sellers and two security guards wanding everyone and looking through bags.  They seemed embarrassed.  Who can blame them?

This is America today.  Paranoia everywhere fed by two bit right wing pols, security consultants and private contractors who make money off of it.  And all we wanted was a short munchie visit after a three or four year lapse in attendance.

 I called someone after 30 minutes in the hot sun and told them people were pissed!  Some one in the chain of command took a look and the security ruse was lifted.

On the menu were the cheese curds.  A $4 diet coke in a bottle.  And two slices of pie from the Asbury Cafe.  Lots of fat and sugar in that repast.  A visit to the Fine Arts Center, Natural Resource Center, Indian Arts and a stroll down main street.  All very nice.

We then left.  The security line was working again, but it was very short.

The 2017 State Fair experience of Jim and Bobbi.

Lack

Everywhere you read about the governments lack of funding.  In Santa Fe the legislature says there is no money again.  This is normal over the last decade  under the failed leadership of an untalented and  rightwing Governor Martinez.

The U.S. Air Force says a lack of funding is seriously harming their ability to carry out their mission. And they are part of the military industrial complex that gets way more than their share of money.

This is all happening for one reason.  Corporate America and the one per centers are not paying taxes.  They have been enabled by the right wing hatred of all things government related.  Oh, except when their red states get devastated by natural disasters and then spending outrageous amounts to rebuild for their confederate flag wavers seems like a good idea.  And then it will happen again because these people will rebuild in the flood plain.

And, they want more tax breaks.   This is suicidal for a nation.  It will catch up to us.  Or rather, our grandchildren.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dirty

Any business who gives money to a PAC that accuses any candidate of protecting pedophiles will sooner or later be identified and then reap their rewards.  They may not be good rewards.

Any Candidate who is a member of a Church that hates gay people but doesn't quit that Church is unfit to be Mayor.  That would be Dan Lewis.


Stone Age Education

Is it possible that Christopher Rosznowski, Governor Susana Martinez's new Education Secretary is attempting to roll back science education by removing any mention of evolution and climate change in the state's Science Curriculum?  Also that they are removing the language from the curriculum that says earth is 4.6 Billion years old?

Is this all aimed to please the creationists?

Will the media start asking questions of the Governor and her appointee?  I know that the organization known as the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education is concerned about these changes.  This Albuquerque group is a pretty good watchdog on these matters.  Here are their main points.



*  These standards with the changes are scientifically unacceptable.  They appear to be politically motivated, and that does not belong in the classroom.

*  These standards will result in very bad publicity for the state that will hurt any chances we may have of business expansion for any companies concerned with our public education system.

*  These standards will make it harder to attract good scientists to current businesses.

*  A change in standards of this magnitude requires money and time for training, curricula creation, acquisition of classroom materials, standardized test creation and payment, etc.  Where is the money and time and implementation planning?

*  And whatever else you can think of.

The People of New Mexico have two National Research Labs.  It should not allow such nonsense to be inserted into our schools.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vigilantes

Crime.  A big issue in Albuquerque.  The Mayor's candidates think so, as I do.  The guy who was found driving my stolen car down near the border in Luna County was a habitual offender.  He got 18 months in the county jail.  And a promise that the next offense when he gets out will get him a lot more time.  So, he will eventually get a lot more time.  There was so much Meth residue in my car that the insurance company totaled it.

More cops would help, a little.  But in the end a more prosperous economy would help a lot more.  It is no accident that Governor Susana's state has about the lowest economic growth in the nation, and one of the largest crime problems.  I pin this problem on her complete lack of any economic development program.  Oh sure, she wants lower taxes but if gang members are stealing thousands of cars a month then who wants to locate here.  And the current Mayor's total lack of a competent police command structure has made ABQ ground zero.  I just can't understand how he has put up with this.  There must be some reason, right?

I recall that when I worked for Mayor Harry Kinney that the crime rate went down when the police went on strike.  A lot of people made it known they were armed and would shoot if they thought a criminal was taking advantage of the police walkout.  I hope we don't get to than point. But, it could happen.  That whole vigilante thing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Misc.

One of the things that bothers me about the Albuquerque Sick Leave Ordinance that is on the ballot is  when it comes to overall fairness in the state.  Yes, I want people to get sick leave.  But it should  be an equal access issue for all New Mexicans.  One wonders whether the residents outside of ABQ will ever see such a benefit if we pass it here.  It would be up to the legislature of course to pass a statewide law providing for such sick leave, but if ABQ has it already, does that lessen the chances of it ever happening for all residents in the Land of Enchantment.  Does it water down the political effort needed to pass a state wide sick leave policy?  Maybe.

I have often thought of Mayor candidate Brian Colon as the "Pelosi of New Mexico."  He is a long time money raiser and political operative who is always on the scene.  But from what I read in the Journal this morning he cant live up to Pelosi's toughness on taking a stand.  His reported mumbling of support for gun rights during a debate on crimes committed with firearms left me a little confused. Maybe he should clarify his stance.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Pouncing

Of course we knew it would happen.  Tim Keller is the front runner in the Albuquerque's Mayor's  race so every other candidate is out with their knives trying to pare him down to third place to keep him out of the run off.  He is being accused of abusing the Public Financing of his campaign.  It is a serious allegation, but what he is doing was done in the past by other mayoral candidates and  City Council candidates in their races.  But, the allegation probably will get traction from the ABQ Journal Editorial Board who just cant stand to see progressives in office.

The Mayor's race here is almost invisible.  It is covered up by trump, DACA, a string of hurricanes, and voter apathy.  So, the person who wins will be the one who gets his voters out in what could be an all time low turnout if this trend continues.

Now, Keller just needs to do the basics.  He needs to address the allegations so there is no where to go for the media.  He needs to point out that all of the other candidates are taking in large amounts of money from special interests who are only setting up sweetheart deals with their candidates.

We actually need a Mayor in this city who is more interested in just 'being there.'  Keller actually wants to get some things done.  The rest of the candidates mostly want to have a title.

Now, read this to see how Susana's state leadership is on display as Amazon looks for a second HQ.  Poor NM.  Surrounded by potential but left at the altar.   

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I'm Baaack

Okay, four months off from blogging after 12 years of whining.  I have recharged my whining angst and will start blogging a few times a week.  After having to endure the last few months of the trump era of chaos I just have to get back in gear.

If you haven't seen the story about the ringer in the wings for being appointed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals seat, then you should read it in the Journal this a.m.  This 33 year old mystery gift from trump probably will get no where, but just the fact that he is in the running is pretty scary.  This seat on the Court usually goes to a New Mexican.  This guy is from DC and has little or no experience in the legal profession.

My feeling is that he is a mascot for the extreme right and fossil fuel boys.  But really, who knows? Our delegation will hopefully stand firm against him.

Over the next week I plan on spending a little time on the almost invisible Albuquerque Mayors Race.  I am supporting Tim Keller, a guy who actually wants to do things rather that just being there.  More later.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Cool Off

I have been cooling off from blogging for a few weeks.  I will continue to write pithy covfefes on Twitter.  Back in July some time.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Re: from today's pittsburgh post gazette

Great

Sent from my iPad

On May 21, 2017, at 1:13 PM, Jim Baca <jbaca16@gmail.com> wrote:



Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:


From my old friend. 

 

DENNIS JETT

 

MAY 21, 2017

 

The leaking of sensitive intelligence is making a lot of news lately. Among the recent reports is the story that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister when they met in the White House. That comes after weeks of controversy over the unmasking of the name of the former national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, in an intelligence report and the leaking of his involvement with the Russian ambassador.

 

The concern about the president sharing sensitive information with the Russians is that they may be able to figure out how the information was obtained. That could put sources and methods and intelligence cooperation with Israel, the important partner who reportedly provided it, at risk.

 

It is not certain where the debate about the disclosure regarding Mr. Flynn will lead. For some, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that leak is just as bad as the Russian interference in our election last year. I disagree with Mr. Graham, but his argument is something every American should consider.

 

A person's views on a subject are always affected by one's own experience, and my view on Mr. Graham's assertion certainly is. I received my first top secret clearance in 1966 as a low-ranking enlisted man in the Naval Reserve. It was not just any top-secret clearance. It permitted me to have access to intelligence similar to the communications intercepts in which Mr. Flynn's name appeared. That clearance came with a long briefing, special caveats that themselves were classified and an oath. The oath, which I was required to sign, said I understood I could go to jail for 10 years and be fined up to $10,000 for revealing the information to which I was about to become able to see.

 

The briefing recounted how the decoding of intercepted communications of the Japanese and Germans helped the Allies win World War II and saved countless lives. It also stressed that the sources and methods used to obtain that kind of information were incredibly sensitive for, once revealed, the source was lost as the enemy changed its method of encryption and communication. For that reason, every time I read a news story about sensitive intelligence that indicates how it was collected, it makes me cringe.

 

I had a different reaction, however, when reading about Mr. Flynn. While the details remain uncertain, it appears clear that he took money from the Russians, all of which he did not report, discussed the easing of sanctions with the Russian ambassador before the Trump administration took office and then lied about it to at least the vice president and quite possibly the FBI. On top of all this, according to The New York Times, he told the Trump transition team on Jan. 4 that he was under federal investigation for secretly being on the payroll of the Turkish government.

 

After Mr. Trump took office, the White House was informed of Mr. Flynn's activities by the acting attorney general, yet no action was taken for 18 days. And then only after the story came out in the press. Mr. Flynn put himself in the position of making it very, very easy for the Russian ambassador, who knew he had lied, to blackmail him. Having worked on the National Security Council, I can assure you that, with the possible exceptions of the secretaries of State and Defense, there is no position in the government more crucial to national security than that of the national security adviser. No official has more access to all the intelligence our government produces.

 

Someone in our government understood the situation and, seeing the White House doing nothing, decided to violate his or her oath and leak the information on Mr. Flynn to the press. It seems very likely that, if the leak had not happened, he would still be sitting in the White House, given the president's inability to ever admit he made a mistake or to assume responsibility for his own actions.

I therefore came to the conclusion that, while leaking sensitive intelligence is wrong, in this case it was justified and that the leaker was motivated by patriotism despite the risk of a fine and jail time.

 

Therefore Mr. Graham's argument is absurd. The leaker forced an end to a grave threat to national security. The Russian campaign to discredit one of the candidates in the presidential election with well-timed releases of emails and other information, quite possibly in collusion with the campaign of the other candidate, undermined our democracy because it smeared one side and aided the other. Such interference undoubtedly had an impact given how close the result was.

 

Would Hillary Clinton have won the election if there had been no Russian meddling? We will never know. One thing is sure — Russia has declared war on our democracy and that of any other country with representative government. But that is not the only threat, according to James Clapper, former director of national intelligence. He told CNN he believes America's institutions are under assault both externally, from the Russians, and internally, by the president. Whether Mr. Trump's supposed sharing of sensitive intelligence with the Russians is part of that assault, was just a boastful error or really did not amount to all that much is something else that is still unclear.

 

Hopefully, it will be clarified soon, as well as the extent of Mr. Flynn's activities. And that is why all Americans should welcome the naming of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. Even in a town as divided as Washington, there is agreement that he is the right man for the job. And if it is one thing America needs at this point, it is unanimity about the extent of Russian interference, the degree of collusion with them and whether the leaks were justified.

 

Dennis Jett, the former U.S. ambassador to Mozambique (1993-1996) and Peru (1996-1999), is professor of international affairs at Penn State University.