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.