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.