Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Great Christmas Day
Thursday, December 24, 2009
4th Circle of Hell
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Bank Thing and Arrivals
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Bank of America Catch 22
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
No More Money for the DSCC
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Compliment to the Journal
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The Albuquerque Journal, whose readership continues to fall, managed to put my name in a story this morning aimed at embarassing the Governor, and former cabinet members who have received contracts after leaving office. I gave a contract over ten years ago to one of them when I was Mayor and that seems to be newsworthy today. There is nothing illegal or immoral about giving people contracts but the Journal's specialty of insinuation seems to say so.
I notice that Darren White, the city's new public safety czar in the Mayor's office, is already out hamming for the cameras. He is criticizing the Judiciary. That could affect his boss greatly and someone will have to coach him on his publicity seeking ways.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The New Mayor
Monday, December 07, 2009
While I was gone my staff went to an interim committee of the Legislature and was treated with such vitriol and disrespect that I can honestly say I am not going to miss that part of the job at all. Dealing with the legislature that is!
When I retire I plan on doing some serious blogging on the demeanor of the legislature during the next session. Not many people have the opportunity to see just how badly some legislators treat state professional employees. Not all legislators act this way of course, but the ones who do will certainly get my attention. Pictures, movies and soundtracks coming your way soon.
I have posted a movie of our cruise. If you have absolutely nothing else to do click here.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Back in the USA
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Green Chile. How do we love you? Let us count the ways. Well, one is on cheese burgers. If you were to ask the chefs on the Zuiderdam for a green chile cheese burger they might go rummaging around the kitchen and bring you out a bell pepper.
Not to fear. Rodger Beimer is here. We celebrated today with the canned green chile he brought along to ease us back into New Mexican food. We had a ceremony in the Lido pool dining area to decorate out burgers. MMMMM!
Ed Mahr explained green chile mysticism to Cia and Uming of the Lido Staff.
Tonight we pass Havanna but since Obama hasn’t done change we believe in yet we can not stop there.
Home on Thursday. We hear that it will only be 33 degrees on Thursday. Arghh!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
We spent Monday exploring Costa Rica. We sailed into Puerto Limon, Banana capitol of the world and set off for the rain forest. The rest of the gang went to a banana plantation. They day started with out a cloud in the sky. It was beautiful at the rain forest preserve we visited. It went from full sunshine to hard rain in a matter of minutes. I got the feeling that walking ten feet into that rain forest would be lethal. All sorts of toxic things in there. Snakes, frogs that kill, beetles the size of a Pontiac.
Tuesday and Wednesday we will spend at sea as we race across the Caribbean to dock the ship in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday morning. Then back into cold weather. I would take dry climates to wet any day.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
We spent the day at sea on Saturday and arose at 6am to watch our ship enter the Gatun Locks in Panama Canal. It really is a marvel and now we have been here. This is a pic of the gang of six, minus part of Connie. We took a cruise on the Chagres River and a walk in the rain forest. It rained there. Tomorrow we are on to the rain forests in Costa Rica.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Curacao is interesting because as you get off the ship you are in an area of markets and local stores intermingled with a lot of tourist traps. It is a pretty place that has humidity in spades. But it was endurable. Fresh Fish from the Caribbean and fruits and veggies from Venezuela which is just miles away. No sign of Hugo Chavez though.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Gang of Six
Here is the Gang of Six, Rodger and Connie Beimer, Ed and Jolene Mahr, Bobbi and me after we demolished Thanksgiving Day Dinner onboard Zuiderdam. We toured Aruba all day and came back for dinner on the ship. Tomorrow we go to Willemstad for a day of walking the old city. Then on to Panama.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Half Moon Cay
We had a great beach stay at Half Moon Cay. It might be the nicest beach we have ever been on….anywhere.
Rodger and Connie thought about pedaling back to the Zuiderdam but they might have been identified as pirates and had the fire hoses turned on them.
I have to say I am disappointed in seeing Obama thinking of sending more troops to Afghanistan. How does the military industrial complex get to a buy like Obama? Maybe they all know something we don’t, but no one has ever brought order to that country and we won’t either. Like a leopard that cant change its spots.
Speaking of spotty….Martin Chavez showed his in his signing agreements on arbitration. I often wonder if it is even constitutional to give a way power to a faceless arbitrator in cutting contract deals with labor unions. That person is not elected. Shame on Marty.
Monday, November 23, 2009
They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Rodger and Connie Beimer are at the Crow's Nest Bar along with Ed and Jolene Mahr. We plan on having fun but will all go our own ways when we hit ports.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Bobbi and Me Cruising
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Bureau of Land Management
I was worried that the new BLM Director, Bob Abbey, would not take action. He is a former career employee of the BLM and a favorite of Senator Harry Reid. I felt if he was appointed that he would not want to rock the boat with the BLM bureacracy. So far, I have been right. For the sake of our western public lands Abbey(a generally good guy) needs to take action on some of these directors. Not all of them, but certainly a few of them to send a message that there is a new ethic in the Interior Department.
It is all to often that Democrats in power help their enemies more than their friends. Can you imagine the bush administration or any GOP management team doing that? Right now the Obama administration needs to put the health of western landscapes and watersheds in front of the politics. A lot of folks worked for them to do so last year.
No, this is not the most important agenda item for Obama. He has his hands full. But the Interior department needs to cover him on this and do the right thing.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Payment in Advance?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Never a Finer Man
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
On the Road
I don't charge much on credit cards anymore unless there is a large amount we want to get travel miles for. And that is on our Delta Cards. But once in a while you come across a place that doesn't take American Express so you whip out the old Master Charge.
Here is my message to Citi Bank. You can bend over too while I deftly insert my credit card into the receptacle. Screw twenty years of being a customer with never a late payment. You bankers are a despicable lot in most peoples eyes right now and will be for some time.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Tar and Feathers
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The libertarians over at the Rio Grande Foundation have really showed their hand by coming after Lt. Governor Diane Denish. They are accusing her of improperly using federal funds that flowed to the state. This wingnut foundation also sent their mascot, James Scarentino, over to our office at the Natural Resource Trustee to do investigations into how money was spent during the administration of Congressman Martin Heinrich. Martin held this job for about two years before I returned to it. We got a request for public documents from the Foundation. After spending a lot of time and money in assembling them, Scarentino came over and spent 90 minutes looking over them before leaving with no copies. Just a big shoulder shrug. (Scarentino had been fired as executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance when Heinrich was on the board there.)
We can look forward to State Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry sticking around New Mexico for a while. The Obama administration sadly picked another Texan to run Region 6 of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ron was a very strong contender for this position. This administration is falling into the trap of bending over backwards to keep red states happy when in fact those folks will never ever vote for Obama. I plan on saying a lot about this kind of thing in the next few weeks and it won't be pretty.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
The Legislative Branch
Let me give you some examples. Every city councilor wants a police substation in addition to area commands in their district. Every state legislator wants a state park or branch college in their sphere of influence. Believe me, it all adds up to whopping operational costs and jobs for local residents. These are recurring costs that only grow and never disappear. Understandably, these are job centers for these areas, but in this modern era of fast communications and transportation networks these are just drains on the budgets. Really, do we need as many public institutions of higher learning that we have for being such a small state? I know, this is scared cow stuff but it does point out the complicity of the legislative branch.
So, I just don't always appreciate the 'tuning up' of the executive by the legislative. Half the time it is not warranted.
Friday, October 30, 2009
The New City Council
Thursday, October 29, 2009
GOP and Big Oil
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
This Week for State Executives
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank"---Bertolt Brecht
"The best way to rob a bank is to own one."---William Crawford
"Finance is the art and science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager."---Ambrose Pierce
And so I applaud the Obama administration for cutting bonuses and salaries of the bailed out banks.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
If Mayor elect Berry's choice for CAO, my old colleague David Campbell, does not get approved by the City Council then it will be a miserable four years for our city government. The Mayor elect has always been able to pick his CAO with out worry about whether or not he is a 'born again christian' or if he is too moderate for the crazies in politics. Both Democrats and Republicans on the Council should send a message of respect to the Mayor elect and confirm Dave Campbell. Then they need to get to work on cleaning up the budget crisis at City Hall.
This will upset some folks, but I just don't think those firemen in Eddy County should get a dime for emotional distress because they saw horrific scenes at a natural gas explosion that killed an extended family. These guys are expected to deal with this stuff. I remember as a reporter/photographer, for Channel 7, going to a really gruesome plane crash that killed nine people. My friend Rodger Beimer and I were among the first on the scene and it was horrific but we did our jobs and didn't sue the airplane manufacturer because we saw bad things. Yes, I surely do appreciate the job that firefighters and rescue personnel perform. But, they have to know they will see this kind of thing and not run to some lawyer trying to cash in on it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
They are also trying to scapegoat the 'exempt' employees for being a source of many problems. Yes, the Governor has increased the number of exempt employees but it is hardly the cause of the budget meltdown. Also, these exempt employees are the only ones in state or school employment that have taken a salary reduction. They are doing their part to staunch the bleeding.
Now, switch over to Albuquerque City Government where Mayor elect Berry has hired an exempt as a republican favor. Think of Sheriff Darren White. If that isn't a political hire then I am Santa Claus. (I actually think White has done a good job as sheriff.) It will also be interesting to see how many exempt positions get axed by the new Mayor. Probably more than a few, but certainly not all of them.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The Other Shoe
How about the City Council? Do any of them have any information on how bad the situation is? Come on! We are all (mostly) adults around here and we can take some bad news.
I have made a couple of calls to the transition office asking if, as a former Mayor, I might get in to see the Mayor elect. I have a little experience in dealing with a financial disaster left by Marty Chavez. I have not received any call backs yet. Ten days later. When you are in you are in.....when you are out you are out.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Social Security Administration will not enact a cost of living raise for seniors and others this year. That is understandable, but not in light of the CEO's greed.
This is the kind of stuff that leads to revolution! Next we will be throwing homeless families into debtors prison for stealing bread. It is no longer just a"Tale of Two Cities" but a tale of two economies. I guess I would be classified as upper middle class and people like me can't stand around and watch this injustice go on much longer. We will all pay a price.
I was watching local news last night and saw Mayor Elect Berry once again say he would run the city like a business. I know he will find it necessary to keep saying that for a while, at least until he figures out it won't work that way. I think he will be a good Mayor once he sees that operating government and business are really two different things.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Out of the Gate
Mayor elect Berry's selection of Darren White is a gift to the republican party. That is about it. White will enter a job that was created by Marty Chavez to give to a long time supporter eight years ago. This "Public Safety" position will mainly consist of knocking down derelict properties in the city. The Albuquerque Police Department will run itself as will the Fire Department. At least now White wont have to go back to an hourly wage as a police officer in Torrance County, or as a crime reporter on TV when his term as Sheriff ends.
I have to chuckle at the Bernalillo County Commission for doing the right thing. The democratic commission appointed a republican to take over Mayor elect Berry's seat in the legislature. Can you imagine a republican dominated commission doing that for a democrat? Not in this lifetime!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Journal At Its Best
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
I will be taping a public affairs program on KOB TV this afternoon to talk about the Mayor's election next Tuesday in Albuquerque. Fellow blogger Joe Monahan, Reporter Stuart Dyson and I will be scratching our heads trying to figure out who is on first. The truth is that we will all be just guessing. Anything can happen.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Note to Lobo Club.....Do a little PR work with your fundraisers.
Who's Your Daddy?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
If a professor in the Engineering department at UNM physically assaulted a fellow professor at the workplace, do you think he would would be put on disciplinary leave? You bet! But since the whole nature of a football coach is to train his team to be physically violent against the other team, then I guess it is okay if he punches out an assistant coach. Another hot potato for the UNM President!
The Washington Post says Congressman Harry Teague could be in trouble in his first run at reelection. This is because he sided with most of the world's scientists and voted for a climate change bill. I suspect the republican party, aka the oil and gas industry, will spare no expense at defeating him. Teague is a wealthy man as a result of his oil and gas supply business down in New Mexico's Permian Basin. I understand his business is now being boycotted by the industry down there because he has realised that climate change could kill us all.