Friday, December 31, 2010

Bigger than Life

We are heading off to see our new grandchild over the New Years weekend.  Our well armed house sitter has some new buckshot shells I purchased. But, before I say goodbye to this year, which went awfully fast, I thought I would comment on our Bigger Than Life Governor of the last eight years.  Bill Richardson.

I think he could go down as one of our best Governor's ever.  I liked the way he thought big and actually followed through on promises.  He got the DWI numbers down dramatically.  He built an incredible rail service between Belen and Santa Fe.  The Land of Enchantment is the go to place for film makers now.  New Mexico has a great commercial Space Port growing in the southern part of the state.  He was a stalwart protector of New Mexico's landscapes, watersheds, and air quality.  And generally he has always done the right thing for New Mexicans.

Yes, I worked as the New Mexico Natural Resource Trustee for Richardson.  He was always supportive of the Trustee's work and put the interests of the state's people first.  I was proud to have been part of his administration.

He will always have his detractors in these days of pure partisan politics and right wing media.  It is too bad that media gets to write some of the history, but that is the breaks.  In the meantime I want to thank him for his service and wish him the best in his efforts at forming a "Peace Institute" in Santa Fe.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Would Like to See in 2011

A Wish List
  • The Pope decides that gay people are okay, priests can marry, and women can be priests.
  • Governor Elect Susana Martinez turns into a moderate republican uninfluenced by her right wing supporters.
  • The Republican House Leadership decides there is value in science and they move to curtail climate change.
  • All conservative Radio Talk Show Hosts have acute decades long laryngitis.
  • Oil and Gas industry CEO's and Boards are all put into forced labor for six months to clean up any and all oil spills.
  • It is discovered that acute laryngitis is incurable.
  • Comcast Cable is broken up into little pieces along with Rupert Murdoch's empire.
  • President Obama makes the right wing bleed a little before compromising.
  • All Defense Industry CEOs, Boards and Congressmen must serve six months of front line combat in Afghanistan.
  • Drugs are legalized so that the modern day crime wave ceases.
  • A flat and progressive tax rate is passed with no loopholes or subsidies except for renewable energy research and development.
  • I take five strokes of my golf game.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Darren's Silliness

Why does the Mayor's Public Safety Chief Darren White need to be on all of the TV Channels and the Journal throwing a tantrum about the DNA lab moving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.  Why doesn't he just keep his camera loving psyche quiet and wait out this silly controversy?  He will only have to control himself for three days! But, oh god, the cameras are there....the cameras are there at his beck and call.

 I don't know who is right in this thing, but I know the hysterics on TV wont do any good.  It is just a vehicle for White to try and score political points.  I have been positive about Mayor Berry's administration so far, but here it is in a blunt way, "Mayor, this guy is hurting your effectiveness and image."  Period!  Keep him off the media circuit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The corrupt tenure of State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons is history.  Sate Auditor Hector Balderas did a good job in exposing Lyons.  He will now move his brand of government to the Public Regulatory Commission to join those stalwart public servants like David King, Jerome Block, and other bad actors.  Good riddance, and hopefully the Legislature will undo the creation some years back of the PRC.  What a disaster.

I place the blame for Pat Lyons disastrous terms in office on the oil and gas industry and the Albuquerque Journal and other so called journalists.  I knew what was going on there and how bad it was.  I met with the editors and with Thomas Cole, (the Journal's resident character assassin) and pointed them to where they needed to go.  They didn't go because it would have required real investigation over a period of months and real work.  They saw it easier to insinuate the Governor was going to be indicted.

Of course some of the state's real estate developers especially wanted this Lyons administration to stay in office.  As much as the oil and gas industry and they teamed up to give unprecedented political donations to him in 2006 when he buried me in greasy money.  I lost and it was my own fault for not going negative.

I wish Ray Powell lots of luck in finding out where the bodies are buried.  Ray should ask for a special appropriation to hire a forensic accounting team to see just how bad the damage was.  Any findings should be turned over to the U.S. Attorney.  Don't bother with the media though, they might actually have to do some work rather than replay 911 emergency calls as news.

Monday, December 27, 2010


The Albuquerque Journal did their look back at Governor Richardson's two terms.  It said his administration was dogged by scandals.  It should of said his administration was dogged by the Albuquerque Journal, as all Hispanic democratic governors are.  Jerry Apodaca, Toney Anaya, and Bill Richardson all tasted those barrels of ink.  Unlike republicans Garrey Carruthers and Gary Johnson.  Bruce King was never really pummeled by the Journal in a consistent way.  Susanna Martinez may well escape the poison printing press since she is a darling of the oil and gas industry.

So, the question is, do the exempt employees who are being fired by the new Governor get to collect unemployment compensation?  I think the answer is yes.  It is okay for them to be shown the door by the new governor who should have  her own folks in those positions. (It seems many are from Florida and Texas, doesn't it?)  I think it is also okay that those newly unemployed get help just like everyone else.

The new Governor needs to announce soon who the new Environment Secretary will be.  It will certainly show us what kind of protections we can expect for our water, air and landscapes.

We went to see "The King's Speech" last night.  It was an excellent movie that did not have special effects.  Just good writing.  It was surprising to see a packed theater.  Great acting all the way around.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas is for Kids

We had a nice party last evening.  I took some pics of Lisa and John Newell's kids and Stephanie and Mike Schmidt's kids. 

 Amanda Newell
 Anya Newell
 Emma Schmidt
 Maya Schmidt
 Ian Newell

Friday, December 24, 2010


I always feel so smart when I recycle the Luminaria bags.  It saves work.  Folding those bags is like walking through the seventh level of hell in my opinion.  So I try to save that experience for every third year.  Especially if the kids are home and can do most of it.  But they look nice in our neighborhood.  We wish everyone a great time with friends and family.

Now on to cook the posole for the annual family gathering tonight!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who is in Charge

I had breakfast with a departing Richardson appointee today who was wondering if anyone would be in to turn the lights on after the inauguration on January 1st.  With a few high profile exceptions most cabinet level agencies and mid level appointees have not been announced and it appears that they won't be for some time.  Why?  Because as a lot of people had suspected there just is not a very big bench of government minded managers in the republican party.  That party hates government and doesn't groom anyone for these jobs. The pay is too low, despite what some think, and the hours too long and that whole commuting thing to Santa Fe.

The effect of these vacancies will be a lack of policy debate in the legislature.  Who will be in front of the financial committees to answer the nitty gritty questions put forth by a largely unknowledgeable membership?  Of course the LFC staff knows what is going on and will be mostly running things.  It will be like a bulldozer over an anthill unless the new administration gets some more people in place.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday List

I spend most of my time on this blog moaning and complaining about things.  So, in the Holiday Spirit I want to be happy about ten things over the last year.  Here goes!

  1. We are grandparents and our grandson is named Simon Baca.  At this point he is charged with carrying the name on for the clan.  Not that it is important, but it is a great name to send into the future.
  2. Bobbi still puts up with me after being together for almost 35 years.  I don't know why, but she does.
  3. Our kids, Justin and Noelle are doing great and we don't have to worry about them.  But being good parents we still do.  They both turned out to be decent human beings.
  4. We are all in pretty good health and not spending the family savings on healthcare.  We are lucky in that we have good insurance backed  up by Medicare for me.
  5. We were able to travel a lot this year including a 12 day cruise up and down the South American Coast.  I went to Mexico City and really enjoyed it.  I want to take Bobbi there soon.  In 2011 we will cruise the Spanish, French and Channel coasts in Europe.
  6. I have rediscovered the game of golf and I am really enjoying it.
  7. Retirement is really fun because I still have plenty to do in volunteer service on several Environmental and Philanthropic Boards.  I think retirement is great because you can pick your own stress levels.
  8. I really enjoy our new cats, Hermes and Ajax.
  9. We have so many great friends and look forward to our dinner parties every Sunday.  We love to cook, talk politics, and visit.
  10. I am planning to start some new internet projects and photo essays soon.  My first will be kicked off in May as I document the Bridges over the Rio Grande.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Outgoing Land Commissioner Pat Lyons says the State Auditor's report citing wrong doing and incompetence during  his term is a 'joke'.  I wonder if the US Attorney will think it is  a joke and sit on his hands over this.  The US Attorney should immediately start an investigation into these issues since he has jurisdiction because of the Enabling Act that made New Mexico Land Commissioner an important constitutional office.

I wonder if the Albuquerque Journal thinks it is a joke and retract their biased and partisan endorsements of Lyons even when they had reported on some of his ethical failures.  They endorsed him over me in 2006 because the publisher and the oil and gas industry were pals.

I wonder if Attorney General Gary King will move on any of these issues.  He might think it is no joke but does he have the horsepower for such an investigation?

I wonder if Ray Powell will ask for further investigations of Land dealings with Dona Ana county land developers that contributed so much money to Lyons.

And who will watch Lyon's performance as the newly elected Public Regulation Commissioner?

I would be surprised if anyone in the prosecutorial or journalism professions will move on any of this.  The oil and gas and real estate industries just would not appreciate it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Irony and Nuts

While the Governor Elect mandates taking away drivers licenses from undocumented workers I couldn't help but notice that New Mexico's Pecan Farmers are reaping record prices for their crops because of a great demand from China.  Up to $3 a pound still in the shell!  Now, if I were a betting man I would wager that most of those Pecan orchards in the Governor elect's home county were tended to by those same undocumented workers.  I wonder what will happen to the workforce in Dona Ana County when Susana no longer lets these people drive to work.  Will the growers or some other group be forced into hauling around these migrant workers in violation of the law?  And not just during harvest time but irrigation season and pruning season and everything else that it takes to grow great New Mexico Pecans.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Irony Again

The great crime fighter who is our Governor Elect Susanna Martinez will now go down in history as creating the biggest crime wave in the Land of Enchantment, ever!  She  has charged her new cabinet appointee for the Taxation and Revenue Department, Demesia Padilla,  with passing a bill that will take away driver's licenses that were legally granted to undocumented residents, thus making them criminals every time they get into a car.  99% of these people are like you and me, they work, they feed their families, they try to live good and decent lives.  But the new administration wants to turn them into criminals.  I can only think that Susanna Martinez wants to break up and ruin families.  After reading recently how well she cares for her disabled sister I thought she might be okay after all.  But not now. Why else do this?  It is heartless and cruel and she is definitely on my list of most unfavorite people. And she hasn't even been sworn into office yet.

This is what happens I guess when the extreme right wing funds your campaign.  Their politics of hate just naturally will spill over into the new Governor's policies.  Well, they better get ready for a hell of a fight.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Hermes the Cat got a look at his first snowfall today. I am not sure  he was convinced it was a good experience.

I got my first look at the new State of New Mexico Website today that makes it easy to look up some basic information.  It was a lot easier to check in on how much money the state has in its rainy day funds.  Over $13 billion right now.  We are in very good shape compared to most states.  That is why I think Senator Michael Sanchez's plan to tap into the Severance Tax Permanent Fund for some operational funding is a good idea.  That is a lot of money that could be creatively used along with some cost cutting.  I have a feeling that the republicans and the new Governor won't like that because they see it as not adding pressure to permanently reduce government spending.  And realistically until Medicaid costs are controlled we will face everlasting problems.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


You have to wonder about this rich man's tax package that just sailed through the Senate.  At least our two Senators, Bingaman and Udall, showed some courage in voting against it.  But you need to stop an analyze this whole thing from the Presidential politics game.

President Obama just handed a gift to the rich and that is something given his lack of 'fighting spirit' that should not surprise us.  But, he is a good politician and here he is pissing off two U.S. Senators from a state that gave him its electoral votes.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Senators in places like Utah, where Obama will never ever get electoral votes, are wringing their hands in joy.  

This deal may have been the best Obama could have ever gotten, but he should  have made the republicans bleed a lot more.  I think that Bingaman and Udall did the right thing in this largely symbolic gesture.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A First

For the first time ever we won't have our kids home for Christmas this year.  Every year at least one of them has been here.

About 30 years ago Bobbi and I started a family.  Every year we would put up a Christmas Tree.  At first we would go up into the Jemez with friends and cut one down.

Justin's first tree enamored him.

A few years after Noelle was born she was heavy into the whole Luminaria thing.

We stopped slaughtering good trees after a few years and started putting up fake ones.  It was like a construction project but they were nice.

This year we made the decision that the tree would stay in the box until next year when our new grandson, Simon, shows up for his first New Mexico Christmas.  Both Justin and Noelle will be elsewhere this Christmas since they were here last year.  The families have tacitly agreed to visits every other year for the holidays.

We will however put up some decorations and the luminarias once again.  Our neighborhood always does it up pretty nice.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Justice Served?

The TV news operations and the Albuquerque Journal ran out to hear City Public Safety Chief Darren White say that the Airport Police did not improperly have a young man and his father deported to Mexico after a traffic stop.  It is good the investigation showed no improper actions.  But, very little was said about the affects of this action in the final analysis.  The father and son are in Mexico and the mother and daughter are still in Albuquerque.  Another family split apart after living here for so many years.  Why is this a good thing?  Will one of these bozo stations or newspaper followup on this story to see the hardship that has occurred?  Don't hold your breath.

I got a call from one local TV news operation asking for a comment on a story they are doing soon on a government agency elected official they are investigating.  I said no thanks, because the story has no gravitas and is simple minded.  It is an easy cheap shot while at the same time there are some really horrible things that should come out of that same agency.  But that would require real investigative journalism and many hours of work.  If that were to happen there would be less time for simple minded sex stories and DUI stories at the top of the news.  The producer that called me said he would immediately send me his email address so I could send him some information.  He never did.

Maybe even the stations could investigate some of their advertisers for ripping off their customers.  Well, maybe in another parallel universe that could happen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shoot Me!

I played some golf today even though I ate something that fired up my arthritis.  Then I get home and see that CNN's website has a story on where pets go after they die.  Journalism today.  We are so screwed.

Then my supercat Hermes broke my favorite oil lamp when I spooked him accidentally with a garbage bag.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Students Arise

I have always been aghast that young people haven't shown more civil disobedience in the last twenty years.  It is like their parents, the baby boomers of the 60's passed on none of their idealism.  Strange.  But now, at least in the UK, it appears the students there have finally had enough as the government tries to raise tuition rates.

The same thing should happen here in the US.  If, for instance, UNM hikes its tuition then the students should take over the University Admin offices and the capitol building in Santa Fe and demand that higher education be made affordable again.  In the 60's and 70's that would have happened.  Now maybe it can again.

When I was a student at UNM I received benefits from the G.I. Bill that paid my tuition expenses with some left over for food and board.($220 a month.)  We didn't  have to worry about student loans back then.  Higher public education was affordable. But then someone, somewhere, decided that it was too cheap and that the banks could make money lending money to students for their educations.  So, they worked with Universities and Legislatures to make loans in tuition, room and board. Now the loan rates are downright usurious. 7% and higher on my kid's existing loans.  But the rich get tax breaks and we give subsidies to the oil and gas industry.  And those existing loans still have high rates even though we bailed out the damn banks.  It shows where education stands in this country.  And yes, there is a lot of waste on some campuses.  Just fix it.

I hope the young folks get madder than hell.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Winter Golf

I ran out to play 18 holes at Santa Ana today with my friend Lee Otteni.  We were the first off the tee box and finished the round in just over three hours.  It was beautiful out.  Getting into that sunshine, even in winter, is always a tonic.

Until I got home and perused the internet.  While I was having a good time the nation's republican senators blocked the 'don't ask, don't tell' issue once again.  Effectively they are saying to gays and lesbians that "you can go get killed by an IED, but you better not let us know you are what you are.  We fellow republican countrymen of yours hate you."

And then those merciful republicans blocked aid for 9/11 workers who were subjected to toxic substances.  They thought it would add to the deficit.  But it doesn't matter if their continued tax cuts for the rich do so.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing    Edmund Burke 1727-1797

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Okay, Obama gave up without drawing blood.  That is what he does and we cant change it.  I thought the whole idea of this tax debate was to raise more money to fight the deficit.  Instead, it will add to it.  This whole thing is bizarre.  It is other worldly.  The one tax break that would have made sense is one that supports renewable energy.  It was ignored.

In the meantime NASA says the odds of other life off this planet are improving everyday.  I wonder if other intelligent species argue about taxes?  It appears to me that you can not be intelligent and end up where this country is right now. We will be easy pickings if ET shows up.

I see where ATT wireless was voted the worse cell phone service.  I could have told anyone that.  We liked our Iphones but dumped them two weeks ago for Verizon Fascinate Androids.  They are superior in every way, especially since we can now get a signal from a cell phone tower.  I think ATT is run by con men.  They are all crooks and anyone who works for them are too. Apple is complicit.

I know how Mayor Berry can become a hero.  He needs to go out and find another cable TV provider to come in and compete with Comcast.  You know, they are the guys who raise your bill every few months so they can buy NBC and other cable companies, while providing Duke City residents with crappy service.  They are right up there with ATT.  Certainly, when the Comcast franchise comes up in a few years I will spend some time trying to make them miserable.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


There is a story in the paper this morning about how former Governor Gary Johnson smoked pot when he was recovering from injuries received in an accident a few years ago.  A few columns over there is a story on a bust on the border of some guy with 300 pounds of the weed.  And we wonder why drug laws don't work!  Johnson continually gets slammed for wanting to legalize drugs when he was Governor.  It was one thing I agreed with him about.  Our drug laws are funding terrorism in the poppy fields of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  And your household is being burglarized to fund a junkies habit.

I think there could be a chilling effect on people wanting to serve on state boards and commissions now that the Attorney General's office says you may have to pay for your own lawyer in connection with your service to the state.  That might be overly broad on my interpretation, but the chilling effect will still be there.

I was quoted in the paper saying nice things about Mayor Richard Berry.  I do think he is doing a good job with the cards he was handed by that big spender Marty Chavez.  A friend of mine suggested Berry could save more money by just transferring his Public Safety Chief Darren White to the job of spokesman for the police chief and thereby reducing the Mayor's office budget.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Somebody! Do Something!

Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, a republican, will be taking over the House Energy and Environment Committee.  I found this out after watching a Bill Maher interview segment from CNN.  Watch it here.  After seeing this I decided to look for some clips of this guy who will have so much to do with congressional policy on Energy.  This is what happens when people stop thinking about real consequences of voting, or not voting.  It is embarassing!

In the meantime I ran across this funny quote about atheism.

"The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talk to during an orgasm."    — Anonymous.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Exempts

It seems that many in the media like to denigrate government employees.  They sort of forget where all their services come from.  Especially in the bullseye are exempt employees who have left other pursuits to work in public service for elected officials.  They serve at the pleasure of the Governor.  Are some of them political payoff jobs?  Yes, some are.  But most of these jobs require management skills and policy knowledge.  The people who hold these jobs are smart and dedicated and yet they are treated with incredible disrespect by talk radio and editorial pages.

In a few weeks many of these exempt employees will be out on the street as Governor Martinez brings in her own crew.  This is how it works and no one should complain.  These exempt employees knew this could happen when they took their jobs.  Now, they are going to scramble along with many others in finding ways to support their families.  It will be a stressful time.  I know because I have been there several times in my life.  It will be especially hard to find work in this recession.

I would like to thank them for their public service.  Working in government is not easy and overall they served the public well.  They have solid experience and institutional knowledge that can be tapped again someday.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

News of the Day

The Obama Administration showed some courage and banned deep water drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least another seven months.  I am happy they flexed their muscles for once and said no to the oil and gas industry.

Apparently there are three times as many stars in the Universe than previously thought.  Scientists announced this yesterday.  It doesn't mean much to our everyday lives except for the fact that the chances triple for other 'more' intelligent life out there.  It brings up the notion again of an expanding universe, but what is it expanding into?

In this whole wide universe though the front page of the Albuquerque Journal finds it important to report on a lovers spat between a Channel 7 reporter and her cage fighter boyfriend.  He was the victim because his sweatshirt cord was pulled out!  Mondo Bizarro!  He called the cops so he probably wouldn't lose his fighting license, if there is one.  But come on, the front page!  I would love to hear the chat between Journal Editor Kent Walz and Mary Lynn Roper, general manager at Channel 7.  The two are partners in news gathering.  If I were a Journal staffer I would stay out of any romantic entanglements for a while.  This will be the most read story of the week.  Someone should find out why the cops even bothered.  Where is the common sense?

Life is too short.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I see where KOB TV news has hired a couple of new anchors.  They are both very attractive women with good educations.  They now get to report stories on car wrecks, sex scandals, and DUI for the rest of their careers.  What a waste!  Also, I know it will never ever happen, but do you think any of the TV News Departments will ever hire any on air female reporters with good educations and experience who are not attractive?  It all really shows where these so called news organizations are really coming from.

I wonder if anyone is doing good job of vetting those people in the new Governor's transition and appointee recruitment efforts.  It would appear not,  when you consider that Pete Domenici Jr., who has a half dozen law suits against the Environment Department, has been chosen to pick a new cabinet secretary there.  Talk about a conflict of interest.

My wife Bobbi is one of those federal employees that will get no pay raises for two years.  She thinks there is nothing wrong with that and said most of her colleagues feel that way too.  John Trever's editorial cartoon in the Journal this morning is very unfair.  I would bet the farm that he never spoke to one federal employee before he did that nasty cartoon today.  This gets back to what I was talking about in yesterday's blog about how the leadership at the paper doesn't really understand the nature of their subscribers.  At least it was an editorial cartoon and not stuck on the front page as a news story.  If I were a federal employee I might make my feelings known to the once funny but now hateful cartoonist.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ignorant Bliss

Everyday I run into folks who are so angry with the demise of fairness at the Albuquerque Journal that they can hardly keep their lunches down.  Seriously, I don't think the Editor of the Paper, Kent Walz and not often seen Journal publisher Tom Lang can really understand the bad feelings in this community about this state of journalism in our only daily newspaper in Albuquerque.  Is it still a newspaper?  Or is it another Fox news or Murdoch publication?  You would think that its being locally owned would make some difference, but that seems meaningless to who ever is in charge of the ethics at this paper.

It may be that only center and left politicos feel this way.  That is still a major percentage of our population and out of sheer economic survival you would think the business managers at the Journal would start ringing the alarms at the already financially stressed newspaper.  Here is what one could say, "You know, the daily news coverage doesn't seem to be fair when you have fully 40% of our market pissed off.  We finance guys wont tell you what to write, but just be evenhanded and leave the editorial out of the news coverage."

It wouldn't be so bad if we could rely on our local broadcast media, but they are even more hopeless than the Journal.  Not because they have a slant on the news, but because they don't do meaningful journalism at all unless by accident.

P.S.  I am waiting for all of the media to start criticizing Pete Domenici for having his name slapped on that $80 million dollar Federal Court House a few years back.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010


When we were eating turkey last week I understand that Governor elect Martinez picked her closest advisors.  She called them the core group.  Missing was the Lt. Governor.  This should get a chuckle from everyone since during the campaign she blamed Lt. Governor Diane Denish for everything.

If you really know anything about how Santa Fe works it is that the Lt. Governor only really counts when someone's heart stops beating.  Denish was more active than most Lt. Governors but she didn't set administration policy, even though she was accused of being the devil incarnate.  When the new Lt. Governor gets home from his tour of the state he might want to sit down with Denish to get some pointers on the many different kinds of solitaire games.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recipe and Turkeys

I had a request for that brined Turkey recipe that Noelle used on Thanks giving.  Click here to see it.

Also, when I was gone I see that Governor elect Martinez has selected Harvey Yates of Yates Petroleum to be on an efficiency committee during the transition.  When I heard this I wanted to hug all New Mexicans and wish them well.  When the GOP state party chairman and oil magnate gets on an efficiency commission I can assure you that his definition of efficiency will be different than mine.  His will mean no regulation of oil and gas operators that would interfere with profits.  My definition would say, "profit is good, as long as it doesn't result in poisoning my water, air and landscapes."  We are pretty far apart I think.  I wonder if this wanders into the pay for play arena that Martinez says she doesn't like.  Seeing as Yates bankrolled a major part of her campaign I think maybe this could be a sign of things to come.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I used to like to come to Phoenix, but not so much anymore.  It is to big and the people drive like they are all paranoid schizophrenics. And then there is that whole thing about persecuting immigrants and a crazy sheriff who does it for them.  The politics here are in a sad state of affairs.  Worse than most places.

But, that didn't stop us from having a great Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday.  Noelle's brined turkey was stupendous!  Luke and his mom Sue Orth cut him up.  That is a recipe we must keep.  Next year we will most likely go up to Fort Collins, Colorado for dinner there as Noelle and Luke will be moving north in January.

We are looking forward to driving back through the Salt River Canyon on Saturday.  Truly a beautiful drive that is off the beaten path.  We will end up driving through the plains of San Augustin in New Mexico and come out through Socorro.  We will pass by those radio telescopes that are delving into the secrets of the universe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Turkey

We had a nice ride down to Phoenix yesterday.  We are at daughter Noelle and Luke's house near South Mountain.  Today will be the coldest Thanksgiving day since 1937 in Phoenix.  It will get up to 57 degrees.
Noelle and Bobbi worked on the first turkey for Noelle.  She brined it overnight.  I can't I mean wait for dinner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The Albuquerque Journal, local commercial and public radio, and TV news have all been giving ink and air time to a guy named Paul Gessing of the so called Rio Grande Foundation.  He is a rightwing mouth piece who gets money from unknown sources to continually denigrate environmental protection, social programs, fair tax policy and consumer protection. (He wants to close the Rail Runner service too.) Now an enterprising blogger has called him on his credentials.  This is a must read for those in the media who think he is worth quoting.

My Journal is still being delivered until my subscription runs out.  Wynn Quigley had a great column today about the nut cases that the media turn into pundits, like congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.  But then Quigley turns Pete Domenici into a savior on cleaning up the budget mess in this country.  Wynn needs to look at St. Pete's history a little more carefully.  I would argue that he is responsible for the mess and the financial deregulation that got us to this point.  I still think Wynn is one of the bright lights at the Journal along with Leslie Lithicum.  I will miss them when the paper stops landing in the driveway.

We are running off to Phoenix for Thanksgiving with our wonderful daughter Noelle and her significant other Luke.  I plan on buying all gasoline at the New Mexico border so I don't leave any tax money in Arizona that might get used in anti immigrant hysteria.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quality of Life

There seems to be little of substance coming out of the Susana Martinez transition so far.  I bumped into Heather Wilson, transition chief,  at the dentist office on Thursday and we exchanged niceties.  I told her to wish the new Governor good luck.

I have a feeling the ones who are going to need good luck are the hardworking environmental and conservation groups in this state.  Whether they deal in water issues, wildlife issues, landscape protection or climate change, I can pretty much assure you that after eight years of cooperation from the governor's office things are now going to get sticky.  With oil that is.  And all fossil fuel energy sources.

We should watch for some key appointments to see just how bad things are going to be.  Who will head the Energy and Natural Resources department?  How about the Environment department?  Who might be general counsel for the governor?   If any of them come from the lobbyists/lawyer ranks for the energy cartels then you can be pretty much assured that New Mexico's quality of life will go into the crapper in favor of climate change based profit.  So watch these appointments carefully.

And my advice to the green groups is to lawyer up.  It is the only hope.  It is a strategy that actually worked well against the bush administration in many ways.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

News Vacuum

The New Mexico Independent online news service is now toast.  One less alternative view of news since the demise of real American Journalism.  This news service depended on charitable donations to exist and the economy flattened that revenue over the last year.  One less push back to the now right wing Albuquerque Journal.

The Independent wasn't a great site but its very existence was important.  It was certainly more than just a ranting blog, ahem, and it did provide some insight occasionally.  I guess we all need to spend more time on reading the Santa Fe New Mexican.  That is a newspaper that could be the greatest in the state, but it has never achieved that status.  It is not to late.

And then there are the TV stations so called news departments who are in an orgasmic state right now because there is another high school football team story that involves sexual escapades.  They have their lead story for the next four weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I got an invitation for a celebration party for Hector Balderas.  He easily won his re-election as State Auditor based on his anti-corruption stands.  This party is mainly being sponsored by lobbyists in Santa Fe.  Go figure.  They probably see him as a possible gubernatorial candidate in four years.  I like him a lot, but this is a little disappointing.

I am getting word that the Susana Martinez transition is way behind the curve in getting its work done.  Compared to eight years ago when Richardson was spending 14 hours a day having meetings, the current transition is not seeing many people.  This might be setting the pace we will see in a Martinez administration.

Congressman Martin Heinrich hasn't been sworn in for his second term yet but an Albuquerque City Councillor, Dan Lewis is thinking about running for the seat.  He is a part time preacher.  Someone should find out if he thinks the world is only 6000 years old.  That might make a difference on what kind of congressman he would make.  We don't need any more fundamentalist kooks.  I hope he isn't one. He seems to be an okay guy but Martin would be hard to beat at any rate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


UNM Lawyers and Albuquerque City Councillors look silly.  This debate over selling beer and wine to the rich people in their fancy new suites at the Pit turned into government at its worse.  The councillors look especially bad in denying the licenses since the city has one for Isotopes Park just across the street.  UNM lawyers look bad saying the city should butt out since this is state land and they have no say.  I believe that EXPO New Mexico has a license so why deny one to UNM?  That is like jamming a stick into a hornets nest of over ego'ed city pols.  UNM has been notorious for never working with other community leaders on their decision making, so maybe they deserve this.  I remember when I was Mayor of Albuquerque the UNM administration and Regents seldom cooperated on any number of planning and land use issues.

I guess I don't really care what happens except to say I don't know why only the suite owners get a beer.  It should be everyone or no one like at Isotopes Park.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Waiting for Analysis

I would like to see some analysis done by some wonks somewhere that would make clear what happened to Diane Denish's vote vis a vis the vote for Martin Heinrich in Bernalillo County.  Heinrich won his race by 10,000 votes while Denish lost by 4,000 in the state's biggest county.  Where exactly did those differences come from?  What does that mean for elections two years from now?  I have a feeling that the difference in those candidates vote totals might have come from areas other than the city's mid heights which is mostly a strong democratic area.  Did Martin excel on the West Side or far North East Heights?  Did Diane perform poorly in one of those areas?  The fact is that democratic candidates cant win unless they win this county.

I am sure somebody somewhere will come up with this analysis and I will share it if I see it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Middle Class Air Heads

We went to see the documentary movie "Inside Job" on Saturday.  Its that movie about the meltdown of the American financial system and who caused it and how it happened.  It is a must see.

During the movie a couple of families got up and walked out after about 10 minutes.  They probably had thought it was an action movie from the title and weren't interested in where the film was going.  They are exactly the ones who should have stayed.  The rest of the audience was pretty much caricatures of policy wonks and people who stay up on events.

This is why I think the middle class should not get off scott free from a tax increase.  Too many of these middle class folks never pay attention to what is going on, nor do they read and more importantly vote.  They let their Senators, Congressmen and Presidents deregulate the financial industry.  They abetted setting loose the 'dogs of greed.'  There should be a price for apathy.  They really deserve to experience the pain of getting our financial affairs in order.  At the same time we better be prepared to soak the rich to get back some of the windfalls they have had since the bush tax cuts went into effect.  Also, if Obama caves on this I will consider looking for a new candidate in 2012 to support.  Yeah, Really!

We might be on the brink of an apocalypse if, instead of poor people with suicide bombs killing middle class guys, middle-class people with suicide bombs started killing rich guys. Bruce Sterling  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rainy Day

El Nino may keep the rain and snow away from New Mexico for the next year, but it is easy to see the Land of Enchantment is still having a rainy day.  The new budget deficit numbers coming out of Santa Fe are truly scary.  It is something I haven't witnessed since I started work in state government in the mid 70's.  Now we have to deal with it and I think there is a way.

Firing thousands of state employees at this point would only make things worse for ourselves.  It seems Governor elect Martinez understands that.  But it is not like the state is completely broke.  We have the Permanent Fund and the Severance Tax Permanent fund sitting in place with billions of dollars.  While I would oppose raiding the Permanent Fund because of its value to education, I could certainly see some value on issuing bonds against the severance tax permanent fund to keep state government on an even keel.  That fund should have over $4 billion in it. Strangely, you cant find that number easily on state websites so this is an educated guess.   If it were ever considered to be a rainy day fund, then that day has arrived.  I believe the legislature could do this without much trouble.  Some constitutional lawyer might think otherwise, but I know that Senator Michael Sanchez has some idea that this could work.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I am headed north to Salt Lake City for an evening and morning of meetings.  I have served on the board of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance for 17 years.  It is an incredible group and I love the meetings because we talk about reality and politics and how we can educate folks to get wilderness lands in place in Southern Utah.

This next congress will be tough, but it was tougher before when we didn't have a democrat for president.  He can proclaim National Monuments if he wants to do so.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

State Employees

Most state employees will go into sleep mode for the next couple of months.  Most of the state's political appointees will do job searches.  Nothing will get done as the Martinez transition gets underway.  That is probably okay although I am sure a few lingering issues will be pushed by Governor Richardson.  He will find a great reluctance on anyone's part to actually follow orders.  It is just the way things are.

It would be naive to think that anything of great import can change in the next 53 days or so.  Transitions manage to send tendrils out into every facet of government to watch things, mostly.  In that time period most of the cabinet secretaries will be chosen, but that is about it.  It is kind of like limbo, which I learned about in my catechism at Our Lady of Fatima.  (I had always thought about the unbaptized babies who died and couldn't go to heaven as being pretty unjust.)  Except in the case of state employees for the next few weeks it will be more like a vacation from stress.

I have been involved in more than a few transitions.  It is a time of unrealistic goal setting and superfluous words.

It was time to raise the bar higher, or lower if you're doing limbo. Tre Cool 

Monday, November 08, 2010


My hat is off to Mayor Richard Berry for his supporting the continuance of the Albuquerque Downtown Business Improvement District.  There is an effort underway by some wealthy building owners to kill the District.  This would be a long term mistake and the Mayor knows it.  Berry  has just done more for the downtown revitalization than Marty Chavez did in eight years.

As expected there is murmuring of a coalition forming in the legislature which would require three democrats to switch sides and push power in the House of Representatives to the republicans.  Anyone who does it should not run as a democrat again if they feel this way.  Don't hide from what you are.  You could still stay loyal and be a conservative democrat.

In the US House I am still waiting for specifics on what exactly the GOP will cut in the budget.  And I do mean specific.  If they don't touch defense, social security and medicare they have taken 85% of the budget off the table.  Oh, and there are the bush tax cuts.  Will we continue this deficit growing madness?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa

Justin and Karly had a baby boy on Sunday afternoon.  His name is Simon  Baca.  Bobbi and me are now officially grandparents.  A new role for us!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Where the Action Is.

My sister Carlota was reading the newspaper yesterday morning here at our house before leaving for a 16 day  sojourn to Indonesia.  I think she was reading a story about the volcano erupting about 300 miles from where she will be staying.  I told her not to worry about it because the tsunamis would put the fires out.  She went anyway.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Oil Governor

Damn!  It only took one day for Susana Martinez to start delivering for her mega donors to the campaign.  Her first policy decision wasn't one that showed concern for New Mexicans at large.  No,  the first thing out of her mouth was that she would trash New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Board vote to join a regional 'cap and trade' program aimed at lessening climate change.  Of course that means her oil and gas contributors immediately pulled the strings on their very own Governor.  This is a really bad omen. Now she will most likely move to gut the 'Pit Rule" that protects ground water from oil pollution and drilling waste.

Well Susana, we are anxiously awaiting the birth of our first grandchild.  Your position effectively diminishes that kid's quality of life in the future.  All for keeping the oil and gas industry in the money and deep profits.  Did you think of children when you said this?  Did you think of all those scientists who are warning world leaders to get off fossil fuels?  Did you think of New Mexico's own climate future which portends drought and water shortages?  No, you apparently did not.  Did you even give a second thought to this decision or did the oil boys just lead you by the nose?

And so Yates Petroleum owns the Governor's office.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Some Advice

Congratulations again to Susana Martinez on her election.  Now the real world starts interfering.  I have a few points of advice for her as she starts her transition.
  • 1. Ask former Governor Garrey Carruthers to be your transition chief.  He  understands bi-partisanship.
  • 2. The transition will mark your style of governance.  You better think carefully and work long hours on it.
  • 3. Ask people to serve who know how government works.  Not people who hate government.
  • 4. Don't be afraid to keep some people from the Richardson administration.  Some are quite talented despite what your Lt. Governor has said during the campaign.
  • 5. Don't hire anyone that thinks the world was created 6000 years ago by a guy with a white beard who lives in the clouds.
  • 6. Many democrats voted for you.  Don't forget that.
  • 7. The Rail Runner is a good thing.  Don't mess with it.
  • 8. Do not let the oil and gas industry run the Environment Department.
  • 9. Do not let the oil and gas industry run the Energy and Natural Resources Department.
  • 10.  Don't mess with the politics of the Legislature.  That is not your job
When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway. Erma Bombeck 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Real Winners

I am ecstatic that Martin Heinrich won his congressional race.  After all the outside secret money that was thrown against him I am relieved that he ran such a great election day performance. Plus he won the early and absentee total vote.  Many of those votes were cast before the special interest infusion of millions against  him in the last two weeks of the campaign.

Rodger and Connie Beimer , Bobbi and I went to his rally in Los Lunas on Saturday.  He was confident they would win because of their election day plans.

Now he will go back to DC in the minority with diminished power in the committee structure.  But having someone there who has some real world views will be great for us in the future.  He deserved this victory.  I hope he spends time getting around the state to meet voters outside his district now.

We are the real winners here.  Maybe John Barela can go back to being the nice guy he was before the right wing put him on their team.   Thank fate we kept the Senate in Democratic hands.

Susana Martinez ran a great race funded with money from right wingers.  Diane Denish's campaign never really caught fire.  She would have made a better governor because of her experience and big heart.  I figure that Susana will moderate out of necessity as she faces a still heavily democratic legislature with whom she must work.

Ray Powell will be Land Commissioner as he managed to keep Santa Fe and even Bernalillo county heavily in his column.  I think his religious fundamentalist opponent really hurt him self with his 'christian war' comments.  What a dufus!  I hope Ray shows some inclination shake things up at the Land Office.  At least we will have an ethical man sitting there.

Now, the biggest winners on election day are the TV stations who raked in the cash by airing the dirtiest and nastiest commercials ever seen by mankind.  Most of them were not even well done.  Most of them were lies.  But what does corporate media care?  They are less than moral.

Monday, November 01, 2010


So, now the police and FBI are actively getting people on Facebook and Twitter to do their work for them.  That would be great if it were a one way street.  The police also can look at your stuff.  When I saw the picture of the PR seeking Darren White in the Journal this morning looking at someone's account it scared me.  It should scare you too.
But, it appears people are fine with this lack of privacy while many are okay with dumping healthcare.  I am at sea I guess.

(My subscription to the Journal was paid through December.  Won't you all join with me and cancel your subscription's to send a message for real journalism.)

I am pretty sure that this weekend many of god's managers, priests, deacons, reverends spoke to their flocks from the pulpit and either directly or indirectly told them who god wants them to vote for.  If so they need to lose their tax status pronto.  Read this for an eye opener.

Someone said, "Fundamentalism means never having to say 'I'm wrong'."  

If you think corporate America secretly funded the republicans this go round, wait until the presidential race next time.  If most voters think they have any ability to fight this stuff right now they are naive.  When will a hero come along and lead us to defeating this?  When will CEOs be  held accountable?  Two million dollars into John Barela's race in three weeks!  Has Barela turned into a dishonorable man? Deep down he knows.   He didn't use to be but the power of money is a marvel.

After reading this blog I think I have turned into a conspiracy theorist.  Time for another cruise.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Did It

Even I didn't think I would actually cancel my subscription to the Albuquerque Journal.  But after 45 years as a reader I called them this afternoon and said 'no more'.  Especially after a blatantly false headline in the paper this morning that was intended to scare people into thinking their pay checks would go down if the tax cuts for the rich were done away with.  A longtime friend of mine, a very accomplished documentary producer, sat with me at coffee today with the Journal in front of  him and pointed at the head line and said, "This is a damn lie", except he really used the F-Bomb.  From here on out I will look for abandoned copies of the Journal in coffee places so I can keep up with Leslie Lithicum's columns and 9 Chickweed Lane.  When there is new leadership or a return to fairness at the paper I will resubscribe.

Corporate America a New CEOcracy

We are all lamenting the actions of big shot corporate CEO's throwing secret money into right wing causes and candidates.  Thanks to the george bush supreme court and Chief Justice roberts they have more power than ever.  I do mean that.  The power of $100 bills by the car full.  The same goes for unions and left wing groups who have car loads of one dollar bills.  But, who should we really be angry with?

My friend Tim knows.  We should be mad at the stockholders and ourselves if we hold stock in any oil and gas company etc that is funding these efforts.  Did we stockholders give them permission to do this?  Did the stockholders ever think they might be destroying a democracy and turning it into a CEOcracy?

Well, Tim has a great idea in that legal mind of his.  He thinks large government investment and pension funds, such as the NM Investment Council, the Public Employees Retirement Association, the Educators Retirement Association, and other groups of stockholders should now start initiatives in all states requiring that corporations hold a ballot of all shareholders to allow or disallow contributions to candidates, PACS and special political committees.  I guarantee you that right now these corporate officers are doing whatever they damn well please. I will bet a lot of institutional stock holders will oppose most contributions.  Individual stockholders would too.  And this can't be done in one of those confusing and fine print ballots these CEOs send out.  It should be simple and concise.  I will even write the question.  Here it is, "Should this corporation allow any expenditures for supporting candidates, PACs, special committees or initiatives?   Yes_____    No_____

What courageous New Mexico legislator will write and sponsor such a bill?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flamingo Dreams

I took this handheld time exposure of Flamingos for a night time photo assignment.  I kind of like it.  It looks surreal, wobbly, in and out of focus.  A lot like many political races this  year.  Mostly it looks like independent voters.  They are the chameleons who transform every couple of years.  I am trying to figure them out.  Two years ago they recognized the lunacy of the bush White House and its new republican wing nut roots and said no more.  Now, after constant tea party fringe attacks, Fox News, Talk Radio and misinformation campaigns they took the bait from the folks they threw out and are turning on the Obama administration.  Question?  Are these people missing some marbles?  Is it the ultimate mass case of attention deficit disorder?   Or am I just naive?  Don't answer that.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I had coffee with my good friend and former City Attorney Bob White this morning.  We love talking politics.  Today we centered on the "fatigue" factor in politics.  People do get fatigued with elected officials.  Think Marty Chavez.  Think about my career.  Think about Governor Richardson.  And in some respects think about any incumbent this year.  People are tired of this cast of players.  People are pissed off at the state of things.  Voila!  The Tea Party fringe exudes frustration and gets the media talking about them.  The Democrats and what is left of a reasonable republican party minority don't even recognize the frustration and don't talk about it and you end up with a lot of otherwise good elected officials being shown the door.  Many of those who replace them will be really scary.

That is a reason that Diane Denish is having a hard race.  The media connect her with Richardson and the fatigue attaches to her.  Her campaign team has not figured out a way, so far, of getting her energy out.  I can tell you I have known her for years and she is her own person.

Part of this fatigue is due to a corporate influenced media.  I feel the oil and gas industry influences the Albuquerque Journal to beat up on Denish because she is concerned about climate change. And so you get stories that try to turn her into a bad person for pursuing funding for childhood education.  Can you believe it?  Making  her seem corrupt for doing something so admirable?  How does this happen at the Journal?  And people ask why I want to stop my subscription.  I guess I am fatigued with that once okay newspaper.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Questions from Friends

We had a great crew over for our Sunday night Dinner.  We were all interested political types and two of our guests were employees of the Albuquerque Journal at one time....years ago.  They had read my blog and were insisting that I not cancel my subscription because it was important for people to keep reading newspapers.  I agree, but it is hard to swallow the front page news stories which are editorials in disguise as is the case in the Journal.  The both agree that things had changed at that newspaper in recent years.  I will ponder their request for not canceling!

All of us sat around the table last night consuming Gypsy Stew, Bobbi's home made jalapeno corn bread, and good wine. None of us even made an effort to turn on the debates last night.  For us our minds were made up on most races.  Even the moderates around the table said that Diane Denish was eminently qualified to be Governor and would be better at the job.  Susana Martinez, if she wins, will be much like Gary Johnson was in office and will be able to offer little more than vetoes.  She will have a tough time leading with a strong Democratic legislature.  Santa Fe will begin to resemble Washington, DC where little gets done and when it does will inspire Newt Gingrich style hate politics.  At least the democrats won't act like cowards in Santa Fe.  There will be no big ideas in Santa Fe.  Lack of money and courage will be the reasons, especially if a republican like Martinez is elected.

Interestingly most of our guests will not vote a straight ticket.  I think Secretary of State Mary Herrera could be in trouble.  I think Ray Powell will win now since his opponent's comments on "christian war" have made the rounds.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Gratuitous Picture of My Cat

Hermes is growing up.  He always like to perch high on something, like a leopard.  At night he comes in to our bed and lays down between Bobbi and me.  He gives us both love bites and then goes to sleep.  Then his buddy Ajax arrives and lies next to my head.

Right now people are praying about this election.  Which gives me an excuse to show another neat quote that praying Democrats might read.

"Two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Journal

I am going to do it now.  I am canceling my subscription to the Albuquerque Journal after being a loyal reader for most of my life.  They are no longer credible.  They are Fox news.  They are right wing and vicious.  After reading that they endorsed all republican candidates for Congress, including the nutcase Mullins up north, I decided that the publisher and editor of the paper no longer deserve any respect what so ever.  I don't mind if they are conservatives.  That is their business.  They can also use their opinion page to say what they please and endorse who they please.  But I should not be able to figure out weeks before an editorial what that editorial is going to say because of the way they cover politics on the front page with Thomas Cole, the Drudge of New Mexico.

 The only thing I will miss is Leslie Lithicum's column, the Obituaries, Dilbert and 9 Chickweed Lane in the comics, and my ability to disagree with them any more since I will not be reading them.

I will continue to read the New York Times everyday and with the money I save I might even take the Wall Street Journal, which at least keeps its editorials and dirty work on the opinion page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Real World

I went up to Truchas, New Mexico on Friday morning to a gathering of Northern New Mexicans who were presented with a grant from the US Department of Agriculture.  The $150,000 will be used to create the Cooperative Development Center of Northern New Mexico.

It is always fun to go into such a beautiful part of the Land of Enchantment.

Terry Brunner who is Director of the State USDA Rural Development Office handed the funds over to Arturo Sandoval who will help administer the project.

They met with a group of farmers and outfitters who will participate in the program.  The idea is for cooperatives to get products to local markets.  The second objective involves cultural based tourism and recreation.

The beautiful landscapes and natural resources are an under utilized economic tool in the area.

While so many criticize federal public servants these days they should reflect on the real good that is being done to help areas like Truchas develop jobs and a future.

And finally, a funny quote.  "Prayer /n/: how to do nothing and still claim you're helping.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Rope

A rope might be too good for this nation's bank and mortgage company CEOs.  Why is the public not in the streets screaming for justice?  Oh, thats right...those people are to busy looking for Obama's birth certificate while also demonizing anyone who works in government.  And, don't forget those banks etc are private business and they can do no wrong.  So what if they steal your house because of their own incompetence.

Just like the oil and gas guys who are securing their profits by bankrolling republicans in all political races this year. Don't forget they get billions in subsidies.   Sometimes the dam just breaks for me.

Like yesterday when I told ATT Wireless that I was canceling my contract with them because for the last 18 months I have no cell service on my Iphone at my house.  They said they couldn't guarantee service and gee for $150 more I could by their mini cell tower that hooks into the internet so my phones will work. I said, "So I have to buy something that gets me service for something I already pay for?"  "Yes" they said in a pleasant and saccharin voice.  "And if you cancel we will require a fee."   I want to personally carry the rope for the ATT Wireless CEO SOB.  He is a con man.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I keep wondering where Susana Martinez would find folks with experience in government to work in her administration if she is elected.  The republican bench for thoughtful public servants is pretty weak.  Anyone who worked in the Johnson administration is off on other pursuits.  Mostly I am afraid that Martinez will draw government haters from the far right to occupy the Cabinet Secretary's jobs.  They will find out real quick that the rank and file state employee will push back on radicalism.  Just like in everything else, experience does count.

Especially when we are looking at further budget deficits on the state level.  The next Governor will have a horrendous  no win future in decision making.  It will be brutal and even Susana Martinez will endure attacks from all sides.  She has no clue what awaits her.

I know we are a couple of years away from the next election.  I am wondering if Senator Jeff Bingaman will run again.  It might hinge on what happens in this election and whether or not the Senate stays in Democratic control.  I think that is likely.  But if Bingaman doesn't run again then who will?  Certainly Martin Heinrich is a candidate.  Who would the republicans pick?  Heather Wilson?  Just something for us junkies to think about.

On a personal note, I have been dealing with prostate cancer for about a year but things look really good.  We are in a watch and wait mode.  My blood tests look very good and no action is necessary for the next six months.  We can book a cruise!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morning in the Bosque

I took arthritic Athena for a walk in the Bosque this morning.  The Rio Grande is definitely losing its flow and we may be in for a dry winter thanks to La Nina.

It was a beautiful morning out there.

On the way back home I saw a leaf blower at work.  I hate these things pushing particulate into the air for all of us allergy sufferers.  Have you ever been in a parking lot while the landscaping crew is using those things?  Your car will be full of dust and pollen in just a few seconds.  Starbucks on Rio Grande is a place where this happens all the time.