Monday, May 31, 2010

Pena Blanca Memorials

I was out shooting photos today on a project, soon to be announced, as I traveled through the old family home turf.  I stopped by to check out the condition of my dad's gravestone.  As we entered into the Pena Blanca cemetery at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church it dawned on me that it was indeed Memorial day and that some folks had been decorating the family grave sites.  The memories showed in their own special way.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Albuquerque Journal Again

I can only assume that the folks at the Albuquerque Journal never look at their newspaper as a informed reader would.  Well, they are all we have got these days, but here it goes.

The Journal spent several days with front page stories and an editorial on northern NM Democratic politicians who led with their hearts instead of their brains and had $5000 worth of paving millings sent to the parking lot of a catholic church.  It was dumb for Representative Ben Lujan and County Commissioner Harry Montoya to do so.  And probably it violated the state constitution and it should have been reported and their hands whacked by a nice Domincan nun.  (If there are any in existence anymore.  My old principal Sister Perpetua Maria could have made them regret it.)

Then in today's paper we see a story buried back on the state page about republican governor candidate Susana Martinez taking $450,000 from one ultra right wing fanatic and his wife in Texas.  His name is Bob Perry of Swift Boat fame.  He is so far right he is off the charts.  The story said Martinez 'collected' the money in contributions.  Collected!   Think if a NM Democrat had 'collected' $450K from someone like George Soros.  Do you think the story would have been on the front page?  You are damned right it would be.  Do you think they would have used the word collected?  I bet they would have used a different and more negative adjective.  Like 'amassed' or 'stockpiled.'

If Diane Denish had accepted such a large donation here is what I think the first paragraph of the Journal story would be.  "Democrat Diane Denish today denied that amassing a $450,000 donation from left wing George Soros will have any influence on her decision making.  Soros, an emigre from the Soviet Union, is known for supporting ultra liberal causes."  I am pretty sure this story would be above the fold on the front page.

I don't know if the editors at the Journal even know they do this.  Maybe they don't really understand how this hurts their credibility in political coverage.  I am simply aghast at the difference in the way these two stories were given coverage.  They handled the asphalt millings like a Obama Fox News story and the Martinez story like a Reader's Digest article.


P.S.  Ben Lujan and Harry Montoya will now get more votes for doing what they did for the church.

Friday, May 28, 2010


So we all go mushy when we retire?  I keep spending money on kittens.  I went to get a supply of kitty litter and ended up buying them a jungle gym with a perch on top so they can look out the window in Noelle's old bedroom.  They took right to it.  I know I said no more kitten pics....but aww, they are cute.

Hermes was watching the roofers across the street.

All wasn't frivolity today.  I started volunteering at the Road Runner Food Bank this morning.  My job was to sort bread and pastries today.  I must have seen 10,000 donuts.....I did not eat any of them.


A lot is being made of a robo phone poll that says republican Susana Martinez is beating Democrat Diane Denish in the race for Governor.  Certainly Susana will be a good right wing candidate for the republicans, but is she really ready for Prime Time?  Can she sustain her climb from the republican primary into a general election where you have to do more than scapegoat immigrants to win?  That really remains to be seen.  She has a very steep learning curve and will have to endure a lot of background investigations.

What is with the American public?  They say the want the government to stay our of their lives and the operation of private business, and then they say they cant understand why the government hasn't done more in the Gulf oil crises?  Some republicans want the military to take over!  I sometimes think everyone is paranoid.  I thought it was just me.  And then there are the crying congressmen from Louisiana who are upset about the Gulf pollution.  They would have thrown absolute tantrums if someone had suggested tougher regulations on the deep water drillers.

I went and voted yesterday.  The folks at the early voting site in downtown Albuquerque said it had been remarkably slow.  I am beginning to think that whoever has the biggest extended family will win the lower races.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oil Industry to the West....The Gulf is Your Fault

An SOB, who was CEO of Shell Oil, said on CNN tonight that the Gulf disaster was the government's fault for not making more western public lands available for oil and gas development.  That means New Mexico amongst many other states.   It doesn't matter that they have almost all leaseable prospects already leased, they just want to go into wilderness and other pristine lands to get what they want.  In fact they have 32 million acres leased onshore that have not been developed, most of it in the intermountain west.  That is as much land that comprises the State of Wisconsin.

We have to be really vigilant that the oil boys don't get into Otero Mesa and places like it.  They could screw up an ocean of water in Otero's aquifer too.

I was so pissed off after seeing this  bloated ass say this that I forgot his name.  I would like to find out where he lives and have a few barrels of oil delivered to his front porch and back yard.   But that would be wrong.  Right?

At the same time, I am not happy with the response of the Obama administration so far, at least in the way it has presented itself.  They need one person, and one only, in charge of this effort.  Not a gaggle of Cabinet Secretaries who contradict each other.

And the folks in Louisiana and other states might want to take a harder look at protesting this kind of offshore development in the future.  They were not present with environmentalists before.  Now they probably are.

State Land Office Pick and Lt. Governor

I think Ray Powell might win the Democratic primary for State Land Commissioner.  Although, that race is not decided yet.  I still don't know who I will vote for.  I admire Santa Fean Harry Montoya because he stood up against the oil and gas industry in his county and he wants to open up debate on Land Office decisions to the public.  I personally like Sandy Jones and think he would make a good Commissioner as long as he doesn't fall under the sway of the oil and gas boys.  Ray Powell is a decent guy who will once again be a care taker and not a reformer.  In some ways that is worse than having some one you can apply pressure to politically.

I plan on early voting this week and will go into the booth undecided on the Land Office race.

I will be voting for Lawrence Rael for Lt. Governor.  I like all the candidates and have great respect for Jerry Ortiz Y Pino, but I think Lawrence will be the best person to draw votes for Diane Denish in November.  Jerry can do a lot of good in the Senate where he is a voice for progressives and compassionate policy.  He would be missed there.

I think Susana Martinez, and her newfound right wing ideology and love of the oil and gas industry, will probably win her republican primary.  Then she has some explaining to do on how far right she is prepared to go.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is a pretty good read on facts surrounding the Arizona immigration issue.

Department of the Interior

There is a story out today that Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is moving to suspend employees of the MMS for graft and malfeasance on the job.  This is a good thing.  The Inspector General had tagged them from an investigation that was done in the bush administration.  This should have been done long ago and points out a problem at Interior that is not being solved.  That problem is all of the bush holdovers that are still working there.  Take for instance the former BLM Utah State Director.  Seventeen months after the new administration took office she has finally been moved out of the state of Utah where she did so much damage to sensible land protection.  Her actions were continually overturned by the courts.  She was a favorite of  the oil and gas industry and was a political appointment from the beginning.  She use to work for the New Mexico republican party and republican office holders.  She had no land management experience.  Normally people like her get 'political' jobs in the departments, not career ones.  She stayed in her job way to long after the Obama administration took office.  Now she has been awarded another job after her transfer from Utah.  She is heading up the BLM Eastern Offices HQ which is another career position and not meant for a political.

Now, if she had been a Democrat and bush had come into office she would have been out of there in a heartbeat.  Democratic administrations seem to be way to accommodating to the bad guys.  The results, as shown in the Gulf of Mexico, can be devastating.  So, hopefully the bush holdovers will now get more attention and be moved out of the picture.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here is a picture that represents the historical relationship between the MMS and BP.  It is not representative of the New Mexico republican party gubernatorial candidates.  I promise this is the last picture of the kittens for a while.  They pretty much bonded so much that they won't play with me anymore.  Fickle Felines!  Dumped in one week!  Just like some candidates one week from tomorrow!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

GOP Legend

A legend has been born in the annals of the New Mexico republican party.  The state chairman of that party has condemned the negative advertising by the Gubernatorial candidates Allen Weh and Susana Martinez.  But, he really lowered his sights on Weh by essentially saying his negative ads were outlandish and untrue.  This is coming from Party Chairman Harvey Yates, honcho at Yates Petroleum and big donor to all right wing candidates.  Well, maybe not Weh now. Never mind that Yates and the oil and gas industry fudges about how clean oil and gas development is.  I have to say though that this is a positive thing for a party chair to do.  Unprecedented really.

I was down on Susana's campaign manager Jay McClusky, last week for being the type who wants to scapegoat immigrants as a way to win the election for her.  She will pay for that later I guarantee if she faces off against Diane Denish.  But what on earth does Weh's advisor think she gets by putting forward such patently false charges against Susana?  That person I understand is Whitney Cheshire and she has worked for the party and right wing candidates for years.  She will have a bad week I think.  Usually, these folks don't get much scrutiny, but they are the main cause of the problems for many candidates because they move them into the fringe.

I think the GOP really needs a new generations of thinkers.

Pretty soon all the other statewide GOP candidates will be facing a hopeless situation as they try and run with the Governor candidate who helped cause a deflated turnout and lots of bad vibes.    If the turnout is much more than 25% I will be surprised.

Part Deux

We arrived back from DC with the good news we will be grandparents (first time) in November.  So naturally we went out and adopted another kitten.  Meet Ajax.

Hermes the Cat made it clear to him who is senior kitten.

Athena was wondering if they will divide into four cats next week.  I don't think so.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I checked the Albuquerque Journal website this a.m. from Washington, DC.  It appears the republican race for Governor really is all hinged on immigrants.  So much for family values when Weh says no amnesty ever.  Parents would be ripped from American born children under his retrenchment. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hermes the Cat on Negative TV Ads

Mud slinging sucks.


I am going off to Washington, DC for a couple of days to a Council meeting of the Wilderness Society.  I have served on that Council since 1991 and enjoy the three or four meetings a year that we attend.  We are starting to do a lot of work on sorting out the conflicts between renewable energy developments and wilderness land protection.  That is an issue that needs to be thought out very carefully by everyone involved.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Scapegoats

The republican primary election for Governor in New Mexico will now turn ugly.  The losers will be immigrants as they will figure highly on who can generate the most hate for them between Allen Weh and Susana Martinez.  Martinez started with a new ad today saying Weh supported amnesty for immigrants.  Immigrants.  Now the cause of all of our problems, right.  Pile them right in there with Jews, Gypsies, and Armenians.  Native Americans and African Americans too!

Martinez's campaign is headed by a guy and his wife who are named McCluskey.  He is a long time rightwing consultant for candidates in New Mexico.  He ran the GOP for a time. He also ran Mayor Berry's campaign in Albuquerque last year and is responsible for Berry's step to the dark side in saying Albuquerque was a sanctuary for criminals who are mostly immigrants.   Now McCluskey and his wife have turned the scapegoating on for Martinez.  I can't believe she is really like this any more than Berry was.  But the grab for political power fogs up the humanity in some people.  That whole 'victory at any cost' thing.

I had a nice meeting with Mayor Berry last week.  I think he is a decent person.  His won his fight with the city council on his new policy for checking all arrested people for their immigration status.  However, he has probably lost his support among many potential voters next time around.  And he is toying dangerously with Albuquerque's image as a multicultural and friendly city.  That is not what he set out to do, but that will be an effect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How the Universe Works

I am sitting here watching "How the Universe Works" on the Discovery Channel.  I decided to multi task and write my blog.  The title of the story made me want to talk about a conversation I had today with an elderly gentleman as we waited for service at Sears parts store.  He had recognized me from my term as Mayor and said he appreciated the job I did.  He asked me what I thought would happen in the republican race for Governor and I told him I thought Weh or Martinez would win.  He said he was supporting Weh because Weh had run a business and knew how to do things.  When I mentioned to him that Weh made much of his money from government contracts he was surprised.  He then went on to say that Obama had raised taxes, untrue, and that Obama caused the bailout of the financial system.  Also untrue since bush started the process.  The nice guy said it didn't matter because Obama was to blame.  Huh?

He then went on to say there should not have been a bailout and that a depression would have been better because it would have made people understand the value of a dollar.  I asked him how that would help his grandkids.  He shrugged.

He was a very nice guy.  And he was a Tea Party member, whether he knew it or not.  This conversation really happened and it enlightened me on how ignorance is really dangerous in this country right now.  I hope this isn't really 'How the Universe Works."

No Questions

Apparently, Susana Martinez refused to take questions at her news conference with Sarah Palin yesterday.  Why would that happen?  What is there to hide?  Would issue oriented questions be asked?(like why you are taking so much money from the oil and gas industry?)  Would she embrace the far right wing rantings of Palin and the Tea Party?  We may never know.  But she can't get away with this for long.

I hope Susana is not really a Tea Party type.  I have called them wackos because they ignore truth.  They think Obama has raised taxes, when in fact they are at the lowest level in decades.  The deficit raised its ugly head after the Clinton Administration had a surplus.  bush started an unnecessary war and lowered taxes instead of paying for the invasion.  At the same time lax regulation caused many of our current financial hardships which caused bush to come to the rescue with government bailouts that were continued by Obama.  Yet the Tea Party blames Obama who has been in office for 15 months.  They just don't deal with reality and they look just plain silly to many thinking people.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blog Cat

As I was getting ready to do some blog work today, Hermes the Cat, stepped on the key board and dropped me out of the browser.  The cat wants his say and he will get it during the election cycle. He is worried about his cat food supply with the oil and gas boys ruining fisheries in the Gulf.  His first quote is, "Let them eat Tofu, and vote against any candidate they give big bucks too.  Save the Tuna!"

Republican Backlash

The fact that GOP Gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez is hard on the heels of candidate Allen Weh shouldn't be too great a surprise.  As I have said before she seemed to be the dark horse candidate who would give Diane Denish the best run in a general election.  So, why in hell does she bring in such a divider as Sarah Palin to endorse her?  Does this work for her in the general election?  That is where she should be putting her strategic efforts right now.

It is apparent to me that Weh, the war profiteer, is much disliked by the GOP operatives.  I hear he treated everyone very badly when he was Chairman of the GOP with his 'my way or the highway' attitude.  I think the trends are now working against him.  Now, in the last three weeks we can expect a different kind of media campaign from him.  I wonder if going negative on Susana will work?

Martinez used to be a democrat who switched to the republican party.  Why?  I don't know but she probably was edged out by the good ole boys in the party.  Now she has edged out the good ole boys in the GOP.  I love irony.  But, she has now embraced the 'dark side' by accepting the 'drill baby drill' crowds support and the Tea Party wackos.  This may backfire bigtime.

My next bet is that Martinez gets the endorsement of almost all news papers in her primary race.  That will help her.  And then it is on to the first all female race for Governor.  It will be an incredible race.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Irony Again

It seems ironic.  Here is movie star Val Kilmer having to defend himself as a white guy from the San Miguel County Commission for using his free speech guarantees under the Constitution while at the same time in Arizona the right wing-nut Sheriff Arpaio, Governor and legislature rounds up people for having brown skin.

This country is in a world of hurt.  What the hell is happening?  Has everyone gone stupid?  Well, some are stupid and others are mostly scared and they are being manipulated by politicians who see the Balkans as a role model for the future of the United States.  Look at this commercial that John McCain has running in Arizona.  Thank fate he wasn't elected.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


If you need a friend in politics....get a cat.  Right now that would be good advice for the Democratic Lt. Governor candidates here in New Mexico.  Blogger Joe Monahan did a poll this morning that really shows that after a full year of campaigning the race is still a standoff.  So the knives will come out.  That is probably bad news for Brian Colon, but good news for Lawrence Rael.  The undecideds are still in control of this race.

I actually like all of the candidates.  Rael and Jerry Ortiz Y Pino both worked for me when I was Mayor of Albuquerque.  They are both decent and honest people and either one of them would make good light govs.  Jerry is probably closer to me in terms of political philosophy, but Lawrence would bring a moderate view to the office.  So, what is one to do?

This new cat Hermes has totally bonded to me.  I feel like I have a second head on my bloated body.  The only time he isn't there is when he is playing with a piece of wadded up tinfoil, or when I am walking around.  This cant be a good habit he is forming.  Right?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Is there any truth in advertising anymore?  Especially by republican Gubernatorial candidates in New Mexico?   Today blogger Joe Monahan has an excellent article about New Mexico's so called pit rule hurting the oil and gas business.  His investigation shows that to be a lie.  GOP candidate Susana Martinez is perpetuating the lie on her advertising saying the rule cost New Mexico jobs.  Well, that is what happens when the GOP is run by a chairman who is the head of Yates Petroleum.  Also, Martinez got a donation of $117,000 from one oil producer.  And in the meantime the perpetrators of the Gulf oil spill will take no blame for their actions.

And then there is Allen Weh who continues to run a TV commercial that he knows is factually incorrect.  He said Lt. Governor Denish used stimulus funds to fly the state jet to some functions.  That is untrue but the TV stations are still airing the commercial.

The New York Times has a good article on how differently New Mexico and Arizona handle the immigrant issue.  It makes me proud to be a New Mexican.  As my son Justin said...."how can a human being be illegal?"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


When will we devote more time to coverage of issues in the New Mexico Governor's race?  Right now, for the most part, the media coverage resembles Monday morning results of which new movie made the most money over the weekend.  That coverage says nothing about the stories or plot lines in the movies.  It just seems to say that who made the most money is what is important.

That seems to be the way political races are handled now. Who has the most money on hand?  Who raised the most money in the last quarter?  Who has bought the most television ads?  Shouldn't we demand of the media at least as much airtime or column inches on where the candidates are on the issues?

The Albuquerque Journal has done some issue work and I am glad for it.  I have seen absolutely none on television news.  I do see insipid and stupid promos for new news helicopters that have better cameras on their nose that can look both ways!  Channel 7 has a contest to paint the new helicopter.  How about a stork with its head in the sand?  Channel 13 is building up faux suspense on new scenery for their news telecasts.

How about some real journalism?  Who is giving the candidates their money?  Like Allen Weh who is giving his own money to fund his campaign from his war profits as a contractor with the defense department.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Low Rent

I have to agree with many people, including the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board, that the action by a UNM professor in asking the UNM President to resign after the President awarded him a raise, new title, and a plaque honoring him is a strictly low rent thing to do.  He left the plaque and took the money and title.  We went to a large diverse dinner party yesterday and everyone agreed it showed little class.

It seems that the whole situation might have been a set up because the media never covers such honors awards at UNM.  The Journal had a reporter and photographer there who had probably been forewarned of the fireworks to be seen.  The Journal wisely chose not to make a front page article out of it.

I don't know if the faculty at UNM has lost it's common sense or just it's manners.  Academe, as my sister Carlota has pointed out to me many times, is often a mine field of back stabbing politics.  This time is was more like a shot between the eyes.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Hermes the Cat

Got a kitten today.  Named him Hermes.

Like a Business

New Mexico GOP primary candidate for Governor and supposed frontrunner Allen Weh says he will run government like a business.  Would he run it like the investment bankers and hedge fund quants ran their businesses in the run up to the financial meltdown several years ago?  Will he run it like the New York Stock Exchange ran itself yesterday when an error was made by a clerk somewhere and the computers kicked in with sell orders?  Will he run it like his oil and gas industry benefactors and create what may be one of the all time biggest environmental disasters on the planet?  And then try and put a teepee over it to make it all better?

Every time I see a Pol say he wants to run government like a business I know he is clueless about what the job he wants is about.  Simply, government is not a business.  It is government and it does not blindly think only about a quarterly bottom line.  If a candidate cant understand that he should get out of the game.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


The private instructor ass clowns who didn't complete training for over a thousand concealed weapons carriers but certified they did got off with nothing happening to them.  Their attorney said they did nothing wrong and the Albuquerque Journal called it a 'foul up' in their headline.  The instructors attorney said most of the poorly trained folks were military veterans and they knew how to shoot anyway.  What a crock!  In the military they would have been forced to retrain often and pass tests.

What would have happened if those were driving instructors?  Would there have been consequences?  I bet there would at least be a court date.

Check out the horrible comments on the Journal's web page this morning concerning the unspeakable sexual assault on a six year old.  The Journal pointed out that the suspect was an illegal immigrant.  You can figure out who the comments are coming from.  Truly, racism is growing again in this country.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


My big job today is to go to the westside Albuquerque Animal Shelter and see if we can adopt two kittens we saw there on Sunday.  Today is the day you can put 'dibs' on them.  We were going to get just one cat to replace our beloved 'Jerry' who died last year.  But our son Justin and his wife said one must have two cats so they have playmates.  I wonder if that will drive our Beagle, Athena, to insanity.

These will be indoor cats.  We have had a lot of cats go missing recently in the neighborhood.  Our old cat Jerry was an indoor/outdoor cat who lived to 14 years of age.  It could be these new cats, if we get them, will out live me since they apparently survive a long time as shut ins.

I will use the Albuquerque Journal as a base for the litter box.  Especially after today's front page story pointing fingers at the Obama administration for not being quick enough on the oil spill in the gulf.  That is ridiculous and their partisanship is showing in their day to day coverage now.

Update:  Some one adopted the kittens just after their review yesterday.  We were led to believe today was the deadline.  Oh well, at least they got a home and if their new owners don't show up by Friday then we will get them.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


The front page story and picture about the science team from Albuquerque's Academy winning the National Department of Energy Science competition says it all.  Three of the four victorious team members are Asian.  I am willing to bet they are all sons of immigrant parents, grandparents, or great grand parents.  They too could be in trouble if driving through Arizona.

So I was wrong on thinking the attempted bombing in NYC might have been domestic terrorism.  At least it seems that way right now.  I am kind of waiting for the right wing to complain that the Obama administration took 48 hours to catch the suspect as he taxied out for Pakistan on an airliner.  It was impressive work by all law enforcement agencies involved.

This massive fuel leak that is moving to Albuquerque's ground water from Kirtland Air Force Base is really horrendous.  It wont get the national press coverage that the Gulf Coast is getting, but in the long run it could be very damaging to us Duke City residents.  The Governor and delegation in DC have to call for a giant clean up, and quickly.

In the meantime the oil and gas industry is showing their muscle in New Mexico as they have their republican candidates for governor railing against the state's strict environmental regulations.  I had thought that Susana Martinez, one of the candidates, was okay until she sold out to the oil boys.  Click on her name to see what I mean.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Damned If You Do, Damned if You Don't and NYC

I actually appreciate the coverage by the Albuquerque Sunday Journal on out of state contractors getting state building projects even though they cheat by saying they are local companies.  They just rent a small office somewhere so they can say that.  They are con men.  But, they are also the low bidders.

Now, if the Richardson administration were to give the contracts to higher legitimate local bidders inside the state instead of going with the low bid from outside, you would see stories about favoritism for locals especially if they had made a contribution to Democrat campaigns.

This is a no win situation for any administration.  In the end though you just should get what the taxpayer has funded, a well built project that will last and is efficient.

I can't wait until we see who planted the car bomb in NYC's Time Square.  I am pretty sure it will not be a foreign terrorist but a Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh inspired red neck lunatic.  But, I could be wrong.