Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Last night Bobbi and I went to see the movie "Our Idiot Brother."  It is about trust and honesty and was a sweet little comedy with no violence or special effects.  A real change.

Now, I would like to be honest about my feelings on the Obama administration.  Yesterday, I opined that I probably would not vote for him again.  I am being honest about that, but the qualifying word is probably.  Some commenters brought up issues like Supreme Court vacancies being filled by republicans in the next term.  That is pretty terrifying.  But I will not send money or volunteer for Obama unless he starts doing things really differently.  Of course I am a person who is concerned with public land issues, water issues, energy issues and climate change.  There is not exactly a great track record by Obama on any of these and energy and climate especially.  I also just can not stand his appeasement of the rightwing.  It is cowardly.  So, how is he any different than a republican so far?  Isn't it easier to fight a real opponent than someone who is supposedly a friend?

This is not a silly thought process.  I know others who think this way and it is tragic.

On another issue of honesty, I am seriously suggesting that the Albuquerque Journal acquire a new editor.  I say this because after talking with many folks in the know it appears that the Publisher, Tom Lang, is no longer really involved in the paper.  So it is the editor calling the shots.  Mostly for the right wing.   I am tired of seeing the once respectable paper being turned over to the Rio Grande Foundation and their oil and gas industry funders.  Today the neo con group had their second major oped in a week.  This time they want to shut down the Rail Runner.  The column ended with a statement that the only good thing in the economy right now is the oil and gas industry.  So of course they don't want to see public transportation.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Last night we stumbled on to a documentary on the Showtime Channel about the death of former football star Pat Tillman.  He died from friendly fire in Afghanistan and the bush/cheney administration lied about it and said he died while trying to save comrades in an ambush.  They wanted to make an icon out of him to gain support for the wars they started.  The documentary showed the strength and tenaciousness of Tillman's family in trying to get to the truth of his death.  It was an inspirational show in many ways.  But it also upset me so much I tossed and turned all night as I thought about the legacy of the bush/cheney team.  We as a nation are mostly forgetting those criminal leaders.  I say that because right now bush's clone, Governor perry of Texas has a shot at winning the republican nomination.

It is expected that in the next few days President Obama will approve a pipeline to carry tar sands oil from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.  If he does this as I fear he will, he will be guilty of a great injustice against future generations.  I am not kidding.  Read about tar sands here.

And then get angry at what this will do to our grandchildren.  I am so upset by Obama's stand on this that I am pretty sure I will not vote for him again.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Governor Martinez called the state jet that she sold a symbol of greed.  If she believes that will she stop taking her marching orders from corporate America, and more specifically the oil and industry?  Those guys have gaggles of jet planes.  Will she at least stop all subsidies to the oil and gas industry from the state taxpayers?  Are we the ones paying for those jets?  Darn right we are so lets just cut the free candy from the state of New Mexico to them.  They can afford it.  You have seen all those TV commercials begging them not to impose taxes on the energy industry.  That means oil, gas and coal companies.

In the meantime one should start noticing the impact that Photo Voltaic panels are having on energy production.  It seems the local media has noticed how many businesses are seeing the wisdom of sticking those things on their roofs.  One reason is tax credits.  I think we should take all subsidies from the fossil fuel guys and give it directly to additional tax credits for solar panel installers.  We will all breathe easier.  And it will send a message that there are alternatives to dirty fuel.

Had a nice game of golf today and will play many times in the next week.  An old high school friend is coming to visit for a week from California.  This guy is a saint who has stayed with his wife and cared for her through progressively bad MS.  He has been a good friend for fifty years.

Friday, August 26, 2011


The Governor was on the front page above the fold of the Journal today, and all over TV news broadcasts. It got big coverage since it was an easily accessible story requiring little effort. She is selling the state's small jet plane to a couple from Alaska who will use it to visit family.  Yes, the Governor wants you to know that one couple from Alaska can now see the grandkids but New Mexico can't afford a jet plane to fly and meet with economic development prospects.  Our mean Governor says she only needs to use the smaller prop planes cause they do just fine within the state.  (This is true.)

What I want to see is the Governor stepping out of the state jet with the CEO of a major Company to announce 1000 new good paying jobs for New Mexicans.  But that would be a positive thing and we know she is the Queen of Negative.

Actually, her administration has been doing a very poor job of working on economic development and job creation.  The media just ignores it because doing a story like that is hard to dig out.  Why is she not constantly on the road trying to do bring in some jobs?  Of course it is hard in these times, but doesn't that mean you redouble your efforts?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Debt increases by U.S Presidents:
Reagan 186%
Bush #1 54%
Clinton 41%
Bush #2 72%
Obama 23%

Source: Congressional Budget Office

Idea for the Governor

Yesterday I mused about the Governor's negative image making for the State in the New York Times.  It also appeared in the Los Angeles Times in another form.  The evils of the undocumented having driver's licenses.  Now she is being sued by her own state legislators for this pogrom.

But I have an idea on how the Governor could get some good publicity for the Land Of Enchantment.  She could start a PR campaign in major media about how safe it is to live in New Mexico!  I mean when was the last time anyone was chased from their high rises by an earthquake?  When were the last fatalities or injuries from a hurricane?  How many folks have died in floods in the last 50 years?  You get the picture I think.  It would be a fun PR campaign that could let everyone know what our immigrants, American and Foreign(legal and illegal) know, and that is what great weather we have.  Except for those spring winds.

But, as I have said before the extreme right wing that pulls our former prosecutor and now governor's strings just cant stand to do anything but scare the beejesus out of people.  So this idea is a non starter for them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thanks a Lot

The last Governor we had got New Mexico good publicity in the New York Times for what is great about our Land  of Enchantment.  The current Governor got us on the front page of the New York Times today for being xenophobic. That whole drivers license thing for undocumented workers. Those are the people who built your house and are working on replacing your roof.  You know Susana Martinez and her rightwing political consultants must feel like they have scored a coup.  Of course this kind of story does none of us any good.  Does this bring jobs?  Does this fight poverty?  No, it just makes us look a little like the nut cases in Arizona.

I had to chuckle at the last few days of letters to the editor in the Journal.  Yesterday someone attacked an oped contributor because he had a government pension from years as a faculty member and social security.  His total income was $60K a year.  We have come to a point where being a former public servant at all would qualify you for concentration camps in some Tea Party member's minds.

There was a group  of letters today that attack the Catholic Bishops for siding with those undocumented workers with drivers licenses.  They use that church/state separation thing.  The right wing authors won't say much though when those same Bishops attack pols for being pro-choice.

Life goes on and double standards endure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Albuquerque City elections are just a matter of weeks away.  As  usual no one seems to care since it is a council only election.  Bloggers seem to be the only ones that talk about it.  It is all so boring and incumbents almost always win their council races.  It will be the same this year even if bad boy Greg Payne is trying to return to the council.  His last gig with the city was as Marty Chavez's transit director.  He did an okay job there much to my surprise.  Having him back on the city council would be a disaster for Mayor Berry.  Greg doesn't play well with anyone.

Berry is getting rocked pretty hard by the police department problems.  The media will not lay off him, rightfully so, until the leadership changes at the department.  Berry is reluctant because he has probably forged a good friendship with the Chief.  It is always hard to fire a friend.  It could cause real problems for Berry two years from now.

I am just not going to get off this issue of the Albuquerque Journal Editor censoring the "non Sequitur" comic strip because it made fun of the plight of the publishing industry.  Is this a case of Paranoia?  I mean really....Come on already, will someone in the media outside the Journal just ask the editor why he felt it was important to do this.  Actually, I think this is an important bit of information to know.  This is the guy who uses ink by the barrel after all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Governors of Mean

I had coffee this morning with a longtime employee of the Albuquerque Journal, now retired.  We lamented the state of things at the Journal where cartoon strips are censored and right wing letters to the editor are shopped as opeds.  This morning the Journal had another kook oped from a member of the extreme right wing Rio Grande Foundation.  But they said it was written as a personal piece.  What BS.

This morning we  mostly talked about politics in modern America.

I have pretty much decided that we now have politicians who are mean.  In the past we had ego maniacs, corrupt souls, self serving greedy bastards with a few honest folks thrown in.  Now we have the politics of mean people.  Give me the egos and ethically challenged any day in comparison to these folks.  At least they knew they had to treat their constituents with some dignity and compassion.  Now that mean people are organized on the internet they can do more harm than ever.  As my companion said this morning, 'its no longer just listening to the kook relative at Thanksgiving Dinner.  Now they have the technology and tools to band together."

Yeah, this sounds pretty arrogant.  But I think it is true.  But I also see the glimmers of a back lash coming.  It can't be soon enough.

Finally, my friend asked, "Is Jay McCleskey really running both state and city government?"  That guy is the right wing political operative for the GOP.  I responded that it appears that way.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Caught Red Handed

The Albuquerque Journal did a great job this morning on the 'hero' of the week.  The Journal stopped skipping around on the status of 24 year old Antonio Diaz Chacon who saved a little girl who had been kidnapped.  It was obvious from the beginning, given his lack of english language skills, that he was an undocumented worker.  No one wanted to bring it up for a few days.  Maybe there was fear he might be deported.  You know, no good deed goes unpunished.  But the Journal and others now have come clean and said he is what he is and can honestly be called a real courageous guy.

The Governor thinks he is okay too.  But in an incredulous statement Susannah Martinez said "radical interest groups", who oppose her pogrom on undocumented workers who have drivers licenses, are exploiting him.  Because he did something good?  I am beginning to think this Governor just cant get out of the mode of seeing something bad in everything.  That was her job as a prosecutor and she is still acting like one, instead of a Governor of New Mexico.

Now, if the Albuquerque Journal would also stop skipping around why the censored a comic strip "Non Sequitur" that had a funny one on job cut backs at newspapers.  If they really did censor then how can we trust anything they do?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mayor's Veto

What is the idiom?  Beating a dead horse!  Mayor Berry beat the dead horse yesterday when he vetoed a bill the city council passed on asking for a Federal investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.  I like Mayor Berry.  I think he is a decent guy.  I know the stress he is under with an unwieldy police department.  But who ever convinced him that vetoing this bill was a smart political move must be on crack.

It so happens the Feds have already arrived to do this investigation anyway.  So why the dramatics of the veto?  Berry, who has seemed to me to be one of those rare persons, a moderate and compassionate republican elected official, seems to be offering himself up for sacrifice in a useless fight.  The veto was theater at best and Mayor Berry was ill advised to do it.  I would advise him to stop listening to the neocons who think admitting mistakes is weakness.  The fact is that APD needs some investigations into its training and recruiting practices.  This is something I have talked about many times in this blog.  Recruiting the right people and training them as public safety servants rather than Marine Corp. fighters is the answer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Cat Updates

When I came into our house from a pleasant game of golf today I was reminded of some of my old catholic teachings. Specifically the Seven Acts of Mercy that we learned as second graders.  One of the Acts is "Visit the Sick".  Today Ajax the Cat spent some serious time grooming the injured Hermes the Cat on our bed.  I am not sure how Hermes the Cat got up there, but Ajax went right along to care for him.  Hermes is doing pretty good when you think one week ago he got partially squashed.  His broken hip was operated on and after he came out of his five day stupor on some pretty powerful pain killers he is now acting like Hermes the Cat again.  Except he limps a little.

I encourage you to follow the link above to the Seven Acts of Mercy and then think of the Republican Congressmen in DC.

Also, my friends at Albuquerque Journal Watch came up with a good one today.  I had noticed this issue when I attempted to read one of my favorite comic strips this morning.


Wells Fargo Bank will start charging $3 a month for their local customers to get their own money out of an ATM.  ATMs were designed to replace human employees and save money, thus driving up profit.  Only a banker could think to do test marketing like this in New Mexico.  This city is one of the poorest in the country when it comes to poverty and this is their answer to it.  Screw the little guy.  They are doing this because the government said they were overcharging their business clients.

If I were a reporter I would ask the Governor what she thinks of the young Mexican National man who saved a little girl this week after witnessing her kidnapping.  He is the kind of guy Martinez is targeting in her war on undocumented workers with drivers licenses.  The really guilty party here is the Albuquerque Journal who supports her policy.  Are they afraid to ask the question for fear there may be a backlash against their editorial policy?

I think it is time that Mayor Berry calls for some new leadership at the Albuquerque Police Department.  These continuous revelations of problem officers is at the point of making you run from the police instead of towards them for help.

Finally, you must read this as it puts this nation's economic crisis into perspective from a political and policy standpoint.  Then you will know what to do in the elections next year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Sometimes it all just comes together.  There is a great story in the Journal and on TV News of a guy who saved a little girl who was kidnapped as she walked home with a bag of Tostados for her family.  The good samaritan followed the pedophile's car and managed to get the girl back safely.

Today the Catholic Bishops took on our tunnel visioned and mean Governor whose sole aim in government seems to revolve around taking away drivers licenses from undocumented workers.  It was nice to see the Bishops doing something that stood up for these people in a big way.  This doesn't happen much any more.

Now, back to the hero who saved the little girl.  He needed his wife to act as a translator to speak to the media.  He drove a car to carry out his mission.  He spoke only Spanish.  I wonder if the Governor and her minions of hate will track him down to discuss his driving privileges.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Special Session Ideas

Since the Governor is lousing up the Reapportionment special legislative session with additional issues starting on September 6th(ahem, my birthday) I thought I would throw in a few suggestions for other things that could be taken up.

First on my list is going to a system of open primary elections in this state.  Since the number of independents or decline to states is growing so strongly then lets give them a voice on the candidates they will vote for coming out of our primary election processes.  These new primary voters could vote for anyone they choose, and so should the Democrats and Republicans.  Make these usually closed and stifled elections really meaningful by giving everyone a shot at voting.

Next on my list is asking the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment doing away with the Public Regulatory Commission.  This could possibly only take five minutes of time in each of the legislative houses.  Just do it.

Pass an additional 10 cent gasoline tax and put the additional revenues into mass transit.  Any city with more that 50,000 people should get a share for good bus systems and perhaps decent intercity bus service.  That would be a real legacy.

We can dream.

Monday, August 15, 2011


 I have some friends who watched the so called Republican presidential debate the other night.  I just could not do it.  It is to early.  Nor could I watch any news coverage.  I did see a headline that said Bachmann and Paul had come in first and second in a straw poll of Iowans.  There is only 4000 of them involved in this and yet they seem to chase people with brains out of the race.  Like that Pawlenty guy.

I think all of these people who attend the Iowan state fair and eat deep fried snickers candy bars may actually not be responsible for their actions as a result of sugar and fat metabolising in their brain cells.  The two people who hate government the most are winners.  My wife Bobbi is convinced the American public really does not understand what services they get from government.  I think it is worse than that.  I think they don't care.  At least until they lose them.

The Albuquerque Journal repeated the same story for the 20th time on the front page on Sunday.  You know, that one where state investment funds and sweetheart deals resulted in some people getting rich and the state not getting much at all.  I mean, how many times can this be written and not read by the dwindling pool of subscribers?

President and Obama and his team are pondering getting more aggressive in their dealings with tea party types.  They are thinking that these folks don't want to compromise.  It is enough to make one cry isn't it?

State, County and City governments need to start doing some serious planning now that all stimulus funds are being exhausted.  Working in local government is going to get a hell of a lot tougher. It will be interesting to see how bad it may be one year from now.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Apparently the Albuquerque Police Department is rebuilding its case against Judge Pat Murdoch.  When that happens I have to think that there are real questions about how the original case was made.  Especially when it comes to privacy issues.

If the Judge was guilty of soliciting a prostitute then  that stands on its own.  But why is APD shown in the paper once again today hauling off the Judge's home computers?  Were the PCs involved in the alleged rape of the prostitute or is APD just invading the privacy of the judge?

It sort of begs the question that if any minor or major criminal event occurs on your homes premises then your computer and everything on it is fair game.  This is B.S.  Not everyone collects child porn and you can be assured that is what the cops would like to find on anyone's computer whether there is probable cause or not.  But heck, maybe they will find an email that has intimate details of an affair or some out of control raging against a politico.  Is that then fodder for the media friends of the cops?

Some enterprising legislator should come up with some legislation protecting people's computer data unless there is solid evidence it contains information on crimes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wacked Out Kitty

I brought Hermes home from his surgery today. His buddy Ajax is watching over him. He seems pretty zonked on painkillers from a patch on his leg that will make him feel better for five days.  They gave me one of those radar domes to put on his neck if he starts messing with the stitches on his hip.  I hope he retains his generally great personality.  The bill was less than I thought it would be by a third.  That is good.  My hats off to the folks at the Veterinary Emergency and Specialists of Albuquerque.  The took good care of him.

National Conscience

Maybe the U.S. could take a cue from the Brits about forming a national conscience.  My old friend Dennis Jett, a retired Diplomat, wrote about it today.  I will reprint it here as I am busy preparing to bring home our most expensive cat ever from the hospital.  Hermes will convalesce for about six weeks.

"It has been observed for at least a century that England and America are two nations separated by a common language. Today there is another difference. England is interested in finding out how it came to participate in an unnecessary, illegal and immoral war. America is not.

Two years ago the British government set up the Chilcot Inquiry, a commission charged with investigating how that country became involved in the invasion of Iraq, what went wrong and how the response to a similar situation in the future could be more effective. After numerous public hearings, the Inquiry’s final report is being written and will be published in the next few months.

The conclusions of the draft report have already started to leak out and were covered extensively in British media last week. The story was not considered worth mentioning by American newspapers however.

According to the British press, the report concludes former Prime Minister Tony Blair is responsible for four main failings. He asserted it was beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when the intelligence supported no such conclusion. He claimed to have not made up his mind about the war when he had already secretly pledged to President Bush in the summer of 2002 that Britain would participate. He kept his cabinet ministers in the dark about his war plans. And he had no plans made to deal with the chaos that ensued after the fighting stopped.

Unlike Britain, in the United States there has been no serious effort to examine the war in depth.

Various Senate committees and special commissions put out reports five or six years ago, but they were set up to have a balance between Republican and Democratic politicians and given narrow mandates. The results were invariably weasel-worded conclusions that evaded the truth and provided little insight and no accountability. To the extent any blame was assessed, it was directed at unnamed bureaucrats. Instead of bearing any responsibility for the war and its aftermath, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Tenet rake in seven figure advances for their books and six figure fees for giving speeches to friendly audiences.

So why is there no interest in finding out what lessons can be learned from the Iraq experience, what went wrong and who is responsible? The four failures identified by the Chilcot committee apply even more to Bush since Blair was only acting as Bush’s poodle. Does America suffer from NADD—national attention deficit disorder? Or is there another reason.

The war was unnecessary because Saddam Hussein had no WMD. And he wasn’t going to get any because the UN inspectors were doing an effective job. The war was illegal, because, as the legal experts in the British Foreign Office concluded, it was against international law. Bush used violations of Security Council resolutions to justify invading Iraq. He never bothered to ask the UN for the authorization that would have legitimized the invasion, however, because he knew he could not get it.

And the war was immoral because, despite all the Pentagon’s high tech, precision weaponry, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians died. So many that Bush may well be responsible for killing more Iraqi civilians than Saddam Hussein ever did. General Tommy Franks, who directed the invasion and also profited from his own book deal after the war, once said, “we don’t do body counts.” Clearly an accurate estimate was not in the interests of the Bush administration, but why is there no attempt to find out now?

Even the admission of a potential crime, as Bush did in his book when he justified his authorization of waterboarding, merits no further investigation. Apparently in Washington, legality is defined as whatever a government lawyer tells his boss rather than determined in a court. The latter isn’t happening because the Justice Department is almost as much a misnomer under this administration as the last.

Britain lost 179 soldiers in Iraq. American losses are 25 times that and still counting. The number of Iraqis that died is estimated at anywhere between a hundred thousand and more than a million. Joseph Stalin once said: “One death is tragedy, one million is a statistic.” Today one death may be a tragedy, but hundreds of thousands are collateral damage.

Perhaps the lack of national introspection is because, in a democracy, the people don’t just elect their leaders. They share in the responsibility for the actions their government takes. So if crimes were committed and go unpunished, and not even investigated, all Americans are accomplices and the blood is on all our hands."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Irony Yet Again

It is ironic that former State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons is calling for his fellow member Jerome Block Jr. of the Public Regulatory Commission to resign after more allegations of corruption and misuse of state funds.  Remember that Junior's dad worked for Lyons during the heyday of sweet heart deals at the Land Office.  Well, what will Senior now have to say about the goings on at the Land Office during Lyons administration?  I can't wait to find out.

In the meantime it is time for the Legislature to start a constitutional amendment process to rid the state of this mostly useless elected Commission.  I predicted this mess back when this Commission was created and in fact the quality of many of the candidates elected speaks for itself.

Hermes the Cat

We had a big moral dilemma around here for the last day.  Our beloved cat Hermes didn't come home yesterday morning.  Late in the evening our neighbor called to say he was in their front yard and was injured.  Quick trip to the emergency clinic and it was diagnosed as a broken hip.  In cats this is easily remedied, but expensive.  Normally, I am pretty pragmatic about this kind of thing, but we have grown very attached to our gatos.  Would this money be better spent on charity?

I called our neighbor who found Hermes to give her an update and she said, "Hermes is a member of your family.  Of course you will spend the money!"   And that gave us the perspective we needed.  So Hermes is in surgery and will come home tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

View from Afar

This is a comment I received on my blog from yesterday.  I just thought it was worthy to show it here in the main body because I think it must be indicative of how expats and other nationalities must view this country right now.

"Jim, I am a former New Mexican now living in Canada, on the west coast, for many years. I read your blog daily, as well as many US news sites, and am stunned by what is going on. I simply do not understand the reluctance to pay higher taxes IN ORDER to get more services -- yet the willingness to (for example) pay exorbitant private medical premiums, or worse, do without medical care. Or safe infrastructure. Or necessary social and public services.

I was a teacher here, am retired now. I checked out the cost of moving to Las Cruces for retirement, and the cost of medical for me and my husband would be more than we pay in taxes as a whole per month.

What was sadder was when I looked into being a substitute teacher in NM: I could be a sub with only 60 college hours, and get $54.00/day! How is that a living wage? And what quality of instruction do students get for that? No wonder science, math and English scores are tanking in the US!

I will not even get into an argument about Canadian vs US medical care -- suffice it to say that the idyllic island I live on has almost a third of it populated with recent US emigres, glad to avail themselves of our system. What I really want to ask is what has happened to folks in the US so that they feel they should get something, if not everything, for themselves, (let alone caring about the other guy) for nothing? It was never like this before; never this mean, nor this irrational.

What is also really sad is that the rest of the world looks on America as childish, even bizarre, and Americans don't give a damn. That insularity simply reinforces the extreme and self-destructive behaviors.

I miss fry bread and carne adovada, (unless I make my own), I miss luminarias and the comfort of adobe on the eyes, I miss Jackalope, green chile cheeseburgers in Socorro, and the smell of pinon in the fall. But I don't mind missing out on the craziness, and I wish it simply weren't there. And I wonder why so many folks in the US put up with it."

Monday, August 08, 2011


I have unilaterally decided that the Tea Party Republicans are guilty of treason.  Yes, treason.  They are undermining the United States of America by holding hostage a sane approach to deficit reduction.  They let the poor loose what little they have left and they continue to make richer the rich by keeping their taxes low.  When people no longer have enough to get by, then they have nothing to lose.  Maybe we saw an inkling of that in the London rioting over the weekend.  The beginnings of a class war?

Seriously though, how much longer will the American poor remain good natured about this?  Anyone who lived through the 60's should know it doesn't take much to set off rioting in the streets and worse.  I imagine once things really get out of hand that the bankers and Wall Street VIPs will be targeted.  I wouldn't travel to work in any limos for a while if I were them.

I am not poor nor rich.  Just one of those in the middle class who sees their retirement funds in jeopardy. I wonder what happens when these hard working Americans get really pissed off too.  This is actually a pivotal time in the history of this nation.  Will we let lunatics run this country via talk radio and Fox news, or will we tell the rich they no longer get what ever they want?

We need to get our financial future back in order.  That includes both spending reductions and higher taxes.  If we do both we have a fighting chance.


I was thinking a lot this weekend about the Standard and Poor downgrade of America's economy.  These were the same people who continually rated American investment banks and derivative markets as AAA.  Right up until the financial meltdown.  Paul Krugman put all of this into focus and I urge you to read his New York Times Column today.

I think he is right in his assertion that this country is being controlled by extremists right now.  If the American public rewards the GOP in anyway at the polls next year then we are surely lost.  We will have lost our national rationality.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


I watched a documentary the other night in which foreign nationals who lived in Germany prior to World War II were interviewed.  They almost all agreed that the people of Germany had gone insane.  I can certainly understand that.  I wonder if many in this country and the international community now wonder if Americans are going insane.

I say this because I have been observing this Texas Governor Perry overtly using religion as a springboard to the White House.  He got only a half sold out crowd in the stadium he rented for his rally today.  Some of the faithful stayed away from the 100+ degree weather, but prayer was big on the agenda.  They prayed for the non believers.  They prayed for our servicemen, (just as 30 more Americans died in Afghanistan), and they prayed for a 2000 year old deceased carpenter to guide our national leaders.

We have not only now seen a downgrade in our national bond rating, but maybe in our national rationality too.

Friday, August 05, 2011

August in New Mexico

I went out for an early game of golf today.  On the way home this cloud buildup presented it self over the Jemez Mountains.  It was incredibly beautiful up against blue skies.  The awful weather we had this spring is forgotten as we enter the best time of year to live in the Land of Enchantment.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Life in Hell

I know some folks that went to work for the Obama administration.  One of them, former County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta has now applied for the Bernalillo County Manager job back here on the Rio Grande.  It speaks volumes for how life must be for Obama appointees in the nation's capitol.

They went in with the expectations that things would really be changing on the Washington scene. Much like I did in 1993 when I went to serve in the first Clinton administration as Director of the Bureau of Land Management.  Of course, it all came down to one thing in those jobs.  That was, "don't make waves that will upset the reelection boat."  I wasn't a babe in the woods back then.  I expected Clinton would do something like that.  But to see Obama do it after his inspiring campaign really suckered me.

I know some of the the Obama appointees right now feel like they are living in hell. Others just care about 'being there'.  Some just feel committed to staying on for the full term.  At the rate things are going the majority of Obama's appointees will look back at the first term as a very disappointing time in their lives.  But, my hats are off to them for giving it their best efforts and getting no support and no thanks from the from the folks who asked them to come for "Change We Can Believe In."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Oil and Gas Subsidies

New Mexico forks over $285,000 a day in subsidies to the Oil and Gas Industry.  Does our Governor know that?  The profits this year for those boys, yes profits, will be $76 billion, yes billions.  And don't forget those CEO's and major shareholders will pay very little taxes.  It is enough to make one go mad.  If you really want to go completely insane then read this report from the Taxpayers for Common Sense.  And then get on the phone and call our oilman/congressman Steve Pearce and tell him what you think.

I know he thinks the budget needs cutting.  He could chime in and get this done.  Or, we could just close off the federal spigot to his district completely.  Three military bases, White Sands, Canon and Holloman, could be combined or eliminated.  Maybe he could sponsor a bill to cut off medicaid and medicare to his constituents since they vote for him and he represents their wishes.  That would help him realize some savings.

Life is too short.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I am not usually at a loss for words.  But I find it difficult to express my rage when it comes to how the rich and corporate America are so severely screwing our people.  The rich will pay no increased taxes.  They own the Congress and Senate and get what ever they want on the federal level.  The US Supreme Court has turned over government control to corporate America by allowing unlimited corporate spending to push their own candidates and policies.  In New Mexico our Governor is now doing the bidding or the oil and gas industry by weakening our clean air and water regulations.  How does that help us?

Our democratic elected officials, with the exception of Ben Ray Lujan, vote to pass a bill that helps only the rich.  They argue they had to to prevent another recession.  What bull shit.  One friend tells me that he thinks no incumbent official will be reelected.  I agree.  I might even include President Obama in that crowd.  He has turned into a non entity or a 'tool' at best.  He has been had by lunatic fringe called the Tea Party who seem to be anarchists.

New Mexico will find out just how bad the passage of this 'compromise' will be soon.  We have always depended on federal funds and now they will be drastically cut.  I  have no doubt we will lose a military base.  We will lose funding for the state's federal workforce.  Our eminent National Labs will take a hit.  Our renewable energy industry will be devastated while oil and gas still gets subsidies.  And still most of  us pay more taxes that multi millionaires.

We hear about the 'Arab Street' in the middle east.  Soon, we need to prepare for an 'American Street' in our country and all the anguish and chaos it will bring.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Once again the rich get away with murder.  No repeal of the bush tax cut for the rich in the debt ceiling deal announced last night.  There should be rioting in the streets by the middle and lower class.  The budget cuts will not hurt the rich, only the middle class and the poor.  Not exactly a shared pain philosophy.  It is outrageous and hard to stomach.  But the people just sit around like dumb cows and accept it.

Hector Balderas, NM Dem candidate for Senate. was asked on TV the other night what he thought of the budget impasse in DC.  His answer was indicative of how he might act if elected.  Instead of saying something insightful he said, "Senators and Congressman should not get paychecks until things are fixed."   This is just sound bite drivel and shows no real grasp of the issue.  I know he is probably smarter than this, but the spin doctors will run his life it appears.  He should fire who ever advised him to say that.

A friend called me last night and said that the Republicans and Democrats would have a joint dinner tonight to celebrate the deal on the budget.  The GOP will be served baloney and the Dems will be served chicken.

This whole thing with former Albuquerque Public Safety Chief Darren White will grow a life of its own.  Everyone should not waste time on it now that he  has packed his bags.  There are many other things the City Council and Mayor need to be working on.  The bottom line is that White's wife should have been tested for DUI or drugs on that traffic stop.  Period.

I had to take Hermes and Ajax the Cats to the vet this morning for their shots.  They are a little miffed at me.  They are both in good shape although Hermes the chow hound may need to go on low calorie food soon.  He is bumping up against the weight limit for him.  Two hundred bucks later and I walk out the door.  They are worth it though.  They bring us body parts from their hunting expeditions every single night.  In the morning I have to do corpse control through out the house.  Mostly giant moths but also half eaten tomato worms.  Bleahh.