Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bad News for Print Journalists

This can't be good news for newspapers.  And their employees who are doing more for less.  If the publishers can't think of a way to garner more online advertising then newspapers as we know them will end.  Could we see them change to fewer issues a week?  Or do they go out of business altogether?  I wonder.  As much as I love the New York Times delivered every day, I just refuse to accept more price hikes. Right now it is $61 a month.  And I have a bill for  subscription to the Journal sitting on my desk for over $97.50 for six months.  What to do?

Bt then I think of the money I send to Comcast for Cable TV, Internet and Phone and those print subscription amounts don't seem so bad.  One benefit we get from Comcast is double duty as a cat warmer.

Friday, December 28, 2012


It is the law that in New Mexico you are not allowed to know who carries concealed weapons.  A nice reporter at the Journal sent me the following.

This is 29-19-6(B) of Concealed Handgun Carry Act:

Information relating to an applicant or to a licensee received by the 
department or any other law enforcement agency is confidential and 
exempt from public disclosure unless an order to disclose information is 
issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.  The information shall be 
made available by the department to a state or local law enforcement 
agency upon request by the agency.

I wonder if some competent Judge might take on a case making this clause unconstitutional?  Perhaps some good socially minded lawyer could do this pro bono.  It certainly would be in the public interest to have the ability to go online and see who is allowed to carry concealed weapons.  It is always helpful to know if someone is paranoid and armed.

The Journal ran an informative oped this morning lambasting this country's poor internet service which has been enabled by a corrupt congress and business community.  Think Comcast here.  They are an evil worthless empire and are putting profits first and service levels second.  Here is a long story by Bloomberg on our dismal internet in America.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will resign her position.  She has been a strong Cabinet Secretary for Obama.  His challenge is now one of finding a replacement that will challenge him right back into moving on climate change issues.  Obama has a million things to do but if he doesn't get serious about this one planet killing problem then the other issues are meaningless.

I would love to see a westerner in the position.  Someone who understands our unique problems around watersheds, landscapes and natural resource extraction.  Some one like Ron Curry, who was recently appointed as EPA's Region Six administrator.  Ron was one of the best Environment Secretaries that New Mexico ever had.

I got a note from a long lost journalist colleague who recently returned to New Mexico.  I can't identify him but he seemed to agree on my characterization of our news media in the state.

He wrote, "I couldn't agree with you more. Since moving back to NM (Albuquerque) last year, I've been stunned at the steep decline in media quality. We may not have been great in my days as a reporter here - in the '70s and early '80s - but I don't believe we were this shallow, tendentious and lazy. There's doesn't seem to be any question that the low level of journalism is eroding the quality of political debate and governing."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A New York Newspaper has listed the names and addresses of all concealed weapon permittees in its area of service.  This is a gutsy thing to do and somewhat in line with what I had suggested a couple of weeks ago.  The permittees are angry but I think it is a deterrent to 'bad guys' from messing with them.  They disagree and say more break ins to steal their guns will occur.  I doubt it.  Generally speaking these are very frightened and neurotic folks and you don't want to be bothering them.

It does bring up the question if such a list of permittees is public information in New Mexico.  We all know the Governor loves being recognized as a gun toting shill for the NRA, but do we all have a right  to know who else is?  Interesting question.  Will anyone in the media ask the question?  Can they pull themselves away from seeking out police dash cam videos long enough to ask?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Xmas Eve

The kids roasted marshmallows in the back yard last night.  The ones without jackets are from northern Montana.

Lots of posole, tamales and veggies.  We couldn't keep the luminarias lit in the wind.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

The kitten Casper is looking forward to Christmas Eve.  His excitement is kindled by the thought of jumping into every luminaria bag during assembly.  He is shown here on Bobbi's lap after she fell asleep when we returned home from a tamale making party.

Down memory lane now.  I am 8 years old, a third grader at Our Lady of Fatima Heights Catholic School.  I am slated to serve as altar boy at the midnight mass.  I have a fever of 101 degrees from the flu or something.  I am forbidden to attend Mass.  Secretly, I am thrilled because earlier in the evening we were all allowed to open one present.  After a year of begging I received my dream gift.  A Marlin .22 caliber bolt action single shot rifle.  While everyone was a mass I sat there and dry fired that sucker for two hours.  I was so sick and so happy at the same time.
I attended firearm safety school in the basement of the Coronado Club at Sandia Base.  It was an NRA school in the days of that organization's emphasis on gun safety.  I was a member of the NRA and got their magazine for  young kids.  I always enjoyed it.

I kept that rifle for years.  It was my first gun and I have had numerous others since then.  But that little rifle that I shot .22 shorts out of was the best ever.  There wasn't an empty beer can or bottle that littered the foothills of the Sandias that survived.

I did not have any assault rifles and have never figured out why anyone needs one other than our military members.  But hey, things just went haywire with the NRA.

Have a great Holiday!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Sword

I had this weird feeling this morning while watching the NRA's CEO Wayne La Pierre on Meet the Press that the old adage, "live by the sword, die by the sword" has some relevance.  This guy and his group are really nuts.  It would be interesting to see how many members they might lose over this posturing.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Where are our cowardly NM Mayors?  As Rodger Beimer pointed out in his blog today many Mayors here have stood silent on the massacre and assault rifles.  Mayor Richard Berry of Albuquerque, Mayor Tom Swisstack of Rio Rancho, Mayor Larry Abraham of Los Ranchos have stood silent.  Look for your Mayor in this list of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA Melted

Really?  The NRA solution is to put more guns in kindergartens?  They now have proven they are mentally incompetent and of limited mental capacity and should not be allowed near guns.  Just like religious fanatics.

However, I am now convinced that the theory of alternate universes is true.  The NRA leaked into our reality from the alternate universe of crazy.

People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization. 
Agnes Repplier 

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I am making good progress on my knee replacement therapy.  I am now walking with out a cane or walker.

As I was driving out to my session this morning I saw a neighbor friend walking his dog.  He had a hip replaced about ten years ago.  He is doing great.  After my session I went over to Presbyterian Hospital to see my friend Brian Sanderoff. He got a new hip yesterday.  As I was walking in I met up with Rep. Mimi Stewart who stated she had two hips replaced.  She went in with me to tell Brian about it.  She was there to visit her close friend who was in the room next to Brian.  He had a total knee replacement yesterday.  So, I went in to tell him what to expect in the next few weeks.  And as I was writing this post I got an email from a good friend in Colorado who said he is now scheduled for a new knee in February.

Virtually every person I spoke with today, so far, has some new body parts.  I can't imagine not having this technology available.  I remember my maternal grandmother having bad hips.  She was crippled for a major part of her 90 years.  If she were alive today she would be active and have a good quality of life.  Our generation is lucky in that we can live pretty well with our implants.

The next religious fanatic that says the massacre of innocents occurred because we don't let god in our lives should be declared insane and kept away from guns.

I am reading a book, "Why does the World Exist?" by Jim Holt.  Deep and interesting stuff.  The basic question is 'Why is there something instead of nothing?'  He catalogs the many learned thinkers past and present who have tackled this question.  He quotes Schopenhauer who wrote, "The lower a man is in an intellectual respect, the less puzzling and mysterious existence itself is to him."  That is the refuge of religious fanatics I think.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NRA and Manufacturer Registry

The NRA minions emerged from their slimy hole yesterday to give condolences.  None of these people are being forced to face any responsibility.  They are getting off scott free with profits from murder. If the media doesn't dog them to the end of their days then they are not worth a damn.  Perhaps it will be up to the internet bloggers to set up a registry on where these people live.  Kind of like a sex offender registry.  We have to keep our kids away from them.

They said they will announce on Friday how they will help make sure this latest massacre of innocents will never happen again.

Watch for tricks here.  If they concentrate on just talking about high capacity magazines then it is a phony solution.  If they promise to arm and train teachers to shoot shooters then it is absurd.  See this report.  

They can do nothing less than call for a ban on sales of all assault rifles.  The destruction of all existing such weapons.  And the Board and Executive staff of the NRA must all resign their high paid positions and publicly gather to apologize for their complicity in the murder of these children.

The media needs to identify all of these folks.  And the CEO and Board of the Cerberus holding company that owned the Bushmaster weapons manufacturer must not sell the company but dismantle it forever.  And then they all must resign their positions.

They are scum of the earth.

Worth Funding

I sent some dollars to this effort.  This documentary will be done by a good friend of mine, Ned Judge, and it will be great.  Please help with this innovative way of financing something that Big Pharma would not want you to see.  Especially watch the video.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Opportunity

Soon we will be inundated with Mayoral candidates.  This gives us an opportunity to bring up an issue in a meaningful way for once, and that is what each candidate will do in regards to control and/or eradication of assault rifles in our midst.  And they cant just cop out about talking about ammunition magazines.  I mean the whole package needs to be debated.

And, our New Mexico Supreme Court needs to revisit gun control questions.  Those elected judges always cower before the NRA as they did when they struck down my efforts as Mayor to keep concealed weapons out of Albuquerque.  They acted like a bunch of sissies and just blew us off.

And then there is our legislature.  How many of them are willing to work on these issues and reform the concealed carry laws in this state?  Do we need them?  They certainly have never stopped a mass killing have they?  No, they are just there for a bunch of neurotics who want to feel more powerful.

Now is the time to strike on these gun issues.  The NRA is cowering in the corner.  They even took down their Facebook page.   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Savage Nation

I have tried not to watch the news too much since the slaughter of school kids on Friday.  It is just to hard to bear.

And then last night the Caliber's Shooting Range and gun store ran a commercial on TV with some loopy guy day dreaming about getting an assault rifle.  Can you believe it?  What kind of proprietor would put that on TV?

Thirty one pro gun lobby Senators refused to appear on Sunday News Shows in the wake of the massacre of school children.  I want their names.

 I haven't heard a word from the NRA.  Their chief  Wayne La Pierre needs justice visited upon him soon.  Post his home address and see if he feels comfortable living there.  Most school children's parents won't feel comfortable Monday morning sending the little ones off to school, not as long as La Pierre's organization keeps reform at bay.

And how about the firearm manufacturers who profit from assault rifle sales.  Let's find the CEO of the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used to kill the innocents. He must face the dead children's parents and explain his actions.

And the next pol who gets on TV and says this is the greatest nation in the world needs to have his career ended asap for being a psychotic liar.  We will never be the greatest nation until sane gun control laws are passed.  All assault rifles should be turned in under penalty of five years in a federal prison for non compliance.  All sales must end immediately.  This would be  something that would make us look sane and set a tone for the proper sale of sporting arms and screening of firearm buyers.  I say all of this as an owner of guns.

This is a good read about the greatest nations on the planet.  We are not one of them.

Friday, December 14, 2012


The right wing wacko anti public land forces are making a run at trying to appropriate all federal public lands in New Mexico into ownership by the state.  State Representative Yvette Herrell from the oil patch is behind the effort.  This is the same lunacy that is being practiced on behalf of the fossil fuel and livestock industry in other states.  It is grand theft of the public domain.

Maybe Representative Herrell should read the New Mexico Constitution.  It is right there in the Enabling Act.


Act June
20, 1910, c. 310, 36 U.S.Stat. 557, 568— 579

Sections 1 to 18, inclusive of the Act of June 20, 1910, enabled the people of Territory of New Mexico to form a constitution and state government.

Second. That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof and to all lands lying within said boundaries owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, …

One can only wonder at the ignorance of some of our elected officials.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This is then NM Attorney General Jeff Bingaman and me testifying to reform New Mexico's corrupt Liquor laws back in 1980.  We were successful although the system has broken down again.  At least we still have the beer and wine licenses for the small eateries around the state.

Now, Senator Jeff Bingaman leaves the Senate in a few weeks.  Last night I saw him on the Colbert show.  He did his best to be funny and non controversial.  I think his agreeing to be on the show will cause the Universe to shift somehow.

We will miss his quiet leadership in the Senate.  Although he sometimes didn't move fast enough on some issues for many of us, he was an excellent Senator whose intellect and demeanor others should emulate.

His leaving the Chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be a loss for the west.  However, Senator Martin Heinrich will surely fill his shoes at some point as his seniority builds on that committee.  No one is more qualified to sit on that committee that holds sway over all public land issues in this nation.  And Heinrich understands these issues completely.  I think he will always come down on the side of conservation and protection of our landscapes and watersheds.  He certainly doesn't owe the fossil fuel boys a thing.  He will be fair but he won't be rolled over by those polluters.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Watching the news last night about a thief committing suicide in a car I got to wondering why there were more than 30 police officers there standing around doing nothing.  Well, they were collecting overtime.  It looked to me that half the officers were in army fatigues as if there were a war ready to start.  Even though the guy was dead, dead, dead.

This happens all the time.  It would be interesting to see what the overtime bill is for incidents like this.  When I was Mayor there were officers who were making well over $100K a year because they were so good at milking the system.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

War Against Workers

Another state, Michigan, has passed the so called "Right to Work"  law.  It is really a law aimed at the right to work for next too nothing.  It means to destroy organized labor.  I watched efforts for years when I worked for Governor Bruce King to pass this law in New Mexico.  He always fought it as did the democrats in the Legislature.

Now the New Mexico Restaurant Association wants to have the city council unilaterally change the intent of the new minimum wage law passed in Albuquerque.  Eatery employees make less than anyone before tips and this Association doesn't want to see any changes.  And they are telling the voters to "Go Frak Yourself" (thanks to Battlestar Galactica for the new verb).  I am willing to pay an extra buck at meal time to help cover this hike.  I think most people feel that way too or they would not have voted for this.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

GOP, Cows, Fossil Fuels

The Nation's Secretary of Agriculture told representatives of rural America that they are losing relevance because they are not being smart about their political fights.  I would second that big time.  They just aren't keeping up with the times even as their numbers decrease and urban America rules.  The rubes are no longer in charge.

And then I see where the New Mexico GOP once again elects its leaders from the rural areas of the state.  It is not that those folks are evil or dumb, because they mostly are not.  It is because the republicans keep ignoring the growing and vibrant power bases.  The new GOP chair is from Lincoln County.  Down near the oil patch where fossil fuel and livestock are the main economic drivers.  If one looks at the demographics it is easy to say that if an area is rich in public land and resources then the GOP is strong.  Whether it be grazing permits or oil and gas leases the resource extractors are there and are very conservative.  The problem for them is that their numbers are small and their philosophy of, "give us your land, give us your subsidies, and leave us alone" will take care of them in the end.

That is not necessarily a good thing since a decent two party system is generally a positive.  But the GOP itself is rendering that notion antiquated as they destroy their own party from the inside.

Friday, December 07, 2012


The Radio station DJ's who pulled the stunt on the Royal Family are taking a lot of heat now that a nurse has killed herself.  She was duped by the DJs into believing the Queen wanted to talk to the pregnant Kate.  But every single news director and news editor who made a big deal out of it are just as  guilty of driving this poor nurse over the edge. They are all criticizing the radio jocks when they should be pointing the finger at themselves.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


The Journal took on the Federal Probation Officers who went to see that great movie Lincoln.  The Feds did it as part of a leadership and training course.  Good for them.  Every reporter and editor and the Journal should go see this movie too so they can understand how politics in the real world works.  Sometimes Journalists are incredibly naive on how things get done.  When I was a reporter I certainly was ignorant of the finer points of compromise and coercion required in making progress.  So often Journalists see it as all evil, when it isn't.  As for doing a front page story on the Officers going to see this flick, certainly there are better things to do.

While I have been recovering from my knee surgery both Bobbi and I have been mourning the loss of our cat Hermes.  He was my most favorite kitty ever.  He disappeared a few days before Halloween when he never came home.  I kept hoping he would come back from his sabbatical, but he didn't.

So Bobbi went and adopted a new kitten at the shelter this weekend.  Our other cat Ajax was acting lonely in our minds.  We have named the new guy Casper. He looks a lot like Hermes.  Maybe even his ghost.  Although, now that we have him I halfway expect a bedraggled Hermes to show up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Governor Martinez and Mayor Berry sit in the shadows chuckling that we have such a lame news media.  The state and city economies are mired in a swamp.  That is reported by the media.  But they never seem to go get comments from these two political leaders about what they are doing to help us get unstuck.  If anything.  Last night I watched the police blotter news on Channel 13.  Cops and robbers all the way.  A reporter interviewed the Governor on some inane story.  She didn't even throw in a question about the economy.  Maybe the Governor only does these interviews with the understanding that no tough questions are allowed.  Well, maybe there would be no opportunity to air the answers anyway because 911 tapes and dash cam cop videos demand too much time.

And the Governor and Mayor just love that.  They have gleefully urged their cop shops to offer all the crime video they can get to the media.  Those news directors and editors.....they are so easy.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Presto-Change-O at the Journal?

Did I miss something?  Or was a Sunday Albuquerque Journal article the first public indication that long time publisher of the paper Tom Lang has been shown the door and replaced by his brother Bill Lang who has the title President and CEO?  The story announcing cooperation between the Journal and the Rio Rancho Observer had a quote from Bill Lang about the new arrangement.  Tom Lang's name is still on the masthead as publisher, but is he?

Rumor has it that the Journal staff was given some sort of statement about the changes.  A million questions arise.  Will the Journal take on less of a right wing stance on the editorial pages?  Will editor Kent Walz be given a different kind of supervision?  Will the new leadership be able to save the Journal as a major daily news paper?  This is all historic for this newspaper which has seen so much bleeding of staff and revenues in the last decade.  It is a great opportunity for it to remake it self into a publication for all of New Mexico, not just the right wing.  The problem has been the editorial stands leak into the news coverage.

Bill Lang is seen as a good business man and not an ideologue.

Maybe it is a new day!

Friday, November 30, 2012


I got out of the house in the early evening to meet Bobbi at the movie.  We saw Lincoln.  Possibly the best political movie ever made.  Every high school in the nation should mandate showing this production to all of its students.  Some students will get nothing from it.  Some will learn the art of politics.  I highly recommend this realistic look at Lincoln. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The real issues facing our state are continually being submerged by the Governor, Mayor of Albuquerque and the media.  A case in point is a much unnoticed snippet from Forbes magazine that Albuquerque is one of the worst places in the country for future job creation.  How can that go virtually unreported?  How can our government hating Governor and her wacko rightwing mascots ignore this? Maybe she should stop hating the feds and welcome their high paying jobs here.

Additionally, Mayor Berry will be all consumed by the U.S. Justice Department probe of APD.  Where will his economic development team get their leadership?

And then there is the private sector.  What the hell is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Forum doing to attract new jobs into our city and state?  Is there any activity at all?  Are they just protecting the status quo?  They are virtually invisible at a time they should be on the road working to attract new industry.  Just starting another house building boom is not going to be the solution.  One might think they are just interested in doing business with each other.  A private club so to speak.  Well, if the federal jobs leave they will be the first to feel it.

I am feeling a great lack of leadership in this state.  It will be evident that the laziness now will really be felt in the next few years.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The Mayor has his hands full.  This formal investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department by the U.S. Justice Department will consume his administration for a long time to come.  All the way to election time next year.  Sometimes, life isn't fair but he has been in a position to do something about this out of control department for three years, but he has stuck by his Chief.

Bad training and Marty Chavez's pledge to hire 200 additional officers led up to this.  Some of those new officers probably should not have been hired.  Bad quality training and bad candidates to fill a quota has come home to roost.  But, Mayor Berry could have changed Chiefs when the problems continued to grow and he could have brought in fresh blood.  He didn't.

This is a common thing among politicos.  Many of them stick by their appointees out of loyalty and friendship when they really should not.  I know as an elected official I did the same thing.  It always comes back to bite, just like when you do fire someone.

So, this whole thing will play out to an uncertain end.  We could see a new Mayor or city councillors as a result.  Or no one will pay attention.

More Misc

The Martinez administration is asking for more money for the State Investment Office and saying that the increase in value of the permanent funds they manage shows they deserve it.  The Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board signed on to the idea.  But what the Journal has not done is an honest look at the history of the funds and how they go up and down with the economy.  The Richardson Administration showed six years of great returns before the bottom fell out of the economy.  Richardson was blamed for the bad performance of the funds after the recession hit.  But he was never given credit for the great growth in the prior years.  I wonder if the Journal could scratch around to find a journalist to look at the long range performance.  Fat Chance.

The massing of consumers at malls and big box stores on Thanksgiving reminded me that mobs can be formed and set to a task at any time.  Think of the rush to war in Iraq under the Bush Administration.  It worked about the same.  There is really nothing wrong with shopping but it shows the power of the media to influence behavior.  Be the first to shop for Christmas because others will, was the message.  Kind of like saying WMDs in Iraq might be real.

Governor Martinez is trying to reform her image as a caring immigrant friendly person.  Will anyone show her record on this issue?  Certainly nothing from news media.  Can someone ask her why she changed her mind?  And not take a B.S. spin for an answer.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I have been watching a lot of TV Talk Shows on MSNBC and other channels while I recuperate from my first knee replacement. (Progress is good)  One thing that I keep hearing is that GOP candidates lost because of 'bad branding'.  If that term doesn't make  you think that corporate America is running things then I don't know what could convince you.  Just say bad politics, not bad branding.  Because that is what the GOP is guilty of in this last election.

Heather Wilson said she will ride into the sunset and not run for office again.  In some respects she was a victim of that bad politics and incompetence of the GOP.  I never liked her politics but, as in the case of the Governor, I didn't think deep down she was one of the real wackos.  Like the Governor she just gave herself over to the crazies in her party in order to be elected.  Now, the Governor better start looking over her shoulder too.  She better dump her political advisers and quick.  She better get into the mainstream on the treatment of immigrants as she now looks pretty hateful for her advisers push to demonize those who wanted drivers licenses.

And now it is time for the State Democratic Party to start working on that next election.  Somewhere out there is the person that could conceivably beat Martinez.  Isn't there?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Have a great Thanksgiving!  Best Holiday of the Year in my opinion.  Our daughter Noelle and her husband Luke will drive down from Ft. Collins.  We will have our regular crew over for feast.  None of them are dumb enough to give that up for a trip to Walmart.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The "Dust Bowl" Documentary on PBS was worth watching.  Lots of messages there, but mainly one that humans caused it by destructive farming techniques.  They kept themselves in denial for a long time but finally owned up to the responsibility.  I wonder if the fossil fuel boys could ever do that.  One timely segment in the series was the plague of jack rabbits that destroyed everything that was green in the dust bowl because of the eradication of coyotes. Maybe these 'macho' coyote hunters might think about that a little before killing for joy again.

John Fleck had a good and scary article on our drought in the Journal today.  I can actually remember those dust storms we had here in the 1950s that were caused by the drought.  And now they are saying the current one we are experiencing when added to climate change will be the worst in recorded history.

I also remember back in the 50's when our family doctor would visit our home when some one was ill.  Well, my surgeon who lives nearby came over on Sunday evening on his bicycle so he could check out my new knee.  I was supposed to see him in a couple of weeks but he will be gone all of December getting his own hip surgery.  He called before hand to see if he could bring us the last of his tomatoes from his garden.  What a great guy.  Worthy of a Rockwell painting.  He said I was progressing well.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dog Wags

I am ever astonished at the national media.  They keep talking about Governor Susanna Martinez as being one of the possible saviors of the GOP.  (only because she is a Latino I guess.) Have any of them checked out her performance as Governor of our State?  Let's see.  She has no legislative program.  No policy initiatives, except for hassling immigrants which the GOP is now deciding is not a good idea.  Everyone of her judicial appointments were rejected by the voters.  She has done little in the way of attracting jobs to our state.

So, how exactly is she a savior?  Maybe the New York Times and Washington Post could send some one in to do a real analysis about her accomplishments in the last two years.   Yes, she is still popular like Albuquerque's Mayor Berry.  But really neither of them have advanced our state or showed any vision for a better future.  And with their terms in office passing rapidly they can no longer blame their predecessors for their problems.

Friday, November 16, 2012


It is so great to have good friends.  I had many visitors to the house this week bearing muffins and coffee and good conversation.  It really breaks up the morning.  And I have to say that my therapist, Stephen, is a real professional.  He is a naturalized citizen who came to America many years ago from the Philippines.  These therapists seem to have a natural way of demanding more than you think you can give while all the time telling you that your progress is great.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Is John McCain getting senile?  Just asking.

Is Mitt Romney confirming his disdain for the 47% by saying whole demographic categories have received gifts from Obama?  You betcha!

Will we be run over by rodents after a wholesale slaughter of coyotes?  This isn't about hunters rights, what ever those might be.  It is about eco systems.  I used to hunt a lot and enjoyed the out doors.  It wasn't about wholesale killing.

Will Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar be slowly eased out of his job for threatening a reporter?  He acted on impulse because he was put into a hard spot by an unexpected or allowed question about wild horses.  If he does go then maybe the White House could choose a replacement that is more conservationist than cowboy.

I am steadily improving my flexibility and mobility after knee surgery.  It has been a tough two weeks but I am improving.  Woo Hoo.   I will have to do this all over again though for the other knee.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day O!ff

Lots of therapy today.  Daytime TV is nothing but biblical based history and UFO theories interrupted by commercials for catheters, pills, and walk in baths.  Ahhhhhh. The horror.....the horror!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kool Aid for the Mayor

The GOP is ready to serve up some Kool Aid for Mayor Richard Berry.  Just days after the voters approved by a margin of two to one a higher minimum wage, the GOP City Councillors want to overturn the election with a simple majority council vote.  I can't think of a better way of making Berry a one term mayor than saying to the voters, "Screw you!"  Right now, his popularity is high and reelection looks good for him a year from now.  He has been non visionary and uncontroversial.  In other words he has made few enemies even after his problematical police department's numerous shootings and misconduct issues.

It now looks like there is a possibility that Albuquerque might turn to a run off election system.  That would be a good thing.  But even if it doesn't the Mayor will face a new paradigm in the democrats ability to turn out the vote.  If he helps undo a pay raise for our city's neediest that machine will turn on him.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Happens in the West Now?

Last week's reelection of Obama will be looked upon as historic for many reasons.  Healthcare for all Americans is here to stay.  The GOP's complete lack of connection with reality is chronicled.  The right wing wackos in this country may not recover for decades as they are literally dying off along with their racist and homophobic views.  All of this and more is a good thing for this nation.

One more item could be added to this list.  And that is the enlightenment of the White House on western issues revolving around natural resources extraction, watershed protection, landscape preservation and nurturing of wildlife.  So far these issues have been practically ignored by the President, as evidenced by his abandonment of climate issues during his first four years.  Now, the President has taken everything the coal and oil boys could throw at him and he still won another four years.  Now, he can decide they can be added to the ranks of being just one more interest group, instead of the only important interest group.

We will be sending Martin Heinrich to the Senate soon.  He is the embodiment of responsible western land use policy.  And the president needs to listen to inspired young people like him instead of Shell Oil and their ilk.  Maybe Martin could even request the President add some one to his upper White House staff that understands these issues.  It would be a good start.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

If I Think It, It is True

After reading this you will rejoice that the Romney Clown Posse won't be making decisions on foreign policy and economic policy.

And I went in for my followup visit for knee surgery.  Here is what the x-ray looked like.  I will be setting off those airport security scanners.


I keep hearing, both on the national and state scene, that the massive amounts of money spent by special interest pacs made no difference in this election.  But if you think about  it there was huge change coming out of this ocean of spending by the right wing.  They had no impact.  Usually, they do push and bully their way around with dollars.  But the spending was so outrageous that the American voter caught on to the game and decided to ignore the hateful politics that came out of this.

I wonder if Governor Martinez will learn anything here.  She is not immune and her failure to change the legislature from blue to red will now make her look ineffectual.  On election night she was reduced to handing out free pizza at long voter lines in Rio Rancho.  She looked marginalized and silly.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Like Elsie the Cow, I am so content this morning.  My knee feels better. Obama has four more years.  Big Oil and Coal look weakened.  Heinrich and Grisham go to DC to represent the state.  The minimum wage goes up in Albuquerque.  Colorado turned blue helping New Mexico in a sea of red.  And the Governor slaps her self in the face by taking out one of the most conservative Democratic Senators in the state.

Her expenditure of vast sums defeated Tim Jennings in Roswell.  He was her only avenue in maintaining a shaky coalition that could help her programs.(once she gets some).  And, she did not defeat Senator Michael Sanchez.  Sanchez will now make her life miserable which is to be expected.

All in all on the national scene things remain the same.  Obama is President.  The Senate is blue.  The House is red.  What happens now can only threaten the existence of the GOP if they are not careful.  Their craziness must now stop or they will be completely marginalized.  That would not be a good thing.  We need to have that party return to moderate stands so we can have some solutions to our pressing issues.

Last night my sister Carlota called from Turkey.  She is on tour and was staying in a farm house and the farmer ran in to say Obama was the winner.  He was happy.  Four years ago my sister called from Bhutan.  She was visiting a monastery when a monk came in with his thumbs up to say Obama had won.  He had an Obama button on his robe and was happy.  The world sighed with relief last night.  We did not return to the 50s.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Happy Joy

What a great day for reason we have witnessed.  Joyful for this household.  And Senator Martin Heinrich, a believer in science based decision making, will take up his post soon.

My Day

Today will consist of therapy, ice packs, pain, and election angst.  This will be edgy in every respect.  My money is still on Obama with at least an Electoral College win.  

Monday, November 05, 2012


This knee therapy reminds me of the presidential campaign.  Every day you do it as instructed it seems that the stress of the stretching actually makes you less flexible.  It gets harder, just like Obama's campaign.  Friday I could flex the knee 90 degrees.  Yesterday it had gone down to 81 degrees.  But, I am told this is normal and that one day I will get up and it will be in good shape.  Just like Obama on Wednesday morning.  The difference between us is that he did self surgery on himself in the form of that first debate.

 I am still putting all my bets on Obama.  Those electoral votes look heavily skewed for him in the tossup states.  I shudder to think of the new challenges awaiting either candidate after election time.  Obama will still govern with a beating heart.  Romney will govern with a tax rate.

I hope this post makes sense.  I just took a pain pill.  WooHoo!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Pain Killers

I have never had to take high powered pain killers before.  Frankly, I don't know why people get addicted to them.  I don't get any high from them.  They do work.  I guess I will see what all of the dangers are once I go off them in a week or two, or go to something less powerful.  I do appreciate their effect in making physical therapy much more bearable.

One of the biggest pain killers I received in the last few days was a comment from Frank Conway, alias Bubba Munster, that Romney is now planning to prove his chops with the auto industry by funding the comeback of the Ford Edsel.  Laughter is the best medicine.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Dennis Jett Ambassador

Here is the latest from my friend  Ambassador Dennis Jett and the McClatchy News Papers.

Rallying the R's as electoral strategy

Long before Mitt Romney, and not just for the sake of alliteration, the Republican Party could have been described as the party of the "r's." That's because its base, the core constituencies it has to energize to win elections, all begin with "r." For a long time there were five, but they recently added a sixth.

First, there are the rich. They vote Republican because the GOP favors reducing their taxes as the answer to every problem. They feel that giving anything back to the government is just plain wrong. Even hedge fund managers who make a billion dollars a year think their tax rate is too high even though theirs, like Mitt Romney’s, is lower than that of many middle class families.

Romney says he is going to cut everyone’s taxes by 20 percent and make up all the revenue lost by eliminating the loopholes of the wealthy. Who knew he is secretly the enemy of the rich? Maybe they aren’t paying attention. Or maybe it’s not going to work out that way under President Mitt.

Then there are the rural. They see little need for government and want to be free of its regulations. So they favor the party that sees little need for government except in a few selected areas like handing out agricultural subsidies.

One other area where Republicans see a strong role for government is in making health care decisions for women and determining who can marry. That generally gets them the support of the third “r”, the religious. They buy the idea that government should dictate their brand of morality with a fervor that would embarrass the Taliban.

Then there are the rabid. They see the threat of world government at every turn and their right to buy weapons with no limits as the only defense against it. Fox News commentator Dick Morris has even written a book targeting this market called “Here Come the Black Helicopters.” He claims the title is only used as a metaphor, but those who buy it no doubt have the whine of aircraft that don’t show up on radar in their ears.

Rounding out the traditional five “r’s” are the racists. In the two elections in the 1950s in which Dwight Eisenhower, a moderate Republican, beat Adlai Stevenson, a liberal Democrat, Stevenson carried no states outside the Deep South. When Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, he turned to his aide Bill Moyers and said he had just lost the South for the Democrats for a generation. He was optimistic. Ever
since Richard Nixon launched his southern strategy, the GOP has had an iron grip on the South.

The only other thing that has changed since the Democratic Party was the party of choice for racists is the rhetoric. George Wallace once declared, after losing an election to an even bigger racist, that he would never be out-niggered again. Today Republicans rely on dog whistles to communicate with the same audience Wallace was speaking to. The sound isn’t there, but the message is the same.And Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump and the rest can’t stop blowing those whistles. Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim, an angry black man, and the food stamp president who wants to put more people on welfare. He won’t show his transcript because he got by thanks to affirmative action. Colin Powell endorsed him only because they share the same skin color. And so it goes.

And finally the most recently added “r” is for rapists. The pitch to that demographic is demonstrated by Republican candidates who talk about legitimate rape, pregnancies resulting from rape being part of god’s plan, the health of the mother being just an all-purpose excuse for an abortion and that fetuses, like corporations, are people too. The candidates sometimes claim they misspoke, but that is what politicians say when they inadvertently reveal what they really think. It just another coded appeal for votes and not simply a callous and complete disregard for the health and rights of women.

Not every Republican falls into any of the six “r’s”. The electoral strategy of the GOP, however, seems based on the hope that those that do show up on election day and give Romney the right to rule the rest of us.


I think I am feeling better being at home.  Slept pretty good.  Now awaiting my first home therapy.  So far it still is easier than I feared.  Thanks to Lovelace Westside and Dr. Mcennerney.  I would give the hospital a rating of 10 except for one nurse.  So, they get a nine.

I just will concentrate on all of this for a while.  Politics seems a little secondary right now.  Although my blood pressure went up after watching a commercial from the far right that suggests the Chinese will be running our country in a few years.  All because of the stimulus program from the Congress and Obama.

I would like to see some journalists track down the people who are responsible for these commercials.  I want to see their pictures because I wonder if they look as crazy as they are.  They probably all look like Trump.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Home Soon

I will be out of the hospital in a few hours and will be trying to navigate around the house.  I got up today feeling stronger.  Yesterday was a hard day but I feel great now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It will be a hard day, but still not as bad as I had feared.  I see from the polls today things are looking up for Obama.  Romney hated FEMA, then loved FEMA yesterday.  His flip flops have caught him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Checking In

It is around 7:30 PM a day after surgery.  Lots of painkillers, a little pain and some therapy are behind me.  I have to say that this Lovelace crowd at the West Side Hospital are really professional and friendly.  Only one more tube to be taken out tomorrow.  That is the nerve block so the hurt might increase a little.  However, so far this has been less traumatic than I expected.

Speaking of trauma.  Romney's assertion during the republican primary, remember that carnival, that he would do away with FEMA and give their duties to the states is causing some pain for him today.  I just love it when some one is hoisted by their own utterances.  


I am still alive and feeling pretty good. The drugs are fantastic. Very little pain so far. Pretty soon the therapist will arrive and I will have to get up and walk should be interesting.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 29, 2012


As I trundle off to a total knee replacement surgical procedure this morning I am thanking science and technology for providing this kind of opportunity to regain mobility.  I also think of the incredible ability to predict the course of Hurricane Sandy and the tidal surges that will accompany this perfect storm.  This science of meteorology and oceanography etc. will save many lives in the next few days.

However, I do not much appreciate the beating science and education are taking right now from the far right republican party.  Their science book is the bible.  That is the book written by fishermen and shepherds 2000 years ago. The GOP evens thinks if a woman gets raped that her body will know how to 'shut that whole thing down.'  This comes from a republican senate candidate who was on his way to victory before he managed to make just about every female on the earth wonder what planet he came from.  It is probably from the same place where the term 'clean coal' was thought up and the climate change deniers were funded and organized.

It is might also the place where the current publisher and editor of the Albuquerque Journal are getting their logic.  On a day when their front page feature on the possible demise our forests from drought and heat is presented, they go ahead and endorse for Senate a puppet of the fossil fuel industry, Heather Wilson, over a sane and rational Martin Heinrich who looks to the future rather than the past.  This all on a day when a friend sent an article about the richest people in every state of the union.  The richest guy listed in New Mexico is Peyton Yates of Yates Petroleum with a fortune near $800,000,000.

I will be out of rational thought for a few days while I cruise in a sea of pain and painkillers in the hospital.  I don't know when the fog might lift.  I will check back in when I can string together a sentence.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Good and the Bad

Watching the news on KRQE last night was a chore and a bore except for Larry Barker, investigative reporter, going after a corporation instead of some low level public employee.  But before I watched that report I had to endure multiple police department provided videos of non news events including a stolen truck filmed from a chopper.  It is like the news directors have discovered a way of cutting back on staff by having the law enforcement agencies turn over highly unwatchable and low quality videos.  This of course saves the bottom line station manager from having to spend money on HIDEF video cameras and the professionals who operate them.

Larry Barker went out after a rip off insurance company that takes state employee premiums and then refuses to pay off death benefit claims for deceased employees families.  I really can't remember the last time a reporter did something of this nature on New Mexico TV.  My hat is off to Barker on this one, but why did he not interview the Governor on what she proposed to do about the situation?  Maybe she refused in order to take herself out of having to say something bad about American corporations.  The name of the corporation is the Standard Insurance Company which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


This Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who seemed infer that forcible rape and resulting pregnancy of the victim is all part of "God's" plan may hurt Romney by some small amount.  Which is a lot right now!  When ever I hear this term "God's Plan", I wonder how that plan is arrived at.  Does the Archangel of Planning in Heaven figure this rape thing out and send it to God for approval?  Or is the planning really just nothing more than having humans believing there is a plan?  It is all hilarious to me, but dangerous too.  I think this "God's Plan" thing is really nothing more that an fundamentalist filing cabinet for pulling folders out to support their wacko beliefs and neurosis.

I am wondering where the Governor's attack on the leadership of the New Mexico Senate will get her.  I have never seen this kind of blatant gutter level tactics being waged by one branch of government upon another.  She isn't going to win no matter what happens.  The Senate will remain Democrat and the Governor will be blocked at every turn.  Oh, thats right, it doesn't matter since she has no program whatsoever.

Anxiety is rising here.  I get knee replacement surgery on Monday.  I have not spent a night in the hospital since I was 7 years old and had my tonsils ripped out.  I hear the drugs are pretty good!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The New Boogie Man

It is starting.  The right wing Albuquerque Journal and the Governor will now become a tag team on over kill for the state's Public Employee Retirement System.  Yes, there are some things that need fixing like the automatic 3% hike in benefits every year.

But, what you will begin to see is an over reaction to a fall in growth in the 12 billion dollars in the pension funds.  Of course this is happening because of the incredible greed of a gaggle of bankers and mortgage giants who melted down the economy.  These folks will now seize upon the moment to try and destroy the last good retirement system in the state even though they are the ones who set up the current financial difficulties.  They will do so in the hopes of keeping more of their profits from being taxed.

When the economy starts healthy growth again, and it appears it is beginning, then those retirement funds will grow their way out of insolvency.  It will happen quickly.  So the Governor and her 1% backers will seize the moment to once again vilify hard working public employees.  The Governor will do so at her own peril.  You can only treat your employees like dung for so long.  She might be forgetting that many of those employees voted for her two years ago, but hey, just another available scapegoat group and we know the GOP loves to scapegoat.

Yes, I have a retirement from PERA.  It  is a 20 year cumulation of my contributions and the states.  It is an agreement we made when I first entered public service that I would receive this pension at the end of my service.  Just the same kind of agreement the Governor has made in her public service.  Maybe her 1% backers will make sure she doesn't need to rely on a pension at the end of her career.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hiding in Plain Sight

Governor Martinez is turning out to be a master of hiding in plain sight.  At least when it comes to what she and her administration might stand for.  Of course we know beating up on immigrant families is the public face of her rightwing inspired rule so far.  That gets people's blood running hot.  A wedge issue.  But as I watched and thought about politics during the  Presidential debate last night I realized that Martinez has still not put a real face on to her tenure as Governor.  She is just there.

It is a smart way to do things these days.  Have  you ever noticed that the most long lived politicians never really stand out for pushing a program?  Of course there are some exceptions.  Governor Jack Campbell years ago left us the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  Governor Bruce King left us the Severance Tax Permanent Fund that finances public works.   Bill Richardson was around a long time even though he pursued projects like the Space Port and Rail Runner.  Can anyone think of such projects under the Martinez administration?  Something that will be around a long time to serve New Mexicans?

It  is somewhat  like Gary Johnson some years back.  I can't think of one thing he left behind after being  Governor for eight years.  Yes, he did talk about a sane drug policy but little came of it.  And so he will in the end be one of those forgotten quirky pols.  That is where Martinez will end up and it is sad.  She is squandering a chance at remembrance by listening to the extreme right wing.  Deep down I don't even think she believes in that stuff.  And given her humble beginnings, if she does believe it, it is very sad.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fossilized Pol

Heather Wilson showed what a luddite and fossil she was last night in her debate with Martin Heinrich.  She is sort of a 90's kind of pol.  1890's that is.  She was music to the ears of the Oil and Coal boys.  They were her lovers for the hour long debate and she showed how much she adored these planet busting characters.  Martin was a guy looking to the future as far as energy production goes.

I got to thinking about Mitt Romney and his strange attitude on women.  I was reminded of a great movie from a few years back called "Pleasantville".  It was about two modern American teenagers who are transported back into a 50's TV sitcom where women were not much more than baby machines and domestic servants.  I have a feeling that Romney would be comfortable in that kind of era.  Check this movie out.  It might give you some insights into Romney.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Religion Again

We went and saw the movie Argo.  Many scenes contain a background of newscasts in 1979 and the chaos caused by the Iranian revolution in the Middle East.  Nothing has changed.  One could just edit those newscast scripts with different names and places and the stories would be the same.  It is all insanity and we should leave them alone to sort it out.  But we won't because of the fossil fuel boys and  our national warrior tradition.

Then someone would say that we can't let young girls like the Afghani who was shot in the head, for the good of Allah, for wanting an education go unsupported by this country.  But at the same time in the U.S.A. the GOP and religious right are assaulting women's ability to chart their own course of healthcare.  Maybe we should fix things here first?  It is all fundamentalist religious posturing.  Christians and Moslems working together to persecute women.  Romney and Billy Graham burying the hatchet in the name of repressing independent women.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Every morning our radio goes on at 5am for the start of the NPR newscast.  But, this morning the dam burst.  I just couldn't take it any more.  Listening to Romney and Obama news and the 40th hour of the debate rehash almost made me nauseous.  I told Bobbi to turn it off.  I was wanting to hear something other that this endless campaign crap.  Anything would do really, even country western music which I have always thought sounded like dying cats.(making more enemies here I suppose.)  I mean every country western song sounds like the last one, over and over, like the campaign crap but at least there are some women singing some of them.

The corporate bosses would always fight any attempt to shorten our campaigns because they know that their money would have less impact.  How else can one explain the ascension of people like bush/cheney and romney/ryan into national leadership contention.  But these two year long campaigns drive a wedge into America with the constant attacking, lying and propagandizing.  It just needs to end.  

When couples in bad marriages get tired of the constant combat they usually end it by divorce.  Thats what we need to do as a nation.  Divorce ourselves from long and damaging campaigns.  Lets cut them down to about 6 months maximum to shore up American unity.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This is kind of funny.    At the end you could substitute Romney's magic underwear.

36 Hours

I don't know if the new proposed UNM hospital is needed or not.  Perhaps more information is required, although having to wait up to 36 hours in the emergency room before being sent up to a room in the hospital seems outrageous and hardly therapuetic.  But, that  seems to mean little to the Governor's handpicked Board of Finance right now.  This is all caused by poor people who don't have insurance after all.  Poor American people that is.  The Martinez minions just want to wait to see if the nation's new health care plan is repealed.  Stop and think about this logic.  They base this on Romney's promise to repeal this legislation.  Except only congress can really do that and that is unlikely.  Even critics are starting to see the good in this new law.

So, the logic seems to be that it is okay that poor people are denied health care.  Shoulder to Shoulder in the E.R. is fine for them.  Don't build a hospital that would care for them, right?  I am pretty sure all members of the Board of Finance have health insurance, so why should they give a damn?  It is kind of like Romney's complete lack of knowledge on the struggles of the lower and middle class in the nation.

I thought Obama ran away with the debate last night.  I am glad he seemed angry at Romney's inane generalities.  I think Obama shored up his base last night after they were disillusioned with his last performance.  Romney certainly showed his fealty to the fossil fuels crowd while Obama spent some time talking about future renewable energy production.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Albuquerque is listed as the #1 community by CNN Money for people to retire and take up residence.  One reason given was the revitalization of downtown.  Something I was given hell for when I was Mayor for pursuing and something that the current Mayor Berry is trying to minimize with his impact fee strategy that favors undeveloped desert land over the city's core.  I do think Berry is a decent guy, but he is so wrong on this I can't begin to enumerate the reasons why.

It was nice to see that the city planning department is giving a thumbs down on the Walmart location at Coors and Montano.  That is a positive thing.  It will be interesting to see if the Mayor and City Council will back them up on this gutsy recommendation.  If you know the intersection you will recognize that it just isn't appropriate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thin Veil

Did you stop and think about Fearless Felix's jump?  From 24 miles high in an unlivable environment.  Alien and cold.  But as the crow flies about the same distance in a drive from Albuquerque to Los Lunas.  Not far at all.  Felix was not at a life sustaining altitude until his drop from near space was 88% complete.

And yet all of our lives depend on a thin veil of atmosphere that can only sustain life up to about 3 and a half miles.  Yet we just keep pumping more crap into it.  And the world leaders can not even bring themselves to deal with it because it might cut into profits for the fossil fuel crowd.


More beating up of the public servant in the Journal this morning.  More lamenting of the fact that they get more retirement benefits than the average worker.  Why is that?  Well, because our GOP elite have so emasculated the private sector American Worker that they have no retirement benefits left.  That is what makes government workers look so fat and happy.

So in the GOP's eagerness to destroy the middle class they have decided to also destroy the retirement benefits of those in government service.  And so many Americans have signed on to this madness.  Instead of trying to screw pensions for government workers why don't they organize and reset the bar for higher benefits for them selves?  This is a sign of a breakdown in our American workers unity.  All brought to us by greedy Tea Party types.

Martin Heinrich looks to be our next US Senator.  His nine point lead in the Research and Polling Poll today looks insurmountable for Heather Wilson.   I predict he will quickly be the goto guy for help in DC by all New Mexicans.  Senator Udall's poor staff and his reluctance to lead on hard issues will elevate a go getter like Heinrich.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Udall and have known him for years.  But he is more than a little bit invisible and unavailable.

Obama's lead in New Mexico is inspiring.  Our state on all of the political maps is this little spot of blue in a sea of red madness.  We can hope for Colorado.  The Obama campaign had real effective leadership in the last campaign there in the work of Ray Rivera.  They could use him there now, but after a time working at the Interior department Ray wandered off to other things.  The Interior department has not exactly been a beacon of reform and progress on public land issues.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunday Reading Assignment

Rubber Necking

Many Americans right now are like some drivers racing down I-25 near the launch site for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.  They are rubbernecking, staring into the skies, and crashing in increased numbers.  They forget that their job behind the wheel is to drive a couple thousand pounds of steel and plastic down the road safely.

Just like many Americans who watch a 90 minute debate instead of what has been going around them for the last four years and deciding the debate is all that matters.  It is ignorance and inattention at its best and nothing but a crash for the middle class is in the offing.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Voted

Now, all that special interest money that will be spent in the next few weeks will have no influence on me.  If it ever did.  I voted early because of upcoming knee surgery.  I sat there and blacked out every single oval on the ballot that was for a democrat.  I could have saved a few minutes by just inking in a straight ticket, but the Governor and Secretary of state unilaterally decided that wasn't allowed any longer after decades of the choice being on the ballot.  They made this voter suppression move several months ago and the democratic party just got around to filing suit yesterday.  Why the wait?  Was there some grand strategy?  Anyone want to clue us in?

I managed to sit through the VP debate last night.  Biden took the kid to the wood shed and now the GOP spinmeisters are saying Biden is  unhinged.  The thing I liked most about that woodshed was when Biden put Ryan in the bent over position by saying that the GOP put two wars on a credit card while cutting revenues.  Priceless!

And I marveled at how far Martin Heinrich has come in his presence and ability to orate.  His debate with Heather Wilson, who signed that credit card that Biden talked about when she was in congress, was great.  He is on his way to the Senate.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things Don't Change

I know you have seen this already at some point.  But, please watch it again.

Ponder on the Course

I only have a few games of golf left in these knees before I get them replaced.  Today I will play and ponder out on the course the story by Leslie Lithicum in the Journal today about voters in the oil patch. They say Obama is a Muslim.  That he is a socialist.  That he is godless.  Why don't they just say the real reason they don't like him?  This his skin is black.

I had to chuckle about their problems with socialism and big government.  Everyone in that south eastern part of the state makes their living or are subsidized by the government.  Think subsidized grazing fees.  Think cheap oil and gas from federal and state lands.  Think social security for all of their seniors.  etc. etc.

And as a friend of mine reminded me,

"And I am amazed by the energy debate.  The fossil energy industry says Americans shouldn't subsidize renewables (but what about the $100 billion-plus America spends to protect oil around the world?) and that people will never accept higher electricity bills to pay for clean energy (but what about the 1000% increase in oil prices in the past 12 years?)."  

I will also ponder on the course the fact that the NRA has stabbed Martin Heinrich in the back and endorsed his opponent.  What could he expect?   They are not really a gun rights organization.  They are an extreme right wing cabal.  Now, Martin you need to understand it is much more than it seems.  As I am sure you do this morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jett Stream

Here is another great column by my classmate Dennis Jett.  He writes for the McClatchy Newspapers.  Those are real newspapers unlike some I know.  Dennis is a retired career diplomat.


Fact checking the things that Mitt Romney says is like shooting at an elephant with a shotgun from a distance of five feet. The target is too big to miss, but hitting it also won't slow it down.

The effort to make him appear presidential just keeps lumbering on, like that elephant, unconstrained by the truth. One of his pollsters even said<>: "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

His foreign policy speech on Monday to a group of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute was the latest example of inventing the facts to fit the message. The speech had the usual share of half-truths, plus a generous helping of foreign policy fantasies.

He said for instance "The president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the last four years." That's true if you ignore the ones signed with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. They were negotiated under the Bush administration, but the Obama administration had to work with Congress to end a battle over aid to workers to get them signed. Aid to workers would of course not slow down the old profit maximizer who would happily close a factory, and send the jobs to China, if it meant another dollar in the bank.

He said the size of the Navy was at levels not seen since 1916. Not seen as long as no one looks at the last four years of the Bush administration when there were ten percent fewer ships than there are now.

Romney criticized Obama for the fact that we no longer have combat troops in Iraq as if their mere presence could prevent the chaos in that country. President Bush set the withdrawal timetable when he signed a status of forces agreement with Iraq that spelled it out. The Obama administration could not convince Iraqi leaders to commit political suicide by agreeing to allow an occupation army to stay longer. An extension could have been achieved, but it would have meant agreeing to the Iraqi insistence that the troops would be subject to Iraqi law and its judicial system.

Romney also said he will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Don't look now Mitt, but they already have it if capability is defined as having the raw material and the ability to enrich it to weapons grade uranium. Whether they can fabricate a bomb and how long it would take to produce the highly enriched uranium required is not clear, but the intelligence community believes they have not decided to construct one. Romney's red line is sufficiently fuzzy; however, that he can make the call that it has been crossed whenever he wants to start a war.

Or perhaps whenever Prime Minister Netanyahu decides it is time for America to attack Iran. Romney stressed that "the world must never see any daylight" between Israel and the United States. He has said in the past that he would check with Netanyahu before making any statements about the Middle East and leave it up to him to decide when the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That is a move so contrary to American interests that no president has seriously contemplated taking such a foolish step. But if there is really to be no daylight, Romney will have to let Netanyahu dictate American policy for the region and not just the decision on the embassy's location.

In general, Romney used the speech to blame all the ills of the world on Obama saying that, if elected, his leadership will result in peace and prosperity for all. If he does become president, he will discover even the most powerful man in the world cannot simply pound his chest, rattle his saber and everyone will follow because he thinks himself exceptional.

But his fact-free pitch to become that man is aimed at the voters who share his distain for reality. They believe that if unemployment drops, the statistics must have been rigged, and that polls that show him behind obviously oversample Democrats.  They also think any foreign policy goal can be achieved by simply telling the world that he is as great a leader as he thinks he is. Good luck with that.

Kneecapping Time

My search for matching a surgeon with my insurance has been instructive.  I am covered under Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NM through Bobbi's workplace at the Forest Service.  My secondary insurance is Medicare.  The first surgeon I went to see is highly recommended.  But he only does surgery at Presbyterian Hospital.  Presbyterian wont work with Blue Cross insurance because really they are now their own insurance company....and a health care provider.....and like all insurance companies they care only about money.   So, I found another really good surgeon who does his magic at Lovelace.  Now, we learn that the new owners of Lovelace and the two hundred or so doctors at ABQ Health Partners can't reach agreement to work together.  Yeah, it is a fight over money.  Not peoples health.  This latest news was announced Tuesday afternoon just as my appointment ended and my surgery was scheduled for knee replacement. Thousands of New Mexicans with Lovelace insurance will need to find new doctors, new insurance, or pay out of their own pockets for life saving care. Luckily, I won't be affected by this latest tribute to Corporate Insurance crimes against Americans.  Or so I am led to believe.

And now we find that some mystery group who don't want to be identified are behind a move to kill an addition to the UNMH hospital complex.  Could it be the other hospitals in the region?  Why don't they just come out and say what they feel instead of lurking in the shadows.  If their reasoning is good then we might agree.

Now,  we need to take these insurance CEO's and Boards out for some surgery on their knees to see if they like the 'out of plan services' we consumers can provide.  (insert evil laugh here)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Politics of Bullying

Here is how bullying works.  The bully finds someone who is easy pickings.  It can be demonstrated in this new hilarious commercial by the Obama campaign.  It might win Obama the race.

Bullying is alive and well in New Mexico in the Governor's office.  Recent allegations of battery upon an APS female lobbyist by the Guv's Chief of Staff is one example.  The Guv's political henchman Jay McClesky is now specializing in attacking female democratic candidates via huge expenditures of cash garnered from the oil and gas industry.  Although, if these female candidates win they wont be easy pickings at all.  Maybe all them could corner the Chief of Staff at  once in the Capitol hallways and give him some comeuppance.  And of course there is those Governor's appointees and staff who have had domestic violence charges and convictions.  Yes, bullying is alive and well in the state's capitol all while the Governor enjoys her high favorability ratings on the issue of bullying immigrants.