Friday, June 29, 2012


One just doesn't know how to view the rush to be first with a breaking story in the TV media.  Watching local TV it seems the most used words seem to be, exclusive, first heard here, seen only our our chopper cam, blah blah blah.   As if that meant anything to anyone anyway.  It is like the nightly sex story on each station.  We know it is there only because they want more people to watch so they can sell more ad time for erectile disfunction drugs and other stuff.

You really would hope that the national media would not fall into that trap.  But CNN and Fox really screwed up the Supreme Court decision on health care  by reporting the absolutely wrong outcome.  All so they could be first with the news.  Who cares who is first?  It means nothing.  We all would find out sooner or later anyway.  Maybe they should read more than the first page of an opinion before disgracing themselves?  Oh!  But to be first!

What does Wolf Blitzer and the dunderheads at Fox do now?  Anything they say would be like Nixon saying he pushed the wrong button on that tape recorder back in the Watergate era.  Well, they all look incredibly stupid and these are the people we depend on for basic competence in journalism.

So I am off for another early golf game before we hit 100 degrees.  This heat is devastating our garden. Except for the tomatoes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not Much Surprised

After Justice Scalia threw a hissy fit the other day on Obama I figured that it was his way of letting off steam because he knew the Obama health care initiative would be found constitutional.  Last night I told Bobbi that I thought the law would be upheld, not because of my great legal mind, but because of Scalia's tipping his political hand.  And I don't have a great legal mind anyway.  I was really sure I was probably wrong so I didn't try to second guess what would happen on my blog.  Now I wish I had because it would make me seem smarter than I am.

I bet the tea party guys are looking for some extra lumps of sugar this morning.  Anything to make the medicine go down.

I am a little surprised in another area and that is with the minor handling of the story on political interference on the awarding of the Albuquerque Racino contract.  The Journal put it on the front page lower left.  It had a lot less visibility than a story(a good one) on a lady who was jailed for overdue library books in Portales.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Plot Sickens

The progressive Pac, ISPAC, has put a rather large nail into the coffin of the Governor's administration with the revelation of emails between the Governor's staff and right wing political operatives, including republican stalwart and former GOP National Committeeman Pat Rogers, that seems to show the awarding of the Downs at Albuquerque Racino deal was being manipulated.  This is deep serious stuff and it is time for the AG or US Attorney to get involved.  In a big way.

ISPAC made the mistake of calling this "emailgate" and blundered into the framing of the issue that the opposition would want.  They made it about email instead of corruption and conspiracy.  Hopefully, the media won't turn it into an email issue.  And it will be interesting to see how the right wing editor at the Journal handles this one.  One thing about the editor, he doesn't like corruption, left or right.


Up Early for Golf today.  Wandering around the golf course will give me time to think about the state of journalism in our fair state and city.  The Albuquerque Journal is no longer trustworthy except for occasional glimmers of hope, like Wynn Quigley's columns.  Their editorial pages continue to carry the right wing republican line and its editor infuses that into daily coverage of events.  He has decided that the Governor is a good person for insisting that all government business now be conducted with official email.  He conveniently forgets it was her actions that caused her political handlers and appointees to wander into conducting a shadow government.

The TV media regurgitates whatever the Journal does.  Except when their so called investigative reporters find low hanging fruit of government misconduct.  Just easy stuff.  You will never find the media going after corporate wrong doing.  That might cost them ad revenues.  Will any of them ever call out companies like Comcast who hold monopolies on fast internet service.  Although franchised by the city government they relentlessly raise prices every few months and leave the poor out of internet access.

Of course if I  think about this stuff I won't play a good game of golf.  I am seriously thinking of not worrying about this stuff anymore.  As if.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Misc. Political

Has unsuccessful candidate for Congress Eric Griego decided not to support, endorse or campaign for Michelle Grisham Lujan?  It seems he is very unhappy and the word his he will stomp his feet and take his ball home.  I hope that is untrue no matter how stinging his loss was.  It would certainly finish him off in politics.  Hopefully, he will emulate State Auditor Hector Balderas who immediately and unequivocally lined up behind Martin Heinrich after losing to him in the U.S. Senate primary race.  I know I have never been exactly kind to some of my opponents in the past in non partisan races.  But back in 1998 I supported Martin Chavez in his race for Governor.  I would have supported him if he had won the congressional primary against Eric and Michelle.  We just don't need any more republicans of the current era in elected office.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It  appears that the Governor's right wing pac is being successful in turning the mining of state employee data into a silly debate over whose email accounts were  used.  Progressive pacs have taken the bait.  Just forget that argument and stay focused on the fact that the Governor's henchmen got access to information that no one else would be allowed access too.   This is the real issue and the media should not forget it.  This crime is being camouflaged with peripheral noise.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things to Come

When I googled the term corporate stranglehold for a graphic this is the photo that came up. It was on target. Comcast, with the assistance of government, has become what all corporate CEOs wish for their companies.  They are untouchable in their domains.  The cable giant, which has a monopoly in Albuquerque, has just announced another whopper of a rate increase for TV, Internet and Phone.  The city of Albuquerque which grants its franchise has said absolutely nothing.  That is because Comcast lets the local elected officials get free air time on cable channels pushing their favorite charities and p.r. messages.  In return the officials, all of them, turn their head on asking questions about these exhorbinant rates.

Other cities have competition.  My son in upstate New York has a choice of three providers.  All cheaper than here because of the competition. And that includes fiber optics to the home.

 I will admit we have a choice in whether or not to  use  these providers.  At the very least the government needs to regulate the cost of internet  service.  That is now a necessity for citizens.  Will anyone say something down at city hall?

My latest challenge with Comcast comes with a defective receiver box.  I called their admittedly decent customer service and they said they would send a new one.  They charged me $15 to replace their defective equipment.  Kind of like the airlines charging for your baggage.  And then they sent me a new internet modem for no reason.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GOP Immigration Issue

MItt Romney has said he would be okay with giving legal residency documents to those immigrants who earn advanced degrees.  But if they are caught before graduation and their final exams are they dead meat?  And if Governor Susana Martinez and her ilk get their way they won't be able to legally drive to classes until they get the degree.  But they can be deported for driving to class.  Catch 22.  Stuff made for Joseph Heller novels.

Oh, and in a giant act of generosity Romney says that if an immigrant gets an arm blown off serving in the U.S. Military, then he too can get legal residency documents.  But, how exactly can he legally drive to the recruiting station in the first place?  Right?  And if he gets deported how will we fill our military ranks since rich kids don't have to serve.  Mostly the poor and undocumented fill those rosters.  It all seems upside down.

And while we are enduring this email version of hide and seek in the Governor's administration, I think it would be interesting to see the 'private' email traffic concerning undocumented workers.  Just what was said between the Governor's right wing mascots on how to turn so many republicans into xenophobes against brown people.  Were emails written about Canadians?  Or Asians? Or Serbs?  Etc.

And, really, isn't this move to remove straight ticket voting from the ballot just an attempt to lessen the impact of Latino voters?  They do seem to favor Democrats so the GOP is just trying to suppress brown peoples votes.  And they are being aided and abetted by the Albuquerque Journal.

I should lay off that newspaper but I just can't help myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I played an early game of golf today before the winds turned the outdoors into a simulated blast furnace.  It was very cool out there, until it wasn't.  We had a good time.

We were lamenting the late great homegrown corporation known as PNM.  When they had leaders like Ben Montoya and Jeff Sterba you could at least get some straight talk from one of the few big companies with its HQ in New Mexico.  Now we just have another bottom-line oriented corpocracy there.  They are currently trying to make people afraid of renewable energy by creating a line item for costs for renewables on their monthly bills.  Yes, it is expensive.  But if they want to make this known then they must also put down a line item for the hidden costs of their coal fired generation plants.  Medical care necessitated by carcinogens released into our air shed.  Pollution of water from particulates.  Those would qualify.  And also lets put one down for political corruption too as they help fund lies in the current campaigns aimed at convincing consumers that coal can be clean.  What a load of crap.

They are as bad as the Editor at the Albuquerque Journal defending in today's editorial the fact that republicans in Santa Fe are taking away choice in the voting booth by doing away with straight party voting.  They say it will make us better citizens.  Like we are all stupid now.  Well Mr. Editor if I have a philosophy that makes me pull a straight ticket for democrats then why would you deny me that choice?  Oh, I know, you will do anything the oil boys tell you to do.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The unilateral decision by the Governor, Secretary of State and their rightwing republican advisors to take straight party voting off the ballot should not just drift away.  This is an erosion of voting choices for the public.  It is unfathomable that it can be done without legislative approval.  It doesn't matter if lots of states have done this.  It is wrong and it is a republican campaign to suppress the votes of the poor and middle class.

The Albuquerque Journal is doing a good job now of covering the Governor's office email problems.  But she can not just get away with saying it won't happen again.  I want to know how much money was spent and hours of public employees work time were used to sift through hundreds of schools employee lists to glean information on who the non union teachers are.  I also want to know if they will make that list public on a website since they have made it available to the Governor's political pac.

The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper is beating the pants off the Journal in uncovering these stories.  One of my golfing buddies says it is the best newspaper in the State.  He is probably correct, although I don't read all the newspapers and can't make that judgement.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Martinez and Duran to Voters..."F**K You!"

Republican Governor Martinez and Secretary of State Diana Duran with the undoubted assistance of Jay Mcleskey and Rod Adair just did their part to suppress the vote of democrats by saying you can no longer vote a straight ticket on the ballot.   41% of voters do that.  This is so egregious on so many levels it is hard to know where to start vilifying them.

I have voted the straight ticket many times.  And a few times I haven't.  But it was a choice.  And Duran and her mascots have just lessened my choices when I step into the voters booth.  And they are doing it to get more republicans elected.  Don't think they would have done this if it were neutral or favored democrats.  And they did it unilaterally.  No legislation.  No public meetings.  No public input whatsoever.

There is something called a drop off on the ballot.  If you are not given the opportunity to vote a straight ticket then it is likely that many of the lower races will not be voted on.  And because there are more democrats than republicans you can see the result.

Make no mistake about it.  Governor Martinez, Secretary of State Duran and their extreme right wing supporters like the oil and gas industry have planned this as nothing more than voter suppression.  Someone needs to step up with lawsuits, both civil and criminal, and make them pay.


One can only wonder who is the first to get beheaded in this government data mining by the Governor's political hacks.  My best bet is that the one lowest in the food chain will get absolutely fired before this is finished.  And it will be a government employee and not a political consultant.  Say former journalist turned p.r. guy for the Public Education Department, Larry Behrens.

I know how this stuff works.  He was eager to please the Governor's handlers and fundraisers.  So, he naively and without legal counsel, just gave them what they wanted.  Was there anyone standing over his shoulder and saying, "Maybe you should talk to the Governor's legal counsel first before you work on this?"  My bet is no.  Did his Cabinet Secretary approve this or was she ignorant of this request?  If she acceded to it then she needs to visit the chopping  block too.

If I were the Governor I would insist that the Chief of Staff get out the pink slips and fast.  This would at least show us that Governor Susanna Martinez is serious about corruption.  And Larry Behrens should be spared since he is the only one who has admitted he made a mistake.  Instead the Governor's spokesperson Scott Darnell needs to shuffle off for trying to make all this seem like it is unimportant.

Friday, June 15, 2012


What will Governor Martinez do in the face of the Obama administration's compassionate decision to let illegal aliens who came here as children stay here and live the life of an American?  Will she continue her rightwing directed assault on undocumented workers?  Will she insist on deporting the parents of "americanized" children?  Will she let them drive their kids to school without fear of deportation?  Or will she fall into the clutches of the unmerciful xenophobes like that racist Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona?

And when will she answer what now appears to be a growing controversy over her political rightwing consultants illegally mining employee information from state data banks?  She must say something and soon as several legislators are now requesting the Attorney General to investigate the illegal activity.  Lets see how she handles this.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do Something

Will our Attorney General Gary King or our State Auditor Hector Balderas do anything about the willful and illegal mining of government data by Governor Susanna Martinez's political henchman Jay McCleskey?  Just imagine what would happen if a democratic governor was sitting in the chair right now and there were a republican AG and Auditor.  This wouldn't be one day coverage in the media I can assure you.  And this is where the democrats always fail.  They have become mostly meek and subservient.  Where is the courage?

I would like to see some righteous indignation like the oped in the Journal this morning from an Albuquerque resident who put the whole union bashing campaign into perspective.  Even if you don't like unions this essay hit home on the assault on working people in this country.  Read Tim Taylor's majestic piece here.

President Obama will try to do something today to stop his slide in the face of a still difficult economic recovery.  This may be one of the most important orations he has done.  I hope he can show who the working people can trust in this country.  If he can't then he is in danger of losing.  It could happen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The Albuquerque Journal actually did the story this morning on the Governor's political team having the Public Education Department gather names of thousands of employees and non unionized teachers for a Political Action Committee.  I deep down knew that the real journalists at the paper could not ignore this one.  It was page one news today, but below the fold.

The sad loss of property in the Ruidoso area from the wildfires is unstoppable.  When you build a home in the forest it will eventually burn.  It is just something that will happen because that is the way nature does long term restoration.  It doesn't make it easier on the property owners, but they should expect it.  And now Congressman Steve Pearce, who hates government, is trying to blame the fire fighters for a slow response.  He should go attend some basic science classes about how the only thing that can stop one of these fires is the weather and some luck.  But of course he is a republican and they don't really believe in science.

I went to the Doc and he says both of my knees are totaled with zero cartilage between he bones.  His X-rays pretty much shows it.  Gross.  My walking the golf course days are over and I will now get my exercise on my elliptical.  The problem became severe after losing 25 pounds and walking 18 holes of golf multiple times a week. I will start therapy to delay the future knee replacements.  This is just wear and tear after 67 years.  No getting away from it. My new best friends are bags of ice and anti inflammatories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dear Warren

Warren Buffett
Head Honcho
Berkshire Hathaway

June 12, 2012

Dear Mr. Buffett,

I understand you are out buying newspapers.  You are probably the only one in the world doing this right now and you have an uncanny way of making money so you are probably going to score big on this gambit.  And at the same time you might be able to put the profession of Journalist back into a revered position.

But the reason I am writing you is to beg you to please buy the Albuquerque Journal.  You could probably get a pretty good deal on it.  Their cost cutting has turned it into a ghost of its former self, but there is still much potential there because people here want a real newspaper instead of an ink using version of Fox News.  You see, the publisher and Editor are right wing and they are ruining a once great newspaper.  Well, kind of great anyway.  They didn't get this story which deserves to be run.  It was dug up by an independent PAC.  It will be interesting to see if they write a story about it.  I think some of the real journalist there will insist.

So, please send me the person who does your newspaper buying  and I will gladly gather some people for him that could give him about one million reasons why this would be a good thing to do.  Mostly for the state of New Mexico.


Jim Baca

Monday, June 11, 2012

Learning Lessons

Mexico's politicians seem better at learning lessons than our own.  They have decided that their war on drugs as it is being fought is not working.  They will now lessen their efforts at stopping the flow of drugs and concentrate on diminishing drug violence.  All of this, of course, is caused by the market for drugs in the U.S.  Our criminal justice system still thinks you can win a fight against drug usage by strangling the supply.  Good luck with that. Of course if drugs were legalized in this country like alcohol, many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies would see budget cuts.  Not to mention private prison inmates populations dropping and cutting into profits.

We all read today about the ever present drunk driving problems in this country.  But we made the decision that it was easier, less violent, and more effective to legalize, tax and deal with alcoholism than to prohibit sale of booze.   That formula should work for drugs.

Will any high ranking government official in New Mexico ever have the gumption to suggest legalization?  Former Governor Gary Johnson did it.  That was about the only thing he ever did that I agreed with.  Governor Susanna Martinez must know deep down  this system doesn't work.  Her prosecutorial back ground must have shown her that. For all her work as District Attorney in the past in our border county of Dona Ana things did not get better at all following her 'tough' tenure.  She must realize this, right?

Thursday, June 07, 2012


You must read this article from the Independent Source Pac.  The Governor's husband's hunting trip to Louisiana leaves many questions unanswered and stonewalls built by the chief executive.  The media just can't ignore this.  It is too juicy.

Out of the Gate

I sent a donation to Michelle Grisham Lujan yesterday.  Within minutes I received a request for more.  She is right in the swing of things.  And thats a good thing too after watching her republican opponent Janice Arnold Jones attack her on TV.  Jones said Lujan's only experience was 8 months on the 7 member county commission.  Except that is 18 months on a 5 member county commission.  She said Lujan's experience as a cabinet secretary was nothing more than a single issue lobbying job.  As I recall that was what Heather Wilson used to do too.

If I were Lujan I would gladly say, "Yes, I was a single issue lobbyist for the well being of the elderly and needy when I was a cabinet secretary.  I am proud of that."

Jones start out of the gate is ridiculous.

The Albuquerque Journal and GOP are touting the fact that progressive democrats didn't win all they hoped for in the legislative  primary election.  But, wait!  The democrats who won are still democrats.  More centrist maybe, but still democrats who must not forget it.  And the Governor's extreme right wing political consultants didn't win what they wanted in a  combative primary in Curry County.  The Journal didn't put that one on the front page.  It is time for the Journal to just change their name to the Albuquerque Republican.  Be honest with us.

I noticed that the City of Albuquerque is using that Calvary mega church in the North East heights for official meetings.  Why is that okay when the sheriff caught hell for using a mega church for his meetings?  These churches pay no taxes and yet provide services that could be done by entities that do pay taxes.  No more meetings in these right wing churches would be the right thing to do.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Results

I will be sending a donation to Michelle Grisham Lujan this morning.  She ran an efficient and well thought out media race to win her congressional seat.  She wasn't my first choice in the congressional democratic primary but she will be a moderate Democrat and that is fine with me.

At the same time I want to find the idiots who thought that Eric Griego should present himself as a hard ass guy who threatens to put people in jail and looks angry.  I will tell them they are stupid and ruined his candidacy.  The progressive pac that pushed this message is made up of amateurs.   If you know Eric it is obvious that he is a kind and gentle soul, even if he didn't pay his traffic fines. That traffic fine issue was enough to sink him.  I knew he was sunk yesterday when some of my golf partners brought it up as a reason for not voting for him.

In the Public Regulatory Commission race Al Park got handed his walking papers after greatly outspending his opponents who took public finance money to run their efforts.  Park used money raised from previous races that included donations from the folks he would have had to regulate.  People figured that out.  I was proud that Cynthia Hall did as well as she did. She came in second.  County Assessor Karen Montoya won the race.  She will have a lot to learn about that job.

I got an email from Martin Heinrich last night saying he was on a plane at 6AM this morning and couldn't do coffee as we usually do after election days.  I hope he is out with other smart people figuring out how to counter that democracy killer Karl Rove and his money boys.  They have already bought massive amounts of TV time to attack Martin for being a moderate.  All of this is being done for Heather Wilson who sits quietly smiling while right wing SUPER PACS doing her dirty work.

Rodger Beimer posted a note on his blog yesterday that reminded us that in 1992 the polling showed
H. Ross Perot 35 percent
George Herbert Walker Bush 30 percent
Bill Clinton 25 percent.

He noted it is a long way to November.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Election Day

What does a candidate do on election day?  Having been in that position I can tell you it all depends on whether or not the candidate knows if he has a shot at winning.

If a candidate is far behind in the polls then he just wants the day to end and the final count be done.  The likely to lose candidate will be thinking about how to close down the office and file final reports.  There will be little help  usually in accomplishing it.  Depression and feelings of rejection rule the day.  Life sucks.

Now, the candidate who the polls show could win will be running on adrenalin all day long.  There will be lots of work and orbiting of voting sites to "check" out the turnout.  Just being seen at these places can swing a last few votes.  No campaigning though, but merely a visibility thing.  Like standing on a busy street corner with supporters and waving signs.  And then around 5pm the sweating starts in earnest.  The vote count will look as if it will never end.  Any sign of faltering or surging in the count will bring on strong emotions.  Supporters will be poring over precinct results garnered from the polling place postings on the door to see if expectations are being met.  The candidate will be given the news and more emotions well up.  When the final count is in if the candidate wins he will be euphoric.  If he loses he will be already second guessing the campaign decisions.  It is all a roller coaster.

If a candidate is sure to win on election day he goes through the motions of staying busy and being happy.  If it is a primary election there is only one thing in mind.  The general election campaign.  And it starts all over.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Love Fest

Martin Heinrich and Hector Balderas had an hour long lovefest debate tonight.  They both looked good and showed how intelligent they are.  No mudslinging.  Hector showed himself to be a candidate for future office.  We need more candidates like them.

My Predictions

Early and absentee voting is low.  Jimmy Carter would call it a malaise. The last job report is scary and you would think folks would be running to vote, but they are not.  So this makes it very difficult to figure out who wins and loses in the upcoming races.

I predict that Martin Heinrich will defeat Hector Balderas.  Both of these guys deserve a pat on the back for running a decent and clean campaign that sticks to issues rather than character assassinations.  It is the kind of primary contest that used to be more common.  I might be wrong, but since there is little outside super pac money being spent in this race it has helped keep it civil.  Balderas has done himself a big favor here and will certainly get my support when he runs again.  He is a gentleman.  Martin, a good friend, will have to go forward under an onslaught of Karl Rove super pac money during the general election for a retreaded Heather Wilson.  My first reaction in seeing one of her TV commercials was, "Oh, her again."

The congressional race is a toss up!  I have no idea who might win that one.  Either Eric Griego, who squandered a big lead with bad TV and media, or Michelle Grisham Lujan who surged based on good TV and media.  Marty Chavez will join me on the dustbin of New Mexico political history.  It is really not so bad given the kind of money politics that is played today.  You can see it at work in this congressional race where outside pacs are throwing mud by the cubic yard at the candidates.  It is sickening to see this intramural gutter politics in the democratic party.

The one positive thing here is that Obama still has a hefty lead in this state.  That will help Heinrich and the winner of the congressional race next November.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Night Time

We are enjoying our new water fountain in the evenings.  The sound of the cascading water is very mellowing.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Teton Morn

This was the scene from our meeting site near Jackson Hole.  A vista of beauty.

Only problem is my knee sort of blew out on this trip.  It had been a little sore for a few weeks after my car was rear ended, but I thought it was from all the exercise I had been doing.  Bummer.  I have hit the 24lb mark on my weight loss program.  I think this trip may have reversed that a little since good wine and food were abundant.  And we continued the good work of the Wyss Foundation.