Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cat and the Devil

The big cat is my wife Bobbi!  She was visited by a little devil.  In all by the end of the evening at 8:30 we had 315 kids come to the door.  That is a new record.

Yoga Inspired Kids wasn't eastern religions that Yoga was inspiring.  It was the satanic costumes.   This is my neighbors house.  Vic lives on the corner and takes his Yoga seriously.  He even has a motorized spider that chases people up and down the streets.

Misc. Thursday

The Governor will soon appoint a new member to the legislature to replace a deceased member of
the House of Representatives.  It is a multi county area and every county commission will submit a name.  She probably won't replace that democratic member with a democrat.  I just hope she doesn't replace the office with someone who is a christian fundamentalist such as Vicki Perea.  When she worked at city hall as a department head in Albuquerque there were complaints about  her bible study classes in city offices and the feeling by some employees that if they didn't attend they would get bad evaluations.  As long as she doesn't bring her religious beliefs and fire and brimstone into policy making she could do the job.  We don't need anymore members that think that Yoga is a gateway to eastern religions and damnation.

True story.  I got stung by a bee while out playing golf on Monday.  On Tuesday I got up out of bed with little or no arthritis pain.  I couldn't figure out why I felt so good until I thought about the bee sting.  So I googled bee stings and arthritis and found out there is actually a therapy to relieve arthritis aches and pains with bee venom.  Who knew?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Don't let the men who wear archaic clothes mandate what your wives, sisters and daughters can do with their bodies.  Today the polls open on the City of Albuquerque election that would ban certain abortions based on some peoples religious beliefs.  Yes, they want you to follow their religious dogma and there isn't a politician in power who will stop this election to pass an unconstitutional law.  They are as bad as the guys in dandy clothes.  One can only wonder if the ACLU is on vacation.  Why haven't they taken action?

This election will waste a million dollars just so some religious fanatics can try to tell us to follow their rules.  No one in power wants to take them on.  No city councillor, the Mayor, City Attorney, or Judge has said, "Wait a minute, this would be unconstitutional if passed, so why bother?"  Cowards is the best you can say about them.  Certainly  not great leaders.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Somebody Do Something

Mayor Berry and Governor Martinez.  There is a new giant economic time bomb ticking for the Duke City and it will go off in one year.  Next October a federal law known as the Wright amendment will sunset.  This is the law that required Southwest Airlines to land their aircraft in bordering states before continuing on to any other destination.  This amendment was a deal worked out decades ago to make sure that the new Dallas-Fort Worth Airport would be able to pay off their bonds by trying to force airlines to use its facilities.  The amendment said any airline that flew out of the old Dallas Love field had to land in a neighboring state.  Southwest stayed at Love Field.  So Albuquerque became a major stop for all Southwest flights.  Ever wonder why there were so many flights from here to Las Vegas?  Because all flights out of Dallas Love had to stop here first.

When this amendment expires Albuquerque and New Mexico's  airline service will take a huge hit.  Southwest will start overflying the Land of Enchantment and we will have a lot less options.  Frontier Airlines will also be gone by then.  And this means less jobs in New Mexico, both for the airlines and other jobs that locate here because of poor airline service.

Is anyone paying attention to this at city hall or the state capitol?  Are any delegations visiting the airlines trying to get increased service or making offers to help them do so?  Is the Governor to busy fund raising with the far right wing funders to do so?  Is Mayor Berry's economic development team and the local business leaders asleep?

Time to get off your butts!  Right Now!  Not next September!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Misc.

I almost choked on my latte this morning.  When I read the story on the republican legislator who thinks that yoga stretches might indoctrinate school kids into an eastern religion it felt as if the legislature has now been dumbed down lower than ever.   We all have guessed at my religious beliefs.  Which are none....but I do Yoga stretches every week.  It was the only thing that solved my severe back problems 30 years ago.   I once again think that some sort of intelligence test should be given to political candidates.  Only people with IQs of slightly above idiocy should be allowed to run.  That would have prevented this guy from polluting the Capitol building.

Winthrop Quigley of the Albuquerque Journal had a good piece on Obama's Affordable Care Act in  this morning.  He often throws such a hand grenade into the editorial board's office to make them look like the rightwing nut cases they are.  It is a good read.

There is also a wonderful piece on Hispanic names on the oped page by Joe Lovato.  It was really fun to read.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Something New and Ominous

In all my experience at a journalist and then politician I have never seen anything like what is emanating from the office of Governor Susana Martinez.  Her political operatives are raising money to attack a public servant who doesn't agree with her education policies.  The funding of this effort is remaining a secret.  And the Governor's spokes person tells the Albuquerque Journal that she hasn't seen the attack piece on the Albuquerque Public School superintendent.  Think about his response.  He totally ignores the question of whether the Governor is condoning this effort and tries to make it seem she doesn't by saying she hasn't seen the hit piece put out by her minions.  What has that got to do with her knowledge of this effort?  Maybe she hasn't seen the hit piece, but so what?  It is like paying someone to commit a crime and then saying they are not guilty because they didn't actually see the deed carried out.

She has lost all legitimacy as a leader in my view.

While there is room for debate of the public education issues there is no room for character assassination of her opponents on policy issues.

Friday, October 25, 2013


We worry about the NSA snooping into our everyday lives.  Ordinary citizens have no defense against the NSA or Microsoft or Google.  The second you have a silicone chip around you then your life is open to everyone who can hack.

So, why isn't that true for all of these rightwing sponsored political committees that throw money into the fight for anything that might screw working people and the middle class?

Right now there is a shadow group attacking New Mexico teachers.  They are being funded by ......well, we don't know.  A former staffer of Governor Susana Martinez runs the group but is refusing to say where the money comes from.  Money sources are off limits I surmise.  But somewhere there has to be a hacker who can strike a blow for us regular folks.  I am hoping they get to work.  And that goes for all of these secretive committees.....left or right.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Early Golf

Up early for cool weather golf after three days of hanging around the house to watch new tile being installed in the kitchen.  It is always a joy to watch these skilled guys do their work.  It will last a lot longer than what most of us pols do.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Triage for the NM Democrats

Well, there are some hard decisions to be made coming up to the next general election in New Mexico. The Democrats have to employ triage in their strategy of getting folks elected.  Will they foolishly spend all of their time trying to get that right wing darling Susana Martinez out of office, or will they use some common sense and concentrate on the election of a Democratic Attorney General and Secretary of State?  Also, all members of the House of Representatives are up for election next year and keeping strong Democratic numbers in that body are paramount.

It is the only way to keep the Governor and her hard right political directors under control in a state that continues to suffer under lackluster leadership of Martinez and her puny economic development team.

Current Attorney General Gary King is not garnering much excitement in his efforts to take on the Governor.  That is a fact.  Just ask some Democrats including supporters of his father, Bruce King.  Other candidates looking at the Democratic primary are also very weak with little money.  It is rumored that Lawrence Rael, who ran for Lt. Governor last go around, is looking to jump in the race too.  He might be the only hopeful with an outside chance.

The Secretary of State's race is very winnable for the Dems with Maggie Toulouse Oliver, currently Bernalillo County Clerk,  gearing up for the contest.  Don't forget how the Governor and her minion Secretary of State Diana Duran unilaterally took away the straight ticket voting that had existed in this state for many  years.  Duran also said some shady political advertising against some legislators carried out by the Governor was legal, when it was not legal at all.  So, this is an important race!

So, does the Democratic party have the fortitude to pick and choose who to help? 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Bosque

It was one of those special days on the Bosque.


So now the NSA and its minions are breaking  into the email records of the President of Mexico?  And gathering data on French citizens?  Not only is our Tea Party hobbled government looking like a bunch of clowns on economic matters, now a unfettered spying operation by our government is making us enemies on a daily basis.  And for what?  And all springing from the bush/cheney years of WMD hysteria?  And an acquiescing Obama?

Richard Cohen's missive in the Albuquerque Journal this morning takes a second look at Eric Snowden as not being quite the evil person he and everyone else I know thought he was.  I am now beginning to think his revelations of uncontrolled snooping by this country of everyone and everything is a good thing.  There simply must be some limit put on the intelligence community in our nation to stick to the things that matter rather than gathering information that they have no need to know.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Right Wing Journal

The Albuquerque Journal's glorious story about UNM students being chosen to compete in a national debate about the nation's debt is very suspect.  These kinds of things are being funded by billionaire business people as a way to turn young folks against social security.  Read this in the Huffington Post.

Maybe someone should be vetting this participation at my alma mater, the Anderson School of Business at UNM.  Will there be adequate airing of all sides in such a debate?  Will participants from the moderate and left student organizations be included on the debate teams to argue for social safety nets?  Did the business school look at the implications of this effort closely?  You know that whole due diligence thing that business people like to exercise?

Public Information and Coordination

Remember back to the year 2000.  I was Mayor and we were facing the reconstruction and modernization of the Big I interchange that melded I-40 and I-25.  There was great anticipation of a city on its knees due to traffic disruptions.  Well, they never occurred because of the ground work done by the City of Albuquerque, the news media, the contractor Twin Mountain Inc., the neighborhood associations and business interests in the city. The homework was really done and every possible means of easing the pain was employed.  It all worked well because of weekly meeting of these groups.

The need for good public information was paramount and it really helped mitigate the traffic flows and deal with problems.

If the Mayor, Contractor, County, and others want to get this Paseo del Norte project smoothed out a little it will take some coordination on an ongoing basis.  Call  up some of the veterans of that year long rebuild of the Big I.  There might be some real experience to call upon.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Thomas Friedman in the New York Times hit the nail on the head with this one.

And this one pretty much sums up the GOP Tea Party whining about the Affordable Care startup problems.

Policy Craps

Want to attend a meeting of the New Mexico Legislature's Court, Corrections and Justice Committee this Monday and Tuesday?  It will just require a little navigation through hundreds of slot machines, Black Jack tables, roulette wheels, craps tables and other games of chance.  Why?  Because this meeting is being held at Sky City Casino!

I am sure the Legislative Council Service looks for a good deal when they put their committees on the road.  Those committee members in an ever increasing number of interim committees like to see our beautiful state after all.  I am pretty sure a few committee members make their livings by attending all of these hearings either as a member or an adjunct participant of some kind.

The big flaw is that many people who might want to attend such a meeting will have to go to a Casino far away from home only to find themselves stopping to drop a few bucks on a game of chance.  Yes, it is their choice but the temptation to waste money is being provided by the legislature.

And then again there is the loss of revenue to private hotels who are desperately trying to make ends meet with the renting of meeting space.  They are taxpaying businesses that are getting hosed by non tax paying businesses like the casinos.

I absolutely refuse to go to any political fundraisers or functions held at a casino.  I think if people want to gamble, (being the suckers they are) then we shouldn't make it more convenient for them by having a branch of government helping out.  The committee chairs and Legislative Council need to make a big policy change here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dogma Again

Why should a whole graduation ceremony be moved to satisfy one parent's religious dogma in Cuba, NM?  Beats me.  But I suppose if all the other classmates of the student involved agree and there is no added expense then it would be okay.  That young student is popular and reportedly smart and she will most likely figure out this kind of dogma later in life for what it is.  Meanwhile the separation of church and state is ignored.

Then there is the dogma of the County Commission in and around Clovis, NM.  They think they should pass a law that bans these admittedly bizarre electronic cigarettes which deliver nicotine to the users with out the harmful carcinogens of tobacco.  This dogma is stupid on so many levels I couldn't count them all.  But, do they really want to make this an illegal device that might stop cancer in young tobacco users?  Do they want to be responsible for setting up organized crime syndicates who will then smuggle in the contraband?  We have all seen how well that works with drugs and marijuana.  You really wonder what can be going through the minds of these rubes.

And is the dogma of Governor Martinez to be out doing political fundraisers in other states while more decent jobs are lost in this state?  Cardinal health will let go a few hundred people from good paying jobs.  They can't be replaced by call center jobs that the Governor and Mayor like to brag about.  The dogma seems to be to raise money for the republican Governor in other states where the job situation is much better than in New Mexico.  If something isn't done soon the Governor will be remembered as the Pol who oversaw the disintegration of our economy.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

And We Wonder What is Wrong

The big local political stories bandied by the New Mexico media recently really point out what is wrong in our system today.  The articles about upcoming races aren't about ideas.  They are about how much money the candidates have raised.  The governor has out raised Attorney General Gary King by huge amounts.  Other candidates are sending out email missives about how much money they have raised for their races in the other constitutional offices.  And this is the way it will go because in reality that is what counts.  The amount of money that is thrown into special committees and candidates treasuries by corporate America is now the main indicator of a candidates viability.  Not vision, ideas, programs, policies or the like.  Just money from special interest groups.

It really is worse than when I got involved in politics back in the mid 70's.  Sure, money to run campaigns mattered back then, but it wasn't the sole indicator of someones chance of winning.  Hard footwork, meetings, and a platform that involved policy positions mattered. But since the Roberts Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and effectively took of the limits on contributions by CEOs and Boards it has been the rule that it is hard to win without being owned by them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Before the people with the ability to reason took things into their own hands in the Senate this morning, I was going to write about sedition.  But now I think it might be time to look at the Constitutional requirements for those folks who run for office.  At the very least every one who runs as a candidate for  any office, but most importantly federal positions, should be made to pass the test with a 100% mark that all naturalized citizens must pass before leaving their immigrant status.

I would be willing to bet that most Tea Party politicians wouldn't even get close to acing the test.  Maybe I wouldn't either, but then I could be put into a remedial class to learn what I need to know before trying to run a democracy.  It is kind of fun to take this test.  Follow this link.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's Good for the Goose

The Albuquerque Journal's right wingnut editorial this morning suggests that the Affordable Care Act should be delayed because of the startup problems with the system software.  (Which once again was done by the so called perfection of free market members in the software business.)  Apparently this is a policy that the Journal thinks only applies to government.

Just look at the Journal's history of trying to get color photos to register correctly in their newspaper.  Or trying, after a decade, to get a website that works and is attractive.  Their startup problems lasted for years and still exist on a regular basis.  If they want to be consistent in their views then they should have shut down the newspaper until they got everything perfect.  But no, they continued to sell a newspaper and web service that to this day is inferior, but better than it was.

Every major system that business or government starts up is saddled with problems.  It is a fact.

I have to chuckle that the publishers of the paper, the Langs, are probably losing money right now due to the loss of business rentals out at Journal center because of the government shut down.  The have tried for years to get their retail shopping center there leased up by offering great deals to tenants who are all hurting right now because 2000 federal government workers in the Center complex are not coming to work.  And the real victims are the small business folks in that retail center.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Names and Pictures

This New York Times Story on Sunday morning made me feel murderous.  The big pharma boys are getting away with murder in this country by overcharging  for life saving drugs.  They should be singled out for their greed.

Strangely, the Times did not even talk to any of these corporate terrorists.  Yes, that is what I call them for striking terror into their own country men's hearts by making them decide between feeding a child or giving them life saving medicine.  Don't we need to know who these people are?  Could the wiki people start a new websites to show the names and pictures of these despicable 'businessmen' who purposely make life difficult for so many?

One example of the price gouging on asthma drugs was referring Rhinocort Aqua, a drug that was selling for more than $250 a month last year but costs only $7 in Europe where it can be purchased over the counter. 

I searched for manufacturers information on this drug, but I couldn't find it on Google.  Maybe those corporate scum are worried they would be identified and are hiding.   They better be or risk becoming walking spitoons.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I was thinking this morning how proud our Class of 1963 from St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque can be.  We don't have any members serving in congress as Tea Party Ass Clowns.

I just finished the video of our 50th reunion which we held last month and for those classmates who wish to see it.  Here it is!  Hit the HD for a better quality pic.

St. Pius X Class of 1963 50th Reunion from James Baca on Vimeo.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Money Game

Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman sent out a missive today that Republicans are raising money to elect their candidate in the Albuquerque City Council District 7 runoff.

I might disagree with the notion that the republicans or democrats are raising much money for anything in this state.  It used to be that they could do so, but now the proliferation of special interest committees, right wing PACs, dirty chamber of commerce type money, and camoflauged resources from religious groups, has really put a dent into the ability to fundraise for the party.  Most elected officials have their own special committees in addition to their own campaign war chest.  Especially in the legislature.  They literally soak  up all the money and the traditional parties get scraps.

I think this is one reason that a lack of bipartisanship rules politics now.  There are just too many splinter groups that raise money for special committees on specific issues.  That affects any sort of philosophical base from existing.  Look at the now splintered and schizophrenic GOP as proof.  The moderates and Tea Party nuts probably wouldn't agree on the time of day.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bait and Switch

There is a typical game going on in both local and national government.  On the federal side the right wing nuts are pointing to the computer problems facing the millions who want to sign up for health insurance.  They say that proves Obamacare can't work.  But if one stops and thinks a little they are pushing the blame from corporate America to the government.  It is corporate America that was charged with building the complex programming that would handle the system.  As usual it isn't working as with most new systems.  But the poor design and execution is blamed on Obama.  It is like a sibling breaking a vase in grandma's house and blaming their sister.  Sometimes, I just can't understand how the voters can elect such idiots to office.

And then there are the religious fanatics who descended on the City Council to berate members there for letting Albuquerque be a 'slaughter house' for children for their questioning the constitutionality of the election to ban abortions in the city.  They are blaming the city council for clearly understanding the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of abortion rights.  And now they want to spend a million bucks to prove they can get the religious right to the polls to vote to ignore the constitution.  Sorry, that can't be done this way and it is a huge waste of money.  Any councillor who approves this election without first getting legal advice as to the legitimacy of such a law should be recalled.  Anyone want to organize this?  And where is the ACLU and other organizations that should be filing suit to stop this travesty?  

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Blow Out

The blow out was unstoppable for Mayor Berry.  The record low turnout assured it because Pete Dinelli just could not inspire anyone.  It came down to a nice guy vs. an angry guy and in today's politics nice seems more appealing.  No matter that the State and City's economy is in the sink with do nothing leadership, this is just the way politics works right now on the local level.  The positive outcome is a possible democratic majority on the city council after a probable run off election between Diane Gibson and Janice Arnold Jones.  That should be winnable for the democrats.  But congratulations to Mayor Berry and the winners.  Now do something real to produce jobs other than poor paying call centers.

On the national level of politics I am once again waiting for the federal workforce members who are sitting at home, due to one hundred Tea Party ass clowns, to rise up and cause a ruckus.  They won't get their wages on Monday.  That will trickle down.  Many people don't know it but there are a couple of thousand federal workers out at the Journal Center who are not frequenting the businesses and eateries around that area.  Those folks are already feeling a loss of revenue and sending home their own employees.  Will they feel the necessity to go down and pay Tea Party member Congressman Steve Pearce a visit?  He is getting a pay check and benefits and healthcare.  Does anyone have a manual on tar and feathering?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Election Day

There won't be many surprises in the Albuquerque city elections today.  If the polls are accurate, and the always are, then Mayor Berry gets another four years to sit in his office with little vision and no economic whiz kids helping him except for attracting phone center jobs.

I think one surprise could be in the offing and that is the city council race in the north valley between Roxanna Meyers and Isaac Benton.  I think this will be much closer than anyone thinks.  My usually strong democratic neighborhood is sporting a lot of yard signs for Roxanna.  More than two to one over her fence sitting opponent.  At the end of the day they are both good folks and when I go vote today I will have to decide at the last minute who to vote for.  I am leaning for Roxanna because she opposes strangling Rio Grande Blvd with a roundabout at Candelaria.  It is a waste of money and Benton still refuses to say what he wants to do.  Which means he is for it in my mind.  I just object to his refusal to say.

Overall, this is the most boring Mayor's race ever.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Storm Coming

As I sit in front of my financial software to balance my accounts I realize this morning that a reality moment is coming towards the likes of Tea Party darling Congressman Steve Pearce.  A week from today thousands of federal employees will not get a paycheck. (My wife Bobbi included).  We can weather this storm but I can assure you that many GS 5 to 9 level employees will be scrambling towards their credit cards to make up for short falls.  Sure, congress say they will get their back pay but that doesn't help pay the bills today.  Of course, Congress gets their checks on time so they wont experience this.

This whole federal government shut down is somewhat of a joke really.  It is aimed at just a few departments and programs.  Both Obama and Congress are just acting in a theater.  The real losers are  thousands of government employees in certain agencies.  Grist for the mill!  A real shut down would last only a few hours.  Send home the FAA controllers, close the sea ports, shut down the interstate highway system for lack of safety monitoring and the closures would last about an hour before the budget was worked out.  These things would affect the likes of the Koch brothers and the other right wing business men who cooked up this partial shutdown that hurts only some people.

This kind of drama will continue to play out  until big money is taken out of political campaigns.  And by that I mean corporate money.  

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Class War

There shouldn't be any doubt that we are in a full scale class war in America.  The New York Times article this morning on the Koch brothers and their ilk should pretty much settle the question.  The rich and conservative minions who don't want the poor to have health care insurance have pretty much engineered the current debacle in Washington, DC.  They have poured hundreds of millions of dollars in an admittedly brilliant execution of their plan to bring us to this state of affairs.  They are aided and abetted by the likes of Fox News who have now convinced the uneducated that they will have micro devices planted in them by government doctors.(See Bill Maher's latest show.)

When will there be some backlash against these uncaring conservative billionaires?  Lets don't wait like the current politicians in Greece who are trying to deflect their image of incompetence to the Germans by asking for war reparations from 70 years ago.  It is a little late.  These worthless Greek pols weren't even alive back then, but this saber rattling has always been proved to deflect criticism.  Think bush/cheney in their run up to an unnecessary war in Iraq to hide their incompetence in ignoring terrorist threats.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Cop Out

Governor Susana Martinez finally said something about the federal government shutdown.  She scolded both parties for not working things out.  She took no position on the issues involved and said nothing that would damage her reputation as a Tea Party sweetheart.  She did not stand up for doing the right thing other than at least breaking her silence.

She says the Feds need to look at how the states balance their budget every year, thus proving to everyone she is a mile wide and an inch deep.  She truly doesn't understand the difference between the Fed's mandates and the State's responsibilities.  Otherwise she would not be uttering this populist nonsense.  We really have a governor with a mediocre knowledge of government.  

Thursday, October 03, 2013

We Are Alone

No body has our back in local journalism. Thursday evenings  lead stories on the three local Albuquerque TV newscasts.....2 led with a story about a rabid bat and one about a crime scene with a reenactment by a so called reporter.  Lead stories on the thousands of local  laid off federal workers...none.  Will some one please give the news directors and anchors at these TV stations a mind meld with the departed spirit of Edward R. Murrow?  Damn.


Has Mayor Berry or Governor Martinez place a call to Republican Tea Party Congressman Steve Pearce to let him know that New Mexico is suffering under the government shutdown?  Or are they putting their standing with the Tea Party before the welfare of their constituents?  Can't some reporter track them down for a one on one question and answer session?  Or is Journalism is dead in our state?  Along with reasonable political leadership?

Field to Table

They harvest the grapes at night so they will be less stressed in the cool air.
The crews work at a blistering pace in order to get payed by the ton of grapes harvested.  They can make up to $30 an hour each.
And then we get to enjoy the fruits of their work a few years later.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


This is a new 1200 foot long tunnel for wine storage at the Halter Ranch Winery where we are holding our foundation meeting.  It is a good place to hide out from the Tea Party Taliban during our current crisis caused by a hundred or so congressmen and women who seem intent on destroying our economy.   

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Winery View

We have a meeting of the Wyss Foundation tomorrow near Paso Robles at the Halter Ranch Vineyards.  The grapes are being harvested every other night and tomorrow we will go watch as tons of grapes are taken from the vines to make fine wine.