Monday, February 27, 2017


Every time I get out of bed and read real newspapers I feel more and more like I am wandering lost in the Wilderness with others looking for a way out.

Today I pick up the NYT and see that trump is vowing to increase military spending.  While at the same time killing healthcare for poor children all over the nation.  It doesn't matter that we have a defense budget bigger than the next twelve nations combined.  We just need to get more money to Defense Industry stockholders and bonuses to the scum who call themselves CEOs of that giant killing machine.

I feel my self getting radical as I wander.  I see anger rising every minute in our country.  I see dictatorship leading to refugee camps run by private corporations that trump's policies will force to open.

I see a total loss of the moral compass that usually pointed somewhere in the right direction for our democracy over time.

Well, it is a Monday.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

From Ned

More from energy policy insider Ned Farquhar.

Scott Pruitt at EPA.  No need to replay all the news about Pruitt's close coordination with the oil industry over the decades.  Pruitt, based in Oklahoma, was doubtless very close to Oklahoma oil magnate and early Trump supporter/energy advisor Harold Hamm, who strongly supported his appointment to EPA. (See ).  You know he says climate change is still in doubt and that he wants to "return" EPA to its basic mission of clean air and clean water, ignoring climate change.  The nation's environmental watchdog is being leashed and told to bark at the janitor, not at the robbers who have parked a giant truck at the back of the bank in the middle of the night and are vigorously prying open the doors and vaults.

Iraq's oil.  In 2007 Alan Greenspan (former Fed chair) wrote that the Iraq war was about oil, a position he later tempered to say it should have been about oil, if it wasn't.  (See ).  The President has repeatedly said the United States should have appropriated Iraq's oil.  In fact the big multinational oil companies, that see little relevance to national boundaries (see Steve Coll's 2011 book, Private Empire, about the ExxonMobil corporation, or his recent New Yorker article at ), have done pretty well in Iraq, sharply boosting production and taking a share of the revenue, juicing global production and driving oil prices down in the past few years.  Whether the US appropriated Iraq oil or not, in the marketplace the oil companies are doing fine.  On the other hand, the US and its allies are caring for almost a million wounded war veterans ( ), with potentially more to be identified in decades to come.  As of 2015, Iraq held proven oil reserves ranking it in the top five countries in the world, after Saudi Arabia, Iran, Canada, and Venezuela (see ). 

Some more about the oil export ban.  In late 2015, Congress repealed the US oil export ban.  In return, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress got a five-year extension of federal subsidies for wind and solar development.  The oil industry got far the better deal in this energy horse trade.

Less than two years later, the US industry is expected to export about 800,000 barrels/day, or bpd (  As context, the US consumes almost 20 million bpd, and produces somewhere around 9.5 million, so exports are now reaching almost 10% of US oil production and moving toward 5% of US consumption.  Contrary to the industry's vague claims that we are energy-secure, we remain more than 50% dependent on foreign oil.  Time after time since the early 1970s, our dependence on foreign oil has led to world economic crisis and economically destructive price spikes.  And we spend hundreds of billions of dollars defending global oil transportation routes and oil facilities and oilfields around the world.  That is a cost borne by US taxpayers, not by the industry.  

By exporting oil, the US industry intends to seek the highest price and flatten the price gap between US crude and world crude prices, as projected by the Economist when the ban was lifted (  What economists call a global market distortion, of course, provided economic relief to American consumers.  It's a boom and bust industry that produces jobs and then eliminates them, as shown by the contraction in oil and gas employment when prices were low in the years prior to the lifting of the export ban.  Despite the boasting about how many jobs the industry provides (when oil prices are high and punishing the American consumer), it isn't a healthy, consistent industry in the fabric of the American economy.

There are environmental implications of rapidly expanding oil exports as well.  The industry is clamoring for more access to the offshore, objecting to President Obama's closures of the Arctic and North Atlantic to offshore leasing, and to natural areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (see ).  Further, in the drilling, production, processing, and refining processes, the industry produces and wastes significant amounts of unregulated methane (natural gas) - and the Congress has been preparing to rescind rules intended to control these unnecessary, wasteful, atmosphere-destroying methane emissions from production on public lands.  Production for export requires incrementally more poorly regulated fracking in the US, where shale oil and gas production far exceeds such production anywhere else on earth.  Thus we are generating and accepting the significant impact of other nations' oil and gas consumption, effectively importing impacts, while exporting fossil fuels.

Exporting US oil doesn't really make much policy sense.  But it clearly shows the grip that the oil industry has got on Washington and in the states - a grip growing ever stronger.

New energy campaign from the American Petroleum Institute.  If you saw the Super Bowl, you might have caught the industry's rollout of a new public relations campaign by the American Petroleum Institute, about "power past impossible."  (See ) or ( ).  This follows on their five-year-old "Vote4Energy" campaign (see that has in fact focused on oil and gas, not on energy.  As oil consumers, we are all paying for these campaigns to convince us that we can't ever live without oil, that it uniquely brings us jobs, products, convenience, and other benefits - without addressing the need to reduce carbon emissions radically in future years.  They seem to be so focused on powering past the impossible that they have powered past the possible (such as cap and trade on carbon emissions, with real, hard-shell limits to emissions and a successful record in the electric industry here in New England, see ) on the way!


Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican has a great story on the horrendous business of the Pay Day Loan Industry today.  These people are truly the scum of the earth.  As are the Legislators who carry their water for them in the efforts to regulate a business whose sole purpose is to make poor people even poorer.  And of course the enabler in chief is Governor Susana Martinez who has taken large donations from the scum, as have democratic and republican lawmakers.

There is also another category of folks that should take on the blame, and that is the lobbyists who grease the skids for this immorality.  Lobbying, on its own isn't evil in all cases.  A good ethical lobbyists can further discourse and debate.  But, the ones who take on clients like the short term loan folks have to be missing some of their moral compass.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dogma Again

How low can the GOP go?  The republicans on the ABQ City Council couldn't even vote for a resolution that we are an immigrant friendly city.  The word sanctuary wasn't even used!  Two of the members took a hike and Councillor Trudy Jones put her brainwashed bigoted beliefs front and center.  And where was the Mayor's leadership?  Ha!

Vice President Pence criticized vandalism in that Jewish Cemetery and then declared war on 12 year old Transgender kids in the school bathrooms.  Make no mistake, this is his warped christian fundamentalism at work and something that will need to be dealt with after trump is impeached or resigns.

Speaking of trump.  Read this to fully understand his condition.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Real Problem

I have shared this on Face Book before, but more and more it gets to the heart of the problem.

New Gestapo

trump will get his own new Gestapo as he hires 15,000 new ICE and Border Patrol agents.  Think of it.  One job will be to tear families apart who are living in America.  And think again the way these people will be hired to do this job.

For example the head of the Police Union in Santa Fe who exposes his hate for Muslims may end up being out of a job.  A bad cop.  Where do you think his next job will be?  It is hard enough to fill vacant positions in police departments all over the country but now the job possibilities will increase even more and in desperation to fill them there will be a lot of inferior people hired.  Every bad cop in the country who has been fired will probably be deemed eligible for this work.

And the private prison companies who will house these horrible criminals, you know the ones who do your landscaping and tar your roofs, will also be full steam ahead hiring anyone who can add one and one.  Maybe worse.

What is happening to our America.  When does the dam burst?  Soon I hope.  And for all you trump people out there, how could you be so stupid?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The Bernallio County Commissioners are considering the most regressive tax to get them out of their overspending habits.  They want to raise the gross receipts tax 3/16ths of a cent.  Of course this falls on the poor and middle class.  Every resident should raise hell.  First, tell them to stop spending.  Second if they still need money then look to the property tax.   Third, if they do this,  just do it for county areas that do not include the City of Albuquerque, whose residents are supporting this overspending by the county as it is while getting few services.

Twenty years ago the gross receipts tax was about 5 1/2%.  Now it is inching up towards 8%.  This is unsustainable.

Monday, February 20, 2017


We are in the 6th circle of hell with the IRS and NM Tax and Rev because of a computer breach somewhere that affected my wife Bobbi's employment data with the Feds.  Now we have to prove who we are by spending hours waiting on phones and then trying to send scanned documents to the state, which doesn't really like scanned doc formats.  Catch 22 again!  Meanwhile the thousands they owe us in returns won't be sent for an undetermined time.  What is happening here is that we are victims again of identity theft.  But, things could be worse.  trump could actually be in office for more that a few months.  It will be interesting to see if our refunds get here before he has to leave!

Thursday, February 16, 2017


The Legislature is halfway to nowhere.  Thirty days left in the session to present crucial bills that our ideologue Governor will veto.

The federal government's immigration enforcers are halfway to becoming the regime's Gestapo.  Way to many of them are doing it willingly.

The Governor and Social Security Administration are halfway to making it impossible to get a drivers license renewed in New Mexico.  I know, I am trying.  Since my SS card is laminated I have to get a new one and they wont let me do it online because as a 71 year old retiree I am not verified.  WTF?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Who is on First

The City Council is funding an effort to get property crimes pounced on by a special team at APD.  Right now the response times for such crimes is almost never.  So, that is good.  Our neighborhood has been seeing a lot of burglaries.  So any thing that can be done to find these thieves is good.  Personally,  I would cut off one of their fingers every time they are caught.  And you all thought I was way too much of a lefty.

But wait, in another development the new DA in Bernalillo County will only go after high profile cases because of his budget woes.  So what happens to these small time thieves.  Well, they are set loose on us again.  And it all comes down to inadequate funding because of Susana's corporate subsidies and tax cuts.  Unlike her, the rest of us don't have a State Police Officer living at their house as a full time security service.

Could the DA and the Mayor have a chat?

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Wall

The chief Cheeto in DC should hire Governor Susana Martinez to build his wall along the Mexican border.  She has already shown her prowess at building a human wall around her to block the press as she moves around the Capitol.  She is adept at it, and as her recent confusing and meaningless remarks on tearing families apart on the border shows, she is heartless too.  She just couldn't bring her self to say the wall is stupid and not something a rational human being would do.

Meanwhile, the orange guy in the White House continues his almost hourly attacks on Journalists in this country.  This is going to end very badly.  Does anyone really doubt the the New York Times, LA Times, and the Washington Post are just absorbing this without a plan?  Is it a possibility they are getting the goods on the regime and its ties with Russia's Putin and other unsavory folks around the world.  Does the Cheeto regime think that videos and other damning evidence of all sorts will not find their way to real newspaper professionals?

And have you noticed how the Cheeto's advisor Stephen Miller sort of  looks like Himmler?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fossil Thinking

The Albuquerque Journal turned over a major part of its editorial page Sunday to the fossil fuel boys. Call it fake news OPEDs.  First that  oil and gas mascot, Congressman Steve Pearce, says that Obama wanted to crush New Mexico's economy by preventing flaring of natural gas into the atmosphere from all of those leaky oil and gas wells.  "Crush" he said.  Never mind climate change sped up by all this free methane!  Pearce, in protecting his funder's profits, could be construed to be much more dangerous than that poor woman torn from her children in Phoenix and sent back to Mexico.  Crimes against humanity just gets shrugs these days.

And then former Land Commissioner Bill Humphries, a pretty nice guy, drank some of Commissioner Aubrey Dunn's Kool Aid by supporting his P.R. massaging of the fossil fuel boys by saying federal mineral rights under private lands should be given to the state.  Problem is, that will never happen and if it did it would be an immoral act.  Those resources belong to all Americans, from sea to shining sea, and not just to Oil and Gas profiteers in the Land of Enchantment.  Bill, I always thought you were much better than this.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Buggy Whips

Congressman Steve Pearce is all in with trump.  He is seeking support for a new oil refinery in NM.  It is like asking for funding for a new buggy whip factory.  He said it would make us the 'strongest oil economy in the world.'  He truly is one of the "Lords of Yesterday."   He is exactly the kind of leader that we can't afford anymore.  His solution to the fate of the state is planet killing fossil fuel.

Of course he is ignoring the fact that renewable energy, especially solar, is providing the real future of the country.  And yet he wants to leave the Land of Enchantment in the starting gate.  

Thursday, February 09, 2017


The New Mexico business community continues to loose confidence in our state's economy.  Only 16% of those surveyed think we are headed in the right direction.  And yet the Governor escapes the heat mostly because she is treated with such kid gloves by the media.  Where is journalism in New Mexico?

But, at the same time where is the business community ? The Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce has had the same old tired leadership for decades.  They keep their heads in the ground and rarely venture forth to do something concrete on getting the legislature and failed Governor to at least make an effort.  They seem more interested in holding on to what they have in a faltering economy than showing some extended energy to make things better.  The economic development teams of the State and City are feckless in rousing some support amongst them to improve education, infrastructure and recruiting.

Here is an idea for the media.  Demand a news conference by the Governor to detail what her plans are for remedying our slow descent into economic hell.  The Journal, the TV stations, and business publications need to insist.

Next, stand by for bad news from INTEL.  I can feel it coming.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


A gold star for Mayor Berry in opening an immigrant  friendly service center for the City of Albuquerque.   I don't agree with him on many things, but this was a humanitarian thing to do.  There might be a black mark against his name in  the trump regime, but it won't matter for long.  If the regime in DC doesn't stop the twittering  psychopath soon he will be impeached.  Maybe not from office but from any sort of serious consideration as a President.  And, this is on the GOP.

Someone should actually start a national lottery on the date and time the trump regime will be impeached for real.

The NM Legislature doesn't want ammosexual (yuk) gun nuts running around the Capitol building. They are considering banning firearms from the building.  If they don't actually do it they are stupid.  If they do actually do it, do it everywhere there is public present.  They are in a corner on this one.

Friday, February 03, 2017

From Ned

I will occasionally send  these missives from my good friend Ned who is an expert in all things having to do with energy production and fossil fuels.  Read it and weep.

This is the most recent of my occasional emails about the rapid restructuring of US fossils policy in the US.

Today the House is expected to vote to rescind the Interior Department's recent rule to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas exploration, production, processing, and transportation on public lands.  Rescinding this rule (requiring the use of available technology to sharply cut the climate threat from fugitive emissions, and protecting American taxpayers' interest in efficient production and full royalty payments for production on public lands) is a disgrace.  Here's a link to a summary of the issue by an editor of the West's environmental paper, High Country News:

This comes the day after the successful rescission of the previous Administration's mountaintop mining rule limiting the disposal of mine waste in mountain streams and valleys.  (Have you seen what has been happening in West Virginia?)  See the story here:

And this morning, in a "pre-dawn vote," the Senate voted on party lines to send President Trump a measure throwing out a recent Security and Exchange Commission anti-corruption rule requiring transparency about oil companies' payments to foreign governments - contrary to the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative ( that the Bush Administration started with the support of international human rights organizations and (supposedly) oil giants including ExxonMobil.  See:

Thursday, February 02, 2017


If I were a member of the American business community I would take notice of trump trying to ban the Johnson amendment that will allow churches to engage in political work without having to pay property taxes.  Pretty soon that work will turn into lucrative businesses for religious sects to compete with private business.  It already happens to a certain extent with these mega churches competing against hotels and public convention centers by renting out space in their industrial god spaces.  It happens here in ABQ right now.  But look for innovative ways in which the permissive political involvement of the churches will start selling goods and services tied to their dogmas.  Like Fundamentalist Salsa and tortillas with Jesus's face next to a GOP elephant.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Focal Point

Where is the focal point on Resistance going to be?  Right now there is an avalanche of organizations and people trying to lead the Resistance to trump et al.  But there is no focal point or rallying point that will be there for the long haul.  What is missing is a new leader.   Until then I think things get pretty diluted.

We need a leader in the Senate to personify the Resistance.  Some one young, charismatic, smart and relentless.  In the vein of Senator Gillibrand or Senator Heinrich.  Someone who can represent the young people, who in case you hadn't noticed, are the ones turning out by the millions to protest the crimes agains humanity emanating from trump and his minions.

This has to happen quickly, or trump and bannon will just keep shocking  us with new issues until we become numbed.