News & Notes September 1, 2014

This is my final week in New Mexico and I’ll miss the clear, deep blue skies, the soaring mountains and high pressure systems.  It hasn’t been over 82-83 degrees the four weeks I’ve been here and the low desert humidity is wonderful.  I’ve done some hiking in addition to the trips and sightseeing.  Sitting on the back portal watching flocks of hummingbirds, magpies and wren jays against this deep blue sky is enchanting.

My laptop has been overheating constantly and periodically shutting down so I haven’t spent much time online.  Still, things have been going on in spite of all my efforts to tune out.

The latest F&M poll shows Tom Wolf with a 25 point lead in the Gubernatorial race.  I suppose we really can’t call it a race since that would connote some semblance of a contest.  Gov. gasbag’s numbers remain stubbornly around 24% in spite of every effort he makes to nudge them upward.  Instead he opens his mouth and makes yet another gaffe, this time about how only women, it seems, make dinner.

While I enjoy the convenience (if I drank) of being able to go to any store here and purchase whatever alcohol I would want the ugly side of that is New Mexico’s serious problem with alcohol.  DWI’s here are a persistent problem and the liquor industry owns the state legislature so no meaningful bills restricting access to booze get passed.  I was listening to a conversation about these issues one one of my trips here.  KSFR, the local public radio station had an expert on air discussing the problems.  I recall her saying the state sport here in New Mexico is tossing empty bottles against the canyon walls while driving drunk.  These are lessons we need to keep in mind before changing our laws.  Even if it means it takes the little woman a bit longer to get dinner on the table Governor.

The Saudi King was on TV this week trying to scare Americans into saving his sorry ass.  He did so by warning that ISIS could strike terror here or in the UK if we don’t destroy them.  I’m sorry but ISIS has no capability to do any such thing.  Heck, Saddam didn’t have that capability despite the lies told by the Bush/Cheney crew.  King saud is worried ISIS might topple his corrupt regime and that’s his real concern.  He wants to incite Americans into forcing the President to “bomb ISIS back to the stone age.”  I’m sorry but they never left.

Now people are criticizing President Obama for not having a strategy for destroying ISIS.  Effective foreign policy strategies take time to develop and should not be rushed.  Interesting though that the only credible argument against the President lately seems to be the color of his suit.  That’s all they have to complain about?

Congressman Chaka Fattah seems to be in deep trouble with an FBI investigation swirling around his family, staff and campaigns.  The liberal lion has long been a leader for progressive causes in Washington and his fall will be hard to accept.  Corruption in government should never be tolerated however whoever is involved.

Today is Labor day and we salute all of our working men and women.  When conservatives call for an end to minimum wage laws, child labor prohibitions and workplace safety we must remember the sacrifices working people and Labor made to advance these principles.  When we again have strong unions we’ll rebuild the middle class and start reversing income inequality.