Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Grasping at Straws
A "free market" implies that there is a free exchange of information, in order for consumers to make the best choices. But these free market champions are concerned that employees might learn about their rights to a fair wage. Oh, and the other information they're worried about?
The right to unionize.In other words, their version of the free market relies on suppressing information, and making sure consumers and workers don't have the information to make a free market work.
Sound to me like they don't really believe in a free market.
Never in the history of the world has there been a more open and free exchange of information. I don't know of a single employer who is worried about employees learning "about their rights to a fair wage." Is there any employee out there earning the minimum who does not know what the minimum wage is? I don't think so. Why should it be any different if that wage were to be increased?
However, there is one part of the above quote the rings true. The whole "living wage" ordinance proposed for Albuquerque is nothing more than a ploy to give unions and others carte blanche access to private property and a license to disrupt Albuquerque businesses.
If this was just about the workers, the union benefiting clause would not have been inserted.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Conceal-Carry Law Saves Life
Joyce Cordova, 46, was working her job behind the deli counter at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 301 San Mateo SE, when her ex-husband, Felix Vigil, 54, came across the counter and stabbed her multiple times, police say.Every time the story has run it has included the fact that the victim's stab wounds were "non-life threatening." It almost seems as though Mr. Moore's use of deadly force is being painted as excessive. However, I can't help but think if this armed good samaritan had not taken this action we would have instead read yet another story about the stabbing death of a domestic violence victim. It's a good thing New Mexico has a conceal-carry law.
That's when Due Moore, 72 - a volunteer with the Albuquerque Police Department cold case unit who has a concealed-carry permit - intervened and shot Vigil dead, police say.
Cordova was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital to be treated for stab wounds that police described as non-life-threatening. She was released from the hospital Friday, according to a spokeswoman.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Collapse of the Lemonade Stand
Yes, this is a real book that can be bought at Amazon.
Monday, August 22, 2005
CPA's Sense of Humor
Governor Bill Richardson will be among a number of public officials and business leaders to address a conference on revitalizing public trust in government and business.The Governor will probably lead by defining ethics and using examples from his own recent past on how to best deal with ethical dilemmas. Then he will most likely move onto the important checks and balances that were in place (subscription) in New Mexico. Finally, he will close by talking about his own experiences with creative tax schemes. All in all, it should be a very interesting discussion.
Not so Pretty
Friday, August 19, 2005
This is Just Too Sad
Chavez, the current mayor and a Democrat, sent out mailers quoting prominent city Republicans praising him. His campaign says everybody knew they were being quoted.Come on, how sad is this? This type of performance from a man with a 72% approval rating just eight months ago screams of desperation. It is amazing that a man who has served two terms as Mayor has stooped to this level. Then again, I guess it is in line with previous ethical lapses.
Cargo says he first found out he was in the mailer when one arrived at his home.
"I thought, I wonder who endorsed him," and "I opened it up and I saw, whoa, me!" he said. "I said I do not want to be included in it. I don't want my picture in it. I don't want any quotes in it. I'm not endorsing any candidate period, and I repeated it, over and over and over."
Unlike the other quotes, Cargo's does not include his signature. And, Cargo said, the mailer misquoted him. He had said the mayor's vision had served the city well in the past, but says he said nothing about how it would do in the future.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Winter's Taxpayer Protection Act
... isn't it time for our local Dem Party to disown Marty Chavez? As far as I can tell, he's against almost every single progressive and/or Democratic core issue we hold dear. How can any real Democrat support a politico who is vehemently AGAINST the Living Wage proposal, AGAINST cleaning up City elections by reforming campaign funding and AGAINST efforts to use our heads in planning, shaping and regulating the future of our city to benefit the common good?Ok, so as a Republican reading this, I should be thinking, "My kind of guy." Problem is.. he IS NOT. Granted, we agree on issues like the absurdity of trying to pass a Living Wage, the ridiculousness of taxpayer funded elections, and the downright anti-American nature of severely limiting property rights. Although on that last point, Mayor Chavez is a lot weaker (subscription) then those on the left would have you believe:
The U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation that local governments can condemn property for economic development - even on behalf of private developers - drew responses from local officials.Mayor Chavez applauded the worse decision to come out of the Supreme Court in recent history. That's reason enough for any Republican to not seriously consider voting for Chavez. Now throw in his ethically challenged behavior with propensity for big government and there is no way Mayor Chavez should garner a single Republican vote.
While Mayor Martin Chavez was quick to applaud the ruling, a trio of Bernalillo County commissioners vowed to stay within the time-honored limits.
I agree with this writer. As Republicans, we should not continue to elect politicians with this inclination to spend and spend. So, it's no surprise that I'm pleased with Brad Winter's recent unveiling of a "Taxpayer Protection Act." Take a hard look at that graph the current Mayor's spending makes former Mayor Jim Baca look like a fiscal conservative, and making Baca look like a conservative anything is no small feat.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Blow Away the Smoke
"It's exciting to learn that more New Mexicans have made the healthy choice to eliminate tobacco from their lives," Lujan Grisham said in a news release. "We expect to see our state's smoking rates decline even further as we diligently work to educate New Mexico about the dangers of smoking and provide resources to kick the habit."No, she didn't. She couldn't have said, "as we diligently work to educate New Mexico about the dangers of smoking and provide resources to kick the habit." What she really should have said was:
"Yes, this is great news. The current drop will save New Mexicans $395 million in the long term. Of course, it could have been a whole lot more, but one of the first things my boss, Governor Bill Richardson, did upon getting elected to office was successfully push a bill to dismantle the tobacco settlement fund. See, he really doesn't need to worry about the long term health and prosperity of New Mexicans. He's not planning on being here very long."It's also not surprising that Secretary Lujan Grisham forgot to mention that teen smoking continues to increase, but hey, it is just another way the administration continues to fail our kids.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Gov. Richardson Has Done it Again
First, it was taxation, and now it's immigration. Governor Bill Richardson has once again demonstrated his unique ability to deliver policy out of both sides of his mouth. One policy agenda that keeps New Mexico from moving ahead, and another that is devised to propel Richardson forward.
Update: Just read this New Mexican article:
As part of last week's declaration, Richardson plans to spend $50,000 to fence the stockyards at the Columbus port of entry but he has no other plans for fencing along the 180-mile New Mexico-Mexico border, Hume said.Well, that didn't take long for the backtracking to begin. When you read the New Mexican article, make sure to take time to peruse the comments.
Richardson isn't in favor of closing the border. [emphasis added]
Another Update: Now, I know I'm considered a "right-wing hardliner" by some readers, but Governor Richardson's "State of Emergency" is equally transparent to those reading "progressive" blogs and comments sections throughout the web for exactly what they are -- shameless attempts to grab headlines.
I especially enjoyed this insightful comment by Jim:
How true, how true... Oh, and Bill Richardson's long history of duplicity is captured perfectly here by Rusty:
I contacted my law enforcement sources down there and discovered Gov. Richardson sent 56 -- YES 56 -- National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Even that number is deceiving. In order to cover one post with one man (or woman) for 24/7 requires 4.5 guardsmen. So the BIG 56 soldier beef-up translates into about 12 soldiers covering about 180 miles of border at any one time, if you believe that amount of territory is the problem area as stated by Gov. Richardson.
I've seen states deploy more National Guard troops for snowstorms than Gov. Richardson deployed in his phony "state of emergency."
Richardson is tough to figure out. He’s very bright, apparently a great negotiator, but also a true politician, saying and supporting what he thinks will advance his career. When he represented a New Mexico district in the House years back, he took up the cause against putting a nuclear waste disposal dump down in Carlsbad. Said he would put his body in front of any trucks carrying waste down there. Then he became Secretary of Energy, and he had no problem ramming the dump down our throats. I’m a Democrat, he’s a Democrat, but I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.Ouch.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Not Ready for Prime Time
"It was a state that was relatively content with inaction," Richardson said, describing a welfare mentality that relied on federal spending.Excuse me Governor, but I might suggest in future interviews you choose a different focus. Last I checked we are still reliant on federal spending. Worse yet, some over eager reporter might accuse you of being a poster child of the "welfare mentality" and dig up those letters you wrote seeking more federal funding after attempts to defraud the system have failed.
Oh and Governor, you really need to have a word with your Chief of Staff:
Although the state remains troubled -- "You don't turn around the Titanic in a day," said gubernatorial Chief of Staff David Contarino -- things have definitely improved.I'm not sure that the two of you really understand the whole spin-success-out-of-failure thing you are going to need to do if you want a chance in 2008. I mean, adding "Titanic" to the imagery of "the welfare state" just isn't going to cut it. [Note to Chief of Staff: You don't turn around the Titanic in ANY number of days. It sinks.]
Friday, August 12, 2005
Before the Next Trip
When things are going poorly for a politician, he or she will claim any victory -- however small -- as a sign of progress.Think about it a one hundredth of a percent difference. I don't think Governor Richardson can even lay claim to that level of success. Actually, I know he can't. Beckman goes on in the article to provide some interesting statistics comparing right-to-work states versus forced unionism states:
So it was with Gov. Jennifer Granholm's recent trip to Japan, intended to entice Far Eastern businesses to invest in Michigan.
The governor trumpeted the promises she received from several Japanese companies to invest in Michigan, to the grand total of 630 jobs during the next five years. Let's put that number in perspective.
Michigan's June unemployment rate was a lofty 6.77 percent. Applying all of the 630 positions for the jobless now would reduce that rate all the way down to 6.76 percent, a tiny fractional victory in solving the state's biggest problem.
But again, let's consider some facts from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau comparing productivity in right-to-work states versus forced unionism states, like Michigan [and New Mexico], for the decade starting in 1993.Keeping these figures in mind, what do you think the impact of ACORN's follies are going to have on New Mexico's future? Anybody heard from the Governor on this issue? Heck, anybody in New Mexico heard from the Governor on any of the crises occurring under his watch? Well, maybe we could call some folks in New Hampshire to find out the Governor's views.
Private-sector employee growth was 24.1 percent in right-to-work states compared with 14.2 percent in forced unionism states.
Real or inflation-adjusted personal income during that period grew 37 percent in right-to-work states compared with 29 percent in the union states.
The number of people covered by private health insurance grew 13.6 percent in right-to-work states compared with 5.9 percent in union states.
And in the 20-year period between 1982 and 2001, the right-to-work states saw 7 percent growth in manufacturing businesses while the union states suffered a loss of 4.9 percent.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Apache Elementary should be struggling, it seems. About 70 percent of its students are in federal free and reduced lunch programs. Families are constantly moving in and out of the Southeast Heights school's boundaries. Often, vandals break school windows and blast graffiti on walls.Looks like, contrary to what the teacher's union and others would have you believe, the title should have been, Schools Shows NCLB Not the Problem.
But despite all this, Apache students consistently score well on state standardized tests and meet all federal No Child Left Behind requirements.
On Thursday, Apache will start the school year as one of Albuquerque Public Schools' top elementaries. Again.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Time Will Tell
As some of you may know, the Democrats in the United States Senate have filibustered 10 of President Bush's judicial nominees, and some have been waiting for a constitutionally guaranteed right to receive an up or down vote for up to four years. This kind of obstructionist behavior is unprecedented, irresponsible and grossly inexcusable. Most appalling of all is the insurmountable hypocrisy of the Senate Democrats. Ironically enough, in 1995, a total of 19 Democratic senators voted to end the filibuster option on all Senate matters (S.Res. 14, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 76-19: R 53-0; D 23-19). Even more ironically, nine of those very same democratic senators still serve today (Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lieberman and Sarbanes) and of these nine, all now oppose the filibuster rules change for only judicial nominees. Meaning they have no problem changing the filibuster rules, but only if the change would best suit their political agendaHowever, Senator Bingaman should probably not be judged too harshly for his flip-flopping. Apparently, voting for something before you vote against it is an unwritten rule for junior Senate Democrats.
With all of that said, the true test of the Senator's moderateness is at hand. Senator Bingaman is about to face one of his most important votes, and it remains to be seen whether he will follow in the footsteps of another liberal democratic senator eager to be seen as moderate. As a constituent, the one thing I sincerely hope is that Senator Bingman does vote instead of being bullied into a filibuster.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if Senator Bingaman has the strength of character to speak out against the mudslinging that demeans the entire confirmation process. Consider this:
NARAL is using the image of the abortion clinic bombing by Eric Rudolph to suggest that Judge Roberts would excuse such violence--even though NARAL's leaders have admitted to the press that Judge Roberts has condemned clinic violence. Indeed, the Washington Post reported last week that in 1986, when he was an assistant in the White House counsel's office, Mr. Roberts wrote a memo recommending against a presidential pardon for abortion-clinic bombers. "No matter how lofty or sincerely held the goal, those who resort to violence to achieve it are criminals," Roberts wrote.Vicious, FALSE attack ads should not be part of a confirmation process to the highest court in the land. I wonder... do you think Senator Bingaman will demonstrate leadership by speaking out against them?
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
What's Wrong with Politics?
Monday, August 08, 2005
DWI Deja Vu
Speaking to a crowd of cyclists gathered to ride in honor of a Santa Fe woman killed by a suspected drunken driver, Gov. Bill Richardson said Sunday that he plans to propose a package of anti-driving-while-intoxicated laws during the next legislative session.When is he going to put some bite in that bark and start singling out the judges that are soft on DWI offenses instead of holding pointless summits? How many times can the Governor get away with with grabbing headlines by making these claims without delivering on them? Well, let's count.
"We're going to go all out and snuff out one of the biggest scourges in New Mexico," Richardson told about 300 riders gathered at St. John's College.
Richardson said he wants tougher penalties for first-time DWI offenders and more thorough treatment programs. "That's what this tragedy shows us we should do," he said. "But the judiciary has got to do its job."
"We need more court convictions and stiffer penalties," he said.
One time, he goes through the motions of by appointing a DWI czar. See this previous post to learn more about the whole czar appointment practice.
The second time, Governor Richardson pretends to be tough on DWI's, he has his surrogates herald legislation that lacks stiffer penalties.
2005 DWI package: One thing is for certain. DWI will be an issue in the upcoming legislative session. Gov. Bill Richardson has made the fight against DWI a cornerstone of his administration.Oh, and for number three, there is this claim in the Governor's bio:
Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Wednesday that the governor, who held retreats with lawmakers, has received positive reception of his latest DWI and crime from legislators in both parties.
On Wednesday, Richardson's DWI czar Rachel O'Connor appeared at the Corrections Oversight, Courts and Justice Committee to present four proposed bills from the governor's office. They include requiring ignition interlocks on vehicles belonging to all convicted DWI offenders; lowering the legal blood-alcohol level limit for convicted DWI offenders; allowing local governments to impose tougher restrictions on liquor sales in areas of high alcohol abuse; and establishing a "Drunkbusters Hotline" to report drunk drivers.
In just over two years, Governor Richardson has made good on his campaign promises to ... make New Mexico safer by getting tough on DWI.I wonder what he would consider a complete and total failure. After all the same line in his bio
Governor Richardson has made good on his campaign promises to improve education...But I digress. The bottomline is, as Senator Kent Cravens has pointed out in the past, that Governor Richardson continues his shameless practice of using the tragedy of New Mexico's DWI problem to grab headlines (subscription), but when the time comes for decisive leadership he has failed us every year:
Gov. Bill Richardson used DWI victims to grab headlines but has done little to push through bills to improve the state's drunken-driving laws, a key Senate sponsor charged Thursday.This has got to stop.
"The governor rallied the troops, so to speak, at the beginning of this session, saying that DWI was his number one priority -- and I can only believe at this point that that came from a poll that was run ... before the session and his question was 'what's the popular issues and we'll go that way,' '' said Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Do as I Say, Not as I Do
[Governor Richardson] added that he's met with the two leading contenders for the LANL contract and have urged them both to purchase more of their items locally.
"Two years ago the buying practices changed and the lab began to purchase from other places and I think it's very important for them to support the local economy," Richardson said.
Too bad the Governor doesn't even come close to following his own advice. In fact, he seems to go out of his way to spend taxpayer money with out-of-state firms every chance he gets.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
As long I am on the subject of media, I've been meaning to put in my two cents about the Journal's newest attempt at blogging. It's weak, very weak. They really should take a clue from the Santa Fe New Mexican. The New Mexican has embraced blogging by allowing and encouraging public comments at the end of all online articles. Plus, they and other publications like New Mexico Magazine have gone out of their way to embrace the blogging community by providing an ever growing directory of bloggers.
To date, the Albuquerque Journal has avoided listing (or crediting) bloggers like the plague. Me thinks, Goliath is feeling a little threatened by David.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
No Sense of Urgency
The Journal is full of articles on New Mexico's failing schools. Here are the headlines and excerpts:
Failing Schools Point to Progress (subscription)
Sombrillo Elementary School principal Christiana Cisneros isn't happy that her school received the inferior restructuring II rating - the lowest designation a school can get in state testing results released Monday - but she's not about to start rattling off excuses.I wonder what an excuse would sound like.
"We're not failing; it's just we're not taking that test right," said Cisneros, the principal at the school, part of the Espanola school district, since November 2003.
SF Schools Not Meeting Test Standards (subscription)
More than half of the schools in the Santa Fe school district are not meeting academic standards, according to results of federally mandated tests that were released Monday morning.It may not be a surprise for educators, but I'll bet you it was huge surprise for many of the parents reading the papers.
Last year, eight Santa Fe schools and one of the city's three charter schools were labeled as failing to make "adequate yearly progress."
This year 15 of the district's 28 schools did not meet requirements under the federal rating system. Likewise two of three charter schools did not make the cut.
"Obviously it does not make us happy that so many schools did not make AYP, but it is not a surprise," said Superintendent Gloria Rendon.
Majority of State Schools Failing (subscription)
State Secretary of Public Education Veronica Garcia said she expected more schools not to make the grade this year in part because roughly 125,000 more students were required to take new tests in reading and math this year than last year.Well, if Secretary Garcia expected more schools to fail this year, how is it the Governor is making claims like this in his State of the State address:
We've done a lot to improve our schools. We're no longer at the bottom of the rankings. Test scores are up.APS Schools Falling Short (subscription)
APS Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt said she expected that more APS schools would not meet requirements this year, partly because more students took the test.I'm confused. How is it administering more tests equates to worse grades? Have all prior results just been manipulations to make the schools look better? Also, is it my imagination, or does it seem that all the top educators have been provided talking points... "it is not a surprise..." "she expected more schools not to make the grade..." "We don't like it, but we expected it."
"We had been warned all through last year that the number would be higher this year," Everitt said. "We don't like it, but we expected it."
So, what's the bottomline. Obviously, not one of these top educators seems particularly concerned. So, who do we hold accountable? Who should lose his job over the downward spiral in performance plaguing New Mexico's public education system? Who has failed to deliver on his promise to deliver?
Yes on One means now there will be a Secretary of Education -- providing real accountability for our educational system -- and ensuring that for the first time, the buck stops with one person, the Governor.Oh yeah, that's right. Anyone know if the Governor is visiting New Mexico right now?
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Stop and Think
Monday, August 01, 2005
Help Wanted: Democrats with Integrity
Yet another left-leaning political blogger has jumped onto the scene. Here is an excerpt from one of the early posts:
My third thought is where's the Democratic advocate for honesty in the process of collecting signatures? Petition forgery is an issue that bites democrats on as frequent a basis as Republicans, and for some reason there isn't a counter voice to the Sheriff. And when I say counter, I don't mean somebody that would just jump out there to disagree with White, but rather to argue for the integrity of the process from the inclusive philosophy of the Democratic party's viewpoint. In the absence of such a voice, the Dems silence could be interpreted as accepting ACORN's questionable practices simply because the party supports the issue of a fair wage. The question is whether we are willing to get a fair wage through unfair practices?I was wondering when someone from the left was going to challenge ACORN's win by any means mentality.