Tuesday, July 03, 2007
It's a Fourth that finds folks in a deep funk. If the polls are right, at least seven out of ten of you reading this are unhappy with the direction the USA is currently taking. With a no end-in-sight Iraq war, gas prices stubbornly stuck north of three bucks a gallon and ever-increasing health insurance premiums, there is no shortage of reasons for the sour national mood. But the nation has a long track record, and if it works as it always has, things will turn out like the weather. Don't like it? Hang around; it's sure to change. One thing that hasn't changed is our right to exercise our precious freedoms, including to read and write what we like. In that spirit, Happy Fourth of July. Now on to the action...
THE LOS ALAMOS LAMENT
Will the next Fourth see more fireworks over the billions in federal budgeting for Los Alamos and Sandia Labs? It appears Senator Domenici (and Bingaman) have staved off massive cuts for the next year, cutting a deal with a key subcommittee chairman. But it's only for a year. That means the debate starts all over again, and major cuts next year are a real possibility. The timing for Pete couldn't be worse. If his plans hold, he will be in the middle of his campaign for re-election to a seventh term just as the national labs budget debate flares anew.
A THORN FOR BILL
Not all of Big Bill's hometown press is glowing. Down Las Cruces way, Walt Rubel, managing editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, takes this poke at the Governor.
"The problem with Richardson is, even when he does the right thing, one is often left wondering if he did it for the right reasons. Everything is a negotiation, a political give-and-take, often with an eye toward payback down the road."
We guess Rubel didn't get the "be nice" memo from Guv press secretary Pahl Shipley
HERE WE GO AGAIN
ABQ Journal blogger Bruce Daniels says we've done it again--gone off the conspiratorial deep end by highlighting on Monday a national media report on the US Attorney scandal and the involvement of ABQ GOP lawyer Pat Rogers as a "new development." You mean the Illuminati isn't running the show? In any event, whatever the merits of the McClatchy news report, the US attorney imbroglio is here to stay for Campaign '08. And that's no conspiracy theory. On second thought....
No big surprise, but the Guv's polling numbers are falling back in Iowa and New Hampshire, after his initial burst to the double digit level in some surveys following a big wave of TV spots. Richardson is at 5% in the latest ARG Iowa survey taken at the end of June, down from 8% in May. In New Hampshire he is now at 6%, down from 9% in May. The margin of error in the polls is 4%. "It's where he expected to be. He will need to start making his move in September and October," said pollster Harry Pavlides.
SANTA FE TRAIL
Reader Betty Hileman has thoughts on the crime wave shadowing her city of Santa Fe as we provide ongoing coverage.
"Part of being an open "sanctuary city" where illegals are so welcome is that many drug groups have also made themselves at home. The mayor--who I support-ties the hands of police when dealing with really bad types who happen to be illegal, and with even the lame efforts of ICE to get some of these drug runners/meth cookers out of our midst. I've been here about 30 years and it's never been this bad."
I've been watching it for 35 Betty, and I can't remember it being this bad either. One can only hope that the mayor and the city councilors care as much about their hometown as you do.
THE BOTTOM LINES
Another job for Rick Homans? Yep. He's leaving as executive director of the NM Spaceport Authority to take a job in the private sector which he will announce later this month. He took his present post after serving as state economic development director. Homans had been mentioned as a possible congressional challenger earlier this year, but that apparently would have been one job too many. If you like space, get your application into Big Bill.
Once again, Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
Not for reproduction without permission of the author