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Columns

  • Santa Claus & Mr. Scrooge

    Isn’t it wonderful to have a brief season of good will that even extends into the political world this year? With a new administration headed into Santa Fe, a period of high hopes reigns at least for a few weeks.
    Our major state newspaper feels hearts are so light that it can feature a front page article on our governor-elect’s pajamas. The inference is that readers have little reason to consider anything more important than Susana Martinez’s “sleepy pants” at this time of year.

  • GOP majority = less government

    A Republican renewal in Congress and in statehouses across the nation changes the political dynamic in favor of more limited government.
    But along with restraining runaway spending and checking bureaucratic expansion, there is a real chance to shift the balance of power in education policy from Washington, D.C. back to the states where it belongs
    At least four-dozen new Republicans will enter the House of Representatives and five new Republican senators will take office with a mandate not merely to slow or contain the expansion of federal power, but to roll it back.

  • Same story, second verse

    Are New Mexicans about to get the same story: second verse? During Susana Martinez’s year-long quest for the governor’s office, no one talked publicly about the possibility of her being the GOP vice-presidential nominee two years hence.
    Late in the primary campaign, it became very obvious that state and national GOP leaders had pegged her as their favorite.
    Those of us not in the party structure were very surprised to see her crush four other candidates badly at the Republican pre-primary nominating convention in March.

  • Building a more sustainable town

  • Forget taxes, deficits, debt - it’s time for a family movie or two

    Nothing like Christmas to test our fragile American psyches.
    While times remain hard for millions of us, stores have amped up the gift-giving hype because, well, they’ve been hit by hard times, too. What better way to make up for a hard year than by sending us the message that if we really, really care for someone...kaching! Guilt makes the sales soar, si?

  • Spirits of budgets past

    All this talk about budget cutting conjures up images of Aubrey Dunn Sr. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee back in the 1970s, he kept a hatchet on the table to remind his committee members – and everyone else – what they were there for.
    I’m imagining two ghosts of budgets past hovering over Roundhouse deliberations – Dunn and the equally no-nonsense John Mershon, once chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. Both hailed from Otero County, both were fiscally conservative Democrats.

  • Hard-fought rules add oil field jobs

      People dearly want a lasting supply of clean air  and water. The answer is pollution control.    
    As more people make and use more stuff, pollution  sources grow to need more controls. The controls add jobs in the pollution  controls industry. The bonus is more of the clean air and water people  want.
    In mid-October, a black headline glared from  the Albuquerque Journal. It read: “Jackpot in the Oil  Patch - State Rules Helped Politically Connected Players.”  

  • Stressing toward retirement is a dicey proposition

    The Los Angeles Times reported recently on a new study that almost certainly caused a lot of readers to chuckle and say, “Duh.”
    It seems investigators have discovered that among the health benefits people experience following retirement is a marked reduction in mental and physical stress, according to the study published last week in the British Medical Journal.
    Hello? How could it be otherwise? Name a job from which one might retire that doesn’t induce some measure of physical or mental stress, if not a bit of both.  

  • Domenici's plan takes guts

    After years of delivering truckloads of federal dollars to New Mexico, Pete Domenici has returned to an old love – deficit reduction. Lately he and former White House budget director Alice Rivlin stepped up to champion the Bipartisan Policy Center’s plan to reduce the deficit.
    Domenici, Rivlin and their fellow travelers have the luxury of proposing measures their former bases might find disturbing. The plan, 60 percent spending cuts and 40 percent tax increases, would reduce the budget deficit by $5.9 trillion over the next nine years.

  • A poll for modern times

    Months before the 2008 Presidential race began, I read a poll that predicted who would win the election.  At that time, no one had even formally announced their candidacy, and yet the polls raged on.  I think some guy named Paul Reubens was the leading contender. Polling once again besieged us over the months before the 2010 elections and I found myself unplugging the phone in an effort to ward them off.
    Americans are constantly inundated with polls; polls on who will win, polls on who should win, polls on who would leave the country if who wins.