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Columns

  • Reliving the day they dropped the bomb

    The Hiroshima bomb didn’t jolt Japan as we had hoped. Its military leaders still refused the unconditional surrender demanded by the Potsdam Proclamation.
     But it did shake the Russians. Stalin feared he had waited too long for his oft-promised invasion of Japan. If Japan surrendered before he got his troops into Manchuria, the Soviets would have no claim to Japanese spoils.
     On Aug. 8, Russia declared war on Japan and at dawn on the 9th, tanks rolled into Manchuria.
    The night before, Major Charles Sweeney and crew rolled “Bock’s Car” down the runway on Tinian and took off for Japan carrying “Fat Man.” Unlike the flight of “Enola Gay,” three nights earlier, this was not a textbook operation.

  • What about the future of LA?

    Los Alamos is an extraordinary community.  Our quality of life is among the very best in the nation.  A major component of that quality is our economic wealth, also at the top.  Why are we so fortunate?  Can future generations enjoy a similar, or better, life here?
    Los Alamos is a unique combination of world-renowned science, small town atmosphere, and beautiful natural environment.  That formula is not for everyone, but it works for most of us.  

  • Looking for who sets priorities

    There will probably be legislation on workers’ compensation next January. The interesting question is whether any controversial – and important – issues will see the light of day.
    Workers’ compensation legislation often originates from the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, a statutory body of six members, three representing employers and three representing workers, appointed by the governor. The council was created as part of the 1990 reform of the workers’ compensation law. Its official role is to report annually on the state of the workers’ compensation system to the governor and Legislature.

  • What healthcare reform means to you

    Much was made of the size and complexity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act when President Obama signed it into law in 2010. But now that the Supreme Court has upheld much of the act’s constitutionality, it’s a good time to review key provisions that have already gone live and to plot out what’s expected to happen in the next two years.
    Changes already in place include:
    Children under 19 cannot be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.
    Adult children may remain on parents’ medical plan until they turn 26.
    Lifetime insurance maximum payouts were eliminated. In addition, annual coverage limits are being phased out. Effective September 23, 2012, the annual limit increases to $2 million.

  • Love of entrepreneurs

    “The pool of hysterics” is my new home, according to an early reviewer of my column disputing President Obama’s assertion that entrepreneurs “didn’t do it” when it came to building businesses.  
    Want hysterics? From the left, try the riff on the notion that the tea party is a conspiracy created by Wall Street investment bankers. A young university teacher went on and on about this at a recent social gathering.
    On the right, there are the nuts who give Libertarians a bad name. They start with dumping the Federal Reserve and demonstrate their pro-gun positions by strapping on a pistol and strutting around town, behavior I see as rude and arrogant, however legal.

  • Medicaid issues are also New Mexico issues

    This is the second — somewhat delayed — column on Medicaid.  This column discusses Medicaid’s future in New Mexico.  The June 28 PPACA decision by the Supreme Court makes the Medicaid issue even more timely and important.
    Let’s start with a review of Medicaid’s importance and its basic structure.  Medicaid matters for two major reasons.
    First, it provides about 560,000 New Mexicans with health coverage.  Second, health care is the fastest growing part of New Mexico’s budget and Medicaid funding is the largest component of that item.

  • Cleaning up Dodge again

    State Investment Officer Steve Moise spoke last week about turning around his blighted agency. Moise, you may recall, is the Dudley Do-right chosen to clean up the State Investment Office, which manages the state’s permanent funds.
    I’ve heard Moise a couple of times now, along with Doug Brown, Moise’s counterpart at the State Treasurer’s Office a few years earlier. So I couldn’t help but wonder who we’ll be listening to a year from now describing the house cleaning at the New Mexico Finance Authority. And what new scandal will have erupted by then.

  • Giving back always a top priority

    As a British ex-pat, now American citizen, I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games with anticipation. What would it show about the country I grew up in? Would it stand up to the overwhelming amazement of the Beijing Games?
    Well what it certainly did show is that we’re no Chinese!
    We don’t have their synchronization, nor maybe their order. But what it truly did show is our wit, our sprit and mainly our heart. I mean, who else’s Queen would jump out of a helicopter, and then go on to keep a stiff upper lip during a children’s choir singing and signing God Save The Queen.

  • Workshop may work wonders

    Michael Tso was 10 months into his job running a high-tech envelope-making machine at Desert Paper and Envelope in Albuquerque when his employer sent him to the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s lean-manufacturing workshop this summer. There with other representatives of New Mexico companies he learned fundamentals of the lean manufacturing philosophy, which aims to improve business operations – and enhance competitiveness – from the shop floor to the front office.

  • New Mexicans should be proud of themselves

    SANTA FE — It is becoming obvious that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has decided that Heather Wilson can win New Mexico only by being seen as a great compromiser.
    Normally, Republicans are into binding their candidates with pledges never to stray from the party line. But in Wilson's case, she is being characterized as a problem solver, who will reach across the political aisle to craft solutions.
    Wilson’s race for the U.S. Senate is being rated by most analysts as “lean Democrat.”