Jul 172014

Do you really want Republicans controlling the Senate, too? If not, donate time and money to decent candidates and VOTE against the Party of Nonsense.

On impeaching: Palin 1, Boehner 0 | Albuquerque Journal News

That’s right: By Boehner’s lights, Obama’s abuse of authority involves delaying a requirement – a delay, incidentally, intended to help businesses – of a law that Boehner’s House has voted more than 50 times to repeal. (Never mind that, as Ezra Klein of Vox has pointed out, President George W. Bush unilaterally waived Medicare Part D penalties for low-income and disabled seniors late to enroll – with nary a peep from Boehner.)

On impeaching: Palin 1, Boehner 0 | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 9:02 am on Thu 07/17/14
Jul 162014

My brother, Dan, and sister-in-law, Sharon, have lived in San Francisco for about 40 years. In May, Merri and I flew to visit them for the first time in ages. As befits the City, we walked a lot. In fact, we used many forms of transportation but didn’t once get in a car.

We saw many fantastic murals and great architecture.

very Hawaiianarchitecture

We toured the waterfront.

MR with Golden Gate Bridge in backgroundAlcatraz

We lunched in Golden Gate Park.

Sharon, Merri, brother Dan, and mjh
Sharon, Merri, Dan, and Mark

Dan & Sharon point to their house.
Dan & Sharon point to their house.

MR with giant California poppy mural along a seedy alley.
Mer with the giant poppy mural.

mjh not far from the Golden Fire Hydrant he never saw.
MJH on a hill in a park near Dan & Sharon’s apartment. [photo by Merri Rudd]

We had a great time. And I heard that although people say San Francisco occupies 49 square miles, it is actually 47. More photos.

 Posted by at 10:53 am on Wed 07/16/14
Jul 132014

I live in a dry land that once was under water, a seabed now 5000 feet above sea level. Sunrise is held at bay by a granite ridge 5000 feet higher, which at sunset glows as pink as coral. Looking west, the eye is drawn to the sliver of green flanking the Rio Grande, life’s blood trickling through a parched land that rises to five volcanoes close at hand, which in turn are dwarfed by a volcano 80 miles away. All under a sky of limitless blue.

This vista fills me with joy.

Driving into town from any direction, you can take in the largest city in the state with a glance. Stand under the cottonwoods along the river and you forget where you are. Here the land has not been subdued by man. We are surrounded by reminders that we are all recent arrivals and none will outlast the land itself.

The land appears still until you view it at 10,000 years per second, when it shakes and buckles, rises and falls, like a coffee cup on the hood of a truck at rough idle. The land appears flat until you cross it to find the surface cracked and broken by ravines scoured by wind and rain. The land seems silent until the wind howls like an injured animal lashing out in pain.

The land seems dry until a year’s worth of rain falls in a few days. We live for these days and relive them in conversations. We smell the rain before we hear it, we feel the temperature change, listen for the first drops. We sit on our porches, big grins on our faces with the look of wonder like children at a fair.

The Navajo speak of male and female rains, the brief, violent storms versus the slow nurturing drizzle over hours. The Navajo also advise each other to walk in beauty, to appreciate our surroundings and be part of that beauty.

This month, I complete my 30th year in New Mexico, a bit more than half my life. That line, this land, my life leave me speechless.


 Posted by at 7:13 am on Sun 07/13/14
Jul 082014

The tea party’s embrace of martyrdom – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

Imperial Japan taught its soldiers that death was preferable to surrender. The tea party’s code is similar: Stand firm, regardless of the odds of success or the consequences of failure. I’ve argued before that the struggle between the Republican establishment and the tea party is no longer about ideology — establishment figures have mostly coopted tea party views — but about temperament.

It has become the amiable vs. the angry, the civil vs. the uncivil, a conservatism of the head vs. a conservatism of the spleen. The division now is between those who would govern and those who would sooner burn the whole place to the ground — and in this struggle, McDaniel carries a torch.

As the economy continues its slow recovery, the ranks of the angry are shrinking, but there remains a sizable and outspoken minority that listens to conservative talk radio and embraces martyrdom. It

The tea party’s embrace of martyrdom – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 4:06 pm on Tue 07/08/14
Jul 042014

Americans are evenly divided between those who think DUHbya, the guy who pissed away a fortune in war and tanked the economy — not that it hurt the profits of his friends one bit — or Obama is best/worst for the economy. Get real, people. Something is horribly wrong with the ability of a frightening large number of Americans to think clearly.

Poll: Obama ‘worst president’ since World War II

In a new Quinnipiac University Poll, 33% named Barack Obama the worst president since World War II. Only 8% named Obama as the best president. How the 12 post-war presidents fared:

Poll: Obama ‘worst president’ since World War II

First time ever | Albuquerque Journal News

“Clearly, if you had the guts to invest during the depths of the crisis, your returns would have looked just spectacular,” he said, noting annualized returns of 21 percent and a total return of 175 percent from March 2009 to the market’s peak.

Browne said it was stressful, of course, including watching the Dow drop 50 percent from its highs, but again the takeaway is pick an “appropriate asset allocation and stick to it.”

First time ever | Albuquerque Journal News

My ranking:

  1. DUHBya is the worst, may no one ever approach his crapulence.
  2. Nixon was a dirty rat and dreadful. (I never thought I’d hate a president more, but I was so wrong.)
  3. Raygun was the turning point in the destruction of America by blind conservatism.
  4. Ford was pointless.
 Posted by at 11:06 am on Fri 07/04/14
Jun 302014

Dana Milbank is spot on in this piece.

In Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court uses a ‘fiction’ – The Washington Post

In its last day in session, the high court not only affirmed corporate personhood but expanded the human rights of corporations, who by some measures enjoy more protections than mortals …

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the much-anticipated Hobby Lobby decision. “Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.”

Alito’s ruling notably did not protect the rights of people employed by Hobby Lobby. They can now be denied contraceptives they were supposed to receive as part of their employee health plan — because the craft chain’s owners object to certain forms of birth control required under Obamacare. … [mjh: What happens if a corporation’s owners object to transfusions or other emergency medical care?]

There was a certain risk in having Alito deliver the 5-to-4 opinion defending corporate personhood, because his mannerisms are strikingly robotic for a human. …

Ginsburg, in her dissent, wrote: “Until this litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption. .?.?. The exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities. As Chief Justice Marshall observed nearly two centuries ago, a corporation is ‘an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.’?” …

So Alito … reverted to the “Dictionary Act definition of ‘person,’?” which includes corporations. (The Dictionary Act also … says the words “?‘insane person’ shall include every idiot.”) … [zing!]

Alito’s ruling was, Ginsburg said, an “expansive notion of corporate personhood.” She invoked the writing of former justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote that corporations “have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires.” [mjh: Corporations do have a single desire: an insatiable appetite for profit above all else, including the well-being of employees or customers.]

In Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court uses a ‘fiction’ – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 9:06 pm on Mon 06/30/14