Jan 292007
 

I was shocked to hear Newt, er, Nit Romney say Grover Norquist’s name without gagging. You can judge a man by whose ass he kisses. Norquist is a paragon of Republican ideals: inflame the masses while serving the rich. mjh

Romney, Brownback Sign Taxpayer Protection Pledge

“America needs leaders who are committed to protecting taxpayers, and signing our Pledge demonstrates that kind of leadership,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR. “By signing the Pledge, Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney demonstrate allegiance to hard-working taxpayers nationwide. It is now up to the other candidates in the race to stand up to the challenge.”

Bush tries to regain footing – Los Angeles Times By Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer

“There’s nothing good or useful that can be passed out of this Congress in the next two years,” said Grover Norquist, a Bush ally and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Bush’s Conservative Base Frets Key Issues Are Losing Focus – WSJ.com By JACKIE CALMES

[T]he early frontrunners among Republicans — Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — all have problems among conservatives. The two Republican aspirants with the most appeal are Kansas’s Republican Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

 Posted by at 12:49 pm on Mon 01/29/07
Jan 292007
 

Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives at Summit
Non-Candidate Shows Ability to Excite the Party
By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Special to The Washington Post

At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled by midterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate to rally around, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding endorsement of conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly to its feet.

In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck every conservative chord, blaming Republicans’ defeat in November on the party’s abandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal restraint.

 Posted by at 12:48 pm on Mon 01/29/07
Jan 292007
 

Sticks, Stones and Mr. Obama

Mr. Obama’s slimers seem to think such name-calling and Muslim-baiting can score points with the American people. On the contrary, Mr. Obama’s multicultural background (his father was Kenyan, and he spent several years living in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather) ought to be viewed as a plus. A president with an understanding of Islam and the developing world would be welcomed by those who too often feel misunderstood and slighted by the United States.

Mr. Obama has never tried to hide his past or his family name: He has written about being educated at a predominantly Muslim school. His father, a non-practicing Muslim, was Barack Hussein Obama Sr. His grandmother is Sara Hussein Obama.

The senator, however, does not use his middle name. Those who take pains to insert it when referring to him are trying, none too subtly, to stir up scary images of menacing terrorists and evil dictators. They embarrass only themselves.

The likes of Lush Limbaugh are shameless frat boys stuffing their pockets with the small change their corporate masters toss their way. mjh

 Posted by at 12:47 pm on Mon 01/29/07
Jan 272007
 

A friend observed recently that I’m running on auto-pilot. I admit it: I’m on hold. I’m not in a funk; I don’t have ennui; I’m not even in a mood. I might say I’m on Winter Break, but it is more of a pregnant pause — more libros interruptus than anti-climax — the wait before I finally hold in my hands that bundle of joy I carried many months. Soon, the day will arrive and I will embrace my child, wishing I could forever delay the inevitable disappointment that follows, seeing its flaws and having to realize those are my flaws made undeniable.

In yoga class yesterday, as we all assumed half boat pose, the building shook with a low-pitched rumble. It was as if we had synchronized with some larger energy or, like an array of antennas, we had picked up the earth’s deep moan. The prosaic reality that it was a bulldozer did nothing to diminish the excitement we all felt. Consciousness lives in twilight. Awareness is a switch.

Is it any wonder then, that my thoughts have turned away from birth to my death. I wonder what place is most fitting for my memorial service? Understand, I think such services are for the living, not the deceased, and I’m confident my interest in everything expires with my last breath. So, I don’t wish to dictate from beyond the grave what people should do to bid me farewell. If someone wants to hold a Catholic Mass in Latin or sit shiva, so be it. At the very least, that would honor my sense of irony.

This is a silly exercise in so far as one could gather all of my friends in one room and no one would have to wait for the bathroom. But, you never really know who might turn out for the final show. We all connect in ways we fail to recognize. The big social events — birthdays, weddings and funerals — remind us of those connections. Though funerals are the only celebration the guest of honor misses. “Nice to see you, thanks for coming.” Which leads me to wonder if UNM Continuing Education does funerals. They certainly have rooms of various sizes to accommodate a small clutch of friends or an unexpected outpouring.

Of course, the obvious place to review my life and passing is outside. Although I’ve spent most of my life inside and have many glorious memories indoors, I’ve seldom felt more alive — more connected — than outside, on a trail, in a clearing, by a stream. I know several people who are out there much more so than I am, people who connect to deeper wilderness for longer expeditions. I am lazy and sometimes fearful, but I am sustained by vistas and completed by walking in the wild.

I’m so lucky I don’t have to go far for this sensation. I feel it watching a flicker bathe in a gutter. It’s in me among the cosmos and morning glories. It’s on my doorstep and everywhere I look when I really look.

Last night, I stopped to watch clouds stream from south to north. They formed a patchwork of bright white alternating with deep blue. They rushed over me like time-lapse photography or someone pulling gauze over my head. It was beautiful, though it made me regret being alone except for the dog, who puts sniffing and licking way ahead of seeing. The earth is in constant motion, seen and unseen. Enjoy the brief ride. mjh

 Posted by at 12:39 pm on Sat 01/27/07
Jan 252007
 

Iraq PM outlines coming security sweep – Houston Chronicle By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press Writer

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not reveal the details of the plan, which he has dubbed “Operation Imposing Law,” or say when it would begin. …

The crackdown “aims to disarm all groups and only leave weapons in the hands of the government,” al-Maliki said, repeating a phrase he has used consistently. “This plan will not be the last. The battle between us and terrorists is open and continuous.”

Where is the NRA on the issue of forced disarmament of Iraqis? As the NRA sees it, our freedoms are guaranteed by your right to have as many guns as you like and any effort to restrict that is unconstitutional and un-American. So now American soldiers are involved in taking guns from Iraqis. And the NRA remains silent? This is their worst nightmare. mjh

 Posted by at 9:59 am on Thu 01/25/07
Jan 142007
 

ABQjournal: Daskalos Stopped Again By T.J. Wilham

Jason Daskalos got caught again.

On Thursday, the Albuquerque developer, who has a history of getting traffic citations dismissed, was stopped by an Albuquerque police officer and issued two tickets— one for not wearing a seat belt and the other for having no proof of insurance.

In the past 18 years, Daskalos, who also is an amateur race car driver, has been issued 36 other traffic citations, 20 of which were dismissed.

I wonder if Daskalos wears a seatbelt when he drives a race car. Daskalos seems to have a certifiable emotional problem. However, until he seeks therapy, he’s just another asshole. mjh

 Posted by at 4:22 pm on Sun 01/14/07
Jan 142007
 

This is very well put (read the whole thing.) mjh

Commentary: Just like libraries : Commentary : Albuquerque Tribune by Stevie Olson

I encourage you to ride the train or use the bus system in your commute if you have never tried it. Save a buck and be empowered by breaking your dependence on the automobile.

If you cannot or refuse to use Rapid Ride or Rail Runner, no problem. But when you hear the train’s whistle or see a city bus, do not curse public transportation as misappropriation of funds. Realize your taxes are being used to make our community a better place.

 Posted by at 4:13 pm on Sun 01/14/07