Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ABQ Still Flatlining; We Round Up The Latest, Plus: Scandal Watch--Readers Keep Critical Eye On Murphy Case, And: John Sanchez: Not Senate Material?

After sixty years of almost always hard-charging growth the ABQ metro remains in an historic and extended flat phase commercially, culturally and politically. And no wonder. The state reports that for 31 consecutive months--that is nearly three years--the area has reported negative job growth. Now the unemployment rate has finally started to dip, but not because there are jobs, but because the unemployed are leaving or have dropped out of the labor force. In other words, we are shrinking. From the state:

The Albuquerque...unemployment rate dipped to 8.0 percent in April, a 0.5 percentage point decline from March. Much of the over-the-month improvement in the jobless rate...was due to a shrinking civilian labor force, as large decreases in unemployment were combined with much smaller increases in employment. This was also the case for the state as a whole during the same period. The unemployment rate in the Albuquerque MSA stood at 8.6 percent a year ago....

The life-changing recession has flattened city tax revenue, trimmed business profits and seen an heretofore unheard of decline in government jobs--the very spine of the city's economic body.

The city is adrift, in part, because its public and private leadership doesn't seem particularly engaged. When it comes to jobs, ABQ has long been a low expectations town. People make do. And although this recession is as persistent as they come, the city has generated just enough revenue to keep vital public services going without a major malfunction. The economic foundation may be shaky, but it is slowly revealing itself over years, not months.

Culturally, the city remains vibrant on a certain level, but the demise of the NM Symphony signaled a retrenchment. The city's philanthropic class was AWOL. But then the political leadership never bothered to engage them in fighting to preserve a major cultural amenity in a city that can ill-afford to lose one.

Republican leadership seems more fitting for boom times, not a prolonged downturn. The party's traditional prescription to spur economic growth--tax cuts and less regulation--are intellectually exhausted. But you can't say the Dems are brimming with ideas, either. So we wait for the next big thing that will move the needle on the ABQ growth meter.

And we wait.


Is it one of the biggest judicial scandals in state history or a tempest in a teapot? That's the question we've examined ever since special prosecutor Matt Chandler announced the indictment of Las Cruces District Court Judge Michael Murphy. It is claimed the judge bribed his way onto the bench with a $4,000 contribution to Governor Richardson. But the case as outlined so far is murky at best and continues to draw a critical eye from readers here,

Pat Davis, a Democrat and former spokesman for the Bernalillo County district attorney's office, chimes in today with this critique of Governor Martinez's involvement:

The prosecutor’s report, relied on heavily by the media to explain this case, notes that Governor Martinez, then Dona Ana County district attorney, learned of the investigation in the fall of 2010 and turned it over to Ninth District District Attorney Matt Chandler. However, in a recent Sunday’s Journal article, Gov. Martinez’s spokesman Gregg Blair told the paper, “The governor stopped speaking to Edgar Lopez when Judge (Lisa) Schultz informed her in 2009 that he was the bag man in the alleged bribery scheme involving Richardson judicial appointees,”....

My question is, which is it? If Martinez knew of alleged improprieties in the judicial selection process in 2009, why did she do nothing? It would seem that Martinez has an ethical obligation to report misconduct, especially if it involves judges she and her office appear in front of.

Having worked with our District Attorneys for several years, a number of things about this prosecution seem unusual to me. I find it highly irregular that a reporter--Heath Haussamen--was present (and allowed to remain) outside the grand jury to photograph and interview each witness to the grand jury and that the very same reporter was the first one to receive a copy of the full investigator’s report and indictment and post them online.

In either case, the allegations are serious, but it is hard to argue that the matter is being seriously prosecuted when the then DA, and now governor, knew of the alleged discrepancies as early as a year before and failed to raise the flag, even as she used the same judicial selection process to pick her first two appointees (both her former deputies, including one who gave $600 to Martinez just months before his appointment).

It has some wondering whether Martinez's highly-touted ethics are situational --"on" when they can be used to score political points, but "off" or "neutral" when it serves some personal purpo

The Sunday Journal article Davis cited is not posted on the paper's web site.


Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President Bush and before that NM Senator Pete Domenici, will headline a June 14 fund-raiser for GOP Senate hopeful Heather Wilson.

Fleischer is now in sports communication and had a brief stint with Tiger Woods but the two soon parted ways. Too bad. Heather could use a nice big donation from Tiger with John Sanchez breathing down her neck.

Wilson's campaign also says:

Since March 7 when Wilson announced her candidacy, over 100 New Mexico leaders have endorsed her candidacy. 11 of 15 sitting Republican State Senators have publicly endorsed Wilson as have 15 sitting Republican House Members, county commissioners and local officials from all regions of the state.

But a caveat. Wilson had many of the same "leaders" endorse her when she lost the 2008 Senate nomination to Steve Pearce.


Heather has to prove that she has expanded her base within the GOP and her rival, Lt. Governor John Sanchez, has to establish more credibility. Sanchez served as a trustee for the village of Los Ranchos early in his political career. A former Democratic mayor there, John Hooker, makes this case against the Light Guv's candidacy:

John has a solid reputation as a roofing contractor. Beyond that, exactly what has he done in his civic leadership?

--Passive trustee of the mighty village of Los Ranchos? What improvements to the quality of life of the village did he initiate?

--A giant-killer who was elected state representative in 2000 over Dem House Speaker Raymond Sanchez in a Republican-trending House district. Then what? What significant legislation did he lead on?

--A good looking Hispanic Republican beating out the Anglo Republicans for Guv Light? And that proves....?

Sorry to be so skeptical. John's a nice guy, I would hire his company on a construction project (and in fact have). I just would not call him Senate material.


Greg Payne's ABQ city council candidacy appears to have hit a pothole. Payne has withdrawn his effort to qualify for public financing of his campaign. He needed to receive 400 contributions of $5 each, but reports to the city he only collected about 80 donations by Tuesday's deadline. That means he will have to raise private money in his bid to unseat GOP Councilor Trudy Jones in the NE Heights that Payne, also a Republican, used to represent. Jones did not seek to qualify for public financing.

The Berry administration has lined up in Jones' corner, knowing that an independent Republican like Payne would upset the Mayor's delicate 5-4 GOP majority on the nine member panel.

City finance laws are tough. A candidate can't accept money from any contractor or vendor who does business with the city so Payne now faces a tougher road ahead. Still, a city council race can be won on shoe leather and that's where he could have an advantage.

Payne would have received about $40,000 in public financing. Jones, who has personal wealth and a deep list of biz contacts, has to be feeling pretty good right about now.

From the email:

Strategies 360 (a consulting firm) is expanding its reach to New Mexico with the addition of Chris Cervini, former chief of staff for New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor. As Vice President of New Mexico operations, Chris will open and run the new Albuquerque office for the strategic communications firm headquartered in Seattle.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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I Like To Be Spanked

Rihanna has revealed that she likes to be "submissive in the bedroom" in a candid interview with a US magazine. The Only Girl (In The World) singer, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, told Rolling Stone Magazine that she likes to be "spanked" during sex.

"I like to take charge, but I also love to be submissive," she says. "Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge of your s***. That's sexy to me… I like to be spanked." "Being tied up is fun.
I like to keep it spontaneous," she adds. The 23-year-old R&B queen, who poses in spray-on shorts on the cover of the US music magazine, also revealed that she prefers old-fashioned 'discipline' to new-fangled sex toys. "Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned — you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs… I'd rather have him use his hands," she says.

But the S&M singer rebuffed rumours that she is dating Hollywood actor Colin Farrell and admitted that she hasn't had a date since splitting with pro baseball player Matt Kemp last December. Talking about Farrell, she says: "We don't even have each other's numbers. I wish! He's smoking."...

Rihanna spills the beans on her sex life in shock interview

POP siren Rihanna has confessed that she is “a bit masochistic” in the bedroom and likes to be tied up, spanked and whipped.

The 23-year-old beauty, who had a hit single S&M, revealed: “I love feeling like I’m somebody’s girl.

“I love to be tied up and spanked. I like to be whipped. And it’s funny that I care, but I prefer to be spontaneous.

“Using whips and chains is too planned – you have to stop and look for the whip. I prefer them to use their hands.”

The star, who has been linked to actor Colin Farrell, told Rolling Stone magazine that her sexual preferences could be linked to her ­difficult upbringing.

“I think I’m a bit masochistic, and I did not realise until recently.

“I think that is common in people who witnessed abuse in their childhood,” said Rihanna, who saw her dad smoking crack when she was just nine years old.

Assault incident gave edge to my music

Singer Rihanna reveals that the infamous 2009 assault by her then boyfriend has made her strong and a better songwriter.

'It actually gave me a lot of liberation. What I mean is, I was able to tap into the personal part of my music. I started to tell stories through my music that were actually my stories,' femalefirst.co.uk. quoted her as saying.
The Umbrella hitmaker was beaten black and blue by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, who is still serving his punishment for the attack. The couple split immediately after the fight.

'(In) my album before that there was still a little bit of protection, there was still an innocence to me. And what that time in my life did was kind of wake people up - it's not all a bed of roses. My life is like yours,' she added.

'It made me look at the world in a much bigger way because my life was suddenly super duper magnified. All eyes were on me. I needed that in my life to know how to say, 'F**k off!' To know how to keep my head high even in the worst of situations. I keep using the word unapologetic, but there's a freedom that has come with all of that. Where you feel like you don't have to make an excuse for being yourself,' she added.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Ariane Design launchs a new variant of his B-737

FS9 and FSX. Ariane Design has released a new variant, the Clipper C40, derived from the B-737-700 and bought by the U.S. Navy. This product is of course as expensive as the others, 70 english pounds for the download version.

According to the designer's statement, Ariane Design employs over 22 staff. It is said that " Ariane also has a successful long list of 'firsts' with technology (and while Ariane is always first with its innovations, others follow, inspired by the good work that we bring to the world of simulated flight).".
While Ariane Design is always first, WE are still waiting for an airac or a navdata. A long list of aircrafts designers (PMDG, IFLY, Feelthere, Aerosoft...) have proved/proven their ability to make workable FMC with SID/STAR OR at least, with full waypoints library.

Obesity Is So Complicated When You're Reading HuffPo

    This is becoming extremely annoying watching people write article after article about how complicated weight loss is, and what our next excuse is for being fat.   Some of the more recent, laughable pieces; Blame The Workplace For American Obesity, Obesity in America: Are Factory Farms, Big Pharma and Big Food to Blame?, Combating Obesity: How and How Come, Are Chefs To Blame For Obesity?, Why is our Food Making us Fat?, Obesity: Character Flaw, or Neurochemical Disease?, and finally; Why We Get Fat.
     I am ready to begin arguing that its articles such as these that are contributing to obesity by obscuring the readers' understanding of obesity, while offering them excuses for their girth, blaming genetics and diseases.  These articles forgive the overweight reader, suggesting that not being obese is very difficult and complicated.  The last thing people who are overweight need is for the issue of weight loss to be translated into Greek.  We need to educate people on the simple facts, which require no special diet book sold on Amazon for $18.75, with the option of the "Extreme Weight Loss Guide" for and additional $8.85 (plus separate shipping and handling). 
      Obesity is simple.  It is the result of consuming more calories than you've used.  Weight loss is simple.  Use more calories than you consume.  The average person only requires 1,500 to 2,500 calories per day.  For every extra pound of body fat you have, that means that you consumed 3,500 calories more than what your body requires in order to function.   You can easily lose 1 pound of body fat in just over 3 days, by simply creating a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day (there are many online tools that can be used to calculate your required caloric intake, so you know how many calories to be taking in in order to maintain the deficit). 
      For your 500 calorie per day deficit, you can either create the entire deficit by adding exercise, or by reducing calorie consumption.  The best way, is to do a combination; 250 less calories consumed, and 250 calories burned with exercise.  A twenty ounce soda contains around 250 calories, so simply replace your afternoon Coke with a Diet Coke, or better yet, water (also, you should get in the habit of always reading nutrition labels when they are available to you).  Spend 30 minutes on an Elliptical Trainer to burn the other 250 calories.  
       Do this correctly, and you will lose two pounds of body fat per week.  Actual weight may not decrease, as you may be building muscle.  A good way to monitor your results is to take measurements around your waist, arms, and thighs.  Be patient, and stick with it.  If this is not effective, I suggest you see your doctor (who will most likely say that there is nothing wrong with you, you are simply cheating on your diet) because you may have a medical condition. 
      Its just that simple. 

PTU SCRAP Sweet Waiting by Scrapmania Designs

9 long months, expecting a baby that makes you smile and want to reach the big time soon.
A cute kit to sweeten your favorite moments.
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Add-On Freebie Sweet Waiting by Scrapmania Designs

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My Big Brain Does It Agian

Just another example of my big ol' brain, hard at work.  Righting wrongs, and calling out those who are less informed. 

    I read an article at The Frisky about how singer, Adele hates paying her taxes, quoting her as saying,“Trains are always late, most state schools are s**t and I’ve gotta give you like four million quid. Are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from [her first album] 19, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire.”

     This is disturbing on a number of levels, but here is what happened when I commented (whilst biting my tongue and deciding not to mention her apparent homicidal wills). 


  • She sounds like a republican to me. I wish that sometimes, celebrities would just keep their mouthes shut. After you realize that you don't respect that person, its difficult to look past that, and appreciate their art.

  • camille905
    Like a republican how? Everyone I know (regardless of how much money they make) bitches about paying taxes. I'm sure it was a surprise to her how much she had to pay assuming that prior to her commercial success she was just a working stiff like the rest of us (or me anyway).

    And I'm sorry but most of the republicans I know aren't buying houses for their parents or setting up trust funds for family members- they're trying to keep as much as they can for themselves.


  • "Like a republican how?"? Like a republican because she's making enough money that she can buy houses for family members, provide all the comfort and luxury for herself, and bitches about helping to support the trains and schools, which she apparently finds to be inadequate (not realizing that the reason for their inadequacy is lack of funding).

    The reason "most republicans" aren't buying houses for their parents is because "most republicans" are "working stiffs" who lack the education to understand that higher taxes on the wealthiest 1% of the population actually decreases their own tax burden, and helps to better their own quality of life by providing better public transit, schools, access to health care and community programs.

    The reason the republicans you know aren't buying houses and setting up trust funds is because the republicans that you know are not wealthy enough to benefit from being a republican, and they should probably reconsider their political stance.

     -You're welcome

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Eiresim Luton : technical improvement

FS9 and FSX. Terry Smith has managed to include a tunnel in Luton airport scenery. A premiere for the irish developer.

The scenery is still planned for june (FS9) and a month later for FSX.

Diamond Watches

Why do people wear diamond watch? Of course teens want to emulate their personalities, and as a result, bling jewelry, including diamond watches, was a major fashion statement. The reason is that an increasing number of designer watches are now on the market with different brands under the distinctive styles that have classic diamond watches modern twist.

There are diamond watches, and then there are diamond watches like this. Graff metaphorically knocks on the door of luxury with a resounding "bling bling!" arrival announcement. You simply don't get too much more "diamond watch" than this timepiece figuratively held hostage by the precious stones. The case and bracelet (what little of it is actually metal!) is done in 18k white gold while a dizzying collection of 176 diamonds on the case and another 94 diamonds on the bracelet that crowd the design of the watch like a bunch of too many densely packed wealthy neighbors. The entire watch has 59 carats of pure glitzy glory. Likewise the timepiece is known as the Superstar, or GraffSuperstar. Whatever the title, this watch is is certainly a statement about the woman wearing it. However that statement might be "I enjoy rubies and emeralds in my breakfast cereal." Sorry gentlemen, we will have to settle for a less diamond studded version. Stones on the Superstar watch are in trilliant and trapeze cuts that gives a very modern and angular shape that is also quite cohesive. Round cut stones make for good decor, but these more angular cuts allow for a more tiled look that enhances the "total diamond watch" style that Graff is going for. My instincts tell me that the movement inside the watch is Swiss quartz. The dial of the watch is no testament to legibility, but should be readable - a nice trapeze cut emerald is the only non-diamond stone of the bunch and serves as the 12 o'clock marker. Not the type of watch you want to wear publicly in certain parts of the world, cost to likely be tantamount to purchase of said parts of the world.

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