The problem with Valerie’s social media gaffe wasn't just its bizarre content but what it revealed about her political acumen. Added to her advertising stunt of driving backwards, divorcing a dying husband (a thoroughly decent man, to whom Valerie owes her public profile) or backing a $92 trillion boondoggle that would bankrupt us while consolidat[ing] Big Brother (the New Green Deal), it would seem she is not best suited for the political life.
Not having held any office locally, one does not have to look very far to see her likely motivation in running for Congress, since she’s always mentioning it. Valerie lost her job 17 years ago because her husband told truth to power, and this is her delayed means for revenge. Valerie waited until we had a strident and aggressive, liberal Democratic, female governor before she could get up the nerve. Note the disingenuous praise in her interview for Councillor Romero-Wirth, wife of the Governor’s chief legislative lieutenant, State Senator Peter Wirth. In reality, Romero-Wirth’s water pipe was rammed through Santa Fe City Council in one session, with no recourse. Rather like the way her husband raised taxes during an extended oil boom, or the Governor's energy deal with PNM; payoff ongoing. Lujan-Grisham needs fast results if she is to be considered for national VP, and if that means dirty ones, then so be it.
In running for high office—not having held any post before—the welfare of the people of New Mexico is likely not very uppermost in Valerie's heart. Why should we believe she would be effective once elected?
Barry Hatfield, Santa Fe
Do Your Duty
I often wondered what I would do if confronted with a decision that would challenge my sense of honor and duty, not just to self and family but to country. We have all seen movies in which the protagonist courageously sacrifices one’s self to make a stand, even if that means going it alone and against the odds. I hope I never find myself confronted with such a situation but I hope I would have the strength and conviction to do what’s right.
Too many of our elected officials today have failed to meet the obligations they are entrusted with. Instead of giving allegiance to our laws and institutions, they have empowered a cultish and corrupt figure that threatens to subvert our democracy and give a foothold to tyranny.
Leadership is a declaration of accepting challenge and the understanding one will be held to a high standard. As far as I am concerned, the oath of office the Republicans took was negated as soon as they shirked the responsibility of carrying out their solemn duty to preserve the dignity and integrity of their office.
The high esteem we regard for our elected officials is maintained only through trust and assurance they will uphold the laws of governance. Soldiers and police officers are asked to uphold their oath of duty and to sacrifice their lives if need be to protect our country, its citizens, and its laws.
It is deeply regrettable that so many Republicans have such expectation of others while they denigrate and make a mockery of that sacrifice. The sham trial in the Senate with no witnesses allowed to testify was such a mockery. It was an arrogant display of contempt for the institutions that forged this great nation. When the President was acquitted and his abuse of power exonerated, it sent a disturbing and cynical message that the powerful and corrupt are not accountable to the same standards of justice that govern the rest of society.
Any American with an ounce of love for their country should feel a sense of betrayal and outrage and recognize the Senate's conduct was a validation of tyranny. To those shameless Republicans that have dismissed their obligations and ignored the call of duty, you have tread on the Constitution for political expediency that benefits the few to the detriment of the many. Accountability may not always be easy, but it should always be expected, no matter the circumstances. It accompanies the privilege of serving one’s country and honors those who have given their lives to protect it.
We are at that point now where we must ask ourselves: Do we want to be a nation of fair and just laws, or live in a state ruled by oligarchs and tyrants whose self-serving goals are to render our laws and institutions meaningless and obsolete?
Democracy requires constant vigilance, awareness and participation from its citizens. Let’s take back our government from these spineless minions by exercising our right to vote.
Ildiko Zold Logue, Albuquerque
I Fancy Nancy
Good for you, Nancy Pelosi!
The media has endlessly replayed video of the Speaker of the House ripping up her transcript of the President's speech following the 2020 State of the Union address.
Finally, someone has graphically, publicly objected to the President's endless falsehoods. According to fact checkers, POTUS’ carefully crafted, spectacle-heavy speech contained false statements about everything from Social Security to oil and gas production.
But that’s par for the course for the former TV game-show host. When recently checked, Trump’s running total of falsehoods averaged about 14.8 per day, or over 16,500 lies so far as President.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up with parents who gave me what-for if they caught me in a lie. Not Trump. Instead of what-for, his very wealthy father gave him $140 million to set up as a businessman. Even with that nest egg, trouble started early. If you look up “Veracity of Statements by Donald Trump” on wikipedia.com, you'll find a detailed account of a long lifetime of lies.
Dr. Robert Prentice, a professor of business law at the University of Texas (hardly a hotbed of liberalism), reviewed the findings of nonpartisan fact checkers regarding the 2016 Clinton vs. Trump election.”'Here's the problem: … whereas Clinton lies as much as the average politician, President Donald Trump's lying is ‘off the charts.’ No prominent politician in memory bests Trump for spouting spectacular, egregious, easily disproved lies. … Every fact checker—Kessler, Factcheck.org, Snopes.com, PolitiFact—finds a level of mendacity unequaled by any politician ever scrutinized.”
Speaker Pelosi’s action (“He shredded the truth so I shredded his speech") was particularly welcome after watching the Senate's spineless Republicans, many of whom admitted publicly that the President was guilty of both Articles of Impeachment, vote to put Trump above the rule of law. And stupidly voted to destroy their own power to keep despots in check.
Laura F. Sanchez, Los Lunas
I have lived in this city for nearly 22 years and over that time, I've had a few interactions with APD.
Initially, it was positive. In one incident, I had been mugged in front of Highland High School about three or four years after I moved here. APD was prompt, the officers were concerned and polite. Later, I had a serious problem with an abusive neighbor. This time, it was bicycle officers, who again demonstrated that APD could treat Albuquerque denizens with respect and courtesy.
Then something happened in the intervening years. One would like to attribute this to a decline in the number of officers, no longer needing a college degree, the change in the political atmosphere or whatever, but there was a distinct shift.
In 2018 I was being stalked, threatened and verbally abused by another tenant in a rooming house I live in. APD took ages to arrive and while they were okay before they talked to the abuser, after there was a change in their attitude toward me. I received the impression that I wasn't quite believed, that perhaps somehow I was at fault, and they never told me what was said. Later, when I was in the process of filing a petition for a restraining order I learned they never even had a record of my call or the visit. Another time, an officer arrived and starting shouting at me when I called about another episode I had endured at the hands of that man.
So, while I’m outraged at the foot-dragging that has gone with both in the local media and with Albuquerque's Finest in regards to the West Mesa murders, I’m looking at it with a touch of Southwestern cynicism.
Amanda Don, Albuquerque
Drop By Drop
Today a letter from the Albuquerque Housing Authority (AHA) was placed on the doors of residents at 701 5th St SW. It states, “As part of AHA efforts to reduce water consumption and expenses, a lock was placed on the hose bib today. Please do not make any efforts to remove this lock as it will cause significant damage. Residents will be financially responsible for any damages that happen as a result of removal of hose bib locks.”
Attempting to curtail water waste is a worthy undertaking. However, it is unworthy to hold the weakest part of a community to standards not expected of any other resident in the city. I speak of the poor, elderly, and handicapped, of those living in apts. managed by AHA across the city. Until all city residents are subjected to locks on hose bibs to curtail water consumption it is the height of discrimination to inflict it on the weakest members of the community.
However, by fixing what is broken water consumption can be alleviated. For two years a neighbor has repeatedly reported a faucet leak. She catches water in a bucket and recycles two gallons a day, others have the same complaint. For months calls were made to AHA reporting a leaking air conditioner causing mold. It took letters from an attorney to get the issue resolved. Yes, water consumption is high here. How many times was the water turned off to repair broken water pipes last year? How many gallons were lost before the repairs were made? The residents are not the cause of high water usage. Please do not discriminate against us. We are too old, too sick, and too tired to carry buckets of water outside to prevent trees, flowers, and pets from dying. Discrimination is always the wrong solution.
Nikki Ryan, Albuquerque
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