Like other election years, between now and November you'll hear the word "jobs" bandied about by politicians on the campaign trail. You'll see catchy photos in your mailbox, like the one of Heather Wilson wearing a hard hat and embracing a Hispanic guy in one of those taxpayer-funded campaign fliers. Every candidate jockying for votes will want you to feel good about your future job prospects, because that's always one of the issues pollsters and consultants say electoral victories are made of.
Where did you get that information? Our pawn of a congresswoman was on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show last week, regurgitating many of the same falsehoods about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration was taken to task for: that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, that he received large quantities of uranium from Niger, Africa, and that Saddam is in league with members of al Qaeda, the group that claims responsibility for the September 11 attack.
With Councilor Eric Griego showing up late, Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy leaving early, and Councilors Michael Cadigan and Miguel Gomez not appearing at all, the Feb. 18 council podium resembled a busy take-out window.
February is set to give way to March, bringing with it the end of the latest installment of the state Legislature where all New Mexico's problems were thoughtfully addressed and solved in a spirit of bipartisanship; with neither individual legislators nor Gov. Bill Richardson stopping to worry about who might be getting the better of whom in the press. And if you believe that, you probably believe the state is cutting taxes and spending less money!
Dateline: Massachusetts—Last week's New England Journal of Medicine reported on a case in which French surgeons removed 12 pounds of coins from the stomach of a 62-year-old patient. The man, who had a history of psychiatric illness came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002 complaining of stomach pain and an inability to eat or move his bowels. An X-ray revealed an enormous opaque mass, which turned out to be around 350 coins—approximately $650 worth. Readers of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote in and correctly diagnosed the unnamed man as suffering from a psychological condition known as pica, a rare compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. The man had his expensive stomach contents removed, but died 12 days later from complications.
Greg Payne's column on the City Council's rejection of a building project on Walter Street in Huning Highlands (Payne's World, Feb. 19-15) omits any mention of the specific grounds on which the project was opposed by the Huning Highlands Neighborhood Association (not by "a couple of neighborhood activists"). Apart from zoning questions raised (which this writer cannot pretend to understand), there were other objections which, if Mr. Payne had paid any attention to them, would have made clear grounds of the councilor's "difficult to explain" and "irrational" negative votes on the plan.