Monday, February 27, 2006

Domenici when he next comes up for re-election

Those of us who might otherwise have been inclined to vote for Senator
Domenici when he next comes up for re-election might want to consider his
current unwillingness to intervene on the side of Los Alamos in the ongoing
dispute about the impending West Jemez road closure. Aside from one minor
intervention some months ago to free up a pittance of funds for a possible
future bypass to the ski hill, he has thus far steadfastly refused to
support his constituents in Los Alamos on this issue, despite many public
and private pleas from the County Council and others in the
community. With his powerful position in the Senate he could, of course,
stop this DOE nonsense dead in its tracks with one five minute call to
Ambassador Brooks, but so far he has sided with the Washington bureaucracy
on this issue.

One can only speculate that he, or more likely the senior staffers in his
office who shape his policy for him, see their real constituency as the
Washington agencies who can offer them high-level positions in the future,
rather than the folks back home who voted to put the Senator in office. It
is true that he keeps funds coming for the New Mexico labs, but that may
just be an incidental bonus that comes from helping to keep his main
constituents, Washington agencies like the DOE, well funded.

Perhaps I have misjudged him and he will eventually do what we elected him
to do – represent us. But if not, one might want to rethink supporting his
re-election.

Bill Godwin

Comments:
Bill,

There are no strong reasons to vote for Domenici if he decides
to run again in 2008. According to Senate Rules, he has chaired
the Energy Committee for the maximum number of sessions, so he'll
no longer be able to have the influence on LANL that he once
held. This may all be moot, however, as I don't think St. Pete
wants to run in 2008. He's looking tired and his health has gone
down hill. He's served New Mexico well, and deserves a rest.

BTW, if the Democrats take over the Senate by 2008, the fellow
who will become the chairman of the Energy Committee will be
Senator Bingamin! A Democrat controlled Senate will help ensure
a continuation of political protection for Los Alamos and LANL.
Watch what happens in the 2006 mid-term elections. If the
Democrats take over the Senate, then it will probably be to
our advantage to have TWO Democratic Senators from the state
of New Mexico by 2008.
 
My understanding is the Domenici is not planning on running again, although nothing official has been said, so this issue is probably moot. Who really thinks the Dems have a chance to take over the Senate in 2008? Certainly not the way they have been handling national security and defense by following the moveon.org folks.
 
Careful, David. Once again, your fundamentalist-GOP-right-leaning
mentality is showing through. The Dems have a reasonable chance at
taking the Senate by 2008. Not all Dems are associated with the
far-left "MoveOn" folks. That's a boogie-man that GOPPers like
to keep bringing out, but by 2008, that dog may not hunt. Most
people in America are starting to become scare to death that
their comfortable middle-class retirement dreams are going away,
and rightly or wrongly, they are beginning to look at the party in
power as the people to blame. I feel a political change coming,
and I don't think it is going to be beneficial for the Republicans.
Having an incompetent man leading the party from the Whitehouse,
plus the stench of corruption from within the party also doesn't
help this party very much.
 
David:

You are right to question the bona fides of the Democratic leadership, whose spines appear to be vestigial. However, as good a Republican as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has suggested, when he visited Santa Fe recently, that seeing as how the current bunch of incompetent managers of our foreign policy have so thoroughly lost their way, a change in the legislative branch is mandatory, just as a check and balance against excessive executive power. (For example, were the power reversed and things as thoroughly mismanaged by Democrats, he would urge a change to Republican leadership in Congress. Naturally, he would prefer Republicans under most other circumstances, i.e., were they TRUE conservatives and libertarians--the present Neo/theo/cons are NOT, so much so that even the legendary William F. Buckley has thrown in the towel on Iraq.)

-Brad
 
"Careful, David. Once again, your fundamentalist-GOP-right-leaning mentality is showing through."
===
Didn't spot "fundamentalist" mentality. Some of my best friends are rightish.

"That's a boogie-man that GOPPers like to keep bringing out, but by 2008, that dog may not hunt."
===
Probably use different hounds. Prefer to be called GOPer.

"Most people in America are starting to become scare to death that their comfortable middle-class retirement dreams are going away, and rightly or wrongly, they are beginning to look at the party in power as the people to blame."
===
Probably true. That's how it always seems to work.

"I feel a political change coming, and I don't think it is going to be beneficial for the Republicans."
===
Could be.

"Having an incompetent man leading the party from the Whitehouse, plus the stench of corruption from within the party also doesn't help this party very much."
===
"Incompetent" is a judgmental call; relative to whom? Not sure which party's stench is being acknowledged.
 
David, rather than spending time being outraged by MoveOn, try
coming out of your bubble and read the current news. Hmmm, let's
see. What do we have today? How about this...

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/27/D8G1L7Q01.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
GOP Governors Say Bush Missteps Hurting -- AP News -- Feb 27, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Republican governors are openly worrying that the Bush
administration's latest stumbles _ from the natural disaster
of Hurricane Katrina to those of its own making on prescription
drugs and ports security _ are taking an election-year toll
on the party back home.

The GOP governors reluctantly acknowledge that the series of
gaffes threatens to undermine public confidence in President Bush's
ability to provide security, which has long been his greatest
strength among voters.

...
The unease was apparent from interviews with more than a dozen
governors over the weekend, including nearly half of the
Republicans attending the winter meeting of the National Governors
Association.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


You might also want to look at this book, which just came out. It's
written by a conservative with strong credentials. You can find
it over at Amazon or your local bookstore on the front shelf...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Impostor : How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and
Betrayed the Reagan Legacy -- Bruce Bartlett
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Publisher's Weekly:

Liberal commentators gripe so frequently about the current administration
that it's become easy to tune them out, but when Bartlett, a former member
of the Reagan White House, says George W. Bush has betrayed the conservative
movement, his conservative credentials command attention. Bartlett's attack
boils down to one key premise: Bush is a shallow opportunist who has cast
aside the principles of the "Reagan Revolution" for short-term political
gains that may wind up hurting the American economy as badly as, if not
worse than, Nixon's did.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


And finally, note that none other that the "Father of Conservatism",
Bill Buckley, has just concluded that the Iraq war is a TOTAL FAILURE!!! ...

http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.p?ref=/buckley/buckley.asp
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
It Didn’t Work - William F. Buckley - National Review - Feb 24, 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. "
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Opps! I won't even mention the UAE port deal, which has been all over
the news of late. It also has serious security implications, though.

OK, Dave. Your serve. Take your best shot. And try not to make it
a "Cheney". What makes you think that the Dems have no real hope of
taking control of the Senate by 2008?
 
"You are right to question the bona fides of the Democratic leadership, whose spines appear to be vestigial."
===
Some brain shrinkage is also noticeable.

"However, as good a Republican as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has suggested, when he visited Santa Fe recently, that seeing as how the current bunch of incompetent managers of our foreign policy have so thoroughly lost their way, a change in the legislative branch is mandatory, just as a check and balance against excessive executive power."
===
Some of my best friends are rightish. I don't suppose the location of his visit had any bearing on his pronouncements.

"For example, were the power reversed and things as thoroughly mismanaged by Democrats, he would urge a change to Republican leadership in Congress."
===
So would I.

"Naturally, he would prefer Republicans under most other circumstances, i.e., were they TRUE conservatives and libertarians--the present Neo/theo/cons are NOT, so much so that even the legendary William F. Buckley has thrown in the towel on Iraq."
===
Didn't realize he was alive enough to throw a towel. Even so, we tend to be hasty in assigning legendary status.
 
"OK, Dave. Your serve. Take your best shot. And try not to make it a "Cheney". What makes you think that the Dems have no real hope of taking control of the Senate by 2008?"

====

So much to read; so little time. Wouldn't think of going veepal on you. Never said "the Dems have no real hope." I'm not clairvoyant. Some of my best friends are leftish. My name is not Dave, but you can call me that if it makes you feel better.
 
I wasn't addressing you, "ihateitwhenthishappens". I was
addressing David. Perhaps you didn't notice that I explicitly
used David's name? Regardless, your retort is lame and
lacking of solid substance. Hopefully, David can do much better.

David, I'm still waiting. Other than the tired, old "MoveOn"
boogie-man, what makes you think the Dems can't gain control of
the Senate by 2008? I think the odds favor the Dems. Give me
some hard analysis for thinking otherwise. Certainly, current
general "right way / wrong way" polls show some alarming trends
for the Republicans. Republican political operatives also are
clearly running scared, as shown by the GOP Governor's's meeting
that just took place.

If the Dems put up good candidates (maybe a big if), then I
think they can easily take the Senate. Give me some good,
solid arguments to think otherwise (and don't stoop to using
the tired, old Rovian "Hillary scare").
 
Why is it, I wonder, that a posting originally dealing with our local problem with the NNSA, and the failure of our local Senator to support us on this issue, has turned into a 2006 election mud battle? It’s no wonder the DOE can walk all over us – we can’t even get focused and organized on a critical local issue like this.

Bill
 
When you're posting to a blog, you are de facto addressing everyone who reads it. And since David was being gang tackled with towels and stuff, I felt like throwing a few towels back. Sorry if my retort was lame (I'll try harder to rise to your eloquence), and if it was lacking in solidity, I was only aiming at substantive. I'm sure David can do much better. He's probably composing a thoughtful response and no doubt wondering what his or anyone else's prognostications for the 2008 elections has to do with our current problems.
 
I agree that Domenici is becoming listless and unresponsive to the continuing problems with DOE and UC. After all, he has his...retirement eggs, that is.

FWIW, might the Domenici staff be reminded that the Senator's fingerprints are all over this place, good and bad.
 
Focusing on the local issue versus some 2006 politics that are 9 months away.

Bill here are the following reasons why Domenici isnt doing anything about the road issue.

1) It isnt a priority to him compared to making sure that the states national guard has appropriate body armour and vehicles. It is a higher priority that the 99% of the state that isn't Los Alamos county is taken care of.

2) If all of Los Alamos and local areas affected (the mountain folk) voted against him, he would still win decisively in 2008. Los Alamos and surrounding areas are living in the past where they were THE significant Republican centers of the state. They arent anymore.. there are more registered Republicans in Socorro county than Los Alamos.

3) People outside of the mountains of Los Alamos do not really care about the roads. They care that Los Alamos National Labs does not end up some terrorists attack point.. and people in Las Cruces have no idea that putting the road stations will not really fix things.

4) People in Los Alamos seem to have lost the brains that God gave Feynmann's left toe. You dont phrase the comments in how its going to cost Domenici or Heather Wilson the senator seat... it hits all the wrong nerves for people and gets their nerves up. You aim the conversation on what needs to be done about really securing Los Alamos National Labs from letting any dick and jane with a truck bomb to drive up to the LANL cafeteria.

Get on the state AM radio talk shows and go about what the real threats to LANL are.. talking on a blog where less than 2% of the state population has access to is not going to change opinion. Point out that NNSA's plan just makes sure that audit findings are covered but people are probably less secure because bad guys are more likely to do a Beslan once the lab targets are closed. Write opinion letters to every state newspaper and point out where things are going wrong.

If you do that.. you have a better chance of change occuring. More than likely, the whole town will just go behind the fence. Would cost the US government a lot less than trying to fix the first perimeter, the second perimeter, etc etc etc.
 
OK, Bill. I'll spell it out for you.

There's a clear connection between that LANL road and national
politics. Ask yourself, why is that road being built? Could it
be because we have one party in power that consistently exploits
fear for their political gain? That's really what this road
is all about -- our irrational fears. Frankly, I would rather
they spent the money on securing our high school with extra
cops to keep the hoodlums from coming on campus to sell drugs.
At least that would be rational. As of now, I've not heard a
single reason for building the road, other than maybe it's
some grand CYA action by DOE (ie, "Look, we're really doing
something important up here to help protect the country"). The
fact that DOE has been so closed-lipped about the whole project
only makes me wonder. Maybe the reason they don't want to
discuss their rationale for this road is because their reasons
will look silly once they're exposed to the light of day.

Regardless, I think Gruntled Guy has it about right. Most
of the rest of the state could care less what happens up here
so long as LANL stays out of the news. But, heck, I don't
much care about what happens in Soccoro. That doesn't mean
that Los Alamosans should give up on their current efforts at
stopping this silly road development.

There are areas of the lab that should definitely be fenced off
from traffic. The plutonium facility comes to mind. However,
if you want to see this town totally fenced off for crazy-assed
reasons, then I suggest Los Alamos keep voting Republican. In
fact, I understand LANL's Homeland Security czar, Ron Dolin,
is now running for Congress as a Republican. Perhaps he'll help
scare the Holy Be-Jesus out of everyone, once elected.

But, remember, folks. You have a choice when it comes to
politics. One one side is a party that helped get us through
perilous times with the motto "You have nothing to fear, but
fear, itself". On the other side, you have a party and President
who seem to be saying: "Be afraid.. be very afraid".

I prefer to live under the precept of option 1. With the
latest polls showing only a 34% approval rate for Dubya, and
a pathethic 18% rate for Cheney, perhaps others in this country
are also coming to the same conclusion.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/27/opinion/polls/main1350874.shtml
---------------------------------------------------------------
Poll: Bush Ratings At All-Time Low -- CBS News -- Feb 27, 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
 
"But, remember, folks. You have a choice when it comes to politics. One one side is a party that helped get us through perilous times with the motto 'You have nothing to fear, but fear, itself'. On the other side, you have a party and President who seem to be saying: 'Be afraid.. be very afraid'. I prefer to live under the precept of option 1."

We certainly have choices; very unfortunately, FDR is currently unavailable. But as long as we are daydreaming about greatness in leadership, how about Washington (Federalist), and a legend in his own and for all time: Abraham Lincoln (Republican), who at Gettysburg spoke what is arguably the greatest speech ever given. Once we acknowledge that we will probably not see the likes of that illustrious triumvirate in our lifetime, we might consider Harry Truman (Democrat), my personal favorite of the last century, who has been quoted extensively. One quote, as President, which may be relevant here: "I am here to make decisions and whether they prove right or wrong I am going to make them."
 
"... , and the failure of our local Senator to support us on this issue, ..."

A minor point, but perhaps worth noting: both your US Senators' "locality" extends to the boundaries of your state.
 
I'm glad we have a President who doesn't make decisions because of polls (unlike his predecessor). You may disagree with what he has done, but you might also ask why the press doesn't report a balanced view of what is going on in the world. If your source of the news is from the main press outlets, you certainly aren't getting a unbiased view, and they now make no bones about their bias. Kennedy, Durbin, Reid, Pelosi certainly don't present a very pleasant image of the Democratic party. When will people wake up and realize that the government can't afford to give welfare to everyone? And when will the Democratic Party disavow MoveOn.org and George Soros? Not by having Howard Dean as head of the Democratic Party. The whole neo/theo/con argument is very strange to me. What does this have to do with anything? People seem to have irrational hatred for the President and it is being fed by the press. The Iraq situation has now clearly been placed in the hands of the Iraqi people, which is the only place it can really be won anyway. They have to want freedom. Many do, many more than you hear about in the main media. How effective a small group can be is now being determined. Time will tell. Freedom is not free.

The Republicans may well have big losses this year, but it isn't because of the higher ground held by the Democrats. Bush's approvals' are low but not as low as Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. We'll see, but as others have pointed out, the issue of the road by the Lab is not one of the top priorities for the Senator, nor should it be as much as I personally might want it.
 
Well said David. I most certainly agree with you. However I do have a serious problem with Senator Domenici. This guy is nothing but a self serving, pocket lining, political rat. I had always believed he was an honorable man but the events here at the Lab have proved otherwise. His fingerprints are all over this mess and he's hiding in his little rat hole. Sara has written him repeatedly to ask for his assistance with the despicable way here family has been treated by UC/LANL. He continues to ignore her. He also ignores my inquiries as does Bingaman. We are both constituents of his and he is in a position to, and has a responsibility to, assist in this travesty of justice. Both of our Senators are unethical cowards but I expected more from Domenici. I'd love for him to stepup and prove me wrong but I'm not holding my breath.
 
Thanks for your reply, David. Interesting to see your arguments.

On most of your points, I could easily take the inverse argument.
For example, when will the right disavow the sleazy tactics of
Rush Limbaugh, Swift Boat Vets, and billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife?
Cunningham, Delay, and Sen. Inhofe certainly don't present a pretty
picture of the GOP. When will the government wake up and realize
it can't support the corporate welfare of Halliburton? The whole
"evil liberal" labeling tactic is very strange to me. People on
the right seem to have an irrational hatred for Clinton, even
now that he's no longer President! Iraq is now a $400 billion
failure, and all we have to show for it is a bloody civil war.

I could go on and on like this, but you get the point. It's as
if people on the Red/Blue divide are living in completely different
worlds! We see much of the same data, and yet reach vastly
different conclusions from it.

The closest thing I've experience to the current environment is
when Nixon was in his last days in office. Polls at the time
showed that about 28% of the people in the US still supported
him, even on the day he left office in total disgrace. To this
day, you can find plenty of old folks who think Nixon was illegally
hounded out of office. This, even after his long time political
adviser recently came out and said Nixon knew all about Watergate
and its criminal aspects from the very beginning.

This is all very puzzling to me. Humans are very strange creatures.
We hold on to our beliefs like a child holds on to his candy. It's
enough to make people become very depressed about the future of
human-kind. The tribal instinct is still very strong in all
of us, even after the need for tribal protection has long past.
And I don't in anyway remove myself from these same attributes.

Anyway, thanks, once again, for your comments, David. I don't
believe a single one of them, but I find them interesting to
observe, none the less. And the data I see, plus my gut
instincts, tell me we are getting ready for a big political
change in this country, much like we observed back in '94.
 
There was a time when folks who worked at LANL referred to Pete Dominici as St. Pete. Perhaps a few still do, but Dominici supported the idea of rebidding LANL. That fact alone should be enough to cause most people at LANL to vote against him. Dominici's "tough love" will hit most LANL employees right square in the pocketbook and it remains to be seen whether LANL will be improved or not.
As for Dominici not planning to run again, that is what he said before his last election, so take it for what it is worth.
Had John Kerry won the election for President, LANL would probably not have been rebid. This was strictly a Republican party issue. Livermore can probably be saved if enough Democrats can be elected in '06.
Now I am not saying UC is the best manager in the world, but I believe the rebid hit the employees and the taxpayers a whole lot harder than it hit UC.
I will not vote for Dominici ever again and I have in the past.
 
Dear LongGone, good2go, David, and John:

Yes, there is a great Red/Blue divide, but some people on both sides can look at their own "heroes" (do you like the term "leaders" better?), and see when they've been betrayed by those people.

What astounds me most, however, are those who continue to vote against their own best interests (not to mention the best interests of the country). They are most frequently members of the beleaguered and slowly shrinking middle class.

The best you can do in these troubled times is to try to dig up verifiable facts from as many sources as you can get your hands on. Listen to your "enemies," because they may actually hold some part of the truth, better than some of your "friends." Follow the money, no matter where it leads you, because that is the source of corruption for BOTH Republicans and Democrats. If someone panders to your darkest fears, fear them.

[Finally, Bill, thanks for the excuse to have a fine suit of threads woven from your initial post, even though all you may have wanted was a decent pair of underwear.]

-Brad
 
Asking people to choose between the stirring words of a historical leader and the fabrication of a partisan is an example of the rhetorical technique known as the "straw man fallacy." But if I had to choose a political party based on the eloquence of its finest leader, I would be swayed by the immortal words, " --- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom --- "

If only it were that easy.
 
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