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Saturday, June 30, 2007

RIGHT NOW: Only a Few Hours to Help Martin Heinrich This Quarter

NOTE: I'll be keeping this post at the top of the page until the fundraising quarter is over at Midnight tonight, June 30th. Please donate if you can.

Time is short if you want to help make a difference in Martin Heinrich's campaign for Congress in NM-01 for this fundraising quarter. If we want to help Martin show that he has widespread support from the netroots-grassroots community, now is the time. Click to Donate: http://www.actblue.com/page/dfnmforheinrich

Martin's campaign needs to demonstrate it has the backing of as many people as possible to make it clear that he's the best Democratic candidate to take on Heather Wilson in 2008.

Please donate RIGHT NOW if you can, and use the DFNM Netroots fundraising page at Act Blue to do so. In this way, Martin will know that progressive Democrats and Independents are doing whatever we can to support his candidacy:

http://www.actblue.com/page/dfnmforheinrich

Even a $5 donation helps. Remember how Howard Dean outraised all his competitors based on hundreds of thousands of small donations? Let's help Martin Heinrich do the same.

You can also sign up for automatic monthly donations, if you'd prefer, which spreads the expense over time so you can afford it.

http://www.actblue.com/page/dfnmforheinrich

We know that Heather Wilson will have millions of dollars to try and "Swiftboat" Martin Heinrich. Let's help him build a strong campaign so he can stand up to Heather and provide representation that we can be proud of!

June 30, 2007 at 01:16 PM in Democratic Party, DFNM - Albq, Local Politics, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday Music Hall: African Roots

We've been lucky the past couple weeks to see performances by two powerful artists whose musical influences are, directly or indirectly, African. We saw Angelique Kidjo this week at the Santa Fe Brewing Company. She hails from Benin in West Africa, but as she explains in the video above, her music includes elements from all over the continent, as well as the Caribbean, and American pop, rock, blues and soul. She's also a UN Good Will Ambassador and does a lot of work with Amfar and other organizations. Her performance in Santa Fe was explosively energetic, rhythmic and infectiously engaging -- almost the entire crowd was up and dancing for the entire show. Her latest album, Djin Djin, emphasizes the diverse drumming styles Africa. More Kidjo videos, including her first hit in America, an exotic cover of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child. She'll be appearing as part of the 7.07.07 Live Earth Concert from Johannesburg, South Africa.


Joan then (1976) singing Love and Affection

The week before, we saw long-time favorite Joan Armatrading bring down the house at Paolo Soleri in Santa Fe with excellent new arrangements of her older tunes and terrific new material. She's originally from St. Kitts, one of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies, where Caribbean music draws much from African roots. She grew up in Birmingham, England and later absorbed everything the London scene had to offer musically. Armatrading's music also spans everything from reggae to folk to her unique brand of pop. Her lastest album, Into the Blues, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart last month. Not bad for a 56-year-old.


Joan now, singing Woman in Love from Into the Blues

On her new album, Joan gets to stretch out some on vocals and guitar, including some tasty slide. Below you can listen to Into the Blues and Liza from the new album.

More Armatrading videos.

June 30, 2007 at 01:14 PM in Saturday Music Hall | Permalink | Comments (0)

Play Provides Satirical Look at Border Fence Issues

Fence

The Fence is a play by Johanna Siegmann that provides satirical insight about a variety issues surrounding a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico, illuminating the daily struggles of families whole members must cross the border in the course of their lives.

Friday and Saturday July 6 & 7: 8 PM; Sunday July 8: 2 PM
Albq. Journal Theatre, National Hispanic Cultural Center
$10, $15, $20 with $2 NHCC member discount
Show info: 505-724-4771; National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The Fence takes place on a small dirt road on the United States/Mexico border. When Gina, a hard-working mother and wife, tries to come home to Mexico after a long day's work in the U.S., she is faced with an enormous fence that has magically sprung up between the two countries. During her struggle to return home, the play presents us with a wide and often hilarious array of characters, all of whom are frustrated by this new development.

June 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM in Events, Immigration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Noted Author and PBS Essayist Richard Rodriguez to Lecture at UNM

Rrodriguez

From UNM Today:
Richard Rodriguez, a contributing editor at New American Media in San Francisco, will present “The Browning of America: Race, Religion and Ethnicity in an Erotic Age” at 7 PM on Saturday, July 7, at Rodey Theater in the Center for the Arts at the University of New Mexico as part of the Sunset Lecture Series sponsored by University Libraries. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Rodriguez is a noted contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine and appears as an essayist on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS. The sometimes controversial Rodriguez writes regularly for newspapers in both the United States and England, and he has written an autobiographical trilogy on class, ethnicity and race that includes “Hunger of Memory” (1982), “Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father,” (1992) and “Brown: The Last Discovery of America” (2002). Currently he is working on a book concerned with the ecology of the desert and monotheism.

Editor's Note: To get a taste of Rodriguez's famously iconoclastic and complex views, check out this video of a News Hour discussion between Rodriguez and Margaret Carlson, or this print interview by Scott London. Other materials on or by Rodriguez can be found here.

June 29, 2007 at 12:19 PM in Books, Current Affairs, Events, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Santa Fe Vets for Peace to Host Three Film Screenings

From Santa Fe Vets for Peace:

Wednesday, July 11, 7 PM, “Salt of the Earth"  An American drama released in 1954, with all writers being blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their involvement in socialist politics. This film is one of the first pictures to advance the feminist social and political point-of-view. 

Wednesday, July 18, 7 PM, “Pueblo People: First Encounter”  Recounts how the world of the New Mexico Pueblo Indians was changed forever, when Coronado and his soldiers brought destruction and violence on this peaceful society. This program tells about the Pueblo peoples' first encounters with European civilization entirely from the indigenous point of view.

Wednesday, July 25, 7 PM, “Genetically Modified Food: Panacea or Poison”  Examines how the prospect of unwillingly taking part in a mass experiment in global nutrition has sparked outrage and anger. Viewers can make up their own minds about the manipulation of DNA and how it pertains to the foods they put into their bodies on a daily basis.

All films will be shown at Northern New Mexico College Theatre; 921 Paseo  de Onate; Espanola, NM. Questions? Please email cduran@cybermesa.com

June 29, 2007 at 09:36 AM in Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rep. Steve Pearce Has His Head in the Sand: The Video

Adding to their Heads in the Sand on Global Warming campaign, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has released a new video (above) that pixilates our predicament with Republican Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02) and his obtuse nonresponses to the threats of global climate change. Pearce wants to keep things just as they are because so many of his big donors make lots of money producing fuels that create greenhouse gases. He'd rather sacrifice the future of our children and grandchildren -- and maybe even the planet itself -- by defending the status quo instead of facing reality and supporting the actions necessary to address one of our most urgent problems.

You can check out the particulars of Pearce's disturbing record here. For instance, did you know that Pearce voted against the environment on 20 out of 20 related bills in the 109th Congress? He earned a zero percent score for 2005 and a zero percent score for 2006 in the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund scorecard.

Click to send a message to Pearce to let him know what you think of his Head in the Sand approach to our environmental future. After all, he's supposed to be representing all the people, not just his favorite promoters of pollution. While you're at it, you might want to lend a hand to one of the Democrats who want to challenge Pearce in 2008 election:

Also see our previous post on Head-In-The-Sand Pearce. Click to support the work of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, including their radio ad targeting Rep. Steve Pearce's dismal environmental record.

Of course, Pearce is just one ally of the Republican campaign to stop the advancing movement towards renewable energy. Be sure to check out the excellent Rolling Stone article, The Secret Campaign of President Bush's Administration to Deny Global Warming, for the dirty details.

Remember, the Republican members of Congress in our state -- Rep. Steve Pearce, Rep. Heather Wilson and Sen. Pete Domenici -- all stick with the Bush agenda no matter what. Can the planet stand another term from any of them?

June 28, 2007 at 03:02 PM in Corporatism, Energy, Environment, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Librul Nation

This month, the Campaign for America's Future released an exhaustive study, The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth, that "offers hard facts and analysis based on decades of data from some of the nation’s most respected and nonpartisan public opinion researchers. This is the evidence that political leaders have a mandate to pursue bold, progressive policies."

As reported on TomPaine.com, the study includes these findings:

[Economics] Polling by the Pew Research Center shows 84 percent support to increase the minimum wage. Gallup shows that more Americans sympathize with unions than with companies in labor disputes (52 to 34 percent). NBC News and the Wall Street Journal polls indicate that nearly twice as many people think the U.S. is more hurt than helped by the global economy (48 to 25 percent). Other polls open the door to increased labor and environmental standards as part of the solution.

... research by the University of Michigan National Election Studies reveals that 69 percent of Americans believe government should care for those who can’t care for themselves. Twice as many people want “government to provide many more services even if it means an increase in spending" (43 percent) as want government to provide fewer services “in order to reduce spending” (20 percent). Majorities say we need a bigger government “because the country’s problems are bigger” (59 percent) and a “strong government to handle complex problems” (67 percent).

These Americans are challenging a central plank of modern conservatism. They don’t always want government to leave them alone. They want government to help hold us together.

[Women's Choice, Sex Education] ... The percentage of Americans who consider abortion the “most important” issue ranks in the single digits in poll after poll. When an election forces them to pay attention to it, Pew research shows a 56 percent majority oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, a proportion that has hardly changed in the past 20 years. Only 29 percent want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. And 67 percent, according to polls by Kaiser and Harvard, want sex education in schools to include information about contraception, not just abstinence. Yet conservatives continually push these subjects to the fore and stand on the wrong side of them. It’s time for mainstream media to question whether movement conservatives, not coastal liberals, are out of the mainstream.

[Energy] ... Gallup polls in March 2007 reveal that twice as many Americans want to solve energy problems with more conservation instead of more production (64 percent compared to 26 percent). Polls by CBS and the New York Times in April 2007 show 64 percent are willing to pay higher fuel taxes if the money were used for research into renewable energy sources, and 75 percent would be willing to pay more for electricity if it were generated by renewable sources like wind or energy. Only oil companies, conservative politicians and a minority of Americans (41 percent) want to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to drilling.

[Health Care] ... Gallup’s latest poll reveals that 69 percent of Americans think it’s the government responsibility to make sure all Americans have health coverage. Only 28 percent disagreed. Polls by CBS/New York Times in February 2007 reveal that 76 percent of Americans would give up the Bush tax cuts to make sure all Americans have access to health care.

[Iraq] ... The war in Iraq is a disaster. 63 percent of Americans want to set deadlines for withdrawal. Four times as many Americans (48 percent to 12 percent) think the war in Iraq has made the threat of terrorism against the United States worse rather than better.

So how does the conservative propaganda machine get away with their myth creation?

The answers are manifold. Skillful use of wedge issues by conservative politicians. Advantages in fundraising. Political gerrymandering. An establishment media that rarely asks hard questions. A war on terror that trumps pedestrian domestic concerns.

What can we do about it? For starters: Demand that all Dem candidates and officeholders take strong, liberal stands on the issues. Work with organizations like Media Matters and Free Press to hold big media accountable. Work for ethics and campaign finance reform locally and nationally. Keep speaking out and talking to your friends and neighbors. Get active!

June 28, 2007 at 10:31 AM in Current Affairs, Democratic Party, Media, Public Policy | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Cheney's Been Hiding All These Years

All right, kinda corny, but it DOES mention Roswell, New Mexico .... and NOT in connection with Roswell's own tobacco spitting jailbird of the Republican persuasion.

June 28, 2007 at 07:00 AM in Civil Liberties, Visuals | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

(Updated) Thursday: Tavis Smiley to Moderate PBS Dem Prez Forum on Domestic Issues

Tavis Smiley will host the All American Democratic Presidential Forum from Howard University in DC on Thursday night, June 28th, from 7-8:30 PM Mountain Time on PBS stations, including KNME, with a live stream at the PBS Forum website. The show will also be available as a video download or podcast after the show, and will be rebroadcast on PBS at 2 AM MDT.

For the first time, a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color will be presented in primetime. Questions to the candidates will be posed by Tavis and journalists Michel Martin of National Public Radio, nationally syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr. and USA Today and Gannett News Service columnist DeWayne Wickham. The topics of the questions will be limited to top domestic issues including healthcare, education, criminal justice, immigration, affordable neighborhoods, voting, rural development, economic prosperity, environmental justice and the digital divide. All eight declared Dem candidates will participate.

Unfortunately, PBS has selected much criticized Republican pollster Frank Luntz to do its after-event analysis on public response to the forum. As reported on Media Matters:

... Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who the Public Broadcasting Service has announced will provide "public feedback" following PBS' coverage of the June 28 Democratic presidential forum, has shown open disdain for Democratic priorities and candidates and has reportedly been reprimanded and censured by his peers for withholding and misrepresenting polling data and methodology. But, in addition to leaving out these facts from its press release announcing Luntz's participation, PBS, which referred to Luntz only as a "noted pollster," made no mention of the fact that Luntz has worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a potential general election opponent of one of the forum's participants, and has heaped praise on Giuliani this year.

... Luntz worked for Giuliani during each of Giuliani's three previous political campaigns: his campaign for New York City mayor in 1993, re-election bid in 1997, and aborted campaign for U.S. Senate in 2000. On the second page of the introduction to his book, Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear (Hyperion, January 2007), Luntz describes himself as "[t]he man who worked for Rudy Giuliani, two-time Republican mayor of a city where Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans 5-to-1 (xii)."

6.28.07 UPDATE: Frank Luntz will no longer be providing presidential forum analysis on PBS' after-forum commentary, but he's still scheduled to appear on Tavis Smiley's Friday show discussing the forum. Here's the latest from Media Matters.

June 27, 2007 at 05:31 PM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Democratic Party, Media | Permalink | Comments (5)

Common Cause NM Seeks Executive Director

With former Executive Director Matt Brix moving on to another opportunity, Common Cause New Mexico is seeking to hire someone to replace him. See the attached (doc) for more information. Interested applicants need to send a resume, cover letter and references by July 3, 2007.

June 27, 2007 at 03:29 PM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Desert Rock Power Plant Update: Public Hearings Set for July

CoalfiredFrom the NM Wilderness Alliance:
Public Hearings will be held for citizens to speak out about the planned Desert Rock Power Plant in the Four Corners area. This is your chance to stand up for clean air, land and water in New Mexico! On May 22nd the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) released a draft EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) which strongly supports the Desert Rock Power Plant and 10 public hearings will be held on this, starting July 17th, 2007 (see below).

The BIA is holding these hearings because these communities and the people living in them will be directly affected by the Desert Rock coal-fired power plant. The mercury emitted by Desert Rock will find its way into the watersheds serving these communities, including both rivers and fishing lakes.

For more information, please contact Trisha London: trishal@nmwild.org.

Editor's Note: Here's the listing of all the scheduled hearings from http://www.desert-rock-blog.com, which is an activist site that covers the fight against the proposed filthy, coal-fired Desert Rock Power Plant:

• July 17, 5 - 8 PM, Farmington Civic Center.
• July 18, 10 AM - 1 PM, Ute Mountain Casino, Towaoc, Colo.
• July 10, 5 - 8 PM, Iron Horse Inn, Durango, Colo.
• July 19, 1 - 4 PM, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque.
• July 20, 1 - 4 PM, Runnels Building (Larrazolo Auditorium), Santa Fe.
• July 23, 10 AM - 1 PM, Shiprock Chapter House.
• July 23, 5 - 8 PM, Nenahnezad Chapter House.
• July 24, 10 AM - 1 PM, Burnham Chapter House.
• July 24, 5 - 8 PM, Veterans Memorial Center, Sanostee, N.M.
• July 25, 10 AM - 1 PM, Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock.

You can download a copy of the draft EIS here, where you can also submit written comments about the proposed project. The closing date for comments is Aug. 20, 2007.

Also of interest is a recent Navajo Times article that describes how the originally scheduled hearings were abruptly postponed without word getting to the Navajo activists who intended to testify, many of whom traveled many miles to attend the hearing orginally set for June 18. The article also reports on the process for plant approval and had this to say about the draft EIS:

The draft environmental impact statement, a document about the size of the Phoenix phonebook, analyzes how the power plant would affect the surrounding environment and people under various development scenarios. A technical consultant funded by Sithe Global and the DinŽ Power Authority prepared the EIS, which is required under federal law.

It concludes that there will be adverse impacts but that these would be outweighed by the benefits of job creation and revenue for the tribal government.

Opponents fault the study for inadequate research and misleading conclusions, and say it dodges the most significant question of this era - how the power plant would contribute to global warming.

You can find most of our previous posts on the Desert Rock Power plant in this archive.

June 27, 2007 at 02:01 PM in Corporatism, Energy, Environment, Local Politics, Native Americans | Permalink | Comments (0)

Repub Rep. Foley: Obscenities, Spitting Tobacco Juice and Charging at Cops

Foleymug_2
Arrest Mug Shot: NM Rep. Dan Foley (R-Chaves County) with tobacco spitting residue evident on his shirt

The Roswell Daily Record provides the photo (above) and the story on what the police report on Foley's Sunday arrest at a youth basketball game reveals. You really should read the whole thing, but here's an especially telling excerpt:

Screaming profanities at an opposing coach, the Roswell Republican rushed the court and spat chewing tobacco at an officer before being arrested, police said.

... "I told Mr. Foley to 'get back,' but Mr. Foley continued to push forward," Carrasco said in the incident report. "I attempted to pull Mr. Foley back, but Mr. Foley pushed forward (charged) in an aggressive stance. ... I pulled Mr. Foley back and placed him on the ground facing up... I held Mr. Foley down ... to stop him from getting up." One witness said Foley had been yelling at players and officials during previous games. The witness told police that when Foley was being escorted to the mall security office for police questioning, the crowd began to cheer.

During questioning at the mall, the aggression continued, the report said. Foley asked for officers' names, saying he was going to "have our jobs," an officer said. "Mr. Foley used too many obscenities to be remembered," the officer said.

If convicted at his August 2nd trial, Foley would face a potential maximum fine of $784 and 20 days in jail. He's entered a not guilty plea to charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer and resisting arrest and is reportedly requesting a jury trial.

Click for our previous post on the arrest of Foley.

June 27, 2007 at 09:23 AM in Crime, Local Politics, NM Legislature 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)