Category Archives: Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Stop Manchin’s Dirty Fossil Fuel Deal!

Published September 15th, 2022 in The Paper – Independent News for ABQ

By Lora Lucero, Progressive Democrats of America – Central New Mexico and Anni Hanna, NM Climate Justice

There was a mixture of relief and resignation when the so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) passed the Senate on August 7. Many people, organizations and environmental justice groups worked for years to finally get the IRA over the finish line.  

With President Biden signing the IRA into law, Americans can expect many benefits, including: caps on out-of-pocket drug costs; lower energy bills; historic climate investments which should reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030; more than $60 billion invested for new domestic clean manufacturing jobs; cleaning up pollution and taking steps to reduce environmental injustice with $60 billion for environmental justice; and closing tax loopholes used by the very wealthy. The IRA didn’t include everything climate activists wanted but many of us knew that failure to pass significant reforms was not an option leading up to the COP27 international climate conference in Egypt this November. 

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J’ACCUSE

Herbert J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

This Nation, this Democracy, is in trouble.  The danger and threat to our Constitution is real and comes, not from foreign powers, rather it arises domestically  — from within our own borders.  The Trump themes are familiar:  the 2020 election was a fake; fraud was rampant in the voting; climate change is a hoax; U.S intelligence sources are not to be believed; the “insurrection” on January 6, 2021 was simply a group touring the Capitol.

The Trump themes are false, yet have been repeated so often that many now believe them to be true.  These “lies” have now permeated the psyches of many. Among the consequences: our government is crippled as the Supreme Court fails to support voters’ rights; bills have been filed in a majority of states that aim to reduce non-white voter participation in elections.  Meanwhile, the Minority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell [R – Kentucky], has brought the Congress to a standstill regarding legislation supported by the Democratic majority.

McConnell’s dictatorial behavior has the hallmarks of fascism:

“Fascism refers to a way of organizing society with an emphasis on autocratic government, dictatorial leadership, and the suppression of opposition.”  [Merriam-Webster]

McConnell’s efforts to cripple the two most recent, duly elected, Democratic administrations are evident from the following quotes:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” .”

“100% of our focus is on stopping this new administration

McConnell has prevented debate and votes on the floor of the Senate.  He has kept his minions in line with threats to oppose legislation on:  voting rights; pay equity; infrastructure updating; climate; a special commission to investigate the January 6 assault on the Capital.    This infection of inhibiting and stopping the peoples’ choice for governing this country is spreading and has spread to the House of Representatives, e.g., Representative Chip Roy [R-Texas] stated his party [Republican] wants ”18 more months of chaos and inability to get things done.”

It is one matter to speak of a desire to retain and exercise power, utterances which are protected by the First Amendment [Freedom of speech] to the Constitution. That protection ceases when the words are put into ACTION!

McConnell’s ACTIONS ARE ACTS OF TREASON!

“Treason:  A betrayal of trust or confidence, a breach of faith, treachery.” [Legal Dictionary]
“Engaging in any act that weakens the might of the United States” is considered “providing aid and comfort” to the nation’s enemies.  [18 US Code 2381]

McConnell has forsaken the role of legislator/statesman in an attempt to grasp and retain power for political reasons despite his oath of office to protect the United States “against all enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC” [emphasis added] and at a significant cost to his country’s welfare.

McConnell and McConnellism must GO!  Find a way!

Progressive Bill of Rights in the Democratic Party

 

Today, more than 100 scholars who study democracy issued a letter warning that “our entire democracy is now at risk.” The letter explains that the new election laws in Republican-led states . . . are turning “several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections.”     –Heather Cox Richardson, 6/2/21

President Biden has sounded the alarm about the threat to our democracy posed by the voter-suppression bills being passed by Republican state legislatures all over the country, calling them “attacks on the sacred right to vote.”   As progressives, we have worked for many years to protect and expand that right to all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, class, gender, party affiliation, or any other marker of citizen identity.  We applaud the president for naming the threat to our democracy posed by a Republican party now operating under the spell of far right authoritarian extremists who stop at nothing.  We will work with him in the cause of democracy on every front.

Continue reading Progressive Bill of Rights in the Democratic Party

Police Brutality and Racial Injustice in New Mexico: What Progressives Can & Must Do

by Jerilyn Bowen

We all watched in horror as the life went out of George Floyd under the impassive knee of the sadistic little man in blue on May 25th in Minneapolis.  Since then, uprisings against police brutality and racial injustice have swept the country and the world.  New Mexico is no exception.  Nor should it be, given in particular the squalid record of killings and other rank abuses of power by a militarized police force in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Area

Under immense public pressure, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has announced an intention to establish a new cabinet-level department of city government dedicated to dealing with many of the problems that police have up to now been handling–mental illness, homelessness, addiction, public drunkenness, abandoned cars and similar matters. The new Albuquerque Community Safety Department will dispatch unarmed, specially trained professionals to address such problems in a sensible nonviolent and caring way that recognizes the deep structural problems that produce so much of this misery–namely, poverty and social injustice.  This groundbreaking measure could well serve as a model for other cities around the country.

Mayor Keller will look at “restructuring and reallocating resources” so as to build funding of the new department into the budget he’ll submit to the City Council in August, a budget to be discussed and likely made final by the end of October.  Renewal of the APD contract with the city has meanwhile been postponed for review regarding stipulations designed to protect officers from being held accountable for abuse and misconduct.

Continue reading Police Brutality and Racial Injustice in New Mexico: What Progressives Can & Must Do