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Articles written by Tom Mcdonald

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 By Tom McDonald    Voices    January 22, 2020 

Census more than simple headcount

Buried beneath the hyper-political year we’re about to have is something else that will shape our future. It’s time once again for a U.S. Census count. The U.S. Constitution requires a count every 10 years. More than a simple headcount, all...

 

A lot on plate for legislative session

Here we are again, about to enter into the abyss of a 30-day legislative session. It’ll be one of the fun ones, when lawmakers will get to spend-spend-spend. It must be refreshing for legislators who, not so long ago, had to cut-cut-cut their way...

 
 By Tom McDonald    News    January 8, 2020

Expecting big things in lawmaking

If you’re interested in seeing how this nation is changing, look to the states. If you look to Washington D.C., you’ll only find deterioration. With the start of the new year, a lot of changes came through new state laws — with New Mexico in th...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    January 1, 2020

A lot on its way in coming year

It’ll begin very soon, with state caucuses and primaries starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, and impeachment roaring out of the nation’s capital, all in January. The biggest monkey wrench to be thrown into the crossover between the 2019... Full story

 

Eventful political year in New Mexico

Let’s take a look at some of the political and governmental happenings this year in New Mexico and where they might go in 2020. This year started out with one of the most significant legislative sessions in years, thanks to a 2018 tsunami that...

 

Christmas still means something bigger

There are 10 official federal holidays, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. They range from the controversial (Columbus Day) to the benign (Washington’s birthday, a.k.a. Presidents Day), while all but one are essentially of a secu...

 

Settlement closes dark chapter

A dark chapter in our previous governor’s time in office is finally coming to a close with a recent $10 million settlement. Six years after Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration accused 15 behavioral health providers of overbilling the state’s...

 

Got to know a good soul years back

In my formative years, I worked for the Appalachia Service Project, a home repair ministry affiliated with the United Methodist Church. We went into the poorest areas of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee and used donated money, supplies and volunteers...

 

We can agree on being thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, in my favorite month, every year. It’s my time to return to my roots, to Arkansas and her Ozark Mountains, where I was born and half-raised, and where the Clintons have been abandoned for Trump. Every year my di...

 

Never underestimate the extremes

A trio of op-ed pieces in Santa Fe’s New Mexican on Nov. 10 captured my attention. One was from the governor, another from an activist, and the third from a naysayer. Let’s start with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s column. Headlined, “Our...

 

Impeachment won't quell divisions

You don’t have to go back 50 years to have lived through three of the four impeachment inquiries that have taken place in all of America’s history. Richard Milhous Nixon was facing three articles of impeachment when he resigned in 1974, then 25 y...

 

Need more nonpartisan problem-solvers

If you’re on the mailing list, you got that old familiar yellow manila folder in the mail last week, from Think New Mexico. I’ve lost track of how many of these reports I’ve received over the years, nor can I remember ever having felt it was a...

 

Law, not politics, should guide leaders

In all the noise over impeachment, has anyone pointed out the relationship between the law and majority rule? I think it’s central to the question about whether an impeachment is warranted so close to an election. It seems that some people equate...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    October 9, 2019

Going green good for capitalists

One of the things bothering conservative Americans these days is the “socialism” behind the Green New Deal being proposed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others. But I think they’re ignoring a key point: Converting to clean and...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    October 2, 2019

Country series carried me back

I made it a point to watch Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary series titled “Country Music.” I wanted to reconnect with a time in which I transcended rock and folk into the sounds coming out of Nashville, Tenn. In the 1970s, I became what you...

 

Trump symptom of bigger problem

So the president came to New Mexico. What’s the big deal? He’s so predictably unpredictable these days that it’s starting to get boring. For the casual critic who takes no solace in The Traveling Trump Show, he’s not nearly as outlandish as...

 

Climate alarm needs sounding

First it was the scientists, issuing dire warnings that the world is warming up because of human activity. But the media watered down their warnings; some media outlets questioned the validity of their claims, others simply downplayed it. And the...

 

Healthcare may be winning issue

From 1981 through 2018, the Republican Party controlled the 2nd Congressional District seat in southern New Mexico, with one brief exception. In 2008, when Rep. Steve Pearce opted not to seek a fifth term (running unsuccessfully for the Senate...

 

NM lost out on leader in Patrón

Firearms and alcohol have always been a dangerous mix. Nowhere is that more evident than in the life and death of Don Juan Patrón. He was widely considered to be one of New Mexico’s most educated and popular Hispanics of his time. I had never...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    August 28, 2019

Need to seek real cause of violence

Understand first that I did not grow up around violence. My father was basically a pacifist, a Methodist minister all his adult life, though he did have a temper, and six sons. We never got beatings, but we did get our share of spankings. At school,...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    August 21, 2019

Pets can literally save our lives

I have a dog in the house. He doesn’t live here, he just came to visit. And I have a family of feral cats living in my back yard. The momma cat claimed squatters rights, having lived here before I moved in. She’s always around, living her feral...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    August 14, 2019

El Paso shooting hits close to home

Back when you could do it with little or no hassle, I remember casually walking across the bridge (and therefore the border) between downtown El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. As I left the U.S. side, lively Spanish music filled the air, slowly fading into...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    August 7, 2019

No overnight fix for NM education

Up until recently, it’s been pretty much a seamless takeover. Worn out by Susana Martinez’s can’t-do/won’t do policies as governor toward issues like clean energy, full marijuana legalization and public education, voters made their voices...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    July 31, 2019

America can still do great things

Like a lot of Americans, I got caught up in the 50th anniversary of our first moon landing. My moment was on CSpan3, where I channel-surfed into Reel America’s Moonwalk One, a dated NASA documentary that tells the story of the first U.S. mission to...

 
 By Tom McDonald    Voices    July 24, 2019

Legal pot is capitalism at its best

We are about a year away from legalizing recreational marijuana in New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already set the wheels in motion for its passage at the Roundhouse next year, and if the state is ready with the regulations, it could...

 

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