Inside the Capitol

Monday, June 08, 2009

6-12 June is the Greatest Month

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- I love June. Everything finally turns green in Santa Fe. The days are the longest of any month. Remember to enjoy the summer solstice because the days get shorter after that. And it hasn't even gotten hot here yet.
Many interesting things happen in June. The one I have been looking forward to the most is June 12, when the big national television conversion takes place. I don't expect my TV to get any better but all those commercials and announcements will end.
And they surely better do it this time. Last time was a false alarm and the announcements continued another several months. It's been almost as bad as a political campaign season.
D-Day is another observance I like. Ask men the place they'd most like to visit and many of them will pick the beaches of Normandy. We got to see a little more D-Day coverage this year than most because the U.S. president visited.
Britain raised a stink about its queen not being invited, considering the Brits lost more troops on D-Day than any of the allies. The French said she was welcome to come. The Queen said she needed to be invited. But even her own prime minister didn't do that.
At the last minute, President Barack Obama got involved but the Queen said it was too late. President Sarkozy said this year's observance was intended to be mainly Franco-American.
The Brits said that was because "Sarco the American" wanted Obama's ear all day long. As it turned out, he didn't have it. Obama had other plans and Prince Charles showed up to represent his mum.
The first Saturday in June is the Belmont Stakes. New Mexico colt Mine That Bird had been a surprise Kentucky Derby winner last month and came in a surprise second place in the second leg of horse racing's triple crown at the Preakness
After twice proving the elite of horseracing wrong, Mine That Bird was the favorite in the Belmont. Alas, it didn't happen. The horse came in third. But finishing in the money at horse racing's three top events, served notice to the world that little New Mexico is capable of raising and training a winner. And other New Mexico owners can say to themselves, "If they can do it, we can too."
It should help the New Mexico racing industry tremendously. It also will help if Mine that Bird can run some of its races in New Mexico. Unlike most Derby winners, who retire to a blissful life on a stud farm, Mine That Bird was gelded long before his first owners realized the little club-footed colt with a funny gait could actually run. So the colt will spend the rest of his life competing.
June also was when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came home to speak about improved border security. It must be nice to be back in a state where people can pronounce your name correctly.
They pronounce it correctly in Washington also but in Arizona, where she was attorney general for eight years and governor for another six years, they never could get it right.
Napolitano brought Attorney General Eric Holder along with her to help explain about fusion centers, involving everybody in all branches of government at all levels so we have people sharing information instead of jealously guarding it as they did before 9/11.
But the big question of the day was "Hey, where's Bill?" With two top cabinet officials in town, Gov. Bill Richardson was nowhere to be seen. Aides said he was in T or C doing some Homeland Security work. And then he filmed some public service announcements.
But other reports put him at the Staples Center in Los Angeles watching the first playoff game of the NBA championship Series. When the Lakers play in Los Angeles, TV cameramen get many crowd shots of all the celebrities at courtside. Richardson was spotted in one of those.
The last time President Obama was in Albuquerque, very little interaction occurred with Gov. Bill. A picture of a handshake showed Obama looking the other way.
What does that mean?
FRI, 6-12-09

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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