Inside the Capitol

Friday, April 29, 2011

5-6 etc & Trump

FRI, 5-06-11
SANTA FE – Several months ago, I wrote a column on how states get their shapes, concentrating on New Mexico and its neighbors, which ended up with most of New Mexico's original territory.
Recently a reader' who lives in Tucson and Santa Fe, sent me a list of how states got their names, which he thought carried some interesting messages. I agree
Almost half our states, 23, have Indian names, despite the fact that 49 of the states tried to wipe every Indian off the face of the planet. New Mexico is the only state where original Indian structures remain, although we weren't really model newcomers. At least we didn't try to annihilate them. Our name was Spanish and then Mexican.
The names of 23 states come from the following tribes: Creek, Aleut, Pima, Souix (5 states), Mohican, Algonquin, Hawaiian, Iriquois, Cheppawa and Oto.
Twelve states used English words, 5 used Spanish, two used Mexican words (New Mexico and Texas – although Tejas Anglicized the spelling and pronunciation – two used French and one used Dutch. The state of Washington chose the only truly American word. And it appears that Idaho made up its own name.
This is being written from Hawaii where economic devastation has hit about as badly as anywhere. Their public employees are about as heavily unionized as in any state. Yet they haven't complained much about big salary and benefit cuts the past two years.
Teachers have been furloughed 17 days this year. Next year, they are talking about another 17 days but teachers will have to come to work even if they aren't getting paid. "But what's to worry about as long as the surf's up," I guess they must be saying. "We know there's an economic problem. And we don't have to go out and demonstrate in order to keep warm." Yes, life is more laid back here.
Hawaiians have other ways of dealing with budget deficits. First, they have no law or constitutional provision prohibiting budget deficits. And second, they can always increase the car rental fee a little more and reduce the deficit that way.
Hawaii also is very casual in its attire. Today is "Wear Jeans for Japan Day." No excuse is too small, although Hawaiians have felt very touched by the Japanese disaster. Many Japanese now live on the island. The islands felt very little effect from the tsunami.
I wrote about New Mexico's open U.S. Senate race several days ago. Since then, there have been changes. State Auditor Hector Balderas is definitely in the race. He could be a factor. Blogger Joe Monahan wonders if his shaved head will be a factor.
Monahan notes that no successful statewide candidate has sported such a look. Could it hurt him in a race against Rep. Martin Heinrich, who was voted as of the 50 Biggest Hunks on Capitol Hill? Polls have shown that good looks do attract votes. But then we can all name some notable exceptions, especially in the U.S. Congress.
That brings me to wonder about President Barack Obama's hairstyle. I think it is too short for our president. My wife says it is stylish. I wonder if it was a political decision by a candidate trying to make race less of a factor.
That's a sore point in Hawaii where the locals are pretty proud of their president. But the long form didn't stop the conspira cy theories of those who already were birthers. It's obviously a fake. It is just amazing the gall of this man who wants to prove he was born in Hawaii, they say.
What Hawaiians want to know is who and where are these "people" Donald Trump has down in Hawaii investigating the birth certificate. And what is it they found that "you wouldn't believe." Now would seem to be a very good time to release that information because it appears the president got the jump on him, they say.


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