Nov 5, 2008

Changes

Change is in the air, whether you believe in it or not. Here are a few items of note and some you may have missed.

  • Look forward to a new president Obama in just a few short weeks. Congratulations president-elect Obama! That this will affect the lab in some way is, I think, unquestionable.

  • Steve Porter is leaving after less than two years as Laboratory General Counsel. I haven't even heard a rumor as to why. In fact, that he is leaving is still a rumor. I've seen no official announcement.

  • Yesterday DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Jim Rispoli, informed colleagues of his resignation. Given the timing, one would presume he wanted nobody to notice.

  • Doug Beason is leaving the laboratory soon. In a farewell announcement forwarded to me last night, he hinted that he is directing his energies towards a surprise attack against Hessians in Trenton, NJ on Christmas day.

  • And finally, a reader commented about changes at DARHT last night.
    "So the latest on DARHT is that it is now owned by ADWE; McMillan and ADWP turned their backs on it yesterday."
    My guess would be that repairs are not going well. Some things never change.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will any of this get locals to do something other than be passive introverts waiting for the deluge?

The current betting line is 1/1000 against any effective action taking place in Los Alamos for its own protection.

Anonymous said...

When do we finally get to hear that Tom D'Agostino is leaving NNSA? That's the one I'm eagerly waiting to hear. His time at the helm has been a total disaster for the nation's weapon research labs.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at what we now have in this state and do some analysis. With this election, NM has a Democratic governor who once ran the DOE, Democrat Bingamain who chairs the powerful Senate Energy Committee, newly elected Democratic Senator Udall and newly elected Democratic Congressman Lujan.

Obama has been talking about the need for more good paying jobs in science (like we have at SNL and LANL). What sense does it make for his Democratic Administration and Democratic Congress to talk the talk but then start laying off these very same jobs that are within their control?

I predict the Obama Administration will make significant cuts in the weapons budget but will counter that with large increases in both the non-proliferation (WMD) and energy research budgets. They'll also push LANL to diversify and take on more WFO projects, especially in areas of homeland security and intelligence.

Unfortunately, LANS management is badly out of touch with this new direction and seem unprepared to make the changes that will lead LANL towards a new future. Meaningful change is a word they don't grasp. LANS top management has become a huge drag on LANL's evolution. Pit production, RRW, and esoteric plutonium research are clearly more to their liking.

SNL will weather this process much better, since their management has already accepted this evolution in their lab makeup. If LANS doesn't begin to change their tune in a serious way, we may witness a situation where LANL shrinks and SNL grows over the next few years.

Anonymous said...

After the next repair of DARHT, there will be more distinguished service awards, promotions, and bonuses. DARHT has been a real gold mine for certain people.

Anonymous said...

Lujan was elected only because his name is "Lujan." It was his family entitlement, after all.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, LANS management is badly out of touch with this new direction and seem unprepared to make the changes that will lead LANL towards a new future."

err, aah, imo it's the LANL employee's , or least the ones posting here that are badly out of touch or unprepared for the new direction.

Anonymous said...

From 2008 Unofficial Election Results of Los Alamos:

Candidate or Issue, Party, Votes, Percent

President and Vice President of The United States

Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Democratic Party
Votes: 5709
Percent: 52.5%

John McCain and Sarah Palin
Republican Party
Votes: 4986
Percent: 45.9%

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente
Green Party
Votes: 17
Percent: 0.2%

Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle
Constitution Party
Votes: 18
Percent: 0.2%

Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez
Independent Party
Votes: 74
Percent: 0.7%

Bob Barr and Wayne A. Root
Libertarian Party
Votes: 67
Percent: 0.6%

United States Senator

Tom Udall
Democratic Party
Votes: 5368
Percent: 50.1%

Steve Pearce
Republican Party
Votes: 5350
Percent: 49.9%

United States Representative - District 3

Ben R. Lujan
Democratic Party
Votes: 4214
Percent: 40.1%

Daniel K. East
Republican Party
Votes: 4379
Percent: 41.7%

Carol Miller
Independent
Votes: 1912
Percent: 18.2%

/---/

(www.sos.state.nm.us/ (general))

(//67.192.207.121/county32.htm (specific))

Anonymous said...

11:05 AM wrote,

"Obama has been talking about the need for more good paying jobs in science (like we have at SNL and LANL). What sense does it make for his Democratic Administration and Democratic Congress to talk the talk but then start laying off these very same jobs that are within their control?

I predict the Obama Administration will make significant cuts in the weapons budget but will counter that with large increases in both the non-proliferation (WMD) and energy research budgets. They'll also push LANL to diversify and take on more WFO projects, especially in areas of homeland security and intelligence."

Hopefully very large increases. LANL now costs >~$400k @1825 hrs/yr for someone direct charging non-DP/WFO codes who makes >$125k/yr. That's a good size chunk of the ~1920 non-mgt Sci/Eng employees. The equivalent figure for the $110-125k/yr salary range is >$350k/yr. It would appear the bulk of LANL Sci/Eng now cost out at about 2-3 direct FTEs/$1M.

Anonymous said...

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Democratic Party
Votes: 5709
Percent: 52.5%

John McCain and Sarah Palin
Republican Party
Votes: 4986
Percent: 45.9%"

I bet the percentage of people with Phd's went 90% Obama. Hell ya!!!

I was so sick of the rethuglicans constant campaign of fear.

Anonymous said...

11/5/08 7:45 PM - you and the rest of the LA-democrat-voters are a bunch of idiots. Like "good change" is going to happen. Like LANS is going to go away. We are fucked and LA has nobody to blame but themselves. Thanks for voting all democrat. Hope all of you suffer in the redistribution of your wealth. Be sure to kiss the ring of Mikey, Terry, Sue, Mary, Alan, etc. You re all f*cked folks. Bend over and get used to the position!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I want to send Tommy Dago a card myself.

Dear A****le,

You were the worst ever.

Anonymous said...

"It would appear the bulk of LANL Sci/Eng now cost out at about 2-3 direct FTEs/$1M." (6:51 PM)

LANL is in deep trouble going forward. LANS has clearly shown over the last two years that they are incapable of fixing things. Hiding things? Yeah, that they can do that very well because the $80 million per year profit fees and juicy 20% bonuses depend on it, but really fixing things is beyond their ability.

Fixing the high FTE rates is one of the most critical things LANS could do to help keep science alive at the lab, but costs are only go higher since LANS took over.

Anonymous said...

Dear Secretary of Energy Bodman,

On the occasion of your retirement from government service, I wanted to share with you what an incompetent jack***s you are.

YOU managed to turn two independent, competent, long-serving, dedicated University-quality Research Laboratories into broken-spirited cash-starved second-rate commercial synchophants. And you taught them how to lie publicly - "substantially equivalent" indeed! All without saving the taxpayer a dime.

You are a worthless piece of s**t.

Anonymous said...

I second what anonymous at 11/5/08 10:26 PM wrote to Bodman.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with a friend at Sandia who had just attended a presentation provided by management with info that the Sandia pension/401K had sustained a combined $600M hit. End result = employee contributions to the pension plan.

Anonymous said...

"11/5/08 9:32 PM"

Hate, fear, hate,fear.... That is all you have to offer. Have the audacity to hope! The republican party that I once loved was taken over by religious nut jobs who's core beliefs are fundamentally at odds with the ideas of liberty and freedom.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, 10:26 PM. It seems that every time I think LANL has fallen as low as it can possible go, it drops a little lower with NNSA and LANS help. You have to be in deep denial to not realize what's happening to this lab.

Anonymous said...

Sandia uses a hybrid system (part pension, part 401k). If they are now forced to begin taking employee salaries to fix the pension side, you can be sure that the non-hybrid TCP1 pension at LANL is in much greater pain.

And, yet, still no word from LANS? They seem to realize they can treat their employees like a pile of sh*t growing fat mushrooms in a dark corner. There is not a single crumb of honesty in the whole LANS upper management line up.

Anonymous said...

"So the latest on DARHT is that it is now owned by ADWE; McMillan and ADWP turned their backs on it yesterday."

This sounds ominous. Does anyone know exactly what's gone wrong with DARHT this time? It seems to be turning into a huge boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

Bodman served as the Dep. Secretary of Treasury back in 2004. That was when much of the toxic crap that now infects our US financial system was being created by the unregulated investment banks.

Do we see a pattern here?

Anonymous said...

"Have the audacity to hope!"

I hope LANL can get in line at the trough in front of the automakers.

Anonymous said...

"I hope LANL can get in line at the trough in front of the automakers." 10:39 AM


LANL is too late, 10:39 AM.

Pelosi has already handed out $25 B in DOE supplied money to the US automakers with more on the way. I doubt the new Congress will care to bailout the nuclear weapons labs...

--------------------------
Department of Energy issues interim rules for $25 billion loan fund usage - MotorAutority, Nov 6

www.motorauthority.com/
department-of-energy-
issues-interim-rules-for-25-billion-loan-fund-usage.html

The CEOs of GM, Chrysler and Ford plus UAW president Ron Gettelfinger are to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today to discuss a new round of loans to help keep them above water. As they do so, the Department of Energy has issued interim rules for the use of the already-approved $25 billion loan package earmarked for the construction of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Audacity to Hope.

Faith-based selection of the President of the United States.

We place our Hope on some undefined Change, while ignoring the empirical evidence of the Content of Obama's Character.

Anonymous said...

11/6/08 1:00 PM,

How do you get "DOE supplied" from this?

Looks more like "DOE regulated."

Anonymous said...

more senior managers leaving? Why don't they throw out Wallace? He's done more damage than most.

Anonymous said...

No kidding 5:15! He is a back-stabbing lying malicious fat f*ck who has seriously damaged LANL's reputation.

Anonymous said...

Sue Stiger is leaving as well.

Anonymous said...

5:15/5:56, if you want to get rid of Wallace, stop re-electing his awful mother.

Anonymous said...

6:48 PM - nobody competes!! I refused to fill in the circle just on principal.

Anonymous said...

" 6:48 PM - nobody competes!! I refused to fill in the circle just on principal.

11/6/08 7:00 PM"

I wrote in Darth Vader. Nicer person.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, the Audacity to Hope.

Faith-based selection of the President of the United States.

We place our Hope on some undefined Change, while ignoring the empirical evidence of the Content of Obama's Character.

11/6/08 3:20 PM"

Ya well McCain was an NVA sleeper agent for all we know.

Anonymous said...

President elect Obama is already tested by the world:

(1) Russia and their effort to deploy missiles near NATO member Poland in response to US missile defense plans.

(2) Iranian president Ahmadinejad welcomes Obama Change, e.g. he will go ahead with the Iranian nuclear program in the belief that US wouldn´t make a pre-emptive strike against Iran, and Obama probably as well, say no to a future Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran, and leaving a free road for Iran to become nuclear.

(3) The Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi calls Obama "tanned" in Moscow - the bad joke from the Italian PM, is probably the worst threat amongst idealists.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, the Audacity to Hope."

It is better than being a feaful coward worried about being killed by Islamic Terroists while at the same time being a fat alcoholic wife beating christian with 20 guns which you do not need. You are more worried about two men being married than about your own faild marriage.

You will never be happy if you live your life in fear.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Anonymous said...

I too did not fill the circle for Wallace's ballot slot.

As for Bodman, I support the f.u. comments a few slots above. Dammed arrogant Fat-Cat!

Anonymous said...

> It is better than being a feaful
> coward worried about being killed
> by Islamic Terroists while at the
> same time being a fat alcoholic
> wife beating christian with 20
> guns which you do not need. You
> are more worried about two men
> being married than about your own
> faild marriage.

Wow! You sure nailed me there! You have such a talent for drawing out conclusions from very little information. You should go on the prime time TV talk shows with your amazing psychic truth-telling ability. You could be famous and make a lot of money.

Say, are you related to Jeanne Dixon?

Oh, and by the way, I don't own any guns, I just about never drink alcohol, I'm not fat, and my wife beats me.

Anonymous said...

7:51 pm: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Yikes. Who's mixing the Kool-Aid?

Anonymous said...

"and my wife beats me.

11/6/08 8:56 PM"

It is even worse than I thought.

Anonymous said...

11/6/08 7:51 PM, projecting your own problems on others, eh? That was one weird post.

Anonymous said...

7:51pm is why I almost didn't vote for Obama. His followers make me want to puke most of the time. Fortunately, I came to my senses and voted for him since he's a smart, good guy, and tried to ignore the thronging masses following their Messiah.

Anonymous said...

We do not what we ought
what we ought not we do
and rely upon the thought
that chance will bring us through

Anonymous said...

7:51 has watched "Dune" a few too many times.

Anonymous said...

> "and my wife beats me.
>

> 11/6/08 8:56 PM"
>
> It is even worse than I thought.

But I like it.
So, it's not a failed marriage...

Anonymous said...

11/5/08 9:32 PM

Yep. We would have been much better off with Uncle Fester and Cabbage Patch Doll minding the store. Get a clue... The guy presided over one of the worst run campaigns in history. Does that mean anything to you?

Anonymous said...

following their Messiah

On the flip side you had a starry eyed throng at the feet of Mr. Magoo.

Given a choice between Mr. Magoo and the Messiah...hmm.

Anonymous said...

I just love how politics works here in America.

Everybody just votes based on caricatures.

Mr. Magoo. Messiah. Uncle Fester. Cabbage Patch Doll. Etc.

No problem. We get the government we deserve. I just hope we're more deserving than usual this time, but I have my doubts. Already, Obama has seemingly broken his promise of working towards unity of the American people by picking Rahm Emmanuel (a nasty partisan) as Chief of Staff.

Sounds like we're in for 4 more years of the same old political bickering in Washington.

"Change," my ass!

Anonymous said...

11/7/08 9:38 AM

Some excerpts from Politic.com's story...

-------

"The selection of Emanuel, one of the Democratic Party’s most effective operatives over the past two decades, was a powerful signal of Obama’s determination to be effective under the existing rules of the Washington game.

“He’s from the Lombardi wing of the party — he’s a guy who wants to win at any cost and will do whatever it takes,” said John Lapp, a former top Emanuel aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lapp called Emanuel “the best possible pick — a perfectionist and fighter who loves the president-elect like a brother.”

If so, he’s a sibling who long ago showed he knows how to talk back in the family. As a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Emanuel was known for his willingness to talk bluntly to colleagues from the president on down.

Although Emanuel is undeniably a partisan fighter, his selection is not an ideological statement. The Chicago Democrat does not share the reflexively liberal views of many of his House colleagues. In the Clinton years, he helped pass the North American Free Trade Agreement and pushed for anti-crime and other centrist measures.

Emanuel is a composite of three distinct models of chief of staff: the personal confidant, the prominent public figure and the Washington operative.

Emanuel knows more than most in Washington about what’s happening in both parties and in the media, because he’s in constant touch with all sides.

Said another Democratic aide. Just because he knows reporters does not mean he is always chummy. In the Clinton White House, he hung up mid-sentence with a reporter, sputtering, “I can’t put up with this idiocy.”

Republicans immediately attacked Emanuel as a partisan and as a contrast to Obama’s pledge of a “new politics.”

But Emanuel’s will to win, and his years in the ultimate partisan job of leading the Democrats’ House campaigns, masks good relations with members of both parties and a pragmatism that steers him well clear of liberal ideology.

“I see Rahm closer to the center, from a policy standpoint, than many of the Democratic Party,” Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.), the retiring ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee, told Politico. “He has good instincts when it comes to resolving policy disputes and finding common ground in policy disputes, and that’s going to come in handy as chief of staff.”

“During my time in the Clinton White House, two of the most powerful words you could utter were ‘Rahm says,’” speechwriter Jeff Shesol said on Politico’s Arena page. “His selection makes clear, once again, that Barack Obama refuses to buy into the false dichotomy, the phony binary choice, of Old Hands vs. New Blood. He will have both.”

==========

Anonymous said...

Published on DickMorris.com on November 7, 2008

"What's with Obama's choice of old-time Clinton cronies and recycled Washington insiders to run the transition to his new politics of change?

Can't the anti-Washington insiders President-elect find anyone who isn't a Beltway has-been?

Judging by the appointments to his transition committee and leaks about possible top staff and Cabinet choices, Obama appears to be practicing the politics of status quo, not the politics of change.

Obama based his innovative campaign on an emphatic and convincing commitment to change the culture of Washington and bring in new people, new ideas, and new ways of doing business.
Order a personally signed, first edition copy of FLEECED from Barnes&Noble.com. Click here now! But now, Obama has definitely changed his tune. As president-elect, he's brought back the old Washington hacks, party regulars, and Clinton sycophants that he so frequently disparaged. Like Jimmy Carter, the last President who ran as an outsider, Obama has reached out to the same old folks who dominate the Democratic Party and represent the status quo.

His Transition Committee looks like a reunion of the Clinton Administration. No new ideas of how to reform the system there. The Chairman, John Podesta, was Clinton's Chief of Staff. He presided over the outrageous last minute pardons and his style is strictly inside-the-beltway and make-no-waves.

Then there's Carol Browner, Clinton's competent former EPA Administrator who became the consummate Washington insider. She's Madeline Albright's partner and recently married mega-lobbyist and former Congressman Tom Downey. During the uproar over Dubai taking over U.S. ports, Browner brought Downey to meet with Senator Chuck Schumer to plead Dubai's case. Downey was paid half a million dollars to push Dubai's position. He's also a lobbyist for Fannie Mae, paid half a million to try to cover their rears on the subprime mortgage mess. Is his change?

Federico Pena was Clinton's Secretary of Transportation and of Energy. The President felt he was unduly soft on Air Florida after their crash and lost confidence in him. Now he's back as a Transition Committee member.

Bill Daley, Clinton's former Secretary of Commerce and the brother of the Mayor of Chicago, is the epitome of the old Democratic establishment. Clinton appointed him to the Fannie Mae Board and his son worked as a lobbyist for the agency. Aren't these the kind of folks that Obama ran against?

Larry Summers, President of Harvard and former Clinton Secretary of the Treasury is not exactly an outsider either. He's also alienated more than a few with his bizarre suggestion that women may be genetically inferior to men in math and science.

Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State under Clinton advised John Kerry and Mike Dukakis. Does that tell you enough?

Obama has named one of his big bundlers - Michael Froman, an executive at Citigroup. Is this supposed to symbolize change?

Obama's choice of a spokesperson for the transition is also surprising; hers' is definitely not the face of reason and new politics. Stephanie Cutter is the brash and combative former Clinton, Kerry, and Ted Kennedy mouthpiece. The liberal DailyKos.com once described Cutter as "a moron to the nth degree" when she tried unsuccessfully to force the New York Times' Adam Nagourney to treat her unsolicited email criticizing Howard Dean as "background" without mentioning her name.

Speaking of brash, Rahm Emmanuel, the new White House Chief of Staff, makes Cutter look timid. Rahm is also a former Clinton White House staffer - and a very obnoxious one. He spent his White House years leaking to the Washington Post whenever he didn't like what the President was doing. Even Bill Clinton stopped trusting him. Any hopes of Obama keeping his commitment to reach across the aisle would go right out the window with Rahm's appointment. Instead of extending a hand to the opposition, it would be like raising just one finger. And Rahm's strident demeanor laced with the 'f' word in every sentence will do little to elevate the bipartisan dialogue in Washington.

Christopher Edley, another member of the transition team, is Dean of the Berkeley Law School. He's a former member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission under Clinton and his wife, Maria Echaveste was Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Transition committee staffer Christine Varney was a Federal Trade Commissioner under Clinton and worked in the White House.

Throughout the early debates, Obama criticized Hillary as part of the inside-the beltway establishment that needed to go. But now he's reaching out to these exact same folks. Some change."

Anonymous said...

Stop with the ultra-long political posts! If we want to read this crap, we can go to those sites.

Rahm is a moderate Dem from the DLC camp and oozes competence. In that regard, Obama made an excellent choice.

Anonymous said...

You know, all you Obama folk should be pleading with Obama to get rid of LANS and not congress.

Anonymous said...

7:54 PM: "Rahm is a moderate Dem from the DLC camp"

Yeah, and Stalin was a "moderate" left winger too. "Rahm the knife" - Obama's chosen attack dog. Worse than Andy Card, by a long shot. He may be "moderate" politically, but he's a really, really, nasty and vindictive person. Great guy to be running the White House.

Anonymous said...

11/7/08 9:57 PM wrote "He may be "moderate" politically, but he's a really, really, nasty and vindictive person. Great guy to be running the White House."

Gee, sounds like Wallace and PADSTE for LANS...

Anonymous said...

I was merely offering a contradictory side to the first political 11/17 11:17 am posting. I've read more negatives about Rahm than positives so to view him as a moderate is absolutely hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Pinky - I think over the past year we have all heard bits and snips about how Wallace has lied, screwed people over, retaliated against people, ruined science at LANL, and in general has abused his power and shown his gross incompetence, etc. What about having a general post for people to just contribute to and provide examples so that the people in Washington and LANS board can see what he is doing as PADSTE?

Anonymous said...

How's that Science Complex project going, Terry?

The best and brightest can't wait to all be squeezed into tiny cubicles sitting inside cavernous warehouse rooms. That's LANS inspired change we can believe in.

Anonymous said...

Better yet - Terry how's that MaRIE coming along? Oh yeah, you and Bill Priedorhsky (Mr LDRD) shit-canned actinide science at LANL, which was a major component to the success and vitality of your so-called signature facility, which we have all wasted a TON of T&E on. Who the f*ck is watching what you do or rather don't do Terry??

Anonymous said...

4:14 PM - what do you mean by "shit-canned actinide science at LANL"?

Anonymous said...

" actinide science at LANL"

Actinide science can be done far cheaper and far better at places other than LANL. LANL should not be doing actinide science ... period.

Chaeper, better, safer, and more secure. Why not!

Anonymous said...

When is the AD Richard Watkins leaving? His manipulation of the injury data has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

6:42 PM - what other places? ANL? LBL? ORNL?

Anonymous said...

" 6:42 PM - what other places? ANL? LBL? ORNL?

11/9/08 8:27 PM"

All of them and many many more!

Anonymous said...

Here's a video for all the Obama haters. Enjoy your new future, sucka's:

******
Get Your War On: New World Order

www.236.com/video/2008/
get_your_war_on_new_world_orde_10121.php

Anonymous said...

I repeat ... Pinky - I think over the past year we have all heard bits and snips about how Wallace has lied, screwed people over, retaliated against people, ruined science at LANL, and in general has abused his power and shown his gross incompetence, etc. What about having a general post for people to just contribute to and provide examples so that the people in Washington and LANS board can see what he is doing as PADSTE?

Anonymous said...

Beason's departure enhances the prospects for Evelyn Mullen to grab more reins on the place. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

"how Wallace has lied, screwed people over, retaliated against people, ruined science at LANL, and in general has abused his power and shown his gross incompetence,"

I must be too low in the system as I have never spoken with Wallace. I have seen his all hands meetings on labnet and they are rather useless. I have to say that everything that I have heard about Wallace is very negative. Manager after manager has said horrible things about him and how disgusting he is.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, Mullen would be a breath of fresh air compared to the existing ADs and the alternatives at Rechtel. At least she has a stake in the outcome and wasn't born with her head up Anastasio's ass.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Lujan was elected only because his name is "Lujan." It was his family entitlement, after all.

11/5/08 2:16 PM

it's all a bucket of crap huh? who cares about competence...that is the biggest problem wth lanl.

Anonymous said...

Nepotism is rampant in New Mexico and at LANL. You don't have to be at LANL very long until you see obvious signs of the infamous Friends and Family plan.

You've got cases at LANL where big extended families are on the lab's dole, including children, uncles, aunts, grandma and grandpa, etc. The sense of entitlement in some of these cases is hard to believe.

In the case of Ben Lujan, I'm sure the name helped him win, but the people who ran against him were so lame that Lujan may have been the best pick. Too bad he feels the need to hide in the closet about his sexuality. He should be more proud of who he is. If Barney Frank can manage it, so can Lujan.