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1970 - Afraid of huge social programs started by Richard Nixon, ALEC is created to propose legislation, tax cuts, and eradication of municipal, county, and state social services.

2010 - Colorado Springs accepts the ALEC blueprint for governance, cutting firefighter jobs, police, garbage pick up, and closing parks, museums and swimming pools.

COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!
"But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies."

“I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree.”

FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:

A friend just returned from Colorado. He could not stop talking about the black skies. Here, we have a massive thunderstorm underway, with lights flickering, black skies, and lots of noise. He looked out the window, and said, "It was worse there. The scariest thing I ever saw."

360 houses, no, strike that. HOMES destroyed. Several dead, a few missing, and the utter destruction of block after block after block of what used to be prime housing in some of the prettiest scenery around. How did it come to this? I have two answers, TeaBuggerers and ALEC.

Here's what the Denver Post wrote in January, 2010, after several ALEC based proposals made their way into the real world:

COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric. More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
 http://www.denverpost.com/...

As social experiments go, this example of rampant TeaBuggerism and ALEC legislative behavior shows just how badly things can go when they go bad. It is a bit like a 40 yr old punk proudly proclaiming, "I never had health care and I will never need it. I'm as healthy as a horse." Until the horse comes down with colic and is close to being dead on the hoof. When it is needed, there is nothing there to fall back on.

The same applies to Colorado Springs. Maintenance investments, infrastructure upkeep, having trained pros, like cops, firefighters, city workers on staff - these don't happen all at once. It takes time, training, investment, and rational thinking. It costs money to do all of that, it takes energy, planning ahead, and thinking of the worst case scenarios. It takes the understanding the emergencies can and do happen, and to prepare for them, you must prepare for the worst.

Colorado Springs legislators committed legislative malpraactice. For a short term, temporary gain, (severely cutting resources, by greaty reducing taxes) Colorado Springs tried an experiment. They followed the TeaBuggerers' demands, and they followed the ALEC playbook. Their motto was better suited for a sports arena: "Cut, Cut, then Cut some more. Rah!"

In exchange for gutting numerous programs intended to safeguard, to secure, and to protect the citizens of Colorado Springs, the legislators achieved a small tax break, and almost suffered from permanent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from patting themselves on their backs so strongly.

It is not that I have some glaring absence of empathy here. To the contrary, having such devastation and total loss pains me greatly. But we need to take the next step, and we need to use this horrific event to educate, to inform, and to stop rampant TeaBuggerism in its tracks.

From the LA Times:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Hundreds of families from neighborhoods torched by the massive Waldo Canyon wildfire met with local officials Thursday night to learn whether their homes had survived.

In an emotional meeting at a University of Colorado events center, Colorado Springs officials distributed printouts with addresses marking which houses had been destroyed or damaged, and which had survived, attendees said.

At least 346 homes were destroyed on some 35 streets in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, Mayor Stephen Bach said earlier in the day. He warned that the toll could grow as more areas are inspected.

There are three groups that made a bad situation worse: TeaBuggerers, ALEC, and those moronic legislators who swallowed the ALEC bullshit from top to bottom. Each should be held accountable for the damage done. True, there is no guarantee that having a working water system, or a fully staffed fire department would have stopped or limited the damage, and true, this is an epic fire, a full two months ahead of the normal fire season. But having no resources certainly made a bad situation far, far worse.

Privatize this, ALEC!

Now that they are shitting in their own crock pot, you can easily guess what sort of solution the Colorado Springs morans and hypocrites are now seeking:

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, who has been present at media briefings, skipped talking to reporters Friday morning.

He attended an emotional meeting the evening before with residents wanting to know what had happened to their homes. And in the morning, he was gearing up for his meeting with the president, sorting out in his head what kind of federal aid he would ask for.
"I really appreciate the president coming here ... if nothing more than just to reassure us that this has a focus at a national level, that there are people all over this country who are concerned for our citizens and those who have lost their homes," Bach said.
"And I do plan to ask for cash," he added.

CNN
Poll

ALEC and TeaBuggerers

36%79 votes
4%10 votes
47%103 votes
5%12 votes
4%10 votes
1%3 votes

| 217 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't expect any MSM outlet to put 2+2 (17+ / 0-)

    together here. They will blithely ignore what Colorado Springs did 2 years ago. That's too long ago to matter, and besides, MSM doesn't do research anymore. They simply put up a conservative talking head, and use the time to blame Obama.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

    •  Of course they blame Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      We all know that everything that happened from 2000-2004 was Clinton's fault and everything that happened from 2005-2008 was Obama's fault. Says right here in the Teabuggerer Bible.

      Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

      by Pale Jenova on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:24:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought their bible was mainly pictures (0+ / 0-)

        with no words greater than 5 letters in length.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:33:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very sad (32+ / 0-)

    Not only local decisions, but nationwide budget decisions seem to be affecting this.
    Budget cuts hinder efforts to fight Colorado fires

    The resources for fighting fires in Colorado are so bad that a delegation was formed by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), and Rep, Mike Coffman (R-6th CD) demanding  the  federal government provide more funds and equipment to help fight the expanding fires.

    It's unfortunate that all three of these U.S. Representatives demanding help for their home state also voted for the Paul Ryan budget cuts which would drastically reduce the funding for the federal firefighting program.

    When are people going to wake up to the reality that taxes pay for things we actually need and value?
  •  Not one thin dime to any of them. Not one (3+ / 0-)

    They made their bed, now they can lie in it.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:14:27 AM PDT

    •  As a Colorado dweller (10+ / 0-)

      and a Democratic voter, I appreciate your taking a dump on us. Sheesh.

      "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

      by Thinking Fella on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:23:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not going that far. (7+ / 0-)

        instead, I hope that leaders use this as an example showing what can happen if you accept the Grover Nordquist theory of government.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:33:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. You have to use this to educate the damned (5+ / 0-)

          voters to get off their asses during every election, not just every 4 years and vote progressive, no matter how much money alec and their cronies throw out in ads.  We have become a stupid, and lazy nation and this is what it gets us. Witness my idiotic state of Florida!

          •  agreed. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tripodisblack

            or in the case of ALEC,  a greed.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:55:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I lived in Colorado Springs for 12 years (moved (6+ / 0-)

            earlier this month).  Not only did I vote in every election, I voted for every tax increase intended for infrastructure or social services (very few of the latter were ever on the ballot).

            One other thing the numbskulls in City Hall did to save money was to reduce and even eliminate bus service in the evenings and week-ends.  Want to take a guess who took the brunt of those cuts?  I guarantee you it wasn't the people who lived in the million dollar homes in the area around Garden of the Gods.

            "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

            by pittie70 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:50:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, my thought, too. (0+ / 0-)

        Rather a "serves them right" diary. Thanks a lot, huh?

        Tell the people you love that you love them when you can. You don't always get another chance.

        by Melanie in IA on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:43:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah -- it just occurred to me what this reminds (0+ / 0-)

          me of: when the question was asked of Ron Paul what to do about the hypothetical ill person who didn't have health insurance, and the audience shouted "let 'im die!"

          YES policy, including tax policy, has consequences. But we do NOT NEED to cheer the negative impact of those policies, especially when there are "innocent" victims in the way. And again the diary has rather a "serves them right" or "let 'im die" tone to it.

          Tell the people you love that you love them when you can. You don't always get another chance.

          by Melanie in IA on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:14:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry you think so. That was not my intent. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Melanie in IA, blueoasis

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:33:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Decisions Have Consequences (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, tripodisblack

            This is the reason that Republicans walk all over Democrats.  They know -deep inside their black little souls - that Democrats will be stupid enough to bail them out at some point.  They did it with Reagan's nonsense tax policies.  They're doing it again with Bush's insane fiscal policies.  Now, they're banking - literally - on the Democrats taking one for their side so that they get the earmarks they want but wish to deny others.  Enough!

            The folks in Colorado Springs didn't just vote in the wing-nuts overnight.  They've been wing-nuts for at least forty years.  They've yearned for this moment.  They've EARNED the destruction overtaking them.  Now is the time to rub their puppy noses in the mess they've made and remind them that "Decisions have consequences!"  Otherwise, they'll play you for a fool evermore.

            "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

            by PrahaPartizan on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:15:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  BS (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis
            Hidden by:
            Thinking Fella

            These people watch nothing but Faux News and dump on any tax increase.  They have only one-third of their street lights running, they have cut bus service, they have cut watering and mowing city parks, they have cut firefighters and they have cut police.  And now they want us to pay their bills through use of federal largess and higher insurance rates for the rest of us in Colorado.  Well they can go straight to hell as far as I am concerned.  The best thing that could happen to this state is if the entire town burned to the ground.  All I can say is I wonder what the mega-church pastors will be saying that God is punishing them for this Sunday morning.  War is hell and elections have consequences.  As far as I am concerned, these people can just burn, I don't care.  Elections have consequences.  They elect their nuts and now they suffer the consequences.  Tough shit.

          •  The audience all but shouted U-S-A! U-S-A! (nt) (0+ / 0-)

            Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

            by Pale Jenova on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:26:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, blueoasis, AspenFern

        Truly sorry for what is happening in Colorado.  It kills me that the people who scream about socialism are the first with their hands out DEMANDING SOMEONE ELSE DO SOMETHING.

        This fact never seems to dawn on them; they will continue to scream at EVERYONE else.  I have a question:  why should I, as a taxpayer in Pennsylvania, have to pay for THEM when THEY were the ones who wanted their own services cut?  We are supposed to feel SORRY for them now?  

        •  you have to pay for them (2+ / 0-)

          because it's the right thing to do.

          I don't get this resentment in this country from the right and the left sometimes. We're a country. Not a collection of induhviduals.

          Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

          by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:19:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's Because (0+ / 0-)

            You must live in some pollyannaville that takes care of its folks and isn't afraid to raise taxes.  I live in Colorado, and I'm tired of these guys who cut services to the bone and then expect the rest of us to help them out.  From my point of view, the only way they might learn a lesson is if we let the place burn to the ground.  That's be my vote.

            These people are literally sticking the cost of this mess to the rest of us by demanding our Federal dollars, whining when they think the Feds aren't doing enough and then rebuilding their big mansions with insurance money that will come out of the pocket of the rest of us who have insurance in Coloraodo.

            Further, these people could have prevented this stuff.  They are stupid.  I live in a similar area in the western foothills of Denver,  My homeowners association has spent over a million dollars in the last ten years doing fire mitigation.  We spends hundreds of thousands a year on a fire department that is volutneer and second to none.  We spent $8 million building a reservoir so that even in these dry years we will have water to fill the hydrants and a reservoir right there for the helicopters to dip out of.  These people have done nothing.  I say they get nothing.

            Want to know why I and a lot of folks around here are bitter and unsympathetic, well, that is.  So, smoke it or not, I don't give a rats ass.  But I still say let the bastards burn.

      •  I am glad to see you today. Hope you are ok. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Thinking Fella, Melanie in IA

        Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:42:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Question (8+ / 0-)

    To connect the dots - don't want our side to make inaccurate arguments

    Did the fire start within Colorado Springs, or outside city limits?

    Did the city, with outside help, have the resources to fight once the fire approached city limits?

    Have the cutbacks showed in any inability to fight (however the resources were raised) since it reached city limits?

    I say this as a Southern Californian, with more resources for fighting urban area wildfires than anywhere in the world. Often these things can't be stopped (a few years it was only by chance that the entirety - yes, I'm not exaggerating - of San Diego might have been burned down).

    I'd like more detail on proof of cause and effect.

    •  This diary (5+ / 0-)

      conflates the moronic voters of one city with the plight of millions of Coloradoans. Um, Mr. Diarist, I live in the same State as Colorado Springs, but a couple hundred miles away. Will you help my town, or are we thrown under the bus as well?

      "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

      by Thinking Fella on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:26:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't want anyone thrown under a bus (4+ / 0-)

        I look at the aging infrastructure that federal fire fighters suffer from, (not one new plane in decades) and cannot help but think that some catastrophe will happen because of this shortsightedness.

        I also agree that it is impossible to predict what would have happened had Colo Springs NOT cut their budget through the muscle, sinew, and halfway into the bone. Even fully staffed, they may have been out gunned by an Angry Mommy Nature. Maybe, but maybe not. It is not an experiment that I look forward to repeating, though. Could adequate resourced severely limited the damage? If yes, then I blame the legislators, ALEC, and TeaBuggerers equally. It just seems logical that compared to having an absence of resources is worse than having resources available at all times.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:32:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you should compare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder

          the resources that Los Angeles County throws at wild fires much smaller than those currently burning in Colorado. Then you'll see the insignificance and irrelevance of the resources available to a fully staffed Colorado Springs.

          Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

          by nickrud on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:41:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I admit my ignorance about California (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            on many levels. To paraphrase Sir Adams, I frankly don't believe it even exists.

            So that is something I will not attempt.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:55:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on Where you Live and (0+ / 0-)

        What you've been doing all these years.  See my post above.  My community kept up services and did lots of private work over the last ten years to prevent this type of thing, and it still might not.  But, I'll be damned if we should pay ColoradoSprings bills,  They can burn in hell as far as I am concerned.

    •  Oakland too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, Thinking Fella

      Had the wind not shifted and died down, that fire would have burned all the way to the bay.

      Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

      by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:48:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's apples and oranges (7+ / 0-)

    No city the size of Colorado Springs could fight those fires themselves, nor are they expected to. They fight building fires, one by one. Not mountainsides.

    pat 'o butter picks the right target here.

    Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

    by nickrud on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:16:23 AM PDT

    •  True, but it's all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      part of the same philosophy. It's not like they want to slash local funds but then make up for it by funding the federal positions more heavily. They want everything cut.

      •  bad arguments (0+ / 0-)

        are bad arguments. seanflynn lays out my argument (I'm in Los Angeles) much better below.

        Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

        by nickrud on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:23:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure it's so bad (0+ / 0-)

          The impact may not be easily quantifiable, but if the city cut firefighters, I don't see how that can be helpful to this situation. Maybe they wouldn't have been able to make a huge dent in it given the magnitude of the fire, but surely it can't be helpful to have fewer of them available.

        •  There Need to Be Consequences to Decisions (0+ / 0-)

          And this is theirs.  They let the houses be there, they cut their fire department, their representatives vote to cut everything they get to vote on (including their US Rep who voted to cut firefighting funds this year).  They voted for all this stuff.  Why should we help those who can but refust to help themselves.  Let 'em burn.

    •  Is there a prevention program? Firebreaks? (2+ / 0-)

      Brush clearing cordons around or near built up areas? Presumably some of that is done. Next question. Were there cutbacks on that recently? Are there state programs and do cities like Colorado Springs have them as well... do they have responsibility up to the city limits? or some ways beyond... and either way do they coordinate with the state when there is an unusual build up of dead brush etc... or when firebreaks have not been maintained... or whether newer ones should be added?

      With New Orleans... years of unheeded warnings about the levees and the channel that made the storm surge that much more dangerous... so with Colorado Springs were there any unheeded voices on fire prevention and emergency response locally? Certainly the federal response was good this time... but the underfunded firefighting aircraft problem and firefighting in general must have had an effect.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:42:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our local fire department has some small (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, Thinking Fella

        grant monies to visit any homeowner for just this sort of thing. They evaluate roofs. brush, trees, firebreaks, sketch adrawing or two to give a picture of  what should be done to minimize fire danger inside and outside the home.

        We did the program which actually helped us with iur trees during winter storms.

        Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:49:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've Said this Before (0+ / 0-)

          But, its all a matter of money.  They chose not to spend the money to do the work or to have the laws that would have prevented these subdivisions from being build in this manner.  You know, as they down there would say, you sew what you reap.  And now they're getting a taste.

          As for the kind of work suggested above, there are lots of communities in the northern front range who have been doing the work and paying the cost for years.  There are small government grants, but they don't cover much.  Our HOA of 900 has spent a million dollars over the last ten years doing this kind of stuff.  We've improved our volunteer firefighters training and equipment.  We build our own reservoirs so that our fire hydarants (which most mountain areas do not have at all) will produce water if there is a fire and so that we have a water supply in our neighborhood for the helicopters if necessary.  We've done the work.  Could a fire like that still destroy our neighborhood, you bet ya, and we're all aware of the risk when we move into that area.  Frankly, a lit cigarette butt out a car window on a hot, dry, windy day like today, and you'd see 900 and more homes gone if a poof.

          But, we have a chance, because we've spent the money and done the work.  They haven't.  And what's so damn irritating is that now they're complaining that the Federal government hasn't responded fast enough.  Maybe you're not seeing that where you are, but here it's the blame Obama game.  I have no sympathy.  I say let them burn.

    •  You and the Commenters Above (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agrenadier, blueoasis

      Also ignore one other fact of the government down there.  They don't believe in zoning laws.  They literally let anyone put anything up anywhere.  So the fact that the houses were even there in this kind of environment is another result of their idiocy.  I also live in an urban interface neighborhood as they are called here in Colorado.  We did our own thing, improving our fire department and training, doing fire mitigation to the tune of over $1 million over the last few years, building a reservoir so that our fire hydrants would fill in a bad situation and so there would be a nearby water source for helicopters.  Could what happened to them happen to us, you bet ya.  But at least we are as prepared as we can be.  Them, they just want to dump the cost of this infrastructure on the Federal and State government and on the rest of the insurance customers in this state.  Did you see any fire hydrants in that neighborhood?  What about a lake that allows them to get water dumps every minute rather than every five minutes that we saw as they were burning on Tuesday?  They haven't done shit, so I don't know why I should give one.

      •  you're absolutely right (0+ / 0-)

        but that's not the subject of the diary. The concept of mountainside living does need to be reexamined, but simply stating that 'gee, they gutted the fire department and that's why this is happening' is false.

        Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

        by nickrud on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:31:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not afraid to ask Obama/Feds for cash but so loath (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, IreGyre, blueoasis, bluebrain

    to raise the taxes locally.  Cutting off your community's own bootstraps and then going begging for help when the need becomes dire.  So apparently asking government for help after evading community responsibilties is okay as long as they're getting the Taxpayer's Money from Other Places.

    I sure hope Obama puts some helpful requirements on their getting any federal handouts--perhaps make the money only available as a block loan to whatever local government units are able to tax local property, and require the loan to be repaid from local taxes (and state if local government can't handle the responsibility alone)--it'd be hard to argue since it would be in line with the Republican philosophy of pay as you go. Make them a national example of how big a failure ALEC 'fiscal responsibility' anti-tax propaganda is.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:17:18 AM PDT

    •  Screw the block grants (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antirove, blueoasis, bluebrain

      Have Bach go ask Koch for some cash... It would be interesting to see the response.  

      •  Koch boys fly in to CO, drop off $1 billion, and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        rescue Michelle Malkin's clan with a helicopter, all with live Fox News & CNN coverage.  How could they resist beating Obama to the rescue?  Oh, right. They just aren't into this for the charity. CO would probably have to repay them $2 billion for that $1 billion, plus the costs of rescuing the Malkins.  Maybe asking the Kardashians and Chuck Norris would work out better.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:49:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, (0+ / 0-)

        I say have him ask Focus on the Family and the dozens of mega churches for the money.  That's their idea of utopia.  I say let them live in it and see how they like it.  I just know this fire is the wrath of God for all the evil that is being done in that city.

  •  And here's Romney on June 8 (10+ / 0-)
    Romney said of Obama, "he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."
    Let's help the American people by getting rid of firefighters, police and teachers.
    •  sure hope we hear that quote in an ad (3+ / 0-)

      with a backdrop of the forest fires.

      i fully understand why some people think this is a good time to teach those colo springs rednecks a lesson. but what's to be gained by that?

      any satisfaction would be short-lived, because deep down  inside, leaving desperate people, even foolish ones, to fend for themselves in times of need is not how any of us are.

      we need to just let this play out and treat it like any other huge disaster. let the big mouthed conservatives expose themselves for the fools that they are without any help from us.

      i think a lot of people down there are learning a big lesson right now about the limitations of their bootstraps, and if we just go on being ourselves and try to help them out, maybe...just maybe...we can win some of them over in november.

      •  Amen!!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elkhunter

        And in Colorado.  Let's get Colorado off the swing state list and firmly in Obama's camp.  But, alas, Democrats don't have the balls to do it.  I'd be willing to bet big money.  Our only hope is the Super PAC, and I bet they won't do it either.

    •  Something called "volcano monitoring"! (0+ / 0-)

      Oh wait, that was Bobby Jindally Cricket. Now he would make a great running mate for Mittens, lol!

      Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

      by Pale Jenova on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:28:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Michelle Malkin is pissed at a couple who (4+ / 0-)

    expressed their schadenfreude in a couple mean spirited tweets.

    Democrats’ New Motto: Never Let a Wildfire Go to Waste

    My family and I are approaching a full week as Waldo Canyon Fire evacuees. As readers of this blog (archive here) and my Twitter feed have been reading, we were forced to leave our home Saturday afternoon. Some 32,000 were displaced by mid-week. Nearly 350 saw their homes burned to the ground, including many belonging to our friends and acquaintances.


    the governor said. ‘We should be focusing our support on them and on the people out theony, and lay off the firefighter human shield strategy. re risking their lives to fight these fires.’”

    Spare us the sanctimony, and lay off the firefighter human shield strategy.
     

    Really Michelle? How are those draconian budget cuts that laid off some Colorado Springs firefighters working out for you now Michelle?

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:43:34 AM PDT

    •  Yet it's Malkin who's been blaming the Obama admin (0+ / 0-)

      for not funding the airborne tankers which don't have a lot of effect on these massive fires anyway.

      Fanning those flames, she is.

      Iraq, Iran, Issa. Nope - nothing to see here. Move along now.

      by here4tehbeer on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:56:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just another Reason (0+ / 0-)

        to let the place burn to the ground.  Her own representative voted to cut the forest service budget.  She has no one to complain to but herself.

        As for the tankers and helicopters, you are dead wrong.  Anyone who has watched a fire like this knows that they are damned effective and we should have more.  Bush retired 44 and didn't replace them.  Obama retired 8 and didn't replace them.  They are old and they crash and they're slow.  But effective, you betchya.

        Earlier in this fire, a single helicopter with a bucket making drops every five minutes saved an entire neighborhood like the ones that burned by preventing a fire from cresting a ridge.  

        For my view, Colorado Springs has no one to blame but themselves, I'm bitter because this has all now become Obama's fault.  What a lousy excuse for a community.  I say they burn and we do nothing to help them.  They have to face the consequences of what they hath wrought.

        •  Glad to hear those aerial assaults do some good. (0+ / 0-)

          To be honest, it didn't really make sense to me that they wouldn't, although it may have been in the context of boots on the ground versus buckets in the air.  

          I seem to recall seeing a video recently of a tanker plane crossing a ridge and having one of the wings just break off.  Damn.

          Iraq, Iran, Issa. Nope - nothing to see here. Move along now.

          by here4tehbeer on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:24:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No Cash! (0+ / 0-)

    A Federal Loan perhaps?

    At a reasonable rate of return.

    To ensure a reasonable profit.  

    Lets start privatizing the Risks (and paybacks) as well as the Rewards.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:44:56 AM PDT

  •  Is this diary necessary? (4+ / 0-)

    I mean, when a spate of big fires roared through Colorado in 2003, the Right blamed environmental policies before the smoke had even cleared and we ended up with that ridiculous "Healthy Forests Initative."

    I actually think this is a little bit rude.

    Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

    by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:48:04 AM PDT

    •  should we ignore the increased risk that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8, blueoasis

      may occur when vital social services are cut? Under your scenario, those topics should be verbotten. With that I disagree. I'd rather err on the side of preparation and having resources, instead of saving pennies in taxes simply to foolishly adopt some ALEC -Nordquist plan. Starving government means government no longer exists to do what we intended it to do.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:58:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say you couldn't talk about it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, phonegery

        but I'm actually saying that your argument has holes in it and is weak.

        It's not that simple. Seanflynn and teresahill in this thread lay out other scenarios that poke holes in your argument. Poor land-use management. A rather devastaing drought. I read earlier today about an insect-driven blight that killed many pine trees, leaving lots and lots of kindling. Firestorms happen. Look at what happened near Melbourne, VC a couple years ago---and that's a region well acquainted with fire. Half the continent of Austraila burns down every year, yet that last firestorm killed almost 200 people. Or Oakland, CA in 1991, a state that also has superb firefighting resources.

        Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

        by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:05:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we agree that it is a complex situation (0+ / 0-)

          and I readily admit there may be holes in my argument. But sometimes simple points drive home a point most powerfully.

          Do you deny that ColoSprings drastically reduced its level of protection that they offered their good citizens in January of 2010?
          Can you prove that there was no adverse impact from those cuts here and now?
          Should we extrapolate a possible adverse impact by those cuts to other locations and states, say, Wisconsin or other ALEC targeted experiments?

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:37:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  some answers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            agnostic, Thinking Fella

            Do I deny that Colorado Springs chose not to vote for a tax increase and had to cut services? No.

            Can I prove that there was no adverse impact from then to now? I probably could, with statistics on building fires, petty crimes, property violations and et cetera. This is data that is available but would take time to collate. Can I say that neighborhoods in Colorado Springs burning down is a direct result of those cut services? No. I cannot, when there's a huge global dataset for the urban-rural interface that tells us "if you build heavily up into the wild in regions that are fire-prone, they will likely burn at some point, period, regardless if you have good firefighting capabilities or not. Either don't build there, or accept that losses will happen from time to time."

            Not to mention the climate-change argument. There's a considerable dataset that tells us that fires will get worse.

            Can one extrapolate ALEC's experiments to bad things happening all over? I guess you could, but I'd expect better evidence. It's apparent all over that crime appears to be up, as cities cut police departments because of austerity cuts. Colorado Springs catching fire? Yeah, don't see it.

            Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

            by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:47:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  all good points. thanks. (3+ / 0-)

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:54:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  also I realized my bolded part (0+ / 0-)

                sounds a bit callous. It isn't meant to be.

                (Brush clearing actually does have an application, even though Bush got mocked for it quite a bit. in fireprone regions it's literally home protection.)

                Rape apologia among progressives (well, anybody) is so very disturbing.

                by terrypinder on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:05:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't take it as such. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PrahaPartizan, blueoasis

                  You simply made a point with more emphasis.

                  Perhaps it is crass of me, but I view this election as one of our most important in my short 55 solar orbits. I know that the GO Pers have absolutely no shame nor reluctance at lying, cheating, voter suppression, and worse.

                  I still think this is a perfect opportunity to drive home a point, that austerity has a downside. It may be that there is no connection between the damage in Colorado Springs and their budget cuts, and it may be that the cuts made a horrible situation a little worse. Or even a lot worse.

                  I would feel no guilt if the GO Pers were forced on the defensive, to support their large budget cuts, and their current begging for federal help, if only to drive home the point that austerity does not work, on many levels, including social, economic, even legal.

                  What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                  by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:10:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Your timing is an issue I think (4+ / 0-)

        While the fire is still raging, lives threatened, a still very uncertain and frightening outcome facing many (including our own Nurse Kelley and others) is maybe a time for compassion and empathy and practical help. After the dust settles (or the smoke dissipates) is maybe a better time for retrospective analysis of what might have helped, or even spotlighting the dichotomy of cuts made absent any immediate need for service vs actual costs when services were needed.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:07:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could buy that argument but for recent events. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PrahaPartizan

          Luckily, we have been the cause of several stories making it past the corporate censorship that plagues today's MSM.

          That is not always the case. All too often, the talking heads on the T&V are like a school of hungry fish, looking for the next shiny object in the water. Especially if it involves sex, a besotted blond lost on a Carrib Island, or a manufactured Breitbart attack on innocent public servants.

          In order to have some discernable impact, - let me throw in a blacksmithing phrase, since I do make steel sculpture - you have to strike while the iron is hot. What better time to remind the MSM that Colorado Springs took massive cuts in social services, including police, fire, even watering programs two years before these devastating fires?

          If we wait until next month, or August, not one news service will deem it important enough to mention. Instead, they will be looking for the next shiny bauble of a story. Today's news services have some major structural flaws, and I can easily see them dropping this on the editing room floor as no longer important crap.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:03:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tough Shit (0+ / 0-)

      They are rude and stupid and they must pay the consequences of their foolhardy political beliefs.  Let 'em burn.

  •  Someone in some other news story -- (6+ / 0-)

    sorry, read too much to remember where -- said Boulder had fared much better during the fires, because Boulder had stayed out of environmentally sensitive areas and left a green belt around its city, as liberals tend to do, while Colorado Springs let anything and everything happen, hardly any building regulations at all, and this is what happened.

    I do not know if that's true. But if you stay out of dangerous areas and have a green belt, you can set a backfire of the green belt and keep your city safe, I would think. So it made sense to me.

    Wish I remembered the source.

    The other thing is, much as we'd like to believe we have the power and strength to handle anything that comes along, we can't. Mother Nature shows us that from time to time.

    This fire was burning, but not huge and not going toward Colorado Springs, and then one day, they had 65 mpg winds pushing it toward Colorado Springs. I don't know how you prepare for and manage that.

    •  I read that green belt story about Boulder here (4+ / 0-)

      yesterday at dKos . . .  I'm going to remember it because it's such a clear example of the distinction between progressive and conservative attitudes to land use.

      Progressives invest in land uses that protect people, protect the environment, create quality neighborhoods, and raise property values. Conservatives promote development that plunders, pillages, and then eventually burns.
    •  I don't even think Boulder would be prepared... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for a wildfire scenario similar to what is currently occurring in Colorado Springs (wildfire staying outside of the city until massive winds push the fire suddenly towards the city). I don't think Boulder's green belt could be backfired in that short of time.

      Of course, Colorado Springs, given the fact that it is one of several beachheads for the Tea Party movement and, accordingly, local politicians decry land use regulations and cut municipal services to no end, stood no chance due to a lack of a green belt and very lenient land use regulations.

      I'm in favor of land use regulations that are necessary and proper to protect the public. I think that Boulder-style green belting is an extreme measure, but adopting lax land use regulations like those of Colorado Springs is simply asking for trouble. Environmentally-sensitive areas should be protected, and, if any tourist money can be made off of them, turned into public parks, but green belting usually isn't necessary in my opinion.

      "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

      by DownstateDemocrat on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:25:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a horse shit gloating diary this is. (0+ / 0-)

    The Feds cut back on aerial tankers in the budget, too.  A large amount of the land around Colorado Springs that is on fire is Federal land.   Do you want to blame someone for that, too, or do you just want to slink away, quietly?  

    Shame on you for your lack of sensitivity and for your eagerness to blame someone for a natural disaster.  

    You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:58:20 AM PDT

    •  lack of sensitivity? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8, PrahaPartizan

      bull.

      I just refuse to allow the smoke in my eyes distract me from issues that should be discussed.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:59:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, no plausible cause and effect here. (3+ / 0-)

    Colorado Springs could have been at full municipal strength and Mother Nature still would not be denied. The fury of the fire storm in that part of the country would wreck its havoc regardless of man's best efforts to prevent it.

    Connecting the Teaparty and ALEC as a causative reason for the terrible destruction just doesn't fly.

  •  and we should give him the cash (0+ / 0-)

    but can we give a bonus to every homeowner that voted Democratic?

  •  Like death and taxes... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Teabagger bailouts are inevitable.  

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:16:24 PM PDT

  •  I hate teabaggers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, agnostic, Melanie in IA

    as much as anyone. I think the ultra right voters of Colorado Springs are fools. But they neither caused this conflagration, nor did they exacerbate it. The Colorado Springs politicians have little effect on something this big.
    Here's a comparison. I live 200 miles from Denver. The Four Corners Area is relatively sparsely populated, but has reasonable wildland firefighting resources. Last Tuesday we had a rain-free thunderstorm roll through. My tiny town, pop less than 1000, had 31 lightening caused fires erupt in rough territory in the next 2 days. I don't even know the total in this County... There are 4 other much bigger fires also burning within 25 miles(altho they are coming under control). Believe me, unless you have a fire engine & 10 ffer's at every house, Mother Nature is gonna win. They may have cut essential services in CS, and I am against that. But they didn't cause a drought, they didn't cause millions of beetle killed trees, they don't cause the wind or lightening...

    I think I am feeling strongly about this is because my home is greatly at risk at the moment, although there is no active fire currently threatening it. This is not the time to point fingers from 5 States away, especially if you are unaware of the causes of the tragedy. This diary is similar to a diary after a hurricane hitting the South and someone saying "Well, they voted in Rick Scott, so they deserve it." IMO.

    "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

    by Thinking Fella on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:32:24 PM PDT

    •  no where here do I argue that they deserve it (3+ / 0-)

      nor, would I ever say that. I certainly don't feel that way.

      rather, I argue we need to recall what happened 2 years ago and apply it to the present disaster.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:39:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tipped for your civility (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic

        but I disagree with conflating something I despise--teabaggers--with a natural disaster. Cutting services, in this instance, had nothing to do with the disaster.
        Ordinarily, I would agree with you regarding the cutting of essential services and the general philosophy of teabaggin, but they are not the cause here.

        "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

        by Thinking Fella on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:57:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  back atcha. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Thinking Fella

          amazing how polite and respectful people can be, and still hash out their differences, isn't it?

          (There, I said it. Now watch a major flamewar break out.)

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:06:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Biggest Irony (0+ / 0-)

            of all of this is that when the $#!@ hits the fan CS sees no problem or shame asking for federal handouts.

            I agree with the posters in this blog saying that defunding the local fire dept and police does not have a direct correlation with loosing to a wildfire on this scale. There are many ecological and policy reasons why this happened and will continue to happen, however CS defunding their fire dept is not directly one of them.

            That being said it is of vital importance to point out the deeper meaning of this huge irony. CS has long been considered a Norquistian utopian experiment.  One of the best examples of the anti-tax philosophy in all its glory. This article is extremely important to show that ideals mean little when the $#@! hits the fan.

            They line up for federal handouts like all the rest, handouts that came from taxes that we all have paid, and are now bailing CS out despite their aversion to shared responsibility and funding the collective good through collective funds.  

            I am tired of the anti-tax crusade and their aversion to any kind of social safety net. The Ayn Rands of the world are a cold, heartless bunch. What about people that are sick, that are disabled, that are old, that are young, that are poor, that are unable to take care of themselves. They never have an answer for that, unless you catch them in a rare moment of honesty and they cry out "let em die!" or something bloodthirsty like that.

            Sooner or later we will all need help. You may be the lucky ones that have a huge fortune and will never need to rely on anyone else ever. But almost everyone else will, whether you are right wing or left wing. You will get old, you may end up in a nursing home, you may not be able to wipe your own ass. You will need help then. And where will it come from? Taxes paid by other people, for you.

            Or it might come in the form of a giant wild fire, that doesn't care about your political philosophy. In that case I will not say let them burn. It is just as heartless as the republicans saying let them die. We must not and cannot do that.  We need to help them rebuild their homes without a doubt. And hopefully they may be grateful and realize the biggest irony.

    •  Nature's Gonna Win = John McPhee's book (0+ / 0-)

      the name of which escapes me, of three instances of man fighting nature in a long term loser.  One was keeping the Mississippi flowing through New Orleans, Another was living in the mountains north of LosAngeles, and I forget the third.

      Living, as I do, in a lace that's flat, relatively wet, and well inland, I have trouble sympathizing with people who live in places where nature's going to win.

      SCANDAL: Bush Supreme Court nominee Roberts upholds Romney's individual mandate! Another politically motivated decision!

      by Inland on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  let's see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic

    incentivize sprawl so that more homes get built in the woods.  Fight all forest fires with intensity especially in the vicinity of the new homes in the woods, allowing the fuel to increase.  Slash the budget to reduce firefighting services.  
    Watch in horror as the homes that people fought like hell for to get built in the woods, rather than fighting for smarter urban planning, go up in flames because the woods around their houses are so full of combustible fuel because those same residents demanded that fire always be banished.
    Sorry, foresight is a gift to the human race, which our society has taken a huge dump on in our pursuit of wealth and instantaneous satisfaction.  You get what you pay for.

  •  I've Been Quite Mean About This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agrenadier

    At Coloradopols.com.  But just to summarize, their idiot representative voted to cut spending for fighting fires this year (as did the other three idiot Republicans from Colorado).  So I say, burn baby burn.  To hell with federal assistance.  They don't deserve it.  If the country was what they wanted, they wouldn't have it.  This is God's punishment for the devil worshipers whodomjinate Colorado Springs.  So, if they ever expect to get any sympathy from me, well, it won't be in my lifetime.  Maybe when I get to heaven and see their sorry asses in hell.  Burn baby, burn.

  •  your diary, i can wholeheartedly recommend. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic

    you write about accountability. you write about responsibility.

    the firefighters and police officers and park service and forest service people there are working their hearts out after being told they were "unnecessary" and "expendable".

    NOW is the time to remind people why they pay taxes and what they get in return.

    the federal government, fema, etc., is there to help colorado springs.  why?  because of TAXES!

    we need to drive this point home over and over after this is done... but, let's wait until the embers cool a bit... too many people are hurting right now...

    thanks for the diary - you made strong points and they need to be repeated over and over again!

  •  You mean, you can't stop a fire by waving (0+ / 0-)

    your teabags at it and relying on your starry-eyed faith?

    Why hasn't the invisible hand provided an "efficient," private, fire-fighting corporation to save the day? (Of course, they would want to ignore the houses of folks who hadn't paid their protection money premiums . . .)

    (/snark, by the way . . .)

    Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

    by Pale Jenova on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:33:20 PM PDT

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