Free Fire Zone

Fourth of July Fire Sale! Yes, indeed, all the fire you want, and more! Free! The Colorado wildfires have been particularly nasty:

Red Zone: Colorado’s Growing Wildfire Danger | I-News Network.

waldo canyon fire

One of the many untoward consequences involved conservative commentator Michelle Malkin having to listen to government orders to evacuate her Colorado home in one of the danger areas. She seemed, though, to have recovered from the trauma of socialist (or is it fascist?) intervention in time to take the opportunity to reiterate the message that this had nothing to do with that mythical global warming, the climate is just fine thank you, and please pay no attention to the dead, dry trees and the melting asphalt in your street. I’ve been waiting to see Grover Norquist and all the politicians who signed on to drown the government in the bathtub lined up in the streets blockading the firefighters so that they don’t spend any more government money helping homeless people (or really-soon-to-be homeless people). After all, aren’t people free to live wherever they can afford to build (whatever the downstream costs born by the rest of us)? And build they are. According to an analysis of housing records by I-News in the link above, in the past 20 years, a quarter-million people moved into one of Colorado’s red zones, areas at highest risk for the most dangerous wildfires. That means there are now over 1/2 million homes with over 1 million people in the red zones. Just to compound the problem, Colorado is having more wildfires. In the 1960s, Colorado averaged about 460 fires/yr, burning about 8000 acres. In the last 10 years, they’ve averaged about 2500 fires/yr, burning about 100,000 acres. In some areas, the fire season is 2 months longer than it used to be. Why? Warmer. Dryer. Climate change. (ooh, I said a bad word).

Grover’s Gonna Gitcha, Mitt

First, I guess a shout out to Chief Justice John Roberts for his completely out of character decision to step away from the side of the knuckle-dragging apologists for the plutocracy and do the right thing by upholding Obamacare*. And if you disagree that this was uncharacteristic of him, show me a Republican who was not surprised by it. Good on him. Won’t hold my breath waiting for a repeat performance, but I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised. One more like this and maybe Scalia will have an actual seizure, rather than just simulating one in his dissenting opinion.

But given the reasoning behind the court’s decision, to wit, that the individual mandate was constitutional because it is technically a tax (and of course Congress does still retain the power to tax), I’m really wondering about the effect of this on Mitt. Why? Because Mitt established a similar insurance mandate in Massachusetts, and that means he’s in violation of his pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. Now that evil, ankle-biting gnome is going to have to run honking after his party’s standard bearer like an angry goose, demanding penance (or perhaps one of Mitt’s overseas bank accounts).

Which reminds me. All these Congresspeople who signed Grover’s pledge. How, exactly, does a pledge to a someone who doesn’t even live in your district somehow take priority over your responsibilities to your job? “Oh, I promised!” Oh, right, like your other promises ever meant squat. And what sense does it make to promise to anyone that you’ll never, ever do anything? I mean, I’m about as anti-war and anti-foreign-misadventure as it gets, and I’d certainly like my leaders to promise to try to avoid war, but I wouldn’t for a minute think it was sensible to promise never, ever to go to war no matter what.

Oh, and when Grover drowns the government in his bathtub, if Mitt is president then, will he go swirling down the drain along with Social Security and Medicare? Or will those 2 good programs reject his presence and allow him to float to the surface like water was supposed to reject a witch in medieval times?

*As per a previous post, I think President Obama should get full credit for this very important (but still preliminary) step in reforming American health care. Let his name stay attached so everyone who now has access to health care and wouldn’t’ve before knows exactly who to thank.