24 Sep 2009, 12:13pm
Politics and politicians The 2009 Fire Season
by admin

Fire Fund Grab by DC Parks Averted

The Washington Times reported last week [here] on the backroom switcheroo diversion of dedicated firefighting monies to racially exclusive “festivals” in DC parks. The Obamaloids hoped to steal $2.7 million from firefighting, allegedly to be funneled through a “non-governmental community organizer” group named Washington Parks & People.

Unfortunately for the remoras attached to the underbelly of the Obama Admin, the U.S. Senate put the kibosh on the fire funds diversion yesterday:

Senate rejects wildfire funds for D.C. parks

By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 09/24/2009 [here]

The Senate this week told the Obama administration to stop spending stimulus bill wildland firefighting money on urban parks in the nation’s capital — the first time either chamber has voted to reject one of the administration’s stimulus spending decisions.

With fires raging out West, lawmakers said, it was ridiculous to spend firefighting money in Washington, which has no national forests and isn’t considered a forest fire danger spot. In a voice vote Tuesday, senators voted unanimously to prohibit the U.S. Forest Service to spend any of its $500 million in wildland fire money in the city.

“This is ridiculous, it is outrageous, and we should not stand for it,” said Sen. John Barrasso, the Wyoming Republican who sponsored the amendment to the Interior Department spending bill.

The money, part of the $787 billion stimulus bill, came from a $500 million fund the Forest Service was given for “wildland fire mitigation.” …

So much for MalcomXParkgate. The remoras snapped vigorously at the free money, but the Senate snatched it back. Now the crocodile tears are flowing:

Stephen W. Coleman, executive director of Washington Parks & People, said his grant was filed under a program aimed at boosting forest health.

“There was never anything about firefighting. We have fought fires in parks in D.C., but that’s not what this is about,” Mr. Coleman said. “Obviously everybody recognizes there are urgent needs in firefighting, but there are also urgent needs in urban neglected green spaces.”

Excuse me, Mr. Coleman, but out West “neglected green spaces” are exploding into megafires that burn up landscapes, watersheds, millions of acres, and thousands of homes every year. The only devastation happening in DC Parks is self-inflicted by the residents there in the form of graffiti, trash, and discarded hypodermic needles (warning: do not prance around barefoot in a DC park — you’re liable to get a prick you never recover from).

More from Mr. Coleman:

His stimulus grant application says the group would create DC Green Corps to “link inner-city communities into lasting green jobs, and to spark lasting stronger investment in using urban and community forestry to meet vital community needs.”

Mr. Coleman said they don’t have a grant agreement with the Forest Service and don’t know the details of exactly what the final project description would be, but that it’s inaccurate to portray the group as a frivolous endeavor.

He took exception with those who questioned the value of his group’s projects, saying their goal is to reclaim urban spaces for parks and “make it safe, so folks aren’t dying there anymore.”

“We’re not about merrymaking; we’re about using green space to bring life to communities that have been desperately lacking any kind of basic public health or safety,” he said.

What a pack of hooey. The Gooberment does not “create jobs” — they bleed productive workers dry in order to slop the trough for the idle classes.

If people are dying in urban parks, and I don’t doubt it, it is from alcohol poisoning, heroin overdose, and gunshot and knife wounds, not a lack of publicly-sponsored entertainment. In fact, the “festivals” put on by Coleman et al. probably cause the highest incidences of violence and mortality in the DC parks.

It is interesting to note, however, that Washington DC, the most welfare-inundated city on the planet, lacks “any kind of basic public health or safety.” Apparently cradle to grave free handouts have not furthered social goals there, unless societal collapse and devolution to a feral condition IS the Obama/Acornista goal.

Whatever, the Senate said no, emphatically:

Lawmakers, though, said wildland fire money should be used on firefighting.

“This was not the intention of the Interior part of the stimulus bill. It is not the intention of this bill,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairman of the spending subcommittee that handles public lands.

A group of Republican senators from Western states - Sens. John Ensign of Nevada, Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona, and Michael D. Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho - joined in the push for the amendment.

The Senate vote is only a first step in denying the money. The House had passed its own version of the Interior Department spending bill, and the two will have to be merged into a final version, then signed by the president.

Mr. Weaver said no changes had been made in Agriculture Department spending plans.

Mr. Barrasso, who read from The Times’ story as he proposed his amendment, questioned how firefighting money decisions are being made. He said an earlier round of grants left out Wyoming altogether, and it was only after the state’s congressional delegation and governor appealed to the Agriculture Department that Wyoming was allotted money.

“Meanwhile, the agency wants to spend $2.8 million on wildland fire in Washington, D.C.? The people and forest communities in my state deserve better, and the people of America demand better,” he said.

Wyoming argued that the Forest Service has used inaccurate data and a secret funding model.

Congress approved the stimulus bill on the strength of Democrats’ votes, and President Obama signed it into law in February. Since then, he has battled Republicans who have argued that parts of the spending are wasteful.

Several congressional offices said Tuesday’s vote marks the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to overturn one of the administration’s stimulus spending decisions.

Other efforts have fallen short, including amendments in the House and Senate to cut funding for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, named after the local member of Congress, and an amendment last week to halt spending on road signs to tell voters that the projects they’re seeing are being funded by stimulus money.

Several congressional offices said Tuesday’s vote marks the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to overturn one of the administration’s stimulus spending decisions.

Other efforts have fallen short, including amendments in the House and Senate to cut funding for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, named after the local member of Congress, and an amendment last week to halt spending on road signs to tell voters that the projects they’re seeing are being funded by stimulus money.

One small step for ending DC corruption, but I’m afraid the stampede is in the other direction.

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