FROM Michael Kodas
Wildfires Rage across the West In the suburbs of Colorado Springs, residents are discovering what happens when a forest fire comes to town. Some cars are nothing but charred metal and some homes are burned to the ground, while, in the same neighborhood, other houses have not been touched. President Obama calls the Waldo Fire a "major disaster," while blazes rage in four other states as well. The federal government will pay for most of the fire-fighting. Critics say that’s one reason local governments allow housing developments too close to forests that are increasingly likely to burn.
Forest Fires and Federal Money The worst fire in Colorado history is only halfway contained, and in the suburbs of Colorado Springs, residents and former residents are discovering what happens when a forest fire comes to town. Some cars are nothing but charred metal and some homes are burned to the ground, while, in the same neighborhood, other houses have not been touched. Fires are also raging in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and South Dakota. Climate change is drying out the forests, creating fuel for fires expected to increase individual property loss, human misery and federal taxes. Studies show that local government agencies allow development near dense forests, knowing that the cost of fire-fighting will be covered by Washington. We update the current outbreaks and ask, is it politics that's preventing prudent planning?
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?