Feds Running Out of Wildfire Money…But

Aaron Flint posted on August 22, 2013 13:54 :: 965 Views

Bradley Manning, just sentenced to 35 years in prison after leaking classified military documents, now says he wants to live the rest of his life as a woman.   And get this- he wants you and I to support him in this transition.  I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if we have to support him in this transition by paying for the operation. 

From Politico Playbook:

BREAKING : Savannah Guthrie reports on “Today” that “Bradley Manning, the Army private sentenced to military prison for leaking classified documents, revealed he intends to live out the remainder of his life as a woman. ‘I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,’ the Army private wrote in a statement read on TODAY Thursday. ‘Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.’ Manning, 25, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday after having been found guilty of 20 charges … for leaking more than 700,000 documents to the WikiLeaks website … ‘I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility)’ … Chelsea E. Manning.'” http://on.today.com/12scJxv

Maybe we can soon add that to Heritage Foundation’s list of 15 pictures of ridiculous government spending.  (***While I was joking that we may someday have to pay for this type of an operation for Manning, although you never know what can happen, I should add as an addition to my original post that the Army at this time does not fund this type of an operation, according to this piece by CNN)

Despite the spending on the items mentioned in the Heritage link above, the United States Marine Band has now been forced to cancel a performance at the Alberta Bair Theatre.  And, the federal government is apparently running out of wildfire money, as two of the top priority fires in the country are right here in Montana.  

From the AP:  

Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap.

The nation’s top wildfire-fighting agency was down to $50 million after spending $967 million so far this year, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said Wednesday in an email.

AP: Montana Fires Top National Priority List, Guard Mobilized

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Wednesday ordered two Army National Guard helicopter teams and 18 checkpoint teams to join firefighting efforts as two fires burning in the state topped the nation’s priority list.

Western Montana’s Lolo Creek Fire Complex, which has burned more than 13 square miles, and the 600-acre Rock Creek fire south of Red Lodge were the No. 1 and No. 2 wildfires on the National Interagency Fire Center’s priority list, center officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) is set to meet with Lolo Creek Complex fire officials and the public on Friday.  He also had a guest opinion column in The Flathead Beacon dealing with timber sale lawsuits and the increased threat of wildfires:  

…in recent decades, inflexible federal policies and unrelenting appeals and lawsuits have imposed a huge administrative burden on federal agencies, limited our mills’ access to timber and ultimately resulted in the mismanagement of our forests, leaving our homes and businesses at risk for wildfire.

A U.S. Forest Service official recently acknowledged that the abundance of litigation has played a “huge role” in blocking responsible timber sales in Montana and other Region 1 states, including projects supported by collaborative groups consisting of timber and conservation leaders.

This has left numerous Montana counties without the necessary funds to provide for communities’ needs, like emergency services and pay for teachers. It has also left our forests more vulnerable to wildfire.

According to a press release from Daines’ office, on Friday Daines will be in Lolo to participate in the public briefing of the Lolo Creek Complex fire and to meet with Montanans affected by the fire.  He will then continue on to Pablo to meet with leaders of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes.

PRESS RELEASE FROM Alberta Bair Theatre:

The Alberta Bair Theater (ABT) announced today the cancellation of the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band concert, Thursday, October 10, 2013. The performance, which was to be free to the public, was part of the band’s national concert tour to the Midwest. With the exception of WWII, this marks the first time since 1891 that it has not toured. 

A statement issued by the U.S. Marine Corps office of Public Affairs, said sequestration was the reason the tour was cancelled. “Budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (also known as sequestration) necessitated this decision by the United States Marine Corps and we apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation has on our sponsors and their communities.” He added that the U.S. Marine Band looks forward to bringing the music of “The President’s Own” back to the communities affected at the earliest opportunity.  

William Wood, ABT executive director, said the ABT is saddened by the cancellation of the tour and the Billings performance. “This is the premier concert band in the world,” he said, “and it was an honor to have them choose the ABT and Billings for a performance.” Wood added that ABT’s goal is to have the U.S. Marine Band perform in Billings when tour funding is restored.

Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, “The President’s Own” United State Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. The band performs a varied repertoire including new works for wind ensemble, traditional concert band literature, challenging orchestral transcriptions, and the patriotic marches that made it famous.

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