President Barack Obama visits with volunteers and evacuees at the YMCA serving as an evacuation center in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Gazette: After the Waldo Canyon fire exploded Tuesday night into a catastrophe that claimed two lives and destroyed 347 homes, a gloom descended on Colorado Springs … So I was pleasantly surprised to hear cheers and laughter Friday.
They erupted at the sight of President Obama at Fire Station 9 on Garden of the Gods Road …. most of the crowd was excited Obama was coming …. When a couple drunks stumbled up and started trash talking about Obama, several in the crowd quickly confronted them.
“Show some respect,” demanded Jack Martinez, who waited, camera in hand, to see the president of the United States …. “I’m glad he’s in town,” Martinez said as heads around him nodded agreement. “He should be here.”
….The doors of the black SUV with the presidential seal opened and Obama hopped inside. The crowd around me roared. Cheered. Hollered words of support …. I saw a soldier in camouflage on the curb snap to attention and salute as Obama drove past.
It was good to see the community smile again. No doubt, there will be more tears before this is over.
But I sensed the crowd was comforted to know we’re not alone. That our president cares. Our nation cares.
Denver Post: The mayor of this beleaguered city told reporters after President Barack Obama departed on Air Force One that he was thankful for the visit and described his two-and-a-half hours with the president during the tour of the Waldo Canyon Fire damage.
Air Force One was wheels up from Colorado Springs airport at 2:42 p.m. Afterward Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said the firefighting effort “shows the power of federal, state and local governments working together.”
Bach was in the limo with Obama, Gov. John Hickenlooper and others for about 2 1/2 hours. He said the president was “very down to earth, very straightforward, smart, and wants to help.”
…. Bach said the mood in the limo was somber as they drove through Mountain Shadows. Obama was “very taken by what he saw.”
He described the president as “very engaging.” Bach said his most poignant memory of the visit will be that on several occasions Obama got out of car, came right up to engage the people and hugged them, thanking them.
“I think he was very sincere in that,” he said.
“It was more than a photo op for him. He clearly wanted to say to the people, the firefighters, ‘this matters and the country has your back.’ That means a lot.”
President Obama, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet and Republican Representative Doug Lamborn arrive at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport
President Barack Obama welcomes Stephanie Decker, her husband Joe Decker, and children Reese and Dominic, to the Oval Office, June 29, 2012. Decker lost her legs while saving her two children during a tornado in southern Indiana in March. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A Kentucky woman who lost both legs shielding her children from a tornado walked arm-in-arm with President Barack Obama into the Oval Office on Friday.
The visit by Stephanie Decker came just under four months after the twister wrecked her home in Henryville, Ky. She had tied a blanket around the children and thrown herself on top of them when falling debris crushed her legs.
… When not using a wheelchair, Decker, 37, is able to walk for extended periods using prosthetic limbs…. Decker was joined by her son Dominic, 9, daughter Reese, 6, and husband Joe, 42, for the Oval Office visit, which came just before Obama flew to Colorado to view damage from the state’s wildfires.
It followed a handwritten letter from Obama and a follow-up phone call from the President while she was in the hospital.
AMERICABlog: So the same person who complained about the stimulus yet kept his state afloat because of the stimulus money is now asking for federal tax dollars to help with wildfires. If Perry had his way, there would be even less federal tax dollars. Where does he think this money is going to come from? It always seems to be the states that complain the most about taxes who are always grumbling for more tax dollars. It’s not that their requests are unreasonable, but when they make it their mission to attack the system and then come forward with hands out, then there’s a big issue. What a complete fraud:
“Texas Gov. Rick Perry sought additional federal help in battling wildfires across his drought-parched state as a woodland blaze gutted at least six homes on Sunday and threatened hundreds more in Austin, the state capital…. Some 220 homes in all have been lost, according to a letter released on Sunday from Perry to President Barack Obama requesting a federal disaster declaration.”
TexasLiberal: Texas Governor Rick Perry wants President Barack Obama to declare parts of Texas as disaster areas because of ongoing wildfires …This call for help from Washington is being made by a Governor who has engaged in treasonous speculation about secession, and who is pushing savage budget cuts on the most vulnerable Texans.
Why do people suffering the impact of wildfires merit quick help, while many in Texas nursing homes or many Texans who are sick due to no fault of their own merit only sharp cuts?
Of course, it is really no surprise that Rick Perry wants help from Washington. According to a map prepared by former Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs, Texas took almost $28 billion dollars in federal stimulus money.
…I’d also like to know when the Tea Party volunteer fire companies and the Tea Party disaster relief teams will be rushing to assist people impacted by the fire? Where are county Republican parties in Texas organizing teams of citizen-volunteers to help out our fellow Texans so that they will not have to turn to government?
…Are we going to allow socialized fire companies of public employees team up with Washington to do the job that everyday Texas citizens should be doing?
People who have been harmed by the fires should be helped. However, since many of our political leaders in Texas would rather people die than use the Rainy Day fund or raise the taxes needed to meet the legitimate needs of Texans, it is fair to comment when these same officials declare that some Texans are indeed worthy of help from government.
The Guardian: Keith Olbermann, the liberal, outspoken anchor of MSNBC’s Countdown show, had his contract dramatically terminated by the US cable new network’s parent company NBC on Friday night.
Abruptly announcing that the current show would be his last, Olbermann calmly read aloud an extract by James Thurber before signing off with the words: “Good night and good luck.”
While Olbermann was live on-air, NBC issued a statement reading:
MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors. Bizarrely, nearly half an hour later during an ad break in the following programme, MSNBC showed a station promo featuring Olbermann. But the promo was interrupted halfway through by a mattress advertisment.