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A Crisis Crisis

making hay while the flood stays

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

There is a theory - with much to support it - based upon an old time cliche. In short, take advantage of every crisis. This morphed into creating artificial crises in order to take advantage of them, a trend hardly lost upon politicians. That's why so much irrelevant stuff went into the Patriot Act, which was only an excuse to clamp down on domestic threats for Bush's agenda. This also motivates the current Congress, which has created the supposed 'fiscal cliff' of voting on the nation's debt limit to extort behavior from the executive branch. They want Obamacare to go away, not for any fiscal or constructive reason but simply because it is Obama's biggest win yet, and they need to win something, at least, against him. Because he's black and a Southern party of aging white bigots and Third Rates needs to have something in the win column.

If they had superior arguments or actually were superior or, at this point, within four miles of his level they might stand a chance. But at the moment we have another Ivy League Texan bloviating for the ages in a pretend Senate filibuster out of ego and because they are incompetent, not only at governing but at politics, and can neither control themselves or anything else.

Here in Colorado, and in Boulder in particular, we have an actual crisis because of the flood. In short, Boulder - despite being flush against the Rocky Mountain foothills - has no ability to drive into those mountains absent convoluted routes on dangerous roads. Getting to Nederland, once fifteen miles to the southwest, now requires three hours because you have to go way south to Golden, get on Route 6 and slowly drive the narrow and crowded roads to the gambling towns of Black Hawk and Central City and then continue on the Peak to Peak highway to Nederland and then to Estes Park. It's two lane or, with rock slides, one lane. With one lane and nobody controlling it, it's a disaster. Lake Eldora skiing is in for a tough winter.

The hope is, we'll get some sort of temporary roadway into the mountains at least before December 1. That modest sounding goal is dubious, because not only are sections of state highways gone, but the bed underneath is gone and the towering cliffs of delicately balanced and large boulders have been made even more unsteady. Ski areas willingly create snow avalanches at safe times, and the wish must exist in Highway Workers that they could do the same with the cracked rock cliff faces. But even if they could, it would add months of extraction to remove the debris in winter. This is not a fun project, nor a cheap one, nor a safe one, nor a quick one. They'll be increasing pressure to get these roads up and running asap, but that may be an unsafe or absurdly dangerous gambit.

The Flood has also cast a damper upon the Pro Bike Race prospects of Boulder. After signing a ridiculous three year contract, Boulder lost a quarter million dollars or more in their first go round, skipped the second year, and had plans to submit a proposal again for this August. The executive in charge of Boulder's bid for the 2013 race, named Shoemaker, is running for City Council which, I contend, provides a huge conflict of interest given the Council has to vote on allowing it. But now, he may have no interest anyway because the City and County are not currently in a position to guarantee available roads for daily traffic, much less a big international race, which may have overstayed its welcome, anyway.

And then, those who are against Boulder power municipalization for reasons not dissimilar to the ones that Republicans hold against Obamacare, are trying to take advantage of the crisis to say the City can't handle flood relief while drop kicking Xcel Energy to the sidelines. Their problem is they believe their own falsehoods and propaganda. They have it in mind that Boulder is a big joke to everyone because Boulder has been the punchline to all their jokes for decades. The jokes aren't based on fact, though. Boulder, to them, is 25 square miles surrounded by reality, protecting prairie dogs and cannot get the streets plowed. Haha. The reality is Boulder does much very well, as the preparations for flooding mostly panned out, and its crews and staff have done excellent work in the last two weeks. Boulder making a go of municipalization is too competent and refutes all the canards.

It further nudges its critics into a smaller intellectual ghetto where - like the Tea Party - they wear Romney pins, flag lapel pins, and would prefer Obama to be white, since the health care plan makes things so much better. That only seems fitting to their world. And it's why they need to lose badly.