unmanaged decline

Texas Lawmakers Notice Wildfires, Slash Funding To Firefighters

'You do it to yourself, you do. And that's what really hurts. Is that you do it to yourself. Just you and no one else ....'Some teabagger Republicans in the Texas legislature noticed on Newsmax or whatever that Texas is currently on fire, the whole state. And then they heard something about firefighters apparently trying to fight these catastrophic fires, which is communistic, so the Texas Forest Service will have its current low budget slashed by another third — $34 million — to teach everybody a lesson about “relying on socialist fire departments when JESUS wants your shitty tract house to burn down.”

Reuters reports on this latest example of an entire country literally committing suicide:

Texas lawmakers are set to slash funding for the agency responsible for fighting wildfires in the midst of a historic wildfire season in which some 2.5 million acres have burned.

The Texas Forest Service faces almost $34 million in budget cuts over the next two years, roughly a third of the agency’s total budget. The cuts are in both the House and Senate versions of the proposed state budget.

In last week’s New Yorker, there’s a depressing story about the teabaggers in the Southern California suburb of Costa Mesa deliberately destroying the town to make a political point about fiscal austerity. The reporter describes it as “managed decline,” and notes that it’s the dominant theme in American governance today. Managed decline. So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state? [Reuters via Wonkette Operative “chascates”]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


  1. hagajim

    Super-sized conflagration? Let it burn bitch? I'm too fucking stoopid to turn on the water? I think all of these might work.

    1. the_problem_child

      On the upside, there is much less of Texas to protect with the reduced resources available. Because it's already burned down.

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        People in Oklahoma can leave their brisket and pork shoulder out on the front porch overnight. Instant barbecue!

    1. Boredw/Gravitas

      We were diverted from the largest fire on Sunday afternoon while driving from Austin to Houston. It had been burning only a few hours, but already looked like the end of the world. Thank jeebus Perry had that prayathon to get us some rain…. oh, wait….

      1. Pristine_ODummy

        I wish there was something I could do to help. Other than wishing DinglePerry a sprained penis, that is. Because I do that, you know, every day.

  2. MissusBarry

    Don't mess with Texas…when it's burning, let it fucking burn. Dear wonkeratti-type Texans, you may wish to evacuate, um, permanently.

  3. Trannysurprise

    If people want their fires put out they should buy their own fire insurance and hire their own fire company to put it out.


  4. Eve8Apples

    "So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state?"

    Flaming TruckNutz?
    Great Balls of Fire?

  5. WinterOuthouse

    Jesus Christ. After they burn their damn state down they'll migrate to other states. BUILD the Dang Fence!

  6. Lucidamente1

    At this point I have the feeling that if Molly Ivins were still around, she'd set herself on fire.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          You guys are missing the big picture here.
          Think "invisible fist".

          (No latex, no lube … but the asbestos glove idea is intriguing.)

    1. Banelm

      Each individual homeowner will now be responsible for hiring their own team of Private Contractor / Fire Protection team. When the market slows down in the winter, Blackwater will probably send out teams to light various suburbs on fire. Thus the market has decided, and So Shall It Be.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Homeowners will have to bid for firefighting services on an open exchange, Goldman Sachs will package fire services market futures into marketable securities, and then they'll bet against the insurance policies on the houses before cornering the market and causing all firefighting equipment to be sent to North Dakota.

        This is not your father's unregulated free market. (It's your great-grandfather's.)

        1. Pristine_ODummy

          And you've been around long enough to know.

          I shudder at the thought of Goldman Sachs' executives' Final Meeting with you, Biely.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            There will always be another meeting scheduled, and always on their golf day. (A highly specialized form of torment … I'm expecting wonderful results.)

  7. WhatTheHeck

    Anyone caught seeking FEMA aid will be disfellowshipped from the lord and shunned by their fellow Texans.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Too late. 50 counties are already slurping up FEMA money under a presidential disaster declaration issued in July and expanding weekly. On top of the 22 firefighting grants they got before Perry publicly whined FEMA wasn't helping at all.

    1. Devilette

      Az will have to wait till November. I visit the wingnut family in October and am already praying for my safety.

      1. Pristine_ODummy

        So, where's the wingnut fambly located, if not in AZ? Are wingnuts infesting ALL the 50 states now?

    2. Pristine_ODummy

      They just did it. They're charging people munniez to visit their jailed next of kin, now. That will help.

  8. Pragmatist2

    Sure they are cutting the fire fighting budget. But they are also issuing each remaining firefighter a handgun so they can shoot the fires out.

  9. elviouslyqueer

    Irony in Texas is apparently dead, after having suffered third degree burns over 99% of its body.

  10. fartknocker

    But when Rick Perry was standing in the Bastrop Community Center telling the fine folks how Texans need to help their neighbors, the next words out of his mouth was the FEMA and US Forest Service resources were being deployed from around the nation.

    Hypocritical shit stain.

    And the Bastrop Complex fire has now grown to 30,000 acres and destroyed 600 homes. Good fucking job Gubnor Goodhair.

  11. Ruhe

    "So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state?"

    Sociopathy? As opposed to Socialism, of course.

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      Given that we've had repeated earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires, lately, I'm thinkin' Rev. Jeremiah had it Wright, after all. God does not bless America. God DAMNS America!

      Geez. Srsly, those wildfires in Tx are really really bad. We took about a decade to recover after a big one burned out our area.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          I keep tellin' ya, it's not my department. The Four Horsemen report directly to God.
          Of course, if He wants to acknowledge my creative input, who am I to complain?

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands Tony took a vacation on his yacht.

            A bit light on the fire & brimstone, I know, but I thought it was a nice touch.

  12. Mumbletypeg

    That Gawd they were prayin' and nacho-fartin' to up in that stadium last month, is kinda silent on answerin the prayer part, but sure has a hell of a sick sense of humor with the fart comebacks.

  13. Goonemeritus

    Wild fires are sort of like an un-regulated free market, attempts to reign them in might have unintended consequences.

  14. Ruhe

    Perhaps the Texas Legislature would restore that funding if the TFS adopted more of a "Montag" style attitude towards the usefulness of fire.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Let the libraries burn? Damned things are full of science and facts and other sneaky liberal propaganda, so why not? They can use state firefighting funds to save the churches instead.

  15. GhostBuggy

    Well, this gets them a form of that secession they're always gassing on about. Granted, it's the form of complete destruction, but are they going to start quibbling with their wrathful god now?

  16. poorgradstudent

    Seriously, it's like the teabaggers look at someone like Pol Pot and scream, "Hey, we can destroy an entire country because of a barely coherent ideology too!"

  17. SmutBoffin

    Haha, where is your "gov't budget is just like a household budget" analogy now? A family can't just cut some of its personnel.

    1. Fare la Volpe

      This is the equivalent of seeing a fire tear through your family kitchen, and thinking the best course of action is to throw out the extinguishers, shut off the water, and bolt all the doors shut. AUSTERITY, PEOPLE!

    2. gvvt

      I'm sorry, Jimmy; we're going to have to let you go. We don't actually NEED any more drawings to put up on the refrigerator.

  18. facehead

    The same lawmakers later hypothesized that if NYC had simply stopped funding firefighters altogether, 9/11 would never have happened.

  19. finallyhappy

    I was away from news/newspapers/internet for 5 days(yes, they existed around me but I did not look at/use them) Then today I saw a newspaper that said Perry is the leading candidate- also that two of Bachmann's staff quit. Now the media is crap so maybe it is just the usual not news but how fucking stupid are Republicans to support Rick Perry? Seriously, How fucking stupid??????

  20. KeepFnThatChicken

    Here's where my heart will fibrillate: when one of the more moderate cocksuckers in this debate acts on behalf of their desperately needed "people points," and calls out Rick Perry LIVE ON TV for watching Texas burn.

    …and then turns right around and says "Obamacare is bad."

  21. CrunchyKnee

    The taste of stupidity is sweet.
    When minds like Texans meet.
    They fell for Rick Perry just like a child.
    And, boy, the fire went wild.

    They fell into a burning ring of fire.
    The IQ points went down as the flames grew higher.
    And it burns, burns, burns,
    The ring of dumbass.
    The ring of dumbass.

  22. 102415

    "So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state?"
    Asshattery, douchbaggery or santoruming. Still, I think this is just an awful thing to do to Sarah.

  23. pinkocommi

    On a positive note, when Texan Teabaggers lose everything to wildfires, at least they will be left with their ideological purity.

  24. BarackMyWorld

    The majority won't remember this on election day, when they re-elect the same clueless idiots because they scream "Jesus!" and "Tax cuts!" the loudest.

    1. Dexter Linwood

      Where is Charlie Daniels when you really need him? The man was taught by Satan, himself, the world's preeminent violinist.

  25. comrad_darkness

    As long as there aren't any consequences for bad government, why not keep electing short-sighted idiots?

  26. OneYieldRegular

    A: You know how to make God laugh?
    B: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell him your plans.
    A: Wrong. Tell him Rick Perry's plans.

  27. El Pinche

    Free iphone for anyone with an unaltered photo of a Texas mansion burning in a brushfire with a half-burnt Perry 2012 sign in the front yard.

    1. mavenmaven

      The mansions won't burn, it will be the shacks and double-wides of the poor tea baggers that will burn.

      1. 102415

        Oh no they can burn alright. Growing up in LA the fires burn straight to the ocean. The rich can rebuild though.

  28. Fawkdifiknow

    You welfare statists just don't accept the commonly known fact that the more money you spend on something, the more you have of it. Texas has obviously been spending way too much money on fire fighting, and that's why they have so many fires. Just you naysayers wait and see. This is the best fire fighting strategy EVAR.

    I should be a fucking teapartier, with reasoning skills like this!!!

  29. SorosBot

    Now look, Texans, I know that you didn't start the fire, and it was always burning since the world's been turning; but even though you didn't start the fire, you didn't light it, you should try to fight it. Or else when you are gone it will still burn on and on and on and on…

  30. Mahousu

    This makes perfect sense. With a third of Texas's forests burned up, you cut the budget of the Forest Service by a third. In fact, the more the fires burn, the more you can cut.

    Texas is going up in flames, and we're passing the savings on to you! (Where by "you" we mean "millionaires," of course.)

  31. fuflans

    i got nothing. this is a perfect example of the baggers destroying this country in the name of things they really don't understand.

    i am just very sad.

    1. Texan_Bulldog

      You have any fires out your way? We're still pretty safe but those Leander/Crystal Falls fires are a mite close…

      1. chascates

        All good at the Taylor farm! Could smell the Bastrop fire this morning but with the wind gone couldn't see it. Nice cooler weather though! (highs only in the lower 90s, lows in the upper 50s!!!!!)

        1. Texan_Bulldog

          Yes, the cooler weather is fantastic. It goes well with the smell of napalm … er I mean ashes of people's lives…in the air.

    1. chascates

      Lou Engle via RightwingWatch.org:
      I heard that actually the day that Governor Perry announced that he’s running for president, and this is not an endorsement I’m giving here, it simply it rained I believe he said for five hours, it poured. And people think that that could’ve been a sign, I don’t know.

      1. genxr

        Someone said it rained somewhere for a few hours? Must be a sign!

        You know what's not a sign? The drought worsens, a hurricane gives no rain, but instead blows dry wind stoking an out of control fire within sight of Austin, and zombie Molly Ivins rises from her grave looking for brains in the state capitol but finding none.

        Nope, God's message is clear. Run Perry Run!

      2. Texan_Bulldog

        Lou must have been watching the weather report on Fox, because only on that channel would anyone say it's rained a drop here–much less poured for 5 hours.

  32. HistoriCat

    Where was that Al Jazeera guy when the fire started, huh? Took his revenge from the thumpin' he got at that high school!

  33. Mort_Sinclair

    I suppose I should feel badly for Texas. Counting 1, 2, 3…. Okay, now that's over with, now's as good a time as any for you liberal/sentient Texans to haul ass out of that hell hole.

  34. chascates

    Texas Cut Volunteer Fire Department Funding by 75% This Year
    "At a press conference Monday, Perry promised to seek federal disaster relief and said that FEMA would be in the state by Wednesday.

    While the Texas governor has been highly critical of FEMA in the past, he told CBS' Erica Hill Tuesday that now was not the time to worry about reforming the agency."

    1. Pristine_ODummy

      No, of course not. All that reforminin' shouldn't happen until all on US is safe from the fire. And fuck you, everybody else, as soon as we gitz ours.

    2. ShaveTheWhales

      Jeefuckingeebus. The wonderful part is that the teabaggers will simply ignore this example of self-interested hypocrisy.

  35. owhatever

    Shoot the fires, dammit. If that fails, shoot a Mexican or a liberal. The main thing is to be pro-active in dealing with this Obama-caused problem.

  36. HelmutNewton

    It's all part of the GOP plan. Instead of building a border fence, they're gonna smoke the Messicans out.

  37. voodooeconomics

    I love Texas. They live by Murphy's Law. What can go wrong will do so…if not, we make it so. As long as the State stays in a constant State of Fuck.

    1. KeepFnThatChicken

      I was laughing at the use of "Fuck", only to realize you didn't include the "-ed" at the end. That makes your little joke a bit more tantalizing… and variable. As if you either forgot the aforementioned suffix or the "cluster-".

  38. Texan_Bulldog

    Ha ha. It's all fun and games until you're digging up your family's birf certificates (long forms, natch), looking up your home owners insurance policy & strapping your dog onto the roof of your car. Glad Governor Prick Perry could quit campaigning for president for 10 minutes — needs more prayer.

  39. donner_froh

    The unchecked wildfires, destroying everything in their path, are the answer to the prayers of Rick Perry and his band of religious hooligans.

    Not the answer they wanted but that happens sometimes.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      One of my not-too-offensively religious in-laws has a sign in the john that says, roughly,

      "God answers all prayers.
      Sometimes He says yes,
      Sometimes he says no,
      and sometimes He says
      "You've got to be kidding".

      Evidently, there's one missing:
      "Sometimes He says, 'Fuck you, Rick Perry".

  40. mumbly_joe

    I pulled the relevant definitions from a dictionary:

    man·age (mnj): v.tr. To exert control over

    de·cline (d-kln) n.
    1. The process or result of declining, especially a gradual deterioration.
    3. The period when something approaches an end.
    4. A downward slope; a declivity.
    5. A disease that gradually weakens or wastes the body.

    tl;dr, Teabaggers want to manage America into a decline.

  41. glamourdammerung

    And the absolute worst part of this is that while the Republicans are literally advocating slashing into uselessness something that will prevent needless loss of life and property, the Democrats will be too scared of being called mean to clearly point out how exceptionally retarded this proposal is.

  42. subsum

    Steiner Ranch, a 4,600-acre exurb with high walls and strong defenses to fend off the poors and the socialists, located north of Austin, was evacuated over the weekend.

    That's the entire neighborhood, okay? That's 4,000 frickin' McMansions, some valued at $3 million in 2007 dollars (that's about $4.95 today). 20 homes were destroyed; about 30 were damaged.

    Ricky-boy paid a visit and I'm sure he blamed it all on Obama.

  43. AlaskaGrrl

    Look, it's already burned. It can't burn again, right? No need for them fancy fire fight'n people when there are rich people that need tax cuts and campaign donors that need State contracts.

  44. jtgillick

    "Managed decline. So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state?"

    well, duh …" MANAGED COLLAPSE">

  45. DustBowlBlues

    I keep picturing an old couple watching their house burn down while the old man shakes his veiny fist and yells, "That'll teach the soshulists," while Ma is screaming, "I told you to get my Hoveround and my teeth, goddam you."

  46. lulzmonger

    This situation is projected to become far worse for decades to come (Texas now = the entire inland southern US in ten years) … but climate change is baloney because Al Gore flies in a jet & has a big house!

    "So what’s the term for intentionally burning down your entire fucking state?"

    Psychosis – although our judges would've also accepted "conservatism" as an answer.

  47. ShaveTheWhales

    As a sidelight, the New Yorker link leads to what I would call an extended abstract — lots of sentences talking about what the actual article will talk about, but without saying anything. This leads me to two observations:

    1. If the New Yorker is somehow expecting me to pay to have access to the actual content, they should make the mechanism visible. I have no idea how one is supposed to get at the meat of the article. Of course, I wouldn't pay for it anyhow (it's the fucking New Yorker), but somebody else might.

    2. Despite quite a few fond memories of Costa Mesa and environs from forty years ago, today it it is just another sub-cellular malignancy in the over-arching political tumor that is the OC. If they want to legislate themselves back to barbarism, fuck 'em.

  48. Dexter Linwood

    Managed decline sound a helluva lot like benign neglect. I'm from a city that's been dealing with a managed decline for about six decades, now. Hell, the mayor is formally reverting entire swaths of the city back to nature. It's not like he has much of a choice since nature has been taking over regardless.

    Where da money at? How'd it get dere?

  49. Dexter Linwood

    Self-sufficient, rugged individualists say what?

    Surely, these fires are God's punishment of Houstonians for electing a lesbian to run the place. Surely.

  50. MissusBarry

    Totally understand. *Says a chick who most recently (of many adulthood moves from one pretty cheap place to another) moved from Cleveland to DC… a spacious home to a 1/3 the size apartment was a drastic change. Then again, so was not hating my life.* But, we must each do what is best for us and there are many factors in that equation, indeed. May your roof be damp and your air conditioning strong!

Comments are closed.