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Underplaying With Fire

Southern California is going up in flames and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has found a new guru, Joe Trippi, of Howard Dean fame.

Our readers who comment are all over the Edwards story and firmly of the belief that was significantly underplaying the California fires. Shortly after 8 a.m. that story was moved from deep on the home page to the second position, underneath the more than worrisome Turkey-Kurdish rebel situation.

Meanwhile, folks the World Series begins tonight. There has been much commentary about the extended schedule that could have a seventh game in November, and some journalism about the remarkable run of the Colorado Rockies, who have unbelievably won 21 of their last 22 games. Barry Svrluga gives us a fascinating profile this morning of Clint Hurdle, the Rockies manager, who has led this team of relative unknowns. He has also become a spokesman for the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, which works on the behalf of those who have that rare genetic disease. Included in that number is Hurdle's five-year-old daughter Madison.

We'll start with the California conflagration and daharbin, who wrote, "As I read this story... it's about five stories down from the top... Honestly, here we have the biggest natural disaster since Katrina, with 300,000 Americans evacuated affecting a region of some 25 million Americans, who probably contribute quite a sizeable chunk to our nation's GDP, and you bury the story...I've never seen such blatant Beltway myopia..."

leochen24551 joined the discussion, recommended the Los Angeles Times site, and added that "Climate Change and Global Warming is an Inconvenient Truth that'll be with us, probably for the rest of our lives, and beyond.
It's already impacting us in catastrophic ways..."

NovaMike suggested that "...We should be planning for these things. More reserviors. If the water's going to come in deluges and droughts, doesn't that make sense? Second, I hope everyone is insured... how convenient to blame this on global warming. Even if it is, this is more of a lack of planning... This still is a minute disaster when compared to the Katrina / Rita--there are STILL thousands of refugees from those storms and we're still not sure what to do with N.0."

The fire story dominated the front page of the Post newspaper this morning. The web site editors moved it into the second position on the home page shortly after 8 a.m.

Now to the Edwards article, in which Chris Cillliza tells us that Edwards "has launched a markedly more aggressive attack on what he says is [Sen. Hillary Rodham] Clinton's poll-tested commitment to the status quo, and the new tone to his campaign has coincided with the growing influence of the strategist behind Howard Dean's assault on the Democratic establishment four years ago -- Joe Trippi."

To which audart said, "It seems doubtful at this stage of the game that John Edwards will pull off a win. It may seem admirable to stand in cornfields in Iowa and trash Hillary and even Bill Clinton. But the 87 percent of Democrats who have a favorable opinion of Hillary certainly don't respect such behavior. I think Trippi is fighing a losing battle."

rangman said that "John Edwards is an unapologetic, liberal democrat, and the only candidate that truly deserves my vote. If Joe Trippi and Elizabeth [Edwards] are responsible for helping John find his voice, then more power to them."

And kyprios928 opined that "Edwards is the only hope that the democrats have. If they nominate Clinton or Obama, they will loose to the Republicans."

ElectricBill seems a bit disenchanted with all this analysis and says, "It would be refreshing if the people rather than the media were allowed to choose the respective nominees. Of course, it would also be refreshing if the primary system was structured so that everyone's vote counted too."

But dennis1 said, "If anyone can help Edwards overcome his pretty boy image (every bit as unfair a liability as the "Dean scream" was) it is Trippi. I wish them Godspeed and that something big happens along the way to propel Edwards to the top."

All comments on the Trippi article are here.

All comments on the California fires are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  October 23, 2007; 7:47 AM ET
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A company called EvergreenAviation makes a 747 super tanker for fighting fires. Does anybody know why it has never been used to fight the fires in California? It seems that with the millions being lost in CA a 747 would not be a bad investment.

Posted by: Robert G | October 23, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The firestorms destroying the homes of Americans are the direct result of the "soft on Illegal Aliens" policies of the President and of the Senate. Illegal campfires set in the forest routes Illegal Aliens use to invade our country spread quickly into raging wildfires as fierce winds drive embers into the brush. If this is not terrorism we do not know what is.

Posted by: tucanofulano | October 23, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The San Diego fire situation is extremely disruptive, with a huge number of people evacuated. If the county is to be faulted, it's for not having an adequate fire protection system. Voters seem to have repeatedly rejected proposals for improvements. I think a plan for a unified countywide fire department was slated to be presented to the legislature next year.

Posted by: David Martin | October 23, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

That sure didn't take long--Bush has declared the fire a federal emergency.

I guess it helps there weren't too many people of color affected, like, you know, Hurricane Katrina.

And good for you, Kalifornia, your Governator is fellow traveler, er, Republican to The Decider.

Where ARE the neo-con pundits who scold New Orleans for being below sea level, yet find no problem with building in what is really a tinderbox drought zone? I'm not saying either position is legit, just that if you're going to spout off like a total moron about N.O., you should remain consistent in your criticism.

Posted by: tony | October 23, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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