Fort Carson and brigade politics

The public-affairs office at Fort Carson hasn't issued a press release about the Army's decision not to base an additional brigade there -- a move that calls into doubt millions in additional contracts, not to mention even more money in long-term economic impact. The most recent news items on its official website, which declares Fort Carson to be "The Best 'Hometown' in the Army," are a May 29 piece about a soldier who was killed in a motorcycle accident and a May 27 preview of a change-of-command ceremony staged last week. Not that they need to. The base has plenty of surrogate gripers, including Congressman Mike Coffman, who's as upset about this latest slight as he was by Governor Bill Ritter's decision to sign a bill preventing the Army from buying land near its Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.

When it comes to being mad at Bill Ritter these days, Coffman will have to stand in line. Then again, his frustration about the brigade cut flies in the face of conservatives' criticism of the Obama administration for its free-spending habits. Enormous expenditures are still okay, apparently, as long as the cash is spent in Coffman's state. But in this case, what the Army giveth, it can also take away.

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