Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
See what I mean? That’s funny. And since bullshit is a two-syllable word, I doubt that many NASCAR fans even understood what Stewart was saying. But, seriously, if you’ve ever been to a NASCAR race – I have – you’ll know that bullshit is one of the more family friendly words being uttered in the grandstands. But in the new world of sports marketing, everyone’s got to pretend to be pure – even NASCAR. Now THAT’S bullshit.
So click here and let’s pray together.
First up, Mr. Mark Johnson again. He’s now declared that he’s done whining to the Snarkmaster. Whew. Now let’s hope he readjusts his sense of humor and, better yet, begins to extend his reach beyond the same old politicians and same old advertisers as his guests. He remains the king of Vermont radio in Snarky’s book but we’d like to see his playful side a bit more often. His declaration to stop whining about this blog is a good step in the right direction. Now let’s re-open those talks about a snarky co-host. I think I know just the guy…
I’ve also been inundated with ninny missives about local Dems, particularly those seven Dems who nest over at Odumb’s Green Mountain Daily site. Please, people, how many times do I have to tell you: Odumb’s an idiot underachiever who would rather eat cotton candy than process a coherent thought. Hell, he can’t even trust his seven Dem dwarfs over there, since several of them are secretly emailing Snarky Boy begging me to continue taking whacks at him in the hopes that he’ll pull the high-drama card again (yawn) and quit. Sorry, but whacking Odumb is like kicking kittens. It’s just not fair – or fun. Just let him keep suckling on the partisan teats of Dem-witted nonsense and he won’t bother or inspire anyone except those seven irrelevant dopes who apparently have nothing better to do but continue their little circle jerk. Whatever. Note to the GMDers who want me to jump in again: Fight your own fights. Or, better yet, get a life.
Even though I’m now an office-sort-of-guy, I’ve still got my boots on the ground when it comes to the blue-collar tips. Consider, for example, the nugget I got last week from a Barre town employee who told me that the mainstream media got the July flood story all wrong. As you’ll recall, the Times Argus and others ran with the story that the flash flooding that sent six-feet of water into the downtown streets was the result of the new development going on up on the hillside. Well, according to my source, that’s only a small part of the problem. The bigger problem is that Barre’s storm drains have been hopelessly neglected, leaving them plugged and unable to handle the amount of water they were designed to handle. But the folks in City Hall, led by the smarmy Mayor Thom Lauzon, have successfully diverted the media from the real story of the neglected storm drains, thus saving their own asses from the embarrassment and culpability of their infrastructure neglect. Yo Mayor Thom, how about some truth?
Speaking of infrastructure neglect, let’s talk bridges. As many of you know, the Minneapolis story hit home with Snarky Boy because, well, I drive on bridges. Gotcha there, huh? You gotta love how politicians all over the country – including our own Howdy Doody Douglas – are rushing to look like they’ve got the bridge situation under control. But Republicans like Douglas shouldn’t be allowed to wipe the egg from their faces quite so quickly. They do, after all, run every election on the mantra of slashing the big, evil central government. You know, that evil empire that does things like...oh…maintain our national infrastructure. And then a neglected bridge pancakes its passengers and the political whores deny their budget slashing ways as fast as you can say “liar, liar, pants on fire.”
Taste this delicious intro to yesterday’s New York Times piece on the bridge collapse:
In the past two ears, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota twice vetoed legislation to raise the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation needs.
Now, with at least five people dead in the collapse of the Interstate I-35W bridge here, Mr. Pawlenty, a Republican, appears to have a change of heart.
“He’s open to that,” Brian McClung, a spokesman for the governor, said Monday of a higher gas tax.
That, my friends, is what’s called a whiplash-inducing flip-flop. You just gotta love it when Republicans crank up the tax to save their own ass. Because we all know they don’t really hate taxes, they just hate taxes that don’t either line the pockets of their friends or get them re-elected. Principles? Fuck that.
And let’s not let the Dems off the hook, either. They’re whoring themselves on this issue, too. Surprise, surprise. While there’s a convenient Republican in the center of this storm, the Dems are in full cahoots in the game of transportation earmarks that are leaving bridges like the one in Minneapolis is deep, deep jeopardy. As the Times reported yesterday, the game of transportation earmarks – those not-so-little financial gifts congress members get for their districts – are almost always designated for “sexy” new projects, rarely for repair and simple upkeep. Don’t believe me? How many times have you seen Leahy or Sanders stand in front of an ugly old bridge and hear them declare than they just got the federal loot to repair it? ECHO Centers are better for the political ego, my friends.
Speaking of political ego, let’s get back to Vermont’s Republicans. If, like me, you’re a bit nervous about crossing certain Vermont bridges in the wake of the Minnesota tragedy, well, you should be. Because guess who’s in control of Vermont’s Department of Transportation? An engineer? Nope. A transportation expert? Nope. A seasoned highway safety professional. No way. Think politics, baby. As in: Neale Lunderville, Governor Douglas’ former campaign manager and the former director of the Vermont Republican Party. Barely a decade beyond being legally able to sit next to me at Charlie O’s, Lunderville’s running the Vermont’s DOT for exactly two reasons: political payback and to remain in the Douglas political circle. Yep, as in: political science, Lunderville’s major way back in the – oh – late nineties. Here’s another way to look at it: The 32-year old Lunderville is eight years younger than the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed. And to think they’re calling the bridge young. But, please, I’ve got nothing against young fellas, I’ve just got a beef with young fellas taking jobs they have absolutely no experience with, especially when it may impact the likelihood that I’m still alive after crossing a fucking bridge. But notice, dear readers, that Vermont’s mainstream media – including 7 Daze – won’t touch this part of the story. Instead, we’re getting one bullshit piece after another that features young Neale reassuring us that everything’s a-okay in Vermont. Lap it up, folks.
Finally, thanks to the Snarky reader who sent me this story about bloggers unionizing. Sounds good to me. Now if I could just find a blogging boss I’d be all set. Anyone looking to plunk down about 30K for your very own snarky wordsmith? First come, first served. I promise. (Memo to my current boss: I love you.)
Thanks for playing, folks. It wouldn’t be the state’s most popular blog without your tips and quips. Keep ‘em coming to me at VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Okay, let’s let Old Bill get away with that excuse. But now let’s look a little deeper into the story. Here, again, is an excerpt from the Times Argus story this morning: “Doyle said he was having lunch with his wife, Olene, on Thursday, and decided to test drive cars. The senator did not have his driver’s license with him, and was told by the Twin City sales staff that he could only drive vehicles on the dealership lot, not out on the road.”
Hmm, he had to be told that he couldn’t take a car for a spin without a driver’s license? Lawmakers should know that kind of thing, no?
Forget worrying about the goddamn bridges. I’m keeping my eye out for Old Bill behind the wheel.
Give it up, Bill. Your license, that is. And now.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thanks to all who inquired about by whereabouts. And special thanks to the equal number of folks who shared their morbid dreams that the Snarky One had disappeared for good. Sorry, no such luck. I’ve tried to shed my snarky side for years, dear readers, but then the man I pay weekly to listen to me – some call him a therapist – announced more than a year ago that it would be best if I just worked this shit out in public. So, you see, I have no choice. Doctor’s orders. And so I blog. And you? What the hell’s your excuse for being here?
Oh damn, I’m already digressing. Let’s get back to the mail. First up is the first-ever official Snarky Boy correction. Yep, just like in the New York Times, I’m about to declare that within all the bullshit buried within this electronic endeavor there contains an item in need of a correction. The irony, of course, is that to offer such a correction requires the gigantic leap of faith that the rest of the stuff printed here is beyond factual reproach. Gotta love it. I guess it’s kind of like declaring that Rudolph’s nose really isn’t red but leaving the whole Santa thing unquestioned.
But when Mark Johnson whines, you gotta listen. And boy can he whine. I guess he didn’t get a long enough vacation at Shore Acres Inn, huh? Specifically, Mr. Johnson of WDEV fame took Mr. Snarky to task for running with two tips I got that his trip to China earlier this summer was partially subsidized by members of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Johnson cried foul. I did some checking with my now former sources and, sure enough, there was no specific funding of Johnson’s trip from anyone except Johnson and his boss, Ken Squier.
So listen up, Mark: Snarky Boy was incorrect in publishing this accusation and the entire Snarky enterprise consisting of one lame bastard now publicly offers our – um, my -- sincere apologies for what – according to your emails – caused you much consternation. There. Whew. That was weird. But he insisted.
Now let’s revisit Mark’s great China adventure. Sure, as proven above, Mark didn’t receive a dime for his trip, but he did get led around like a fish on a hook by the Chamber of Commerce folks while there. They were setting the agenda and making the arrangements for where Mark would be and what Mark would see – including his well-publicized run-ins with Governor Douglas, whereby Mark crooned about the importance of it all. For those wondering at home, this is what they refer to as “embedded journalism.” But, let me repeat, Mark paid for the airfare.
Oh wait, I’m now getting an important bulletin over the Snarky News Wire. Hmm, it turns out that a certain Mark Johnson is now demanding that the creators of The Simpsons issue an apology to its fans for not declaring that the whole endeavor is rather cartoonish. You go, Mark. Justice for all!
Oops, gotta run. Boss is lurking. Keep those emails coming, folks. As you know, you can reach me at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com.
Thanks for playing. Yes, playing.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Given my new office job, I wasn’t able to listen to much of Mark Johnson’s coverage this morning from the State House on WDEV. I did, however, hear a bit of his interview with the Guv. The best part was when Douglas accused the Dem leadership of using “weasel” talk in the weeks and days leading up to the special override session. Cool. Earth to Dems: Notice the passion – not to mention the consistency. Douglas didn’t, for example, issue a press release before a negotiating session declaring that his spine is turning to jelly and he might be willing to back-pedal on positions that he only moments before declared that he’d fight to the death over.
And guess what? Douglas won. But we all lost. Damn it. And while the Dems and their oh-so-brain-dead followers will hoot and holler over what an obstructionist Douglas is, I’d suggest that they take a good long look in the mirror, too. Or, better yet, take a good long look at Shumlin and Symington, because the strategy they employed through this whole affair was nothing short of moronic, insulting and just plain bone-headed. But it certainly didn’t stop the Dem stooges from falling for it – right over the fucking cliff.
Douglas was right about one thing: The weasel thing. Bingo.
And now can we officially call that session of the legislature what it was: One.Big. Fucking. Dud. Period.
Today’s the day the nest of ninnies that comprise the Vermont legislature venture back to Montpelier to – hmm – bicker. Yep. They love to bicker. And moan. And point fingers. Anything but accomplish much of anything that will inspire the populace or – better yet – give us some hope and relief for the future.
If you can’t venture to the Montpelier today to witness the charade of democracy, just get yourself to the nearest hot and sweaty children’s day camp or daycare center. You won’t notice the difference. Oh sure, the size of the whiners will be different, but the rhetoric will be mostly the same, as in: “That’s My Ball!” “No, It’s My Ball!” Whatever.
But, as usual, I’m betting that the not-so-mighty Dems will get their asses handed to them today. Mostly because that’s all they seem to be willing to do of late – whine and lose. Over and over and over.
Oh yeah, and there’s that strategy thing that they can’t seem to get straight, either. You know, like when Senate Leader Shumlin sent his grassroots folks out to fight the good fight over taxing the Vermont Yankee to pay for the energy bill and then he pulled the rug out from under them by offering to remove the tax from the bill. And that pretty much sums up what the Dem leadership thinks about their grassroots fighters – send ‘em into the fray and forget about ‘em. I mean, come on, even Snarky Boy had a moment – just a moment – of compassion for the poor fools who responded to the Dem call for letters to the editor in support of the Yankee tax and then, once published, those same Dem leaders said “never mind” to the whole plan. Dangle, dangle.
But then, faster than you can say “where’s the back bone?” the Dem leaders ran back to their Yankee tax plan after Governor Howdy Doody hiked up his pants and said “boo!” to them in that scary way that only an accountant from Middlebury can muster. Oh baby, feel the power. Not. But it doesn’t take much to blow over the Dem straw men.
So that leaves us with today. What a mess. And, as usual, the only one looking strong is the only one who should be looking like a complete dork: Governor Douglas. I mean, he’s the Republican governor of Vermont denying a bill to fight global warming that a super-majority of Dems have pinned their entire legislative hopes upon. And he’s winning! Unbelievable.
It’s not hard to figure out why Douglas and the Republicans are winning on this one, either. It’s called consistency. Douglas and his shiny team of young Republican guns have done little but slam the door on any and all talk of global warming from the gitgo. Stupid, yes. But consistent for sure.
The Dems, on the other hand, have been led down the ever-twisting strategic road paved by Shumlin in the Senate and Symington in the House. No, I’m driving! No, no, I’m driving! Good luck with that.
I know it’s too late for advice, but the Dems should certainly spend some time with Drew Westen’s book, “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.” In it, he nails the modern peril of the Dems: They have no passion. Duh. But, better yet, he gives them plenty of advice that can be boiled down to the most obvious: believe in something and fight for it. Again, duh. But, strangely enough, it’s the kind of advice the Dems obviously need.
Okay, okay, so my prediction for the day inside the State House: The Dems lose. Yawn.
Nothing like a veto-proof majority, huh?
[P.S. Here’s some free advice to all legislators today: When Peter Freyne of 7 Daze asks you if you’ve seen Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth,” just say yes. It’ll shut him up. Because that’s all he ever asks on this issue.]
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
You gotta hand it to these Republicans because they know how to have a good time and then – years later – weep like fucking morons so as to play the sympathy card. But, if Vitter was really feeling shitty about his brush with paid sex, why did he wait until the DC Madam was about to release her phone records with his number on them to come out crying? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, because he’s full of shit.
Here, for your reading pleasure is the statement Vitter put out regarding his sexual adventures with the call girl:
This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there _ with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.
I’m just curious, did Vitter get a receipt for that forgiveness he says he received from God? Because I’d like to see it. Mostly because I’ve never actually seen how that works. But, better yet, I’d like to see a transcript of that discussion he’s having about the encounter with God. I mean, did he offer even a hint of thanks for leading him to such a fine hummer for such a low price? Or if he simply played the remorse card to God, did the Almighty One ever interject to remind him that he witnessed the whole thing and certainly noticed the pleasure? I’m just curious.
Why are the Republicans having all the fun? Vetoes. Blowjobs. Direct lines to God. Perhaps Leahy could start another investigation and get to the bottom of this….
[Please, don't contact God about this blog. I've heard that he doesn't really care about it. Contact me at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com]
Here's my favorite snarky bit from the TA editorial:
Artificial crises between Douglas and the Legislature have become each party's stock in trade: Douglas because he can present himself as the voice of reason holding the Democratic (read out-of-control liberal) hordes at bay; the Legislature because, with Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate, it's handy to have a scapegoat to blame failures on, a role they're happy to see the state's highest-profile Republican assume. And the cries of Panic! Fire! Alarm! serve to make political agitation seem like an important function in the state. For paid political agitators, that's a good thing. For the rest of us, it's like living in a white noise generator.
The simple truth is that most Vermonters wish that Tweedledee Douglas and Tweedledum Shumlin would go away and let us enjoy the summer without fretting over their self-created, self-fulfilling apocalypse.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
As for me, I’m on drugs. Yep. The Snarky One is all dosed up on pain medication. And before you start begging me for a pill or two for your own maladies, let me be clear: I ain’t sharing. Period. Because I need every last one of the precious capsules.
You see, I started taking this mountain biking thing a bit too seriously over the July 4th holiday week. And the next thing I knew I was flying in the air and landing squarely on a large rock – ass first with my back perpendicular to the stone so as to squish my fucking spine like an accordion. Technically, I have what the fine docs are calling a “spinal contusion as a result of a traumatic compaction.” Fuck yeah. And you should have heard me holler.
This happened on the Fourth of July. So my day of celebrating turned into a day at the hospital, a visit to a chiropractor and a whole hell of a lot of just plain whining about the pain. Okay, it’s time I let you in on a little secret: When it comes to bodily pain, I am one big pussy. As big as they come, in fact. Hell, I didn’t even want to be left alone while the lovely nurse made her way for the lead wall in the x-ray room. Just give me the meds and set me free, damn it.
But the worst of the worst was the news on the red sticker placed prominently on the med container: “Do Not Consume Alcohol With This Medication.” Say what? And while I haven’t broken the rule yet, I do have a pretty good feeling that they’d go marvelously together. We’ll see.
I really didn’t mind missing the whole Fourth of July evening thing. Is it me, or does it just seem like an excuse for fat, gluttonous, and loud Americans to be fat, gluttonous, and loud Americans? Enough already. And, please, put your fucking shirt back on because you’re making me sick. And that goes for your husband, too.
Besides, being a Montpelier resident – yes, with my own apartment again (my, oh my, a lot has happened, huh?) – I got to celebrate on July 3rd. And the best part of the day was venturing out to see J.D. Ryan of Five Before Chaos fame play his bass at Langdon Street Café. The boy’s got talent – lots of it. And the fellas playing with him in the band called Lingo Mungo ain’t so bad, either. Nice groove. Fine crowd. And most everyone left me alone. Now I’m officially granting J.D. two Snarky Immunity Cards for having talent. It works like this: the next two times that I get the urge to verbally slap J.D. upside of the head for doing something dopey like posting at the dreadful Green Mountain Daily site, I will hold my tongue. But I’ll only do it twice. Use them wisely, my friend.
Speaking of the Vermont blogosphere, I tried like hell (again) to find any shred of entertainment value in the political blogs while I was double dosing on meds and found little but Freyne telling us about his laundry and his recycling days (again), Odumb at GMD donning his Dem Party pom-poms in one display after another of his usual ass-scratching attempts at logic, and the same old Baruth at Vermont Daily Briefing continuously vaulting himself high into the narcissistic air of Planet Love Thyself. Good fucking grief, is this all Vermont’s got to offer?
Actually, I wasn’t quite fair to Freyne. Because other than his increasingly awkward (and redundant) references to his weekly laundry, recycling and column deadline routines, he’s also very faithfully stalking our U.S. Senators, Pat Leahy and Bernie Sanders. I really think he’s got a crush on both of them. I mean, come on, every piece he writes about them has them all but walking on water. And all those photos, too! Sometimes I think Leahy and Sanders are going to put a restraining order on Freyne for all the stalking he does of them. One thing’s for sure, they don’t need to hire him because he’s already working for them – shamelessly.
Oh hell, the meds are wearing off and I’ve still got a pile of notes and story ideas to get through. So let’s rip through them in bullet form:
* Montpelier’s own David Dobbs has a feature story in today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine about a mental health malady known as “Williams Syndrome.” According to Dobbs, it’s a “genetic accident that causes cognitive deficits and a surplus of unguarded affability.” Well, I guess no one will accuse me of having that disease. Read the article, though, it’s very interesting.
* Vermont Public Television’s sleepy little news show, Vermont This Week, featured some former Vermont journalists who quit the news biz to become flaks for businesses and/or politicians. The panel was comprised of Diane Derby, Darren Allen and Steve Larose. While nothing real earth shattering – or even moderately interesting – came from the show, it was fun to witness the defensive Darren Allen try to stammer around for a coherent thought (ah, just like his columns!). He also got a bit testy at the get go when the host Stewart Ledbetter asked him why he chose to leave journalism and go to the “dark side.” “Well,” snapped Allen, “I’d hardly call working for the people of Vermont going to the dark side.” He’s clearly not getting any smarter in his new job. Because, as the rest of us clearly know, he doesn’t work for the people of Vermont, he works for the Douglas Administration. The people of Vermont would have never hired him. I also have to say that it was odd to see Diane Derby and Darren Allen be lumped together on equal footing as “former Vermont journalists.” Let’s face it, Derby’s got more talent in her pinky finger than Allen has in his entire body. And she didn’t seem to have too much love for Allen during the show, either, barely looking at him while he droned on about whatever the hell he was droning on about – oh yeah, himself (of course).
* Finally, if you’re still under the dopey liberal spell that those “carbon offsets” are anything but complete and total bullshit, check out Tom Friedman’s column in today’s New York Times. Here are the money quotes:
If people really want to generate money to plant trees or finance green power, why not have them offset their real sins, not just their carbon excesses? We started to play with his idea: Imagine if you could offset the whole Ten Commandments.
No, really, think about it. Imagine if there were a Web site — I’d call it GreenSinai.com — where every time you thought you had violated one of the Ten Commandments, or you wanted to violate one of them but did not want to feel guilty about it, you could buy carbon credits to offset your sins…
…Here’s how it would work: One day, you’re out in the backyard mowing the lawn and suddenly you covet your neighbor’s wife. Hey, it happens — that’s why “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” is one of the Ten Commandments. No problem. You just go to GreenSinai.com and buy 100 trees in the Amazon or fund a project to capture methane from cow dung in India — and, presto, you’re free and clear.
Obviously there would be a sliding scale. Taking God’s name in vain or erecting an idol might cost you only a few solar water heaters for a Chinese village, whereas bearing false witness or stealing would set you back a pilot sugar ethanol plant in Louisiana.
As for adultery, well, I think that’s where the big money could be made. My guess is that we could achieve a carbon-neutral world by 2020 if we just set up a system for people to offset their adultery by reversing deforestation of tropical rain forests or funding mega wind and solar power systems in China and India.
You people just got a whole hell of a lot more than you deserve. And I hope you realize that. Now, please, leave me alone, I’ve got meds to take and drug-induced dreams to enjoy. In other words, thanks for playing.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
And the media obliged – again. Leading the way was the embedded Mark Johnson of WDEV fame, who tagged along on the Guv’s China trip thanks to the largesse of the Republican business interests who footed the bill. And then Johnson seemed to don the rosy glasses the Douglas team strapped onto him and issue one rather breathless report after another about the importance of the trip.
But, again, I’m not getting it. And I’m not buying it either, especially when Douglas’ main theme while over there was all about “exporting Vermont’s environmental ethic.” Oh sure, you mean that ethic that seems to be all about his veto of the global warming legislation? Who’s kidding whom here, Guv?
Frankly, this whole China hoopla just feels like one big political charade. Douglas doesn’t have a clue about how to make policy sense out of his “affordability” mantra so the more dopey trips like this with the fawning media pretending that it matters the better. See, Douglas will tell us, I’m on the worldwide cutting edge of…of…oh yeah…affordability. Yeah, that’s it. And he’s right too, especially since the trip didn’t cost him a penny. You go, Guv.
Of course, a trip to China will also make Douglas feel a whole lot better about Vermont’s standard of living, too. I mean, come on, what are all us Vermont workers complaining about? We are, after all, making a hell of a lot more than the Chinese. Ah, affordability issues conquered. Congrats, Guv.
Finally, would it have been too much to ask for Johnson or any other members of the media who regurgitated the Douglas line on China to bring in a few human rights or social justice experts to challenge the rather rosy scenario being painted by the business hawks? Or are we just going to pretend that the exploitation and injustice doesn’t exist just so a few of Douglas’ favorite little business pals can reap millions? Oh yeah, baby, Vermont is sooooo different. Feel the ethic…
I guess I’m just wondering where Mark Johnson is off to next? First it was Chicago. Then it was China. Hmm, it sure looks like he’s got some kind of alphabet thing going on here. Columbia? Costa Rica? Cuba with Brian Dubie?
Nah, I’m betting his next trip is to Shore Acres Inn – gratis once again. Smart guy, for sure.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Of course, my snarky readers will already know what I’m hinting at here: The Dem leaders of the Vermont legislature, Senator Peter “Look at Me” Shumlin and House Speaker Gaye “Don’t Notice Me” Symington, announced today that they’d like everyone who believed their tough-talking rhetoric about taxing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to fund future renewable energy efforts to…well…forgetaboutit. Yep. They issued yet another in a long line of shameless about-faces, thus pulling the rug out from under their increasingly hapless (and dwindling) followers.
Oh boy, ain’t this “veto-proof” Dem majority great! Just feel the power. Not.
Frankly, it’s better to be a little kitten or puppy than a Dem follower these days. I mean, at least the kitties and the puppies have the PETA folks to cry foul when they’re tortured or otherwise mistreated. The Dem followers, on the other hand, continue to get one policy stick after another in the eye and no one seems to give two shits. Hell, it’s actually entertaining at this point. Until, that is, you realize they’re fucking up issues like the war and global warming.
Once again, the guy coming out smelling like a Bush-supporting rose is Governor Jim Douglas. Let’s face it, Douglas has got this game of scaring the wits out of the Dems down pat. All he does is pull his pants up a bit higher, adjust his aw-shucks grin, and say something rather incoherent about “affordability” and – viola! – the Dems cower like sheep in the presence of a wily fox.
What’s really hysterical about this latest Dem cave-in to Douglas’ mere whisper of “boo” is that he’s been in fucking China of late. Usually, when the cat’s away, the mice play. Not with the Dems, though. Surprise, surprise. In this case, the Douglas-cat was away and the little Dem mice busily worked on perfecting their ever-growing legislative coffin. And so it goes, yet another Dem dream lowered into the ground.
And please, dear readers, don’t be fooled by the hype that will be spinning furiously out of the Dem headquarters in the next several days. This is NOT an attempt to put the pressure on Douglas, as they’re already saying. This is NOT some kind of sly strategy to force the governor to do something he doesn’t really want to do. Nope. Instead, it is one thing and only one thing: One big and final cave-in by the Dems in what should be remembered as a most pathetic legislative session. They had the power and they did little but dither, panic, pander and piss it away. Shame on them (again).
Anyone out there ready to launch the first chapter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Dems? Not me. I’m enjoying the show, just like a snarky boy should.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Holy shit. Who knew? Not me.
Of course, you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Nope. And, frankly, my week was so goddamn boring that I’m not even sure I’m going to even venture into the new adventures that dominate the new and not-so-improved life of Snarky Boy.
Let’s just say that I’m in an office now. And the office is co-owned by my brother-in-law. And that same brother-in-law is well aware of my Snarky blog (hello, Bro!). In other words, all I really have to say here now about the new job is that it is great, he is great, and everyone there is just fucking great. Yeah right.
Imagine Snarky in his own little cubbyhole. Or, better yet, imagine Snarky in a meeting with a bunch of yuppies – oops, make that, wonderful people – making decisions that basically avoid what the decisions are really about: Getting filthy fucking rich at the expense of others who are already filthy fucking rich. Of course, as a guy who’s spent much of his adult life on a ladder and in a bar, having a savings account seems filthy rich to me – not matter what’s in it.
But I’m in no position to let you in on any more of it right now. Let’s just say that I haven’t made myself indispensable quite yet. In fact, I think I’m already skating on thin ice. Imagine that. But, thanks to my oh-so-sweet Bro, I think I’m being given a few more wrong turns than the average “new hire.”
I will say this: These bastards sure know how to play after work. But instead of heading to Charlie O’s, they put on hundreds of dollars worth of biking clothing and then take frantic rides on bikes that cost more than I used to charge for painting an entire house. Yeah, you’ve seen these fellas on all the roads in and around Montpelier. You can’t miss them – they look like billboards on bicycles, with their shirts, pants and bikes full of logos and the like. Aside from the dopey gear, I really can’t blame these fellas for wanting to go for a screaming bike ride after a day of being totally fucking cooped up in an office and kissing more ass than a group of Vermont reporters kisses at a political press conference. I think the more they sweat the more they forget about the unspeakable boredom of their days.
Oops, but that’s not to say that I’m bored. No way (hey, Bro!). I love it (wink).
The best part of my week was actually getting on a borrowed bike and riding with these clowns. Yep, on Tuesday night Snarky Boy mounted…ahem…a mountain bike and headed to Morse Farm to join the throngs of testosterone-filled boys (and a couple girls) to race. Yeah race. As in, three goddamn times around a 3-mile-plus loop through the woods.
They were all fueled with all kinds of special little (high-priced) concoctions they carry in little plastic flasks. Yours truly was fueled on the pent-up energy from being a newly hired office boy and a rather primitive yearning to force at least one of these “very nice” fellas who told me to do stupid shit all day to taste the mud splattered from my back wheel.
Let me tell you, I missed Charlie O’s. Bad. Real bad. And if it weren’t for my real secret weapon – an iPod with the new White Stripes on continuous play – I would have never made it to the end in front of the one person I really wanted to end in front of. And then I went to Charlie O’s. Whew. There’s nothing like home. But my legs were fucking sore and I couldn’t let the little yups know it.
So I guess this is all just a lame attempt at an apology and an explanation for my wayward ways this week. Again, I appreciate the emails that keep coming in. I will, as always, respond to them as soon as I can.
But I will say this: It sure seems like I’m not alone in my absolute hatred of all things mowing. Perhaps it’s time for a little coalition? My favorite anti-mowing email came from an ever-so-gleeful fella who told me to check out one of those dopey lawns in what we always called the “Cody-ville” section of Elm Street, just north of Montpelier. Ha! It turns out the old bastard got a little overly gleeful with his spring fling with lawn toxins and fried the shit out of one long trip around the outer edge of his lawn. Go check it out for yourselves. It’s on the right as you head out of town. And, while you’re looking at it, imagine how much goddamn therapy the guy needs to get over it. I mean, that lawn is his fucking life.
Speaking of Cody-ville, one of the little brat children who were raised in that section of town, Richard Cody, is now the big-wig in the U.S. Army, assistant chief of staff, to be precise. And it turns out that Montpelier’s own high-powered military man played a key role in getting the general who investigated Abu Ghraib shit-canned. Yep. You can read all about it here, including the not-so-subtle mention of Montpelier’s own General Cody.
Hmm, I wonder why the local media won’t delve into this? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they’re too busy stuffing their noses up the asses of those in power. Don’t believe me? Just pick up a paper or turn on the radio. Here, for example, is the headline from last week’s Time Argus regarding Governor Douglas: “Study: Douglas Wields Real Power.” The article was penned by Louis Porter, one of the few remaining warm bodies in the news gathering business in the Capital City. Great work, Louis. Now why don’t you write something that will confirm the fact that Leahy, Sanders and Welch are allowed to vote in Congress. You dope.
Let me tell you, you media and political types are lucky the Snarkmaster has been distracted by this new job of mine. But the distraction’s almost over. I’m learning the ropes, gaining some freedom, and seeing the light at the end of that hideous tunnel of learning. You’ve been warned. Because it sure seems like this state needs someone – anyone! – to light the stinkbomb of truth from time to time.
Hang tight. And keep the comments coming to me at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com
Friday, June 15, 2007
The best advice I got was this: Just keep doing, no matter what the “doing” is. Yep. I read that book, too: Constructive Living, that is. Fine advice for the times when you find yourself spending too much time doing little but telling the world how little you’re doing. Yawn.
And since I’m not in the mood to write about my next professional adventure that begins on Monday, let’s play the game of “Where in the hell are they now?” The games goes like this: I name someone and you try to quickly tell me – or, rather, anyone who can hear you talking to the computer screen – where they are and what they’ve done for you lately.
So, here we go. Ready? Good. Here’s the first name: Peter Welch.
Holy shit. Did Welch just fall off the face of the planet or what? I’m betting his inner-advisor has advised him to just lay low for a while because the public is really, really sick of him saying the same old shit and doing next to nothing to back up his droning verbiage.
I mean, come on, admit that you feel a bit more at ease with your political life now that you don’t hear Welch’s whining little voice saying: “What we’re doing in Iraq is refereeing a civil war.” He loves that line. But, unfortunately, when it came to doing something about ending the war now, Welch’s high-pitched nothingness just got more high-pitched and more full of nothingness as Nancy Pelosi squeezed a bit harder and forced him to get in line or suffer the committee assignment consequences. And so it went.
And Peter Welch isn’t the only one hiding right now. It appears the whole Democratic Party is in hiding, unfortunately following the internal advice that it’s now best to let the House of Politics just keep burning until the 2008 elections. Solve the problems? Fuck it, they’re telling us, we’re focusing on getting even more power in 2008. For what? Well, of course, to be in a great position to build even more power in 2010. And then? Oh boy, imagine what we could do in 2012 with all that power we garnered in 2010? And so they go, right over the political cliff while those of us with the boot of injustice suffocating us just keep gasping for some semblance of sense. Good luck with that.
Howard Dean let the cat out of the bag earlier this month during his obnoxiously evasive response to President Bush’s weekly radio address. Instead of putting forward an exciting plan to address the issues the people of this nation so obviously want addressed – you know, things like that not-so-little war, the environment, energy policy, jobs, etc. – Dean counseled those clamoring for action to just focus on the 2008 presidential race, without a word about a true and inspired Democratic agenda from now until then.
Did I just put the words “inspired” and “Democratic agenda” together? Sorry about that, it must be the delusional fog one encounters while preparing for a new job. You know the feeling, you pretend you were actually who you were for the interview and then paint everything in that dreamy rose colored hue that says: false, false and false. Whatever.
And while we’re talking about Democrats and the games they play, how about the news that Gaye & (the other) Peter’s big veto override adventure may now last all….summer….long. Yep. Instead of coming back in mid-July to get their asses handed to them, they’ve now apparently decided to keep everything in limbo until September. Hey, what the hell, it’s only the planet burning up, right? Take your time, you dopes. Besides, it’s not as if you’ve got a fallback plan. Or an agenda. Or passion.
Burn baby, burn – the planet, that is.
It’s Friday, damn it. I need a drink. I’ll be seeing you in all the familiar places tonight.
I like when he finally fixes his hat -- sort of. Chesnutt is a genius. I wanted to find him performing "I'll See You Around," but couldn't find it. Look it up at your favorite Web music outlet. Consider it my gift to you. Yet another one. You cheap bastards.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I thought I was going to take some time to listen to Anthony Pollina’s “Equal Time” radio show on WDEV but I just got really fucking sleepy after only three minutes of hearing him somnambulantly explain the current milk pricing woes of dairy farmers. Holy shit, he’s boring. I think all that dairy consumption is only making him slower, too. Imagine how bad he’s going to get when he’s wolfing down all those “natural creemies” he’s starting to market. Which reminds me, what in the hell is a “natural creemie”? I mean, Pollina’s already admitted the diary for the creemies isn’t organic. Worse, Pollina’s creemies are “single-shot” creemies that come “individually-packed” in plastic. How’s that for “natural”? Personally, I think the only way you’re going to get a natural creemie is to put a lactating organic cow on ice and start sucking. Of course, there’s a very good chance the PETA crowd will object but, what the fuck, they bitch about everything.
Wow. Now THAT was a tangent. Sorry about that. But, while we’re on tangent highway, let’s keep looking around.
I’ve decided that I’m going to immediately amend my living will as soon as I figure out how to create a living will in the first place. The amendment is going to read like this: To anyone who knows or comes into contact with me and sees that I own more than one lawn mowing machine and/or use that machine more than once every ten days, you hereby have my permission to take me out of my misery by immediately killing me.
I mean, come on, you’ve seen those old fuckers who are seemingly living for one thing only: mowing the goddamn lawn. And mowing. And mowing. And trimming. And edging. And mowing. And blowing. And fertilizing. And mowing. And de-thatching. And mowing.
The house I’m currently calling home – my sister’s – is surrounded by old maniac mowers. While technically she still lives in town, she’s just outside of town enough for the people to adequately pretend they live in the country. In other words, they’ve all got a few acres and, for some fucked up reason, they’ve not only turned the entire acreage into lawn but they’ve decided the lawn should be cut every…single…day so that it looks like the felt on a pool table rather than anything close to natural. Uh-oh, there’s that word again.
I’m not kidding when I tell you that her most immediate neighbor has been on, pushed or carried about six different grass-killing devices in the week that I’ve been here. Worse, other than when it’s raining, he’s at it EVERY DAY. In other words, there is no peace here because this whacked out old bastard is in one constant Sisyphean battle with the grass. And what’s really pissing me off is that I’ve become obsessed with watching him do little more than mow his way through life, meaning that, in the scheme of things, I’m a bigger loser for watching him mow than he is for mowing. And that just sucks. I mean, I’ve been watching him so much that I can see he’s going over the same places two and three times. And I just don’t want to be worrying about that kind of thing right now.
I’ve never really had much to mow. But, whenever I do mow, I hate it. In fact, this is usually what goes through my mind while I’m mowing: “This is stupid.” Let’s face it, it’s loud, it’s smelly, and it’s all about killing nature and looking like a dog chasing its tail around in circles. Worse, it’s a losing battle because the grass always wins.
But these old fuckers seem to get one hell of a kick out of going around and around as loudly and as often as they can. I guess they all retired from some rote job that they gave 30-plus of their lives to and now mowing just seems like a natural extension to the nothingness of it all. And their wives certainly don’t seem to object – they enjoyed all those years of having them out of the house, damn it. So go mow, you fool! And mow some more! And more! How sad.
So, please, do NOT let me enter this stage of my life. You have my full permission to shoot me if some latent mowing gene starts to kick in during my lifetime.
Fuck, I wish the phone would ring. I’ve got way too much time on my hands. Please, someone help me.
In last night’s post I made a quip about the new surly Montpelier cops being much different than they were during my juvenile delinquent days. And this morning I wake up to this headline from the Times Argus: “Shocking Plan: Montpelier Police Want Tasers.” Yikes. I told you they were a new surly bunch. Now, what in the hell do the Montpelier police need tasers for? Those kids on skateboards hanging at the City Center? This is just ridiculous.
But we really know what this is all about: Munitions envy. Yep. The Montpelier cops have heard that other departments have the tasers – big tasers! – and now they want one in their pants, too.
The City Council will be addressing the issue tonight at 7:40 if anyone else with a modicum of sense would like to stand up against random electric shock therapy dispensed by the police at will.
And if you’re lacking that modicum of sense, take note of Amnesty International’s call for a moratorium on the use of the Tasers. Here’s what AI’s Josh Rubenstein told the TA: “Too often it simply becomes used like it’s a toy and it’s a serious weapon.”
If the Montpelier police want something bigger in their pants, opt for the penis enlargements. I hear the Hardwick cops are all doing it…
Speaking of the Times Argus, I was shocked – I mean shocked! – to wake up this morning and not see a single word about Jackson Browne or Barre’s LACE. Certainly they could have come up with a follow-up to the four other follow-ups to the hoopla, no? You know, something like: Zevon family still tired and happy. Oh yeah, they already did that – twice.
Oh sure, it’s great to see what they’re doing in Barre. But being the snarky bastard that I am, I was waiting to read or hear one tiny mention of the fact that the hero of the event – Browne – was a girlfriend beater. Yeah, you remember that sordid little beating episode he had with his lover at the time, Darryl Hannah, don’t you? But that was all yesterday’s news. Today – well, last week -- the get-tough-on-crime Mayor of Barre, Little Thommy Lauzon, is power-washing the Opera House to welcome the man who whacked the hottie. Go figure.
That should be enough snark to hold you over for a while. And, by the way, thanks for all the emails. I’ll respond to them as soon as I can. In the meantime, keep ‘em coming at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The idea for this rather random day was hatched at bedtime in my sister’s home last night. As you’ll recall, it’s the same place I’m calling home while I’m still putting the pieces of my life back together after my random and haphazard trip to the coast last month. I know, I know, I promised to fill you in on the details but, frankly, it’s all still a little bit raw to delve into. Give me time. It’ll come.
At bedtime last night, my niece was lamenting the thought of another day of school on a beautiful June day. And I didn’t help matters by proclaiming that when I was her age we never went to school in June – or August, for that matter. Or at least I don’t think we did. But when I told her about the camp on Curtis Pond that I worked at yesterday and how I was planning to sneak back up there for some solitude and a swim before the owners arrive in the evening, the little lobbyist in her kicked in.
“Can I go with you?” began the first rather innocent lob in what would eventually snowball into a campaign that would put the Kimball, Sherman & Ellis clan to shame. I swear, if any of us really want something done in the legislature, all we have to do is hire about a dozen nine-year olds, put an idea in their heads – you know, something like: shut down the Vermont Yankee – and then just let them run free in the State House until they get what they want. And, trust me, they’ll get what they want.
I was hip to her joining me from the get-go. And her father didn’t seem to be putting up much of roadblock, either. But, then again, being the distracted business-guy-dad, he pretty much rolls with anything that allows him time to focus on making even more money. The biggest obstacle was the Mommy/Sister. And we had one big thing in our favor: Wine. Oh yeah, Sis had a couple glasses of wine after dinner – probably to deal with my lovely presence. Lucky for us, the flip of her mood coin during this particular encounter with wine landed on the carefree side. Whew.
And so it was approved: Uncle Snarky and the darling little one would join forces to become – for “one day only,” according to Sis – Team Trouble. Cool.
We biked. Swam. Pretended to be the King and Princess of our Camp Trouble. And talked. And talked. And talked. She especially loves the stories about the trouble her mother and I got into as kids in the same town she’s now growing up in.
Her all-time favorite is the time we were coming home from a high school party and decided to steal one of those orange blinking lights that’s attached to the saw-horse-like contraptions. You know, the things they place near holes in the road. Well, the problem with putting one of those in the backseat of your car and riding through town with it at 1:00 am is that the orange blinking light really gives you away. And while we were nearly pissing our pants from the fun of it all, the cop who pulled us over didn’t find it so funny. But, Montpelier being what Montpelier was then – before the really surly cops who are apparently pretending they’re in a bigger city took over – we got little more than a half-stern lecture, a trip back to where we got it, and an escort home.
Like I said, it was a great day. And she’s a great kid – with some good snarky potential. But the best part was that I kept my head out of the news, thus unencumbered by the ninniness of the day. How refreshing. You don’t even need to read the news anymore to know exactly what’s happing in the political world. It’s the same thing every day: The Dems bark, the Republicans bite back, and the rest of us get the fucking bill for the entire charade. Ho-hum.
Perhaps the biggest lesson of the day for me was this: Nine-year olds have a hell of a lot of energy. I’m wiped.
We’ll talk some more tomorrow. Thanks for playing.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Late Night with Snarky: On Rock, Flag-Flyers, and Leahy & Freyne (In other words: More Than You Deserve)
And if you think I’m just some kind of washed up, ex-rocker, painter guy who can’t take the decibels any longer, well, you’re right. But that’s not where I was going with that. Nope. Instead, I was aiming to let you know that the Higher Ground management had this message taped to the entrance of the show last night: “Warning: Tonight’s show is extremely loud. Ear plugs are for sale at the ticket counter for $1.”
Now how cool is that? At the same time you plunk down $20 to see some aging rockers, you slip them another dollar for the earplugs. Go figure.
And they weren’t kidding about the noise level either. My ears are still ringing – and I was wearing the ear condoms. While it was great to turn my back on life’s little distractions – you know, things like where to live and where to work – the best part of the show for me was the Spinal Tap-like moments. First of all, J Mascis, the lead singer and guitarist, is about 3,743 bong hits over what was needed for his lifetime of self-medication. And then throw in 25 years of absolute ear-piercing rock and you get a guy who mumbles, continues to turn it up louder, and slowly bobs from side to side even though the music is going at about 20 times his bobbing rate. Better yet, you get this kind of dialogue with J during the show: “Alright.” Oh yeah, and then there was this long discourse before the last song: “We’ve got time for one more.” Time? It was fucking 11:30 in rock land, my friend. What, did he have a meeting to get to?
During the second song of the set a small line of smoke began to appear on stage. At first, I thought it was just some lame stage theatrics. Until, that is, the roadies began scrambling to the amp and yanking all the cords out of it. The thing was on fire. Worse, everyone in the place except J – the guy playing through it – noticed it. He took notice – still in the middle of the song – when the roadie hoisted a new amp up on the ridiculously large collection. Seeing the new amp, J promptly moved over to it and rather vigorously cranked the volume to its peak. Rock on. Spinal Tap lives!
For most of the day, in fact, I think my ears were about the only part of me that was alert. No bother, though, because this painter boy has still not found a painting gig. Instead, it appears I’m in the pity zone by getting offers like I did today: Getting a camp on Curtis Pond ready for the soon-to-be-arriving owners. Easy work. Seasonal, as they say. And, of course, it’s an absolute hoot to see how the other side lives from time to time.
The camp owners who employed Snarky for an afternoon actually own three homes. Or so I’m told by the middleman who lined the gig up for me. In addition to the Curtis Pond digs, these tony folks also own a home in Bar Harbor, Maine and Fairfield, Connecticut. And, according to their neighbors, they still complain about the taxes. That’s called balls.
But I got it done – even hanging the fucking flag up on the porch for them. Oh, how the rich love America! Well, as long as the poor bastards are fighting their wars and prepping their second and third homes. Whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this country, too. In fact, I love it so much I think it’s essential to keep making it better. Too many of these flag flyers, however, seem to think we’ve reached our pinnacle of greatness – not to mention justice. In other words, they’ve got what they need and fuck the rest of us. They were the same kind of people who got all bitchy and itchy with their trigger fingers when the slaves said “fuck off,” the suffrage movement said “bug off,” and the civil rights folks said “move over.”
Besides, what’s the big deal about flying the flag? Is it to remind them where they live? Senile old bastards. I’d be impressed if these oh-so-proud Americans took their flag-flying SUVs and RVs to Baghdad for a little patriotic parade. Go ahead, it’s the least you could do if you really believe in the bullshit going on over there. I dare you.
Speaking of the bullshit going on over there, have you been seeing how far Peter Freyne is willing to shove his bulbous head up Pat Leahy’s ass? Fuckin’ A, the guy has no shame. I really hope the Leahy staff is counting Freyne’s fawning publicity as a campaign contribution.
This time, Freyne’s toting the Leahy line that it’s not fair that anti-war activists are targeting Vermont’s federally elected officials – and not Governor Douglas -- in their efforts to stop the war. And, as usual, Douglas has the best retort:
Well, I expect that the protesters are interested in the congressional offices because they [the congressional delegation] have something to say about it, whereas I don’t. They’re the ones who authorize military action, authorize the expenditures for that action. I think their concern is directed appropriately.
Yep. And I guess someone should tell that to Leahy and Freyne. Actually, just tell Leahy and then Freyne will certainly just absorb the news through his perch in Leahy’s sphincter.
Sure, Douglas should be getting shit for being a Bush-loving Republican – that’s a no-brainer. And it’s been done at Vermont sites like this. But Freyne always seems to think that if he didn’t say it or make a stupid pun out of it then it doesn’t exist. What do they call that? Oh yeah: Narcissism.
Earth to Leahy (and those occupying his ass): The anti-war protesters are targeting you, Sanders and Welch because – as Douglas said – you have the power to cut off the funding for this war. Duh. And it was your political party that ran on a platform in 2006 that promised to END THE WAR. Remember that? We do. Just as we also know that any one of you could launch a mighty fine filibuster of any more war funding whenever you find the courage to match your rhetoric. Doulgas can’t do that – you can. And we’re waiting.
Enough already. I’ve got to get some sleep. Are the peepers still out or are my ears still ringing?
And, by the way, keep those quips, tips and comments coming my way via email at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com
Thanks for playing.
Yep. Last night. At Higher Ground. Me and the others who wanted to remember the Dinosaur Jr. we knew in 1988. Poor fellas. Ten bonus Snarky points to anyone who can name the fella in the video who tells the kids to play Dinosaur Jr.
Turn it up. They did. Ouch.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Speaking of where to stick things, it looks like its that time of year when my fellow narcissistic bloggers stick themselves in front of the mirror, gush and glow over what they see, and then beg you to vote for them as the 7 Daze blog of the year. It’s actually kind of gross. Don’t believe me? Click here and here for a sampling. And in case you didn’t catch all the self-love going on, click back to those sites and consider the photos. Yes, those photos of THEMSELVES. Fuck, who needs a mirror when you’ve got a blog? Like I said earlier, ew.
Sorry, but we’re going to stick with the local blog scene here for just a few more moments. Since I’ve been back from my computer-less trip, I broke my rule about not visiting the ninnies in the Vermont blogosphere. I guess I was actually thinking that I might have missed something – I’m blaming the ocean air for that one. Well, unless you consider Odum over at GMD dreaming about Pat Leahy as missing something, I didn’t miss anything.
I was actually informed of the Odum (wet) dream by a reader who was inquiring about my whereabouts. Let’s just say that breakfast wasn’t a part of this reader’s morning after reading about Odum in his jammies. Only Odum would be excited to have a dream about being in his nightclothes and have Pat Leahy come to the door. Well, and maybe Baruth. And Freyne. But definitely not Resmer.
If these boys with their hard-ons for Leahy and anything with a pulse that carries a Democratic membership card would introduce themselves to a notion known as critical thinking from time to time, they might do what the New York Times did this morning. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Times’ editorial board told the man in Odum’s dreams to basically shit or get off the pot when it comes to his subpoena threats. And it’s about time someone called Leahy’s bluff on this one.
Leahy, as we all should know since he’s been telling us every time there’s a camera or microphone in front of him, is trying to put the brakes on the runaway train known as the Bush Administration. But, like the Democrats’ efforts to stop the war (how’s that going?), Leahy is more bark than bite. He seems to think, for example, that just by inconveniencing these felons with polite invitations to sit before his Judiciary Committee that they’ll somehow cower into liberal submission. Good luck with that.
Instead of submitting to Pat’s whims, they either ignore him or appear before his committee and make complete asses of themselves like Alberto Gonzales did and then get a “big thumbs up” from the Prez. And around and around we go. Like so much of what the Dems have been doing for decades, it’s just nibbling around the edges – just enough for a huffing and puffing photo-op and nothing more.
And the Times -- like most of us -- has had enough. Better late than never. Here’s the money quote from this morning’s editorial:
It is time for Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to deliver subpoenas that have been approved for Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and their top aides, and to make them testify in public and under oath.
Well, yeah. But don’t expect to hear much about this in Vermont – especially in the blogosphere. It just wouldn’t fit into Odum’s dreams, Baruth’s too busy preening for another photo-op and campaigning for meaningless awards and Freyne hasn’t said a negative word about Leahy since one of his staff members took the glass of Wild Turkey out of his hand in 1989.
Oh fuck it, I’ve got to go look for a job. Not to mention an apartment.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I didn’t fall off the blogosphere as much as I got pushed. Well, that’s not quite right, either. Truth be told, I jumped. With one big gleeful yell to the stars, I jumped into the never-never land of walking away from everything and everyone I knew.
I’ve done it before. Too frequently, in fact. But it never seems to bother me as much as it bothers those around me. I’m used to it. And I know when I’m jumping ship – even if I rarely know where I’m landing.
We’ll call this jump number 137 for those keeping track at home. And what a fucking jump it was. I felt the odd urge coming on in the early spring. If you’ve ever felt it, you know it. You know what it means. You know that it’s about to take over. And you know that the character that is just “you” is changing. Or perhaps just yearning for a change. Most of the time we fight it. We shake it off with the routine of just being you – a cup of coffee or beer in a familiar place, a run-in with an old friend, a phone call from someone counting on you being you, or the alarm clock telling you it’s time to be you by getting your ass to work.
Every once in a while, if you’re me, at least, you take the jump, walk away from just being you and seeing what it is like not being you. And the euphoria of not being you takes over at first. How delightful it is to shed your old skin, to ignore the pile of to-do’s gathering in your mind, to pretend all your calls and messages are simply wrong numbers or mistaken identities, and to simply start over.
And so went my mood several weeks ago as I sat at my favorite watering hole. The character that was me felt worn out. Worse, it felt heavy. Like the merry-go-round, around and around I went: painting, drinking, writing, wondering and wandering. It was all so predictable and rote.
But that was all about to change. In fact, everything was about to change. I had no idea I was moments away from meeting someone who would entice me to walk away from everything, take one hell of a frenetic trip to the coast, and then return with little more than the stories of the jump and the adventures that followed.
Oh sure, we’ll get to that part – soon enough. But those stories will have to wait a bit. Because I’m now in that rather messy zone of trying to put things back together. In the week that I’ve been back, I’ve already worn out my welcome at my friend’s place, getting that all-too-familiar “you’ve got to move on, man” talk. Worse, what I thought at the time to be a rather cool farewell to two clients counting on my painting prowess turned out to be not so cool after all. So not cool, in fact, that I not only lost those clients but several more who got wind of my disappearance and, as they said, “went in other directions.” Read: Anyone but Snarky.
But I have no regrets. I needed a break. And a change. And I got all that and one hell of an adventure, too. So what if I’m now calling my sister’s guestroom home for the time being. It was all worth it.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Let’s hope they’ve forgotten about all of this. Because I just want to start over. It’s been a really weird Spring. I’ve been on a long journey in a huge and calamitous mission to flee the skin that identifies me as me. But, as usual, it didn’t work and I’m still me – but now without a job, without my old apartment, and with little but the memories of one hell of a journey that took me from a night at my favorite watering hole to Maine with a new found friend. I kissed everything goodbye for the sake of a journey. I disappeared. I threw it all to the wind. And now I’m back. Sort of.
I’ve got a lot to tell you about. But we’ll have to go slow. I’ll slip in the stories when I can. But my priorities for the moment are finding a place other than my friend’s sofa to call “home,” to beg for forgiveness from my painting clients on Liberty Street, and to ponder the imponderables of a strange journey.
I appreciate all the non-ninny emails I got over the last several weeks. And I apologize for responding to none of them. Patience, my friends, patience. I’ll get to it sooner or later.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
But it’s still not clear to me. I’m having a foggy notion of thinking about stopping the war. And I’ve got a vague recollection of having hopes for impeachment. But I’m not sure. It all feels like a bad dream. Shit, I even think I got arrested. Oh damn, not that again.
Now, let’s see. I remember frantically searching out computers in the middle of a painter’s workday to speak with you about the current events swirling around us in this capital city. And I remember getting all kinds of emails from readers telling me sweet little things like, “shut the fuck up you loser.” Yeah, I definitely remember that. Kind of.
Oh yeah, and I remember reading other Vermont blogs and thinking, “why can’t my life be that simple?” I mean, I’d love to think the Dems had all the answers. Or that more photos of myself posted on the Web could be interesting to someone – anyone. Or that Bernie Sanders is God. Imagine how good it would feel to give two thumbs up to Patrick Leahy and then go back to bed – or the bottle. And just think how much of a relief it would be to let yourself say this to the Vermont political world: “I think we should just give Peter Welch some time.”
Life would be easy. I would, for example, be really content with the do-nothing legislature. I’d think Peter Freyne was still relevant. I wouldn’t notice Jim Douglas’ doublespeak. I’d think it was sunny and warm today and everyday.
Yep, now it’s all coming back to me. I’m the guy who didn’t drink the Vermont Kool-Aid. I’m the fart at the party. I’m the hair in the Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I’m the udder pus in the Cabot Cheese. I’m the man without a political party.
I’m just Snarky Boy.
Ready. Aim. Fire.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wow. This gardening thing ain’t half bad. Look how much fun we were having! Boy, I’ll tell you, the ladies of the house never come out to dance like that with painters. Never. It must be something about the soil and the nature of it all.
Okay, okay, so it wasn’t all one big nude dance and a face full of bong hits. Hardly. It was fucking work. And the only lady who came out to visit with us was the madam of the house who dressed in the kind of cartoonish neck to toe gentry garb that one can regularly see on House Speaker Gaye Symington. Yeah, you know the style: The kind that screams, “I am really, really uptight and proper.” Quick, someone hand her a laxative.
But, with her lips held as tight as everything else in her body, the oh-so-proper lady of the house pointed demonstratively here and there as she rattled off the names of plants I’d never heard of. At that moment, my only task was to keep from being a smartass, keep my mouth shut and aid in the continuing charade that the foreman of this crew had assembled the most expert mulch movers in all of Vermont. Oh yeah, baby, we’re good.
Soon enough, the finger pointing and flower name-dropping would end and off she’d go, back into the mansion of leisure where – from time to time – we’d find her sneaking peeks at our progress. I’m guessing that she didn’t have any pants on at those moments. But it’s just a guess.
I’m going to give this the four or five days I promised and not a day more. Well, unless they ask me to leave before then, a not-so-unlikely scenario if I continue to confuse weeds with prized perennials. Oops. Or, more likely, if I decide to become a wise-ass with the lady of the house in an attempt to squeeze a moment of spontaneity out of her. It’s got to be in there somewhere. And why, oh why, do people like that make me want to find it?
The good news is that landscapers – like painters – enjoy an after work romp through the bars. And the better news is that the politicos seemed to be out in full force last night, all revved up about the quickening pace of the legislative session as the end nears. And the best news is that the liquor was doing its trick on these fellas and their lips were singing into the ears of Snarky Boy. Oh how they like to play, and here’s what was on their minds:
* On the issue of who in the hell the Dems will put up to run against Governor Douglas, one insider knowingly offered one name that I haven’t heard yet: Chuck Ross. Yep, the Chuck Ross who’s been attached to Senator Patrick Leahy for years and, before that, was a legislator and, even before that, was a farmer. Nice credentials for a Dem that will be largely sacrificial. Ross, according to this person in the know, won’t have much to lose since he can always climb back on the Leahy gravy train after taking one for the team in an effort to put some dents in the Douglas armor. It’s this lack of a fall-back plan that will stop the other rumored candidates from walking off the end of the political dock by taking on Douglas, especially Jeb Spaulding, Deb Markowitz and Bill Sorrell. But, remember, there are always what the insiders are calling the “retreads,” Parker and Dunne. Yawn.
* The biggest source of entertainment for the inside the Statehouse crowd yesterday came from the attempts by the right-to-life wingnuts to attach their parental notification bill onto the medical marijuana legislation. Hey, at least they can recognize winning legislation when they see it. Because that’s what this act of desperation was all about. It’s a cold and lonely time for the right-wingers at the Statehouse – unless you live in the Governor’s office – and they tried to jump on the moving pot train to pretend they’re getting somewhere. Good luck with that. And Speaker Symington did the stunningly obvious thing of declaring that the two pieces of legislation shouldn’t be mixed. Duh. But I guess if you’re a Statehouse rat these kinds of ironies make you giggle. Whatever.
* I asked a right-leaning lobbyist if there was anything the super-majority Dems have done this session to squeeze Douglas. His response? Hearty laughter and one big “hell no!” And then he made a reference to the Dems and their recent attempts to make an issue out of that the fact that the official vehicle that Douglas is driven around in was a day overdue on its registration. “If that’s all they’ve got, bring it on,” was his conclusion. He’s got a point. That vehicle thing was just stupid. And, as usual, Douglas made them look stupid for trying to make it an issue. His response? “It’s not my car.” Come on, Dems, you can do better than that.
* Finally, I asked an elected Dem why House-leader Symington was getting more flack than Senate-leader Shumlin. “Because,” he said with a grin, “Shumlin’s more fun.” And, I might add, he buys beers for the boys at McGillicuddy’s. I think Gaye needs to borrow that limitless credit card from her millionaire hubby, Chuck Lacy, and get to the bars if she wants to salvage the session – reputation wise, that is. Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t hurt if the Dems tried to really address and fight for an issue from time to time. Okay, maybe just once. Yeah, we’ll start there. Good luck with that.
Oh hell, I’ve got to get to work. And what a day to be outside. Enjoy.
[Email me at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com]
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
And why, I hear you asking, is Snarky Boy in such a hurry this morning? Well, thanks for asking. Because in my night of reverie (I know, I know, Mom, it was a Tuesday night but I was bored), I bumped into a most fun-loving group of local landscapers who were letting it rip after a frantic day of “prepping the gardens” for the kind of people who hire other people to – well – prep their gardens.
And what do you get when you mix an overworked landscaping crew, an underemployed painter, and more than a few games of fun-loving pool with beer as the golden lubricator? A job, motherfuckers. Yep. The Snarky Boy is donning a new hat today as a landscaper to the rich. Imagine that.
It’s what we at the bottom of the working barrel call a “win-win” situation. They need a live body with four working limbs and I need some work to hold me over until I start my summer of re-painting Liberty Street. Nice to meet you, fellas. And off we’ll go…
I, of course, know nothing about landscaping. But I know how to get on my knees (don’t ask) and I know how to manage a shovel, rake and wheelbarrow. I was told last night that my primary task would be mulch moving. Whatever. Just show me the money.
Someday, you know, I’m going to get a real job that is a couple more rungs up the ladder from the equivalent of a prison work crew. I promise. But, for now, I’m just wondering where in the hell my non-white overalls are for this kind of work. I can’t, you know, show up looking like a painter who’s just lost in the gardens. The police would likely be called --- that or the State’s mental health unit. And would they believe me if I declared my name to be Chaunce?
But, before I ransack the creepy closet for something gardener-like to wear, let’s rip through some news:
Bush vetoed the Dems war-funding plan. No surprise there. But how gross was it to hear Bush talk about “early withdrawals”? Ew. Sorry, George, but that’s what Laura dreams about. Well, actually, she probably hopes you never enter. I can here her now: “Oh, George, can’t you go do Condi again?”
But the most hysterical part of Bush’s silly little veto message was his reference to an early withdrawal plan leading to “chaos” in Iraq. What the fuck? Does this man ever watch the news? Ladies and gentlemen, we are a nation being led by a complete and total ass-face. And, yes, it is time to hit the panic button. Now.
Oh yeah, that panic button is the rather orderly process called impeachment. And, oh yeah, the navel-gazing Dems still think it’s an irrational option to an ape-shit crazy maniac. Go figure.
Speaking of the Dems, get ready to watch them fold like a cheap suit in this little game of chicken they’re playing with Bush. In fact, the rhetoric of retreat that they speak so well has already begun. Joe Biden, for example, is now calling the “deadlines” in the funding bill mere “target dates.” Yep. Beep, beep, beep and back they go. That was hard to predict. Not.
Oh, and how is that great Leahy attack on the Justice Department going? While the Vermont Dems continue to piss themselves with excitement over St. Pat’s national huffing and puffing, let me remind them that the prosecutors who were fired remain fired and Gonzales is still proudly showing up to work everyday as the Attorney General. So about the only thing that has changed is that the Vermont liberal elite has now added another ring around St. Pat’s halo. Yawn.
So are you starting to see the pattern here, boys and girls? The people – yeah us – see very clearly that this war must be stopped now and that Bush must be chased from the White House. But the Dem ninnies who are supposed to be representing us just keep doing anything and everything BUT what we’re asking for. Instead, they’re posing and preening for the cameras in one desperate attempt after another to act like they’re listening and feeling our pain.
Yo Pat, Bernie and Peter: Fuck the hearings. We want action. And we want it now.
Finally, speaking of con games, the New York Times’ Andrew Revkin wrote a nice little article on Sunday that poked some mighty fine holes in this stupid “carbon-neutral” game that our own Peter Welch is so faithfully playing. Yeah, you know the game, it’s where rich kids like Pete pay to pollute. It’s the latest in the great liberal-guilt-reduction game.
Here’s how Revkin quotes Dennis Hayes of Earth Day fame (another silly hoax – one fucking day?) on the carbon-neutral scam:
The worst of the carbon-offset programs resemble the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences back before the Reformation. Instead of reducing their carbon footprints, people take private jets and stretch limo, and then think they can buy an indulgence to forgive their sins.
Yep, that’s how millionaires like Welch think. Life’s one big payoff!
Speaking of millionaires, I’ve got to go pull their weeds. Perhaps I’ll take a piss where I’m not supposed to….
Snark on. And keep writing me at: VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The good news is that I’m in one foul snarky-assed mood. Yep. Triple dose of snarkiliciousness coming your way. Buckle up.
Let’s start with Peter Welch. What the fuck is it about this guy that just makes me want to hate him? Oh yeah, he’s the embodiment of every little prick-know-it-all that we all knew in school. He was the kid, for example, who always had his homework done and – worse – joined the teacher in giving the rest of us that smug little look that said: “Why are you underachieving?”
And for purposes of my own battered self-esteem (fuck you, Wordpress), I’m going to ignore the fact that Welch went on to be a congressman and I’m an underemployed painter for now. I mean, who cares if that “why are you underachieving?” look was a sixth-grade prophecy? I can still hate him for it, you know. Hey, why stop underachieving now, baby.
Welch is on my mind because I was just absolutely tortured by the interview the increasingly inarticulate Anthony Pollina did with him on WDEV this afternoon. Welch basically practiced the art of filibustering with Pollina, gobbling up the minutes with his whiny little voice regurgitating the same old same old. Yawn.
Here’s a recap: It’s all Bush’s fault. Everything. Never mind that the Dems have been handing Bush those “blank checks” that Peter pretends to be opposed to. Oh yeah, and never mind that even though Peter the Pelosi-Puppet blames everything on Bush and is convinced he’s trashed the Constitution, broken laws and the nation’s trust, he doesn’t think impeachment is a good idea. Go figure.
And of course Pollina and his three-steps behind thinking never could quite catch up with Welch’s rambling to ask him anything challenging – let alone coherent. Sometimes I think the Progs are Progs just because it seems fashionable and hip rather than because they have any fundamental beliefs to set themselves apart from the two-party duopoly. Because why else would Pollina, the sleeping granddaddy of the Progs now that Bernie dances so comfortably with the Dems, be so bland and unchallenging to the Dem congressman? I mean, Welch gets more grief in the mainstream media than he got going toe-to-toe with the Prog man. Weird.
Speaking of Welch and grief, it’s nice to see that the Vermont impeachment crowd is, indeed, taking aim at Welch this week. Well, kind of. Because the first thing they’re planning to do is aim to knock on Welch’s door and request a little chat. I guess they’ve got a lot of time on their hands because it’s pretty damn clear that Peter will pull out his auto-responder-template and say something really close to these words (accompanied, of course, by the grade school look discussed earlier): “Oh, there’s no one in Vermont who is working harder against the presidency of George Bush than I am.”
But then he’ll go into a litany of hearings, bills, and anecdotes that will put the room into nothing short of a deep state of somnolence, only able to come back to semi-consciousness at the sound of his goddamn dog barking because it’s not only bored, too, but it also has to take a piss.
And then Welch will make his first major stumble of his term – notwithstanding his war-funding vote and his shameful pursuit of the Bush autograph – and blurt out these uncharacteristically honest lines: “You know, I owe my current job to two beings: That damn dog and President Bush.”
It’s a good thing most everyone in the room will be fast asleep and miss this rare moment of Peter candor. Too bad.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Peter the Pelosi-Puppet will be meeting with the impeachment crowd later this week so he can be annoyingly condescending to them and have yet another opportunity to take a warm piss on the left. Thanks for coming!
Unfortunately, given the chipper-chirpy nature of the impeachment leadership, the warm piss will be greeted with little more than enthusiastic “thank yous” all around and a promise to continue to be oh-so-fucking happy to stop their lives, spend their time and money, and otherwise inconvenience themselves so that Welch can continue to ignore them.
They won’t, for example, be the least bit insulted by Peter’s use of the old trick amongst smarmy representatives that goes like this: Tell the angry mob to take their anger elsewhere but to keep in touch and – most importantly – keep the pressure on. It’s like yelling to the schmuck knocking at the door that you’ve got no intention of answering it but keep knocking!
Let’s hope the impeachment folks don’t fall for the old trick and, instead, refuse to leave the very nice meeting until Peter does what he should instead of issuing them more democracy homework. But, sadly, I think the impeachment movement has come to its dead end. Like the Vermont antiwar movement, the passions and dreams of this movement will be largely extinguished by the three-dollar-bill promises and faux-sincerity of Welch. And the closer we get to the next election, the less the libs are going to want to rock the boat. They’ve got Kool-Aid to make, baby! Not to mention Bush-bogeyman posters!
It’s the elections that matter, we’ll all soon be told over and over again. Forgetting, of course, that not much seems to be happening between the elections. Well, other than rearranging the deck furniture on the sinking ship. Gurgle. Gurgle.