Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Georgian Holidays

Oh great, you’re still here. At least that’s what I thought when I checked the stats to this neglected site. Seems as though there are plenty of Snarky admirers checking and re-checking to get their latest dose of snarky drivel. So, fine, here you go:

If you’re a music fan, listen to Zoe Keating. That’s all I have to say. And since I know you’re on a computer I know you’ll figure out a way to find her and listen to her. She’s haunted my existence during these rather bizarre holi-days.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: I listened to her nearly non-stop in my 24-hour drive to North Georgia to visit my family last week. I know I shouldn’t be driving 24-hours non-stop but, if you must, blame Zoe. The woman is a fucking genius. And it was nothing short of an honor to be simply driving to her most beautiful music.

Life in North Georgia is like you’d expect life in North Georgia to be: weird. Let’s just put it this way: it ain’t Vermont. And that goes both ways, good and bad. The North Georgians are rural like Vermonters. They have their pride in Georgian ways. And they have their extended families, rituals, and familial pride. And if that isn’t “good” enough for you, check out the above photo of my family’s annual holiday mud wrestling tournament. Yee-fucking-hah.

Since I was once “one of them,” I’ve got a ticket to ride. I can put on the necessary southern drawl faster than you can say “fix’n.” And it helps, too, to break down the distrust that envelopes anyone and everyone who dares to break the southern code by leaving the southern regions. But they like know anyone who leaves will be back. Sure, it might be when I’m sixty-five and can’t take the fucking northern weather any more, but they’re banking on the return.

That’s not to say they’re happy about it, either. Once betrayed, always betrayed. Why do you think so many lunatics still fly that goddamn rebel flag down there? Hint: They still feel betrayed. That, or if you want to be really real about it, they’re fucking idiots. Personally, I’m banking on the later.

The problem, of course, is that they’re also nice folk. And we all know from the Vermont experience what nice folk and racism/homophobia can amount to. Can you say: Take Back Vermont? I knew you could.

I guess that’s the problem with this nation as a whole. We know how to hate with a prideful smile. Worse, we know how to kill with a righteous rage. And we’re all too often wrong. Dead wrong. But we can find the shallowest of shallow reasons to make it all seem “right.”

But, I’m happy to report, even the North Georgians are turning against Bush and his ridiculous sinking ship of state. That, however, doesn’t mean they’re ready to embrace a Democrat as a replacement. Right now, they’re just seeing Bush as some kind of bad Republican apple, spoiling the whole barrel.

Having said that, I must say I agree with their lip-curling snarl at the mere mention of any of the so-called Democratic front-runners for 2008. Hillary’s an ass. And a big one at that. Edwards is yet another guilt-ridden moneyed “liberal,” all too willing to say whatever he thinks is most popular rather than what is most meaningful. And how can any of us ever forget that he walked sidestep with John Kerry? That alone should stain him for life. And then, of course, there’s Obama. While he’s currently every liberal’s wet dream, none of them have any clue who the fuck Obama is in the first place. Worse, who can tell me what Obama stands for? What has he fought for? Where does he draw his ideological lines? So far, all I’ve seen out of Obama is one hell of a public relations campaign, replete with all the necessary distancing from the issues and opinions that might actually mean something.

Sure, Obama spoke out against the war when he was running for the U.S. Senate. But what has Obama done as a U.S. Senator to stop the war now that he’s one of a hundred in a political body that can do things like – say – cut off the funding for this illegal and immoral war? The answer is NOTHING. But, strangely, that hasn’t stopped many liberals from nearly-unquestionably jumping on the Obama bandwagon.

To me, there’s nothing more telling about the dearth of liberal thought than the rush to the Obama bandwagon with nary a bit of substance to his substance-less crusade. Sadly, it’s another example of the liberals thirst for merely imitating conservatives. They see, for example, a Reagan or a Bush and then think they need to create the same kind of empty vessel to counter them. It apparently hasn’t dawned on them that their ideology is based in realism and that their politics should be based in the same concrete fixations. Instead, they seem to always be trying to play a game that the Republicans have already mastered. And, like all mere imitators, they realize too late that the master has re-created the rules when they finally think they’ve figured them out. And around and around it goes.

But what does this have to do with North Georgia? A lot, actually. And I’ll flesh it all out in future posts. For now, however, let me say: it’s nice to be back. I’ve been writing up a storm but, for better or worse, those words have been published elsewhere under other names. Now that things are a bit more settled, I’m hoping to be Snarky a bit more regularly.

As always, I look forward to your feedback.

Snark on.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Bush Family's Crocodile Tears

Okay, now we’re supposed to feel sorry for the Bush family because that doddering old fuck, George the Senior, got all teary eyed at a tribute for his under-achieving son, Jeb the mere Governor. Give me a break. Let him weep! Let the whole family weep! And while they’re weeping, let them think of the tens of thousands of people who’ve been killed because George the Junior’s idiotic and murderous insistence on persisting on a policy every sane and caring human being knew had gone awry from the moment of its inception.

But wait, the snarky strings of love and kindness are starting to be played. Perhaps the old man does deserve a moment of compassion. Remember, he was the guy the rightwing of the Republican Party called a big pussy for retreating in Iraq in the early 1990s. And it was the cynical plans of Cheney, Rumsfeld and his dopey little son that were meant to avenge Senior’s rather “wimpy” approach to world domination. I mean, come on, we’re the U.S. of Fucking-A, baby. There’s no backing down. No changing course, only staying the course, whether it’s a war, capitalism, deficits, or inequality. In their minds, you sink the fucking ship before you ever contemplate turning the rickety bastard around. Ivy League boys NEVER admit their mistakes because – well – Ivy League boys are taught that they DON’T make mistakes. It’s as simple as that.

Bush Junior’s political – and ethical – misadventures in Iraq and foreign policy in general are ripping apart the Bush family like his alcoholism, boorish behavior and bumbling business dealings never could. Let’s face it, he’s been a walking family time bomb from the first time his privileged lips touched his first Scotch or his little prick nose snorted that first line of coke. Ah, and he finally found the stage to not only sink the Bush ship but the nation’s ship as well! Oh yeah, baby, stay the course! Stay the course!

Yes, Bush Senior should be crying. In fact, I’d say he’s coming a bit late to the crying party. Those of us with a modicum of common sense and compassion have been crying since that fateful day in March of 2003 when George Junior set this nation on this most perilous course of war, devastation and alienation.

So, welcome Daddy Bush. It must be hard to see a son fuck up so badly. But you’re in the best position to convince him to step aside before he messes things up even more. Now wipe those tears away and get to work saving the nation from you son’s continued blunders. It might even put a smile on your face.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

'Tis the Season

Oh shit, not another blank page. I’d rather be staring at a blank wall to paint this morning. But no such luck. The inside jobs are getting harder and harder to come by, especially with the economy turning to shit and every whack job without a job thinking they’re a painter. Yep, it’s a painter’s glut out there. Whatever.

Luckily, my finger healed adequately to get in some extra outside jobs during these last few weeks of w arm weather. And now, lucky you, it looks like it’ll be another winter of writing. With some extra cash in the bank and some time on my hands, I’m hoping to finish up a couple projects, spread the word wealth via my “other” name, and spread a whole lot of Snarky cheer. Stay tuned, my dear friends. Stay tuned.

My hobby of late has been to exercise John Odum over at the tight-assed Green Mountain Daily (see photo above). Poor guy, he obviously doesn’t get out much so I kind of took on a project to at least get his plump heart racing from time to time. It’s really not that hard. All I have to do is start spreading the snark amongst his sleepy diatribes and fawning fellow yawners and Odum goes all whacky. I think we’re up to about four Snarky aliases that Odum has frantically deleted from the roll over there.

I know, I know, it’s a really stupid hobby. But I get such a kick out of imagining Odum working himself up into a lather as he realizes his precious little site has been snarkified once again. Last Friday night, for example, it took Odum all of about 30 minutes to pull the plug on my “Baraka” alias. And that was only about 30 minutes after he yanked my “Abbey” login. He yanked that one while I was having a rather civil exchange with the Progressive darling – ponytail and all! – David Zuckerman.

Poor Odum, he just hates to lose control. But, please, no one spoil the secret by telling him he never had any. Let’s see if he can figure it out on his own.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Whining Odum

Please, will someone tell Johnny Odum over at Green Mountain Daily to just fucking grow up already? Why is it that when I read him I feel like I’m watching a kid who’s dressing up in his daddy’s clothes? The poor fella, he thought having his own blog was going to give him some talent. But it doesn’t work that way, Johnny Boy. In fact, it works in the opposite direction: first you’ve got to have some talent and then you create a successful project.

Today, Odum’s whining about Darren Allen of the Vermont Press Bureau. And while he’s trying his hardest to make a coherent political argument, little Johnny Odum just sounds like a jealous little whiner. Come on, Odum, we know why you’ve got a hard-on for Allen: He totally dissed you in his piece about Vermont bloggers. Better yet, Allen totally understands that you’re not worth taking seriously and he stuck his fucking finger in your eye. And now you’re going to nitpick him to death under the thinly disguised hoax of intellectual political discourse. Whatever.

In response, Allen offers a bit of a response in his blog today. And the best part of the response is that he refuses to name Odum or the Green Mountain Daily. Ha! Take that, little Johnny!

For some reason, Odum thinks that because he’s got a couple dozen readers everyone’s supposed to treat him like he’s Vermont’s Tim Russert or something. It’s totally fucking bizarre. Here’s a little cheat-sheet into little Johnny’s approach to media criticism: Quote him positively and he loves you, ignore him or criticize him and he hates you. It’s really not that hard.

And let’s not forget about little Johnny’s day job: “associate” membership coordinator for a local nonprofit, the Vermont Natural Resources Council. Wow! What credentials! How could Allen possibly deny you full access to his every column? Fuck, he can’t even run the department; he’s just a goddamn associate.

In fact, little Johnny isn’t even taken seriously at VNRC. Why else would they have skipped over him and hired Jake Brown of The Bridge last week to run their communications department? Yep, little Johnny wants the state’s media elite to take him seriously in the realm of journalism and political thought but his own bosses at VNRC gave him the total blow-off when it came to an in-house promotion.

Poor Johnny, no one’s taking him seriously. Thank God.

To Hell With Tom & Katie, Bush Weds Putin!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Hey, you. Yeah, you: Assface. You’re the quintessential Vermont voter, aren’t you? Somehow, you see Douglas and Sanders perfectly in tune with one another. Like I said, you’re just an assface. Or wait, maybe you’re just fucking around. Maybe the Assface Voter of Vermont is just playing one big joke on us. Of course, that’s got to be it. Why else would Brian Dubie keep getting elected?

I’m starting to get it. Assface Vermont Voter is very funny, indeed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Talk of the Town

If I were Peter Freyne or any of the other lowlife homeboy bloggers out there, I’d begin my weekly blogging fest with an oh-so-proud reference to the Darren Allen article in the Times-Argus that prominently included Snarky Boy – photo of this homepage and all! But I’m not that pathetic. Whatever. But I will add that I found Allen’s dismissal of the whiner-bloggers around here (you know who you are) quite delicious. You know, the bloggers who brag about some decentralized utopia but censor the voices of dissent and complain about foul language. At least Allen saw through them. Now piss off.

When I last signed off I told you that you’d be hearing about me. Well, that wasn’t even the story I was referring to. There’s a bigger national outlet tracking the words and deeds of the Snarkmaster and I’m hoping that piece will be out soon. Trust me, you’ll see it.

But, fuck all that, let’s get to the real stuff.

I hope you all did your Vermont democratic duty yesterday and watched the debates on VPT. Good grief, what a nightmare. By the end of the last debate I needed to wring my head out like a filthy washcloth. Have you ever seen such nonsense?

The biggest nightmare by far was watching Brian Dubie act like a 3rd grader trying to make his first-ever group presentation. How fucking painful was that? And would someone please tell him that thumbing through documents for a television audience really doesn’t work. Why does it feel like he’s some cartoon character who jumped off the page and into reality for our entertainment pleasure? But then you realize this dunce is for real and that he’s actually been elected twice to the state’s second highest office. I found myself repeating this mantra throughout his painful performance: Oh fuck, he’s real.

Let’s face it, Dubie looked and acted more like one of the many wingnuts than an incumbent. I’m mean, Cris Erikson could present an argument better than Dubie and she was probably stoned out of her mind.

But what I’m really wondering about is when will someone in Peter Diamondstone’s family recommend that he get a haircut? Poor fella. He makes enormous amounts of sense but he looked like he just spent the night partying with Nick Nolte. But, then again, Craig Hill’s got a nice little haircut and he still sounds absolutely whacked most of the time.

Speaking of Hill, what’s up with the Vermont Green Party? I thought the Greens were about the environment and sane social policies. But the crop of Greens running in Vermont seem to be about one conspiracy after another. If it’s not 9/11, for example, it’s voting fraud. And, trust me, when they get less than 1% of the vote tomorrow, that’ll be a conspiracy, too. Petra Kelly’s rolling over in her grave over these clowns.

And the best news of all? It’s all over tomorrow. Not a day too soon.

Here are your winners: Sanders, Welch, Douglas, and Dubie. Vermonters just love the same-old, same-old, no matter what else they tell you.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fuck Shit Up

Oh please, oh please, oh please, can the election season just be over. As in: now. I don’t know what’s worse, the fuck-face politicians telling us a bunch of stupid shit that we all know is stupid shit or the media – especially the modern day bloggers – reporting on the stupid shit in a way that assumes it’s different and/or interesting.

Please, stop it. Stop it, now.

To be fair, let’s get into some examples. The Liberty Union’s candidate for U.S. Senate, Peter Diamondstone, was arrested at a debate a couple of weeks ago at the Vermont Law School for calling some smartass law school student at “little shit” for attempting to stop Diamondstone from taking an extra minute that he thought he deserved.

Yes, I said “arrested.” Worse, he was thrown to the ground – face down – handcuffed and booked for disorderly conduct for the small four-letter word utterance. And the crowd cheered. Remember, this is a law school crowd for crying out loud. Hope for the future? Fuck that.

But let’s play the game of reality for a second here. It’s a simple true or false game that I’m sure even your dumb ass can manage to get a passing grade in.

Thus, welcome to the Snarky Boy’s first-ever “are you fucking with me” quiz:

1) Which is worse: Bush making a decision that led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of humans – Iraqis and Americans – or Peter Diamondstone calling rich law school students “little shits” for denying him an extra minute to pursue his democratic rights?

2) Which is worse: Diamondstone calling rich law school students “little shits” or Bernie Sanders – the self-proclaimed man of the people – doing absolutely nothing while his former political soul mate has his face smashed to the ground while being arrested for saying “little shits”?

Okay, okay, you get my point. And now I hope you understand why I hope the whole thing ends soon.

But wait, let’s turn the channel to see what some of the so-called “liberal” bloggers are writing about in these last days of the election season: Hmm, there’s Peter Freyne talking about – what else? – himself. And there’s Odious Odum trying to convince us that Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Dean, Clinton & Lieberman would have been oh-so different (yawn). And then there’s – oh, fuck it, you get my point. Let’s just hope it’s all over soon.

If you’re looking for a Snarky Boy endorsement, here you go: Fuck shit up.

Take it or leave it. Or better yet, join me. Because this is no time to ponder your wardrobe, your latest dance move, or the size of your fucking thighs. People are dying.

Stop reading about it and do something about it. You’ll be reading about my activities soon. Yah-fucking-hoo!

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm Back. And Brian Dubie is Still an Idiot

Psst….hey… it safe to come back? I tried to erase my trail long enough to elude the ninnies. My goodness, talk about a lack of a sense of humor. And how seriously can we take Vermont politics for crying out loud? I mean, we’re a state that elects Jim Douglas for governor and Bernie Sanders for Senate. What the hell is that about? Don’t get me started.

Snarky Boy’s been busy. Real busy. But I’ve mostly been laying low and thinking and re-thinking my launch here. And I’ve come up with one conclusion: Fuck off.

There. Now let’s get on with the show.

Brian Dubie is an idiot.

That was easy. And I bet it won’t even cause a controversy. I mean, who could argue with that?

But what I don’t care about is Brian Dubie’s schedule. And Matt Dunne, his Democratic opponent, sure cares about it. Unless you’ve been on a trip to see the sun that is totally fucking AWOL here in Vermont, you know that Dunne has now made his entire campaign about incumbent Brian Dubie’s schedule.

Here’s Snarky Boy’s take on their very few debates of late:

Dunne: You’re never in your office.

Dubie: I don’t need to be in my office.

Dunne: But you’re never in your office.

Dubie: But I don’t need to be in my office.

Dunne: Well, I’m absolutely sure that you’re not in your office very much.

Dubie: Well, I’m absolutely sure I’ve told you that I don’t need to be in my office that much.

Dunne: Show me your schedule?

Dubie: Show me yours?

You get the picture (or lack thereof).

Dunne thinks Dubie hasn’t been working hard enough. But what Dunne doesn’t understand is that most Vermonters are thrilled that Dubie isn’t working hard enough. Because Dubie’s the kind of guy that if he really tries to work hard things will just get really, really fucked up. I’ll bet his wife even hates it when Dubie announces that he’ll be hanging around the house for the weekend to get things done because on Monday morning all that will be around are little Dubie messes everywhere. He’s the kind of guy, for example, who’d mow down the flowers thinking they were weeds and he was getting things done. But he’d flash that Dubie grin that says “I may be stupid but I’m happy stupid” grin and then his wife would remember the paychecks he miraculously brings home and kiss his sorry ass goodbye for the day. And, like the rest of us, she’ll have no fucking idea where he’s going. Worse, unlike Matt Dunne, she won’t care.

So, Mr. Dunne, please hear this: Would you rather a rightwing lunatic like Dubie be off studying his navel, flying unwitting passengers to who-knows-where, and otherwise pretending to be engaged or foisting his rather bizarre blend of idiot-boy-king-right-wingism on us? Please, Mr. Dubie, keep flying those planes for as long as you’re elected. And consider the public paycheck our way of saying: stay away from your office.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Here were the two top headlines at the New York Times online today:

1) Senate, 100-0, Backs Budget for Pentagon; and

2) Democrats Seee Strength in Bucking Bush.

Now, please, am I the ONLY one who finds this funny? And you won't hear a peep about any of it on the good Dem sites. The motherfuckers will back the warmonger's budget but attack the warmonger. Democratic confusion. Pure and simple.

Banned and Not So Confused

Wow. That was easy. Snarky Boy has managed to be banned from most of the liberal Vermont blogging sites within a mere few weeks of operation. Ha! I’ll put that on my resume. Frankly, I’m surprised this nest of ninnies allowed as many opinions to their left as they did. But, like the good cowardly liberals that they are, they’ve effectively donned their Stalinist tendencies and purged themselves of a need to heed anything to the vast left of the middle from which they stand – er, make that: sit. Standing would imply a bit too much action on their part.

The last of the ninnies to officially bounce Snarky Boy from his site is none other than Peter Freyne of Seven Daze. I guess he doesn’t like to be reminded of his dopey past and lethargic present. Whatever.

Like the previous liberal bloggers who’ve so joyfully practiced censorship, Freyne did it quietly, without notice to his fawning readers. It’s easier that way. While I know it’s a piece of cake to rush the gates and post under different names, I’m not going to do it. I proved my point. Now they can have their echo chamber and their oh-so wonderful beliefs that there’s nothing to the left of their pretty little opinions.

They will, for example, drool over Bernie, cream their panties over Lamont, and certainly get on the Hillary bandwagon when called to do so. Sadly, that’s the Vermont liberal way. It’s an insider’s club that is more stifling than any liberal movement in America. As they’ve proven with their blogger-censorship, you either praise and get in line or you get banned – all in the name of political change!

Luckily, Snarky Boy’s got some large national venues to play to – I’ll let you in on those in the near future. I tried to play in Vermont with the understanding that it would not last due to the clubbish nature of liberalism here. And I was right. Vermont likes to pretend to be alternative but it’s really all for show. The truth is that Vermont liberals are as scared and compliant as the sheep that used to roam here.

But I ain’t knocking at that door no more.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just Read It

Oh boy, Snarky Boy hates work. And I’m not talking about painting, either. I wish I were painting. Those were the good old days. I’d paint by day and come and kick your sorry asses around at night. No such luck now.

With a bum hand and newly acquired fear of all things sharp, I’ve now landed what most of you would consider a “real job.” And it sucks. The good news is that it involves writing mostly, with some research thrown in for good measure. The bad news is that it also involves an insane timeline, requiring all too much of Snarky Boy’s attention. But the best news is that it pays well. It would have to given the ownership of my mind that it requires. And Snarky Boy ain’t cheap.

But to hell with that gossip. Let’s talk politics. It’s certainly no surprise that the only real race for elected office this year involves the one where no incumbents or currently elected federal politicians are involved. Yep, that would be the race to fill Bernie’s seat being waged by the She-General Rainville and the Nerd Boy Welch.

The brainless partisans out there would have you believe that there is a good choice here. The good Republicans can’t stop slobbering on themselves for landing Rainville as a candidate under their umbrella and the good Democrats can’t stop slapping their own backs for getting behind such a “nice guy.”

But the truth is that they both kind of suck. Rainville simply can’t be trusted because she wasn’t even sure if she was a Republican as recently as last year and now she’s a gung-ho Republican. Worse, she still seems to think the Iraq war that she so proudly sent her charges to is a good idea. Fuck that.

Welch, on the other hand, is your typical mainstream Democrat who seemingly has his hand on the political weathervane more than his own beliefs and passions. He’ll bitch and moan about everything Republicans do AFTER it’s obvious that his polling data apparently confirm that what the Republicans did is, indeed, unpopular. Some leadership.

Like I said, the choice just sucks in this race. But it would be very hard to believe that Welch could blow it in an election year that should see widespread Democratic gains nationwide. And I think Welch got a huge electoral gift recently when Governor Douglas apparently lost his marbles and picked a fight with Vermont’s congressional delegation over federally-protected forestlands.

Douglas was obviously trying to throw a bone to his far-right supporters but quickly realized that that’s one flimsy branch to be hanging from. I mean, come on, have you ever heard the nutball at the Vermont Traditions Coalition, Steve McLeod, speak? Here’s a hint: He’s convinced that ATV riding is a long-standing Vermont tradition. Like I said, he’s a nutball.

But Douglas’ slip into the wacko never-never-land of right wing lunatics will certainly cost him some support come November, especially if Scudder Parker can figure out a way to coerce a camera or two to actually cover his campaign. And with the Douglas/Parker campaign tightening up a bit, that means shorter political coattails for Rainville to ride on. Thanks, Jim.

My prediction: Welch will win and we’ll all be bored with him.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vermont Media Incorporated; Graff Jumps for the Money, His Colleagues Say "Hooray!"

Did you catch the news that the former head of the Associated Press in Vermont and current host of Vermont Public Television’s news weekly, Chris Graff, just accepted a high-paying job with the National Life Group in Montpelier? If you did, you no doubt read the fawning, uncritical version about his jump to feed from the corporate trough. You had to, because there were no other versions, not even in our state’s so-called alternative publications. Surprise, surprise.

Unfortunately, it’s another sad example of the tight-knit nature of Vermont’s incestuous little media club. It’s the media club that acts more like a cheerleader for the hype of Vermont rather than digging for the reality. It’s the media club that never, ever asks a hard question of our incumbent politicians (and you wonder why they serve for life). It’s the media club that rarely embarks on investigative reporting. And it’s the media club that loves to backslap themselves and bring the *
And the good members of the club played along. You’d expect the bland reporters at the Times-Argus and Free Press to run with this story in the same way they run with most stories: print the press release and go back to sleep. But I can’t seem to shake the naiveté that our “alternative” publications would dig a bit deeper on this story. Alas, they didn’t. Peter Freyne at Seven Daze and Shay Totten at the Vermont Guardian covered the story just like you’d expect a butt-kisser to cover it: Yeah, Graff! Go, Graff! Our hero!

But wait, I can hear you saying, what’s the story beyond washed-up media guy lunges for the golden parachute of corporate life? Well, try these lines of reasoning:

* It was only a couple of years ago that National Life laid off a slew of employees and sent their jobs to India. And they handled it very poorly, breaking promises with long-time employees and treating them as if they were lepers in their last days of work for a “local” company they thought they’d be with for their entire working careers. And the men who orchestrated it: Brian Vachon, the man Graff is replacing and Tom MacLeay, National Life’s CEO, a man described by Graff as his “long-time close friend.” Well, how about asking Graff about what he thought about his friends’ treatment of their employees a couple years back? Or how about asking him if he would have handled it differently? Or if he had compassion for them?

* The Vermont media club also could have used the Graff announcement to question the ridiculous notion that the Vermont media is some liberal haven. If the head of the AP and the host of the state’s most popular news weekly is best friends with Republican corporate honchos and quite comfortably takes a job with them, how liberal/lefty can he be? The answer: He’s not, and the real problem with the media – other than their clubby nature – is their corporate mentality.

* What about the conflict of interest regarding Graff’s announcement that he was hired by National Life but staying on as the host of VPT’s show for several more months? It was only in July that environmentalists made an appropriate stink over Natural Resources Secretary Tom Torti’s announcement that he was taking a job with the Chamber of Commerce but wanted to stick around with his current job for a few more months. And Freyne and Totten jumped all over that one. But why won’t they jump on this one? Answer: They might not get invited back. If they’ve got no problem with a National Life executive hosting a news show, why not advocate that the head of GE edit the Free Press editorial page?

* The media club could also take the Graff announcement as an incentive to look into how many Vermont journalists do what Graff is doing: burning out in journalism and moving into corporate flack jobs. What does that say about Vermont’s journalism jobs? What does it say about how current Vermont journalists behave towards corporate power when they know about this obvious career path?

The late, great Pulitzer used to say that “newspapers should have no friends.” The folks in the Vermont media seem to have misread his quote, thinking instead that newspapers are a way to MAKE friends – not to mention money. But while they continue to backslap and cajole their way around their club, the rest of us are getting the shaft by the fact that they’re not doing their jobs. Sadly, there is no muckraking in Vermont. There’s only glad-handing and press release regurgitation. And there’s absolutely nothing alternative about any of it.

Shame on you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

News Flash: Chavez Attacks Bush; Bernie's Still Grumpy

[Photo: Chavez Promoting Chomsky at the UN]

Bravo to Chavez! How refreshing to see a public figure speak their mind about Bush. If you haven’t heard, Venezuela’s leader took the podium at the UN today and called Bush “the devil.” Nice touch. But the best part was that he also took a copy of one of Noam Chomsky’s books on US hegemony to the podium with him – and held it up as he referred to it!

Now the question is, what will Bernie say about all this? Being the fair-weather friend that we know he is, I’m sure the great wall of Bernie silence will greet this news. Bernie loves the photo-ops with Chavez’s representatives when he can promise cheap oil but runs like hell when his friends out radicalize him (which ain’t hard). Don’t forget, Bernie’s too tumid to even endorse a motion to impeach Bush, let alone call him the devil he really is.

Hey Bernie, guess what? There are poor people all over the world, and their suffering, too. You say you want to be different. So start being different.

Speaking of Bernie, I was out on the town last night and bumped into a few all-too-happy Bernie supporters. You know the kind, they’re the ones who get all googly-eyed when they speak of him and rattle off the times they’ve spoken with him one-on-one and all but promising never to wash their hands after touching the old fuck. Ew.

They even got all misty-eyed when I told them about my bandaged hand and the impact it’s having on my financial well-being. Hey, liberals are easy. If I could have just kept them on the tear-jerking train, I’m sure I could have had free drinks the whole night and probably some pocket change, too. Hey, liberals are even easier after a few drinks.

But Snarky Boy came to the fore. Fuck. Sometimes I just can’t keep that bastard from taking over. And I proceeded with this line of questioning:

How can a grumpy, joyless, angry old bastard like Bernie make so many people so hopeful and happy? And I’m serious. The fact that he can pull this off is almost enough to convince me that the man’s nothing short of magical. I mean, think about it, Bernie is the last person any sane person would want to hang around with for more than the length of a short stump speech. The guy’s just all doom and gloom. Worse, he’s always pissed and never happy. And yet he’s got legions of people out marching around in their Bernie-red shirts, smiling from ear to ear, and acting like they’re out promoting some modern incarnation of “Up With People.” Sorry, but it’s just fucking weird.

There’s an old lefty political message about personifying the change you want to see in society. Now let’s pretend for a second that Bernie’s personifying the change he wants to see in society. How goddamn ugly is that? Bernie makes Castro look like fun for crying out loud; at least Castro goes to baseball games and even dances from time to time. Not Bernie. He’s just pissed. Worse, he’s pissed AND ineffective. Even worse, he’s pissed, ineffective AND he compromises himself into irrelevancy.

Personally, I keep waiting for Bernie to break out of character and declare the last 20 years nothing but a grand act of guerrilla theater that he concocted during his pot-smoking Stannard days. You know, the days when he carried Chomsky books around and called presidents the devil, just like Chavez still does today. My guess, though, is that somewhere along the way he realized just how lucrative it is to con liberals. And now he’s most certainly going to be the dourest U.S. Senator in history! And the angrier he gets, the happier his followers get.

Why can’t I just keep my fucking mouth shut? I can’t even stay in character long enough to get a free beer. Some people never learn. Oh yeah, baby, I’m the leader of that pack.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bernie Fucks Over a Friend (Again)

Fuck. I hate when I agree with Republicans. But here it goes: Why is the mainstream Vermont media letting Bernie Sanders completely off the hook when it comes to the fact that his leading national spokesperson, Willie Nelson, was just busted for possession of pot and ‘shrooms? Please, don’t get me wrong, I love the altered state more than most, but the hypocrisy of letting Bernie walk scott-free on this one is beyond ridiculous. It’s another reason why I want to be a Vermont incumbent politician when I grow up, mostly because the watchdogs of democracy – the media – in this state seems to think their job is to make icons out of our elected officials rather than covering their dastardly deeds and poking around in their nefarious affairs.

Imagine, for example, if Tarrant, Rainville, Welch, Parker or Dunne were found to be running commercials that featured a recently arrested pot-possessor? The shit would be hitting the fan and their campaigns would be spiraling into the realm of the McMullen zone. But not with incumbents. And, please, spare me the “Bernie’s not the Senate incumbent” crap. He’s the one running with the nice federal paycheck and, thus, he’s considered the incumbent. And if incumbent is too strong a word for you, try this instead: power elite. Yep, swallow that one, Bernie’s a member of the power elite, mostly because he’s been a federally elected politician for eons and he’s worth ten times the rest of us average folk. Deal with it.

If Bernie had balls, he’d come out right now and declare his support for Willie, the guy who came to Vermont to lend his support for Bernie. But Bernie ain’t that kind of a guy. Instead, Bernie will ignore Willie and probably pull the commercials featuring him faster than you can say “fair-weather friend.” And that’s the Bernie that Vermonters should know more about before we stumble into the voting booth in November.

Bernie could also stand up now and talk about the ridiculous nature of the drug laws his friend Willie was just busted under. But that’s not what Bernie’s about, either. That would be truly alternative. And that would mean sticking to his principles when his principles might endanger his political career – a place Bernie’s never, ever gone before.

The Bernie Show is about one man and one man only: Bernie. He won’t go to the mat for anyone unless he knows the cameras are rolling and it’s going to benefit his angry-ass more than anyone else in the room. And he won’t stand by a friend when a friend needs his support most.

Don’t believe me? Just try to find a word of support or concern for the man standing next to him in his commercials.

As a working painter to the left of Bernie’s nonsense, I think his political career can be summed up quite simply this way: Bernie hates people but loves himself. And we, as Vermonters, are stuck with his charade of care until the Vermont media wakes up, realizes what they’re supposed to be doing, and provides the same kind of coverage for incumbents that it provides for challengers to high elected office.

Hey Vermont media – especially Fryene – stop kissing Bernie’s ass and start kicking it once in awhile. It’s called democracy. And if it’s good enough to export to Iraq, it should be good enough to be practiced here in Vermont.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Middle Finger Mishap

Yo. I’m back. And don’t even ask what that little break was all about. Because, if you do, I’ll just say it was weird. Really weird. But suffice it to say that I’m typing with a fucking gauze wrapping on my stitched-up middle finger. I know, I know, the first thing that comes to your warped minds when I say middle finger is the infamous one-finger salute. Your sick minds want to think that Snarky Boy got cocky with my middle finger and one of those Harley fellows at my favorite watering hole took offense. Well, sorry about that, but it didn’t happen that way. Nope. It was a stupid goddamn painting accident. And let this be a lesson: When flesh runs across metal flashing, shit happens. And if those pussy Democrats would have actually passed a healthcare plan that mattered, the whole thing wouldn’t have cost me nearly two thousand dollars to stitch up. Yeah, two thousand dollars, mostly because the Doc at the radar station (that’s a Captain Beefheart reference, for those of you in the great musical void) was worried about bone damage. Bullshit. He was more worried about his medical license than any bone in my body. Trust me on that one.

There. Aren’t you glad you didn’t ask?

But I send heartfelt Snarky thank-yous to the fine folks who crammed my email box with notes of wonderment about my whereabouts. And, yes, I even enjoyed the large number of inquiries that went something like this: “Ha! I knew you’d run out of steam. I’m glad you’re gone and I hope you never come back.”

You gotta love that shit. I mean, these folks are the ones obsessively check, check, and checking to see if Snarky Boy is posting anything new but then they take more time to send me a note expressing their pleasure with what they assume is my demise. Oh baby, feel the logic.

Typing, as you can imagine, absolutely sucks now. I feel like a monkey with a mitt at a keyboard. And, no, not one of those purple-assed-baboons I liked so much at the zoos of my youth. I’m just a regular old monkey, if there’s such a thing, with a bandaged hand, an anxious mind and a throbbing hand that won’t allow me to work like I should be in this most busy time of year for painters. Good thing it’s the middle of the month because I’ve got a couple of weeks to ponder how in holy hell I’m going to pay the bills.

But the torture of the financial pinch was nothing compared to the torture of being forced to read – and not respond to – the sophomoric nonsense of the Vermont blogosphere. I’m sure, for example, you all witnessed the sheer ninniness of all the “Fred Tuttle” write-in crap. Volumes of bullshit were spilled on this one, with the great boring pontificators (especially Odum and his crowd) lecturing from on high about the merits and demerits of democracy, open processes, more processes and some more merits on the processes of democratic processes. Sorry, but that’s what they sound like to me when you get into their echo chamber of irrelevancy. Are they just trying to imitate Charlie Brown’s teacher? Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha.

I am, however, getting worried about Baruth. It’s been nearly 10 days since he posted a photo of himself on his site (besides, of course, the one that stares you down every time you visit). What’s up Phil? Getting shy over there? Remember, it’s all about you, baby. You and you alone. Don’t let us down. Because there is NO story without YOU in the center of it, Phil.

And the primary yesterday was a total fucking bore. Even though every blogger without an original thought pondered and fretted over the possibilities of “cross-over” voters in the primaries, it didn’t happen. And I knew it wouldn’t. Political elitists from all stripes have one thing in common: they don’t trust the common man and woman. But the common man and woman never pay attention to political elitists and their meaningless worries and, so, went and voted like they always do. Ho-fucking-hum.

The best irony of the primary day was that if there was any “rigging” of the ballot by anyone it was Bernie Sanders and the Democrats. They played out their little charade of letting Bernie on the primary ballot just to keep it “clean and clear” for the November ballot. And then Bernie did his famous smack down of the Dems this morning by thanking them for the 94% support but “no thanks.” Do they really think we’re all that stupid? I guess so.

The relationship between Bernie and the Dems is not too dissimilar to the relationship between the wife-beater and the wife. The wife-beater does the smack down one night and then gets all kissy face the next morning. The relationship is totally toxic but the wife is seemingly stuck for a myriad of reasons, not least of which is the comfort of the familiar – even when the familiar is so goddamn abusive. And what’s the best advice we all give the wife: Run! So, listen up Democrats: Run!

Or, if you’re not going to run, at least start asking him some serious questions. I’d suggest questions like these: What legislation have you introduced or supported that would end the Iraq war now? What legislation have you introduced or supported that would lead to the impeachment of Bush now? Why are you so joyless? If you had your way, would we all have to be as angry, humorless and just plain grumpy as you always are? And, finally, when’s the last time you begged for a hot-oil hand-job?

That would make things interesting, no?

Speaking of the primary, congrats to Eddie Munster –er, I mean – Matt Dunne for his victory in the Lite-Guv race. It must not have been easy to take on and defeat a man as popular as Huey Lewis. Huh? What? Are you serious? Oops, I was just informed that that was NOT Huey Lewis he defeated, but John Patrick (add a few more waspy names) Tracy. Sorry about that.

The best post-campaign coverage of the day came from the Burlington Free Press this morning. It was the photo of Tracy walking forlornly by Dunne at a busy Burlington intersection yesterday morning after realizing that he had been beaten to the coveted spot. And Tracy lives in Burlington! So not only did Tracy have to wake up as a loser this morning but he also had to see himself completely portrayed as a loser in the above-the-fold photo in the state’s largest newspaper. Bummer.

But now Dunne gets to face the Mr. Magoo of Vermont politics, Brian Dubie, in the general election. Worse, Dunne had to wake up on his victory day to find a headline in the morning papers touting the fact that Dubie has been called to service in Iraq as a member of the Vermont National Guard. Too bad Dunne won’t use this as evidence that Dubie’s in complete support of Bush’s stupid war. I mean, come on, how much more can a guy or girl support the war than show up for duty in Baghdad with nary a word of complaint?

And to hell with you if you believe for one second that this Dubie deployment is anything but staged. Come on. And the timing! Dunne should also start asking why regular joes are being forced to go sweat their asses off in Baghdad for 18 months while Dubie gets a ONE WEEK deployment. The joke's on us -- and the mainstream media for lapping this up like it's not the political stunt that it so obviously is.

Besides, how cruel is it to offer to send a Dubie to help the troops and it turns out to Brian Dubie? That's hardly the Dubie those poor fellas need about now. But, just like a good high, he'll be gone before they knew it.

I’ve got more to say – surprise, surprise – but my finger hurts.

I’ll be back soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rummy Don't Matter No More

Shhh. Be still. Real still. Do you hear that? Yep, that’s the hum of nonsense spilling forth from all the mainstream Democrats in their never ending attempts to fuck up an election.

You can hear it in a Peter Welch campaign ad. You can hear it in a Peter Freyne love letter masquerading as a newspaper column. And you can hear it in all the blind little Bernie supporters who keep screaming about some boogie man lurking when all I ever see is an obnoxiously rich opponent making a complete ass of himself (that would be Tarrant, folks).

Let’s face it, Democrats don’t know how to win. In fact, I’m convinced that they’ve convinced themselves that it’s not politically correct to win. Kind of like the folks in the Burlington ‘burbs who’ve convinced themselves that they shouldn’t let their kids keep score at their soccer games. Get over it, already.

Oh sure, the Democrats will almost certainly gain seats in Congress and even make some headway here in Vermont. But for those of us who actually care about essential issues like the war, the impeachment of Bush and health care, we’ve got nothing but more frustration ahead no matter which party is in control of Congress next January.

We always know where the rightwing stands. They’re all too fucking clear about their lust for power, world dominance, abuse of our civil liberties, and just sheer greed. And, in a way, it’s a relief to come up against such honesty, especially when you try to figure out what it is the mainstream Democrats stand for.

And what do the Democrats stand for? I don’t think they know the answer to that question. If you don’t believe me, consider all the nervous prattle going on right now about the Democratic call for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. This half-measure of near-nothingness is about as typical of Democratic action of late as anything.

It is an absolute no-brainer that Rumsfeld is a complete ass. In fact, I don’t even think Rumsfeld would argue that point since he seemingly takes such pleasure in the role. But he’s basically irrelevant. It wouldn’t matter if Donald-fucking-Duck were the head of the Pentagon right now because the Bush White House would be telling him where to take his stupid quacks.

But that hasn’t stopped all the electoral-season Democrats from getting up on their silly hind legs and making the removal of Rumsfeld issue number one for the week. Why? Because it’s easy. And the mainstream Democrats of today love to take it easy. Because if they ain’t taking it easy, they’re having to take a real stand. For some strange reason, that really sucks for today’s Democrats.

If the goal is to stop the war and get rid of Bush, why can't the Democrats call for an end to the war and the impeachment of Bush? This "remove Rumsfeld" stuff is just busy work, yet another half-measure from a party that continues to be afraid of boldness and apparently confused by what it wants or believes.

This is the time to be asking Democrats -- especially Bernie -- what they've done lately to stop the war and to get rid of Bush. That's what we want, isn't it? Instead, we let them off the hook easy by simply calling for the removal of Rumsfeld. Sorry, but that's a no brainier.

The truth is that Bernie hasn't done a thing to end this war. And he's very publicly refused to endorse efforts to impeach Bush. But the Vermont liberals -- led by the Freyne cheerleading squad -- are refusing to demand that he (and other top Dems) listen to, respect and ACT UPON these deeply felt opinions of Vermonters.

Think about it, when the Republicans wanted to stymie the Clinton agenda (whatever the hell that was) they didn't ask for the removal of his Health Secretary because of the blowjob he received, they asked for Clinton's removal. Likewise, the Dems shouldn't be wasting their time on Rumsfeld and, instead, aiming for the main man himself.

Let's face it, Bernie's got the easiest campaign in the nation for U.S. Senate. Tarrant is a fucking idiot, we all know that. So instead of doing the obvious and jumping on the bandwagon that can barely hold anyone else, wouldn't it make sense to start pushing Bernie to do more than he has for the left that he proclaims to be a part of? Because, as it stands now, he's taking us for granted and completely getting away with it.

Yo Democrats, the next time you're yucking it up with Bernie, why don't you ask him these simple questions: 1) What legislation have you introduced to stop the war? 2) If Bush is as bad as you say he is (and we know he is), how do you plan to remove him?

And, please, enough with this Rumsfeld nonsense. It's not going to happen and -- even if it did -- it wouldn't matter.

Trust me, the Democrats are going to fuck this election up. They may win, but they won’t know what to do if/when they do. And we only have our weak-kneed activist left to blame for it because we’ve been letting them all off the hook by cheering all the stupid shit they’re saying and not demanding REAL answers to the VERY REAL problems this nation is facing.

Mark my snarky words.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pom-Pom Patriotism

That was weird. The weekend, that is. It’s called Labor Day but, from my humble snarky perspective, I didn’t see much by way of celebrating anything close to labor. I saw commerce, plenty of that. I saw faux-patriotism, oh-so-goddamn much of that. And I saw more consumption and more patriotism. America is one big fucking party, people!

Or maybe not. Here I come, the dark force of reality once again.

Let’s start with the parade I got totally snookered into participating in. Yeah, you read that right; the Snarkmaster was actually in a parade over the weekend. And it wasn’t just ANY parade, it was the Northfield Labor Day Parade, the granddaddy of Vermont Labor Day parades, right there under the shadows of Norwich University, home of tomorrow’s killers – er, I mean – soldiers.

My involvement in this little debacle is a long story and, of course, it involves beer and the late night consumption of, well, more beer. You see, Snarky Boy’s got a bit of drumming in his past. And my drumming prowess gets really exaggerated with each beer and each hour that passes on a Saturday night out. Hell, on some weekends, by midnight I could almost convince myself that I was Gene Krupa. Oops, that reference might have dated me a bit. Let me retract that last reference and, in its place, insert Dave Krusen (that would be the drummer for Pearl Jam, folks).

Well, Snarky Boy got to drinking and talking on Saturday night and the next thing I knew I was confronted by the absolute, immediate and necessary need for someone with rhythm to sit on a Labor Day float and thump a drum for a float that will remain unnamed. In a haze of happy thoughts and inflated rhythmic prowess, I accepted the offer and even promised to attend a most ridiculous “practice session” the next morning. And here, for honesty’s sake, were the same seven words bounding about my throbbing head while I was on my way to that rehearsal on Sunday: “What in the fuck am I doing now?”

Let’s get one thing straight right now: Snarky Boy doesn’t even go to parades, let alone participate in them. Modern parades in America – especially in this “time of war” – remind me a little too much of 1930s Germany for my tastes. It’s that uniformity of thought, worship of symbols and the near-delirious cheers for all-things-American that I find more than a bit uncomfortable, especially while bullets and bombs are flying in our nation’s name.

But to actually BE in a parade is a whole different ballgame. Well, that’s not really true, because it’s the same ballgame. So, let’s put it this way, to be in the parade is like being in the same game but only on steroids. Oh yeah. You’re really, really, really in the fucking game.

As you know by now, Snarky Boy finds himself in a lot of rather odd social situations. But let me say right now that parade participants are the most bizarre human beings this odd duck has ever – ever – come across. If the Titanic had cheerleaders, these folks would have volunteered for that duty. They’d have stood there with happy smiles and pom-poms, cheering the wonders of the ship as the son-of-a-bitch filled with icy water. Go team, go!

And the happiness of it all! Ah, the joy of obliviousness! The freedom of nothingness! The weightlessness of pure, simple thoughtlessness! The blessings of mental blankness! The ecstasy of the uniformity! The sheer fucking euphoria of the conformity! Shut up and wave those flags! Loose yourself in the pomposity of it all!

And, whatever you do, don’t even think about honoring the poor laboring bastards serving you the hot dog you’re still going to bitch about. Or the underclass kid sweating his ass off in a stupid desert thousands of miles away, wondering if he’s going to take a bullet for this nonsense or make it home to serve you your next hot dog. Don’t, don’t, don’t think these thoughts. Because this is a time to celebrate. To wave the flag. To cheer the (sinking) ship. To swim in the delightfully shallow waters of all things Democratic or Republican. It’s really that simply, you know? And, besides, it’s more of that us vs. them thing that really makes us special.

Nope. We’re not going to think about any of that on Labor Day. This is a celebration. And in modern America we have two times: non-celebration times when we don’t think about things that matter and celebration times when we don’t think about things that matter. So there. Deal with it. And stop thinking, you commie prick.

So, there I was, banging out a ridiculous rhythm for this unnamed float while the crowd literally went wild in a rather ill defined fit of patriotic joy. And it would seemingly never end. But since my float was among the few without a military theme, I could sense the disappointment in their applause. We were like the child who didn’t quite live up to their parent’s expectations. Oh sure, the applause was still there, but the disappointment was palpable.

I only got caught up in one spot of bother, too. It happened in one of those all-too-frequent occasions when the parade stops for too long while the goddamn Shriners take their time going on and on with their motor vehicles and silly hats. What, may I ask, do the Shriners do anyway? If I were an alien and forced to watch a parade and then guess their function (which is damn close to my reality anyway), I would guess this: they’re a bunch of happy-go-lucky drunk bastards out on furlough from the mental unit to entertain the rest of us out of our beliefs that this whole thing is all rather ridiculous. And I bet I’d be right. I mean, come on, what do a bunch of fat bastards riding go-carts over obnoxious SUVs have to do with helping children? The joke’s on you.

But that has nothing to do with my spot of bother. Not at all.

I got in a bit of a verbal pickle during one of those Shriner stops when I wasn’t drumming and, thus, thinking. And when I looked up and saw all the people waving their flags I couldn’t help thinking of the cowardice of it all. I mean, how much courage does it take to wave the American flag in America? We’re all fucking Americans, aren’t we? I think we all know where we live. It’s not like they need to remind us that Vermont is still a member of the United States of America. So where’s the courage in flaunting the flag?

So the Snarky Boy got in a whole heap of trouble by asking a rather brawny bunch of dimwit flag wavers this simple question: If you’re so proud of that flag, why don’t you wave it where it’s not safe to wave it? You know, some place like downtown Baghdad?

But before it got too ugly, the Shriners started moving again and all Snarky Boy got was a Coke can thrown my way and more than a few middle-finger salutes. Whatever.

I did my duty, though. I entertained the mindless masses. I visited the belly of the beast and left with a rather simple-minded assessment: We’re fucked.

I hope enjoyed the break. There’s nothing but joy ahead.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Novel, a Day, and Us

Thank goodness Snarky Boy came home to some messages of interest in the novel I’m working on. I was about to give up on all hope for humanity. But then – oh the glorious “then” of it all – one of those calls showed up on my little snarky machine: “We like the first chapter, please send more.”

And it’s Friday to boot. Hey gang, drinks are on me tonight. Well, let’s get reasonable here. Make that: first drink for the first three who say “Congrats, Snarky,” get a free drink. I have, as you know, been on a goddamn ladder all day.

My work for the state is about to end and I’ve been hustling around at lunchtime and the early evening to bid on more paint jobs for the privileged. Like the bizarre fixation on people mowing their lawns shorter and shorter until the brink of lawn death, people are painting their fucking houses way more than they should. And, in case you didn’t notice, Snarky’s got a thing or two with offering opinions.

I went to a house today, for example, in one of those all-too-popular streets in Montpelier to look at a possible job. If I wasn’t super sure about the address, I would have never believed that this house needed anything – not least of which a new paint job. But, sure as shit, these folks came bounding out of the house like I was Santa Claus or something, offering refreshments and giddy as all hell about throwing money my way.

“Thank you so much for coming,” declared the little lady. “We’re so excited about getting on your list.”

What the fuck? List?

I guess this is what it comes to in moneyed suburbia – even in Vermont. Somewhere and somehow the sense of accomplishment amongst the middle classes got totally perverted. Instead of being proud about something you’re doing that actually matters, you hire people to do things that matter. Yep, you hire a guy to trim a tree, a different guy to mow the lawn, an even different guy to paint the house, and then another clueless fucking stranger to – what? – wash the windows. And then they act like they’re “getting things done” by crossing off some list they’ve simply called to do the shit they should be doing in the first place. Oh, poor bastard, you need a vacation!

The relationship between the hired guy and the guy who’s hiring (and, please, get over the sexist nature of this, I’m only talking about the guy-on-guy hiring here) is as odd as it gets when it comes to the things like painting, mowing and the like. These are, after all, the kinds of things their fathers tried to teach them to do for themselves. But now they're slackers. They’d rather pull the blinds so you don’t see them watching television while you’re scraping the goddamn lead paint off their windows than ponder what their fathers taught them.

But, let’s be honest here, it’s a dick thing, you know. To hire a man to come to your house and do the so-called manly chores is to a wonder if your dick is smaller than it should be. You’re obviously giving up a bit of your manliness and – quite honestly – the first thing most men do in such a situation is check the bulge in their pants. Trust me, I’ve been working for these fellas for years. It’s agonizing for most men. It’s worse than asking for directions, you know, because not only are they asking for something they’re also paying for it!

The best part for those of us on the other end of the dick dilemma is that these guys seem to get it in their heads (their big heads, that is) that the more they pay us the less the chance that they could have done the job themselves. That’s a bit of pathology that they’ve brought from their “day jobs,” and the more us worker-fellas understand that, the more beers we get to buy our friends on Friday night.

Okay, let me make that even simpler: The less you charge the man of the house, the smaller you’re saying his penis is. It’s totally fucked up, but it’s true. These people rely on experts all day long and when they call you up to do something like paint a fucking wall, you’ve got to act like the expert and – even more importantly – charge like the expert. It’s that kind of bullshit that they respect. And so be it.

But the good news is that I think I landed two big house jobs for the month. It’s good news for Snarky’s wallet but bad news for my writing projects and my interest in harassing – er, make that, covering – the political campaigns and issues of the day.

And then there’s that novel. I think you’ll like it. It’s about a painter-guy who is obsessed with politics, social change and the need to get people to be real and unafraid of pleasure. Worse, he lives in Vermont, a place where the thick coat of denial can run deep, where the hype of all-things-perfect can lead to most-things-being-false. I think you’ll like it. And I hope to finish it soon.

Sorry to ramble. It’s the excitement. Shit’s happening. And we’re all in this together. See you in town, my friends.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Game: On

It's on, motherfuckers. No more hiding behind the comments or hidden identities. No more locking Snarky Boy out of your precious little insider sites. Because, this Sunday, the Snarky Boy will settle this nonsense once and for all. Let it be known from Brattleboro to St. Albans, and from Putney to Norton (where?), that the Snarkmaster is bringing his A-game to the Thunderdome of Worship to settle it all and to settle it now. That's right. It's a mud war! I have communicated via private email to all seven of Vermont's liberal bloggers, inviting each to a Snarky vs. their tag-team of rag doll pansy asses in what can only be described as -- well -- a mud wrestling session. This is serious. This will end the flame war once and for all. Because the last blogger standing at the end of the night gets one thing and maybe two things only: A photo of themselves with Philip Baruth that will -- of course -- be posted on his website (and you know how much he likes that). But that's not all: the winner of this take-no-prisoners mud war also gets to declare himself -- sorry but the only chick in this game is a rightwinger -- Master of the Blogging Community (behind, of course, King Phil and Queen Cathy).

The rules? Bring it on. You show up, you get dirty, and either offer Snarky a beer to distract him or get in the pit to fight him. And when the first liberal blogger says "uncle," it's over, and Snarky is the man.

Got it? Good.

You can email me at for more information.

Let's get it on.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rumsfeld's Speech (made simple for the Fox News crowd)

Feel the Love

My goodness, people, either you're going to take me seriously or not. But we can't have anymore of this in between bullshit. I mean, come on, the good lady at the Burlington Free Press writes these good words, followed by the Queen of Vermont Blogging writing this review of the good words and you snot-nosed little blogging dweebs have to go and jump ugly about it all.

I mean, come on, I’ve been nothing but nice to you people – and this is the thanks I get? (Thanks, Snarky Mom, for that last line from my childhood).

Yesterday I had to visit my therapist about it, trying to reconcile the love and the hate of it all. And here's the best line I got from my nervous little mental-helper, in an apparent effort to get me to understand the attacks from the bloggers I thought were my friends: "The hideous scars of jealousy are best covered."

I have no idea what the hell that means but I nodded just like I think I’m supposed to. I’m terrible at therapy encounters. I can’t stop thinking that I need to fool the person trying to help me. You know, like not letting them know that anything’s wrong. I’m the exact opposite of Woody Allen in those situations, just claming up or going into a manic state of super-okayness.

I also don’t know why she’s so goddamn nervous either. It’s not like I’m that nuts. Maybe it’s the whole double identity thing going on, and my refusal to let her question it. Or maybe it’s because she’s my nephew’s school psychologist and I’m visiting her during school hours. Who knows. But she’s not very nice about any of it, either. I mean, get over it, I pay my taxes. And it’s not like I bug her during the summer break. Whatever.

But this whole Vermont blogger jealousy thing is perplexing. Notice, for example, that it’s the pompous blogosphere liberals who are leading the charge to duck tape Snarky’s mouth. That, my friends, is a fine example of how far today’s liberalism has drifted from its vaunted beginnings – way back to…hmmm… oh yes…. Jesus. Now he was quite the wandering slacker, huh?

Today’s liberalism is a joyless little affair. Don’t believe me? Just say these two words: Bernie Sanders. There, got my point? I mean, come on, can you imagine having a beer with Bernie? First, I have a feeling he’s got terrible breath from chronic dry mouth and, secondly, he’d just be obnoxiously boring. I’ll bet when he gets tipsy he just says the same things he always says but only faster.

Imagine Bernie telling a joke. Imagine Bernie laughing so uncontrollably that his soda comes out his nose. Imagine Bernie doubling over in laughter. Imagine Bernie telling us he saw the movie “Jackass” and liked it because it took his mind off suffering people.

Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen.

Today’s liberalism seems to be about joylessness and control. I bet I could put a pencil between the butt cheeks of any modern liberal and it wouldn’t fall out until I took it out. These bastards never lighten up. Never let loose. And get totally fucking freaked out when anyone dares to veer from the script they live their pathetic little lives by.

These are the kinds of people, for example, who get excited about recycling for crying out loud. It will never dawn on them that it’s still just glorified garbage. And it will absolutely never occur to them that they’ve got so much recycling because they’re buying way too much crap for their kiddies.

Yeah, you know the type. It’s the “getting things done” liberals. They keep their hair short, their lawns short, their clothes clean and pressed – even the jeans!, and if there’s any sex to be had that will happen on schedule on Saturday night at 9:45.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up on the opportunity to be a trickster, to revel in “risky” humor, or to stick my finger in the eye of the pompous bloats once in a while just because I live in the land of Vermont, home of the uptight liberal and 1% for peace. (Did the other 99% go to war?)

I don’t know where in the hell I was going with any of this but I’ve got to get back to work.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just a Thought

Now It's Making Sense

This just in! The Matt Dunne campaign has contacted Snarky Boy to try and explain his awkward performance during yesterday's online debate with John Tracy. It turns out that the man Green Mountain Daily assigned to monitor his typing, Neil Jensen (aka Vermonter) [see photo above], came dressed in what Dunne described simply as "rather intimidating attire." Well, I'd agree with bizarre but "intimidating" may be a stretch. Worse, Dunne also said that every time the screen name "Odum" appeared on the monitor, Jensen would jump down from the table he used to stand over Dunne, swing his sword around and just yell, "Dude! Dude! Dude!" It was, as Dunne concluded, more than a bit distracting.

Our apologies to the Dunne campaign. That must have been difficult. And, as a result, the Snarky Boy now declares you the winner. Unless, of course, we're informed of similar nefarious activities at the site of Tracy's typing. Come on, Jack, you got something to tell us?

Lunch Break Library Blogging: Malek Mops Up

One can only imagine what kind of backslapping is going on over at GMD today over their fiasco of a debate yesterday between the Democratic candidates for lite-guv, Matt Dunne and John Tracy. I’d spoof them again but the real-life version is even funnier than the whacked out stuff my tired mind can make up. If I had to take a guess, I’ll bet Vermonter is wondering if he looked fat on the television coverage or Odum is pondering a career move following their “amazing breakthrough” by applying for an associate blogger job with Baruth. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure it’s fucking hysterical. It’s like a bunch of bloated ex-jocks cheering the third inning error call that went their way. Dude! We did it. Whatever.

But the GMD debates of yesterday became even more meaningless today after Dr. Marvin Malek, the Progressive Party candidate for lite-guv, hit nothing short of a grand slam homerun in his one-on-one debate with Mark Johnson on Radio Vermont this morning. If I were Dunne and Tracy, I’d shit-can that sleepy rhetoric about how this year’s health care reform was “a first step,” because Malek’s gonna eat you both alive if you keep that candy-ass nonsense up.

It’s the first time I’ve actually heard Malek address the issues and he blew the Snarkmaster away. Granted, he got a bit lecturish and long-winded from time to time, but he certainly knows his stuff and can swap away the middle-of-the-road garbage that critics often throw at universal health care advocates.

If Malek continues to perform this well, he’s going to be stealing a whole hell of a lot of votes from whoever the Dem is in this race. And that will certainly spell another accidental victory to Vermont’s Mr. Magoo of politics, Brian Dubie.

The Dems, of course, will sit up and scream about how Malek “spoiled” it for them, but it’s obvious from comparing yesterday’s debate with today’s that Malek’s got what neither of the Dems have: political guts. This is what the Progs are supposed to be offering Vermonters, someone who is saying things that none of the other candidates are saying – and, better yet, saying it well.

In this regard, Malek is a much better Progressive candidate that Anthony Pollina ever was or ever will be. Malek’s genuine where Pollina’s just desperate. Malek’s articulate where Pollina can’t finish a sentence without correcting himself. Malek’s got the credentials where Pollina’s just got a losing record. And Malek’s got no baggage where Pollina has – well – a losing record.

It’ll be interesting to see how much support the Progs are going to throw behind the Malek candidacy. I know his entrance into the race was not “party sanctioned,” a big deal for a group of people who run their party like some Stalin stepsister. But my guess is that Malek has put them in a bind with his issue-focus and well-spoken manner, forcing them to give him a public nod for the time being. I hope it’s more than that, though. Malek deserves it.
So go ahead, GMDers, keep pounding those chests over your 37-person audience yesterday for that sleepy little affair. But you’re facing a certain ass whipping in November unless you start waking up your candidates and learning a little something from Malek. Unlike your blow-dried fellows, this guy’s the real deal.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yo Whiners: Ride This.

The Great Oops Debate

Oh no, what’s that funny feeling I’m getting in my head region? It’s so foreign. I’ve never felt it before. Oh shit, it’s……compassion.

Yep, the Snarky Boy is feeling compassion for the yahoos over at Green Mountain Daily who hyped their online debate with the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, Matt (all) Dunne and John Patrick Henry David Tom Tracy. What a fucking disaster. Ouch.

I thought it was just going to start bad, but then it actually got worse through the entire awkward hour that it lingered on my library screen. The rules were ridiculous. The technology was clumsy. The planning was atrocious. The candidates were bored. The questions were sleepy. And, worse, the answers were bland.

Debate? What debate?

The best line of the debate went to John Tracy, without a doubt. When asked about wind and Dubie, he let loose with this line: “I noticed recently that Brian broke with the Gov. on wind, notice I did not say broke wind….”

That’ll earn him a Snarky vote. If, that is, Snarky bothers to vote on this toss up.

But, for the most part, the debate was a big technical mistake. It began late with Odum even coming into the chat room to say, “I think we’re all getting the hang of this system folks – stand by.”

Hey Odum, ever hear of a rehearsal? Practice makes perfect, you know.

And then technical difficulties and/or poor planning just kept plaguing the otherwise bland affair. Questions like this one from Dunne, “Hey Odem [sic], not clear on question or who goes first,” were more interesting than the actual questions and answers anyway.

It was also quite comical to imagine the panicked typing going on by Dunne and Tracy as they were allotted a mere 90 seconds to respond to questions that were seemingly searching for a book’s worth of information. But Odum realized about half way into the debate that the 90-second rule was ridiculous, adding 30 seconds to the limit.

“Even I think that’s a little ridiculous,” Odum typed.

Well, again, that could have easily been ironed out with some better planning and a rehearsal with the technology.

Poor Odum. That was embarrassing. And the poor guy even tried to get the two candidates to lighten up a bit by using some slang in his questions.

“Matt,” Odum inquired of Dunne, “my property taxes are kicking my
butt. Any thoughts?”

If I were Dunne, I would have offered this response: Kick ‘em back.

And then when he asked Tracy the same question, he ended it with, “throw me a bone, here?”

A bone wouldn’t have helped, Odum. You needed a lifeline.

Sorry about that, Odum. Get well soon.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Snarky Visits the Vacationing President

Oh boy, Snarky Boy really did it this time. I told you I was done with those ninnies over at Green Mountain Daily. I mean, come on, have you heard about their pathetic day jobs? These boys are such amateur Democrats that they can’t even land decent campaign jobs at the height of campaign season. Can you spell l-o-s-e-r-s? I knew you could. And, by the way, as the “associate membership director” of VNRC, Odum would like all of you to know: don’t forget to donate to Vermont’s most worthless eco-group. And Kestrel Ed would like you to listen to him call out the dial numbers and time at his radio station in Virginia next time you’re there. Sure, Kestrel, we’ll do.

But where was I? Oh yeah, Snarky Boy overdid it this weekend. I was wrapping up my state office-building job on Friday when my buddy, Buddy, heard that President Bush was heading to his mommy and daddy’s tony little abode on the Maine coast. Oh shit, I thought, there goes my weekend.

“I’m going,” Buddy declared from atop a ladder in full head protection from the state-sponsored lead abatement program. “If Bush is in Maine, I’m going to let him know he’s not welcome.”

“But you’re in Vermont,” I let it be known.

“I know, fuckface [ed. note: that’s painter talk], but it’s a half-day’s drive to protest. And I’m sure we won’t be the only ones there.”

And so it went. Or, better yet, there we went: straight to Kennebunkport, Maine, fresh from a day of painting, then lickity-fucking-split in some rickety goddamn Chrysler small-shit car that rattled to the heavens. Ah, the bliss of it all. We were four men in a car, traversing the Northern tier. We were four rather confused – but still radical – painter fellas on our way to just say, “no, thank you” to the President of the United States. We were Kerouac’s Sal and on our own road, but this time with politics, not pussy.

But, honestly, we didn’t know where the hell we were going or why we were going there. Missing one of those questions is usually okay, but missing both of them usually leads to a very long weekend. And it really sucks when you get home, realize the Snarky fan club hasn’t been fed their daily allotment of words, and then tomorrow morning we must face the last brutal hours of a most boring painter gig. There ain’t no peace.

But – wait a second – that’s why we went: there ain’t no peace. Oh yes, of course, after six long years of the simian-like presidency, one tends to forget that being in a constant state of war isn’t normal. But this privileged little prick – Bush, that is – is having one grand time with the nation’s rather obscene arsenal at his fingertips.

So we set out for several hours of nighttime driving to stand at his parents’ house to let him know that a wartime president shouldn’t be allowed a high-class break from his dopey little war when the rest of us are anxiety riddled from his nonsensical world outlook. If, for example, we’re all supposed to be so goddamn scared of everything that may or may not be in our midst, why is he always so friggin’ jovial and carefree.

Oh yeah, now I remember: it’s the infamous “Carter Lesson” at work here. That’s the lesson that every president since Carter has chanted as a mantra since poor Georgia-Jimmy got shown the door in 1980. And it goes like this: Don’t look weak. Don’t get caught showing real emotion. And don’t – whatever you do – put solar panels on the White House even though none us have a nickel’s worth of wisdom about where in holy hell we’re going to get our energy in the future. There, got that?

Speaking of our energy future, I hope some of you good Democrats caught one of Martha Rainville’s responses to an energy question during her Radio Vermont debate with Count Dracula, Mark Shepard. In it, she said something like this: It’s really unfortunate that this energy crisis wasn’t addressed thirty years ago when we first learned that it was going to be a problem.

That’s when Mark Johnson and Radio Vermont need to implement a laugh track. But Mark kept his cool, refusing to even offer a chuckle at the absurdity of Rainville – the Republican’s – bullshit. Earth to Rainville: A certain president, a man by the name of Jimmy Carter, tried to address the energy crisis more than 30-years ago as you suggested, but you and your Republican ilk ran him from office faster than you can say “stick your heads in the sand.” Remember? Yeah, and your presidential-replacement-hero, Ronald Reagan, made the Republican masses swoon when he took office and yanked the Carter-installed solar hot-water panels from the White House roof.

Oh yeah, ignorance IS bliss! And it must be even more blissful for Rainville to spout such nonsense thirty years later as if history doesn’t matter and facts are made of Play-doh! But, hey, we should probably cut her some slack because she really doesn’t know what party she’s running with. And, lucky for her, the dog running against her as a Democrat seems to think that the less he barks the better.

There I go again. Off on some tangent that probably made you forget that I was on my way to Kennebunkport on Friday night to tell President Bush to stop the bullshit. I missed most of the ride to a delicious snooze, fortunately, but I was rudely awoken to the startled exclamations of my more alert comrades. Something really articulate like: “Oh shit.”

I was thinking of something benign like a flat tire or a meandering moose. But when I lifted my head to see nothing but a skyline filled with cop lights and spotlights, I knew the “oh shit” was warranted.

“Oh shit,” I interjected, almost as a communal kind of ante to the situation.

We were in the town of Kennebunk, the last town before the Bush compound’s abode on Kennebunkport. And the security culture was in full force, making sure that the man who insists on war was at peace. Go figure.

Before we could even think about turning around and avoiding the litany of FBI/CIA/Secret Service questions, we were overwhelmed by a blinding barrage of search lights and angry men with flack-jackets and all the armaments to remove Saddam from a rabbit hole.

“State your purpose!” was what I heard more than a few times. And, worse, they were yelling it as much as asking it. In fact, if you want to know what the whole thing felt like to me, try this: ask a loved one to randomly barge in on you during a deep sleep and, with a flashlight directly on your face, yell “What’s your purpose?”

Jesus fucking Christ. There I go, getting redundant again.

I wasn’t doing a damn thing wrong other than sleeping in a wickedly dangerous car (mechanically, that is) but when I heard this question and saw those lights, my first reaction was quite obvious: wake and run, baby, wake and run.

But I didn’t. Or I’m convinced I wouldn’t be writing these words today. Trust me, these guys don’t fuck around. Odd as it seems, they really believe that the man creating war throughout the world deserves peace, even from a rag-tag bunch of painter-guys who plan on doing nothing but bang a drum and chant stupid-rhyming shit for a few hours in the hopes to disrupt one measly second of the warmaker’s getaway.

Luckily, calmer heads prevailed, and we were able to convince the great simian protectors that we came in peace – protest, for sure – but peace nonetheless. After a search of the car and us, we apparently passed the test of ninnie-hood and were actually given directions to the “assigned site of protest.” I felt like such a failure. Good grief, I wondered, do I look like one of those vigilers? Am I so past my activists prime that I just get automatically directed to the site of fellow-past-our-prime-activists so we can do whatever it is those whom we’re protesting have pre-approved?

Please, I thought, someone take me home to Charlio’s where a beer and a buzz can be obtained without the pretence.

No such luck. We were stuck. We were now on the highway to approved protests. It’s a slippery slope, you know. One minute you think you’re radical and the next minute you find yourself “yes-siring” a federal agent and then standing around with the Maine equivalent of the Raging Grannies. And it all happens before you fucking know what’s happening to you.

And it only got worse. When we got to the pre-approved protest site, we had more cops directing everything we did from where we parked to how we were to behave. One even started to read us the Kennebunkport noise ordinance, a cute little document that was clearly passed to protect the Bushies. Basically, the ordinance says, “shut the fuck up.” Oh wait, and it adds this little twist: “Or else.” Whatever.

If they were smart, they would have encouraged America’s disaffected riff-raff to come here to suffer through a somnolently night of –well – political disaffection. Oh, feel the power of the few gathered in our appointed grounds of so-called protest. Me-fucking-ow.

The dawning of morning didn’t help my snarky mood, either. Because just like we had a designated place to protest in Kennebunkport, we also had a designated place to defecate. One designated place, that is. Worse, there were lines to the port-o-potty that would have made a Florida or Ohio minority voter envious. In other words, the lines were long. And the keepers of peace from the Security State of the United States took their bathroom duties as serious as serious could be.

I almost got “busted” for veering off into a path to take a leak at one point, and you’d think I was the second coming of Osama the way they confronted me. “You can’t pee there!” they yelled. And I thought I had logic on my side when I started in on my dialectic of the outdoor peer, even going so far as to show them the wildlife prints from our natural brethren like the abundant deer who didn’t seem to give a hoot about the port-o-potties.

“You ain’t Bambi, buddy,” was the best response I got. And he had a point.

Trust me, I haven’t felt this foolish at a protest since I was last suckered into attending one of those State House love-fests starring Joseph Gainza and his cast of all-too-predictable characters. You’ve seen one of those protests and you’ve seen them all. But because Joseph’s drawing a handsome salary to keep it up, he keeps it up. Profit in the name of peace? You bet. Ben & Jerry did, so why can’t Joseph? Except when it comes to Joseph’s salary, it ain’t 1% for peace, it’s 100% for peace – Joseph’s economic peace, that is. Yeah, keep singing Grannies.

Speaking of Gainza, I see from the Montpelier Bridge this month that he’s getting ready to possibly think about perhaps doing something that he loves to talk about from afar. I’m speaking, of course, about civil disobedience. Gainza was apparently all jacked up for the Cindy Sheehan appearance in Montpelier recently and got all giddy at the mouth, including a threat to engage in civil disobedience – just like the radicals of the past! But Sheehan didn’t show and Gainza was left with his same audience who’ve heard this promise too many times before to take it seriously. Yawn.

But the promise of Joseph waking himself up certainly caught the attention of The Bridge’s just as sleepy editor, Nat Frothing-something. Nat was clearly intrigued by the timelessness of Gainza’s pledge, and then let him wiggle out of it in one his famous meandering articles, ending with Gainza back tracking so much on his civil disobedience pledge that you forgot he had even called for it in the first place. And the real sad part is that Nat Frothier-than-thou didn’t even appear to notice that the article he started writing had nothing to do with its ending.

Way to go, Joseph! Collect that check for peace, baby!

Damn. Where was I? Oh yeah. The protest in Kennebunkport yesterday morning.

Here’s how it went: We stood where we were supposed to. We chanted what they expected us to. And we left just like they thought we would, too.

And all the Snarky Boy got from the whole miserable affair was a fatigue headache, some fine conversation on the way home, and the limp happiness of knowing I showed up to do what very few other people in this so-called democracy could give two-shits about showing up to: a protest against the worst president in the nation’s history.

Now I’ve got to go face that same stupid wall of lead paint tomorrow morning.


And what the hell did you do?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Honesty Sucks

Deal with it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This Just In: Dunne's Winning!

Dunne vs. Tracy: The Liberal Dilemma

Holy shit, liberals never had it this bad. You can feel the sweat running down their ass cheeks over the upcoming Democratic primary between liberal Matt Dunne and liberal John Tracy. Besides, as Snarky has pointed out before (click here), they're both so damn cute!

The two "went at it" this morning on Mark Johnson's radio show that is -- interesting enough -- called the Mark Johnson Show. How in the hell did he think of that? But as much as they tried to be different, by the end, all we knew is that they are more the same. Let's face it, radio ain't gonna settle this one. These boys need to go to television so Democrats can get to what really differentiates the two: their smiles, their size and their charm.

And one thing's for sure, neither is pulling the old primary game of running to the left for a Democratic primary so as to get the so-called activists voters. Take, for example, the issue of health care. Both Dunne and Tracy think the legislature made a "great first step" with the legislation that Governor Jim Douglas all but forced them to pass. And, unfortunately, they did, thus killing the one and only issue the Dems had in getting rid of Douglas (yes, that was Douglas laughing all the way to re-election when he saw the Dems bend over so far as to break on this one).

I listened to as much of the debate as I could today and I can't think of one issue where there was serious disagreement. In fact, I thought Mark Johnson was going to announce that the two were just going to seal the deal with one of those famous Vermont Civil Unions and run as a couple.

But there was no such luck for the liberals. So now they have to actually make a choice. Worse, they have to pretend to make a choice since there really isn't any, which is probably worse. And we all know how damn hard it is for Vermont liberals to actually take a stand that might be -- oh shit! -- divisive!

But, rest assured, it hardly matters. Because the good Progressive doctor, Marvin Malek, is going to run circles around these two Democratic bland brothers on the issue of health care, stealing more than enough votes to let incumbent Brian Dubie stroll to re-election. And we all know who to blame for that one, don't we: Yep, Mr. Confused Liberal, himself, Anthony Pollina.

Poor liberals, this one must really hurt.