Friday, March 30, 2007

Take That, Dems: Douglas Picks Anderson to Fill Brooks’ Seat

Boy, sometimes it just feels like Governor Douglas and his staff are having all the fun. First, the Dems in the House and the Senate are doing absolutely nothing to frighten him. Next, they run to their rooms like little schoolchildren whenever he so much as says “boo.” And now he’s ever so gleefully sticking his finger in the Montpelier Dem elites by announcing this afternoon that he’s appointing Jon Anderson to replace Francis Brooks in the Vermont House.

Of course, Snarky Boy readers will have already known that this was going to happen – because Snarky Boy does his homework and I wrote about it weeks ago. Unlike the dopey Dem sites like Green Mountain Daily that went a typical zero-for-three in its predictions for who was going to get the nod from the Guv. [Note to Odum: It looks really, really silly when you tout your wife for a job she didn’t have a prayer in landing. There must be easier ways to get laid, my friend.]

The Dems, in response, will do what they always do: They will pout, throw a tantrum and cry about how unfair it all is. Boo-fucking-hoo. But let’s face it, when you show no teeth, no focus, no leadership, you gotta expect the Guv and his team of fun-loving advisors to keep poking you.

The Montpelier Dems were banking on the Guv picking the town’s mayor, Mary Hooper, to fill the seat. In fact, Mary was all but wearing the crown, even doing little to quiet the rumors that once she was in the House she’d be looking for a step up to the Senate (taking on racer Phil Scott). Well, so much for that. I guess she’ll just have to remain content with her volunteer-mayoralship.

The dwindling left-wing of the Capital Dems weren’t, however, thrilled with Hooper. And it’s not hard to understand why: Hooper is the epitome of the milquetoast Dem. In fact, she’d make a weathervane seem consistent.

Hooper and her “hey, that’s not fair” supporters will now be putting out the word in their little insider whisper-fests that she’ll be challenging Anderson in a primary in 2008. But I’d bet that many of her supporters will have about as much of a backbone on that threat as the Dems have on ending the war. Ahem, that would be zero. Damn, there’s that number again. Instead, I’ll bet Anderson plays his cards right over the next year and a half, watches the suckling Dems come suckling, and then scares bland Mary from even entering the race.

TGIF, my friends.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pure Political Gossip

Hey gang. Getting through it. Hourly by hourly. Day by day. Stroke by stroke. But, hey, things could be worse. I could be Tasha Wallis. She’s Governor Douglas’ Commissioner of Buildings and Grounds. And it an age of sick state government buildings turning up faster than Bush’s ethics lapses, let’s just say she’s not a real popular lady.

In ordinary times, being the Commissioner of Buildings and Grounds wouldn’t be a too stressful job. In fact, you’d probably best consider it either a stepping-stone toward something bigger and better or a cruise toward retirement. It’s not often that those holding that job get the white-hot spotlight of citizen and employee anger aimed right at them.

But it’s been no picnic for Tasha. And while the dopey Dems are trying to make this into another two-bit party fight, they’d better do a little boning up on Tasha’s resume before they go too far down that road. Hint: Tasha broke into the Vermont government scene as a policy analyst for the Dean team.

The word I’m getting from the inside – oh, okay, the stuff people will tell a painter in their office – is that the friction between the state employees and the Douglas Administration – especially Wallis – is starting to boil over, especially in light of the memo she put out trying to gag state employees from speaking to the media.

Worse, it seems as though there are more claims of sick government buildings coming our way soon. Could it be that those poorly designed and hideously ugly buildings of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s are little more than germ factories and boredom repositories? It would seem from my conversations with the working folk that Tasha ought to put more energy on fixing the buildings and less into silencing the state employees. Trust me, Tasha, people love to talk – especially state workers.

Speaking of Douglas
, don’t be surprised if you see him with a little extra spring in his step nowadays. You see, this was supposed to be the legislative session whereby he was supposed to be “under siege” from the veto-proof Dem majorities in BOTH houses of the Vermont legislature. But, for some reason, the Dems have been more interested in fighting amongst themselves than doing ANYTHING to make Douglas uncomfortable yet.

So far, the closest they got was with the so-called Death with Dignity bill that didn’t even make it far enough for Douglas to even bother mentioning the “veto” word. And, please, if Speaker Gaye Symington was trying to prove that she can’t herd cats – er, make that, Dems – she did a fine job by bring the bill to the floor, voting for it herself and then watching it go down in flames. That’s not leading, Gaye; that’s losing. And, yes, that was laughter and celebrating you were hearing from the Guv’s office that night. And the theme? Thanks, Gaye.

Oh sure, there were also those war resolutions, but – like anyone who understands the bullshit nature of them – Douglas just let the Dems play in that sandbox as long as they wanted to. It was, as we know, just a resolution.

Trust me, Douglas isn’t sweating a thing. In fact, he’s loving the Dem in-fighting, the growing nervousness about who’s gonna be the fall-guy or girl against him in 2008, and the near-complete lack of an agenda-setting spine from the Dems. In other words, what should have been a rather troubling session has been little but a cakewalk for the Guv.

Where, for example, are the Dems on health care?
While they tried to blame Douglas on the silly Catamount Plan that will only go down as one big stall toward a real solution, they’ve now got the power to do whatever they supposedly wanted to do in the last session. Hell, they can even override the threatened veto. But they haven’t moved. And they won’t.

Instead, the Dems seem utterly – and stupidly – content with doing very little and trying to make themselves feel good about it. Consider, for example, the absolute glee they felt when they learned – rightly or wrongly – from the public that they didn’t want the legislature “going too fast” on the school funding issues. The Dems treated this news like some kind of victory.

“See,” they oh-so-happily declared, “the public doesn’t want us to do anything!”

Hmm, strange way to lead, for sure. And, please, would someone please tell them that they ARE leaders.

But the Guv and his political team have got Symington & Co. wrapped around their little fingers. And if she strays too far afield, all they have to do is whisper this in her ear: Civil Unions. Because Gaye is always so quick to remind her backroom supporters what happened to the Dem majorities the last time they held them: They got all “radical” and passed the civil union legislation [history reminder: the Dems got bounced from majority status in the next election]. But, I would argue, they got bounced more because they didn’t stand up and fight for their beliefs. And there’s nothing worse than a pol doing something historical and then hiding from it. Hell, they couldn’t even get Howard Dean out of the fucking closet to sign the damn bill. Yeah, that’ll show ‘em.

It’s about principles, you idiots. Say it. Do it. And believe it. And as George Bush has tragically shown, people will actually vote for that kind of consistency. Moreover, voters will NOT vote for a crew that says they want to solve health care and then won’t even introduce legislation to address it; that says they believe Bush has trashed the Constitution and committed high crimes and misdemeanors against the people but won’t allow impeachment resolutions to even have a vote (Thanks, Gaye); that talk about high school taxes but throw a party when they get so much as a hint that they can “go slow” on the issue; that talks a tough game at election time about stopping the war but then vote to give the same president they’ve called a criminal more than $120 billion to just carry on.

It’s really quite bizarre.

Finally, let me end this episode of snark with a bit of pure media gossip. Peter Freyne of Seven Days gave more ink to Burlington City Councilor Tim Ashe (P-Ward 3) in his column this week. And while I hear he’s a great guy from most, I read it and wondered why he’s so frequently getting mentioned by Freyne but so infrequently by anyone else in the media. Even Freyne seems to be questioning his own decision to give him ink when, after announcing that Ashe may run for council president, he concludes: “…it doesn’t look like he’s got a chance at council presidency.”

Well, yeah, we all know that. So why the ink, Peter? Hmm, could it be that Tim Ashe is the boyfriend and housemate to one of Peter’s bosses, Paula Routly? And while there’s clearly nothing wrong with the connection, it would seem more than a bit appropriate to disclose this little fact while writing about his political aspirations in the paper his lover publishes and edits, no? Imagine the field day Peter would have if the Free Press pulled this kind of stunt….

[Reminder: Tips, comments and feedback can be sent to me at:]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Civil Disobedience: A Personal Account

You know, the best thing about watching brushes and rollers go back and forth on walls all day long is letting yourself fall into the rather Zen-like nature of it all. When the office ninnies aren’t distracting you with their near-constant chatter born from boredom and you let the bullshit of your own life slip away, it’s like getting paid to meditate. Okay, okay, that state is rare but when it hits you, it hits you hard. And it hit me hard today.

I went softly into that space today while pondering the actions of civil disobedience over the last couple of weeks that I had the pleasure to be a part of. And notice I said, “be a part of,” because, contrary to the dopey rumors, I didn’t lead anything. Let’s be clear: I followed – very, very willingly.

But my mind kept getting hung up on the intense disconnect between what I experienced at these sit-ins at Congressman Peter Welch’s and Senator Bernie Sanders’ offices and what I read about them in the newspapers and – yes – blogosphere. Frankly, what I read had next to nothing to do with what I experienced. And that’s a shame.

First, what I read had to do with unlawful behavior, police, handcuffs, arrests, tension between the office staff and the protesters, and – sadly – about “unrealistic” radicals “not understanding the process” and, well, wasting our time.

But what I experienced was enormous camaraderie, laughter, solidarity, hope and an amazing commingling of people who really had never commingled before. We were there because we were frustrated and felt rather helpless in our urgent desire to end this unjust war, and – in coming together and taking these collective actions – we were united in cleansing our need to stop whining and wondering and start acting and being heard. We were, after all, just practicing democracy. More importantly, we were practicing democracy peacefully.

So, as I put one layer after another on the office walls of some rather anonymous state office building today, it hit me that everyone who wasn’t there has no idea about what a rich and rewarding experience it was. It was social. It was cathartic. It was rejuvenating. And, most importantly, it was about believing in the very system that the war-promoters claim to be “exporting” to Iraq.

You didn’t read anything in the media, for example, about the diversity of the people in those rooms who took those actions. Sure, the media told you about the wide ranges in ages – 9 months to 87 years old (significant, for sure) – but they didn’t say a word about the varying backgrounds of those people. So I will.

In my random attempts to canvas the group, I encountered nuns, farmers, students, full-time parents, lawyers, the unemployed, horse loggers, professors, painters, health officials, landscapers, writers, Iraq veterans, Vietnam veterans, filmmakers and poets. It was, quite obviously, an amazingly diverse group. And there were no “leaders” – only willing and enthusiastic participants.

We shared food. We shared stories. We read the names of some of those killed in this war – both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens. We expressed our opinions. We asked to be heard. And we clearly stated that we wanted answers from our elected officials.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that we laughed? We did. Not out of disrespect, but – for me – out of a deep sense of relief that we weren’t alone and a rather natural attempt to bring levity to an otherwise somber event and cause. It’s human nature. It breaks the ice. It soothes the soul and calms the mind in trying times. And it did.

And there were the police. It might surprise you to hear me say that the police were wonderful. But they were. Several, in fact, gave awkward looks over their heads to see if anyone else could hear them as they professed their support for our actions. “I hope this works,” one of them said, “because I’ve got two friends serving there now and they want to come home to their families.”

The police treated us with respect and we did the same to them. We all understood that our little dance with democracy had led us to what could have been an uncomfortable confrontation but there was absolutely nothing uncomfortable about any of it. We stuck to our stated principles – a pledged vote against more war funding or we weren’t leaving willingly – and they did their job of explaining our rights, the process and then attaching handcuffs and walking us out of the buildings. There’s a reason, you know, that it’s called an act of “civil” disobedience.

And so, as I painted the day away and thought about what I lived and what I read, I felt frustrated that so many people will read about our actions and think it was all about angry confrontation and disrespect. Because it wasn’t. Instead, it was about standing up, speaking out, being counted and – most importantly – upping the ante in what should be the primary issue on all our minds.

While we have the luxury of time in this battle – as long as your conscience can be somehow soothed – the people fighting this battle on both sides do not have that same luxury. Bullets are flying. Bombs are dropping. Limbs are being lost. Lives are being wasted. And every month that we allow it to continue, thousands more will have their lives changed – or ended – forever.

Our message has been clear: Time is up. The charade is over. And this war must end – NOW. And by partaking in the time honored traditions of civil disobedience, it is our hope that more people will be moved to do more to end this war now and not in two more blood-stained years.

We believe in democracy. We believe we have the power. And we believe that if enough people lead, our elected officials will follow.

It’s all about hope. And I thank my new friends and colleagues in this effort for letting me share in this collective hope. It’s been powerful and empowering.

This About Sums It Up

"When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them."
-- Howard Zinn, May 2007, The Progressive

(And a big hat tip to Eric over at Kirby Mountain for bringing this to my attention.)

Lunchtime Random Blogging

The best part of painting an office building – especially a state-run office building – is that there are computers everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I swear there must be two computers for every person in this office. Or maybe half the office called in sick to avoid the confusion of painting day near their cubicles. Oh-no, do I smell another sick building in the works? Who knows?

Personally, I think the real sickness in these state office buildings is the mental sickness going around. These people are bored out of their fucking minds. You just can’t put people in these cubicles for 40-hours a week and expect everything to be a-okay.

The boredom is palpable here, my friends – so much so that you’d think the arrival of a few Joes with white painters clothes on amounted to seeing Old Faithful for the first time. Yep, they stare and stare. Worse, some stare with their mouths agape. Trust me, it’s not a pretty site. It’s almost as if they really don’t have anything better to do.

But thanks to the fine lady in charge of this joint, Snarky Boy got some mighty fast lunchtime Internet access. So, here’s what’s on my mind while trying not to get the bland tan paint on the tax-payer-funded keyboard:

While getting swept up in the heat of yesterday’s fun at Bernie’s office, I didn’t get a chance to mention the front-page news about Congressman Peter Welch’s upcoming trip to Iraq. Can you say: Payback. I knew you could. Funny, isn’t it, that just a few days after Peter played footsie with Pelosi by giving away his antiwar cred by voting to fund the war she rewards him with a trip to Iraq. You don’t even have to be a cynical bastard like me to see through this one.

As one reader wrote in and asked, how much carbon is Welch going to expend on this trip? Oh-no, Peter, get that checkbook ready. Or maybe he’s going to play the “carpool” card and claim that he’s also bringing the $124 billion that he voted to continue the war he supposedly opposes.

The only way this trip amounts to anything other than Welch getting headlines is if he brings the troops home with him while he’s there. But we know that’s not going to happen because Peter’s on record supporting at least another year and a half of this mess. Hmm, I know, how about if Peter stays there for that same amount of time? Yeah, that’s it, do the time, big guy. And we promise to “support” you….

The liberal ninnies are still fretting over the sit-ins at Welch and Sanders’ offices of late. My favorite reaction so far comes from Charlie O’s second best customer, Peter Buknatski, the poet, bullshitter and crusader for less noise in the world via his day job at Montpelier’s Noise Pollution Clearinghouse. Peter nearly perfectly represents the kind of “lefty” who sits and bitches but never takes action.

Peter’s predictable reaction to the antiwar activism was to declare that we should have been doing something else like sitting in at Governor Douglas’ office. And several other backbenchers in the game of democracy joined his call. Yeah, they chirped, it’s Douglas who is close to Bush and who is the head of the Vermont National Guard. “Fair enough,” I responded after Peter and his lethargic pals first mentioned it more than a week ago, “so do it.” Now they’re repeating it today after the fun at Sanders’ office yesterday. And, again, I’ll respond, “so do it.”

Hell, I’ll even go a step further by publicizing your idea for you. Oops, I guess I already did that, didn’t I? Well, then how about if I publicize your contact information so people can get in touch with you and join your call to take over Douglas’ office to stop the war.

So, if you want to join Peter Buknatski in his call to turn up the heat on Douglas – even though Douglas doesn’t have a vote on whether or not to fund the war – contact Peter directly at It seems like he needs a little encouragement. If not courage itself. Go, Peter, go!

Damn. I’ve got more but the office people are streaming back in and my agreement was to get off this computer before the real boss arrived. Back to painting for now, with promises of more words later. You know what? I like these state computers. A lot.

Snark on, my friends.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Letter to Senator Sanders – From a Nine-Year Old

There were several children in attendance at today’s visit to Sanders’ office, including a nine-year old girl who sat quietly writing her own letter to the senator. When she was done, she had it copied by the office staff and then handed it out to those who wanted to see it. I’m re-printing the letter in its entirety below. It is refreshing – to say the least – to see the school-aged lessons in democracy come flowing out so honestly on paper. We’ve got a lot to learn, my friends.

Dear Senator Sanders,

Stop the war. What do you not understand? What about the kids in Iraq? You are sending money to kill people and you can stop this war.

If you want the war to stop like you say, then stop it now. You have the power.

I’m nine-years old and I do not stand by my Mom and Dad. I stand on my own and I have to go against this war. I am not afraid of anyone and I am only nine. You have the same choice as me and you support the war.

I’m not afraid of going with what I believe and you are supposed to listen to Vermonters like me instead of pretending and hiding. Go do your job now.

If you like the war, go fight it. It’s not fun. At least 1,000 people are counting on you.

You have kids. How would you like your kids to die because you send money to Bush? Stop doing it.

People were arrested because they had a belief. You have the power in this world but you can arrest me as much and as long as you want but I will never change my mind because what you’re doing is wrong. This war is not right.

Let there be hope.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like! More than 50 Activists Visit Sanders With a Simple Message: No More War Funding! Eight Arrested

Okay, okay, I’m home, I’ve read my mail and, by what sure seems like popular demand: here’s some snark to hold you over for a little while this evening.

My previously scheduled cold-like symptoms got me yet another day off the painting clock to practice a little more democracy. Hey, what can I say, I’m blessed with a boss who “gets it,” and, with a wink and nod, told me within earshot of the rest of the crew to do what I needed to get better. Well, there’s nothing better for a faux-cold than a trip to Burlington and a visit to your elected officials office – all in the name of stopping this goddamn war.

This time, the fun gang of about 50 made our way to Senator Bernie Sanders’ office to demand that he vote against any and all legislation that would continue to fund this war beyond what is needed to bring the troops home now, provide necessary reparations to Iraq, and give every bit of support to the troops once they get home.

For some reason, there are all kinds of liberal ninnies out there who bristle when folks practice democracy. Interestingly, they want us to shut the hell up and “just wait until Bush leaves office.” Oh, okay, and how nice that must be to sit in your non-bombed out communities and make that ever-so-slow assessment of how to end the most brutal, illegal and unjust war in modern history. Even their fellow lib, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, has been scoffing at this silly notion that the “go slow” crowd has been throwing around about “how terrible things would be if we just left now.” Well, Friedman correctly asked recently, how do we know that things won’t get BETTER if we leave?

I mean, come on, everything the war supporters have said about this war has been wrong, wrong and wrong. Yeah, you remember the “flowers and candy” that the troops were supposed to receive at the beginning of this mess, don’t you? To say nothing of WMDs, 9/11 connections and the like.

For all we know, Friedman concluded, things could get much better if we left now. Yep.

But don’t tell that to Vermont’s elected officials with the power of the federal purse – Leahy, Sanders and Welch. Because they’re apparently so fucking scared of the “support the troops” nonsense that they’re willing to throw more money at this war with the mere hope that Bush – Bush! – will abide by their kinda-sorta pleas and end the war based on some super-nebulous timeline.

But we’re being billed as the crazies. Go figure. Plus, you gotta love it when the do-nothing crowd – oops, they still love their candle vigils – get all pissed off when people actually take the time and the risks to practice the beautiful art of democracy. I mean, these people are seemingly threatened by the fact that dozens of people took time off work, organized themselves, and marched to an elected officials office to voice their concerns and demand action. Excuse me, but what exactly is the problem here? Silly me, I thought this is what we were fighting to give the Iraqis – you know, that weird thing called democracy.

I knew Bernie’s staff would be in full angry spin mode today. Trust me, there’s nothing Bernie and his staff hate more than grassroots people acting in concert without bowing to the Bernie-God first. If he’s not getting his ass kissed, Bernie’s gonna kick yours. Period. Worse, he’s gonna throw one of his Bernie tantrums and either berate you – as long as the cameras aren’t around – or ignore you and claim he’s “really, really busy.”

Bernie chose the ignoring route today. Instead of speaking for himself, he put his flunkies front and center to meet and greet us. And how interesting it was that none other than Bernie-staffer Phil Fiermonte was the one assigned to usher us into the room, look as bored as he possibly could and attempt to spin us dizzy with all kinds of bullshit about “trying really hard” to stop this war.

As someone in the crowd pointed out, Fiermonte was, in his real activist days, one of the “radicals” who occupied Senator Staffords’ office in the early 1980’s to protest the funding for the Iran/Contra war. Back then, young Phil thought it was “outrageous” that a Vermont senator would continue to fund an unjust war. In fact, he thought it was so unjust that the once-idealistic Phil got arrested for occupying Staffords’ office because Stafford didn’t give him or 43 other co-defendants the assurance they wanted that he was going to end the nonsense in Central America.

Oh boy, how times change. Because today’s Phil Fiermonte is the man with the power and the right-hand-man of the senator spinning the bullshit. It didn’t faze old Phil, however. When asked about the irony, he just gave the old “this side is more lucrative” smile and refused to discuss his twenty-something-year switch from idealistic activist to spinmeister for the senator who won’t vote to end the funding for the war NOW. The times, they are a’changing….

Unlike Welch, Sanders wasn’t going anywhere near a conversation with the democracy-practicing activists, instead leaving his office minions to sit and try to uncomfortably entertain our queries and demands. In the end, the demands were not met, Bernie did not want to be sullied with conversing with his constituents - including two Iraq vets -- and eight people were arrested for not leaving when the workday ended at the Sanders’ compound.

For me, it was a very uplifting day of solidarity. The young – 9-month old, nine-year old, college students, middle-aged, and – ahem – old folks, too – gathered to chat, laugh, learn and be heard. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. It’s just too bad so many other people are willing to sit on their asses, complain from the cheap seats and lull themselves to sleep with the false notion that our elected officials are there to represent us without hearing from us. Whatever.

If our democracy is good enough to “import” to Iraq, what’s wrong with practicing it in Burlington?

The movement is alive. And I feel fine.


Snarky Boy

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Random Blogging

Wow. Thanks, dear readers, for all the readership and feedback last week. It was, without a doubt, the number one week in the eight months of Snarky Boy blogging. I’m humbled. Sort of. And I’m thrilled. Kind of. But, unfortunately, I’m still broke. So off to work I go, this time to be part of my last crew job before getting to the great world of outdoor painting. Painting houses, that is. Yep, the wonderful world of working outdoors, sun burns, bee stings, thankful and not so thankful clients and the delicious opportunity to have a cold one and a early evening swim in some of the best ponds and reservoirs in the universe right here in Central Vermont. Gotta love it. The cold one and the swimming, that is. Because the work is starting to suck more than ever, especially with you freeloaders demanding more and more daily snarkiness. Something’s got to give. And I’d rather it be the painting, quite frankly. And you? So let’s get creative. If you’ve got ideas, thoughts, suggestions or promises of cash to get Snarky Boy off the ladder and in front of the computer more frequently, send them to me at Imagine, for example, if Snarky Boy had time to attend press conferences? Oh what fun…

Speaking of work, I was getting ready to report to duty at my state office building this morning when my “boss” called to say the grounds people hadn’t prepped the building in time for us to start. Welcome to the world of labor specialization. Painters, you see, aren’t allowed to do the work that the grounds people are entitled and/or required to do. You know, kind of like you wouldn’t want your internist to examine your toothache. Yeah right. But I guess it makes us all feel that much more important about our jobs involving desk moving and paint application.

So, speaking of money, I’m not gonna be buying anyone a beer when Friday rolls around this week. Because I’m planning to miss work tomorrow, too, due to previously scheduled “cold-like symptoms” I’ve felt coming on since I was informed of the march on Bernie Sanders’ office tomorrow at 2:00. So, if you’re planning on feeling too ill for work tomorrow and want to join Phase Two of “Let’s Get Some Action from Our Delegation on the War,” folks are meeting at 2:00 in front of City Hall before marching up to Bernie’s office on Church Street to find out what in the hell he’s got planned to end the war NOW rather than later. Should be interesting.

The word from my contacts at Bernie’s office is that – unlike the rather un-savvy Welch – he’ll be issuing a statement later this afternoon that will attempt to take the wind out of the activists’ sails. You know, by saying something like: “I support any and all efforts to end this war now, including efforts to curtail additional funding.” But we shall see. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Welch, it was good to hear Mark Johnson of WDEV take some creative shots at Welch this morning for his ridiculous “carbon neutral” nonsense. “I’m sorry,” concluded Johnson, “but it just feels a little silly.” Oh yeah.

Johnson also gave what is the best analogy I’ve heard so far from those of us who see the silliness in Welch’s Church of Carbon Neutrality: “It’s kind of like sitting at a track and eating a box of cookies but paying someone to run around the track for you so you could be calorie neutral.” Bingo.

Welch is either completely out of touch or he thinks his constituents are completely stupid. And, frankly, I think it’s a whole lot of both. If there is a congressperson trying harder than Welch to be dumped from office in 2008, I haven’t seen one. I mean, come on, being elected to one of Vermont’s top elected posts is usually a lifetime job. Unless, of course, you fumble like Welch has fumbled right out of the gate.

Notice, for example, that the guy who proclaimed last week that “no one is more opposed to the war that I am” failed to make it to the anti-war rally in Burlington over the weekend. Hmm, could it be that Welch knew the boos he’d be facing? Smart man. And cowardly, too.

Of course, it would also have been more than a little awkward for Welch to have to hear the cheers for Rep. David Zuckerman (P-Burlington), a man who should have challenged Welch in the last election and probably will in 2008, who declared that he couldn’t recall any politician saying in the last campaign season that they wanted “half the troops out of Iraq by 2008.” You’re right, David. The joke’s on us – at least until the next election.

Many other congress members took their weekend time to meet and greet their constituents on the war issue, especially since they knew the war funding issue was front and center on the minds of those of us who don’t care how Anna Nicole Smith died. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for example, even went so far as to hold a town hall-style meeting in her Oakland district to celebrate her “no” vote on the funding bill that Welch supported. Lee was trying to help rally anti-war opposition and listen to the people she represents. CLICK HERE to hear the words from one of her constituents, the actor Sean Penn, had to say at the town meeting.

I’m not sure what Welch was doing over the weekend, but he certainly wasn’t rallying the anti-war crowd. Nope. Welch was hiding from the anti-war crowd, even while giving us the jive about being “more anti-war” than any of us. Yeah sure, Peter, whatever you say. Just keep your law license up to date….

Speaking of being wrong, it was weird being in Montpelier this morning and seeing the sandbags slowly being taken away. Was that all just a dream? Personally, I think we should just keep the sandbags in place just so Montpelier looks like a war zone and we’ll say it’s all to be in solidarity with the people of Baghdad. Our fear of imminent disaster shouldn’t end until theirs does, too. Leave ‘em up until the war ends. Just a thought.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dems to Bush: Please Slow Down; Bush to Dems: Fuck Off.

And so it goes, the great national nightmare of one-party rule masquerading as a two-party democracy continues. Ho-hum. It would make a great comedy novel if the body bags weren’t piling up, the injured weren’t being maltreated, the Iraqi environment wasn’t being decimated and the budget deficit wasn’t ballooning.

But this is no comedy. This is nothing but a tragedy. And, for some reason, Bush still seems to be holding all the cards. Oh wait, I just remembered: The Dems joined in empowering Bush by giving him the blank check to begin this madness over four years ago. Yeah, you remember those days, when Leahy was proudly attending the signing ceremony of the USA Patriot Act (with his camera, too!) and vast majorities of both parties were jumping at every opportunity to give Bush whatever he wanted. Ah, what a party!

But now the nation is waking up in the house where one hell of an unruly party took place the night before. Yeah, you know the deal, the place is trashed, it stinks, you kinda-sorta remember most of what happened no matter how much you try to forget, and then you roll over to the person you’re pretty sure you committed unwavering love for and yet you can’t quite remember his or her name now that the morning light is hitting your swollen neck. Ouch.

Deal with it America. We fucked up. And, worse, we’ve got one hell of a hangover.

So, let’s see, how about a call for help? Yep. That’s what we need. Because the first thing that we’ll hear on the other end of the phone is that we should just admit that we have a problem. Hell yes, we’re ready for that.

Hello, War Anonymous, we’ve got a problem!

Ah, that felt good. Okay, now we’ve got to admit that we’re powerless with this problem, we cannot control our silly urges to fight anyone anywhere no matter the consequences, and we need to make amends, admit our mistakes, seek help and forgiveness and – most of all – stop the war making right now. If it helps, you can even put a little chip in the nation’s pocket that says: You’re not alone, you did this in Vietnam, too.

Unfortunately, we’re not getting that kind of straight talk from anyone but about a dozen lawmakers in the U.S. Congress. Because they were the only twelve or so people who understand that the U.S. must stop this war and stop it now, as in: Not another drink – er, dime. Period.

The vast majority of the Dems, including Vermont’s own confused little puppy of congressman, Peter Welch, continues on the path of co-dependency where they seem to think that letting Bush go from unlimited drinking – damn, there I go again, make that: war making – to a scaled down kind of war making is an okay path. Good luck with that.

And so they passed a plan today to kinda-sorta demand that Bush begin to slow down a little bit and – perhaps – get his war making under control in a year and half or else….wait, there really wasn’t an “or else” to any of it, was there? Never mind. But, just to show how “serious” they were about getting Bush to curtail his war making addiction, they also included an extra eight ball – damn, I’m sorry, make that, $124 billion – to help him address his problem and simply “to begin” to end this national nightmare.

Like I said, this should be a comedy. But, again, it’s not.

Today, as the U.S. House voted 218-212 to provide Bush with more war money but pretend it was about the beginning to the end of the war addiction, no one in the Democratic leadership believed that their plan had a chance in hell to become law. This bill and the vote on it was, as they say, theater, because Bush – not to mention the Senate – won’t have anything to do with it.

Bush himself took the White House podium only about 45 minutes after Pelosi was seen gushing with pride over the bill’s passage to say the words his minions have been saying since this bill was first broached: “This bill has zero chance of passing.” Oh, how the Dems have perfected the art of doing nothing and feeling good about it, huh?

And then I remembered, this IS what the Dems do best: Try kinda-sorta hard and lose. In fact, this whole episode reminds me of the Kerry campaign. Yeah, you remember that, don’t you: Kerry tried, Kerry confused and Kerry lost. Yep, they’ve got that one down pat, don’t they?

Meanwhile, Bush, Cheney and the Republicans just go to the podium and say: Fuck off. At least it’s clear.

And so it goes. Over and over and over again.

But at some point the Dems have got to realize that, if their watered down bullshit can’t survive more than 45 minutes before Bush says “go to your room,” they’ve got to start coming up with some declarative statements and positions of their own. If Bush wants a standoff, give him one – but, this time, make your position a position of strength, you dopes.

At least a dozen Dems in the House tried to do that today by standing up and declaring that they wouldn’t vote for another dime for this war. That way, you see, the war wouldn’t become their war. They played the Bush/Cheney/Rove game of going all the way, doing what they truly believed, and voting from their hearts. And you know what, they ended up as the only true winners in all of this because of it. The rest – including Peter Welch – were caught playing the worst kind of politics: Compromising even when you knew you were going to lose. Oh yeah, that’ll show ‘em!

Now that it’s clear the Congress and the White House are not able to seek the help they need to stop this war-making addiction, it’s time for the people to take the lead. To be blunt, the peace movement needs to wake-up, stop getting caught up in the Dem leadership’s enabling routine, and revving up the grassroots with the kind of energy and focus that the grassroots is clearly waiting for. Wait, what do they call that? Oh yeah: democracy. You know, where THE PEOPLE lead.

I’ll see you in the streets, my friends.

Snark on.

Sign of the Times

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sad But True

News Flash: Welch Proves That, Indeed, There Wasn’t Much Difference Between Him and Rainville As He Votes to Give $120 Billion to Bush For More War

Sorry, long headline. But it’s what I wanted to say. I just received notification that Congressman Welch will be speaking and voting in favor of the war-funding bill this afternoon. This is not a surprise. It was clear in his embarrassingly dizzy double talk with the activists that occupied his office yesterday that he was going to be voting this way. Just as it was clear that he didn’t have the political guts to just come out and say it, instead hiding behind the very thinly-veiled claim of not having made up his mind yet. Yeah right. And let us know when Santa will be coming back down the chimney…

Peter Welch spent 18 months bombarding Vermonters with how different he was going to be in D.C. when compared to his opponent, Martha Rainville. But Welch didn’t look all that different when he was lined up like an eager schoolboy trying to get Bush’s autograph at the State of Union address. And he certainly doesn’t look all that different now that he’s voting to give Bush, Cheney, and the entire GOP war machine another $120-plus billion to carry on with this war until at least the Fall of 2008.

We all know why Peter’s voting the way he is on this: He’s trying to climb the hierarchical ladder of the D.C. Dems. From day one, Peter’s been sucking up to Pelosi, even when that sucking up means almost instantly backpedaling on the campaign pledges that he made only a few short months ago. While he may not remember those pledges, promises and distinct differences he tried to make between himself and Rainville and the Republicans, we do. And we will continue to remember those differences until November 2008.

With his vote to provide more money to the Bush war, this becomes Peter Welch’s war, too. He – and the Dems – can no longer get away with the insincere slogans about this being Bush’s war and only Bush’s war. Because, from the beginning and right up to today’s vote, the Dems (now including Peter) have been giving it one congressional approval after another.

The most laughable thing we heard yesterday from Welch as he tried to spin us dizzy with his nonsense about not having made up his mind or the Orwellian jargon about how “funding the war is about ending the war” (yeah sure, Peter), was his claim that “no one in Congress opposes this war more than I do.”

Well, Peter, as you go to the floor today with your Pelosi-approved script with more of the same nonsense you uttered yesterday, consider these words from just one of your peers, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia:

Tonight, I must make it plain and clear, that as a human being, as a citizen of the world, as a citizen of America, as a member of Congress, and as an individual committed to a world at peace with itself, I will not and cannot vote for another dollar or another dime to support this war.

Now that, Peter, is anti-war rhetoric AND anti-war action. And Lewis will be joined by many more Democrats who aren’t just talking the talk of peace, but walking the walk of peace, too. Unlike Vermont’s Peter Welch, these folks will be sending the message that so many citizens of Vermont, the U.S. and the world want from this congress: They will be voting against anymore funding for the war.

But Peter will keep talking. And explaining. And pretending. And hoping that Bush will deliver on the “benchmarks” and “deadlines” included with the $120 billion check from congress. Good luck with that.

And so, on that Tuesday night in November 2008, when the last of the Welch campaign staff is drying their tears and wondering how in the hell their boss became only the second congressman in Vermont in decades to serve only one term, I’m betting that one of the first things they’ll think about was Peter’s vote for more war funding on March 22, 2007.

Congrats, Peter. You’re now the proud owner of a disastrous, illegal and unpopular war. Wear it well.

Just a Thought...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Peter Welch: Vermont's One-Term Congressman Spins Again

Well, that was weird. My day, that is. You see, I took a much-coveted day off from slapping paint on state-owned walls to go and have a little fun with our newly elected yap-dog – er, make that congressman. As in: Peter Welch. And let me say this to the people of Vermont: This guy deserves to be a one-term congressman. He wouldn’t know a decision if hit him in his non-hairy head. Good fucking grief.

About 30 folks marched from the Peace & Justice Center to Welch’s office on Main Street in Burlington today in an attempt to get an answer out of him about whether or not he was going to support the bill currently before Congress to give Bush another $100-plus billion to continue the obscene war on Iraq. You’d think that would be an easy question, too. Funding or no funding, Peter? Especially since Welch spent hundreds of thousands of advertising dollars telling Vermonters for months while he was running for office that his “number one priority was stopping the war.” Well, now he’s got the office and – guess what? – he’s apparently too busy playing footsy with Pelosi to have an opinion with a backbone.

Worse, Peter-the-Dick knew we were coming and he still didn’t have an answer for us. In a moment of Snarky Boy naiveté, I actually thought we’d be arriving to his office with a freshly printed up statement from him explaining that he would not be voting for the funding bill and standing in solidarity with the vast majority of Vermonters who want this war nightmare to end. Cool, I was thinking, we’d march to his office, get the statement out of him, and have plenty of time to check out some watering holes in Burlington on a fine day off. But no such luck there, my friends.

Instead, we arrived to his office and got little but more of the same confused nonsense you get when you call his office: The Congressman hasn’t made up his mind yet; he’s still looking at it; he’s busy and he’ll let you know soon; he’s considering his options, etc.

Excuse me? We’re talking about the war here. The issue that he made such a big deal over while wooing Vermont voters just a few short months ago. But now, apparently, Peter-the-player has decided that cutting deals with the Democratic hierarchy is more important than following his own rhetoric and ending this criminal war.

It’s sad but true, dear readers, but Peter’s got the Democratic disease: He can’t lead and, worse, he can’t make a decision. And we should know, because we waited for hours and hours in his stuffy little office waiting for him to call in and give us the rather simple word on whether or not he would be supporting the bill to provide more funding for the war. But when he finally made the speakerphone call to those of us crammed in his office, he did little but talk in circles, avoid the issue, and try to spin us with more bullshit rhetoric than Karl Rove could muster in a half hour. Trust me, it was pathetic.

But it was clear that Welch will be voting in favor of the bill that will provide more funding to the war. And while he will try to convince us that it’s “the best” he could do, the truth of the matter is that he’s failing to lead, ignoring the people, and becoming yet another accomplice in this long and miserable national nightmare called the Iraq War. Because, no matter what he says about timelines, benchmarks and the disgusting pork spending that has been added to this bill, it will still do one primary thing: Give more than $100 billion to Bush to continue the war until at least September 2008. And that doesn’t only suck, it is wrong and it is cowardly.

I’m glad I went to witness the charade today. And while I was more than a little heart broken by the fact that only 30 people bothered to show up to tell the ONE person in the state of Vermont with the power to vote on more funding for this war that we weren’t going to take it anymore, I say bravo to the brave souls who took the risks, made the plunge, and demonstrated their beliefs in the process known – yet rarely practiced – as democracy.

And the funny thing is, I got home to a slew of emails from so many people who didn’t bother to show up today but had all kinds of bitching and whining to do about the war. And to them – and to you -- I must ask, what the fuck did you do to demand an end to this war today? We’re way beyond the rhetoric phase, my friends, it’s action time. And if you’re not going to act, get out of the way. Or, at least, spare me your emails and comments from the cheap seats…

Which side are you on? Anybody but Welch in 2008, for me.

Say It Loud

"I have said that I hate violence; I favor drama. We must wake the sleepers somehow, and where blindness can be healed by shock we must provide the shock. Sometimes it hurts a little, but it helps the patient afterwards, for lo! It makes him see."
-- Mother Jones

Action Time, Part Two

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shumlin & Symington: Dem Narcissism Runs Amok

Shhh…you hear that? Yeah, that hissing sound. And the screeching, too. Ouch. That’s the sound of Democrats trying to co-manage the huge majorities they have in the Vermont State House. Yep, it’s he-cat Shumlin and she-cat Symington going claw-to-claw over who’s gonna look like they’re big enough and tough enough to be the Dem voice of opposition to Governor Douglas and his ever-so-calm approach to governing. And – oh boy – is Douglas ever loving their catfight.

Shumlin, of course, is the new leader of the Vermont Senate, a lifetime pol who just returned to politics after four years of hunting in a t-shirt and mending fences with his wife (not necessarily in that order). And Symington is the leader of the Vermont House, a lady who seems either really bored with her job or just in way over her head because whenever you talk with her or see her in the media she just looks like she’d rather be somewhere else. Both are Democrats. And both can’t stand one another, especially when both are being mentioned as possible opponents to Douglas in 2008.

The feud between the two has been on a slow simmer since Shumlin marched back into office last November. But it’s come to a boil of late as the two have been having their minions (and relatives) take not-so-subtle shots at one another in public and private. And today, with the publication of the Vermont Daily Briefing’s obnoxiously long interview with Shumlin, the war of words reached a new high as even the Snarky Boy got a ring-side seat as tips rolled in and “players” asked for my attention.

Okay, okay, I’ll play.

First, some back-story. Shumlin is addicted to the game of politics. He thought he was on a well-greased path to anything he wanted politically until he met the not-so-dynamic duo of Brian Dubie and Anthony Pollina in his race for Lite Guv in 2002. Because he had crapped on the left wing of the Dems enough as the leader of the Senate, Shumlin lost enough votes to Pollina to allow the dunce named Dubie to begin a most peculiar political career (Hey mom, look what I found!). Can you imagine losing to those two?

But Shumlin licked his wounds, put his marriage back together, made hundreds of thousands of dollars in his rather wacky business of taking wealthy kids to far away places for big bucks, and started over with a run for his old seat in the Senate. And, of course, he not only won his regular old seat back but he also elbowed the milquetoast Senator Campbell out in his successful pursuit for the Senate leadership position. Trust me, the guy knows hardball politics.

Symington, on the other hand, doesn’t live and breath politics like Shumlin. A development and management consultant for years – a role that thrives in the background – Symington seems to almost resent the attention that comes with being the Speaker of the House. But her husband, Chuck Lacy of Ben & Jerry’s fame and fortune, doesn’t seem to mind pushing her into very awkward political battles with her Senate compatriot, Shumlin.

Proof? That’s easy, consider Lacy’s letter to the Burlington Free Press last month in which he aggressively chided Shumlin for basically being a sissy for punting on the issue of gay marriage. Lacy referenced Shumlin’s “fears” and lack of “leadership” for the decision by the Dems in both houses to take a pass on the push by gay rights advocates to have Vermont play catch-up with states like Massachusetts and allow full marriage, not just the rather third-rate status of “civil unions.” And he concludes with this shot across Shumlin’s political bow: “History will not look kindly on Shumlin's political calculations here. Not in two years. Not ever.” Ouch. I guess that’s what they call “friendly fire.”

And where was Symington? Hmm, apparently hiding on the sidelines, this time behind her own husband. Weird.

But in the VDB interview, Shumlin comes out swinging on the issue, apparently still pissed off by the Lacy attack from last month. Here, for example, is Shumlin’s take on the Dems weak-kneed (oh shit, there goes that theme again) approach to full civil rights for gays:

On the marriage issue, my feeling was, in speaking to the Speaker [Symington], and she agreed with me, that we — now this is a direct quote from the Speaker, she said to me, “Listen, from our perspective, we just did civil unions. Because we lost the House over civil unions, and we just got it back four years ago. And we’re not ready to take it on again.” I listened to that advice and I said, you know, that makes sense.

Take that, Chuck! And, if you’ll come out from the shadows, Gaye, too!

The Dems are being Dems – calculating their way to a political never-never land known in the lay community as: Losers. And Douglas and the Republicans are loving every minute of it. For reasons that I’ll never understand, the Dems cannot lead with their hearts or their convictions – even when they know a vast majority of the Vermont public shares those convictions. The Republicans, in contrast, seem to have no qualms whatsoever with standing firm with ridiculous and unpopular political opinions. It was, for example, Douglas himself who just slept in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House as Bush’s guest. The Dems tried like hell to make an issue out of it and Douglas basically killed the chatter by saying: Deal with it, I am who I am.

Contrast that with the Dems on practically every issue, including the war, impeachment, gay rights, school funding, and the environment (unless it means buying stupid carbon offsets). They circle and circle and circle any issue – any issue! - -until it’s clear that they’re so fucking dizzy they don’t even know which end is up. Worse, then they start fighting amongst themselves over how to parse an issue that should have been as clear as the spring’s blue sky from the beginning.

And the lesson in all of this? Douglas is kicking the Dems’ ass. In a time when the Dems bragged about their “veto-proof majorities” in both houses of the legislature, they’re lined up in a circular firing squad shooting the hell out of one another and sending this message to the voters: We’ve got no plan but the plan of self-destruction.

And the reason is, sadly, very clear: Courage. It takes courage to lead. And it takes courage to get your finger out of the wind to see which way the political winds are blowing and, instead, be bold from your heart and trust your ability to make your case to the voters.

Shumlin and Symington are engaged in a scorpion-like dance with death. One thinks they will eat the other, forgetting that they need each other to truly survive. But, most sadly, it’s not only themselves that they’re killing, because they’re also killing the dreams of Vermonters who would like to see REAL political action on the issues that are near and dear to our hearts.

Shame on their narcissism. Damn it.

No Wanking in the office

Just so you can see what it's like painting in an office setting...

Pleasure Not Pain

Well, it’s out of the frying pan into the fire for this painter boy. Sadly, my gig at the senior center is coming to a rather abrupt ending. No, I didn’t get the boot. Instead, I got a “promotion” to yet another institution job. Yep, your not-so-friendly Snarky Boy is going back on the public dole as a crewmember at a state office-painting gig. And, trust me, painting around the little old men and women is a whole hell of a lot more interesting than painting around the wandering souls that call state-sponsored cubicles their home.

I know I’m gonna catch hell from the ever-growing number of state and federal employees clicking onto this site every (work) day but, I’m sorry, these folks have perfected the art of dilly-dallying. I’ll bet that if you followed one of these folks around all day you’d find they were only productive for about a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the afternoon. The rest of the time, I swear, they’re yakking at the water cooler, wise-cracking over their cubicles, flirting between cubicles, taking personal phone calls, playing video games and/or just wandering around rather aimlessly.

For me, I get to play the fly on the wall routine and watch this madness all around me. After about the third or fourth day of it, it really starts to feel like I’m back in my more youthful contracting days and painting the state prisons or mental institutions. Because it’s all about killing time, baby.

But the really good news is that I get a couple of days off between gigs. Lucky you. And luckier me.

Snark on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Random Blogging: On Bong Hits, McKibben, Anti-War Weenies, and Bullshit Health Care

Mmm, there’s nothing like a Monday, huh? Fuck that.

But, enough whining, I’ve got words to share. Lots of words. I delved into too many emails, parties, publications and websites over the weekend. The result? A news and tip sheet that is overflowing with goodies for you, dear readers. So let’s get started.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus? First, you gotta get a taste of this delicious headline from today's online edition of The New York Times: "Supreme Court Hears 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Case." That's just like a total and complete gift for bloggers, you know. And it only gets better. Ken Starr, the right-wing lunatic of Whitewater, Lewinwsky and Clinton impeachment fame, is the lead attorney representing the young lad who got in a heap of trouble for unfurling the banner with the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" slogan. I guess these guys think that anything you do for Jesus is good enough for them. In that case, how about this: Stop the Fucking War for Jesus!

McKibben Pulls a Gore: I got a great email from a Burlington reader on Friday night. He was all thrilled about a Bill McKibben talk he had just attended at the Fletcher Free Library. Or at least he was thrilled about the talk until the bizarre ending. You see, Saint Bill got the crowd ravenous for “all things local” in his talk about the need to buy local, live local, love local and just plain be local in this age of globalism and – ahem – global warming. Sounds great, right? Yes, until McKibben pulled an Al Gore by morphing from saint to hypocrite faster than he could say “buy my book.” You see, at the end of his talk, when things made a turn from the global and local economy to the McKibben family economy, Saint Bill had his booksellers trot out his latest book for all those in attendance to purchase. And guess who the booksellers were? The Crow Bookshop? Nope. Borders. Yeah, Borders, the big, bad multinational that is responsible for killing hundreds of small bookshops across this nation. Typical liberal: Do as he says, not as he does.

Speaking of liberals, they continue to get their asses handed to them on the war issue. Did anyone hear about the anti-war rally in DC last weekend? I didn’t think so. Because the Dems and their Kool-Aid drinking followers have effectively killed the anti-war movement. If you don’t believe, just wander over to the sleepy Green Mountain Daily site and try to find anything that resembles activism in this age of the so-called Dem rebirth. They’re too busy wondering what to wear to Obama’s next house party than trying to put the heat on the party that is so fervently shitting upon their heads.

The not-so-secret theory goes like this: The Dem establishment – you know, folks like Leahy, Sanders and Welch – are putting the word out to their starry-eyed followers to “cool it” on the war. “Trust us,” the manta from the elected elite goes, “because we don’t want to blow our majority in the next election.” And their good soldiers are bowing with all the subservience one would expect from a lap dog tuggling up for a snooze at their master’s feet.

I’ve said it here numerous times, these folks just don’t know how to lead. Period. And, sadly, they’re letting an historical moment slip into the abyss as a result of their own slumber. Or, make that: as a result of their own political wet dreams. Leahy likes the gavel. Sanders likes the money. And Welch likes the notion that he’ll never have to run those dopey ambulance-chasing lawyer commercials again. Good luck with that.

If you still don’t believe me, consider the Vermont anti-war movement. Seen ‘em lately? Nope. They’re in the mode now where they get a huge fucking kick out of having one-on-one meetings with the elected elite, meetings whereby all Leahy, Sanders and Welch have to do is sit with them for ten minutes, try to remember their names and then spin them out of the rooms as fast as they can say: “Wow, great work. Keep it up.”

The self-appointed leader of Vermont’s anti-war movement, Joe Gainza, has been totally silent since the Dems got control of everything, all in an effort to “play the game” described above. One of his disciples even told Snarky Boy that Gainza is actually telling people that they’re “laying low now, just trying to informally get people to call and write our legislators without calling them out in public.” Oh hell no, we wouldn’t want that, would we? That would almost be like believing in our cause and utilizing our democratic principles to pursue that cause!

The Gainza crowd is also nervous as all hell about this week’s raid on Welch’s office over the war and impeachment issues. Apparently, some rogue activists not drinking the Dem Kool-Aid are planning to make a not-so-subtle visit to Welch’s Burlington office to demand that he get with the program and support the Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey legislation that would end the war now rather than later, later and then later.

According to my contacts, Gainza and the peace crowd that can’t shoot straight have all been running from these efforts to put Welch on the spot like cockroaches at the Motel 6. Gainza, for example, announced that he couldn’t make the visit to Welch’s office because there wasn’t time to get clearance from the national office of his American Friends Service Committee. Nice try, Joe, but you CAN act as an outraged citizen, you know. I guess you haven’t been moved enough by your own repeated placement of the boots of dead soldiers on the State House lawn to do any real activism yet, huh?

Nationally, the sleep walking side of the anti-war movement is being led by the folks at Like their Vermont brethren, they’re trying like hell to stymie the rage of last November and, instead, play the Dem game of “let’s ride this for another election cycle.” John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton have a great article over at CounterPunch describing how MoveOn is toning down their rage and, instead, trying to manipulate the debate toward one and only one plan: The Pelosi Plan, a plan that is about as concrete as the plan of any lotto ticket buyer’s plan to win. Again, good luck with that.

Speaking of the war and funding
, the Dems are acting all coy over their attempts to put all kinds of pork spending in the Pelosi bill that would continue funding the war and put very nebulous timelines on the war plan. Hee-hee. The Pork Bill – er, make that the war funding bill -- includes an effort to extend more help to dairy farmers, something Vermont’s not-so-mighty threesome are gleeful over. So it’s not hard to predict that Leahy, Sanders and Welch have a ready-made excuse for their vote for more money for the war: They’re doing it for the farmers. [Editor’s note: Shed tear here.] Give me a break. Quick, someone get these boys a few backbones.

And because we’re a so-called “three party state,” let’s do another check-in with the Progressive Party.
In times like this, they must be frothing at the bit over how to galvanize pubic support to prove that the Dems and Repubs are just – well – full of shit. Right? Wrong. According to the dreadful Prog Blog, a place that reminds of the confessional I once was forced to go to as a youthful Catholic (you’re told to go there, it feels really dead and weird when you get there, and you’re fucking delighted when you get out), here were the two top-stories from Prog Rep. Chris Pearson: Donald Trump on the war and Stephen Colbert roasting President Bush.

Yes, you read that correctly. Why anyone who considers themselves a Prog would give two shits about anything Trump thinks about the war is just beyond me. Of course, Pearson is thinking it’s all too cute that Trump is on their side. But I’d rather see them hoist up some real ideological heroes rather than the comb-over king, no? Where, for example, was Pearson when Sheehan was in town testifying in the building that employs him? I guess he would have made it if Trump had come instead.

But the REALLY weird part of Pearson’s blogging was his offering of Colbert roasting President Bush. Can he be anymore behind the times? I mean, Colbert did that LAST YEAR, you dope. And, as I recall, it got quite a bit of attention, too. Sarcasm intended. You gotta leave it too these Progs, they’re soooo cutting edge. What’s next, Pearson’s gonna tell us that the lady from the Dixie Chicks said something bad about Bush?

Finally, I’ve got to tell you about a swanky little party I found myself at last Friday night. I only got invited because I was out and about with a friend who truly was invited. It’s a neighbor thing, I guess. But while your deathly bored Snarky Boy sat sipping a swanky cocktail, up walks a gentleman who began chatting me up because, quite clearly, he was caught in that never-never-land of power cocktail parties: No one to talk to while drinking. So I served a purpose and I lent him my ear. Turns out the gentleman is one of the few folks in charge of reviewing Vermont’s so-called answer to the health care crisis: The Catamount Health Care Plan. And his assessment? “It’s bullshit.” Oh yeah, I thought, let me get you another drink and tell me all about it…

Basically, these poor bureaucrats are trying like hell to make sense out of the nonsense compromise that came out of the last legislative session. The Dems were too weak-kneed (there goes that theme again) to push for single-payer health care and Douglas didn’t want to look like a total obstructionist so, in the end, they compromised on a mess of a health care “solution” called Catamount. What a miserable tribute to a marvelous animal.

My cocktail party source, however, confided in me that it appears none of the targeted audience for the Catamount plan – the uninsured – are going to be willing to bite at this state plan. The reason? Price, of course. Blue Cross Blue Shield, for example, has put in a bid to take part in the Catamount plan and charge $418 a month to the previously uninsured. Now, if you’re skipping coverage right now in the private sector -- most likely because of price -- why would you jump at the chance to spend $418 a month for the state plan? The answer: You won’t. Of course, there are income sensitivity rates for this plan, too, lowering it for those who make something akin to poverty-level wages. But, for these folks, when it comes down to food on the table or the medical premium, the choice is pretty clear, especially when everyone knows the hospitals won’t turn down patients in an emergency.

“It’s just a mess,” my source tells me. “We’re just stuck in the middle between the legislature and the governor and being forced to make sense out of the senseless. Worse, we’re spending enormous amounts of staff time and money to do the senseless.”

You know, sometimes these cocktail parties pay off.

Stay tuned. And, better yet, stay snarky.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On Politics & Pool

Well, well, well, who needs high-priced lobbyists like the gents over at Kimball Sherman & Ellis when all you need is some change for the pool table and a thirst for a mid-week beer? Holy shit, the pols were out in Montpelier last night. And, interestingly enough, the Dems were at McGillicuddy’s and the Repubs were at Charlie O’s.

I guess they might see it as reaching out to a different constituency. I mean, do the Dems know who owns McGillicuddy’s? Why, Mr. Dave Nelson, of course – a red-blooded Republican like few others in town. In fact, he’s so goddamn Republican and connected that he’s one of the only people in town who could both run a bar AND coach high school basketball. Hey, it sure beats teaching social studies, huh?

But if I had to guess why the pols were where they were last night, I’d hazard to say that the Dems were just confused (nothing new there) and the Repubs are just doing their best imitation of their boss-man, Gov. Douglas. No, no, no, I’m not suggesting that Jimmy D. does any bar hopping. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Douglas even ordering a large Coke – not when a small Coke is cheaper and probably all you really need. Wait, on second thought, Douglas would order the water and then borrow someone’s cell phone to call home and brag to the wife how he just saved $1.25! Oh Jimmy, you’re sooooo crazy!

Nope, the Republicans hanging out at Charlie O’s are imitating Douglas’ “get out and see the people” thing he’s got going on now with his rather dopily titled “accountability tours.” Couldn’t someone have helped him with this title? I mean, the guys already got a serious accounting-thing going on, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to hip him up a bit, you know. But, then again, it’s all for show anyway. And the hundred or so folks who showed up to hear him at each of his various stops last week would have come no matter what they were called.

The funny thing is that the Dems went ape-shit over Douglas’ tour of the state, as if it was some kind of radical idea to visit places other than Montpelier and Burlington to talk and listen to Vermonters. The Dems, for example, put out breathless press releases claiming that Douglas was just “playing politics” and setting the stage for future campaigns. And to that most of the media and others privy to such rhetorical ninniness said: No shit, Sherlocks.

Guess what, Dems? This IS politics. And it would clearly appear that you’re getting your asses kicked, even though every poll – not to mention the majorities you hold everywhere – would seem to suggest that you should be winning this game. Hmm, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to get out and “play politics” by meeting with people, crafting a message, and – are you ready for this - LEAD.

I’m reminded of the Cindy Sheehan hearings a couple of weeks ago. As you’ll recall, the Republicans did some fine organizing there, too, clearly raining on what should have been a mere rally for the anti-war left. But, while the Republicans sent all their top brass to the event, the Dems could hardly be found anywhere. And the sleepy Progs were absolutely nowhere in sight, probably all busy trying to raise money for Pollina’s ridiculous milk company that is currently saving all of two farmers. You go, guy.

Oh well, what political party would need to take advantage of the 70% of the Vermont population that agrees with Sheehan and wants the troops home now? Dopes.

The Dems and the Progs seem to have nothing but contempt for grassroots politics and meeting and greeting the people they’re pretending to lead. Why else would they get in such a huff over Douglas holding public meetings with the people? And why else would they run like cockroaches from the left’s rather impressive grassroots showing on Town Meeting day that managed to get nearly 40 towns to stand up and do what the Dems & Progs are too afraid to do: Demand an end to the war and the impeachment of Bush?

And judging by the gallivanting by the Republicans last night – several elected officials and a couple high-level appointees to boot – at Charlie O’s, these fellas enjoy hanging with the people and being real. As opposed to the Dems at McGillicuddy’s who were still in their ties and jackets and seemingly just wanting to pretend to be near actual people (as long as they didn’t get too close or try to share their popcorn). Can you say: Stiff? I knew you could.

But before I let the Republicans off too easy, I gotta ask: What’s with all the shit Senator Illuzzi’s taking for holding the Sheehan hearings? I keep hearing from folks that Vince is getting reamed from Republican insiders and some grassroots folks for giving the left the opportunity to come in and talk about the war and Bush before his committee. This makes no sense to me. First, Illuzzi’s doing what the Republicans seem to be doing best this legislative session: listening to people. And, secondly, the Republicans should be thrilled with the way the hearings turned out, especially since their arch-nemesis, Cindy herself, gave a dreadful speech and awkwardly left in total silence.

If anything, these Republicans who are bitching should be patting Illuzzi on the back for holding the hearing and giving them an opportunity to at least look like they don’t belong to a 30% minority on this issue. And the left should be giving Illuzzi shit for not stopping the angry mom, Marion Gray, from her completely out-of-bounds comments directed at Sheehan (“you’re an embarrassment to your son’s memory”). But I guess that would presuppose that the left is actually awake enough to complain. Good luck with that.

So, if all you citizen types want to bypass the Kevin Ellis’ of the world and get all the time you want or need with the pols, hit the Montpelier bars on a mid-week night – especially Thursday – and get all the ears you’ll need for free. But, be warned, some of them are damn good at pool. I should know, I got my ass kicked.

And you thought I went out just for the beer? No way, this is about Democracy. Yeah right.

Snark on.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Did You Hear the One...

...about the Democrats controlling BOTH Houses of Congress but still failing to even stop a SURGE in the war? Oh, it goes like this: SUCKER!

It's Been a Bad Day...

...please don't take a picture.

Where Things Stand

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This Just In: The Economy is in Shambles. Let's Sing!

Hey gang. I’m going to shoot to give you a double dose of snarkiness today. Think of it as your coffee in the morning and your stiff drink in the evening. Or, better yet, think of it as if you have nothing better to do. Or, best yet, think of it as a way to totally stick it to your boss because – as we all know – most of you are using company (or state) time to read this ridiculous site. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with your choice of work-place diversions, but I just want us all to be clear that the time spent on creating these words and then reading them is, indeed, a very, very large waste of time. Unless, of course, enough of you keep sneaking me free drinks and twenty-dollar bills with thank you notes scribbled upon them. Then, and only then, will this site be able to contribute to the economy and, thus, be considered valuable.

I know you don’t come here for your financial news but, let me tell you, things don’t look good on the nation’s financial front. And why should you listen to a schmuck who puts paint on walls? Ah, because this painter boy has been working in a senior center and, in case you didn’t know, there’s only one topic of conversation that trumps bodily functions in such a place: finances and the economy. And, let me tell you, these folks are nervous.

The nervousness was at a peek on Monday, as several of the little old ladies had received visits from their children and apparently gotten either pleas for cash or warnings that the cash was running low. I guess they don’t want to share their anxieties with their “little ones,” because they opened up like a sieve when Snarky Boy arrived. Ouch.

These goddamn cable financial shows don’t help one bit, either. Some of the residents sit and watch the stock ticker like it’s the Super Bowl – all…day…long. And their moods (and blood pressure) go up and down based on the direction and color of the stock arrow. Trust me. And if they’re not watching the stock ticker in real time, they’re watching the 24-hour news, a service that seems to be singularly dedicated to making people really, really nervous.

Oh yes, it does feel like the financial party is about to end. And we all know it was never really a party anyway. It was a long and well-orchestrated scam by which the government and individuals borrowed to party like it was 1999. And we borrowed. And we borrowed, until someone stood up (ahem, that would be Greenspan) and said the obvious: Me thinks you’ve borrowed too much. Ka-fucking-boom. And the bottom split like a long-abused diaper. [I don’t get that last line, either.]

And isn’t it ironic that the whole financial house of cards is going to come crashing down just as Bush makes his merry exit to his Texas ranch? Personally, I’m still waiting for more Republicans to begin calling for Bush’s impeachment just because he’s been anything but a Republican when it comes to spending and controlling the deficit. Sure, he might be off coke, but he was snorting military contracts and tax giveaways like there was no tomorrow. And now we’ll all get to pay for it.

But while Bush ponders a comfortable retirement on his gazillion fucking acres in Texas, the little old men and women in the senior center I’m painting are doing little but working themselves into a frantic lather over how long they’ll be able to live there. I’m serious. These people literally know how many years and months they’ve got to live by their present-day standards. So when they watch the stock ticker take a 2% plunge, they’re thinking: Well, I’ll just have to die 2% sooner. And that, Mr. President, sucks. But, please, enjoy your brush removal. You putz.

Given the morning headlines about the crashing mortgage market and a continued free-fall of the Asian markets last night, I think I’m going to have to stop my painting today, turn off the television set at the senior center, and convince them all that one big sing-along would be about the best thing we could do today. That’ll be my deal to them: I won’t work, they won’t worry and we’ll all just sing the damn day away with nothing but nonsense songs about things that don’t matter. But, damn it, we’ll all laugh like hell.

I’ll let you know how it turns out….

Oh yeah, and sorry I wasted your time. Or was it your bosses time? Cool.

You've Been Warned

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Support Our Troops?

As the liberals would say: Shouldn't they be using drying racks?

NEWS FLASH: The Troops Are Drinking! Repeat: The Troops Are Drinking!

Oh boy, here’s some news straight from the New York Times: The troops in Iraq are drinking alcohol! No shit, Sherlock. And, guess what, they deep drinking when they get back, too. Funny how when you put a bunch of mostly young men in an unwinnable battle situation they turn to any kind of stress reduction they can find, huh? I mean, I need a drink after a day of painting – and no one’s shooting at my sorry ass all afternoon.

Here’s how the Times summarizes this most obvious news:

The use of alcohol and drugs in war zones appears to reflect a broader trend toward heavier and more frequent drinking among all military personnel, but especially in the Army and Marine Corps, the two services doing most of the fighting, Pentagon officials and military health experts said.

Again, where’s the news here? Oh yes, the news should be that this is news and, worse, that the U.S. military complex isn’t dealing with the situation like they should.

I wonder if Vermonters could, for example, get our ambulance-chasing congressman, Peter Welch, to stick his nose in the mess of the VA situation RIGHT HERE in Vermont. I’m just a painter boy with a few causes and I’ve been told about numerous post-traumatic stress cases – including those that involve alcohol and drugs – that have been ignored and/or bungled. My guess is that Peter the Dick hasn’t seen enough camera crews in front of the Vermont VA to merit it much attention yet. Perhaps we could trick him by putting up some phony cameras and then watch him come running….

But, in the meantime, let’s get back to Times article. Here’s what a real pro had to say about the situation:

“I think the real story here is in the suicide and stress, and the drinking is just a symptom of it,” said Charles P. O’Brien, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine who served as a Navy doctor during the Vietnam War. There is a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among Iraq veterans, he said, adding that “there’s been a lot of suicide in the active-duty servicemen.”

You think so, Doc? Well, you too get a “No shit, Sherlock” medal. Wear it with pride.

And the not-so-funny thing is that the pro-war lunatics keep getting away with spinning a stop to this maddening war as “not supporting the troops.” At what point can they be considered accomplices to these war crimes? In fact, they’re reminding me of the sick bastards who cheer on old boxers like Mike Tyson. They don’t give a damn about his well being, they just want to get their rocks off by watching him pummel and get pummeled. But wait, there are a couple big differences between the soldiers and Mike Tyson: The soldiers are dying and Mike Tyson got rich. Never mind.

But wait, Pelosi and the Dems have a plan. Oh shit, I can’t find it. Where did it go? Oh yeah, I filed it under “c” for Chickenshit. Or cowardly. Or conniving. Or contemptible. Or…you get the picture.

The Pelosi non-plan is a mass of confused rhetoric that can be most honestly distilled down to this: Keep this war in the warming oven until the 2008 elections. Sinister bastards (oops, and bitches). Hey, their insider thinking goes, it worked for us in the 2006 elections, let’s give it another ride in 2008! Besides, they’d continue – if they were honest – we’re scared shitless to do the only obvious thing (de-fund) and too witless to think of anything else. So, what the fuck, stretch the thing out and take back the White House!

Personally, I love the news about the folks who’ve been camping out in front of Pelosi’s multi-million-dollar abode in the Pacific Heights region of San Francisco. They’re part of the national effort called “Project Occupation,” and they’re targeting the weak-kneed Dems like Pelosi who are content with dilly-dallying on the war issue.

The word on the street is that a Vermont chapter of Project Occupation is forming and, given the heel-dragging going on by Leahy, Sanders and Welch, all three may have some campers in their offices very, very soon. Once again, you heard it here first…

But the best line in all the coverage of the Pelosi protesters was about their sleeping arrangements. They are, it turns out, literally sleeping on Pelosi’s lawn.

“It’s been fine,” said one protester, “until the automatic sprinklers go off at 4 am.”

While it’s not exactly a Mayor Daly/Chicago/1968 scenario, the use of the water to send the protesters fleeing is kind of comical – er, I mean – hostile. Fuck it, I mean both. Deal with it.

But, like any good liberal Dem, Pelosi’s not about to do away with her amenities in the support of a cause. You see, liberals purchase amenities to support their causes. They never do away with them. That’s so 1960s.

Oh hell, all this talk about the war and soldiers has made me start jonesing for a drink. I’ll be back later…

[Special Snarky note to Senator Shumlin: Will we see you at McGillicuddy’s again tonight?]

Monday, March 12, 2007

Just Read It

Holy shit. What a day. But I promise not to pull a Freyne and tell you all about it – photos and all. Because, unlike Freyne, I know we all go through hectic days. The good news is that now it’s nighttime, I’m sipping yet another cup of coffee, and hoping to give you, dear readers, the snarkiness you seem to be looking for.

Speaking of readers, my weekend emails set an all-time high. Yowza. Tips galore. And stories. And gossip. And nice little gems like this: “Shut up ass-face.” Pitter-patter goes the snarky heart.

Let’s begin by looking at the mail while my Vermont Coffee Company night brew slowly kicks in. But, before I begin, let me remind my readers that your mail is sacred with me. I DO NOT name names unless you want me to or you send me some whacked-out nonsense like the Beaudry family does from time to time with a threat attached to it that they’re going to read it on air if I don’t cede to their demands. Poor Beaudry’s. It must be hard to wake up every morning and wonder how they’re going to get through the day using their native language as if they’re just learning it.

Speaking of Beaudry, I got a tip over the weekend on the op/ed piece that appeared in today’s Times-Argus by a Norwich Cadet, Christopher Hein, a guy who seems to be in Beaudry-like training for human reasoning and the lack thereof. This poor rook apparently did what Beaudry does for all his homework: watches Fox News – especially Bill O’Reilly -- until he hears the “fair and balanced” slogan enough so that he can’t smell the bullshit.

When Hein’s piece arrived in my email box I thought it was a hoax and no one in their right minds at the Times Argus would print it. But, as I fumbled through the paper this morning, there it was.

Hein’s piece, entitled “Anti-War Events are Publicity Stunts, Work Against Troops’ Interests,” is boilerplate pro-war ninniness. You know the stuff: Sounding off against the war is harming our troops; the media is a liberal cabal; Cindy Sheehan runs the world; and, other than telling anti-war people to shut the hell up and stuff our democratic ideals down our pie holes, this war is about promoting democratic ideals. Go figure.

But Hein propagates the nonsense started on Beaudry’s show that “Sheehan was brought to Vermont by the State Legislature.” And even though the angry-mommy, Marion Gray, who started that ridiculous lie on Beaudry’s show, has since recanted it, the bottom feeders of this kind of drivel haven’t quite come to grips with this fact. Earth to the Pro-War Crowd: The State Legislature did NOT bring Sheehan here or pay one penny for her appearance. Besides, the committee she appeared before was chaired by one of your GOP brethren, Vince Illuzzi, although I’d bet he wouldn’t consider himself one of your brethren – mostly because he appears to have a thinking gene.

Hein also spends a lot of time speaking about anti-war “publicity stunts” and the complacent media that follows them like city pigeons following bread crumbs (my words, not his – he’s not that clever). But did he say “publicity stunts”? Oh yeah, like Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” stunt – flack jacket and all! Or how about Bush’s Thanksgiving appearance in Baghdad a couple of years ago? Or how about that Saddam hanging? Or the Colin Powell appearance before the UN before the war – you know, the one where he declared the evidence that really wasn’t evidence amounted to a “slam-dunk” when it came to proving Saddam was about to enter our living rooms, marry our daughters and demand the remote control so he could make us all watch CBS News instead of Fox. Evil Fucker.

Yeah, Sir Hein(y), we know all about publicity stunts.

But before I let this future Bush fodder – er, make that soldier – go, taste this delicious line from his TA piece: “The problem that we have here in the United States is that we only have one point of view of the war and that is the media.”

Is he, by any chance, trying to say that Fox News is the same as Democracy Now? It sure feels like it, huh? Poor fella. Someone’s gotta break it to this Heiny soldier boy that the idea of the media in a so-called democracy is a plethora of voices and views. And when your side is spending billions upon billions of dollars on a war that has hijacked the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers and killed three thousand of them, it’s really hard to take you seriously when you pretend to be a powerless victim. What is it, Sir Heiny, that you want that you haven’t already got when it comes to this war? More fucking body bags? Take a hike.

Freyne Wipes His Nose, photo to come! It sure seems like that, doesn’t it? I mean, how many reporters go to cover an event and come away with photos of them covering the event? Or, worse, come away with copy about them and their relation to the event? The answer: Why, Peter Freyne, of course.

Over the weekend, Freyne decided it was newsworthy to be at the Burlington Airport to greet Senator Leahy as he got off a plane from DC. And, you guessed it, Freyne got some schmuck in the airport to stop and snap a picture of Freyne and Leahy smiling for the cameras. Yep, it was yet another “look at me! look at me!” report from Freyne. But I’m guessing he was really there in the hopes that Saint Patrick would offer him a job so he could quit making a journalistic ass of himself for repeatedly running headlines like: “Leahy Airport Saturday.” Wow, and what will he do on Sunday? Church? Sorry Peter, Leahy’s whereabouts would be news if the headline was more like “Leahy Planet Rock Saturday.” But the fucking airport? Wake me when you’re done snapping the photos.

And now, today, Freyne’s still following Leahy around – but careful not to make Sanders or Welch jealous because he still can’t decide which one he loves more – by attending the silly little farm bill hearing the threesome had at the State House. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know all about it, only because you’ve read all about it so many times you can shed that farmer tear just from the headline that says “farmer.” Boo-fucking-hoo. And if you don’t know all about it, here’s the forty-year recap: Farmers are working hard, making less, producing more and going out of business due to what appears to be a little known financial reality to the farming world known as – are you ready for this – capitalism. Holy shit, Batman.

But that’s not what I’m ranting about today. Nope. Been there, done that. Instead I’m going to show you how Freyne turned a supposed news event into a story about – drum roll, please – HIMSELF. Taste this from his blog entry that was supposed to be about the farm bill:

Funny thing, when I gave up the booze a couple years ago, I also gave up milk. The milk, unlike the John Power's Irish, was not deliberate. It just happened as my diet shifted to fruits, vegetables and salad.

You don't think giving up milk caused the cancer, do you?

Nah, it was probably giving up the booze… By the way, I'm back on milk. A quart a day.

Feeling pretty good, too

As for the farm bill hearing, well, you’ll just have to read the real papers to get news about that.

And the reason I started this particular Freyne rant was that I received numerous emails over the weekend from folks who gave two snarky thumbs-up to my earlier Freyne coverage, all wondering the same thing I wondered: How long must his column go on? The guy needs a break. Take it, Peter. Please?

Send In The Progs: Finally, I got an email from a reader asking me why I never mention Vermont’s Progressive Party. Well, I beg to differ. Don’t you remember the little contest I ran here that asked you, dear readers, to tell the difference between the Prog flunky Anthony Pollina and Kiss’ Gene Simmons. I mean, what more do you want from me?

But the email did inspire me to go over to the Prog’s website and conclude that, indeed, I haven’t missed a fucking thing by ignoring them. In a time of war and impeachment talk the Progs have apparently decided to ignore both burning issues. Instead, they’ve decided to feature the Progressive Mayor of Burlington in a Mardi Gras costume on their front page. Oh yeah, that’ll build the base…

Sorry, but I find it nothing short of leaderless for the Progs to continuously hide from the big issues of the day. Where, for example, were they during the Sheehan hearing? Did Big-Bad Bernie tell his junior players to stay home? You know you’ve got trouble when you’re a third party and the fucking Democrats are making you look sleepy and rudderless.

Come on, Progs, get a clue. Lead, or get out of the way. Personally, I prefer the latter.

And that concludes this episode of Random Snarky Boy. Sorry I didn’t get to much mail but – hey – there’s always tomorrow.

Love always,

Snarky Boy