Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Morning Coffee Shop Blogging

Going really slow this morning. Could be all the fucking mold in the air after the total wetness of being all weekend. But it might also be the residual affects of kicking some mighty ass in two nights of pool sharking in the taverns of town. Oh yeah. Let’s just say that Snarky Boy owns the tables at Charlie O’s and McGillicuddy’s. Well, on the weekends that is. Because the young Republicans are still kicking my ass on their Thursday night romps. Curses! But then Friday and Saturday nights come around and the young yuppies at McGillicuddy’s can do little but get their butts spanked and pay the Snarky tab. Thanks, fellas.

But then Monday morning comes. More grayness. More reality. And not enough work it seems to get me to that glorious time for painters: House-painting season. And so, here I sit, blogging from where I was told was a hot place to blog from: Capitol Grounds coffee shop in Montpelier. Hot? Not.

Frankly, this place stinks of too many people with too much time on their hands. I feel like I’m watching children play dress-up as “adults.” Because it seems like everyone’s just pretending – pretending to be busy, pretending to be happy, pretending to be late, pretending to be reading, pretending to be writing and just plain pretending to be pretending. Isn’t that what makes Vermont so great? All the pretending, that is.

Oh fuck, I’m getting that feeling again. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had it, but it’s a feeling like life is one big scripted drama and you weren’t given a part. And so you watch everyone around you play their parts, follow their cues and enter and exit as if it was all meant to be. But I’m just left watching. And wondering. And thinking that I’m just a spectator in this drama all around me.

Or maybe I’m the one pretending? You never know. Perhaps I should pose the question. I should just get up and ask the young woman across from me if she’s really writing in her high-priced journal book or just killing time because, like me, she’s under-employed and sitting at home felt too loserly and lonely. Then I should ask the man who seems to enjoy talking loudly if he’s just pretending to be demonstrative because he’s had too much caffeine to cover up the unspeakable sadness that is at his core. Or maybe not.

Perhaps it would be better if I interjected myself into the script. Yes, that’s it. I will declare my own part in this morning coffee drama. I will rise from the table and begin to discuss my business with the next person who enters the shop. I won’t know him or her but I will just start telling them rather maniacally why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling and doing what I’m doing. It will be my drama. I will have my audience. Or maybe not.

Instead, I sit witnessing the drama around me. All these people coming together to think that being alone in a crowded room is – somehow – not being alone anymore. And so we sit, getting more and more hyper in our loneliness with each sip of morning brew. Our minds wondering, but not willing to break the code of loneliness that hangs over the room like an armed guard. Eyes must not meet. Glances must not be met. And emotions other than the glad-handing of the great pretenders must be hidden. Coffee! More fucking coffee!

Come on, can’t someone out there use a painter today? This coffee shop crowd is driving me nuts.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mainstream Media Poll on Impeachment

Yo. Go here to take part in MSNBC's poll on impeachment. When I voted, 87% had said "yes" to impeaching President Bush. And to think the Dems are still dragging their feet. Pathetic.

Hat tip to my faithful email crew for bringing this to my attention.

Friday Random Blogging

Ah, it’s Friday. Finally. And I managed to finish my office-painting job with the Red Sox fan/boss from hell. Ha! Take that! Don’t worry I already put the check in the bank with plenty of cash back for what I hope to be one hell of a run on the bars tonight. Actually, he was thrilled that I never named him or his business affiliations. But, as Snarky Boy sources know by now, I don’t use names unless I’ve got permission to do so. Hey, I’ve got to have at least one rule here. Besides, the more the sources’ lips move, the more fun we’re all going to have. So let’s play.

My desk and email box are filled with good story leads but, as usual, I don’t have the time to give them all the attention they deserve. So, let’s play the game of clear out and let it rip with some good old-fashioned randomness.

First, what the hell’s up with Mark Johnson’s two days of live radio from Chicago? Did I miss something? With all due respect, Mark, who the hell cares about Chicago -- especially when the Vermont news is reaching the boiling point on so many fronts? To be honest, I couldn’t really listen to much of it, mostly because I just don’t give a shit about Chicago. But, when I did, I was waiting for some elaborate punch line from Mark about why he was really there. You know, something like he had to be there for personal reasons and dragging the show with him forced Ken Squier to foot the whole bill. But no such luck. So I guess Mark really thinks we actually care about Chicago enough to hear him talk about it for four hours during Vermont’s peak political news season. Yo, Mark, the next time you get the itch to go on the road, may I suggest these towns: Brattleboro, Middlebury, Hardwick, Newport, St. Johnsbury, St. Albans or even Avery’s Gore. But Chicago? No thanks.

Speaking of trips, the blogging ego trip known as Philip Baruth at Vermont Daily Briefing has recently inspired a slew of emails to Snarky Boy. The first batch wondered why he was ignoring the impeachment phenomena. My answer? He’s mainlining the Dem kool-aid, baby. You know that. The impeachment crowd is way too lively for sleepy Baruth, anyway. We all know by now that an exciting political event for Phil is one in which he’s photographed with a political player. Look at me! Look at me! And then, once his lips have been pried off the buttocks of the player, a story – and photos! – will follow on his blog. Come on, folks, you haven’t figured out the routine yet?

I realized I finally had to address the ego-tripper after receiving this email from a reader this morning:

Has the fatuous Philip Baruth always put his byline on his blog posts or am I just noticing it for the first time? Considering it's a one-person blog that doesn't take comments, includes his bio, and countless repulsive pictures, it seems a bit gratuitous. Do you think he will next start copyrighting his posts?

Indeed. His game at VDB seems to be about how many photos of himself or references to his name he can publish each week. Baruth claims that he started his blog because he was frustrated by the political limits that were put on his Vermont Public Radio commentaries. Bullshit. He was just pissed that he couldn’t send his photos over the radio waves. Because, let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing controversial at his site. Yawn.

Speaking of email, another regular reader recently wrote in with the news that certain Dems are trying to recruit Jeb Spalding into a race against Governor Douglas in 2008. Good luck with that. Spalding’s too comfy – and too smart – to jump into that race. There are simply too many mainstream Dems and so-called independents still enamored with our Harry Potter-like chief executive for someone of Spalding’s stature to risk a race against him. My sources tell me Spalding’s enjoying his sleepwalk through public life right now as the State Treasurer and will awake himself when an open seat presents itself in the future. You know, like Leahy’s seat.

Who, then, will the Dems put up against Douglas? Well, did you see Scudder Parker lingering around the Statehouse during the impeachment debate? Yeah, he was the guy trying to get the media’s attention. Good luck with that. Unfortunately, the good minister is not going away, even talking privately with folks about how to put it all together for another race. My prediction? Parker and Matt Dunne will be switching their places on the 2008 Dem ticket, only after Dunne calls Parker’s bluff by refusing to step aside from a possible Dem primary for the top spot. We shall see.

Speaking of Dems, get ready for the national Dems to start cracking under the ridiculous “support the troops” pressure from the White House. As we all know by now, the congressional Dems have delivered their war-funding bill – toothless timelines and all – to the White House and now await the promised veto from the mad one. And that’s when the real games begin. Soon enough, we’ll all be hearing that ear-piercing beep indicating a Dem reversal. Yep. Beep. Beep. Beep. And back they’ll go, offering all the money the Bush war team wants so as to avoid the rhetorical onslaught from the Rovians. Wimps.

Don’t believe me? Taste this line about the current position of many Dems from today’s New York Times article on the war funding negotiations currently underway between Congress and the White House:

Others say Congress has made its antiwar statement and should now give the president the money without conditions.

Imagine that. It’s going to be fun watching our own Peter Welch try to explain that one, huh?

Speaking of Welch, it was nice to wake up this morning to see this headline in the Times Argus: “Welch On Impeachment Hot Seat.” The article, by Dan Barlow of the Vermont Press Bureau, indicates that certain leaders of the impeachment movement will, indeed, be turning their attention toward Welch. It’ll be interesting to see how many of the rank and file members of the movement will follow down this path. Let’s hope all of them -- and many more newcomers.

Here’s how Jimmy Leas summed up the predicament currently facing the movement:

There is a sense that the leadership is telling members of the party to shy away from impeachment. But we want our politicians to be listening to the people, not the party.

Finally, let’s head into the weekend with a brand new feature here at Snarky Boy: Emails of the week. Here are two that particularly tickled my fancy this week:

Snarky Boy reader writes: “Love your stuff. Been thinking about printing ‘Snarky Boy for President’ bumper stickers. You game? Hell, if Bush made it, why can’t you?!

Snarky response: How about we start with “Snarky Boy for Governor”?

Snarky Boy reader writes:
“Here’s a revenue idea for you:
Put a ‘Buy a Beer for Snarky’ button on the site (using Paypal to collect), with these categories:

$6 to buy Snarky a cold one for work well done;
$25 to buy a round for Snarky and his anonymous sources;
$50 to kick it in for extra snarkiness well delivered;
$100 to buy a round for the house;
$500 if you're an anonymous source who doesn't have spine enough to snark out loud yourself;
$1,000 for Snarky to slam a Democrat of your choice;
$2,000 for Snarky to slam a Republican of your choice;
$3,000 if you are bitching about Snarky not posting every single day;
$5,000 for Snarky to paint your house (not really, but Snarky needs the cash to paint his own).”

Snarky response: Now you’re talking. Stay tuned. Site changes are coming soon, with more bells and whistles – including the coveted donation button!

Now, let’s get off the ladder and into the bars, my friends. It’s Friday!

[Remember, send me your tips, quips and comments to:]

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Post-Impeachment Vote Ponderings

I’m still feeling politically hung-over from yesterday’s impeachment affair at the Statehouse. And I’m still scratching my head over the near-complete lack of passion from the sponsors of the impeachment resolution – especially Zuckerman. Can anyone explain why Zuckerman totally clammed up on what should have been a fawning stage for him? And, if the silence was what he was planning, why did he insist on being the so-called leader of the effort?

And you know the little insider-birds at the Statehouse have already landed on Snarky Boy’s shoulder to whisper these answers in my ear (hey, after work beers always result in fine tips): Zuckerman, according to my well-place sources, was playing both sides of the fence on this one. He was aiming for the media glow for the betterment of his statewide political profile but he also didn’t want to rock the boat amongst his legislative colleagues. So, Zuckerman spewed eloquently for the media cameras but silenced himself when it came to the toe-to-toe with his colleagues. It was what he thought was going to be a win-win for him: he’d get the impeachment movement fawning over him for getting the vote but he wouldn’t ruffle any feathers by actually fighting for it or making any of his colleagues uncomfortable during the debate.

But with the exception of the most starry-eyed impeachment folks, the strategy seems to be backfiring as more and more people replay the floor debate and keep coming up with blanks when trying to place Zuckerman at the scene. Remember, Zuckerman wasn’t going to say a word during the debate until he was specifically called upon to answer the inquiries by one of the anti-impeachment representatives. And, let’s face it, he was just short of pathetic in answering those inquiries, exhibiting all the passion usually reserved for – oh – brushing your long locks.

In the end, there were three big reasons for the overwhelming defeat of the impeachment resolution: Gaye Symington’s not-so-subtle lobbying of her colleagues; Zuckerman’s sponsorship of the resolution – thus irking the mainstream Dems who can’t stand the Progs (remember how Brian Dubie got elected); and – according to my sources – some very strong signals from the Welch, Sander and Leahy people. Yep.

As we know from the ridiculous joint statement our three federally elected officials put out against moving forward on impeachment, these three Dems knew that killing it in the Vermont House was the last chance they had to stop the movement’s march to their doorsteps – especially Welch’s. After the Shumlin Snake slithered and twisted away from taking one for the team, the team turned all their heat up on Symington and the House Dems to stop the impeachment movement before it scorched them all.

Welch, Sanders and Leahy love to rail against the Bush team but they also know the Bush team has been wonderful for their political careers. They use the Bush name in Vermont like Bush uses the Osama name across the nation: To try to scare the shit out of people and take the emphasis off the fact that they’ve got no real plan other than scaring people to the polls. Let’s face it, without Bush, we’d be talking about Congresswoman Rainville right now. And Leahy wouldn’t be donning the chairman’s cap and basking in the love lights of the libs who aren’t willing to see the great disconnect between Leahy pointing out all the illegalities of the Bush team and yet NOT supporting impeachment. Oh yeah, Bush is the electoral gift that keeps giving – well, for one more election that is.

It’s going to be very interesting to see if the leaders of the amorphous impeachment mob will be willing to turn their rage to where it should be aimed now: Straight at Peter Welch. Or will they be satisfied with their “success” in the Senate and bow to the
Dem insiders’ calls to take it easy now and stop the political scorching? That would be a total shame – not to mention a complete rebuke to the idealism, passion and energy of so many people who rode the impeachment train this far.

One thing is for sure: A powerful movement has been created. More importantly, it’s a movement that dares to dream, be bold and – for the most part – shun the political correctness codes that normally doom such movements. That’s why hundreds of people took so much time out of their lives to be a part of it. It was real. It was focused. It was passionate. And – better yet – it didn’t belong to any party or high-profile pol.

Here’s to hoping the movement grows – in numbers and boldness.

Snark on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Impeachment Blues: The People Spoke & the Pols Cowered

Oh, the drama. Well, kind of. Hmm, on third thought, I could have just continued watching paint dry. It would have been just as fruitful and exciting as watching the all-too-predictable Dem slaughter of the grassroots this afternoon in the Statehouse. You gotta hand it to these Dems, they sure know how to stick it to their base, don’t they? In fact, if passion were one side of a magnet, the mainstream Dems would certainly be repelling it on the opposite side.

This time, as we all know by now, nearly 400 Vermonters made the journey to the Statehouse to hang their hopes on yet another miraculous victory along democracy road. It wasn’t to be, however, as the Speaker of the House, Gaye Symington, lined up enough of her Dem faithful to put a dagger in the hearts of those who knew it was all symbolism anyway. But Gaye and her band of Dems who can’t shoot straight had to, nevertheless, wave their pedantic finger and scold us for “going to far,” “being to bold,” and “wanting to much.” Oh yeah, Gaye, it really sucks when people dream, doesn’t it?

Please, remind me not to party with Gaye. Not that Gaye would party, for sure. But, if she did, she’d be the one who’d come to the Halloween party without a costume and then announce that everyone else is just in costume. Well, yeah. That’s how it works, you dope. And I’ll bet when she really wants to let loose, she asks her multi-millionaire husband, Chuck Lacy of Ben & Jerry’s fame, to hire an Air Supply cover band. Rock out, Gaye! Not.

And given Gaye’s close proximity to the Ben & Jerry’s symbolism – how’d that “1% for Peace” thing work out? – you’d think she’d understand the pure symbolism of today’s actions. This whole effort has been about people feeling frustrated and wanting something – anything! – to reflect that frustration in the body politic. I’m certainly not amongst the Kool-Aid drinkers in this movement who think these votes in the Vermont Statehouse will go any further than the Vermont Statehouse – officially, that is. But, symbolically, these votes are about giving hope, building the base, and seeing if the Dems have anything close to what it takes to be a true oppositional party to the White House Republicans. We were dreaming, goddamn it.

But in these times you always know that when the dreams of the people get going, there are going to be more than enough good Dem-dream killers ready to pounce and – well – kill the dream. Just like Peter Welch killed the dream of Vermonters who want the war in Iraq stopped today – not in two years – Simple Symington donned her dream-killer garb today to shepherd home a vote that basically took a good long piss on the passion of the grassroots left. All that was really missing was this kind of line from Symington as she lorded over the slaughter: Take that, you fools!

And so it goes.

Let me conclude with some snarky observations about the winners and losers in this debate as I saw it:

Gaye Symington, Loser. No surprise here. Sure, she got pushed into this by the Shumlin Snake, but she twisted enough Dem arms to make sure it failed. Her side of Dem ninniness should not be surprised when more Vermonters pick third, fourth and fifth party alternatives in the next election. Anyone in Jericho ready to take her on from the left?

David Zuckerman, Loser. Yep. Even though Zuckerman sponsored this resolution, he was absolutely pathetic in defense of it. First of all, he didn’t rise to say a word in support of it until some Republican Neanderthal demanded to question him and, even then, he acted like the school kid who didn’t really read the book being discussed. Coming into the Statehouse, I really thought this was going to be Zuckerman’s day. He would have hundreds of supporters in the cheap seats, the glowing lights of the media and any and all the attention he wanted to articulately support and defend the impeachment resolution he spearheaded. Instead, he sat and sipped fucking Dr. Pepper and all but cowered from the attention that he should have been bathing in. Weird. I guess he’s not ready for primetime after all.

Chris Pearson, Winner.
This new Prog from Burlington gave the speech that most of the room thought that many reps would have given today. Pearson is clearly the boy-in-waiting on the Prog side of things – move over, pony-tailed Dave. Or, better yet, go to sleep, Pollina. He nailed it by understanding the symbolism of the moment and clearly and unequivocally declaring his wish to be on the side of opposition to the rogue Bush administration. Pearson’s got his mojo going. Congrats.

Jon Anderson, Loser.
Well, this newbie from Montpelier is just – well – a loser. Oh sure, he voted in favor of the resolution. But only after – according to several of his colleagues who confided in me – he bumbled around the backrooms asking folks how to vote. Get a life, dude. Or as one area rep told me: Look at your constituents, you idiot! Yep. But Turtle Jon is really on the Snarky Boy loser list mostly because of what I overheard from one of the media elite during the debate as Anderson walked across the room: “Dead man walking.” Oh yeah. Enjoy yourself, Jon, because it won’t be long before the voters show you the door.

Kurt Wright, Loser. No shit. But that won’t stop the Burlington Dems from feeling all proud about handing them the leadership role of their City Council.

The Kingdom Republicans, Losers.
Holy shit, let’s be real here. There are some really, really scary looking Republicans from the Northeast Kingdom. Several of them look like they’re one pasta dinner short of a coronary. And the anger! Whew. They were so proud to scream out their “no!” votes that I almost thought the next call would be “911” to clear the arteries that were/are so obviously clogged.

The People, Winners. Wow. What a show of force. Even if we got the golden shower from the power elite, we showed that we – for now, at least – still believe in the system and expect results. And “the people” will continue to be winners if we don’t fold up our tents and go away after the Gaye-massacre of passion and, instead, keep dreaming and doing what we know is right. Or left? Whatever.

[Thanks for all the snarky shout-outs at the hearing today. Nice to see so many people following the words according to Snarky Boy. Who knew? As always, send me your quips, tips and comments to:]

Snarky News Flash: Impeachment Dies in the House

Well, we lost. The impeachment crowd, that is. And thank fucking God. Because all that winning had me really worried. I mean, I was starting to not crave that afternoon beer. Not much time for now other than to say the Dems acted like Dems today and, upon being thrown against the wall to determine if they were cooked, enough of them sided with the Mother Goose-Speaker (that would be Ms. Symington) to give the collective finger to the 300 or so folks who came to – well – get the finger. The vote wasn’t even close, 80-something to 60-something. My time on this borrowed computer has now expired, but I’ll be home to post some snarky observations a little later. I promise.

Democracy Wednesday

Yo. Rule number one: Watch your tongue. Especially when you have an ever-growing audience that may include certain clients who wear suits and baseball caps [see below]. Yikes. Who knew? But after the oh-so-nice-current-boss-man informed me that he was, indeed, aware of the Snarky Boy, I broke my rule of not checking my stat page. Holy cow. Someone’s sure spreading the word. Big time. Let’s just say that you’re far from alone in visiting. Well, you and over 500 other unique visitors every day. So, I thank you all for playing. And, as usual, I thank you for your emails, which, of course, can be sent to:

P.S. Don’t worry, I’m not going to watch my tongue. Besides, it would be way too late to start now. So, get over it and keep reading, my friends.


Whew, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at the news. Ew. Maybe not. Because yesterday was ugly in Iraq, the Dems and Bush keep promising more money for the misadventure, Bush declared that his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, did a heck of a job at his Senate hearing (hmm, where have we heard that one?), and the Pentagon is getting it from the Tillman family and Jessica Lynch for being the lying propagandistic bastards that they are. Yeah, it’s ugly out there.

Well, not when it comes to the Vermont impeachment crowd. The little movement that could just keeps on chugging up the hill, turning milquetoast Dems into believers faster than the weather changes, and gaining more and more followers by the minute.

Ah, there’s only one thing Snarky Boy likes better than a cold one: The smell of democracy in the morning, baby. And it absolutely reeks of democracy in Vermont of late. Better yet, the more the ninny insiders try to play their stalling and derailment games, the more they look like the asses that they are.

The Shumlin Snake, for example, did what all good snakes do from time to time: slither here to fore until a new sense of comfort has been attained. Better yet, while getting himself all comfortable with his contorted positions on impeachment, the Shumlin Snake has managed once again to put a big turd on desk of his cohort, Gaye Symington. Well, that’s not really true, since Gaye has been doing everything in her power to look even more ridiculous than Shumlin on the issue of impeachment.

But – much to my snarky dismay – the grassroots impeachment crowd just keeps chugging away, making wimpy pols look like – well – wimpy pols. At this point, there’s enough egg on the faces of the weather-vane Dem leadership to feed the throngs of Vermonters who will be marching to the Statehouse once again today. Would you like home fries with that?

Once again, your snarky friend will be taking a long lunch break for the benefit of witnessing Dem leaders squirm and pure democracy in action. As we all know by now, at 1:00 today, the Vermont House will be considering the same impeachment resolution that passed the Senate last Friday morning. The prospects for passage in the Symington-led House don’t look good at this moment. But if we’ve learned anything over the last few weeks about this amorphous mob of impeachment seekers it’s that it’s not wise to bet against them. Geez, don’t you just hate it when people believe in something enough to take effective action? Oh wait, that’s what this democracy thing was supposed to be about, right? Go team, go.

For political junkies like me, it’ll be fun to see how this movement turns the corner after the Statehouse drama ends today. Will they, for example, aim their impeachment venom at our foot-dragging congressman, Peter Welch? Let’s hope so.

If they do, we’ll certainly see old limp Peter roll out his famous double talk. It’ll sound a lot like his defense of talking against the war but voting to fund it. He’s a lawyer, you know, and made scads of money speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Worse, Peter’s got that uncanny ability to absolutely put you to sleep while trying to talk around an issue. So, after awhile, you really don’t care about his conclusion because you just want him to stop talking already. He is, after all, ruining a good nap.

Oh well, it should be a good show today – win or lose. Stay tuned for snarky updates.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Attention Gaye Symington: Read This!

As the impeachment crowd prepares to head to the Statehouse on Wednesday to get the bizarrely recalcitrant Dem-Speaker, Gaye Symington, to come to her senses, perhaps all the evidence they need to present is this introduction to today’s online story in the New York Times:

President Bush strongly reiterated his support for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today, declaring that Mr. Gonzales’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week had increased his confidence in him.

“The attorney general went up and gave a very candid assessment, and answered every question he could possibly answer, honestly answer, in a way that increased my confidence in his ability to do the job,” Mr. Bush said.

And Gaye Symington wants nearly two more years of this crap?

Good Day Sunshine? Big Fucking Deal.

Okay, okay, quit your bitching already. So I took a few days off, big deal. Like I’ve said before, when you snark-seekers start glad-handing me with crisp twenty dollar bills I might – might! – start taking your “hey, where are you?” emails a bit more seriously. Until then, shut up about it.

And while I’m in that not-so-unfamiliar area of getting things off my chest, I’m issuing this snarky demand that the candyasses amongst us (you know who you are) stop this obnoxious glee over the stupid weather. I can’t take it anymore. Oh baby, there’s nothing like a bunch of pasty Vermonters shedding too many clothes too soon. Yikes. It sure looks like too many people took Paul Beaudry up on his plea to get Vermonters to eat more cheese. Okay, okay, enough already, because I don’t think all this support for Cabot is going to cover your fucking coronary bills. And, please, buy some bigger clothes already.

As a painter, I rarely run to the sun like so many Vermonters did last weekend. Because, you see, I’ll be in the sun all summer. That means I’ll be going through my late-spring ritual of looking like a lobster and then morphing into something darker than a David Lynch flick. Huh? Whatever.

My schedule is opposite to most working folk. I’m outside when you’re inside and I’m inside when you’re running around like a fucking lunatic screaming about the “air and the sun.” Been there – all fucking week. So when I get those scornful little looks from the goody-goody people walking down the streets of Montpelier when I duck into Charlie O’s in the late afternoon, I know I’ve already done my outdoor time and all I need is a cave and a cold one. What better place?

Oh wait, maybe those looks are about the pursuit of the late-afternoon alcohol. And to them I say: When you stop popping all your pills I’ll stop my self-medicating. Deal? Now shut up about it.

Boy, what got into me today? Wait, I know. It’s hotter than hell in this office building I’ve got two more days of work in and my Yankees totally shit the bed over the weekend. It always sucks to lose three in a row to the Red Sox but it REALLY sucks to lose to them while working for a total Red Sox dork for a client. You know the type: He wears a suit and a Red Sox baseball cap. Oh yeah, baby, sooooo cool. What a statement. Worse, he acts like he’s one-in-a-million for being a Sox fan in the heart of Sox country. Dude, get a life.

If that isn’t bad enough, this fella actually took that WDEV bus trip to Fenway Park yesterday to see last night’s game. Could you think of anything worse than being on a busload of ninny Sox fans – all pretending to be more fanatical than the next one? Good fucking grief. And he was all jacked up about it like he was going on a date with Jessica Alba. But, as we all know, Sox fans don’t get laid – not with that suit/baseball cap combo. No way.

Here’s the really dorky part: The WDEV bus didn’t get back to Central Vermont until 4:30 this morning and he stayed up, got dork-pumped on too much coffee, clothed himself in even more new Red Sox paraphernalia, and came hooting and hollering into his office like we were all just waiting to hear about his “monumental” trip. But he’s the boss – not to just the Snarky painter but also about a half-dozen captured souls who do his office chores and pretend to care about something more than his signature on the bi-weekly checks.

In other words, we were all captives to his nonsense all morning. Until, that is, he petered out just before noon and – as if we didn’t see though it – announced that he had a meeting to go to in Burlington. Oh sure. But, hey, it works for me, he’s got one hell of a computer and that speedy access manic bloggers crave. Thanks, dork.

Oops, gotta switch computers. I’ll post this for now and get to my other stuff when the kind little lady of the office sets up me with a new spot. Consider my situation kind of like the Vermont Senate on Friday: When the boss is away, the painter will play.

Back soon…

Thursday, April 19, 2007

News Flash: Peter Welch Confirms Peter Welch's Opinions!

Since I know that the young lads at the various offices of Congressman Peter Welch are regular readers of this blog, let me take this opportunity to provide you and your boss with some free snarky advice: Please, stop talking about that silly little trip to Iraq and Afghanistan! It’s getting embarrassing. Because Peter’s just skating on the surface and trying to say one and one thing only: I was right and I’ve got power! Whatever.

There is no one – repeat: no one – who didn’t know that he'd come back from that trip and say the exact same kinds of things he's saying. In fact, as you’ll recall, I predicted the words Peter would utter upon his return a week before he started the trip.

But Peter keeps making the rounds to every Vermont media outlet that will have him. Worse, he’s saying the exact same things at every stop – not realizing, apparently, that there’s lots and lots of overlap in the audiences.

My favorite standard Peter line is that he’s come back from the trip with a realization that “the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are different.” Yes, Peter, one’s in Afghanistan and one’s in Iraq. Wow. Smart fella. But the only real difference for those of us who look further than the superficial spin provided by the State Department is that both are a disaster. Sure, when – at this moment – you compare Afghanistan and Iraq, it may appear that the Afghan situation is all hunky-dory, especially when you get your information from the man being propped up by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai.

Yo Peter, if you were to ask President Bush how things are going in this country, he’d say “super!” And would you believe it? Of course not, you dope. That’s why it’s important for you to put your thinking cap on before you go on these cloistered trips.

Peter’s latest stop on his Vermont media tour to say “look, I traveled!” landed him on WDEV’s Mark Johnson Show this morning. Lucky for Peter, he didn’t have much more than about 25 minutes to say the same kinds of bullshit he’d already said to every other member of the Vermont media. Because good old Mark was ready for some real questions. You know, things like, “But how could you make that determination after only two days in the country?” Bingo.

And each time Mark tried to poke holes in Peter’s “I’m so fucking important and smart” balloon, Peter declared that he was almost out of time. Yeah, doesn’t that suck when members of the media actually ask you to defend your nonsense?

The last question from Mark was the clincher for Peter, leading him to hang up and definitely get the hell off the phone. It came after he declared that the trip made him even more sure that the Iraq war is a disaster.

“Well,” asked Mark, “how could you be even more sure when before the trip you called it an ‘unmitigated disaster?’”

Gotta go, declared Peter… and – vrooooom – away he went.

But let’s step back and pretend Peter’s still available for some follow-up questions. Oh hell, let’s just make it ONE question:

If, as you say, it’s an “unmitigated disaster,” why did you vote to throw $124 billion toward funding it?

Worse, earlier in the interview, Peter declared that the “military strategy was a complete failure.” Okay, so throw them some more money! I guess Peter still thinks he’s a lawyer representing one of those poor schmucks who responded to one of his ambulance-chasing ads on television. Nope, he never wanted to tell them that it was hopeless either – not when these “complete failures” are so good for your career and – ahem – bottom line.

Please, Peter, stop the bullshit. You were in Iraq for two days – two days! You don’t “feel the pain” of the soldiers – unless you really want to stay and fight. You saw nothing but what was staged for you. And you’re embarrassingly just using the trip the way all your colleagues use such ridiculous trips: To promote yourself.

Just stop. Or, better yet, get real and do what common sense would dictate to someone who declared a situation an “unmitigated disaster” and “complete failure”: Stop funding it!

It’s really not that hard.

[Reminder: Email me with your tips, quips and comments at]

McCain Sings: Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran

You've got to watch this. When is this old bastard just going leave us all alone? And while his Iran policy is bad enough, his policy of waiting to get on stage to shoot the snot is perhaps worse. Gross.

Gonzales Hearing Live Blogging (with many updates below)

Yikes. I don’t know what’s more scary, the fact that President Bush appointed this Gonzales character to lead the U.S. Department of Justice or Gonzales’ absolutely terrible testimony that has just begun as I’m home on what we’ll call a “sick day.” Yeah right. I was going to try and write about some more Vermont-oriented issues today – you know, things like Welch’s silly press parade in regards to his recent Iraq trip, more on the Shummy-snake and his continued efforts to twist and recoil, and more than a few pokes at the increasingly dopey Vermont media (bloggers, included) – but, damn it, I can’t write about it AND listen to Gonzales make a complete and total fool of himself at the same time. So, since I owe you words, let’s try some live blogging…

Opening statement review: Gonzales has no friends here. None. I guess all the good senators can smell dead meat when it sits before them because not one had a good thing to say while welcoming Gonzales. The beginning had that frantic feel similar to that of cutting raw meat in the presence of a dozen hungry dogs. They were ready to pounce. And for good reason, too. Nothing that has come out of Gonzales’ mouth in the last few months has had anything close to consistency to it. But that’s par for the D.C. political course.

Like so many policy fuck-ups by the Bush administration, Gonzales just refuses to stop spinning bullshit and come clean. Instead, he just keeps obfuscating, meandering, dodging and weaving around that essential little thing called “the truth.” This whole thing could just be over if he’d pitch the Bush team playbook of arrogantly thinking that bullshit can be piled high enough to hide the truth and say this: I was obviously involved in the removal of the federal prosecutors. We did it because we have the authority to do it. But I know it looks terrible, it interferes with real justice and further undermines the confidence in the justice system. Worse, I have been involved in numerous attempts to hide my involvement in the removal of these attorneys, thus insulting the intelligence of nearly everyone who can read a newspaper. Therefore, I suggest we end these hearings because, as of this moment, I’m resigning my position as Attorney General, mostly because I now understand what second-rate flunky I clearly am.”

Good luck with that.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Leahy who got super-snappy with Gonzales first. Nope, it was the Republican ranking member, Arlen Specter. Ouch. If this were a boxing match, it would already be called a technical knockout. Now let’s see how many more punches Gonzales is able to take before he runs from the room calling out for his mommy…

Oops, we’re getting close, as Gonzales just uttered these important words: “The moment I believe I can no longer be an effective Attorney General, I will resign this position.” Hmm, and by effective, do you mean spending months on end twisting in the winds of deceit?

Oh no, here comes Orrin Hatch, the lemon-sucking-senator, to Gonzales momentary rescue. Here’s his first question: “Mr. Attorney General, do you make decisions based on public opinion polls?” Yo Orrin, get a life.

Wait, here’s another Hatch question: “Do you spend a lot of time at the White House?”


First Update (11:20 am):
Feinstein is now questioning the shrinking Gonzales. And within three minutes I’ve counted six “I don’t recalls.” Damn. Come on noon.

I’ve got a question: Is it just White House arrogance that would even allow this fiasco to go as far as it’s gone? I mean, why didn’t they just demand Gonzales’ resignation a couple of months ago? It really makes no sense to me. On one hand you could surmise they Gonzales must be sitting on a huge pile of Bush team secrets and they don’t want to cut him loose. But on the other, you could surmise that the White House absolutely hates Gonzales and they’re getting a perverse kick out of watching him get his ass handed to him. Of course, the White House could also be thinking that it’s better for the media and the Dems to be kicking Gonzo’s ass rather than Bush’s. But, again, none of it makes sense. I’m betting on the arrogance angle.

Whew. Leahy just called for a ten-minute break. He could probably smell the piss in Gonzo’s pants.


Update Three (11:35 am):
We’re still on break. The Pacifica Radio commentators have pointed out that 40% of the audience there is wearing pink (the Code Pink folk) or orange in solidarity with the Gitmo prisoners. Many of these people also are carrying signs, the most popular being the clear and the concise: Resign. But the best news – especially in regards to our upcoming drinking game – is that there’s a man in the room with a “I Don’t Recall Counter” sign. According to the Pacifica folks, the counter stood at 29 when the break was called. Holy shit. And I’ve only got a six-pack


Update 4 (11:58):
We’re back and Gonzo’s got some dry pants on. And, oh boy, it’s Texas time! Texas Senator John Cornyn is now lobbing softies at the Texas-born Gonzo who was appointed to his AG position by the kinda-Texan Bush. Can you say: Lovefest? Bingo.

Surprise, surprise Cornyn wants to know why we’re not talking about Clinton and his administration’s handling of states attorneys. Well, Mr. Senator Dumb-Fuck, let me answer that one: Because Clinton hasn’t been president for over six years!

Whew. The weird Texas moment is over, in which Cornyn did his best to make us all believe that there is no reason for much of the nation to be outraged over a slimy Gonzo. Nice try. Now shut the fuck up.

Next questioner: Senator Russ Feingold. This should be good.

It wasn’t. Just more posturing on both sides, with neither willing to get really interesting by just resorting to name calling.

It’s almost noon! Get your drinks ready!


Update 5 (12:25): It’s Senator Schumer’s turn to play “take a poke at the liar.” And now I’m reminded of the time I had a cat that liked to catch a mouse and then bring it into the bathtub. The hapless mouse was doomed to a hideous game of slipping and sliding around the tub with no hope for escape while the big, bad cat just toyed with it. For some reason, I just keep thinking about that frantic mouse….

Senator Leahy just had to intervene to remind the crowd to refrain from their laughter during the hearing. How unfair.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s drinking time! Remember, each time Gonzo says “I don’t recall,” let it rip. It’s really your choice about how much to chug. And if you don’t want to drink alone, bring the damn dog into the room.

Schumer’s best line in regards to Gonzo’s testimony: “It defies credulity.” Oh yeah.

Oh wait, we’re getting a news alert from Fox News: The Virginia Tech shooter was believed to be crazy. No shit. But they’re going to keep telling us this all fucking day long in a desperate attempt to keep the distraction going.


Update 6 (12:52): Cool. The protesters in the crowd finally had enough. They just erupted in a “Gonzales must resign” chant. Of course, the police stepped in and all the senators – including the Dems, for course – looked angrily at the folks who had had enough with the rhetorical games. Bravo to the protesters! Finally, someone cut to the chase and said about the only thing that needs to be said.

For those keeping track at home, the man with the “I Don’t Recall” counter is now up to 52. Yep, Gonzo has uttered that evasive phrase 52 times. And for those participating in the drinking game, hide the car keys. You’re going to be in no position to drive anywhere if this continues.

The Pacifica crew has now declared the most obvious: Gonzo is only making his situation worse. Why? Well, people thought the only way Gonzo could pull the rabbit out of a hat and protect his ass was to come forward with some new information, a revived memory and the ability to put the two together. No such luck. It’s just been the same old same old. And this after hearing for weeks that Gonzo was spending all his time preparing for this hearing. Yikes.

It’s break time again. Which means Gonzo will be going on his third adult diaper of the day.


Update 7 (2:20): Well, I’m getting really, really bored. As you see from the above, I killed some time by browsing YouTube and revisiting the issue of Peter Welch. But, damn it, the hearings are still on break. Hmm, maybe it was my insistence on playing the drinking game? I’ve even had to place my nice stash of Budweiser back in the fridge to keep them cool while waiting. [Editor’s note: Please, spare me the comments on Budweiser – I’m a painter, you know?]

I’m now beginning to think that this huge delay is about more than giving the huge senators a chance to eat their huge lunches. Perhaps Gonzo is seeing the light? Hmm, perhaps a letter of resignation is being agreed upon? We can only hope.

Speaking of hope: Let’s hope that the ninnies in the Vermont legislature – especially Shummy the Snake and Simple Symington – will see how wrong they are for not allowing Vermonters to officially express our outrage over the Bush administration by moving toward impeachment.

Still on break…


Last Update (3:52): Sorry, couldn’t take it any longer. Even Snarky Boys need sunshine on a day like this. Yowza. But it doesn’t look like I missed anything: Gonzo still can’t remember much and the Dems are still trying to maintain some decorum in what is obviously one, big joke of a hearing. To get back to an earlier point, it is simply outrageous – even criminal – that the Bush team would allow this hack to come before the U.S. Senate as unprepared, unwilling and/or untruthful as he so clearly is. As a political junky, I tend to listen to these things more than the average painter and, let me tell you, I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s so bad, in fact, that I almost feel sorry for the poor bastard. But, then again, he’s just the latest Constitutional-loathing prick who’s been thrown over the side of the Bush ship so as to pretend that the higher-ups (Cheney, Rove, et al) remain pure. Yeah right.

You’re on your own from here on out. I’m heading back for some sun and fresh air.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Guv Behind Closed Doors...

Shumlin may hunt in a t-shirt but the Guv is still kicking his ass.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shumlin’s Double-Eye Poke to the Left

You know, sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Because no matter how hard you try to make slick pricks look like slick pricks, they always do you one better. They are, after all, the slick pricks.

I’m speaking, of course, of Peter Shumlin, the leader of the Vermont Senate – one slick prick, for sure. Shumlin’s the Dem leader with the super-majority in the Senate who has been matching his cohort in the House, Gaye Symington, stride for stride in doing absolutely nothing with their new-found power. But at least Shumlin’s been able – until now – to make the total and complete lack of a Dem agenda look like Symington’s fault. In other words, Shummy’s been able to push Symington over the political cliff every time he feels the heat getting close to him.

Until now. Yep, Shummy’s luck has run out. Because, sooner or later, you run out of people to shove over the cliff in Vermont politics and – voila! – you’re left looking pretty lonely and very guilty on the edge of that cliff. Oh Shummy, your time is up.

The mighty phony Shummy machine hit all time lows today in the Statehouse. And you could tell by the excessive shiftiness in his eyes that he knew the gig of saying one thing and doing another was near an end.

Shummy, you see, was backed into a rhetorical corner by the impeachment crowd. He was the one who threw gasoline on their fire earlier in the session by grabbing the metaphorical microphone and yelling to the state: “I support impeachment!” But, the funny thing is, the people of Vermont took him seriously, not realizing that the slick prick was just being himself. Because when the impeachment crowd asked Shummy for just a wee-bit of action on that mighty rhetoric of his, he huffed and he puffed and acted like they just asked him to go hunting in a t-shirt. Oh wait, he’s already done that. Yawn.

“The Senate does not have time to take up impeachment,” Shummy declared. And slam went the door. Never mind the rhetoric, the headlines and the false promises, you dopes.

But now let’s fast-forward to today’s action in the Statehouse. Two things were swirling in the air under the gold dome: the impeachment folks were demanding some action from Shummy, and the Douglas administration was demanding some action on his stalled “affordability agenda.” And guess which one Shummy pushed? Yep, Shummy kissed some Guv-ass like it hasn’t been kissed since – oh – Montpelier’s new rep., Jon Anderson, got on his knees to say “thanks, guv” by jilting his party and siding with Douglas on the veto override of the budget bill.

Ah, the coveted two-finger poke! One to the impeachment crowd and one to the mainstream Dems who would like to see someone – anyone! – stand up to Douglas and, better yet, push a plan of their own that shows some Dem leadership. Thanks, Peter!

So, in case you’ve got paint fumes on the brain like I do, let me summarize: The Dem leader Shumlin declared that he doesn’t have time for an impeachment issue that he declared belief in but, on the day the impeachment crowd came to beg him, he threw a favor to the Republican governor by allowing one of his economic packages to pass the Senate and, thus, take up lots and lots of time on an issue Shummy has declared disbelief in. Ah, welcome to the wonderful world of Dem leadership.

And, yes, that’s laughter you hear coming out of the Guv’s office. Because they’re celebrating the fact that the super-majority Dems continue to do little but piss on their base and hand him one victory after another.

Thanks, Peter.

[Reminder: Email your comments, quips and tips to me at]

Impeachment Crowd to the Statehouse: Kick Me!

Well, that was a waste of time. My trip to the Statehouse, that is. I’ve really got to stop hanging out with nuns and other such nice people. Fuck that. Because nice people let elected officials walk all over them – all with a limp handshake and a three-dollar smile.

You see, earlier today I took an early lunch break, threw on a clean shirt and wandered up to the Statehouse to see the impeachment crowd make a showing. Well, it wasn’t much of a show. It was more like church. There we sat. Quietly. And somberly. All too happy when one of our reps mentioned that we were in attendance. Big fucking deal.

I would have rather we rushed the podium and declared ourselves the true and only captains of the ship for a moment or two. At least we would have made the nasty spirited cops hanging around the place actually do something other than look surly. And all those lingering media types would have had something to do other than camping out at the doors of power.

But no such luck. The niceties ruled the day. Ho-hum. The nice impeachment crowd hung nice little signs around their nice necks and sat nicely while being not-so-nicely ignored. Wow. Powerful shit. Not. The signs around their necks said something about being for impeachment but they might as well have just said: “Kick me, I’m a liberal.” Oh baby, feel the victimhood!

The absolutely hysterical part of the show was that the two Dem powerbrokers, Gaye Symington in the House and Peter Shumlin in the Senate, stood firmly in their insistence that “there was no time” for either chamber to take up the matter of Vermont passing a resolution calling for Bush to be removed from office. But in the 30-minutes that I could stand the nonsense of the so-called busi-ness of the House chamber, I saw a two-bit country poet reciting nonsense in a thick Vermont accent that made most everyone swoon with dopiness, a pledge to the flag, resolutions supporting what felt like every town’s basketball teams and more than enough “thank you, Ms. Speakers,” to make me want to slide bare-assed down the winding banister just for shits and giggles. But, then again, I’m always wanting to that.

Who the hell knows what happened after the 30 minutes I could barely endure. The last I saw of the nice people they were nicely marching off to apparently be nice in another part of the nice building. Isn’t it fucking great how nice we can be while people die in our name? There are mega-ton bombs falling on the heads of Iraqis due to one ridiculous lie after another by the sitting president and his merry-band of Constitution shredders, but – in response – we have to observe and respect the rules that are basically dictating that we be ignored. Thank you, Ms. Speaker! And, please, let me know if I’m not bending over at the appropriate height so as to maximize the force of your boot making contact with my ass.

Ack. Yack. Puke. Blah. Flah. Bwa. Ugh.

There, I feel a little better – other than that taste of Constitutional vomit still lingering.

Stay tuned, there’s more coming later….

Let's Go to the Statehouse!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Living & Loving in Montreal

Lovely weekend. No really, I’m serious. Because while you slovenly bastards tried to pull the shades and pretend that snowflakes the size of cinder blocks weren’t really falling on April-fucking-fifteenth, your not-so-friendly Snarky Boy high-tailed it to Montreal with a carload of fun-loving folks in pursuit of – well – denial. Total and complete denial of the unbearable grayness of it all.

Ah, and it worked. Too well, I would say. Because now that I’ve managed to stumble through a day of painting a non-state-owned office complex, I can feel the total and complete weight of a weekend gone wild.

But oh how I love Montreal. There’s nothing like it, especially within a three-hour drive. The city literally swallows you up, entices you with its modernity, bathes you in its urban lust, ignores your eccentricities, and encourages your pursuit of pleasure. Lots and lots of pleasure.

And while it was just as gray in the mother city of Quebec, it was still alive and kicking with music, food, revelers, and a seemingly endless parade of people ducking in and out of places that could only make you smile. Enough said (for now).

Now I’m back – physically, that is. And more than a bit damaged by the reverie and the bizarre dream I had last night in the car trip home. In it, I found myself at a paint store where there were only two choices of paint: black and white. Worse, the sinister man behind the counter only chuckled when I asked if I could do blends of the two.

“No, sir, that isn’t allowed,” he remarked, before bursting out with the kind of hackle that makes your spine tingle.

So it went. And now I’m home, sifting through emails, trying to catch up on the news and thankful that I missed two days of Vermont’s most hideous spring.

And you?

Friday, April 13, 2007

TGIF Blogging

Holy shit. You’re not going to believe this. The Vermont Press Bureau is reporting that Rep. Peter Welch “said Thursday that his ongoing trip through Iraq reinforces his belief that American troops should be withdrawn from the country as soon as possible.”

Boy, what a fucking surprise. And if you can remember back a few days, here’s what your snarky friend predicted Welch would say upon his return: “I was moved by what I saw. And I’m convinced more than ever that our timetable is the right decision.”

Close enough. And how much did this trip cost? Or, better yet, how many carbon offsets did the good congressman have to buy to relieve his pollution guilt?

But the real question remains: How long is Welch going to get away with his rhetorical gamesmanship about wanting to bring the troops home “as soon as possible”? Because the Vermont media just keeps lapping it up like Welch either believes it or is actually voting that way. And he does not and is not.

Members of Congress have a very clear and definite manner in which to truly bring the troops home “as soon as possible.” It’s called de-funding the war. Not tomorrow, not in eighteen months, not when Bush leaves office – but today. They could simply propose a bill that says every dollar for the fiasco in Iraq can now go to two and only two things: The cost of safely removing the U.S. troops and the reparations money necessary to allow the Iraqis to move forward.

But Welch won’t do it. Instead, he’s going to keep digging his own political grave by hemming and hawing, dodging and weaving and making this war his war by shoveling more and more money into the war furnace.

Poor little Dem, he’s lost his way.


And you wanna know why elected Dems keep getting away with this crap? The Dem grassroots are nothing but a nest of ninnies. Where’s their outrage over getting yet another pile of crap heaped on their heads? There is none. Instead, they’re all off in fucking la-la land about who’s the best candidate for the president and governor in ’08. Yo, fucktards, how about using some of that “insider” influence you like to brag about to put some heat on the elected Dems of today to do something today? I know, I know, it might make your next little cocktail gathering a little uncomfortable – bringing up “issues” and all – but isn’t that what politics is all about? Come on, boys and girls, it’s got to be time for your graduation to the 1st grade of politics, no?


Oh wait, this just in from the wires: Green Mountain Daily is announcing that the tooth fairy may not actually exist…stay tuned. Oh wait, now that discussion has begun, it looks like the tooth fairy may exist after all. But it’s not clear if it’s in the form of Obama, Hillary or Edwards. Stay tuned….


And while we’re poking fun at the sleepy little Vermont blogging community, let’s have a big poke at JD over at “five before timidity – er, make that, chaos,” for his quick little jump on the bandwagon of those who are celebrating the firing of Imus. Yo, this is nothing to celebrate. Yes, Imus is an ass, but this should be about the First Amendment. And none of us who believe in the freedom of expression should be celebrating the hypocritical nonsense that the I-man was pulled through over the last week. Because believing in the First Amendment means believing that total fucking wingnuts are also free to say what they want. And when it starts making you feel all warm and fuzzy about wrapping the duct tape around anyone’s mouth, just think how fast the tide can turn and that gray sticky substance will be wrapped around your own mouthpiece. In other words, it’s a slippery slope. There is nothing – repeat NOTHING – to celebrate over someone losing their job over the words they uttered.

For some perspective on this matter, I would strongly recommend these two links: Sam Smith and Jason Whitlock.


Anyone seen the mainstream peace movement lately? I’m getting worried. It seems like every time things start to heat up with regard to real activism on the war the folks like Joe Gainza and the other candle-burners totally disappear.

So here’s your latest Snarky Boy challenge: Write to me and tell me what – if anything – you’re seeing from the peace folk. And, please, the vigilers at the post offices don’t count.


Tomorrow’s the big day for the eco-crowd in Montpelier. They’re all gathering to chat and march about global warming. If you want to act like a fart at their dinner party, chime in to ask this question: When will you start to talk about the pollution of snowmobiles in Vermont? Watch ‘em squirm. Because they hate to actually get into “real” issues. They mostly want to pose and shed all the public crocodile tears they can muster. But when it comes to demanding change, they’ll run for cover faster than the VNRC’s Elizabeth Courtney can find her next SUV-driving donor.


Speaking of the eco-crowd, anyone hear anything from VPIRG lately? With a budget of nearly a million bucks a year and a super-majority of Dems in the Statehouse, you’d think they would be making some noise and getting things done. No such luck, apparently. I guess it takes a lot of time to put salve on those footsy-playing-feet, huh?


Speaking of Dems, they failed again today in the Statehouse. This time they bailed on their plans to move forward on a bill that would allow “instant run-off voting.” I seemed to have lost track, but this has got to be about strike number 103 for these folks, no?

If you drink the Dem Kool-Aid, please email me with ONE significant accomplishment or reason to be excited about this “super-majority” session so for. I’m waiting….


Finally, in case you missed it, here’s a fun link for you: Free Speech Trial Set to Begin. Imagine that, Negroponte being summoned to Vermont to explain his warmongering past. Cool.

Thanks for playing. TGIF, my friends. And not a snowy moment too soon.

Remember, you can reach me via email at:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Obligatory Vonnegut Memorial

R.I.P., Kurt. And may all the people mourning your passing have the courage to follow your lead. And so it goes....

Fire Imus! 18-More Months to Bush! Go Figure.

Yo. I’m still here. As for yesterday, let me explain: Deal with it. Until you start faithfully slipping unmarked twenty dollar bills into my pocket or paying for my tab at either Sherwin Williams or Charlie O’s, then you’ll have no leg to stand on when it comes to your bitching and moaning about the “audacity” of the character you’ve come to love and hate taking a day off. Yes, love and hate. That was the point, you dopes. [Editor’s note to those who hate Snarky: just spell my name right and make sure the links work correctly.]

But, my oh my, how you all like to play along. Let’s just consider it one big living novel, huh? We’ll dip and weave, dodge and meander, cut and run and otherwise just play, pretend and/or converse as if you’re really, really important and I’m just a painter guy who labors and thinks the day away while little secret facts about the real things going on around us fall into my lap like the heavy April snow. Clear? Good. Now let’s get on with it.

With all this talk about Don Imus and his rude behavior, I almost forgot that we were in a war that was actually killing hundreds of people a day. But at least it made me forget about the trauma of who is/was/could be/should be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. Or, better yet, it almost made me totally forget that Gerald Ford is still dead. He did die, didn’t he?

I love the media. They make me forget about everything that matters. If I watch or listen to enough media, for example, I forget about Bush being the president and actually considering appointing a “war czar” to work with him. I forget all about the fact that Donald Rumsfeld is enjoying his riches and his retirement while the 150,000 soldiers he sent to an illegal war are still dodging bullets, being killed and maimed and getting inferior treatment. And I forget that our Congress is hell-bent on giving Bush more money for war and adding three months to each and every soldier’s tour of duty in Iraq. Thanks, Peter! Welch, that is.

But thanks to the media, I get 24/7 coverage of stupid coverage about one stupid man who said one stupid thing. And that helps me. It helps me a lot. Because if I didn’t have that one man and his stupid comment to worry about, I’d be worried about things like the war, impeachment, world peace, the environment, social justice, and – before I forget – the day-to-day struggle to make ends meet as a painter in a city that feels almost completely painted.

I’m just wondering why we don’t get on with it and demand that Don Imus receive the death penalty. I mean, with all this attention and outrage, the man clearly must die for his comments. Sure, we could arrange for it to be a “death with dignity,” but a death it clearly must be. Because we know that the pure America of today cannot and should not tolerate this kind of language on the airwaves. Not, of course, when the children might be listening! Oh, America, I love your purity!

If, for example, we allow the Imus’s of the world to continue with this kind of linguistic moral indecency, where will it stop? Before we know it, the press will be demanding that they be allowed to see the body bags of the soldiers heading home as corpses from Iraq. Or we’ll start to hear the voices and see the bodies of the Iraqis ravaged by the war we’re waging on their land and in their communities. Or, worse yet, they might even start to cover the kind of racism and classism that sends poor young black (and white, brown, yellow, green & purple) people to stand between bullets and oil profits. Indeed, Imus must die.

And all of the media must be cleansed! Because in a land of such moral purity (never mind the wars) and civility (never mind the real crimes) and the morals (never mind the daily bribes and lies) we cannot and should not tolerate insensitive speech! Yes, Imus must die, so that we can go on killing with the moral high ground that we need to continue to do that killing – all in the name of God, of course. Or something like that.

Oh wait, you ask, what about free speech? Whatever. That Constitution thing is sooooo yesterday.

But the real positive in all of this is that a precedent has been set. Because if Imus can be fired for offending 10 women basketball players, Bush can certainly be fired for offending the world. Ah, the silver lining is found once again.


When we last spoke, I challenged you, dear readers, to tell me something – anything! – that the Democrats believe in enough to actually fight for. Well, here’s a summary of the comments I received: Snarky Boy is a Candy Ass. Yep, I got pummeled with comments that basically wondered about my severe naiveté, political blindness, and just plain dopiness for even contemplating a Dem cause. And, you’re right, there isn’t one. Well, except for the cause that Charity from She's Right suggested: To get elected. Yep. Two points for Charity.


I’ve been working double time to finish up my inside (painting) jobs, thinking, like the optimistic Vermonter that I am, that warm and dry weather is coming and your friendly blogger/painter will soon be able to don the outdoor ladders and tackle the Liberty and College Street houses that their owners think need to be repainted. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I got ahead of myself and way too Snarky snappy with some offers to go back indoors, thus serving up what looks like some extended writing time in the coming weeks. But the really, really good news is that my first “Adventures with Snarky” collection is nearing completion and, hopefully, will be ready for some public readings soon. Stay tuned, my friends.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spaghetti-Spined Dems

Quick, name an issue that a Dem leader will go to the mat on and really – I mean, really – fight for. Hurry. Name it. What? Nothing but silence. And so it is, my friends.

The Dems on every level – local, state and national – are a party without a plan. Worse, they’re a party without a heart. Like limp spaghetti thrown against the wall to see if it’s ready to be eaten, the Dems do little in today’s body politic but be tossed around limply. And what delicious treats they make for red-blooded Republicans who don’t seem to have forgotten how to draw a line in the sand and fight the first bastard who dares to cross it.

There’s been a lot in the news of late regarding the limp Dems:

Locally, the new Montpelier Dem in the Statehouse, Jon Anderson, went limp right out of the gate by turning his back on his fellow Dems and handing yet another victory to Republican Governor Douglas. Anderson, as we all know by now, voted against his party’s wishes and sided with a Douglas veto of a budget bill.

In Burlington, the Dems shunned a Prog to vote for Republican Kurt Wright to lead their City Council. I guess the Burlington Dems have never heard that little saying about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

In the Statehouse, the Dem leader of the Senate, Peter Shumlin, has now proven that he won’t stand up for his beliefs by giving the pro-impeachment crowd this message in today’s newspapers: “It’s time for them to come to the reality that we are not going to have time for [impeachment].” And this from a guy who just a couple of weeks ago championed the issue, grabbed headlines on it, and raised the hopes of those same people he now wants to lecture about “reality.” Silly people, didn’t you realize that “reality’ to a modern Dem is to talk one way and act another?

And nationally, of course, we have Dems like our own Welch, Sanders and Leahy talking the tough talk about the war but then handing what amounts to a blank check to the Bush team to continue the fighting.

But let’s get back to the original question: Is there an issue on the legislative table – locally or nationally – that the Dems will absolutely and positively fight for? I don’t see it. And you?

And while it’s easy – and a whole lot of fun! -- to simply blame these Dem leaders for their spineless political endeavors, it fails to take into account that these elected Dems were elected by a constituency that represents a mirror image of their leaders’ spinelessness. Worse, the Dem constituency has become little more than enablers for the do-nothingness of their leaders, defending them every step of their blind way and, even worse, refusing to push them like they should be pushed.

Which is to say, there is no Dem movement. No Dem cause. No hardcore Dem belief system that they themselves believe in enough to stand up for, be counted for, take risks for or, damn it, fight for.

Instead, the Dems are about cheering the candidates and ignoring those same candidates’ stands on the issues (or lack thereof). And the Dem candidates have perfected the art of throwing their voters the red meat during the campaign season and then throwing them to the wind when the legislating begins. And the Dem constituency – just as moribund when it comes to passion for a political platform – just continues to play along, seemingly happy with the spineless meandering and the condescending finger-wags like Welch’s “it’s time to come to reality” put down.

But the reality, Mr. Shumlin, is that you and your party have no reality. You are lost. You are rudderless. And in your constant repositioning for the next election, you’ve forgotten how to lead and how to fight for – or even define! -- your core beliefs.

There is just no other way to describe how a Vermont legislature with Dems controlling a “super-majority” could fail to move on anything of real substance or consequence to its constituency. Zero. Nada. Zippo.

I’m just wondering how long the Dem cheerleaders and Kool-aid drinkers in the rank and file are going to keep sitting on their hands and letting their leaders do absolutely nothing about the problems they pretend to care about during election season. Enough already.

Oh wait, I forgot about the great savior, Obama!
Of course, Obama will save the day with his strong positions on….on….on…oh never mind, he’s just got a great personality! Oh fuck, here we go again…

P.S. Let me know if you think of that issue that the Dems really, really care about. I’d really, really like to know. Email me at:

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Random Blogging

Yikes. Crazy weekend. You’d think with much of the world preoccupied with their various religious idolatry that a snarky bastard like me would just be left alone to stew in my own sins. No such luck. Because it seemed like more than a few of you were intent on playing the holier than thy card and – simultaneously -- trying to verbally kick my ass. Whatever. But I’m thrilled that I’ve got your attention. Just give me some to respond to all your emails, please.

Now, let’s play the game of Monday random blogging.

First up is the news that Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is off to Iraq this week. Let’s face it, these trips are stupid, stupid and stupid. What in the hell does a congressman like Welch think they’ll be able to determine on such a trip? And this one’s all about political paybacks from Nancy Pelosi, who liked the fact that her new pet, Peter, went out on the political limb with her and voted to give Bush more money for war. Thanks, Peter.

So, in exchange for Peter’s vote for 18 more months of war, Vermont’s congressman gets an all-expense-paid trip to the war zone and all the photo-ops he’ll be able to muster. Then, of course, he’ll come home with the most studied solemn look he can muster and – trust me – utter these words: “I was moved by what I saw. And I’m convinced more than ever that our timetable is the right decision.”

Because no one ever comes back from one of these trips with anything but a transparent confirmation of what they thought when the gift of the trip was first presented to them. Can you say: Ego-tripping? I knew you could.

Consider, for example, John McCain’s recent trip to Baghdad. This old dope went to Iraq to prove how lovely a place it has become and then just looked really dopey trying to maintain that line of reasoning while he was there. Sorry, but if it takes 100-plus soldiers, a flack jacket and a helmet to allow you to declare how “safe” it is there, it’s not gonna be real believable.

Welcome to the unseemly world of politics and political paybacks – a world Peter obviously knows very, very well. So while Peter continues to play his lovely game of footsy with the Dem leadership, his constituents are still wondering when he’s going to listen to us and – better yet – his own rhetoric from the campaign last fall.

Speaking of which, the Sunday Times Argus/Rutland Herald featured a nice exchange between Welch and a constituent over the weekend. You can read Welch’s defense of his pro-war vote here and his constituent’s call for no more war funding here.

It’s too bad Peter didn’t get to Iraq in time to be a part of the Iraqi protest yesterday in which, according to the New York Times, tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to demand that the U.S. armed forces get out of their country – now. Peter would have definitely needed the speakerphone for that exchange. And I wonder how those folks would have taken his jive about being against the war but still willing to give Bush an additional 18 months and $100 billion?

The Pope, too, doesn’t seem to have much more patience for what he’s calling the “continual slaughter” in Iraq. In his Easter address yesterday, the high and mighty one to the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics asked this question:

''Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test?''

Well, sure, that and that silly hat he was wearing.

No lightning strikes yet. Whew.

So let’s review. Those lining up against the Iraq war and an immediate end to it are: A vast majority of the Iraqi public, a vast majority of the American public, a very, very vast majority of the world’s citizens, the Pope and Snarky Boy (sorry I just really, really wanted to use that line).

And those still dragging their feet are the President, a very wimpy Congress, including our own Peter Welch, the vast majority of military contractors, and the very, very vast majority of oil industry executives.

Wow. Ain’t democracy grand?

[Reminder: Send your quips, tips and comments to me at]

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Shumlin Shakedown: Say One Thing, Do Another and Blame Others

If Gaye Symington, the Speaker of Vermont’s House of Representatives, would bother to turn around once in awhile and see who it is that keeps pushing her into one losing political battle after another, she’d see the happy hands of Senate President Peter Shumlin. These two rivaling Dems who should be reveling in the dreamland of having veto-proof majorities are, instead, locked in a scorpion-like fight toward their own political deaths. And it would make a great sporting event if Vermonters weren’t counting on them to actually get something done.

But, once again, the joke’s on us, folks. Us, as in: the fine people of Vermont who trudge to the polls every two years thinking this state really is different, that our citizen legislature really does listen, and that our politicians are going to solve problems not just dance around them like props for their next campaign photo-op. And, frankly, that sucks.

The toxic rivalry between Shumlin and Symington began over a job called the governorship. When this legislative session began with all the hope and hype the Dems could muster, the word on the street was that one of these two Dem leaders was going to be coming out of the session looking like a front-runner to challenge Douglas in 2008. Now, however, it looks like they’re now going to be fighting about who’s going to be getting into the political ambulance first.

Let’s face it, Shumlin and Symington are just plain fucking up – big time. They’re fumbling on every major issue that Vermonters expected them to address (taxes, health care, education funding, etc.) and ignoring the issues their hardcore constituents would like them to address (Iraq war, impeachment, etc.). And, no matter how you add it up, you get little but a big, fat zero.

Worse, the dysfunctional Shumlin/Symington duo are so preoccupied with making the other look like the ass that they’re forgetting that the public can very clearly see that they’re both acting like three-year olds in a protracted battle. After a while, all you hear is the screaming and the finger pointing but you realize neither one of them remembers how it began or, better yet, that they’re in the same play group. So off to their rooms – er, houses – they go, seemingly satisfied that they isolated the other without noticing their own isolation.

Like I said, the joke’s on us. Damn it.

While slick Shumlin is pretending that he’s coming out better than Symington in this mess of a legislative session, I think he’s in for a rude awakening in the end. He has, for example, been rocking Symington back on her heels by running to the media first on a number of issues and saying he’s “waiting for the House to act first.” And, so far, Symington’s been falling for it, even to the point of getting all weepy over getting her political ass whipped from the left by Shummy and the right by the Guv.

But, sooner or later, the public is going to realize what a slimeball Shumlin’s been during his first few months back into politics after repairing his relationship with his wife. Hmm, what’s next, some time away from his wife to repair his relationship with Symington and his fellow Dems? And around and around he goes…

Take, for example, the impeachment issue. A few weeks ago, Shumlin put his finger into the political winds and noticed a strong gust from the pro-impeachment crowd – especially those who form the activist base of the Dems (you know, the folks who vote in primaries that he thinks he’ll need in the not-so-distant future). So Shumlin marched himself to the Dems’ statewide meeting and made a big rhetorical show of his support for the impeachment of President Bush. And the crowd – and the media – went wild, heralding Shumlin as the courageous man of the people.

But now those same people are trying to gingerly remove the hooks from the mouths. Because, you see, Senator Shumlin was just playing political games with them – shamelessly. Worse, his little game was not only about grandstanding for himself but – of course – also taking a big political dump on Symington. It’s the one-two punch those in the Statehouse have come to expect from the politically-reborn Shumlin.

You see, when Shumlin was asked how he was going to put his new-found impeachment fondness into action, he turned and pointed his finger right at Symington, saying “she’s got to move an impeachment resolution in the House first.”

Nice try, Senator, but – with all due respect – you’re full of shit and you know it. As all of us who didn’t sleep through Civics 101 remember, legislation can be introduced in either the House or the Senate. But Shumlin was hoping like hell we’d all forget that not-so-insignificant fact and, instead, let him talk about impeachment to appease his base and walk away from it to screw his colleague in the House (hey, she won’t act on it!). Like I said, it’s slimy. Not to mention gutless and transparent. Or, should I just say, very Dem like in this modern age of leaderless Dems.

The tide is turning on Shumlin, though. He seems to have gotten away with a few months of this kind of political gamesmanship (read: backstabbing colleagues like Symington). But it’s starting to wear thin amongst his colleagues and in the media. Yo, Shummy, people talk, you know – especially when they’ve got one of your knives in their back. Ouch.

It’s too bad Symington hates politics as much as she does, because the solution to this Shumlin nonsense is quite easy: Call his bluff, start moving significant legislation in the House (beginning with impeachment), stay in contact with the media, and build some alliances with the growing number of Dems in Shumlin’s Senate who are just waiting for the opportunity to knock him down a few pegs (just ask Senator Doug Racine). Oh wait, what do they call that? Oh yeah, politics.

So get going. The people of Vermont are waiting.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Only In Barre: Cross-Dressing Mayor Tripped Up By Thong Loophole

You know, sometimes even Snarky Boy can be shocked by the oddness of the so-called real news. In other words, sometimes you just can’t even make this shit up. And, let’s face it, Barre’s Mayor Thom Lauzon is the gift that keeps giving when it comes to the delightful combination of whack jobs and real news.

Yes, you remember Thommy-boy, don’t you? If not, here’s a quick refresher course: He’s the Barre mayor who is strangely wedded to the Sisyphean task of trying to take the Barre out of Barre. Worse, he’s got one hell of a Napoleon complex. Thommy has, for example, tried to close the town’s titty bar, forbid certain x-mas signs, called for the death penalty for drug dealers (hell, there goes his tax base), cross-dressed for cash and promoted a curfew for Barre’s youth. Oh yeah, and did I mention that he’s done all of this with the kind of “hey, look at me” obnoxious self-promotion that would make Donald Trump blush?

Hey, wait a second, I think I’m onto something there: Lauzon IS Barre’s Donald Trump, just without the comb-over (yet), the money, the talent or the location. As they say in the real estate market: location, location, location.

But Lauzon’s tacky like Trump. He owns tons of real estate like Trump. He thinks people care about his opinions like Trump. He’s got some over-the-top self-love going on like Trump. And, better yet, he owns one of George Steinbrenner’s horses like Trump. Yo Thommy, you’re on your way…

But before old Thommy-boy gets too full of himself, let’s get back to that location thing. Dude, you’re the mayor of Barre! And no matter how many superfluous “h’s” you add to your first name, you’re still just the mayor of Barre. So whenever you get that urge to go into that Trump role, why don’t you come down from your little horsy farm on the hill and stand in the parking lot of Barre’s real and true hotspot, Dunkin Donuts, and repeat these lines: This is my town. This is my town. This is my town. And then leave it – and us – alone. Please?

Lauzon, you see, is a master of saying off-the-wall things, getting the media to cover it, and then pretending he’s some kind of media darling. But someone over in Barre has got to whisper these few words into his tin ear: We’re laughing at you, Thommy, not with you.

Lauzon, for example, made the newspapers again this week with the news that he failed in his self-imposed Barre purification project to close the town’s second biggest hotspot, Planet Rock (aka: the titty bar). Lauzon, as you may know, has been bird dogging the titty bar for a long, long time, trying to pass and enforce town ordinances that legislate three-foot distances between dancers and patrons and also trying to regulate the employee to patron ratio. Yo Thommy, got something better to do?

I’m guessing that Thommy-boy is just frustrated that he hasn’t had the gumption to actually walk into Planet Rock. I’ll bet he got the idea for all these stupid ordinances while driving around and around the block trying to get a peep inside the window each time he went by, only being frustrated by his lack of seeing anything but the delight on the faces of the customers coming in and out. Curses!

When Thommy got all heavy handed with Planet Rock, its owner, Danny Garr, a true hero to the working man in Barre, fired back with lawsuits against Lauzon and every Barre City Councilor who voted in favor of the strip club crackdown. And, earlier this week, Garr won by agreeing to drop the lawsuits if the city agreed to hand him $7,500 in damages, stop enforcing their silly new rules, and allow him to start operating again. And the city’s attorneys advised that they accept Garr’s demands because the court cases would be hard to win – not to mention bizarre and embarrassing. Again, don’t they have something better to do?

Here’s the money quote from the Times Argus’ coverage of the settlement:

“Confronted with a case that would likely have turned on the definition of ‘nude’ and ‘lewd’ the city’s lawyers advised councilors to agree to the settlement and put the matter behind them.”

Emphasis on the word “behind,” please. As in: Ass. As in: The Mayor is an ass-face for taking this thing this far.

Garr and his lawyers were loaded for bare(ness) on this one, too. [I know, I know, that was bad but I’m getting bored.] They were prepared to turn the three-foot rule on its head, complete with plenty of head-turning testimony on what constitutes nudity, lewdness or – in the case of the mayor – stupidity. I’m just bummed that those of us who wanted to see this case will be denied what could have been a most memorable courtroom moment when Garr’s attorneys introduced the photo of Mayor Thom in the pink dress he recently wore in public. Anything for attention, huh Mayor?

But Garr’s lawyers, for example, were ready to argue successfully that the charges that one of the Planet Rock dancers “illegally” buried a man’s face in her chest were unfounded. Why? Well, because the “lewd” statute the Mayor and his uptight band of no-fun enforcers were citing would have required the dancer to be nude. And she wasn’t – she was wearing a thong! Gotta love a defense based on the thong loophole, huh? But, believe it or not, it’s this “thin” piece of evidence – along with city attorneys smart enough to sniff out a waste of time – that put an end to this episode of “Let’s Watch the Mayor Be Stupid – Barre Edition.”

Yo Thommy, enough with this nonsense. Go get yourself a lap dance, work this shit out of your system and – please – let Barre be Barre. I’ll be looking for you at Dunkin Donuts….