Archive for February 14th, 2006

I can’t help myself. I must post about the Cheney shooting…

Look we all know Cheney f*cked up, that the shooting was his fault, and that it was an accident that may or may not have been fueled by alcohol. So far, it’s your garden variety hunting accident.

But what makes this incident noteworthy (besides the celebrity status of the shooter) was the reaction of the Cheney camp to the accident. The news was suppressed 24 hours, secret service agents blocked local sheriffs from visiting the scene, and Cheney was weirdly silent for too long.

John Dickerson’s take on the incident over at Slate pretty much sums it up for me:

Cheney's silence has forced White House aides to answer for the 21-hour delay without being able to give the real story (there is still no official account of what happened). The Cheney delay has also exacerbated questions about the Bush administration's candor and truthfulness. Those topics were already in the news enough. Last week, the former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year charged White House officials with "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war. This week, Republicans in Congress will issue a report that says the Bush administration delayed the evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents by failing to act quickly on early reports that the levees had broken during Hurricane Katrina, a charge that contradicts the president's assertion about when they knew the levees would fail….

Or, as written on Carpet Bagger:

But the way the White House has handled this has been so inept, and the Bush gang's attempt to conceal the incident has been so clumsy, that I'm left to assume that there must be more to it than just a random hunting accident. Honestly, the way events have unfolded over the last 48 hours, you'd almost think White House officials wanted to make this a big deal by acting as if they have something to hide.

And remember, initially the news reports dutifully reported the Cheney narrative, blaming the victim for the shooting, downplaying his medical condition, and leaving questions unanswered. Thanks to the blogosphere, those questions were forced on the media.

And the humor! Man! It was a field day for satire. Digby’s satirical post was the best; he inflated the shooting into a tinfoil-hat-parallel-Vince-Foster scandal…which some overly-serious anti-progressive took seriously…even some local bloggers are getting their panties in a knot over the liberal blogosphere’s reaction.

But the post of the day goes to a comment at Catch from Trox:

Okay, so Cheney has been portrayed in the media as the Most Evil Man in the Galaxy.

The Emperor behind Darth Bush. Soulless. Heartless. Mean. A guy who drowns puppies to relax.

Now, after the hunting accident, he's somehow achieved "lovable loser" goofball status. Everyone's joking about him like he's, say, The Runaway Bride, or Hugh Grant after the Divine Brown incident. Editorial cartoons are drawing him as Elmer Fudd.

Only Dick Cheney could improve his public image by shooting a guy in the face.

The Bush administration has gotten a lot of heat lately for hiring cronies to important positions in government. Michael Brown, former head of FEMA and the idiot who drowned New Orleans, was a college buddy of Joe Allbaugh, chief of staff for Bush when he was governor of Texas, Bush's campaign manager in the 2000 run, and former head of FEMA. George Deutsch, the 24-year-old non-graduate of Texas A&M and public affairs officer for NASA — who injected political spin into scientific reports — worked for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign.

These appointments have done untold damage to the country. Brown is repsonsible for the death of hundreds. Deutsch contributed to the Christian right's jihad against science and interfered with important information on global warming.

So now Governor Schweitzer's college roommate, Joe Maurier, was named the new head of Montana state parks.

Are we seeing Democratic nepotism at work? Maybe. But with one difference: Maurier is actually qualified for his position.

Maurier worked for Colorado State Parks for 25 years, said Chris Smith, chief of staff at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Maurier started as a ranger and worked his way up to deputy director, retiring last year through an early retirement incentive program.

The fact that Maurier helped run Colorado's state parks when that state experienced rapid population growth gave him an edge over the other candidates, all Montanans, Smith said.

That's an essential difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans, with an avowed contempt for government, seek to use important administrative appointments to either spread their ideology, reward old drinking buddies with cushy desk jobs, or to enrich themselves. Democrats seek to govern responsibly.

Montana poetry blog

Old friends at Cutbank, the University of Montana's literary journal, have published a poetry blog: Cutbank Poetry. Good friend Chris Dombrowski reviews W.S. Merwin's "Migration" in the latest post.

Montana's graduate creative writing program is one of the best in the country. Graduates include such divergent talents as Andrew Sean Greer, Kim Todd, and James Welch.

Or read Marnie Prang's "From Wasteland to Mecca", for the writing program's effect on Montana.

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