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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
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"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
THOUGHT HE WAS A LIBERAL. Vice-President Cheney really shouldn't be shooting people; they might be Repubican voters.
Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday.
Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets on Saturday while the two were hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.
Armstrong said Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Whittington was in stable condition Sunday, said Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System.
Whittington shot a bird and went to look for it in the tall grass, while Cheney and the third hunter walked to another spot and found a second covey.
Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong told the Associated Press in an interview.
"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."
The shooting was first reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
She said Whittington was bleeding but not very seriously injured, and Cheney was very apologetic.
"It broke the skin," she said. "It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that."
Armstrong said Cheney is a longtime friend who comes to the ranch to hunt about once a year. She said Whittington is a regular, too, but she thought it was the first time the two men hunted together.
But not the last!
Original story here. Use Bugmenot.com; I registered the first registration. The Nedra Pickler AP story copies it almost word-for-word, though, with a few sentences added. 266 iterations so far and sure to be endlessly more. No word yet on where Dan Quayle was at the time.
My favorite line in the story is the last:
"This is something that happens from time to time. You now, I've been peppered pretty well myself," said Armstrong.
Something to consider before joining one of the Veep's hunting parties. Does Justice Scalia know?
No silencers were reported involved. Possibly Mr. Whittington was wearing one.
Read The Rest Scale: 2 out of 5.
ADDENDUM, 3:35 p.m.: Background on the Armstrong Ranch:
ARMSTRONG - In the brush country south of Sarita, a few miles east of U.S. Highway 77, sophistication and political power have mixed with the independence of Texas pioneers. Here, 6-foot-4-inch Tobin Armstrong, the descendant of a Texas Ranger and a Yale scholar, and the petite brunette, Anne Armstrong, former U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, hold court. Guests at the 50,000-acre ranch have included former president George Bush; his son and presidential candidate Gov. George W. Bush, the Rockefellers and Prince Charles. Armstrong Ranch still is an old-fashioned Texas ranch, run by Tobin Armstrong, who oversees it by Suburban and mobile telephone. A colony of cowboys who live in houses surrounding the big house work the 2,500 Santa Gertrudis cattle while riding thoroughbred horses, the Armstrong version of cow ponies. "One of the best things about this ranch is that it is a grandchild magnet," said Tobin Armstrong, who has five children and 12 grandchildren, who visit the ranch frequently. The Armstrong Ranch was purchased in 1852 and settled in 1882 by John Armstrong III, a Texas Ranger from Tennessee. He had come to South Texas to clean up the border and became famous for capturing the notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin. His sons combined the sophistication of an East Coast education with the ruggedness of a ranch upbringing. Charlie Armstrong, Tobin Armstrong's father, graduated from Yale in 1908 and returned to South Texas to manage the ranch. Charlie's brother, Tom Armstrong, graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School before going to work as an executive for Standard Oil Co. The Armstrongs were instrumental in bringing polo to South Texas, and when Prince Charles came to visit, Tobin arranged a match for him on the ranch's polo field. "I never rode a bought horse," Armstrong said. "I raised and trained my own thoroughbreds."
Bush/Cheney-type people, all right.
ADDENDUM: 3:46 p.m.: Slightly longer AP version, although that URL is dynamic and will keep updating. Includes the following additional paragraphs for now:
Whittington has been a private practice attorney in Austin since 1950 and has long been active in Texas Republican politics. He's been appointed to several state boards, including when then-Gov. George W. Bush named him to the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
Whittington owns property in Travis County worth at least $11 million, the Austin American-Statesman reported last year, not counting a downtown block at the center of a long-running dispute with the city over a condemnation issue.
Well, Dick isn't running for anything after this, anyway. But Whittington's getting on the Funeral Service Commission was thinking ahead.
ADDENDUM: 4:32 p.m.: ABC's network news report notes that this took place almost 24 hours ago, on Saturday afternoon. Why the delay in reporting? It only became known, they say, because Ms. Armstrong called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times to report it today.
Am I the only one who is faintly disturbed that the Vice-President of the United States can shoot someone, and it can go unreported for approximately a full day? Imagine that he'd, say, had a heart attack. Not that that's remotely likely. (I expect that I will certainly not be the only one slightly disturbed.)
ADDENDUM: 5:15 p.m.: Anne Kornblut version here. Gotta rush out the door now to Chris Mooney's talk.
ADDENDUM: 9:31 p.m.: Washington Post version here. Just back from Chris's talk, which I'll wait until morning to write up, since I've really not relaxed all weekend.
ADDENDUM: 10:22 p.m.: To slightly clean up a comment I left on Obsididian Wings: I find it disturbingly typical of a major problem with far too many Democratic activists -- particularly those residing in the BosWash corridor, and urban areas -- that Josh Marshall has to ask a bunch of people stuff like this, rather than just write off-the-cuff about something so utterly basic about guns and hunting (and, mind, I've never gone hunting for animals in my life, and the last time I fired a gun I was 12-13 years old, which was 35 years ago, and that I was raised and have lived most of my life in NYC; my only experience with firing a shotgun was one time on one weekend, 30-odd shells skeet-shooting [though I did hit 28 of them] at that age; aside from that, I fired a .22 some dozens of times on two occasions at that age at a target; I might or might not also have fired a few pistol shots at a target at that age; I can't even remember for sure now; that's my vast personal experience with guns; oh, and my father let me play with a bb-gun during rural vacations cira age 11-13; beyond that, it's nothing but video/computer games and reading; and I suck at multi-player FPS).
This is emblematic of a huge cultural problem the vast majority of Democratic activists and suporters have -- particularly Eastern and urban ones -- I'm afraid.
Similarly that Marshall has to rely on a report that the victim is still in ICU, rather than just know what happens when you're hit in the face, throat, and side, at a distance of a few feet/yards when hit square on in the face, neck, and side, from a shotgun blast with birdshot suitable for quail. Duh. (The first reports were entirely specific about this, after all, and duh, of course Cheney's spokeswoman was spinning it; I entirely forgot that anyone would need that pointed out, it's so elementary and obvious.)
Even in the face of knowing absolutely nothing about guns or shotguns or bird-hunting, a minute's googling should be sufficient clue, anyway. But knowing that little in the first place is the cultural/political problem. It alienates me; imagine how the large percentage of the country that actually grows up around shotguns feels when they read such cluelessness coming from a Democrat (yes, Marshall is not a politician; but he's supposed to be a canny political expert).
I hope Marshall isn't offering much advice to Wyoming and western, or other rural, Democrats on how to win votes. You have to have a clue about the culture of such large parts of so many states to give sage advice about how to reach and speak to voters who live there, after all.
ADDENDUM, 11:35 p.m.: Re the newslag point, see the Chicago Tribuneblog here:
How is it that Vice President Cheney can shoot a man, albeit accidentally, on Saturday during a hunting trip and the American public not be informed of it until today?
That will likely be the main question asked of the White House about the apparent accidental shooting of a 78-year-old man during a Texas hunting trip by the vice president. News reports indicate the vice president was attempting to shoot quail when he accidentally sprayed the victim with some of his shotgun pellets.
Not by many bloggers (that I've yet seen) on Saturday, though. Sheesh.
Update: Just a reminder to my beloved blue state liberal brethern–while it’s thigh-slappingly hilarious that Cheney shot his friend, try to avoid sounding scandalized. It was birdshot–it’s not really a big fucking deal.
If Whittington didn't get hit in the eyes, it's only luck. Can't say I think getting blasted in the face with birdshot from a few feet away is "not really a big fucking deal." It's not as if he was reported hit in the ass. And that he's reportedly still in the Intensive Care Unit also seems to make the obvious point.
The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occured and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation.
The confirmation was made but there was no indication whether the Vice President's office, the White House, or anyone else intended to announce the shooting if the reporter, Jaime Powell of the Corpus Christ Caller-Times, had not received word from the ranch owner.
One of Powell's colleagues at paper, Beth Francesco, told E&P that Powell had built up a strong source relationship with the prominent ranch owner, Katharine Armstrong, which led to the tip. Powell is chief political reporter for the paper and also covers the area where the ranch is located south of Sarita.
Armstrong called the paper Sunday morning looking for Powell, who was not at work. When they did talk, Armstrong revealed the shooting of prominent Austin attorney Harry Whittington, who is now in stable condition in a hospital. Powell then called Cheney's office for the confirmation around midday. The newspaper broke the story at mid-afternoon--not a word about it had appeared before then.
The Cheney spokesman Powell spoke with, Lea Anne McBride, would not comment on whether the White House would have ever released the information had the Caller-Times not contacted them.
"I’m not going to speculate," McBride said, according to Powell. "When you put the call into me, I was able to confirm that account."
Francesco, at the Corpus Christi paper, said she felt it was a bit odd that her newsroom had not received any information about the shooting since "we often call law enforcement in area, even on weekends. We checked in and didn’t hear anything about it."
While E&P was first to raise the question about the delay Sunday afternoon, Frank James, reporter in the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau, put his how spin on it later in the day, asking, "How is it that Vice President Cheney can shoot a man, albeit accidentally, on Saturday during a hunting trip and the American public not be informed of it until today?"
Indeed, others raised questions as well. "There was no immediate reason given as to why the incident wasn't reported until Sunday," The Dallas Morning News observed. "The sheriff's office in Kenedy County did not respond to phone calls Sunday."
Gee, others had it to? Whoda thunk? (See update at 4:32 p.m., Rocky Mountain Time, which is 6:32 p.m. Eastern time.)
The Chicago Trib blog post I already linked to earlier, that E&P mentions, is time-stamped "5:42 pm CST." Which is 4:42 p.m. Rocky Mountain Time. Which is ten minutes after ABC News, and, er, me. The earlier post E&P claims priority on? 4:30 PM ET.
Harry Whittington, 78, a millionaire civil attorney known as a tenacious battler not afraid to fight City Hall, was being treated in the intensive care unit at a Corpus Christi hospital after he was sprayed with birdshot during an incident at the Armstrong Ranch in Kenedy County on Saturday.
Mr. Banko said Mr. Whittington was in the intensive care unit because his condition warranted it, but he didn't elaborate. Mr. Whittington sent word through a hospital official that he would have no comment on the incident out of respect for Mr. Cheney, 65.
Sally Whittington, Mr. Whittington's daughter, said she got a call from her mother, Mercedes, Saturday night indicating that her father had been shot.
"They were very quiet and didn't want to say anything about [Mr.] Cheney," she said, adding that the vice president visited her father Sunday morning.
The shooting incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the sprawling 50,000-acre ranch just south of Sarita in deep South Texas.
There was no immediate reason given as to why the incident wasn't reported until Sunday.
"Harry was about 100 yards away, looking for a lost bird," said Ms. Armstrong, who attended the hunt. "The vice president and another hunter had moved on toward another covey of quail.
"But Harry came up behind the vice president's party and didn't announce himself," she said. "The vice president was following the birds as he swung around and hit Harry. It's just good hunting protocol to let the other hunters know where you are."
Mr. Whittington was sprayed in the face, neck and upper chest with 28-gauge birdshot, Ms. Armstrong said. "He wasn't hit in the eyes or anything. It just knocked him down, but he never lost consciousness."
And medical attention was prompt.
"The vice president travels with a medical team, and they went to work immediately," Ms. Armstrong said. "The vice president was very concerned and very helpful. But Harry was in good spirits when the helicopters came to take him to the hospital."
Mr. Whittington was flown by medical helicopter first to Kingsville, then to the hospital in Corpus Christi.
A friend who has talked to family members said that Mr. Whittington was hit by about 50 birdshot pellets. Mr. Whittington underwent surgery Sunday morning to remove some of the pellets, and doctors have told his family that the shot apparently did not damage any major organs.
The hunters were wearing bright orange vests, Ms. Armstrong said. And Mr. Cheney had a valid hunting license, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Ms. Whittington got to see her father Sunday afternoon after the surgery. She said her father's face, "looks like chicken pox, kind of." She said that he was sitting up telling jokes. "He is so lucky, it's a miracle," she said.
She said her father doesn't recall much of the incident other than it was sunset and he thinks that maybe the setting sun may have made him difficult to spot by the other hunters.
"He is very, very lucky that nothing seriously was injured," she said, adding that Mr. Whittington will be out of ICU by today and that he is being observed because of swelling from some of the welts on his neck.
It's a huge problem that Josh Marshall chose not to talk out his ass? You admit that you have little to no experience with hunting and guns, but you criticize Marshall for not winging it and just doing a few Google searches so he could LIE and pretend he knows a lot about this stuff?
By the way, isn't it possible that Cheney -- who has been exposed (again!) as a poseur who doesn't know what he's doing -- and rich Republican jagoffs are the ones with the bigger cultural problem here, as opposed to Democratic bloggers who haven't claimed to be rugged and expert hunters?
Enough of the Democratic pitty parties and navel gazing. Let's keep the Democratic rifles aimed downrange...