Daily Archives: January 7, 2016

Phil Scott’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Pity our poor Lieutenant Governor. He had to sit directly behind Governor Shumlin during the State of the State address, and try to figure out what he should do with his face. Most of the time, he looked pouty and miserable. And then tonight, he’d scheduled a major speech of his own to react to Shumlin’s address — only to be bigfooted by Donald Trump.

I’m sure he’ll still draw a crowd of the Republican faithful, but he’s not gonna get much media attention. It’ll be lots of Trump and a goodly helping of Shumlin, with Scott hoping for a few crumbs off the table.

Phil Scott Trying Not To Be Seen during Shumlin's climate remarks. Screengrab from WCAX-TV.

Phil Scott Trying Not To Be Seen during Shumlin’s climate remarks. Screengrab from WCAX-TV.

To be fair, he was put in a difficult position today. He couldn’t afford to appear enthusiastic for fear of alienating the Republican base; but he didn’t want to seem like an ingrate either. The result looked more like dyspepsia than a firm stance. He rarely looked directly at the Governor; his eyes wandered around the room; he looked down at the floor for long stretches of time. (Especially when Shumlin talked about climate change, when he seemed to be willing himself invisible.)

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Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump

The marketplace has spoken. WordPress statistics clearly show that Donald Trump is a Proven Clickbait Solution. So in lieu of my usual (cough) trenchant analysis of the issues that matter, we bring you Random Notes On Donald Day.

Because if Vermont’s largest newspaper can succumb to clickbait mania, why not theVPO?

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Ah, journalism in action. And speaking of food, the Kountry Kart Deli is offering a today-only special: The Donald, a stacked-high bologna sandwich with B.S. (bacon slices) on white bread. Perfect. Meanwhile, North End stalwart Nunyuns Bakery was stymied in its effort to cash in:

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More @Trumpnado madness after the break.

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Vermont’s Largest Newspaper just can’t take it

You may recall my recent remarks on our thinnest-skinned institution — the fourth estate.

When I criticize the failings or shortcomings of Vermont’s media, they often react with a pained squeal. There’s only one person who’s blocked me from their Twitter feed, and it’s a staffer at a certain Vermont newspaper.

I think it’s now fair to reveal the name of said newspaper. Because the Burlington Free Press itself — the whole shebang — has blocked me from its Twitter feed.

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Profiles in Courage, friends.

My words are just too much for the tender sensibilities of a once-great newspaper. Well, once-adequate, anyway.

While they’re at it, maybe they’d like to cancel my subscription so I can no longer consume their product (and potentially criticize it). And I say “consume their product” because “read their journalism” is such a 20th Century concept.

And yes, I am a paid subscriber. Although if my Tweets are so unbearable, perhaps my money is too tainted to accept.

It’s pathetic. The Burlington Free Press is a coward.

The apotheosis of Norm

It’s only six days into the new year, but I think we have a front-runner for Dumbest Political Statement Of The Year. Take it away, State Senator Dick McCormack:

“Adjudication is not supposed to be democratic,” he said. “Jesus was put to death by the will of the majority. Socrates was put to death by the will of the majority.”

That is how the Orange Windsor County Democrat explained his vote against the expulsion of Norm McAllister, self-admitted sex criminal.

Jesus.

Socrates.

Oh my.

You know, if the first rule of political discourse is “Take it easy on the Hitler talk,” then Rule Two ought to be “Think twice before comparing anyone to Jesus.”

I mean, c’mon. First of all, to compare Norm McAllister, in any way, shape, or form, to two of the great men* of history is, well, let’s just say unfortunate.

*Or one great man and one God in human form, take your pick.

But even leaving aside that rhetorical absurdity, I’m afraid McCormack has a foundational problem and a historical problem as well.

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