Daily Archives: January 22, 2021

Tears of a Clown

After four years of radio silence, never once speaking to her home-state press, Darcie Johnston emerged from the dank underbelly of the Trump Administration to give a three-minute interview with WCAX’s Darren Perron. During which a tear or three ran down her copious cheek.

(Trigger Warning: This post is going to be kind of mean. All I can say is, she deserves every bit of it.)

Johnston has just concluded an undistinguished four years as a Trump administration political appointee. She was fairly high up in the Department of Health and Human services. And she was deeply involved in the administration’s disastrous handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Perron caught her at a vulnerable time, a few hours after she witnessed Trump’s farewell at Andrews Air Force Base. Yep, she was one of the lucky few hundred at the thinly-attended soiree.

Since her chat with Perron was such a rare event, here’s an annotated transcript of her remarks about her tenure in Washington.

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And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’

No sooner did I drop a post featuring five different stories about Vermont’s uneasy relationship with racial issues, than two more appeared in our media.

  • From the Bennington Banner, yet another unfortunate comment from a frequent offender on this subject. (No, not Kevin Hoyt.)
  • From VTDigger, Vermont’s racial equity director issues a damning new report.

The latter is the more impactful, but first let’s pick the low-hanging fruit.

UVM’s Designated Racism Detector, Prof. Stephanie Seguino, reported on racial disparities in Bennington traffic stops. Surprise, surprise, she found that Bennington cops were much more likely to pull you over if you’re black — a perpetual issue for the town’s police department.

The kicker was a quote from town manager Stuart Hurd, a steadfast denier that the P.D. has any racial issues whatsoever.

“Unfortunately the updated study may not have changed its analytics, continues to use census data that does not take into account people traveling in and out of Vermont on a regular basis, and continues to disregard the fact that many departments were incorrectly filling in the information requested on the ticket (no training had been provided by the state when the tickets changed).”

Sheesh.

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