Category Archives: theVPO

So, Shap.

The all-but-certain became reality yesterday. Outgoing House Speaker Shap Smith announced he will run for lieutenant governor. Thus making him a political rarity: a person who launches a campaign for one office, abandons it, and resets a candidacy for a different office. (He had killed his bid for governor last fall due to his wife’s illness.)

I’m not surprised. In fact, I’ve been promoting the idea since I first reported it way back on February 8.

At this point, it would be awfully difficult to re-enter the gubernatorial race. …But lieutenant governor? That wouldn’t be so hard.

… Also — and this is crucial for Smith’s personal situation — the job isn’t all that tough. He bangs the gavel in the Senate, he does some soft appearances around the state. He can pretty much set his own schedule.

He’d have a high-profile role at the center of state government. And it’s a great way to build name recognition for a future run at the top job — something Smith would still like to do.

Hey, I was right! You know what they say about blind squirrels and acorns.

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Bull Invited to China Shop

Lock up your daughters, good people. Yours truly will be a panelist on tonight’s edition of “Vermont This Week,” Vermont PBS’ often-somnolent weekly news-in-review show. (It tends to proceed at a stately and predictable pace, as if trying to hike through the forest without breaking any twigs.)

I am honored, truly. The show is a little too staid for my taste, but heck, it’s not my show. And I have no plans to wreck the place; the panel’s role is to analyze the news, not burn the house down. Just as, when I sit in for Mike Smith on WDEV Radio’s daily talk show, I treat guests and their views with courtesy and respect.

I will try to enliven the proceedings a bit. But don’t expect any foul language or ad hominem attacks.

Of course, the show is taped a few hours in advance, so if I can’t control myself, the result is unlikely to befoul your living room. If my reputation proceeds me, they might designated a control-room operator to hold a finger above the CUT button whenever I’m talking. Which would be an honor of a different sort.

Vermont This Week, tonight at 8:30 7:30* on your favorite public television station. Also posted online for your convenient viewing pleasure.

*More evidence that I Am A Idiot.

Metapost: Radio spots & travel plans

[Knock, knock, knock.] Housekeeping.

A couple of business items on this Monday morning…

First, for those who don’t already know, I do a regular Monday morning chat with Chris Lenois at WKVT radio in Brattleboro — a fine station that, among other things, is an outlet for liberal radio talkers Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann. I appear live every Monday at about 7:35 pm. After the fact, our conversations are posted on WKVT’s website. This morning, you can catch us talking the primaries, including the different dramas in Vermont Republican and Democratic circles; also, Vermonters’ overwhelming approval of school budgets and what it says about Act 46, and the latest disturbing revelations about suspended Sen. Norm McAllister (R-Limbo).

Second, blogging may be more sporadic than usual for the next two weeks. I’ve got some  family-related obligations that will take me in and out of Vermont. Nothing urgent, just some business that has to be taken care of. Thanks to the Internet I’ll be keeping up with Vermont politics and chiming in when my schedule permits.

This is also a good time for a reminder that you can sign up for an RSS feed. You’ll get a short email every time I post something. Your email address will be used only for that purpose; it won’t be sold for commercial or even nonprofit purposes. The sign-up thingy is in the right-hand column of this page.

That’s it, everybody. Be careful out there.

Metapost: Technical difficulties

Hi folks, your friendly neighborhood blogger here.

You may have noticed a few formatting bugs in my most recent post. Well, here’s the story.

I came home tonight from a quick trip to Philadelphia (don’t ask) and sat down to write a post about Governor Shumlin’s Enterprise Fund-related tantrums.

And discovered that good old WordPress had gone and updated its posting system. Apparently the old system, which was less streamlined but which I was accustomed to using, is now gone. So I’m playing catch-up with the new system. I hate doing this stuff.

So, my apologies if there are glitches here and there. I’m trying.

The spreading VPO media empire

Got a new gig. Pays just as well as this one, but it should be fun.

Every Monday morning at about 7:35, I’ll be talking politics and government on WKVT Radio, 100.3 FM and 1490 AM in Brattleboro. WKVT has a local morning show from 6-9 weekdays hosted by Chris Lenois. It’s always fun to talk politics; I’m also hoping this will give me a bit of a window on the concerns of southeastern Vermont, a place I seldom get to visit.

And this Monday only, for central Vermont listeners, I’ll be a guest on WDEV’s “Open Mike” with Mike Smith sometime during the 9:00 hour. (Will update when I know more.) You may recall that I’ve been critical of Mike in the past, and particularly slammed WDEV for replacing a real journalist, Mark Johnson, with a longtime Republican functionary. Well, they hired him, it’s their business, and I’ve said my piece.

Despite my occasional unkind words, Mike occasionally has me on to talk politics, which is the kind of politeness across the trenches that you often find in Vermont.

Anyway, happy to do it. Tune in if you can.

Metapost: Apparently I’m an established blogger now

In recent weeks, a new kind of advertising has appeared on these pages. This is because WordPress has accepted me into its WordAds program. My blog has high and consistent enough traffic that it’s worth their while to sell ad space on theVPO and send me some of the proceeds.

It’s a nice accomplishment, especially for a blog with relatively niche appeal. I appreciate all my regular readers; just by visiting, you’re helping put a little coin in the tip jar. This includes the gun-rights crowd that keeps coming back and back in response to my background check post. Thanks, guys! Your comments say “no,” but your pageviews say “yes.”

As for the ads themselves. I have no control over which advertisers are featured. Indeed, I suspect that different readers see different ads. I think it’s based, at least partly, on your recent browser history. Example: earlier this week I went to Hotwire for some travel arrangements. Since then, I’ve been seeing Hotwire ads on theVPO when I visit to check on comments.

That’s all. Carry on. You keep visiting, I’ll keep writing.