Tag Archives: Jason Maulucci

Cold Hearted Man

OK, so everybody knows that Phil Scott is a Nice Guy (copyright pending)… but is he really?

His performance throughout the pandemic has varied from creditable (the first 15 months) to misguided (the Delta variant), but there’s been one constant throughout: a lack of human connection.

I don’t recall him ever expressing sympathy or empathy for those felled by Covid. I don’t recall him ever saying the name of a Covid victim or visiting a grieving family. I don’t recall him ever visiting a hospital or long-term care facility to express support to patients, family and staff. I don’t recall any visits to schools or day care facilities whose staffs are overtaxed by the pandemic workload. For that matter, I can’t recall him ever admitting that he badly underestimated the Delta variant. Which he did.

It’s not at all what a Nice Guy would do.

So why is that? Is he a lot less of a N.G. than everyone thought? Is it a pure political calculation? Does he think that if he acknowledges the human toll of the pandemic in any way, it would undercut his message of Getting Back to Normal?

Well, it can’t be politics, because you know how quick he is to criticize others for “playing politics.” He couldn’t possibly be doing the same.

Yeah, right.

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Extra Urgent Special Veepie Goes Via Overnight Delivery to Phil Scott’s Latest Covid Brainfart

Gov. Phil Scott has offered a “compromise” on mask mandates. An offer that’s so ridiculous, so insulting to all who differ with him, that it deserves to be rejected out of hand.

He sent a letter to legislative leaders containing the following proposition. He would call the Legislature into special session in December for one purpose and one purpose only: To pass a bill allowing municipalities to enact their own mask mandates. The mandates would have to be renewed every 30 days, and must expire no later than April 30.

That’s it. He won’t accept any other legislation, and he won’t accept any changes to his proposal. Come back to the Statehouse, please, and let me tie your hands behind your backs!

Many words come to mind, “fucking bullshit” prominent among them.

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Old Veepies Never Die, They Just Get Stupider (UPDATED)

Note: Second item has a significant update. Press WILL be admitted to Winooski/Enosburg soccer game.

Oh, you thought you were done with this, did you? Yeah, my awards for stupidity and/or obtuseness in the public sector have been on sabbatical lately — it’s been harder to see the funny this fall, mostly due to the ongoing pandemic. But here we are again! On the docket: Noblesse oblige at the homelessness protest, barring the media from a soccer match, an especially stupid Covid rationalization from Team Scott, and Bennington Justice rears its ugly head.

We have multiple awardees for the It Was Quite Literally The Least We Could Do Award. The recipients include Gov. Phil Scott, House Speaker Jill Krowinski, and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint. Brenda Siegel and Josh Lisenby, advocates for restoring the full emergency housing program, held what VTDigger helpfully called “a small rally” on Monday at the site of their Statehouse protest/campout. Apparently Siegel and Lisenby have cooties or something, because neither Krowinski nor Ballnt attended in person and Scott continues to resist meeting with them.

The Speaker and Pro Tem did issue a statement for Siegel to read, in which they endorsed full restoration of the program. Which is interesting since, as the governor points out on every occasion, they agreed to the springtime deal restricting the program. Nice of them to belatedly come down on the side of compassion. And while Scott could really use a spark of humanity, he refuses to meet with the advocates. But hey, as VTDigger put it, “they were granted an interview on Monday with Sean Brown, the commissioner of the Department for Children and Families.” Wow. “Granted an interview.” How noblesse oblige of them.

Brown reportedly said the administration would consider reopening the full program when/if (climate change, y’know) the weather gets really cold. Which tells you the administration sees this first and foremost as a PR problem. They want to be as stingy as possible, but they could do without pictures of freezing protesters or homeless people with hypothermia.

Onward and downward…

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What’s Eating Philbert Grape?

This is fine.

Another week, another series of disappointing Covid numbers. Not only the high daily case counts but also hospitalizations, deaths, and a test positivity rate that’s creeping back up toward 3.

Still, I fully expect Gov. Phil Scott to come out swinging at his Tuesday briefing. I’d be shocked if we don’t get a rehash of carefully selected statistics, bland assurances that everything will be just fine anytime now, and denials that any policy changes whatsoever are in order.

After all, Scott spox Jason Maulucci told the Boston Globe on Friday that mask mandates are off the table. His… shall we say… creative reasoning? A mandate would undermine public confidence that Covid vaccines work.

Oh, you want it in his words? Here you go.

“We’re promoting mask wearing, but we don’t want to do anything that would damage the public belief that vaccines work.”

Wow, that’s a stretch worthy of Rose Mary Woods.

(Globe story is paywalled, but I was able to access it via one of the many retweets it got.)

After a very good performance for the first 15 months of the pandemic, Scott’s response to the Delta variant has been stubborn, unyielding, and dismissive of all criticism. He has also, as far as I can remember, failed to express any sympathy or concern for those who have died or become seriously ill or their loved ones. That’s uncharacteristic of him. Would a brief call-out at the top of every presser be too much to ask? Perhaps even a visit to a hospital or a grieving family? He should be capable of that, and it would be a powerful reminder of the essential humanity that’s made Scott an appealing figure to so many.

So what’s going on with our Nice Guy Governor?

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