Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 13, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE META-CHENEY NARRATIVE....Honestly, I don't think the story about Dick Cheney's shooting accident is any big deal. Good for some late night laughs, but that's it.

Except, as Steve Benan summarizes, that the White House response to the incident has been so willfully bizarre: they made no announcement, apparently got special treatment from local authorities, and were unable to answer even simple questions about what happened at today's press briefing.

Now, 48 hours after the shooting, Cheney still hasn't talked to the press or even issued a statement saying he feels terrible about what happened, but he has released a statement saying that after learning he didn't have the right permit for shooting quail he has "sent a 7 dollar check to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which is the cost of an upland game bird stamp."

Can this episode get any more ridiculous? The Veep's office can't rouse itself to say even a single word about what happened, but somehow they have the time to assure us that Cheney is good for the seven bucks he failed to pay for an upland game bird stamp? Are they trying to cement his reputation as a callous and scary reactionary, or what?

Kevin Drum 10:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (202)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Just another example of this group's open disregard of propriety. They think they are not above the law, they think they are the law.
What a despicable government.

Posted by: Jim M. on February 13, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

It's end-stage corruption, where even keeping up a pretense fails.

Posted by: Barry on February 13, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to believe what several other bloggers have suggested: the delay was due to the fact that either a) alcohol was involved and/or b) the group was trying to get their story straight. Of course, nothing is going to come of it; hopefully the victim will recover from Cheney's recklessness. Oh, and I hope the guy who got shot gets better, too.

Posted by: mr. ziffel on February 13, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Are they trying to cement his reputation as a callous and uncaring reactionary, or what?

Kevin Drum 10:12 PM Permalink | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Yes. Makes him attractive vs histrionicm, whiney liberals.

He hunted Homo Sapiens in Texas, for that thrill you can have the 7 dollar stamp!

Posted by: McA on February 13, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

The way somebody put it, they were waiting a bit to decide who shot the guy. Meaning that if he was taking a turn for the worse, some fall guy would have ended up 'having done' it.

Posted by: Barry on February 13, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree in the following sense: it's not any big deal if someone like you or me gets falling down drunk once in a long while; it happens. It is a big deal if the President or the Vice President get falling down drunk for all the obvious reasons. Likewise, the series of colossal lapses in judgment that lead to firing a shotgun into someone's face aren't any big deal for the rest of us if J. Random Citizen is at fault, but when the Vice President is involved, it's very serious.

Posted by: alkali on February 13, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe how surprised everyone is by how the White House is handling this.

They didn't release the news on Saturday because they were afraid the man might die and they wanted to see what was going to happen before they made a statement.

Cheney and his office haven't specifically made any statements because...what could they say? It seems reasonably clear that the VP was largely at fault for failing to follow a basic rule of hunting but there's very little he or his office could say publicly that wouldn't just fan the flames.

(It also seems clear that he's less of a "hunter" than a "shooter" based on his participation in a barnyard slaughter of 400+ pen-raised birds in '03, but I have a certain contempt for "sport" or "trophy" killing, so maybe that's just my prejudice.)

Posted by: Anne on February 13, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Look, no matter what, this story is as embarrassing as hell to Cheney.

So let's, as good Democrats, do everything in our power to embarrass him to the absolute max.

Maybe it's simple ridicule. Maybe it's pointing out the regulations he's violated. Maybe it's making sure the incident is thoroughly investigated, and the results made spectacularly public. Maybe it's pointing out what a reckless, clueless hunter he must be. Maybe it's decrying the meanness he's shown by blaming others and getting someone else to cover the press for him.

But whatever works is all to the good. He's a man who deserves a little humiliation, don't you think?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 13, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Even this crowd had to know this was going to come out, and quickly. The only rationale for taking that heat is if they alternative was worse. And the only worse alternative that I can think of would be not allowing the shooter to sober up overnight.

Posted by: drinkof on February 13, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

As we discussed over in yesterdays's thread on this, Cheney's office said to the NYT that they deferred to Ms. Armstrong to discuss this with the press because it happened on her property.

Last night, I conjectured on the other thread that Ms. Armstrong spoke to Rove before talking to the press.

Today, the New York Times confirms this. Rove called her and told her what to say.

Posted by: JS on February 13, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I wish Whittington any harm, but if he should die, will Go Fuck Yourself wear his parka to the funeral?

Posted by: Henry Reed on February 13, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possibly because this doesn't seem to fit any kind of standard mold?

There is a protocol to follow when somebody says something anti-administration, or when facts don't comport with administration statements. The protocol is: smear the speaker, redefine the subject, lie more provacatively than before, make sure others do the talking and try and stay above the fray. Bonus points for hijacking resultant legislation.

But what to do when you shoot a guy in the face?

Posted by: Saam Barrager on February 13, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Whittington shot first. He had it comin'.

Whittington: "At last we meet, young Cheney-alker"
Cheney: "I been learnin' on killin' you."
*bang*
Aerosmith: "Cheney got a gun..."

Posted by: Phobos Deimos on February 13, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

More than anything it is simple arrogance and contempt for the press and the American people. While I am willing to give Bush a pass on the question of "is he a bad person" and simply accept the fact that he is a total incompetent, Cheney is truly a bad person. His warped view of the world, and his unwillingness to look at any view other than his own is very dangerous. Thank God his heart is too bad for him to run for President for I don't think the country could survive with him at the helm for any lengthy period of time.

Posted by: Jim on February 13, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

You are way late on this story.

Go back to sleep with your cats.

Posted by: koreyel on February 13, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

It's also obvious that they were reluctant to release the fact that Cheney and a male friend were spending the weekend at an isolated retreat with two women who were not their wives.

How can this not be a big deal? The vice president shoots a man and tries to cover it up, and does so in the midst of some apparent extramarital hanky-panky. In a political landscape based, whether we like it or not, on personal attacks, this is about as big a deal as there is.

Posted by: Boots Day on February 13, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I wish Whittington any harm, but if he should die, will Go Fuck Yourself wear his parka to the funeral?

Biggest. Laugh. Of the day.

Thanks.

Posted by: Bob on February 13, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is a sideshow. It's a minor embarassment to Cheney, who still winds up looking tough to the yahoo segment of his base. Meanwhile, the President is holding himself above the law and the Constitution he swore to protect and uphold.

Posted by: Slideguy on February 13, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

You are bewildered that the Veep has worked to cover this up and that if it had been anybody else, charges would have been laid over the illegal hunting? The spin doctors have already started blaming Whittington for not announcing himself but as I understand it, Whittington was with somebody who had already been announced so obviously that wouldn't have made a difference.

Posted by: murmeister on February 13, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Some people say Whittington was acting rashly, and may have had several alcoholic drinks beforehand. As the Drudge Report has learned, Whittington donated money to the Democrat Party in 1964, and therefore is an untrustworthy partisan, acting as "agent provacateur" to lead Cheney into shooting him.

Why haven't the Democrats disaowed this cynical ploy to embarass the Vice President!!!

Posted by: Judy Miller on February 13, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Any police reporter in America knows what happened. Cheney was OUI with a firearm and shot a guy by mistake. Alcohol and guns are about the worst combination there is. The cover-up commenced immediately.
Look for Ms. Armstrong to purchase her own national forest for $39.95 in the near future.
It's Texas, people get shot all the time. Rub a little dirt on it, Whittington.

Posted by: JMG on February 13, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1610793

But Whittington has "no comment out of respect for Cheney". So you don't have nothing. I love the way that sounds so Godfather!

Posted by: McA on February 13, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

But everyone said it was the other guy's fault, so really, what does Cheney have to feel bad about?

Posted by: lilybart on February 13, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

pompous arrogance overflows from every jesture, thought, and action of the bushcriminal regime. pompous arrogance is
THE essence
of the bushcriminal regime.

Posted by: pluenge on February 13, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Boots day......EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the photo of the other people on the "shoot."

What exactly were they all doing there?

Posted by: lilybart on February 13, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Can we try to predict the LAte Night one-liners tonight?

e.g. Vice President Cheney was questioned by authorities today who believe he may have exceeded Texas's bag limit for lawyers.

Posted by: Robert S. on February 13, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the trolls to defend Cheney?

Posted by: cq on February 13, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

The victim said something to piss Cheney off and the Vice President shot him. In the face. Do not expect the Secret Service to testify against him.

Posted by: Hostile on February 13, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

So what's the punishment for shooting quail without a license? At least Dick should do that time, don't you think? He was a day late and $7 short.

Posted by: Fred on February 13, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

First it was telling the Congress to fuck themselves, now he's willing to shoot someone in the face.

Do you get it now?

Posted by: pebird on February 13, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

What could Cheney say?

'It was a lapse in judgement.' 'A mistake anyone could have made.' 'I thought my had the stamp.'

Anything. But he won't, doesn't have to, because... Well, we know how it is.

Posted by: Crissa on February 13, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's a minor embarassment to Cheney, who still winds up looking tough to the yahoo segment of his base.

You look tough for being stupid enough to accidently shoot a guy in the face?
I guess that's why for yahoos, there is a very thin line between toughness and stupidity.

Posted by: Another Bruce on February 13, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm, I dunno Kevin, I think you may be missing a (wait for it) marketing aspect to this.

I think this cuts really deep for the WH, and part (although not all) of the delay was that they were trying to figure out how to handle it. And I think the completely ridiculous way they finally did decide to handle it is evidence of some serious angst over a choice among bad options.

Look, the bedrock of support for Bush and Cheney is exactly the demographic that knows that their entire explanation for this episode is BS, because they know from experience what really happened. And there's no way to walk away from it. Cheney screwed up in about three different, very serious ways, and it's only the Baptist Lord's Good Grace that his victim isn't blind or dead.

The object of a cult of personality has very badly and very publicly screwed up. Put that kind of damage-control problem in your pipe and smoke it.

And OMG, they're trying to let a woman explain it all for them. A woman. (And I don't think you need me to remind you to ask what those two guys were doing with those two women over that particular weekend.)

There's a lotta reg'lar huntin' guys gonna be shakin' their heads over their beers about this...

Posted by: bleh on February 13, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

The dangerous thing about this is the precedent this sets.

The next time Cheney shoots someone, nary an eyebrow will be raised.

Posted by: ctm on February 13, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

No, it IS a big deal.

I'm not a hunter, but "some of my best friends are hunters" and a canned "hunt" where Cheny alone shot 70 or more captive raised and penned birds in one day is sickening.

This is a complete analogy of the entire Bush/Cheny regime.

So we have the lieing factor (a canned hunt is a lie). We have the incompetence factor (can't shoot straight). We have the dis-loyalty factor (blame the victim). We have the cover-up factor (don't tell anyone and the forest won't notice that the tree fell). And, we have insufferable arrogance factor (blame the victim for having the unmitigated gall to dare to hunt with the VP, anything that happened was his fault).

It is a big deal.

Moreover, it is a story that middle-America can get its head around and can see the issues. We need to make the analogy, make the comparison and not pooh-pooh the affair.

Posted by: 22state on February 13, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously Kevin's not a hunter. Do you honestly think that the Republican party's white, male, NRA member base is so cavalier about gun safety that they will laugh off this incident? The Vice President shot a man. I know many quail hunters, I've been myself, but I only know one person who has accidentally shot anyone and he still has not gotten his head back together.

If we can't get beyond the liberal caricature of these guys, a large portion of the electorate, as violent yahoos then we have no chance of winning back the House, Senate or Presidency.

Posted by: tib on February 13, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Between this and Ahnold driving his motorcycle without a licence...

Tell again why the Republicans aren't just laughed at when they claim to be the party of personal responsibility?

Posted by: Wapiti on February 13, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is a sideshow. It's a minor embarassment to Cheney, who still winds up looking tough to the yahoo segment of his base.

Only the effete suburban yahoos like John Hinderaker who've never actually touched a gun and compares getting shot in the face with getting a fishing hook stuck in you.

Anyone who has ever shot a gun -- and I include myself in that group -- knows that YOU, the gun user, are responsible for where you point it. It gets drilled into your head from day one.

What this does is make "tough guy" Cheney look like a complete and utter buffoon in front of his bedrock loyalists. It could potentially make them wonder what else he's been careless or reckless about. And a few dots might be connected.

By the way, I feel this is the place to mention that when I took a hunter education course at the age of 12, I was the youngest person and the only girl there. And I still outscored every man in the class. Plus I turned out to be a pretty decent shot with a .22 rifle.

My dad still brags about it to this day.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 13, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's possible that Cheyney has apologized to the victim even though he hasn't made a public statement. I suppose that's what really matters.

Posted by: Peter on February 13, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Shooting a man in your own hunting party... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

Ahnuld's lack of motorcycle endorsement on his driving license... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

Valerie Plame Wilson... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

Downing Street Memoes... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

FISA endrun... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

Abramoff... WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?

Posted by: IOKIYAR on February 13, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I don't think the story about Dick Cheney's shooting accident is any big deal. Good for some late night laughs, but that's it.


In the not-too-distant future, when they do the post-mortem on a certain self-described progressive tree-zine and the blog that had graced its home page, they will say:

"A failure of imagination."

Posted by: Libby Sosume on February 13, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure if this has been covered in previous threads, but this is very serious, not a joke at all

- a 78-year old caught most of a shotgun blast in the face and neck. Any major injury to a 78 year old man is serious, let alone trauma from a shotgun wound.

- He's been in ICU since Saturday. This transparently BS story about him being "peppered" with "pellets", and "resting comfortably" is ridiculous. Otherwise why is he still in ICU? Over 200 pellets have been removed, and many were not able to be removed, likely because they couldn't without risking injury to arteries/nerves

- Secret Service prevented local law enforcement from gathering evidence. That's obstruction of justice. No notice was given to the press until the day after the incident, despite the VP almost killing someone.

- Legally, the shooter is responsible for discharging his weapon, period.

This guy could die, in which case VOTUS gets charged with manslaughter.

Stop laughing and think about how serious this is.

Posted by: quietpc3400 on February 13, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget, Vice President's office is now blaming the local authorities for not getting his licensed stamp...

Of course, now is not the time to play the blame game, but if we do, blame the locals...

Rinse, Lather, Repeat

Posted by: justmy2 on February 13, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

What is strange is that Whittington was not behind a bush -- or they would have said so. He was just standing there, wearing an orange vest. And Cheney was not tracking a bird in flight -- he was shooting birds flying off the ground, according to Armstrong.

The only way to understand this is that Cheney heard something, turned and shot before he looked.

Posted by: JS on February 13, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

quietpc: Whittington was moved out of the ICU today.

And evidently, while Ms. Armstrong (I forget; was she Whittington's squeeze for the weekend, or Cheney's?) reported the incident to local law enforcement an hour after it happened, they arranged for the sheriff's deputies to come the next morning to interview the VP. In other words, to let him have a good night's sleep, get his BAC down and get everyone's stories ready.

Mnemosyne: Woo hoo! You go with your crack-shot self!

And this is the line of the day: The dangerous thing about this is the precedent this sets. The next time Cheney shoots someone, nary an eyebrow will be raised.

Posted by: shortstop on February 13, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

So if he'd had a permit, would it have been ok to shoot the guy?

Posted by: craigie on February 13, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bush later: "You're one heck of a shot, Cheney"

Posted by: craigie on February 13, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

let this be a lesson to all Bush/Cheney supporters and friends--give big bucks to their campaign, get invited to go hunting with the VP, and GET SHOT IN THE FACE.

um, no thanks. I'll take a pancake breakfast with the Democrats any day.

Posted by: haha on February 13, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Bush, in his thirst for constant renicknaming, will drop the "Big Time" thing and dub Dick "Big Shot."

Posted by: shortstop on February 13, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Let this be a lesson to all Bush/Cheney supporters and friends--give big bucks to their campaign, get invited to go hunting with the VP, and GET SHOT IN THE FACE.

Give big bucks.
Get buck shot.

Posted by: shortstop on February 13, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

You know, until I read the comments above, I hadn't even thought of any adultery angle. I'm so, so innocent.

But now that I have, I can't stop thinking about it. One thing this tells us, Cheney really is a moron. Because if there's one thing they drilled into us on day one of basic training, it's that you don't take your weapon off of "safety" when you're getting a blow job.

Everyone knows that.

Posted by: craigie on February 13, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Give big bucks.
Get buck shot.

Nice! Have a cigar!

Posted by: craigie on February 13, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

He's been in ICU since Saturday. This transparently BS story about him being "peppered" with "pellets", and "resting comfortably" is ridiculous. Otherwise why is he still in ICU? Over 200 pellets have been removed, and many were not able to be removed, likely because they couldn't without risking injury to arteries/nerves

I'm not sure exactly what Cheney was shooting (besides bourbon, that is) but to get more than 200 pellets into him he had to have been pretty damn close when he shot him.

Posted by: Stefan on February 13, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

You know, until I read the comments above, I hadn't even thought of any adultery angle. I'm so, so innocent.

I hadn't either, actually. I guess I assumed there were more people there than the four of them. Are we sure there weren't? And after Rove briefed La Armstrong, how come they didn't import a bunch of additional people to the ranch house to make it look like a hunting party instead of a hunting panky?

See, this is how rumors get started.

Posted by: shortstop on February 13, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Just listend to Letterman. Best line so far: "After five years he can't get Osama, but he can bag a 78 year old lawyer."

Posted by: Stefan on February 13, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

See, this is how rumors get started.

"Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to" -- Peggy Noonan.

Posted by: Stefan on February 13, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Another Letterman line: "This wouldn't have happened if Rumsfeld had only issued Whittington with body armor like he'd asked for."

Posted by: Stefan on February 13, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

I hadn't either, actually. I guess I assumed there were more people there than the four of them. Are we sure there weren't?

Maybe Cheney just looks like more than four people all by himself.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hee. I enjoyed Ed Helms on The Daily Show, who simply kept repeating, "The vice president shot a 78-year-old friend...IN...THE...FACE. We'll be here, where the vice president shot a 78-year-old man...IN...THE...FACE...all evening. Back to you, Jon." Beautiful in its simplicity; we couldn't stop laughing

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, there were more people there, but they didn't survive, so they've just been buried. The delay was the WH airbrushing them out of the photos of the naked Twister party from the night before.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

You know, this would never have happened if (former Defense Secretary) Cheney had ever had any military training.

Posted by: DonBoy on February 14, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

...they didn't survive, so they've just been buried.

They were weary with huntin', and fain would lie down...IN SHALLOW GRAVES!

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

For comparison's sake, let's just imagine what Republican reaction would be if this were, say, 1998, and Vice President Gore, while on a secret weekend trip with a friend and two women not their wives, had gotten liquored up, shotgunned that friend in the chest, and then waited a day before reporting the offense. Let's extend the same kindness, courtesy, and benefit of the doubt to Cheney that Gore would have gotten from the Republicans if the situations were reversed....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

From AP: "Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy sheriff for Kenedy County, said the report had not been completed Monday and that it was being handled as a hunting accident, although he would not comment about what that meant they were investigating."

"He said his department's investigation had found that alcohol was not a factor in the shooting, but he would not elaborate about how that had been determined."

Sounds like a really thorough investigation.

Posted by: arkie on February 14, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like a really thorough investigation.

Well, sure. The minute that deputy sheriff arrived on the spot, just 13 hours after the shooting took place, he said, "Mr. Vice President, were you drinking yesterday afternoon?" And Big Time said, "Son, why would you ask me that? Do you hate America?" And that was the end of that.

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the VP shoots someone in the face....Is this a problem?

Posted by: D. on February 14, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the whole thing is such a perfect set-up for late night TV jokes that it almost seems like it just can't be anything important. This is where the defensive maneuvers come in, & why Kevin probalby feels like he has to preface this with the disclaimer that it probably isn't any big deal. That's the real meta-narrative, the way the incident itself and the current media circumstances motivates kevin here & other commenters elsewhere to pre-emptively protect themselves from the charge that they are humorless and strident just because they're pointing out things in the official account that just don't make sense.

As far as the actual incident, I don't have much to add, but i will echo other comments here that I find persuasive:

-Just the way they've handled this makes it seem like there must be something weird here.
-that there's lots and lots of room to credibly speculate about role of alcohol in this incident and about the gender matchup in this party.
-That it is damn serious when a 78 year old guy gets shot in the face with a shotgun.
-That it's interesting how hard the WH is working to make it "clear" that it was Whittington's fault even tho nearly every experienced hunter I've read weigh in on that disagrees.
-That the (condescending and unhelpful) tendency of some (of us) liberals to regard hunters as all part of some undifferentiated mass of stupid rednecks could keep them from seeing just how dumb and reckless this makes Cheney look, especially considering how seriously many of these hunters take gun safety. For many people hunting is part of their way of life and like any kind of multigenerational folkway, it's passed down and taught, and a big part of what's taught is how to avoid shit like this.
-That we really ought to find out what the hell was going on and not let the "no big deal" meme take over.

Posted by: URK on February 14, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Why do you suppose The Objective Historian isn't here shouting:

VICTORY!!!!


It would have such symmetry.

Posted by: jcricket on February 14, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

URK's last point is an important one: We don't know all the details here. We don't really know how this all happened. I guess we're not supposed to speculate on this, but we don't even know if it was really an accident or not; we're all just assuming that.

That makes it all the more critcal that people like Kevin not decide preemptively that this is not important.

Posted by: Boots Day on February 14, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Any chance we could get some of the new Supreme Court Justices to go hunting with Dead Eye Dick? Just askin'....

Posted by: Jim in Chicago on February 14, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

It just goes to show that behind every Bush... there stands a guy waiting to shoot someone!

Posted by: Kenji on February 14, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm wary of three-syllable slogans as much as the next "reasonable liberal" :), but here's a five-syllable one that's a short but accurate description of this administration:

It's never their fault.

The downside, of course, is that irony in a political slogan is probably too ambitious.

Posted by: rajH on February 14, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

craigie >"So if he'd had a permit, would it have been ok to shoot the guy?"

Only if he had bought the Lawyer Stamp ($700 Confederate)

"...playin with matches in a pool of gasoline..." - Swamp Mama Johnson

Posted by: daCascadian on February 14, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Check out NRA.org.: NO mention of the shooting, but there's a link to a Houston Chronicle story claiming there are very few hunting accidents.

Posted by: JIm Bartle on February 14, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

NO mention of the shooting, but there's a link to a Houston Chronicle story claiming there are very few hunting accidents.

That's true. There are very few hunting accidents involving a sitting Vice President and a 78-year-old man mistaken for a bird.

Or maybe what they are trying to say is, there are very few hunting "accidents." Wink wink.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Here is the sheriff's report.

It says that Whittington was "accidentally shot" but it does not say who shot him.

Seems authentic, as it is illiterate: "Mr. Whittington's interview collaborated Vice President Cheney's statement."

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

Next time Shrub asserts the "commander in chief" perogative to be above the law, some reporter should ask if that extends to being able to shoot anybody he feels like.

Posted by: VOR on February 14, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, that's the Sheriff's "Press Release", not the official report.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

It's true that hunting accidents are very rare. I think the number of accidental shootings in Texas last year was in the low double digits.

My dad's friend had a hunting accident in January. They were out in the woods and he stepped in a hole and broke his ankle. They all managed to not shoot each other, however, since they're all lifelong hunters and NRA members.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 14, 2006 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

That's true. There are very few hunting accidents involving a sitting Vice President and a 78-year-old man mistaken for a bird.

Yes, but at the time Democrats as well as every major Western intelligence agency all thought Whittington was a bird. Why blame Cheney for the same mistake everyone else made? And just remember what Rumsfeld said: "We know where Whittington is. He's somewhere north, east, south and west of the covey."

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Whittington can consider himself lucky Cheney only blasted him in the face with a shotgun rather than the unmanned Predator drone Cheney usually employs for his quail hunts....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Now that Cheney's finally drawn human blood, can he be considered safe around people anymore? Once a predator develops a taste for human meat, after all, it finds it almost impossible to stay away....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Shooting Whittington in the face and chest, OK, that's bad. But trying to eat Whittington's uncooked liver and smearing himself with his blood, well, that's just over the line....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

INDEED, IT MAY BE A BIG DEAL!

The vice presidents habit of hush-hush, unreported clandestine hunting trips to woodsy private locations with secret guests talking alone in the wide open spaces may indeed mean that something more may be involved in the BIG SHOT incident than meets the eye at first glance. At the very least, the strange and peculiar way that the apparent no big deal matter is being handled by the White House and the Vice Presidents Office raises suspicions. How often does Cheney go on these cloak-and-dagger hunting trips in the wide open spaces where no one can listen to the conversations between fellow hunters? Why are the Cheney hunting trips for ducks and/or quail?? kept secret from the press? Who is invited on the vice president's secret hunts? Who else was on the BIG SHOT hunting trip? Why has the White House not disclosed the guest list? Maybe, just maybe, . . ; there is a big deal here. Lets see, didnt this hunting trip come at a time when the Libbey disclosures had made things more than a little hot for the vice pres. . .?

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

NYT: Bush learned about the shooting accident at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, about an hour after it happened, in a call from Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff. But Mr. Bush did not find out that Mr. Cheney fired the shot until about half an hour later in a subsequent call from Karl Rove...

Sounds like they were initially trying to figure out if Cheney's role in this could be somehow hushed. Sureley whoever told Card must have known who shot Whittington. But Bush wasn't told. This smells.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

I go hunting with Cheney all the time!

Posted by: "The Man in the Iron Mask" on February 14, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ridicule is the winner - this is something that everyone can understand - and it will drive home the point of the incompetence of this administration. This reflects badly on their percieved strength - national security.

Do not go looking for conspiracies, it will cloud the waters and detract from the message of incompetence. Stay on message.

Posted by: jim58 on February 14, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Jim58, I assume that was addressed to me. If so, note: My link was to the latest New York Times article on this, which goes as follows:

No End to Questions in Cheney Hunting Accident
By ANNE E. KORNBLUT
and RALPH BLUMENTHAL

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 The White House sought with little success on Monday to quell an uproar over why it took the better part of a day to disclose that Vice President Dick Cheney had accidentally wounded a fellow hunter in Texas on Saturday and why even President Bush initially got an incomplete report on the shooting...

So if you don't like this angle, send a letter to the NYT...

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

jim58-Yeah-ridicule is the key and the hook, but overall, everything about it, the secrecy, the weird storyline, the recklessness, etc. is a symptom of how these people operate, not just a metaphor.

I'm not meaningfully suggesting any "conspiracy" (except maybe one to conceal the vice president's drunkeness from the County Sherrif ;)) but I think it's good to keep paying attention to this. Which is fun anyway. Plus, I keep thinking,from the way things are being handled,that there's something fucked up in the storyline. And I think that the more that comes to light, the more embarrassing it's gonna be for Bush/Cheney, maybe more embarrasing than some of the truly evil shit they've done.

Posted by: URK on February 14, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a link to the bio page of the woman (our ambassador to Switzerland) who was shooting with Cheney and must also be a witness.

http://bern.usembassy.gov/ambassador.html

I have a question for those who have been bird hunting. I'm trying to picture how a body would be poised to shoot and how much you could pivot before screwing up your aim. I mean, if you had your eye on a bird that had just flown up from the ground, and you are presumably looking through your site, and your head and upper body are moving as one, well, how far can you pivot around?

I just can't picture Cheney facing, let's say north, and this bird is rising from the ground in front of him. How does he end up facing south and still keep the bird in his site? Can you do this, keep the bird in your site while having to lift at least one foot in order to pivot 180 degrees?

Another thing I can't picture is the flying behavior of the quail. I have never hunted them with a gun, but I hike frequently and when quail are startled they rise fast. And they also tend to fly away from what has scared them. Are we to believe that this startled bird flew not only towards and past Cheney, but also directly at poor Mr. Whittington?

Also, if this bird had risen in front of Cheney, as described by Armstrong, by the time it flew past Cheney I would think that it would already be higher than the chest, neck height of Whittington.

As someone earlier in this thread has already theorized, it may turn out that Cheney heard something behind him and turned around quickly, without looking first, and shot his hunting companion.

Posted by: Az not so Slim on February 14, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Shoot a lawyer and pay a $7 fine!!!

Damn, it pays to be VP.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

Even the National Review is reporting on inconsistencies in the story. From Media Matters:

National Review White House correspondent Byron York wrote that Katharine Armstrong, the host of the hunting expedition during which Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting partner, "said she did not coordinate with the vice president's office before calling" a Corpus Christi, Texas, newspaper. But when a spokeswoman for Cheney responded to the article by saying that, in fact, Armstrong and Cheney discussed specifically how the news would be disclosed to the public, York printed the White House response as an "author's note" at the bottom of the article, without explaining the discrepancy between the two accounts.

It appears that the delay in disclosing this and the inconsistencies are becoming the main story for the whole White House press corps, which gave McClellan a tough time on Monday. No way to know how far this goes, of course.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:00 AM | PERMALINK

Az not so Slim, this is exactly how it happened.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

You know that gun is a collectors item.

There are only two guns in existence that have used by VPs to shoot lawyers.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

["... Here's a link to the bio page of the woman (our ambassador to Switzerland) who was shooting with Cheney and must also be a witness."] INTERESTING!

Question. Isn't it a bid odd that a woman is invited to that most typical of all "old-boys" thing, the super male-bonding activity of hunting . . . and for cute defenseless little birds at that? In fact,I don't I know too many women who consider it fun go shooting cute little birds. This thing gets stanger and stranger.

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 5:32 AM | PERMALINK

["... Here's a link to the bio page of the woman (our ambassador to Switzerland) who was shooting with Cheney and must also be a witness."] INTERESTING!

Question. Isn't it a bid odd that a woman is invited to that most typical of all "old-boys" thing, the super male-bonding activity of hunting . . . and for cute defenseless little birds at that? In fact,I don't I know too many women who consider it fun go shooting cute little birds. This thing gets stanger and stranger.

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK

["... Here's a link to the bio page of the woman (our ambassador to Switzerland) who was shooting with Cheney and must also be a witness."] INTERESTING!

Question. Isn't it a bid odd that a woman is invited to that most typical of all "old-boys" thing, the super male-bonding activity of hunting . . . and for cute defenseless little birds at that? In fact,I don't I know too many women who consider it fun go shooting cute little birds. This thing gets stanger and stranger.

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Question. Isn't it a bid odd that a woman is invited to that most typical of all "old-boys" thing

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

She was there for the ritual wailing after Cheney hunted a few lawyers...ain't nothing like the thrill of destroying your women and hearing the lamentation of their women.

Haven't you watched Conan the Barbarian?

Posted by: Mca on February 14, 2006 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

Question. Isn't it a bid odd that a woman is invited to that most typical of all "old-boys" thing

Posted by: Erika on February 14, 2006 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

She was there for the ritual wailing after Cheney hunted a few lawyers...ain't nothing like the thrill of destroying your enemies and hearing the lamentation of their women.

Haven't you watched Conan the Barbarian?

Posted by: Mca on February 14, 2006 at 6:16 AM | PERMALINK

This is a sideshow. It's a minor embarassment to Cheney, who still winds up looking tough to the yahoo segment of his base. Meanwhile, the President is holding himself above the law and the Constitution he swore to protect and uphold.

Posted by: Slideguy on February 13, 2006 at 10:35 PM

I think way too many people here are overlooking the fact that the "yahoo" segment does a lot more hunting than liberals. They know about hunting and basic gun safety. This isn't going to play well with them.

Posted by: beb on February 14, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'd like to know what that equivalent of a hightech personal MASH unit which attends Dear Leader's puppet master costs to operate and transport around the countryside.

Is Mr. Whittington gonna get a bill for his medical treatment from same? Or for his transport aboard one of Mr. Cheney's fleet of 'official' aircraft?

How much do these little 'hunting' (this isn't hunting - it's slaughter) trips cost exactly?

Once an accountant, always an accountant, to some extent...

Posted by: CFShep on February 14, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

How is the bird?

Posted by: collateral damage on February 14, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Erika: Women hunt all the time in GOP Southern circles, particularly nice, clean, tidy hunts like bagging "wingless quailtards" (TM Rob Corddry) on a Saturday afternoon. I doubt you'll find that many women sitting unbathed in deer blinds for entire weekends, but that's just my (perhaps biased) guess.

Mnemosyne hunts, or used to, and she could tell us.

It is pretty funny to hear them they didn't tell the prez at first. "All information will be given on a need-to-know basis, sir." Makes me lean toward the explanation that they were waiting to see if Whittington died before they decided who shot him. And I can't let go of my Occam's Razor-inspired explanation that Cheney also needed to sober up.

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Correction to my last: "Women hunt all the time in MONEYED GOP Southern circles."

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, I'm not one for conspiracy theories but I'll make an interesting point. The report from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says:

Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards.

The face, neck and chest is perhaps a 2 foot diameter area. Depending on the type of choke and shot, at 30 yards the spread on a shotgun is about a 2 to 3 foot diameter. That's still pretty tight.

At that distance he had to aim the shotgun at a point within 2 feet of him and he should have had shot in his arm and shoulder as well. No shot in these areas would suggest he was shot at a much closer range and Cheney was aiming directly at him.

I can see it now... hundreds of Kennedyesqe conspiracy theorists setting up hunting dummies and shooting shotguns at them to assess the spread, lol.

Posted by: tripoley on February 14, 2006 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

It's simple.

Cheney must resign.

Posted by: exasperanto on February 14, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, this incident by Dead Eye Dick could be a boon for fire arm safety.

"Remember kids, it is not the Cheney method of "Ready, FIRE, Aim"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 14, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious Cheney shot Whittington to try and cover up the fact that they were hunting without the seven dollar stamps. Unfortunately, his plan failed.

It was worth it to see the press hissy-fit about not being the first ones told about this important matter of national security.

Posted by: Frank J. on February 14, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Transparency: This story remind us how little there has been with this administration. That's the meta-story. Cheney continues to duck the press and there has yet to be a full public appraisal of Wittington's injuries.

Posted by: kostya on February 14, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's obvious they were waiting to see if they the guy died and if they needed a stand-in to take the blame.

22 hours? Gimme a break. Didn't Teddy call people faster than that?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 14, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I don't believe Cheney was drunk . . . I don't think he needs to drink anymore to lose the kind of judgement and motor skills required to prevent the shooting from occuring. I see this incident as one more episode in Cheney's long, slow mental decline. I believe that he has suffered a series of small strokes that have been kept from the press over the years. Or, alternatively, it could be the deleterious side effects of numerous bypass surgeries that have cut off the blood flow to his brain over the years. I think this is at least part of the reason why he has shown such poor judgement and paranoia in recent years (the effect of such cardio-vascular events can be radical personality changes and general instability). Not saying he wasn't a creepy GOP machiavelli before, but the downward trend has been quite pronounced over, say the last five years, I think we could all agree.

The man is not well and he is not right in the head The reason for the evident panic from the WH, Rove et al when confronted with this incident is that it publically reveals a decline they have been trying to hide and deny for years now. I seriously wonder how much longer Cheney will last . . .

Posted by: pish-posh on February 14, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

22 hours? Gimme a break. Didn't Teddy call people faster than that?
Uh, Teddy left Mary Jo to die at the scene and then huddled up with his lawyers. Cheney's first action was to get medical treatment for the guy, and then notify the local sheriff.

But I can see why you're confused.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

At that distance he had to aim the shotgun at a point within 2 feet of him and he should have had shot in his arm and shoulder as well. No shot in these areas would suggest he was shot at a much closer range and Cheney was aiming directly at him.

Not to mention that Whittington has had well over 200 pellets removed from him already, with more left inside. You don't get hit with that many pellets if you're more than 20-30 metres away.

Also, have you seen video of that countryside? The brush looks to be ankle high at best. Whittington, in an orange vest, had to have been completely visible to Cheney when he fired.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Were those 200 pellets "proportionally spaced"?

Posted by: jerryatrik on February 14, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

So, let's look at the big picture: Cheney, while acting out a macho fantasy that allows him to dress up and play with guns guns, is drunkenly shooting at a defenseless target, makes a careless and shoddy mistake, and gets someone hurt. He first tries to cover up the incident by finding a fall guy and, when it becomes clear that's not possible, then (i) insists it was the result of bad intelligence so it's not his fault and (ii) blames the victim.

I cannot think what other actions of this Administration this reminds me of....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

How is the bird?

Apparently being shot at for no reason has radicalized the bird, who'd already spent his entire life a prisoner in a pen under an oppressive regime and lost many members of his family to hunting parties.

He was last seen holding anti-hunter signs at a protest, and word is he's on a terrorist watch list.

In other news: neocons are arguing that the bird is the biggest threat to our national security and that we have no choice but to attack. There's a lot of fearful talk of mushroom clouds and soiled windshields. Two Democrats have taken the extreme pro and con positions on the matter of attacking, while the rest are giving process answers and apparently don't have a position.

Posted by: trex on February 14, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

According to the Austin Statesman, Whittington was known for lobbying against the city of Austin about a matter regarding a property of his.

Any connection to him trying to meet with the VP?

I have no idea, but given the fact that Cheney coincidentally hunts with people who he is seeking favors from or vice versa(Scalia case for example).....you have to wonder!

Posted by: Blech on February 14, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

He was last seen holding anti-hunter signs at a protest, and word is he's on a terrorist watch list.

What about the "no-fly" list?

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

OF COURSE, by itself this story is "no big deal"...except for the way it further exemplifies the way this administration, and Cheney in particular, view their status "above the law" or any human decency...given the fact that these rich old boys were hunting at a ranch that, apparently, raises the game they "hunt" specifically for the purpose of providing these mighty hunters with manly experiences...HA!
Their insistence in keeping quiet the incident to avoid any rush to provide commentary on the SUNDAY MORNING NEWS SHOWS...thereby taking away the thunder of the continuing parade of talking point pundits and guests from the administration... And, except for the way that they are protraying the episode/accident as Wittington's "fault" for sneaking up on Dick, saying it's NO BIG DEAL that this guy is spending 3+ days in hospital, and finding no time for another of the compassionate conservative, Christian, moral guys to even say...MY BAD!!!

Posted by: Dancer on February 14, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

from Scott McClellan: "protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there. And so, you know, unfortunately, these types of hunting accidents happen from time to time."

I am going out on a limb here and presuming Wittington has done quite a bit of hunting. I mean, only the upper crust ever make it out on Katie Armstrong's patch of heaven, dontcha think? All these boys have probably been shooting their great grandad's Franchi since before they were old enough to bully the hired help. So, to think Wittington was doing something so completely and totally asinine or unexpected that it relieves Cheney of responsiblity seems far fetched.

Hey, accidents happen, we know that. If Dick wants to live up to his --cough, cough-- straight shooter image, he ought to stand up and take responsibility.

Could be bright side for the NRA, though. If Cheney keeps shooting Republicans, maybe the Democrats will back off of gun control.

Posted by: genardo on February 14, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

To answer the question raised above, normally you set your feet before taking the shot, and you pivot your waist to lead the bird if it is traversing your field of vision.

I can imagine Cheney facing N and the victim coming up on his left and Cheney shooting due W or so. This would be fine for a right handed shooter. Pivoting much farther S then due W would be very akward.

Still when you are hunting with a party you should never turn that much. You are not even supposed to turn more than halfway into the other hunter's line of sight. That is rude and, as we can see, dangerous. You shoot at things ahead of you, not at the sides. And you don't shoot below the horizon. Damn. You will kill a fine hunting dog that way. Or worse. Any real hunters would know this.

BUT no real hunter would ever DRIVE out to the field and shoot at stocked birds. They probably didn't even have dogs to flush the birds. Hell, they probably had some peon releasing the birds from cages. That's nothing more than target shooting with live birds which is stupid and NOT hunting.

The earlier "hunt" where he shot 60 pheasants in two hours is disgusting. There are real hunters in MN who work hard all year to preserve the habitat for pheasants and are delighted to spot a handful of birds a day. Shooting a domestic bird every two minutes for two hours is disgusting.

Posted by: Tripp on February 14, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Still when you are hunting with a party you should never turn that much. You are not even supposed to turn more than halfway into the other hunter's line of sight. That is rude and, as we can see, dangerous. You shoot at things ahead of you, not at the sides. And you don't shoot below the horizon. Damn. You will kill a fine hunting dog that way. Or worse. Any real hunters would know this.

Whittington was behind Cheney, not off to his side, so Cheney couldn't even have pivoted -- he would have had to shift his feet and turn completely around.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what I'd like to know: How far back in U.S. history do we have to go to find a VP who shot someone while in office? Clear back to Aaron Burr?

Posted by: Lindy on February 14, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Wolfes'"A Man in Full" comes to mind...as does Whittington as a message to Scooter as in horsehead in the bed

Posted by: saxonslug on February 14, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what I'd like to know: How far back in U.S. history do we have to go to find a VP who shot someone while in office? Clear back to Aaron Burr?

Yep.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I hear Cheney is now claiming that the September 18, 2001 Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) gave him inherent authority to shoot anyone he damn well feels like....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

How do we know where the victim was? He was shot in the right side of his neck, not full in the face, so my guess is that he was coming up to the side of Cheney from behind when he got shot. Maybe the party was heading N, The bird rose from the W heading S, and Cheney turned to face W, then pivoted S before shooting the victim.

I'm not saying this is what happened but this is what could have happened.

Also, unless we know for sure the victim was shot in the face it does us no good to repeat that. It makes us sound like we don't know what we are talking about.

Posted by: Tripp on February 14, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I prefer to refer to Whittington as the 'victim,' because that is what he was and I hate the implication that he was somehow at fault.

Posted by: Tripp on February 14, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the truth is that Cheney tripped and fell and discharged the weapon into a 78-year-old man's face. Maybe he tripped getting out of the car, trying to turn the AC off. While holding a shotgun. And a bourbon.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

How do we know where the victim was? He was shot in the right side of his neck, not full in the face, so my guess is that he was coming up to the side of Cheney from behind when he got shot. Maybe the party was heading N, The bird rose from the W heading S, and Cheney turned to face W, then pivoted S before shooting the victim.

Well, they themselves have said he was behind Cheney. But if it happened as you posit then the bird might have broken low and Cheney took a shot long after he should have let it go. If you chase a low-breaking bird like that it'll just take your field of fire into an area you haven't checked and where your partners and dogs might be standing. Cheney, though, being the arrogant and careless sort that he is probably let his desire for the shot overcome any basic responsibility.

Again, I cannot think what other actions of this Administration that sort of behavior reminds me of....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

No big deal? Kevin, are you stoned? We live in complicated times. We rely on narratives, symbols, metaphors that illustrate and simplify what's what really going on. This does that.

Imagine if Cheney were in psychoanalysis. (I know: hard to imagine, not that he shouldn't be there, just that he lacks the requisite honesty.)

Cheney: "I guess I'm still thinking about shooting that guy in the face."

Dr. Kevin: "Blah, blah, blah... Couldn't we talk about some California ballot initiative instead?"

Posted by: mackdaddy on February 14, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: Cheney's first action was to get medical treatment for the guy, and then notify the local sheriff.

You have no idea what "Cheney's first action" was, you pathetic bootlicking mental slave.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 14, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

No big deal? Kevin, are you stoned? We live in complicated times. We rely on narratives, symbols, metaphors that illustrate and simplify what's what really going on. This does that.

Imagine if Cheney were in psychoanalysis. (I know: hard to imagine, not that he shouldn't be there, just that he lacks the requisite honesty.)

Cheney: "I guess I'm still thinking about shooting that guy in the face."

Dr. Kevin: "Blah, blah, blah... Couldn't we talk about some California ballot initiative instead?"

Posted by: mackdaddy on February 14, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp
Gotta agree on that last. Everytime I hear someone use the justification that "Whittington failed to announce his return" I just cringe. Cheney pulled the trigger, it's his responsibility.

That said, I'm getting more of a charge out of the left's reactions and the right's jokes than I am over a routine hunting accident. Best joke so far:

Overheard at the phone bank at RNC HQ:
"... No, Mr. Abramoff's skybox is no longer available, but at that contribution level we could arrange to have you shot in the face by Vice President Cheney ... no, I'm pretty sure it's not fatal ... well, I'll just put you down for the Reagan commemorative totebag then ..."
[source]

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

You have no idea what "Cheney's first action" was, you pathetic bootlicking mental slave.
That's true, I wasn't there. All I have to go on it the quotes of the people that were there. But, all you have to go on is the voices in your head.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Well so much or keeping us safe.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 14, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think this cuts really deep for the WH, and part (although not all) of the delay was that they were trying to figure out how to handle it. - bleh

Trying to figure out how to handle it... kind of like... sitting stunned in front of school children reading 'My Pet Goat' while the towers burned? It took them seven minutes to get off their asses and do something there, several days before they got on the Katrina disaster, now it havs taken eighteen hours to figure out what to do about the Veep shooting a donor. What next?

What else has to happen to show us that these clowns are not good in a crisis?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on February 14, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

"vice presidents shooting others"

Of course, we did have a former Vice President, who may have shot others.

John C Breckinridge, a former Vice President, became a General in the Confederate Army - Fought at Shiloh and other battles in the South. Led the VMI cadets in action.

Can you picture our "brave" Dead Eye Dick leading real combat troops into action? Remember boys, Ready, FIRE, Aim.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 14, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

"You have no idea what "Cheney's first action" was..."

I hear he crouched down and yelled in a loud voice: "Any more of you lawyers out there?"

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Has nobody concern for the Veep. The stress of knowing he'd shot a man almost made him break out of his perpetual sneer. Pity the man.

Anyway, this certainly brings new meaning to the phrase "face time". I can't see many of his subordinates asking for a little more 'face time' with the Veep anytime soon.

Naturally, in light of the seriousness of the event, we're told the President wasn't informed. Of course, we know he was told and just didn't care.

Posted by: MarkH on February 14, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Naturally, in light of the seriousness of the event, we're told the President wasn't informed. - MarkH

I think that was meant to be a GENERAL statement which had nothing to do with the shooting. Bush in general is not informed, or engaged, or concerned, or competent, or...

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on February 14, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

He was shot in the right side of his neck, not full in the face, so my guess is that he was coming up to the side of Cheney from behind when he got shot.

It's virtually impossible to infer anything from which side of Whittington was shot. That only tells you what way Whittington was facing at that very moment. Maybe he saw Cheney wheeling his way, and started himself to turn away to escape the line of fire. Or maybe he was directly behind Cheney, but just heading in a different direction than directly toward Cheney at that particular moment (why would he be faced to the right anyway, except for some such fact? -- clearly he wasn't at that very moment heading toward Cheney)

Posted by: frankly0 on February 14, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

"we're told the President wasn't informed"

Of course, the President isn't "informed" about very much, but that is another thread.

However, where does it say that the puppeteer has to say anything to the puppet?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 14, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Ready, FIRE, Aim."

This one was a gutbuster!

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

nut,

routine hunting accident.

That is total BS. This was not 'routine' and it was not 'hunting.'

Sending a guy to the ICU while hunting makes the papers and up here in sportsman country I can assure you that is not 'routine.'

This was not 'hunting' either. Not in the sense of an outdoorsman and sportsman enjoying nature.

Driving cars out onto private land to shoot at domestic quail is something the lord of the manor would do while forbidding the peasants from poaching on his land. This was elitist uppity country club 'hunting' and any decent hunter knows the difference.

So please stop the 'routine hunting accident' BS. You do not know what you are talking about.

Posted by: Tripp on February 14, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

"routine hunting accident."

Yes, let us send our VP out routinely to shoot lawyers.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney and his office haven't specifically made any statements because...what could they say? It seems reasonably clear that the VP was largely at fault for failing to follow a basic rule of hunting but there's very little he or his office could say publicly that wouldn't just fan the flames.

They could issue the following statement:
"Vice President Cheney deeply regrests and takes full responsibility for the accident that, thankfully, did not seriously endanger the life of his good friend, Harry Whittington. Out of respect for Mr. Whittington and his family and their privacy, the Vice President will make no further comments on this matter."

I think that such a statement would be widely accepted and probably even praised by many. And it certainly would have avoided the avalanche of criticism coming from outdoormen with no obivous ax to grind. But that is so foreign to the culture of infallibility that this administration has taken from Day 1, it probably wasn't even considered.

Posted by: Mike B. on February 14, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

How this bum cheney ever rose to such heights in the gummit defies logic. Drunk driver, draft-dodger and Yale dropout. I don't get it.

Posted by: Pechorin on February 14, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Aberdeen Testing Grounds today issued a report that delivery of the new system of RQ-II Predator drones, The Cheney Class, has been placed on hold - Problems with veering uncontrollibly to the right and firing wildly are vexing the designers of the system.

Posted by: stupid git on February 14, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

genardo at 11:06: A masterpiece!


Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

For comparison's sake, let's just imagine what Republican reaction would be if this were, say, 1998, and Vice President Gore, while on a secret weekend trip with a friend and two women not their wives, had gotten liquored up, shotgunned that friend in the chest, and then waited a day before reporting the offense. Let's extend the same kindness, courtesy, and benefit of the doubt to Cheney that Gore would have gotten from the Republicans if the situations were reversed....

You don't have to speculate. Just look up "Chappaquiddick" in Wikipedia.

Posted by: tam1MI on February 14, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

How is the bird?

Apparently being shot at for no reason has radicalized the bird, who'd already spent his entire life a prisoner in a pen under an oppressive regime and lost many members of his family to hunting parties.

He was last seen holding anti-hunter signs at a protest, and word is he's on a terrorist watch list.

In other news: neocons are arguing that the bird is the biggest threat to our national security and that we have no choice but to attack. There's a lot of fearful talk of mushroom clouds and soiled windshields. Two Democrats have taken the extreme pro and con positions on the matter of attacking, while the rest are giving process answers and apparently don't have a position.

Posted by: trex

Nominate for best post - or most likely to make you wish to view "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" which ever comes first.

Posted by: CFShep on February 14, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

(It also seems clear that he's less of a "hunter" than a "shooter" based on his participation in a barnyard slaughter of 400+ pen-raised birds in '03, but I have a certain contempt for "sport" or "trophy" killing, so maybe that's just my prejudice.)
Posted by: Anne on February 13, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously too much of a pussy for either airsoft or paintball, like my 12 year old son. Non-lethal, but much more sporting, since your prey is also armed, and hunting you.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 14, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Osama, Cheney has "other priorities."

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK


the story isnt going away....

this just in:


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Doctors in Texas say some of the birdshot that Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart, causing a minor heart attack.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 14, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Lodged in his heart?

What the hell does that mean? That the "birdshot" penetrated some vein and then made its way to the heart?

How do you get such a thing OUT of the heart once it's in??

Posted by: frankly0 on February 14, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

And the guy was just "peppered", and "bruised", with something like "chicken pox"???

Fucking, fucking liars!

Posted by: frankly0 on February 14, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

And they even got the medical people to lie through their teeth about this??

Fucking shitheads!

Posted by: frankly0 on February 14, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Now that the guy is dying is it still a matter for humour? Is it important yet that the Office of the VP stonewalled from the get-go?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 14, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"..Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart,.."

So Cheney is a better marksman then we thought.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney violated Texas hunting laws.

Cheney has abandoned any pretense of personal responsiblity for any of this actions.

Cheney may have used a taxpayer funded staff member for personal activities unassociated with his duties as vice president, thus possibly violating other laws.

Not as bad as ordering torture, lying to the American public, lying to Congress, violating national security laws, and a host of other perfidies, all of which he is most likely guilty of, but nevertheless . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the morbid joke, but somehow it seems to fit the cynicism of the WH's handling of this.

I find myself reminded of a Milton Berle line from F Troop:

"Oh, don't worry, it was only a flesh wound. Fleshy part of heart."

Posted by: frankly0 on February 14, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

"..Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart,.."

There is still hope the Cheney can at least tie Aaron Burr's record.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky Observer: Now that the guy is dying is it still a matter for humour? Is it important yet that the Office of the VP stonewalled from the get-go?

What do these two sentences have to do with each other? Is it your lame opinion that if someone dies, a stonewall and cover-up is more justifed?

BTW, looks like Little Scotty McClellan had a hard time at the press briefing today. I love it when he storms out of the room like that.

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky O, I apologize. I misread your post to mean that a cover-up doesn't matter if the guy's in sad shape. Forgive my stupid mistake.

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

"..Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart,.."

It took Alexander a day to die, but then he was not hindered in the task by modern medicine.

Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Teddy left Mary Jo to die at the scene and then huddled up with his lawyers. Cheney's first action was to get medical treatment for the guy, and then notify the local sheriff.

[followed by]
You have no idea what "Cheney's first action" was, you pathetic bootlicking mental slave.

That's true, I wasn't there.

So, is that an apology? a retraction? what?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 14, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp
Peppered with birdshot is routine, it's happened to me and I don't hunt much. Now sending the guy to ICU does make it stand out. I imagine that you get to hear about the relatively rare instance of someone getting sent to the hospital, but you don't hear about every peppering.

You are correct about the This was elitist uppity country club 'hunting', and while hunting deserves quotation marks, it's still hunting. Guys toting guns shooting things.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

So, is that an apology? a retraction? what?
Whatever. This post is not a discussion on anything remotely worth discussing, and the comment I responded to with that had no bearing on this non-discussion to start with.

So now, you're wanting a clarification on a smart ass response to comment unrelated to a non-discussion. I gotta stop at some point, and this would be that point.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK
You are correct about the This was elitist uppity country club 'hunting', and while hunting deserves quotation marks, it's still hunting. Guys toting guns shooting things.

"Shooting things" is not the same as "hunting".

Posted by: cmdicely on February 14, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

The man has a pellet lodged in his heart and has to go back into ICU. Talk about reckless disregard for human life!

Posted by: otherpaul on February 14, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Cheney's first action was to get medical treatment for the guy, and then notify the local sheriff.

Cheney wasn't in any danger himself.

We already know what Cheney does when it comes to danger - he runs away and let's others face that danger.

The most you've shown then, is that Teddy when younger than Cheney used bad judgment no worse than Cheney's and that Cheney has never stopped using bad judgment and never stopped abdicating personal responsibility.

Pretty sad for a man Cheney's age and shows clearly he will never embrace personal responsibility.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Peppered with birdshot is routine, it's happened to me and I don't hunt much.

That's true. CN has been hit in the head several times by birdshot -- which, come to think of it, explains a lot....

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Teddy left Mary Jo to die..."

True, but Kennedy in a fit of remorse put on 300 pounds of blubber and gave away most of my paychecks.


Posted by: Matt on February 14, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios said it best:

==========
Things I've Learned Recently

Every conservative on the internet is an avid hunter and they've all been shot multiple times.

Shotguns aren't really guns, just toys. You can't really hurt people with them, only animals.

It's standard hunter etiquette to yell and scream at your fellow hunters as they're stalking their prey.

The most dangerous place to be is behind the people with the guns.

And Dick Cheney was not drunk, so stop saying that.
==========

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 14, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Scott McClellan said he didn't find out that Cheney was the shooter until Sunday morning. He implied that he learned it after 3 a.m. (see http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/02/20060213-4.html#b

From this I infer that either:

a) McClellan is lying, OR
b) The VP's office was seriously considering a cover-up; i.e, never letting the public know that Cheney was the one who pulled the trigger.

McClellan's dodge that "there were details coming in throughout that night and into the morning" is a ridiculous piece of crap. Either Cheney called the White House within 10 minutes of the event and said, "I accidently shot a guy", or he didn't. If he didn't, it indicates he was seriously considering trying to keep it secret.

I want to hear more about the 9 hours where Cheney presumabley tried to damndest prevent this embarassment from ever seeing the light of day!

Posted by: Will on February 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Update to the "minor" shooting incident by the vice president . . .

The hunter shot and wounded by Vice President Dick Cheney suffered a minor heart attack after a piece of birdshot moved to his heart, a hospital spokesman said today. "Some of the bird shot appears to have moved and lodged into part of his heart ... in what we would say is a minor heart attack," said a spokesman for the Texas hospital treating Harry Whittington.

The White House even lies about what they characterize as a routine hunting accident.

If they will lie about routine hunting accidents, even when they know the truth will come out and come out quickly, just think how much more willing to lie they would be about things they can keep relatively secret.

Proving once again that nothing the Bush White House says on any topic can be trusted and all their actions should be presumptively viewed as criminal, negligent, unethical, or incompetent until proven otherwise.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Shotguns aren't really guns, just toys. You can't really hurt people with them, only animals.

Wittington begs to differ with this statement (see my post at 2:55 PM), which is utter nonsense in any event.

Shotguns are weapons.

And as such they are extremely dangerous.

They are not toys.

They are not pellet guns.

And if they are toys, then why is virtually every police car stocked with one?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God, I believe Cranky Observer was reproducing Atrios' ironic "shotguns are not guns" comment. Wasn't he?

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 14, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."
Daniel Boone

Posted by: CFShep on February 14, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks." - Daniel Boone

Posted by: CFShep on February 14, 2006 at 3:12 PM

Well, you know that one of the tenets of Murphy's law says, "if you're not confused, that's because you're not paying attention."

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 14, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

>> Shotguns aren't really guns, just toys. You can't
>> really hurt people with them, only animals.

> Wittington begs to differ with this statement (see
> my post at 2:55 PM), which is utter nonsense in
> any event.
>
> Shotguns are weapons.

I think you missed the SARCASM tags in Atrios' post (sorry I didn't do the link; don't have time to mess with formatting at the moment). Yes, of course shotguns are deadly weapons. The traditional media has however slurped up and been repeating endlessly the "peppered with shot" spin, and the Radical bloggers (those who last week were 4-square behind NRA Gun Safety instruction for toddlers) are pushing the talking points that Atrios lists.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 14, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

b) The VP's office was seriously considering a cover-up; i.e, never letting the public know that Cheney was the one who pulled the trigger.

That's the big story here. And it is re-inforced by the fact that when they first told Bush about the accident they didn't tell him that Cheney had fired the shot. He was told this in a second phone call by Rove, later.

Rove was obviously smart enough to figure out that, with so many people around, including secret service and Cheney's doctors, and with Whittington in the ICU and uncertainty about what he would say, a coverup didn't make sense.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks." - Daniel Boone

Posted by: CFShep on February 14, 2006 at 3:12 PM

Well, you know that one of the tenets of Murphy's law says, "if you're not confused, that's because you're not paying attention."

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 14, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta stop at some point, and this would be that point.Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 14, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Promise?

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on February 14, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for setting me straight, Cranky, and sorry for the confusion.

I was unfamiliar with "sarcasm tags".

I stand educated.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Ops, sorry about that - press the 'post' button twice, I think.

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 14, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

And it is re-inforced by the fact that when they first told Bush about the accident they didn't tell him that Cheney had fired the shot. He was told this in a second phone call by Rove, later.

This is such BS. So why even tell Bush to begin with? What the hell did they say to him the first time around?

"Mr. President, some Republican donors and lobbyists were out hunting in Texas, and someone got a faceful of buckshot. But nobody second in line to the presidency was involved, so go back to dozing in front of the fire like a retarded hound dog"?

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

So why even tell Bush to begin with?

So he could expeditiously repeat the lies.

You know, like they told Bush about the phantom WMDs so he could repeat the lies and broaden public access to the myth of their existence.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 14, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate, my point was that what is there to tell him if they didn't mention Cheney? Without the VP, this was just some GOP good ol' boys and girls who had a little problem with their hunt. They needed to tell the president about this?

Posted by: shortstop on February 14, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, you are exactly right. Either it happened as they claim, in which case it's strange that they would mention the incident to GWB without saying it was Cheney. Or, they are lying about when GWB was told to get him off the hook about not making an announcement earlier. Stinks either way. And this is what the WH press corps is torturing McClellan about. And even the NYT in todays' editorial refers to an attempted cover-up. It ends with:

And the White House, in trying to cover up the cover-up, has once again demonstrated that it would rather look inept than open.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Question: "Can this story get any more ridiculous...?"

Answer: "Apparently, yes."

Just take a look at Google news right now. Go ahead...take a peek:

http://news.google.com/

Then:

(1) NOTE the number of stories on Cheney's bad shooting (over 3,250...and growing).

(2) NOTE the number of stories on Iran beginning nuclear enrichment (just over 1,000...and declining).

So the "ayes" have it --> YES...this can get more ridiculous. The liberal press is clearly the one that is "out of control."

Posted by: Sara on February 14, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK


[after noting the number of stories]

So the "ayes" have it --> YES...this can get more ridiculous. The liberal press is clearly the one that is "out of control."

You can tell that by looking at a digit?!!

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 14, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Sara,

Iran = "dog bites man"
Cheney = "man bites dog"

Actually, "US VP shoots lawyer in the face" is even better than "man bites dog".

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

''You can tell that by looking at a digit?!!''

Actually, no.

But, were one to take in the entire _numeral_, while accounting for all of the individual _digits_, then it becomes quite clear.

Posted by: Sara on February 14, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp - thanks for the answer earlier.

Anyone care to venture how close Cheney would have to be standing for the birdshot pellets to travel so deep inside the body of Mr. Whittington? The reports yesterday made it sound like there were 10 or so pellets lodged in the skin. It is kind of shocking to hear that they penetrated all the way into the body cavity.

Aren't they round in shape? Cripes, the force necessary to jam them so far in, through his clothes and vest - the guy must have been in a great deal of pain. No wonder they weren't saying anything. It must have really appeared that Mr. Whittington, at 78 yrs of age, could very well die from the blast.

Quote from the hospital:

" The number of other pieces of birdshot in Whittington's body is not known, he said, but could range anywhere from "more than five" to "less than 150 to 200."

Posted by: Az not so Slim on February 14, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Az not so Slim,

The birdshot pellet likely took a circuitous route into Mr. Whittington's heart...for instance, via a neck vein.

Not that this takes away from the seriousness of his injury. It rather points toward this event being of some gravity, and that even 'superficial' birdshot wounds can be dangerous.

On the whole, however, count me "in" with the crowd that sees the press as coming off rather badly in all of this. The cynical, hysterical histrionics are all too transparent.

Posted by: Len on February 14, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

David Blanchard, the hospital's chief of emergency care ... said that in cases like Whittington's, where the number of pellets lodged in the skin were "more than I can count on the fingers of my hand, but less than 100," it was better to leave them there than to try to extract them.

"In all likelihood, he will continue the rest of his long life and his longevity with those pellets remaining in place," Blanchard said.

These comments were made before Whittington had a heart attack from a pellet reaching his heart.
Sorry, folks, this is not funny.

Posted by: JS on February 14, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

From Pish-posh at 10 am: "I believe that he has suffered a series of small strokes that have been kept from the press over the years. Or, alternatively, it could be the deleterious side effects of numerous bypass surgeries that have cut off the blood flow to his brain over the years."

This is a very acute and perfectly plausible explanation. People don't have repeat bypass operations without suffering cognitive consequences--an observation to which you may add the comment by Brent Scrowcroft that he doesn't "recognize" Cheney any more as the man he worked with.

Shame on you doofuses for not recognizing Pish's spot-on diagnosis. Any physicians out there want to comment?

Posted by: Grandma on February 14, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

On the whole, however, count me "in" with the crowd that sees the press as coming off rather badly in all of this. The cynical, hysterical histrionics are all too transparent.

Len, what...?

We have obstruction of justice, a political cover-up, a maybe-dying man, improper (if not criminal) use of a firearm, hunting without a license, refusal to take responsibility, the president (Cheney's boss) showing himself (once again) to be an irrelevant airhead. How is this not a big story?

You too, Sara. How is it "liberal" to report on this?

Somebody's cynical here.

Posted by: exasperanto on February 14, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
map

Posted by: 343434343 on February 15, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly