A View From The Handbasket

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Ready. Fire. Aim.
Posted by neros_fiddle at 1:07 PM
Things are busy at the moment, so posting is light. (Blogging falls somewhere below work and family on Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs. I think that's going to be in the next edition.) And hey, the Olympics are on. There's something soothing about watching sporting events where standing-astride-the-globe glory and crushing failure are defined by milliseconds. When you're staring at that clock, excuses don't count for much.

Which brings us to the bizarre spectacle of Dick Cheney discharging a shotgun into the face of a 78-year-old man this weekend. No one paying attention was surprised when the administration that brought us "No one thought that planes could be used as weapons," "We don't know what happened to the WMDs," and "No one could have anticipated a breach of the levees," immediately burst from the gate with excuses and blame-shifting. Mary Matalin said:

He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the (rules.) He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do.


Avoiding responsibility must be pathological with this bunch. This was an honest-to-gosh accident, and Cheney is still rushing to blame the guy he shot. The jokes write themselves. My favorite so far is from Joel Achenbach:

I find the story reassuring. Cheney is a man who doesn't just talk the talk. No, if he's going to send American soldiers into harm's way, where they might be shot at any moment by a deranged fanatic, he's also going to do the same thing to his close personal friends. He's giving his hunting buddies a taste of life in the Cheney Era, when you count yourself lucky just to get out alive.


You've also got to ask yourself what kind of man enjoys having farm-raised captive birds released so he can shoot them by the hundreds. Here's an account of a 2003 Cheney hunting day:

Monday's hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney's 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon.


(Link via Firedoglake via Bennett Cerf at FLO.)

This is, apparently, fun.


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