August 22nd, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Bill Murray Faces Jail Time For Slow, Drunken Golf-Cart Driving, And No, This Is Not A Drill, People

by Philip Baruth

Okay, look, we kid around here at VDB a great deal, perhaps too much. But occasionally a story surfaces that demands not only a straight face but a sober hand, and a grim attention to the time-honored Ethics of Journalism.

it's in the hole

Fortunately, this isn’t it: Bill Murray popped for DWI, while operating a golf cart at extremely low speeds through the early morning streets of Stockholm.

We say again: a golf cart. Roger that.

According to CNN, “Police officers spotted the 56-year-old actor-comedian early Sunday in the slow-moving vehicle and noticed he smelled of alcohol when they pulled him over, said Detective-Inspector Christer Holmlund of the Stockholm police.”

Murray refused a breathalyzer test, but then allowed a blood test and signed a document admitted to driving while under the influence. Not exactly a stonewall strategy, but then Murray may be crazy like a fox. Continues CNN, “It isn’t illegal to drive a golf cart in city traffic in Sweden, but Holmlund said it is very unusual.”

At the risk of pointing out the patently obvious, was this story tailor-made for VDB or what? Bill Murray, Sweden, golf carts?

Thank you, Jesus.

And of course, you as well, Dalai Lama.

August 21st, 2007

VDB Boycott Lands in Wikipedia Entry for Caledonian-Record, Raising Deep and Searching Philosophical Conundrums

by Philip Baruth

Okay, we’ll be the first to admit we understand nothing about Wikipedia, or any of its enabling technologies. We use it the way we use the Ouija board: mystically, with all the lights on in the room.

coulterBut even with that skepticism noted, we did a double-take when a VDB post showed up in the notes for the entry on the Caledonian-Record.

Our only interaction with the Record came back in the first weeks of March, during the Edwards-Coulter dust-up, or rather in its first movements, since the clash is arguably ongoing.

But to refresh your memory, when Coulter put aside her hinting and came out and called Edwards a “faggot,” and followed that up with some sympathetic words about those who assassinate abortion doctors, we called for a boycott of the Record, the only paper in the state to carry Coulter’s column.

Now, granted, the text of the Wikipedia entry does reference the Coulter controversy, so arguably there’s a good reason to include a VDB post that is explicitly and irreversibly anti-Coulter and hence anti-Record.

But it does lead for a strange sort of slippery slope, arguably. Are all Wikipedia entries for liberal causes and outlets going to be clogged with material from their ideological opponents, as well as vice versa?

Anyone out there know the ins and outs of Wikipedia? Anyone savvy the logic or the guidelines here?

Because if ever there is a Wikipedia entry for VDB, we’re damned if it’ll contain notes and commentary by Michelle Malkin or Bill O’Reilly.

In fact, double-damned.

August 21st, 2007

You Just Paid 80K to Teach George W. Bush A Good Lesson About Respecting Our Inalienable Right to Wear Blunt T-Shirts

by Philip Baruth

A modified win for free speech: a couple arrested and handcuffed at a Bush rally in Texas because of the political content of their t-shirts just settled with the government for a cool $80,000, according to the ACLU.


Nicole and Jeffery Rank were busted for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts to a rally in Corpus Christi on the Fourth of July, 2004. No joke: they were arrested on Independence Day for wearing shirts critical of the President.

The offending slogans? “Love America, Hate Bush,” “Regime Change Starts at Home,” and the ever-popular “No Bush,” utilizing the international symbol secretly introduced by the French to compromise our freedoms.

Pretty slick, eh? Bush and his increasingly thuggish handlers get an object lesson in the Bill of Rights. And it only cost 80K of your taxpayer dollars, in addition to the tens of thousands expended occupying government lawyers, to drive it home.

That’s what VDB calls joybuzzer justice.

August 21st, 2007

Lieberman Offers Wise New Course in Mideast: Put Iraq Differences Aside, In Order to Bungle Additional Shit in Syria

by Philip Baruth

You worry, with the loss of Karl Rove, about the capacity of the pro-Surge forces to supply the debate with enough jingoistic rhetoric to continue to fuel the entire Left-wing blogosphere. Well, maybe you don’t. But we do.

big joe

Because let’s face facts: if everyone joins hands and begins crooning “If I Had a Hammer,” VDB and every other wild-eyed anti-Bush blog in America is past history.

But not to worry: Big Joe is shooting the gap.

Case in point: this morning’s incendiary op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Lieberman, like all Bushies post-2004, would like us to “put aside our differences on Iraq.” Usually this putting aside is urged in the service of continuing to pursue the same failed policies in Iraq, a logical null circuit that VDB has always loved: let’s put aside our differences on Iraq in order us to unify around the least likely path forward in Iraq.

But today Big Joe has bigger, more extensive geographical fish to fry: he wants to expand the conflict to Syria, if at all possible.

After explaining that the most serious threats in Iraq originate not in Iran, but in Syria, Lieberman proposes the following:

“We in the U.S. government should also begin developing a range of options to consider taking against Damascus International [Airport], unless the Syrian government takes appropriate action, and soon.

“Responsible air carriers should be asked to stop flights into Damascus International, as long as it remains the main terminal of international terror. Despite its use by al Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists, the airport continues to be serviced by many major non-U.S. carriers, including Alitalia, Air France, and British Airways.”


Now, let’s do the math on our fingers for a moment: asking the world to isolate Damascus by stopping international air travel amounts to — okay, let’s see here — one option.

So what could Joe possibly mean by “a range of options” earlier in the piece? You guessed it: nothing is off the table.

Big Joe doesn’t want to drop a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator on the Alitalia check-in counter at the Damascas Airport, in other words, but he is only human, after all, and his patience, though godlike in kind, is limited in quantity.

This “Get Syria” strategy was, of course, the plan all along, post-Iraq. After toppling Saddam, sniffing the flowers and gobbling the sweets handed us by those we’d liberated, we were to gin up a quick case against Damascus, and then knock over the al-Asad regime on our way out the door.

What we’re seeing from Big Joe now, then, is the same deranged neo-con fantasy, but without the sustaining myth of limitless American power behind it.

Now it justs sounds sad and baleful and cranky, like a sixteen-year-old pitbull, gray in the muzzle, joints too shot to rise, functionally incontinent and more or less indifferent to life itself — except for that one moment each noon when the mailman dares to mount the steps and drop yet another collection notice through the slot onto the stained shag carpeting.

August 18th, 2007

VDB On VTW: Marginally More Involving Than Cleaning The Lint Trap In the Dryer

by Philip Baruth

A quick plug: VDB snuck onto the Vermont This Week panel this week, along with Susan Allen of the Times-Argus and a very healthy, very feisty Peter Freyne. Given the generally inert news situation, the conversation turned almost exclusively around politics: local, national, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

the crewAnd we wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you can trust what you read on the internets, it airs tonight (Friday) at 7:30, and then again Sunday morning at 11:30.

In case you wasn’t doing nothing anyway.

August 17th, 2007

Why Does George W. Bush Really Fear VT? Let VDB Count The Ways

by Philip Baruth

Always interesting when the editors at the Washington Times wipe away their kool-aid moustaches and attempt to inhabit the psyche of the average Vermonter. Like trying to wedge a square, crazy peg into a round, sane hole.

bush, rose garden

But they’re professionals, of course, and so occasionally they make the effort. Like this morning: in case you missed it, the WT sat down to try to dope out the reasons why Bush might have avoided Vermont for the last seven years, even as he visited the 49 other states in the Union.

And who did they turn to for the straight dope? You guessed it: Ari Fleischer. To wit:

“Vermont is the opposite of George W. Bush: It’s granola, it’s crunchy, it’s liberal, and it’s socialist,” said former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who attended Middlebury College in Vermont and still vacations there.

And Mr. Fleischer knows firsthand what the president faces: When he went back to his alma mater — a school of about 2,000 students — to receive an award, “about 1,000 protesters showed up.” No place is safe in the state, Mr. Fleischer said: “Even the tallest mountain peak, they’ll backpack their way up there to protest the president.”

Bet that. And just for the record, Ari, ain’t no valley low enough, either. Or, you know, river wide enough.

You see our point.

[Cue The Supremes, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”]

August 16th, 2007

Seventeen Powerful People in Washington D.C. Now Officially Watching Their Backs

by Philip Baruth

Today GQ released their most recent list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Washington. It comes as no surprise that Pat Leahy cracked the top 20 — in fact, he’s tied with Henry Waxman at #18.

pat leahy

What is a surprise is that the editors at GQ seem to believe 17 other people inside the Beltway carry more weight than Leahy and Waxman combined. But then, they’re New Yorkers, and VDB bears with them. The though, is choice:

Chair, House Oversight and Reform Committee

Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee

Since taking charge of two of Congress’s most oversight-minded committees in January, these two have demanded accountability from people who had grown accustomed to skirting it. They’ve launched hearings into every scandal, including the Valerie Plame leak, the CIA’s overseas prisons, the Jack Abramoff affair, FEMA’s response to Katrina, and the U.S. Attorney firings. By March, his third month as chairman, Waxman and his Democratic colleagues had conducted a staggering one hundred investigative hearings. And according to Senator John Kerry, “Pat Leahy is one of the toughest, most effective guys in the Senate. You don’t get Dick Cheney to lose his cool for nothing.” Go fuck yourself, indeed.

August 14th, 2007

The Brigadoon Fundraiser of 2007: Trailing Barack Obama Through an Event That Never Happened, In the Middle of a Presidential Campaign That Was Meant to Be

by Philip Baruth

To Begin With: Revisiting the Obama Effect

When Barack Obama came to the University of Vermont a year and a half ago, to campaign for Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch, he drew a crowd so large that campaign workers eventually had to seal the doors of Ira Allen Chapel.

Obama Effect

Those who didn’t make it inside then swarmed the overflow venue to the point where it too had to be sealed, for safety reasons.

Thousands, of course, didn’t make it into either location. But they didn’t just grumble and melt away.

Instead, they clustered around the entire Chapel, two or three deep. And even after Obama and Sanders and Welch came out to address them through a bullhorn, many refused to leave when the event inside actually got underway.


Instead, those remaining congregated around the Chapel windows, drumming on the glass with their fists by way of applause.

It was my first introduction to the Obama Effect, and it was a learning experience.

Among other things, I learned that even when rigidly managed, attendance at any Obama event will rapidly spiral out of control.

I learned that the tall Chapel windows can apparently bear the weight of a full-grown Vermont man, drunk on hope, without shattering.

And I learned that I am personally willing to lie or feign injury in order to get into any venue where Obama will be speaking. The Chapel event was a comparatively easy nut to crack: I happened to know a back entrance, with an unused freight elevator.

My one regret about that Ira Allen event is that although I heard Obama speak, and it was a speech very much worth hearing, I never got to say hello, never got the chance to look him in the eye and shake his hand.

But that was eighteen long months ago, and times have changed.

Obama is now not simply a candidate for President, but an incredibly successful candidate: national polls show him running a solid second to Hillary, while his fundraising has outpaced the efforts of Hillary and Bill Clinton and Terry McAuliffe combined.

In June, Obama agreed to accept a twenty-four-hour Secret Service detail — a precaution never before taken in advance of the first primary.

Obama, guards

In short, trying to stage a meet-and-greet with Obama in August of 2007 was no longer child’s play. It was now, for all practical purposes, impossible.

Which left only impractical purposes — better than nothing, as purposes go.

The Brigadoon Fundraiser:
You Could Attend, But Then We’d Have to Kill You

About a month and a half ago, I got word that the Obama campaign would be holding a fundraiser on the 12th of August, in Southern Vermont. Better yet, Obama would be attending, as would the state’s entire Congressional delegation.

But it was a tricky word that I got. The person who told me about it instantly made it clear that I now needed to forget I’d ever been told. “You can’t tell anyone about the event,” the person said, sotto voce. “Not a word. Nothing. To no one.”

“But I thought the point of a fundraiser was to, you know, spread the word,” I said, lowering my own voice.

“Don’t worry about the word,” the person whispered, reaching across the table for the parmesan cheese. “Believe me, the word isn’t the problem.”

And so it went. For the next month and a half, no one mentioned this fundraiser to me, and I mentioned it to no one. Even when I met other Obama supporters, hard-core types I knew would have to know if anyone knew, the subject never once came up. In fact, it almost ceased to exist as a possibility, to the point where I began to question my own memory. Even the person who had told me about it originally told me nothing more about it.

It was like Brigadoon, this event, looming up out of the mists, shimmering faintly, and then vanishing without a trace. Until days before the event, when I got an email specifying the time, the date, and the place.

And nothing else.

In the Heart of Norwich: Storming the White Tent

Turned out that Neil Jensen, the driving force behind Vermonters for Obama, had also secretly signed up for this event, and secretly signed his wife Gabrielle up as well. So the three of us carpooled together down to Norwich, which was a great deal of fun but it did mean that my mild paranoia about the event itself was gradually amplified by theirs over the hour and a half in the mini-van.

And what sane person wouldn’t be paranoid?

We didn’t know even the most basic things about the event, after all — like whether we would be allowed inside. Or whether it would, in fact, take place. Those sorts of things.

So when we drove slowly up the leafy road toward the site, and we spotted a bunch of people grouped around a thicket of Obama signs and a short yellow school bus in an empty parking lot, Neil began to turn in.

“They’re probably shuttling people in from down here,” Neil said.

Immediately Gabrielle reached over and cranked the wheel back the other way. “Keep driving,” she hissed. “Who knows what happens when they get you on that bus.”

I had to agree: we were so close now, and there was no reason to risk getting on a bus and being driven over the line into New Hampshire and dumped there on the streets of Hanover after dark.

So we drove up to the house, and parked beside the short line of cars that had also evaded the short bus/venus flytrap stop down the road. Beside the Stetsons’ brick house a massive white tent had been erected, with two spires rising some thirty feet in the air. Under the tent, it was cooler and a little dark, with large white Chinese lanterns glowing up in the rigging.

A jazz band was working on the stage, a nice laid-back outfit filling in the background. But like everything else about the evening, even the band had odd hidden power — at one point I noticed that the saxaphone player had been playing the same note for a good three minutes running.

“Circular breathing,” Neil explained over the music. “Sonny Rollins can go half an hour on a note like that.”

But even though the musicians had apparently dispensed with standard breathing, we acted like nothing was out of the ordinary: cadged some drinks, sampled the smoked cheddar cubes, and swapped odds on whether Obama would actually appear.

And right at that moment he did, up on the steps of the Stetsons’ house.

Now, trying to meet a famous actor or politician in the middle of a crowd gathered in their name is an arcane art, not susceptible to logic. Why? Because it’s like watching a drop of water streak down your windshield: you may think you know where it will finish, but you don’t, because along the way a hundred small impurities on the glass will nudge it to the right, and then the left.

So plotting a straight line through the crowd, and standing somewhere along that line, doesn’t work, nine times out of ten. Capillary action will carry the headliner somewhere twenty feet off to your right, and by that time there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Which is to say that the spot I picked was dead wrong, by a good ten feet — there were twenty people between us. And I was just coming to terms with that fact when Obama spotted something off to his left, and said loudly, “Uh oh, look out for this guy.” And then he turned to hug Bernie Sanders, who had loomed up quietly beside him.

But the thing is that when he and Bernie broke their clinch, and Obama turned back to the crowd, somehow he was suddenly pointed right at me.

Now, I prepared two questions days before, one fast-pitch and one change-up, on the assumption that I would only get three minutes maximum with the guy. The change-up was a literary question, and in addition to giving him a chance to relax and talk about something other than political strategy, it was a question to which I could really use an answer.

“I’m teaching Dreams From My Father [Obama’s autobiography] in a postmodern American literature class in the spring,” I told him, “and I think I know what I want to say about it. But if you were teaching it, what would you want to dwell on that people tend to miss? How would you want it taught?”


It had almost exactly the effect I was after: Obama widened his eyes, and stopped completely and thought for a minute, a little smile playing at the corners of his lips. And then he gave me a beautiful, carefully formatted answer, just like that.

“I think what I’d want stressed is that the patchwork formation of identity, that I talk about in the book, is a quintessentially American phenomenon, as well as modern, or postmodern. That questioning about who you are is another way of talking about the limitless possibilities of who you can be in America, how many elements and strands can make up your identity. So when the book turns to Africa at the end, there’s the sense that in addition to Africa having something to say to me about who I am, my roots, America has something to say to the world about how we can conceive of ourselves as individuals.”

More or less the same response George W. Bush might have given, in the same circumstances. Although Bush might have sounded a touch more erudite.

And then Obama’s gone, because the show is about to start.

Under the Big-Top:
Obama and “The Consciences of Vermont”

This was no cut-rate Brigadoon. As promised, the entire Congressional delegation took the stage with Obama: Peter Welch, Bernie Sanders, and Pat Leahy, along with Jane and Bill Stetson, the hosts.


Again I was struck, as I often am, by the absolute solidity of our Washington line-up. Peter Welch has found a way to infuse his speeches, even the short hits like this one, with a buoyant energy that drives his critique of the Bush Administration along at a tremendous clip — the effect is optimistic and up-beat, although most of the applause lines are unabashedly critical, real red meat.


Bernie, like Leahy, has worked with Obama in the Senate, and his praise of his colleague was tinged with an authentic affection. And when Leahy took the stage, there was a bantering and an ease that told you there was more at work there than just getting elected.

There was actual friendship, all the way around. You could tell by the jokes.

full group

Leahy, for instance, responding to several compliments directed toward his wife Marcelle, went for the self-deprecating remark (“Actually the thing that I’m always flabbergasted by is that Marcelle would have me”) only to have Obama deprecate just a wee bit more (“You know, we’re all flabbergasted by that too, Pat”) — which left Leahy with the straight man’s finish (“I guess it’s all downhill from here, folks”).

But things got serious again by the time Obama himself began to speak. He thanked the organizers of the event, the Stetsons, Charlie Kireker, and Carolyn Dwyer. “No one out-organizes Carolyn Dwyer,” Obama said emphatically, pointing out into the crowd, “and we love Carolyn.”

And then he summed up the three men that had come before him in a perfect phrase — “these men are the consciences of Vermont, in the House and the Senate.”

the four

Any Obama speech is notable for the low, easy-going, rolling quality that marks its first ten minutes. For all of his reputation as a barn-burner, Obama always starts slow and steady, voice low. Even when talking about the controversy with the Clinton camp over foreign policy, Obama stayed in second-gear: “Now, they’ve been making a big fuss over the fact that I said I would meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies. And I would do so without preconditions.


“But you know, they’re confusing preparation with preconditions. Of course, I will prepare for these meetings, and I won’t pull any punches in the meetings. But that’s different from setting preconditions. It doesn’t do any good to say, we’ll talk to you, but only after you accede to all of our demands. We can’t demand that our enemies come to us first as vassal-states. Now, I’ll tell you — I’m not worried about losing a PR battle with Kim Jong-il. Because for one thing, I’ve got a better haircut [laughter]. And for another, I’m not starving my own people. So I think we can handle that PR initiative.”

And then he launched into an idea that I know he’s spoken about before, but this was the first time I’d heard it played out: an Islamic summit, called by an American President, and held in a Muslim country.

“It will be held in a Muslim country, and I will show up,” Obama said pointedly, and I wondered suddenly why that seemed like such a radical promise to make.

The Final Question:
In Which Pat Leahy Takes Pity on the Socially Challenged

Near the end of Obama’s speech, I drifted out of the big-top and began a long, looping walk back to the rear of the tent. The thing was that I still had one question I felt I should ask, the fastball, and I figured I’d try one last time to act like a real high-buck journalist: I’d stake out the rear exit, and be standing on Obama’s exit path when he finished the speech.

But as noted above, I suck badly at this sort of computation.

And so, as Obama exited, he shook hands and chatted with three or four people standing just outside the tent flap, and then he executed a little sidestep that allowed him to take another, less crowded route back toward the Stetsons’ kitchen. So that’s that, I figured, and I watched the man make his slow, skillful getaway.

And that’s when there was a tap on my shoulder. I turned, and it was Pat Leahy.

“Are you trying to say hello to Barack?” he asked, and before I could stumble out an answer Leahy reached over and snagged an expensive looking camera out of the hands of an aide. He quickly ran his fingers over the controls, and then called the signals: “Okay, I’ll introduce you to Barack, and then you step in and shake his hand, and I’ll snap the photo. How’s that sound?”

It sounded fairly good.

And that’s precisely what he did: as Obama was breaking off with another guest, Leahy put a hand on his shoulder, swung him around, introduced us, stepped back like a photojournalist for the Washington Post and snapped what is now my favorite photograph of all time, for lots of reasons, but the photo credit itself being one.

Obama, VDB

There was nothing left to do but ask Obama the last of my questions, the one I knew he didn’t want to answer, but the one that arguably shadowed everything.

“There’s been a fairly consistent dynamic in the polls nationally,” I started out, “with you and John Edwards seeming to split what might be called the change vote. Together your totals outweigh Clinton’s lead in most every state, and in a normal primary season, one scenario would have Edwards eventually dropping out, and you consolidating that change vote. But with the calendar so viciously frontloaded, it’s hard to imagine anyone dropping out before the bulk of states go to the polls. Is there time enough to make that move past the Clinton campaign? And how is your campaign looking at that persistent three-way dynamic, and do you have a strategy to bust it open?”

I was right; it was one of the questions he didn’t want. Where my earlier question about Dreams From My Father had brought him to a complete stop, and made his face open up, now he began turning and moving on almost before I’d finished, eyes a little hooded.

“We’re confident that the results out of Iowa will be definitive enough so that the dynamic you’re talking about won’t be any issue,” he told me. “We feel really good about the organization, and the progress we’re making there. And I think that’ll take care of it.”

He smiled then, and nodded, and he was gone for good.

And by the time I’d wandered back to the bar for a last beer, so was Brigadoon: the vast tent was now nearly empty, night and the pine forest closing in, just Neil and Gabrielle and I trying surreptitiously to squirrel away enough smoked cheddar cubes between us to last the long ride home to Burlington. Off in the distance, we could see Bill and Jane Stetson saying a few last gracious goodbyes beneath the light at their front step.

Nothing left anywhere in Norwich but hope. Just raw hope in Iowa, hope that the people there say it loud at the polls.

But it didn’t feel like a small thing with which to be left, really.

In fact, with a growing national army of supporters like these — able, good-hearted people who can produce a major event like this out of thin air, people who don’t necessarily need to breathe when they play the saxaphone — hope didn’t seem audacious at all.

It seemed inevitable, like the way things must come to be.

[Many thanks to the quick-draw photographers who contributed so much to this post: Dottie Deans, Sue Kavanagh, Senator Patrick Leahy, Mary Sullivan, and Will Wiquist.]

August 11th, 2007

Distraught Over Latest Iowa Polls, McCain Turns to BFF Reverend Jerry Falwell, Only To Find Falwell Irreversibly Dead

by Philip Baruth

You know, occasionally people accuse us of holding a grudge, of being mean or spiteful or vindictive if ever someone happens to offend our sense of political decency.


And those people are right. Here at VDB, our memories are indeed long, and our patience is short, especially with those who pander shamelessly to the Christian Right in their blind rush for the White House.

Sanctimonious poseurs, like Rick Santorum and Tom Delay.

And like one-time straight-talker John McCain. As far as we’re concerned, McCain now deserves not only every painful unintended consequence he gets, but even those consequences which, for some reason, he doesn’t get.

Which is to say that it gives us great pleasure to report the following, out of the polling shop at the University of Iowa:

“McCain’s support has collapsed in Iowa. His support among registered Republicans dropped from 14.4 percent in March to 1.8 percent in July-August. UI political scientists note that McCain has been passed in popularity not only by former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who earned 5.2 percent support, but also by a Democratic challenger, Obama, who is supported by 6.7 percent of Republicans.”

Less popular among Iowa Republicans than Obama. And Obama, not incidentally, also outpolling Republican knight in Reaganesque armor, Fred Thompson.

Sell VDB’s shoes, because we’re going to Heaven.


August 10th, 2007

Freed by Brattlerouser’s Magic Charm, Charity Tensel Returns to Political Blogging

by Philip Baruth

The story: Charity Tensel, the world’s only truly charming Conservative blogger, is back in the game after a long and sobering existential hiatus.

The Good, the Bad, and the Bloggish

The backstory: At one point last April, Charity became concerned that political blogging would tarnish her soul somehow, and of course looking around at the rest of us in the Vermont blogosphere can’t have given her much hope along those lines.

But now those concerns have apparently been resolved.

Which begs the question: what was the magical Tarnex that made all the difference? VDB has a theory. There is an ancient and disreputable legend that Christian Avard (of IBrattleboro and Green Mountain Daily Fame) possesses the ability to change a woman’s life with a single kiss.

At the touch of Brattlerouser’s lips, a woman is freed instantaneously to do That Which She Secretly Yearns to Do Anyway.


An accident that Charity returns to blogging after this now-famous Burlington buss? We don’t think so.

And we have proof: Christian also pecked another woman at the BBQ, a respected Burlington patent attorney, who abruptly ran off the next morning to join the roller-derby circuit out in San Bernadino.

Sobering stuff. In any event, we couldn’t be any more delighted to have Charity back where she belongs. We’ve rejiggered our sideboard link to take you to her new Wordpress-powered home.

Stop in and say welcome back, if you have the chance today.

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