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In Texas, over the last decade, only one hunter in 26,000 has been involved in a hunting accident.

In 2005, only one in 36,000 was involved in a hunting accident.

In fact, there were 1.1 million hunting licenses issued in Texas last year but only 30 reported accidents.

Pretty remarkable that Dick Cheney is in such select company. To read some of these sorry stories - of which Dick Cheney's is now one - click here (PDF). And if you do, you'll learn something even more amazing.

In 2005, only ONE hunting accident in the entire state of Texas involved alcohol. One accident, one million licenses. Yep, that makes Dick Cheney - who drank the day he shot Harry Whittington - one in a million. And just why are alcohol-related hunting accidents so rare? Conservative Tucker Carlson explains:

I think Cheney gets to do pretty much whatever he wants, which is why he got to have a beer at lunch on a hunt. I've been on dozens of hunts, there's no beer served as lunch. You can't drink a beer if you shoot, period. Doesn't matter if you're shooting five hours after, you're not allowed to do it. This is the only time I've ever heard of it, and I think he gets to do it because he's the Vice President. So no, I don't think his doctor's going to tell him to not have a beer. (Emphasis added.)

Or, as the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department puts it simply in the report I linked above:

Alcohol and hunting don't mix.

Dick Cheney managed to have a one-in-a-million accident because he refused to play by the rules. I am not surprised in the least: This shooting accident is simply a metaphor for how Cheney and the entire administration have always operated.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Honestly (2.77)
    can we move on please?  The story is tiresome at this point.  It's going nowhere.  How much longer will we beat this dead horse?

    There are more important things to be talking about.

    •  Story (4.00)
      This story has completely derailed the administration for an entire week. The more questions raised about it, the longer the administration has to react to it, rather than pursue its own agenda.

      I serve on the board of the Band of Brothers.

      by David Nir on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:15:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't aware (none)
        that the administration was "on the tracks" before this week.  In fact its taken all media attention away from things of import.
        •  The Media Is Getting It (4.00)
          Listen to Matthews now.  Listen to the stories about the delays, the freaking apology that THE VICTIM issued today, and notice that the narrative is not good for Cheney or the administration.

          You don't reject a negative story just because you're supposedly above such things.  This shit is EXACTLY what the GOP pounces on, and the pussyfooting around and concentrating solely on "meaningful" issues is why the Dems haven't been able to take advantage of any goddamned gift they've been given.

          "When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil."

          •  standing ovation! (none)
            not only do i completely agree with you, i think it is hilarious that mothertucker would try to butch himself up by saying he has gone hunting!! at the end of his show last night, mothertucker was shown dressed in one of those spandex onesies that the athletes wear when they are bobsledding or whatever, and i can assure you that he has no genitalia. he looked like an ugly ken doll.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:02:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Cheney still not taking blame or sorry (none)
              I posted this before, but I feel it is necessary to post it again, especially since Harry has now publicly apologized, while Dead I A Dick has not:

              Cheney claimed responsibility? Cheney said it was his fault? Cheney apologized?


              That's what all the MSM is saying. Funny how when I read the FAUX Gnus transcripts I could not find anywhere in the transcripts where Cheney claimed responsibility, said it was his fault, or made a public apology.

              However, I did find the complete opposite in his words. Cheney claims, " was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else."

              Did you get that? If you can't blame anybody else, then you can't blame Cheney either.

              Read it for yourself from the FAUX Gnus transcripts of Dead I A Dick Cheney and Britney Hu,me?:

              Q Right, and so you know all the procedures and how to maintain the proper line and distance between you and other hunters, and all that. So how, in your judgment, did this happen? Who -- what caused this? What was the responsibility here?

              THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, ultimately, I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry. And you can talk about all of the other conditions that existed at the time, but that's the bottom line. And there's no -- it was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.
              And I say that is something I'll never forget.

              Cheney does admit to having pulled the trigger. But we already knew that, and that is not the same as claiming responsiblity. Did Cheney have a quail in his site while Harry walked into the line of fire? If so then it would have been Harry's fault and not the responsibility of Cheney. But Harry did not do that. Cheney aimed his gun at Harry and then fired.

              Before Cheney's interview with Britney, they tried to pin it on Harry by claiming he snuck up from behind with out verbally warning he was there.

              But we all know that is a bogus argument because the cardinal rule of hunting is to know what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger.

              So, all Cheney did was admit that the shooting was not Harry's fault.

              Cheney could have said, "It was not Harry's fault. It was my fault." Or he could have said, " It was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else but me." If Cheney said either of those two line, then he would have accepted responsibility for the shooting. But, he did not say either line.

              Nor did he apologize. Because if he did, that too would have been an acceptance of responsibility.

              Furthermore, Hu,me? did not ask Cheney if he was responsible, he asked, "What was the responsibility here?" This is the question that set up Cheney for his non-acceptance acceptance of responsibility.

              Again, it was not enough for Cheney to admit to having shot his friend, he also needed to take responsibility for shooting his friend, which he did not do.

              They are so well scripted! The Bush/Cheney record of not accepting responsibility still stands unblemished, or completely tarnished, depending on how you look at it.

              What I can't understand is how they think they can try to pull this crap on the public without anyone catching it. Apparently they think we are all as stupid as they are.

              Wrong, again!

              They are soooooooooo BUSTED!!!!

              Come on Mr. Cheney, you can do it. You can take responsibility. Go on, say it. Say, "I take complete responsibility for shooting my friend Harry in the face. It was all my fault. I'm sorry Harry for making it the worst day of YOUR life."

              We'll even let you slide on the part where you admit to breaking the cardinal rule of hunting, which is what got you into this mess in the first place.

          •  damn straight. (none)

            so you think I'm a troll? Well kiss my hairy troll nalgas then

            by MetaProphet on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:20:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Any story at all can be a wedge (none)
              to hammer into the administration, so long as it has traction.

              Traction. How I wish we had one juicy scandal with all the well-proven traction elements. Something like:

              Veep gets blow-job from missing blonde at gunpoint

              •  Rumpsmeld wants to end talk of torture (none)
                Gonzales wants to end talk of illegal NSA spying. Rove wants to end talk of Valerie Plame. Chertoff wants to end talk of Katrina. Bush wants to end talk of Bushisms.

                All that stuff is so yesterday. We really need to stop beating these dead horses...err... elephants!

                Fine with me, but can we wait until after the November elections?

                Then we can start talking about it all over again during the impeachment trials.

                Did I say trials? As in plural? As in many, many impeachments?

                OH YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

                Sorry dude, they are going to continue talking about all of this long after we are long, long gone!

      •  not at all (none)
        they will pursue whichever agenda they wish or do not wish to, it hardly matters what is going on outside the castle/White House.
      •  No... (none)
        If they weren't reacting to this they'd be reacting to:

        1. The Hurricane Katrina debacle and Chertoff's role in it

        2. Libby claiming that he was permitted by Cheney to declassify Plame's identity

        3. The NSA wiretap investigation - by the way, during the news blackout that is Cheney shooting somebody, the Republicans are trying to weasel out of oversight on this

        4. Release of more Abu Ghraib photos

        Want to diary about it, fine, but this is not front page material anymore (and it barely was to start with).

        --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

        by sterno on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:22:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes (none)
        They lost Tucker Carlson and Peggy Noonan over this. Doesn't seem like such a distraction to me anymore.

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

        by TimeTogether on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 10:21:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, Hear, Hear! (none)
      This whole thing about how every asshole in the administration thinks they're above the fucking law is quite tiresome.
      •  No law will ever be shown to have been broken (none)
        Again, its going nowhere.

        The media has grabbed onto this and its become just about the only story they're talking about.  But it doesn't help us legislatively.  It won't transfer to any other Republican who will ACTUALLY BE RUNNING in 2006.  Where's the benefit to focusing so much time on this?  Especially here?

        It's a hilarious mistake which embarasses the VP tremendously, but that's the end of the story for the overwhelming majority of Americans.

        •  Laws...rules...whatever (none)
          Don't be so literal.  This guy drank.  He shot a guy in the face.  He didn't tell anybody for a day.

          That is a story.  You don't like it?  Don't pay attention.  You have the power.

          •  And after he did it, NEEDED a drink (none)
            One of the overlooked aspects of this incident is that Cheney couldn't get through the evening (meeting authority, taking responsibility) in a "normal" (i.e., get it over with, call the cops) kind of way.   He had to have "dinner and a cocktail"  (read get plastered) before he could face the sherrif's office.   I KNOW the feeling...bad day, need a drink.   That's the real role of alcohol here...Cheney shot a guy and was (typically) a coward.   Needed a shot of dutch courage to face the authorities.
            •  Harry says... (none)
              I'm so sorry Mr. Cheney for getting in the way of the 70th raised in captivity quail you were about to shoot one foot off the ground.

              I'm so very sorry for ruining your perfect day.

              I'm so very, very sorry for making it one of the worst days in your life.

              Glad you had a cocktail or two or three or more, as they rushed me to the hospital in agonizing pain and a hole in my heart, with my wife stricken with worry and grief!

              That's OK Mr. Cheney, you don't have to publicly apologize to me. I've already done enough apologizing for the both of us.

              P.S. Please count me out of your next hunting trip.

      •  Yes... we know... (none)
        Yeah, they think they are above the law.  So this is not a new story.  It's the same goddamn story we've been hearing over and over again since Dubya got elected.

        If we want to talk about acting above the law, front page more talk about the NSA wiretap mess.  THAT is an issue of being above the law and it actually being critically important.  This is the kind of story I expect to see on Hard Copy, not DKOS.

        --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

        by sterno on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:25:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Geesh (none)
          Talk about overly serious and sanctimonious.

          It's a metaphor, illustrative in a very approachable way just how these guys operate.  And it's freaking funny as hell.

          And I demand Markos post more about biofuels.

    •  YES! PLEASE! (none)

      1. Cheney is an idiot - we knew that
      2. Cheney might have been drinking - we knew he drank
      3. He shot somebody - woops, the guy who got shot doesn't seem to upset about it

      That's all folks.  Let it go.  If people want to diary about this, fine, but this REALLY doesn't belong on the front page anymore.  

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:19:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd be surprised (none)
      if the story was major news beyond the weekend, unless new facts surface.

      If any real evidence arises that Cheney was drinking before the incident (as opposed to the speculation and deduction that we have now), it'll flare up again in a big way.


      Revised dKos FAQ: comments and suggestions welcome

      by dmsilev on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:19:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then don't fucking read a diary titled.... (2.50)
      "Dick Cheney: One in a Million"

      Why did you subject yourself to this dead horse if you think there are more important things.

      Look away, look away!

      Thank you John Kerry

      by diplomatic on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:31:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever It Takes (4.00)
      Let's say your sister won't leave her wifebeating husband. But finally she notices when he switches to some repulsive aftershave, and she finally starts to think about leaving him.

      Let's say your sister is your conjoined twin. Never let go of what helps keep you alive.

      The American electorate is our retarded conjoined twin sister, and Cheney stinks.

    •  I agree (none)
      Continuing to harp on this story just makes it look like we are piling on. I honestly think it is starting to generate sympathy for Dead Eye.
    •  You're right (none)
      After all, the Republicans never blew a presidential blowjob out of proportion, did they?  They never made media hay out of that.  They moved on.  We really should be living up to their standard.
      •  Oh (none)
        and were you on the impeach for blowjob bandwagon back then?  It was idiotic then and its idiotic now.

        Did the attacks on Clinton for blowjobs bring his approval ratings down?  No, quite the contrary.  They went up!  Because people saw how stupid it was and the country was doing find regardless of who or where somebody blew the President.

        •  i think (none)
           that he was trying to say that the republicans will get all over the dems ass for the stupid stuff, like blowjobs and human humidors, but as soon as one of theirs screws and almost kills someone they brush it off as if it were just a piece of poop in the pool.  when are the republicans going to face up to the horrible shit thay have done.  

          it's hard to learn when the schools are closed

          by nothingob on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:47:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well At Least (none)
      it has spared us from having to listen to Bush talk about Health Savings Accounts. Man I have heard some bad salex pitches for programs but what he is saying is downright funny. His Social Security pitch was head and heals over HSA's. They won't see the light of day.

      Oh and talk about funny. Did you guys catch that one of his speech stops was at Wendy's! Yeah Wendy's - to talk about health. Too funny.

      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

      by talex on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:49:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This administration... (none)
      ...ran on the promise of "morality," "accountability," and "consequences" for wrongdoing.  This is just one more thing they've done, where they try to hide, blame somebody else, make excuses.  Where are the real men?  How come everybody acts like such a wimp?

      About NSA, they tell us if we have nothing to hide, it's okay if they spy on us.  Well, how many things are they hiding?  Why won't they answer questions?

      And Cheney's excuses about not having access to communication right away--gee...sounds like Cheney has a "pre-911 view of the world" where he can just go off hunting anytime he pleases and not tell anyone! We need to hammer home the hypocrisy of this administration every chance we get!!!

  •  Scarborough (none)
    was saying that everybody drinks when they hunt and that Tucker didn't know what he was talking about.

    It's not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:15:59 PM PST

  •  But Mr. Whittington apologized (none)
    for the ordeal that Dick Cheney has gone through.

    That makes it all right.

    Doesn't it?


    Revised dKos FAQ: comments and suggestions welcome

    by dmsilev on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:16:06 PM PST

    •  It's a most interesting apology (none)
      Whittington apologized for an accident that happened on Friday.  Which is interesting, because all media reports are that Cheney shot Whittington on Saturday.

      Whittington is an experienced lawyer.  He's not too likely to screw up a pre-planned press conference, and he's not too likely to read from a script he hasn't personally vetted.

      So what happened on Friday that we should know about?

      this message is intended to inform. any annoyance, abuse, threat, or harassment is solely in the perception of the reader, not the intention of the poster.

      by horsewithnoname on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:21:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's apologising to cheney! (none)
        for whatever it was that he did on friday to piss dick off enough to shoot him on saturday!

        And concerning dick's comment about that being the worst day of his life, i'll bet a few vets have had a few worse days curtesey(?) of dick.

        I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

        by baracon on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:36:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It WAS a clue from Mr. Whittington (none)
        It was Mr. Whittington's way of telling us that something is not right.
        This is a VERY SMART Lawyer.

        Remember how the Righties kept saying the Press was pissed how the small town newspaper got the scoop and the Righties kept saying it's not a big story.
        Well.....look how Mr. Whittington complimented the press:
        "I compliment you on what you've done.  I've read and seen many of your reports and I know your job isn't easy."

        This is MR. Whittington's way of telling us to keep the story going.


    •  i can't wait until,,, (none)
      michael jackson's baby is old enough to apologize for causing michael any distress by hanging from a balcony.

      I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

      by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:28:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Boy... (none)
      . . .Those Republicans will do anything to support their Dick.  Think of the charisma it takes to have someone apologize to you after you shot them.

      The Hunchback of Haliburton.  Now more than ever, the guy you want on your side.

      Excuse me. I just saw the Mad Hatter run by.  He was chasing some girl in a blue dress with a white apron. Reality is now officially inside out.

      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

      by waztec on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:30:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Wittington just apologized to Cheney!! (none)
    Just caught a glimpse of it, but atrios has a post about up now that links to Josh Marshall.


  •  Long ago... (4.00)
    ...I heard a story about Cheney visiting a farmer's market.  He picked out a few veggies and gave the vendor a ten dollar bill.  Of course the veggies he took cost more than ten dollars but he just walked away as if it didn't matter.  And the vendor didn't say anything because "he's the vice president" and he was just so darned honored he came.

    Cheney just doesn't have much consideration for others in his moral fiber.

  •  I just can't get myself... (none) believe this was an "accident"

    as hard as I try to give certain parties the benefit of the doubt, it's just becoming too impossible to imagine that this was an accident.

    from the ranch owner, to the "investigating" police to the time lapse, to the lack of med-evac, to the victim/accomplice's scripted apology, to the doctor's lack of explanation, to the Faux News crap, I just can't imagine that there isn't so very much to hide.

    there are a million reasons not to cover this up, and only one reason to: that this was the product of negligence, at the very least.

    •  I had a science teacher in Jr High School... (none)
      ...who asserted that there was no such thing as an "accident" in her class.  If you're carrying a $500 microscope and drop it, that is not an accident, that is being careless.  No funny business, no playing with chemicals.  Because being stupid and foolish is not an "accident" it's a choice.
      •  what if you tripped over something? (none)
        Or what if you had a stroke? What if you tried to gently set it down, but your poor depth perception caused you to misjudge the distance to the table, thus making you drop it?

        I think 'there are no accidents' is an interesting idiom, but not really literally appliccable.

      •  I think it's more (none)
        I think it's that Cheney is the kind of person that would not hesitate to point a loaded weapon at someone, because he can.  he's just proven that he can get away with shooting someone, accidental or not.

        he's the kind of person that feels he's so important that he need not answer to anyone, even the president or congress.

        he's the kind of person that is happy to throw American lives away, and I'm sure he believes that almost no one is not expendable, outside of his own family et al.

        hence, I believe he perhaps pointed the shotgun at Whittington, who according to two lawyers and a doctor I have discussed this with, could not have been more than 10 yards away, and perhaps the shotgun went off accidentally.  perhaps the guide attempted to retrain Cheney's aim due to the danger of it pointing at a person... perhaps he twitched, etc.

        whatever happened, most of the people there must have understood that Cheney was culpable beyond a simple apology to his shill Hume.

      •  yep! (none)
        I think that he didn't mean to shoot him, BUT he was drinking, and he did pull the trigger, so it's his fault. or as your teacher would put it, "he was careless with his hunting partner's life and limb".

        I don't think dick meant to shoot Mr. Whittington, but I do think he was drinking and was shooting his 28 ga. This from somebody who learned to hunt from his father and uncles more than 30 years ago. I used to hunt pheasants and quail here in Kansas years ago. I also went drunk shooting several times. ;-P

        If you have ever seen "North Dallas Forty", think about the texas hunting trip they went on. Similar to this one, I'll bet.

        I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

        by baracon on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:52:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What are they covering up? (none)
      The only possibility they are covering up is that Cheney was negligent.  That he was drinking or in some other way being an idiot.  But here's the thing, if the guy he shot is:

      1. Alive and kicking
      2. Not pissed off

      Who cares?  If the guy had been killed, put in a coma, etc, I might have more concern.  If the guy was angry, came out saying Cheney was a drunken fool, etc, I'd care.  Otherwise, it was a screw up but it's unimportant to the nation.

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:30:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  attempted murder no biggie? (none)
        if you shot a gun, aiming at the wall just behind your butler/maid (for example), and they knew 'their place' and wouldn't speak out, is that acceptable?

        negligence is negligence, and I can't imagine how it would not be criminal here.  and I also can't imagine how Whittington is not pissed off -- let alone sorry for poor Cheney -- despite anything he's going to say to the media now.

      •  how about... (none)
        cheney is having an affair with someone other than his wife, cruell...i mean lady macbet...i mean lynne, and they had to whisk away his mistress before she was mentioned on the police report? we know that there is no way the right wingnuts could defend an affair.
        we are dealing with people who are not like you or me. they fancy themselves the upper crust and they live by different rules. old holey harry is part of that clique and would surely play by their special rules.
        for all we know, darth and cruell...i mean dickie and lynne have a deal that they will stay married for appearances' sake but don't really care about what they do out of the public eye.
        i hope the national enquirer and the other rags are digging into this and embarrass the hell out of dart...dickie. that way the msm doesn't take the heat, but the story never goes away.

        I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

        by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:46:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's pretty thin... (none)
          Having an affair with some hot woman who loves to shoot quailtards...

          I'm not buying it :)

          --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

          by sterno on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 10:20:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  ..any signs.. (none)
    ..Cheney is on his way out?  Went back to WY and his place there today.  At the statehouse he reflected on a long career...
  •  Odd (none)
    That is the same percentage of US dollars spent in Iraq that actually did some good.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:20:09 PM PST

  •  Cheney didn't even have his hunting license, (none)
    so where does that put him?  
  •  Why do people want to drop this? (none)
    Like the poster said, it's a metaphor for the way the Bush administration operates, ie above the law and with utter contempt and disregard for the law.

    And that the victim apologized for being shot only underscores how sick and disgusting the GOP and the Bushies are.

    The future's here, we are it, we are on our own.

    by Frank Roberts on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:23:56 PM PST

    •  Let's drop the metaphor (none)
      I think people are worried that the metaphor will be lost on most of the American public, who are probably tuned into this story for the same reasons that they like to hear about missing teenagers and Michael Jackson. I'm torn myself, because I'm not sure that if they drop this story it will mean they cover the real crimes--they'll probably just stick to the usual garbage.
      •  Think about it (none)
        If this was anybody else in America, if you admitted having a beer and shooting someone in the face, the cops will put your ass in jail and investigate you.

        That Cheney could skirt an investigation and then the victim apologized for being shot isn't lost on the American people.

        The future's here, we are it, we are on our own.

        by Frank Roberts on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:32:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It sounds good but (none)
          people have fallen for a lot worse recently. They've allowed Cheney/Bush to get away with anything--this is really small potatoes, relative to that. Bush made a big joke about about how they couldn't find the WMD. Think about it--he spent time putting together a whole slide show about it, about how funny it was that he sent people off to die for a bogus reason. And we voted him back for another term.

          I think a lot is lost on the American people. Why it is lost on them is lost on me.

          •  but sometimes... (none)
            it is easier to be outraged over something small. i think a lot of people of every political stripe are overwhelmed by all the shit being pulled by this administration, but it is easier to articulate outrage over this asswipe being given preferential treatment after shooting an old man in the face. there is so much to be outraged about that it is hard to pick what to scream about first. i hope that this story is the straw that breaks the camel's back for a lot of people who ordinarily don't pay too much attention to politics.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:55:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not to follow up on my own post but (4.00)
      Here's a perfect example of how to convey the lawless and recklessness of the Bush regime. Most people get lost in all the constitutional aspects of the FISA laws, wiretapping, Alito hearings etc. Here's an opportunity for the "Joe six pack hunter" to get how fucked up these people are. Not saying these are important, but it's easier for the Repugs to shout "Terrorists" and 911 and cover up.

      Cheney shot someone, delayed an investigation after self admittingly drinking beer, then the victim apologizes for being shot. What could be easier to understand how fucking sick these people are?

      The future's here, we are it, we are on our own.

      by Frank Roberts on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:29:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes.. It IS a metaphor (none)
      Precisely.  It's a metaphor.  It isn't them screwing up.  It's a metaphor for what they do that screws things up.  If it was them actually screwing up, I'd care.  If this story wasn't stealing air time from them screwing up I'd probably not have a problem with it.  But while we witness the giant media circle jerk about how their feelings are hurt because they didn't get told about this right away, real screw ups are sliding under the radar.

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:32:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I have a beer at lunch... (none)
    I know if I have a beer at lunch, I'm pretty much gone for the rest of the day.  I'll need a nap (and a long pee -- heh) before I'm good for anything at all.

    -- Seeing The Forest -- Investigating how the Right is beating the Dems

    by davej on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:26:36 PM PST

  •  By the Way, That Statistic is Bullshit (none)
    The only way that an accident would be reported as "involving" alcohol is if the shooter was still legally and obviously drunk when the police got involved.

    Drinking is not as unusual as it should be in hunting; drunkeness is pretty rare. It's Natural Selection at work, you see.

    This accident happened due to carelessness, with one or more people violating Rules they have known for decades. Beer didn't cause it.

  •  Guns don't kill people (4.00)
    Amoral fucktards without any muzzle discipline kill people. Or injure them and flub the PR.

    I think this story has a lot more legs then any of us with a brain would expect it to. The SCLM has been running like a freight train with this. For some reason they aren't that interested in secret prisons, sanctioned torture, vanishing 1st amendment rights, vanishing 4th amendment rights, vanishing 5th amendment rights, health care all fucked up, Every Child Left Behind, billions of dollars disappeared in Iraq, contractors fucking the military for billions more, pay raises slashed for actual military members, VA benefits being cut left and right, impending war with Iran and/or Syria, but shoot some fuckhole Republican donor and it's OMG BIG NEWS for the media.

    Minorities get shot and killed every day in America, but injure a white guy and it's time for CNN to step in!

    Still, at least they're finally running something critical of the administration.

    Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

    by jabbausaf on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:27:38 PM PST

    •  What I can get (none)
      That's the sorry state our media is in, indeed - but that's exactly why I'm still interested in this story. The media won't step up to the bat on the million stories critical of the administration that you mention, but at least they're pushing this one. I'll take what I can get.

      I serve on the board of the Band of Brothers.

      by David Nir on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:35:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  one more week (none)
    where republicans get all the air time.
  •  Hunting terrorists is like hunting quail (4.00)
    Cheney hunts terrorists like he hunts quail.

    Cheney shot Mr. Whittington in the heart and nearly killed him.

    We, the People, we are Mr. Whittingtons.

    The damage Cheney and this administration have already done to citizens, while ostensibly hunting terrorists, by using the weapons of their so-called PATRIOT Act to remove our rights, and permitting the corruption of no bid contracts to Halliburton, and making an historically large federal debt, and so on and on, have damaged America's citizens far more than Cheney's terrorist quarry.

    I mean, what's the status on the anthrax investigation?  Who sent the anthrax to Senators Daschle and Leahy and two TV news reporter anchors?   Did you forget to finish that investigation?  What is the status on Bin Laden?  Did you forget to look for him?  What were the nationalities of the hijackers on 9-11, they were not Iraqis were they?! No! So we shoot at Iraq and the US citizens???  WTF!

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

    by mrcoder on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:30:48 PM PST

  •  Humble Harry's (none)
    already apologized. His face is still full of buckshot holes and he's publicly apologizing. Atrios calls it the Rosetta Stone of future generations who will seek to undewrstand our day and age.

    Anyway, may I humbly submit my answer to Sen. Dr. Mr. Rep. Bill Frist's invitation to leave a comment on his blog, a kind invitation that I'd found in my bulk email folder. Let this serve as cautionary tale to all you who troll republican blogs: You never know what you'll bring back with you.

    Please read what I'm hoping will be eventually posted on the Senate Majority Leader's official blog. You'll be glad you did. It's worthy of the General.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:30:53 PM PST

  •  My blog last night about gay rights (none)
    Shameless plug, I know. Not many saw my blog. It's about trying to make a small difference.

  •  Dallas Morning News also reports (none)
    that the police didn't ASK if anyone was drinking!
    •  VP wasn't questioned about alcohol (none)
      1.)  Cheney cleared in shooting case
      No charges will be filed; VP wasn't questioned about alcohol

      Publish Date: February 17, 2006
      Word Count: 1028
      Document ID: 10FD94C5508C05E0

      SARITA, Texas - The Kenedy County Sheriff's Department cleared Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday of any misconduct related to his hunting accident, but officials didn't ask Mr. Cheney whether he had been drinking.

      The sheriff's report was issued five days after Mr. Cheney accidentally shot fellow hunter Harry Whittington at the Armstrong Ranch.  

      •  give cheney a break! (none)
        he thought there was a quail in a tree 90 degrees to his left, and he knew he could kill it, so he turned and shot without checking to see where anyone was standing. don't you know that old saying...
        a bird in the hand is worth a supporter of bush!
        feel free to smack me.

        I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

        by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:17:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shoot first, think later (none)
    Apropos "This shooting accident is simply a metaphor for how Cheney and the entire administration have always operated."
  •  Dicky Broke the law and got away with it (none)
    This bird hunting fiasco is the perfect example of how neo-cons operate. They have no respect for the law unless it can be used to their advantage. Granted this is but one very small example of how this administration thinks the world works. Dick Cheney was hunting for quail without an upland game bird stamp which is a class C misdemeanor under § 12.406 of the Parks and Wildlife Code, which reads, "An individual adjudged guilty of a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500." Because he is the vice president he just paid the $7.00 for the stamp AFTER the shooting and was on his way. I don't care if he is only charged the damn $25.00. But this administration needs to realize that this is a country where the laws apply to ALL people!! The authorities who are handling this in Texas need to do their jobs and fine the VP.
  •  Harry Apologizes To Dick (none)
    Check out the latest Political Comics from H.L.

    Harry Apologizes To Dick

    See the rest at
    The Hollywood Liberal

  •  Are You Kioding? (none)
    The hunters in my part of the country (upstate NY) ALWAYS took glorious amounts of beer, whiskey, and what all when they went out.  Sitting in a tree all day in November can make you mighty cold.  A little nip of Capt. Jack will do you right.  See also The Deer Hunter - need I say more?  This (beer can) is THIS (beer can).

    "You! What planet is this?!" Leonard McCoy, MD

    by moltar on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:59:23 PM PST

  •  Texas Math (none)
    In Texas, over the last decade, only one hunter in 26,000 has been involved in a hunting accident.

    In 2005, only one in 36,000 was involved in a hunting accident.

    Doesn't that mean that in the 9 years 1996-2004 there were only 10,000 Texas hunting accidents? And over 2.5 times that amount in one year?

    Something's wrong with the figures.

  •  Guys, it's not about the shooting (4.00)
    From anything I can see, at least in a legal sense.

    I can't believe that Cheney purposely shot the guy; I can see he made a mistake.  I wonder about someone  with an implanted heart device, that can unexpectedly shock him into unconsciousness if his heart starts to fibrillate, carrying a loaded gun around.  But I haven't heard any hint that this happened here.

    What I can't understand is the cover-up, not going through the proper forms.  That was just stupid, arrogant etc., etc.  The word "denial" springs to mind.  That's the story. That's what connects this incident with a pattern of Cheney behaviors and actions involving serious policy matters and strategic mistakes that led this nation into a needless and apparently unwinnable war, Plamegate, and so forth.  (Ignoring domestic issues, scandals, etc.)

    The reason that this story has legs is that everyone out there can understand it.  Hard to obfuscate the facts.  If I shot someone, you know I would be making a police report real soon; not optional.  And I would want them to take a blood test as soon as possible for my own protection vis a vis alcohol, etc.  Everyone understands this whereas they may not understand that Iraq wasn't a direct or indirect threat; the complexities of Plamegate, etc.

    The story isn't about hunting, the joy of killing wild animals, drunkenness, marksmanship and all the rest. It's about judgement and taking responsibility.

    •  Early news reports assume that (none)
      there was only one shot discharged, and that it went to Whit's left side, above the heart, around the shoulder and lower chest. Yet a look at Whit's right side of his face makes it seem like there may have been a second shot, which blew by his right shoulder, and left Whit with what looked like lots of blast effect on the right side of his face as well.
         If Whit would release his own medical records, it would go a long way to clearing up some of the forensic questions.
         If two barrels went off, it starts to look a lot less like an accident.  Two trigger pulls on a shotgun? At a six foot guy supposedly dressed in hunter orange, only yards away when the cloth has blazing sightability for most people at a distance of 100 yards? Lots of loose ends on this story, even with a 24 hour head start to try to co-ordinate details.
  •  Fucking Idiot. (none)
    I would like to hereby endorse TocqueDeville's excellent Fucking Idiot meme.
  •  Hey, anyone else hear this? (none)
    I know this doesn't exactly relate to the subject of this diary (booze and hunting), but wanted to put it out there just in case it's new to kossacks.

    I listened to Diane Rehm's weekly news roundup today (NPR) --which I never miss, and David Corn of The Nation said something I had not heard, and he says the same in this quote is from his website under the heading "For the Birds":

    * At first the Secret Service said that sheriff's deputies had come to the ranch on Saturday night--after they heard that an ambulance had responded to an accident there--and wanted to interview Cheney. But yesterday, the Secret Service said that was not so and that the deputies had merely asked if anyone at the ranch needed assistance. The Secret Service said the deputies departed after being told no one did. But the deputies did come back on Sunday morning to interview Cheney. Why did they return? What did they learn in the meantime? Shouldn't Cheney and his party have been more forthcoming with local law enforcement on Saturday night? And is it not curious that Armstrong did not notify the local media until after the deputies returned to question Cheney?

    Just gets fishier and fishier--they turned away the sherrif saying no one needed assistance and someone had been shot?  


    The way to disempower fearmongering autocrats is to examine them so minutely that their activity seems ridiculous and hyperactive. Patricia Taylor

    by station wagon on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:28:21 PM PST

  •  The "drunk on a hunt" administration (none)
    Democrats should hereafter characterize the Bushies as the "Drunk on a Hunt" administration.
  •  It does not matter. (none)
    Here't the thing guys....

    The Bush-Cheney WH does not care what the major networks and newspapers have to say about the shooting incident.

    It does not have any relevance in their political goals.
    It does not have any relevance in the 2006 elections.
    It will be a footnote if that in the history books.
    The news can make Bush-Cheney look bad today - But it will not matter.  It will not matter.  It will not matter.

    Bush-Cheney has full faith in the major networks and newspapers ability to turn any facts or opinions or statements by Bush-Cheney against Bush-Cheney.  I guarantee to you that Bush-Cheney do not read the newspapers or watch the news with any regularity.  That is why Cheney "dissed" all the Press Corps idiots.  I know they're idiots because I used to fly with them on their chartered flights around the U.S.

    I would not worry if Cheney had a beer at luch and then went hunting later in the day.  I worry about the millions of us that have a beer or two at dinner nightly and then go for a drive.

    We're wasting time here.  Continuing this is merely to hear ourselves waste oxygen.

    Regards.   :-)

  •  Hunters DO drink (none)
    I know many of them.  It's a FUN weekend thing.  (Or for them it is.)  People get drunk and shoot off snow mobiles!  If people didn't do "stupid stuff," Cheney wouldn't even be vice-president.    

    After Carlson proclaimed "hunters don't drink," Scarborough straightened him right out on the subject.  They do.  

    He's way more average then "one in a million," but the magnitude of his screw-up is hard to deny.

  •  Complete BS (none)
    The reason that hunters don't drink on the day they hunt is that a zero tolerance policy is the best way to enforce a rule that can have grave consequences if it is not followed.  But while it may or may not be true that Cheney broke this rule because he is the veep, it is an entirely separate question as to whether alcohol played any role in the accident itself.

    The human body metabolizes on average about one ounce of alcohol, which is about the amount in one beer, in one hour.  Assuming it is correct that Cheney had a beer at lunch and the accident happened in the late afternoon, there is simply no way that alcohol could have played a role in the accident.  So to insinuate that it did, as this post does, is bullshit.

    Now maybe more evidence will emerge that will show that it was the alcohol.  But absent that, let's stick to the real story, which is the coverup, rather than the incident itself, which was almost certainly an accident.

    •  Yeah... (none)
      it's an accident when you're doped up on tons of medication and then you drink alchohol... and then you end up shooting someone in the face.

      Sure it's an ACCIDENT.

      Duh. Nobody said it wasn't. You don't even seem to get the point.

      It's still irresponsible, stupid, and it should be f'ing criminal.

      If this old geezer can't handle his meds and his booz... retire him.

      Seriously. The guy's incompetent and physically unable to function.

      It happens to lots of old people. It's probly why our country got so conservative (ie ignorant) as the baby boomers got older.

      But no. To dismiss the fact that he shot somebody in the face cause he's old and sick... and can't handle his shit...

      that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

      I'm not even sure he was suppose to drink ANY alchohol... much less on the day of a hunting outing... where he'd get exhausted, and apparently disoriented enough to nearly kill someone.

      Could have been a kid he shot.

      Just as easily.

      And that's the same fuckin argument that's been made to put every black drug offender behind bars just to put money in the pockets of corporatists exactly like Cheney.

      Who says someone like you gets to decide what's relevant and what's not? Check my recent diary on who this Swiss ambassador's husband is and what group he was a part of...

      then tell me we should just focus on the "coverup."

      What the hell? I want to know everything about this. Not just the coverup. Who are you? Who do you work for?

      I want to know it all, including whether his typical bullshit "only one beer" argument is for real.

      Everyone's made that argument to a cop at some point. You know it as well as I do. "Q: Have you been drinking tonight sir? A: Just one beer, about 5 hours ago."

      And I don't even have a DUI. Cheney's got 2.

      Get real. You wanna swallow Cheney's puke... go ahead.

      The rest of us don't believe any of it for a second.

  •  When's the media gonna IV a doc? (none)
    Has any physician opined about the synergistic effects of alcohol and heart medications?

    Does anyone know if drinking a beer is permitted while on heart meds?

    The whole bleeping story is fishy.  First that non-witness witness said no alcohol, later she admitted there might have been "a beer or two" involved.  A beer or two for a party of 8?  WTF?  Who packed the beer?  They took "a beer or two" for the whole friggin' party?  Or was she trying to say - belatedly - that CHENEY may have had one or two beers?

    Something's fishy in Denmark.

    (Plus, smoky.  What with all the Danish buildings burning and all).

    I'm off to eat another delicious Rose of Mohammed.

    •  beyond that... (none)
      know how people bitch and moan about how people continue to smoke after they have had lung diseases, eat sweets when they have diabetes, and stuff their already obese faces? they jack up health insurance costs for everyone else, the song and dance goes. then consider those bastards on medicare and medicaid and how they waste our money by not taking better care of themselves. nevermind that they might not have the means to buy decent food.
      why is nobody complaining that cheney's medical problems cost us a fucking fortune already, and how dare he drink when he is taking heart meds! he admits to one beer before they went hunting and the lying hag who owns the ranch said that cheney made himself a cocktail after the shooting. even if was not drunk at the time of the shooting, i think we should be demanding that he stop drinking until he pays for his own medical bills.

      I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

      by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:50:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oops, i forgot... (none)
      enjoy your rose of mohammed. i think i will have some freedom toast.

      I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

      by nonnie9999 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 06:56:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Play By the Rules? (none)
    One in a million?

    Come on...

    We all know rich white people from rural states don't need rules.

    They say they've got Religion... Faith.

    They don't need laws. You can trust em not to spy on political enemies and use terrorism and phony orange alerts that only occur during election time for political gain.

    Or wait...

    You can trust them to shoot you in the face. That you can trust in.

    Especially if you're black.

    No, Cheney's not one in a million.

    He's typical.

    He's a typical rich American redneck.

    He finds his authenticity in an otherwise phony rich man's life in his bigotry and his dress-up immitation of real life. Cowboys? Hunting? These guys aren't pioneers.

    They're little rich girls playing dress-up.

    I mean, come on...

    these people can't even hunt right.

    Get in a car to shoot caged birds with the ambassador to Switzerland? Then get drunk and shoot your rich friend in the face.

    That just says everything you need to know about RURAL WHITE AMERICA.

    One in a million?

    More like just another one of 100 million pieces of trash in my opinion.

  •  This is part of a larger problem. (none)
    The fact that Cheney does not play by basic rules of hunter safety, such as knowing where the rest of the people in your group are at all times and to pass up shots if you don't should raise questions in people's minds about Cheney flaunting rules on a larger scale as well.
  •  Is it any wonder? (none)
    This adminstration is so reckless with everything else, no wonder they're responsible for Texas's alcohol relating hunting accident for the year.
  •  Whittingtion: (none)
    Cheney shot him then bought him.

    The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. Moliere

    by ikrisarus on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:31:54 PM PST

  •  Cheney's brain, booze, meds, & heart disease (4.00)
    Cheney wants privacy - for him, not us.  We deserve better.

    Time for Cheney's docs to tell us about Cheney's brain.

    Time for Cheney's docs to tell us what he is on.

    Any assessment of medication/alcohol interactions require knowledge of the patient's meds and clinical condition.

    As ReddHead at fdl pointed out, Whittington's hospital at least claimed the poor waived his federal privacy rights under HIPAA law.

    Cheney and Bush ask us to trust their great leadership in the GWOT they tell us must be all-consuming (at least while a shred of the Constitution remains).

    Even Saint Reagan said "Trust, but verify."

    Mr. Cheney shot a man in the face with a shotgun a few hours after the Veep had "a beer".  Mr. Cheney discharged his firearm while facing into the sun at sunset.  Mr. Cheney's associate reports the Veep wheeled around to fire behind him even though a member of the hunting party had had dropped behind the party.

    Mr. Cheney's unfortunate history of severe cardiac disease has required him to undergo "open-heart surgery" requiring extensive time on "heart-lung machines" (aka cardiopulmonary bypass).  Cardiopulmonary bypass (required for open-heart surgery) is known to cause cognitive impairment, which is a polite medical way of saying "brain damage".

    Mr. Cheney's exposure to cardiopulmonary bypass demonstrates exposure to a known cause of significant intellectual impairment and emotional instability.

    The Veep has a documented history of severe consequences of alcohol abuse and/or dependence (multiple DUI's and license suspension before anyone ever heard of Cheney had to be really, really drunk.  Really often.  h/t Digby)

    One result of many medications is to slow down the body's removal of alcohol - so a given amount of alcohol will stay around and impair the brain for a longer period of time.

    Other medications can increase the impairment caused by a given amount of alcohol.

    Some medical conditions which may be associated with cardiac disease may cause the liver to require a greater amount of time to breakdown a given amount of alcohol.

    Especially with the current President, Americans are entitled to know if Mr. Cheney does or does not possess the cognitive capacities required to discharge his constitutional duties. Mr Cheney has been a vociferous advocate of the Administration's contention that any possible security concerns provide compelling cause for the most intrusive breaches of privacy.

    Mr. Cheney's passion for personal privacy - his own, at any rate - is legendary.

    Mr. Cheney swore an oath to defend the Constitution (which he may one day recall) as well as the nation.

    The nation's security is threatened if the Vice President has medical conditions placing him at risk of impaired judgement arising from cognitive impairment, emotional lability, or medication interactions arising from Mr. Cheney's long-standing history of alcohol use and abuse.

    The only possible way for the American people to assess whether Mr. Cheney did or did not act recklessly in his choice to use firearms after consuming alcohol is for his physicians to fully disclose his lifetime medical record and his complete medication history.

    Mr. Cheney can authorize his physicians to release all medical history and records, results of MRI/CT/EEG, results of neurological and cognitive testing, and all medication history for his lifetime.

    He can do so by signing a waiver of his HIPPA rights.

    If he doesn't know where to find the form, Mr. Whittington's hospital can send him one.

    •  Yeah, Cheney and his docs need... (none)
      to come clean.

      But I'm also wondering if it might not be the case that if you're on heart meds, then NO ALCOHOL is allowed.  Maybe there's no heart med that allows one to drink even one beer?

      Just wondering.

  •  Malice Toward None (4.00)
    "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week" -- Harry Whittington

    You dead-enders everywhere. . you know who you are... take a rebuke from the classy Harry Whittington.

    Especially you Iraquis and Afgans who were bombed when the USA tried to blow up Saddam and Osama -- YOU need to feel sorry for Cheney.

    And you Iraquis who were interrogated "beyond simply asking questions" but "short of major organ failure" during the search for non-existent WMD -- can't you feel a bit of human sympathy for Cheney?

    At least, be thankful Cheney didn't have to watch you fall and hang on to life and limb. . .and thus have one of the worst days of his life!

  •  Absolutely, no alcohol (none)
    Tucker Carlson is right.  Guns and alcohol should never mix.  Any time you carry a firearm -- hunting included -- you possess lethal force.  For that reason you make sure that you are never impaired in the least, and that you never allow even the possibility that you are impared.  

    At a minumum this shows that the Vice President exhibited a serious lapse in judgement.  But given all that has happened, what would we expect?

  •  The Real Issue for Me (none)
    You know, I think the drinking/meds issue with this sounds a bit like a fishing expedition.  The thing that really gets me is this whole "hunting for fun" thing.  I've never really understood hunting as a sport.  I understand it completely in hunter-gatherer societies.  But releasing a covey of live birds (raised just for the purpose) for just simply 'killing for fun' is for me what's really so disgusting about our vice-president.  He can cry 'accident', or 'worst day of my life'.  But his being there to enjoy the act of the wanton killing of living things who can not defend themselves is beyond reproach.

    Forget your meds and alcohol and rules issues.  He is a heartless killer.  Murderer, if you will.

  •  There's nothing metaphorical about it (none)
    The shooting accident is not a metaphor of how these guys operate, it's another example.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 09:00:12 PM PST

  •  Keith Olberman Said Tonight (none)
    that Dick Cheney's approval rating was at 29%.

    I'm surprised it's still that high but it's getting closer to 0% so it's trending correctly.

    I wonder what it will take to get those last few holdouts to come on board.

  •  The contradictions keep on coming (4.00)
    As a volunteer EMT, I keep getting a nagging feeling that something is really not right with the timelines, and the forensics of the scene described in official accounts.
       The official story is that from the time it was reported to locals, it took 50 minutes for an ambulance to get to the ranch. A search of the maps about the Armstrong Ranch reveals a couple of things: that it is 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi just off Highway 77, and that the county seat of Salinas is only 21 miles away. Assuming that there is at least one ambulance in the county seat on call, that gives about 20 minutes to haul ass from Salinas, plus 2-5 minutes to saddle up the squad on call, so let's call it 25 minutes response time.
       However, the response didn't have to be land-based. Armstrong Ranch has its own airport, a nice 4,000 footer, meaning 3/4 of a mile long, which is about 2 miles away from the Armstrong Ranch headquarters. Even if the driver had gone a conservative 30 mph, to prevent a rough ride for the patient, that gets Whit to the airport in 15 minutes.
       Granted, the plane ordinarily would not be geared as a medevac. However, in this instance, the vp reportedly had "a ton of medical people," in which case his plane would have probably served quite admirably as a medevac unit to transport Whit to Corpus Christi. A 200 mile trip would have been a virtual puddle jump, effected in a relatively short time--if it took an hour for the flight, that would mean that Whit could have been delivered to Corpus Christi hospital by air in an hour or so, yet the official account finds the victim waiting at least 50 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, which would then face roughly a one hour drive back to Corpus Christi, at 60 miles per hour--which of course would not allow for any time where the ambulance might be required to stop, as during a possible CPR/defibrillator effort.
    So the relative trade-off is one hour by plane, vs. 110 minutes--longer than a standard motion picture. Somebody had to make that call, and that generally belongs to the ER doc. The rule of thumb is the worse they're hurt, the quicker you want them transported.
       There was also the possibility of calling in another pilot. Locally, McCreery Aviation operates two Cessna Golden Eagles, and one would think that maybe somebody might have called them to lend a hand, if needed.
       Let's just say that it seems like the speed of transport did not seem to be the governing factor, which seems mighty odd. Sure wish there was more official input from the ER doc. Glad this isn't my run sheet.
       Also, there seems to be some additional details emerging that raise even more questions. At, there is a copy of the police report, and now instead of just three hunters, the report indicates three VEHICLES in the hunting party, with 7 hunters. Now, if someone turns around, against all training, there are now six other hunters at potential risk. The police report indicates that the vp turned Counter Clockwise, ie, to his left. But a careful reading of the official report made it seem like the vp had to turn to his right--because it seemed that Pam Willeford was on his left. Did the vp just miss hitting Willeford too as he turned to fire?
       Other details just don't jibe with the official story. The official version made light of the shotgun incident, indicating that people got "peppered" fairly routinely. Well, not in Kennedy County, Texas, they don't--or at least they don't report it to the FBI. The county had only five crimes in fiscal year 2000--3 burglaries, 1 theft, and 1 stolen car--out of a population of 414, which are predominantly of Hispanic-origin. The FBI finds nobody got hurt that way.
       One omission that remains curious is that the location of the patient was not given in Ground Positioning System co-ordinates (GPS). It was a clear medical emergency, and in a situation with the potential for stroke or cardiac arrest, four to six minutes can make the difference between successful recovery and brain death. One would hope that the bodyguards would have the latest equipment, and be familiar with it. You can never tell when an emergency might come up. One has to wonder why the response time seemed so slow. And so many safety rules were broken.
    •  Bad Speculation and Bad stats. (none)
      "As a volunteer EMT, I keep getting a nagging feeling that something is really not right with the timelines, and the forensics of the scene described in official accounts."

      Time line: He first was carried to Kingsville, then flown to Corpus Christi. In a county of 414, Sheriffs, EMT, and pilots are few and far between especially on a weekend evening. The planes (non-medevac equipmed) is sitting on a runway, or the two at McCreery Aviation gassed up, checked-out, pilot on hand 24/7 waiting to do an evac. Anyone and everyone has to be located and tracked down via land phone or radio. UNless you have actually driven the roads or familiar with their emergency infrastructure these silly comments are just wild speculation.

      "Other details just don't jibe with the official story. The official version made light of the shotgun incident, indicating that people got "peppered" fairly routinely. Well, not in Kennedy County, Texas, they don't--or at least they don't report it to the FBI."

      People do get peppered fairly often. In fact in many rural areas, a 'peppering' isn't really considered a shooting. I got peppered in the hip and thighs many years ago, wasn't any reason to report it, just dug out the shot and used some creme for infection and bandaged up for several days. Trying to use stats with a popolation group of only 414 has no meaning.

      It's poor arguments and speculations like these that make it hard for us to make substantive points and be taken seriously on real issues.
      •  You are omitting (none)
        the reports that the vee pees staff rendered immediate medical assistance. Once that happens, then those who assist are supposed to conform to the medical protocols. One of the primary ones being, the worse the injury, the more important it is to transport IMMEDIATELY. Police reports indicate that the chief was notified within 10 minutes of the incident. The site of the shooting is now pinned down a bit better, at 4 miles west of Highway 77, in Comal Pasture, GPS coordinates N26 56.352   W97 50.420. Which would put it about 6 miles away from the runway. So let's call it about 6 minutes away from the runway, approximately. Local land pretty flat, at around 26 ft. elevation. For a map of the affected area, see
           The ideal is to have the transport medevac equipped, and, as said before, vp's staff was reportedly geared to handle at least cardiac emergencies. The guy who's supposed to make the call is the ER doc, but the hospital isn't saying anything publicly, probably acceding to the instructions of Whittington, and maybe the vp also, even though he isn't the actual patient.
           As to communications, there is a radio tower on the ranch, which would have contact. It was a clear, dry day, great for commo. Moreover, if you look up background about the vee pees controversial trip to Louisiana to shoot ducks with Supreme Court Justice Scalia, you will note that the vee pee was in the habit of notifying local authorities that he was in the vicinity, but please keep that info to yourself until I'm out of the area (perfectly reasonable precaution BTW).
          So sorry, I may not have driven those exact roads, but I do know the national protocols, and they do not provide for anything like the slow-as-molasses response that is reported in this timeline. Especially if the incident happened on Friday, per Whit's prepared statement.
          Rather than speculation, my comments quite specifically question why national protocols were not followed. If this were an ordinary malpractice case, some med techs would be in a very precarious legal position as far as being allowed to continue to practise, according to all the training I've experienced. Somebody has to ask the hard questions here.
          As to your observation on statistics, samples of 30, properly selected, can be used to make reliable projections on a wide range of test subjects, including prescription drugs. But thanks for playing.
  •  bang... (none)
    ban the gun before someone else get killed...
    there are 200 mil guns in US, and only few mil in middleeast..   I was more worried about getting kill ed by least when I am in US

    we learn from mistakes

    by changemyname on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 12:12:18 AM PST

  •  Incorrect Judgement (none)
    This is a ridiculous post. Moderate drinking is very much a part of recreational hunting. Like it or not, don't talk about something you're unfamiliar with. That would make you... I don't know... Tucker Carlson?
  •  Shooting victim............................... (none)
    btw, notice how ABC never talks about Bob Woodruff anymore?

    He must be in pretty bad shape if they never do updates on him.

    Maybe ABC will spill the beans on this Whittington shooting?

  •  Cheney etc. (none)
    I see he had a pretty expensive gun.  Was that a gift?  Did he purchase it?  Whose paying for all the expensive treatment for the victim?  Will Mr Cheney pay for it?  Or us?  When the accident happened,  did they compare which hospital had the best prices? These hypocrite, lieing scumbag repubiclans are stealing our country from all of us.  Do these rich thieves who stole from our treasurey think they will get away with this forever?  The dems or whoever take back this country will need to gitmoize these brave devils.  We need our country back, now.  I am ashamed of this country,  it is run by outlaws.  I had an idea.  American idol is very popular,  maybe we need to nominate a candidate this way?  Someone who has a death wish,  because these scumbags would probably sabotage his or her plane.  We need someone who will kick butt.  Maybe the show can be called "American President".  We have to try something.  If they have another four years,  we are done for.  I feel sorry if the democrats win.  They have such a mess to clean up,  after they trashed this country for eight years.  If and when we win back everything again,  we need to take everything back and more.  We need to punish these low lifes, like they never been punished before.
    •  This highlights a question raised before (none)
      namely that there are questions as to whether lobbyists or corporations are paying, directly or indirectly, for the vee pees recreational expenses, while the taxpayers are picking up the considerable transportation costs to and from these activities. Harper's Magazine, for instance, notes that multi-millionaire Cheney on 7-21-2001 got the Department of the Navy to pay for the electric bill at his residence.
        In addition, it should be noted that these trips seem to occur when there is a matter before the courts, in which Cheney is a litigant. That was the cause celebre with the trip shooting ducks with Scalia in Louisiana, reported 1-17-2003, when the bigwigs flew in on Gulfstream 5's to be guests of Wallace Corline, of Diamond Services Co. This leads to questions that this might be the preferred method of communication when a particularly inconvenient legal matter crops up, often involving the oil industry, Iraq, the CIA or all three. We note for the record also that this trip was to a ranch owned by Halliburton bigwigs, and that Pam Williford's daughter is deputy chief of staff to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an agency that attracted much criticism during the chairmanship of Michael Powell.
  •  Figures skewed (none)

    The comparison between the number of huning licenses issued and the number of accidents reported doesn't cover Cheney. He didn't have a license.

  •  I don't know where you live. (none)
    But although I haven't hunted in years, I know of several people who drink and hunt.
  •  nice point! (none)
    One in a million odds eh?

    One question though -- you say there was only one involving alcohol -- does that mean any alcohol was consumd, or that the person tested positive for alcohol?


  •  Yes! (none)
    Yes, please pin your hopes at taking back the country on this story.  
  •  Cheney's prey (none)
    One part of the story that has gone almost complete unmentioned: Dick Cheney's prey (and no, I don't mean Whittington).

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