Nixonian Flashbacks | Freyne Land
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Nixonian Flashbacks

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 7:27 AM

***LEAHY UPDATE FRIDAY 6 P.M.***

"This is a further shift by the Bush administration into Nixonian stonewalling and more evidence of their disdain for our system of checks and balances," Leahy said.

"Nixonian stonewalling," eh?

Shall we say, the perfect word selection by Vermont's senior Sen. Patrick J. Leahy?

The Senate Judiciary Committee Leahy is chairman of has issued subpoenas to the White House for documents and testimony that will help to uncover the truth about the Bush firing of all those federal prosecutors. We still live in a democracy, right?

*UPDATE: Chairman Leahy will appear live Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet the Press" for a 15-minute solo segment regarding the subpoenas.

C'mon St. Patrick, comb your hair nice.

click to enlarge vpirgkurt_wright.jpg
Closer to home, these folks were out exercising their democratic right of freedom of speech on North Avenue in Burlington last night. Their issue is global warming. And their target is Republican State Rep. Kurt Wright, whose district they were in. Ol' Kwik-Stop Kurt, along with all the other House Republicans, voted "no" on H. 520, the top priority of Democratic Senate leader Peter Shumlin, the big global-warming bill that passed and received a firm gubernatorial veto.

Lawmakers return on July 11 for a veto-override attempt. And it appears obvious to all now, including Shumlin, they simply do not have the two-thirds vote required to win.

That's prompted Shummy & Co. to offer a deal -  the withdrawal from the legislation of its controversial funding source, the tax on power generation on Entergy's Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vermont.

"This is dead meat," suggested yours truly to the tiny band of environmental activists. "There’s no impeachment override. The Democrat leaders concede they don’t have the votes. It’s not about getting Kurt’s vote; they can’t even get enough Democrats!"

"That’s only half the point," replied Vermont Public Interest Research Group Field Associate Sean Sarah. "The other half of the point is action and letting people know, and letting legislators know, it’s not just about this one vote, it’s about the issue. And even if we lose this vote, the issue’s still around. The amount of play it’s gotten in the media tells us it’s still going to be around whether we win or lose and that’s equally important."

By the way, "Freyne Land" was the only media that dropped by Thursday's protest.

"I’m sure there’s a chance we’re going to lose." said the VPIRG organizer. "We’re still going to fight and even if we lose, we still have the issue. That’s the most important thing, continuing the dialog afterward."

Becca McHale, a sign-holding Burlington graphic designer, said she liked Gov. Douglas "a lot more before this."

"You didn't vote for him, did you?" I asked.

"No, I didn't, actually, but I didn't think he was this bad!"

McHale said she thought that, "It was the Yankee tax that really did 'em in."

Carrie Shamel, a Burlington social worker, said she was protesting the governor of Vermont's veto of H. 520 during Thursday's dinner hour because she was "saving the planet for my great-great grandchildren."

And the youngest of the tiny band, 17-year-old Sarah Pennucci of South Burlington had biked into the Queen City [no helmet!] for the protest.

"It’s my future that this is concerning," she told me with determination. "Most of the people making the laws will be dead before any of this has any effect, but I have to deal with it and I think I should be part of trying to solve it."

Sarah got wind of the event from a friend at the recently started Vermont Youth Activism Network.

"I think our governor really needs to get a backbone already and stop cow-towing kowtowing [thanks Kitchen Talker], to businesses," added Sean Zigmund, a "computer geek" by trade. "This is not about money anymore. This is really about our future. It's up to the younger generation to step up and say this is bullshit."

Why the rather small turnout Thursday evening on North Avenue? There were more protest signs than hands to hold them.

"Honestly," said Zigmund, "I think it’s because we live in a society and a countrywhere we’re complacent because of the fact that we’re spoon fedeveything through the media and we just buy whatever we’re told.

"And we’re content with what we have and we’re very comfortable. Ifpeople weren’t comfortable you’d know they’d be out in the streetsscreaming about it."

He's got a point, eh?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne

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