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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Politics

Re: “Trumpatized? Prominent Vermonters Reveal Their White House Worries

America has seen many challenges. November 22, 1963. FBI and CIA lies to the Warren Commission and again to Congress during House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation in 1970's.

Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam lies. Watergate & Ford's total pardon of Nixon.

Consider foreign influence in elections. (1) Reagan-Bush, Sr. October Surprise deal with Iran to extend hostage crisis. Iran-Contra and Bush, Sr.'s total pardon of Iran-Contra crew. (2) Clinton taking illegal campaign cash from Chinese for 1996 reelection and then rejecting recommendations of FBI Director Louis Freeh for independent prosecutor.

Hard for Congress to exercise oversight, as Ms. Burgin states, if Congress not only doesn't fund investigations but also faces active resistance from Executive Branch. Consider this statement on PBS from Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel of House Select Committee on Assassinations: "I now no longer believe anything the [CIA] told [Congress] any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the CIA for its veracity. The CIA unilaterally deprived Congress of a chance to obtain the full truth. . . The Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of government cooperated with it, is, in retrospect, not the truth. Many have told me that the culture of the CIA is one of prevarication & dissimulation & that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp."

If CIA is allowed to run a CYA domestic counter-op vs Congressional investigation into President's assassination with few consequences (other than weakening faith in our institutions), can we really expect Congress to do their job now? Anyone with open eyes over last 50 years has seen democratic norms are often an illusion. Still, US somehow ranks #7 out of 196 nations for transparency & corruption so I guess beats living in most other places.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/26/2017 at 2:14 AM

Re: “A Near Miss in Montpelier Suggests a Union's Clout Is Waning

A better and simpler idea: a statewide negotiation for wages and benefits between the state and the teachers union. Once every few years. Once and done. We save money and time. The teachers can go back to teaching. The local school boards can focus on local school issues. And We the People can reclaim our legislature back from the bullying ownership of the VTNEA.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 05/25/2017 at 11:58 AM

Re: “A Near Miss in Montpelier Suggests a Union's Clout Is Waning

A plan for teachers and support staff negotiations:

1) Negotiations begin no later then the October 1st preceding the current contracts expiration date.
2) The school district and teachers/staff have thirty days to reach a resolution.
3) The negotiating parties then have thirty days to reach a mediated resolution.
4) If no resolution is arrived at by that December 1st, then the contract along with the history of proposals is forwarded to the Vermont Agency of Education where the state may add, remove or change any items not yet agreed on. At this time the state will no later then February 1st impose this contract on all parties.

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 05/25/2017 at 6:05 AM

Re: “Trumpatized? Prominent Vermonters Reveal Their White House Worries

After reading this article, my strongest reaction is that my respect for Jim Douglas has been seriously damaged..

I often did not agree with Mr Douglas when he was governor, but I always felt him to an sensible and thoughtful man.

But, here, we hear him spouting the standard "it's still early, we need to wait and see" nonsense. In heaven's name, what more evidence of who --and what-- Donald Trump is do the Trump-apologists need?

And then, finally to read Mr Douglas repeating the old dodge that the fact that the media honestly and accurately reports on the outrages committed daily by Trump and his lackeys is evidence of the "left-wing bias" of the media... it's simply hard to know how to respond..

In a word, Mr Douglas, you are better than this.

23 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Nichael Cramer on 05/24/2017 at 11:29 AM

Re: “Seven Laws-to-Be That Could Affect Your Life

To bad that these democrats on some of these can't pass some real important bills.. do they get a kick back for passing crazy bills??

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 05/17/2017 at 4:21 PM

Re: “In the Vermont House, Freshman Dems Become a Moderating Force

Yup that's what UNIONS are..bullies..you do what we say or else..99% of unions are bullcrap..you don't get a say..you have to vote their way..no matter if it's wrong..Unions buy government officials..especially here in Vermont..

2 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 05/11/2017 at 10:11 PM

Re: “In the Vermont House, Freshman Dems Become a Moderating Force

Vermont Democratic leadership is in a tough position. While VT NEA may win this battle, the governor is going to win this PR campaign. In the "private" sector, when an opportunity presents itself, you don't get much time to deliberate. The headline will read: "Agile, nimble, and innovative solutions proposed by the governor meet lethargic, calcified resistance from the legislature and the NEA."

Admittedly, 40,000+ education employees are a big portion of the electorate and they will invariably hold a grudge. But the "average" Vermonter deals with ever increasing premium costs with diminished coverage and we have NO say in the matter. As a result, sympathy from the rest of the electorate is in very short supply.

Until we have true universal healthcare at the federal level moderates are pretty OK "meddling" with collective bargaining.

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by stuckinthemiddle on 05/10/2017 at 5:55 PM

Re: “In the Vermont House, Freshman Dems Become a Moderating Force

"Casey, the Democratic Party head, said Ds who voted for the Republican plan went against a core principle of the party . . . I think we need to do a better job of labor education," he said, referring to collective bargaining as "sacred." "There's a couple of lines you can't cross, and infringing on collective bargaining is one of them," he said."

This is an outrageous thing to say. You have to always vote the way the teachers union wants you to vote, on every issue, every single time, or you can't be a Democrat?! That's simply outrageous. Democrat Governor Dean pushed for a statewide teacher's contract back in the 1990s! Moreover, Casey's position is grossly misleading, on purpose. A statewide bargaining approach is NOT "infringing on collective bargaining." The union would still bargaining as a collective on behalf of all teachers.

Vermont Democratic Party Leadership: owned by the teachers union.

29 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 05/10/2017 at 10:57 AM

Re: “After Decades of Feuding, Is It Time to Disband the Tiny Town of Victory?

Disbanding the town would make sense from afar but the 2 factions would probably take that out on each other. Maybe the State should take over the towns affairs?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by yasky on 05/08/2017 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Mitzi Johnson: Farmer, Musician and Vermont's Chief Budget Writer

She is a farce, trust funder like Zuckerman and does not represent the taxpayer of Vermont

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Jewell on 05/05/2017 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

To be fair, I said this piece was one long fellatio session for the mayor. I never said the author gave the mayor a BJ, not that there's anything wrong with that.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Mark Lade on 05/01/2017 at 11:57 AM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

"less interesting"

Less interesting because I don't join the chorus of attacks on the mayor and anyone who agrees with him on anything?

"Rather than personal attacks on individual people or writers"

But constant, sharp, biting, mean, personal attacks on Miro Weinberger; on Don Sinex; on anyone who supports the mall project; on anyone who favors downtown redevelopment; on anyone who supports infill growth, development, and additional housing in the city; on city council members; on fellow Progs who disagree with you; and even on the author of this article -- that's all perfectly ok.

It's perfectly ok for Grill to be disrespectful and get personal every time she speaks or writes? It's perfectly ok for Lade to say that the author of this article gave the mayor a BJ? Since day one, the CLC's advocacy has been characterized by personal attacks on the mayor's character, his motives, and his morality. But THAT's ok.

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 05/01/2017 at 7:36 AM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

Anyone notice that once "know your assumptions" shows up, the conversation becomes less interesting? No offense, but rather than personal attacks on individual people or writers let's discuss issues. What are your goals for the city? What do you want to see implemented? Isn't that the conversation we should bring our energy to?

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Amey Radcliffe on 04/30/2017 at 9:39 PM

Re: “After Decades of Feuding, Is It Time to Disband the Tiny Town of Victory?

The Hatfields and the McCoys. What fun. right out of literature and life. Only in Vt. Last terrible thing I heard about was when a lesbian was the post mistress and they tried to run her out of town by putting a bullet hole thru her photo at the post office. I guess she is not there anymore but dont know for sure. Then they burned a cross on the lawn of an apt. where a black itinerant worker was living. Will it never end????

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Elzohairy on 04/30/2017 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

"For one Kelley didn't talk with two Prog. candidates for City Council in March 2017. I'm one."

Kelley did solicit comment from arguably the most vocally anti-Weinberger candidate for a city council seat in March, and printed her lengthy, hate-filled rant in response.

He also spoke with a sitting Prog city councilor who is very critical of Weinberger.

He had no obligation, need, or reason, to also speak with you, just because you, like Grill, ran for a city council seat and lost.

16 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 04/28/2017 at 3:32 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

A five page unpaid ad for Miro's re-election? Proof of his popularity by saying all but one person the author interviewed supported Miro? How about, "Who didn't you talk with?" For one Kelley didn't talk with two Prog. candidates for City Council in March 2017. I'm one. Endorsed by CLC and the Progs, I ran on a platform that provided substantive criticism of each of the mayor's current development projects. Success is measured in the substantive debate that brought wider citizen participation and understanding of these projects. None were discussed at any length in Kelley's very long article, and others were missed entirely. Omitted was the mayor's resolute support for the demolition of 200 homes around BTV with scores more pending when the F-35 widens the <65dB envelop making hoses "unfit for human habitation." How's that for promoting broad spectrum housing opportunity? Nor did Kelley mention the $800,000 and sweatheart lease terms the mayor supported for developer friends constructing a private marina on city waterfront land, along with 25 parking slots and 169 boat slips, a development that could have earned Parks & Rec. money had they been allowed to extend their marina. And how about the C2 section of the expressway that will preclude adequate development of our manufacturing district with the jobs and taxes that will thus be lost. It is only lack of media attention to the wrong headedness of Weinberger's vision of Burlington that makes him a "contender":in 2018

11 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Charles S on 04/28/2017 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

I see. I guess according to Lade and Philo, for a profile on Mayor Weinberger it wasn't enough for 7D to interview various people across the political and ideological spectrum: Democrats, Republicans, and Progressives. It wasn't enough to print the lengthy quotations of two people who hate him. It wasn't enough to interview a developer, a Prog city councilor, a former Progressive mayor, and a non-motorized transportation advocate, among others. No, I guess Lade and Philo think that any piece that isn't purely negative about Weinberger is a "puff piece." I guess Lade and Philo think the ONLY people who should have been interviewed for this story are members of the Crackpots For a Livable City.

Yeah, that seems fair and reasonable.

24 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 04/27/2017 at 1:52 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

I hope each person that runs against him gets a nice long puff piece extolling their virtues from "Vermont's independent voice" as well.

30 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by Mt.Philo on 04/26/2017 at 4:29 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

Genese Grill's apocalyptic criticism of the Mayor is completely laughable. The product of a bizarre, perhaps disturbed mind. Whatever credibility she had should be erased in anyone's mind.

38 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 04/26/2017 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

Max Tracy for Mayor? He'd be great. Hate to admit it but I voted for Miro the first time around and have found out what a slick politician he is. Time for him to move on.

38 likes, 36 dislikes
Posted by RB on 04/26/2017 at 2:47 PM

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