Monday, February 13, 2006

And now, from the "Dead-Eye Dick Does It Again" files, and the Chicago Tribune

Sudiegirl sez: Oh, when I saw this…my heart just SKIPPED A BEAT! I am so appreciative of Mr. Cheney’s clumsiness because it just made the remainder of my writer’s block disappear. God Bless America! And now, let’s get busy, baby!

Cheney accidentally shoots hunting partner in Texas
By Mark Silva

Washington Bureau
Published February 13, 2006

WASHINGTON -- A hunting companion of Vice President Dick Cheney's was recuperating from shotgun pellet wounds to his face, neck and chest Sunday after Cheney accidentally shot the man in a weekend quail-hunting trip on one of Texas' biggest ranches, according to the ranch owner and the vice president's office. (As the daughter of handgun/rifle owners and the granddaughter of a man who hunted – and who I wished would be accidentally shot – isn’t accidentally shooting someone kind of hard to do? Don’t they wear those bright Cheetoh orange vests that make them easy to spot in Wal-Mart? I mean, I know accidents happen, but I just don’t get how they could if Cheney is such an avid and experienced hunter.)

Harry Whittington, 78, an attorney from Austin, Texas, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney inadvertently "peppered" Whittington with bird-shot Saturday afternoon at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, according to friend and ranch owner Katharine Armstrong, also one of the leading fundraisers for the Bush-Cheney election campaigns. (You know, liberals the country over are having a field day with this. And to be honest, can you blame them? This is proving gun-control advocates SO right, it’s ridiculous. If Dick Cheney is careless, and he’s supposed to be good at this sort of thing, God only knows what other yahoos might be doing with high powered rifles in the name of stupidity.)

Whittington was listed in stable condition in intensive care at a hospital in Corpus Christi on Sunday. Cheney, an avid outdoorsman who had hunted at this Texas ranch before, visited Whittington at the hospital on Sunday before returning to Washington, according to Lea Anne McBride, spokeswoman for Cheney. (First, if he's in intensive care, doesn't that seem to be serious? Second, let’s just hope Mr. Cheney didn’t help Whittington get to sleep by gently placing a pillow on his face and pressing down.)

"The vice president has spent time with Mr. Whittington, visited with him this afternoon," McBride said. "The Vice president was pleased to see that he is in good spirits and fine." (Read: “The vice-president got on his knees and begged Whittington not to sue, even offering his first-born as a sacrifice.”)

Cheney, Whittington and another hunter had gotten out of a car to shoot at a covey of quail about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Armstrong, who was in the party of four at her ranch.After Whittington shot a bird and went to look for it in tall grass, Cheney and the other hunter--whose name was unavailable—(HUH? “whose name was unavailable”…you don’t even know who the hell you’re HUNTING WITH?) moved to another spot.

Cheney turned to shoot a bird as Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or announce himself," Armstrong told The Associated Press. (Ah, blaming the victim. How interesting. And I’m sorry, but I gotta get back to the hunter with no name thing. If this Armstrong chick organized the hunting party in the first place, plus it’s HER ranch, why the hell doesn’t she know the other hunter’s name? If I throw a party, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that I will know the names of everyone there, or else I will find out by the end of the evening.)

"The vice president didn't see him," Armstrong told the AP. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good. . . . It broke the skin. It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that." (Gee, that’s good that he was only scarred and not blinded. Thank heaven for small favors.)

A hospital official said Whittington would have no comment on the incident out of respect for Cheney, AP reported. (Read: “Whittington was on multiple painkillers and couldn’t put a coherent sentence together if he tried.”)

Cheney had a medical team at the ready--one always travels with the vice president, who suffered four heart attacks before his election--and the vice president's medical vehicle took Whittington to the hospital in Corpus Christi. (Well, if Cheney keeps this up, he’s going to have to just have a M*A*S*H unit at the ready with tents and sarcastic, shell-shocked doctors as well as cross-dressing corporals and Hot-Lips Houlihan.)

Both the victim of the hunting accident and the ranch where it took place are well known to President Bush and his family. Cheney, who often hunts and fishes in Wyoming and Texas, has often hunted at the ranch. When Bush was governor of Texas, he appointed Whittington presiding officer of the state Funeral Service Commission after a major shakeup of the agency in 1999. The agency's previous director had complained that then-Gov. Bush had hindered her agency's investigation of a major funeral services company, Houston-based Service Corp. (Hmmm…now this is also interesting. Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse is always a solid political strategy, is it not?)

Bush's successor, Gov. Rick Perry, settled a lawsuit with the state agency's former director. (Something tells me Gov. Perry has had to do a LOT of that.)

Armstrong, owner of the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch in southern Texas' Kennedy County, is one of a few hundred $100,000-level "Pioneer" fundraisers of the Bush-Cheney election campaigns. (Interesting, but by God, don’t let her set up your next party. She won’t know anyone there.)

Her father, the late Tobin Armstrong, also was a Bush fundraiser pioneer and a leading Texas and international cattle rancher whose ancestor, Texas Ranger John B. Armstrong, purchased the first land for the ranch in 1882 with bounty collected from the capture of outlaw John Wesley Hardin. Tobin Armstrong once boasted of ranch outings with Cheney, in 2000. (Just because he didn’t get shot, I’d wager.)

"We go out when the dew is still on the grass, and then hunt until we shoot our limit," Tobin Armstrong, who died last year, was quoted as saying in 2000. "Then we pick a fine spot and have a wild game picnic lunch." (Read: “We invite some hot mammas from the nearby Hooters and play Naked Jello Twister until Dick gets winded.”)

Tobin's widow, Anne Armstrong, had been a director of Halliburton when it hired Cheney as its chief executive, between his service as defense secretary for President George H. W. Bush and his election as vice president. President Bush, when he was governor or Texas, appointed Anne Armstrong as a Texas A&M University regent in 1997. (OK…she was a regent for Texas A&M…did she know who the hell else she was working with? I know I’m fixated on this, but ya gotta be a little more aware of surroundings in this world.)

Sudiegirl’s final opinion?

OH my…This is just a shining example of the growing incompetence in this land. I mean, he’s just set the NRA back about 10 years or so, ya know? My dad always had problems with “mealy-mouthed do-gooders” (his phrase for liberals), but you have to admit this does not look good for our favorite grumpy old VP.

Lock and load, y’all…


(who does not own a gun, but had a gun cabinet in her bedroom until she was eleven, and whose mother owns her own handgun but doesn’t clean it.)