by Peter Freyne
"It has been for me, personally, a very long journey to become a United States senator," said the son of the Jewish immigrant from Poland. "And I’m very grateful to the people of the state of Vermont, this great state," said Bernie Sanders Wednesday afternoon, "for allowing me the honor of representing our state in the Senate."
That's Bernie striding into his 3 p.m. "The Day After" presser at his campaign HQ yesterday. He was, as usual, mostly all business. Focused. The announcement of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation at 1 p.m. upstaged him a little, but he still pumped out his agenda for January in the U.S. Senate.
Prescription-dry importation from Canada and Europe "could pass in five minutes," said Ol' Bernardo. "It would pass 3-1 in the House right now," he said, if the GOP leadership would allow a vote take place. American consumers would save 25-30 percent.
Sanders has said for decades that health care should be "a right of citizenship" in America, as it is in other "civilized" countries. The chances of that happening in the U.S. just improved dramatically.
And Bernie made it clear he will be pushing the new Democrat majority to back up its words with actions and seriously put the heat on Corporate America.
Sanders said he wants Vermont to become "a national leader" on global warming. He's talking good-paying, global-warming related jobs.
Yesterday was truly a "Pinch Myself - Is it Real?" kind of day. Am I seeing and hearing what I think I'm seeing and hearing?
Yes! Yes, I am! I am actually watching this pathologically-dishonest presidential puppet (with cut-shots of Karl Rove the Puppeteer sitting in the corner), try to swallow outright rejection by the American people he's supposed to be leading. Said George W. Bush:
"My point is, is that while we have been adjusting, we will continue to adjust to achieve the objective. And I believe that's what the American people want. Somehow it seeped in their conscious that my attitude was just simply "stay the course." "Stay the course" means, let's get the job done, but it doesn't mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working. So perhaps I need to do a better job of explaining that we're constantly adjusting."
A "better job explaining that we're constantly adjusting?"
He really said that - holy shit!
"I would remind everybody that last week he was going to his base," said Senator-elect Bernie Sanders, "telling them Rumsfeld would be there for the entire length of this tenure. The issue here is not Rumsfeld," said Bernie, "the issue is policy."
Without question, this White House and its myopic, out-of-touch secretary of defense have misused and abused the American military. They sent troops into battle below the required strength and without the required armor. Unprepared. And they sent them into battle without a just cause. In fact, without any cause that would justify the sacrifice of one American.
Don't people get court-martialed for doing things like that?
Our president appeared distressed. Still in a state of denial. Antsy, like a spoiled little rich kid at a DWI arraignment. Under his leadership and the leadership of the entire Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Team, America has gotten itself into a very dark place over the last few years, eh?
But we did it, folks. The light is coming back. And the healing has only just begun.
"I think what the president should be doing," said Ol' Bernardo, excuse me, Senator-elect Sanders of Vermont, "is going to the military people and say 'Alright, give me a plan by which we will have all or virtually all of our troops out of Iraq within the next year.'"
Make no mistake, this was an election in which the American people supported the troops that Bush & Co. have demonstrated absolutely no respect for. To these wrapped-in-the-flag banditos, most lacking military experience, our troops are but props in their game.
"I think it's a rejection of what I call the culture of corruption," said DNC Chairman Howard Dean to VPR's Bob Kinzel on Wednesday. "We got one-third of the white evangelicals in this country. We haven't seen that for a long, long time," said Ho-Ho.
Howard Dean - the guy who pushed for the 50-state strategy that led to the historic Democrat victory is looking pretty darn good right now, eh?
ALSO, a couple things:
1. Congrats to Freeps editorial writer Sweet Sue Allen - just appointed the new editor at the Barre-Monpeculiar Times Argus. Congrats to TA readers, too. Big loss for the local Gannett chain outpost in Burlington where's she's been the editorial writer since leaving Team Dean.
By the way, an enormous goof on yesterday's attractive Freeps front page. The headline was: "ESSEX DEFEATS MERGER 2-1."
It passed! Victoria Welch's story was wrong, too. She reports in today's edition:
The Burlington Free Press reported on its Web site Tuesday night and in its Wednesday print editions that Essex town voters denounced the measure by a 2-1 margin. Those results were erroneously reported as a sign that merger was defeated.
However, that tabulation was incorrect, as it failed to recognize the complicated nature of the Essex voting system.
2. Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington has scheduled a 10 a.m. presser at the Statehouse. It got a bit lost in the big national shuffle, but Republican Gov. Jim Douglas appears to have lost his veto ability by just one vote. Republicans dropped to just 49 seats in the Vermont House. Oopsie!