Monday, February 13, 2006

Funny Story: The VP Shot a 78-Year-Old Man

Dick Cheney was quail hunting and he accidentally shot his hunting companion, 78-year-old Texas lawyer Harry Whittington in the face, neck and chest Mrs. Katharine Armstrong who was in the hunting party said Mr. Whittington came up from behind the vice president and another hunter and that “Whittington didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself. The vice president didn't see him. The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it…and by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good." See, that’s the way they talk down there in South Texas where men are men and women just love all that shoot-'em-up dead-or-alive cowboy stuff. And yes, of course Katharine Armstrong was in the hunting party, it took place on her ranch. You remember the Armstrong 50,000 acre spread don’t you? It’s known as “one of the largest private properties in Texas” and GOP bigwigs like the Bushes and Cheneys go there for R&R all the time. Or, as the Washington Post put it, “The Armstrong family has a deep history in Texas Republican politics and has been close to the Bush family, as well as to the vice president.” Katharine Armstrong is the daughter of Tobin Armstrong who died last October at the age of 82. She’s heir to the Armstrong and King Ranch fortunes. You can’t read anything about her mother, Anne Armstrong, that doesn’t have the lead-in paragraph, “Anne Armstrong is Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s best friend.” Anne Armstrong got Hutchison’s political career going when she saw to it that she became the RNC co-chair in 1971. Hutchison returned the favor by giving Katharine Armstrong’s hubbo, Warren Idsal, a job as her top aide. Something happened there, though. I don’t know what. But Hutchison fired Idsal after a very short time. So did Katharine Armstrong. She had three children by Idsal, dumped him and took back her maiden name. And so here we are, back at the ranch. And Katharine Armstrong is saying things like “Mr. Cheney didn’t see Harry Whittington.” Katharine Armstrong told reporters the VP was using birdshot in a 28-gauge shotgun. She said the pellets broke Whittington’s skin. “They 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...fortunately, the vice president has got a lot of medical people around him and so they were right there and probably more cautious than we would have been. The vice president has got an ambulance on call, so the ambulance came." Not only did Katharine Armstrong seem to be babbling, but Mary Matalin, Cheney’s adviser and White House Iraq Group member who usually sounds like Ken Mehlman in drag, seemed a tad distracted when she said, "The vice president was concerned. He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the…he didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do." In other words, dick Cheney was right to shoot, and Mr. Whittington was wrong to get shot. The Armstrong ranch is where GOP cronies go to practice their good ol’ boy accents and to buddy-up with other GOP cronies. When George Bush was Texas governor he appointed Katharine Armstrong to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, which regulates hunting if and when hunting gets regulated in Texas. And in 1999 then-Gov Bush appointed Harry Whittington to the Texas Funeral Service Commission. That appointment got in the news because the former executive director, Eliza May, sued the state saying she’d been fired for investigating a funeral home chain owned by a Bush friend. It was Armstrong's decision to alert the news media after the Cheney shooting. No surprise, Cheney's office made no public announcement for 24 hours and only confirmed that Cheney had shot Mr. Whittington after Armstrong alerted the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. This morning, Anne McBride, Mr. Cheney's spokeswoman, said, "The vice president visited with Harry Whittington at the hospital today and was pleased to see that he's doing fine and in good spirits." Which is a good thing. But the point, folks, is: dick Cheney did nothing wrong because he never does anything wrong. And Harry Whittington is an old fool who got in Cheney’s line of fire. So let’s don’t forget there’s a war on. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. If you’ve got a gun use it. Shoot first, ask questions later. Don’t mess with Texas. Rules is for fools. Yee-hah!

No comments: