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Friday, February 17, 2006

These Are the Times...

Some weeks are easier than others in terms of optimism. Having spent the past week peering into Dick Cheney's dark corners (never a cheery place to be, even in the best of times, let alone in a week where he shot a hunting companion), and optimism has been a little more difficult to come by than usual.

It just seems like the nasty bits and scandals are coming out of the woodwork of late, and that good news is becoming more and more difficult to find.

I know it is thoroughly nerdy, but in times like these, I pick up material from our nation's history and remind myself about what true obstacles really are -- and how much courage and conviction it took to overcome them at our nation's founding and throughout our history. Thought I would share an excerpt of what I was reading yesterday evening, from Thomas Paine:
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
Someone said to me yesterday that these are big battles that we are waging -- and that the future of our nation hangs in the balance. I needed the pick-me-up and thought I would return the favor by passing that sentiment on to all of you: these are important issues that we debate and, just like Thomas Paine and the Founders who fought these battles before us, nothing that is worth having comes easily.

But the fact that we suit up and fight for what we believe to be right has so much value. To be able to do so alongside so many of you is an honor. And I just felt the need to say that this morning, so thank you for everything you do and have done -- and for everything we will continue to do as we move forward.

I'm reading through the Fitz motion response and will have notes on it later, as well as some other news from that front. Stay tuned.

THIS JUST IN: Whittington will appear at a news conference within the hour. Will update as I get details.

UPDATE: Whittington news conference going on as I type. Whittington looks fairly good, pretty much like every lawyer I spent my time with daily when I was practicing. (Reminds me of several people I know, actually.) Very much an old-style Southern gentleman, clearly one with some trial experience -- he's good in front of a crowd and quite smooth in delivery, and his primary concern is that this will have a lasting impact on the sport of quail hunting, and to make certain that he says repeatedly that it was an accident. Concern for the Cheneys and what they have had to deal with in this as well, and grateful to his family and friends and the medical folks who have provided treatment. Statement was brief -- he had some bruising on his face and neck, but not substantial visible injuries. Was dressed in suit and tie (once a lawyer, always a, so no way to see any injury area on or around his chest or much of his neck. If I can find a full transcript of the statement, I'll link it up.

Very much a "nothing to see here, moving right along" sort of statement. Cheney is also speaking today to the Wyoming legislature -- I'll update if there is any news from there as well.

UPDATE #2: Jane says: Words I didn't hear in the press conference: "It was all my fault, just like Norm Coleman and Alan Simpson said."

MSNBC now showing Dick Cheney speaking to a very friendly Wyoming legislature -- and Lynn is with him today as well.