The Note: Res Ipsa Loquitur, Part VI

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16

NEWS SUMMARY

The debate over whether the Vice President handled the public disclosure part of the aftermath correctly?

It is what it is.

The debate over whether going on Fox News Channel amounts to fulfilling Mr. Cheney's "obligation"?

It is what it is.

(We will leave those two debates to the Romeneskoed.)

The debate over whether the Vice President is politically hurting the President and/or crowding out his agenda?

It is what it is.

(Although please don't get overheated over Peggy Noonan's overheated musings in the Wall Street Journal about White House aides possible-maybe-alleged musings about replacing Mr. Cheney. LINK)

(That ain't what it is.)

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Now, whether you agree with Howie Kurtz's characterization of the interview or not ("Hume. . . touched the major bases in his discussion with the vice president."), and stipulating that everyone agrees that the story changes if Whittington's health takes a turn for the worse, let your inner Jake Tapper run free and read these:

1. Dallas Morning News:

"Kenedy County sheriff's deputies have redoubled their efforts to investigate the case after criticism of their decision not to interview witnesses until a day after the shooting." LINK

"Ms. Armstrong said she faxed a detailed account to deputies on Wednesday at the sheriff's request. She said she would have done so sooner if she'd been asked and added that everyone at the ranch has been encouraged to tell the truth about the shooting."

(Note to self: file another open records request.)

2. New York Times:

"Until Mr. Cheney acknowledged having had a beer at lunch, members of the hunting party had been adamant that no alcohol was involved. Katharine Armstrong, whose family owns the ranch, had said in interviews that Dr Pepper was served at lunch and that no one was drinking. In interviews with The Times and other papers, Ms. Armstrong heavily implied that no alcohol was served at all." LINK

"'No, zero, zippo, and I don't drink at all,' she said in an interview published on Monday in The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the paper she initially called. 'No one was drinking.'"

3. Los Angeles Times:

"Mark Skurka, the first assistant district attorney in Corpus Christi, said Cheney's consumption of a beer during lunch before the accident was probably irrelevant." LINK

"'If the guy had a gun in one hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels in another hand, that'd be another thing,' he said. He added that no other witnesses had apparently described the vice president as intoxicated, and that a regular person can absorb a beer in an hour."

"In his 20 years with the district attorney's office, Skurka said, he had never seen a prosecution for a hunting accident."

"Doctors at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital would not say Wednesday whether they had measured the alcohol content in Whittington's blood."

4. The New York Times:

"The Secret Service, which put the time of the shooting at 5:50 p.m., said it had notified Sheriff Ramon Salinas III of Kenedy County by 7 p.m." LINK

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