The Stevens Indictment Welcomes – Dick Cheney?

23 08 2008

We knew that there would be jewels aplenty in those 67,000 pieces of paper, and hundreds of taped phone calls and videos that make up the body of evidence to be used against Ted Stevens in his upcoming trial.  Here’s the latest.

There’s a new player in our cast of unseemly characters…none other than Dick Cheney.  Apparently a two year old letter from Cheney to the Alaska Legislature has surfaced from the pile o’ steaming evidence.  The letter urged the Legislature to speed things up and get the gas pipeline project settled.  Remember that?  When Frank Murkowski was foaming at the mouth like a rabid animal telling us we had to do it NOW NOW NOW or the WORLD WILL END I TELL YOU!!!

According to a Justice motion, Stevens told Allen, “I’m gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here and say, ‘Look … you gotta get this done’.” Two days later, Cheney wrote a letter to the Alaska Legislature urging members to “promptly enact” a bill to build the pipeline. The letter was considered unusual because the White House rarely contacts state lawmakers about pending legislative matters. It also angered state Democrats, who accused Cheney of pushing oil-company interests. The former executive director of Cheney’s energy task force had gone to work as a lobbyist for British Petroleum, one of three firms slated to build the pipeline.

Stevens confirmed to NEWSWEEK last week that he asked Cheney to write the letter. “We wanted the federal government to tell the state to act quickly on it,” he said. (A spokesman for Alaska’s other senator, Lisa Murkowski, said her office also had contacts with Cheney’s office.) A Cheney spokeswoman said his office does not comment on pending legal matters.

Interesting.  So our web has added two new strands, and names have been spoken – Dick Cheney and Lisa Murkowski.  Apparently the prosecution is not all that eager to bring up the Cheney connection, as the letter has strangely not been cited by the Justice Department.  Following this trail to the end might land the executive branch somewhere they don’t want to be, like under a magnifying glass.

But, you never know.  Dick Cheney could end up on the witness stand.  Maybe the reason they’re avoiding this is to keep him from making the Bible spontaneously combust when he’s sworn in… That could be really embarrassing.

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Obama Picks Joe Biden. The Gloves Are Off!

23 08 2008

 

It’s official.  The leaks started last night late, and the most anticipated text message in history arrived at 1:42am Alaska time.  All in all, I think it’s a good choice for several reasons:

  • There is nobody who has more foreign policy experience and savvy than Joe Biden.  No matter who the McCain camp selects, they won’t be able to hold a candle to Biden in the debate on foreign policy issues.
  • He’s been around a long time.  He pointed out in his speech that there are only four senators with more seniority than him (soon to be three after Stevens’ inevitable defeat), but that there are 44 who are older than him.  Good chuckle line, and he makes the point.  McCain is older and less experienced.
  • The man takes the train to work in D.C. from Delaware every day.  He’s from a working-class Catholic family from Scranton, PA.  In the current climate of ‘House-Gate’, it can do nothing but help.  No one’s going to call the Amtrak guy an elitist,  especially after John McCain just got nabbed taking a nine car motorcade to Starbucks for a cappucchino.  (low foam half-caff with a sprinkle of cinnamon perhaps?)  In his speech today in Illinois, Biden invoked that iconic vision of sitting at the kitchen table worrying about finances.  Then said McCain would have to decide which of his seven kitchen tables to sit at…Youch!  Democrats aren’t used to fightin’ talk, and from the sound of the crowd, they liked it.
  • Biden’s other classic line from the speech today:  “These times require more than a good soldier, they require a wise leader.”  Oof.  Body blow.  He recognized and commended McCain’s service to his country, and deftly shifted gears with the above line. 
  • He hit the ground running on day one with a scathing attack on the effects of Republican rule in Washington, and referred freuqently to the “Bush-McCain policies” of the last eight years.  The more often people hear Bush-McCain in the same breath, the better for Democrats.

For all those who wish just for once, Obama would just get mad and lose his cool in a fit of moral outrage, this is as close as you’re going to get.  The team is officially composed of one cool cucumber and a scrappy attack dog.  The election just got a whole lot more interesting.