The Curtain Goes Down on Ted Stevens.

21 11 2008

Today was the end of an era. Ted Stevens took the floor in the U.S. Senate for the last time. The first time was in 1968, before most Alaskans were born.

He actually did get voted out of office, but it took seven felony convictions, a strong centrist Democratic challenger, and an Alaskan Independence Party candidate endorsed by Ron Paul to do it. This is a good thing, because my only options had he won were wearing a bag on my head, or moving to Canada.

Last night, in downtown Anchorage, at the Snow City Cafe, Mark Begich celebrated his very belated victory with supporters. How could it have possibly taken this long? How could the race have been so close?

Listen to Ted Stevens’ farewell address.

As an Alaskan, albeit a left-leaning one, there have been times, I’ve actually felt sorry for Stevens. As I listened to him recount his experiences taking Alaska from a fledgling state with little infrastructure, to where it is today, with a highway system, hospitals, airports, and other things that improve the quality of life here, I had a moment of sadness. What a way to end his career. What a stupid mistake. What a shame.

Lost in this flickering moment of nostalgia, watching this old, beaten man, I heard the words “radical environmentalists” come out of his mouth.  I immediately snapped out of it, feeling like I’d been hit in the face with a wet fish.  I suddenly remembered what it is I can’t stand about this guy.

Then, as he finished up and yielded the floor for the last time, his Senate colleagues did something I have never seen.  The violated Senate protocol and gave the man a standing ovation, for almost a full minute.  That’s right United States Senators from across the nation, rose to their feet, and applauded a man who is stepping down, not because he is voluntarily handing the reins to a new generation, but because his seven felony convictions blew the election for him.

It was like watching the villagers cheering for the head on the pike.

The Stevens love-fest went on for some time, with contributions from both sides of the aisle.

“May all the roads that you have built, Ted, rise up to meet you,” said [Sen. Robert] Byrd in a variation of the Irish proverb. Byrd, 91, whose age has made him prone to outbursts on the Senate floor, shouted out “Amen, Amen!” while Stevens’ friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, spoke.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, described the close across-the-aisle friendship his own wife and Stevens’ wife have. Sometimes, Lieberman said, people forget that senators are “normal people” with ordinary homes and lives in Washington.

During the tribute, Stevens’ wife, Catherine, and his daughter Beth sat in the front row of the upper gallery of the Senate, surrounded by nearly 100 friends and staffers. Dozens more crowded in the seats lining the Senate chambers.

As Stevens concluded his remarks, many in the Senate gallery and all of the senators and aides on the floor of the Senate offered a standing ovation. Many of his staffers and friends walked out of the Senate chambers with red-rimmed eyes, dabbing at their tears.

While they applauded, Stevens sat. Then he stood, shaking hands with the longest-serving U.S. senator in history, Byrd, and the top two leaders of the Senate, Reid and McConnell. Finally, Stevens embraced Inouye, a man he called “his brother” during his speech.

“The Bible tells us, the Old Testament, two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor, for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow,” said Reid, the Senate majority leader, referring to the friendship between the two men from the 49th and 50th states.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, after the Bible quote, called Stevens a “lion” of the senate.

Is this the same Harry Reid that called for Stevens to step down and promised that if he were elected, and returned to the Senate, his colleagues would vote to expel him?

I’ve given up trying to figure out what kind of magic Ted Stevens has.  It’s like that old radio show….The Shadow.  It’s like Stevens has “traveled to the Orient and learned the secrets of clouding men’s minds.”  But I do feel better that it isn’t just Alaskans that have this cloud problem.  I just watched the majority of the United States Senate give a standing ovation to a convicted felon.

Why?  Only the Shadow knows……


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117 responses

21 11 2008
halcrow

Maybe the standing ovation was to get Stevens on his feet and moving toward the door?

21 11 2008
Suchanut_AK

I don’t know what it is he’s got, either, AKM. I never saw it or felt it. I only get the wet fish in the face whenver I hear him speak.

A standing ovation from the Senate of the United States of America! Why – because of their own hubris? It takes one to know one? They are all guilty of something so they celebrate a convicted felon?

Bad taste in mouth….blech

21 11 2008
jan jan (Possum)

I’m not sure even the Shadow knows….
OK, he gave all those years – but did he take more than he gave? How does one measure that?
Palin fits in perfectly… a younger female Stevens. Well, maybe not as smart. That turkey pardon clearly shows her true brilliance. C’mon Alaska – we know you have better than these two!

21 11 2008
InJuneau

halcrow–that’s exactly what we thought in our house. Spouse said, “You suppose they’re applauding because he’s finally ceding the floor?”

21 11 2008
Sirenoftitan

Perhaps they were just glad to see the back of him ?

Crocodile tears ?

21 11 2008
jwa-Cheney Hussein Palin

The courtly mannerisms of faux courtesy towards Senate members is part of the history of the body, but overblown manners would not seem to require a standing ovation toward a felon.

Give it a rest guys. Call a spade a spade and just be honest for once.

21 11 2008
portland orgon native

Strange behavior is nothing new in Washington DC.
Remember Nixon?
Anyway, revenge rarely solves anything or makes amends.
He’s gone, and the country is way better off without him in office.
Now if only the media would give up on SP.
We have too many problems that need solutions.

21 11 2008
nswfm CA

I’m not sure about comparing Palin to Stevens–didn’t he get a Harvard Law degree? I think even though he may be a crook, at least he can talk in complete sentences instead of Palin’s “Valley-speak.” Please let her get convicted, too. Also.

21 11 2008
halcrow

“…During the tribute, Stevens’ wife, Catherine, and his daughter Beth sat in the front row of the upper gallery of the Senate, surrounded by nearly 100 friends and staffers. Dozens more crowded in the seats lining the Senate chambers…”

What happens to his staffers? I presume that, after 40 years, some must also have some seniority and pension rights?

Dang, even if only 30 of them were Steven’s staff members, that’s a big organization (and quite a pension obligation).

Maybe the Asian emperors had the right idea? Their advisors and favourites were “invited” to join their lords and masters in the afterlife.

21 11 2008
SmallSteps in Blue VA

AKM – you are so awesome. The Shadow is one of my dear hubby’s favorite old time radio shows. And to learn that the new senator from Alaska celebrated his victory in one of my favorite Anchorage haunts – “The Snow City Cafe” was too cool. Pun intended. I wear my snow city cafe tee shirt often down here in VA. During the election it drew many comments, to which I would gladly explain that yes we had lived in Alaska. Yes it’s beautiful. Try and visit if you can – especially in winter as it is really beautiful in the snow and it’s a dry cold. Then I would also say, we had never voted for Sarah Palin and why. Just my chance to educate the lower-49 one voter at a time. 🙂

On the ovation: Strange things happen to people who come to Washington. Perhaps there’s something in the water here. Hopefully Senator Begich will drink bottled water🙂

21 11 2008
Newfoundland Dogs Rule

I don’t know but it seemed to me that most of the people praising Stevens and helping him leave in a good mood, were old white guys.

Not a club that I belong to or would want to belong to.

I wonder if they stood up and applauded thinking “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Or in English thank goodness no one has found out what I’ve done.

Not sure that made sense but hey.

21 11 2008
mhrt oregon

new blue blood in ak goverment……out with the old in with the new

21 11 2008
CRFlats

I know it’s hard to understand Stevens & Alaskans complicated relationship. He really is Uncle Ted, and we all have someone in our families we “put up with because…”. I would consider myself one of those vile “environmentalists” he derides pretty much every time he opens his mouth. But also a pragmatist; the more you know, the less black and white the issues are. I was born and raised here, as were my parents, and theirs. I live here and it is my personal base of power. For Stevens it is his basis of power, and he sometimes lives here. I’ll take him at his word when he says he loves Alaska. It’s just a different kind of love. I live in a small town, and we have received a few of his smaller “ear marks”. For that I am grateful, but of course, nothing in this life is free. By and large, Stevens did help the rural parts of our State when the State government would not, and continues to ignore its many problems. He has loomed large in the progress of Alaska Native’s lives. Again, there were many compromises, but also, many gains. Stevens, as demonstrated by his remarks, had important “institutional knowledge” about Alaska and how we got where we are today. It helps that Begich is no carpet bagger, and has some similar knowledge. Rural folks have learned to go to the Feds, i.e. Stevens for any help here. Now where to turn will be a real challenge. Our delegation, while hopefully improved in content, is diminished in real power. The Senate and House have their own rules, as obviously displayed in Stevens’ reception, and as complicated as our own dysfunctional Alaskan politics.

21 11 2008
robinshood2

Suchanut_AK (09:35:47) :

A standing ovation from the Senate of the United States of America! Why – because of their own hubris? It takes one to know one? They are all guilty of something so they celebrate a convicted felon?

****

snap and bingo!

21 11 2008
katiebegood

I have to say that I am highly disappointed at the Democrats in the Senate. Maybe the crop of new blood will help them get a spine and stand up for “we the people”. And Harry Reid has to go. He has done nothing for us and has done quite a lot to harm us.

AKM or some other person from Alaska. I have a question… Why is it that Alaska “owns” the oil that comes out of the ground you sit on? If you “own” that oil, then doesn’t Texas “own” the oil that comes out of their ground? It seems to me that all Americans own the oil that is beneath the surface of the earth. I’m wondering what legal precedent there was to set up your system of owning the oil and distributing profits from the oil to citizens of Alaska. Please don’t take this as a criticism, I’m just curious.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

When the oil comes from State owned land, the State receives royalty payments. No different than any other State or personally owned land. The State (under a very progressive R governor, Jay Hammond) set up the Permanent Fund to return a portion of the royalty to the people to the State. The rest goes to the general fund for State operations, a portion also saved for a “rainy day”. Palin will get to govern during a rainy day, should the price continue to drop.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

@Katie.. typo in my answer. “portion of the royalty to the people who live in the State”

21 11 2008
BigPete

Lieberman says people forget that politicians are normal people?
I would suggest that Joe is a constant reminder.

21 11 2008
waxman

I think this is the natural response when the man had already received what most felt was coming to him. I don’t think anyone felt that piling on was needed at that point. The fact that the jury and the voters took care of the “Dirty Work” freed people up to allow the negative issues to slide to the wayside.

In a situation like that, I think it is easier for people to stop and think back only about the good things – because the bad things have already been taken care of. I really do not know Ted, but I suspect that he did many good things for Alaska in all those years and I’m sure he made many friends in the senate as well. I don’t support the guy, but remember what it is that Barack has been campaigning on – finding a way to look past our differences and focus on those areas of common interest. I suspect that this is what you saw in the senate – people looking past their differences and focusing during that moment on their common interests.

Ted will get what he is coming through him. To be successful, Mark Begich will need to find a way to be not only a senator to those who elected him, but those who voted for and stood behind Ted. That will only work if he – and his supporters – recognize that the time for anger is past and the time to focus on common interests is now.

Let it go – he is no longer Uncle Ted – He is Citizen Ted – he is Felon Ted – his words no longer carry weight – he is just another old guy who sees the world differently than you do – and that probably wont ever change – and frankly, it won’t matter that it doesn’t

21 11 2008
tree fitz

It is likely Ted received many unreported gifts.he only got prosecuted for altest. Do others suspect,as I do that the bridge to nowhere was his downfall?

I read about him balfou using his power to make whole country pay for bridge and it looked,to me, like raw power out of control,like he couldn’ t stop grasping and showing off. Also his ego run Amun. I think he attracted attention with that overreach which lead to his downfall.

On the ovation. Humans need ritual. The guy was member for forty years! The institution said goodbye. I think it is right to say goodbye

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

halcrow (09:45:52) :

What happens to his staffers? I presume that, after 40 years, some must also have some seniority and pension rights?

I am not sure, although my brother-in-law who has lived in DC for 15+ years says, after general elections, for sale signs spring up overnight. Staffers may have pension rights, but they are hired by each congressional office, and not the federal government. New congress men/women are under no obligation to hire any of them.

BTW- Both the Denver Post and CNN reported that approximately only 1/4 of the Senate body was in attendance at Stevens’ speech- most were his family, supporters, and staff.

Perhaps the other tributes were to past contributions; I also read that Rep. Dingell was replaced by Waxman as head of the House Energy Committee, Sen. Byrd stepped down from his chairmanship, John Warner (VA) retired as did Domineci (NM) and Regula (OH)- maybe the old lions awere acknowledging an end of an era.

21 11 2008
fawnskin hussein mudpuppy

a quite eloquent response, waxman

21 11 2008
halcrow

@ CO Almost Native (10:10:36) :

Thank you for the informative response.

21 11 2008
ThirtyFiveUp

Not Ted Stevens; Senators.

Members of this exclusive society love it and themselves. So, all are precious, all are desirable.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

Well said, waxman. It will be interesting to watch if Ted can be introduced and accept Citizen Ted. Felon Ted will have a couple more days in court.

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

CRFlats (10:04:24) :

Colorado gets royalties also, although they are apportioned to counties that are heavily impacted, and some is put into the General Fund. The Democratic governor and Legislature are trying (well, the Repugs want he oil/gas to keep most, some to roads and the rest in individual pockets) to create a steady revenue stream into our Rainy Day Fund and increase funding for higher education. The state is also fighting the Bush administration that just issued new (cheap) royalty percentage from oil shale.

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

waxman (10:08:47) :

clap clap clap clap…bravo!

21 11 2008
GJ in ID

It must take and old lion to celebrate and old lion…even an old felon lion. Will it end soon, all this just makes me tired. I can hardly wait for the new year and a fresh start.

21 11 2008
the problem child (a jerk, also)

On 1/4 of Senators in attendance. How many Senators are normally in attendance?

I think this may have been a case of 1) leadership has to be there for the retirement of a long-serving member 2) Old friends and fellow party members want to be there 3) about 3/4 of the Senate either had to wash its hair or was following the rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

21 11 2008
Vlad the I'm Palin

I wouldn’t allow about 98% of politicians inside my home, nor give them the time of day. Respect is earned, not carelessly given. If these creeps show no respect for the office to which they’ve been elected nor to those who elected them into it, they should be scorned and dumped.

21 11 2008
ED

And the worst thing — even if you did move to Canada you probably would have been so ashamed you’d still wear the bag over your head.

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

the problem child (a jerk, also) (10:29:39)

It depends on the occasion; if there is a filibuster, maybe only the one talking (99 are sleeping, checking email at their offices…) Opening and closing of a session, everyone- same for important votes.

21 11 2008
jadewillowmilian

With over 40 years in office, he just FORGOT to disclose 250,000 worth of gifts, yeah right

Goodbye Uncle Ted, the people of Alaska gave you a retirement gift and a birthday gift all at once.

2 for 1, or steal– You like those don’t Ted?

http://www.buzzword101.com

21 11 2008
nswfm CA

Evidently, there is more to come with ConvicTed:

http://washingtonindependent.com/19605/a-petty-ending-to-stevens-career

Involves Ben Stevens, too.

21 11 2008
Rob in Ca

No one is all good or all bad, and we don’t have to measure the good versus the bad with every statement we make.

So I see nothing wrong, and a lot right, with applause and tributes to a man who has certainly done a lot of good things for an amazing number of years. There was no need to say “thanks, BUT you are a felon” The voters already effectively said that.

Gracious treatment was in order. Now, reality sets in as he continues to deal with the legal issues, as he should. Whether the end result is prison, or vindication, or something in between, let us simply hope that it is justice. Let us in fact work toward that by continuing to pursue full disclosure and transparency, not only for Stevens, but for all our politicians.

We have the right to expect that they operate morally and ethically even when our backs are turned. Stevens failed that test.

21 11 2008
Martha Unalaska Yard Sign

For the last couple of months I have stood by with my jaw dropping at the behavior of our Governor on the campaign trail, then back in Alaska with no remorse. My jaw stayed open when Alaska ALMOST voted Ted Stevens back into office. I have a sore jaw now – and also a growing penchant to break the law here in Juneau to see what happens. While they are trying to arrest me (I’ll make sure it is a victimless crime!) I will say ” NO! I am not convicted yet, my peers are nowhere to be seen, and I will claim as much damn per diem as I want from my business for living in my own house!”

What are they gonna do? Sick the Legislature on me – the lawmaker group who is willing to let bygones be bygones? Sorry – if they want to determine whether SP is breaking the law, or who lied in Troopergate, then they can just leave me and my crimes alone as well.

I’m not very happy being an Alaskan these days – and I’m sure glad I don’t have young children, to whom I would have to explain all this law breaking and dodging by our government to. I’m thoroughly disgusted and am not going to sit by quietly and take this BS.

21 11 2008
portland orgon native

Well said waxman!
It is time for all of us to move on. Ted doesn’t matter any more and neither do many of his cronies.
We will all have to work extra hard to make our country work well again and it it past time to get started!

21 11 2008
Mae

At least his speech wasn’t scheduled for after the holidays.

Out with the old in with the new.
Alaska is changing to blue, one Congressperson at a time…

21 11 2008
Hope

Martha Unalaska Yard Sign (10:57:01) :
For the last couple of months I have stood by with my jaw dropping at the behavior of our Governor on the campaign trail, then back in Alaska with no remorse.

***
I’m with you, Martha! I’m wanting to DO something that matters and that makes a difference. Sometimes I feel there’s a “piling on” feeling to some of this SP talk, and it bothers me – not because I disagree with it, but because it is just the thing that is not going to work. I just want to come up with SOMETHING to DO that will get the change going.

It feels like everything is so polarized, I keep wondering if the Alaska legislature is hoping to have that harsh polarity ease somewhat before they get back together in January and start taking things seriously in a bipartisan way, and not in a “get what’s’ername” attack. That’s how she wants to be able to frame it, and she’ll continue to do that successfully if we all remain so divided and immutable and combative.

I wonder — if we let the reasonable Repub. Alaskans, who can now listen “safely” to her, just listen, and start to hear what she’s really like, rather than just hearing her voice, seeing her face or knees and jumping to cheer or defend without listening, then maybe these things can eventually be addressed legally and in a linear, deliberate way. I really think MOST Alaskans were completely unaware until this VP fiasco, what she was up to or who she was. I think it’s out of the bag now, and even blind supporters, if given the chance, would admit they didn’t know who she was before. It just is going to take some time for them to be allowed, out of the heat of battle, to admit it.

The key, I think, is that we don’t let this slide once things calm down. I think the adrenaline is still pumping, on both sides, and it needs to subside before we can work together to get serious about what’s best for Alaska. I think my personal job is maybe to calm my own adrenaline, while keeping the hope of justice and honesty in the front of my vision and finding every opportunity to work toward it even after things are starting to “get back to normal.” I am not much for confrontation, and I know it will be a temptation for me to let it drop, once I’m not being brutally attacked by it every day, but I know I CAN’T let it. I can’t. It’ll be harder to work toward justice with a peaceful mind, but it’ll work better.

Fellow Alaskans, I know AKM will keep us apprized of news, and I’ll be checking in with Shannyn and others, but I would really like to start working together systematically to keep in touch with the legislature and each other in a way that isn’t divisive, but IS decisive and practical to make a difference in the way voting and politics are done in Alaska in the future. Any ideas? Suggestions?

HOPE!

21 11 2008
Lee

AKM:
Thank you for your essay. It is very sad that a lifetime of work ends this way. I feel that the reaction of the senate, and especially the old lions, is that old saw, “But for the grace of God, there go I”. They have all done things that could end them up right where Ted is, and they all know it. They are subject to the human condition of making a poor judgement, just as the rest of us are, only more of us bite the dust.

I wish Uncle Ted a happy retirement, and time to reflect on what might have been.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

IMHO, the NUMBER ONE lesson learned from Stevens and his ilk (no doubt many in the august chamber) is that power corrupts. I do not believe the founding fathers thought we would have life time appointments to the Senate. In todays world, once you’re in, you have to screw up pretty badly to get tossed out.

Here’s where you can help: TERM LIMITS!!!!
CHANGE THAT MATTERS. NOW.

Pass it on.

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

The final salute generally tends to be respectful.

Looking forward to leaders who will take care of me and my relations and the place in which we inhabit.

21 11 2008
halcrow

@ CRFlats (11:45:48) :

Very pertinent, and pithely put.

There are far too many political dynasties which are allowed to flourish these days (and it’s not just the Bush’s in the USA; there are also second- and third-generation congressmen and senators).

And I’m not pointing the finger just at the USA; it’s now becoming a problem in Canada, the UK, and other democratic nations.

Most of us did away with our kings, queens and the hereditary titled decades ago…why then do we allow political office be passed down through families and those families’ many generations?

21 11 2008
Greytdog

The standing ovation was simply their way of saying “oh thank god, they haven’t found out about me!”

21 11 2008
Martha Unalaska Yard Sign

@ Hope

Thank you! I, too am usually willing to live and let live – but this is not a time for me to be that way regarding our state government. I have felt the need to write (yet another) letter – this time to all of our Legislators – spelling out why I, as an Alaskan, am not ready to attend to business as usual come January. How can we trust anything our Gov says or does? In that stupid turkey video, she talks again about “reigning in govt spending”, while she is completely remorseless about taking per diem and reimbursements for family travel (at the very minimum). I know everyone is anxious to get the gas pipeline figured out, but how can I be behind ANYTHING our Gov is doing when I don’t trust a thing out of her mouth? I live in Juneau, and we’ll be beset with the new session very soon – and I have absolutely NO TRUST in anything happening at the Capitol Bldg until this is settled with SP. Who was lying in Troopergate? Is she still planning to collect reimbursements which are not ethical? Are her Commissioners and idiot AG going to continue to be behind the scenes attack dogs for her? And that jerk Frank Bailey is still around, and is the dodging subpoenas question going to get answered? What about all the ethics complaints? I really do feel like breaking the law myself just so I can say “F you”, like she is doing to us.

So, I don’t have any brilliant ideas at the moment but I am planning a long (and more sensible, less emotional) letter to the Legislators before session. This stuff must be figured out – we are a laughingstock in the nation and as an Alaskan, I feel very betrayed and completely unable to trust our govt right now. I’m not usually like this – but as I look toward January I just keep getting angrier and angrier. I can’t be the only Alaskan that feels this way! I want a real Governor, not a joke. And the same goes for our lawmakers. My mother worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the state in the 80s, and I spent a lot of time at the Capitol Bldg and around the lawyers and legislators in Juneau. Gov Hammond was there then, and he would roll over in his grave to see the likes of SP in office. The AG at that time was Willson Condon, one of the most intelligent, thoughtful and effective attorneys the state ever had. I was proud to live in Juneau, I was proud to be an Alaskan. Gov Hammond always had a big smile and a huge hello whenever I saw him – grace, humor and critical thinking were only a few of his great qualities. How can I compare SP to this Alaskan giant? She doesn’t deserve to sit in his chair. Get her out, now!

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

Hope,

I wish our Governor and the Legislature would start by paying attention to the Alaska Marine Highway System. We need three new ferries and regular, reliable, affordable service. And I wish they would set real reform as to state government earmarks and spending–making certain that communities (and legislators) have real hearings and set real priorities and that the process is open and transparent and inclusive. And the State pays less attention to special interest lobbyists…

Oh, as I write this, I realize there is little hope at the State level right now…

21 11 2008
Martha Unalaska Yard Sign

And good riddance to Ex Senator Stevens – should have happened long ago. He’s got two stories and all sorts of goodies at home in Girdwood now so he can just invite his whack job supporters over for some moose stew and let ’em sit in the sauna.

21 11 2008
SoCal Bob

So many members of congress think they are above, or at least smarter than the law. Cunningham, Stevens, etc. We deserve better from those we trust. Seeing one fall is bitter sweet though.

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

That last comment @Martha also.

21 11 2008
Hope

Martha!

TOTALLY AGREE!! If I could figure out how to work the forum, maybe we could talk about this and organize something. I’ve got a group of people down here on the Peninsula who are up for working toward solutions! I’d love to work together with you and others in Juneau and around the state!! How do we go about talking personally?

HOPE!

Are you registered to use the Forum? If so, click on the button that says “Alaska Lodge.” You can create a new subject and give it a title. Then you, and others can gather there and have a discussion about this. And there is good news coming soon on this front. Hang in there a couple more days! 😉 You may email me or send a pm (personal message) to me on the Forum if you have any questions. AKM

21 11 2008
Mired...in the Pine Barrens

“As I listened to him recount his experiences taking Alaska from a fledgling state with little infrastructure, to where it is today…I had a moment of sadness. What a way to end his career. What a stupid mistake. What a shame.” — AKM

Perhaps the tribute paid to Stevens was simply an expression of what you and many of us have felt at times–a moment of sadness and nostalgia. No doubt most of the Senators in attendance were fellow Repubs who have valued his friendship over many years. Stevens demise is stupid, disgraceful and sad, but pity is not a tribute.

21 11 2008
Lamont

When Kennedy (vehicular manslaughter) goes, he will get the same treatment.

When Byrd (Former Klan member) goes, he will get the same treatment.

The Senate is a club and it is much more collegial than we see on television.

21 11 2008
Martha Unalaska Yard Sign

@ Hope

I haven’t tried the forum yet, but send me an email at mtoonster at hotmail.com so we can connect via email at least. I have to run out for several hours. but would LOVE to figure out how we can put some pressure on. And Howling Wolf Pup is right, too – we have so many local and rural issues to address. It’s not as though I want the Leg to tie up their whole session with straightening out the mess with SP, but how can we have effective govt if this circus continues? SP has so many personal agendas it is impossible for her to speak, or govern, for the rest of the state. If it doesn’t involve personal gain for her, forget it. Ferries? Why? She doesn’t even travel in southeast and probably doesn’t know what a ferry looks like on the inside. Sorry, I’m ranting again. Off topic and mad.

Martha, see my answer to HOPE above! AKM

21 11 2008
CRFlats

When I watched the Senate and Stevens, I noticed they wheeled Sen. Byrd in right up front. He is 91, for christsakes! Stevens is the longest serving Dem, but Byrd is the longest serving of all. You don’t have to agree or disagree with these guy’s politics to see this is a corrupt system. We really must take it back.

TERM LIMITS!!

It must be for every state in the Union. Will require a Constitutional Amendment. But why not try? We have it now for the Pres. We need it at least for the Senate. Three term Senators should be able to get done what
needs to be done in 18 yrs of public duty.

21 11 2008
Goalie in NM

He is the embodiment of why there should be strict term limitations. Forty years is obscene. He got too comfortable and sat way too long in the I’m entitled to it office.

I honestly don’t know why the Senate felt they had to honor a dishonorable man in this fashion – I suppose they must have each seen a little bit of him in themselves to do so.

21 11 2008
SMR

Interesting piece about the Begich appeal to Native Alaskans. Not coincidentally it also reflects poorly on our state gov……….

http://alaskareport.com/news1108/x61775_begich_treaty.htm

21 11 2008
Lulu

CR Flats wrote: “Stevens is the longest serving Dem, but Byrd is the longest serving of all.”

Isn’t Stevens a Repub?

21 11 2008
Scott Palin

Fellow Mudpuppies!

I am so glad that the comments were not all negative. I know very little about Stevens, only what I have learned since joining those who play in the mud. I figure that in the 40 years he has served you up there in AK, he must have done some good.

If he has been doing these things for 40 years and just finally got caught – that would be different. (And maybe that is the case)

And as mentioned before, this is a new time dawning for us. There is hope in the air and a feeling of pride resurfacing. It’s not just here in USA, it’s a world wide occurrence. I am so excited about the future being manifested now by us and our children.

Looking forward to Mudstock IV!!

21 11 2008
Lulu

@Martha, and @Hope. I share your sense of wanting to take action and do constructive things. I am not in Alaska, but MoveOn has been sending out grassroots party invitations related to issues to work on, as a follow-up to the election. I think the first parties are this week. Perhaps they could help you up there (or maybe if they are already working up there they could be a structure to mobilize with you and help?)

21 11 2008
Gizmo

The real problem here is the clubby insider atmosphere in the Senate. The place needs a massive dose of Clorox. All kinds of bad legislation happens because the Senators are too interested in fostering their congenial relations with each other, when they ought to be tending to the people’s business.

21 11 2008
SMR

@Lulu —

yes, he is the republican-est of republicans, minus the crazy religious stuff.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

So Sorry. Of course Stevens is a Republican. I was thinking of Bird when I was typing. Gotta work on the hand/mind coordination thing!

21 11 2008
katiebegood

CRFlats (10:04:24) :

When the oil comes from State owned land, the State receives royalty payments. No different than any other State or personally owned land. The State (under a very progressive R governor, Jay Hammond) set up the Permanent Fund to return a portion of the royalty to the people to the State. The rest goes to the general fund for State operations, a portion also saved for a “rainy day”. Palin will get to govern during a rainy day, should the price continue to drop.

I guess what I was wondering is why this isn’t the situation in the other states with a lot of oil. Texas doesn’t put oil revenues in a special fund for their citizens and they don’t put oil revenues into their general fund. I don’t know of any state that does it except for Alaska. I wonder why that is. What’s different?

21 11 2008
El from Saskatchewan

Is Catherine originally from Alaska?

I looked up the age of senators on wilkepedia the other day. From what I have learned about the US senate, taking on the old boys network would be tough to do. Term limits would definitely help. Earmark reform would also help. And the right to chair committees simply by seniority is not helpful. I wonder which you could tackle successfully. From a Canadian just learning.

21 11 2008
GJ in ID

It is a sad, sad day when the best of the MNM is the defeat of felons and turkeys. I am swearing off of CNN for the rest of the day, as every time I tune in the turkeys are being slaughtered as the AK Gov double speaks of I know not what, also.

Some where the sun is shining, some where skys are bright….

I’ll come back later, hopefully when all is right
And very, very blue!

21 11 2008
Lin in AZ

I watched Stevens on the senate floor last year throwing a tantrum because he was not getting his way; it was shameful, and I remember thinking that it would be so wrong for him to scream and make threats. If I did that at work, I wouldn’t expect to come back the next day.

21 11 2008
katiebegood

Lamont (12:18:53) :
When Kennedy (vehicular manslaughter) goes, he will get the same treatment.
When Byrd (Former Klan member) goes, he will get the same treatment.
The Senate is a club and it is much more collegial than we see on television.

The difference is that Kennedy and Byrd have made amends and have gone on to live exemplary lives.

Stevens, on the other hand, to this day insists he did nothing wrong. About the only thing he has done for the last 40 years of his life was to bring home the bacon for Alaska. It is now and it has always been about power and money for Uncle Ted.

21 11 2008
Aeroentropy

I was browsing through the precinct-by-precinct voting results the other day, and happened to notice that Girdwood voted more than 2 to 1 for Obama, and those numbers don’t include the absentee ballots, which were sorted only by district. I wonder how the neighborhood reception will be for citizen Stevens!

http://www.elections.alaska.gov/08general/data/sovc/hd32.pdf

21 11 2008
GJ in ID

@katiebegood

Most states don’t have 70% public land. AK is a very big state which is mostly either federal or state owned property.

21 11 2008
Political Amazon

I’m not motivated by sentimentality towards someone who has a history of working for interests who gave him money, abusing his position of power that his Alsaskan constituents gave to him with their votes.

In fact, I would like him to spend time in jail for his felonies. If we do not make examples out of politicians who get caught and are actually convicted, then there is less deterant to other politicians who are tempted to commit felonies against their constituents.

Otherwise, once his felonies are paid off to society, I hope he has a good life in his retirement. I won’t begrudge him the use of his felony-built house, as long as he has paid back society for his abuse of power.

Who knows? He may look back at this in a year and be quite happy it turned out as it did. Some doors cannot be opened until others are firmly closed beind you. There may be new endeavors for Stevens that he never would have had time for as a Senator.

21 11 2008
Hope

Lulu (12:47:29) :

Thanks for that info, Lulu. I did get one of those emails, but was out of town. By the time I answered, it was too late. I hope more will be forthcoming! I like that idea very much! Thank you! Have you been involved there where you live with these meetings?

HOPE

21 11 2008
nswfm CA

Lin in AZ (13:06:19) :

I watched Stevens on the senate floor last year throwing a tantrum because he was not getting his way; it was shameful, and I remember thinking that it would be so wrong for him to scream and make threats. If I did that at work, I wouldn’t expect to come back the next day.

I think I saw that with my 70 yo mom when we were watching The Daily Show. If I remember correctly, he was screaming “NO” several times, and I think it was about the Bridge to Nowhere. We looked at each other after seeing that and said, “that guy is nuts!” That was probably our first exposure to AK politics although I do remember thinking, “good, Murkowski’s out!” Little did I know what a nut Caribou Barbie would be.

Also, term limits haven’t necessarily been that great for us in CA–nothing seems to get done to fix the problems, because the new people have to get up the learning curve. Maybe we should extend the state terms to 18 years–that would be long enough to get up the curve, in my opinion.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

Katie, We also had this wonderful governor by the name of Jay Hammond. He was a Republican who respected the environment, loved Alaska, was married to an Alaska Native, lived a remote rural lifestyle, was an eloquent speaker, and really paid attention. He set up the Permanent Fund to make sure all the oil revenues were not squandered. Part for a rainy day, part for the general fund, and the most unique aspect, part given annually to the citizens directly. We became a “Citizen Owned State”. He was familiar with the legislature, having served there for many years before becoming our Gov.

The PFD we receive fluctuates, but is based on an average, and usually is about $1000, tho with prices up, lately we have received more. It really puts a boost into the local and state economy every year. It is huge in the smaller communities, and especially for those in need. It also helps our non-profit organizations who receive a spike in donations that time of year.

21 11 2008
Hope

Aeroentropy (13:11:02) :

I noticed that while helping count and double-check the Nov. 4 votes in Anchorage. I got a real kick out of it, I hate to admit. Girdwood is a pretty cool place! Blue and cool!! That’s the first place I got great encouraging smiles and thumbs up for my Obama buttons.

I really appreciate this discussion today! Lots of good, thoughtful analysis of the reasons for this kind of “farewell,” and why it might happen – what it means to the way our institutions work for and against the good of the rest of us. Thanks, everybody! I keep thinking of a wonderful insight in Shannyn Moore’s blog yesterday. It stuns me every time I think of it:

“I wasn’t born in the 60s, but I know what race baiting is. I know the public executions of JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, and RFK – all in a five year span – drove the American progressive movement into a coma for nearly 40 years. A once empowered, liberal generation sat like Terry Schaivo watching balloons float by; Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. Wars, the corporate job-exporting economy, the perilous environment, expanded human rights violations, erosion of civil rights, The US Constitution compromised; none of it registered due to blunt force trauma on the American psyche.”

I think that paragraph says more than anything else I’ve read about how I’ve felt coming out of that coma this election. It’s not a comfortable coming out, but it’s got so much hope to it finally! THANK YOU, Shannyn for articulating it!

HOPE

21 11 2008
Lin in AZ

In Arizona, our legislators get around term limits by going back and forth between house and senate when they hit a term limit; it happens quite a lot. As bad as it sounds, I think there should be a retirement age or some kind of age limit…like you can’t run if you will be over 75 when the term starts. If someone wants to stay involved and help so badly, let them do volunteer work.

21 11 2008
InJuneau

El from Saskatchewan (13:03:14) :

Who, Catherine Stevens? I think she might be; I know she has other relatives here in the state, though I don’t know if she was born here.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

GJ in ID (13:12:11) :

@katiebegood

Most states don’t have 70% public land. AK is a very big state which is mostly either federal or state owned property.

***************

This was one of Steven’s most persuasive arguments regarding Alaska’s earmarks: The Statehood Act did not relinquish enough of Alaska back to the newly formed State of Alaska, thereby crippling the State’s economic future. He felt the Federal Government still owed much to the State of Alaska for having had to relinquish so much to obtain Statehood. It was a very heated battle right up to the early 80’s when the last of the land was decided (between Native claims, State & Fed). The Federal Government set aside the largest parks in the country (effectively doubling the Nat’l park holdings). Stevens carried that around with him his whole career. Many Alaskans agree with him on this point. Alaska may receive more than its share, but the argument can be made, Alaska has given up more than others for it’s Star on the Flag.

21 11 2008
InJuneau

@Aeroentropy (13:11:02) : and Hope (13:35:58) :

Ah, yes, Girdwood, which, as I recall, was the only precinct in the ENTIRE U.S. to give the majority of their votes to Ralph Nadar in 2004!! What an interesting place it must be, and such an odd choice for Stevens to call home…

21 11 2008
Texas Girl

Waxman, well said! I think the Senators were applauding one of their own to recognize a long career. Although the court has found him guilty and the voters have sent him packing, he has been a member of the Senate for a very long time and the applause was in recognition of that time and service. It was the right time to be gracious.

I see it much like a retirement party for someone at a company. The person retiring might be a high up muckety-muck and you might not be fond of them. In fact, they may have treated you poorly at some point or done some questionable things. But everyone is going to the party and someone gives a speech and people applaud. So you do too because it’s polite and it’s not nice to embarrass the retiring person with their family present. But you’re really thinking, “Thank goodness he’s going.”

But if you’re one of the other executives still hanging around who is maybe about the same age as the person who is retiring, you’re seeing your life in theirs and wondering if you’ll get a retirement party and how it’ll all work out. So you clap that little bit harder – partly for the person retiring and partly for yourself. I think that’s partly what was behind all of that.

It’s time to move on. He’s not Uncle Ted. He’s just former Senator Stevens. The times they are a changing.

21 11 2008
Miemaw from Texas

The end of an era is always sad.

However, let’s face it. The United States Senate is not the world’s “Greatest Deliberative Body” it is one of the world’s largest caucasion millionaire’s club.

They were saluting one of their own, in their own inimitable way.

Made me nauseous.

21 11 2008
CRFlats

@Hope
I read Shannyn’s post, and cracked up!! Was the best thing I’ve read in ages. She gave us all a great perspective from her age, time and place, and with such humor and wit. I’m hooked, and will be checking her blog regularly. Today I had some time to comment, but usually only read. The political season really cut into my productivity on all fronts. Trying without much success to wean myself from the “series of tubes”.

21 11 2008
UK Lady

Hhhhmmmmmmmmm……………

Witness changes tune in Stevens Trial …………….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/21/stevens-trial-witness-say_n_145583.html

What do you make of this mudpups????

21 11 2008
El from Saskatchewan

Thank you InJuneau for answering my question about Catherine Stevens. I just wondered how happy she would be moving to her ‘chalet in Girdwood’. Has anybody ever seen any pictures of their home in Washington? Although they are from Alaska and love the state, I imagine their life will be quite different back home.

21 11 2008
Trini

I suppose that the senate gave a big whoosh of relief that they didn’t have to get down and dirty and kick him out. It’s a more congenial gesture to give him a standing O than to go to a vote to expell one of their own.

What is that turkey machine? What does it do? Turkey goes in alive and comes out dead. I’m sorry, OT, but I really was wondering.

21 11 2008
InJuneau

El–

Don’t know what the house in D.C. looks like, but I’d bet it’s fancier than the chalet. Catherine has been a lawyer with a big D.C. firm for years I think, so it will be interesting to see if she moves back and works for a firm in AK or stays a part of the D.C. one. Time will tell…

21 11 2008
AZ Mom

i was a bit snarky that they took 2 hours to say “goodbye” – 2 HOURS! i know it’s a lame duck administration at this point, most of the government is sort of on standby. to good GRIEF! couldn’t they take the guy out for a snort after the people’s business was done for the day? that’s the way it works for those average “joe” americans who’ve just been laid off. no boss is haulting work for two freaking business hours to say, “happy trails! here’s your pink slip!”

21 11 2008
InJuneau

@UK Lady (14:19:19) :

Here is a somewhat more detailed article on the Stevens’s trial witness:

http://www.adn.com/news/politics/fbi/stevens/story/597491.html

Don’t know what to make of it…

21 11 2008
mhrt oregon

@Hope and Martha
it’s prabably easier to get into the forum then you think…..
1…you need to sign up
2..you will get back a email to comfirm you address and password….I think your pass word needs 8 spaces…
mine came back pretty quick……….
but mine went right in to the JUNK mail
once you get logged in there are always lots of people to help you ….just like here…and there is lots of fun things to do there
I think you shoud jump in and give it a try…this is the first blog that I have been on….so I am still lost….I usually just look for a name that I know….GoodLuck

21 11 2008
UK Lady

Thanks for link Injuneau, this gets murkier by the day. So Anderson is admitting to perjury then? does this mean a retrial? Alaska seems to have a lot of convoluted relationships.

21 11 2008
Charles II

The standing ovation was professional courtesy.
Doctors give one another free medical assistance.
Lawyers give one another free legal advice.
And criminals give one another standing ovations.

21 11 2008
A Fan From Chicago

When our elected officials abuse their office or profit from it they deserve our anger and scorn. But let’s don’t paint them all with broad strokes. Are some egotistical, ambitious, cunning, vengeful and out to get theirs? For sure. But a lot of them are good people trying to do good work.

I’ve worked for them in Illinois – Adlai Stevenson, Paul Simon, Dick Durbin and several others.

I was on Senator Simon’s staff and he worked seven days a week. As a consequence so did I but that’s not the point. Four or five days in D.C. and then weekends running around the state. Pretty much non-stop

Durbin lives in a small townhouse in D.C. with Chuck Shumer and two Congressmen. Two of them sleep on hide-a-beds. Not exactly a millionaire life style.

Do we need reforms? For sure. Term limits? Good question, the jury is out. Does money corrupt and does the ability to self finance skew the results? No question.

But I think we need to acknowledge that in some places, big and small, really good people who had to go through the crucible of running for public office, actually are doing it for the right reasons.

For all the time and effort we’ve put into helping Obama and everyone else we helped this season how could we think otherwise.

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

Geithner, Clinton, Richardson in as Secretaries of Treasury, State, and Commerce!!
Oh, the winds of change blow sweetly.

21 11 2008
whabs

@Vlad the I’m Palin (10:33:13) :
RE:I wouldn’t allow about 98% of politicians inside my home, nor give them the time of day. Respect is earned, not carelessly given. If these creeps show no respect for the office to which they’ve been elected nor to those who elected them into it, they should be scorned and dumped.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I completely concur. I am tired of it all. A criminal is a criminal. That we allow those with status off the hook needs to end. PERIOD.
When will people and politicians learn?

21 11 2008
banjobailey

A Fan from Chicago: You knew Adlai Stevenson? Oh my God! Me too! I am thrilled to know someone else who knew this absolutely incredible human being. And, oh, how I miss him. I only knew him through my relative who was a Senator from the state of Washington and, as a consequence, I had many family gatherings and political gatherings where Democrats of that time
instructed me, as an eager child, in the ways of true American democracy.
Up until Obama, everything has felt as if it was a “pale rider” compared to these titans. I would hope that people would acquaint themselves with Stevenson these days and look to his words and his life for inspiration.

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

Can anyone say Grijalva?? Or sensible environmentalist?? Hope this hurts a little, Ted. But you’ll see, it’ll be better in the long run.

Here’s the latest on Interior. (5 minutes ago from the Washington Post)

“By Juliet Eilperin
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has emerged as a leading contender for Interior Secretary in the next administration, according to sources familiar with the transition.

Grijalva’s experience and background meshes nicely with some of the Obama team’s top requirements. The son of a migrant worker who grew up in Tucson, Grijalva boasts a strong environmental record and chairs the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

Choosing the congressman, who was just re-elected to his fifth term, would please both Latino advocates and the environmental community. Grijalva boasts a 95 percent lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters, and he oversaw a federal study that linked oil and gas development on public lands with the decline in Western hunting habitat. He has also questioned the cheap grazing permits the Interior Department has leased to ranchers in the West…”

21 11 2008
InJuneau

@Howling Wolf Pup (15:44:05) :

Ooo, he sounds like a good one. Gree-hal-va?

21 11 2008
Sarge

I did not know this – the man was a Flying Tiger. He, like Randy “Duke” Cunningham sacificed their glory and honor to the lure of greed. I want term limits. Nobody should be in Washington making decisions for that long. The
chance of it being done nationally is zero. We must get it on a referendum.
Please go after that in Alaska. I will do so in Indiana.

Sarge
Indianapolis

21 11 2008
Howling Wolf Pup

Sounds good to me, In Juneau. I still choke on “Kempthorne”.

21 11 2008
Pacificnwgal

I would like to feel gracious for Steven’s long service, but that is about it. At 85, it is really time to think about stepping down anyway. I would like to be really busy at 85 too, but not if I am a detriment to the country and my constituents. I think that it is appalling that he was allowed to run for any government position after he was convicted. It is a mockery of our justice system. Perhaps if he were truly exonerated then he could run again or be reinstated. But, a standing ovation under the circumstances just says cronyism to me.

21 11 2008
j faith l

I think it is unconscionable for all those Democrats to praise Stevens so much, especially since he stands against so many of our principles…(leaving aside the convictions). He obtained a lot for Alaska, but he is still a crook. If he were a Democrat you can be certain there wouldn’t be accolades from the Republicans, they would still be spitting vitriol.

21 11 2008
Lana, KY

Trini (14:37:46) :

I could be mistaken, but I believe that fellow beheads the turkey and it is bled out in that machine. Ummmmmm.

21 11 2008
LJR

9 out of 10 of those senators know damn well that they’re just as guilty as Stevens. They don’t consider him guilty, just dumb for getting caught. Let’s face it, the stuff he was convicted on was pretty small change compared to what someone like Cheney has pulled off. Stevens was getting old and senile and started to believe he was too big to fail. How many of us believe the Senate is filled with men and women who are above accepting undocumented partisan favors? I see one hand out there.

The Senate is an “old boys” club. Always will be. “There but for the grace of god and a good attorney, go I” types.

21 11 2008
Greytdog

Yeah the turkey is semi-beheaded, placed in the machine where the rest is ground down to make sure there are no sharp boney ends on the turkey neck. It was a funny interview – the guy with the turkey was a riot. And listening to Morning Joe and Pat Buchanan today made it even funnier. City kids! (and no, I’m not against a more humane way of butchering, it was the reaction of the city folks to the How their food appears on the table is what made me laugh. . . akin to city kids being surprised the milk originally comes from a cow, not a bottle. . . )

21 11 2008
A Fan From Chicago

Banjo– My Adlai is Stevenson III – former Senator from 1970-1982. Two time candidate for governor. Probably stolen the first time and craziness ensued with Lyndon LaRouche candidates next time.

When I read comments about how crazy and corrupt and familial Ak politics are (OK he’s AES III I get it) I just shake my head. We in Illinois have the corner on the market.

21 11 2008
Denise sansMSgaAZca

I know the impetus to wear a bag over your head or move to Canada. It began with the 2004 Bush election. I felt . . . despondent. And then I came to believe the election may not have been above board yet again.

So I had a semi-plan in place for a radical Canadian change (including having done initial job hunting) just in case it seemed the election had once again been suspect. I just couldn’t take it a third time.

Instead, Alaskans and AKM and Mudflatters gave me a ringside seat to activism. And then there’s Obama. Coming from the deep south, I can honestly say I never dreamed it was possible. But am so damn glad. And . . . hopeful.

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

Lin in AZ (13:38:10) :

Co has term limits, too- both state legislature, and there’s been a periodic push for federal congressional offices; our state officials go back and forth also. The limits are rather draconian, and that causes problems. Because it takes a couple of terms to learn/understand the state legislative system, the legislative memory is not passed down, and there’s little mentoring. Lots of egos- And lobbyists have more power than the legislators. It has caused problems by encouraging a plethora of conflicting constitutional amendments, as legislators are often too political, when they serve few terms; special interests get fed up and petition onto the ballot. Our constitution is a mess-

I would like to see reasonable term limits- maybe three to four terms, depending on how long terms are. I also agree an upper age limit would be good- 75 sounds fine.

On the federal level, all states should have the same limits; otherwise, the states with term limits would be at a distinct disadvantage vs. those with none, and therefore members with more seniority.

Another great solution: a vigilant electorate.

21 11 2008
portland orgon native

I can’t find any pictures but the Stevens’ do have a house in DC, a condo in Anchorage, and a condo in Florida!
Ben’s next…what a legacy, putting you child in jail.

21 11 2008
CO Almost Native

A Fan From Chicago (15:17:20) :

You listed some great legislators- don’t forget the late Mo Udall from AZ, and the late Paul Wellstone from MN. It is easy to forget there have been true statesmen and women who have served, when confronted with the bad apples.
We need to remember: lazy, apathetic voters allow corruption to flourish.

As I said earlier today, only 1/4 of the Senators were present for Stevens’ speech; most attending were staff, family , and friends.

As far as corruption, IL is at the top, but I don’t know if your state beats LA.

21 11 2008
Vlad the ImPalin

I love editor Graydon Carter’s letters in Vanity Fair. He certainly nailed the sheeple who admire Sarah Palin. From this month’s editor’s letter:

“This election has told us a lot about who we are and who we will become. We used to be a nation of citizens. To our political and business leaders, we have more recently been valued only as “the American Consumer”—a fat-assed mass of easily swayed, single-issue, over-leveraged dimwits. The Sarah Palin contingent is a particularly ugly subset of all of this; her sort mines the worst in Americans, rather than the best. The Palin voters said they liked her because she is just like them—and indeed she is: small-minded, unforgiving, xenophobic.”

For Graydon’s entire letter:

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2008/12/graydon200812

21 11 2008
Vlad the ImPalin

And here’s James Wolcott’s thoughts on Mz Palin from his blog. He’s a contributing editor for Vanity Fair. Funny!

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2008/11/ive-been-making-a-valiant.html

21 11 2008
El from Saskatchewan

portland orgon native (16:46:16)

All those places to live and he is found guilty of corruption charges to make a cabin bigger and uglier!

21 11 2008
concernedcanadian

Does Ted Stevens have a home other than his cabin/chalet in Girdwood? I remember mudflats posting a picture of a dem flyer hanging on his door when he was at his trial. And it didn’t look like his cabin in Girdwood? Also, did he own this house in DC?

21 11 2008
Vlad the ImPalin

A great site with hilarious Palin poetry, made up from her (for lack of a better word) english.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=13791

21 11 2008
kimosabe

Yes, Ted Stevens has a family home in Anchorage. His “chalet” in Girdwood is more like a little weekend hide-away. A LOT of Anchorage residents have vacation homes in Girdwood, many of which started as little cabins and were improved, expanded, and jacked up over the years, a la the Stevens chalet. Girdwood is, after all, home of the world-class Alyeska Resort (ski area) and Alyeska Prince Hotel, which has, imho, the best hot tub in the whole world (yes, the one featured as the ultimate romantic destination on The Bachelor … who knew?)

21 11 2008
A Fan From Chicago

Co Almost Native (16:54:19)

You touched on one of the many things that give us a “Second City” complex.

(Except for the fact that the next President of the United States is From Here So We’re So Over That)

The notion of who’s politics are more corrupt: Louisiana or Illinois?

A case can be made for New Jersey but, I think, no contest.

My favorite default example is Randy Newman’s album “Good Old Boys.”

Check out the first two cuts. And all that stands behind them.

And oddly enough the song that stayed in my head and heart after Katrina was “Louisiana.”

“They’re trying to wash us away. They’re trying to wash us away.”

I don’t want my state to win this arguement.

21 11 2008
Trini

Thanks Lana & Greytdog. I’ve never seen the turkey thing at work and was curious. Even after having seen it, I want my Thanksgiving turkey. An American tradition that is seriously needed right now.

21 11 2008
SMR

Local Mudstock for mudbuddies near Anchorage:

http://www.themudflats.net/forum/index.php/topic,4298.0.html




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