Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

TED STEVENS....Alaska senator Ted Stevens has been indicted on corruption charges:

From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said Stevens concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation." The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.

But there's more to Uncle Ted than just corruption. For more on the GOP's longest-serving senator, take a look back at "State of Dependency," a profile of Stevens and Alaska by Charles Homans that ran in our November 2007 issue. Apparently Republicans were right all along about the morally debilitating effects of relying for decades on a nonstop stream of federal welfare handouts.

Kevin Drum 1:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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NO!!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Wanna bet Fox Noise puts a (D) after his name as they report (and we decide)?

Posted by: jcricket on July 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Like that's going to make the mainstream liberal press any time soon.

Posted by: Everyman on July 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently Republicans were right all along about the morally debilitating effects of relying for decades on a nonstop stream of federal welfare handouts.

Best snark in a long time.

Posted by: gregor on July 29, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming Stevens is guilty, this is more evidence of why there should be term limits on member of the federal legislature.

It also likely will be another example of the republicans throwing away a seat they should have had no trouble retaining, like Virgia and Montana.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts today, but I am not too busy right now so I will go back and do that for you. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix your oversights. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

This further evidence of why there should be term limits for members of the federal legislature.

It also is another example of republicans throwing away a seat they should have had no trouble retaining, like Virginia and Montana.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts today, but I am not too busy right now so I will go back and do that for you. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix your oversights. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

As someone born and raised in Alaska, all I can say is this is about 20 years too late, but still a joyous thing to read.

Posted by: Art Eclectic on July 29, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, that's some good schadenfreude.

Posted by: TR on July 29, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it that we can indict Stevens, a Republican stooge, and not indict Albert Gonzales, etc., who were also Republican stooges.

Why did the corrupt DOJ allow this indictment to see the light of day but not others? Has the GOP thrown Ted Stevens under the bus? Was it just too obvious?

I just don't get why some people get indicted and some run around scot-free (Gonzales, Rove, Myers, etc.)

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on July 29, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

And he's hired Ollie North's attorney: Brendan "Not A Potted Plant" Sullivan!

Posted by: sullijan on July 29, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think the difference between Stevens and somebody like Gonzalez, Rove, or Cheney has to do with proximity to the President (or maybe to the Vice-President). There are still enough U.S. Attorneys and internal-investigations people doing their jobs to pick off the low-hanging fruit like Goodling or Stevens, but those folks just don't have the muscle to get information against somebody really well-connected. Scooter Libby is an exception to this hypothesis, though. I've always thought he was the fall guy for Cheney and Rove.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 29, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

"This [is] further evidence of why there should be term limits for members of the federal legislature."

Hogwash. You're throwing out the baby with the bathwater just because you think the media and the investigative arm of the government are too corrupt to provide the American people with politicians wwho have integrity.

Hardy har har.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that? Well at least now we know the expiration date of a representative democracy. It takes just under 300 hundred years for citizens to become so complacent that they rely on angels, fairy dust, and term limits to keep their government honest.

Whatever happened to an educated electorate? Or is that just another urban legend?

Posted by: Everyman on July 29, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

So the "Bridge to Nowhere" Senator got caught with his fingers in the cookie jar? Excellent. Let's hope the feds do that to all the rest of them. A good place to start would be Sen. Dodd, who took two below market home loans from Countrywide (with a benefit to Dodd of about $70-70,000) as a payoff for protecting the biggest buyers of Countrywide's mortgages, i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from federal regulation.

Posted by: DBL on July 29, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

If Dodd did that illegally, then have at it. No politician should be above the law.

Posted by: Everyman on July 29, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK


Mmmm, Ted Stevens soul was delicious. I roasted it and I ate it with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Posted by: Mephistopheles on July 29, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kick em all to the curb...

Posted by: Jet on July 29, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Although I'm as happy as anyone to see this indictment, run-of-the-mill corruption (a Viking gas range, holy crap!) like this is so insignificant and eternal, compared to the fundamental attacks on the constitution and the rule of law perpetrated by the current administration. We'll nail the guy who gets a new garage, but not the guys who subvert the fourth amendment. Maybe I'd care more if I lived in Alaska.

Posted by: jrw on July 29, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

He'll get no sympathy from the GOP. He's a porkmaster who much of the base has been going after for a while.

Anyway, funny how we don't hear about William Jefferson anymore. Did he drop off the face of the planet?

Posted by: Benson on July 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

That Viking gas grill was over 4,000 bucks, almost half the 10,000 limit they are supposed to report yearly.

Posted by: on July 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Jefferson case is slowly moving through the prosecutorial snake. There was a second round of indictments recently, IIRC, as well as some pre-trial, exclusionary stuff.

Details here courtesy of TalkingPointsMemo's TPMMuckraters -- who are non-partisan.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 29, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

"See! Seee what happens when you get caught!?! Good thing that this doesn't hurt the overall GOP behemoth, cuz then people might stop electing upstanding patriots."

(pulls out remaining hair, falls down)

Posted by: Malachi Constant on July 29, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

In general, studies show that red states get more federal money per capita than blue states, and the latter are more productive per capita as well.

Posted by: Neil B. ♪ ♪ ♪ on July 29, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Prison is basically a set up tubes...

Posted by: RobertSeattle on July 29, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Stevens caught on tape admitting corruption!! http://www.digitalfuntown.com/showpage.php?showid=4

Posted by: Boris on July 29, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

"I've known Ted Stevens for 28 years and have always known him to be impeccably honest,' said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., another longtime colleague.

Specter is a weathervane--just take the opposite of whatever he says as proven.

Posted by: Henry on July 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

A Viking grill? That's nothing! I hear someone sent him an entire Internet once.

What's that, you ask?

It's a series of tubes . . .

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 29, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe that nobody's said that Stevens' career just went down the tubes...

Or maybe they just had too much pride,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on July 29, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Zorro - that was beautiful.....May Ted Stevens rot in hell with the rest of the bastards who've helped to destroy Alaska.

Posted by: L on July 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

mmm

Posted by: on July 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Term limits? That's an moldy oldie I haven't heard ponied out since the early 1990s. Of course, anyone who has read the Constitution knows that Senatorial terms are already limited by Article I --- to six years. At which point voters may decide to renew the term or not.

Posted by: Pat on July 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

"He'll get no sympathy from the GOP. He's a porkmaster who much of the base has been going after for a while."

Unless he is also accused of soliciting sex from another man in a public bathroom, his unquestioning support from the GOP is guaranteed.

Posted by: CT on July 29, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK
The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.

Now the layman might read that as a redecorated first floor. Thats of course not what this is about. In the era of "the k-street project" a "new first floor" literally means cutting the building from its foundation, jacking it up and then putting a new first floor between the building and the foundation.

IIRC the contractor was quite clear about having the oil company that paid for all this review his bills.

Posted by: asdf on July 29, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Term limits are working effectively in numerous states. The Supreme Court reached to declare them unconstitutional for federal legislatures, so politicians likely will never allow a constitutional amendment.

But does anyone think keeping guys like Stevens, Specter, Kennedy, Thurmond, Byrd, Kerry and Leahy around forever is good for the country. The office becomes about them, rather than about the people and the country.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts, but I am not too busy so I will go back and do that. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix it for you. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 29, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Federal term limits is a bogus bumpersticker idea for small Republican minds, kind of like the flat tax. Sounds good -- Is complete nonsense. And the reason no one talks about it anymore is because it's hard to do so with a straight face. Over 80 percent of the House and over 70 percent of the Senate have been eleced after 1990. So what exactly is the big problem you're trying to solve? Just because your Senator is a dirty crook, don't deny me my right to reelect my good one. The founding fathers debated it and rejected it. What more needs to be said?

As for the moderator's comment, I would point out that people here frequently try to sign their posts and the software prevents it, or, more frequently double posts. So that might be what is happening with Brian. I don't know. But moderator, try not to sound like such a douche, huh? "Too busy to fix it?" Let me guess: You're entertaining million dollar offers and chasing supermodels, right? You are a proofreader at 10:00 pm on a moderatelyposted message board. Don't let it go to your head, there, Bill Gates.

Posted by: Pat on July 29, 2008 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

umm pardon me---have any of you ever lived in alaska? know what girdwood is or how powerful Veco is?---been there, done that----

Posted by: victoria on July 30, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

umm pardon me---have any of you ever lived in alaska? know what girdwood is or how powerful Veco is?---been there, done that----

Posted by: victoria on July 30, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

From the linked feature: "...During World War II, [Stevens] flew cargo planes over the Himalayas, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross..."

Another bloody flyer. I should have known.

George W Bush, George HW Bush, Joe McCarthy, Hosni Mubarak, Hafez al-Assad, Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain, Randy Cunningham, Charles Lindbergh, and now Ted Stevens...

Posted by: ajay on July 30, 2008 at 6:25 AM | PERMALINK

ajay - Don't forget George McGovern, he was a decorated pilot during WWII.

Posted by: DBL on July 30, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Stevens is just the bottom of the pond of corruption. Gonzales, Rove, Cheney and Bush have their inner circle of protection and that includes the FBI. Nobody in that circle goes unprotected.

Insofar as to corruption, look at Ed Rendell, Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum. Rendell and Specter aren't about to let anything happen to the inner circle (yes both sides work together) and although a U.S. Attorney such as Mary Beth Buchanan who acts in the best interest of organized crime merely shrugged off Santorum's loss, the rest of the gang will always protect their turf even if acting illegally to do so.

Buchanan's fault is she allowed the CIA to run drugs through Pennsylvania with Rendell's blessing to overthrow Castro and attempt the overthrow of Chavez. All backed by the Italian, Greek and Jewish mobs. Abramoff was just the fall guy to protect the others. The USDOJ prosecuting a lobbyist looks good in the publics eye but the real problem is that the Oval Office was involved and no network news station or FOX and CNN will ever beat them up over it which is readily evidenced by the fact that FOX News idiot Hannity has his nose so far up the GOP's rear he can't even see daylight. The same goes for O'Reilly and the rest of the "the spin stops here so I can add to it gang".

Posted by: Brian T. Ferguson on July 31, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

SpmCg5 comment6 ,

Posted by: Hfcnqoxa on June 28, 2009 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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