Down the Tubes

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Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R), builder of the Bridge to Nowhere, owner of at least one Incredible Hulk tie, has become the fifth sitting senator convicted of a crime. The first to be convicted of seven.

It is the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and a rare conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.

As the verdict on the first count was read, Stevens slumped slightly. When the second count was read, his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, reached over and put his arm around Stevens' shoulders.

As Stevens exited the courtroom, his wife, Catherine, kissed him on the cheek.

Moments earlier, he told her, "It's not over yet." She responded, "You got that right."

And then he added, "Not over yet."

No, it's over.

If Ted Stevens refuses to resign upon his conviction, he faces expulsion, which has been extremely rare in the history of the U.S. Senate.

It might be a moot point. In eight days Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, will almost certainly defeat Stevens. There's the minor question of whether Stevens quits and Gov. Sarah Palin appoints a placeholder, but the writing's on the wall.

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  1. One of those dump trucks was carrying his political corpse.

  2. Not sure whether to celebrate that this crook is gone, or worry that him being gone will give the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 votes, allowing them to run roughshod over the constitution and our wallets when Obama gets elected.

    I suppose one can do both.

  3. 60 votes would only be filibuster proof if everyone in the party voted in lockstep, which they, ah, NEVER DO.

  4. There’s the minor question of whether Stevens quits and Gov. Sarah Palin appoints a placeholder, but the writing’s on the wall.

    Cool! We haven’t talked enough about Governor Palin. Is she a libertarian or something?

  5. Oh yeah, good riddance to bad rubbish.

  6. “or worry that him being gone will give the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 votes, allowing them to run roughshod over the constitution and our wallets when Obama gets elected”

    Yeah, the GOP sure didn’t do either of those when they were in power (regardless of a filibuster)

  7. Shouldn’t this be a golden opportunity for the LP or AIP candidate up in Alaska? If Stevens drops out, that’s 48% of the electorate that needs somebody else to vote for. If they were supporting a scum like Stevens previously, that serves as pretty strong evidence to me they aren’t amenable to the D candidate. Why not have Stevens retire, and have Palin appoint one of the two third party challengers the new Senator? The publicity from that move would get them the name recognition they need (and perhaps the juice to demand a one on one debate with the Dem) to establish themselves as a legit challenger. I guess the obvious conflict is if Palin wants that seat for herself when her second term expires, she might rather a lame duck Dem be in the seat than a LP or AIP candidate.

  8. So, is he going to Federal pound-em-in-the-ass Prison?

  9. I understand he can continue in the election, but doesn’t this disqualify him from voting in elections?

  10. Too late, David. Steve Benen already beat you to this headline by 52 minutes.

  11. From fark “Prison is not so much a building but a series of cubes”

  12. If they were supporting a scum like Stevens previously, that serves as pretty strong evidence to me they aren’t amenable to the D candidate.

    That’s an inference from insufficient information. Alaskans like him *functionally*, not *personally*. They like that he brings back the pork. You really think they care that he’s scum?

    They might balk only upon learning that he is also a felon.

  13. I understand he can continue in the election, but doesn’t this disqualify him from voting in elections?

    Even weirder, it could prohibit him from voting in public elections, but not from voting on Senate matters. Maybe.

  14. prison showwer, not so much a shower as a series of pubes…

  15. Palin can’t appoint a replacement. If Stevens is re-elected and resigns, they have to have a special election. I assume if he loses and resign, they don’t bother.

  16. Voting Rights Restored After Completion of Sentence Including Parole and Probation

    Alaska
    and many others.

    So to answer the question of somebody TLTG 😉 Ted Stevens is ineligible to vote for himself in Alaska.

  17. Palin can’t appoint a replacement.

    Too bad. Have any of you noticed she’s kinda cute?

  18. Too bad. Have any of you noticed she’s kinda cute?

    Apparently she’s cuter in person.

  19. Apparently she’s cuter in person.

    We should come up with a clever nickname. Vice-president I’d Like to Kiss (VILK) or something like that.

  20. Thanks for the info Syd. Even though she can’t appoint, she could still offer an endorsement, which would be nearly as powerful. From a national GOP standpoint, it seems like a no brainer. Either endorse the AIP or LP candidate, or lose the seat to the Dems. If they are really so concerned about the Dems getting 60 votes, the choice should be obvious.

  21. Can we please stop making “tubes” jokes now? When we keep harping away about Stevens’ stupidity, we take the focus off his venality, his grasping and greed, and his incumbency-inspired contempt for the law. Also, tubes aren’t topical anymore. Could we at least fantasize with some prison humor until his non-sentence is rendered moot by a presidential pardon?

  22. The most senior Republican in the United States Senate.

    Wow. I never thought I’d see that day that somebody in a position like that would be held accountable like this.

    I never thought the jury would come back guilty.

    I’ll bet Ted didn’t, either.

  23. Yet another example of why The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.

  24. “Could we at least fantasize with some prison humor”

    Yuck!

  25. “Wow. I never thought I’d see that day that somebody in a position like that would be held accountable like this.”

    Well, Stevens is not a Democrat, otherwise we’d see his party circling the wagons in a desparate attempt to protect him.

  26. Yeah MJ, or maybe like the GOP did with Larry Craig or Vitter they’ll just keep him on the job?

  27. I wouldn’t know, MJ. We haven’t seen Democratic corruption like this in order to make a comparison. Not for a long time.

    But I tend to doubt it.

  28. craig and vitter aren’t comparable (though certainly hilarious primates). their peckerdildoes were more-or-less private ones, the sort that we libertarians would find tolerable. bribery, corruption, and abuse of office are a whole different matter.

    ok, then, 99 more to go.

  29. We haven’t seen Democratic corruption like this in order to make a comparison

    what about the dude with the foil-wrapped cash in the freezer? and i recall a house speaker back around bush one…

  30. Lost his positions even before the indictment, edna.

    But he was a small fry. These Republicans getting bagged left and right, they’re some bigwigs.

    Tom Foley, are you talking about? 1994? I vaguely remember him. A lot has happened since then.

  31. A lot has happened since then.

    what, they suddenly got honest?

  32. MNG,

    Yeah, the GOP sure didn’t do either of those when they were in power (regardless of a filibuster)

    The fact that the Dems were too big of pussies to filibuster when our freedom is on the line is why I cant vote for them.

    I dont know how you liberals can possibly defend them.

  33. joe,

    I think that was a Rostinkowski reference. And Jefferson is still in the House, IIRC.

  34. If Stevens wins reelection, you think they would let him out thru the week on a work-release program?

  35. I was only halfway paying attention but I think I heard Sarah Palin blaming the Oil Services Companies in Alaska for “corrupting” an honorable man like Stevens. Please tell me I was imagining this…..though I have a sneaking suspicion I wasn’t…

  36. Apparently, 2007 was a long time ago for joe.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/04/politics/main2882231.shtml

    Also, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank…

  37. Joe,

    Democrats are just naturally morally superior to Republicans? is that your message? Do you attribute it to nature or nurture, or just the exposure to the loving goodness rays that nauturally radiate out of Al Gore?

    Anyway, I don’t think that the Stevens affair is over. Granted, I believe he’s factually guilty of the crime, but his trial was so craaaaazy that he has one hell of a case for an appeal. One juror got violent in deliberations, another disappeared off the face of the earth, and prosecutorial misconduct nearly caused a mistrial. At the least, he’s owed a do-over.

  38. what, they suddenly got honest?

    There was an older generation of Democrats who mostly aren’t around anymore. Old Richard Daley Sr.-style Democrats used to be most of the party, and they’re a dying breed.

    And Jefferson is still in the House, IIRC. No conviction yet. Has he even been indicted? Those are usually the thresholds for action.

    I’ve made actual arguments, Abdul. Once again, you’ve chosen to advertise the fact that you can’t respond to them. Why you keep doing this is beyond me.

  39. Also, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank…

    …have never been convicted, and were certainly never even charged with anything approaching seven counts of hiding bribes.

    But, you know, darn those Democrats! They’ve gotta be worse, cuz, like, they’re Democrats!

  40. …the now defunct oil-field service company Veco…told of being directed to perform renovations and repairs on Stevens’ official residence in Girdwood

    Have you seen that house? If nothing else, a crime has been commited against architecture.

  41. I’ve made actual arguments, Abdul. Once again, you’ve chosen to advertise the fact that you can’t respond to them. Why you keep doing this is beyond me.

    I asked you questions. You didn’t answer.

    I can’t figure out what your arguments are because, at the very least, you seem suggest that power corrupts. . . but only for Republicans. You somehow think that the fundamentals of human nature change when a person checks off “Democrat” on their registration form. Why you would be so willfully naive is beyond me.

  42. Oh, I’m sorry. Yeah, your questions.

    I stopped beating my wife last month. There you go.

  43. But, you know, darn those Democrats! They’ve gotta be worse, cuz, like, they’re Democrats!

    That’s a pretty fuckin’ solid argument right there.

    Given: Democrats are dirty, filthy scum.
    Prove: Democrats are more corrupt than Republicans.

    Unfortunately, it’s not solid enough to make the case. I wonder if a big L Libertarian will ever get the chance to enter the race for “most corrupt modern politician”.

    One can dream.

  44. Democrats are more corrupt than Republicans

    Nah, they simply have no qualms with robbery so long as they deem it “for the public good” and the robbers are the government itself.

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