Ted Stevens Dead in Plane Crash


Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history, was killed in a plane crash today. The Bridge to Nowhere champion, who lost his 2008 re-election bid after being convicted of lying to conceal gifts he was legally required to report, won a post-defeat victory five months later, when the Justice Department withdrew the charges against him, effectively nullifying his convictions, because of prosecutorial misconduct. As I argued after his indictment, Stevens' real crime was his record of "service" to the people of Alaska, which in any other context would be recognized as theft on a grand scale.

More on Stevens here.

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  1. Caption Contest!

    “I never thought I’d like going on one of those aeroplanes…now I can’t live without ’em.”

    Too soon?

    1. “Now is when you start believing the government?”

    2. He totally looks like he’s stroking out in that pic. The real caption is probably: “GUUUUUUUUUUHG.”

    3. Stevens was a pilot during World War II. He flew cargo planes over the “hump” into China from India.

      1. Ah.. General Stilwell’s ambitious operation. Too bad Chiang Kai-Shek made it all for naught.

  2. Oh, no! Now liberals will feel guilty whenever they spout another “series of tubes” jokes.

  3. Politically, one of the worst of a bad lot, but that kind of sucks, dying after getting out of that Congressional nuthouse. I have a very close (older) cousin who died right after retirement. There’s something wrong with that.

    1. I’ve always wondered about this… If we were to come up with a tragedy factor for deaths, wouldn’t it simply be a line that starts at the expected lifespan and increases at a constant rate as one gets younger? I mean, sure, it sucks to die right after retirement, but does it suck more than dying right BEFORE retirement? And it would seem to suck way more if you died when you’re 40, even if you’re two decades or so away from retirement.

      1. It all sucks.

        1. But I think the logic is that having made it so far, it’s a damned pity you didn’t get to enjoy the retirement part.

          1. Or you could have retired 5 years ago and had some fun.

            1. The key, of course, is to retire thirty years before your death.

              1. Though, of course, the whole idea of extended retirement is a (relatively) modern innovation, rooted not just in extended lifespan but in the effect of retirement nets like Social Security. Without it, or with a more scaled-back version, we’d probably have a more productive economy.

                Though retirement is always the best option for politicians.

        2. It never sucks when it’s parasites dying.

    2. And the worst is when you get shot just one day from retirement.

      1. “I’m gettin’ too old for this shit, Riggs.”

        1. Hey, what do you know? Riggs is crazy!

  4. Still no mention of the flight attendant? America’s most dramatic resignation?

    1. pish posh, thousands of people have stormed out of their jobs before in awesome ways. just because this guy got arrested for it doesn’t imply greatness by any stretch of the imagination.

      1. The man cussed out the plane, grabbed two brews, deployed an exit chute, slid down the chute, eluded airport security and escaped to his home, and was apprehended while gettin’ some.

        He should have his own stamp and currency after that.

        1. well then. you should have written the article, they made it seem so much less cool.

          1. It’s the coolest resignation ever. In fact, I think Obama, if he ever faces resignation, should do it exactly the same way.

            1. Oh, good! I can’t wait. I loves me some BBC.

              1. Can I get you to sign these release forms?

      2. No shit. Like that beer stealer in CT that capped eight coworkers on his way out.

        1. Well, murder seems a bit much.

          1. Agreed. There’s no excuse for stealing beer.

      3. He got arrested in bed with his same-sex lover, just like when Hitler arrested Rohm.

        1. Yeah, well, I figured the guy was batting lefty. It’s still a good story.

          1. Yeah, well, I figured the guy was batting lefty.

            Sure seems like a lot of flight attendants are wicked gay.

            1. Might as well be. Even back when the female flight attendants were consistently young and attractive, they were all going after the pilots, not the other help.

              1. See? That’s what unions give us. An army of elderly flight attendants.

            2. Mark Steyn calls the airlines “home of America’s worst-dressed gay men.”

        2. Come to think of it, his resignation was so manly that I think he should be made an honorary heterosexual.

        3. Hitler arrest Rohm Emanuel?

          1. On that note, I find Michelle Obama considerably more intimidating than Eva Braun.

      1. I saw that. Whether it’s a real resignation strikes me as a legitimate question. In any case, no drama.

        1. Your objections are noted and discarded. Bounce, bounce.

          1. Well, she had the opportunity to become a flight attendant and quit with the awesome aplomb and style of Steven Slater, but she didn’t.

            If she had done that, well, couple that with her attractiveness, and I guess she’d displace Oprah immediately as the Queen of All Media.

  5. This was Stevens’ second plane crash, BTW. He survived the first one back in 1977 or so.

    1. Death and taxes, man.

  6. Just a short time after Bob Byrd, too. Apparently the two pork-barellers were great friends, with Byrd leading the ovation as Stevens left the Senate.

  7. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer parasite.

  8. Far* be it from me to gloat over the misfortune of others.

    *Actually, it’s within easy walking distance.

  9. It seems he didn’t need the “bridge to nowhere” to reach that destination, after all.

    1. Or he was taking the bridge to nowhere…

      1. Now he’s taking a dirt nap to nowhere.

    2. If the bridges were built, he would have driven instead of flown.

  10. It’s hard not to be a ghoul when stuff like this happens, and I guess that’s about the nicest thing I can say about this.

    In other sad news, I understand Dick Cheney was released from the hospital.

    1. Removal from office is adequate for me, and we got that two years ago.

  11. In honor of his popularizing the concept of congestive collapse, NO CARRIER

  12. “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

  13. It would have poetic justice if Robert Byrd had also been on the plane.

    1. After Byrd died, do you think they pulled the sheet over him?

      1. “After Byrd died, do you think they pulled the sheet over him?”

        It was his last wish before dying.

  14. As I argued after his indictment, Stevens’ real crime was his record of “service” to the people of Alaska, which in any other context would be recognized as theft on a grand scale.

    HIM, only? You’re too kind. There are curently 534 BIG TIME thieves in Congress/The Senate.

  15. Stevens’ real crime was his record of “service” to the people of Alaska, which in any other context would be recognized as theft on a grand scale.

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

    Oh, hell. Go ahead and hate the players, too.

    1. In Congress’ case, the players make the game.

      1. We ARE the Game, boy. Best you go learn to play.

  16. Ted Stevens was a parasite on America.

  17. First Robert Byrd, now Ted Stevens. The line to hell has really gotten shorter this year…

    1. And old lech Teddy Kennedy last year.

      1. It’s too bad the genie only gave me three wishes.

  18. Come to think of it, his resignation was so manly that I think he should be made an honorary heterosexual.

    Real men don’t do bitch theater.

    1. Come on, he grabbed two beers before exiting through the escape chute.

      1. Yeah, grabbing the beer was the subtle detail that made this performance a masterpiece. Of course, it’s no surprise that the guy had style… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        1. It’s that kind of rebellious spirit that’s sorely lacking in America today.

          At the very least, there should be a special edition beer made in his name by whichever beer company’s product he stole.

          1. That story is totally begging for a Bud Light Real Men of Genius commercial. Here’s to you Mr. Cuss-out-the-passengers-grab-two-beers-and-slide-down-the-emergency-chute-flight-attendant.

            1. Oh, that’s good. That’s really good.

      2. Ted Stevens?

        1. No but–and forgive me if you’re related to the late Ted Stevens–the flight attendant’s name is Steven Slater. Or, moving things around slightly, StevenS later. Build your conspiracy theory upon this foundation.

    2. The fact that he grabbed two beers and jumped out an emergency door makes him more manly than 95% of straight American men.

  19. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

    Those poor, poor players are merely hostages to power and prestige.

  20. There’s a conspiracy theory brewing here somewhere…

    Something about how the Republicans didn’t want someone emblematic of their budget largess going in to the coming elections…

    Plane crashes and conspiracy theories, they go bowling together on the weekends and play cards on Tuesday nights.

    1. If only the Republicans had the desire and ability to murder the big spending corrupt crap weasels in their midst.

      1. Yes… if only.

        Cindy! Get Carlos the Jackal on the phone… we have to discuss certain… impending retirements.

        Oh, and Cindy, we may need to find some new candidates. Not many, just a hundred fifty or so.

        *Evil Cackle*

      2. Okay maybe the whole party could gather in one place and then have one of their space lasers incinerate the building.

  21. If he had to go, why couldn’t he have at least crashed the plane into Palin’s house?

    1. He tried, but being able to see Russia on the horizon confused him. He was an old man, after all.

      1. His wife died in a 1978 plane crash that he survived…

        Who was Ted Stevens trying to kill this time?

        1. Trig Palin?

          1. To cover up the disturbing circumstances of his birth, no doubt.

            1. Isn’t his real mother Sarah Palin or something?

              1. I have no idea if Sarah Palin is really Ted Stevens mother or not. She’s remarkably well preserved, if so. Or Ted is actually only 12 and some sort of Benjamin Button shit is going on.

              2. Yes, but the real father is Ted Stevens.

  22. there should be a special edition beer made in his name by whichever beer company’s product he stole.

    Michelob Light, probably.

    1. MGD 64.

      1. I think Mr. Brooks is closer to the truth. I imagine it was one of the beers of that large Belgian beer company. Or maybe Swiller.

        1. I’ve googled around a bit. I can’t find anyone reporting what brand it was.

          1. What damned use is the Internet, anyway? There must of been a hundred witnesses. No one marked the beer he consumed? Hell, how many brands of beer could JetBlue be selling, anyway?

            I demand answers.

            1. Okay, here’s a list from the JetBlue site:

              * Blue Moon
              * Bud Light?
              * Heineken?
              * Heineken Premium Light?
              * FOSTERS? Lager
              * Presidente Beer

              1. Blue Moon is the best of a bad lot. Hopefully it was that.

            2. JetBlue drinks menu

              It had to be:

              Blue Moon
              Bud Light
              Heineken Premium Light
              Fosters Lager

              1. Stupid taking time to format…

                1. You will always lose the Intertubes to me, SugarFree. Always.

                  1. But I’m delightful and you’re just “meh.”

                    1. Meh and victorious.

                      I noticed that you de-capped Fosters. That’ll get you a cease-and-desist letter really quickly.

                      Do you think Fosters pays JetBlue for the extra emphasis?

                    2. By the way, interesting that we both–nearly simultaneously–thought to look on JetBlue’s site for their libationary offerings, but no other major media source has even wondered about the beer. It’s that kind of limited thinking that has destroyed our economy.

                    3. I checked. All-caps FOSTERS doesn’t seem to be a corporate logo style. (And I only de-cap it because it sucks.)

                    4. So someone at JetBlue IT just capped it for the hell of it? Must be an Aussie secret agent or something. You know, the same guys who tricked us into taking Yahoo Serious er, seriously. Insidious!

      2. Zima!

        1. “Tastes like Zhit!”

      1. Unless that’s from his personal stash, it appears not to be so. See my list above. Which of those is the gayest beer? I’m thinking Heineken Premium Light.

        1. Bud Light is the preferred beer of gays. I know because this one gay guy I knew liked it. QED, faggots.

        2. Gayest beer? Beer drank most by gay guys or beer drank most by guys who are gay whether they admit it or not?

          Because the latter is Bud Light.

          1. Well, I certainly avoid that substance. If you can call it that.

            1. I really can’t remember the last time I had a light beer. Or “lite” for that matter.

              1. I don’t even get light beer. Drink or do not drink. There is no “lite.”

          2. Wouldn’t Mike’s Hard Lemonade and its equivalents be the gayest beer? Adding Kool-Aid mix to malt liquor doesn’t mean it’s suddenly not beer anymore.

            1. Closeted or not, I don’t think practitioners of man-love drink that garbage. I thought only underage redneck girls drank Mike’s.

              1. I always thought that was a fictional drink. You know, like Duff Beer.

                1. Duff Beer for me,
                  Duff Beer for you,
                  I’ll have a Duff,
                  You have one too….

        3. But you can lisp Presidente so dramatically…

          “I’m going to go suck down this Presidente!”

        4. What am I thinking? Bud Light With Lime is clearly the gayest beer.

          1. Lime? In beer? Is such a thing even possible?


              It exists. Weep.

              Actually, though, a chunk of lime in a glass of Kapuziner Weissbier is delicious.

              1. I’ve never adulterated my K?nig Ludwig Weissbier in such a way.

                1. I can only get it in 5-liter minikegs. Toward the end, all sort of crazy ideas seem wise. I’m just glad I haven’t stooped to Skittlebrau yet.

            2. Yes, and people love to get it in the can.

  23. The Afterlife is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes.

    1. The tube you’re in, Teddy: is it perchance heading down?

  24. Why anyone who can afford not to travels in private planes is beyond me.

  25. With the exception of Kim Jong Il and a few others – and Stevens was nowhere near that class of villain – I wish no man’s death.

    Sorry to hear about his death, but neither will I praise him.

    1. I’m with you, Aresen. But tell me, what of the flight attendant? Will he be popular on your end of the continent, too? What if the beers he stole turn out to be of Great White North manufacture?

      1. The flight attendant item is a great story. I like it when people exit with a bang. Too many people just mildly walk off.

        I have worked on my final email for some time. It is addressed to “All” has the working title “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” and concludes with a comment to my boss “You may have wondered why I didn’t give notice. Actually, I did. But the HR dept works just as well as the rest of this organization and, typically, did not notify anyone who might want to know in advance. So you are finding out the way your staff found out about the last 5 reorganizations: Via an email.”

          1. I think I’ll wait to get home before I open that.

          2. Lame compared to what just happened. And Steven Slater still has time to write a novel about the experience.

            1. He’ll be on the next season of Desperate House Boys of NY.

        1. Not bad. Understated. But can’t you get an emergency chute installed and make sure there are some beers to steal before you quit?

          1. For, after all, there’s a new standard.

  26. He joins Amelia Earhart as the only people to have an airport named after them and die in an airplane crash?

    1. Don’t forget Will Rogers.

      1. Damn you and your full keyboard!

    2. And Richard I. Bong.

    3. Will Rogers airport, Oklahoma city

  27. Threadjack!!

    Congress About To Pass ‘The ______Act of____’ (These Are The People We Elect?)
    It appears that our friendly Senators were in such a rush to get this bill through that they forgot to name it. Jim Harper noticed this when the bill showed up as the oddly named The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX on his always excellent WashingtonWatch site. Apparently, the Library of Congress’ Thomas reporting system converted the underscores into X’s. And, yes, even The Congressional Record (pdf) notes that “This Act may be cited as the “_______Act of______”.


      “This Act may be cited as the “Indecent Act of Sodomy”.

      “This Act may be cited as the “Baloney Act of Pork”.

      “This Act may be cited as the “Pelosi Act of Obama”.

      1. Hard to repeal the Bill Without a Name.

      2. I’m pretty certain “Consumer Protection” is somewhere in the bill’s title.

  28. Rest in pieces.

  29. You know, there’s something much more preferable about slightly corrupt, pork sucking Republicans of the old school over the tea party whackjobs of our generation who are too dumb to be corrupt.

    1. Tony, just because your ilk can’t remember anything before 2008 doesn’t mean we can’t. Stevens was the typical “war mongering neo-con” held up by the Daily Show set to show how stupid and evil all Republicans were.

      1. I’m not setting a high bar here.

        1. Why start now?

  30. The obituary pages in Alaskan newspaper always seem to be filled with a lot of gruesome, untimely deaths.

  31. It’s hard as a libeetarian to not put Ted with Robert Byrd, but there are good reasons not to. ANILCA and ANCSA both were decent legislation dealing with aboriginal land claims. Rather than stick Natives on a reservation, that legislation recognized their claim to property and gave them legally enforceable rights to that property. Instead of reservations, Alaska Natives got shares in regional corporations that recognized theircpre-existing claim on this land. That has enabled Alaska Natives to avoid some of the problems of reservation life imposed on those in the Lower 48. Y having shares in a corporation, that legislation a harnesses free market pursuit of profit to the benefit of AK Natives better than the reservation system.

    Is the system perfect? No. But it is a substantial improvement over the reservation system. Andthat system is directly attributable to Ted Stevens.

    Was he a giant pork-barrel politician? Yes. But it is wrong to ignore how he attempted to use free market principles to improve the lives ot Native Alaskans just as it is wrong to ignore how his largess toAlaska came at taxpayer expense.

    That coupled with the use of IFQs (Individual Fishing Quotas) in ocean fishing show that, while Stevens was no dyed in the wool libertarian, he attempted to use the free market and pursuit of profit more than many politicians. Alaska salmon fisheries are in good shape today because they are regulated on free-market principles. They are about the only wild fisheries managed like that and, no so coincidentally, Alaska fisheries are also one of the few sustainable and healthy wild ocean fisheries existent today.

    Ted Stevens legacy is not one of unbridled pursuit of individual rights. But it is also not one of solely pork barrel projects and spending, either. We should recognize his career for the mixed blessing at it was and celebrate the good while showing flaw in the bad.

    On a side note, I lived for many years in Dillingham,at Lake Aleknagik, actually. I am very familiary with this Lodge and the surrounding area. That makes this whole thing kind of spooky, in an odd way.

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