Earlier this week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the legally-beset former Alaska senator Ted Stevens would most likely have all charges against him dropped due to "prosecutorial misconduct." (Please bear in mind that "prosecutorial misconduct" is not defined as "because he's innocent.")
Good for him; he successfully cheated justice. Now he won't have to spend his golden years getting raped in the shower by younger, meaner jailed city councilmen and state delegates.
So what do you think the Alaskan GOP's reaction to news is?
Don't even bother guessing, because you probably don't have enough idiot cells in your brain to predict this reaction…
Gov. Sarah Palin and the head of the Alaska Republican Party said Thursday that Sen. Mark Begich should give his Senate seat up to a special election now that prosecutors have abandoned their case against Ted Stevens. "Alaskans deserve to have a fair election not tainted by some announcement that one of the candidates was convicted fairly of seven felonies, when in fact it wasn't a fair conviction," Palin said in a Thursday interview with the Daily News…
The chairman of the state Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich, said that the only reason Begich won his race was because "a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Stevens was guilty of seven felonies."
He added that he thought Begich should step down "so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice."
Your takeaway message: Never underestimate politicians' ability to warp reality and logic to their own ends. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
The other half is having your sense of shame surgically removed and buried in a ditch by the side of the road.
Tags: Alaska, Mark Begich, Sarah Palin, Senate, Ted Stevens
Oh, wait. No, he didn't. My mistake. He lost…
With an estimated 2,500 votes still outstanding and other election certification steps still to take place, Mark Begich, the Democratic mayor of Anchorage, had taken a lead of 3,724 votes out of more than 315,000 cast, and he declared victory.
Yeah, but, I guess Stevens could conceivably still pull this one out if he can somehow manage to get 149 percent of the remaining 2,500 uncounted votes. I think he can do it!
This must be a very proud day for Mark Begich. Can you imagine what an honor it is to beat a man convicted of seven felony charges by a couple thousand votes?!
"I am humbled and honored to serve Alaska in the United States Senate,” Mr. Begich said. “It's been an incredible journey getting to this point, and I appreciate the support and commitment of the thousands of Alaskans who have brought us to this day. I can't wait to get to work fighting for Alaskan families.”
Mr. Stevens did not immediately concede the race. He could request a recount, but he would have to pay for it if the current vote margins hold.
You know what, though. Having lost the longest held senate seat in U.S. History and facing possible — but unlikely (pardon, anyone?) — jail time, there is something positive for Stevens to grasp hold of.
Today's his birthday!
The defeat came on Mr. Stevens's 85th birthday, at the end of a day in which he avoided expulsion from the ranks of Senate Republicans as his colleagues awaited the final results.
Happy Birthday, former Senator Stevens.
Tags: Alaska, Mark Begich, Pardons, Senate, Ted Stevens
Excerpt from the appointment calendar of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) for Tuesday, November 18…
6:30: Rise at the crack of dawn.
7:30-8:00: Fall further behind in Senate race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
9:30: Get expelled from Senate Republican Caucus.
10:30-11:00: Surf the series of tubes.
The first two are no surprise. Stevens spends nearly every day fending off attacks from angry interest groups like the Democratic Party and the Sun.
It's Stevens' 9:30 appointment that's so troubling, because this time it's his own party that's after him…
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has been very public about his proposal to ask Senate Republicans, at a 9:30 meeting Tuesday morning, to formally vote on expelling Stevens from the Republican Conference, which would strip Stevens of all his committee seats, take away his seniority and essentially leave him without a party. Stevens would still be a senator, of course, but this conference expulsion would send a strong signal that expulsion from the Senate itself is a likely next step.
The good news for Stevens is that Senators' votes are a lot like juries' verdicts: They don't count the first time, at least not in the case of Stevens.
The only thing that could make this worse for Stevens would be John McCain chiming in that he's also too old.
Tags: Alaska, Jack Abramoff, Jim DeMint, John McCain, Mark Begich, Senate, Ted Stevens
Personally, I couldn't care less if the entire American automobile industry were to tank in the next couple weeks, causing millions of workers to lose their jobs and untold damage to the nation's already fragile economy.
I don't drive. I take the subway in to work. So, I don't see how something like that could possibly affect me.
That said, Democrat Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, is all going all blah blah blah about how he doesn't think that there would be enough Republican support in a proposed lame-duck session of Congress next week to pass a bailout bill for Big Car…
"Right now, I don't think there are the votes," the chairman, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, said, adding that he personally was in favor of using money from the $700 billion financial rescue program to help General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. But Mr. Dodd said he did not believe such a bill would get through the Senate.
"I don't know of a single Republican who's willing to support," Mr. Dodd said. "So I want to be careful about bringing up a proposition that might fail in light of the fact the authority exists, and under an Obama administration there seems to be a greater willingness to deal with the issue. So there are some political considerations to be made."
If that's the case, that there's not "a single Republican who's willing to support" it in a 51-49 split Senate, then they're still fucked. Unless Al Franken, Mark Begich and Jim Martin all manage to win their Senate races somehow, the Democrats are still going to be short of the 60 votes needed to pass the bill.
I guess all of you will just have to follow my lead and start taking the subway to the jobs that you don't have.
It's not all that bad. Just make sure to bring an iPod and stare straight ahead into oblivion whenever a guy with a guitar gets on the train.
Tags: Al Franken, Auto Industry, Chris Dodd, Jim Martin, Mark Begich, Senate
Finally, more than a week after Election Day, it looks like most of the 90,000 provisional, mail-in and questioned ballots — roughly 30 percent total of all ballots — cast in Alaska will be counted today.
What was the hold up?
If you don't know, then you obviously don't understand life in Alaska. Which you probably don't…
Elections director Gail Fenumiai says there's always a lag in counting absentee votes in Alaska, where far-flung communities and sometimes erratic mail delivery mean ballots can trickle in for days.
"It's not really taking any longer," Fenumiai said.
But the division is taking extra care with ballots this year after having discovered that more than two dozen people voted twice in the August primary. Most voted an absentee ballot, then showed up at their polling place and voted again.
It truly is a state full of mavericks.
Unfortunately for her, regardless of the final tally after these ballots are counted, Sarah Palin will have to remain in the Igloo State as governor. But these ballots could decide the fate of senator and convicted felon Ted Stevens, whose race against Democrat Mark Begich has yet to be decided…
[S]ome early ballots have been processed, and among those ballots Begich substantially leads Stevens. A tally of Alaska's 40 house districts as taken from Alaska's Division of Elections webpage suggests that Begich has won about 61% of the early ballots counted so far, as compared with 48% of ballots cast on Election Day itself.
If that percentage holds, Begich should be able to easily outpace Stevens in the home stretch of this Idiodrod.
And unfortunately for her, Sarah Palin truly will have to remain in the Igloo State as governor.
At least for another four years.
Tags: Alaska, Mark Begich, Sarah Palin, Ted Stevens