Friday, November 16, 2007



No matter how disappointed people are-- and they are-- that the Democrats haven't been able to end the war in Iraq or stop Bush from pursuing his disastrous policies at home and abroad, by large margins most Americans see the Democratic Party as far more a positive force than the Republican Party. 54% of Americans view the Democrats favorably and only 40% of Americans see the GOP that way. And this isn't just about Bush; it's about the whole stinking Republican gestalt-- all the hatred and divisiveness, bigotry, racism, the greed, avarice and selfishness, the viciousness and the extremism.

That is playing itself out around the country as pollsters are coming back in even some of the reddest constituencies with talk of potential Democratic Party victories-- not just in places like Minnesota and Virginia and New Mexico but in places like Oklahoma and Texas. Yesterday even some of the worst right wing extremist rubber stamps, people who never deviate from Republican orthodoxy like Gary Miller (CA), Robin Hayes (NC), David Dreier (CA), and Roscoe Barlett (MD), abandoned their party's support for predatory lenders to join 100% of the Democrats in voting to reform laws the GOP has enacted to allow lenders to victimize their own constituents.

And this week it was playing out in Alaska in a particularly bizarre way, where political crime boss Ted Stevens was blaming the media for his troubles. He says he doesn't fear any Democrat next year and that his negative image with voters is the fault of reporters.
He pointed to four other senators who went through investigations, and said that those colleagues failed to draw the same sort of attention. He did not identify which senators he was referring to.

"I don't see any reason why we should have had this massive press interest in what's going on," Stevens said. "It's just an investigation of a federal agency. They go on all the time. No one else talks about them the way they talk about the one involving me."

He also said that he was unconcerned about the efforts of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which sees him as a vulnerable candidate and is actively recruiting candidates to run against him. Their top prospect, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, has flown to Washington to meet with top Senate Democrats, including the DSSC chairman, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.

"Well that's because they seem to think that they've got some inside knowledge about the outcome of the investigation I can't talk about," Stevens said. "I'm not worried about this campaign. Not in the least."

"We're not in the rush to raise any money," he added. "We are raising money. We can raise money after this cloud goes away, which I hope will go away soon."

But Stevens grew testy when a reporter suggested that the level of interest in the state's senior senator was high because so many Alaska politicians and public figures had been caught in the wider corruption probe. Also, as the longest-serving GOP senator in history, and the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Stevens has a higher profile than the average Washington politician.

In the interview, Stevens made vague threats to the people who have suggested that he and his son, former state Senate President Ben Stevens, might be guilty of some sort of wrongdoing. The younger Stevens hasn't been charged with a crime, but his name has come up repeatedly in court proceedings. Plea documents in Allen's own case say that payments of $243,250 the Veco CEO made to Ben Stevens were bribes in exchange for "giving advice, lobbying colleagues, and taking official acts in matters before the Legislature" when the younger Stevens was a state lawmaker.

"Your papers print (the names of) those people who have been convicted and my son's name and mine at the same time. As far as the public is concerned, it's all the same ball of wax," Stevens said. "I'm not going to comment on that ball of wax."

"But we've been included in a way that I hope people understand the laws that are doing it," he said. "Because when it's all over, some people are going to have to account for what they've said and what they've charged us with."

It was unclear whom Stevens was threatening. When asked if he meant libel or perjury, Stevens said: "No. I'm just saying there are ways to account for this in the future."

When asked if he meant political retribution, he remained vague:

"I think the people out there ought to worry about that the way I worry about the investigation. There are myriad things you can do. Just a myriad of things."

When pressed, he wouldn't elaborate further:

"I've said it," Stevens said.

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At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just send Stevens lube when in the big house, like we do for Cunningham and soon Wilkes and DeLay.

There, "I've said it".
Payback isn't crazy...It's "slick"



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