Category Archives: Corruption

Alaska: Race is over

The prince has been dethroned. The long recount in Alaska is almost over, and not enough ballots remain to give convicted incumbent Senator Ted Stevens a chance of overtaking Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Next stop: prison. So long, Citizen Stevens; I recommend the bologna sandwich with mac-‘n’-cheese. (More here, here, and here.)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-NC) had already written up a resolution of expulsion from the GOP conference just in case Stevens managed to stage a comeback, but DeMint was persuaded to hold off until the election results were certain. Now the expulsion plan has been shelved, as Alaskan voters have done the job Senate Republicans should have done months ago.

Total Senate seats in Democratic hands in the coming Congress: 58. Number of Senate races with results yet to be determined: two (MN and GA). Chances of a filibuster-proof Democratic majority: long, but still within reach, at least in terms of party. Republicans may be virtually incapable of mounting a filibuster in a practical sense anyway, given their demonstrated aversion to anything resembling a sense of unity.

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Palin cleared, for what it’s worth by now

An independent panel (emphasis this time on “independent”) has exonerated Sarah Palin of wrongdoing in the dust-up formerly known as “Troopergate.” The panel was convened by the nonpartisan state Personnel Board with an independent investigator, instead of by one of Gov. Palin’s most vocal opponents in the Alaska legislature with an investigator bought and paid for by him. (More here and here.)

Of course the first “investigation,” spearheaded by State Sen. Hollis French, did the damage it was designed to do. Exoneration now comes too late for the damage to be undone. But then again, that was the point of French’s crusade to begin with…it was never to punish wrongdoing, just to punish opposition (which, in French’s fevered mind, amounts to a distinction without a difference).

How else to explain why French’s entire set of findings rested on the perceived violation of an unenforceable non-statute (a violation which the more recent investigation found wasn’t worth the air Sen. French wasted on it)? How else to explain why no charges were filed? How else to explain why the French panel’s findings were never adopted by the Alaska Legislature, or any committee or subcommittee thereof?

There is no other explanation. Sarah Palin did her job, and abused no aspect of the office. Sen. French tried to dance around it, and fortunately nobody applauded, but then he wasn’t going for the applause, was he?

ACORN goes to prison…to register MN voters

No, ACORN has not been sent to prison; I guess that comes later. In fact, they’ve gone willingly, and they’ve brought their clipboards with them.

An investigative report in Minnesota has found that ACORN workers went to prisons in an effort to add the wards of the state therein to the voting rolls. (Link via Hot Air; click through for interesting video.) Needless to say, Minnesota law forbids voting by convicted felons, let alone by those still serving out their sentences.

How convinced do you have to be of your own safety from the reach of the law in order to send your voter-registration apparatus into a place where you are virtually guaranteed to find nothing but throngs of the ineligible?

(I’m waiting for an ACORN spokesman to explain that they weren’t actually targeting the felons in Minnesota’s prison system. I’m laying odds that ACORN comes out and accuses America’s right wing of actively seeking to disenfranchise Minnesota’s prison catering community. Let the Ladle Guys Vote!)

Barbarians (AKA readers) at the gate

And here I thought this might actually go away.

The Obama-Khalidi tape, still in Los Angeles Times captivity, is drawing considerably more attention than the Times expected. The newspaper’s headquarters was confronted by a large crowd of Americans under the foolish, provincial impression that a videotape of a presidential candidate giving tacit approval to hours of Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing, and actively toasting its star purveyor, might actually be newsworthy, or at least that it might not be appropriate to stiffarm the thousands of people demanding that the videotape’s contents be released.

(Video courtesy of Mere Rhetoric, which has photos and more video at the link. More reaction here and here.)

So far, the reasons given by the Times for not releasing the tape (which was used as source material for a Times story by Peter Wallsten on Obama support among Palestinians), in chronological order over the course of the last five days, are:

  1. In a conversation between and Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft and Wallsten: “When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.”
  2. Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs got an email from the readers’ rep saying their reporting should be good enough: “The Times did write about the tape, so I’m not sure what you mean about suppressing the video or information from the video. Here is a copy of the report about the video.”
  3. Johnson blogged that Fox News’s Brit Hume asked the Times for their side of the story, to which they replied, “No comment.”
  4. The Times said in a statement replying to accusations from the McCain campaign: ““The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it…The Times keeps its promises to sources.”
  5. Most recently, the Times expanded on that last one by telling an emailer the source might come to harm if the tape were released: “The reporter agreed with his source not to release the tape in return for getting acess to it…To break that agreement might put the source of the tape in jeopardy.”

So what do you think? Which one’s the truth, if any?

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has Fox News video of Khalidi hiding from cameras and siccing security on the crew.

UPDATE II: Andrew McCarthy has an excellent rundown of the situation, explaining in great detail why the Times’s high-minded “journalistic ethics” blather isn’t worth the time wasted reading it.

UPDATE III: Jennifer Rubin at Pajamas Media has a link to a Khalidi lecture. Read the article and check the video…not a pretty picture.

Senator Palin? Doubtful. But what if…

Covert Zero brings up “an interesting point” (before throwing me a link…thanks!) from former defense analyst Chuck Spinney (H/T James Fallows):

“How much do you want to bet the Sarah Palin won’t replace Ted Stevens after being induced to run in a special election by “popular demand”?

Could happen, but that’s not a bet I’d take.

Explanation, and lots more wonkery with an even wilder scenario, below the break.

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Kiss Alaska goodbye. Thank Ted Stevens.

Newly convicted Sen. Ted Stevens is digging in his heels, and this blogger sees no sign of any intent to resign, before or after the election. The man honestly thinks he won’t spend day one in jail; I don’t think he’s capable of envisioning a Senate without him.

National Republicans are abandoning him, the state party is clinging to him, his fellow senators (of both parties) are talking openly about expelling him, and local political experts are still saying he might eke out one final re-election victory.

News developments, analysis, and more wonkery below the break.

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Welcome to the bighouse, Ted. Now what?

The Congressional Indicted Caucus officially has one fewer member. Senator Ted Stevens has been convicted on all counts. To quote a certain played-out, over-the-hill cartoonist: “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” (More here, here, here, and here.) For his part, Stevens has announced he will appeal, maintaining his innocence and lacerating the prosecutors for what I admit was some pretty messed-up lawyering.

I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see Sen. Stevens go, which will come as no surprise to WitSnapper readers (who may have read my thoughts on the man here, here, here, here, and elsewhere). His Senate seat will likely go to his Democratic opponent, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich, now effectively running unopposed. Republicans now are scrambling to assess their very limited options.

Bunches of scenario-weaving below the break.

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