Why isn’t the media trumpeting this from the ramparts? For months on end the media parroted an endless seance, consisting of a deadly cocktail of wall-to-wall doom and gloom shaken, not stirred with panic that Chicken Little would envy. The economy is beginning to stabilize. Things are looking up. Does the President get any credit for it? Only when things sour, young grasshopper.
Archive for July, 2008
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, is being indicted by the Justice Department on criminal charges. The official announcement will be made at 1:20 PM ET.
Update from Steve Centanni at Fox News (1:02 PM ET):
The seven counts are related to false statements allegedly made by Sen. Stevens in connection to Bill Allen of the VECO corporation. The situation is connected to a house raided by the FBI almost a year ago.
Update (1:19 PM ET):
I wouldn’t mind if Moneybags the Old Fart would kindly exit from Congress. Dick Morris chronicled in his book Outrage (pgs. 153-54) that Sen. Stevens is the most egregious pork-barrel spender in Congress. “Stevens has gotten $325 million in earmarks in the 2006 appropriations cycle…” This includes, among other things, “$25,000,000 for rural and native villages, $1,300,000 for berry research, $1,099,000 for alternative salmon products, and $500,000 for fruit and berry crop trials.” The book also mentions that “his wife, Catherine Stevens, is a lobbyist for Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.” A story in the LA Times “reported that he tried to save a $450 million defense contract for a local businessman who had previously been his partner in a lucrative real estate deal.” And if all the wasn’t enough, according to the book, Sen. Stevens “greet[s] [his] unwanted citizen visitors with hostile glares.”
Update from Fox News (1:40 PM ET):
The indictment alleges that Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, made false representations in his Senate financial disclosure forms and to federal investigators in an effort to cover his receiving significant construction services on his Girdwood, Alaska, home.
Those services came from Bill Allen and the company he founded, VECO Corp, an influential Alaska oil services firm that has been the focus of federal investigators in an ongoing public corruption probe spanning the last two years.
In 2000, Allen oversaw construction on Stevens’ house in the ski community of Girdwood. Stevens has claimed he paid for all the construction.
In the indictment, officials said VECO built Stevens, among other things, a new first floor to the house, a new garage, a new first- and second-floor wraparound deck, and new plumbing and wiring. VECO also provided him with expensive new vehicles in exchange for his used cars, furniture, household goods, a new tool chest stocked with tools, a brand new gas grill, and other items.
Investigators estimate the value of the material provided to Stevens to be $250,000.
Officials also allege he falsified his disclosure statements between 1999 and 2006, and possibly longer, to cover up his gains.
Prosecutors also said Stevens “took multiple steps to continue” receiving things from VECO and Allen. At the time of the construction, the indictment says, Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for “multiple official actions …. knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period.”
VECO’s requests included funding and other aid for the oil services company’s projects and partnerships in Pakistan and Russia. It also included federal grants from several agencies — as well as help in building a national gas pipeline in Alaska’s North Slope Region, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.
Stick a fork in him. He’s done.
Update (1:57 PM ET):
One of the gifts in question is a “Viking gas range.” This is the top-of-the-line available gas range and can “range” from $3000 up to $10,000. Also, according to Fox, he exchanged “an old Ford for a Land Rover.” It appears that objects of this magnitude could certainly have a shady origin.
Update: (2:37 AM ET):
The full text of the indictment can be found here:
Points of Interest:
- ‘STEVENS often refers to the Girdwood Residence as “the chalet.”‘
- ‘In or about the spring of 1999, STEVENS and ALLEN discussed the fact that STEVENS wished to obtain a new car for his dependent child. Thereafter, in or about June, 1999, ALLEN transferred a new 1999 Land Rover Discovery, which ALLEN had purchased new for approximately $44,000, to STEVENS in exchange for STEVENS’ 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang and $5,000. At the time ALLEN transferred the 1999 Land Rover Discovery to STEVENS, the 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang was worth less than $20,000.
- He signs his e-mails as “best teds”…
- He received four reported gifts, $1,428 total, from three foreign dignitaries in one year.
The rumor mills are grinding away at the prospects of a McCain/Palin ticket. I was the first to ask Sen. McCain himself about the possibility of choosing Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential candidate on June 23rd when McCain had a townhall in Fresno. His response is detailed here.
Unfortunately, the video isn’t up on Youtube, but it can be found here as Townhall, Part Five.
Since this is our 100th post, I’ve decided to make it extra-special. No, I’m not giving out free Pontiac G6s to the first 100 readers, and, no, a celebrity is not going to start typing away after I finish this paragraph. However, I have come up with a plan, a vision of sorts. I think I know exactly how to deal with our mess of a Congress.
To most of those with a pulse residing in this great land of ours, we have an election coming up in November. And as we deftly try to decide between the two forms of suicide that are McCain and Obama, we have neglected to notice that there is also a Congressional election. Now, unfortunately, not all members of Congress are up for reelection, otherwise, we could absolutely go to town. However, we can make do with what we have now. I assume that most diligent Americans will scan over their ballot on the 4th of November, bubble (hopefully not punch) in either McCain or Obama, glance over the session devoted to voting for Representative and/or Senator, happily bubble in the incumbent’s name, and go along their merry way. This is not a smart choice. Now, I know that we all have busy schedules and whatnot, but would it really be all that difficult to spend an hour or so to investigate into the spending habits of your Congressman? You see, most Congressmen are like children, and, like children, they need to be watched. While we have been concentrating on our own lives and own children, our little Congressmen have been scamping merrily away in the playground known as Washington, handily sneaking bits and pieces of appropriations into innocuous bills like candy hidden in a not-often-looked kitchen cabinet. The projects that result from these deft little motions are known as pork. Now, this may seem innocent enough, but we have reinforced this behavior by reelecting our adorable little Congressman November after November. Naturally, we would become outraged if our own children spent vast sums of money on idiotic doohickeys, yet we have blissfully ignored the spending habits of our devilish little Congressmen.
Now that we have identified a problem that has soared into the billions of taxpayer dollars, we can chart out a solution. Come November, every Congressman that has spent your taxpayer dollars for idiotic gardens and museums that can be perfectly supplanted by private funding deserves a swift kick in the rear and a two-to-six year time-out. It’s dead simple. Before November, let your Congressman know (via letter, phone, email, fax, ESP, a really loud voice) that you have had it with their spending habits and would like them to spend your money more prudently. If they try to backtrack or scoff, then those are the signs of a wayward Congressman. Preferably try to contact the challenger to your incumbent and ask him to sign a pledge stating that while he is in office, he will not spend a penny of your money on pork-barrel projects or otherwise live decadently off your dime. Vote for him (or her) in November instead of your Congressman, and, if enough people do so, then your Congressman can sulk home, mumbling “it’s not fair” while they try to readjust to civilian life. Once your Congressman has arrived home, greet them with a steaming plate of crispy bacon, a copy of the single “Viva la Vida,” and a print of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. And then ask them to sit in their time-out for at least another two years, and to not come out until they have memorized every brushstroke comprising Liberty’s fallen tunic. And if they whimper or complain, remind them that they should hit their knees and thank the Lord that the guillotine is no longer in use.
Well, here we go again. Another week, another refusal by Iran to end nuclear enrichment, another bit of diplomatic strength lost by the US, another failed attempt to “just talk.” Are we done yet? Have we assauged and massaged our guilt enough to the point where we can finally say that Iran has eaten our carrot and shoved the stick right up into our nether regions? We have now reached the point of full-on Elmer Fudd, unsteadily dragging along our guns while a mustachioed Bugs Bunny is, predictably, using tired old tricks to compilcate our path. We have yet to resolve the first-and-foremost question: When is Iran going to stop killing our soldiers in Iraq? This has been seemingly glossed over in pursuit of a warm-fuzzy feeling in regards to their also-frightening nuclear ambitions. Like all stray pets, the State Department needs to be kept on a leash. They’ve already buried the North Korean hatchet without time for us Americans and other sensible-minded folks around the world to independently vet it, and our drooling little puppy has already gone on to obey the commands of another regime commanded by an evil midget. Speaking of regimes, where is the UN in all this? Shouldn’t they be doing the diplomatic dirty work while we handle our affairs with due diligence and swiftness? Or are they too busy bending entire African villages over in exchange for a few wampum? What if we took this same route with Iraq, like our thieving little European friends and sycophants in the US begged us to?Well, five years later, we would have an even louder ruckus coming from the peanut gallery as to why we “avoided” the plight of the poor Iraqis, how we “allowed” corruption to run rampant, and, why we, like good little battered wives, should support the 457th UN resolution on Iraq because it can succeed where 456 previously failed. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and a country formerly under perpetual oppression has made a historically-massive turnaround in a few years in no small part due to the heroism of our soldiers, of coalition forces, of Iraqi soldiers, civilians, and government, and strong American leadership, something we need now more than ever.
I found this article rather interesting, if not only for the title:
“Romney will eat campaign loans”
Let’s contrast this with Hillary, who has been begging, pleading, and borrowing to cover every last penny of her campaign.
Some analysts said McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, might undermine his reform message if he picks someone who bankrolled so much of his own campaign.
‘‘Democrats would use it as an issue,’’ political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said today. ‘‘They would they try to undermine his reputation as ‘Mr. Reformer.’ “
How would this undermine McCain’s so-called “reform message?” It is perfectly and completely legal, as per the case of Buckley v. Valeo, to give your campaign as much money as you want. Sen. Obama should be much more concerned about being undermined as “Mr. Reformer.”