Interesting Items 8/04 - by Alex Gimarc
- Monday, August 4, 2008
Interesting Items 8/04 -
Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy -
In this issue:
1.� Ted.� Federal prosecutors in Washington DC indicted Alaska senior US Senator Ted Stevens (R) on seven counts of filing false financial disclosures.� Each of these is a felony count.� Penalty for conviction is five years in jail.� The indictment came a day before the one-year anniversary of an FBI raid on Stevens� home in Girdwood , Alaska (30 miles East of Anchorage).� The view here in Alaska is that the indictment was a political act by Clinton holdovers in the Department of Justice intended to deliver Mark Begich (D) into the US Senate in November.� The initial reaction among Republicans and Stevens supporters was to close ranks around him.� Local talk show hosts were split, ranging from hugely supportive to resign now.� Before the indictment, the Begich bid for US Senate has about an 8% lead over Stevens.� After the indictment, that number bounced up to around 20% based on a poll from the local democrat pollster.� Senator Stevens has
been in the US Senate for a very long time, and has built a pretty good reputation and base of support in the state.� His political opponents have called him every name in the book � some of them earned.� His political supporters have done the opposite in support.� I find it quite interesting that Mark Begich, who needed a retroactive change to local election law here in Anchorage to get elected Mayor for the first time, has any statewide support outside of Anchorage or our only other leftist hotbed in Juneau .�� Given that Anchorage is half the population of the state, Begich would have to carry over 60% of the vote in Anchorage (not unlike New Orleans or King County , WA ) to have a hope of getting elected.� National right wing bloggers were almost unanimous, along with National Review Online, blasting away at pork, corruption and demanding Stevens� immediate resignation.� The rationale given for that is his support of pork for Alaska ,
most notably the Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan .� I was one of the few in the blogosphere that wrote in strong support of that project.� And here�s the rationale:� The state of Alaska has over 570,000 square miles of land and just over 14,000 linear miles of paved roads.� Do the math, and you end up with about 45 square miles of Alaska per each linear mile of paved road.� The next closest state in the union is Wyoming with around 3 square miles of land per linear mile of road.� Washington DC has 0.04 square miles per linear mile of highway.� Alaska is a new state.� We are very large.� We have very few miles of roads and sorely need infrastructure.� We as an electorate have charged our congressional delegation with bringing us up to the national average in miles of roads, bridges and similar infrastructure.� It is easy for those in parts of the country with roads and bridges to everywhere to deride bridge and highway construction into
undeveloped areas in Alaska as bridges and highways to nowhere.� And we Alaskans would be happy to do it ourselves on our own dime.� Sadly, congress changed the agreement from the Statehood Compact in the late 1950s, giving Alaska a 90%-10% split of all natural resource development (oil and natural gas) on federal lands (60%� of the total area of Alaska).� They moved it down to a 50%-50% split.� If congress reneges unilaterally at a later date on their solemn agreement at statehood, why should we here in Alaska not respond accordingly?� I will note that for the record, not a single congress critter that ran their mouths against wayward bridges in Alaska turned down a single dime of highway money for their respective states.� Back to Ted Stevens:� His first move in court was to attempt to move the trial back to Alaska where all the evidence and witnesses are located.� His second action was to move to a speedy trial, which may be difficult, given
that the Justice Department dumped over 50 gig of data on his lawyers.� Both motions are under consideration by the presiding judge.� Interestingly enough, Mark Begich and the democrats have been very, very quiet following the indictment which is most interesting.� The Republican Party of Alaska filed a complaint last Thursday against Mark Begich for failing to disclose a variety of income and monetary interests on his financial disclosure forms - precisely the same thing Stevens has been indicted for doing.� The indictment was dropped a full two months before it should have been dropped, as late September would have been ideal for the democrats, which means something was up internally at the Justice Department.� A politicized investigation targeted Conrad Burns in 2006, threatening an indictment and corruption charges against a squish conservative so that he ended up losing to a faux-conservative � John Tester.� Ted Stevens has a pretty solid
track record supporting Alaskan interests.� Overall, that track record is not all that conservative, but far more conservative than what his various opponents would have done over the years.� As a result, he has driven some conservatives like me nuts over the years, but has been for the most part honest, straightforward and honorable.� The indictment alleges over $250,000 of unreported gifts, income, and other goodies; mostly in an upgrade to his Girdwood home.� The indictment does not note that the upgrade to his home was of such shoddy quality that it had to be removed and rebuilt afterwards.� I do not think this is going to go the way that the leftists think it is going to go.� And if I were a conservative blogger, I ought to be far more concerned about politicized indictments of sitting US congress critters � all of them Republicans - just before elections than I would be about pork.� Both are unpleasant.� But the former has the ability to
undermine both the law and the justice system.
2.� Revolt.� The democrat majority in the House of Representatives decided that they didn�t want to debate an energy bill, so they reneged on an agreement with the minority to allow debate, held a hasty vote to adjourn and bugged out of town for a five-week vacation last Friday.� House Republicans decided that they were not going to be rolled, ignored or bypassed, and chose to continue the debate on the floor of the House of Representatives.� And debate they did, hanging on for the rest of the day.� Democrats and their staffers were furious, cutting the electricity, the microphones, lights and emptying the House gallery and press.� House Republicans kept on talking, and it appears that they will try to talk from now until the democrat convention late in August.� This is great theater.� It is a huge embarrassment to both the House democrat leadership � whom all conservative democrat House members chose to caucus with � and all House members
who have chosen not to attend the festivities.� The drive-by media has not been reporting the protest, the debate, who is there or what they have been saying.� House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on a book tour, trying to sell her award-winning book on her speakership.� I suspect the sales may be a bit lower than anticipated.� All the Republicans are asking for is a vote, and the democrat majority does not seem to be willing to allow either a vote or a debate on drilling and exploration for more oil and natural gas as a solution to the current energy crisis.� Speaker Pelosi managed to do her best Marie Antoinette impersonation when being asked why she has not scheduled either a vote or a debate, that it was left to the Republicans imagination.� This will be a great sound bite, with Pelosi responding to those who are paying twice� the price per gallon of gasoline since she has assumed her position as Speaker (Squeaker) with a �let them eat cake�
attitude.� With each imperious action by the democrat majority in the House, Republicans get another step closer to retaking the House majority in November.� This election is not going the way the drive-by media or the democrats want it to go.� I think we will be in for a surprise should this foolishness continue too much longer.
3.� Caribou.� A final reminder that all humans are indeed human comes from the village of Point Hope, Alaska, where 120 caribou were massacred and half of them wasted as the herd moved through the area a couple of weeks ago.� We so often hear that the natives are one with the earth, friends of Mother Gaia, and other crap.� Nothing could be further form the truth.� This is a little story about run-of-the-mill wanton waste of the resource, but of a tribal cover-up, and refusal to out or prosecute the perpetrators.� The locals even managed to blame the State Troopers for being unpleasant during the investigation.� Alaskan Natives are afforded all kinds of deference for being one with the Earth and One with the resource.� Yet they manage to green �em up and kill wantonly just as badly as any cowboy on the Great Plains during the nineteenth century.� And afterwards, they close ranks and cover the collective backsides of the perpetrators.� We are
all human.� And this is what we do - as ugly as it may always appear.� Not a single one of us is any closer to the e art h than any one else.� Any claim otherwise is sophistry.� ADN, Weds.
More later -
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia
� State House, August 1, 1776.
Note:� Interesting Items can be found at the following locations: MatSu Valley News� http://www.matsuvalleynews.com ; District 28 http://www.dist28.com/ and the home page: http://home.gci.net/~agimarc%ef%bf%bd Rod M art in's The Vanguard site is also a long-time supporter of this column: http://www.thevanguard.org/
The only thing worse than Waco is the ongoing cover-up.
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