Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Uncle Ted!

I don't actually have an uncle named Ted (mine are named Eberhart and Klaus), but that's what Alaskans have been calling Senator Ted Stevens -- yes, the one who was convicted last month of accepting a quarter of a million dollars in bribes. Uncle Ted turns 85 years old today!
So how's his day going so far? First of all, the GOP decides to postpone his possible expulsion for just a few more days. Meanwhile back in Alaska, the counting of absentee ballots now has Mark Begich well ahead of Stevens by 3724 votes, and there are only 2500 left to count.
Yippeee! Sure looks like Alaska will get a Democratic senator after all!!! This is the first time in nearly 30 years. Yup, change is a-coming.

But Stevens is a cantankerous old man, and he's not conceeding yet -- in fact, he'll likely demand a recount. And he'd have to pay for the recount himself if the current margin holds, and alas, there's no corrupt Veco employees to hit up for the money -- they're in jail! Meanwhile, speculations abound as to whether a Senator could even serve his term if convicted, and whether Sarah Palin would try to run for his seat if there were to be a run-off election.
But relax, looks like Begich is gonna win, fair and square, and Palin may just be stuck in Juneau. And Alaskan politics will never be the same...

Poor Uncle Ted. Instead of being able to celebrate his birthday, he's having a terrible day. The New York Times quotes him as saying "“I wouldn’t wish what I am going through on anyone, my worst enemy,” and I have to admit, I'm feeling a bit sorry for him. But I do wonder, after a long life of public service (40 years!), wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy your achievements and celebrate with your loved ones? Without facing jail and looking like a bitter old man? Without your ambitions and greed having gotten the best of you?

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