"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Uncle Ted Goes Down the Tubes

If you’re a regular follower of this space, you might have gathered that I am, or was, an Alaska resident. I was born and raised there from 1972 to 1991.

Those years spanned the transformation of the State from a rustic, removed, almost colony-like existence to that of a modern and bustling community on the leading edge of many of the country's standards, including education, energy exploration, and quality of life.

It speaks volumes that Alaska residents can come home from enjoying a first-run movie at a state-of-the-art multiplex to find a grizzly bear ransacking their kitchen - when just 30 years ago they would’ve come home from watching a two-week tape-delay broadcast of the Rose Bowl at their nearest neighbor 2 miles away to find a grizzly bear ransacking their kitchen.

The residents of Alaska’s cities enjoy a standard of living second to none in this country, yet, 15 minutes by float plane in any direction is complete and utter wilderness.

If you’re a regular follower of this space, you might have also noticed I’m no fan of politicians, especially hypocritical and hubristic ones, and if they’re right-wing on top of that…you’ll find me damn near apoplectic.

So it may surprise you that I find this whole story regarding Ted Stevens kind of sad.

Ted Stevens is pretty much single-handedly responsible for all that I described above. Of course, I’m exaggerating. Alaska’s environment certainly brings out the best (and worst) in everyone, and I’ve never been surprised at the lengths people go to make themselves comfortable. But, Ted Stevens is still alive and well, is a sitting senator, and has a fucking airport named after him for God’s sake.

They don’t call him “Uncle Ted” for nothing. He is the longest-serving seated Republican senator in history – 6 terms – and he’s consistently brought home so much pork that Alaska is firmly atop several lists compiled by government-spending watchdog groups. It’s a wonder Alaskans bother to make their own sausage at all.

Alaska pretty much owes its existence to him. He was instrumental in the move for statehood. He guided the energy exploration and expansion in the late 60’s and 70’s that made Anchorage the fast growing city in the world until 1986. That oil revenue has translated into city services and a public education system the envy of the entire nation.

And now he’s taken all that success and goodwill and shit on it. He’s taken all that influence and power and flown so high above us and the laws that govern everyone else that his wings have finally melted off. His house was practically built by Alaska’s biggest oil-services contractor and he’s introduced legislation that turns out to have directly benefitted family members. What’s new about that, you ask?


But instead of reporting it, as the law states, he’s gotten caught covering it all up. This guy, who was one of the loudest of the ringleaders in Congress’ move to impeach Bill Clinton for lying under oath.

And so, as much as Republicans and all the right-wing media outlets LOVE to bust Dems and liberals on ethics, it’s kind of hard, even still, to have a laugh as this giant fucking hypocrite goes down in a ball of flame.

We’ll be singing for you, Uncle Ted.

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