Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It Finally Happened

I know I am stating the obvious - thanks to the McPalin hijinks's and the antics of our corrupt bastards - Alaska is enjoying (I realize, a questionable choice of words) a degree of recognition, mention and scrutiny not previously experienced at any point in its modern history.

Except perhaps during the Gold Rush.

We are surrounded by plenty of evidence that we are wiggling in the glare of this dubious limelight - Palin is the topic for the talking heads to the talk shows and everything in between, but in my mind, you know you are living in the theatre of the absurd when references to your elected officials start appearing in Harper's.

Those of you familiar with the monthly will know about the Harper's Index and their practice of featuring the ridiculous, peculiar, laughable and downright absurdly corrupt in the front 10 or so pages titled "Readings". Well, last month, Alaska began to creep into these sections. Palin made it into the Harper's Index ("Minimum number of reporters who traveled to Wasilla, Alaska, in the two weeks following Sarah Palin's selection as VP: 90") as well as into the Readings section: "Death and the Maiden". Now this month, it's even juicier.

Titled The Good Life, Senator Ted Stevens on Virtue, it's a reprint of some of the more damning transcripts of conversations between Ted and Bill that the FBI recorded.

After reading the smattering that are reproduced here, it's no wonder the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts in such short order once the disruptive and oddball juror disappeared.

Although the transcripts are available to review - I have to confess I never bothered to. I didn't need to - I wasn't one of those that fell for the craven currying tones that the Fairbanks Daily News Miner took when reporting and commenting on the trial. However, it is very interesting to read these now.

Because really, as always - it's Ted who gives himself the rope by which he was hung.

Since these are public records and I am a lazy beast, I am sure that Harper's won't come after me if I quote just a few of the better lines of conversation from their magazine (and of course, as before, I can't resist adding a little editorializing of my own):

August 31, 2006

Ted Stevens: Hey Bill? Wonder if you are going to be around Sunday? Catherine has in mind replacing those black couches at the chalet---[can we ever get past just how pretentious it was to call that dump a "chalet"?]

Bill Allen: Yeah, uh, hey, Ted, the FBI got a warrant and searched my house and the office. They asked me what I done on your house. I said, well, he's paid for everything, and I just told'em I wouldn't talk to 'em.

T.S.: Okay. Good. I had an inkling something was up, but I don't know what it is.

September 10

T.S.: ....Keep yourself going my friend. I've never been up against a bunch like this before. I'm not getting much sleep , thinking about all this shit that's going around . I'm just trying to figure out why these fuckers are doing this thing to our friends. [quite possibly it is because those fuckers are upholding the law and they suspect you broke it, Uncle Ted]

October 18

T.S.:...So you and I ought to wait this thing out. They haven't filed a charge yet. It may be that what we've done leaves an impression that we have done something wrong. But you have to make up your mind you're doing something wrong to be really guilty of a crime. [here we see the first hint of that fine legal mind that brought us his astounding statement that he is not guilty until he finishes his appeal process] We don't want to get ourselves there by trying to do something that leads to a different kind of charge.

Yup, Alaska has arrived on the national scene - thanks to the whole freak'n lot of petty, ill-grammared thieves and trailer trash queens.