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AP Calls Alaska Senate race for Begich.
November 19, 2008 6:14 AM   Subscribe


 
Here's to the end of an era. Goodbye Ted.
posted by daHIFI at 6:14 AM on November 19, 2008


Thank fucking god.
posted by mediareport at 6:17 AM on November 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thank you for the news update!
posted by smackfu at 6:17 AM on November 19, 2008


Happy 85th Birthday, Ted.
posted by Optamystic at 6:20 AM on November 19, 2008


Oh, Incredible Hulk tie... I'll miss you most of all.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:20 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is terrible news for the Internet. I hope you're all happy when you send an email on Friday morning and it doesn't get there until Tuesday.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:21 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mark Begich, who is now the senator, wins this after this shifting recount, but that's nothing. His father, Nick Begich, won an election posthumously, only they didn't know for sure that it was posthumous because his plane just disappeared. It still hasn't turned up. It's why locators are now required in all US planes.
posted by pracowity at 6:29 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Woo hoo!!!!
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:30 AM on November 19, 2008


*Waves goodbye*
posted by rtha at 6:33 AM on November 19, 2008


"1944-46: Serves as transport pilot flying C-46s and C-47s in China-Burma-India theater during WW II; receives Distinguished Flying Cross."

Thanks for your service Ted. (That said, I'm not quite sure of the point of this post other than to give people the opportunity to pile on, preach to choirs and generally vent. I'm not anticipating any clear-eyed, reasoned discussion. I am anticipating a lot of "Woo hoo!!" But heck, have at it!)
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:33 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Stevens will have no trouble getting a job with his local Best Buy's Geek Squad.
posted by item at 6:35 AM on November 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Great news. I'm glad they won't have to waste time in the Senate throwing him out, as nice as it might be to watch.

I know I have to wait til December for Georgia's run-off election, but does anyone know the status of Minnesota? I couldn't find anything about how the recount is going, or when it might be completed.
posted by explosion at 6:35 AM on November 19, 2008


Thank you Alaska, for proving you are not a series of rubes.
posted by DU at 6:37 AM on November 19, 2008 [18 favorites]


I JUST GOT AN INTERNET
posted by louche mustachio at 6:38 AM on November 19, 2008


Oh and: 59...
posted by DU at 6:38 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


explosion: Minnesota's recount begins today.
posted by stopgap at 6:40 AM on November 19, 2008


Ha ha
posted by louche mustachio at 6:40 AM on November 19, 2008


His father, Nick Begich, won an election posthumously, only they didn't know for sure that it was posthumous because his plane just disappeared.

wow that sounds incredibly suspicious, in particular given the age (1972) when liberal figures were routinely being assassinated. It wouldn't have taken much for a mechanic to sabotage the planes engine to fail after X amount of time. Wikipedia doesn't list any conspiracy theories but there must be some.
posted by stbalbach at 6:43 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


DU, Begich is 58. Martin and Franken would be 59 and 60 (but I doubt that will happen).
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:43 AM on November 19, 2008


What's the opposite of "."?
posted by The Bellman at 6:44 AM on November 19, 2008


Wikipedia doesn't list any conspiracy theories but there must be some.

Nonsense. If it's not on Wikipedia then it never happened.
posted by item at 6:44 AM on November 19, 2008


DU: "Oh and: 59..."

Pretty sure it's 56 currently (not including the +2 Independents which brings it to 58).
posted by stbalbach at 6:45 AM on November 19, 2008


I feel an unclogging in the Tubes as if millions of emails were sent in frustration and were suddenly delivered.
posted by chillmost at 6:46 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


What's the opposite of "."?

!
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 6:46 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Item: "Wikipedia doesn't list any conspiracy theories but there must be some.

Nonsense. If it's not on Wikipedia then it never happened.
"

Typically for conspiracy or "controversy" type stuff that is a reliable rule of thumb for Wikipedia.
posted by stbalbach at 6:47 AM on November 19, 2008


I suppose it's too much to hope that this will limit, if not corruption, shameless corruption for the average attention span of a Congressman: about six months.
posted by LucretiusJones at 6:52 AM on November 19, 2008


56 currently

I meant in the caucus.

Martin and Franken would be 59 and 60

Oh right, Martin. I thought Franken was likely to win but Martin is anybody's call. The runoff doesn't have to look anything like the first pass. Err...and I'm not seeing the 538 post I was apparently imagining. So maybe they are both anybody's guess?
posted by DU at 6:53 AM on November 19, 2008


I really hope this site stays up.
posted by Dr-Baa at 6:53 AM on November 19, 2008 [15 favorites]


What's the opposite of "."?

:)

That it happened on his birthday just makes it all the more delicious.
posted by bokane at 6:53 AM on November 19, 2008


in particular given the age (1972) when liberal figures were routinely being assassinated

?
posted by DU at 6:54 AM on November 19, 2008


I had meant to include Wonkette in the links but somehow missed it.

MarshallPoe, it's all about closure for me. I awoke to the glorious sounds of NPR this morning and thought I was dreaming. My first thought was 'I can't wait to see the MeFi comments on this one. Alas there was no thread, so I made one. Enjoy the pile on.

Also, I noticed that Drudge has no link to the news whatsoever, and the big link on Fox News is the emergence of new witnesses in the Holloway case. Who'd a thunk it??
posted by daHIFI at 6:54 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


erggg.... forgive my missing close quotes after 'comments on this one.' /grammarnazi
posted by daHIFI at 6:56 AM on November 19, 2008


I hate to defend this ultraconservative, anti-science, corrupt, ignorant nutjob but...

The Internet actually is a series of tubes. It's not really a bad analogy. As long as all the words surrounding your analogy aren't a) stupid and b) spoken in a cranky old man voice.
posted by DU at 6:57 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not anticipating any clear-eyed, reasoned discussion. I am anticipating a lot of "Woo hoo!!" But heck, have at it!)

Shouldnt people be happy when a democracy votes out a corrupt politician, or should we "respect the office?" Im genuinely curious as to what you think an appropriate reaction here is. The man just got convicted. Criminals without an office are treated much, much worse and no one defends them. Why should anyone be defending him?
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:57 AM on November 19, 2008


But who will look after the tubes now?
posted by Capt Jingo at 6:58 AM on November 19, 2008


I hate to defend this ultraconservative, anti-science, corrupt, ignorant nutjob but...

The Internet actually is a series of tubes. It's not really a bad analogy. As long as all the words surrounding your analogy aren't a) stupid and b) spoken in a cranky old man voice.


I'll reiterate what I said in a previous TedThread on the validity of making fun of his Tubes speech:
For fuck's sake, the problem with the Series of Tubes speech is not that it's a bad metaphor, even though it is. The problem is that he's a shit-for-brains manipulator trying to pass laws affecting your rights. Imperfect metaphors are fine when the author actually knows what he's talking about. Read any TCP/IP protocol discussion and it will be full of such metaphors that could be taken to comical extremes, but we know the author is explaining something they Actually Understand. This is not the case with Stevens, he knows he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about - but that's what's insulting about his speech: it's not designed to inform, it's designed to mislead.
posted by odinsdream at 7:08 AM on November 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


in particular given the age (1972) when liberal figures were routinely being assassinated

?


I guess that's supposed to mean
1963: JFK
1968: MLK, RFK
1972: Begich?
posted by pracowity at 7:09 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


HULK MAD
posted by spamguy at 7:16 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


But who will look after the tubes now?
I can probably do it over the holidays but come next year you are on your own.
posted by Sailormom at 7:19 AM on November 19, 2008


Liberal leaders were being assassinated in the 60s at a much higher rate than in the 70s. In fact, I think the only big assassination attempt of 1972 was on George Wallace.
posted by billysumday at 7:25 AM on November 19, 2008


MarshallPoe writes "'1944-46: Serves as transport pilot flying C-46s and C-47s in China-Burma-India theater during WW II; receives Distinguished Flying Cross.'

"Thanks for your service Ted."


Save your tears. Duke Cunningham was a war hero too, and he ended up in prison. Ted will avoid that, given that he's 85 and should have retired long ago, except that would have meant people not "storing" their stuff in his house.

Whatever good he once did, the guy's been a vain, corrupt, man-spirited opportunist clinging to power for far longer.

I'll cry for Ted when he can't get health care (like the kids who don't have SCHIP thanks to Ted and his cronies), because all the money was spent on bridges to nowhere. The guy will never miss a meal or a doctor's appointment, and he'll die in a warm bed, aftwer which dozens of people will lie and eulogize him as a courageous man of the people.

All that's happened here is that a guy who promised to guard the public fisc but turned it into his personal trough got rightly turned out of office. Now's not the time for anyone's tears. We should be cheering that democracy sorta, kinda, sometimes works.
posted by orthogonality at 7:28 AM on November 19, 2008 [9 favorites]


"Shouldnt people be happy when a democracy votes out a corrupt politician, or should we "respect the office?" Im genuinely curious as to what you think an appropriate reaction here is. The man just got convicted. Criminals without an office are treated much, much worse and no one defends them. Why should anyone be defending him?"

Oh, I'm not defending him. He should be tossed out. But, with all due respect to my esteemed honorable colleague daHIFI, I wonder how far the bounds of NewsFilter can be stretched. I, too, heard the news on NPR. But that's why I listen to NPR--to get the news. I come to MeFi for something else. But since I'm starting to sound like a crank and this is really a (tired) MeTa issue, I'll shut up. Carry on with the celebration...
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:29 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You didn't find the 5 Metafilter links, 2 Wikipedia links, and 6 links to the same news story to be up to our standards? Shocking!
posted by smackfu at 7:33 AM on November 19, 2008


that's what's insulting about his speech: it's not designed to inform, it's designed to mislead.

That's not the impression I got. It sounded to me like Stevens really believed that the reason he had an email delayed for days was because some damn kids had clogged up his tubes. Seriously: is there anyone who is competent enough to know why that's not possible but still has the chutzpah to try to publicly pretend otherwise? The speech was misleading, but that wasn't by design, it's just because Stevens' IT guys either didn't have the opportunity or the bravery to preempt it by explaining the real problem.
posted by roystgnr at 7:35 AM on November 19, 2008


Thank you Alaska, for proving you are not a series of rubes.

I'll save that sentiment for the day they oust Palin.
posted by gman at 7:36 AM on November 19, 2008


Well. Sure. Ok. But how about a "trucks-as-packets" metaphor? Does that work for you?

The humor in Steven's infamous tubes statement wasn't so much that the metaphor is fundamentally flawed, it was that his delivery was, as you say, that of a cranky old man, and that of someone who didn't spend enough time rehearsing with the lobbyists before going before a camera.

It was painfully clear that he didn't know what the hell he was talking about, and just reciting a telco lobbyist's talking point.
posted by device55 at 7:40 AM on November 19, 2008


Oh. Hi up there, odinsdream.
posted by device55 at 7:43 AM on November 19, 2008


Sometimes I'm fuckin' dumb.
posted by gman at 7:44 AM on November 19, 2008


> The Internet actually is a series of tubes. It's not really a bad analogy.

It's a series of wires. To be fair, far more clueful people had been using 'pipes' for quite a long time as jargon. But he still fails by treating the metaphor (pipes, tubes, whatever; a hollow conduit) as a literal entity for the rest of his example, and in addition misuses other technical terms.
"an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. [...] if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."
He marked himself as a luser as readily as any officeworker who tried to impress you with how fast 'hard drive' is, while pointing at the monitor or keyboard rather than the big beige box under the desk. Except instead of being a low-level corporate staffer you have to avoid at a party before he chatters your ear off about his MMORPG characters, Stevens is in charge of regulations for the Internet, a system that he clearly fails to understand.

And, principally, the "Series of Tubes" speech was Stevens explanation of his opposition to network neutrality regulations. He was delivering an argument that sounded laughable to people opposed to his ruling. So by mocking the speech, the decision (and rationales for the decision) were mocked too.
posted by ardgedee at 7:46 AM on November 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sweet. GOP gits p*wnd agin!

You betcha.

Bonus laff:

Hilarious diary title on a certain liberal site: Sarah Palin: A noun, a verb, energy policy, and Also.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:57 AM on November 19, 2008


The tube thing reminds me of how during the Thomas-Hill hearings Strom Thurmond kept telling people to talk into the machine (microphone).
posted by troybob at 7:59 AM on November 19, 2008




I completely understand the argument against newsfilter here (and I have no defense of the Farkish posts that wind up here and inevitably get deleted), however with Steven's history on this site over the years I would think it a great injustice if this didn't wind up on the front page somehow.

Before posting this I scanned the front page to make sure it hadn't been posted yet already, checked my RSS feed for any that might have been deleted, and then even pondered posting a Metatalk 'Are we gonna have a Stevens thread?' post, before building this page. And yes, while it's 5 mefi links, a wiki page and 4 news articles or whatever and not the 'best of the web', I believe it's fitting considering the attention the man has garnered here over the past few years. I think the situation demands it.
posted by daHIFI at 8:12 AM on November 19, 2008


Thanks for your service Ted. - posted by MarshallPoe

And where is your 'oh by the way - "no thanks" to violation of law' comment? Did it get lost in the series of tubes, or does service in the military provide a moral armor that later misusing a position of public trust can not pierce?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:13 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


^I'm sure Stevens will have no trouble getting a job with his local Best Buy's Geek Squad.

Item, you owe me a keyboard.
posted by zippy at 8:23 AM on November 19, 2008


And just to put us even FURTHER into happyland:

A South Texas judge has indicted VP Dick Cheney.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on November 19, 2008


Come on, comparing this fresh faced lad and the old, surly Grandpa shouldn't have been a contest. Toss in the guilty verdict, and he's done.

That is assuming people 1. watch the news, 2. believe the news, and 3. aren't too afraid of a young guy taking the place of an older chap. It'd be interesting to know how many equate older age with wisdom necessary for the position.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on November 19, 2008


Wikipedia doesn't list any conspiracy theories but there must be some.

Oh, there are conspiracy theories about the Begich crash, you're just looking at the wrong target.
posted by weebil at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ever since hearing this, I've had this song stuck in my head. I have no idea why, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that we actually managed to not re-elect a convicted felon.

Amusingly, this image is an advertisement on a page about a cranky old man getting what was coming to him.
posted by quin at 8:59 AM on November 19, 2008


EmpressCallipygos, I read this in the paper this am. The judge had not yet signed the thing. Your article says the Grand Jury has indicted him. Is this the same thing?
posted by pointilist at 9:02 AM on November 19, 2008


wow that sounds incredibly suspicious, in particular given the age (1972) when liberal figures were routinely being assassinated.

No conspiratorial explanation is necessary. Many politicians have died in plane crashes, because they often make relatively unplanned trips on private and chartered aircraft in bad weather. When you fly into the middle of a snowstorm with a relatively inexperienced pilot in a tiny little plane, no conspiratorial explanation is necessary for a plane crash. The same thing happened when Paul Wellstone's plane crashed due to pilot error. More than anyone, I would love to attribute a dark conspiracy to the election of Norm Coleman to the Senate, but I have relatives in Minnesota and some of them know people who have received legal settlements from the wrongful death lawsuit over the Wellstone crash. I think a similar non-conspiratorial explanation applies in Begich's case.
posted by jonp72 at 9:09 AM on November 19, 2008


You know, Ted Stevens may have been a lying, corrupt, oligarchic douchebag, but the internet would not be the same without tube jokes. I'm not sorry to see him go, but I'm also glad he was there when he was.

After all, someone competent could have been trying to take away Net Neutrality, and we're in a dubious enough position as it is in that regards.

And also, I love series of tubes jokes. I'll love them forever.
posted by Caduceus at 9:11 AM on November 19, 2008


||
posted by condour75 at 9:17 AM on November 19, 2008


Oh, there are conspiracy theories about the Begich crash, you're just looking at the wrong target.

Ah! A dissenting member of the Warren Commission went down in the same plane. That's the meat and potatoes conspiracy stuff we wuz craving! Thanks, weebil.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:36 AM on November 19, 2008


Hale Boggs' daughter is Cokie Roberts!

I would love to attribute a dark conspiracy to the election of Norm Coleman to the Senate, but I have relatives in Minnesota and some of them know people who have received legal settlements from the wrongful death lawsuit over the Wellstone crash.

I'm not saying Wellstone's crash was murder, but your reason for dismissing it is a complete non-sequitur.
posted by DU at 9:43 AM on November 19, 2008


"1944-46: Serves as transport pilot flying C-46s and C-47s in China-Burma-India theater during WW II; receives Distinguished Flying Cross."

Dude flew the hump. Impressive. Hats off, Ted.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:58 AM on November 19, 2008


But about the corruption, Ted got less than what he deserved if all he does is lose his seat.

I'm not saying Wellstone's crash was murder, but your reason for dismissing it is a complete non-sequitur.

It occurs to me that little planes fall out of the sky all the time, and those little planes convey a lot of important folks, so it's not surprising when plane crashes lead to conspiracy theories. Such crashes also provide a convenient cover for intentional killings, were any organization devious enough. I'm looking at you, CIA, and you, MI5, and, especially you, KGB. Anyone know of any evidence that those infamous organizations ever used that mechanism to "neutralize" an important target?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:43 AM on November 19, 2008


Dibs on the fish statue. I don't expect he'll want it anymore.
posted by JimmyJames at 10:58 AM on November 19, 2008


The Internet actually is a series of tubes. It's not really a bad analogy.

No, it's a horrible analogy. The Internet is a network of networks. A network in non-linear. A series of tubes is equivalent to one big tube. ===== Garbage in, garbage out.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:39 PM on November 19, 2008


Breaking news banner on CNN says Stevens conceded.
posted by marxchivist at 12:59 PM on November 19, 2008


Dr. Nick Begich is the eldest son of the late United States Congressman from Alaska, Nick Begich Sr., and political activist Pegge Begich. . . Begich received his doctorate in traditional medicine from The Open International University for Complementary Medicines in November 1994.

Seems like a 'think different' kinda family.


Senator-elect Mark Begich certainly thinks differently from his brother Nick on education:

He attended Steller Secondary School in Anchorage. Has taken continuing education classes at University of Alaska in Anchorage.

Begich will be the only U.S. Senator without a college degree.

posted by Herodios at 1:05 PM on November 19, 2008


Stevens has always been a cranky old man, even when he was 6 years old. That said, I have mixed feelings about the man. He made no secret that he was out for money for Alaska and that is just what we did. There is a state-of-the-art oceanography facility that was built with money he brought us. The facility employs a lot of people. The research they will conduct there will a boon to a state where the effects of global warming are already being felt.

Getting modern basics like indoor plumbing, electricity, internet, telephone, waste treatment, and even indoor heat needs a little help from the man in Alaska. Not many people complain about The Rural Electric Company or the Universal Service Fund. Alaska needs this sort of help in spades.

Begich seems to be a stand-up kind of guy. I listened to the debate on the radio between Begich and Stevens and I was impressed by his demeanor. He started his mayoral career with Anchorage in debt and left them with balanced books and a brand new convention center.

And as far as a plane disappearing in Alaska, this sort of thing happens up here. I could walk out my door and be completely lost to humanity by mid afternoon. Within the last year, one of the bigwigs in the Dept of Revenue went on a hunting trip with his son in their floatplane and nothing was ever seen of them again.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:35 PM on November 19, 2008


These might just draw a frozen tear.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:46 PM on November 19, 2008


Will I miss Ted Stevens? "NO!!"
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2008


And just think -- his hilarious 'tube' commentary would never have seen the light of day if one of his staffers hadn't lied about getting his work done on a Friday and instead turning it in on the following Tuesday.

"Internet must be clogged, sir, I sent it!"
posted by graventy at 11:18 PM on November 19, 2008


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