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The Courts Government United States News

Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty 565

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the now-a-series-of-cells dept.
techmuse writes "According to a series of tubes sites, Senator Ted Stevens has been found guilty of lying about free home renovations that he received from an oil contractor. He faces up to 5 years in jail, and the outcome of his current reelection bid is now in doubt. 'The conviction came after a tumultuous week in the jury room. First there were complaints about an unruly juror, then another had to be replaced when she left Washington following the death of her father. Finally, jurors on Monday discovered a discrepancy in the indictment that had been overlooked by prosecutors. Jury deliberations in this historic trial have at times been as contentious as some of the proceedings The Justice Department indicted Stevens on July 29, and the Alaska Republican took a huge legal gamble and asked for a speedy trial in order to resolve the charges before Election Day. Judge Emmet Sullivan complied with Stevens' request, and in less than three months from the time of his indictment, Stevens was found guilty.'"
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Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:21PM (#25533555)

    Dubya will pardon him on his way out

    Scooter will get a full pardon too (in addition to the sentence commutation he already got)

    'pubs will take care of their own, don't you worry

  • by Grandiloquence (1180099) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:21PM (#25533557)
    I would celebrate, but I know in my heart he'll be replaced by someone just as bad. Our body politic is rotten to the core.
  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headhot (137860) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:22PM (#25533567) Homepage

    So your a Senator of one of the largest oil producing states, an you hire an oil services company to renovate your house, instead of say, a home builder.

    Yea that doesn't look odd at all.

  • The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internerdj (1319281) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:24PM (#25533599)
    The truely sad thing is that if he is reelected then he can serve. Forgetting there being no law against a felon holding office. Shouldn't there be some law to protect the American people from legislators who commit felonies relating to their position?
  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:24PM (#25533613)

    This pretty much ruined Ted's shot of being reelected, but will this hurt the image of political figures from Alaska? So close to election day, could this affect Sarah Palin's image? Morality? (Which has already been questioned).

    So what could this do to John McCain's campaign?

    (Probably already missed first post)

  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:24PM (#25533615)
    I hope that you are wrong, but fear that you are right.
  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:27PM (#25533657) Homepage Journal
    If he isn't pardoned he'll probably do 6 months and probation if he behaves himself in the 'joint.
  • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScoLgo (458010) <scolgo@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:30PM (#25533701) Homepage

    To win a political race against Stevens, all his opponent needs do is bring this conviction up. That's not saying that I disagree with you but the real world will probably take care of this without the need for more laws.

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:31PM (#25533733) Homepage Journal
    Stevens probably did a lot to help alaska. He probably knows more about the politics than anyone. He was in office for, what, 40 years, only 9 years less than Alaska has been a state. And the charges might be trumped out, and the defense was good. It was essentially what Reagan used in his drug smuggling case. I was not my doing, I don't recall, I don't know. So it is probably an effort to get him out of office. If he should have to office for so long.

    OTOH, one has to think that a guy that can't control his household might be over the edges. That he is so much a part of the Washington Elite, that he might not distinguish between what is done to benefit the country and what is done to enrich himself. It really speaks to the accumulation of power, and the corruption that accompanies it. One can imagine that a dictator might not be such a bad thing, except eventually the accumulated power and privilege ends up warping the sense of reality to a mentally deformed image. It is kind of the story of this election, can a guy with 8 houses and 13 cars and a corporate jet and a young rich second wife really represent the bulk of the people who do not have any of these. I don't know. It will be a change in Alaska, and we will see if they can make it. If they have been broken from their benevolent benefactor, or freed from their father figure. I sure he did good, but perhaps did not get out when the good he did was not overwhelming.

  • by megamerican (1073936) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:43PM (#25533911)

    Yes, because only one party is corrupt!

    Clinton is well known for having pardoned many cocaine traffickers before leaving office. One of the first things Bush did when getting into office was block a congressional investigation into it.

    Whatever you do, don't research Mena, AK [google.com]

  • I predict... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cplusplus (782679) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:44PM (#25533931) Journal
    ...a presidential pardon in 85 days.
  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snowblindeye (1085701) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:45PM (#25533943)

    ... there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress.

    Aren't felons barred from voting? So, they can't be trusted enough to cast one vote in several millions, but they can be trusted enough to be a Senator?

  • by rudedog (7339) <dave@@@rudedog...org> on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:46PM (#25533957) Homepage

    This pretty much ruined Ted's shot of being reelected

    They're so cute when they're in their young, naive stage. Too bad they grow up so fast.

  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:49PM (#25533989) Homepage

    If felons were barred from serving in the Senate / Congress, then all you'd have to do is get people you don't like convicted of little petty things which may technically be felonies (due to their positions) and you could control who was in charge. It's probably for the best things are this way. The leaders of the Senate can kick him out if they want, as that MSN article says.

    Should a few parking tickets get someone kicked out of congress? I'm not supporting being a scoff-law about them, but would that really necessitate removing them from office?

    That said, I'd support a mandatory recall election on representatives who are convicted of felonies.

    Or I would if he wasn't up for re-election in less than 2 weeks anyway.

  • Re:I predict... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DerekSTheRed (1292084) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:50PM (#25534013)
    Nahh... He won't be pardoned. He'll just have his sentence commuted.
  • by eln (21727) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:53PM (#25534047) Homepage

    232 years and counting, and that still hasn't happened. But sure, the next one will do the trick.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday October 27, 2008 @04:57PM (#25534093)
    Yes, the [other guy] did it, that makes it okay for [your party] to do it. That is hypocrisy at best. Will how about this then: O.J. Simpson got away with murdering 2 people. That gives everyone a pass at a double murder.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:01PM (#25534135) Homepage

    Corruption is a problem of availability, not so much moral strength.

    Separate temptation from politicians and you will see fewer troubles. It would be far cheaper to grant politicians in key positions generous allowances for the rest of their lives and to clear all expenses over certain through some sort of oversight board forbidden to have any contact with the people they are overseeing. They should be very well taken care of and at the same time, isolated from their keepers. Then let the special interests make their arguments for legislation and let it be balanced against public interest groups and may legislators then make fair and balanced choices, actions and decisions.

    No more revolving doors. No more contributions from special interests. Once a politician enters public service, he should never again need to consider private sector life and would therefore have less tempting him now and in the future.

  • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:02PM (#25534145) Homepage

    Not necessarily. Most people will vote for a long-term Senator because they have a lot of seniority, and seniority in the Senate is everything. A very senior Senator will be able to have much greater influence and be much more successful at getting earmarks passed.

    In short, as long as a Senator is able to bring home the bacon to his district, a little thing like a felony conviction won't necessarily do him in.

  • by gorehog (534288) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:02PM (#25534149)

    Alright, I'm certainly happy to see Ted Stevens convicted. He probably deserves it. I am in fact a far left winger. I'm always happy to see any Republican convicted of anything.

    With that said:

    Give Ted Stevens a break on the "series of tubes" analogy. He was trying to describe saturation of available bandwidth in terms of water going through a pipe. It is a particularly good analogy given that educational metaphor for electrical systems are usually in terms of water in a pipe (or tube). All the snickering about "tubes" makes us look stupid to the community that knows about these things. Among the slashdot community it is just self-degrading. We should know better and attack him with points of merit.

    To sum up...Ted Steven's tubes refer to capacity of bandwidth to carry data. He does not seem to think that the internet is a bunch of vacuum tube technology. To persist with this insult makes the critic look stupid, not the target.

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:02PM (#25534151)
    No one said that it's okay for anyone to do it. Megamerican was merely countering a (probably) deliberately slanted statement with the fact that both parties are corrupt, not just one.
  • Re:WTF?!!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lakeland (218447) <lakeland@acm.org> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:06PM (#25534193) Homepage

    Sure, how about pirating music?

  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:06PM (#25534195)

    The techies call it pipes anyways. Same damned thing.

    I never saw anything bad about this, except for the idiot techies who laughed at "series of tubes" cause that's what it is.

    But where Im at, I call it fscking dialup.

  • by homer_s (799572) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:13PM (#25534293)
    From here [typepad.com]:

    " Among the articles of faith of "progressivism" is the theory - which never yields to experience - that you can fill the sea with enormous quantities of fresh red meat and then, Moses-like, successfully command the sharks not to devour it."

    "As long as Uncle Sam continues to stock the Potomac by ripping from the body politic such enormous quantities of flesh and muscle - now more than three trillion dollars worth annually - sharks and vultures will inevitably swarm throughout Washington in a competitive struggle to gorge themselves on this unfortunate feast."
  • Re:The sad thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by svnt (697929) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#25534391)
    The real world doesn't exist in Alaska. If what you've seen over the last several months hasn't convinced you, wait and see.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:26PM (#25534441)

    It would be far cheaper to grant politicians in key positions generous allowances for the rest of their lives

    Indeed. Instead, we have many people (including many on Slashdot) advocating for term limits, which force those politicians to immediately start thinking about their income post-service, and what they can do now to ensure it.

    I've always thought that being a lifetime public servant, if your constituents allow it, is far better than being another revolving door politician heading from a law degree into a cushy PR position at a company paying for the laws you gave them.

    Obviously Ted Stevens decided he could keep the office and get the payback, too; he should have retired six years ago, after which time he could have gotten all the house upgrades he desired for the work he'd already performed for the oil industry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:32PM (#25534499)

    Oh, that why cube farms feel somewhat like a prison?

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:33PM (#25534505) Journal

    What's corrupt about that? These people are performing a valid service to the public and are being persecuted by the government for it. As head of that government, Clinton has the prerogative to right that wrong. The only thing wrong here is that he didn't pardon every drug offender.

  • Re:The sad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by winomonkey (983062) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:34PM (#25534521)
    As an Alaskan, I would be a little hesitant to put any money on a wager against his being reelected. I know a lot of people who have hated him (or been staunch Democrats) and yet have voted for him. Those who disagree with his ability to be a decent person typically acknowledge that he has gotten our state a ridiculous amount of money and development.

    His being so ridiculously connected, and his serving as the chair of so many committees, has made a lot of people give up a vote to him. It is funny/sad to see people give up their own moral pride to keep the cash flowing in. On another note, for all of his crap and corruption, he has also done some good for the state and its many indigenous peoples.

    While I think that this is going to be a pretty major nail in the coffin of his political life, I am not convinced that it will really lay the issue to rest (it would take either a stake and some garlic or a severed spinal cord, depending on whether you tie his longevity to his being a vampire or one of the undead).
  • by GospelHead821 (466923) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:41PM (#25534611)

    I can take no pleasure in the thought of an 84-year-old man going to federal prison. Were he a younger man guilty of a more heinous crime, I could see the necessity or prudence of it. As it is, I will do no more than shrug and say "Let justice be served."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:46PM (#25534647)

    Clinton was under investigation for PERJURING himself in a completely different sexual harassment suit brought against him, not for getting a BJ in the White House. The problem with Clinton was that he just couldn't stop lying and debasing women long enough to stay out of trouble. His view of the role of women in the work place is painfully clear to all, but because he was the President his victims will never have justice.

    As a conservative, I am happy to see Ted Stevens convicted. There are far too many of these treacherous bastards infecting the conservative movement. But don't you Dems think that your party isn't riddled with them, too. Harry Reid neglecting to declare rental property income on his taxes comes to mind. Most politicians are crooks. No sane, honest person would want to be associated with them, much less be called one.

  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:52PM (#25534717)

    I don't. He did a lot for Alaska only because he was the senate King of Pork barrel spending. He did little good for the country as a whole. Good riddance.

  • by kklein (900361) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:55PM (#25534741)

    If you're a Dem, you can't really go there.

    Don't forget that Clinton pardoned like a million friends and supporters basically on his way out the White House door. As a big Clinton supporter in the day, it broke my heart. It basically confirmed all the bad things the right had said about him.

    I don't see President Obama doing that.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:05PM (#25534839) Journal

    That one misuse of the word "internet" was typical of anyone speaking faster than they're thinking in any venue. He clearly meant to say "email" and didn't realize he'd duplicated a different word in his linguistic stream of consciousness. Read a few transcripts of any unscripted dialogue and you'll giggle the first ten times then just roll right past them.

    The rest of his description was actually pretty good, from an "explain it to me like i'm six years old" perspective. Which is the sort of perspective you have to have when talking to Congress and/or the kind of people who watch the news and write letters to Congress.

    Talking dumber than the smart people in your audience informs more people than talking smarter than the dumb people, and anyone who's been in Congress that long will know that.

    He's not a stupid politician, in other words.

    Just a crooked and arrogant one.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:21PM (#25534987)

    Comprimising our democracy for money? There can be no more heinous crime. For a member of Congress to take such a bribe should be a death penalty offense.

  • by Xaositecte (897197) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:22PM (#25535013) Journal

    What do you think are the odds of him getting a pardon?

    I mean, really, why else would he want to have the trial finished before the election?

  • Not buying it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EriDay (679359) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:39PM (#25535207)
    Yes there have always been corrupt politicians from all parties. The difference is Tom Delay and the K street project institutionalized corruption. That's why the Republican party is going down so hard in this election.

    Either that or the government is in worse condition than we know and and the republicans want to make sure there are no republicans anywhere near government for the next four years. I don't know how else to explain the terrible campaigns being run by all republicans this year.
  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:41PM (#25535225) Journal

    Because if he won, his re-election chances would be very high. If he still had it hanging over his head, his opponent could use it against him. It was a big gamble, and he lost the bet, and now he'll probably lose the election.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:05PM (#25535445)

    >term limits

    no No NO NO dammit NO!

    Term limits guarantee that the only long-term (read as permanent) power structure IS THE LOBBYISTS.

    Is that what you want? Really?

    What we *need* is to make what is called "lobbying" illegal, the way it is in most countries (that is, giving money to a politician is a bribe, whether the FEC tracks the paperwork or not).

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:08PM (#25535463) Homepage

    Comprimising our democracy for money? There can be no more heinous crime. For a member of Congress to take such a bribe should be a death penalty offense.

    Well, unless it's in the name of lobbying or campaign "donations". Then it's free speech.

  • by NullProg (70833) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:13PM (#25535495) Homepage Journal

    This story belongs in the political section at best. Even better, it belongs in the "I hate Republicans and limited government" section.

    I haven't seen YRO articles on Cold Cash Jefferson (URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Jefferson) or Alcee Hastings (URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcee_Hastings) or even recently Tim Mahoney (URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Mahoney).

    Taco, if I want political BS, I'll visit the DNC/RNC/MOVEON/NRO websites, not slashdot.
    Keep slashdot neutral, or at least keep the articles in the correct forum (which I block).

    My opinion,
    Enjoy.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@@@beau...org> on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:25PM (#25535579)

    > For a member of Congress to take such a bribe should be a death penalty offense.

    Well Congress would be pretty frickin' empty..... But if they couldn't make a Quorum nothing could get done and I for one could live with that. :)

    Seriously, I'm a Republican (and have the flamebait mods for questioning The Chosen One to prove it) and think today is a great day for Justice. Crooks need to go, regardless of party.

    Now if we could just clean out the assholes who caused this current economic meltdown that started at Freddie and Fannie.... Sens Dodd (Banking Cmmt Chairman) and Obama (#2 lifetime money take in only four years), Rep Frank (Chief House cheerleader for subprime lending while fucking the guy in charge of subprime lending for close to decade while overseeing em), etc.

    Or just take Open Secrets:All Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008 [opensecrets.org] and work yer way down the top twenty or so.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:34PM (#25535673) Journal

    Give Ted Stevens a break on the "series of tubes" analogy. He was trying to describe saturation of available bandwidth in terms of water going through a pipe. It is a particularly good analogy given that educational metaphor for electrical systems are usually in terms of water in a pipe (or tube).

    The "tubes" comment wasn't the ridiculous part... That's just the quickest short-hand for that whole speech he gave.

    While the numerous mis-statements, like calling the internet "tubes", and repeatedly calling an "e-mail" an "internet" where stupid... The fact that he thinks an e-mail from his staff took 4 days to get to his inbox because the "tubes" were "full" of movies downloading is what really demonstrates his woeful ignorance.

    But what really makes it really sad, important, etc., is the fact that he chaired the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, tasked with regulating the internet, and used his overwhelming clear ignorance to justify striking down network neutrality legislation.

    John McCain got similarly criticized for getting the Sunni/Shia thing wrong while making a speech, and failing to correct his own mistake.

    When you have a role of responsibility regulating something, and you demonstrate an utter ignorance of the subject, it's not "snickering" to point out that fact, as often as necessary.

  • Re:Not buying it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:42PM (#25535747)

    I don't know how else to explain the terrible campaigns being run by all republicans this year.

    well, you can only lie about your disastrous policies and hide the horrible smell for so long before the weight of the dung in the closet causes the door to burst, flooding the room.

    Reaganomics doesn't work. Deregulation of the financial industries led to the meltdown, and republican policies of rewarding the rich while ignoring or even disenfranchising the middle class and working poor were not very conducive to successful mortgage payments.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:13PM (#25535973) Journal

    Yes, because only one party is corrupt!

    I'm tired of hearing this nonsense over and over again.

    Yes, Democrats have done plenty of wrong, but on the whole, they're absolute choir boys compared to the flagrant, bald-faced corruption of most of the Republican party.

    Of course, pointing the finger in willful ignorance is a typical Republican campaign tactic as well... See the McCain campaign's distribution of tire pressure gauges labeled "Obama's Energy Plan," Bush campaign promises that he was going to do more to combat global warming than Al Gore, and pretty much everything else they whole party has done in the past 20 years.

    It's a bit like a guy driving 110MPH in a 45MPH zone, and complaining to the cops about being singled out for a ticket, single HE wasn't the only one speeding, as everyone else on the road was going 50MPH... So why should HE get singled out and ticketed?

    There's plenty of fuckups on both sides, but pointing out that the Democrats aren't perfect, while the Republicans are widespread and institutionally corrupt, is purely feigned ignorance.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:18PM (#25535995)

    No, I'd put destroying the fabric of democracy as worse than rape or murder. Maybe not above genocide, but quite comparable to it. And that goes no matter which side of the aisle it comes from.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:24PM (#25536037)

    Not a saint, only someone committed to their ideals. Which probably does eliminate most politicians, who vote whatever way the polls say.

  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:37PM (#25536161)
    What is this fear some of you right wing Americans have of communists. Its as if they will sneak in while you are not looking or something? Its all a bit silly.

    The people that you really have to fear from are the ones that do not hide. The ones that proudly state their hatred.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:50PM (#25536279)

    Now if we could just clean out the assholes who caused this current economic meltdown that started at Freddie and Fannie

    Don't forget Phil Gramm. He's in this up to his eyeballs.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:52PM (#25536297)
    Not a bad analysis, but you got the Administration wrong. This was begun way before Bush (granted, he didn't stop it, but one assumes he had other things to do, War in Iraq and all.)
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:03PM (#25536387) Homepage Journal
    Hey, thanks for responding in a non-inflammatory manner.

    So, when did it become possible to sell mortgage-backed securities, and why did it go into overdrive around 2002, 2003?

    I've heard and seen plenty of source on the radio and web that lays the blame at Bush's feet. I've heard that deregulation started with Clinton, but later heard ( which corroborated my own memory ) that they basically outlawed redlining, which is simply the refusal to make loans in certain neighborhoods, regardless of income, assets, or credit history -- nothing that would have caused out situation today. What's your story, and can you provide me some links?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:25PM (#25536543)

    I'm always happy to see any Republican convicted of anything.

    Really? any Republican? of anything? That's sad and scary.

  • by quantaman (517394) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:49PM (#25536685)

    This story belongs in the political section at best.

    Perhaps but recall this guy got his nickname during a speech about net neutrality. Stevens has been screwing with my rights online for a while, I don't see any problem with this story being YRO.

  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:39AM (#25537741)
    I disagree - while this may seem "common sense" - most if not all communist revolutions (and most revolutions in general) are done very much in the open - with public support (not neccessarly majority, but critical mass - ie not all segments of the population are equally important to win over). After all popular support is the life blood of any revolution... its where the resources and recruits come from. Revolutions that are contrived by a small cabal without the public support are, and will remain safely in the conspiracy theory bucket.

    Your media infiltration scenario is also a bit bizarre given the availability of right wing news outlets in the US.
  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:48AM (#25538085) Journal
    Be careful with this. In Australia we had a similar initiative called the "Goods and Services Tax" which was supposed to do exactly that -- drop an enormously complicated and layered tax structure for a simple flat percentage on goods & services.

    Problem was they added the GST, but didn't remove all the other taxes, so it became essentially just one more tax. Implementation is everything, don't let it go ahead unless and until all those other taxes go away in the same bill.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @03:18AM (#25538431)

    Even better, it belongs in the "I hate Republicans and limited government" section.

    Hang on a minute - Republicans are for "limited government"? Where in the hell did you get that absurd notion from?

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @09:40AM (#25541109)

    Republicans don't let Republicans go to jail.

    What a short memory you have. Democrats don't let Democrats go to jail either. [google.com] There is a long history of presidents doing odd things on their way way out - just because they can. This is not about Republicans or Democrats.

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