Ted Stevens Hates America:
The Rude Pundit is sure that the people of Knik, Alaska are fine, fine American citizens. He's sure that, if, say, a pack of crazed moose, or maybe an earthquake, came along and shoved the buildings of the town into the Cook Inlet, those fine people would welcome the federal government in with open arms to pour the largesse upon them. Even though Knik is just a swamp-ridden shithole that's a stop on the Iditarod sled dog race, the Rude Pundit would want his Senator to say, "You know what? We can do without the Museum of Pudfucking for another year or two. Let's build some homes for the Knikkers."

But not the members of Congress from Alaska when it comes to the enormous bill for Hurricane Katrina. Oh, no - they got their piggy basket filled and they're bringin' home the bacon. And that fuckin' $220 million bridge over Knik Arm ain't goin' nowhere (although early estimates placed the cost at $600 million, so perhaps this is just a down payment), and neither is the other $220 million bridge to Gravina Island, because, you know, the couple of dozen people there have to consider the ferry schedule now when they need to get to Anchorage Airport. Said Representative Don Young of Alaska about diverting the bridge money to, say New Orleans, "They can kiss my ear. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard," as if Rep. Young never heard about telling an entire nation that it needs to go to war against another nation to destroy weapons that don't exist is the height of intellectual sobriety.

But Young is just echoing Senator Ted Stevens, surely one of the skeeviest fuckers in the increasingly skeevy GOP majority. This motherfucker brings home the fuckin' bacon. Before the transportation bill, Alaska led the nation in pork in the 2005 budget, with $985 per capita, or $646 million. These include (according to Citizens Against Goverment Waste):

In Agriculture: $37,402,000 for projects in the state of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, including: $26,000,000 (4.9 percent of the pork for the entire bill) for Alaska villages through the Rural Community Advancement Program; $1,790,000 for berry research; $1,108,000 for alternative salmon products; $358,000 for seed research; $284,000 for ethnobotany research; $167,000 for salmon quality standards; and $160,000 for seafood waste research in Fairbanks.

In Commerce, Justice, and Judiciary: $60,977,000 for projects in Alaska, including: $18,700,000 for Alaska Seals and Stellar Sea Lions; $2,000,000 for training village public safety officers; $1,100,000 for alcohol interdiction for bootlegging crimes; $1,000,000 for mobile computers for Wasilla police cars; $265,000 for a training academy driver simulator; and $150,000 for the Aleut Marine Mammal Commission.

In Defense: $175,775,000 for projects in Alaska, including: $27,200,000 for Alaska Land Mobile Radio; $22,000,000 for Allen Army Airfield upgrades; $7,375,000 for the Port of Anchorage Intermodal Marine Facility Project; $5,500,000 for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) (Initially designed to capture energy from the aurora borealis [northern lights], HAARP is now being configured to heat up the ionosphere to improve military communications. In 1997, University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu stated that "To do what [has been talked] about, we would have to flatten the entire state of Alaska and put up millions of antennas, and even then, I am not sure it would work." Not surprisingly, HAARP is also heating up the ire of many taxpayers. Since 1995, CAGW has identified $100.9 million appropriated for HAARP); $3,400,000 for Adak airport operations improvement; and $1,000,000 to restore Woody Island and historic structures. According to Alaska’s Department of Commerce website, Woody Island has an official population of "0" and is only occupied on a seasonal basis.

In Energy and Water: $33,173,000 added in conference for projects in Alaska: $31,148,000 for 49 Army Corps of Engineers construction, and operation and maintenance projects for Alaska’s waterways (which represents 94 percent of the total Energy and Water Alaska pork); $1,500,000 for the Alaska Wind Energy Project; $325,000 for the Pacific Northwest Bi-National Regional Energy Planning Initiative; and $200,000 for the Alaska Wood Biomass Project in Ketchikan. The Sealaska Corporation oversees this wood-to-ethanol project, and built a $43 million facility to attempt to turn Alaska’s southeast old-growth (Tongass) timber and timber scraps into ethanol for use as a gasoline additive. The project has been in existence for many years and has yet to produce any significant results.

This could go on and on. Ted Stevens has ensured that hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to projects necessary and useless in Alaska. This is not to mention his securing of federal legislation in 2003 giving a corporation the right to fish for pollock in Adak. Stevens' son had an option that entitled him to one-fourth ownership of the company. Man, it's a good thing Republicans don't believe in big government, no?

Stevens doesn't give a shit that Alaska is part of the USA and that Alaska's tax dollars are part of a big pot. One of the failures of federalism is the notion that states deserve their "fair share" of that tax pot, that they should get dollar for dollar return. It's a bullshit concept, sort of like when the asshole middle-class Dad in a family that's just making ends meet decides to go through his mid-life crisis. Then he starts thinking, "Shit, I always have to pay for the food, send in the mortgage, put cash into Junior's college fund. When it is time for my payback?" And then he buys that Jag he's been eyeballin' for months, thinkin' it'll get him laid more. It might. But it'll surely fuck the family over.

But Ted Stevens doesn't give a happy monkey fuck about America as a family as long as he can bring the doggy bag of pork home from the Congressional buffet. (To be sure, other members of Congress could be offering to re-negotiate their pork, but Stevens is just an odious caribou fucker deserving of special contempt.) Instead, the Republicans are, of course, trying to cobble together appropriations from other programs, like, say, PBS and NPR, in order to keep their tax cuts, run a war, re-build the Gulf Coast, and get re-elected. There's a fuckin' hat trick for ya.

So, howzabout it, good people of Knik (sorry about the shithole comment, but, you know, c'mon) and Ketchikan (many of whom don't want the bridges because of the environmental impact, although Ted Stevens never met a tree he couldn't saw down to make a single sheet of toilet paper for the shit he'll take on the stump). Big Bird or bridges?