(Phillip blogs at Progressive Alaska, which is more than worth your while. Also joining us is Celtic Diva, who blogs at her Blue Oasis. Both blogs are worth a thorough read and the pictures at Diva’s are enough like BC to make me homesick—Ian)

Alaska’s very senior senator, Sen. Ted Stevens (R – the Toobz), through his addled defense of retroactive FISA immunity, torture, the Enron loophole, sneaky fisheries deals with campaign supporters, every Bush war proposal, loony immigration restrictions, ingenious new forms of corporate welfare and almost insane rants on the floor of the Senate, is unparalleled in recent Senate history – and histrionics. Not only that, he’s the only U.S. Senator to have had his house searched under Federal warrant, by the FBI. They searched William Jefferson’s ‘fridge, but they took Ted’s entire friggin’ wine cellar.

This has all happened since Ted created a lot of awesome art, by saying, "The internet is a series of tubes." The talk on the floor of the Senate, in which he uttered those words that will go down in our history, probably helped create more internet art than any other speech in American politics. Name me another. The YouTube archive he inspired is the main repository. Thanks for the classics, Ted.

But there is another U.S. politician who probably created more art from one single event. And that art was created here, at firedoglake. It was when Dick Cheney shot his longtime friend in the face.

I was here, and saw it develop almost spontaneously, late one evening. A commenter wrote a snarky poem. It was answered. Again and again. It ended up becoming a poetry contest, called Dickfest, with judges and everything. There were prizes. I think first prize was lunch with Dick Cheney, and second was two lunches.


Ted Stevens was so weird, clueless, stuttering and – uh, even more weird – in his statement at that press conference, we need to have another poetry contest. Does he inspire you? We had Dickfest 27 months ago, what we need now is Tedfest. Or whatever it ends up being named in the next couple of days.

Or, you can take off on your own, on other things about Ted that have inspired you. Or have now inspired you to write. We do prefer snark to spite, even if you think he deserves the latter more.

We’ll be sending the results to Ted. We might even ask him to help judge the contest. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, who is Ted’s most likely opponent – Mark has to beat Alaska’s Muckraker of the Year, Ray Metcalfe, in the primary first – doesn’t know about the contest. But he probably will soon. Not only does he read firedoglake, he’s been on it twice now, at Blue America.

Mark will be speaking at Netroots Nation this coming Friday, on Energizing America: Setting an Agenda for Progress. I doubt Ted Stevens will be there…

Here are the rules:

There are four categories:
1) Verse
2) Haiku
3) YouTube
4) Open

Entries begin right now, and can also be entered tonight, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the contest proper’s comments or during Late Night or Late Late Night Firedoglake.

Entries close Friday, July 18

Eliminations begin Saturday, July 19, and end Monday, July 21

Judging concludes Wednesday – Results announced Thursday

Prizes are open to suggestion

Go for it, pups!