Monday, November 28, 2005

Quick Takes on Duke's Demise

In a way, I started this blog because of former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. I wanted to get into the blog game, but it was doing some shovel work when the first MZM/Cunningham story broke in June that pushed me over the edge. Now Duke is gone and I'm still here. Lots of other crooks, liars and traitors on which to focus.

Here is what One Pissed Off Veteran has to say about the Duke.

"It's the arrogance, really, more than anything else, that bothers me so fucking much about the Repugnican thugs that have swaggered in and taken over my country.

So it was with great, brimming, undisguised pleasure that I absorbed the news today about one of my favorite guys-you-love-to-hate, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who pleaded guilty to various charges of bribery and corruption."

Democratic Veteran had a passing aquaintance with the Duke back in their Navy days. He didn't think much of Cunningham then and doesn't think much of him now.

"Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Navy "ace" so close to being booted out of the Navy for being a piss-poor officer, before he shot down his last MiG is finally reaping the fruits of his own stupidity. Met Duke as a passing acquaintance when he was the (no shit) senior pilot in his squadron flying Phantooms off the Coral Maru. He was a legend in his own mind. A hell of a pilot though...unfortunately for him, being a hell of a stick is not always enough to build a successful Navy career on...

I'd be in a more celebratory mood about this one, but Duke was never the sharpest tool in the shed. He wasn't even a really nice guy...he just cut a swath with all his bullshit and bravado, and hoped to coast on his rep for life, without ever accomplishing anything meaningful."

Finally, I'll turn to the one blog that did the most to keep the Cunningham story alive in the blogosphere, TPM.

"The stuff we knew about, the boats and house purchases, were really only the tip of the iceberg.

In pure dollar terms the house scams may have been the biggest. But on many occasions Duke and the defense contractors who owned him didn't even cover with the flimsy real estate covers."

What is amazing is how much of this story was uncovered by honest to God journalists like Marcus Stern of Copley (San Diego Union Tribune) and William Finn Bennett of the North County Times. Look at the list of cash and "in kind" bribes paid to Cunningham by the four coconspirators noted in the charges brought by the United States Attorney. Virtually every one of them was uncovered and documented by the print media or the blogosphere.

Well done.