Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mass. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy dies at age 77

 In this Oct. 18, 2001 file photo, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., talks to his Boston office from Capitol Hill in Washington following reports of a suspicious package being found in his Boston office. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In this Oct. 18, 2001 file photo, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., talks to his Boston office from Capitol Hill in Washington following reports of a suspicious package being found in his Boston office. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

August 26, 2009, 3:32 a.m. Updated August 26, 2009, 10:59 a.m.

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Audio Clips
"Face Off" with Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. Robert Dole, from May 1985

— Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.

In a brief statement to reporters at his rented vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy as one of the "most accomplished Americans" in history — and a man whose work in Congress helped give millions new opportunities.

"Including myself," added the nation's first black president.

Kennedy's only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter turned back his challenge for the party's nomination. More than a quarter-century later, Kennedy handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.

To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy. But his career was forever marred by an accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969, when a car he was driving plunged off a bridge, killing a young woman.

Kennedy's death triggered an outpouring of superlatives from Democrats and Republicans as well as foreign leaders.

"If Teddy were here, .. as they say in the Senate, if you would excuse a moment of personal privilege, I personally think it would be inappropriate for me to say too much about the initiative we're announcing today and not speak to my friend," Vice President Joe Biden said during a public appearance. He said he was "truly, truly distressed by his passing."

"Teddy spent a lifetime working for a fair and more just America and for 36 years I had the privilege of going to work every day ... and being a witness to history," an emotional Biden added. "Every day I was with him ... He restored my sense of idealism and my faith in the possibilities of what this country could do."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the conservative Republican from Utah who was alternately a political partner and opponent of the unapologetic liberal for three decades, said "Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States Senator whose influence cannot be overstated." He listed of nearly a dozen bipartisan bills they worked on jointly, including a federally funded program for victims of HIV/AIDS, health insurance for lower-income children and tax breaks to encourage the development of medicine for rare diseases.

Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," it said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."

A few hours later, two vans left the famed Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port in pre-dawn darkness. Both bore hearse license plates — with the word "hearse" blacked out.

Several hundred miles away, flags few at half-staff at the U.S. Capitol, and Obama ordered the same at the White House and all federal buildings.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements. Two of Kennedy's brothers, John and Robert, are buried at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington.

In his later years, Kennedy cut a barrel-chested figure, with a swath of white hair, a booming voice and a thick, widely imitated Boston accent. He coupled fist-pumping floor speeches with his well-honed Irish charm and formidable negotiating skills. He was both a passionate liberal and a clear-eyed pragmatist, willing to reach across the aisle.

He was first elected to the Senate in 1962, taking the seat that his brother John had occupied before winning the White House, and served longer than all but two senators in history.

His own hopes of reaching the White House were damaged — perhaps doomed — in 1969 by the scandal that came to be known as Chappaquiddick. He sought the White House more than a decade later, lost the Democratic nomination to President Jimmy Carter, and bowed out with a stirring valedictory that echoed across the decades: "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in May 2008 and underwent surgery and a grueling regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.

He made a surprise return to the Capitol last summer to cast the decisive vote for the Democrats on Medicare. He made sure he was there again last January to see his former Senate colleague Barack Obama sworn in as the nation's first black president, but suffered a seizure at a celebratory luncheon afterward.

He also made a surprise and forceful appearance at last summer's Democratic National Convention, where he spoke of his own illness and said health care was the cause of his life. His death occurred precisely one year later, almost to the hour.

He was away from the Senate for much of this year, leaving Republicans and Democrats to speculate about the impact what his absence meant for the fate of Obama's health care proposals.

Under state law, Kennedy's successor will be chosen by special election. In his last known public act, the senator urged Massachusetts state legislators to give Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick the power to name an interim replacement. But that appears unlikely, leaving Democrats in Washington with one less vote for at least the next several months as they struggle to pass Obama's health care legislation.

His death came less than two weeks after that of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver on Aug. 11. Kennedy was not present for the funeral, an indication of the precariousness of his own health. Of nine children born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy, only one — Jean Kennedy Smith, survives.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Kennedy's son Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., said his father had defied the predictions of doctors by surviving more than a year with his fight against brain cancer.

The younger Kennedy said that gave family members a surprise blessing, as they were able to spend more time with the senator and to tell him how much he had meant to their lives.

Kennedy arrived at his place in the Senate after a string of family tragedies. He was the only one of the four Kennedy brothers to die of natural causes.

Kennedy's eldest brother, Joseph, was killed in a plane crash in World War II. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in Los Angeles as he campaigned for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.

Years later, in 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in a plane crash at age 38. His wife died with him.

It fell to Ted Kennedy to deliver the eulogies, to comfort his brothers' widows, to mentor fatherless nieces and nephews. It was Ted Kennedy who walked JFK's daughter, Caroline, down the aisle at her wedding.

Tragedy had a way of bringing out his eloquence.

Kennedy sketched a dream of a better future as he laid to rest his brother Robert in 1968: "My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."

After John Jr.'s death, the senator said: "We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years."

His own legacy was blighted on the night of July 18, 1969, when Kennedy drove his car off a bridge and into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, on Martha's Vineyard. Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old worker with RFK's campaign, was found dead in the submerged car's back seat 10 hours later.

Kennedy, then 37, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a two-month suspended sentence and a year's probation. A judge eventually determined there was "probable cause to believe that Kennedy operated his motor vehicle negligently ... and that such operation appears to have contributed to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne."

At the height of the scandal, Kennedy went on national television to explain himself in an extraordinary 13-minute address in which he denied driving drunk and rejected rumors of "immoral conduct" with Ms. Kopechne. He said he was haunted by "irrational" thoughts immediately after the accident, and wondered "whether some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys." He said his failure to report the accident right away was "indefensible."

After Chappaquiddick especially, Kennedy gained a reputation as a heavy drinker and a womanizer, a tragically flawed figure haunted by the fear that he did not quite measure up to his brothers. As his weight ballooned, he was lampooned by comics and cartoonists in the 1980s and '90s as the very embodiment of government waste, bloat and decadence.

In 1991, Kennedy roused his nephew William Kennedy Smith and his son Patrick from bed to go out for drinks while staying at the family's Palm Beach, Fla., estate. Later that night, a woman Smith met at a bar accused him of raping her at the home.

Smith was acquitted, but the senator's carousing — and testimony about him wandering about the house in his shirttails and no pants — further damaged his reputation.

Kennedy offered a mea culpa in a speech at Harvard that October, recognizing "my own shortcomings, the faults in the conduct of my private life."

Politically, his concession speech at the Democratic convention in 1980 turned out to be a defining moment. At 48, he seemed liberated from the towering expectations and high hopes invested in him after the death of his brothers, and he plunged into his work in the Senate. In his later years, after he had divorced and remarried, he came to be regarded as a statesman on Capitol Hill, with a growing reputation as an effective, hard-working lawmaker.

His legislative achievements included bills to provide health insurance for children of the working poor, the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, abortion clinic access, family leave, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

He was also a key negotiator on legislation creating a Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens, was a driving force for peace in Ireland and a persistent critic of the war in Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement that said: "Ted Kennedy's dream was the one for which the Founding Fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."

Former first Lady Nancy Reagan said that her husband and Kennedy "could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another."

"Even facing illness and death he never stopped fighting for the causes which were his life's work. I am proud to have counted him as a friend and proud that the United Kingdom recognized his service earlier this year with the award of an honorary knighthood." — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Whatever his national standing, Kennedy was unbeatable in Massachusetts. He won his first election in 1962, filling out the unexpired portion of his brother's term. He won an eighth term in 2006. Kennedy served close to 47 years, longer than all but two senators in history: Robert Byrd of West Virginia (50 years and counting) and the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who died after a tenure of nearly 47½ years.

Born in 1932, the youngest of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's nine children, Edward Moore Kennedy was part of a family bristling with political ambition, beginning with maternal grandfather John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a congressman and mayor of Boston.

Round-cheeked Teddy was thrown out of Harvard in 1951 for cheating, after arranging for a classmate to take a freshman Spanish exam for him. He eventually returned, earning his degree in 1956.

He went on to the University of Virginia Law School, and in 1962, while his brother John was president, announced plans to run for the Senate seat JFK had vacated in 1960. A family friend had held the seat in the interim because Kennedy was not yet 30, the minimum age for a senator.

Kennedy was immediately involved in a bruising primary campaign against state Attorney General Edward J. McCormack, a nephew of U.S. House Speaker John W. McCormack.

"If your name was simply Edward Moore, your candidacy would be a joke," chided McCormack.

Kennedy won the primary by 300,000 votes and went on to overwhelmingly defeat Republican George Cabot Lodge, son of the late Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, in the general election.

Devastated by his brothers' assassinations and injured in a 1964 plane crash that left him with back pain that would plague him for decades, Kennedy temporarily withdrew from public life in 1968. But he re-emerged in 1969 to be elected majority whip of the Senate.

Then came Chappaquiddick.

Kennedy still handily won re-election in 1970, but he lost his leadership job. He remained outspoken in his opposition to the Vietnam War and support of social programs but ruled out a 1976 presidential bid.

In the summer of 1978, a Gallup Poll showed that Democrats preferred Kennedy over President Carter 54 percent to 32 percent. A year later, Kennedy decided to run for the White House with a campaign that accused Carter of turning his back on the Democratic agenda.

The difficult task of dislodging a sitting president was compounded by Kennedy's fumbling answer to a question posed by CBS' Roger Mudd: Why do you want to be president?

"Well, it's um, you know you have to come to grips with the different issues that, ah, we're facing," Kennedy said. "I mean, we can, we have to deal with each of the various questions of the economy, whether it's in the area of energy ..."

Long afterward, he said, "Well, I learned to lose, and for a Kennedy that's hard." Kennedy married Virginia Joan Bennett, known as Joan, in 1958. They divorced in 1982. In 1992, he married Washington lawyer Victoria Reggie. His survivors include a daughter, Kara Kennedy Allen; two sons, Edward Jr. and Patrick, a congressman from Rhode Island; and two stepchildren, Caroline and Curran Raclin.

Edward Jr. lost a leg to bone cancer in 1973 at age 12. Kara had a cancerous tumor removed from her lung in 2003. In 1988, Patrick had a noncancerous tumor pressing on his spine removed. He has also struggled with depression and addiction and announced in June that he was re-entering rehab.

Kennedy's memoir, "True Compass," is set to be published in the fall.

Comments

Susan Mangan 6 years ago

I have never been a fan...I'm as far right as he was left, and I've questioned his character before. But people let politics destroy humanity, in my opinion. He died after a struggle with a grueling disease and may he rest in peace.

tunahelper 6 years ago

May he rest in peace to the man who made drinking and driving fashionable!

TheOriginalCA 6 years ago

I will not judge this Fine fine fine statesman and pillar of humanity, but I sure would like to.

Susan Mangan 6 years ago

I hope my post wasn't misunderstood. I was referring to the lack of humanity among the posters on this board. I don't think someone's death should be cause for celebration...regardless of the side of the aisle they sit on. The Senator did some things wrong...some major things. But, from what I understand, God doesn't rank which sin is "worse" and few among us have lived perfect lives.

grammaddy 6 years ago

Please do not trash Senator Teddy. "The Lion" was the go-to man in the Senate if you wanted to get anything done. McCain even pronounced him the easiest to work with and the most bi-partisan Senator ever, This is a tragic loss, not only for his family, but for All of us. He worked on health care reform for decades and deserves to have it passed in his honor. My heart is breaking, we have lost a political icon and a very dear friend. May you rest in peace Teddy. Now go catch up with your brothers,

Susan Mangan 6 years ago

Now that's a good reason to pass a monstrous, overbearing, and dangerous piece of legislation that will, likely, destroy our entire future economy, consequently negatively impacting almost every one of the 300 million people in this country...to "honor" one man who liked it.

Stay focused, people...offer your condolences and move on.

Susan Mangan 6 years ago

Thank you, vertigo. And, yes, I realize that I didn't follow my own advice about "moving on" so I'll stop posting now :-)

grammaddy 6 years ago

that so-called " monstrous, overbearing and dangerous piece of legislation" is what we need to save this country from bankruptcy. Do you realize that 20% of the national debt is wrapped up in unpaid medical debt? I find this a very good way to honor the man who has been trying to change this for us for 40 years. What will destroy this country is ignorant fear-mongerers like yourself. You must be the "one without sin" that a former poster was taking about.

Susan Mangan 6 years ago

Read the posts a little more carefully, honey. My point(s) were that it's tasteless to use a story like this to push a political agenda. My response to you was to point that out. Go start a blog on healthcare if you just can't resist. And, honey...I'm on the "front-lines" of healthcare...not an insurance company executive, not an administrator, not a well-paid doctor, but someone who is actually there to wipe the butts of people in the hospital, in between saving lives. I have lived under a government health system and WITNESSED people needlessly dying. And I've worked here and witnessed the amazing technologies and innovations private competition create. In 10 years in our system, I've yet to see a single patient turned away due to lack of insurance...one patient spent over 3 months between ICU and the cardiac floor and ended up with a million+ dollar bill...guess who paid for it...the hospital and the rest of us absorbed the cost. And that was at a for-profit hospital I used to work at! I understand what is at stake far more than you do because I've lived with and experienced both systems. And the future is grim under government control.

Despite all of that...I wrote, originally, to express my condolences and left politics out of it. Shame on you for not having that tact. Post in reply, if you want, but I think this thread has been taken over enough by our political posts so I won't read anymore.

Again...I sincerely hope that he rests in peace and that his family is comforted.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

R.I.P., Mr. Kennedy.

Although I rarely if ever agreed with your policies, I appreciate the long and dedicated service you gave to the country and the commonwealth, fighting to get things done in the way your convictions led you.

Rex Russell 6 years ago

Thank you for service Mr. Kennedy. Rest in Peace.

G_E 6 years ago

RIP, Senator Kennedy; you were a true hero, and you will be missed.

Thank you for all that you've fought for during your long years of service, particularly health care. I'm just sorry you didn't get to see your dream come to pass.

jumpin_catfish 6 years ago

vertigo said.....Class acts on this board… class acts.

The comments sounded like the truth to me. While Kennedy himself said his actions were indefensible in the matter of his "aid" drowning, the fact remains he got a sweet deal because of who he was, which flies in the face of what liberals say they stand for. hmmmm

preebo 6 years ago

Having had the distinct pleasure to meet Sen. Kennedy some time back while in Law School in Cambridge, I have never forgotten the impression he made. He was the one of the most insightful and thoughtful people, let alone politicians, I ever had the pleasure of meeting. His presence was larger than life. The halls of Congress are dimmed after his passing. Thank you for your service Senator, your causes shall not end with you. Quoting a wiser man than I, who once said "...the hope will endure, the cause will live on, and the dream shall never die."

drake 6 years ago

"scumbag dies" "I hope he died in pain" "bye bye a-hole" "good riddance"

All from the first ten comments on Bob Navak's passing.

I feel bad for the tolerant left.

Keith 6 years ago

"75x55 (Anonymous) says… ...This country doesn't need a 'dynasty'."

Keep that in mind when Jeb Bush makes his inevitable run for the Presidency, I know I will.

3crookedhearts 6 years ago

The man did a lot for America. He was a fine Senator. But if Heaven exists, I hope the first person he sees is Mary Jo Kopechne, so he can apologize.

kusp8 6 years ago

Sen. Kennedy was epitome of class. Sure, he had some flaws, but who doesn't? Sen. Kennedy went through more struggles in his life than, hopefully, most of us will go through in ours; losing two brothers before they turned 45. Furthermore, his pain was our pain, his sorrow was the nation's sorrow. Sure, I didn't agree with quite a few of his policies, but you knew where he stood on the issues. Yet, he was willing to compromise and work with the Republicans at a level unseen in many other politicians. Kennedy was a great man, may he rest in peace.

labmonkey 6 years ago

All I know is that I am not turning on my TV for a couple weeks as the fluff pieces will be overwhelming...and people like grammaddy will try to use his death to pass the health care legislation. This will put the MIchael Jackson circus to shame. The sugar coating will give us all diabetes.

I wish I could be like VOR, but I cannot. He got to live to an old age and see children and grandchildren. Mary Jo did not have that luxury.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years ago

Ted and Mary Joe are togeather at last. I wonder what she had to say to him???

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called Kennedy a "great elder statesman" and a "treasured friend" whose influence could not be overstated. Kennedy will always be remembered as someone "who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber," Hatch said.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called Kennedy "one of the giants of American political life, a longtime Senate colleague, and a friend . . . no one could have known the man without admiring the passion and vigor he poured into a truly momentous life."

Former first lady Nancy Reagan said people were sometimes surprised at how close the Reagans were to the Kennedy family. They had found common ground in stem cell research, she said, "and I considered him an ally and a dear friend. I will miss him."

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

I wonder if the family of the girl he was involved in killing morn his death?. Driving while intoxicated? I thought was called involuntary manslaughter? Some statesman when laws didn't apply to him. Its hard to believe Mass. would keep electing him. Lets see Americans morn for murders, and child molesters. How screwed up is this country?

Bill Lee 6 years ago

Ted Kennedy accomplished more good for the people of this country than all of the posters here have or will combined. The lion's roar will echo for generations to come. Comments like some of the ones here today are why I usually don't read the comments on JW stories.

cato_the_elder 6 years ago

Concerning the prior comments about Kennedy's long tenure as a U.S. Senator, I had lunch with an influential Boston Democrat some years ago who told me that he had voted for Ted Kennedy and would continue to do so because he agreed with his votes in the Senate, but that neither he nor anyone he knew would ever support him for President. The reason he gave was that he would never want anyone with Kennedy's appalling lack of character to be in charge of running the country.

As Harry Truman once said, he had the choice of working as a piano player in a whorehouse or going into politics. He chose the latter, and most of the time he couldn't tell the difference.

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

If mary jo is in a heaven. I doubt Kennedy will be reuniting with her.

mysterytrain 6 years ago

He was a great man of a family born into privilege that chose to turn that into something for others. You can thank him for many services in place today, here in Lawrence even - WIC and Meals on Wheels just being two small ones that have impacted many peoples lives in a positive way. Grow up. Many people make bad choices in their lives along the way. Few are those who move beyond it to make others' lives better, which he certainly did.

conservativepunker 6 years ago

My condolences to his family and those that loved him. I could be crass being a conservative, but I'm above that.

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

mysterytrain You can read many stories about murders in prison who have changed, and are doing good things during their imprisonment. Also you can read about many ex felons who committed murders, and went on to do good things. After they served their time for crimes they committed. What is the difference ? Kennedy name kept him from being prosecuted. It show the justice system is blind unless you put money, and power into the scales.

drake 6 years ago

Thank you conservatives for not stooping to the level of our beloved liberal elitists. While there may be a few posters that are not very sad to see his death, it is telling that we have not seen any of the examples below describing a much more polarizing individual.

“scumbag dies” “I hope he died in pain” “bye bye a-hole” “good riddance”

Courtesy of logrithmic and friends.

Jonas?

drake 6 years ago

That's funny logicsound. I haven't noticed you indignation when conservatives pass.

CLARKKENT 6 years ago

FOR THE MOST PART, TYPICAL LAWRENCE REPUBLICAN BS.

ilovelucy 6 years ago

Title 9 sports so that women could have the right to participate... I grew up believing that this man was evil to the core. As Chris Mathews said this morning, "he grew up." I don't condone any of the egregious errors that he made but he was a true humantarian.
Thanks for your service, Mr. Kennedy

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

What is the difference between Republicrats, and Demicans? The only thing either group worries about is staying in power, and what will the lobbyist think, and give them during the next election period. I thought this was about a person who helped create laws, and laws didn't apply to him?

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

porch_person When has congress ever agreed on anything?

tigerman03 6 years ago

if you own stock in liquor, it will be going down today...RIP "Swimmer..."

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

I'm once again amazed at how shallow posters on this board continue to be. Diogenes said, "Do not speak ill of the dead." It was as true then as it now.

I hope when you die there is no group of faceless posters writing venemous comments about you.

Well done people. A true bunch of class act posters. well done.

RIP Senator Kennedy

jonas_opines 6 years ago

"All I know is that I am not turning on my TV for a couple weeks as the fluff pieces will be overwhelming…"

Seconded.

Drake: Did you need something?

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

That would mean you're already dead Tom. The LJW won't stop presses just to print your obit in tomorrow's paper. Are you trying to tell us something?

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

Buenavista Your forgetting about other mass murders. How about Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Goerge Armstrong Custer,

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

Why only use other counties scum bags for reference. We have enough of are own. Shouldn't we think of are own first?

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

Oh we venerate, or mass murders. Then we erect monuments for them. Other countries honor the victims of their murdering politicians.

grammaddy 6 years ago

Nancy-Tom, let me be the first... YAY!!!!!

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

To all those who say Kennedy did great thing. Al Capone helped a lot of people during the depression. With offering work, and charity to those in need. Are you saying Al was a good man? You sure think of Kennedy in this manner.

Kim Murphree 6 years ago

I am saddened at the death of Senator Kennedy...for whatever his human flaws...he worked tirelessly for those who had less...he was the champion of those who have so little. I wonder who will be the voice of those millions who need that champion of equality and social justice, now? Thank you, Senator, for weathering the storm, for continuing the fight...for helping so many in so many ways. God bless you and keep you, and bring comfort to your family.

meggers 6 years ago

Somehow, I don't think Senator Kennedy would have been capable of having so many of his ideological enemies consider him a friend if he were the sort of person some of you are trying to portray him as.

Notwithstanding what some of you thought of him as a person, as a statesman, any objective observer recognizes the enormous contributions he made to improving conditions for the poor, working class, the environment, children, and a host of other issues that impact every day people. The citizens of Massachussetts were truly fortunate to have him representing their interests in the Senate.

Say what you will about Ted Kennedy, but at least he wasn't for sale, unlike 95% of the legislators currently in office. He will be greatly missed.

Jimo 6 years ago

Like all posts by logrithmic ... total waste of pixels.

Here, I thought the bitterness was primarily directed at the right. Today's post proves to be equal opportunity in its nature, attacking a key official who did more for people in this country in a single year than in the entirety of some poster's miserable lives.

labmonkey 6 years ago

edjayhawk- Touche.

When Dick Chaney finally has the heart attack that kills him, I want to see grammaddy's, porch_person's, ralphreed's, logicsound's, and clarkkent's condolences. Since some of you have been preachy about lack of sympathy, you better be racing to offer condolences when Dick Chaney dies.

Jimo 6 years ago

"Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant."

Again, how is it that some people seem to believe that the more outrageously false the claim, the more likely some befuddled or unintelligent person would believe them?

One would be hard-pressed to name any individual in the history of the U.S. Senate -- from the first session to the last -- who has accomplished more. (And that's what Kennedy's political opponents 'across the aisle' said about him.)

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

I wonder if the founding fathers would have thought people would be serving in the government for so long. Good idea how about term limits for senators, and congressmen. Then mass. could have seen if someone else could have been as capable. Also Kennedy may have had to deal with equal justice himself? if there were term limits. It also would take away the power from certain families. Maybe it would start to equalize things a little? Including the Bush family. That was for you so far out to the left the Chinese think you have gone past communism. LEFT to what in the h-ll are you thinking

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

labmonkey Did the dick die? If he did we have gotten doubly good news today. I couldn't think of any thing better that could happen. I would go play the loto if that was true.

labmonkey 6 years ago

Falling-

Nope....just trying to point out some hypocricy of some on this tread.

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

I could think of a better day than to hear Kennedy, and the Dick died. At least one of them is gone. I will be just as ecstatic when Dick is gone.

fallingwhilereading 6 years ago

mr_nancy When the justice department doesn't want to release transcripts from interviewing Dick. Because it would be to damaging to the country. I would think you might like to rethink your ideals for Dick.

yankeevet 6 years ago

Another worthless piece of crap gone; he lived very good off of the taxpayers; the best of food; alcohol; etc.....one fat rat gone............................

verity 6 years ago

". . . the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Sometimes a person is more influential in death than they were in life.

Good night, but not farewell.

grammaddy 6 years ago

If Cheney had ever done 1/2 as much for the "little guy" I would race to offer condolences to his family. I still will but this time with a big fat grin on my face. I hope it happens after he is convicted and before he sees his prison cell. No sense in spending that kind of money on on lockup for a monster such as him.

preebo 6 years ago

"Another worthless piece of crap gone; he lived very good off of the taxpayers; the best of food; alcohol; etc…..one fat rat gone………………………."

You, sir, are a true statesman.

CLARKKENT 6 years ago

LAB MONK---I WILL OFFER CONDOLENCES FOR CHANEY IF AND WHEN HE PASSES. I HAVE SYMPATHY FOR ALL WHO LOSE FAMILY MEMBERS.

BESIDES, HE IS OUT OF OFFICE NOW, SO THE JERK CAN HURT US NO MORE.

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

Tom, that's old news, not a "revelation." Mapes was fired along with two producers. Dan Rather retired early and is spending his time suing CBS.

So, if your cut and paste is supposed to show no consequences, think again. I recently heard Bill Curtis speak (not from a motorcycle sidecar either). He used Dan Rather as a negative example when it comes to television news. Much like the O'reilly/Beck/Palin/Coulter/Rush melange is a perfect example for sensationalism, ad hominem attacks and refusal to listen to opposing viewpoints. (Kind of like our regional melange.)

yankeevet 6 years ago

Because Kennedy never made it to the finish line, he never had to endure a post-presidential twilight. Instead, by the time of his death on Aug. 25 in Hyannis Port at the age of 77, he had 46 working years in Congress, time enough to leave his imprint on everything from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, a law that expands support for national community-service programs. Over the years, Kennedy was a force behind the Freedom of Information Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He helped Soviet dissidents and fought apartheid. Above all, he conducted a four-decade crusade for universal health coverage, a poignant one toward the end as the country watched a struggle with a brain tumor. But along the way, he vastly expanded the network of neighborhood clinics, virtually invented the COBRA system for portable insurance and helped create the laws that provide Medicare prescriptions and family leave.

What a great man; so in reality; he lived off the taxpayers; drank fine whiskey; the best food; and chased women..................one worthless dog gone.............and accomplished nothing........

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

labmonkey, please don't write such ludicrous statements. You will see condolences from me. Probably something on the order of "RIP ..." like I wrote above.

I still say, "Don't speak ill of the dead."

notajayhawk 6 years ago

rantor (Anonymous) says…

"8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, and funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors and is widely held as the “standard-bearer for liberalism”."

40 years or not, that's not too shabby a list of accomplishments, and while as far from a liberal as you can get, I agree with most of them.


none2 (Anonymous) says…

"Many people may make bad choices — well most probably not the kind of bad choices that result in the death of others. Nevertheless, the issue that most of us have is not that he made a “bad choice” (using your grossly minimalist term), but that he was not honest about it nor paid the price for his “bad choice”. "

I'm not saying it makes up for what was done, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe his very long history of public service was his way of trying to atone for what happened that night.

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

It's almost as bad on this thread as it was on River City Talk.

Christine Anderson 6 years ago

My condolences to Ted's family. I would not wish this type of death on anyone, except for my second husband. However, to the more vocal Ted supporters... Do you realize you are canonizing a man who was a roaring drunk, and who left his mistress to drown in a submerged car, and was so cold about the whole thing he was able to go to his hotel and sleep that night???? Kennedy owed Mary Jo the dignity of not sneaking off like a coward, just to keep it a "secret" that he had been cheating and driving drunk. As if it were ever a secret that the Kennedy men could not keep it in their pants. Ha!!! I'll bet Ted had other mistresses too, at the same time. And I'm guessing he treated each of them like dogs, or obstacles to his political ambitions!

kmat 6 years ago

Cheesehead - your post is just bitter. We've all read your blog about how you were cheated on. You seem to have some hatred towards men.

Although I hadn't commented about Teddy, I will say that to wish death by cancer on anyone, including your cheating ex, is dispicable. I've unfortunately had to watch a loved one suffer and die from cancer and it's not a fate I would wish upon my worst enemy.

No one is perfect and Teddy definitely had his issues. BUT, he did do a lot of good in his many years of service and he has just passed. Have a little respect for Christ's sake.

Ernest Barteldes 6 years ago

We need to separate the man from the politician. The man was flawed, we all know. But his service to the country should NOT be denied.

yankeevet 6 years ago

On the night of July 18, 1969, Kennedy drove his car off a bridge and into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard. He swam to safety leaving 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker on brother Robert Kennedy's campaign. Her body was found in the submerged car 10 hours later.

Sen Kennedy told the police that he was driving Kopechne to the ferry after a party on the island when his car left the unfamiliar road.

Ted Kennedy quotes Senator Ted Kennedy, 77, dies after cancer battle But his failure to report the accident dogged his subsequent attempts to run for the American presidency.

A judge found that there probable cause to believe that Kennedy operated his motor vehicle negligently ... and that such operation appears to have contributed to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne."

An attempt to explain his actions on national television was much watched but did not dispel doubts. In the 13-minute appearance, he denied "immoral conduct" and said he was not drunk.

Sen Kennedy, who was then 37, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a two-month suspended sentence plus a year's probation.

However he was re-elected the following year with 62 per cent of the vote. Which allowed him too continue to live off the taxpayers; drink the best of booze; eat the best of food; and chase more women...........

kmat 6 years ago

This is part of what beo is talking about. Seems that W also liked to get drunk in Kennebunkport.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushdui1.html

funmoney 6 years ago

and... in an unrelated story, Mary Jo Kopechne was not available for comment however she indicated she would be visiting with Mr. Kennedy shortly.

Christine Anderson 6 years ago

It is correct I am bitter in some issues with men. However, I do see I'm not the only poster who has pointed out Ted's less-than-savory behaviors. I do not mind Kmat's comments. I would just like to clarify that the ex I reference was not the cheater. True, it is extreme to wish that on anyone. Except that the ex in question is a child porn addict. That's why I make the leap.

jonas_opines 6 years ago

"Trust me."

I see no reason to do that, right thinker, and many not too.

verity 6 years ago

Thank you, Marion. That's a beautiful sentiment and very eloquent as porch says.

Katara 6 years ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Marion writes:

Thank you.

Just so everyone knows, I wrote what I meant and I meant what I wrote. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What a nice change of heart!

You had a much different way of writing about Ted Kennedy earlier this very month with a much different implication on his influence.

2 August 2009 at 11:04 a.m. Marion Lynn

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Mmmmmm……

…seems that I recall something about a guy named Ted Kennedy who left his secretary to drown in water only a few feet deep, because what with having chosen to drive drunk, he had run his car off the bridge with her inside.

Is this the same Ted Kennedy who pretty much runs things in the Democrat party or not? http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/aug/02/gop-fringe-pulls-party-toward-lunacy/#c951527

corduroypants 6 years ago

I have my comment ready for when our beloved Dick passes....“So?"

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Enduring.

Dreaming.

Living On.

Thank you, Teddy, for your service to our republic.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

I think Ted was a liar but it sure must have been difficult to rise up as a Kennedy.

Doug Peschka 5 years, 4 months ago

In the last week of December, 2006, my wife had to have her lower back operated on for a herniated disc between her L3 and L4 vertebrae that were causing her SEVERE Sciatic pain down her right leg.

After that operation, she had to stay home from work for three months. She was allowed to take Family Leave from her job during that time.

Without the Family Leave act, Dayna would have had no Family Leave, and would have lost her job then.

Without Ted Kennedy, there would have been no Family Leave Act to protect my wife’s job.

Our mortgage depends upon both of us sustaining an income in our household.

Without Working-Class friendly legislation passed by Ted Kennedy in the U. S. Senate, we, the People of the United States, would indeed be much worse off today than we are.

None of these facts are disputable.

Thank you, Senator Ted Kennedy, for your service to us, the hourly-wage employees upon whose backs this nation stands.

We thank God for you, and we are forever thankful for your years of service in the Senate, and in the Democratic Party, the Party of all hourly-wage working men and women in America.

May you rest in Peace, and may you and every one of us imperfect human souls find God’s forgiveness, and the Resurrection that you believed in.

Doug Peschka

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