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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy RIP



"Everyone will come, everyone will come, to my funeral to make sure that I stay dead" - Four Rusted Horses, Marilyn Manson

The "liberal lion" passed away (who truly believed that there exists no problem that couldn't be solved by government intervention and lots of money thrown at it), and while conservative passings like Jack Kemp and Strom Thurmond received only passing glances from the media, the Kennedy passing and service will be treated like a royal procession, complete with obligatory sainthood considerations. The real facts about the Honorable(?) Senator, that will never be mentioned in the mainstream media, from our friends at NNDB:


"Ted Kennedy held his Senate seat for more than four decades. 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. His other successes include reducing the voting age from 21 to 18, and Title IX, which gave women's athletics much better funding. Widely held as the "standard-bearer for liberalism", his legacy is that his era has been dominated by conservatives (Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush) and moderates (Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton).
Kennedy earned C grades at the private Milton Academy, but was admitted to Harvard as a "legacy" -- his father and older brothers had attended there, so the younger and dimmer Kennedy's admission was virtually assured. While attending, he was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England, pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged.
While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked. He passed the bar exam in 1959, and two years later was appointed an Assistant to the District Attorney in Massachusetts' Suffolk County.
In 1962, at age 30 (constitutionally, the minimum age to hold a Senate seat) he ran for the Senate. His timing was perfect -- his brother John had given up the seat to become President, and Kennedy easily won the office. He was re-elected eight times to the office.
In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash, and hospitalized for several months. His sister Kathleen and nephew "John John" were killed in separate plane crashes.
On 19 July 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur's keys to his Oldsmobile limousine, and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond. He swam to shore and walked back to the party -- passing several houses and a fire station -- and two friends returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew, that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep.
Kennedy called the police the next morning. By then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying, Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car. The Kennedy family began pulling strings, ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family, before an autopsy could be conducted. Further details are uncertain, but after the accident Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue Kopechne, and he didn't call police because he was in a state of shock. In versions not so kind, it is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, that he was having an affair with Kopechne, and/or that he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem overnight.
Since the accident, Kennedy's political enemies have referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick, or worse. He pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a suspended sentence of two months. Kopechne's family received a small payout from the Kennedy's insurance policy, and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedy's family paid their attorney's bills.
In 1973, at the height of Nixon's Watergate scandal, Kennedy thundered from the Senate floor, "Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?"
In 1980, Kennedy challenged Carter, his own party's sitting President, for the Democratic nomination. Kennedy's bid was hampered by questions of Chappaquiddick and by an interview with CBS Newsman Roger Mudd, who asked the straightforward question, "Why do you want to be President?" Kennedy couldn't come up with a straightforward answer. Carter was nominated for re-election, but the party's divisions contributed to the victory won by Reagan.
In a late-1980s media profile, Kennedy was succinctly described as someone who "grew to manhood without learning to be an adult". He is rumored to have had several affairs while married to his first wife, and had often been seen in public while thoroughly tanked and/or behaving obnoxiously. In 1987 he was caught in flagrante delicto with an unidentified woman on the floor of a restaurant. His public image since the early 1990s and during his second marriage has been more conservative and restrained.
In 2001, Kennedy worked with President Bush to enact the No Child Left Behind Act. He later complained publicly that he had been hoodwinked, because the legislation did not include funding to pay for its requirements.
Kennedy voted against the Iraq war, and in 2003, Kennedy said of it: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." - NNDB
If you want to know what Ted Kennedy was really like, in a nutshell, look at the comments he made during the Robert Bork (who could run legal circles around any of the members of the Senate) Supreme Court hearing:
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy...." ....
"President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of American. No justice would be better than this injustice". Absolutely disgusting - this from a man who's supposedly a people's champion, denegrating a defender of the Constitution - unreal!

And finally, when endorsing Barack Obama with the entire liberal political machine in Mass., Barack still lost to Hillary Clinton in the primaries. And more recently, he tried to have the rules changed for succession of office of Senator, so a democrat could be appointed immediately, after being one of the leaders to set up the first change (during Senator Kerry's run for President), so a governor Mitt Romney could not choose a republican, if Kerry had won the Presidency and vacated the Senate post. And of course, now the other Senators and Representatives are trying to rally around him "Do it for Ted," as they try to ram the health care plan down our throats - not even a moment out of respect for the deceased, he's used politically in the same breadth - though that makes sense, since everything he did had a political calculation - almost makes you wonder if this was timed, while he was receiving every possible treatment, that wouldn't be afforded to anyone else in this country, while the plan looked like it was on it's last legs.
Truly, he carries the title of "Liberal Lion," (never seeing a law he couldn't change to his, and his party's benefit) to the very end.

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