Senator Ted Kennedy dead at 77

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  • #1
Pengwuino
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http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/26/obit.ted.kennedy/

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died Wednesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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Wow! Too bad, but it seemed imminent at this point.

I don't know about his early years, but it is my understanding that he has been a dedicated and honorable public servant for decades. While I used to think poorly of him, over the years he has gained my respect as a champion of the people - the average person.

Tsu [my other half] once rode in a car with him when she was a child.
 
  • #3
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At least he lived long enough to see a president come to power who can finally finish what he worked so hard to start. He was truly a liberal icon and a good man. President Kennedy started a new era working for civil rights, and if this is an end of an era, it should be ended properly by finishing his personal mission.

Just wish he could've lived another year. :frown:
 
  • #4
Al68
I don't know about his early years, but it is my understanding that he has been a dedicated and honorable public servant for decades. While I used to think poorly of him, over the years he has gained my respect as a champion of the people - the average person.
I have to say that, although he was working against me, he was definitely working hard at it, and so at least had the respect of those of us that disagreed with him on most issues. May he rest in peace.
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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At least he lived long enough to see a president come to power who can finally finish what he worked so hard to start. He was truly a liberal icon and a good man. President Kennedy started a new era working for civil rights, and if this is an end of an era, it should be ended properly by finishing his personal mission.

Just wish he could've lived another year. :frown:
Kind of a Moses thing. :biggrin:
 
  • #6
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Kind of a Moses thing. :biggrin:
Moses?

In spite of family, wealth, and privilege, it always seemed he had an extra burden to carry. I don't think it was easy. I admire his dedication and resolve.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Moses?
Just to clarify the reference: After his epic journey, Moses wasn't allowed to enter the promised land because he had cursed God, IIRC. It was his sin as a young man that denied him entry. Kennedy was famous for his sin as a young man, and he died just short of his life's work - he was denied entry to his promised land of health care reform. The Kennedy's are also known for their strong religious beliefs. JFK was the first Catholic elected to the office of President. It was a big deal back then.

Just a joke.
 
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  • #8
kyleb
While I do respect Kennedy's many efforts in the battle for civil rights, but consider calling him a champion of the people over the top, as like most any politician he voted in favor of special interests on countless occasions. Also, I've long been particularly disappointed by the utter lack of regard for the rights of Palestinians he demonstrated throughout his career, though as a US senator he was hardly unique in that regard either.
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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While I do respect Kennedy's many efforts in the battle for civil rights, but consider calling him a champion of the people over the top, as like most any politician he voted in favor of special interests on countless occasions.
The term "special interests" is too broad to have any meaning. Are you talking about the NAACP, or the ACLU, for example? Do you mean unions? Do you mean programs designed to end poverty? What you saw as "special interests" may have been in other people's primary interest.

The term "special interest groups" has assumed a somewhat negative connotation. These groups often represent the disadvantaged, or groups fightings for particular rights. In many ways, the little guy - the average person - is represented by special interest groups.

Also, I've long been particularly disappointed by the utter lack of regard for the rights of Palestinians he demonstrated throughout his career, though as a US senator he was hardly unique in that regard either.
I don't know about that one; may be true. But he was a US Senator, and he fought for the rights and well-being of US citizens, which was his primary job.
 
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  • #10
kyleb
The term "special interests" is too broad to have any meaning.
I was using it as a euphemism for the corporations and such which flooded his campaigns with money, http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?type=C&cid=N00000308&newMem=N&cycle=2008".
I don't know about that one; may be true.
I certainly don't see how anyone could reasonably argue otherwise.
But he was a US Senator, and he fought for the rights and well-being of US citizens, which was his primary job.
As I said, I do respect Kennedy's many efforts in the battle for civil rights, I simply doubt he was motivated by altruism to the extent your comments suggest.
 
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  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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I was using it as a euphemism for the corporations and such which flooded his campaigns with money, http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?type=C&cid=N00000308&newMem=N&cycle=2008".
That says nothing about his voting record. That is a list of donors. Many of those probably donated to many other campaigns.

I simply doubt he was motivated by altruism to the extent your comments suggest.
I don't. In fact I find your comment absurd; as would many Americans including some of his most dedicated opponents over the decades.
 
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  • #12
kyleb
That says nothing about his voting record. That is a list of donors.
Right, because I was responding to your question about my use of the phrase "special interests". As for examples from his legislative record, http://www.slate.com/id/2222743".
Many of those probably donated to many other campaigns.
There is no "probably" about it. I am curious as to how you figured it would need mentioning though, as I had previously mentioned that I'm not suggesting Kennedy was unique in his ways.
 
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  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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An email from my buddy, Barack. :biggrin:

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy. For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me. In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy. I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom. His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives. For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family. Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still. Sincerely, President Barack Obama
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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The term "special interests" is too broad to have any meaning. Are you talking about the NAACP, or the ACLU, for example? Do you mean unions? Do you mean programs designed to end poverty? What you saw as "special interests" may have been in other people's primary interest.

The term "special interest groups" has assumed a somewhat negative connotation. These groups often represent the disadvantaged, or groups fightings for particular rights. In many ways, the little guy - the average person - is represented by special interest groups.
You're 3/4 of the way there, but you didn't get quite all the way there. Yes, someone's "special interest" might be someone else's "primary interest". So connect those two ideas and what do you get? You get a politician who puts a high fraction of their effort into the interests of a small and vocal (and typically wealthy) minority instead of the majority.

That's what people are talking about when they say "special interest group".
 
  • #15
tchitt
While I disagreed with his politics on virtually every level possible and spent a lot of time angry with him and people like him, you've got to respect resolve and a dedication to what matters to you. The man was a politician and politicians will be politicians. It really doesn't matter what side you're on... the system is pretty ugly (it has been since 1776) and you've gotta work within the system to get anything done. Americans opposed to money and using it to get things done? Come on now.

Yes, the elevation of the deceased to sainthood is irritating; but that's just another part of life in our society. Anyway... rest in peace, Mr. Senator. Thanks for giving a damn.
 
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  • #16
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I think ted kennedy was a drunkard and horrible person and became only senator easily because of the recognizable Kennedy name; Ted's political career should have ended when he showed he did not want to take responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne by leaving the scene of the incident he created; This wasn't a frightened teenager , this was a 35 year old man; Leaving the scene of a car accident with a dead person and pretending nothing happened is akin to dumping the body of a dead person in a river;
 
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  • #17
tiny-tim
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Kennedy and Northern Ireland

Ted Kennedy was unpopular in Britain for a long time, because of his apparent condoning of terrorism in Northern Ireland.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kennedy#1970s
"In October 1971, Kennedy made his first speech about The Troubles in Northern Ireland: he said that "Ulster is becoming Britain's Vietnam", demanded that British troops leave the northern counties, called for a united Ireland,[57] and declared that Protestants who could not accept this "should be given a decent opportunity to go back to Britain" (a position he backed away from within a couple of years).[58]
Kennedy was harshly criticized by the British, …
And from English historian Andrew Roberts, writing recently in The Daily Mail newspaper (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/peopl...hood-for-browns-old-friend-ted-kennedy,76181") …
"Only after 9/11 - when Americans discovered on their own soil how loathsome terrorism truly is, and how far from a noble romantic struggle - did Kennedy cynically distance himself from [Gerry] Adams and fellow Sinn Fein stalwart Martin McGuinness, refusing to meet them in 2005 after the IRA brutally murdered Robert McCartney in a Belfast bar in January that year."

"Ted Kennedy did his damnedest to poison US-UK relations over Ulster during the long decades in which he has castigated successive British governments. Rather than expressing any genuine commitment to peace in Northern Ireland, he would always play exclusively to his own Catholic-Irish voters in Massachusetts."
 
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  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Yes, the elevation of the deceased to sainthood is irritating; but that's just another part of life in our society. Anyway... rest in peace, Mr. Senator. Thanks for giving a damn.
I don't think anyone is trying to elevate him to sainthood. But his dedication and significance to the US political process is undeniable. He was the definitive liberal, so he and I were often at odds.

Frankly, I could care less about his foreign policy. He is best known and will be remembered for his stand on domestic issues. That I and others would disagree with his foreign policies is a given. It is also important to remember that he was from the old school. Some of his views would surely seem archaic today.
 
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  • #19
kyleb
Frankly, I could care less about his foreign policy.
I gathered, but Kennedy's foreign policy undermines the claim of altruism regardless.
 
  • #20
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Doesn't affect my day at all. Kennedy was a cheat, drunk, murderer and traitor. No sympathy.


Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit
Peter Robinson, 08.28.09, 12:01 AM EDT

Considering the late senator's complete record requires digging into the USSR's archives.
First he offered to visit Moscow. "The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA." Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.
http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/te...eagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html


May 1951: Is caught cheating on an exam and leaves Harvard College. Enlists in the Army and serves for the next 16 months. Later re-enrolls at Harvard.
July 18, 1969: Ted Kennedy drives his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, Mass., and manages to escape. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns. Kennedy later pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor, and receives a two-month suspended sentence and a year's probation.
March 1991: A woman accuses Kennedy's nephew, William Kennedy Smith, of raping her at the family's compound in Palm Beach, Fla. Smith is later acquitted. At the trial, Kennedy testifies about taking his nephew and son Patrick to the nightclub where Smith met his accuser.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gLAW7VvN3sx49r9xb6Scwx6JDstgD9AAK8O80 [Broken]
 
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  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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I gathered, but Kennedy's foreign policy undermines the claim of altruism regardless.
You may think so, but there are two sides to every story. Just because he didn't side with your particular cause, it doesn't mean that he wasn't altruistic. His first job was to serve the American people, not the Palinstinians.
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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Doesn't affect my day at all. Kennedy was a cheat, drunk, murderer and traitor. No sympathy.


Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit
Peter Robinson, 08.28.09, 12:01 AM EDT

Considering the late senator's complete record requires digging into the USSR's archives.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/te...eagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html
That is a first for me. One has to wonder why, if true, and if he did anything wrong, this sat on the back burner for 18 years. Sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me; that or it wasn't as bad as it sounds. The Republicans would have given just about anything to have something illegal or unethical on Kennedy.

As for the rest, I didn't know about cheating on an exam. It seems that he then joined the service, served, and went back to to Harvard and graduated. Chappaquiddick was his greatest liability and the reason that I always had a low opinion of him. But it was never shown that he bore any responsibility, and he has worked hard for the American people for over 40 years. I for one am willing to consider the totality of his life.

How exactly do you hold Kennedy accountable for a crime for which his nephew was acquitted. Using that only tells me that you are grasping at straws.

I have watched one Republican Senator after another praise Kennedy's life and work. They didn't have to do that. No one would even know that they opted not to appear on television and talk about Kennedy, but instead the do appear and show the highest regard and respect for the man. You, as a young man, should try to learn from that, imo.
 
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  • #23
Al68
Chappaquiddick was his greatest liability and the reason that I always had a low opinion of him. But it was never shown that he bore any responsibility,
Except maybe that he admitted responsibility (later).
and he has worked hard for the American people for over 40 years.
Or worked hard against, depending on your perspective. But he definitely worked hard, that's for sure.
 
  • #24
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That is a first for me. One has to wonder why, if true, and if he did anything wrong, this sat on the back burner for 18 years. Sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me; that or it wasn't as bad as it sounds. The Republicans would have given just about anything to have something illegal or unethical on Kennedy.
There's no telling why no action was taken by the Republicans. No one could have even considered it possibly being true. The author mentioned that it was brought up in both 1992 and 2006 but no action was taken.

No one has debunked the memorandum or shown it to be a forgery. Kennedy's office did not deny it."
http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/te...eagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html

As for the rest, I didn't know about cheating on an exam. It seems that he then joined the service, served, and went back to to Harvard and graduated. Chappaquiddick was his greatest liability and the reason that I always had a low opinion of him. But it was never shown that he bore any responsibility, and he has worked hard for the American people for over 40 years. I for one am willing to consider the totality of his life.
As Al68 pointed out, Kennedy took responsibility for what happened. You could say the exact same thing for GW. Sure he made some screwups during his time in office, but didn't he also do a lot of good that, more often than not, goes unnoticed due to people just preferring to just look at the bad sides?

How exactly do you hold Kennedy accountable for a crime for which his nephew was acquitted. Using that only tells me that you are grasping at straws.
If I was grasping for straws I would have called him a rapist, which I didn't. Crazy things happen when you're partying with the Kennedy's. At least so i've heard.:wink:

I have watched one Republican Senator after another praise Kennedy's life and work. They didn't have to do that. No one would even know that they opted not to appear on television and talk about Kennedy, but instead the do appear and show the highest regard and respect for the man. You, as a young man, should try to learn from that, imo.
He did just what every other politician does; stuck his neck out to attain what 'the people' want so that he could get attention to push his own agendas.
 
  • #25
kyleb
You may think so, but there are two sides to every story.
Generally more than two, and some have a firmer basis in reality than others.
Just because he didn't side with your particular cause, it doesn't mean that he wasn't altruistic. His first job was to serve the American people, not the Palinstinians.
I never suggested he should serve Palestinians, but rather simply pointing out that his service to the conquest of their homeland in violation of international law undermines the claim of altruism. I have yet to see a reasonable argument that he did so for the interests of us Americans either, at least aside from for the few who have built an industry around this conquest. If you are suggesting otherwise, I am interested in seeing how you substantiate your perspective.
 

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