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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy Dies

Senator Ted Kennedy dies from brain cancer after decades as one of the most liberal Senators in the Senate. He inherited the seat from his brother who was assassinated in mid 1960s, and kept the seat, even after career threatening scandals, like leaving the scene of an accident after drinking and driving his secretary off a bridge to her death after a party. Kennedy sponsored numerous bills and was a constant voice against American troops fighting overseas. In fact, after the Soviet Union fell and secret files of the KGB were leaked out, one revealed a secret letter written by Kennedy proposing ideas how best to stop then President Ronald Reagan from deploying nuclear missiles in Europe to deter a Soviet attack on NATO. The program went ahead despite liberal opposition, and is credited with helping bring an end to the communist dictatorship in Russia. Kennedy also called for the withdraw of troops in Iraq, years before the Iraq government said it was ready for them to leave. Kennedy's endorsement of Obama came a critical time during his campaign, and is seen as one of the deciding moments that led to Hillary Clinton's defeat. Immediately after his death was announced, Democrats scrambled to devise ways to exploit it to pass controversial health care bills. Senator Byrd, also a Democrat, has announced plans to rename the bill after Kennedy, making if more difficult for moderate Democrats to vote against it. Last week, Kennedy aids released a letter urging his home state to change the rules so they could replace him by appointment from the Democratic governor, instead of a popular vote. They had changed the law in 2004 to prevent a then Republican Governor from appointing a replacement for Senator John Kerry. Kennedy was a proud Catholic, despite a divorce and being pro-abortion. Regardless of his controversial politics and tainted personal life, he was regarded as friendly and made numerous friends on both sides of the Senate. See Chick's THE SUPERSTAR.

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