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Posts Tagged ‘Ted Kennedy’

What the Kennedy Who Lived on Had to Offer

Huffington Post    By- Alec Baldwin

Posted: August 28, 2009 10:29 AM

How unusual to mark the death of a Kennedy man in old age and from ordinary circumstances like illness. No tragic accidents. No political homicides. No footage to watch, obsessively, for decades to come, wondering what brought that moment on.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy lived on beyond his legendary brothers and faced the task that both John and Robert were denied: living. Living on to face the ebb and flow of an over forty year political career in the US Senate. Living on to represent the state of Massachusetts, the voters of which returned him to that job over and over again. Living on to craft a place of true effectiveness within the numbingly ineffective culture of the US Capitol. Living on to also serve as the titular head of a large (in modern terms, enormous) family. The other Kennedy men died young and two are enshrined in a place in the American soul that few humans can ever know. Ted lived on. To care. To serve. To love his country, his countrymen and his family.

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If they’re going to name the final healthcare reform bill after Senator Kennedy, we ought to be demanding with voices as powerful and booming as the late senator’s…

The bill must not suck.

But if it does, perhaps they should name it after Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. The Blame Baucus and Grassley for This Sucky Act. Or maybe borrow the name of the House bill, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, which, by the way, reminds me more of a frozen diet meal than a robust healthcare reform bill (the final House bill is actually pretty robust — it’s just a ridiculous name).

On this day of national mourning, we’re reminded that Senator Kennedy’s political legacy has been inextricably bound to the cause of universal healthcare. Affordable, portable, reliable healthcare.

It’s difficult to know for sure, but I can’t imagine, had he not been stricken with cancer, that the senator would be lending his unmistakable baritone to the awfulness, equivocation and bipartisan hackery that’s on display within the ranks of the Max Baucus ‘Gang of Six’. It goes without saying that left to their own spineless and corrupt devices, these six senators will absolutely deliver a terrible healthcare reform bill, one that would only serve to besmirch the Kennedy legacy.

So what exactly does a sucky healthcare bill look like?

Naturally, without a beefy public health insurance plan, healthcare reform would be an utter disaster — or worse. To refer to the public option as just a “sliver” of the bill, or to push for eliminating it altogether is almost as bad as having no reform at all. Journalists, writers and bloggers who I otherwise respect have been damning the public option with faint praise lately. Let’s not sabotage healthcare reform with partisan ultimatums, they say. We can have a great bill without it, they say.

No, sirs. No we can’t.

They’re not seeing the big picture here. I get it, though. There are many other meaningful aspects to healthcare reform. Banning exclusions for pre-existing conditions, setting caps on out of pocket expenses, bans on rescission. These are all excellent and historic.

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Mr. Kennedy on Capitol Hill in 2007

Mr. Kennedy on Capitol Hill in 2007

August 27, 2009
By JOHN M. BRODER

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the Senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE

Kennedy dead at 77

Liberal lion of the Senate, symbol of family dynasty succumbs to brain cancer

By Martin F. Nolan
Globe Correspondent / August 26, 2009

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

ORIGINAL GLOBE ARTICLE

TED KENNEDY

A seven-part series on the Massachusetts Senator from The Boston Globe

Chapter 1 TEDDY

A Kennedy family portrait taken in Bronxville, NY. Seated (left to right): Eunice, Jean, Edward, Joseph Sr., Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Rose, and Joseph Jr.

A Kennedy family portrait taken in Bronxville, NY. Seated (left to right): Eunice, Jean, Edward, Joseph Sr., Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Rose, and Joseph Jr.

On a spring day nearly two years ago, Senator Edward Kennedy sat on the porch of his sprawling Hyannis Port home with a friend of five decades, Edmund Reggie, who is also his father-in-law. The two men gazed out at the ocean that has been such an anchor in Kennedy’s life, and talked about the future.“ You’re nuts to beat yourself to death like this on the Senate floor,” Reggie said. “Passing a new law won’t be any more glorious for you than the reputation you’ve made. Some people say you and Daniel Webster are the greatest senators of all time.” Kennedy looked at the older man and deadpanned: “What did Webster do?” It was a telling line, typical of the competitive Kennedys. But Reggie persisted.

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Remembering the Real Deal

Robert Scheer
Posted on Aug 25, 2009

The light has gone out, and with it that infectious warm laugh and intensely progressive commitment of the best of the Kennedys. Not, at this point, to take anything away from the memory of his siblings—Bobby, whom I also got to know, was pretty terrific in his last years—but Senator Ted Kennedy was the real deal.

ORIGINAL TRUTHDIG ARTICLE
 

Chappaquiddick_Island

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