US Senator Ted Kennedy dies

From British daily The Guardian:

US Senator Ted Kennedy dies, aged 77

Kennedy, one of the most influential and longest-serving senators in US history, had been battling brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008

Ted Kennedy, the last surviving brother of one of America’s leading political dynasties, has died of a brain tumour at the age of 77, his family said today.

Known as Teddy, he was the senior US senator from Massachusetts and a liberal stalwart of the Democratic party. At the time of his death he was the third longest serving senator of all time.

See also here. And here.

When, in 2004, Senator Kennedy compared George W. Bush’s Iraq war to the Vietnam war, he was attacked hysterically by the establishment in the USA. Later, Bush himself would make that comparison.

This video from the USA is called: Senator [Edward] Kennedy: “Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam”.

Ted Kennedy on How America Got Mired in Iraq: here.

Gerry Adams comments on death of Senator Edward Kennedy: here.

Sarah Palin’s Facebook ‘Friends’ Celebrate Ted Kennedy’s Death: “One Less Socialist,” “Good Riddens”: here.

The Wingnut Celebration of Ted Kennedy’s Death: here.

Kennedy and gay rights: here.

Edward Kennedy’s Life and Legacy: here.

Ted Kennedy, according to most of the official testimonials and commentaries, really came into his own when he abandoned his presidential aspirations and found a way to work within the limits of a right-wing political environment: here.

3 thoughts on “US Senator Ted Kennedy dies

  1. At the 2008 Democratic Convention, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Sen. Ted Kennedy said:

    This is the cause of my life – new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American – north, south, east, west, young, old – will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.

    Kennedy chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). On July 15, Kennedy’s committee passed the Affordable Health Choices Act, which “will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans.”

    It also includes a “strong public option that responds to the wishes of the American people to have a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies.”

    Tell your Representatives to honor Sen. Kennedy by passing real health reform:

    Senator Kennedy was too ill to vote for this bill, but he praised its passage:

    Americans are an extraordinary people. We have created a nation of liberty and justice. We have defeated forces of oppression, and we have spread prosperity and progress across the globe. When the American people are on the march, there is no barrier that can resist them, no obstacle that can block their path.

    The American people are on the march once more , and they will not stop until quality, affordable health care is the birthright of every American. And we are with them every step of the way.

    We, the American people, are “on the march.” As my Representative, I urge you to act quickly to honor Senator Ted Kennedy by passing real health reform – including a strong public option that offers “a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies.”

    Sign the petition:

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik


  2. Ted Kennedy: The Real Deal
    By Robert Scheer, Truthdig
    Posted on August 26, 2009, Printed on August 30, 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 Sen. Ted Kennedy was the real deal.

    Unable to move with his brothers’ intellectual alacrity, sometimes
    plodding in impromptu expression but smooth and skillful while
    reading from a script, the youngest Kennedy made up for his
    shortcomings early in his Senate career by resolutely working the
    substance of issues. His principled determination, plus his capacity
    to truly care about the real-world outcomes of legislation for
    ordinary people rather than its impact on his or anyone else’s
    election, became his signature qualities as a lawmaker. But for those
    same reasons, he also wanted legislation passed, and his ability to
    work with the opposition, as he did three years ago with John McCain
    on immigration reform, now grants him a legacy as one of the nation’s
    great senators.

    Oddly enough, for one born into such immense familial expectations,
    he was a surprisingly accessible and down-to-earth politician in the
    eyes of most journalists who covered him. I think of him as always
    authentic and never oily. As opposed to most politicians, the
    offstage Ted Kennedy was the more appealing one.

    Although he excelled as an orator, never more so than delivering the
    speech that Bob Shrum crafted for him at the 1980 Democratic
    convention but which was informed by Kennedy’s own deeply felt
    passion, it was in his less choreographed moments that he was at his
    best. I spent quite a few hours over the years interviewing him on
    subjects ranging from health care to nuclear arms control, mostly as
    a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and while his grammar could be
    troubling, his sentiments never were.

    Not once in those interviews did I find Kennedy to equivocate or
    slide into the amoral triangulation that defines almost all
    successful politicians. They position themselves, but he took
    positions, and, as in the case of health care reform, he would end
    his life fighting for those causes with his last breath.

    I would put Kennedy alongside my other hero, George McGovern, as the
    most trusted standard-bearer of the Democratic Party’s too-often-
    sabotaged liberalism. I just could never imagine either of them ever
    selling us out. Indeed, I haven’t felt quite so sad about the passing
    of a political leader since the day when people started bawling all
    over the Bronx with the news that FDR had died. In a political world
    dominated by bipartisan cynicism, there are few touchstones of
    integrity for the common folk, and Kennedy was one of them.

    Lest I be accused of surrendering to the emotions of the moment, let
    me quote from a column I wrote in January of 2008 when the Democratic
    presidential primary battle hung in the balance:

    “It should mean a great deal to progressives that in the race for the
    Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Ted Kennedy favors Sen.
    Barack Obama over two other colleagues he has worked with in the
    Senate. No one in the history of that institution has been a more
    consistent and effective fighter than Kennedy for an enlightened
    agenda, be it civil rights and liberty, gender equality, labor and
    immigrant justice, environmental protection, educational opportunity
    or opposing military adventures.

    “Kennedy was a rare sane voice among the Democrats in strongly
    opposing the Iraq war, and it is no small tribute when he states: `We
    know the record of Barack Obama. There is the courage he showed when
    so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning,
    he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth.’ ”

    Hopefully, it will be added to Ted Kennedy’s legacy that he was right
    about Obama, just as he was consistently right on every major issue
    that he dealt with as a senator. Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama was
    critical to our current president’s historic nomination and election,
    and it is therefore fitting that the favor of that all-important
    endorsement be returned with a significant reform of the ailing U.S.
    health care system.

    In the first year of the George W. Bush presidency, I wrote a column
    for the Los Angeles Times entitled “Bush Could Really Use a Fireside
    Chat With FDR,” stating: “This is a president who never learned that
    it is possible to be a leader born of privilege and yet be absorbed
    with the fate of those in need. … Not so Roosevelt, a true aristocrat
    whose genuine love of the common man united this country to save it
    during its most severe time of economic turmoil and devastating war.”
    Kennedy wrote a note thanking me for the column, adding, “I can think
    of at least fifty on the Senate side of Capitol Hill that could
    benefit from a good fireside chat as well.”

    That’s also a worthy epitaph for Ted Kennedy: Born of privilege, and
    yet absorbed with the fate of those in need.

    This article first appeared on TruthDig, which can be found here.

    Robert Scheer is Editor in Chief of Truthdig and author of a new
    book, The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and
    Weakened America.


  3. Pingback: Human rights violations, South African apartheid then, Bahrain now | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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