Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy and ObamaCare

As I am watching the news of Senator Kennedy's passing mixed with the ongoing news of the so-called "Health Care Reform" which I prefer to call "ObamaCare," because there has been no bipartisan efforts involved in the ongoing construction of this Congressional bill. Not that the Republican Party has not offered ideas; it's just that every idea that has been offered has been promptly shot down by the Democrats. There is a major concern that has arisen since Senator Kennedy's death in reference to the "ObamaCare" Bill. Because Senator Kennedy has spent a large part of his political career trying to get some kind of health care reform passed in Congress, the Democrats will be using his death as just another tool to get this horrendous Bill of theirs passed.

And speaking of Senator Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy's political career, he was elected as Senator from Massachusetts the same year I was born--1962. That was 47 years ago! My goodness! Should a politician be allowed to stay in the same office for that length of time? FOX News stated that there are only two other senators who have held the office longer than Kennedy. Of course one of those is Robert Carlyle Byrd of West Virginia and the other is James Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (See following Wikipedia paragraphs). And Senator Kennedy was trying to get the Massachusetts law changed so that a Democrat could be appointed by the Democratic Governor to his position in the Senate instead of having an election within 160 days. But he had, in 2004, that same law changed to suit his needs when he WANTED an election instead of an appointment by then Republican Governor Mitt Romney. Just how much power do these senators think they wield, especially when they have been in office for almost 50 years?

It is way past time for a housecleaning...Congressional housecleaning that is! And as far as the "ObamaCare" Bill, I do not mean to be disrespectful of the dead, but that Bill should die with Senator Kennedy!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20, 1917) is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia, and a member and former Senate Leader of the Democratic Party. Byrd has been a Senator since January 3, 1959 and is the longest-serving member in the Senate's history. He is also the oldest current member of the United States Congress, and is the first politician in U.S. history to serve as a U.S. senator uninterrupted for half a century.

Byrd is President pro tempore of the United States Senate, a position that puts him third in the line of presidential succession, behind Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He also held this post previously from 1989 to 1995, briefly in January 2001, and from June 2001 to January 2003. In this role, Sen. Byrd signs bills passed by Congress before they are sent to the president to be signed into law or vetoed.

Byrd holds a wide variety of both liberal and conservative political views. A lifelong Democrat, Byrd did not leave the party as its views shifted from social conservatism to social liberalism. He has also held many leadership positions: Senate Conference Secretary, Majority Whip, Minority Leader and twice Majority Leader. He is the only former party leader currently in the Senate.

James Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (December 5, 1902 - June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served as governor of South Carolina and as a United States Senator. He also ran for the Presidency of the United States in 1948 as the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) candidate, receiving 2.4% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes. Thurmond later represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 to April 1956 and November 1956 to 2003, at first as a Democrat and after 1964 as a Republican, switching parties as the conservative base shifted. He served as Senator through the 1990s, and left office at age 100 as the oldest serving and longest-serving senator in U.S. history (although he was later surpassed in the latter by Robert Byrd). Thurmond holds the record for the longest serving Dean of the United States Senate in U.S. history at 14 years. He conducted the longest filibuster ever by a U.S. Senator in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957, at 24 hours and 18 minutes in length, nonstop. He later moderated his position on race, but continued to defend his early segregationist campaigns on the basis of states' rights in the context of Southern society at the time, never fully renouncing his earlier viewpoints. He is the only U.S. Senator to reach the age of 100 while still in office.

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. In office from November 1962 until his death, Kennedy served nine terms in the Senate. At the time of his death, he was the second most senior member of the Senate, and the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history. He was best known as one of the most outspoken and effective Senate proponents of progressive causes and bills. For many years the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassinations, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Kennedy was a manager in his brother John's successful 1960 campaign for president. He then worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Kennedy entered the Senate in a 1962 special election to fill the seat once held by his brother John. He was seriously injured in an airplane crash in 1964 and suffered from lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy was elected to his first six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times.

The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident resulted in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne and impaired his chances of becoming President of the United States; his 1980 presidential election ended in a primary campaign loss to incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy was known for his oratorical power, his 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 Democratic National Convention rallying cry for American liberalism being among his best-known moments.

He became known as "The Lion of the Senate", through his long tenure and influence. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote were enacted into law. He was known for working with Republicans and to finding compromises among Senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws that affect the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. In the 2000s, he led several unsuccessful immigration reform efforts. During decades in office, Kennedy's major legislative goal was enactment of universal health care, which he continued to work toward during the Obama administration.

Kennedy battled a malignant brain tumor, diagnosed in May 2008, which limited his appearances in the Senate. He survived longer than doctors first predicted. He died on August 25, 2009, at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

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