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Ted Kennedy's Last Stand: He'll Lead Senate Battle Over Court Pick
NewsMax.com ^ | July 5, 2005 | Dave Eberhart

Posted on 07/04/2005 8:02:39 PM PDT by blueberry12

Sen. Edward Kennedy will be the Democrat's point man in their all out attack on President Bush's nominee to the high court.

Though Kennedy no longer holds the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a role he played from 1979 to 1981, he is the most senior ranking Democrat on the august committee. He is also the most virulent among his Democratic colleagues in his opposition to the Bush administration.

The stage has once again been set for him to become the salient force in the looming battle over who will replace a retiring Justice - Sandra Day O'Connor.

Kennedy, who has been in the Senate since 1962 is an old hand at the game and will no doubt outshine the titular head of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., at every turn.

People still talk about getting "Borked" when referring to getting a raw deal. But "Borked" should be synonymous with being targeted by Ted Kennedy.

When Robert H. Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings were singularly marked by Kennedy attacking Bork for his conservative judgments on issues like abortion and civil rights:

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids..."

Supreme Court nominee Bork was not confirmed.

Clarence Thomas got the treatment in 1991 as Bush, Sr.'s nominee to the high court.

With the confirmation hearings already revving hot and heavy over Thomas's conservative stance on issues like affirmative action, the brush fire morphed to a conflagration after a law professor named Anita Hill came forward during the hearings, claiming Thomas had sexually harassed her.

Kennedy was widely attacked as a hypocrite - his own personal life less than sterling - for taking a leading role as a defender of Anita Thomas against accused sexual harasser Clarence Thomas.

Perhaps the apparent hypocrisy backfired. Thomas was confirmed.

Already, Kennedy is sharpening up his rhetoric.

Kennedy's statement Friday: "If the President abuses his power and nominates someone who threatens to roll back the rights and freedoms of the American people, then the American people will insist that we oppose that nominee, and we intend to do so."

On "This Week," Kennedy barked, "If he wants to pick a judge, we want to be able to support him. But if he wants to have a fight about it, then that's going to be the case."

Meanwhile, chairman Specter was benignly warning conservative groups not to prejudge Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose name continues to be on the lips of those speculating about President Bush's choice of a Supreme Court nominee:

"I don't think the social conservatives ought to prejudge Attorney General Gonzales. Attorney General Gonzales may not even be in the picture," intoned Specter.

Kennedy, who rang in the Fourth of July with a starburst article called "Let the Senate Advise!" in the Washington Post, has his virtual office-style official Web site festooned with judiciary stuff. By contrast, there's not a byte on the Specter site remotely akin to the brewing firestorm.

Some weeks ago, the so-called "Gang of 14" Republican and Democratic senators struck a filibuster compromise deal to avoid the ominous "nuclear option" of freezing the filibuster with a rule change. The deal allowed votes for a handful of pro-life appeals court nominees that had been blocked by filibusters - in exchange for promises not to support changing Senate rules to prevent filibusters on judges.

As part and parcel of the compromise, members agreed that a filibuster would only be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

What the particular definition of "extraordinary" is remains subject to interpretation.

Enter Sen. Kennedy.

Pundits suggest that Kennedy's fire on the subject - even now in the days and weeks before a real live Bush nominee is even disclosed - is setting up an environment that can more readily be elevated to "extraordinary."

Indeed, Kennedy is the pro forma head of a segment of the Senate that promises they will filibuster President Bush's pick to replace pro-abortion Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor - if the nominee is too conservative.

If just being too conservative doesn't ring of exigency, it can, with a little spin. "Can we imagine what this country would be like today if Judge Bork had gone onto the Supreme Court?" Kennedy asks rhetorically.

When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., recently addressed the volatile subject of judges and omitted a demand for real down-and-dirty Senate-White House consultations, Kennedy took the lead in the chastisement department.

"Under the Constitution and the Senate Rules, every Senator's hands are on the oars of this vessel. If a substantial number of us are rowing in the opposite direction from the Majority Leader, we will not make much progress. But if there is a consensus as to where we want to go, we can get there directly and quickly.

"The 14 Senators who reached the landmark bipartisan compromise in the nuclear option debate made a pledge to one another and a plea to the President that the advice function must not be given short shrift, and that serious consultation with the Senate in the nomination process is the key to a successful confirmation process."

But all has not been fire and brimstone from Sen. Kennedy, who at one point seemed to be arguing simply for a little business as usual. "A few of us who have been here in the Senate for all of the confirmations of the current nine justices know that most of them were consensus choices.

"Seven of them - including all six whom the right-wing wants to impeach - were confirmed with such strong bipartisan support that no more than nine Senators voted against them, and, of those, four received unanimous Senate support."

Whatever hopes Sen. Kennedy entertains about consultation and consensus choices was flavored by remark made in yet another of the flurry of press releases flowing from the Kennedy camp. In this case he charges the opposition with girding their loins - knowing full well that the nominee is going to be a bombshell.

"White House officials made time to meet, with prominent outside allies on the right, who are so sure that the President will nominate a non-consensus candidate, that they have put an $18 million war-chest in place to defend that nominee. Their advice to the President was clear - they would consent to and support any right-wing judge he selects for the High Court. No wonder he likes to get their advice and consent!"

Kennedy has put his own colleagues on notice of just how seriously he takes the process. When a senator argued in print that "Senate practice and even the Constitution contemplate deference to the president and a presumption in favor of confirmation," the Massachusetts lawmaker shot out yet another press release.

"That's not what the Constitution says. Since the days of George Washington - whose nomination of a Justice was denied consent by the Senate of that day, there has been no 'presumption in favor of confirmation' of lifetime judicial appointees. In general, many of us do give some deference to a President's nominees to the Executive Branch, since they are not lifetime appointments. But even there, if the President overreaches, we act to fulfill our constitutional responsibility."

Giving a hint at the grisly nature of the potential conflict, Kennedy offered this colorful metaphor. "Like sausage and legislation, the confirmation or rejection of a Supreme Court nomination is not always something pleasant to watch or be part of. The course is set by the President. If the President submits an 'in your face' nomination to flaunt his power, it takes time and effort and sweat and tears before the truth about the candidate is fully discovered and explained to the public and voted on."

The 72-year-old senator has long ago abandoned any dreams of Camelot and has little to loose as he stands front and center. Other political stars, who still harbor presidential ambitions, such as Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., have been more or less content to wait it out - letting the other side at least fire the first shot with that feared 'in your face' nominee.

Far from being content with a waiting game, Kennedy looks forward to yet the next phase of battle - when Chief Justice William Rehnquist retires. Kennedy is on record saying that Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas "would be completely troublesome" as nominees to replace the ailing Rehnquist.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; dirtyrats; drunkenrats; filibuster; killerrats; limousineliberals; nuclearoption; obstructionistrats; rats; scotus; senaterats; supremecourt; tedkennedy; thechappaquiddickkid
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1 posted on 07/04/2005 8:02:41 PM PDT by blueberry12
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To: blueberry12
Kennedy is obviously near that point in life where cardiovascular collapse is a distinct possibility.

Best bet is to encourage him to rage.

2 posted on 07/04/2005 8:04:40 PM PDT by muawiyah (/sarcasm and invective)
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To: blueberry12

Ted Kennedy Leads party over another bridge.

HICCUP !!!!


3 posted on 07/04/2005 8:06:03 PM PDT by Michigan Bowhunter (What quantifies this as an assault rifle?)
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To: blueberry12

Senator Fatimir Harkennedy

4 posted on 07/04/2005 8:06:51 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (The Democrats have the right mascot; everyone knows what comes out of an ass)
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To: muawiyah

Ok, then name Janice Rogers Brown. That should do it. :o) :o) :o)


5 posted on 07/04/2005 8:08:25 PM PDT by txrangerette
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To: Paul Atreides

That image is priceless! The movie was so bad, so long ago, though, how many will remember the reason Harkonnen required his anti-grav apparatus?


6 posted on 07/04/2005 8:09:51 PM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: blueberry12

Bring it on, FAT BOY.


7 posted on 07/04/2005 8:10:59 PM PDT by ModernDayCato (Republicans - Frittering away their majority and their base)
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To: blueberry12
I find that the issue of Abortion being held over competent nominee's,
is small minded and childish at the very least.

The Dem's have nothing else to fight/stand for. How pathetic.

8 posted on 07/04/2005 8:12:23 PM PDT by MaxMax (God Bless America)
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To: ModernDayCato

How ironic that the brother of the first Catholic president
opposes letting any practicing Catholic (i.e., opposed to abortion) sit on any Federal bench. . .


9 posted on 07/04/2005 8:13:10 PM PDT by CondorFlight
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To: blueberry12
No big deal for him. He's gone off a bridge before and survived.
10 posted on 07/04/2005 8:13:16 PM PDT by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: blueberry12
My favorite Ted Kennedy flash movie... (Warning: very annoying and gross just like Teddy.)

Tribute to Ted Kennedy

11 posted on 07/04/2005 8:14:19 PM PDT by EdHallick (All you base belong to us and you shoe too)
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To: blueberry12

That he sits in judgement of judges of law is one of the biggest cases of bizarro irony that I can think of. Senator Kennedy would still be checking in with his Parole Officer in a perfectly just world.


12 posted on 07/04/2005 8:14:34 PM PDT by Ghengis (Alexander was a wuss!)
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To: b4its2late

And no big deal to him that his young female passenger didn't.


13 posted on 07/04/2005 8:15:03 PM PDT by Theresawithanh (As long as Dean's the head of the D-N-C, it just looks better for the G-O-P!!)
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To: MaxMax

I have called my two girl senators on several occasions, and their office personel will not explain to me what partial birth abortion is..... Sen Feinsteins office guided me to the health department, and I am still waiting on Barbie Boxers office to call me back....


14 posted on 07/04/2005 8:16:18 PM PDT by JoanneSD
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To: blueberry12
[ Ted Kennedy's Last Stand: He'll Lead Senate Battle Over Court Pick ]

If only it was that easy...

15 posted on 07/04/2005 8:16:56 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed me to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Theresawithanh

Yep. Unfortunately, you are correct.


16 posted on 07/04/2005 8:17:14 PM PDT by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: blueberry12; Travis McGee; devolve; potlatch; Smartass; B4Ranch; Boazo; Grampa Dave; JohnHuang2; ...

USSC ping.


17 posted on 07/04/2005 8:18:41 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (Viva La MIGRA - LONG LIVE THE BORDER PATROL!)
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To: blueberry12

It's amazing that there is already confirmation of opposition, without a nominee.


18 posted on 07/04/2005 8:19:07 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: blueberry12
The Hero of Chappaquidick.

Fight's on!

19 posted on 07/04/2005 8:20:11 PM PDT by paddles
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To: blueberry12
Kennedy is a fat-assed pig that has lost his mind.

Bring-it-on fat boy!!

20 posted on 07/04/2005 8:21:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: blueberry12

And this is after all the Bushs did to kiss his ass.


21 posted on 07/04/2005 8:22:36 PM PDT by sport
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To: MaxMax
"The Dem's have nothing else to fight/stand for. How pathetic."

Aye, they've *lost* everything else.

They've lost most state governorships, most state legislatures, most voter registrations, the House, the Senate, the Presidency...and now they are down to fighting for their last hope of holding onto some of their power: the SCOTUS.

And they've been distracted from this fight. They've been spending considerable time, money, and effort attacking President Bush (a man who can't even run for his Office again) instead of gearing up for the inevitable SCOTUS fights to come...so they are late to the dance even here.

Now they're attempting to shift from attacking President Bush daily to fighting the new SCOTUS nomination...when they have a mere 44% of the Senate and 0% of the White House.

Throw me into that briar patch!

Of course we want a fight. Let them go tooth and nail after GWB's nomination; let that nominee see firsthand why liberalism is to be despised.

...And after they lose this fight and go back to bashing Bush, we'll hit them with yet *another* fight for which they aren't prepared.

It's not like the Dems can resist the bait that we keep dangling in front of them, after all. They *must* attack GWB rather than concentrate on the real fights; it's in their very nature.

22 posted on 07/04/2005 8:23:15 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: blueberry12

23 posted on 07/04/2005 8:23:46 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: b4its2late
That would be a good way to handle him during the hearings. Every time he regains consciousness and start yelling about a nominees conviction against abortion just tell him "slow down Ted, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it!"
24 posted on 07/04/2005 8:23:51 PM PDT by skimbell
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To: JoanneSD
Elected Democrat officials passing the buck too employee's?
25 posted on 07/04/2005 8:25:05 PM PDT by MaxMax (God Bless America)
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To: blueberry12
Ted ("The Human Zipcode") Kennedy will certainly lead the charge against whomever the President nominates. However, unlike Reid's successful filibuster, Teddy will be up against the fact that several Democrat Senators are nervous about getting reelected in 2006.

So, Teddy's gonna finding himself leading too few lemmings over the cliff, or Buicks off the bridge, if you prefer. In short, he will be loud but irrelevant.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "Replace Justice O'Connor -- But Which One?"

26 posted on 07/04/2005 8:25:27 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush appoint a Justice who obeys the Constitution? I give 65-35 odds on yes.)
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To: muawiyah
His mother lived to be a hundred or so.

I'd use "aroma therapy" during the meetings. Waft the smell of Chivas through the room...

Should make him ansty and long to be in a bar somewhere.

27 posted on 07/04/2005 8:26:24 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: blueberry12

Anyone looking for a laugh at the Senior Senator's expense should check out Boston radio host Howie Carr's special website dedicated just to Ted:

www.fatboy.cc

Sigh. On behalf of Massachusetts residents, I apologize for our sad and sorry contributions to the Senate. And for Dukakis. And for the Big Dig. And for our loony, left-wing Supreme Judicial Court. And for...hey, I have to get up for work tomorrow. I could be here all night.


28 posted on 07/04/2005 8:26:31 PM PDT by LostInBayport (Massachusetts liberals refuse to admit we exist...we are the 37% who voted for GWB)
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To: blueberry12
Ted ("The Human Zipcode") Kennedy will certainly lead the charge against whomever the President nominates. However, unlike Reid's successful filibuster, Teddy will be up against the fact that several Democrat Senators are nervous about getting reelected in 2006.

So, Teddy's gonna finding himself leading too few lemmings over the cliff, or Buicks off the bridge, if you prefer. In short, he will be loud but irrelevant.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "Replace Justice O'Connor -- But Which One?"

29 posted on 07/04/2005 8:26:39 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush appoint a Justice who obeys the Constitution? I give 65-35 odds on yes.)
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To: JoanneSD

Once again, the democrats prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are above all, the Abortion Party. Thank you, Ann Coulter for naming the Beast.

They will uphold the "right" to kill the unborn over every other consideration no matter what. And Planned Parenthood, their vanguard in the trenches, will uphold the right to victimize 12, 13, and 14 yo female children by letting their rapists walk free while aborting the evidence of the crimes.


30 posted on 07/04/2005 8:27:48 PM PDT by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Happy2BMe; MeekOneGOP; potlatch; ntnychik; devolve; Boazo; OXENinFLA; Grampa Dave; Lady Jag; ...

Ted Kennedy is out of his box...AGAIN

31 posted on 07/04/2005 8:28:06 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: skimbell
LOL! Good one.

But he'd just keep right on flapping his gums.....

32 posted on 07/04/2005 8:28:49 PM PDT by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: AD from SpringBay

"It's amazing that there is already confirmation of opposition, without a nominee."

That's because it doesn't matter who Bush nominates. The Dems are going to try to get as much attention as they can by jumping up and down and screaming. Reminds me of a spoiled little brat, a brat that needs a good a$$ whooping.


33 posted on 07/04/2005 8:29:03 PM PDT by ArmedNReady (Islam, the Cancer on Humanity.)
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To: AD from SpringBay

"It's amazing that there is already confirmation of opposition, without a nominee."

That's because it doesn't matter who Bush nominates. The Dems are going to try to get as much attention as they can by jumping up and down and screaming. Reminds me of a spoiled little brat, a brat that needs a good a$$ whooping.


34 posted on 07/04/2005 8:29:30 PM PDT by ArmedNReady (Islam, the Cancer on Humanity.)
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To: CondorFlight

Many lifelong Democrats, who are Catholic, are fed up. They see Kennedy, Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, Durbin, Mikulski etc. as Catholics for the camera only. I've heard many comment that Democrats stand for Hollywood, abortion, Special Interest Groups, higher taxes, and Union leaders not Union workers. They may not be ready to call themselves Republican or conservative but they are not going to back Democrats. The more Kennedy talks the more turned off they are.
My parents, who remained registered Democrats into their 80's, have switched parties. It's spreading everytime Teddy boy opens his mouth.


35 posted on 07/04/2005 8:32:15 PM PDT by pieces of time
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To: blueberry12
Let's play, "Spot the Grammar Moron"! Which was written by Newsmax, and which is correct?

1. As part and parcel of the compromise, ONLY members agreed that a filibuster would be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

2. As part and parcel of the compromise, members ONLY agreed that a filibuster would be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

3. As part and parcel of the compromise, members agreed that ONLY a filibuster would be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

4. As part and parcel of the compromise, members agreed that a filibuster would ONLY be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

5. As part and parcel of the compromise, members agreed that a filibuster would be used ONLY on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, in "extraordinary circumstances."

6. As part and parcel of the compromise, members agreed that a filibuster would be used on future judges, including Supreme Court nominees, ONLY in "extraordinary circumstances."

Interestingly, except for one of the above, each is correct, and has a different meaning. Newsmax used the only one that is just plain wrong.
36 posted on 07/04/2005 8:32:29 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: blueberry12
One day that SOB is going to drop dead right on the Senate floor. I only pray he doesn't crush a Boy Scout troop on a tour of the building.
37 posted on 07/04/2005 8:34:12 PM PDT by BigCinBigD
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To: Ghengis
More irony: he sits in judgment of judges when he was thrown out of Harvard Law for cheating.
38 posted on 07/04/2005 8:35:18 PM PDT by Bring Back Old Sparky (Teddy Kennedy: Drink! Drive! Swim for your life!)
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To: blueberry12
"Oh, cool! Another opportunity for me to act like an arrogant, narcissistic asshole and get all puffed up and spew leftist garbage. WOW, what a country!"

Teddy, you're a drunken sot. STFU!!

And yer plenty puffed up already.

39 posted on 07/04/2005 8:35:46 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Paul Atreides

Disgusting yet funny.


40 posted on 07/04/2005 8:37:23 PM PDT by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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To: muawiyah

He should be neutralized the very second he opens his mouth.


41 posted on 07/04/2005 8:39:24 PM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: muawiyah

Kennedy was on TV the other day and he wasn't drunk!


42 posted on 07/04/2005 8:40:34 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: muawiyah

Its time to take this guy down using all of his past, if he wants the spotlight lets give it to him!


43 posted on 07/04/2005 8:40:52 PM PDT by Archon of the East ("universal executive power of the law of nature")
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To: Congressman Billybob
So, Teddy's gonna finding himself leading too few lemmings over the cliff, or Buicks off the bridge, if you prefer.

LOL BB.

Uh, Oldsmobile?

44 posted on 07/04/2005 8:40:58 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: muawiyah

"Best bet is to encourage him to rage."

...by nominating someone with the name Mary Jo just for the heck of it.


45 posted on 07/04/2005 8:41:45 PM PDT by citizencon
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To: blueberry12

Mary Jo Kopechne.......


46 posted on 07/04/2005 8:42:47 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Smartass

Thanks for the ping!


47 posted on 07/04/2005 8:43:26 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: blueberry12
It won't work this time. People are well-informed now and they'll only laugh at Kennedy's blatant and faux outrages.
48 posted on 07/04/2005 8:45:28 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: sport
And this is after all the Bushs did to kiss his ass

Yep. The infamous education bill written by Teddy boy and signed by Bush. Bush should take Ann Coulter's advice: Never deal with liberals.

49 posted on 07/04/2005 8:52:06 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: LostInBayport

"Sigh. On behalf of Massachusetts residents, I apologize for our sad and sorry contributions to the Senate."

Same here from CA.


50 posted on 07/04/2005 8:53:16 PM PDT by Bobibutu
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