by ryeland, Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 03:10:03 AM EDT
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:35:35 PM EDT
(CNN) -- Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died at Tuesday night in his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
The man who gave us SCHIP, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and COBRA, who erased immigration quotas, who defined liberalism, who stood up to Reagan. A real American hero.
(For the full text and audio of this speech, visit this link. H/T reggie44pride in the comment section.)
My hands are trembling as I type. I have weeped over three political stories in my short life - 9/11, Obama's election, and tonight. And I should add, my health insurance is through COBRA - I wouldn't have paid for my annual physical and semi-annual dental checkup this summer, and I would be subject to preconditions, if not for Ted Kennedy.
Health care reform must pass, and let that be his legacy more than any family relation.
by Nathan Empsall, Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:22:41 AM EDT
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has sent a letter to Governor Deval L. Patrick, MA Senate President Therese Murray, and MA House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo asking that state law be amended to keep his seat filled should it - when it - soon becomes vacant. Current law allows for a special election five months after the vacancy; Kennedy would like the law to allow the Governor to appoint someone to hold the seat for those five months on the condition they not run. From the Boston Globe:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in a poignant acknowledgment of his mortality at a critical time in the national health care debate, has privately asked the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law to guarantee that Massachusetts will not lack a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant.
In a personal, sometimes wistful letter sent Tuesday to Governor Deval L. Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Kennedy asks that Patrick be given authority to appoint someone to the seat temporarily before voters choose a new senator in a special election.
Although Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, does not specifically mention his illness or the health care debate raging in Washington, the implication of his letter is clear: He is trying to make sure that the leading cause in his life, better health coverage for all, advances in the event of his death.
This whole story is heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking. Edward Kennedy is a modern American hero, a gracious and gregarious man, and one of the most effective legislators in Congressional history. The worst day I had in Washington was the day his illness was announced; there was a black pall over the Hill all day.
This news comes on the heels of yesterday's Politico story about how his absence has impacted the health care debate. Kennedy, of course, has been seen less and less over the past few months, missing Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation vote, his own White House Medal of Freedom ceremony, and his sister's funeral.
by Seth D Michaels, Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:29:27 AM EDT
Members of Congress soon will cast votes that show us where they stand on the Employee Free Choice Act. As key senators engage in negotiations over the bill, supporters of workers' freedom to form unions aren't backing down on three key principles:
- Workers need to have a real choice to form a union and bargain for a better life, free from intimidation.
- We have to stop the endless delays and make sure workers can get a fair first contract.
- There have to be real penalties for violating the law.
Over the past few months, opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act have more than once declared the bill dead, but in fact we're still working hard to to ensure labor law reform happens this year. We've come along way from where we were several years ago.
by National Nurses Movement, Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 12:07:28 PM EDT
Before you start celebrating the pending passage of a healthcare bill in Congress, you might want to make sure you have enough savings to offset the huge out of pocket costs coming your way.
Reports out of the Senate Finance Committee on what individuals and people would have to pay is not exactly a reason to pop those corks. Unless, of course, you're a health insurance CEO already making the down payment on your seventh vacation home.