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  1. #1 Robert Byrd, Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, Dies at 92 
    Destroyer of Worlds Apocalypse's Avatar
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    Robert Byrd, Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, Dies at 92

    Published June 28, 2010

    | FOXNews.com


    Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in American history, died Monday at the age of 92.

    Byrd, a Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate since 1959, had been plagued by health problems in recent years and was confined to a wheelchair. He had skipped several votes in Congress in the past months.

    He was the oldest member of the 111th Congress.

    http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0wNdCaWbi...-senator-dies/

    Rest in peace, beyond that, I'll bite my tongue out of respect.
    Last edited by Apocalypse; 06-28-2010 at 06:12 AM.
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    July 4, 1776 - January 20, 2009
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  2. #2  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    Rip.
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    Rest in peace, beyond that, I'll bite my tongue out of respect.
    That alone puts you on higher moral ground than the grave-dancers "over there".

    Sorry to disappoint the DU trolls. I hope Mr. Byrd is at peace.
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  4. #4  
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    Whatever you thought of his politics, he represented an amazing amount of Senate history.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  5. #5  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    Whatever you thought of his politics, he represented an amazing amount of Senate history.
    Yes, he did. He had a long and illustrious career, unfortunately marred by some virulent racism (or as the DUmmies would refer to it, "youthful indiscretions"), and while it may not be in the best of taste to bring that up, it's still something that needs to be said, especially when Obama eulogizes him and demands that the senate pass cap and trade in his memory. He wasn't simply a KKK member, he was a recruiting officer, a Kleagle, who drew members into the Klan. He was also on the record repeatedly and forcefully opposing integration, and even as late as 2001, was still using the most virulent ethic slur in public:

    when asked by Fox News Sunday morning talk show host Tony Snow about the state of race relations in America. Sen. Byrd warned: "There are white ******s. I've seen a lot of white ******s in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."
    Byrd's racism was not a minor flirtation but a longstanding commitment, which culminated in his filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It will be interesting to watch Democrats skirt his history on race (not to mention the Black Congression Caucus) as they tell us about his career.

    Just for the record, Wikipedia's entry on Byrd contains the following:
    Byrd joined the Ku Klux Klan when he was 24 in 1942. His local chapter unanimously elected him the top officer of their unit.[8]

    According to Byrd, a Klan official told him, "You have a talent for leadership, Bob... The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation." Byrd later recalled, "suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did."[8] Byrd held the titles Kleagle (recruiter) and Exalted Cyclops.[8]

    In 1944, Byrd wrote to segregationist Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo:[15]

    “ I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds. ”
    — Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944, [8][16]

    When running for the United States House of Representatives in 1952, he announced "After about a year, I became disinterested, quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization. During the nine years that have followed, I have never been interested in the Klan." He said he had joined the Klan because he felt it offered excitement and was anti-communist.[8] However, in 1946 or 1947 he wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard stating, "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation." [17]

    In 1997, he told an interviewer he would encourage young people to become involved in politics, but to "Be sure you avoid the Ku Klux Klan. Don't get that albatross around your neck. Once you've made that mistake, you inhibit your operations in the political arena." [18] In his latest autobiography, Byrd explained that he was a member because he "was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision—a jejune and immature outlook—seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions."[19] Byrd also said, in 2005,

    “ I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened. ”
    — Robert C. Byrd, [8]
    He deserves to be remembered as someone who gave his constituents what they wanted, and who they rewarded with the longest congressional tenure in American history, but if there's any justice, his eternal flame ought to be in the shape of a burning cross.
    Last edited by Odysseus; 06-28-2010 at 09:22 AM.
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  6. #6  
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    A few of his lifetime highlights, from Fox News:

    ACHIEVEMENTS:
    *Nov. 8, 2009 -- Byrd became the longest serving member in Congress in history.
    *June 12, 2006 -- Byrd became the longest serving senator in history.
    *Nov. 2006 -- Byrd was elected to his 9TH FULL TERM. (So - Byrd was closing in on his 58th year in the Congress).

    CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
    *Byrd was President pro tempore, which is the highest ranking member of the Senate & the 2nd highest ranking member of Congress after the Speaker.
    *That made Byrd technically the 3rd person in the line of succession to the President, but Democratic sources quietly said on background that Byrd would sign those powers away in the event of an opening.
    *In mid-2008, Democratic leaders pushed Byrd from his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, due to his failing health and frequent absences from work.
    *On Dec. 24, 2009, an emotional Byrd yelled to the chair during the critical cloture vote on health care, "Mr. President, this is for my friend, Ted Kennedy! AYE!"
    *Supported BOTH Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts & Justice Samuel Alito.
    *Byrd was a member of the "Gang of 14" - which averted a judicial crisis in the Senate.
    *Sole Democrat to vote for the CENSURE of President Bill Clinton -- BUT voted against impeachment.

    >>Byrd was elected to more positions by colleagues than any other senator in Senate history:
    *Democratic leader: 1977-80 (Majority); 1981-86 (Minority); 1987-88 (Majority)
    *Democratic Whip: 1971-77
    *Secretary, Democratic conference: 1967-71
    *There was perhaps no greater opponent of President George W. Bush than Byrd. He wrote: Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Dangerous Presidency. The senator gave numerous speeches on the Senate floor in opposition to the war in Iraq; to signing statements; to anything the senator perceived as an infringement on Congresional powers.
    *1964 --- Byrd conducted one of the longest true filibusters in Senate history -- against civil rights legislation.
    *1958 -- first elected to Senate.
    *1952 --- started in Congress when elected to the House.
    *Served in the W.VA House and Senate.
    *Joined the KKK at age 24 -- liked that it was anti-Communist. It's a membership for which Byrd has repeatedly apologized.
    *Attended GWU Law School & graduated w/ his law degree from American University.
    *In 2007 to AP, Byrd issued the following statement: "It isn't a news flash that I'm getting older or that I walk with canes...Age really is not the issue it may appear to be. When it comes to political office, what really matters are things like drive, determination and the desire to serve. The ability to look to the future with an eye toward the possibilities and how to make them reality is much more important than a number that denotes one's years on this earth."
    *Also to AP, though it's unclear where it falls in this above statement: "I'm told that 90 is the new 80...I am proud of my white mane, but I still long for the black hair of my youth."
    *According to Cumberland Times-News, 6/26/10: Sen. Robert C. Byrd's name appears the most on bridges and highways among individuals - at least eight times. They include the Robert C. Byrd Expressway and Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Ohio County; Robert C. Byrd Highway (Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (also Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor G/U.S. 119); Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Huntington; Robert C. Byrd Interchange at Birch River; Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor L/I-77).

    HEALTH
    *Hospitalized three times in 2009 --- left him frail, weak, and wheelchair-bound. Nevertheless, he voted fairly regularly -- wheeled in by a staffer into the chamber.
    *Feb. 2008 -- Byrd fell at his home & was taken to the hospital after being at work for a time; the Senate doctor sent him to the hospital. No broken bones. Just days later, Byrd came down with a urinary tract infection & was rushed to the hospital; he then had a reaction to the antibiotics. AFTER ALL THAT -- he contracted a staph infection - and would be hospitalized for a time to deal with that. Byrd would have to undergo physical therapy to recuperate. The staph infection would return in 2009.
    *Jan. 20, 2009 -- Byrd was at the same table with Sen. Ted Kennedy when the late senator had a seizure. Byrd was reportedly VERY emotional, but his staff would later say he was fine. Byrd gave an emotional tribute to his friend when Kennedy died. I remember him yelling, "Ted! Ted!" while crying.

    LIFE HIGHLIGHTS:
    *Perhaps no greater milestone in his life came when in March 2006 his childhood sweetheart, Erma Ora Byrd(born Erma Ora James), died (they met in high school). Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.VA has a nursing facility named for Erma. Also at the school, a science center is named for the senator, a master at bringing home the bacon to his state.
    *Avid fiddle player. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Grand Ole Opry, and HEE HAW! He has recorded a number of records/CD's.
    *He has appeared in a number of movies, including Gods & Generals, with former Sen. George Allen.
    *West Virginia's legislature was so grateful to Byrd they named him "West Virginian of the 20th century."
    *Born Cornelius Calvin Sale in NC -- but his mom died of pneumonia when he was one year old. Her children were divided among relatives; the baby was raised by Titus and Vlurma Byrd, who changed the baby's name and raised him in coal country in southern West Virginia.
    *Another major milestone -- the passing of his beloved dog, Billy Byrd. He kept a picture of the dog on his mantle in his office. Byrd always talked about his dog, a Maltese, and when Billy Byrd died in 2002, Byrd said, "I lost one of my best friends today." Byrd, a major dog lover, soon got another pooch, a Shih Tzu this time -- naming it Trouble.
    *An avid dog lover, Byrd was enraged by the revelations of a brutal dog-fighting ring run by Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick. In a July 19, 2007 speech, Byrd condemned Vick and even called for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of such brutality to animals, calling the guilty parties "sadistic."
    *And he said: "I am confident that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt!
    *Byrd is referred to as the "historian of the Senate," having written a massive series

    PERSONAL NOTES:
    *Byrd loved members of the 4th estate. He would often come to the print gallery for pen & pad sessions with us -- holding court in his formal 3-piece suits. Byrd was quite the dresser! He would always greet you with a big smile and ask how you're doing.
    *He would often sing when coming into work. Byrd truly loved the Senate. On a number of occasions, even in his wheelchair, I'd hear him sing, "Oh when the saints..."
    *Byrd was a staunch defender of all-things-coal. He vehemently opposed any infringement on the industry that has been the lifeline of his tiny state -- strongly opposing any cap & trade effort.
    --Odysseus
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Chuck58's Avatar
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    RIP, Senator Byrd.

    I don't hold his KKK membership against him. It was a long time ago, and people often do things they later regret.

    Occasionally, I'd see him on C-Span in years past. I actually enjoyed listening to him. Compared to some of the characters sitting in the Senate today or who recently occupied a seat, he was a master at speaking. Byrd was about the last of the old time political orators. When he spoke, he was truly a voice from the past, reminding me in a small way of Dirksen and others.

    I knew he was failing better than a year ago, just from watching him.
    The poster formerly known as chuck58 on the old board.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Ape Articulate_Ape's Avatar
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    So, when's the special election?
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  9. #9  
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    Bryd was one of the old boys that although I dissagreed with his positions on most items when he got into an oratory they were almost homilies in nature. Never failed no matter the subject matter he could sneak in a bit about his beloved dog Billy Byrd.
    The 21st century. The age of Smart phones and Stupid people.

    It is said that branches draw their life from the vine. Each is separate yet all are one as they share one life giving stem . The Bible tells us we are called to a similar union in life, our lives with the life of God. We are incorporated into him; made sharers in his life. Apart from this union we can do nothing.
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  10. #10  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck58 View Post
    RIP, Senator Byrd.

    I don't hold his KKK membership against him. It was a long time ago, and people often do things they later regret.
    Joining the KKK when you're young and stupid is one thing. Becoming a recruiter and officer in the KKK and fighting for segregation for over twenty years is not exactly a youthful indiscretion, it's a longstanding pattern. If liberals can hold George W. Bush accountable for things that didn't happen in 1970, why can't we hold Robert Byrd accountable for things that did happen in 1964?
    --Odysseus
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