He will be missed.

A note to my right-of-center readers: I kept my mouth shut about Ronald Reagan. (I did not keep my mouth shut about daughter Patti’s fairly repulsive essay for People magazine, but a girl has her limits.) I understand he was important to many people, who found him to be an inspirational leader. I don’t believe that the dead should never be spoken ill of, but I thought I could extend Reagan a decent interval of silence.

I don’t expect that much courtesy from the other side in the matter of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. The corpse isn’t even cold, and I’ve already read my first Mary Jo Kopechne crack. But I’m willing to let them surprise me, and if they don’t, I’m sure Roy will have the roundup.

In the meantime, I recommend the NYT obit, here. Nicely done.

Text and audio of his eulogy for brother Bobby is here. It’s the only one I could find that was untainted by some YouTube impresario’s addition of sappy music. When will people learn? When the facts — or the text — are powerful, let it speak for itself.

Short one today, dawgs. Today was school registration, which bit into my blogging time, and I still have buttloads of work to do today. Besides, I want to introduce you to someone. This is Ruby:


She’s the newest member of our household. Kate has clamored for a bunny for a while now, but I told her it was out of the question with a terrier in the house, even a very old one. When I stopped at the vet to pick up Spriggy’s ashes, I saw a flyer on the board seeking a new home for Ruby. I’m a big believer in fate in animal/human relationships, and this one seemed to fit the bill. I was a little taken aback by the home Ruby was leaving, a gracious mansion on the lake and loving owners whose lives can no longer accommodate her. I told Ruby, “You are moving to a more proletarian neighborhood,” and the owner had the good manners to laugh (and throw in the cage and all supplies free). But hell — Ruby’s a damn rabbit. She no longer has a water view, but she will find a new family of human suckers willing to peel her carrots for her. So far, she’s mainly been preoccupied with hopping, sniffing and exploring. (I’m thinking of spraying her with Endust and letting her take care of the nooks and crannies under the furniture.)

Her name, of course, comes from the Max and Ruby books, which we all loved when Kate was little. I briefly considered Coozledad’s rabbit-naming system, adopted after he took in some rescue rabbits and was informed, by the shelter administrator, that rabbits were “vermin.” The bunnies were named Ethel Merman Vermin and William Tecumseh Sherman Vermin. But I didn’t think Kate would get the joke.

So Ruby it is.

Not much bloggage today, but what I have is good: My name is Roger, and I’m an alcoholic. Ebert does A.A.

And I do work.

Posted at 11:21 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

37 responses to “He will be missed.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 26, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Other than my HT to Jon Meacham’s take in the previous thread, i have to chuckle at the comment by a historian in the NYT obit:

    As James Sterling Young, the director of a Kennedy Oral History Project at the University of Virginia, put it: “Most people grow up and go into politics. The Kennedys go into politics and then they grow up.”

    It took him a while, but Teddy did grow up. Requiescat in pacem.

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  2. Peter said on August 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I did notice on the Sun-Times and NYT picture sites the obligatory Mary Jo Kopechne shots and I have to wonder what the fallout would be if it happened 5 years ago instead of 40. While the obvious answer is that it would be raw meat for Fox and Rush, I think people would be more forgiving now, as I always thought that a lot of the criticism was due to Mary Jo not being Joan. Also, I think today’s staffers and media consultants wouldn’t let Ted be AWOL for any length of time.

    The Slate tribute had it right when they said that Ted had the people skills that Jack and Bobby lacked. I think Ted was more of a gentleman than his brothers, and certainly more of a gentleman than his senate colleagues, and that’s what will be missed.

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  3. adrianne said on August 26, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Nance, I, too, am ignoring snark on Ted and concentrating on the accolades. Definitely the end of an era.

    Ruby is a cutie!

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  4. Rana said on August 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Bunny! Two bits of warning/advice about teh bun: rabbits love (and need) to chew things, so make sure Ruby has lots of good chew toys, or she’ll start taking out the table. Also watch out for power cords; a lot of buns seem to find them tasty! The second bit is that rabbits are remarkably fragile when it comes to being dropped; they’re not like a cat, so be sure to always lift and lower them carefully.

    Enjoy the new bun!

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  5. Dorothy said on August 26, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Scroll down just a wee bit and see the picture of Rosemary Wells holding a dog who looks like Spriggy! Isn’t that neat? It’s like you’ve come full circle or something with Ruby: http://ed.mnsu.edu/mka/

    Our favorite Rosemary Wells book is “Noisy Nora”, a copy of which is on a shelf in my house awaiting a grandchild. In the mean time I bring it with me when I babysit for the kids of my co-workers. Ruby’s a darling bunny. I’ve always been mystified at the idea of having an animal that wanders the house and does not do it’s business outdoors or in a litter box. You’ll have to tell me how that works out.

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  6. Dexter said on August 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

    msnbc did a great job this morning, especially Barnicle and Pat Buchanan and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
    Zorn linked the great convention speech in four YouTubes.

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  7. moe99 said on August 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    nancy, Max and Ruby books were a staple in my house when the kids were growing up. I even have a stuffed Max and Ruby somewhere!

    Went back and read your Patti Davis column. Dayum, I was with ya even before I knew ya! And Danny trying gamely for this long to convert the rabble dfh heathen, man is he persistent or just hard headed? All I can say is that I was in DC when the Carter administration handed over the reins to the Reagan administration and the signal change that I recall is that the number of big shiny limousines on the roads increased ten fold in the 6 months we were there before the ex got accepted to grad school at UW and we moved west. The amount of conspicuous consumption to hit the WH and the rest of DC was ginormous and I was shocked to find the WaPo lathering over the newcomers as if they were the ‘bee’s knees.’ Guess it was a foretaste of the present. And I believe that Reagan was the long acting poison that operated to destroy the Republican party from within.

    But, as a member of the Carter administration, even in such a lowly position as I held, I remember how Ted Kennedy’s run for the presidency in 1980, the “ABC” movement, and his continual bad mouthing of Carter even after he lost the primary, helped doom a second term for Carter. I don’t deny that Carter also bore responsibility for the defeat, but I thought Ted was a very sore loser and that really did not help (nor did Anderson’s third party campaign). Later on, Ted became more gracious, but I certainly did not see it at this same time, 29 years ago.

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  8. Jenflex said on August 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    My DH swears rabbits can be litter trained, so hopefully Ruby will be amenable. Apparently they also can be leash-trained. Who woulda thunk?

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  9. MarkH said on August 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Nancy, thanks for the Ebert link. I have friends in AA and it is spot on. Should be required reading for anyone who thinks they have a problem.

    And RIP Ted Kennedy.

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  10. sarah kenny said on August 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm


    The Right should think back to the way the Left behaved after Jesse Helms and Tony Snow died.

    And then not do that.

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  11. nancy said on August 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Rosemary Wells is a West Highland terrier owner, Dorothy. She has another series featuring a Westie named McDuff. One of our lake neighbors adopted two Westie pups a few years back, and couldn’t think of a name for the second one, so I suggested McDuff, and she loved it. Somewhere in northwest Ohio there’s a pair of Westie brothers named Stewart and McDuff, or Stewie and Duffy, for short.

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  12. paddyo' said on August 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I hope you’re right, Peter, about Rush-Fox-et-al. My first thought after hearing of Ted K’s death was, “Here come the Chappaquiddick chatterers” . . . we’ll see soon enough, I guess.

    And Nancy: That photo of your bunny looks remarkably like a snowshoe hare. I was reading a coupla-weeks-old Newsweek last night, a story titled, “The Case of the Disappearing Rabbit,” about how closely tied that critter is to the plight of the increasingly rare Canada lynx.

    It included this arresting photo . . . http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/lynx_and_hare.png&imgrefurl=http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/2008/03/&usg=__ZDwOUXG58LySVt2Ns2NzVF8Asp8=&h=421&w=600&sz=94&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=e9cxL3RcYpZdMM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsnowshoe%2Bhare%2Blynx%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26rlz%3D1T4GGLR_enUS304US304%26sa%3DG

    Probably best not shared with little ones, but hey, it’s life-and-death in the wilderness, and what an amazing, poetic, almost Audubon-like pose of a moment . . .

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  13. moe99 said on August 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Funny, I don’t remember the left misbehaving at either Helm’s or Snow’s death. Must be like all the exaggeration of what took place during Sen. Wellstone’s funeral. That big lie was enough to get Norm Coleman elected.

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  14. derwood said on August 26, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    We have a mini rex named Killer(think Monty Python) I think you can still see some pics here along with the cage I built for him: http://www.geocities.com/daron7765

    Leath Petwerks is an online bunny company that started in Indiana. We buy a lot of our chew toys from them. Wooden spoons are great too. I would recommend using Oxbow Ecostraw for litter…easy to clean up and killer likes it. We also use Oxbow food.

    Killer found his way through a couple of lamp cords…now they are all wrapped in plastic tubing. Bunnies are great pets but they do require some special care. We feed ours Oxbow Papaya Tablets twice a day to help with the digestive system. Bunnies can get blocked pretty easy and they can’t throw-up. If they start grinding their teeth that is their sign of pain. I have a recipe our vet gave us to force feed when killer gets a blockage. Let me know and I can post or send.

    Ruby is a cutie.


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  15. Danny said on August 26, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Went back and read your Patti Davis col­umn. Dayum, I was with ya even before I knew ya! And Danny try­ing gamely for this long to con­vert the rab­ble dfh hea­then, man is he per­sis­tent or just hard headed?

    Wow, I didn’t realize it had been 5 years since the age of enlightenment dawned around here.

    Regardless of his political allegiances, I had nothing good to say about Jesse Helms and I’ll observe that rule today. I wept at Reagan’s funeral.

    Nance, a note about bunnies. Their food looks like their droppings. So while kids are always tempted to try dog biscuits, don’t let them make the same mistake with bunny food, unless it’s right from the bag. Just sayin’…

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  16. whitebeard said on August 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    One of my Facebook friends mentioned the Mary Jo tragic death in a snarky, hate-filled remark about Ted Kennedy. At the bottom of his Facebook profile page is a button that can be clicked to remove said friend; friend is gone now and will not be invited back.
    I thought the “liberal lion” was a remarkable senator who fought hard for the little guys, like you and me, unlike most of his colleagues.
    And his friend who mourns him today, Senator Chris Dodd, is also one of the good guys; he helped us win custody of our grandson by asking the U.S. consulate in Vancouver, Canada, to keep tabs on what was happening in our case.

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  17. alex said on August 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Wow, I really ripped Reagan a new one five years ago. Had forgotten about it.

    Who is this sarah kenny and on what planet is she spending most of her time?

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  18. jeff borden said on August 26, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I have no idea what planet Ms. Kenny calls home, but I’ll be damned if I can let that comment about Jesse Helms stand unchallenged. This was a small-minded bigot, a proud racist xenophobe, a pustule on the butt of the body politic throughout his greatly lamented career. He stood squarely in the way of progress, particularly for minorities, and never, ever changed his ways. I recall the story of him being in an elevator with Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, the first (and only) black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. He told his companions he was going to make her cry and began singing “Dixie.” And his lunatic approach to foreign policy was an ongoing embarrassment at home and abroad.

    He was a foul man in life. Death did not enoble him.

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  19. Catherine said on August 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Ruby is adorable. Congratulations on the new family member.

    McDuff, and Max & Ruby, are still remembered and referred to in our house too. I wish I did anything half as well as Rosemary Wells brings those characters to life. And normally, I have a deepseated dislike of anthropomorphized animals in picture books.

    It’s interesting to compare Ted to his brothers. He obviously had more days; but I think too he worked harder and relied less on his charisma. That’s not a bad thing to have on your tombstone.

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  20. Christy S. said on August 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Just de-friended someone on FB because of her disgusting remarks about Kennedy — Mary Jo, abortion, blah, blah. I really wanted to post back something snarky but it’s just a waste of energy. It did feel good to click that X box, though –- “so there” — even though she probably won’t realize it for days or weeks or maybe never.

    I will admit feeling a bit of relief when Jerry Falwell dropped but I didn’t throw it in the faces of my fundy friends. And watching Nancy Reagan at Ronnie’s funeral humanized him enough for me that I had to stop talking bad about him. At least for a while.

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  21. 4dbirds said on August 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    It was apparent no matter how one felt about Reagan, that Nancy adored the man.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on August 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Gee, I never would have guessed the Deadeye Dick Cheney is a liar. Did anyone else see what Frances Townsend had to say about his claims that torturing suspected terrorists yielded lots of workable data?? From the Plum Line blog of Greg Sargent:

    Frances Fragos Townsend, a homeland security adviser and close confidante of Bush on terrorism, made the admission late last night on CNN, where she’s a contributor. Here’s her quote (from Nexis):

    “It’s very difficult to draw a cause and effect, because it’s not clear when techniques were applied vs. when that information was received. It’s implicit. It seems, when you read the report, that we got the — the — the most critical information after techniques had been applied. But the report doesn’t say that.”

    Cheney defenders have grabbed onto the idea that the docs imply torture worked with the urgency of a drowning person clinging to driftwood. But let’s be clear: Cheney said repeatedly that the CIA docs would settle the question. And even a top terror adviser in his administration is now admitting that this isn’t the case.

    Townsend, by the way, is hardly a defector from the Bush cause. In other contexts she remains an ardent defender of the administration. When Tom Ridge recently claimed that Bush officials had gamed the terror alerts for political reasons, Townsend aggressively pushed back on the charges. So perhaps her word on the CIA docs counts for something.

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  23. 4dbirds said on August 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    RIP Ted.

    Wanted to share my experience with single payer socialized medicine. I had an appointment at the VA hospital today with my endocrinologist. When I made my appointment the computer system automatically sent over the usual lab orders so I stopped there first for a little blood letting. Since I still had some time so I dropped into the diabetes educators office and picked up a new blood meter since mine had stopped working. I saw my doc and she scheduled me for a bone density test. She updated my meds and they’ll be coming in the mail. Most of them will be generic and one I’ll have to split since it’s cheaper for the VA to buy it in a higher dosage. Unless something comes back ref my blood or density test, I don’t have to see them again for another six months. I didn’t pay a single cent.

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  24. Dexter said on August 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    He was a fat little kid and probably never suspected he would be the brother to shoulder the burden of Kennedy clan leader due to all the grief through death that family suffered.
    Senator Kennedy emerged from his wine, women and song period and became The Lion of the Senate , and the most-loved man in Massachusetts, and the hero of the Senate for people like me. He really cared. I especially liked how he would tolerate no nonsense from detractors. They had better have a good, intelligent point or the good senator would just make them look like the fools they were.
    I was boiling mad when he tried to de-rail President Carter in 1980, as I was when his brother knocked Eugene McCarthy out of the race in 1968. ( sort of…you know what I mean).
    I came to respect and “politically love” the man in the years subsequent to 1980, however. God bless.

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  25. moe99 said on August 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Looks like the WH micromanaged the torture program:

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  26. Jeff Borden said on August 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Jesus, how will we ever wash away the stains of the Bush Administration’s involvement in torture? This is some disgusting and disturbing reading. And the perpetrators still walk freely among us, most with fat book contracts, Fox News gigs and/or prestigious positions in academia. They barely classify as human.

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  27. Jolene said on August 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I feel the same way, Jeff, and it makes me furious that Barack Obama is stuck dealing with the fallout from the multiple travesties of the Bush administration.

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  28. KLG said on August 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Ted Kennedy was a great man and a great Senator. I have the greatest respect for him. We are better off for having had him among us for so long. Moe99 is exactly right though. Kennedy was a petulant loser leading up to and during the 1980 Convention, despite that magnificent speech. He practically forced Jimmy Carter to come to him on the podium, making them both look bad. That is not why Carter lost to the Amiable Dunce, but it didn’t help. Still and all, he was a giant among munchkins in the Senate. Thank you, Senator Kennedy. May you rest in peace.

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  29. Dexter said on August 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    He’s back in the news, telling us to not read newspapers or watch anything on TV about him until the trial…Pitino says he’s had enough.

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  30. Dexter said on August 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for the Ebert link, as I would have missed it. Of course, I have no problem with alcohol…as long as I don’t take that first drink. I crested the 6,000 days-sober mark in June. Here’s the best book on AA history I have found.

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  31. Jolene said on August 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I enjoyed the Ebert piece too. I don’t regularly read his blog, so don’t know how many commenters he typically attracts, but was impressed to see that there were more than 500 responses to this entry–many from other AA alumni.
    Ebert has had quite a life. It’s interesting to be reading this on the same day as Teddy’s death. It strikes me that they have in common the experience of having faced both great adversity and personal shortcomings and, having done so, found the strength inside themselves and in their relationships with others to become better men in ways that enriched all of us.

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  32. joodyb said on August 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    kudos, Dexter, to your 6,000 days.

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  33. Rana said on August 27, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I crested the 6,000 days-sober mark in June.

    Good on ya!

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  34. moe99 said on August 27, 2009 at 12:27 am

    That’s great news, Dexter.

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  35. Randy said on August 27, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Max and Ruby… Ruby and Max…

    Did anyone read The Mole Sisters books to their kids?

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  36. brian stouder said on August 27, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Gotta say – at our house, we all got a big smile from the Ruby picture! Looks like she could be our bunny’s sister, with the black eyes and ears.

    We may be horrible pet owners, but Twilight (or ‘Mr T’) will never chew through cords, because – unless he’s out on the front yard in his pen*, or (less often) with Shelby (usually in her arms), he’s in his cage, in zen-like contemplation.

    We’ve had him for a year – and to this day, only our 11 year old can easily get him out of his cage (he growls at me!)…and she can even walk him (more or less) on leash.

    *interestingly enough, when he’s in his pen he’s “all ears” – presumably paying attention for the sound of an approaching predator; and he draws lots of smiles and waves from passers-by. He has a routine of digging a little, pulling the pen this way and that, running in a circle for a lap or two, and returning to contemplation-mode

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  37. Dorothy said on August 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Jolene you put that very beautifully. I think we all need to remember that people can and do learn from their mistakes, and improve themselves at any point in their life. Everyone makes bad judgments – none of us are immune to them. It seems Senator Kennedy did indeed learn this lesson and atoned for past transgressions.

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