Sunday, August 30, 2009

Libertarian Ted

Kennedy's Forgotten Legacy

It's seems like it's been all Ted all the time on TV these past days, but is anybody watching? Nielson ratings are in and according to the New York Times ABC's special Remembering Ted Kennedy drew four million viewers. The CBS special The Last Brother earned 4.6 million viewers. However NBC crushed them both with the nearly 11 million viewers it drew to the America's Got Talent reality show, which is more viewers than both Kennedy specials got combined.

Am I being rude or just realistic when I say that many Democrats secretly hoped that Ted would die next month, when Congress is in session, instead of now, when congress is on vacation and any emotional outpouring is of little use in ramming through the Obamacare plan?

Oh well, at least we're seeing some good Pioneer Valley memorabilia surfacing regarding Kennedy. Amherst writer Mary Carey shares this picture of herself and Kennedy in 2004.

And this picture of her sister-in-law's sister in 1987 at the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Day parade. Waving beside Ted is former Springfield Congressman and local Democrat machine boss Eddie "House Mouse" Boland.

My sister Beverly once waited on Ted Kennedy in 1992 when she was working as a waitress at the Friendly's that used to be located in downtown Springfield across from the courthouse.

One day Ted stopped in with then Springfield Mayor Robert Markel. Both men ordered a coffee, a bill which in those days came to only a dollar and a half for both cups. Ted paid with a ten dollar bill, telling my sister to keep the change, resulting in an $8.50 tip on a buck and a half purchase. Hey, say what you will about Teddy - he was a good tipper!

We've heard a lot in the last several days about how Ted Kennedy was the "Liberal Lion" who fought relentlessly for the leftist cause. However, little has been noted about Kennedy's occasional libertarian tendencies. According to Reason Editor Nick Gillespie:

There is, buried deep within Kennedy's legislative legacy, a different set of policies worth exhuming and examining, precisely because they were truly a break with the normal way of doing business in Washington. During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.

We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying. Because they do not fit the Ted Kennedy narrative preferred by his admirers and detractors alike, these accomplishments rarely get mentioned in stories about the late senator. But they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action."

That Ol' River

You just can't beat the gorgeous view of the mighty Connecticut that you get as the river passes through Hadley.

Of course you have to stick to the public paths.

I'm jealous of the people who have homes right on the river.

Today's Video

Electric Kool-Aid Obama.

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