Robert Carlyle Byrd 1917 – 2010



NY Times Obit

Sen. Byrd’s Wiki



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18 responses to “Robert Carlyle Byrd 1917 – 2010

  1. Morning peeps,
    Sad day, another death in the “the family”.

  2. Sen Byrd was elected to the senate the same year I was born, amazing.

  3. I wish I were able to mourn Byrd without conflict. The “KKK” in his past, and the fact that he so strongly opposed the civil rights act remains troubling for me. He did indeed seem to undergo a conversion later in life – but I confess I have always suspected it was politically motivated.

    It does give us one less seat in the Senate. I wonder if a filibuster of Kagan is now more of a possibility.

  4. morning hippie, totally get your point, as a gay man Sen. Byrd pissed me off more than once to be sure.

  5. Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Mon, June 28, 2010 — 10:29 AM ET

    Justices Rule That 2nd Amendment Also Governs State and Local Gun Laws

    The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the Second Amendment,
    which forbids Congress from infringing the right to keep and
    bear arms, applies to state and local governments as well.
    The case, McDonald v. Chicago, No. 08-1521, involved a
    challenge to the City of Chicago’s gun control law, regarded
    as among the strictest in the nation. The justices did not
    strike down the Chicago law directly, but remanded the case
    to a lower court for review, where it appeared likely to be
    struck down under today’s decision.

    This is why elections matter!

  6. M.D. Ginsburg, 78, Dies; Lawyer and Tax Expert

    Martin D. Ginsburg, a tax lawyer and professor of tax law and the husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court, died Sunday at his home in Washington. He was 78.

  7. Let the confirmation hearings begin!

  8. This just in:

    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled today, 5-to-4, that public colleges and universities may require religious organizations seeking recognition or funds as campus groups to comply with anti-bias rules.

    The ruling came in a lawsuit by the Christian Legal Society, which challenged the anti-bias rules of the Hastings College of Law of the University of California. The Hastings policy bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and the Christian Legal Society bars gay people from becoming members. Hastings has argued – with backing from many in public higher education – that state universities have an obligation to adhere to strict anti-bias rules. But the Christian Legal Society – with backing from many religious groups – has argued that forcing it to comply with anti-bias rules amounts to infringing on its First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

    I honestly didn’t think this court had it in em’ – especially after the gun control ruling this morning.

  9. dog's eye view

    In honor of Senator Byrd:

    Here’s his Senate speech on eve of Iraq invasion. (transcript of video remarks Brian posted above, for those of us who read faster than listen.)

    True then, and true now.

    March 19th, 2003
    “The Arrogance of Power”

    I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

    But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

    Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.

    We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.

    The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

    There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The twin towers fell because a world-wide terrorist group, Al Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.

    The brutality seen on September 11th and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names, and many addresses.

    But, this Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. If we attack Saddam Hussein, we will probably drive him from power. But, the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.

    The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to “orange alert.” There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home? A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

    What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

    Why can this President not seem to see that America’s true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

    War appears inevitable. But, I continue to hope that the cloud will lift. Perhaps Saddam will yet turn tail and run. Perhaps reason will somehow still prevail. I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us.

    [credit: took text from Talking Points memo link]

  10. dog's eye view

    Supreme Court upheld Sarbanes-Oxley too.

    Big news day, and a great reminder of what’s at stake with Elena Kagan nomination.

    What a way to begin confirmation hearings. (Which I am not watching. Too much bloviating.)

  11. Going after Thurgood Marshall, that’s going to score points for the repugs among African Americans!

    • dnd

      Second best moment of the hearings: Sen. Kerry saying: “I’m reminded of what Justice Potter Stewart said.” I though oh no, he’s not going with the “I know that hard-core pornography is difficult to define, but I know it when I see it.” Fortunately, he didn’t 😉

      Best moment of the hearings: when Scott Brown was speaking, Ms. Kagen was busy adjusting her bra strap underneath her jacket.

  12. MSNBC reporting the same. Must be true.

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