"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
I feel remiss in having forgotten the Maine on the anniversary of its sinking.
As I've said before, whoever assembles This Day in History for the Library of Congress has a job I envy. Today's subject is Thomas Jefferson, winner of a congressional vote for president on this day in 1801.
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On the topic of differences between the sexes, Al Roker has more freedom of inquiry on the Today Show than Larry Summers does at Harvard.
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In Massachusetts, Gov. Mitt Romney, a Mormon, whose wife stricken with multiple sclerosis might stand to benefit from it, comes out against the cloning of embryos for stem-cell research – and is flayed by Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The question no longer seems to be whether the ostensibly Catholic Kennedy cares what the Church's position is on a given issue, but whether the senator takes pains specifically to oppose Church teachings on any and every social question.
As for the senator's latest pronouncements foreignpolicy: It's been observed, quite aptly, that Ted Kennedy is heir less to the tradition of his brothers John and Robert than to that of his father, Joe, the cynical defeatist who predicted democracy was doomed in Europe.
From the transcript of an American Experience on the Kennedys:
Michael Beschloss, Historian: Churchill hated Joseph Kennedy. Churchill saw Kennedy as the greatest impediment to his aim of getting the United States to help Britain in its struggle against Nazi Germany. He thought that Kennedy was a defeatist, an appeaser, perhaps pro-Hitler. He felt that Kennedy should be discredited.
Pamela Churchill Harriman, Daughter-in-law of Winston Churchill: Old Joe took the firm line that Britain could not win the war, that Hitler would win the war, that Hitler had the power and the strength and the will. He didn't understand the British steel.
Harvey Klemmer:The first night of the blitz, we walked down Piccadilly and he said, "I'll bet you five to one -- any sum -- that Hitler will be Buckingham Palace in two weeks."
Narrator: While Londoners endured the German assault, Kennedy spent the nights at a rented country house. The good will he had courted vanished. The British people sensed his defeatism and the British government tapped his telephone and opened his mail in an effort to discredit him.
Even in the darkest days of the war, Kennedy was using his position to enrich himself. He directed his aide, Harvey Klemmer, to requisition precious cargo space to ship 200,000 cases of whiskey for his own importing company.
Harvey Klemmer:And it got so bad that, finally, a friend came to see me one day and he said, "You better go easy on shipping the ambassador's whiskey, because one of his competitors is threatening to have a question raised in Parliament that he's using the influence of the American embassy to preempt shipping space which we can't get." So, we kind of tapered off a little bit after that.
Narrator: Kennedy would soon be lampooned as a coward and a defeatist on both side of the Atlantic.
Prof Milton Katz: [reciting satirical verse] Joe, Joe, Kennedy, Kennedy / Went to the Court of St. James / Where he was frequently seen with the King and Queen / At cricket and other games.
Said Joe, Joe, Kennedy, Kennedy / Before England went to war / "Swapping stories with dukes or Tories / Is what God made me for."
But when the bombs began to fall / All over London town / Said Joe, Joe, "I must go / England has let me down."
Sounds a lot like Massachusetts' senior senator today.