Archive for Kennedys

Blogging With Half My Brain Tied Behind My Back, Just to Make it Fair

BTL Nov. 18:

What we don’t have is any credible evidence (even incredible evidence) that the “climate of hate” in Dallas had anything to do with it. If you look at the newsreels of the day, with thousands upon thousands of adoring people lining the motorcade route, I’ll be damned if I see any credible evidence of a climate of hate.

Just remain aware of that over the next few days. You’ll be convinced the Tea Party shot Kennedy (both of them, and MLK, Jr.—even Buddy Holly and Richie Valens) by the end of this week.

Rush Limbaugh today, Nov. 21:

Before it’s all said and done, before they finish with this, the Tea Party will actually be said to have had its roots in Dallas in 1963 and that the madcap, extremist, right-wing lunaticism is actually the spawning place of the modern day Tea Party.

Don’t doubt me.

Look, even when I make jokes about these people I end up being right about ‘em, so don’t discount that.

I know how it feels, El Rushbo.

PS: Another point about the “climate of hate” in Dallas: Texas went for Kennedy in 1960. Having Johnson on the ticket helped, of course—not least in stealing a fair number of votes—but if Texas hated Kennedy so much, Texas would have joined the 27 states (by my count) that voted against him.

PPS: One more small thing. In watching some of the Kennedy hagiography going on, something puzzled me. They described Kennedy as being raised in New York, and as being seen as a carpetbagger when he first ran for Congress in 1946. Huh? I thought he was Boston’s first son. The facts: Kennedy was born in Brookline; the family moved to Riverdale, New York when he was 10; he attended Choate (in CT) for high school, and wanted to go to Princeton for college until his father intervened; thence to Harvard; after graduation in 1940, he mostly worked for his father until enlisting in the war. No big deal; his mother’s side had long roots in Boston, and the family spent a lot of time at the compound on the Cape. But he didn’t exactly grow up going to Red Sox games and taking in Symphony concerts.

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So, Who Do YOU Think Killed JFK?

Rhetorical question—I don’t care what you think.

But let’s look at the candidates. I think most people put Lee Harvey Oswald at the scene, but did he act alone? Among his alleged sponsors and accomplices, we have: the Mafia (in response to Bobby’s persistent hectoring as Attorney General); Fidel Castro (in response to America’s assassination plots); Moscow (in response to the missile crisis, and just because); LBJ (in response to having to serve under the puny son-of-a-bitch).

What we don’t have is any credible evidence (even incredible evidence) that the “climate of hate” in Dallas had anything to do with it. If you look at the newsreels of the day, with thousands upon thousands of adoring people lining the motorcade route, I’ll be damned if I see any credible evidence of a climate of hate. To be sure, Kennedy had his detractors. But his most likely killer was not a far-right zealot, but an avowed Communist who had defected to Russia and leafleted on behalf of Castro’s Cuba. And except for the Mafia, the only people who stood to benefit were on the Left, not the Right.

Just remain aware of that over the next few days. You’ll be convinced the Tea Party shot Kennedy (both of them, and MLK, Jr.—even Buddy Holly and Richie Valens) by the end of this week.

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Are You Ready For…?

Senator Markey?

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of him. He’s my rep (I’m pretty sure), and I can barely remember him:

US Representative Edward J. Markey, dean of the state’s Washington delegation, will run in 2013 for the Senate seat expected to open with the nomination of Senator John F. Kerry to head the State Department.

Markey, 66, a Malden Democrat elected to the House in 1976, is the first prominent candidate to declare a run for Kerry’s seat, which will be filled through a special election early next summer, probably in June. Kerry, a Democrat and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate in coming weeks as the next secretary of state.

The Massachusetts special election is likely to be a closely watched national race and a poten tial harbinger for the 2014 midterm elections.

“I have decided to run for the US Senate because this fight is too important,” Markey said in a statement to the Globe. “There is so much at stake.”

Two other Bay State congressmen, Michael E. Capuano of Somerville and Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston, both Democrats, have also expressed interest in seeking Kerry’s seat, but have announced no decision.

Running in a special election is a low-risk venture for House incumbents. If they lose, they would still be members of Congress and be able to run for reelection as favored incumbents in 2014. State Senator Benjamin B. Downing, a Pittsfield Democrat, is expected to announce next week that he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible Senate run.

Senator Scott Brown, a Republican who lost his seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in November, is the most likely GOP candidate in the 2013 special election.

Markey’s announcement was made just three days after Edward M. Kennedy Jr., a son of the late US senator, said he would pass on the Massachusetts race and may run in the future in Connecticut, where he now lives.

I missed the Kennedy announcement. No wonder Markey wants in. He’s just as talentless and unqualified as Capuano and Lynch—and any other party hack I can think of. Why not run?

He’s enjoyed his lifetime appointment to the House (never finishing with less than 62% of the vote, seven times with 98% or more), so I don’t know how he’d do in a bruising primary, let alone a statewide election against Scott Brown.

Without a Kennedy running, it’s an open seat. Let the infighting begin.

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Connecticut’s Third Senator

I know we’re all about what the Constitution is supposed to do “on our behalf”, but can’t we be represented by someone who actually lives here?

Edward M. Kennedy Jr.’s emergence in the Bay State’s latest looming special U.S. Senate election would be a tectonic game changer, forcing leading local Democrats to think twice about jumping in and bringing a tidal wave of national money, influence and headlines to both sides of the race — again.

With the late senator’s son mulling a run, according to his brother Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrats are already gaming their options for the expected race to replace U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry if he is confirmed as secretary of state. Nationally, it’s a chance for the party to bring the late Liberal Lion’s name back to the Senate. For Republicans, that name is a red flag that could fire up the right opponent’s campaign.

“National Democrats are longing to bring Camelot back,” said GOP operative Ford O’Connell. “Republicans have a chance to narrow Democrats’ lead in the Senate.”

Kennedy, 51, has kept a low political profile, working as an environmental activist and an advocate for the disabled. A Connecticut resident, he’d likely face carpetbagging slams. While that didn’t hurt his uncle Robert F. Kennedy in New York in 1964, or his cousin Joseph Kennedy III in this year’s 4th District race, a five-month mad-dash campaign could make it tough to bounce back from any rookie mistakes that have flummoxed other Kennedys. The wheels came off cousin Caroline’s New York Senate bid in 2009 after criticism over not voting in Democratic primaries and for using the phrase “you know” well more than a hundred times in a half-hour interview. Ted Kennedy Jr.’s cousin Max also famously fumbled a budding run for the late Joe Moakley’s seat in 2001.

“You don’t dismiss anyone with the name Kennedy,” said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. “But I think we’re past the point when anyone named Kennedy is automatically elected anywhere.”

He can dodge the Connecticut issue because he owns a house in the family compound in Hyannisport. So because he plays touch football twice a year on the Cape, he feels entitled to take the political gridiron to represent the Commonwealth.

He’s not wrong.

But still:

Kennedy did not return messages left at his Branford, Conn., home yesterday.

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Get a Room, Part Two

We’ve already documented the unnatural acts of journalism performed on Elizabeth Warren by the Boston Gob.

Now they’re putting the moves on the Kennedy boy:

On a balmy fall evening in 1999, Joseph P. Kennedy III, a freshman member of the Stanford University lacrosse team, waited anxiously in his dorm room for the team’s initiation ritual to begin. Like the other new players, Kennedy had no idea what was to come.

On the other side of campus, his older teammates had laid in enough beer to last the long night ahead. But for Kennedy, there was a different drink.

Knowing that Kennedy does not consume alcohol, the upperclassmen had set out a large glass of milk for him. When he arrived, Kennedy promptly downed it, and poured a chaser of the same.

“Joe drank an awful lot of milk that night,’’ recalled David Kaufman, another rookie lacrosse player and Kennedy’s senior roommate. “He kept pace with us glass for glass.’’

Kennedy’s milk consumption became legendary among his teammates and earned him the nickname “the milkman,’’ which stuck throughout his college career.

You know how that story is bull[bleep], even if 100% accurate? Who knows or cares whether the night was “balmy”? The reporter is setting a scene, painting a picture.

And it gets even more hideous:

Of his family, he declares, “It’s a huge family. It’s crazy, it’s wonderful, it’s vibrant and it’s exciting.’’ Kennedy is exceptionally polite and uses words like “darn’’ and “gosh.’’ While he waxes eloquently on his stint in the Peace Corps and his work as an assistant district attorney, he says of himself only partly in jest, “I’m pretty boring as it turns out.’’

Voters in the newly configured 4th congressional district will be the judge of that.

Kennedy is the first of his generation, a tribe of dozens of cousins many of whom do not bear the Kennedy name, to make a bid for public office. If he is successful, he could renew the luster of a somewhat tarnished family name. If he is not, he will fuel critics’ contentions that the family has exhausted its political potency. But right now people like Charlie Shapiro, a former Newton alderman attending a Democratic caucus where Kennedy appeared last month, just wish he would stand still long enough so that they can snap a picture of him.

“I don’t think it should be a cakewalk because of the name, of course,’’ Shapiro said, “But I think he is going places and I would like a photo of him.’’

It is the first day of Joe Kennedy’s campaign and the red-haired candidate is vigorously shaking hands in the packed Crivello’s Crossing restaurant in Milford, a town new to the redrawn voting district. Kennedy is talking about the need for economic justice and a fair tax code. But a lot of people would rather reminisce about his family.

A WBZ television reporter interrupts a question to tell Kennedy something: “I covered your father in Congress.’’ Another reporter pulls him aside to tell of the day in 1952 “when your uncle came to town and walked right down this street.’’ A selectman has a story about his own father campaigning with John F. Kennedy. And on it goes.

Where was the Martha’s Vineyard policeman to reminisce about the night they pulled his great uncle’s Oldsmobile Delmont 88 out of the drink?

I’m sure Joe-Joe-Joe is a great kid—or I hope so. Because it sounds like we’re stuck with him. (Can’t be worse than Barney Frank, the man he’s replacing.)

PS: Do Louisianans elect inbred descendants of Huey Long? Are there idiot great-grandchild La Follettes clogging up the Wisconsin state legislature? Why is Massachusetts the only state to be plagued by serial familial office holding?

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From a Family That Knows Call Girls

He would know whereof he speaks:

Leave it to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to one-up Rush Limbaugh in the name-calling department.

“Speaking of prostitutes, big oil’s top call girl Sen Inhofe wants to kill fuel economy backed by automakers, small biz, enviros, & consumers,” the New York-based environmentalist wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

Kennedy was targeting Inhofe for a letter the Oklahoma Republican sent last week to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that questions the Obama administration’s fuel economy and air pollution policies.

“It’s hard to believe that Robert Kennedy Jr. would choose to use such language — especially this week,” Dempsey said. “I bet he now regrets it.”

Kennedy told POLITICO that he stands by his tweet.

Course he does. Chris Matthews won’t mention this. Keith Olbermann won’t mention this. Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, not one member of the Democrat-media complex will mention this.

I will accept that it’s one thing to call a private citizen (and a young woman) a slut and a prostitute, and another to use that language toward an older male senator. So, it’s less insulting—but fully equally as stupid. Which is what you expect from this clan.

PS: We can’t all buy our oil from Hugo Chavez like his brother Joe.

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Wanna Drive a Kennedy Crazy?

Admittedly a very short drive (like off a bridge, say).

Quote ‘em. Remember this two years ago?

Brilliant move—brilliant. It drove them absolutely bat-[bleep]. And you can bet wrapping himself in the (John) Kennedy mantle helped get him elected.

But this. This has them choking on their ice cubes:

US Senator Scott Brown’s suggestion that he shares with the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy a position on religious exemptions for health care providers is “misleading and untrue,’’ said Kennedy’s son, Patrick, who wants Brown to stop citing the elder Kennedy in radio advertisements.

“You are entitled to your own opinions, of course, but I ask that, moving forward, you do not confuse my father’s positions with your own,’’ Kennedy wrote to Brown. “I appreciate the past respect you have expressed for his legacy, but misstating his positions is no way to honor his life’s work.’’

Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat and former eight-term congressman from Rhode Island, complained to Brown in a letter e-mailed yesterday morning and then released publicly.

Kennedy takes issue with Brown’s new radio ad, in which the freshman Republican senator states: “Like Ted Kennedy before me, I support a conscience exemption in health care for Catholics and other people of faith.’’

Kennedy asked that Brown take the ad down.

“I respectfully request that you immediately stop broadcast of radio ad and from citing my father any further,’’ he said.

Brown will not pull the radio ad, his campaign said yesterday afternoon. The senator replied with a short, open letter back to Kennedy, in which he said: “When your father told the Pope in his 2009 letter that he supported a conscience exemption for Catholics in health care, he did not mean to put himself on the opposite side of the church or to suggest that he would force them to accept a situation with which they could not abide.

“And yet, that is exactly the situation we are faced with today – despite a failed attempt at compromise, the church remains opposed to the federal government’s intrusion into the affairs of private conscience,’’ Brown wrote. “I’d like to think your dad would have been working with me to find an accommodation that all sides found satisfactory.’’

You’ve been pwned, son!

Ted’s mantle is a little bigger, still a little damp from seawater, and smells a bit of stale whiskey and vomit. But it’s still a Kennedy mantle. I knew Scott Brown was biding his time. Let Betty Warren take the early rounds. But she’ll tire, her arms will get heavy. It’s like Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope, only with a Harvard law professor (though still a dope).

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You May Be Shocked to Learn…

Another Kennedy gets hisself in trouble:

Robert F. Kennedy’s son, Douglas, faces misdemeanor charges over an incident at a New York hospital last month in which he knocked down a nurse while holding his newborn son, attorneys for both sides say.

He was arraigned Thursday on harassment and child endangerment charges, both attorneys said.

Kennedy — a Fox News contributor — was trying to take his newborn son for a walk “to get fresh air” outside Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, when two nurses intervened to prevent him from leaving, they said.

Kennedy, who was accompanied by a hospital doctor, allegedly twisted the arm of one nurse to move her away from a door and kicked another after she approached him on January 7, according to Elliot Taub, the attorney for both nurses.

The doctor who accompanied Kennedy, Timothy Haydock, was a longtime family friend, who said the nurses had initially agreed to let Kennedy take the baby outside.

Sounds like this was a mess on both sides. But who gets into a fight with maternity nurses?

Anyway, his nephew, Joe III, is running for Congress, and needs this like he needs a… uh, let’s just say he doesn’t need this.

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The Kennedy Kult

Boston used to call itself a drinking town with a baseball problem. That hasn’t really changed, but we have bigger problems than the chicken-and-beer chugging chokers wearing the embroidered B.

We have Kennedys—and if we have them, you all have them:

Joe Kennedy III has just jumped into the race to succeed Barney Frank and, let’s face it, the contest is over. Indeed, it never began. Fifty years later – a half century! – and the Bay State’s extraordinary, axiomatic, and unquestioning loyalty to the Kennedy name seems not to have wavered a bit.

Kennedy seems, by all accounts, a nice enough 31-year-old. Despite being raised in a famous family, he’s lived a largely anonymous life, working for the past several years as an assistant district attorney. Kennedy’s career to date is not an unusual profile for someone who might want to try his hands at politics. But it’s not the profile of a prohibitive favorite.

Yet – absent the extraordinary – he’ll win, just like his great uncle, by a margin of 2 to 1.

The piece strives to be unimpressed, to be cool to the Camelot allure. But this is the Boston Gob. Even if they weren’t in thrall to the myth of the Kennedys (and they very, very much are), the clan sells papers. (A Glob reporter published a heavy and unreadable tome on the life of Ted a couple of years ago, remaindered copies of which are being used to shore up sea walls down on the Cape.)

So, the veneer falls:

The Kennedys not only inherit wealth and good hair, they also inherit a sense of public service and shared values. There’s no worry that Joe will turn out to be a conservative. No one believes that he’ll oppose abortion rights or somehow considers the poor best off left fending for themselves. Doubtless he’ll support national health care, just as he’ll advocate for taxing the wealthy.

When we elect the man, we’ll get the clan.

It’s been 14 months since a Kennedy last held national public office. It’ll be good to see one back again, perhaps the first of many. Who knows? Maybe the third generation can match the first.

We can presume he does not mean Joe Kennedy, Sr. as the first generation. A philandering, bootlegging antisemite is hardly a model to aspire to, even for Kennedys.

But assuming he means, Jack, Bobby, and Ted—under what rock has he been living? JFK was charming and smart (enough), but those traits without a moral code lead one to… well the life of JFK. The recent revelations of Mimi Alford, a 19-year-old intern when she lost her virginity to him, should be enough to tarnish the Kennedy legacy for anyone not already blind to their miscreance.

Thank God for Howie Carr:

If your name were Joseph Patrick, your candidacy would be a joke.

That is of course a paraphrase of what Eddie McCormack said to Ted Kennedy back in their 1962 Senate debate. But it’s just as true now of Teddy’s great-nephew JoJoJo Kennedy.

So what if he doesn’t have any qualifications. He’ll drive off that bridge when he comes to it.

Have you watched the kid’s 170-second campaign-announcement video yet? It’s packed with embarrassing punch lines he doesn’t even realize he’s delivering, including references to “stacking the deck” and the “super-rich.”

But my favorite is when JoJoJo pledges to get “people underwater back on dry land.”

Er, does that include Mary Jo Kopechne?

At 31, this Kennedy has kept his nose pretty clean. But it doesn’t mean he should get a congressional seat for his relative good behavior. Though he probably will.

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Our Royal Family

While the rest of the nation is held in thrall by Mimi Alford’s lurid tales (almost wrote tails!) of JFK’s improper behavior toward her when she was a sweet young intern at the White House, the hometown rag covers the Kennedy behind as you knew they would:

Much is known about her elegant clothing and the way she wore her hair, but a newly released collection of notes by Jacqueline Kennedy, some handwritten, reveal her hands-on manner of transforming the White House into a living museum.

“Her understanding of decoration and furniture and history is remarkable,’’ said Jennifer Beaton, an archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester.

Never in the filed of human endeavor has so much furniture been so well understood by so few.

But to be fair to the Gob, they did cover the release of Alford’s book several days ago—in the gossip column, appropriately enough:

As you might expect, the Kennedy clan has no comment on the new book by Mimi Alford, a former White House intern who claims she lost her virginity to then-President John F. Kennedy – in the bed the president shared with his wife, Jackie. In “Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath,’’ Alford describes in some detail her alleged 18-month dalliance with the commander in chief, and expresses no regret. She also claims that, at Kennedy’s request, she performed oral sex on Dave Powers, a special assistant to the president who later served for many years as curator of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. “The president swam over and whispered in my ear. ‘Mr. Powers looks a little tense,’ he said. ‘Would you take care of it?’ It was a dare, but I knew exactly what he meant. . .; I don’t think the president thought I’d do it, but I’m ashamed to say that I did. . . . The president silently watched.’’ (Powers died in 1998.) [She was that good? Ed.] Even as Alford makes the media rounds promoting her tell-all, the Kennedys are remaining mute. A rep for the JFK Library declined to comment yesterday, and a family friend told us there’s nothing to be gained by commenting. “Just more muck from the swamp,’’ said the Kennedy insider. Alford, whose name was Mimi Beardsley when she worked in the White House press office, claims she and the president began their affair just days after she started the job.

Swamp muck, perhaps, but Hyannis was Okefenokee North. The Globe hasn’t laid off all of its feature and editorial writers. You’d think they could assign one the task of re-examining the Kennedy “legacy”.

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Camelot?

He certainly did:

This is a story about a young and impressionable female intern in the White House — a virgin, with girlish dreams about princes and presidents. Young girls are trained to marry the wealthiest or most powerful man on the block. When the prince comes calling, few young girls can resist this opportunity.

However, they are not the ones who are abusing power and betraying both youth and a wife. That would be the prince or president himself.

And no, I am not talking about Monica Lewinsky in the Clinton White House.

I am talking, sadly, about the recent revelations by a former intern, Mimi Alford, in the Kennedy White House.

Alford is no Marilyn Monroe, who was reputedly the mistress of both John F. and Robert F. Kennedy. Nor, is she Judith Exner, who was reputedly the “Mata Hari” connection between President Kennedy and Sam Giancana, a Mafia operative. These were adult women who chose to use their sexuality to further their careers.

Alford is not in this category. Like then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Alford attended the prestigious Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. She was “wife” material–but President Kennedy treated her in a shameful and inappropriate fashion.
In television interviews, a much older Mimi Alpert now admits that she was not “guilty” about being “overpowered” by a man 25 years her senior. True, he was married, but he was “handsome,” and the “president” and she describes him as having expertly maneuvered her into bed. Yes, she could have screamed out but then what?

No access to power, no feeling “special,” agonizing embarassment, no internship.

Girls and women make just such devil’s bargains every day. They do not care about the humiliated or left-in-the-dark wife nor do they care about how little they really matter to the Great Man.

In reading Alford’s revelations, perhaps the saddest incident concerns the president turning to Alford, a disposable stranger, for sexual comfort after the death of his infant son.

No, he did not break the law.

In fact, it’s important to remember that neither Ms. Alford nor Ms. Lewinsky ever alleged sexual harassment or rape. But both young women were manipulated into feeling very, very “special,” even important. Neither dared say “no” to their commander-in-chief.

His wife had suffered an emergency Caesarean and the infant boy died two days later. Instead of remaining at his grieving wife’s side to comfort her, he turned to his nubile intern for…escape.

Well, maybe an even sadder incident is when Kennedy pimped out Mimi to his aide and friend, Dave Powers–Kennedy watched. (Alford now admits she is ashamed that she went along with this).

JFK even tried to “pimp out” Alford to his little brother, Teddy, but she drew the line. A girl has her standards.

Are the Kennedys still our “royal family”? The Borgias were royal, I suppose, and so was Henry VIII—and Henry banged everything with a hole and a heartbeat. But I don’t recall Henry having a little brother who drove royal coaches into ditches, drowning ladies-in-waiting; or making “hand-maiden sandwiches” with the court jester. I don’t remember Henry sharing Anne Boleyn’s favors with another brother. I don’t believe Henry VII shtupped the leading actress of the day (who would have been a guy anyway). I don’t believe Henry had a menagerie of cousins, nephews, and uncles who drank, cavorted, ravaged, drank, ravaged, and otherwise behaved like frat boys on a steroid-induced manic high. Though now that I think about it….

I just thought our Republic had higher aspirations.

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Have I Got the Spot for Our Reunion!

Bloodthirstapalooza!

The ownership of the fabled Kennedy home at the family’s Hyannis Port compound is being transferred to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a move that brings to an end the family’s 84-year ownership of the 21-room house.

The Institute announced this afternoon it had taken over the waterfront homestead and will use it as a study center. It said the transfer ‘’fulfills a promise made by Senator Kennedy to his mother Rose that the home be preserved for charitable use.’’

The $5.5 million property is the centerpiece of the compound, where some of the nation’s most dramatic modern political history took place. The compound also includes other Kennedy homes, including former President John F. Kennedy’s house, which will remain in the family.

Can you say “tax write-off”? I knew that you could.

And since Teddy Institute is on the dole, we all own a piece. Can we have first dibs on July 4th?

We’ll have to play a game of touch football, of course, Aggie and I choosing sides as captains. And the alcohol will have to flow freely. Maybe even rent a couple of hookers, just to get the right ambience.

I’m a little unclear what “dramatic modern political history” took place here—unless concocting Ted’s cover story after abandoning Mary Jo counts. Seriously, what else? They are a family of one president, two senators, and various congressmen. Not bad, but the Bushes come pretty close to matching it—and I don’t hear anybody talking about creating a museum out of Crawford.

Anyhow, Bloodthirstani, book your spot early. Spaces are limited.

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