- After 51 years in the Senate, Robert Byrd of West Virginia died this morning at the age of 92. Byrd was literally wheeled out to vote on Obama’s health-care reform bill and has been “in failing health” for about as long as anyone can remember. The Democrat is best known for being a Ku Klux Klansman, shoveling vast amounts of government money to impoverished West Virginia, and leaving behind a rich YouTube library of weird comments delivered in a folksy, impenetrable Appalachian drawl. Also, his Senate colleague Tom Coburn prayed for Byrd’s death, to prevent health care from passing. But God loves health care and hates Tom Coburn. Including Byrd’s six years in the House, he was the longest-serving member of Congress, ever. And what does it mean, to America and the White House and people hoping for another Scott Brown? West Virginia’s governor is expected to appoint a Democrat. But Financial Reform probably won’t happen, because Scott Brown now says he won’t support it. Why does Scott Brown have to put himself in the middle of everything? Doesn’t he see the flags flying at half mast at the White House and the Capitol? [New York Times]
- Other political deaths of note: Martin Ginsburg, 78, the lawyer-professor husband of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died Sunday. Dolph Briscoe Jr., conservative Democratic governor of Texas from 1972 to 1978, died at 87. [USA Today]
- Some smartass “custard shop manager” said something to Joe Biden during a photo-op and Joe Biden said, “”Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass?” [New York Daily News]
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