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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters

December 31, 2008

The “Kennedy dynasty” myth has created an impression among some Americans that if you are a Kennedy, your genes somehow include the promise if not the certainty of dedicated public service.

A corollary to this belief is that if you are a Kennedy who aspires to public office, you should be first in line.

These thoughts are prompted, of course, by the current case of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, offering herself as a candidate—by appointment, of course, so she wouldn’t have to deal with the messy business of an election campaign—for the United State Senate seat which will be vacated in January when Hillary Clinton resigns to become Secretary of State. 

Caroline Kennedy’s interest in public office has been one of the Kennedy clan’s best kept secrets.  On the other hand, it might be that there was not much of a secret to keep. 

It might be that Caroline Kennedy’s interest in public office was created, or at least stimulated, by the possibility of a political slam dunk—the possibility of attaining high level public office without an election and without showing any evidence of qualifications, except that she is a Kennedy.

Without suggesting that Caroline Kennedy has any of the character flaws which other members of the Kennedy clan have demonstrated from time to time, it might be an appropriate time to recall some of the shameful chapters in the history of the Kennedy dynasty.

If you’re not interested in a somewhat lengthy (at least somewhat lengthy for one of my columns) discussion of the “Kennedy dynasty” history, I suggest you skip the portion starting with the headline “What A Founding Father!” and direct your attention to the rest of the column, starting with the headline “A Nice Package Of Good News: About UNL And The Perlman Clan.”  The items thereafter are more varied and shorter. 

Incidentally but importantly, I detail some of the history of the Kennedy clan, especially the disreputable record of the founding father, not to suggest that Caroline Kennedy as a United States senator would write any kind of questionable personal conduct into the Kennedy family history book.  But such conduct is a part of that family history and it seems to me to diminish the validity of any suggestion that a Kennedy deserves special consideration as a political candidate because he or she is part of the Kennedy dynasty. 

* * *

What A Founding Father!

The “founding father” of the Kennedy dynasty was Joseph Patrick  Kennedy, Sr., a man of questionable principles in his business, political and private lives.

Part of a political family in Boston, Joe Kennedy was born in 1888, attended Harvard University, then started a carrier in finance, building a large fortune as a stock market and commodity speculator by investing in real estate and a wide range of industries including Hollywood movie studios.  His Hollywood experiences included a widely known affair with film star Gloria Swanson.

None of Joe Kennedy’s business was built from scratch.  According to one biographical account, he sometimes made use of inside information in ways which would later be made illegal.  He had a reputation as a bootlegger during the era when importation and sale of hard liquor was prohibited in the United States.  After the end of prohibition he became the exclusive American agent for Gordon’s gin and Dewar’s Scotch. 

It was as United States ambassador to Great Britain—he was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt—that Joe Kennedy’s received the greatest public attention—attention which ultimately forced him to resign.

Kennedy rejected the warnings of Winston Churchill that compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible.  In an interview in the Boston Sunday Globe in November, 1940, Ambassador Kennedy said:  “Democracy is finished in England.  It may be here.”  He was asked to resign as ambassador.

Criticized Jews, Liked Joe McCarthy

Several sources reported anti-Jewish comments by Kennedy in a variety of conversations, including one in June, 1938, with the German ambassador in London.

The “founding father” of the Kennedy dynasty later had close ties with Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy.  Kennedy often brought McCarthy to his summer home as a weekend houseguest.  In 1953, reportedly at Kennedy’s urging, McCarthy hired Robert Kennedy, then 27, as a senior staff member of the Senate’s Investigation Subcommittee, which McCarthy headed.  Kennedy resigned from McCarthy’s staff the next year.

After his forced exit from public office, Joe Kennedy was determined that Joe Kennedy, Jr. would become President of the United States.  When Joe, Jr., a Navy flyer, died in a mission over the English Channel during World War II, the founding father concentrated on putting his second son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in the White House.  He played a leading role in soliciting political support and financing of John F. Kennedy’s successful presidential campaign in 1960.

In the history of the “Kennedy dynasty,” founding father Joe was responsible for the most shameful chapters.  But at least two other chapters didn’t enhance the family image.

One such chapter is well told on the Public Broadcasting Service “American Experience” website in its biography of John F. Kennedy:

 “As a young senator, Jack courted and married Jacqueline Bouvier, a journalist twelve years his junior.  Though Jackie was charming and beautiful, being married did not dissuade Jack from his constant philandering…His love affairs before and after marriage included liaisons with a suspected Nazi spy, a mobster’s girlfriend, a nineteen-year-old intern and Marilyn Monroe."

Charmed Journalists Kept Mum

“Although many journalists were aware of Kennedy’s peccadilloes, they did not publicize them, either because they felt the topic was taboo or because they had been charmed by Kennedy and wanted to protect him.”

(It should be added that John F. Kennedy achieved a number of noteworthy things during his assassination-shortened two years in the White House.  Highlights of his performance included his gutsy successful handling of the Cuban missile crisis, an impressive record in support of civil rights legislation and establishment of the Peace Corps.)

The same PBS website tells this story of another shameful chapter in the Kennedy dynasty’s history:

“Chappaquiddick.

“(Ted) Kennedy’s family legacy seemed to assure him a competitive candidacy for the presidency—but for a fatal mistake on July 18, 1969. Following a dutiful appreciation party for the ‘boiler room girls’ who had worked on his brother’s campaign, Kennedy drove his car off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts. Although Kennedy managed to escape, his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. Furthermore, Kennedy did not report the incident immediately. Later, he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. Chappaquiddick seemed to quash Kennedy’s presidential prospects.”

The Chappaquiddick story reflected even more poorly on Ted Kennedy than does the PBS “American Experience” account.

After the car went into the water, Kennedy swam from the scene, crossing an inlet to shore where he spent the rest of the night in a hotel room, not reporting the incident until morning.

Kennedy has served as a United States senator since 1963.

* * *

A Nice Package Of Good News
About UNL And The Perlman Clan

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and wife Susan win the Andersen Award for the best holiday season greeting card for 2008. 

In addition to an attractive picture of the Perlmans and their extended family, representing 11 “Degrees from Nebraska” and 4 “Future Huskers,” there are five numbers attractively displayed on simulated Christmas tree ornaments.  Those numbers indicate something of the stature of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the way that stature is improving.

The numbers and their significance: 

  No. 1 rank in report on the “Most Popular Public Universities.” 

  2 important new facilities.  Ken Morrison Life Science Research Facility and the International Quilt Study Center.

  25-plus:  Record average ACT for the entering class.

  106 million dollars in research funding.

  426 undergraduate students working with faculty on research projects.

Impressive numbers reflecting the growing stature of UNL, but the Perlman card says that those 11 degrees from Nebraska and 4 future Huskers are “numbers we’re particularly proud of.”

* * *

There Are Friendly Reader Messages, Too

Several readers—bless their hearts—came to my defense against the critic who said I was simply a “grumpy old man.” 

A reader in Norfolk wrote:  “Grumpy old man?  No way!  Love your column and usually agree with 99% of it.  My daughter called me a racist this fall for something I said about Obama, which had NOTHING to do with the color of his skin.  So don’t take it too hard.”

A friendly comment came from another reader, an Omaha attorney who is a very good friend who has no hesitation to disagree with me when he thinks it’s justified.  He wrote:  “Andy, although it may be a sign that I am finally maturing, I agree with every point you made this time.”

And another reader offered this comment about stage show and movie reviewers:  “Your comments on show reviewers were right on target.  I have done the same thing with reviewer’s reviews.  Once I get a “feel” for how the reviewer likes or dislikes a movie, I use that as a reverse barometer, in that if he/she likes it, I will probably dislike it.  Keep up the great column.”

* * *

A Salute To Gutsy Husker Volleyball Team

I can’t recall any University of Nebraska Cornhusker athletic team that I have been prouder of than this year’s volleyball team.

Here is a team which, after losing the first two sets to the University of Washington Huskies on the home floor in Seattle, rallied to take the next three games, win the regional tournament and earn a birth in the Final Four championships in Omaha.

Then, again two down after losing the first two sets to defending national champion Penn State, the Huskers rallied to win the next two sets—the only sets that Penn State lost during the entire season—and advanced to a 10-8 lead in the 15-point final set.

Penn State prevailed, 15-11.  But as Husker Coach John Cook said, what will most be remembered about the 2008 Nebraska volleyball team will be their remarkably courageous performance, not the final score in the Penn State game.

* * *

An Upbeat Thought To End 2008

How finish a column written on the last day of the Old Year?  What uplifting words can be offered at a time when the great majority of Americans have been severely damaged economically from loss of jobs to drastic reduction in retirement assets to anywhere from 30 to 50% loss of the value of their life’s savings, the result primarily of politicians’ efforts to turn home ownership for credit-risky Americans into a sort of federal welfare program.

An answer to how to finish today’s column was suggested to me in the wording of an invitation to an annual party that two good friends give each holiday season.  The invitation suggested that while some values are falling in these hard economic times, their party offered an opportunity for an annual reunion of friends, and the value of friendships never declines but rather increases over the years.

So happy 2009 to you and those whose friendship you value!

# # #

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