UnNews:Massachusetts residents despondent as non-Kennedy sworn in
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5 February 2010
BOSTON, Massachusetts -- Residents of this Mecca of political liberalism are observing an official day of mourning after Scott Brown was sworn in to occupy the seat in the U.S. Senate held for decades by the late Ted Kennedy.
The oath-taking marks the end of 56 years in which the State of Massachusetts has been represented by at least one member of the Kennedy family, a span often referred to as the "Camelot Era," as legislation was often used in order to prohibit not just bad weather but other real-world outcomes.
Brown won election to Kennedy's seat 16 days ago over Democrat Martha Coakley. The turning point in the campaign was a televised debate on the most pressing issue for Massachusetts residents, President Barack Obama's proposal for a system of universal coverage for the Boston Red Sox. By all accounts, Coakley lost that debate from her poor understanding of baseball in general, referring to local hero Curt Schilling as a Yankee and declaring that she would never stand in front of Fenway Park just to shake grubby hands.
Brown is also a fan of health care, but that issue never came up in the campaign.
"I'm in a state of shock," said Norma Shockley, shopping for bookends at the Ikea furniture warehouse in Stoughton, Massachusetts. "I moved here because I wanted to be represented by Kennedys forever, not by some working-class guy who drives a pick-up truck!"
The ceremony makes Brown the 41st Republican Senator, giving his party the filibuster power to block votes to end debate, so that a bill can be voted on. This could hold up President Obama's ambitious agenda, as well as bathroom breaks for legislators. "We're all for debate, and lots of it," said the Republican leader in the Senate, whose name was not known by anyone. "We love it so much, we never want to see it end." Asked if he wants the President to fail, the Minority Leader invoked cloture on himself and issued a curt "No," deftly employing a word that has come to be synonymous with his party.
Adding insult to injury, during the same week, Toyota announced that the Prius may have defective brakes and have to be recalled. A majority of Massachusetts residents drive the energy-saving vehicles, not just to make a fashionable political statement about themselves, but also to protect themselves against a currency collapse by investing personal funds in a large cache of lead-acid. "I don't know where to turn," said Ms. Shockley, the shocked shopper. "First, the last of the Kennedys, now my Prius. What do you do when everything you hold dear is gone?"