"Byrd, who died Monday at age 92, served longer than any other senator in history, and it was his love of the Senate that drove the decision to honor him on the Senate floor, rather than in the Capitol Rotunda where other prominent figures are memorialized."
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Video: Chris' tribute to Sen. Byrd
Let me finish tonight with Larry King.
Back in the 1970s when I first got involved in politics, I made a couple of road trips out West to Utah.
Larry King, no matter that he didn't know me from Adam, was my driving buddy – because when you drive into the night it's good to have someone staying awake with you.
This Friday, we'll get the June jobless figures. Today, we learned the consumer confidence number fell nearly ten points since last month. It's not hard to figure out why: The unemployment number for May showed a dismal growth of just 41,000 in American civilian jobs. That's terrible news, and people know it.
Look ahead to the influence that this news and Friday's report will have on the country's morale: We're facing a double-whammy going into the weekend.
I love this country and believe in its historic greatness. I don't know how those Founding Fathers found themselves in Philadelphia in the late 18th century, but they did – and we are incredibly fortunate for it.
And I love the symbol of the Gadsden Flag, the coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow: “Don’t Tread on Me,” it warned our enemies, including (and especially so) the British government in London.
This morning a man died who treasured this country and that flag.
Let me finish tonight with a big, fat question about this country's war policy.
We are at war in Afghanistan? Okay. Who are we fighting?
Are we fighting the people who don't like the government we're backing there, the one led by Karzai?
But aren't we told that Karzai is corrupt? That he stole the election?
Okay, he's corrupt. He stole the election. We're backing him even though he's corrupt and stole the election because we don't want the Taliban to take over Afghanistan because that would mean they might threaten Pakistan?
Let me finish tonight with our lively interchange with Rush Limbaugh.
As I said earlier in the show, I think this a dazzling question: who are these elected politicians who do not fear this man on the radio?
We came up with this idea. It can't go on forever, can it?
We asked all the Republican officials here in Washington. There are hundreds of them, for just one of them to step forward and say that he or she disagrees with Rush on anything. Anything.
Let me finish tonight with a calm grandeur of our constitution.
What those who love this country love best, above the God-given beauty of this continent, is what we the people have created here: this amazing American constitution that places the elected president of the United States as commander in chief of the military.
It's not about the general – not exactly.
It's not about insubordination – not entirely.
It's about becoming president – not just by election or inauguration, but in fact.
Jack Kennedy did it with the Bay of Pigs, not by agreeing to the operation, but in accepting full personal blame for its failure. That's when the country knew it had a leader. His job approval shot through the roof.
Let me finish tonight with the emerging embarrassment on the right.
Joe Barton reminds us that sometimes, politicians get what they deserve. In other words, they get caught saying exactly what they wanted to say.
Someone once said that the late Spiro Agnew had about the same depth of political belief as the tired guy on the 5:00 commuter train after his third drink. Well, they may not have bars on those trains anymore, but you get the point.
I'm speaking about the true winners in every campaign seasons – those who not only run ahead of their parties, but also manage to win the elections that their party doesn't hope to win even in the best of seasons.
I think of Jack Kennedy coming to the Senate in 1952, the year that Republican Dwight Eisenhower was winning right across the country – including in Massachusetts.
I think of Joe Biden coming to the Senate in 1972, a year that Democrat George McGovern was being crushed right across the country – including in Delaware.
Rush Limbaugh calls it a "slush fund." Michele Bachmann calls it "redistribution of wealth," placing her in full agreement with radio talk show host Mark Levin.
Today, Congressman Joe Barton, R-Tex., called it a "shakedown." He says he's "ashamed" at yesterday's announcement that BP was going to make the $20 billion payment, that it creates a "terrible precedent."
Sharron Angle is the Republican candidate for US Senator from Nevada. What she said on a radio interview about the right to bear arms and the right to challenge decisions by Congress is worth paying attention to: Ms. Angle believes that there's a relationship between the two, and that you have your gun as way to deal with the decisions made by Congress that you don’t like.
Listen to her:
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"The Rise of the New Right,” which airs at 7:00 p.m. ET tomorrow night, will stun you with what's happening to this country. You'll never again believe that this so-called Tea Party movement is just about taxes, deficits or Obamacare. No – what you'll see is far more like the original tea party up in Boston, the one that previewed our war against the British.