Tag Archives: Newburyport Current

Barack Obama and Carl Crawford

Barack Obama

We were all caught up in various degrees of expectation when Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

Twenty-seven months later our expectations are affected by realities.  And many of those realities have statistics relating to them

Unemployment Rate – January 2009 (7.8%), March 2011 (8.8%)

Gas per gallon – January 2009 ($1.84), April 2011 ($4)

US national debt – January 2009 ($10.7 trillion), April 2011 ($14.2 trillion)

Median price of US resale homes – December 2009 ($175,400), February 2011 ($156,100)

US casualties in Afghanistan – 2001-2008 (634), 2009-2010 (858)

Rounds of golf – George W Bush (24), Barack Obama (60+)

Approval rating – January 2009 (63% approve/20% disapprove), April 2011 (47% approve/48% disapprove)

Granted, statistics can be misleading but when combined with expectations they enable folks to react with something beyond uneducated bias.

John Burciaga’s usual columns in the Newburyport Current  refuse to face the realities we’ve experienced during the Obama administration.  Instead of disputing the statistics, John plays his favorite (only?) card – the race card.

To John, (“Memories of the uncivil war”) those who question the President probably have skin-texture motives.

Carl Crawford

That brings me to Carl Crawford.  When the Red Sox signed the outfielder to a pricey contract in the off-season, the expectations from fans around here were high.  After all, Carl had a .295 career batting average and had stolen 107 bases over the last two years.

Unfortunately, Carl hasn’t started out so well this season.  In fact, Manager Terry Francona has tried to change him around in the batting order hoping to make him productive.

The home fans haven’t been thrilled, either, after enduring Carl’s .127 batting average and ten strikeouts through the first thirteen games.  Some of the fans have started combining their expectations of Carl with his performance and have begun delivering vocal, negative reviews.  Some places call that, “booing.”

When will John Burciaga come to Carl’s defense in a column?  When will he tell us the horror stories of Louise Day Hicks, Bill Russell, and Jackie Robinson?  When will we be told that if Carl’s skin was lighter he’d wouldn’t be booed?

Baloney, John.  Like the man you make excuses for, Carl hasn’t delivered.  The unfair part is that Carl has only been at it for thirteen games in a 162-game schedule.  It’s early for him but Barack Obama has been at it for over two years.  From where I’m sitting, he appears to be unconscious to the negative realities he has created here and elsewhere that impact us.

Training film?

Speaking of unconscious, I was amused to see that Vice President Joe Biden reached that state during the President’s speech on the budget deficit.  Some have hinted that his dozed off condition was not a sign of rudeness but actually the shooting of a training film for air traffic controllers.

Seriously, the President has not met expectations and thus earns the negative reviews.  When John Burciaga brings skin color into the discussion, rather than performance, it reads like either racism or the effort of someone who has run out of defenses.  Which is it, John?

(This article appeared in the April 22, 2011 issue of The Newburyport Current.)

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Filed under Barack Obama, Carl Crawford, Newburyport Current, President Barack Obama

Guilt By Association Covers Both Sides of the Aisle

Congressman John Tierney - Are we to believe that he had no knowledge of his wife's part in an illegal gambling operation run by her brothers?

I hope John Burciaga can swim.  Why?  He keeps going off the deep end.

Arizona in the crosshairs,” in the January 14th issue of The Newburyport Current is yet another of his misguided, conclusion-jumping endeavors.

Wait until John reads the New York Times article entitled, “Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin,” in their January 15th issue.   The NY Times reporters reveal that, brace yourself John, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner was a Bush-hater. 

The theme of John’s article is to tie Arizona Governor Brewer, Arizona Senator Kyle, and Sarah Palin to what happened in Tucson.  But if the shooter was indeed a Bush hater then, using John Burciaga’s normal logic, we’d have to transfer the blame instead to those who have never stopped blaming Bush for everything. 

John regularly uses guilt-by-association in his articles.  Someone does something, and even without solid proof he’ll connect them to something else.  Sarah Palin puts crosshairs on a map and so because of it someone like Jared Loughner rushes off and shoots people.  Far fetched, don’t you think?

I also take issue with John describing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as being, “homely.”  That’s an unfair call as well as a dubious way to make a point.  If I tell a reader that every time I see Barack Obama give a speech his ears seem to fill the room, am I being persuasive? 

I’m hoping that in a future article John will do a guilt-by-association story surrounding the recently sentenced Patrice Tierney.  Our US Congressman’s wife, according to published reports, has a father, son, and two brothers involved in illegal gambling. 

Their illegal gambling operation shifted to Antigua in 2003 after one of Patrice’s brothers was convicted in the US of tax evasion and money laundering. 

Patrice managed the US bank account used by her out-of-the-country brothers from 2003-09 before getting charged by the feds.  The feds said that she had lied to the IRS about the source of the nearly $7 million that flowed into that bank account.  Her excuse for her behavior was that she was just trying to help her brother’s family in the US and was, “willfully blind,” as to how the money sent her way was earned.

Meanwhile, anyone trying to connect Congressman John Tierney to his wife’s illegal activities has been confronted with the Sergeant Shultz trifecta – “I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing!”  Remarkably, it would seem, the crooked background of Patrice’s family and the fact that she managed an account for them while they’re on the lam in Antigua, failed to get the Congressman’s attention, over a seven year period, about any possible improprieties.

Does it look like a stretch to you to use that guilt-by-association approach on John Tierney?  However, can anyone out there recall a Democrat ever being subjected to such scrutiny from Mr. Burciaga?

(This article appeared in the January 21st issue of The Newburyport Current.)

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Filed under Barack Obama, John Tierney, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, Sarah Palin

Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Collides With Scripture, Health Concerns, and Referendum Results

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is the military policy that John Burciaga goes after in a recent Newburyport Current article –    “ ‘Don’t tell’ the Marines.”

John suggests that putting an end to that policy is a “no-brainer.”  He defends his opinion by first whacking the biggest Republican critic of the policy he can think of (John McCain) and then moves into the everyone-else-is-doing-it ruse for further confirmation.

John’s suggestion that Senator McCain’s “manhood” may have something to do with his opposition to DADT must have been written by someone with no knowledge of McCain’s war record. 

Countries (like Israel) with threatening neighbors will, for obvious reasons, spend less time sorting out those who join their militaries.  They need bodies to fill their ranks.  The United States isn’t there yet.

The unspoken “no-brainer” conclusion by John in his article is that acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle makes perfect sense.  It doesn’t, John. 

In my opinion, the homosexual lifestyle is unscriptural, unhealthy, and unpopular. It needs to be a private practice only. 

John seems to dispute the “unpopular” part but as far as I know, EVERY referendum on homosexual marriage has gone against it.  In the open, people hesitate to voice opinions against the homosexual lifestyle because of the bullies and intolerant types in our midst.  In private, the results have been unanimous.

In this state, the legislators prevented a homosexual marriage referendum from even getting on the ballot.  You shouldn’t wonder why.

I suspect that even in an area where Smart cars are seen (imagine them in the ice ahead) and big spenders get re-elected in tough economic times (John Tierney),  homosexual marriage would lose in a referendum for the reasons I’ve listed. 

John, the “no brains” approach works when something is very obvious.  The need to get rid of DADT isn’t.

( This entry appeared as a letter-to-the-editor in the December 17-23 issue of the Newburyport Current. )

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Clyde Draws Support in Newburyport

Clyde may challenge Scott Brown in 2012

Why would Clyde the Horse (mentioned in the Newburyport Current – “Not just horsin’ around”) want to exit from the Newburyport waterfront and get out of town?  Maybe the news of the rally uptown did it.

Seriously, a rally that draws hundreds(?) to restore sanity in Newburyport has to be a good idea.  Apparently from the makeup of the area crowd (Lefties) there was a definite need for a heavy dose of sanity restoration.

Of course a rally that starts in DC with MSNBC’s ranter Ed Schultz and ends with a comedian, wasn’t overloaded with reasonableness.  Don’t you wonder how many people came to hear the music and could care less for the chatter?

I think that the rally here and in DC were attempts to blunt the incoming fire just before the election.  Two years of partisan Obama politics had a majority of the voters ready to toss all the Democrats out.  These rallies preached the need to avoid a heated rush into disaster and surely saved some Democrat seats.

The election results have helped Massachusetts reacquire its laughing-stock image nationally. How could we retain all ten Congressmen who were part of getting us into the economic ditch during the past two years?  What does the rest of the country, other than California, know that the voters here don’t know?  However, any group that would even consider raising $11,400 to keep Clyde around hasn’t felt the economic effects of this administration yet.

Twenty-one Democrat US Senators are up for reelection in 2012.  Could they be now lacing up their sneakers to see how far away from President Obama and Harry Reid they can get before the voting takes place?  

Meanwhile, back here in Massachusetts it’s 2012 and US Senator Scott Brown is fighting for his elected life.  After careful examination of qualifications, Clyde the Horse has swept the Democrat primary and has Scott on the ropes statewide even though Senator Brown accuses Clyde of being a “neigh sayer.”

Clyde’s supporters in Newburyport laud him for his “stability,” and “always being around when we need him.”  When President Obama stops here on a one-day, $1 million campaign swing, he praises Clyde and compares him to himself, “Neither of us will change our stances no matter how strong the winds of adversity are.”

(This is a lighthearted letter-to-the-editor for the Newburyport Current.)

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Filed under Clyde the Horse, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, President Barack Obama, Scott Brown

Luminaries on the Left Lit Into

John Burciaga gave capitalism a good whacking in the Newburyport Current (May 7th) – “Goldman Sachs: Poster boys for capitalism”.    He states in the article, “I’ve had my glimpse of the business world and excused myself, lest I were found guilty by association.”

Too close to Goldman Sachs?

That “guilt by association” thing, he writes of, can be a good guide.  Staying away from bad folks like Goldman Sachs is terrific advice. 

With this in mind, I wondered why John’s article never referenced President Obama’s still-in-place connections to Goldman Sachs.  The President received $994,795 in campaign contributions from them.  He also has several people in his administration, including Timothy Geithner, with ties to Goldman Sachs.  How does the President escape from a guilt by association perception?

A week ago, John wrote an article for The Current entitled, “It was never easy being green.” In it, John gave unqualified praise to Rachel Carson and the Sierra Club.  Do they deserve it?

Rachel Carson's malaria connections?

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist who wrote as if her training also made her an expert on pesticides.  She asserted in Silent Spring that DDT had questionable value and some readers took her assertion and went on to get DDT banned.  Prior to this, DDT had been part of successfully eliminating malaria in Europe and North America.  Under Rachel’s initiative and the zealotry of followers, Africa was denied the protection DDT provided.  The result was an estimated thirty million deaths in tropical Africa from malaria and yellow fever. 

Rachel originally had a co-author (Edwin Diamond) when the manuscript that became Silent Spring was started. Edwin had been a professor at MIT as well as Science Editor for Newsweek.  Reason for quitting the writing with Rachel?  “It (Silent Spring) was an emotional, alarmist book seeking to cause Americans to mistakenly believe their world was being poisoned.”  Shades of Al Gore? 

Louisiana black bear - protected at what cost?

Another of John’s favorites is the Sierra Club. Back in the 1990s, the Army Corps of Engineers studied and determined that the levees on the southern end of the Mississippi Rivers needed to be raised and fortified.  A spokesman for the Army Corps at the time said, “The 303 miles of upgraded levees (along the Mississippi River) were needed because a failure could wreak catastrophic consequences on Louisiana and Mississippi.” 

The Sierra Club ignored the warning being more concerned about the disruption the levee improvements would cause the Louisiana black bear.  Therefore, when the Army Corps tried to start the levee-improving project the Sierra Club filed suit and prevented the work from getting started.  In late August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana.  The levees, as they were, proved no match for Katrina – $81 billion worth of damage and 1,836 deaths. 

John frequently makes sport of Fox News’ claims of being “fair” and “balanced.”  Overlooking Obama’s connections to Goldman Sachs, Rachel Carson’s connection to lives lost from malaria, and the Sierra Club’s connection to the Hurricane Katrina disaster assure me that John will never be accused of either.

 ( Appeared as a letter-to-the-editor in the Newburyport Current on May 14, 2010. )

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Filed under Barack Obama, Katrina, Newburyport Current, President George Bush, Uncategorized

Hear, See, Speak No Evil of President Obama

Criticism offends his defenders

Criticism offends his defenders

I guess the point of the Newburyport Current’s editorial, “Another anti-Obama overreaction,” and John Burciaga’s, “Goodbye to town hall meetings from hell,” is that those of us in disagreement with Mr. Obama are fair game for any cheap shot that comes to mind.

The editorial “only” describes us as, “hysterical,”  while Mr. Burciaga chooses; “politically unwashed, naïve, reliant on bloggers of low mentality, nonreaders, yahoos, clingers to idiocy like a crucifix, rejecters of Jesus Christ, and thugs.”

I think that what escapes these writers is that Barack Obama received only 53% of the popular vote in the past election.  So even back in November (2008) 47% of the voters did not want Barack Obama to be the President. 

Bringing things up-to-date, the September 12th daily Presidential Tracking Poll by Rasmussen has, “33% strongly approving of the way Barack Obama is performing in his role as President.”

Both written pieces seem to assume that the President won by a landslide and is still held in high regard.  The facts indicate otherwise.  53% bought into Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric but far less are still on board as the reality of implementing his ideas kicks in. 

Mr. Burciaga’s cheap shots made perfect sense to the winners early on but now they sound like they belong to an extreme lefty who is not paying attention to what has gone on since Barack Obama took over.

A person strongly approved by only 33% of the voting public should have expected some opposition when he tried to get the schoolchildren of the voters to consider: (1) What they could do to help the president, and (2) What is President Obama inspiring you to do.  For the President even to think that such questions are appropriate reminds me of Brian’s line in The Breakfast Club – “Claire, you’re so full of yourself.”

It interested me that GHW Bush addressed the nation’s schoolchildren in 1991.  His efforts were not received any better than Obama’s were.  If the Current editorial had stated that the Democrats’ negative reactions to President Bush were, “anti-Bush overreactions,” I would have conceded that the editorial was evenhanded…….but it did not happen.

Mr. Burciaga writes as one who is tolerant of only those who agree with him.  I wonder if he realizes that it was Obama’s ideas that turned some of the town hall meetings into sideshows not the elected officials attempting to defend them.  Congressman John Tierney was very wise to defend Obama’s ideas from long distance rather than from before a live audience. 

Looking ahead, I wonder how Mr. Burciaga will handle the compromises that the increasingly unpopular President will have to make to salvage any of his increasingly unpopular plans. 

Nonetheless, one thing remains certain, no matter what Barack Obama says or does, Mr. Burciaga will be available to demean all critics in The Newburyport Current.

( Appeared as a letter-to-the-editor in The Newburyport Current on September 18, 2009. )

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Filed under Barack Obama, John Tierney, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, President Barack Obama

Why Not Celebrate the Creator as Well as the Creation During Earth Week?

“Down to Earth,” by Barbara Taormina in the April 17th Newburyport Current informs readers that there will be a 10-day celebration of the planet.
Let’s face it, isn’t Earth Day (Week?) just a fancy name for spring cleaning? 
Most people out there cleaning up the outdoors on their property and in other parts of Newburyport could care less about making some sort of event out of it.  They just want to get the work done.
Speaking of events, I was intrigued to see that as part of the Earth Week celebration students from the Edward Molin School took a field trip to Mark Richey’s wind turbine.  Would I be dreaming to think that somewhere in the pre or post field trip experience the impressionable youngsters would hear an evenhanded presentation of why the wind turbine is considered marvelous by some and a monstrosity by others? 
I also noticed from the agenda of events that the salespeople for global warming would be hawking their wares.  Anyone that assures you that global warming is a fact is a liar.  Global warming is a theory.  Twenty-four inches of snow in Denver on April 17th is a fact and to some, who expect us to take them seriously, a sure sign of global warming. 
Maybe the environmentalists, who are pushing so hard to make an event out of something normal, should move on to something else.  Why not celebrate the creator of the earth? 
Could the Earth Week organizers open up their event schedule for a time of praise and prayer to earth’s creator?   We could sing songs of praise to the creator and spend time praying that God would make us wise as we manage the earth he has given us.
Celebrating the creator of the earth can be an uplifting event.  I was at Immaculate Conception on Friday night and heard the music of the Boston Community Choir. They were singing gospel music and it was lively – ask anyone who was there. 
They were singing about someone greater than the earth.  They were singing about someone who, “In the beginning created the heavens and the earth.” 
Genesis Chapter One is a great source of information on earth’s creation.  It would be a terrific chapter to read as part of the Earth Week celebrations.

( This letter-to-the-editor appeared in the Newburyport Current on April 24, 2009 and the Newburyport Daily News on April 27, 2009. )

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Filed under 292-foot wind tower, Earth Day, Earth Week, Newburyport, Newburyport Current

Whose Fault is that 292-Foot Wind Turbine??

A 292-foot wind turbine, that only a visually-impaired environmentalist could love, looms large over Route One in Newburyport.

A 292-foot wind turbine, that only a visually-impaired environmentalist could love, looms large over Route One in Newburyport.

That 292-foot high wind turbine is quite a sight, isn’t it? Try NOT looking at it when you ride along Route One in Newburyport.

The Current hit the target when they referred to it as, “A 292-foot mistake,” on their February 27th editorial page.

But whose mistake was it?  The editorial leaves the impression that Mark Richey and his “experts” tricked the city council.  We’re to believe that these experts, employed by the wind turbine proponents, minimized the negatives and our city council didn’t catch on.  Are our councilors that naiveté? I don’t think so.

In my opinion, Newburyport is a community in which the care of the environment is very important.  When someone comes along with an idea that seems to head in that direction the resistance loses ground.

Mark Richey’s wind turbine was just such an idea.  The advocates touted its environmental positives and discovered that in this town they were preaching to the choir.  The disorganized opponents were dismissed as over-reacting and not able to see the big picture.

Well, now the wind turbine is in place.  One look tells you that it is a monstrosity and the happy environmentalist chatter will not change that.  Instead of admitting their complicity in the decision to allow the tower, the city council cowardly attempts to slide the blame elsewhere.

I suspect that many of the most ardent, “environment first – people second” advocates, do not have the wind turbine in their sight lines.  They assume that those that do will get used to it for the greater good of the community. 

When Senator Ted Kennedy was alerted to the fact that speck-sized wind turbines would be built off Hyannis, the champion of alternative and renewable energy lost the fire in his belly and made sure they weren’t built.  What is a hypocrite?

I believe that the “environment first – people second” crowd in Newburyport have given us a wonderful example of what their views look like in real life.  When they start trying to “walk their talk”, in the future, it is time to remember their 292-foot mistake.

(Prepared as a letter to the editor for the Newburyport Current on February 27th.)

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Filed under 292-foot wind tower, Newburyport, Newburyport Current

Rush to Rush’s Defense

Rush Limbaugh - Riles up Newburyport Current writer

Rush Limbaugh - Riles up Newburyport Current writer

No question the man gets under people’s skin.  I’m writing about Rush Limbaugh.

Mr. John Burciaga in the Newburyport Current (“Rush to Judgment” – January 30th)) took the bait and set out in his article to convince us that Rush is a “bad joke,” an embarrassment to his family, a “demagogue,” and a lot like a despicable priest named Father Coughlin. 

Other than that John is crazy about Rush and listens regularly from noon to three each weekday afternoon!  Probably not, on any of that!

I think what set John off was finding Rush’s recent quote, “I hope he fails.” Unconcerned about the context the quote came in, John, like numerous other Lefties, concluded that Rush wanted the country to fail. 

“I hope he fails,” and, “I hope the country fails,” are not the same thing. However, if “he” refers to some sort of king that folks have the audacity to hope can solve everything, then I can see the problem.  Would an Obama bumper sticker indicate people of that ditto-head mentality?

John must know that millions of people don’t want President Obama’s programs to become a reality.  They want him to fail when he attempts to get them through Congress.  That is what, “I hope he fails,” is all about.  I’m surprised he couldn’t figure it out.

John suggests that Rush will fade away during the Obama administration but he’s mistaken, in my opinion.  On the air since 1988, Rush has thrived (20 million listeners) whether Democrats or Republicans are in power. 

President Obama has unintentionally done nearly everything possible to build Rush’s audience after less than a month in power.  Talk radio audience stimulators are served up on a daily basis.  Who isn’t thinking about tax returns now and who isn’t aware that the president has nominated, and defended later, an assortment of tax cheats?

Here is a quote from Rush in the New York Post on the, “I-hope-he-fails,” furor:  “Remember, the Left needs a villain, a demon, to advance their agenda.  They cannot win a single argument in the arena of ideas, so they have to try to destroy the credibility and reputation of the person they feel most threatened by.  In that sense, I guess I have taken the place of President Bush.”

Maybe next time John will enter that “arena of ideas,” and come to Obama’s defense.  I would like to read his defense of Obama’s inclusion of known tax cheats in his administration.

(Prepared as a letter-to-the-editor of the Newburyport Current.)

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Filed under Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh

I Voted for Barack Obama

Barrack Obama

I am writing to congratulate myself for voting for Barack Obama and being part of his 28-vote victory in Newburyport in the Democrat primary.

My vote was not based on Mr. Obama’s skin color because I’m not a racist.  I do admit,however, that I do not watch BET (Black Entertainment Television) or support the United Negro College Fund because they’re racist.

My vote was not based on Barack’s middle name, “Hussein.” That middle name is part of his Moslem background.  If I let his background factor into my vote, I would be a racist and I’m not.  However, if I learned that his hand was going to be on the Koran instead of the Bible when he was sworn in to the presidency I would vote against him.  That’s not being racist. That is believing that the Bible, not the Koran, contains the truths that I want my leader to pledge allegiance to.

My vote was not based on Barack being against the war in Iraq.  Barack was in the State Senate, not the US Senate, when the vote for that war took place.  If he had been confronted with the same evidence that President Bush and Hillary Clinton were confronted with he would have voted to go ahead with the war. 

My vote was not based on Barack’s belief that abortion should be available in all nine months of pregnancy.  I am opposed to abortion and consider the slaughter of unborn children to be a horrific tragedy.

My vote is not based on Barack’s willingness to put an end to some of the tax cuts that have been enacted during the current administration.  I defy anyone to explain to me how sending me out into the buying world with less money is going to help the economy. 

My vote is not based on Barack’s talk of unifying the country.  I believe that his idea of “unity” is for me to change my previously held positions and switch to his.  I have a right to my opinion even if it disagrees with his opinion.  Labeling opinions that are different from his, “divisive,” is a step toward trying to shut off constructive dialogue. 

My vote is not based on the endorsements of Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy.  Those two are the punch lines of jokes in any comic setting.  Kerry was offered $1 million to clear up the controversy surrounding his service in the Vietnam War.  He proved that either he didn’t need the money or he couldn’t clear his name by taking no action.  Kennedy looked out his ocean-side window and decided that his view was more important than a wind energy program that would lower electricity rates on the Cape.

So why did I vote for Barack Obama?  Quite simply it was a vote against Hillary Clinton. 

At a dinner party recently, I heard someone say that they were voting for Hillary because, “she was the only one that they could trust.”  You’re right, it stunned me too!  If past performance means anything, Hillary is the one that can’t be trusted.

Let me make a prediction: Barack Obama is going to get the Democrat nomination but during the trip to also-rans, the Clintons are going to tear that party apart.  It gives me pleasure to think that I may have had a hand in that process in a voting booth at the Brown School.

( Appeared in both the Newburyport Current and the Newburyport Daily News on February 15, 2008. )

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Filed under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, Newburyport Daily News, President George Bush, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy