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Monday, June 12, 2006 

Be Proud of Your Government, Be Proud

(AP) CAPITOL HILL - Dwight Eisenhower was president when Robert Byrd was first elected to the Senate from West Virginia.

Today, the 88-year-old Byrd becomes the longest-serving senator in history, surpassing South Carolina's legendary Senator Strom Thurmond.

Byrd entered the Senate 47 years ago after serving 12 years in the state Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

His time in the senate amounts to 17,327 days.

And while he uses two canes to get around and grieves over the recent loss of his wife of 69 years, Byrd is running for an unprecedented ninth term.

He bristles at questions about his age and stamina.

"Age does not affect me except in my legs," he says, adding "I've got a head up here that hasn't changed one iota in the last 25 years."

Byrd makes no apologies for directing huge amounts of federal money to West Virginia to pay for new highways, water projects, federal buildings and job training centers.

But he does admit to a few errors: he participated in an unsuccessful filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And as a young man, he joined the Ku Klux Klan.

So, the longest serving Senator in history was a KKK member, attempted a Civil Rights Act Filibuster, and is a proud and successful Pork Practitioner.

OUTSTANDING! America, Outstanding!

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