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from Photographers' Blog:

Closing the chapter on the space shuttle

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Cape Canaveral, Florida

By Joe Skipper

The decades-long assignment started with covering the first space shuttle launch, Columbia, on April 12, 1981. A recent visit to Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A wrapped up the story for me. Often we cover assignments not knowing how long it will take, and my part in coverage of NASA’s space shuttle program seemed as if it would last forever. With the landing of the shuttle Atlantis on July 21, 2011, however, we thought the assignment was over.

But it wasn't complete yet. With the shuttles headed for public display, the assignment continued a bit longer in order to cover the preparation and their ultimate departure from the space center.

Longtime members of our Reuters shuttle photo team, Pierre DuCharme and Scott Audette, joined me for a final look at the historic pad before it would be demolished to be reconfigured for the next U.S. manned spaceflight program. We were hosted by NASA Photo Editor Ken Thornsley and our longtime NASA media escort and friend, Charlie Parker, a retired NASA engineer.

The pad was the focus of so many years of shuttle launch coverage, along with the sister pad, 39B, which has been dismantled and is now being reconfigured as a multi-purpose launch pad. Soon, the Pad A structure will be removed as well. Pad A has been used for more manned missions than any pad at the Kennedy Space Center or the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including Apollo 11, the first manned landing on the moon, the first and last space shuttle launches and many in between.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

More jumbo gumbo, Mr. President?

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Blog Guy, have you seen that amazing new book about former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the one taken from hours of taped interviews with her just months after her husband was assassinated?

I have, indeed. It's a must-read for anyone who likes fish soup.

Excuse me? Are we talking about the same book?

Sure. I'm not even finished with it, and already I'm struck by her vivid chowder memories of Jack Kennedy:

from Tales from the Trail:

The First Draft: Teddy’s Life of Remorse and Atonement

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Oswald was the lone assassin. JFK wanted a way out of Vietnam. And Bobby's death brought a bout of self-destructive drinking around the time Mary Jo Kopechne died at Chappaquiddick Island in an "inexcusable" car accident.

Those are some of the insights in a forthcoming memoir by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died last week but lives again in print as a leading figure in American politics.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

So then Bill says to Barack…

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Quick quiz: Former president Bill Clinton is saying to President Barack Obama...

a) I'm not kidding you, Barack, at Quiznos they've got a Primo Meatball sub THIS long, full of seasoned meatballs and zesty marinara!

b) PLEASE act like you're listening to me, Barack! I don't wanna have to talk to Hillary and George!

from FaithWorld:

Poll – Should Ted Kennedy have a Catholic funeral?

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kennedyOur post "Catholic comments on Ted Kennedy, pro and con" showed readers were deeply split on whether the late senator should have a Roman Catholic funeral. The naysayers argued that his support for choice on abortion and other disagreements with Church doctrine disqualify him from a religious ceremony. Those for a church funeral argued that he helped advance many causes championed by Catholic social teaching.

Those opposing a Mass of Christian Burial for Kennedy predominated, but not all readers take the time to write a comment. One-click poll questions sometimes give a different picture from comment pages. So here's a simple question:

from Tales from the Trail:

Senator Kennedy’s final resting spot

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KENNEDY/Senator Edward Kennedy will be buried on Saturday near his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and former Senator Robert F. Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery.

The site is about 200 feet south of the eternal flame that marks John Kennedy's grave, a popular tourist draw directly across the river from Washington.

from Global News Journal:

Sometimes admiration comes from unlikely places

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Barack Obama's American admirers are not the only ones who compare former U.S. President John F. Kennedy to the current U.S. leader. Leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vociferous critic of the United States, also invokes the charismatic late president when he talks about Obama, who, like Kennedy 48 years earlier, was a young senator when he was elected to the White House.

Chavez brought up Kennedy again this week, as he railed against Washington over the coup in Honduras, which many observers have called an unwelcome reminder of the ousters of Latin American leftists during the Cold War -- waged partly under Kennedy.

from From Reuters.com:

Inside the Tent: The Kennedy connection

A Michigan delegate who worked on John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign talks about the similarities between JFK and Barack Obama. The following video was shot by Inside the Tent contributor Derrick Jackson.

[flv]http://mediacdn.reuters.com/blogs/2008-08-27/19.40.01-2db091a53cb109ee41752e898f22751e.flv[/flv]

from Fan Fare:

Did Springsteen help bring down Berlin Wall?

Springsteen in BerlinJohn F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan made powerful speeches directed against the Berlin Wall from inside the capitalist enclave of West Berlin during the Cold War and the two American presidents have been given their due credit by historians for the roles the two famous speeches in 1963 and 1987 might have played in the events leading up to the collapse of the Cold War barrier on Nov. 9, 1989.

But it's quite possible that another American may have actually had a more direct influence on the Berlin Wall's demise -- Bruce Springsteen . He may well have played a more important role in galvanising a generation of East Germans fed up with living behind a Wall, a contribution that I would argue has been largely overlooked by historians.

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