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AWOL senator

In days past, the citizens of Massachusetts would get pissed off about "taxation without representation". No more, it seems. John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) has missed the majority of votes in the senate since he began his presidential campaign. Now the senator's absence has cost a defeat for his party in their efforts to extend jobless benefits:

The bid to extend federal jobless benefits for an extra 13 weeks failed by 59-40, one short of the 60 votes needed because the cost would exceed last year's budget agreement.

Contrast this with Bob Dole, who, although facing longer odds than Kerry, had the good manners to resign from the senate when he launched his presidential bid.