John Murtha dies at 77


Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania powerhouse for 36 years in Congress and early ally for Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her rise to the top of the House, died Monday afternoon due to complications from recent surgery.

An announcement from his office said Murtha died at 1:18 p.m. at the Virginia Hospital Center, where he had been admitted last week after having his gallbladder removed at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

A Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, the 77-year-old Democrat won national fame for standing up against U.S. military involvement in Iraq. But in Congress itself, he also symbolized an old school generation going back to Tip O’Neill and the Democratic heyday of the '70s, when the House was less divided by partisan ideology than by often regional interests.
I can't say I hold a very high opinion of the man, but I do appreciate his dedication and service to the United States. This really was unexpected; only a couple of weeks ago reports showed that he was getting better.