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Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., had to go it alone finally — fighting an unsuccessful, solo battle on the Senate floor to block the confirmation of former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun as ambassador to New Zealand. Referring to the Senate committee vote that approved the nomination for a vote by the full Senate, Helms said, “I viewed it on television. It was a sight to behold. In fact, what it was was a political rally lacking only a band and distribution of free hot dogs and balloons.” His comments are not without surprises. For one, Helms is aware of the invention of television. For another, he seems to believe that it is a “serious” ethics violation for a fellow senator to be a self-confessed black woman.

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