We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lieberman is in the grand tradition of the classic liberal -- someone like Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- thoughtful, moral, compassionate. When Lieberman passes, he'll be the last of the liberals in the classic mold.
Bird Dog ... Take your pick. Interpret it any way you want. It's an old Southernism for 'passing on'. Which used to be a polite way of saying he died,' 'corked off,' or ' reached room temperature.' [I save that last one for folks I don't really like a lot.]
Meta ... I like 'took a dirt nap.' Makes it sound rather pleasant, which I suspect it won't be. And I, too, usually say 'died,' since I don't generally pussy-foot around. I'm glad to see you confirm the 'passed' usage, which is so common down here that the obituaries are full of the word.