We Don’t Suck as Much as They Do

Yeah, that seems to be the Democratic mantra. And it’s not the greatest platform to be running on in a critical election year when everyone generally hates politicians of any stripe. Why do you suppose that’s the story the Democrats are sticking with? Why aren’t they bragging about how they kept things from being so bad? Why aren’t they bragging about the things they’ve accomplished? What are they afraid of? Losing? Well, that’s kind of been the conventional wisdom for sometime now. I say ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!’ Thank you Admiral David Glasgow Farragut.

All the campaign ads I see these days are of the ‘you think we’re bad? Just look at how crazy they are’ variety. You know, maybe; just maybe, you can win on that platform but it’s a pretty sorry excuse for being in politics. Were I running for office, I’d be shouting policy from the rooftops and not banking on a lot of feel good momentum from two years ago.

We need leadership. We need it now. If the Republicans take the House next Tuesday as they are predicted to do, NOTHING will take place for the next two years. I watched Michael Steele this morning on ‘Meet the Press’. I don’t care what any of them say, they’ve made a critical error in all this obstruction. I hope it bites them in the ass.

So is the solution for disgust with politics is to vote in more stupidity? Yeah; great strategy. If the Democrats manage to hold on to power this election they’d better do something constructive with it. Otherwise, absent a better solution, we will get the government we deserve.

I just hope the American public is smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors on Tuesday.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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76 Responses to We Don’t Suck as Much as They Do

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Have you ever considered exactly why the Dems run away from their own policies and pretend to be born again gun totting fiscal hawks every election cycle?Have you considered why the voters are rewarding the GOP for doing nothing more than opposing your policies over the past two years?What we saw over the past two years was undisguised full throated progressive government.What we are seeing now is a massive electoral repudiation of that government.This is a center right country. The only way you get progressive left policies enacted and not be run out of town in the next election is by through the courts, the bureaucracy, incrementally by stealth in Congress. Instead, the left is demanding even more or the same governance which is sweeping their representatives out to electoral sea. And you folks call the GOP the “stupid party.”

  2. Bart DePalma says:

    There appears to be a new poll that comes out every day custom fit for each new 538 Refugee thread. The final bipartisan Battleground poll notes:”It’s the flight of independents that presents the biggest challenge for Democrats. Independents helped lift Democrats to power in 2006 and pushed Obama into office in 2008. But in last year’s Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, these voters registered grave concerns and did it again by breaking for Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in his upset victory in January.Instead of heeding the warnings, Democrats proceeded with the $1 trillion health care law and banked on an economic recovery that hasn’t come.On health care: 62 percent of independents hold an unfavorable view of the new law (compared to 52 percent overall). Only six percent of independents view the legislation very favorably.On the economy: 66 percent of independents say the recovery legislation is not working (compared to 57 percent overall). The percentage saying the “stimulus” is not working spiked 12 points since Labor Day.On the question of governance overall, 69 percent of independents say they have less faith in government now than they did just before Obama was elected.”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44092.html#ixzz13NMphgcTThis is a referendum election and the electorate if giving an emphatic thumbs down with a crack towards the Dems about not letting the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  3. shortchain says:

    Bart,Have you ever considered that the dreadful economy is the source of the anti-politician angst? Have you ever considered that the election of 2008 swept a whole bunch of Democrats into office in historically Republican districts? Have you ever considered that the American public has rarely (if ever) been able to discern its own interest in elections? From what I can see, it’s generally wedge issues and free-floating anger, with a generous dollop of voting for the guy with the handsome face.What we’re seeing is the free-floating anger generated by economic angst coming down on the representatives of what the people believe, through a misunderstanding of how our government has stopped working, is the party in power. If there were any justice, it would rain down on those in the Senate who created the mess — but that would require the universe to be just.Oh, and BTW, you’ve won a prize for the most repetitions of “this is a center-right country”. Pick up your prize on the way out.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain:The economy is definitely part of what appears to be a perfect electoral storm – a combination of a 1982 economy election, a 1994 policy repudiation election and a 1974 abuse of government power election.After the “ungrateful voters are stupid” excuse is worn out, the Dems will try to blame it all on the economy. However, the 1982 election featured a worse economy, but policies which the public supported, so the losses were less than 30. This one will be far larger, very likely double or more the 1982 results.

  5. shortchain says:

    Bart,It’s a sad statistical fact that half of all voters are of below-average intelligence. Some of them are, undoubtedly, too stupid to discern where their own self-interest lies. This is simple population statistics.In elections where turnout is low, anger often trumps intellect. The difference between 1982 and today is, plain and simply, Fox News, which stokes the fires of anger for the GOP.There was no great burst of free-floating anger in 1982, and it certainly wasn’t directed at the GOP — because the news organizations of the time were scrupulously even-handed.Apples and oranges, Bart. The electorate that voted in 1982 is not the electorate that will vote next week.

  6. filistro says:

    Bart, you are so rigidly dogmatic that you have the attention span of a flea. Facts just flit right on past you, don’t they? Well, here’s a bit of news from the reality-based world. Try to concentrate. In the thread just below, I quoted Gallup: In late September Gallup asked people who were planning to vote Republican why they had made that decision, and allowed them to frame their own answer. 16% liked their own candidate, and 6% said they were specifically voting for Republican ideas and policies. SIX PERCENT, Bart! Have you got that? Now, you may be one of those diehard six percenters, but don’t pretend there’s a big crowd of you. The vast majority of the GOP vote is simply a protest vote against the terrible economy that Bush created with careless tax policy, financial deregulation and two useless wars.

  7. shrinkers says:

    Mr. UWhat’s happened is that the Democrats have been focused, for two years on cleaning up the mess left by this large an unruly elephant. Meanwhile, the elephant has been busy smashing down more houses.To move from analogy to description, the Democrats have been enacting historic legislation, precise the sorts of things that huge majorities said they wanted in the historic election of 2008. This has been a massive undertaking a 24/7 job that has absorbed minds and hearts, blood, sweat, and tears. The Republicans have been trying to obstruct it, which doesn’t actually require very much time. All they have to do is show up now and then and vote no.So, which far too much free time on their hands, the Republicans’ main endevor has been to engage in constant and dishonest advertising intended to present a false view to the public. Since the Dems have been head-down nose-to-the-grindstone working, the R’s have dominated the national conversation.Republicans have always been good at flash and at false advertising. it’s not often that a Democrat has the same media savvy. When it happens, we get a Clinton or an Obama. But since the Democrats want to actually improve the country, once they get into office, they turn from advertising to governing. Which again leaves the field open to the Republican con men.Democrats, for reasons I will never understand, are constantly surprised by the all-out blitz the Republicans constantly run, and by the skill at which Republicans lie and manipulate. And Democrats are always, at best, playing catch-up. After the Republicans have defined the terms of the discussion (discussion? no, ad campaign) it is very hard to undo their damage and present a realistic and accurate view.We’ve got to learn to stop playing “You’ve been lied to!” which, while true, results in bartings like “Oh, so you think the voters are stupid, huh?” — which, of course, is yet another example of the Republican skill at manipulation. Bart is an excellent depiction of the Republican ability to twist and misrepresent and outright tell lies, 24/7, with no apology and no acknowledgment when he’s called on them.Trying to present an accurate view after-the-fact, trying to correct the Republican lie campaign, doesn’t work. We’ve got to get out in front, and define the discussion from the beginning. Of course, we say this every two years — “Next time, we’ll really learn that lesson!”Yeah. And next year, the Cubs will win the Pennant.

  8. filistro says:

    @shrinkers . We’ve got to get out in front, and define the discussion from the beginning. Of course, we say this every two years —I’ve been thinking about that lately, too. But to play the game the way the R’s do is to spend your whole time messaging rather than governing. Lots of good people would rather not be in government than have to do that.If you have a dream for the country and seriously want to get things done while your opponent just wants to run around all the time talking about how great his side is and how much the other guys suck… it’s hard to chuck your goals and your work and just start running your mouth like they do. I don’t think Dems can do it, it’s not in their DNA.The best hope is for R’s to get a slim majority and be forced to govern in this awful mess they’ve created. The stress of having some actual responsibility will expose the schism in their party and tear it apart. And then they will either eventually re-emerge with a more serious political party, or they will die and be replaced.Either option is better than the ridiculous clown car that Dems currently have to contend with.

  9. shrinkers says:

    Bart:1) Please provide an example of an elected Democrat using the words “blame” and “unappreciative” in the same sentence when referring to voters (hint: those words must be used, or else you are simply putting your own personal spin on someone else’s intent).2) Please provide an example of an elected Democrat advocating “surrender” (hint: that word must be used, or else you are simply putting your own personal spin on someone else’s intent).3) Please provide a quote from a stock trader on a day when Obama made a speech in early 2009, which indicated that he sold stock specifically because Obama had “talked down the economy.”

  10. shrinkers says:

    @filistroBut to play the game the way the R’s do is to spend your whole time messaging rather than governing. Lots of good people would rather not be in government than have to do that.Yes. So we have to play it a different way. The people doing the governing should be doing the governing. There needs to be a separate marketing department. The Republicans have hired FOX “News” (or vice versa) to do that advertising while the politicians do the obstructing. Dems need to come up with their own marketing arm.A separate arm would also insulate the politicians from some of the inevitable blowback. FOX can push birtherism and “death panels” and a lot of the rest of the nonsense, and provide the politicians with plausible deniability until the ideas have become mainstreamed. That’s the advantage of an independent marketing department.The differences between what they do and what we should do are things like:1) Their message drives their politics. They aren’t interested in governing, only in winning elections. So any advertising campaign that increases their popularity, and that hurts the Democrats, is fair game, regardless of the effect it has on the nation. In contrast, Democrats need to have the message be driven by the needs of the county, and by policies that have been, or need to be, enacted.2) Because they are merely after the win, no dishonesty is too great, no spin to far, no lie too big. Democrats must offer a contrast — honesty. Truth is on our side. Start acting like it. James Carville did this brilliantly in the 1990’s, the no-compromise unyeilding presentation of a policy that hits home — backed with the data for those like us, who are geeks and demand proof. Get a copy of Carville’s “We’re Right, They’re Wrong”, and learn the techniques. 3) Steal their memes. Clinton had this down pat. Remember, it was Clinton who declared “The era of big government is over!” and “We will end welfare as we know it.” When the Republicans discover a phrase that works, steal it. After all, the Republicans merely create advertising slogans, and never actually follow through. They never have the faintest idea of how to accomplish any of their proposals — because they never intend to. If an idea resonates with the public, then find a way to make that idea work for the good of the country, and lay out a plan for actually doing it. Then follow through, and keep the marketing department reminding people, constantly, of what we have accomplished.4) Learn this from Carl Rove — hit them where they are strong. Do not look for weaknesses, but attack their strength. When you undermine that, they’re got nothing. See above points for hints on how to do that.There are other ways we can add to the idea. But the basic concept is to have a separate department to handle public relations, so the people who are elected can do their jobs.

  11. filistro says:

    There needs to be a separate marketing department. The Republicans have hired FOX “News” (or vice versa) to do that advertising while the politicians do the obstructing. Dems need to come up with their own marketing arm.But therein lies the problem. The GOP owns an entire television network. How, realistically, do the Dems counteract that?No matter how skilled they become at crafting their message, any reputable network taht carries Dem messaging is going to “balance” it by giving equal time to the GOP, so you’re no further ahead.It’s impossible to overstate the impact on a democracy when one party has unlimited access to the airwaves. How America has allowed this to happen is a mystery to me. However, the Native American part of me takes a longer view of this 🙂 The lack of intrinsic control over Republican messaging leads to over-reach, which leads to hubris, which leads inevitably to missteps and ultimately to downfall.So FOX news is a gross corruption of democracy that gives the GOP a huge short-term advantage… but in the long run it will become the instrument of their destruction. And in retrospect this will be clearly seen.

  12. Mainer says:

    Shrink where does one start attacking a position that is all weakness to start with? This is where what is about to happen next gets scary. When an individual or a movement gets elected based on overly simplistic sound bites the expectation from those that elect them is for quick simple fixes. What now happens when those quick simple fixes do not materialize? Will the mob that got you there turn on just you who promised too much but delivered nothing or directly attack those not like them or the government itself? I have said for some time on here that I have some very bad images in my head of where we are heading and yes I believe this is going to be in one way or another the end of the GOP…..well certainly as I grew up to know and respect it.I think at some level we need to get back to some one like Dr. Dean in the saddle at the DNC. Put him in and hide the muzzle. Let the damned chips fall where they may and use the club on those from the right and those from the left that just do not get it. We as a nation are getting way to close to the crumble point to play nice with either extreme. We either fix our problems and move ahead or we die as a nation. This country can not survive in park or idle and we sure as hell will not survive in reverse. We only thrive when charging boldly ahead. I guess in that I see Farragut as having been oh so right. To be honest maybe even the Democratic party may not survive what is about to happen and maybe we will discover that the Rovian result will be that we are now ungovernable……which I even more fear is exactly what too many on the right really want which is not conservatism, or Libertarianism but anarchy. Maybe a better question at this point would be why and to what end.

  13. Mr. Universe says:

    I take it Bart is back from Italy, judging by the nonesense in the comment section. Welcome back, we’ve missed your inflamatory rhetoric.

  14. Mr. Universe says:

    This is a referendum election…You may be right about that. I just don’t think it’s the referendum you’re expecting.

  15. Mr. Universe says:

    “ungrateful voters are stupid”I really don’t want to bang this drum but you guys have duped the voters into voting against their best interests far too many times. I’m a firm believer in ‘You can’t fool all the people all of the time’. I think the Reckoning is upon us. Talk to me next Tuesday.

  16. Bart DePalma says:

    Fillistro:One more time, the Tea Party rebellion driving this election are in revolt against both party establishments. We nominated our candidates in the GOP in a hostile takeover, not because we love the GOP policies of the past decade.Next, the Dems dominate the legacy media and Fox News is hardly even an offset to that bias, nevertheless an advantage for the GOP. I would dearly love to change positions and have anti-Dem news stories saturated the nightly news and daily papers rather than on just one network.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    Filli:Of note from the Battleground poll I linked in the second post, The GOP leads 46% to 24% among those who have a negative view of both parties. These are the Tea Party folks.

  18. shortchain says:

    Yeah, filistro, who are you going to believe about what the tea party folks are, Bart DePalma, speaking ex cathedra, or the Washington Post?

  19. Todd Dugdale says:

    I would comment on this, but all of my comments seem to die waiting for moderation.

  20. filistro says:

    @shortchain.. Bart suffers from a really odd form of megalomania that causes him to fantasize a vast army of people JUST LIKE HIM. Bart can see them in his mind’s eye… a legion of tiny Barts, all with two-day’s growth and smug grins, stretching as far as the eye can see across the fruited plain. And this vast army THINKS JUST LIKE BART DOES on every issue.It’s an astonishing delusion. As a lifelong student of human motivation and behavior, I find it quite fascinating.I think this is why Bart is so dismissive of facts that oppose his world view. In some tiny, still relatively sane pocket of his brain, he fears that if he turns to look behind him, the Bart-army might not be there after all. Instead of that vast sea of Teapers flowing off beyond the horizon, there will be six fat old white guys in scooters, a wild-eyed dude with a holster strapped to his leg, holding a sign that says “Impeach the Kenyan”… and an unkempt woman with a chihuahua in a tiny red-white-and-blue sweater.

  21. filistro says:

    @ Todd: I would comment on this, but all of my comments seem to die waiting for moderation.Todd, that’s awful! You are one of my all-time favorites, and I hate to miss your posts.Nothing is moderated here… that screen is some kind of capricious bug that pops up from time to time and then goes away. The stuff never does get posted… Monotreme has to go and retrieve it from the spam filter.Try clearing your cache… that worked for me. If all else fails, post your thoughts on a different thread and I’ll move them for you. (I’s raining hard today.. snowing a bit, too… and I have nothing to do but play online and brood about the coming election 🙂

  22. shortchain says:

    filistro,That wild-eyed guy is my younger brother. Give him a wide berth, is my advice. The family curse fell hard on him.It’s odd, but I detect this same delusion in many of the right wing people I talk to, who imagine, for reasons I cannot understand, that the people out there are just like them in desires, goals, and political philosophy.Whatever my political shortcomings and blindnesses, I don’t suffer under that particular delusion. I wonder if this is a left-ish right-ish kind of thing or if it’s just me…Although we do share a love of ellipses.

  23. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain:I thought about linking to the WP story yesterday, but figured I would get the usual load of crap for changing the subject. The Post is to be highly commended for actually doing their job and contacting the Tea Party directly. Magnificent journalism. My only two quibbles is that they limited themselves to TP groups registered with larger organizations and dishionestly combined race and religion in a question of concerns about Obama. There are about 10% of the TP who have concerns about Obama’s religion. I thought the second article dealt with that question quite fairly.

  24. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro: “Bart suffers from a really odd form of megalomania…”Sticks and stones, darlin. How did that lecture you gave me about name calling go again?

  25. Michael Weiss says:

    Bart, are you avoiding rational dialog again? You seem to be ignoring the questions waiting for you.Meantime, GROG ignores the hard stuff altogether.

  26. shiloh says:

    @BartlesThe GOP leads 46% to 24% among those who have a negative view of both parties. These are the Tea Party folks.~~~~~Again, the teabaggers are the GOP so what’s your point lol.2004 election conservatives comprised 34% of the electorate … 2008 conservatives were 34% of the electorate er no change!but, but, but many liberals/moderates came out of the closet 😉 thank you cheney/bush! :)carry on

  27. Bart DePalma says:

    Michael:Which “hard questions” would you like me to answer? I apologize, but this is not my blog and I only skim the latest thread for things directed towards me during brief work breaks. When I miss stuff, please just direct me back to what you think requires my response.

  28. shiloh says:

    Speaking of: SUCCESS: Thank you, your comment has been submitted for moderation.hmm, maybe the 3rd time is the charm, or not.@Bartles in the previous thread.Shiloh:Seriously, I like pitching arguments at progressive blogs to have smart folks like you can attempt to punch holes in them. Preaching to the choir at conservative blogs does not help me refine my arguments.Whoever I fenced with awhile back on Obama’s talking down the economy helped me beef up that chapter of my book. Maybe I should dedicate the book to progressive bloggers? Hmmm…~~~~~Bart, glad we’re here to help you in any way we can. :)As always, our overflowing, charitable empathy is at your disposal 24/7!>We are our brother’s keeper. ~ Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.Re: your historic Socialism tome: Please quote all my intelligent/astute liberal, pro-America, 538 offerings verbatim 😉 as you do not want to deny your readers my magnificent words of wisdom!solo estoy diciendo>and yes, your winger scribblings, if they are ever presented in a coherent form lol should be dedicated to progressives at 538, if for no other reason than you are obsessed w/us! :)and so it goes …take care

  29. shiloh says:

    To whom it may concern: Please check the moderation wastebin er recycling bin …carry on

  30. shrinkers says:

    Bart:1) Please provide an example of an elected Democrat using the words “blame” and “unappreciative” in the same sentence when referring to voters (hint: those words must be used, or else you are simply putting your own personal spin on someone else’s intent).2) Please provide an example of an elected Democrat advocating “surrender” (hint: that word must be used, or else you are simply putting your own personal spin on someone else’s intent).3) Please provide a quote from a stock trader on a day when Obama made a speech in early 2009, which indicated that he sold stock specifically because Obama had “talked down the economy.”

  31. Mule Rider says:

    “You seem to be ignoring the questions waiting for you.”Hah! The standard but futile attempt by the Left at shooting down a conservative’s argument. Deflection, spin, strawmen, etc. Whatever it takes to distract people from your own failings, I guess.I love how transparently dishonest some people on the Left are. Take Rachel Maddow for instance. She’s doing an hour-long special on the murder of Dr. George Tiller (for anyone who might not know, he was an abortion doctor who was gunned dowm and murdered a year or two back by a right-wing extremist). Why, you ask? To highlight the insanity of the far right wing. Never mind that this is a very, very, very rare occurence. I think the doctor’s murder was despicable – much like I believe any murder to be – but there are far more pressing and important things we should be focusing our attention. Furthering the point, and illustrating Ms. Maddow’s hypocrisy, she loudly condemns a Sharron Angle political ad that seems to play on racial stereotypes (against Latinos) as a way of denouncing some of the negative impacts of illegal immigration run amok. But, seriously, what’s a bigger problem/threat facing this country right now? Illegal immigration run amok that has cost us billions in misallocated resources, as well as untold/unnecessary violent crime, or the slaying of abortion doctors? I can say this much. One’s a big-ass problem that affects nearly all of us each and every day and the other is an isolated event that takes place no more than once every five or ten years. Tragic, but still very rare. But we’ll never get a good explanation from the Left about that kind of hypocrisy.

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers wrote: “1) Please provide an example of an elected Democrat using the words “blame” and “unappreciative” in the same sentence when referring to voters.”Obama’s speech writers are not stupid enough to to be that honest. Go read the speeches he has been giving over the past week and give me your honest impression. Krauthammer eviscerated Obama on this very subject last week.shrinkers: “Please provide an example of an elected Democrat advocating “surrender.”They use the term “redeploy” and occasionally “withdraw” to mean surrender.shrinkers: “Please provide a quote from a stock trader on a day when Obama made a speech in early 2009, which indicated that he sold stock specifically because Obama had “talked down the economy.””I provided you with my extensive evidence or correlation and causation. If it is insufficient for you, so be it.

  33. shiloh says:

    They use the term “redeploy” and occasionally “withdraw” to mean surrender.Bartles, should we stay the course and are we makin’ progress!Just wonderin’Finally, Are you w/us or against us!And please, a simple yes or no will suffice ;)1st Amendment be damned, eh.And what about those ever changin’ bench marks lolThe only thing we have to fear … is a Muslim born in Kenya, African/American president, eh.Read my lips …take care

  34. shortchain says:

    Muley,It’s a common talking point to claim “billions of misallocated resources” — without a shred of evidence to support the claim.The actuality is far different, as an honestly interested person could easily discover.

  35. shrinkers says:

    @BartObama’s speech writers are not stupid enough to to be that honest. Go read the speeches he has been giving over the past week and give me your honest impression.Translation: I make crap up, and attach it to whatever I please. Words mean what I pretend they mean, no more and no less. Krauthammer eviscerated Obama on this very subject last week.Translation: I can’t think for myself, and I let right wing commentators tell me what to think.They use the term “redeploy” and occasionally “withdraw” to mean surrender.Translation: I make crap up, and attach it to whatever I please. Words mean what I pretend they mean, no more and no less.I provided you with my extensive evidence or correlation and causation. If it is insufficient for you, so be it.Translation: I make crap up, and attach it to whatever I please. I have no evidence whatever, as was pointed out when I advanced this insane theory previously.

  36. Michael Weiss says:

    Bart, the questions pending for you are at http://blog.538refugees.com/2010/10/11/health-insurance-isnt-really-insurance-at-all.aspx#CommentNote that I never called them “hard questions.”In particular, I’m very interested in your elaboration on HSA/HDI, and what exactly has been outlawed.Mule Rider, you seem to be implying that I am dishonest. Care to explain what I have done to warrant attacks on my integrity?

  37. shiloh says:

    Interesting when liberals protested against America, love it or leave it! Nixon, cheney/bush etc. it was considered un-American …but, but, but protesting against Obama, not only protected under the 1st Amendment, but one of many winger requirements to keep up their conservative street cred 😉 as it were.Again, the word hypocrisy doesn’t quite seem adequate, eh.

  38. Mule Rider says:

    Two things, shortchain.1) You link addresses a specific email chain that was using dubious sources. However, they still claim in the summary, “So, how much do illegal immigrants cost federal, state and local governments in the U.S.? Estimates vary widely, and no consensus exists. The Urban Institute put the net national cost at $1.9 billion in 1992; a Rice University professor, whose work the Urban Institute criticized, said it was $19.3 billion in 1993. More recently, a 2007 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office examined 29 reports on state and local costs published over 15 years in an attempt to answer this question. CBO concluded that most of the estimates determined that illegal immigrants impose a net cost to state and local governments but “that impact is most likely modest.” CBO said “no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost on a national level.””The Urban Institute (arguably a left-leaning think tank established by LJB in the late 1960s) provides a “lowball” estimate of nearly $2 billion, and that was way back in 1992. Seeing as how the number of illegals has rapidly increased in the last 18 years with little attempt to curtail their per person cost to society, I can’t imagine that number has gone down. Again, that is one of the lower estimates. So I have to ask, did you even read your own link? I stand by my “billions” comment. 2)There’s no disputing that illegal immigrants commit far more (violent) crimes than anti-abortion nuts. You still haven’t tried to square that with why Ms. Maddow feels the need to do a one hour special that is indignant about the murder of Dr. Tiller but she’s not willing to offer the same criticism towards the illegal immigrant community.

  39. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “They use the term “redeploy” and occasionally “withdraw” to mean surrender.”shiloh: “Bartles, should we stay the course and are we makin’ progress!”Stay the course works. I prefer this passage from the inaugural address of the last acceptable Dem to hold the presidency:”Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.This much we pledge—and more.To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.”Indeed.Today’s Dem Party can be summed up by Harry Reid: “This was is lost.”What happened to the once great Dem Party?

  40. Mule Rider says:

    “Mule Rider, you seem to be implying that I am dishonest. Care to explain what I have done to warrant attacks on my integrity?”You guys seem to be quick to accuse conservatives of “making shit up” and “avoiding hard questions” yet you guys are ducking, dodging, and weaving the ones I’m firing about Rachel Maddow and her glaring hypocrisy. Either condemn her or try and defend her by arguing why it makes sense to highlight the kind of murder that takes place once every 5 or 10 years (or more?) but willfully ignore the ongoing violent crime from illegal immigrants.

  41. shiloh says:

    To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. ~ Barack Hussein Obama, Nov. 4 2008>>>For your amusement and future reference, here’s what Bush has said about bin Laden at various points in time, depending on how he was trying to spin things:”The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” ~ G.W. Bush, 9/13/01″I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive,'” ~ G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI”…Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he’s maybe in control of a cave. He’s on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we’re going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that’s what’s happening. He’s on the run, if he’s running at all. So we don’t know whether he’s in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open — we just don’t know….” ~ Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool, The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on official White House site“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” ~ G.W. Bush, 3/13/02″I am truly not that concerned about him.” ~ G.W. Bush, responding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts,3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)~~~~~Your turn Bart as it never gets old quoting Bush41’s little boy, eh who was born w/a silver spoon er all hat, no cattle!take care

  42. Michael Weiss says:

    Mule, given the great care I have taken to avoid lumping all conservatives into a lump group, I’d appreciate you taking equal care not to lump me with others.I don’t spend much time on Rachel Maddow, so I’m hardly in a position to comment on things she has said. You’ll note that I also don’t comment on things that Bill O’Reilly says, for the same reasons.So, in other words, you’re calling my integrity into question because I am staying out of discussions involving topics that I don’t feel I am qualified to address? If that makes me dishonest in your eyes, then I’m guilty as charged.

  43. filistro says:

    @Muley… You still haven’t tried to square that with why Ms. Maddow feels the need to do a one hour special that is indignant about the murder of Dr. Tiller but she’s not willing to offer the same criticism towards the illegal immigrant community.Defense lawyer: You claim my client was seen by four eyewitnesses as he committed the mugging, and was apprehended ten minutes later with the victim’s ID in his pocket. But I submit you still haven’t tried to square that testimony with the fact that the Bagel Box on 5th and Main offers 2 for 1 blueberry bagels on alternate Fridays.”

  44. Mulr Rider says:

    Pure deflection, fili, and you know it. As someone above said, I expect better from you. Maddow is doing this special to try and smear conservatives as right-wing extremist nutcases, but she’s doing it by highlighting something that very rarely happens (the murder of an abortion doctor). There are far more dangerous and disturbing elements of society that she could use her journalistic prowess on, but it would mean taking off the kid gloves and exposing things that the Left in America has typically taken a weak/sympathetic stance on. As atrocious as the murder of an abortion doctor is, it’s absolutely ridiculous that it’s getting this kind of journalistic scrutiny. It’s obvious she has an agenda and isn’t trying to report on facts or what’s important in our everyday lives.

  45. Monotreme says:

    I was in a car on the 405, then in a plane, so I was unable to clean out the spam filter in a timely and expeditious manner.I found about six or seven items from a wide variety of posters across the political spectrum. Jillain Michaels supervised the process with that grim snarling look that passes for a smile.

  46. filistro says:

    Muley… abortion is a LEGAL PROCEDURE in the United States. Doctors who provide this legal procedure must hide their identity, conceal their addresses and wear bullet-proof vests at all times. They must live in fear for their spouses, and ensure that their children never go anywhere unaccompanied. Their personal details, addresses and schedules are routinely posted online as guides for people looking to kill them.If you think this situation is unworthy of scrutiny, then don’t watch it. But don’t attack a journalist who wants to examine it. There is no requirement for a serious journalist to deal with YOUR pet issue in order to be considered credible… any more than I would attack Peggy Noonan for not addressing the extreme danger that an abortion doctor lives with every day. The beauty of living in a free country is that any journalist can… and SHOULD… address any issue she damn well pleases.

  47. filistro says:

    Monotreme, we really should get to the bottom of this Jillian Michaels phobia you suffer from. You’re a marathon runner, so it can’t be couch-potato guilt…. hmmm…

  48. Mule Rider says:

    “Doctors who provide this legal procedure must hide their identity, conceal their addresses and wear bullet-proof vests at all times.”Do you have any proof whatsoever that this is common practice among abortion providers?”They must live in fear for their spouses, and ensure that their children never go anywhere unaccompanied. Their personal details, addresses and schedules are routinely posted online as guides for people looking to kill them.”The same is true of innocent Americans all over the country who wind up being robbed, beaten, raped, gunned down, etc. by illegal immigrants. And these are things that ACTUALLY HAPPEN on a DAILY BASIS, not once per decade.

  49. Realist says:

    @Mule Rider,I see where the disconnect is. While it’s true that innocent Americans are victims every day of violent crimes, some of which are even committed by illegal immigrants, these innocents are a relatively small percentage of people from a very large pool.On the other hand, while it’s true that attacks on abortion providers are infrequent, the number of abortion providers is also minuscule compared to the national population. And, unlike the “innocent Americans” category, these people are targeted very specifically. As a result, their risk of becoming a victim is markedly greater than the population as a whole. This has to be true, because they are also members of the “innocent American” pool, so they carry both the “innocent American” risk and the abortion provider risk, which even you must admit is a larger risk than simply being a member of the “innocent American” pool.

  50. filistro says:

    @Muley. Do you have any proof whatsoever that this is common practice among abortion providers?Oh, good grief. It sound like you need to watch Rachel’s special and educate yourself.What it’s like to be a provider of a legal medical procedure in America. From the link: VIOLENCE IN THE BATTLE OVER ABORTIONDr. Damon Stutes has built himself a fortress of a clinic in Reno, largelybecause of the stepped-up war being conducted against abortion doctors andtheir clinics. These are the most serious of the incidents that havehappened over the past two years: — March 10, 1993 — Dr. David Gunn wasshot to death outside a Pensacola, Fla., clinic, the first American doctorkilled during an anti-abortion demonstration. Michael Griffin was convictedand sentenced to life in prison. — Aug. 19, 1993 — Dr. George Tiller wasshot in both arms as he drove out of the parking lot at his Wichita, Kan.,clinic. Rachelle (Shelley) Shannon was convicted and sentenced to 11 yearsin prison. — July 29, 1994 — Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort,James Barrett, were slain outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic. PaulHill, 40, a former minister and an abortion foe, was convicted of statemurder charges and sentenced to death. In a separate federal trial, Hillwas sentenced to life without parole for violating the new federalclinic-protection law. — Nov. 8, 1994 — Dr. Garson Romalis, who performsabortions in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, was shot in the leg while eatingbreakfast at home. No arrests have been made. — Dec. 30, 1994 — A gunmankilled two staff workers and five other people at two abortion clinics inthe Boston suburb of Brookline. A 22-year-old hairdresser named John Salviwas later arrested and charged with murder.Source: Associated Press Note… this article is from 15 years ago. Dr. Tiller, mentioned in the summary as having been shot in both arms, has since been murdered. I don’t know whether Dr Stutes is still alive…. but I know the situation for all abortion providers nowadays is much more grim than the description here. Even though abortion is not just a LEGAL PROCEDURE, but one that virtually every woman has to give at least some passing thought to at some point in her life.

  51. Alki says:

    @ Bart……..Have you ever considered exactly why the Dems run away from their own policies and pretend to be born again gun totting fiscal hawks every election cycle?*************************************Apparently, you have forgotten in 2008 how most Rs ran away from Bush as fast as their chubby little legs would carry them. I am afraid you’ve become more troll than able adversary. Sorry to see it happens but its pretty typical of most Rs….they drop the facts for fantasy.

  52. Mr. Universe says:

    Mule, Referring to Dr. Tiller’s assassination:There are far more dangerous and disturbing elements of society that she could use her journalistic prowess on, but I disagree. Nothing frightens me more than extremeists who think God is on their side. I think there’s a word for that. Oh yes. Terrorism.Apologies for anybody being moderated by the software. I have no explanation for what happened to Todd’s comments. I promise as soon as I get half a second, we’ll move the blogger site since we’ve elected not to join forces with the dagblog folks (though I highly reccommend you visit them. They’re good people). If for anything, we’ll move to save Monotreme from Jillian Michaels.Managing a blog is like having a nest of hungry birdies. You always have to go get more worms.

  53. Mule Rider says:

    @Realist,Thanks for your thoughtful comment/reply, and I did take that into consideration. However, my concern is that Maddow (and others) use such things for sinister and political purposes – smear conservatives as extremists that are bloodthirsty enoguh to kill – rather than simply shed light on an isolated tragedy. If I were more optimistic about her motives in believing they were sincere, heartfelt, honestly curious, etc., you wouldn’t hear me squawking so much about it. Knowing (or having a strong feeling) she’s just doing this to label her political enemies as extremists, I’m going to do whatever I can to call out her hypocrisy.

  54. Todd Dugdale says:

    How often do Presidents get assassinated? Yet we have a whole wasteful Secret Service devoted to preventing something that hardly ever happens. Wouldn’t their time be better spent going after illegal immigrants?Pot, kettle, MR. Have you missed the current frenzy from the Right about the “epidemic” of voter fraud? Why is the Right so obsessed with something that is virtually non-existent? Either condemn this or try to defend how a defunct ACORN is orchestrating voter fraud among people who you have repeatedly claimed are lazy and stupid. It’s amazing how people who the Right claims are too lazy to work and too stoned to think are suddenly, come Election Day, devious masterminds willing to expend enormous energy on clever schemes that the DOJ seems incapable of penetrating. Either that, or it’s just BS and not amazing at all.Also, I wish the Right would make up its mind if Maddow is an incredibly influential threat or an ignominious hack who is universally ignored. Much like Obama, who is simultaneously incompetent and out-of-touch, yet also extremely wily and constantly engaged in high-level schemes that uneducated RW bloggers seem to be able to unravel with great ease. Get your story straight, eh?

  55. Todd Dugdale says:

    -second attempt-How often do Presidents get assassinated? Yet we have a whole wasteful Secret Service devoted to preventing something that hardly ever happens. Wouldn’t their time be better spent going after illegal immigrants?Pot, kettle, MR. Have you missed the current frenzy from the Right about the “epidemic” of voter fraud? Why is the Right so obsessed with something that is virtually non-existent? Either condemn this or try to defend how a defunct ACORN is orchestrating voter fraud among people who you have repeatedly claimed are lazy and stupid. It’s amazing how people who the Right claims are too lazy to work and too stoned to think are suddenly, come Election Day, devious masterminds willing to expend enormous energy on clever schemes that the DOJ seems incapable of penetrating. Either that, or it’s just BS and not amazing at all.Also, I wish the Right would make up its mind if Maddow is an incredibly influential threat or an ignominious hack who is universally ignored. Much like Obama, who is simultaneously incompetent and out-of-touch, yet also extremely wily and constantly engaged in high-level schemes that uneducated RW bloggers seem to be able to unravel with great ease. Get your story straight, eh?

  56. Todd Dugdale says:

    Mr Universe wrote:”We need leadership. We need it now.” Unfortunately, we have leadership. It’s called the DLC. The DLC says Democrats can win by being “Republican-Lite” and by endless compromises with an opposition not acting in good faith. They see an electorate that closely mirrors Beltway punditry. They hand over millions to Sen. Nelson so that he can run ads opposing HCR and attacking the President. Then they call up Democrats and say they need more money to fight the Republican agenda.Has anyone heard of Tim Kaine doing anything this election cycle? OFA is doing everything.

  57. Number Seven says:

    Because the Democants are almost as corporate owned as the Public Cons?Because the Democratic Base gets disgusted, discouraged, and depressed with Public Con lite actions from the supposedly progressive people they vote for?What we saw in the last two years were watered down actions in a corporate owned Senate.There were some great bills created in the House but they all got watered down in the name of bipartisanship and then still got filibusted. Even bills sponsored by the Public Cons were filibusted if Obama supported them.You are dead wrong, Bart. We are a center left country that values progress and change. Sadly, we got little of either with a bunch of bullies and wimps.Will there be a tsunami? No, but the House will become a house of supeonas and accusations. The people will suffer a double dip and ping pong back to the Democants in the hope someone, anyone, will take the progressive mantle and lead us out of this mess.I haven’t read the rest of this thread and this is just a guess.BTW: Jane Hamsher says Hi 🙂

  58. Realist says:

    @MR,Choice of story is mighty benign, compared to many other things done by people in newsmedia.From where I sit, it’s a case of killing two birds with one stone. I have no doubt that she’s sincere, heartfelt, and honestly curious about it. I also have no doubt that she chooses her stories with the goal of maintaining a pro-left, anti-right persona.That doesn’t make her a hypocrite, however. What would make her a hypocrite would be running this story, and then running one glorifying the terrorism of groups like Greenpeace.

  59. Number Seven says:

    Ooops, I thought if I directly replyed to one of Bart’s bartings, it would be quoted.In case anyone wondered, I was replying to Barts first post.

  60. shiloh says:

    Re: Maddow and Dr. TillerThe religious right was mostly silent when Tiller was assassinated. Indeed, their silence was deafening!, which is one of many points Maddow is makin’ about the evangelical all life is sacred christians.The conservative right’s disingenuous/unchristian attempt to apologize/rationalize Dr. Tiller’s cold blooded murderer notwithstanding …carry on

  61. filistro says:

    I’m grateful to Muley for bringing this topic up because in quickly researching it today I ran across this article which is really one of the best things I’ve ever read about what’s presently happening on the American right. It’s one of those you want to print out and keep, because every word, every sentence, every paragraph resonates and rings with truth. Plus it’s a heartfelt warning for our times that needs to be heard.

  62. shrinkers says:

    Thank you for that link, Filistro.Let me stress a point that Mr U and Realist and you all made in response to Mule Rider. The crime committed by some illegal immigrants is “normal” crime, the stuff your next door neighbor might do, for the same reason your neighbor might do it. There’s a bar fight, or a jealous spouse, or someone loses a job and needs money, stuff like that. Everyday crimes done for everyday purposes.People who target abortion providers, on the other hand, are intentionally committing terrorist acts for terrorist purposes. They are killing, and attempting to kill, and threatening to kill, for political and religious reasons, for the purpose of attempting to bring about a change in the society. They want to force us to alter our laws, to lose our freedoms, out of fear of their violent acts.There is no difference between an anti-choice terrorist and the 9/11 hijackers. But strive to commit murder out of a misguided need to terrify political opponents. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Maybe one in a million of them — or at most, one in a few hundred thousand — is a terrorist. Yet many on the far right are telling us we should fear the Muslims so much that they shouldn’t be allowed to build a place of worship where they choose to. One hundred percent of the people who target abortion providers are terrorists. I don’t know what that works out to in terms of a percentage of Christians, but Mule Rider is telling us to treat common criminals (a small percent of illegal immigrants) as if they were anti-choice terrorists.I do agree in one sense. Terrorists should certainly be given no more consideration than we give to common criminals. They should be captured, incarcerated, and put on trial as the criminals they are.But any political movement that tells us to fear Muslims, and that does not also just as vehemently condemn the anti-choice terrorists, is hypocritical at best.

  63. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro:Please tell me that you do not subscribe to that hate filled rant to which you linked. It is real fever swamp stuff.

  64. filistro says:

    Bart… I agree with every single word that Frank Schaeffer wrote in taht article.And when I got to the final paragraph:”Any Republicans who love their party should be leading the charge against the haters and fear mongers, not going along with them. When the worst happens — or is attempted, and it will be — all that will be remembered about today’s’ Republican leadership is that they were too cowardly to speak out, change course and remember that being a conservative doesn’t have to mean you are a violence-stoking liar or a complicit coward.” …I shouted “HELL YEAH!”

  65. shrinkers says:

    Absolutely Filistro. That essay needs to be reprinted often.

    The 20-year-plus agitation in and around Dr. Tiller’s Wichita clinic (egged on by evangelicals, Fox News and other commentators) eventually turned into a little pro-life industry with four groups raising funds and opening headquarters in that city attracted to Dr. Tiller’s clinic the way cheap motels spring up around Disneyland and feed off the crumbs. So today a whole far right industry, led by Fox News, Limbaugh, the evangelicals, right wing Roman Catholics, Palin, the former vice president and his daughter — etc. — is growing up and into a permanent, negative and profitable hate-Obama industry. It is catering to the deluded, the paranoid, the fearful and – let’s be frank – none too bright rube underbelly of white America.

    There is nothing about Schaeffer’s essay that isn’t brilliant and insightful and commendable, and stunningly written as well.That anyone would find it a “hate filled rant” is rather telling.

  66. Todd Dugdale says:

    The Right is using multiple definitions of “Christian” in all discussion. -We are a “Christian” nation – meaning nominally Christian. Even if we don’t attend church or believe in the crazy stuff the evangelicals preach, we are “Christians”. First definition.-“Christians” are being persecuted by Obama. In this case, “Christian” means evangelical Christian. It hardly needs to be said that “persecution” means not getting their way, or failing to ram evangelical Christianity down the throats of nominal Christians. Second definition.- McVeigh/Shannon/Roeder aren’t Christians. Here we see an extremely selective definition applied, and one in which the self-identification of the individual in question is completely irrelevant. You can spend your life being considered a “Christian” by the same right-winger who dismisses you as a “non-Christian” the next day because you went too far in “standing up for Jesus”. You can, however, cheer on murder (or pray for people to die violent deaths) and remain a “Christian”, as long as you do act on those impulses. Third definition.The reason that the Right is able to hold so many contradictory beliefs at once is because they re-define their way out of any inconsistency. And every time they re-define something, they vehemently claim that the word as always meant that, and that ‘everyone knows’ this.So, Roeder wasn’t a “Christian”. He was just a non-Christian who accepted Jesus as his Saviour, prayed to Him, attended church, and served as an usher in that church. And that is supposed to make sense. Or maybe he was a Christian right up to the moment that he gunned down a fellow Christian (?) in church. Or maybe neither of them were Christians, and just liked to hang out in churches and pray to a God they didn’t believe in out of boredom, or because they lost a bet. Yeah, that’s plausible.It’s a good thing that the Right has the moral high ground, or people might start to think that they resembled the hypocrites, Pharisees, and Sadducees that the guy they pray to denounced.

  67. filistro says:

    @shrinkers: There is nothing about Schaeffer’s essay that isn’t brilliant and insightful and commendable, and stunningly written as well. That anyone would find it a “hate filled rant” is rather telling.I agree absolutely. In fact, I’ll go further and challenge Bart to copy and paste two consecutive sentences from anywhere in the entire essay that he feels to be demonstrably, provably untrue. This should be an easy task if it’s a “hate-filled rant” from the “fever swamp”… right?I wonder how long this will take. After all, we’re still waiting for Bart to step up to some of those challenges from a year ago.

  68. shiloh says:

    @BartlesPlease tell me that you do not subscribe to that hate filled rant to which you linked. It is real fever swamp stuff.~~~~~One of your more pathetic deflections, especially since Dr. Tiller was murdered in cold blood and many on the right were not bothered in any way, shape or form by the heinous act which happened in a (((frickin’ church!!!)))Praise the Lord!>but, but, but since Bartles has spent his 2+ years at 538 apologizing for cheney/bush’s economy, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, corruption/lies/incompetence and other conservative frauds/charlatans ~ not surprising, eh.Father forgive them for they know not what they do …take care, blessings

  69. shrinkers says:

    The man who wants to publish a book (presumably with the hope of making a profit) claiming a speech by Obama tanked the stock market, this man feels that an essay pointing out the growth of a “permanent, negative and profitable hate-Obama industry” is a “hate-filled rant.”This is also the guy who claims that our President is a “socialist” and a “surrender monkey.”It’s hard to tell if such rhetoric comes from a member of the afore-mentioned industry, or from one of the “deluded, the paranoid, the fearful and – let’s be frank – none too bright rube underbelly” of America to whom Schaeffer refers. But surely, from one or the other.

  70. filistro says:

    shrinkers… do you get the feeling my little challenge is being ignored? Surely not!Hey Bart… if you now acknowledge that Schaeffer has uttered no actual falsehoods, I’m prepared to reword the challenge and make it even easier for you to expose this “fever-swamp, hate-filled rant.” Waiting, Bart… (tapping fingers and toes)… waiting… waiting…

  71. shrinkers says:

    Wait, would Bart ignore an actual direct question? Surely not, since he always speaks only truth, and has unquestionable convincing sources for all his statements. He is logical and rational as well. Never any touch of delusional hyperbole in his writings. Honest, trustworthy, the central eye of the no-spin zone.

  72. shiloh says:

    and pretty sure Bart’s mom likes him as well …

  73. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “filistro, Please tell me that you do not subscribe to that hate filled rant to which you linked. It is real fever swamp stuff.”filistro wrote: “Bart… I agree with every single word that Frank Schaeffer wrote in taht article.”That is truly disappointing. I thought more of you than that. Please never again presume to lecture me on name calling.

  74. filistro says:

    Bart, you are a liar, a cheat and a coward. And I’m not disappointed in you… in fact I’m not even surprised. I EXPECTED you to respond this way. And once again you live down to my expectations. I miss Jeff. He’s the only winger around here who’s not a weasel.

  75. filistro says:

    Okay, I apologize for “liar.” “Cheat” and “coward” still apply.I am very angry at the moment. It is galling to be scolded (…That is truly disappointing. I thought more of you than that. Please never again presume to lecture me on name calling. …) by somebody who lacks the decency to even respond to a simple and courteous challenge of his own inflammatory statements.

  76. shiloh says:

    @BartThat is truly disappointing. I thought more of you than that. Please never again presume to lecture me on name calling.~~~~~Doesn’t one ever get tired of disingenuous deflection …My keen grasp of the obvious theory is even if teabaggers do well on Nov. 2, “we” have already taken all the fun out of it for 538 winger trolls.And of course Obama will still be president regardless causing Bartles intense daily indigestion! :)but like most theories, as yet, totally unproven.>again, having suffered thru 5.5 😉 years of Nixon, (8) years of Reagan and (8) years of cheney/bush incompetence/corruption, if the Reps take control of the House ~ ain’t nothin’ but a thing …take care, blessings

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