In which we loaf.

It’s a Slept Late and Still Can’t Wake Up All-Bloggage Post today, pals. Sorry. My body doesn’t take well to cross-country travel. So let’s away:

One of my Facebook friends posted the thing that was going around yesterday — Barack Obama “abolished” the National Day of Prayer but let a Muslim group pray on the Capitol grounds, copy and paste this as your status if you are offended!!!!! — and while it was tempting to just ignore the guy, I thought I’d take the opportunity to try to edify him instead, which led me to Snopes’ dedicated Barack Obama page. Appropriate reading for Tax Day, I’d say. Jesus Christ, but there are a lot of racists in the world. Which is sort of a duh statement, I know, but some of these surprised even me. And I’ve covered a Klan rally. (P.S. He did not abolish the National Day of Prayer. But you knew that.)

This ran last week when we were gone, but Lance Mannion’s complaint about Kelsey Grammer’s silliness has a certain timeless quality. And then there’s the lede:

The only reason for letting Kelsey Grammer blather on about his politics in this interview in New York Magazine is the irony of a Conservative Republican playing a cheerfully out and happily married gay man in a musical comedy that gets a lot of its laughs from making fun of the French version of a Conservative Republican’s discomfort at discovering his daughter’s future mother-in-law is a female impersonator who goes by the stage name of Zaza.

A good run-on sentence is hard to do. Like French farce.

Thanks to mild-mannered Jeff for finding this, the Most Ridiculous Detention Slips of All Time. My favorites are No. 4 and No. 8. Especially No. 8. Pam, Joey, seriously: No. 8. (Although I suspect a fraud. But it’s a believable fraud.)

The SEC just charged Goldman with fraud. Great. This will no doubt crush the market like a bug. Oh well, I wasn’t going to retire, like, ever.

Another oldie, but not moldy, and thanks, Linda, for passing it along, because I would have missed it: The WashPost pursues one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time: What happened to the P-Funk mothership? Not in an abstract sense, but the actual stage prop. Somehow fitting that its last stage appearance was in Detroit. Represent.

Gawker covers the Michigan Militia field day. Yes, way. This is the most succinct summing-up of why-us I’ve yet read:

But militias have long been a part of Michigan’s culture. The state is home to 47 of the approximately 500 militias in America, according to the FBI. Michigan is the Long Island iced tea of militia cocktails—blend New Hampshire’s libertarianism with Massachusetts’ cynicism, and add equal parts gun culture, expansive forests and, at 17 percent, the highest unemployment rate in America.

This is the only story you need to read in the Wall Street Journal today: Say hi to the most envied rich-guy yacht in the world. Russian, natch.

And now I’m off to do…something. Drink more coffee, I think.

EDIT: Almost forgot this last, and I don’t want to do that. In Victorian literature, a dog cart is a light buggy for when you don’t want to hook the team up to the big carriage. In Detroit, a dog cart is Jim Griffioen’s ingenious repurposing of his jogging stroller, pulled by his German shorthair, Wendell. Cutest. Pix. EVAR.

Posted at 11:35 am in Current events |

31 responses to “In which we loaf.”

  1. Colleen said on April 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

    One of my FB friends posted the same about national day of prayer, and I broke with my “ignore it” policy and posted the snopes link. All that produced is more people clicking “like” on her status. I just think that no matter what, there are some people who would find a way to criticize Obama if he were shown on video rescuing puppies and orphans from a burning building….they’d probably blame him for the fire…..

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  2. moe99 said on April 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Actually, as a former SEC Enforcement attorney, I was greatly cheered this am by the news that Goldman finally got hit with a can of whupass. It’s not much in light of their utter venality, but it’s a start.

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  3. nancy said on April 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Actually, Moe, so am I. I’m just thinking this is going to be like one of those when-elephants-fight-the-grass-suffers sorts of things. But I’m willing to get stepped on a time or two in pursuit of a nobler goal.

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  4. Jen said on April 16, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I, also, corrected a Facebook friend when she posted the “National Day of Prayer” thing. I usually just ignore it and roll my eyes, but I really hate misinformation. I don’t care if people dislike Obama, or anybody else, but if they’re going to dislike somebody, they need to dislike them for reasons that are based in truth – politics, policy, etc. – rather than based on bullshit rumors that they haven’t even factchecked.

    I loved the detention slips! I didn’t get in trouble very often, but I remember getting in trouble for reading and writing stories in class. I was never much for paying attention in class, but apparently I turned out OK.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on April 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    A few thousand of the teabaggers demonstrated in Chicago and its suburbs yesterday and garnered far more coverage on TV, radio and in print than such a piddling gathering deserves. Eric Zorn attended and tried to keep an open mind, but pretty much all anyone would tell him was that they were for small government, against socialism and deficit spending, etc. No specifics of what they would like to cut. . .just a lot of sloganeering.

    I read an article online within the past two days that excoriated the news media for its collective loss of historical perspective. The writer noted that these angry right-wing groups are nothing new and emerge whenever a titular liberal (I honestly am not sure Barack Obama can be called a classic liberal as I understand the term and I know Bill Clinton was not) is elected president. It’s as dependable as crabgrass.

    I’ll say this for the teabagging set: They are becoming the soft-landing spot for washed up celebrities. I’d not heard a word about the squeaky-voiced Victoria Jackson for years, but now see she is a prominent speaker for the teabaggers. She even sang a little ditty yesterday called “There’s a Communist in the White House.” I doubt she can spell communist, much less describe the political philosophy, but there you have it. Perhaps next time she’ll sing a duet with Stephen Baldwin.

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  6. coozledad said on April 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    JeffBorden: My wife was trying to figure out the extent of cocaine consumption on the set during Victoria Jackson and Dennis Miller’s tenure at SNL. They’ve both got crack baby personality issues.
    And Lance is spot on about Kelsey Grammer. Everything Kelsey holds dear he owes to liberals who fought to keep his section of the country out of the hands of the cud chewers and god-botherers who rule mine. I’d like to see him walk into the barbershop where my father used to take me circa 1965 and get a load of the public discourse the Republicans are busting ass to schlep us back to. They may not have mobbed him and knifed him for being effeminate, but they’d have put him down as though he wasn’t there, the yankee son of a bitch.
    The feudalist paradise the Republicans describe as “real America” is a third world dive. The best description of it comes from John Lennon: “a place where people had stuff on their teeth and the women looked like 1940’s horses”.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on April 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Right on, Lance and Cooz.

    I does rather frost me that the loudest of the right-wing screechers live in big, noisy, liberal cities with all their great restaurants, theaters, museums, arts scene, music, etc.

    Personally, I disagree with Mr. Mannion. I do think Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, the dunces from Fox and Friends, Ann Coulter, Charles Krauthammer, plus all the other lesser lights in right-wing media land SHOULD be required to live in, say, Fulton, Miss., or Fort Smith, Ark., or Joplin, Mo.

    Why do they get to enjoy the quality of life in a liberal city like NYC, Washington, San Francisco and LA when all they do is trash liberal policies? If they want to talk the talk, shouldn’t they walk the walk? I mean, I’d pay to see Rush Limbaugh looking for a nice country club in Fort Smith where he could haul his enormous ass around while hitting a small white ball. . .though knowing what a racist cracker El Rushbo is at heart, maybe he hits black golf balls? Certainly, a municipal course would be out of the question because it is supported by the government. Let’s see Glenn Beck enjoy life in lovely Fulton, where he’d better like lots of fried food and church dinners and cruising around in a black SUV with two bodyguards would be considered “putting on airs.”

    Instead, they’re all mega-hypocrites. Rush lives in a 26-room Palm Beach mansion and has access to some of the toniest golf courses in America. Glenn is living in an enormous mansion in Connecticut, with access to all the pleasures of America’s largest city within easy reach. The bag of pus Michael Savage enjoys life in Marin County, Calif., while he trashes the kinds of people who live in Marin County.

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  8. beb said on April 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Moe, Nancy, I’m with you that this Goldman Sachs lawsuit is a good thing. I only wish it were a criminal suit instead of a civil one but maybe things reveals in this suit will lead to bigger things.

    What were Victoria Jackson and Dennis Miller smoking back in those SNL days? It’s certainly screwed them up.

    My daughter, whose in high school, asked me to explain the Tea party and then got upset because I said these were basically insane people. As if I was going overboard in describing these people. Surely they have a point of view, she insists, a theory of life that explains their behavior.

    How do you explain to someone so young that sometimes the world is filled with the psychotically insane?

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  9. judybusy said on April 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Great post, today. Fave detention slip was the teacher insisting a km was longer than a mile, later acknowledging he was wrong, but requesting the parents tell the kid to believe his teaching in the future!

    In other news from Detriot, about a school being shut down:

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  10. Dave said on April 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I didn’t get detention but I had to go sit in the hall in the fourth grade for reading a book far more interesting than whatever was being read in class. I also remember when we would take turns reading stories aloud, how I’d read ahead and then, when it came my turn, struggle to find where the proper place was. Like all schools and all classes, we had a few that really struggled and it was hard to read that slow.

    Oh, and a day late and wrong topic, but my son and his wife actually went to the immigration rally in D. C. a week ago, with his in-laws, so we knew about it. His father-in-law is a immigrant from Nicaraugua and his mother-in-law is the daughter of two immigrants from Argentina. Quite interesting background stories.

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  11. brian stouder said on April 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Speaking of Goldman Sachs, amongst several other amusing stories he shared a week ago, Christopher Buckley related that a cousin of his works for a firm that works for Goldman. In the late summer of 2008, there was a major weekend retreat for Goldman Sachs executives, and Buckley’s cousin was invited to attend. During a Q&A discussion with the CEO of Goldman & Sachs, when someone asked the CEO what HE was invested in, given the troubling signs of the then-approaching crash – his answer was “Cash and ammunition”!

    The punchline of the story was that the cousin called Buckley with this story AFTER the crash, with the rhetorical question – why on God’s green earth did I not, on the Monday morning after that meeting, call my broker and tell him to SELL!! SELL IT ALL!! I DON’T CARE WHAT LEVEL ANYTHING IS AT, FOR GOD’S SAKE MAN – GET ME OUT OF THE MARKET!!”

    Alas – instead the cousin laughed at the CEO’s “joke”, and then suffered the crash right along with the rest of us. As the legal proceedings unfold, the truth or exaggeration of this anecdote may well come to light!

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  12. Lex said on April 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Bloggage blog post, random-items comment:

    — I never got detention for reading during class, but I got called out for it all the time. Sometimes teachers would ask me questions about what they’d been saying, and I’d pull my nose out of whatever book about WWII it was that I was reading at the time and answer correctly, and BOY, would they get pissed. My daughter, now 11, is in the same boat, bless her heart. (My son has never disrupted class by disclosing a secret identity, to my knowledge, but he did recently announce that he would sweep the kitchen “because I am pure of heart.” He’s 9.)

    — I’m gonna hit the Eternal Snooze button here by asking to be awakened when criminal trials of individual Goldman Sachs executives begin.

    — Blogwhoring: As a religion writer, I took on the National Day of Prayer on 4/27/96 and got surprisingly little heat for it, what with this being the Bible Belt and all. Unlike most of the stuff I’ve written over the years, I think this piece has held up well:

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  13. MichaelG said on April 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    LAMary, where is Oinkster? Sounds great and if it’s not too far away, I’ll stop there for lunch one of these days soon.

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  14. crinoidgirl said on April 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    For those of us who are gay, this is a big deal:

    New Rules Give Gays Hospital Visit Rights

    Since probably very few of us in the nn.c community have access to the WSJ, I’ll excerpt a few paragraphs here:

    WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama ordered new rules Thursday that will give gays and lesbians the right to visit their partners in the hospital and make decisions about their care, a marriage benefit sometimes denied to same-sex couples.

    The president ordered his health secretary to issue regulations that govern hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs for the elderly, disabled and poor. Nearly all hospitals participate in these programs.

    “Gay and lesbian Americans … are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives—unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated,” Mr. Obama said in his order.

    He cited actions taken by a handful of states that require hospitals to allow patients to designate people outside of their immediate families for visitation privileges, and he said the order would build on those efforts.

    Under the order, hospitals will be required to respect advanced directives and other legal documents like powers of attorney that aim to allow people outside the immediate family to have visitation privileges. Those privileges may not be denied on the basis of sexual orientation, among other factors, the order said. It applies not only to same-sex partners but to others, such as widowers who want a friend by their sides in the hospital.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on April 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    That’s great news, crinoidgirl. I’ve been pretty disappointed in the way President Obama has dealt with gay issues since he was elected, but this is a step in the right direction. I sincerely hope it presages serious efforts to drop the whole “don’t ask, don’t tell” fiasco in the military.

    I know the last administration left a flaming bag of dogshit on the White House porch and the O-man has a lot on his plate, but gays and their allies were big supporters. He owes them this. . .and more.

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  16. LAMary said on April 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    The Oinkster
    2005 Colorado Boulevard
    Eagle Rock, CA 90041
    (323) 255-6465

    From Burbank airport go south to the 134 east, then off at the Figueroa/Colorado exit. West on Colorado, it’s on the right hand side of the street.

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  17. Deborah said on April 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Off topic, that scene for the pilot for a TV series “Ride Along”, is going to be filmed in my office this weekend. The name of the fake contracting company my office is supposed to be is called “Ferguson Construction”. We have a big graphic up on one of our walls now with a logo on it. They say that Jennifer Beals is going to be here on Sunday. They’re to set up on Saturday and they’ll film from 4 am to 4 pm on Sunday, after that they will be deconstructing everything back to normal. I had to clean off my desk, that’s a good thing, it forced me to do a much needed purge today. No work at the office this weekend. Some of the people from the office are taking turns being on site to make sure nothing is destroyed and everything gets put back in order. Not me, I plan on having a relaxing weekend at home.

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  18. Jenine said on April 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    The dogcart is a wonderful contraption. I love how excited Jim got when he found an old leather golf bag to dissect to make the harness. That dog looks delighted and as the story said, “What lucky kids!”

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  19. brian stouder said on April 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I shall now make a comment that is essentially irrational – but it is what I feel, and since feelings are consequential – therefore feelings are important.

    Some years ago, our company’s 401k program went online, and one could look at it and/or fool with it and/or maintain it with great ease. From time to time I’d look in at it, and see how we were doing, and look for any new or interesting funds to invest in.

    Sometime in the Sping of 2008, I re-balanced the account allocations with the general contribution scheme (i.e. “Growth and Income” accounts, “Growth” accounts, “Aggressive Growth” accounts, etc), while dialing back on the “aggressive” (ie – risky) stuff, a little.

    Then the Crash came. I will state plainly that I haven’t looked at it for about 2 years; honestly – I just simply did not want to see.

    In today’s mail, I once again received a printed summary….and this time I opened it up and looked.

    Leaving aside all the pie charts and graphs and so on, I found a line on there that summarized our 3 month return, our 1-year return, our 3 year return, and our 5-year return; sort of like the box score.

    3 month: 4.64%

    1 year: 48.77% (!!!!!!)

    3 year: -2.11%

    5 year: 3.78%

    And my essentially irrational comment, which I said out loud when I saw that one year return?

    “God Bless President Obama!”

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  20. Kirk said on April 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Of course, a 401(k) or a stock or a mutual fund doesn’t have to gain as much to show a high-percentage increase after it has sunk to the pits. But it definitely is nice to see numbers like that on the report (and beats hell out of some of the alternatives).

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  21. brian stouder said on April 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    re facebook politics: I don’t do a whole lot of answering back, but I have engaged a time or two over at Mitch Harper’s. The Mark Souder Amen Corner is in full-throated song right now; Souder is in a somewhat tough primary battle against a guy who used to own a major Ford dealership here in Fort Wayne – Bob Thomas.

    Souder’s typically vituperative ads are now on pretty much around the clock, with frequent references to “Big Bucks Bob” from Indianapolis, who rented a house up here to buy a seat in Congress. (one wonders what percentage of Souder’s adult life has been in this area, as opposed to “Warshington”, given his days as a staffer before he won his seat)

    Over the past day or two, Souder’s ads have begun referring to his opponent as “Obama-Bob” – signifying the end of dog-whistles and the beginning of lots of raw red meat, just in time for National Nutball Day (4/19).

    I’ve never been one to “game” the primaries – declaring for the other party just to foul their primary, but it is sorely tempting to ask for the R in May, just to vote against Sour Souder (or Mealy-Mouthed Mark).

    PS – one funny thing is that Mitch (et al) are avid to hit Thomas for saying that he is for treating veterans in regular hospitals and not necessarily for seperate, VA hospitals…..but they seem to be on the horns of a dilemma, since that means Souder is all for SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!! They must think that the very best care in existence – and which are veterans deserve – is GUHVMINT OWNED, GUHVMINT OPERATED, and GUHVMINT STAFFED.

    But if THAT’s true, then it’s Barack Souder (or Mark Obama) for congress, right?

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Good teacher memory to cancel out Note #8 ref’n above:

    7th grade Language Arts, teacher suddenly appears at my elbow, reaches down, grasps the book I had inside the book the entire class was “reading” at the time, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” My insert was E.E. “Doc” Smith’s “Skylark Three.”

    She thumbed through it, looked down at me, asked two questions about Richard Bach’s magnum avis, and upon my answering correctly each (I really had read the silly thing, my mom even had the Neil Diamond soundtrack album for it), she handed me back “Skylark Three” and simply said “Make sure to hunt up ‘Skylark of Valeron’ & “Skylark Duquesne,’ but I think you might like to read some Arthur C. Clarke; the library has a few.” And on she went to help some other student grapple with the concept of “allegory.” My off-label reading continued unmolested through the rest of the school year.

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  23. Dexter said on April 17, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Treme had a scene in which John Goodman’s character refuses a lemon ice out of loyalty to another establishment’s lemon ice, and since Kim Dickens’s character, who owned the restaurant, had run out of every other dessert, she offered Goodman a “Hubig’s”.
    When I heard that I smiled, even though it’s been years since I was down that way and had a Hubig’s fried pie. That’s what we called them…but in the show they called them Hubig’s.
    Anyway, lo and behold!
    We can order them online! I have to try the sweet potato if I follow up on this, but you never know what’s available and what’s not.

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  24. John G. Wallace said on April 17, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I prefer this detention slip because it demonstrates a knowledge of pop culture along with comedic timing and lack of fear:

    That’s what she said!

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  25. MichaelG said on April 17, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Yeah, Crinoidgirl, that was great news. I’ve had friends for whom this has been an issue and I’m very pleased there is progress on this front.

    I feel so stupid, LAMary. As soon as I posted that request about Oinkers I slapped myself on the forehead and looked the place up on the net and of course it is all there, maps, photos, directions, the whole thing. Thanks for the directions. You must have been thinking “What a dolt!” while posting them.

    It may be later this summer before I can get there. I’ll have a pretty good sized job at the Glendale DMV on Glenoaks Blvd. going then.

    Oh, and Mary, check out my friend’s Whitman Sampler:

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  26. brian stouder said on April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    MichaelG – that was a funny link! I’m not very “up” on Meg Whitman, but those guys clearly don’t like her. All I think I know is, she’s a billionaire, and she also raises funds like a champ (which I suppose means she intends to remain a billionaire!)

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  27. MichaelG said on April 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Unfortunately, Whitman is not funny. Her platform and campaign promises are pure fantasy. She is pandering to the worst of the tea baggers’ flights of fancy, her commercials are vicious, full of lies and airing all the time. She stays mostly out of sight, refusing to appear in any but the most orchestrated and restricted of rallies.

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  28. deb said on April 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    jeff tmmo, loved your post at 22. that is a teacher worth remembering. i hope her students and employers appreciated her. wow.

    seventh grade was about the right reading level for “jonathan livingston seagull,” however. i was embarrassed to own it (this would’ve been in high school) and soon parted with it. i still have the sheet music for the neil diamond compositions, though — one of my extremely guilty pleasures.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    And no one
    heard at all, not
    even the chair

    (didn’t even have to go to a lyric site to find those immortal words — I am, I said, to no one there . . .)

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  30. MaryRC said on April 19, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Speaking of snopes’ treasure trove of Obama emails, this recent one had me puzzled: President Obama refuses to sign Eagle Scout certificates. And refused the role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts to boot.

    It seems to come out of nowhere. At least some of the others rely on a misconstrued quote or an incident taken out of context (whether out of malice or ignorance) or a photo, whether obviously Photoshopped or not, embellished and distorted up the wazoo. But this one is just … smoke. There seems to be nothing behind it. Every claim it makes is proveably the exact opposite of what actually happened. Are people just floating these to see what happens?

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  31. coozledad said on April 19, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Way to spread that democracy:,0,5706408.story
    We’ll be paying for this for a long time.

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