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Monday, August 30, 2004

"Like any other gathering of people that might get out of control, I feel the need to lay down some ground rules. Pay attention. There will be a quiz later.

1. Have fun, but don't go doing shit that's going to hurt other people.

2. Do something genuinely nice for someone. I don't mean give to a beggar in the subway. That's a cheap and easy fix. Do something for someone you haven't talked to in a while. Go visit someone you might think is lonely. Give because you want to, not because you feel guilty. Trust me, the mood will strike you.

3. Do what the hell you feel like doing, but default to rule 1.

4. Call bullshit on things you think are total crap. Have no fear.

5. Respect one another enough to listen to one another. Fight only when there is a pit filled with Reverend J.D. approved oatmeal, mud or exotic oils.

6. Take care of yourself. Drink, smoke, eat what you will -- but take care of yourselves, for you are my flock and I need you to pay off my bar tab.

7. No one talks about fight club. "


A partial list of the ten commandments of the Church of the Super Awesome, which is, somewhere, inspired by the Saint of Killers. One for you MikE!, Gracia, Chris. Enjoy...

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ASHEVILLE -- Developers are assessing the damage after vandals used on-site construction equipment to ram into the shell of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Asheville Friday night.

Michael Patterson, whose company is developing the site, said vandals entered the site and either found a key or hot-wired a dump truck and drove it into different areas of the building.

Initial estimates place the damage at $900,000, but Patterson said developers won't know the full tally on damage until contractors and engineers assess the structural damage


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAfuckers!

*Ahem*

Yeah, so Bloomberg's having RNC protestors clinked up left and right. Thank God for a man who knows just when to protect democracy, and when to flush the whole thing.

Wait.

Did he protect democracy at any point?

Um. Shit.

Never mind.

G'night.


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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has said he does not support a federal ban on gay marriage, apparently contradicting President George W Bush's stance.

Mr Cheney was addressing a campaign audience in Iowa that included his daughter, Mary, who is openly lesbian.

He said the issue of legalising gay unions should be settled by individual states rather than by Washington.


Now this is interesting, and it's got my conspiracy gland spurting. There've been all these rumors lately that Bush is gonna dump Dick at the RNC and make McCain his veep. And the White House AND McCain have been denying it out of hand, BUT, shit, check this out. Cheney openly breaking ranks with legislation that Bush has been promoting as being as essential to the American Way as the Iraq War and the PATRIOT act.

Seriously, this is just weird. From the beginning, the two have acted as one (one being directed by Karl Rove, primarily), and suddenly, IN AN ELECTION YEAR AND ONLY A WEEK BEFORE THE CONVENTION, Cheney shoots his mouth off about something that strikes straight to the heart of Conservative America, and, more specifically, to the heart of the President he ostensibly serves under.

I've got nothing more than theory here, but, really kids...does this make any sense to you?

Hrrm.


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Monday, August 23, 2004

Uh...

Morlocks aside, how would YOU like to visit, even live hundreds of years in the future? There may be a way, and that is the purpose of The Time Travel Fund(tm).

Q: How does this work?
A: Current scientific theory states that Time Travel may be possible, however the technology is a long way off, perhaps hundreds of years in the future. Now, assume it does become possible in say, 500 years. As with any technology, Time Travel will get less expensive as time goes on. Just as the price of a VCR has dropped to less than $70 from the several hundred dollars it cost just ten years ago, Time Travel, once it becomes feasible, will initially be very expensive yet it will become more and more economical as time goes by.

Q: How does this help me?

A: The concept is that one day, it may be possible for people living far in the future to retrieve you from your current frame of reference (their past - your present) and bring you into the future (their present - your future.)

Q: Why would they want to?

A: That is the purpose of the fund. The simple answer is, we pay them to bring you into the future.

Yup. $10 to these folks gives you at least a shot at having some future goon show up, stuff you in a sack and drag you off to a dystopian future where you'll be forced to give up your organs to some exotic buffet and spend the rest of your life with a fifteen lb. heart-lung machine shoved in yer gullet, shooting mutants for sport and watching alien bestiality porn on the Internet.

Sounds like fun, no?

You can read the Member Agreement here. It's actually a pretty down-to-Earth thing. Even if this is nothing more than a scam, it's 1000% more entertaining than most of the crap on the web. (Thanks to FARK for this one)


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Reading Catch-22, and came across this passage on the way home:

"That's not what justice is," the colonel jeered, and he began pounding the table again with his big fat hand. "That' s what Karl Marx is. I'll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning. Garroting. That's what justice is when we've all got be tough enough and rough enough to fight Billy Petrolle. From the hip. Get it?"

I dunno. That scared me, really. The little speech seems contain a lot what's informing WAY too many people's sense of right and wrong lately. As though it's cool to throw away the slow, crawling progress we've made as a society for the quick, cathartic orgasm of mindless, spurting revenge. War is just too easy to suggest, and too hard to back out of, y'know? But that initial thrust...

...baby, that's heaven.

Right?

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Quite honestly, I'm not sure whether to be psyched or horrified:




FIGHT CLUB, the video game.

I'd like to just dis it out of hand, but I watched some of the E3 video and I have to admit that it looks pretty cool. Even a shot of Big Bob with his bitch tits and baggy sweatshirt. Now, why they've decided to market a five-year-old cult flick as a video game is behind my reasoning to comprehend, but I guess there's a lot of Chuck P. fans out there who double as video game nerds.

For release in October, 2004 -- Xbox & PS2. Probably worth at least a rental. MikE!, Richie, c'mon out for Thanksgiving and I'll beat your pixelated heads into the virtual cement. It'll be like old times in the Brass City, 'cept we can't wake up Buttons. She's a terror if you wake her up too early.

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Just this tonight:



Portraits of monkeys. Very professional & emotive portraits of monkeys. A whole page of 'em. This is mostly fer Buttons, but y'all can go click on over, if you'd like.

Personally, I think you should.


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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More from The Times:

For several weeks, starting before the Democratic convention, F.B.I. officers have been questioning potential political demonstrators, and their friends and families, about their plans to protest at the two national conventions. These heavy-handed inquiries are intimidating, and they threaten to chill freedom of expression. They also appear to be a spectacularly poor use of limited law-enforcement resources. The F.B.I. should redirect its efforts to focus more directly on real threats.

Six investigators recently descended on Sarah Bardwell, a 21-year-old intern with a Denver antiwar group, who quite reasonably took away the message that the government was watching her closely. In Missouri, three men in their early 20's said they had been followed by federal investigators for days, then subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. They ended up canceling their plans to show up for the Democratic and Republican conventions.

The F.B.I. is going forward with the blessing of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel - the same outfit that recently approved the use of torture against terrorism suspects. In the Justice Department's opinion, the chilling effect of the investigations is "quite minimal," and "substantially outweighed by the public interest in maintaining safety and order." But this analysis gets the balance wrong. When protesters are made to feel like criminal suspects, the chilling effect is potentially quite serious. And the chances of gaining any information that would be useful in stopping violence are quite small.


Goddammit. I'm tired of this, the Big Brother bullshit, the goose-stepping Federales, the black trenchcoat from the Government leaning in close, whispering in our ear, "Your wife has a pretty face...be a shame if anything happened to it..."

How long are we going to take it?

And, of course, what the fuck do we do about it?



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I asked Mr. Morales in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

Back in the bad old days, some decades ago, when Southern whites used every imaginable form of chicanery to prevent blacks from voting, blacks often fought back by creating voters leagues, which were organizations that helped to register, educate and encourage black voters. It became a tradition that continues in many places, including Florida, today.

Not surprisingly, many of the elderly black voters who found themselves face to face with state police officers in Orlando are members of the Orlando League of Voters, which has been very successful in mobilizing the city's black vote.


Scary Bob Herbert editorial about yet more voter shenanigans in Florida. I'm wondering if going after Fl's black population is less about making sure the vote goes their way (I mean, c'mon, what are the odds that it won't, what with rigged felons' lists & easily hacked voting machines), but more about getting blacks the hell outta Floreeda once and for all. Maybe I'm taking the myopic, Northeastern "Florida-can-break-off-and-float-down-to-the-equator-for-all-I-give-a-fuck" viewpoint, but it seems to me that ever since slavery was abolished & the minimum wage installed, the ruling elite of Fla has had less & less of a desire for its black populace. Maybe all this shit is just the concentrated push to convince 'em all to move to Georgia or something.

Hmm.


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Friday, August 13, 2004

Okay, getting back to the John McCain-MLK birthday thing referenced a few days ago (good quote, MikE!). Apparently, McCain initially voted against the measure as a fed holiday, then recanted, reversed, and supported it when it was put forth as a state holiday. Quoted as saying:

"In 1983, when I was brand-new in the Congress, I voted against the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King. That was a mistake, OK? And later I had the chance to ... help fight for ... the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King as a holiday in my state." (Link to the Salon.com article in which he's quoted...towards the bottom).

Additionally, according to the Washington Post:

• Voted to cut off federal assistance to public schools that prohibit prayer in school.

• Voted to strike provisions of the Racial Justice Act that would prohibit the death sentence in state and federal cases if a defendant could prove with statistical or other evidence that the race of the victim played a role in sentencing.

• Voted against a 1996 bill to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

• Voted against measures to increase the minimum wage, against a woman's right to choose, and with Bush 91 percent of the time last year.

So, yeah, I dunno. He might've changed his mind 'cause he realized he was being a dickhead, or he might have changed his mind 'cause he knew that an anti-civil rights vote would bite him in the ass years later when he was running for a higher office. The quote above is referenced off how Barry Goldwater regretted his anti-civil rights vote (indeed, Goldwater is viewed, so far as I know, as pretty much just a high-profile bigot), and how McCain was trying to avoid it. Kinda smells like straight-up politics to me. It might be time to write off ol' Scarface as just another piece of totalitarian shit.


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SEATTLE - Beachgoers in West Seattle got an ugly shock.

Hundreds of hypodermic needles, washed ashore in the afternoon high tide Thursday. It forced the closure of that section of beach until the Seattle/King County Health Department decides it's safe to go back in the water.

The needles washed up right where kids playing in the water could find them.

"And then I picked it up with my own bare hands," said Dagney Lansdowne, 7. "Then I went to my mom and said, 'look mommy, a needle'."


Only really interesting 'cause Mom & I were there just yesterday. The article goes on to say that the needles were unused & capped, so it's not really that big a deal...but, still. Something creepy about floating needles. Like little plastic sharks. Or big plastic mosquitos. Or medium-sized plastic hummingbirds. Without wings.

Right.



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WASHINGTON — A Washington State man says a drug prescription error started turning him into a woman.

Keith Sabey claims the drugs that were supposed to save his life nearly killed him.

Instead of Testosterone, he mistakenly received Estrogen from a Wal-Mart pharmacist back in April. That is when Sabey says he started getting hot flashes and his body began to change.


Dear Wal-Mart-

When you only hire the cheapest available people, expect that things like this are going to happen, and that you can either keep using your legions of lawyers to fight off lawsuits, or you can up some salaries, add some staff, and stop finding yourself straight in the sites of somebody's payday wish (which, yes, I know you'll spin off into court for years and years, but at least the guy's kids'll get a payoff after you waste him).

Also,

Dear dumbass who went to Wal-Mart for his 'scrip-

Guy, seriously, Wal-Mart doesn't pay as high a wage as pretty much any of their competition, they don't have a decent benefits package, their managers are trained to browbeat and threaten the employees into working unpaid overtime, and they refuse to allow unions. Wal-Mart employees WANT TO KILL, at least on an unconcious level. Do you really think this is the best place to buy the drugs that will potentially kill you?

Dumbass.



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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Holy fucking shit...It's my own personal private island nation...except that they seem to have A.) started without me, & B.) haven't named the joint Billland as I, their beloved leader, have requested.

According to Boing Boing:

Tristan da Cuhna is an island in the South Atlantic. It is a British dependency. At 37 degrees south by 12 west, with about 250 permanent residents who literally live on the side of a volcano, it is considered by many sailors to be the remotest town in the world.

The residents, about 100 households which may have any of seven surnames and who are all apparently related by blood, make a living from issuing exotic postage stamps which have a following in the collector market, and by lobster fishing. There is no access to the island by air, and only a few boats per year put into the notoriously dangerous harbor.

Tristan has an online newspaper now though!


This is up mostly to goad my own shitty memory, but here's a link to the paper (when was the last time that you saw a birth announcement on the front page of a nation's major daily?).

Mom's in town for a few days before she heads to China, so don't expect much. Unless ANOTHER private island nation for me to inva...investigate...comes to light...

Have fun, y'all.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service 'dishonest and dishonorable' and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.

The White House declined.

'It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me,' McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.

The 60-second ad features Vietnam veterans who accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict.

'When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry,' one of the veterans, Larry Thurlow, says in the ad. Thurlow didn't serve on Kerry's swiftboat, but says he witnessed the events that led to Kerry winning a Bronze Star and the last of his three Purple Hearts. Kerry's crewmates support the candidate and call him a hero.

The ad, scheduled to air in a few markets in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, was produced by Stevens, Reed, Curcio and Potham, the same team that produced McCain's ads in 2000.

'I wish they hadn't done it,' McCain said of his former advisers. 'I don't know if they knew all the facts.'

Asked if the White House knew about the ad or helped find financing for it, McCain said, 'I hope not, but I don't know. But I think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad.'


This is the kind of stuff that makes me respect John McCain, no matter how many of his opinions I might disagree with. He's just honorable, and that's something that's sorely lacking amongst the electorate these days.

That said, he IS running Bush's campaign in Arizona, which kinda makes me wonder if I should be standing up for him. Also, didn't Arizona vote down a measure making MLK's birthday a holiday? Wonder which side McCain was on. Hmm. Gonna have to go look this one up. Letcha know later.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Spray-painted on the fence in the alley behind work:



To which I have to ask: What other kinds of whores are there?

Eh. Probably the name of a band or some fucking thing. Although, the local hooker does a brisk trade in the alley, specifically in the back doorway of my shop. The doorway that I use as my ingress & exit every morning and evening. Nothing like high-stepping over last night's used condoms on my way into the joy of work.

And then today, one of my guy's informs that said hooker is passed out in the doorway (he went to kick it open to let in some air), dressed up like a cheerleader or some fucking thing. He did the small interrogation ("Hey, you okay?" "M'okay...can I sit here?" "Uh, yeah, just don't cause any problems...") and then filled me in. I go to check this shit out, find she's gained a guardian (semi-Rasta; dreds, beard, cap. Two pairs of headphones for some reason, one overlapping the other; is that some deal that I haven't heard of?), who tells me "She's just going through her hell, man." Which, y'know, seems pretty apt for anything that causes you to voluntarily lay down in a condom-strewn doorway. Asked if they needed an ambulance, paramedics, etc. Nah, nah.

And so I pretty much forget about 'em until the end of the day, when I find myself heading out the back with a couple of my guys (which never, never happens; usually my guys go out the front before I lock up, and I make my way out into the world all alone) and we have to push our way past 'em. The guy's awake enough for me to give them a warning about the security guy that patrols the alley (small bullshit, but, hey, I don't wanna kick 'em awake tomorrow morning), which got me a grin and that knuckle-punch handshake thing. Dunno why a Rasta guy would give a big fat shaved-head white guy a grin and a knuckle-punch, but, hey. It's the kinda shit that happens, right?

Right. That's pretty much it for the day. Another trillion 13-year girls on the bus home, but at least there was an open seat in the back. Finished FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, '72, and I have to suggest. Quite honestly, I was ready to cry at the end. It scares me that the issues in that election are so close to those in this election, and that Nixon won by such a landslide. That's not the best of precedents, truly. Also, I have to wonder how many swing voters are being swung by the double barrels of terror warnings based on 3 & 4-year-old information, and Dennis Hasert's book (which presents the idea that the Republicans want to dissolve the IRS & the Fed income tax and replace it with a national sales tax), both of which were conveniently timed to coincide with the end of the Democratic National Convention, thereby washing away news of the Demos in the major markets.

The interesting thing is that it seems (to me, anyway, although I'm becoming more attuned to the naked posturing of the Republicans; still neutral on the Dems, however. Call it a bias), is that it almost seems as though the distractions are becoming multi-layered. To wit: the terror warnings are issued on the last day of the DNC, right (or right after...can't recall now) ? Right. And we've gotten used to Bush propping Tom Ridge up on a podium every time the shit gets a bit thick. So we kind of ignore him, although Bloomberg is more than happy to go rushing his cops all over NYC (but I think he just gets off on the idea of armed men running to and fro at his command). BUT, at the same time, Hasert announces the release of his book, with the afore-mentioned IRS dissolvement thingee (which, I think, comes down to a theory that Hasert is claiming as his own, about how simple it would be to eliminate the income tax and replace it with a national sales tax or a value-added tax [A consumption tax which is levied at each stage of production based on the value added to the product at that stage -- according to investorwords.com], which would provide plenty of funding for a stripped-down Conservative-style government without all those Cadillac-driving Welfare mothers and artsy-fartsy types living off of NEA grants), which isn't EVER going to happen, but it puts the idea -- WOW! No income tax! -- into the minds of the swing voters.

WOW! No income tax! Yeah, right, but Bush picks up an extra three or four percent of the drooling troglydytes out there who believe this kind election-year posturing and, coupled with the corrupted Florida vote, slides him into the White House for four years of serious evil-doing. And when the droolers ask what happened to the no-income-tax deal, Bush just smiles and says, "Hey, that was the Speaker of the House, not me." A grin, a backslap, maybe a quick ass-fucking for the sheer fun of it, and it's off to Crawford.

And nobody can put him in the wrong, although he'll get the gains. Very artful; exceedingly clever. Karl Rove had a real stroke of genius on that one.

Right. That's it for the nonce. I'm for outs & sleep. Have a good'n, kids.



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From your friendly neighborhood totalitarian regime hopefuls:

Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library.

The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).


I know I'm screaming at a wall here, but need I remind y'all that this is supposed to be our country? That this piece of ground (yes, yes, stolen from a number of folks by another number of folks, the totality of which constitutes "us") is our home, and that the people we've put in power to make sure the roads go from one logical place to another and to keep Canada from invading are, truly, our employees.

If you were a biz owner, would you be cool with your employees hiding info from you, claiming that it wasn't "appropriate" for your use? Yeah, I know, that's simplistic, but FER FUCK'S SAKE, IT'S OUR GODDAMNED COUNTRY. I think a few firings are in order. Muy Pronto. Who's the HR person around here, anyway?

Bah.

Fuckers.

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Sonuvabitch. Apparently, Neil Gaiman is not only a Scientologist, but the son of a prominent member of CO$. Clicky here for knowledge. An awfully strange start for a guy who wrote GOOD OMENS & AMERICAN GODS.

Hmm.

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From The Drudge Report:

A domestic centerpiece of the Bush/GOP agenda for a second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The Speaker of the House will push for replacing the nation's current tax system with a national sales tax or a value added tax, Hill sources tell DRUDGE.

"People ask me if I’m really calling for the elimination of the IRS, and I say I think that’s a great thing to do for future generations of Americans," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert explains in his new book, to be released on Wednesday.


Y'know, I'm starting to wonder if what's pissing me off so much about the Republicans isn't that they're going out of their way to make the world perfect for about .ooo1% of its population, but that they're so ham-fisted about how they're going about it. Of course, a great deal of the world seems to be swallowing it...

Completely off the nut, I'm STILL don't understand what the fuck Eric Stoltz was thinking. Why the FUCK would you chase after angstly little Lea Thompson when you've got an utterly pissed off Mary Stuart Masterson ready to fall into your arms? Fellas, seriously, back me up on this one. I don't care how sexy Amanda Jones was; Watts was the bomb, for ever & ever, Amen. Right?

Right. To bed. Sleep well, y'all. I miss you guys.

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NEW YORK (AP) — New intelligence that the Al Qaeda terrorist network plans to attack financial or international institutions in New York City has prompted police to urge extra security precautions at various city buildings.

The warning, announced Saturday night, didn't say how the attacks might be carried out or when they might occur.

But ABC News, citing anonymous sources, reported Saturday night that Al Qaeda planned to send terrorists across the Mexican border into the United States, and that suicide attacks were being planned in the city, possibly using trucks.

The network said attacks may be planned between now and Election Day on Nov. 2. The Republican convention begins in New York on Aug. 30.


Oh look...my bullshit detector just went off.

Couple this with the capture of a "top Al-Queda operative" who isn't & the very small anouncement that information supplied by a captured actual Al-Queda agent a couple of years ago (information that the White House used to promote the Iraq war) has now been recanted, and I have to ask...why is nobody screaming? Why are we all just nodding our heads, going, "Yeah, that's about right. Gov't lied, continues to lie, and is crying 'Wolf' nearly every damned day to keep the populace frightened and willing to vote the warhawks in for a second term."

Dammit.

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