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Old 10-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #646
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I hope he didn't jinx himself by saying that


Springsteen, Joel team up to aid Obama
Candidate compares people in singers’ songs to people on campaign trail
The Associated Press
updated 9:42 a.m. ET, Fri., Oct. 17, 2008

NEW YORK - It was “Born to Run” meets “New York State of Mind” — with a little bit of “Hail to the Chief” thrown in for good measure.

Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel joined forces in a concert to raise money for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party on Thursday night. They got a little help from India.Arie, John Legend and Springsteen’s wife, Patti Scialfa, as they tore through the rock legends’ long list of hits at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

When they launched into “Born to Run,” Springsteen said, “This is for the senator.”

As the show concluded, Obama made an appearance onstage. He called the event “a magical evening” and said he wouldn’t ruin it with a long speech. Then he delivered a speech comparing the struggling, everyday people in Joel’s and Springsteen’s songs to the people he’s met on the campaign trail.

He warned supporters not to get overconfident because he leads in the polls.

“Don’t underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up,” Obama said. “I want everybody running scared.”


Obama also offered a new explanation for his decision to seek the White House.

“I was sitting offstage with (his wife) Michelle, and I ... said, ‘Honey, the reason I’m running for president is I can’t be Bruce Springsteen. I can’t be Billy Joel,”’ Obama said.

Springsteen and Joel focused more on music than politics, alternating between each other’s songs — clearly having fun.

Springsteen hugged Joel during “Spirit in the Night,” then ended up laying across the piano as he sang. Joel left the piano and picked up a guitar for “Glory Days.” They even stuck a bit of The Beatles’ “Hard Day’s Night” into the middle of Joel’s song “River of Dreams.”

When Springsteen suggested they slow things down a bit, Joel began banging out a playful version of “Hail to the Chief” in honor of Obama’s presidential hopes.

Nearly 2,000 people attended the “Change Rocks” concert. The cheap seats were $500, but big spenders could shell out $25,000 each.

Springsteen’s song “The Rising” has become an unofficial anthem for Obama’s campaign, often playing when Obama bounds onstage at his rallies. Inspired by 9/11 terrorist attacks, it strikes a defiant tone with lines like: “Sky of longing and emptiness/ Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life/ Come on up for the rising/ Come on up, lay your hands in mine.”

After Obama spoke, the stars closed with another song heard at his rallies, Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

Obama and his wife stayed on stage, clapping, swaying and even bumping hips at one point.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #647
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Originally Posted by Harry Vest View Post
Again, look at the "era's" in question, the Clinton years were generally better than the Bush years were they not???
You might be able to make that claim if you were just comparing Clintons last 2 years in office to Bush's entire 8 years in office. But that would not be an accurate or fair comparison.

The facts show that it is a myth that the Clinton years were generally better than the Bush years when it comes to the overall economy.

Lets take a look at the average poverty rate in each era:

Average Annual Poverty Rate:

Clinton Years 13.3%

Bush Years 12.3%


Bush has the 3rd lowest average poverty rate of any President in US history. Yet, according to some liberals, the poor would have been better off in Somalia.


Average GDP growth rate:

Clinton Years 5.4%

Bush Years 4.8%


Yes, Clinton had better GDP growth, but Bush's growth of 4.8% is not far behind and is excellent by historical standards.


Average Annual Inflation Rate:

Clinton Years 2.60%

Bush Years 2.69%





Average Annual Unemployment Rate:

Clinton Years 5.21%

Bush Years 5.20%



Both of these are nearly the same, so it would be a mistake to claim that one era was better than another with respect to jobs and inflation. Both by historical standards are fantastic.




The Average National Federal Debt as a percentage of GDP:

Clinton Years 64.5%

Bush Years 61.9%


I still feel this is remarkable given everything that Bush has had to deal with on his plate. Clinton did not have to deal with an economic recession in his first year in office or an attack on the country the size of and scale of 9/11. He did not have to fight two extended wars or face the highest gas prices in history.


Even if one does argue that the Clinton years overall were better for the economy, you can't argue that they were much better than the Bush years. When you look at the percentage of Americans that lived in poverty in both era's, clearly the Bush years have been better.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:47 PM   #648
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I think the fact is that the Clinton years improved from start to finish. Would the graph look the same under Bush, or would be on the down slope of the bell curve?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:43 PM   #649
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I think the fact is that the Clinton years improved from start to finish. Would the graph look the same under Bush, or would be on the down slope of the bell curve?

Thats actually not true. Debt as a percentage of GDP went up every year during Clintons first 4 years in office. Under Bush, Unemployment rose and GDP growth slowed during his first couple of year in office. Then Unemployment steadly dropped over the next several years and GDP growth improved. But, now in the last 18 months of this administration, Unemployment has increased from a record low of 4.4% to 6.1%, and GDP growth has slowed up. Look at the poverty rate. It went up in the early Bush years but has been going down steadily since then.

When you simply look at the starting month the President came into office and the final month the President was in office, you don't get a true picture of what it was like to live for 8 years in the United States during that presidents two terms.

Take Jimmy Carter. If he had been re-elected in 1980 and you used this criteria of only looking where the President started and where he finished January 1977 vs. January 1985, you would have no idea that the country went through its worst inflation crises in the late 1970s.

8 years is a long time, and several of these key economic statistics will go up and down over such a long period of time. The only accurate way to look at it is to take the average, otherwise, your missing the majority of the data which reflects what economic life was like during that time.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:46 PM   #650
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:52 PM   #651
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from December of last year:

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I can hear an irritated counterthrust already. The president has not driven the United States into a recession during his almost seven years in office. Unemployment stands at a respectable 4.6 percent. Well, fine. But the other side of the ledger groans with distress: a tax code that has become hideously biased in favor of the rich; a national debt that will probably have grown 70 percent by the time this president leaves Washington; a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are higher than they have ever been; and a dollar so weak that for an American to buy a cup of coffee in London or Paris—or even the Yukon—becomes a venture in high finance.

And it gets worse. After almost seven years of this president, the United States is less prepared than ever to face the future. We have not been educating enough engineers and scientists, people with the skills we will need to compete with China and India. We have not been investing in the kinds of basic research that made us the technological powerhouse of the late 20th century. And although the president now understands—or so he says—that we must begin to wean ourselves from oil and coal, we have on his watch become more deeply dependent on both.

Up to now, the conventional wisdom has been that Herbert Hoover, whose policies aggravated the Great Depression, is the odds-on claimant for the mantle “worst president” when it comes to stewardship of the American economy. Once Franklin Roosevelt assumed office and reversed Hoover’s policies, the country began to recover. The economic effects of Bush’s presidency are more insidious than those of Hoover, harder to reverse, and likely to be longer-lasting. There is no threat of America’s being displaced from its position as the world’s richest economy. But our grandchildren will still be living with, and struggling with, the economic consequences of Mr. Bush.

Remember the Surplus?

The world was a very different place, economically speaking, when George W. Bush took office, in January 2001. During the Roaring 90s, many had believed that the Internet would transform everything. Productivity gains, which had averaged about 1.5 percent a year from the early 1970s through the early 90s, now approached 3 percent. During Bill Clinton’s second term, gains in manufacturing productivity sometimes even surpassed 6 percent. The Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, spoke of a New Economy marked by continued productivity gains as the Internet buried the old ways of doing business. Others went so far as to predict an end to the business cycle. Greenspan worried aloud about how he’d ever be able to manage monetary policy once the nation’s debt was fully paid off.

This tremendous confidence took the Dow Jones index higher and higher. The rich did well, but so did the not-so-rich and even the downright poor. The Clinton years were not an economic Nirvana; as chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers during part of this time, I’m all too aware of mistakes and lost opportunities. The global-trade agreements we pushed through were often unfair to developing countries. We should have invested more in infrastructure, tightened regulation of the securities markets, and taken additional steps to promote energy conservation. We fell short because of politics and lack of money—and also, frankly, because special interests sometimes shaped the agenda more than they should have. But these boom years were the first time since Jimmy Carter that the deficit was under control. And they were the first time since the 1970s that incomes at the bottom grew faster than those at the top—a benchmark worth celebrating.

By the time George W. Bush was sworn in, parts of this bright picture had begun to dim. The tech boom was over. The nasdaq fell 15 percent in the single month of April 2000, and no one knew for sure what effect the collapse of the Internet bubble would have on the real economy. It was a moment ripe for Keynesian economics, a time to prime the pump by spending more money on education, technology, and infrastructure—all of which America desperately needed, and still does, but which the Clinton administration had postponed in its relentless drive to eliminate the deficit. Bill Clinton had left President Bush in an ideal position to pursue such policies. Remember the presidential debates in 2000 between Al Gore and George Bush, and how the two men argued over how to spend America’s anticipated $2.2 trillion budget surplus? The country could well have afforded to ramp up domestic investment in key areas. In fact, doing so would have staved off recession in the short run while spurring growth in the long run.

But the Bush administration had its own ideas. The first major economic initiative pursued by the president was a massive tax cut for the rich, enacted in June of 2001. Those with incomes over a million got a tax cut of $18,000—more than 30 times larger than the cut received by the average American. The inequities were compounded by a second tax cut, in 2003, this one skewed even more heavily toward the rich. Together these tax cuts, when fully implemented and if made permanent, mean that in 2012 the average reduction for an American in the bottom 20 percent will be a scant $45, while those with incomes of more than $1 million will see their tax bills reduced by an average of $162,000.

The administration crows that the economy grew—by some 16 percent—during its first six years, but the growth helped mainly people who had no need of any help, and failed to help those who need plenty. A rising tide lifted all yachts. Inequality is now widening in America, and at a rate not seen in three-quarters of a century. A young male in his 30s today has an income, adjusted for inflation, that is 12 percent less than what his father was making 30 years ago. Some 5.3 million more Americans are living in poverty now than were living in poverty when Bush became president. America’s class structure may not have arrived there yet, but it’s heading in the direction of Brazil’s and Mexico’s.

The Bankruptcy Boom

In breathtaking disregard for the most basic rules of fiscal propriety, the administration continued to cut taxes even as it undertook expensive new spending programs and embarked on a financially ruinous “war of choice” in Iraq. A budget surplus of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (G.D.P.), which greeted Bush as he took office, turned into a deficit of 3.6 percent in the space of four years. The United States had not experienced a turnaround of this magnitude since the global crisis of World War II.

Agricultural subsidies were doubled between 2002 and 2005. Tax expenditures—the vast system of subsidies and preferences hidden in the tax code—increased more than a quarter. Tax breaks for the president’s friends in the oil-and-gas industry increased by billions and billions of dollars. Yes, in the five years after 9/11, defense expenditures did increase (by some 70 percent), though much of the growth wasn’t helping to fight the War on Terror at all, but was being lost or outsourced in failed missions in Iraq. Meanwhile, other funds continued to be spent on the usual high-tech gimcrackery—weapons that don’t work, for enemies we don’t have. In a nutshell, money was being spent everyplace except where it was needed. During these past seven years the percentage of G.D.P. spent on research and development outside defense and health has fallen. Little has been done about our decaying infrastructure—be it levees in New Orleans or bridges in Minneapolis. Coping with most of the damage will fall to the next occupant of the White House.

Although it railed against entitlement programs for the needy, the administration enacted the largest increase in entitlements in four decades—the poorly designed Medicare prescription-drug benefit, intended as both an election-season bribe and a sop to the pharmaceutical industry. As internal documents later revealed, the true cost of the measure was hidden from Congress. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies received special favors. To access the new benefits, elderly patients couldn’t opt to buy cheaper medications from Canada or other countries. The law also prohibited the U.S. government, the largest single buyer of prescription drugs, from negotiating with drug manufacturers to keep costs down. As a result, American consumers pay far more for medications than people elsewhere in the developed world.

You’ll still hear some—and, loudly, the president himself—argue that the administration’s tax cuts were meant to stimulate the economy, but this was never true. The bang for the buck—the amount of stimulus per dollar of deficit—was astonishingly low. Therefore, the job of economic stimulation fell to the Federal Reserve Board, which stepped on the accelerator in a historically unprecedented way, driving interest rates down to 1 percent. In real terms, taking inflation into account, interest rates actually dropped to negative 2 percent. The predictable result was a consumer spending spree. Looked at another way, Bush’s own fiscal irresponsibility fostered irresponsibility in everyone else. Credit was shoveled out the door, and subprime mortgages were made available to anyone this side of life support. Credit-card debt mounted to a whopping $900 billion by the summer of 2007. “Qualified at birth” became the drunken slogan of the Bush era. American households took advantage of the low interest rates, signed up for new mortgages with “teaser” initial rates, and went to town on the proceeds.

All of this spending made the economy look better for a while; the president could (and did) boast about the economic statistics. But the consequences for many families would become apparent within a few years, when interest rates rose and mortgages proved impossible to repay. The president undoubtedly hoped the reckoning would come sometime after 2008. It arrived 18 months early. As many as 1.7 million Americans are expected to lose their homes in the months ahead. For many, this will mean the beginning of a downward spiral into poverty.


Between March 2006 and March 2007 personal-bankruptcy rates soared more than 60 percent. As families went into bankruptcy, more and more of them came to understand who had won and who had lost as a result of the president’s 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it harder for individuals to discharge their debts in a reasonable way. The lenders that had pressed for “reform” had been the clear winners, gaining added leverage and protections for themselves; people facing financial distress got the shaft.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:11 PM   #652
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Breaking News!!!

The Supreme Court Just smacked down the Ohio lower court's ruling in favor of the Republicans to throw out those 20,000 or was it 200,00O Newly Registered voters!
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #653
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Has anyone heard about the two candidates attending the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City last night? I saw clips of it on CNN, and in the roast-like atmosphere, both of them took off the gloves for an evening, gave genuinely funny and self-deprecating speeches, and even *gasp* seemed to express some respect for each other. Video clips are available at the link.

McCain and Obama Palling Around? Must Be the Al Smith Dinner - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com


McCain and Obama Palling Around? Must Be the Al Smith Dinner

Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, announced that he had dismissed his entire team of senior advisers. “All of their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the Plumber,’’ he cracked.

His rival, Senator Barack Obama, then made a confession about his past associations. “John McCain is onto something,’’ he said. “There was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd, I’ve got to be honest. These guys were serious deadbeats, they were lowlifes, they were unrepentant no-good punks. That’s right: I’ve been a member of the United States Senate.’’

With a pair of rivals taking time away from the fray to swap jokes, it could only be the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City, the white-tie charity roast that has long served as a light-hearted rest stop on the road to the White House. It brought Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama together Thursday night to dine together and trade some light-hearted jokes — some self-deprecating, some not so much — just one night after their third and final debate was so rough that many commentators could finally dust off all those boxing metaphors that they had been saving up this year.

They poked fun at themselves — and each other — in consecutive monologues that had their audience of New York royalty at the Waldorf-Astoria in stitches.

Mr. McCain answered critics who said that the plumber he made famous as a hardworking everyman in Wednesday night’s debate would not earn enough money to face any tax increase under Mr. Obama’s fiscal plan.

“What they don’t know — what they don’t know — is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses,’’ Mr. McCain said, in an allusion to a flap he caused last summer when he was unable to remember how many homes he and his wife own.

And Mr. McCain scanned the crowd and said: “Even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats, I can’t shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me,’’ quickly adding, “I’m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary,’’ as he nodded to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lost to Mr. Obama in the primary.

Mr. McCain gleefully toyed with the notion that former President Bill Clinton has been a less-than-enthusiastic campaigner for Mr. Obama. “He’s also been hammering away at me with epithets like ‘American hero’ and ‘great man,’ ” he said. “My friends, this is nothing but a brazen attempt to suppress turnout among anti-Clinton conservatives.’’

And he referred to the awkward moment in the second debate when he disdainfully referred to Mr. Obama as “that one.” “He doesn’t mind at all,’’ Mr. McCain said. “In fact, he even has a pet name for me: George Bush.’’

Mr. Obama, for his part, told the audience that his first name was actually Swahili for “that one.’’ And he had a startling revelation: “My middle name is actually Steve,” he said. “Barack Steve Obama.”

“There is no other crowd in America that I’d rather be palling around with right now,’’ he said right off the bat, alluding to Gov. Sarah Palin’s attack that he had been “palling around with terrorists.”

And he paid tribute to former governor Alfred E. Smith, the first Roman-Catholic to win the presidential nomination of a major party. “It is often said that I share the politics of Alfred E Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Neuman.’’

Mr. Obama, noting his age, said he did not have the pleasure of knowing Al Smith, but added: “From everything Senator McCain has told me, he was a great man.”

Then, he gave a shout out to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “The mayor recently announced some news that he would be rewriting the rules and have a third term, which prompted Bill Clinton to say: You can do that?”

He poked fun at his reputation for arrogance, asking, “Can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?’’

And, looking toward his rival, he said, “I think it is a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left and a hard fought election, the two of us could come together, and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions.’’

For all the tweaks, the two men did take time to praise one another in a tableau that would have seemed extraordinary 24 hours earlier, when Mr. McCain seemed to be throwing everything he had at Mr. Obama, sometimes angrily, painting him as a tax raiser who had had the poor judgment to hang around with a former terrorist.

Mr. McCain called Mr. Obama “an impressive fellow in many ways.’’

“Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in each other,’’ he said. “I have seen this man at his best. I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It’s not for nothing that he has inspired so many folks in his own party and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history and he’s made quite a bit of it already.’’

“There was a time when the mere invitation of an African-American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult in many quarters,’’ he said. “Today, it’s a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. And good riddance.’’

“I can’t wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well,’’ he said.

And Mr. Obama returned the compliment. “There are very few of us who have served this country with the same dedication and honor and distinction as Senator McCain, and I’m glad to be sharing a stage with him tonight.’’

The event, which is affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York, raised $4 million for underprivileged children.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:46 PM   #654
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thanks VP!

I'd been hearing the excerts on radio News channels and liberal talk radio.
pretty funny stuff!

only McCain today is still doing those ROBO calls 'hangs out w terrorist Bill Ayers' shit
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:50 PM   #655
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from December of last year:

Nice, but the basic macro-economic statistics that show what it was like to live during a certain Presidential Administration are the unemployment rate, inflation rate, GDP growth rate, Debt as a percentage of GDP, and the poverty rate.

The fact is, a higher percentage of people lived under poverty during the Clinton years than during the Bush years. Bush has the 3rd lowest poverty rate of any President in history.

Surpluses and Deficits come and go. The economist accurately predicted that the sudden surpluses of the last couple of years of Clintons administration would soon be gone and this was before Bush was elected.

Despite the difficult Bush has had with a recession, major terrorist attack, fighting two extended wars, he has been able to keep US national debt as a percentage of GDP from growing to fast. His worst year yet, is still lower than 5 of Clintons 8 years in office on this.

If your honest, objective, and look at the key macro-economic statistics for each administration, you will realize that both the Clinton years and Bush years are very similar when it comes to the economy. What is remarkable is that Bush had many more crises and problems to deal with, yet was able to maintain and economy that was similar in performance in actually better in some area's like the poverty rate.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:18 PM   #656
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Let's NOT forget that--

--the "Unemployment Stats" DO NOT take into account people who finally give up looking for work! That would add several % points.

Most people will still tell you they were better off after 8 years of Clinton, than these pass 8 years of W.



Not so unlike the current US military "stats" that do NOT take into account all the injured soldiers that have died AWAY FROM the battlefield!

There are figures out of Germany where many of the soldiers are flown to that suggest our war dead #'s are closer 10,000 and above.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:17 PM   #657
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I agree...I am trying to understand how my question is "not true"?

Can questions be true or not true?
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:18 PM   #658
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VERY IMPORTANT STUFF!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzledbylight View Post

Breaking News!!!

The Supreme Court Just smacked down the Ohio lower court's ruling in favor of the Republicans to throw out those 20,000 or was it 200,00O Newly Registered voters!

this was reported by Ron Kuby --
he added later after he had more time to review the ruling....
that the 5 judge majority told the Republicans- basically they had no right to bring it as a case (lawsuit?)
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:21 PM   #659
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The Supreme Court is allowing the greatest voter fraud in American history and is unraveling the very threads of democracy!!1!

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:28 PM   #660
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The Supreme Court is allowing the greatest voter fraud in American history and is unraveling the very threads of democracy!!1!






happy to bring in some ***GOOD*** news!
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