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Old 01-30-2008, 07:56 AM   #261
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
What elements of Obama's platform are untenable and unrealistic?

What evidence do we have that Obama will be completely unable to handle the complexities of leading the nation?

What evidence do we have that his judgement is poor, his intellect lacking?

If these questions can be answered, well then we would have good reason to discount his charisma and soaring speeches. Without first making those arguments though, opposition to Obama is as "surface" as rabid support.

I'll be honest, I don't see much depth to any aspect of this election season or the discussion of it so far.
But that's it. There's nothing inherently wrong with his platform. Or Hillary's platform. Or that of John Edwards. Or even Dennis Kucinich's platform. The differentiating factor, thus, becomes that of image itself. Since all but Obama and Clinton have been deemed the image of "unelectable," they have been cast out of the race. And so now we have to manufacture differentiating factors between the two candidates, which is where we're getting all this rhetoric about "change," "hope," and "inspiration," versus quasi-apocalyptic language of "two-headed 'Billarys'" and "division." But, essentially, all things being equal, their platforms aren't all that different.

Quote:
As to the viability of his promise of change, I see this as far more than a question of whether he's going to sweep into office and turn Washington into a daisies and puppies utopia. I don't expect that and I don't know that any thinking Obama supporter does. The question of change has less to do with changing Washington and a lot more to do with changing the country, particularly in terms of engaging of the electorate. This election, I see as a referendum on how cynical we've become as a nation.

Do we still believe that the ordinary citizens have a voice in our government? Do we still feel it's worth it to vote? Do we think it's possible to come together as a country despite our differences or is divisiveness and increasing polarization the expected norm? We'll know well before November whether the "change" Obama speaks of can be a reality--how far he gets in the race will tell us. Our country was built on soaring themes--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--themes that often failed to bear out in reality but could always be called upon and aspired to. If we no longer believe that such soaring themes have any relevancy or have any practical chance of being realized then we will scorn those who act as if they can. And if that happens I fear the days of the American Republic are numbered, and the days of the Empire are near at hand.
Cynicism has been on referendum for 40 years now, and no president has ever made a solid case as to why we shouldn't be. If Obama is able to heal the divisions, then more power to him, and I wish him the best.

But, again, this sentiment is merely a repeat of Bill Clinton in 1992; a youthful candidate to save us from the "darkness" of the (elder) Bush Administration. Yet, we saw what happened. In a matter of two years, the political winds blew the other direction, and we had a GOP-controlled Congress for the rest of his term, effectively condemning us to manufactured scandals and controversies straight out of the neoconservative playbook they themselves had taken from The Prince. The end justifies the means, after all.

But I digress, only slightly. If we are to believe in the Enlightenment-era values that created our country--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--then that will require having the fortitude to defend it, and that, alone, has eluded liberalism for 40 years now, thanks to the philosophical arrival of cultural relativism. And that's where we get the Democratic platform not being shaped by any sense of purpose or ideology, but rather by the shifting winds of the focus group.

The 2000 and 2004 elections, for the Democratic party, were the apex of this problem. Am I entirely convinced that 2008 has suddenly rectified this? Not really, but I think there has been some sparse, probably unconscious steps to change. As for the future unity of the United States, only recently have I decided that the old Roman Republic/Roman Empire comparison is probably not valid for us. It is, perhaps, better to look at the history surrounding the advent of the printing press, instead. This was a truly revolutionary invention that forever changed the history of Europe, transforming the "old world" into something completely different. The internet has been an invention that has had an equivalent impact to that of the printing press. It must be remembered that change didn't happen overnight with the printing press, and change hasn't happened overnight with the internet either.

From a historical point of view, the internet is new. It still has plenty of time to manifest its destiny. But I believe that its present impact has been less the spread of democracy, as neoconservatives would have wished, but, instead, the subdivision of hegemony. We are, in essence, discarding the ties that bind us, in favor of associating with those that agree with us. I believe that 2008 has been the first election to exemplify this cultural shift, as we now have an election, where the base of support is not surrounded around the party, but, instead, are congregating around individual candidates with seemingly little chance of reconciliation between the camps--and this applies to both the Democrats and Republicans. In the end, I believe that we will all rally around our parties in this election, but I would be curious to see if this holds true in 2012.

The ties that bind us together are loosening, and I'm not sure what can be done. But one thing that will go a long way is the sense of our next president actually accomplishing something. As for whether Obama, Clinton, or anyone else can achieve that, it's anybody's guess. But it is imperative. Merely "feeling good" or being "inspired" isn't going to cut it anymore. We've tried that, and it's failed.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:16 AM   #262
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Hillary's running on image and feeling as well, otherwise we'd have Biden versus Dodd right now.

An area that I view Obama more favorably than Clinton are the Iraq and Iran votes for military action. Another area is that Obama supports lifting the $97,500 income cap for Social Security taxes and Hillary opposes it. So, he at least has a good answer for "where will the (funding) money come from?".
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:26 PM   #263
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Now that Edwards and Richardson is out I'm voting Obama next Tuesday. Obama said some wonderful things about Edwards today. Its is really cold outside today and I've got to canvas my precinct, so people know where to vote. I hope that it warms up here this week. I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #264
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What is really cold in New Mexico, 50? Bunch o' wimps
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:08 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally posted by watergate
I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
I live in NM, too, and it ain't that cold. Get your butt out to vote on Tuesday!! I don't care who you vote for, just let your voice be heard!

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What is really cold in New Mexico, 50? Bunch o' wimps
Actually, Ms. S, it's going to be in the single digits tonight here in Northern NM but it's up in the 30s during the day. People sometimes think the weather in NM is similar to AZ but it's the high desert out here so it gets really cold, especially this year.

/NM weather forecast
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #266
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Originally posted by watergate
Now that Edwards and Richardson is out I'm voting Obama next Tuesday. Obama said some wonderful things about Edwards today. Its is really cold outside today and I've got to canvas my precinct, so people know where to vote. I hope that it warms up here this week. I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
Try -14F this morning...

Anyway, no matter what the weather entails on Tuesday, I'll be out at the caucus.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:48 AM   #267
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Originally posted by melon


But that's it. There's nothing inherently wrong with his platform. Or Hillary's platform. Or that of John Edwards. Or even Dennis Kucinich's platform. The differentiating factor, thus, becomes that of image itself. Since all but Obama and Clinton have been deemed the image of "unelectable," they have been cast out of the race. And so now we have to manufacture differentiating factors between the two candidates, which is where we're getting all this rhetoric about "change," "hope," and "inspiration," versus quasi-apocalyptic language of "two-headed 'Billarys'" and "division." But, essentially, all things being equal, their platforms aren't all that different.



Cynicism has been on referendum for 40 years now, and no president has ever made a solid case as to why we shouldn't be. If Obama is able to heal the divisions, then more power to him, and I wish him the best.

But, again, this sentiment is merely a repeat of Bill Clinton in 1992; a youthful candidate to save us from the "darkness" of the (elder) Bush Administration. Yet, we saw what happened. In a matter of two years, the political winds blew the other direction, and we had a GOP-controlled Congress for the rest of his term, effectively condemning us to manufactured scandals and controversies straight out of the neoconservative playbook they themselves had taken from The Prince. The end justifies the means, after all.

But I digress, only slightly. If we are to believe in the Enlightenment-era values that created our country--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--then that will require having the fortitude to defend it, and that, alone, has eluded liberalism for 40 years now, thanks to the philosophical arrival of cultural relativism. And that's where we get the Democratic platform not being shaped by any sense of purpose or ideology, but rather by the shifting winds of the focus group.

The 2000 and 2004 elections, for the Democratic party, were the apex of this problem. Am I entirely convinced that 2008 has suddenly rectified this? Not really, but I think there has been some sparse, probably unconscious steps to change. As for the future unity of the United States, only recently have I decided that the old Roman Republic/Roman Empire comparison is probably not valid for us. It is, perhaps, better to look at the history surrounding the advent of the printing press, instead. This was a truly revolutionary invention that forever changed the history of Europe, transforming the "old world" into something completely different. The internet has been an invention that has had an equivalent impact to that of the printing press. It must be remembered that change didn't happen overnight with the printing press, and change hasn't happened overnight with the internet either.

From a historical point of view, the internet is new. It still has plenty of time to manifest its destiny. But I believe that its present impact has been less the spread of democracy, as neoconservatives would have wished, but, instead, the subdivision of hegemony. We are, in essence, discarding the ties that bind us, in favor of associating with those that agree with us. I believe that 2008 has been the first election to exemplify this cultural shift, as we now have an election, where the base of support is not surrounded around the party, but, instead, are congregating around individual candidates with seemingly little chance of reconciliation between the camps--and this applies to both the Democrats and Republicans. In the end, I believe that we will all rally around our parties in this election, but I would be curious to see if this holds true in 2012.

The ties that bind us together are loosening, and I'm not sure what can be done. But one thing that will go a long way is the sense of our next president actually accomplishing something. As for whether Obama, Clinton, or anyone else can achieve that, it's anybody's guess. But it is imperative. Merely "feeling good" or being "inspired" isn't going to cut it anymore. We've tried that, and it's failed.
Fascinating. You always manage to think of/see things in a way I had not thought of before.

A place like Interference seems to attract a broad spectrum of people (granted we do all agree that we like U2 (though I suppose even that is up for debate if you visit EYKIW much, but beyond that). So perhaps there might still be hope for the ties that bind?
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:25 AM   #268
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Clinton's LBJ Comments Infuriated Ted Kennedy

There's more to Sen. Edward Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama than meets the eye. Apparently, part of the reason why the liberal lion from Massachusetts embraced Obama was because of a perceived slight at the Kennedy family's civil rights legacy by the other Democratic presidential primary frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Sources say Kennedy was privately furious at Clinton for her praise of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act accomplished. Jealously guarding the legacy of the Kennedy family dynasty, Senator Kennedy felt Clinton's LBJ comments were an implicit slight of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who first proposed the landmark civil rights initiative in a famous televised civil rights address in June 1963.

One anonymous source described Kennedy as having a "meltdown" in reaction to Clinton's comments. Another source close to the Kennedy family says Senator Kennedy was upset about two instances that occurred on a single day of campaigning in New Hampshire on Jan. 7, a day before the state's primary.

The first was at an event in Dover, N.H., at which Clinton supporter Francine Torge introduced the former first lady saying, "Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually" signed the civil rights bill into law.

The Kennedy insider says Senator Kennedy was deeply offended that Clinton remained silent and "sat passively by" rather than correcting the record on his slain brother's civil rights record.

Kennedy was also apparently upset that Clinton said on the same day: "Dr. [Martin Luther] King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Ac. It took a president to get it done."

Both comments that day, by Clinton and her supporter, were meant to make the point that Clinton would be better equipped to get things done as president than Obama, her chief Democratic rival. Sources say Clinton called Kennedy to apologize for the LBJ comments. But whatever she said clearly wasn't enough to assuage Kennedy, who endorsed Obama earlier this week.

Kennedy insiders say the Massachusetts senator has also been angry with former President Bill Clinton for his "Southern strategy" themed comments on the campaign trail. The senator didn't hide his disdain for the nasty tone of the campaign during his endorsement speech at American University on Monday.

Kennedy's spokeswoman, Melissa Wagoner, would neither confirm nor deny that the senator was angered by Senator Clinton's LBJ comments. She simply said: "Senator Kennedy knows that candidates can't always be responsible for the things their supporters say. He's proud of President Kennedy's role in the civil rights movement, and believes that it's time to unify and inspire Americans to believe we can achieve great things again."

The Clinton campaign hasn't responded yet to our evening-time request for comment on Clinton's telephone apology to Kennedy. On the day of the LBJ rhetoric, however, a Clinton campaign spokesman was quoted on the New York Times' politics blog distancing Clinton from the surrogate who made the inappropriate assassination comment.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:00 PM   #269
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Clinton was a Goldwater girl and she didn't support LBJ in 1964. I'm going to see Obama tomorrow in my city. I think that he is going to take New Mexico and the majority of the state is Hispanic. Except most of the Hispanics in New Mexico are people who's families who have been here for over 400 years when the Spain colonized New Mexico, so New Mexico different than the rest of the Southwest. The Hispanics here have political power in New Mexico government that they had since Spain ruled New Mexico. They are very patriotic and they drive American cars, but they are liberal. Racist attitudes aren't tolerated in New Mexico except for Eastern New Mexico which is like Texas. There aren't too many immigrants here from Mexico and Latin America, because our wages are low. Most of the people from other countries here have degrees and are scientists and engineers, since New Mexico is home of the atomic bomb and we have the National Labs here.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:39 PM   #270
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Sources say Kennedy was privately furious at Clinton for her praise of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act accomplished. Jealously guarding the legacy of the Kennedy family dynasty, Senator Kennedy felt Clinton's LBJ comments were an implicit slight of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who first proposed the landmark civil rights initiative in a famous televised civil rights address in June 1963.
Marginalization of MLK aside, she made it perfectly clear with her "praise" of Johnson that he was continuing what Kennedy had started and had hoped to achieve. And the reality is that Johnson showed much more drive and backbone than JFK had about getting the Civil Rights Act through Congress, whether Ted Kennedy wants to admit it or not.
Quote:
Originally posted by watergate
Clinton was a Goldwater girl and she didn't support LBJ in 1964.
She was 16 years old and the daughter of a fervent Goldwater supporter at the time, so I wouldn't be inclined to see that as revealing of much of anything.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:44 PM   #271
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About a year ago now, I posted excerpts from a couple articles over at Salon.com on the then-hot topic of whether or not Obama is "black enough." One was by Salon columnist Gary Kamiya. Today he published a column endorsing Obama, which after a fashion reprises his earlier piece by discussing how Obama's process of coming to terms with his own identity, as recounted in his autobiography (Dreams From My Father), impressed Kamiya so much with Obama's character and outlook as to convince him to vote for him. I am not personally passing it on as a case for voting for Obama necessarily, but if you enjoyed Kamiya's original piece or are just interested in this topic in general, then you might enjoy this article.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:53 PM   #272
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I voted days ago (even though TN is part of tomorrow), and today I finally posted my "Barack and Roll" piece on our main page (please no worries, it's article not editorial).

After Iowa, I went crazy researching him and came to my support quite honestly.

But the appeal is more intangible. It comes with things like this, superficial on one hand and entirely magical on the other:

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Old 02-05-2008, 12:52 AM   #273
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Personally, just happy to not see Fergie in that.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:12 AM   #274
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The Obama Mystery

By David Ignatius
Sunday, February 17, 2008; B07

"Why is the press going so easy on Barack Obama?" asks a prominent Democratic Party strategist, echoing a criticism frequently made by the Clinton campaign. It's a fair question, and now that Obama appears to be the front-runner in terms of his delegate count, he deserves a closer look, especially from people like me who have written positively about him.

The reason to look closely now, quite simply, is to avoid buyer's remorse later.

Obama is a phenomenon in American politics -- a candidate who has ignited an enthusiasm among young people that I haven't seen in decades. He promises a nation in which, as his supporters chant, "race doesn't matter." And for a world that is dangerously alienated from American leadership, he offers a new face that could dispel negative assumptions about America -- and in that sense boost the nation's standing and security.

But these are symbolic qualities. What Obama would actually do as president remains a mystery in too many areas. Before he completes what increasingly looks like a march to the Democratic nomination, Obama needs to clarify more clearly what lies behind the beguiling banner marked "change."

Let's start with Obama's economic policies. Like all the major candidates, he has a Web site brimming with plans and proposals. But it has been hard to tell how these different strands come together. Is Obama a "New Democrat," in the tradition of Bill Clinton, who would look skeptically at traditional welfare programs? Is he a neopopulist, in the style of his former rival John Edwards, who would make job protection and tax equity his top domestic priorities? Or is he a technocrat, whose economic answers wouldn't be all that different from those of Hillary Clinton?

I'm still puzzled about where to locate Obama on this policy map. Until the past few weeks, I would have put him somewhere between "New Democrat" and "technocrat." But as he reaches for votes in big industrial states, Obama has been sounding more like Edwards. He proposed a middle-class tax cut a few months ago that would provide a credit of up to $1,000 per family. That's a big policy change that deserves real debate.

Obama added more Edwardsian flourishes in a speech Wednesday at an auto plant in Wisconsin. He called for a $150 billion program to develop "green collar" jobs and new energy sources. Meanwhile, to fix all the highways and bridges of our automotive society, he proposed a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that would spend $60 billion over 10 years. Obama should be pressed on whether these big programs are affordable for an economy that appears to be in a tailspin.

Foreign policy is the area on which Obama has been longest on rhetoric and shortest on details. I've always liked his line about Iraq, that "we have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." And when I asked Obama last summer what this might mean in practice, he talked about the need for a residual force in and around Iraq and for a gradual, measured pace of troop withdrawals. But in recent months, his tone has suggested a speedier and more decisive departure from Iraq. I fear that Obama is creating public expectations for a quick solution in Iraq that cannot responsibly be achieved.

With any candidate, there's always a question about the quality of his advisers. Hillary comes prepackaged as Clinton II, with a retinue of aides-in-waiting that is at once her strength and disadvantage. Obama's advisers are a mixed group, but I hear some complaints from policy analysts. One of his leading foreign policy gurus, Anthony Lake, was widely criticized as national security adviser in the first Clinton administration. His role does not reassure people who wonder what substance lies behind the "change" mantra.

To understand why Obama needs tougher scrutiny now, we need only recall his political avatar, President John F. Kennedy. Like Obama, JFK had served a relatively short time in the Senate without compiling a significant legislative record. He was young and charismatic, but uncertain in his foreign and domestic policies, and during his first 18 months JFK was often rebuffed at home and abroad. The CIA suckered him into a half-baked invasion of Cuba. And Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev concluded after an initial meeting that Kennedy was so weak and uncertain that he could be pushed around -- a judgment that led to the Cuban missile crisis.

Obama's inexperience is not a fatal flaw, but it's a real issue. He should use the rest of this campaign to give voters a clearer picture of how he would govern -- not in style but in substance.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:27 AM   #275
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Where Has He Been?
An interesting comment from this post:

Me and my family used to be the biggest fans of Bill Clinton. Everyone in my community can't stand to see Bill on TV anymore. I'm not sure if its his older age or maybe the lack of sleep lately, but I truly believe his lost his mind. He makes no sense anymore, cares about nothing other than attempting to get his wife elected, plucks words right out of the air while stating nothing, and now even goes against the voices of mass voters...

Bill Clinton is really not he same person I USED to respect and admire!


Sorry, he's exactly the same person you used to (foolishly and myopically) respect and admire. He's the same person he's been his entire political career, going all the way back to the seventies in Arkansas. Anyone who has followed his career, or read non-hagiographic biographies of him knows this. The only thing that's changed is that you've found a new empty vessel into which to pour your emotional political longings, and he's attacked it, so now you see the Bill Clinton that the rest of us have seen all along.

As I've said many times, I don't now, and never have "hated" Bill (or Hillary Rodham) Clinton. I find them far too trivial and unworthy subjects on which to expend such an intense and miserable emotion. I think that I'm in fact far more clinically objective about them than most Democrats have ever seemed to be able to be. The problem is not the "Clinton haters" (most of whom were merely pointing out the reality), but the far too many people who have loved him, far beyond reason, for decades. That was the source of his power.

And now that the scales have fallen from the eyes of many like the commenter above, the end may be very ugly, particularly if they are perceived to have stolen the nomination from Obama (something that they are surely plotting as I write this). Denver may make Chicago in 1968 look like a Sunday-school picnic.

They've never cared about the Democrat Party, other than as a convenient vehicle for the conveyance of their unlimited and insatiable ambition and lust for power, and they've been a disaster for it ever since they hit the national scene. They cost it the Congress for the first time in four decades, and the party couldn't hold on to the White House at the end of their term, at least partly because of the stench of it in the minds of the voters in 2000. Having Bill Clinton campaign for a Democrat has generally been the kiss of death, but because of this irrational love of them, they've managed to keep on doing it.

When it comes to the Clintons, it's always about them, and they always come first, and the national Democrats are finally starting to realize it, sixteen years later. If they'd been smart, and listened to Arkansas Democrats at the time, they could have had the much earlier epiphany, and spared their party a lot of corruption and embarrassment.

Oh, when the end comes, it won't be as bad as the Ceausescus (this is America, after all), but it will certainly be as final. There will be no more comeback kids. If he's still around in a couple decades, I suspect that Bill Clinton will be continuously enraged and deeply envious of the legacy of George W. Bush.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:41 AM   #276
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:47 AM   #277
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:48 AM   #278
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:09 AM   #279
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:10 AM   #280
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