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Posted at 6:35 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* A quick note on Bill Clinton's surprise appearance with Obama in the press briefing room earlier today. As you may have seen, Obama turned the podium over to Clinton, who proceeded to endorse Obama's tax cut deal. But then Obama actually left the room entirely, leaving Bill to continue on his own with reporters for a good 20 minutes.

Some people will inevitably argue that this was self-diminishing on Obama's part in some way. In fact, it was a very shrewd move.

First off, Obama's reason for taking off was a nice touch: He said he had to run because he'd kept his wife waiting. But more to the point, as Obama well knows, no Democrat is as good at making an argument about the economy as Bill Clinton.

Bill is in a unique position to appeal to Dems across the spectrum, as well as Dem-leaning independents. He commands respect among Dem Congressional officials and liberals who might be upset about the tax deal. There's no guarantee Bill will change many minds, but it can only help. Meanwhile, Bill's suggestion that Obama is making the right decisions about the economy might prove generally reassuring to the conservative Dems and indys the President needs to win back.

Indeed, Bill was particularly interesting in making the meta case that the deal was necessary, if only to remind people that Obama -- and government in general -- can still be effective. "A lot of people are just breathing a sign of relief that there's finally been some agreement on something," Bill said.

Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama suspected it might do some good for the public to hear from someone else for a change -- someone who (unlike the President and his GOP foes) hasn't been dirtied up by the exhausting partisan warfare and messy process fights of the last two years. An interesting move indeed.

* Also interesting: As Jed Lewison notes, by endorsing Obama's tax deal, Clinton was implicitly opposing a return to his own tax policies, at least for now.

* Ezra Klein says it's perfectly reasonable to assume the White House seriously intends to refight the tax cut fight in 2012.

* James Clyburn, giving voice to House Dems still angry about Obama's rebuke, reminds the president to keep in mind their "mutual enemies."

* But: Some Dems think they can't trust Obama not to extend the high end cuts again in two years.

* Brian Beutler offers a geometry lesson to pundits who think Obama is triangulating.

* Surely this can't be true: John McCain says something constructive, indicating a deal on New START is "very close."

* Meet the new cast of characters: The House GOP's new crop of incoming committee chairs.

* Jonathan Capehart has a very useful roadmap gaming out the various options remaining for DADT repeal.

* Ethanol alert! Despite opposition from right and left, the ethanol subsidies will live on as part of the Obama tax cut deal.

* Stepping back, it really is remarkable that the stuff that has the most public support is the least likely to happen, and vise versa.

* Chris Cillizza on why the 2012 Senate map is looking especially daunting for Dems. It will be interesting to see how the prospect of a GOP takeover plays into the debate over filibuster reform.

* In case you missed the action today, Think Progress has a good video compilation of the handful of Dem Senators who "filibustered" against the tax cut deal today:

* It's the inequality, stupid: David Dayen says the performance successfully drew public attention to the global case against the tax cut deal.

* And Atrios wonders why crazy Bernie Sanders wasted all our time today "reminding the world that lack of jobs and declining incomes are bad things."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Will Obama really end tax cuts for rich in 2012?
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Comments

#filibernie

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23filibernie

2nd-highest trending twitter topic right now.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

How does The Clenis increase the White House's believability in economic prognostications? Obama still defends the Porkulus, which was supposed to keep unemployment below 8%? Why should the Congressional Democrats believe the Administration when it says economy will double-dip without it?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Clinton subbing for Obama is not the big story today, though I'm sure everyone in the DC media thinks it is.

Outside the beltway, a lot of us are watching Bernie Sanders. He's the number 1 and number 2 trending topic on Twitter. He's giving probably the most substantive, wide ranging speech on the state of our country that we've seen in the 111th congress.

I wish that you, Greg, and a number of other reporter-bloggers had spent a lot more time today dealing with the undeniably fascinating floor speech by the junior Senator from Vermont. Just because insiders think it's irrelevant and quixotic doesn't mean it actually is.

Posted by: brooklyngj | December 10, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

brooklyngj, I posted video above of Bernier and the filibuster

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 10, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Bringing in the Great Triangulator sure is a smart way to show that you're not triangulating.

And, oh yeah, Sen. Bernie Sanders is standing tall for average Americans and showing what political leadership looks like. No news there. Let's move along.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Troll no one cares what Obama says anymore, let alone Larry Summers.

Now we have to fight about the statements from credible politicians and their surrogates. Ok, there are no credible Republicans and the credible Democrats are all minor players from places like Oregon and Vermont. It is almost like there is nothing to fight about.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 10, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I saw that Greg and thanks for it, I'm more referring to a paucity of coverage and discussion on various blogs throughout the day, and to the fact that you led your roundup with a lengthy (for a blog post) discussion on the Obama/Clinton moment in the press room rather than a discussion of what Sanders did today.

When was the last time a senator made an eight-hour, completely substantive floor speech which challenged not only the opposition party but also the president with whom he is generally allied, and did so with respect to a very important policy matter? How often do Senate floor speeches become the number one topic on Twitter and crash the web feed from the Senate floor because so many people were watching it online?

What Bernie did today was pretty historic, I think, whether or not one views it as tilting at windmills. The blognoscenti should have been live-blogging it in my view, but instead we heard little about it. This is my point.

Posted by: brooklyngj | December 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

It is telling that the majority of liberals posting here are well to the left of rank and file Democrats. Bernie Sanders is a leftie nutjob, a fool who is doing absolutely nothing to help anybody. That people would praise him while criticizing Obama and Clinton is truly delicious.

Go ahead and torpedo the compromise, endorsed by sane Democrats, and we'll see who suffers when the unemployment runs out and even more people lose their jobs. Clue: it won't be the rich folks.

If the compromise survives and makes you too bitter, you can always join Noacoler/ChrisFox (or catheter9 or whatever moniker he goes by these days) in that bastion of human rights, freedom and strong labor unions known as Vietnam. Like him, you can move your meager holdings there and go from being an American peon to a temporary VIP. Just don't criticize the government or complain about the boiled snakes and one-eyed wonder worms.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"When was the last time a senator made an eight-hour, completely substantive floor speech which challenged not only the opposition party but also the president with whom he is generally allied, and did so with respect to a very important policy matter?"
-----
Sort of reminds one of Ho Chi Minh.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It might be worth adding that Sherrod Brown is also a moron and unlikely to be around after the 2012 election.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

" I'm more referring to a paucity of coverage and discussion on various blogs throughout the day, and to the fact that you led your roundup with a lengthy (for a blog post) discussion on the Obama/Clinton moment in the press room rather than a discussion of what Sanders did today."

Bernie's right wing media conspiracy hardest hit. I guess you'll be added to the troll blocker.

Speaker Pelosi can keep this Bush Tax Cut Extension bill from coming tonthe House floor. Mid she allows a vote on it, is she betraying her base? She has that power.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mid she allows a vote on it, is she betraying her base? She has that power.

Should actually read:

If she allows a vote on it, is she betraying her base? She has that power.

Sorry.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the press conference, but, really, the POTUS turning it over to an ex-POTUS? An ex-POTUS who said he raised taxes too much? How much lower into fecklessness can Obama sink?

Sherrod the buffoon Brown is toast in 2012. Write it down. He is just trying to go out in a comically inept bang.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 10, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"Obama still defends the Porkulus"

BAHAHAHAHA, did you see what he did? He took something that Conservatives are Supposed To Hate and replaced the first syllabus with something else with a negative connotation.

I might just one-up you and call it the gayrightsulus or the payingforallgovernmentspendingulus. Conservatives hate those things too, right?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, all over the world, American expats are living happily ever after. Don't let it bother you. The world loves America and Americans love the world. Right?

Sure there are haters, they are here and there, we have security services. But the haters have nothing to do with anything other than good police work.

But you hating an American defector on a post it board, what are you, a John Bircher? Americans abroad are our ambassadors. I'll bet CF8 is a shining example of Americana for the people of Vietnam. He can talk trash about America all he wants, he is an American and so long as he isn't plotting death and destruction, wish him Godspeed why don't you. Merry Xmas.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 10, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD,

Was the capital P to much? I wanna be subtle, but not too subtle, IYKWIMAITYD.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"But you hating an American defector on a post it board, what are you, a John Bircher?"

Hating? That's your idea of hating? I always preferred John Archer to John Bircher.

"Americans abroad are our ambassadors. I'll bet CF8 is a shining example of Americana for the people of Vietnam."

That's really scary.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Notusingincomprehensibleacronymsulus

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

How about this one,

willberniesandersshootbarryshostageandmakehimcaveonthetaxcutsextensionandifsodoeshehavethefbihrttakeoutsandersopulus.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Can you WaPo liberals spell......

.......T R I A N G U L A T I O N ??

Shades of 1994!

Deja vu, all over again.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 10, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

What are you trying to say here Brigade?

Go ahead and torpedo the compromise, endorsed by sane Democrats, and we'll see who suffers when the unemployment runs out and even more people lose their jobs. Clue: it won't be the rich folks.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 7:19 PM |

Are you saying that the country NEEDS the unemployment extension and additional stimulus spending included in the compromise? Is that what you're saying Brigade? And if that is what you're saying, what do you think about your GOP brethren holding this needed legislation hostage to a tax cut bonus for the rich people that by your own admission will be fine with or without their added riches?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 10, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Could Bill Clinton be Obama's running mate in 2012?? I think he could. Would he??

Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants??

A shocker!

It may be the only way to guarantee a Democrat win in 2012. Since Democrats would do absolutely anything to win the presidency again, Clinton may be added to the ticket and Biden bounced.

But, would the old Schlickmeister do it??

You betcha!!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 10, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders is great. I don't mind having a Socialist around to liven up the place every once in a while.


______________________________

What was not entirely clear today is that Bernie was not holding up the legislation. The cloture vote took place yesterday - so the vote will be held on Monday no matter what Bernie does.


It certainly would have been interesting if this thing DID take place BEFORE the cloture vote - and Bernie had a few friends with him.

NOW that would have been a sight to behold. Throw in a few Tea Party supporters against the COST of the whole Compromise which is ONE TRILLION, and then we have something to make the country think about whether we are going down the right road here.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Are you saying that the country NEEDS the unemployment extension and additional stimulus spending included in the compromise? Is that what you're saying Brigade? And if that is what you're saying, what do you think about your GOP brethren holding this needed legislation hostage to a tax cut bonus for the rich people that by your own admission will be fine with or without their added riches?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 10, 2010 9:04 PM
------

I'm conservative, but I'm not GOP. It just seems like it, because the GOP is traditionally more conservative than the Dems.

They can't be holding anything hostage if they've already worked out a deal. It looks like the liberals are the ones now taking hostages. I wouldn't fight 5 minutes over extension of cuts for the top bracket, but I'm not the one you have to deal with. I'm simply suggesting that if the whole thing falls apart, as some here seem to be hoping, it isn't the rich who will be hurt. And yes, I'm a bit skeptical about some of the "stimulus"; if they reopen negotiations, more money is likely to be wasted. And I didn't see the need in getting Social Security mixed up in this deal---it can be dealt with separately. If the money coming in is less than the money going to retirees, we'll just have to borrow the difference.

Posted by: Brigade | December 10, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

A few posters today started on the topic of whether the Compromise package was a stimulus or not.

The payroll tax holiday sure looks like an attempt at a stimulus.

I'm in favor of the extension of unemployment benefits - so let's put that aside.

The question is this: is that kind of stimulus - which distributes small amounts of money to millions of people EFFECTIVE in spurring the Economy ????


Obviously, Obama, with is "class struggle" analysis likes this kind of stimulus - Obama doesn't want to give the money to rich - he would prefer to give it to the Middle Class.

However - job creation is business-based. Would it not make more sense to TARGET tax cuts and TARGET tax incentives for job creation???


In the 1980s, investiment in equipment and plant was deemed to be job-creating as well, so tax incentives were created for those investments as well.

Obviously, with banks in the situation they are, it may not be such an easy idea to have businesses borrow money to get the tax incentives and thus spur job creation - however that is the direction of the approach.


_________________________


Unfortunately, we have the Free Trade deals, which cause much of the money in a broad-based case distribution to be spent on foreign goods - which defeats the whole purpose.

The US ends up borrowing the money again to finance a trade deficit. That is NOT a good idea.


______________________


Honestly, what we have at hand is something CURIOUS

We have an old sunset provision which was designed to produce an ACCOUNTING TRICK - and that is NOW DRIVING ECONOMIC POLICY.


This is insanity at its worst.


Think about how we got into this Compromise - and how we got into this fight -


THE NATION NEEDS REAL ECONOMIC THINKING - WE NEED REAL ECONOMIC DIRECTION

We aren't getting that from Obama - this Compromise bill which adds a Trillion dollars to the debt - QUESTIONABLE AT BEST.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

[@ 10:16 PM on December 10, 2010 RainForestRising Posted: "...distributes small amounts of money to millions of people.."]
= = = = = =
This is the essence of the past Two and a Half Years failure.

This President is at a crossroads, straight ahead with the SOSO, hasn't worked yet, middle of the left branch, turn further to the left, preside over the end of his own paradigm, or be a hero that could be the nominee for both parties in 2012.

The Election of Nov 2, 2010, has brought a fresh, energized, determined pantheon of not-so Clueless Young Amateur Patriots that stepped into the whistling wind at the brink, boarded the USS Golden Goose, and sailed US back to the shore of the good land of 'Prosperity', and Plenty of IT.

Those who have placed their hope for change in these folks deserve more than a 2% reduction in payroll tax, a patchwork of more complicated tax breaks for some, and the promise of more uncertainty out into the next two years. When we need a glass at least half full we are supposed to settle for a paper cup with another hole in it?

This nation needs TAX AMNESTY, not compromise, not trade-offs, not tax cuts extended, not tax credits, NOT HOLDING UN-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS HOSTAGE TO POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY. The following exists on the internet, and has been sent to some of you already:

We are imploring the Department of the Treasury to forebear and suspend the collection of any wages, profit, and/or interest/principle for the period of one year.

{We are petitioning the Congress of the United States of America to enact in the most expeditious manner a law to collect (a fair share of) revenue from the 50 States and Those Protectorates in Proportion to the distribution of population certified by the Census of 2010, and further enact a codicil (ensuring the) graduating (of) the responsibility of each and every Jurisdiction based upon the level of un-employment in that Jurisdiction. So have WE been empowered, so should it be considered, forthwith.}

This would be a victory, a validation, a vindication for ALL, A RETURN OF ECONOMIC STABILITY TO AMERICA, AND A CALMING OF THE WORLD FINANCIAL MARKETS.

Posted by: SpendNomore | December 10, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Take it or leaf it...

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/America-can-Recover/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/179/help-save-the-recovery/

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Invigorate-Invent-Invest

Posted by: SpendNomore | December 10, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Greg today put up two bar graphs - designed to explain the Compromise

Obviously it is wrong to look at these bar graphs - and focus entirely on an "us vs. them" analysis and leave it at that.


The Question is: what is the best course for an Economic Recovery? The problem is that Obama sees EVERY STIMULUS as some sort of government-give-away - in which each interest group has to get their slice of the pie.


Sort of like affirmative action for stimulus.


However what actually happens is the stimulus gets DILUTED AND DIVERTED. The stimulus dollars, when sent in the wrong direction, lose their "mulitiplier effect."

We are getting stimulus, but it isn't working the way it should.


Again, Obama seems to be doing the same wrong thing again: distributing small amounts of stimulus among millions of people and hoping that the Economic Multiplier works itself out.


Actually, this is the WORST Economic policy - because it borrows, and much of that money leaks to China and other foreign nations. We are borrowing to stimulate their factories - that is ridiculous. Let China borrow to stimulate their own factories.


If money is going to be borrowed, China has to do its fair share - and borrow to purchase an equal amount of ADDITIONAL US goods - that would be proper compensation.

____________________________


In this way, Obama's original stimulus was HYJACKED by democratic interest groups and the Economy never got the stimulus.

Obama also gave small amounts to millions of people - amounts that probably did little to affect their spending.

So, these stimulus programs are flawed - and the negatives of borrowing are there. If the nation has to borrow, it should get the "biggest bang for the buck" it can. It is that simple.

____________________


With that reasoning, Obama's "tax holiday" is not really such a good idea - no matter which bar graph it is on.


It is a horrible idea to RAISE taxes on anyone right now - and despite Obama's rhetoric, and the democrats SCREAMING that they want to raise taxes, it is the wrong thing to do for the Economy right now.


WHERE IS THE SOUND ECONOMIC POLICY - WHO IS TELLING US THAT THIS PACKAGE WILL LEAD TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY ?????


This package - and the display this week in Washington - is NOT good Economic Policy -

Even worse - we have pols arguing on idealogical lines - NOT BASING THEIR REASONING ON WHAT IS THE BEST ECONOMIC POLICY TO GET THE NATION ON A SOUND ECONOMIC RECOVERY.


This week has been completely irrational - led by Obama - and not led by sound Economic reasoning.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"Brigade, all over the world, American expats are living happily ever after."

==

Very happily indeed. It's phenomenal how much more relaxed life is here.

I'm curious, though, shrink, given that there's a script to block the trolls why you would still read Brigade. He's like a guy blowing a trumpet without ever using the valves, or an artist who uses only one color.

Brigade has exactly one rhetorical artifice: "I know you are but what am I?" All his posts are variations on that theme.

But then you miss JakeD and zouk, so I guess "it takes all kinds."

Posted by: caothien9 | December 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry however over the past month, the liberals have FAILED the country again.


All we hear from the liberals is whining - and calculating how they will get parts of their liberal agenda enacted.


DO WE HEAR ANYTHING FROM THE LIBERALS ON HOW TO GET THE NATION TO SOUND ECONOMIC RECOVERY ???


No, we haven't heard anything from the left on that. Today we had Bernie Sanders on his filibuster - saying he cares about the poor. So do I. However, nothing of what the liberals have been doing over the past month has had anything do with the poor.


Raising taxes on the rich does NOT make the poor richer. All it does is increase the size of the government - and in the long run, the poor is worse off because the taxes needed to keep a larger government going end up hitting the poor as well.

Raising taxes on the rich is an INSANE talking point from the democrats - and the level of passion from the liberals on this issue is nothing less than IRRATIONAL.


Economic Growth is the most important aim of the government - NOT taking tax money from groups of people divided by brackets.


____________________________


Astonishing the outcry from the democrats this week. Obama is lost. Obama has NO ECONOMIC PLAN TO GET US OUT OF THE RECESSION. OBAMA IS DIRECTIONLESS AND POWERLESS.


It is precisely this DIRECTIONLESS that proves that Obama is not qualified to be in office, and he should resign immediately and spare the nation the trouble over the next few years he is bound to cause.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I hope that troll script sends lists of blocked posters to WaPo. I bet the same monikers show up in most lists.

I bet one moniker is on *every* list.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 10, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"We are imploring the Department of the Treasury to forebear and suspend the collection of any wages, profit, and/or interest/principle for the period of one year."

==

Yeah, people who don't have jobs can use the tax money they save on income they don't have to buy a big-screen TV and some fine jewelry.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 10, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

[@ 11:20 PM on December 10, 2010 caothien9 Posted: "...people who don't have jobs..."]
= = = = = =
Fear not troll-buster, the Children of the Tea will not leave the hostages in Iran-West any longer than the Ayatolla left those other one's there after Reformation I began.

Posted by: SpendNomore | December 10, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Tax Holiday - on Greg's bar charts - this has to be thought out.


A one-year analysis does NOT tell the whole story.


Someone has to pay the INTEREST on that debt - the Middle Class.


Someone has to pay it back - the Middle Class.

This is not free money - and the "us" or "them" are going to have to pay the bills at some point.


This is clearly how Obama thinks - he NEVER thinks a move forward, or three moves forward.


Conclusion: these bar graphs "us" vs. "them" tells nothing about WHO has to pay the interest, and who has to cover the debt - which are the REAL ISSUES.


__________________________


Remember, this Tax holiday - this money $112 Billion is going to come DIRECTLY OUT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND.


The government is going to have to borrow more money on the open market to make up for that - and that $112 Billion will cause interest rates to rise.


Is that what we want from an Economic Stand-point ???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I still do not understand why the liberals want so badly to raise taxes in the middle of an Economic Crisis.

It makes no sense at all


________________________________


“We are allowing the liberal wing of the Democratic Caucus to hold these critically needed tax cuts hostage,” Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) told POLITICO. “It is long past time to get this deal done and get our economy moving again. Unfortunately, my colleagues are either not listening to what the voters are saying, or they are not interested in doing what is best for the American economy.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46254.html#ixzz17m9GPa7Y

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders is a non-consequential twerp. Nobody cares what he does.

Obama IS unqualified to be president. That is a fact. The surprise is that he has finally realized this fact. His shellacking in the mid-terms was like electro-shock treatment. It brought him to his senses.

He called in the only person who could save him and the Democrat party from total annihilation, Bill Clinton.

The only hope for the hapless Democrats is that Obama teams up with Slick Willy and accepts the vice presidency nomination in 2012. It will be a dream team for Democrats and Clinton will be Obama's Dick Cheney. An elder statesman to guide and direct the younger greenie.

Otherwise, Obama will receive a one-way ticket to Carterville. A dead-end for presidential losers.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 10, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Cao


I'm sure the Vietnamese will brand you as a spy real soon - and you will be hanging upside-down in some pit - where you belong.


Justice will only be served if broadwayjoe is hanging next to you - and you two have to listen to each other for the rest of your lives.


Yes, everyone can block your nasty and rude comments now.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I realize the above postings have been long - however today some people did attempt to have a reasoned discussion on the Compromise package.

I think the individual pieces should be evaluated to determine how much they help Economic Recovery.


Turning this analysis into "us vs. them" is silly and says little about Economic Recovery.


This is where I stand:


- Keep the unemployment benefits for a year

- Keep the Equipment expensing because it is targeted for jobs growth and is stimulive

- the democrats are wrong - the Estate tax is something for their side. The only people the estate tax applies to are those who do not do estate planning - a nuance lost this week - Trash the Estate tax completely - make it ZERO like they agreed 10 years ago. The Estate tax was meant to be gone forever.


- Get rid of the "Clinton Temporary Surcharge" I'm sure many democrats will be HORRIFIED to find out that their outcry this week was largely about something which was meant to be Temporaty - the "Clinton Temporary Surcharge"


- The Real Bush tax cut for the upper tax bracket was only to 35% from 36% - Put it back at 36% and be done with this discussion - Put some extra money in the treasury.


_____________________________

Using Greg's bar charts this is a REASONABLE TAX PACKAGE which would only cost 150 Billion


Instead of 350 Billion


That is 22 Billion for the Equipment expensing

56 Billion for the unemployment

and 71 Billion for tax cuts

Eliminate the Estate tax completely, get rid of the Tax holiday, and get rid of the other taxes like the ethanol subsidy which everyone agrees should go.


__________________________


That is a reasonable package, less expensive and more focused on ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or did Bernie Sanders just join the Tea Party today ???


Sure seemed like it.


All the people Bernie read letters from - all of them would be better off with LOWER TAXES, less debt and paying less taxes to pay interest on that debt.


How will any of those people pay their heating bills when the Federal government is hopelessly hobbled by debt payments - as Obama's policies are heading the country into ???


Bernie Sanders today joined the Tea Party.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

"Bernie Sanders is a non-consequential twerp. Nobody cares what he does."

==

says a guy who worships the ground idiot Palin walks on

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

This is the issue


Obama and crew went into negotiations over 91 Billion in tax cuts and 56 Billion in unemployment benefits.


And they came out with 350 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF BORROWING.


How can a Compromise end up costing, NOT HALF, BUT DOUBLE ???

And that is the ISSUE.


Obama's "Compromise" costs twice as much, with twice the borrowing - instead of half.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I was weak. Curiosity got the better of me. I peeked. Won't again.

Really, Brigade, I mean really. How shabby of you.

VIP? Not 'arf. Not what I came here for. I live like a middle-class Vietnamese, speaking their language and eating in humble bình dân places. And I'm not about to apologize for the lower cost of living here nor for the great stretch that's done for my "meager holdings." I've had meals here better than anything I could get in the USA for less than a half dollar

I could just imagine a coarse crude bigot such as yourself here .. American flag T-shirt ("try burning this one, a**hole"), loud remarks insulting your hosts, generally throwing your weight around and only eating at McD's and KFC.

You wouldn't like it here.

And as for the gross-out antics at the end, I must say, you certainly are consistent. Ever thought about going to work for Microsoft? They love consistency there. Me, I feel about it more like RW Emerson.

Back to the filter with you. Shoo!

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

if this was so shrewdly done, why did they wait til friday afternoon. half of america wont even know it happened

Posted by: mgscreem2 | December 11, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

"How can I get by on one house?" Sanders said. "I need five houses, ten houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world!"

Hmm, perhaps some good socialist commenter slobbering over Sanders here can educate us on what percentage of the taxpayers whose taxes Dems want to raise have ten houses and three jet planes. I wasn't aware that $250k/yr could support that lifestyle, but maybe I'm just missing something here.

I do appreciate how so many "liberals" who shriek at the socialist label are again lionizing Sanders as the conscience of the nation. Perhaps you couls also explain where the large differences between Sanders and Obama would be if Obama had power to impose all his policy preferences.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Not much point trying to "educate" a Gingrich conservative, quarterback, there's really nowhere to start. You drip with derision as you write absurdities.

Sanders' question is valid. Past some point not too many zeroes away from 250K the addition of yet more wealth doesn't yield any more comfort, any more security, and more lavishness; it only provides more power. Our tax code once recognized this and it unapologetically and openly sought to prevent the accumulation of wealth. Havinga few dozen families controlling most of thje money in the country isn't just bad for democracy, it's incompatible with it.

Scream about socialism and toss around your Rand Paul neologisms but there really ought not be a single billionaire in America, the tax code should make the honest accumulation of that much unelected power out of reach.

Now crank out the "punishing success" and "envy" junk and wrap it up in a "who gets to decide" colored bow.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

"* Chris Cillizza on why the 2012 Senate map is looking especially daunting for Dems."

==

Cillizza with bad news for Democrats? Wow, someone call the Guinness Book of World Records.

Cillizza is a GOP stooge.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Turning the Presidency over to Clinton is a good idea. Obie doesn't have to qualifications to run a lemonade stand.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 11, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

"Not much point trying to "educate" a Gingrich conservative, quarterback, there's really nowhere to start. You drip with derision as you write absurdities."

I see that this foreigner has as little self awareness as most of the other leftists who post such self-parodical tripe.

"Past some point not too many zeroes away from 250K the addition of yet more wealth doesn't yield any more comfort, any more security, and more lavishness;"

Perhaps you folks should figure out just how many zeroes are too many and focus your hatred there instead of on hard working middle class peole and small businesses. And when people like Clinton and Obama and Reid divest their own millions, I'll start to believe they are something other than rank hypocrites.

"it only provides more power."

Sloppy language, sloppy thinking, that's the currency of the left.

"Our tax code once recognized this and it unapologetically and openly sought to prevent the accumulation of wealth."

Yes, it did, for around forty years ending in stagflation and the worst economic situation since the Depression. Worked great. It is also a corruption of politics and government and an assault on liberty and unalienable rights.

"Havinga few dozen families controlling most of thje money in the country isn't just bad for democracy, it's incompatible with it."

That's the best straw man you can come up with? Btw, the US isn't a democracy. As a foreigner who has apparently disowned the US, I suppose I'm not surprised at your misunderstading.

"Scream about socialism and toss around your Rand Paul neologisms but there really ought not be a single billionaire in America, the tax code should make the honest accumulation of that much unelected power out of reach."

Scratch the surface of sanctimonious "democrat," and there's always an authoritarian if not a totalitarian beneath. Sadly for you, the authoritarian dictates of a foreigner proudly living in a hovel in southeast Asia aren't relevant in America. You aren't an American. Why you don't you mind your own business?

As for socialism, no need to scream about it. Bernie Sanders is a socialist, and you are preaching socialism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

What is the moral condition of people whose monomanical obsession, to the exclusion of all other objectives, is the dispossession of other people's money?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

"Our tax code once recognized this and it unapologetically and openly sought to prevent the accumulation of wealth."

QB replies:

"Yes, it did, for around forty years ending in stagflation and the worst economic situation since the Depression. Worked great. It is also a corruption of politics and government and an assault on liberty and unalienable rights."

Just what is it about reality that Cons hate so much? The U.S. economy was the strongest in the world until the 1960s and the and entire time Rich Americans were taxed at over 50%. If you are referring to the 1970s OPEC recession quite obviously the tax code had nothing to do with it. In fact, what that demonstrated was that the U.S. was on an unsustainable economic path and needed to make structural changes ASAP.

So how did America react? By getting mad at Jimmy Carter when he said so and then electing St. Ronnie and a procession of GOP-knockoffs and DINO Republicrats who specialized in Happy Talk and commissioned the Masters of the Universe to blow money bubbles that have now exploded and collapsed the economy.

QB also whines:

"What is the moral condition of people whose monomanical obsession, to the exclusion of all other objectives, is the dispossession of other people's money?"

Allow me to answer with my own question: What is the moral condition of people whose monomanical obsession, to the exclusion of all other objectives, is the possession of money?
Answer: Very poor indeed.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

This Obama catalyst (tax agreement) has initiated a much needed debate in our country so that the American people can see how a small group of people (the Rich) control this country, do not pay taxes or their fair share due to tax loopholes and tax shelters, leaving the tax burden on the middle class and working poor, and that the GOP talking points that tax cuts create jobs is false, because for the last 10 years that we have had these tax cuts, we have lost jobs.

And the debate also highlights one party, the Republican, refusing to vote on any legislation to help the little people, the people they are supposed to represent -- 911 responders, unemployment benefits, etc.,(like spoiled children) until they get their way -- tax cuts for the rich! And this ability to not vote on legislation, to hold up the people's business (or hold them hostage) is this legal? We know it is not fair.

This debate will give the American people a chance to decide if they want to extend the tax cuts to the rich so that their taxes can go down or if they want the tax cuts for the rich to expire knowing that their taxes will go up and they will be paying more come January than they do now. Do they want to make that sacrifice?

Let's not forget that in order for us to forge new healthy pathways for the country, the dark, the outworn, the negative and false must be exposed.

And by the way, Sen Mary Landrieux you were for the Bush tax cuts and voted for them, before you were against them!

http://patrickhenrypress.info/node/315136

Posted by: wdsoulplane | December 11, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

You sure covered all the usual bases there, wb: crackpot history and economics, hallucinagenic rhetoric, evasion, and false parallels.

You seldom disappoint.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

James Fallows and Jay Rosen on wikileaks...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking

Posted by: bernielatham | December 11, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

...and on TSA, apparently

Posted by: bernielatham | December 11, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/open_thread_13.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 11, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Do you agree with the following statement?

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

If so, how do you reconcile your claims that you have the moral authority to determine how much honestly earned money another person is entitled to keep?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

QB: Like the other Greedhead apologists you have the same conception of freedom as a petulant child. You want freedom without responsibility. You deny the fundamental conceptions underlying Western Civilization: civic virtue, the social contract, personal responsibility. You live in Ivory Towers at the University of Chicago and Pepperdine reading Ayn Rand and concocting silly arguments while the Real World churns beneath you. You should be irrelevant is today's America and, god willing, you soon will be.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

wb, for you to imagine you are a defender of Western Civilization as opposed to its implacable (if undereducated and uncomprehending) enemy is something. Sorry to go over your head and leave you to deflect. I'll just try to keep it as simplistic as possible for you: your greed for the fruits of other people's labors is base and immoral. It makes you an enemy of liberty, not its friend.

As for relevance, you might not have noticed that the electorate just rejected your socialist agenda.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

My "socialist agenda" was rejected? Wow! I missed the agenda AND the rejection. Know why? Because none of it happened except in the Propaganda Rooms at the Club for Growth and the Chamber of Commerce.

Have some books delivered to your penthouse at the Ivory Tower on Ayn Rand Drive. Read Aristotle, Rouuseau and John Locke and then get back to me. Please take your time.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I studied those while you were smokin' doobs and protestin' against the man. I didn't just hear about them from bernie and dkos.

I can hardly wait for you to expound on they each should tell us about the justice of soaking the rich, or whatever your fever dream is about.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like "quarterback" has socialist on the brain. Hammers and nails. Everything he doesn't like is socialism and socialism explains everything. And of course that Old Standby, "liberty," delivered in hushed reverent tones.

You managed to mock and deride my post without answering or responding to a single particlar, and, yup, sure enough, falling back as always on "who gets to decide," which I will take, as I always do,as a concession of your rhetorical defeat.

And don't expect me to lose control of my saliva as you do at the mention of freedom. Americans are making such a lousy mess of their freedom that the word no longer makes mah hart go pitter-patter no more.

Who's afraid of Socialism ... not I. The USA would benefit from a lot more of it, redistributalisticalism and all.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Yeah qb we all get it. Freedom has "economic" in front ot ot and the unlimited acquisition of wealth is all that matters. Be honest, Randroid, the only freedom that really matters to you is the one about enslaving other human beings, without which no SOB is truly Free.

The funny part of it is that you're going to be as totally ruined as the "socialists" and the "libs" you deride and scorn, and while you're poking through the trash to feed li'l Trevor and Rienna you'll still be wearing your flag pin and have your dog-eared copy of Atlas in your torn jacket pocket, smirking "your side lost, hippie" at the guy at the next trash can who isn't wearing a flag pin.

Enjoy your free market,chump. And have fun on the yellow brick road to serfdom.

I've left your free market Scheißeloche, and I'm not coming back. I'll watch the food riots from the comfort of my luxurious house in this sanely goverened Socialist country.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

As for relevance, you might not have noticed that the electorate just rejected your socialist agenda.

==

No, the electorate bought into the conservative promise of more ice cream and candy and staying up past their bedtime.

Yeah, the country is moving right, as the deteriorating quality of education shows up in the voting booth. Conservatives are unlettered people (just read the comments in any blog, hell-LOW) and America's emerging heart of darkness reflects the bathtub drowned government, no longer capable of preparing its citizens to carry out their civic obligations.

Expect more conservative victories as America descends further, from reduced higher education to home-schooled illiteracy. Liberalism requires education.

And no, I don't think you've read Aristotle or Locke. There was no money in it for you, so why should you?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Foreign Noob, you are out of your league. I'll just leave it at that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Do you agree with the following statement?

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

==

Nothing to agree nor disagree with. It's metaphysical junk.

For a guy who sneers at people who smoked "doobs," you write some pretty LSD-influenced stuff.

"Concept of existence." Yeah like you have any insights of your own. You guys are like those Barbies in the 60s with the plastic pull-rings, loaded at the factory with canned recordings.

Liberty. Freedm. Socialism!!!

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Foreign Noob"?

Does that follow "gook" in the Ugly American Dictionary?

Bye.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Expatriate, not foreigner. Christ but you're dumb.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"from reduced higher education to home-schooled illiteracy."

That was particularly funny, btw. Even funnier than a socialist talking about free ice cream.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

caothien:

Good stuff, Comrade. Welcome aboard.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

And human life holds no mystery. Life is thermodynamic and molcecular, and we have no undying part. The reason any one of us is here is because mom and pop did the horizontal hokey-pokey in the back seat of a car and didn't wear a raincoat.

Some mystery.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I didn't say anything about free ice cream. But I did mention illiteracy, which you're kind enought to demonstrate for us.

@wbg: zdravstuitye, tovarishch!

Getting late here, 12-15 hours off from you guys. Night.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

caothien:

Good stuff, Comrade. Welcome aboard.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 11:29 AM
-----

I'm sure he'd be happy to welcome you aboard. Lots of companies locating to his part of the world in search of cheap and child labor. If things get boring in Nammy Nammy land, there's always North Korea. Where is Curtis LeMay when you really need him?

"We should bomb Vietnam back into the stone age"--- CL

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Liberalism requires education."
-----

I think he means "re-education" as in camps. Unless you think groveling and working in a paddy requires high education.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

No, an expat is an American living abroad. You're a foreigner. You've been here only a short while and yet made clear that you've rejected America and Americans. So go mind your own business.

So long, wb, you won't be missed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Nothing to agree nor disagree with. It's metaphysical junk.

For a guy who sneers at people who smoked "doobs," you write some pretty LSD-influenced stuff."

I didn't write it. Justice Kennedy did. In an opinion enshrining abortion rights and epitomizing judicial supremacist, living-constitution liberalism. I'd imagine wb is embarassed for you.

"You guys are like those Barbies in the 60s with the plastic pull-rings, loaded at the factory with canned recordings."

You guys? You don't know a thing about me, but everything you've said since being here is a bad version of a dkos kid sitting in Freshman Seminar.

And now you've been dumb enough to walk into the simplest of traps. I honestly didn't think anyone would be dumb enough to attribute Kennedy's line to me and trash it as LSD-induced nonsense. But you were.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Somebody PLEASE tell Barack Obama that, as president of the United States, YOU NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP YOUR PODIUM TO ANYBODY!!! THE BULLY-PULPIT IS YOURS AND YOU NEVER EVER GIVE THAT UP!!! If you want to have somebody else speak with you, you either get that person their own podium, or you give them a microphone and have them stand off to the side. BUT YOU NEVER, EVER GIVE UP YOUR PRESIDENTIAL PODIUM! When Bill Clinton took over the presidential podium on Friday with PRESIDENT Obama just standing off to the side, it made president Obama look like he's not up to the job...like he's not a REAL president and that he had to go get a REAL president to help him out because he, president Obama, is in over his head. And then, when PRESIDENT Obama left the press conference and left Bill Clinton there to finish the press conference, the message that was communicated by that was, "Okay, Barack, you can run along, now. A REAL president is here to handle the REAL problems." PRESIDENT Obama looked like a little boy standing next to Bill Clinton.

Posted by: corymac | December 11, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"I've left your free market Scheißeloche, and I'm not coming back. I'll watch the food riots from the comfort of my luxurious house in this sanely goverened Socialist country."

Like I said, you are a foreigner. Your citizenship needs to be revoked. If you had an ounce of integrity or honor, you would formally renounce it.

So get lost, foreigner.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

No, qb, I don't know you personally, thankfully, nor would I want to. But to know your opinions, I don't need to know you, I can predict every last one of them with perfecf accuracy because you're nothing but a conservative, and you people (that's right, "you people") are as interchangeable as piston rods and as predictable as the trajectory of a freely falling stone.

Exact same junk, every last bleeding one of you.

My citizenship is none of your damned business. And yes I've rejected the USA because the USA is loaded with knucklewalkers like you suffering from Stockholm Syndrome love of your captors. Americans have become a fat, stupid, selfish bigoted and cruel people and I decided the night you bass terds re-elected a sadist that I'd had enough. But there are plenty of other morally intolerable considerations about contributing to America, like the support for Israel and that horrid woman from Alaska.

My house is the tallest in my neighborhood, and not for anything to do with ostentation. I have two guest rooms and two more I could use in a pinch. They're open to my friends fromthe USA when then decide, probably in the dead of night, to become refugees.

There's a third word for you.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

So why don't you write to the Department of State, "quarterback," and demand that my citizenship be revoked because I tore you a new one on a blog.

Who cares who authored that metaphysical twaddle? You saw fit to quote it. Do you do seances and pyramid power too? Do you believe in a magical invisible cosmic spirit? Do you deny evolution and global warming? All that would fit with your miserable politics.

Now why don't you enlighten us about how "supply and demand" is what holds the nuclei together.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"I can predict every last one of them with perfecf accuracy because you're nothing but a conservative, and you people (that's right, "you people") are as interchangeable as piston rods and as predictable as the trajectory of a freely falling stone.

Exact same junk, every last bleeding one of you."

He's right. You people are pretty retarded. Like you all are wrong about the same things in the exact same way and yet you want us to believe that you have independent thought?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

He's right. You people are pretty retarded. Like you all are wrong about the same things in the exact same way and yet you want us to believe that you have independent thought?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 11, 2010 8:30 PM
-------

Must be terribly depressing for you to watch Clinton, Obama and so many other Democrats come around to believing these "same things." There's always room in the hovel.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Multiple polls show about 73% of the public is to the left of President Obama (measured by actual issues NOT self identification).

So there you have it, we are all to the left of ourselves AND the president. We just don't matter.

1984 lives-on in the corporatized media and the fourth-estate has become a cozy condo from which to control the unwashed masses.

Are you a liberal commie scumbag Democrat?
Are you a responsible moderate?
Are you a financially smart Republican?

There you go! Proof that America is center-right! Silly wabbit, tricks are for kids.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | December 12, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"because I tore you a new one on a blog."

LOL you are funny. Deluded but funny.

"But to know your opinions, I don't need to know you, I can predict every last one of them with perfecf accuracy"

Lol again, I doubt that a lot. But I've been predicting with perfect accuracy every knee-jerk, preprogrammed reaction of lib-bots here for a long time. You're one of the most predictable. Because you haven't an original thought in your head.

"My citizenship is none of your damned business. And yes I've rejected the USA . . ."

Actually, it's very much my business. You've rejected this country by your own admission. Your continued citizenship undermines the country and is a danger to it. You are a danger to it. Your failure to renounce citizenship reflects your lack of integrity and honor.

"Who cares who authored that metaphysical twaddle? You saw fit to quote it."

You really stepped in it didn't you? And it's awkward trying to save face. Thus the childish "who cares."

I quoted it because it is a classic statement of contemporary liberal "rights" theory and so makes a good test of liberals' consistency. I happen to think it is indeed metaphysical rubbish, and, more importantly, meaningless as a legal principle as it was used.

I find it hilarious that you are so arrogant and presumptuous that you failed to identify the quotation before leaping to attribute it to me and trash it. From now on you'll have to live with the fact that you are on record as declaring the philosophical cornerstone of modern abortion rights and liberal "constitutional" theory as LSD-induced rubbish.

LOL, it is great to see a liberal like you, of such hubris, low education, and low integrity, make a complete fool of yourself.

I heatedly disagree with lms, for example, but she at least has integrity and honor. You are just a childish and stupid traitor.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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