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DNC Chair Tim Kaine casts the Tea Party as "corrosive and divisive"

As the analysis begins in earnest about what ophthalmologist Rand Paul's (R) landslide victory in Kentucky means for the role of the Tea Party on the national stage, Democrats are quickly moving to cast the movement as a force for division in the country's politics.

Paul's win was a "crushing blow to national Republicans and Senator [Mitch] McConnell and also additional evidence that there is a corrosive and divisive civil war occurring on the Republican side," Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine said at a National Press Club luncheon speech today.

Kaine whipped through a laundry list of recent instances leading up to Paul's win in which he claimed the Tea Party's influence has divided Republicans. Tea Partiers, Kaine said, had ousted Sen. Bob Bennett (R) in Utah, "split the Republican electorate in two" in the Florida Senate race, forced Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to "reverse course on life-long political positions" in his re-election bid and "hijacked" this month's Republican Party convention in Maine-- approving a "far-right platform full of conservative myths and conspiracy theories."

Kaine added that Republicans had spent the last 18 months "riding the tiger...and now they're feeling the tea party's bite."

It's nothing new for one party to take aim at the other as being in a state of "civil war." Republicans have and will continue to do the same -- noting that Democrats have their own problems from Pennsylvania where yesterday's primary led to the unseating of Sen. Arlen Specter to Sen. Blanche Lincoln's runoff fight in Arkansas and the pending primary in Colorado.

But, given the attention paid to quantifying and understanding the tea party movement by the media -- and others -- over the past year or so, the fight for what the movement means takes on added import.

Paul, during his round of media interviews this morning following his victory, portrayed the movement as a middle-of-the-road one that can be embraced by Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.

"The Tea Party message is actually a very mainstream message," Paul said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends." He pointed to polls showing bipartisan support for term limits and a balanced-budget amendment, contending that what's "extreme" isn't the tea party movement but rather the country's ballooning deficit. "That's what the Democrats will have to defend," Paul said.

Republican strategist Kevin Madden echoed Paul's sentiment, arguing that Democrats are "making a huge mistake by choosing to deride and ridicule the Tea Party members and the sentiments rather than understanding the elements that are driving it."

Recent national polling suggests the American public doesn't feel terribly strongly about the movement at the moment -- a data point that makes the fight for who and what it is all the more important in the context of the rapidly approaching midterm elections.

In an April Washington Post-ABC News poll , 27 percent of respondents said that they support the Tea Party movement, while 24 percent said they oppose it. The largest segment -- 44 percent said -- they neither oppose nor support it.

That 44 percent is who both parties are targeting in their education efforts about the tea party movement in the wake of Paul's win. (Post blogger Dave Weigel referred to it as "Randslide" -- that's good.)

For that four in ten Americans, will the tea party ultimately be a fringe group on the far right of the Republican party or a sort of a-partisan collection of voters unhappy with the status quo and ready to send a message to both parties in the fall?

-- Felicia Sonmez

By The Fix  |  May 19, 2010; 6:17 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Winners and Losers from the May 18 primaries
Next: Blanche Lincoln, Bill Halter prepare for Arkansas Senate runoff

Comments

I am a member of the Tea Party Movement. The Tea Party is comprised of many Democrats, Republicans, Independants, and so on. What most of us are disgusted with are the incumbents in the House and Senate.

They've become ineffective political puppets of big business and special interest groups because that is where they get their campaign money (and other things) from. Time for some new faces in Washington,D.C.

Posted by: bwshook1 | May 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

We are the Left
We need a victim
We really know how to pick ‘em
Be they black, brown, or
A union clown
We pick a new one everyday

We are the Left
We are the children

Posted by: leapin | May 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

... and oppressive.

Posted by: hoser3 | May 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a tea party member so I'm not defending a personal insult, but I think Kaine is referencing the wrong target. The federal government is the entity that has become corrosive and its members divisive. It's out of control, is increasingly costly, intrusive and ineffective and our elected leaders are arrogant, self-serving, greedy, out of touch, insulting leeches. And that's why the natives are restless!

Posted by: Lilycat1 | May 20, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The tea party does not scare me. It disgusts me. They stand for all of the ugly underbelly of America. They are aggressively ignorant, uninformed and bigoted. No they don't scare me. They are the people the world is leaving behind and not a minute too soon.

Posted by: withersb | May 20, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I am a populist - you are right about that.

==

you're a brain-charred crystal meth user and nothing more. You don't even know how to use contractions anymore. Hurry up and go into convulsions, would you?

Posted by: Noacoler | May 20, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Please go to OFA


and give them a piece of your mind !

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Please go to the NRCC and the NRSC and send them $10 each.


thanks !

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 20, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I love it when the Dems, progressives, libs or whatever name one might chose to use for them start frothing at the mouth and insulting anything and everything that they find in any way intimidating to their causes. It makes it so easy to see what scares them and the Tea Party movement scares the pants off them!!

==

don't kid yourself, Cletus. The teabaggers are tearing the Republican Party apart, forcing them to nominate unelectable whack jobs like Doug Hoffman and Ayn Rand Paul. In case you need someone to connect the dots for you, we like having the GOP immolating itself. They deserve it.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 20, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

To DDAWD @ 11:40 p.m.

Here's the way I see it: Why try to be anonymous, when EVERYTHING that goes over the web its known to the denizens of dark side and their constitution-shredding minions in state and local government? I am sending no bulletins to you, of all people...

That's why I'm a "full hang-out." No secrets, because in the Security State, there are none, anyway.

Want proof of just how pervasive this surveillance-censorship society is? Just read these articles:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-govt-censors-net-political-speech-targeted-americans
http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech


Posted by: scrivener50 | May 20, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

To DDAWD @ 11:40 p.m.

Here's the way I see it: Why try to be anonymous, when EVERYTHING that goes over the web its known to the denizens of dark side and their constitution-shredding minions in state and local government? I am sending no bulletins to you, of all people...

That's why I'm a "full hang-out." No secrets, because in the Security State, there are none, anyway.

Want proof of just how pervasive this surveillance-censorship society is? Just read these articles:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-govt-censors-net-political-speech-targeted-americans
http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech


Posted by: scrivener50 | May 20, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

drindl


I am a populist - you are right about that.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 20, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

This is an ideal day for every Democrat and Independent in the country to click over to DCCC and DSCC and give $5 to support Dems in this fall's elections.

5 special election victories for Ds in a row prove: this is NOT going to be a Republican landslide.

So let's throw the losers an anvil for good measure.

Posted by: paul65 | May 20, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

'I want to know : WHERE IS HE BUYING DINNER IN MANHATTAN FOR $35 ?????

$35 is two glasses of wine WHILE you are waiting for your table.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street'


I thought you were a populist, dude! No place I go to in Manhattan charges that kind of prices. Guess you really are a privileged preppy, like everyone assumes already.

Posted by: drindl | May 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

'I love it when the Dems, progressives, libs or whatever name one might chose to use for them start frothing at the mouth and insulting anything and everything that they find in any way intimidating to their causes. It makes it so easy to see what scares them and the Tea Party movement scares the pants off them!!'


uh no, guy, we are all laughing to you... you are a rich source of mirth.

Posted by: drindl | May 19, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

haha, scriv, there was a Parish president near where I live who tried to unmask twitter users as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 19, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris Hayes is begging for money to try to save The Nation


Here is what he says your money will buy:

$35 buys me dinner with a confidential source in New York

$75 pays for an interpreter for a reporter researching a story in Afghanistan

$150 covers an Amtrak ticket to Washington so a writer can testify before Congress

$300 buys a labor reporter's ticket to Detroit for a piece on unemployment

$500 (expenses extra) rewards a brilliant article by a young journalist on Tehran dissidents

________________________________________


I want to know : WHERE IS HE BUYING DINNER IN MANHATTAN FOR $35 ?????

$35 is two glasses of wine WHILE you are waiting for your table.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse


Yes, OregonStorm. In PA, "insulting" henchforth shall be regarded by the A.G.'s office as "hate speech."

It's a JOKE, Tom! Put down your ray gun!

You know, THIS one:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "Obama: Take Down Fusion Center Gestapo..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 19, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I love it when the Dems, progressives, libs or whatever name one might chose to use for them start frothing at the mouth and insulting anything and everything that they find in any way intimidating to their causes. It makes it so easy to see what scares them and the Tea Party movement scares the pants off them!!

Posted by: OregonStorm | May 19, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

BULLETIN TO ALL FIXISTAS:

You MUST immediately Google "Tom Corbett" and "Twitter" to see the story that threatens to ROIL Pennsylvania politics.

Space cadet blows up on the launch pad??

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 19, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

.

37 is a 24/7 troll, Margaret, as we all understand, a meth burnout. Tragic case.


.


Posted by: drindl | May 19, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Was 37th demoted from day troll to night troll?

That's what I heard anyway.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 19, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I propose locking the two of them into a room and then only letting the winner out (after a few decades).

Here's some things you won't hear about either of them:

http://24ahead.com/s/tim-kaine

http://24ahead.com/s/tea-parties

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | May 19, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe is filled with HATE AND PREJUDICE

And to justify this hate and prejudice, we come out with more hate and prejudice quotes.

Give us a break.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

It is beyond amazing that certain people find it perfectly appropriate to use SEXUAL SLURS against the Tea Party Movement


- and yet the very thing they CLAIM is their complaint against the Tea Party is the supposed use of slurs

So these people are COMPLETE HYPOCRITES.


AND YET almost everyday, the SLURS CONTINUE.

The country has had it with the liberals - who are a bunch of liars - and who just won't stop with their unAmerican tactics and hate speech.

YEA what use are the civil rights laws if someone like BROADWAYJOE is allowed to act the way he does ???

It is a legitimate point.

There is a appropriate conduct in this democracy -


You can not cure discrimination with MORE DISCRIMINATION.


YOU CAN NOT CURE HATE WITH MORE HATE.

And yet the liberals take this road.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


you coward - you spam this site with your racism and hate - and then you run away the minute anyone calls you out.


PLEASE LEAVE THE COUNTRY, YOU DO DESERVE TO BE AN AMERICAN.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Man, Chris, I know you're Catholic and all, but these 37th outbreaks are a good reminder of the importance of condoms.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 19, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

fake 37, enjoy the rest of your 9pm to 2am troll shift. And treat yourself to a mayo sandwich break at some point. All the best.

Lakers are on. Out.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


You are a walking ABUSE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS


Why have laws if they allow you to run wild ????

Seriously, you are FILLED WITH PREJUDICE AND HATE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe

YOU have gone too far


YOU don't elect a person who claims to be a moderate - who claims to be bipartisan - which means COMPROMISE AND ARRIVE AT CENTRIST SOLUTIONS.

AND then swing to the far left.


EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE.

WE ARE GOING TO TAKE AMERICA BACK !!!!

WE ARE GOING TO TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE !!!


Everything is on the table - so you BETTER CLEAN UP YOUR ACT.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


You say that you think the Civil Rights laws should be kept in place.

AND YET almost everyday YOU ABUSE YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH BY USING SEXUAL SLURS AGAINST AMERICANS.

AND YET you INSIST ON CALLING PEOPLE RACIST WHO YOU HAVE NO BASIS FOR CALLING RACIST.

YES - you are a case in point - MAYBE YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY because you do not know how to function properly in a democracy.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


Would you stop showing your own RACISM by calling other people racist ???

It is getting a little tiring.

Your IQ must be below 10 if you have not understood what you have been told time and time again.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess when a DEMOCRAT wins a special election, they don't wait to swear him in.

WOULD THEY JUST GIVE US A BREAK ????

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

brig-ade, Google "tea party" and each of the following: Eugene Robinson, Colbert King, Joan Walsh, E.J. Dionne, Frank Rich, Keith Olbermann, and Janeane Garofalo. Read up on their writings about the baggers, pal, and then report back...They're will be a pop quiz.

Good grief. Rand wants to get rid of the civil rights laws? What the _____? This is like a bagger "wayback machine" to 1954 Birmingham. Or 1939 Germany. Scary stuff.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

BWJ, the press isn't superhuman. If they spent time covering Rand Paul, who would be left to doctor Blumenthal video clips?

Posted by: DDAWD | May 19, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Journalist Taylor Marsh has a disturbing piece on Rand Paul in HuffPo today. Turns out Rand IS just like his Dad.

"Today on "Hardball," Jack Conway charged that [Rand?] Paul wanted to do away with the Civil Rights Act. In fact, Rand Paul's words to the Courier-Journal, in their editorial board interview, were even more extreme than the paper's editorial reveal.

The interview that reveals Rand Paul's views on civil rights was done in April. People have linked to the editorial, but the transcript has not been circulated.
* * * *
It's the nakedness and naïveté of Mr. Paul's views on civil rights laws, that legislation should not impact businesses, that is not only evidence that he's unfit for Congress, but that he's actually dangerous. To think that the United States would no longer require laws to protect minorities is just ignorant and lacking in experience in the real world."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taylor-marsh/rand-paul-on-civil-rights_b_582674.html

Mr. Marsh provides shocking excerpts from a Rand Paul interview. Developing...

MSM, where were you on this? Wouldn't this have been nice to know before election day.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Looks more and more like this Blumenthal story is a non-story after all.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 19, 2010 8:58 PM

You can bet it will be a non-story if the Dems are left with a choice between this lowlife and someone who isn't a Dem.

Posted by: Brigade | May 19, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of second rate newsletters...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/times_defends_posting_of_clipp.html

Looks more and more like this Blumenthal story is a non-story after all.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 19, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe, yes, it is a fact of life now, political reporting and political news and politics...are all wadded up, not like a multi-car accident filmed in slow motion, more like a herring ball with sea gulls on top and seals below.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 19, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe wrote,
"From newsone.com's excellent article last month, "Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters Revealed" . . .

Racism is all you ever talk about. When you were a child, did the white boys used to beat you up and steal your lunch money?
I've heard that's how Farrakhan became so bitter.

Posted by: Brigade | May 19, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The democrats here - such as broadwayjoe - continue their PREJUDICE AND HATE toward the Tea Party - and anyone they perceive as anti-Obama.

This PREJUDICE AND HATE has really never been used in American history by supporters of an administration to INTIMIDATE AND HARASS legitimate Free Speech.

This behavior is UNAMERICAN - AND IT HAS NO PLACE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY.

If you do not like people criticizing the government, LEAVE THE COUNTRY.

It is a sickness in the democratic party - that somehow these sexual slurs and PRACTICE OF HATE is appropriate behavior in our democracy.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Given what his Dad thinks (see Ron Paul Newsletters), I can see why Rand views the baggers as "mainstream" Compared to his Dad -- gulp -- they are!

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe wrote,
"Fix coworker Colbert King recently had a great take on those racist sociopaths known as the teabaggers. . .
Janeane Garofalo, what say you?
'Let's be very honest about what this is about," she said. "This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. . .'"

You have racism on the brain haven't you joe? There's no more of a brain dead fool in all of punditry than Janeane Garofalo.
This is the sort of garbage that comes from the mouth of someone who really doesn't have anything to say. Dislike of Clarence Thomas is "racism straight up" I suppose. How's that Air America gig of Gawdawfulo's working out?

Posted by: Brigade | May 19, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe continues the sexual slurs against the Tea Party Movement .....

Even as one of his main complaints about them is supposed name-calling.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Kaine had a good presser. I heard it on the way home today (gotta love C-SPAN radio). The headline accurately reflects the tenor of Kaine's comments. Sorry if the bloggerati doesn't like it, but that's politics.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 19, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Didn't understand what the Fix cheerleading for Rand Paul was all about so we checked out the "Ron Paul Newsletters." Like father, like son, maybe?

From newsone.com's excellent article last month, "Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters Revealed":

"In this story Ron Paul writes about “needlin” and blames packs of young black girls for spreading AIDS to white women. I could find no evidence of this “epidemic” and the article seems to have no point other than to make white people scared of Black people.

In this piece he criticizes Martin Luther King as a pro-communist philanderer and says the MLK holiday is “Hate Whitey Day.” This is in great contrast to 2008 when he told Wolf Blitzer that Martin Luther King was one of his heroes. When activists suggested naming a city after Martin Luther King Paul suggested other names such as “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis.”"

http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/ron-pauls-racist-newsletters-revealed/

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Cilizza knows what he is doing.

Young political reporters need to become part of the news, or their careers die, silently.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 19, 2010 7:25 PM"
_________

Sounds good, s2. Maybe Fix can have his two interns produce another Hillary video, a sequel to the one he did with Milbank that was so well received by the community. Then his interns would be guaranteed to be part of the news. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

...and Fix coworker Eugene Robinson has weighed on the baggers, too:

"Let's not pretend anymore that the tea party movement is harmless. The right to protest is one of our cherished American freedoms. But there is no right to vandalism, no right to threaten our elected officials' lives. Someone is going to get hurt unless those who lead the movement -- and those who exploit it -- start acting like responsible adults.

What are the chances of that?

It was Sarah Palin, the Eva Peron of the tea party crowd, who used Facebook to target 20 Democrats who voted for health-care reform, indicating their districts' locations on a map with the cross hairs of a rifle scope. It was Palin who wrote on Twitter: "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead -- RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page.""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502413.html?nav=emailpage

Does Fix still "conclude" the baggers are "quasi-libertarians"? LOL.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

There is in fact a dumpster, tire, grease, chimney...the Republicans are on fire.

The TEA people are just one faction, the CoC/CfG people are another, the RNC, the Fox celebrities, the talk radio goons, libertarians, the racists...dumpster fires make a lot of heat and they stink.


Posted by: shrink2 | May 19, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cilizza knows what he is doing.

Young political reporters need to become part of the news, or their careers die, silently.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 19, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Fix coworker Colbert King recently had a great take on those racist sociopaths known as the teabaggers.

Forget the media friendly cover issues the baggers hide behind like opposition to big government, taxes, and the New World Order. No, their real agenda is...well let Colby tell it:

"The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school's first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

Those same jeering faces could be seen gathered around the Arkansas National Guard troopers who blocked nine black children from entering Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. "
__________________

Janeane Garofalo, what say you?

"Let's be very honest about what this is about," she said. "It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/2009/0417/janeane-garafalo-says-tea-parties-were-for-rednecks

We'd like to ask founder and president of the baggers, Dale Robertson, what he thinks about allegations the baggers are racist, but we'll wait until he puts down his misspelled n-word sign...

Oh well.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 19, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Tim Kaine


Obama is not corrosive and divisive ????


What a joke.

The basic problem is the DEMOCRATS ARE JEALOUS OF THE TEA PARTY ENERGY.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 19, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Your headline is out of context and perhaps deceptive if your quote is correct:

"crushing blow to national Republicans and Senator [Mitch] McConnell and also additional evidence that there is a corrosive and divisive civil war occurring on the Republican side,"

You should correct it post haste!

Posted by: BobSanderson | May 19, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The headline for this piece does not describe what Kaine said. The adjectives are about the problems in the GOP, not references to the Tea Party.

Posted by: Stlbroker1 | May 19, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The headline for this piece does not describe what Kaine said. The adjectives are about the problems in the GOP, not references to the Tea Party.

Posted by: Stlbroker1 | May 19, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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