Saturday, August 31, 2013

Team Mitch’s Fatal Abstraction

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It’s not easy to be Mitch McConnell these days. 

Picture this: you are the widely derided Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Filibuster T. McGridlock, himself. Your big, bold promise to God and country was to limit the current President to one-term, at which you have failed spectacularly.  On policy issues, you talk big but cave easily—by proxy, when possible. You have scored one of the all time lowest approval ratings (36%) for a Senator from your own Kentucky constituency.  You are being primaried by your own party of whom many consider you a flip-flopper and RINO of the first order.  Your own campaign manager has admitted that he has to “hold his nose” to do his job of promoting your candidacy.  Not to mention that a high-profile, Democratic woman [of all things] is running even with or slightly ahead of you in early polling.

And now you have to persuade voters that you are a swell fellow, full of integrity, dignity and decorum who has nothing but the good of the country—and, especially, it’s lovely women at heart—uniquely qualified to be a leader of national government.

You’re going to have to lie some, amirite? especially if you want to persuade the wimmenfolk to vote for you.

So it is that Team Mitch officially launched its outreach to women voters in Kentucky by claiming that Sen. Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Which is true . . . at least of the 1991 version which didn’t make much of a splash and died in committee.  By 1993, when VAWA was revived, but no longer all that useful to Mitch, he pulled his sponsorship and voted against it, which didn’t prevent it from becoming law in 1994.

When VAWA came up for reauthorization in 2012 and 2013, McConnell again voted against it claiming that it “could strip Americans of their constitutional rights.”  When asked by local reporters why he voted against reauthorization, McConnell responded:

. . . according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, (it) could strip Americans of their constitutional rights.” According to their web site, the Congressional Research Service objection is that it gives Indian tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Indians who abuse a partner on tribal lands.

The same reporters added that:

Some members of congress have responded by modifying the VAWA in a way that would prevent that constitutional violation. I would like to know why McConnell did not join that effort instead of rejecting the bill outright.

No answer to that one . . . but, how do you spell “bipartisan”?

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/31/13 at 11:44 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Today in Rock-Ribbed Eisenhower Republicanism

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Via valued commenter Askew, that hopey-changey thing is workin’ out pretty good today:

1. Colorado, Washington get OK from feds on marijuana

2. Federal Tax System Will Recognize Married Gay Couples Even If Their States Do Not

3. HHS Extends Medicare Benefits To Married Gay Couples

Plus the executive order on guns. Not a bad day’s work. Thanks, Obama!

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 08/29/13 at 02:59 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaManic Progressives

Pennsylvania’s Brilliant Peter Pan Argument

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Last week, Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Corbett visited Bucks County, my home county, to preside over the groundbreaking of a Pennsylvania turnpike expansion project, a rare glimmer of positivity in the otherwise abysmal term of Pennsylvania’s Most Awful Governor Ever.  [Corbett’s approval rating hovers consistently in the 20s and he’s scored his own MoveOn resignation petition with close to 3000 signatures which is actually huge in The Meh State.]

Poor Tom should have been popping champagne corks but the damn lamestream media on hand for the festivities were only interested in gay marriage.  Corbett mumbled stuff about “relevance to the event” but reporters insisted on a bigger story.

See, Pennsylvania, and next-door neighbor New Jersey, are the last strongholds in the Northeast, of states sanctioning behavior unbecoming to the Constitution.  New Jersey tried its best to escape that dubious distinction but Governor Christie vetoed the legislature’s marriage equality efforts to beef up his conservative bona fides. 

Pennsylvania doesn’t allow same-sex marriages or same-sex civil unions neither does it recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Gay couples in Pennsylvania have no marriage or domestic partnership rights whatsoever.  Not to mention the fact that Pennsylvania is the last state in the Northeast with NO prohibitions against discrimination, hate crimes, or bullying based on sexual orientation.”

Not only can I not marry my partner of 25 years, in my state, I can also be fired for having a picture of my gay family—me, my partner, and my son—on my desk.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/29/13 at 09:09 AM
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Categories: LGBTPoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Conservatives Have Dreams Too!

This being the 50th Anniversary of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech, conservatives are in full bull goose loony mode.  Conservatives make laughable claims about King being a conservative (these depend on conflating “Republican” and “Conservative”, and completely ignoring The Southern Strategy, which encouraged racist southern whites to flee the Democratic Party into the warm embrace of the GOP) and making false assumptions about what King really believed.  Black conservatives claim that liberals are appropriating King’s legacy while remaining silent about a white lunatic ham-fistedly trying to appropriate it.  Conservatives tend to get even stupider than usual when confronting MLK’s legacy.

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 08/28/13 at 04:58 PM
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Categories: PoliticsNutters

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Robertson Warns of Homicidal Gays

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If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair . . . and don’t shake hands with anyone, especially in the Castro.  Today, on the 700 Club, Christian Capitalista Pat Robertson exposed a little known local habit of the denizens of the World’s Gayest City—infecting people with AIDS via poison rings.

As Robertson explained to a caller:

You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.

See, as Robertson knows, his unwary flock are probably expecting gays to put aside aside their homicidal rage and enjoy triumphs like SCOTUS striking down DOMA and Prop 8, and same-sex wedding bells ringing from sea to shining sea.  But nooooo, rapacious homos are still murdering straighties with gay abandon.

Some of the Christians at Christian Broadcast Network [shake that little money-maker, Uncle Pat] saw fit to edit Robertson’s homophobic paranoia out of the online version of the program but not before it aired on cable television.  Right Wing Watch was there to catch and send it—in all of its unChristian hatefulness—down the intertubes to glory.

The whole episode is causing me to wonder when, exactly, Uncle Pat ran out of God-stuff to talk about on his TV ministry? or is this 21st century God-stuff? and also, do actual people really watch this moronic grifter and think of it as a religious experience? and, finally, do people still give Robertson money???

On a more anthropological note, I’d simply like to reassure Robertson and his followers that, as a gay woman, it has been simply ages since I’ve seen a poison ring in the Castro [that’s so ‘70s].  But you still might want to give gayz with iPhones a wide berth because GAY LASER DEATH RAY!!1! . . . [there’s an app for that].

UPDATE via Right Wing Watch:

Robertson issued a non-apology to The Atlantic, saying that he “regret[s] that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said.”

Of course, unlike CBN, we provided the entire exchange:

I was asked by a viewer whether she had a right to leave her church because she had been asked to transport an elderly man who had AIDS and about whose condition she had not been informed. My advice was that the risk of contagion in those circumstances was quite low and that she should continue to attend the church and not worry about the incident.

In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.

I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise [sic] were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.

 

Posted by Bette Noir on 08/27/13 at 02:02 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrNuttersRelijun

Monday, August 26, 2013

What kind of Heartless Jackasses are they? No. Really. What kind?

So, regarding the ACA, we all know the Republicans are mostly agin’ it. They whooped. They hollered. They spread disinfo. They tried to repeal it something like 40 times, now. And you know what? They’re still losing. But it doesn’t stop them trying. Just recently, FreedomWorks, one of the big mahoff Tea Party groups, decided it would be brilliant to encourage young people to just abstain from getting any health insurance, in defiance of the mandate, on the grounds that the premiums would be more onerous than any penalties (you know, except for the whole being uninsured and needing healthcare thing, which is pretty pricey). And Heritage’s very own Jim DeMint was just saying how emergency rooms were fine and dandy health care, never you mind how the whole idea of “emergency care” is that it’s the kind of care you get when something very wrong is happening to you.  Oh, and it’s the most expensive kind, and if patients can’t pay, the costs are, well, socialized.

But emergency rooms are required to treat patients who need care. Unless, for some reason, that changes. Here’s VA Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli with his speculations:

Human beings will just have to adjust to not getting health care, sometimes. Oh, they might need it. They might have been told it was noble to forgo health insurance by one set of jackasses, and then told there’s always emergency rooms by another set of jackasses. But did they ever suspect that behind hospital curtain number three was a grinning clown offering a faceful of cold seltzer asking them to “adjust”?

Huh. How do you like that?

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/26/13 at 05:13 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrHealth CareNuttersTeabaggerySkull Hampers

You Keep Using That Word…

Former Breitbart rent-boy James O’Keefe must think the word “veritas” means “punch myself in the face:”

I’m no expert at “gotcha” video production and editing, but it seems like a bad idea to lead with three-plus minutes of the target establishing utter and complete pwnage. What’s he going to do for an encore, pour kerosene on his crotch and light a match?

[H/T: TPM. X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 08/26/13 at 03:57 PM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersOur Stupid MediaYouTubidity

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trump U Does Have a Certain Ring, No?

It looks like The Donald is being The Sued over a kind of “get-rich eventually” program that he was kindly enough calling a school.  Trump is of the opinion that this suit against him is politically motivated, because…hm.  He could be a somebody. He could be a contender. Instead of a bum, which is what everyone who notices that he is a bum makes of him on teh internets. But let’s hear what he has to say:

“....”

Oh. Wait. What does his spokesperson have to say?

“The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising,” Cohen said. “This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money.”

State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show. An outspoken conservative, Trump himself flirted with a presidential run last year.

“Donald Trump will not sit back and be extorted by anyone, including the attorney general,” Cohen said.

I am astonished that wealthy people in America donate to campaigns ever, or are concerned that their money bought them influence. Why do they even bother? It’s nonsense, is what it is. Clearly, extortion is that thing of when, you thought you bought protection, but oh no, You “bought” people who bring legal cases against things you might have done that were illegal like it was their job.  Huh. Maybe attorney generals are not good investments if you are running a “get rich eventually” scheme.” Also not a good investment? The word “University”.  Don’t bother copyrighting that one, you shan’t use it legally.

What I’m saying is, once (as in not) and future (as in not) Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is kind of a grifter. As in duh. But I bet he is still popular with the sort who likes his kind of…

Oh what the fuck—remember Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?  (It was MTV Cribs for ‘80’s celebrities.) That’s all of his appeal. Otherwise seriously. Ask him about anything. Besides whether any politician is a legit citizen. And let the derp ensue. (Not that I think he won’t be faux elevated in the press again, because I do—which is why I point out his “duh”.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/24/13 at 09:57 PM
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Widespread Outbreak of Impeachment Fever Plagues Red States

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(h/t image)

Well.  It’s now almost a year since the GOP continued its losing streak of four out of the last six presidential elections, not including the Supreme Court intervention in 2000 that accounted for one of the two wins. 

Despite the brief euphoria of the 2010 House invasion, the Republican party is bitterly staggering its way through the Five Stages of Grief only to arrive at the looming death star called Hillary. Having spent quite a lot of time in the Denial Stage and then basking in the energizing glow of the Anger Stage, punch-drunk Republicans arrived at the Bargaining Stage just in time for the long Dog Days Recess. 

Unfortunately, this “stage” is not following the script, and feckless legislators are not even safe in their own Town Hall meetings which are being disrupted by hecklers from the Left and the Right.  Several Republicans have been caught flat-footed by constituents who want to know “what’s so bad about Obamacare?” on one side alongside rabble-rousers who want their representatives to “shut down the government like a man!”

It’s a minefield out there . . . of their own making.

So it is that recently some creative party geniuses have revived that old crowd-pleasing favorite “Impeachment” from the GOP playbook.  I guess because it’s always worked so well for them . . . ?

Since Obamacare has gotten to be pretty moldy “red meat,” impeachment serves as a tasty, home-cooked comfort food for the disgruntled base.  Plus, it covers a multitude of grievances: hate Obama’s policies—foreign and domestic—impeach him! hate that Obama is an uppity foreign, socialist, gay-loving, culture war-instigating oligarch? impeach him! hate Obama for having the temerity to be a black man in the White House? impeach him! hate Obama’s wife, his kids, his vacation plans? impeach his ass!!1!!

See how that works?  Don’t tamp down the anger and hate—redirect it.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/24/13 at 08:10 AM
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Keeping It Classy

George Zimmerman, the innocent, traumatized victim of dangerous Skittle-flinging ninja-thug Trayvon Martin, has been doing what you would expect someone who was acquitted after shooting an unarmed minor to death to do: lying low and contemplating the fragility of life while respecting the grief of the Martin family. Or not:

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That’s Zimmerman touring the fucking Kel-Tec gun plant in Cocoa Beach and posing for photos with an employee like some celebrity or huckster politician (with boob sweat). Kel-Tec manufactured the gun used to shoot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman also reportedly inquired about this sweet little number:

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It holds 12 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells, which could take out half a busload of unarmed high-schoolers.

I know some of you are convinced Zimmerman is a cold-blooded murderer who went looking for someone to kill that rainy night. I always thought he was a squirrely incompetent instead, a squishy, officious little prick who thought strapping a gun on made him a BIG man and ended up killing a kid when his RoboCop fantasy went awry.

Damned if this personal tour of the death instrument factory and grip-and-grin photo-op don’t make me think y’all might be right after all. Who the fuck does such a thing, except a sociopath?

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 08/23/13 at 09:51 AM
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Categories: PoliticsNutters

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hope and Change: 2014 Edition

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Alex Isenstadt offered up his opinion, on Politico, this morning, that the best thing that could happen to Democrats this fall would be a GOP-led government shutdown which “could revive their [Democrats] fading hopes of capturing the House next year.”

This is not a novel thought.  Politicians and pundits have been theorizing, since last November, about what kinds of leverage are still available to congressional Republicans and how they might use them to best advantage.  The schizoid Republican internal debate has raged, quite publicly and most of the tactics that have emerged tend toward quixotic, but ideologically pure, symbolic gestures that would, for the most part, make them look worse than they already do.

Here’s how Isenstadt sees things shaping up:

As it stands now, the midterm is shaping up as a stale, status-quo election — with Democrats calling their counterparts right-wing extremists, Republicans attacking their rivals over Obamacare and neither side making much headway. That’s good for Republicans, since the party out of power in the White House almost inevitably picks up House seats in the sixth year of the presidency. Heavily-gerrymandered districts provide the GOP an extra layer of protection.

Nothing short of a powerful jolt — a moment that grabs casual voters by the lapels and makes them take notice — is likely to alter the landscape in a dramatic way.

From a purely historical perspective it’s hard to argue with Isenstadt’s premise.  Nevertheless, the paralyzed government that we are all experiencing today is ahistorical and I believe that it’s very possible that it won’t take a government shutdown or debt default to motivate Democratic voters to put Republicans out of their misery.  The numbers are there to do it [just] and I believe the will is there as well.  Nevertheless, it’s an all uphill battle all the way . . . but wasn’t that what they were all saying about Obama being re-elected not so long ago?

Ed Kilgore of The Democratic Strategist puts it this way:

While historical precedent has been a dependable factor to consider in predicting House election outcomes, there are exceptional elections that bust precedents. Also, the Republican party is more divided than it has been in many decades, and it could get a lot worse. Dems are more united than in a long time, and we can build our edge while Republicans work through their internecine squabbles.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/22/13 at 10:46 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '14

Monday, August 19, 2013

The GOP’s Politics of Moderation

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One of last week’s lighter political moments was the RNC tantrum over the runaway liberal bias of the lamestream media’s plan to immortalize Hillary Clinton [as only a TV bio-pic can] who might, or might not run for president someday.

Now, this is pretty funny stuff on a number of levels.  For example, it is my contention that IF Hill decides to run, Republicans have a whale of a lot more to worry about than a three-year-old cable film tipping the scales.

And, despite the fact that FOX was in the running for production, excitable Republicans were just sure that the film would be a love-letter to Hillary.  But, as those of us who remember the real-time rise of the Clintons know, there’s a lot more dirt in their past, than fluffy white clouds, for a dramatist to work with.  Just ask Kenneth Starr, Monica Lewinski, Newt Gingrich . . .

And, while you’re at it, ask Newt how well that impeachment thingy went for the GOP.  Remember? Newt expected the Republicans’ “divine intervention” in the Clinton presidency to guarantee a pick up of at least 30 seats, in the House, during the 1998 mid-term elections.  In actual fact, a fairly disgusted America rewarded Republicans with a net loss of 5 seats instead.

And, then, of course there is the modern Republican candidates’ propensity for on-air political hara kiri, in which the clean-cut, All-American posed in front of an American flag opens his/her mouth and magically transforms into a far-right wacko-bird . . . to use a Republican-coined term.

So.  It is what it is and we’re all pretty used to it by now BUT—a new idea was born in the minds of wily Republican strategists for a new way to self-immolate: the Limbaugh-moderated primary debate.  Delighting conservatives and Democrats in a rare bipartisan moment.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/19/13 at 12:07 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16NuttersOur Stupid Media

Friday, August 16, 2013

RNC Votes Unanimously To Cut Off Nose; Spite Face

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(illustration h/t the very talented Mario Piperni)

Well, it’s official, the Republican National committee is carrying out its threatened punishment of CNN and NBC over the networks’ plans to air a movie on imaginary 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.  After getting wind of the film project, the RNC’s Prince Rebus sent protest letters to the heads of both networks, followed up by a protracted media-blitz pout.

Here’s a taste of the letters:

[A]s American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.

And the “unkindest cut of all”:

If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14[, 2013], I will seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/16/13 at 11:39 AM
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GOP Out On A Ledge Over Government Shutdown: Heritage Action Yelling “JUMP!”

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Well, summer is drawing to an end and, with it, the funding to keep The Greatest Show On Earth running . . . the moment the GOP has been waiting for, lo these many months, to prove that they still have some political potency despite the fact that they don’t seem to be able to pass their own bills, let alone force demands on anyone else’s.

The hostage of choice, for the next manufactured crisis - funding the continuing operations of the US government - appears to be Obamacare, that socialist hobgoblin threatening to destroy America by making health insurance more accessible and affordable.

Since putting the law to a vote and numerous legal challenges, including a Supreme Court case, did not kill the dreaded Obamacare, the GOP game plan for Fall 2013 is to force the President and the Democratic Senate majority to admit the error of their ways and the superior policy wisdom of conservatives by scrapping the law to prevent the nuttier splinters of the Republican Caucus from threatening to shut down the government.

I know. Not a lot of leverage but . . .  what a fool believes . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/14/13 at 10:14 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Monday, August 12, 2013

Class is Out for Summer: Wanker to Watch

You know who I’ve been seeing everywhere on the liberal blogs, lately? Markwayne Mullin. Now that the congress critters have returned to their districts, it’s always National Geographic-style fun to see them operating in their own habitats, but M-Squared is really giving great value for the attention. So far, he’s done climate science denial:

(May I direct Rep. Mullin to Ken Burn’s rather good take on the Dust Bowl—entirely worth anyone’s time, not least of all that of a representative from the great state of Oklahoma, where the wind does indeed come sweeping down the plains, all right.)

 

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/12/13 at 11:00 PM
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