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Midday Open Thread
  • One of Bill Maher’s best New Rules. The most important quote is: This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller government with less handouts or do you want do you want a low minimum wage—because you cannot have both. If Colonel Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to. And I for one am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers.

  • Vermont is on the correct track to take care of the health care of its citizens.

    As states open insurance marketplaces amid uncertainty about whether they're a solution for health care, Vermont is eyeing a bigger goal, one that more fully embraces a government-funded model.

    The state has a planned 2017 launch of the nation's first universal health care system, a sort of modified Medicare-for-all that has long been a dream for many liberals.

  • This is the classic example of how Republicans lie to Americans.

    One of the new talking points by the GOP is that violates HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ). Carol Costello effectively showed that the Republican attacks were unfounded. … She also proves that the GOP is oblivious to facts even when provided.

  • I do not remember folks stoned on marijuana harming folks. Alcohol anyone? This is a pleasantly unsurprising article

    But at a time when polls show widening public support for legalization — recreational marijuana is about to become legal in Colorado and Washington, and voter initiatives are in the pipeline in at least three other states — California’s 17-year experience as the first state to legalize medical marijuana offers surprising lessons, experts say.

    Warnings voiced against partial legalization — of civic disorder, increased lawlessness and a drastic rise in other drug use — have proved unfounded.

  • How can a poor state that depends on government handouts think it has anything in common with the GOP? Don’t they realize they are the despised 47%? 

    Ordinary West Virginians used to look to Washington with something close to reverence. It was a partner in good times, a lifeline in bad ones, a powerful ally against the big corporations that came for its coal and timber. By some measures, West Virginia relies more on federal money than any other state.

    But increasingly, it also has become an extreme example of the hostility that shows up in every national poll when people are asked how they feel about the federal government. Many here now speak of Washington as an enemy that threatens their economy and their way of life, that traps them into dependency.

  • Shopping while black is real.


  • Excellent article by Jonathan Bernstein on the GOP Obamacare Sabotage.

    ... it’s worth noting that whatever their own responsibility for what’s gone wrong, the White House shares responsibility with the Republicans who have spent three years actively attempting to undermine the law. I’m not talking about repeal votes, which (while silly after a while) were totally legitimate, or about running against the program in subsequent elections, which was again entirely fair. No, I’m talking about actions designed — usually openly — not to make the law work better in their view, but to make it harder for the law to work well.

  • This Daily Kos article should be on everyone’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Thank you, Ubiquitous A.  

    Does the website have issues?  Yes, more issues than a virtual magazine stand.  However, I'm getting more than a bit frustrated with the narrow focus on what hasn't been working because there ARE portions of the website that work quite well and could be helping millions right now get started on collecting the information they need so that they can get enrolled. 

    So, in the interest of promoting a solution, please forward this information far and wide, because there IS a way to get enrolled in the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchanges, and part of that includes very functional portions of the website.

    Here are the steps: …

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Comment Preferences

  •  That awkward moment (9+ / 0-)

    when a Teabagger Representative puts a survey about Obamacare on the intertubz on Friday night and it's still not working:

    I just upgraded internet speed. Now I can be late to the best diaries, faster.

    by mississippi boatrat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:08:10 PM PDT

  •  No $15 min. wage = no crap about 'entitlements' (12+ / 0-)

    By the way, when are we going to stop calling Medicare and Social Security and SNAP etc. entitlements? They are earned benefits. We pay into them to have access to them. Some times we pay into them for decades.

    Stop helping Republicans by using that term. Annoy them by correcting them. Because they are wrong.

  •  W Va's 'way of life'. Really? Poverty, ignorance, (5+ / 0-)

    teen pregnancy, meth labs, violence, high rates of disease/early death. Am I leaving anything out? Oh. Pride. I forgot pride.

    •  I think they're talking coal mining. (4+ / 0-)

      Much of the electricity that powered the nation came from coal mined at the cost of the broken bodies of horribly underpaid miners.

      Now that Dems, especially, are pushing for renewable fuels, rather than continued fossil fuels, there needs to be some thought to replacing jobs, so that the poor don't simply sink further into poverty.

      (Of course, as the industry became more mechanized, the number of people actually working coal mines shrunk anyway, but that's often overlooked by those worried about 'the mines shutting down'.)

    •  The people in W. Va. are being lied to. (4+ / 0-)

      It's not really the people in W. Va. who object to the benefits of belonging to the United States as well as to the state. It's the predatory oligarchs who run the state who are pumping out the lies and fear. It's the 1% in W. Va. who are calling the tune and the people of the state are given no real information to base rational decisions on.

      That's especially true of state pride. Check the content of the state history courses and you will find it full of lies and exaggerations designed to train "good citizens." That's true of every one of the Southern cotton/slave states.

      The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:52:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well of course it is. All of that stuff in (0+ / 0-)

        "social studies" is indoctrination and brainwashing.

      •  oh...West VA wasn't a slave split off (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, Pariah Dog

        from VA at the start of the war.

      •  Then too (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of West Virginians these days aren't really from West Virginia. Like the Carolinas and Georgia, there's been a large influx in recent years of extreme right wingers from northern cities. They want to live "in the country" among the "simple folk" where there aren't so many rules and regulations.

        How do I know? I live 40 miles from the state line and local TV stations come out of West B'God. I've noticed a distinctive, and growing, lack of the West Virginia accent when the local news does man on the street interviews. I've known West Virginians most of my life, and they don't talk like that.

        Oh, and just so's you know West Virginia was in the Union during the Civil War. The seceded from Virginia when Virginia seceded from the Union.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:45:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DK Quilt Guild Diary (4+ / 0-)

    DK Quilt Guild Diary will be available Sunday approx. 4pm (Pacific) 7pm (Eastern).  

    DK Quilt Guild: A place for quilters to gather, share ideas, projects, and to make the world a better place, one quilt at a time. Join us and share your thoughts, projects, questions, and tips. Quilters here are at many different levels of skill. Beginners and non-quilters are welcome, too.
    Boo!~Carole Olsen

    Boo!~Quilt by Carole Olsen. This quilt was shown at the Pacific International Quilt Festival.

  •  Repub HIPAA Obamacare lies and the 'monkey court' (6+ / 0-)

    My fave political moment of the week was when Rep Frank Pallone of NJ went ballistic on Joe Barton's ass and the rest of the Repubs on the oversight committee for their utter obfuscating ignorance.

  •  I'm waitin' for my man nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, PSzymeczek

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:32:45 PM PDT

  •  No Bill, they want both, and won't stop (6+ / 0-)

    until they get them.  The right wing wants smaller government and doesn't give a shit if the lady at KFC is living under an overpass with her kids.

    That's the problem Bill, THEY DON'T CARE!

    It's their wants and needs that matter and the rest of us can rot in hell as far as their concerned.

    So never give them the ultimatum of, if you cut the minimum wage the government will have to provide for those in need.  They will laugh in your face.

  •  You know who else had a problem (5+ / 0-)

    Rolling out a new product?


    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:43:21 PM PDT

  •  Hmmm violates? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One of the new talking points by the GOP is that violates HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ).
    I admit IANAL, but I was under the impression that when new laws were written, and they conflicted with older laws, just maybe they actually superseded the old laws, not 'violated' them.

    Lawyer people?  Congress passes a law that all cars must be blue in one session, then in the next session passes a law that all Fords must be red.  Is the first law 'violated', or does the new law override the old one, or what?

    •  If direct conflict, new wins. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      Of course, you've first got to establish that the laws can't coexist, or that one is not more specific than the other, etc.

      The funny thing here is that the Rs have been saying violates medical privacy provisions in HIPAA.  But, unlike traditional health insurance policy applications, there is no personal medical information included in ACA applications.  Preexisting conditions no longer matter!

      "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

      by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:23:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we can have both living wages (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and decent public services for those needing them. There's a reciprocity between the two. It's not a zero-sum game.

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

    by chuckvw on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:59:29 PM PDT

  •  Random Musings and RIP Lou Reed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:01:10 PM PDT

  •  sidebar: sunglasses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Polarizing Optoacustic Mixer

    To mix two audio signals using amplitude modulated lasers as the transition medium and a polarizing filter for the selection of the mixing ratio.


    Two low-cost red laser pointers which normally use 3VDC power supplies are modified with an audio transformer so that for each laser the supply voltage varies about 3VDC proportionally to an audio signal.

    The fluctuating supply voltages result in fluctuating beam brightnesses.

    The beams are made colinear with a 50/50 beamsplitter and the lasers are rotated along their beam axes such that the polarization of the light due to either laser in the collinear beam is orthogonalized.

    The beam then passes through a hand-held polarizing filter which selects out a linear combination of the orthagonal polarizations and so also a linear combination of the audio signals those polarizations encode.

    The beam post-polarizer is then incident on a (passive) phototranstor attached to a high-gain (741-based) pre-amp and a boom-box, so that the mixed audio signal may be heard in real-time.
    Polarizing some Beats with Lasers

    Each of the transmitting lasers requires a modulation circuit. You could use many other methods to modulate the laser, but I have found the transformer to be very effective for audio:

    FoX News: Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people

    by anyname on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:02:13 PM PDT

    •  laser pen (0+ / 0-)

      How to Trasmit Sound with a Laser Pen

      Sound transmitted via laser

      This is your basic laser pointer hooked into my laptop with a mono jack, the reciever is a photo resistor wire in series with a mono jack and AA battery.

      This will work without the battery in the reciever (it provides more volume)

      Also without a audio output transformer wired in with the laser this will not work on all devices!

      It will only transmit properly through my laptop. I will make a video using a transformer and mp3 player as well as a reciever with a solar cell.

      I will provide schematics and a small tutorial when I come up with a version that I am happy with.

      How to send sound using a laser

      We've all heard of it, but most of us didn't know what it was all about, sending sound using the light channel? ... well technically .... yes... but not really.

      All you really are doing is changing the intensity of the light. This light hits a solar cell which creates energy out of the intensity of the light. And IN TURN it creates sound.

      This project has so many different applications, from the whole "cable is to short to reach", now you have no limitations on how far you can transmit the sound, or the Wires all over the room problem. Use your imagination and figure additonal ones out :)

      Sound from a speaker is really just energy at different levels that makes a speaker turn into sounds that we can hear.... we'll explain everything in a few minutes. Watch this video if you don't feel like reading or go to our next step.

      FoX News: Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people

      by anyname on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  different pitches (0+ / 0-)

        Alexander G. Bell's device to transmit speech electrically


        Alexander Bell Telephone:
        principle that several mesages could be sent simultaneously along the same wire if the signals differed in pitch..different tones would vary the strength of an electric current in a wire.

        NEED ONLY

        build a working transmitter

        with a membrane capable of

        varying electronic currents

        and a receiver that would reproduce

        these variations in audible frequencies.

        FoX News: Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people

        by anyname on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:10:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Insurance Co's Get Your Medical Info 3 Ways (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat, viral

    1) You tell them when apply for a policy. If you conceal a condition, your policy is subject to cancellation when you try to make a claim.

    2) The insurance company can require a physical exam unless it's a group policy during open enrollment.    They can also autopsy your body.

    3)  There is an industry clearinghouse with records of every insurance claim you have ever made, and this used for underwriting (to check our you history)  So if you've ever been to a doctor, they know about it.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:10:01 PM PDT

  •  Does the left have to choose also? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wonder if Bill Maher thinks that the left should choose between more government handouts and raising the minimum wage, because I'll bet most folks reading this think we should have both.

    •  Handouts? (0+ / 0-)

      I bet most folks here don't think the government should give more "handouts". Even if they think the government should spend more on some people than it already does. I'd also bet most people here think the government shouldn't be giving nearly as much in actual handouts to rich people and the Pentagon (especially when that's the same handout).

      And I bet I could actually demonstrate my "most folks" while you couldn't.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get your point, but (0+ / 0-)

        I was just using Bill Maher's terminology. Whatever he meant by handouts is what I was referring to.

        But whether you want to call them handouts, or entitlements, or investments, or your term, which is "spending more on some people than it already does," you should still be able to grasp my point.

        The right thinks we should have lower minimum wages AND reduced government spending on food stamps, education, unemployment insurance, health care, etc. And if we do that we will have more prosperity and more freedom.

        The left thinks we should have higher minimum wages AND higher government spending on social welfare. And if we do that we will have more of the above, etc.

        So Bill Maher is wrong. Neither side has to choose, and both  sides have a logically consistent set of policies based on their respective ideologies.

        •  Not Handouts (0+ / 0-)

          No, I don't think you get my point:

          whether you want to call them handouts, or entitlements, or investments, or your term, which is "spending more on some people than it already does," you should still be able to grasp my point.

          There is a world of difference between those things. A handout is unearned, a privilege, charity. Entitlements are earned or due by right, a basic human right. Investments could be entitlement or charity if the money is expected to return a larger amount of money later. Entitlements and investments are not handouts.

          Moreover, "handout" is a pejorative term; it implies the person shouldn't get it. Entitlements and good investments are not pejorative, not shameful. What's shameful is portraying entitlements and investments as a handout.

          You picked up on where I said "spending more on some people than it already does", because you're looking for some reason to say "the left" wants something impossible, just as Maher pointed out the Right wants something impossible. You're so intent on finding some false equivalence that you're completely garbling what I said to fit your agenda.

          "Spending more on some people than it already does" includes properly funding investments in people that pay back more than they cost. Education is probably the most reliable investment, especially when invested in hundreds of millions of Americans. Doing so is a completely justifiable proposition on just the economics alone, though it's even more important to do on the basis of justice and the American ideal of equal opportunity. There are plenty of other kinds of investment. And of course fully funding entitlements, like Medicare for All, is even more important on the basis of justice, even if it were a net loss - which it isn't.

          But you're intent on saying that

          The left thinks we should have higher minimum wages AND higher government spending on social welfare. And if we do that we will have more of the above, etc.

          where "the above" is the economic benefits the Right claims will come from cutting both minimum wage and government spending in general. You are wrong. That proposition is wrong. You watched Bill Maher explain it to you, but you didn't get it. Cutting the minimum wage results in a society less able to pay its way, not more, defying the rightwing fantasy. We have hundreds of years in America, especially the past 85 or so, that show the rightwing proposition is wrong. And that the Left's proposition is right.

          We do have to choose if we follow the rightwing proposition. It's economics that's demonstrated over and over again. The Left's proposition isn't a choice, again it's been demonstrated over and over again.

          The two are not equivalent. The Left's point might come from ideology or from experience, but it's supported by experience. The rightwing's experience is imaginary, contrary to actual experience, an insanity.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:20:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We don't disagree as much as you think. (0+ / 0-)

            Where did I say the left wants something impossible? Nowhere. I happen to think we should raise the minimum wage, and I also think we should increase social welfare spending. I don't think that's impossible, and I agree with you that it's probably good economics as well as promoting social justice. And I didn't think it was particularly controversial to suggest that most people frequenting this site probably agree with both of us on that.

            But the right also thinks that what they want is not impossible. They think that if you cut or even abolish the minimum wage, you will increase employment, and you will create more wealth. They also think that if you cut government spending on entitlements, you will increase the incentive to work, decrease dependency on government, and also increase wealth that way as well. You and I might disagree with them, and a lot of economists would also, but there is nothing internally inconsistent about what they are advocating according to their theories.  

            I'm not prepared to say that the right is insane to think this. I know some smart conservatives, and some of them have thought these issues through and they have a legitimate point of view. I don't agree with them. I think they are wrong. But they can't be dismissed so easily as insane. And they don't have to choose between keeping the minimum wage low and keeping government spending on social welfare programs low. They want both! And in their favor they can argue that for about the first 150 years of our nation we had no minimum wage laws and virtually non-existent social welfare spending and they think that was just fine and that things only started to go wrong during the New Deal.

            •  Objetive Reality (0+ / 0-)

              The part that Maher didn't spell out, but that liberals and others realistic about economics do, is that low wages and low government social spending also makes poverty and a negligible middle class.

              Just because rightwingers think that low wages and low government spending are possible together doesn't mean it's true. The first 150 years of this country we had both, and the labor market was defined by slavery for the first century, and extreme poverty after it for the rest. The combination leaves our people starving to death, especially when they're old, and otherwise so impoverished that they don't contribute to the economy except as replacement for slaves. Not entrepreneurs, not managers, not innovators, not salespeople, not anything necessary to compete globally.

              Or to live at all comfortably - rampant poverty. And the desperation that makes criminals, and the police state to contain them. Life for most: nasty, brutish, short. A people without the spare time, money and extra education and communications skills to organize to insist on the rights our government documents give, but our government officials under rich people's patronage deny.

              The more government spent on certain social programs, the better the majority of people were able to participate in the economy and civic life, contrary to the myths invented for rightwingers by their PR corps and corporate mass media. The time since the New Deal has been categorically the strongest growth, interrupted only when rightwing economics were applied as the rule as they were before, when they gave us only slow growth and extremely focused on the already rich. Reality agrees with the Left's position, and shows the rightwing's position is a lie.

              This is demonstrably true. It is fact. It doesn't matter that rightwingers disagree - they disagree that Obama is the legitimate president, while insisting that Bush was! And even the ones that don't will not do anything to stop that seditious movement, even as they inisist they're "patriots". They are insane: they work to return the full effects of the policies that destroyed the world economy, invaded Iraq and brought all its destruction there and here, the Patriot Acts, etc etc etc. Their fantasies don't count as equivalent to the counter position, which is acting on reality. In fact, counting is one of the many mathematical and economic skills that their ideology fails them. The Left is able to count, and to see that what it wants actually works.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 05:28:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't need to persuade me. (0+ / 0-)

                You need to persuade people on the other side. And you won't do it by calling them insane.

                •  Treating Them as Insane (0+ / 0-)

                  Well, evidently you've changed your mind from when you thought that it's possible to have both low wages and low government social spending. My calling those who think that insane didn't stop you from agreeing with me.

                  I don't know whether telling them they're insane or not will work. But if we don't treat them like they're insane, we're asking for the impossible just like they are.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 09:49:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I'd say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    less government handouts to libertarian billionaires, multinational corporations, and the military-industrial complex. But that's just me.

  •  The Marijuana economy....maybe all that's left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for us!  

  •  It seems clear to me that the right wants smaller (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    government, no minimum wage, and no handouts.  Also, no SS, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no unemployment, no food social services whatsoever.  None, nada, zilch.  Work for what you can get or starve.  All I can say is, "You first.  I'll wait over here and see how it goes for you."

    “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

    by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:30:21 PM PDT

  •  Who's going to be last one incarcerated for pot... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, TerryDarc

    It's going to take another decade for marijuana legalization to sweep across the strong majority of states, but someone, somewhere will be among the last persons to receive long jail sentences for possession with intent to distribute in one of the holdout regressive jurisdictions.

    •  Republicans 2:1 favor continued criminalization (0+ / 0-)

      How can these a-holes continue to be wrong on every, single issue?

      That is what is known as a rhetorical question, btw...

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

      by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:17:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How They're Always Wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        America has a go-to political party for crazy, stupid, evil people. If you're one or more of the above, go directly to the Republican Party. It's even got a VIP section for the worst of all three: Tea Party.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:07:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yay! Midday! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek, OregonWetDog

    I'm finding the same kind of satisfaction from Midday Open Thread that I used to mostly find in Abbreviated Pundit Roundup!

    Count me as a MOT happy camper!

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:15:11 PM PDT

  •  Bitter Cling in WV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    How can a poor state [West Virginia] that depends on government handouts think it has anything in common with the GOP?
    It [DC] was a partner in good times, a lifeline in bad ones, a powerful ally against the big corporations that came for its coal and timber.

    Well, DC stopped allying against the big corporations, and instead helped the corporations come for their coal and timber. Meanwhile Republicans told them government was their enemy, while it increasingly was. West Virginians might not have been smart enough to see that those Republicans were the government who are their enemy. But they were barely smart enough to think "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

    You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    - Barack Obama, April 2008

    Republicans give them guns, god and hate gays, and make them bitter. The political cycle is locked in.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:03:24 PM PDT

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