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U.S. President George W. Bush (L) delivers comments on a meeting with the House Republican leadership as Minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) looks on at the White House in Washington May 7, 2008.    REUTERS/Jim Young     (UNITED STATES)
When George W. Bush was president, John Boehner didn't demand cuts to pay for unemployment benefits.
Who could possibly have predicted that congressional Republicans would return from their Christmas recess ready to block emergency unemployment insurance? A plan to extend the benefits for the long-term jobless for three months does not yet have the votes to clear a Senate procedural vote planned for Monday evening because it isn't paired with a "pay for"—and since Republicans would never go for raising revenue, what we're talking about is a demand for cuts to another part of the safety net.

This is yet another example of the GOP's move to extremism in recent years, and especially since the election of President Barack Obama:

National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said in an interview airing Sunday on “Meet the Press” that precedent from the George W. Bush years dictates unemployment benefits be extended without being paid for.

“Fourteen of the last 17 times that emergency unemployment’s been extended there have been no strings attached,” Sperling said. “All five times that President Bush extended unemployment benefits there were no pay-fors.”

Remember that as Republicans inevitably take to the cable news shows acting all pious about how they couldn't possibly do anything like keep emergency unemployment insurance going without an equal cut to, say, food stamps or Head Start. And remember a few essential facts about the federal unemployment insurance program: Long-term unemployment is double what it's been when emergency benefits were cut off after previous recessions. Unemployment benefits inject much-needed money into the economy and cutting them off could slow economic growth. And if things continue as they are now, the share of jobless people covered by unemployment insurance is projected to fall to a historic low.

Sign and send a petition now to Senate Republicans demanding that they restore benefits to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Because all of the evil Rs don't care, it won't (6+ / 0-)

    Happen without some stupid bad give away.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:39:00 AM PST

  •  Ok, fine... (18+ / 0-)

    Let's propose a cut to various corporate subsidies. Big Oil, I'm talking to you...

  •  What if.... (3+ / 0-)

    What if President Obama came out first, and said "We can't extend emergency unemployment help"  We just can't.   I am not in favor of this.

    Then........ The Republicans, who always do the opposite of what the President wants, would come out and say they are against what the president wants, and are IN FAVOR of extending emergency unemployment benefits.

    Then we see this wink from the President.

    Yah.. what if.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:59:41 AM PST

  •  Why not just cut Head Start? (0+ / 0-)

    The fact there's still any money allocated to Head Start is an affront to evidence-based policy. (PDF)

  •  This is part of the plan... (19+ / 0-)
    Unemployment benefits inject much-needed money into the economy and cutting them off could slow economic growth.
    From day one, and I mean inauguration day 2009, this has been the republicans plan. Make absolutely certain that no economic improvement occurs on President Obama's watch. Nothing!

    It's not even up for discussion anymore. The republicans have spent the past 5 years intentionally sabotaging the country and any chance for improvement. They ran on the premise of Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and worked to make damn certain that as few jobs as possible were created.

    They should all be charged with treason and dealt the appropriate sentence. Unfortunately, this is how our government works, or more realistically, how it doesn't!

    Nothing the republicans do or stand for surprises me anymore. I might be surprised if for once if they actually tried to do something to move our country forward. Unfortunately, that would get in the way of their primary objective, getting back in power!

    •  There is nothing more I could add to your post. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


    •  I agree (4+ / 0-)

      completely with everything in your comment. It is absolutely despicable. The Republican brand can not die soon enough, as far as I'm concerned. They have become an extremely negative and damaging force in American politics, and it is disgusting.

      Dum Spiro Spero - While I Breathe, I Hope (SC's state motto)

      by SCVeteran on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:07:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And because Obama hasn't addressed this (4+ / 0-)

      and when I say addressed, I mean unexpectedly request 15-20 mins of network time (because, why the fuck not?) to lay out for the public what these lunatics have been doing since day one of the his presidency, and will continue to do until they are kicked out.

      I'm still kind of amazed he never did that once during the teahadist shutdown. Both he and Democrats paid a price for not doing so (around 40% of the public actually believed Obama and Reid were responsible for said shutdown), and it's now looking like the worst speaker and congress in the nation's history will not be punished in November.

    •  maybe more complex than that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama, and the people who elected him, represent a population that many conservatives do not deem as American US Citizens, that is christian, and obligated to the white hegemony.  We see this with the fight to prove that Obama is not in fact Christian, an effort to marginalize him as a person.

      So the effort is not really just to oppose everything he does, but to oppose everything that will help these non-US people by taxing the real US people.

      Here is the key.  In 2003 the overall unemployment rate was lower and it is not, but the White unemployment rate was pretty much the same.

      We can see how this works by looking at the unemployment rates by race.  When Clinton left office, the unemployment rate for White non-Hispanic was around 4%, Hispanics around 6% and Blacks around 8%, and overall unemployment around 4%.

      In 2003, when we had the last spike in unemployment, the year ended with White non-Hispanic at  around 5%, Hispanic around 8% and black around 10%.  Overall unemployment was around 5%.  White unemployment peaked in the middle of that year at around 8%.  Black unemployment was about double that of white during the year, historically pretty good.

      Now, lets look at what happened over the past couple years.  White unemployment fell from a high of about 8% to a low of 5% and is now hovering around 6%.  Hispanic unemployment fell from around 13% and is now hovering around 10%.  Black unemployment fell from around 16% and is now around 14%.  Overall unemployment is around 7%.

      So here is what is interesting.  The overall unemployment rate is no longer about the same as White non-Hispanic rate.  The unemployment of minority unemployment, and the sheer number is the labor market, has been effecting the unemployment rate since about 2006.  Before that bringing down the overall unemployment rate significantly impacted the white non-Hispanic unemployment.  Now not necessarily so much.

      How this relates to the long term unemployed is not clear.  Age discrimination means that many long term unemployed are old, which may mean that the White unemployed population is great.  It also means they can be helped with Social Security programs. If I were a conservative looking at this data, though, what I would see is a situation where long term unemployment aid was going increasingly to a Black and Hispanic population who did not vote for me.  I would see white tax dollars, from people who did vote for me, going to people that my voter base does not consider American.

    •  And We Should At The Same Time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They should all be charged with treason and dealt the appropriate sentence

      Give guys like Gene Sperling, arguably the architect of China's being granted most favored nation status by the U.S. and China's being granted admission to the WTO, Gene Sperling who, again arguably, has played a more important role in the H-1B guest worker visa program then anyone else -- we should give guys like Gene Sperling a Medal of Freedom?

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:43:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What does surprise me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is the fact that so many will still vote Republican.  The Party must bring in a more moderate, workable group willing to truly compromise for the good of the country and not for their pledged priority:  To take this President down, to make his legacy fail even if it means dragging down the economy, and inflicting suffering on the working people of this country.  Their reelection and the election of more just like them is their goal, and to stop this country from moving forward into the 21st Century.

    •  Sedition, treason---something at that level needs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to start being considered more seriously than people seem to be willing to do.  The GOPers are actively seeking to undermine the full function of the government, which is one of the definitions of sedition.  

      They have to go. Every last one of the corrupt bastards.

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:59:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kirk Joined Every Old Confederacy Senator (0+ / 0-)

      Every senator in the Old Confederacy voted to be cruel to their fellow man(Shocker?), as did my senator, Mark Kirk. I posted on the Illinois Journal Register, published in Springfield, IL, Kirk had voted opposite of his fellow Democratic senator, Dick Durbin. I mentioned I couldn't wait 'til 2016 when I could introduce Kirk to being unemployed. For Blue State, Illinois, a vote against helping the unemployed is plain dumb.

  •  Democrats should agree to (8+ / 0-)

    end funding for ACORN.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:08:00 AM PST

  •  Yeah well....the public has a short memory...or so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Boehner & Co are praying.

  •  More to the point than pressuring you own Congress (4+ / 0-)

    Critters, (my entire delegation is already for extending the safety net) if you know anyone in Boner's district or Cantor's or any of the other GOP bas+ards, call them, get them angry at their "representation" let them know that we hold them responsible for the misery their representatives are causing, light a fu(king fire under these jerks!
    This recession has been dragged out and kept from rising by the intransigence of the House Republicans more than any other factor, so that's the target we should concentrate on.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:14:51 AM PST

  •  Republicans want a "pay for"? (10+ / 0-)

    Fine.  Take it out of the bloated military budget.  Like the M-1 tank the army doesn't want or the F-35 Fighter nobody wants.  Or any number of pork barrel projects Congress takes home to their districts.  
    But show a little compassion for those that have lost their jobs from the reckless manipulation of the economy the Republicans did in the Bush years.

  •  Isn't this more intentional "tank the economy"? (9+ / 0-)

    The economy has been improving, companies are hiring, things are looking up.  Barely.  But still in an upward trajectory.  But the GOP can't have that.  So hey, let's kick a bunch of people off unemployment!  It satisfies their extremist ideals and should slow the economy at the same time, which they can then blame on Obama.

    Just because this didn't work in 2012 doesn't mean the Republicans will learn a lesson.  The Democrats need to get out ahead on the messaging for this and make sure the GOP get the blame they deserve.


    •  Again, why isn't Obama out there hammering them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TKO333, DarkestHour

      for exactly what you laid out above? It's inexusable.

      Also, why aren't Pelosi and Hoyer screaming like banshees?


      If nothing else, it would at least draw a sharp contrast between them and the most unpopular congress in history.

      •  Obama & Both Clinton's are Wall St. Democrats (0+ / 0-)

        They talk Main Street & walk Wall Street. Two-corrupted, bought, right of the center wings of the American Corporate Party, fighting over the 1% hand-outs. Elizabeth Warren and a handful of other unpurchased Democrats are all we have fighting for us anymore.

  •  Can I have anther chunk of frozen gruel sir? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:32:55 AM PST

  •  Let's vote to unemploy Republicans (6+ / 0-)

    in the upcoming mid-terms.  

  •  Find a useless weapon system (0+ / 0-)

    There are plenty of weapon systems designed for fighting the non-existent Soviets that we spend billions on.  Pick some add some oil and agriculture subsidies, offer them up in exchange for unemployment benefits and tell Boehner to put-up or shut-up.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:43:57 AM PST

  •  Precedent from the George W. Bush years. (0+ / 0-)


    Republicans don't remember George W. Bush.

    Jesus loves Republicans, and shares their hatred of homosexuals and Hilliary Clinton.

    by shoeless on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:44:53 AM PST

    •  When you say "Bush" to a Gooper, they think (0+ / 0-)

      you are talking about "The Jebbie" and respond by claimimg that he is "too liburul". The average party knuckle-dragger will say the same thing about Governator Krispy.  The thought of The Cruzer or Random Paul is what lights their fire for 2016.

      When all else fails, try thinking!

      by edtheengineer on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:02:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  always intended to be temporary, but then, (0+ / 0-)

    the depression (recession for all you economic climate change deniers) was also supposed to be temporary.

    Fix that and nobody will care if you extend unemployment benefits.
    In the meantime -- people who were thrown out of work through the magic of Wall Street sharks are suffering and the country will ultimately suffer with them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:48:06 AM PST

  •  Time for the President (4+ / 0-)

    to address the nation, calling it for what it is. Intentional slowing of the economy for political gain. Enough pussy footing around - the intentions are clear & who gives a fuck about the Republican outrage machine. It's a broken record.

    •  The fact that Obama hasn't is yet another (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, DarkestHour

      missed opportunity. I've been saying for ages, a prime time address from the Oval Office is the only real bully pulpit a president has left. The networks can't cut away (unless of course it's FOX) and more Americans will either watch the speech or hear or read about it later. But the most Obama ever does is give an afternoon speech in front of a few thousand adoring supporters every 5 months criticizing congress (or the GOP directly, if he's feeling feisty), and somehow he thinks that will be enough.

  •  Much more then just a check (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unemployment compensation is about much more then the meager, for most people collecting, weekly cash coming in, as a supplement for their labors while they were employed as most aren't honestly compensated for those labors which bring in the business bottom lines and make the businesses successful. It's spent in the communities lived in which has the trickle down ripple effect of either helping maintain other jobs or creating jobs. It also gives the ability to those to seek employment, though at the costs today just for transportation, from fuel to vehicle maintenance, that can create a huge juggling act of affordability or bills and eating. It gives employers the opportunities to find experienced workers and not slackers or trouble makers fired from jobs. It gives, and forces, those collecting to be able to look for jobs and especially on the state's employment job search listings often a, once, first place employers would list open positions if serious about the need to help their businesses, not just posting in newspapers and thus more concerned with building a base for, maybe, future openings in the near future, because they are looking for experience and not trouble job seekers who create quick turnovers costing the businesses time and money. Those loosing unemployment loose the use of those state employment sites. Though in these modern times experienced workers seem to be not a concern, even as the business owners whine about not finding and not wanting to understand that experience brings a quick learn to their wants and needs!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:54:08 AM PST

  •  Pay for it with corporate welfare checks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Have they not been successful in austerity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, PorridgeGun, TKO333

    to his point?

    Why would they change tactics that work.

    Heck NBC reporting the next grand bargain:

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:01:18 AM PST

  •  Come November, it's gonna be payback time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for these sick Republican bastards.  Destroying the middle class, ruining the American economy, starving children and grinding the poor into the dust so they can help their rich owners get richer is going to come back and bite them on their rich, fat asses.

    We are going to show up at the polls in huge numbers and throw these Republican lying, thieving bums OUT.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:01:46 AM PST

  •  Keep digging, rock bottom's not bad enough. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:02:47 AM PST

  •  Grand Kabuki (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So the Democrat's leverage is what?  They were serious when they cut veterans and federal employee pensions in the budget.

  •  Hate the sick f@@@@! (0+ / 0-)

    Do something about jobs and you might have a leg to stand on!!!!!

  •  Again, it is NOT a HANDOUT that needs to be... (3+ / 0-)

    Paid for!!!!

    It is a LOAN to the Unemployment fund, which in this unemployment crisis is running a deficit. The LOAN is repaid once employment rebounds and the fund runs a surplus.

    This has been working since 1976 when the The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) went into effect.

    At no point will you hear a Politician Dem or Rep or the Media actually discuss HOW this all works, because it would highlight how unbelievably FUCKING INSANE the whole line of Republican bullshit is.

    •  When you intend to never allow employment... (3+ / 0-) rebound and refill the fund, then you can justify - at least to the Very Serious People - eliminating the program as "fiscally unsustainable."

      Sort of like complaining that the bath tub won't fill while you're holding the drain stopper in your hand.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:43:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We haven't invaded Iran. Voila! Already paid for. (0+ / 0-)

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:25:25 AM PST

  •  The Definition Of Irony (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said in an interview airing Sunday on “Meet the Press”

    Trotting out Gene Sperling to talk about unemployment.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:27:32 AM PST

  •  No downside for them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, drmah

    There is no electoral price to pay. Their seats are safe. I hate to say it but just making a sensible case is not going to cut it. It's tough to be out of work in this economy and it's not going to get better anytime soon with the Austerians.

  •  We knew this was coming (0+ / 0-)

    They have a new story now
    The "I'm doing this to help them" BS line.
    Pretty soon they will be saying that this really is hurting them more than the unemployed.
    Its all BS....
    Just like their excuses on gun reform, immigration reform, ENDA....etc.....

  •  Y'all mocked him and his dad... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    but Rand Paul's ideology has WON OUT because we've actually fucking implemented his fucked up ideology.  I kept warning you guys to take these libertarian Republicans more seriously.

  •  Not only Dems are unemployed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Brooke In Seattle

    Perhaps some of the Republicans who are unemployed will wake up and stop voting for the people who work against their best interests.

    If you vote for Republicans you vote to help the rich and greedy while they screw the vast majority of Americans.

  •  Com ON D C Dems!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    This is a perfect opportunity to exploit " trickle down " and income inequality


    All of you need to get on the floors of congress till the MSM can not ignore that demand

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 09:04:41 AM PST

  •  Repugs need ot push unemployment agenda into (0+ / 0-)

    election season to find out what the voters really think. I don't think they are quite that brave.

  •  Payfors and Smokescreens (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans want a "payfor".  Fine, how about a cut in subsidies to Big Oil.  We all know they won't go for it because they will never reduce corporate welfare to CEO million and billionaires, especially to provide unemployed families a check so they can eat.  However, it is worth putting out there to demonstrate that Republicans are for giving billions to Billionaires, but not a dime to the poor Joe or Jane who was put out of work by the corrupt Billionaires.

    The payfor is not what is behind this.  Nor is this about Republicans hatred of the unemployed or desire to employ "tough-love" on them so they get a job.  That's all a smokescreen.  This is really all about the Republicans being servants to their corporate masters and there masters insatiable desire for cheap labor.  Republicans and corporations know that being left without unemployment benefits, many of the long-term unemployed will be forced to work for peanuts in a McDonalds type job that does not even come close to feeding themselves or their families.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:09:07 AM PST

  •  How far are these assholes gonna take this shit? (0+ / 0-)

    "The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”---Bob Marley

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:19:26 AM PST

  •  Move to extremism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    My Name Isnt Earl, DarkestHour

    "A study by Moody's Analytics recently found that every dollar spent by the government on benefits for the unemployed produces an overall return of $1.61 for the economy."

    The GOP has shown it has no concept of Economics 101, nor common sense.  Unemployment extensions was never objected to under George Bush's administration. In fact, the unemployment extension was achieved during George W. Bush's 5 times, with Republicans voting for it each time.

    In Dec. of 2002 the unemployment rate was 6.0; today it is 7.0.  Go figure.

    The unemployment extension bias does not end there.  It is amazing to look back on the 13 attacks on embassies/consulates during GW Bush with  4 Americans killed, and 92 wounded during these episodes without a peep about "weakness," being "ill prepared," nor any of the discrediting President Obama and the State Dept. was subjected to. Reagan had his terms marred by attacks as well. There were three embassy attacks during Ronald Reagan's presidency, two in 1983 - Beirut (more than 60 killed including 17 Americans) and Kuwait - and one in 1987 in Italy.

    This double standard is not only frustrating and downright misguided, but is just another method of the GOP to taint and skew history.

    •  "The GOP has shown it has no concept of Economics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Economics 101, nor common sense."

      or patriotism or Jesus's teachings.

      Reagan lost 304 in Beirut, Lebanon.  In April, 1963, he lost 63 at the embassy in Beirut, and 6 months later lost 261 American Marines in the terrorist bombing of our poorly-protected Beirut marine barracks.   Yet, the 30th anniversary passed last October with little political or media acknowledgement.  

  •  I know where the GOP can find the money. (0+ / 0-)

    Due to "Obamacare", a lot of people on the Right are firmly against taxpayer subsidies for Health Insurance.  

    So, the GOP should revive their Grand Old idea to tax the employee benefit portion of health insurance as Income.

    That will raise a lot of tax revenue to pay for lots of things, and because RighTeas would never be hypocrites, it shouldn't have any opposition on the Right.  

  •  freda (0+ / 0-)

    my buddy's step-aunt makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $18010 just working on the computer for a few hours. read this....

  •  Republican callousness (0+ / 0-)

    Two weeks ago the "leadership" of this sorry group of do-nothings were crowing--they were so sure the 2014 midterms would be a walk because of the ACA rollout. I didn't think that would last. Punch, counterpunch. The Democrats have a winning issue here. Not that that helps the people affected, who have my deepest sympathy.

  •  I have 5 weeks of UI left (0+ / 0-)

    Lost my job of close to 30 years in august when the company went under. No one wants to hire a 60 year old.
    Fuck those republicans, I worked close to 40 years and never did anything but pay my taxes.
    I guess I need to pray i can get a min wage job until I am 62 and collect ss early. Otherwise I have to start using my 401K money early. luckily my wife will keep us from poverty and my kids are grown.

  •  This is one of those lines that says it all..... (0+ / 0-)

    When George W. Bush was president, John Boehner didn't demand cuts to pay for unemployment benefits.

    My blog is at

    by Drewbai on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:19:23 PM PST

  •  If that is the case then Democrats need to make (0+ / 0-)

    damn sure that they shout about this from now until names and show video of these shenanigans along with the people that they are hurting.....

  •  Dems should add amendments (0+ / 0-)

    Cut farm subsidies for wealthy farmers.  Cut business deductions for uber-wealthy businesses.  Make it difficult for the republicans.  Also, keep talking openly about the welfare that wealthy people and big business get every day.  The Jester had a great talking point too.  Tea Party and Libertarian will be attracted to these and other ideas.  Common ground can be a great weapon against the Republicans!  We just have to be careful what we do and say and never leave our core values.

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