Republicus

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Democrats Reach For Windfall Profits--Republicans Stop Them

Democrats' Oil Windfall Tax Plan Fails in Senate Vote

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

(Foxnews)

WASHINGTONSenate Democrats failed to gain enough votes on an energy bill that would have imposed higher taxes on oil companies, which are making record profits as oil and gasoline costs continue surging higher.

Note by Republicus: How would that have helped consumers? The Democrats were merely trying to get their own windfall profits out of it for the sake of government.

Republicans led a charge against the tax, saying it was unnecessary tinkering with the market that would have led to suppressed oil supplies at home, and wouldn't bring in the money as planned.

The bill, which needed to pass the preliminary vote by a margin of 60 or better, failed 51-43.


Essentially along party lines.

The bill also would have rescinded $17 billion in tax breaks the companies expect to enjoy over the next decade.

Of course.

"The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy," said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, warning that if energy prices are not reined in "we're going to find ourselves in a deep recession."

One more time: "The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy."

No limits on the government's profit on privately generated profit, Dick?

31 Comments:

Anonymous simes said...

Gee, did GOPiggie oil lackeys really stop them? Duh, I wonder why. Is it because these corrupt bastards ARE the oil companies?

'I'll Sell My Soul to the Devil'
Corruption Scandals Involve Alaska's Biggest Political Names

By Karl Vick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 12, 2007; A01



ANCHORAGE -- When the FBI came looking for corruption in Alaska politics, it found an excellent perch in Suite 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, the state capital. There, a profane septuagenarian named Bill Allen did business throughout a 2006 special session called to set taxes on the oil industry. With hundred-dollar bills in his front pocket for ease of access when lawmakers turned up with their hands out, the oil-services company executive turned in a bravura performance before the pinhole camera that federal agents installed opposite his favorite chair.

"Let me count first here," Allen said, shushing a former statehouse speaker as he counted out a bribe in video footage entered as evidence in the lawmaker's September trial, one of several crowding the docket of the federal court here.

On another tape, Pete Kott, the former Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, crowed as he described beating back a tax bill opposed by oil companies. "I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie," Kott said. "Exxon's happy. BP's happy. I'll sell my soul to the devil."

"Well, that will stay in this room," one lobbyist said as a midnight session wound down.

It did not, of course. Since breaking into public view a year ago when federal agents raided lawmakers' offices and homes -- finding $32,200 neatly stacked in a closet of Kott's condo -- the federal probe has produced four indictments, three convictions, three guilty pleas and a rapt audience keen to see how high into Alaska's political hierarchy the rot reaches.

Officially, the scandal has remained confined to Juneau, where Alaska lawmakers had grown so accustomed to operating under the presumption of impropriety that several of them embroidered ball caps with the letters CBC, for "Corrupt Bastards Club." (An Anchorage coffeehouse now offers Corrupt Bastards Brew.) But with signs that the investigation is brushing against Alaska's lone congressman, Don Young (R), and its longtime and venerated senator Ted Stevens (R), residents of the Last Frontier are experiencing a rare spasm of soul-searching.

"These disclosures have come as a real shock, because of revelations of what was going on, and because Alaskans have always felt that they are special," said Vic Fisher, 83, one of four surviving members of the convention that only a half-century ago wrote Alaska's state constitution. "And that this thing is ruining our national reputation."

10:24 AM  
Anonymous how long can you hide? said...

Young, who has represented the nation's largest state in the U.S. House for 34 years, has not been named in the proceedings -- yet he reports spending $450,000 on legal fees over the past six months. Veco, the oil-field services company that Allen owned, was Young's largest campaign contributor.

Stevens, an iconic figure who has dominated Alaska politics for decades, has said little publicly since agents swarmed over his mountainside home, the renovation of which was overseen by Allen.

But Ben Stevens, the senator's son and a former Alaska Senate president, has been at the center of the scandal from the start. When Allen pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges, he stated that almost a quarter of a million dollars in consulting fees paid to the younger Stevens was in fact bribery.

"About the only ones that I can trust is you and ol' Ben Stevens," THE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVE told Kott on one tape.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous flinty self reliance said...

Not all the indictments rose from oil money. Former representative Tom Anderson last month was sentenced to five years for taking money from a consultant for a company hoping to build a prison in Alaska; the consultant was working undercover for the FBI. The Republican lawmaker's only previous brush with the law came when his girlfriend, a fellow legislator, summoned police as they fought over bowling scores.

The bluster roared in Suite 604, where Allen and his chief lobbyist plotted strategy and dispensed cash.

"You got any hundreds?" Allen asks an associate before passing a wad to then-Rep. Vic Kohring, convicted early this month of bribery and extortion.

The footage unspools like a Thomas Nast cartoon come to life, the grainy images punctuated by Allen's bray, the pop and squeak of a cork leaving a wine bottle and the sycophantic chortles of lawmakers vying for Veco's favor.

Veco Vice President Rick Smith, who also pleaded guilty, tried on one tape to coax Allen toward discretion. But Allen waved him off, referring to pressure from "clients."

Smith relents: "You have to get dirty and you have to produce; I understand that."

The brazenness evident on the tapes has taken many aback.

Veco's bribes went to public officials, totaling $400,000, Allen testified. But some residents expressed dismay at the puny size of individual transactions. Kohring was convicted of taking around $2,000.

"The fact of the matter is, we all want to bribe a politician," said Mr. Whitekeys. "We all thought it'd take a Mercedes or a Porsche. Nobody knew you could buy a politician for the cost of a used riding lawn mower."

Thanks in large part to Ted Stevens's seniority, Alaska receives more federal money per capita than any other state, a situation that tends to undermine the image of flinty self-reliance.

Still, the tapes produced sentiments that overwhelm even resentment toward Washington. "I spoke at a meeting of Alaska Conservation Voters recently, mentioned the FBI -- and people applauded!" said Vic Fisher.

The outrage helped Democrats push through ethics legislation last session, and in November catapulted a reformer into the governor's chair. Republican Sarah Palin was already running on clean government when the first indictments landed, right between the primary and general election.

In office, Palin has kept up the drumbeat, last month summoning lawmakers back for a new special session on the very oil-tax issue that brought the FBI to Juneau. In an interview, Palin said she wanted to "clear the legislature's name" by "allowing legislators the opportunity to revote.

"Those who are left," she added.

10:37 AM  
Blogger John said...

You've got a lot to hide, simian, and you think shouting over the inherent sleaze of liberalism itself--and you--will deflect attention from it.

It'll work for a lot of sheep, simian, but you and I both know who the real scumbags are.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous fear and loathing all over said...

...you think shouting over the inherent sleaze of liberalism itself--and you--will deflect attention from it.

haha...gee, were those guys liberals? ...anyway our shouting seems to be working...everyone hates you

12:06 PM  
Anonymous rid us of this plague said...

ENDEMIC Corruption in EVERY Organ:

Justice Department Official Awards $500,000 Grant to Golf Group
Former Staffer Tells ABC News Anti-Crime Funds Given to Programs With The "Right" Connections.
By BRIAN ROSS, ANNA SCHECTER, and MURRAY WAAS
June 9, 2008 —


A senior Justice Department official says a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation is an appropriate use of money designed to deal with juvenile crime in America.

"We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook," said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Justice Department, in a decision by Flores, gave the money to the World Golf Foundation's First Tee program, even though Justice Department staffers had rated the program 47th on a list of 104 applicants. The allegations were first reported earlier this year by the trade journal Youth Today.

"I don't know why people insist on denigrating it, it's a sound program," Flores told ABC News.

Current and former Justice Department employees allege that Flores ignored the staff rankings in favor of programs that had political, social or religious connections to the Bush White House.

The honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush. On a videotape presentation, the former President Bush praised the program for "serving others and building character and building values."

12:09 PM  
Anonymous corruption r us said...

Then there's the administrative side!!

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Jim Clark, the former chief of staff to Gov. Frank Murkowski, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, becoming the fifth public official criminally charged in the federal government's ongoing corruption probe and the eighth person overall named in the investigations.

Clark has agreed to plead guilty to a scheme involving oil services company VECO Corp. and is expected in federal court Tuesday to enter that guilty plea before a judge.

Prosecutors say the scheme had two main goals: pushing through oil tax legislation VECO favored; and returning Murkowski to office for a second term as governor.

Murkowski was the only candidate for governor that supported an oil tax rate VECO officials desired, according to prosecutors, who claim VECO paid for re-election polls from two separate companies, one in state and the other Outside.

VECO executives Bill Allen and Rick Smith then worked with Clark in order to violate campaign disclosure requirements, according to the allegations, and subsequently hide their actions from the citizenry.

In exchange for help with Murkowski's re-election polls, prosecutors say Clark used his position as chief of staff to the governor in order to advocate for the oil tax legislation VECO and Allen favored.

Specifically, the government alleges:
"In or about April 2006, Clark solicited Smith to have VECO pay approximately $20,000 for a poll to be prepared by (Dittman Research) to facilitate the evaluation of the governor's prospects for re-election."

Prosecutors also describe the overall conspiracy plan, in which VECO would pay and ultimately paid approximately $68,550 in expenses relating to Gov. Murkowski's re-election campaign in a manner so that the public would be deceived.

Clark has signed a plea agreement admitting to all of this.


The plea agreement indicates Clark is only charged with some but not all of the crimes he was involved in.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous !!!!!! said...

GOP family values includes teaching corruption!!

Today's NY Times brings up the sticky question of the lack of ethics of the third member of Alaska's corrupt congressional delegation, Lisa Murkowski. While Young and two Stevenses are probably headed for prison, Murkowski, at least so far, just looks like someone without any ethics. A criminal investigation into her doesn't seem to have started, at least not yet.

She comes from a family background where ethics was a word used with complete contempt and disdain. Her father, Frank Murkowski, may well have been the most corrupt-- and disliked-- governor in the history of Alaska. He appointed her senator to replace him when he swapped out of the Senate and into the Governorship.

But she has been forced to defend herself publicly against conflict-of-interest accusations and announced last week that she would sell back 1.27 acres of riverfront land that she had bought for $179,500 from a local real estate developer who is tied to the investigation of Mr. Stevens.

Ms. Murkowski's announcement came a day after a self-described ethics watchdog group in Washington filed a complaint over the land deal with the Senate Ethics Committee. The complaint accused Ms. Murkowski of paying an Anchorage developer, Bob Penney, only a small fraction of the true value of the land and said the deal amounted to an improper and potentially illegal gift.

Local real estate agents in Alaska said the property, on the banks of the Kenai River, had a value of up to $350,000.

This is a common Republican Party trick used to illegally funnel bribes to lawmakers in return for earmarks, government contracts and special favors. If investigators tie Murkowski's "good deal" to anything illegal, she'll be facing prison just like the other two. She's already denying everything, of course, which they must teach you the first week you become a GOP member of Congress. One of her flacks told the Times that her "decision to sell the land was made before the complaint by the watchdog group, the National Legal and Policy Center, and had nothing to do with it."

What a coincidence!

12:30 PM  
Anonymous i'm not lisa....thankgod said...

Bridges to nowhere and bridges to Lisa's...

Republican Murkowski funneled money to road for her home
August 8, 2007
Anchorage, Alaska - Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has secured $6 million in federal funds to build a road leading straight to a plot of land she bought - but was forced to sell - after being exposed July 16th by the TPMmuckraker website.


An August 7th article by Laura McGann and Paul Kiel at TPM, also says that her father, Alaska ex-governor Frank Murkowski, diverted $325,000 of state money while he was in office to her road.

From TPM - Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) rounded up an extra $2 million for the three-mile road project, which is just under half mile from Murkowski's plot, which she sold back to Penney in the wake of the controversy.

And even that's not all. To cover matching costs required by some of the federal money, Murkowski's father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowksi ponied up another $325,000 in state funds. It's unclear whether the project, construction for which is set to begin next year, will boost the value of the land.
Here is the list of the Republican friends who chipped in taxpayer's money for Lisa's road.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Alice Gorable said...

Glad to see that Congress is starting to catch heat for causing the whole problem. The people are waking up, shaking their heads, and thinking of throwing the NIMBY's out.

This keeps up, in November the "throw the bums out" movement will be under a full head of steam, sweeping the Dem's out!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...sweeping the Dem's (sic) out."

hahahahaha...yeah, that's what's hapnin!! The people really love those oil companies and don't want any windfall taxes on them...talk about a tin ear and a pea brain.

GOP Official: If We Only Lose Eight Senate Seats, We Win
By Eric Kleefeld - June 9, 2008, 2:12PM
In a further sign that Republican hopes are fading badly, the head of the Senate GOP's campaign committee has set a new goal for the party this Fall: Not to lose too many Senate seats.

NRSC chair John Ensign has moved the goal posts, according to the Savannah Morning News, saying that the GOP will have succeeded if they don't lose more than eight seats.

Ensign pointed out that if the Dems win nine seats they'll get to the filibuster-proof magic number of 60 -- at which point, Ensign warned, "they will be able to do pretty much whatever they want."

So if the Dems can't get to a 60-seat super-majority, the GOP will have won. Talk about lowering the bar.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

Bwahahaha

Simian says "everyone hates you!"

I guess you better go cry in a corner.....sheesh.

Simian has not bee around very long in my guess.

Get the government out of the way and we might actually be able to get at our own oil.

Liberalism IS the mouth that bites the hand that feeds.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

Drill here.

Drill now.

Build refineries.

Stop starving 3rd world nations by making Ethanol.

10:15 PM  
Blogger FJ said...

Amen!

4:43 AM  
Anonymous something to look forward to said...

Here's some more of that ANCIENT HISTORY for you...when's DeLay's new trial coming? OH, that would be the FUTURE wouldn't it? haha

Former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal, the Associated Press reports.

As The Columbus Dispatch notes, prosecutors had asked for 27 months and Ney's lawyer hoped for 24.

The Dispatch reminds its readers this morning that Ney, 52, "pleaded guilty in October to federal charges of accepting thousands of dollars worth of free trips and cash from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a Syrian businessman."

Former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal, the Associated Press reports.

As The Columbus Dispatch notes, prosecutors had asked for 27 months and Ney's lawyer hoped for 24.

The Dispatch reminds its readers this morning that Ney, 52, "pleaded guilty in October to federal charges of accepting thousands of dollars worth of free trips and cash from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a Syrian businessman."


Disgraced once powerful Ohio Congressloon Bob Ney, a longtime DeLay and Abramoff asslicker and a particularly nasty far right extremist, has been told by House Speaker Denny Hastert-- himself being investigated for taking bribes from numerous sources including the Turkish government (for whom he screwed over Armenian-Americans)-- that his overreaching corruption, or at least how he allowed himself to get caught at it, is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and that he'd have to step down from his leadership position. That means bye-bye to his power base (and bribe-raking-in base) as chairman of the House Administration Committee, where he was able to do so much damage to the country through his ties with the Diebold vote counting corporation.

Ney, who is being investigated in every single scandal enveloping the Republican House majority, is everybody's first bet to be the next high level Republican congressman indicted. Because of his extremely close financial and political ties to GOP Crime Boss Tom DeLay and with DeLay consigliere and rainmaker Jack Abramoff (both indicted, Abramoff already turning states evidence against, among others, Ney), Ney is also mixed up with a gangland style murder of former Abramoff partner Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis. Many in Washington are speculating that Hastert was tipped off that something really bad is about to come down on Ney and that that was why he decided to move quickly to get him out of the Republican hierarchy.

Meanwhile, a dazed and crestfallen Ney, close to tears, was heard saying "I'm considering it-- stepping down temporarily-- and once the issue is over, I'll come back." I'm sure that will remind everyone of what DeLay himself was saying as he was hauled in and fingerprinted and photographed. The GOP never forced multimillion dollar bribe-taker Randy "Duke" Cunningham to step down from his sensitive committee positions (Defense and Intelligence), from which he was selling access, and many powerful Republican salons are now frightened about rumors that appeared in TIME Magazine that in that interim Cunningham was wearing a wire and has recorded the goods on at least two other California bribe-takers, Duncan Hunter and Jerry Lewis, both of whom worked closely with Cunningham and the contractors that were paying him off.

According to The Hotline, "A Republican close to Ney said that 'he obviously recognizes that, although he is confident that he didn't do anything wrong, he recognizes his name is becoming a distraction to the Republican conference.' Hastert's spokesman, Ron Bonjean, acknowledged 'there have been ongoing discussions between Speaker Hastert and Rep. Ney about his role as Chairman of the House Administration Committee.' A House leadership aide said that Hastert 'is moving behind the scenes for the greater good of the conference and handling it in the most dignified way as possible.'"

A public food fight would certainly be less dignified. (You can be sure that Joe Sulzer, the Democrat who will in all likelihood be representing Ohio's 18th Congressional District after the November elections, is preparing for Ney's early retirement, not just from his committee chairmanship, by from public life.)

Many House Republicans-- or at least the ones who are playing closer attention than ole Hastert to which way the winds are blowin'-- also want dei Partei's Conference Secretary John Doolittle, another indictment-waiting-to-happen, to step down beforehis mug shot is plastered all over the national media. And some of these same people are wondering who will be the one to eventually tell Hastert that he has to step down. Already the newest contestant to fill DeLay's old job as House Majority Leader, John Shadegg has strongly hinted that neither of the two leading candidates, both of whom are firmly tied to the corrupt DeLay/Abramoff K-Street machine, is ethically it to hold the job. (The extremist loons at the National Review have endorsed Shadegg, primarily because the other two, Roy Blunt and John Boehner are so tied in with all the filth and corruption and because Shadegg's voting record is even further right than Bush's agenda. "He is the candidate least associated with the status quo, and the cozy world of K Street. That's a good thing." (Well it would be if it wasn't just a fantasy. Shadegg was on the take from both DeLay and Abramoff, just for less money than the rest of the tarnished Republicans trying to claw their way to the top over DeLay's rotting corpse.)

The Ney story is really getting out to the public much more than I would have imaged. CNN featured it in its headlines this morning when I woke up at 5AM and AOL has a front page story and Ney's disgrace is the subject of today's AOL poll: "What Should Bob Ney Do?" 65% of respondents opt for "Quit Congress altogether." 27% opt for "Resign his chairmanship." And fully 8% of respondents pick "He should do nothing at all." Who are these people? I mean are 8% of America that devoted to the likes of an Ann Coulter and Kate O'Bierne psycho mentality?

9:44 AM  
Anonymous prosecutorial abuse said...

Delay? LOL! Everyone knows HIS prosecutor is just another DNC stooge Torquemada.

Compared with Pelosi & Murtha's histories, Bogus is calling THAT tune.

9:51 AM  
Blogger John said...

They've been obsessing over Delay and Abramoff for years now.

10:43 AM  
Blogger FJ said...

Rule 12, John. By the book.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous modern history said...

They've been obsessing over Delay and Abramoff for years now.



Duh...didn't they come AFTER Clinton and Wilbur Mills?

Are they STILL awaiting trial or in jail?

3:24 PM  
Anonymous hot tub tommy said...

Delay? LOL! Everyone knows HIS prosecutor is just another DNC stooge Torquemada.


This from the morons who fielded Ken Starr!!

Tell us why the GOP thought DeLay stunk so bad they couldn't wait to throw him out.

We did REEEEEALLY enjoy nailing that sanctimonious little prick though...especially fun after Gingrich and Livingston...and, now, the Sweaty Wrestler, Denny the Dullard, Foley the Molestor's good buddy.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous givvitup said...

why not just quit lying and ask your party for some honest candidates?

3:29 PM  
Anonymous huh? said...

Selene Walter accused Ronald Reagan of rape in the 1950s when Ronnie still remembered what his dick was

3:45 PM  
Anonymous uppah u ass donkey boy said...

You nailed who? LOL! And how many of the charges got thrown out on their face simply because they couldn't pass the "laugh test" and the Texas prosecutor couldn't keep a straight face in front of the judge?

Ooooh. You guys sure nailed that Goldberg chick that Monica used to confide in too, for "illegal wiretapping". Ooooh

You're prosecutions of Republican "malefactors" are notorious political vendettas for inconsequential NOTHING charges.

Then you whine about Bush for eight years... and don't even try and impeach him cause you NEVER HAD A CASE. EVER! Now you talk about trails AFTER his term his over. I'd LOVE to see you try. We'd drag your sorry asses out of the peoples house and line your bosses up against the Vietnam Memorial...

5:55 PM  
Anonymous hee haw hee haw said...

Tom DeLay was indicted how long ago? Where are the convictions???

:P

6:03 PM  
Anonymous limp donkey wang said...

Cowards!

6:40 PM  
Blogger John said...

By the book, fj.

6:45 PM  
Blogger FJ said...

Indeed. The last thing we need is a couple of lose canons like "donkey boy" taking matters into their own hands.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous spliiiiiiiiiit said...

New Gang of 14 won’t back McCain


At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.


Many of the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain’s energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.





Republican members who have not endorsed or publicly backed McCain include Sens. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Reps. Jones, Peterson, John Doolittle (Calif.), Randy Forbes (Va.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Virgil Goode (Va.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Ron Paul (Texas), Ted Poe (Texas), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.), Dave Weldon (Fla.) and Frank Wolf (Va.). [Wolf contacted The Hill following publication of the article to correct his staff’s error. His staff had said he has “yet to endorse McCain” and did not return follow-up phone calls this week].

Some Senate Republicans were especially irked with McCain’s role in the “Gang of 14” deal on judicial nominations.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who has been sharply critical of McCain on immigration, told The Hill in February, “I don’t like McCain. I don’t like him at all.”


9:14 AM  
Anonymous spitting into the wind democrat said...

Wow. If McCain's so unpopular w/ Republicans THAT must mean that O'Bummer's REAL popular with them.

Oh, he's not?

THROW THE BUMS OUT. 18% Approval rating in Congress? Incumbents are gonna get HAMMERED across the board. Hope Nancy and Harry have socked enough graft money away in their Swiss Banks. I've a feeling, they'll be needing it!

3:03 PM  
Blogger John said...

spliiiiiiiiiit crowed:

"New Gang of 14 won’t back McCain."

Not so faaaaaast:

"*Not all Democrats falling for Obama*

Jun 12, 2008

By BEN EVANS and SAM HANANEL

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nothing personal, Sen. Obama, but our re-election comes first. Barack Obama, for all his attention and primary successes, does not go over so well in a fair number of Democratic lawmakers' home districts. So it seems there is little chance that some will endorse him for president."

Idjoot.

4:13 PM  
Blogger John said...

spitinthewind:

They exultantly--and, as usual, foolhardily-- predicted a "lanslide" (sic) several times now.

I think this next date with reality will unhinge them for a long time, perhaps the rest of their miserable lives.

They obviously haven't recovered after 1994, the Impeachment, 2000, 2002, and 2004, a booming economy, and a working surge, each traumatic event preceded and succeeded by rounds of overconfident, in-your-face gloating of pending disaster for those they hate.

Something snapped during one of those traumas and they became the malicious, contemptible creatures you see here.

4:29 PM  

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