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Tilting at Windmills

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November 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE END OF INHOFE?....One of the best pieces of news to come from the Democratic takeover of the Senate is the change in chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which will move from the odious and delusional James Inhofe to the environment-friendly Barbara Boxer. It's hard to think of any other committee that will change more dramatically.

Today, the Washington Post reported even more good news:

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) announced his intention to become the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, now headed by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has said that global warming is a hoax. Warner has called for action against climate change, and his ascension to a leadership post would accelerate significant changes already underway.

....First, however, GOP senators must decide whether Warner's seniority on the committee grants him the right to be the ranking Republican. Inhofe issued a statement saying that he thinks Warner "has misunderstood the rules" and that "I intend to retain my leadership position in the 110th Congress, returning as the Ranking Member" of the environment committee.

Warner responded in a statement: "I carefully reviewed the rules in consultation with the Secretary of the Majority, who assures me that my seniority on the Committee forms a clear basis, under longstanding precedent" for claiming the top Republican spot.

Sidelining Inhofe completely would be one of the most dramatic signs imaginable that the Republican leadership is reclaiming a bit of common sense in the wake of their midterm defeat. Warner may be conservative, but he's a traditional, reality-based conservative, not a crackpot ideologue like Inhofe. Here's hoping he gets his wish.

Kevin Drum 1:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Comments

Yay!

Posted by: craigie on November 18, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The Earth is flat.
The Earth is not a globe
Therefore there cannot be any "global warming"
Thus global warming is a hoax
Inhofe is right.
Q.E.D

Posted by: zAmboni on November 18, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

MSNBC interview with Inhofe here. Things you learn: putting a cap on CO2 would "kill the machine called America" and on any legislation on climate change he would "definitely vote filibuster."

I don't really expect a lot of progressive legislation for the next two years anyway, but if Dems get to 60 in the Senate and take the WH in '08, we may be able to make nutjobs like Inhofe irrelevant.

Posted by: JJF on November 18, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't really expect a lot of progressive legislation for the next two years anyway, but if Dems get to 60 in the Senate and take the WH in '08...

Excellent. At least two more years of fiddling as global disaster looms.

Have you gone hiking in the mountains lately? Checked out any glaciers? Hint. They're not getting larger.

Posted by: exasperanto on November 18, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

So why do Dems hate red states?

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on November 18, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and global warming. Another liberal bullshit fantasy designed to scare the masses into adopting full-scale socialism where the only ones who benefit are the socialist rulers like Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on November 18, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Warner is probably my favorite GOP senator (if you don't count Chaffee). He's not the most liberal, but he comes off as the most authentically independent of his party.

Posted by: Greg on November 18, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and global warming. Another liberal bullshit fantasy designed to scare the masses into adopting full-scale socialism where the only ones who benefit are the socialist rulers like Kevin Drum.

Shit! He figured out the plan! Now Kevin will never get appointed commissar of Orange County and live in the spacious Rancho Palos Verdes dacha we picked for him.

Posted by: RWB on November 18, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the thing that interests me about this announcement is where Warner's coming from. He's the top Republican on Armed Services, indisputably a "better" committee in the Senate prestige calculus, and I'm pretty sure he's not termed off; the Republicans changed their rules after the Jeffords switch because the Republican committee chairs didn't want their chairmanships abridged by time in the minority.

Which suggests to me that he thinks the next two years on Armed Services are going to be hell in a can for his party, and rather than be stuck defending the indefensible he's (I'm sorry, I can't resist) cutting and running.

Posted by: schwa on November 18, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"the socialist rulers like Kevin Drum."

Kevin, as my socialist benefactor, I anxiously await the plentiful deliveries of gruel and gray burlap jumpsuits that your rule will surely bring. Viva Drum! Viva La Revolucion!

Posted by: keptsimple on November 18, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Have you gone hiking in the mountains lately? Checked out any glaciers? Hint. They're not getting larger.

I recently visited Mt. St Helens where they have a glacier that not only wasn't there 20 years ago but is increasing it's rate of advance. There are scientists at the USGS and NASA studying it.

Maybe if you plug your ears and say "Nananananana" really loud it will all disappear. Talk about closing your eyes to science and reality.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 18, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

'merican dumbass apparently has never been exposed to the concept of non-linear dynamics.

Posted by: Disputo on November 18, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Rules, schmules. The Republican'ts showed little regard for the traditional rules and privileges of the Senate when they were in the majority. Remember their threat to get rid of the filibuster with the collusion of the Dark Lord Cheney? The whole "term limit" thing can be gone in the wink of an eye as well.

The real question here is whether the Republican'ts as a caucus are P.O.d at the religious nutballs who controlled them under the "leadership" of Dr. Frist. Warner seems to sense that they want to get back to their establishment "roots" and kick the interlopers where the sun don't shine.

Would he have to give up his seat on Armed Forces, or just his "ranking member" position? Looks like he thinks the pork will be mighty lean from now on.

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 18, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Inhofe has been an absolute horror. Warner will be much, much, much better.

Posted by: beth on November 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, welcome our new socialist overlord, Kevin Drum.

Posted by: jimbo on November 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

But keep in mind that if I become socialist overlord I'll make sure that USC wins every football game it plays. By five or six touchdowns. So there are downsides to this whole idea.....

Posted by: Kevin Drum on November 18, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Inhofe can assume leadership of the Flat Earth Society....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 18, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I actually agree with American hawk. That so called glacier proves that there is no global warming.

I am sure some "scientists" will tell you that just over 20 years ago Mt. St. Helens had no surface to actually form a glacier, and that the opportunity only arose after the volcano blew a nice chunk out of the side of the mountain. Those same scientists would also say that the heat from the magma chamber provided enough heat that would prevent a glacier from being formed, and post eruption, the magma chamber receded and made the temperatures conducive for forming a glacier. These "scientists" would claim that such formation of a glacier was due to post eruption events and has nothing to do with the phenomena of global warming.

Those scientists are bunk.

It is obvious that the glacier on Mt. St. Helens is growing because the earth is flat and the volcano, happens to reside on the side of the Earth where the sun doesnt shine. It is cold on that side, ripe for allowing glaciers to form and grow.

Posted by: zAmboni on November 18, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk wrote: I recently visited Mt. St Helens where they have a glacier that not only wasn't there 20 years ago but is increasing it's rate of advance. There are scientists at the USGS and NASA studying it.

Maybe if you plug your ears and say "Nananananana" really loud it will all disappear. Talk about closing your eyes to science and reality.

That is the Tulutson glacier. It is made up of the snow that has fallen into the crater formed after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. It came into being not because of a change in climate (either way), but because of a violent change in topography--a bowl that trapped snow and kept it from flowing downhill when it melted.

Its presence neither proves nor disproves anything about global warming, but I sure Senator Inhofe and the oil exporting nations of the world thank you for attempting to muddy the waters.

Posted by: RWB on November 18, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I still haven't got an answer from you libs why you support confiscatory taxation and cradle-to-grave govt programs? Why should a single able-bodied adult ever receieve a govt check? Before you talk about unemployment compensation, I think that should strictly be a state by state program with no federal involvement.

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on November 18, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Its presence neither proves nor disproves anything about global warming, but I sure Senator Inhofe and the oil exporting nations of the world thank you for attempting to muddy the waters.
Posted by: RWB on November 18, 2006 at 3:54 PM

Another case of "nanannana" i can't hear you. American Hawk's point proved. QED.

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on November 18, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

"confiscatory taxation and cradle-to-grave govt programs"

Confiscatory taxation is a conclusion, not a definition of anything anyone has asked about here. Similarly, the "cradle-to-grave" programs is a strawman. No one thinks we should just give checks to someone every week of their life.

I mean, its not like a Democratic President was the one to reform welfare...oh wait...

Posted by: Joe on November 18, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Another case of "nanannana" i can't hear you. American Hawk's point proved. QED.

LOL. That settles it. Donkey_Courage is yet another parody.

Posted by: Disputo on November 18, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking news from US corporate media:

republicans one big happy party;
democrats at each other's throats

Now back to your regularly scheduled cult of republicanism unrealty.
.

Posted by: yowzer on November 18, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

As a lifelong Maryland liberal I have always had a great deal of respect for Senator Warner of Virgina. He is a principled, intelligent, and smart man and even if I don't agree with him on many issues, he would be fine ranking member of the committee.

Posted by: slm on November 18, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the most important point here is:

They're fighting amongst themselves!!! Discord!!! Disharmony!!! The Republicans are at each other's throats and they have already failed in everything they plan to do for the next 3 decades! Boehner, No-Boehner, Bush, and everyone with an R beside their name is a vain, in-effectial failure. Oh and Michael Moore is no longer fat!

Posted by: john Mac d on November 18, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to think of any other committee that will change more dramatically.

Senate Intelligence.
House Government Affairs.
House Judiciary -- your one-stop impeachment shop.

But Senate Environment is up there.

Posted by: Grumpy on November 18, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know anything about Imhofe, but I have seen enough of Boxer to suspect that putting her in charge of anything would not be good news. In addition to being too liberal, isn't she regarded as dim?

Posted by: brian on November 18, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I recently visited Mt. St Helens where they have a glacier that not only wasn't there 20 years ago but is increasing it's rate of advance

you stupid git. the glacier is advancing because... the lava dome beneath it is expanding, and pushing the snow and ice on in the crater into new locations. it's not getting any colder there, things are just moving around.

Posted by: cleek on November 18, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why should a single able-bodied adult ever receieve a govt check?

This is a question I ask repeatedly about the (republican) Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, Rod Jetton. He couldn't be bothered to get off his ass and support his wife and kid for five full years. THen he went into politics, so I am still feeding his effing family with my tax dollars.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 18, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

No time to play today. Reality does indeed bite.

Later.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 18, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to being too liberal, isn't she regarded as dim?

LOL. Proof that Brian is just another parody.

Are there no real wingnuts left?

Posted by: Disputo on November 18, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

They're fighting amongst themselves!!! Discord!!! Disharmony!!! The Republicans are at each other's throats and they have already failed in everything they plan to do for the next 3 decades! Boehner, No-Boehner, Bush, and everyone with an R beside their name is a vain, in-effectial failure. Oh and Michael Moore is no longer fat!

Seriously, what sort of payola did we need to dish out to get the media to cover this story? The Republicans need to make a fundamental choice in the next few years about whether they will continue to pander to right wing crazies or try and rebuild the moderate wing of the party. If they take the former route the Democrats could have another 20 year run in charge.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on November 18, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"..a traditional, reality-based conservative"

No Kevin. Warner is a complete asshole rubber stamp party line GOP scumbag, as every Republican politician has been since at least 1988.

Perhaps the adjective you're lookking for is "sane."

Posted by: HeavyJ on November 18, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I daresay that Senator Warner and I would have few areas of agreement on the major issues of the day, but ever since he stuck a spoke into Oliver North's senatorial ambitions I've been inclined to cut the guy some slack. He represents that fading generation of Republicans still possessed of a sense of smell.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on November 18, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Glaciers aren't retreating everywhere. Just almost everywhere. It's a big world. If the global mean temp increases 2C over the next century, there will be places where the temperature will actually decrease. Heat doesn't disperse evenly.

Global Warming is the most outstanding evidence that Republicans are lying to themselves and others.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 18, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I still haven't got an answer from you libs why you support confiscatory taxation and cradle-to-grave govt programs?

We support them just because they piss you off. Welcome to the Gulag, baby. After two years of Pelosi guys like you will all have to become daycare assistants for cleaning diapers. Since you're already full of shit a little more won't hurt, eh?

Posted by: tomeck on November 18, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

For a party that claims to be all about responsibility, the Repubs sure have it backwards on the environment. Isn't environmentalism basically just the idea that you have to clean up your mess?

Posted by: An American Patriot on November 18, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

First, Pombo gets beat, then Imhofe might get shoved aside??

We'll take progress.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on November 18, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

As a partisan Democrat, I kinda hope Inhofe gets the nod. With him the face of Republican environmentalism, the Republicans will look like loons for generations.

On the other hand, Warner always seems reasoned and thoughtful, but I don't think his votes would be much different whether he is ranking member or just a member. In fact, freed of party responsibilities he might vote with the democrats more often if he isn't ranking member.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 18, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

American Shit-for-Brains found an anomaly at Mt. St. Helens; we're saved from global warming! Hooray, the butter's all gone! Another victory for anecdotal conjecture! Dennis Miller for president!

Posted by: Kenji on November 18, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji said:

American Shit-for-Brains found an anomaly at Mt. St. Helens; we're saved from global warming! Hooray, the butter's all gone! Another victory for anecdotal conjecture! Dennis Miller for president!

How true. I've lived within 100 miles of Mt. St. Helens in the Puget Sound area for nigh on 50 years. Believe me. If there's a glacier that's growing, that's news. I don't have time to go find it (sorry, halftime of the Apple Cup), but there're pictures of one of the main glaciers on Mt.Rainier that will bring tears to your eyes, for its diminishing.

BTW, Dennis Miller is, and has been for years, the un-funniest man in America.

Posted by: bigcat on November 18, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

If global warming is real, then the snow on Mount Ararat should have melted and we would have discovered Noah's Ark by now! But it hasn't, so it isn't!

Posted by: Captain Koolaid on November 18, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Why should a single able-bodied adult ever receieve a govt check? B

Tell it to the Marines.

Posted by: mcdruid on November 18, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that said "gout" check.

And images of Wordsworth wheeling gout-ridden Coleridge around in a wheelbarrow followed.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 18, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

American Patriot, boy are you behind the curve.

Being a conservative today means you go down to the street corner where the illegals from Michoacan hang out, hire one of them to clean up your mess, give him no protective gear to do it in, stiff him at the end of the day, turn him into La Migra, and then go off and demagogue about immigration.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 18, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

I really hope Warner takes Inhofe's spot. With him and Boxer together leading the committee, we might actually get some real legislation concerning global warming out of the Senate.

Inhofe's a real piece of work, isn't he? Now that Santorum, Allen and Burns are all outta there, I guess he can easily lay claim to the title of "Dumbest Member of the Senate."

Posted by: gf120581 on November 18, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

As a democrat I do not agree with John Warner but, I do respect the man alot. I have watched the senate and have felt for awhile he is what a real senator should be.
He is dignified, mannered, respectful of the senate and of the job he is entrusted to, he conducts himself with the utmost respect and shows respect to others.
I have often thought it ashame the party as a whole could not follow his example. It desparately needs to reform itself and become more like he is. If more senators as a whole were more like him we would have statesmen.
The sad part is that even after thier loss last week they continue to be more like Inhofe. He is the norm in the gop today. which makes me even more proud that I have been a lifelong democrat

Posted by: vwcat on November 19, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Inhofe would be the perfect poster boy for the 2008 election - it's a presidential election but I think it's 22 Republican senators running for office.
Let Inhofe stay the ranking minority member, let him give a speech every day. Film him daily. In IMAX. Tie him around the Republican candidates neck.
The yo-yo right tried to make a grandma from SF the issue. Next election, let's make it Inhofe.
He can't do much damage in the minority, and he just might deliver several seats for the Dems.

Warner's just trying to save his party from having to defend a nut - something the recent election has shown is becoming far more difficult to do.

Mark Twain said the best way to make a fool of a man is to quote him in public. Inhofe cuts out the middleman. The perfect poster boy.

Posted by: glazovsk on November 19, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

You can help stop the Republicans from using the veto and the filibuster.


Go to http://www.opensecrets.org

search on the name Mitch McConnell

He will serve as the minority leader of the senate in 2007. Find his campaign contributors and list the ones that sell consumer products. Find their email addresses and phone numbers and fax numbers.

Send each of his campaign contributors the following message.


Get your CEO to tell Mitch McConnell: Do not use the filibuster nor let George W Bush use the veto or we will not buy your products ever again and we will tell everyone in this country not to buy your products.


Then tell Senator McConnell, do not use the filibuster nor allow Bush to use the veto or I will boycott your campaign contributors that sell consumer products.


...

Posted by: www.dmocrats.org on November 19, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, they've recently discovered that we've been pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere over the last century that we have changed the PH of the world's ocean's (making them slowly more acidic) for centuries to come. Our ocean's are going to slowly become like deserts, but nawww....we ain't doing the planet's ecosystem any harm, and there's not such thing as global warming, of course.

Posted by: tonto on November 19, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

American Shit for brains doesn't think global warming is happening.Does this mean my purchase of lake front property on the north shore of lake Superior for a winter home was a bad move.What is it with these koolaid drinking morons that they don't understand about science and evidence.Do these guys think that all the scientist who think global warming is happening are just a vast commie pinko fag conspiracy.

Posted by: gandalf on November 19, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

exasperanto wrote: Have you gone hiking in the mountains lately? Checked out any glaciers? Hint. They're not getting larger.

Yes, indeed. Global warming is taking place. In fact, the earth has been warming ever since the end of the last ice age.

But, here are some more difficult questions:

1. How much of global warming is caused by man's contibution to greenhouse gases?

2. Can we solve the global warming problem by reducing our creation of greenhouse gases?

The answer to #1 is unclear. Some popular weather models show that man's activities are big contributors to global warming. However, these models haven't really been validated. I'm not sure they could be, since they predict phenomena that take place over decades.

The answer to #2 is more clear. Unflrtunately, we can not solve the global warming problem by reducing greenhouse gases. The amount of CO2 reduction the world could agree on is far below what would be necessary according to the models referred to above, which support global warming.

If rapid global warming is real (which seems probable) then we'd better find some new solution. If we can't find a new solution, we will have to plan on living in a warmer world.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I am not aware of any weahter models that show that Man's activities are contributors. However most (all?) climate models do show this. That fact that there is a significant difference between weather and climate seems to get lost on many.

I don't agree with #2. If we can again get the issue of global warming to be about the science as opposed to the politics then we could agree about the problem and take appropriate actions.

Unfortunately the current administration dedicated a large part of its energies to saying that there was not a problem. Let have some real hearings with actual scientists who have studied the issue not science fiction writers!

Posted by: Yelling in the fog on November 19, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yelling in the fog wrote: If we can again get the issue of global warming to be about the science as opposed to the politics then we could agree about the problem and take appropriate actions.

Who's "we", YITF? If by "we" you mean the US, then I agree the US could cut its CO2, but the US population is only 5% of the world.

If by "we" you mean "all human beings", then you begin to see why I assert that we cannot achieve the reduction of CO2 that the models claim are needed. Do you think we can get those ocuntries goverened under Sharia Law onto a scientific basis? Can we convince countries like China, whose prosperity is increasing, to deprive their citizens of automobiles?

Look at the lack of cooperation in trying to prevent nuclear proliferation. Look at the international community's failure to end over-fishing of the oceans. Look at Kyoto, for that matter. The world won't give Kyoto anything more than lip service. Can you imagine how they would respond to a proposal for the much greater CO2 cuts necessary to actually avert global warming? It isn't going to happen.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeh, Warner is a real conservative. Supporting Bush's quest for unchecked power and sponsoring the Military Approprations Act that included a clause that allowed U.S. active duty soldiers to be used against American citizens at the presidents whim. It also contained a clause disbanding the Iraqi inspector general in charge of oversight of contractor/reconstruction money. A true modern conservative meaning reactionary, authoritarian boot licker.

Posted by: Paul on November 19, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-lib: 5% of the world's population yet it is responsible for 22.5% of the CO2. So when the player who is responsible for the largest portion of CO2 production says NO, it sends a bad message to the rest.

In regards to the rest of the world, we can get countries to sign on to things that are both costly and (in their point of view) un-necessary. The IMO has done a great job.

Posted by: Yelling in the fog on November 19, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: gffg on November 19, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk sqawked: 'I recently visited Mt. St Helens where they have a glacier that not only wasn't there 20 years ago but is increasing it's rate of advance. There are scientists at the USGS and NASA studying it.'

Maybe I can save USGS & NASA some money (heh): You see, there was a big explosion on Mt. St Helen's approx 26 years ago (google it) & it melted the entire glacier. That's why there wasn't one 20 years ago. Now it is coming back (after 20 years of snowfall, imagine that)

P.S. If you're on the payroll like Al, you're going to have to put in a little more effort on your misleading posts.

Posted by: Paul in KY on November 20, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

You see, there was a big explosion on Mt. St Helen's approx 26 years ago (google it) & it melted the entire glacier. That's why there wasn't one 20 years ago. Now it is coming back (after 20 years of snowfall, imagine that)

Not only that, this is the ONLY glacier in North America that has been growing in that time period. Doesn't exactly make much of a case against climate change, now does it.

I have a feeling that this AH is just a parody, but with rightwingers you never can tell.

Posted by: Ferruge on November 20, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Please do not hesitate to choose. This

Posted by: order paxil on November 21, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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