Archive for July, 2009

Conservatives Demand To See Obama’s Birthmark

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 31st, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The controversy over President Barack Obama’s birthmark continues to be a hot topic in the nation’s capital, thanks to new allegations from prominent Conservatives.

On Friday, reiterating information first reported in an e-mail forwarded from some guy in Shreveport,  Alan Keyes appeared on Fox News to discuss this incendiary issue.

“We have received, from a reliable source, startling information regarding President Obama’s birthmark,” clamored Keyes.  ”It turns out the President doesn’t have an old-fashioned American birthmark at all.  He has a mark commonly known as a ‘cafe’ au lait spot‘.”

The increasingly agitated Keyes continued, “Cafe’ au lait! That’s French. The President is a Frenchman!”

The birthmark has been an issue since President Obama disclosed the blemish during his 2008 Primary campaign.  In an interview following an Iowa City campaign stop, Obama addressed the issue stating, “Yes, I have a birthmark. It’s about the size of a, uh, quarter, and it’s about 2 inches above my right hip.”

Since this time, the blogosphere and conservative media have simmered with theories and rumors concerning the birthmark.  Viral e-mails have circulated, claiming the birthmark resembles, among other things, the “mark of the beast,” Lesotho’s national flag, and Stalin’s mustache.  

Evansville, IN resident Betty Hathaway says she has been skeptical about the president’s place of birth for months, “Well, I was kind of surprised this mark means he’s French. I heard that it looked like Castro.”  

Continued Hathaway, “But I just knew that man was not from this country.”

Keyes was not alone among conservative activists. Attorney/Dentist Orly Taitz claims this “spot” demonstrates Obama is not a natural born American Citizen, but instead, a Frenchman. ”This mark proves the President is not only a Communist, but a French Communist.”

Taitz demanded the President ” ‘Drop trou’ in front of the American People and end this controversy once and for all.”

Taitz promised to present more evidence on Monday’s Lou Dobbs’ Show.

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Don’t Tase Me, Hermano!

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 31st, 2009

Manassas, VA – I don’t pretend to know the whole truth behind this story, but do have a couple observations.

First:  You’re really going to tase a pregnant woman? At a Baptism Party? Low-class.

Second: The initial response was over a noise complaint? The video shows it was still light outside. Pretty weak, Manassas PD.

Third: Maybe its me, but it seems like the police are a little taser-happy.  Like 8-yr olds with a new remote-control-car.  A remote-control-car that makes you convulse  and shit yourself when it runs into you.

Fourth:  Don’t worry, the grandfather who was repeatedly tasered apparently doesn’t speak English. So he probably deserved it.

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Dixie’s Alternative Reality

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 31st, 2009

whoarethebirthers

From today’s kos poll:

Here’s another amazing finding from our poll showing that less than half of Republicans and southerners believe Barack Obama was born in the United States: 7 in 10 Americans who don’t believe Barack Obama was born in the U.S. live in the south, which has 30% of the U.S. population. Nearly 6 in 10 are Republicans, who compromise just 22% of the population.

This is incredibly discouraging, yet not real surprising.  The Conservatives have come a long way since William Buckley.  This manufactured story has been ongoing for well over a year.  The facts are right there for anyone who wants them. 

The reality? These fucking idiots choose to believe this.  No amount of logic or evidence will change their minds.  This speaks to the success of such media outlets as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.  The truth doesn’t matter. People like the ”Birthers” only want to hear rhetoric that reinforces their ideology – bigotry and xenophobia included.  Facts are often inconvenient and subsequently dismissed, or used selectively.  Thus, constructive debate concerning important issues is impossible.  Well done.

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Tripped By An Angel

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

(shudder)

(shudder)

Pope Benedict XVI recently took a digger. 
 
The 82-year-old pope fell in his mountain chalet and fractured his right wrist. He had surgery at a local hospital on July 17 and spent the rest of his two-week vacation in a cast.
 
“Unfortunately, my own guardian angel did not prevent my injury, certainly following superior orders,” Benedict said.
 
If there’s one thing Pope Joey Ratz knows, it’s following orders.
“Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me more patience and humility, give me more time for prayer and meditation,” the pope added.
Yes, Your Eminence, the Lord may have seen this as an Obama-like “teaching moment.” On the other hand, since you’re a bad man, I think God is just not that into you.  Watch your back, Pops.                                                                                                                              

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Bobby Who?

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Ex-Bear + punt-fumbler Bobby Wade had something to say this morning:

Bobby Wade was always an outspoken player when he was in a Bears uniform.

The wide receiver, who has been with the Minnesota Vikings for the last two seasons, remains that way today. He still has guys he considers friends in the Bears locker room, and he was roommates with linebacker Lance Briggs in college at Arizona and while they were with the Bears.

He’s probably caught their attention now. Probably not in a good way. Pro Football Talk reported that Wade spouted off about his former team and its new quarterback in a big way this morning on KFANin Minneapolis when visiting with host Paul Allen, who happens to be the play-by-play voice of the Vikings. According to Wade, he was recently in Las Vegas with middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. It’s what Wade says that came out of the mouth of Urlacher that is surprising.

“Jay Cutler is a good player,” Wade said. “Obviously, it’s a much different environment from going from Denver to play in Chicago. Chicago is a tough club to play for. What is so funny, I actually saw Brian Urlacher this past weekend in Las Vegas and we had a long conversation.

“I don’t want to get him in trouble, but it wasn’t what [the Bears] expected. Pretty much [Urlacher] said Jay Cutler was a [deleted](PUSSY) for the most part.”

That sent the radio show up in a roar and the word Wade used was deleted on the air by using what is known as a dump button. The entire conversation is on the podcast, however.

“Like I said,” Wade continued, “That’s tough if you have a little bit of that going on, it’s just not acceptable.”

Go ahead and circle the Bears’ trip to the Metrodome on Nov. 28. There might be a few people looking for Wade.

Wade says “Pretty much [Urlacher] said Jay Cutler was a pussy for the most part.”

First of all, either he called him a “pussy,” or he didn’t.  Clarify that.

Second, Urlacher should stay out of Vegas.  Over/Under on the next paternity suit? 11 months. 

Third, Really? Bobby Wade? 7 receiving TDs in 7 years.  Clearly, he’s no Justin Gage. Good luck with Tavaris Rosenfels.

Still, this distraction will be much more palatable than anything involving Orton/Grossman. Ortman?

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Questionable Persuasion Technique

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Say Cheese

Lonely Planet: Salisbury, MD

A group called “Patients First,” a project of the lobbyist-funded Americans for Prosperity, has been going around the country and hosting tea parties in opposition to “government-run health care.” Last week, they held a symposium in Salisbury, MD, and warned about the dangers of “socialized” medicine. Yesterday, some individuals decided to protest outside Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil’s office, even though he hasn’t yet come out in favor of a public option. Protesters even hung up Kratovil in effigy.
The interesting part (beyond the quasi-threat to a public official) is that Rep. Kratovil has not come out in favor of a “public option,” or any particular health care plan.  This is supposed to persuade (threaten?) Kratovil into voting against health care reform. 
If this doesn’t work, the A.F.P definitely has a plan B:  Sleeping with Kratovil’s wife. 

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C-Street and the Myth of the Christian Nation

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 24th, 2009

What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution. – James Madison

If you want to get me heated up, convey your support for theories of Christian Nationalism.  If that doesn’t work, tell me the Bears shouldn’t have traded for Cutler.

In light of the Sanford and Ensign scandals, I’ve been reading a lot about the C-Street House, a tax-exempt house where pious Christian legislators apparently go to pray or get laid far away from the watchful eyes of their wives. It depends on the day of the week.  There are even exorcisms , and on the 2nd Wednesday of every month  Tom Coburn gives pelvic exams!  You know, a little something for the conservative in all of us. This place is affiliated with “The Family,” essentially a religious lobbying group of powerful, skin-deep Jesus Freaks. A great backgroundcan be found here.  As Jeff Sharlet writes:

One needn’t be a Marxist to findfault with the Family’s mash-up of New Testament andunfettered capitalism — Adam Smith himself would have recognized that theology as a disingenuous form of self-interest by proxy. Such interests have led the Family into some strange alliances over the years. Seduced by the Indonesian dictator Suharto’s militant anti-communism, they described the murder of hundreds of thousands that brought him to power as a “spiritual revolution,” and sent delegations of congressmen andoil executives to pray to Jesus with the Muslim leader. In Africa, they anointed the Somali killer Siad Barre as God’s man and sent Sen. Grassley and a defense contractor as emissaries. Barre described himself as a “Koranic Marxist,” but he agreed to pray to Grassley’s American Christ in return for American military aid, which he then used to wreak a biblical terror on his nation. It has not yet recovered.

Now I don’t give a shit where these guys put their St.Peters.  The hypocrisy of these moralizing, Christian crusaders is obvious and well-documented. Whether these douchebags keep their jobs due to such hiccups as misappropriation of funds related to these trysts is an issue for their voters or state legislatures.  While the fact that this fucking frat house qualifies as tax-exempt infuriates me, that is not the subject of this post. 

Lead us not into temptation

Feel free to use for your band's album cover.

 

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is on a quest from God. This quest is to rewrite American history and falsely indoctrinate students, the naive and The Dumb as to the historical origins and governmental foundations of this country.

 On may 4th, 2009 Randy Forbes re-introduced the text of the resolution, as House Resolution 397, which currently has 74 co-sponsors.  This reads:

Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history andexpressing support for designation of the first week in May as “America’s Spiritual Heritage Week” for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.

Although the First Amendment might conflict with this resolution (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”), the text is fairly innocuous.  What’s troubling is that the Resolution contains 75 historically dubious footnotes detailing how America is a Christian nation.  

What instigated Forbes?  According to this post:

The trigger for the reintroduction of the falsified US history fussilade was, by Randy Forbes’ own statements, president Barack Obama’s April 7, 2009statement during a public appearance in Turkey, in which Obama declared that “one of the great strengths” of the United States is that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

Obama’s declaration set off a firestorm of criticism from Christian conservatives in Congress and the Senate, with GOP Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann attacking Obama, in an April 21 speech on the House floor in which Bachmann cited the falsified “Washington’s prayer” as evidence that the United States was in fact a Christian nation. Mention of the falsified “prayer” is not at all unusual in Congress. The Congressional record notes multiple citations of the “prayer” in Congress, including by Senate chaplains associated with The Family.

In a May 6th speech on the floor of the US Congress, Randy Forbes asked the questions, “Did America ever consider itself a Judeo-Christian nation?” and “If America was once a Judeo-Christian nation, when did it cease to be?” Forbes’ speech, posted as a YouTube video segment, has so far received over 2 and 1/2 million views.  

In a May 7th, 2009 press conferenceRandy Forbes attacked Barack Obama’s Turkey declaration, stating,

“I suggest the overwhelming evidence suggests that this nation was born andit was birthed with Judeo-Christian principles and I would challenge anybody to tell me that point in time that we ceased to be such, because it doesn’t exist.”

Forbes went on to issue an even more explicit challenge, in a July 1, 2009 appearance on the Jody Hice Show, during which Forbes declared,

“I challenge the president or anyone else — come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold — we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation — and you can’t do it.”

The problem with debating these issues (as Chris Rodda offered) is that the facts are so apparent and contrary to Forbes’ view, that even engaging Mr. Forbes gives some credence to his distorted views. Of course, sometimes a person must descend to that level and I would enjoy watching Ms. Rodda dismantle Forbes in a debate on the subject.

However, the “debate” should end with the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The rebuttal from the Nationalists usually hit 2 points:

1.  The Declaration of Independence states:  “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

2.  The Founding Fathers were Christians and intended the U.S. to reflect their religious affiliation.

1: There is no mention of Christ, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, our any of the other biblical characters – only a supreme force. (Also, the Constitution makes no mention of God at all.) 

Which brings me to #2:

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and James Madison is the “Father of the Constitution!” (also a Disney movie coming 2010)  These two men were deists  and had the most input on the political theories and actual text of the documents on which our country was founded.  It’s infuriating.  I’ll also throw in that Lincoln was likely a Deist/agnostic, and the Christian convictions of George Washington are far from established.  Yet where does this leave the historical beliefs of our country?

Over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, an entire parallel historiography, based on fabricated historical details, falsified founding father quotes, quotes taken out of context, deceptive textual ellipsis, and a host of other methods, has arisen and been incorporated not only into books but also textbooks and curriculum, including that taught in the national Junior ROTC program.

That falsified American history campaign has apparently had some effect. Over the last three decades, the percent of Americans who incorrectly believe the United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation has increased significantly. A 2007 poll from the First Amendment Center showed that  65%, nearly 2/3, of Americans believe the founders intended the US to be a Christian nation and 55% from that poll thought the US Constitution establishes the US as a Christian nation.

As Frederick Clarkson, journalist and author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy wrote in the commentary History is Powerful: Why the Christian Right Distorts History and Why it Matters published in the Spring 2007 issue of Public Eye, a publication from Political Research Associates,

“The notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is a central animating element of the ideology of the Christian Right. It touches every aspect of life and culture in this, one of the most successful and powerful political movements in American history. The idea that America’s supposed Christian identity has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement. No understanding of the Christian Right is remotely adequate without this foundational concept.

But the Christian nationalist narrative has a fatal flaw: it is based on revisionist history that does not stand up under scrutiny. The bad news is that to true believers, it does not have to stand up to the facts of history to be a powerful and animating part of the once and future Christian nation. Indeed, through a growing cottage industry of Christian revisionist books and lectures now dominating the curricula of home schools and many private Christian academies, Christian nationalism becomes a central feature of the political identity of children growing up in the movement. The contest for control of the narrative of American history is well underway.

Gods help us.

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I’m Glad Lance Armstrong Will Lose. Am I Pro-Cancer?

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 24th, 2009

I couldn’t care less about cycling.  Like inappropriate groping and leather pants, I feel it’s something better left to the Spanish and Italians.

But I tend to get queasy when Lance is in the news.  Lance likes (positive) attention and the media usually obliges him, whether he is riding a bike or diddling an Olson twin.  However, prepare for the cycler’s wrath if you dare question or criticize him.

Bill Gifford’s fantastic Slate article (Jerkstrong: How Lance Armstrong is like Sarah Palin.) illuminates the odd side of narcissistic, juiced up adulterer.  For those of you that don’t know, Armstrong recently returned to racing. The return was tumultuous to say the least:

Upon his return, Armstrong announced that he would subject himself to “the most advanced anti-doping program in the world,” a strict regimen of tests whose results would be posted online for all to see. Despite Armstrong having told reporters that “it’s under way,” the program was scrapped before it got started after being deemed too expensive and too complicated. Rather than trying to erase the significant, lingering doubts about his own ethics, Armstrong resorted to Twittering sarcastically whenever he got drug tested, as if he were being specially persecuted. In truth, he is not: Cycling has vastly increased its drug testing this year, and the sport is devoting more attention to higher-profile riders—not just the ones named Lance.

At the same time, he’s used cancer to help him avoid questions about the sketchy past and dubious sponsors of his own Astana team, at least one of whose members remains under serious suspicion of doping. When a well-respected Irish sportswriter, Paul Kimmage, questioned Armstrong’s support for convicted dopers Ivan Basso and Floyd Landis, he snarled, “I am here to fight this disease.” Armstrong then added, “You are not worth the chair you are sitting on.” (You can watch full video of the exchange here.)

I don’t dismiss the positive work Lance has done for cancer awareness and fund-raising. Similarly, I don’t dismiss the effect Sarah Palin has had on the bigoted, far-right fringe.  But is it really about cancer research? Or is it really about Lance? Gifford writes:

Lance actually shares a few traits with Sarah Palin. They both react to any criticism with extreme defensiveness. They demonize their enemies while at the same time cultivating nonstop melodramas that keep them in the news. And while they both periodically issue petulant threats to quit, you get the funny feeling that neither one is going away anytime soon.

This brings me to the Tour de France – Cycling’s month-long Super Bowl.  In anticipation of this grand event, Nike issued this weird ad, starring Lance. Here’s the essence of the ad (my comments in bold.):

Over somber piano music, we see black-and-white scenes of doctors at an operating table, cancer patients in hospital gowns, a bald man hooked up to a respirator, a man with one leg on a treadmill. All of this is intercut with scenes of Armstrong riding his bike. “The critics say I’m arrogant (you are),” Armstrong says. “A doper (yes). Washed up (almost). A fraud (certainly). That I couldn’t let it go (you haven’t).” Pause. “They can say whatever they want (I will). I’m not back on my bike for them.

He’s a victim of his critics. Poor guy.

The ad also implies, disturbingly, that the cyclist’s “critics”—and that includes everyone who thinks he’s arrogant—are equivalent to cancer. It is apparently not enough for him to ride his bike and lead a positive campaign. He can’t help but go after his detractors at the same time. And you thought Sarah Palin was divisive.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into the x’s + o’s of cycling. Apparently, cyclers ride in teams and help eachother out with the wind-resistance and what-not. The likely winner, Alberto Contador, is a member of Lance’s team and widely regarded as the best cycler in the world. Will Lance have any choice but to share the spotlight?

When he was at the top of his game, Armstrong demanded total loyalty and subservience from his teammates. That’s not what Contador is getting from Lance. Take Monday’s stage of the Tour deFrance, when Armstrong ordered his teammates to ride hard on the front, leaving Contador behind. It worked, almost: The tactic not only showed Contador who is boss, but it nearly helped earn Armstrong another yellow jersey on Tuesday’s stage. If Armstrong had gotten the yellow—no matter that he stepped on his teammate’s back to get it—it would have marked a triumphal completion of his comeback, finishing the self-created narrative arc upon which every successful politician builds his career. In less than a year, he’s transformed himself from tabloid joke to cancer-conquering messiah. And if he does enter politics—after a year of fighting the press, demonizing enemies, and fending off personal scandal—at least he’ll be well-prepared.

Over the last week, Contador pulled away, almost ensuring victory. That makes me, Alberto, and presumably Cancer, very happy.

Lance is currently in 3rd (When will this godforsaken thing end? ). Will he be gracious in defeat? He gave us a preview when he grudgingly agreed to assist Contador:

“If we ride into Paris with the yellow jersey in the team, I’m cool with that,” Armstrong said. “I’ve got seven of them at home.”

Just in case you forgot.

There may be no “i” in “team,” but there is certainly a “lance” in “chemical imbalance.”

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This Erin Andrews Thing Will Help Me Calibrate My Creepiness Level

Posted by Matt on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Erin Andrews has been a favorite of mine for the last few years. I’m talking Top 5 Favorite and common attendee in my “photo album.”  Not only is she the typical hot, leggy blonde, but she can also talk “swing offense” with Bo Ryan. 

I know it’s not just me. I expect even Tebow would put down a Filipino orphan and unbuckle his chastity belt for a chance to bed her.

So I was very curious when I read someone videotaped naked Erin through her hotel room peephole in Omaha.  I took a couple deep breaths, and waited it out until I was only “semi”-curious. 

At this point, I have not searched this out on-line. Why? Well, while my phallic compass is pointing due north (towards viewing this tape), my moral compass has not allowed me to take a look.  I don’t judge people who seek out this video, but I can’t do it.  The only question that keeps running through my head is, “How would you come across on a hotel room hidden camera?”  The Answer? Creepy, skinny, slothful and stained.

Examples of things I’ve done while naked in hotel rooms: (1) air-guitar w/ headphones on; (2) eaten pasta with my hands; (3) blown my nose in a hand-towel; (4) watched the live Lotto numbers while holding my tickets; (5) passed out on the floor (bathroom + bedroom).  These are the PG examples.  Feel free to be inspired, Pixar. These are on the house.

The argument that she “brings this upon herself” because she is a sexy public figure is bullshit.  She is not posing for Playboy. She is not at some Omaha meth party with no underwear.  She is not out on the town, wearing a slutty dress when someone snaps a photo as one of her titties pops out.  She was not stupid enough to make a sex video with a guy who “promised not to show it to any of his friends.” 

Don't despair. I will iron your clothes myself, or at least send them to the cleaners

Don't despair. I still admire you as the sideline-reporting professional you are.

 

Public figures deserve privacy in private areas such as hotel rooms. Maybe not Marion Berry’s hotel room, but certainly in private rooms where no illegal activity is occurring.

On a related note, reports yesterday indicated an ESPN employee is suspected of shooting this videotape. Let’s take a look at some usual suspects:

1.  Chris Berman:  This stale windbag has been referring to her as Erin “Go-Bra-Less” Andrews for the last couple days.  I cringe thinking of him “rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ ” down the hotel hall after taking the video. Gross human.

2.  Dick Vitale: Dickie V always talks about how he has only one “good-eye.” That’s all you need for a peephole. “Are you serious?  That Ass is Awesome with a capital A!!” Fuck you, Vitale.

3.  Linda Cohn:  The female Sportscenter mainstay might resent Andrews. I don’t blame her, though. I heard menopause can be a rough time. Keep your chin up, Linda!
 
4.  Scott VanPelt:  Until now, the sensitive anchor had the best net-wide tape among the ESPN crowd (particularly after Berman had ESPN scrub the Web of his O’Reilly-esque tirade). Perhaps it was too much being known as the “painfully long, heartfelt voice-mail guy.”
 
5.  Stuart Scott:  Not the primary suspect only because I don’t think he could stay quiet for the couple minutes necessary to execute the covert taping. “Check out those cans! Boo-ya!” This dated asshead exudes creepiness. Stu, I know your contrived lingo is an attempt to come across as being from the bad-side of Bristol, but you’re as transparent as Rich Eisen’s soul.                                                                                                                                                                             

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I Trust You to Protect Me. Just Not Everyone Else.

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Dick Cheney has given more interviews since he has be out-of-office than he did in his last 3 years as VP. A common theme to these speeches is that President Obama is making this country less safe by undoing (some) of Dick’s illegal and draconian measures.  Dick’s philosophy helped limit this country to only 1 horrific, record-setting terrorist attack over his 8 years.  So, in the alternative, who does Dick want to protect him?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Secret Service protection has been extended for at least another six months, beginning Tuesday.

Normally, ex-veeps only get six months of protection at taxpayer expense. But Cheney asked for an extension, and President Obama – whom Cheney has excoriated in several interviews since leaving office – recently signed off.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed the order extending Cheney’s security detail, her spokeswoman Sara Kuban confirmed Monday.

This delusional and paranoid fucker pursued policies of preemptive war.  I believe he supports American invasion of every sovereign nation, with the possible exceptions of Israel and Suriname. He is independently wealthy. He has Blackwater and Halliburton on speed-dial and an inherent dislike and mistrust of the President.  It doesn’t add up unless he has some sort of death wish. Or he’s already dead.   Perhaps undead.

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