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Author Topic: Is Obama destined to lose reelection?  (Read 235498 times)
pbrower2a
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« on: November 27, 2010, 01:53:18 am »

Destined clearly isn't the right word. Is he on the road to losing re-election? Yes, I believe so...but we're two years away. Things can change. I think his style is going to be the big problem. He's set on standing his ground. If things don't drastically change for the better and he is still set in his ways, he's very likely to lose. I only say "very likely" because my party could screw things up.

It is possible to interpret the 2010 election as proof that Americans have begun to show renewed faith in an agenda that promises lower wages, less economic certainty, harsher working conditions, and higher taxes for the non-rich while promoting a ravaged environment, regulatory relief, swifter depletion of natural resources, wars for profit and control of natural resources, easier collection of debts, and lower taxes for the super-rich in return for promises of Pie in the Sky When You Die. If such is the valid interpretation, then America is Italy in 1922 or Japan around 1934 and Americans deserve the consequences. Masochists deserve what sadists inflict upon them. Otherwise, 2010 is the Last Hurrah for the Hard Right.   

Oh, can the GOP screw up! Because the GOP is essentially the same entity that it was between 1994 and 2006 when it had the majority, and has not changed positions except to go further to the Right, it risks alienating the voters who stayed home in 2010 after 2008 and many who made the voted for someone like Pat Toomey in 2010. This is especially true in the House of Representatives should the GOP leadership waste efforts on "proving" pseudoscience like Young-Earth Creationism or the denial of anthropogenic global warming -- or beginning inquisitions of people for "lack of patriotism" (as Reps. Daniel Issa and Michelle Bachmann have promised) for failing to share the GOP agenda. Corporate America owns the House of Representatives, and that can have ugly consequences. A government that effectively serves only 5% of the people while $crewing most of the rest can get extremely unpopular.  Wave elections sweep in some turkeys and poor fits, and such may have happened in 2008 -- and 2010 alike.

I wouldn't count out the Left forming its own mirror image of the Tea Party with similar results.  I can already think of an image of GOP politicians who have decided that the Oil Cartel has the right to set policies on energy and transportation -- the "Gusher of Greed", with GOP pols grabbing campaign contributions emanating from an oil well. I could also think of an image of a business executive with a whip in one hand and a bottle of whiskey (to dissolve what little conscience is left).

If the electorate of 2012 looks much like that of 2008, then the GOP is in deep trouble and not only because President Obama will be re-elected. The GOP needed to do some soul-searching after its losses in 2006 and 2008 and instead read Machiavelli for guidance. Every House seat will be up for grabs. Sure, the Democrats face potentially few gains in the Senate because only ten GOP seats are up for grabs:

State    Senator    Last election %
Montana    Jon Tester (D)    49%
Connecticut    Joe Lieberman (I)    50%
Missouri    Claire McCaskill (D)    50%
Virginia    Jim Webb (D)    50%
Tennessee    Bob Corker (R)    51%
Massachusetts    Scott Brown (R)    52%
Arizona    Jon Kyl (R)    53%
New Jersey    Bob Menendez (D)    53%
Rhode Island    Sheldon Whitehouse (D)    53%
West Virginia    Joe Manchin (D)    54%
Maryland    Ben Cardin (D)    54%
Mississippi    Roger Wicker (R)    55%
Nevada    John Ensign (R)    55%
Ohio    Sherrod Brown (D)    56%
Michigan    Debbie Stabenow (D)    57%
Washington    Maria Cantwell (D)    57%
Minnesota    Amy Klobuchar (D)    58%
California    Dianne Feinstein (D)    59%
Pennsylvania    Bob Casey, Jr. (D)    59%
Florida    Bill Nelson (D)    60%
Hawaii    Daniel Akaka (D)    61%
Texas    Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)    62%
Utah    Orrin Hatch (R)    62%
New York    Kirsten Gillibrand (D)    62%
Nebraska    Ben Nelson (D)    64%
Vermont    Bernie Sanders (I)    65%
Wisconsin    Herb Kohl (D)    67%
North Dakota    Kent Conrad (D)    69%
Delaware    Tom Carper (D)    70%
New Mexico    Jeff Bingaman (D)    71%
Wyoming    John Barrasso (R)    73%
Maine    Olympia Snowe (R)    74%
Indiana    Richard Lugar (R)    87%   

 
Any Democrat who won by less than 60%  in 2006 or later is vulnerable until I see otherwise. Imaginable Democratic pick-ups (not counting Joe Lieberman) are Senate seats in Massachusetts (it is Massachusetts), Nevada (John Ensign -- enough said), Arizona (should the anti-alien demagoguery of the GOP backfire), Texas (probably an open seat), and Maine (should Olympia Snowe be tea-bagged).  But that is only "imaginable", and give enough "ifs" and the likelihood of a set of independent events happening  shrinks to near zero.. I can see at least seven easy pick-ups for the GOP if the electorate is as in 2010 (MT, MO, WV, MI, VA, OH, NE) which, with GOP maintenance of the House and a defeat of Obama could aid in turning America into a Christian and Corporate (a/k/a fascist) State.


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pbrower2a
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 12:17:20 pm »

AT THIS POINT...here's what I see as likely.

The economy will be in bad shape.

Better than in early 2009, an Americans will be more patient.

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The President's campaign will sound drastically different than 2008.

Unless it is "We are the grown-ups".
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Young voter turnout will be greatly reduced

African American turnout will be greatly reduced

From 2008 or 2010? From 2010 only if GOP-dominated state governments can effectively cull the vote, which won't be easy, especially if the Federal courts have their way.

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Teaparty/Conservative turnout will be increased

People will begin to see through the lies and greed.

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Republicans will gain 6 electoral votes in the 2012 EV changes

Correct! You just won the teddy bear! Of course you could have gotten it cheaper at a discount store than having kept trying to win it at the carnival.

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States Obama will likely lose:
Indiana
North Carolina
Nebraska CD-2


That gives Republicans 206 electoral votes.

Not too bad a prediction. Only problem: no President has won with between  57.1% (Truman, 1948) and 66.5% of the electoral vote (Taft, 1908) since 1900, which means that President Obama is likely to get under 307 electoral votes or more than 358 electoral votes, which means that the GOP nominee is likely to get either 180 or fewer electoral votes or 231 or more. Someone looking at losing 332-206 in electoral votes will take chances that either win the election outright, make things close, or make winning impossible.   


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The President has gone from his African American/Young voter energizing 2008 self to...well...an incumbent President. Add the gray hair and unpopularity and a bad set of circumstances economically...and his 2008 stardom is gone. SEE: Obama campaigning in 2010. He's looking at the likelihood of losing Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, and Florida. That alone gives the GOP 269, thus the Presidency.

I see him winning all of the states that either Gore or Kerry won  and Colorado and Nevada, which is 273 electoral votes even with what you say. Republicans lost Senate races in Colorado and Nevada.  Turnout goes up -- way up -- in Presidential elections.

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Not to mention if a liberal, African American Democrat could win a Nebraska CD or Indiana, whose to say a conservative Republican can't win Minnesota or Pennsylvania?

I could say the same of Texas by extension on behalf of President Obama. Watch the approval ratings for Senator Toomey in Pennsylvania and Senator Johnson in Wisconsin to see whether the GOP has a real chance to win the electoral votes of Minnesota (which is much like Wisconsin politically) or Pennsylvania. 
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 05:34:59 pm »

African American turnout will be greatly reduced
Why? Why wouldn't they go out to support their guy?

Enthusiasm will be gone. We elected the first black President. We did so in a year of the highest turnout ever, with a bitter Hillary vs. Obama primary with whom both at one point or another had high amounts of African American support. I can't see them rushing out at anywhere near the levels they did in 2008 next time to re-elect the President.

1. The youngest generation of voters (the ones that Howe and Strauss call the Millennial Generation)  will be an even larger part of the electorate.  Under 31, they will not yet have what might cause them to become cultural conservatives (teenage kids). They remain the most liberal generation in the electorate.

2. Few of the Millennial Generation will have yet to get fully entrenched in any economic gravy train. Most will still have either crappy jobs that pay a pittance or huge student loans. Neither crappy jobs more huge personal debt make one sympathetic to deflationary economics that the GOP promotes.

3. The Millennial Generation is quite rational. It has little use for the Culture Wars of Boomers, and generally none for the pseudoscience and superstition that older Boomers support on behalf of the Religious Right, the Religious Right very much an aging phenomenon. 

4. There will likely be no primary fight among Democrats. Among Republicans there will either be a knockdown, drag-out fight or there will be someone nominated (like Mondale in 1984) for "proven service to the Party".  Neither the survivor of a knock-down, drag-out primary struggle nor someone nominated as a reward for "longtime, dedicated service to the Party" ordinarily fares well in the general election.

5. President Obama showed himself one of the slickest campaigners in American history with one of the best-run campaign machines ever. The GOP will need someone about as effective a campaigner as Ronald Reagan to beat him. Such a candidate will have to be without any regional weaknesses. President Obama can beat any mediocrity.

6. An incumbent either runs on his record and wins or runs from it and loses. President Obama has much legislative success so far, and if he doesn't have many achievements between 2010 and 2012 he will offer a solution -- rebuild the Democratic majority in the House and hold the Democratic majority in the Senate so that he can do so again. 

7. The GOP gets to expose itself in the 112th Congress. If the American people like President Obama and the first priority of Republicans is to make sure that President Obama is defeated in 2012, then guess what happens. Darrell Issa and Michelle Bachmann, self-proclaimed Grand Inquisitors, could make lots of Americans regret having voted for Republicans in the House.

8. The fastest-growing part of the electorate is the Hispanic vote. Until Republicans can convince Mexican-Americans that the GOP isn't for the debasement of education, trickle-down economics, and the harassment of people who have an icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe in their cars, the GOP is going to have little credibility among non-Cuban Hispanics.

9. Watch for rifts between the Tea Party and the Corporate Power cliques.   

 
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 07:42:30 pm »

My old material in green
Your old material in blue



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1. The youngest generation of voters (the ones that Howe and Strauss call the Millennial Generation)  will be an even larger part of the electorate.  Under 31, they will not yet have what might cause them to become cultural conservatives (teenage kids). They remain the most liberal generation in the electorate.

Doesn't change the fact that they won't be showing up in their 2008 numbers.

There will be more just because of the aging of one of the most liberal generations of voters. Nothing that the GOP is likely to do will make them more politically conservative. Indeed, make appeals for tax cuts that favor only the super-rich while either bloating the deficit or being offset by taxes that hit the non-rich, for wage cuts, or for destruction of workers' rights on behalf or economic elites, and young voters who have little immediate stake in dividends and share prices will vote their economic interests.

It is possible that the Hard Right was unusually-well organized in 2010 and many liberal-leaning voters stayed home; in Presidential elections the electorate usually expands.  
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2. Few of the Millennial Generation will have yet to get fully entrenched in any economic gravy train. Most will still have either crappy jobs that pay a pittance or huge student loans. Neither crappy jobs more huge personal debt make one sympathetic to deflationary economics that the GOP promotes.

Incorrect. If anything, Obama's policies are becoming increasingly discussed among all ages as one of the reasons the economy is in the tank. "Tax and Spend liberal" fears have always kept us from electing President's like Obama, but now that we have and have seen what has transpired...Reaganomics and Bush-era tax policy appears more favorable than in 2008.

Memes such as "tax-and-spend liberal" weaken with time. the Hard Right will need fresh bromides for 2012.  

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Quote
3. The Millennial Generation is quite rational. It has little use for the Culture Wars of Boomers, and generally none for the pseudoscience and superstition that older Boomers support on behalf of the Religious Right, the Religious Right very much an aging phenomenon.

Maybe among some issues, however the massive defeat of Gay Marriage in many states and the loss of dangerous drug legalization...even in a state like California...shows that many Americans still hold those issues dear. Remember, there are registered young voters in America...places like Mississippi, West Virginia, Texas, ect ect who may still go out and party and be promiscuous...but they believe in the sanctity of human life, the traditional values of marriage, and make it to Church every week.

President Obama won't be running on gay marriage or the legalization of marijuana, itself much less dangerous than stupidwater (alcohol). As for Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia, he lost those states in 2008, and it would take miracles to win any one of them.  The economic situation and foreign/military policy will matter far more in 2012 than in 2008. In 2008 Senator Obama ran on promises. In 2012 he runs on his record and wins or runs from it and loses.

So you tell me how President Obama loses:

These are the states decided by margins less than 12% in 2008:


State            Electoral        Total       (meaningless) Vote          Pct
                      Votes            Votes                           Margin      margin
        

Pennsylvania   21   0   6,015,476   1   2   620,478   10.31%   
Minnesota   10   0   2,910,369   1   2   297,945   10.24%   
NH                    4   0   710,970           1   2   68,292   9.61%   
Iowa            7   0   1,537,123   1   2   146,561   9.53%   
Colorado        9   0   2,401,462   1   2   215,004   8.95%   
Virginia           13   0   3,723,260   1   2   234,527   6.30%   
Ohio                   20   0   5,721,815   1   2   262,224   4.58%   
Florida           27   0   8,411,861   1   2   236,148   2.81%   
Indiana           11   0   2,756,340   1   2   28,391   1.03%   
North Carolina   15   0   4,310,789   1   2   14,177   0.33%   
Missouri           0   11   2,929,111   2   1   3,903   0.13%   
Montana           0     3   492,750      2   1   11,723   2.38%
Georgia         0   15   3,932,158   2   1   204,636   5.20%   
South Dakota   0     3    381,975           2   1   32,130   8.41%
Arizona          0   10   2,303,838   2   1   195,404   8.48%
North Dakota   0     3   317,738           2   1   27,484   8.65%   
South Carolina   0     8   1,920,969   2   1   172,447   8.98%   
Texas           0   34   8,087,402   2   1   950,695   11.76%   

The 2010 Senate election showed that Colorado is probably a stronger Democratic state than either Iowa or New Hampshire. Should President Obama win every state that he won at least as strongly as Colorado in 2012 and nothing else, he wins just over 270 electoral votes. The Republicans will need about a 4.8% swing of the popular vote nationwide to swing either Iowa or New Hampshire, both now apparently more vulnerable than Colorado.  President Obama would need a miracle if he loses either Iowa or New Hampshire.  Florida, Ohio, or Virginia  would be such miracles. The auto bailout might be enough to win Ohio for Obama (and the Presidential election) without one or both of Iowa and New Hampshire. Virginia has been drifting D for a couple decades. Florida goes D if environmental issues come to the fore.

Do you see how difficult it would be for the Republicans to win the Presidency in 2012? before you say "Pennsylvania" -- Texas is about as close to being a Democratic win. Political cultures do not change overnight.



« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 07:45:33 pm by pbrower2a »Logged



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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 07:54:08 pm »

Continuation:
My old material in green
Your old material in blue

Quote

4. There will likely be no primary fight among Democrats. Among Republicans there will either be a knockdown, drag-out fight or there will be someone nominated (like Mondale in 1984) for "proven service to the Party".  Neither the survivor of a knock-down, drag-out primary struggle nor someone nominated as a reward for "longtime, dedicated service to the Party" ordinarily fares well in the general election.

Clinton...Bush...Obama...are you serious?

The last two incumbent Presidents to have serious primary challenges were Jimmy Carter (Kennedy) in 1980 and Gerald Ford (Reagan) in 1976, and both lost. They were obviously seen as vulnerable by mainstream factions within their parties, indicating that they had big problems in those years.  Sure, that is a weak argument for Obama, but those are two of the last three presidents to lose bids for re-election. But that is a very strong argument on behalf of any challenger to an incumbent President. Sure, one of the Senators defeated in 2010 might in theory challenge President Obama, but I more likely see cabinet positions opening for people like Sestak, Feingold, or even Lincoln.

  

Yes, had George W. Bush faced a serious challenge from within his Party, then he too would have lost in 2004.

Quote
5. President Obama showed himself one of the slickest campaigners in American history with one of the best-run campaign machines ever. The GOP will need someone about as effective a campaigner as Ronald Reagan to beat him. Such a candidate will have to be without any regional weaknesses. President Obama can beat any mediocrity.

But he is seen as a different Obama. In 2008, he was a "rock star". People voted for him just on the basis of his race, his speeches, ect. But then, suddenly....he became a President. Aging and rising unpopularity and suddenly being what needs the "change" will hurt him in 2012.[/quote]

I assure you that he won't be running as a "rock star" in 2012. He's much too old for that now, and such was not the cornerstone of his election campaign in 2008. He is about as mature an adult as there is in American politics these days without having a foot in the grave. That said, economics, foreign policy, and military affairs are deadly serious. President Obama has made plenty of promises and kept most of them. People who didn't like those promises in 2008 are going to do as they did in 2008 -- and vote for the Republican nominee.

Question: will he lose few enough people disappointed with they got or win over enough people who had their misgivings or find the opponent unelectable to win enough states? That is the question; indeed that is practically the defining question of 2012. But that's about like predicting that whatever team scores the most points wins the game.

Quote
6. An incumbent either runs on his record and wins or runs from it and loses. President Obama has much legislative success so far, and if he doesn't have many achievements between 2010 and 2012 he will offer a solution -- rebuild the Democratic majority in the House and hold the Democratic majority in the Senate so that he can do so again.

This may be the President's biggest problem. He's not going to be having to battle for his re-election because he couldn't get things done. He's going to have to battle for his re-election because he did get the things done, and America, thus far, has not responded kindly.  

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7. The GOP gets to expose itself in the 112th Congress. If the American people like President Obama and the first priority of Republicans is to make sure that President Obama is defeated in 2012, then guess what happens. Darrell Issa and Michelle Bachmann, self-proclaimed Grand Inquisitors, could make lots of Americans regret having voted for Republicans in the House.

Indeed, this is a wait and see. Let's hope our party learned it's lessons from 1995.

Amen. But I would extend the time period from 1995 to 2006 as well.  Sure, I am talking about a Senator, but when shells are flying from North Korea to South Korea, the least of our problems is that the current President be a one-term President. Many of the Republican leaders in the House will be holdovers from the era of Republican dominance, and it would be best that there are no corruption scandals by Republicans holding power or attempts to smear every liberal personality or agenda as "un-American". This country has far bigger problems other than whether disclosing that someone like Michael Moore is 'inadequately patriotic'.  

It will be up to the Republican majority in the House to foster good government; should that fail, Democrats stand to hold the Presidency (which now looks fairly easy) and the Senate (difficult in view of the large Democratic contingent of seats up for grabs) -- and win "back" the House. Just let Darrell Issa and Michelle Bachmann turn the House chambers into a three-ring circus of inquisitions that prove excessively partisan, and Americans will vote out lots of Republicans in Congress.    

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8. The fastest-growing part of the electorate is the Hispanic vote. Until Republicans can convince Mexican-Americans that the GOP isn't for the debasement of education, trickle-down economics, and the harassment of people who have an icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe in their cars, the GOP is going to have little credibility among non-Cuban Hispanics.


Not true, in fact...I'd guess that support peaked for Democrats in 2006 and 2008. I think in the coming years, with more diverse Republicans in office, and the plausible situation of a Marco Rubio candidacy, I think the GOP will improve in this area.

Political culture usually changes slowly. But the continuing presence of Michael Bennett, Harry Read,  Barbara Boxer, and perhaps Patty Murray in the Senate shows the significance of the Mexican-American part of the electorate. That is a significant change in the demographics. In view of GOP support for politicians hostile to Mexican-Americans (Angle in Nevada, Brewer in Arizona), such is going to take time to undo.

Sure, there is the Plexiglass effect (reversion to the mean) with respect to extreme levels of support for certain types of candidates among certain groups of people. But the GOP  has hurt itself with Mexican-Americans nationwide.

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9. Watch for rifts between the Tea Party and the Corporate Power cliques.    

The only possible national candidate who is doing right in this regard is Marco Rubio. Teapartiers love him, but he's not seen as a Teaparty candidate but rather a traditional, Reagan-mold conservative. Let's hope whoever we nominate in 2012, both sides of conservatives get behind.

Of course such is not my hope.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 08:06:56 pm »

Is PBrower destined to be a hack?

Hacks don't discuss the mechanics of elections and don't try to use history as a guide to the future. hacks speak of "waves of the future" and use bad methods of statistics.

I have a big peeve with statistical extrapolation -- that is, looking at a short-term trend and using it to forecast the distant future. In effect, don't use December forecasts to predict what will happen in June.

Sure, I have my ideological bias. I am a liberal and a humanist. I worked on behalf of a Democratic Congressman who has lost to some Bible-thumping stooge of Big Oil and Wall Street hedge-fund managers who have almost no constituency in his district, and I despised the results. I have much contempt for dictatorship and oligarchy, for dirty tricks (including Orwellian propaganda), and for ideologies that debase people.  But who here doesn't have an ideological bias?

Liberalism and humanism have elevated humanity. Conservatism at its best protects what is good from radical challenges (including Communism, Nazism, and Fascism) that destroy what is good. Unfortunately, what passes for conservatism these days is a ringing endorsement of superstition, bigotry,  irresponsible hierarchy, and pervasive corruption. America will be a better place when conservatism rediscovers the need to foster something worthy of preservation.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 04:34:28 pm »

YES.

Everyone, on both sides of the aisle, are pretty much stupefied at how the first two years have gone for Obama.

The next two years will see massive stop-loss intellectual transactions as everyone except true believers come to grips with this mistake and turn on him.

He may not even run. His ego will not allow him to lose in a landslide. If the numbers are looking bad, a magical leadership position at the UN may materialize.

President Obama loses, the Republicans win the Senate, and consolidate their hold on the House if the propaganda machine that the GOP and its front groups can convince the electorate to vote for semi-fascists as they did in 2010.

Of course that depends upon some things yet to be known -- like how the GOP plays its hand in the House of Representatives that it will dominate, how big the voter turnout will be,  and  whether the GOP can perform electoral fraud through elected officials or employer intimidation of workers. The GOP is not a democratic party as it used to be; it is now nearly fascist.

Americans will get a taste of the same ugly rhetoric that they knew from the GOP between 1994 and 2006, only on steroids.  The GOP has not moderated in the least, it seems to offer the same agenda whether in suburban Detroit or the Texas Panhandle, and the only people that it gives a d@mn about are either the super-rich or their stupid hangers-on.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 04:38:03 pm by pbrower2a »Logged



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