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Friday, October 29, 2004

Slate's Election Scorecard has Kerry winning, but Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 has Bush winning.

those polls, they mean anything? anything at all?

at least Mr. Zogby himself was all predicting a Kerry win on the Daily Show the other night.

i choose to believe him.

okay, and i just can't wait until this thing is OVER. it's too stressful! fer now i'm quittin', i'm off to see jon langford @ continental club tonight. a few beers and some good honky-tonkin', and i'll be MUCH less angsty.

floating around the internet:

17 Things you have to believe to vote Republican

1. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a 'we can't find Bin Laden' diversion.

2. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

3. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

4. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation, especially so if they are paying women less than men.

5. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

10. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

11. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

12. A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

13. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

14. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George
Bush's driving record is none of our business.

15. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

16. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

17. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

November 2nd is coming up quick.Remember to Vote!

here we go, yes, i'm a Good Citizen of the United States of America.

i was just in line for TWO HOURS to vote in northern travis county...but damn, it felt good. was standing in line with the *nicest* proud-wife-of-a-promise-keeper republican woman. we had a pretty cool conversation, actually, bemoaning the closeness of the last presidential race that had FLA scrambling for a president for weeks after the election, both of us hoping that woudln't happen again. she talked a little bit about how unhappy about the 'gay agenda' she is, and how that's one reason she woudln't no-way, no-how, vote for kerry. which was kinda odd, considering she was white and her husband black, and if the masses had had their way way-back-when, she wouldn't ever have gotten to marry the ultra-friendly fella. but ya know. i didn't preach.

i didn't vote a straight ticket, so i didn't run into any of the problems that other democratic voters seem to be having (user error or otherwise). only three offices had only republicans to choose from. these spaces were intentionally left blank.

ooooh, also, the mother of one of the local candidates (not my precinct, so i forget the name) was there canvassing in a very friendly manner...but she still managed to draw a posse of the travis county sheriff's department to keep an eye on things. i don't think i've EVER seen so many cops in one grocery store parking lot.

all in all, a good two hours, despite the high heels. nice to see the hordes excercising their civil liberties.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

polling problems here in austin?

if you haven't voted yet, heed this warning and take care...

"Travis County election officials have responded to complaints that voters casting straight-party Democratic ballots are discovering, when performing a final check of their ballots, that their votes for president have been changed from Kerry/Edwards to Bush/Cheney. The officials say that, after trying and failing to replicate the problem on its eSlate voting machines, they have concluded the vote changes are due to voter error rather than mechanical failure. "

hmmm...voter error or nefarious plan? i report; you decide.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

new get your war on!!

(again added to sidebar. it's too good.)

new blogs linked in the sidebar: skippy the bush kangaroo

coz i like it! and i agree with lots and lots of it. and the referring to the prez as "awol" all the time has me giggling.

as well, i'm adding brad delong, since i end up clicking my way over to his sage words of wisdom on a daily basis anyhow.

also, fixing up my sidebar, i have GOT to fix mick's link (sorry it's taken me so long!), the "omium" blog which i haven't been able to view in MONTHS...he's got an actual working blog now, arran's alley, and it's just as brilliant as ever AND i can read it! yay!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

the American Conservative's anti-endorsement of bush. entitled, strangely enough, "Kerry's The One."

yep, he's pissing them ALL off...

"George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism. His international policies have been based on the hopelessly naïve belief that foreign peoples are eager to be liberated by American armies—a notion more grounded in Leon Trotsky’s concept of global revolution than any sort of conservative statecraft. His immigration policies—temporarily put on hold while he runs for re-election—are just as extreme. A re-elected President Bush would be committed to bringing in millions of low-wage immigrants to do jobs Americans “won’t do.” This election is all about George W. Bush, and those issues are enough to render him unworthy of any conservative support."

from ritu

and more on the "conservatives fed up with the Bush administration" tip, here's conservatives for kerry, a good cause if i ever saw one.

that last link is from jason, who is blogless, as far as i know. hey jason! start a blog! yeah.

eminem's get out the vote video really is something you gotta see (quicktime required). i'm not a big fan of this new-fangled "rap music," but man. i loved it.

go vote.

UPDATE: if that link above doesn't work, since as of 11:17 PM streamOS has disabled the video link for some reason, try this one. or, go to catch.com's commentary on the video. interesting things they've got to say.

vote-pairing: it's the new black

the slate article: The Return of Vote-Pairing - Vote-pairing nearly saved Al Gore in 2000. Could it give Kerry a decisive boost this year?"

especially here in texas, a kerry vote ain't gonna mean squat. a 3rd-party vote, on the other hand, could actually add to the numbers enough to get that party officially on the ballot next time. so why not trade your kerry vote with someone in a swing state who could actually place your vote in a location that actually matters!? and cast their 3rd-party vote for them here, where bush is going to win overwhelmingly anyway?

ayup. not the worst idea ever. in fact, if it comes down to just 537 votes in podunk, FLA again, hell. maybe that'll be just enough to get the punk outta office.





Pair the Vote website. just do it.

not the worst idea ever, nope.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004: Kerry 271, Bush 257

Tom DeLay Subpoenaed for Role in 2003 Texas Redistricting


House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) was subpoenaed in Houston to an October 25, 2004 deposition concerning his role in the controversial dispute between Democratic Legislators and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) during last year's redistricting struggle. Texas State Representative Lon Burnam (D--Fort Worth) subpoenaed DeLay in his ongoing lawsuit challenging DPS's use of public funds to achieve political ends and for its destruction of documents following the exodus of Democratic Legislators from the State to prevent a quorum in a redistricting effort that Democrats claim was illegal.


a bit late i think, but still...'bout time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Robert ScheerThe 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

"It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

'It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed,' an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that 'the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward.'"

...

By law, the only legitimate reason the CIA director has for holding back such a report is national security. Yet neither Goss nor McLaughlin has invoked national security as an explanation for not delivering the report to Congress.

"It surely does not involve issues of national security," said the intelligence official.

"The agency directorate is basically sitting on the report until after the election," the official continued. "No previous director of CIA has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to the Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress."

None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.

The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain.

And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.

In September, the New York Times reported that several family members met with Goss privately to demand the release of the CIA inspector general's report. "Three thousand people were killed on 9/11, and no one has been held accountable," 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser told the paper.

The failure to furnish the report to Congress, said Harman, "fuels the perception that no one is being held accountable. It is unacceptable that we don't have [the report]; it not only disrespects Congress but it disrespects the American people."

The stonewalling by the Bush administration and the failure of Congress to gain release of the report have, said the intelligence source, "led the management of the CIA to believe it can engage in a cover-up with impunity. Unless the public demands an accounting, the administration and CIA's leadership will have won and the nation will have lost."



mmmm. more secrets kept, more poop flung at the american people.

good thing there are only two more weeks until the poopflinger is OUTTA THERE!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Visualize Winning

oh, it just brings tears to my eyes. VOTE.

i don't know if i can hold my breath for two more weeks!!

Slate's Election Scorecard - Kerry 284, Bush 163

and where does our old friend the Electoral Vote predictor stand?

Kerry 284, Bush 247

sheeyat. let the nail-biting commence!

(oh, and as a sidenote, here's krugman on Bush's real intentions for a draft...)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

at least one pundit thinks that this year's election WON'T be close, and goshdarnit, i am quite happy to believe him!

new Anything But Prettier review!!

silly online quiz version

I AM 43% PUNK ROCK!
43% PUNK ROCK
Well, I may know what punk is, but... Okay maybe some people think I am punk, but is that enough? Nope.


and

I AM 35% HIPPIE!
35% HIPPIE
I need to step away from the tie-dye. I smell too good to be a hippie and my dad is probably a cop. Being a hippie is not a fashion craze, man. It was a way of life, in the 60’s, man.


and lastly...

I AM 46% INTERNET ADDICT!
46% INTERNET ADDICT
I could go either way. Deep into the madness of nights filled with coding CGI-Scripts and online role playing games, or I could become a normal user. Good luck!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

refreshing.

see jon stewart eviscerate paul begala and tucker carlson on their journalistic integrity on their own show!!

aw yeah.

Friday, October 15, 2004

aw yeah. mark (guitarist for ABP) made this for me, my new business card:


yeesh.

let's not forget that dick cheney himself was the first politician to mention his own Gay Daughter as a bit of political fodder...an appeal to the centrists, perhaps...he opened the doors to this little brouhaha, all by himself.

(but yes, i think it was odd that she got mentioned. i just don't think it was a "low blow" (as i've seen quoted in various media) or anything like that, not when she's such prominent gay activist. i'm not sure why lynne cheney is so upset.)

and in case you haven't read this as linked from everywhere ELSE in the blogsphere, andrew sullivan has words of wisdom about all this. incredibly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

melissa's got a new column out at austinmama.com!

'course, i haven't read it yet, because i'm BLOCKED at work. evidently websense thinks its an evil site of some sort. 'coz you know, those mamas in austin. EEEEVIL!!!

(and i know some of 'em personally! BWAHAHAHAH!)

(go read melissa's column!)

y'know, when even Bob Barr isn't voting for the Republican incumbent, you know there's something drastically wrong with the way the country's being run.

yes, i said Bob Barr isn't voting for George W. Bush.

"Voting for president used to be so easy, at least for a conservative. There was the Republican candidate. You knew he generally stood for lower taxes, less government spending, giving fewer powers to the government, lower deficits and a zealous regard for individual privacy.

Then, there was the Democrat. You knew he generally stood for higher taxes, more government and deficit spending, and a zealous regard for civil liberties.

Throughout my own presidential voting history, the choices have rarely, if ever, been agonizing. Nixon vs. McGovern? Carter vs. Reagan? Reagan-Mondale? Dukakis, a Massachusetts liberal? Clinton? Al Gore? Ah, the good ol' days. Each of those races presented clear choices, easily resolved.

Now we have the election of 2004. For the first time in my voting life, the choice in the race for president isn't so clear And, among true conservatives, I'm not alone.

What's making the contest so difficult? It's certainly not that both candidates are so conservative that we have a choice of riches. It's not even that John Kerry is sort of right wing compared to George W. Bush. The incumbent clearly is the more "conservative" of the two.

...

When Bush became president Jan. 20, 2001, he inherited an enviable fiscal situation. Congress, then controlled by his own party, had -- through discipline and tough votes -- whittled down decades of deficit spending under presidents of both parties, so that annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars had been transformed to a series of real and projected surpluses. The heavy lifting had been done. All Bush had to do was resist the urge to spend, and he had to exert some pressure on Congress to resist its natural impulses to do the same. Had he done that, he might have gone down in history as the most fiscally conservative president in modern times.

Instead, what we got were record levels of new spending, including nearly double-digit increases in nondefense discretionary spending. We now have deficits exceeding those that the first Republican-controlled Congress in 40 years faced when it convened in January 1995.

The oft-repeated mantra that "the terrorists made us spend more" rings hollow, especially to those who actually understand that increases in nondefense discretionary spending are not the inevitable result of fighting terrorists. It also irritates many conservatives, whether or not they support the war in Iraq, that so much of defense spending is being poured into the black hole of Iraq's internal security, while the security of our own borders goes wanting.

That brings us to the second major beef conservatives have with the president. He's seen as failing to take real steps to improve our border security. In many respects, because of his apparent desire to appease his compadre to the south -- Mexican President Vincente Fox -- Bush has made matters worse. More people are entering our country illegally than ever before, more than 3 million this year alone -- and most of them are stampeding across from Mexico. ...


...Thus far, however, with Bush's political gurus telling him he's ahead and to just lay low and not make any major gaffes, he seems unwilling to recognize the problems on his right flank. Or he seems to have concluded that he doesn't need to address those concerns because the ineptitude of the Kerry campaign hasn't forced him to.

But the race appears to be tightening again. It's likely to remain tight until Election Day. Those dissatisfied conservative voters will become increasingly important, but it's going to be impossible for the president to pull them back in with hollow, last-minute promises.

Bush's problem is that true conservatives remember their history. They recall that in recent years when the nation enjoyed the fruits of actual conservative fiscal and security policies, a Democrat occupied the White House and Congress was controlled by a Republican majority that actually fought for a substantive conservative agenda.

History's a troublesome thing for presidents. Even though most voters don't take much of a historical perspective into the voting booth with them, true conservatives do.

Hmmm. Who's the Libertarian candidate again?"


from naz!

still wondering about bush's bulge? so is salon, among plenty of other news outlets.

let's keep an eye on his back tonight, it may still be there...too bad the secret transmitter didn't seem to do him a whole lotta good during the first two debates.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

someone's been trying to take down Electoral Vote Predictor 2004...

...which by the way, has Kerry at 260 vs. Shrub at 274.

"The site has had technical problems repeatedly in the past several days and has been down several times. I didn't want to discuss this, but I don't want anyone to think the problem was an incompetent hosting service. Just the opposite. The site has been subjected to a full-scale, well-organized, massive attack with the clear intention to bring it down. The attackers have tried repeatedly to break in, but the server is a rock-solid Linux system which has stood up to everything they threw at it and hasn't crashed since I got it in May. While our troops are fighting and dying to bring freedom of speech to the Iraqi people, there are forces in America who find this concept no longer applicable to America. I don't know who is behind this attack yet (although we are working it), but it is too professional to be some teenager working from a home PC. Given that all the hate mail and threats I get come entirely from Republicans, I can make an educated guess which side is trying to silence me, but I won't say. And I won't surrender to cyberterrorists."

you GO, Electoral Vote Predictor 2004!

if this bothers you as much as it does me, then by all means, go ahead and donate! help keep 'em running!

chick bass players. just 'coz.

Krugman gives us a preview of Bush's distortions in the debate tomorrow night. NYT link, so i'll give you some of my favorite bush lies:

"Jobs:

Mr. Bush will talk about the 1.7 million jobs created since the summer of 2003, and will say that the economy is "strong and getting stronger." That's like boasting about getting a D on your final exam, when you flunked the midterm and needed at least a C to pass the course.

Mr. Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a decline in payroll employment. That's worse than it sounds because the economy needs around 1.6 million new jobs each year just to keep up with population growth. The past year's job gains, while better news than earlier job losses, barely met this requirement, and they did little to close the huge gap between the number of jobs the country needs and the number actually available.

Unemployment:

Mr. Bush will boast about the decline in the unemployment rate from its June 2003 peak. But the employed fraction of the population didn't rise at all; unemployment declined only because some of those without jobs stopped actively looking for work, and therefore dropped out of the unemployment statistics. The labor force participation rate - the fraction of the population either working or actively looking for work - has fallen sharply under Mr. Bush; if it had stayed at its January 2001 level, the official unemployment rate would be 7.4 percent.

...

Fiscal responsibility:

Mr. Bush will claim that Mr. Kerry proposes $2 trillion in new spending. That's a partisan number and is much higher than independent estimates. Meanwhile, as The Washington Post pointed out after the Republican convention, the administration's own numbers show that the cost of the agenda Mr. Bush laid out "is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion" and "far eclipses that of the Kerry plan."

...

By singling out Mr. Bush's lies and misrepresentations, am I saying that Mr. Kerry isn't equally at fault? Yes.

Mr. Kerry sometimes uses verbal shorthand that offers nitpickers things to complain about. He talks of 1.6 million lost jobs; that's the private-sector loss, partly offset by increased government employment. But the job record is indeed awful. He talks of the $200 billion cost of the Iraq war; actual spending is only $120 billion so far. But nobody doubts that the war will cost at least another $80 billion. The point is that Mr. Kerry can, at most, be accused of using loose language; the thrust of his statements is correct.

Mr. Bush's statements, on the other hand, are fundamentally dishonest. He is insisting that black is white, and that failure is success. Journalists who play it safe by spending equal time exposing his lies and parsing Mr. Kerry's choice of words are betraying their readers. "


also, deconstructing the bush administration's record on foreign policy. also an NYT link...long article. i'll see if i can't find it reproduced somewhere else.


Monday, October 11, 2004

The Factchecking of the President. an excellent in-depth look at what the president said during the last debate...and how much if it just plain wasn't true. fun!

RIP Superman


Friday, October 08, 2004

jesus christ.

this has evidently been getting airplay all over the world...any of y'all americans heard about it yet? war crimes, anyone? fuck.

**update (from matthew in london):

orginal channel 4 (UK) news report on this.

"...The American military have confirmed to us that it is genuine. But it isn't clear whether what we're seeing is a massacre or a military operation in this rare and disturbing example of real footage of the fighting. ...

As Fallujah again comes into US gunsights many will want to know who were these people? Insurgents? Innocents? Running away from trouble? running to attack? Tonight a doctor who was at Fallujah hospital told us these people were innocent civilians fleeing from houses where they'd been pinned down by American snipers by running down the street.

The Pentagon says its chasing answers but has yet to explain why these people were targeted. ..."


and a recent update, also on channel 4:

"...Overnight, this programme received from Baghdad the official US military version of what happened.

It says US Marines were pinned down by fighting somewhere towards the bottom of this wide, empty street. ...

A ground commander saw this crowd come out along the road and fire at the Marines.

That commander had already asked an F16 pilot overhead to target a building from where insurgents had fired.

So when the crowd appeared and the pilot asked what to do, the ground commander knew the pilot was looking at the same hostile crowd as he was and could give the order to bomb them immediately.

"As the F-16 aimed on the building, the pilot saw a group of people come running out of the building, around the corner, and towards the Marine unit under fire. When the pilot queried about the group, the JTAC cleared him to engage...those were the people shooting at the Marines"

-Lt Col Steven Boylan, Director, Combined Press Information Center, Baghdad "


and channel 4 ain't buyin' it....

"....Since when do urban fighters run in a crowd whilst firing, in an open area with no cover?

The US military is asking the world to believe that is just what happened here.

We've shown this video to two leading defence experts in London - neither accepts that this crowd is behaving as an offensive military force. ...

...Iraqis in Fallujah tell us that crowd on Julan Steet that day were innocent civilians. They too are searching for their proof. "


this is just so fucked up.







You Should Vote for Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader

Sorry - Shirts and Shoes are Required in the Voting Booth.





Which presidential candidate should you vote for?


hmmmm. that's what i did last time, and look how well THAT turned out.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

the casting couch's second ever review!!! most excellent. although, as was pointed out, i am sleeping with the reviewer.




William Rivers Pitt: Cheney's Avalanche of Lies

the thought of the bulk of the information presented here going unreported in the "liberal" mass media is making me have an unhappy lunch hour. i think i'm going to go read the confusion for a while.

a message from the kerry team:

Dear Julie,

We're two for two. Tonight, in Cleveland, John Edwards showed real strength and conviction -- he was in command of the facts and in control of the debate and a powerful advocate for John Kerry. The American people saw John Edwards as somebody who is ready, if neccessary, to be president of the United States.

Dick Cheney is totally out of touch with reality in Iraq and totally out of touch with the struggles of the middle class. This is nothing new to a man with a lifetime record of protecting the powerful and well-connected. He came across as smug, arrogant, mean and defensive -- but his trademark distortions and scare tactics didn't work. John Edwards refused to let him play the politics of fear and forced Dick Cheney to confront his administration's record of failure.

Americans are tired of growls and scowls from our leaders, and John Edwards and John Kerry offer America hope and optimism.

The Bush-Cheney campaign is already trying to spin the debate. I am here in Cleveland, right now, working to make sure that doesn't happen. Tonight my job is going to be a lot easier than my Republican counterparts for three reasons. First, John Edwards is our candidate for vice president, second Dick Cheney is theirs, and third I know that you are going to join me in this critical fight.

Here is what you can do:

1) Vote in online polls

The Bush-Cheney campaign has asked their supporters to vote in online polls. Don't let them distort the polls like they distort their record.

CNN
http://www.cnn.com

MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com

ABC News
http://www.abcnews.com

CBS
http://www.cbsnews.com

Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com

Also check you local newspaper and TV station's websites for online polls.

2) Call into talk radio
http://volunteer.johnkerry.com/speakout

3) Write local newspapers
http://volunteer.johnkerry.com/speakout

John Edwards clearly won on stage tonight -- let's make sure he wins against unrelenting Republican spin.

Sincerely,

Joe Lockhart
Senior Advisor

the casting couch had a pretty darned good show last night, the usual sound problems notwithstanding. aw yeah.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

yes, true believers, once again, you have the opportunity to see austin's hottest indie darlings, the casting couch, as they perform their way through the most amazing set you'll ever hear!

where and when, you may ask?! ask no more!

tonight at 10PM at the hole in the wall!

this is your big chance...don't blow it! see you there..."

Monday, October 04, 2004

deconstructing the right wing. absolutely brilliant.

from maggie!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

music stuff...

the casting couch's first-ever review!!!

and, miss maggie's latest masterpiece (in conjunction with other far-flung musicians): "downside", by the dot com band! killer guitars!

how Condoleezza Rice and the the White House misled the world on Saddam's nuclear weapon-production capabilities. (full story at NYT, but a really REALLY long article that requires registration to view)

of course, Condi is defending her misleading stance. "...Rice acknowledges being unhappy that the intelligence wasn't as good as once thought."

yeah. hmmm.

kerry ahead in polls? at least some sources seem to think so.

he'd have to be, after that miserable performance by our Commander-in-Chief the other night.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

gratuitous kitty photos

for no particular reason, my two kitties would like a mention...

philip:



and fritzy:



awwww....

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