The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 8/21/14


RELM_buttonLive From Ferguson: Chez Broadcasts Live from Ferguson, Missouri; Ben Cohen from The Daily Banter Joins Us From Washington, DC; The Story on the Ground; Police Militarism; Chez Pepper-Sprayed by Cops; The Aftermath; The Reality of Ferguson Versus the Stereotypes; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the Amazon Link and The Bowen Law Group.

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Posted in Bob and Chez Show | 5 Comments

Political Indictment

Nailed it.

Texas Indictment

Artist – Rob Rogers

In other news, a sixth grade teacher in Selma, Alabama has been suspended after instructing her students to research and reenact the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson.

I don’t think this person should teach ever again.

Baughn claims a white child played the role of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and a black student pretended to be Michael Brown. “I understand talking about current history,” the mom explained, “but not re-enacting it I don’t… What are we teaching our children?”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s ban on western imports has finally reached consumers and food prices are skyrocketing.

He’ll teach the West his people a lesson if it’s the last thing he does.

Posted in Food, Open Thread, Rick Perry, Russia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wealth Gap Widens and Paul Ryan Says Cut Taxes

The US Census Bureau published a report today that, not surprisingly, shows that the wealth gap continues to widen.

More significantly, it shows that the wealth gap is growing even among individual demographic groups while it also widens between different groups.

The report also details a widening of the wealth gap for households sharing the same demographic characteristics, such as age, race and Hispanic origin, and educational attainment of the householder. For example, the median net worth for non-Hispanic whites in the highest quintile was 21.8 times higher than for those in the second-lowest quintile in 2000; in 2011, this had increased to 31.5 times higher. For blacks, the ratio increased from 139.9 to 328.1, and for Hispanics, the increase was from 158.4 to 220.9.

Between 2000 and 2011, the wealth gap has also widened between groups with different demographic characteristics. For example, the ratio of median net worth of non-Hispanic whites to that of blacks rose from 10.6 to 17.5 between 2000 and 2011, and the ratio of non-Hispanic whites to Hispanics also increased from 8.1 to 14.4.

The release of this report could be seen as bad timing for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) who just reiterated that he wants to cut taxes for the rich.

Ryan said he didn’t want to get ahead of himself about what he may or may not do next session, but he made it clear that he disagrees with some conservatives who are willing to accept a high top tax rate in order to increase the child tax credit.

I’m a classic growth conservative. I believe that the best way to help families, the best way to help the economy is to reduce rates across the board,” Ryan said when asked about Utah senator Mike Lee’s plan to increase the child tax credit and create two income tax brackets of 15 percent and 35 percent.

Ryan is a “classic growth conservative,” which is to say that he is a classic Junk Scientist.

Conservative growth principles have never worked and they never will.

Posted in Economy, Taxes | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Rick Perry: Common Sense Tells You Immigrants Might Be ISIS


Is it possible that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will infiltrate America through our southern border?

Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked that question today at the Heritage Foundation and he says they may already be here. Gasp!

PERRY: “Certainly there a great concern that the border between the United States and Mexico is un-secure, and we don’t know who’s using that. What I will share with you is that we’ve seen historic high levels of individuals from countries with terrorist ties over the course of the last months.” [...]

“There’s the obvious great concern that, because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who’s penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS and other terrorist states could be — and I think there’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that. We have no clear evidence of that. But your common sense tells you, when we’ve seen the number of criminal activities that have occurred — and I’m talking about the assault, the rapes, the murders by individuals that have come into this country illegally over the last five years — the idea that they would not be looking at and managing any of those types of tacts from that region is not a good place to be.”

We have no clear evidence of this, but here’s some speculative bullshit that will sound really sexy to right wing hatriots.

I would be remiss not to point out that the “criminal activities” that have occurred in recent years include the activities of Rick Perry.

(photo credit: Austin Police Department)

Posted in Immigration, Rick Perry, Terrorism | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

DOJ Reaches Record Settlement With Bank of America


Bank of America will pay a record $16.65 Billion to settle state and federal lawsuits stemming from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the Department of Justice announced today.

“This historic resolution – the largest such settlement on record – goes far beyond ‘the cost of doing business,’” said Attorney General Holder. “Under the terms of this settlement, the bank has agreed to pay $7 billion in relief to struggling homeowners, borrowers and communities affected by the bank’s conduct. This is appropriate given the size and scope of the wrongdoing at issue.”

This settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and its Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group, which has recovered $36.65 billion to date for American consumers and investors.

While $7 billion of the total will be used to relieve borrowers, $5 billion will be paid in cash in a record-setting civil penalty. Nearly two billion dollars will be paid to settle fraud claims and one billion dollars will be used to settle claims made by the FDIC. $135 million will also be paid to settle claims made by the SEC. And various amounts, ranging from $23 million to $300 million, will be paid directly to states.

Posted in Corporate Crime | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Drunk-Sounding Rush Limbaugh Tries Desperately to Link Benghazi with Ferguson

That took longer that I thought. After nearly two weeks of tensions in Ferguson, MO, far-right radio has finally shoehorned the crisis into its ongoing Benghazi and IRS narratives. I’m seriously shocked that it didn’t happen sooner, a sign that perhaps the screechers are feeling a little slow on the uptake given the outrage-boner they’ve been struggling to maintain for so long.

Speaking of which, Rush Limbaugh attacked the administration for sending FBI agents to Ferguson after allegedly refusing to send FBI agents to Benghazi or to investigate the IRS.

How many FBI agents investigated the, uuuuhhhhhhhhhhh, the tea party scandal there with the IRS? How many — how many — none! Is there? That’s right there were no FBI agents investigating what happened with [True the Vote head] Catherine Engelbrecht through the phone or any of the other tea party groups. Ah, see, okay, uhhh, how many FBI agents went to Benghazi to investigate what had happened over there? That was, uhhhhhhh, zero again. At least in the first two weeks. Zip, zero — now we were told that sending the FBI into Libya would be bad, bad, bad foreign policy — would not be kind to the host nation — it would not inspire confidence — it would be seen as an insult. So. See how many, uhh, FBI agents we sent to St. Louis? 40!! Four zero. 40 FBI agents are pounding the pavement in Ferguson, in St. Louis.

Right off the bat, is it me or does Limbaugh sound drunk or stoned? If you listen to the audio, it sounds like he’s really wrestling with his zotzed-out brain to form his thoughts here. It could just be that it’s not as easy for him to make shit up as it used to be. And that’s precisely what he’s doing here. Of course we shouldn’t expect Limbaugh or his dittoheads to understand the considerably long series of differences between the IRS non-scandal, the Benghazi consulate attacks and what’s happening right now in Ferguson. If that’s the case — if law enforcement should treat everything the same way, then perhaps his parking-lot-Oxycontin purchases should’ve been investigated with the same tenacity as an international drug cartel.

So, what about the FBI and Benghazi?… CONTINUE READING

Posted in Benghazi, Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Banter | Tagged | 4 Comments

Morning Awesome

R.E.M. – “Can’t Get There From Here”

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hands Up

Don’t Shoot


Artist – Clay Bennett

In other news, the grand jurors who chose to indict Texas Governor Rick Perry are not impressed by his smug derision.

“We were asked to serve, we attended eight sessions over the course of five months, we listened to hours of evidence and we formed opinions, and those opinions were not motivated by politics,” juror Scott Hillman said. “They were simply motivated by our understanding of the facts as applied to the law.” [...]

“I see him laugh at these charges, and I think he’s laughing at the process, and he’s laughing at the grand jurors,” Hillman said. “We took our role very, very seriously.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) warns us that President Obama won’t destroy ISIS because the Muslim Brotherhood is whispering sweet-nothings in his ear. Or something.

Crazy McCain Lady

Posted in Conspiracy Theory, Open Thread, Rick Perry | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Mike Ditka is a Clueless Asshole


While I would and have said that hiring the likes of Frank Luntz, Lanny Davis, George “Macaca Allen,” and Ari Fleischer to defend the Washington football team’s name is a bad idea, Dan Snyder clearly could have done worse by hiring former Chicago Bears coach and ESPN analyst Mike Ditka.

During an interview published last week Ditka denounced the campaign to change the team’s name as “horse shit” from the mouths of liberals.

“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said in the interview, which was posted Thursday. “It’s so much horse shit it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin. What are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.

I suppose it should be implied at this point that if you’re against racism or against racist symbols, you’re probably (but not exclusively) liberal.

I doubt that is a distinction Dan Snyder’s PR team would like to make even if it is more or less true, but Ditka has gone and made it for them in the most ugly fashion imaginable. And given the home location of the team on the relatively liberal East Coast, Ditka will undoubtedly offend a number of people and a number of fans (both liberal and conservative) who may not have given it much thought up to this point.

To say that things should remain as they are because “that’s the way it is” is a non-argument that really doesn’t endear people to your side, but I digress. Please proceed.

“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football,” he continued. “It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. I mean, leave it alone. I mean, these people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.

Ditka is right that it’s not something “somebody dreamed up,” and he’s wrong that it has “nothing to do with something that happened lately.”

This is not an imagined slight or a fictional grievance, and racial stereotypes and racial caricatures are a problem that persists today

The only silly or asinine person in this conversation is Mike Ditka who clearly feels that holding onto some warped nostalgia for a time when white people could say racist things without being called out for it — or the way it still mostly is — is more important than being respectful or moral.

Mike Ditka doesn’t get to decide for others what is and is not offensive.

(via TPM)

Posted in Epic Fail, Ethics, Racism, Sports | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Best Persons in the World Meet Worst Persons in the World


ThinkProgress has a simultaneously encouraging but also depressing story of a man who wanted to teach his children compassion by housing a family of immigrants only to have his family and his livelihood attacked by conservative racists.

After Mark Lane’s son asked him why people were yelling at busloads of immigrant children (I covered the incident referred to here), Lane and his wife decided to host a family of four immigrants from Guatemala.

I won’t say what happened next will surprise you because it probably won’t.

But when word spread that Lane was hosting the family, people viciously attacked him online with a Facebook page calling for a boycott of his business, Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company. One commentator on the now-defunct Facebook page recommended that he “needs a serious beating in front of his customers. But then he serves crap food. His establishment is rat infested and smells like raw sewage.” Lane said that he and his family have been also receiving death threats, which he said he has now reported to the local police department’s hate crime division and even the Department of Justice.

The good news is the attacks on his business and his family seem to have backfired, but it’s still astonishing that people have free time in their lives to hound other human beings for housing other human beings. And I’m sure at least some of them identify as “good Christians.”

The phrase “get a life” is applicable as is “stop being a xenophobic shitbag.”

If you live in the San Diego area, consider giving business to Poppa’s Fresh Fish.

Posted in Immigration, Racism | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Why Do Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul Hate Their Constituents?


In case you needed another reason to vote this November (there are plenty already), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says congressional Republicans will shut the government down if the president doesn’t do what they tell him to.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or risk a government shutdown,” Politico reports. [...]

The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic to circumvent Democratic filibusters and force the president to ‘move to the center’ if he wants to get any new legislation through Congress.”

What McConnell is saying is that he would shut the government down to repeal Obamacare while punishing his constituents in the process for no practical reason.

Given that the president clearly wouldn’t sign a bill to repeal his signature legislation, and given that residents of Kentucky depend on Obamacare and other federal programs, McConnell is essentially pledging to hurt his constituents. He’s pledging to make his constituents’ lives more difficult for purely political reasons. And the person who will ultimately suffer is not the president, it’s you the voter.

Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange, known as Kynect, is one of the law’s biggest success stories; providing coverage to hundreds of thousands of people in the state.

So, if you enjoy getting kicked in the shins — vote for McConnell. But if you are not a masochist, consider voting for Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has also pledged to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

Why do Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell hate their constituents?

Posted in Healthcare, Rand Paul | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Karl Rove’s Ludicrous New Ad Casts Tea Party Republican as a Pro-Entitlement Messiah

It finally happened. We’re only a few months away from the 2014 midterms and I thought maybe we’d see a longer roster of infuriatingly misleading campaign ads from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS outfit. But finally we have our first big winner.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is running for reelection against Republican nominee Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a tea party candidate who, by the way, is leading the incumbent by three or more points in every recent poll. It’s still close enough, however, to warrant another ludicrous ad buy from Rove. The new anti-Pryor ad is as twisted as we’ve come to expect from Rove whose prowess at up-is-down-black-is-white politics is virtually unmatched, and this ad is no exception.

First and foremost, it attempts to hit Pryor on his left flank by painting the senator as being an enemy of Social Security and Medicare — two programs that small-government, anti-redistributionist tea party cranks like Tom Cotton ought to hate. Yet here’s this ad in which Pryor is targeted as the mortal enemy of so-called entitlements. While Pryor’s record itself isn’t spotless, attacking him for his posture on Social Security in support of Cotton is hilarious.

NARRATOR: It’s troubling that Senator Mark Pryor said we should overhaul Social Security and Medicare. On Social Security, Pryor suggested raising the retirement age.

No, no he didn’t and we’ll get to the Pryor quote from the ad in a second, but in fact it’s Tom Cotton who supports raising the retirement age. Cotton posted an item on his campaign website in September of 2011 in which he said he “support[s] plans like Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget and the Republican Study Committee’s Honest Solutions budget.” The latter, the Republican Study Committee’s Honest Solutions budget, called for among other things raising the Social Security retirement age. Whaa-whaa.

And now the alleged “retirement age” soundbite used in ad… CONTINUE READING

Posted in Election 2014, The Daily Banter | Tagged | Leave a comment

Morning Awesome

U2 – “Even Better Than The Real Thing”

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | 1 Comment

Equal Justice


Artist – Clay Bennett

In other news, the Department of Labor has extended non-discrimination protections to federal employees and contractors who are transgender.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has written an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch addressed to residents of Ferguson. Here’s a clip:

The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division’s most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.

We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson.

Posted in LGBT, Open Thread | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Back to School: Don’t Mind The Long Rifles


I have no idea what could justify a K-12 school police force carrying long rifles, but apparently officers will be packing in Compton, California as children head back to school.

“This is our objective — save lives, bottom line,” Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu told the board.

Wu argued officers are woefully underequipped in the event of a terrorist attack or mass shooting, in which shooters increasingly wear body armor, which is not penetrable with standard firearms. He cited a recent FBI study that found that roughly 5 percent of mass shooters have worn such armor. Wu said that while assault-style rifles are more deadly, they’re also more accurate.

Just consider the fact that a school police force is worried about the penetrating power of their weapons.

This is America.

Posted in Education, Guns | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Forget Ferguson. Hate Radio Buffoon Asks What About Benghazi?


The first person to link Ferguson to the fake IRS scandal and Bengazhi was not WorldNutDaily or the crack team at Breitbart, it was Boss Limbaugh.

LIMBAUGH: How many FBI agents investigated the Tea Party scandal there with the IRS? How many? None. [...]

How many FBI agents went to Benghazi to investigate what happened over there? That was zero again, at least for the first two weeks. Zip. Zero. [...]

How many FBI agents we sent to St. Louis? Fourty! Four Zero.


I for one am glad the FBI has deployed a sufficient number of agents to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s investigation of the IRS is actually ongoing. Not there they’re going to find anything. And as for Benghazi — House Republicans have already cleared that up with official committee reports that debunk various conspiracy theories.

Anyone remember the Select Solyndra IRS Committee to Investigate the Benghazi ACORN Birth Certificate? What happened to that?

Posted in Benghazi, Rush Limbaugh | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

WaPo Publishes Fascist Screed From LAPD Officer


To say that this headline which appeared at the Washington Post today is not helping would be putting it lightly.


In many cases when you see a headline as egregious and click-bait-y as this, the corresponding article doesn’t quite measure up. But in this case the content is worse than the headline.

This is what fascist asshole Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department has to say:

Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies. [...]

We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

Don’t even think about walking “aggressively.” Don’t even think about reminding him of his civic responsibility. Don’t call him names.

If you do any of those things, he might have to break your face.

Finally, cops are legally prohibited from using excessive force: The moment a suspect submits and stops resisting, the officers must cease use of force.

I’m sure Eric Garner of New York would have something to say about that if he were still alive. Michael Brown of Ferguson may as well.

It would be easier to take the qualifiers offered by Dutta seriously, such as working as an internal affairs investigator, if he didn’t so casually command you to respect his unquestionable authority.

Posted in WTF | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Paul Ryan Says Don’t Prejudge Ferguson But He Already Has


House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on Fox & Friends today and said that politicians shouldn’t try to capitalize on or prejudge the situation in Ferguson

“The first thing I do is don’t try to capitalize on this tragedy with your own policy initiatives,” Ryan said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “Don’t try to link some prejudged conclusion on what’s happening on the ground right now.

What I don’t want to do, as a political leader, is try to graft my policy initiatives or my preferences onto this tragedy,” he added. “I think that would just be disrespectful.”

This appears to be Paul Ryan’s way of saying that we should hit the breaks an any change of policy that may prevent the next Ferguson from happening, but if now is not the time, when is the time?

The problem for Ryan is that he has already prejudged African American communities across the entire country and capitalized on the ongoing tragedy of poverty and inequality with garbage policy initiatives.

It was Social Engineer Paul Ryan who said earlier this year that “inner city” men (read: black) have been raised in an environment wherein several generations failed to learn the value of work or develop a strong work ethic. It was he who quoted Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve and man who says that African Americans are poor because of bad genetics.

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” -Paul Ryan

The Paul Ryan we all know would take a look at Ferguson, a predominately Africa American and underprivileged community, and “graft” his policy initiatives onto it. He already has.

The entire Republican party already has.

Let’s not forget they chose Paul Ryan to run for vice president in 2012 on a platform that was decidedly hostile to the interests and well-being of poor minorities. A platform that visited the NAACP and said they were just looking for “free stuff.”

The current situation in Ferguson is emblematic of the unequal society Paul Ryan has sought to perpetuate through several iterations of his Path to Prosperity initiative.

The unequal society Ryan would perpetuate contributes to the distrust, animosity, and the emotional distance between poor communities and those who govern them. Inequality exacerbates existing prejudice and racial tension and provides fodder to the progenitors of both.

Show me a prejudiced citizen, police officer, representative, or congressman and I’ll show you someone who more than likely (but not exclusively) votes in a manner consistent with Paul Ryan. I’ll show you someone who describes young black men as “thugs” and their families as “welfare queens.” It’s all the same game.

Posted in Ethics, Racism | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Sorry, No, Obama Is Definitely Not “The Greatest Enemy To Press Freedom In A Generation”

The New York Times‘ James Risen is by most accounts an outstanding journalist. But being an accomplished reporter evidently doesn’t immunize him from jumping aboard the outrage machine, claiming that President Obama is the worst [you name it] ever. In her column this past week, Maureen Dowd talked with Risen about the Obama administration’s record on press freedom, prompting Risen to announce:

A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.

We should probably grant Risen a bit of latitude here. He’s been under considerable pressure from the Justice Department going back to the Bush administration for his reporting on a Clinton-era CIA operation involving Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Risen has repeatedly and justifiably refused to give up his source for the 2006 story, inciting the Bush and Obama administrations to issue subpoenas for Risen’s testimony (Attorney General Holder renewed the Bush subpoena in 2009). But, to date, DOJ hasn’t arrested or detained Risen. So, indeed, for Risen himself, I suppose he could make such a broad claim about Obama, but considering how the Bush DOJ first issued the subpoena, it would seem the title of “greatest enemy” should be a shared honorific.

Beyond Risen’s specific case, there’s simply no way Obama is the “greatest enemy to press freedom.” Either Risen is lashing out in reaction to his own situation or he’s piling onto the administration along with so many other sufferers of the dreaded Obama Derangement Syndrome, or maybe it’s both. But any reasonable comparative analysis of the last several administrations reveals a very different viewpoint — that, yes, other previous chief executives have been about the same if not worst than Obama on press freedom.

Assuming Risen was specifically referencing the records of U.S. presidents on press freedom, recent history tells us the following:

1) Jailed journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there haven’t been any American journalists jailed inside the U.S. by the Obama DOJ — save for several journalists detained recently in Ferguson, MO, but such actions can hardly be blamed on Obama. Roger Shuler, meanwhile, a blogger for something called “Legal Schnauzer,” was arrested for contempt of court by Shelby County, Alabama authorities. On the other hand, the Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press listed the following journalists who were arrested during both the Clinton and Bush administrations… CONTINUE READING

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Morning Awesome

Dionne Faris – “I Know”

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