Saturday, October 28, 2006


Special note: Howard Dean is scheduled to appear on Face the Nation tomorrow morning

by listener

Photo by Ron DuPont, High Springs Herald
Click here for a video montage of Charlie's arrest.





The Ad Hoc Committee for the Legal Defense of Charlie Grapski (Grapski Defense Committee for short) needs your help NOW!

DONATE: At least $5,000 is needed for immediate legal expenses such as depositions, transcripts and filings. Donations can be made online at

or checks can be sent to: Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Charlie Grapski, PO Box 190, Alachua, FL 32616.

VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are needed who can help with legal research and trial preparation, publicity, media, blog and website work.

WRITE and CALL: Your phone calls, letters, emails and faxes can make a difference. This is a political trial and as such it will be fought in the court of public opinion as well as in the courthouse. Below you will find contact information for the State Attorney, the Circuit Judge, and local newspapers.

BLOG: Post this story (or write your own) on your favorite political blogs, and send it to reporters and writers interested in stolen elections, public corruption, electoral reforms, etc.

Michael Canney told me that he or Carol, on the scene, would be happy to answer your questions:
Michael 352-671-1991
Carol 386-418-3791

More info coming in an upcoming thread. For background information see the Timeline of events at

Meanwhile, please begin blogging and making space in your schedule to
write letters, etc.. If you can contribute, please do!
Update for anyone who is interested, this is from DFA-link: DFA-Link Group Blogs will be down on Sunday morning (10/29) for scheduled upgrades.

Also, here's the link to Subway's GOP-er's Lament on YouTube, as animated by Rick Uhl.

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Saturday Comics

And my favorite for today: Trickle Down Economy

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday night Charlie update

Update from today - before I go to sleep (exhausted) - yesterday I filed several motions with the Court and served them on the State Attorney prosecuting me (Geoffrey Fleck). He would not meet with me and had me leave them with the desk - even though I stated I was there also to coordinate setting depositions before trial. After all - I have been denied the powers the state has had for the last six months to actual question witnesses in my defense. But he still refused to meet or discuss this with me. So I set the depositions without him. I then got subpoenas for ten individuals - including the Evidence Custodian of the State Attorneys office - you know - to find out what happened to my recorder and recording when it was seized and where its been since and who has had access to it, etc. You know - to establish the chain of evidence.

So after filing a motion to dismiss (stating that no actual violation of law is alleged in the charge ... and that's true!), a notice of appearing pro se, a motion for speedy trial, and my list of witnesses - I also submitted a notice of taking depositions and began serving the subpoenas including that to the State Attorney's office.

Today - Geoffrey Fleck filed a Motion for Protective Order - to protect the State from "the abuses of this defendant" (me). Abuses? Filing motions and serving supboenas for depositions! I guess its abuse to actually try and defend yourself from bogus charges in this country now.

Just figured I'd let you guys in on the update.

Thanks again for everyone's support. I know that Connie and Carol get very excited when the mail comes (or special delivery) and certainly I cannot even put into words my appreciation for all of your help.

Charlie Grapski | Homepage | 10.27.06 - 9:32 pm

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The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror to parody Iraq war

I was just thinking that it was about time for the annual Simpsons Halloween special, Treehouse of Horror, and hoping I could manage not to miss it this time. Then, just a few minutes ago in the open thread at Daily Kos, I saw a comment that Treehouse of Horror will be "must see" this year. The comment links to this piece in Raw Story:

Simpsons Pitch Tent in Anti-War Camp

Anyone who thinks Hollywood is run by a liberal cabal won't change his mind after watching The Simpsons' annual Halloween special. The episode, which airs Nov. 5, concludes with an Iraq war satire that may rank as the most pointed political statement the show has ever made. In the segment, aliens invade Springfield to prevent mankind from obtaining "weapons of mass disintegration," but their mission, called "Operation Enduring Occupation," turns into a quagmire. "You said we would be greeted as liberators!" accuses one alien.
An article from Monsters and Critics adds this piece of dialog, which explains the image below (which appears in the Raw Story article).

'I'm starting to think 'Operation Enduring Occupation' was a bad idea,' one character says, to which the other replies 'We still have the people`s hearts and minds,' as he holds up a heart and brain.

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Open Thread

Instead of the usual Cute Overload picture, how about this for a change of pace? It's Howard Dean at an event at UCLA with Phil Angelides.

Yeah, I thought you might approve. :)

More pictures from the event can be found in this Elections 2006 slideshow on Yahoo.

Oh, and by the way, the sleazy scare tactic ads against Ohio's Issue 2 have hit the airwaves. I've got a post about that at Buckeye State Blog.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Update from Charlie's defense committee

Note from Renee...I have zero time to do anything about this today, but am front-paging Donna's comment before leaving for work. (Here's a link to yesterday's Charlie diary.)

Got this from Michael Canney of Charlie's Defense committee:

Dear friends of Charlie,

Things are heating up here for Charlie, and for those in the Defense Committee. It turns out he is going to be defending this criminal case PRO SE on a aggressive very fast track schedule.. We will need help with two things: We need to raise $$$ for DEPOSITIONS (they have to be set NOW due to "speedy trial" timetable) of Clovis Watson, APD Chief Robert Jernigan, Mayor Jean Calderwood, and two others, as well as other legal expenses. And we need help with PUBLICITY from bloggers and folks who know how to get the story into the media. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated. I welcome your advice and suggestions, and please use this information however you can (editing or re-writing is fine).


Michael Canney

Also: Carol Thomas 386-418-3791
Email Charlie Grapski:
donna in evanston | 10.26.06 - 9:36 am

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David Korten on the way we measure wealth

This is a continuation of my transcript of David Korten's talk in Columbus on October 14. Part 1 can be seen here.

David Korten: Modern societies have, for more than 50 years, defined progress in terms of economic growth, and we've been highly successful at growing our economies. Since 1950, global economic output has increased by some seven times, and made a great deal of money for a few people.

Now, there's another side to this story. The Living Planet Index is a measure of the health of the world's fresh water, ocean, and forest ecosystems. That's the life support system of the planet--and arguably the foundation of all real wealth. Think about it, if there's no life support system, there's no life. And if there's no life, the whole concept of wealth loses its meaning. Now this index, as you can see, has declined by 37% in the past 30 years.

We see here the divergence, showing the indicators we use to convince ourselves that we are making progress and getting wealthier, and the true index showing that as a species we are collectively getting rapidly poorer. This difference, of course, creates massive distortion in our public policies.

Now, the good news in this, at least from the perspective of the planet, is that the species responsible for this devastation will be gone long before the index reaches zero.

Now consider, as we are depleting this planet, that 85% of what remains of our planet's life support system, is currently expropriated by the more fortunate 20% among us, to support often extravagant and wasteful lifestyles. Meanwhile, the poorest 20% struggle for survival on slightly more than 1%, and the middle 60% get by on 14%.

One of the many lessons that I learned in my years abroad is that much of what we call development is actually a process of expropriating the land and water resources on which the bottom 85% depend for their livelihoods, in order to make way for the dams, mines, shrimp farms, agricultural estates, golf courses, suburban sprawl, and shopping centers that primarily benefit the top 20%. Now to put this in simple language, conventional economic growth indicators in fact measure the rate at which productive resources of the poor are being transferred to the rich, and converted to garbage.

Now, it's an extraordinary thing that we measure our progress, not by our well-being, but by the throughput in our economic system, which is basically the rate at which we are throwing things away.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sim Kerry revisited

Someone (nordy, I think?) asked recently whatever happened to Sim Kerry. The answer is that I no longer have a Kerry Sim on my computer--that being one of the things that disappeared during a system reinstall. But since the junior senator from Massachusetts has reminded me again how much of a schmuck he is, I figured the least I could do is link to some of the old episodes of the Tragic Tales of Sim John Kerry.

Just what motivated me to pull the Sim Kerry links out of mothballs, you ask? Or, maybe you don't, but I'll tell you. It was a story I first heard about at Firedoglake last night:

Talk about feeling the pressure: John Kerry spokesman David Wade seems to have heard quite enough from netroots who think his boss ought to be dipping deeper into his 2008 campaign war chest to help Democrats win now. "Cowards can hide behind anonymous Web sites," Wade tells the New York Times, "but Democrats out in the country, party leaders and real netroots activists know how hard John Kerry has fought to win these elections."
That excerpt is from a an article in Salon, but the FDL post links a few other sources as well, including FDL's TRex's own previous comments about how he won't be "going into battle" with John Kerry again. Read more here.

Update: I just saw this conversation with John Kerry by Blue Mass Group, and in all fairness needed to update this post with a link.

Another update...this thread is probably a good place to link to the Sim-inspired designs Demetrius recently created at Cafe Press.

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Charlie, on how we can help now

From one of yesterday's threads...

...the urgent need for help is getting the word effectively spread around the net and then working on getting a list of people who will send emails (such as to the State, the ACLU, and most importantly - national media). If there is a good bloggers response say to Keith Olberman, sending him a concise message to look into this, I think he, for example, would pick up the story.

Update: I have been in touch with the ACLU today and they are looking into it. I am hoping that they will take it up. They didn't think I would ever be charged in this case.

Thanks again for everyone's messages of support.


Keith Olbermann's comment on the Republican campaign of terror

If you haven't watched this yet, you should. Seriously.

You can read the text of the special comment here. I can't choose just one piece to highlight here. It's 4 pages long, but worth reading, especially if you aren't able to view the video.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why I'm Not A Republican, Part 1

As Judgement Day draws nearer (November 7, 2006) I think it is an appropriate time to revisit my political affiliation. When I talk to Republicans they often comment that I don't sound like a liberal, and they're right. When I talk to Democrats they often note that I don't sound like a liberal, and they're right. In fact, one of the very few things that my Democratic and Republican friends could agree upon is the fact that I think and sound much more like the people who constitute the Republican base than those who constitute the Democratic base. So why is it that I am a Democrat, and a partisan one at that? It's really not that complex:

One doesn't have to actually utter the word "Nigger" to convey the thought associated with the word, much the same way that saying that a woman has Ann Coulter tendancies would be calling her a female dog without uttering the appropriate word, or commenting about the foreskin on a man's neck would convey the meaning without uttering the appropriate word. America's Pac, a Republican group that claims to be attempting to refute the belief on the part of the Republican Party that they cannot attract the Black vote, recently aired an ad that featured the following dialog:

Amos: If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked.
Andy: That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed."
Amos: Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican."

Now the ad doesn't actually name the speakers Amos & Andy, but they might as well have. The fact that someone alligned with the Republican Party would think that minstrel advertising would appeal to Blacks reveals either their contempt for Blacks or their absolute ignorance of Black culture. Based on the Republican Party's track record I would tend to believe the former, but if it is pure ignorance then it also shows their contempt of Blacks in that they didn't even bother to check with their target audience to see if it would be effective or offensive. Personally, I think they couldn't care less about Blacks and our votes - they simply want to show White suburbanites that today's Republicans are not Trent Lott racists since they do Black outreach. WTF ever.

Of course, Republican bigotry is not limited to Americans of African descent. A Congressional candidate in California named Tan Nguyen (Republican, of course) mailed out a letter to 14,000 Latino residents of Orange County which falsely claimed that immigrants could be subject to criminal penalties if they voted in a federal election and that anti-immigration groups would be able to access a federal computer system containing the names of those who vote in October and November. Aside from the fact that no such law or database exists this naked attempt at vote-suppression is normal for Republicans, be it through purging felons from the voting files (and anyone with a name similar to a felon, sorry Mrs. Jackson - I am for real) or through installing fewer voting machines in urban precincts than in suburban precincts or through opposing every initiative to make voting more accessible and verifyable. Mr. Nguyen operated in accordance with the Republican playbook, he just neglected one minor detail - you have to use shadow groups to do your dirt (e.g. Swift Boats or Club For Growth or America's PAC). Obviously, the County GOP has asked Mr. Nguyen to withdraw from the race, feigning righteous indignation at their candidate who had about as much chance of winning in that district as Barney Frank would have winning in Mississippi. SSDD.

There are also substantive issues (not that the GOP's bigotry isn't a substantive issue) wherein I signifigantly disagree with large swaths of the Republican Party. That will be the subject of Part 2, issue by issue, coming Saturday.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Sex-obsessed Republicans: Bad for Ohio, bad for America

This evening I was over at Plunderbund and saw this post by Brian. It addresses Jerome Corsi's histrionics about Ted Strickland's "radical sexual agenda". Quoth Corsi:

Until recently, Strickland’s advocacy of a radical sexual agenda has been relegated to a whisper campaign in Ohio. Ken Blackwell is unjustly criticized for attempting to out Ted Strickland on the truth of his sexual politics.
His huh-waah? You know, it's just a hunch, and I don't have the freetime or the necessary software. But I'll bet if you counted the occurances of the word string "sexual"--as a stand alone word, or with various suffixes or prefixes, it would be found *way* more often on conservative/Republican blogs than on liberal/Democratic ones.

Jerome Cosi? Oh man, DON'T get me started! To say that he's got "issues" about sexuality is a serious understatement. The man has entire subscriptions!

Brian notes that The fact that Blackwell has brought in the “big gun” in Corsi to attempt to smear Strickland on a daily basis shows exactly how desperate Blackwell is. Here's something that boggles the mind, though. What sort of person does Ken Blackwell's "dirty work"? After all, we've seen how low Ken Blackwell *himself* is willing to go, in his recent NAMBLA-obsessed debate performance, and posting Bill Cunningham's slanderous remarks about Strickland during a Fox "News" interview on his official campaign web site.

So, what kind of man does dirty work that Ken Blackwell doesn't want to do himself? Media Matters gives a little background on Corsi, the co-author of the Kerry-bashing book "Unfit for Command" here. Be forewarned--it's pretty vile stuff.

And this same walking sack of hate is also the co-author of Blackwell's book, "Rebuilding America". As described in The Carpetbagger Report, the book is "a blueprint for a new War on Poverty," which calls for an "ownership society."

Ownership society...where have I heard *those* words before? Oh right--that's a Bush expression, isn't it? And I think it's a fairly safe assumption that Blackwell, if he were somehow elected governor, would show every bit as much "Christian compassion" in policies affecting the poor as the man he helped elect, twice, has done.

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Why WE must have the Power

Quick note from Renee, in between grading papers and trying to figure out what I could possibly pull together for dinner, seeing as how Demetrius is still outside (brrr!) working on the car--please do check out the comments from the Grapski Defense Committee as well as from Charlie in the previous thread. And please help spread the word.

Below is part of the speech our US Rep candidate for IL 16th district gave at his recent fundraiser. Dick Auman's is totally a grassroot campaign. His race has not been recognized as one that can get national support. Dick has excellent politics, too bad it is so difficult to get honest people like him into office.

I want to share some ideas with you this evening about what is at stake on November 7th and why I think this election is one of the most critical in my lifetime. I want to begin by reflecting on the vision of a small number of men who 219 years ago saw George W. Bush coming.

From the perspective of the 18th century, these men saw President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney coming over the horizon of the 21st century. That, ladies and gentlemen, is extraordinary vision. These men knew George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in their bones. They knew what unchecked power looked like. They knew that there are some, who, given some power, crave more. They knew that that craving can become insatiable, that there are those who can never get enough.

So, in the document they drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, in Article One of the Constitution, they created first the House of Representatives, the peoples’ house and then the senate to check the power of the executive. They saw George W. Bush and Dick Cheney coming and they took steps to limit the damage they could do.

Unfortunately, they didn’t imagine that the people elected to check their power would include the likes of Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, and Bill Frist. They didn’t imagine that those charged with the responsibility to check the power of the executive would prostrate themselves before that executive thereby selling out the very people they went to Congress to represent. For all their vision, our founding fathers did not imagine the chief executive of our country being manipulated by a flimflam man named Karl Rove nor did they imagine a vice president with a defective conscious having the kind of power George Bush has allowed him to wield.

And, perhaps, they did not foresee our country’s foreign and domestic policies being driven by radical, right-wing ideologues who demand absolute fealty to Party and President at the expense of the institution and the people they were elected to serve. Yet, our founding fathers made sure that even faced with the kinds of assaults upon our democratic values that we have witnessed in recent months, democracy in the United States of America would prevail because they saw to it that the real power in this country would reside with the people.

When I decided to run for a seat in the Congress of the United States, I didn’t need the permission of any elected official or party leader. I didn’t need the permission of Rahm Emanual. I didn’t need the permission of Governor Blagojevich or Michael Madigan or Emil Jones.

I needed only the permission of the people. I needed the permission of 841 citizens, 841 residents of the 16th Congressional District, and, in the end, over 1500 people gave me their permission to have my name on the ballot. The people spoke and the government had to respond by placing my name on the ballot. That is something to celebrate in the United States of America.

We the people have the power to change the direction of this country, and we must.

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How do we ensure the integrity of absentee/early voting?

The questions Renee raises about what happens to the ballots when you vote early are EXTREMELY important ones to ask.

This is the key to how the election was stolen in Alachua.

There were many aspects of what the City's election officials did to tamper with the election so as to ensure the outcome to James Lewis for his 40th consecutive year on the commission - but the most problematic, and what I first observed and thus was able to see there was a problem, was with the "early votes" and the "absentee votes."

In Florida, as in most places, there are two possible ways of voting PRIOR TO election day: 1) Early Voting; and 2) Absentee Ballot.

But in Alachua - what they did was to (mis)use the absentee ballot process AS IF it were early voting. They had no official (and there are statutory procedures for this) early voting. But they "encouraged" people to vote "early" - through the use of absentee ballots.

The Supervisor of Elections, who was the Deputy City Clerk (under the Clerk - Clovis Watson - in one of his several jobs), was "in control" of all of the absentee ballots and the process.

They were kept in his office. And thus he could take ballots out, put them in, and do whatever he liked with them.

Thus in order for this part of the election to be proper - you had to TRUST Alan Henderson (the Deputy Clerk) and to BELIEVE that only Alan Henderson could access that box of absentee ballots.

What we learned in the Alachua election - is that neither one of those two assumptions necessary for the fairness of the election could be relied upon.

So the question has to be - how do you ensure that this kind of thing cannot happen in your local elections.

Remember - elections are stolen locally - not nationally.

Charles Grapski

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday afternoon roundup

I've seen a lot of people encouraging the "vote early" option, and have thought that's probably a good idea. But I also have wondered what happens to those ballots, and how we can be reassured that boxes of those ballots aren't "disappeared" somehow. There's an article in today's Columbus Dispatch addressing that very issue:

Absentee ballots under 2 locks, 2 keys

Security cameras are pointed at doors to rooms housing blank ballots, ballots addressed to voters and ballots that have been returned. Two cameras watch elections employees as they fill voters’ absentee-ballot requests.

There’s a partisan division in keys to the double-locked door of the returned-ballot room. Damschroder holds the Republican key, and Deputy Director Dennis L. White holds the Democratic one.
One privatization plan we could all support by modernesquire

From Buckeye State Blog, outlining all of the things Ken Blackwell plans to privatize, and ends with the suggestions that it is Mr. Blackwell himself who needs to be "privatized".

If you haven't seen the ad Michael J. Fox did for Claire McCaskill, you can see it here, along with the reaction of Huffington Post blogger James Boyce. The article is entitled "What would Jesus do, a**hole?" Only without the asterisks.

Also, I highly recommend reading After Pat’s Birthday, an open letter from Pat Tillman's brother, Kevin.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:
(Click to read the rest.)

And since I'm never going to get Demetrius in the habit of plugging new designs he's made at Cafe Press, I just want to add a link to our store. Go have a look-see. There's an e-mail address on that page, so if you don't see what you're looking for, you can make a request.

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Character Matters

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Matthew 5:33-37
As we approach election day I am reminded of the fact that one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is mealy-mouthed politicians trying to play both sides against the middle, cowards who lack the courage of their convictions. This was my biggest problem with the junior senator from Massachusetts, the whole "I voted against it before I voted for it" thing. Triangulation was a useful tactic for Bill Clinton in many regards because he genuinely was a middle-of-the-road politician, he genuinely held positions that could appeal to both the Left and the Right, but it is at best disingenuous for a pure progressive to try to portray themselves as a middle-of-the-road moderate or for a conscientious conservative to try to say that they are a mainstream moderate. In both instances the politician should state what they believe forthrightly and stand up for it if they truly believe it.

I understand the political reality that President Andrew Sheppard pointed out - the problem isn't that they don't get it, the problem is that they can't sell it - but Jesus commands those of us who are called by the name of Christ to let our "Yes" be "Yes" and our "No" be "No." We are to deal with our neighbors with integrity, with love, and with the character of Christ. You do not deceive those whom you love; you do not obfuscate your intentions with those about whom you care - you deal with such people respectfully and clearly state your intentions, your thoughts and your beliefs honestly. Love has very little to do with politicians getting elected - they often appeal to hatred because it seems to be a more effective motivator in getting people to the polls - but we are called to live a life of love, dealing honestly with everyone, such that when we say "Yes" everyone knows that we don't mean "Maybe" - we need not define the meaning of the word "Is." Deception is of the evil one, and when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

White Evangelicals appear to be awakening from their self-induced slumber as it pertains to the Republican Party. Since Roe v. Wade there have been 9 Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices and abortion-on-demand is still the law of the land. Every year the Republicans seem to push another tax cut through Congress at the expense of great political capital but no political capital is spent on the agenda of social conservatives - a little speech of Terri Schiavo here or a ballot initiative on gay marriage there, but the GOP leadership hasn't done anything substantive for the social conservatives within their coalition, and White Evangelicals are beginning to understand that they are being pimped by corporate lackeys within the Republican Party.

We are commanded to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God not as some arbitrary limitation on our activity but for our own good - when you deal in integrity it is obvious when people's intentions toward you are less than noble, when their "Yes" means "Probably not" and their "No" means "You never know." November 7th will be a day of reckoning for the Republican Party, a time to reap the harvest that they have sown, but the lesson that all of us need learn from this is that when we say that we are going to do something then we need to follow through, and when we say that we won't do something then we need to stand firm on our convictions. When we try to stand on someone else's convictions - "Read my lips, no new taxes" - we inevitably fall. Hopefully the Democrats have learned that lesson.


May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you walk in integrity,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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