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Farmer Vincent

The latest from Wisconsin.

 

Dane County judge halts collective bargaining law

By Patrick Marley of the Journal SentinelUpdated: March 18, 2011 11:14 a.m. |(426) COMMENTS

 

Madison -- Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order Friday, barring the publication of a controversial new law that would sharply curtail collective bargaining for public employees.

 

Sumi’s order will prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law until she can rule on the merits of the case. Dane County Ismael Ozanne is seeking to block the law because he says a legislative committee violated the state’s open meetings law.

 

Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits.

 

"It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the (law)," she said.

 

The judge’s finding – at least for now – is a setback to Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a victory for opponents, who have spent weeks in the Capitol to protest the bill.

 

Asst. Atty. Gen Steven Means, who was part of the state's legal team, said after the ruling that "we disagree with it."

 

"And the reason they have appellate courts is because circuit court judges make errors and they have in this case."

 

Means said the state would "entertain an appeal."

 

"If the Legislature decides to go back and re-act on these provisions, they have the right to do that. And we will see what happens," he said.

 

Means said he had no idea what the Legislature might do.

 

Means said no final decision had been made on an appeal. "But that's where we are pointing at," he said.

 

Means said the state expected Sumi's decision. He said the state had a chance to substitute judges, but decided not to do so.

 

Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said he was pleased with the judge's ruling.

 

"I am very pleased with her action," Barca said. "We felt from the beginning this was a violation of the open meetings law. And now we go on from here."

 

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prettylight

The current leadership of the GOP is the most dangerous threat to America in the history of this country. Hyperbole? I wish it were. But the evidence clearly demonstrates that the GOP has mounted a concerted effort to circumvent the American people and install a modern-day feudalism that effectively abolishes the will of the people and their elected officials to allow our cities and states to be run by corporate-like CEOs – and there’s no telling where it will go from there.

http://www.veteranst...eat-to-america/

 

 

That's chilling to read. It's like something one hoped would be an irrational fear, being, instead, "worst fears confirmed."

 

---

 

OT, but still haunted by the advice a few years ago, by someone of this ilk, to "underpay" workers. No euphemisms even, not even, "It would be good to try to keep costs low." Wondering if that's part of the plan you describe in some way--that, for it to succeed, people have to be "underpaid." It just seemed so cheerfully, blatantly immoral. Wondering how they justify it. ("It's for the people's/country's own good"?)

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prettylight

The alternative is to digress back to the stone ages once all our industry is gone overseas and we have nothing left. In this instance though the tax payers will forever be bent over and forced to pay for overpaid government workers and their families benefits. Remember the government doesn't care how much tax it puts on people to pay for itself and they will tax you to the point you can't survive anymore. The beauty of it all is that they don't care how poor they make you as long as they themselves have a job and nice cushy lifestyles. These people make me sick in that they think they are doing a good thing by allowing these unions of state workers to take advantage of everyone like this. It's disgusting!

 

 

Was actually wishing you would come along and give another side of it, FDR. That was oddly comforting; was feeling kind of out on a limb.

 

Read with interest.

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culturalinfidel

The alternative is to digress back to the stone ages once all our industry is gone overseas and we have nothing left. In this instance though the tax payers will forever be bent over and forced to pay for overpaid government workers and their families benefits. Remember the government doesn't care how much tax it puts on people to pay for itself and they will tax you to the point you can't survive anymore. The beauty of it all is that they don't care how poor they make you as long as they themselves have a job and nice cushy lifestyles. These people make me sick in that they think they are doing a good thing by allowing these unions of state workers to take advantage of everyone like this. It's disgusting!

 

I was thinking about this a little this morning and came to a sobering thought. I'm really starting to think that this "movement" is a concerted effort by the rich to purposfully elminate the middle class and increase the number of poor people in this country while maintaining the current number of the rich. Essentially, the more they can eliminate the middle class, and eliminate the potential for "new money" the more consolodated their power becomes. The rich don't give a shit about taxes. They have so much money and are paying so little in taxes as a percent of their total holdings that the percentages which are bantied about are insignificant. They have enough money to afford the best schools for their kids, so they don't give a shit about public schools and whether or not they are funded. In fact, it suits them just fine since the less educated the lower tiers of society become, the less chance those lower tiers have of becoming "new money" and chipping away at the power held by the wealthy elite. Their take on government spending is bullshit too. You could take away all, and I mean all, of the spending on education, on welfare, on arts, npr, etc. and the budget would still be fucked. As long as we spend out the ass for a strong military to protect their assets, all is good. As long as we spend out the ass on airports and coporporate welfare they are happy as can be. Meanwhile society as a whole becomes less educated, less employed, crime increases in places other than where the wealthy live, the budget deficit continues to grow, and "the people" become more and more dependent on the crumbs that are doled out from the new nobility. This very much seems to be a concerted effort to create a class of nobility on the backs of the people. In the end, once you have enough money that nothing else matters, who gives a shit what happens to everyone one else, and frankly the country in general? They have enough money to insulate themselves from whatever happens and to ensure that it stays that way. The fucking amazing thing is that the very people who are going to suffer the most as a result of these cuts are the ones that are fully on board with it. Its almost amazing to sit back and watch it all happen.

 

Later...CI

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Citydweller

I was thinking about this a little this morning and came to a sobering thought. I'm really starting to think that this "movement" is a concerted effort by the rich to purposfully elminate the middle class...

 

You're just figuring this out this morning??? A number of very sober and sane voices have been screaming this for months.

 

And yes, this is more or less what's happening. What a terrible mind-fuck, huh?

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culturalinfidel

You're just figuring this out this morning??? A number of very sober and sane voices have been screaming this for months.

 

And yes, this is more or less what's happening. What a terrible mind-fuck, huh?

 

Guess I should have said that I'm really starting to believe not think. Its always been in the back of my mind, but just seemed too unbelievable. Its the recent actions of the Wisconson, Michigan, and PA governors that are really solidifying it for me as an actual believable game plan rather than just random coincidence.

 

Later...CI

Edited by Cultural Infidel

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Farmer Vincent

Public workers aren't paid any more than equivalent jobs in the private sector, in fact many of those with college degrees are paid less than their private counterparts. They only retain what not too long ago were normal benefits due to still having union jobs. It's not their fault that the private sector purged unions and screwed their employees out of those benefits, and none of that was for the good of America, I can tell you that. One big reason that unions are important for public servants is because bosses (politicians and their appointees) are changed so frequently. More often than not, those bosses don't know squat about the individual departments they find themselves in charge of. Unions help keep them straight about what can or cannot be done in employer/employee relations. If those unions weren't in place and each new boss could reek havoc, then those jobs would only be attractive to the desperate and transitional types, certainly not to career minded individuals. Would you want important paperwork handled by someone from a temp. agency or outsourced to India?

 

 

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prettylight
The fucking amazing thing is that the very people who are going to suffer the most as a result of these cuts are the ones that are fully on board with it. Its almost amazing to sit back and watch it all happen.

 

And then, when they lose their own decent jobs, benefits, etc.--Obama takes all the blame for it?

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dowhatyoulike

IThe fucking amazing thing is that the very people who are going to suffer the most as a result of these cuts are the ones that are fully on board with it. Its almost amazing to sit back and watch it all happen.

 

 

They are not sitting back, they're cheering it on. Plus they call us assholes for pointing out their cognitive dissonance.

 

We went to see the hypnotist over at Stitches (Comedy Club at the Host, on 30 East), last night. Amazing, but when you consider the implications, quite scary. Part of me wants to believe all the participants were stooges. And it was all an exercise in fooling us rubes in the audience. But while sitting there, I was truly able to suspend my disbelief. Now I'm just confused. I saw people fall under the spell of smooth talking professional. They seemed truly under his control, and they responded to his direction.

 

 

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Citydweller

I saw people fall under the spell of smooth talking professional. They seemed truly under his control, and they responded to his direction.

 

Some aspects of hypnotism are very real, you saw it yourself.

 

Now, imagine what you might be able to pull off if your act was backed by a couple billion dollars and a few media networks.

 

Next, take a drive up to Leola Family Restaurant, and start polling the patrons about Obama's citizenship, unions, teachers, corporate taxes and caring for the poor. You'll feel like you're back at the comedy club again.

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culturalinfidel

And then, when they lose their own decent jobs, benefits, etc.--Obama takes all the blame for it?

 

Yup, I think it is written into the plan.

 

Later...CI

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prettylight

Yup, I think it is written into the plan.

 

Later...CI

 

Hoping this is just an irrational thought (and nobody has to answer this--it's almost too creepy to think about).

 

But you don't think his being elected President was "written into the plan," do you?

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Citydweller

But you don't think his being elected President was "written into the plan," do you?

 

Do you think the GOP really believed McCain/Palin was a force to be reckoned with? Against anyone?

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culturalinfidel

Hoping this is just an irrational thought (and nobody has to answer this--it's almost too creepy to think about).

 

But you don't think his being elected President was "written into the plan," do you?

 

I was going to say that I have one word for you....Palin.

 

But, City beat me to the punch.

 

Later...CI

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prettylight

Do you think the GOP really believed McCain/Palin was a force to be reckoned with? Against anyone?

 

Hmmm. Maybe not.

 

This isn't a loaded question, hoping "no" is the answer. But do you think all the various voting systems are reliable and accurate and conducted in an above-board manner (i.e., vote counts can't be manipulated)?

 

Not so much with the last election, but the previous one, Bush/Kerry?

 

Hoping "no" is the answer, and that it sounds like a crazy question.

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Farmer Vincent

Lancaster Online makes it onto MSNBC.

 

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prettylight

 

Scott Walker's "Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day"

 

by Mark E. Andersen

 

 

IMG_0361.jpg?1384708482

attribution: Mark E. Andersen
 
Sign found on State Street just off the Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin on February 16th, 2011.

 

A couple years ago something happened in Wisconsin. You might have heard of it, people marching in the streets, sleeping in the state capitol, and a Republican governor and legislature that stripped union rights away from thousands of public sector workers, from teachers to custodians and everything in between.

 

Something else happens in Wisconsin. It snows in the winter time. Sometimes we get a little snow; however, more often than not we get what, around here, we like to call a shit ton of snow. When we get hit with a major winter storm you see them in their county and city trucks—plowing snow in weather that most of us won't even go outside in.

 

County and municipal plow drivers are full-time union employees. During the summer you see these same crews fixing pot holes and mowing median strips among a hundred other maintenance jobs that keep our communities functioning. Most of us pay them no mind most of the year, but late November through early April they keep the roads open for police, fire, and ambulance crews. They keep the roads open so that we can go to work and visit friends and family.

 

On February 14th, 2011, Scott Walker and his Republican Cabal in the Wisconsin State Legislature stripped union rights away from these men and women that drive the plows that keep our roads clear during the harsh Wisconsin winters. He made them and other public servants into villains who were living the high-life on the government dole. Which is why it is so hypocritical that Scott Walker has named today, November 20th, 2013 as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day. Personally, I hope the plow drivers that plow in front of the governor's mansion in Madison (Technically Maple Bluff) and the Walker residence in Wauwatosa push so much snow in his driveway that he cannot leave until sometime in June.

 

If Gov. Walker wants to show appreciation for hard-working union members like plow drivers, then he should give them their goddamn rights back. They would rather have that than his false praise of them.

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/20/1256247/-Snowplow-Driver-Appreciation-Day-or-the-hypocrisy-that-comes-out-of-Scott-Walker-s-mouth?detail=email

Edited by prettylight

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prettylight

Do you get paid extra to post to zombie threads?

 

Nope. :)

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The Anarchist

 

The alternative is to digress back to the stone ages once all our industry is gone overseas and we have nothing left. In this instance though the tax payers will forever be bent over and forced to pay for overpaid government workers and their families benefits. Remember the government doesn't care how much tax it puts on people to pay for itself and they will tax you to the point you can't survive anymore. The beauty of it all is that they don't care how poor they make you as long as they themselves have a job and nice cushy lifestyles. These people make me sick in that they think they are doing a good thing by allowing these unions of state workers to take advantage of everyone like this. It's disgusting!

 

Spot on!

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prettylight
Right-Wing Front Group Poses as Journalists to Attack Investigation Into Political Money Laundering
Wisconsin's secretive right-wing political operators are nervous.
 
by Brendan Fischer
 
 
shutterstock_corruption_5.jpg

Photo Credit: Image by Shutterstock


December 19, 2013  |  
 

The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity (through its  Wisconsin Reporter and Watchdog.org websites) has aggressively attacked the government’s "John Doe" probe into possible campaign finance violations during Wisconsin's 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Its media outlets have also published new information about the apparent targets of the investigation, but they have omitted an important detail: Franklin Center has close ties to individuals and groups that may be caught up in the John Doe probe.

 

The only name associated with the investigation led by the Milwaukee County's District Attorney's office, Eric O'Keefe, helped launch the Franklin Center's operations in 2009, and his Sam Adams Alliance group provided the majority of its startup budget. O'Keefe has  spoken publicly about being subpoenaed in his capacity as director of Wisconsin Club for Growth. Franklin Center's  Director of Special Projects John Connors, and the Executive Assistant to the President Claire Milbrandt, also have close ties to a group reportedly involved in the probe. Its former Director of Operations and General Counsel, James Skyles, worked with another group active in the Wisconsin recalls.

 

Franklin Center's  Wisconsin Reporter has written 16 stories so far that are highly critical of the anti-corruption probe and prosecutors (calling its series  "Wisconsin's Secret War"), but these latest revelations raise questions about whether the outfit has a conflict of interest in its coverage.

 

"It does sound like a conflict-of-interest situation that minimally ought to be disclosed, whenever stories are written," said Robert Drechsel, Director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communications. "Particularly if the reporting in question is being done by an entity that holds itself out as nonpartisan and as doing the same kind of journalistic work being done by any traditional journalism institution."

 

Franklin Center Attacks John Doe, Citing Unnamed Sources

 

more at

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/right-wing-front-group-poses-journalists-stop-campaign-finance-investigation?akid=11290.1156773.iYnjwL&rd=1&src=newsletter938821&t=15

Edited by prettylight

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The Anarchist

Do you get paid extra to post to zombie threads?

 

Well put!

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prettylight

Monday, Mar 3, 2014 07:57 AM EST

Scott Walker’s little-known scandal: When he treated welfare recipients like dogs When Scott Walker was county executive, how he handled programs for Milwaukee’s poor will shock and amaze you

Politics News

scott_walker6-620x412.jpg
Scott Walker (Credit: AP/Cliff Owen)

 

Among the racist jokes and emails found in recently released documents connected to the criminal probe of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign, one stood out: A “joke†about a woman trying to sign up her dogs for welfare, because “my

Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty.†The punch line: “My Dogs get their first checks Friday.â€

 

Walker’s deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch replied: “That is hilarious. And so true.â€

 

The joke is bad enough on its own, but it’s also worth noting: Back when Walker was Milwaukee county executive, and Rindfleisch was a top aide, he managed the county’s welfare programs so abysmally that after lawsuits by local clients, the state was forced to take them over. “They didn’t just call people dogs, they treated them like dogs,†one Milwaukee elected official recalled angrily.

 

“Milwaukee County has demonstrated a sustained inability to successfully provide services to its (poor) customers,†state health services director Karen Timberlake wrote in a February 2009 letter to Walker announcing the state takeover.

 

Milwaukee became only one of 72 Wisconsin counties to wind up with its programs for poor people under state control.

It’s a chapter in Walker’s career that shows why, to many in Milwaukee, his staff’s racist jokes aren’t funny.

* * *

At the height of the recession, in 2008 and 2009, requests for aid in Wisconsin, and throughout the country, soared. But in Milwaukee, where 41 percent of African-Americans live below the poverty line, people had trouble getting help.

 

Roughly 95 percent of calls to the county’s client-intake call center went unanswered in 2008, a state probe later found.

 

The social services department budget funded 25 positions at the intake center, but a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter found only seven staffers working among empty cubicles when he visited. Advocates and the county workers’ union complained, but Walker stonewalled. Aided by the outcry, Walker began arguing for privatizing the social services intake unit. “He was managing it to fail,†charges AFSCME contract administrator Dave Eisner.


In June 2008, Legal Action of Wisconsin sued on behalf of thousands of needy people who couldn’t get benefits even though they qualified, because they couldn’t get their eligibility verified.

 

“Milwaukee County has reached a low point in its [welfare] delivery service,†Legal Action lawyer Pat DeLessio wrote in a letter to the County Board. “It is almost impossible to get through to anyone on the phone†to apply for or verify benefits.

But the problems weren’t just at the call center. In 2008, one out of five food stamp recipients dropped for ineligibility were in fact eligible, and wrongly cut from the program. In 2007, 60 percent of county decisions to cut food or other aid were overturned on appeal within two months. Roughly 30 percent of needy applicants were waiting more than two weeks for aid. Two-thirds of all complaints received by state welfare agencies involved Milwaukee County residents having problems obtaining Medicaid, food aid and child care services. And while the state paid a higher share of Milwaukee’s income-maintenance program costs than in other counties, Walker complained that state funding was inadequate.

 

With the call center problems and need rising, clients took to lining up at county offices for services before they even opened, DeLessio recalled, because by midday workers would declare the building was full, and turn away new applicants. In June 2008 at least 3,000 people showed up before dawn seeking food vouchers in what was later called a “food riot.â€

 

“The food crisis in Milwaukee and throughout the United States is worse than many of us have realized,†said Milwaukee Common Council president Willie Hines. “We expect long lines for free food in third-world countries.â€

 

Walker’s answer was to privatize the intake unit and other services. His proposed September 2008 budget featured his privatization proposals, but the county board blocked him. “It was clearly a game – he didn’t give a damn about poor people,†Eisner charges.

 

State officials repeatedly complained about the service inadequacies, and eventually threatened to take the programs away from the county. Politics clearly played a role in the conflict; in 2006 Walker had planned to run for governor against incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle, but soon dropped out of the Republican primary. “I believe that it was God’s will for me to run,†Walker said at the time. “After a great deal of prayer during the last week, it is clear that it is God’s will for me to step out of the race.†It was an open secret that Walker was planning another run for governor in 2010, and if his skirmishes with the Doyle administration hurt Milwaukee’s poor, they helped its county executive with the state’s conservative GOP primary voters.

 

After a series of tense meetings between county and state administrators, when it was clear the state was going to take over the anti-poverty programs, Walker made a brazen move. He wrote to state social services director Karen Timberlake and invited the state to take over the county’s income maintenance program.

 

“This is a state mandate,†Walker wrote, in a letter he immediately released to the media. “It’s amazing state government has been such a lousy partner on this.â€

 

County board chair Lee Holloway told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Walker invited the state in, over his and the board-majority’s objection, to preempt the state’s embarrassing announcement that it was taking over Milwaukee’s programs. “Holloway said he thought Walker’s letter was meant to upstage state officials ‘before they make a move on him,’†the paper reported.

 

“The county board didn’t want the takeover,†recalls Legal Action’s Pat DeLessio. “There’s a strong system of county control in Wisconsin. But Walker just gave up.â€

* * *

No one was fooled by Walker’s letter. A day after he released it, the state announced its takeover. In her letter to Walker explaining the move, Timberlake wrote that Wisconsin state government “has in fact expended millions of additional dollars and thousands of hours of staff resources to assist your county over a period of years. Despite these efforts, Milwaukee County’s performance fails national and state standards and is failing the people of the county.†Yet two years after the state took over his social service programs, Walker took over the state as governor.

 

Kelly Rindfleisch, who found the joke about welfare-receiving dogs “hilarious†and “so true,†was Walker’s deputy chief of staff while he was mismanaging the county’s welfare programs. Her boss, chief of staff Tom Nardelli, himself circulated a racist joke about the “nightmare†of waking up black, gay, disabled and HIV-positive while working for Milwaukee County.

 

Against the backdrop of the way Walker treated welfare recipients, their joking is even less funny.

 

Rindfleisch was eventually convicted of illegal campaign activity on public time, a felony conviction that she is appealing. She and Nardelli paid no penalty for enjoying racist jokes on public time.

 

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/03/when_scott_walker_treated_welfare_recipients_like_dogs/?source=newsletter/

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daisy-dog

The Walker campaign took aim Friday at Democratic contender Mary Burke’s first campaign ad, striking back with its own

 that states the unemployment rate dropped during the governor’s first term in office.

In Burke’s ad, which first aired on YouTube Wednesday and will begin airing in select television markets Friday, the claim is made that the state’s unemployment rate jumpied from 4.6 percent to 6.2 percent under Gov. Scott Walker.

Since it first aired, PolitiFact Wisconsin rated the ad’s claim as "pants on fire." Now Walker’s campaign is making the same claim.

“Quite the contrary, Mary,†says the narrator in the Walker ad. â€Why would you start your campaign out with a lie?â€

The Walker ad says the state’s unemployment rate in November 2010 when Walker was elected to office was 7.8 percent. It is now 6.3 percent.

The commercial goes on to specifically point out that the state has created 100,000 jobs under Walker, indicating the governor plans to own that number as opposed to the 250,000 he set as a goal in the 2010 campaign.

Regarding the discrepancy in unemployment rate, Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki told PolitiFact, “We’re not examining it in terms of (Walker’s) time in office overall. We’re comparing it with what it was when Burke was commerce secretary.â€

Burke was commerce secretary under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle from 2005 to 2007 when the unemployment rate was lower than it is now. But Burke’s ad doesn’t not make that distinction, an omission that earned the ad a “pants on fire†rating, PolitiFact's most severe.

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Thelsa Doom

I was going to say that I have one word for you....Palin.

 

But, City beat me to the punch.

 

Later...CI

Here is another word......Biden

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