Blue-shifting the Gem State, one blog entry at a time.

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Why I Support Betty Richardson for the Idaho Legislature

Betty Richardson

It’s high time the Idaho Legislature started serving the best interests of Idahoans rather than catering to special interests. Idahoans want a stronger economy, better jobs, and public schools that help every child succeed.

High priced lobbyists often have other priorities. But Idaho needs legislators who are dedicated to issues that everyday Idahoans care about. It is time for new leadership. I am running for the state senate to help strengthen Idaho families, protect Idaho communities, and build an economy that works for all Idahoans! - Betty Richardson, Candidate for Idaho Senate, District 15.

In the state senate, Betty will support legislation that will:

* Promote quality public schools

* Increase government accountability

* Help working families

* Promote transparency and accountability in government; and

* Protect and preserve our unique quality of life

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Here's how you can DONATE

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"I will bring to the Idaho Legislature the values I learned from my parents – respect for others, compassion, frugality, honesty and hard work," Betty says. "The people of District 15 will always come first with me, and I will work to consistently represent their interests."

Who is this candidate?

First, take a look at her proven record of public service:

Idaho’s United States Attorney

Nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Betty served as Idaho’s United States Attorney for seven years. As the top federal law enforcement officer in the state, Betty expanded victim’s rights programs, prosecuted drug dealers, and recovered more than seventy-five million dollars in fines which went to help fight crime. She created a highly successful drug education program that reached thousands of Idaho families and worked in partnership with state, local and tribal law enforcement to host Idaho’s first-ever conferences on hate crimes and methamphetamine.

Betty knows that our first responders – firefighters and police officers – are our first line of defense in keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, and she strongly supports those who serve in these critical public safety roles.

Chairman and Member of the Idaho Industrial Commission

Nominated by Governor Cecil D. Andrus and confirmed by the Idaho State Senate, Betty adjudicated workers’ compensation disputes, reviewed appeals from the Department of Employment, and administered the Idaho Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. Her service on the Industrial Commission was applauded by representatives of business and labor alike: along with her fellow commissioners, she streamlined red tape, implemented a successful mediation program, and improved the administration of justice for those injured on the job.  read more »

Mat Erpelding: Leadership to Move Idaho Forward

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I enjoyed an extensive chat with Mat for about two hours yesterday at the Black Bear Coffee House in Nampa. As a result of our talk, it became clear why so many people are supporting this energetic and dedicated candidate for the Idaho legislature.

An educator, business owner, political activist, high-altitude mountain guide, and former developmental therapist, Mat Erpelding represents the progressive ideologies embodied by the communities in District 19. Mat is an emerging leader in the Idaho Democratic Party, and currently serves as the Ada County Democratic Party Vice Chairman. At the 2012 Frank Church Banquet, Mat was recognized as an Idaho Democratic Party Activist of the Year.

In 2010 Mat was awarded Instructor of the Year from the Wilderness Education

Association for his contributions to experiential education, wilderness ethics and leadership. Mat is passionate about protecting our open spaces and public lands. He believes that access to public lands and wild places is essential to developing strong beliefs in sustainable practices.

Mat believes in the value of collaboration and accountability. He has a long history of taking important leadership risks because he believes that individuals do make a difference. As your representative, he will continue the long tradition of effective and progressive leadership consistent with the standards of District 19 residents. Mat believes that our ethical concerns, our economic woes, our educational system, and our environment are issues that cannot be ignored any longer in Idaho, and he has the vision and the leadership experience to move Idaho forward.

Mat-and-BrianPost

Representative Brian Cronin (pictured with Mat above) Endorsed Mat Erpelding

"Mat will act as a steward for progressive legislation, and has the tenacity required by any Democrat in the Idaho Legislature. Mat has been working to build the party behind-the-scenes for several years, and understands that in Idaho, building a strong Democratic party outside of Ada County is essential. Mat has a breadth and depth of leadership experience that will be beneficial to District 19 and to all of Idaho." - Brian Cronin

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YOUR SUPPORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. DONATE HERE

Remembering Sunshine, 2 May 1972

May 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Sunshine Mine disaster. If memory serves, the Sunshine fire remains the worst hardrock disaster and one of the worst mining disasters in US mining since mine safety laws were put into place after 1779 men died in US mines in just 3 years (1907-1909). 91 people died in the Sunshine fire, including rescuers who succumbed to the smoke.

Some links: US Mine Rescue's account, and recent Sunshine Mine Interviews by NPR.

Vote for Branden Durst

Who is Branden Durst?

In November 2006, Branden Durst was first elected to the Idaho House of Representatives by beating a long time incumbent. The race was never considered to be in doubt until Durst pulled out the surprise upset of the year. The campaign and what has followed demonstrate Branden's tireless devotion to public service.

Background
Branden Durst was born at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho in January of 1980. He was raised in Southeast Boise and attended the local public schools through high school, where he became a third generation graduate of Boise High School. Branden went on to attend Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), where he studied political science, economics, and communication. While at PLU, Branden earned a scholarship for speech and debate. Additionally, Branden worked throughout this time to assist in paying for his college education.

After graduating from PLU, Branden went on to graduate school, first at Kent State University and then to Claremont Graduate University (CGU), studying public policy analysis and international political economy, respectively. Prior to completing his degree at CGU, Branden returned to Boise and began working at Micron Technology in the strategic communication division. He completed his graduate coursework at Boise State University (BSU). During his time at BSU, Branden was awarded a research assistant position in the Department of Economics.

In July of 2006, Branden and his wife Jaime were married in Bayview, Washington. Branden is the proud father of three boys, Nicholas (10), Broden (7), and Carter (4) and one daughter, Graciana (3). Branden is the managing partner of Rational Strategy Consulting, a market and policy research firm he operates along with his business partner. The Dursts fellowship at Vineyard Boise where they are puppeteers for the Children's Ministry. Branden enjoys going fishing, and watching international soccer.

Innovative Leadership
Branden's time in the Idaho House of Representatives was marked by his unique ability to think of new ideas to challenges that plague state government as well as his ability to think independently. Branden's supporters and critics agree that his approach to policymaking is unique and thoughtful. Branden credits this to his professional and academic background in policy analysis and a desire to make the right decision, not necessarily the popular one.

In his first legislative session, Branden was the only member of the House Business Committee to oppose legislation that would have mandated that individuals give results from DNA tests to insurance companies so that they could be used against them in setting rates. Despite being a relative newcomer, Branden's independence and thoughtfulness were on full display as he led the charge in the House to defeat this intrusive policy. This was only one of many other examples where Branden has shown his unique qualities that make him an innovative leader.

In the 2010 legislative session, Branden once again demonstrated his knack for innovation. In this case, Branden was the co-author and co-sponsor of the Mastery Advancement Pilot Project (MAPP). MAPP was designed as a completely voluntary program to assist gifted students accelerate through course curriculum at their pace. The program was widely accepted and acclaimed as, "the most innovative education concept to hit the Statehouse since the late 1990s (Idaho Press Tribune Editorial, March 7, 2010)." MAPP was passed with large, bipartisan margins in both the House and the Senate. The process Branden went through in the development of MAPP is a perfect illustration of his commitment to bipartisanship.

Branden served on three standing committees in the House; Education, Business, and Health & Welfare. In addition, Branden's expertise in the technology sector was utilized as an appointed member of the Information Technology Resource Management Council, the State of Idaho's primary IT strategy group.

For more information, including Durst on the issues, see: durstforidaho.com

Twitter: @DurstforIdaho

Donate Here and help Idaho's working families have a voice in Boise!

Turn off the Bat Signal

Don't Tempt Me

Don't bait me, old man. I would be as an Idaho Gray Wolf having my way with a cardboard box full of mewling tabby kittens. Now calm down.
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Things Idaho Republicans and their Legislature are Better Than:

Making love to a howling Husqvarna chainsaw wielded by a pirate.
Getting a script of Hydrocodone for a very painful blown shoulder and getting this cool new roommate named Ryan Leaf on the same day.
Siamese cats in heat outside your open window the day after you come home with your new heart pacemaker.
Kneeling to worship on Easter and realizing Rick Santorum and family are seated next to you
Pitbulls named Turbo, Axle, TNT, Mugga, or Kafka
Your girlfriend asking you one morning if you'd read about this new yeast infection that can infect men turning them into simpering little cowards with diseased testicles the size of chickpeas
Cow wallpaper
Finally meeting Serephin and Sisyphus for beers and discovering all they want to talk about are their FREAKING DRUM CIRCLES in parks.
Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant when members of the non-demonic human race needing them die in hospitals.

When Native Tongues Go Silent. Idaho State Moves Toward Solutions

Crossposted on Daily Kos and on The JHub

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Cherokee:

Yigaquu osaniyu adanvto adadoligi nigohilvi nasquv utloyasdi nihi

(May the Great Spirit's Blessings Always Be With You)

Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn

(All My Relations In Creation)

Lakota:

Wakan Tankan Nici Un

(May the Great Spirit walk with you)

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin

(We Are All Related)

"Languages around the world are disappearing at a fantastic rate, especially indigenous languages in areas where European nations took control," - Beverly Klug, Idaho State University education professor.

According to Marianne Mithun, author of The Languages of Native North America, there are languages with no clear distinction between nouns and verbs, and languages that can give tense and conditionality to adjectives. We have languages that use different pronouns for a 'we' that includes the person being addressed, and a 'we' that excludes that person.

How can we retain a record of people here on Earth who have created alternative linguistic structures that are even more unfamiliar to English speakers? How can educators open minds to the astonishing variety of ways human verbal communication can be categorized and organized?

I first met Beverly Klug in 2004 when I began a stint of teaching for four years at Idaho State University. We had a vibrant exchange on topics from literature in the classroom to the rampant discrimination against Native Americans that was evident in Southeast Idaho.

That is why I was delighted to see her as one of the organizers of a "Symposium on Indigenous Languages: Retention and Revitalization," geared to increase discussion and awareness of the issues concerning indigenous language loss, April 10-12 in the Rendezvous Complex Suites A-C.

Even though federal legislation exists protecting Native languages and Executive Orders have been issued by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reiterating that language and culture are to be part of the education provided for American Indian children in the United States, this information is widely unknown or afforded in public schools. Speakers will provide many answers concerning this area of inquiry for those who attend, with opportunities for discussion for participants.

The symposium's original speaker lineup has changed and the schedule below reflects those changes. Reservations for the April 11 luncheon need to be made by April 3 to Rebecca Clover at 282- 2629 or clovrebe@isu.edu before April 3.  read more »

An Open Letter to Pro-Life Activists

[Ed.Note: from the blog RavenWareConsulting; used with kind permission.]

I respect your passion and dedication to something you believe in so strongly, I only ask that you respect my position, even if you don’t agree with it. I am not pro abortion; I am 60 years old, and fortunately I was never faced with that decision, and if I had been I am not sure what my decision would have been. But I can tell you this, there are instances where I would not have wanted a child.

Rape seems to be discounted so easily; as if it does not happen often and should not be taken into consideration. Incest is another situation where young women of child bearing age are exposed to a potential unwanted pregnancy. Rape does not have to be violent, and done by a stranger, it can be nothing more than you told someone No, and they forced you anyway. But you were afraid of pushing back; he is bigger and stronger then you are and you are afraid. You did not want to do it, you laid there just waiting for it to be over and you would never have to see this person again.

Or you laid there, knowing that this person would do it again and again because he thought your body belonged to him, and you were afraid to leave. There was no love in this act, and any pregnancy that came as a result was not a wanted or loved child. So lets say you got your way and abortion is illegal, do you really think that would stop me from terminating an unwanted fetus? Maybe I am only 15 and my family would kick me out. Maybe my boyfriend abuses me physically and I am afraid of what he will do if he knows I am pregnant because it would be my fault. What are my options? Find a back alley doctor that will used dirty implements to remove this unwanted fetus? So maybe I do carry this child to term; rejected by family, boyfriend and friends; do you think I am eating healthy? Do I have the money to see doctors and take care of myself? Probably not, and when I have this baby, more than likely unhealthy at birth, and certainly not loved or wanted you will send me out on the street to try and take care of ourselves. You can certainly judge me, I should not have had sex outside of marriage; you can try to force your morals and religious beliefs on me, but this is not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. The Jesus and God that I read about is loving and caring and understands that we are human.

And the Republican party is against social programs, so where is my child that you have forced me to have going to be loved, fed, educated and raised in a stable environment. Healthcare will not be available; programs like Head Start will be gone; and I don’t have a high school education, where am I going to find a job?  read more »

Senator Chuckles' public profile somewhere between snake bellies and whale poop

Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder is trying to keep a low profile right now. He did send out an email to his constituents today, where he wrote about legislation he worked on this week. He mentioned Texting While Driving, Homeowners Exemption, the Charter School Cap, Concussions and the new Capitol Parking Garage.

Hmmm. Does it seem like something's missing there? Hold on, hold on, don't tell me, let me figure it out...

Looney Toons

The continuing adventures of major asshole Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder and his State Mandated Rape bill against the women of Idaho.

The bill, S1387, may not be dead for certain yet, but it's pining for the fjords. And Senator Chuckles, who up until yesterday was running unopposed for re-election, now has a terrific Democratic candidate by the name of James Mace climbing into the ring to kick Winder's flabby ass all around District 20.

Have I mentioned...?

Chuck Winder is an asshole:

Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, which requires woman to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand when they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Have I mentioned that Chuck Winder is an asshole? He is -- he's an asshole. And not just any run-of-the-mill asshole. Chuck Winder is a grade-A, government-inspected, groundhog's asshole. A 5-star asshole. Asshole Prime.

I did say he's an asshole, right?

Ultrasound Publicity Stunt by Brandi Swindell and Other Extremists

After the senate vote on the state rape bill, Senator Nuxoll stated:

Stanton Health Care, a crisis pregnancy center, will sponsor a live ultrasound demonstration in the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon entitled, “Voices from the Womb.” Three Stanton clients, one in each trimester of pregnancy, will participate, Nuxoll said. “Idaho will be the first state in the nation to have a live ultrasound display in the Statehouse,” she said....

Betsy noted that, actually, Ohio did this last year. While not novel, both stunts suggest a coordinated national campaign to the additional cost for the unnecessary procedure. So who is this Stanton Healthcare sponsoring the stunt? The answer is right in this video.

Its clear by Brandi's breathless recitation, that 1) despite God providing her a "medical facility" she has no interest in performing science based health care; 2) ultrasounds seem to be the single most critical item in the facility; and 3) the most "amazing" thing about the space is that God put it right next to Planned Parenthood.  read more »

"Welcome to Idaho Where You Can Almost Taste the Crazy"

Kudos to my friend for this gem about the Gem State. As we're both natives, it pains us to acknowledge this.

Idaho is the Latest Front on Republican War on Women

On March 19, 2012, the Idaho Senate passed SB 1387, mandating a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure for anyone contemplating an abortion in Idaho. In debating the legislation he authored, Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Chauvinistan) argued:

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Winder said, “I believe the state does have an interest in the life of the unborn. That's what the debate's about. Does it add cost? Yes, it does. I would just ask you to consider the pricelessness of the unborn.” He noted the Senate's recent commemoration of military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past year. “Each person has a life story,” Winder said. “Those were cut short. Let's not choose to cut others short.”

The inherent assumptions underlying the Senator's comments are currently making national news here on HuffPo and here on Addicting Info. John Miller further inquired of Senator Winder in a piece published in the Washington Post. The article contains some outraged responses to Winder's argument from State Representative Cheri Buckner Webb (D-Boise).

After a rape, Buckner-Webb said, a doctor should be performing medical procedures to ensure a woman’s health, gathering evidence of a crime and taking measures to assure that she has the necessary support.

“Those are the things they should be checking — not the context. That’s an affront,” Buckner-Webb said. “Let me tell you, a comment like that is very painful. A comment like that is what keeps women from coming forward” when they’ve been victimized by a violent attack.

Senator Winder's campaign Facebook page is replete with commentary from detractors on the matter. Butch Otter is a self described libertarian and its anybody's guess whether those credentials will present themselves to veto the ultrasound legislation.  read more »

First District Democratic Candidate Arrested

Nearing the close of the candidate deadline for this year's races, many political observers expressed surprise to see a locally infamous, yet politically unknown, name pop up as a candidate in the hope to challenge incumbent Raul Labrador for congress in Idaho's first congressional district. Cynthia Clinkingbeard is a doctor who lost her license to practice in Idaho in 2005, reportedly for mental health issues. Approximately a week after filing she was arrested on three counts of aggravated battery for brandishing a weapon at a Boise area Staples store. She was arraigned on the felony counts Monday with her attorney seeking to get her hospitalized.

Clinkingbeard’s attorney, Bret Shoufler, told the judge his client was likely in a “hypo-manic state” when she went into the store and felt that a better place for her would be in a secure medical setting, like a hospital, instead of a jail cell.

Fourth District Magistrate Michael Oths decided to set bond at $100,000, but also told Shoufler he would be willing to approve a furlough from the jail for Clinkingbeard when arrangements could be made for a secure room in a medical facility.

Her candidacy was/is dubious and filing for the position may have been one of the erratic events the College of Western Idaho cited as a reason to suspend her employment last week.

Dr. Clinkingbeard's arrest emphasizes the limited and shrinking resources available to the mentally ill in Idaho. Last year Idaho Republicans slashed Medicaid funding by over $100 million and at the cost of 4000 Idaho jobs. Moreover the cuts were pound foolish merely shifting the burden to other budgets like Corrections and the CAT Fund. This year, Chief Justice Burdick noted that since 2006 there has been a 151% increase in mental health court filings. Ignoring the warning signs of this growing problem will not make it go away.  read more »

Idaho State Senator Wants to Manipulate and Control Reproductive Organs of Complete Strangers Against Their Will

Idaho GOP State Sen. Chuck Winder has decreed that the Gem State's government is now small enough to fit inside a woman's uterus, and he damn well intends to establish a beachhead. Chuck Winder is a dangerous asshole.

TVA has a terrific write-up about this travesty on his uber-blog-of-all-Idaho-blogs, Ft. Boise. Here's an excerpt:

Senator Michelle Stennett, the Minority Caucus chair gave the longest, and most detailed debate against the bill, at the beginning of the debate, identifying five specific reasons why it would be bad law.

• Ultrasounds are not free. None of the providers prepared to offer "free" services are abortion providers.

• In spite of it not being made explicit, in the case of early pregnancy, the bill would effectively require transvaginal ultrasound.

• The medical emergency provision as written does not apply to the new sections; it lacks a provision for "reasonable, medical judgment."

• It conflicts with the Medical Consent Act, giving adult persons in this state the fundamental right to make their own decisions for their health care.

• It is likely to violate the privacy of patients, in that they would have to sign a statement which will become a public record.

Next time you see Senator "State Rape is good" Winder, be sure to salute him for all the fine work he's done for the women in Idaho.

If I Ran This Stupid State Addendum 4.3

Prior to removing their children from public schools to receive a religious-themed homeschooling, Idaho parents would be required to submit their children to a trans-metaphysical "soulogram" probe by a licensed atheist to include a recording of the actual absence of a soul. Parents would have the right to refuse to listen to the silence from a sentient human body devoid of any essence, spirit or other magical construction of "soul."

Prior to entering Idaho to live or temporarily work in a community with less than 20% minority population per the most current US Census, all Caucasian non-residents are required to submit to a trans-chromosomal "colorogram" to determine if they have any non-white genetic material. Individuals would have the right to refuse to listen to the automated voice stating their racial subtypes. Individuals lacking any racial diversity would not be allowed to reside in communities with less than 20% minority populations.

Prior to receiving purchase scripts for the following foodstuffs and spices often used in the preparation of squirrel meat, to include but not be limited to ketchup, tomato sauces, salt and pepper, salsa, flour, white and brown sugar, onion, potatoes, cabbage, teriyaki sauce, applesauce, chicken broth and beef bouillon, Idaho residents must submit to a trans-deliverance"rubeogram" to discern the sounds of banjos, washboards, pickup trucks idling, chainsaws, wolf hybrids howling, meth lab explosions. Individuals may not refuse to listen to the sounds of their internal hills and hollers if they intend to ingest Idaho's squirrels.

My One Interview w DFO

DFO: I'm cure-hee!-((us)) why you pick so man-he fights?

Me: I totally don't get the "cure-hee!-((us)) for "curious"

DFO: How about an ap-hollow-gee once in awhile?

Me: That's your fkn favorite isn't it? You gotta re-TIRE it, man.

DFO: re-TIRE is great! The seasoned citizens will love that!

Me: Seasoned citizens sounds like some depraved cannibalistic act involving spices and meat tenderizer. Dave, are you a cannibal?

DFO: You are itch-ZING for a trip to the cooler, sport

Me: WTF is the zing about? You're forcing it all the time.

DFO: That's it, buddy.

Me: You can't cooler me, I'm sitting in your fkn cubicle.

DFO: Cube-ick-hell!

Me: I taught you that one.

DFO: Hat Tip to you!

Me: Yeah. You're well-cum.

DFO: ???

Me: I have a thing for swarth.

DFO: !!!

Me: Thought I should let you no.

FREEDOM ISN'T A PURPLE BERRY ASSHOLE

I am filled with a molten outrage over the banning of Sisyphus from a mid-sized city newspaper blog representing and pandering to the Homo Neanderthalenus-Drosophila Melanogaster hybrids of North Idaho.

It isn't because I actually read the grinding scroll of that hideous newspaper forum, although Sisyphus certainly cracks open their rickety outhouse door of pungent, gaseous diatribes and echo chambering with his reality-based commentary and gentle nudging of the resident Lord of the Outhouse People, but I have many more important endeavors to engage in during the day, e.g. memorizing the entire Joe Jackson catalog for "New Wave Brit Invasion Karaoke Night" down at the Dew Drop Wagon Wheel Inn.

But it just flaps my forward gunwales to imagine an America where the free exchange of ideas, even if they contradict or are too logical and humane for the Outhouse People to absorb or even allow to rattle around in their severely sloped and carbuncle covered heads like ball bearings in a gumball machine in the back of an 86 Subaru Brat (the official Car-Truck of North Idaho), is stifled by a tinpot internet Dictator presiding over his swampy banana republic of morons, jethros, hillbillies, wingnuts, assholes, teabaggers, snowballers, pukes, birthers, bible slapping Jesus monkeys, bikers, hellions, scofflaws, and rubes.

Seriously, compare Boise to Coeur D'Alene? My God, that is like comparing a fish with lungs learning to motate on muddy land with an intestinal flatworm clinging with a gaping starving maw for bits of semi-digested squirrel and beans.

Be that as it may, since I don't read it anyway and have been myself banned for over a year I don't suspect a boycott by me will be of any import.

HOWEVER I CAN STILL POST ANGRY PROTESTY YOUTUBES. GO TO HELL HBO

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