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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/21/19

The Other Impeachment Trial

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GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy spews lie after lie in response to Trump's impeachment
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Besides the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, there is also a "trial" of the Republican members of congress and Trump supporters that is under way.

Former GOP Senator Jeff Flake has written an op-ed in the Washington Post. Here are some of the thoughts he offers:

"It might not be fair, but none of the successes, achievements and triumphs you've had in public office whatever bills you've passed, hearings you've chaired, constituents you have had the privilege of helping will matter more than your actions in the coming months.

President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong."

And he adds,
"...there are members of our party denying objective reality by repeating the line that "the president did nothing wrong." My colleagues, the danger of an untruthful president is compounded when an equal branch follows that president off the cliff, into the abyss of unreality and untruth."

Further he argues,

"Call it the founders' blind spot: They simply could not have envisioned the Article I branch abetting and enabling such dangerous behavior in the Article II branch. And when we are complicit, we cede our constitutional responsibilities, we forever redefine the relationship between Congress and the White House, and we set the most dangerous of precedents.

My simple test for all of us: What if President Barack Obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior? I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do."

And,
"But what is indefensible is echoing House Republicans who say that the president has not done anything wrong. He has.

The willingness of House Republicans to bend to the president's will by attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories has been an appalling spectacle. It will have long-term ramifications for the country and the party, to say nothing of individual reputations."

Flake goes on to argue that most Republican members of congress criticized Trump before he was elected, and they need to introspect as to how they have changed. He concludes, saying,
"Please don't accept an alternate reality that would have us believe in things that obviously are not true, in the service of executive behavior that we never would have encouraged and a theory of executive power that we have always found abhorrent.

If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now. And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it's too late."

The Republican legislators are on trial. So are all the Trump supporters who are buying, embracing or accepting the lies that Trump did nothing wrong. So are the non-Trump supporters who say that he should not have been impeached because the charges are not enough, or because the Democrats impeaching him are flawed.

There is no way that an honest person can deny that Trump violated the constitution, or that, as Flake says, that the Republicans would have impeached Obama if he'd done the same as Trump and they controlled the House. The Republican members of Congress who participated in the impeachment of Bill Clinton are particularly being hypocritical. Of course, some of the Democrats are also being Hypocrites.

Look, no-one is perfect, but this impeachment situation is clearly presenting the United States with a constitutional crisis. Trump is guilty of what he is charged, even if the charges are not for criminal offenses, and the charges meet the criteria the Constitution states for acting on impeachment.

I have reached a point where I feel contempt for anyone who claims that Trump does not deserve to be impeached. I can see how some would argue that the accusers are not without flaws or liabilities of their own. I can see where some argue that impeachment should have been used on Bush and Obama for their actions. But those are separate issues. Right now, we have a President who has already used the power of his office to get a foreign nation to influence an election to help him win. If he is not brought to justice, he will do it again and probably do it a lot more and a lot worse.

A recent focus group by Frank Luntz, of Democrats watching the December Democratic primary debate was asked the word they use to describe Trump supporters. Most said ignorant. I think it is more that they have become cult members who have drunk the koolaid. They may be smart. They may be goodhearted when it comes to some people, but they are brainwashed and have begun to be intolerant, even compassionless for some people, mostly people of color and "others."

I really don't think it's possible to change their minds. The only thing that may change the Republican legislators' minds is if they start seeing signs that their lies and telegraphed intentions to refuse to convict Trump will cost them their jobs, and, hopefully, their future reputations, integrity and legacy.

While I disagree with most of the values which define conservatives, I respect that they are based on good intentions. Supporting Trump and lying about him, saying he has done nothing wrong flies in the face of true conservative, or, for that matter, Evangelical Christian values, since, apparently, over 85% of Evangelicals are wholeheartedly supporting Trump.

 

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)
 

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nelswight

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What Jeff says is, for the most part, accurate and considered opinion, but I feel he overstates the unproved statement that Trump influenced foreign nations to collaborate on his election. From my viewpoint, it may have been his opponents; he seems never to have anticipated winning. There are other points to consider.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 8:49:02 PM

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Don Smith

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The perpetrators of the war in Iraq and of the 2008 Wall Street crash were not held accountable. The long arc of history may tend towards justice, but it has a long way to go.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 8:50:22 PM

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shad williams

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There is no arc of history. Tend toward justice? We are still stuck in the 2000 year old christian era...where is the justice from that mental supernatural dictatorship?

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 6:37:30 AM

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nelswight

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This fake impeachment is only a continuation of The Deep State's rejection of the election and exhibits the sweat they're beginning to exude. Get REAL!

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 9:10:22 PM

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Rob Kall

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Reply to nelswight:   New Content

Nels, you're parroting Republican, Fox News talking points.

If Trump's efforts to influence the election by witholding funds to Ukraine to force them to make statements is not abuse of power, then nothing is.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 10:11:13 PM

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Stephen Fox

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content
Rob, some folks are in reality; some have no use for reality, and some are completely estranged from anything resembling reality.


My former Senator Jeff Bingaman believes that shaking down a foreign head of state to advance one's career, under any circumstance, is an impeachable high crime.


Here is a link to my OEN quicklink on his entire statement:

Former United States Senator from New Mexico Jeff Bingaman reflects on Clinton, Trump Impeachment


Ex-Republican rises in favor of impeaching Trump Former Republican Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) justifies his support for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying the President .abused and violated. ...
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Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 12:23:36 AM

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Robert Gormley

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No, Trump committed an impeachable offense. You don't ask foreign

powers to interfere in a US election.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 2:43:11 PM

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Bear Kosik

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Where are the people who need to tell members of the GOP the indecency of them ignoring Trump's obstruction of a legitimate investigation? Tell the GOP that they were willing to impeach President Clinton for lying about his personal sex life. Put that in front of them every time they denounce impeachment as a charade or witch hunt. Confront the GOP with their lame excuse that the aid was released. Why has it been since Pelosi became head of the Democratic Party in the House that her members have not routinely and regularly castigated the Republicans for the falsehoods, unsubstantiated claims, and flat-out muckraking the GOP has become comfortable with? The Democrats, including Obama and both Clintons, have failed to teach the American public that the GOP has been swamping the media with bilge since the day Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 10:21:42 PM

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shad williams

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They were following the instructions of their masters.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 6:34:43 AM

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I'm disappointed that this poll was worded for the intelligentsia, but was answered mostly by the others. How many of those who answered "YES" (81%!) have any idea what "acquit" means?

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 10:53:49 PM

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(To Rob Kall: Excellent! Very thorough and perfectly articulate, and you have rounded out Jeff Flake's oped piece systematically.)


Jeff Flake Writes Op-Ed Calling For 'Country Over Party' During Impeachment Trial | Hardball | MSNBC In a Washington Post Op-Ed, Former Senator Jeff Flake addressed his old Republican colleagues, saying, .President Trump is on trial. But in a very real se
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Submitted on Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 at 11:10:36 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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I don't see this impeachment charade helping the Dems. Quite the opposite. Trump was in the process of revealing criminal behavior by the Biden's in Ukraine. You're not allowed to out the ruling and or political class. That's what this is about. That's not a FOX talking point. It's just observable reality. He should have been impeached for violations of the emoluments clause, but as we know, Washington is on the take on a regular basis these days. He should have been impeached for crimes against humanity at the border, but that only affects poor brown people. The Dems are protecting their own butts. This has nothing to do with protecting the constitution. That went out the window a long time ago. I will never trust anything the Dems do or say ever again. They have proven to be as corrupt as the Republicans.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 12:17:49 AM

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Whether or not the Bidens are guilty of misconduct of some kind is beside the point, as is the helpfulness of impeachment for the Democrats. If impeachment is treated as political maneuvering, then it's useless as a check on "high crimes and misdemeanors". The grounds for impeaching Clinton seem rather feeble now, but lying under oath and obstruction deserve to be seen as serious offences. Trump's offences include tampering with national security and coercion for personal favor and are of even greater seriousness.

It's a shame that so many religious evangelicals apparently still wholeheartedly support him (although I don't know what the survey questions were). That is likely a shameful betrayal of core principles on their part, as it is for Republican congressmen disrespecting Honest Abe's legacy. Such considerations have no bearing on an honest trial. If honest judgment isn't applied, then impeachment is worthless.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 3:41:05 AM

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Robert Gormley

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That's because those evangelical Christians aren't really Christians

at all. They're good at playing church and swallowing everything

their equally spiritually obtuse pastors tell them. They support

everything that Jesus detested. It's the Pharisees and Sadducces

all over again, but disguised as church leaders, Democrats, and

Republicans.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 2:49:56 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Whether or not the Bidens committed some kind of misconduct ISN'T beside the point; it illustrates the suicidal stupidity of Democrats' chosen impeachment charges. By focusing on the Ukraine--in which the Bidens played an ethically shady if not illegal role--it gives Repugs plenty of ammo to use against Democrats in the court of public opinion--a court INFINITELY more important than the Senate if we're interested in ending Trump's rein of terror. (Democrats AREN'T, by the way, or they'd put the same sort of thoughtfulness and energy into defeating Trump that they put into defeating Sanders. THAT shows where Dems' true hearts lie.)

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 8:36:57 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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Thanks for saying it for me. I've been a little busy so can't always keep up with the comment thread in a timely fashion.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 10:02:54 PM

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David Wieland

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Unless I seriously misread the article, it was about integrity -- specifically Trump's supporters' integrity and support of constitutional principles. The Bidens' integrity doesn't relate in any apparent way to the integrity of Trump and his supporters. That's why I wrote that the Bidens' possible misconduct is beside the point. I think you're reacting to a different, although related, topic.

Submitted on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 at 3:53:01 AM

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shad williams

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

What do we care about the dems or their brethren? Both should be condemned to hell, except they do not believe in hell just as they do not believe in some supernatural accountability. That means it is up to other non believers to destroy both of them.

Apocalypse visited upon the heads of humans may provide the best chance of survival for the little species of this blue gem.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 6:31:02 AM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

Biden has been exonerated from any wrongdoing. Why do you keep

ignoring Trump's obvious quid pro quo?

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 2:46:15 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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Exonerated by whom?

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 10:03:55 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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LOl!

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 11:38:37 PM

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To Lois Gagnon, who asks, "Exonerated by whom?" I offer: exonerated by me, and by those who elected Obama (and then trusted him), and who believed in a President and an administration that (we trusted) honored the Constitution and the Will of the People. We were dupes. We believed that good-ol' Joe was doing the will of the people, serving the interests of the United States, in his efforts to get a rogue nation to be more sincere and more respectable in its dealings with corrupt entities (perhaps those such as the employer of his son, Hunter). We dupes believe that Hunter's appearance there was to exonerate him personally ... from the corruption of his employer, and the corruption that had created that rich opportunity for him.

Submitted on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 at 4:48:18 AM

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Rob, I think "denies that Trump does not deserve to be impeached" is the opposite of what you meant. Perhaps "denies" should be "claims" or "insists"?

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 3:15:11 AM

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You are correct. Much appreciated

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 4:52:23 AM

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Trump is terrible in so many ways. But this editorial, The Democratic Leadership's Strategy on Impeachment Is Doomed and Dangerous, from The Nation, points out the hypocrisy of the Dems (the lesser-of-two-evils).

"It's hard to take the charge that Trump is a threat to national security seriously when Democrats in Congress are happy to help him shovel more money at the military."

"We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to," Representative Adam Schiff intoned in closing remarks before the impeachment vote. "Their [Ukraine's] fight is our fight. Their defense is our defense."

....

By the Democrats' own logic, President Obama is guilty of a far worse offense than his newly impeached successor. Whereas Trump briefly paused military funding that was ultimately delivered to Ukraine, Obama refused to send that same military funding at all. This was, in my view, a welcome decision: In resisting Beltway pressure, Obama avoided further inflaming a deadly proxy war.

....

The impeachment vote came one day after the Senate sent Trump a $738 billion Pentagon budget. The measure includes the creation of a key Trump priority, the Space Force, along with carte blanche to continue supporting Saudi mass murder in Yemen. Democrats in both chambers joined with Republicans to pass the bill in what Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna called "an astonishing act of moral cowardice" and a "complete capitulation to the White House."

It is difficult to believe that the Democrats see Trump as a threat to national security or beholden to Russia when they capitulate to his top policy preferences, particularly ones that boost the lethal military arsenal under his control. In reality, the Democratic leadership's playbook of discredited Russia conspiracy theories, Cold Warrior jingoism, and White House capitulation results from the dynamic that they have embraced since the 2016 election: challenging Trump through any means that does not fundamentally challenge the political and economic system that grants them power and privilege.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 2:40:36 PM

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Don, Aaron Mate's piece is an important one; thanks for citing it.

Among other things, it shows there's reasonable doubt that Trump tried to strong-arm the Ukrainian government by withholding military aid (detestable, misguided military aid, to boot) in the way Democrats claim. The Ukrainian government itself continues to deny it was so strong-armed, and none of the witnesses Dems called offers utterly convincing evidence to the contrary.

And Mate is right, of course, in pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of Dems in voting Trump both the bigger military budget he desired and an increase of his own powers if they seriously believe he's a threat to national security. (He IS, of course, but chiefly due to his climate policy and support for fellow right-wing dictators.The LAST thing Dems want to do, of course, is go after Trump over a climate policy they largely embrace.)

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 8:18:18 PM

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Jean Hay Bright

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So, the day after Mueller's testimony in Congress last July, Trump makes his infamous call to the new Ukrainian president, which resulted in one impeachment charge.

And now we see that, the day after Trump is impeached for withholding Congressionally approved foreign aid to Ukraine until he got his election-interfering investigation -- THE NEXT DAY -- he refuses to sign the bipartisan budget bill, threatening a government shutdown, unless the provision was removed that would have directed that foreign aid, including millions more in aid to Ukraine, be released to the designated foreign country within 45 days of being authorized. The provision was removed.

Republican Senators, please take note.

Washington Post: Trump Administration demanded Democrats strip Ukraine aid language from spending package.

click here

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 10:53:05 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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You got it right. White House threatened spending bill veto and potential shutdown over Congressional push on Ukraine payments

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 11:40:45 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Wonderful erudite piece, Rob.

Submitted on Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at 11:41:56 PM

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TruthWillPrevail2020

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Anyone that supports Trump is a cult member who drank the Kool-Aid? Talk about echo chamber delusion. People support Trump because they see they he is trying to rebuild America instead of supporting the globalist agenda, and it is obvious to them that the DEMs have been out to impeach him from day one. The Powers That Be have instructed their establishment political and media puppets to take down Trump at all costs. Why? Because he's not one of them and his DOJ is going after the real criminals. The Durham and Huber reports are going to expose some very serious traitorous activity by the Obama DOJ and FBI. Soon the 140,000+ federal sealed indictments (100 times more than the typical average) will be served, and the traitors (Comey, Brennan, McCabe, etc., and of course, Clinton and Obama) will have to explain their actions in court or military tribunal (in the recently expanded and refurbished Guantanamo Bay). Enjoy your fantasy while you can folks. Its about to get real.

Submitted on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 at 2:06:29 PM

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