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Ken Burns: Why I am voting for Barack Obama
Manchester Union Leader ^ | October 18, 2012 | Ken Burns

Posted on 10/20/2012 4:29:19 AM PDT by billorites

One of my favorite movies of all time is Frank Capra's “It's A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart. In the film, Stewart's character, a despondent and near suicidal George Bailey, who runs a small savings and loan in the town of Bedford Falls, is given a gift: the chance to see what his town would be like if he'd never been born — if he'd never extended a helping hand to his neighbors when they needed it most, never helped his community understand how much they depended upon one another.

In this alternative vision, the town's plutocratic banker, Mr. Potter — without the decent George Bailey to counter him — rules everything. A bottom-line-is-everything, every-man-for-himself mentality runs unchecked, resulting in Bedford Falls' metamorphosis into “Pottersville,” an amoral, soulless place.

The movie has a happy ending, thank goodness, but its themes endure to this day and echo in the current presidential election, which at its core asks the question: What kind of country are we? Are we Bedford Falls or Pottersville? Are we all in this together — and stronger and better because of it — or are we entirely on our own, with a few “makers” on the top of a heap of “takers?”

I'm supporting President Barack Obama because there is no question about his answer to that question. Having observed Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, and then watching him in the Republican primaries as he tacked this way and that whenever it suited him (but mostly to the far right, the Tea Party radicals, even the birthers), I can't be sure of him.

As a student of American history, let me give some perspective. Much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt (one of the subjects of a new documentary series we are working on — if Romney doesn't get his way and PBS isn't eliminated), President Obama took office at a time when lax regulation of the financial industry had brought us to the brink of a complete collapse, creating an industry that needed nearly a trillion dollars in President Bush-authorized bailouts. He also inherited two off-the-books wars that had further ballooned our budget deficit, an auto industry on the verge of bankruptcy, and a loss of prestige in the international community.

Like FDR, Obama has walked us back from the brink. He averted a depression, ended one war and put us on the path ending the other, rescued the auto industry, slowly building the sound footing necessary to have a sustained recovery — better, smarter regulation of those that brought this upon us, tax breaks to save a dwindling middle class, and a request that the very super rich, folks like Gov. Romney who have taken advantage of loopholes and deductions and off-shore accounts to amass their fortunes, pay their fair share. (Like FDR's hero, Theodore Roosevelt — also part of the new series we're making — Obama has deployed the shrewd combination of speaking softly and using a big stick. Ask Bin Laden.)

There's a lot more work to be done, obviously, but history itself suggests that changing the trajectory of things takes time and patience and, as FDR demonstrated, intelligent experimentation. (All Mitt Romney seems to offer is a return to the very policies that got us into this mess in the first place.)

Unfortunately, unlike FDR, who had great cooperation from across the aisle for many of his programs, Obama has had to pretty much go it alone. As the Republican Party ignored his gestures of compromise and bipartisanship, they also moved further and further to the right, the furthest right they have ever been since the party was founded in 1856. Further right than the days of President Ronald Reagan, who in his second inaugural address in 1985 said, “Our two-party system has served us well over the years, but never better than in those times of great challenge when we came together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans united in a common cause.”

How different, that attitude, from the Republican position of the last three years, which has taken the very process that forged our Constitution and created this great country — compromise — and tried to turn it into a dirty word.

More than a student of American history, I am also the father of four daughters. They mean the world to me, of course, and I've tried to teach them those timeless American values “It's A Wonderful Life” promotes: a small-town hard-work ethic, holding to your inner principles and not changing with the first breeze of opposition, never lying, and loving both the country and its potentiality. And they constantly point me to the future, to the essential question George Bailey faced: What can one person do to make their community a Bedford Falls instead of a Pottersville? Well, there are many things. But one of them, I think, is to vote for Barack Obama.

Ken Burns, a filmmaker from Walpole, is director of “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “The Dust Bowl” and many other documentaries.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: kenburns; obama
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1 posted on 10/20/2012 4:29:22 AM PDT by billorites
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To: billorites

Many empty heads out there


2 posted on 10/20/2012 4:30:16 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (bb)
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To: billorites

So many lies, so much idiocy...


3 posted on 10/20/2012 4:31:58 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: billorites

SENILE DEMENTIA!


4 posted on 10/20/2012 4:32:59 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: billorites

Rumor has it that his next “documentary” series,funded by American taxpayers,will be about San Francisco and will be called “The Castro”.


5 posted on 10/20/2012 4:33:09 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
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To: billorites

Honestly, this man is so deluded, it is pointless to try and counteract his Polyanna liberal dream. The fact that he has four daughters that would be further morally diminished under Obama rule makes this spew even worse.

I’m guessing as a filmaker of documentaries, he’s landed some kind of Obama Film Grant to produce an ‘unbiased’ account of American Life under Obama. No sane man would delude himself so otherwise unless he were being paid off.


6 posted on 10/20/2012 4:33:57 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: billorites
You're voting for the clown president, Mr. Burns because YOU are NEVER wrong about ANYTHING. It's a trait of the left that Obozo displays in abundance.
7 posted on 10/20/2012 4:35:40 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: billorites

He has an unnatural lust for black men. This has been evident in his work from the very beginning.


8 posted on 10/20/2012 4:36:23 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Global Warming is a religion, and I don't want to be taxed to pay for a faith that is not mine.)
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To: DuncanWaring

“More than a student of American history, I am also the father of four daughters. They mean the world to me, of course, and I’ve tried to teach them those timeless American values “It’s A Wonderful Life” promotes: a small-town hard-work ethic, holding to your inner principles and not changing with the first breeze of opposition, never lying, and loving both the country and its potentiality. And they constantly point me to the future, to the essential question George Bailey faced: What can one person do to make their community a Bedford Falls instead of a Pottersville? Well, there are many things. But one of them, I think, is to vote for Barack Obama.”

Well, if he cared so much about his daughters he wouldn’t be voting for this jackoff and neither would Frank Capra if he were alive today. Plus as a student of American history he deserves a grade of F-!


9 posted on 10/20/2012 4:36:48 AM PDT by princeofdarkness ( Nobama. No more. No way. November 2012.)
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To: billorites

lol. Obama =George Bailey.

N O T

F A I L


10 posted on 10/20/2012 4:37:49 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: billorites

I don’t have to read the artiicle. He makes his money on pbs documentaries. Romney has promised to cut funding that they receive. Finis.


11 posted on 10/20/2012 4:38:35 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: TalBlack

Father of 4 daughters and you want to dump $Trillions of debt on their shoulders.....PUTZ!


12 posted on 10/20/2012 4:38:46 AM PDT by Fred911 (YOU GET WHAT YOU ACCEPT)
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To: billorites

Stupid metrosexual fruit loop


13 posted on 10/20/2012 4:38:50 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: billorites

The man is a deluded little twit. He had ONE moderately interesting series on PBS, the Civil War, and has shown no imagination or innovation in 25 years...every documentary the same format, still photos and a David McCulloch narrative. A perfect liberal, funded by the taxpayer, showing no innovation or growth with no competition. Mitt should have mentioned Ken instead of Big Bird, but then nobody would no what the hell he was talking about...


14 posted on 10/20/2012 4:38:54 AM PDT by usafa92 ( Conservative in Jersey)
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To: billorites

Ken Burns sees his cushy job at PBS being threatened because WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!!!!!


15 posted on 10/20/2012 4:39:49 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: billorites

Ken Burns sees his cushy job at PBS being threatened because WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!!!!!


16 posted on 10/20/2012 4:39:49 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: billorites

Because you are a frickin idiot.

Reasoning like that nullifies all his work.


17 posted on 10/20/2012 4:43:35 AM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: billorites

18 posted on 10/20/2012 4:43:45 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: Fred911
Father of 4 daughters and you want to dump $Trillions of debt on their shoulders.....PUTZ!

He needs FREE birth control pills for them it's only right (sarc)

19 posted on 10/20/2012 4:43:57 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: billorites

I worked for a savings and loan. George Bailey would have been fired years before he stepped foot on that Bridge. In real life things don’t run like the movies.

Why do we treat fictional characters as if hey are real people.


20 posted on 10/20/2012 4:44:20 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (MIf you are a white conservative, you MUST be a racist. ;-))
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To: billorites
a small-town hard-work ethic

Hard-work ethics and government dependancy are antithetical. This man is truly, sadly deluded.

21 posted on 10/20/2012 4:44:50 AM PDT by stormhill
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To: billorites

So ‘Big Bird’ has finally been exposed... I didn’t realize Ken Burns was so tall. It’s too bad that he’s so short sighted.


22 posted on 10/20/2012 4:45:07 AM PDT by jerod (Pro-Abortion Gun Control Freaks & Environmental Nuts who hated Capitalism? The Nazi's)
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To: billorites

Stick this guy in the “Loone” category. 4 Daughters? He is crazy to put their futures in BO’s hands.


23 posted on 10/20/2012 4:45:53 AM PDT by marygam (#Hurry November 2012, we might not make it#)
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To: billorites

I have two daughters, Ken. I raised them to make their own way in the world, not relying on government subsidies to be successful.

I am proud to say that they both have far surpassed my modest achievements. How are yours doing?


24 posted on 10/20/2012 4:46:21 AM PDT by Makana
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To: billorites

Cocaine. It’s a hell of a drug.


25 posted on 10/20/2012 4:46:44 AM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: Gaffer

Obama film grant — I agree. There is much work ahead on the infrastructure of Barry’s image. They’re going to have to shore him up and turn him into a “Jackie Robinson” kind of character. It’s going to take years, and I’d say Ken Burns and PBS are already in preproduction.


26 posted on 10/20/2012 4:47:57 AM PDT by duckworth (Perhaps instant karma's going to get you. Perhaps not.)
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To: Vaquero
"Stupid metrosexual fruit loop"

Everything you need to know about Ken Burns can be explained in one word: Hampshire College.

27 posted on 10/20/2012 4:49:01 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: duckworth

How many undecided voters were out there just waiting to see how Ken Burns was going to vote? He is irrelevant.


28 posted on 10/20/2012 4:50:27 AM PDT by Russ (Repeal the 17th amendment)
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To: duckworth

How many undecided voters were out there just waiting to see how Ken Burns was going to vote? He is irrelevant.


29 posted on 10/20/2012 4:50:27 AM PDT by Russ (Repeal the 17th amendment)
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To: ronnie raygun

This crap begs one to question where he researched his understanding of history. Maybe someone with a good grasp of history like Beck’s researchers need to pick this little self absorbed idiot apart.


30 posted on 10/20/2012 4:51:17 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: billorites

Like most liberal intellectuals Ken Burns has to write an elaborate and mostly fictional explanation for his actions. The reality is probably far simpler - he has made a fortune from PBS, and he wants to keep his income stream and posh lifestyle going. Like most liberals he reaps outsized benefits from the tax money taken from other hard working Americans.


31 posted on 10/20/2012 4:52:02 AM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: billorites

“unfortunately, unlike FDR, who had great cooperation from across the aisle for many of his programs, Obama has had to pretty much go it alone”
Did not Obama have two years of total control?


32 posted on 10/20/2012 4:52:02 AM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate taglines but I don't know how. But bloggers do.)
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To: billorites

“Ken Burns: Why I am voting for Barack Obama”

Because he’s a socialist/Marxist little twerp!


33 posted on 10/20/2012 4:53:08 AM PDT by kenmcg (t)
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To: billorites

There must be a pony in there somewhere!


34 posted on 10/20/2012 4:54:21 AM PDT by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
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To: VaRepublican

I’m sorry Mr burns but once again your political leanings suggest that compromise means I agree with you which, I do not.


35 posted on 10/20/2012 4:54:31 AM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate taglines but I don't know how. But bloggers do.)
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To: billorites

What a miserable, selfish little communist jackass...


36 posted on 10/20/2012 4:54:38 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: billorites

Sure makes me question the veracity of every other “documentary” he’s done. Oh, and with my money, too.

Just another Dem Fluke.


37 posted on 10/20/2012 4:54:56 AM PDT by Thom Pain (U.S. Constitution is a CONTRACT!)
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To: billorites

So, let’s talk about Bedford Falls, under an Obama administration. They’d regulate businesses to the point that most would close down, and move off down the road to the next town.

Bedford Falls would have a crisis with the local banks because they might have money, but because of regulations...they really can’t loan money out unless you have outstanding collateral (zero risk is the hint here).

Bedford Falls would be trying to lure energy companies to relocate into the town and provide set-up capital...only to find each company failing within a year and carving out the set-up capital as profit.

Bedford Falls would tell you that 30 man-hours a week is the new full-time level (not forty hours). So you’d flip your employees over to 28-hour weeks to avoid any unnecessary new taxes that Bedford Falls created.

Bedford Falls would have a problem in functioning beyond the mayor’s level. Out of the nine-man city council...the mayor just won’t talk to four members under any condition. So the mayor kinda runs the city by his orders. To be honest, Bedford Falls hasn’t had a real budget agreed upon by the full city council....in three years.

Bedford Falls has the highest pension level of any city in the state, but can’t possibly ever sustain that pension.

Bedford Falls has high priorities for the school and library in the city...to the point that it’s consuming a huge amount of the yearly revenue collected.

Bedford Falls has empty houses, which the banks can’t get rid of, and they sit mostly empty.

Yeah, Bedford Falls might have been a neat place to live years ago...but this modern-age Bedford Falls is Detroit, and it’s crumbling around the edges of society. End of story.


38 posted on 10/20/2012 4:55:16 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: billorites
Barrack Obama has done nothing but try to destroy the timeless American values It's A Wonderful Life promotes.

Obama’s wears a ring adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”. So much for Obama’s opinion on Christian and American timeless values

39 posted on 10/20/2012 4:55:18 AM PDT by hflynn
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To: billorites

“In the film, Stewart’s character, a despondent and near suicidal George Bailey, who runs a small savings and loan in the town of Bedford Falls, is given a gift: the chance to see what his town would be like if he’d never been born”

Oh, if we could only make it so.


40 posted on 10/20/2012 4:55:33 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills and none dare call it treason)
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To: All
"What can one person do to make their community a Bedford Falls instead of a Pottersville?"



That is exactly the right question.

But note well the phrase "What can one person do..."

Not the President. Not the Congress. Not any agency of the Government bureaucracy.

One person.

It's up to you, Mr. Burns. You can't pass the buck to your neighbors through the agency of your vote.

It's up to YOU.
41 posted on 10/20/2012 4:56:02 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: billorites

Ken Burns forgets what really saved George was his generous businessman friend, Sam Wainright (”Hee-Haw!”) who advances him the cash he really needs. Oh and it was another independent businessman Mr. Gower the druggist who had the wherewithall to get that solution going. The kind government “we all belong to” was ready to throw Bailey in jail.


42 posted on 10/20/2012 4:56:25 AM PDT by tellw
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To: billorites
My Great Uncle Wrote that story.

What I personally know is Mr. What Potter was best at was lying for his own self interests.

Mr. Potter was a democrat taking from the poor to give to the rich.

Democrats do this every day but claim otherwise of course. The New Deal was very simply taking from the working class which includes the poor and give to big business(rich) for their pet projects

43 posted on 10/20/2012 4:57:02 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: billorites
"I am also the father of four daughters. They mean the world to me, of course, and I've tried to teach them those timeless American values “It's A Wonderful Life” promotes: a small-town hard-work ethic, holding to your inner principles and not changing with the first breeze of opposition, never lying, and loving both the country and its potentiality.

So ah, lemme' get this straight, Ken. You now want us to vote for a guy whose whole life is a lie. Like your favorite Hollywood movie, a complete fabrication. A guy who never had a real girlfriend, so he created a "composite" girlfriend for his autobiography. A guy who has sealed his birth records, and refuses to release his academic records, knowing that to do otherwise would expose him for the liar and fake that he is. A guy who never had a real job or worked hard in his entire life. A guy who hates this country and everything it stands for. You want us to vote for the head of a political party that survives solely through the use of mendacity and propaganda. And, you think there's some connection between "It's a Wonderful Life" and keeping Obama in the White House? Do you work at being stupid, or were you simply born that way?
44 posted on 10/20/2012 4:57:53 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: princeofdarkness
Dear Mr. Burns, Obama has removed “The Middle Man” from making student loans. The middle man is now on welfare. George Baily has jumped the bridge and is no longer looking for work. Mr. Potter got a job at HHS and is now running death panels. Mrs. Baily aborted their youngest daughter because she was a burden, so shes not ringing any bells. And the town of Bedford Falls? Obama told George Baily "You didn't make that". Mr. Burns, wake up and smell the coffee. Keeping your nose in the cleavage of Obamas posterior is no way to live. From the bottom of my heart, go to hell.
45 posted on 10/20/2012 4:57:53 AM PDT by PA-RIVER
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To: billorites
I find the comparison of Obama to George Baily VERY offensive.

George Baily was a true American who helped his community. He couldn't volunteer to fight for his country, so he helped raise money at home. He gave up his dreams so that he could help his family business and send his younger brother go to College. George Baily sacrificed so that others had the opportunity to succeed.

Obama is an Affirmative Action parasite. He was accepted to College and Law School simply because to the color of his skin. This while better qualified students were denied admission. Rather than accept responsibility like George Baily, Obama was forever pointing fingers and claiming that it wasn't his fault.

The only similarity between Obama and George Baily is that their actions have had a big effect on the lives of other people. But, there is a big difference. George Baily had a positive effect on people. Obama has had a negative effect. How many lives have been ruined by Obama's economic policies? The Middle East is in shambles, and American lives have been lost in Libya.

46 posted on 10/20/2012 4:58:01 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Greed + Envy = Liberalism)
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To: billorites

Whoa...if this wasn’t such serious business and the fact that our country is going down the tubes, I would laugh at this idiot! This guy has no common sense whatsoever!! I will NEVER watch any of his work again!!!


47 posted on 10/20/2012 4:58:37 AM PDT by Cricket24 (Telling the truth is not attacking someone!)
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To: DuncanWaring
You are right, Burns says "I've tried to teach them those timeless American values....never lying..." about his daughters.

I guess supporting an administration full of liars is Ken Burns' idea of "teaching" his daughters. I wonder what other great examples he provides for them.

48 posted on 10/20/2012 4:58:37 AM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: billorites

49 posted on 10/20/2012 4:58:42 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: jerod
Big Bird is a corporate trade mark of a 2.5 billion dollar industry that is tax exempt.

Why Big bird doesn't pay taxes like the rest of us should be the bases of great educational program.

50 posted on 10/20/2012 5:00:24 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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