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Dumb Politicians Won't Get Elected
Townhall.com ^ | December 25, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 12/25/2013 4:11:45 PM PST by Kaslin

Politicians can be progressives, liberals, conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, and right-wingers. They just can't be dumb. The American people will never elect them to office. Let's look at it.

For years, I used to blame politicians for our economic and social mess. That changed during the 1980s as a result of several lunches with Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., which produced an epiphany of sorts.

At the time, I had written several columns highly critical of farm subsidies and handouts. Helms agreed, saying something should be done. Then he asked me whether I could tell him how he could vote against them and remain a senator from North Carolina. He said that if he voted against them, North Carolinians would vote him out of office and replace him with somebody probably worse. My epiphany came when I asked myself whether it was reasonable to expect a politician to commit what he considered to be political suicide -- in a word, be dumb.

The Office of Management and Budget calculates that more than 40 percent of federal spending is for entitlements for the elderly in the forms of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing and other assistance programs. Total entitlement spending comes to about 62 percent of federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that entitlement spending will consume all federal tax revenue by 2048.

Only a dumb politician would argue that something must be done immediately about the main components of entitlement spending: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Senior citizens indignantly would tell him that what they're receiving are not entitlements. It's their money that Congress put aside for them. They would attack any politician who told them that the only way they get Social Security and Medicare money is through taxes levied on current workers. The smart politician would go along with these people's vision that Social Security and Medicare are their money that the government was holding for them. The dumb politician, who is truthful about Social Security and Medicare and their devastating impact on our nation's future, would be run out of office.

Social Security and Medicare are by no means the only sources of unsustainable congressional spending. There are billions upon billions in handouts going to farmers, corporations, poor people and thousands of federal programs that have no constitutional basis whatsoever. But a smart politician reasons that if Congress enables one group of Americans to live at the expense of another American, then in fairness, what possible argument can be made for not giving that same right to other groups of Americans? Making a constitutional and moral argument against the growth of handouts would qualify as dumb.

Let's examine some statements of past Americans whom we've mistakenly called great but would be deemed both heartless and dumb if they were around today. In 1794, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, irate over a $15,000 congressional appropriation to assist some French refugees, said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." He added, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a bill intended to help the mentally ill, saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity" ... and to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

Grover Cleveland vetoed hundreds of congressional spending bills during his two terms as president in the late 1800s. His often stated veto message was, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."

If these men were around today, making similar statements, Americans would hold them in contempt and disqualify them from office. That's a sad commentary on how we've trashed our Constitution.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina
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1 posted on 12/25/2013 4:11:45 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Dumb Politicians Won't Get Elected

Is this a new thing?

2 posted on 12/25/2013 4:14:56 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Kaslin

Oh, come on! We elect dumb politicians all the time...Patty Murray (sp), Ron Widen for a start.


3 posted on 12/25/2013 4:18:20 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush

The gal from Texas that thought we had landed an astanaut on Mars, Eleanor Holmes Norton...I could go on and on.


4 posted on 12/25/2013 4:20:11 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush

I’ll see your Patty Murray,and raise you a Cynthia McKinney.


5 posted on 12/25/2013 4:20:26 PM PST by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: gorush

And if not dumb, they’re corrupt, grossly incompetent, or mentally unbalanced.


6 posted on 12/25/2013 4:20:35 PM PST by Antihero101607
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To: Kaslin

two words: joe biden


7 posted on 12/25/2013 4:20:54 PM PST by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
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To: Kaslin

“If these men were around today, making similar statements, Americans would hold them in contempt and disqualify them from office.”

Probably, but by failing to take action to reduce spending, the politicians have gone from dumb to idiotic. Sooner or later the dollar will collapse. Yeah, it’s a catch 22. But so what? The politicians were elected to deal with it.

“That’s a sad commentary on how we’ve trashed our Constitution.”

Who is this “we?” I had nothing to do with it. My family had nothing to do with it. I daresay the overwhelming majority of FReepers had nothing to do with it. So how is this “our” responsibility?

Answer: it isn’t. We didn’t trash the Constitution. So don’t expect me to line up as some sort of indentured servant to do the clean up.


8 posted on 12/25/2013 4:21:02 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Getting some small say in who will get to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
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To: Farmer Dean

Amen to that...there’s a Moore from here in Wisconsin...dumb as a box of rocks but black and down with the struggle which is all her constituents care about. They cannot be embarrasses by their demonstrable ignorance.


9 posted on 12/25/2013 4:24:17 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Still Thinking

Politicians are smarter than you are.
You didn’t even know that Guam might capsize.


10 posted on 12/25/2013 4:24:49 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: gorush

...embarrassed...


11 posted on 12/25/2013 4:24:52 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: camle; All

It’s the dumb and ignorant voters that elect and reelect them.


12 posted on 12/25/2013 4:25:43 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

How ‘bout the politician that was worrying about an island turning over and sinking from the weight of a new airport?


13 posted on 12/25/2013 4:25:49 PM PST by ThePatriotsFlag (...and to the Republic for which it stood.)
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To: Kaslin

Sheila Jackson Lee is as dumb as a bag of hammers yet is reelected time and again.


14 posted on 12/25/2013 4:28:58 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (From time to time the.tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.)
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To: Kaslin

I would like to argue that point!


15 posted on 12/25/2013 4:29:00 PM PST by bayliving
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To: Kaslin

Maxine Waters, Alan Greyson, just for starters. Oh, and how about Hussein! Elected twice (although I still say fraudulently).


16 posted on 12/25/2013 4:29:54 PM PST by JudyinCanada
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To: Farmer Dean
Ill see youre Cynthia McKinny and Patty Muirphy and Raise you one Bela Pelosi!


17 posted on 12/25/2013 4:30:43 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Visit http://icantenroll.com/ In Glitch We Trust....;o})
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To: Kaslin
That's a sad commentary on how we've trashed our Constitution.

Yo What iz da constitution ya'll is mad stupid.

18 posted on 12/25/2013 4:30:52 PM PST by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: All

Dumb article.
What the heck happened to Walter Williams? He used to be very smart.. and wise.

The rest of the article is fine, but the title and first paragraph are like Al Gore or Karl Rove wrote them.


19 posted on 12/25/2013 4:31:00 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Kaslin

Our smartest President, James Garfield, was shot by a lunatic, Charles Guiteau but killed by his Doctor, Doctor Doctor Bliss (Yes, his first name was Doctor) due to his refusal to listen to the new medical discovery of the day by Lister (Listereen) who showed that germs can infect a wound...which is what caused Garfield’s death due to Bliss’s continual search for the bullet with a dirty probe. The bullet wound, if left “untreated” would not have been fatal.


20 posted on 12/25/2013 4:33:19 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Kaslin
We're misunderstanding Walter's definition of "dumb" in the specific context. He's not talking about IQ, education or even common sense; he's talking about being in touch with the electorate's pulse. In short, knowing to not cross the voters. A true statesman would work to educate the citizenry but to simply ignore their concerns is a recipe for political suicide.

Republicans have learned to fear being on the wrong side of libs; we need to retrain them to fear being on the wrong side of US!

21 posted on 12/25/2013 4:37:11 PM PST by stormhill
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To: LegendHasIt

I think what Williams is saying is, a smart politician tells voters what they want to hear and a dumb one doesn’t. There’s no relationship between actual intelligence and ability to do this, especially when an army of advisors is available to the candidate.

Put another way, America is getting the government it deserves.


22 posted on 12/25/2013 4:39:15 PM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Farmer Dean
I’ll see your Patty Murray,and raise you a Cynthia McKinney.

And I'll raise you a Barbara Boxer.
23 posted on 12/25/2013 4:41:00 PM PST by Signalman
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To: stormhill; NittanyLion

Wow, two people who actually get the point of Dr. Williams’ piece.
Well, three if you count me /grin


24 posted on 12/25/2013 4:47:09 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s ((If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: Kaslin

We got to dumbass chicks for Senators here in the state of euphoria (WA).
It’s all about Pork. Bringing home the Bacon!
Oh, and a former congressman for Governor to boot.
MmmmmmmmBacon!
Print more bacon please.
More prevailing wage jobs please. Oh and don’t forget the boeing tax breaks.
Win the unions win the state that’s where were at here.
(ramblings of wash state conservative during cybalta withdrawel.)


25 posted on 12/25/2013 4:48:51 PM PST by right way right (What's it gonna take? (guillotines?))
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Hey at least she remembers that our astronauts planted an American Flag on Mars. I had forgot all about that. I’m sure you forgot too. I would wager that most Americans don’t remember the manned missions to Mars.


26 posted on 12/25/2013 4:52:44 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Did the ancients know they were ancients? Or did they see themselves as presents?)
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To: Kaslin

Hank Johnson may be the winner for dumb, although there are many DemocRAT entries. Hank worries about the island of Guam tipping over and capsizing. That performance eclipses by a substantial amount Sheila Jackson Lee, who is on the Space subcommittee, believing U.S. astronauts planted a flag on Mars.

ENJOY MOCKING HANK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg


27 posted on 12/25/2013 5:01:23 PM PST by doug from upland (Obama and the leftists - destroying our country one day at a time)
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To: ThePatriotsFlag

See my post#12


28 posted on 12/25/2013 5:03:53 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

See my post#12


29 posted on 12/25/2013 5:04:25 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: MrEdd

And Debbie Stab-me-now (D-SpecialTown) knows that global warming is real cause she can feel it when she flies on airplanes! How can we poor foolish hobbits compete with stunning intellects like these??


30 posted on 12/25/2013 5:04:27 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: JudyinCanada

See my post#12 these “progressives” can not win an honest election. They need the ignorant to help them


31 posted on 12/25/2013 5:10:34 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

How do you explain Joseph E. Biden?


32 posted on 12/25/2013 5:17:37 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: Signalman

“And I’ll raise you a Barbara Boxer.”

And, I’ll happily front you the chips on that bet for a
small piece of the action. BTW, you do realize that
Babsie worked hard to earn the title ‘Senator’.


33 posted on 12/25/2013 5:19:29 PM PST by Sivad (NorCal red turf)
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To: MrEdd
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Must see YouTube video! (no joke--he was dead serious!)

March 2010:

Democrat Representative Hank Johnson fears Guam may "tip over" and "capsize" due to overpopulation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg

34 posted on 12/25/2013 5:22:30 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: gorush
Outstanding book:

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Garfield had so much to offer this country.

35 posted on 12/25/2013 5:23:17 PM PST by Drew68
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To: Drew68

Thanks, I’ll look for it.


36 posted on 12/25/2013 5:24:02 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: MrEdd
Wikipedia has since removed most of the content below. But you can find it easily elsewhere.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of the U.S. House
of Representatives
from Texas's 18th district

On a visit to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2005, Jackson Lee made embarrassing news by asking if the Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong.[2]

Prior to the 110th Congress, Jackson Lee served on the House Science Committee and on the Subcommittee that oversees space policy and NASA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Jackson_Lee#Political_career

37 posted on 12/25/2013 5:24:13 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Kaslin

It’s a comforting thought but it’s wrong.

The congress and senate are packed with some of the dumbest people walking the streets of America.

They may be sly and manipulative enough to mislead and cheat hordes of people or have enough smart and wealthy backers to weasel their way into office.
But that doesn’t mean they posses usable wisdom or intelligence.

Barack Obama:
Calls a Navy corpsman a “Navy Corpse-man.”
Thinks Austrian is a language.
“We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad.”
“I’ve now been in 57 states - I think one left to go.”
Refers to Hawaii as being part of Asia

Congressman Hank Johnson:
Worries that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee:
“Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working.
Asked NASA about the American flag flying on Mars


38 posted on 12/25/2013 5:24:28 PM PST by Iron Munro (Orwell: There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.)
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To: Kaslin

Veto Message - February 16, 1887

House of Representatives:

I return without my approval House bill No. 10203, entitled “An act to enable the Commissioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of seeds in the drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an appropriation therefor.”

It is represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops and consequent distress and destitution.

Though there has been some difference in statements concerning the extent of the people’s needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for relief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return of an unfortunate blight.

And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

It is within my personal knowledge that individual aid has to some extent already been extended to the sufferers mentioned in this bill. The failure of the proposed appropriation of $10,000 additional to meet their remaining wants will not necessarily result in continued distress if the emergency is fully made known to the people of the country.

It is here suggested that the Commissioner of Agriculture is annually directed to expend a large sum of money for the purchase, propagation, and distribution of seeds and other things of this description, two-thirds of which are, upon the request of Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress, supplied to them for distribution among their constituents.The appropriation of the current year for this purpose is $100,000, and it will probably be no less in the appropriation for the ensuing year. I understand that a large quantity of grain is furnished for such distribution, and it is supposed that this free apportionment among their neighbors is a privilege which may be waived by our Senators and Representatives.

If sufficient of them should request the Commissioner of Agriculture to send their shares of the grain thus allowed them to the suffering farmers of Texas, they might be enabled to sow their crops, the constituents for whom in theory this grain is intended could well bear the temporary deprivation, and the donors would experience the satisfaction attending deeds of charity.

GROVER CLEVELAND


39 posted on 12/25/2013 5:24:32 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: LegendHasIt
Did you read what you wrote?

You wrote:

"Dumb article."

Then you went on after your criticism against Professor Williams

"The rest of the article is fine, but the title and first paragraph are like Al Gore or Karl Rove wrote them."

Either you find the entire article dumb and not just the title and the first paragraph but you can't say the article is dumb

Sorry, but can't have it both ways. So make up your mind

40 posted on 12/25/2013 5:24:37 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: stormhill

Exactly


41 posted on 12/25/2013 5:25:51 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: gorush

All you have to do is look to the demonrats in taxifornia to prove it wrong. Can you say Nancy pelosi? She’s the queen of dumb and then just follow the list down.


42 posted on 12/25/2013 5:25:52 PM PST by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: stormhill

Another strong argument for term limits. Legislators who do not have to worry about being re-elected have better options.


43 posted on 12/25/2013 5:26:18 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: reg45
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

44 posted on 12/25/2013 5:26:25 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: gorush

Astanaut?


45 posted on 12/25/2013 5:27:23 PM PST by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: Drew68

I found it on Audible and have ordered it. Thanks again! I’m a big history buff. I get four books/month and have for twelve years...LOVE history.


46 posted on 12/25/2013 5:27:28 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: stormhill
Also it looks like many are not reading the article but just skimming through it.

The same thing happened the other day about an article that was posted

47 posted on 12/25/2013 5:29:34 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Drew68

It turns out that I have already listened to this book which, apparently, is where my knowledge came from...yes, it was a great book.


48 posted on 12/25/2013 5:31:34 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Osage Orange

I left out a “u”, didn’t I. Thanks for pointing my mistype out, I really appreciate it.


49 posted on 12/25/2013 5:33:18 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: doug from upland

This is not exactly what Walter E. Williams meant. You are correct though. It is the ignorant that keep reelecting these idiots


50 posted on 12/25/2013 5:35:11 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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