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Americans are playing poker online? Oh, the humanity!
Las Vegas Review-Journal ^ | 10/13/06 | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted on 10/13/2006 5:03:36 PM PDT by KDD

EDITORIAL: Internet gambling 'ban'

Americans are playing poker online? Oh, the humanity!

Of the myriad policy crises churning on the horizon -- entitlement insolvency, illegal immigration and runaway federal spending among them -- congressional Republicans chose to spend the little political capital they have left on an Internet gambling ban.

With brick-and-mortar casinos in nearly every state and card games breaking into network television, millions of moralists found it unbearable that Americans were wagering about $6 billion per year on the Web. That their neighbors might be playing poker or placing sports bets from the comfort of their desk chairs demanded federal intervention. "Ban it!" they cried. "Misguided citizens will lose their homes! Their children will starve! Families will be destroyed!"

Never mind the folly of legislating leisure. (That Prohibition thing was a rousing success, wasn't it? And certainly, no sports wagering takes place outside of Nevada.) Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was determined to please his base with a new law before November's election, no matter how flawed or misguided it might be.

The cause was so preposterous it couldn't win passage as a stand-alone bill. Sen. Frist first tried to attach the Internet gambling ban to a defense appropriations bill. No luck. So he slipped it into port security legislation that passed the House and Senate early Saturday. A Bush administration official indicated the president plans to sign the bill into law.

And so no children will be forced into homelessness, their parents now prohibited from using personal checks, credit cards or electronic fund transfers to pay off Internet bets placed with online casinos and sports books. The costly, irresistible temptation of playing games of chance on personal computers has been eradicated. Right?

Wrong. Not only did Sen. Frist have to lard up the ports bill to win passage for his pet project, he included enough exemptions to rival the IRS tax code.

The bill permits Web-based betting on horse racing and for state lotteries. It also allows state-licensed casinos, once authorized within their jurisdiction, to construct Web sites with online poker and casino-style gaming. And these casinos would be allowed to provide links to other states and countries where gambling is legal.

So rather than deliver a "ban," Sen. Frist merely cut off the American market from online gambling sites based in Britain and the Caribbean. Like most heavy-handed regulations, this "ban" is really just thinly veiled protectionism.

"In order to get this bill passed, they (Republicans) sold their souls. They gave so many exceptions that it's now a wide-open area," attorney Tony Cabot, editor of the Internet Gambling Report and co-editor of the Gaming Law Review, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

This Internet gambling "ban" is nothing close to a ban at all -- and that's a good thing. It's foolish to think the Internet gambling genie can be stuffed back into its bottle. Technology is driving the evolution of the gaming industry, so it makes perfect sense that regulated American companies should be allowed to conduct business with their millions of customers through the World Wide Web.

The bill could bring some short-term pain to MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment, which use Internet poker sites to place some entrants in their own poker tournaments. But they'll figure out how to rebuild their qualification networks. The opportunities now available to Nevada gaming companies are staggering in their scope.

"The casino lobbyists in Washington, D.C., thought this was a pretty good deal. It's actually better than that," Mr. Cabot said. "It really opens up the field. It knocks out the offshore companies, and leaves the legal licensees open to take their positions."

It remains to be seen, however, whether the American conservatives who demanded this legislation will think it's a good deal. More likely, they'll realize sometime soon that they've been taken by a sucker bet.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: forthechildren
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Anyone else tired of GOP pandering to the religous right?
1 posted on 10/13/2006 5:03:37 PM PDT by KDD
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To: KDD
Anyone else tired of GOP pandering to the religous right?

More like tired of them pandering to Indian casino interests.

2 posted on 10/13/2006 5:06:21 PM PDT by jpl (Victorious warriors win first, then go to war; defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win.)
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To: KDD

Of the myriad policy crises churning on the horizon -- entitlement insolvency, illegal immigration and runaway federal spending among them -- congressional Republicans chose to spend the little political capital they have left on an Internet gambling ban.
-----
After this election is over, and everyone had better pray the libs do not get control in Washington, I will be dumping the Repubs. They are USELESS WIMPS who do not fight and represent the weakest politics in Washington -- yeah, we must spend time on internet poker while our country continues to suffer the ravages of runaway spending and illegal immigration all hosted by a complacent, vote-mongering Congress that is totally useless to America --- it only serves itself.


3 posted on 10/13/2006 5:08:36 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: KDD

Anyone else tired of GOP pandering to the religous right?

- - - - - - - -

Don't be daft. This had nothing to do with the religious right. This wasn't even on the radar scope of most social conservatives. This was the casino lobby masking a move as that of the religious conservatives.

The "religious right" are wondering what they have to show for the past five years at all.


4 posted on 10/13/2006 5:09:48 PM PDT by Dreagon
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To: KDD

Most of the money is going to gambling websites outside our country. Who knows where the money is going?


5 posted on 10/13/2006 5:12:32 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: KDD
I guess it is pandering. But without the faithful I think Republicans are going to have a rude awakening on November 8. I count myself among the Christian right but I also am not arrogant enough to use the federal government to dictate what others do. There are a whole group of people who exist to do that: They are called democrats.
6 posted on 10/13/2006 5:13:20 PM PDT by samm1148 (Pennsylvania-They haven't taxed air--yet)
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To: Dreagon
This wasn't even on the radar scope of most social conservatives.

Maybe not, but there's a pretty vocal minority of them who'll argue in favor of it.

7 posted on 10/13/2006 5:13:21 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: jpl
Perhaps...but I don't think that is the public perception.

Frist, Kyle , Leach and Goodlatte all used "morals" and "family values"(forthechildrenandgod) to push more government control over banking and the internet. Read their statements. If you can't find them I will post them here for you.

8 posted on 10/13/2006 5:13:35 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD

I don't know whose idea this was, but it sucks anyway. Nonetheless, with the exceptions put in, it shouldn't be long until the Nevada casinos partner up with California Indian casinos to bring us internet gambling for things like hold 'em to a new level!


9 posted on 10/13/2006 5:13:40 PM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: KDD
Could be going right into George Soros bank account in Switzerland.
10 posted on 10/13/2006 5:13:55 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: KDD

The only reason this happened was they couldn't figure out how Uncle Sam was to get his cut.

I don't gamble online and it'd take lots of work to gin up a braincell or two worth of care about anyone else gambling online.

Besides, you can still gamble your nest egg away in 10 minutes if you choose. Just sign up for an online brokerage account and start "playing the market".


11 posted on 10/13/2006 5:15:40 PM PDT by Malsua
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To: samm1148
I guess it is pandering. But without the faithful I think Republicans are going to have a rude awakening on November 8.

If they alienate the other 3/4 of the party who do not care for false piety in politicians or government enforced morality of actions that are private in nature then the GOP could be gazing on an electoral landscape as bleak as that which existed for the GOP in the years following Watergate.

12 posted on 10/13/2006 5:19:27 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD
I love casinos but have no desire to gamble online.

Still I've seen gambling ruin people's life and can't help but believe internet gambling would take this destructive potential to the nth.

13 posted on 10/13/2006 5:20:36 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Dreagon

Agreed, this was about Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Indian Casinos getting protection. This has nothing to do with the religious right.


14 posted on 10/13/2006 5:21:35 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: april15Bendovr
Most of the money is going to gambling websites outside our country. Who knows where the money is going?

The same could be true of any imports. Most online poker sites are based and regulated in the UK. This bill is an excellent way to tick off one of our few real allies.

15 posted on 10/13/2006 5:23:51 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: Jorge

So does drinking, smoking and overreating...how about we ban all that too. I'M SO SICK OF THE GOVERNMENT TELLING ME HOW I CAN SPEND MY MONEY.


16 posted on 10/13/2006 5:24:24 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: Jorge

So does drinking, smoking and overreating...how about we ban all that too. I'M SO SICK OF THE GOVERNMENT TELLING ME HOW I CAN SPEND MY MONEY.


17 posted on 10/13/2006 5:24:24 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: Malsua
Besides, you can still gamble your nest egg away in 10 minutes if you choose. Just sign up for an online brokerage account and start "playing the market".

Exactly. They had to specifically add an exception for securities trading in the bill, otherwise ETrade would be illegal.

18 posted on 10/13/2006 5:25:01 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: ThinkDifferent
Exactly. They had to specifically add an exception for securities trading in the bill, otherwise ETrade would be illegal.

Also exemptions for sports betting(which the NFL demanded) and horse track racing.

Hypocrite's

19 posted on 10/13/2006 5:28:39 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD
So this legislation actually helps American gaming interests instead of foreign gamers.

If this is true, then Frist deserves a medal.

20 posted on 10/13/2006 5:28:51 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Hildy
So does drinking, smoking and overreating...how about we ban all that too. I'M SO SICK OF THE GOVERNMENT TELLING ME HOW I CAN SPEND MY MONEY.

So break the law then.

But face the fact that govts DO get involved when they see particularly destructive vices breaking down society.

21 posted on 10/13/2006 5:35:21 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
If this is true, then Frist deserves a medal.

If Frist deserves a medal it would be for being an anti-freedom, anti-American, pro-nanny state, pandering Senator.

The Founders of this Country, who saw nothing wrong with funding the Revolution with gambling proceeds, would be disgusted, as I am.

22 posted on 10/13/2006 5:38:57 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
So this legislation actually helps American gaming interests instead of foreign gamers.

Unless it's in answer to unfair practices initiated on the other side, it's more likely that protectionist policies will ultimately be more damaging than they are helpful in the long term.

23 posted on 10/13/2006 5:40:07 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Everyone knows land based casinos in America are losing money to the popular online casinos so they got the Frist legislation passed to ban online gambling in the US.

This "fact" couldn't be more wrong.

Nevada casinos have been on an overall growth curve for years and July '06 saw revenues up sharply in a typically slow month. Nevada casinos do not support banning online gaming legislation and should be given credit for successfully lobbying the Leach anti-Internet gambling bill into an early death.


24 posted on 10/13/2006 5:42:26 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: Jorge
But face the fact that govts DO get involved when they see particularly destructive vices breaking down society.

I take it we're supposed to dumbly accept that internet gambling is a "particularly destructive vice breaking down society" as self-evident truth.

25 posted on 10/13/2006 5:47:26 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: ThinkDifferent
"Besides, you can still gamble your nest egg away in 10 minutes if you choose. Just sign up for an online brokerage account and start "playing the market"."

Exactly. They had to specifically add an exception for securities trading in the bill, otherwise ETrade would be illegal.

You're comparing investing in the stockmarket etc to taking your money to a casino?

You're joking right?

Casinos are a business built and dependent on odds DESIGNED to take your money from you. TO MAKE YOU A LOSER.

Stockmarkets and investment firms are the part of a free capitilist system that gives everybody an equal chance to get in on betting on future profits.

You are free to support online gambling if you like but, spare us the unbalanced and distorted comparisons.

26 posted on 10/13/2006 5:49:59 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: KDD; frogjerk

this has a very negligible effect on online poker. every site I play at except one (PartyPoker) has made it clear that for US players it's "business as usual".

even though this is a bipartisan bill - payback to the Indian casino lobbying money, most of the blame among poker players is landing on the Republicans. it could hurt them in November.


27 posted on 10/13/2006 5:54:30 PM PDT by fnord (dachshunds with erections can't climb stairs)
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To: tacticalogic
I take it we're supposed to dumbly accept that internet gambling is a "particularly destructive vice breaking down society" as self-evident truth.

Only when it get out of hand.

By the way, like drug abuse, gambling has been found to most adversly effect the poor and lower class more so than the rest of society.

So the people who can afford it the least are hurt the most.

28 posted on 10/13/2006 5:54:48 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Jorge
Oh Yeah?

How much did you lose when the dot com bubble burst?

Your reply to #18 is disingenuous, to say the least.
29 posted on 10/13/2006 5:56:44 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: Jorge

Do you think it's out of hand, and that it's the federal government's job to protect us from ourselves?


30 posted on 10/13/2006 5:57:02 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Jorge
By the way, like drug abuse, gambling has been found to most adversely affect the poor and lower class more so than the rest of society.

They are less likely to be able to employ the resources needed to defend themselves against the State then those in upper income brackets...that's all.

31 posted on 10/13/2006 6:00:02 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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I hear the Democraps are banning it because they can't tax it and they're pissed!


32 posted on 10/13/2006 6:02:34 PM PDT by Justice4Reds
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To: Justice4Reds

Actually, for the most part, online Casinos have been begging to be reglulated and taxed.


33 posted on 10/13/2006 6:05:04 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD
"By the way, like drug abuse, gambling has been found to most adversely affect the poor and lower class more so than the rest of society."

They are less likely to be able to employ the resources needed to defend themselves against the State then those in upper income brackets...that's all.

Did the state make them blow their meager incomes in a casino?

34 posted on 10/13/2006 6:05:12 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: KDD
Your reply to #18 is disingenuous, to say the least.

OK. Whatever you say. Thank you for the response.

35 posted on 10/13/2006 6:06:32 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Malsua
Besides, you can still gamble your nest egg away in 10 minutes if you choose. Just sign up for an online brokerage account and start "playing the market".

Good point. My nextdoor neigbor had a bit of a nest egg, after working for ATT for like 30 years.

He blew almost all of it, like 300K, around 2001 online during the dot bomb.
36 posted on 10/13/2006 6:13:54 PM PDT by djf (There is no such thing as "moderate muslims". They are all "silent supporters!!")
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To: Jorge

It's called "Choice".

Using the State to stifle Choice in matters of adults and their relationship with vice destroys the very concept of morality...

Albert J. Nock argues in his essay, "On Doing the Right Thing," that the moral development of the individual is stunted every time the State extends its activity into new areas because the area available for the unhindered and free exercise of the human moral faculties is thus reduced.

In fact, he argues, in moral philosophy there is a fundamental assumption that individuals are responsible for their actions. It makes no sense to say that an individual should or should not do something on moral grounds (e.g. place a bet on a football game) if that individual cannot freely choose between different courses of action (if betting is illegal). Nock argues that literally there can be no such thing as morality unless one has the freedom to choose between alternatives, without external sources of coercion.


37 posted on 10/13/2006 6:14:12 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD

All of those poker games that I played (while I play) with friends while watching football were (are) illegal?

The Law is often an ass.

Of course it is all about tax revenue after all, which makes anybody who votes for a professional politician the real ass.

When you really think about it.


38 posted on 10/13/2006 6:21:24 PM PDT by Radix (I like to read. In fact, I rarely comment on books that I have not ever read, in fact never.)
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To: KDD
As much as I detest gambling, don't waste my time telling me that this ban on gambling over the internet is about morality when most states operate mega-million dollar lotteries.

The issue is economic liberty and the desire of big and Bigger government to choke off any way that people can conduct any personal business outside of the government tax compliance apparatus.

I suggest people look at The Gold Casino:
http://www.thegoldcasino.com/


Or any of the several other online gaming sites that accept digital gold currencies:
http://gold-pages.net/Casino/index.html
39 posted on 10/13/2006 6:21:34 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: KDD
Using the State to stifle Choice in matters of adults and their relationship with vice destroys the very concept of morality...

With all due respect, that's absurd and the man you quote is a moron.

The Bible tells us that God Himself gives govt the authority to enforce moral codes.

Probably because if left to the individual it would lead to anarchy and the disintegration of society.

40 posted on 10/13/2006 6:22:58 PM PDT by Jorge
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There you have it folks.


41 posted on 10/13/2006 6:26:26 PM PDT by KDD (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.)
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To: KDD
It's not even the religious right, it's a certain subsection of the religious right. i.e. the part nobody really follows, the Robertson/Falwell crowd.

I'm religious, I'm rightwing, but this is an outrageously stupid decision.

What drives me nuts is that because of this, that subsection gets painted as all of the religous right. Truth be told they don't have much of a following, they are just really loud.

42 posted on 10/13/2006 6:27:11 PM PDT by zbigreddogz
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To: Jorge

I think we should administer a country wide IQ test and pass laws to protect all the stupid people from themselves.


43 posted on 10/13/2006 6:30:54 PM PDT by osideplanner
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To: Jorge
Ah, no. Governments are to be respected partly because, as a by-product of keeping society intact, they curtail the ability of the dredges to do evil.

If God wanted governments to fully enforce every moral 'code,' then the government would have the responsibility of overseeing Christian evangelizing - an idea not found in the Bible, at least not to my knowledge.
44 posted on 10/13/2006 6:37:37 PM PDT by MitchellC
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To: KDD

Looks like onlisne poker is far from dead only it won't be offshore now. It will come out of websites of Casino Tribes and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City


45 posted on 10/13/2006 6:39:00 PM PDT by dennisw (Confucius say man who go through turnstile sideways going to Bangkok)
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To: Jorge
Casinos are a business built and dependent on odds DESIGNED to take your money from you. TO MAKE YOU A LOSER.

Yes. In every single game but one. Poker. There is no house edge in poker. For you do not play against the house. You play against the other players. The house makes its money with the rake in cash games and with a small fee attached to the tournament buy in for tournaments.

46 posted on 10/13/2006 6:48:22 PM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: MitchellC
If God wanted governments to fully enforce every moral 'code,' then the government would have the responsibility of overseeing Christian evangelizing - an idea not found in the Bible, at least not to my knowledge.

Nonsense.

Guess you think that unless the govt makes every person become a born again Christian it should not have the authority to enforce moral laws against murder, stealing etc?

47 posted on 10/13/2006 6:49:20 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: fnord
this has a very negligible effect on online poker. every site I play at except one (PartyPoker) has made it clear that for US players it's "business as usual".

I don't play at PartyPoker, but the two sites I do play at have locked me out of real money play. So it isn't just party poker.

48 posted on 10/13/2006 6:49:32 PM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Jorge
So the people who can afford it the least are hurt the most.

You mean like state lotteries?

The government doesn't mind when those who can afford it least go broke when the money they gamble goes to the government.

49 posted on 10/13/2006 6:50:50 PM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: fnord

This WILL cost Republicans everywhere votes they can't afford. I play both online and brick-and-mortar, and as you say this is being laid, universally, at Republican's feet.

A LOT of folks who say they don't usually vote are vowing to vote this time, on this one issue. The poker radio shows are full of it, the talk around live tables is full of it...

This was a gift by Frist to the evangelicals to boost his Presidential bid, and could cost House seats where they are close.


50 posted on 10/13/2006 6:57:53 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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