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Monthly Archives: April, 2016

Ryan Albert: I’m the victim here!!!

lawsuitIn a whining opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday, a “protester” named Ryan Albert sniveled that he publicly posted his opinion that he doesn’t “want military-grade weapons in [his] town” and is now getting sued merely for expressing his opinion. Before I fisk this particular piece of written dreck, I want to note the irony of someone who is complaining about being rightfully sued for abusing his First Amendment right in order to defame another human being and endanger his livelihood and his family, claiming to be a victim in this scenario.

Apparently, bullies don’t like it when their victims fight back. Well, a fight they got, and now they’re publicly whining about it.

I grew up shooting shotguns and rifles with my grandfather in rural Georgia. He would take this city boy out to the farm that has been in my family for more than 150 years. He would teach me how to safely load, discharge and clean the weapons.

Congratulations, so have many others. This does not give you credibility when talking about firearms – a subject about which you know about as much as I know about neurosurgery.

I understand why people want firearms and I believe there are reasons to own hunting rifles, shotguns and, with proper training, handguns for self-defense.

It’s called the Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with what you believe. It is clear why the Founders ensured that We the People retain the right to keep and bear arms. If you are confused, may I point you to Federalist 28?

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

Ryan then continues, as if his beliefs are somehow legally applicable to others.

I do not believe, however, that there is any legitimate reason for ordinary citizens to own military-grade weapons or use suppressors (better known as silencers by many among us). Yet these are somehow legal to be bought and to own.

The “legitimate reason” is enshrined in the Constitution. It has nothing to do with what Ryan believes, but apparently he considers his puny little, uninformed belief system more important than the actual, legal rights of other people.

FACT: selling sound suppressors is legal in Virginia.

FACT: what Ryan calls “military-grade weapons,” as he nervously clutches his pearls in despair, are regular, semi-automatic rifles that just look scary. Not to mention that historically, the citizens had better and more advanced firearms than the military, and it was the military that was catching up prior to the implementation of major gun control laws. But Ryan is both historically ignorant and arrogant enough to think that his ignorance on the subject should be the arbiter of others’ rights.

It is because of these beliefs that I posted on Facebook my opposition to Broadstone Security’s Nova Armory opening in Arlington County. The owner opened an online store that sells variants of AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and silencers. Those weapons belong in the hands of our trained law enforcement and military personnel. An AR-15 makes a lousy self-defense weapon unless you are worried about guerillas invading your home from a distant ridge.

Because I expressed these beliefs in two Facebook posts, I have been named as a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit that seems designed to intimidate me and 63 of my neighbors and state legislators into silence.

The AR-15 makes a “lousy self defense weapon,” eh? I guess those days on grandpa’s farm didn’t teach Ryan much.

At least one expert prefers the AR as his weapon of choice for self defense.

I guess this homeowner thinks his AR was pretty lousy in preventing a home invasion.

And maybe this tax preparation business considers an AR an unlikely self defense weapon as well.

And yes, an AR is a terrible self defense weapon, especially, when merely brandished to scare the intruder away!

In other words, Ryan, you’re a moron.

Here’s what Ryan just doesn’t seem to understand. He can believe anything he wants, including that the sky is yellow, and as long as he doesn’t try to impose those beliefs on others, he will merely be mocked and ignored by all but the most catatonically stupid.

No, Ryan – your beliefs are not what spurred this suit.

No, Ryan – your posting them publicly on Facebook did not spur this suit.

No, Ryan – your beliefs are not a legal basis for a LEGITIMATE business to be bullied out of existence.

No, Ryan – your ignorance about what types of weapons law-abiding citizens should or should not have, has nothing to do with the law, and your intimidation tactics – as well as those of the legislators in question who colluded and conspired to bully the store’s landlord, and who tried to use their authority as government officials to bully a legitimate business out of existence – are not covered by the First Amendment.

In most states, a blatantly abusive lawsuit would be illegal. The irony is not lost that I can be sued for exercising my First Amendment rights while the owner of a gun store cannot be sued for negligence even if he knowingly sells a weapon to a mentally unstable customer who will later use it to murder innocents.

Is Ryan implying that Dennis Pratte knowingly sold weapons to prohibited persons? Prove it, or shut the fuck up, Ryan, because libelous statements are not helping your cause. And, by the way, you pernicious wart on the ass of everything that is decent, a gun store owner can be prosecuted for knowingly selling firearms to prohibited persons, and that crime is currently punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

My constitutionally established right to freedom of speech and right to assemble have been directly attacked. I must decide whether to surrender and be silent or endanger my welfare and that of my family. And that is before we consider that my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are threatened every day by the presence of military-grade weapons in the hands of untrained or, in a worst-case scenario, violent people.

Your rights stop where others rights begin, Ryan. Your right to speak freely does not include libel. It does not include defamation. It does not include threats and intimidation. I’m going to quote attorney Daniel Hawes here, so you can better understand what this lawsuit references.

Simply put, free speech begins and ends with speech. When you take active steps to put someone out of business, that’s a crime in Virginia, even if you do it mainly by the use of words. That goes beyond “free speech”. If I can make an analogy, the fact that, in Virginia, I’ve got a perfect right to strap on a gun and walk around in public with it doesn’t give me the right to pull it out and shoot someone I don’t like. There is a point at which the privileged conduct stops and wrongful action begins. These people are not “random protesters” – they’re not protesters at all – they’re people who have communicated among themselves to effect an unlawful purpose using unlawful means. NoVa Armory is not a governmental agency, and a letter to its landlord is not “petitioning the government for a redress of grievances”. Trying to shut down that business is not an exercise in free speech.

The unlawful acts include defamation, calling NoVa Armory’s manager “gun-slinger Denny” and accusing him of being a terrorist, a liar, and a person who would sell guns to “those people” who live on the other side of the Anacostia river thereby promoting an illegal “black” market in guns and drugs. But it’s not a suit for defamation, it’s a suit for unlawfully conspiring to injure NoVa Armory in its trade or business in violation of Va. Code sections 18.2-499 and 18.2-500.

I’m assuming, Ryan, that you’re literate enough to read the lawsuit that was filed. You might want to do so before publicly whining about your beliefs being threatened. It’s not your beliefs, but your actions that caused harm to another human being, that have you named as a defendant in this suit, despite your continued efforts to pretend that you’re a victim in this scenario.

It saddens me that we live in the only industrialized country with gun-death rates equal to or greater than those of many developing countries. It saddens me that somewhere along the way, we forgot that all of our rights matter, not just those of people who want to make money by selling military-grade weapons. And it saddens me that we are being silenced into not expressing our beliefs and opposition for fear of being financially attacked, vilified and threatened by a minority of armed and aggressive neighbors.

It saddens me that in this day and age, ostensible adults 1) think that their beliefs trump others’ rights and b) think harassment and intimidation are legitimate forms of self expression.

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How to fight back

opening dayA few weeks ago, I wrote about opening day at NoVA armory – a new gun shop in Arlington close to where we live. Rob and I bought a new revolver, browsed the various firearms, and even mocked the clownish hobo someone obviously paid to stand outside the store and bear gawdy signs and balloons condemning the store’s existence. We speculated that maybe if we gave her a sammich, she’d amble over to the concurrent protest over in Lyon Park, where a few quivering, pearl-clutching panty shitters were protesting free enterprise and the unfettered (and I use that word loosely, given all the sturm and drang surrounding the attempts to shut down the store before it even opened) exercise of our rights.

Nonetheless, the histrionics of the gun-grabbers did not stop the store from opening and from hosting hundreds of customers that day. Congrats to Dennis Pratte and his family for a successful, and mostly drama-free opening.

But the drama surrounding the store is hardly over.

The company that owns a gun store that recently opened in Arlington’s Lyon’s Park community is suing 64 people, saying that by protesting the store’s opening they participated in a “conspiracy to injure another in his trade or business.” Seven Virginia government officials are named in the suit, including Virginia state Delegates Mark H. Levine and Patrick Alan Hope and state Senators Janet Denison Howell and Barbara Favola. The store, NOVA Armory, is asking for $2,101,441.14; it says the damages include lost revenue, physical and personal protection expenses, phone number changes and time lost related to said phone number changes, and damages to the business’ good will and reputation.

The suit says that, first, Howell, Favola, Levine, and Hope conspired between one another to destroy Pratte’s business. They are elected officials. They maliciously acted to defame Pratte and destroy the reputation of his business in an effort to prevent it from opening. These elected public officials discussed strategy about how to best do so on social media, and sent a letter to the store’s landlord – on official government stationery – trying to pressure her into abandoning the lease. That’s right. Elected public officials tried to use their official offices and authority to pressure a landlord to sever a relationship with a tenant! Worse yet, they attempted to malign and defend Pratte and his business by claiming that he had opened his business “in order to conduct criminal activities, namely conveyance of firearms to persons ineligible to be in possession thereof and to facilitate violent crime.”

Talk about your abuse of power!

And it’s not like Favola hasn’t been involved in these types of shady dealings before! Favola was involved in pressuring another landlord to cancel a lease with JB Gates, who intended to open a store in Arlington, and was advising Fairfax County bottom-feeders on how to best go about it.

Delegate Kathleen Murphy, McLean Democrat, wrote an email to state Sen. Barbara Favola, Arlington Democrat, seeking help in shutting down the gun store. Ms. Favola was instrumental in organizing opposition to Mr. Gates’ shop in Arlington.

“Basically, we convinced the land owner that his business tenants would lose business,” Ms. Favola told Ms. Murphy in a reply. “In other words, moving a gun shop to a small cluster of shops in the middle of a neighborhood was bad for business.

“The argument has to be about supporting small businesses,” Ms. Favola wrote in her email. “The ‘we’ versus ‘they’ argument is winnable with the NRA.”

Ms. Murphy forwarded that email Sept. 25 to other Democrats in her district, including Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, who is up for re-election Tuesday, saying, “Lets do it.”

Barbara Favola, no doubt in the process of vomiting new and inventive ways to infringe on your rights.

Barbara Favola, no doubt in the process of vomiting new and inventive ways to infringe on your rights.

So not only did Favola pressure one landlord to cancel a lease with a local military veteran, thereby threatening his business and livelihood, but she advised other pernicious Democrat gargoyles in Virginia to do the same. And now, she’s teamed up with several colostomy bags in an attempt to use their authority as government officials to abuse, malign, and denigrate yet another business they don’t like!

I got into a debate with one Lyon Park hipster, who claimed to be some kind of constitutional lawyer, and who claimed that Pratte was, in fact, using the courts to violate the protesters’ First Amendment rights. I informed him that bullying, defaming, and trying to destroy another’s livelihood is not covered under the First Amendment. The attorney in the case, with whom I communicated this week, confirmed this in an email.

Simply put, free speech begins and ends with speech.  When you take active steps to put someone out of business, that’s a crime in Virginia, even if you do it mainly by the use of words.  That goes beyond “free speech.” If I can make an analogy, the fact that, in Virginia, I’ve got a perfect right to strap on a gun and walk around in public with it doesn’t give me the right to pull it out and shoot someone I don’t like. There is a point at which the privileged conduct stops and wrongful action begins. These people are not “random protesters” – they’re not protesters at all – they’re people who have communicated among themselves to effect an unlawful purpose using unlawful means.  NoVa Armory is not a governmental agency, and a letter to its landlord is not “petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.” Trying to shut down that business is not an exercise in free speech.

The unlawful acts include defamation, calling NoVa Armory’s manager “gun-slinger Denny” and accusing him of being a terrorist, a liar, and a person who would sell guns to “those people” who live on the other side of the Anacostia river thereby promoting an illegal “black” market in guns and drugs. But it’s not a suit for defamation, it’s a suit for unlawfully conspiring to injure NoVa Armory in its trade or business in violation of Va. Code sections 18.2-499 and 18.2-500.

And what did the “protesters'” actions result in?

For one, a mailed death threat to Pratte’s 16-year-old daughter! A bloody death threat to a kid. What kind of lowlife, cowardly varmint would send a death threat to a child? What kind of wretched bag of rancid ass leavings would send a death threat to anyone, merely because they had opposing views on an issue, but worse yet, to a kid? Obviously the type who would claim “free speech” protects their “right” to abuse, defame, denigrate, and threaten another human being.

This is the kind of company Favola, Levine, Hope, et. al. keep. You know what they say about dogs and fleas, right?

Worse yet, these statist swamp donkeys are showing their racist roots. Levine, in particular, has been rather vocal about undesirables (read: black people) from DC and Prince George’s County, Maryland coming to Virginia to buy guns and commit heinous crimes. Why do you hate black people, Mr. Levine?

Note the hypocrisy. Levine, on his social media pages, is more than diligent about pointing out that not all illegal aliens commit crimes (except for the obvious one of being here illegally, but he glosses over that), but he’s more than ready to generalize the worst about people who want to purchase guns! Telling. Very, very telling.

It’s about time law-abiding dealers started to fight back against these abuses of power and these plain violations of their rights.

I, for one, am thrilled that Dennis Pratte is standing up.

Nicki on why Scalzi is a bitter, petty dick cheese (and so are Damien Walter and David Barnett)

sad puppies

Edited to add: some astute readers pointed out that the Guardian drivel was actually written by David Barnett, who actually did manage to write several books, but who is nonetheless in dire need of some butthurt cream, while Damien Walter actually wrote this grumpy little piece, muttering how much the Sad Puppies don’t matter this year. This is what I get for blogging after no sleep. But nonetheless…

If you hadn’t heard, this year’s Hugo Award nominations are out, and the Social Justice Whiner butthurt is EPIC!

First, let’s recap. The Sad Puppies 4 campaign was run by three amazing women writers I am proud to call my friends: Kate Paulk, Sarah Hoyt, and Amanda Green – all bright, talented, creative, driven women writers (even if some morons do claim Sarah is somehow a white, Mormon male).

The Sad Puppies 4 campaign was open, transparent, and completely objective. Even the most ardent of Puppy Kickers had to admit this. And the list this year included some stellar works.

A friend noted the following on social media:

Best Novel: All 5 nominees were in the top 12 recommended by SP4, including 3 of the top 7 recommended by the fans.

Best Novella: All top 4 SP4 recommendations were nominated, and all 5 nominees were in the top 8 slots SP4 compiled.

Best Novellete: Only 3 of the nominees were on the SP4 list (all within the top 6 slots). 19 works were recommended by SP4 overall.

Best Short Story: Only 2 of the nominees were on the list, both within the top 20 listed; 38 works were listed overall.

Best Editor (Long Form): 2 of the 3 recommendees by SP4 made the nominee list. Sadly, politics will almost definitely keep the extremely deserving Toni Weisskopf, who is one of the most influential and successful women in publishing, from being recognized with an award.

Campbell Nominees: All 5 of the works on the shortlist were recommended by SP4, including the top 3 selections agreed upon by the group. 19 total works were recommended overall.

Anyone with half a brain, who had been following the controversy since last year could tell that the Sad Puppies campaign was not only a success once again this year, but it was open and non-political, no matter how much Steve Davidson tried to make it so.

But that’s not good enough. It’s never good enough for whining Social Justice Howler Monkeys. The usual horde of haters have crawled out from under their rocks to claim 1) the Sad Puppies nominated quality works, but the quality works Sad Puppies nominated were nominated despite the Sad Puppies 2) The Sad Puppies don’t matter anyway, and 3) HUGOS WERE HIJACKED BY BAD BAD EVIL RIGHTWINGERS AGAIN THIS YEAR, AND I’M BUTTHURT ABOUT IT!

The first claim came from the cavernous hole of none other than the feminist dick cheese of science fiction, John Scalzi, who first had to remind us that rabid, arrogant howler monkeys “No Awarded” entire categories in last year’s Hugo fiasco – all to keep the “wrong” kinds of writers and editors from getting the award, and then proceeded to talk about how luminaries such as Lois McMaster Bujold, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King were nominated by the Sad Puppies this year, but the Sad Puppies are dirty scum, whom he hates anyway, and these writers would have gotten nominated without them, because FUCK YOU, PUPPIES.

The second grudgingly mutters how the Puppies don’t matter this year and comes from sci-fi’s most inept “writer,” if he can be called that. The oozing vagina of the Guardian, Damien Walter, who can’t seem to finish a novel, even when the British government gives him money to do so, grumbles how inconsequential the Sad Puppies are and claims that the campaign – despite being run by three women – is nothing more than a “publicity vehicle for a bored, ageing frat boy and his buddies.” 

Well, we all know to whom he refers here, even though the International Lord Of Hate hasn’t been involved with the Sad Puppies or the Hugos this year, but Damien can’t resist a swipe. Larry Correia is the great white whale to Damien’s mentally challenged Ahab. 

He also gives into his statist streak, demanding that Vox Day and his supporters be removed from the voting pool for being WrongFans, as if his inability to finish a novel qualifies him to speak for fandom writ large. How much of an oozing rectal lesion to you have to be to make Vox sympathetic by comparison?

The third – another Guardian writer David Barnett (the Guardian is like the gift that keeps on giving) – spent much bandwidth complaining about those EVIL RIGHTWINGERS having taken over the Hugos again this year. *sniffle*

The Puppies factions will undoubtedly be celebrating their successes on the ballot, but for many people engaged in the science-fiction and fantasy genres this news will not be well-received. The Hugo awards, once the watchword of quality in the SFF world, appear to have been utterly derailed for the second year running.

And there was much butthurt in SJW world.

But at least Barnett made somewhat of an effort not to conflate Rabid Puppies and Sad Puppies this year, which Damien doesn’t bother doing – not really. Grudgingly and somewhat ineptly, as his sniveling screed made no real effort to mention that the Sad Puppies recommendation list was diverse, open, and truly a reflection of the varied tastes of fandom, but rather proceeded to complain about the Rabids.

YOU PUPPIES ARE EVIL, AND THESE AUTHORS WOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED WITHOUT YOU ANYWAY, BUT YOU HAVE RUINED FANDOM! WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

It would be amusing if it wasn’t so petty and pathetic.

Here’s what really happened.

The Sad Puppies did exactly what they said they would do: they nominated works they liked transparently, cleanly, without politics playing into it.

Kate, Sarah, and Amanda tallied the votes, and put forth a recommendation list of varied, diverse works readers felt were worthy of a Hugo.

Some authors, afraid to be associated with the “wrong” type of fans gnashed teeth, clutched pearls, and wet themselves.

A good number Sad Puppy recommendations made it on the Hugo nomination list.

Horrified that they didn’t have reason to kick the Puppies around this year, quivering-lipped, arrogant, self-anointed arbiters of all that is good, just, and right in science fiction and fantasy, decided to kick the Puppies anyway. These ass weasels were so desperate for drama they couldn’t wait to create sturm and drang where there was none, and most of us are chuckling at their pathetic efforts to once again denigrate a large group of fans in a vain attempt at relevance.

Grow up, you sad excuses for human beings! No one but a few frothing, deluded acolytes actually takes you seriously. You’re nothing but an object of mockery and ridicule, which is occasionally entertaining, but ultimately just kind of sad – like an overweight, former prom queen at her 20-year high school reunion struggling to regain some semblance of her bubbly popularity.

Go write something worthy of reading, or something.

Gosh, I can’t imagine why stereotypes exist!

People always tell us not to generalize. They always tell us that prejudice is a bad thing. Stereotypes are supposed to be a negative, because we’re all individuals with our own intellectual capacity to think, reason, and act.

But you know what? Stereotypes exist for a reason. They don’t just appear out of thin air. They usually exist because some very loud, very visible group exemplifies particular traits – not without outliers, mind you, but still…

H/T Terminal Lance

H/T Terminal Lance

A few years ago there was a dependapotomus who wrote a blog post complaining that the wives of National Guardsmen have no business calling themselves “Army wives.” If you didn’t know, a “dependapotamus” is a stereotype of a military wife – usually overweight, looking to cash in on her husband’s paycheck and PX and commissary privileges, shitting out scores of kids, and acting like her husband’s rank is her own by demanding the respect afforded to her spouse, even though the only thing she did to earn it was spend his paycheck and spread her legs.

(OK, I’ll post the disclaimer, because I’m sure to get a bunch of offended women screeching about how #notallmilitarywives. No, hardly all military wives fit that profile, but there obviously has been a sufficient amount of them who do, that the stereotype exists in the first place.)

Back to the aforementioned dependapotomus, however.

The precious spoiled princess took it upon herself to insult wives of National Guard Soldiers (and build herself up in the process) by claiming they weren’t “real Army,” because her “hubs,” deployed and still wore the uniform upon return, while those other guys went back to their civilian lives.

The blowback was epic and quick. She shuttered her blog after hundreds of comments – almost all of them negative – took her to task on her attitude of entitlement, and someone contacted the Vermont recruiting command where “hubs” worked, prompting a response that included some counseling time for “hubs.”

Dependapotomi – they may not be all fat and trailer trashy, but they do have a certain attitude in common.

This brings me to a post on ASMDSS – Awesome Shit my Drill Sergeant Says – a military humor site that recently received some hate mail from a dependapotomus that proves our point for us. If you wonder why stereotypes exist, you only have to look at this email in all it’s illiterate glory.

From: f*ck@you.com

Location: f*ck you

IM going to start these by saying i am a army wife with a bachlors degree in womens studies so i KNOW that you idiots are full of sh*t when you constantly bash women and army wifes for being lazy and fat? are you f*cking serious and yes we do serve as much as our husband we keep the homes in order and the kids safe while you get to go run around and play solider. its f*cking bullsh*t and its a full time job for us so get down off your hi horses and calm the f*ck down with that stupid sh*t it pisses me off. sometimes we get a little overweight from not having time to go to the gym and stuff but human anitomy shows that woman are supposed to have some fat. so shut the f*ck up and man up you stupid little boys. i could easy get a job if i wanted especially since i am a college graduate and hard worker but id rather not put my kids in day care and let someone else raise them. so go f*ck yourselfs and get off army wifes dicks! we are not f*cking dependas you men are! you dependa on us to take care of you the kids and the house. ok im done peace

Yep, I wonder why stereotypes exist… this is exactly what I would expect to read from someone with a degree in wymyns “studies.”

I do wonder what kind of college university would allow someone to graduate from their institution who has the written communication skills of a monkey on meth.

For the epic slapdown of this dependa’s communication skills, please do yourself a favor and read the rest.

But aside from all that, while I certainly don’t approve of bullying – whether in cyber space or in real life – once again, stereotypes exist for a reason. Reason such as this.

spouse 2

 

And this.

spouse 1

And maybe even this.

spouse 3

 

Now, as another disclaimer, I will admit that these photos could have been Photoshopped and the email could have been faked for humor purposes. That said, having lived on base as a single Soldier, and having experienced the phenomenon that is the military wife (and not necessarily the American-born type, either), out drinking and picking up REMF Jodie at the base club a few days after the spouse’s unit deployed, I can say once again that stereotypes exist for a reason.

We can only hope

Well, if this isn’t a reason to vote for Cruz, Bernie, Hillary, Gary Johnson, Kasich, Big Bird, or the mold under your toilet seat for President, I don’t know what is!

Well, bye!

Well, bye!

“They fight like hell for six months, and they’re saying horrible things, the worst things you can imagine,” Trump said during a rally in Maryland on Sunday.

“And then one of them loses, one of them wins. And the one who loses says, ‘I just want to congratulate my opponent. He is a brilliant man, he’ll be a great governor or president or whatever,'” he said.

“I’m not sure you’re ever going to see me there. I don’t think I’m going to lose, but if I do, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again, folks. I think I’ll go to Turnberry and play golf or something.”

It’s called being gracious. It’s called being a classy human being. It’s called conceding with dignity.  I’m not sure the Hairy Hemorrhoid™ knows anything about those principles.

Now, I have my doubts this guy will ever fade into obscurity, given the size of his ego and his near-obsessive need to remain in the limelight and prove his “greatness” to anyone who will pay attention, but if he upholds this promise, I will be right there voting for anyone but Trump!

But more likely than not, he will still be around, like a persistent sort of toenail fungus, doling out money to politicians on both sides of the political aisle in order to advance his business interests, telling TV pundits how he supports bailouts such as TARP, and testifying in opposition to tax cuts.

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