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Thursday, January 22, 2009
Touching the Hem of The Messiah
As if yesterday's PMQs wasn't sick making enough with every politician trying bask in Barack Obama's reflected glory, Labour MP Dawn Butler has taken things one stage further. Take a look at this "endorsement" from The One on her website, but then think about how she got it. Assuming the President doesn't have a stash of House of Commons paper secreted in his office, and assuming the signature is genuine (she did in fact meet him some months ago), one has to question whether Dawn Butler had a hand in the drafting of the note, which she then presumably stuck under his nose for him to sign. Surely Barack Obama wouldn't have written such a trite and self serving paragraph himself? Would he?
Pass the sick bag, Alice.
But I am sure the voters of Brent will be suitably impressed.
UPDATE 10.40: The letter has mysteriously disappeared from Ms Butler's website.
How very strange.
UPDATE 1.30: I'm speaking at a conference in Oxford so I haven't been able to follow exactly
the follow on from this. Paul Waugh and Ben Brogan have written about it. Paul Waugh has Dawn
Butler's response and she has just been on 5 Live talking about it apparently.
According to commenters her website now contains an amended version of the endorsement
minus the House of Commons logo. Tried to look on my Blackberry but couldn't see it.
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No way would Barack put pen to paper for that, unless he weren't reading it. From an English point of view, it's horrible, let alone political...
It goes against the convention that they do not involve themselves within our Electoral system.
I think the American Ambassador may have something to say.
Could there be a resignation if it is found to be a fraud?
ps. Obama IS human. He cannot dance. He must be the only black person who cannot BUT he cannot!
I agree the voters of Brent will be impressed. Unfavourably impressed, that is.
Sarah Teather's chances have just improved mightily!
The "Yes We Can" line works fine in a speech but not on paper. Really.
Frankly if he (Obama) did write the paragraph then good for him (and her).
If he did not and she just thrust it under his nose to sign then it surely is a deceit - and if I were one of her constituents and it turns out to be a deceit then I wouldn't be voting for her simply because I couldn't trust her.
The way I read it, Obama has just said British black women are dull, thick and lazy with the exception of her and one other.
Way to go Obama
Erm, why is it on House of Commons Paper?
I reckon she gave him a blank bit to get his autograph and then printed the crap afterwards!
"I reckon she gave him a blank bit to get his autograph and then printed the crap afterwards!"
If not, it's a bit odd that he's so familiar with the ethnic makeup of (one of) our house of representatives, isn't it?
Given he barely managed to do more than occasionally turn up to vote 'present' in his own...
Since when has Obama taken up residence in the Palace of Westminster? Do they know about this in Washington?
Maybe this lady (I use the term in its broadest sense) should explain how this autograph came about. Maybe The White House or perhaps the American Embassy can confirm its authenticity. Then again, maybe not.
Was a blow job involved?
"When someone asks you can SHE do it, you respond yes WE can!"
Obama, despite not being the messiah, is literate and lucid. So he didn't write this.
Dawn Butler is an ignorant fraud and I claim my £5.
Sounds like it was written by Bob The Builder rather than Barack Obama to me.
“I can see why she is one of only two black MPs in Parliament. She is bright intelligent and determined.”
Hardly the work of a master wordsmith. And I’d like to see a graphologist’s opinion on that signature.
Real signature is HERE
Looks genuine to me
Pathetic MP is pathetic.
If you go to her website (as linked by Iain) I don't see the letter anywhere just a quote from her as to what he said which differs from the text of the letter.
She also misspells Barack as Barak which just goes to show again how utterly underwhelming so many new MPs on both sides of the house are.
Its bad enough that Obama has, according to Gordi, consented to be his best friend and supporter but interfering in our electoral process crosses all boundaries. Someone will have to take him aside and explain the rules of diplomacy as he hasn't got the sense to work them out for himself.
She probably asked him to autograph a blank sheet of paper and then filled in the text around the signature.
Bloomin heck, I nearly threw up when I saw that. I sometimes wonder if NuLab spin is real, or have I moved over into some alternate universe in between reading the Grauniad over my toast and tuning into Iain's blog?
On the subject of Barack, I wonder what conspiracy theorists will make of the "second oath"? Why, for example, did they issue such a scratchy old fashioned tape recording? Could it be that WASN'T HIM?!!! And why no bible? Could he have had his hand on Al-Quran!????!!!
The rumour mill will be in full tilt today. Sorry for helping - I am just trying to pre-empt the Libertarian Loony Tunes who infest this blog.
Can this be found on LabourList? If not why not? Well they need something to cheer themselves up with.
Another one who's never done a proper job in her life and whose only obvious qualification for her micky mouse employment history is her ethnicity and gender.
As for the "endorsement", it may well be an Obama quote, but it is not written in English.
I'm with Nick on this - he signed a bl;ank piece of paper. Obama would not knowingly have been so stupid as to endorse a backbench Labour MP, even were it justified.
That it has been removed shows it was a fake.
Were she remotely intelligent she would have known that such a fraud was bound to come out.
I suppose it is possible, that having met him, she wrote the words and he agreed to sign them by post, hence the H of C paper.
No.....I don't think so either.
"Were she remotely intelligent she would have known that such a fraud was bound to come out."
It's really all unravelling for this sorry bunch, isn't it...?
It would be laughable if it did not show the level of contempt that these people have for the rest of us, and the racist miles they will go- Can you imagine somebody writing she is bright AND Jewish (pick your own ethnic group)
“Meeting Obama was an inspirational moment. And I am so humbled that I can quote what he said about me ‘that having met me he understands why I am only one of two black women in parliament. We should all be proud of Dawn.’ Having met Barak Obama, I am lost to find the words, he has a huge task ahead, he will not be able to live up to everyone’s expectations, but there is no doubting that just being the man he is has already exceeded many expectations.”
I don't understand what that is supposed to mean. Is Barak (sic) saying that most black women are not up to the job of being an MP or is he saying that the two black women MPs are not up to the job and that is why there aren't more?
I suppose the letter's disappearance from La Butler's website is just the latest change we can believe in...
How does Obama feel about the brown people in 'parliament' (sic)? Anyway, aren't there any closet Black Women in Parliament?
And presumably this woman believes that 'parliament' refers only to the House of Commons. Could be right, of course.
I'd expect Obama to use US Senate or White House headed paper, depending on when the letter was written.
Is this an appropriate use of Parliamentary stationery? Perhaps the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner should be informed.
Like Tony Sharp, I have also searched Dawn Butler's site for the original letter, but it's not there. Of the many things she claims to have done (Obama's visit mentioned in no less than 3 places)I was wading through dozens of "What Dawn does..", but I didn't find anything on teach yourself forgery, or suchlike!
What the hell? The letter is back, but CHANGED!?!
I find this disturbing in its own right, and certainly it invites a series of questions as to the authenticity of this 'note', and if authentic, whether it is in any sense appropriate. But I also find it disturbing that British politicians, mostly but far from exclusively in the Labour Party, are so keen to embrace Obama. It seems unseemly (and also exploitative). Take the PM's repeated references to Obama's stimulus plan. It really matters very little to me whether Obama has a similar plan to Brown's, and not least because whatever talents Obama has, he has not (in my opinion) exhibited them (yet) in the sphere of economics. I just want to know whether Brown's plan is working/will work. Now, obviously, Obama's remarkable contribution to political life in the US deserves the attention of our politicians, but not the unthinking attention of those who seek purely to use Obama in order to self-promote.
Looks like Barak has sent Dawn a second letter. He should also have told her that she was spelling his Christain name wrong.
She must be a very important person, to receive two letters personal letters from Mr Obama, how does he find the time?
What a self-serving shit she is.
How very New Labour.
LOL The second letter has now disappeared. Will the President endorse Dawn for a third time?
idle @ 10:22
I noticed that too.
"When someone asks you can SHE do it,* (sic) you respond yes WE can!"
*This should be a question mark. The y of 'you' should therefore be capitalized.
Edukashun, Educashun, Educasian
you respond yes WE can! (Chuck her out at the next election)
The letter changed and then vanished?
Weirder and weirder
Is Dawn Butler one of those corrupt, stupid politicians of the type that Obama rails against?
So, to get this straight.
We have the theft of House of Commons stationery. The last I heard HoC stationery is provided by the taxpeyer.
Next we have its use for the personal reasons, and no doubt for the personal gain, of the Butler person.
The evidence of the theft is posted on the net.
She's now put the original endorsement by Obama back online and clipped off the House of commoms heading. It seems that someone has now told her how to spell Barack.
Now that is ridiculous. Is anyone reporting this to the BBC? This has got to be national news - its worse than that doctored photo of James Purnell, and that reached the news.
Iain, you probably have media contacts, right?
This is absolutely unbelievable behaviour!
This *must* reach a wider mainstream audience
The clipped version of this apparent endorsement is now in her photo gallery section with the statement that consent is required for use of any pictures. So Iain, don't be surprised if Dawn send you a nice legal looking letter demanding you remove the image. But Fair Use rules - ok?
I'm very suspicious on how Obama's signature appears on this endorsement. If you download the image (either the clipped version or the one Iain originally picked up) and then zoom in you will see white area around the signature that does not correspond to the background colour of the notepaper. To my untrained Adobe Photoshop eye this does not look quite right.
I cannot believe what I have just witnessed here...
Iain, previous comments are absolutely correct - this has to go mainstream.
Hahahahahahahah! This is hilarious! How stupid can she be?
Please for the love of GOD, can the mainstream media run with this?
Actually it hasn't disappeared from Ms Butler's website (see link below). However she has removed the HoC portcullis crest.
As I'm sure you're aware (& now Dawn Butler is too apparently ) it is not permitted to use the HoC crest or HoC stationery for party political purposes. These rules are set out clearly in the Code of Conduct to which all MPs must adhere. They are further explained in a document issued to all MPs by the Serjeant At Arms (available for scrutiny here: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/HofCCommunicationsAllowanceBooklet.pdf - page 31 onwards contains the relevant passages about use of stationery).
AS I say, the letter is still on Ms Butler's website here:
This is beyond fiction. Wonderful stuff!
It goes from bad to worse.
Now she has put the hi-res photo online (House of Commons clipped version), it can easily be seen that Obama's pen was leaking ink (or someone is not very good at photoshop).
Barack loves Dawn
No way would someone wedge a large signature like that so close to the text. The (illiterate) text has obviously been wrapped around the signature. The signature appears to be written on white paper than badly photoshopped onto 'House of Commons' paper.
Risible, a new low for New Labour.
Ooh ooh... Can I be the first to refer to this as Butlergate??
Iain, the letter is back up on her website, and Dawn has appeared just now on Radio Five Live.
The endorsement is genuine, and as a constituent of hers I can tell you that she will definitely be getting my vote at the next election.
Please try to get your facts right and not indulge in speculation and innuendo; quite frankly, I expected better...
I had mistakenly remembered Cupid Stunt as a blonde, not black.
Anyone familiar with photo analysis: is that white edging and apparent inkbleed round the signature a normal part of jpeg compression, or something else?
Ha, ha, ha...
You are really Dawn Butler and I hereby claim my prize!
Shamik Daz - loved your blog, especially all those wonderful portraits of yourself.
Nice one Shamik, stick to the cricket & self love.
How exactly do you know it's genuine? Knock it up on photoshop yourself?
Very interesting. It proves that someone at Labour Central scours this blog for bad news and got the silly endorsement taken off, and/or stealth edited.
And just for good measure they got "shamik" to write a nice puff about the lovely Dawn.
This story is big, but the MSM wont run it and the BBC wont touch it with a barge pole because they do not carry negative stories about black people.
You're all too kind! :) Pity none of you have actually addressed my points or accepted the endorsement as genuine!
Oh well, never let the facts get in the way of a good rant!!
On the Paul waugh Blog.
"I've just asked Dawn to explain how the letter came about and she says that her Commons team had agreed the wording with the Obama team beforehand. She then took it into Number 10 and at the end of their meeting she personally handed it for him to sign. Another letter without the 'audacity of hope' line was also signed by Mr Obama.
"Even if it was my office that came up with the words, he knew what he was signing. My team had asked if it was OK to have this as a quote from him. I did not arrive with a blank piece of paper and then get him to sign it," she says."
Dawn Butler on her Obama endorsment
ooooh Shamik (or is that Shamick) - you are a caution.
And this story is a hoot.
Next and everytime Brown quotes Barak (sic), maybe Cameron can ask if that was written on HoC notepaper.
Word verification - 'geries' -- TD's definition, 'homosexual German soldiers in WW2 films'
Someone ought to give a copy of that letter to the "New York Times" to let them know what Obama thinks about all but two of British coloured women.
I can't think what would possess anyone, let alone the President of the USA, to sign something without reading and understanding it first. It is the same as somebody waving a blank cheque under your nose and you authorise without hesitation.
Sorry Shamik, you had a point? Where?
That you'll be voting for her?
I hardly think that needs addressing, 'tis a matter for you and your conscience.
The point is that this was not written by Obama.
Yet another example of labour's obsession with promoting gender/race over actual ability.
Have you never collaborated/agreed on the specific wording of an endorsement, Iain?
I know that I have in the past. It's a fairly commonplace practice in business, and I expect more so in politics, especially from a then-candidate for Preznident.
When someone uses text from your distributed bio to describe you in print or on the telly, it's the exact same process at work, minus the signature/autograph; there is an endorsement of you, and you have contributed to the wording.
How incredibly nylon.
Irritating, naff and fake.
She hands a pre-written endorsement for him to sign. Poor sod probably had a second thought and then thought "feck it, it won't do me no harm". How embarrassing for Obama and how un Parliamentarian to write yer own puff for the flavour of the month to sign.
It's so tawdry.
In this instance, yes it whiffs a bit, but it hardly earns the '-gate' suffix.
Now made the BBC news. Of course they have put a positive spin on it for the One and Ms Butler. No mention that commons notepaper has ben used for political purposes and no raised eyebrows that she wrote her own endorsement from Obama.
Labour MP gets Barack's backing
But Bernie's List is a capital idea, Dawn Butler.
Identify and get elected parliamentary candidates who share the late Bernie Grant's passionate commitment to the role of the monarchy in the Commonwealth generally and in the Caribbean especially.
How splendid that Tuesday's launch was attended by Polly Toynbee.
That BBC report is a disgrace, has Ms Butler written it herself?
It couldn't have been more positive for her if she had.
Stuff like that should be kept for private use not put on the internet.
Dawn no doubt got instructions from the strategic genuis (He says sarcastically) Gordon Brown!
Why on earth do desperate and useless Labour politicians believe this cuts any ice with anyone?
It is utterly pathetic - who cares?!
Labour Labour Labour - Out Out Out
LD LD LD - Out Out Out!
"That BBC report is a disgrace, has Ms Butler written it herself? "
Don't think so - immaculate spelling and grammar, unlike her little 'Obama' keepsake.
The first blunder of Obama's presidency.
@ Vienna Woods:
Spot on! - Iain, don't you have a friend over at The New York Times?
I'm sure he's sweating bullets right now.
Guantanamo bay = old news!
Send a copy /paste version to the US Ambassador. I have sent one to a contact in the US.
In fairness, may I say that the signature, on the hi-res jpeg, does not look as if it has been Photoshopped?
The white areas surrounding the dark pixels are also apparent on the printed text, if you zoom to about 300%. The bleeding is probably also an artefact.
That doesn't stop the whole thing from being crass and racist.
Good old BBC. Everything but the truth. I love the way they spin it as positive as they can without actually lying.
I am still wondering about the epidemiology of this story.
First it gets headlined here. Then Waugh and Brogan get it. Then the story somehow filters back to Dawn Butler and then the BBC come up with a damage limitation exercise.
I want to know who had words with who? What editorial decisions were made at the BBC to enable it to look like a completely different story (with the HoC header removed so as not to confuse credulous BBC readers) with such a specious headline?
Who is pulling strings in the background. Don't tell me all these journalists picked it up - they are too lazy as a herd and like to have it spoon fed.
Has anybody complained about Anita Anand's headgear?
Has President Obama been made a member of the Labour Party by proxy?
If so,he should be told.
"Iain, the letter is back up on her website, and Dawn has appeared just now on Radio Five Live.
The endorsement is genuine, and as a constituent of hers I can tell you that she will definitely be getting my vote at the next election.
Please try to get your facts right and not indulge in speculation and innuendo; quite frankly, I expected better..."
Oh do piss off.
If she is to be believed, then she prepared her own badly drafted self serving statement for Obama to endorse. Pathetic by anyone's books.
She then goes on to say something like "no-one will take away the 10 minutes I spent with him". Did she orgasm when she met him? More pathetic bull. You'd swear she met some magical deity, not a then American Senator.
This was one pathetic episode and the fact the self drafted endorsement is still on her website makes it MORE so.
You're unflinching support in the face of such stupidity also says a lot about you.
First we had Obama's change you can believe in. Now the letter saga requires us to believe in the changes made to it. What are we on now, version three?
I cannot believe a Member of Parliament would be so desperate for validation as to have their aides work with Obama's office to agree a text that could have his signature affixed to it.
How can Ms Butler be proud of something that was elicited, rather than a spontaneous outpouring of admiration from Obama for her qualities? The whole thing is as devalued as a Pound Sterling under Labour if Obama did not offer his comments without being prompted for them.
I wonder if Ms Butler issued the wording that should be used for her references whenever she applied for jobs? She is incredibly sad.
Trust the BBC to spin it. What a complete laughing stock they all are.
"Has anybody complained about Anita Anand's headgear?"
Chris Bryant is speaking in Parliament at the moment wearing a suit which makes him like like a Torquay deck chair attendant.
The Beeb is beyond parody:
"I am so humbled that I can quote what he said about me 'that having met me he understands why I am only one of two black women in parliament."
He didn't say it!
She hilariously fails to see the alternative interpretation of the second sentence either. 'Having met you I can understand why there are so few black women in parliament.'
John 3:58 - piss off yourself you muppet.
Yet again, a Right-wing tosser incapable of reasoned debate.
Obama's the President. And there's nothing you can do about it!
Get over it, you closet Redneck.
O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!!!
BBC quotes her as saying:
"He signed it with his own fair hand. The signature is slightly smudged because he used a fountain pen and he is left-handed."
So, left-handed people can't use fountain pens without smudging the ink? Really? Well Obama's got a problem when he signs Orders and Agreements, hasn't he? He's already had to have two goes at the Oath of Office, after all. Doesn't bode very well for the rigours of office, does it?
And, as a left-handed fountain pen user I can tell her she's talking complete bollocks. But that we already knew, didn't we?
Of course she could always put the document out for independent scrutiny - assuming it's not verified by official American sources, of course.
Bet this will be ignored by the BBC:
"we should not overlook an official rap for Jack Straw for failing to declare a £3,000 donation towards a knees-up at Blackburn Rovers FC to celebrate his 25 years as an MP."
Calling him a 'Right-wing tosser' a 'redneck' and then chanting the President's name isn't exactly reasoned debate. Do you defend Ms Butler's letter and if so, why?
Regarding the letter itself: the grammar alone would be enough to make me ridicule an elected representative. But the substance, such as there is, is even worse. To seek validation from a foreign dignatory, even one as estimable as President-elect (as he then was) Obama by writing your own, poorly phrased, recommendation letter is indicative of a very limited faith in one's own electoral ability!
@ Sham ik
It's probably not Dawned on you, but this is a discussion about the activities that rather stupid Dawn Butler woman, not Obama. Whether Obama has been elected President, or Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury or Chief Rabbi is entirely beside the point.
"John 3:58 - piss off yourself you muppet.
Yet again, a Right-wing tosser incapable of reasoned debate.
Obama's the President. And there's nothing you can do about it!
Get over it, you closet Redneck.
O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!!!"
Oh dear. You posted "Pity none of you have actually addressed my points", yet when someone does all you have in response is mindless rant. That says a lot about you too.
As for your "Right-wing Redneck" comments, maybe you've been watching a bit too much TV, because we aren't in America.
Interesting though that you label me a "Right-wing Redneck" because I think Dawn Butler has acted pathetically in drafing her own endorsement and then running to the then American Senator to endorse it.
If that's how you really feel, then you're about to find out that you're surrounded by people who you feel are "Right-wing Redneck's".
RUN FOR THE HILLS M'BOY!
Shamick - you really are a twerp.
Poor old Shamik Das. Instead of welcoming this first timer some of you have derided him. Take a look at his blog, and then see if you change your minds, you, Shamik deriders.
Only someone with a heart of stone could read his fulsome Tribute to Tony Blair without bursting into fits of laughter.
Have I misunderstood? Is this some sort of satire blog that he's running, then?
On second thoughts, maybe it's not possible for anyone to be so cretinous - except deliberately.
"Good old BBC. Everything but the truth. I love the way they spin it as positive as they can without actually lying."
They don't actually help much.
Anyone with any nous will wonder how, if she claims to have 'spoken to Mr Obama for 10 minutes at a party in the House of Commons', he can have been so impressed with her...
"...To seek validation from a foreign dignatory, even one as estimable as President-elect (as he then was) Obama by writing your own, poorly phrased, recommendation letter is indicative of a very limited faith in one's own electoral ability!"
Or a nicely-judged estimate of the low mental capacities of the voters in your area...?
John "I'm so proud of my views that I've hidden my profile", it's quite pathetic the way you belittle him as the "then American Senator". You still can't bring yourself to refer to him as President. Interesting...
Anyway, you people are beginning to bore me! :yawn:
Btw, some of you really need to learn how to spell. Education, education, etc.
"It's quite pathetic the way you belittle him as the "then American Senator". You still can't bring yourself to refer to him as President. Interesting..."
Are you thick? Something made all the more hilarious by you criticising the education level of the other posters in this thread.
I said, and you actually quoted this, yet still didn't understand it, "the then American Senator", as in - he was an American Senator when she met him, it was before the election, and before his inaugeration. He is the President NOW, but he wasn't then.
"Anyway, you people are beginning to bore me! :yawn:"
How childish. Unsworth was right, you really are being deliberately cretinous aren't you?
Sham dear chap you appear to be suffering from chronic narcissim with all those 'advertisements for myself' on your blog. Is there some reason for your display. Am I missing the point, possibly?
Put one of Hansie Cronje up.
This is a storm in a teacup. Dawn should feel ashamed of herself - for vandalising the English language. Otherwise she showed initiative. Nice one Dawn.
BTW JPD could be the next superstar.
Will she be claiming the fountain pen on H of C expenses?
Moon eyed lovers of 'The One' should note that if this little billet doux had been signed in October as I have read, then Obama was not even President Elect when this little fiasco took place and I think if the American pubic had seen what a cretinous cringing crawling letter he had signed then he might never have been.
Strange that she only published the endorsement after the inauguration - no doubt trying to curry the impression that it was done more recently.
Putting it on HoC paper as well only shows the sycophantic dork to be even more of a muppet than many had previously thought
By her own description he has only met her once for a few minutes at which time he signed a document written by her before they met & agreed with his people saying he had already met her & found her intelligent.
And I've got a great deal on a bridge for anybody who believes her. Does labour expect any trace of honesty or intelligence from its MPs or are they going to keep her on.
Perhaps we should wait to see what Obama says - my guess is thety right now somebody on his staff is making sure she never got permission from the tea boy before rubbishing it.
So Diane Abbott obviously not a good MP then. Perhaps the Obamessiah knows his British politics after all.(or she doesn't have time for photoshop)
Hey, we all know what those running Labourlist will be saying - the original letter was just a beta! ;-)
"Hey, we all know what those running Labourlist will be saying - the original letter was just a beta! ;-)"
Is that the letter the police were looking for yesterday?
It seems that Ms Butler isn't the only Brent candidate touting their encounters with President Obama.
From Sarah Teather's website:
"Sarah met Barack Obama when he was Senator for Illinois in 2006, when she visited Washington on behalf of her constituent Jamil el-Banna, who was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. She spoke with Obama about US prison camp Guantánamo Bay, and asked him to commit to having the detention centre closed."
Of course it would have to be a complete coincidence that Butler chose to post her "endorsement" on the day Ms. Teather's request was granted!
Well done. This is a great find.
The use of HOC paper is what needs to be investigated, too.
Who authorised its use?
Could it be that Butler pushed a plain piece of HofC note paper in front of him and asked for an autograph, only to add the text later? I think we should be told.
Has anyone contacted the White House to ask how Obama got a hold of HofC paper and if the endorsement is genuine?
Keep it up chaps! Not at all surprised that a nulabour MP attempts to bask in reflected glory, but watching you guys getting so worked up about Obama is a real treat.
Surely, surely, you feel just a touch embarrassed that Bush/Cheney was one of your kind? Have you no shame?
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