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  #1  
Old 05-23-2017, 04:56 PM
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The RIP America thread is 30 pages long and since vbulletin doesn't wrap or condense page number lists it's getting unwieldy.

To sum up the past couple of weeks: Trump fired James Comey, sent his spokepeople out to claim it was because of Comey's misconduct with Hillary, and then contradicted them on the record twice, admitting that he did it to ease the pressure of the Russia investigation which he claims is a made-up story. Then it was revealed that Comey had sent internal memos contemporaneously documenting the times when Trump personally asked him to lay off the investigation. Later it also came out that Trump had similarly pressured the directors of national intelligence and the NSA.

In other news, one of the times that Trump admitted that he fired Comey to end the investigation was when he met with the Russian foreign minister in the Oval Office, which we only have photographs of because a Russian journalist was allowed where American journalists were not, and at that same time he revealed code-word classified information about ISIS that Israel did not give us permission to share with anyone, much less the Russians. Soon after, Trump departed on his first foreign trip as president where he embarrassed himself in front of Netanyahu, saying unprompted in front of a press gaggle that he never once mentioned "Israel" to the Russians, which was incidentally the first time a public official said "Israel" on the record regarding that incident.

Meanwhile special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by the DOJ to investigate the entire Russia affair. The White House is already trying to undermine him.

It has been confirmed that Trump knew Flynn was under investigation when he hired him. And he reportedly pressured him to take the job even though he didn't want it. Now Flynn is pleading the fifth. Seems like more is coming about about campaign contacts with Russians every day. The investigation is looking into a cover-up. Republicans are coming out for impeachment. Rubio thinks people got what they voted for. McConnell's friends think he might come around soon.

This is a really terrible summary, lest anyone think it's thorough. I tried.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:24 PM
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You forgot the most important thing; Trump is making Ommpa Loompas look bad to the whole world.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:34 PM
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Trumps phone call with Duterte makes me want to puke. The guy is murdering people by the thousands and Trump thinks that's worth a congratulatory phone call. Of all the terrible things he's done, this might just be the worst.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:24 PM
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Trumps phone call with Duterte makes me want to puke. The guy is murdering people by the thousands and Trump thinks that's worth a congratulatory phone call. Of all the terrible things he's done, this might just be the worst.
Trump literally LOVES 3rd world dictator/strongmen. That alone should be the scariest thing to any American who actually loves our democratic tradition. This guy literally wishes he was a dictator who murders his own people. How the fuck can anyone support him.

Oh, and good summary of the last few weeks, T.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:25 PM
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Can one of the mods lock down the RIP America thread? Do we have any non-Wot Mods anymore?
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:21 PM
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Can one of the mods lock down the RIP America thread? Do we have any non-Wot Mods anymore?
Aside from bossman, I have no idea.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:10 AM
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Today's latest news...Trump may be bringing back Corey Lewandowski to handle his crisis management as part of his response to the Russia probe.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...e-im-coming-in
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
Trump literally LOVES 3rd world dictator/strongmen. That alone should be the scariest thing to any American who actually loves our democratic tradition. This guy literally wishes he was a dictator who murders his own people. How the fuck can anyone support him.

Oh, and good summary of the last few weeks, T.
Except, that would also apply to most American Presidents. As I've argued here before, for all of George W Bush's many faults, he was no friend to dictatorship, and was one of the first President's of whom that can be said.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:02 PM
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Except, that would also apply to most American Presidents. As I've argued here before, for all of George W Bush's many faults, he was no friend to dictatorship, and was one of the first President's of whom that can be said.
Did you, or a lot of your friends and family personally serve in the 2nd Iraq War? I continue to be confused by your unwillingness to admit just how massive a mistake not just the restructuring of Iraq was, but that the decision to remove Saddam in the first place was a massively disastrous miscalculation that coupled with the subsequent disenfranchising of the Sunni in Iraq (especially the decision not to fold most of the Baathists into the new govt, just as we did after WWII with most of the Nazis), led to the destabilizing of both the country and the region, and hence directly led to the rise of ISIS. Furthermore, while he had an obsessive hatred for Saddam, he still was friends with most of the other despots in the Middle East - Sharon (yes, I'm including that pos, just like Israel's current pos, with all these other thugs), the Saudis, Mubarak, not to mention all the other local royalists (qatar, kuwait, jordan - jordan's king abdullah ii actually seems like a pretty good ruler). The Younger Bush's stance towards dictators was pretty typical in terms of expectations for an American president. Trump's is not.

More on topic, the CBO on the House Trumpcare Bill has been released:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/u...alth-care.html

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WASHINGTON — A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would increase the projected number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That 10-year figure is slightly less than originally estimated.

It would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March for an earlier version of the bill. And in states that seek waivers from rules mandating essential health coverage, the new law could make insurance economically out of reach for some sick consumers.

“Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums,” the budget office concluded
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:46 PM
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The Washington Post has yet another example both of Russian intervention, and of Comey's stupidity (or complicity)...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.f1abfd922582

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In the midst of the 2016 presidential primary season, the FBI received a purported Russian intelligence document describing a tacit understanding between the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server.

The Russian document mentioned a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter — a conversation that if made public would cast doubt on the inquiry’s integrity.

Current and former officials have said that document played a significant role in the July decision by then-FBI Director James B. Comey to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.

But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau.
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The document, obtained by the FBI, was a piece of purported analysis by Russian intelligence, the people said. It referred to an email supposedly written by the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and sent to Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations, an organization founded by billionaire George Soros and dedicated to promoting democracy.

The Russian document did not contain a copy of the email, but it described some of the contents of the purported message.
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From the moment the bureau received the document from a source in early March 2016, its veracity was the subject of an internal debate at the FBI. Several people familiar with the matter said the bureau’s doubts about the document hardened in August when officials became more certain that there was nothing to substantiate the claims in the Russian document. FBI officials knew the bureau never had the underlying email with the explosive allegation, if it ever existed.

Yet senior officials at the bureau continued to rely on the document before and after the election as part of their justification for how they handled the case.

Wasserman Schultz and Benardo said in separate interviews with The Washington Post that they do not know each other and have never communicated. Renteria, in an interview, and people familiar with Lynch’s account said the two also do not know each other and have never communicated. Lynch declined to comment for this article.

Moreover, Wasserman Schultz, Benardo and Renteria said they have never been interviewed by the FBI about the matter.
So, Comey knew that the Russians were meddling in the election, were using Wikileaks to hack the DNC, but somehow couldn't figure out that this was obviously just disinformation?
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:51 PM
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Did you, or a lot of your friends and family personally serve in the 2nd Iraq War
I fail to see the relevance of the question?

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I continue to be confused by your unwillingness to admit just how massive a mistake not just the restructuring of Iraq was, but that the decision to remove Saddam in the first place was a massively disastrous miscalculation that coupled with the subsequent disenfranchising of the Sunni in Iraq (especially the decision not to fold most of the Baathists into the new govt, just as we did after WWII with most of the Nazis)
Well the restructuring as horribly bungled, which I've always agreed with. The decision to remove Saddam could not have been better; it's one of the few times American foreign policy has combined to be both moral and geopolitically correct. However poorly the aftermath was handled, that remains true.

And in practice, there was a massive difference between the Nazi Party and Ba'athist Party. Nazism was so prevalent in wartime Germany that to ban any Nazi-affiliated people from government would effectively leave the country without anyone to govern it. Ba'athism was far less enthusiastically embraced and there were significant minority populations in place that had been oppressed by the Ba'ath Party and could conceivably reconstitute a government. I don't know what the right answer to the question is; it goes part and parcel with the shortsightedness of the campaign to remove Saddam. We needed to be ready to stay there for the long term to set up a functioning government, and Bush wasn't. It's worth pointing out that Sunni's weren't totally disenfranchised and retain numerous rights, both effectively and constitutionally.

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led to the destabilizing of both the country and the region, and hence directly led to the rise of ISIS.
It played a part. But you cannot exculpate other regional players like Iran for not exploiting the mismanagement of reconstruction for their own ends. If Iraq had not had to deal with an Iranian funded insurgency, we might have a very different geopolitical picture in the Middle East as the new government found time to gain it's footing.

Again, the postwar period was horribly bungled and not planned for properly. But removing Saddam should have been done decades previously. Every possible crime, both in letter and spirit, that a government can violate, he did. He was an active threat to his neighbors, and the world at large. His genocidal campaigns against his own people are well-documented. He deserved much worse than he got.

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Furthermore, while he had an obsessive hatred for Saddam, he still was friends with most of the other despots in the Middle East....
Well, I'd argue the Saudi's are an interesting case to discuss a dictatorship, which to me strongly implies a narrow power base exploiting key political offices, a culture of fear, and the military to assert itself over the majority of the population. Which... isn't necessarily the case in Saudi Arabia? I don't read much about the native population being restless.

But in any case, he was no better and no worse than most other American presidents. It's not like Mr. Obama did much in that arena, either.

Quote:
The Younger Bush's stance towards dictators was pretty typical in terms of expectations for an American president. Trump's is not.
I agree about Trump. But I think his actions in regard to the Taliban and Saddam show just how atypical his attitude was. Those are both governments that previous administrations had propped up or left alone despite horrible human rights abuses because it was politically expedient. We can thank one of the great war criminals of the century in Henry Kissinger for that.
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:02 PM
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I fail to see the relevance of the question?
As all the rest of your response makes clear, there is no logical reason for your stance. Removing Saddam was incredibly and obviously foolish. Yet you continue to try to justify that decision. If you felt a personal attachment to that failed mission it would help explain your stance. Otherwise...

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And in practice, there was a massive difference between the Nazi Party and Ba'athist Party. Nazism was so prevalent in wartime Germany that to ban any Nazi-affiliated people from government would effectively leave the country without anyone to govern it.
The Baathists were both the govt and the army. Ridding the new govt of them thus not only removed all able administrators and officers, but also meant ridding the govt of all experienced and trusted Sunni voices, as the Baathists were with very few exceptions, like Saddam's Christian foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, Sunni. Refusing to include the Baathists thus not only alienated the Sunni, but it meant handing power exclusively to the Shia, which meant essentially handing power of to Iran - since they were the only Shia power, and neighbors. Iran didn't fund the insurgency, they directed and manipulated the govt that we installed, and funded the militias that fought against the insurgents, fighting and involvement that only further undermined any chance at the Sunni trusting the new govt.

We, unfortunately, have had this same conversation seemingly dozens of times.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:40 PM
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it's one of the few times American foreign policy has combined to be both moral and geopolitically correct. However poorly the aftermath was handled, that remains true.
It was an idiotic decision that destabilized an entire region and destroyed all the progress we had made in Afghanistan since we diverted all our resources to it...and it directly led to the issues we're having with ISIS now along with all the other issues we're having in that part of the world.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:21 PM
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Dems may have just wrapped up one new seat in the House.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/re...rticle/2624100

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A reporter said he was body slammed by Republican candidate Greg Gianforte at an event for Montana's special House election.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:52 PM
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As all the rest of your response makes clear, there is no logical reason for your stance. Removing Saddam was incredibly and obviously foolish. Yet you continue to try to justify that decision. If you felt a personal attachment to that failed mission it would help explain your stance. Otherwise...
Or I have looked critically at the fact pattern that was Saddam's time in power and come to the conclusion he was a massive threat, locally and internationally, and that even ignoring that, his numerous human rights violations, and daily unprovoked attacks on NATO forces, constitute good and valid reason to dethrone him. I've made my logic perfectly clear, and no one has ever really bothered to refute the reasons, only the conclusion. He was actively planning another war with Iran, according to post-invasion debriefing of Iraqi military officials. His attempted genocide of his Kurdish citizens is beyond refutation. There is strong grounds (I'd say overwhelming, given the nature of the Iraqi police state) to believe he was harboring international terrorists. He certainly was busy bribing and otherwise suborning various international officials through the Oil for Food Program. The only thing that kept him from starting a THIRD war or a second attempt at wiping out the Kurds in his borders was daily NATO policing action, so it isn't like he wasn't needing to be restrained by force anyway. And the bounty he put on NATO pilots just adds insult to injury.

Yes, the aftermath of the invasion was poorly planned and even more poorly executed. But you cannot take the post-war debacle and use it as an excuse to justify leaving Saddam in power. Had the Bush Administration half a brain, they would have executed a plan for stabilizing the country post-regime change. Whether the mass deposing of Ba'ath Party officials was correct... I mean, I don't think it was, but given that many of them became prominent ISIL members helping to destabilize the new government, I think there is a fair argument that leaving Ba'athists in power would have resulted in an actual "deep state" of Saddam sympathizers wielding real institutional power.


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The Baathists were both the govt and the army. Ridding the new govt of them thus not only removed all able administrators and officers, but also meant ridding the govt of all experienced and trusted Sunni voices, as the Baathists were with very few exceptions, like Saddam's Christian foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, Sunni. Refusing to include the Baathists thus not only alienated the Sunni, but it meant handing power exclusively to the Shia, which meant essentially handing power of to Iran - since they were the only Shia power, and neighbors. Iran didn't fund the insurgency, they directed and manipulated the govt that we installed, and funded the militias that fought against the insurgents, fighting and involvement that only further undermined any chance at the Sunni trusting the new govt.
I'm not sure this is true. Sunni's would have felt disenfranchised regardless, because anything even remotely resembling an equitable solution would have left them mostly powerless in a state where they had held ultimate political power for centuries. They didn't want too much of a decentralized state because they have no oil. They didn't want too centralized of a state because they're a minority, and the minority that had been oppressing the majority not a few years previously, to boot.

If your theory is that disaffected Sunni became violent insurgents after being dismissed from government service, then I don't see how one can concomitantly deny that leaving them in some form of power wouldn't have led to an attempted coup, in some form or other, by those very same Sunnis who had had their hands on the levers of power for decades.

An important difference between the Nazis and Baathists is, as I said, that the Nazi government, for all its many atrocities, had broad public buy-in from its population almost from its inception. Yes, there were obviously dissidents, and the folks who ended up in the camps might also have disagreed, but for all of the thirties they were viewed as a legitimate representative government, and no one bothered when they gradually eroded democratic institutions. Saddam was never that sort of dictator - his power was of the minority over the majority, not visa versa.

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We, unfortunately, have had this same conversation seemingly dozens of times.
I know, and we won't convince each other. I just am of the opinion that your argument against removing Saddam seems totally predicated on the fact that his removal ended in disaster. I believe that there is/was a way to effect regime change that, coupled with intelligent people planning intelligently, can end with a stable, functioning state/government. No one has ever convincingly, or even non-convincingly, refuted any of the multitude of reasons to depose Saddam. All anyone really does is point to how fucked up the region is now. To which I say; this was coming, inevitably, anyway. The reason the Syrian Civil War is so brutal is not because people thought "oh yeah, the Americans invaded Iraq, lets have ourselves a nice old vicious revolution," but because decades of colonial misrule followed by further decades of Soviet or American-supported strongmen have viciously brutalized (I'm liking those two words today, it seems) their populations and now there are decades of not centuries of mistrust and hate boiling to the surface. Unless your answer is "keep supporting dictators so their people aren't free enough to violently overthrow their oppressors" (also known as the Henry Kissinger Way), then this was going to happen.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
Dems may have just wrapped up one new seat in the House.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/re...rticle/2624100
Watch him win anyway.

(Seriously though, couldn't the guy wait a couple more days to lose his shit like that? What an idiot.)
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Watch him win anyway.

(Seriously though, couldn't the guy wait a couple more days to lose his shit like that? What an idiot.)
He body slammed a member of the liberal media...if anything, that probably improves his chances in Montana.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I know, and we won't convince each other. I just am of the opinion that your argument against removing Saddam seems totally predicated on the fact that his removal ended in disaster.
No. Removing Saddam was just as necessary for us as was removing Carthage and the 3rd Punic War for the Romans. Both were wars fought against crippled enemies that had already been rendered toothless. Both were built purely upon pretext - Carthago delenda est for them, yellowcake for us.

It was an entirely misguided and unnecessary endeavor. This wasn't just a mistake because of the mess that it created, nor because Saddam had been useful to us in that he was secular, and to remove him wouldn't just create a void that either we would have to fill longterm or else face the likelihood of something even worse filling that void - in this case 2 things worse than him - both the Shia Iraqi Govt, and Sunni ISIS. No, his was so misguided because he was no threat to us. No threat to his neighbors.

The mere fact that he was a thug wasn't reason enough to intervene. This is why we were also wrong to remove Qaddafi. Why we would be wrong to remove Assad. Or Erdogan. Or Putin. Or Duterte. Or Maduro. Or Netanyahu. Or Kim Jong-un. We should not be the world's cop. There is only one tyrant whose removal should be our concern - Trump. But even that should follow legal and constitutional paths, not violent. If we can impeach him good, if not, we're stuck with him till '20.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
He body slammed a member of the liberal media...if anything, that probably improves his chances in Montana.
The Fox reporters on the scene just confirmed the reporter's account, which is in contradiction to Gianforte's account:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...-reporter.html

Quote:
Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:53 PM
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More Libtards spewing Fake News as usual.

Gianforte is a man's man and he doesn't take crap from the liberal media who are out to destroy him and all god-fearing patriots!

God Bless America!!!
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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