Archive for August, 2011

9/11: Made in Israel, Shared With America

The only things of which we can be certain: death, taxes, and paranoid, antisemitic fantasies among Arabs and the political Left:

Ten years after 9/11, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks are “alive and well” and fueled by an entrenched propaganda industry, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which issued a new report Wednesday showing how these theories have grown and evolved over the last decade.

In “Decade of Deceit: Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theories 10 Years Later,” ADL looks at the individuals who continue to circulate distorted conspiracy theories about 9/11, including the claim that the Jews or Israel perpetrated the attacks instead of al-Qaeda.

A new chorus of voices – who claim not to be anti-Jewish but simply anti-Zionist – have become the most popular promoters of these ideas, the Jewish group says.

The most prominent promoters of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories today are less often white supremacists and right-wing anti-Semites, ADL claims. Rather they more commonly are members of a group of anti-Israel conspiracists who see the 9/11 attacks as one of a series of “false flag” operations that Israel has carried out to manufacture a war against its Muslim enemies.

Certain conspiracy theories have increased in popularity over the past decade, according to ADL. The most prevalent anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that initially circulated following the attacks alleged that “4,000 Israelis” or Jews were forewarned and told to stay home from the World Trade Center on 9/11. While this theory has largely receded into the background, other major anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have come to the forefront.

According to ADL, the most popular conspiratorial allegations include the following:

Variations of this theory assert that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was behind the 9/11 attacks; the “proof” is in the “five dancing Israelis” arrested on 9/11 who were allegedly celebrating as the Twin Towers burned. Today, the theory claims that the five Israelis were actually directing the attacks and began dancing when they realized that their mission of creating a “false flag” operation had been accomplished.

Too bad those 4,000 Jews didn’t get the message to stay home: plenty died on that day.

And that’s a funny one about the “five dancing Israelis” (I thought it was “nine Israelis dancing” and “eight maids a-milking”). Because everyone saw who danced on 9/11:

Oh, and did I mention the political Left?

“9/11 was a joint Bush administration/Israeli operation. It is time America to wake up and smell the thermite!”- Posted on the “9/11 Truth” page of www.DevalPatrick.com

You don’t have to be a clueless, conspiracy-obsessed moonbat to support Deval Patrick. But it sure doesn’t hurt.

Deval Patrick’s official grassroots political Web site was launched with great fanfare by Team Patrick.

You’ll find the 9/11 conspiracy page on Patrick’s Web site somewhere between “Making Renewable Energy Work in the Commonwealth” and “More Funding to Public Education.” The 100 or so postings you find there represent the worst of the worst of far-left irrationality and unadulterated kookery:

“The Bush Crime Syndicate MUST be stopped,” (emphasis theirs) reads one entry.

“Controlled demolition. Clearly,” reads another, referring to the theory that the World Trade Center was brought down by bombs (almost certainly planted by the Mossad), not by the two planes that flew out of Logan Airport that morning.

While some DevalPatrick.com posters are dispirited (“It is the birth of the 4th riech [sic] and we have no one to protect us.”), many are grateful for the forum Gov. Patrick and his campaign dollars give the “9/11 truth.”

Patrick’s defenders say that the postings on DevalPatrick.com have nothing to do with Deval Patrick, the governor. It’s a blog, they point out, and once you register, what you post is your business.

Really? So if some homophobic kook starts a “Why Gays Deserve to Die From AIDS” discussion on the governor’s Web site, he’ll leave that one up, too?

Of course not.

This is his campaign, his money, his name. And yet, as of this writing, the governor has chosen to leave this vile, anti-Semitic, America-bashing 9/11 idiocy up for five days. It’s been debated on my radio show, written about in the Boston Herald, and the entire Web site is monitored by the staff of his committee. Why is this nonsense still there?

That was four years ago, and the post is not still there. As far as I can tell, nothing is. It’s been sterilized. But I’m not at all surprised to see that the disease has moved on, like bird flu or cholera, infecting those with bad mental hygiene.

Speaking of which:

A Kosovo man has told a German court he regrets shooting dead two US servicemen at Frankfurt airport and does not understand why he did it.

Arid Uka, 21, told the court he had been radicalised by jihadist propaganda videos he watched online.

Prosecutors believe he acted alone in carrying out the first deadly attack by an Islamist on German soil.

Two other US airmen were seriously injured in the attack on an air force bus in March.

“What I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did,” Mr Uka told the court in Frankfurt at the opening of his trial.

Prosecutors said he had wanted to kill the airmen because they were going to join the Nato-led force in Afghanistan.

The Kosovo Albanian said he had carried out the attack after watching a video purporting to show US servicemen raping a Muslim girl in Iraq.

In fact, the video was a scene from Brian De Palma’s anti-war film, Redacted.

Now, I’m an absolutist on the First Amendment, so if Brian DePalma wants to make movies depicting US soldiers raping a Muslim girls, he should go all out. When’s Redacted II, Grandma’s Turn coming out? I just wonder why he would want to. The barbaric real-life incident he fictionalized ended with US soldiers tried, convicted, and sent to Leavenworth for 100 years (the government even asked for the death penalty on the ring-leader).

The great Stanley Kubrick withdrew (not happily) A Clockwork Orange from circulation in Britain when it seemed to inspire copycat violence. I guess all I want is for the dishonest, disgusting liberal intelligentsia to have a ball or two and own up to what it has wrought.

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Private Sector Job Growth Dipping Mysteriously

The good news is that they added jobs; the bad news is that they added fewer than predicted and that last month’s numbers have been revised downward.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

The pace of U.S. private sector job growth slowed in August for the second month in a row with employers adding 91,000 positions, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the report would show a gain of 100,000 jobs. July’s private payrolls were revised down to an increase of 109,000 from the previously reported 114,000.

This is interesting:

The ADP figures come ahead of the government’s much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment and is forecast to show the economy added 75,000 jobs in August.

Math Question! Buck? If the private sector added 91,000 jobs, but total job growth (private + public) is 75,000 jobs, how many jobs were added in the Public Sector? Why, that has to be a negative number, doesn’t it? It would appear to be a net loss of 16,000 jobs, but then again, I’m not a math whiz and I could be wrong.

If I’m right, here’s what we can do. We can borrow money from China and hire these people to write plans to build unicorn farms in rural Rhode Island. That should easily put 16,000 people to work.

- Aggie

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FYI: Rick Perry Has A Strong Pro-Israel View

I’m not sure if our readers care about this or not, but it turns out that Governor Perry has respect for the Jewish State.

This is from the Washington Post:

I’ve written before about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s close attachment to Israel. It’s not every politician who mentions Israel in his kickoff speech or goes to the attorney general to encourage him to use legal means to disrupt an assault on the Jewish state (in this case, the second flotilla).

Perry has been a consistent critic of President Obama’s Israel policy. In May he issued this press release in response to Obama’s Arab Spring speech: “President Obama’s speech today continues a misguided policy of alienating our traditional allies, in this case Israel, one of our strongest partners in the war on terror. As someone who has visited Israel numerous times, I know that it is impracticable to revert to the 1967 lines. President Obama is asking our Israeli friends to give up too much security and territory as a prelude to a renewed peace process.”

Obama’s spinners will scream that Obama wasn’t telling the Israelis to accept the 1967 lines, but Perry has it exactly right: Perry slammed Obama for attempting to cajole Israel into accepting an inferior bargaining position, namely using the 1967 lines as a ”prelude” to peace talks. Also note the use of the term “1967 lines” rather than Obama’s “1967 borders.” The latter is a misnomer, as we know, a made-up term for the 1949 Armistice lines intended to convey finality or the force of law. Perry uses “lines,” reflecting his understanding that this was simply a stopping point after the Arab war on Israel ended in 1949.

Perry also can point to an award and trip in 2009:

Gov. Rick Perry has accepted the Defender of Jerusalem Award, given to public figures who have demonstrated support for the state of Israel.

Perry .?.?. also met with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and business and academic leaders during his trip.

“I have long supported the right of a Jewish state to exist in the Middle East and firmly believe in the protection and preservation of democratic states in that part of the world,” Perry said. “After visiting several sacred and historic sites, meeting with business, civic and government leaders and seeing the day-to-day lives of the people on my trips to Israel, I am even more convinced that a safe, secure Israel is an essential part of stability in this part of the world.” .?.?.

Perry has made previous trips to Israel. He emphasizes business connections between Israel and Texas through the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, his office said.

Texas is Israel’s fourth-largest trading partner.
That’s right — there is a Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce. The Web site explains: “The Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit business organization whose aim is to boost the economies of Texas and Israel by helping member companies develop important business relationships with each other and explore new market opportunities. The Chamber is strongly supported by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas as well as by Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor because both parties believe there are many opportunities for collaboration, especially in high-tech industries. Our goal is to earn a reputation as the most successful and effective bi-national business organization in the United States.”

Here in Massachusetts our Governor tried to establish ties with Israel just last spring, and the Left had a hissy-fit. There was at least one City Council Member in Cambridge, Marjorie Decker, who floated a statement condemning any visit to Israel by any Massachusetts government official. I didn’t follow up to see if it passed or not.

There are a lot of Israelis living and studying in this neck of the woods, but the culture here is antagonistic toward them.

I like what I’m reading about Rick Perry.

- Aggie

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Their Hearts an Minds Will Follow

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has the UN in such an uncomfortable grip, I expect her to ask Banki Moon to turn his head and cough:

The U.S. State Department has slammed a Florida lawmaker for trying to block the Palestinian Authority from seeking recognition as a new country and membership in the United Nations in September.

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced Tuesday she had advanced a measure to block U.S. funding to any U.N. member or group that supports an upgrade to the PA’s diplomatic status next month.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the Republican Congresswoman’s proposed measure would “seriously undermine our international standing and dangerously weaken the U.N. as an instrument to advance U.S. national security goals.”

The measure is actually a clause folded into a larger proposed bill that would transform the U.S. portion of United Nations funding into a voluntary contribution, one conditional upon American agreement on each funding target.

“We believe in U.N. reform,” added Nuland, “[but] we just don’t think that this is the right way to go about it.” The Obama administration warned long before Ros-Lehtinen submitted her proposal that the president would oppose it, according to the Reuters news agency.

That is a classic “but-monkey”, as Laura Ingraham would call it. This is the same State Department that considers Bashar Assad, the Syrian Assassin, the Chinless Optician, a “reformer”.

Squeeze a little tighter, Ileana!

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I Hope You Like Rocky Road

Because we’re about to get a second scoop, a double-dip [via Hot Air]:

While the key market moving event from last Friday may have been Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech which merely left the door open to future QE episodes, the most important event from an economic standpoint was the first GDP revision Q2, which dropped from preliminary 1.3% to a sub stall speed, in real terms, 1.0%. What is just as important is that as the following chart from Bloomberg demonstrates, the YoY change in real GDP, which is now at 1.5%, is a slam dunk indicator of recession: “Since 1948, every time the four-quarter change has fallen below 2 percent, the economy has entered a recession. It’s hard to argue against an indicator with such a long history of accuracy.”

Tons o’ charts to back it up, but I’ve had this suspicion (maybe an intuition) for little while now. Each week the new unemployment claims “unexpectedly” (™) rise, each month the unemployment rate stays above 8-8.5%, each “disappointing” or “stubborn” economic report or model. The economy feels like an overloaded (with debt) cargo plane trying to take off: if it doesn’t gain altitude, it’ll crash. You can’t bounce along the ground at 1-2% growth, and expect to get any lift. What seemingly can’t go up, will eventually go down.

The Obama Recovery began in June 2009 (that was their Recovery Summer), but here’s predicting it won’t live much past its second birthday.

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Better Make it Two States

Don’t read too much into this: after all, we have North and South Dakota, two Carolinas, and a couple of Virginias.

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar hinted Tuesday there may be attempts on Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas should he visit Gaza.

In an interview with the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, Zahar added Abbas would not be visiting Gaza.

Zahar stressed that Hamas was not interested in jeopardizing the internal security situation in the Gaza Strip should Abbas decide to visit and cause internal Fatah violence to occur as a result of “unsettled accounts.”

Actually, they don’t need two states. They have Gaza. At 139 square miles, it’s only a little smaller than St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and positively dwarfs Monaco and Vatican City. And if you built it up like Manhattan (NYC, not Kansas), it could house about ten million people—six times its current population. It can have statehood, and two area codes, just like Manhattan, too.

Do I have to think of everything?

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I’m Not With Stupid

Sometimes, I think about taking this punditry thing big time. You know, a syndicated column in the newspapers, guest appearances on news panel shows, round table discussions of the day’s big events.

But then I lose my ambition. Try as I might, and despite all available evidence, I’m not stupid enough:

President Obama’s promised jobs plan needs to be unrealistic and unreasonable, at the very least. If he can crank it all the way up to unimaginable, that would be even better.

This is a moment for the president to suppress his reflex for preemptive compromise. The unemployment crisis is so deep and self-perpetuating that only a big, surprising, over-the-top jobs initiative could have real impact. Boldness will serve the nation well — and, coincidentally, boost Obama’s reelection prospects.

Obama’s previous “boldness” left us with a yawning chasm of debt and a topless tower of unemployment—yet he needs more of same. So he can win reelection to ruin the nation for another four years.

Wow.

I’m a little hesitant to ask: what, pray tell, does the writer suggest by way of boldness?

Roosevelt won reelection in the midst of the Great Depression not by convincing voters that his opponents would make the economic situation worse but by demonstrating his utter determination to return the nation to prosperity, no matter what obstacles he had to overcome.

Obama and his advisers know very well that this is the wrong time to cut government spending. They know that using federal money to seed big new initiatives — to upgrade the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, jump-start the “clean” energy industry, retrain the unemployed so they can compete in tomorrow’s job market — would give the economy a much-needed boost. They know, too, that federal action to buoy the housing market would help revive consumer spending, thus giving corporations a reason to invest the estimated $1 trillion they’re sitting on.

Sweet Jesus.

Even if you love Obama (and I don’t), urging him to replay the Great Depression can’t be right, can it? And the best he can come up with is to “seed”, “upgrade”, “jump-start”, “retrain”, “buoy”, “revive”, and “invest”—all in order to “boost”?

Boldness from the president may or may not get the nation’s mojo working again. Timidity surely won’t.

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives would immediately declare any such ambitious program dead on arrival. The president should welcome their opposition — and campaign vigorously against it. He can offer voters a choice between a pinched, miserly vision of the country’s prospects on the one hand and an optimistic, expansive view on the other. He needs to demand what’s right, not what the other side is willing to give.

We know Obama can be rational, realistic and eminently reasonable. Right now, he needs to be anything but.

“Obama can be rational, realistic and eminently reasonable”? Barack Obama? Are talking about the same fellow? Or does he mean Uncle Omar Obama, the drunk illegal immigrant sitting in jail?

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Summer Reruns

Rush is talking about this as I write:

President Barack Obama, in an Aug. 29, 2010 interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, said he would propose a plan for jobs and economic growth when he returned from his summer vacation, the same claim he made after returning from his vacation this year.

“We anticipated that the recovery was slowing – the economy is still growing, but it’s not growing as fast as it needs to. I’ve got things right now before Congress that we should move immediately, and I said so before I went on vacation, and I’ll keep on saying it now that I’m back,” Obama told Williams when asked if he had a jobs plan.

“There are a whole host of measures we could take – no single element of which is a magic bullet – but cumulatively can start continuing to build momentum for the recovery,” he said.

That sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Oh wait, that was where I had heard that before!

But he just said it again!

The promise of a plan echoes a similar promise Obama made on Monday, saying that in the coming week he would present concrete proposals that would spur hiring and economic growth.

“Next week, I will be laying out a series of steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of working families and middle-class families, to make it easier for small businesses to hire people, to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s roads and railways and airports, and all the other measures that can help to grow this economy,” Obama said on Monday at a Rose Garden ceremony for new Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Alan Krueger.

It’s too bad Brian Williams died and isn’t around to remind us of what Obama—huh? What’s that? Brian Williams isn’t dead? He still anchors the NBC evening news? Oh.

So, it’s us. We’re brain dead. You can bet Obama’s counting on it.

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Obama Shows Interest In American Business

What a novel idea!

The ideas President Barack Obama is considering for his new jobs agenda could put hundreds of thousands of people back to work, and still have a limited impact in an economy that remains 6.8 million jobs behind its pre-recession peak, economists said.

Among the options Obama is considering is a version of a tax credit for new hires that could spur the creation of 900,000 additional jobs at a cost of $30 billion, according to an estimate by Michael Greenstone, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economist for Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“It allows the private sector to lead the economy toward the areas where the payoffs are greatest,” Greenstone said.

I’m agnostic on that, but it is interesting that he is noticing that businesses hire people. The Smartest Man In The World notices the obvious – or hires advisers who seem to notice.

- Aggie

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Statehood for Islamophobia!

Like Israel, it will be a Jewish state [hat tip reader Jeanette]:

The Obama-allied Center for American Progress has released a report that blames Islamophobia in America on a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America, whose views are being backed by millions of dollars. This “network”, according to the news release, have “have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

Who are the figures mentioned as the promoters of prejudice? Most of them are prominent Jews and supporters of Israel, such as David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson (the founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism). The eight foundations mentioned as funding this effort include are almost exclusively ones founded and funded by Jewish donors, and lest readers not be aware of this fact, the Center for American Progress lists not only the other beneficiaries of the charities and foundations (most of them having Jewish or Israel in the title) but also goes to the trouble of naming the individuals behind these charities — not just the donors but also those who serve on the boards.

Why include this additional information except to highlight that Jewish people are behind this effort to “defame” Muslims? By “outing” the people involved, the report puts endangers them. Furthermore, this “report” relies on the conspiracy and age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews fan prejudice towards others and promotes divisions for their own nefarious purposes (to support Israel in this case). This mindset is straight out of Mein Kampf.

The report also stokes the view that rich Jews operate behind the scenes and use their wealth to control the media and government policy (politicians are also mentioned as being ensnared in this web).

Antisemitism changes very little over the years. Maybe a new pair of jackboots, a change of brownshirt, but otherwise not much.

But it sure seems to be back in fashion!

The Center for American Progress to a great extent is funded by George Soros and his Open Society Institute. George Soros is a fierce opponent of Israel and alleges that the Israel “lobby” all but controls American foreign policy. This view is echoed by Stephen Walt who flags this report in his column at the Foreign Policy website.

CAP has very close ties to the White House. It is headed by John Podesta, who was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and headed Barack Obama’s transition team. A man closely linked to the last 2 Democrat presidents is publishing this kind of material. Podesta’s group remains influential with President Obama. Bloomberg News noted this relationship in its column, “Soros-funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Front.” Some key administration officials have come from the CAP, as well. These include such anti-Israel figures as Van Jones, who, after he was forced to leave the White House when his views became known, returned to his sinecure at the Center.

John Podesta, Van Jones… it’s a veritable who’s who of Democrats!

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What a Boob

We made reference just the other day to Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, and her antisemitic bleating to free Jerusalem from, you know, Jews.

Ms. Booth is the proverbial target-rich opportunity. Not just because of her size (large, but not unattractively so), but because of her vociferous views. Gaza is a “concentration camp” (fully stocked with munchies), if Bergen-Belsen had kiddie pools and luxury malls. Jerusalem isn’t Jerusalem, but Al-Quds.

And she has converted to Islam.

Little of that makes her different from the average Massachusetts liberal. I’ve probably sat next to dozens of Lauren Booths on the bus.

But she is different from the average Afghani woman.

Booth:

Refusing to discount the possibility that she might wear a burka, she said: ‘Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me?’

How do you feel about Cleveland?

Or at least Swat?

The situation in Swat was normal until the Taliban appeared and destroyed the peace of Swat.

They started their inhuman activities, they slaughtered people in the squares of Mingora and they killed so many innocent people. Their first target was schools, especially girls schools. They blasted so many girls schools – more than 400 schools and more than 50,000 students suffered under the Taliban.

We were afraid the Taliban might throw acid on our faces or might kidnap us. They were barbarians, they could do anything. So at that time some of us would go to school in plain clothes, not in school uniform, just to pretend we are not students, and we hid our books under our shawls.

Girls were allowed to go in rickshaws but the main thing was that they should wear the burka, the shuttlecock burka, because other types of burkas were not allowed.

Now things have changed here. Now we’re not wearing burkas and we’re allowed to go to market and there is no stress or pressure on us to wear the burka.

The shuttlecock burka?

Oh, I see.

Well, help yourself, Lauren. Though you may be harder to hear. (Wear two!)

And then there’s this (or these):

I, for example, have always been proud of my lovely blonde hair and,
yes, my cleavage.

‘Now that I’m Muslim,’ I said, ‘I will never have my breasts out in public again.’

What a loss.

And what a boob.

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If Paying Taxes is Patriotic, Warren Buffet is Benedict Arnold

You blew your big chance, Warren!

For a guy who spends a lot of time advocating for higher taxes, Warren Buffett does a remarkably good job of minimizing his own corporate tax bill. This is all to the good for Mr. Buffett and his fellow Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, who no doubt can invest the money more wisely than the federal government is likely to do.

Mr. Buffett’s recent decision to invest in Bank of America represents another tax-avoidance triumph for the Berkshire chief executive. U.S. corporations are subject to a top federal income tax rate of 35%, the second highest in the world. But the Journal’s Erik Holm notes that Mr. Buffett and the Berkshire bunch won’t pay anything close to that on their investment in BofA preferred shares.

That’s because corporations can exclude from taxation 70% of the dividends they receive from an investment in another corporation. This exclusion is intended to prevent double- or even triple-taxation as money is earned by one company, paid to another company and then ultimately paid out to shareholders. The policy makes sense; we only wonder why the exclusion isn’t 100%.

With the 70% exclusion for Mr. Buffett and his fellow shareholders, Berkshire will enjoy an effective tax rate of 10.5% on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America.

I agree with the WSJ on all points. Buffett earned the money, and he is a better judge of how to spend it (and how to shield it) than any number of Austan Goolsbees and Christina Roemers. Good for him.

So now it’s time to shut up and spend, Warren. Or just shut up. It’s your money: do what you want with it. Leave the res of us alone.

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