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Montevideo, April 20th 2019 - 12:53 UTC

Democrats take control of Representatives, but Republicans will strengthen grip on the Senate

Wednesday, November 7th 2018 - 06:48 UTC
Full article 34 comments

The US Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections. Taking control of the lower chamber of Congress for the first time in eight years will enable Democrats to thwart the president's agenda. But Mr Trump's Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate. Read full article


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  • imoyaro

    In theory, of course, the House of Representatives holds the power of the purse...

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 07:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot


    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is the youngest woman ever to get a congressional seat. The democratic-socialist received 78 per cent of votes in New York's 14th congressional district and ran on a platform that included the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, tuition-free college, a federal jobs guarantee, universal Medicare, gun control, an end to private prisons and access to affordable housing.

    Sharice Davids has become the first LGBT indigenous person elected to Congress and member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe Deb Haaland will also represent New Mexico's first district.

    In addition, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first two Muslim women elected to serve in the U.S. Congress in Minnesota and Michigan.

    Yes, there are setbacks, but societies still move ahead.

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 05:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I'm sure it's a good thing the 'first's are becoming increasingly obscure (LGBT *and* indigenous?), because it means those characteristics are no longer exceptional or a bar to being elected. But I can't help thinking the media is kind of reaching in talking about then. Why does everything have to be a first? If the newly elected have radical views (abolish ICE) that's interesting, if they plan to follow the party line then not so much.

    And what's a federal jobs guarantee, anyway?

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 06:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo

    I thank the Gods of heaven that New Yorkers elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to office. Bernie Sanders is a Socialist that is intellectually engaging. Although I completely disagree with his ideology, I respect him. Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot and she proves it in her interviews. She should provide us at least two years of nonsense entertainment.

    Enrique, do you realize using LBGT is not inclusive and hurtful? LBGTQ is the correct term according to their community. Shame on you...

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 09:24 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    No, shame on you, Chicureo! It's LGBTQIAPK+ now.

    Also, 'Gods'? Are you sure you're not a pagan? Did you celebrate Samhain this year?

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 09:44 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo

    Dang! I'm still in 2016, when “GLAAD's Media Reference Guide states that LGBTQ is the preferred initialism, being more inclusive of younger members of the communities who embrace queer as a self-descriptor.”

    Actually on two youthful occasions serving at sea I encountered the wrathfully and ferocious frightening god of Neptune. The goddess Mother Nature angrily shook my home in 2010. So yes, it's amazing when you encounter religion...

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 11:02 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I don't even know what all those letters mean...

    And yeah, I guess those things are pretty terrifying/awe inspiring. Which god is earthquakes, Pachamama? What was it like?

    Nov 07th, 2018 - 11:23 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo

    “The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on Saturday, 27 February at 03:34 local time, having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes.”

    Hard to describe, but the Mother Nature goddess can be a real mean b*tch.

    A 77 year old barn on my family farm collapsed and several of my own home's roof tiles fell off, but no one was injured. Scary!

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 02:32 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • imoyaro

    Fascinating that immediately after the new Congress may well call for release of his tax documents, Trump fires Sessions...

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 09:10 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    While renewal in politics is usually healthy, Miss Ocasio-Cortez is a nut case. As Chicureo well points out, to see her speak, is (at least) entertaining.

    Her platform, let's see : abolish ICE, free-tuition college, Federal jobs 'guarantee' (don't know what it is, but sounds like 'once in', you can't be sacked), Universal medicare (where's the money going to come from ?), access to affordable surprised she lobbies for “affordable” housing, thought she'd go for “free”-housing......while she's at it, why doesn't she advocate abolishing income tax, and shut down the IRS ? then the 'people' will have money to buy their marijuana and dream all day....

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 07:49 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo


    But... Wasn't that the campaign promises of the PT?

    Apparently, she now is the new face of the DP (Democrat Party)

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 07:59 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    right.....promises either impossible or unlikely to be kept....but they seem to work well on the ignorant masses.

    Don't know whether Ocasio's face, or Pelosi's, is worse...but at least we can laugh at Ocasio, who acts like 15 yr old girl in front of Robert de Niro....BTW, intend to visit the Tribeca Grill (owned by de Niro) next time in NYC... to devour a big juicy, medium-rare prime USDA steak - sounds really Republican, despite the left's veggy tendency....

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 09:46 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo


    Socialism is like a nude beach, sounds good until you get there.

    I agree, most NYC steakhouses are fabulous! Expensive, but well worth going to.
    I used to be a big fan of the Boi Preto churrascaria in Salvador where I dined several times. Even the churrascaria where I was a frequent customer, which I can't remember the name of, in Juazeiro was very satisfying as the service was phenomenal. Brazil is the only Latin American country that understands the importance of truly ice cold beer, but your red wine is undrinkable.

    Nov 08th, 2018 - 10:12 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    Sounds like what you have in Brazil already: tuition-free university, little immigration enforcement, free healthcare (crappy, but it's free), federal employees can't be sacked (probably not what she meant though). Okay, maybe not the affordable housing.

    “Ocasio's face, or Pelosi's, is worse”

    Seriously? But even Pelosi is nothing like as bad as Trump, the guy has a terminal case of resting bitch face.

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 12:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    Ocasio-Cortez is apparently a virulent Anti-Semite. Let's see what happens...

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 08:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    In Brazil : free-tuition ? yes, at public universities ...but to implement 'free' in the US, rough estimate US$ 330 billion/year ; Little immigration enforcement ? yes, but 'mainly', because they aren't capable of, or can't be bothered to control it better. Free Healthcare ? yes, ”crappy (with a few exceptions), but it's free“ ......I'd like to see you use it.
    And 'fed jobs guarantee', googled it short, 'anyone who needs a job, can get one”...9,7 million 'full-time propositions', could be created for a cost of US$ 543 billion/year;
    Where's the $$$ to come from ?
    Agree, Trump's face is anything but wonderful, but just commenting on Ms Ocasio...her ideas are all very nice, but slightly utopian.

    Regarding the steakhouses, ever been to The Palm, Smith & Wollensky's, Peter Luger, or Mortons ? it's hard to describe the experience until you've been...
    In Juazeiro, “O Chimarrão” ?

    Agree, Brazilian wine used to be nothing to write home about...but has improved a lot last decade ('imported' technology and oenologists), especially their 'espumantes' ...a few 'whites' have been winning some int'l prizes; Miolo I think, has some joint venture with Michel Rolland up in the NE (Bacia do São Francisco region) where some reasonable wines are coming from - obviously not as consistently good as the mid-range/top Chilean ones, but there is one winemaker in the south (from Vale dos Vinhedos in Bento Gonçalves), called Vinícola Almaúnica, whose 'Reserva' Merlot, and 'Reserva' Cab Sauvignon (2012 vintages -US$ 45) are fabulous...I'm prepared to stick my neck out for them ....from Chile, my favourite is Errazuriz' “Don Maximiano”, (Founder's Estate) from Valle do Aconcagua ...unbeatable, but slighly expensive here (US$ 150). I enjoy the Errazuriz 'Max Reserva' range, and also Viña San Pedro's '1865'...also the whites from the Casablanca Valley region.....fact is, it's hard to find a bad Chilean wine.

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 04:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo


    Once to the famed Peter Lugar ,which was wonderful and numerous occasions to Morton's (Always excellent) in several locations. Went once to a RuthChris and was sadly disappointed. What they charge on wine lists in the USA for wine however is outrageous.

    In Petrolina/Juazeiro “O Chimarrão” was the place. You have excellent taste in your Chilean red wine favorites. There are some very decent reds as well from Mendoza, Argentina, but from a price/quality standpoint, it's hard to beat Chile.

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 07:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Have tried several Ruth's Chris (Hoboken, NYC, Memphis) and you're right, while nice, not a patch on Peter Luger and the others I mentioned. The wine IS indecent mark up in Morton's last October, a California Cab Sauv, “Papillon”, while fantastic, expensive as hell ($ 176 - but only $ 60 at Total Wine); another , “Artemis” (Stag's Leap cellars), $ 135 (Total Wine $ 44)....the solution, buy at the store, wrap in plastic bubble wrap and bring back as many bottles as Customs permits / fits in the suitcases.

    The other day, to comemorate Bolsonaro's win (but also, and more importantly, the PT's defeat), I opened up a very special “amarone” (Monte Faustino,2010)...unbelievable, kinda wine you've got to drink slowly, appreciate every drop.
    Will be ordering in a pizza soon, and have already separated an 1865, a 150th Anniversary Edition (D.O. Valle del Cachapoal, Cab Sauv + Merlot blend)...Salud !!

    I only know about “O Chimarrão” because a nephew of mine who lives in Teresina (PI) has been there and mentioned it.

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 08:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I suppose your government can only afford free tuition because few people go to university? I wonder how much it costs Brazil.

    ”Free Healthcare ? yes, ”crappy (with a few exceptions), but it's free“ ......I'd like to see you use it.”

    Why so?

    The jobs guarantee idea is interesting. Very expensive by the sound of it, and maybe not practical, but wouldn't it be much more beneficial to society to offer people the chance to earn a living rather than paying them benefits?

    Trump always seems to be pouting or scowling or gurning in all his photos, it's ridiculous. But I thought Ms OC was pretty enough, though maybe her ideas are not so nice if she's really anti-semitic.

    Nov 09th, 2018 - 11:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo


    So many great wines... So little time to enjoy them all.

    I had to google the Monte Faustino. Very impressive reviews! Wine is almost always daily on our table and we rarely spend more than US$6 a bottle for very decent reds. (My family typically buys our wine by the case) I come from a farming family and we had always produced wine grapes. For the past 20 years we've also produced table grapes for export, and most recently avocados.

    For several years I independently consulted with Brazilians in the Petrolina/Juazeiro area planting vineyards there.

    Nov 10th, 2018 - 01:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Have you had Amarone? Our boss ordered us a bottle last night after having it in Italy. We also had Aguaribay malbec, which was good, but the Amarone tasted really special.

    Nov 10th, 2018 - 01:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo


    No, sadly I'm ignorant of it. There are too many Chilean wines that are to sample. My days of travel now seem to be limited to Chile and occasionally Mendoza. “She who must be obeyed” no longer desires to travel elsewhere and she is my commanding officer.

    Nov 10th, 2018 - 02:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Re higher-education, when I was at Uni, there were the traditional State Unis (usually one each State, but not sure if in all) and very few private ones. Of the private ones, a few were not recommended, others were but expensive. I passed the entrance exams for the USP ‘n the FGV (private foundation based on Univ of Michigan curriculum). Back then, as matter of curiosity, I checked out the FGV fees, nearly fell over backwards…even if I got a job I wouldn’t have been able to pay for them. Had a look at average fee at FGV today, about US$ 1,400 /month. Today, higher education has become a profitable business, with – unfortunately – a lot of really lousy institutions (2400 total, with abt 8 million students ; only 197 institutions are Universities, with abt 54 % of the students. In the US, over 20 million in Universities. Re public healthcare, not ‘you’ personally, anyone. With ‘very’ few exceptions (such as the Hospital das Clínicas in SP), it is disgusting : months, sometimes a year or more to get a consult, not to mention surgery ; lousy infrastructure – lack of beds with people lying on blankets in corridors, insufficient stock of medz, broken equipment, disinterested professionals - including doctors etc….you would be afraid to get treated at most facilities…a result of false promises, State omission ‘n corruption. Re ‘job guarantee’ totally impractical….the State (i.e., society) cannot be burdened with such a cost. Short, professionalizing courses are the way to go…in the relatively short term, teach people a profession (useful to society). Ms Ocasio isn’t bad looking, but she’d look better with her mouth closed & her eyes not popping out of her head.

    @Chicureo – Brazil now imports a lot of cheap wine, fm Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina ‘n Chile…at US$ 10 it’s drinkable, and you might discover something reasonably good. I also drink a lot of wine fm AUS, NZL, SAF wine (the last, very interesting and not expensive). Amarone is only for special occasions.

    Nov 11th, 2018 - 08:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Still you know your wine well. I agree with your opinion of other wines. What is surprising is that China is expected to be the world's largest producer of wine, but for its internal market. Chile exports a lot to China.

    Nov 11th, 2018 - 09:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    It's not really surprising that China would eventually start to produce wine, given it's size,
    and the likelyhood that they'd soon find suitable terroirs. A few years ago, France was flooded with 'nouveau-riche' Chinese, who wanted to buy most of France's production of top wines....the French had the good sense to not give in, and to not ignore their traditional markets.
    About 3 years ago I watched a TV programme on wine being produced in northern Mexico - the producer was an American, and when asked whether he would consider his wine Mexican, or American, he was emphatic....Mexican....(the only logical answer)....the rocky, sandy soil, with hot days and cool nights should be able to produce something interesting.
    I was also surprised to learn, from an ex-secretary of mine, a Peruvian lady, that her grandfather and her father, produced wine in Peru.

    Nov 11th, 2018 - 10:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    China currently has more hectares planted in new vineyards than California. I've had Peruvian wine, but it was terrible. Peru's Pisco however is superior than my own country's. Their ceviche is better than my country's as well. Never tried Mexican wine although I understand they have excellent table grapes.

    Nov 12th, 2018 - 01:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The more options, the better, although unfortunately has nothing to do with the price.

    Nov 12th, 2018 - 04:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    It was a special occasion when we had the Amarone - my colleague's leaving do.

    A profitable business is exactly what US higher education is. From what I hear the FPV fees would be perfectly normal there, and England is not much better; fees at public universities are now about $12000 per year. No one gets a degree without crippling debt, and the irony is that most degrees just represent a box to tick on the form. You need it to be eligible for a decent job, but so many people have one that it's no longer particularly valuable.

    Re healthcare, do you have private insurance, then? I know that even in America the government provides healthcare for retired people, since insurance would be uneconomic. Do you not have the same problem in Brazil?

    “‘job guarantee’ totally impractical”

    Probably, but people going on the dole or on disability is also an expense for the state, and you don't get anything back from that. At least if you employed them, they could do something useful and gain experience at the same time. Wouldn't be practical to give everyone a job, but it might be beneficial for the long-term unemployed.

    Nov 12th, 2018 - 07:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    At times I wish I had gone to work at a winery.....i/o of going into business.

    Agree, the US higher education is very profitable, the Ivy League Universities can cost upwards of US$ 50 K / year. The FGV, at 18 K/year would be slightly more expensive than State Universities in the US, provided you are not an 'out-of-state' student, for whom the fees would be nearer to 25 K.

    “...that it's no longer particularly valuable.”.....I wouldn't say that, if it's essential to get a good job....maybe it's no longer a differential.....which means you need to go the extra mile to stand out.

    Yep, I've got private health insurance, US$ 6,300 /year. It's a good plan, and today, had I not gone to court on 2 occasions to get absurd increases cancelled, I'd be paying at least double. Not cheap, but you cannot afford to not have it. Those who can't afford a private plan, have to put up with the crappy public service....and hope they don't get seriously is not uncommon for poor people to die before they get a chance to see a doctor, and even sometimes while waiting for hours to be attended at some 'emergency' center. Not to mention the interruption of essential, long term treatments, due to broken equipment or lack of medz.

    Re the 'job guarantee' I suppose it comes down to calculating the cost/benefit ratio of just handing out jobs to people, as versus just paying them a benefit, and staying at home ....and the State should really scrutinize those to whom they concede 'premature' retirement 2017, the government detected and cancelled more than 1/2 million fraudulent benefits...physically and mentally sound people declared as invalids, 'dead' people receiving benefits... fraud is the name of the game..

    Nov 13th, 2018 - 07:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I didn't know you were so interested in wine. Would grapes grow on your family's land?

    I don't know how anyone can afford to go university in America, much less the Ivy League. I'm glad I went before they put the fees up so high here, and that I could go to a good one without worrying about paying more. Even with the increased fees, it would be cheaper for US students to come to the UK rather than go out of state in their own country, and not every state can have a good university. (Or they could study for free in Brazil, but most don't speak the language.) And 'no longer a differential' is exactly what I meant. After spending so much time, effort and money to get a degree, you still need something else to distinguish yourself.

    Public health sounds pretty terrible in Brazil, I suppose it's underfunded as well as suffering the usual corruption? And I don't know if your health insurance is expensive or cheap. I have health insurance free with my work, but it's a supplement to the NHS, not a replacement, it basically means I can get faster treatment for non-urgent things. US$ 6,300 per year sure sounds like a lot. What was their excuse for trying to increase it so drastically?

    “Re the 'job guarantee' I suppose it comes down to calculating the cost/benefit ratio of just handing out jobs to people, as versus just paying them a benefit, and staying at home”

    Yeah. Probably it also depends if there is work they can usefully do. IIRC FDR created public works schemes to generate employment in America during the Great Depression. I don't know how successful they were at improving the economy, but unlike the ones in Brazil they did get built and create a lot of new infrastructure.

    Nov 13th, 2018 - 11:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Grapes on our land ? is too hilly, soil is too fertile, too much rain.

    To get into University I faced competition of abt 10 to it's gotten more competitive, although the exams are probably easier. The educational systems in the US and here are quite different, so not only language might be a barrier.

    Public health...yes, all of that. The private plan contracts, besides yearly increases (usually 2 to 3 times inflation) stipulate addt'l increases when you move into a higher age group (say fm 45/50 to 51/55, and so on, and these increases can reach 30, 50, 70%. I managed to get 2 increases (of 30 and 71%) cancelled. Their excuse is that 1) medical costs increase well over inflation and 2) old people get sicker....Re (1) don't see why, re (2) true for most, but then why don't they evaluate the increase for each contract individually, in the same way that auto insurance determines your premium ?

    FDR and the Great Depression was definitely a very unique situation, and called for drastic measures. To what extent his policy attained its objective I don't know, but if it resulted in significant improvement in infrastructure, I'd say it was successful......

    The 2 Brazilian PACs, under the PT (2007 and 2010) chewed up one trillion dollars (at the exchange rates of the day) and the results were trifling (100s of projects not even started, unfinished, overpriced and wrought with corruption....and the money ??). Not to mention the projects financed by the BNDES (worth dozens of billions of dollars, and carried out mainly by Odebrecht) outside of Brazil (in the countries of Lula's friends)....none here....but that is a whole different story.

    Nov 14th, 2018 - 03:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Oh well, fertile soil and lots of rain is perfect for other things. What do you grow there?

    And what happened to the 9/10 students who didn't make the cut? In the UK today if your A-level grades are poor you can just go to a less good university, but that's what happens when the government wants 50% of all young people to have a degree. And why would they make the exams are easier if it's more competitive now?

    Re healthcare, it's true the costs increase faster than inflation, and as you get older the chance of needing it rises dramatically. Doesn't there come a point when the average person can't afford insurance any more? And what happens if you have some life-long condition like diabetes?

    The US might benefit from some more public works, as it seems a lot of bridges etc date from that time and need replacing. But not much point in Brazil if the money is just going to be wasted. It's a shame, Brazil could do with better infrastructure.

    What sort of thing was the BNDES financing? Sounds like Lula wanted Brazil to be an alternative to the world bank.

    Nov 14th, 2018 - 09:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    We developed about 3 hectares, left the rest (120 h) as virgin forest. The caretaker used to grow corn, vegetables, had some fruit trees....the vegetables tasted damned good, being fresh 'n no pesticides.

    The 9/10ths that didn't make the cut, kept on trying, or decided to pay their way (if able to afford) or gave up....dunno. More competitive now, only in terms of numbers....easier exams, as part of the PT's 'dumbing-down' policy...(to compensate the deficient secondary public schooling.

    Re health care, that's exactly what's happened....when people retire, have their income reduced (only ex-private sector workers), many can't afford the payments which increase at a far higher rate than their pensions. If you have some life long condition, and don't have a health plan, you go to the public health system...and cross your fingers.

    Talking of infrastrucure, at abt 3 am this morning, a section of an elevated expressway, (in the city of São Paulo) broke away at the 'expansion' joint , collapsed 'n fell 2 metres...causing a few cars to take a headlong dive into the part that fell...luckily, at that moment there were very few cars, all damaged but no one killed or seriously injured.....the reason is obvious, lack of maintenance....'n just to reassure us, the reporter mentioned a report/study done abt 2 years ago, which points to similar problems w/ 73 other bridges and viaducts....but maintenance is a word that does not exist's too much of a nuisance, and a drain on funds destined to corruption.
    The BNDES financed ports, terminals, subway systems, highways, dams for hydro power, bridges….watch the PT's finished projects, outside of Brazil. All overpriced to accomodate bribes - for everyone involved. Don't know what it sounds like, other than a way to get huge amounts of cash out of Brazil, legally , and in to countries where Lula's 'friends' ruled. And in the process, Brazil's infrastrucure was ignored.

    Nov 15th, 2018 - 06:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Is preserving nature considered a proper social function of land in the constitution? I hope so. It's a smaller scale, but I grow vegetables in my garden and they are much better than the bought ones, though some were more successful than others. My carrots turned into mutants and my broccoli all got eaten by caterpillars, so I gave up on them, but the potatoes turned out well and the biggest problem with the strawberries is stopping them spreading into the lawn. I also managed to grow some sweetcorn, but only a few plants since they need a lot of space.

    Maybe back then people who failed to get into university were still able to get good jobs without it. There are still well paid jobs that don't need a degree, but a lot more of them demand it than before.

    Our exams seem to get easier every year, but that's because the schools are judged on their results too and that creates pressure to dumb them down. I wouldn't expect the same thing to apply to a university entrance exam.

    It sucks if people who have worked all their lives can't afford health care when they retire. We forget how lucky we are having a system that's free and functions pretty well, even if it's not perfect.

    I looked up a picture of the expressway; yikes. It's a good thing it happened at 3 in the morning or it could have been much worse. Is maintenance one of the things that was cut by the government to save money, or is the responsibility of the state? Surprisingly there is nothing in the English language press about the incident yet, perhaps it'll appear on this website tomorrow.

    Presumably the BNDES was providing loans for those foreign projects and not just giving the money away. Do you know how much has been paid back?

    Nov 16th, 2018 - 12:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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