Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Can Politicians Just Shut Up About Rape For A Second?

Politicians, with a particularly large percentage of them coming from the Republican party, have been having a bit of a word vomit problem lately when it comes to the subject of rape. You probably remember Representative Todd Akin discussing the differences of legitimate and illegitimate rapes, which sort of kicked off the parade of GOP politicians being unable to shut up about rape. Then you had Richard Mourdock talking about rape babies being a gift from God or some such… Both went on to lost their elections. But the GOP realized the whole rape thing was a bad idea to talk about and decided to stay quiet.

Ha, just kidding. No, not only did they not stay quiet, but Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey decided not just to bring rape back up, but to specifically bring up Akin’s comments. And then to attempt to defend them by saying Akin was partly right.

Now, I understand what Akin and Gingrey are trying to suggest… Gingrey flat says it.

“[…] and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape.”

But here’s the problem: Discussing rape in those terms is ridiculous and makes it seem like it’s a common occurrence. It might be somewhat common, but you know what’s even more common? Rape. Gingrey and Akin want to talk about not wanting to punish non-rapists, but they remain silent on how to improve punishment on actual rapists. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure their medical defenses are a load of crap. Gingrey says adrenaline can hinder the possibility of pregnancy, suggesting that rape is the primary type of sex adrenaline is secreted during… which is stupid, because he defends it by talking about couples consensually trying to procreate having too much adrenaline, thus entirely nullifying his point.

The discussion of “legitimate” rape is toxic on every level. It makes the subject turn to “Is the victim lying or not?” Now, I know we have an innocent until proven guilty system, so it’s up to the accuser to prove things, but rape is such a very iffy subject in court when it comes to evidence, and we’ve got a culture that loves to pin rape on the person that was raped. What we should do is make punishments for both rape and lying about being raped intensely severe. Make it so people aren’t as willing to falsify a rape claim, which has happened from time to time, as well as maybe deter rape and make any accusations of rape that much more serious, as the accuser is putting themselves on the line. Seriously, that’s the only type of political discussion that should be had. Treat rape as a terrible crime. Don’t attempt to justify or categorize. Even members of the GOP are saying that. Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster, and Kevin Madden, a Mitt Romney campaign adviser, have basically both said that GOP politicians need to shut up about rape.

Of course, that’s not going to happen. Not when “moral crusaders” like Representative Paul Ryan are going to try to pass bills allowing rapists to sue the women they’ve raped. And make many forms of in vitro fertilization illegal… for some reason.

Yeah… the day the GOP decides to stop being morally reprehensible while claiming to be the moral representatives in government may be the day the world ends.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “My Freeze Ray” From “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”

I’ve actually got quite a lot of things to talk about. Many political. States’ rights, free market economy, what the election means for America, CEOs threatening to not hire thanks to Obamacare…

What, you thought you’d heard the last of political nonsense now that the election’s officially over? You poor fool. We’ve got reactions to the election to look at, like how Alabama and Mississippi are intensely racist and awful, or like how there are at least 15 petitions on WhiteHouse.gov with over 150 signatures started by random citizens for states to secede from the union. And then there’s the whole “What do the results mean” talk, like how does the GOP have to change and what do the GOP leaders in Congress need to do in order to help fix the economy and et cetera.

And I want to talk about a lot of those things. I think many of the subjects of politics for the next many years are, well, very important. I think discussion is very important. It can get hairy, of course, as this year’s Thanksgiving may prove for me and my family… I don’t know if I can hold back if my mother starts waxing Poe-esque poetic about the doom and gloom of our nation and how America as a world power and a land of freedom and opportunity is dead…

But you don’t have to hear me babble on about politics tonight. Today is laundry day, and the first full laundry day I’ve had in, like, a month. Maybe longer. I’ve had opportunities to throw a single load of clothes in the wash over the past many weeks, but today all of it gets washed. And, beyond that, I apparently need to go grocery shopping and pick up a few non-edible essentials. After which, I’m going to have to lay low on my spending money for a while… thanks to Christmas shopping, rent, my wreck and my Tracfone suddenly deciding to drain all my units inexplicably, I’m rather low on funds. I mean, I get paid on Thursday, but I’m still riding a bit of a line for a bit. I may need to revisit my $31 a week food plan. Just for money’s sake.

Anyway, as this is laundry day for me, and I don’t have time to write much else (or, in reality, actually ponder and formulate an intelligent position on much else, I can write rather quickly), I wanted to leave you with the laundry day anthem, brought to you by one of the joys in life, Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s on Netflix Instant Play and it’s under an hour long. And it’s got Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. And singing. And a horse.

Go watch. (And, if you’re really itching for politics, watch this Epic Rap Battle between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Fair warning, it’s not entirely safe for work… but it is entirely pretty funny.)

“My Freeze Ray” – “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”

Laundry day
See you there
Under things
Tumbling

Wanna say
Love your hair
Here I go
Mumbling

With my freeze ray
I will stop the world

With my freeze ray
I will find the time to
Find the words to

Tell you how
How you make
Make me feel
What’s the phrase?

Like a fool
Kinda sick
Special needs
Anyways

With my freeze ray
I will stop the pain
It’s not a death ray or an ice beam
That’s all Johnny Snow
I just think you need time to know

That I’m the guy to make it real
The feelings you don’t dare to feel
I’ll bend the world to our will
And we’ll make time stand still

That’s the plan
Rule the world
You and me
Any day

Love your hair
(“What?”)
“No I- I, uh love the- air”
Anyway

With my freeze ray I will stop-

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Tuscaloosa May Not Be Safe Today

I don’t know if you pay any attention to football… but here in the state of Alabama, it’s pretty much impossible to not hear something about college football. Here in Tuscaloosa, it’d take a very severe coma and being locked in a room 300 feet underground not to hear about it. Especially this year. The University of Alabama Crimson Tide was one of four ranked undefeated college football teams going into their game today.

And today, due to unfortunate faults in defense, crazily well-made plays by the opposing offense, turnovers and fouls (some of which were rather suspect in being called/not called), the No. 1 Crimson Tide lost 29-24 to No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies. It’s a rather crushing blow for fans of the Tide, who truly expected a repeat of three seasons ago, an undefeated season leading straight to the National Championship, which would be the third one in four years. Unfortunately, unless at least two of Notre Dame, Oregon and Kansas State lose a game, UA may find themselves going to the Sugar Bowl instead. They are likely to finish their last two games without defeats and be sent to the SEC championship against, most likely, Georgia, but the National Championship may be now out of reach with so few games left.

Football’s very important down here. I feel like writing about anything else would get me ignored/yelled at by the populous. So, I’m writing about this. Because, with the loss of Mitt Romney and the Crimson Tide in the same week, I feel that Tuscaloosa may not be the safest of places to live in at the moment. I might not leave my apartment tomorrow.

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Obama Wins

I don’t really have anything else to say. President Barack Obama has beaten the Republican contender Mitt Romney, making this election out to be just like 2004 with different colors.

In other news, three of the more heinous candidates for U.S. Congress got ousted or kept out… Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock of the infamous rape quotes lost their Senate races and Representative Joe Walsh lost to Tammy Duckworth. Also, the hotly contested, high profile Massachusetts senate race was won by Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Colorado has become the first state to legalize marijuana, which will probably bring the far too pointless and costly war on drugs (particularly marijuana) to the front of Obama’s next term, and Maryland just became the first state to legalize gay marriage by a popular mandate. Or maybe Maine was. It seems like both are doing it.

In more downer-esque news for my state, it seems the controversial, will-be-a-major-pain-and-harm-our-state Judge Roy Moore will win the election for Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. I can only imagine the SCOTUS will get a lot of appealed cases from Alabama.

Anyway. As the elections unfold, I’ll keep my eyes on them, pretending to try to sleep and failing miserably. If your candidate(s) just lost, please don’t say you’ll move to another country or America’s going to be destroyed. It won’t happen. Just calm down, breathe deep and try to get through it. And maybe take a more active role in government.

…I guess my political posts are going to be severely truncated now. Lord knows what I’ll write about.

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On Aid Privatization And Disaster Politicization

So, this hurricane thing… it’s been happening, and it hasn’t been grand. Hurricane Sandy has wreaked quite a bit of havoc on both New Jersey and New York City, with power still out in many areas of both places.

It used to be, it seemed, that when a big disaster occurred, be it natural or man-made (I will include terrorist attacks in this category), Americans could pull together to figure out what to do to fix things, at least for a while. Pearl Harbor brought the nation’s furious wrath into World War II, a war it had no true intention of entering before. 9/11 brought Americans together to aid New York City as much as possible and, for a few months at least, it seemed, brought petty partisan politics and hate to a standstill… well, except for some unfortunate xenophobia and Islamaphobia. Truth be told, we did the same thing to the Japanese-American population after Pearl Harbor.

…so, America doesn’t have the best track record on FULL unity and cooperation and support after massive attacks from a foreign entity… but when the tornadoes ripped through Alabama, severely damaging Tuscaloosa in particular, the nation turned to help. Same for Joplin, Mo. Neighboring states took in refugees after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. When the federal government failed to mobilize responsibly, local and private interest groups stepped in to pick up the slack.

But, apparently, that togetherness disappears a week before elections.

See, when the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, President Barack Obama came into town to view the damage. Obama walked with Mayor Walt Maddox, Republican Governor Robert Bentley and several Congresspeople, many who were also Republicans. During that event, in April 2011 before the real meaty parts of the reelection process began, no one thought anything of it. It was the president doing his job, surveying damage with local government officials, discussing strategies for aid and pledging support. Didn’t matter who was what political party.

But, now, here we are with Hurricane Sandy. Obama has done the same thing he did with Tuscaloosa. He left the campaign trail to focus fully on his duties as president and try to preserve as much life and livelihood as possible. He mobilized FEMA. He called New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie the night of the storm hitting the coast. He came to New Jersey and surveyed the damage. Pledged support. Discussed strategies for aid. Gov. Christie has praised Obama for his speedy and efficient support in the matter, and it can be noted that Christie, a Mitt Romney supporter, has had some less than glowing words about Obama even within the past week or so. When “Fox and Friends” tried to ask Christie about whether he thought Romney would do the same thing, Christie said, “If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.” You can see it here on this “Daily Show” clip about the hurricane.

Of course, Republicans are crying foul over Christie’s words. Human waste pile Rush Limbaugh thinks Christie’s gay for Obama. The Daily Caller columnist Matt Lewis is wondering if Christie could find a way to not look like a prop for Obama’s reelection. And President George W. Bush’s FEMA director during the Hurricane Katrina debacle Michael Brown decided to criticize Obama for reacting to the destruction too quickly.

Yes, there is some political discussion that could be had. For example, what is the benefit of government-assisted disaster relief? Should FEMA be cut or privatized? Those are the conversations that can be had. After we focus on helping those in need, those affected by the disaster.

Yes, Romney suggested cutting FEMA, letting the states handle it entirely. Yes, that would likely leave New Jersey in trouble right now with how it’s been affected. And, yes, Romney has now changed his position on FEMA, saying it plays a key role in disaster relief. So, yeah, we’ve got another flip-flop from Romney, and yeah, the conversation about federal disaster relief v. state disaster relief v. privatized disaster relief is one that we can have, and perhaps should have. I plan to go into it myself at a later time when discussing the desire to have states with more government power than the federal government.

But can we not, for this moment now, just stop playing politics and just help people? Seriously.

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Depression Is A Serious, Dangerous Thing

With another GOP congressperson saying another insulting and idiotic thing about rape (and a second one saying stupid stuff about the dangers of pregnancy), and Paul Ryan dedicating his and Mitt Romney’s term in office to fighting to remove rights for gay people, you’d think I could talk about a ton of stuff tonight.

And I could. Really, there’s quite a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, this is yet another night where I haven’t exactly given myself much time to do any of that chit chatting or yelling about sexist, heterocentric, backwards policies from a political party that needs a swift kick in the head and a hard reboot on understanding what should matter in this country.

Instead, I’m going to briefly talk about something else that should matter to people: Depression. It is, in fact, a serious medical condition. I’m not talking about feeling sad because someone broke up with you or something, though I suppose that could trigger it, but actual, medically labeled depression.

It’s possible that I have it in a unipolar sense. I’m not sure. I don’t drink, which helps me stave off my worst bouts, and so far the most self-destructive thing I’ve let myself physically do is eat poorly and perhaps refuse to socialize. …actually, thinking about it, I might be socializing more, so scratch that. Anyway, while I’ve had a long, two year period of down days, very rarely uplifted by anything good, I’ve been fortunate enough to never suffer severe bouts of depression. Maybe I could benefit from medicine, but I’m just not going to bother with that. I, personally, want to solve this on my own because I don’t think I have a chemical imbalance, just a psychological dislike for myself and my life as it stands.

That said, I repeat that depression is serious business. And it’s something friends should look out for. Truly. If you have a friend that you think is depressed, and I mean depressed and not just temporarily mopey, you need to reach out to them. Don’t turn them away. Don’t dismiss their feelings, even if you’ve heard it a billion times before. That won’t help. Encourage them to see a doctor, but also just encourage them. Be there for them in good times and bad, because that’s what a true friend does. And when a friend is depressed, they could really use someone, something to help stave off the imagery of suicide that envelopes many of their idle hours.

I’m going to leave you with a link to a Tumblr post written by comedian Rob Delaney, a man who has actually suffered through alcoholism and depression. You can read about his struggles with depression here. It’s worth the read.

Depression can be life threatening. But it can be survived. And, personally, I think friends are a great first step.

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And Now, We Wait. Then Vote.

Tonight was the third and final presidential debate, and the first and only one I managed to watch all the way through live. In my personal opinion, President Barack Obama won the debate. Mitt Romney did put some strong points out there at times, but most of the time, while the debate was still thoroughly on foreign policy, Romney looked and sounded less than confident. Many times, Romney contradicted himself (such as complaining that Obama attacking him isn’t talking policy, then turning to attack Obama, or his stating that killing doesn’t solve thing,s then advocating for our ability to have multiple conflicts simultaneously). Other times, Romney simply seemed to say, “I agree with the president, I’d’ve just done it better.”

In the end, though I know people will likely say I’m biased, I think Obama came out strong and clear, working on his record and calling out Romney’s “mistakes.” Romney, meanwhile, seemed to capitulate and only on occasion fight back with any conviction.

If you missed the debate and want to see them talk foreign policy (and often slip back into domestic policy and the economy, where Romney felt far more sure of himself), you can view the debate here. (Someone tell me if that doesn’t work, by the by.)

Anyway, after Tweeting up a storm (most of which didn’t end up on Facebook… probably a good thing), and not sleeping much ever, I feel exhausted. I also need to go start working on cooking up my two chilis for Thursday’s chili cook off. I have to let the flavors sit and mingle, though I’ll add most of the chocolate to the sweet chili the day of, I think.

Now that the debates are over, though? Go vote. Seriously. Do it.

So. From me to you, goodnight and talk to you later.

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Obama Stepped Up His Debating Game

I actually got to watch, like, the last half or quarter of the debate this time! Success (sort of)! I was coming back from auditions for “Godspell.” …and now I get to wait all morning for a return phone call. Yay nerve wracking waits.

Anyway, while I missed the “folders of women” part of the debate people are still memeing about, I did get to watch some pretty great moments. I saw the moderator Candy Crowley fact check Mitt Romney. I saw President Barack Obama get angry enough in tone and body language to make me think he was about to let fists fly. I saw substance. I also saw Barry ask a “really tough” question. (Hint: It wasn’t at all.)

The biggest thing I saw, though, was a massive change in Obama. He seemed to take a bit of advice from Vice President Joe Biden’s performance last week: Be aggressive.

While I think Obama (and Romney at times) did perhaps abuse his time with the mic a bit too much (One instance in particular made me want to say, “Come on, you’re doing great, just let the next question happen.”), he definitely brought his A game this time. He actually called Romney on his… mistakes, rebutted, talked with passion and compassion, and still managed to get facts and numbers out there.

He had chutzpah, as some would say. And it was nice to see.

No other real reaction from the debate, except can we PLEASE have more moderator fact checking? Seriously. It’s beyond wonderful, it’d be almost criminal not to have it.

If you missed the debate, you can view it here, or on YouTube.com/politics, I shouldn’t wonder.

…now I’m going to go to bed and fret over this potential callback. If you want more of my commentary on the debate, you can check out my Twitter. I did a few live tweets.

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The Failed Math Of The Romney/Ryan Budget

Now, fair warning before I get started: I’ve not seen this budget that these two have worked out. As far as I can tell, almost no one has. See, the two of them are nearly adamant in refusing to actually tell anyone how their budget would work. In an interview with Fox News, Paul Ryan nearly said that he didn’t have the time to give Chris Wallace the numbers and said, “It would take me too long to go through all of the math.”

Which might be true. It’s an interview. But maybe Ryan and Mitt Romney could supply some of those numbers, considering Ryan is claiming that the budget is “revenue neutral.” Which, from my understanding, means that their budget plan won’t earn America any money, but it will certainly stop America from losing money.

That means, numbers wise, that they have to cut $1.1 trillion (the current deficit, as I recall) from the current budget, or add it to the government’s income. Generally speaking, the government’s income comes from taxes. So, the solution is to cut spending and to raise taxes.

Now, Romney’s been having a bit of a problem on the road of telling anyone what he’s going to actually do in any specifics whatsoever. He’s said, specifically, he’ll cut funding to PBS and NPR. Okay. That’s specific. He’s said he’d slash funding to education. …a bit less specific, but alright. He’s said he’ll close tax loopholes… though, apparently, we have to wait until he’s elected to find out which ones.

“The Daily Show,” my go to source for a collection of clips of candidates and others saying things that don’t seem to add up with one another, had a rather excellent segment on Romney’s odd mathematics, or lack thereof.

See, it’s hard to find the specifics of what Romney wants to give up. We could look at Ryan’s budget, but Romney has said, very firmly, that his budget is different. Things changed. So it wouldn’t really do us much good. There are, however, some specifics on Romney’s website here. With the numbers provided there, it tallies up to a total of:

$219.6 billion slashed from the deficit. With a potential extra $100 billion from “empowering states to innovate.”

That’s a chunk, but it’s not deficit eliminating chunk. So, is he going to do something else?

Well, apparently, Romney is going to cut taxes across the board by 20 percent, and then he’s going to restore the defense budget to pre-Obama spending and increase it by building a lot more boats and three subs a year.

…which is where things start to get wonky for me. See, the way I understand it, if taxes, the federal government’s biggest revenue, go down, then the deficit goes up. For taxes to lower, things have to be slashed en mass to get the deficit lowered. But Romney wants to increase defense spending. All of this seems to almost eliminate the (let’s say) $319.6 billion cut from the budget.

“But it takes time! You can’t eliminate a deficit this big in one night!”

I find that argument intensely ironic, as that’s what supporters of President Barack Obama have been saying for a while now. And he still had to drive through the storm for a couple years before coming out on the other side. Romney would be starting his presidency, if elected, with unemployment rates lower than Obama started with and a stronger stock market than Obama started with. It’d seem that the sluggish removal of the deficit would have almost no excuse.

“If you lower taxes, the economy improves!”

Now, this gets into big economic theories I’m not personally familiar with. However, using logic, I can determine a few things. First, that likely isn’t true as a rule. If lower taxes improved the economy, then why tax at all? There is likely a point after which to lower taxes any more would be detrimental. Second, I feel like if that were a fact, the economy would have been doing nothing but improving since Ronald Reagan. In fact, it should have seen a strong hey day during Bush’s presidency. And it was strong for a while. Then it crashed. Which reminds me of the 1920s in America. The economy was going swell… and then it shattered. Could it be that there were not enough regulations and policies were passed that saw brief economic booms traded in for lengthy depressions?

But whether the economy improves or not isn’t what I’m discussing. I’m talking the federal budget. Simple as that. An improved economy would help, certainly, as it would potentially increase tax revenue, but I don’t think the economy will improve that much during a Romney presidency. It would be slow. Which sounds like his recovery plan.

And that’s the thing. Romney’s specific slashes and changes to the budget (which are, in my opinion, quite irresponsible) would move the deficit down some, while our debt continued to increase. Then he’d put policies in place he thinks will improve the economy (and let’s hope it won’t crash it), which would slowly move the deficit down some more. And if no one touches anything, maybe, in 10, 15, 20 years, the deficit will be gone. Tada!

But that’s not enough. There need to be some harsh realities. Taxes need to be raised. Loopholes need to be closed, particularly for corporations that get to keep their money overseas for free. We need to make it more expensive for companies to give their jobs to other countries, and make sure no corporation goes without paying taxes. The defense budget needs trimming, as does the rest of the budget. If you eliminate charitable donations tax deductions, close off tax deductions and loopholes that tend to only apply to the extremely wealthy and the big corporations, and bring corporations and companies back to the US with their jobs, you might start seeing a flow of money both in the economy and in the government’s pocketbook. THAT is what needs to happen.

Dunno if Romney will do that or not.

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So, Why Kill Big Bird, Exactly?

And by “kill Big Bird,” I am of course referring to Mitt Romney’s comments in the presidential debate stating that he would cut federal funding to PBS.

Now, I’ve talked about this before. I’ve made a generally philosophical and cultural plea to continue funding the arts. I could make a plea to education, or a plea to emotions about education…

…but the more I think about trying to convince people to not take federal funds away from PBS and company, the more I realize that I have no idea WHY people want to take those funds away.

“The Daily Show” has a bit discussing the ridiculousness of it all and supplying some reasoning for why people might want to cut it: Propaganda. …which I honestly can’t recall ever seeing on any show on PBS. Seriously. It seems like, more and more lately, the right is wanting to condemn education and facts as propaganda and warp them to fit their own narrative. Intelligent design, make history exclude certain people, et cetera. Which, really, is a frightening prospect. It’s like a war against reality. Considering Mr. “Pack of Lies from Hell” from yesterday’s post, I feel that might be accurate, sadly.

There’s another argument to keep funding PBS going around lately, from the Twitter account of fictional “The West Wing” President Josiah Bartlet. The tweet read: “TLC was founded in 1972 by NASA and the Health Department as an educational channel. It was privatized. Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.#SavePBS”

And that’s a really disturbing thought. I have heard counter-arguments, saying if PBS were defunded, it would pay for thousands of Pell Grants… Which sounds great, until you remember that the guy that wants to defund PBS wants to cut Pell Grants, too.

So, why defund PBS? There are SO MANY OTHER items in the budget that could be dropped, items which would return SO MUCH MORE money. “The Daily Show” has clip after clip after clip of Republicans dismissing the president’s attempts to cut amounts from the budget that are “insignificant” and “too small to matter” before they turn around and support cutting PBS and company, which gets a far lesser amount.

Before I can really form an argument to defend PBS and NPR and the like, defend their spread of education and facts to everyone, people who might not be able to access other methods of education or somesuch, I need to know why this is Romney’s big slash to the budget. As far as I recall, it’s one of the only things he’s flat out said he’d cut from the budget. For everything else, apparently he’ll tell us after he’s elected? I dunno. But he has said, unequivocally, he will cut funding to PBS. I would just like to hear why, exactly.

So, conservatives: Your turn. Tell me why.

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