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Blitzer’s blog: Most politicians are honest
June 7th, 2011
01:26 PM ET

Blitzer’s blog: Most politicians are honest

We know politicians lie. Anthony Weiner is the latest example. He follows in the footsteps of many others. But as a reporter who has covered Washington for more than 30 years, I must say this: Most politicians, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are honest, hard-working public servants.

Unfortunately, the highly-publicized jerks get a lot of attention, and, in the process, they smear the reputations of the others who are decent patriots. These men and women work very hard for their constituents. They have to schlep back and forth to their districts and states. They are gone from their families for long periods of time. Compared to the private sector, they don’t make huge amounts of money. They always have to recognize that everything they do and say is closely scrutinized by an aggressive press corps, and now, increasingly, an exploding blogging and social networking world.

I admire these people who are willing to put up with that kind of life. Yes, they enjoy the power of being a senator or a representative. Yes, they enjoy the perks that come with the job. But I also know there are many downsides for them and their families. So even while we report on the horrible blunders of an Anthony Weiner, let’s not forget all the good work most of his colleagues are doing. I admire these people who are willing to put up with reporters like me who are always prying and asking tough questions.

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Filed under: Politics • Situation Room • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. WETFUSE13485

    The press lives for days like this while the rest of us in this nation worry about our nation and what problems we have as a country..


    June 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  2. kylllong

    It really comes down to honesty. I can't believe some of you are actually condoning lying as normal. Do you let your children lie to you? Do you put up with a waiter or waitress lying to you? Get real! The lies must stop.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Bill Carey

      I agree 100%. Why is Wolf taking this time to defend all politicians? It is a disguised defense of Representative Weiner because he is a Democrat and Wolf is in the pocket of the Democratic party.

      June 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  3. notarichboy

    I needed a good laugh this morning, thanks Wolf!!

    June 8, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  4. slick

    OBAMA – WEINER 2012 !!!!!

    June 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  5. David W. Flagg

    Dear Wolf Blitzer,

    I appreciate the you get a closer look at politicians than I do. But what evidence can you provide to show that even one is honest and working for the good of the country?

    It seems to me that lying and cheating is a prerequisite for a successful career in congress. The only thing that seems to motivate them is their reelection, their party, and their major contributors

    Sincerely your,
    Dave Flagg
    Syracuse, NY

    June 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Scott A.

      I agree completely, where is your evidence Mr. Blitzer? Every election we see and hear more politicians saying whatever they can just to get elected or re-elected and then when they are "safe" in their position, they do whatever they can for the people that own them, give them more money and power. Then they take advantage and abuse the so called perks that we have to pay for and then start telling lies to cover their rears when they get caught. Sure, there are probably a few good ones out there who are actually working for us, the people, but I would not even come close to saying "most" are honest. Nothing you can say Mr. Blitzer will change that until our government starts taking care of us and this country and not what they want and what their party wants. You lost so much more credibility with me with this absurd article....not that you had much already.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • DixieMay

      I was going to post my sentiments but you did it for me. All I have to say is ditto what he said!

      June 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  6. Mary Stevens

    "Most politicians, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are honest, hard-working public servants." If this is Truly the case Mr. Blitzer, and they CARE then WHY hasn't the Leadership and the Members of the House FIRED Mr. Weiner. Maybe a lack of LEADERSHIP? Why are we even talking about Resign? FIRE HIM!

    June 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Mary Stevens

      We don't even need to have an investigation... HE Admitted too it. HE LIED. FIRE HIM!

      June 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • Frank

        They can't just fire him. Where did you even learn about how government works?

        June 17, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • Frank

      Who exactly is it that you imagine has the Constitutional authority to fire him? Do you know what you're talking about?

      June 17, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  7. Kenneth

    He needs his ass spanked for lying... Do it on public tv for all the young people to see... Apparently, his mother or father did not do a good enough job... What a shame for our govenment... He needs to go... He has.mental issues... Hum.... Who do we really have running our country... Pampered idiots who has never had grease under their fingernails... I think most politicians have lost touch... I will pray for our politicans and country... God Bless...

    June 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  8. Ronmicor

    Mr. Weiner has done nothing more than what most men are doing every single day. It's not a big deal, everyone of us has skeleton's in our closet. We once had a President that had admitted to having sex with a co-worker. So what really has he done so bad? None of us are perfect. I think everyone is making too much of a big deal about nothing. It is really between him and his wife and family now and all should just shut up about it.

    June 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  9. Joe

    Bottom line:Whether it be the Congress, House of representatives, or Executive offices those that are in Washington were elected to represent their respective constituents in their respective states. They are a reflection of districts and or nations and the values their districts and or nation holds. They gave up their time and the life they lead in that time to hold public office. Since they represent the people of America in a public office they should be under constant scrutiny of Americans to ensure they represent the people in the most honorable fashion possible. If they harbor a "habit" unfitting of those values then they should step down in the interest of allowing the American people to get on with the issues of the country and be deemed unfit to hold office since trust is the most valuable asset the politicians have.

    June 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  10. MoneyedPoliticians

    So Wolf is kissing up to the politicians again, when he knows full well that they are virtually all corrupt as hell, taking cash bribes from special interests that want in the taxpayer's pockets. But I forgive him; if he were honest he'd have to politicians showing up for an interview.

    June 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Kaden

      Well done arcitle that. I'll make sure to use it wisely.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  11. RJ

    That's funny cause I think Obama lied a lot to the american people and he continues and he doesn't get it at all.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  12. Ken from VA

    With all due respect, if you really believe most politicians are honest then you truely are in the entertainment industry.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  13. Ronny Jones

    "Most Politicians are honest" is a bunch of manure. It's media crap like this which delays our economy from getting out of this rut we are. We put our focus on the wrong issues. If Wiener should resign on the basis of his lying, then there should be a long line of the rest of politicians to quit there jobs also. We are trying to fire a man for something that happened in his personal life which had nothing to do with his ability to perform his job. If there was proof that within those three years he was not able to do his job, then yes he should resign. But there is no reason to have to quit because you lie. Who out really tells the truth 100% of the time. You find those guys and try and make them politicians.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  14. Gretchen

    Wolf,you are salavating at the mouth with this weiner crap.Why don't you bring up mark foley,remember the republican who propositioned congressional page boys?,he was nver arrested and those boys were under aged.what about the toe tapping senator who tried to pick up a under cover p[olice officer in a bathroom,oh yes he too was a republican.What about that male prostitute who pretended to be a reporter,and was going in and out of the bush white house? what happened to him? I think that Weiner did wrong to his wife.Also what a joke to allow comments from donald trump to play,when we all know he has cheated on every wife he's had.I almpst forgot the californis republican governor who had numerous affairs on his wife and even fathered a child with his maid.How dare any of you ssuggest that weiner should resign from office,when wha=t he did ,pales in comparison to what these republicans have done.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  15. Dana from the Bay Area

    Donald Chump is a joke and I don't know why you even had a clip of him. He's one to talk and I don't believe for a second Anthony called him for Donation funds just like I didn't believe for a second Chump was running for president. I find it odd people still believe Mr. Chump is credible enough listen to.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  16. Dana from the Bay Area

    The blond lady that said "Who Does That" when referring to Anthony obviously is out of touch with the Internet. In answer to her question.... EVERYBODY...

    June 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  17. Ron

    Don't miss the bigger picture. Travel outside of the beltway and tune into middle America – the very voters that will create major, and perhaps unanticipated, swings in the 2012 election results. We don't need Washington-based polling to understand this discontent. Congress has lost the majority of public confidence because of its inability to address the critical issues facing the United States – jobs, a balanced budget & the loss of primary economic dominance in a expanding world economy. In the private sector, such inferior job performance would be met with immediate dismissal. So there may be a majority of decent elected officials that are nice people (yet hardly "hard working" on the issues that matter) – but they and their leadership are over their heads and they aren't getting the job done. This is the real scandal – not the weirdness of a few Members of Congress.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  18. Dehni


    You seem to be a smart and savvy guy. How is it that you don't know that Obama, and any other president for that matter cannot generate or establish jobs in this country. IT is the Private Sector (not the public sector) who must develop and grow jobs in this country. If you keep this fact from the American public, your viewers, you are not only misleading the public, but you are out-and-out LYING to all who watch your show and CNN. As Oprah says, "When you know better, You do better." I hope you will take these words under serious advisement, otherwise you are doing the viewers great harm, and are showing that you are not a Journalist, as we assume you were trained to be, but a mouthpiece for the Republican party and Tea parties. And that would truly be a shame.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  19. John Martin in Shoreline, WA

    This is why I stopped watching CNN. You are the dishonest mouthpiece of the Democrat party, just as FOX is the corrupt voice of the Republicans. It is time to revolt, America!!!

    June 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  20. jane

    Are you crazy? They are only out for their pocket. Screw the little people. They should all be fired and sent packing. And to think we pay them! Most of the public are like sheep.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  21. Michael Boyett

    I forgot to mention that I remember Anthony Weiner once passionately defending the less fortunate among us on the house floor. I also know that the Congressman works extremely hard for his constituents. I am very torn by this whole episode. He made a huge mistake and will pay a huge price personally and professionally, but what is the right punishment for him? You have read more of the exchanges than I, but I'm fairly certain the women involved were willing participants. This was a private matter concerning Weiner and his wife – until the press pushed for an answer. I sincerely hope that this man will be allowed to make up for his mistake and find forgiveness from his wife, his constituents and his colleagues. It would be, I believe, a mistake to destroy him completely without first giving him a second chance.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  22. Michael Boyett

    Just curious, Wolf, but what is that Weiner jerk's record?

    June 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  23. Jeremy Taylor

    Above and beyond the persons that sevre in the House and Senate my all time favorite is Wolf Blitzer, what a great guy I've been watching and admiring him for many years.

    June 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  24. D-Nice

    Most politicians are honest. That's good one! That was a joke right?

    June 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  25. Peter

    You have got to be joking me. Most politicians are correctly characterized as giant scumbags that are bought and paid for by corporations, just like most news outlets including this one. However most of the electorate are fools who keep electing the same scumbags because they see their names on TV.

    June 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  26. j james

    tough questions from wolfeee? how is your garden? Is you pay enough? are you happy? tough questions.

    June 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  27. James Bryant

    Wolf should remember that when the Frank Capra film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was premiered in DC members of Congress were shocked to see themselves depicted in such a way. In the end Congress is just a mechanism and it suffers from worn out defective and ill fitting parts. We should insist that it work better but be realistic in what we expect from people who seek to be parts in the machine.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  28. abby

    Most politicians are honest? I don't think so. They are on the take from lobbyists; they have to tell lies all the time campaigning.
    If you think I'm cynical, I am. Been around way too long and seen too much.
    The latest photo of Weiner is just one more reason I've given up on politicians. I still vote, but I don't believe any of them.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  29. OnTheRoad

    OK, you chopped the cherry tree down, and when asked you say 'I did not do it', is that a lie? Again you chopped down the cherry tree, and when asked you say 'I don't know who chopped it down', is that a lie? Again you chopped down the cherry tree, and when asked you say 'I did not chop the tree down, but I think 'Joe' did', is that a lie? It seems that (I would say 99.9%) of our politicans 'lie' to us on a regular basis. Granted, a lot of the time, it is that they do not really 'Tell' us the whole truth, but is that not really a 'lie'?

    June 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  30. Chris

    Pandering Blitz? Really? Your right, those poor poor downtrodden millionaires who have to "schlepp" it. How do they manage to still have the strength to get up in the morning and not fix our economy and constantly bicker and shove us into perpetual gridlock. Truly and inspiration all of them.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  31. glyder

    he's kidding right?remember how the healthcare bill was passed.we'll vote on it first,then we'll read it.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  32. Roger L

    Honest people can answer questions with a yes or no. Politicians need three paragraphs and then they still haven't answered the question they were asked. When that trend changes I'll believe that politicians can be honest.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  33. cyberCMDR

    I heard about this one Washington party attended by Anne Landers. Someone introduced a Congressman to her, who said "I understand you're a comedian, tell me something funny". She looked at the Congressman and said, "I understand you're a politician. Tell me a lie!".

    June 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  34. Dennish

    PLEASE!!!!! U havent asked a democrat a tough question in ur career! Weiner is a scum bag and u all should call him what he is.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  35. Chris (DC)

    First of all the main stream press never should have dug into this story. It was created by a right winged blogger with a clear agenda. Instead of reporting the news, outlets such as CNN piled on. Sure, he lied and that is wrong. However, CNN and others NEVER should have been asking and pushing. Also having been in Washington, DC for about 20 years I know many in the media are not saints. Because of this and because you are only to report, the media is also to blame for things like this. If Cong. Weiner was doing his job that is great. The only person he must or should answer to over this behavior is his wife and family. I surely doubt anyone would be thrilled to be hounded by a blood thirsty press on something that was stupid, but not relevant. How many great politicians would have been run out of office over far more scandalous things? Jefferson certainly never would have been in office and he was one of our greatest.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  36. RKen

    I don't think I'm alone in having a hard time sympathizing for most people in high level political positions.

    There's no doubt there's a lot of hard workers; especially in the lower rungs of the ladder. But you would be hard-pressed to find many politicians at the top that don’t have their pockets lined by corporations, unions, or what have you that all seek to buy their own agendas out of the politician. This shouldn’t be allowed, but it happens all the time… and we all turn a blind eye.

    This is more a symptom of a broken system though than bad people (though there’s certainly both). The amount of money you have or can raise shouldn’t be more important than your leadership, reasoning, and policies… but it is. And I can't fully sympathize with those that continue to participate in this obvious fallacy.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  37. fortunate

    Come on, Mr. Blitzer. 'Honest Politician' is oxymoron. And of all people you have to know that for a fact.

    Honest people just do not go into politics. When they try the pack of liers of all sorts that inhabits the political lands trumples them in the dust. The most ruthless go to the top, the most arrogant got caught. In cases of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton it gets together. In cases of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy the legend is cleaned by their own blood. For example, it is widely admitted that 'Honest Abe' was the most shrewd and double-speaking head of state in 19th century. In cases of Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses Grant historians try to say something after so many years, but who listens. Those are big figures, but in their shadows, smaller politicians fight for the larger piece of meat biting, and snarling, and uniting in temporary packs to kill one of theirs to start fighting again for more. Around them throngs of lobbyists-bribers keep their wares over the heads of that mob in hopes (not unfounded) that one or other of the political dogs get a bite and can be for a while put on a leash of some group of interests.

    That is politics, and I tried to keep my hand against going into more details. However, I just wanted to air my opinion with no hope that you would agree with me. After all, despite positioning yourself as an independent observer, you are a natural part of it for a very long time. Your 'independence' has its price too.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  38. Jorge

    Aha,aha,AHAHAHAHA. Wolf, what congruent universe do you live in?? I've worked close enough to politicians pestering the construction projects that I've run to know that they are a whole different species. They live for one thing and one thing only, the deal. They barter on the the credit for other people's achievements like Ken Lay bartered on other people's trust. They'll make deals with crazy bible-thumpers one minute and with strip-club trannies the next. You're starting to worry me, dude, who are you working for these days?

    June 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  39. James G. McConnell

    Hard working? Honest? Devoted to public service? Most congressmen do just what their party leaders – motivated by what appeals to their core constituencies, not by what is really good for the country – tell them to do. Why? because that's how you get coveted committee appointments and chairmanships, and how you advance your career as a politician. It seems very apparent now, with all the useless political posturing over the debt ceiling and Medicare restructuring, that most congressmen don't care a whit about real debt reduction, spending reductions or policy changes which would help economic recovery and preserve the middle class.

    June 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  40. Keith Long.

    I think Wolf has spent way too much time in the Washington social circles. He has lost touch with the way the rest of the country lives. To say that most politicains are truthful and honest is a joke at best. Almost without exception, they are primarily interested in their own reelection and will do whatever it takes to achieve that end. Instead of voting for whatever is best for the American public, their attention is more likely riveted on who supplies the most cash to their reelection campaign

    June 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  41. Scott

    Get with it Wolf. You are part of the problem. First of all, there is not one single servant in our house, senate or whitehouse. There are a collective group of power graspers. Who serve their own interests and pander to corporate desire. There is not one honest person in the lot.

    June 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  42. Terry Hale Aspen, Co

    In the past the guy who, without being invited to do so, opened his overcoat to expose him self on the street was called
    a "flasher." He was an aknowledged sexual deviant with an enormous problem. He was arrested wheather or not his
    victims were underage. He was considered a predatory scum bag and the police tried to protect you from him. Now he
    is a US Congressman who, when you get right down to it, has done nothing wrong? He hasn't probably even violated the congressional ethics code of conduct? Wake up people! Think aboout what kind of behavior they are tryhing to get you to normalize here! This doesn't require a sureme court decision. The guy is a scum bag, he didn't simply mistakenly turn incorrectly down a one way street and then realize his mistake and do a u turn! This will be another IQ and morality test for the people of New York , who's last big political offender hosts his own TV show. Wake the -- UP! That this
    requires a discussion is pathetic.

    June 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  43. Realist

    Anyone who believes politicians don't lie needs a reality check. The other big lie is "I am not influenced by donations or PAC money". Politicians are human; they have the same failings as all of us. Stop holding them up as gods, recognize they have shortcomings and move on!

    June 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  44. Net33

    Oh Please...

    1. Wayne Hays (1976): Affair with secretary (one of the first major sex scandals)
    2. Allan Howe (1976): Solicited sex with two prostitutes (both of whom were undercover cops)
    3. John Young (1976): Staffer alleged sexual harrassment
    4. Fred Richmond (1978): Charged with soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy.
    5. Gerry Studds (1983): Reprimanded for having sex with a male teenage House page
    6. Gary Hart (1988): Affair with model Donna Rice.
    7. Barney Frank (1989): Affair with male prostitute, who also conducted business in Frank's home.
    8. Chuck Robb (1991): Admitted to receiving a nude massage from a former Miss Virginia.
    9. Brock Adams (1992): Eight women accused him of sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.
    10. Mel Reynolds (1994): Sexual relationship with 16-year-old campaign volunteer.
    11. Bill Clinton (1998): Affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
    12. Gary Condit (2001): Affair with (murdered) intern Chandra Levy.
    13. Paul Patton (2002): Affair with nursing home operator; when the affair ended the state of Kentucky filed numerous violations against her business.
    14. Bob Wise (2003): Affair with a state government staffer
    15. Jim McGreevey (2004): Resigned as NJ governor after admitting that he is "a gay American"
    16. Neil Goldschmidt (2004): Admitted to having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s.
    17. Roosevelt Dobbins (2005): Congressman form Arkansas, pleaded guilty to fondling a 16-year-old.
    18. Gavin Newsom (2007): Affair with the wife of a top aide.
    19. Antonio Villaraigosa (2007): Affair with a television reporter.
    20. Tim Mahoney (2008): Admitted to multiple affairs.
    21. Eliot Spitzer (2008): Involved in prostitution scandal.
    22. Paul Morrison (2008): Affair with administrative staffer while Attorney General of Kansas, pressured her to reveal information about Kansas D.A.
    23. Marc Dann (2008): Attorney General of Ohio, had an affair with a staffer.
    24. David Paterson (2008): Admitted that both he and his wife had extramarital affairs
    25. John Edwards (2008): Had an affair with a campaign employee while running for President.
    26. Kwame Kilpatrick (2008): Text messaging sex scandal
    27. Sam Adams (2009): Portland, OR mayor lied about relationship with 18-year-old male intern.
    TALLY: 27

    1. Tom Evans (1980): Along with other politicians, accused of being involved with lobbyist/former Playboy model Paula Parkinson.
    2. Bob Bauman (1980): Solicited sex from a 16-year-old boy
    3. Jon Hinson (1980): Caught attempting to have oral sex in a men's House restroom.
    4. John G. Schmitz (1982): Had an affair that led to an out-of-wedlock child.
    5. Dan Crane (1983): Reprimanded for having sex with a teenage House page.
    6. (Buz Lukens (1989): Spent time in jail after having sex with a 16-year-old girl.
    7. Jon Grunseth (1990): Swam nude with group of 13-year-old girls; suspended gubernatorial run.
    8. Ken Calvert (1993): Arrested while soliciting a prostitute.
    9. Bob Packwood (1995): Resigned from Senate amid allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.
    10. Bob Livingston (1998): Admitted to multiple extramarital affairs.
    11. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (1998): Admitted to a six year affair with a married rancher in her home state of Idaho
    12. Henry Hyde (1998): Admitted he'd had an affair many years prior
    13. Rudy Giuliani (2002): Ex-wife Donna Hanover accused him of "notorious adultery"; he's now married to Judith Nathan, his girlfriend at the time.
    14. Steve LaTourette (2003): Accused of affair with staffer, who he later married.
    15. Jack Ryan (2004): Former wife Jeri claimed he took her to sex clubs and pressured her to have sex in public.
    16. James West (2005): Removed as mayor of Spokane, WA after an gay Internet sex scandal.
    17. Don Sherwood (2006): Affair with 29-year-old woman while he was a PA congressman.
    18. Mark Foley (2006): Involved in a texting scandal with male House pages
    19. Bob Allen (2007): Solicited oral sex from a male undercover cop.
    20. Newt Gingrich (2007):Acknowledged having an affair in the 1990s
    21. Charles Boutin (2007): Resigned from MD Public Service Comission after email exchanges with a prostitute surfaced.
    22. David Vitter (2007): Part of the DC Madam scandal
    23. Larry Craig (2007): Bathroom sex solicitation scandal.
    24. Vito Fossella (2008): Affair with a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.
    25. John Ensign (2009): Admitted to having an affair with a married staffer.
    26. Mark Sanford (2009): Affair with a woman in Argentina.
    TALLY: 26

    June 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  45. SeanK

    In my experience, politicians, and those who aspire to become them, are glib, self important people that assume everyone wants to hear what they have to say. Most often these are the type of people who will try to endear themselves to you and put on a caring, expressive face while working in the background to further their own ends, not yours. The term for these types of people are sociopaths or psychopaths. But this is just my experiences.

    June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Frank

      Sounds like your experience with politicians is not unlike my experience with people who leave comments on political blogs.

      June 17, 2011 at 7:59 am |
      • MoneyedPoliticians

        Frank, that's sort of stupid. To some of us political blogs are all we have at our disposal.

        June 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |

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