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Review of 2018

by Frank Schnittger Wed Dec 26th, 2018 at 10:13:34 PM EST

We've come to that time of year when we reflect on the year that has just passed and look forward to what 2019 might bring. For most, I suspect, 2018 has not been a very positive year, with Trump, Brexit, Syria, Yemen, the Ukraine, the refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and natural disasters putting a damper on feelings.

The global economy has continued to grow, but most of the benefits still go to the already rich. Employment and wages growth has been anemic and the gilet jaune protests have highlighted the difficulties which people in even relatively rich countries like France are having in maintaining a reasonable standard of living.

Brexit has highlighted the effectiveness of divide and conquer political tactics in scapegoating immigrants, refugees, and the already marginalised for the problems which ordinary people are experiencing. Hungary and Poland have managed to compromise a free media and judicial independence and Greece is left to suffer enormous deprivation with little EU solidarity and support.

Great uncertainty leading to market volatility and political instability has been reducing investment, growth, consumer confidence, and political ambition. Most people seem to be expecting things to get worse before they can get better, and some doubt whether they will get better at all, with climate warming worsening and threatening to accelerate out of control.

So I would ask readers here take some time out from the end of year festivities to share their experiences of 2018 and hopes for 2019. Is it as bad as I have painted above, or am I missing some green shoots of a more healthy model of politics and economics taking hold? Will DiEM25 usher in a new era of transnational politics in 2019 or will hard right nationalist parties continue to make gains? Will governments start addressing economic, regional, and inter-generational inequality more effectively or are our children destined to be much worse off than we were?

Your thoughts, please.

Ireland has been a bright spot in a sea of gloom with a series of social reforms culminating in the legalisation of abortion being approved by a two thirds majority of the Irish people in a referendum in May and subsequently enacted in legislation just before the end of the year. Other recent referenda have provided for marriage equality and the de-criminalisation of blasphemy by similar margins.

The economy has been approaching Celtic Tiger boom time growth rates again with 10%+ expected for 2018 and a projected 4% in 2019 (assuming a soft Brexit). Once again these figures are distorted by the activities of global companies basing their HQs in Ireland and state finances are currently experiencing a non-sustainable  boom in corporate tax receipts as companies seek the maximise the benefits of Trump's corporate tax "reforms". Fears that the economy will over-heat in 2019 will probably lesson if there is a hard Brexit, as I expect.

For all the artificiality and non-sustainability of some of this "growth" there have been real benefits in terms of unemployment (down from 6.2 to 5.2% over the past 12 months), employment (plus c. 50K on a base of 2,221K in past 12 Months) and rising wages. However the inability of the government to effectively tackle rising healthcare waiting lists (despite massively increased expenditure), homelessness, availability of affordable housing, and availability of broadband in rural Ireland is creating major inequality and resentment.

Varadker's government could be the first to be turfed out of office despite delivering rapid economic growth if it does not tackle these growing problems more effectively, and his adherence to neo-liberal market based "solutions" is not helping matters in this regard. His perceived success in the Brexit negotiations will also count for little if a hard Brexit ensues causing further difficulty for more rurally based agriculture and food producing industries.

The Urban rural divide may become the defining feature of Irish politics in the next few years unless tackled more effectively.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 26th, 2018 at 10:57:10 PM EST
Why 2018 was such a strong year for the Irish economy

No matter what way you slice and dice the numbers, incomes in Ireland of those in the middle are rising. In 2018, incomes rose for men (+2 per cent) and women (+3.8 per cent) alike.

When we break it down between those in work, on the dole or on disability, we see clear positive trends. Incomes for those in work rose by +3.3 per cent, for the unemployed and for those unable to work due to disability, incomes were up by +4.3 per cent.

For those who are studying, incomes were up +4.1 per cent and those tending to the home saw their incomes rise by +2.5 per cent.


While the median income of urbanites fell slightly last year (-0.9 per cent), if we look over the past two years, there has been a significant increase for both urban (+5.5 per cent) and rural dwellers (+7.6 per cent) alike.

The two main groups that experienced a material drop in the median income last year serve to illustrate the looming threats to the economy, namely the elderly and, of course, renters.

Indeed, retirees saw a 3.8 per cent decline in median equivalised real disposable income, while those renting at the market rate witnessed a sizable 6.6 per cent drop.


It's easy to dismiss the upswing as a multinational-driven, Grand Canal Dock, avocado-and-sourdough thing, but there has been an impressive catch-up between urban and rural incomes in recent years. In 10 years, the gap between rural and urban incomes has been reduced from 20 per cent to just 4 per cent.

This progress has been achieved without any dramatic increase in income inequality. That said, as argued here and in documentaries like Ireland's Great Wealth Divide, wealth inequality not so much income inequality is where the problem lies in Ireland.


The consistent poverty rate has fallen from 8.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent. The Children's Rights Alliance was keen to note that the latest data from the CSO revealed the biggest decline in child poverty in recent years, with the share of 0-17-year-olds living in consistent poverty falling from 10.9 per cent in 2016 to 8.8 per cent last year. This means that an estimated 24,000 children were lifted from poverty last year.

The rising chorus of complaints about an increasing urban/rural divide are caused less by perceptions of income inequality, rather than by services inequality, with broadband, public transport, healthcare services, and public infrastructure such as post offices/banks declining in smaller rural areas.

As against that the housing shortage crisis is mostly still in Dublin, which is forcing people to commute ever longer distances, with traffic congestion, partly caused by poor public transport infrastructure, resulting in very long commuting times.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 29th, 2018 at 04:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've left behind a brief spell of pessimism due to US politics, but not specifically Trump. The political rhetoric in the US is at a absolute low point. In Europe one sees the media covering rightwing politicians favorably and give progressives or politicians with a socialist-democratic agenda a hard time. As I quoted today, it's about content and getting the attention through new media. I place hope in humanity and the fact we are social beings that in the end will do good for mankind.

Greatest obstacle is the flow of money to propaganda by the state. Conservative think-tanks and NGOs are well funded, so we have to work harder to earn our place in readership.

Personally I got great news about my health a week before Christmas. So I am looking forward to a new year of challenges on an optimistic note.

by Oui on Wed Dec 26th, 2018 at 11:25:57 PM EST
Great news about your health. Long may it last. Keep up the good work!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 26th, 2018 at 11:55:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the USA it seems like 'the worse the better'. Not much positive can be achieved with the malignant Trump Presidency dominating the scene. But the results of the 2018 election are a strong positive. The House of Representatives will be in Democratic hands in a week and the demise of the Trump Presidency becomes at least a possibility, depending on the results of the Mueller investigation and what comes out of House Committees, now that at least one branch of the federal government is out of Republican control. I will say this: at least it has been compelling to watch events unfold this year.

It is hard to know how the economy will fare in 2019. We have just avoided a full blown bear market by the rally today. On interday trading levels even the Dow turned bear, but a 1000+ pt rally saved the day. Dead cat bounce or the renewal of the bull? We may know by Friday. Stay tuned.

All else is truly unknown. Trump could do ANYTHING to distract from his own woes. Urgent situations could develop abroad that would be impossible to address coherently because TRUMP. So fasten your seat belts.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 01:10:55 AM EST
In 2018 the most concerning to me was the realisation of how easy it has become for a private coorporation to steer the democratic process. There was the Cambrdige Analytica scandal and the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brasil. There is also undeniable influence of Facebook on Trumpism and the Gillets Jaunes.

Another worrying aspect is how soon it became impossible to know what exactly happened in the Skripal case. The media was flooded with information and counter-information and I can not possibly know whom to believe.

Policies do not worry me the most anymore, instead I worry on who and how power and information are controlled. The world is becoming ever more similar to 1984.

I almost stopped using Facebook, and considerably reduced my reliance on the Google's services: search engine, e-mail, social networking, all overboard by now. This is the great struggle of the current generation.


by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 10:07:37 AM EST
Is the problem with Facebook itself, or with dark entities which have learned to weaponize its functionality and reach?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 10:28:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 02:25:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the particular case of Facebook it is very patently an issue with the corporation itself. So called dark forces make use of whichever tools are available to them.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 04:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The actions that the Internet Research Agency has been accused of doing on are not distinguishable from maximizing traffic and thus revenue from Facebook. Which I note not to argue that that was what they did (though I think so), but to point out that if creating division is indistinguishable from maximizing profit, then it's a platform that promotes creating division. Which is a problem it seems with not just Facebook, but any profit maximizing social media company (or at least one not regulated to avoid all the pitfalls of Facebook).

I still use Facebook though. When it comes to organising patient groups (which more and more seems to be what I am doing these days), it has been revolutionary and I don't know of any platform that could replace it today.

by fjallstrom on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 04:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wild swings between left and right used to be a defining feature of Middle-to-South-American inequality states. Now it's come to North America and parts of Europe. It's not just about income inequality (with a bleeding middle class) but also about the urban-rural divide. The psycho politics will peter out in numb exhaustion, if at all. It's difficult for political leadership to turn the rudder in a tailspin whilst using old recipes. Additionally, 2019 is the year where economic expansion will slow down and halt. All good things come to an end.

The Green surge will not signify a lasting realignment. They're currently enjoying the benefits of the image of being the normal, non-dramatic ones. Sooner or later the internal contradictions of middle-class lifestyle & wellness politics will land in the zone of material conflict. Middle of the road indifference is not going to cut it. I hope I'm wrong about this.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Dec 27th, 2018 at 11:24:12 PM EST
This is where you've been.

This is where you're going.

Best wishes, y'all.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Dec 28th, 2018 at 12:45:04 AM EST
I grew pessimistic about democracy in 2018.

It's not my own modest participation that's discouraging me : clearly, Diem25 and European Spring are not gaining traction fast enough to make a real difference in 2019 -- but that's much as I expected.

It's more the crisis of representative democracy as a whole. It turns out to be one of those things that only works when the economy is booming and most people have at least realistic prospects of a bigger share of a growing cake.

And it's the Gilets Jaunes thing which has obliged me to face the unpalatable reality : both political parties and voters have grown extremely cynical about parliamentary democracy. In France, as in so many other places, the "government left" has discredited not only itself, but the very idea of the left; the "government right" has been rendered irrelevant by the right-wing radicality of the supposedly centrist government; and the government itself is now highly unpopular.

The fact that a new political movement captured both the presidency and Parliament within a few months of its creation has contributed powerfully to this disillusion with democracy. At first look, it might appear encouraging : democracy works, real change is possible... but by now everyone realises that it was a combination of palace coup and marketing campaign, and feels cheated and bitter.

In short, France is the new Italy. Or perhaps more accurately, the new Czechia or Romania.

So now, the latest fashionable thing is the "popular initiative referendum" : replacing representative democracy with direct democracy. One is instinctively reticent, one fears that demagogues will manipulate the people in random directions... and one realises that arguing against it is effectively arguing against democracy itself. The People are not mature enough to vote laws? Visibly, they are not mature enough to elect a government either...

Dangerous times, I find my habitual optimism is severely shaken.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 28th, 2018 at 05:17:23 PM EST
Politics, at its best, if a difficult and sophisticated business requiring complex negotiations, awkward trade-offs, a wide range of skills, and a lot of leadership at a lot of different levels. And yet it is the one area of human activity where we - rightly - demand equality for all.

We do not elect our brain surgeons by popular mandate, or allow people without licenses to drive. But anyone can legitimately aspire to run for high office, or hold to account those that do.

In a well run polity "the establishment" is there on merit, is capable of transformation and reform, and is accountable for its actions. Problems arise when they are perceived to act in their own interests and against the best interests of the people as a whole, and when the system for replacing them seems to be broken.

Then the people literally try to take the law into their own hands, protests seek to set a new agenda, and calls for direct democracy rise. Modern technology/social media could, in theory, make all major decisions subject to popular vote, but we have seen how easy it is to manipulate those tools.

Those polities that seem to do best are often smaller, more cohesive, and with a clear national identity and self-confidence which doesn't require the creation of false bogeymen to maintain cohesion and consensus.

But globalisation is undermining much of the basis of that cohesion by increasing economic, social, regional and inter-generational inequality: by setting cities against rural areas, and creating a degree of multiculturalism that many people find disconcerting or threatening.

Diem25 is probably before its time - for most people their national polity is already too remote. But we do need symbols and movements built around what unites rather than divides us. Part of the popularity of the EU in Ireland is the sense that it keeps our own profligate and populist politicians in line, and that only it has the power and scale to regulate global multinationals that could otherwise simple capture our government.

But if the rise of the authoritarian nationalist right teaches us anything, it is that many people yearn for a clearer identity, "stronger" leadership and a sense that the polity is working for them. If the left could appeal to some of that psychology, without compromising its policy programme, it might actually get somewhere.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 28th, 2018 at 06:57:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A problem, I think, in US politics is the elimination--or at least reduction--of "pork barrel" projects. They are specific congressional spending actions that benefit specific congressional districts, enacted by a "you pat my back and I'll pat yours" system. While they are counted as corruption of the political process, and were the subject of a lot of discussion in the 1970s and 1980s (refer to "Golden Fleece Award"), they also acted as a lubricant that enabled bipartisan action. Back room horse-trading of this sort was a factor in cooperation across the aisles in Congress, and by eliminating them, each party has retracted into its own shell.

I guess this is not really specific to 2018, but it is part of what is going on...

by asdf on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 04:30:54 AM EST
Looked at, from the outside, the far greater problem for me is the corporate funding of the political process. For me corporations or rich people (beyond a ceiling of $1,000) shouldn't have any right to fund politics.  Anything from corporations or individuals (above $1,000 p.a.) should be considered bribery, by definition, punishable by prison terms for all executive officers responsible.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 04:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the difficulty in the US is, of course, that elections are massively expensive. The Primary system also means that you can't have central funding of candidates.

The centrality of money in the US system means that candidates who eschew it must fail

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 06:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DHS employee says her child got less for Christmas because of shutdown
"My son made a comment where he said Santa didn't give us as much as he did last year, and that was heartbreaking," the unidentified employee told Buzzfeed ["]News["].

"We try to not be materialistic with our kids, but it kind of hurt that he noticed," she added.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 06:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea but it was a Democrat child, so that was ok.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 08:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are massively expensive primarily because of the cost of TV advertising. Make it mandatory for all TV stations to give all candidates minimal and equal TV time and that problem is solved.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 08:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Review of 2018?


UK politics has been dominated by brexit, or rather the non-event of brexit. Simply watching a parade of vacuous Tory idiots spouting inanities  until the stupidity of their positions becomes obvious and they either resign or be sacked and replaced by the next in line to say more or less the same thing. We have barely advanced in 12 months; it was all BS then and it's BS now.

US? Trump, it was BS at the start of the year and it's all BS now. Mueller may or may not deliver us from evil but I have no confidence that the US legal or political systems are robust enough to do anything about it.

Democracies are failing to deliver because inequality and poverty are just too convenient for the people who wield the real power.

And meanwhile climate change is turning into a runaway train.

So a review of 2018? Really?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 09:26:29 PM EST
It's a very different Party than it was in 2008.  First most of the Blue Dogs and DLC types have been wiped-out.  Second, Progressive Caucus has grown to 96 Representatives and members should be chairing 10 of the House Standing Committees.   Plus Pelosi resigned from membership of the Progressive Caucus when she was elected House Minority leader in 2004.  

And there's no political downside to moving Left.  In fact, if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, there's plenty of upside.

We'll see  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 30th, 2018 at 10:53:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except it makes the donors nervous. I'm not really clued into US party politics, but Sander's funding model seems to have been completely erased from the discussion. Not even to argue that it's not possible, just never brought up in polite society.
Then there seem to be a lot of spook - dems that rode the Russia grift into Congress.
We'll see but I'm not optimistic.
by generic on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 07:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All corners of the world seem to be turning to authoritarian parties, at best, and to populist fascism, at worst. Hateful nationalism is on the rise, and few seem to have the ability to effectively oppose it. Far too many are looking at how to embrace it most effectively.

I remain pessimistic about the US. Let's just watch and see, as the shutdown, coming investigations, and the economic downturn are blamed on the incoming Democratic house majority. Let's watch them flail helplessly when well-intentioned arguments based on facts and reason are shredded by demagogic idiocy. Trump will make himself out as the victim, as always, and claim that he was stabbed in the back, as always, and let's watch and see him get re-elected, with another round of Republican supermajorities.

Despair and death in all directions, from sea to shining sea.

by Zwackus on Mon Dec 31st, 2018 at 02:12:27 PM EST
Another huge problem in US politics is abortion. When you have a substantial fraction of the voting population that seriously believes that the other party supports mass murder, like the Nazis or the Russians, it is difficult to dislodge them from their party by any other economic or social argument.
by asdf on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 01:26:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A small spark of hope :

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 03:46:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we do not need yet another septuagenarian president.
by asdf on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 04:26:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le temps ne fait rien à l'affaire
Quand on est con, on est con
Qu'on soit cadet, qu'on soit grand-père
Quand on est con, on est con
Entre nous, pas de controverses
Cons caducs et cons débutants
Petits cons de la dernière averse
Vieux cons des neiges d'antan

- Georges Brassens

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 04:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To put it another way...

The problem of Trump or of Reagan was not their septuagenarity.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 04:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And under-40 presidents are way overrated.
by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 at 08:58:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like Warren. I like her as a scholar, administrator, and a senator. I don't think she has the personal magnetism on camera or in person to win a general election at the top of the ticket. She might be a fine president if she won, but first you've got to win. Maybe she can prove me wrong. Or maybe someone with a similar set of policy and ideological approaches will step up and take the mantle. I don't know who - I only read these days, and to really get a sense for charisma you have to watch a person and listen to them speak. I suppose I should educate myself, but I also try to stay sane and preserve my will to live.

Unfortunately, the talk about Joe Biden suggests that the establishment is once again reaching for a "safe" and "electable" conservadem.

by Zwackus on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 02:28:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feinstein signals 2020 support for Biden over Harris

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 05:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only to be expected.  Feinstein is the Democratic Senator from the California Board of Real Estate.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 11:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be a strong contender from the left if she manages to not screw up anything in the next 18 months. Or maybe she will let Biden lose to Trump in 2020, then run in 2024.
by asdf on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 07:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Birth date Oct. 13, 1989 ;)

She will be eligible to run for office P/VP in 2024.

by Oui on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 08:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting that you have to be over 35 to run for President but there is nothing to stop a senile octogenarian from running...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 08:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately, Italy has had several octogenarian or near-octogenarian presidents that have kept in line the excesses of Council Presidents. Sergio Mattarella, now 77, has to put up with a coalition of crypto-fascists and fruitcakes.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 09:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having a minimum age of 50 helps maintain the tradition.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 11:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do think de Gondi's description of fruitcakes is applicable for any septuagenarian U.S. President holding Office. Nancy Pelosi is 2nd in line to be President (POTUS) by a "calamity" of P/VP passing away. What's her age?
by Oui on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 09:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nancy has always had an excellent mind and definitely keeps it finely tuned. She is 78. Either you've got it or don't, regardless age.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jan 5th, 2019 at 12:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For my money she is way too valuable in the Senate.  She's got at least another 20 years there and with the old white farts about ready to retire/croak she'd move up fast and considering her committee assignments: Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, she'd be able to get some real reform done.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 11:10:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May it be a rewarding year in your personal life and in good health.
by Oui on Tue Jan 1st, 2019 at 07:02:31 AM EST
Eurogreen says a small spark of hope ... may I multiply his spark of hope by the number sixty?

On the right side of the chamber white men in suits and ties ... on the left diversity as the largest representation of women in the US House has been sworn in. Kids and grandkids had a grand time!! Hopefully the Democrats honor this privilege and work their butts off in the next two years.

A record-breaking number of women were sworn into the House and Senate | Vox |

by Oui on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 at 09:35:51 PM EST

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