Glenn Beck’s Obsessive Compulsive Soros Twitch

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Yesterday evening, I watched Glenn Beck’s ‘defamercial‘ on George Soros. There is already much commentary out there — Michael Tomasky’s being among the best — that knocks back the slime, slurs, and defamation of Soros by Fox and Beck.
I encourage you to watch the show, if one can call it that.
I learned a long time ago that when someone is so compulsively committed to tearing someone down, to bullying them, to spending every moment obsessed with them that it often exposes one’s own views of himself. I think that this may be the case with the strange fixation of a Michigan Assistant Attorney General on a young, charismatic, gay student body president at the University of Michigan.
And I think that the same may be true about Glenn Beck and George Soros. Glenn Beck’s attack about nefarious networks operating and controlling every aspect of our society from behind the scenes reminds one of German hyperventilation about the Jews.
But these are the questions we should be raising today about Fox, Rupert Murdoch, and the $32 million dollar a year constantly unhinged Beck himself.
I am on a plane for the next 12 hours — but I will be back with more on Fox and Beck very soon. Lots.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

32 comments on “Glenn Beck’s Obsessive Compulsive Soros Twitch

  1. questions says:

    Happy medium? Deal. Let the kids play. Give them some pointers about how to run w/o tripping on each other, how to resist using their hands, and let them have fun. I guess they should learn which goal is theirs and which belongs to the other team, too. And maybe, while they’re at it, one of them could explain to me corner kicks which I never quite got my head around when I did soccer in elementary school. Never really took to it. But then, I hated flag football, too, so it’s not just the usual “American” thing!
    There’s a lot of competition out there, and among the kid set, it can be pretty brutal. A few coaches here and there who are more worried about fun than about fundamentals can be a good thing for the universe.
    Running, chasing, and kicking are incredibly fun things to do. We don’t need 4th graders’ worrying about beating the crap out of the neighboring elementary school kids, too.
    Baby Rubin will soon enough grow up to be a hedge fund manager and he’ll impoverish many old line pensioners in the process. For now, let him chase a ball and miss it. Daddy Rubin should chill out.
    The sports fantasy in American elementary and middle schools is really sick. Parents become convinced that the only way they can deal with the expense of college is through sports scholarships without realizing how rare they are, how little they pay, and how uninterested their kids will be in the sport. The top players need all the bottom kids so that there are teams to play, and this instrumentalization of fellow players is pretty sad. It shows up in all sports, including minor league baseball and college football. The few need the many, and the many end up exploited. Age old story.
    I have higher hopes for Baby Rubin.
    Maybe he’ll ditch his hedgefund job after he makes his first trillion and he’ll fund the first truly fine school for at-risk kids.
    Or maybe he’ll become an organic farmer in Iowa!
    It all starts with no-cut, fun-only sports!
    Perhaps he could try out for the Ultimate team, instead! THAT would be good for his Daddy Rubin!

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  2. nadine says:

    questions, is that the only choice? Either cut-throat professionalism or not even trying to win? Surely there is a happy medium somewhere in between.

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  3. DonS says:

    Excellent, if a little deep, read on the larger context and meaning of Beck’s attack on Soros . . . need I say it does not paint Soros as a self-hating Jew, and indeed is much more concerned with the anti-Semitism of Beck:
    “A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality,” quipped neo-con godfather Irving Kristol, meaning the “reality” that a lot of people who claim to be noble are actually duped by, or strategists of, movements dark and cruel. Kristol, believing that liberals are especially naive about this, didn’t suspect that a liberal might well be a neo-conservative who’s been mugged by a reality like Glenn Beck’s attacks on George Soros. Daily Beast columnist Michelle Goldberg rightly called Beck’s rants “a symphony of the dog whistles of anti-Semitism.”
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/12/neo-cons_discover_that_its_1932/
    Reading the whole entry is very worthwhile; a brief overview of Jewish politics and misreads of history since the 1930″s.

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  4. questions says:

    nadine, a heartwarming story! I didn’t actually click on it, but something occurred to me as an exercise in future-prediction:
    A few of the kids on the elementary soccer team really get into winning. They get really pricey coaches, and they work and practice really hard, as they have learned that winning is far more fun than is mere participation.
    Their excellence in soccer comes at a price: headers cause brain damage early on in kid soccer players, overtraining when young causes a range of injuries that can cripple for life, some of those super professional directed and dedicated 10 year olds grow up to be, say, 5’6″ and aren’t gonna make it to pro soccer eveh but they’ve so identified with professional soccer that they end up having a hard time in h.s. and college is kind of a downer, too. Washed up at 15.
    And on the other side, some kids who late in life (we’re talkin’ maybe 14 years old, whoa!) discover a love of soccer and running and kicking. But they can’t make the h.s. team because there isn’t a no-cut team, and they suck in comparison to the kids who have had pro-coaching since the tender age of 7…..
    Think, really, about what goals (!) a 4th or 5th or 6th grader should have — is it really all about winning soccer games?
    The costs in misdirected life, injuries, exclusions, coaching fees, general nastiness and humiliation are not insignificant – all at the tender age of 10? Seriously?
    Now, of course a good coach can get the kids to enjoy and take mildly seriously some enterprise or other. It’s always more fun to challenge yourself a bit and a little structure can go a long way, but, geeze, the athletic thing is pretty overdone for the elementary set.
    A price will be paid. Read up a bit on Texas high school football to see the future.
    Maybe Daddy Rubin could have Baby Rubin held back a year so he can be physically bigger for the freshman team!!!!
    A price is paid for early professionalism.

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  5. Franklin says:

    I remember seeing a poorly executed “documentary” that the Iranian broadcast system did also highlighting Soros’s role in “color revolutions”. It’s not entirely surprising that Beck would voice a line of attack that’s perfectly consistent with those being pushed by an authoritarian dictatorship.
    The New York Times also picked up on this bizarre conspiratorial viewpoint in a recent blog post:
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/glenn-beck-sees-george-soros-as-iran-does/?partner=rss&emc=rss
    Even if it’s true that Soros had a hand in pro-Democracy color revolutions in Eastern Europe, it’s a little bit strange to attack him on that basis (e.g. that Soros is pushing back against authoritarian dictatorships — something that Beck apparently finds offensive). It’s not entirely surprising that Beck would implicitly defend authoritarian dictatorships.
    Additionally, Beck’s line of attack is extremely odd, because in the U.S. Soros has been completely transparent about his political activity. The same isn’t true of conservative billionaires who have actively fought against disclosure requirements in U.S. elections. If Beck is concerned about “puppet-masters” he should probably be pushing harder for the DISCLOSE Act in the U.S. Of course, that’s unlikely to happen.

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  6. Neo Controll says:

    Hi nadine. We’re still waiting for your comment up thread on Cantor. Since you’re into slinging “Jewish anti-semite” ad hominems, I’m sure you’ve got a doozy.

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  7. nadine says:

    Hi questions,
    George Soros has deliberately put himself in a unique position by using his great wealth for a great deal of high-profile politicking. He is also a very interesting subject for armchair analysis, as are all Jewish anti-Semites. I thought Barry Rubin’s conclusion that Soros decided early in life that Jews were losers, and that he intended to be on the side of the winners, was fairly compelling.
    As for Baby Rubin, he’s doing just fine. Did you see this cute article about the day Daddy Rubin got to coach Baby Rubin’s soccer team? Unlike their regular coach, who only told the kids to enjoy themselves, Daddy Rubin told them it was all right to want to win the game, and they would enjoy themselves much better if they did. Guess what? They won their first game ever and they they liked it.
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/it%E2%80%99s-how-you-play-the-game-the-fate-of-western-civilization-and-grade-school-soccer/

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  8. Carroll says:

    The Beck thing is hysterical.
    Becks rants were quite clearly a attack by the FOX GOP and by the pro Israeli zio-nais on Dem and liberal and non zionist Soros because they are afraid of his influence and his money. Soros isn’t some sleazy Lukid supporting Jewish casino king, Soros actually has real money and access to influence around the world.
    Now the ‘other side’, the skate board liberals and victim identity Jews have started a flurry of ‘anti semite’ accusations against Beck because he attacked a single Jew. The goal of the left being to use the anti semite card to get Beck off the air.
    What a circus. Beck is a total nut case and liar who should be off the air but Fox isn’t going to fire him and you won’t see the ADL actually demand he be fired for anti semitism.
    I don’t think there is anything normal or intelligent people can do at this point except sit back and watch all these groups spin off their tops.

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  9. questions says:

    Oh my, nadine, I couldn’t even finish the Barry Rubin piece (how’s Baby Rubin doin’ by the way?)
    Psychobiography is a risky undertaking, and Daddy Rubin just don’t got the technique down….
    How many Protestants or Catholics or atheists might also prefer to be on the winning side?
    How much of the US economy is structured around the fantasy of being in the top and not in the bottom?
    How much has John Rawls been reviled by the right for merely suggesting that making the bottommost position in society bearable is a good idea lest you end up there, and that it is fair to set the rules of society before you know your position?
    To single out Soros as the only guilt-laden anxious and fearful gazillionaire in the universe is a little much.
    Fact is, anyone with gazillions of unneeded dollars has had anxiety about getting more, terror about losing it all, a preference for more rather than less. As the young tech gazillionaires age out of the worst of the gimmes and social geekiness, they too discover that they should participate in the universe and they give away a chunk of money….
    We all have obsessions, we don’t all have gazillions of dollars, but if we did, we’d do whatever it took to justify the inequality.
    Leave the psychobio aside. It never really gets at the heart of anything.

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  10. nadine says:

    Fear and Survival: The Tragedy And Threat That Is George Soros
    By Barry Rubin
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010
    I

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  11. nadine says:

    DonS – foreign contributions remain illegal, as I said. Now, can those wishing to break the law find ways to launder the money? Sure. On both sides of the aisle. While you’re going on about foreign business contributors, you might stop to remember the the big Dem unions also are multinational and get foreign dues. Yes, I know, in Demland anything a union does must be virtuous, so heaven forbid they have to play by the same rules as other people.
    Remember, that even this year, Dems outraised the Republicans altogether, and in the big money. The SEIU alone raised $87 million.
    And before you launch another rant about foreign contributions, you want to know that Obama took the AVS checks off his campaign website for the last eight weeks of the campaign. Anyone could sit down at a computer in Beijing or London, sign in as “Daffy Duck”, and give Obama an untraceable contribution using a prepaid credit card. The Obama campaign took in well over $100 million during this period, if I recall correctly. Naturally, the MSM spiked the story — as the Obama campaign knew they would.

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  12. DonS says:

    “The law against campaign contributions from foreigners remains unchanged.” (nadine)
    Stop lying, splitting hairs, parsing infinitives. The Citizens United decision unleashed tons of untraceable and unreportable money. And much of it is laundered from foreign sources. While the law against foreign sources may remains the same, the elimination of reporting requirements renders it undetectable, unenforceable, and unreported. Your attempt to cover for the Republican stacked Supreme Court’s decision to unleash corporate money is testimony to your alliance with the forces of corporate greed and antidemocratic action. What a weak and stupid ‘counterargument’ you put forward that this is somehow about unions. Unions are swamped by corporate influence.
    Don’t bother with the slanted statistics; your game is propaganda, foreign and domestic.

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  13. nadine says:

    “Oh wait! There WAS a law against some of that sneaky shit! That’s before the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court struck the law down and opened up a free market in elections, so that now even our foreign competitors can play the game of buying election victories in America.” (Dan Kervick)
    That’s simply not true. The law against campaign contributions from foreigners remains unchanged. Democrats are just unhappy that unions are no longer privileged above businesses in their ability to influence campaigns.

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  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, once more we have these fuckers in the Pentagon playing the people for idiots.
    A population of millions, in the Los Angeles area, who have seen countless missile launches from both Vandenberg AND the Point Magu area, are being told an obvious missile launch was just the contrail of an aircraft. Thats like telling a teen boy that has masturbated 900 times that he’s actually a girl.
    Typical of the doublespeak swill our government expects us to swallow, they spent the last two days telling us “We don’t know what it was, but it posed no threat”. Well if you don’t know WTF it was, how do you know if it was a threat or not?
    And ya gotta love the FAA drool, saying, basically, “We have no radar record of any fast moving objects during that time frame”. Uh, so what about “slow” moving objects??? If it was a plane, surely you tracked it. Tell us EXACTLY what it was, instead of jackin’ us around with bullshit.
    Truth is, these lyin’ sacks of shit do know ECACTLY what was in the sky. And on the remarkable chance that they don’t, one must ask where the fuck all our money for “national defense” and “homeland security” is going. 9/11 taught these incompetent money eating pieces of shit nothing? Our air space is still swiss cheese? The Pentagon, Norad, and the FAA are clueless as to whats flyin’ around up there off the coast of one of our most populated urban centers and largest Navy base?? And if you are one of the thousands of passengers that fly over the Pacific Coast on approach to LAX everyday, you should be afraid, VERY afraid, if these assholes don’t know WTF this thing was.
    And for this we pay taxes?

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  15. DonS says:

    “Oh wait! There WAS a law against some of that sneaky shit! That’s before the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court struck the law down and opened up a free market in elections, so that now even our foreign competitors can play the game of buying election victories in America” (dan)
    BINGO!
    BTW, of course, that “sneaky shit” has been a staple of the christian right in packing every school board and education review board they can, for example, to scrub textbooks of anything related to actual history and science. But that’s not sneaky shit. Or is it? I’m confused too.

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  16. Alex Becker says:

    This is, weirdly, somewhat of a step up in complexity for Beck. Here

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  17. Alex Becker says:

    This is, weirdly, somewhat of a step up in complexity for Beck. Here

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  18. Dan Kervick says:

    “When Soros pulls sneaky shit like funding state-level Secretary of State elections to attempt to corrupt the machinery of elections, he will and should be called out for it.”
    Yes, sneaky. There ought to be a law against some of that sneaky shit.
    Oh wait! There WAS a law against some of that sneaky shit! That’s before the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court struck the law down and opened up a free market in elections, so that now even our foreign competitors can play the game of buying election victories in America.
    But aren’t free and unregulated markets the most perfect, efficient and freedom-producing social mechanisms that can be conceived by the mind of man? I’m so confused.

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  19. Neo Controll says:

    “Soros . . . he will be observed”. (nadine)
    A threat, huh? As if the lobby isn’t already a full threat and intimidation group. Smelling a little fear here. Gotta keep the troops in line. Better buy another couple of congresscritters. Jerk Schumer’s chain a bit more, as if he needed it. Set up Biden again for the role he seems to relish. Another glamour tour for the punk Bibi.

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  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “……..after gushing time after time over John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby, which in its conspiratorial, muddle-headed fashion, revitalized any number of hoary anti-Semitic tropes………”
    Hmmmmm.
    Eeny meeny miney mo….
    Nadine, or Jameela….
    Eeny meeny miney mo..
    Jammeela, or Nadine…….
    (Well, I guess thats as good a way as any to choose a religious wackjob)

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  21. nadine says:

    “And I think that the same may be true about Glenn Beck and George Soros. Glenn Beck’s attack about nefarious networks operating and controlling every aspect of our society from behind the scenes reminds one of German hyperventilation about the Jews.”
    Steve, you have some chutzpah to be going on about “German hyperventilation about the Jews” after gushing time after time over John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby, which in its conspiratorial, muddle-headed fashion, revitalized any number of hoary anti-Semitic tropes, much to the delight of your most faithful and vociferous audience.
    George Soros is not a conspiracy. He’s one man, who has made his intention to use his billions to move the politics in the US towards the Left quite clear. He’s a US citizen; he has a right to do that. But as he funds think-tank after think-tank (including yours) and PAC after PAC and advocacy group after advocacy group, he will be observed. We have a right to do that. When advocacy groups like J Street lie about Soros funding them, we have a right to point out the truth. When Soros pulls sneaky shit like funding state-level Secretary of State elections to attempt to corrupt the machinery of elections, he will and should be called out for it.
    C’mon, didn’t the Democrats just spend months fulminating about non-existent “foreign funds” being used by the Chamber of Commerce to fund elections and the Koch brothers? The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.

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  22. questions says:

    Ok, one more Taibbi quotation, totally worth it:
    “As bad as Countrywide and all those lenders were, the banks that had sent them out to collect these crap loans were a hundred times worse. To sell the loans, the banks often dumped them into big tax-exempt buckets called REMICs, or Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits. Each one of these Enron-ish, offshore-like real estate trusts spelled out exactly what kinds of loans were supposed to be in the pool, when they were to be collected, and how they were to be managed. In order to both preserve their tax-exempt status and deserve their AAA ratings, each of the loans in the pool had to have certain characteristics. The loans couldn’t already be in default or foreclosure at the time they were sold to investors. If they were advertised as nice, safe, fixed-rate mortgages, they couldn’t turn out to be high-interest junk loans. And, on the most basic level, the loans had to actually exist. In other words, if the trust stipulated that all the loans had to be collected by August 2005, the bank couldn’t still be sticking in mortgages months later.
    Yet that’s exactly what the banks did. In one case handled by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, a homeowner refinanced her house in 2005 but almost immediately got into trouble, going into default in December of that year. Yet somehow, this woman’s loan was placed into a trust called Home Equity Loan Trust Series AE 2005-HE5 in January 2006

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  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Beck says “look it up yourself and trust the facts of the information”.
    Only because he realizes his audience is too effin’ ignorant to decipher a Table of Contents, much less an index.

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  24. questions says:

    Two things — regarding the catfood commission tax rates, DbK — you don’t have it quite right from what I’ve been reading.
    There are, I think it is, three scenarios on tax rates. At least two of them eliminate all or nearly all of the deductions and the like and in place reduce rates. BUT, the elimination of the bulk of deductions is a tax hike. Taxes will hit many many more dollars than they would under the current scheme, and so rates can go down. One of the schemes has a 15,000 dollar personal exemption in place of all the myriad deductions.
    Deductions are a funny thing, actually, and it may make sense to dump them all. The mortgage interest deduction, for example, is actually figured in to the purchase price of a home at this point, so there’s no savings involved in it. The only people who ever benefited from it were the very first people who took the deduction without having paid for it in higher home prices. At this point, mortgages that are being paid are being paid with the deduction figured in.
    On the other hand, there is behavior we want to encourage, and we really do want to treat different expenses differently. Medical expenses really are different from yacht payments, and we’d like to help in the first case and absolutely not help in the second.
    Tax policy is complicated stuff, and there are trade offs all over the place that have to be figured out one at a time.
    Some simplification might make sense, especially when you have to sit there and figure out which of 3 or 5 or 7 different credits you want to take (each named for some other MC!) 300 bucks to get your taxes done…..
    It’s best to remember that the commission report is really the unofficial preference of only two people on the commission and it ain’t goin’ anywhere. There is an overton window theory wandering about, and there’s some suggestion that the wingers will start freaking when they see specific cuts, and there’s some suggestion that we’ll have a civil conversation about tax and spending policy. Who knows…. Kos and TPM have lengthy discussions around the issues.
    Also worth noting, Simpson and Bowles single out NPR and the Smithsonian for cuts…. They sure like blowing the dog whistle!
    *******
    And,
    Matt Taibbi is indispensable!
    “(Translation: Don’t you ratings agencies want to know that half these loans are crap before you give them a thumbs-up?) But all three agencies rejected his advice, fearing they would lose business if they adopted tougher standards. In the end, the agencies gave large chunks of these mortgage-backed securities AAA ratings

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  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I think Becks a great man with alot of insight”
    Egads, yikes, and……
    God help us.

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  26. John Waring says:

    Brandon,
    The quality of the forum does matter. Beck’s is a stacked deck.

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  27. DakotabornKansan says:

    The Cat Food Commission

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  28. DakotabornKansan says:

    Bread and Circuses

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  29. DakotabornKansan says:

    The Post Turtle replaced by

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  30. Brandon says:

    I think Becks a great man with alot of insight. I think most people get upset because he dares to challenge big government and criminals who try to destroy our country for selfish gain. Most people say “trust what I tell you” which can be used for manipulation. Beck says “look it up yourself and trust the facts of the information”. You can see Becks heart where his Faith in God, his desire in learning, and his ability to weed out injustice and evil makes him a dangerous opponent indeed, To the corrupt. I think its funny people like Obama or Soros dont dare talk to him man to man because they know if they go into the lions den they will be revealed for who they truly are. instead they try to shut him down. I guess my question is why so scared? You cant say “hes not worth your time” because apparently him and fox “cause trouble” so if you believe so firmly and what you believe in is so right. Then step in, hes already challenged, go in I say. Its easy to talk bad about each other. But get to the heart like Beck does and step in the ring with him.

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  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The fact that someone like this fuckin’ wackjob Beck can garner so much attention is a sad statement on the intelligence of his audience, and the state of affairs in the United States.
    If his celebrity is a “sign of the times”, then we are in deeper shit than even I imagined.
    Beck, Palin, Angle..etc…egads, its gettin’ downright surreal.

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  32. Read Scott Martin says:

    Soros needs no defense and almost certainly does not expect it.
    However, it needs saying that sinister is hiding one’s activities and
    influence, not disclosing it – the opposite of what Soros has largely
    done, and done especially well in contrast with the corporate flood
    of dollars into debate. Re Beck: Father Coughlin called from his
    seance, he wants his microphone back.

    Reply

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