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Lingua publica

The good and the bad...presented with permission from The Patriot E-Journal

web posted August 24, 2009

"Because 'government-run health care' -- both the phrase and the actuality of the idea -- go over like a lead balloon with the American people, the Democrats have chosen new language hoping to obscure their intent to remake the health care system. The new language key word: 'reform.' ... Language is important. In the policy debates, it matters how words are used. Words used accurately clarify and inform. Words can also deceive and obscure the truth. The true reformers need to point out that the current Democrat plan is not health-care reform, it's government-run health care and it's an overhaul." --columnist Melissa Clouthier

"When it comes to civil liberties, liberals are often distrustful of government power. But, for reasons that baffle me, they are quite comfortable with Uncle Sam getting into the business of deciding, or providing 'guidance' on, which lives are more valuable than others. A government charged with extending life expectancy must meddle not just with our health care, but with what we eat, how we drive, how we live. A government determined to cut costs must meddle not just with how we live, but how we die. That sounds scary and un-American to me." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"In reality, the entirety of the congressional health care plan is a 'public option.' It is all about one thing: putting government in control of health care. In doing so, it will necessarily increase the government's influence over some of the most morally significant decisions you will ever make about your own life and the lives of your loved ones. ... Americans can either be self-reliant and free or reliant on government and not free. Choose freedom." --columnist Terence Jeffrey

"Obama has said his opponents were trying to 'scare and mislead the American people,' when in fact his opponents are the American people whom he is trying to scare and mislead." --columnist David Limbaugh

"Nazi Germany is a useful historical example of socialism run amok. The genocide and terrorism ultimately practiced by the Nazis were horrible -- that goes without saying. But National Socialism went on for a dozen years, it was the last stage in a progressive nationalization of German society, and there was a lot more to it than genocide and terrorism. It cannot be that because there was genocide and terrorism, the socialist aspects of National Socialism are outside the lines of acceptable political discourse." --columnist Andrew McCarthy

"Now we say goodbye to Robert Novak, who passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 78. Yet another conservative icon has left us. He was a good friend and an amazing reporter. In fact, I believe he was the best reporter of his generation, which spans all the way back to the Dwight D. Eisenhower years." --economist Lawrence Kudlow

"It took cancer longer than a year to kill Bob Novak, and actually, this was the fifth cancer that tried to kill him. Let that stand as testimony as to how tough this guy was. He was very tough. ...[H]e earned the widely known sobriquet 'The Prince of Darkness,' which was nonsense. He was tough, but he was fair, objective and a thoroughly decent man." --columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell

"One irony of Robert Novak's long and admirable career as a journalist is that he wasn't a curmudgeon, though he played one on TV. In person, he was warm, loyal to friends and especially generous to young writers, even if he was fearless and unsparing toward the public officials he devoted his life to covering -- or, to put it more accurately, uncovering. Novak, who died yesterday at age 78, was among America's greatest political reporters." --The Wall Street Journal

"[W]e've got two problems here. 'We': I should say the administration or Democrats have two problems." --Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart letting slip the Leftmedia's partnership with government

"A man at a pro-health care reform rally ... wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip.... [T]here are questions about whether this has racial overtones.... [W]hite people showing up with guns." --MSNBC's Contessa Brewer, fretting over ObamaCare protesters legally carrying guns, but neglecting to mention the man she described was black

"I was at a town hall yesterday, and I really had to take some people to task. They were using those buzzwords that I don't think people realize all the time, like 'real Americans' or 'give me back my America' was one of the songs or 'take back America.' It was like, what do you mean by that?" --CNN's Don Lemon

"Let's start by making sure people understand exactly what we're talking about when we say this public option. This is a government-run insurance agency that would give people greater choice, some say break the monopoly held by the private insurers and, thus, drive down costs." --NBC's Matt Lauer oblivious to the meaning of "monopoly"

"An intense period of corporate consolidation over the past 25 years, aided and abetted by deregulation by the Federal Communications Commission, has reduced to a mere handful the sources from which most Americans get their news." --former CBS anchor Dan Rather, who must have entered a time warp back to 1974

"Somebody here who, uhh, has a concern about health care that has not been raised or is skeptical and suspicious and wants to make sure that -- because I don't want people thinking I -- I -- I just have a bunch of plants in here." --Barack Obama to a bunch of plants at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

"You don't trust me? ... I don't understand this rudeness. ... Do you all think that you're persuading people when you shout out like that? I don't get it." --Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) at a town hall meeting

"Climate change is very real. ... Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I'm flying. The storms are more volatile. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes." --Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

"You can't really have reform without a public option. If you don't want to have the public option, ... just do a little insurance reform ... and then we'll tackle health reform another time. But let's not pretend we're doing reform without a public option." --head of the grass-roots group Democracy for America Howard Dean

"Put a bill out there, make [Republicans] filibuster it, make them be what they are, the Party of No. ... Let 'em kill it. Let 'em kill it with the interest group money, then run against them. That's what we ought to do." --Democrat strategist James Carville

"We have entered a new era of progressive politics which, if we do it right, can last 30 or 40 years." --Bill Clinton, the same guy who in 1996 declared, "The era of big government is over"

"No shouting. Congressional representatives cannot sell Obamacare with mobs of unruly senior citizens and small-business owners interrupting to press them on specific sections of the bill. Limit your objections to a library whisper and only challenge your lawmakers with hushed, dulcet tones. Otherwise, you will scare them, and they will be forced to hide behind teleconference calls, sick children at hospitals or union bosses. If, on the other hand, you are attending a presidential town hall to show your affection and approbation, 'spirited' chanting is acceptable." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"Judging by the organization's enthusiastic support of ObamaCare, which should really be called ObamaDoesn'tCare, it's obvious that the only old people AARP gives a hoot about are Robert Byrd, Arlen Specter, Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"We are far from convinced that the White House takes online privacy very seriously, although we will concede that the White House takes the perception that the White House doesn't seem to take online privacy very seriously, seriously." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

"The only thing growing faster than the federal deficit and debt is Chris Matthews' man crush on Obama." --Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

"President Obama tried to sell health care reform at a town hall Tuesday. He is not getting a lot of help from allies. He walked outside thinking he'd made the case for government-run health care when Cuba announced they were out of toilet paper." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Look at it this way: There's Federal Express, there's UPS, and there's DHL. The public option is a stamp; it's e-mail. And because of the e-mail system, and because of the post office, it keeps DHL from charging $100 for an overnight letter, or UPS from charging $100 for an overnight letter." --Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) expounding on Barack Obama's ill-advised comparison of the public option to the Post Office

web posted August 17, 2009

"The health debate, which now has moved beyond the Beltway and into raucous town halls across the land, is so intense in part because it's not really about health care at all. On a deeper level, it's about the role of government in America's economy. And that is a raw and unresolved topic, only made more so by months of exceptional government intervention amid a deep recession." --columnist Gerald Seib

"Today's ruling Democrats propose to fix our extremely high quality (but inefficient and therefore expensive) health care system with 1,000 pages of additional curlicued complexity -- employer mandates, individual mandates, insurance company mandates, allocation formulas, political payoffs and myriad other conjured regulations and interventions -- with the promise that this massive concoction will lower costs. This is all quite mad. It creates a Rube Goldberg system that simply multiplies the current inefficiencies and arbitrariness, thus producing staggering deficits with less choice and lower-quality care. That's why the administration can't sell Obamacare." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"Ever since Congress created Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, health politics has followed a simple logic: Expand benefits and talk about controlling costs. That's the status quo, and Obama faithfully adheres to it. While denouncing skyrocketing health spending, he would increase it by extending government health insurance to millions more Americans." --columnist Robert Samuelson

"[Barack] Obama seems to think the country owes it to him to accept ObamaCare because he was kind enough to agree to be our president." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

"If you thought the health care debate was heated in Washington, outside the Beltway it's gotten downright hostile. From Tampa, Florida, to Austin, Texas, to Romulus, Michigan, town hall meetings over health care have turned chaotic; death threats against members of Congress, taunting and shouting, even fistfights. Democrats claim it's all political theater organized by reform opponents." --NBC's David Gregory

"The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems." --Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein

"[W]hat concerns me is when in some of those town hall meetings including the one that we saw in Missouri recently where there were jokes made about lynching, etc., you start to wonder whether in fact the word socialist is becoming a code word, whether or not 'socialist' is becoming the new N-word." --MSNBC's Carlos Watson

"Angry old white folks are storming into town halls all across the country spewing lies about health care reform. Let me set the record straight early on: These folks [are] dumber than Joe the Plumber." --MSNBC's Ed Schultz

"The nation's drugmakers stand ready to spend $150 million to help President Barack Obama overhaul health care this fall.... The White House and allies in Congress are well aware of the effort by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a somewhat surprising political alliance, given the industry's recent history of siding with Republicans and the Democrats' disdain for special interests." --Associated Press writer David Espo

"Well, the last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the civil rights bill and my opponent voted against it. At that time, we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks and white supremacists and folks in white sheets and other things running around causing trouble." --Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

"In spite of the loud, shrill voices trying to interrupt town hall meetings and just throwing a monkey wrench into everything, we're going to continue to be positive and work hard." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"Today we're pointed in the right direction. ... While we've rescued our economy from catastrophe, we've also begun to build a new foundation for growth." --Barack Obama, readily taking all the credit for less bad economic and employment news

"I mean, you know, eh -- and people are saying crazy things right now [about ObamaCare]. ... They took pieces of sound bites from different periods of time. They put a Chyron -- that's the words on the screen -- that said, 'wants to eliminate private insurance,' to go along with these sound bites that they cobbled together, and our point is that he's saying exactly the opposite [now]. ... He didn't have a different position when he was a senator. ... What he talked about early on was, look, if he could start all over again, maybe it would be fine to have a single-payer system but we're not going to start all over again. ... There's a lot of misinformation and there, as I said in the video, a lot of disinformation, that's information that's meant to mislead you." --Obama spokesmouth and former "journalist" Linda Douglass

"DISSENT IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTI... No, wait, that bumper sticker expired January 20th. Under the stimulus bill, there's a new $1.3 trillion bills-for-bumpers program whereby, if you peel off old slogans now recognized as environmentally harmful ('QUESTION AUTHORITY'), you can trade them in for a new 'CELEBRATE CONFORMITY' sticker, complete with a holographic image of President Obama that never takes his eyes off you." --columnist Mark Steyn

"If the Republicans in Washington are smart, and I'm not saying they are, they'd do well to get out of Nancy Pelosi's way. She may be just about the best politician the GOP has these days. Every time Madam Speaker goes on camera, you can almost hear Democrats' approval ratings drop." --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editor Paul Greenberg

"Sports Medicine Institute said Friday cheerleading is the most dangerous sport in America. You can break your neck. CBS and NBC and ABC reporters were covering President Obama Wednesday when the NBC News reporter fell off the top of the triangle." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"In any event, it's true that people who believe in health care choices and free markets are zombies. For one thing, they are entirely too well-dressed to contemplate serious issues independently -- and thank you, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, for pointing that out. A man without Birkenstocks, after all, is a man without a soul. Organizing and protesting, as any sensible and compassionate citizen already understands, is exclusively the bailiwick of ideologically diverse and freethinking groups, such as unions. And really, the most galling aspect of this entire spurious uprising is the rumor that protestors are actually organized. Can you imagine?" --columnist David Harsanyi

"I have not said that I was a 'single-payer' supporter." -- U.S. President Barack Obama at a town hall meeting last week

"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program." --Obama in 2003

"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems." --Barack Obama, in a rare moment of truth-telling, arguing that a public option won't force private insurance out of business

"The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for 'death panels' that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that we don't -- it's too expensive to let her live anymore. (Laughter.)" --New York Times transcript, including the crowd's reaction, of Barack Obama yukking it up about the "death panels"

"President Obama is attempting to transmogrify America's entire medical system. It is literally a matter of life and death. If Obama and his supporters find mirth in the thought of 'pulling the plug on grandma,' do you trust them anywhere near your health care?" --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

web posted August 10, 2009

"If we want an economy that's going to grow in the future, people have to understand we have to bring those deficits down. And it's going to be difficult, hard for us to do. ... We're not at the point yet where we're going to make a judgment about what it's going to take." --Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner when asked if taxes could be raised on the middle class

"[I]t is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what." --White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers on tax increases for the middle class

"The president's clear commitment is not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year." --White House press secretary Robert Gibbs

"'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.' We have heard that many times. What is also the price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections. If everything that is wrong with the world becomes a reason to turn more power over to some political savior, then freedom is going to erode away.... If you think government should 'do something' about anything that ticks you off, or anything you want and don't have, then you have made your choice between Utopia and freedom." --economist Thomas Sowell

"[H]ealth care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. That's its attraction for an ambitious president: It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in a way that hands all the advantages to statists -- to those who believe government has a legitimate right to regulate human affairs in every particular." --columnist Mark Steyn

"Polling shows that most Americans are happy with the health insurance they have. One reason is that they have, in economist Albert Hirschman's phrase, the option of exit. Most Americans choose health-insurance policies every year, and if we don't like our current plan, we can exit from it and choose another. Government insurance will tend to close off the option of exit, trapping you in a system that is sure to be riddled with unanticipated consequences." --political analyst Michael Barone

"The White House and Congress have encountered a delay on the bullet train to passing health care legislation. This is a good thing. Our government has just proven that it cannot even purchase used cars, but it expects us to believe that it has a stranglehold on health care and its costs?" --columnist R. Blake Curd

"A society that is organized to permit individuals to flourish and to realize their potential ... will broadly share in the increased prosperity those individuals help to create. A society (or a global system) that misunderstands wealth creation and wishes to level society by penalizing success will make life poorer for everyone." --columnist Mona Charen

"It's almost immoral what [private insurers] are doing. Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure. ... They are the villains in this." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"I hope my colleagues won't fall for a sucker punch like this. These health insurance companies and people like them are trying to load these town meetings for visual impact on television. They want to show thousands of people screaming socialism and try to overcome the public sentiment, which now favors health care reform. ... There are health insurance companies that are ... very profitable and they don't want to see this reform so they are helping to organize these rallies." --Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

"I think if we get a good public option, it could lead to single payer and that's the best way to reach single payer. ... I think the best way we're gonna get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option and demonstrate its strength and its power." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

"One expert from a conservative think tank called this Congress 'as active and productive as any I can remember. Its true -- we have passed more serious, substantive laws than any Congress since President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"You've got 47 percent of the people at our NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll who have health insurance who don't like what the president's doing. The problem he's got, 47 percent of the people who have got coverage don't want change. They don't like what they're hearing. Now, they may not know what's good for them, but the problem is that he always knew he was going to have to persuade people with insurance." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"So many people are working to bring down health-care reform because it has a negative impact on their little corner of the world, or they've got a partisan interest in hampering President Obama's agenda. ... And most are pretty heartless about the more than 40 million uninsured, thinking that those people should do something for themselves and not drain resources from the rest of the system. This is what Obama is up against." --Newsweek's Eleanor Clift

"It's happening almost everywhere Democrats are trying to defend health care reform. Angry protestors ... against what they called 'government-run health care'.... Avoiding this kind of uproar is partly why Democrats wanted to pass health reform before the August recess. Democrats are now out there without a final bill to defend, but facing opponents trying to kill what they call 'ObamaCare' with a show of August heat." --CBS's Wyatt Andrews

"Nothing has been more damaging to rational discourse about economic policy than the notion, peddled relentlessly by Republican conservatives and accepted by too many centrist Democrats, that raising taxes is always and everywhere bad for the economy." --Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein

"No Member of Congress in his or her right mind is going to walk into a [town hall] meeting knowing that opponents of Obama Care are armed with cell phone video cameras and instructions on how to upload to YouTube. The Pelosi plan to sell the health care plan will have lasted even less time than the Cash-for-Clunkers program." --political analyst Rich Galen

"The president's dwindling blind faithful may still cling to the belief that he can work miracles. But no one, not even Barack Obama, can drain a swamp by flooding it." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"President Obama just announced he's considering transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Michigan. The idea is to scare the prisoners into revealing information about terror plots by showing them a bus ticket to Detroit." --comedian Conan O'Brien

"Liberals will occasionally make a movie about the courageous Germans who attempted to assassinate Hitler, but they get their panties in a knot when our government tries to kill Islamic terrorists. Hell, they even break out in hives if the human scum locked up in Gitmo don't get their prayer mats dry-cleaned on a regular basis." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"The GOP National Committee had a convention in San Diego over the weekend. They denounced health care reform as socialism and blasted czars as abuse of power. They believe that the Democrats have drifted so far to the left that in the next Star Trek movie, the Starship Enterprise will be re-christened the Starship Shared Responsibility." --comedian Argus Hamilton

web posted August 3, 2009

"What good is reading the [health care] bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" --Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

"I'm always worried about using the word victory, because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur." --commander in chief Barack Obama on winning (or not) in Afghanistan

"No, I don't care. ... I don't know about 'trust' -- I think I'm trusted. I certainly want to be trusted. I'm not particularly concerned if I'm liked." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on being extremely unpopular

"Health care cannot be a right, because rights cannot come from government. At best, they can be protected by government. The founders understood this, which is why our Bill of Rights is really a list of restrictions on the government in Washington." --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"Mr. Obama and the Democrats object to the rationing plan being called a rationing plan, so the only way to get a scheme like this past the public, which doesn't always pay close attention early on, is to do it quickly before a lot of people notice." --Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden

"Every doctor knows, as I did when I practiced years ago, how much unnecessary medical cost is incurred with an eye not on medicine but on the law. Tort reform would yield tens of billions in savings. Yet you cannot find it in the Democratic bills. And Obama breathed not a word about it in the full hour of his health-care news conference. Why? No mystery. The Democrats are parasitically dependent on huge donations from trial lawyers." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"We hear a lot of talk about eliminating waste and having more preventative health care. But the most powerful health care initiative we could get is the last thing they will propose: Traditional family values. The same values undermined by the liberal abortion regime and moral relativism they promote." --columnist Star Parker

"Be wary of accepting government largesse. It doesn't come free, and often accepting it takes away everything that is free. Melting into Washington's powerful, caretaking arms will just suck incentive to work hard and chart our own course right out of us -- and that not only contributes to an unstable economy and dizzying national debt, but it does make us less free." --former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

"Those of us who want to see racism on its way out need to realize that others benefit greatly from crying racism. They benefit politically, financially, and socially. Barack Obama has been allied with such people for decades." --economist Thomas Sowell

"[T]he president's response to Gatesgate actually sheds a lot of light on his approach to health care and other issues, for this reason: Obama adopts his positions before knowing what he is talking about." --columnist Mona Charen

"It's clear, listening to the president ... that he knows his stuff. He knows health care policy." --ABC's George Stephanopoulos

"You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, 'D***, this is hard. D***, I'm not going to get the things done I want to get done, and it's just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish'? ... Are you concerned at all that if health care reform fails it will be a huge and devastating setback to your presidency?" --CBS's Katie Couric

"People are saying that you are playing pure politics with this issue.... Are you rallying conservatives to the cause of health care reform? Or are you rallying conservatives to the cause of breaking a president?" --NBC's Matt Lauer to Republican Senator Jim DeMint

"Health officials seem to like the idea of a federal soda tax. They say we consume about 250 more calories a day than we did just 20 years ago and most of those calories are from the soda can. Adding a tax of three cents a can to high-calorie sodas could generate $24 billion over the next four years. Opponents argue Americans won't tolerate another tax. Still, supporters say it could cut health care costs and America's ever- expanding bottom line, all at once." --ABC's Sharon Alfonsi

"We're going to pay big time if we don't get this [Obama's health care plan]. I don't think we're going to be a great world power." --NBC medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman

"As conservatives get to call universal health care 'socialized medicine,' I get to call private for-profit healthcare 'soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain.' The more people who get sick and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O." --HBO's Bill Maher

"The president wants to have constructive dialogue with people that clearly want to have constructive dialogue on issues that are as important as race. Uh, whether or not Rush Limbaugh wants to be part of, uh, a constructive dialogue or whether he wants to get ratings to sell commercials, uh, on a radio show, I'll let him answer that question. ... I think what's important is obviously these are important issues, they have been over the lifetime and the history of our country, and the president takes them seriously and wants to deal with them seriously." --White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blaming Rush for Obama making an issue of Henry Gates' arrest

"President Obama invited the Cambridge cop and the black professor to the White House to settle things over a beer. Both parties still insist they're in the right. Whenever neither side is willing to back down, the best thing to do is to add alcohol." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"A lot of the Obama presidency is a contest between his intelligence and his arrogance [and he thought] he can say anything on race and is so smart that he will be untouchable." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"I am willing to accept the notion that the Surgeon General can be the poster-woman for a national effort to lose weight. That would be swell. But, if we accept that theory, then Obama should appoint: -- a junkie as Drug Czar, -- a person whose license has been suspended as Secretary of Transportation, -- a deserter as Secretary of Defense, -- a slum lord heading HUD and, -- Bernie Madoff as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. I was going to add 'tax cheats in the U.S. Treasury' but Obama has already done that." --political analyst Rich Galen

"I mean, a joke's a joke, but how could Obama and [Henry] Waxman believe for a second that people like Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Charles Rangel, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi and the idiots on the Black Congressional Caucus could make a better living outside of politics? Half of these people would be trolls living under bridges if they ever lost an election. Who on earth would hire them? There are, after all, only so many circuses in America, and only so many elephants in those circuses, and only so many brooms to go around." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"ObamaCare isn't an easy-to-fill prescription for the half-price-but-just-as-good blue pill. The real product under the safety cap is snake oil." --columnist Debra Saunders



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