Tag Archives: Elliot Spitzer

Will Eliot Spitzer Challenge Kirsten Gillibrand For New York’s Senate Seat?

Bookmark and Share  Reports claim that disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer can’t shake politics out of his corrupt blood.

spitzrGILLIBRANDSources state that Spitzer is looking at challenging interim U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Democrat’s nomination for the senate seat up in November of 2010.

Failing to decide to run for that office, Spitzer is said to also be looking at a run for New York State Comptroller.

Neither would be wise but both one or the other are not out of the question.

Even though the Governor was never found guilty or charged with the misappropriation state or campaign funds, he did break a public trust. His illegal hiring of a prostitute and failure to remain faithful to his wife do indeed tarnish the trust that a public official should have from the public that they seek to lead.

Now you can claim that Spitzer has the right ideological approach to government and policies for the people, you can, I don’t, but what you can’t say is that Eliot Spitzer can be trusted.

As a former Attorney General and then Governor who was suppose to uphold and enforce the law, Spitzer broke them and acted irresponsibly. You can claim that he was never charged as such but if you do, you must then ask why was it necessary for him to resign from office?

As for the marital infidelity aspect of this story, yes, that is a personal aspect but public officials are held up to a higher standard than most people and rightly so. So under that higher standard even though Spitzer’s extramarital extracurricular activities may indeed have been private, the fact that he broke promises and failed to fulfill his commitment to his family and wife forces anyone with a scintilla of decency to ask how we can expect him to hold to his promises to the public and his commitment to them?

Personally I do not think Spitzer will challenge an incumbent Democrat for the nomination to the job that they currently hold. Kirsten Gillibrand may be a totally inconsequential figure with little power, influence and credibility but she has not had to defend herself against cheating and illegal conduct. Spitzer could try to minimize the impact of his resignation from office and try to ride a New York wave of enthusiasm for healthscare reforms and other Obama policies but so can Kirsten Gillibrand. But on top of that, President Obama will likely be supporting both senator Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the races.

Chuck Schumer’s regular six year term is up and Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Hillary Clinton after she became Secretary of State until next years special election. The winner of that election fill out the rest of the original term that Clinton was elected to in 2006 and expires in 2012.

So President Obama is more than likely going to be on the stump for both Schumer and Gillibrand. If not he will still be in New York to support Chuck Schumer but the most Spitzer could hope for would be that President Obama remain neutral in a primary between Spitzer and Gillibrand.

In addition to that, Spitzer would at some point in time have to answer to his poor selection of a Lieutenant Governor in David Paterson.

When Spitzer resigned, his number two man took over and proceeded to destroy what stability New York had left after Spitzer‘s brief time in office. This will inevitably be another factor to hurt Spitzer on the issue of judgment. His judgment left New York in the hands of Paterson and now New Yorker’s are looking forward to ridding them of Paterson.

All of these factors do not make a compelling case for electing Eliot Spitzer to statewide office again. Besides who really wants to send Spitzer back to Washington, D.C. where he conducted the clandestine rendezvous with prostitutes that led to his resignation from Governor in the first place.

So I do not personally believe that Spitzer would actually try to run for statewide office any time soon. But what I see as logical is rarely seen rational by liberals like Spitzer. I also know that politics is like an incurable disease that once you have, you can never get rid of. That being said, Eliot Spitzer is sick and by trying to make a comeback he is simply showing all the symptoms of someone afflicted by politicitus.

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IT’S A SAKI ECONOMY FOR THE JAPANESE TOO

Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa

Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa

Bookmark and Share     Proof that the United States is not alone in a struggle for economic leadership was made quite evident today in Japan.

The already unstable government of Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso just took another hit and it is one that does not add to any sense of economic security.

Aso’s Finance Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa resigned today after apologizing for attending a string of seven news conferences while drunk.

A series of scandals and accusations and a plummeting popularity rating ,due to Prime Minister Aso’s mismanagement of the Japanese economy, has brought him and his ruling “Liberal Democratic Party” under fire and to the point of no public confidence.

Oddly, the resignation of Aso’s drunk Finance Minister coincided with a press conference by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who has made Japan the first stop on her first foreign mission.

What a welcome that must have been.

According to some insiders, the resignation could be the straw that breaks the back of the LDP and cause it to crumble. That could also give need for Secretary Clinton to do this trip over again, when she can discuss things with Japanese leaders who will be sober and in control of the Japanese government.

In any event, the fate of disgraced Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa is still up in the air. Some have suggested that the drunken antics which have led to his resignation from the Japanese government, might make him a perfectly suitable replacement for ailing Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when and if he ever retires.

Others have suggested that since he is now available, Nakagawa’s government experience and impeccably clean tax record could make him the perfect person to nominate for the hard to fill, vacant Commerce Secretary spot that still exists in the Obama administration. What a better way to demonstrate our free trade desires than by having an Asian commerce secretary oversee our markets?

However; sources close to WordPress.com believe that although Nakagawa’s future fortune does lie in the United States, it is not in government employment that he will find it.

Apparently, Nakegawa will be signed onto a two year contract with a new American reality television show that will be produced by and aired on C-Span. The show is called Political Rehab and it will feature an array of political leaders, each of which are trying to deal with their political afterlives while coping with various addictions and fetishes.

The show will take place in Washington, D.C.’s trendy Georgetown section where the political rehabilitants will live together for eight weeks in a three story brownstone. Producers of the program say the show will “take us through the lives of everyday politicians who have fallen from grace and out of power and are struggling to find their place in the world while also coping with the problems that brought them down and out of power”

The shows creators promise that Political Rehab will be an emotional journey, jam packed with the intensity and passion of politics along with twists born of the human frailties and addictions that all people bring to the table.

Currently, producers are still negotiating contracts with a list of stars that include former Congresswoman and Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney , impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich, former Senator Larry Craig as well as former Governors Elliot Spitzer of New York and Jim McGreevey of New Jersey. Word is that former President Bill Clinton has already been signed on but arrangements regarding where Cynthia McKinney can safely sleep without fear of Mr. Clinton are still being worked out.

The show’s producers stated that the addition of Nakagawa and his drinking problem is just what they were looking for in order to round out the other addictions being dealt with on the show such as sex and violence.

So it is nice to know that when one door closes another one can in fact open, and after Nakegawa’s resignation in Japan, it is nice to know that not everything applies to the phrase “only in America”.

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and at a different times they covered politics. Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

9 . – IS  THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WARant1georgis1a2

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate. 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up. 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

Putting all political opinion aside. Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth , Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second on out not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like ant other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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U.S. Senate Employment- ABILITY NOT REQUIRED

CAROLINE KENNEDY - The Most Qualified New Yorker forthe Job?

CAROLINE KENNEDY - The Most Qualified New Yorker forthe Job?

Does anyone really believe that Caroline Kennedy is the most qualified person in New York to represent the interests of New Yorkers in the United States Senate?

Assuming, for a moment, that she was not a Kennedy, would the replacement Governor of New York, David Paterson, be considering her for the position?

I think not.

But politics is a strange and twisted business.

Take for example David Paterson’s ascension to the Governor’s office.

Paterson was the son of a locally well known New York State Senator, Basil Paterson. Before Basil resigned from his senate seat, he pulled some strings and positioned his son David in the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

In 1985 David resigned from the D.A.’s office to work on the campaign of David Dinkins for Manhattan Borough President. Dinkins later became one of the city’s worst Mayors ever, served one term and was ultimately defeated for re-election by Rudy Giuliani.

After Dinkins’ campaign for Borough President, Leon Bogues who succeeded Basil Paterson in the state senate died. Subsequently a hastily prepared special election to fill the vacant seat was held.

With fifty eight percent of the districts Democrat County Committee behind him, David Paterson received the nomination for his fathers senate seat.

This senate district covers parts of Manhattan including Harlem, so it is staunchly liberal.  As such,  the Democrat nomination is tantamount to winning the election and David did.

In 2006, the state’s Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer sought the Democrat party’s nomination for Governor. With many high profile, Wall street crimes successfully prosecuted by Spitzer, he was the party’s rising star. In fact many saw him as a future national leader for Democrats. His race for the nomination was anything but a race. With one opponent Spitzer won the nomination in a landslide and with a Republican of little recognition and even less money, Spitzer was assured of winning the Governor’s race.

That in mind, he selected David Paterson to be his running mate. The selection of Paterson helped to win favor with minorities and the liberal wing of the party. As an African -American who established an ultra liberal following, the addition of Paterson to the ticket allowed Elliot the freedom to not have to campaign too far to the left. Thereby allowing him to speak to those in the middle without turning them off  by publicly addressing liberal concerns.

With Paterson on the ticket, Spitzer knew liberals would be behind him.

And they were. As expected Elliot Spitzer won in a landslide election.

But that landslide victory quickly turned into a even quicker and more dramatic fall from grace as the earth shifted again and Spitzer was forced to resign from office after it was discovered that he was hiring call girls for, shall we say,  nongovernmental business.

And that is how David Paterson became Governor.

Now as Governor, David Paterson finds himself in the position of appointing  someone to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

That situation, in and of itself, is another stroke of luck for David Paterson.

After losing the nomination for President, New York Democrats wanted assurances that Hillary would not challenge David Paterson for the nomination for Governor of New York in 2010.

They never got that assurance until Barack Obama took care of that for them and nominated Hillary for Secretary of State.

Of course Paterson could  feel that a challenge to his nomination for re-election is not yet resolved with Clinton out of the picture.  Andrew Cuomo’s desire for the job could pose a threat but if Paterson appointed Cuomo to the U.S. Senate, he too would be taken out of the picture thereby assuring Paterson the nomination.

So what of her replacement?

Well a look at David Paterson’s rise to power would indicate the rationale behind choosing Caroline Kennedy.

Paterson did little to get the job that he now has.

He entered politics through the political strings pulled by his father and came to political office through his fathers name. And ultimately he became a governor because of a vacancy in the seat.

So why not select Caroline Kennedy?  She has the Kennedy name and there is a vacancy.

So putting qualifications aside, there is absolutely no reason not to select her but quite a few reasons for Paterson to do so.

The first being, by appointing Caroline Kennedy to the U.S. Senate, Paterson will be winning the favor of Kennedy’s allover the country. That means plenty of money in his bid for re-election.

The second reason is perception. As a Kennedy, Caroline is adored. Regardless of issues or her positions on the issues, the public perceives her as a symbol. As the last surviving child of an adored, martyred President, Caroline Kennedy is a figure few want to oppose. So she is a safe choice that spares Paterson a great deal of criticism.

 Additionally, after choosing Caroline for the senate seat, a race against Andrew Cuomo probably would not be a much of race. Paterson would have the backing of both U.S. Senators form New York, Chuck Schumer and Caroline Kennedy. He would also have their organizational and financial support as well as that of all the Kennedy’s.

So given the logic of politics, whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified or not, really doesn’t matter. Qualifications are not a factor. If they were David Paterson might be considering New Yorkers with expertise in areas that need leadership like our economy. Why not consider New Yorker Donald Trump? If Mike Bloomberg is such a great Mayor of New York City, why not appoint him to the senate? Why not replace one Clinton with another?  Bill is available.  It is not unprecedented for a former President to serve in congress and if he is so great, why not him?

I am not saying I want any of those characters in the U.S. Senate but why not consider them?

The answer simply is that qualifications are not a factor.

As Peter King, a New York congressman from Long Island said “ if name identification is a qualification, why not pick J-lo?”. Jennifer Lopez has plenty of name recognition.

He’s right.

I do not know where Caroline Kennedy stands on the issues. I do know that of all the Kennedy’s she is my favorite. There is nothing to dislike about her. So she comes to the table with a clean slate with me. But is her name really a reason to suggest that she is the most qualified New Yorker to help shape the future of our nation?

Realistically, no, but politics has little to do with the reality of national concerns. Politics is personal and it revolves around the personal ambitions of individuals in government, not the people who are effected by government.

So why not Caroline Kennedy? It could be worse. MoveOn.org founder and liberal lunatic, George Soros is a New York resident.

Considered the 55th richest person in the world and one of the three wealthiest in New York, with a net worth of 7.2 billion dollars he could certainly finance the success of a political careers including David Paterson. But who will assure the success of our nation?

While some play name games and others try to auction off elected offices, who will assure us that the best people represent us?  Certainly not those who are already in office.

punchline-politics21

At the height of a political corruption trial, the prosecuting attorney attacked
a witness.

“Isn’t it true,” he bellowed, “that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?”

The witness stared out the window as though he hadn’t heard the question.

“Isn’t it true that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?” the lawyer repeated.

The witness still did not respond.

Finally, the judge leaned over and said, “Sir, please answer the question.”

“Oh,” the startled witness said, “I thought he was talking to you.”

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