Mid-Day Snapshot · Sept. 28, 2021

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”


“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” —James Madison (1792)

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Massive Spending Costs ‘Zero Dollars’?

Biden’s new message on Democrats’ $3.5 trillion behemoth is utterly laughable.

Nate Jackson

Joe Biden really should get a job hawking his wares on the Home Shopping Network, because his latest “As Seen on TV” pitch just took things to a whole new level.

“Every time I hear this is going to cost A, B, C, or D,” Biden said of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending monstrosity, “the truth is, based on the commitment that I made, it’s going to cost nothing, because we’re going to raise the revenue.”

“We pay for everything we spend,” Biden insisted. “It’s going to be zero. Zero.”

He later doubled down on that utter falsehood: “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars. … It adds zero dollars to the national debt.” And his mouthpiece, Jen Psaki, reiterated it: “This reconciliation package would cost zero dollars.”

This line of reasoning is so absurd as to be one of the most laughable things Biden has uttered — and that’s saying something. But rather than role their eyes and say There goes Joe again, other Democrats jumped the shark right along with him. “This is a zero-dollar bill,” insisted Democrat Representative Pramila Jayapal, “because it’s all going to be paid for with taxes on the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest individuals.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t quite buy the “zero dollars” snake oil but instead changed the turf of the debate: “This is not about price tag. This is about what’s in the bill.” She added, “Let’s not talk about numbers and dollars, let’s talk about values.”

Those “values” mean she’s changed her position and is now in favor of putting “infrastructure” ahead of the larger bill. That is sure to outrage the party’s far-left wing.

Where are the Leftmedia “fact-checkers”? Explaining why Biden has a point, even if Congress might fail him in actually getting there.

That failure might come because several Democrats still aren’t quite ready to swallow a price tag as big as $3.5 trillion. Worse, the real rub is that not only is this not $0, it’s far more than $3.5 trillion — more accurately in the neighborhood of $5 trillion, which is roughly $38,000 per taxpayer.

Besides, if this bill costs $0, why are Democrats in a pinch to raise the debt ceiling? They could do it without a single Republican vote, but they want the patina of bipartisanship to cover for their very partisan fundamental transformation. Republicans blocked a first attempt yesterday. Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists are, of course, blaming Republicans for refusing to go along with an increase and putting the nation on course for defaulting on debt and a government shutdown.

Perhaps Democrats should learn a simple less from economist Milton Friedman: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

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Quitting on COVID’s Origins

A leading medical journal, tainted from the start, punts on its duty to get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins.

Douglas Andrews

It appears that the medical establishment is either tired of investigating the origins of COVID-19 or simply uninterested in assigning an all-too-obvious blame. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for accountability, and it sends a terrible message to the Communist Chinese: We’re content to let you get away scot-free with having unleashed a global pandemic, having covered it up, and having caused the deaths of nearly five million people worldwide.

The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals and therefore one of the organizations that should be most doggedly determined to get to the bottom of this, is leading the way among the abdicators.

What are these people afraid of? Put simply, the truth.

Back in June 2020, The Lancet formed a COVID-19 Commission “to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic.” As the Commission’s website notes, their work is built around four main themes: “recommendations on how to best suppress the epidemic; addressing the humanitarian crises arising from the pandemic; addressing the financial and economic crises resulting from the pandemic; and rebuilding an inclusive, fair, and sustainable world.”

The fourth of these themes seems oddly out of place. It has nothing to do with COVID-19. Instead, the proper fourth theme seems rather obvious — at least to the objective mind: uncovering the origins of this pandemic so as to keep it from ever happening again.

By November 2020, the Commission had created 12 associated task forces, and one of them, “Origins, Early Spread of the Pandemic, and One Health Solutions to Future Pandemic Threats,” seems spot-on. But curiously, there’s now a note just beneath the heading of that particular task force:

In the interest of ensuring the transparency and objectivity of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission report, the Task Force on the Origins, Early Control of the Pandemic, and One Health Solutions has been ended [emphasis ours]. The Commission’s work on these issues will be undertaken by the Commission Secretariat, in consultation with global experts, in advance of the final report.

So much for, in the Commission’s own words, “good governance that builds on public trust.” Instead, The Lancet and its commissioners have punted, have capitulated, have abandoned their work on the fundamental question concerning COVID-19: How did this happen?

More important, why did this task force disband? The Lancet won’t admit it, but it was compromised from the start. First, it published a statement saying, in part, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

Think about that. These “scientists” were publicly predisposed to a predetermined outcome.

In addition, the Commission appointed EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak to chair that “origins” task force. Daszak, of course, has gone to great lengths to try to dispel the increasingly credible notion that the coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan Virology Laboratory. And why would he do that? Because it’s been since learned that his New York-based organization sent $3.4 million in National Institutes of Health grants to that same Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal. Not coincidentally, we think, Daszak also helped organize the self-serving letter we quoted above — the one calling COVID-19’s lab origin a “conspiracy theory.”

As for that “conspiracy theory,” we’ve written about it recently, and the commonsense evidence is damning. Here’s how Nicholas Wade, who for 30 years covered science for The New York Times, put it recently: “It’s very hard on the natural emergence scenario to imagine how the virus broke out someplace else, built itself up into a real good human pathogen, and, without infecting anyone else, the guy who was infected jumped on a train to Wuhan, didn’t infect anyone on the train, and it was only when he got to Wuhan that he started spreading. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

We think Daszak and his Lancet ilk doth protest too much. And we think someone — GOP House Intelligence Committee members, perhaps — needs to get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins.

If not them, who? If not now, when?

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The CDC’s COVID Failures Mount

The once widely respected public health agency has become arrogant and politically beholden.

Thomas Gallatin

What grade does America’s premier public health agency deserve vis-à-vis the biggest public healthcare threat the country has faced in generations? The short answer would be “a failing grade.” Throughout the course of the COVID pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly misinterpreted data, misinformed the public, and allowed political considerations to direct its guidelines rather than holding strictly to the known science.

The result has been widespread confusion and deep distrust in an institution that should seek to avoid any whiff of political considerations in its decision-making. Fewer Americans trust the CDC today than did before the pandemic, and the lion’s share of the blame rests almost entirely on those leading the CDC.

Although he doesn’t hold a position at the CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom Donald Trump tagged as the lead medical professional to communicate with the American people regarding the novel virus, has seemingly served as role model to the CDC’s operation. Fauci was perhaps Trump’s biggest blunder, because the Beltway’s highest-paid bureaucrat arguably cost Trump a second term through his own continual display of a total lack of humility and honesty. The CDC seemed to mimic his approach.

“The CDC is supposed to be America’s frontline institution in the fight against infectious disease,” Peter Suderman pointedly observes. “Its job is to analyze viral threats, track their spread and development, and provide the public with relevant information about how to respond to outbreaks. Not only did the agency do this job poorly in the early stages of the pandemic, but it actively hindered efforts that would have greatly improved America’s response, and it made planning errors that were both predictable and avoidable. At nearly every stage of the pandemic, the CDC got things wrong and got in the way. Its failures almost certainly made America’s pandemic worse.”

From foulups of COVID testing kits to promulgating misleading information, from allowing a partisan teachers union to dictate guidance to outrageously overstepping its boundaries with things like the eviction moratorium, the CDC failed the country. Making matters worse has been the CDC’s elitist and condescending attitude toward the American public. Rather than seeing itself as primarily a public health advisory agency, those leading the CDC seemed to see the agency as primarily a means to wield governing authority over the American people.

“The root of the problem is the agency’s self-conception: It sees itself as the ultimate arbiter of what is true and what to do on all matters of infectious disease,” Suderman further notes. “In essence, the CDC believes there is no other authority besides the CDC, so it shuts out private labs from the testing process, insists that its faulty tests actually work pretty well long after problems arise, sticks with overly complicated plans that bog down processes, and resists calls to update its guidance, even when that guidance makes living ordinary life difficult or impossible.”

The CDC’s guiding concern seems to have been politics, not science, which has created greater distrust within the minds of many Americans. Of course, the CDC’s “my way or the highway” approach will not lend itself to much introspection, something that is desperately needed if those who run the agency hope to regain any trust from the public. If this is the best Americans can expect from the CDC, then who needs it?

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Joe Biden’s Blame Game

While his administration continues to fail, our feckless president falls back on excuses.

Douglas Andrews

A couple of weeks ago, Joe Biden had a doozy of an hour — an hour that has come to embody his catastrophic presidency of late.

On Friday afternoon, September 17, in the space of just 60 minutes, his Pentagon announced to the world that his hastily conducted drone strike in Afghanistan hadn’t taken out any terrorists but had instead killed 10 innocent civilians, seven of them children. In addition, a panel advising his Food and Drug Administration voted to not recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans over age 16, which derailed a key component of what he’d said to be the central mission of his presidency. And, finally, our oldest ally, France, announced it was recalling its ambassador to the U.S. due to having been aced out of a secret nuclear submarine deal struck between the Biden administration, the UK, and Australia.

Here, we’re reminded of what former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said when a journalist asked him what the greatest challenge to his administration was: “Events, my dear boy, events.”

And so it is with Joe Biden, whose presidency appears to be at the mercy of events that regularly spin out of control and leave him with nothing but excuses. If it isn’t Donald Trump’s fault, then it’s the fault of Republicans, or the white supremacists, or Demo dissident Senator Joe Manchin, or the unvaccinated, or Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, or the Taliban, or those Afghans who refused to fight, or global warming climate change.

“He that is good for making excuses,” said Ben Franklin, “is seldom good for anything else.”

But back to those events that keep foiling our president. As political analyst Eddy Scarry observes:

The media want Biden to look like a “helpless bystander,” a victim of circumstances out of his control. He’s not. He’s the perpetrator of nearly every disaster anyone with eyes can see, from the obscenity at the southern border, to the loss of 13 service members (not fighting, but leaving a war zone), to the stratospheric inflation of household necessities.

We’re led to believe these are simply “challenges” Biden is facing rather than the results of his own deliberate screw-ups.

Indeed. Take the crisis on our southern border, for example, which continued to worsen even during the height of summer, when illegal border crossings should’ve settled down. Not so under Biden, though, who reflexively blamed the Trump administration by saying he inherited “one god-awful mess at the border.” But when illegal immigrants themselves are asked why they’re coming, they make clear it’s because of the message that was sent by the Biden administration. That message? “What I would do as president … I would in fact make sure that there is, we immediately surge to the border all those people who are seeking asylum. … We’re a nation that says ‘If you want to flee, and you’re fleeing oppression, you should come.’”

Talk about an open invitation to chaos, crisis, and human misery. Who can blame the more than 1.5 million illegals we’ve counted crossing our border in fiscal year 2021, and the countless others who’ve avoided detection? Who can blame the 30,000 Haitians who heard that message? The only question is whether Joe Biden is simply idiotic or is bent on changing the face of America. Or both. Clearly both.

Or take Afghanistan, the 20-year war that seemed to be winding down under Trump, but that went off the rails under Biden’s leadership. As former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it a month ago, when Team Biden and its surrogates were just beginning to roll out the excuses: “The disaster unfolding in Afghanistan has shown in stark terms the incompetence and weakness of the Biden administration. In a matter of days, the Taliban was allowed to take over the entire country. This feckless, poorly executed withdrawal is already calling into question American leadership from some of our closest allies [and] emboldening our enemies. … Biden’s incompetence has left Americans in harm’s way and is dishonoring those who serve and our country.”

As one exasperated CBS analyst asked, “How did Biden miss the red flags?” To which our Mark Alexander replied, “Joe Biden IS the red flag.”

Under this president, we retreated and surrendered, we lost 13 warriors to a suicide bombing we saw coming, and we left billions worth of military gear to our Taliban enemies.

That trio of events aptly sums up the effectiveness of the Biden administration. And no amount of excuse-making can put the blame elsewhere.

Eight months down, 40 more to go.

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The Bills Keep Piling Up

The Left has continued to harm America, and sooner or later we’ll all have to pay.

Harold Hutchison

One overarching theme to the issues America is facing is that the real problems have been ignored. The thing is, ignoring real problems doesn’t make them go away. When bills aren’t paid, interest and late charges pile up. In the case of America in 2021, the interest rate and late charges from the unpaid bills would seem excessive even to those who work in the financial services sector of Tony Soprano’s enterprise.

At first, we can look at the “America Last” national security/foreign policy. Long before Joe Biden’s betrayal of Afghanistan turned into a dishonorable debacle, we warned of the fact that Biden was helping Iran, China, and Russia win. And while Biden made a good move (with some badly hurt feelings) by getting Australia to acquire nuclear attack submarines, it doesn’t change many of the other problems.

We need to deal with the fallout from Biden’s dishonorable debacle, but the other issues will remain. We still have a badly under-strength military across all the services. These decisions have consequences that echo over years, long after the president who made them leaves office — remember the Bergdahl swap?

Meanwhile, the bureaucrats/deep state seem to be more interested in waging war on conservatives as opposed to dealing with serious problems. See the hijacking of DARPA technology as one case of this. We can’t look at just that. The recent indictment of Michael Sussman points to the fact that these bureaucrats viewed Donald Trump and grassroots Patriots as greater threats than radical Islamic extremists, Communist China, and even a resurgent Russia.

The foolish post-Cold War drawdown, combined with the early errors of omission by George W. Bush, have a price tag. That bill is coming due, and the payment won’t just be money; it will come from the blood of those who volunteered to defend this country. The longer we wait to address those issues, the higher the price tag for those whom we owe much.

Similarly, when it comes to the cost of the left-wing hate speech, we’ve already seen permanent damage to the fabric of this nation. The Left, in the name of defeating those it has falsely painted in the most hateful terms possible, has engaged in a pattern of abuses, and has even sought to redline or silence opposition to its agenda.

Dennis Prager has rightly warned of where the Left’s hate speech could lead, and he has asked an important question about the “fortified” 2020 election. These questions deserve answers and the results of the Arizona audit just scratch the surface.

The bill for the Left’s decades of hate speech is also coming due, and the longer America avoids paying for it, the more expensive the reckoning will be. Delaying the inevitable never helps anyone.

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Stossel Sues Facebook for False ‘Fact-Check’

The longtime investigative journalist was censored by Big Tech for daring to question the alarmist “climate change” dogma.

Thomas Gallatin

One of Facebook’s many leftist dogmas that shall not be challenged is climate alarmism. Anyone who dares question “the science” surrounding the topic of man-caused climate change is immediately labeled a “science denier,” as if the ongoing scientific inquiry surrounding causes of climate change has been “settled.”

Facebook evidently has decided that it will penalize anyone for failing to toe the narrow line of climate alarmism — a line that any real journalist worth their weight should immediately sniff out as dubious.

One such journalist, the well-known and well-respected John Stossel, has made an annoying habit of engaging in genuine investigative journalism. He routinely challenges the prevailing political and mainstream media establishment’s views on the subject of climate change, among many other things.

Stossel posted two offending videos on Facebook. One was entitled “Government Fueled Fires,” and in it, Stossel’s lawsuit says he “explored a scientific hypothesis” that “while climate change undoubtedly contributes to forest fires, it was not the primary cause of the 2020 California fires.” A second video entitled “Are We Doomed?” questioned “environmental alarmists” for making “claims that hurricanes are getting stronger, that the sea level rise poses a catastrophic threat, and that humans will be unable to cope with the fallout.” For his “offense,” Stossel was hit with negative “fact-checks.”

Stossel contends that the “fact-checkers” flagged his first video as “misleading” or “missing context” based upon statements attributed to his videos that he never made. The second video was flagged and labeled as “partly false/factual inaccuracies” for his questioning of the claims made by climate alarmists.

After these spurious “fact-checks,” Stossel alleges that he “was given no meaningful avenue to contest these unilateral decisions about the truth of his journalism,” all while “his viewership plummeted due to both Facebook’s censorship and the reputational harm caused by the false labels.” Stossel has levied a $2 million defamation lawsuit against Facebook.

As our readers well know, we and many other conservative media outlets have received similar treatment from Facebook’s grossly biased left-wing “fact-checkers.” What makes Stossel’s complaint and observation particularly damning is that his videos were “fact-checked” as “misleading” over statements never even made.

Facebook’s “fact-checkers” even effectively admit it: “Stossel complains that we should not have rated his post using a claim review of a quote that does not appear in his video.” But then they offer this new twist on justifying their fraudulent “fact-check” anyway: “This is a misunderstanding of how fact-checking partners operate on Facebook. Given that many pieces of content posted on Facebook can separately make the same claim, it is not necessary to create a separate claim review article for each post we rate. It is, of course, necessary that the claim we reviewed is representative of the claim in each post we rate, which is true in this case.” In other words, guilt by assumed association. In Facebook’s world, if what you’re saying doesn’t comport with today’s leftist dogma, then you are spreading “false” information.

We hope that Stossel prevails in his defamation lawsuit against Facebook. But $2 million in damages seems awfully low for a social media giant that rakes in $3.3 million every hour. It would surely be tempting, easier, and less costly for Facebook to simply agree to some small settlement than duke it out in court, but that would also serve as a tacit admission that Stossel was wronged.

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On the Web


Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin, henchmen in the calamitous Afghanistan withdrawal, testify today before Congress (Fox News)
  • White House told General Milley to pursue Russia’s help in combatting terrorism in Afghanistan (Daily Wire)
  • Brave Marine officer who blasted leaders over Afghanistan withdrawal now in the brig (Task & Purpose)


  • Senate Republicans block bill to avert government shutdown and to extend debt limit (NBC News)
  • “Our approach had to change”: Nancy Pelosi now says infrastructure bill can’t wait for reconciliation bill (NBC News)
  • Jen Psaki and Democrat lawmakers echo Biden’s delirious claim that the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will cost “zero dollars” (National Review) | By the way: The price tag is actually a huge underestimate (FEE)

Big Tech

  • “Big Tech has gotten out of hand”: Alabama governor blasts Facebook’s removal of her campaign page (Fox News)
  • John Stossel sues Facebook’s “fact-checkers” for defamation (PJ Media)


  • Biden administration to “take action to protect Dreamers” after court rules against DACA (PM)
  • What could possibly go wrong? Pentagon loosens access rules to secret programs, raising security leak fears (Washington Times)
  • DHS spent $330,000 on computer system that’s been broken since 2018 (Washington Times)


  • Biden accused of “moving goalposts” on percentage of Americans who need to get the jab (Fox News)
  • New York hospitals fire/suspend staff who refuse COVID vaccine (Reuters) | D’oh! New York governor declares “disaster emergency” amid staffing shortage crisis (Washington Post)
  • California police seize enough opioids to kill 50 million people (Daily Wire)


  • One reason for the supply chain wreck: A record number of cargo ships are stuck outside of California as ports can’t keep up (Jalopnik)
  • Ford jolts auto industry with $11 billion investment in electric vehicles (NBC News)
  • Energy crisis puts Europe’s climate plan to the test (Bloomberg)


  • Brilliant: New Jersey will pay the people who have been paid not to work to return to work (National Review)
  • Turning back time: Western Washington University creates segregated housing specifically for black students (Fox News)
  • RNC challenges Vermont legislation giving voting rights to non-citizens (Fox News)


  • Anti-Semitic attacks in 2020 outnumbered attacks against Muslims, Asians, and “transgender” people combined (Free Beacon)
  • R&B superstar R. Kelly finally convicted in sex trafficking trial (AP)
  • John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan, wins unconditional release (NPR)


  • Five Supreme Court cases to watch this term (Daily Signal)
  • China to clamp down on abortions for “non-medical purposes” (CNBC)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Science needs fixing, not just funding (National Review)
  • Policy: Higher education just isn’t built for men right now (Deseret News)
  • Humor: Wife claims $3.5 trillion spending spree at Target actually cost $0 (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.



For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.


Insight: “Love your country, but never trust its government.” —Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988)

Moving goalposts: “One thing’s for certain: A quarter of the country can’t go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem.” —Joe Biden

Non compos mentis: “Take a look at what I inherited when I came into office — when I came into office, the state of affairs, and where we were: We had four million people vaccinated. We had no plan. We had — I mean, I can go down the list. … I’m not complaining; it’s just a reality.” —Joe Biden

Grand delusions: “We can pay for whatever we want to pay for. We just tell the Treasury to pay the bills. … We are not like businesses. We are not like families. We are not like state governments. We are not like local governments. … We are like the banker and monopoly. We create the money.” —House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth

The BIG Lie I: “Every time I hear this is going to cost A, B, C, or D — the truth is, based on the commitment that I made, it’s going to cost nothing because we’re going to raise the revenue.” —Joe Biden (“We didn’t know that when you pay for something that makes it free.” —The Wall Street Journal)

The BIG Lie II: “This is a zero-dollar bill, because it’s all going to be paid for with taxes on the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest individuals.” —Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

The BIG Lie III: “This reconciliation package would cost zero dollars.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Elitist ignorance: “Obviously, the president’s commitment remains not raising taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year. There are some … who argue that in the past, companies have passed on these costs to consumers. … We feel that that’s unfair and absurd, and the American people would not stand for that.” —Jen Psaki

Gaslighting: “For all of those Republicans who are standing at the border and giving speeches about how broken the system is: Why don’t you join us and be a part of the solution instead of relying on speeches?” —Jen Psaki

Tone-deaf: “The ruling class in this country is very, very religious. Their religion is greed. And they are prepared to destroy the planet to make a few more dollars. The good news is this: if we stand together in solidarity around a progressive agenda for working people, we can win.” —Senator Bernie “Ruling Class” Sanders

A feature, not a bug: “You have about 48 Senators out of 50 who are for the president’s agenda. You have about 210 members of the House who are for the president’s agenda. So you’re really looking at about two Senators and eight House members who are holding everything up.” —Congressman Ro Khanna

Come on, man! “[Stacey Abrams] might be better than having your existing governor.” —Donald Trump (“Trump-inspired disillusionment with voting among Georgia Republicans was probably the decisive factor in turning control of the U.S. Senate over to Democrats. Having Stacey Abrams as Georgia’s governor wouldn’t be as disastrous for the nation, but it would be a massive setback for Georgia.” —Paul Mirengoff)

And last… “Stories about bipartisanship in the Senate failing are always about how Republicans just won’t give Democrats what they want.” —Erick Erickson

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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