Flashback: Obama promised entitlement reform in 2008 debate; Update: January 2009, too

posted at 12:01 pm on August 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Buzzfeed finds this video clip from the 2008 town-hall presidential debate that should provide the context for Team Obama’s attacks on Paul Ryan and his budget reforms of entitlement programs.  Should, of course, does not mean will, as in “will the media remind people of this Barack Obama campaign promise?”  In response to a direct question from NBC moderator Tom Brokaw, Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:

The punchline for this sight gag?  Obama had a golden opportunity to fulfill this pledge.  All he had to do was adopt the budget proposed by his own panel on deficit control, to which he appointed Erskine Bowles as co-chair.  If you wondered why Bowles compared Ryan’s plan favorably to the nonsense plan Obama used instead of the Simpson-Bowles plan, now you know.  Even if the Republican-controlled House would have blocked it, Obama would have had the high ground on this point.

Instead, Obama will attempt to demonize Ryan for the Bowles-described “sensible … honest” plan the Republican running mate introduced in the leadership vacuum left by Obama.  He may score some points on Ryan, but Republicans can point to Obama’s own abdication and unkept promise on the issue as a reason why the incumbent is the fundamentally unserious candidate.  Will it work?  We’ll see in less than 90 days.

Update: Pop quiz, hotshots — who said in January 2009 that we can’t kick the entitlement can down the road?  Oh, let’s not always see the same hands:

OBAMA: Real problem with our long-term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligations and the fact that, historically, if our revenues ranged from between 18 and 20 percent of GDP, they’re now at 16, it’s just not sustainable. So, we’re going to have to craft a—what George Stephanopolous called a “grand bargain,” and I try not to use the word grand in anything that I say, but we’re going to have to shape a bargain. This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty are going to come in, because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We’re now at the end of the road, and we’re not in a position to kick it any further.


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this is racist.

rob verdi on August 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:

his first, and now only term.

/promises

ted c on August 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

We know champ, we know…..

that’ll be in wjat your fourth or fifth term?

harlekwin15 on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:

the entitlement reform plan is being kept safe by the LA Times, among other things.

ted c on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

His entitlement reform plan will be to blame Bush and demonize Ryan.

Once he gets re-elected, the plan is to play golf and badmouth Congress for his failures.

What could possibly go wrong?

NoDonkey on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

His promises last as long as the echo from the amplifiers.

JimK on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

There’s a campaign ad to be made if any Republicans are listening.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

aunursa on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:

He was taken out of context. /snark

Liam on August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

All of O-Dumbo’s promises come with expiration dates. Lies, who cares as long as there are idots who don’t care.

skanter on August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:
the entitlement reform plan is being kept safe by the LA Times, among other things.

ted c on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

We’ll have to pass it, to find out what’s in it.

Kind of like when the dog eats an unidentified object.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Reminding us that Obamuh promised something is about as necessary as reminding us that the sun is really hot.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Kind of like when the dog eats an unidentified object.

Rut Row, not another dog eating meme! :D

skanter on August 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

bho will say/do whatever he thinks will get him re-elected? If bho does win, everything he did will get the bus! bho only plan for the US, take control of it and crater it?
L

letget on August 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

…the MSM has no memory!

KOOLAID2 on August 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

C’mon now. He had a plan. It worked, remember?

Bitter Clinger on August 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

But he did reform them! Into larger, more costly systems with less oversight and more authoritarian control…

Really, this is why ‘reform’ has problems.

Rollback and cuts, I understand perfectly, but this ‘reform’ deal never delivers and only makes things worse, not better… and if the government shouldn’t be doing it IN THE FIRST PLACE then the only real ‘reform’ is to stop doing it. See ‘rollback and cuts’ above.

ajacksonian on August 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

And he fulfilled that promise. He reformed entitlements be adding more entitleees…

sandee on August 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Yep. Say anything to get elected then go slyly behind everyone’s back and gut WF by getting rid of the work requirement.

Cody1991 on August 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I think we have another anchor for an ad showing that Obama is all talk and no action…and showing he knows what needs to be done, and purposefully does not do it.

The worst of all…he knows what America wants, what they need, and he directly issues orders not to do it.

right2bright on August 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

His promises last as long as the echo from the amplifiers.

JimK on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Yep, which ring in our heads. Then we smoke the days last cigarettes, remembering what Barky said, there he goes, on the golf course again.

Bishop on August 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

That was then, this is now. Covered ground. Nothing new here.

Sorry, was just channeling my inner MSM.

Rufus on August 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I also believe that was the debate where he said he would go line by line down the budget and make cuts…

right2bright on August 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Meh. It’s not like anyone will see any of this. It’ll all be…edited out.

Rational Thought on August 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term:

obambi deserves a second term! 15 -20 in a federal lockup is a good start.

VegasRick on August 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

…but we’re going to have to shape a bargain…

No more bipartisanship, no more ‘hands across the water’ crap.

Democrats need to be politically made irrelevant, liberalism needs to be crushed and its adherents reduced to the margins of society.

The fun is over. It’s time to restore America, back to where our wallets have only our fingers on it and not everyone else’s, too.

Liam on August 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Campgain ad writers and GOP Superpacs must be orgasmic over the amount of material they have….

hillsoftx on August 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

He was taken out of context. /snark

Liam on August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Heh-heh… Yeah, that must be it. I hope Romney makes an ad out of these clips because I can hardly wait for Obama to make another speech explaining how we fools didn’t understand him properly.

Drained Brain on August 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I he’s reformed it all right. Took the work requirements right the hell out.

GOP looks to distinguish Romney from Ryan budget
http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/11420053/

rayra on August 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Obama will promise anything to anyone for money and a vote.

As he once told a disappointed supporter ‘Never believe a politician when their running for office.’

GarandFan on August 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The lying Jerk lies.
While its not news, we need to keep pointing it out with good examples like this.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

His entitlement reform plan will be to blame Bush and demonize Ryan.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

One of the King’s talking heads was already on Fox about a half hour ago, using the “The King inherited a mess from Bush” crap again.

JPeterman on August 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Raaaaaaacist!!

KMC1 on August 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Obama’s vision of ‘entitlement reform’:

Has put 100 million Americans on FEDERAL welfare.

43% of all immigrants, legal and illegal, who have been in this nation for at least 20 years, are on welfare.

Obamacare adds 30 million healthy, working age adults, to the federal health care system cutting $716 Billion dollars directly out of the Medicare program and passing the single largest tax increase in history to provide for these young, healthy, working aged adults.

1 in 7 Americans is now on FOOD STAMPS.

There are 11-20 million illegal aliens currently at large in this nation. Through legislative overreach by means of an Executive Order, Obama has granted Amnesty to 1.76 million of them, and that estimate keeps rising. Of these 11-20 million, PEW estimates that a minimum of 7 million hold FULL TIME AMERICAN JOBS.

23 million Americans are either unemployed or acutely underemployed, many of these Americans have already exhausted 99 WEEKS of unemployment benefits.

The is more. Much more.

This is the ‘fundamental transformation’ Obama promised this nation.

thatsafactjack on August 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

What a wonderful time for Brokaw to launch a follow up question….
What has he done in the last three years to even start entitlement reform?

Mark my words, the single biggest tactical mistake Obama made was to spend so much time and political capital on passing Obamacare. He tried to get it through by the 2009 August recess and it took well into the new year. That threw his whole agenda off track headed into the 2010 elections where amnesty for illegals was supposed to be at the top of the list right after Obamacare. Then, the 2010 electoral bloodbath saw control of the House fall out of the withered claws of Nancy Pelosi. And Obama has been maneuvering to protect his own rear end ever since.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

He was taken out of context. /snark

Liam on August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Nonsense! Nobody has a greater sense of entitlement than our jug-eared despot.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Obama has been maneuvering to protect his own rear end ever since.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

They are screwed, Mitt is gonna go Newt on ‘em….think about it the heckler the memory canned 60 minutes piece….

Look the Domestic Policy debate:

Moderator: Governor Romney there has been a lot of talk among the American people about Gay Marriage in the news how will you handle this matter?

Romney: You know I’d like to thank you for such a vital question in a time with 8.3% UE3…..I’d have to say to my gay friends and concerned voters….

I promise you that I will shut down the Government if Harry Reid does not follow the law and send me a budget I will not allow his lawlessness to force more spending in the worst recession in the last 50 years. I also promise that I will never take 716 billion dollars from the Medicare trust fund that the American people were told was THEIR CARE in retirement and add debt to an already sinking ship of national economy because it is my vanity project.

BOOM

Game On dems….

harlekwin15 on August 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Teh SCOAMF DID reform entitlements. It’s called Carousel, though we know it as ObamaCare.

Steve Eggleston on August 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

One of the Romney super PACs should run a commercial with the excised CBS footage on Medicare. FL, OH, WI, IA, and MI.

matthew8787 on August 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Last time I checked, the younger fraud on the GOP ticket killed any chance of entitlement reform. He undercut every bi-partisan effort to cut the deficit. Whether it’s Simpson-Bowles or the Gang of Six.
He voted for almost every major spending bill in the last decade. Totaling almost 4T in deficit increase.

Salahuddin on August 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

thatsafactjack on August 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You’ve convinced me. I am voting Obama.

CW on August 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

0bama just took the stage in Bayliss Park over in Council Bluffs IA…

OmahaConservative on August 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

He voted for almost every major spending bill in the last decade. Totaling almost 4T in deficit increase.

Salahuddin on August 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

So then you should love him.

Chuck Schick on August 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

He undercut every bi-partisan effort to cut the deficit. Whether it’s Simpson-Bowles or the Gang of Six.
He voted for almost every major spending bill in the last decade. Totaling almost 4T in deficit increase.

Salahuddin on August 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Your snarkiness leads me to believe that your idea of bipartisanship is the usual commie definition of the other side abandoning all principles and going along with the demands of the left.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Whether it’s Simpson-Bowles or the Gang of Six.

That’s funny, because Erskine Bowles said exactly the opposite about Ryan’s proposed budget than what you’re claiming.

http://youtu.be/dbzpuqWo6yU

Try again.

Good Lt on August 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

So then you should love him.

Chuck Schick on August 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Good point!

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Anybody listening to The Won speaking in Council Bluffs?? I can’t bring myself to unmute the TV.

esr1951 on August 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Obama had a golden opportunity to fulfill this pledge. All he had to do was adopt the budget proposed by his own panel on deficit control, to which he appointed Erskine Bowles as co-chair.

Au contraire Ed … he promised to have a plan. He didn’t promise he’d adopt anything.

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term

He totally kept that promise as the state run media will no doubt tell us over and over and over.

Lost in Jersey on August 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I also believe that was the debate where he said he would go line by line down the budget and make cuts…
right2bright on August 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

He said that a BUNCH of times. I’m praying that gets put in an ad or two and that Romney spits it at him in the first debate.

The best ad of this cycle would be one that plays all the clips of Obama’s promises – tackling entitlements, going through the budget line by line, all health care negotiations on C-SPAN, opposing the individual mandate, cutting the debt in half, etc. With just a chyron over them showing what actually happened. The tag line should be something like “We bought all these promises. This time, we know better.”

rockmom on August 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Nonsense! Nobody has a greater sense of entitlement than our jug-eared despot.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

That’s a racist thing to say. Obama earned all he has by being half-black.

Ask him or any other liberal, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Therefor, it is true.

Liam on August 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Anybody listening to The Won speaking in Council Bluffs?? I can’t bring myself to unmute the TV.

esr1951 on August 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yes, and he is making me sick…

OmahaConservative on August 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

this is racist.

rob verdi on August 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Do you mean the article was racist, or the word “this”?

I would hate to have to stop using the word “this”.

MessesWithTexas on August 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

“Obama promises…entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term” — promise fulfilled by Romney/Ryan ticket. Let’s get this done!

rosietheconservater on August 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

In other words:

“Obama Lied Again. And Again.”

I know I’m not the only person who notices that Obama says whatever whenever except for the same incentive: to get votes for himself. He says anything, particularly what he assumes will motive the most people among whatever audience he is before to vote for him. Obama doesn’t have a fix on reality and that includes he lacks ethics adequate enough to feel reservations about saying anything to anyone if he thinks it’ll garner him more “coolness”.

In other words, he’s a slimy, slimy person.

Lourdes on August 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

OmahaConservative on August 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I can’t do it anymore. You are a stronger person than I.

esr1951 on August 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

CW on August 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

That certainly wasn’t my intention. Perhaps you were being sarcastic and simply forgot to use a sarc tag.

I had thought that the litany of means he’s employed in the expansion of the 77 different federal welfare programs, failure to enforce existing federal immigration law, failure to address the abysmal jobs situation, and damage Obama has done to this nation’s economy, would have been enough to drive home the message that he must be defeated in November.

thatsafactjack on August 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

esr1951 on August 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Whereabouts do you live?

OmahaConservative on August 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Obama says to the poor and needy: “love me because I’ll make sure you get special treats and a nice check every month.”

Then he shows them his big grin, receives their lauds and love and goes away while he can’t remember what he said, or, if he does remember, he laughs at how easy it was to ‘just say it’.

Lourdes on August 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

From the #1 kicker himself

cmsinaz on August 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

OmahaConservative on August 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

In the proud state on Indiana and looking forward to casting my vote for Richard Mourdock in November.

esr1951 on August 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

An informed and sane electorate would elect Romney in all 57 states.

The Rogue Tomato on August 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Obama’s messaging: “be weak, it’s good to be weak, demand others take care of you, you’re not special, I’m special.”

Romney’s messaging: “be strong, be optimistic, be grateful and creative and find ways to invent, explore and develope.”

Choice is really simple there who to vote for and who to entrust with the nation’s highest office.

Lourdes on August 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Obama promises that he will have an entitlement-reform plan by the end of his first term

By this hour, it looks extremely likely that Obama has a different definition of “entitlement reform” than most people do. His idea of “entitlement reform” is punishing White Men, Women, the American family, and the values of a nation under God before Obama assumed he was in charge.

He’s engaged in persistent, consistent attacks both demonstratively and subtely against Americans-who-are-not-Black-or-Brown, to be blunt (meaning, Obama clearly holds racialist views that negatively stereoptype Caucasians) and appears to think “entitlement reform” is taking property away from those he targets in his racialist views and for racialist, prejudicial reasons.

My impression of what he means by “entitlement” is whatever Caucasian Americans own, have earned and worked for, so he thinks he’s “reformed” that because he’s done a great deal to penalize and marginalize the values most of them hold, along with their property.

Lourdes on August 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Only his mindless, parasitic constituents continue to believe his lies.

rplat on August 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Just a turd on a string – twisting in the wind.

Pork-Chop on August 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I haven’t willingly watched him speak since his first presidential campaign began – not on TV, the internet, radio, anything. Every overture has an ulterior motive. Every thing he says is a lie. He’s repugnant.

michaelthomas on August 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

uhh.. It’s been on Harry’s desk for 3 years..

Totally believable…lol

RockyJ. on August 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM

The best ad of this cycle would be one that plays all the clips of Obama’s promises – tackling entitlements, going through the budget line by line, all health care negotiations on C-SPAN, opposing the individual mandate, cutting the debt in half, etc. With just a chyron over them showing what actually happened. The tag line should be something like “We bought all these promises. This time, we know better.”

rockmom on August 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Yeah with a graphic in the background showing the deficit or unemployment going up, GDP shrinking, etc.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

We got entitlement reform, it’s called ObamaCare, a lot more entitlements.

Axion on August 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Flashback: Obama promised entitlement reform in 2008 debate; Update: January 2009, too

How many times have the Republicans promised this?

HondaV65 on August 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty are going to come in, because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We’re now at the end of the road, and we’re not in a position to kick it any further.

That’s your pull quote for an ad with the date he said it.

Then have it say:
“President Obama was right but after four years of failed leadership, it’s time for someone else to get the job done for our seniors and the next generation.”

“I’m Mitt Romney and I blah, blah, blah”

jnelchef on August 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The best ad of this cycle would be one that plays all the clips of Obama’s promises – tackling entitlements, going through the budget line by line, all health care negotiations on C-SPAN, opposing the individual mandate, cutting the debt in half, etc. With just a chyron over them showing what actually happened. The tag line should be something like “We bought all these promises. This time, we know better.”

rockmom on August 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Unless Romney can afford to buy 30 minute ads, we’ll have to cut the list down to just the biggest three lies or so.

jnelchef on August 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I don’t think Dear Leader’s reform means what we think it means…

d1carter on August 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM

November 25, 2008 12:13 PM

President-elect Barack Obama vowed today to get rid of federal programs that no longer make sense and run others in a more frugal way to make Washington work in tough economic times.

This poor excuse for the Chief Executive is full of unkept promises.

socalcon on August 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I think this is why Romney is saying he and Ryan will “FIX” things, not “REFORM” programs. Reform is another term for something a bull drops in the pasture after eating one of the pelosi / reid style bills, or another executive order.

One thing I dearly look forward to is R2 dissecting every single thing ocommie says because they’re loaded with untruths and outright lies. ocommie NEVER tells the truth. At this point I really believe the SOB is incapable of recognizing the truth if it bit him in the gonads moochelle keeps buried in a canning jar somewhere in Chicago.

Wolfmoon on August 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Ever since Saturday when Ryan was announced, my gut has been saying this was a bad idea. I think we lost the senior vote, several swing states, and taken the focus off JOBS (which Obama can’t defend) and now we are going to be hearing about Medicare 24/7 instead from now until election day; Obama is (happily, I’m sure) off the hook. Obama’s team will be making Mediscare ads and drumming this message over and over, and they will not respond to the GOP ads. It doesn ‘t matter what Obama promised in 2008 or any time since; he doesn’t care and plays dirty. The sad thing is that if enough people keep listening to the scary ads over and over, they will start to believe it, just like the Bain and tax return ads were starting to have some effect.

It’s fine to select a VP who can help govern, but first you have to get elected! You don’t get elected by running on Medicare reform. Don’t get me wrong; no way in hell will I vote for Obama -but I just don’t think this ticket will make it. Sorry for the depressing comment, but I can ‘t ignore my gut.

BoomerInOC on August 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Please ram this up Axelrod’s cheeks with vigor multiple occasions. Thank you.

FerdtheMoonCat on August 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

It’s called Carousel, though we know it as ObamaCare.

Steve Eggleston on August 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

One can never go wrong with OCare and Logan’s Run “renewal” comparisons. Although, you do probably have to be a certain age to make the instant connection.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Here’s what Obama had to say about “Pay-go” on June 9, 2009:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg_0dqEWBA8

ITguy on August 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Obama has already gutted welfare work rules… isn’t that the hopey changey reformey stuff we were waiting for?

Marcola on August 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM

His comments from 2009 about how revenues were down, and about a grand bargain and not kicking the can down the road, all of that was a pretext for raising taxes, not reforming entitlements. To Obama the only reform is to increase funding for the current programs.

exceller on August 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Obama: Well, Tom, we’re going to have to take on entitlements and I think we’ve got to do it quickly. We’re going to have a lot of work to do, so I can’t guarantee that we’re going to do it in the next two years, but I’d like to do in the my first term as president.

But I think it’s important to understand, we’re not going to solve Social Security and Medicare unless we understand the rest of our tax policies. And you know, Sen. McCain, I think the “Straight Talk Express” lost a wheel on that one.

So let’s be clear about my tax plan and Sen. McCain’s, because we’re not going to be able to deal with entitlements unless we understand the revenues coming in. I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, 95 percent.

If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.

J_Crater on August 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Obama says, “this is a distraction.”

Leftmedia says: “you made this video with photoshop, that’s not even Barack Obama, it just may be Mitt Romney wearing a mask and some skin-staining creme.”

Lourdes on August 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM

By “reform,” Obama means “redistribution.”

He’s abundantly proven by this date that he is not using the same definitions of words that the majority in the U.S. use — he just speaks the “same” words but he’s using contrary definitions for those words.

“He’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Lourdes on August 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I predict that he’ll follow up his political career by becoming a psychic and a faith healer.

flataffect on August 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM