Credible? Incredible!

There are two astonishing liars out there. One of them lasted for 24 hours. The other remains America’s Sweetheart™. And one wonders: what has happened to the old concept of “truthfulness.” (And of “Truth” itself among the self-proclaimed moral mavens of the bloviating class.)

“special” wardrobe needs

Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher (the newspaper industry’s trade magazine) writes on the Huffington Post: (slightly reformatted) by moi):

John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News, commented on his blog there that

“this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election. If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

“If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”

He titled his posting: “Moment of Truth.” Indeed.

It started yesterday afternoon with Matt Drudge screaming at the top of his site this afternoon in red type — but no siren — that a Pittsburgh campaign worker for McCain, age 20, had been viciously attacked and the letter “B” carved into her face, presumably by a Barack Obama fan. Her name, it soon emerged, was Ashley Todd and she had come to Pittsburgh from College Station, Texas, to help out.

But the story changed this morning, after a long afternoon and night of Rightie paranoia. KDKA in Pittsburgh reports:

Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Ashley Todd’s injuries were self-inflicted.

Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.

Todd initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test…

This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story.

But by then all hell broke loose in the blogosmear™. It is a fascinating rorschach on the inner workings of the blogosmearic mind (alleged) in the last two weeks of the presidential campaign. We begin with Ed Morrissey (formerly of Captain’s Quarters) now working for Michelle Malkin at Hot Air:

McCain supporter maimed for her politics by robber; Update: Photo; Update: College Republicans on the record

A 20-year-old woman got robbed at an ATM in a Pittsburgh suburb, and normally that would not make national news. However, her robber wanted to make a political statement as well. After seeing a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he beat the woman and scratched a “B” into her face:

A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, police said.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard tells Channel 4 Action News that the victim was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday night outside of a Citizens Bank near Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m.

Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim’s car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter “B” into her face, Richard said.

This is a horrible story, and if it happened as alleged, I hope the man gets life in prison for both the armed robbery and the maiming. Our prayers go to the woman, who refused medical treatment at the scene, as well as our hopes for a quick and complete recovery…

Which he updates through the night, the last being:

McCain supporter maimed for her politics by robber; Update: Hoax

posted at 4:50 pm on October 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Update: Ashley Todd perpetrated a hoax. We have that in a separate post by Allahpundit. Be sure to read that in detail, but my overall reaction is that Todd is a very, very disturbed young woman. — Ed

He pretends “a wait and see” non-hysteria, but that’s garbage — “scratched” is not at all the same as “maimed,” (with a knife, no less). This “update” belies “moderation” in favor of partisan smear:

Update VII: I spoke with two executives at the College Republicans on the record about this story. Charlie Smith, the National Chair, and Ethan Eilon, the Executive Director, both say the photo is legitimate and that it came from Ashley Todd, the victim in this case. The attack began at 8:50 pm ET and Ashley called the police at 9:30 PM ET. Initially, she was robbed, ran away after the robbery, and the robber followed her to her car. At that point, he became enraged at the bumper sticker and began beating her and scratched the ‘B’ into her face. Ashley went to the hospital early this morning after initially refusing medical attention last night, and had an MRI and/or a CAT scan. Doctors believe her cheek will heal fully.

Eilon spoke with her personally today about the incident and confirmed the above with me. He first met Ashley in June, when she came to DC for training with the College Republicans. She works for them as a contract employee. She does not work for the McCain campaign. Both Eilon and Smith expressed revulsion over an attack on a young woman just getting involved in politics, but they consider this the act of a lone lunatic.

I’m not going to blame people for keeping a healthy skepticism on this case, but so far, the two media reports appear to check out.

Here’s the police photo of that awful “mutilation”:

Mutilation? Really? (And odd that the “B” is backwards. Well, now we know why.)

But the inkblot test continued — Consider the ravings of Susan Duclos of Wake Up America!:

Obama Supporter Attacks McCain Supporter And Carves Letter B Into Her Face

Well two themes here, evidently Obama supporters are really gung-ho about that “spread the wealth” idea of Barack Obama’s, and Democrats tend to be less happy people than Republicans are, by a larger margin than ever before

First off, a 20 year-old woman, Ashley Todd of College Station and a McCain supporter, Texas, was robbed for $60 dollars after she used an ATM machine.

The Obama supporter approached her putting a knife to her throat and demanded $60.00 from her.

How do we know the assailant was an Obama supporters?

Well, glad you asked!!!

After seeing Todd’s car has a McCain/Palin bumper sticker, the thief became enraged and then punched and kicked her, then took his knife and carved the letter “B” into her face, according to Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

The man also had angry things to say about McCain and Palin before starting to carve Todd’s face up.

[report …]

I guess that “spread the wealth” thing is real popular with Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign issued a statement condemning this attack.

[Update] There are many questions being asked about this case and whether this woman manufactured the whole story.

On another note, perhaps the reason why we notice so much consistent anger from Democrats is explained by the latest Pew Research report.

Pew Research just came out with a report showing that Republicans are happier people than Democrats.

Now, just beneath the title, “[Update] Police tell KDKA it’s a hoax.”

You can see the blog swarm here on Memeorandum. Here’s the top of that 8:20 PM EDT page:

WTAE-TV: Woman Attacked At ATM, Assailant Carves Letter Into Her Face — Woman Robbed, Attacked With Knife At Bloomfield ATM — PITTSBURGH — A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, police said. — Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard …

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: McCain staffer says she was mugged, had ‘B’ cut into face
Michael Crowley / The New Republic: Ugliness Watch (Or Not?) — Even Michelle Malkin is skeptical …
Erick Erickson / McCain Volunteer Attacked. …
Don Surber: Daily scoreboard
Ken Layne / Wonkette: GOP Gal Claims Savage Negro Mugged Her … For Obama!
Susan Duclos / Wake up America: Obama Supporter Attacks McCain Supporter And Carves Letter B Into Her Face
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner: Uh Oh… Wild, sensational, headline on Drudge: … Update: Details:
Stable Hand / The Jawa Report: McCain/Palin Supporter Attacked & Letter “B” Scratched Into Her Face
Ben Smith / Ben Smith’s Blogs: The letter ‘B’ — Here’s some apparently campaign-related violence, via (natch) Drudge:
John Riley / Spin Cycle: Crime: Branded with a B???
Steve Verdon / Outside The Beltway: Woman Mutilated By Obama Supporter
Little Green Footballs: McCain Volunteer Attacked and Mutilated in Pittsburgh?
Matt Lewis / Developing Story … Update: Here’s the link.
Kim Priestap / Wizbang: Breaking: Obama Supporter Attacks and Mutilates McCain Volunteer
Donald Douglas / American Power: Words Fail: McCain Backer Maimed by Pro-Obama Attacker
Fausta / Fausta’s Blog: McCain volunteer mugged and mutilated …

OK: Michelle Malkin (of all people) thought it smelled funny and said so. Jonah Goldberg (Lucienne’s vile offspring) seems to not drink the Koolaid on the National Review Online, but does so anyway:

Uh Oh… [Jonah Goldberg]

Wild, sensational, headline on Drudge:



Update: Details:

A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, police said.
Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard tells Channel 4 Action News that the victim was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday night outside of a Citizens Bank near Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m.
Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim’s car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter “B” into her face, Richard said.

Update II: Hmm. The backwards B does look like something you’d do in a mirror, no?

Update III: From a reader:

Uh…if the attacker was standing over the victim and the top of her head was by his feet (in other words, “upside-down” to the attacker), then that is not a backwards B

And so on and so forth. Between the bloggers and their commenters, a single narrative arises: they WANT it to be true. They want, as the Wonkette blogger distills, “GOP Gal Claims Savage Negro Mugged Her … For Obama!

We take a moment to chuckle at their chuckleheadedness, and we can even pretend to be a TeeVee pundit, amorally moralizing, Oh, well, the LEFT has done this, too.

Of course they have, imaginary doofus. But that’s not the point. For a bunch of slimeweasels who claim to have patented morality and virtue (like radio’s Bill “I gambled away hundreds of thousands” Bennett, Mr. “Virtue” his own self), it is incredible to measure the fundamental disconnect between talking the talk and walking the walk that OUGHT to be obvious to a deaf fruitbat. IOKIYAR! IOKIYAR! they shriek.

Case in point, and where I was headed all along:

Today on Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin was on, doing the push back on Barbiegate™, claiming that she is “frugal” and shops at homely stores in Alaska.

And she and Sean called it “sexism” claiming that if the media obsessed about clothes and hair styling that way with Democratic women it would be “sexism.”

(Kind of difficult to be against the entire women’s rights agenda and yet run for cover behind the skirts of feminism — a feminism that they openly mock and disparage. IOKIYAR! )

Gee. Wasn’t this the same party, talk show host, and blogosmear that OBSESSED about John Edwards’ $400 haircut? (And the implication that he wasn’t, um, er, MANLY?) Bill Clinton’s $200 haircut? “Haircut Grounded Clinton While the Price Took Off – New York Times

IOKIYAR! IOKIYAR! they shriek.

And, generally, they get away with it.

Just the same way that Sarah Palin is getting away with it — in the media, that is. The “people” have a different notion, it seems: ABC news reported on the radio — sorry, no link — their polling, that Palin’s “not qualified” number has jumped from 29% in late September to 55% this week).

And, speaking of polling, there’s only been a couple of outliers that claim the race is close, the AP poll (which has some Bizarro World numbers) and an Investors Business Daily poll. This, Sean and Sarah claimed, meant that the race was neck and neck and would come down to the wire.

It was rather creepy that they immediately went after ACORN and started talking about “election fraud” when the actual number of fraudulent ballots cast (Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson ain’t showing up to vote, trust me) will number in the dozens, nationwide.

Why is that creepy? Because this whole ACORN false kerfuffle has to be viewed through the GOP’s looking glass of “I know you are but what am I?” Palin went so far as to inveigh pompously with all the sanctimony of the finest of the tearful crocodilian that we needed HONEST AND FAIR elections! Each person should have the right to vote!

And we KNOW that Ohio was flipped fraudulently in 2004, despite the media blackout. The evidence is overwhelming. And we know that voters are being purged as fast as GOP operatives can purge them.

To the tune of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

Palin and Hannity don’t have THAT in the talking points, however, and the sheer brazenness of their lies neatly mirrors the willingness of the top Rightie bloggers above to believe what is, fundamentally, the ultimate racist narrative: Black mugger beats White girl from Texas; carves Obama’s initial in her face with a knife, “mutilating” her. Even with the PICTURE in front of them, the term “mutilate” is still used.

There’s no interest in truth here. And TRUTH is the basis of their morality: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (Jesus, KJV John 8:32)

Now, if we are, as they stridently proclaim, a “Christian” nation, then, according to THEIR reasoning, IOKIYAR does NOT trump the New Testament.

[The Old Testament has some pithy notes on liars, as well, it should be noted:

Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy. (KJV Proverbs 20:28)

He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. (KJV Psalms 61:7)

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (KJV Proverbs 6:19)

Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, (NAS Proverbs 30:8)

And one especially, it seems, coined for Hannutty and Caribou Barbie:

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. (KJV Proverbs 12:19)

Remember, these are the MORAL pricks. The high falutin’ the high moral dudgeon, the proclaimers from the mountaintop.


Palin went before the Chicago Tribune (that Republican paper founded by a founder of the Republican party that just endorsed its first Democratic presidential candidate since its founding in 1847) to “defend” herself yesterday. A defense that the Hanutty exchange (which I am listening to right now) is an extension of. (It seems that she wears “good Republican cloth coat”s — just like Pat Nixon did during the Checkers scandal.) Here’s what she told the Tribune about Barbiegate™:

Sarah Palin talks about wardrobe flap, double standard for women and special education
An exclusive interview: ‘If people only knew how frugal we are’

By Jill Zuckman | Tribune staff reporter
8:55 PM CDT, October 23, 2008

PITTSBURGH – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted in an interview with the Tribune on Thursday that she did not accept $150,000 worth of designer clothes from the Republican Party and “that is not who we are.”

“That whole thing is just, bad!” she said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.

This is a non-sequitur. Since she didn’t buy the clothes in question (as noted below) then how “frugal” Palin is doesn’t mean anything. It would be akin to Laura Bush saying she got really good deals on real estate and mortgages when addressing questions about, say, White House expenses. Or: Huh?

But the slippery portion is the impossible suggestion that SHE paid for the clothes and she would NEVER pay for the clothes, except that she clearly DIDN’T pay for the clothes, because the Republican National Committee paid for the clothes, as SHE HERSELF STATES in the very next breath!

She continues:

“It’s kind of painful to be criticized for something when all the facts are not out there and are not reported,” said Palin, saying the clothes are not worth $150,000 and were bought for the Republican National Convention.

Again, since almost ALL of the clothing bills came AFTER the Convention, this is, not to gild the lily, a bald-faced lie. As to the assertion that the clothes aren’t “worth” $150,000, a) how would she know, if they were bought FOR her by that robo-caller guy, and b) why would we assume that she is telling the truth?

Sarah Palin looked right into the cameras, in a Bill Clinton “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment and said that she had been “completely exonerated” by the report that found her to be just the opposite. As Aesop says — as I noted yesterday of her “Aesop deficiency” — the moral of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf is: “MORAL: Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth.

Still, she has been wearing pricey clothes at campaign events this fall. She said they will be given back, auctioned off or sent to charity. Most of them, she said, haven’t even left the belly of her campaign plane.

See Aesop above . Ibid. (You remember Aesop? He’s the fellow who gave us the term “sour grapes.”)

Thrust into the national spotlight as John McCain’s running mate in late August from relative obscurity as governor of Alaska, Palin has found herself under the microscope ever since, accused of being inexperienced, a drag on the ticket and, most recently, the recipient of racks of expensive clothes. […]

That is a weird statement. She’s been CRITICIZED because she IS inexperienced, a drag on the ticket, and, most recently, the recipient of racks of expensive clothes — which she says most are still in the belly of her campaign plane! This is incredible. Worse, the Left and the media have been mostly giving her a pass on Barbiegate. Last night’s “Inside Edition” ran a very Palin-friendly story on how awful it was that “Fashiongate” was being used against Palin. Good lord. Well, at least we’re in a completely truth-free zone. Toss your bibles on the fire, kids, it’s obvious that they’re just for show, anyway, and it IS winter.

Still, much of the media attention Palin has received–on the issue of the clothes, for example–has decidedly not been about public policy issues. She points to that as evidence of a bias against women candidates.

This is the gender equivalent of playing the race card. Any male candidate who’d had $150,000 worth of suits bought for him by his party would be subjected to the same scrutiny. See the Clinton and Edwards haircuts above, and consider THIS little datum:

Amy Strozzi, the Emmy Award-nominated make-up artist from “Dancing With The Stars,” was put on the McCain campaign payroll and in the first two weeks of October made $22,800. In two weeks. (Not a typo – the amount of more or the time period.) This makes Amy Strozzi the highest paid person on the McCain- Palin staff for that time frame.

Or, as the Independent (UK) reports:

As for the make-up artist, she is Amy Strozzi, who was formerly in the make-up trailers of the TV show So You Think you Can Dance (sic). In the first half of this month, cheques written to her amounted to a staggering $22,800. (from the article, “Republican chiefs turn on each other as campaign falls apart“)

The makeup artist was the HIGHEST PAID STAFFER on the McCain campaign for September, according to the New York Times.

Worse: now, consider the scorn and slander heaped on Bill Clinton (1993) and John Edwards (2007) and tell me that the outrage over Palin’s “makeover” is sexist. And tell me that $150,000 for clothes and $53,000 for hair and makeup over two months is acceptable for anybody outside of Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand or Ivana Trump. (And I seem to recall that THEY are publicly mocked for those kinds of extravagances, and they’re not even running for office!) Palin’s Trib defense continues:

“I think Hillary Clinton was held to a different standard in her primary race,” Palin said. “Do you remember the conversations that took place about her, say superficial things that they don’t talk about with men, her wardrobe and her hairstyles, all of that? That’s a bit of that double standard.”

We’ve dealt with this, and the additional slime is added that because Hillary is a woman candidate and Sarah is a woman candidate, it’s ALL EQUAL. Hillary doesn’t agree with Palin on virtually ANYTHING, and nobody ever complained about Hillary’s wardrobe cost, and none of it was purchased either BY her campaign OR the Democratic National Committee. This is a series of lies and half-truths.

Palin said she would rather talk about the Republican campaign’s mission to reform government, get the economy back on track and bring opportunities to families, especially those with special needs.

“I’m not going to complain about it, I’m not going to whine about it, I’m going to plow through that, because we are embarking on something greater than that, than allowing that double standard to adversely affect us,” she said.

“Double standard” — gender equivalent of playing the race card. The criticisms of the wardrobe cost are legitimate criticisms of the MCCAIN campaign, and the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. As far as the rest of it goes, she’s as culpable as a Barbie doll. She just stood there mutely while they dressed her up (probably with quite a bit of input and coordination by Cindy McCain, but let that pass). Non-sequitur; charged term accusation, lie and playing the “victim” card. IOKIYAR! IOKIYAR! they shriek. Er … no.

But polls suggest that McCain is in trouble, partly because of Palin, who has been criticized as lacking the experience to become president. This week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggested more people now think that Palin is hurting McCain’s chances of becoming president than President George W. Bush, whose national approval ratings are in the 20s.

That’s that criticism inferred to be unfair from above, note.

Palin disputed such conclusions.

Yes, and she disputed that she’d been found to have abused her power in the Troopergate report. Aesop, anyone?

“I think that those reporters asking those questions should come to some of our rallies and ask some of those in the crowd why it is they are enthused,” she said, adding that the crowds see her as representing “hardworking, everyday American families.”

Not if they know that the Palins are millionaires, and she’s up to over $200,000 in clothes, makeup and haircuts in eight weeks, they won’t.

Which is the whole point of the pushback.

They have to get away from what The Scotsman reports:

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Published Date: 25 October 2008

IN AN interview that echoes Marie Antoinette’s cry of “let them eat cake”, Sarah Palin yesterday insisted the $150,000 spent by the Republican party on her campaign trail clothes was “frugal”.

While her fellow Americans are being hammered by job losses, home repossessions and what former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan calls a “once in a century economic meltdown”, Mrs Palin insisted her clothing allowance was on the low side…. Mrs Palin blamed gender bias for the controversy, saying male candidates’ hair and wardrobes are rarely an issue.

Well, a Scotsman would probably know something about “frugal.”

She was on Hannity NAMING the stores she shops at, one called, with unintended irony “Out Of The Closet,” and another equally ironic: “Shoe Fly.” Again: If she had bought the clothes in question, that would be meaningful. But she didn’t. The Barbiegate™ CRITICISM is against the CAMPAIGN. Not against Palin.

And, how come they’re pushing back so hard on this?

Because THEY know how “Joe Six-Pack” and, more importantly, “Mrs. Six-Pack” will see this astonishing squandering of resources, and open money laundering (the McCain campaign couldn’t buy the clothes THEMSELVES, legally) through the RNC while claiming that Barack Obama is an … wait for it … “elitist” and a “celebrity.”

Luckily, the leftie blogs and the media don’t seem to be paying much attention.

And here’s the point: all the speculation over the past two days is suddenly over what I told you about last WEEK (in “Holy You Betcha, Batman! It’s the Barracuda!” (nice to see that they’re catching up … again), that Palin is doing her OWN thing, and stabilizing HER base for a future run, pretty much cutting McCain loose.

Pundits sagely and gravely discuss this, but I wonder …?

What have we come to when a candidate can be sprung on the national stage out of nowhere, can carry the astonishing weight of baggage, scandals, inexperience and straight-faced, unashamed lying to our faces …


The “moral” morons most of all.

What the hell is that? Doesn’t “truth” mean ANYTHING to ANYONE anymore?

Are our leaders now just another packaged product and no matter how poisonous, how rancorous, how dissimulating, mealy-mouthed and filled with corruption in the precise sense, they’re still viable as long as they’re “pleasant”?

Or, just maybe there really IS a “double standard.” But not in the direction they’d like us to think.

But, just so’s I don’t leave the boys out of this Festival of Mendacity™, “Joe the Plumber”s story turned out to be just as astonishingly phony as Palin’s, but he’s not only the centerpiece of McCain’s final push, but they’re SHOPPING HIM FOR A BOOK DEAL*, and talking about a run for CONGRESS!

[* If you want to know what’s happened to the idea of “truth,” just read the replies on this board.]

Michael O’Brien The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room: ‘Joe the Plumber’ Mulling Run for Congress

Oh, good grief.

Be sure your sins will find you out. Numbers 32:23



Note: I took a break to watch Keith Olbermann right before the Chicago Tribune interview (converted into text last night on notepad), and it was eerie how the show paralleled this posting. I didn’t cop his chops, and he certainly didn’t cop mine. But it was too eerily coincidental NOT to comment on. HW

Cross posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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2 Responses to Credible? Incredible!

  1. barney says:

    According to McCain insider Martin Eisenstadt, another “makeup artist” named Tracy Thorp was brought in to do one thing for Sarah Palin: Apply a SPRAY-ON TAN. Yup, it’s one of the crazier sidenotes to this scandal, but apparently they wanted to get rid of Sarah’s “Eskimo tan” so they brought in Tracy the tan lady from LA. Eisenstadt actually raised the first concerns about the makeup artists two days before the New York Times and Wash.Post did their stories today. Here’s the link:

  2. Hart Williams says:

    Thank you for that link. Barney. I very much appreciate it.