Rep. Mike Rogers Says France Should Be 'Popping Chamagne Bottles' To Celebrate That We Spy On Them

from the both-tone-deaf-and-culturally-insensitive dept

You have to hand it to Rep. Mike Rogers. Not only is he politically tone deaf to why people are so pissed off about NSA surveillance and privacy violations, but he appears to be culturally insulting as well. His latest is to defend last week's story about the NSA collecting information on 70 million calls in France to claim that the French ought to be "popping champagne bottles" to cheer on the NSA spying on them. Honestly, it would be difficult to make up a comment this clueless.
“If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing. it keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe,” he added.

“This whole notion that we’re going to go after each other on what is really legitimate protection of nation-state interest, I think is disingenuous.”
At least he didn't suggest they should also enjoy some cheese. Of course, that presumes the only reason the US is spying on the French is to protect them against terrorists. But, if that were actually true, they wouldn't also be bugging the phones of leadership and politicians. To date, there is no indication that the spying on all of those calls was limited to "protecting" the French -- and Rogers' own next statement more or less confirms that this has always been about protecting US interests, not the French.

So, here's a simple question for Mike Rogers: would he be okay with sharing all of his phone and email records with the French? After all, perhaps they'll use it to protect him from harm. Even better, yet, why not release that information publicly. If it's just metadata, then there's no expectation of privacy, right? If Rogers releases all of his phone and email metadata for the past five years, I'll stop by his office the next time I'm in DC with a bottle of champagne.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    How the HELL did this man EVER get elected?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Americans will pop the top on champagne bottles and celebrate when Rep. Mike Rogers is defeated in the next election.

     

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  3.  
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    Transmitte (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    I read about this on another site last night and had just one thought: "I think he is actually wanting a bigger shovel to dig that hole with."

    Arrogance and ineptitude, a hallmark of Rogers.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    The Tyrant's Refrain

    "It's for your own good"

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    At a random unresearched guess; by running unopposed, or the lesser of two evils in his primary, then party line voting in the general election in a district heavily Republican leaning, possibly as a result of gerrymandering.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Simon, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    I simply cannot express my disdain for this asshole and the country he speaks for because I know that if I do so I'll be getting a knock at the door.

    That's how safe I feel, asshole!

     

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  7.  
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    halley (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    They'd be greeting us with roses as liberators.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    "If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing. it keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe"

    If that moron wasn't a moron, he'd keep his mouth shut.

    This could be interpreted as "Those Frenchies are so inept at defending themselves that we have to pitch in and give them a hand, the poor idiots".

    Diplomatically, this is a blunder of epic proportions: it implies that a sovereign nation should just surrender its sovereignty, since it is incapable of defending itself.

    Certainly, nothing major will come of this: The USA and Europe have pretty good relations. But I wouldn't be surprised if the relationship between the two became colder and more distant. Most of Europe is certainly already getting tired of the USA's antics by now.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Silly frogs

    We know what's best for you... shut up and resume your ignorant lives.

     

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  10.  
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    Michael, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks

    ...but we aren't going to tell those stupid Frenchies anything because they are totally incapable of defending themselves, understanding their enemies, or understanding why we need to be doing this.

    They should shut up and ship us another statue.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    Knock-knock.
    — Who's there?

    Secret police.
    — Secret police who?

    We don't have to tell you, you're coming with us....

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    Arrogance and ineptitude, a hallmark of America.

    FTFY

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Get locked up in jail by an evil dictator? Celebrate!

    So, by Rep Roger's logic, if you get locked up by an evil dictator for some crime you didn't commit, you shouldn't despair your loss of freedom. You should celebrate, knowing that the dictator put you in a place with top of the line security to protect you from danger lurking outside! Sure you may have lost 'some' freedom, but you gained so much more security!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Americans will sit back drink a beer while this piece of crap gets re-elected, along with most of his piece of crap peers.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    And we all know Mike Rogers is popping pills regardless. Which pills depends on the situation.

    No sane, straight-edge man ever in history thinks that anyone would celebrate their privacy being invaded, especially by an alleged ally that happens to have an even more powerful military.

     

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  16.  
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    Coogan (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    If I had to throw out a guess, I'd say he'd be whistling a different tune if if was revealed that the French government has slurped up data on 70 million American phone calls.

    "Thank you, France, for keeping us safe!"

     

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  17.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    Is he even running? I thought he dropped out to run for Governor? crap, apparently he decided not to run for Senate after all.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    “If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing. it keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe,” he added.

    Why the hell keep it a secret from people if we'd be "applauding and popping champagne" if we knew?!

    My champagne bottle is at the ready...

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    This is how wars start, one country meddling in the affairs of another country. Further countries that enjoy meddling in other countries affairs are more likely to react violently to any interference in their own internal affairs, whether real or perceived, like for instance the US.
    Also who the hell appointed the USA as the anti-terrorist police for the world?

     

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  20.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Can we send a few cases of Champagne to the NSA? After all, they will certainly want to be popping corks now that the country is checking up on them and making sure they are making us safer.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    The worst bit

    From the raw story article:

    Rogers also suggested that US leaders failed to foresee the rise of fascism and communism in early 20th century Europe because American spies were not spying extensively on European allies’ communications.


    Aside from the historical revisionism (US industry was greatly in favor of the rise of fascism and openly encouraged it), this is a twisted thing to say. The US spying programs are themselves indicative of the rise of a new fascism. Rogers is apparently blind to it because it's the kind of fascism that he likes.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    At this point...

    I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA didn't send someone to MRep. Roger's office to tell him to stop trying to defend them as he is obviously not helping them.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    I'm sending this message from the prison library.

    Well I do feel pretty safe and I highly anyone will ever get in here.

     

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  24.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re:

    He was elected as a Republican from the 8th District of Michigan to the United States House of Representatives in one of the nation's closest congressional races of 2000. He defeated Democratic State Senator Dianne Byrum by 111 votes to win the District 8 seat. This district includes Lansing, Michigan.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    I'm surprised he didn't throw in a reference to WWII in that. If you are going to make an offensive remark, you might as well go big with it.

     

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  26.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Aren't all of you forgetting the time Team America saved France from terrorists? History has proven France can't defend itself.

     

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  27.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Dear France

    This is Rep. Mike Rogers from the US Government and we are here to help you.

    Also, I am here to tell that the check is in the mail and of course I will respect you in the morning.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    European countries “don’t have necessarily the same type of oversight of their intelligence services that we do,” Rogers said.


    So which is it then? Are we spying them like they spy on us or are they incapable of spying like we do? He is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    This could be interpreted as "Those Frenchies are so inept at defending themselves that we have to pitch in and give them a hand, the poor idiots".

    Does that really even need saying?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh wait. My bad. He did...

    Rogers also suggested that US leaders failed to foresee the rise of fascism and communism in early 20th century Europe because American spies were not spying extensively on European allies’ communications.

    “In the 1930s, we had this debate before. We decided we were going to turn off our ability to even listen to friends,” he said.

    “Look what happened in the 30s, the rise of fascism and communism. We didn’t see any of it. It resulted in the death of really tens of millions of people.”


    So Roger's actually alluded to the WWII and the invasion of France by the Nazis to support the assertion that France can't defend themselves without us spying on them to know what is going on and that if we had been spying on them then we would have been able to somehow stop the invasion of France in WWII. Truly epic.

     

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  31.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Has Mike Rogers lost it or is he really that arrogant? He claims that the French should be popping champagne and celebrating. Perhaps Mike Rogers should explain to everyone why the French should celebrate.

    Oh, wait, I forgot, it's a secret.

    LOLS

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, yeah actually it does because he let the words come out of his mouth without even a thought as to how utterly offensive the comment was.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    Both.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    The amazing thing is that he's invoking France because he thinks everyone listening will buy the argument that France needs the help (because DAE France Surrenders le much?!). What's being completely ignored is that this surveillance includes all of Europe and likely most of the globe.

     

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  35.  
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    Hibby the Hoovy (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    My champagne bottle is at the ready

    ... so I can pop the cork straight in his mouth.

     

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  36.  
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    DannyB (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    If the French ought to be "popping champagne bottles"

    If the French ought to be "popping champagne bottles", I wonder if they should also be enjoying that champagne with an American sized dose of Freedom Fries?

     

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  37.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re:

    If it's being said seriously, then yes. It needs to be said so that we can ridicule the assertion.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    John Nemesh, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    How did he get elected? 4 parts Koch brothers money, 1 part American ignorance, 1 part Fox News, and 3 parts of Republican Gerrymandering. Sprinkle in a little "Citizens United" sauce, and voila!

     

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  39.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    The problem with Mike Rogers is that he really IS a moron. France doesn't need our help. It was due to France that we were able to defeat the British when our countrymen fought for our independence from Great Britain.

    It's hilarious how Mike Rogers shows just how inept public education is. I think he needs to get a refund because he didn't learn a damn thing.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

    Re:

    Ah, but is YOUR champagne actually champagne or some of that silly doubly fermented sparkling wine from some other region?* ** *** ****

    * This is not to say that doubly fermented sparkling wines from other regions are not good.
    ** This is not to say that champagne from Champagne is any better than any doubly fermented wine from a different region.
    *** I like champagne, and doubly fermented wine from other regions as well. Asti Spumante comes to mind, but I would drink it at entirely different meal that I would say a Brut Champagne.
    **** I certainly hope that I failed to offend any of the producers of any kind of wine, doubly fermented or not. I have tried a lot of wines, and the only ones that actually offend me come in 1 gallon jugs. Not Magnums, or Jeroboams, or Nebuchadnezzars, but gallon jugs.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Re: My champagne bottle is at the ready

    Are you sure "cork" is the right word?

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Re:

    I can't wait to see how things turn out between that French prince and that Scottish chick.

     

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  43.  
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    Hibby the Hoovy (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: My champagne bottle is at the ready

    I have to stop him up somehow.

     

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  44.  
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    Diogenes (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 7:57pm

    I love TechDirt but...

    I may very well be biased, but it seems to me that U.S. representatives from either the House or the Senate are usually only singled out by party when it's an (R) next to their names. I do believe Mr. Rogers is a (D)emocrat. Why spare him the distinction?

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 9:30pm

    Re: I love TechDirt but...

    Rep Rogers is Republican.

    Regardless, political party is irrelevant. They are all equally bad. Well, most anyway. I think one of the few who is truly admired around here is Sen Wyden.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 12:35am

    Re: I love TechDirt but...

    I may very well be biased, but it seems to me that U.S. representatives from either the House or the Senate are usually only singled out by party when it's an (R) next to their names. I do believe Mr. Rogers is a (D)emocrat. Why spare him the distinction?

    We actually never mention the party that a politician is, Democrat or Republican unless it's a key part of the story (i.e., something about the party itself, not he politician). That's site policy, because we prefer to focus on what they're saying/doing not lame partisan politics.

    And that's true on either side. So, no, we don't single out any politicians by party. You may have us confused with other sites, but in this case you're wrong.

    And Rogers is a Republican, not a Democrat as you claim.

    So, no, you're wrong on both points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 2:26am

    Re: The worst bit

    Or he's just a fascist moron and that's exactly what he wants. And, you know, monies.

     

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  48.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 2:27am

    Sheesh, does Rogers pop champagnes when he's in bed with Keith and Clapper?

     

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  49.  
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    martyburns (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re:

    Asti Spumante?!?! Seriously?

     

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  50.  
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    82Tomasz (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 6:39am

    Arrogance and ineptitude, a hallmark of Rogers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2013 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, seriously. However, the bottle chosen isn't what you will find in your grocers cooler. I believe it was around 1976, and the asti went by the name of Fontanna Fredda if I remember correctly. It was a very sweet wine, but went nicely with the fruit torte. I was at a formal function put on by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, a group of wine enthusiasts whom take themselves, and their wine very seriously.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re: Silly frogs

    Shut up and keep shopping.

    ftfy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    Champagne cork popping usually occurs at some point during the lemon party between Rogers, Keith, and Clapper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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