Rand Paul

Jesse Benton, former Ron Paul Campaign Aid and Rand Paul SuperPAC Operator, Acquitted on Lying to FBI Charge [UPDATED]

Prosecution of Benton and another campaign aid began over alleged campaign finance reporting violations.

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The trial of former Ron Paul campaign workers Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kesari in federal court in Iowa on charges related to alleged violations of campaign finance reporting law connected to payoffs for endorsements from former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson has ended with acquittal for Benton on one charge of lying to FBI, and one conviction, one acquittal, plus jury deadlocks on three other charges for Kesari.***

Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

Details from The Washington Post:

"God is great," Benton told Des Moines Register reporter Grant Rodgers as he left the Southern District of Iowa federal courthouse today. "It feels good." Asked for further reaction by The Washington Post, Benton repeated himself: "God is great."

Benton had been the chairman of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign. Like John Tate, who had been Paul's campaign manager, he succeeded in getting the court to drop most of the counts related to the payoff of former senator Kent Sorenson, a Republican who wanted a six-month salary in exchange for leaving another candidate's campaign. But like Tate, the charges forced him to step away from America's Liberty, the struggling super PAC created to help Rand Paul's presidential campaign. For more than two months, senator maintained that Benton and Tate were innocent, and that the indictment may have been timed to hurt his own campaign.

The feds have 10 days to decide to re-try Kesari on the deadlocked counts.

The supposed scandal of this has supposedly haunted Rand Paul for years now, and while I never thought it would be a big deal to the public, at least we'll likely stop hearing pundits say it will be.

Past reporting from Reason on the charges and the trial.

UPDATE: After the initial posting, I received this written comment from Benton's lawyer Roscoe Howard: "We are pleased to learn that Jesse Benton has been vindicated today of wrongdoing. The jury members worked diligently through the information presented to them and their decision reinforces that he was wrongly charged – and always has been."

***CORRECTION: The original post mistakenly reported Kesari had no convictions on his charges.

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  1. You know who else thinks “God is great”?

      1. Apparently god doesn’t think his O line is so great, however.

    1. Christopher Hitchens?

      What did I win?

      1. +1 overflowing ashtray and tumbler with traces of dried scotch on the bottom

        1. What…no posters of Penelope Cruz!

    2. Goddamnit, I came here JUST to post this.

    3. Tony the Tiger?

      “So allow me to play the part of Tony the Tiger today and knock on your door for a moment. I don’t need you to produce a box of Frosted Flakes; I simply want to know “What is the source of your hope?” Another way to say it is, “What has Jesus done for you?””

  2. Rachel Maddow is going to be devastated.

  3. “God is great.”

    Stop it.

    1. I never did get this. For example I know someone who broke her foot in an accident. A skilled surgeon with decades of experience fixed her foot. She won’t stop talking about how the surgery was a “blessing”. It wasn’t a blessing! The surgeon worked his but off for years learning how to fix your foot! You worked hard to pay for insurance so you could afford to pay someone to fix your foot. We can directly attribute the successful surgery to those things. If anything should be attributed to God it should be the accident that broke your foot.

      Does anyone here constantly praise God for every good thing that happens to you, without blaming him for the bad things? If so, can you explain why you do this?

      1. I’m dyslexic, so I’m always raipsing dog.

      2. The Born Again ? part of my family does it all the time. Good things and bad things. “Your uncle falling to his death was all part of God’s wonderful plan.”

        1. See, when they blame the bad stuff on God too, at least they’re being consistent (though terrifyingly predestinationist). It’s when they only blame the good stuff on God that grinds my gears. It seems like it would take a stupefying amount of cognitive dissonance.

          1. Yeah, I get what you are saying. I just wanted to bitch about my family. Someone could take the George Costanza position and only blame God for the bad stuff.

        2. When bad things happen to you it’s God testing your faith or refining you with fire. When they happen to people you don’t like it’s punishment.

          I mean, He tells us that’s not the case*, but it’s not like He knows what He’s talking about.

          He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

          1. The Bible does say just about everything that can be said. Whoever wrote it must have known the followers would need to be able to pick and choose.

            1. I for one, think humanity has no better source of wisdom than a book written by a multitude of thousand years dead desert dwelling genocidal goat herders.

      3. It’s easy. God does the good stuff; the devil does the bad stuff. But people don’t talk about the devil anymore because it makes you sound like a loon.

        No one likes the idea of free will because then you aren’t a victim any longer.

        1. See, this is why I want to hear from someone who actually does this stuff. I already know what you’re going to say. At least you didn’t answer in short story form…

          1. Oh, I’m sorry. You wanted an avid D&D player to tell you how many hit point an orc has.

            1. As if you don’t know that.

              1. SugarFree is Hector the Well-Endowed?

                1. I don’t know. What’s his alignment?

                  1. Horizontal, bitches.

            2. Precisely as many hit points as it needs?

            3. Pfft, that’s easy: 1d8! The orc is the original one Hit Die monster.

              I’ve said too much.

              1. Check out “Bing-Bong the Archer” over here.

      4. Does anyone here constantly praise God for every good thing that happens to you, without blaming him for the bad things?

        If you deserve nothing but bad, then you’ll be thankful for all the good.

        What I deserve is to be cut off from the source of life for all eternity. Anything else is an undeserved blessing.

        As to this specific use? I have no idea if he’s nuts or actually right to praise God in this circumstance; I don’t have the required info to tell one way or the other.

        1. Occam’s Razor leads me to believe that God was not one of the jurors. There’s no way the prosecution would accept him.

          1. The one who made the jurors, their parents, and the very universe they live in couldn’t have affected this outcome? Do you not know why his name is the LORD Almighty?*

            *At least, this what the person in question likely believes, I’m pretty sure you don’t. There is an internal logic to it.

      5. We are all tools in God’s hands. Or something like that.

        Particularly for the sort of Christians who believe in free will and that the future is not predetermined it seems like an odd way to look at things.

        It is interesting to see how (when they are on camera or in public at least) people in North Korea say almost exactly the same sorts of things about their great leader. There is an interesting documentary made when some eye surgeons went to help some people be able to see and they all thanked and praised Kim Jong Il first thing.
        While I don’t get the whole faith/religion thing myself, it’s a whole lot better than raising a person up to that level. But it still looks to me like another case of people being unable to imagine a world where no one is in charge and things still work.

      6. The one that always has me scratching my head is when people refer to their Downy child/sibling or child born with severe disabilities as a “miracle baby”. I don’t see the miraculousness of it.

        1. For some, it’s probably a coping mechanism.

          1. Yep. I mean, some large % of Christianity is already about reprogramming yourself to make bad things seem good.

            1. I wish it was more about transforming yourself to be a better person, but for some reason that part usually only gets lip service.

          2. Yeah, to some extent they are right. It’s often a “miracle” those children survive at all. 100 years ago they would not have.

            1. Except we know exactly how that came about. So if that’s a miracle, then everything is.

          3. It certainly is. I know a kid who was born with his organs on the outside of his body and the doctors said he wouldn’t live more than 3 years. He then went on to live a total of 12 years. At his death, the parents declared that he was a miracle child because he outlived the fallible estimate of a trained medical professional. I’m sure no one told them that’s not exactly miraculous.

        2. Theologically speaking, that Down syndrome baby has the exact value as any human being does, a value that is infinite and irreplaceable. So yes, it could be a “miracle baby”* even if you don’t see it.

          *In my opinion, that’s a hyperbolic phrase… unless one wants to consider all human babies as miracles, and that’s just poor use of the English language.

          1. Theologically speaking, that Down syndrome baby has the exact value as any human being does, a value that is infinite and irreplaceable. So yes, it could be a “miracle baby”* even if you don’t see it.

            theologically maybe. But humans are not of infinite value or equal value to all other humans. I know that you’re not necessarily saying they are, I just never understood that version of “equality” that people have in their head.

            1. Exactly. Though we all have the same value to God, I don’t think any human actually values someone they’ve never met as much as their brother/sister/mother/father/etc.

              1. Not only that, but objectively (as objective as value can get) speaking if you could place a value on an individual human life, how can they possibly be equal to all other humans? Is Charles Manson as valuable as Einstein? Assuming all else is equal, is a child rapist worth just as much as a philanthropist? Methinks not.

                1. Actually, yes, all people have the same value (even if someone uses reductio ad hitlerum). The sad part about it is not that those evil people aren’t worth less than their peers, but that they are worth the same, they are irreplaceable, and still did that terrible evil.

                  And again, value is in the eye of the beholder. In order to have anything approaching “objective value”, you’d need a “godlike” being to determine it.

                  1. Actually, yes, all people have the same value (even if someone uses reductio ad hitlerum). The sad part about it is not that those evil people aren’t worth less than their peers, but that they are worth the same, they are irreplaceable, and still did that terrible evil.

                    Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t realize how counterintuitive orthodox (lowercase o) Christianity is.

                  2. not that those evil people are worth less than their peers

                    My kingdom for an edit button…

                  3. Actually, yes, all people have the same value

                    They really don’t. In regards to the ethics of law, yes people ought to be equal before it. That makes for a well functioning legal system that maximizes justice output. But as to their “inherent equality”, you’ll need some evidence for that since it’s self-evident that they’re not equal in their faculties, their bodies, their capabilities or their deeds which are a product of those aforementioned characteristics. There’s no reason to think people are of equal value other than wishful thinking from what I can see.

                    1. Before God, they are of equal value. That doesn’t imply they are all of equal capabilities. Again, God is all kinds of counter-intuitive. I don’t make the rules, I just explain them. You can choose to ignore them if you wish (and most do).

                      In regards to the ethics of law, yes people ought to be equal before it. That makes for a well functioning legal system that maximizes justice output.

                      To which I would point to Genesis 9:6 and say that of course it works well, God instituted “equality under the law”. Since we were going to be evil anyway, God gave us the best way we could deal with it ourselves.

                    2. Before God, they are of equal value.

                      Before the Flying Spaghetti Monster they of unequal value. See how supernatural claims tend to cancel each other out?

                      To which I would point to Genesis 9:6 and say that of course it works well, God instituted “equality under the law”.

                      Uhhh no, Sky Hitler did not create equality before the law. Humans that developed the system of law we ostensibly live under, did so. If that doesn’t work for you allow me to quote from the Flying Spaghetti Cookbook, FSM said “Humans totally invented the concept of law to govern human interaction.”

                    3. Before the Flying Spaghetti Monster they of unequal value. See how supernatural claims tend to cancel each other out?

                      Unless there is something to back them up, yes, you’re right. I was telling you what is, not that you must believe it or be considered insane.

                      Uhhh no, Sky Hitler did not create equality before the law.

                      Ad hominem attack on a divine being. A bold strategy, let’s see how it plays out, Cotton.

                      Humans that developed the system of law we ostensibly live under, did so.

                      Believe what you like, despite the evidence to the contrary.

                      allow me to quote from the Flying Spaghetti Cookbook, FSM said “Humans totally invented the concept of law to govern human interaction.”

                      How many witnesses back that up? How much fulfilled prophecy are in that book? Please, tell me, I want to know more!

                    4. Ad hominem attack on a divine being. A bold strategy, let’s see how it plays out, Cotton

                      Unless I’m debating the divine being himself, it’s not ad Hominem to attack it.

                      How many witnesses back that up? How much fulfilled prophecy are in that book? Please, tell me, I want to know more!

                      Yeah I can see where this is going. You’re using supernatural claims as evidence for your supernatural claims. I think this conversation has run it’s course.

                    5. You attacked the “man” (not the man arguing, but the “man” nonetheless) without presenting any reason. It was an ad hominem attack, though not the traditional kind. I mean, at best you were just name calling. Either way, not really helpful to a proper discussion.

                      Yeah I can see where this is going. You’re using supernatural claims as evidence for your supernatural claims. I think this conversation has run it’s course.

                      I can see that the only reason the unbelievers date the book of Daniel when they do is because they simply can’t believe that the prophecy in that book could have predicted world events that closely. I can also see that the Christ was right when he said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

                    6. I’ll just leave this here. Have a good one.

                      An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attack on an argument made by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, rather than attacking the argument directly.

                    7. Other definitions include “attacking the opponent” or “attacking the author”. Either way, your opponent is God and the author of my arguments is He. Also, the definition says the purpose is “to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it”. So it does fit.

          2. Then it would seem to follow that absolutely everything is a miracle. Which makes the whole notion pretty meaningless. Shouldn’t a miracle be a thing that has no possible explanation that doesn’t involve divine intervention?

  4. FAKE SCANDAL 1111!!

    1. Still no polywell…

      1. And you have put up how many $$$ for the project?

  5. I wish that in the euphoria of vindication he’d chosen his words better, instead of using a phrase that the Muslim fanatics have ruined, the bottom line is that the Obama administration spent several years prosecuting a Rand Paul aide on charges which were ultimately thrown out or resulted in acquittals.

    That should be the focus, and now maybe we should look at the process by which the Obama-ites decided to bring this case.

    1. Yeah, Christians can’t really say that any more, without sounding Muslim.

      Have you heard the new mocking term? “Aloha snackbar” instead of “Allahu Akbar.”

      1. Bumblebee Tuna

    2. instead of using a phrase that the Muslim fanatics have ruined

      Yeah, it’s really fucked up when people reiterate your exact beliefs in the wrong language.

      1. Maybe his problem is that the Muslims are referring to the wrong god?

        1. Muslims consider themselves to be praying to the same God as Christians (and Jews) just as Christians view themselves as praying to the same God Jews do.

          1. Yeah but do Christians consider themselves to be praying to the same god as the Muslims?

            1. The ones with two neurons to rub together should know it’s just a fact.

              1. YUP! The Old Testament diverges at the birth of Ishmael to the handmaiden. But, it is strange that Mohamed wrote the Quran around 500AD. He who is last is first?…nah!

            2. Not quite that simple either. A Pantheist might see Jesus as “god” because everything is god. That doesn’t mean that a Christian would think a Pantheist praying to their “god” would mean that they are praying the the LORD.

              Also, Scientologists see Jesus as something like a “god” but no Christian I know would consider Scientologists as worshiping God.

            3. Transitive property, dude.

            4. Doctrinally, yes. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are collectively known as the Abrahamic religions.

          2. True, but meaningless.

          3. Muslims consider themselves to be praying to the same God as Christians

            True.

            Christians view themselves as praying to the same God Jews do

            Not quite that simple… But unless someone wants a long-winded Theological explanation, close enough for your purposes.

          4. Muslims consider themselves to be praying to the same God as Christians

            Not sure about that since Christians actually worship Jesus as a manifestation of the supposedly same god Muslims worship (see the Trinity) while Muslims regard Jesus and even their own Muhammed, not as manifestations of a god themselves, but as prophets. Though I’m sure there’s a flavor of every Abrahamic religion that doesn’t look at it the same way as every other flavor, no shocker there.

            1. I think all the Abrahamic religions agree it’s the same God, but Jews and Muslims see Christians as being polytheistic heretics for having elevated a teacher or prophet (depending on who you ask) to coequality with God.

              1. Actually, I’ve heard some Christian teaching that rejects the idea that Allah is actually the same God as Jehovah and then dive into the fact that Jews living in Arabia at the time used a different Arabic word for God than the Arabs used for Allah, but I don’t think it’s that prevalent of a belief.

                1. Actually, I’ve heard some Christian teaching that rejects the idea that Allah is actually the same God as Jehovah and then dive into the fact that Jews living in Arabia at the time used a different Arabic word for God than the Arabs used for Allah, but I don’t think it’s that prevalent of a belief.

                  I have too. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but there is some disagreement that the Muslim Allah is the same God as the Christian God– putting aside the whole Jesus/Muhammed thing.

                  1. Best I could explain it, it would be like libertarians accepting modern liberals because they say they stand up for “liberty” (positive rights) and have the root word for “liberty” in their name.

                    Anyone can try to co-opt a word or idea and sometimes they succeed. I just learned that Muhammad generally succeeded in fooling the average non-believer into believing that Muhammad worshiped the LORD…

                2. Actually, I’ve heard some Christian teaching that rejects the idea that Allah is actually the same God as Jehovah

                  Pretty much all Christians believe this, and it’s supported by the Scripture (if you care to hear it…).

                3. Actually, I’ve heard some Christian teaching that rejects the idea that Allah is actually the same God as Jehovah and then dive into the fact that Jews living in Arabia at the time used a different Arabic word for God than the Arabs used for Allah, but I don’t think it’s that prevalent of a belief.

                  And those people are probably more right that they know. Bronze Age “Jews” were henotheistic. They had a pantheon of gods all belonging to the same general Canaanite religion, whereby each tribe or region worshiped their own deity that had primacy within that region and/or tribe. The reason there are so many ancient Semitic names for the Jewish god, is because if you go back far enough, all those different names applied to different co-equal deities of different tribes that were eventually amalgamated into a single deity as the tribes conquered one another. Jehovah, El and some other one I can’t think of were the winners who were all merged into the god supposedly worshiped by all the modern Abrahamic religions.

                  1. Yes, the ancient Israelites were often polytheists, a practice condemned throughout Scripture.

                    The rest of what you say is quoted hearsay of the most extreme kind. Just because the Edomites had a god named “El” doesn’t mean the Israelites stole that name from them (it’s likely the other way around). Again, wars between the tribes were relatively rare, even when they split into 10 and 2 they still often fought on the same sides in their wars.

                    In fact, the tradition of having many names for God was continued in New Testament times (Bright and Morning Star, Root and Offspring of Jesse, Abba, etc.).

                    1. Yes, the ancient Israelites were often polytheists, a practice condemned throughout Scripture.

                      Their religion predates scripture. Scripture that condemns henotheism is a product of and catalyst of that consolidation of the pantheon. Obviously the Jews held religious beliefs prior to their writing system being invented. I’m not talking to a YEC am I?

                      The rest of what you say is quoted hearsay of the most extreme kind. Just because the Edomites had a god named “El” doesn’t mean the Israelites stole that name from them (it’s likely the other way around).

                      No it’s anthropology, of the rather mundane kind. But controversial in that it sucks the divinity right out of the room.

                      Again, wars between the tribes were relatively rare, even when they split into 10 and 2 they still often fought on the same sides in their wars.

                      Between the Israelite tribes maybe, but the Israelities were part of a broader culture that included Canaanites and Philistine et al.

                      In fact, the tradition of having many names for God was continued in New Testament times (Bright and Morning Star, Root and Offspring of Jesse, Abba, etc.).

                      Yes, the whole religion is built atop the tradition of earlier versions of that religion. Pretty normal.

                    2. Their religion predates scripture.

                      The earliest known copies? Yes.

                      Scripture that condemns henotheism is a product of and catalyst of that consolidation of the pantheon.

                      An unproven assumption.

                      I’m not talking to a YEC am I?

                      Does it matter? Really, does it? I have no idea how long Genesis 1 took to complete. (Had too Google what YEC was, BTW.)

                      No it’s anthropology, of the rather mundane kind.

                      What evidence do you have of this other than one person’s writing from 2002? It’s (at best) a “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. It might not even rise to that level…

                      the Israelities were part of a broader culture that included Canaanites and Philistine et al.

                      After they moved in, yes, they intermarried and began acting more like the natives. They were still originally from “Ur of the Chaldees” (culturally speaking).

                      Yes, the whole religion is built atop the tradition of earlier versions of that religion. Pretty normal.

                      The argument (that I saw) was “there is more than one ancient name for God, therefore they must have combined them from other gods.” I gave an example of more than one name for God coming from something else, which puts a big hole in your theory.

              2. I think all the Abrahamic religions agree it’s the same God

                Nope, not even close.

                1. Joy, smugness over theological rectitude.

                  I’m out.

                  1. I don’t know about anyone else’s theology/mythology. I’m debating history and anthropology.

                  2. Fair enough, I was simply telling you that you were wrong. The majority of Christians (and the Scripture) says otherwise. I was assuming you were talking out of ignorance. Believe whatever you want to.

                    1. The majority of Christians (and the Scripture) says otherwise

                      Scripture and the majorities of Christians, have no bearing on the facts of the case as it was before scripture even existed.

                    2. Sorry, that was a reply to jessie.in.mb, not you. Scripture and the understanding of it has bearing on the facts or his statement.

        2. Maybe his problem is that the Muslims are referring to the wrong god?

          Well, that or the fact that they’ve taken to uttering it before doing something monstrous. I mean, if they were running around uttering “Allahu Akbar!” and buying everybody steak dinners and the women giving everybody blowjobs, I think have a slightly different cultural reputation.

          1. I’m pretty sure they (Muslims generally) also utter it before and after doing lots of unmonstrous things too.

            1. Reminds me of a joke:

              A guy’s having his retirement party. And he gives a speech:

              “You know, over the years, I’ve raised three great kids. But do they know me as Bob the Father? Nope.

              Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of guys jobs. But do they know me as Bob the Employer. Nope.

              Over the years, I’ve built scores of buildings. But do they know me as Bob the Builder. Nope.

              But fuck one little sheep…”

      2. Existence est d?nu?e de sens, mademoiselle?

      3. Oh, Nikki, you’re so fine,
        You’re so fine you blow my mind.
        Hey, Nikki!

      4. Let me try and put it this way:

        It would be bad PR for a libertarian activist, right after the Oklahoma City bombing, to quote the phrase about the tree of liberty being watered by the blood of tyrants.

        It would be bad PR to shout the Virginia state motto – “sic semper tyrannis” – near Ford’s theater.

        Because the Nikkis of the left will say, “the libertarians are just the same as those righ-wing assassins who killed people in the name of opposing tyranny.”

  6. The feds have 10 days to decide to re-try Kesari on the deadlocked counts.

    He’ll need those locks if Paul wants the Rasta vote. But more importantly, if I was cynical I’d say this acquittal means that the DoJ’s master doesn’t see Rand Paul as a threat in the upcoming elections.

  7. Why is lying to the FBI even a crime?

    1. Because sometimes people the government are targeting make the mistake of talking to the FBI, and if they realize the original charges won’t stick, they can go over what the guy told the agents and try for a lying to the FBI charge.

      1. Ah, so it’s like getting a thief for perjury, or a murderous gangster for tax evasion. It doesn’t matter what the millstone is made of so long as it grinds the grist.

    2. It’s not if you have the right connections.

    3. God damn it, Hugh.

        1. No. I was merely noting your current competition with Nicole to see who can be more Nicole-like. Hint: it’s not going to be you.

          1. Sometimes I wish that I could stop Hugh from talking when I hear the silly things that he says. Because it’s not going to be him.

            1. So if you and Hugh are Domestic Partners, does that make Episiarch your adopted… person?

              1. Stop trying to put our family into these bourgeois boxes, Paul.

              2. person?

                Is that an accurate description of Epi? Entity maybe?

            2. We all wish we could stop Hugh from talking, Nicole. But he has all those pictures. Why oh why did we all agree to that night? Who mixes absinthe and angel dust?

            3. You have no idea how liberating it is for me to know that you’re the worst. No matter what I say I can’t possibly be worse than you.

  8. ‘Allo Akbar!

      1. It’s a cookbook!

    1. Rand Paul Supporter Convicted in 2012 Campaign Scheme

      A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was convicted in a federal corruption case stemming from his father’s failed 2012 bid for the White House, bringing more bad news to a campaign struggling to catch frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
      Dimitrios Kesari, deputy campaign manager in Iowa for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, was found guilty on one count related to false campaign records. Jesse Benton, who served as a campaign manager for Paul, was acquitted by a jury in Des Moines federal court. He was accused of lying to FBI agents about a scheme to hide a $73,000 payment to a local politician.

      1. wow. And Nicole thinks it’s bad here.

    2. All “News” is “bad news”

      No one outside of even a minority of libertarians or Paul-family supporters cares who these people even are. The only thing that makes the story interesting is if something happens which might potentially reflect negatively on a current presidential candidate. And the “acquitted of all the serious charges”-part is not the interesting lede to someone trying to fill a story-quota.

  9. “God is great,” Benton told Des Moines Register reporter Grant Rodgers as he left the Southern District of Iowa federal courthouse today.

    “God is great!”, eh?

    Doesn’t that translate to “Allahu Ackbar!”?

    Knew it! Them Pauls were always sekrit Mooslims!

    /all too plausible

  10. When you hear “God is great,” you’re hearing some boring platitudes. But if you hear “Allah akbar,” hit the deck!

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