National Pro Bono Week: October 23-29, 2016

Pro Bono

Pro bono publico (English: for the public good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. Unlike traditional volunteerism, it is service that uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

Lawyers in the United States are recommended under American Bar Association (ABA) ethical rules to contribute at least fifty hours of pro bono service per year.

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The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service chose to launch this important initiative because of the increasing need for pro bono services during these harsh economic times and the unprecedented response of attorneys to meet this demand. The National Pro Bono Celebration can be an effective strategic tool for enhancing and expanding local efforts to increase access to justice for all. Use it to increase pro bono participation and expand legal services to low income individuals and groups.

Although national in breadth, the Celebration provides an opportunity for local legal associations across the country to take the next step in their efforts to provide high quality legal services to those living on the social margins.

A guiding principle of the Pro Bono Committee is to support these local efforts and to assist in their growth and effectiveness by providing information, planning guides, resources, and consultation services through this website. The legal needs of the poor are local issues, and although nationwide, this celebration is intended to have a local focus and impact. Goals for the celebration include:
1. Recruiting more pro bono volunteers and increasing legal services to poor and vulnerable people.
2. Mobilizing community support for pro bono.
3. Fostering collaborative relationships
4. Recognizing the pro bono efforts of America’s lawyers

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Over the past seven years, with your help, the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has succeeded in creating an annual national spotlight on pro bono.

Our collective efforts are helping to increase access to justice for all!


Presidential Memorandum — Establishment of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable


SUBJECT: Establishment of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to increase the availability of meaningful access to justice for individuals and families and thereby improve the outcomes of an array of Federal programs, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. This Nation was founded in part on the promise of justice for all. Equal access to justice helps individuals and families receive health services, housing, education, and employment; enhances family stability and public safety; and secures the public’s faith in the American justice system. Equal access to justice also advances the missions of an array of Federal programs, particularly those designed to lift Americans out of poverty or to keep them securely in the middle class. But gaps in the availability of legal aid — including legal representation, advice, community education, and self-help and technology tools — for America’s poor and middle class threaten to undermine the promise of justice for all and constitute a crisis worthy of action by the Federal Government.

The majority of Americans who come to court do so without legal aid. They may be left by their economic circumstances to face life-altering events — such as losing a home or custody of children, or escaping domestic violence or elder abuse — on their own. More than 50 million Americans qualify for federally funded civil legal aid, but over half of those who seek assistance are turned away from legal aid organizations, which lack the funds and staff to meet the demand.

When people come into contact with or leave the criminal justice system, they are likely to face a range of legal issues. A victim of abuse may need a protective order, or a formerly incarcerated individual may need a driver’s license reinstated in order to get a job. Access to legal aid can help put people on a path to self-sufficiency, lead to better outcomes in the civil and criminal justice systems, and enhance the safety and strength of our communities. Increased legal resources in a community can also help courts process cases more effectively and more efficiently, saving time and money.

Federal programs that are designed to help the most vulnerable and underserved among us may more readily achieve their goals if they include legal aid among the range of services they provide.

By encouraging Federal departments and agencies to collaborate, share best practices, and consider the impact of legal services on the success of their programs, the Federal Government can enhance access to justice in our communities.

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National Pro Bono Celebration
October 23-29, 2016




2016 US Presidential Election Debate @ University of Nevada

2016 flag


Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton  – US Democratic Presidential Candidate

Donald Trump  – US Republican Presidential Candidate

October 19, 2016 @ 9:00 PM ET
US Presidential Election Debate
University of Nevada
Paradise, Nevada
Moderator: Chris Wallace


Live Stream:



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WH State Dinner for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

December 12, 1874 King David Kalākaua of Hawai'i was the first head of state to be honored with a White House State Dinner on by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant
December 12, 1874 King David Kalākaua of Hawai’i was the first head of state to be honored with a White House State Dinner by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant


From the Archives: State Dinners at the White House

King David Kalākaua of Hawai’i was the first head of state to be honored with a White House State Dinner on December 12, 1874 by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant.  In the years that have followed, State Dinners have come to signify the utmost respect for visiting heads of state.  Each State Dinner is an historic event with the power to cement friendships with allies and foster cooperation with warming relations.

Months of meticulous planning go into a State Dinner and thorough research is conducted to celebrate the guest of honor’s country, culture, and favored preferences.  Hallmarks of American culture are also chosen, often by the First Lady.  Together, these considerations are translated into details both large and small, including invitations, menus, guest lists, and entertainment.  The results can be a form of diplomatic dialogue between the host and guest cultures.

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List of White House State Dinners given by President Barack Obama:

Nov 24, 2009 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
May 19, 2010 Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Jan 19, 2011 Chinese President Hu Jintao
Jun 7, 2011 German President Angela Merkel
Mar 14, 2012 United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron
Feb 11, 2014 French President François Hollande
Apr 28, 2015 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
Sep 25, 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping
March 10, 2016 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
August 2, 2016 Sinapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
October 18, 2016 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy

President Obama will host Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy at the White House for an Official Visit on October 18, 2016.  Prime Minister Renzi’s visit will be an opportunity to celebrate the depth and breadth of our relationship with Italy and exchange views on the future of Europe.  Italy is one of our closest and strongest allies, and we cooperate across a range of shared interests, from addressing climate change and the global refugee crisis to promoting global security and inclusive economic growth.  The President and Mrs. Obama will host Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini, for a State Dinner on the evening of October 18.



9:00 AM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Italian Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini, for a State Dinner
South Lawn

9:30 AM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Agnese Landini tour the White House Kitchen Garden
White House Kitchen Garden

10:00 AM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Agnese Landini attend a special performance by students from a local Turnaround Arts school
Washington, DC

10:05 AM ET
President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi hold a bilateral meeting
The Oval Office

11:40 AM ET
President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi hold a joint press conference
Rose Garden

1:30 PM ET
Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry Hosts a Luncheon in Honor of Prime Minister Renzi
State Department

6:30 PM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome Italian Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini
North Portico

6:40 PM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama take an official photo with Italian Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini
Grand Staircase

8:55 PM ET
President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi deliver toasts at the State Dinner
South Lawn

10:00 PM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the State Dinner Reception for Italian Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini
South Lawn


Tuesday, October 18, 2016
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
host a State Dinner for
Italian Prime Minister Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini
White House




Natl Historic Preservation Act of 1966 – 50th Anniversary

The  (NHPA) (Public Law 89-665; 54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.) is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices.

Senate Bill 3035, the National Historic Preservation Act, was signed into law on October 15, 1966, and is the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States. Several amendments have been made since. Among other things, the act requires federal agencies to evaluate the impact of all federally funded or permitted projects on historic properties (buildings, archaeological sites, etc.) through a process known as Section 106 Review.

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“The historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people . . . the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans” – National Historic Preservation Act, 1966

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Voters Choice in 2016

Sure in a totally sane USA Hillary Clinton should win but what if you and others around you are content enough not to vote …. DO YOU WANT TO RISK IT?.


2016 Democrat National Convention Platform


2016 Republican National Convention Platform


GOP senator unsure about Trump with nuclear codes

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is unsure whether he would trust Donald Trump more than President Obama to handle the country’s nuclear codes.
“Well, that’s a tough question,” Coats said with a laugh during an interview Thursday with radio host John Howell, highlighted by BuzzFeed, referencing the “nutzo time” in U.S. politics.

“I understand people’s frustration,” Coats said. “I’m having a hard time understanding Donald Trump because he says one thing one day then corrects it the next day.”

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Open Letter From 121 Members of the Republican National Security Community 
We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:

His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.

Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.

For the entire article:

Following odd tirade, is there ‘something wrong with’ Trump? 

7/07/16 12:44PM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

When Donald Trump initially went after Judge Gonzalo Curiel with racially charged criticisms, he created a controversy — which he immediately made worse by re-emphasizing the same points, over and over again, in subsequent days. The Republican candidate was convinced there was nothing wrong with what he was saying, so he had no qualms about sticking to his offensive line.

We saw those same instincts on display last night in Ohio. NBC News reported:

Less than an hour after Attorney General Lynch recommended no charges against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump spoke at length about almost everything else.
What began as a point-by-point take down of the inconsistencies in the former secretary of state’s statements about her server versus what was found by the FBI quickly devolved into a loop-the-loop of tangents, grievances and alternative headlines.
Trump wanted to talk about the anti-Semitic image in his recent tweet, and his belief that his campaign shouldn’t have deleted his original message. Trump wanted to talk about the parts of Saddam Hussein’s record he agrees with. Trump wanted to talk about how much he likes the Brexit policy he knows little about.
Trump wanted to accuse his critics of “racial profiling,” a phrase the GOP candidate likes to use, though it’s not clear he knows what it means. Trump wanted to list the various Jewish people he knows personally.
The Washington Post added this gem of a sentence: “At one point he also swatted at a mosquito, then pretended the bug was Clinton and spoke to it.”
The Atlantic‘s James Fallows, watching this spectacle unfold, wrote, “It would be rash ever to declare Peak Trump. But really, there is something wrong with this man.” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes added, “I’ve been watching these now for 13 months … and that was the most unhinged thing that I’ve seen from him. It was all over the place. It was like Charlie Sheen during his ‘Winning’ tour.”
And then it got worse. read more

Republicans Will Nominate a Candidate Who Would Violate the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments
If the GOP had any respect for the Bill of Rights, it would reject Trump.

7/17/16 By John Nichols – TheNation

Cleveland—As Republican Party “constitutionalists” prepare to nominate authoritarian billionaire Donald Trump for the presidency this week in Cleveland, the American Civil Liberties union has determined that the candidate’s proposals would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution.

It is not news that Trump has, during the course of his campaign for the GOP nomination, put himself at odds with basic premises of a Bill of Rights that defends a free press, guarantees freedom of religion, and guards against torture and abuses of privacy. But when his proposals are pulled together—as the ACLU has done in a new analysis of the Republican candidate’s public statements and policy positions—the extent to which Trump would shred the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular is breathtaking.

“Taken together, his policies and positions, if put into place, would violate the Constitution and federal and international law,” says Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, which reviewed the candidate’s agenda and determined that “Trump’s proposals would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution.”

Trump has from the start of his campaign sparked controversy with statements, actions, and proposals that disregard the First Amendment. He and his aides have created blacklists of journalists, and the candidate has expressed an interest in rewriting libel laws in order to intimidate, punish, and potentially silence critics of powerful individuals and interests. Trump has, as well, proposed schemes to discriminate against Muslims and to spy on mosques and neighborhoods where Muslims live—with steady disregard for the amendment’s guarantee of protection for America’s diverse religious communities.

But that’s just the beginning of Trump’s assaults on the Constitution. Trump has encouraged the use of torture and blatantly disregarded privacy protections that have been enshrined in the founding document since the 18th century. He has attacked the basic premises of a constitutionally defined separation of powers, with rhetorical assaults on individual jurists and the federal judiciary so extreme that House Speaker Paul Ryan described one such attack as “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” He has proposed instituting religious tests. He has shown open and consistent disregard for the promise that all Americans will receive equal protection under the law.

“If implemented, Donald Trump’s proposed policies will spark a constitutional and legal challenge that would require all hands on deck at the ACLU,” says Romero. “The ACLU and its more than 300 attorneys in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., stand ready to challenge and impede implementation of his unlawful proposals, should he attempt to see them through.”

It should never come to that.

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1980s Jessica Leeds’ Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

1990s Kristin Anderson’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

1991 Esquire Magazine interview that it “doesn’t really matter what (the media) write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

10/13/94 In Primetime Live interview Donald Trump states “I tell friends who treat their wives magnificently, get treated like crap in return, ‘Be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship.

1997 Cathy Heller’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

1997 Temple Taggart McDowell’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

1997 Mariah Billado’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2000 Bridget Sullivan’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2001 Tasha Dixon’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2001 Unnamed Miss USA contestant’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2003 Mindy McGillivray’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

Sept 2004 Donald Trump comments to Howards Stern on his daughter Ivanka’s body and, when asked, tells Stern that it is okay for him to call his daughter “a piece of ass”

9/16/05 Donald Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005

2005 Rachel Crooks’ Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2005 Natasha Stoynoff’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2007 Summer Zervos’ Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2010 Unnamed friend of CNN anchor Erin Burnett’s Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2013 Cassandra Searles’ Allegations of Unwanted Physical Contact by Donald Trump

2/24/16 David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, expressed vocal support for Trump’s campaign on his radio show

3/2/16 World considers a Trump presidency, and many shudder

3/2/16 Open Letter From 121 Members of the Republican National Security Community

3/30/16 Trump angst pours in from overseas

3/31/16 Analyst: Trump’s Isolationist Views Would Remove ‘Pillar of World Stability’

7/17/16 Republicans Will Nominate a Candidate Who Would Violate the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments

8/5/16 America’s Top Spies and Analyts Warn of Real Threat of a Trump Presidency – 5 Leaders Who Have Spoken out

9/22/16 75 retired senior diplomats sign letter opposing Trump for president

10/6/16 30 Former Republican lawmakers denounce Donald Trump: “Manifestly unqualified to be president”

10/6/16 Group of nearly 80 evangelical leaders publish letter condemning Trump
“We cannot ignore this bigotry.”

10/7/16 White Nationalist PAC Rolls Out Pro-Trump Radio Ad Targeting Swing States

Op-Ed  Bernie Sanders: I support Hillary Clinton. So should everyone who voted for me

August 5, 2016 Bernie Sanders – latimes

The conventions are over and the general election has officially begun. In the primaries, I received 1,846 pledged delegates, 46% of the total. Hillary Clinton received 2,205 pledged delegates, 54%. She received 602 superdelegates. I received 48 superdelegates. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her.

Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.

In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.

On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.

Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.

Clinton understands that in a competitive global economy we need the best-educated workforce in the world. She and I worked together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83% of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. This proposal also substantially reduces student debt.

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Earth Science Week 2016

What is Earth Science Week?

Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has organized this national and international event to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. Traditionally held in the second full week of October, Earth Science Week encourages the understanding and promotion of earth science at local, state, national and international levels.

2007 marked the tenth annual Earth Science Week. Each year, AGI organizes Earth Science Week as a service to its member societies, with generous help from major partners which provide funding, donated materials, organize events and publicize the celebration. Continuing partners include the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation, the National Park Service (NPS), NASA, and NOAA.

People in all 50 states and in more than five countries have participated in Earth Science Week events and activities, ranging from educators teaching Earth science activities in their classrooms to open houses held at major USGS field stations. State geological surveys are also key participants, and are responsible for having official proclamations issued by their state’s governor.

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Earth Science Week  Facebook
Earth Science Week Twitter

STEM Icons

“We’ll restore science to its rightful place.”

President Obama’s Inaugural Address, 2009


On January 20, 2009, President Obama issued a simple and powerful pledge: to restore science to its rightful place. Coming into office, the President was committed to reinvigorating the American scientific enterprise through a strong commitment to basic and applied research, innovation, and education; to restoring integrity to science policy; and most importantly, to making decisions on the basis of evidence, rather than ideology.

Today, the Administration is releasing a list of 100 examples of the profound impact that the President’s leadership has had in building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation and bringing that capacity to bear on national goals. The release of this list also marks the milestone of Dr. John P. Holdren becoming, on June 18, 2016, the longest-serving President’s Science Advisor since Vannevar Bush pioneered a similar role while serving Presidents Roosevelt and Truman during and after World War II.


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“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using
technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

 President Barack Obama

“Building a 21st Century Digital Government”
We the People API

White House – Office of Science and Technology Policy
White House – Technology
White House Developer Tools
White House – Economy
White House – Education
White House – Climate Change
White House – Health Care
White House – Precision Medicine
White House – Mobile Apps

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2016 US Presidential Election Debate @ Washington University

2016 flag

Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton  – US Democratic Presidential Candidate

Donald Trump  – US Republican Presidential Candidate

October 9, 2016 @ 9:00 PM ET
US Presidential Election Debate
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri
Moderators: Martha Raddatz & Anderson Cooper


Live Stream:



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