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Democrats: New boss, same as the old boss

By CHARLES BABINGTON
November 18, 2010

Nancy Pelosi: If at first you don't succeed, try and fail again (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House Democrats gambled Wednesday they can return to power under the same leaders who just oversaw a 61-seat election loss, choosing Nancy Pelosi to remain their party chief when they become the minority in January.

Moderate Democrats pleaded for a change to show voters they understand the anger and unrest registered two weeks earlier on Election Day. And Pelosi didn’t retain her leadership without a fight, defeating Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, 150-43, in secret balloting in a lengthy closed-door gathering on Capitol Hill.

In a contrast befitting the Nov. 2 election results, House Republicans kept Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as their leader without opposition, and he will become speaker in the new Congress. Eric Cantor of Virginia will retain the second-ranking party position, which will be majority leader, and Kevin McCarthy of California will be the party whip.

Boehner, who turned 61 on Wednesday, told his colleagues they will usher in “the dawn of a new majority,” which he said will be “humbler, wiser, and more focused than its predecessors on the priorities of the people.”

Pelosi, the nation’s first female House speaker, will become minority leader when the 112th Congress convenes.

“She is the face that defeated us in this last election,” declared Florida Rep. Allen Boyd, who was among those who lost re-election fights. However, Pelosi, who presided over big Democratic gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections, remains popular among the liberals who dominate her caucus more than ever. Dissident moderates could not find enough votes to force her aside.

In fact, the Democrats kept their entire leadership team intact despite election losses that President Barack Obama called “a shellacking.” They elected Steny Hoyer of Maryland to keep the No. 2 post and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina to hold the third-ranking position, which will be renamed “assistant leader.”

Pelosi and Clyburn are 70. Hoyer is 71. Cantor is 47, McCarthy 45.

Pelosi, a Californian, is a prodigious campaign fundraiser and tireless legislator known for listening to her colleagues but pressing them to stick with party leaders on key votes. Her supporters credit her for passing difficult, major legislation such as this year’s health care overhaul.

Pelosi praised her lineup Wednesday. “It’s a team that took us to victory in ’05, in ’06, and will take us to victory again,” she said. “We extend the hand of friendship to the Republicans, we look forward to hearing their ideas on job creation and deficit reduction.”

Some rank-and-file House Democrats said Pelosi pushed them too often to vote on controversial matters fated to die in the Senate. They contended she didn’t appreciate the level of anti-Washington hostility in America.

Their anger grew this fall when dozens of GOP candidates assailed Pelosi in campaign ads that linked her to other Democrats.

Yet plenty of Democrats defended her on Wednesday.

“She did a good job of getting legislation through,” said Barney Frank of Massachusetts. He downplayed the hubbub over Shuler’s challenge, saying, “The focus on who is or who isn’t the minority leader is a Washington insider issue.”

But Shuler’s level of support — plus an earlier 129-68 vote against postponing the election that Pelosi wanted to wrap up quickly — underscored the degree of discontent in a caucus that Pelosi had largely bent to her will in the past four years.

The next two years could be more challenging and less enjoyable for Pelosi and her allies. Republicans will control the House and will be able to filibuster almost any bill in the Senate. Obama has signaled he may seek compromises that could infuriate Pelosi’s liberal supporters.

Shuler said his loss to Pelosi was expected but served as a warning that Democrats can’t reject all Republican ideas all of the time. He and his allies said Shuler’s 43 votes proved that the dissatisfaction with keeping Pelosi as leader extended well beyond the conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats, whose ranks were reduced to 24 in the Nov. 2 election.

“There was a lot of unrest in the room,” Shuler said.

House Democrats were scheduled Thursday to hold a third straight day of closed-door meetings, which many members have used to vent their frustration and anger over their heavy losses. These rifts, if unresolved, could complicate the party’s efforts to re-elect Obama and to win back the House majority in 2012.

Pelosi faces a potentially embarrassing public rebuke from at least some of her detractors on the first day of the new Congress in January. Shuler and the three centrist Democrats who nominated him to be leader — Reps. Larry Kissel of North Carolina, Mike Ross of Arkansas and Jim Matheson of Utah — said they would not vote for her when their turns come to rise and cast a ceremonial vote for speaker.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., said Wednesday’s unsuccessful effort to postpone the party leadership elections reflected substantial angst among Democrats about how to rebuild.

“There’s a lot of concern in the caucus about the direction that we want to go from here, and I think 68 votes shows significant concern,” Cardoza said. “The caucus will continue to do a great deal of soul-searching.”

Some lawmakers who voted for Pelosi did so with little apparent joy. “We got shellacked” in the midterm elections, said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. “We are not happy.”

___

Associated Press writers Jim Abrams, Laurie Kellman, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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26 Responses to Democrats: New boss, same as the old boss

  1. woody188

    November 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I can’t understand why liberals would continue to support Pelosi after caving to the right on everything.

    • Almandine

      November 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      The alternative would be whom?

  2. Carl Nemo

    November 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    The real tragedy of this is that we are still stuck with hearing the names of Reid and Pelosi; ie., business as usual. This also means that we’re most likely to get stuck with O-care in its present form or worse. Regardless of the win in the House for Republicans they will continue to hatch, ugly, nightmarish, citizen unfriendly bills such as SB510 & H.R. 2749 (Section 133b, so-called “Food Safety” bills which I’d consider to be the Patriot Act of controlling who can produce and distribute food and will cost trillions to administer. It’s a nightmarish piece of crap legislation no different than the Pat Act and O-care. I urge folks to get motivated on this one because it actually put a damper on people to have home gardens without the Feds getting their long, ever snoopy noses involved. We’ve dangerous, freedom usurping creeps for legislators in D.C. : |

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/4548062-sb-510-a-food-safety-bill-or-something-else-entirely

    The bill has passed committee and is headed for a vote on the floor. This is an example of a POS bill they can possibly push through during thie ‘lame duck’ session, then walk, leaving “We the People” holdiing another bag of their legislative crap.

    *****

    To be forewarned, is to be forearmed…Cervantes

    *****
    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo

      November 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      SB510 is a SERIOUS threat to our society and way of life as we know it. I realize many people are at a loss for words when it comes to expressing themselves, so I thought I’d offer a template letter that I just sent to both my US Senators Murray and Cantwell in Washington State. I will also call their offices in the AM.

      So I submit this template for others to use and I highly urge folks to get motivated and contact their respective U.S. Senators offices asap. Currently the bill is on hold, but could be released to a vote at any time.

      I think the following letter pretty much sums up my concerns about this piece of legislation.

      *****

      Greetings Senator xxxxxx :

      It’s my understanding that Senate Bill 510 is pending in the Senate; a version has passed the US House of Representatives. While it is ostensibly about “food safety”, in actuality it amounts to a major federal power grab over agriculture.

      I am strongly against this bill for these reasons:

      #1 All food production facilities in the United States will be required
      to register with the U.S. government. No food will be allowed to be
      grown, distributed or sold outside this bureaucratic framework unless
      the FDA allows it.

      #2 Any food that is distributed or sold outside of U.S. government
      control will be considered illegal smuggling.

      #3 The FDA will hire an army of new inspectors to enforce all of the new
      provisions in the bill.

      #4 The FDA will be mandated to conduct much more frequent inspections of
      food processing facilities.

      #5 The fees and paperwork requirements will be ruinously expensive for
      small food producers.

      #6 S. 510 would place all U.S. food and all U.S. farms under the
      Department of Homeland Security in the event of a major “contamination”
      or an “emergency”. What exactly would constitute a “contamination” or an
      “emergency” is anyone’s guess.

      #7 S. 510 mandates that the FDA facilitate harmonization of American food laws with Euro based Codex Alimentarius, which impinges on US sovereignity.

      #8 S. 510 imposes an annual registration fee on any facility that holds, processes, or manufactures food. It also includes draconian fines for
      paperwork infractions of up to $500,000 for a single offense. Just one penalty like that would drive a small food producer out of business.

      #9 S. 510 would give the FDA tremendous discretion to regulate how crops
      are grown and how food is produced in the United States. Basically, farmers will now be forced to farm exactly how the federal government tells them to. This could be a particular problem for small farmers selling direct to the public, many of whom are organic farmers because that is what their market wants to buy. It is feared that the U.S.government would soon declare that many organic farming methods are “unsafe” and would outlaw them.

      #10 S. 510 will give the FDA the power to impose a quarantine on a specific geographic area. Basically the FDA would have the power to stop the movement of all food in an area where a “contamination” has been identified. This would be very close to being able to declare martial law.

      #11 S. 510 will give the FDA the power to conduct warrantless searches of the business records of small food producers and organic farmers,even if there has been no evidence at all that a law has been broken.

      #12 Many farmers are concerned that S. 510 would eliminate the right to clean and store seed. Saving and using your own seed is a traditional frugal practice of many farmers.

      In summation, many farmers, organic market gardeners, home gardeners etc. are afraid it could put them out of business or even destroy a fun hobby for many Americans and is necessary for family survival for many in these times. I hope you would agree that any legislation that has the potential of reducing the number of farmers is bad legislation along with restricting our food supplies along with climbing onboard to the Euro Union’s Codex Alimentarius restrictions concerning food supplements; ie, vitamins etc. Our nation has already suffered the unconstitutional indignity of the Patriot Act (unread by legislators) forced upon us along with the recent Healthcare bill all hammered out quickly, little read yet still voted on to our collective dismay and passed. Myself and many other Americans are tired to this business as usual attitude from our Congressional legislators.

      I urge you to vote against this bill in the US Senate. It’s another bad piece of legislation hatched by those that no doubt have a vested interest in promoting big Ag business at the expense of small producers.

      The title “Food Safety Act” is a canard, plain and simple.

      Thanks for your attention to my concerns.

      *****

      Carl Nemo **==

      p.s. Please get motivated, contact your two U.S. Senators and feel well about yourselves for firing a “thought shot” across their legislative bow. : )

  3. Guardhouse Lawyer

    November 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Did you read the bill yourself? Yes or no? did you see for yourself that these measures were in the bill? Yes or no. .

    Show us in the bill where you found each of these items. By section number.

    • Carl Nemo

      November 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      You surely are an offensive, pompous ass GHL. That’s all you ever do is get on the horn and interrogate people, but offer little substance yourself over time.

      I didn’t waste time creating two succinct posts concerning the hazards of SB 510 just to pound the keyboard and feel well about myself. I’m beginning to think you are a government sponsored agent provocateur, whose mission is to provide agitation on CHB. I’ve parsed your thoughts and writing style over time and I’d swear you are reincarnation of gazelle 1929.

      Yes I have the entire bill, 266 pages in .pdf format and have read its content. In fact I wrote one of my ‘nemotorials’ to supply you with that which you seek; ie., with every dot and title explained, but I’ve decided not to honor your incessant, belligerant questioning with such a response. Dig it out on your own and get back to me, that’s an order sailor! : |

      Google SB 510 and you’ll have a number of pages worth of research material. You can get a copy of the bill from the “Thomas Register” or possibly some other source.

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Guardhouse Lawyer

        November 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

        Hey, sweetheart, how about this:

        I read the bill. NOWHERE in the bill is the word quarantine.

        NOWHERE in the bill is the figure $500,000.

        As to the codex Alimentarius, there is one reference:

        “(c) Plan- The plan developed under subsection (a) shall include, as appropriate, the following:

        (1) Recommendations for bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, including provisions to provide for responsibility of exporting countries to ensure the safety of food.

        (2) Provisions for secure electronic data sharing.

        (3) Provisions for mutual recognition of inspection reports.

        (4) Training of foreign governments and food producers on United States requirements for safe food.

        (5) Recommendations on whether and how to harmonize requirements under the Codex Alimentarius.”

        Now how you can construe that as giving up American sovereignty is a good question. But you decided you would not answer questions, didn’t you?

        Reality check:

        If you want to sell US foodstuffs in the Common Market and if you do NOT comply with the requirements of the Codex they will not let your exports into Europe. So it’s your choice. Comply or eat the food at home. But you are always complaining about such things as trade imbalance, so I would think you would be in favor of this.

        Then there’s the onerous registration requirement, about which your proposed letter says:

        “All food production facilities in the United States will be required
        to register with the U.S. government. No food will be allowed to be
        grown, distributed or sold outside this bureaucratic framework unless
        the FDA allows it.”

        Senate Bill 510 provides at proposed section 102 to add to 21 USC 350d the following:

        A) striking ‘conducts business and’ and inserting ‘conducts business, the e-mail address for the contact person of the facility or, in the case of a foreign facility, the United States agent for the facility, and’;

        The fact is, Mr. Nemo, that all of these places are already registered and what this is doing is asking for an email address! Onerous! Onerous! despicable intrusion by the Government. Shocking!

        Did you happen to miss the fact that the proposed bill does not require new registration? I did not miss that fact.

        Your proposed letter says:

        “Any food that is distributed or sold outside of U.S. government
        control will be considered illegal smuggling.”

        Here’s the reality:

        At section 310 of the proposed Senate bill, we find:

        “(a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol, and the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, develop and implement a strategy to better identify smuggled food and prevent entry of such food into the United States.”

        Does that sound as though “Any food that is distributed or sold outside of U.S. government control will be considered illegal smuggling”?

        Your point number 6 is:

        “S. 510 would place all U.S. food and all U.S. farms under the
        Department of Homeland Security in the event of a major “contamination”
        or an “emergency”. What exactly would constitute a “contamination” or an
        “emergency” is anyone’s guess.”

        I am unable to find anywhere i the bill any such provision. But you read the bill, so certainly you can show it to me, as I might have missed it.

        You can call me your nasty names as much as you want to, Mr. Nemo. I am not calling you any names at all, all I am doing is pointing out that your proposed letter is garbage, inasmuch as it has no connection with the reality of SB 510.

        • griff

          November 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

          This bill is not only a bureaucratic nightmare for small farms and ranches, but stands as nothing less than a government takeover of all food production and distribution in this country, at the whim of the Secretary, of course. A boon for bureaucratic ne’er-do-wells and their corporate sponsors, at the expense of small business and the consumer.

          You seem to be a big fan of government takeovers.

          All in the name of safety, of course. What is the urgency any way?

          Section 404…

          Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.

          • Guardhouse Lawyer

            November 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm

            Yes, griff, they are all out to get you. Sorry, I cannot do anything about that.

            • griff

              November 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

              I wouldn’t say they’re out to get me personally, but pretty much every one. And enrichen their sponsors at the same time.

              You can oppose it, as Carl suggested.

              I guess you didn’t say that you support it. Do you?

          • Guardhouse Lawyer

            November 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

            By the way, did I ever say ANYWHERE that I approved of this bill? Anywhere?

            • Almandine

              November 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm

              Your words reveal your thoughts more than you realize…

  4. b mcclellan

    November 19, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Gazelles rely on grace and speed,
    as do guardhouse lawyers know,
    speed of mind and effort can be reduced ,
    and eliminated due to flow, of litigation.

    We haven’t the time for the Sun to bleach ideals, or discourse, for good or debate of the questionable, what must reign on it’s merit as per the Constitution ever, are the rights of the individual.

    Mess with my wife when she shucks the corn and you may find she will look to avoid the Monsanto brand whence next we visit carpet land.

  5. Almandine

    November 19, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Bottom line… more intrusive government where none is needed. More expense where none is needed. More collectivist nanny state where none is needed.

    • griff

      November 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      Yeah, between the latest round of quantitative easing (read:inflation) and bills like this one, it won’t be long before you’ll need a wheelbarrow full of cash for that loaf of GMO bread.

  6. Carl Nemo

    November 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Here’s a link that lays out what the Codex Alimentarius is about and seemingly there is a Big Pharma conspiracy linked to these guidelines. Visualize sometime in the near future you can no longer buy food supplements; ie., vitamins and herbs without a doctor’s prescription.

    http://members.iimetro.com.au/~hubbca/codex.htm

    I’ll also supply another link sponored by Ron Paul, “The Daily Paul” that provides an overview of the Codex and the fact that on June 10, 2010 our ‘dear leader’ signed away U.S. sovereignty as a function of Executive Order 13544

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/144581

    Some folks may wish to minimize the impact of SB510, but it is part of a plan for corporations to corral the food supplement sector along with control of world production via GMO’d seedstock such as the games Monsanto currently uses on farmers throughout this nation in third world regions. I highly recommend folks watch the documentary “Food, Inc.” which will surely sit a viewer upright in their chair as to how draconian and evil food production has become in this country and the world at large.

    Thanks GHL for your research into SB510. Obviously we have a major difference of opinion as to how SB 510 will ulimately impact food production in this country. The Euro Union already disallows a host of U.S. ag products to its shores. They don’t fluoridate their water supplies nor do they condone a host of food additives or GMO’d seedstock as we do in this country. So the least of big ag’s worries is trading with Europe at this point. Europe isn’t playing our game. The third world is being mightily exploited though as a function of the antics of large ag companies and now “Big Pharma” wants a piece of the action.

    As Dr. Kissinger proposes; Barack Obama seemingly is the “New World Order’s” choice for their main man. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. My apologies GHL for jumping on you last night. I had a ‘sore arch’ day so your delivery struck me me wrong. I haven’t engaged in such lately towards you and promised sometime in the past I wouldn’t do so. My bad. : |

  7. Carl Nemo

    November 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks Almandine for the Monsanto link and to you, griff and Bryan for your supportive comments.

    I posted a rather lengthy reply concerning my exchange with GHL last evening, but it’s in ‘moderation’ due to the fact I posted two links than the typically one that’s allowed per post. I’ve alerted Doug via email and hopefully it will be released to the board.

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. Carl Nemo

    November 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Here’s a link for an excellent summation of the impact of SB510 upon our lives. It won’t happen overnight post passage, but rest assured bureaucratic ‘creep’ will make its presence known within a few years, but by then it will be too late.

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Urgent–SB-510-Will-Allow-by-Lora-Chamberlain-100802-513.html

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Guardhouse Lawyer

      November 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      READ THE BILL. It does not say any of that bullsh!t. Really.

      READ THE BILL.

      Look at the sections that are amended. It does not say what that person alleges. Really!

      People, do not listen to this hysteria. All that noise you hear is right knees jerking in harmony.

      Stop listening to Limbaugh, Hanratty, etc. Those people are idiots. And people who follow their lead without using the brains God gave them are no better.

      Don’t give peace a chance. Give your brain a chance!

      • Carl Nemo

        November 20, 2010 at 12:32 am

        What you seem to forget GHL is that legislating crimpols pass these onerous bills, but it’s faceless bureaucrats that interpret and implement the law along with their enforcement ‘goons’ in tow, ready to be unleashed for any perceived ‘infractions’ of these newly hatched unconstitutional laws/schemes. It’s what is inferred by this bill along with ‘dear leader’ signing another Executive Order which virtually contramands our now seemingly complicit Congress and our way of government as mandated by our founding document.

        You are seemingly an everso trustful person relative to this government. Just don’t complain when in the not so distant future you and others of your kind are taken out as dear in the headlights of the semi known as in your face “tyranny”.

        ***

        “People, do not listen to this hysteria”…extract from post

        ***

        Infamous last words of a trusting, ‘good citizen’ of the New World Order. / : |

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Almandine

          November 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

          Here’s an interesting article about another bill that also has serious implications for our future, as the author explains. In the words of ghl, read the bill… read the bill… it doesn’t say anything like what the author has said it does. He’s correct – BUT, does it imply what the author says it means, or is it merely an attack on foreign interests that would disrupt “our” internet?

          http://www.activistpost.com/2010/11/end-of-free-internet-us-senate.html

          As for ghl, Carl, I’m glad you backed off a little… he doesn’t generally have the “snide side” gazelle was famous for, nor quite the degree of hubris. My only real problem with his proclamations is the need to call his “enemies” right-wing… or Rush/Beck/Hannity sycophants… or intellectually dishonest, especially since it is clear that ALL of the idiots in govt and its overlording institutions are at risk here – left, right, red, white, blue… you name it.

          I think you’ve nailed it here… s/he’s everso trustful of the powers that be – trustful to a fault. Reminds one of the famous quote:

          How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.

          • griff

            November 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

            Yeah they haven’t really passed any legislation that does any one other than their corporate sponsors, and the machine, any good, but this one will be different!

            In the two party paradigm, Liberals aren’t really liberals and Conservatives aren’t really conservative, but they know what to say while campaigning in order to appear to be so to the unititiated or the ignorant.

            The same goes for the Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s, the Olbermann’s and the Maddow’s, not to mention Chris Matthews’ tingly legs. Party worshippers. Power worshippers.

            I think the problem, particularly as it pertains to us “right-wingers,” is that the rhetoric of the politicians and pundits closely resembles much of our rhetoric; the difference being that some of us really believe in sound money, balanced budgets, lower taxes, etc. The politicians just use it to gain votes and stay in power, and use their media mouthpieces to bedazzle the medicated masses. Much like Obama’s “I’m one of you” bullshit.

            “If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation it expects what never was & never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

            ” In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

            “Alas! We have been long led away by ancient prejudices, and made large sacrifices to superstition.” – Thomas Paine

            “Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.” – Socrates

            “Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato

            “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

            “The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.” – Plato

  9. bmclellan

    November 20, 2010 at 9:23 am

    More insight about Monsanto and their efforts to control farmers and ranchers can be found at The common sense coalition – The Derry Brownfield radio show.

    Monsanto has a long record of concerted efforts to control the worlds food production by patenting seeds and controlling their distribution. Seed from naturally occuring plants and vegetables no less, as if they were God himself.

    Their main objective is to absorb the smaller seed companies right down to the local gardener who uses last years seed to grow his next crop.
    If they are successful it will be a march back to the Depression era and create a whole new class of criminal. Seed bootleggers.
    Only in America, and you can’t make this sh3t up..Llamraf

    • griff

      November 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      Damn Bryan, I’m afraid I don’t understand your post. It’s not in iambic pentameter. Ha.

      GMO crops are destroying nature. Where are all the do-gooder eco-warriors on this subject? Oh, that’s right, too busy blaming mankind for millenia-old natural climate cycles.

  10. b mcclellan

    November 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Shakespeare is in no danger from here. Dammit did it again, Har. Totally unconscious on my part Griff, just comes out that way.

    How about the new GMO salmon? Reminds me of a three pound six week old Perdue chicken that can barely walk.
    Tasty eatin with your daily dose of ribo flavinoidicle steroids.Yummy.