tv FOX News Reporting Enemies of the State FOX News March 7, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
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>> fox news reporting, "enemies of the state." from new york here is john scott. enemies of the state, the phrase conjures up perhaps the former soviet union where an all-powerful government crushes any individual who stands up against it. in truth even in a representative democracy such as ours, if the government goes after you, it can be a nightmare. tonight, we're going to show you several alarming stories in which government officials decide to take on private citizens. these people who didn't, and still don't believe they were breaking any rules, were suddenly in the fight of their lives. the full force of the government bearing down on them. and that's what makes it so scary. if it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone. we start in nevada where john roberts has the story of a family of ranchers who found their very way of life under attack.
>> the western range lands, vast scenic and a battleground for what became known as the sage brush rebellion a fight that began decades ago between locals and the federal government over land use. >> the sage brush rebellion got its name from the type of vegetation on a lot of the federal land in the west. ranchers are complaining that the bureau of land management, blm, doesn't identify with ranching problems. >> wayne hage sr. didn't plan to become the face of that we rebellion, but that's just what happened. he was just 2 when his parents sold their california ranch and bought pine creek ranch in central nevada. in other words, he can't remember a time when his family hasn't had to fight the government. >> they bought it for a place they could raise family on the
ranch and continue livestock business. >> the ranch itself is more than 7,000 acres. the purchase also included exclusive access to more than 700,000 acres of adjoining land administered by the federal government, so-called open range. wayne took a couple of days to show us around. do you really need that much property? >> yes in this country it takes 320 acres to raise one cow for one year. >> now they couldn't afford to purchase three quarters of a million acres, so instead they paid for their private piece of property and at the same time brought water and grazing. that's the way it's been done out here since the 1860s. these rights have been handed down through purchase or will for more than 100 years. and the reason place like pine creek is economically viable. however, that extra land is public property managed by the forest service and the blm. that's where they say the problems began.
it's not like they weren't warned. >> my dad bought it knowing that there was a problem down there. but he had worked with the federal agencies in the previous ranch in california and got along with them. and he thought, well, you know, i can work with these folks. come to find out you can't get along with somebody when they're actually trying to take your property. >> why would the government do that? the hages say the feds were trying to strip their rights in order to take control of the land. partly for environmental reasons and the water which in a desert state is like gold. in fact, many western ranchers feel the government would like to end their way of life completely. no sooner had the hage family settled in and the government offered to buy the ranch. hage declined so the government filed a claim for his water rights. wayne sr. wasn't having it. if the government wanted a fight, a fight is what it would get. he contested that claim starting
a battle that would consume the rest of his life. in one 105-day grazing season your family was visited by government employees 70 times received an additional 40 certified letters containing various citations and notices. that's more than one visit by government in a sense for every day that you were out there grazing. >> that's right. >> one of the violations that the government -- out of many miles of fence we have on the mountain, one of these staples was missing out of one wire in the entire fence. >> where was that fence post? >> that fence post was right on top of that mountain. we sent a man to go up there to fix it. >> how long did it take? >> a full day. >> pounded a little staple and get back down. >> exactly. >> is it fair to say pine creek ranch was in violation many times? >> probably to a strict t, yeah we fell in violation. there was no way to keep out of it. but to say were wee in
violations of the general terms of the conditions these permits we were operating under compared to other nch ranchers absolutely not. >> in 1989 a fed up wayne sr. published a book titled "storm over range land." the hages claim that in response the government reacted by going after them even harder and by the end of 1990 had suspended one of the hages essential grazing permits. >> observing effects of cattle grazing to the resources. >> the forest service made this video in 1991 laying out its case. >> excessive grazing is causing some of these more undesirable species like kentucky bluegrass here. and they are tending to dominate the site now. >> the feds claim that hage cattle were overgrazing that allotment and the land needed a five-year rest to recover. they instructed the hages to remove their cattle. the problem, wayne says is that the government couldn't clearly identify the boundaries of the forbidden area. >> we were licensed to have
cattle in the valley. but if cattle got up here in the mountains they were going to be in trespass. and there's no fence dividing the two. there's 21 miles of unfenced boundary just on this portion alone. the forest service couldn't even tell us where the line was. but if a cow got on the other side of that line they were going to impound that cow without notice. >> that is exactly what happened. so the cows actually got on that side of the line. >> yes. >> so you were in trespass. >> yes, technically by the forest service regulations we were in trespass. >> on july 27th 1991 the forest service took action. >> the government was coming in to take our cows on an impoundment. made a big production out of it. they had ten federal agents fully armed and fully ready to spoil for a fight. >> it didn't turn in to a hollywood style gunfight. quite the opposite actually. for the hages it was a big dose
of reality. in all the forest service impounded and eventually sold over 100 cattle. then they sent hage a bill for the difference between the bill and the cost of confiscation. >> that was the final straw. it was virtually impossible to run cow anymore because there was no way to keep a cow on one side of the imaginary line. >> they liquidated their herd. their cattle grazing business effectively shut down. there was only one option left, they sued the government claiming their property had been taken without compensation or due process. just four months later as wayne sr. was doing maintenance to get water to his private property, the forest service charged him with a felony. >> he cleaned a ditch. >> he cleaned a ditch? >> he did. the ditch was in disrepair. now, you could not get water through the ditch. and then after we cleared those trees they came and arrested my
father and took him down and convicted him of destroying government property. >> he was arrested, tried, convicted then went to the ninth circuit court of appeals. >> and overturned. >> yes. the ninth circuit threw that case out. >> but the damage had been done. by the mid-1990s the hages were basically broke and had lost all their grazing permits. both mother and father had to find other jobs to feed the family. >> the stress was very significant, i think, for my mom especially. >> ramona is one of wayne's four big sisters. >> she had five kids, she was running this house. and then this situation with the government on top of it was very difficult for her. >> 1996 your mother passed away. at a young age complications from stroke. your sister said she believes it was the stress of government harassment that contributed to your mother's death. >> oh i believe very much. she was a very sweet lady.
and very strong lady. but there's only so much a person can take. >> the hages last hope, the lawsuit against the government continued to wind its way through the system. then in 2006 wayne hage sr. who had fought so hard for his way of life lost a battle with cancer. >> buried my mother, my father we buried a lot of people on this deal, people who had stood up and tried to do what was right. after a while it does get to you wears you down. >> the hage patriarch was gone but the fight was far from over. the torch had been passed from father to son. and the most amazing part of the story was still to come. >> we'll return to the hages struggle with some surprising twists and turns a bit later. but next a government invasion isn't music to the ears of a
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making guitars is a craft. and sometimes apparently it's also a crime. john roberts took his act on the road to tennessee to bring us this story. ♪ >> tommy shaw, lead guitarist of stix says this about gibson guitars. >> my source of guitars when i was little was my dream guitar. i still dream of gibson. ♪ >> the music the world agrees gibson in business for over a century, has three domestic factories. two in tennessee and one in montana. >> this company's been around for a long time. it was founded in 1894. >> the one in memphis has daily tours so visitors can see a guitar made practically from scratch.
but on november 17th, 2009 someone else showed up at gibson's door. >> mid-morning i get a call that homeland security was raiding our factory. >> gibson ceo henry, a musician himself, has been running the company since 1986. >> i thought it was a joke because, you know, homeland security raiding a guitar factory just makes no sense. >> armed federal agents showed up at gibson's nashville headquarters and their factory two miles away. nashville manufacturing supervisor carlton sanders was on site that day. >> the agents came in and told us to back away from our desks. and i kind of vividly remember, you know, who are these people. >> they weren't looking for bombs. they weren't looking for terrorists. they were looking for wood. what did you find when you got to the factory? >> there were several dozen armed agents. and they were taking a lot of wood. and it was kind of a bizarre
situation. >> the fish and wildlife service were there, along with homeland security. they claimed the wood imported from madagascar violated a conservation law known as the lacy act. but gibson said it was the same wood they used all along wood that many other companies use for their products. >> we had affidavits from the country of madagascar and their official saying that we complied with all of their laws, which the government took exception to. >> then on august 24th 2011, nearly two years after the first raid, while gibson was still waiting for formal charges it happened again. >> i seen the bags on their sleeves and i was like oh, wow, here we go again. >> this time gibson accused of illegally purchaseing wood from india. >> the first thing that the officer in charge said was i need for you to cut off your security camera first and then i need you to shut down all your
operations. >> that same day the feds simultaneously conducted a raid of the factory in memphis too. >> that's when it became very clear to me that they were not doing well in court. we were showing the fact that we really had done nothing wrong. and i think they just jumped on any excuse to intimidate us. >> last month agents raided the gibson guitar factory in tennessee. >> speaker of the house john boehner took note of gibson's -- and decided the problem wasn't with gibson. >> gibson, a well-respected american company that employs thousands of people. >> but with an overreaching federal government. >> excessive regulations are making it harder for our economy to create jobs. >> still in 2012 the company chose to settle with the government. gibson paid a $300,000 fine, a $50,000 community service payment and also admitted to violating the law relating to
madagascar. forfeiting the wood seized in the first raid. we reached out to the department of justice, which pointed out that admission of criminal wrongdoing on gibson's part. but officials declined to speak with us about it. homeland security deferred to u.s. fish and wildlife, which led the investigation. they sent us a statement saying, every law enforcement investigation follows all legal procedures and focuses on illegal activities that represent a threat to wildlife and plant resources. >> we just wanted to bury the situation. that's what it took to get government off our back okay. >> today gibson is back to producing instruments as it always has. but is using extra caution purchasing its overseas wood. but it still doesn't take away the sting. >> somebody chose us for some reason. and there was no good reason to choose gibson. we were harassed. goods were seized.
our business you know, was injured. we had to pay lawyers. >> as for the controversial indian wood, the government eventually determined that gibson indeed purchased it legally. they returned the seized wood to the factory where gibson put it to good use. >> we put it into what we call the government series guitars which commemorated the raid and has been extremely well-received. >> tommy shaw and i jammed on one. ♪ >> are you the sort of guy who likes to stick his finger in the government's eye? >> no i mean, i like to make guitars. i like to build new things. ♪ >> when we return the oil industry in this country is going through something of a boom, but that hasn't prevented some people in it from getting busted. ♪ [upbeat music] ♪ defiance is in our bones.
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welcome back. an oklahoma oil man thought he could help save the economy but ended up having to fight to save his company. greg jarek reports. >> meet harold ham he's the founder and ceo of continental resources, the 14th largest oil company in america. a child of oklahoma sharecroppers, he went to work as a teenager in the oil fields there first as a roughneck then a wildcatter. in 2004 he led the charge in opening up the vast balkan gas fields and oil plains using unique techniques such as hydraulic fracturing better known as fracking. >> this new technology would allow america to become energy
independent. >> it will. >> and we've had estimates made by experts in our field now that we could add as much as 3 to 5 million barrels of new oil per day. >> on july 18th 2011, ham was invited to the white house for a giving summit with other wealthy americans such as bill gates and warren buffett, who like ham had pledged to give away at least half their fortunes to charity. >> you had the opportunity to speak with president obama. >> i did. >> what happened? >> i wanted him to know for sure of the opportunity that we had. and we were creating a whole new renaissance of american oil and gas. and there's a lot of good things that come from that. good middle class jobs, for instance. national security, balance of trade. >> and his reaction? >> he didn't want to hear it and he didn't hear it. >> it says so much about president obama's mindset of that discussion.
>> louisiana senator david vitter is the ranking member that has jurisdiction over energy issues. >> hydraulic fracturing and the advent of cheap reliable american gas has been an absolute economic boom for our country. that's exactly what president obama and his allies want to shut down. >> hamm's encounter with the president was not the first time he'd been made aware of the administration's take on his industry. >> i was kind of like how the romans -- mediterranean. >> that's a regional epa head hand picked by the white house caught on tape in may of 2010 explaining metaphorically how he planned to deal with noncompliant oil and gas producers. >> they'd go into a little turkish town and -- >> later that year hamm got a firsthand taste of this
philosophy. he appeared before the oklahoma independent petroleum association at a meeting, right? what happened? >> he told the group straight on that i'm the new sheriff in town. that we're going to use everything in the book to come after you. >> what was the reaction of the people there? >> shock, disbelief, shock and awe. >> there had been abuses by federal agencies before, but in the obama epa is unfortunately at the top of that bad list in terms of really using overtly threatening behavior. >> still at least until his meeting with president obama hamm had been hopeful he could change the mind of the administration. but while he couldn't get through to the president two weeks after that white house summit the department of justice got through to him. on august 2nd 2011 they brought criminal charges against his company continental resources. the crime? killing a bird.
one bird. >> one bird. >> hamm's company was charged with violating the migratory bird treaty act of 1918. after a special agent of the fish and wildlife service found this dead bird in a reserve pit used to collect the waste and mud from drilling. >> one bird died, allegedly. >> allegedly. >> because of your operation. >> yes. >> and the department of justice is going to go after you criminally to prosecute. >> yes. that prosecution by the justice department is another clear example of a political anti-oil and gas agenda on steroids. >> the u.s. fish and wildlife service said the charge against continental resources had nothing to do with fracking, but only reflected the company's failure to take steps to protect birds. but to hamm the administration simply didn't like what he was doing and they were using whatever means at their disposal to get at him. he decided to fight.
>> we probably should have just rolled over and paid you know the fine and face the music and been quicker and probably cheaper and all that instead of hiring attorneys and going through the case. but we chose to do that. >> on january 17th 2012 hamm's strategy was vindicated. judge daniel hovland at the u.s. district court in north dakota dismissed all charges against hamm's company. the judge noted that the migratory bird treaty act was not meant to criminalize anything that inadvertently killed birds. otherwise the government would have to criminalize driving cars flying planes putting windows in buildings, even owning a cat. do you worry about speaking so candidly with us? >> i guess i should worry about that. but sometimes you have to do what's right. >> when we come back a woman who made it publicly known that she doesn't much like the way things are going in washington, gets caught up in a world of
endless government proceedings. and later we'll bring you up to date on wayne hages fight to save the family ranch. americans... 57% of us try to exercise regularly. 83% try to eat healthy. yet up to 90% of us fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more, together. add one a day. complete with key nutrients we may need. plus, for women, physical energy support with b vitamins. and for men, it helps support healthy blood pressure with vitamin d and magnesium. take one a day multivitamins.
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opposition. >> this is kathrine engelbrecht. >> i come before you today on behalf of americans just like me asking for a solution to end this ugly chapter of political intimidation. >> it's a house hearing on the irs targeting of conservative groups like those headed by her. i sat down with her in houston, texas to hear her story. >> i was married and raising kids and live out in the country. my goal was just to be left alone, to live the life that i think every american's entitled to. >> she and her then-husband brian started up a manufacturing company which makes oil drilling equipment. >> my name is kathrine engel engelbrecht. >> in 2009 unhappy about what was going on in washington she got involved in politics fountding the king street patriots. is it a tea party group?
>> we absolutely identify with tea party ideals. >> started an electoral watchdog group. >> we look to see people registered more than once or dead people registered in voting and then advocate for common sense reforms. >> in the summer of 2010 she applied for tax exempt status for both groups which could help her organizations grow by letting donors write off their contributions. in the 2010 elections republicans swept to historic gains taking the house and picking up six seats in the senate. meanwhile she was still waiting to hear about her group's status. had you heard anything about your application? six or seven months later? >> no, no, we hadn't heard anything. i didn't have any point of reference like what was normal. i've done this for dozens and dozens of organizations going back many years. >> a washington, d.c. tax attorney represents catherine.
>> processing would take three to four weeks, maybe two months. >> then in february 2012, about a year and a half after she first applied for tax exempt status, the irs requested more information. >> they wanted to see my twitter feed, every facebook posting i'd ever posted. they wanted to know if i had political aspirations. they wanted my resume. they wanted to know, this is the one that always gets me they wanted to know everywhere i'd ever spoken since the inception of the organization and to whom and what i said. >> when director of the irs exempt division lois lerner later asked by the house oversight committee about all the questions tea party groups were required to answer, she claimed it was "in the ordinary course of the application process". >> those are lies. and we can prove it's not true by looking at the data and looking at the process before 2010. >> in october of 2012 the irs
sent engelbrect yet another round of questions. the following month barack obama swept to a second term. >> what effect of the irs's targeting of our organization was absolutely the limiting of how far we could reach and how many people we could engage. >> so why do you think the irs behaved in the way it did? >> because it could. >> on may 10th 2013, in anticipation of the an inspector general report critical of the irs, lois lerner admitted that her agency had indeed inappropriately targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny. >> i was glad to hear that she spoke the truth. i mean, of course they have. what else is this? >> three days later president obama, who insisted that he had first heard about the irs targeting by reading the papers, spoke to the press. >> if in fact irs personnel
engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups then that's outrageous. >> and a day later attorney general eric holder announced he'd ordered a justice department probe into the irs abuses. >> but we are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations. >> the defense generally from the irs has been we're not malevolent malevolent, we're just incompetent. >> i sleep a lot better thinking that. >> in january 2014, the department of justice made it known that though its investigation has not been completed there were no plans to file criminal charges over the irs scrutiny of conservative groups. president obama had this to say to fox's bill o'reilly during their super bowl sunday conversation. >> you're saying no corruption, none? >> there were some bonehead decisions. >> bonehead decisions but no mass corruption.
>> not even mass corruption. not a smidgen of corruption. >> okay. >> she's not convinced. >> it was open season on political targets. this administration has taken the irs and used it to its own effect as a weapon. and that should send a chill through every american citizen whether or not you're conservative. >> but as engelbrecht found out this was only the beginning. getting a letter is not as scary as having government agents show up on your doorstep. more on the ordeal when we return. the pm pain reliever. that dares to work all the way until... [birds chirping] the am. new aleve pm. it's the first to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour strength of aleve. for pain relief that can last all the way until morning. new aleve pm, for a better am.
in new york state, we're reinventing how we do business so businesses can reinvent the world. from pharmaceuticals to 3d prototyping, biotech to clean energy. whether your business is moving, expanding or just getting started... only new york offers you zero taxes for 10 years with startup ny business incubators that partner companies with universities, and venture capital funding for high growth industries. see how new york can grow your business and create jobs. visit ny.gov/business in the case of catherine engelbrecht it seemed the irs was dragging its feet in giving it tax exempt status. she applied for tax exempt status for political groups in mid-2010. she endured more than three
years of inaction from the irs. by late 2013 after becoming a poster child for alleged irs abuse, her groups were finally granted tax exempt status. but during that long wait the irs kept her occupied in other ways. aside from the tax exempt business. >> right. >> you had more run-ins with the irs. tell us about that. >> the irs showed up to audit our business. and we'd never been audited before so here again you think maybe i just drew the short straw. and we went through the audit. those audits of our businesses led to personal audits. >> in fact, it suddenly seemed the government was interested in every aspect of engelbrecht's life. in 2010 they made a surprise visit to her group king street patriots to ask a series of questions. >> it was a domestic terrorism unit. and they wanted information on
somebody that attended one of our meetings. >> you think the fbi thought you were involved with terrorists? >> i don't know what they thought. >> did they ever offer you an explanation as to why they were asking all these questions? >> no. >> and they either showed up or called you to check up half a dozen times? >> right. >> that doesn't happen to most people. >> so they tell me. >> then in february 2012 the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms showed up unannounced at the manufacturing business in rosenberg, texas. as it happened the engelbrechts are licensed to manufacture firearms they don't have. >> we've never had them. >> have you had this type of inspection before from the atf? >> no. >> what were they looking for? >> they were looking for a way to scare us. >> in july of 2012 yet another federal agency, the occupational safety and health administration showed up unannounced at the business to conduct a surprise
inspection. after spending two full days scouring the business for workplace violations, osha found several infractions, for example a forklift operator wasn't using a seat belt. osha imposed some hefty fines. >> i think our tally for that little tour was about $22,000 something like that. >> $22,000. >> maybe more than that. >> so four federal agencies are now looking at them. the irs, the atf, the fbi and osha. isn't it possible that this was all just a coincidence? >> couldn't that be great? but you start tackstacking it all up. and at some point if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. >> we called up these agencies and asked for a response. the irs says they were legally prevented from disclosing any information. the fbi said they had no comment. the atf said they were within their rights to make a warrantless inspection. and osha said theirs was just a
routine random inspection. did you ever ask any of these agents or agencies why the sudden interest in you and your life? >> no, they were just following orders. >> where did the orders come from? >> there's the question. >> you have been quoted as saying they picked the wrong chick. what do you mean by that? >> that if this is an attempt to silence me, it's -- they've got another thing coming. i know exactly what i'm here to do. and i mean to do it. >> and so she did. in may of 2013 she filed suit against the irs claiming the agency had improperly targeted her organization. in light of obama administration assertion, the thousands of relevant e-mails had simply disappeared from the account of former irs exemptions director lois lerner, she asked for an
expedited process in order to find and preserve those that remained. the irs after engaging in what they claimed was due diligence in looking for e-mails asserted they no longer existed. it was later revealed that the first technician the irs assigned to search for those missing lois lerner e-mails and legally blind. the judge, siding with the government, in october 2014 dismissed her suit altogether. but since then 32,000 lerner e-mails have been found in an irs storage facility. a criminal investigation is underway and engelbrect has appealed her lawsuit. she's as determined as ever to find out the truth. >> regardless of your political party affiliation, the thought that the irs would be weaponized against citizens is something that should send a chill down everyone's spine. so they hope we're going to forget, we're not. >> when we come back, we'll rejoin wayne hage whose family
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his final years had finally built up a new group of cattle. but now there was a new sheriff in town literally. >> i was informed by my deputies that they were going to do a cattle seizure. they didn't have a court order and they were doing a signature of oo bureaucrat and i told them, if you get your s.w.a.t. team, you will be facing our s.w.a.t. team to prevent you from doing any unlawful seizure. >> why did he want to put himself between the federal government? >> because it was wrong. >> in 2007, they did file a civil trespasses suit against
wayne jr. and with that case pending along with the one he filed with his father a year before, the legal fees were adding up. you decided to go to law school to help yourself. >> i thought it was cheaper for me to learn the law than to hire one. i had to stop running the ranch and devote myself to court. >> 50 case file balk boxes and 132,000 file exhibits. do you feel like your life is a courtroom drama? >> at times it does feel like it. >> the court of federal claims established to hear monetary
claims ruled on the case first brought by senior and, before and they prevailed. they were awarded 10 million in interest and attorney fees on top of the winnings p. and on may 24th, 2014, they won another victory. chief judge, robert c. jones filed this 104 page ruling ordering the government to renew their permit. he also found that the government conspired to deprive them of their rights. this shocked the conscience of the court. >> he said that several times that shocked the conscience of the court and it shock his own.
>> they did find instances where they had cattle run onto federal land. the cost of the damage $165.88 it was a long time vindication and win for all farm rtz fighting for property rights but they still haven't had their permits re renewed and they're still fighting the case. do you think they'll back off? >> i don't think they will. i asked the attorney if they would and he said no we're the 9th district and we always win. and if the latest court ruling stands, they never will win. we talked to the forest service
to get their side of the story but they wouldn't talk to fox news. they said quote since the appeals process is ongoing, the blm will not engage in conversations that could effect the outcome. the blm -- the u.s. department of just also declined our request. >> waiting to hear testimony on bullying by land managing agencies. >> wayne and a group of fellow ranchers testified before congress. >> i'm probably going to get retribution just from being here and stories that would make the hair stand up on your neck. >> until regulatory relief happens, wayne jr. continues this decades long fight that his
dad started. what would you say to him when your dad was looking for buying it? >> i would say buy it. never ask for an easy life, just for the strength for it. i'd do it. >> we've seen examples owhere private citizens had trouble with the government and in each example the government had their side of the story but to the people, it wasn't a fair fight. there's barely a citizen that isn't breaking or stretching some law somewhere and that means any person with the inclmation can make you jump hoops nobody else can. and make the rules. thus, it's are essential that this tremendous power be used for purposes.
ideally the government should help its people because more and more its citizens start feeling like enemies of the state. that's our program tonight. thanks for watching. ♪ [upbeat music] ♪ defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. easily absorbed calcium plus d. now in a new look. let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure.
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