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Count maintained by David Wasserman @Redistrict

James P. Hoffa:

Working families are taking to the streets, the shopping malls and to Lansing to protest the attempt to enact a law that conveys no rights and provides no work.

The past few days of action are only the opening salvo in Michigan's civil war. It is a fight between billionaires who want to turn the Midwest into Canada's Mexico and working people trying to save Michigan's middle class.

EJ Dionne:
But the most disturbing aspect of the Michigan power grab is what it says about where the conservative argument may go. Those willing to expand the appeal of conservatism by refreshing it will face opposition from those who would try to make new thinking unnecessary. They’d simply rig the rules to chip away at the political capacity of groups that don’t buy into conservative orthodoxy.

A movement dedicated to markets should have more confidence in democracy’s free market of ideas and stop trying to distort it.

Dana Milbank:
Lieberman was excommunicated by his party (he won as an independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary) and retired this year rather than face probable defeat. Yet he received little love from the Republicans, either, because despite his apostasies on key issues — the Iraq war, above all — he remained a fairly reliable vote for the Democrats.

The sparse attendance wasn’t unusual for a farewell speech, but it was a sad send-off for a man who was very close in 2000 to becoming the first Jew on a major party’s national ticket. He was denied the vice presidency not by the voters but by the Supreme Court. As he joked in his farewell speech, he was “grateful to have received a half-million more votes than my opponent on the other side — but that’s a longer story.”

Politico:
Some Republicans, sensing they have a losing hand in the fiscal talks, are increasingly signaling they would be open to folding now on taxes in order to renew their demands next year, when Obama requests an increase in the national borrowing limit, which stands at $16.4 trillion.

“I believe we’re going to pass the $250,000 and below sooner or later, and we really don’t have much leverage there because those rates go up by operation of law Dec. 31,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the incoming No. 2 in his conference leadership. “I would focus on the areas where we do have more leverage.”

If enough Republicans begin to sound like Cornyn, Obama would almost certainly get his wish: Congress would approve an extension of the Bush-era tax rates for families with annual salaries less than $250,000, and a tax hike from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for income above that amount. And Republicans would live to fight another day: demanding spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security when Obama formally requests an increase to the national borrowing limit to avoid a debt default.

Obama to Republicans: "Okay, so wanna play hardball? I've got the ball and the bat."

Matt Miller:

Mr. President, it’s unbecoming for a columnist to beg, but since you’ve ruled out “going constitutional” on the debt limit, and CEOs won’t flex enough muscle to stop Republicans from using it for blackmail again, I’m down on my knees.  You simply have to enlist the press to generate a roar of protest against GOP hypocrisy and recklessness here — or else doom us to lurching painfully (and pathetically) from “fiscal cliff” to “debt cliff” for months.

The good news is this can be done with an investment of a mere five minutes of your time. So here’s a plan...

The way to do this is to propose (in a bipartisan spirit, if you’re feeling sly) that the debt limit be raised just by the amount it would take to accommodate the debt Republicans voted for in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget last year — $6 trillion over the next decade.

Peter Fenn:
It has always seemed to me that there are three professions that are hauntingly alike: actors, preachers and politicians.

They all demand a healthy ego, a flare for the dramatic and a great deal of showmanship. They all involve appearing before large audiences, the ability to project voice and visual, and they all attempt to move people.

So when I see Speaker Boehner throw up his hands and emote over the fiscal cliff I can't help but think of someone who is a pretty good actor, with a touch of the preacher in him. Not that we don't see that with our commander in chief on the Democratic side, but in this back and forth on the fiscal cliff, Speaker Boehner seems particularly adept at combining those three professions.

SFGate:
Mitt Romney may have lost the election, but he did win something Wednesday: Politifact’s annual Lie of the Year...uh…award.

Mitt took home the hardware for his statement that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs, say the nonpartisan factcheckers at Politifact.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Since when was a threat to abandon responsibility (7+ / 0-)

    a credible political argument? I long for the days of political opponents with logically sound positions and arguments.

    "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

    by progdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:35:30 AM PST

    •  Since about 1978 politically (0+ / 0-)

      although Nixon's administration was a prelude to the dirty tricks Republicans indulge in today.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:20:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lieberputz's "sad send-off." (15+ / 0-)

    Sweet.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:37:53 AM PST

  •  Obama does have both the ball and the bat, (10+ / 0-)

    but Republicans have never yet played by any rules.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:41:38 AM PST

  •  That's a lousy deal. (11+ / 0-)
    Congress would approve an extension of the Bush-era tax rates for families with annual salaries less than $250,000, and a tax hike from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for income above that amount. And Republicans would live to fight another day: demanding spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security when Obama formally requests an increase to the national borrowing limit to avoid a debt default.
    All the prez gets is lower rates for those under $250k and the promise of another debt limit showdown?

    Screw it.

    Let the cuts lapse, then introduce a bill next year with the under $250k tax cuts AND a debt limit ceiling increase.

    Then dare the Repubs to vote down a tax cut on 98 percent of the population.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:44:23 AM PST

  •  Boehner an actor, preacher and politician... (7+ / 0-)

    ....when he emotes?

    Looks more like a town drunk to me.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:47:08 AM PST

    •  Boehner....Cannons to the left of him...Cannons to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, glorificus, Remediator

      the right of him.....Into the Valley of Death....etc

    •  Yes. Good actors are convincing. (0+ / 0-)
      It has always seemed to me that there are three professions that are hauntingly alike: actors, preachers and politicians.  They all demand a healthy ego, a flare for the dramatic and a great deal of showmanship.
      This shows me Fenn doesn't have a clue about actors.  

      Many actors ... and most of the very good ones I know ... are pretty low-key, modest people who tend to be more on the side of insecure and shy, with a more tenuous sense of self, than on the "healthy ego" side.

      The full-of-themselves actors with big egos tend not to be convincing because they can't let go of themselves;  they can't get out of their own way to become another person.

      Hence the reason that John Boehner's attempts at acting -- i.e manipulation -- routinely come across as completely unconvincing in his obviously insincere, hystrionic emoting.

  •  The GOP: Change or die (6+ / 0-)

    Grover Norquist is a false idol. The people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly in favor of a progressive agenda that protects the most vulnerable Americans and restores the basic functions of our government. The GOP is currently in severe demographic crisis and virtually on the path to extinction without a real change in their ideology. This is hardly a position of strength with which to negotiate from. The Tea Party needs to stop their anti-American radicalism and accept reality as it stands.Republican ideology is in the minority. Conservatives will have to adapt and compromise or else face more elections like 2012.   -  progressive

    •  New GOP meme.....'We didn't explain our positions (4+ / 0-)

      well enough.'.....ie......The Merican people are stupid.

    •  denial (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus

      gop has been going for the quarter, like the marketing wing of a corporation trying to nail down a bonus, anything to win now...

      they've hit the political equivalent of peak oil and haven't yet gone through the steps of loss except denial. luckily for them attention spans are short and they'll be very serious people again very soon...

      •  I don't know what makes you think (0+ / 0-)

        "they'll be very serious people again very soon"- unless you're referring to Krugman's definition of Very Serious People.  They haven't even been reasonable, much less serious, since the Republicans took over the House in 1994, when Clinton was two years into his first term.

        Clinton should never have indulged them as much as he did; it just encouraged them.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:28:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Looking at the debacle in Michigan, it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      One Opinion

      feels as if there's life in the old GOP dog still.  Whatever demographic changes, and even electoral changes are facing them, they still have the power to determinedly punish everyone who disagrees with them, and destroy good places and good people in their wake.

      Their tenacity is pretty admirable.  What's sad is that what they're holding on to is all, ALL, bad.  As reasonable people have drifted away from the party, they are left with a core that is poison.  Every idea, every policy, every orthodoxy, every action is destructive, mean-spirited, suffocating and corrupt.

      “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

      by SottoVoce on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:40:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the word Mr. Fenn was searching for was (6+ / 0-)

    hystrionics.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:59:36 AM PST

  •  I'm sick of this "fiscal cliff" crap. (10+ / 0-)

    This is manufactured theater brought on by a House hell-bent on making trouble - and they have.  Any nitwit knows  that to reduce the deficit, the country must put people to work (which probably explains why we have this drama going on in D.C. - the politicians aren't even as smart as any nitwit).

    Whatever happened to "jobs, jobs, jobs"?

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:00:10 AM PST

  •  more from NBC/WSJ (6+ / 0-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:03:25 AM PST

  •  Feel pretty depressed by the news this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus

    Why do they get it all their own way?  Why don't we ever get what we want? The anti-union legislation in Michigan puts us even further on the path to serfdom.

    I suppose the answer is to wait until 2014 and try to elect Democrats--if the world decides not to end on 21 December 2012.

    A fortuneteller--forget which--did predict that 2015 would be Obama's best year in office.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:04:10 AM PST

  •  Bye Bye Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanorich, glorificus

    Wow that article is a piece of work. It belongs in the Villager hall of fame.

    That quote about GDP by Robert Kennedy

    by erichiro on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:05:59 AM PST

    •  Sad ending for a sad man (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanorich, al23, glorificus, askew

      Droopy the Dog leaves DC and nobody notices.  

      Maybe the fucker shouldn't have been such a goddamn traitor.  Maybe he should have learned from another infamous Connecticut resident who will forever be synonymous with the word turncoat - Benedict Arnold.  He too left a sad, broken, unwanted and despised man.  Nobody likes a traitor.  Joe Loserman learned that the hard way

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:18:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding the scrubbing of Joe Lieberman's history (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, glorificus, LI Mike, Ohkwai

    by people like Dana Millbank, allow me to paraphrase Jonathan Swift:

    "If seven scribes with seven MACs
    Scrubbed it for half a year.
    Do you suppose," the Pundit said,
    "That they could get it clear?"
    "I doubt it," replied Dave the Wave,
    And shed a bitter tear.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:07:20 AM PST

  •  Dear Joe Scarborough....Boehner does NOT have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, glorificus, askew

    to have a majority of his caucus behind him......Would be nice.....but not necessary....All depends on what he's trying to accomplish, ya schmuck.

  •  I feel kinda bad for Politifact- (5+ / 0-)

    they must have agonized over which lie to pick for lie of the year. Obama took the work requirement out of welfare?  Obama apologizes for America? Obama cut Medicare by 716 billion dollars? So many choices...

  •  The actual debt limit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, LI Mike, Ohkwai, alrdouglas

    "The way to do this is to propose (in a bipartisan spirit, if you’re feeling sly) that the debt limit be raised just by the amount it would take to accommodate the debt Republicans voted for in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget last year — $6 trillion over the next decade."

    I have a simpler and more natural proposal for where the debt limit should be set.  Treasury should be authorized to borrow as much as it takes to meet all the obligations to pay out money established in law by Congress.

    The Rs talk a lot, when it's to their convenience, about how the a damn gummint should play by the same rules as the rest of us.  Well, for the rest of us, your debt is however much you borrow, however much you sign for and agree to pay.  The rest of us don't get a bye on paying for everything we charged just because the sum exceeds our credit limit, and we refuse to sign a piece of paper to increase our credit limit.  We still owe that money.

    Congress, including the House, has already voted to spend the money that is close to exceeding our self-imposed credit limit, the debt ceiling.  That debt ceiling was actually breached the second that the House agreed to the present level of spending.  Only in bizarro world does the House get to pretend, and have anyone take them seriously, that no, the US doesn't have to, and can't, pay its just debts, just because the House is holding the nation's credit limit hostage.

    We need to get rid of the debt ceiling.  Treasury is already limited to borrowing only what is needed to pay whatever obligations the US has incurred by way of laws that Congress has passed.  That number is the real debt ceiling.  That's the only one we should have.  Fake debt ceilings can only get us into trouble.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:25:32 AM PST

    •  Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda (0+ / 0-)

      applies to many things Congress (both houses) mucks up.  Constitutionally the Treasury already is authorized to borrow as much as it takes to meet the country's obligations.  Congress usurps quite a bit of constitutional authority they're not entitled to and  runs away from authority the constitution gives it (see declarations of war).

      Until someone has authority to bring a case against Congress for the unconstitutional "debt ceiling" law they passed during WWI, we're stuck with it.  The president can work around it, but it needs to be repealed - more shoulda, coulda, woulda.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:53:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only unconstitutional if misapplied (0+ / 0-)

        Congress started passing these debt ceiling laws when it started delegating the issuance of US debt to Treasury.  Originally, the US had much the same practice as most states still have today, in that every issuance of debt would come by way of a new law authorizing a new bond issue.  

        As the federal govt grew, and paying for its operations got ever more complicated and involved, and on top of that, we were in WWI and therefore going to do a lot of paying for those operations with borrowed money, Congress decided to delegate bond issuance to Treasury.  The ceiling was their only control measure originally.  Treasury would be forced to keep track of the total debt position of the US, it couldn't let stovepiping get totally out of control, because it would have to be able to predict in a timely manner when that total US debt would exceed the ceiling set in law, so that it could go to Congress with a full accounting of that debt position and thereby get a new, higher, ceiling.

        Eventually, deficit spending became such an obviously permanent feature of how the US was going to run its finances indefinitely, that more extensive controls than the ceiling were instituted.  Recently, Treasury has kept Congress informed real-time about the debtr position of the US, and issues a very detailed report every quarter.  Proposed legislation is scored for projected costs before it is voted on.  

        The debt ceiling has been obsolete in its original function for decades, generations even, but was never discarded, for two main reasons.  First, simple institutional inertia.  But inertia aside, the ceiling acquired a new use.  deficit scolds could be allowed a forum to ventilate harmlessly, to decry the demon deficit spending and make their fellow legislators feel ashamed for not being able to get by without that ol' demon, all without there being any doubt that a new ceiling would be passed adequate to cover whatever spending Congress might vote into law.

        Now we have use #3, the auto-destruct button on the full faith and credit of the US that the Rs tell us the ceiling law is meant to be.  Of course it is no such thing.  It was patently never intended to be any such thing, and interpreting as if it were would bring it in conflict with all the laws obligating spending.  The ceiling law isn't unconstitutional, even if there are people who want to pretend it intends something unconstitutional that they want to exploit.  But their wishing doesn't make it so.

        As for a lawsuit, well, I don't think you can sue somebody for imagining strange and untrue things about the meaning of laws.  You can't sue House Rs for failing to vote a rise in the ceiling, because that shouldn't lead anyone to do anything different after this ceiling is breached than before.  If Treasury were to stop paying each and every one of the obligations imposed by law on it to pay out money, then we would have people doing things someone could sue them over.  But the suable people would be the folks who run Treasury and did something the House Rs cannot force them to do -- fail to pay money that laws passed by all of Congress say they need to pay.

        We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

        by gtomkins on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:48:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  re biggest lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, LI Mike

    romney always the classic ceo out, if it works it was my brilliant idea, if it didn't it was a subordinate who did it in my name.

    same as it ever was....

  •  No more Lieberman! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, LI Mike, Remediator, smiley7

    Yipppeeee.

    (He said he's taking a goodbye tour of diners here in CT.  Guess I'll be eating at home for the next few. )

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:42:03 AM PST

  •  I would like to know how much Boehner and co (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe

    actually have in bets on the fiscal cliff. I'm pretty sure they're all going over the cliff by about a week, until the markets drop, say, 300 pts. in one day, and then they'll march out a deal real quick.

    There's no upside to announcing a decision early. They keep getting their faces into the daily newstream and hopefully get some "thumbs up" from some of the more gullible among their base.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:13:53 AM PST

  •  I'm taking Dionne off my shit list. Finally. (0+ / 0-)

    He's said something worth listening to now.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:14:48 AM PST

    •  But Milbank stays on mine. (0+ / 0-)

      What a waste of words.

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:47:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's legacy: (0+ / 0-)

    In his first term, he preserved bipartisanship ( unilaterally).
    Now one of the greatest things he could accomplish for the better future of this country would be to crush gop obstructionism.
    He needs to rub their noses in it, and teach them a lesson. Busting them on the debt limit would be a good down payment.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:17:45 AM PST

  •  Lieberman farewell speech: sparse attendence LOL (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:31:47 AM PST

  •  Obama better not throw Lieberman a bone (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:32:02 AM PST

  •  Lieberman was never excommunicated from Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:32:23 AM PST

  •  Re SFGate's piece on Romney's lie on (0+ / 0-)

    Chrysler.  

    According to Romney ("Please proceed, Governor"), Barack Obama must have barged in to Chrysler headquarters, made his way into the files, sold the entire company to the Italians on eBay, all in the knowledge that the Italians would be shipping Ohio jobs to China.  

    I went back and checked the election return totals from Ohio.  Voters there apparently didn't believe Governor Romney and gave the President a majority of their votes.  

    And for his troubles, Romney receives the Lie of the Year award.  Maybe he should get a Projection of the Year award as well, as it's probably what he'd like to do with any company -- grab control of it, sell it at a handsome profit, and ignore the people who worked at it for decades.  

  •  Lieberman denied himself the Vice Presidency (0+ / 0-)

    by going on TV during the 2000 Florida stalemate and saying that the Dems would not oppose ballots from military members overseas, no matter when they were sent to Florida.  Thus the GOP got hundreds, if not thousands, of its soldiers to vote after the election was already over, knowing those ballots wouldn't be cjhallenged.   And it turns out that the final margin was 537.  So bye bye Joe.  You took yourself down, along with the country.  Thanks a lot.

  •  Also, Obama saved Lieberman's place in the party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    even after his apostasy in 2008.  I was furious at the time that in fact he wasn't "excommunicated," but as horrible as he has been on issues like health care and the wars, he did provide a vitally needed vote on any number of bills and procedural motions, so the President was probably right to keep him in the party in spite of his being Joe Lieberman.

  •  Amazing how fast Romney's disappeared.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...almost completely from not just public view and attention, but from any actual influence just a little over a month from when he came plausibly close to becoming POTUS.  Fortunately, not nearly close enough.  His status today has reverted to simply being another plutocrat with money to donate to GOP causes.

    •  I'm not sure he ever had any influence... (0+ / 0-)

      he just wasn't PBO.

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:50:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So have… (0+ / 0-)

    California, Hawaii, New York, and West Virginia stopped counting votes? Wasserman's numbers haven't changed since the weekend.

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

    by DemSign on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:15:30 AM PST

  •  Romney's speech writers need to take credit for (0+ / 0-)

    which lie they originated. That way the candidates in 2016 will know who to pick for more of the same. I'm sure the "I built that" writer will come out on top for the most mindless and baseless meme that was easiest for FOX viewers to remember, repeat, and grin vacuously around the room.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:26:54 AM PST

  •  I hate to defend Milbank, but . . (0+ / 0-)

    Your quote left out a phrase of his column and the omission makes it read like Lieberman wasn't actually on the ticket in 2000. Dana's not that far removed from reality. On the other hand, an unquoted part of the column suggests that poor Joe was unloved by the Rethuglicans because he voted with the Democrats. I would suggest that a more likely reason is because he's an insufferable prick. Oh wait! That's not a disqualification for that bunch.

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