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Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.  

Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here.  This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.  

Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.



Hey! Good Evening!


Tonight's music features the The Holmes Brothers and their mixture of blues, gospel and r&b music.



The Holmes Brothers - Big Boss Man


“I used to think it was possible for an artist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory.”

  -- Don DeLillo


News and Opinion



After Newtown, Will Nation’s Worst-Ever Grade School Shooting Spur Tougher Gun Control?
NRA Cowards Go Into Hiding As Gun Control Support Surges

Last Thursday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) boasted on their Twitter feed: "Did you hear? Our #facebook page reached 1.7 million "likes" today! Thanks for being a friend!"

On Saturday, one day after the massacre at the Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the NRA deactivated its Facebook page. And he NRA's main Twitter account has gone silent since Friday.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the NRA and its well-funded political operation is “vastly overrated” and was unable to prevent President Obama’s re-election. “If Congress wasn't so afraid of the NRA — and I can show you that they have no reason to be — but if they were to stand up and do what was right for the American public, we’d all be a lot better off,” the Mayor said.

Meanwhile, a just released Washington Post-ABC News poll done over the weekend shows that Americans favor stricter gun controls by a 54-43% with 3% having no opinion.

"It's Too Easy To Get a Gun"

Time to Charge for the True Cost of Gun Ownership

Twenty children the same age as my daughter and her friends, plus another six adults trying to protect them, lie dead, murdered by guns. Adding insult to injury the families and community the guns destroyed will now – just like every other gun rampage – be handed a price tag. ...

    Rather than parsing the Second Amendment one more time there is an easier approach, one typically favored by conservative gun owners for other public policy issues: end cost-shifting. Force those who chose to own guns to bear the full cost of the mayhem their hobby unleashes. Ending the gun subsidies will eventually end the gun violence.

Families of the victims should be compensated from a fund owned by a tax on guns and ammunition, as should the cost of all gun-related law enforcement for this and every other gun related crime. When guns leave a victim disabled the fund should pay for their care for life. When that victim leaves a family with less income, or no income, the fund should pay. When neighborhoods are besieged by gun violence the gun fund will pay for enough police protection to stabilize the area. Every cost of gun violence should be shifted back to those who choose to participate in the gun economy.

Gun owners have displaced the massive cost of their hobby – and, no, guns are virtually never used for legitimate self-defense – to everybody else. It is time for this subsidy to end.

Gun owners should pay taxes when a gun is sold, no matter where it is sold, then another for ongoing registration fees, and yet another for ammunition. Failure to pay the tax – or to show tax stamps that a weapon is up-to-date on tax payments – would result in the tax plus steep penalties. Guns could be turned in for fair market value, paid for by the gun fund, and of course those that don’t pay the tax would have all their weapons, including the ones paid for, immediately seized for past-due gun tax.

What Does Obama Mean By 'Meaningful Action'?

Obama says that he is a "moderate Republican"

During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network's Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida's Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

"I don't know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that," Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."


Tax evasion protest in the Cayman Islands

"In the first protest against Cayman Island tax shelters the island has seen, on Thursday, December 13, over 100 Americans marched to the Ugland House, the location where some 18,000 corporations hide their tax dollars, to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes.  They held signs saying “Bring our tax dollars home” and “We want our money back” and sang a parody song to Harry Belafonte's "Day-O" with the refrain "Tax evaders time to bring the money home."  Four of them were dressed as billionaires, waving their money in the air in a theatrical show of corporate greed."

The protest was organized by the activist group CODEPINK.

Incomes Earned on Assets Rising while Labor Income is Falling

The Truth About The Deficit: It's Not Very Big, And There's Only One Way To Close It

As Paul Krugman points out in a recent post, the current deficit is mostly about the slump in the economy combined with the standard counter-cyclical spending, that naturally tapers off as the economy improves.

He notes two key numbers: One is that, if the economy were operating at about full potential (as measured by the CBO) the government would be collecting about $450 billion more in taxes. The other is that since the crisis, spending on "income security" (Food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.) has jumped by about $250 billion. As such, it's probably safe to surmise, that just a return to economic normality, would entail a deficit closure of around $600 billion.

That still leaves $400 billion in deficit, but guess what, that's okay. That's less  than 4% of GDP, which is the pace of nominal GDP growth. As long as your deficit isn't bigger than nominal GDP growth, your national debt isn't growing.

If you want to have a real discussion about how large/unsustainable government spending is, you don't want to use periods of economic abnormality, such as the last few years (just as you wouldn't want to go back to the Clinton years, and say that the government was a model of sustainability, because the dot-com bubble led to a surge in tax revenue). You have to cyclically adjust the deficit to have a real starting point, and if you do that now, then everything now is basically fine.

Has torture become acceptable?

DOJ Lawyers: Drone Targets Receive 'Due Process' But We Won't Say How

Obama administration asks court to dismiss challenge to 'kill list' program

In a little noticed filing at week's end, the US government made its first legal response to a challenge made by civil liberties groups about the Obama administration's secretive "Kill List" program by urging a federal court to dismiss the case, arguing that the courts should not interfere with Obama's declared authority that he can kill US citizens without congressional, judicial, or public oversight.

The case surrounds the targeted killing of three US citizens in Yemen last year, including Anwar Al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman and Samir Khan. ...

In the motion to dismiss, Justice Department lawyers made the case that any demands for judicial review are superseded by what the government said are necessary actions in protecting national security. It further argued that the court's desire to explore alternatives to assassination (versus possible capture) was not in its "proper purview".

Not only did the Obama administration push to have the case dismissed, as Politico's Josh Gerstein reports, the government lawyers "also threatened to invoke the State Secrets Privilege if the suit is not dismissed on other grounds."

Bank of America supplied answers on ‘independent’ foreclosure review

The Independent Foreclosure Review is the government’s main effort to compensate homeowners for harm they suffered at the hands of banks and, as its name indicates, it’s supposed to be independent.

But until recently, that was hardly the case with Bank of America. Supposedly independent, third-party reviewers would sit at a computer, analyzing each homeowner’s case by going through hundreds of questions, such as whether the bank had properly reviewed a homeowner for a modification or had charged bogus fees. But the reviewers weren’t starting from a blank slate. Bank of America employees had already supplied the answers, which the reviewers would have to override if they did not agree. ...

This practice only ended a month after ProPublica published a story showing that Bank of America was doing much of the work itself. When that story was published, ProPublica hadn’t yet learned that the answers the bank supplied showed up on the reviewers’ computer screens as defaults, and Bank of America strenuously denied that it had compromised the integrity of the review. Since November, the reviewers now begin their analysis without the bank’s answers. ...

The review has been dogged by criticism since the outset, partly because of how it works. Banks hire and pay consultants to be the independent, third-party reviewers. Bank regulators must approve them, which the regulators say ensures the independence of the review. But critics argue that the consulting firms have other contracts with the banks and so have a conflict of interest: If the consultants anger the banks, they may lose future business.

Republicans and Democrats Speak Out Against “Too Big to Jail” HSBC Case

We now have bipartisan anger at the decision to hold HSBC and its executives harmlessfor years of money laundering and facilitating the culture of Mexican drug cartels. In fact, only the shareholders will pay, and not all that much, what amounts to five weeks’ worth of profits for the bank. The certainty of not being prosecuted alone should cancel that out.

Late last week, Jeff Merkley expressed his concern that, “four years after the financial crisis, the Department appears to have firmly set the precedent that no bank, bank employee, or bank executive can be prosecuted even for serious criminal actions if that bank is a large, systemically important financial institution.” ...

The Justice Department should actually not solely face the blame here. The New York Times’ reporting made clear that the Treasury Department pressed DoJ not to prosecute. They clearly have no faith in the Dodd-Frank architecture they constructed and directed, which allegedly allows systemically important financial institutions to be unwound without risk to the broader financial system. Clearly they have no belief in that, if they think HSBC – not among the top 5 banks in America – needed to be protected from harm, specifically because of the ripple effect on the entire sector.

Canada's indigenous groups hold nationwide protests

Public Housing Tenants Demand Accountability From Authorities after Superstorm Sandy






Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin'

Save WikiLeaks; Fight Censorship; Preserve Free Press

The liberal presidency

Much ado about pink zebra flats




A Little Night Music






The Holmes Brothers - Down in Virginia

The Holmes Brothers - You're the kind of Trouble

The Holmes Brothers - Dark Cloud, Pledging My Love & Feed My Soul

Holmes Brothers - Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down

Holmes Brothers - The Love You Save

The Holmes Brothers • live in Vienna

Holmes Brothers - Run Myself Out Of Town

Holmes Brothers - (What's so funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?

The Holmes Brothers - Living Well Is The Best Revenge

The Holmes Brothers - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby

The Holmes Brothers,The Final Round

The Holmes Brothers - Edge Of The Ledge

The Holmes Brothers - Jesus on the Mainline

The Holmes Brothers - Baby, What You Want Me To Do?

The Holmes Brothers - Medley

Holmes Brothers - "Got Myself Together Yeah and I'm Movin' On"





Action Center





Find out which of your congressmen and senators are taking the NRA's money and how much; follow the link:

Congressional Recipients of NRA Largesse

Ever want to tell Wayne La Pierre, or for that matter Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris what you think of the NRA?  Here's an opportunity:

Contact info for some NRA Boardmembers (full list here, courtesy of Occupy the NRA):

Chris Cox (Executive Director)
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
1250 Waples Mill Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22303
Phone: 800-392-8683

David Keene (President of the NRA & Board Member)
Carmen Lobbying Group
1899 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 4th Fl.
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-785-0500
keened@carmengroup.com

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)
NRA
11250 Waples Mill Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 800-672-3888

James W. Porter, II (First Vice President)
2001 Park Pl, Suite 1100
Birmingham, AL 35203-2716
Phone: 205-254-1492

Bob Barr (Board Member)
3101 Towercreek Pkwy, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30339
770-836-1776
mail@bobbarr.org

Ken Blackwell (Board Member)
c/o Family Research Council
801 G Street
Washington, DC 20001
202-393-2134
Email via Family Research Council website:
https://www.frc.org/...

John Bolton (Board Member)
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-5800
rbolton@aei.org
Send a message via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/...

Representative (Democra/Oklahomat) Dan Boren (Board Member)
2447 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC. 20515
Phone: 202-225-2701
Email via Congressional website: http://boren.house.gov/...

Robert K. Brown (Board Member)
(Publisher) Soldier of Fortune Magazine
2135 11th St.
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone for the ad dept: 303-513-1835

Larry Craig (Former Republican Congressman Idaho) (Board Member)
New West Strategies
2600 Virginia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-333-5990
Or: PO Box 2271, Eagle, Idaho 83616
Email via website: http://www.newweststrategiesllc.com/...

Rep. Don Young (Board Member & US Congressman R-AK)
2314 Rayburn House Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5765
Contact via Twitter: @repdonyojng

Grover Norquist (Board Member)
Americans for Tax Reform
722 12th St., NW, 4th Fl
Washington, DC 20005
202-785-0266

Chuck Norris (Celebrity Spokeperson)
Norris Brothers Entertainment
25135 Anza Dr., Stage 2
Santa Clara, CA 91355
fan@chucknorris.com

Ted Nugent (Board Member)
Nugent USA
4008 W. Michigan Ave
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: 517-750-3640





Debate

Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky




mood ring 1

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.

Poll

Americans own 200 million guns; how ya' feelin'?

20%1 votes
60%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
20%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 5 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good evening, Joe shikspack (7+ / 0-)

    Speeches ring hollow there needs to be action. That is the end all with this tragedy.

    We've been saying it for years but the POTUS finally admits he is a moderate Republican. Or maybe he is just peddling a CT about himself according to some people here.

    Now Democrats and Republicans are actually against the ridiculous result of the "Too Big to Jail” HSBC Case because even Republicans don't believe in Geithner's craponomics. prosecuting money laundering and filling criminal charges creates the rules that allow a financial system to successfully function or you get a real moral hazard. Anything else is crap. Anyone else who excuses this is full of crap and doesn't know their economic history.

    I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

    by priceman on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:19:29 PM PST

    •  evening priceman... (6+ / 0-)

      i expect this gun control "discussion" to proceed like a lot of things obama does; there are lofty words lacking specifics first, later the specifics often seem less substantial than the lofty words might have led one to believe.  i hope that i am wrong, but the track record to date is not inspiring.

      speaking of the track record, mr. obama's doj still has a perfect and unsullied track record of letting bankster criminals off the hook for serious frauds.  i'm sure that eric holder will soon be sending some complimentary salves with which the regulators may annoint the ever so delicately pink wrists of the folks at hsbc along with a note of apology.  i'm sure that the slaps administered by obama's doj hurt them more than it hurt hsbc...

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Where are the strong (7+ / 0-)

    and who are the trusted?"

    I had few words before and now I have even less.
    I spent my usual day with hundreds of elementary school kids who have no fucking idea what the adults "in charge" of this country have planned for them and how fucked up their priorities are. We pretend. I pretend. What else is there to do with people so young?

    A locked door isn't going to keep them safe from their own government.

    •  and where is the harmony, sweet harmony? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Burned, Agathena, ek hornbeck

      evening burned.  it's cool about having few words, nick lowe really put it all out there with only a few words, and they speak to and for me a lot of the time these days.

      what you're probably doing with the kids is probably just the right thing to do, which is to stimulate, encourage and reward their native curiosity.  build their engagement with and exploration of their world and help them to become self-reliant in acquiring and analyzing information.  after that, it's really up to them.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:47:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the link again, Joe. (5+ / 0-)

    Not enough oomph tonight, it appears.

  •  Evening Joe. (5+ / 0-)

    The incredible hypocrisy and inconsistency regarding humanity has given me the blues.  
    Sanctimonious bandwagon bullshit comes to mind.  
    Same as everything else though.
    That's just me and my opinion.
     

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:39:14 PM PST

    •  evening al... (3+ / 0-)

      yeah, lately the discussion around the propaganda movie zero dark thirty has been kind of getting to me.  it's sad that so many americans have been and will continue to be taken in by government propaganda amplified by the media and dramatized by hollywood (who has always been there for the mic) to support torture and other war crimes.

      it's really been pissing me off lately since, even on this allegedly progressive site, there are so many supporters of torture and assassinations as long as they're done by a democrat.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:59:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well ya, and then they get all hateful when (3+ / 0-)

        it happens here.  Some of us have been saying for years that the kids in AFghanistan and Iraq are no different from the ones here.  Yet it doesn't sink in.   How can people be so hateful on the one hand and pretend to care about people on the other?   A veteran is to be honored and thanked but if he's a gun owner, he can go fuck himself.  I could say I don't get it, but ya, I do get it.  Like I said hypocritical and sanctimonious.  

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:05:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good evening and thank you (5+ / 0-)

    for the Holmes Brothers' music and these stories, including the story about Indigenous protests and Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike in Canada. The Indigenous "Idle No More" movement is complex, but many of its roots are in the actions of Indigenous women against violence.

    It's becoming an international movement, with solidarity rallies to take place this Wednesday in Minneapolis, Friday in San Francisco and London, and Friday & Saturday in Los Angeles. For much more information, check the "Idle No More" Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/...

    A-NVpttCEAE_mbo.gif-large

  •  Evening, joe (4+ / 0-)

    and all good evening bluesters.

    I've been reading about the reported upcoming sell out.  If it's true, it's a giant F You to all Americans, especially the ones who voted for Obama.  It will also mean that he lied because the same things that were on the table for his last Grand Betrayal are on the table now, just as many of us knew.

    He pledged to the country that he would not slash Social Security.  And today he offered to slash Social Security.  

    I turned on the TV and on the Ed Show they just confirmed that he offered Boehner a cut in the already pitiful cost of living increases on Social Security AND other programs.

    Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit and nothing to do with the fiscal cliff.  Cutting it is the work of greedmongering ideologues and our president is showing his true self as a greedy ideologue along with the rest now.

    This proves that not only did he lie to the American people, doing and saying anything to get reelected, he is tearing the Democratic party apart and selling members of the House and D candidates out.  Again.  


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:55:57 PM PST

    •  evening jl.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, ek hornbeck

      i saw that tweet (upstairs in the diary) from bloomberg news that obama was considering  ss cuts and then i read the piece that ezra put out a little while ago, and i think that i am right on track with my prediction about what obama will do with social security that i made well before the election.  much as i will find it depressing, if things go as i expect, i am considering republishing the diary that i wrote and asking the people who told me i was full of it in the comments how they would like their crow served.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:08:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, ek hornbeck

        I knew it was coming too.  There are many comments to that effect that I was pummeled for, but that diary of yours and the vicious response - deserves a republish.

        Susie Madrack is calling CPI cowards cuts -- deliberately harming the weakest among us and those who can afford it least.

        It's unconscionable.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:07:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why am I not surprised (4+ / 0-)

    that there are no diaries on the rec list about Obama's counteroffer on the fiscal sellout sham?


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:56:52 PM PST

    •  well, you already know what we're going to see... (3+ / 0-)

      it wuz the best deal that could be had with those eeeeevvvvullll republicans. he had to do something!!!

      ...along with a lot of spurious arguments that claim that the cuts to ss aren't really cuts, they're "stregnthening" ss.

      who knows what sort of things the apologists will come up with if this works out as we expect?

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:11:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are some (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, ek hornbeck

        of Obama's previously strongest supporters speaking out about this.  But none here that I have seen yet.  

        It is also cowardly to do this in such a sudden turnaround so close to Christmas.  This was engineered very well, engineered against the American people, by the man who they just trusted with their future.

        I also read that Obama might be offering something similar to Romney's tax deduction plan, 28% -- the thing that Obama and Democrats ridiculed him for. wtf?


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:10:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sam Stein (3+ / 0-)
      Obama Makes Third Fiscal Cliff Offer

      In his latest offer to Boehner, the president proposes $800 billion in savings, including $290 billion in interest savings and $130 billion in savings that would come from an adjustment to the inflation index for Social Security benefits.
      [...]
      The president has refused to give in on another Republican demand: that he gradually raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67. There is, however, $400 billion in health care savings included in his offer.

      Additional components of the proposal include language that would call for the fast track pursuit of corporate and individual tax reform as well as "spending reform." The White House proposal calls for a permanent extension of certain tax extenders (which ones weren't made entirely clear) and the alternative minimum tax. The payroll tax cut passed two years ago would, under this proposal, be allowed to lapse without an apparent replacement -– a major blow for progressive economists, who argue that the economy is too fragile to take such a hit.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:19:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding guns and violence, (3+ / 0-)

    I think Michael Moore is absolutely correct in a few of his recent tweets:

    That's a big job ahead of us.

    •  yeah, i think moore is having a moment... (4+ / 0-)

      where his thinking may be in flux and he may become a little more radicalized.  i saw a clip of him last week with jennifer granholm on current talking about the michigan right to work for less law, and he was at a point where he made mention of the fact that the things he predicted in his work (roger and me, bowling for columbine) were coming about.  you could see that he was grappling with the fact that he had put a lot of effort into making a difference only to see the efforts to make change fall short.

      i wonder if these tweets aren't evidence of his further grappling with these things and (projecting some here) maybe assessing whether his efforts to "work within the system" have panned out.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:22:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evening Joe, here's a bluesy scene for you (4+ / 0-)

    On the ferry
    On the ferry

    So the pendulum today on DKos has swung back to the gun apologists and they claim over and over again, guns are not the really problem, it's a mental health issue.

    That's a diversion.

    It's the GUNS.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:35:50 PM PST

  •  I wonder what the reaction would be if someone (3+ / 0-)

    published photos or videos of the dead children in Newtown?  Would it be the same as someone publishing photos of dead children in Syria?

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:41:31 PM PST

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