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Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell (R) and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington June 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Very sore losers.
Last week, reports surfaced that the Obama administration was considering working with the professional sports leagues to advertise and educate about the Affordable Care Act, reaching a key demographic that might otherwise be hard to access with the information. This, it turns out, is just about the most outrageous thing that the administration could ever do, at least until the next outrageous thing about Obamacare happens.
“It is difficult for us to remember another occasion when [a] major sports league took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate,” Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, the highest ranking Republicans in the Senate, wrote in a letter [to the leagues] on Friday. Among other things, they noted, Democrats had used “legislative gimmicks” to enact the law—an apparent reference to the Democrats’ use of budget reconciliation process in order to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

The letter came one day after Congressman Steve Scalise, head of the Republican Study Committee, sent a similar letter of his own. That missive, sent to the NBA and NFL, predicted that Obamacare would have a "devastating impact on your fans and business partners across the country" and warned the leagues not to do the administration’s "dirty work for them."

Yes, Republicans are that unhinged. Public service announcements about a new program that will be of real benefit to millions of Americans are "dirty work." And the law of the land that will be of real benefit to millions of Americans is just "a highly polarized public debate," maybe illegitimate in fact, because it was passed using "legislative gimmicks." Set aside the fact that Republicans never shied away from using budget reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts and the fact that the law is only polarizing in the minds of the Republicans who insist on keeping this fight alive.

Here's the reality. They've invested years in opposing this law, in doing everything in their power to prevent a law which will really help people and has the potential to be very popular from succeeding. Never mind that it will make life better for millions of people. That's exactly what they don't want to happen. That's exactly why they don't want the NBA and the NFL to participate and why they're sending these vaguely threatening, hyperbolic letters. The hell with the health and well-being of their constituents, of the nation. They've got a petty axe to grind, and they're not going to let it go.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (38+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:04:43 PM PDT

  •  They would opose any helathcare reform even if... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, Murphoney, renzo capetti

    ...it only offered tooth cleanings.

    Obama fought hard to get Obamacare approved.  DC is dysfunctional.

    What I wish is that people in the Democratic party understand that Obamacare is a step on the right direction but that much more can be accomplished at the state level.

    The big thing now is to inform new possible enrollees about Obamacare.  I find this use of grassroots time to be unjustified.  The grassroots should be pushing for the next steps toward Single Payer (Improved Medicare for All including dental work).

    I guess if Obamacare is show to benefit some people it proves that government works and it should not be drowned in the bathtub.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:16:00 PM PDT

    •  I wish (9+ / 0-)

      health care reform offered teeth cleanings. But, yeah, I get your point. :-)

      I think part of this fight from Republicans is to stop it from advancing, to stop the further necessary reforms before they can even begin to take shape. Which is why I don't entirely agree with you that the grassroots efforts on educating about Obamacare should be spent on single payer, instead. At this point, we really need Obamacare to be a success to get to the next steps.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have heard ads on the radio about two (0+ / 0-)

        different new Medicaid health insurance products (one was United HealthCare, the other something with Buckeye in the name) that offer both dental and vision coverage.  Does anyone know what is going on with them?  This was in Cincinnati, so is it an OH plan of some kind?  So far the extremely gerrymandered GOP legislature has blocked the expansion, but behind the scenes arm twisting is still going on.

        “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

        by ahumbleopinion on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:28:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It'd be nice (13+ / 0-)

    if they'd just pass out already from holding their breath for so long.

    Undecided voters are the biggest idiots on the planet. - Brian Griffin

    by Philpm on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:26:18 PM PDT

  •  "Obamacare Temper Tantrum". (7+ / 0-)

    This is a brilliant formulation. Everyone reading it should use it over and over again. It just sums it up so well.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:42:19 PM PDT

  •  GOP is desperate to kill it before it takes effect (13+ / 0-)

    After it's implemented and people get used to it and see how it's going to work for them instead of against them like the republicans have been telling them, they won't get people to back their idiotic attempts to take insurance away from people.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:44:59 PM PDT

  •  Sadly... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, renzo capetti, ColoTim

    Their strategy will probably work.  Sports team owners are almost uniformally conservative Republicans.

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

  •  I'm SO looking forward to January (6+ / 0-)

    when Oregon expands its Medicaid coverage to all under 65.  

    That won't be happening here in Louisiana because Booby Jindal would rather let people die.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:58:54 PM PDT

    •  Medicaid over 55 (0+ / 0-)

      Just a collateral loan.

      And what's so reprehensible about ObamaCare is that they force you into Medicaid. No options if that's how the eligibility plays out; if you want to risk a piece-of-crap policy so you can pass on your house to your kids, you can't do that. Yet another path to downward mobility! Of course, this only applies to the poorest, ObamaCare being ObamaCare.
      Zombiecare.
      Recoveries may only be made from the estates of deceased recipients who were 55 or older when they received Medicaid benefits or who, regardless of age, were permanently institutionalized. However, states may exempt recipients if their only Medicaid benefit is payment of Medicare cost sharing (i.e., Medicare Part B premiums).

      If a state has elected to impose TEFRA liens12 on recipients’ homes, then it must also recover from the estates of those recipients. States may impose liens on property of Medicaid recipients of any age if they are permanent residents of a nursing home or other medical institution, and if they are expected to pay a share of the cost of institutional care.

      You may get more than you wish...
      •  have you ever read one of my diaries? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm thinking no.

        I own a small sailboat, not a brick and mortar home.  I'm already on the dire edge of poverty - there is little farther to fall - and I'm mentally ill.  I have no children.  Medicaid would be a step up for me, not down - and what I will have if my SSDI claim is approved regardless.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:08:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've already heard the next tantrum (6+ / 0-)

    Local RW talker was ominously droning about the government forcing librarians to be "agents of Obamacare."

    because the Administration is encouraging libraries to help people using their internet access to shop on the exchange. literally.

    he said it was taking the libraries and changing them from where people can go and "learn about whatever they want" to indoctrination centers.

    when are these folks going to realize that this isn't a "polarizing political debate" anymore- its implementing the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the highest court in the land.

  •  Boehner doesn't look very sharp or focused nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, sunbro

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:00:31 PM PDT

  •  "Highly polarized public debate." (11+ / 0-)

    What debate?  It's the law.  What's being discussed is called a "Public Service Announcement."

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:02:45 PM PDT

    •  But see, this is how GOPers move the window. (4+ / 0-)

      There isn't anything known as a "public service announcement" anymore in their world. It's all politicized spin when Democrats do it. So, they scream and whine when the actual work of public service has to be formulated.

      And, it's going to work for them. Because nobody will call them out on it.

      They are BEGGING to be pushed back by this kind of nonsense, but Democrats just won't call them on it. Obama could just as easily write a letter back and tell the leagues that it would be "quite unAmerican to support public ignorance about public laws" and shame them into doing the announcements, but that's "too partisan" and "too icky" and the Village will has a sad, so it just won't happen.

      There are no limits with how low GOPers will go to deep-six the administration. I don't know why that's not more transparent to them.

    •  Just like global warming/climate change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell

      There is reasonable debate...  Yeah, wrong.  It's the rich few in the Republican party who are being kept alive by even richer cynics like the Kochs who profit off the misery of people while milking the earth for every last piece of silver they can get their grubby hands upon.  If there's a benefit to be had (money, health clean water, whatever), you can guarantee Republicans will be first in line, shoving everyone else out of the way.  Greedy Old Party indeed.

  •  It's not a "debate," it's the LAW (7+ / 0-)

    It's not a "debate," it's a federal program.

    It's not a "debate," it's (part of) what the People want.

    It's not a "debate," it's a step in the right direction.

    It's not a "debate," it's stfu,

    that's what it is.

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:04:02 PM PDT

  •  I dunno. Did any major sports figures ever help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Bensdad

    advertise the President's Physical Fitness program?

    Class? Class?

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - my dad

    by briefer on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:04:50 PM PDT

  •  Hey Numb-nutz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, ColoTim, LuvSet
    “It is difficult for us to remember another occasion when [a] major sports league took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate,” Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, the highest ranking Republicans in the Senate, wrote in a letter
    It's not a debate, it's the law of the land.

    Stop wasting our tax dollars on your multitude of BS causes.

  •  Every time I look at Mitch McConnell's (0+ / 0-)

    tired, saggy old face, I think it's time for him to go, so he won't keep inflicting his personal baggage on us all the time.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:06:38 PM PDT

  •  Republicans really hate the plan they invented (8+ / 0-)

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:07:24 PM PDT

  •  It's dragging on because they have too much to do (8+ / 0-)

    what with Benghazi and supervising every vagina in the country and suppressing all those unwashed people who try to vote.

    There's just too much to do to keep up with everything.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:08:43 PM PDT

  •  The GOP is invested in the failure of (9+ / 0-)

    Public policy.  If you combine this diary and the one above it about Republicans demonizing food stamps, it is clear that their goals are for Americans to suffer illness without the means to pay for it, and hunger without the means to get food.  They want widespread, unnecessary suffering in order to be able to blame it on the black guy in the White House.
    That, for them, is the key to electoral success.

    In these past 6 years, the GOP has not presented a single policy that would ease unemployment, promote health, alleviate hunger or improve people's lives.  Their continued obstruction of every measure that comes before them, while focusing on curtailing the rights of others, ginning up fake scandals and helping to transfer more and more of the country's treasure to the few at the top is mind boggling.

    How can people continue to elect these vile people?

    Never in history has so much money been spent to resist equality; the gross sums of money being spent to take us backwards is lewd, is pornographic is blatant and is arrogant. --Reverend Dr. William Barber, 2012

    by SottoVoce on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:10:27 PM PDT

  •  Mitch McConnell sure knows the NFL (7+ / 0-)

    they went from listening to what the administration had to say to shitting their pants and running away as fast as they could.

    Let's save some ire for the NFL.

    In fact, let's direct more than some their way.

    They shit themselves and ran. I bet, off the record, that many NFL owners being wingnuts greased the wheel, but lets not discount the possibility that Mitch McConnell brought up the NFL having an anti-trust exemption, or being dependent on a huge slew of wingnut governors helping them fleece the local taxpayers for stadiums and stadium improvements.

    "Nice Sports League you got there, it'd be a real shame if something.... bad were to happen to it."

    A profile in cowardice when it came to millions of their fans who have no access to affordable health care and who have their own ranks, including friends, relatives, and co-workers, who are also in the emergency room as their primary care physician without the ACA.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:11:33 PM PDT

    •  Or, to put it another way, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Capitalist, ColoTim

      Roger Goodell is both a spineless piece of shit, and in the tank for people who are screwing his players and their fans, Commissioner Wormtongue, the worse commissioner the NFL has ever had and a total douchebag to boot.

      Nobody made idiot owners overpay a few expensive divas or aging legends. The idiots did that to themselves. And it handcuffed them from being able to get beyond their own stupidity.

      So, what to do?

      Aha!

      Change the rules. Move the goalposts.

      Change the rules so that it's harder, but still possible, for idiots to do idiotic things at the expense of those who give up their bodies to play their dangerous game. Punish the smart in the service of the incompetent. Professional sports is sometimes like Movement Conservative policy on display.

      He goes on and on and on about player safety and caring about concussions, blah-blah-blah, and then goes right back to pushing for an 18 game season. He says he cares about the fans, but he doesn't give a shit about them if Mitch McConnell sends him an angry letter that idiotically keeps referring to a "bill" that is the law of the land.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Matt Z

    I'm holding my breath for a Darrell Issa investigation!

    gulp.

    gasp.

    gasp.

    gasp.

    Time of death, 5pm CST.

  •  nationalist assemblies (5+ / 0-)

    Certainly the NFL had no trouble touting the Iraq/Afghanistan wars through pre and mid-game ceremonies, fly-overs and giant US flags covering 80 yards of field not to mention those mindless chants of USA/USA.

    No debatable, divisive policy issues there!

    Football often seemed to be a second bill.

  •  The GOP has nothing else (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Matt Z

    they keep beating the dead horse they are on.

    •  Republican Responses to a Dead Horse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Theodore J Pickle, Matt Z

      1. Buying a stronger whip.

      2. Changing riders.

      3. Threatening the horse with termination.

      4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

      5. Visiting other sites to see how others ride dead horses.

      6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

      7. Re-classifying the dead horse as “living, impaired”.

      8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

      9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.

      10. Attempting to mount multiple dead horses in hopes that one of them will spring to life.

      11. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.

      12. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.

      13. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

      14. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.

      15. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

  •  That's nothing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, ColoTim

    Republicans threw a tempter tantrum after Social Security was passed...and have been continuing to throw tantrums about that ever since, too. It's what they do. They are incapable of governing. They have no good solutions. All they want to ever do is to go backwards in time to the way things were before when...when they didn't work then, either.

    Spoiled rotten, temper-tantrum throwing bullies. That is what today's Republican Party has been reduced to.

  •  More dog-and-pony shows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    from the Ringmasters.

    “It is difficult for us to remember another occasion when [a] major sports league took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate,”
    Apparently, Major League Baseball mandating that we all endure Kate Smith during every single 7th-inning stretch--because 9/11!!!!!!!--didn't have anything to do with "polarizing debate".

    No, it really didn't, and that may not be the greatest comparison (it might even be way off on its face, but work with me here for a second). And 9/11 might not even be why the MLB did that. But this meme the GOP is floating seems to have an undercurrent of pearl-clutching, accompanied by the notion that "our big-league sports should never be politicized in any way!". And that's yet another load of horseshit falling from the asses of their ponies.

    There's probably a NASCAR example in their somewhere, too.  

    •  I totally agree with you. I fully believe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie

      playing "God Bless America" is more Christian dominionism being foisted off on a powerless fan base, because lord knows playing the Star Spangled Banner before every game doesn't make people Amurrikan enough.

  •  Please, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    as if sports besotted Americans will quit watching professional sports because there are PSAs for Obamacare.  

  •  GOP's temper tantrum just drags (0+ / 0-)

    on and on and on.

    There. I fixed it for you!

    "The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it.". Abbie Hoffman

    by Joes Steven on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:46:42 PM PDT

  •  pro and uni sports are maj supporters of RW radio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    and have been opposing obamacare by supporting RW radio.

    when pro and uni sports broadcast on those RW radio stations they give it community cred and bring in ad dollars. 28% of limbaugh stations piggyback uni sports( see link in sig). the total figure for all sports on all RW radio stations is probably closer to 35-40% (just guessing).

    RW radio would be a shell of it's self without those logos all over its loudest stations. RW radio has been critical getting us from single payer to the obamacare (named by RW radio repeaters) compromise and then making sure half the country is disinformed about it.

    typical hypocrisy from the GOP and the admin ought to point it out. for the GOP to claim the admin shouldn't be politicizing sports is hilarious.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:50:20 PM PDT

  •  Another myth.............. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Theodore J Pickle

    "Washington DC is disfunctional".

    Bullshit.

    The tea party faked everyone out and got in and are still doing their job, be thorns and halt all progress and preserve the status quo of the plutocracy .

    "Washington's broken!" Meme #1. Fuck you.

    •  Well, very little legislation is getting passed (0+ / 0-)

      To me, that means Congress is dysfunctional.

      •  Actually... it's the most productive legislative (0+ / 0-)

        session in modern history.

        Notice the meme is "Washington DC is broken", even though the actual problem is "Congress is dysfunctional" just like you state.

        I agree.

        You could say the "dysfunction of government" is a perfect plan, that's what the entire goal of the tea party was and is, a brick wall to turning the page in history to preserve archaic traditional streams of income.

        Funny thing is congress is dysfunctional but change just keeps on inching along. It's a new era. Congress is not dysfunctional, it's functioning exactly the way they want it to function, and it's treason, sabotaging the nation's economy out of spite for a progressive young black man not preserving the status quo. Their solution is to sit on their hands and stop abortions.

  •  About that axe (0+ / 0-)
    They've got a petty axe to grind, and they're not going to let it go.
    Republicans keep grinding and grinding.  37 attempts to repeal Obamacare [.  So far.  

    That's some kind of axe they're using.   The problem is that they're using an axe against a law that is etched in stone.

  •  By October, you will not be able to (0+ / 0-)

    get away from ObamaCare ads.

    Three hospitals in my city are currently adding a new 20 story clinics buildings.

    This is going to happen.

    And won't it be nice when the hospitals and insurance companies finally have to compete for you as a customer?

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:19:38 PM PDT

  •  And they want America to succeed? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans my behind. These people HATE Americans.
    They hate everyone. They hate everything that's good for you and me. This is unbelievable.

  •  this differs military use of NASCAR exactly how? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown

    The pentagon uses NASCAR in particular as a platform to both promote itself and as a bully pulpit for its "support the troops -- support our endless wars -- support our military industrial complex" messaging. When was the last time you heard anyone associated with NASCAR, driver or otherwise, on camera who wasn't in lockstep with the whole über-christopatriotism propaganda program?

  •  it's the law, man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    it's not no "public debate."

  •  sidebar: CA affordable health care act (0+ / 0-)

    UnitedHealth to exit individual insurance market in California

    http://www.latimes.com/...

    The moves illustrate how different companies are responding to a major overhaul of the health insurance market for millions of consumers. Starting Jan. 1, the federal healthcare law forces insurers to accept all individual applicants regardless of their medical history and provide a comprehensive set of benefits with limits on patients' out-of-pocket spending.

    Healthcare experts said some national insurers aren't interested in playing by those new rules in states where their presence in the individual market is relatively small and more profits can be made by tending to the employer market.

    Almost every developed nation in Europe and East Asia operates a postal banking system. Bring back postal banking. According to the FDIC’s 2011 National Survey, over 10 million US households are “unbanked,” with no access to the financial system.

    by anyname on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:50:28 PM PDT

  •  I think the author is being Generous (0+ / 0-)

    A Temper Tantrum is something that a Normal person
    would ascribe to a 5 Year old child in a Bad Mood.

    The 5 Year Old Child will eventually GET OVER whatever
    it was that Caused the Tantrum.

    Unfortunately, the Same can NEVER be said about the
    Wingnuts and Morans in the GOP.

    They are suffering from Obamacare Insanity Syndrome.

    They will be LYING about the ACA even after People have
    started receiving the Benefits.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:38:44 PM PDT

  •  Only one Republican gives health care to people (0+ / 0-)

    As the GOP and the wing nut Tea Party fight Obama about health care it seem President Bush has successfully got a health care program for Africans.  Romney get's the Romneycare and Bush is taking care of Africa.   Only on America could be fight the man who only wants to help.  Mitch has done nothing in his State but work to make Obama a one term President now he wants votes. Cantor  just hopes he can win this one because he has done nothing for Virginia.  

  •  Enough! (0+ / 0-)

    Progressives don't get due consideration from the GOP anymore, despite the fact that we tend to have a majority/plurality of Americans on our side. Everything from the GOP thesedays is hyper-ideological BULLSH*T, pandering to science-deniers, morons, and zealots.

    It's time for the Republican Party to have a "time-out," and they can stay the f*ck out, until they get rid of the twisted idiots they have in office now.

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