January 19, 2018

Obamagate

"The biggest political scandal of our lifetimes." - Rush Limbaugh

"I think this will not just end with firings, I believe there are people who will go to jail!" - Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

"Take it to the bank, the FBI/FISA docs are devastating for the Dems. The whole image of a benevolent Barack Obama they’ve disingenuously tried to portray is about to be destroyed. The real Obama, the vengeful narcissist, is going to be exposed for all to see." - Dan Bongino

"Obamagate" is Bongino's term, and it seems apt for the speculative contents of the memo: "...extensive abuse of power and highly illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the FBI, the DOJ and the Clinton Campaign against Donald Trump and his team during and after the 2016 presidential election."

Flashback to this May 19 post by nb:

A ranking Republican statesman this week told an off-the-record gathering that a ‘coup’ attempt was in progress against President Donald Trump, with collusion between the largely Democratic media and Trump’s numerous enemies in the Republican Party.

There is apparently a smoking gun, in the form of a four-page written memo, and it has now been witnessed by every member of Congress. It's only a matter of time now before it becomes public.

The origin of the memo is unclear, but I've not yet seen any attack on its credibility - only its probity to the American people. Yeah, that'll keep it secret.


Headline of the Day

I've been really nice to the President fro several posts; we don't want Ajit Pai to reinstate the fairness doctrine, do we?

ThreeSources's fave Steven Pinker [Review Corner] [Review Corner] made me laugh.

But johngalt thinks:

Let's eat grandma!

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2018 4:45 PM

Repatriation

I'll give Congress and President Trump props.

I wanted to go a bit deeper on my comment to nb's video. The bonuses and wage increases after the Corporate Tax cut are exciting and are an unalloyed good. I'm not being argumentative. But...

But the repatriation of -- say it with me -- "A QUARTER OF A TRILLION DOLLARS" to the US from foreign accounts is exciting. My Libertarian buddies may not cheer, but the WSJ Page points out that the $38 Billion in taxes "finances a lot of Social Security checks." But what Apple will do with the remaining $212 Billion is pretty exciting.

Am I showing elitist stripes? The $1000 bonuses to good old, salt-of0the-Earth, American workers is swell. But just one company bring that kind of Jack home to design products and build factories might help them more.

By the way, some of the benefit is flowing into wages. Apple also announced a $2,500 employee bonus in the form of restricted stock. The longer-run benefit to workers is that investment makes labor more productive, which will make wages grow over time. Yet Democrats are still claiming that shareholders will be the sole beneficiaries of tax reform and workers will get crumbs. Who you gonna believe: Chuck Schumer or your own eyes?

Jeez, they might even fix iTunes on the PC!

But nanobrewer thinks:

@JK: you're only being "elitist" to the extent that you can do math and understand economics. You'd be thrown out of Boulder if anyone finds out! Hmmm, maybe you should work from home for a few more days :-)

You are 100% correct, IMO, that the wage increases & bonuses are small change (still, enough "crumbs" for many to make a tasty cake) compared to Apple and other things like the $1B investment (equal to a million bonuses) by AT&T.

Still, I'm willing to float the populist balloon around here and see how it resists some arrows... then I'll put it up on FB {heh}

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 19, 2018 1:11 PM

winning bigly

courtesy of the Wash Free Beacon: the media types are so pathetic...

But jk thinks:

Mondo heh. Perhaps a "what are you buying with your 'pathetic crumbs?'" campaign would serve the GOP.

I think it's great but am concerned that the focus will be on short term bonuses and "trickle-down" (a term I could go a whole life without). The way more exciting thing to me is the repatriation from Apple. That, and better marginal expectations from investment, are the real benefits.

(Although, if my company were to hand out $1000 I wouldn't turn it down...)

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2018 10:24 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Trump's economic growth "trickles-down" all right - like Niagara Falls.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2018 5:04 PM

January 17, 2018

Word

James Geraghty suggests something I hadn't thought: "What If Oprah-Mania Is Really Just a Media Phenomenon?"

That is to say, is there a condemnation of media I hadn't considered? Could they be actually more deleterious to a free and functioning republic than I had considered?

Well, yes. I would not watch an awards show on a bet, but my Twitter feed lit up the night Oprah spoke at the Golden Globes. I went to bed thinking it inevitable that she would be inaugurated in 2021.

Hey, remember last week when it seemed like there was this overwhelming appetite for a presidential campaign by Oprah Winfrey? It turns out that only a small percentage of folks thought that was such a good idea.

It turns out Democrats prefer Sen Bernie Sanders (Moonbat, VT) or VP Biden (Creepy, DE), though she gets a small edge over less known candidates like Sens Gillibrand (Lightweight, NY) or Harris (Fascist, CA).

Gerghty extrapolates that political reporting does not reflect a lazy, celebrity obsessed culture -- it creates it. Because, well, political reporters are lazy and celebrity obsessed. The Three-Sources Fact-O-Meter rates this as "LIKELY TRUE."



January 16, 2018

Call Me 'Jan'

Call me 'Jan.' Because I'm going to sell brother jg a 2018 Toyota Camry.

Set the Way Back Machine to 1937 Sherman, And let Mr. Rockefeller choose between the Dusenburg Phaeton and the 2018 Camry:

CamryInterior.jpg

The GPS may not work too well, but you see those vents? Warm or cool air comes out of those.

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 11:09 AM | What do you think? [8]
But jk thinks:

[On the Camry:] "The black plastic around the cupholders looks and feels cheap"

Anybody get a cupholder count on the Phaeton? Asking for a friend...

Posted by: jk at January 16, 2018 1:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'm probably going to buy a Honda Civic this weekend: even the lowly LX has A/C and ABS! Cost effective, reliable and sturdy - that's us!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 18, 2018 11:58 PM
But jk thinks:

My work here is done. But I guess Jan's is not, the Corolla lost.

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2018 10:26 AM
But johngalt thinks:

One more belated point I wanted to make: Previously I called these cars (Japanese compacts) "dull and lifeless." That seems to have changed, this year more than ever before. Consider this passage from my Motor Trend link:

The Accord has moved past interesting and gone directly to sophisticated. It’s as if they took notes at an Audi design seminar. Honda’s simulated open-pore wood trim and brushed-metal accents seem borrowed from a higher class of car. The temperature controls use knobs backlit white until you turn them, at which point they turn blue or red, depending on the cold or hot direction of the dial. With the exception of trim pieces just below the door handles, the interior materials look and feel more premium than the Camry’s and indeed more premium than we’d expect from a midsize family sedan. It’s an impressive step for Honda.

So, yeah. This might finally be a Honda a guy with a pulse could live with.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2018 4:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As for Jan (and I briefly hesitated to write this, because a lot of men I admire drive a Toyota, seemingly happily so) I think her target demographic is moms, future moms, and any person who wears mom jeans.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2018 4:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. The first time I saw the You Don't Own Me commercial, I asked, out loud, "Do they ever want to sell a car to a man again?" You have to wipe the estrogen off your TV after it airs.

I did not get that vibe from Jan, but I am notoriously not plugged in. I think she really created a category of spokesperson which I think many forms have tried to emulate.

I don't really wear any jeans. More a Jake-from-State-Farm Khaki kinda guy.

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2018 6:52 PM

January 15, 2018

Did somebody say "Shithole?"

Perhaps it was a reference to "The Golden State" aka The Poverty Capitol of America.

Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor.

(...)

California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.

One in three. So in the forty nine other states the total number of welfare recipients is a mere two times the number in Cali.

It is obvious, and more so by the day, that Detroit (and other American inner cities) is not the only place that consistent Democratic control has transformed from prosperity, whether the "Renaissance City" of Detroit or the aforementioned "Golden State", into something resembling a third-world "shithole."

Worth mentioning: Among immigrants to California, more than half of them - fifty five percent - receive means tested benefits. This compares to thirty percent of native Californians.

H/T: PJ Media's What's the Matter with California?

But Keith Arnold thinks:

You have to drive in Los Angeles for yourself to believe it. Every freeway overpass shelters its own tent city of vagrants; broad swaths of the city are clogged with villages of tents and their occupants. There are neighborhoods where the sidewalks are literally unnavigable. And to add insult to injury, last election they ran -- and passed -- an increase to the local sales tax, ostensibly to fund a new "program," none of which will actually benefit these vagrants. They pulled the wool over the eyes of the voters by swamping them the week before the election with flyers depicting wounded American servicemen with amputations and PSTD, even though the percentage of these derelicts who were in the service amounts to single digits. The funds reaped from this tax increase will, of course, fund a bureaucracy and some study groups, chosen from their supporters and sponsors.

Most of these vagrants are the chronically dependent, many being illegal aliens relocating from their shithole of origin to disappear into the burgeoning anonymity of the shithole that Los Angeles has become. Why shouldn't they come? The climate is nicer here, and there are multiple layers of government cheese-dispensers ready to redistribute the hard-earned dollars of those who still work for a living to the golden horde of the thousands who will not. It's better than the shithole from which they came.

You're looking at the proverbial moochers and looters, writ large.

Coincidentally -- or not -- there's a recruiting drive going on right now in California for volunteers to count vagrants, and Los Angeles and Orange Counties are full of them. Got to ensure that California doesn't lose Congressional seats or Electoral votes, donchaknow.

Seems to me the Dems want to drive up the count of vagrants, just as they do illegals, to support the influence of this failed state over the rest of the country.

http://www.theycountwillyou.org/

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 15, 2018 10:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Lose Congressional seats or Electoral votes because, while vagrants stream in taxpayers stream out? What is the term for reverse gentrification? Shitification?

Even the "enlightened" folk of the DPRB (Democratic People's Republic of Boulder) howled for relief when vagrants blocked access to their trendy shops and bistros. It's bad for business when customers have to clambor across malodorous layabouts to reach the front door. Are those pressures in play in Cali? Or is there a program to "correct" for that too?

Posted by: johngalt at January 16, 2018 11:41 AM

January 12, 2018

Armageddon

I mean no disrespect to the President when I say that he is lucky in his enemies. Minority Leader Pelosi is a gift that keeps on giving. Her Marin County constituents (and the metaphorical Marin County across this land) enjoy hearing her proclamations of "Armageddon!" at every GOP proposal.

And yet, President Trump's followers draw just as much nourishment. Who's to ever change?

In my position of absolute fairness, I link to Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt Newsletter Armageddon Part Five.. Safe to say Geraghty's not a reflexive supporter, yet his list of direct beneficiaries of the tax cut is overwhelming.


January 11, 2018

SciBabe

So so glad I did not follow through with unfollowing SciBabe.


Peta_toddler_dick.png

"Did I miss a meeting?"

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 4:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Eisenhower Republicanism

I've always been interested in "Eisenhower Republicanism." (That's why I get invited to all the cool parties and appear in the society page so frequently.)

A reliably-left Facebook friend posted this
EisenhowerPlatform.jpg

I'm not going to go too deep with the poster (a kind ex-coworker whom I'm very unlikely to convert), but I wondered to what extent the party had changed and to what extent the meme-crafter was misrepresenting the platform.

The post includes a link, and the answer is "both." I encourage you to at least take a cursory look through the platform, it is interesting. In the shadow of the New Deal, I think ThreeSourcers would assent to:


We hold that the major world issue today is whether Government shall be the servant or the master of men. We hold that the Bill of Rights is the sacred foundation of personal liberty. That men are created equal needs no affirmation, but they must have equality of opportunity and protection of their civil rights under the law.

We hold that the strict division of powers and the primary responsibility of State and local governments must be maintained, and that the centralization of powers in the national Government leads to expansion of the mastery of our lives,

We hold that the protection of the freedom of men requires that budgets be balanced, waste in government eliminated, and taxes reduced.

In these and all other areas of proper Government concern, we pledge our best thought and whole energy to a continuation of our prized peace, prosperity and progress.


You tell 'em Republicans! G-O-P, G-O-P! Four More Years! We Like Ike!

The meme misrepresents, but does not lie. New Deal programs were popular and they could not oppose them:

The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen's compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.

It's a bit of a mixed bag, but all-in-all I could support it.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 10, 2018

Boo Hoo #MeToo

Catherine Deneuve is among the first group of women to publicly express that #MeToo might not be what women really want.

Iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve is among 100 women who have signed a public letter blaming the #MeToo anti-harassment movement for creating a "totalitarian" climate that unfairly punishes men for flirting "insistently or clumsily," infantilizes women and undermines sexual freedom.

The letter says that #MeToo, the hashtag that emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, has led to a campaign of public denunciation and summary justice. The victims have been "men who are sanctioned in their work, pushed to resign, etc., when their only wrongdoing was to touch a knee, try to steal a kiss, speak about intimate things during a professional dinner or send messages that are sexually loaded to a woman who wasn't attracted to them," the letter says.

The backlash has been swift, if not smart.

The letter was published Tuesday in French newspaper Le Monde. It sparked its own backlash from readers, including from Asia Argento, one of the women who accused Weinstein of sexual assault and helped bring down the Hollywood mogul. "Deneuve and other women tell the world how their interiorized misogyny has lobotomized them to the point of no return," Argento tweeted.

But I would like to ask MS. Argento, "If you forbid men you aren't attracted to from making advances, what are the men who you are attracted to to do?" But then, that question is irrelevant if the answer to "what men are you attracted to" is "none."

RELATED: Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner's Legacy, Trump's Masculinity and Feminism's Sex Phobia

The entire article is fascinating, particularly the parts about Trump, but here's a germane snippet:

And American women don't know what they want any longer. In general, French women - the educated, middle-class French women, I mean - seem to have a feminine composure, a distinct sense of themselves as women, which I think women in America have gradually lost as they have won job equality in our high-pressure career system.

Trump Immigration Revolution?

File under "Huh, what?" The WSJ Ed Page sees opportunity on the I-word and credits the President.

Mr. Trump, of all unlikely people given his campaign rhetoric, may have created the grounds for compromise last fall when he declined to extend Mr. Obama's DACA order beyond this spring. His decision rightly said that Mr. Obama’s diktat had exceeded his executive authority and was thus illegal. And it has had the added benefit of reshuffling political incentives.

Democrats have an urgent incentive to help 800,000 people they claim to care about rather than use them as political bludgeons. Mr. Trump also has a chance to fulfill some of his immigration reform promises and become a President who can solve problems that eluded Mr. Obama and George W. Bush.

But johngalt thinks:

I thought of you when I heard this news yesterday. "How do you like me [Trump] now!" I wanted to ask.

I listened to Mark Levine talking about it last night. He thinks the President is "surrendering to amnesty" and told a caller who defended the bipartisan strategy that he needed to "grow some principles." Tell that to the Senate, Mark. And to the voters in 2018 or, more importantly, 2020. Another name for dogmatic government adherence to "principles" is authoritarianism.

A minor riot is underway amongst immigration opponents over whether Trump endorsed "clean" DACA now or just DACA, along with security on the border, ending the lottery and ending chain migration. PLEASE! The president will not write the bill. Congress will, and there is no chance that "clean DACA" passes the House OR the Senate. And I don't interpret what I heard from the president as an endorsement of that. I heard a man promoting compromise, Trump style - a "deal" for both parties.

Personally I think it's a sweetheart deal for Republicans. Which is why I'm very skeptical the Democrats will stick with it to the end. I think they are posturing as willing compromisers now while they search for every possible way to get DACA without any reductions in the ways for needy immigrants, the more needy the better, to enter the country.

Ways like this.

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2018 3:15 PM
But jk thinks:

If Ann Coulter and Mark Levin are this upset, how can I be anything but delirious?

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2018 3:44 PM

January 9, 2018

Bedfellows

I have become increasingly frustrated with some of my capital-S-Science folks. While we share an aversion to what SciBabe calls "Woo," they have a myopic acceptance of expert opinion and a concomitant bias to the prevailing leftism of academia. Net-neutrality: good, Global Warming: certain.

It makes sense and there's an underlying consistency. But yesterday, I almost unfollowed SciBabe for sharing a tweet wondering how "that swollen prick (that, umm, would be the President) still golfs" when there is a shortage of IV bags and saline thanks to a Puerto Rican factory's being offline after the hurricane. Huh? What?

I'm glad I hung on. There's a potential rift between the ScienceMarchers™ and their lefty friends smitten with Winfrey-Warren 2020. Oprah's years of Woo might come back to haunt:

Oprah_quackery.jpg

UPDATE: That's a funky suspicious link here's a similar-thesised piece from Robert Tracinski.

Science Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM | What do you think? [0]

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

Fly Me to the Moon (Tenor Guitar Version)

Bart Howard ©1954

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Permalink


January 6, 2018

Mister Hoover's Dream

Back when Duesenberg was releasing the Model J, Herbert Hoover's Presidential campaign promised "a chicken in every pot." My father -- who would have been in high school at the time -- later tried to impress on his children the luxury of that claim. Chicken was a delicacy for special occasions and the idea of everyone in America having meat to eat was utopian.

No thanks to President Hoover's top-down, centralized economic solutions, we are well past the dream. The chicken in question has already been rotisseried and is waiting for you at the grocer's in a variety of succulent flavors.

Americans bought 625 million rotisserie chickens at supermarkets in 2017, according to market-research firm Nielsen and Costco Wholesale Corp. [COST -0.71%], a few millions more than the year before. Costco sold 87 million in its 2017 fiscal year, compared with 51 million in fiscal 2010.

Six hundred twenty five million is actually two chickens in every pot.It is available to about everyone in this country at about any time. Thanks, Capitalism!

But johngalt thinks:

Lincoln was the first Republican President and Hoover was the worst. I'm ashamed to acknowledge that he was trained as an engineer. There must have been some other formative influences upon him than these two specific ones. Che Guevara's love child?

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2018 2:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Nixon gives him a run.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2018 4:35 PM

January 4, 2018

QotD

This one is closer to a mouthful, from Harvard's "Crimson" of all places.

For many students, casually endorsing communism is a cool, edgy way to gripe about the world.

The young but not blinkered woman cites the Black Book of Communism and goes on:
Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke. In every country that communism was tried, it resulted in massacres, starvation, and terror. Communism cannot be separated from oppression; in fact, it depends upon it. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia; they have no value of their own.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

January 3, 2018

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

Misty (Tenor Guitar Version)

Errol Garner ©1954

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Permalink


Quote of the Day

The aggregate effect of competitive capitalism is indistinguishable from magic, but we are so used to its bounty that we never stop to notice that no king of old ever enjoyed quarters so comfortable as those found in a Holiday Inn Express, that Andrew Carnegie never had a car as good as a Honda Civic, that Akhenaten never enjoyed such wealth as is found in a Walmart Supercenter. The irony is that capitalism has achieved through choice and cooperation what the old reds thought they were going to do with bayonets and gulags: It has recruited the most powerful and significant parts of the world's capital structure into the service of ordinary people. And it would do so to an even greater degree if self-interested politicians in places such as India and China (and New York and California and D.C.) would get out of the way. -- Kevin Williamson
But johngalt thinks:

Fair comparisons, and I anticipated most of them. Modern cars are clearly superior to their forbears in most respects. And obviously Williamson chose "Honda Civic" (and you chose "Toyota Camry") as affordable mass-market offerings that almost anyone can own.

But.

Cars have a personality. What you drive says something about you."

I have never been a fan of the "compact car." When I bought one, it was to replace one already owned by my fiancée (a, no kidding, Honda Civic) with one made in Germany (an Audi 80.) To me, Japanese compact cars have always been the worst of the worst. Not only compact, but also dull, lifeless, and, due to their unfortunate popularity, ubiquitously impersonal. Maybe it's because they lost the imperialist war they provoked with the free world, but the Japanese compact car says "I want to be invisible." One particular brand - Subaru - goes even further. It says, "I hate the very idea of the private automobile, and resent that practicality forces me to own one."

I'm sure that owners of these cars have a different perspective, but that's mine. And that's why these are the last cars on earth I would own - even behind a 1937 Duesenberg without Spotify.

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2018 2:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fair play compels me to mention that "different perspective" on Honda automobiles I alluded to above. Forbes quotes an official Honda spokesman thusly:

"Honda buyers buy primarily for the trust and dependability they find in our vehicles," says Honda spokesman Chris Naughton. "Typically, highly functional vehicles deliver less image because customers didn't purchase for image."

Cough cough! Fabulous spinmeistery, Chris! I would replace "primarily" with "exclusively" and add "perceived" before trust and dependability. But the real mastery is in the conclusion. Replacing "basic transportation" with the more flattering "highly functional" is barely perceptible, but "didn't purchase for image" is a rationalization for "don't give a crap what it looks/runs/sounds/drives like."

This is just my general attitude. Buy me a couple of beers and I'll tell you what I REALLY think! ;)

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2018 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me throw a little high-octane on that fire.

The Accord V6 Coupe Is the Last Real American Muscle Car

Well, I don't claim to know what the first American muscle car was, but I can absolutely tell you what the last one currently for sale is. It's the 2017 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 with the six-speed manual transmission. Save your angry letters and Facebook comments until the end, particularly if you don't know how to spell each and every one of the words you're planning to use, because I'm going to convince you beyond the shadow of a doubt on this topic.

There might be a rare middle ground between us. I'll concede the importance of style. (Did you ever read that Virginia Postrel book? "The Substance of Style" You'd dig it.) But I don't think a style differential undoes Williams's thesis.

Even on my morning coffee, I must go on about my favorite moment in "Top Gear." The lads come to the States. Jeremy whines about his Cadillac's flaws, May the same for some poor PR person's make and model. Hammond gets a V8 Challenger and waxes poetic about how any American with a job could get this car. It's not a Veyron (or a "Duse") but it is a powerful and fun car any construction worker could own. Not only not true in 1936, but not in the UK today.

Posted by: jk at January 8, 2018 11:20 AM
But jk thinks:

Yaay Capitalism!

Posted by: jk at January 8, 2018 11:22 AM
But dagny thinks:

I'm with jk here. This is my style for a high-octane, fancy mode of transportation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jna-YRfauRQ but the Civic (although not as stylish) was invaluable. And look who's talking about style now, Mr. "I used to be cool but now I drive a minivan."

Posted by: dagny at January 8, 2018 8:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Alas, I've been "outed." I have inverse "cut the cord" and purchased the PHEV minivan. [third comment] What does this say about me?

"Minivans say that you need nurturance and escape;"

"custom vans mean a need for uniqueness;" (I'm searching for ways to customize, starting with my very own "Importato da Detroit" window sticker.)

"hybrids show off character, doing the right thing as well as having the fear of judgment."

Well, maybe I bought it in SPITE of that last one.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2018 2:20 PM

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