Category Archives: The Economy

Hey, working class Trump voters. Remember when Trump promised tax cuts for you and not the rich?

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 12: Activists gather across from Trump Tower before pulling down their pants and mooning on February 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The event was staged to protest the policies of President Donald Trump and to demand that he release his tax information. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump, The Today Show, April 21, 2016:

Q: Do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy?

A: I do, I do, including myself. I do.

Donald Trump, November 7, 2016, Scranton, PA:

[I will] massively cut taxes for the middle class, the forgotten people, the forgotten men and women of this country, who built our country.

Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, “Squawk Box,” CNBC, November 30, 2016:

Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions so that there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.

Donald Trump Tax Plan for individuals, released April 26, 2017. Whom does it benefit?:

High-income earners. The plan would reduce the top rate on individual income tax — now 39.6 percent for income over around $470,000 for a married couple — to 35 percent. But that’s only part of the gain for high-income earners. It also would eliminate a 3.8 percent tax, used to help fund Obamacare, that applies to investment income over $250,000 for a couple.

Multimillionaires who want to pass money to their heirs tax-free. The plan would eliminate the estate tax, which currently applies to individuals with estates of $5.5 million or couples with estates worth $11 million.

Donald J. Trump. It is striking how many of the categories listed above affect the president and his family. He is a high-income earner. He receives income from 564 business entities, according to his financial disclosure form, and could take advantage of the low rate on “pass-through” companies. According to his leaked 2005 tax return, he paid an extra $31 million because of the alternative minimum tax that he seeks to eliminate. And his heirs could eventually enjoy his enormous assets tax-free.

Was there ever really any doubt?

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House passes ‘Clean’ stop-gap spending bill, Senate will follow…Trump left hanging…

Donald Trump’s wishes  get put aside by the Congress which  will NOT consider revenue for a ‘Wall’ or Repealing the Affordable Healthcare Law….

Congress is NOT gonna have a Government shutdown to allow Donald Trump to finally get a piece of major legisiation that would endanger Republicans in next years midterm elections…

An 11th-hour White House push to give President Trump a major legislative victory in his first 100 days in office broke down late Thursday as House Republican leaders failed to round up enough votes for their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Some White House officials had hoped for a vote on Friday on a measure to prove that Mr. Trump was making good on his promise to undo the sweeping health law — President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement — in his first 100 days in office.

But seesawing commitments and the reservations from numerous lawmakers throughout Thursday laid bare the difficulty that Republican leaders faced in trying to push through a repeal bill. While revisions to their bill won over conservative hard-liners in the Freedom Caucus this week, those same changes threatened to drive away other members, even some who supported the first version.

A senior House aide said late Thursday that there would not be a vote on the health bill this week. At least 18 House Republicans oppose the latest version of the bill, the American Health Care Act, and leaders can lose no more than 22 to win passage if all members vote….

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Update….

: Senate passes stopgap bill to avoid government shutdown

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US Economy flatlines for Trump’s first months in office…

The stock market rallied on Donald Trump getting into the White House…

Then investors got to see the man behind the bull shit….

They began to cool down…

Now we find out that despite all the promisaes to make great?

Donald Trump starts off not so hot after all….

The Commerce Department provided on Friday its first statistical snapshot of the American economy in the first quarter, the gross domestic product estimate.

■ The economy barely grew, expanding at an annual rate of only 0.7 percent.

■ The growth was a sharp decline from the 2.1 percent annual rate recorded in the final quarter of last year. It was the weakest quarterly showing in three years.

■ Consumption, the component reflecting individual spending, rose by only 0.3 percent, well below the 3.5 percent rate in the previous quarter.

The Takeaway

The first-quarter performance upset expectations for a Trump bump at the start of 2017.

Modest as the headline number looked, it did not come as a surprise to Wall Street — before the report, Wall Street had been looking for growth to come in at 0.9 percent. What is more, many experts said the data was skewed by seasonal factors, like unusually warm temperatures in many parts of the country in January and February.

Continue reading the main story

The economy’s weakness reflected new caution among consumers. Other sectors like housing and business investment turned in a stronger showing, but not enough to offset factors like weaker retail sales….

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Senate Minority Leader Schumer won’t approve a week’s delay in budget with GOP poison pill riders…

Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has the votes to push the budget deadline back a week from Saturday…

But Schumer wants a clean short-term continuing resolution (CR) bill to do so…

He will NOT have Democrats agree to a ok bill that would have some the things Democrats have said they will NOT agree to, even if it means shutting the Government down…

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday objected to a deal on passing a one-week stopgap government funding bill, citing concerns about ongoing negotiations over a larger spending agreement.

Schumer said there were still unresolved “poison pill riders” being worked out on a longer spending deal that would fund the government through Sept. 30.

“Our position has been clear and it’s nothing new. No poison pill riders. The sooner we can resolve this issue, the quicker we can have an agreement on appropriations for 2017, so I object,” he said from the Senate floor.

He added that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been “cooperative and extremely helpful” but Democrats want to work on the remaining hurdles to a long-term deal before they can agree to pass the short-term continuing resolution (CR).

McConnell had asked for unanimous consent – which requires the agreement of every senator – to allow the Senate to automatically approve the one-week CR once it passes the House on Friday.

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Is Ohio GOP Governor John Kasich STILL a Republican?

Hmmmmm?

With points of view listed below?

(Except for his hard anti-abortantion stance…)

How could he be part of Trump’s Party today?

Moderate Republicans are supposed to be extinct …Except for a few in the House and the Senate…

Image result for john kasich

The Ohio governor and mainstay of the party’s mainstream is out this week with a book that at times reads like an angry breakup letter.

“Oh yeah, I’m a Repub… ,” Kasich trailed off, conspicuously unable to finish the word in his rapid-fire stream of consciousness from the front seat of a big SUV barreling toward New Hampshire on Wednesday night. Kasich finished second in the state’s hugely important presidential primary last year. That was enough to make it one of the few high points of his campaign and, also conspicuously, one of the first book-signing stops on his national tour.

“I’m pro-environment, I’m pro-trade, I’m anti-debt, I’m pro-immigration, I’m pro-NATO,” Kasich continued. “And when I look at the party, I see it moving in a different direction. But I’ve always said I have the right to define what it means to be a Republican and a conservative.”

At a time when he clearly wants to remain a player on the national stage, Kasich is struggling with his political identity — and so is his party. If and where he fits in a GOP led by Donald Trump will say a great deal about the kind of Republicans who can succeed in it, and whether there’s still space for the open and internationalist values Kasich and other Republicans long have cherished.

Twice Wednesday — once during a forum at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and later in the SUV — Kasich said the day is coming when a well-funded independent can win the White House.

“Both parties, I think, are missing it,” Kasich said…..

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Note….

Could we be  in for a possible Kasich/Sanders  ticket in 2020?

image…johnkasich.com

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Trump likes to play the Media…And they bite….

The Media was out with stories today about the Trump Admin leaving NAFTA…..

Then there was this tweet….

Trump told heads of Canada and Mexico he was not immediately planning to end NAFTA, will try to renegotiate, WH says

Which reminds the Media  and You and Me….

Nate Silver Retweeted Nate Silver

Folks still getting played by this strategy.

Trump’s got this clever strategy of leaking trial balloons, then blaming “dishonest media” for misreporting the story if & when they flop.

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Could Los Angeles Riots return?

A poll of Los Angles residents  come back with a majority thinking YES they could return due to conditions in the area …

Nearly 6 out of 10 Angelenos think another riot is likely in the next five years, increasing for the first time after two decades of steady decline. That’s higher than in any year except for 1997, the first year the survey was conducted, and more than a 10-point jump compared with the 2012 survey.

Young adults ages 18 to 29, who didn’t directly experience the riots, were more likely than older residents to feel another riot was a possibility, with nearly 7 out of 10 saying one was likely, compared with about half of those 45 or older. Those who were unemployed or worked part-time were also more pessimistic, as were black and Latino residents, compared with whites and Asians, the poll found.

Researchers theorized that the turnaround may be linked to several factors, including the more polarized national dialogue on race sparked by police shootings in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere, as well as by the tenor of last year’s presidential election. Moreover, many parts of L.A. still suffer from some of the economic problems and lack of opportunities that fueled anger before the riots…

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Will Wisconsin and Pennsylvania stay Blue after Trump’s win?

THAT is a critical question for Democrats going into the 2020 Presidential election electoral college politics …..

Below is from Stu Rothenberg….

Are Wisconsin and Pennsylvania realigning with the GOP, or were Donald Trump’s victories in both states – and the accompanying Republican Senate wins last year – merely aberrations?

The answer will likely impact the fate of the country’s two major parties over the next decade.

Partisan realignments follow from significant attitudinal and behavioral changes by voter groups, or by a fundamental change in the make-up of the electorate. But rates of change can differ.

Most Southern states changed party allegiance quickly, as did West Virginia in 2000. It isn’t that Republicans suddenly won every election in those states. Some Democratic officeholders with the strongest grassroots strength held on. But when they left office, their seats flipped to the GOP, first in federal contests and eventually in state legislative races. (Democrats can still be competitive in some contests for state office.)

Of course, not all Southern states flipped simultaneously. The Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton presidencies delayed realignment in their home states, and downscale, white working-class voters in Louisiana and Arkansas retained their Democratic identification longer than white voters elsewhere in the region.

At some point, white voters in these states simply decided that the national Democratic Party had changed and no longer represented them. And those voters moved en masse to the GOP.

But other realignments over the past 40 years have developed more slowly, the result of evolving voter perceptions about the positioning of the national parties….

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The American Middle Class is shrinking….Poll

While there is talk from some bean counting economists about how the American economy is doing fine in general?

There AREAmericans that are falling behind in this economy….

These are the people that cost Hillary Clinton the White House after Donald Trump promised them he’d look out for them…

“It’s a clear trend that the middle class in the U.S. is shrinking and not keeping up financially with the upper-income group,” he said. “There is an aura of redistribution of income from middle income to upper income.”

The study acknowledges that “middle class” can connote more than just income — like a college education, white-collar work, economic security, homeownership or even self-image — but for the purposes of the study, it was defined by income.

Whether in Europe or the United States, technological change and globalization mean that people who can adapt and learn new skills can reap bigger rewards, Mr. Kochhar said.

Since founding LaSalle Network, a staffing company based in Chicago, with two employees nearly 20 years ago, Tom Gimbel has watched revenues grow to a projected $70 million this year.

“I know a lot of people who have done much better in the last five years,” he said. “I have people working for me who made $35,000 to $60,000 a few years ago and are earning $60,000 to $150,000 now.”

Mr. Gimbel, who grew up in a comfortable Chicago suburb, has seen his own fortunes improve as well. “We didn’t want for anything, but my dad wasn’t rolling in money,” he said. “I’ve succeeded beyond where my parents were.”

On both sides of the Atlantic, the pressure on the middle class is translating into frustration with the political establishment and distrust of the elites…..

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Govt Shutdown on the line …Trump backs away from the ‘Wall’…Open Thread for April 24, 2017…

Coming up being stuck between an rock and hard place?

Donald Trump appears to have blinked….

No ONE want’s his monstrasity of a wall build between Mexico and the American border states…

There is no apitite for it from Democrats or Republicans….

Image result for ryan /schumer

There is no need for it with border aprehesions dropped by 60% since Trump started lowering the hammer on illegals at the border and around the country…

And there is NO money for this campiagn dream project either…

So it appears that Trump has signalled that he will withdrawn his demand that a ‘new beautiful 30 foot wall be constructed and settle for some drone’s and smart technology to add to the border effort ….Thus helping his adopted party solve one of the two major obstacles in the way of getting a budget….The other is the idea of Repealing Obamacare…THAT isn’t gonna happen the way he wants either…

And…

The Mexicans where NEVER gonna  pay for the thinbg and smart lawmakers aren’t gonna have Americans anti up the money either….

(Of course Trump is still bullshitting outloud about the wall..But lawmakers aren’t paying much attention to his tweets )…

….Republicans were working to define Trump’s campaign promise down, arguing that any form of border security would fulfill it.

“There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of immigration reform who challenged Trump in the 2016 primaries. “I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far — but I’m mixing my metaphors.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a key appropriator and member of Senate leadership, said that “there could be a wall in some places and technology in other places,” implying that there would not be funding for the wall sketched out in campaign rhetoric. “I think you’re going to get a down payment on border security generally,” he said….

Among other guarantees, Democrats want assurances that insurance subsidies through the Affordable Care Act will continue to be funded. There have been discussions among Republicans that Democrats could agree to provide money for the construction of the wall in exchange for those health funds, but Democrats have refused.

Sunday morning, congressional Democrats submitted to Republicans a compromise spending plan, which included some new money for border security but only if it did not go toward a wall. Democrats also asked for assurances that the health insurance subsidies would continue to be funded, language that would shore up benefits for coal miners and a change that would expand Medicaid benefits to people in Puerto Rico, according to a senior Democratic congressional aide.

image of ….House Speaker Ryan, Trump and Senate Minority leader Schumer…nymag.com

 

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Islanders NHL Hockey team makes offer for Belmont Race Track stadium….

Image result for ny islanders 2016

 

 

 

      While some local hockey fans have talked about the Islanders Hockey team coming back from Brooklyn to the renovated Nassau Coliseum?…..

THAT is unlikely….

The Nassau Coliseum just isn’t where the team wants to return to…

The team owners are moving ahead with submitting plans to have a new stadium built on New York State property at the Belmont park southern parking lot that currently is being used to park hundreds of new cars for island car dealers…

The property is state property and would NOT need ok’s from local Republican politicians who have their own problems….

Building a new stadium would allow the Islanders to have a stadium that would have amenities that could provide them more revenue than the Coliseum would….It would also be built as bigger faculty, more in line with new venues being constructed for the National Hockey League teams…The site has major highway access and train access, something the Coliseum does NOT have even though it sits next to parts of eastern Queens that has few if any hockey fans…But neither did Brooklyn….

Image result for gov cuomo NYS construction

New York Governor Cuomo is running for re-election next year and probably will make a try for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination…

He ‘s been going around the state starting construction (Read Jobs) projects …Bringing the Islanders back the Nassau County at Belmont wouldn’t hurt his efforts one bit….

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed on Friday that the Islanders’ owners plan to officially submit a bid to New York state officials with the hope of building a new arena for the hockey team at the Belmont Park racetrack site.

Speaking to a group from The Associated Press Sports Editors at the league’s midtown office, Bettman added that Isles owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin still are “reviewing their options” to procure a new local arena for the Islanders, who have encountered numerous problems in their two seasons at Barclays Center in Brooklyn since leaving Nassau Coliseum in 2015.

“Yes, there is an RFP (request for proposal) for Belmont and I know they are going to participate in that,” Bettman said. “I believe that everyone thinks there is a terrific opportunity there, if not at Willets Point (in Queens), to create a more hockey friendly environment for the Islanders, which is something Scott (Malkin) is committed to do.”

Bettman also reiterated that the renovated Coliseum, which reopened earlier this month, is “not a long-term option” for the Isles….

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Islanders image…elitesportsny.com

NYS Gov image…wsj.com

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Trump Admin begins to set-up for a Govt. Shutdown…

With Trump’s Budget Director talking about spending on a Trump ‘Wall’ and a Healthcare Cut along with an Infrastructure  money boost?

Democrats and even Trump fellow Republicans are NOT gonna sign off on all of this too keep paying the bills…

The Republicans are supposed to be running things…

A shutdown would be ANOTHER negative for Trump to wear….

The Trump administration is preparing for the possibility of a government shutdown, even though the president and his staff believe one is unlikely to occur.

“I think we’re in good shape,” President Trump said when asked about the possibility of a shutdown.

“We remain confident we’re not going to have a shutdown,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a separate off-camera briefing, calling the preparation “required steps” for the federal agencies and departments.

The government will shut down midnight on April 28 if Congress cannot agree on a spending bill.

The measure has hit several snags over White House demands to include funding for Trump’s proposed border wall and a debate over money for an ObamaCare insurer subsidy program.

But lawmakers can stave off a shutdown if they pass a short-term spending measure to keep the government open while negotiations continue over a broader funding deal.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun to coordinate with government agencies to plan for a possible shutdown.

“While we do not expect a lapse, prudence and common sense require routine assessments will be made,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement….

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Wall Street has begun to doubt Trump’s ability to do ANYTHING…

The Wall Street Journal reports that that investors are giving up their early view that Trump & Co would pull off American economic growth and profit for them….It’s early…..But things don’t look good….

As with Trump’s Real Estate ventures?

Things don’t stay rosy for long under his watch….

Markets are flashing red on growth as investors begin to return to pre-election bets on the “new normal”—a persistently weak economic expansion.

The shift back is far from complete. And the assessment is muddied by geopolitics and the uncertain French election.

But there are signs that the sugar rush of Donald Trump’s victory and global-growth hopes has faded, raising doubts among some investors about whether stocks can stay high.

 The sharp drop in government-bond yields is the most obvious signal that something is amiss. It is backed up by ominous signs from raw-materials markets, where copper and iron-ore prices have tumbled, and a swing in leadership of the stock market away from go-go bank shares and cheap “value” stocks to safety-first utilities, real estate and companies with high-quality balance sheets and reliable earnings. All this has come as inflation expectations priced into bonds have fallen and as some weak data has led to downgrades of economic forecasts.

Technology stocks’ return to favor also suggests investors are looking for companies able to deliver growth even if the economy is weak.

“The new normal’s still with us,”…

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American Farmers in a race with the rest of the world…

Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American’ isn’t gonna help them….

They HAVE to stay in the world markets or lose their shirts…..

Rural communities likely will bear the brunt of the continued pressure on farmers, as job losses and lower farmland values cut the tax base for schools and other public services.

Anxiety over the U.S. role in agricultural trade has grown in recent months amid moves by President Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was backed by many farm groups, and potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which they say helped develop exports to Canada and Mexico.

Russia over the past decade boosted its wheat harvests by 61%, the USDA forecasts. Corn acreage has nearly tripled in Russia, and more than doubled in Ukraine. Brazil and Argentina have also ramped up output of the grain.

Foreign farm powers in South America and Eastern Europe owe some of their grain-market victories to favorable exchange rates—a strong dollar, the currency used for global trade, means foreign grain priced in local currencies can reap bigger profits.

Other countries have structured trade policy to benefit their farm sectors and have invested in infrastructure such as barge terminals and railroad networks to cut transport costs.

In the U.S., about one-third of the corn crop is used for fuel production, and conservation programs have removed land from farming.

The shift has benefited global food security. Having multiple, strong exporters of grain around the world can help prevent supply disruptions due to weather or trade, farm economists say.

Also part of the silver lining: booming international revenue for U.S. companies such as Monsanto Co. , Deere & Co. and Mosaic Co. , who sell genetically engineered seeds, satellite-guided tractors and fertilizer to farms outside America. In some cases, U.S. companies design products and seeds specifically for foreign markets….

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Grass business in California gets Big…REALLY BIG…

The state stops chasing the marijuana trade and moves to let it go above aboard thur regualting it and making money….

The result is an industry that is growing…and GROWING….

But the drug is STILL illegal under Federal law….

After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.

Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.

“This is cannabis meets Big Ag,” said Steve DeAngelo, the executive director of one the nation’s largest marijuana dispensaries, who last year founded Harborside Farms to supply the business.

 The 47-acre farm is dotted with greenhouses that emit the pungent smell of thousands of marijuana plants and warehouses where farmworkers who spent their careers tending to raspberry plants now sit in rows delicately trimming the leaves from harvested cannabis buds. When the last greenhouses are built here next year, the facility will be one of the largest legal marijuana farms in the world.

Harborside and other farms like it are a sign of a new chapter for America’s cannabis industry, in which marijuana is grown openly, like any other crop. Despite the federal ban on marijuana, leaders of the industry are taking a Manifest Destiny view, believing it is only a matter of time for pot to become as widely accepted as alcohol across the country.

California, with its ideal climate and vast market, is at the vanguard of the movement to normalize the drug and produce it cheaply and in abundance.

“California is destined to do with cannabis what we’ve done with every other fruit and vegetable,” Mr. DeAngelo said. “And that’s take half of the national market.”

The move to mass-scale farming is occurring just as some members of the Trump administration are advocating a revival of the war on drugs, including marijuana, which is now legal in some form or another in about 30 states. The federal ban precludes growers of California cannabis from legally shipping out of state, although tons of it seeps out anyway….

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Nearly 1,500 economists tout benefits of immigration in letter to Trump…

Candidates for US citizenship take the oath of allegiance to become US citizens during a Naturalization Ceremony for new US Citizens at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, November 17, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

They make America great

Nearly 1,500 economists sent a letter to Donald Trump and congressional leaders, praising the economic contributions of the immigrants he’s busy attacking and urging a legislative fix to our outdated immigration system so that undocumented communities can finally become a part of this nation on paper:

“[I]mmigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy,” the letter said. “With the proper and necessary safeguards in place, immigration represents an opportunity rather than a threat to our economy and to American workers.”

Among the economic benefits that immigration brings are entrepreneurs who start businesses, young workers who replace retiring Baby Boomers and people with diverse skill sets to keep American companies competitive and innovative in high-growth fields like STEM, the letter stated.

The letter follows a survey of nearly 300 economists by the National Association of Business Economics, which “found that a clear majority believed President Trump’s restrictive stance on immigration is a mistake.” They’re right. In Trump’s home state, “undocumented immigrants contribute about $40 billion a year to New York state’s gross domestic product.”

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