Tag Archives: Politics

Political Roundup for 7/10/17…Cuomo 2020 = Hillary Clinton 2.0?…RRH Elections….

President:

2020: Andrew Cuomo’s name has been floated around a lot for the D 2020 nomination lately, and Politico has a piece here covering most of what the buzz is about. Basically, Cuomo’s image as the New York Italian Boy could help in wooing back the WCW voters that abandoned Clinton in droves, and his public profile has been moderate enough to not scare off Suburban Republicans still upset with Trump. There are a few problems however, most notably the Albany stench that is sure to come up in both the primary and general election, and secondly the fact that the electrified Democratic left despises him for not being enough of a true believer in Progressive causes. There’s also the problem of being a straight white male in a party that is increasingly trying to define itself around “Diversity”. A bit of an aside, but one of my D friends summarized his problems perfectly when he described him as “Another Hillary Clinton that not even Feminists will get excited about”.

Trump: Trump’s approval ratings have been on the upswing lately, as he’s up to 47-51 in the latest Fox RV Poll. This is tied for his best numbers ever with the immediately post-election “glow” (of being barely underwater), and probably has to do with Trump recently playing to his strengths—making fools out of his media critics and berating Progressives and Europeans for abandoning the Liberal values they used to cherish until recently….

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Trump jobs promises go up in smoke….Layoffs increase…

During his first victory laps after he moved into America’s White House Donald Trump went around showcasing how he had muscled corporations into saving American jobs…..

That was typical Trump…..

Style and NO SUBSTANCE…..

Companies are continuing to lay people off….

“As your president, I’m going to do everything I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and to put our great people back to work,” Trump said at the time. “It has to be much easier for manufacturers in our country, and much harder [for them] to leave.”

Boeing is the second business that Trump has visited to later announce lay offs.

The Carrier plant in Indianapolis, which Trump convinced to stay open late last year, will lay off more than 600 employees beginning next month….

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Political Roundup for June 13th, 2017…RRH Elections

Trump: Apparently it wasn’t the Russians who unleashed an army of social media bots to boost Trump’s 2016 candidacy on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. It was billionaire Robert Mercer who spearheaded the efforts weaponize social media by using fake accounts to spread stories and narratives to influence real people.

Merkley: According to a CNN profile Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) is considering a run for President in 2020. Merkley was the only US Senator to endorse fellow Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016….

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Trump or Not?…The US Economy is up slightly

The Hill does a story that should make Trump & Co. Happy….

The economy is emerging as a bright spot for President Trump as he struggles to move his congressional agenda amid a series of controversies.

The S&P 500 is up more than 12 percent since Election Day, unemployment has reached a 16-year low and economic growth in the coming year is expected to reach 2.3 percent, more robust growth than the 1.6 percent it grew in 2016.

Trump sought to play up his handling of the economy again on Friday at an event to end a week meant to highlight his efforts on legislation to fund new infrastructure projects across the country.

“We are here to think big, to act boldly, and to rise above the petty partisan squabbling of Washington, D.C. We are here to take action. It’s time to start building in our country, with American workers and with American iron and aluminum and steel,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Transportation.

Trump has often gotten in his own way when it comes to publicizing his handling of the economy.

This was supposed to be the administration’s “infrastructure week,” but it was almost entirely overshadowed by the appearance by fired FBI Director James Comey at the Senate Intelligence Committee….

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Nixon quit after doing what Trump has done….

Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him.

By  @ NYMag

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President Trump meeting with Republican leaders. Photo: Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images

Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, or even before, Democrats have been waiting for the moment when the Republican Party’s indulgence would snap. In every incremental advance of the Russia story, many hear the ticking hands of an “impeachment clock.” But there is no clock, and there will probably be no impeachment, at least not based on the field of Trumpian misdeeds currently at play. To imagine Republicans might turn on Trump over the Russia scandal to the point of deposing him from office is to misunderstand how they have been thinking about Trump and the presidency all along.

The metaphor of the ticking impeachment clock presupposes some relationship between the evidence that comes to light and the behavior of Congress. There is little evidence that the two are linked. Or, at least, the link is so weak that there is hardly enough room for additional evidence to produce the necessary response in Congress. One a scale of zero to ten, with ten being a videotape of Trump speaking in Russian to his handlers from the Kremlin, like Kevin Costner in the last scene in No Way Out, we’re currently at about 7.5. Trump repeatedly demanded loyalty from the FBI director, asked that he halt his investigation into the Russia scandal, instructed other intelligence officials to pressure him to end the investigation — the precise action that forced Richard Nixon to resign — and then fired Comey for refusing to do so. Many of his associates have been caught lying about their meetings and financial ties with Russia and what they said at those meetings. His son-in-law and close adviser tried to establish a secret line of communication to Russia. All of this took place after Trump appeared on camera during the campaign asking Russia to hack his opponent’s emails. (This is not even to mention the ongoing profiteering from his office that, in a normal presidency, would be an all-consuming mega-scandal in its own right.)…..

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Elizabeth Warren’s Own Action Figure?

Elizabeth Warren, as an action figure. 

Calling all Elizabeth Warren fans: the Massachusetts state Senator could soon have her very own action figure and it looks pretty damn awesome.

A Kickstarter campaign to fund an Elizabeth Warren action figure went live Tuesday afternoon featuring a six-inch Warren in a black and red pantsuit. The Kickstarter campaign has to raise $15,000 in order for the Warren action figure to go into production.

The Kickstarter was created by the Brooklyn-based company FCTRY, which has funded and created other political action figures such as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Jason Feinberg, the CEO and Creative Director of FCTRY, told HuffPost they chose Warren as their next action figure because she is by far “the most exciting character” to work on right now….

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Political Roundup for June 1, 2017…Trump 2020?…RRH Elections…

Presidential/National

Trump/Clinton:  President Donald Trump (R-Twitter) continues to enjoy mocking “Crooked Hillary Clinton” over her unwillingness to take responsibility for losing the presidency to all people, President Trump.  His comments come after Hillary recently had a venting session where she blamed everyone but herself.  I am surprised Trump is not goading her to run again.

Trump/Fundraising:  Trump Victory, the joint fundraising effort between the RNC and Trump presidential campaign, will be holding a $35,000 a guest fundraiser in Washington, D.C. on June 28.  This is the first joint fundraiser since Trump became president.

Bloomberg:  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) thinks Trump has a 55% chance of winning reelection.  Bloomberg, who endorsed Clinton over Trump last year, thinks the Democrats don’t have a coherent strategy to defeat Trump just like Clinton lacked a convincing strategy on why she should win other than she is a woman and Trump is bad.

Biden:  Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Wilmington/Scranton) is setting up a political action committee.  Some are seeing this as a means to run for President in 2020 when Biden will be in his late 70s.  Like Hillary, someone needs to tell Joe that the Democrats need new blood that was not alive when the Korean War was fought!

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Senate Trump Russian Connection probe to start running…Mike Flynn being held back…

Hearings on Trump’s aides and friemds connections to Russian approaches has gone silent for the past month or so….

Starting next week it will come full center ….

Drip…Drip….DRIP..….

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, fired from President Donald Trump’s Justice Department in January, and former director of national intelligence James Clapper are set to testify on Russian meddling in the 2016 election at a May 8 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Yates and Clapper testimony, announced Tuesday morning, comes as the House intelligence committee continues to work on rescheduling previously slated testimony from the duo that its chairman, California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, canceled before announcing he would cede control of the panel’s probe of Russian intervention in the 2016 election. Yates and Clapper are expected to appear in an open House intelligence panel hearing sometime after May 2, the date that the committee is set to hear from FBI Director James Comey in a closed session.

The Senate intelligence committee has held one open hearing on Russian involvement in American elections during the Trump administration, featuring outside experts, but has yet to schedule testimony from the key players in its investigation of Russia’s electoral disruption. Democrats on the panel are starting to publicly air their frustration with that slow pace….

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Mike Flynn is having more problems….

Both Rep Chafeetz and Cummings are looking for info…

And Flynn may end up having him defending himself in court….

This is the same Flynn that during the campaign was saying ‘Lock her up’  about Hillary Clinton….

The Trump administration has denied a request from the House Oversight Committee for more information on payments that former national security adviser Michael Flynn received from foreign governments, including from the Kremlin-backed television station RT and other Russian firms….

Flynn did not list the payments from Russian companies in his original financial disclosure forms submitted in February. He filed an amended disclosure last month reporting payments for speeches from three Russian-linked companies, including RT, but the move has remained under scrutiny amidst the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election….

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James Comey FBI Director and the 2016 Election…

The New York Times is out with  a long detailed  piece putting forth how FBI Director James Comey spent his last year dealing with first and foremost the look at Hillary Clinton and her email sever case, then the politics of the probe…..Then the walk into the Trump & Co. Russian connections case which is on going ….

Image result for james comey

The piece , done  by 

That Hillary Clinton through her own actions put her campaign at risk….But she was also the recipient of fumbles and miscues by the Obama Admin from Barack Obama, thru Loretta Lynch and even Comey himself….

In these days of few secrets an FBI Director has hand to shepard his agency thru several politically sensitive investigations that involved people at the top of the American political government ….That there would be NO politics involved is naive….

But no department head to be fair could expect to make it thru without being thrown at is also wrong….

The piece shows a James Comey consulting with his people to game out where he should go on all major decisions….

But after he decides ?

He is overideen several times by events (Bill Clinton visiting AG Lynch), and direction from his superiors (White House holding Trump initial probe from the media)…

The result was and is a see-saw of criticism  thrown at Comey in-particular and the FBI by BOTH American political parties and don-off relationship with two President’s who have the power to remove him from his job…

In this day and age organizations cannot afford to tell their story in public ….

This from the NY Times is James Comey’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation …

And agency trying hard to stay OUT of politics…

For Mr. Comey, keeping the F.B.I. out of politics is such a preoccupation that he once said he would never play basketball with President Barack Obama because of the appearance of being chummy with the man who appointed him. But in the final months of the presidential campaign, the leader of the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement agency shaped the contours, if not the outcome, of the presidential race by his handling of the Clinton and Trump-related investigations.

An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 30 current and former law enforcement, congressional and other government officials, found that while partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey’s approach to the two investigations, he handled them in starkly different ways. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, he rewrote the script, partly based on the F.B.I.’s expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would be accused of helping her. In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the F.B.I.’s traditional secrecy. Many of the officials discussed the investigations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Mr. Comey made those decisions with the supreme self-confidence of a former prosecutor who, in a distinguished career, has cultivated a reputation for what supporters see as fierce independence, and detractors view as media-savvy arrogance.

The Times found that this go-it-alone strategy was shaped by his distrust of senior officials at the Justice Department, who he and other F.B.I. officials felt had provided Mrs. Clinton with political cover. The distrust extended to his boss, Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general, who Mr. Comey believed had subtly helped play down the Clinton investigation.

His misgivings were only fueled by the discovery last year of a document written by a Democratic operative that seemed — at least in the eyes of Mr. Comey and his aides — to raise questions about her independence. In a bizarre example of how tangled the F.B.I. investigations had become, the document had been stolen by Russian hackers.

The examination also showed that at one point, President Obama himself was reluctant to disclose the suspected Russian influence in the election last summer, for fear his administration would be accused of meddling.

Mr. Comey, the highest-profile F.B.I. director since J. Edgar Hoover, has not squarely addressed his decisions last year. He has touched on them only obliquely, asserting that the F.B.I. is blind to partisan considerations. “We’re not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortune will be helped,” he said at a public event recently. “We just don’t care. We can’t care. We only ask: ‘What are the facts? What is the law?’”

But circumstances and choices landed him in uncharted and perhaps unwanted territory, as he made what he thought were the least damaging choices from even less desirable alternatives.

“This was unique in the history of the F.B.I.,” said Michael B. Steinbach, the former senior national security official at the F.B.I., who worked closely with Mr. Comey, describing the circumstances the agency faced last year while investigating both the Republican and Democratic candidates for president. “People say, ‘This has never been done before.’ Well, there never was a before. Or ‘That’s not normally how you do it.’ There wasn’t anything normal about this.”…

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Elizabeth Warren is out with a new Book…

The Boston Globe does a review of the book and the states ‘ Senator and seems to find both wanting….

She is NOT such a big deal back in Massachusetts  as she is to progressives around the country…

The most revealing thing about Elizabeth Warren’s new book is all the material she left out.

In “This Fight Is Our Fight,’’ which is Warren’s 11th book and is set for release Tuesday, the Massachusetts senator trains her scrappy prose on corporations and Republicans while notably pulling her punches on the Democratic Party’s stunning failures of 2016.

She dispatches her decision not to run for president in little more than a page. She forgoes any autopsy of what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party got wrong. She doesn’t even mention meeting with Clinton in Washington to discuss her prospects for joining the ticket as Clinton’s vice presidential pick.

Instead, Warren has produced a policy-focused (or, in her word, “nerdy”) book that is reflective of a politician whose future could depend on preserving Democratic alliances. Put another way, this is no Bernie Sanders-style screed.

In a rare interview at her home in Cambridge on Friday, Warren explained that she wanted to focus on how American government has stopped working for all but the very wealthiest citizens and corporations, and her worry that President Trump “is about to deliver the knockout blow” to the country’s floundering middle class.

“I think it’s time to look forward,” Warren said. In Warren’s case, forward means her 2018 reelection campaign in Massachusetts, upcoming Washington battles with Trump and Senate Republicans — and maybe, though she will not discuss it, a 2020 bid for president.

Pressed on why she doesn’t use the opportunity of a well-timed book to offer a sharper critique of the Democratic Party, Warren’s answer is, essentially: Circular firing squads aren’t very productive.

“I never lose sight of the fact that Democrats have tried to do more for working people than Republicans,” she said. “Have Democrats failed? Yes. There have been places where we have not fought as hard as we should, but Republicans as a party have blocked every move that would have helped working families.”

The new book is relentlessly on message and on brand, as was Warren herself during a 30-minute interview with the Globe.

Cambridge, MA- April 14, 2017: United States Senator Elizabeth Warren at her home in Cambridge, MA on April 14, 2017. (Globe staff photo / Craig F. Walker) section: metro reporter

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

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The Russian Navy is VERY Busy around Europe…

Putin’s Military is flexing out at sea….

Image result for modern russian navy ships

Recent Russian naval activity in Europe exceeds levels seen during the Cold War, a top U.S. and NATO military officer said, voicing concern that the distributed nature of the deployments could end up “splitting and distracting” the transatlantic alliance.

Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, who heads NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples and commands U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, said Russia had clearly stepped up its naval actions in recent years although the size of its navy was smaller now than during the Cold War era.

“We’re seeing activity that we didn’t even see when it was the Soviet Union. It’s precedential activity,” Howard told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday during a missile defense conference.

Howard cited a wide range of activities, including Russia’s deployment of its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, increased patrols in the north Atlantic and Arctic region, significant out-of-area submarine deployments, and submarine movement in the Black Sea.

“They’re a global navy, I understand that. But the activity in this theater has substantially moved up in the last couple of years,” Howard said.

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image…blogs.reuters.com

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New York Governor gets free college tuition ok for some New Yorkers…

Image result for sanders/cuomo

Bernie Sanders is proud of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo….

The Democratic Governor is the first to implement Sanders’ idea of free college for those who qualify….

The program kicks in AFTER students apply and get state and federal assistance….

Budget negotiators struck a deal late Friday that could make New York the largest state to offer tuition-free public higher education.

The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year.

Proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in January, the scholarship taps into one of the Democratic Party’s most popular ideas and advances a bipartisan movement to lower the cost of college that is taking shape across the country.

“Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it,” Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. “With this program, every child will have the opportunity that education provides.”

The scholarship program will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019. Nearly 1 million families will qualify for the scholarship.

It is a last-dollar program, meaning the state would cover any tuition left over after factoring in federal Pell Grants and New York’s Tuition Assistance Program. Students must be enrolled in college full time and take at least 30 course credits a year, though those facing hardships can pause and restart the program or take fewer credits.

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image…governor.ny.gov

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U.S. payroll gains slowed in March…Jobless rate @ 4.5%

The Jobless rate is the lowest since 2007….

Wages have slowed in rising….

While the payroll figures are the weakest since last May and represent a pullback from the first two months of the year, it may reflect that things are getting back to normal. Employment has been on a healthy run, giving Federal Reserve policy makers enough confidence to raise interest rates in March and forecast two more hikes this year. Businesses have been challenged by a dwindling pool of unemployed, and are gradually giving in to pressures to raise wages in order to attract and retain talent.

“Even if payrolls are slowing down, I’m not sure that that means the labor market is weakening,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. “To the extent that it is slowing down or going to slow down, it’s probably more a function of tight supply than weakening demand.”…

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Judge Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme’s….

Image result for gorsuch

No surprise here…

The vote was 54-45….

The guy is only 49 years old….

He could be a judge for  decades….

We’ll have to see if he’s as hard right as Scalia….

Trump and the Republiocans finally get a win….

The Democrats get nothing …..

This was a done deal when Hillary Clinton lost….

Most American’s though,  won’t care about this…

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on Friday to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, capping a political brawl that lasted for more than a year and tested constitutional norms inside the Capitol’s fraying upper chamber.

The development was a signal triumph for President Trump, whose campaign last year rested in large part on his pledge to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. However rocky the first months of his administration may have been, Mr. Trump now has a lasting legacy: Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the final vote Friday, a show of force for the White House on a day when his tie-breaking vote as president of the Senate was not necessary. The final tally was 54-45 in favor of confirmation.

The confirmation was also a vindication of the bare-knuckled strategy of Senate Republicans, who refused even to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Merrick B. Garland, saying the choice of the next justice should belong to the next president…..

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image…slate.com

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Political Roundup for April 4, 2017…Another Obamacare Try…RRH Elections…

Obamacare:  After threatening to make Republicans live with Obamacare and potentially entertaining Democratic offers after his high stakes negotiation tactics failed, President Trump (Art of the Deal) and House conservatives are mulling another attempt at repealing parts of Obamcare and replacing them with watered down versions.  It is not clear if the third largest party in the House, the House Freedom Caucus, will provide support to the minority government of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) or cause parliamentary chaos, their usual tactic.

More Obamacare:  After golfing with the President, Senator Rand Paul (R-Libertarian) articulated something resembling a repeal and partial replace of Obamacare.  Basically Paul is trying to maintain optics of being against new entitlements by keeping the subsidy regime in place instead of creating a tax credit entitlement regime.  It really sounds like third largest party in the House and their Senate fellow travelers are looking at caving under “yuge” pressure from the Trumpian hordes.

Judiciary:  The Trump administration is scouring the countryside looking for young conservative lawyers in their late 30s early 40s to appoint to the federal judiciary.  Yours truly is not one of them, but I would not mind serving as a Bankruptcy Court judge.

Kaisch:  Ohio Governor John Kaisch (R-Weaverland) does not plan on running against President Trump in 2020, but he is spending a lot of time contrasting himself to Trump.  John Weaver is keeping himself fed apparently by stroking Kaisch’s enormous ego.  Talk about someone who could get me to actively support Trump in a primary….

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They voted FOR Trump…He wants to screw them…

Trump and Co. want to cut funds to a HUD programs that has help rural Americans ….

THAT is their payback for voting for a snake oil type salesman……

And folks?

Some of those he’s trying to screw?

STILL would follow him off a cliff….

HOME Investment Partnerships is one of dozens of programs and independent agencies aimed at the poor — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, AmeriCorps, the Legal Services Corporation and the Interagency Council on Homelessness — that Mr. Trump has proposed cutting. The budget for the fiscal year beginning in October would cut $6.2 billion — about 13 percent — from HUD, eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds local initiatives like Meals on Wheels and anti-poverty efforts; and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity and Choice Neighborhoods programs, which aim to replace distressed public housing with mixed-income development.

Trumbull County, where the Pavlics live, teamed up with the City of Warren in the 1990s to create the Warren-Trumbull HOME Consortium, which receives about $450,000 a year from HUD to repair homes, assist with down payments, finance affordable housing and build housing for people suffering from chronic mental illness, said Julie Edwards, the economic development coordinator for the county’s planning commission.

The county, which voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, is the type of place where people might hope to be great again. Open fields of overgrown grass line winding roads that lead to rusted steel mills and shuttered factories. The median household income in the county, which is about 90 percent white and 8 percent black, dropped by $7,400, to $42,368, from 2006 to 2015, while the population declined by 14,000, to 203,750. Near Kinsman is Masury, which locals have nicknamed Misery.

“Our county voted for President Trump, so I’m not sure they quite understand what is going to happen,” Ms. Edwards said. “I don’t think people realize how much we rely on these services. I don’t think people are making the connection between cutting the HUD funds and paving our streets or building new affordable housing.”….

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