Saturday, July 29, 2017

Democrat's "Better Deal" A Bitter Pill. Cool it Gore. Three Op Eds and Trump - Get Your Act Together. Kelly Take Charge.

Democrats "Better Deal" is a "bitter pill." (See 1 below.)
Al Gore just cannot "cool it."
(See 2 below.)
Sen. McCain gave a great speech and then proceeded to ignore it as if he is already brain dead.
Three op ed's.

One by Peggy Noonan, who is fixated on Trump's manner more than what he is trying to accomplish by those who want him destroyed because he is about draining their power tubs.

Noonan is correct in attacking Trump for his mannerisms but one might argue that her characterizations about his manhood go a bit far but that is something everyone must decide for themselves. Noonan already has.

The second, is by my friend, Bernie Marcus, who knows something about running a unique business, political conservatism and capitalism. It is pretty much akin to a speech he gave here as the featured guest speaker at the Skidaway Island Republican Club's President Day Dinner several years ago.
(See 3 and 3a below.)

We also know Bret Stephens hates Trump and probably left The Wall Street Journal to ply his wares among a more receptive audience.

Interesting enough, prior to doing so, he began growing a beard. (See 3b below.)

As for myself,  I believe, and have written in enumerable memos, Trump is his own worst enemy and never seems to lose a chance to shoot himself in the foot.

Yes, there are those who want to impeach him, ruin his presidency, hijack his agenda because it threatens them, their desire to retain power so they can continue their establishment prerogatives and enjoy the perks.

Trump, however, is not responsible for the pitiful manner in which members of The Republican Party have demonstrated they are unworthy of the opportunity to govern.  Nor, can Trump be blamed for the contentious manner in which the Democrats have acted and the detriment their behaviour is causing the nation.

As for Scaramucci, his interview reveals he is a typical Wall Street Trader type  We had a similar such head of trading who worked for Oppenheimer and Co. and was subsequently fired. Many Wall Street Traders have a deserved reputation for smoking cigars, engaging in vulgarity, unable to put three words together unless they interject the 'f 'word and acting  suspender macho. They perceive their job requires they be fast on the trigger and unapologetic. They seek blood and take no prisoners.

A Wall Street Trader sticks out like a sore thumb in The White House.

Gen. Kelly will have his hands full when it comes to curbing Bannon, Scaramucci and , most important of all, Trump. I am sure the good general assumed the job only after extracting a pledge from our president everything goes through the Chief of Staff.  Whether the renegades on the staff and Trump himself will adhere is yet to be determined.

It would be tragic for the nation if the good ideas and changes Trump wants to bring about are prevented from being enacted and the radicalized Democrat Party is allowed to gain the upper hand and shove their "Better Deal" down our throats, as well could happen, should they regain control of Congress in 2018.

Socialism, exploding deficits and weakness is a road we must not return to as we are confronted by N Korea, Iran, China, Russia and Islamic terrorists.

Trump - get your act together and allow Gen. Kelly to take charge.
1) The Post-Hillary Democrats

How in God’s name, the Democrats wonder, did we ever lose the 2016 election to HIM?

By Daniel Henninger
On climate change, Democrats believe they know to the 10th decimal place that Earth is on the brink of an apocalypse. But by their own admission this week, they don’t have a clue about which way the wind is blowing with the American voter.
On Monday the Democrats released something called “A Better Deal,” a set of policy ideas to win back voters. Think of it as the party laying down the first quarter-mile of blacktop on its road back to power.
The short version of “A Better Deal” is that they would bust up corporate trusts (Teddy Roosevelt, circa 1902), ramp up public-works spending ( FDR, circa the Great Depression) and enact various tax credits (Washington, circa eternity).
The more interesting question here lies in the document’s unspoken subtext: How in God’s name did we lose a presidential election to . . . him?

In a recent Washington Post interview, one of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers, Jake Sullivan, admits, “I am still losing sleep. I’m still thinking about what I could have done differently.” Who wouldn’t? What happened Nov. 8 was like losing five Super Bowls in one day.
Hillary Clinton has taken to citing one fact: “Remember, I did win more than three million [more] votes than my opponent.” True, notwithstanding the pesky two-centuries-old Electoral College vote, which she lost.
Here’s another fact that still poses a maddening question for many: Donald J. Trump got more than 62 million votes. It wasn’t long before Election Day that many political sophisticates wondered how Donald Trump would get 620 votes, much less 62 million—after the McCain slander, the “Access Hollywood” tape, the generalized ignorance.
A conventional explanation for the loss—and we know this because Chuck Schumer conventionalized it last weekend—is to blame her. “When you lose to somebody who has 40% popularity,” said Sen. Schumer, “you don’t blame other things—Comey, Russia—you blame yourself.”
This is rich. It’s almost oxymoronic. The reason Democrats lost to him is that they had an unelectable candidate. But if both parties were running “unelectable” candidates, then a lot of that day’s 138 million voters based their decisions on something more concrete than the personalities of two celebrities.
Hillary Clinton was running as the extension of Barack Obama’s two-term presidency. If the Democrats are now throwing her under the bus, Mr. Obama is down there with her.
The Obama presidency was a watershed for the Democratic Party for reasons having little to do with his historic candidacy. Mr. Obama moved his party significantly to the left, arguably as Ronald Reagan had moved his to the right. But those two buzzwords—left and right—have substantive meaning. In practice, the Obama years constituted an abrupt enhancement of state power. ObamaCare was the tip of the iceberg.
Barack Obama was as smooth as Bill Clinton was slick, and he used his eloquence to soften the hard edges of the many policy coercions by his Justice, Labor and Education departments and the omnipresent EPA.
In 2016, the Clintons, especially the ex-president, recognized the risks of running on this leftward legacy in a general election. Thus Hillary’s efforts to essentially talk and fog her way past that reality.
But Bernie Sanders wouldn’t let her. Like Banquo’s ghost, Bernie reminded voters for months what the real face of the Democratic Party looked like—the unelectable left.
Yes, some forgotten voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan tipped the vote to Mr. Trump. But those states turned because millions of more-easily identified voters dumped the Obama Democrats, too.
A total surprise? I’d say there were at least five canaries in the Democrats’ fatal 2016 mineshaft. Any map of the party’s famous “blue wall” of electoral votes includes Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. What each of those deep-blue states has in common is that their presumably liberal, Democratic voters have elected Republican governors— Larry Hogan in Maryland, Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Bruce Rauner in Illinois and Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Throw in Chris Christie in irredeemably blue New Jersey.
Maryland’s Mr. Hogan is the benchmark. He won in 2014 because his Democratic predecessor, Martin O’Malley, desperate for revenue, had taxed Maryland’s people unto death. Naturally, Mr. O’Malley then ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Obama-era Democrats barely admit the states as part of the American system, and they obviously dismissed as irrelevant these GOP governors winning inside blue-wall states.
I almost forgot—the Better Deal. It sounds a lot like the federal spending initiatives in JFK’s New Frontier, except for one element: the Kennedy tax cuts of 1964.
In anyone’s lifetime, a tax under a Democratic president can go only one way. “Better” would not be the word for it. That, too, is the sort of thing voters would notice when forced to choose between a Democrat and a Trump.
2) Al Gore’s Climate Sequel Misses a Few Inconvenient Facts

Eleven years after his first climate-change film, he’s still trying to scare you into saving the world.

By Bjorn Lomborg
They say the sequel is always worse than the original, but Al Gore’s first film set the bar pretty low. Eleven years ago, “An Inconvenient Truth” hyped global warming by relying more on scare tactics than science. This weekend Mr. Gore is back with “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” If the trailer is any indication, it promises to be more of the same.
The former vice president has a poor record. Over the past 11 years Mr. Gore has suggested that global warming had caused an increase in tornadoes, that Mount Kilimanjaro’s glacier would disappear by 2016, and that the Arctic summers could be ice-free as soon as 2014. These predictions and claims all proved wrong.
“An Inconvenient Truth” promoted the frightening narrative that higher temperatures mean more extreme weather, especially hurricanes. The movie poster showed a hurricane emerging from a smokestack. Mr. Gore appears to double down on this by declaring in the new film’s trailer: “Storms get stronger and more destructive. Watch the water splash off the city. This is global warming.”
This is misleading. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—in its Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2013—found “low confidence” of increased hurricane activity to date because of global warming. Storms are causing more damage, but primarily because more wealthy people choose to live on the coast, not because of rising temperatures.
Even if tropical storms strengthen by 2100, their relative cost likely will decrease. In a 2012 article for the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers showed that hurricane damage now costs 0.04% of global gross domestic product. If climate change makes hurricanes stronger, absolute costs will double by 2100. But the world will also be much wealthier and less vulnerable, so the total damage is estimated at only 0.02% of global GDP.
In the trailer, Mr. Gore addresses “the most criticized scene” of his previous documentary, which suggested that “the combination of sea-level rise and storm surge would flood the 9/11 Memorial site.” Then viewers are shown footage of Manhattan taking on water in 2012 after superstorm Sandy, apparently vindicating Mr. Gore’s claims. Never mind that what he actually predicted was flooding caused by melting ice in Greenland.
More important is that Mr. Gore’s prescriptions—for New York and the globe—won’t work. He claims the answer to warming lies in agreements to cut carbon that would cost trillions of dollars. That would not have stopped Sandy. What New York really needs is better infrastructure: sea walls, storm doors for the subway, porous pavement. These fixes could cost around $100 million a year, a bargain compared with the price of international climate treaties.
Mr. Gore helped negotiate the first major global agreement on climate, the Kyoto Protocol. It did nothing to reduce emissions (and therefore to rein in temperatures), according to a March 2017 article in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Undaunted, Mr. Gore still endorses the same solution, and the new documentary depicts him roaming the halls of the Paris climate conference.
By 2030 the Paris climate accord will cost the world up to $2 trillion a year, mostly in lost economic growth, according to the best peer-reviewed energy-economic models. It will remain that expensive for the rest of the century. This would make it the most expensive treaty in history.
And for what? Just ahead of the Paris conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change estimated that if every country fulfills every promised Paris carbon cut between 2016 and 2030, carbon dioxide emissions will drop by only 60 gigatons over that time frame. To keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, the world must reduce such emissions nearly 6,000 gigatons over this century, according to the IPCC. A “successful” Paris agreement wouldn’t even come close to solving the problem.
Mr. Gore argues that the Paris approach pushes nations and businesses toward green energy. Perhaps, but the global economy is far from ready to replace fossil fuels with solar and wind. The International Energy Agency, in its 2016 World Energy Outlook, found that 0.6% of the world’s energy is supplied by solar and wind. Even with the Paris accord fully implemented, that number would rise only to 3% in a quarter-century.
In part because of activists like Mr. Gore, the world remains focused on subsidizing inefficient, unreliable technology, rather than investing in research to push down the price of green energy. Real progress in Paris could be found on the sidelines, where philanthropist Bill Gates and others, including political leaders, agreed to increase spending on research and development. This is an important start, but much more funding is needed.
Mr. Gore declares in his new film that “it is right to save humanity.” No argument here. But is using scare tactics really the best way to go about it?
Mr. Lomborg is the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It.”
3)Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor
Half his tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn.
By  Peggy Noonan

The president’s primary problem as a leader is not that he is impetuous, brash or naive. It’s not that he is inexperienced, crude, an outsider. It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.
He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying. He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He’s a drama queen. It was once said, sarcastically, of George H.W. Bush that he reminded everyone of her first husband. Trump must remind people of their first wife. Actually his wife, Melania, is tougher than he is with her stoicism and grace, her self-discipline and desire to show the world respect by presenting herself with dignity.
Half the president’s tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn. “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president.” The brutes. Actually they’ve been laboring to be loyal to him since Inauguration Day. “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is.” True, but neither does Mr. Trump, who seems unsure of its content. In just the past two weeks, of the press, he complained: “Every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!” Journalists produce “highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting.” They are “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY.” They “fabricate the facts.”

It’s all whimpering accusation and finger-pointing: Nobody’s nice to me. Why don’t they appreciate me?
His public brutalizing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t strong, cool and deadly; it’s limp, lame and blubbery. “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes,” he tweeted this week. Talk about projection.
He told the Journal’s Michael C. Bender he is disappointed in Mr. Sessions and doesn’t feel any particular loyalty toward him. “He was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ‘What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.” Actually, Mr. Sessions supported him early and put his personal credibility on the line. In Politico, John J. Pitney Jr. of Claremont McKenna College writes: “Loyalty is about strength. It is about sticking with a person, a cause, an idea or a country even when it is costly, difficult or unpopular.” A strong man does that. A weak one would unleash his resentments and derive sadistic pleasure from their unleashing.
The way American men used to like seeing themselves, the template they most admired, was the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda. In time the style shifted, and we wound up with the nervous and chattery. More than a decade ago the producer and writer David Chase had his Tony Soprano mourn the disappearance of the old style: “What they didn’t know is once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings they wouldn’t be able to shut him up!” The new style was more like that of Woody Allen. His characters couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs. They were self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice and anger.
But he was a comic. It was funny. He wasn’t putting it out as a new template for maleness. Donald Trump now is like an unfunny Woody Allen.
Who needs a template for how to be a man? A lot of boys and young men, who’ve grown up in a culture confused about what men are and do. Who teaches them the real dignity and meaning of being a man? Mostly good fathers and teachers. Luckily Mr. Trump this week addressed the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where he represented to them masculinity and the moral life.
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts, right?” But he overcame his natural reticence. We should change how we refer to Washington, he said: “We ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to perhaps ‘cesspool’ or perhaps to the word ‘sewer.’ ” Washington is not nice to him and is full of bad people. “As the Scout Law says, ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal—we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.” He then told them the apparently tragic story of a man who was once successful. “And in the end he failed, and he failed badly.”
Why should he inspire them, show personal height, weight and dignity, support our frail institutions? He has needs and wants—he is angry!—which supersede pesky, long-term objectives. Why put the amorphous hopes of the audience ahead of his own, more urgent needs?
His inability—not his refusal, but his inability—to embrace the public and rhetorical role of the presidency consistently and constructively is weak.
“It’s so easy to act presidential but that’s not gonna get it done,” Mr. Trump said the other night at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio. That is the opposite of the truth. The truth, six months in, is that he is not presidential and is not getting it done. His mad, blubbery petulance isn’t working for him but against him. If he were presidential he’d be getting it done—building momentum, gaining support. He’d be over 50%, not under 40%. He’d have health care, and more.
We close with the observation that it’s all nonstop drama and queen-for-a-day inside this hothouse of a White House. Staffers speak in their common yet somehow colorful language of their wants, their complaints. The new communications chief, Anthony Scaramucci, who in his debut came across as affable and in control of himself, went on CNN Thursday to show he’ll fit right in. He’s surrounded by “nefarious, backstabbing” leakers. “The fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, and that’s me and the president.” He’s strong and well connected: “I’ve got buddies of mine in the FBI”; “ Sean Hannity is one of my closest friends.” He is constantly with the president, at dinner, on the phone, in the sauna snapping towels. I made that up. “The president and I would like to tell everybody we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are.” Chief of Staff Reince Priebus better watch it. There are people in the White House who “think it is their job to save America from this president, okay?” So they leak. But we know who they are.
He seemed to think this diarrheic diatribe was professional, the kind of thing the big boys do with their media bros. But he came across as just another drama queen for this warring, riven, incontinent White House. As Scaramucci spoke, the historian Joshua Zeitz observed wonderingly, on Twitter: “It’s Team of Rivals but for morons.”
It is. And it stinks from the top.
Meanwhile the whole world is watching, a world that contains predators. How could they not be seeing this weakness, confusion and chaos and thinking it’s a good time to cause some trouble?

The U.S. economy seems to be gaining strength. The Dow Jones Industrial Average boasted an all-time high in recent weeks, the unemployment rate has hit a post 2008 recession low, and stagnant wages are beginning to move.
The economic uptick can be attributable to a number of factors. But there’s one theme in particular that I believe has played the predominant role, our country’s moves towards a more capitalist system under President Trump—more specifically, his initiatives to reduce government red tape and his strong desire for comprehensive tax reform.

Even though this idea, this economic system of capitalism has changed our country for the better, the word has a negative connotation. A connotation that keeps most people from using the term without backlash. But the word itself isn’t important. It’s the results that are produced that matter.

While free market—or capitalist—policies may be heralded as enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor, the reality is much different. The best social safety net for the less fortunate is free enterprise. In fact, just in the past 20 years nearly 1 billion people have been saved from the ravages of poverty because of the free market. Free enterprise is not the cause of the downtrodden population, it’s the reason it’s disappearing.

Moreover, free enterprise doesn’t just create an environment where individuals have the opportunity to prosper, but makes charitable-giving possible in the first place. It’s not a random occurrence that Americans are the most charitable people in the world. It’s a result of our hard work, entrepreneurship, and free market system. Because in order to give money, you need to make money.
My life is a living testament to that connection.

Founding The Home Depot has given me the means to give back more than I could have possibly imagined. In fact, over the last 15 years, I have donated $1 billion dollars to charity. I have given to causes that help increase awareness and further treatments for Autism, donated to help heal the mental wounds of our returning heroes from overseas, and have even opened an aquarium in Atlanta so that everyone in Georgia can experience the wonders of the ocean.

All of this would have been impossible without the opportunity that free enterprise gave me to start The Home Depot—which is why I’ve become a stark defender of free markets and giving businesses the ability to expand without government intrusion.

Regulations from the previous administration would have made it impossible to start The Home Depot today. The payment structure responsible for The Home Depot—which included company shares that created 20,000 millionaires overnight when we went public—would have been illegal under the Obama Labor Department’s overtime rule. It would have barred our hardworking employees in the early days from working long hours to get the company off the ground.

And the current climate of high taxes on businesses would have further crippled The Home Depot in its infancy. The marginal tax rate of 40 percent that is levied onto our nation’s small pass-through businesses would have caused our already constrained budget to expand beyond our means.
This is why I am so enthusiastic about the policies President Trump has been pursuing. He understands that if the next generation of young people are subjected to the harsh regulations and taxes of the past decade, the next generation of dreamers and entrepreneurs won’t have a chance to build, innovate, and make the world a better place.

So call it whatever you want—capitalism, free enterprise, free market—it doesn’t matter. As long as free market ideals prevail in U.S. public policy, the next generation of entrepreneurs will be able to foster job creation, create innovative products, and boast a strong commitment to giving back.
Defending free enterprise is not just a logical responsibility, but a moral obligation. Let’s hope President Trump continues the charge and accomplishes meaningful tax reform.

Bernie Marcus is the Co-Founder of The Home Depot and Founder of the Job Creators Network.

3b) The "No Guardrail's Presidency."
By Bret Stephens


In 1993 The Wall Street Journal published a famous editorial called “No Guardrails,” which tried to locate the source of the moral chaos that had engulfed much of America. “How, in T. S. Eliot’s phrase, did so many become undone?” the editors wanted to know.
Their answer, in a nutshell, was 1968 — specifically, the culture of excess, excuses and permission that abruptly supplanted the old American ethic of modesty, responsibility and restraint.
“Certain rules that for a long time had governed behavior also became devalued,” the editorial noted. “Whatever else was going on here, we were repeatedly lowering the barriers of acceptable political and personal conduct.”
I’ve always admired that editorial, but it needs updating. How did so many of the same people who spent the past 50 years bemoaning the decline of morality and decorum become the agents and enablers of the most morally grotesque administration in American history?
On Wednesday, Anthony Scaramucci, the new director of communications in the White House, phoned Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker to demand the name of an alleged White House leaker. Scaramucci was quoted (and later re-quoted in The Times) saying the following:
Of the now former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus: “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic.”

Of the White House's chief strategist: "I am not Steve Bannon, I am not trying to suck my own cock."

Of the Beltway "swamp" that wants to undermine Donald Trump: "They're going to have to go fuck themselves."

Of his new colleagues in the administration: "They'll all be fired by me."

In its account of the conversation, The New York Times opted to quote Scaramucci in full.  Why not? We're long past pretending that this is not way the leadership of the country speaks. Every vote cast for Donald Trump was a vote of vulgarity. His supporters got exactly what they paid for.

A more interesting question is how the conservative movement came to embrace it.

Did it happen in the 1990's with the movement's embrace of titillated outrage against Bill Clinton?

Did it come with the defeat of John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and the conclusion by rank-and-file 
conservatives that concepts of honor, service, integrity, 
independence, compromise and statesmanship — the virtues that 
just saved the G.O.P. from a political disaster of its own devising in 
Friday’s health care vote — were for suckers?

Or was it Trump himself who shook free the old restraints, like 
some kind of reverse Jonathan Edwards preaching a doctrine of 
sinners in the hands of a bored God who wants to be amused?

Readers will have their own views. Whatever the case, it’s worth 
noting a striking parallel between 1968 and 2016. In “August 1968,
” The Journal noted in its editorial, “the Democratic National 
Convention found itself sharing Chicago with the street fighters of 
the anti-Vietnam War movement.”

The editorial continued: “The real blame here does not lie with the 
mobs who fought bloody battles with the hysterical Chicago police. 
The larger responsibility falls on the intellectuals — university 
professors, politicians and journalistic commentators — who said 
then that the acts committed by the protesters were justified or 
explainable. That was the beginning. After Chicago, the 
justifications never really stopped.”

Agreed. So it needs to be asked of the conservative intelligentsia 
today: et tu?

Trumpism wasn’t just some bottom-up movement. It, too, had its professors, politicians and journalistic commentators — the theoreticians, enablers, sanctifiers, excuse makers and Never 
Never-Trumpers — who gave the movement a patina of intellectual respectability and moral seriousness that Trump himself had done nothing to earn.

They are our new Antinomians, who believe the president and his administration are bound by no law, even the Mosaic one, because 
they have already been saved by a new version of grace — in this 
case, the grace of defeating Hillary Clinton. Thought exercise for 
Trump’s media defenders: If the president were to sexually assault a
 woman in the Oval Office tomorrow, would you still justify your 
vote on the view that Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the Supreme Court 
made it all worthwhile?

“The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it,” Abbie 
Hoffman said in Chicago in 1968. This might as well be the slogan 
of this administration and its supporters, too.

In the meantime, we have a “No Guardrails” presidency, in which 
Trump’s contempt for law, procedure and decorum are a license for 
the behavior of his minions and a model for future American 
demagogues and their apologists.

Scaramucci’s outburst — to a reporter, no less — is insignificant in
 itself. But it exactly represents what this administration is and 
will continue to be, with the blessing of an intellectual class that has 
done as much to betray honorable conservatism as the liberal 
intelligentsia of the ’60s did to betray honorable liberalism.

As Scaramucci said, paraphrasing a proverb, “The fish stinks from 
the head down.” Yes, it does, Mooch. And you’re merely the mouth.

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