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US Politics: A Feast for Crows

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Lol the world is fucked. 
Joe Manchin is gonna be the ranking member on Energy and National Resources Committee, which means if Dems take power, he'll be the chair. What a joke Dem party is, they're happy to see the planet die.

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It does increasingly appear that we are unlikely to achieve a <3 Deg C(or F?) rise by the end of the century, wiithout some drastic action being taken.

Elections should now be a single issue political debate for at least the next quarter century: how committed are you to combating climate change? If the answer is anything other than "no stone left unturned" in looking for and developing solutions, that person should not be receiving any votes from anyone who sees the truth of climate change.

Forget supreme court appointments, size of govt, size of debt / deficit, defence spending, social welfare entitlements, health care reform. Climate is the existential threat that can't be ignored, regardless of all other policy differences.

Oh, and plastic in the ocean.

Though if there is a silver lining, potentially, one way to deal with white supremacy  / enthno-nationalism with climate change is (given they also skew towards climate change denial) to give them the low-lying coastal land as their ethnically pure areas, and just wait a few decades. I guess at least that way they will eventually acknowledge one truth they previously denied, but probably too late.

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Former FBI agents and lawyers who worked with Mueller in the past have said that Mueller’s methodical pursuit of cooperating witnesses is how he approached the investigation of “Teflon Don” John Gotti. It is highly likely Mueller suspected Manafort’s plea agreement was a charade and an attempt to place a spy in the enemy camp from the very beginning. It is highly unlikely that during the barely two months of Manafort’s “cooperation,” the special counsel shared anything important with him. The investigators certainly didn’t disclose the contents of other witnesses’ testimony or provide him with critical documents or any other clues about their ultimate plans.

Manafort’s Lies Won’t Hurt Mueller’s Investigation

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/russia-mueller-2016-election-paul-manafort-trump-rudy-giuliani.html

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Donald Trump’s Company Reportedly Planned to Gift $50 Million Penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow to Vladimir Putin

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/trump-organization-gift-50-million-trump-tower-moscow-russia-penthouse-putin.html

Quote

 

Michael Cohen, we learned Thursday, lied to Congress about the extent of his work on a Moscow real estate deal in 2016 on behalf of the Trump Organization. Cohen testified before Congress that the development deal went kaput in January 2016, when, in reality, negotiations on building a 100-story Trump Town Moscow stretched into June 2016 shortly after then-candidate Trump clinched the GOP nomination on May 26th. The deal, which quietly lingered throughout the primaries, financially links Trump and his family to the Kremlin in an unflattering, though not explicitly criminal way—yet. Adding to the now thickening air of quid pro quo around the deal is BuzzFeed’s report that, according to four sources, the Trump Organization planned to gift Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in the building, once completed.

“Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary,” according to BuzzFeed. A Trump family business associate involved in the Moscow deal, Soviet-born Felix Sater—who had previously pleaded guilty to racketeering and at one point went to prison for attacking a man with the stem of a margarita glass during a bar fight—told BuzzFeed that “he and Cohen thought giving the Trump Tower’s most luxurious apartment, a $50 million penthouse, to Putin would entice other wealthy buyers to purchase their own.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

It does increasingly appear that we are unlikely to achieve a <3 Deg C(or F?) rise by the end of the century, wiithout some drastic action being taken.

Elections should now be a single issue political debate for at least the next quarter century: how committed are you to combating climate change? If the answer is anything other than "no stone left unturned" in looking for and developing solutions, that person should not be receiving any votes from anyone who sees the truth of climate change.

There are two reasons this will never happen. First, the median voter is very, very unlikely to live to the end of the century and while there are people who care about long term consequences, they are few and almost none of them are that singleminded about something that they're unlikely to see. Note that most of the people who care about climate change are not willing to, for example, make uneconomical purchases of solar installations for their homes or otherwise spend serious amounts of their own money to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels -- their advocacy consists almost entirely of telling other people what to do because there are many other things to spend money on today and the deluge comes after we are gone.

Second, most people who have thought about long term consequences have to have realized that human beings are pretty lousy at predicting the future half a century out. It's not merely possible, but historically quite likely that what we think of as the major challenge our grandchildren will face will turn out to be mostly irrelevant. Maybe we'll come up with some sort of atmosphere-cleaning technology that will solve the problem. Maybe Elon Musk et al will succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Or maybe something will happen that will render this both utterly irrelevant and a problem that our grandchildren wish they had instead of their circumstances (e.g. nuclear winter).

Realistically, your best bet solving this crisis are not politicians, but tech people like Musk. Technology got us into this mess and it's not actually all that far from getting us out.

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1 hour ago, Martell Spy said:

Yeah, after the news came out that Manafort had been lying post plea deal it seemed like there were quite a few "uh oh, this hurts Mueller's investigation" pieces, and even though I am not expert on this realm I found it utterly implausible that Mueller would just get played like they never considered that maybe Manafort was unreliable or just gunning for a pardon.  

And that new Trump Tower story is just delicious.  

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2 hours ago, Altherion said:

There are two reasons this will never happen. First, the median voter is very, very unlikely to live to the end of the century and while there are people who care about long term consequences, they are few and almost none of them are that singleminded about something that they're unlikely to see. Note that most of the people who care about climate change are not willing to, for example, make uneconomical purchases of solar installations for their homes or otherwise spend serious amounts of their own money to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels -- their advocacy consists almost entirely of telling other people what to do because there are many other things to spend money on today and the deluge comes after we are gone.

Second, most people who have thought about long term consequences have to have realized that human beings are pretty lousy at predicting the future half a century out. It's not merely possible, but historically quite likely that what we think of as the major challenge our grandchildren will face will turn out to be mostly irrelevant. Maybe we'll come up with some sort of atmosphere-cleaning technology that will solve the problem. Maybe Elon Musk et al will succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Or maybe something will happen that will render this both utterly irrelevant and a problem that our grandchildren wish they had instead of their circumstances (e.g. nuclear winter).

Realistically, your best bet solving this crisis are not politicians, but tech people like Musk. Technology got us into this mess and it's not actually all that far from getting us out.

The problem is Elon Musk could sink his entire fortune into trying to develop technologies to deal with climate change to the point of impoverishment and wind up with nothing. Whereas public policy has essentially an inexhaustible supply of money to dedicate to the necessary research. The US govt alone can use Musk's entire personal fortune every year to research climate change solutions, and that would only be ~4% (and falling) of the US's Defense budget. All of the OECD countries together can easily spend Jeff Bezo's entire net worth every year on climate change solutions without making a substantial dent in any one country's national budget or national debt. The thing is, it requires the political will and commitment to dedicate that amount of public money to such research, which means voters have to vote those people into office.

It might take $1 trillion in research and development to finally get a (or several combined) technological solution for climate change. No individual or even a collection of the most wealthy individuals is capable or willing to make that kind of commitment. It may be private individuals or institutions that come up with the solutions, but it won't happen without public money.

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2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

The problem is Elon Musk could sink his entire fortune into trying to develop technologies to deal with climate change to the point of impoverishment and wind up with nothing. Whereas public policy has essentially an inexhaustible supply of money to dedicate to the necessary research. The US govt alone can use Musk's entire personal fortune every year to research climate change solutions, and that would only be ~4% (and falling) of the US's Defense budget. All of the OECD countries together can easily spend Jeff Bezo's entire net worth every year on climate change solutions without making a substantial dent in any one country's national budget or national debt. The thing is, it requires the political will and commitment to dedicate that amount of public money to such research, which means voters have to vote those people into office.

It might take $1 trillion in research and development to finally get a (or several combined) technological solution for climate change. No individual or even a collection of the most wealthy individuals is capable or willing to make that kind of commitment. It may be private individuals or institutions that come up with the solutions, but it won't happen without public money.

Go Apollo Program style, then.  Directed government investment into technology that will offset the temperature rise without putting people off.  The old space program provided multiple benefits to present day society, including computer technology and arguably the internet as well.

 

That said, there is another limiter for carbon emissions in place - 'peak oil.'  The supersized and easily exploited oil fields of the 20th century are largely depleted, or in danger of such.  There are technological methods to extract additional oil from those fields, but they are not cheap - and like it or not, modern civilization requires not just oil, but *cheap* oil in order to function.  Major oil fields in odd new locations?  Yes, they exist, but they are not cheap to exploit, and come with major built in hazards - aka Deepwater Horizon.  Tar sands and shale oil are also expensive, with ugly side effects.  Natural Gas?  Well, the absolute best that can be said there is we've kicked the problem back a few decades...starting most of a decade ago. 

 

We are looking at an intermediate future (within 20-30 years) forced transfer to (mostly) renewable energy.  That transfer will result in vastly less energy available for personal use than is the case now, which translates to major changes in lifestyle and society.  Far fewer gasoline powered vehicles in private hands (90% reduction from current levels?).  An effective end to most of suburbia (combination of inadequate wages and unaffordable utility bills.)  First, the suburbs will become the domain of old folks (fixed incomes, discounts), those with incomes who can afford the costs, and criminals - I see this in my job.  Then gradual abandonment follows, the old folks die, the good jobs go away, and entire subdivisions turn into wreckage.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Altherion said:

Realistically, your best bet solving this crisis are not politicians, but tech people like Musk. Technology got us into this mess and it's not actually all that far from getting us out.

Perhaps one of the most neo-liberal things I've read in awhile.

Which is odd, for somebody that has continually ranted about neo-liberalism.

But, oh, I forgot, your conception of neo-liberalism (your definition: "identity politics" gone wild) is different from everyone else's (which is a belief in free market fundamentalism).

Can I ask should we regulate anything or will the market always take care of it, along with a select few Johnny Galts?

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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22 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I see your point but disagree about the space you mention.  When you tell someone to “Fuck off” you are not really talking to that person because you have written them off.  “Fuck off” just makes the person you are purportedly talking to angry.  

When you tell someone to “fuck off” in a public setting you’re talking to your supporters and preparing them for the fight (political or worse) you see coming.  You are rallying your troops because you see no other option.

Yes, I guess when I tell somebody to fuck off, I've written them off. Typically I just don't go around telling people to fuck off, like I'm handing out candy. Typically it is a last resort option. And I don't think telling people to fuck off is typically a good idea over a mere disagreement about a matter,

But, when I do, decide that telling somebody to fuck off is warranted, and at times it is, I'd prefer to be crystal clear about it and straight and to the point, rather than trying to do all the fancy footwork of trying to "civilly" tell somebody to fuck off, in which case, I'd probably just trip over my two own feet and fall down.

And some people do need to be told to simply fuck off. Alt right clowns being an example.

Over the last two decades, I've watch the Republican Party do some of the dumbest shit imaginable. And rather than learn from their mistakes, they simply just double down on their stupid shit. At some point, I think you just lose your patience. And you know, I think it is okay.

And I think it bears repeating, again, that Trump isn't something that hit the Republican Party out of the blue, though I suspect if his presidency ends up being judged a failure, conservatives will claim he didn't do the "true conservatism", but rather it is the result of the path the Republican Party and it's donor class decided to take. They could have reversed course, particularly after Dubya's presidency, but they decided to go a different route.

Of course, people can say, "but, but Democrats...". And sure Democrats make mistakes, but it isn't like what the Republican Party has become.

And of course having a polite and civil conversation, really depends on the other party acting in good faith. And I have about zero faith that the Republican Party and it's donor class are doing that. Somebody pointed out here that Obama tried to reach out to the Republican Party, after the disastrous presidency of Dubya, and the Republican Party responded by trying to destroy him. That is the kind of people were dealing with. The Republican Party and it's donor class are playing for keeps. They have no interest in compromise. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is a statement out there by one of the Koch Brothers saying they don't do compromise. And then you have people like Stephen Moore giddy about how the Republican tax bill hurt Democratic constituencies. As soon as you realize this, then your best response is likely to start playing hardball.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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5 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

The problem is Elon Musk could sink his entire fortune into trying to develop technologies to deal with climate change to the point of impoverishment and wind up with nothing. Whereas public policy has essentially an inexhaustible supply of money to dedicate to the necessary research.

Not to be an ass, but as far as I know, the problem isn't really technology: at this point we have a great number of technologies that could at the very least freeze climate change where we're at now if not better. So your original post about political will was far closer to the mark imho.

Recently I've started to think that the fact that the technologies exist IS part of the problem, because it means the masters of the world (who are well-informed) aren't worried enough.

In the long-run, Altherion isn't that wrong. What he's missing is that even if climate change doesn't end up exterminating our species, it will still have devastating consequences for hundreds of millions if not billions. I can imagine about half of humanity (the poorest half) being seriously hurt by direct and indirect consequences of climate change.
Which of course, is another reason why our overlords don't care that much, since wiping out half of humanity may look like a desirable outcome to them.

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46 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Yes, I guess when I tell somebody to fuck off, I've written them off. Typically I just don't go around telling people to fuck off, like I'm handing out candy. Typically it is a last resort option. And I don't think telling people to fuck off is typically a good idea over a mere disagreement about a matter,

But, when I do, decide that telling somebody to fuck off is warranted, and at times it is, I'd prefer to be crystal clear about it and straight and to the point, rather than trying to do all the fancy footwork of trying to "civilly" tell somebody to fuck off, in which case, I'd probably just trip over my two own feet and fall down.

And some people do need to be told to simply fuck off. Alt right clowns being an example.

Over the last two decades, I've watch the Republican Party do some of the dumbest shit imaginable. And rather than learn from their mistakes, they simply just double down on their stupid shit. At some point, I think you just lose your patience. And you know, I think it is okay.

And I think it bears repeating, again, that Trump isn't something that hit the Republican Party out of the blue, though I suspect if his presidency ends up being judged a failure, conservatives will claim he didn't do the "true conservatism", but rather it is the result of the path the Republican Party and it's donor class decided to take. They could have reversed course, particularly after Dubya's presidency, but they decided to go a different route.

Of course, people can say, "but, but Democrats...". And sure Democrats make mistakes, but it isn't like what the Republican Party has become.

And of course having a polite and civil conversation, really depends on the other party acting in good faith. And I have about zero faith that the Republican Party and it's donor class are doing that. Somebody pointed out here that Obama tried to reach out to the Republican Party, after the disastrous presidency of Dubya, and the Republican Party responded by trying to destroy him. That is the kind of people were dealing with. The Republican Party and it's donor class are playing for keeps. They have no interest in compromise. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is a statement out there by one of the Koch Brothers saying they don't do compromise. And then you have people like Stephen Moore giddy about how the Republican tax bill hurt Democratic constituencies. As soon as you realize this, then your best response is likely to start playing hardball.

I don’t disagree.  You are absolutely right that the Republican party has been moving this direction since Gingrich wave in 1994.  

The stepa that follow after we start telling each other to “fuck off” are what give me pause.

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Now, liberal sorts of people, let's acknowledge that free trade is still something that divides the left.
And this is a complicated issue that actually deserves a polite and civil conversation to see if we can work through it.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/11/29/18118213/elizabeth-warren-trump-trade-gm-tariffs

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) isn’t ready to cede trade policy themes to President Donald Trump.

In a speech set to be delivered Thursday afternoon at American University, in Washington, DC, Warren unloads a biting critique of a generation’s worth of neoliberal trade policy consensus in Washington and — strikingly — insists that despite Trump’s embrace of protectionist rhetoric and aspects of protectionist policy, he hasn’t gone nearly far enough.

Okay, a few things.
If Warren and Sanders intend to impose tariffs, it is something that I don't agree with.
I think in a nutshell the problem here is that given the American psychology, some how tariffs aren't considered redistribution, which they are, while other things are considered redistribution and gasp "Socialism"! 
In short, I think there are better ways to deal with the losers from trade than crude tariffs. Nordic countries for example generally are free trade countries, but are less skittish about income redistribution and gasp Socialism!
More on this latter.

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18 hours ago, Bonnot OG said:

Lol my god is Pelosi fucking garbage. I completely missed how she was bringing up how W Bush treated her and called her # 3. She is such a worthless bag of shit and completely unaware of how terrible both her positions and republican positions that she agreed with are. 

Her fucking friendly bullshit with a white supremacist party shows how she is okay with bigotry, most likely a bigot herself, and only cares about power. 

What is the longest you can go without clowning yourself? I'm guessing it's measured in hours, at most.

Democrats reject any plans to pay for Trump's wall, Schumer says a shutdown over the wall would be on Trump's back.

You repeatedly post alarmist bullshit in a way that would get you banned from most boards where I talk politics and then generally get proven wrong about it shortly thereafter. How about you take a lesson from that and chill the fuck out before you come off more like a /poi troll doing their best imitation of an unhinged leftist than an actual leftist? Cause this whole routine gets pretty goddamn tiresome, and I say that as someone who often agrees with where you're coming from.

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20 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Jeffries and Luján got into leadership roles below the top 3, according to a WaPo article and an NPR story from yesterday, so it looks like they’re becoming official as presumed future leaders of the party.

Yep and Bustos was elected chair of the DCCC.  That's why I mentioned those three.

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2 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

What is the longest you can go without clowning yourself? I'm guessing it's measured in hours, at most.

Democrats reject any plans to pay for Trump's wall, Schumer says a shutdown over the wall would be on Trump's back.

You repeatedly post alarmist bullshit in a way that would get you banned from most boards where I talk politics and then generally get proven wrong about it shortly thereafter. How about you take a lesson from that and chill the fuck out before you come off more like a /poi troll doing their best imitation of an unhinged leftist than an actual leftist? Cause this whole routine gets pretty goddamn tiresome, and I say that as someone who often agrees with where you're coming from.

What does this have to do with my Manchin comments?

Gotta love libs sticking up for shit lib leaders.

We have 12 years to cool the earth down. 12 years, that's it. And you want to tell people to calm down as the Dems continue to put the oldest, shittiest, and most out of touch and horrible people in leadership positions of the party, who are going to get us killed with their republican like voting history or their calls for unity to work with republicans.

You seem like a complacent lib.

Oh, and that article doesn't clown me, only you, since you actually take Schumer at his word when he talks out of both sides of his mouth, and when he is tyring to play semantics about the funding being used for fencing, not a concrete wall. 

Schumer is a racist willing to negotiate with a racist to help implement bigoted immigration policies, like ridiclous border security measures.

Edited by Bonnot OG

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18 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The assumption that the 2012 electorate is similar to the 2018 one is the flawed one. As I said above, Tennessee is moving to be more white, more rural, and more old than 2012 was, and the end result is a demographic negative for Democrats. 

 

Kalbear, where on earth are you coming up with those ideas about Tennessee?

Tennessee is definitely NOT losing population. Its growth rate is close to the national average -- it is growing faster than all the states it borders except Georgia and North Carolina, and is the fastest growing state of all those that border the Mississippi River.

https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-much-each-us-states-population-grew-or-shrank-in-a-year-2017-12

I also think it is highly unlikely that Tennessee is become more rural -- certainly it was still becoming more urban in 2015, the latest year I found data on that from:

https://news.utk.edu/2016/12/08/survey-tennessee-urban-area-population-increasing/

Nashville was the tenth fastest growing major metro area in the USA in 2017 and now accounts for about a third of the state's population.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/03/26/nashville-tn-population-housing-apartments-rent-jobs/458757002/

If Tennessee is becoming more white and older compared to the rest of the country (which I also doubt) I'm sure it would be because retirees are moving to it, not because young people are moving away.

I think you have completely confused Tennessee with West Virginia, which is demographically and economically a very different state.

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Carbon capture technologies range anywhere from $150 (very optimistic) to $600/metric ton (bit more realistic) of CO2e. Carbon emissions reduction strategies are much cheaper to implement, on the carbon market you could offset your emissions with projects, for instance, that cost only $1-5/ ton.

We are currently definitely focused on emissions reductions rather than carbon capture, but in crunch time we may have to switch to the latter as a last ditch effort. The technology already exists to do carbon capture.  Whether it can be scaled up, and if we have the courage to spend all that money (probably greater than the GDP of the global economy) on capturing carbon from the atmosphere and....doing something with it is another question.

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3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I don’t disagree.  You are absolutely right that the Republican party has been moving this direction since Gingrich wave in 1994.  

The stepa that follow after we start telling each other to “fuck off” are what give me pause.

Again, highly, highly recommend you read Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne B. Freeman. Via diaries, letters, memoirs, etc. of first hand witnesses and participants in what was going on with the slaveocracy right there in Congress, how people who were from the gitgo always willing to placate and by nice to them no matter what they did because ''we must save the union," turned into "There's nothing else to do, but war."

My personal take on your reititerations that being courteous is the only response possible by sane, fair-minded, good people to bullying, force, insanity, ignorance and refusal to even consider anything except my way or die is that you really need to ask yourself, "What should a sane, fair-minded, good person do in the face of violent force that never stops but only escalates?"  

Your determination that anything is better than violence is like a guy who sees someone stand in the middle of tinder-dry forest where it's against the law for obvious reasons to make a fire or spark any kind of flame, yelling that this is violating his freedom as an American in the constitution, and starts throwing around lit matches, and you, the witness to what is going on runs away instead of trying by any means possible to stop this man who is about to burn up a whole damned town.

Because after fair-minded, intelligent well-informed facts and information don't work, what the hell do you do?

Edited by Zorral

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22 hours ago, denstorebog said:

Are we going to discuss the two concurrent raids that just happened? 

 

 

 

Nothing to with the orange doofus.

This is afaik more about tax fraud/cheating with cum cum and cum ex (no I did not make those names up, get your mind out of the gutter) deals.

A bit simplified, you get a tax return for stock trades that never took place. If anything falls off the truck that is relevant for the Mueller investigation, that would really just be a mere bonus.

Edit:

Wikipedia on what this about. I am sure our resident financial lawyers can explain that stuff way better.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

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