“Are We in Revolutionary Times?”

So asks Victor Davis Hanson of Obama’s unprecedented (and shameful) disregard of the Constitution yesterday in announcing he will  blatently ignore the law of the land (and the separation of powers) and not deport 800,000 illegal aliens. How quick can you get ‘em on the voter rolls illegally, eh? Hanson writes:

Legally, President Obama has reiterated the principle that he can pick and choose which U.S. laws he wishes to enforce (see his decision to reverse the order of the Chrysler creditors, his decision not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and his administration’s contempt for national-security confidentiality and Senate and House subpoenas to the attorney general). If one individual can decide to exempt nearly a million residents from the law — when he most certainly could not get the law amended or repealed through proper legislative or judicial action — then what can he not do? Obama is turning out to be the most subversive chief executive in terms of eroding U.S. law since Richard Nixon.

Politically, Obama calculates that some polls showing the current likely Hispanic support for him in the high 50s or low 60s would not provide enough of a margin in critical states such as Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado, or perhaps also in Florida and Virginia, to counteract the growing slippage of the independent vote and the energy of the clinger/tea-party activists. Thus, what was not legal or advisable in 2009, 2010, or 2011, suddenly has become critical in mid-2012. No doubt free green cards will quickly lead to citizenship and a million new voters. Will it work politically? Obama must assume lots of things: that all Hispanics vote as a block in favoring exempting more illegal aliens from the law, and are without worry that the high unemployment rate hits their community among the hardest; that black voters, stung by his gay-marriage stance, will not resent what may be seen as de facto amnesty, possibly endangering his tiny (and slipping) lead in places like Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And because polls show overwhelming resistance to non-enforcement of immigrationlaw, Obama also figures that the minority who supports his recent action does so far more vehemently than the majority who opposes it. Time will tell; but my gut feeling is that his brazen act will enrage far more than it will delight — and for a variety of different reasons. As with all his special-interest efforts — the Keystone cancellation, war-on-women ploy, gay-marriage turnabout, and now de facto amnesty — Obama believes dividing Americans along class, ethnic, gender, and cultural lines will result in a cobbled together majority, far more preferable than a 1996 Clinton-like effort to win over the independents by forging  a bipartisan consensus.

There is no bipartisan consensus in Obama’s head. Yes, we can steamroll the Constitution! He is desperate, because in doing so, he’s going to make the employment situation bleaker for many. Read the rest.

Rush called this the “Catch, Release, Vote” plan. Fitting. His predictions of what comes next frighten me more.

UPDATE: Pundette has much more.

The old college try

Victor Davis Hanson properly eviscerates Maureen Dowd’s laughably inane column denouncing Perry’s college grades as proof positive he couldn’t be a good President. Bad grades! Terrible example! He’ll show students they can succeed in life even if they have bad grades! The problem for liberals even bringing up the argument:

When Dowd trashes Perry and Bush (why not quote the hardly impressive Kerry record?), she is arguing that long ago college records and scores are a good barometer of presidential success (that is dubious if one were to compare a Lincoln or Truman to Wilson or Carter), and, by inference, that the current president is also apparent proof. But does she have inside information about the Obama undergraduate record at Occidental and Columbia? If not, why not, given the supposed importance of undergraduate grades to liberal observers? I suppose we are to conclude that supposedly poor students like a Perry or Bush released their grades or had them leaked, but brilliant undergraduates earning top slots at Harvard Law have no need to release obviously straight-A transcripts and no worry that anyone would care?

Whoopsie.

Finally, VDH scores another point for real knowledge from an ag school vice race-class-gender idiocy masked as learning:

Finally, some of Perry’s education reforms would probably do more to raise SAT scores and improve undergraduate education than the current race/class/gender industry that has turned a once classical curriculum into therapeutics, and tried to apply an illiberal equality of result standard of college performance rather than the old ideal of an equality of opportunity. In regard to Dowd’s sneer quote of  ”What appears to be a course called ‘Meats’,” it might, in fact, offer more real knowledge (about animal science, nutrition, and physiology) than, say, any of hundreds of classes in our universities like  ”Queer Mobilities” at Yale or “Desire and Repression: Economic Anthropology and American Pop Culture” at Princeton or “Of Mean Streets and Jungle Fevers: Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee” at Harvard?  

I got caught in the idiocy during grad school. I had a tough choice one semester as the only two literature–I use the term loosely–courses available for my schedule were Queer Theory Shakespeare or Jihadi Lit. Choices, choices. It was a long semester. At least I balanced it out with a little Melville.

Althouse chimes in and points to this MoDo outtake:

“Perry told the students, ‘God uses broken people to reach a broken world.’ What does that even mean?”

Althouse responds:

But if you’re so smart, why can’t you understand the poetically rich “God uses broken people to reach a broken world”? You think intelligence is demonstrated by the pompous overachiever’s use of big words and long sentences?

Crisp aphorism marks the genius.

Liberals don’t get that. Nor does the sesquipedalian who chooses to punish others with trite sentences loaded with excess verbage. With a teleprompter no less.

Debt kabuki and Noonan regret: It’s Saturday laundry

Harry Reid and his cronies will shred the Boehner bill and stick it not to “the rich” but to the rest of us. How? Ed Morrissey explains the CBO process of scoring, and how Reid has figured the expiration of Bush tax cuts and the absence of an alternative means tax (AMT) patch will pad the coffers:

Total tax hike over 10 years, according to the GOP analysis?  $3.8 trillion.  And those would not just be tax hikes on the “wealthy,” either.  Those tax hikes would hit the middle class like a freight train, both on basic rates and the AMT creep that Congress has parried for years.  If this analysis is correct, Reid either wants to hit the US with the biggest tax hike in its history, or he’s offering bogus deficit reduction that will never occur.

Oh, I’m sure Obama won’t veto that, eh? We’re being played as rubes. Where are the entitlement discussions? Oh, only military retirement. Rubes, the taxpaying kind. Victor Davis Hanson reminds us how difficult it is to pry the entitlements away from those who vote for their government checks:

About 50 percent of taxpayers don’t pay federal income taxes. Almost half of American adults receive either the majority of or all of their income in some form from government. They are naturally desirous of even more entitlements, in the sense that even higher taxes on the top 5 percent might ensure at least some of the needed revenue to pay for them. And if that echelon must pay 70 percent or 80 percent rather than the present 60 percent of all collected income taxes, it would still not be such a bad thing, inasmuch as the circumstances surrounding their earned income must be somewhat suspicious. In the words of the president, the so-called affluent surely at some point must realize that they have made enough money and have hundreds of thousands in unneeded income that could easily be assessed with higher taxes.

The agenda of the poorer and lower-middle classes is championed mostly by an affluent elite located on the two coasts, who find power and influence in representing “the people,” and are themselves either affluent enough, or enjoy enough top government salaries and subsidies, to be largely exempt from any hardship that would result from their own advocacy of much higher taxes and larger government expenditures.

Nancy Pelosi, et al. They’re sending us straight into servitude for generations to come, but since they own the shackles, it matters not. I guess it’s “fair” that we’re all poor together. I have never understood why liberals subscribe to this vision–that those who succeed must be punished–rather than the Reagan idea: lift everyone up together. I suppose it’s easier to punish.

Finally, regret from Peggy Noonan. I find it humorous to note her own exclusion from the title at WSJ: They’ve lost that lovin’ feeling. In part:

[...] nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton’s troubles there were always people who’d say, “Look, I love the guy.” They’d often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren’t that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.

Noonan brands Obama a disaster, and fails to acknowledge the wool was pulled over her own eyes:

But he’s not good at building, creating, calling into being. He was good at summoning hope, but he’s not good at directing it and turning it into something concrete that answers a broad public desire.

And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn’t serious, he was only shrewd—and shrewdness wasn’t enough. He demagogued the issue—no Social Security checks—until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.

So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces—the presidency, the U.S. Senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who voted for the loser in ’08.

More Saturday reads:

Democrats on the Hill complain Obama isn’t a leader. Oh, the irony.

Unintended consequences for liberals: our economy stinks so badly, the legions of illegals head back home as the Mexican unemployment rate is half of our own. 300,000 have left California. Only 2.6 million more to go. Maybe without the $10 billion annual cost of social services to illegal immigrants, California will be able to right its own sinking budgetary ship.

Cross-posted at P&P.

So “paying the military and their families for sixty years when they only serve 20″ is unsustainable, eh?

That’s the attitude of the Defense Business Board which advised gutting the current military retirement system for a “fair” one that trims the budget by a mere $254 billion.

Funny, that’s how I feel about folks on life-long welfare or hipsters on food stamps who didn’t serve that “meager 20″ in fighting in war zones, on hardship tours, separated from family.

Funny, too, that the media would feed off the idea of those wicked conservatives starving the poor and elderly for eons, while the notion of forcing cuts on those currently serving musters a peep in the Army Times and Stars and Stripes. Funny, how that works, no? No big media brouhaha over soldiers who gave up 20 of their most creative or financially productive years to serve their country. Hey, Michelle and Jill, I can tell you care about military families now!

The only “big” media mention of worth, in fact, that discusses the Defense Business Board’s proposals takes larger aim: cut that bloated head count argues Loren Thompson, writing for Forbes. She notes the Center for American Progress advocates changes to the military benefit system:

The center also endorses reforms of the military healthcare and retirement systems aimed at bringing compensation levels into closer alignment with the pay and benefits of private-sector workers.

First, note that the Center for American Progress is a leftist think-tank. Second, regardless of what any liberal thinks, soldiers are not private-sector workers nor should they be treated as such. Read the rest if you can tolerate sneering at those pencil-pushers within the military who do things other than fire guns. To Loren Thompson, civilians could push those pencils much better, and far cheaper. She’s obviously never met most civilians who work for the military, the vast majority of whom have neither the work ethic nor the standards to get the mission done–let alone done well–because their unions protect them from such trite things. But I digress.

When will the entitlement discussion come? Welfare? Social Security? Medicaid? Victor Davis Hanson voices soon to be necessary questions:

Should those on welfare who have more than three children still qualify for increased assistance for each additional offspring? Should state-subsidized elective operations automatically be provided for the chronically obese or lifelong smokers? Does the affluent class deserve mortgage-interest deductions on second and third homes? Should U.S. troops subsidize the defense of an allied and rich Germany or Japan 66 years after World War II?

Social Security reform used to be the third rail that politicians dared not touch. But is that prohibition really still operative as big government approaches insolvency? Expect soon not just the retirement ageto jump, reflecting modern longevity, or automatic cost-of-living increases to cease, mirroring the reality found in the private sector, but also the entire notion of disability to change as well.

Quite simply, the dogma that a teenager with dyslexia or a mature man with a bum knee will receive years of Social Security disability benefits will be assessed as an historical aberration of the last twenty years. A decision by an insurance company or government agency that a 62-year old must settle for arthroscopic surgery on a chronically torn meniscus rather than a complete knee replacement will not be interpreted as social cruelty.

Almost everything that can be said has been said about illegal immigration — and about the sustainability and morality of millions of Mexican and Latin American nationals crossing the U.S. border unlawfully and plugging into the American entitlement system. But an insolvent state like California, despite the liberal protestations, cannot continue to house 50,000 Mexican nationals in its penal system at a per capita cost of nearly $35,000 a year, or to extend free tuition in its broke university system to those without legal residence, or to provide social services to illegal aliens that may well cost the state nearly $10 billion a year. Even to suggest such limits was once considered illiberal. Now, not to state the obvious — that those without education, English, and legality have been expecting far more than what they could contribute in return — will be considered derelict.

That’s perspective: the 20-year savings from cutting gutting military retirements and shafting active-duty soldiers would pay for the social services for illegals in California for a month.  Read the rest.

“The new N-word”

Or is it the new F-word? Ah, the plight of liberals, censoring language at every turn. Stacy McCain highlights the N-onsense:

According to David Gregory of NBC News, it is “coded racially-tinged language” to mention the increased use of food stamps under President Obama’s economic agenda

In a way Gregory’s right: it’s the N-ew N-ormal in the Age of Obama. Food stamps for all!

Head over to The Other McCain to see the video.

In other racially coded news, the First Lady sure knows how to pick excellent role models for kids

Finally, Victor Davis Hanson asks questions that will get him labeled mean-old-white-man-keepin-the-other-man-down in a hurry:

First, what exactly is race today in America in which intermarriage and immigration have increasingly made it — and its ugly twin racial purity — often irrelevant? We are no longer a country largely 85-90% “white” and 10-12% “black,” but something almost hard to categorize in racial terms. Do university admission officers adopt the 1/16, one-drop racial rule of the old Confederacy? Does being one fourth African-American qualify one for consideration; three-fourths Japanese; half Mexican-American? Does a simple surname add — and often by intent — authenticity and credulity? The son of Linda Hernandez and Jason Smith — a Bobby Smith — is not considered, without genealogical investigation, Hispanic, but the son of Linda Smith and Jason Hernandez — a Roberto Hernandez of equal 50/50 ancestry — is almost instantly? If so, is race a state of mind and personal choice more than circumstances of birth? What exactly is white and what a minority — a dark-skinned Armenian-American is the former, a light-skinned Colombian American is the latter? A dark Sicilian-American is white, Barack Obama is black?

[...]

Is there a color-coded graph somewhere that says the darker one is, the more consideration one is due?

It’s sad, isn’t it, when I know the President and the Attorney General would answer in the affirmative. Read the rest.

NYE Laundry

Darling pjHusband this morning: What do you want to do to ring in the New Year?

Tired Mom of sick toddler: I don’t care as long as it doesn’t involve vomit.  Fever-free would be grand, too.

Dare to dream.

News from my hung-head coffee perusing for your enjoyment.

Fun stuff happening at Potluck.  Just a Conservative Girl asks if a civil war brews for the GOP.  And Pundette asks if NYC unions did intentionally slow the snow clean up this week, resulting in the death of a newborn.  Another infant dies as a result, too.  Heads should roll.  But since these are union heads not private industry heads, the media won’t care, nor will Big Brother. 

A laugher: Democrat regrets “death-panel” language.

JWF: Our esteemed AG says the Black Panther case a “made-up” controversy.  I’m torn as to which will blow up for the O administration, Black Panthers or Pigford.  What say you?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air ponders the green-induced government-backed destruction of jobs and food (and countless lives) in California’s Central Valley.  This is shameful.  Victor Davis Hanson writes about California’s self-induced woes regularly, and Ed’s column reminded me of this VDH gem on the Central Valley earlier in the month. Also related: Quite Rightly questions the government’s new role in regulating food “safety.” 

Pundette highlights the idiocy of the WaPo’s wizard of smart columnist, Ezra Klein.  Seems as though the boy-genius doesn’t understand the Constitution because it’s “old.”  Heh.

Katie Couric thinks we need a Muslim “Cosby Show” because we’re all so racist, and it would help build bridges of understanding or some such liberal nonsense.  Hey Katie: Here’s my vote for Cliff.  At least he wasn’t caught building bombs, no?

Thank you, Obama: the road to (socialist) hell was paved with millions of lost jobs

Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School and former W. economic advisor, declares the U.S. economy “close to a destructive tipping point.”

The final push?  New Obama EPA rules will cost more than 800,000 jobs.  The irony: the environmental rules that prompt the changes will export jobs to China and result in more pollution.  Irony, shmirony, say the Obami, out with those jobs! (Or is it jobs, shmobs, who needs jobs?) 

VDH on Obama’s path to 40% approval ratings (he’ll be there in a jiffy).  The cause in part:

Nearly every issue the president embraces polls against him, often at a 3-1 margin. Cap and trade, amnesty, state-run health care, more bailouts, takeovers, deficits, taxes, and the national debt. His vision is the same as that of the EU circa 1990 — one that even Europe now rejects as a failure.

The answer to every challenge is to found a new program, borrow billions to run it, hire millions more loyal to the progressive gospel of public employment, and demagogue any who oppose it. The public is starting to see that the president’s ideology is really a mixture of the Ivy League, the left-wing of the Democratic Party, the tired canards of the black caucus, extremist residuals from Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers, and twenty years of university multicultural, utopian pacifist, and moral equivalent indoctrination. His Democratic Party is not one with half the House Democrats and does not appeal to liberal independents. He’s the sort of progressive professor whom the proverbial new student comes home at Thanksgiving to quote to a shocked parent..

Obama can no more adopt a centrist identity that Rev Wright could become a Billy Graham, or Jimmy Carter could pivot like Bill Clinton. Most House Democrats grasp that unwelcome truth and so mightily fear his presence in their districts.

Once again, governing against the will of the people has consequences.  Though the Obami aren’t of this world where actions have consequences–it’s not their fault we’re too stupid to see their brilliance.  

TGIF: VDH optimism and Krauthammer eviscerates the liberal crutch. Who could ask for more?

Light blogging ahead: my in-laws will be here in a week and the rest of the boxes must be unpacked.  Books and papers are the bane of moving.  Twitter feed and google reader will be updated, but posts might be a little skimpy.  Apologies.  It’s funny how life happens, no?

Optimism from VDH who argues that “Decline is a choice.”  He writes:

As the summer winds down, there is more and more talk of decline in the air. Some of it comes from the left, as a sort of giddy notion that we are now, at best, devolving into what the Greeks called prôtos metaksu isôn, first among equals, enjoying traditional prestige but otherwise nothing much special in comparison to the Europeans, India, and China.

In the age of Obama, the notion of not being exceptional or preeminent comes as a relief to millions on the left who pretty much are in sync with the protocols of the United Nations. On the right, there is a sense that Obama is the ultimate expression of downfall; given the wild spending, the iconic efforts abroad at apology, and the rampant entitlements we simply aren’t what we once were. In between, most aren’t quite sure—but sure are worried that we may never climb out of our self-created indebtedness crater, and that the culture’s education, the nation’s borders, and the civilization’s values are eroding.

I agree with the latter take, but see decline in history as largely psychological. After all, a Rome that was little more than 4 million and half of Italy almost simultaneously fought both Hannibal and Philip V and ploughed on after losing over 100,000 dead between 219-216 BC to victory, while by AD 450-80 an empire of 70 million, with a million square miles of territory, could not thwart thuggish tribes across the Rhine and Danube.

A very poor United States in 1941 defeated imperial Japan and helped to defeat Nazi Germany in less than four years. A few hundred thousand immigrants between 1870 and 1960 took a godforsaken desert in California’s central valley and turned it into an oasis of agriculture, for nearly half a century with no more than muscle and mule power.

He goes on to point out our exceptionalism in every field–well, sans the arts which have succumbed to race/class/gender orthodoxy.  And he’s right.  Read it, smile, and know that as we recovered from Jimmy Carter, we will recover from Obama.

(As an aside, did Carter have fans who still wore campaign t-shirts?  I was too young.  And I still see women decked out in their Obama paraphenlia snatching up magazines on which he graces the cover.)

Charles Krauthammer examines the liberal tendency to cry “Racist rube! Bitter clinger! Idiot!” which he refers to as the “last refuge of a liberal.”  He writes:

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

The great unwashed don’t want a Ground Zero Mosque, fail to see the brilliance of a judge who decides two men can marry, and feel the borders should be protected.  Rubes, all.  Too bad those rubes can vote, eh? Read it.

Boxes call!

 

VDH on a roll

Take one:

On the Internet recently appeared the pictures of the JournoList bunch, who at least between themselves gave up their usual pretense that the media was unbiased. With all due respect (confession: I was briefly mentioned by the list as someone that the racist card might work on in connection with the illegal immigration debate), they appear to the eye as a sort of nerdish group.

They remind me of what we used to call the “wimp table” at a pretty tough Selma High around 1970. It was there that the high school’s handful of geeks, toadies, and picked-upon used to eat, under the protective eye of yard-duty teachers. The assumption was that with a few steps further onto the grounds, the entire sorry bunch was fair game for every bully on campus. And that sad outfit filters, disseminates, and arbitrates our news? Most from their writing and appearance seemed either neurotic overachievers or twenty-something bloggers who confuse calling someone something with erudition.

If you care to see what he’s referring to, click here.  ROTFL.

Take two:

No wonder aristocratic golf became needed presidential relaxation, the old first lady hysteria over things like Nancy’s china cooled when Michelle hit the Costa del Sol, and Guantanamo became A-OK. The news now for these guys is sort of like writing boilerplate race/class/gender oppression papers for a Yale undergrad gut class.

Cue Michelle’s Princeton thesis.

Take three:

A book will have to be written explaining how in 19 months Obama blew a 70% approval rating and is headed for under 40% — something that took Bush six years. A handful of judges nullified what millions voted for in Arizona and California, apparently on the premise that wanting federal immigration law enforced, and seeing marriage as a traditional bond between a man and woman as it has been for 2,500 years in the West, was bigoted, analogous to the racism of the Jim Crow South, and thus in need of judicial intervention.

Heh: see, Obama has done a better job than Bush–in destroying his own approval rating.  (But at least he’s a bigot, too).

The crowning glory:

The common denominator? If one were to survey the elite campuses around 1975 and talk to those in law school, poly sci, or the humanities, then imagine them 35 years later as our elite leaders in government, the media, the universities, the foundations, and the arts, one could pretty much expect what we now have.

The present symptoms that characterize both our popular culture and current governance — shrill self-righteousness; abstract communalism juxtaposed with concrete pursuit of the aristocratic good life; race/class/gender cosmic sermonizing with private school and Ivy league for the kids; crass and tasteless public expression; a serial inability to take responsibility for one’s actions; the bipartisan mega-deficits; the inability to cut pensions and social security for the baby boomers — from the trivial to the fundamental, all derive from a bankrupt cohort that came of age in the sixties and seventies.

We see the arrested adolescence and hypocrisy that come from that sermonizing generation, whether in Al Franken’s puerile face-making, the ideologically driven suicide at Newsweek, the steady destruction of the New York Times, John Kerry’s tax-avoiding yacht, the Great Gatsby Clinton wedding, Michelle on the Costa del Sol, Nancy Pelosi’s jet, Tim Geithner’s tax skipping, or the constant race-card playing of a Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters. Yes, one walk across the Yale or Stanford campus circa 1975, and one could see pretty clearly what sort of culture that bunch would create when it came of age and was handed power. If that is reductionism, so be it.

Ouch.

VDH offers lessons on “The Kerry Yacht”

(Maybe he should tutor Marie Antoinette?)

So true:

Once again, a liberal proponent of higher and more redistributive taxes (e.g., Daschle, Geithner, Rangel) has acted antithetically to what he professes. In his 2004 campaign, Kerry alleged near-treasonous behavior (“Benedict Arnold”) on the part of companies that relocated out of the country to seek lower taxes. The psychology of this hypocrisy is hard to figure: Does the technocratic guardian class believe that, as an overseeing nomenklatura, the laws should not apply to thems? Does loud support for taxes in the abstract serve as some sort of surrogate ethical compensation for avoiding them in the concrete? Or is there an assumption that such elites won’t get caught (remember, Geithner and Kerry only paid up when public attention turned to their avoidance)?

Read the rest. 

H/T: Instapundit.

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