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White House Crisis Management

Socially Urban Blog White House Crisis

Last week in my “Bad Week For Obama” blog I discussed three current “so called” scandals that the white house is trying to deal with. The IRS debacle, the Department of Justice wiretapping issue, and the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Honestly I thought all three of those scandals would fizzle and fade away from mainstream media. I knew Fox wouldn’t let these issues die so that part I expected. But mainstream media and even liberal media are still leading their broadcasts with all three of these stories every day. I’m not saying that these issues aren’t important, but they aren’t half as big as everyone is making them out to be. Especially Benghazi. That’s the one that drives me crazy because I don’t understand why an argument over talking points has garnered all this attention. I thought President Obama took all the steam out of that story during the second presidential debate. Romney thought he had a sure-fire trump card that would definitely score him major points but President Obama threw it right back at him and ended up making Romney look like an uninformed opportunist. For some reason Republicans never learn from their mistakes and seem incapable of moving away from issues and political maneuvers that have failed and in some cases failed miserably. Two very good examples of this is Benghazi and the repeal of The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The House and the Senate can’t seem to get anything done or even bring bills to the floor for a simple up or down vote, but that hasn’t stopped them from voting on the repeal of Obamacare 45 times. They know each time this will fail but they still do it over and over again. Common sense would tell anyone that there’s zero chance of Obama signing a bill that would undo his biggest piece of legislation. The Affordable Care Act is the most important part of his legacy. Hell, it even has his name in the title (lol). It seems as though everyone has caught scandal fever when it should have been just a 24 hour bug.

I can’t blame everything on Republicans because the White House continually makes bad decisions which makes small missteps into huge epidemics. Their number one problem is rolling-disclosure. Leaking small pieces of information here and there day by day keeps these scandals in the news. They’ve done this with Benghazi, the IRS thing, and the DOJ’s wiretaps. I just blasted the Republicans for not learning from their mistakes, but the White House has the exact same problem. I wish President Obama would have taken charge of the IRS issue as soon as they became aware of it. They should have been the one to bring this to the public’s attention. That would have taken 90% of the steam out of the GOP’s argument. But instead his staff and advisers decided that “plausible deniability” would somehow protect him and limit his exposure without risking his political capital… so they didn’t tell him. That works well in business but it never works in politics. Especially when you’re the president. Maybe this time they’ve finally learned that lessen and they’ll stop giving Republicans ammunition.

Bad Week For Obama

Socially Urban Obama Blog

This has not been a good week for our president… stating the obvious I know, but he’s taking heat from all sides, both left and right.  Some of it is warranted but most of it only exist in the minds of republicans or manufactured within the 24 hour news cycle to raise a ratings slump that’s been stagnant and/or lagging ever since the presidential election ended in November.  I hate to see the President on the ropes like that so I’m going to break it down and help him out a bit (like he’s going to read my blog or solicit my advice lol).

Late Friday evening a story leaked out accusing the IRS of unfairly targeting right-wing groups who filed for nonprofit status.  After the story broke the IRS released a statement acknowledging the unfair targeting and extra scrutiny these applications were getting.  President Obama held a press conference to address this issue and told the press that they were launching an investigation, and he was very emphatic about finding out who was responsible and promised to deal with them accordingly.  I’m a very liberal democrat (surprise surprise) and I’m not a fan of the Tea Party (an even bigger surprise) but wrong is wrong.  Anyone at the IRS who had anything at all to do with this should be fired and prosecuted in a criminal court.  President Obama also said that he had no prior knowledge of this happening until the day before the story leaked, and it’s pretty obvious that he had nothing to do with the IRS placing extra scrutiny on the right-wing groups applications.  Common sense would tell anyone that the White House and President Obama had absolutely nothing to gain by delaying nonprofit 501c applications.  He’s extremely intelligent and pragmatic so he would never risk his presidency for something as stupid and insignificant (relatively speaking) as this .  But the republicans haven’t figured this out yet.  They’ve alluded to cover ups of mass proportions all week on any media outlet that will give them airtime.  Normally this wouldn’t be such a huge deal.  Admittedly the IRS was wrong and they should take responsibility for letting this happen and be punished.  But the far right-wingers want to make this all about President Obama and they’ll continue to feed these delusional theories to their base buffet style as long as they keep eating it up.  So the quicker the president resolves this situation the better.  He needs to wrap the investigation up ASAP and be brutal quick and indiscriminate with the firings of some top IRS officials and do it in a very public way.  When dealing with political scandals whether they are real or manufactured, perception is everything.  Republicans rarely deal in reality so you have to beat them at their own game.  PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING.  Start demagoguing the hell out of every press conference when these guys start to come for you.  So, that’s my advice on the IRS issue.  On the scandal scale it gets a 2 out of 10 (10 being Watergate or the Iraq war, and 1 being Jimmy Carter lusting in his heart lol).

The second scandal is a lot more serious and actually merits even more attention than it’s already getting.  Earlier in the week the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.  Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration did this without a warrant, without honoring the First Amendment, and contrary to normal procedure where they could have asked the Associated Press to cooperate and if they declined then they could take it court and let a judge decide.  Prior to this incident that is the way the DOJ has handled similar situations in the past.  This story troubles me the most, and it’s the most confusing issue I have with President Obama.  I voted for him twice thinking he wanted to do things a lot different from his predecessor.  Obama promised me and everyone who voted for him a more transparent government. Then he does a 180 and instead of walking back some of the civil liberty infringements of George Bush’s Patriot Act, he adds to it with things like warrantless phone taps on law abiding citizens, increasing the number of DRONE attacks, and assassinating secret targets without telling congress and without any due process.  For most of his first term in office he wouldn’t even acknowledge that the drone attacks were coming from us.  That doesn’t sound transparent to me at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the President is doing a great job as commander in chief, and I don’t regret voting for him at all.  But when it comes to foreign policy and protecting civil liberties I am extremely disappointed in that part of his administration’s agenda.  So here’s my advice to the president about this.  First of all he needs to do some restructuring at the Justice Department.  He needs to take the DRONE attack program away from the CIA and give this responsibility to the military.  The CIA is a covert organization so they really can’t be transparent about their operations, and they do not answer to Congress so that means no oversight.  The Military handles these types of things best because they have to get orders, show results, and notify Congress of their actions.  My second piece of advice pains me because I like Attorney General Eric Holder, but like I said before, perception is everything.  President Obama needs to replace Holder with someone else, preferably someone outside of his circle of close friends and advisors.  Someone who is passionate about progressive ideas and an advocate for civil liberties.  Eric Holder was great at his job, but someone’s head has to roll and roll quickly.

It will be interesting to see how the President will handle all of these situations being thrown at him all at once.  I have complete faith in him as a leader because he’s been overcoming major obstacles all his life.  So far he’s risen to meet every set back head on and always comes out unscaved as the victor.  I’m not even going to talk about Benghazi because he’s already won that argument.  The republicans just don’t know yet.  When will they learn that It’s going to take more than the GOP to tarnish this man.

President Obama’s First Debate 2012

The first debate of the 2012 Presidential election is over. Now the pundits and the American people are deciding who won.  Just to be fair I feel I need to let you know that I have been and always will be a very liberal democrat.  After watching the debate I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the way the President handled things.  I could concoct some kind of spin or rationalization that would diminish President Obama’s shortcomings during the debate and leave the impression that I believe Romney lost.  But that wouldn’t be the truth and if I go down that road I’ll become everything I abhor about Mitt Romney.  His history of misrepresenting the truth, flip flopping, changing his message to suit each crowd he’s speaking in front of (pandering), and spouting outright blatant lies whenever it’s politically advantageous.  But like I said, I can’t do that.  My conscience and upbringing just won’t allow it.  So here’s the truth.  President Obama lost this first debate.  Simple as that.  I’ll get into what this may cost him politically and if it’s as important as some might think later in my post.  But first I want to go over what I think were the President’s biggest missteps.  The first thing I want to talk about is body language.  I picked up on this very early into the debate.  Most of the time when Romney was speaking President Obama had his head down writing notes.  Romney was facing the President trying to engage him and look him in the eye.  This was a pretty big mistake for the President because it made him look passive.  No one anywhere in any country, business, organization, etc wants a passive leader.  It’s an oxymoron to even put those two words together; “passive leader”.   But let me be clear about this because I do not want anyone misunderstanding what I’m saying here.  I said it made the President “LOOK” passive.  Anyone who can remember Obama vs Hillary four years ago saw from the very beginning that this man is definitely not passive.  But in these kind of televised debates perception is more important than truth or reality.  Mitt proved that point time and time again.
The second misstep was letting Romney say misleading things without correcting him in the moment.  This drove me completely crazy the whole night.  I was almost yelling at the television at some points.  Here are a couple examples:  Mitt said “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.”  Which was a seriously bold statement when anyone with a calculator and a little common sense can easily prove that this is a lie.  An independent economist at the Tax Policy Center (http://bit.ly/ODj7Mv) have shown that the price tag for Romney’s tax cuts equals about $360 billion in the first year which extrapolates to $5 trillion over a decade.  It’s simple arithmetic and for those that don’t believe me I included a link to the Tax Policy Center’s website where you can see it for yourself. 

Here’s another example of Mitt misrepresenting the truth:  About half way through the debate Mitt says “We’ve got 23 million people out of work or who have stopped looking for work in this country.”  It’s true that we do have a lot of people still out of work in this country due to the Republican’s bad economic policies under George Bush, but the actual figure is 12.5 million.  Not 23 million.  Here’s how slick Mitt manipulated the numbers to lie for dramatic effect in the debate.  He counts more than 8 million wage earners who hold part-time jobs as also being “out of work”.  Clever but still misleading? 

One of the biggest outright lies of the night was when Romney said “Pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.”  He suggested that his health care proposal would guarantee coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions.  This is just not true.  Under Romney, if you have a pre-existing condition (such as I do) and have been unable to obtain insurance coverage or if you have had to drop coverage for more than 90 days because you lost your job or couldn’t afford the premiums, you would be out of luck.  I was born with Sickle Cell and the cost of my medical care throughout my life so far has been upwards of one million dollars.  Someone like me needs this pre-existing condition protection to get proper medical care.  So for people like me this is a life or death issue.  Watching Romney be so careless with the truth and exhibit such a callous disconnect infuriates me to no end.   Under Romney’s plan Insurance companies could continue to discriminate and deny people like me coverage.  This whopper of a lie was even too big for his campaign staff to stomach.  Immediately following the debate Romney’s top adviser had to release a statement saying that Romney  “misspoke about his health care plan including pre-existing conditions”. 

In my opinion someone who lies so easily has no right to become president.  Some people might bring up Clinton as a counterpoint to this statement, but I would ask them to think about what both individuals have lied about.  President Clinton lied about straying from his marriage.  Mitt Romney has lied about his economic plan, lied about President Obama’s record, lied about details in his health plan and misrepresents many other politically important issues that will affect the direction of this country.  Bill Clinton’s lie had absolutely ZERO effect on the welfare of the country and it’s people.  That’s why the comparison of the two isn’t even legitimate. 

Back to the debate; now the final misstep President Obama made that cost him the debate.  Letting Mitt Romney play the bully all night and gain control of the debate format.  It was very clear early on that slick Mitt Romney wasn’t going to abide by the debate rules that both parties agreed to prior to taking the stage.  President Obama should have seen that coming.  I knew even before the debate began that Mitt wasn’t going to keep his word and abide by the rules.  That’s just who he is.  Mitt Romney believes that rules and laws aren’t meant for wealthy people like himself.  His whole attitude and outlook was shaped by the privileged world of wealth that he grew up in.  He’s shown us this time and time again.  Remember the hate and disdain he showed for the 47%  who he deemed as leaches and lost causes because they grew up with financial hardships and work low paying or minimum wage jobs.  This man speaks a completely different language when he’s among his wealthy peers.  There’s no way he can relate to real Americans and he acts as if it’s a bother to even try.  So based on the 47% video, his economic disconnect and his history, the Obama team should have seen the bully takeover coming and prepared ways to counter it.� 

There are a few more areas where the President could have improved his performance but those are the main ones that ended up costing him this first debate.  Now, it remains to be seen whether this changes the polls any and that will be apparent in the days to come, but if we look at past presidential debates where an incumbent lost his first debate, we’ll see that it really has no correlation to winning the White House.  Here are the stats: 

DeMon’s Debate History Chart:
YEAR DEBATE OUTCOME ELECTION WINNER
1976 Incumbent Gerald Ford lost 1st debate against Carter CARTER WON ELECTION
1980 Incumbent Carter lost 1st debate against Reagan REAGAN WON ELECTION
1984 Incumbent Reagan lost 1st debate against Mondale REAGAN WON ELECTION
1992 Incumbent George Bush Sr lost 1st debate against Clinton CLINTON WON ELECTION
1996 Incumbent Bill Clinton won 1st debate against Bob Dole CLINTON WON ELECTION
2004 Incumbent George W Bush lost 1st debate against John Kerry GEORGE W BUSH WON ELECTION
2012 Incumbent Barack Obama lost 1st debate against Romney ??????????????????????
So history tells us that out of the last 7 presidential debates, three incumbents lost the first debate but still won the election.  And an equal amount of incumbents who lost the first debate also lost the election.  I’m using this piece of presidential history to make a point.  Romney may have won this first debate, but it really isn’t that big of a deal when you put it into the proper perspective.  So I want my fellow dems to stop with the doom and gloom.  President Obama is still leading in every single poll they’ve taken in the swing states.  Romney still has to deal with his likability issues and he has to somehow try and make Americans forget that he wrote off 47% of the country as moochers and lost causes who can’t take responsibility for their own lives and they consider themselves victims.  That’s a HUGE hurdle to cross and 5 weeks is a very short time to do it in.  It’s time we own up to the loss of this first debate, then move on and find ways to help the president win this election.  Let this ignite our resolve and do whatever we can to take an active role in this election. President Obama is only one man and he can’t win all by himself.  I can do more, you can do more, we ALL can do more.�

 

BUYING HERMAN CAIN

As soon as I heard that the billionaire republican Koch brothers were bankrolling Herman Cain’s bid for the republican presidential nomination, I knew instantly what they planned to do with him and why they chose him. First of all, anyone with any political knowledge will tell you that Herman Cain has absolutely no chance in hell of getting the GOP nod for president. I’d like to think that Mr. Cain is smart enough to know that as well, but the more I see and learn about him, I’m not so sure he’s in on the joke.
The Koch brothers created an organization in 2004 named “Americans for Prosperity” as a vehicle to influence the political process and funnel millions of their dollars to republican politicians who share their political views and whoever could pass laws that would benefit their business interests. After President Obama won the election in 2008, the Koch brothers along with their “Americans For Prosperity” organization had to come up with a way to insert race and racism into the election without making themselves and their fellow republicans look overtly racist. They tried to do this in the 2008 election but it backfired and lost them the presidency. So the Koch brothers, their organization, and a number of other GOP “think-tanks” devised what they thought would be the perfect solution. All they had to do is find a republican African-American who they could back as a seemingly legitimate presidential candidate, and use him to deflect any charges of racism, and also use him as a puppet to say the racist things that they could not get away with. They could also use him to paint democrats who are critical of him as racist… or as Rush Limbaugh put it “Cain can level the playing field”. So this organization “Americans For Prosperity” (aka Koch brothers) started planning a presidential campaign before they even found who they were going to run. Normally prospective candidates start fund raising about 2 years before their party’s primary. But the Koch brothers are BILLIONAIRES and didn’t need to bother with all that. They wanted to buy and own a negro, and Herman Cain fit the bill. An African-American REPUBLICAN business man who they could Kapture, Koach, and Kontrol (KKK lol). Never-mind that he’s never ran for any type of political office. Although I’m sure his naivete was a necessary attribute that fit into their plans perfectly. I don’t know Mr Cain personally, but I’m told he’s a successful businessman, and if that’s true, then I’m sure he’s probably good in that field. But after watching him in interviews, and seeing how he reacts and interacts with the press, and hearing his public speeches, it’s painfully clear that he is unprepared, inexperienced, and miles away from being a serious presidential candidate. His encounters with the press has made for some of the most cringeworthy political moments ever. I have yet to find one single quality in him that looks presidential. He’s not a good public speaker, he gets visually agitated with the press easily, he has trouble communicating his ideas (or should I say the ideas given to him), he lacks charisma, and at times he seems evasive and even dishonest. So it makes you think, why would the Koch brothers put millions of their money into a presidential candidate who they know won’t make it past the primaries. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that they have a different agenda with very devious intentions.
Watch this clip from Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show “The Last Word”. He plays a clip from a recent Rush Limbaugh show, and in it, Rush inadvertently explains the republican’s stagey and Herman Cain’s purpose and role as their puppet. I hope Herman Cain wakes up and realizes that he’s being used… and maybe he’ll stop tap-dancing in the republican’s minstrel show and recapture some of the dignity he lost before it’s too late.

Shirley Sherrod Victimized By Dirty Politics

Shirley Sherrod is just the latest in a series of officials who have been fired, demoted, or forced to step down or who have had their nomination withdrawn because the Obama administration capitulates to right-wing propaganda put out by smear merchants like FOX News. It’s bad enough that we have to fight the constant smear campaigns and appeals to racial paranoia from FOX and the right-wing media. But it’s completely unacceptable for the Obama administration to give credence to fake controversies and manufactured lies.

Please sign this petition telling the Obama administration to stop paying attention to the right-wing noise machine. Click the link below to take action.






The Mormon Proposition

“The Mormon Proposition” details in devastating fashion the efforts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to help pass the 2008 California ballot measure that defined marriage as solely consisting of a union between a man and a woman. Writer/Co-Director Reed Cowan’s film reveals a disturbing truth of the increasing overlap between church and state. This documentary is extremely well done and at times it even brought me to tears (which is EXTREMELY rare). I wish I could get every person in this country to watch this amazing documentary. I thought I knew everything that went on with proposition 8, but this film exposed a lot of new & shocking information that left me speechless. If this film doesn’t move you, then you have to be a soleless heartless pitiful sociopath incapable of any human emotion… or a practicing Mormon (I’m only being facetious here, so please no hate mail).

The legal battle to declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional is currently underway, which means the ending to this story has yet to be written. Will we write an ending of triumph and redemption, or will we continue this story of intolerance and hate? 

Watch the full length documentary for free below:

President Obama Speaks at GLBT Pride Reception

President Obama spoke at a White House reception marking GLBT Pride Month on June 22, 2010. I know some of his campaign promises concerning gay rights are taking a little longer than we would like, but I have absolute faith that he is going to fulfill every promise that he’s made to the GLBT community. Watching this speech gave me chills at times because I realize just how close we are to equal rights and total equality, and I realize how monumental it is to have a sitting president publicly announce his support for ending ALL gay & lesbian discrimination. This president understands that religious ideology has no place in a democratic government. I hope and pray that, that type of government ended with George Bush, never to be seen or heard from again.


For more info about issues concerning GLBT rights, please visit the sites below:

My New Hero New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

This guy is my new hero. I wish more politicians would follow his example, and start “keepin’ It REAL”.

Almost There With Health Care

Yesterday, the White House released President Obama’s health insurance reform proposal. It bridges the gap between the House and Senate bills, includes ideas from both parties to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse, and puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care. And it creates a major new authority to help states crack down on insurers who propose unreasonable and unfair rate hikes — like the ones we saw just last week in California and Maine. It’s a proposal that combines feedback from the health debate with the President’s longstanding principles on reform — and it’s a bill that any member of Congress can support. But we know Big Insurance won’t like it one bit. Before too long, their attack ads will be back up on TV and their misinformation campaign will be up and running. They’ll have one goal: convince members of Congress that its bad politics to support reform. So it’s more important than ever to show every member of Congress that if they fight for reform now, we’ll back them up this election season.
The President’s bill makes insurance more affordable, sets up a new competitive health insurance market, lays down commonsense rules to bring greater accountability to health care, ends discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions, and cuts the deficit. It also strengthens the Senate bill, adding new provisions to cut down on waste, make sure middle-class families are protected, and closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” coverage gap.  But health insurance companies don’t care what’s in the bill. They’re fighting to preserve the status quo that benefits them — even though it’s disastrous for our nation.


What does all this mean?… It means reform is moving again, but the clock is ticking. We can’t wait to show that insurers are wrong when they claim members of Congress who vote for reform will suffer at the polls.  Call, write, email, shout, visit, text, or anything else you can think of to get in-touch with your Congressional representative, and let them know that they absolutely have to get behind this new health care bill. 


We’re closer now than we’ve ever been before to passing a health care reform bill that will give EVERYONE equal access to health care, no matter what their financial situation may be.  It’s imperative that we continue putting pressure on our elected officials to make this dream a reality.


I want history to look back at my generation as the one’s who changed this great nation in a positive and profound way.  I don’t want history to look back at us as the generation who blew an amazing opportunity to better the lives and health of every single American (present and future).

Putting Pelosi On Blast

I’ve had a lot going on this week personally and professionally.  Most notably was the passing of my uncle JT.  So due to those situations, I haven’t had the time to blog about the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate on Tuesday.  It was quite a shock, and a huge blow to the Democrats and President Obama’s progressive agenda.  The reason this is so major is because the seat was loss in a special election to an anti-health care reform Republican.  With that loss, the Democrats’ tenuous “filibuster-proof” Senate majority is gone.  The reason for the loss is easy to pinpoint: the lack of enthusiasm and turn-out among Democrats and Independents who want this Congress and President Obama to be bolder. 

I am so fed up with this whole situation.  I hate to say this about my own political party, but the level of incompetence on the hill has to be astronomical to allow a health care reform bill that we all want, to get hijacked by the Republican MINORITY.  I love Nancy Pelosi and I respect the job that she’s doing, but I have to lay most of the blame at her feet.  If she was really “on top of things”, none of this would of ever happened.  But what’s done is done, and the blame game isn’t going to get this health care bill passed.  What we can do is push House Speaker Pelosi to step up and LEAD the House, and bring an end to the divisive bickering among Democrats about what should be done on health care.  Call Speaker Pelosi right now and ask her to be bold. Ask her to publicly commit to passing health care with a public option using the filibuster-proof “budget reconciliation” process.
Two political organizations known as “Democracy for Americaand “Progressive Change Campaign Committee” got together and commissioned a poll of Massachusetts voters taken immediately after the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat and the results confirm what we already knew — that voters wanted a public option, expected substantive health care change, and are frustrated with slow pace of change.  The poll showed Democrats and Independents don’t think the current Senate health care bill goes far enough, and more than 80% of them want a public option. If a public option were in the Senate bill, these voters would have delivered victory to save Ted Kennedy’s seat for the Democrats. It’s as simple as that.

Call Speaker Pelosi right now and ask her to be bold and to publicly commit to passing the public option through the “budget reconciliation” process.

Some in Congress are naively trying to spin that Congress needs to move more to the “center,” scrap health care reform, and move slower. Nothing could be more wrong.  There is a huge opportunity to pass health care with a public option through a special process called “budget reconciliation” that only needs 51 votes in the Senate — that means Republicans and Sen. Joe Lieberman can’t filibuster. But first the House must pass it. Speaker Pelosi needs to hear from you so she knows she has the support needed to fight other members of Congress who didn’t learn the lesson from losing Ted Kennedy’s seat.
We can’t let this opportunity pass us by.  Health Care reform absolutely needs a public option.  Think of how much free health care could better your life, and possible extended the years we do have.  Think about your children, your mother, your father, your grandparents and anyone else that you’ve seen struggle while trying to pay for something as simple as a doctor’s visit.  Or having to go without their medication because they just can’t afford it.  I’m sure we all can relate to that scenario.  Do you want how much money you make, to dictate and decide you and your children’s quality of life?  That’s not the kind of America I want to live in, and I hope it’s not the kind of America you want to live in either.
Click on the link below to read over a call script and instructions before calling:
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi   202-225-4965
http://act.credoaction.com/call/oneoffs/index_20.html?cp_id= 

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