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Marion On August - 10 - 2011
Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007

Image via Wikipedia

As more and more unreconstructed PUMAs and Clintonistas emerge from the woodwork, to whine,cry and generally stir cack over the fact that they really, really, really, really, really don’t like having a black man at the helm, they seem to have taken advantage of the mental historical shallowness that lies comfortably in the minds of most Americans – you know, the region of the mind that’s directly circuited to Fox News (if you’re coming at us from the Right) or MSNBC or even Current TV, from the other direction.

This region of the mind used to be the place which enabled you to think critically, but now it’s been taken over by Keith or Cenk or Ed or Moanie Joanie or Katrina-the-Poor-Little-Rich-Girl or Her Serene Highness Queen Rafucker Omnipotent of Medialand accompanied by her pet gnome, Little Boy Bill. They do your thinking for you, and they’re quick to remind you that what you seem to recall, even about modern history, even about events which occurred a mere few months ago, is just danged wrong.

Like, for example, who remembers that the President actually wanted the debt ceiling hike to be worked out well ahead of when it was due to be discussed in the spring. Actually, he wanted the increase as part and parcel of the Lame Duck session, and it was tabled as part of the tax cut negotiations, but Harry Reid didn’t want to go with it. He wanted the debt ceiling to be raised in 2011, when it was due to be raised, so the newly-minted Teabagging Republican House could prove its maturity and “own” part of the responsibility.

That strategy worked well, didn’t it? Oh, forgot … we’re supposed to blame the President. Silly me.

In this age dominated by incessant celebrity status, since everyone from grifter togroaner is deemed a viable and reliable political commentator (at least by the sham posing as the US media), it behooves soccer mom-cum-wannabe-mean-girl Joan Walsh and possible tax cheat Bill Maher, to prove their relevance by reckoning that the Liberal Left is having buyers’ remorse with Barack Obama.

Pardon me, but I am a Liberal and a liberal, and I’ve always been Left of centre, but neither Joanie nor Little Boy Bill speaks for me.

What’s totally oxymoronic about this entire assumption, by both them and the motley crew who portend to think for most of us and tell us how we should think on the Left, is that Hillary has suddenly been reconstructed as the Great (and White) Progressive Hope.

Truth is, Hillary was never a Progressive. Apart from women’s issues, during her time in the Senate, she was strictly DLC material, straight down the centre, and obliging enough to allow, via her vote, George W Bush carte blanche to run riot in Iraq and Afghanistan. And when she ran for President in 2008, she presented herself as the sensible centrist, whose foreign policy mirrored that of one John McCain. She was, in short, a hawk.

And then, there were the dog whistles …

And the little porky pies (that’s rhyming Cockney slang for lies)

It doesn’t surprise me that Bill Maher is trying to re-brand Hillary as a Progressive; after all, he’s desperate interview Bill Clinton, on whom he has an unrequited man crush, even though he voted for Robert Dole in 1996, on the basis that Dole was a “real war hero”. Besides, he’s mindful of the fact that he once called Hillary Clinton the c-word on his show. (I’d provide a link, but HBO is pretty savage about taking down most of the Real Time clips on YouTube). After all, Bill re-invents himself from week to week according to the type of people sitting on his panel.

But if you cast your mind back to early 2008, and close your eyes and screw your face up like a prune (the way you do when you’re constipated and trying to alleviate yourself of all the excess shite spun around inside you), you just might remember that this man was the Progressives’ darling, and that Little Boy Bill did all but roll over onto his back and beg to have his tummy tickled in the great man’s presence:-

Yep, that’s right. John Edwards, ne’ Johnny Reid Edwards, was the Progressive candidate, at least at the beginning of the campaign season in 2008.

But Johnny Reid, in another life, had been a good old Southern moderate Democrat, of the triangular Clintonian variety. In fact, that’s why the Northeastern and traditionally liberal John Kerry chose him as his running-mate – to attract the more moderate and Conservadem South.

And, suddenly, in 2008, yonder comes Johnny Reid down the road, a-yodeling a Progressive tune (‘cept for same-sex marriage – he never could get that dog to bark).

Now the surprising thing about this whole meme about the Obama caveat emporiumwhich Moanie Joanie and Little Boy Bill are trying to push, is that this truth about the Edwards convenient political enlightenment, was verified in an article appearing in Joanie’s own Salon.com.

As Steve Kornacki, one of Salon’s leading writers, says in the article:-

It’s easy to forget now, but in the early stages of the ’08 race, things were setting up remarkably well for Edwards. After making a favorable impression in the 2004 primaries and performing adequately (if not quite as well as many had expected) as John Kerry’s running mate that fall,Edwards sought to reinvent himself as a truth-telling populist, angling to inherit the army that Howard Dean had briefly assembled in the ’04 race. He began by apologizing for his own vote as a senator in 2002 for the Iraq invasion and took to railing against Democratic leaders in Washington for their supposed spinelessness in standing up to George W. Bush and congressional Republicans. It helped that he was now a former senator, free to travel the country spouting absolutist rhetoric in casual clothing.

There was a very specific purpose to this. Hillary Clinton would be the overwhelming front-runner for the 2008 nomination, everyone knew, the favorite of many of the big donors and pragmatic establishment types that Edwards had cultivated in ’04. The only room would be to Hillary’s left, where grass-roots Democratic voters and activists remained infuriated by the role their party’s national leaders had played in authorizing the war. This was the turf Edwards would seek out.

So there you have it. Edwards was the Progressives’ darling, but other things intervened in his life, and he disappeared early, not giving the purist Left the chance to really take on board that he didn’t approve of same-sex marital unions; but for those first hectic primarying weeks, Hillary was the status quorepresentative of the DLC, and Johnny Reid was hankering on her left flank – her extreme Left flank. And in betwixt the two was the tall, skinny black fella who presented himself as the centre-Left pragmatist, the sort of politico, whom the ueber purist Progressive Left would naturally hate; but when Edwards was toast, rather than switch their attention to Hillary, the cool kids went after Barack (even though they didn’t bother to listen to his message).Maybe Joan Walsh is conveniently forgetting this, because she remained firmly in the Hillary camp until the bitter end; and if she’s having buyers’ remorse about anything, I’m wondering if it’s because she didn’t vote for McCain? After all, how can we forget the emblematic behaviour of one die-hard PUMA at a meeting of the DNC Executive Committee?

And isn’t that what it really is all about?

53 Responses so far.

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  1. funksands says:

    I know exactly what Hillary was and is, and I was pretty close on Obama, though I would encourage planeteers to go back and read my post “Obama, Culture Warrior?” and give it another spin…

    This was Nixon:

    *imposed wage and price controls.

    *indexed Social Security for inflation.

    *created Supplemental Security Income.

    *created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    *created Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

    *promoted the Legacy of parks program.

    *implemented the Philadelphia Plan, the first significant federal affirmative action program.

    *dramatically improved salaries for US federal employees worldwide.

    *signed a bill that lowered the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 miles per hour to conserve gasoline during the 1973 energy crisis.

    *established the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.

    *On February 6, 1974, he introduced the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act. Nixon’s plan would have mandated employers to purchase health insurance for their employees, and in addition provided a federal health plan like Medicaid that any American could join by paying on a sliding scale based on income.

    Was Nixon a liberal? By no means. But he was the last President that even smelled like one.

    Obama pulled the political narrative back to Carter at best. We have a lot more work to do.

    Knowing this, I am pleasantly surprised when liberal policies come out of the Whitehouse, and not surprised at all when they don’t.

    I keep calling and writing and suggesting and plan to support his re-election in 2012, while dreaming of the love child of Eugene Debbs and FDR….

  2. ADONAI says:

    Shit. She was more Progressive than the guy in office right now.

    And if Obama HAD a plan to deal with the debt ceiling and he let Harry Reid put the kibosh on it, then yes, I do very much blame the President.

    Thought he was the leader of the Party. Not a bitch with “cute ideas”. I don’t think anyone wanted the argument then. Certainly didn’t see any indication of that in the article you linked.

    But let’s be clear. I’m criticizing President Obama. Not blaming him. That’s ridiculous. If that’s a problem then I suggest people develop thicker skin.

    “In this age dominated by incessant celebrity status…”

    How do you think Obama got this job? Wasn’t his record or his experience. His current record will help him keep this job, and rightfully so, but it sure as shit didn’t win it for him.

    • AdLib says:

      There’s no point to arguing the 2008 Dem primary now but to say Hillary was more Progressive than Obama…I’d be happy to see what you’re using for the basis of that conclusion.

      Hillary is on our team and vice-versa so this isn’t criticism, just realism that she was a conservative Dem where Obama was more of a centrist Dem.

      I do have to say that the topic of this article, addressing the fantasizing about how Hillary would be acting as President, reminds me of the Repubs fantasizing about Chris Christie and Jeb Bush running for President.

      Wishful thinking about things and people because the current reality is not ideal seems to me to be a complete waste of time.

      • ADONAI says:

        I don’t wish she was President. I got over that years ago. I’m just wondering what he word Progressive means anymore.

        Hillary Clinton proposed the most Progressive health care plan I’ve yet to see. Real universal health care.

        She’s been a staunch supporter of stem cell research from day one. Obama has wavered.

        Neither of them will openly support gay marriage so I’ll giver ya that one.

        She has been more progressive on global warming and environmental issues.

        And I’d have to look others up but that’s off the top of my head.

        But I’m just starting a pissing contest and that’s not the way I should have went. I enjoy both of them and I think either was a good choice.

        • AdLib says:

          Hillary’s HCR plan in 2008 was a little more conservative than Obama’s original plan, it included a mandate which Obama eventually adopted.

          Obama wavered on stem cell research?

          In what has been interpreted as a direct rebuke of former President George W. Bush, President Obama said today that his administration would make “scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

          The president signed an executive order ending an 8½-year ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, paving the way for a significant amount of federal funds to flow to science.

          http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Politics/story?id=7023990&page=1

          How was Hillary more Progressive on global warming and environmental than Obama? Please provide some details because I can’t recall any policies of hers that were more Progressive than his in these areas.

          • ADONAI says:

            Hmmm, she’s not. In fact, it appears they’re almost fucking identical.

            Mea culpa.

            • ADONAI says:

              It does appear that way AL.

              And this is the good thing about being misinformed on a message board. Someone is there to set you straight.

            • AdLib says:

              No worries. The thing that opened up a path for Obama to campaign was Hillary’s positioning herself as a conservative Dem, most famously, voting for the Iraq War.

              When it came to their policies in 2008, they were virtually identical all down the line.

              Had Hillary won and became president, I would be just as committed to supporting her and her policies because I think they would pretty much be the same as Obama’s.

          • KQuark says:

            I’m a bit flummoxed as well Adlib.

            The only substantial thing she was more liberal on during the primaries was HCR but Obama even took her stance on the need for universal HCR during the general election.

        • bito says:

          How that “most progressive HC plan” work out in Congress? And how has Obama wavered on stem cell research?

          FACT SHEET ON PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER
          REMOVING BARRIERS TO RESPONSIBLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
          INVOLVING HUMAN STEM CELLS
          http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-presidential-executive-order

          http://www.whitehouse.gov/search/site/stem%20cell%20research

          • Dorothy Rissman says:

            In my opinion you cannot look at campaign promises as a way of measuring anything. The only thing that really counts is not what they said during the primaries, but what they accomplish as president.

            I was with Obama after the second debate. What was said on the campaign trails is what they hope to do. It is wholly different thing to compare what a president accomplishes and what a candidate for president campaigned on.

            I am saddened to see what I think is a growing division among dems.

            Enough with the past. We have to work to make sure that a republican does not take the presidency.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Amen to that, Dorothy! Could not agree more. And BTW, I saw your comment over on The People’s View and agreed with that too. Glad to meet you here!

          • KQuark says:

            Yeah I just read were the white house won it’s appeal to widen human stem cell research. But you know those good news stories don’t sell well.

            http://www.nbcmontana.com/health/28682428/detail.html

            If you think Hillary is a huge “green” proponent. You really don’t know her history that was Gore.

          • ADONAI says:

            HOORAY!!!!!!

    • KQuark says:

      Remember there is no such thing as more progressive nowadays it’s a litmus test only the far left can pass. Anyone near the center is Republican lite to them.

      You are dreaming if you think any Democrat would have gotten revenue increases out of the Tea Party House.

      So any “bitch” points you have are quite moot.

      • ADONAI says:

        Revenue increases? I just said a plan to raise the debt ceiling. You know, save us 6 months of utter bullshit. Democrats got time to work and they still got no revenue increases so who was talking about that?

        AND, if Harry Reid is running the show, I’ll keep handing out bitch points.

        Come on Mr. President. You think you’re the first one to deal with a hostile Congress? Cowboy up sir.

        • bito says:

          Do you think that Harry Reid goes into a Dem caucus and says “OK, this is what we all vote yes on!” and they all nod and give a Sir, Yes Sir! to him?

          And what exactly does “cowboy up” mean to you?

          • ADONAI says:

            Obviously I don’t. I was wondering that myself.

            Remember about a week ago when he just got real candid at a press conference and just flat out called the Republicans on their bullshit? Where does that go? Why does he save that for the very last moment?

            He signed that damn debt ceiling deal in private. No TV cameras, no smiling politicians. Because he was just as disappointed in it as I am.

            I am not blaming President Obama for anything. Like I don’t blame Bush for the last decade. I’d like to see Obama be more forceful. It’s just my opinion. That’s all. Just a critique. That’s it. I;m not assailing the Presidency.

            • ADONAI says:

              KQ, If I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me….

            • KQuark says:

              I have no problem with your critique of Obama. That’s you right to have that opinion.

              I just don’t get the version of the world you are looking at right now.

            • ADONAI says:

              They were all choices KQ. You are correct. Choices WE made.

              Cause and effect. It controls everything.

              Skipping straight to the President does not follow cause and effect.

              When FDR took office the country was in the midst of an actual depression, Europe was fracturing, and we all know what that led to.

              Kennedy came into a recession as well. The economy wasn’t moving. The Cold War was at it;s highest as well ans everyday he dealt with the threat of the EXTINCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE!

              So, let’s have some perspective.

            • KQuark says:

              Huh? Iraq was a choice, torture was a choice, huge tax cuts for the rich mostly was a choice.

              Bush was in an easy place when he started his presidency and he just made things worse.

              No president since Lincoln faced a more daunting task walking into the oval office.

        • KQuark says:

          Six months so we can play this all over again no thanks.

          No thanks we had a cowboy for president 8 years before Obama and how did that work out for ya?

          • ADONAI says:

            For me? Not too bad. Not too good.

            For Bush? Fantastic.

            And since Obama supposedly wants to help us, maybe cowboy up and get what you want to.

            • KQuark says:

              Another gem Adlib.

            • AdLib says:

              AD, wish that was the case, that people aren’t manipulated to vote against their own interests but they are.

              The Bush policies including the 2008 economic collapse have hammered 98% of the nation, their IRAs and 401ks, their home values, their jobs, etc..

              Yet, McCain still got 46% of the vote.

              People do not vote in a vacuum, just on whether a party’s policies harmed them or not, many people vote solely on party loyalty and ideology despite what’s in their best interest.

              Did 46% vote for McCain because they thought the economy was better for them after 8 years of Bush or that they approved of their homes losing massive amounts of value?

              Of course not, they are diehard Republicans or Conservatives and in 2008, some diehard racists in either party could only vote for McCain.

              For a part of this country, there is a complete disconnect between the standard of living they live and the party they vote for.

              That’s why it’s so hard to get real change, because no matter how bad it gets for some people, they refuse to change.

            • ADONAI says:

              No it sucked for some of us KQ.

              If it sucked for everybody then something would be done. As long as enough people are satisfied, the rest will get a raw deal.

            • KQuark says:

              Well good for you but that Iraq War, torture and huge deficit for nothing kinda sucked for the rest of us.

  3. oldpol2 says:

    Well I have never seen Bill and Hillary as progressives, more like republican light. Think NAFTA and deregulation. The top two progressives that come to mind are Dean and Feingold and frankly I am rather fond of Eliot Spitzer. I would love to see him put the screws to the crooks on Wall St!

    As for Bill Mahr, I think he is a declared libertarian so to him maybe Hillary looks progressive.

    • AdLib says:

      The Clintons are straight ahead DLCers, now and then. They were never Progressives which is not a condemnation, just reality.

      As pointed out above, Hillary did support the Iraq War, Bill did kill Glass Steigel and pushed for and signed NAFTA. In fact, he was popular for triangulating, adopting the GOP platforms. That doesn’t mean they don’t support many Progressive values but the DLC is the corporate-friendly conservative branch of the Dems and Bill’s presidency affirmed that.

      Hillary ran much to the left of where she typically had been in the 2008 primary because that’s what all politicians do in primaries, lean towards the root of their base.

      So, her positions on policies didn’t differ greatly from Obama’s.

      If she was president now, would she be more Progressive and effective than Obama? I think that’s doubtful. The Repubs in the Senate and House would be far more hostile towards her for being Hillary Clinton so I doubt she would have had as many legislative accomplishments. And keep in mind that her husband responded to losing seats in the midterm by going far more conservative than Obama so it is not hard to imagine Hillary doing similarly.

      However, had she been the nominee, she might not have won the presidency anyway.

      The GOP was drooling at the prospect of Hillary getting the nom, they had all kinds of nasty stuff, both true and fabricated no doubt, to try and bury her.

      And they might have succeeded. Had Hillary won the Dem nomination, the RW would have had the target and enemy they most wanted. Back then, there was nothing that energized Repubs like hating Hillary and with all they were prepared to do to take advantage of that, it would have been a very different GE.

      Keep in mind, McCain got 46% of the vote against Obama, a man that the GOP was unprepared for running against.

      Might the animosity and campaign against Hillary back then generated greater GOP turnout or peeled off some of the Repub vote that Obama received for being someone new who could offer real change?

      All McCain needed was 4% more of the vote. We don’t know for sure, it is not an absolute that if Hillary was the nominee that she would have won.

      And if she didn’t, today we could be in a Great Depression with President McCain and Vice President Palin shrugging their shoulders and shoveling tax dollars to the corporations with promises it would all be trickling down to us soon.

      There are not could’ve-beens in the real world, those unhappy with Obama have legit reasons to feel that way but it is just one’s imagination to believe that Hillary would be doing far better in his place.

      • KQuark says:

        I’m always so surprised when people overestimate the power of the presidency, especially in a global economy like we have today. There is nothing a US president can do to solve the real problem, creating manufacturing jobs when high tech industries are so automated and we can never hold our standard of living and compete with workers abroad. The best thing you can do is what he is doing investing in new technology.

        Above all until revenues are raised there can be no solution because every solution requires money. So we know with these Tea Baggers nothing will get done. Unfortunately people chose no progress over incremental progress.

        • AdLib says:

          Just watched Reich and Bill Richardson on Matthews, all three clamoring for Obama to SPEND on infrastructure and jobs programs…as if they are clueless that Congress and the Baggers have to pass any law having to do with spending.

          There was a brief mention that if such a bill couldn’t pass, it would be something to campaign on but most of the talk was, “Why doesn’t Obama spend on infrastructure?”

          Add to this, Obama has already announced he will be coming out with a jobs proposal or bill in a couple of weeks.

          So…wouldn’t a rational person just hold him to that and press for what should be in it as opposed for this angry magical thinking that Obama should just use a magical wand to spend money only Congress can appropriate?

          • bito says:

            I was shaking my head right along with you, AdLib. Even the Stimulus bill was chopped by billions and tax credits/cuts added to it by Congress, do they think much of anything will pass this house? Saw a clip from Faux and they were saying that he should call Congress back into session to deal with the stock markets! A: What can congress do about the markets? B: what happened to their “free markets”? C: Speaker Boehner can call the house back in any time, it’s in a pro forma recess subject to the chair.

            • KQuark says:

              Bito when people have a voice with no authority they can say anything and make it sound easy. One thing I have learned from the Obama presidency is how much the office restricts it’s occupant. You can’t be an ideologue on the left because of the political mindset of the country. The minute Obama did break out big change, the whole system aided by the GnOP colluding with big business said woe.

              Reich is the worst since when he was in a position of power he deregulated and was a big free trader. It’s easy to be so-called progressive when you have no governing responsibilities.

          • KQuark says:

            Like the current flock of “progressive” pundits they simply deny political realities. Again they set up huge exception laden unfulfilled prophecies. Then when Obama cannot pass the legislation he wants they can all call him a shitty leader.

            • Marion says:

              Robert Reich, as Secretary of Labor, sat on his HANDS while Clinton negotiated and signed NAFTA. He is a hypocrite.

  4. SallyT says:

    Maybe I am not welcome here. I campaigned for Hillary and I would again. I did vote for Obama and I will again. But, I am not ashame of either.

    • escribacat says:

      Hey Sally, I also voted for Hillary in the primary. I still hope to see a woman president before I die….just not one of those nutbags from “over there.” It’s interesting that I’m one of the last Obamabots standing.

      • SallyT says:

        I’m with you there! Not Bachmann or Palin!! Do you think the Repubs are using them to show woman as nut cases and we need to stick with men? Sometimes I wonder……

    • KQuark says:

      I would have gladly voted for Hillary even though I prefer Obama. The whole progressive thing is lost on me now. Like KOS says to me progressives are people who want a left wing George Bush which is not what I want to run the country. I think Hillary would have faced the same problems Obama did because the GOP would have obstructed just the same and there would still be the filibuster rule in the Senate.

      • SallyT says:

        KQ, oh you are so right. They wouldn’t have made it any easier on her. I don’t know for sure how she would have responded. I have an opinion. But, would her reactions been any better for the outcome? Don’t know. I am still supporting Obama but he has let me down a few times. I am sure she would have, too. You can’t have everything no matter how hard you try. And, having everything isn’t always a good thing.

    • oldpol2 says:

      Everyone is welcome here. The purpose is to share ideas. If we wanted them spoonfed we would go to Faux Snooze!

      • SallyT says:

        I was being specific to this article not to the site. I know the site welcomes all comments. I also watch Bill Mahr. You don’t have to agree with someone to listen to them. And, because you do doesn’t mean they are spoon feeding you. If you don’t listen to others, you don’t know how to defend, campaign or challenge someone in the debate of issues. I don’t retain everything I hear and many times research things that don’t sound completely right to me. In order to criticize, you have to have heard the subject. If I didn’t listen to others, whether I agreed or not, I wouldn’t have any friends. Doesn’t mean I would follow them off a bridge.

        • AdLib says:

          I agree with you Sally that it is inaccurate and simplistic to suggest that anyone who watches a particular show is categorically this or that.

          By the same logic, one could declare that anyone who reads this article is one specific thing…and yet from reading the comments here, it’s clear that such a claim would be just plain wrong.

          I visit HP to see what monkey business they’re up to, not because I’m a fan. I’ll watch Bill Maher to see what conversations are being had and put in front of the public but my opinion of him isn’t very high anymore.

          When one proclaims that all people who watch a show or like a particular politician or celebrity are identical and/or mindless, the credibility of such a claim collapses on itself.

          It’s a loop, condemning people in a simple and general way for thinking in a simple and general way.

  5. amaycatbaker says:

    If women are truly serious about politics, then Wasserman would run more female candidates in the primary’s, and then see if the American public is ready for more female leadership. Women are represented in politics by only a few. And we are 50% of the population, so I call that underrepresentation. Certainly Hillary is a smart well accomplished lady, but there are others in college or starting their careers that could be groomed. IMHO

    • KQuark says:

      I agree but I think it’s already happening. Look at the NY special election and the WI recall candidates. All the Dem candidates that won were women. There will be plenty of woman running for Dems next year and I’m 100% for it.

    • AdLib says:

      Among the more Southern and conservative, there is greater prejudice against anyone who isn’t male and white running for office. And yet AZ, OK, NC and SC do have women governors.

      So though there can be resistance, it can be overcome even in the south.

      It would be a good thing to have a good representation of women in the 2012 races but as you mention, outreach and preparing people has to begin as they come out of college (or earlier).

    • bito says:

      “Wasserman would run more female candidates in the primary’s” ?
      I’m unclear on how DWS can do that, doesn’t one have to want to run first?

    • Personally, I don’t really care about the gender of the people who write our laws. All I care about is if they are just laws.


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