When Republicans start ranting that unions "drive up the cost of things"

So Republicans like to rant about how unions drive up the cost of products.

Sure, and million dollar executive salaries and bonuses do nothing to drive up the cost of doing business. Flying around on company Learjets, driving company leased luxury cars and having expense accounts in the thousands drives down the costs of products. Yeah, the problem is those pesky workers trying to put food on the table - - greedy bastards.

SB5 - The Republican's grand lie of 2011

Something I thought I would toss out as a quick summary talking point.

When someone asks, "what's SB5?" ... It's the Republican's grand lie of 2011.


First they said it was about balancing the budget...

Then they said it was about the taxpayer, except they forgot that public sector workers are taxpayers...

Now they're trying to say it's about local control and giving small municipalities "tools," except they forgot that they're the ones who bankrupted the cities...


I'm sure I'm missing something here, so please feel free to add anything I've missed in the comment section.

The Golf Summit - Obama, Boehner, Biden, Kasich

So the golf summit is over and done with. I don't know about anyone else, but I thought it was good seeing them out there. No matter what, it did offer some positive images as a counter to the vitriol climate that is today's politics, which in a lot of ways, is a sad thing to write.

We're always talking about better days in this country. We always hope that the future will be better than the present. But for the last few decades we've done nothing but move in the opposite direction. If we really want to find ourselves in that better future that we all hope for, we're going to have to do more than just hope. At some point, we're going to have to find action through comprise. And while agreeing to a round a golf is minuscule compared to the mountains of comprise we must conquer, it is perhaps the faintest little sign that maybe we can get there.


(image courtesy of the AP)

A recap of the golf summit can be found here.

Great post on DailyKos - The Neverdamnending Story

I thought this was great post authored by Hunter on DailyKos. Following are some excerpts from it. The entire article can be found here.

"We as Americans often confuse technological progress with societal progress. Whether this is more pronounced in America than in other countries I have no idea, but it is difficult to sit in a state-of-the-art convention center and imagine a Roman-style collapse of the republic. We have HDTVs, damn it. We have iPhones. Surely we have advanced far beyond those past civilizations, yes? Surely we are better than any current country could be without those things? We have stealth bombers, you primitive bastards. That makes us better."

"But people do not progress as fast as their tools, and societies do not even progress at the pace a single person might. Countries might have prodigious technology, and yet still harbor virulent racism. No matter what progress is made, we are still all subject to the self-inflicted effects of war. The environment itself still overwhelms our every invented protection, and easily, with a single tornado, flood, or earthquake, or volcano, or with a slight mutation to a random virus that has always been there, or with changes to the very climate of the planet. In the end we are the stuff of our biology, and harbor the same tribal suspicions and hatreds, the same greed and jealousies, and the same rough ambitions."

Can we get a million????

We Are Ohio, the organizing effort behind the repeal of SB 5, has just announced that 714, 137 signatures have been collected to place the repeal on the November ballot.

http://weareohio.com/MediaCenter/PressReleases/PR_061711.html

That's in slightly less than two months — and there are still a couple of weeks to go, plus many people who haven't turned in their signatures yet (looking in a mirror ... I've got 50 in my purse). Achieving a million would sure be nice. It would send a strong message to Governor Kasich (who won't listen) and to the Republican in the legislature (who might).

So it's a slamdunk that the repeal will be on the November ballot. Now the real work begins. Governor Kasich is leading the effort to keep it in place, under the banner of "A Better Ohio" [for my wealthy cronies]. And tens of millions if not hundreds of millions will be spent blanketing the state with lies about how the pay and benefit cuts this bill will bring about will help the state's economy. These ads will most likely focus on "union bosses" and the supposedly lavish lifestyles of teachers and police offices, and play on the resentment that those hard hit by the economy might feel for those who still have decent jobs. They will do their best to avoid making those people think about the fact that if we sink, we'll all sink together – and they will sink still further.

We all need to start talking to our friends and acquaintances about the real impact of SB 5, and why it's bad for all of us in Ohio.

UPDATE: Kasich being sued stating deal with casinos is unconstitutional

A story is up at www.plunderbund.com, and it is a must read.

A quote from it:

"John Kasich's casino deal is ""opening a Pandora's box of lawsuits that is going to go on, and on, and.""

Again, visit www.plunderbund.com for the complete story.

Breaking: Kasich being sued stating deal with casinos is unconstitutional

It appears Plunderbund and Ohio Budget Watch have it first. They are reporting via Twitter that the Ohio Roundtable has filed a lawsuit against Kasich stating that the deal with casinos is unconstitutional. A complete story is still in the works so check out their web sites throughout the day for updates.

www.plunderbund.com

www.ohiobudgetwatch.com

Richard Allen Schools – Dayton Charter School – Mismanagement of tax dollars

The Dayton Daily News recently reported on Richard Allen Schools a charter school system in Dayton that also has several offshoot organizations. The offshoot organizations were founded by Richard Allen’s President and CEO, Jeanette C. Harris, and appear to help the school skirt any real oversight or regulation. For example, the school’s sponsor, a non profit called Kids Count of Dayton was founded by Harris. Harris served as the vice president of the non profit until 2009.

The school appears to be mismanaging the tax dollars it receives. In 2009 it received $6.5 million from the state. Of that $6.5 million over $1 million went to its management. Additionally, in a recent audit, the state found $89,067 in misspent funds. And the school is operating in a deficit.

The Dayton Daily News reports:

”A Dayton Daily News examination found that of the $6.5 million in tax dollars Richard Allen Schools received in 2009, more than $1 million went toward management and consulting firms founded by Jeanette C. Harris, Richard Allen’s CEO and president.

State auditors announced in March they uncovered $89,067 in misspent funds and numerous bookkeeping omissions and irregularities, and a “deeper, special audit” of the system’s finances is now under way. The schools are currently operating with a $234,000 deficit, according to Harris.”

The entire article can be found here:
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/lack-of-oversight-an-iss...

Really, Gov. Kasich? Local governments want your crummy "tools"?

Governor Kasich is trying to convince us, via things like a letter to the editor from the Republican mayor of a wealthy Cuyahoga County village of 1,337 people, that local governments are clamoring for the "tools" SB 5 provides them to balance their budgets after he stole much of their state funding. These so-called "tools" involve punishing workers with cuts and giving them no say.

Unfortunately for Kasich, the executive of the second biggest Ohio governmental body after the state itself — Cuyahoga County — begs to differ. County executive Ed FitzGerald, whose domain includes nearly 1,300,000 people, sent out the following email, soliciting donations to defeat SB 5 at the ballot box. He says:

"I recently joined hundreds of thousands of Ohioans in signing the petition to repeal Senate Bill 5. There is nothing more rewarding than standing with teachers, police, firefighters and all who perform vital services in our communities.

As many of you know, Cuyahoga County’s new government is the one of largest employers in the state. In fact, I employ more public employees than anyone in Ohio except for John Kasich. And, I can tell you, we don’t need Senate Bill 5!

There is nothing workers and managers can’t accomplish by sitting down and talking to one another like adults. A good manager is ultimately a good listener. I know firsthand, some of the best ideas are from the workers themselves, not imposed top down by the boss.

But Senate Bill 5 silences the voice of workers actually making it illegal for teachers to bargain over class sizes, firefighters to ask for respirators, or cops to negotiate for bulletproof vests. Senate Bill 5 is a one-size-fits-all set of mandates cooked up by politicians in Columbus.

Attacking teachers, firefighters, and police does nothing to create jobs in Ohio. The Columbus politicians are focused on tearing each other down instead of working together to improve the economy and get the state back on track.

State rep. candidate Andy Meyer online

We told you a few weeks ago that Andy Meyer, a cofounder and current chair of the Cuyahoga Democratic Lawyers' group, had thrown his hat in the ring for the House seat on Oh-16, currently held by Nan Baker. It covers the western Cuyahoga County communities of Bay Village, Fairview Park. North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake.

Andy now has his website and Facebook page up and running, and we urge you to visit them, sign up for updates, and show him some support. This is a seat we have a shot at flipping.

His website is here:http://www.meyerforohio.com/

His Facebook page is here:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Committee-to-Elect-Andrew-A-Meyer/188353644547955

In addition, he's got a fundraiser scheduled for June 27 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Rocky River Brewing Company t 21290 Center Ridge Road. He's asking for $16 for Oh-16 (or more if you feel moved).

Flipping the House next year is going to be key to balancing the extremist agenda Governor Kasich is pushing, so we need to get on board now and support good progressive Democratic candidates like Andy.

Barack Obama Campaign Day of Action

The campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama will be holding a Day of Action this Saturday, June 18, in Cleveland.

Details are…

What: 2012 Day of Action

Where: 1121 E. 105th St
Cleveland, OH 44108

When: Saturday, June 18th
9:30 am

You can sign up for this event via this link: http://my.barackobama.com/June-18th-Day-Of-Action

In the last few months the President has been gaining steam.

He’s proposed a jobs plan that will produce 10,000 new American engineers a year. There’s also a plan in the works that could create 114,000 new jobs through upgrading energy efficiencies in commercial and apartment buildings.

Nationally we’ve seen 15 months of private sector job growth.

We’ve added 2.1 million jobs over this period.

We’ve had 7 straight quarters of GDP growth.

The Obama Administration has cut taxes for small businesses 17 times

Then there's the auto industry – GM and Chrysler are healthier than they've ever been thanks to the stimulus

Keeping America safe – the killing of Osama Bin Laden

And then there’s all this…

Affordable Care Act:
The President enacted the Affordable Care Act, which provides stability and security to Americans who have insurance and provides affordable options for those who don’t; lowers costs for families, businesses, and our country as a whole; provides the largest middle class tax cut for health care in our history; and prevents insurance industry abuses and denial of care. (for things like pre-existing conditions)

Appointing of the first Hispanic to the US Supreme Court:
Appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to US Supreme Court

Wall Street Reform:

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) had to repay $1.6 million in tax dollars

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) has been in the news recently. ECOT is a K-12 online charter school. It enables kids to take classes from home via the internet. It's been in the news as a wonderful example for school choice. John Kasich recently spoke at their graduation.

But is it really a wonderful example for school choice or prime grounds for mis-management of taxpayers money and below average student performance?

According to recent reports the school has a 35% graduation rate. Yikes.

The school argues this is a skewed statistic.

When the school opened in 2000 it was forced to repay $1.6 million in tax dollars, because state auditors could not confirm their actual enrollment.

A look into political donations given by the school's founder finds a quid pro quo with Republican lawmakers and a very cushy relationship. According to an article found on Kathie Bracy's Blog during a 2005 Ohio budget fight, the founder of ECOT, William Lager, and four other associates gave $10,000 each to the campaign funds of then Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted. In return they received a less than proposed cut in state funding. The article from Kathie Bracy's Blog [which is reporting done by the Akron Beacon Journal, I couldn't find the original article] states:

"2005 state budget

Last year's contributions occurred mostly in four batches.

In the month after the two-year state budget was completed, Lager and four others associated with Altair gave $10,000 each to the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee run by House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, a proponent of charter schools.

Last year had been shaping up to be the roughest for charter schools since they were created in 1997. State legislators, facing weak tax revenue and rapidly growing expenditures on Medicaid and charter schools, sought spending cuts.

Hate SB5? Attend the Ohio Democratic State Dinner

If you hate SB5 and want to see it repealed, then attend the Ohio Democratic State Dinner. You'll have the opportunity to sit with thousands who oppose this bill and will be actively working to repeal it. Also, the price of your ticket will go to help fund the crucial ground campaign that will be needed to repeal this bill. Your money will help pay for the Get Out the Vote effort that will get people to the polls on Election Day.

The Ohio Democrats are calling this dinner...

'Stand Up For Ohio – The Fight To Repeal Senate Bill 5’

Stand up. Join in. It is definitely worth your time and money.

The date for the dinner is Saturday, June 25th in Columbus.

You can register via this link: https://ohiodems.org/statedinner

Plunderbund's guest poster

Plunderbund recently had the honor of having Kellie Copeland, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio as a guest poster on their blog. The work that Ms. Copeland and others at NARAL Pro-Choice do is so vital for protecting women's rights and ensuring that women make the decisions on what happens to their bodies. If you haven't read the post yet, please do so. It can be found here.

Ohio's 2002 Teacher of the Year on Charter schools

So John Kasich likes to go around touting experts. He based his push for increased fees on Ohio's new casinos, because experts told him he should get much more from them.

Ohio's 2002 Teacher of the Year recently weighed in on charter schools. She called them a lousy investment. One would think that a teacher of the year might know a little about education. Think John Kasich will listen?

Here's the letter originally posted on the Columbus Dispatch.

"In the wake of the flurry of amendments being written regarding the proposed state budget, House Bill 153, I offer an idea to the legislators for an amendment on behalf of all the children of the state of Ohio.

"Let it be declared illegal to use Ohio's children for profiteering purposes; all state education dollars should go to educational institutions required to be run as nonprofit schools, whose only bottom line should be the quality of education for its students provided by licensed, certified superintendents, principals and educators in the classrooms."

As a parent, 29-year veteran teacher, tax-paying resident of Ohio and graduate of the Columbus City Schools, I have to ask, what is really going today in our Statehouse with the current state-budget proposal?

I am appalled at the direct pipeline funneling vital state dollars for our children's education directly into the pockets of millionaires like David L. Brennan, chief executive officer of White Hat Management ($6 million yearly salary) and William Lager, CEO of the state's ninth-largest school district, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow ($3 million yearly salary).

Time to vote in the Foley-Hagan bumper sticker contest

A week or two ago, we told you about the bumper sticker contest that state reps Mike Foley and Bob Hagan are hosting to find a nice, crisp message for Democrats. Entries are closed now — almost 250 came in — and it's time to vote, like, NOW.

Sez Foley,

"Hi all. We had almost 250 entries in our "Great 2011 Bumper Sticker Contest". Voting starts now and ends Thursday, June 16, 2011 at noon or so. You can vote by going to www.mikefoley.us. My son Kevin and I spent a whole bunch of time trying to figure out how to embed the entries and unfortunately the print is a little small, but you can scroll down and enlarge the print at the bottom for better viewing. Thanks for all who entered. "

Thursday night from 5-7 p.m. at PJ. McIntyre's at 17119 Lorain Road in Cleveland is Foley's annual fundraiser, where he'll be announcing the winners. He says you can get in for any amount from $0 to $11,363. He adds, "I'd be happy for something right in between, but of course would also be happy with $50 or whatever you could afford."

DNC video about the Republican debate: what in the world were they talking about?

Wrap up video from the DNC on the Republican debate. Watch it. You'll get a laugh.


Run, Jill, Run!

I saw this on Buckeye State Blog and would have to echo it...

Bruce Akers, who is currently Mayor of Pepper Pike has announced he will step down at the end of his term.

Blogger Jill Miller Zimon of Writes Like She Talks is also a councilwoman for Pepper Pike. She's smart, very balanced and fair. She would make a great Mayor.

Run, Jill, Run!

DNC's Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the GOP debate

DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz's Statement on Republican Debate in New Hampshire:

"Tonight's Republican debate was a reminder that we've been down this road of failed economic policies and proposals before. The economic recession in America wasn't caused by bad luck; it was caused by bad Republican policies. But the Republican candidates are doubling down on the same flawed policies that led to the loss of 3.6 million jobs in the final months of 2008 and gravely affected middle class families across America.

"And if those policies weren't bad enough, we heard support tonight for policies as extreme as ending Medicare and privatizing Social Security - policies the American people have rejected over and over again.

"The debate tonight put into stark relief the contrast between the Republican presidential candidates and President Obama. Republicans want to roll back the protections President Obama put in place to make sure another financial crisis of the magnitude we saw in 2008 could not happen again. President Obama is making the tough decisions to get our country going in the right direction, has taken our economy from job losses to 15 straight months of job gains, cut taxes 26 times, and focused like a laser on getting the middle class back on its feet while those campaigning to replace him have failed to show they can lead on these issues.

"Under Mitt Romney's leadership Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in job creation. And thanks to Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota was left with a $6.2 billion projected deficit. The fact is, when it comes to economic leadership, the Republicans have nothing to brag about. This isn't what the American people want. They want to see progress that works for them. Tonight we were reminded that Republican candidates have nothing to offer but the failed policies the American people have already rejected. "

Kasich loses 400 good private sector jobs

It was announced last week that the State of Ohio will lose 400 good private sector jobs under John Kasich. Goodrich will close a landing gear plant they operate in Cleveland by the end of 2012.

After campaigning all last year about how vital it was not to let one job leave the state without a fight, John Kasich, the jobs governor didn't even lift a finger to try to save these jobs. After throwing over $100 million to American Greetings, Diebold and Bob Evans to get them to stay, these jobs are passing quietly with barely a peep from the state.

The most likely reason why these jobs were not fought for? It's because they're union jobs. The workers at the Goodrich plant are part of the UAW.

Could the reason why John Kasich said he wasn't worried about private sector unions be, because he was going to allow manufacturing companies to close their union shops on their own and move the work out of state?

In the article that reports this posted by the Plain Dealer, John Kaisch's name isn't even mentioned, which is sad.

But what's worse is no one of the Left, no Democrats, really seems to be aware of this. I could only imagine if Strickland was in office the Republican's would have had this on their Facebook page, there would have been 100 plus comments on Cleveland.com and e-mails would have gone out about how Strickland doesn't "get it." This happens under Kasich and it involves the UAW and there's nothing. Silence.

Anyway, the entire article can be found here:
http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/06/goodrich_to_close_cl...

From the DailyKos Community Pages: My letter to Gov Kasich, 6 mos after he laid me off

A letter from a now former Ohio resident to John Kaisch ... well worth the read.

Dear Governor Kasich,

I wanted to write to you to give you some insight into how my family’s life has changed in the time since you made the decision to lay me off when you took office in January. My hope is that you will gain a perspective of how your actions impacted me, my wife, and our infant daughter. In reality, I know you will almost certainly never read this, but I feel that I should make an effort to let you know, given that your choice has impacted my life so drastically. I want you to know my Ohio story, and how I was forced to leave the state I loved and planned on raising my family in.

I’m writing this from Denver, Colorado, where I am renting a room in a beautiful old house that I found on Craigslist. I started work as an attorney here in late May after being unable to find work in Ohio for nearly six months. My wife, Sarah, and our six month old daughter, Adrienne, are still at our home in Worthington. I am hopeful that they can join me out here in July, after our house sells and we close on a home here. It is very sad and surreal to be living apart from the two people I love most in the world, but this is the best option for us at this time.

I moved to Ohio in August of 1999 to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. I had started a recycling program at my high school north of Chicago, where I grew up, and Ohio Wesleyan offered me a generous community service scholarship. While at OWU, I started a service organization that, among other things, ran voter registration drives every fall and went door to door through the dorms to collect money for local food banks. I wrote for the campus newspaper and had a seat on student council, where I met my future wife. I enjoyed my time in Central Ohio very much, and decided to stay after graduation rather than move back to Chicago.

Christian Right: Is the Tea-Party, Makes up 100% of the Republican Party, Is almost 1/3 of the Electorate

In doing more research on the Christian Right, I found an article titled Crossing the Tea: Evangelicals are not a part of the Republican coalition—they are the coalition. It was posted on the American Conservative's web site. I've posted excerpts of the article below. The entire reading can be found here.

As you read keep in mind at the core what the Christian Right wants is the destruction of liberalism and intellectual thought (creationism over evolution, destroying public education and public universities [privatizing The Ohio State University is the first step] reinstituting strict traditional family roles, etc), use of strict literal interpretations of the Bible as the governing principles for America, and the backing of a strong Israeli state. They want a strong Israeli state not because they like Jewish people, but because they believe that will bring Armageddon. They see unrest in the Middle East as signs of the apocalypse and think that nuclear war in that region (mainly between Israel and Iran) will bring the second coming.

I'll start excerpts from the article with the following...

"The Tea Party, confusedly hailed by the media as a grassroots libertarian spasm, turns out on inspection to be the religious right wearing a tricorn hat and talking about Obamacare."

"While Tea Party organizations do appeal to a certain kind of independent, The American Prospect’s Michelle Goldberg notes some unmistakable similarities between the religious right and the new revolutionaries: “Both have their strongholds in the white South, and both arise out of a sense of furious dispossession, a conviction that the country that is rightfully theirs has been usurped by sinister cosmopolitan elites."

The Christian right's war on America

By accident, I started reading into the Christian right. As a follower of politics I read pretty much anything, right-wing or left-wing, just to get a sense of what they are saying. What I've founding reading into the Christian right is chilling.

If you think what's happening in Ohio or other parts of the country is a product of ALEC, it's not. From everything I've read so far, what's happening is the Christian right's takeover of America.

I'm currently reading American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I'll be posting excerpts from the book as I read it.

Starting out on page 12 the book begins to describe the America the Christian right wants to see. It states:

"America will be no longer a sinful and fallen nation but one in which the 10 commandments form the basis of our legal system, creationism and "Christian values" form the basis of our educational system, and the media and the government proclaim the Good News to one and all. Labor Unions, civil-rights laws and public schools will be abolished. Women will be removed from the workforce to stay at home, and all those deemed insufficiently Christian will be denied citizenship."

They want this, because the Christian right sees America as a promised land given to them by God. They believe in this land they can hone their Christian warriors to enforce the literal interpretation of the Bible and rule society in that way. This is not a peaceful religion. It is one that accepts killing (i.e. doctors who preform abortion) and in its preachings states that the death penalty would be acceptable for those that do not subscribe to their teachings. These people are armed and they operate in a militaristic fashion - warriors for God. Their movement is very similar to Nazism.

John Kasich’s flip-flop: advocates for raising fees and licenses (aka raising taxes) to help state

So John Kasich has made it clear he is against raising taxes. He like to create the extreme scenario that if he raises taxes just one cent businesses will flee the state screaming. Because of this, there is no room for discussion when it comes to raising taxes.

It’s strange then in his interview with WKYC Channel 3’s Chris Tye a few weeks back he practically pounds the table that raising the fees and licenses on Ohio’s new casinos is the only way to go. Would this not essentially equate to a tax increase? Is it not on businesses? In the interview he actually cites how great this would be in helping to solve Ohio’s budget problems.

Starting at about 4:49 he states:

”Look all I’m suggesting is, wouldn’t it be great if we got a little bit more money to help us in a tough situation here in Ohio.”

He goes on to say:

”Don’t you think I should ask them for a little bit more? When schools have issues and a lot of people have issues in the state, do you think I should ask them for a little bit more?”

Amazing!

Is he not contradicting everything he’s been saying about not raising taxes? Is he not making the case that finding appropriate places to increase revenue for the state makes sense to help balance the budget?

John Kasich has flip-flopped – big time. He needs to be called out on it and held accountable for his hypocrisy. Following is the interview. Please take a look.

Herman Cain – next in line GOP/Tea Party Nut Job for President Candidate: wants only 3 page bills

DailyKos did a great post on Herman Cain today. He seems to be the next GOP/Tea Party nut job looking to run for President. He stated recently at a rally that if elected President he would allow bills that are only three pages or less. His statement came when talking about the complexity of health care legislation. His quote:

”CAIN: Engage the people. Don’t try to pass a 2,700 page bill — and even they didn’t read it! You and I didn’t have time to read it. We’re too busy trying to live — send our kids to school. That’s why I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table. What does Herman Cain, President Cain talking about in this particular bill?”

Ah, the sweet seductive sophistry of the far-right. It’s all so easy when one doesn’t have to follow any rules or laws – just live in a world of “Meism” with no real accountability. The post sums this up quite nicely:

”The problem with our laws? Too long! The problem with history? Too damn complicated! The problem with government? It does a bunch of stuff I don't have time to understand – like volcano monitoring!

And what's with all these foreign leaders with long, hard to pronounce names? We should pass legislation to name them all "Bud" and be done with it. Just imagine the time we'd save.

No, I'm not taking Herman Cain's pronouncement seriously. And neither is he, and neither is anyone else. He just knows that to get a Republican crowd riled up, you have to at least pretend you're a simpleton.”

Overall, this is pretty funny stuff, except for the sad fact that there are some in the electorate who actually believe it.

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