Archive for Barack Obama

Enemies Foreign and Domestic

To bully the family of one hostage may be regarded as a misfortune; to bully another family looks like…bullying:

Barak Barfi the Sotloff spokesman said that they were “bullied and hectored” by a member of the White House Security Council.

Last week, members of the Foley and Sotloff families went to the media to complain about the shabby way they say they were treated by the Obama administration while their loved ones were being held by ISIS.

The State Department and the White House have flatly denied accusations that the families were threatened with prosecution if they paid the ransom ISIS requested, saying only that they were made aware of the law in regards to paying ransoms.

Barfi doubled down, Wednesday, saying that the family was threatened by a member of the White House National Security Council staff.

“I’m hearing Denis McDonough saying they weren’t threatened. He wasn’t in the meeting,” he said. “John Kerry wasn’t in the meetings. The family was in the meetings, and then I was in a subsequent meeting. And I know what I heard.”

In an appearance on CNN, last week, slain journalist James Foley’s mother, Diane Foley also mentioned an unnamed military member of the White House’s NSC staff who threatened the family with prosecution, and told them not to speak to the media.

Obama said no combat boots on the ground in Iraq. Instead they’re being deployed against grieving families.

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When the Going Gets Tough

The tough make hospital corners:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called the efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa “the largest international response in the history of the CDC.”

Speaking from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Obama added that “faced with this outbreak, the world is looking to” the United States to lead international efforts to combat the virus. He said the United States is ready to take on that leadership role.

Washington has committed more than $100 million to combat Ebola, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Obama plans to call on Congress to approve an additional $88 million as part of a bill to fund the federal government.

Last week, USAID said it would spend $75 million to build treatment facilities and supply them with medical equipment. The Pentagon says it’s working to shift $500 million of not yet obligated funds toward the Ebola effort.

Working through the Defense Department, the United States will plan and construct treatment centers that could house up to 1,700 additional beds. With a U.S. general leading the effort from Monrovia, American military personnel in the region could increase by 3,000, administration officials say, under the name Operation United Assistance.

The expected announcement will also include a plan to send more medical professionals to West Africa. U.S. medics will train up to 500 health care workers per week to identify and care for people with Ebola.

From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We will mop up toxic fluids,
Be they blood, or poop, or pee…

Hey, why not? If we can spend half a billion dollars to stop the Ebola outbreak, shouldn’t we? It’s a cheap (!) fix. Of course, Ebola is a minor cold compared to the major killers in Africa, AIDS and malaria. (Nothing that condoms and DDT couldn’t fix.)

I just wish Obama showed half the resolve against ISIS that he has against Ebola.

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A Woman Scorned

CBS benched Sharyl Attkisson until she ultimately resigned.

Bad move, CBS:

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

Sharyl Attkisson

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

New Benghazi allegation puts spotlight on Hillary Clinton confidants, alleged after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’”

Maxwell, 58, strongly supported President Barack Obama and personally contributed to his presidential campaign. But post-Benghazi, he has soured on both Obama and Clinton, saying he had nothing to do with security and was sacrificed as a scapegoat while higher-up officials directly responsible escaped discipline.

Maxwell spent a year on paid administrative leave with no official charge ever levied against him. Ultimately, the State Department cleared Maxwell of wrongdoing and reinstated him. He retired a short time later, in November 2013.

Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman.

“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls.

“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’ ”

How does this make you feel, Madame Secretary?

Don’t take it too hard. As the lady said, “it’s not about you”:

Attkisson said that the White House is misleading the public about the ongoing releases of information that they’ve offered regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012 on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

She stated that one of the goals of the committee will be to investigate President Obama’s movement that night and how he reacted to the attack.

“I do think that they will reach out at some point, not in the beginning, to the White House and probably to President Obama directly, in some form, to get a timeline and an accounting of what he did that night, which has remained, mysteriously, and I think, unacceptably private when he’s the Commander-in-Chief acting on our behalf at a time when Americans are under attack on foreign soil.”

Ultimately, Attikisson confessed she has little hope that this committee will change the public narrative on what happened that night.

Allow me to elucidate, Sharyl. Obama was prepping for a fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day. Check his schedule; it’s public record.

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A Good Day to Drive [UPDATE]

As my first post of the day (and who knows, only?), I note that today’s weather on the eastern seaboard is cool and bright. Yesterday was a little stormy, making golf less fun than it usually is. Fifty Bloodthhirstan shekels says Obama golfs today, Sunday, September 14.

UPDATE
Anyone can report the news. It takes talent to predict it:

Closing in on Round 200 of his two-term administration, President Obama hit the links yet again on Sunday, squeezing out the last days of golfable weather in the Northeast by going to the greens.

Really, it’s enough by now to make you think the guy’s doing it out of spite.

That, or he’s never wrong. Even when he seemed to admit error, he blamed the “optics” and “theater” of the press. But mostly I think he knows free stuff when he see it. He took up golf up only when he moved into the White House. Who’s going to tell the nation’s first African American president that it’s unseemly to take a motorcade to Andrews or Ft. Belvoir every weekend?

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And Another Big Surprise!

Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration until after the November elections

President Obama will not take any executive actions on immigration until after November’s elections, a White House official confirmed to CNN on Saturday.

The decision to postpone means any political repercussions for such action would come after the congressional midterm contests.

Obama, who has been weighing ways to change the immigration system on his own after congressional action on the issue stalled, decided to delay any move to “take this issue away from those who would use it to score points as a kind of grandstanding issue,” the official said.

“It’s too big of an issue to allow it to be used as a tool for people trying to get votes,” the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It isn’t about votes for any particular candidate; it’s about dealing with this issue in an environment that avoids the grandstanding we’ve seen in the past.”

Let’s try to count the lies there, one sentence at a time: “take this issue away from those who would use it to score points as a kind of grandstanding issue,” the official said. [Obviously not true. He promised to give amnesty this summer, he ran into the very strong possibility that democrats would lose the Senate, and he correctly concluded that the American public is so stupid, that if he just holds off until after the election, the dems can hang on.]

“It’s too big of an issue to allow it to be used as a tool for people trying to get votes,” [another lie, of course politicians use issues to garner votes and all issues are "tools"] the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It isn’t about votes for any particular candidate; it’s about dealing with this issue in an environment that avoids the grandstanding we’ve seen in the past.” [The biggest lie of all ... or is this true? It isn't just about the female Senator from Louisiana, it is about a lot of Senators who might lose their jobs. But we're splitting hairs, aren't we BTL?]

Reportedly immigrant groups are pissed but they shouldn’t be. He’ll take care of you on the first Wednesday of November.

And one other thing – I was dead set against this amnesty until I had a conversation with a Loopy Liberal this morning. He informed me that he had voted for Obama during the last round because he took an early retirement – no official income – and he wanted cheap health care. And I decided that I’m all for bringing in cheap labor to compete with all the kiddies of the Leftists who think this way. Sorry yoga teachers – there are immigrants who will do this for less. Ditto baristas and child care providers. I am well and truly fed-up.

– Aggie

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Health Care Costs

Obama claims that health care costs are dropping. This guy says they are rising dramatically and will negatively affect the mid-terms. Which is correct?

When the supermajority of Democrats in the Senate passed the ironically named Affordable Care Act in 2009, one of the chief requirements of the bill was to force health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health care centers to share in the staggering $2 trillion cost over the next decade. But once made law, President Obama pushed off the cost until well, just later — certainly not before the 2012 election.

That later is now, or Sept. 30, to be precise. Remember when the president said the 10-year cost for his health care reform would be $850 billion and that no one would pay an additional penny in taxes? Ha. Insurers will have to pony up some $8 billion on the last day of September, and guess where they’re going to get the cash? Straight from your wallet, your purse.

Here are some numbers, straight from my own checkbook register. In October 2011, before the start of Obamacare, I was paying $386 a month. Yes, fairly reasonable, but less so when you factor in my $10,000 deductible (and two teenage children who keep falling off things). The following October, the premiums rose 23 percent to $474.

In October 2013, my monthly rate rose again, nearly 32 percent, to $623. Same exact coverage, just more money. Then, this year, come Sept. 30, my new premiums will be $1,097. That’s a 76 percent increase from the previous year, and, all told, my premiums have risen 184 percent in just three years.

But that’s not all. My deductible has also jumped to $12,000 (but my out-of-pocket expenses are, under some complicated formula my Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield health adviser couldn’t really explain, going to be higher than that, maybe substantially so).

Now, in order to get a break on my costs (a federal subsidy paid, of course, by other taxpayers), I’d have to make less than $62,000 for a family of three. That means someone making $62,001, which means about $46,500 a year or $3,875 a month after taxes (if he’s lucky), will be shelling more than a quarter of his money for health care.

And back to why. Although Mr. Obama said he would hold those bad old insurance companies accountable and make them pay, pay, pay, there are no mechanisms within the law to keep providers from doing just what they’re doing now — passing the cost on to you in the form of new, much higher premiums.

What’s more, after Mr. Obama uttered what Politifact called the “Lie of the Year” — that if you liked your insurance, you could keep it — implementation of many of the more onerous parts of the law were delayed. Now, though, all those so-called “subpar” insurance policies are being eliminated.

That is putting Obamacare right back on the front burner for this midterm election, just as it was in the 2010 midterms. Then, voters mobbed summer town halls to vent, and Republicans went on to trounce Democrats, pulling off the largest seat swap in any midterm since 1948.

Right about now, across the country, Americans are either getting their monthly bills for drastically higher premiums, or they’ve already got them and are beginning to shop for new insurance in preparation for the coming open-enrollment season this fall. But they’re no doubt finding that the new policies mandated by Obamacare are raising costs sky-high — there’s nothing cheaper.

And there’s more. But here’s a question: Which experience have you had – the one where your costs go down or stay about the same, or the one where they skyrocket? In our household the monthly went up about 20% and the deductible more than doubled (only possible in Massachusetts because of the federal plan; our previous state law kept it to something like $4000 per year for a family). BUT, our co-pay dropped from $40 per visit to $35 per visit. Sweet!!!!

So tell us what you think. I am hoping that the writer is correct, that Americans will move to the Right, but I am not counting on it.

– Aggie

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Bat-Shit Crazy

Listen to this:

Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority counties.”
Kerry said Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, make clear it is our “duty” to protect the planet and we should look at Muslim countries “with a sense of stewardship of earth,” adding, “That responsibility comes from God.”

Seriously, you must go to the link to see this astounding video. We have always claimed that Global Warming is a religion, but who knew that it was Judaism.. or Christianity.. or even Islam? Did you know that?

One serious comment: The Obama administration would not be doing this if they didn’t assume that we are so stupid that our national IQ is undetectable.

– Aggie

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Candlelight Vigil

What you you say, guys? Do we need some good old-fashioned candlelight vigils for all the folks who’ve had their heads chopped off? Maybe a nice big candlelight vigil in DC? We can all sing Kumbayah or We Shall Overcome or some other suitable bit of drivel.

– Aggie

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Obama Had Been Briefed About ISIS For A Year

And ignored it.

A JV team, eh? Obama, you are such a dolt.

President Obama was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the Islamic State as part of his daily briefing for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer, a former Pentagon official told Fox News.

The official — who asked not to be identified because the President’s Daily Brief is considered the most authoritative, classified intelligence community product analyzing sensitive international events for the president — said the data was strong and “granular” in detail.

The source said a policymaker “could not come away with any other impression: This is getting bad.”

Obama, unlike his predecessors who traditionally had the document briefed to them, is known to personally read the daily brief. The former Pentagon official, who has knowledge of the process, said Obama generally was not known to come back to the intelligence community with further requests for information based on the daily report.

I honestly blame the well-to-do, arrogant, political Left in our country for giving us such an inept President as this one. Do you know that the current leftist strategy for dealing with this is? They have simply stuck their heads in the sand. They have stopped following the news. They plead ignorance. Obama is clearly stupid, but not all of his minions are. And they bear responsibility for this unfolding worldwide chaos.

– Aggie

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Michelle Says: PleaseStopBeheadingOurBoys#

Feeing safer now?

Don’t you remember all those get-togethers, circa 2008,2009,2010 when your friends droned on about how much safer they felt now that Obama is President and how much respect we have regained, worldwide? Where are all those guys? Discussing their gluten-free diets? Investing in a brew pub? In any case, they seem to have changed the subject.

ISIS has released a video that it claims shows the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and says the murder is retaliation for the Obama administration’s continued airstrikes in Iraq.

Sotloff is the second American journalist to be killed by ISIS, and his death comes two weeks after James Foley was executed in a similar video.

In the video entitled ‘A Second Message to America,’ Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.

The executioner appears to be the same man who killed Foley – known as ‘Jihadi John’ and tells the camera: ‘I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”

Sotloff calmly read a statement moments before his murder: ‘I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.

He tells the camera: ‘Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?’

While he speaks, a militant calmly holds a knife at his side and stands next to Sotloff.
The man believed to be Jihadi John also says: ‘As your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike necks of your people.’
Prime Minister David Cameron said the Islamic State video showing an apparent beheading was an ‘absolutely disgusting, despicable act’, and he would be making a statement later.

Foley’s family released a statement after Sotloff’s execution, calling it ‘just horrific,’ according to WHDH-TV.
On Thursday, Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff went on television to make a direct appeal for her son’s life. She addressed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-claimed caliph of ISIS.

At the link, you can watch a very sad video that his mother made last week, begging for his life, if you’re so inclined.

– Aggie

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On Obama’s Rage

The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning, reprinted here which touches on a question I have: Why are people so incensed with Israel when in fact almost all of the troubles in our world are coming from various branches of Islam? Why can’t Israel defend herself against Hamas and other terrorist groups? Why is Israeli uppityness so much more offensive to powerful people than say ISIS beheadings, Putin’s aggressions, 170,000 plus dead Syrians, etc? How powerful is Jew hatred, really?

Barack Obama “has become ‘enraged’ at the Israeli government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. ” So reports the Jerusalem Post, based on the testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a special Middle East envoy for the president. The war in Gaza, Mr. Indyk adds, has had “a very negative impact” on Jerusalem’s relations with Washington.

Think about this. Enraged. Not “alarmed” or “concerned” or “irritated” or even “angered.” Anger is a feeling. Rage is a frenzy. Anger passes. Rage feeds on itself. Anger is specific. Rage is obsessional, neurotic.

Well, exactly. What has Israel ever done to harm him? It is just ridiculous.

And Mr. Obama—No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged. With Israel. Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of “genocide” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world. This is the country that is the object of the president’s rage.

The president in Bethesda, Md., July 29. Ron Sachs/Cnp/Zuma Press
Think about this some more. In the summer in which Mr. Obama became “enraged” with Israel, Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shiite soldiers in open pits, Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, Hamas executed 18 “collaborators” in broad daylight, Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving the city into submission, a brave American journalist had his throat slit on YouTube by a British jihadist, Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine, and Chinese jets harassed U.S. surveillance planes over international waters.

Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying degrees of concern, censure and indignation. But rage?

Here, for instance, is the president in early August, talking to the New York Times’s Tom Friedman about Russia and Ukraine:

“Finding an off-ramp for [ Vladimir Putin ] becomes more challenging. Having said that I think it is still possible for us, because of the effective organization that we have done with the Europeans around Ukraine, and the genuine bite that the sanctions have had on the Russian economy, for us to arrive at a fair accommodation in which Ukrainian sovereignty and independence is still recognized but there is also recognition that Ukraine does have historic ties to Russia, the majority of their trade goes to Russia, huge portions of the population are Russian speaking, and so they are not going to be severed from Russia. And if we do that a deal should be possible.”

This isn’t even condemnation. It’s an apology. For Mr. Putin. Benjamin Netanyahu should be so lucky.

Now think about what, specifically, has enraged the president about Israel’s behavior. “Its actions and its treatment of his chief diplomat.”

Actions? Hamas began firing rockets at Israel in June, thereby breaking the cease-fire it had agreed to at the end of the last war, in November 2012. The latest war began in earnest on July 7 when Hamas fired some 80 rockets at Israel. “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the next day, “and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.”

On July 15 Israel accepted the terms of a cease-fire crafted by Egypt. Hamas violated it by firing 50 rockets at Israel. On July 17 Israel accepted a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire. Hamas violated it again. On July 20 Israel allowed a two-hour medical window in the neighborhood of Shujaiyeh. Hamas violated it. On July 26 Hamas announced a daylong cease-fire. It then broke its own cease-fire. On July 28 Israel agreed to a cease-fire for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. The rocket attacks continued. On Aug. 1 Israel accepted a 72-hour cease-fire proposed by the U.S. Hamasviolated it within 90 minutes. On Aug. 5 Israel agreed to Egypt’s terms for another three-day cease-fire. Hamas violated it several hours before it was set to expire, after Israel announced it would agree to an extension.

If Hamas had honored any of these cease-fires it could have saved Palestinian lives. It didn’t. Mr. Obama is enraged—but not with Hamas.

Read the rest if you can stomach it. I can’t. I’ve just returned from a lovely trip abroad, punctuated with horrific English speaking crowds chanting: Kill the Jews! I think that the western world has a lot to offer – medicine, clean environment, good enough economies to avoid hunger, kind and entertaining people in the countryside – but at the same time they are thinly veiled barbarians. Under the expensive British soaps is a god-awful stink.

Oh, and fear is not improving the stink much, is it? Because they are now well and truly terrified of their own citizens.

– Aggie

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At Sea

I don’t have a problem with Obama sending people to Michael Brown’s funeral. Their level in the administration, and their roles in it, seemed appropriate for what became, for better or worse (mostly worse), a big story.

But there was another death that became a big story, too:

The Obama White House sent three officials to attend Monday’s funeral of slain teenager Michael Brown in Missouri, but sent no one to represent the president when photojournalist James Foley, decapitated by a terrorist on video, was memorialized Sunday in a New Hampshire church.

Foley’s remains haven’t been found, leaving his family to mourn him without the funeral and interment that Roman Catholics believe is an integral part of the end of life.

‘There was nobody that represented the White House,’ church office assistant Connie Hammond told CNS News.

Politicians do funerals; it’s part of the job. Biden had a conflict?

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Ann Kuster came to the mass, along with both of the state’s U.S. senators, Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen – three Democrats among them – according to the Catholic Diocese of Manchester.

Pope Francis sent a message of condolence to the Foley family in a letter read aloud during the service.

‘It’s pretty embarrassing,’ a former White House official told MailOnline, on condition of anonymity.

‘In the last two years the White House has become more and more myopic. When you don’t have to face voters anymore, some politicians let it all hang out. I’m afraid this one is especially prone to that.’

We know what Obama was doing:

The President spent his last day on the Vineyard tucked out of sight in Chilmark where his family had been renting a home overlooking the north shore for the past two weeks.

Not good enough:

CNSNews.com asked the White House why no White House official attended James Foley’s memorial Mass.

“The President expressed his profound condolences to the family in his statement last week,” responded Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “He was speaking on behalf of his Administration—as well as the American people—in offering these words to the Foley family, and he continues to keep them in his thoughts as we attempt to bring the other American hostages home.”

Put more simply:

Okay, maybe Biden isn’t whom you send to show your respect. But I don’t care if you don’t like the “optics” of being represented at a service that reflects poorly on American power and prestige. You send someone.

Maybe the Secretary of State.

Although the Instagram user identified the above boat as Kerry’s, it might be impossible to confirm for certain, and it’s also unclear whether Kerry was in fact on the boat when the photo was taken. But the number on the sail does match the number borne by Kerry’s boat in at least one past photo, and the boat itself appears to be the same.

Never mind. Dumb idea.

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