“Today the world will hear our voice”

A Palestinian boy during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Nov. 29 to support a resolution at the U.N. to upgrade their observer status to “non-member state.”

BBC: The UN General Assembly has voted to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status – a move strongly opposed by Israel and the US.

…. Hundreds of Palestinians celebrated on the streets of Ramallah, in the West Bank, after the result was announced.

….. “For the first time, there will be a state called Palestine, with the recognition of the entire world,” Amir Hamdan was quoted as saying …. “Today the world will hear our voice,” he added.

More here


It’s a delicate chess game, I know, so deep breaths today, no hysteria about the US’s UN vote, depressing and miserable as it was – but truly, I’ll die happy if President Obama works towards bringing justice to the Palestinian people in the next four years.

For me, that’s the single greatest legacy he could leave.

Stupidly, I’m heartbroken by the Obama administration’s stance today, even though we all knew it was coming.

There are better, more courageous days ahead.

I hope.

165 Responses to ““Today the world will hear our voice””

  1. 1 taiping1
    November 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Evening all

  2. 5 taiping1
    November 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    First! My reward for working late. Loved the new art in the Oval Office. Got to celebrate with many of my patients today. Amazing 1 million responses to OFA survey, 800K want to continue organizing, 10% want to run for office! The President is transforming politics.

  3. November 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Depressing indeed…

  4. November 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Would love to hang around but I am falling asleep. Nite all.

  5. November 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    • 10 anniebella
      November 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      forus50, Shows Wisconsin is not so in love with it’s home boy, Paul Ayn Rand Ryan.

    • 11 nathkatun7
      November 30, 2012 at 3:06 am

      Impressive! You guys in WI deserve a great deal of credit. By the way, in the so called 12 swing states that the two candidates actively campaigned in, PBO won 11 of them. He lost only one state, NC, and by just 2%. Interestingly, the Romney/Ryan team lost both of the states where they were born (MI & WI) whereas the Obama/Biden team won the states where they were born (HI & PA). The Romney/Ryan team also lost the states where they were first elected to public office (MA & WI) whereas the Obama/Biden team won both states where they were first elected to office (IL & DE).

    • 12 lockewasright
      November 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I always tease my best friend who is from Wisconsin. I tell him Wisconsin is going to change the state motto to “Wisconsin, come smell our dairy air.”

  6. 13 Kreen
    November 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Is Dudette around? Will you be watching Scandal shortly dudette?

  7. 14 Walking_on_ Sunshine
    November 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks Chipsticks. I believe the UN did the right thing today. I have to believe there is a reason for the US vote but I can’t pretend to know what it is. I have faith that the President will do what he can to promote the cause of peace.

    • November 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      “I have to believe there is a reason for the US vote but I can’t pretend to know what it is”

      You and me both, WoS, exactly how I feel.

      • 16 Lovepolitics2008
        November 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        I have faith in President Obama. Let’s not forget this is the man of the Cairo speech. I too am puzzled by the fact that his position seems to be less nuanced than at the beginning of his presidency. Even more so because Bibi has been very defiant towards the President. But I have no doubt that President Obama still wants a palestinian state, and is very empathetic towards a people that has suffered so much. And even on a purely self-interest level, as a president of the United States he knows perfectly well that a vote against the palestinians puts a strain on the relations with the Arab world, and may even add to the risk of terrorist attacks. That’s why I’m sure there are things we don’t know nor understand. That’s why I’m pretty sure there is some delicate strategy at play. Let’s not forget that president Obama is always much more interested in achieving long term results instead of making symbolic gestures that would make him “look good”.

        Yep, the more I think of it, the more I think President Obama is trying some strategy with Netanyahu. He’s giving him big support right now, but at the same time he’s counting on the international pressure to give him some leverage in his negotiations with the Israeli Prime Minister. I think President Obama wants to be the trusted friend who, in the end, will “help” Israel to accept some sacrifices in order to build a durable peace.

        • November 30, 2012 at 1:23 am

          I agree. From what we have learnt about PBO, there are always things, events behind the scenes we are not privy to but I also believe this was a great visible example of how much support there is around the world to see an end to this Israel/Palestine conflict.

          I personally hope Netanyahu loses badly in the Jan election but regardless of that result, Israel, the country and its people saw today just how much support there is in the world for a Palestine state and the old arguments of why they continue to fight is not tolerated by a great majority of the world. I include in the majority support the abstained votes because while they could not agree to the resolution, they also could not vote against it. I applaud this vote.

        • 18 utaustinliberal
          November 30, 2012 at 2:25 am

          Agree with your observation.

    • 20 susanne
      November 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      amen, walking. pbo has all the info; i only know what the press reports. he’s the smartest man in the room; i’m just glad to be smart enough to vote for him, put my trust in him, and support his decisions.

    • November 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      I wish I knew the administration’s reasons for opposing it, how it would obstruct the peace project. It seems such a small move, and such a heart-breakingly tiny state to call their own. I’m going to see what I can find on the White House web page, and elsewhere, if necessary.

    • 22 VaVoter
      November 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

      I actually disagree with the UN’s decision and agree with Obama’s. The reason why is, every country that voted for this bid is basically saying that they’ve given up on the negotiation process, which will make it more difficult to facilitate that process in the future. Without negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which resolve security, refugee, and territorial issues, a TRUE Palestinian state is impossible. Obama knows this, and so opposed this bid, making clear that he’s dedicated towards working towards a REAL solution in the future. This wasn’t a vote against Palestinian statehood, it was a vote against a false solution that will just make the achievement of a real solution more difficult late on.

  8. 23 collegekay
    November 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Angers me how obsessed we are with the Israel lobby. I just don’t get it.

    • 24 CapricornGirl
      November 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      I dont get the obsession either, maybe because I wasnt following the whole Israel/Palestine situation, so I dont even understand the “non-member state” issue. My thing is why is the US so involved in other nations’ problems, we have enough of our own problems and these foreign nations want us to get involved in their affairs. President Obama is basically the president of the world! (which is too much pressure on one person,ugh)

  9. 25 hopefruit2
    November 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not heartbroken. I see this as a work in progress. Of course it’s not progressing as fast as I would like, but it is not a black-white situation, and I am willing to acknowledge that there may be issues at hand that I am not privy to. Meanwhile, I am EXTREMELY happy for the Palestinians and hope their journey towards freedom and statehood continues in the right direction. 🙂

    • November 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I’m completely heartbroken, but I’m not sure why – we knew today’s vote was coming. I just thought, after re-election, things might be different. I’ll cling to the hope that it’s chess – but try telling that to the Palestinians who’ve been waiting forever for justice.

      • 27 hopefruit2
        November 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        Actually things will be different, but it’s only 3 weeks after the election!

        • November 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm

          We’ll see. On Palestine/Israel, not an encouraging start. But I’ll trust that things will get better.

          • 29 hopefruit2
            November 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            Yes, we shall see. It’s still about hope, my friend. Don’t let the voices of cynicism fill you with despair. #Presson

            • November 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

              It’s not cynicism that gets me Hopefruit, it’s today’s UN vote!

              • 31 amk for obama
                November 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

                Chips. Take heart that this matter is being taken out of the hands of US and Israel. Slowly but effectively. All of nut n yahoo’s bluffs have been called at this point – from iran to gaza – and he doesn’t have any more ‘mandate’ to declare war in ME.

              • 32 veryslowwriter
                November 30, 2012 at 1:38 am

                I don’t agree with the US “no” vote. I haven’t agreed with any of the US positions on the Israel/Palestine conflict since 1948. For whatever reason this is not a battle that the President is prepared to fight right now.

          • 33 overseasgranny
            November 30, 2012 at 3:39 am

            Me, too, Chips. I am old enough to have watched from the beginning and old enough to have become disheartened over the situation for the Palestinians. Although I am her biggest cheerleader, I was very unhappy with Susan Rice’s speech. She said something really stupid when she said that pushing a green button at the UN doesn’t make a territory into a state…well, that was exactly how Israel became a state.

      • November 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

        Yes, you would think that we would be provided with a logical explanation for it – even if it was to say that voting otherwise would have done more harm than good to the Palestinians. But that doesn’t seem likely that it would have that explanation. I am very saddened as it looks like once again wealth means a voice and poverty means no voice.

        I am a huge proponent of the concept of the UN. However in terms of how peoples of countries are represented it seems to have a major structural problem. If the voices of the American people had been heard and our representation was based on a majority vote then this would have been a yes vote.

        • 35 collegekay
          November 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

          ” I am very saddened as it looks like once again wealth means a voice and poverty means no voice.”

          There it is.

      • November 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        Chips – I personally think that the majority of Israelis do not support these extremist views, but they’re also afraid. I think the President’s position is that he’s also trying to not light a flame on a very volatile situation. They have to tread very carefully, so as not to ignite a situation that cannot be contained. And there are many innocent people caught in the middle. Germany and Great Britain would not have abstained without coordinating with President Obama. And the US did not use their veto (although, I’m not sure it’s at the stage where a veto is eligible). I also take heart in the fact that David Cameron issued a warning to Netanyahu during the Gaza attack, telling him that the world would not be behind Israel if they launched a ground attack. Things are inching forward.

        I laughed when I heard Netanyahu whining about the UN not observing previous agreements, even though he’s still allowing settlements that violate previous agreements.

        In this Israel-Palestine struggle, I trust President Obama is doing everything he can to line up countries behind the scenes. Opening up peace talks was one of the first things he did at the start of his first term, and I believe he wants this to happen and regards this as a priority.

        • 37 Lovepolitics2008
          November 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

          “I think the President’s position is that he’s also trying to not light a flame on a very volatile situation. They have to tread very carefully, so as not to ignite a situation that cannot be contained. And there are many innocent people caught in the middle.”

          WOW, theo, I think you just NAILED IT. You make perfect sense. Let’s imagine for one second that the US had voted yes, making a statement that they were going AGAINST their traditional ally. This would be SO big, so emotional in the arab world it would certainly lead to excesses. And demonstrations of extreme hostility towards Israel.

        • November 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          Agree, theo. Note Ambassador Rice’s tweet, below, shortly after the vote. She also tweeted …

          We may never know, but from my limited perspective I thought one of the reasons the President was effective in bringing an end to the killing of Palestinians in Gaza was that he leveraged today’s vote. The US could not defy Israel at the UN today – everyone knows that. But, what the US could have done is abstain (as did the UK & Germany – and, yes theo, that had to have been coordinated, as was France’s vote). If the President was able to save lives by committing a No instead of an Abstain, that would have been a very worthwhile act.

          Moreover, it’s obvious that with the UK and Germany abstaining and France voting yes, and the large # of other Nations voting yes, the US did not expend any political capital on Israel’s behalf.

          Two States – Palestine & Israel – are now recognized. The first statement from the UN Ambassador is, to paraphrase – get your act together and start dealing with each other, directly. That’s now for Israel & Palestine to do.

          • 40 anniebella
            November 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

            Amb. Rice is 100% right.

          • 41 Puddin'
            November 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

            Bobfr and Theo67 you have made me understand an extremely complicated situation (to say the least)…thank you. I haven’t said it in a longtime, but I am so grateful that I found this site…you all are so knowledgable…I learn so much.

        • 42 Puddin'
          November 30, 2012 at 12:22 am

          THIS 100%

        • 43 Betsy
          November 30, 2012 at 12:54 am

          I also agree Keith you Theo. It makes sense with the character of this wonderful president we love so much.

        • 45 utaustinliberal
          November 30, 2012 at 2:28 am

          Very true indeed Theo. Your observations are spot on.

    • 46 Walking_on_ Sunshine
      November 30, 2012 at 12:02 am

      I agree with this “I am EXTREMELY happy for the Palestinians and hope their journey towards freedom and statehood continues in the right direction.”

    • 47 Puddin'
      November 30, 2012 at 12:16 am

      I am with you hopefruit2. I believe that President Obama came to his position/presidency with wisdom, vision, dedication and moral and spiritual integrity to lead the way world peace and balance. I believe he nor his mission has not changed from his organizing days. I believe in time we see his vital role in all of this. In the meantime I will continue to pray and hold his vision of a peaceful, healthy and beautiful world!

  10. 48 vcprezofan2
    November 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I do happen to believe that President Obama will slowly and effectively ‘bring justice to the Palestinian people in the next four years.’ It’s a gut feeling I’ve had ever since Bibi started acting like he thought he was ‘lord’ over the President. We have often said here that in the House/Senate sometimes if there is a majority voting FOR an issue it gives certain besieged senators the cover to vote AGAINST. This might not have been exactly what the US did today, but I admit their action struck a chord of similarity for me.

  11. 49 desertflower
    November 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Don’t know if someone posted this earlier, but excellent piece from Deaniac…


    • 50 vcprezofan2
      November 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      Hey you, Df, you all packed already? Have a safe trip tomorrow and remember to ENJOY this family interaction time. Special request = package up a wee bit of the heat and courier it my way, pretty please. Not too much though.

      • 51 desertflower
        November 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        Packed? I have to pack?? 🙂 No…of course not! I’m still waiting for the stuff in the dryer so I can throw it in a suitcase…I’m so bad at this:) It’ll get done…thank you, vc…I just need to get there…I hate the flying part, the crowds, the waiting, the “no internet”…..{{{{heavy sigh}}}}}.
        Would love to send some warmth you way…were you the one that was shoveling the drive the other day? Someone was!
        Will have to find a Starbucks or someplace with some WiFi…my parents don’t have a computer. Sad. So sad.

        • 52 vcprezofan2
          November 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

          Yes siree gurl, I was the snow shoveler. No more snow has fallen since the day after that first arrival so I be happy.

          • 53 desertflower
            November 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm

            I thought that was you:) One good snowfall is nice…after that, not so much:)

            • 54 HZ
              November 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

              Hi DF, do not forget what I told you before. The keylime pie, lots of crabs and just enjoy your time with your parents. Hug them, laugh with them, smile with them, and just be you with them.

              I hope your trip will be so wonderful. Enjoy every moment and make it what you want it to be for you and your parents. I will keep you in my thoughts. You are so special and always are looking out for all of us, so take this time to enjoy yourself and allow goodness to come into your space.
              ((((((((((((( Be good to your space))))))))))))))HZ

              • 55 desertflower
                November 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm

                Thank you, HZ….I promise:) Love you bunches, dear lady…You take care of YOU, too. Hugs right back at you. And a big fat ABSOLUTELY on the crabs and keylime pie:)

  12. November 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Ummm, No…

  13. November 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Very happy for the Palestinian people.

    Not surprised and/or angry that the US stuck with Israel. I knew they would. The Administration did not dance around that fact or gave us false hope. I don’t think we are going to see Pres. Obama put a boot up Israel’s ass anytime soon. What President has?

    My personal opinion is that the people of Israel and Palestine are going to have to demand better from their leaders. I too am tired of the US having to intervene. If they don’t get this shit straight then it will be forced on them. By whom or what I don’t know but this farce can’t be sustained for much longer.

  14. 62 amk for obama
    November 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    The change is happening chips, with or without, US. With France openly supporting it, UK & Germany giving an implicit consent, US is the loser here.

    This move would open up that area for economic activities and the eewropeans would be the first to take main advantage of it.

    • November 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      amk, like your optimism but how does it square with this: From the AP: “Despite Thursday’s triumph, the Palestinians face enormous limitations. They don’t control their borders, airspace or trade, they have separate and competing governments in Gaza and the West Bank and they have no unified army or police.”

      • 64 theo67
        November 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm

        “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. This was step one.

      • 66 amk for obama
        November 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        Of course, AP is gonna spin it as gloom & doom. But the reality is US & Israel have got single digit supporters in their corner. I am not saying it’s all going to be honey, peace and wealth for Palestinians. This gives them some sense of identity and hope. And a statehood would remove one of the main motivations for muslim insurgency and would cut off one of aq’s planks.

  15. November 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

  16. November 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one,” and the same can be said about propulsion systems in a vehicle. By combining an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery, hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are some of the most efficient vehicles on the market — lowering drivers’ operating costs, increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    A number of plug-in hybrids and hybrid electrics can be found on FuelEconomy.gov’s Top Ten EPA-Rated Fuel Sippers list, and the Alternative Fuel Data Center’s Vehicle Cost Calculator shows that the average driver would spend half as much money on fuel by driving a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle compared to an equivalent conventional vehicle. In addition to saving drivers money, plug-ins — which can drive from 10 to 40 miles on electric power alone, depending on the model — use domestically produced electricity that supports the U.S. economy. In fact, transitioning America’s vehicle fleet to hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles could reduce U.S. foreign oil dependence by nearly 80 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent. Recognizing these benefits, the Energy Department funds research on technologies that can make both hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles cheaper and more efficient.


    Secretary Chu has one duty, 2 find new alternative energy sources. He is going to get Fusion energy, went for cold start on September 30, it failed. But, they are close.

  17. November 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

  18. 72 taiping1
    November 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    The US was stuck: abandoning Israel now would have repercussions here as we’ll as loss of influence on Israel in pushing for the peace process to progress. I hope people in Israel and Gaza will put pressure on their leaders to negotiate

  19. November 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    #TrustBarack – He’s Earned It

  20. 78 amk for obama
    November 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

  21. November 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Dave Weigel thinks we might nominate Ayorte for CIA.
    That would be cute, seeing how NH seat would go blue!

  22. 81 hopefruit2
    November 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    • 83 anniebella
      November 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Bo is the best dog to ever be in the WH. His acting ability can put lassie to shame.

      • 84 HZ
        November 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Thanks jovie141 for sharing this video of First Dog, Bo. He is so smart. I have seen many dogs in the WH, but I will say, “Bo is the smartest, and most comfortable in his home, and the cutest. Love our First Dog.HZ

  23. 85 donna dem 4 obama
    November 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    What a beautiful story of goodwill….

    ‘Secret Santa’ showers $100 bills on storm-hit NJ, NY

    NEW YORK (AP) — A wealthy Missouri man posing as “Secret Santa” stunned New Yorkers on Thursday, handing $100 bills to many in Staten Island who had lost everything to Superstorm Sandy.

    The Kansas City businessman is giving away $100,000 this holiday season, and spent the day in New Jersey and New York giving away thousands. But he says money is not the issue.

    “The money is not the point at all,” said the anonymous benefactor as he walked up to surprised Staten Island residents and thrust crisp bills into their hands. “It’s about the random acts of kindness. I’m just setting an example, and if 10 percent of the people who see me emulate what I’m doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!”


  24. 87 Vicki Green
    November 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    What this vote today means is that the people of The West Bank will be able to ask for help from the UN’s International Criminal Court. The specific help they want is to stop the settlements. Todays’ vote restores some dignity and honor.

    If I understand this we can all be sure that PBO gets it too. I trust our President to get it right even if the way forward isn’t always clear.

  25. November 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm


    PBO 65,136,188 #Mitt47 60,599,570 PBO 50.91% #Mitt47 47.36%

    PBO Margin 4,536,618 (Already 1,524,452 more votes than GWB’s margin over Kerry in 2004).

    0.01 more to go before #Mitt47 hits my upper-bound target of 47.35% 🙂



    • November 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      That’s awesome Bob. I think you’ll get your 47.35. I’m actually afraid the fool will drop below 47% by the time it’s all counted.

      I can’t remember what I had for the PV. I think it was 51/48/1 — I wish I could remember what thread I put it on! I know I got the electoral vote wrong as I had North Carolina for a total of 347.

      • November 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        I had hoped for 347 as well … NC just didn’t quite get us there, but will turn it much bluer by 2016 🙂

      • 92 nathkatun7
        November 30, 2012 at 12:38 am

        You were not alone, forus50. I also predicted 347EV’s. NC was close so we were not so far out in expecting 347EVs. You guys were brave predicting PV. If you predicted 51/48/1 you really did an excellent job. So far PBO is on track t0 51%. Romney will definitely get 47%. The others (Green, Libertarian, etc) will get 2%

    • 93 nathkatun7
      November 30, 2012 at 12:31 am

      It’s looking good, Bob. I think the numbers will look even better in the days to come as there are still 31 counties in CA that have not finished canvassing (counting votes); including the mega LA county which has more people than 6-7 states that voted for Romney combined. I also understand that NJ and NY may still have chunks of votes not yet reported. AMK increasingly looks like a genius for predicting the 5 mil margin win for PBO. For the remaining uncounted votes, all the President needs now is a net gain of 463,382 votes to achieve AMK’s 5 mil vote margin. The President is winning the 12 battleground states by more than 4%. This is where Karl Rove and all the billionaires supporting Romney concentrated their billions financed attack ads. Although right now PBO popular vote margin nationally is at 3.55%, I have a strong feeling that after all the votes are counted he will win the popular vote by a 4% margin or close to it. This is a very solid win, especially given the fact that the President won 62% of the electoral votes. in 2004 GWB only won 53% of the electoral votes.

      • November 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

        “This is a very solid win, especially given the fact that the President won 62% of the electoral votes. in 2004 GWB only won 53% of the electoral votes.”

        Very solid win, in_deed, nath!!

        My lower bound was 47.1% and even, as forus is concerned, if ‘the fool drops below 47%’ it’s likely to still be above 46.5, i.e., it’ll still ’round’ to 47% 😀 😀 😀

        And, imagine if Sandy hadn’t happened – his NY and NJ total PVs would have been even higher.

        All in all, the Irish-Kenyan skinny dude did really, really well and is in a league only occupied by FDR, Ike & Reagan. That’s quite an accomplishment to say the least.

        A little note to the First Lady …


        • 95 nathkatun7
          November 30, 2012 at 3:14 am

          “All in all, the Irish-Kenyan skinny dude did really, really well and is in a league only occupied by FDR, Ike & Reagan. That’s quite an accomplishment to say the least.”

          As always, you said it so well, Bob! This is what I love most about the new media. Important voices like yours can no longer be ignored. You are contributing to the historical record that will inform future historians doing research on the Presidency of Barack H. Obama.

  26. 96 JER
    November 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

  27. 97 Stephan Henriquez
    November 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm


    Thank you so much for what you do. You’ve and the TOD crew have provided me sustenance, and a lot of laughs and news, since I found you through Blackwaterdog.

    You’ve done a beautiful and righteous thing with the post on Palestine. That picture is an amazing symbol of the Palestinian people. I believe President Obama will take note of your disappointment, given all your work and fierce love.

    May your hope for future courage inspire him to take on a biblical challenge and bring forth justice and peace. Better yet, may we learn that he was working with his usual long game.

  28. November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  29. November 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    The White House is threatening a veto of a major defense bill currently on the Senate floor if the measure is not changed, an official statement said Thursday.

    The statement on the National Defense Authorization Act (posted here) lists a number of objections to the legislation, including language which limits transfers of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, authorizations for various weapons programs not requested by the Pentagon, restrictions on U.S. force realignment in Japan, and limits on military use of alternative fuels.

    The statement says President Barack Obama’s senior advisers would recommend a veto of the bill if passed “in its current form.”

    LOL! He is sick and tired of the Wingnuts.

  30. 101 Asher in Boston
    November 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Yay, so happy for the people of Palestine. I find it bizzare and unbecoming that other people have to vote for your right of Statehood. Was thrilled that in one of those rare moments, the Africans did the right thing. They voted as a block, of the African Union and the Non- Aligned states.

  31. November 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    The official response:

    Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Following UN General Assembly Vote on Palestinian Observer State Status Resolution
    New York, NY
    November 29, 2012



    Thank you, Mr. President.

    For decades, the United States has worked to help achieve a comprehensive end to the long and tragic Arab-Israeli conflict. We have always been clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve: two states for two peoples, with a sovereign, viable and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.

    That remains our goal, and we therefore measure any proposed action against that clear yardstick: will it bring the parties closer to peace or push them further apart? Will it help Israelis and Palestinians return to negotiations or hinder their efforts to reach a mutually acceptable agreement? Today’s unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it.

    The backers of today’s resolution say they seek a functioning, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel. So do we.

    But we have long been clear that the only way to establish such a Palestinian state and resolve all permanent-status issues is through the crucial, if painful, work of direct negotiations between the parties. This is not just a bedrock commitment of the United States. Israel and the Palestinians have repeatedly affirmed their own obligations under existing agreements to resolve all issues through direct negotiations, which have been endorsed frequently by the international community. The United States agrees—strongly.

    Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded.

    The United States therefore calls upon both the parties to resume direct talks without preconditions on all the issues that divide them. And we pledge that the United States will be there to support the parties vigorously in such efforts.

    The United States will continue to urge all parties to avoid any further provocative actions—in the region, in New York, or elsewhere.

    We will continue to oppose firmly any and all unilateral actions in international bodies or treaties that circumvent or prejudge the very outcomes that can only be negotiated, including Palestinian statehood. And, we will continue to stand up to every effort that seeks to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security.

    Progress toward a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button here in this hall. Nor does passing any resolution create a state where none indeed exists or change the reality on the ground.

    For this reason, today’s vote should not be misconstrued by any as constituting eligibility for U.N. membership. It does not. This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state.

    The United States believes the current resolution should not and cannot be read as establishing terms of reference. In many respects, the resolution prejudges the very issues it says are to be resolved through negotiation, particularly with respect to territory. At the same time, it virtually ignores other core questions such as security, which must be solved for any viable agreement to be achieved.

    President Obama has been clear in stating what the United States believes is a realistic basis for successful negotiations, and we will continue to base our efforts on that approach.

    The recent conflict in Gaza is just the latest reminder that the absence of peace risks the presence of war. We urge those who share our hopes for peace between a sovereign Palestine and a secure Israel to join us in supporting negotiations, not encouraging further distractions. There simply are no short cuts.

    Long after the votes have been cast, long after the speeches have been forgotten, it is the Palestinians and the Israelis who must still talk to each other—and listen to each other—and find a way to live side by side in the land they share.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    • 103 LunarSea
      November 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      This reminds me of when everyone was saying PBO should just pen an exec order re Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He continued to work toward a permanent solution…with success.

      While I am pleased that they have achieved recognized status, I can’t help but wonder if it doesn’t throw a wrench into some delicate behind the scene wrangling.

      Or perhaps there is concern that this will embolden the principle players to walk away from the negotiating table. That could be very problematic, particularly for the US.

      I will trust PBO because he’s earned it.

      And I will light a candle.

      Evening all. I see the world keeps turning….

  32. 107 Elly in Maryland
    November 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for the photo. I, too, hope that President Obama will do something to help the Palestinian situation. I had no illusion that the US would vote any other way today. I feel in his heart our President knows what’s right, but U.S. politics don’t allow for it. There is so little honest discussion of the whole mess but I think it’s changing ever so slowly. We shall see.

  33. November 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Now this is how to make taxes being spent on prisons go instead to schools!

    • November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      If the Federal Government let’s it happen-

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she did not believe that domestic drug legalization was the answer to the cartel violence that plagues Central America as a result of the drug trade.

      Asked by the Costa Rican ambassador to United States Muni Figueres whether the drug war was winnable, Clinton stressed that legalization is the wrong approach.

      “I respect those in the region who believe strongly that [U.S. legalization] would end the problem,” Clinton said Thursday at a Washington D.C. forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine. “I am not convinced of that, speaking personally.”

      Some Central American leaders have urged the United States to consider other approaches to domestic drug usage — citing ruthless drug cartels that murder thousands of their citizens. Several Central American countries are considering limited legalization of drugs within their borders.

      “I think when you’ve got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it’s somehow blocked, they’ll figure out another way,” she said. “They’ll do kidnapping they’ll do extortion.”

      Speaking about the two states that recently legalized marijuana, Clinton repeated the Obama administration position that they haven’t formulated a response yet.

      Maybe and maybe not. We shall see.

      • 110 LunarSea
        November 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        “I think when you’ve got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it’s somehow blocked, they’ll figure out another way,” she said. “They’ll do kidnapping they’ll do extortion.”

        Hmmm reminds me of the US oil cartels and their lobbyists

  34. 112 newcenturywoman2
    November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I’ll be honest here: my knowledge is very limited on the long historical turmoil between Israel and Palestine. Sad to say, but over my adult years, I have not prioritized it as top among issues that truly concern me personally. While I know very little about the details of this ongoing Middle East crisis, I DO know a lot about President Barack Obama. And I KNOW that our President is an honorable man who truly believes in the betterment, welfare, and fair & humane treatment of ALL people–not just people here in this country but throughout the world.

    I know today’s U.S. vote against Palestinian statehood looks bad from a moral standpoint, 😦 but I also believe there’s a hidden but MORAL agenda behind this vote—at least from the President’s standpoint. I think we should trust President Obama on this one; I don’t believe he will–in the end — sell humanity short.

    I don’t believe President Obama is being “hoodwinked” or “controlled” by Israel either. I believe he knows exactly what is going on; he knows the strings attached; and he is well aware of how awful this all looks. I also believe he is approaching this monumental issue delicately–as delicately as he has approached ending the war in Iraq and soon ending the war in Afghanistan. Just look at how few of the international leaders who shared the world stage with our President just four years ago are still sharing that stage today. Nearly all of the ousted ones were men of questionable morals in terms of how they treated their own people or humanity in general. I believe both Netanyahu’s regime’s and the party of Hamas’ days are numbered—as are other evildoers. It’s just a matter of time.

    I have no problem with people who voice their opinions against the U.S. vote on this matter. Those voices need to be heard by our President, whom I believe wants to hear those voices– for and against! At the same time, I just think we should also keep in mind WHO we have as our leader. When it comes down to the final analysis of critical matters that he has dealt with—nationally or internationally–President Obama has NOT yet disappointment me in the end—not even once.

    • 113 jacquelineoboomer
      November 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      *not even once*

      I’m behind that ending statement, and I also agree that all voices should be heard. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • November 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Well stated. Agree with you.

      #TrustBarack – He’s Earned It

    • November 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      This statement has great insight, beautifully put!

    • 117 nathkatun7
      November 30, 2012 at 12:59 am

      I appreciate your comment immensely. I think what is needed in Israel and Palestine are leaders willing to take risks for change and a better future for their respective, long suffering, people. There is something to be said for the impotence of symbolic actions, but in the end what matters most are actual actions. What Palestine achieved today was symbolic. That’s a good thing I suppose. But in reality, nothing changed today on the ground. Let’s hope this symbolic action is followed by concrete actions that will usher in Palestinian independence and peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

  35. November 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Just in: because of undecided Democrats, Reid may be a few votes short of filibuster reform.
    Providing they abstain or vote no as expected.
    So, this is our own Party doing this, folks.
    Anybody want to bet Landreiu was one of the Democrats?
    And the Senate just voted no on Guabtanamo Detanees transferred to US soil!

    Gotta love Washington!

  36. 122 forus50
    November 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    This was just sent by my sister – too awesome!! http://youtu.be/Nyk1HXvCNks

  37. 124 amk for obama
    November 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm

  38. 125 FoxfireTX
    November 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Chips, I understand your disappoointment with this vote. But I firmly believe that PBO has a long game in mind that will benefit the Palestinians. And I suspect this is an issue of timing more than anything else. It’s hard to believe the Middle East is worse than “usual” but it sure looks that way. First you have the question of just who the Palestinians are given the status of Hamas after the recent conflict with Israel. Then you’ve got Iran and Syria hanging over everyone’s head, and Netanyahou’s desire for another war there. As if that wasn’t enough, now you’ve get Egypt back to looking more fragile than stable given Morsi’s power grab. PBO has to balance how any one of these dominoes affects the other. I alao do not believe he either likes or trusts Bibi and understands exactly the game he is playing. From what I’ve read the Israelis understand that Bibi has done serious damage to its relationship with the US. Finally, I think most of us are truly tired of Israel. So I assume that PBO has a long term game plan to deal with all of this although much of it is out of his control. But it is painful to feel like we’re on the wrong side of history here.

    • 126 Jennifer
      November 30, 2012 at 12:50 am

      I’ve seen this Israel/Palestine thing go on for decades. Sadly, I seriously doubt much will change in my lifetime or probably in my grandkid’s lifetimes. How many times have we heard about “peace” talks and accords? All the photo ops of handshakes and then back to same old, same old. Israel has an extremely high presence in the US and anything to upset the Jewish people will never work here. They have an enormous base here – that won’t change either.

      The Middle East is a mess, I think we should stay out of the whole thing. Don’t mean to sound like a downer, but PBO or any other president will never do anything to piss off Israel.

  39. 127 Bill R.
    November 30, 2012 at 12:29 am

    If PBO had voted in favor of the Palestinian state at the UN at this stage, he would have lost all leverage in the negotiations and faced a domestic firestorm that would have caused massive political damage at home. So people can criticize him, but he did the correct thing and it didn’t’ pre-empt anything while leaving doors open. This is pure symbolism at any rate. Self destruction isn’t worth it, especially if you flush every other good thing you can do down the toilet.

  40. November 30, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I appreciate your stance and your tone here, Chips.

    It’s definitely a work in progress, and we can’t expect conflicts that have their roots thousands of years in history, and a national political reality that, for whatever reasons, is joined at the hip with modern Israel, to change overnight. I look forward to seeing how this plays out. The world is changing, and that change won’t stop for any one country, even the “superpowers” of the world.

  41. 133 Uche
    November 30, 2012 at 12:58 am

    US ‘No’ vote on the non-member observer status now accorded Palestine by the UNGA shouldn’t disappoint or be a surprise to any keen observer of ths US policy stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The vote and outcome would’ve been the same,irrespective of who is President(Dem or Repub). The geo-political and regional security issues (plus what ever clout the Jewish lobby still exercises) there makes it imperative that US will always have Israel’s back no matter what.
    My reading is that this vote was a matter of when, not if it happens. The Peace process and direct negotiations between the two sides came to a screeching halt with the second coming of Netanyahu and I believe he (and the other ultra hawks in his coalition) has taken that process back several years. During this time we’ve seen both sides dig into their default positions which feed off each other and create a vicious cycle which has been difficult to break.
    In the early part of his first term,PBO showed a lot of willingness and supportive action to re-engage both parties on the road to peaceful negotiation, but I think Bibi’s antics (which turned into near complete antagonism of the President in this election year) turned him off somewhat.
    For the Palestinians, Abbas is hamstrung since he really has no control over Hamas and Gaza..and since the later does not recognize the existence of the state of Isreal and persists in launching missiles into Israel for real and perceived provocation, that gave a hawkish PM the reason and impetus he needed to stay as far away from the negotiation table as possible.

    My feeling is that this UN vote will act as a catalyst for re-engagement to direct talks. Many in Israel recognize that times have changed and that the two-state solution is the only way to realize any meaningful peace in that region…and I’m sure President Obama will likely have another go at it now that his 2nd term in underway.
    The historical takeaway here is for Israel to realize that it was the same UN that gave recognition to the Jewish state of Israel in 1948…a controversial vote at the time, which was supported by the USA.

    • November 30, 2012 at 2:01 am

      “The historical takeaway here is for Israel to realize that it was the same UN that gave recognition to the Jewish state of Israel in 1948…a controversial vote at the time, which was supported by the USA.”

      Crucial fact. Thank you, Uche.

      #TrustBarack He’s Earned It

  42. 136 Sara
    November 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I remember an occasion when Al Gore was Vice President and he was asked in an interview something like ‘How much of what goes on in the Executive branch does the public know”. I forget his exact answer but I’m quite sure it was less than 20; I was stunned that it ws so low. So I think it’s very appropriate for us to trust the exceptional wisdom, brilliant mind and caring heart of Barack Obama when he is trying his best to influence situations as flammable as the Israel-Palestine confllict.

  43. November 30, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Dear Chips,

    Of the many, many threads that you have initiated on TOD, I hope you will treasure this one as a stunning achievement of the community you have enabled. Opinions may differ, but as of writing this note to you, all opinions have been offered in a deeply respectful way of both you and President Obama. That is no small achievement, Chips.

    My hope is that when reading through the thread after a few hours rest, the comment above will have only been amplified by contributions of others.

    Thank you,

    Yes We Can

  44. November 30, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Just want you to know fred, am sure everyone here is thinking and praying for you and hoping that the surgery went as well as possible and you are recovering.

    • 140 susanne
      November 30, 2012 at 3:00 am

      yes, we are! i’ve been thinking of you today, fred, knowing the day after surgery can be so hard. but tomorrow will be better, and then the next day better still. my prayer for you is a joyful recovery of strength, purpose, and fun in life! aloha oe~

    • 141 nathkatun7
      November 30, 2012 at 3:28 am

      Yes indeed, Bobfr! You speak for all of us who are thinking of, and praying for, Fred during this difficult and painful period in her life. I hope her surgery went well and she is now on the road to quick recovery.

  45. November 30, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Final missives for the evening …

    We all witnessed what PBO did in Nov 2008 and thereafter, as he entered office with two unfunded & reckless wars, looming Great Depression, collapse of the US auto industry and numerous other GWB catastrophes.

    He resolved much of that mess before 6 Nov 2012.

    On 7 Nov 2012 he became not merely a re-elected President, but an historically re-elected President based on all the parameters each of you know.

    That he would allow Boehner, McConnell and any of those other idiots set the agenda for the next 4 years is a fantasy on Mitt & Ann and other psychopaths could believe.

    The next 4 years are going to be thrilling, no matter how challenging, as long as we all place our shoulder to the wheel of change that President Obama is clearly committed to advancing.

    Yes We Can

    • 143 susanne
      November 30, 2012 at 3:02 am

      beep beep 🙂
      the rethugs have run out past the cliff edge, their legs are churning, and they’re looking down at the rocks far, far below.

    • 144 nathkatun7
      November 30, 2012 at 3:33 am

      Bob, you are such a treasure and a major inspiration to many of us at TOD. Thank you so much for always reminding us to stay focused on the future.

  46. 145 jeff
    November 30, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Come on now. The US is not going to back Palestine and I doubt very much that they will as we’ll lose our alliance with Israel. I am not disappointed because no US president would ever back Palestine. I know you’re upset Chips but I wouldn’t let it bother you to much, Obama still has my back.

  47. 146 susanne
    November 30, 2012 at 3:20 am

    hawaii senator danny akaka is finishing his final term of office, at age 88:

    ‘ Daniel K. Akaka has a choice spot in the Hart Senate Office Building. His corner office has high ceilings, tall windows and great light.

    But now it feels a little sad.

    Walls are bare. Moving boxes line the hallways. The sense that an era is ending is thick.

    The goodbye is underway.

    Akaka, a senator from Hawaii for 22 years and a member of Congress for 36, is going home. And with his departure, the federal workforce is losing a friend on Capitol Hill.

    He also can look back at a career of solid accomplishments, including, among other things, a strong history of support for federal employees. As chairman of the Senate federal workforce subcommittee, Akaka has been a persistent, yet quiet, force working to better government service to taxpayers by improving the federal service.

    “Senator Akaka has had a significant role in every workforce bill to emerge from Congress over the last decade,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of Partnership for Public Service. “His common sense, bipartisanship and work ethic will be missed — and let’s not overlook that he is one of the nicest, most genial members of the Senate. He’s not flashy, but he is immensely substantive.” ‘


  48. 147 anniebella
    November 30, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Too darn bad it isn’t that bitter old fool John McCain, Little Lying Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell who is leaving the Senate.

  49. November 30, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Senators who have battled for more than a year over military detention of U.S. citizens nearly all supported an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Thursday, but the two sides had very different interpretations of what the provision accomplished.

    Feinstein’s amendment, which states that U.S. citizens or permanent residents shall not be detained without charge or trial, passed the Senate 67-29, with 19 Republicans joining with most Democrats to pass the bill.

    Feinstein said her amendment with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) would prevent the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents captured on U.S. soil.

    The amendment clarified that the law “does not permit an American citizen or legal resident to be picked up and be held without end, without charge or trial,” Feinstein said Thursday.


    This is very good!

  50. 155 proudmemberofglobalzero
    November 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Good Morning all. Off today so chores to do. I just wanted to mention the UN vote. Please remember there is an election in Israel this coming Jan. We are hoping that there is a chance that Bibi will be voted out. Let the President, SOS, and Ambassador Rice handle this…who knows…things will work out in the long run. I know I blasted my rep…Ted Deutch about a tweet he sent. Was appalled by the UN decision…I blasted him with the phrase “Shalom” which means. PEACE!!!

  51. 156 desertflower
    November 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Morning:) This is for all you polling geeks:) http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/110597/exclusive-the-polls-made-mitt-romney-think-hed-win

    Off I go to see my dad today! Long day, wish I was there already! Decided not to take my computer…no internet and seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I may need an intervention in a few hours! Being cut off like that doesn’t sound good to me, but I’ll bring a couple of books….and I have the beach….maybe I’ll be ok:) Anyway, once I’m out of here this morning, don’t worry about me….gone until the middle of next week…I’ll think of yardarm. If HE can go cold turkey, so can I.

  52. 157 desertflower
    November 30, 2012 at 8:26 am



    Republicans seemed stunned late yesterday while condemning Obama’s offer, as if the president shouldn’t have the audacity to present a plan he knows they won’t like. But I’d remind GOP lawmakers that everything in Obama’s proposal is consistent with his previous budget plans and the policies he presented to the public during the recent national campaign (which he won fairly easily).

    Indeed, Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren’t accustomed to this dynamic, but it’s probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.

    For the left, if there must be a focus on debt reduction, the White House proposal is the right way to do it. The plan roughly meets the broad outline House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says he wants, but does so in the most progressive way possible. Indeed, Obama’s offer — which was leaked by Republicans, not formally presented to the public by the administration — even includes additional economic stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending, extended jobless aid, and an extension of the payroll tax break.

    And did I mention it calls for the elimination of the debt-ceiling law altogether? It does that, too.

    Republicans, not surprisingly, absolutely hate everything about the president’s proposal, and that was the expected reaction. But the point of an offer like this is to set the parameters of the debate — Obama will no longer make GOP satisfaction his primary goal — and press Republicans to put on their big-boy pants for a change.

  53. November 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

    See you back net week, will miss your posts, but you enjoy the beach and family!!

  54. 159 pugeretto
    November 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

    DF – have a good vacation from us!

  55. 161 LB4Obama
    November 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Anybody catch Morning Joke this morning have a hissy fit this morning over the proposal presented by Sec. Geithner to Congress yesterday? My God what an ass! Somebody should call him a WHAAAAAAAAMBULANCE! During the live 6:00-6:30 segment he and Richard Wolfe really got into it. So much so they cut the verbal exchange from the 8:00 repeat segment. Morning Joke is such a G.D. hypocrit! I guess in his warped world only the R’s are allowed to play hardball. His meme was Boner and the rethugs should not speak to the WH until they present a “real” plan. Like what “real” plan Joe? Give in. Give them what they want? What a pussy he is. “Back in ’94 when I was in Congress….” . Blah, blah, blah. If this dick every tries to run for ANY office in the future, it will be my personal mission to get him to come clean on the dead intern found in his office that ended his political career. WHAA, WHAA, WHAA!

    • 162 Linda
      November 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

      He pretends we don’t know that Clinton allowed the Government to be shut down, twice and forced them to cave.

      He tries to give the Rethugs credit for the balanced budget..

    • 163 anniebella
      November 30, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I have gotten piss with several MSNBC shows and stop watching them, like Ed, Maddow, and Hardball, but after a while I have gone back to watching them. The only one I have not gone back to watching is Morning Joke. I refuse to watch that show. I can not stand Joe.

  56. 164 nospin
    November 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

    “President Obama works towards bringing justice to the Palestinian people in the next four years. For me, that’s the single greatest legacy he could leave. Stupidly, I’m heartbroken by the Obama administration’s stance today”

    🙂 Chips. I have read this statement over the last two years lots and lots of time. Slightly edited of course.

    “President Obama working towards “insert issue here” in the next four years is for me, the single greatest legacy he could leave. Stupidly, I’m heartbroken by the Obama administration’s stance today”

    All I am saying is this — we have all been here before on whatever issue multiple times over the previous years. Realistically it is impossible for an American president or any other group outside of the two that are directly involved to bring justice to Palestinians in four years. That just isn’t going to happen. Can President Obama work towards leveling the playing field? Yes he can and yes he has. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be at this point today. Your statement underscores a the shift in perspective of a lot of people on this critical issue and just like a zit on the face of a teenage kid . . . it is about to pop. (Crass I know but that zit analogy seemed to fit)

    So my darling Chips, we will just have to wait and see. But from my perspective, I am confident that this will work out to the good of the people on both sides.

    As a side note, this particular issue has always been where I disagreed with the President from day one. However, over the last two years I have been convinced that his stance is no different than mine. Which is screw the politics of it all, how can we as a country approach this from the viewpoint of “fairness to all people involved” and then over time, they can work toward improving that process.

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