Rise and Shine

President Obama hugs students during a visit to a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)



Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern):

9:45 EST: President Obama departs White House

10:40 EST: Delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference; Hyatt Regency, Cambridge, Maryland

12:15 EST: Departs Joint Base Andrews

5:30 ET: Arrives Fresno, California

6:15 ET: Takes part in a roundtable with community leaders; San Luis Water Facility, Firebaugh

7:15 ET: Tours a local farm; Private Residence, Los Banos

7:30 ET: Delivers remarks

8:35 ET: Departs Fresno

9:35 ET: Arrives Palm Springs

10:35 ET: Greets King Abdullah II of Jordan at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage

10:50 ET: Holds meetings and dinner with Abdullah



Steve Benen: Core Contradictions Drive ACA Criticism

As the Affordable Care Act continues to find its footing and the system grows stronger, its detractors are finding that their arguments are running into each other in unhelpful ways.

For example, for years, Republicans have argued that “Obamacare” redistributes wealth in such a way as to punish the wealthy. The party stuck to that line, right up until Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued the exact opposite:  ”[Obamacare] exacerbates income inequality. This is why the rich have gotten richer under President Obama.”

You can say the ACA goes too far to help the poor, or the ACA goes too far to help the rich, but you shouldn’t say both at the same time. The same is true of enrollment numbers – critics of the law tend to complain that enrollment totals to date are both too high and too low.

Likewise, the right has long believed the health care law goes too far to help bring coverage to the uninsured. Now, however, some conservatives are arguing it doesn’t go far enough.

More here



The People’s View: They Didn’t Even Put Up A Fight: How The GOP Came To Fear Obama

The last hurdle to a clean debt ceiling increase, Ted Cruz’s proposed second rendering of “Green Eggs and Hams”, was soundly defeated in the Senate today, though all the Republicans who voted to rob Cruz of the opportunity to filibuster then turned around and voted to default the United States. That latter vote was inconsequential, of course, as 55 Democrats voted to do the responsible thing and pay America’s bills.

The bill was already passed by the House with a smattering of Republicans joining the Democratic minority, as LL reported here earlier in the week, and the president will sign it. But this debt ceiling skirmish smelled and looked different from the ones Republicans have put up in the past two and a half years that they have been in charge of the US House. This one not only has a taste of bitter defeat for the Republicans, it has the hint of resignation. I can’t call it a fight, because they didn’t even put up a fight.

More here



Paul Waldman: Racial Fears, Gun Fantasies, And Another Dead Teenager

The basic facts are that Dunn and his fiancée pulled into a convenience store, where she went inside and he stayed outside. Dunn then got into an argument with four teenagers in another car over the volume of the music they were playing; the argument escalated, and eventually Dunn took out his gun and fired ten shots, killing Jordan Davis, one of the teens. Dunn claims that he saw a shotgun, or maybe a pipe, emerge from the teens’ car, so he had no choice but to defend himself. No such gun or pipe was ever found. That part of his story was also contradicted by his fiancée, who testified that afterward he said nothing to her about them having a gun.

While in jail awaiting trial, Dunn wrote letters to his family that said, among other things, “It’s spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are. This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs.” When he says “racist” in that letter, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about bias against black people. He also wrote, “This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.” That doesn’t sound like a man who’s “crazy with grief,” as he testified he was over the shooting.

More here



NYT: Over 1.1 Million Added To Rolls Of Health Plan

More than 1.1 million people signed up for health insurance through federal and state marketplaces in January, according to the government, and the number of young people enrolling increased faster than that of any other group.  Most promising, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, is that 25 percent of those signing up for insurance from October through January were ages 18 to 34 — the young and presumably healthy people whom insurance companies need as customers in order to keep premiums reasonable for everyone.

“These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services. “The case for repeal is infinitely harder now that people actually have coverage,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president, who added that the increased momentum of enrollment documented in Wednesday’s report gives the advantage to Democrats. “A message of ‘elect me so I can take health care away from my soon-to-be constituents’ is a dead-bang loser.”

More here



AP: NSA: Co-Worker Provided A Digital Key To Snowden

A National Security Agency employee resigned from the agency after admitting to federal investigators that he gave former NSA analyst Edward Snowden a digital key that allowed him to gain access to classified materials, the NSA has told Congress. Snowden has previously said he did not steal any passwords.

The unnamed civilian employee who worked with Snowden resigned last month after the government revoked his security clearance, according to a letter that NSA legislative director Ethan L. Bauman sent this week to the House Judiciary Committee. A military employee and a private contractor also lost their access to NSA data as part of the continuing investigation by the FBI, Bauman said.

More here




SmartyPants: How Political Journalists Gave Up The Freakin’ Plot

As someone who loves looking at the big picture, I am particularly glad to see Jay Rosen write about this kind of thing. He zero’s in on that second article by Chris Cillizza in a piece aptly titled: Behold how badly our political journalists have lost the freakin’ plot. Nobody knows exactly when it happened. But at some point between Teddy White’s The Making of the President, 1960 and the Willie Horton ads in 1988, political journalism in this country lost the plot. When it got overly interested in the inside game, it turned you and me and everyone who has to go into the voting booth and make a decision into an object of technique, which it then tried to assess.

We became the people on whom the masters of politics practiced their craft. Then political journalism tried to recover an audience from the people it had turned into poll numbers and respondents to packaged stimuli. Tricky maneuver. In other words, political journalists turned their focus away from being the source of information to become analysts of the power game. Voters/citizens are objectified via the assumption that we are merely the field on which these games are played. This is why Chuck Todd can so blithely claim that its not his job to call out the lies being told about Obamacare. Its not because he is a tool of the GOP. Its because he literally doesn’t think its his job to provide the public with accurate information about policies. He thinks his job is to analyze what works/doesn’t work for the power players in politics.

More here




Washington Post: Federal Judge Strikes Down Va. Ban On Gay Marriage

A federal judge in Norfolk struck down as unconstitutional Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday night, saying the country has “arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.” U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen issued a sweeping 41-page opinion that mentioned at length Virginia’s past in denying interracial marriage and quoted Abraham Lincoln. She struck the constitutional amendment Virginia voters approved in 2006 that both bans same-sex marriage and forbids recognition of such unions performed elsewhere. She stayed her decision pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, meaning same-sex marriages will be not be immediately available in the commonwealth.

More here



Think Progress: Minnesota Bill Would Provide 61,000 Free Lunches To Low-Income Students

Thanks to two state Congressman, Senator Jeff Hayden (D) and Representative Yvonne Selcer (D), thousands of Minnesota students may receive free lunches in the near future. In a state with inconsistent meal policies, a bill entitled No Child Turned Away would remedy stringent and humiliating practices currently affecting students who cannot afford to purchase school food.

No Child Turned Away aims to provide free lunches to 61,000 students who qualify for reduced-lunch programs but not free ones. At present, 250,000 students are eligible for free lunches, and 62,000 participate in reduced-price lunch policies. Nevertheless, research shows that schools across Minnesota consistently fail students in need of food assistance.

More here




Elissa Gomez: Report: 5.8 Million Lose Access To Medicaid Due To GOP Obstruction

According to an Urban Institute study, if all 50 states expanded Medicaid, “an estimated 10.3 million poor uninsured adults would have new options for insurance coverage.”  In the 25 states that have decided against expanding Medicaid as of January, the study finds that an estimated 5.8 million Americans – accounting for 27.2 percent of all uninsured adults nationwide — will not be eligible for health coverage through the program.

The reasons have overwhelmingly been tied to ideology and party politics. GOP lawmakers have argued that Medicaid expansion is “big government” intrusion and detrimental to state economies. According to the report, in many of these states, uninsured residents with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage through the federally run exchanges. Uninsured adults with incomes below the poverty level will not have access to any new coverage options.

More here




Lynn Parramore: I’m Proud My Mother Was Arrested Fighting Extremism In North Carolina

It was a proud day for this Raleigh native. On Saturday, a crowd of riled-up citizens that the North Carolina NAACP estimated to number upwards of 80,000 — the largest such gathering in the South since the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march — headed to the state capitol to protest the extremist policies of North Carolina’s GOP-controlled legislature.

Black and white, young and old, gay and straight, the people gave voice to a full roster of outrages, from racist attacks on voting rights to the state government’s refusal to expand Medicaid to half a million vulnerable Tar Heels to limitations on women’s reproductive freedom. From a four-year-old girl carrying a sign that read “Nope to Pope!” (referring to Art Pope, the state’s multimillionaire budget director and Koch ally) to the indomitable Rosa Nell Eaton, a 92-year-old veteran of the Civil Rights movement, they were united with one message: “Forward together, not one step back.”

More here



On This Day:

President Obama visits Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Parkville, Maryland February 14, 2011. At left is teacher Susan Yoder.


President Obama and Vice President Biden talk with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and members of the Chinese delegation following their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 14, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


Pete Souza: “The President genuinely enjoys being with kids. Here, he played a magnifying glass game with children during a visit to a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Georgia.” Feb. 14, 2013

President Obama joins in a music program at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

120 Responses to “Rise and Shine”

  1. 1 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

  2. February 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. February 14, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Howdy all you O’s!!!! What another great getting up Valentine’s Day in TOD land!!!

    Did you see and hear PBO just give me a Valentine Day shout out?? What a guy, I tells ya.

  4. 7 sherijr
    February 14, 2014 at 10:50 am

    whoa bad connection at whitehouse.gov audio keeps starting and stopping (for me)

  5. 8 japa21
    February 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

    GM all and Happy Valentine’s Day to all my valentines here at TOD, which means everybody. I love you all (specially my future bride Chips).

    And we now all have to show our love for the US by working our butts off and getting rid of the GOP majority in the House, retaining the Senate and taking back several state legislatures. That ultimately, is the greatest gift we can give this country and our children and our grandchildren.

  6. 11 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

  7. 13 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

  8. 14 sherijr
    February 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

    holy smokes 32 thousand + retweets on POTUS 🙂

  9. 15 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

  10. 16 GGail
    February 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Good West Coast Valentine’s Day morning Chipsticks & TOD family.

    Thanks NW for the heads-up. I got to catch some of it.

    Now, is he on his way to my part of the United States??? 😀

    • 17 HZ
      February 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Oh, yes GGail!!! And look at this lovely bright sunny day that he can soak up on that handsome face. I can just see him stretching back in his chair and looking up to the sky with loving hands. Gosh, I am so happy and grateful that we have this wonderful man as our POTUS.
      Welcome to Cali., Mr. President. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ We love you and our First Family and our Second Family}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

  11. 18 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

  12. 19 JER
    February 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day. Here is a clip of FLOTUS talking about first kiss with POTUS.

  13. 21 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

  14. 22 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

  15. 23 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 11:05 am

  16. 24 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:05 am

    • 25 MightyPamela
      February 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Oh Wow! Morning all, have the best day, rain, wind, sun or snow! This Mother Earth is one powerful Soul! She WILL find ways to survive! Many blessings, and be sure to watch for the Full Moon in about 6 hours! ♥

      • 26 HZ
        February 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

        Beautiful Morning to you, our Candle Angel. I love your “This Mother Earth is one powerful Soul.” Indeed.
        {{{{{{{{{{{{Lovely Day, MightyPamela.}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

  17. 27 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 11:06 am

  18. 30 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

  19. 31 HZ
    February 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

    A lovely Happy Valentine’s Day to my beautiful TOD Family. I love and appreciate our beautiful Chips and her brilliant team. NW, LL, Bobfr, Jacqueline, Dudette, Tally, Donna Dem, Carol, Desertflower, Judith, JER, meta, zizi, all of you wonderful and brilliant minds. All of you in this Great Family, I love you.

    I love this family because our leader does a brilliant job in offering her brilliant mind and hard work to support, respect, and represent what American really looks like. I love the beautiful canvas of loving brothers and sisters from all across the world who share in this beautiful and loving haven for our TOD family. Thank you so much our beautiful Chips and contributors.{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Love you all}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

    A special loving First Happy Valentine’s Day to my grandson, Handsome Danny. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Grandmama sending loving kisses}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

  20. 42 mtmarilyn
    February 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Good morning TOD family. This weather in Montana is crazy. One week ago on Thursday our high was -16 yesterday our high was 44. Needless to say alot of the snow we received this past week has and is melting. Last night it did get down to 31 but 2 nights before that it only got down to 36. This is not usually weather at all. But you know that there is no climate change.

    Wonderful R&S as usual. So much information. Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day everyone!

  21. 43 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

  22. 44 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

  23. 45 Nena20409
    February 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    Happy ♥ Valentine’s &heats; Day ♥

    Excellent R&S.

  24. 46 Nena20409
    February 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Happy ♥ Valentine’s ♥ Day ♥

    2nd Try 😉

  25. 50 Nena20409
    February 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Later TOD.

  26. 51 donna dem 4 obama
    February 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Good Morning TOD

    Thank you Chips and NW for a wonderful R & S – TGIF!!


    Did You Know That

    Frederick Douglas, Black abolitionist, orator and writer and Moneta Sleet, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, at Dr. King’s funeral and Gregory Hines, world renowned tap dancer, choreographer, actor, singer and director all share a birthday on ♥ ♥Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ .

  27. 53 donna dem 4 obama
    February 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Chips or NW my comment is in moderation…

  28. 55 jackiegrumbacher
    February 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Hi all on this great Valentine’s Day morning. I just got a delivery of a dozen red roses with baby’s breath from my wonderful husband. What a guy! The roses are gorgeous and come in their own vase. Wow! My day is made! I am a big fan of treats and this is a big one!!! Love the R&
    S, Chips and love the photos.

    • 56 japa21
      February 14, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Hope my wife doesn’t read that and get any ideas.

      • 57 jackiegrumbacher
        February 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

        Go for it, Japa. Make a call or stop by a florist. Your wife’s response will be worth it.

      • 58 57andfemale
        February 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

        I not only got roses but I came home from work last night to find the entire kitchen scrubbed from top to bottom (and let me tell you, even trying to keep up on a daily basis the kitchen floor was cakes with salt, snow, dirt, doggie footprints….). AND he cleaned the fridge so well it looked brand new.

        Okay, japa – GO!

    • February 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      awwww those lil unexpected pleasures are simply the BEST!!!!!

  29. February 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  30. 63 JER
    February 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

  31. 64 Linda
    February 14, 2014 at 11:34 am

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former GOP congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has started a petition drive to pressure the Obama administration to grant clemency to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is charged with espionage over leaks about the government’s surveillance programs.

    Paul’s push for clemency would have to be granted by President Barack Obama. Earlier this week, Paul’s son, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, filed a lawsuit against Obama and other top administration officials to stop the surveillance programs, which Sen. Paul contends are violations of 4th amendment constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.

    Ron Paul said in a video post that he wants Snowden to return to the U.S. without facing prosecution before the accused leaker’s amnesty in Russia is due to expire at the end of July.

  32. 68 57andfemale
    February 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I have a good friend in NH who has fallen into this Medicaid trap. He makes very little money, working for a very small business. The NH legislature refused to expand Medicaid, and in NH it’s virtually only available if you have children. In terms of the actual income level, his income falls well below the Medicaid threshold. But because he doesn’t have kids, he’s not eligible. The cheapest policy on the Exchange would cost half of what his rent costs, with a $6,500 deductible and a Bronze plan at that.

    He needs surgery for a mass on his kidney (benign but it must be removed). We all told him to sign up for the insurance and we’d all try to help. He was grateful but humiliated – he’s smart enough and liberal enough to blame the RWNJ legislature but how many people don’t realize the truth?

    It’s unconscionable, what these Republicans are doing to actual constituents, just to try to hurt the black guy in the WH. Despicable.

    • 69 Nerdy Wonka
      February 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

      You are a wonderful soul for coming to his aid.

      It’s so hurtful what the GOP is doing to everyday people. These are human beings not statistics. These are lives they are destroying. The conservatives on the Supreme Court really screwed people over with their asinine ruling. Millionaires who can’t understand that for the average person, $1 means a lot.

      I sincerely hope Democrats campaign on expanding Medicaid during the 2014 elections. This and minimum wage are concrete issues people can understand and get behind.

  33. 70 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am


  34. 72 lockewasright
    February 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Having a Valentine’s Day is like having a Tooth Brushing Day. Your teeth may feel great on that day, but if you aren’t brushing them all year then you shouldn’t get used to the idea of keeping them.

  35. 73 JER
    February 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    LIVE NOW: Awaiting President Obama’s Departure For California – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  36. 74 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm


  37. 80 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  38. 83 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm

  39. 84 lockewasright
    February 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Happy Valentine’s Day

  40. 88 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

  41. 89 Linda
    February 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    NYT: 20 Percent Of Obamacare Enrollees Haven’t Paid Premiums

    What does it mean? Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, offered the following perspective to the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

    This puts a number on what was already known, that the actual count of people who end up getting insured by exchange plans is somewhat lower than the reported figure of how many have picked a plan. I don’t think it changes anything about how the law is working, both the things going well and the challenges ahead. There’s really no material difference whether total enrollment ends up being seven million, six million, or 5.8 million this year. A key aim next year and beyond will be to ramp it up, as was always expected.

  42. 90 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    State Rep Jason Carter, Dem candidate for Governor of Georgia (grandson of President Jimmy Carter)

    Working to turn Georgia BLUE this November!

  43. 91 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    February 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Good morning! Okay, I must have missed the memo, but when did the Pres start using the Osprey as Marine-1?

  44. 93 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    A valentine for Liberal Librarian and the missus 🙂

  45. 95 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

  46. February 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I liked seeing the photo of China’s Xi Jinping from February 2012 – during that same trip to the U.S. in 2012, he visited my small hometown of Muscatine, Iowa – where he had once stayed 27 years ago to learn about ag practices. It was pretty exciting for our state. http://www.dailyiowan.com/2012/02/16/Metro/27044.html Small world! 🙂

  47. 98 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  48. February 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    This is funny!

  49. 100 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Be still my heart.

  50. 101 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  51. 102 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Remember to use #CancelTheInterview while lodging your complaints to @ChrisCuomo, @CNN, and @NewDay for this despicable praising of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.

  52. 103 Dudette
    February 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

  53. 104 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    See? This is another reason Andrew Sullivan disgusts me. Apart from his racist theories of Blacks being inferior to Whites, there’s this.

  54. February 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Hola Obots!

    Happy Love Day to one and all. The missus and I are keeping it low key and getting takeout from one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Poor thing is bone tired and doesn’t want to brave the crowds.

  55. 108 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  56. 109 Nerdy Wonka
    February 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm


  57. 110 jacquelineoboomer
    February 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Happy Valentine’s Day, TODville!

    I’m off to find Punxsutawney Phil and invite him back to my house to help me “dig out,” once again. I’ll keep it civil.

  58. 113 JER
    February 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

  59. February 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Love is in the air at your friendly national park! ♥ ♥ ♥

  60. February 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

  61. 118 Linda
    February 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    The host of “The Soup” is coming to Washington.

    The White House Correspondents’ Association says Joel McHale will host its annual dinner on May 3 in the nation’s capital. The group said Friday that the star of NBC’s “Community” and E!’s pop-culture show “The Soup” will provide entertainment for the centennial White House Correspondents’ Dinner.


    Huh ?

  62. February 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  63. February 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I just checked our local newpaper online and found an article with the following title: “Budding bromance for Bill and Barry? Haslam misses presidential visit but makes state dinner.” It is about Gov. Haslam not meeting PO two weeks ago when he came to Nashville, but he and his wife attended the State Dinner. I did a blistering comment on the comment board about the disrespect of the use of “Barry.” I am fuming!!!!!! Gawd, these haters drive me crazy!!!

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