Frederick Douglass’ Fourth of July Speech

As you listen to this, it is almost unbelievable that a black man had enough courage to make a speech like this in pre-Civil War America.

One of the greatest American speeches of all times. Some of it is sadly still relevant. Delivered by Ossie Davis. 24 minutes, but well worth it:

Always remember that America has been a work in progress from day 1. Equality for all citizens is still an idea that has yet to fully take hold in this country.

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A Catalog Of Tump’s Worst Atrocities

cowards who helped Trump


Thus begins the a long list of Trump’s atrocities that mcsweeney’ editors began documenting early in in the Trump administration. In their own words:

“Early in President Trump’s term, McSweeney’s editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of Trump’s cruelties, collusions, and crimes, and it felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors — happening almost daily — would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them. This list will be updated between now and the November 2020 Presidential election.”

This may be a list you would like to bookmark in case you are in need of a memory jog of just how bad this guy is. Better yet this would be a nice gift to that Trumper friend that lives in some dream world thinking that their man is one of the (really?) great Americans of all times.

Remember also that as you read the list, not only is it a list of Trump crimes and transgressions. It is also a list of actions that gutless Republican Senators, Representatives, Governors and every low level elected Republicans have been too cowardly to stand up to. Elected Republicans have nearly 100% cowed to this man fearful that he might utter a negative word against them.

Iowa has one of the very worst in Joni Ernst. Even as the verified stories of Trump allowing the Russians to pay bounties to Afghanis to murder our soldiers, she is silent. Just as she has been silent to all sorts of other Trump atrocities. Also just as she has voted as a zombie senator to confirm some of the most unqualified judges and civil servants this country has ever seen.

Grassley has been just as bad. So has Governor Reynolds whose senseless reopening of Iowa’s economy based on Trump’s instructions has led to thousands of Iowans unnecessarily being infected with the coronavirus.

We will list a few selected atrocities of this administration. There are 759 so far. As you will see they are listed as a catalog so they should be easy to access:

  1.  – January 11, 2017 – Donald Trump’s lawyer Sheri Dillon stated that Trump would “voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to the United States Treasury.” Two months into his presidency, no evidence existed that Trump had followed through with this promise. If Trump did accept payments from foreign states through his businesses, as his lawyer claimed, he may have been in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This clause forbids government officials from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

  146.  – March 30, 2017 – According to FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump called him to ask the director to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation. Trump said the investigation was impeding his ability to make deals for the   country.

341. – October 6, 2017 – On Wednesday, October 4, 201, the official FEMA website listed two statistics quantifying slow recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. According to FEMA, only 50 percent of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water nearly one month after Hurricane Maria had struck land, and 98% of Puerto Ricans were still without electricity. By the morning of Thursday, October 5, the statistics had been deleted from the website. When reached for comment amid uproar about the removal, a FEMA spokesperson offered no explanation for the change. By Friday afternoon, amid an uproar about the censorship, the figures had returned to the site.

424. – January 4, 2018 – The Trump administration drafted a proposal to open 94% of previously protected American shorelines to offshore drilling. The plan, entitled the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program, would distribute the first drilling leases for the California coast in 49 years, while also adding nearly a billion acres of new drilling area in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. Trump’s plan would be the single largest expansion of offshore drilling in American history. The Obama administration had spent about five years and hundreds of millions of dollars to lay down protections for the Arctic and Atlantic Seaboards in 2015 and 2016. Of the 22 governors representing coastal states effected by the new proposal, 15 of them disagreed with the president’s plan to open drilling (1/3 of these dissenting governors were from the Republican party). In an article on the threat the new drilling would pose to the environment and marine wildlife, the Director for Federal Affairs at the National Resources Defense Council called Trump’s proposal, “the most extreme fossil fuel assault on our nation’s public oceans—ever.”

These are just four very randomly selected atrocities. This is certainly a long read, but will be a good reference.

Remember that any legislative action listed, Joni Ernst was 100% behind including such items as the massive tax cut for the wealthy or approving the totally unqualified Brett Kavanaugh for SCOTUS.

Have a good Fourth. Just remember self governance means you must maintain vigilance over wannabe autocrats.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2020 election campaign, Blog for Iowa, Charles Grassley, Covid-19, Joni Ernst, Kim Reynolds, Trump | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Rep. Loebsack Praises Passage of Infrastructure Bill

Dave Loebsack Praises House Passage of Legislation to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

Bill contains Loebsack priorities, including funding for expanded broadband access, bus transit, building energy efficient schools

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today praised House passage of HR 2, the Moving Forward Act, a comprehensive infrastructure bill that includes key investments toward our surface transportation, broadband, and public education infrastructure.

“It’s all too clear for many Iowans that our roads and bridges are in dire need of repair, schools are falling apart, and everyone should have access to broadband internet, no matter where they live. That is why I have been calling for a large infrastructure plan, such as HR 2, for many years. I am pleased that this bill takes action to deliver the urgently-needed investments that Iowa and our nation need to address the crumbling infrastructure we see in in our local communities. Additionally, this legislation immediately creates thousands of quality, good-paying jobs, right here in Iowa. It is past time that Congress finally act on a bill to fix up our nation. Now the Senate must act on an infrastructure bill so we can make needed improvements and boost our economy.”

Loebsack priorities included in the Moving Forward Act:

  • Accessible, Affordable Internet For All Act– As co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Task Force, Loebsack worked alongside Majority Whip James Clyburn to author this legislation to invest $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure to unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban communities
  • Support for bus transit funding -This bill puts historic levels of funding towards bus transit, modernizing and expanding bus fleets to provide Iowans with reliable and accessible transit services. Important provisions include $1.725 billion to zero emissions bus programs, increases in funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus grants by 500%, and clarifications on eligibility requirements in the Bus Facilities and Fleet Expansion competitive grant program to allow for more direct and meaningful assistance to local transit authorities.
  • Renew America’s Schools Act– The condition of the buildings where our students learn and educators teach has an immense impact on the quality of education our children receive. Unfortunately, many of our nation’s school buildings are in a state of disrepair. Loebsack’s bill would provide $100 million over five years in federal grants to America’s schools to make critical infrastructure upgrades that improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Additional items included in the Moving Forward Act:

  • Modernizes our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future by investing more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid, promote new renewable energy infrastructure and strengthen existing infrastructure, help develop an electric vehicle charging network and support energy efficiency and climate resilience.
  • Invests boldly in affordable housing by directing over $100 billion to reduce housing inequality, create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve living conditions and increase environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
  • Upgrades hospitals and health care infrastructure by investing $30 billion to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service‘s infrastructure and increase capacity for community-based care.
  • Ensures all communities have clean water by investing tens of billions to remove dangerous contaminants from our drinking water and invests in new, safe wastewater infrastructure.
  • Delivers a 21st Century Postal Service by modernizing infrastructure and pursuing a zero-emissions postal fleet.
  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.


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How To Un-Steal The 2020 Election

Yes this is a shameless pitch to buy this book, but it’s probably a really good idea and we’re not getting a kickback so go get the book and learn how to un-steal 2020.  The only way Republicans win is by cheating which they have shown they are more than willing to do.

How Trump Stole 2020
By Greg Palast

Available for pre-order at Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City. 

About the author:  “Greg Palast regularly contributes original reporting to the BBC, The Guardian, Democracy Now, The Young Turks, and other progressive media. He has been featured recently on among others MSNBC’s Joy Reid show and in Salon, and in the New York Times and Washington Post for successfully suing the state of Georgia with Stacey Abrams to release voter rolls after she lost a congressional seat to Brian Kemp who was at the time also the overseer of the voter rolls. Palast’s two-decade hunt of elections chicanery are detailed in his books.”

If you’re not sick and outraged and ready to vomit, then don’t talk to me.

When I see a cruel bucket of garbage and winky-winky racism and bullshit and venom like Mike Pence, fawning to an orange-stained bloviating bigot, then talk to America like he’s some kind of Boy Scout, I want a gun, or a TV network where I can tell the truth or a giant washing machine to dunk America and rinse off the crud of lies and pure manipulative evil that they’re feeding us.

But I don’t like guns, I don’t have a TV network, I just have this:  A book.

It’s called How Trump Stole 2020:  The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters.
It’s the most important bullet I’ve ever fired.

I watch these smug jerks and I’m ill … because I know something they won’t tell you on CNN or CBS, let alone Fox.  And here’s the facts, ma’am:

In 2016, no fewer than 5,872,857 ballots were cast—and never counted. 

Does it matter?  In Detroit, 75,355 ballots were never counted because of 87 broken scanning machines.  And Trump supposedly won Michigan by 10,700  votes — really?

And, no fewer than 1,982.071 legal voters were denied the right to vote.   Told to get the hell out of the polling station.  Can you guess their color?

Add it up. That’s at least 7,854,928 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.

So God Bless America. By the way, these numbers are from the raw data supplied to me by the US Elections Assistance Commission.

So: Trump wasn’t elected by voters but by voter-vanishing trickery.
It’s official. It’s in your face. It’s sick. It’s unreported.

I cry. I scream. I retch. Then I make jokes—so I don’t burst into tears.

The 2020 election has not been stolen from Joe Biden — it’s been stolen from you. From We the People who march to the polls believing America is still a democracy, the land of the Brave, home of The Free, and that our votes count.

But we can bust this ballot burglary, un-steal the election.

America is on the line. ON THE LINE. I have two kids and God forbid if I stand here silent with my hands in my pockets whistling at my shoes.

Trump isn’t a billionaire: he just plays one on TV. He’s only a glove puppet…I’ll give you the names of the billionaires whose fingers are in the glove. And what they’re grabbing.

So I want, I demand, I insist, that you order a copy of the exposé How Trump Stole 2020.
And inside it, there’s a 48-page comic book by Ted Rall.   Because every cartoon is worth a thousand bullets.

You want to know who owns your ballot?  Then get the book right now by ordering it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Bookshop.  Or go and pound the counter at your local bookstore and tell them that instead of another Yoga Diet Cookbook you want a HAND GRENADE MADE OUT OF TRUTH:
How Trump Stole 2020.

Alternatively: make a donation and get a signed copy.

[Whichever way you choose to get it, your dollar goes to support the Palast Investigative Fund. I am donating all my proceeds to the fund.]

Can a book make a difference?  Can’t say. But I know this:  Ballot bandits are cowards, are cockroaches.  When we turn on the lights, they run run run away.

Do this now.  Get the info ammo and pass it on to your friends and mailing lists.

And for my terrible language, I apologize.

Greg Palast

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Grassley: Fox News Falling Down On The Job

In case there is any doubt that Fox News exists as a propaganda network to support Republicans, specifically Donald Trump, Grassley just put his foot in it so if you don’t know, now you know.

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, expressed frustration with last week’s Fox News’ town hall with President Donald Trump, saying the network wasn’t working hard enough to get him [Trump] reelected.

Grassley told Capitol Hill reporters on Monday that all he wants is for Trump to be reelected.

“I would blame Fox more than I blame the president, because the president, it’s easy for him to digress here and there, but Hannity — you assume Fox wants him to get reelected.”

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Stacey Abrams Reveals GOP Vote Suppression Strategy For 2020

Stacey Abrams was on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last week. It was a short don’t-blink-you-might-miss-it segment but so important to know what we are up against looking forward to November.

“Republicans have a battle plan. They are planning to raise an army of 50,000 poll patrol – people who are going to get in line and try to scare people out of voting… they have committed 20 million dollars to a litigation strategy to restrain people and restrict access to the right to vote… they intend to spend up to 60 million dollars on all of their voter intimidation platforms… they are filing lawsuits to undo and to in  fact eviscerate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. They are desperate because they know they are losing…”

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Democrats Loebsack, Finkenauer, Axne Looking Out For Iowans Not Corporations

 Loebsack joins Finkenauer and Axne to Introduce Legislation to Protect Mobile and Manufactured Home Residents

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, [Friday] Congressman Dave Loebsack joined with Congresswomen Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne to introduce the Helping Owners Meet Essential Standards (HOMES) Act of 2020. This bill responds to ongoing abuses by mobile and manufactured-home community landlords in Iowa and across the country.

“We’ve seen over and over how these out-of-state companies buy up mobile home parks, jack up the rent, impose surprise fees and intimidate Iowans — many of whom live on a fixed income” Congresswoman Finkenauer said. “The HOMES Act says if your business model threatens and preys on vulnerable Iowans, you won’t be eligible for federally backed loans.”

The HOMES Act requires mobile and manufactured home park owners to provide basic tenant protections in order to receive federally-backed financing, effectively ensuring loans supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are contingent on fair leasing, rent and eviction practices.

“Mobile homes provide a pathway to affordable home ownership for millions of Americans due to their lower prices, making them attractive purchases for rural families and folks living on a fixed income. Recently, it has become all too common for mobile home communities to be purchased by a large company who comes in and sharply raises the rent, often leaving the tenant having to choose between putting food on the table and making the rent payment. The seniors, teachers, veterans, and other residents who call these communities home have long-fought for basic rights afforded to every other renter and homeowner,” said Congressman Loebsack. “I am pleased to work with Reps. Finkenauer and Axne on the HOMES Act, as this important legislation will give mobile home residents the protections they deserve.”

“This is personal,” Finkenauer said. “We’ve got to protect our friends and neighbors from predatory investors who treat their residents’ hard-earned homes like pieces on a Monopoly board.”

“The story here in Iowa has become too well known: an outside investor buys up a mobile home park, and soon after Iowans in these communities get runaway rent increases coupled with poor or completely absent communication. It’s unacceptable – especially in uncertain economic times – and predatory practices like these should not be financed with federal support,” said Congresswoman Axne. “I’m proud to join my friends in the Iowa delegation today to introduce this bill to better protect Iowans by providing commonsense, basic tenants’ rights for those living in federally backed communities. With the HOMES Act, anyone using taxpayer backing to buy a rental property needs to meet basic standards for the residents.”

Predatory corporations and private equity firms have increasingly purchased manufactured and mobile home communities in recent years, implementing a business model that relies on hiking rents and fees, and forcing tenants into contracts that leave them vulnerable to eviction.

The HOMES Act would restrict the federally backed lending available to these corporations unless they write basic protections into tenant leases. Those protections include:

  • One-year renewable lease terms
  • Advance written notice and justification of rent increases
  • Advance written notice of the planned sale or closure of a community
  • Protection against arbitrary evictions
  • Rights for residents selling the manufactured or mobile homes they own without incurring the significant expense of moving those homes out of their communities

The HOMES Act would also form a commission charged with developing ways to reward borrowers that adopt additional resident protections through pricing discounts on federally backed loans.

The legislation is endorsed by: MHAction, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), National Housing Law Project, and Prosperity Now.

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Bayer Settles On Roundup Lawsuits

Bayer-Monsanto Merger

With all the literally life threatening news that is coming out from Washington DC and our various state capitols this little item nearly slipped through unnoticed Late Wednesday night / early Thursday morning.

From the Guardian: 

Bayer agrees to $10.9bn settlement over Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup

“German pharmaceutical company Bayer says it’s paying up to $10.9bn to settle a lawsuit over subsidiary Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, which has faced numerous lawsuits over claims it causes cancer.

Bayer said it was also paying up $1.22bn to settle two further cases, one involving polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in water.

Bayer said the Roundup settlement would “bring closure to approximately 75%” of the current 125,000 filed and unfiled claims. The resolution also puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims, the company said.

“First and foremost, the Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, in a statement on Wednesday.”

With Iowa being a major farming state this should be of interest to most Iowans. While I have no idea what the penetration of Roundup and Roundup Ready crops is in Iowa it is no doubt significant.

The other interesting aspect to this settlement is that when the Bayer and Monsanto merger was finalized slightly over 2 years ago it was controversial.

With the merger of Bayer and Monsanto farmers were left with only three companies that would be able to take care of farmers need for seed and pesticides – Bayer, Syngenta -China and Dupont-Dow.

At the time of their merger Monsanto was up to its eyeballs in lawsuits. This settlement takes care of about 75% of the lawsuits.

Monsanto has made several very controversial products over the years. Part of this settlement included some settlement on other Monsanto lawsuits: (also from the Guardian)

“Bayer said it would also pay up to $400m to settle cases involving the weedkiller dicamba having drifted onto plants that weren’t bred to resist it, killing them.

A further payment of up to $820m will be made to settle “most” claims for exposure to PCB, a highly carcinogenic substance, that Monsanto produced until 1977 and which has been found in US waters.”

Once again time and circumstances makes what was once seen as major news into so much background music.

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And Now A Word From Steve Schmidt

Trump takedown by Schmidt

hat tip to Soph0571 on

Steve Schmidt from CNN:  

“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And I don’t say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical and very worried about what a Trump presidency would be. But this is a moment of unparalleled national humiliation, of weakness.

“When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don’t use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We’ve never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities.

“It’s just astonishing that this man is president of the United States. The man, the con man, from New York City. Many bankruptcies, failed businesses, a reality show, that branded him as something that he never was. A successful businessman. Well, he’s the President of the United States now, and the man who said he would make the country great again. And he’s brought death, suffering, and economic collapse on truly an epic scale. And let’s be clear. This isn’t happening in every country around the world. This place. Our place. Our home. Our country. The United States. We are the epicenter. We are the place where you’re the most likely to die from this disease. We’re the ones with the most shattered economy. And we are because of the fool that sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk.”

He says what a lot of us are thinking

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Sunday Funday: July 4th Is Saturday Edition

This is a good time to remember that our press is free . Folks like Molly Ivins showed us what a free press can do (3 minutes)

America has always been a work in progress. There has always been a chasm between ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the reality of everyday life. The freedoms that have been cited in those documents have never been extended to all citizens, let alone all humans in this country. In the 244 years since the signing of the Declaration there has been a continuing battle to expand rights to all citizens.

One theory is that the ruling class will never give up any power willingly. Power must be taken. In America we have examples of both advancement with violence and with non-violence. This year we have an example of people nonviolently demonstrating and making some strides. It feels like for the first time in a long time those in power are at least listening a little. Once again, it is a start.

On another note Bunker Boy has brought three major epochs of American history together all at one time. America is going through the Spanish Flu epoch, The Great Depression and the Civil Rights era all together in one fell swoop. Unlike those other periods this time we have a president who refuses to lead and couldn’t care less about what happens to the country. He just wants to be re-elected.

  1. The pandemic is rebounding with a vengeance especially in the Republican led states. Which state is putting restrictions back into place to counter the rebound?
  1. Mary Trump is writing a tell all book about her family due out in early August. Which family member sued to try to stop publication of her book?
  1. In the sports world, what former and often considered racist owner of the Minnesota Twins had his statue removed from the stadium last week?
  1. The CDC estimated Thursday that only what percent of coronavirus cases have been reported in the US?
  1. It is still Pride Month. 51 years ago today what signature event took place in NYC?
  1. Speaking of signature days, what other North American country commemorates its birth this week also?  (I ask this every year folks)
  1. Was the Declaration of Independence signed on July 4th, 1776?
  1. Bunker Boy followed his rally in coronavirus riddled Tulsa last Saturday with a rally in what even more coronavirus riddled city on Tuesday?
  1. What other country in the Americas has a coronavirus daily infection rate even worse than that of the US?
  1. Who described Bunker Boy’s response to the pandemic as “that of a child, whining and self-pity” in a major address Thursday?
  1. The Iowa Democratic Party’s annual Hall of Fame fundraiser will be virtual this year, streaming on Sunday evening July 26th. Who will be the keynote speaker this year?
  1. What is Bunker Boy’s latest racist name for the coronavirus?
  1. To say the least this week is loaded with historic events. July 1, 1862, Lincoln signed the first bill calling for what kind of tax?
  1. According to Wikipedia, the term “homosexuality” was coined in what year? (Hint: around our civil war)
  1. What pizza chain noted for its arcade and as a great place for a kid’s birthday party, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday?
  1. The US senate confirmed Cory Wilson as a federal judge Wednesday. How many federal judges have now been confirmed during Bunker Boy’s term?
  1. In a shocking announcement the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit said that Judge Emmet Sullivan must accept the DOJ’s decision to drop charges against who?
  1. What group of countries is considering banning travel to them from the US due to our spike in coronavirus cases?
  1. Soon to be gone, but not forgotten. What mode of transportation introduced in 2001 is being phased out by its producer?
  1. A huge dust cloud that originated where is affecting air quality in the gulf states and southeastern states?



  1. Texas
  1. Nope, not Donald. Her uncle Robert Trump, Donald’s brother brought the suit.
  1. Calvin Griffith
  1. 10% – which means we may actually have nearly 30 million cases
  1. The Stonewall Inn riots
  1. Canada Day is Wednesday July 1st
  1. No. July 4th is when the language in the Declaration was approved. Independence was approved on July 2 – this is the day John Adams thought we should celebrate. Most of the delegates signed on August 2nd, 1776.
  1. Phoenix, Az.
  1. Brazil. They also have a right wing authoritarian leader.
  1. Presidential candidate Joe Biden
  1. Presidential candidate Joe Biden
  1. “Kung Flu”
  1. An income tax
  1. 1868
  1. Chuck E. Cheese
  1. 200
  1. Michael Flynn
  1. The European Union
  1. The Segway
  1. The Saharan Dessert

confederacy and underwear

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