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Sunday, March 18, 2018

April 12 (Bloomberg) — That sound you’re hearing may be the cracking of gridlock in Washington.

Bipartisan bills on three of the big issues of 2013 — the budget, immigration and guns — could pass Congress this spring. If the B.I.G. agenda goes through, the public will cheer, providing incentives for politicians to do more. It would also go some way toward rescuing our system from being the embarrassment it is now.

The key to getting anything done is the combination of an inside game (cutting deals behind closed doors) and an outside game (rallying supporters, running blistering ads).

This week, Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania showed Washington how to legislate on guns. Both have “A” grades from the National Rifle Association (Manchin was even shown firing a rifle in a 2010 campaign ad) but enough sense to know that requiring comprehensive background checks before gun purchases is an idea whose time has come. More than 90 percent of the public supports background checks; the NRA did, too, back in 1999.

The deal won the enthusiastic support of President Barack Obama and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News). It had the backing of enough conservatives to defeat an attempted filibuster; the Senate voted 68 to 31 to begin debate next week on a measure that would expand background checks to the 40 percent of gun sales that are unregulated.

The measure has a good chance of passage in the Senate. That would be a serious setback for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. When you threaten a filibuster and lose, the next threat is less potent, which means diminished power to obstruct down the road.

Pessimists say background checks will fail in the House, where the NRA has a near-stranglehold on the Republican majority. But that fails to account for the new order of battle. Supporters of background checks have put a couple of dozen swing district House members on notice: If you oppose this bill, winning your primary against a Republican extremist won’t mean much because you’ll be in deep trouble in the general election.

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, nothing so concentrates the mind as the prospect of millions of dollars’ worth of ads featuring the parents of slain Newtown children denouncing you.

After the background-check bill becomes law, get ready for comprehensive immigration reform. It probably won’t face a filibuster or sustained opposition, even from the most right- wing Republicans.

That’s because elections have consequences. All Republicans now know that they must do a better job of reaching out to Hispanics or they will go the way of the Whig Party.

It helps that the national climate is favorable for reform. The fever of U.S. nativism spikes from time to time before subsiding. Right now, it happens to be in check.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo

27 Responses to Congress’s Notorious B.I.G. Agenda Just May Pass

  1. To paracroon:

    Ya down wi’ B-I-G?
    (Yeah, you know me!)

    Ya down wi’ B-I-G?
    (Yeah, you know me!)

    Ya down wi’ B-I-G?
    (Yeah, you know me!)

    Who down with B-I-G?
    Guys with some san-itty!

  2. Republicans pandering to Elderly, give me a break!!! Was it not the left with the ad of Ryan pushing the women in wheel chair off the cliff. Obamacare is still taking 700 billion out of Medicare to pay for the massive expansion of entitlements spending.

    • WRONG, first of all as a LIFETIME tax payer, AND NEVER 14% LIKE Romney bullshitter I find you calling social security ((which I paid into every week)) for a lifetime a VERY insulting word. We contributed to that for ALL our lives and because A republican failure president who started a fake war and blew lots of extra income leftover from CLINTON we now are asked to give up even more than us hard working, family raising, tax paying, middle class types have already. Seniors, the poor, and disabled have given up enough, lets start cutting the $195,000.00 a year salary we the people pay these fools and failures. Then we can look at cutting more.

      • Nor Obama’s 18% for 2012 returns, are you going to call Obama’s 18% “bullshitter”?? Please what terrible word DID I used. if you want to play the fake war game how about Johnsons and 50k dead Americans. Not sure your age but if you are 50+ you are effected. Get your head out of the sand, SS must be changed or it will not survive-Not my words the words of the TRUSTEES OF BOTH SS AND MEDICARE. SS is down to just 2.8 to 1 worker to beneficiary and that only bodes tough times ahead.

        Yes, you paid in and it is not an entitlement. Just remember aging population, living longer, and cost all do and will play a major role.

    • Let’s check out that 716 billion that’s supposedly being taken from Medicare. Here’s research on that from PolitiFact dot com: (Obamacare will not actually be taking 700 billion “out of Medicare” (And certainly not for massive expansion of Social Security and Medicare which is all of America’s “Entitlements spending”.)

      From PolitiFact dot com:

      Seems like just yesterday that the big Republican talking point was that Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare. Now, it’s $700 billion.

      That’s the number — $716 billion to be precise — that’s gotten tossed around this week. We’ve posted two fact-checks to explore the back and forth between the campaigns. In an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes, Mitt Romney said Obama “robbed Medicare” of $716 billion to pay for “Obamacare.” We found that exaggerated as to what Obama had done in the health care law.

      While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn’t actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t “robbed.” We rated the statement Mostly False.

      Responding to the Romney attack, Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Ryan’s budget relies on the same $700 billion in savings from Medicare that Mitt Romney and other Republicans have been attacking Democrats about. Ryan has confirmed that, and we rated it True.

  3. The REAL meaning of gun legislation…..

    [click image to enlarge]

    Have a nice day!

    “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” -Thomas Jefferson

    • With all your false bravado, I challenge you to prove you have actually grown a pair.

      Face the parents of a slain child. Look them in the eye.



      Besides, we all gotta make sacrifices, right?

      • Jimmy… that’s not the conversation I would have with her. Rather, I’m sure she would have preferred an armed teacher or armed guard to stand between her child and the nutjob, just as I would prefer. And you are a moron if you think there is any law that would prevent these tragedies. In fact, the worst school mass murder in history occurred in 1929 (or 28, I forget) and was committed by a nutjob that lost a local election and took it out on the kids…. NOT with a gun, but with bombs made from gasoline. More than 30 kids and teachers were killed. Should we make laws against gasoline?

        Have a nice day!

        “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” – George Washington

        • So, you DON’T have the guts to stand up in front of the parents and siblings of those MURDERED children, and explain why they had to pay the price..



          Semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines are the weapon of choice for most of these COWARDS. Simply because FULLY automatic weapons are not as easily obtainable.

          These WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION assure the most victims with the least chance of failure.

          Tighter controls on background checks and legislation on the sale of these devices will not stop the violence. However, is can slow down the spread of the violence, which is increasingly getting out of control.

          • Jimmy, your panties are in a knot over this, aren’t they? What you fail to understand is the Obozo is using those poor dead children and those parents of children like pawns on his chessboard for his personal benefit. Also, note that he’s only using the parents that agree with him. About half of them DO NOT agree with him and openly support the idea of having armed teachers or guards in schools. But he would NEVER allow any of them to speak, now would he? BTW, you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to guns. Shocker, eh? The fact is that the number of deaths in America by rifles is in the low hundreds, and that’s ALL rifles, not just what you wrongly call “assualt rifles”.

            You are looking at twisted logic stats when it comes to JAMA assertions. The exact oppposite is true. Chicago has extremely strict laws, yet one of the highest gun crime rates in the nation.

            You actually almost have it right when you say the violence is getting out of control, but like any lefitst freak, you neglect to place individual responsibility on the individual himself, and instead blame an inanimate object. And your solution is to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens. The real culprit here is a declining moral culture that has been precipitated by the march of the leftists over the past 100 years. And, by the way, ALL of the shooters have been progressive DemonRATS, not conservatives.

            Have a nice day, Jimmy!

            “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason, Founding Father known as the Father of the Bill of Rights.

        • According to the JAMA, stricter gun laws actually DO reduce gun violence. In their analysis of all 50 states, it was found that those states with stricter gun control regimes had lower gun violence rates than those states with more lax gun control. And, as you so eloquently quote our nation’s first president, “the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable.” Don’t see anything in there about multiple shot weapons, do you? No machine guns, no semi-autos, no weapons with clips, in fact, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, et al knew of NO weapons that could be fired more than once without stopping to reload.

        • Nice try Obozo but you lose: Those lines that you say were spoken by George Washington are as fake as a $3 bill. They’re more likely the creation of Wayne LaPierre from the NRA than anything Washinton would have ever said. First of all, people back in 1776 didn’t talk that way – A comment like People’s iberty teeth???? What kind of nonsense is that?? And just for the record, people didn’t start using the term Rifle instead of Musket until after 1800 when Washington was dead. Better check out your souces before you try using fake quotes of our presidents.

          And it appears that Jefferson must have been one of the paranoid group that Madison was making fun off just before he wrote the 2nd Amendment. Here’s the summation of his comments from the Federalist 46 paper that were published in 1778:

          On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last
          paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.

          Note that he says in the 1st sentence: “that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the indivudual states, as they are indespensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the union” ” As little formidable” – or in other words, “pose very little danger” to the states – And then he concludes with “on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.” In other words, concerns that the federal government pose a real danger to the states, can be ascribed to the “chimerical fears” Chimera being “an absurd creation of the imagination”.
          Madison was basically chiding people like Jefferson who had an untold paranoia of the federal government for their “absurd creation of their imagination”. When Madison wrote the 2nd Amendment, it had nothing to do with his concern about government tyranny – it was all about needing people to own guns that could be called upon to protect America from foreign invaders and for their own protection from marauders that were still stalking the countryside.
          Besides, in a 2008 descion, SCOTUS made it clear that every recommendation being put forward today to help reduce gun violence are constitutional.

          • SHOCKER! A leftist that even knows what The Federalist Papers are. Most of you have no clue what the Constitution even says, let alone the papers that explained it’s justification. Nice try, though, Indy, but you lose. The quotes you provide from Fed. 46 are not about gun rights, but are about an argument that Jefferson felt the Federal government would grow in power sufficiently to diminish the sovereignty of the states. While Madison may have thought that impossible at the time, history has proven him to be the naive one in that exchange with Jefferson.

            As a side note, Madison may have been correct at the time when Senators were chosen by the state legislatures, but the 17th Amendment changed that. The Constitution was set up specifically to have the people represented by the House, the states represented in the Senate, and the country represented in the Executive. With the 17th Amendment, Jefferson has been proven correct and Madison wrong. After all, it’s the Feds that bribe the states with an endless stream of promises of funding if only the state does [insert whatever edict you wish]. The 17th Amendment has enable laws to be passed that FORCE states to take on budgetary expenditures that they would likely never have had to if they had the power to withdraw a Senator from his/her seat. Witness Medicare/Medicaid which is bankrupting many states. Witness bribes for eductation that require implementation of Federal curriculum more driven toward ideological indoctrination and not education. Witness transportation, housing, etc. etc. etc. Clearly, the Feds have been increasingly trampling on the states for decades.

            Now, back to the 2nd Amendment. The fact that you cite a court case doesn’t necessarily make the judgement of that case accurate constitutionally. In fact, the SCOTUS has had a long history of disastrous decisions, some of them recent. Such as Kelo v. New London which made it acceptable for a local government to confiscate private property for the purpose of giving it to some other private owner for private purposes. What about Dred Scott? You like that decision? What about the Obozocare decision which was a twisted and contortioned attempt by Roberts to define Obozocare’s individual mandate as tax (exactly the opposite of what Obozo called it)? My point is that the SCOTUS is not infallable, Indy. They make stupid decisions all the time. It should be noted that I agree with the Heller decision, and I agree that maybe individuals should not own nuclear bombs. But nuclear bombs are not really firearms. Any firearm a soldier can have, American citizens should be allowed to have the same. That’s the meaning of The 2nd Amendment.

            And yes, that is a direct Washington quote. Look it up.

            Have a nice day!

            As Founding Father Tench Coxe said, while attempting to allay the fears of critics of the proposed Constitution: “The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The
            militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American… [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania
            Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

          • Sorry Obozo, I never said that the Federalist 46 paper Madison wrote was about gun rights – I said in that paper he poked fun as being ridiculous the paranoia fears of people like Jefferson that believed the states needed to be defend themselves against Federal government tyranny. Gun lovers like to constantly claim that when Madison wrote the 2nd Amendment it was to ensure that the states were armed against federal government tyranny WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!! If Madison made fun of Jefferson and others of the paranoia nuts in the Federalist papers, he obviously did not write the 2nd Amendment with concerns about federal government trying to rule over the states. Gun nuts who claim this are wrong!!!

          • Indy, the context of the conversation IS gun control. Never the less, I have proven that Jefferson WAS correct and that Madison was wrong for “poking fun” as time has demonstrated. I noticed you did not dispute that since I have shot you down before you could. As well, you are 100% wrong, yet again as to why the 2nd Amendment, and all the others that make up the Bill of Rights for that matter, are included in the first place. That is because the Constitution would NEVER have been ratified WITHOUT the 2nd Amendment. It is the STATES that demanded it, not specifically a “paranoid” Jefferson, you moron. Besides, Jefferson did NOT sign the Constitution and was not even present at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, you dummy. Further, we had just come out of a revolution against the very tyranny that Jefferson, and frankly Madison, as well, sought to prevent by the very establishment of the Constitution itself.

            One more point on the topic of the 2nd Amendment that you leftist freaks NEVER really understand. That is, the relationship between the 2nd AND 3rd Amendments. Do you know what the 3rd Amendment even is? Quick, Google it. You see, the 3rd Amendment prevents the quartering of soldiers in your home without your consent. At the time, it was very common for the Brits to barge into a person’s home, especially if they had property and resources. They would take the women of the the home, rape them, and then consume all of their food and other resources, and then leave. If that’s not tyranny, what is it? The right to keep and bear arms is in the Constitution as a means to recognize one’s God given rights to protect his life and property from such intrusions of the military. In other words, it is our right of defense against tyranny as a last resort. And that includes a Federal Government that has grown too powerful. Madison certainly understood, and supported the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment. Clearly.

            Speaking of Madison, see the quote below. You have taken a slice of Federalist 46 in your prior post, and have (as all leftist freak do) bastardized it to try to make a point that never was there. Nice try, not buying it.

            Have a nice day!

            “The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation… where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison of Virginia, The Federalist, No. 46)

          • You can spout all you want, you’re not proving a thing. You know full well that the NRA is trying to turn Americans into paranoids like Jefferson was, claiming the people had to have the same weapons as our standing army in order to protect themselves agains the government’s possible tyranny. Madison may not have written his Federalist Papers about gun control, but what he said in thems is a big factor in gun control today – his papers totally refute the NRA’s notions and those of millions of gun nuts who parrot what the NRA said. He made it clear in those papers that people who were paranoid about federaly tyranny against the states were doing nothing but creating absurd imaginations and fantasies – according to Maidson – federal tyranny against the states ain’t going to happen – so get those silly notions out of your heads. And Madison could say what he did about American gun ownership as you qouted for one reason – at the time, no other country had ever elected it’s leaders at the ballot box – there was no country on earth at the time that was: for the people, by the people and of the people. Virtually every other country on the planet was governed by some form of dictatorship and of course could not afford to allow all its people to be armed. So keep on ranting – you’re proving nothing. Americans do not need to be paranoids like Jefferson apparently was – and gun owners do not need to own the same kinds of weapons as America’s armed forces!!!!!!

          • Uhhhh…. Indy…. I have already shown and proven that the Federal government has been encroaching on state sovereignty for nearly 100 years with examples. Jefferson turned out to be correct. Your claims that Madison considered the idea of possible federal tyranny to be the “thinking of the paranoid” are absolutely false and, frankly, laughable at best. ANY person that has the most basic grasp of The Constitution, the reasoning behind the document, and America’s founding absolutely knows 100% that every one of the founders, and especially the framers, were driven to create a government that PREVENTED tyranny. They knew tyranny first hand, and designed the government to be constrained by the Constitution which is a document that is mainly driven by the matter of what government CANNOT DO. And that government recognizes the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be infringed. Do you know what “infringed” means?

            Finally, you cannot be so stupid as to think that America was the first democracy, can you? Are you really that dumb? I don’t think you are, Indy. Perhaps it was a slip up on your part. I’ll give you that. Perhaps you meant Representative Republic and not democracy. Whatever, I actually think you’re smarter than most of the lefist idiots and drones on this site. You at least have some handle on American history while 99% of the idiots on here have no clue. But you are still wrong on Madison.

            Read the quote below from Solzhenitsyn. Perhaps a little paranoia and distrust of government is a good thing.

            Have a nice day!

            “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reflecting on how easy it was for Stalin to overrun and murder the opposition that was not armed.

          • You haven’t proven didly squat. With Red States snubbing their noses at the Federal Govt, refusing to implement Obamacare in the form in which it was passed; and Red State governments purposely cutting budgets and state services to deliberatelty throw their citizens out of work just so they can teach them how to file for welfare and suck welfare dollars from Washington faster than leeches Such that 15 of the top 20 states sucking welfare dollars from Washington based on the taxes they pay are RED STATES!! – YOU WANT ME TO BELIEVE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ENCROACHED ON THE STATES SOVEREIGNTY – WHAT KIND OF AN IDIOT ARE YOU!!!! You spew more nonsense that is totally devoid of the subject. Get a life will you!!!!!

            And by the way, America was the first democracy/republic in the modern world that made a serious attempt at formng a fully elected government. There were brief experiments at it in Corsica and France which failed within a couple years – but those weren’t fully elected governments (by modern world I mean after 1500.

          • Have you noticed that this string started with my reply to BOZO that he doesn’t have the guts to face the parents of children that have been slaughtered by some COWARD with more ammunition than brains. That he does’t have the GUTS to face those parents and tell them, “IT SUCKS THAT YOUR KID GOT BLOWN AWAY BY SOME WHACK JOB.BUT, HEY, THAT’s JUST THE PRICE THAT YOU GOTTA PAY TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF ANY NUT CASE THAT HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY A SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE AND A FEW SEMI-AUTOMATIC HAND GUNS. OH, AND MAYBE A DOZEN HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES.

            Besides, we all gotta make sacrifices, right?

            Well, BOZO still likes to rant, but no matter how BRAVE he thinks he is, HE IS STILL AS BIG A COWARD AS THE WHACK JOBS HE IS TRYING TO DEFEND.

            All his deflection will not change the fact that he already admitted, “Jimmy… that’s not the conversation I would have with her. Rather, I’m sure she would have preferred an armed teacher or armed guard to stand between her child and the nutjob, just as I would prefer.”

            Of course, he never considered the others that would possibly have been wounded or killed in the cross-fire.

            Because, IN HIS MIND, everyone who is an “armed teacher or armed guard” will calmly stand and face the COWARD with the semi-automatic rifle, and in true RAMBO tradition, ‘TAKE OUT THE PERP” with no collateral damage.

            It must be nice to live in Fantasy Land.

    • The gun registration laws were passed by the Weimar Republic before Hitler came to power and were partly put in place to take guns away from the Nazis. The gun control law under Hitler ultimately prevented Jews from having guns, not the general population . Of course, Nazi officials were exempted from all gun permits.

      • Just a little something to think about: The Nazis were firmly in control of Germany at the time the Weapons Law of 1938 was created. Further, this law was not passed by a legislative body, but was promulgated under the dictatorial power granted Hitler in 1933. Obviously, the Nazis did not need gun control to attain power as they already (in 1938) possessed supreme and unlimited power in Germany. The only feasible argument that gun control favored the Nazis would be that the 1928 law deprived private armies of a means to defeat them. The basic flaw with this argument is that the Nazis did not seize power by force of arms, but through their success at the ballot box (and the political cunning of Hitler himself). Secondary considerations that arise are that gun ownership was not that widespread to begin with, and, even imagining such ubiquity the German people, Jews in particular, were not predisposed to violent resistance to their government.

  4. the hardest nut to crack is our tax system …………the right protect this system that is designed to make the rich richer by squeezing the middle class and for the poor to stay poor. you all in congress have to be a neutral and stop just thinking of yourself. bush screwed the system to help him and his fatt ratt players to make bank off of the 99%. earn your keep!!!!!

  5. In my opinion, the move towards bipartisanship has more to do with the upcoming 2014 and 2016 elections than a sudden infusion of common sense. The GOP analyzed the 2012 election results and concluded than intransigence and radicalism are not going to do the trick. With a larger number of Democrats running for re-election in 2012, and Hillary and other popular Democrats ready to run in 2016 it is time to shift gear and project a semblance of pragmatism and commitment that has been lacking for a decade, and reached epic proportions after an African-American had the audacity of running for President and winning.
    Future election depend more on what the rank and file of both parties and, especially, what the far right and far left does and says between now and election day than what the political platforms and records of both parties suggest.

  6. The GOP isn’t going to accept the President’s budget. It contains a 30% across the board tax rate for those who earn more than $5 million a year. Imagine…these money grubbers can’t live on $5 million a year and think because they earn $5 million they shouldn’t have to pay any taxes? And just why is that one might wonder? So they can keep every dime they earn. Mind you, this will not stop them from their Corporate Socialist hands reaching into our federal revenues for tax cuts, tax subsidies and more loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. Romney is down to 16% on the billions he earns. But, a greedy man never thinks there are limits to how much squeezing of the Middle and bottom they can do. So long as their bank accounts foam over with moolah, they don’t care about country or the rest of society. Little wonder there’s so much right wing bashing of “socialism.” It’s the antithesis of their “anti-socialism” that is causing no forward movement. Unto themselves, for themselves, by themselves. On an island in a remote corner of the world where we don’t have to help them pay their taxes preferably.

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