Posts Tagged ‘Tree



06
Dec
12

Heads Up: It’s (Nearly) National Christmas Tree Lighting Time

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5:0 The First Family attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting

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Also at….

White House live * CBS * CNN

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Christmases past…..

2011:

2010:

2009:

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2009

2010

2011

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2012 photos later ;-)

23
Nov
12

Tree’s Company

First Lady Michelle Obama receives the 2012 White House Christmas Tree, Nov 23

23
Nov
12

Tree Time

11:0 ET: First Lady Michelle Obama receives the official White House Christmas Tree

White House live * CBS * CNN

23
Nov
12

Rise and Shine: Four More Trees (Five actually, thank you Bob :blush:)

2009 – White House Photo by Pete Souza

Today:

11:0 ET: Michelle Obama receives the official White House Christmas Tree at the North Portico. This year’s tree is a 19-foot Fraser Fir from Jefferson, North Carolina. It will be displayed throughout the holiday season in the Blue Room.

2009 – White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

2010 – White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

The National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, 2009

Click to see the rest of the post

27
Mar
12

afternoon all

Cagle

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TPM: The snap reactions to today’s Supreme Court arguments about the constitutionality of the health care law’s individual mandate gave reform supporters a collective case of heartburn. The conservative justices seemed broadly hostile to the law’s requirement that everyone carry health insurance. President Obama’s Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, was widely panned by experienced court watchers for stumbling at key moments. Jeffery Toobin — a seasoned vet of the high court — called it a “train wreck” for the Obama administration.

Here’s some antacid.

Over the first two days of arguments, two of the Court’s five conservative justices have expressed sympathy for key parts of the administration’s arguments. And the administration probably only needs one of their votes to fully uphold the law.

More here

Thanks LL

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A protester against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act tries to block a supporter of the act outside the Supreme Court, March 27

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Steve Benen: …. I had conversations this afternoon with a few reporters who were in the Supreme Court for the arguments, and they agreed on several key points:

* The mandate has at least four votes (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan).

* Solicitor General Don Verrilli, who argued the case for the government, was not at the top of his game today, and the word “choke” is being bandied about quite a bit.

* Paul Clement, the former Solicitor General who argued against the health care, was excellent.

* The two votes to watch are Roberts and Kennedy. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito do not appear to be in play, despite all of Scalia’s previous opinions on Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

* The liberal justices were far more effective than Verrilli in making compelling arguments in defense of the law.

More here

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Richard Mondale yells at a Obama health care supporter during a protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, March 27

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Greg Sargent: As far as I can tell, these are the two most important developments from today’s arguments before the Supreme Court about the individual mandate.

There’s this, from SCOTUS-blog, which suggests that the conservative bloc of Justices is taking a lenient view of the challengers’ argument about the mandate’s implications for individual liberty….

…. This is trouble, because it suggests the conservative justices are buying the “slippery slope” argument….

…. One bright spot for the government: Chief Justice John Roberts appears open to the argument that the health care marketplace is different from that of any other product.

More here

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 Buy the tee here

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TPM: In a little-noticed exchange Monday, conservative Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have tipped his hand that he’s entertaining the possibility that the health care law’s individual mandate can be upheld on a constitutional basis that’s different from the one supporters and opponents have made central to their arguments.

…. In an exchange with a plaintiffs attorney, Roberts suggested he’s skeptical that the mandate and its penalties can be treated separately and may have opened the door to finding that Congress’ power to impose the mandate springs from its broad taxing power.

…. That wasn’t what the challengers wanted to hear.

More here

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Cagle

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Michael Tomasky: Conservatives love to say Obama has robbed us of our liberty. But can they name a single freedom that the administration has curtailed?

Behind the challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being heard at the Supreme Court this week is the idea that Barack Obama wants to take away your freedoms ….. I defy anyone to name for me a specific and precise freedom that Obama has taken away from the American people. You can’t. When they’re not just invented out of whole cloth by multi-millionaire propagandists, all such laments are based on ignorance about what freedom actually means and an equal ignorance about how our system of government works.

…. if you’re healthy and 35 and you don’t buy insurance and you get hit by a bus and you need $10,000 in medical care and you can’t and don’t pay for it, that harms me, because I’m an insured taxpayer and I’m helping to pick up your tab. That is freedom: not just the right to be left alone, but also the obligation to take responsibility for the consequences of one’s own actions on the freedom of other members of society. By that definition, the ACA is enhancing freedom, and personal responsibility – which is why conservatives were for the mandate in the first place.

Full post here

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ThinkProgress: Mitt Romney is trying to make hay about a comment President Obama made to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this week that he needs some “space” on the missile defense issue until after the election this year. Russia “is without question our number one geopolitical foe,” Romney said, calling Obama’s comment “very, very troubling.”

Politico reports that Medvedev shot back at Romney today at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea:

“I always get very cautious when I see a country resort to phrasings such as ‘No. 1 enemy.’ It is very reminiscent of Hollywood in a certain period of history…. My other advice is to check their clocks from time to time. It is 2012, not the mid-1970s. No matter what party a candidate represents, he has to take the current state of affairs into account.”

More here

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Charles Pierce: They’re circling the wagons down in Sanford these days. The defenders of George Zimmerman, the trigger-happy wannabe who clipped Trayvon Martin for the crime of being a black kid in a hoodie with snack foods in the wrong neighborhood, is now being cocooned by his lawyer, by some alleged friends, and by the local police department …. Ask yourself how we suddenly know that the dead kid had been suspended from high school because he got caught with a bag that might once have contained marijuana. Ask yourself why we know that. We know that because this case is Not About Race.

It is Not About Race because It Is Never About Race. Race is the past. Black people can vote. One of them is president. Nothing Is About Race anymore. Just ask Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum – and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick that guy is? – and they’ll tell you that the president “injected” race into the tragedy. It wasn’t there before the president – who is (shhh!) black, you know – put it there…..

More here

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Cagle

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First lady Michelle Obama and Yoriko Fujisaki, wife of the Ambassador of Japan to the United States, commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees from the city of Tokyo to Washington, D.C. by planting a cherry blossom tree near the Tidal Basin in Washington, March 27

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Thanks a million to everyone who has donated to Collegekay’s fundraising challenge – if you can help, you can donate here

13
Dec
11

carole king …. and more

MSNBC

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Washington Post: The White House says a more aggressive effort to nab deceptive government contractors and deceitful Medicare recipients is paying off – to the tune of billions of dollars.

The Obama administration plans to announce Tuesday that the Justice Department recovered more than $5.6 billion in fraud committed against the government in fiscal 2011. Almost $3.4 billion of the funds came in civil fraud recoveries, with more than $2.2 billion tied to criminal fraud, according to administration officials familiar with the announcement who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The announcement is tied to a Cabinet-level meeting to be held Tuesday regarding plans to cut wasteful government spending across federal agencies and departments.

Full article here

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Another promise kept

Thank you Meta

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Bloomberg: U.S. economic data are outperforming expectations by the most in nine months, a trend Federal Reserve officials may incorporate into their policy statement tomorrow.

The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, a daily measure of whether economic data is better or worse than economists’ projections, improved to 85.7 on Dec. 2, the highest since March 9, after the Labor Department reported an unexpected drop in the jobless rate….

“Most of the economists are missing the underlying strength” in the world’s largest economy, said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. The Fed will “modestly upgrade the economic outlook but change little else.”

November unemployment at the lowest level in more than two years and manufacturing running at the fastest pace in five months are among data that may dissuade Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and fellow central bankers from pursuing a third-round of large scale asset purchases. At the same time, the Fed may still see “significant downside risks” for the economy as Europe’s financial crisis evolves.

More here

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Business Insider: It didn’t get much attention, but this morning the latest NFIB small business optimism survey came in stronger than expected, as more and more corporations see good sales and decent business conditions on the way.

This is important, in part, since small businesses have been rather negative on the economy, even while large companies have reported record earnings.

More here

Thanks Loriah

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Chicago Sun Times: President Barack Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod, predicted much more scrutiny of GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich, citing the “homespun wisdom” of Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) as he compared Gingrich to a monkey on a pole exposing his butt.

“…. Last week you all left him for dead at the checkout counter at Tiffany’s and now he’s back, a lion in winter,” Axelrod quipped. “That’s L-I-O-N by the way, I don’t want to stir up any trouble here.”

…. “In certain ways [Gingrich] fits the role for this, because as we pointed out earlier in the week he is the original tea partier. You know, he brought that kind of politics to Congress in the early 90s, he led three government shut downs in order to try and roll back environmental protection…roll back the Department of Education and education programs, he wanted to cut Medicare, he wanted to give more tax cuts to the wealthy. He was really a forerunner of what we see today.”

“I told my colleagues yesterday a bit of homespun wisdom that I got from an alderman in Chicago some years ago when one of his …colleagues wanted to run for higher office and he was really dubious. He said:

“Just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt.”

So, you know, the Speaker is very high on the pole right now and we’ll see how people like the view.”

Full article here

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President Obama arrives to speak at a campaign event in Washington, Dec. 13

“If you stay steady, we’re going to win this thing …. This is going to be tough. But, I just want to remind all of you that you didn’t decide to support Barack Hussein Obama because it would be easy.”

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Washington Jewish Week: When flames swept through Israel’s Carmel Forest last year, destroying dozens of homes and lives, President Barack Obama didn’t hesitate to help, said Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S….

…. Netanyahu directed his ambassador to, “Quick, go ask President Obama for help.”

That’s when Oren entered the White House and asked to see the president. “I told him the situation and without hesitation, President Obama turned to one of his aides and said, ‘get Israel whatever it needs. Now,’” Oren recalled.

….”America has 11 fire-fighting planes; the next morning, 8 of them took off for Israel, along with a team of fire-fighting commandos.” “Later that night,” Oren continued, “I learned, that the President left the Hanukkah reception and flew secretly to Afghanistan. Upon arriving, he called Washington and the first question he asked, ‘Has Israel gotten its planes?’”…..

Full article here

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02
Dec
11

rise and shine

Steve Benen: There were modest expectations for the new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in this case, the economy met them. A net total of 120,000 jobs were created in November, which is just about what economists and analysts said would happen. The same report showed the overall unemployment rate dropping from 9% to 8.6%.

As is always the case, there was a significant gap between the private and public sectors. Businesses added 140,000 jobs last month, while budget cuts forced the public sector to shed 20,000 jobs, which continues to be a major drag on the overall employment picture.

Republican policymakers, it’s worth noting, are eager to force more public-sector layoffs, making the jobs landscape worse on purpose, while Democrats have fought to do the opposite.

Full post here

Steven Walker

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President Barack Obama shows military officials the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room following a meeting, Dec. 1. The 18-foot-6 inch balsam fir is decorated with holiday cards created by military children and ornaments featuring medals, badges, and patches from all of the military branches. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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White House Live

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USA Today: Later this morning, President Obama and former president Bill Clinton will take a tour of a building blocks away from the White House and announce a $4 billion initiative to improve the energy efficiency of government and private-sector buildings. Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks to reporters after the tour.

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Steve Benen: The Senate held two votes on extending a payroll tax cut for more than 160 million Americans, most of whom are middle class. As expected, Republicans killed them both. What was unexpected, though, was the vote totals on the proposals.

First up was the Democratic plan, which would have kept the payroll break in place for another year, and pay for it with a slight surtax on millionaires and billionaires. A 51-member Senate majority supported the bill, but that was far short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. It’s worth noting that one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, broke ranks and supported the Dems’ proposal….

…. What was just as interesting was the next vote, when the Senate considered the GOP alternative, which would also keep the payroll break in place, but pay for it largely through a pay freeze on federal workers …. it was rejected 78 to 20, with more than half of Republicans opposed. Yep, most Republican senators opposed their own party’s legislation….

Full post here

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Spiegel: The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation.

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed – well, they shouldn’t make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they’ve been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what’s still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.

Full article here

Thanks JER

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Sacbee: President Barack Obama, who is a fervent basketball fan, will get his NBA fix next month but his campaign will have to postpone the Obama Classic fundraiser that was to feature more than two dozen professional basketball stars.

The campaign on Thursday notified ticket holders the Dec. 12 event would now be held in the summer.

The fundraising all-star game was planned while a lockout put the NBA season in jeopardy, and top players had committed to play. But team owners and players reached an agreement and games are set to begin on Christmas Day.

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Washington Post: There’s little doubt President Barack Obama has won high esteem among Native Americans by breaking through a logjam of inaction on issues that matter to them.

The Obama administration this week unveiled sweeping changes to federal tribal-land leasing rules that had not been touched in 50 years. Obama nominated a Native American to the federal bench, signed a law renewing the Indian Health Care Act and settled a tribal royalties lawsuit that had dragged over three administrations.

…. Obama on Friday speaks for the third time with the nation’s 565 tribal leaders in Washington….  Obama has gone beyond lip service, said Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, and “backed up his words with actions that have made a positive impact on the lives of Native people.”

…. Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and an Alaska native, said native peoples’ enthusiasm for Obama goes deeper. Obama has embraced Native American tribal sovereignty preserved in the Constitution, court decisions and treaty agreements and made that the foundation for his administration’s dealings with tribes, Pata said.

…. “I think we have made strides under the Obama administration the likes of which tribes have not seen for 30 years,” said Stacy Bohlen, executive director of the National Indian Health Board…..

Full article here

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Jonathan Capehart: …. GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich defended his stance against certain child labor laws during a campaign stop in Iowa Thursday, saying that children born into poverty aren’t accustomed to working unless it involves crime.

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed. “They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,” he added.

….. Gingrich’s blanket condemnation of “really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods” is unbelievably disgusting. And it’s disrespectful of the overwhelming majority of those children and their families who live their lives with far more integrity and far less cash than Gingrich ever will.

Full post here

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In case you missed them, lots more photos from last night’s Christmas concert here

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Morning everyone ;-)

01
Dec
11

catching up

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PolitiFact

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Jamelle Bouie (Prospect): …. If political courage is defined by the willingness to suffer politically for the sake of good public policy, then Affordable Care Act stands as a testament to the president’s political courage.

Which is why I also have no idea what National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar is talking about when he writes the following: “One of President Obama’s political weaknesses in his first term has been that he’s all-too-willing to avoid making tough decisions…..” …. Even if you don’t include the Affordable Care Act – and I don’t see why you wouldn’t – this is demonstrably false….

…. One of the strangest things about the current political moment is the extent to which mainstream pundits routinely act as if crucial moments in the Obama presidency never happened … Chris Matthews demands more ambition from Obama, despite the fact that he ran hard to pass a piece of social legislation that rivals the Great Society programs in size and scope.

It’s one thing for pundits to err in their judgment – it happens to the best of us – it’s something else entirely for them to ignore reality and blame the president for his failure to conform to their magical world.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Honestly, is there any entity in politics more effective in slamming Mitt Romney than Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign?

In this new video, Team Huntsman not only draws additional attention to Romney’s awful interview with Fox News, but also fact-checks Romney’s denials about flip-flops.

More here – the video:

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John Avlon (Daily Beast): Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is Becoming a Sinking Ship – New polls show that Newt Gingrich’s surge is hurting Mitt Romney where it counts. The game isn’t over, but time is running out for Mitt to turn it around.

The horses are getting spooked in the Romney camp. His poll numbers are plummeting in state after state, while Newt Gingrich is soaring across the board.

One reflection of the rising tension was an awkward interview with Bret Baier, in which the normally unflappable Mitt Romney got rattled by fair questions. It revealed the irritability of a man accustomed to being in control who’s watching his plans fall apart in public.

Mitt’s aura of inevitability is fading because his strategy is failing.

Full post here

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TPM: There appears to be a very different definition of “small” in the Romney clan.

In an appearance at a Mitt Romney campaign office in Iowa, one of the candidate’s sons, Josh Romney, recalled a cozy Thanksgiving with the family at his parents’ “two-bedroom house, pretty small”.

…. the family spent Thanksgiving in San Diego, where he owns a two-bedroom house that’s reportedly 3,000 square feet and valued at $12 million.

More here

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Joe Klein (Time): …. Romney’s press office has just put out this statement about the President and Israel: (see post) …. The other inaccuracy is the notion that Obama wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders. He doesn’t. He wants the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, to be the basis for peace negotiations. Somehow, Romney neglects to mention the land swaps.

The fact is, Obama’s policy toward Israel has been in line with that of every US President since Nixon …. The fact is that US-Israeli military and intelligence cooperation, especially when it comes to sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program, has never been greater.

…. It is very much unprecedented for a candidate for President to side with a foreign leader against the American President. But given their warped disrespect for this particular President, it has become disgracefully common among Republicans this year. One would hope that Romney, as one of the few plausible Republican candidates, would eschew such cheesy behavior … would not misrepresent Obama’s positions on foreign policy so gleefully. But, if this race continues to slip away from him, I suspect that’s exactly what we’ll continue to see.

Full post here

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Protect the Vote

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01
Dec
11

christmas lights

President Obama jokes with his daughter Sasha as they sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

30
Nov
11

‘night all

A girl perched upon someone’s shoulders takes a photo of President Obama as he speaks during a campaign fund raiser in New York City, November 30

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‘Moorely Taitz’ – MentalRiot

Thank you Tulips – in time I will be able to clean all the cranberry juice from my monitor :lol:

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One more push – the deadline is midnight tonight:

Please vote for the kids at Desertflower’s school in the Pepsi Challenge (see today’s Rise and Shine post for more info).

You can do so either online or by text:

Go to the RefreshEverything website – registering takes two minutes, just type “desert shadows” in the search box and the school will come up. Then vote!

Or, Text 73774 and type in the message code 109320.

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Ooops, they’re eating each other:

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One more time? Pleeeeeeeeeeease? Thanks!

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See you tomorrow ;-)




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