Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The Season Of The Witch
Avoid a Republican House - Vote
They are not just for burning anymore
Witches have come out of the forest, landed their brooms, changed back from black cats and in every other way have stepped out of hiding and into mainstream America.
Today, witches are big business: Boutiques and chains alike are stocked with sage, crystals, spell books and other witchy accouterment, and high-end brands like Gucci have pounced. (The design house dressed models up as tarot cards for an ad campaign last year, and this year, cast Tippi Hedren of “The Birds” fame as a soothsaying crystal ball gazer in a short video.) Sephora, too, recently planned to stock a Starter Witch Kit from Pinrose in stores, but it was pulled after some protested that it was culturally appropriative.This is one assembly of witches that forgot to invite any devils and Lurch did not answer the door but a hell of a good time was had by all.
And now there’s witch-themed adult sleep-away camp. And it wouldn’t be witchy if it didn’t start with some ritual sage burning, right?
The smoky scent permeated OlioHouse, a Victorian-style home in Wassaic, N.Y., where a group of 20- and 30-somethings arrived last Saturday after a three-hour pilgrimage from Brooklyn. They had been lured north by a spellbinding weekend of witches, art and spookiness hosted by Think Olio, a pop-up lecture series founded by Chris Zumtobel and David Kurfirst.
On Saturday afternoon, the group formed a circle on the floor of OlioHouse’s backyard barn for a two-part lecture on the economic and societal impact of the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries.
“It’s one of those where the environment will make the class,” said Mr. Zumtobel, looking out the barn window as the wind swept colorful leaves across the ground and fog spilled ominously across the mountains.
Inside the barn, Lauren Hudson, a doctoral candidate at CUNY’s Graduate Center, who researches anticapitalist organizing, explained how the witch trials in Europe and in the United States were an expression of state oppression by communities bent on growing an obedient, wage-earning labor force. Hundreds of thousands of women accused of being witches died in Europe and the United States, in cities like Salem, Mass., because they didn’t exactly fit the strictures of society.
Oh, how times have changed.
The Fearmonger-In-Chief, He's A Dick
Stephen Colbert on Operation Loyal Eagle Freedom Boner
Inigo Montoya Says
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Bottom Of The River
An overlay of murder
The white man has seldom been kind to the Native American people and the latest assault involves Republican efforts to keep them from voting using the lack of street numbers on the reservation. And like their forebears they are fighting back.
“We know our communities based off our communities,” said Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, a Standing Rock spokeswoman and tribal judge. “We know, ‘Hey, that’s so-and-so’s house; you go two houses down and that’s the correct place you need to be.’”It would appear that the Republicans are preparing for another fight on the Greasy Grass and like the last time they are totally underestimating their opponent.
Yet under a law the Supreme Court allowed to take effect this month, North Dakotans cannot vote without a residential address. Post office boxes, which many Native Americans rely on, aren’t enough anymore.
The Republican-controlled state legislature began debating this requirement just a few months after Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, won a Senate seat in 2012 with strong support from Native Americans. That race was decided by fewer than 3,000 votes. Ms. Heitkamp is now seeking re-election in one of the nation’s most aggressively contested elections, and she is trailing her Republican opponent, Representative Kevin Cramer, in the polls. And once again, she is looking to Native Americans for a strong vote: there are at least 30,000 of them in North Dakota.
Supporters of the address requirement say it is needed to prevent voter fraud and has nothing to do with Ms. Heitkamp. Native Americans, noting that state officials have not confirmed any pattern of fraud, see it as an attempt at voter suppression.
But in these final days before the election, their tribal governments are working feverishly to provide the necessary identification, and some Native Americans believe their anger could actually fuel higher turnout.
“I’m past the point of being upset over it,” said Lonna Jackson-Street, secretary and treasurer of the Spirit Lake Tribe. “I’m more excited about the outcome, because I think we’re going to bring in numbers that we’ve never seen before.”
If that happens, it will be because of a considerable expenditure of time and resources on the part of the tribes and advocacy groups supporting them.
Tribes have extended their office hours and worked around the clock to find efficient ways to assign addresses and issue identification. They are providing hundreds of free IDs when they would normally charge at least $5 to $10 apiece. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians printed so many IDs that the machine overheated and started melting the cards.
State officials say it is easy for anyone without a residential address to get one. In a letter to tribal leaders last month — just after the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit let the requirement take effect, in a decision later affirmed by the Supreme Court — Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office wrote that voters could contact their county’s 911 coordinator, describe the location of their home and have an address assigned “in an hour or less.”
In practice, it isn’t always so simple.
Voters’ experiences have varied greatly based on which county they live in. In Rolette County, where the Turtle Mountain Reservation is, they have been able to get addresses from the county and IDs from the tribe without much red tape. But at Standing Rock, in Sioux County, the 911 coordinator is the sheriff, Frank Landeis. That’s a deterrent to people who are afraid to interact with law enforcement, much less tell the sheriff where they live, and Sheriff Landeis is not easy to reach.
When Ms. Finn called him on Oct. 12, three days after the Supreme Court ruling, he was out. On Oct. 15, he said he was transporting prisoners and could not assign addresses that day. He was also unavailable when The New York Times called on Friday.
And in an episode recounted independently by Ms. Finn, Mr. Semans and Ms. Young, a tribal elder, Terry Yellow Fat, got through to Sheriff Landeis only to be assigned the address of a bar near his house. Mr. Semans worried that, in addition to playing into stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol, this could expose Mr. Yellow Fat to fraud charges if he voted under an address he knew was incorrect.
So, with help from Four Directions and others, some tribes are creating addresses themselves — and preparing to do so until the polls close.
Geographic information experts at Claremont Graduate University in California overlaid voting precinct maps on satellite images of the reservations and assigned each precinct one address. Voters can now point to their house on the map and be assigned the precinct address plus a unique identifier: -001, -002, and so on. Tribal officials will be stationed at every reservation polling site on Election Day with a form letter on tribal letterhead, ready to assign an address and issue identification on the spot.
He can't even let them bury their dead in peace
Having spewed violent and vicious lies to his followers and made it clear that he is all for them acting on their worst impulses, Donald Trump insists on inserting himself into the grief off the families of those murdered by one of his followers.
As the first funerals for victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack began on Tuesday morning, President Trump prepared to visit the grief-stricken city to pay respects. Even before he landed though, some local officials implored him to stay away while the community began burying its dead.Some have said they would welcome Trump but they think they will get anything more than adoration of himself from the Great Con Don they are fooling themselves as much as any of his supporters.
In the aftermath of one of the deadliest anti-Semitic attacks in American history, the president will make a brief trip Tuesday afternoon with the first lady, Melania Trump, as well as his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish, and her husband, Jared Kushner, the grandson of Holocaust survivors.
The top four Republican and Democratic congressional leaders who were invited to join him all declined, according to officials familiar with the planning who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment.
Mr. Trump’s stop is an opportunity for him to play the traditional role of consoler in chief that presidents often step into after a national tragedy. But in the wake of the shooting and a recent spate of mailed explosive devices, Mr. Trump has been reluctant to blunt his bitter political attacks, arguing that his supporters crave his incendiary rhetoric.
The president’s planned visit drew criticism — and prompted disagreement within Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. Protests were planned for Tuesday afternoon.
Two Jewish groups had called on Mr. Trump to back down from inflammatory rhetoric that they said seemed to be encouraging the most radical fringes of American society. In addition, some members of the congregations that were attacked have said they did not want Mr. Trump to come.
One protest was scheduled to take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forbes Avenue, and had about 1,000 people saying they would attend, according to a Facebook page for the event. Another protest was planned for 3 p.m. at the corner of Darlington Road and Murray Avenue.
The mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, in comments to reporters before the announcement of the visit, said the White House should first ask victims’ families if they wanted a presidential visit.
“Our attention and our focus is going to be on them,” the mayor said of the funeral services. He added, “We do not have enough public safety officials to provide enough protection at the funerals and to be able at the same time draw attention to a potential presidential visit.
“If the president is looking to come to Pittsburgh, I would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead.”
Trump has the sensitivity and intelligence of a radish
Trump just has to lie
Thoughts from Bill Moyers
Monday, October 29, 2018
An interesting week just past
And intrepid reporter and interpreter to the intelligent Tom Tomorrow give us the straight skinny on what happened in language we can understand.
What you get if you don't vote
What the GOP wants
About your healthcare
If you need care that requires more than a visit to your doctor's office, you better not live in a rural area or you may be shit out of luck. Increasingly rural hospitals are closing and those that remain open are cutting back on their services.
Hospitals are often thought of as the hubs of our health care system. But hospital closings are rising, particularly in some communities.There are a number of reasons for it, from doctors whining about malpractice insurance to states that did not expand Medicaid but the result of all is less care available in a timely fashion to people who live in the country.
“Options are dwindling for many rural families, and remote communities are hardest hit,” said Katy Kozhimannil, an associate professor and health researcher at the University of Minnesota.
Beyond the potential health consequences for the people living nearby, hospital closings can exact an economic toll, and are associated with some states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Since 2010, nearly 90 rural hospitals have shut their doors. By one estimate, hundreds of other rural hospitals are at risk of doing so.
In its June report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found that of the 67 rural hospitals that closed since 2013, about one-third were more than 20 miles from the next closest hospital.
A study published last year in Health Affairs by researchers from the University of Minnesota found that over half of rural counties now lack obstetric services. Another study, published in Health Services Research, showed that such closures increase the distance pregnant women must travel for delivery.
And another published earlier this year in JAMA found that higher-risk, preterm births are more likely in counties without obstetric units. (Some hospitals close obstetric units without closing the entire hospital.)
Ms. Kozhimannil, a co-author of all three studies, said, “What’s left are maternity care deserts in some of the most vulnerable communities, putting pregnant women and their babies at risk.”
In July, after The New York Times wrote about the struggles of rural hospitals, some doctors responded by noting that rising malpractice premiums had made it, as one put it, “economically infeasible nowadays to practice obstetrics in rural areas.”
Many other types of specialists tend to cluster around hospitals. When a hospital leaves a community, so can many of those specialists. Care for mental health and substance use are among those most likely to be in short supply after rural hospital closures.
The closure of trauma centers has also accelerated since 2001, and disproportionately in rural areas, according to a study in Health Affairs. The resulting increased travel time for trauma cases heightens the risk of adverse outcomes, including death.
Another study found that greater travel time to hospitals is associated with higher mortality rates for coronary artery bypass graft patients.
Bagpipes, accordion, theramin and more
John Oliver explains State Attorneys General
What He Said
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Season Of The Witch
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
Roll up a fatty and enjoy!
Defense against uncivility
Attack of the Red Turtle
Don't make the same mistake
He said he would do it
And from the beginning of Putin's campaign to put The Orange Humperdoo in the White House,he has attacked and demeaned the media constantly with the intention of destroying people's belief in what they present.
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows — news not talking politics,” he wrote in a 10:19 a.m. post on Friday.He was open about what he would do. In fact it may be the last time he was ever honest in what he said. But he has been so overwhelmingly dishonest since then that he can say he is winning in his efforts to destroy the media and leave him the sole provider of The Truth.
By referring to likely domestic terrorism as “this ‘Bomb’ stuff” and tying it to the coming midterm elections, Mr. Trump was making the not-so-veiled suggestion that the news media was exaggerating the story because of some political motivation. Even in a national crisis, he was sticking with his anti-media strategy.
The question is, Is it working?
The short answer is yes. Increasingly, the president’s almost daily attacks seem to be delivering the desired effect, despite the many examples of powerful reporting on his presidency. By one measure, a CBS News poll over the summer, 91 percent of “strong Trump supporters” trust him to provide accurate information; 11 percent said the same about the news media.
Mr. Trump was open about the tactic in a 2016 conversation with Lesley Stahl of CBS News, which she shared earlier this year: “I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you,” she quoted him as saying.
And with the president settling on “fear and falsehoods” as an election strategy, as The Washington Post put it last week, the political information system is awash in more misleading or flatly wrong assertions than reporters can keep up with. It’s as if President Trump has hit the journalism industry with a denial-of-service attack.
We have seen gross distortions aplenty during political low moments in this country. But something like the “Swift Boat” campaign against the Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 — with its accusations that the candidate had faked his war record — seems almost quaint in retrospect. That attempt drew scrutiny from major media organizations, and eventually led to broad condemnation, even from the candidate it was intended to benefit, President George W. Bush.
Now, partisan smears are a staple of every single news cycle. As crude pipe bombs were discovered at CNN headquarters and in mailboxes across the country, Mr. Trump’s supporters like the Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh and the conservative writer Ann Coulter asserted that the crime was a frame job by Democrats.
Before pipe bombs and the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings dominated the news, the main story was the migrant caravan — and it was accompanied by wild speculation on talk radio, social media and from opinionated personalities on Fox News. A myth went viral: The thousands of desperate Hondurans making their slow way toward the American border were players in a drama hatched by Democrats and funded by the right’s all-purpose villain, Mr. Soros, a notion Mr. Trump seemed to nod to at a rally in Montana.
Reporters respond by pointing out that these assertions have no basis in fact, just as they attempt to knock back Mr. Trump’s manufactured content by producing running tallies of his false statements — more than 5,000, says The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.
Now and then journalists will resort to the L-word, “lie,” as The New York Times has done on occasion. Other frequent targets of the president’s disdain, CNN and MSNBC, have debunked his claims with onscreen headlines and endless panel discussions.
Such good-faith efforts, however, seem increasingly ineffectual. The president has succeeded in casting journalists as the prime foils on his never-ending reality show, much to the delight of those who cheer him on at rallies.
Meet some of the women candidates seeking to restore America
We don't know, it hasn't been verified
Sam Bee humanizes the refugees and properly demonizes Trump and Fox Fake News
Brown shorts is more like it
Bill Maher reveals his Halloween costume
A matter of interpretation
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Hard Headed Woman
All his best friends
An easy quiz
How adults have ruined Halloween
GOP will kill Pre-Existing Conditions Protection
And Stephen Colbert is on it
Once again we bow down
Friday, October 26, 2018
Rhoda Scott, Sarah Morrow and Julie Saury
The Big Deal 2018
Yes, he is!
The real House of Horrors
Wrong government Donny
Murdering 1 journalist is bad
WARNING: NYT article contains ugly pictures of what the Saudis have achieved.
But the Saudis have been conducting a war of terror on their neighbor, Yemen for several years now and thanks to US assistance, the coming months may be deadly for more people than ever before.
But the Saudis have been conducting a war of terror on their neighbor, Yemen for several years now and thanks to US assistance, the coming months may be deadly for more people than ever before.
Chest heaving and eyes fluttering, the 3-year-old boy lay silently on a hospital ward in the highland town of Hajjah, a bag of bones fighting for breath.The Saudi terror campaign is a religious war. The Houthis were rightly sick and tired of the vicious Wahabi cult pushed by the Saudis as well as their support of the local al-Qaeda and ISIS forces. So saudi propaganda made the Houthis out to be tools of Iran and started using $Millions of US provided war material to destroy the country and US warships to blockade the ports so not even humanitarian aid can get in. And while the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was bad, the horror of what the Saudis Terror Kingdom is doing to Yemen is appalling. And we helped.
His father, Ali al-Hajaji, stood anxiously over him. Mr. Hajaji had already lost one son three weeks earlier to the epidemic of hunger sweeping across Yemen. Now he feared that a second was slipping away.
It wasn’t for a lack of food in the area: The stores outside the hospital gate were filled with goods and the markets were bustling. But Mr. Hajaji couldn’t afford any of it because prices were rising too fast.
“I can barely buy a piece of stale bread,” he said. “That’s why my children are dying before my eyes.”
The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere. The harshest criticism of the Saudi-led war has focused on the airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians at weddings, funerals and on school buses, aided by American-supplied bombs and intelligence.
But aid experts and United Nations officials say a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in Yemen, an economic war that is exacting a far greater toll on civilians and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions.
Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni allies have imposed a raft of punitive economic measures aimed at undercutting the Houthi rebels who control northern Yemen. But these actions — including periodic blockades, stringent import restrictions and withholding the salaries of about a million civil servants — have landed on the backs of civilians, laying the economy to waste and driving millions deeper into poverty.
Those measures have inflicted a slow-burn toll: infrastructure destroyed, jobs lost, a weakening currency and soaring prices. But in recent weeks the economic collapse has gathered pace at alarming speed, causing top United Nations officials to revise their predictions of famine.
“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great, big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock, the under secretary for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council on Tuesday. Eight million Yemenis already depend on emergency food aid to survive, he said, a figure that could soon rise to 14 million, or half Yemen’s population.
“People think famine is just a lack of food,” said Alex de Waal, author of “Mass Starvation” which analyzes recent man-made famines. “But in Yemen it’s about a war on the economy.”
The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington did not respond to questions about the country’s policies in Yemen. But Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Houthis, an armed group professing Zaidi Islam, an offshoot of Shiism, that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, views as a proxy for its regional rival, Iran.
The Saudis point out that they, along with the United Arab Emirates, are among the most generous donors to Yemen’s humanitarian relief effort. Last spring, the two allies pledged $1 billion in aid to Yemen. In January, Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion in Yemen’s central bank to prop up its currency.
But those efforts have been overshadowed by the coalition’s attacks on Yemen’s economy, including the denial of salaries to civil servants, a partial blockade that has driven up food prices, and the printing of vast amounts of bank notes, which caused the currency to plunge.
And the offensive to capture Hudaydah, which started in June, has endangered the main lifeline for imports to northern Yemen, displaced 570,000 people and edged many more closer to starvation.
A famine here, Mr. Lowcock warned, would be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives.”
Yemen’s economic crisis was not some unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of the fighting.
In 2016, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government transferred the operations of the central bank from the Houthi-controlled capital, Sana, to the southern city of Aden. The bank, whose policies are dictated by Saudi Arabia, a senior Western official said, started printing vast amounts of new money — at least 600 billion riyals, according to one bank official. The new money caused an inflationary spiral that eroded the value of any savings people had.
The bank also stopped paying salaries to civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas, where 80 percent of Yemenis live. With the government as the largest employer, hundreds of thousands of families in the north suddenly had no income.
At the Sabeen hospital in Sana, Dr. Huda Rajumi treats the country’s most severely malnourished children. But her own family is suffering, too, as she falls out of Yemen’s vanishing middle class.
In the past year, she has received only a single month’s salary. Her husband, a retired soldier, is no longer getting his pension, and Dr. Rajumi has started to skimp on everyday pleasures, like fruit, meat and taxi rides, to make ends meet.
“We get by because people help each other out,” she said. “But it’s getting hard.”
Economic warfare takes other forms, too. In a recent paper, Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, analyzed coalition airstrikes in Yemen, finding that their attacks on bridges, factories, fishing boats and even fields suggested that they aimed to destroy food production and distribution in Houthi-controlled areas.
A simple truth
Low energy Trump is so weird
Seth Meyers on the latest Trump & Republican Lies
The civil Donny
Horp & Chand
Thursday, October 25, 2018
When It's My Time
Imelda May & & Discovery Gospel Choir
A Yuge Threat To The Public
So Far and So Frightening
In the beginning
The absolute nerve of these women, running for Congress ad thinking they can beat long entrenched Republicans. You would think they believe this is some kind of democracy. Four women currently running in New York State have found that a great many people also believe as they do and are showing their support.
In most any other election year, the four female Democratic candidates in New York trying to unseat House Republicans would draw little more than curiosity.Four women seeking an opportunity to represent districts that need a change and some of them may well do it this year. The momentum is shifting their way.
But this year, as a record number of women are running for Congress, propelled by both a blue wave and the #MeToo movement, is clearly different.
In the last three months alone, donors sent millions of dollars in contributions to the four women, led by Dana Balter, who received $1.5 million in her bid to defeat Representative John Katko in the Syracuse area.
Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report no longer lists any of the nine Republican-held seats as “solid Republican.” The last holdout — Representative Tom Reed, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, who is facing Tracy Mitrano, one of the four female Democratic hopefuls — had his seat downgraded to “likely Republican” on Tuesday.
Likewise, the Cook Report had earlier changed its assessment of the Katko seat from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican,” and had shifted a seat held by Representative Peter King, a 13-term incumbent from Long Island, from “solid Republican” to “likely Republican.”
New York is one of nine states with four or more female Democrats challenging Republican House incumbents, trailing only Texas, California, Florida and Ohio, according to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics. And of the four women in New York, all but one, Tedra Cobb, a former county legislator who is taking on Representative Elise Stefanik, are making their first runs for public office.
Trump Lies and More Lies
Stephen has a sketch of the #MAGAbomber
The Late Show
What the Republicans have promised
You know it's the right thing to do
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Take Me, Take Me
The Good Lovelies
If he knew what he was doing.....
Getting ready for the Chimeras
2 paragraphs say it all
From the New York Times:
Half a century ago, a typical Sears salesman could walk out of the store at retirement with a nest egg worth well over a million in today’s dollars, feathered with company stock. A warehouse worker hired now at Amazon who stays until retirement would leave with a fraction of that.The full article compares then at Sears with now at Amazon to highlight the unchecked greed of current corporate America. It is worse than you thought.
Much as Sears has declined in the intervening decades, so has the willingness of corporate America to share the rewards of success. Shareholders now come first and employees have been pushed to the back of the line.
They didn't purge everyone, go vote
After all the gerrymandering and suppression
When it comes time to vote, you can expect the Republicans to utilize the tried and true methods of voter fraud and ballot count manipulation to elect enough mindless stooges to continue their reign of terror in Congress and across the country. And their efforts will be met by armies of lawyers organized for that task.
Fearing massive voter fraud and questionable vote counting, Republicans, Democrats and interest groups are all taking the unusual step of dispatching armies of lawyers in this non-presidential election year to ward off potential trouble at the polls.So if you run into a lawyer who is trying to insure an honest count, he is a Democrat. If you meet a lawyer trying to set up a legal action after the election to overturn the people's choice, he is a Republican.
“I’ve never seen anything like it for a midterm,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau. “It does look much more consistent with issues that we address in (presidential) elections. For a midterm election, it’s extraordinary. But this is an extraordinary time.”
Attorneys and poll watchers will be at voting sites and manning war rooms in nearly every state, looking at almost every aspect of the voting process and prepared act if they see something that they feel could hurt their candidate or cause.
The federal government also plans to be watching, as the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will send lawyers to several states. For the 2016 election, the department dispatched more than 500 employees to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states. The department has not detailed specific plans for this year.
Massive displays of legal force are common in presidential election years, but the large presence of attorneys in this year’s midterm election effort is unprecedented, several experts said.
The legal maneuvering is already underway. Voting rights and civil rights groups have filed lawsuits in the past week charging Georgia authorities with rejecting a disproportionate number of absentee ballots and with discrimination in verifying new voter registrations.
A second dispute centers on nearly 53,000 voter registrations that have been placed on a pending list because they do not satisfy an “exact match” requirement with a person’s Georgia driver license or Social Security card. The state’s Republican-controlled general assembly last year approved the exact match requirement.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican who is running against Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor, has defended his stewardship of the election. He says the voting issue is a manufactured crisis created by Abrams.
National Democratic and Republican Party officials declined to comment on their Election Day legal strategies other than to say they will be ready for whatever happens.
But some numbers show the emphasis that the parties and outside groups are putting on potential legal action this election cycle.
4 letter word for nationalist
Seth Meyers talks about Trump & Megyn
Oh I Know, you're spreading bullshit
Stephen Colbert on a roll. Even discovers Ice-IS terror penguins
He would have thought Trump is great
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
No time left, eh?
Mobs & Jobs: That's His Gettysburg Address
Not so frightening anymore
He has his reasons
When you have nothing positive
No positive points in your record usually results in a politician going negative. If you can't get them to like you you get them to dislike the other candidate. This year with the Orange Humperdoo in charge, the floodgates have been opened at the sewage plant and all across the country the Republicans are trying to throw the biggst and the most shit at their opponents.
President Trump on Monday sharply intensified a Republican campaign to frame the midterm elections as a battle over immigration and race, issuing a dark and factually baseless warning that “unknown Middle Easterners” were marching toward the American border with Mexico.The good old culture wars that have served the Republicans so well over the years, this time enhanced by an unprecedented level of dishonesty that makes Humperdoo so proud. Now is a good time to clean this shit out of office.
The unsubstantiated charge marked an escalation of Mr. Trump’s efforts to stoke fears about foreigners and crime ahead of the Nov. 6 vote, as he did to great effect in the presidential race. Mr. Trump and other Republicans are insistently seeking to tie Democrats to unfettered immigration and violent crime, and in some instances this summer and fall they have attacked minority candidates in nakedly racial terms.
Mr. Trump is now railing daily in speeches and on Twitter against the migrant caravan moving north through Central America, and on Monday called it a national emergency. The caravan has dominated conservative talk radio and Fox News, where there has also been loose speculation about a link to terrorism. The apparently groundless inclusion of “unknown Middle Easterners” to the caravan echoes Mr. Trump’s longstanding practice of amplifying fears about Islamic militants on the campaign trail.
“That is an assault on our country and in that caravan you have some very bad people and we can’t let that happen to our country,” the president said at a rally in Houston on Monday night. Mr. Trump suggested without any proof that the opposition was involved in instigating the caravan. “I think the Democrats had something to do with it,” he said.
In targeting the caravan, the president appears determined to end the election season with a cultural fight over national identity rather than the issues that party leaders initially wanted to run on, like tax cuts or the economy.
But Mr. Trump has not been alone in seeking to divide the electorate along racial lines this fall: As the congressional elections have approached, a number of Republican candidates and political committees have delivered messages plainly aimed at stoking cultural anxiety among white voters and even appealing to overt racism.
In upstate New York, Republican political groups have aired ads branding a Democratic congressional candidate, Antonio Delgado, who is black, as a “big-city rapper” and accusing him of seeking to give government “handouts” to food-stamp recipients. In Dallas, a political committee aligned with Mr. Trump, America First Action, has disseminated an online ad branding Colin Allred, a black civil rights lawyer, as hostile to gun rights — accompanied by the image of a white woman with a dark-skinned hand smothering her mouth.
Two House Republicans, Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California, who have been indicted on charges of corruption, have aired ads widely denounced as racist. Mr. Hunter has branded his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is Arab-American, a “security risk,” while Mr. Collins has run an ad showing his Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray, who is white, speaking Korean, insinuating that he favors Asian economic interests over those of the United States.
And in a debate in Florida on Sunday, Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee who could become the state’s first black governor, criticized his Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, for attempting to “draw all the attention he can to the color of my skin.”
Now they care about science
An easy comparison
Monday, October 22, 2018
Aha Me A Riddle I Day
17 Years in Afghanistan on Oct 7
Little River Band - Happy Anniversary
The Great Stable Investigative Genius
Ace mystery writer Tom Tomorrow gives us a newdunit starring the Pumpkin President as he solves the problem of The Missing Khashoggi.
Republican Campaign Strategy
Only if they like him
The Orange Humperdoo is on the campaign trail they say. But when he shows up it is only in places where people still like him and they are getting smaller and out in the boondocks. But they are chock full of people who still like him and stroke his ego like a teenage boy with his first nudie mag.
President Trump’s quest to help Republican midterm candidates has taken him this month to an airplane hangar in a far-flung Nevada county that he won with 73 percent of votes, a fairgrounds building in rural Ohio that could only hold 3,000 and an 8,000-capacity college arena in Kentucky — located about 25 miles south of Lexington, where Air Force One landed and where larger venues are located.So he goes to places he knows he can fill (his advance people always give out more tickets than than the vnues can hold). But is it really campaigning for the midterms if the candidates so blessed have to spend most of their little mike time kissing his ass?
As the president campaigns, he has mostly avoided the suburban areas that strategists say will be key to deciding the midterms — and where he is often less popular and runs the risk of energizing Democrats or hurting Republican candidates who have tried to distance themselves from him. Over the past few weeks, he has focused heavily on more rural areas where he is especially popular and where his presence can encourage the base voters Republican candidates need.
Of the 27 midterm rallies Trump has held this year, more than three-quarters were held in counties that he won in 2016 by an average of 59.5 percent. The few times that he has ventured to counties that Democrat Hillary Clinton won, those places are nearly always surrounded on all sides by counties that he won. And more than a third of the rallies were in or near the Appalachian Mountains, where his popularity remains high.
Those areas, and the snug event spaces he finds there, have become Trump’s comfort zone, and also a sign of how convinced he remains that his most loyal supporters can drive a victory in 2018 as they did in 2016. (A rare departure will occur Monday night, when Trump will attempt to fill his largest venue in nearly two years: The Toyota Center in the heart of Houston can hold 19,000 and is located in a county that Clinton won in 2016.)
“Most people assumed he would go to Lexington, to a big venue like Rupp Arena — and, no doubt, President Trump would fill up 24,000 in Rupp,” Rep. Garland “Andy” Barr (R-Ky.) told the rally crowd gathered Oct. 13 at Eastern Kentucky University. “But when I thought about where the president would want to go, I thought . . . of the people of Madison County, who nearly two years ago delivered a huge victory for Donald Trump, who carried this county by a whopping 32 percentage points.”
Trump’s decision to visit Richmond — which he said was a trip he “normally” wouldn’t make — delighted those who live in the area. As his motorcade snarled traffic, two women stopped into a local craft store to wait out the backup, and one exclaimed to the other: “That’s the coolest traffic I’ve ever been in!”
Some things never change
Scientific Stephen Colbert
He sprinkles when he tinkles
Stephen Colbert on some news you may have missed.
Are YOU doing better yet ?
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Surprises Not Seen This October
What do Republicans fear?
Anything that will throw them out including "Voting while black, brown or young". Leonard Pitts explains.
Voting, the easiest way to make your life better.
A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color:
The Republicans are scared of you.
Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you — or of anybody — given that it controls all three branches of the federal government and most of the nation’s state houses. You’re worried about paying your student loans, putting food on the table, getting home without becoming some cop’s mistake, and the GOP is scared of you?
In a word: Yes.
See, the party knows that if everybody votes, it can’t win. That’s simple math. The Republican electorate skews sharply older and white. Polling from The Roper Center at Cornell University says whites went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 57 to 37 percent, while people of color strongly supported her, African Americans giving her 89 percent of their vote. Trump also lost big among young voters, but won big among their elders.
This dependence on older whites is a problem for the GOP, given that the United States is fast moving toward a younger, non-white majority. The Census Bureau predicts that, well before mid-century, America will be a nation where no racial group enjoys a numerical advantage. And the authoritative FiveThirtyEight blog reports that the white median age in this country is 43, while for Asians it’s 36, for African Americans, 34 and for Hispanics, 29.
As the trend lines are clear, so is the party’s solution: keep you from voting. Thus, as we approach a critical midterm election, the GOP is embracing voter suppression with a brazenness not seen since Bloody Sunday in 1965.
In Bismarck, North Dakota, lawmakers have passed a photo ID law that requires residents to show a current street address. And surely it’s only unfortunate coincidence that many Native Americans live on reservations that don’t use street addresses, only P.O. boxes, which the law doesn’t recognize.
In Georgia, secretary of state and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is being sued over the state’s so-called “exact match” law, in which voter registration applications are flagged if the voter’s identifying information fails to match state records, down to such picayune matters as missing hyphens and transposed letters. Over 53,000 people are said to have been impacted, most of them people of color.
In Tallahassee in July, a federal judge decried “a stark pattern of discrimination” against young people in Florida’s blocking of early voting at colleges and universities. Across the country, nearly a thousand polling places have been shut down in recent years, many in Southern black communities. In Cuthbert, Georgia, in August, the elections board beat back a plan to close seven of the nine polling places in a county that just happens to be majority black. Meantime, Stacey Abrams just happens to be running to become Georgia’s — and the nation’s — first black woman governor.
If you are a young person, a person of color or a young person of color, then, you may well face long lines, paperwork and other headaches as you seek to exercise your constitutional rights next month. Please persevere. That’s the only way to elect people who understand that access to the ballot is a fundamental principle of democracy. It is the only way to rescue this country.
Don’t let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter. Ask yourself: If your ballot wasn’t important, would Republicans work so hard to keep you from casting it? Of course not. And I’ll say it again: They are scared of you.
Please show them that they have reason to be.
What's gotten into Andy ?
Normally NY Gov Andrew Cuomo, ostensibly a Democrat, couldn't give a rat's ass if the Republicans controlled the NY State Senate. Suddenly he is out and about spending money and in otherways helping Democratic candidates for the state Senate.
Mr. Cuomo, a centrist fond of touting his fiscal restraint, has long drawn the suspicion of some progressives who believe that he secretly opposes a Democrat-controlled Senate. Such a Senate, the theory goes, could push through long-stalled — and expensive — legislation that the governor, also a Democrat, publicly supports but privately might rather see languish.If I didn't know bwtter, and I don't, I might say that Andy is prepping for a 2020 presidential run. But one bonus is the control of both houses and the governor's chair would allow him to gerrymander the GOP out of existence.
Mr. Cuomo’s own remarks have done little to allay those suspicions. After an unsuccessful Democratic campaign to recapture the Senate in 2016, the governor reassured Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he had barely dipped into his own campaign coffers, telling them, “You can’t call that campaigning.” Last year, when asked if an entirely blue Legislature would be better for New York (the Assembly is dominated by Democrats), he offered that Democratic control of Albany in the past “wasn’t extraordinarily successful.”
This year seems different. Invoking the threat posed bMr. Cuomo’s support, both financial and rhetorical, could be enough to sway the outcome in some of the most closely watched races, especially on Long Island, where voters skew more moderate and split almost in half for Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump in 2016. The governor is popular among Democrats there, especially for his pledges to keep property taxes under control.
Mr. Cuomo’s prowess as a fund-raising juggernaut could prove especially pivotal, as both parties have flooded the suburbs with money. Senator Michael Gianaris, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said his group would likely spend more than $5 million this year, compared with $3 million in 2016. Historically, Senate Republicans have far outpaced Democrats in fund-raising — a trend likely to continue this year — and outside groups are expected to spend millions as well.y President Trump, Mr. Cuomo has rallied with several State Senate candidates on Long Island, where Democrats hope to flip at least three seats, and has headlined fund-raisers for others around the state. He announced a $2 million television and digital ad campaign for taking back the Senate, paid for by his campaign and the state Democratic Party, which he controls.
“This election has never been more important, and the choice has never been clearer,” the governor said in announcing the ad campaign.
Mr. Cuomo’s support, both financial and rhetorical, could be enough to sway the outcome in some of the most closely watched races, especially on Long Island, where voters skew more moderate and split almost in half for Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump in 2016. The governor is popular among Democrats there, especially for his pledges to keep property taxes under control.
Mr. Cuomo’s prowess as a fund-raising juggernaut could prove especially pivotal, as both parties have flooded the suburbs with money. Senator Michael Gianaris, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said his group would likely spend more than $5 million this year, compared with $3 million in 2016. Historically, Senate Republicans have far outpaced Democrats in fund-raising — a trend likely to continue this year — and outside groups are expected to spend millions as well.
A few stories missed
And Trevor Noah is on it
A plethora of State Slogans
From Stephen Colbert, Ohio has a winner
You can choose Country Over Trump - Vote Blue
Saturday, October 20, 2018
A Very Thorough Investigation
So many Bromances
The Pride of Frankenmitch
Keep your god to your self
In MIchigan today there is an uppity religious pharmacist who believed his invisible sky demon determined who he should dispense medications to and not his employer. In Michigan there is also an uppity unemployed pharmacist.
A Michigan woman said she was denied a medication for her miscarriage by a pharmacist at a supermarket who refused to fill the prescription because of his religious beliefs, then declined to help her obtain the drug elsewhere.For any who might object to his firing, consider this. This uppity pill picker refused mediction to complete God's Own Abortion, commonly called a miscarriage. He really should pay more attention to the words of Jesus and not some asshole bishop.
The pharmacist was no longer employed at the supermarket chain, Meijer, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.
The woman, Rachel Peterson, 35, of Ionia, Mich., became pregnant earlier this year, but an ultrasound at the end of June revealed that the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. She and her husband headed to a family member’s home in northern Michigan, more than three hours away, to decompress.
Her doctor prescribed her misoprostol, a drug that would make the miscarriage process happen faster and could help her avoid an invasive surgical procedure.
“It was conveyed to me by my doctor that if things hadn’t progressed in the next couple of days, that I was instructed to start the medication,” Ms. Peterson said. The days came and went, and still nothing.
On July 1, she and her husband were about to leave to pick up the medication at the Meijer pharmacy in Petoskey, Mich., when she said she received a call from the pharmacist, who “stated that as a good Catholic male he could not in good conscience fill this medication.”
Ms. Peterson, who works in a hospital as a cardiovascular sonographer, said she was “baffled.” She has lived in Michigan her entire life, she said, and had never been denied a prescribed medication.
She explained to the pharmacist, whom she identified as Richard Kalkman, that her fetus was no longer viable and that she needed the medication to complete the miscarriage safely.
But “he didn’t believe me,” Ms. Peterson said, and told her that he “couldn’t support an abortion.”
He also refused her requests to speak to another pharmacist or to the manager, she said.
Christina Fecher, a spokeswoman for Meijer, said in a statement that Mr. Kalkman “has not been employed by Meijer since early July 2018.” The statement continued, “While we cannot comment on any pharmacy customer matter, we apologize for any customer experience that does not align with our core values.”
Ms. Fecher said that pharmacists at Meijer who decline to fill a prescription for religious reasons must either arrange for the prescription to be filled by another pharmacist in the store or transfer the prescription to another convenient pharmacy, and any failure to do so “is in violation of our process.”
When everything is working against you
Republican candidates in a number of important states are finding out that winning a statewide election in most cases involves more than being selected by your party. If you don't have absolute control over voter rolls and paperless voting machines you may well find the majority of voters don't want you.
Republican leaders are increasingly worried that their candidates for governor and Senate are in political trouble across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and other states that the party prizes, and that the difficulties could spill into House races that the G.O.P. needs to win in November to keep control of the chamber.Republican style politics thanks to The Orange Humperdoo are showing themselves to be a disaster in preactice, regardless of how good they may sound. And the standard GOP FUD is sounding more and more desperate and that doesn't work on desperate people.
Their concerns also extend to Democratic-leaning states like California, Illinois and Virginia, where top-of-the-ticket Republicans are running well behind in polls — allowing Democrats to focus millions of dollars of spending as well as campaign time and turnout efforts in hotly contested House districts in hopes of knocking off G.O.P. incumbents.
The Republican troubles in these states reflect a confluence of factors: outgoing governors with baggage and nominees with limited charisma and appeal; Democratic advantages in fund-raising and on the key issue of health care; voter intensity fueled by opposition to President Trump; and a rival slate of Democratic candidates, particularly for governor, who are closing the fall race in a strong position.
With polls showing the top Democratic candidates leading in these states, the favorable conditions are important to the party given the Republican edge at the top of the ticket in places like Arizona, Maryland and Massachusetts and their strong chances at winning Democratic-held Senate seats in Missouri and North Dakota, which could enable them to retain or even expand their majority in the Senate.
Republicans are also focusing on winning battlegrounds like Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio, where their nominees for governor are running more evenly against Democrats. But even in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker, the G.O.P. incumbent, is battling for a third term, President Trump is coming Wednesday to try to shore up the party’s ticket, including its struggling Senate candidate, Leah Vukmir.
“Governor’s races lead the off-year ticket so they work like a big snowplow, clearing the way for the party offices below them,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist. “If you have a weak snowplow, a lot less gets through behind you”
As the G.O.P. struggles particularly in the Midwest, which President Trump sees as perhaps the most crucial part of his base, Michigan offers a vivid illustration of a crucial political dynamic: While control of Congress and the midterm implications for Mr. Trump consume attention, it is the coattails of Democrats at the top of state tickets that could dramatically reshape American politics after 2018.
In Michigan, which the president narrowly carried in 2016, the Democratic nominee for governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has become one of the year’s breakout sensations after cruising in an easier-than-expected primary and establishing a commanding general election lead. On Friday night, she campaigned in this college town with Senator Bernie Sanders to rally young voters — not because she needed help, but because Michigan Democrats now think they could flip as many as four House seats in the state and win other races to loosen the Republicans’ grip on power here.
With a landslide vote, Democrats could also flip the state legislature; restock their bench with up-and-coming politicians; lock in congressional gains by undoing Republican-led gerrymandering; and pass an initiative making it significantly easier to vote by 2020 in a state that broke Democratic hearts two years ago.
Come To Canada
Stephen Colbert promotes the Land of the Laughing Beaver
GOP Culture FUD
Samantha Bee on Republican Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt shit
Trump + Women + Midterms
And they say they didn't do it
Friday, October 19, 2018
She was a Doorman
The All Important Arms Deal
You know the kids love you when....
Unrest in the Cookie Factory
And the head elf Jeff Sessions not only has done nothing to halt it, he is the major source of it. And his boss The Orange Humperdoo has added his to cents worth every chance he got.
During his 20 months in office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has swept in perhaps the most dramatic political shift in memory at the Justice Department, from the civil rights-centered agenda of the Obama era to one that favors his hard-line conservative views on immigration, civil rights and social issues.Justice is just a word in the department name, but the department is a powerful tool to strike at those who have been designated political and ideological targets for the little man and his demented master.
Now, discontent and infighting have taken hold at the Justice Department, in part because Mr. Sessions was so determined to carry out that transformation that he ignored dissent, at times putting the Trump administration on track to lose in court and prompting high-level departures, according to interviews over several months with two dozen current and former career department lawyers who worked under Mr. Sessions. Most asked not to be named for fear of retribution.
President Trump has exacerbated the dynamic, they said, by repeatedly attacking Mr. Sessions and the Justice Department in baldly political and personal terms. And he has castigated rank-and-file employees, which career lawyers said further chilled dissent and debate within the department.
The people interviewed — many yearslong department veterans, and a third of whom worked under both the Bush and Obama administrations — said that their concerns extended beyond any political differences they might have had with Mr. Sessions, who is widely expected to leave his post after November’s midterm elections.
“Since I’ve been a lawyer, going back to the late 1970s, I can’t recall a time when morale has been as low as I have heard from some former colleagues,” said Robert Litt, a former Justice Department official during the Clinton administration.
Overseeing your own election
It is possible with a scrupulously honest candidate with integrity to run an honest election for governor while remaining Secretary of State and overseeing the honesty of that election. In the current mid term elections there are 3 men in that position, all are Republican and none are considered either honest or men of integrity.
In three states, the referee for the midterm elections is also on the field as a player.The Secretary of State doesn't necessarily have to cheat on the counting and certification of election results, he has plenty of time to prepare the field and weigh the advantages heavily in favor of..... himself. But don't think for a moment these public servants would do such a thing. No keep that thought in your head forever and rejoice anytime they do not.
Elected secretaries of state in Georgia and Kansas — who in their official capacities oversee the elections in their states — are running for governor. Ohio’s secretary of state is running for lieutenant governor. All are Republicans.
They have faced scattered calls to resign but have refused to do so. Election reformers say the situation underscores the conflict of interest when an official has responsibilities for an election while also running as a candidate.
“There is just too much of a temptation if a political party is in a position to run the mechanics of an election to try to tilt it, and it’s a temptation we ought not to encourage,” said former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, an Indiana Democrat who spent 34 years on Capitol Hill. “This is not nuclear physics.”
While the three secretaries of state are Republican, concerns about inappropriate actions by partisans who hold the office transcend parties. An independent counsel earlier this month began investigating Kentucky’s Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, over allegations that her office accessed voter registration data to check the party affiliation of job applicants. Grimes may seek higher office next year.
Grimes father was indicted in late August for trying to funnel money into his daughter’s failed 2014 bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp faces charges of voter suppression in his state, while Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has become an emblem of a political warrior. A former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Kobach organized the Prairie Fire political action committee to attack moderate Republican candidates while serving as secretary of state.
Issues about his dual hats swirled around Kobach during the Aug. 7 primary in Kansas when he was locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination with Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer. It marked one of the closest primary races in U.S. history and came down to counting provisional ballots.
After an uproar, Kobach stepped back and put his deputy, Eric Rucker, in charge.
For the latest updates on the 2018 midterms, sign up for news alerts here. To support more elections coverage like this, click here for a digital-only subscription.
Even the Republican seeking to succeed Kobach as secretary of state has distanced himself. “Whether you like it or not, Kris has been distracted with lawsuits. He was an early part of the president’s transition team and running for governor for several years,” Republican candidate Scott Schwab said in a forum earlier this week.
Political scientists say lawsuits and perceptions of favoritism are bound to arise as the post of secretary of state is seen as a stepping stone to higher office.
“You don’t want to have a misperception that you are placing a thumb on the scale of your own election,” said Michael P. McDonald, a University of Florida elections expert who heads the United States Elections Project, a nonpartisan research and information service.
In the case of Ohio, where Secretary of State John Husted is running for lieutenant governor, a spokesman said Husted’s office is not directly responsible for counting votes.
“That is done at the local level by the bipartisan boards of elections,” spokesman Sam Rossi said. “If any issues were to arise regarding Secretary Husted as a candidate, he would recuse himself and defer that decision to the deputy secretary of state who is a former election board director in Franklin County (Ohio).”
A fourth secretary of state, Shantel Krebs, a Republican in South Dakota, ran for a seat in the U.S. House earlier this year but lost in the primary.
The issue of electoral influence goes beyond what unfolds when votes are counted.
“Election officials have a lot of discretion,” said Daniel P. Tokaji, an authority on electoral law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, adding that a variety of legal questions inevitably arise during campaigns.
“Just to give you a few that have arisen in years past, in a state that has a voter ID law, what forms of voter ID are acceptable and unacceptable? Often the statute doesn’t spell that out with perfect clarity,” Tokaji said.
“Where and when should early voting and absentee voting be allowed? Under what circumstances should provisional ballots be counted? What should be the practice when it comes to removing voters from the rolls?”
How important can one man's death be ?
They just happened to be black
Trevor Noah on GOP Voter Suppression
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