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Rosenblum writes: "Now it is clear: we are seeing a coup d'etat. And its perpetrators, aided by citizens' apathy and wishful thinking, don't even need to gas up tanks or muzzle the media. This is exactly how democracies die."

Donald Trump. (photo: Bill Clark/RollCall)
Donald Trump. (photo: Bill Clark/RollCall)

This Is a Coup d'Etat, Plain and Simple

By Mort Rosenblum, Reader Supported News

14 January 17


ow it is clear: we are seeing a coup d'etat. And its perpetrators, aided by citizens' apathy and wishful thinking, don't even need to gas up tanks or muzzle the media. This is exactly how democracies die.

We can stop this and emerge stronger -- but only if enough of us grasp what is at stake and take action. Put aside political leanings and polemics to spend a moment assessing for yourself what you see unfolding.

Here, for what it's worth, is the view of a reporter who has covered coups in sizeable republics, evil empires and banana backwaters for a very long time.

Donald Trump is our chief executive, a term-limit civil servant bound by laws and common values to serve us all. Congressmen represent entire constituencies, not just partisans within them. Justices swear to be fair-minded and impartial.

One day after a departing president showed us our best side, outlining historic growth after crippling decline and pleading for unity in magnanimous terms that moved many to tears, his successor showed us our worst.

Though trounced by popular vote, Trump acts as if we handed him a crown. That storybook emperor skulked off when a kid pointed out he was naked. Trump simply flips us the finger and commits one indecent act after another.

Even if, against all economic odds, he could cut deals that made Americans richer at the expense of others, is that all matters? Consider the consequences in a volatile world bristling with arms and facing climatic endgame.

Trump's siding with Vladimir Putin rather than our incumbent leader falls between treachery and treason. It defines a man who puts his own ego above all else. With dazzling hypocrisy, his party criticizes him yet takes little action.

Republicans' disregard for propriety - trying to abolish ethics oversight as they steamroll approval of top officials tainted by vested interests, nepotism and crackpot extremism - reveals contempt for a citizenry they presume is stupid.

Already, a mad scramble is on to strip protection from natural splendor that took eons to evolve, sacred Indian sites, endangered aquifers and virgin wilderness for immediate plunder by a rapacious few with no regard for generations to come.

Our failsafe, beyond the three branches, is a permanent Fourth Estate: the press, now the "news media." For all the failings of its worst components, it is vital to us. Its best components set a global standard.

Trump's "press conference" swept away any lingering doubt of demagogic intention. He was an imperious insulting bully who dismissed substance with inane generality, focusing not on domestic or world crises but on his own self-image.

When a reporter asked about his tax returns, he said the American people weren't interested. "I don't think they care at all," he sneered, thrusting a finger at his questioner. "I think you care."

Here is Trump in, well, a nutshell. A free society and its press are inseparable. Point one in our Bill of Rights. A dictator's first move is to discredit news media and replace them big-lie propaganda, which is why Breitbart "News" had a front seat.

Presidential news conferences began as simple briefings: an executive answering to the people who hired him via the press. Now live TV allows leaders to play to the public, bypassing reporters who might pin them down with hard facts.

News executives let George W. Bush choreograph with pre-chosen questioners. Barack Obama imposed draconian means to plug leaks but answered questions when asked. Trump dismisses non-cheerleaders as unruly children.

CNN revealed an open secret, an unsubstantiated but solidly based report that Russians had taped Trump in a honey trap. Big whoop: a businessman who boasts of sexual prowess hired a prostitute. A simple denial would suffice.

But Trump went nuclear. "Fake news!" he thundered at a CNN reporter seeking clarity, cutting him off. Then a question came from Ian Pannell of BBC, a seasoned pro with the most credible, comprehensive global news purveyor I know.

"BBC," Trump said. "That's another beauty."

As for substance, Trump asserted: "(There are) 96 million really wanting a job and they can't get. You know that story - the real number. That's the real number. So that's the way it is."

No, NPR noted in a running fact-check, the real number is 7.5 million. We are at full employment: 4.7 percent. More jobs would spike inflation. Trump included people not in the work force, including students, retirees and stay-at-home parents.

The man is a total fool - or he thinks that the rest of us are.

Meryl Streep brought this down to basic humanity at the Golden Globe Awards. More than a chief executive, she said, a president defines who we are. To illustrate, she chose an image many of us still can't get out of our heads.

Displeased by New York Times' reporter Serge Kovaleski, he mocked a condition that makes the man's bent right arm and hands move uncontrollably. Trump denies it, telling us to believe him rather than our own eyes.

Among so many outrages, some scare me to my core.

Trump approached truth, unintended, in one of his absurd tweets: "Is this Nazi Germany?" He was complaining that the CIA hovered over him. But his Big-Lie demagoguery evokes far too much of a Führer elected by a fearful, hurting nation.

He is an equal-opportunity bigot, not specifically anti-Semitic. His free-form ill-informed extremism, mercurial with no clear worldview, risks eventual conflict with China and Russia. For now, there is the unholy land.

The man named as our ambassador to Israel has said that people like me are no better than Nazi guards who herded Jews to their death. That is, we Jews who believe that a separate Palestine is essential to Israel's survival and global stability.

My name and nose mark me as Jewish, but my religion is honest journalism, a belief that whoever or whatever created this world needs the help of reporters to keep it spinning as planned.

Since 1967, I've seen Holy Land hatreds grow in response to perceived injustice. We can't bomb those away. The terrorism Trump blames on Obama is rooted in our conduct of needless unwinnable war in Iraq.

But reporting loses all meaning if a society disregards fact and documented history. Without a grip on reality, we are lost. We need schools that prepare kids to see the world as it is. Yet Trump gives us Beverly DeVos.

An elitist billionaire, DeVos pushes private charter schools that earn profits while educating a chosen few and condemning others to blackboard jungles that turn out barely literate masses to work cheap and believe what they're told.

Finland, in contrast, has the world's best schools because all of them are public. If rich people want their kids properly educated, they have to raise the level for everyone.

There is so much more; a cabinet of wolves to watch over us sheep; the sham of keeping Trump family business separate from ours; the ignominious rush to disrupt Obamacare for no reason but scorn for the man whose name it bears.

That last is the kicker. Affordable Health Care is flawed because Congress rejected a single-payer approach so big business could profit. Republicans are repealing it before they know what might eventually take its place.

Politicians who insist that the life of unformed fetuses is sacred are prepared to let people die before their time before they can't afford our absurdly high medical costs.

So what to do?

First, think of cockroaches infesting a dark room. When you flip on the light, they scurry for the baseboards. If not, a can of Raid does the trick. That's Congress. Each voter only has to focus on two senators and a representative.

Even in gerrymandered states, voter turnout is low; committed opposition can defeat anyone. Call, write, sign petitions, attend town halls, organize protests and get to know aides who listen to reason. Be polite, persuasive - and persistent.

For a useful plan, go to, a report from former congressional staff workers about how Tea Party amateurs inveigled their way onto Capitol Hill.

For a sense of how the cockroach kings put their narrow interests over ours, take a close look at Mitch McConnell, whose latest outrage was to stonewall a moderate Supreme Court nominee for nearly a year. If Trump proposes a partisan justice, compel Congress to stonewall another four years.

Our would-be emperor needs constant watching. More than anything else, he craves adulation. Boycott his brand. Remind his enthusiasts of every broken promise. If he senses the nation's mood harden against him, he will likely respond.

Coup leaders habitually entrench themselves with firepower and mass arrests. They tear up existing laws to write their own. Ours depend only on our apathy and ignorance. If we can't stop them cold, we deserve whatever befalls us.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+100 # ReconFire 2017-01-14 13:29
Finally a story of reason, thanks RSN. This is exactly what's happening. I'm no fan of Trump, but I hope he keeps his own security team. I'm betting the patsy is already chosen.
+77 # HowardMH 2017-01-14 15:24
Yes, Yes this is a great article.

It is time for RSN to have One Article Each Day Titled “Trump Lies”.
List each lie Trump has said to the media or tweeted the previous day with a short explanation of what the Truth is on that subject.
Robert Reich | Five Ways Trump's "News Conference" Wasn't a News Conference by RSN was a good start. Now list all the Lies and why they were lies.
+42 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-14 13:39
Overreaches tend to dissuade peoples from your side.
I detest Trump and his policies but this is one such overreach…

"Trump's siding with Vladimir Putin rather than our incumbent leader falls between treachery and treason."

He is also siding with Assange who formerly most of us on the left agreed with and now are being asked to demonize.
Assange said unequivocally Russia was not the source of the hacks. Adn the hacks are only important as their content is important. Emails of both parties should be public knowledge.
+31 # MidwestDick 2017-01-14 15:20
I thought the Wikileaks model is to protect the source. Assange has not fingered the source and so we cannot know if they were a Russian cut-out or Putin himself or my cat.
I wish everyone would stop acting like Julian's statement means that the Russians had nothing to do with the spying over at the DNC.
Question is moot and shall remain so.
If Wikileaks could remove all doubt and did so, they would be betraying their journalistic mission.
+16 # wrknight 2017-01-14 21:35
Refuting the claim that the Russians leaked the emails in no way jeopardizes the source. I maintain that Assange's credibility is greater than any of his accusers and until proven wrong, I will believe him.
+12 # California Neal 2017-01-15 00:25
Would you expect the Russians to hand-deliver to Assange? You can continue to believe Assange (if you so chose) without needing to think his statement proves Russian innocence simply by admitting that whoever delivered the goods to Assange could easily have been an intermediary.
+4 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 10:22
@California Neal - Your post suggests that you believe the Russian government engineered the hack because it attributes the possibility of an intermediary to only Russia instead of pointing out that ANYONE with either access or the right skill set could have done it and used an intermediary to deliver the goods to Assange.
+2 # wrknight 2017-01-16 10:03
Sorry, Cal. Your reply in no way changes my view as you offer no proof that Assange lied. (And we all know about the veracity of the intelligence agencies, don't we.) Furthermore, I don't give a damn who leaked the emails. The real crime was exposed in the emails and to ignore that is patently stupid.

Besides, I'm not inclined to punish the messenger simply because I don't like the message.
-7 # ericlipps 2017-01-16 10:58
Quoting wrknight:
Refuting the claim that the Russians leaked the emails in no way jeopardizes the source. I maintain that Assange's credibility is greater than any of his accusers and until proven wrong, I will believe him.

And even after that, if he continues to publish material which makes Hillary Clinton look bad.
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-01-16 16:52
Quoting wrknight:
Refuting the claim that the Russians leaked the emails in no way jeopardizes the source. I maintain that Assange's credibility is greater than any of his accusers and until proven wrong, I will believe him.

About the rapes in Sweden too?
+6 # backwards_cinderella 2017-01-14 16:10
I'm on the left but I never agreed with Assange.
+2 # sriskin 2017-01-14 18:07
One the the 'remarks' to this piece is so hopelessly stupid...

"Assange said unequivocally Russia was not the source of the hacks. And the hacks are only important as their content is important. Emails of both parties should be public knowledge."

Assange said unequivocally Russia was not the source of the hacks.
And Assange is an honorable man...

And the hacks are only important as their content is important.
Exactly what Putin said...

Emails of both parties should be public knowledge.
And all mail; and all medical records; and all conferences between attorney and client; and all priest and penitent confessions; and hell, while we're at it, everything the Seattle Sea Hawks offensive team, now in their huddle, are saying before the next play...
+16 # GoGreen! 2017-01-15 10:50
another one of the 'remarks' that are so hopelessly stupid is the one where he says "Congressmen represent entire constituencies. " Yeah right. They don't just vote as directed by their major donors, they care about what the people say. We say "End the Wars and tax the rich and we want single payer health care." That ain't how they vote.
+3 # Phillybuster 2017-01-16 22:31
Quoting sriskin:

Emails of both parties should be public knowledge.
And all mail; and all medical records; and all conferences between attorney and client; and all priest and penitent confessions; and hell, while we're at it, everything the Seattle Sea Hawks offensive team, now in their huddle, are saying before the next play...

You forgot: all user ids and passwords for bank accounts and credit cards; all bank account and routing numbers; all credit card numbers; all email contacts and contents of emails; all home and business alarm codes; all nuclear codes.
+4 # davidg 2017-01-14 19:12
Assange cannot possibly know the real source of the material. It's not like the FSB would call him on the phone: "Hello, Julian? This is the FSB, and we are sending you some hot material we hacked from the DNC." Right. They would most likely cover their tracks with a chain of intermediaries, the last one of which could credibly have obtained the material somehow. It's also possible that Assange is really a Kremlin stooge. How much damaging material on Putin has he ever published? And don't tell me there isn't plenty. .
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-01-15 03:49
And they would cleverly choose an insider, who would have access to those emails, to pretend to do what he could have done but didn't, to the same effect? Assange knows who his sources are.
+3 # Jaax88 2017-01-14 21:17
What makes Assnage a paragon of virtue? He is a guy who is out there profiting personally from thievery, has to hide from authorities because he is too cowardly to face up to what he has done. Why is his status made to be heroic and his statement automatically considered the truth? Is he a Daniel Ellsberg? Hell no.

Of course I see value in exposing government lies and bad conduct. But to be truly on the side of right, fairness and justice someone exposing such conduct does not get to choose sides. Why then hasn't Assange told us anything about trump's dark side? We already know some of that; no doubt there is plenty more. Why doesn't Assange disclose any dirty laundry on Putin/Russia? That's right, there is none.

Since Assange has chosen a side, his personal statements should not be taken as the truth on his say so. Or on the say so of anyone who does not have actual knowledge.
+4 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 12:18
@Jaxx88 - Perhaps you came late to the story.

1) “has to hide from authorities”
Assange is not hiding. He is in plain sight - in Ecuador’s Embassy in London.

2) “because he is too cowardly to face up to what he has done”
He is there, not to avoid prosecution for rape but to avoid the Swedes NOT prosecuting him and immediately extraditing him to the US to face espionage charges.

3) “Why is his status made to be heroic and his statement automatically considered the truth?”
Because despite publishing hundreds of thousands of pages of information, no one has claimed that what he published wasn’t real.

4) “Why then hasn't Assange told us anything about trump's dark side?”
Assange doesn’t TELL his readers things. He PRINTS WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID. That is the major difference between real news and fake news. The former happened; the latter is a lie about what happened or what someone thinks about what happened.

5) “[Assange’s] personal statements should not be taken as the truth”
They are not. However, they ARE given more weight because of his record (see #3 above) than is given to Clapper (lied to Congress in open hearing)or Comey (announced reopening the investigation into Clinton emails before ascertaining whether there was any new information).
+78 # librarian1984 2017-01-14 13:42
If there is a coup it seems it might very well be that being conducted by the CIA and ODNI.

That said, the author's call for light (and Raid) is a tried-and-true method for achieving political reform.

The wolves are in place because we didn't support Sanders. We knew from consistent polling that he had a better chance against Trump.

Are we going to learn anything from this election? Are we, after 25 looong years, going to purge the party of neoliberalism, with its concomitant calls for corporatism and American empire?

This race is over and now we must focus on opposition. What about the next one?
-88 # Helen Marshall 2017-01-14 14:41
THis is exactly what I've come to expect from RSN. Trump siding with Putin rather than our incumbent leader? Is Rosenblum referring to the expressed preference for working with Russia rather than trying to provoke a war? Sad. May be time to "unfollow" RSN.
+45 # reiverpacific 2017-01-14 15:20
Quoting Helen Marshall:
THis is exactly what I've come to expect from RSN. Trump siding with Putin rather than our incumbent leader? Is Rosenblum referring to the expressed preference for working with Russia rather than trying to provoke a war? Sad. May be time to "unfollow" RSN.

Quoting Helen Marshall:
THis is exactly what I've come to expect from RSN. Trump siding with Putin rather than our incumbent leader? Is Rosenblum referring to the expressed preference for working with Russia rather than trying to provoke a war? Sad. May be time to "unfollow" RSN.

Be my guest!
+8 # myungbluth 2017-01-14 18:48
Bye, Helen. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
+7 # keenon the truth 2017-01-14 22:58
Off you go, then!
0 # Jaax88 2017-01-15 00:13
That is right it would be led by trump's CIA.
+5 # Skyelav 2017-01-15 10:22
Quoting Jaax88:
That is right it would be led by trump's CIA.

Well it wasn't "Trump's CIA last week. Remember he said he would dismantle it? Just day before yesterday, I believe,the CIA informed Trump they had lewd videos of him they would post unless he took back his statements against them (I assume). Lo and behold the very next day Trump ws saying he would work together with all intelligence agencies. So now it's not "Trump's CIA, but CIA's Trump, don't you think?
-13 # CDMR 2017-01-14 13:52
Clearly, the inauguration of Trump is not a coup d'etat. It is just silly to phrase it that way. Trump was legitimately elected by the system that has prevailed in the US since its founding. We may not like the electoral college system, but it is the law. It has given us bad presidents before.

Most of this is just carping about Trump's personality and style. He does tend to "give the finger" to those he does not like. But so what!

"One day after a departing president showed us our best side" -- sorry, Obama was a terrible president. He was a war president. Read this --

"Now live TV allows leaders to play to the public, bypassing reporters who might pin them down with hard facts." I'd like to see when reporters really had "hard facts" unless it is the "gotcha" type of factoid. It is a good think for any leader to bypass the media. The media is corrupt.

There is a coup d'etat going on and it is the "intelligence community" and the Deep State trying to assert its control over Trump. He's not their pupppet in the way Obama, Bush, Clinton, and the rest have been. That's what a coup d'etat is -- unelected powerful forces seizing control of the elected government officials. It can never be a "coup" when a duly elected person takes office -- no matter how much someone dislikes the person.
+13 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 12:24
Quoting CDMR:
It can never be a "coup" when a duly elected person takes office -- no matter how much someone dislikes the person.
It can when the election "results" do not match the actual votes and/or significant blocks of the opposition were systematically denied the right to vote.
+51 # Winston Smith II 2017-01-14 14:19
I find the tone and substance of this article to be arrogant and sophomoric. I'm on the far left. I am against 90% of what Trump stands for. I was also against 90% of what Hillary stood for. Trump won the election. I won't say "fair and square" because there hasn't been a fair election in the US in a long time. Trump won by the standards of contemporary elections in the US and that included cross-checking and voter suppression.

I'm over it.

Now I want to see how much of the things Trump promised to the proles he will make good on. I really do favor his plan to impose and import tax on products US corporations manufacture in low wage nations. This is not a trade war. It would impact US corporations.

Let's take China as an example. An American company named Apple makes its phones and computers in China because wages are much lower than in the US. Right now, Apple can bring its products back into the US with no taxed or restrictions. Apple also gets subsidies from the Dept. of Commerce to help with the costs of running an off-shore manufacturing plant.

China also makes phones with Chinese brand names. They do face import restrictions. Trump is not proposing to change anything about the way Chinese products are imported and sold in the US.

He is proposing to tax Apple for its phones.

I think American companies that off-shore production should face a "wage equalization tax" -- a tax equal to the difference in wages in the US and China.
+37 # Spence 2017-01-14 14:55
Winston, I find a kindred spirit behind your remarks. One that reflects reason and uncommon sense.
+11 # acomfort 2017-01-14 18:22
I don't see any mention of 'Value Added Tax' (VAT). 160 of the world's approximately 193 countries employ a VAT, including all OECD members except the United States.

All imported goods are charged VAT tax for their full price when they are sold for the first time.
All exported goods are exempted from any VAT payments.


This should improve our export to import ratio, our employment numbers and get no complaints from the countries already using the VAT.
+13 # wrknight 2017-01-14 21:44
Quoting backwards_cinderella:
I'm on the left but I never agreed with Assange.

The value added tax is a regressive tax as are all sales taxes since they only apply to the purchases of manufactured goods. That leaves the vast majority of earnings and wealth of the rich untaxed as they only spend a small fraction on purchases of manufactured goods.
+19 # Spence 2017-01-14 14:46
Sorry my friend, the coup occurred on November 22, 1963. This is a counter-revolut ion.
+12 # economagic 2017-01-14 16:29
One could cite any number of dates for "the coup," and one could easily make a case it was in process well before that incident. The decay of nominally republican (representative ) government has been going on throughout my lifetime (b. 1946), and arguably longer. The comic character "Daddy Warbucks" had made his fortune in WW I, but of course Pierre DuPont made his during "the Revolutionary War."

"A dictator's first move is to discredit news media and replace them big-lie propaganda, which is why Breitbart 'News' had a front seat."

And when has this country had generally creditable media? There were some vestiges in my early years, but TV eventually debased them because of its enormous costs and the enormous profits from marketing via that medium.

Most of what Mr. Rosenblum says is sound, but calling the Trump regime a coup is inappropriate and misleading. Anyone who hasn't seen at least the possibility for several decades has been in denial, and a Clinton presidency would not likely have changed the course but merely prolonged the agony. It is now in the open for all to see. With luck and hard work, we may be able to squelch it and change the course in the process.
+6 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-01-14 21:19
'...Pierre DuPont made his during "the Revolutionary War."

& that family did even better during the Cvil War & the imperialist Spanish-Amrican War & WW I.
+11 # MichiganProgressive 2017-01-15 01:28
War for a long time now has been engineered by the capitalist class to boost profit. Yes, it goes back even to the US Civil War.
-40 # Helen Marshall 2017-01-14 14:49
This is, sadly, the kind of claptrap I have come to expect from RSN. Trump's apparent preference for working with Russia rather than provoking a war is treachery or treason?

-11 # anachronis 2017-01-14 20:43
Helen Marshall 2017-01-14 14:49

Brava. Quite right.
+10 # keenon the truth 2017-01-14 23:01
Thought you were leaving us!!!
+6 # ericlipps 2017-01-16 11:02
Quoting Helen Marshall:
This is, sadly, the kind of claptrap I have come to expect from RSN. Trump's apparent preference for working with Russia rather than provoking a war is treachery or treason?


No. His preference for working with Russia to ALTER THE OUTCOME OF A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN HIS FAVOR is where the "treachery or treason" comes in.

And who are you to attempt to shot down those who disagree with you by bellowing "Enough!"?
+15 # andyseles 2017-01-14 14:49
Well said, Winston Smith (1984? Proles?) on all counts. In addition, I would caution readers that there is a major attempt by "centrist" liberals and their media to peel off Bernieites with shiney object distractions. I give the article a 5 out of 10 for truthiness. For example, does anyone believe govt. data on unemployment? Of course, the well-heeled "centrists" will try to vilify Assange and anyone else who doesn't carry their water. Let's see what they do with Keith Ellison...
+25 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2017-01-14 15:19
Trump is an odious person but he did get more than 60 million votes. There must be some reason for that, and I submit it has to do mainly with the 30-year economic stagnation of the US working and middle classes while the top 1% have made out like bandits. Was Hillary going to do anything about this? No. And so the "deplorables" she has so much contempt for voted instead for the only option there was on the November ballot.

Now various Establishment forces -- including most notably the intelligence community for which Trump has such obvious dislike -- are preparing to take him down. So my question for the author is: which coup d'etat do you prefer -- the one you describe or the one that's coming?

That would have made for a more interesting op-ed!
+18 # rogerhgreen 2017-01-14 20:48
Shouldn't the emphasis be more on the fact that he lost by 2.9 million votes?
+10 # pmargaret7 2017-01-15 20:47
The reason Mango Mussolini won is racism, pure and simple. You may call it economics, or whatever, but too many people absolutely hated Barack Obama before he even did anything - just for who he was! The disrespect was outrageous and those people never accepted anything he said or did and just sat in the wings waiting for a white savior! Obama never had a "black" agenda but his haters wouldn't even look at that! Along comes Drumph who was willing to sing the racist music to win over these voters, and it worked! Racial hatred runs very deep in a lot of Amerika (now, also being highly hyped on so-called 'nightly news')and this bolsters the haters' feelings. Certainly there are other factors in the election, but to fully explain the enormity of it - racism is the answer. I can never forget McConnell's first words after Obama was elected about their (Repugs) highest priority was to make him a one-term president! Why - he hadn't even done anything yet except to be black! Unacceptable!
+49 # bbaldwin2001 2017-01-14 15:19
My bet is that Donald J Trump will fall on his face withing 18 months. No one with an ounce of brain power is going to put up with this "Clown" forever. He is a liar, a farce and a bigot. I am very angry right now and am ready to see this man walking OUT of the White House - never to return.
+10 # Charles3000 2017-01-14 17:24
see Trump out in under a year.....then we have Pence.
+2 # Cassandra2012 2017-01-16 16:57
Quoting Charles3000:
see Trump out in under a year.....then we have Pence.

+15 # Tigre1 2017-01-14 15:29
It would be wonderful if we had a government that worked better for those of us who haven't gotten our first million yet...without something like that quickly, comes a thumping Tsunami...let's see how long el Quacko can hang on. He's already in over his head.

Ho ho. Have fun. The smell of gourmet Trumping floats gassily on the fetid air.

I hope we all learn our lesson from this series of unfortunate circumstances.
+2 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 14:09
Quoting Tigre1:
I hope we all learn our lesson from this series of unfortunate circumstances.
The neoliberals running the Democratic Party haven't learned a thing. Look at the Florida Democratic Party elections this last week.

Although the precise rules vary from state to state, in general, those who sit on the DNC are chosen by each state's Central Committee which in turn is comprised of Democrats who have been a) appointed by their County Central Committee and/or b) elected at District Elections. So if Progressives want to "win" the DNC, we have to start by VOTING for progressive candidates running for County Central Committee and then showing up for the biannual District Elections and voting for the progressive candidates running there. We must in both cases vote not just the names we know or the person who was on the Committee last year. We must do our homework, KNOW who stands for what, and vote accordingly.

So back to Florida. The old guard quashed dissent, tried to disqualify a strong, progressive candidate, and manipulated the elections. The result is that billionaire Stephen Bittel, a solidly pro-DWS candidate, is now FDP Chair. There is a lawsuit pending alleging that the FDP and Bittel violated the FDP’s own bylaws as well as Florida State law.* Unless the courts rule against the FDP and Bittel, it will be business as usual in Florida.

+34 # Jack Radey 2017-01-14 15:33
One of the reasons the Dems went down is contained in the following line in the article: We are at full employment: 4.7 percent [unemployment]. More jobs would spike inflation. Jobs spike inflation? What madness. And 7.5 million unemployed is a good thing, sparing us the illusionary threat of inflation? Talk about elitism. Yes, thanks to Obama's policies we avoided a full out Depression. But most of the jobs reclaimed are minimum wage service jobs, without benefits, pensions are a dream of the past, etc.
The formula that more jobs = inflation is derived from the business calculation that if unemployment doesn't threaten workers, they will actually ask more wages. INFLATION! OMG. Put another way, unemployment helps employers keep wages low. Trump will do nothing to help provide jobs (except maybe as prison guards and immigration police)but this country needs more jobs, shorter hours, and higher pay. Lets fight for that, shall we?

Regarding the question of a coup, do you realize that Trump has ordered the general commanding the Washington DC National Guard unit, providing security for the inauguration, to resign one second after Trump is sworn in? Why?
+7 # VictorG 2017-01-14 15:41
I dislike all of Trump's plans except two; no trade plans and negotiations not conflict with Russia. I fear a different coup; some provocation with Russia (the tanks are now at his borders)and then the claim, now being built up, that Trump is a pro-Russian traitor and must be removed - so the war hawks from Hllary to McCane - can really work for confrontation, even nuclear conflict. Trump is rott5en, but those guys are dangerous, and getting ready to take over!
+8 # jsluka 2017-01-14 15:48
Quote: "reveals contempt for a citizenry they presume is stupid."

Stupid is as stupid does.
+6 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 14:49
Quoting jsluka:
Quote: "reveals contempt for a citizenry they presume is stupid."

Stupid is as stupid does.
Both claims err.

Rosenblum's statement implies that the citizenry can't be fooled because it isn't stupid which ignores the possibility that people CAN be fooled if they are ignorant.

jsluka's statement implies the citizenry that voted for Trump is stupid because they elected him President. This too fails for the same reason.

We cannot determine if our citizenry is stupid because it IS ignorant AND poorly educated.

"Stupid" is the inability of the mind to think well. While some are born able to teach themselves how to think well, most of us are not. Until we make a good faith effort to teach our citizenry the techniques of thinking well, it will continue to appear "stupid" because it will continue to make "stupid" decisions.
+6 # jwb110 2017-01-14 16:13
Call the author of this article what you will but that still doesn't change that we have experienced a coup d'etat.
-14 # twerkthat 2017-01-14 16:21
Actually, Trump is right, it's around 96 million people out of work, not the 7.5 million the government has reported. It's an open secret in the financial world that these numbers have been fudged, changed and manipulated to give the impression of low unemployment, but that's not the case. When you look at how they manipulate those figures, it has to do with how you count them. After 6 months, their method determines that if you still don't have a job after 6 months, that you're no longer looking. Which is ridiculous, because if you had to offer me a job, I'd fucking take it. It's just that there's no job out there for me. I want a job. But no, the government says it's no longer going to count you and presume you'll stay out. So they lessen the amount of people, out of work, which skews the formula downwards in unemployment. So the employment number is pure fiction. And if you look at the amount of people able bodied and wanting to work, you get about 96,000,000 people unemployed, who aren't counted by government stats, they don't exist, unless they find a job, then it's plus one for employment. So please don't quote government stats. Trump is a smart man and you're quoting propaganda numbers run by the state, to make you feel better and them look good. Are you stupid or something? Maybe you shouldn't be writing about Trump and the things going on that you don't understand...
+11 # Charles3000 2017-01-14 17:26
There is a number published of the real unemployment. It is called U6 and it was near 10% weeks ago.
+18 # nickyus 2017-01-14 20:32
Agree with everything except the amazing "Trump is smart man." All I see and hear is a venal moron.
+8 # draypoker 2017-01-15 14:04
People apparently believe that making money - if he does - by clever trading and bullying takes enormous intellect. Not so. In general he shows nothing but ignorance and stupidity.
+4 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 15:36
@nickyus - Well, almost everything. It is certainly true that the government reported unemployment numbers are a fiction *IF* you want to know how many people in the US don't have a job. The 6-month thing is one problem but two other factors are:
1) The thousands of people who are "working" in job(s) that they had to take to live, not jobs that they are trained for or which utilize their education. Those are the so called underemployed. These too are "unemployed" in the sense that they wouldn't be laying pipe or framing houses if they could find work doing what they were trained for.
2) The perhaps millions who have never been in the work force at all.

To get a more honest appraisal of the job situation, my suggestion would be to call everyone over 18 and under the age one qualifies for full Social Security retirement benefits "Employable." Subtract from that the number of people who are fully employed in one job or whose IRS 1040 claims a taxable income over the poverty line. That is your basic "Not gainfully employed" number. Next list categories that subtract from that number such as the fully disabled, students, stay at home parents, et al. This would be an unemployed number that more accurately reflects true Unemployment. Lastly subtract the categories of underemployed workers like the over-qualified and those holding multiple jobs. What's left will be the number of people who are "unemployed" in the sense that they earn basically no income.
-7 # anachronis 2017-01-14 20:46


Have courage against the red marks.
-12 # RNLDaWy 2017-01-14 17:17
More crybaby Left bullshit. This is EXACTLY how democracies GROW EVOLVE .. rejection of both mainstream parties .. those on main street sucking for air .. and away from the choking politico you espouse ...
+20 # Shorey13 2017-01-14 17:17
We are living through a Reactionary Revolution. Traditional "Liberals" have never, ever known how to deal with them.

Revolutions have different rules of play. Trump (or his advisors-icon't think he has any idea what to do without advice) are following the same playbook as Hitler, Mussolini and all the other reactionary dictators. Just read the history.

The only way to fight back is with a UNITED opposition, using non-violent resistance, primarily a refusal to cooperate in any way. No government, no matter how repressive can continue without the support of the governed. Of course, the governed have to be prepared for the consequences, which are likely to be severe, Recently, we say what happened to the Soviet Union when the people decided to refuse to cooperate.

Beyond organizing resistance, Progressives must be very busy laying out the kind of society we want to create when the dust settles. More about that later.
+7 # Mister C 2017-01-14 17:42
This article is a must read for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation.
+14 # moonrigger 2017-01-14 18:39
Rosenblum is echoing my thoughts precisely! And if all this isn't enough, last week C-span was taken over by Russian TV, and only Rachel Maddow (and later Stephen Colbert) brought it to our attention. And this after a mysterious blackout in the Capitol building during the confirmation hearings, etc. which were starting to delve into the question of Russian interference in our government. What will it take, people, before we wake up to the fact that we're frogs in a pot set to boil? Jesus, Mary & Joseph! Anyone who's read the "35 pages" can see that this has been going on for 5-8 years, and is coming to a head. Thinking back to coups I've read about in the past, this one is far scarier because the EC had so many facts at their dispisal, yet only a handful changed their vote. Don't get me started on the TV journalists who, except for a few, acceded to their bosses' lust for ratings and gave Trump the stage he was fired from, laughing all the way to the bank.

With every passing day before the "inauguration", I wonder at which point we might see tanks roll into the mall and park before the Lincoln Memorial. Now that truth is stranger than fiction, It's not unthinkable anymore.
+10 # djnova50 2017-01-14 18:47
One thing that I recall Donald Trump wanting is to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. Right now, there is no regulation in place which would allow it to do so. Even with insurance, medications can take a big chunk out of a person's health care budget. This may not happen, though. One thing for sure, Mr. Trump has the Republican Party divided.
+10 # E.V.Debs 2017-01-15 00:04
You've been watching Trump for the last 18 months or longer, and you still believe him when he says something like he'd like to lower Rx prices?

If the Republican party is divided, it's only the bad from the worse.
-2 # joe_me 2017-01-14 19:10
Coup d'Etat as in the military type
0 # joe_me 2017-01-14 19:14
Yes Coup d'Etat as in the military type.
-13 # anachronis 2017-01-14 19:16
"Coup d'Etat?" The assertion is ludicrous as it is nearly treasonous.

Whatever Trump's demerits, he won the election according to the Constitution's rules; and no one has adduced any evidence that any pro-Trump fraud was involved (though plenty of evidence showed pro-Hillary fraud in Michigan).

This article brings RSN to a new low of yellow journalism and hideous disgrace markedly worse than it has been drawing upon itself since Marc Ash's late May 2016 article pressing for support of Hillary before Hillary's co-conspirators stole the California primary, illegally, from Sanders.

Then RSN pushed for Hillary increasingly with further yellow journalism, some seriously libelous.

After Trump won, RSN spent on the utterly baseless Russian-hacking comedy more print than on any other matter, much more than on real news or legitimate opinion. Even did RSN support the criminally fraudulent assertion that Trump conspired and continues to conspire with Putin.

I note that RSN is hurting for contributions. I expect that contributions will continue to dwindle because of RSN's growing corruption and yellow journalism.
+20 # lfeuille 2017-01-14 20:20
If Trump was installed by a coup, it had nothing to do with emails, Russia or any other foreign power. It was the disenfranchisem ent of millions of voters and hundreds of thousands of uncounted votes that did it. To keep harping on emails and Russia in the face of massive Republican orchestrated election fraud would be funny if the implications weren't so serious. The answer to this "coup" (just like the one that installed W) is to fix the electoral system, not to abet a counter-coup perpetrated by intelligence agencies. Does anyone really want the CIA choosing out Presidents? This is a terrible precedent that will long outlast Trump.
-7 # anachronis 2017-01-15 17:19
lfeuille 2017-01-14 20:20

Yours: "It was the disenfranchisem ent of millions of voters and hundreds of thousands of uncounted votes that did it."

Toxic myth (or simply fraudulent propaganda).
+14 # rogerhgreen 2017-01-14 20:38
A lot of these comments amount to technical detail. The bad stuff - stuff that needs to be changed - was created by, and has been there under, both Dem and Repub administrations . Let me focus on basics. We have a lousy political system. Intentionally democracy-suppr essing hangovers from the Founding Fathers (who were mostly-slave-ow ning Colonial business and property owners anxious to replace the British business and property owners) include a Senate with two Senators per State regardless of the state's population, the Electoral College with a state having no less than 3 electors, and each state government controlling who can vote. OK, during the last 240 years we allowed blacks, women and poor people to vote - in theory. But you'd never know it, the way the states gerrymander electoral districts for state offices, and for Congressional districts for the US House of Representatives - and then THEY set the rules for registering to vote. If you're an older white rural middle-class or wealthier guy who has lived in the same place for decades, your odds of being able to vote are MUCH greater than those who aren't those things. And then there's the un-level playing field in election campaigns, especially Presidential campaigns where money really matters. The restrictions on campaign-relate d spending have DECREASED recently. Elections are neither free nor fair in the US. A simple parliamentary system with every citizen automatically registered to vote, would be much better.
+6 # draypoker 2017-01-15 01:28
These non-democratic aspects of the US Constitution are obvious to people outside the country. The outcome of a person being appointed who has failed to be elected has only just emerged but has been possible from the beginning.

Oh, didn't it happen when the younger Bush - another complete incompetent - was declared the winner despite losing the popular vote?
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-15 20:35
@rogerhgreen - I agree with a lot in your post but would point out the following:

1) The Founding Fathers were not “mostly-slave-o wning Colonial business and property owners…” There were 4 non-slave states: NH, MA, CT, PA; 4 clearly slave states: VA, NC, SC, GA, and 4 states where slavery was legal but less widely accepted and/or practiced: NY, NJ, DE, MD. Of these 4, NY abolished slavery in 1799 and NJ in 1804. So the delegates to the Constitutional Convention represented 6 states that were slave-owning and 6 that were either non-slave or about to be non-slave. The 13th State, RI, which did not participate in the CC was non-slave.

2) You are conflating problems in how our system runs with our form of government being a Republic, not a Democracy. The former can be reformed, the latter needs either amendments to the Constitution or a completely new Constitution. A Republic is a safer way to go if you want to protect minorities while a Democracy is better if you want majority rule no matter what. Given our current situation with the gerrymandered districts in Republican States, I’m glad we have a Republic. I just hope that the DP can get its act together before 2018 so we don’t wind up with 60 Republicans in the Senate.
0 # nickyus 2017-01-14 20:47
Was reading along happily until I got to this nauseating line: "a departing president showed us our best side." As far as I'm concerned, he will be showing us HIS best side as he walks out the door. As he leaves us with his real and final gift, the odious Trump. That's an indication of what he really thinks of us. (Apres moi, le deluge.)

His magician-like patter seems to have worked well with a large swath of liberals, but many others on both right and left have clearly seen right through them.

He should be deeply ashamed of himself, to be leaving this putrid "legacy." But he's exactly as shameless as the next sickening creep walking in the door.
+2 # E.V.Debs 2017-01-15 00:08
Adhering to a belief in false equivalence is not much of a recommendation for the capacity for analysis.
-7 # RNLDaWy 2017-01-14 20:58
All the Left talked about with Obama was transparency fairness .. once again Reader Supported Views shows their ass .. they edit what I write and eliminate via Left Wing subjectivity what I had to say .. fuck you RSN .. you are worse by FAR than The Donald ..
-1 # anachronis 2017-01-15 00:22
Actually, a coup-attempt is, and for weeks has been, happening. But the criminal conspirators are the heads of the intelligence agencies and the FBI, Obama, the Clintons, McCain, and Lindsey Graham (and a few other neoliberal/neoc on/mass-surveil lance monsters); and their conspiracy seeks the usurpation of Trump.
See, e.g.,
+13 # MichiganProgressive 2017-01-15 01:23
This is indeed a coup, and it is one with many parents -- left, right, center, and in nearly every direction including a past now out of the memory of most living Americans. It is traceable all the way back to the massive propaganda campaign mounted by our government and the military-indust rial-financial complex to build popular support for America's entry into The Great War in 1917, as Chris Hedges describes in his book "Death of the Liberal Class." The seeds of this looming disaster were sown back then, and now we're reaping what may be the ultimate bitter harvest.

Human knowledge and understanding have been distorted -- both deliberately and inadvertently -- so broadly and to such an extent that the differences between left and right, up and down, good and bad, fact and fiction, truth and falsehood, and virtually every other binary distinction that delineates our sense of reality are now hopelessly blurred and scrambled. We are in serious trouble.

Only an earnestly militant quest for a clearer understanding, of what the hell is going on and why, can possibly save us. We all must become students of history and of other cultures, we must strive hard to learn the lessons that our parents' and grandparents' generations missed. And we MUST resist and not go quietly into this dark night.
+13 # John Puma 2017-01-15 03:10
Is this Nazi Germany? No, this is fascist America ... 70 years after the completion of the WWII hostile takeover.

Look at the 14 characteristics of a fascist state, below. To suggest Herr Hair (aka "Trump") is an innovation in tyranny is to exhibit the blind stupor of the famous frog in the pan of water.

(I would suggest to the author of this idiotic article that NOT constantly breathing fire about punishing another country's leader, is, logically and politically, a LONG way from "siding" with him.)

L. Britt's list:
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. 

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. 

3. Identification of enemies/scapego ats as a unifying cause. 

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. 

5. Rampant sexism.

6. A controlled mass media. 

7. Obsession with national security. 

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected. 

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. 

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. 

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. 

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. 

14. Fraudulent elections
-6 # PoloniusMonk 2017-01-15 04:30
This piece is a waste of time: no new information or insight, just a tiresome rant without a reason for saying it all again. And the applause for Obama is just foolish. Aren't you hip to the fact that he is almost all jive and no game? No wonder you have to whine for money all the time. This piece is hardly an inspiration to contribute. You should stick to finding articles and essays that others write and retweeting them, as it were. Sorry, but your RSN homegrown stuff is pretty amateurish and not worth reading.
+8 # mortrosenblum 2017-01-15 11:46
Don't blame RSN for this amateurish waste of time. I wrote it for my personal mailing list and my FB page, although I'm happy if it reaches a wider circle. If you had actually read it, you'd see it was a report from the road by a foreign correspondent who has spent 50 years trying to keep facts straight. It's meant to broaden thought among people who might disagree with actual argument rather than reflex slur. I am hip to the fact (really?) that a president's jive does not translate into game when stonewalled by an opposition Congress. If you've got thoughts on this subject, why not do a piece of your own? (And on RSN's behalf, about whining for money: You sound like a guy at a free-lunch counter who complains that the food is no good and the portions are too small.)
+9 # kyzipster 2017-01-15 10:41
"A dictator's first move is to discredit news media and replace them big-lie propaganda, which is why Breitbart "News" had a front seat."

Fox News and conservative radio permeates the collective consciousness of red, rural America. As with all elections, this was mostly an urban/rural divide. The red/blue state concept doesn't really explain the cultural divide.

This propaganda has been steadily growing for 30+ years, they discredited the news media in the minds of their followers years ago. All fact is 'liberal bias' when it contradicts the conservative POV. It has become so legitimized that we don't even talk about it anymore. Breitbart is only the latest.

Fox has been airing racist and xenophobic bull crap for years, it's just a toned down version of Breitbart. I've seen close to no mention of this during the post-election debate. Years ago, when Fox first appeared, many were outraged with the blatant propaganda. It does no good to point it out anymore. The criticism only feeds their movement, adds to the divisiveness. It has the effect of discrediting the source. Facts no longer matter and this didn't start with Trump, he is the end result.

Believing that electing Sanders would overcome all of this is a bit delusional imo. We can't be blind to what we're up against for a progressive movement to move forward. I was 100% for putting Sanders in the WH but one person cannot undo decades of propaganda that has molded the very identity of millions of people.
0 # IAMMe 2017-01-15 11:58
BRAVO, Mort! This is what I've been saying for years. It's been a slow boiling coup with different events of varying stature and this is the biggest last bit of boiling.
+5 # Maybe 2017-01-15 12:01
Since his "election", I have lived in constant fear. Mort Rosenblum hit it on the nose. With this and other writers pushing the truth at us as often and as accurately as they can, there may be some hope. But, dammit, WE THE PEOPLE have to get into the act!
+1 # MDSolomon 2017-01-15 12:57
This article lacks understanding of the power structure, the red-blue charade, and the corruption of the electoral process.

The puppet masters are the Anglo-Euro-Amer ican banking cartel, which own the key central banks on the planet, beginning with the so-called "Federal" Reserve System.

Their original choice was Clinton, but the WikiLeaks emails, with all of their indictable offenses laid bare, made her appointment untenable (

Now, the clown that they hired to make Clinton look like the lesser of two evils is acting up, refusing to use the Secret Service (so he is not susceptible to their control) and refusing the daily intelligence briefings (so he will not be an accessory to their crimes).

He is also calling out their phony intelligence ( designed to keep the armament manufacturers rolling in dough, and calling out the corporate press, with their fake news.

While we have never been a fan of Trump--a misogynist and ego-maniac--we are glad to see him calling out the cartel here and there. He is also of the 1%, but he is an outsider.

The value in all of this is see the power structure laid bare, in all its pitiful ineptitude.
+3 # ericlipps 2017-01-16 11:08
You have proof that Trump was "hired" by the "international banking cartel" (at least you didn't say "international Jewish banking cartel") to "make Hillary look like the lesser of two evils"?

Mere assertion supported by paranoid conspiracy thinking won't do, but that's all you offer here.
+1 # Phillybuster 2017-01-16 22:49
You betray yourself by your use of the royal "we". Are you Queen Elizabeth II?
+6 # caphillprof 2017-01-16 10:54
The reason Donald J Trump will not release his tax returns and cannot divest from his businesses is that he has a severely negative net worth and immense cash flow problems. One cannot really divest from bankrupt businesses. For starters the creditors demand whatever cash flow there is to service the debt.

He probably owes millions to Russian oligarchs who are part and parcel of the Putin state. He is eminently black mailable. Prostitutes are the least of his worries.

He ran for president to get a national following to support the launch of the Trump TV network which was to become the golden goose to bail him out of his financial woes. But he found the other GOP candidates to be such light weights that his ego knocked them out one by one.

We have elected the accidental president who is both an egomaniac and the Manchurian Candidate of the Putin state.
+5 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-16 22:00
Trump had renigged on his loan obligations several times, this is common knowledge.
That Trump is in debt to Russian oligarchs is not substantiated by the facts as we know them.

He had release of a video showing him treating women as objects of derision to be thought of as sexual objects only.
What really could they blackmail this guy with..golden showers?

His supporters don't apparently care a bit about those sorts of things.
I detest Trump and his policies, but to defeat him we must become and stay real in this.
+1 # Timshel 2017-01-17 06:55
Trump quietly wants the profit system to survive and with all the ego-mania is a businessman in his approach. The suffering will grow markedly under this person. As to the nuclear codes it might be our biggest worry is that Trump will sell them for a profit. (Just a joke)

At the same time we should be for a few things he is doing namely: not wanting to start a new cold war and dropping TPP. Obama was sneakily and slowly killing democracy and these two things were the worst of his horrid program. Why did we recently send American tanks into Poland and are amassing troops on the border of Russia? TPP was negotiated in secret because it was so vile, and yet Obama kept pushing it.

Trump will do vile things but he will do them out in the open not behind closed doors like Obama. That is why Obama prosecuted more whistleblowers than anyone.

I voted for Clinton but she also represents the slow and sneaky killing of democracy and is vile. At least Trump will be a more visible opponent. It is his sleazy lying cabinet that may end up doing the most damage. But just because they are worse than Obama doesn't mean Obama was much good. He was a Judas Goat leading us to the Trump slaughter.
0 # Ginger 2017-01-29 16:17
Good article but there are so many mistakes, I won't share it. Next time, PROOFREAD!!

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