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Pierce writes: "It's been a while, so let's check in on what's happening in the states which, as we all know, are the Laboratories Of Democracy, and which these days seem under the control of a research syndicate made up of Doctor Frankenstein, Doctor Mengele, and Doctors Howard, Fine, and Howard."

The Three Stooges were famously 'mistaken' for physicians in 'A Gem of a Jam.' (photo:
The Three Stooges were famously 'mistaken' for physicians in 'A Gem of a Jam.' (photo:

The GOP Farm Team Brings the Wingnut Once More

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Magazine

15 February 12


t's been a while, so let's check in on what's happening in the states which, as we all know, are the Laboratories Of Democracy, and which these days seem under the control of a research syndicate made up of Doctor Frankenstein, Doctor Mengele, and Doctors Howard, Fine, and Howard.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Virginia House Of Delegates is merrily pushing along a "personhood" amendment similar to the one roundly rejected by the notoriously blue state of Mississippi a few months back. This is the brainchild of a state Delegate named Bob Marshall, who is a bit nutty even by anti-choice standards. Delegate Bob is also a little unhinged on the subject of gay people.

(He'd also like Virginia to issue its own money, despite the many bad things that happened to Virginia the last time they tried that.)

So, you would think that cooler heads might prevail in Virginia, and that a bill deemed too radical in Mississippi, and proposed by the legislature's village idiot might get shuffled off to some dank subcommittee so as not to embarrass the entire Commonwealth. You, of course, would be wrong about this.

Let us move along, then, to Kansas where, just in time for Valentine's Day, a bill is being debated today that would allow the state to nullify - there's that word again - any local anti-discrimination statute passed by any city or town in the state. (Tennessee's already done this, by the way.) You would think that cooler heads might prevail in Kansas, and that all those proud conservative boasts about "devolving power" down to the local level would come into play to defeat such an overreach by the state government. You, of course, would be very wrong.

Our last stop is in Arizona, which seems bound and determined to vote itself back to the Stone Age, one law at a time. Not only would this bill get dozens of books chucked out of the curriculum, it apparently is so badly written that it would make a criminal out of any teachers who went home and said to a friend, "This fucking new law about what I can teach belongs in North Fucking Korea." One of its sponsors is a state representative named Lori Klein, who previously became famous for pulling a gun on a reporter in the middle of an interview, and for defending Herman Cain from charges of horndoggery by stating that he'd never dogged her, "and I am an attractive woman." (No jokes. Remember, she's packing.) You would think that cooler heads might prevail, and Arizona would be tired of being the national poster child for bad laws and wingnut overreach. You, of course, would be extremely wrong about this.

I hate to keep harping on this, but what you're seeing in the state legislatures is the activity of the Republican farm team. The people voting for laws springing from the mushy brains of people like Bob Marshall and Lori Klein are the young Republicans who, a few cycles from now, will be running for Congress, probably from safe Republican districts that they've helped draw up, and aided immeasurably by voter-suppression laws that they've helped pass. Most of them will be the products of the vast conservative candidate manufacturing base - the kids at CPAC, the College Republicans, the various Christianist organization. They will not equivocate. They will not moderate. And they are the future of the party. Anyone who thinks the Republican party eventually again will have to "move to the middle" (this translates from the Punditese to "regain its sanity") isn't paying attention. In 2006, the Republicans were handed a defeat every bit as epic as any one ever handed to the Democrats. They did not pause to give it a second thought. Their resolve hardened. They ran what few "moderates" were left right out of the party. And, in 2010, they got a wave election that not only gained them the House of Representativse, but also the legislative majorities in the states that are now producing these goofy-ass laws, and a lot more seriously dangerous ones as well. And, even then, they blew a chance to retake the Senate by running sideshow freaks like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell. They didn't care.

They do not stop, even when they're losing. The country told them, through the 1998 midterms, that it didn't want Bill Clinton impeached. Bill Clinton got impeached. In 2005, everybody including their Democratic colleagues told them that they were going off the cliff in their meddling in the life and death of Terri Schiavo. There were gobs of polling data to back them up. The Republicans kept meddling even after Ms. Schiavo passed.Is there any evidence that the Republicans are moving "toward the middle" in their presidential contest? Ask poor Willard Romney if that's the case. The current frontrunner is a nutball ultramontane Catholic who lost his last race by 18 points, at least in part because he was one of the more noxious of the Schiavo meddlers.

The fact is that the presidency is not really that important to them. They have found a way to make it impossible for any Democratic president to govern as a Democrat. Their real goal is in the legislatures, federal and state, where they have been able to exercise their power on the issues they care about. They will not change themselves. They are going to have to have the wingnut flogged out of them over several losing election cycles, and they've arranged things in the states so that may not be possible. The president should not be talking about "Congress" and "Washington," and expect the country to clue in that he's nudging and winking in code about the Republicans. He should make it clear that one of our two major political parties is now an extremist party from its lowest levels to its highest echelons. This should be an issue in the campaign as imporant as income inequality or campaign finance, but it won't be. Barack Obama's just not built that way. And, out in the states, things are getting crazier by the day. In Virginia, by the way, Bob Marshall's running for the U.S.Senate in 2012. In any party that was halfway sane, they'd have sedated him by now.

Ni shagu nazad, Stalin told the Red Army when the Germans invaded.

Not one step backwards.

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+47 # ganymede 2012-02-15 23:21
Charles Pierce, You're a very funny guy. I'm also very optimistic that the Republican Tea Party machine has finally collapsed because of all its inner contradictions. The rightwingers appear to have gone completely bonkers and are set to lose big time this November. Unfortunately,I felt the same way in 2000. How could anyone vote for a moron like Bush, but they voted for him twice! In Obama, we have a politician who is certainly much different than Clinton, but he may turn out to be as capable, and maybe even smarter. The poor misguided people who voted for Bush are still out there. Maybe some of them have learned the dangers about voting for Republicans, especially the dementos who now control the GOP.
+28 # AndreM5 2012-02-16 12:31
They are still out there in the same small numbers, maybe 20%. However, they can still win with such wingnut plans if the rest of us do not show up to vote in OVERWHELMING numbers. They did before and will again rig the vote in close contests. And remember that all votes are in small regions, precinct by precinct, largely under control of local party hacks.
+69 # Ralph Averill 2012-02-16 03:20
Huntsman was the Republicans' only choice for sanity in the primaries and he crashed and burned. This indicates to me that it's not just a vocal minority but that most of the Republican Party has become unhinged.
It's all about Congress in 2012!
+25 # guydeguy 2012-02-16 09:17
So true Ralph. Huntsman's 2% support was the extent of the "moderate" wing of todays's GOP.
+47 # RLF 2012-02-16 06:22
Time for brain drain...any sane person with the money would head to Europe right now where the quality of life is so much better. This country is sucking more every day.
+42 # stonecutter 2012-02-16 06:41
Love your stuff, Charles. This is about the most trenchant, brilliantly sarcastic and spot-on analysis of the radicalized GOP I've read on RSN or anywhere else.

At the micro level, I'm being bombarded every day by those pass-down emails from various acquaintances that make Donald Trump look like Mahatma Ghandi. Vile, fascistic accusations, pure hate, uninformed nonsense, mostly about Obama or Democrats or Muslims. Even critical stuff that may have some ring of truth, some aspect that might warrant scrutiny, is wrapped in twisted hyperbole spawned from the pervasive network of cretins and bigots on the right.

I'm convinced the strategic purpose of these extremists, who've infiltrated the GOP lock, stock and two smoking barrels, is a bottom-up transformation into a hyper-nationali stic "White Christian" party, leaving the Democrats by default as the party of "un-American mud peoples", including all Jews and Muslims. How long before this twisted vision embeds itself in the collective psyche of too many? Along the way, they rescind Roe v. Wade, carry loaded, concealed guns into schools, bars and churches, criminalize contraception and women's reproductive rights, wipe out gay marriage, re-introduce Jim Crow, and so on. A forced regression to, say, 1947, just before Harry Truman integrated the military, MLK was an unknown 18 year old and the post-WWII middle class didn't yet exist as a moderate, left of center voting bloc. Right-Wing "Pleasantville" .
+29 # Alice 2012-02-16 11:00
I still contend they are leading us to the 1850s - pre-women's suffrage, pre-Civil War which they lost but seem determined to refight and win, pre-worker's rights; and of great importance pre-FDR and social security and laws protecting workers, and Glass-Steagall.
+16 # bugbuster 2012-02-16 12:24
In my perfect world, winning a second Civil War would mean like-minded states--those relatively free of wing nuttery--separa ting from the states who have given themselves over to the wing nuts. Far be it from me to want to deny those states the freedom to be ruled by their wing nuts, but please, not aided and supported my federal tax funded highway system, air traffic control system, national parks, national defense, Coast Guard, airport security, law enforcement, and so on.
-65 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-16 07:33
Pierce is nuts, who can read this tongue in cheek crap and understand that he is from a disfuntional society himeself that puts the us in a way superior class of political status. Every system has its fringe lunatics, and there are plenty of Democrats that fit that bill, but Pierce only cites Republicans. Very fair commentary, eh?
+25 # Feral Dogz 2012-02-16 10:28
Name a few of the left wing lunatics you have in mind.
-37 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-16 15:25
How about the lovely Democrat Weiner, posting his naked body on line, for just one. Clinton and his trist, maybe. Obama's wife spending ungodly amounts of money on her trips with her enterage? Shall I go on?
+5 # Feral Dogz 2012-02-18 11:55
Its interesting that Weiner's and Clinton's foibles are personal and sexual(very common human failings among Repubs. as well) and have nothing to do with public policy or Govt. What's an "enterage"? I guess you think the First Lady should stay home alone and cook and clean as all women should in your conservative universe. Please, do go on.
+34 # erogers 2012-02-16 11:43
Hey Eagle. You know your ignorant responses in Reader Supported News contains absolutely no dialogue. I am not a republican or democrat, so no labels can be applied from you. I run my own very successful company and have for 20 years so have little time to read these well written pieces in depth. I have however noticed one thing. You seem to pop up and have time to rant away and do nothing but label and name call. So I must assume you do not work or are in the pay of some damned hate group. I find your writings to be rather pathetic. Nothing constructive from you eh? So try that label on for size Eagle. Now must get back to work here and help build our economy.
+12 # AndreM5 2012-02-16 12:36
I became convinced Robt Eagle is trying to make a few bucks on the side by posting lunacy on blogs and calling talk shows to babble the script. He gets about $0.15 per post so he doesn't have time to ready or dialog.

Can we all just agree to ignore him and especially not reply to him or click the thumb vote? I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a bonus for each reply and click.
+10 # Billy Bob 2012-02-16 14:24
Somewhere between half a million and a million people read these. The Eagle is famous! The only groups I can think of that woud want to pay him would be liberal, or at least the Democratic Party. The more he rants, the more unpopular his posts get and the more support he generates for our side of the argument.

There are truly effective trolls, who can seem like a reasonable person and make you think they only disagree about one or two points, which happen to be the things they're paid for. He's not one of them. Unless he's trolling for our side, he's one of the 3 most counter-product ive right-wing trolls I've witnessed. The others would be "forparity" (whatever happened to him?), and "martinfre".

Whenever they speak, the damned and demented ghost of richard nixon moans as he's forced to walk for eternity dragging his chains, as punishment for inventing the culture war.
-18 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-16 15:32
You have got to be kidding. When anyone disagrees with the comments on this site, or the liberal authors, you resort to name calling. That's really sophisticated. I have never called a talk show, so what is that all about? Good thing I have a tough hide as you seem to jump on what I write, not by logical disagreement, simply by calling me names. Get some actual facts involved and leave the name calling to the candidates.
-21 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-16 15:22
erogers, I too have my own company and employ a small number of hard working loyal employees. I do not belong to any hate group, but find it interesting that if anyone disagrees with the standard BS leftist crap on this site they are ridiculed. You folks can not support logical thought, just want more for doing nothing, and every Republican is a thug or dishonest. That is wrong , but you are certainly entitled to your opinion, as screwed up as it might be. I pay more than 30% in taxes and have two kids in the military, my oldest is an officer in Afghanistan with his SEAL Team. Constructive comments are difficult here because if it is something like drill for oil, it is wrong because it might harm the environment. However if the price of gas goes to $5.00 a gallon under Obama's watch it is still ok by you, but harms the rest of the American public.
+14 # David Starr 2012-02-16 16:12
Balding Eagle,
I'm willing to bet the "standard BS leftist crap on this site" comes closer to truths & facts than what's on the Right, & from what's been said on the Right in reflecting a 1950s-like-or earlier outlook absent of progression-I'd even say to a degree antimodern- that's a fact; your own posts bear this out. With the Right style of attack, attack, attack w/o substance based on a more-holier-tha n-thou puritanical patriotism, etc., you actually expect to get an aloha welcome? Am I also to say you're a small business shill for the 1%? And that perhaps your two military kids don't have a clue of what U.S. imperialism is? (And it obviously exists.) Your gas scenario is rather hypocritical given that gas went well over $4.00 per gallon under the Bush regime (those ties w/ Big Oil), but under Obama it drastically dropped to $1.50 pr gal (in Connecticut) then rose to a high of about $3.90, then went steady at $3.60, then recently rose to $3.70. Regardless, you blame Obama not because he's Obama, but because he's part of the strongest (loyal) opposition. And you don't even know it.
+14 # stonecutter 2012-02-17 06:52
"...just want more for doing nothing". You own a business, have kids in the military...can you be this dense? Do you believe your son the SEAL is risking his life for valid reasons, or that merely because he IS risking his life, the reasons put forward by the Pentagon and the White House MUST be valid? Can you perceive the difference?

I served years ago, 4 years overseas, I've since owned a couple of small businesses, was up and down, went to work for large corporation, made good living, provided for my sons, sent them to college, etc, lived comfortable middle class life. Your pathetic accusations-"Yo u folks cannot support logical thought"-just confirm the hard truth that your brain is wired differently from mine, your worldview is simplistic, black and white, one dimensional. "us vs. them", and I and others in this comment stream are "them".

What the hell are you doing here anyway, soaking up thumbs down like a sponge? Do you live next door to "Martinfre"? You both have really bad grammar in common, alongside your nasty belligerence and patented right-wing stereotyping skills. I leave you with this incontrovertibl e fact: recent scientific study--repeat, scientific--has concluded that stupid people are virtually always conservative. Not all conservatives are stupid of course--just some combination of fearful, bigoted, greedy, intolerant, arrogant, self-absorbed, ignorant, ill-informed, hypocritical, homophobic--but not stupid.
+24 # mrbadexample 2012-02-16 07:43
I keep thinking that the Country Club repubs, who have educations and some sense of science (creationism? really?) will someday say 'Basta' and step away. Relatives who pulled the lever for W have become conservative Dems and don't want any part of the crazies. The Repubs need to go through the sort of party-cleansing of the likes of Bill Buckley, who made flat-earthers and Birchers anathema for 20 years and thus made sure the party never had another apocalyptic election like '64. Or maybe it's time for a 'sane' republican party, and the GOP fractures.

And maybe there needs to be a third party challenge to the Dems, who refuse to call these people out. the whole duopoly is shattered now, and too many races are decided by who is less disgusting.
-16 # BBFmail 2012-02-16 08:41
Any comments about an African-America n president who supported NATO's illegal invasion of Libya which has caused the deaths of an estimated 30,000 Black Libyans?

The Butchering of Gaddafi Is America’s Crime

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Last week the whole world saw, and every decent soul recoiled, at the true face of NATO’s answer to the Arab Spring. An elderly, helpless prisoner struggled to maintain his dignity in a screaming swirl of savages, one of whom thrusts a knife [4] up his rectum. These are Europe and America’s jihadis in the flesh. In a few minutes of joyously recorded bestiality, the rabid pack undid every carefully packaged image of NATO’s “humanitarian” project in North Africa. (SNIP)

Nearly eight months of incessant bombing by the air forces of nations that account for 70 percent of the world’s weapons spending, all culminating in the gang-bang slaughter of Moammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and his military chief of staff, outside Sirte. The NATO-armed bands then displayed the battered corpses for days in Misurata – the city that had earlier made good on its vow to “purge Black skin” through the massacre and dispersal of 30,000 darker residents of nearby Tawurgha – before disposing of the bodies in an unknown location.
+11 # pbbrodie 2012-02-16 12:41
What has your rant got to do with this article about the absolutely insane GOP?! Do you just comment on any article you see so you have an opportunity to vent?
+29 # Floridatexan 2012-02-16 08:54
OMG, you left out Florida! We've had three Republican governors in a row. The current one, Rick Scott, aka Skeletor, is pushing to privatize prisons. I haven't seen much, though, about the redistricting that was mandated in the last election and is sorely needed in this gerrymandered state. And apparently, purging voters from the rolls because they have a similar name to a criminal in another state is perfectly OK and was only one of the tools used here to insure a "victory" for George W. Bush in 2000.

These tighty righties are like a swarm of termites...unre lenting.
+18 # bugbuster 2012-02-16 12:31
I think that privatizing prisons is the latest fad, not just in the US. Just yesterday I heard someone in Honduras opining that their prison system needs to be "improved" by privatizing it. I think that's code for allowing more inhumane prison conditions in the name of free enterprise.
+12 # vertglnt 2012-02-16 18:15
Privatization (of anything) is not a fad. It has been a right-wing mantra for a very long time. Anything that is privatized is thereby improved. Private enterprise is always more efficient than hateful, tyranical government, etc. The right want to privatize not only prisons, but schools, social security, even the military (see Xe), and so on world without end.
+8 # karenvista 2012-02-16 21:58
Quoting vertglnt:
Privatization (of anything) is not a fad. It has been a right-wing mantra for a very long time.

Private businesses (prisons) only make money when they are occupied, so expect us to maintain the highest per capita rate of incarceration in the world.

But at least we don't use prison slave labor like the Chinese, right? Wrong, we allow corporations to rent our prisoners for almost nothing and take a cut for the prison system.

As in Arizona, the Republican Governor and legislature take money from companies like Corrections Corporation of America and the prison system goes private.

They have even privatized the government to the point that the people who write the RFPs for services are contractors and they write them so that only their company can fulfill the contract requirements. Same with the DOD. They intend to privatize everything that is now public.
+26 # suzyskier 2012-02-16 08:57
I never thought that I'd see the day when the people of this country would turn so far right! Makes me think of all the laws enacted during the Nazi era of Germany. Next thing you know they will make laws against hiring what they consider low on their totem pole. i.e. blacks, jews, latinos and any other group they consider unworthy. I for one am truely frightened. I am with RFL, maybe it's time to leave for Europe where there is some sanity!
+3 # Vern Radul 2012-02-16 09:05
Well. The horse race is over and the 2012 presidential election is a lock.

This should lift a great deal of stress from anyone worried that Barack Obama might not win the November election, and save a lot of heartache and soul searching for all those people who would much rather support Obama than support real progressive change.

Losing to win will be such a minor unimportant price to pay to have their guy in the oval office, after all. It just doesn't get any better than this.


Not only that, the economic "recovery" will thankfully continue. Why, if you've been wanting to launch a new business Obama soon will have the business climate improved to the point where you'll be able to hire an American workforce for your new venture for no more than the cost of labor in China! Thanks to the first trade agreement entirely negotiated by Obama.


Obama is a shoe-in for re-election as 20% of Republicans say they'll vote for him this year, because in their view Romney is too moderate.

+7 # AndreM5 2012-02-16 12:39
Huh??? The say they are going to vote for Obama because Romney is "too moderate?" What???

It ain't over yet, not by a long shot. the SuperPACS/Kochs are only just getting started.
+24 # Caballero69 2012-02-16 09:40
"He[Obama] should make it clear that one of our two major political parties is now an extremist party from its lowest levels to its highest echelons."

You are so right. The Greedy Obstructionist Party is not our grandparent's Republican Party. It is unlike any American political party since the demise of the Know Nothings.
+14 # Hank 2012-02-16 10:07
Robt Eagle, there are fringe lunatics, and then there are FRINGE LUNATICS. Mr. Pierce is concerned with the latter as we all should be.
+13 # Windy126 2012-02-16 11:09
Robt Eagle should know what a person from the fringe lunatic looks like all he has to do is look in the mirror.
This is the year to concentrate on getting the Republicans out of office from the local level on up to Governors, Senators and Congressmen. It is like we are living in a slasher movie, you never know when who you thought was a perfectly normal person turned in to a blood sucking monster.
We should also stress we want schools to teach the Constitution as the secular document that it is.
Never think your vote can't be hacked. We should go to the purple finger method to prevent voter fraud.
Like it really is a rampant problem. Just remember, Don't be afraid, What are they going to do to us if we stick together? Just like all those who wouldn't let migrants work. They found field of unharvested food rotting in the hot sun. What did that prove other than there is a place for all people. So mind your business and stop trying to be the head honcho of something you know nothing about.
-25 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-16 15:28
windy, that is applicable from the Repub side relative to the Dems. Read "Injustice" by J. Christian Aderson to learn how Eric Holder and his DOJ crew are supporting voter fraud to help Dems get in to office. You really need to get out more, by the way.
+9 # vertglnt 2012-02-16 18:29
votER fraud is rare, but votING fraud is rampant. The latter includes the purging of voter lists of "undesirable" (e.g., minorities, the poor, etc.), bobocalls that tell registered voters that the election is some other day than the correct one, the provision of fewer voting machines in the polling places in precincts largely inhabited by "undesirable", and the hacking of electronic voting machines which have no paper trail. There are probably more frauds of this nature than I am aware of.
All of the above votING frauds have been documented.
As for votER fraud, I am in favor of requiring a photo-id in order to vote, however this should be phased in over a period of years in order to allow all those who don't currently have a photo id to acquire one FOR FREE from their state.
Although I disagree with and deplore your far right stance, I do agree that ad hominem arguments and name-calling should not be present here.
+7 # David Starr 2012-02-17 13:23
Robt Eagle,
Elaborate a little on how Eric Holder & the DOJ are supporting voter fraud to help get Dems into office. I already have an idea on how the Repubs have used voter fraud since 2000. Bush Jr. getting help from his brother Jeb-then gov. of Florida-by, w/ help from Katherine Harris, purging voter lists of "felons" when actually the lists were mostly nonfelons & mostly African Americans who voted Dem; In 2004, purging votes in New Mexico from precincts that were a majority of Native American & Hispanic voters using the claim that many of them went to vote but wound up not voting after all. Again, the majority were Dem supporters; Diebold voting machines, whose owner is a Repub supporter who vowed to bring the vote to the Repubs in Ohio, in 2004. The hacking of voting machines by operatives from GovTech, based in Chatanooga, TN & whose owner was a Bush supporter. The alleged result was an unrealistically amount of votes in Dem districts rapidly going from Kerry to Bush in the early morning hours as the 2004 election was winding down. Now, how about a little elaboration re. Dem "fraud"?
+20 # Bill Clements 2012-02-16 12:11
Pierce is correct when he states that Republicans no longer believe the Executive Branch poses any real obstacle to their agenda. In fact, if you read Frum's article from The Daily Beast on Norquist (available on RSN), this also holds true for Republicans as well!

Norquist's speech at CPAC this year made the case for a Romney presidency (the very image of weakness), despite knowing full well that the Republican base is largely unsupportive of him. Vote for him anyway, Norquist entreated his audience; all we need in the White House is a bootlicking puppet with enough brains to sign the GOP bills that are sent up from the Hill. In other words, it's the Senate that is expected to provide the real leadership for the "modern conservative movement." And as Pierce alludes to, given the excessive gerrymandering, voter suppression tactics like voter I.D., etc.,it will not at all be easy to defeat these truly extreme candidates that are part of the Republican establishment.

I can't help but think of zombies when I think of Republican conservatives these days. They just keep coming and they're hard as hell to stop, but stop them we must.
+1 # flippancy 2012-02-20 19:54
Get reqal, 100% of election fraaud these days is Republican.

A while back in Wisconsin a woman realized after the fact that she voted in the wrong precinct and turned herself in. ASs a result she went to prison. However Ann Coulter deliberately voted in the wrong district in Florida and went unpunished. Mitt Romney illegally listed his son's basement as his legal residence and went unpunished.

There are only 5 possible reasons for voting Republican: Ignorance, stupidity, insanity, bigotry and greed. There is no rational reason at all. If the media did its' job and reported the truth and only the truth no Republican would ever be elected.

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