Tag Archives: Trump

Enough of Trump?

My March 7 predictions didn’t pan out as well as my previous ones.

We won’t have the Barr/Mueller report until Thursday–heavily redacted by Trump’s Roy Cohn. I’ll wait a bit for the dust to settle but as of now, it appears I blew these:

Sealed indictments, along with the Mueller report, of:
  • Donald Trump, Jr.
  • Jared Kushner
  • Trump himself
  • Probably Steve Bannon
  • Possibly Ivanka

Those sealed indictments are NOT happening, according to Barr. Reportedly, they were not requested or filed by Mueller. Why NOT?  

All have lied to Congress and most to investigators. Could have charged them with that. Why NOT?  Did Mueller chill? Afraid of blowback from Trump?

OK, enough Mueller bashing–for now, see let the dust settle comment above.

Trump, his sycophant posse, the news media, et al ALL seem confused by the alleged finding by Mueller of no conspiracy. FEW distinguish this from Trump’s refrain of NO Collusion. WRONG!

The alleged finding, per Barr, is that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy between the members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. Explicated, this means Mueller supposedly found insufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction. Therefore, no indictment of anyone. Criminal conspiracy, however, is NOT synonymous with collusion. Hence, a finding of NO conspiracy does NOT mean NO collusion.

Did Trump family members and campaign staff/officials meet with Russians? YES. Did they accept or welcome help from them? YES. Did they offer sanctions relief? YES. Did they lie about those meetings (import, purpose, etc.)? YES. Did they call, text or otherwise communicate with them about all of this? YES.

It DOES matter if a political candidate welcomes and accepts help from an adversarial foreign power in his or her campaign. It matters if they are elected and try to work on their behalf.

It matters if a counterintelligence campaign is launched into that candidate and his/her campaign. THAT part of the investigation may not be in the Mueller report. America NEEDS TO KNOW the results. 

I had a waking dream this morning as I lay in bed half asleep before rising. Wishful thinking perhaps. Trump had died of a massive stroke during the night. It didn’t happen. The facts are that he has put on weight since silly Ronnie Jackson’s first medical exam. He gets too little sleep (five hours maybe). He drinks more than a dozen diet sodas (caffeinated). His golfing exercise consists of getting out of the golf cart to swing the club and riding to the next hole (including driving onto the green). He gets no other exercise besides ranting. So his supposed good health is a myth by sycophantic medical personnel. A stroke or a cardiac event could well happen before the next election or even this year. Karma will get him–sooner or later.

Which also means, Trump may still resign–if the fecal matter hits the fan this spring or summer. 

For the after the dust settles post, perhaps the new hashtag will be #ImpeachBarr.

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#737 MAX and the #Trump Effect

The FAA says the Boeing 737 Max “is fine.”

If it’s fine, then why is a software fix needed?

Two crashes, over 300 people dead–in less than five months.  Boeing engineers concluded that a fix was needed after the Lion Air crash in October, 2018. Boeing and the FAA haggled over how extensive the fix should be. 

Then Trump’s Shutdown happened–for FIVE WEEKS. The fix won’t be applied until April. 

It could have been installed in January.

BUT FOR the shutdown of the FAA.

So let’s call this the #Trump Effecthow things go wrong that need not, just because he is America’s so-called President.

NOTE: The FAA still has an acting director–two years after Trump took office. Because he hasn’t submitted anyone to the Senate for confirmation!

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Impeachment, Indictment or Resignation–How Will It End?

No, I Didn’t Forget about Trump

Some folks have said I should be on TV as a political pundit. Not happening. But I did get a lot of predictions right last year.  Let’s recap those [see notes for what I got right] and add some new ones:

March 19, 2018–almost a year ago, I predicted these indictments:
  • Fancy Bear, Cozy Bear  and Guccifer 2.0 (Russian hackers; Mueller indicted a bunch of them on July 13, 2018)
  • Wikileaks and Julian Assange (mistaken filing by prosecutor shows Assange has a sealed indictment pending)
  • Cambridge Analytica and possibly Brad Parscale (not yet, but I still expect it)
  • Roger Stone–yes!, finally
In August, 2018, I reiterated those predictions and considered adding Steve Bannon to the Cambridge Analytica indictment PLUS, predicted these winners:
  • Trump will never sit down with Mueller (he did submit written responses to questions–all the better to trap him)
  • Manafort will be convicted in his first trial and plead guilty in the secondwhoa, did I nail this one!
  • The Democrats would have a massive victory in November, taking control of the houseYUP, nailed that
  • Mueller will NEVER issue a subpoena to Trump
  • The report will come out after the midterms (coming soon)
  • Trump may be named an unindicted co-conspirator (stay tuned and see below)
  • Trump will be unable to tolerate the investigations that will ensue in the House–“which will undoubtedly include examination of his personal and business tax returns”

A mistaken prediction:

  • Indictments of Americans will come in September–didn’t happen, but plenty already have been
    • Flynn
    • Gates
    • Papadopoulos
    • And more
In that August 19 post from last year, I noted that it would be 45 years since Nixon’s resignation on that date in 2019. A good commemorative  anniversary for Trump to pick as his day to go. Could still happen. But here’s my current assessment.
  • Sealed indictments, along with the Mueller report, of:
    • Donald Trump, Jr.
    • Jared Kushner
    • Trump himself
    • Probably Steve Bannon
    • Possibly Ivanka
  • More indictments from SDNY–stay tuned for predictions on those.
One more recap before the grand finale (for now) from way back in May, 2018.

Eventually, RICO charges will be filed against the Trump Organization–with the bulk of its assets seized by the US Government and the entity dissolved (this will take several years at a minimum)

Note that there is lots of discussion happening about RICO on the cable news channels. Just Google it.

So what’s next?
  • More hearings in the Democratic controlled House will drive Trump crazy–could have a stroke or gain ten more pounds anyway
  • SDNY could try to indict Trump this year (against OLC policy)
  • Shirt with Mueller in sunglasses and message "its Mueller Time"New York State will go after Trump big time
  • The Mueller Report
  • Trump may try to pardon the Trump Organization but may throw Don, Jr. under the bus if it’s either him or Jr. on the hook
  • Trump will NOT be in office for the 2020 election–I’ll handicap that in another post.
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The Bewitching Hour Approaches the White House

A Blue Wave Comes in January–Mueller Too?

The Democrats have won 40 House Seats in the next Congress–meaning they will have a 235 to 200 majority. It won’t be pretty for Trump. Investigations will ensue. Agency heads, cabinet officials and others will be called to testify. All those people who weren’t subpoenaed by Devin Numbnuts (Trump co-conspirator and chair of the House Intelligence Committee) or were allowed to not answer pertinent questions will have to answer in the Democratically controlled House.

But what of Mueller? Will more indictments come from Mueller in December? More in January? A report to Congress? Yes, it could all happen. On Friday comes the sentencing memo for double-flipper Manafort. The prevailing opinion is that this will be a public document detailing all of Manafort’s misdeeds.  Meanwhile, Trump is once again publicly adding fuel to obstruction fire–all but admitting that he has dangled a pardon for Manafort in exchange for info on what Mueller is up to.

But is all the chagrin and worries advanced about the duplicitous behavior of Manafort, his lawyers and Trump’s half-assed legal team (calling them JV would be overstating their legal acumen) warranted? How much would Mueller’s team have let Manafort in on during their hours together? Not much, in my opinion. As tight-lipped as the Mueller team has been with news media, Congress and everybody else, why the hell would Manafort be trusted with intimate details of what others had testified to–or what evidence Mueller had???

Continue reading The Bewitching Hour Approaches the White House

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America Worst? (With Trump It’s Not “First”) Save America–Get Out and Vote!

The #MAGAbomber, brought to you by Donald J (for Jackass) Trump.

Was it Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller that appropriated “America First,” Lindbergh’s Nazi sympathizer slogan from the 1930s? No matter, Trump eagerly adopted it. What results is America Worst. Trump is the laughingstock of the world and America is looked down upon by developed nations. Instead of being the shiny city on the hill, America is in danger of being regarded as the sh**ty city on the hill.

What does MAGA really mean? I came up with Making America Grievously Abhorrent. I’ll bet you can come up with a better one. Let me know in the comments.

When he says, he is a Nationalist, he implicitly means he is a White Nationalist. He distinguishes himself from Globalists, which can be an economic term but is also a code word for Zionist financiers–or an anti-Semitic smear. He encourages violence against protesters at his rallies and against others. The racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance that Trump repeatedly espouses gives free rein to right wing extremist violence.

In addition to the MAGAbomber, Trump is ultimately responsible for these other attacks from just the last week–the anti-Semite shooter at the Pittsburgh Synagogue and the Kroger shooter that would have killed people at a Black church if he could have got into it. Since Trump’s ascendance, white nationalist terrorism has increased dramatically.

Sarah Sanders said (Monday, 10/29), “I think the president had a number of moments of bringing the country together. . . .” Well, that’s for sure—more and more people in America are coming together opposing Trump’s imperial presidency, his cruelty, his corruption, his lying, his racism, his misogyny and more.

What can we do, coming together in opposition to Trump? We can vote. Democrats and true Independents may not take over Congress completely, but just defeating the corrupt Trump sycophants that make up the GOP Trump Cult would make America better. Let’s restore a modicum of decency, morality, honest and integrity to America. Let’s elevate America’s status in the world to somewhere near what it used to be.

Perhaps Trump will be impeached by a Democratically controlled House, but he could not be convicted and removed by a Senate even if the Democrats won a majority. Well, maybe–if the Mueller report and additional indictments are strong enough. Not likely to happen. Maybe Trump will have a stroke or heart attack?  With his diet and lack of exercise (he drives golf carts onto the greens!) it’s possible.  Time will tell.

But what’s the scariest Halloween costume you could imagine? A  person with a Trump mask holding a newspaper heralding his reelection in 2020—now that’s a real horror!

So vote NOW to give him a clue of what’s to come and maybe he’ll leave voluntarily if it gets to hot in the White House.

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The Sum of All Fears–Loss of Privileges

How DARE you accuse ME?

Brett Kavanaugh at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

RAGE and more RAGE

Remember, as Kavanaugh says, “What goes around comes around.” Only, however, if Democrats, Independents and what few remaining principled Republicans with a conscience vote in Democrats in the midterms. Then we will see karma in action. 

The cloture vote is at 10:30 am ET on Friday. The vote to confirm, IF cloture passes, will be around 5 pm on Saturday. People MUST call, visit or otherwise exhort their Senator to vote no on Friday. Kavanaugh is unfit to sit on the US Supreme Court.

  • He is a liar
  • He is an unbridled partisan–not capable of reaching independent decisions apart from his Republican ideological beliefs and treating others impartially
  • He may have a drinking problem and may be guilty of sexual assault
  • He is temperamentally unfit–as his rage showed during the hearing last Friday

One might argue that his rage stemmed from being falsely accused. While possible, he certainly didn’t stop at protestations of innocence. Oh no, Sam Seder summed it up a few days ago on an MSNBC show explaining the roots of the rage. What I prefer to call a trifecta:

  • Male Privilege
  • White Privilege
  • and Class Privilege

Who–that is not White, male or upper class can question him about his behavior from his youth?

He is entitled, as a White male, to dominate and subdue women when he chooses to. Take a look at his wife, seated behind and to his right. At times, during his raging opening statement at the Judiciary Committee hearing, did she not display the long-suffering face of a spouse. A spouse who has endured many such rages at home when she didn’t fulfill his expectations–a late dinner, kids misbehaving, etc.? Did she not relive those experiences and wish he wasn’t reenacting them for national audience? I’m not a profiler, but that’s what I saw on her face.

He is entitled, as member of the wealthy upper class to not be questioned about his behavior by those beneath his station.

Kavanaugh is not alone in his rage. How much did he resemble, speak like and behave like Donald Trump? Oh, he didn’t have the orange face and Barbie hair of Trump–but he nearly outdid his so-called President after all those practice sessions at the White House.

Lindsey Graham could have been Kavanaugh’s clone in his belligerency,  his outrageous anger. They are all of a piece. Then, in conjunction with Trump, they orchestrated a sham “investigation” which interviewed a handful of people and followed up with no one. Then those same Senators in a chorus said there was no corroboration to the charges against Kavanaugh–of course not, the FBI was instructed to find none!

All those aging White men in the Senate. Those Trump voters. They worry about the rising tide of women. First they got the right to vote–now they’re running for office in increasing numbers. They’re speaking out and demanding justice for sexual harassment and want equal pay in the workplace–even promotions!

First will come the rise of women. That’s what the Kavanaugh nomination is all about. To stave off the rise of women and reassert male control over reproduction–which, after all, is the main purpose of women (along with fun) from the dominant male perspective.

Next will come the inevitable minority status for Whites (it will take some time, but demographic trends say it will happen). Trump, with the able assistance of his White Nationalist copywriter Stephen Miller, is working hard to keep Brown people out of America. In aggregate with Asians and Blacks the nonwhite population will eventually make Whites a minority. Alas! That’s what the immigration battles are about. That’s what the limit on refugees is about. And that’s what the wall is about!

The class warfare, that filthy rich right-wingers cry out about whenever the subject of more taxes for the rich comes up. That change in America may not come this century, if ever. The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others want Kavanaugh in place to keep Citizen United case and other means to ensure that money controls who gets nominated and elected to office.

In the unfortunate case that Kavanaugh is confirmed, it will be a stain on the Supreme Court. It can be remedied however, if the Democrats gain control of Congress (or at least the House). Then they can proceed to investigate not only Trump and his administration, but Kavanaugh as well. Justices of the Supreme Court can be impeached. 

Well, Jeff Flake lived up to his surname and Susan Collins will be turfed out of office in 2020. Meanwhile, we can hope karma will catch up with Kavanaugh.

 

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Fear and Roulette–Two More Books Reviewed

Before we get into the book reviews, have you noticed how much weight Trump has put on? You can see it in his cheeks and his waistline. Stress can make you eat more of that KFC, burgers and fries. No doubt he has plenty to be stressed about, eh? Manafort, Cohen, the Kavanaugh appointment and when will the indictments drop.  Not to mention what 2019 will be like with the Democrats in charge of the House and now maybe the Senate too–especially with the way the Republicans are  now and will be treating Christine Blasey Ford.

Fear: Trump in the White HouseFear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing book that reads very quickly and easily as a novel does. Except, there is little fiction here–except perhaps in the beliefs of Donald Trump and people like John Dowd. As I finished, I found photos, footnotes, source material by chapter and an index that added another 25% or so to the page count. So, no fiction on Woodward’s part.

As for Trump, consider the old adage, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I already have my mind made up.” In Trump’s case, he is never confused with facts–he has his own and rejects all others. Here’s a shortened quote from page 138.

“Mr. President, can I show this to you?” Cohn fanned out the pages of data in front of the president. “See, the biggest leavers of jobs—people leaving voluntarily—was from manufacturing.”
. . . .
Trump wasn’t buying it.
. . . .
Several times Cohn just asked the president, “Why do you have these views?”
“I just do,” Trump replied. “I’ve had these views for 30 years.”

Of course, the problem of opinions no based on fact is well known about Trump and illustrated often within the book. I won’t spoil the fun of reading more of them.

You’ve undoubtedly seen many interviews or excerpts about the book. You’ve also read or heard about the many faults of Trump and the way his White House operates. Woodward offers chapter and verse on most of them, such as these (and many more):
—The chaos and the predatory relationship among staffers
—Trump’s short attention span, unwillingness to read more than a few paragraphs
—His laziness, coming to work at 10:30 or 11:00 and not knowing what’s on his agenda for the day despite a briefing book provided the night before.

The book also details all the legal battles, the effect of the Mueller investigation on Trump and much more.
Like information that hasn’t been detailed in the news.
For example, the alliances of some staff members with others. Woodward also confirms stories like those in that anonymous Op Ed, about how some people kept stuff from Trump to protect the country.

My only disappointment is that the book had, by the necessities of editing and printing, stopped in March. But then the news has covered so much more that’s happened since. While Woodward has has provided details confirming many things already knew, he goes further in fleshing them out and giving us new stuff. Fear is a good title in many ways.

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald TrumpRussian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By the time I finished reading this, I already knew virtually everything that the book contained. That said, the work that went into this is impressing. Not only that, but it came out before all the content was widely known. It remains a great resource for those doing their own research and potentially using the information for blog posts and the like.

View all my Goodreads reviews

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Acknowledgements: see blockquote from the Woodward book

Fear: Trump in the White House and 9/11

Cover of Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House I preordered  the Kindle version  of Woodward’s book, which notified me of delivery  to my account at 10:15 last night.  I guess Amazon is on Eastern Time; I’m in the Mountain Zone.

Is it a coincidence that Simon and Schuster released this book by Bob Woodward on 9/11, the anniversary of America’s worst attack since Pearl Harbor? I think not.

I have already posted three commentaries on the events of 9/11,  their personal connection to my family (2008, 2011 and 2014) and how my Buddhist faith applies. This will be my fourth post on the subject, in which I will explain my lack of coincidence comment and how times have changed–for the worse, politically. Some snippets from those prior posts will help explicate things. I’ll start with the 2014 post.

At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. . . .  While death comes to us all, it is  disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made.

My wife, who worked as a civilian for the Department of the Army, had applied but failed to get a job at the Pentagon a few years before the 9/11 attack. Here’s an excerpt from the 2008 post.

The location of the section she applied for was at or near the point of the plane’s impact on 9/11. Several people in the section, including the person who did get the position, died in the attack that day. . . . Karma is a strange thing, which we cannot fathom or explain completely. . . . I empathize with those who lost loved ones on that day even as I feel great appreciation that my wife didn’t get a promotion that would have killed her.

The clip below comes from the 2011 post.  In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, a bipartisan fervor swept the the nation, during which Democrats and Republicans united in support of efforts to care for survivors and rebuild. The unity and bipartisan cooperation lasted perhaps 18 months.

More than ever, we all need to remember the sacrifices of those who died on 9/11 and as a result of the aftermath. More than that, we need to rekindle the compassion and cooperation that briefly enveloped America.

Alas, for the last 15 years, division and derision have instead enveloped America. The 2016 election gave us Donald J. Trump–the most corrupt, ignorant, incompetent, racist and unfit person ever to occupy the White House. He did so only with the able assistance of Vladimir Putin’s agents, James Comey’s inappropriately ill-timed announcements about investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Clinton’s own inept campaign strategies–not to mention voters who stayed home. Then there’s the antiquated Electoral College. Continue reading Fear: Trump in the White House and 9/11

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Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

Brett Kavanaugh Withdraws His Nomination to US Supreme Court

WHAT?  Impossible you say! Well, stranger things have happened. Read on to see why it could happen.

Confirmation hearings begin today. Will any Republicans oppose him for fear of his taking any opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade? Will any vulnerable Democrats  up for reelection in November support him for fear of losing their office?

Basically, the question is can anyone stop this runaway train to another appointment by the Treasonous Trump. Here’s another option–let’s all encourage Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination.

Why would anyone, given the chance to be a Justice of the Supreme Court, abandon that opportunity? Most often, it comes from some discovered scandal heretofore unknown–a scandal that likely dooms the candidate. Put that aside, that’s not the gist of my argument. 

Trump, our so-called President, is currently a subject of a criminal investigation–an investigation that will demonstrate that he  won election through felonious means. It’s highly likely that Trump will be impeached within a few months after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Whether convicted in the Senate or not, unless pardoned by Vice-President Pence, Trump will likely be convicted of crimes that will put him behind bars. 

Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will be remembered  as the Justice appointed by an impeached and imprisoned President. If I were Kavanaugh, I’d get out now, before any votes on his nomination are taken.

Richard Nixon, he of Watergate infamy, appointed FOUR people to the Supreme Court–including Chief Justice Warren Burger. None, however, were appointed after the Watergate scandal.  So those Nixon appointees never faced the sort of guilt by association that Kavanaugh could.

NOTE: Stay tuned for more indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller–coming soon to your favorite news source.

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Nixon Resigns on this day, 1974–Trump Next Year?

Thanks to a reminder on cable news last night, I realized that an anniversary had arrived–Nixon formally tendered his resignation at noon on the 9th of August, 1974. Facing certain impeachment (and a conviction in the Senate) he had no other choice.

I still have copies of the complete coverage by the Washington Post that day. I watched the news from the student lounge at GULC, early in my first year of law school. A school where Sam Dash, Chief Counsel of the Watergate Committee, served as an adjunct professor. I cheered at the coverage and scoffed at then prominent newsman John Chancellor’s pronouncement of the sad day for America and that no one was celebrating at this departure. How wrong an assessment! I wasn’t the only one rejoicing.

So many cabinet officials, so many staff and even his first Vice-President went to jail. Spiro Agnew was simply a grifter, like “all the best people criminals  hired by or appointed to the Trump administration. Nixon himself avoided jail, pardoned by his second Vice-President–Gerald Ford. That act assured that Ford would NOT be reelected after assuming office.

My prediction: many more members of the Trump administration will wind up behind bars than did those who worked for Nixon. But that’s a story for another day.

Here’s the scenario for Trump’s exit next year, based on my assessment of what will come of the Mueller investigation:

  • Indictments of Americans will come early in September for conspiracy and criminal acts associated with the Russian interference in the 2016 election (see my predictions about that earlier this year; I’m thinking of adding Bannon for his leadership at Cambridge Analytica and confirming Brad Parscale–NO family members or in-laws in September)
  • HOWEVER, Mueller will not issue a final report with recommendations to Congress in September or October mentioning Trump
  • Trump will NEVER sit down with Mueller voluntarily, NOR will Mueller issue a subpoena to Trump before the midterm elections (more below) ordering Trump’s appearance in front of the grand jury
  • Manafort will be convicted in his first trial, will plead guilty in the second one (scheduled for September) based on Trump’s promised (out of fear, not loyalty) pardon
  • The Democrats will take control of the House with a massive mandate in the midterms–the Senate is a possibility, but not highly likely
  • Depending on Trump’s actions, reactions and tweets after the indictments and the midterms, Mueller may issue a subpoena to Trump in mid-January–as the next Congress is seated
  • More likely, Mueller will NEVER issue a subpoena to Trump because Mueller gave Trump ample opportunity to appear voluntarily AND Mueller already has everything he needs for both conspiracy and obstruction without hearing from Trump
  • Not only that, but Trump will have become a target, not a subject of the investigation–meaning he shouldn’t appear before the grand jury
  • Mueller’s final report with recommendations will be issued after the midterms–I believe (perhaps hope is more accurate) this will be in mid-January, after the next Congress takes office
  • Mueller’s final actions will include additional indictments, naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator; he will cite Trump as having obstructed the investigation and participated in conspiring with the Russians
  • With no Russo-Publicans left to protect him in the House,Trump will be unable to tolerate the investigations which will ensue–investigations in the House (whether articles of impeachment are voted or not) which will undoubtedly include examination of his personal and business tax returns 
  •  He will resign by the summer of 2019–perhaps 45 years to the day, from Nixon’s resignation

 

 

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