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December 31, 2010

Bring all the troops home, now

Since we pre-emptively invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, and Iraq on March 20, 2003, volunteer soldiers and their families have born the bulk of the burden of war. A New York Times piece paints a bleak picture of the...

December 27, 2010

Barney Frank bitch slaps conservative provocateur

At a ceremony celebrating the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a representative of CNSNews.com tried to ambush Representative Barney Frank. Frank took it in stride, and turned it back on the CNSNews.com guy. Nevertheless, CNSNews.com has made the full...

June 4, 2010

Quote of the Day: Steve Benen re: Macca vs. Bush

If you haven't heard, conservatives are mad at a Beatle again. Decades after John Lennon caused a stir over his quip that The Beatles were "bigger than Jesus," culture warriors are mad at a Fab again. This time though...

February 2, 2010

Why Does the GOP Hate Our Military?

This has been bouncing around my head for months now—at least since the run-up to our Afghanistan escalation: how have Republicans gone from being the guys hollering for military deference uber alles (despite a US Constitution saying something to to...

December 28, 2009

The Right Calls for More Racial Profiling

Despite the fact that the suspects in all known plots in the US and attached to US interests hail from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities, some on the right still cry for racial profililing. As ThinkProgress reports today,...

October 11, 2009

Frank Rich on the mess in Afghanistan

Frank Rich cuts through the noise on Afghanistan in this NYT piece. Among other points, he notes: Those demanding more combat troops for Afghanistan also avoid defining the real costs. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the war was running...

October 10, 2009

Obey: Time to draw down in Afghanistan

He doesn't come right out and say it, but the arguments Rep. David Obey (D-WI) makes in this Huffington Post op-ed piece lead one to the conclusion that we must get out of Afghanistan, and soon. From the piece: At...

April 27, 2009

McCain: US Violated Geneva Conventions

John McCain made a bold statement this weekend when he admitted to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer that the US indeed did violate the Geneva Conventions when it employed waterboarding (and other interrogation tactics) under George W. Bush's administration....

March 27, 2009

Guns or Butter

We've all heard the conservative revisionism of the Great Depression's cause and ultimate cure. Contrary to historical fact and data, the popular talking point is that the New Deal actually extended the depression, while the data shows that it was...

January 21, 2009

GITMO Prisoners: What Would You Do?

Lindsey Graham is taking some heat on liberal blogs right now for endorsing "indefinite detention" of some GITMO detainees, but I have to agree with what Graham is saying—even if the reason why kills me. Graham told Fox News...

January 15, 2009

Hayden Defends Torture But Doesn't Use It Anymore

Still setting up the West Coast office out here and busy as hell prepping for the inauguration next week so post count is down, but I had to weigh in on this nonsense: CIA Director Michael Hayden strenuously defended...

December 30, 2008

Bolton: Bomb Iran Already!

John Bolton has a one-track mind: Bomb Iran. The guy can link anything to the need to bomb Iran and bomb the shit out them. Yesterday on Hannity & Colmes Bolton claimed that the current crisis in Gaza was just...

November 17, 2008

Ike Was Right

Defense News reports: The uniformed services are trying to lock in the next administration by creating a political cost for holding the line on defense spending. Conservative groups are hoping to ramp up defense spending as a tool to limit...

October 16, 2008

War Vets Beaten, Busted at Debates

While McCain and Obama were figuratively beating each other up in the last presidential debate last night, some war veterans protesting outside were literally beaten up and arrested by Hofstra cops. Will the parties denounce this sort of abuse of...

October 9, 2008

McCain Bashes Obama for Statements He Also Made

Barack Obama is taking some heat for comments he made regarding our strategy in Afghanistan, a strategy that forces our military to conduct operations in a way they'd rather not. In August 2007, Obama called for a change in that...

October 8, 2008

Sullivan: America's Enemies Play McCain

Andrew Sullivan takes out McCain's perceived strength as a steady hand in foreign affairs and a deep undertsanding of the issues. Specifically, McCain's oddly reactionary response to Russia's invasion of Georgia last month: If you sensed last August that something...

September 9, 2008

Bush's Shell Game

The news this morning that President Bush was going to announce troop reductions in Iraq seemed might have undermined a key strength of Obama's campaign by effectively removing the Iraq war as a point of contention for voters. The October...

Bush's Shell Game

The news this morning that President Bush was going to announce troop reductions in Iraq seemed might have undermined a key strength of Obama's campaign by effectively removing the Iraq war as a point of contention for voters. The October...

July 9, 2008

FISA Legislation Passes with Telecom Immunity

Just as there are no perfect people in the world, there are no perfect politicians. Barack Obama just lodged his first major disappointment by voting for the FISA legislation that includes immunity for telecoms who clearly broke the law in...

July 7, 2008

Ohio Republican Now Proud of Legislation He opposed

Vying for douchebag of the week, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) claims to be "proud" to support the very veterans benefits package he voted against. Just as President Bush and John McCain tried to spin away from their hugely unpopular opposition...

June 26, 2008

Yoo On Burying People Alive: No Comment

David Addington and John Yoo are testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) asked Yoo whether the president could bury a detainee alive. Now, you would think that in these United States you could get a...

June 25, 2008

Law and Order

Chris Dodd gets to the heart of the matter on this whole FISA nonsense and immunity for telecoms. "Either the companies and the President acted outside of the rule of law, or they followed it," he said. "Either the underlying...

May 6, 2008

House Votes to Subpoena Addington, Others to Follow

The House of Representatives voted to compel Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff to testify about the administrations torture policies, Addington had earlier agreed to appear before Congress if subpoenaed. He was one of several White House senior staff involved...

April 14, 2008

McCain Promises Not to Torture...Americans

The fact that we're even having a debate on the use of torture in this country is not only embarrassing to me as an American, it puts the lives and well being of American soldiers in danger. If we—the greatest...

April 7, 2008

McCain Sets Bar High in Iraq

McCain: Iraq no longer abyss of defeat (AP) Dare to dream, Senator......

March 23, 2008

U.S. death toll in Iraq hits 4,000.

MSNBC confirms a sad, sad milestone....

January 25, 2008

White House keeping full Iraq costs out of the budget

The 2009 budget proposal that the White House will be unveiling in February will not cover a full fiscal year for the Pentagon's war expenses. The new president, whatever the position on Iraq, will have to get the remainder of...

January 3, 2008

Iraqi refugees? Here? Forget it!

Over 2 million Iraqis have fled the country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. The monkeys in the Bush administration have been fumbling Iraqi pleas for resettlement in the states since almost the same time. According to this AP article, that...

December 20, 2007

Quote of the Day re: CIA Tapes

Quote of the Day: "If A Tape Is Not Safe In The CIA, We're In Trouble" --Former CIA Assistant General Counsel John Radsan The guy makes an excellent point in refuting the nonsense that the CIA had to destroy interrogation...

November 20, 2007

President Bush: Supporting the troops... ?

... as long as they return their signing bonuses. Another great example of the Bush administration supporting the troops: The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve...

November 18, 2007

Bush still showering military aid onto Pakistan

The first President Bush suspended military assistance to Pakistan in 1990. The current Bush revved it up again after September 11th. Only after his administration threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" if they didn't become a partner...

November 12, 2007

25% of homeless Americans are veterans

According to this Ann Arbor News article: Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report released this past week by the...

Olbermann on Torture

Originally posted on our parent site's message board, Keith Olbermann takes it to Bush on torture and how this administration has devolved into a pathetic machine for cover-your-ass. We post Olbermann's Special Commentary from time to time and this one...

November 10, 2007

2007 is deadliest year in Afghanistan, too

From an AP article: The six deaths [on Saturday] brings the total number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year to at least 101, according to a count by the AP. That makes this year the deadliest for Americans...

November 6, 2007

2007 most deadly year for U.S. troops in Iraq

This morning the Pentagon announced 5 U.S. troop deaths, bringing the total of military personnel killed in Iraq in 2007 to 852. That's 2 more than 2004, and of course, the year isn't over yet. This is despite the fact...

November 4, 2007

On Mukasey: Feingold will vote no, Specter will vote yes

Senator Russ Fiengold (D-WI) makes the right call on Mukasey's confirmation. He's going to vote no: This was a difficult decision, as Judge Mukasey has many impressive qualities ... Unfortunately, Judge Mukasey was unwilling to reject the extreme and dangerous...

November 3, 2007

Schumer and Feinstein will vote to confirm Mukasey

Any chance of blocking the Mukasey confirmation are dead with this news. In defending her support for Mukasey, Feinstein said "first and foremost, Michael Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales." The statement from Schumer is a little better: I deeply oppose...

November 2, 2007

Leahy won't vote to confirm Mukasey, either

Leahy is the 5th Senator on the Judiciary Committee to say he won't vote to move the Mukasey confirmation to the Senate floor. Leahy said in a statement: No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is...

November 1, 2007

Senators: "no authority exists for action against Iran"

30 Democratic Senators, led by Jim Webb (D-VA), sent a letter to the President: We are writing to express serious concerns with the provocative statements and actions stemming from your administration with respect to possible U.S. military action in Iran....

Good bye and good riddance to Karen Hughes

Courtesy of TPM, a funny montage of clips surrounding Karen Hughes announced departure from the State Department (why was she ever allowed in there in the first place?): In the first season of 30 Rock, there's a bit where Tina...

October 31, 2007

Blackwater Guards Given a Pass

So, not only did we find out that the initial State Department report on the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians at the hands of Blackwater guards was drafted only on the words of the guards themselves, now we find out...

October 29, 2007

Bipartisan bill to restrict presidential war powers

A bipartisan group, led by Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC), has introduced an amendment to the 1973 War Powers Act that aims to reassert the Congress's role in declaring war. Jones on the bill and why it's needed: This bill...

October 24, 2007

Turning $300 into $8,000

Remember way back in the early days of the Bush administration when we all got a check for $300? Man, that was awesome. I spent mine on credit card bills and a great night of cheap beer. But that was...

October 17, 2007

Who Wants Turkey?

Way back when, I took some history classes at a community college in Michigan to shore up my general ed. credits. I had an instructor there named Mr. Schlosser who was so great that I took two more of his...

October 16, 2007

Institute draft, or get out of Iraq now

12 former U.S. Army captains - all of whom did tours of duty in Iraq - argue in today's Washington Post that unless the country is willing to support a draft, it's time to get out of Iraq. Now: There...

Make morphine, not war

This past weekend, the New York Times ran an article entitled "Could Afghan Poppies Be Painkillers for the Poor?" Those crazy potheads... what will they think of next? An excerpt: [R]ather than trying to eradicate Afghanistan's poppies, why not instead...

October 9, 2007

More alleged civilian deaths by private security contractors

This time, it's two Armenian Orthodox Christian women in a white Oldsmobile who didn't heed a "warning shot" from a security contractor. A Washington Post article quotes an Iraqi police officer: "A vehicle got close to them and they opened...

Neal Katyal on the secret torture memos

You may not know who Neal Katyal is, but any lawyer worth his or her salt should. A Yale Law graduate who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, he is a professor at Georgetown Law, and last year...

October 5, 2007

Bush hates children, but loves torture

[Ed - I wrote this post yesterday, but due to some technical difficulties we had, was unable to post it. Here it is, better late than never...] Whenever you think the Bush administration can't stoop any lower, can't possibly demonstrate...

October 3, 2007

Wheeee!!! (Look, Mom, I'm a Blackwater Pilot!)

If you haven't heard by now, the Bush Administration has been outsourcing work that used to be performed by uniformed American military personnel to a private outfit called Blackwater. It is important to note that, as a private company, Blackwater's...

Blackwater Investigation Gets Surreal

Is Joseph Heller now conducting this war? Seriously, this shit is taking on some surreal dynamics. Today, the New York Daily News reports that the investigators "will be protected by bodyguards from the very same firm" that they are investigating....

October 2, 2007

Wounded Vet Calls Limbaugh Out

Exposing fathead as the pussy he is, a wounded Iraq war veteran tells Rush Limbaugh, "until you have the guts to call me a phony solider to my face, stop telling lies about my service." The gall of these chickenhawks...

October 1, 2007

Reid Attacks Limbaugh

You wouldn't know it by some of the votes that have actually taken place in congress lately, but there are some very important issues facing this country that we'd like our elected representatives in congress to address. Among the many...

"I hate all Iranians"

That's what Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had to say to a group of British Members of Parliament when they were visiting the Pentagon last month. Which is quite comforting. I'm glad...

September 20, 2007

Speaking of Nelson Mandela...

Nelson Mandela, January, 2003: "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." Which is funny, because just a few...

September 12, 2007

Obama speech today: get out of Iraq now

The Obama campaign has released excerpts from a speech he's giving today in Clinton, Iowa. Here's a representative passage: "The President would have us believe there are two choices: keep all of our troops in Iraq or abandon these Iraqis....

September 7, 2007

Durbin: Time to stop funding the war

From a speech by Dick Durbin at the Center for National Policy: "More than on either of my earlier visits, I feel overwhelmed by the tragedy we have created—for Iraq, for its neighbors, for America's image around the world, and...

September 5, 2007

Yes Men Don't Eat Quiche

"Yeah, yeah, dats the stuff, boss. Ha ha ha, dats real funny, boss. Yer right, yer totally right, boss. Don't listen to 'em. Dere alllllll wet." --Overheard outside the Oval Office this week....

September 4, 2007

GAO Gives Harsh Iraq Assessment

As we all ready ourselves for General Patreaus' report on progress in Iraq, the GAO cockblocks the White House with a scathing review of where we stand on the 18 political and security goals put to the Iraqi government last...

August 31, 2007

US Military Bans ThinkProgress

This is pretty freaky. If true, the US Military is banning access to "political/activist blogs" through its networks. The need to control information on maneuvers and other strategically sensitive information in a war zone is one thing, but this is...

August 21, 2007

And so it begins... The Daily Show in Iraq

Rob Riggle's first report from Iraq. Actually, truly in Iraq. Not just a fake background. Going where the fake news has never gone before......

August 18, 2007

Things get lost in Iraq

For whatever reason, things get lost in Iraq. Lots of things. Believe it or not, things like lawyers, guns, and money. Most recently, The Government Accountability Office reported that the Department of Defense can't account for about 190,000 guns sent...

August 17, 2007

Defending Padilla = Defending the Constitution

If Andrew Sullivan were to start a cult today I might join. Here goes my favortite conservative explaining why we should all, as good Americans, be outraged at Jose Padilla's treatment leading to his conviction this week of watered down...

August 12, 2007

Before space aliens took over Dick Cheney

In an American Enterprise Institute interview in 1994, Cheney had this to say about invading Iraq: "Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place?"...

July 21, 2007

Iraq: No end in sight

No End in Sight, a documentary on the the disastrous war in Iraq, opens on July 27. It garnered a special jury prize at Sundance earlier this year, and reviews suggest it's pretty damning. [July 22, 2007: I'm replacing the...

July 19, 2007

Friedman: Administration Iraq policy "makes you sick"

For reasons I don't entirely understand, many on the left in this country have a real distaste for Thomas Friedman. Personally, I find his writing generally insightful and provocative. Yes, he's been wrong - like on invading Iraq. But then...

July 17, 2007

Drum Up The Parades

It seems some conservatives are embracing a tactic for ending this war that POLJUNK proposed last October, which is to basically declare victory in Iraq and begin a withdrawal as soon as possible. It wouldn't simply be a semantic...

July 15, 2007

The real reason we went into Iraq?

We've heard a variety of reasons for going into Iraq from the Bush administration. This one takes the cake, though. On his Saturday radio show, host Cappy McGarr describes what he heard from Tom Daschle about a leadership breakfast with...

"We beat people, sir."

Testifying in the court martial of one of his fellow Marines, Corporal Saul H. Lopezromo said "Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to 'crank up the violence level.'" That can't be helping us win...

July 12, 2007

Explain Yourself

A couple years ago when Michael Moore was promoting Fahrenheit 9-11, he was on the Howard Stern show telling the King of All Media that he understood why people (like Stern) fell for the President's bullshit in the run-up to...

July 10, 2007

Bush Stays the Course, Terror Warnings Up

More fun with headlines... You know, I want to believe our President is above cheap scare tactics. Yes, I've seen all the articles pointing out how the threat level rose and fell with political bad news or in conjunction with...

July 9, 2007

Bush White House Goes Round and Round on Iraq

With eroding support from both the public and now some key Republicans in congress, the Bush White House is understandably in a tizzy over Iraq and seems to be chasing its own tail in trying to quell the calls for...

July 5, 2007

Domenici: It's time to leave Iraq, Mr. President

Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) - the same Senator under investigation by the Ethics Committee for his unusual call to then U.S. Attorney David Iglesias - has come out and called for a withdrawal from Iraq. Not an immediate withdrawal, but...

July 2, 2007

Four Years Ago: Bring 'Em On

Four years and 3,300 dead US soldiers later and here we are....

June 29, 2007

Peter Pace Gets All Touchy Feely on Iraq

Rule number one in project management is to identify measurable goals. You know, things you can see and track. Results! Without them you wander around forever guessing as to whether you're succeeding and making up strategies without knowing their...

June 21, 2007

You may know Arabic, but you're too gay for us...

According to this article, the U.S. military has dismissed at least 59 Arabic linguists in recent years because they are gay. Which is shocking and infuriating, given the limited number of U.S. Arabic linguists in the military and their importance...

June 11, 2007

That's What I Say!

Bush at a press conference on Saturday: Q: And on the deadline [for Kosovo independence]? Bush: In terms of the deadline, there needs to be one. This needs to come — this needs to happen. Now it's time, in our...

Appeals Court Stomps Bush Case for Illegal Dentions

"In the United States, the military cannot seize and imprison civilians -- let alone imprison them indefinitely." -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. That we needed an appeals court to remind us of this is a...

June 8, 2007

Pace out as Joint Chiefs Chair

Earlier today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Pace was out as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And Navy Admiral Mike Mullen is in. This is a typical Rovian maneuver to bury important news - quietly announce it on...

Friday video fun with Dick and Don

Frontline has been running a lot of web ads, at least on the news sites I frequent, for a Frontline piece about Dick Cheney called The Dark Side. You can watch the whole thing online. I found a particularly juicy...

June 5, 2007

Military judges just say no

Apparently, military judges love terrorists. They want to have like ten million of their babies. At least, that's how the Bush administration and its lapdogs will spin the decisions yesterday - by two different military judges overseeing two different cases...

May 27, 2007

Remembering the troops

Over 3,400 American troops have died in Iraq so far. More than 25,000 troops have been wounded in action. Iraqi casualties are estimated at 100,000 to 650,000, depending on the assessment you're looking at. The death toll of this war...

May 25, 2007

Bill would expand detainee rights

After the Memorial Day recess, the Senate Armed Services Committee plans to release a bill that will shore up the rights of detainees held in Guantanamo. Which, currently, aren't so hot. From the AP: Under the current system, President Bush...

May 23, 2007

Iraq funding... compromise?

Yesterday, Senate Democrats agreed to a compromise on Iraq funding. If, by compromise, we mean giving the President exactly what he wants. Which is certainly the White House's preferred type of compromise....

May 19, 2007

126,000 contractors in Iraq

There are about 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. That's still at least 50,000 below the estimate General Shinseki gave Congress before the invasion (his words were "several hundred thousand soldiers" would be necessary to maintain "post-hostilities control" in Iraq). At...

May 17, 2007

Surging Into Next Year and Beyond

Those of us who know anything about military history have known all along that the idea of a "surge" in Iraq is just a study in ridiculous wordplay. What Bush instituted this spring is an escalation, not a temporary influx...

May 11, 2007

Stewart on Cheney

Yes, that's right, it's that time of the week again... Time for Friday video fun. Here's a must see Daily Show clip on the "MessO'Potamia." About half way through, he goes after Cheney: "Would you look at him? He can't...

More Iraq casualties...

Earlier this week, NPR reported on a trend that is worrying the army. As we saw in Vietnam, more battle-tested captains are resigning their commissions as the Iraq war continues. Depending on who you ask, 13 to 25% of captains...

Goodbye, Mr. Blair

Swept in on a populace campaign with the support of Brit Pop stars and a feeling that Britannia was rising again, Tony Blair announced this week that he would step down in June from his post as Prime Minister, the...

May 9, 2007

VoteVets.org launches ad campaign

VoteVets.org, an organization of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that opposes the war in Iraq, is starting an ad campaign today. The ads feature ex-generals, like John Batiste, who oppose the current direction in Iraq. From the VoteVets site: VoteVets.org is...

The Dark Lord pays suprise visit to Iraq

At the outset of a weeklong trip to the Middle East, Vice President Dick Cheney stopped in Baghdad to meet with Iraqi leaders. No word on exactly what was discussed when Cheney met with Maliki, but it's likely he used...

May 7, 2007

LA Times: Bring 'em home

In a sober editorial yesterday, the LA Times called for an exit from Iraq. It is the largest paper in the country - with circulation over 800,000 - to call for withdrawal. In the coming weeks and months, we will...

May 6, 2007

Does Bush support the troops?

This past Friday, the Pentagon publicly released a report on the mental health of soldiers in Iraq. It describes a high level of combat stress among soldiers stationed in Iraq. From the New York Times article: ... the report suggested...

May 1, 2007

Surge v. Surge

Word from the front is that the insurgents have launched a bit of a surge to meet our own, which reminds us at POLJUNK of Newton's Third Law of Physics: Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction. While I...

April 26, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall?

In August of 1961, the East German government, with the backing of the Soviet Union, erected a wall around the American, English, and French sectors of Berlin. This was done to stop the exodus of professionals and intellectuals from...

April 23, 2007

Report from the Front

In the midst of political discussions surrounding our involvement in Iraq it's sometimes too easy to forget what's going on there and the individual acts of courage that surely take place every day. NBC's Richard Engel has been doing amazing...

April 20, 2007

Daily Shows Skewers Bush Rhetoric on Defense Bill

Crooks and Liars has a great clip of John Stewart sticking it to Bush and his bullshit rhetoric on the Defense bill and what it means to troop deployments. Too good to be missed. The gall of this administration...

April 2, 2007

Boyz in da Hood - McCain, Graham Go to Baghdad

Poor John McCain. Determined to bolster his point that there's been progress in Iraq and to undermine the lambasting he took for saying there were neighborhoods in which "you and I" could walk freely, the old boy went out and...

March 28, 2007

If Wishes Were Horses Bush Would Still Be A Cowboy

Headline: Bush demands war bill with no strings Yeah? Tough shit. The Bush administration seems to have difficulties with the BASIC tenets of the US Constitution. It's almost like this whole thing is make believe for President Bush. But...

March 23, 2007

Bush Gets His Tonkin Incident?

CNN is reporting that Iranian military has seized 15 British sailors in disputed waters off the coast of Iraq. The reports says that Royal Marines and regular sailors were captured by up to six Iranian naval vessels after the British...

March 19, 2007

Bush: Give Me Just a Little More Time

March 12, 2007

My Favorite Con

March 1, 2007

What a Waster

February 20, 2007

Ties Between GOP and Terror Groups? Why Not?

February 19, 2007

US Military Claims Iranian Action in Iraqi Waters

February 13, 2007

Bush to Cut Veterans' Benefits

February 9, 2007

Condi Suits Up

January 26, 2007

Quote of the Day: Because I told them it had to...

Bush: Don't Forget, I am the Decider

Bush Authorizes Engagement with Iranian "Agents"

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