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Old 02-02-2004, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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In Support of John Edwards: The Real Deal

Edwards has impressed me a lot in recent weeks (when I really started paying attention to this race ), both with his success on the campaign trail and with his theme of Two Americas. Linked is an Atlantic article contrasting John Kerry and John Edwards and provides an explanation of Edwards' stunning finish in Iowa.

Quote:
The Real Real Deal

While John Kerry suffers from "terminal Senatitis," John Edwards exudes life and optimism

.....

Over two days I saw John Edwards and John Kerry speak at Dartmouth College. Edwards exhilarated my wife and me and the rest of the audience. We left the Kerry event before it ended and would have gone earlier if we had not hooked a ride with a more-patient friend—for we were bored, disappointed, and angry. Kerry has congratulated himself for abandoning "Washingtonese," but he was premature.

How, we wondered aloud driving home, could a man in public life for decades, running for President for more than a year, not do better than this? How could he say things like, "Two-hundred percent of poverty" or refer to his chairmanship of a Senate committee as—if I heard correctly—"Foreign Ops"? When he was served up a home-run pitch, "Why is this election so historic?", how could he begin so promisingly—"Three words. The Supreme Court"— but then maunder on inconsequently, satisfied with hitting a single? Why, above all, is he still running on his résumé? We know he's qualified to be President; his job as a candidate is to make us want him to be President.

As a personal-injury trial lawyer, John Edwards has made millions from his ability to persuade juries of ordinary Americans—by stirring their hearts with words, gesture, and sincerity. In contrast, John Kerry suffers from terminal Senatitis. Senators speak to themselves. Their colleagues don't listen to them. They can't see a single face in the galleries. The tradition of unlimited debate encourages prolixity. Senators talk (and talk) not to persuade but to justify their votes, and they inveterately sound defensive. Asked how an advocate of programs to help children could "favor ... partial birth abortion," Kerry caviled that he did not "favor" it; then he quoted the exact language of a resolution he supported allowing the practice under narrowly delineated conditions—in short, he justified his vote. Edwards would have evoked the agony of a woman faced with severe harm if she carried her baby to term—wanting that baby more than anything in the world and then being told that bearing it could kill or maim her. That is the stuff of tragedy, not legislation-speak. Kerry was asked why so few Senators have been elected President, and his answer on abortion showed why.

Again and again, in his Dartmouth speech, Edwards created waves of applause with his precise darts of language—"It's wrong!", "We can do better than this!", "Join our cause!". Kerry, who buried his applause lines in the gray lava of his monotone, got his loudest cheers when he entered the room. Once he opened his mouth the energy began to seep away—at any rate, in the "overflow" room from where we watched Kerry on a giant screen. Listening to him, I saw a long line of Democratic bores—Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Bradley, Gore—who lost because people could not bear listening to them. John Kerry belongs in their dreary company. I fear he could talk his way out of victory—that, excited by his résumé, his panache as a war hero, Americans from coast to coast will be disappointed in the real man; that, just as we did at Dartmouth, they will long for him to stop his answers at the one-minute mark and by minute two will have tuned out and by minute three will pine for the terse nullity of George W. Bush.

Kerry has a campaign slogan, The Real Deal, that—so he told a voter at a Claremont town meeting who'd asked if he meant to evoke FDR's New Deal—refers to himself. He's the real deal. But Edwards is the first Democrat in my lifetime who has a campaign theme, the Two Americas—"one for the privileged who get everything they want, and one for everybody else who struggle for the things they need"—that is at once a moral X-ray of American society and a political cudgel to beat that son and symbol of privilege George W. Bush.

Two Americas, with two economies. Over the past twenty years, Edwards writes in a sixty-page pamphlet outlining his positions, the economy has divided, with the top 1 percent flourishing and the middle class "sinking"—"one in seven families with children will go bankrupt this decade." Two Americas, with two tax systems. "Thanks to tax loopholes, the 400 top-paid Americans in 2000 paid only 22 percent of their income in taxes, about the same as a person making $125,000. Meanwhile, George Bush is shifting the tax burden from wealth to work." Two Americas, with two school systems—"one for the affluent, one for everybody else." And with two health systems—"unlimited care for the privileged, rationed care and rising costs for everyone else." Two Americas, with two governments—one for insiders and big campaign contributors, who get what they pay for; the other for the rest of us, who get ignored. Edwards's metaphor is proof against a rising stock market and buoyant but jobless growth. The Two Americas theme speaks to an abiding condition. Edwards's pamphlet abounds in proposals to end this division in life-chances and make America one.

Presidential politics turns on personality. Kerry—haggard, a knight of the woeful countenance—lacks vitality, the aura of promise. Edwards's campaign pitch is all about optimism—"We can do better, you and I. We can change America!"—and he exudes life. Message and messenger fit. By a gift of grace, Edwards's capacity for hope survived the death of his sixteen-year-old son. John Edwards's suffering, like his rearing as the son of a Carolina mill-worker, connects him to the trials of most Americans. He gets it. Kerry has read about it. Bush hasn't a clue. "You give me a shot at George W. Bush," Edwards declared at the end of his Dartmouth speech, "and I'll give you the presidency." I believe him. He's the real deal.
I'll be adding to this thread as we learn more about the man and his vision for America.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Two americas, huh? I like it. Unfortunately he may be susceptible to ironic accusations of class warfare by those who have benefitted the most from class warfare.
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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While I am a Kerry fan - for his politics(I am a political junky and have been following his career for awhile), I will be the first to admit he is not a snappy speaker. He has an extreme wealth of knowledge and often wants to convey every detail. He also has a tendency to "wander" through a speech. Edwards, on the other hand, is a dynamic and often uplifting speaker. I saw him on This Week about four years ago and told my wife that here is a guy that is going to run for president, and I meant it in a positive way. I think he would make a great candidate and would have a solid chance to beat Bush. If Edwards wins South Carolina and does well in most of the other states on Tuesday, he will still have a chance. If Edwards does win the nomination, I won't mind it a bit. You know, I heard someone say that Edwards is just about everyone's second choice. That may sound like a slight, but I think it means he is widely popular and very electable. All this being said I still am volunteering and voting for Kerry.
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Old 02-02-2004, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One slick lying lawyer, to another slick lying lawyer, what could go wrong?

*Thanks Clinton yet again for the 1994 Republican revolution*
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am right with you. He is the most confident, laid back, calm, non-defensive candidate I have observed. And for being inexperienced, he sure knows what he is talking about and has great, new views and ideas. Watched a broadcast of him at a NJ radio station and I still like him....even moreso. Kerry is right behind him, yet Kerry has a hint of haste and defensive tactics toward other candidates.
I think I know who I am going to vote for, I will keep observing in the next 9 months.
 
Old 02-02-2004, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He's a policy nerd, and he looks good on tv. That's about all I need from a candidate at this point.
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Old 02-02-2004, 08:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think there was an old movie based on the life of James Michael Curly, a old Massachusetts hack. Kerry talks like that, repeating his catchy phrases over and over with all the idiots clamouring for more. But he does have more charisma than Michael Dukakus who the democrats nominated. But the results will be the same.
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Old 02-02-2004, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A candidate that is backed by trial lawyers, scares me.
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A candidate that is backed by Enron scares me. Huzzah!
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
A candidate that is backed by Enron scares me. Huzzah!
Not much of a zing knowing that Enron gave to all parties (slightly more Republicans being in texas and all, but 43% of ALL house and senate members got some money from enron since 94) while trial lawyers give 99% of their money to democrats hoping to keep the ligitigation gravy train alive.

One liners are fun, but try to have something of substance.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It's true,

Most of the big contributers always hedge their bets and contribute to dems AND repubs.

So before ripping the guy you don't like for his contributions, be sure the guy you do like isn't in the same boat.

Anyway, Edward's history as a trial lawyer (especially those shinanigans channeling the dead girl) are enough to make me dislike him.
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ustwo- you're wrong. How can you say 99% of trial lawyer money goes to Democrats? Not even Edwards recieved 50% of his cash from lawyers! Your statement is flat-out nonsense. Support it with facts, please.

In other words, "try to have something of substance". Here:

Total Enron Money To Bush’s 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign Committee:

Contributions from Ken and Linda Lay……$47k
Contributions from the Enron PAC …………$20k
Contributions from Other Enron Executives...$79k
Total.... $146,500

Total Enron Money To Ann Richards’ 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign Committee:

Contributions from Ken and Linda Lay……$12.5k
Contributions from the Enron PAC ………….$5k
Contributions from Other Enron Executives....$2k
Total……$19,500

"Enron also pumped an estimated $2 million into the Bush-Cheney campaign. Bush regularly flew from one campaign stop to another aboard Enron jets. Enron was so determined to put Bush in the White House that they sent their top lawyer, former
Secretary of State James A. Baker III, to Florida to orchestrate the stealing of the 2000 presidential election.

“Baker was on the Enron payroll,” McDonald said. “When Bush senior lost his reelection bid in 1992, Lay scooped up both Baker and Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher as Enron ‘consultants.’ Bush senior did a Gulf War victory tour of Kuwait in 1993. Baker, Mosbacher and former Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, a Gulf War commander, were on the tour to sell Enron contracts to Kuwait.”

Baker arranged lucrative contracts for Enron to rebuild Kuwaiti power plants destroyed during the war. Baker promoted Enron as a global energy corporation. "

"Bush's Army secretary, Thomas White Jr., is another former top Enron executive who also managed to sell his $50-million to $100-million stake in the company well before shares dropped from $90 to 29 cents. Karl Rove, top White House political advisor, had a smaller $250,000 stake that, as far as I can determine, reporters have not asked him about. Neither have they asked Bush's economic advisor, Lawrence B. Lindsey, or Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, both of whom went directly from Enron to the White House, if they are now in the ranks of the suddenly poor."

That's something of substance, and it speaks directly to Scipio's point. He didn't say Enron supported *Republicans* he said "a candidate". When referring to the Presidential race, there's no question that GWB is supported by Enron.

Additionally, I never get how much people hate lawyers and cops. They both suck till you NEED them. I have stoner "friends" who consistently refer to cops as "pigs", but the second they get a car stolen, so on, who do they call? If your kid got her insides torn out by a pool drain and the drain manufacturer had settled 12 suits ALREADY, who would you call? Would you just say "Oh, there's the breaks!" Hell, no. So high and mighty...

Last edited by Tomservo; 02-03-2004 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tomservo
*snip*
As I said, be careful when you start painting with that brush, it might just come back to bite you.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0115/p1s2-uspo.html

----------------------------------------------

Enron's reach in Congress

The company's deep connections to both parties renews calls for campaign-finance law.

By Liz Marlantes and Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON - As evidence of the reach of Enron's political tentacles continues to mount, the question in Washington may no longer be "Who had ties to Enron?" but "Who didn't?"
Campaign-finance figures show that in recent years, the Houston-based energy company poured money not only into the campaign coffers of George W. Bush but also into those of many members of Congress.

While more than two-thirds of the company's donations have gone to Republicans, a number of top Democrats have received Enron cash as well - a fact that could complicate the party's efforts to capitalize on the scandal in the 2002 elections.

So far, there's no indication that Enron called on any lawmakers to intervene on its behalf in the days leading up to the bankruptcy.

But there is some evidence that Enron's interests were served on a variety of other issues in the past - such as the White House's energy plan and its proposed repeal of the corporate alternative-minimum tax - both of which have passed the House.

While this may be well within the bounds of the law, it's the appearance of undue influence that could ultimately prove damaging - a realization that has clearly struck lawmakers from both parties, many of whom are hastening to return Enron's donations.

As a result, analysts say the real impact of the probes may be less political than substantive - in that it may reinforce the push for campaign-finance reform.

"What's coming through as a result of Enron is not necessarily what the Democrats want," says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. "The message that is coming through is that they are all bought."

One challenge, some experts say, is that some of the people whose campaigns have benefitted from Enron's largess are now tasked with investigating the floundering giant and its Washington connections.

No fewer than eight congressional committees are already investigating the debacle, with more likely to take up the issue in coming weeks. Insiders say the investigation will focus on federal oversight of energy trading markets, as well as accounting practices.

The company prospered - and then plunged - largely outside the view of federal regulators.

The probes will examine ties between Enron and the Bush administration, key legislators, and others. Some critics, for example, have questioned the actions of Wendy Gramm, the wife of Texas Sen. Phil Gramm (R), one of the Senate's strongest advocates of deregulation. Mrs. Gramm, as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, proposed a rule to exempt energy swaps from federal oversight.

The rule was subsequently adopted - after which she resigned to join Enron's board of directors. Enron has contributed $233,000 to Senator Gramm's campaign since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.

Gramm isn't the only member of Congress with ties to the company. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 71 sitting senators and 188 sitting members of the House have received money from Enron over the past 10 years, including Democrats as well as Republicans.

Democrat Charles Schumer of New York received more than $21,000 during his campaign to defeat Sen. Al D'Amato. In his campaign, Mr. Schumer supported deregulating electricity as a way to lower consumer prices.

These types of donations, say analysts, while not illegal, can create a perception of impropriety. "Enron has cast into stark relief the whole issue of Washington drowning in soft, unregulated money," says Marshall Wittmann, an analyst at the Hudson Institute. "It is a story of soft money buying access to both parties."

As a result, the Enron affair could create a renewed push for campaign-finance reform on the Hill. A measure to ban soft money contributions passed the Senate last summer, then stalled in the House. But it has been gaining momentum in recent weeks - and now needs only four signatures to force a vote in the House.

"Enron does help the cause of campaign finance," says Rep. Christopher Shays (R) of Connecticut, one of the bill's cosponsors. "It shows that large corporate-treasury money has brought them access in the ways that large contributions always do."

He concedes that large firms, inevitably, will have some access to government officials. "A company like Enron is going to have access by the fact of what it is and what it does. But in the end, there shouldn't be such vast sums of money going into the ... process."

And while the rules currently allow for such contributions, a number of lawmakers are nevertheless scrambling to return their Enron donations.

Two Democrats - Sen. Jean Carnahan and House minority leader Richard Gephardt, both of Missouri - have already promised to return $1,000 contributions they received from the energy company, and the National Republican Congressional Committee is returning $100,000.

President Bush has been opposed to campaign-finance reform, but some analysts say the Enron fallout may cause him to change his position. Less certain is Enron's impact on the 2002 congressional races. Most of the top recipients of Enron cash in the Senate are not up for reelection this year. All House members are.

And in the Senate race with the biggest links to Enron - the race to succeed Gramm in Texas - the effect could cut both ways. The GOP candidate, Attorney General John Cornyn, has recused himself from the Justice Department's probe because he has received more than $150,000 from the company, while the leading Democrat, Rep. Ken Bentsen, has received more than $42,000 - the most of any House member.
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
Anyway, Edward's history as a trial lawyer (especially those shinanigans channeling the dead girl) are enough to make me dislike him.
What's interesting is he doesn't bring his "lawyer mentality" to the table when he is speaking as a candidate. I.E. No overbearing justifications, offensive or defensive tactics, or exaggerated persuasion. He speaks the calm truth about his feelings and opinions on issues he knows matters to himself as much as the people. We can't judge the candidate by his past, only to observe how he acts and what he says about present issues.
 
Old 02-03-2004, 12:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Come back to bite me? You just made my point!

Let's see the tally:
Bush (R) - $2m + Donated (President)
Bush (R) - $400k (Governor-Texas)
Gramm (R) - $233k (Senator-Texas)
Cornyn (R) - $150k+ (Senator-Texas)
Bentsen (D) - $42k (Rep-Texas)
Schumer (D) - $21k (Senator-NY)

Bush has recieved far more campaign funds than ANY of these individuals from Enron, and the Republican #'s are *much* higher than the Democrat. The article even concedes that 2/3 of the Enron funds went to Republicans- doing a little elementary school math shows that they recieved at least *double* what the Dems got from the Enron scoundrels. That's not even considering the possibility of independent/third party donations.

Scipio's point was simple- Bush is the presidential candidate that benefits the greatest from Enron. You've gone thru the trouble of proving that the Republican party is just as corrupt. Bravo! Now how about that 99% of trial lawyers figure? Care to prove my point there?
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Old 02-04-2004, 07:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm intrigued why Edwards decided to quit his Senate and run for President now. He certainly didn't "wait his turn," and he didn't hedge his bets by running for Senate again too. How likely was it that he would have been re-elected? I think this might have been the key to his decision.

I think it was a bold and possibly brilliant political move, depending on whether he gets the VP slot. Are there any other potential Kerry VPs? I like what I see of him personally, and admire that he was able to become so successful from such a modest background. I just disagree with his politics.
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tomservo
Come back to bite me? You just made my point!

Let's see the tally:
Bush (R) - $2m + Donated (President)
Bush (R) - $400k (Governor-Texas)
Gramm (R) - $233k (Senator-Texas)
Cornyn (R) - $150k+ (Senator-Texas)
Bentsen (D) - $42k (Rep-Texas)
Schumer (D) - $21k (Senator-NY)

Bush has recieved far more campaign funds than ANY of these individuals from Enron, and the Republican #'s are *much* higher than the Democrat. The article even concedes that 2/3 of the Enron funds went to Republicans- doing a little elementary school math shows that they recieved at least *double* what the Dems got from the Enron scoundrels. That's not even considering the possibility of independent/third party donations.

Scipio's point was simple- Bush is the presidential candidate that benefits the greatest from Enron. You've gone thru the trouble of proving that the Republican party is just as corrupt. Bravo! Now how about that 99% of trial lawyers figure? Care to prove my point there?

?

My point was and is that both sides took money from Enron whereas you implied it was only Bush.

I never argued or implied that Republicans didn't take more.

Is this really so hard to understand?
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There's no such thing as "both sides". There's Bush, and everybody else. The original statement was:

"A candidate that is backed by Enron scares me."

You helped make my point, thanks, by showing that not only did NO candidates come even close to the amount of funding Bush recieved from these corporate crooks, but that Republicans as a whole took twice as much from Enron, and Republican Senatorial candidates in Texas took a whopping six TIMES more than Democrats!

There's not a single point that disputes the fact that George Bush is the presidential candidate backed by Enron, and that he has been their "favorite son" for years. To argue otherwise is to simply ignore the facts.
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Old 02-04-2004, 04:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Whatever.

If you can't see that Enron hedged their bets (like most large corporations do), I'm done with the conversation.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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both of you are arguing two different points and with your own point your each right.

Lebell is stating that Encon (like all corps) gives money to both parites which is correct. Even by your own list Tomservo.

Tomservo is saying that bush got more money then anyone else combined.

Now you guys can argue about: amount of $$$ vs # of politicians per party that got cash.

Last edited by juanvaldes; 02-05-2004 at 01:00 AM..
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:33 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by juanvaldes
both of you are arguing two different points and with your own point your each right.

Lebell is stating that Encon (like all corps) gives money to both parites which is correct. Even by your own list Tomservo.

Tomservo is saying that bush got more money then anyone else combined.

Now you guys can argue about: amount of $$$ vs # of politicians per party that got cash.
Interesting to note that the start of this point was that Scipio shouldn't have said what he did about Bush if Edwards was "is in the same boat."

Both posters demonstrated that Bush received money from Enron, but, unless I've missed it, Edwards hasn't--so I don't get the rebuke Lebell started off with.
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