Late Evening Open Thread: Happy Thought


InB4 Cole shows up with a PRAISE FSM MY INTERTRONS THEY IS SAVED post in three, two, one…

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74 replies
  1. 1
    KG says:

    Nearly half say it would work better. About four in 10 say a wholesale overhaul wouldn’t make much difference.

    My heart is with the first group, but my head tells me the second group is right.


    Among Republicans and Republican leaners, a 52% majority say Congress would be better off if most of the current members were replaced — even though the GOP now controls the House and holds most of those seats.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (breathe) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  2. 2
    srv says:

    Five years later, Greenspan has finished sorting his post-disaster thoughts about gaps in Randian Economics and has written a book.

    He was ok on Stewart, but it would probably not be a huge loss if he and the wife were to spend a few years in a Turkish prison.

  3. 3
    KG says:

    @srv: and risk our good relations with the Turks?

  4. 4
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    inb4 “a year is an eternity in politics” again

  5. 5
    Gex says:

    It has long been the case that Americans disapprove of Congress but approve of their Congresscritter. Unless that’s changed, polls showing disapproval of the current Congress and a desire for a huge turnover probably don’t mean much.

  6. 6
    John O says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. The benefits of incumbency are great.

    (Though with this House Clown Show, who knows.)

  7. 7
    nineone says:

    Could Republicans lose the House next year?

    Well it’s not like they’ve been actually doing anything with it anyway. Less Weepy L’Orange and Bitch-Face Cantor, more Nancy Smash. Make it so.

  8. 8
    FlyingToaster says:

    InB4 Cole shows up with a PRAISE FSM MY INTERTRONS THEY IS SAVED post in three, two, one…

    They don’t fix the internet in West-by-god-Virginia at night. They only fix the internet in the Commonwealth at night because either a) is taken out or b) ginormous federal contractor is taken out.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    @Gex: I, for one, absolutely hate my mothraforking legys. Worthless teatard shatbigs. I’d vote in a degenerate gambling raccoon with track marks on its paws before I’d support any of these corksuckers.

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @srv: That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’.

  11. 11
    Yatsuno says:

    @FlyingToaster: Well there is ginormous federal contractor in by Gawd West Virginny: the IRS’ main computing centre is in Martinsburg. But they must not be affected because I didn’t have any system issues tonight. Dammit.

  12. 12
    ruemara says:

    I asked in another thread but I can’t recall which one. For those who are gluten free, is it integral that your beer be gluten free as well? I’m making a pizza and I bought a beer for the sauce but I forgot that there’s GF beer and now I wonder if I need to get it.

  13. 13
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    There’s lots of different numbers to toss around in this discussion. My favorite is that there are 37 or 38 seats currently held by Republicans that are less than R+6 in the Cook ratings. About half of them voted for Obama in 2012. Democrats only need 17 or 18. It should not be considered impossible to have a .500 winning percentage.

    Bill Young just died, and that district might be the most Dem-leaning district that had a Republican congressman. It’s most of the city of St. Petersburg and some large suburbs like Largo and Clearwater. I would be surprised if the Dems didn’t take the special election a few months from now. The journey of a thousand miles, etc.

  14. 14
    burnspbesq says:

    I’ll think tomorrow about the fact that my goofy wingut critter is retiring next year (the last redistricting put me in the same district as Martin), so the seat is open. Tonight, I’m listening to the new Toad the Wet Sprocket album.

  15. 15
    burnspbesq says:

    Imagine my surprise: Christie is being ripped by the wingnuts for bowing to the inevitable.

  16. 16
    👾 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, I kind of miss Chris Cox. He was decidedly less bonkers.

  17. 17
    Chris says:


    I remember when he vetoed it, my immediate reaction was “yep, he’s running for president.” It’s New Jersey, FFS; you don’t need to throw red meat to the Teabangelicals in order to win, even as a Republican.

    By this point, though, his reputation really has taken some serious hits. This won’t help a bit.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @👾 Martin:

    Blecch. Cox was arguably the worst SEC chair in history.

  19. 19
    Steeplejack says:


    You got multiple replies, and the consensus was: yes, you need to get the gluten-free beer.

  20. 20
    some guy says:

    @👾 Martin:

    Newport Beach Republicans, they really are just the right sort, aren’t they?

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:


    Every so often Christie does something that has a faint whiff of integrity about it, and this was one of those things. The Supreme Court sent him a pretty clear message on Friday, and he did the right thing. He had to know that the reaction from the bug-eyed right was going to be, well, bug-eyed, and he more or less told them to shove it.

  22. 22
    Stella B says:

    Darrell Issa just polled 47% against generic D at 49%. That’s not a lock by any means, but it’s cheery none the less.

  23. 23
    👾 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: Well, yeah. But he never voted for the US to default, so you know, low bar and all that.

  24. 24
    Redshift says:

    I’m trying not to count chickens, but with the number of Republicans who are already giving “how Cuccinelli lost the election” opinions, I’m modestly hopeful that we’re going to dodge that giant bullet here in VA, and as a bonus, we won’t every again have to hear the talking point about “the party that wins the White House always loses the VA governorship the next year.”

    I’m much more optimistic that we’re going to win the LG race against whacko EW Jackson, and while the LG’s office has about as many inherent responsibilities as the US VP, it’s a springboard to run for governor, and Ralph Northam is going to be a great candidate and a great governor; no lesser-of-two-evils next time around.

  25. 25
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Yatsuno: Eggzakly.

    Our state is kinda small, but if the ‘net goes out in the Pioneer Valley or the Berkshires, it’ll get fixed the next business day. In the Upper Worcester hills, sometime this week.

    But if it goes out east of Worcester, you’ll have staties blocking the highways for the caravan of repair trucks to proceed unimpeded.

    Fortunately, most of our ‘net outages these days are backhoe accidents in Southie or exploding manholes in Cambridge/Boston. Where there are already detail officers on site and can get help in really damn fast. I haven’t seen a local outage last more than six hours since Romney left office.

    Cole’s net will be back tomorrow evening (probably), and the IRS will pretty much never be allowed to go dark. Best of luck.

  26. 26
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    The scroll pad on my laptop up and quit earlier today for unknown reasons.* It was suggested on a troubleshooting site that I switch to tap-to-click (which I didn’t know about: there’s probably a lot of features on this thing I don’t know about) and I wish I’d done it sooner. Better for my wrists and the hardware.

    *-Everyone said that the battery was the most likely culprit, but I just had that replaced a month ago. (shrug)

  27. 27
    mdblanche says:

    @Chris: Funny, my first reaction when I saw that he won’t be fighting reality to the bitter end was “yep, he’s not running for president.” Or at least if he does run, there’s no way he’s going to win the nomination at this point.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    @Gex: Read a poll somewhere that even that general rule was slipping — forget where, but it was sometime within the week. We’ve a long time to wait, but if the trend toward not liking different parties in control of the head of govt and the lower houses combines with a trend toward sack the bluudy incumbents, even our own . . . well, heuristics and traditions work until they don’t.

  29. 29
    Anne Laurie says:

    @ruemara: It was one of mine, and the response was YES, if you’re going to call it gluten-free you need to use gluten-free (sorghum) beer.

  30. 30
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlyingToaster: You’re assuming that Cole’s earlier complaints were rooted in a problem outside the Cole household, and not just something like “I plugged the router in backwards after I fell over Steve and yanked all the cords loose” or “Did you know JRTs can chew all the insulation off a desktop’s wiring without electrocuting themselves?”

    (Actually, I was just making a generic joke about how Cole & I tend to step on each other’s threads during the post-prime-time hours.)

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    @FlyingToaster: I live in the freaking middle of a corn field. We have a good cable company here (long, long story — I get 30MBPS for under $50/month). Last year my town of 5,700 got a grant from the feds for $750,000. We wired every government building (Post Office, schools, City Hall, library, you name it) with direct fiber. Made a + backbone. Take Main Street and 6th Street and you hit pretty much everything.

    At the City Council meeting next week we are talking about wiring said fiber to all the business on the + backbone. I know some will bring up wireless.

    Not a long way for my town to go. We get our power through a co-op of other small towns. I don’t use Illinois Power or Ameren.

  32. 32
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Anne Laurie: I’d rather have a gluten-free beer in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.

  33. 33
    ruemara says:

    @Anne Laurie: okeydokey. I’ll get the beerghum. I just thought it would be nice if the halloween potluck has options for GF and veggie diets, but it’s funny what you have to consider to keep things appropriate.

    Thanks to you and Steeplejack. For some reason I can’t even recall what thread it was or when it was.

  34. 34
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Anne Laurie: I can never laugh at Cole’s mishaps again, I managed to injure myself vacuuming.

  35. 35
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: Having a late night snack and it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking when I read your comment…. very good example of Cole-speak.

  36. 36
    mclaren says:

    The go-to guy on this one is Nate Silver. He’s crunched the numbers and finds that congressional elections are mostly about local politics, unlike presidential elections. So Silver says that at this point, polls don’t tell us diddly squat about what’s likely to happen in the congressional elections a year out because the flux of local politics will overwhelm any momentary disapproval blip from the current farrago.

    And I’m inclined to believe him.

    Nate Silver says the polling data is far from clear, the pundits are much too sure of themselves, we can’t draw conclusions about the effects of a shock like the shutdown fight on a complex system like congressional elections a year out, and in any case the Demos face a big battle trying to retake the House because there are so few swing districts left due to gerrymandering.

  37. 37
    Steeplejack says:

    Finally watched the last two episodes of Broadchurch this evening, and I was a bit let down. Delayed because I missed recording ep 7 and didn’t get around to looking for it on line.

    I continue to have problems with The Blacklist but continue to cut it slack, almost exclusively because of James Spader. I hope it gets better. The other characters are stupid and/or annoying, and the plots so far have had truck-sized holes in them. And yet I cannot look away.

    Too late for a DVR alert, but TCM is really going deep into the European archives tonight: currently The Daisies (1966), a Czech film I’ve never seen, then Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1969) at 2:45 EDT and Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (1958) at 6:15 EDT. That last one blew me away when I first saw it in college back in the day. I’m not sure it completely holds up now, but it’s worth a look-see. Zbigniew Cybulski is like a Eurotrash Peter Fonda.

  38. 38
    Yatsuno says:

    @Steeplejack: Confession time: I HATE James Spader. He seems to have zero capacity to disappear into a role plus he just can’t lose that smarmy douchebag vibe I get off him. As with all things YMMV, but I can’t stand watching him.

  39. 39
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack: I felt that the emotional bonding scene on the cliffs was forced myself, but the acting was top notch imho… unsure how the US version will fly but supposedly Tennant is on board…. as for Spader, no one, I mean no one, does entitled douchcanoe like he does… started with Pretty in Pink and still holds true… I imagine for him it has to be extremely cathartic… the rest of the cast (at least the FBI folks) look like they’re straight out of stock characters from the USA Network catalog.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:


    But when you need a smarmy douchebag he’s your guy! And his role in The Blacklist fits that category.

    Have you seen Secretary, with Maggie Gyllenhaal? He’s like a sympathetic smarmy douchebag in that one.

  41. 41
    Steeplejack says:


    [. . .] the rest of the cast (at least the FBI folks) look like they’re straight out of stock characters from the USA Network catalog.

    Yeah, stupid and annoying. And equally dumb plot modules straight from the Lego Lincoln Logs catalogue. Nerdy tech/analyst thrust into the field, gleefully participating in car chases and shootouts? Check. Macho “get ’er done” agent with a constant rage-on and a brain the size of a walnut? Check. Unit boss whose job consists of suggesting/ordering stupid shit that James Spader’s chracter knocks down? Check.

    One minor subplot that really annoys me is the thing about the chick analyst and her husband wanting to adopt a kid. How stupid are they that they don’t see it’s never going to happen? I mean, they had her telling her husband on the phone that nothing was as important to her as family at the same time that she was telling him that she couldn’t make the crucial adoption interview because of double-secret FBI shit going down. Ugh. Complete fail.

  42. 42
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack: agreed, somehow supposed to allow us to “identify” with the character. How about intelligent plot points and tighter writing where it doesn’t appear that every person working for a Federal agency isn’t a fucking automaton? The thing is, Spader is like a fiery car wreck, you simply can’t stop yourself from slowing down to lookieloo the proceedings.

  43. 43
    mai naem says:

    You can’t say crap about 2014 yet. I really think if they manage to fix the stupid Obamacare IT issues to a manageable level I think the Dems have a fighting chance. If it turns into a nightmare, ugh, one more issue, the Repubs are going to go banging the drum about big bad gubmint lalalalalala….

    I was listening to a some reporter on XM and she said the Feds have been horrible with IT stuff – that the Obama people have cancelled/stopped 14 big IT projects because they weren’t working out. It didn’t sound like they were started by the Obama folks, just stopped by them. I was listening to a talk show and a caller said he had worked for the feds in IT and now was working in the private industry. Hr sounded like a liberal. Anyhow, he said fed contracting in IT is no longer about what kind of service the contractor provides, more about how much the contractor can make off the contract.

  44. 44
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    OT: think happy thoughts towards the southern hemisphere. A good friend of mine ended up in an ambulance heading to hospital this afternoon with heavy bleeding – she’s 6 mo pregnant. No news yet.

    I haven’t had a friend miscarry before – and i don’t know if this friend has – but any advice on how to talk to her about it? I want to let her know when she gets in touch that I’m here, but I don’t want to say or do anything to make it worse (either way)…

  45. 45
    Mary G says:

    @Stella B: Darrell’s going down if I can help it.

  46. 46
    Steeplejack says:


    [. . .] Spader is like a fiery car wreck, you simply can’t stop yourself from slowing down to lookieloo the proceedings.

    Yeah, that’s what keeps me hanging on (so far).

    And another thing, while I’m on a rant (minor spoiler ahead): The first major thing that really pissed me off was the second episode (I think), where the supervillain was some guy who meticulously planned his assassinations for months and made them look like accidents, e.g., causing a plane crash to eliminate one person on the passenger list. But then, once Spader puts him on the FBI’s radar, they went to intercept him at some dinner where—wait for it—he was going to sneak in as a fake waiter and poison his victim’s food. That is like Cop Show 101. Christ, I think they are legally required to do it at least once a season on Castle or NCIS.

  47. 47
    Yatsuno says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I’d say let her lead that conversation. If there is any news to disclose listening is better than talking right now. And coffee/pastry runs for the other half (who WILL forget to nourish themselves!) are a good call to make if possible.

    The good news is 6 months these days is still quite viable, so even if she does miscarry the baby may still be okay. Many hugs to you from this side of the big wet divide!

  48. 48
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack: don’t disagree, it would be nice if they could perhaps shelve some of the stereotypes or archetypes, perhaps someone else with a dry wit, an intellectual foil, no one is actually digging dirt on Spader’s character trying to find another lever, it’s like, he’s outsmarted us once, we agree he’s too smart for us… NOTHING…. just frustrating to allow this kind of lazy procedural to run it’s course, although I can watch Spader chew the scenery quite a bit and perhaps its intentional to show that he really is smarter than everyone else in the room, perhaps that’s simply the way that it’s written but I find it amazing that they simply dance for him and show so little actual effort… but hey, I watch Castle first and then come back to this after I get my Fillion fix.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:


    From my experience: just go easy. Let her know you’re thinking of her and are available, but don’t come across as a pushy ghoul who is angling to talk about it.

    Many people don’t know how to handle such situations, so they end up hurting the person by disappearing. Maintain “normal” level of interaction, whatever that is, maybe invite her to do something after a decent interval. But let her bring it up, if she wants to. Just your presence and “normalcy” may be enough.

  50. 50
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Yatsuno & @Steeplejack: Thanks both of you. I’m from a really hands on touchy huggy therapist’s family so I never actually know how to be normal in complex social situations.

  51. 51
    Steeplejack says:


    Well, I watch Castle (and NCIS) too, so I didn’t mean to blast it in my example. But, face it, a lot of the attraction of Castle is not innovative plotting but the interactions among the characters.

    You bring up a good point: no one on the FBI side is even trying to match wits with Spader’s character. They just constantly ask one another, “Can we trust him?,” and then proceed to do whatever he tells them to do.

  52. 52
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack: same here, those shows are procedurals, but they’re character driven procedurals (like Bones, House et al), you can have hooks (X-Files, Lone Gunman, Elementary, The Mentalist) but Perry Mason this ain’t. While Spader can be good enough to carry a show, after a while even that will fade away and just become tedious unless there’s a foil or sparring of some kind going on or some of these other characters have to step up. Even Spader’s henchmen have some life to them, much more so than the FBI side of the house (although the CIA lady may be the best of the bunch thus far imho). The writing is klugey, although the concept is killer, just sad to watch it done so poorly.

  53. 53
    Steeplejack says:


    Remind me, who is the CIA lady? Do you mean the Indian woman?

    [. . .] even that will fade away and just become tedious unless there’s a foil or sparring of some kind going on or some of these other characters have to step up.

    Exactly. The show I have been thinking about in this connection is Person of Interest. It started with a great hook and not much else and was a little shaky in the early going, but it has really expanded and deepened beyond just “who’s number came up this week?” They’ve upgraded Carter and Fusco from minor characters, they’ve added Root and Shaw as strong (and crazy) characters, and there’s lots of deep stuff going on with H.R., the threat to the Machine and that crime boss in the background (currently in jail, can never remember his name). And there’s a sense that the heroes aren’t the only ones with brains.

    ETA: Packing it in for the night, but will check back in the morning.

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    At this stage it’s anybody’s guess if the Republican party will retain the House of Representatives.They have certainly not been endearing themselves to the voting public of late, but a year is still a hell of a long time in politics.

    Now then. This Salon article lists Hollywood films featuring actors from ethnic/racial/national origins the writer considers inauthentic. The idea is that such casting is, well, racially tone deaf.

    I see all sorts of problems with the story. Its premise, for a start: actors play people unlike themselves all the time; that’s pretty much the definition of what they do. All that matters is that they look and sound plausible in the part. (This is why Amitabh Bachchan was utterly wrong as a Jewish American gangster in The Great Gatsby.) The rest is up to their acting.

    What gigs could, say, Sir Ben Kingsley get, if he only played Britons with white mothers and Gujerati fathers? Also, Daniel D’Addario questions Michelle Yeoh’s casting as a Japanese geisha in Memoirs of A Geisha over her Chinese ethnicity and her nationality. Yeoh has mostly been in Chinese-language films, and no one in the Chinese film world has ever suggested she was any less Chinese for being a Malaysian.

  55. 55
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack: yes, it’s Parminder Nagra, she did a stint on ER and was the lead with Keira Knightly on Bend it Like Beckham, right now the secondary characters are incredibly disposable (for the FBI support team) and imho, the husband hook could have been saved til halfway thru the season, currently it serves as a distraction from allowing the two leads to dance (or hell for that matter, anyone to dance), it’s like the writers have no concepts of interpersonal relationships at all. Hell, they could have had the female lead locked up to work on Spader’s character… she profiles people, wtf is she doing out in the field? Just awkward, like first date and not having a clue regarding nuance and conversation.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Everything was wrong with The Great Gatsby. The incessant vacuity of the production serves as a shining example that attempting to gild a soap bubble is not only nigh impossible, but not even close to worth the effort.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    NotMax says:


    Italics were on sale at a dollar per gross, apparently. Pretend that everything after the word Gatsby is non-italicized.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:


    True, true, true. The husband thing is ridiculous: she’s handling “Is my husband an assassin?” like “Did my husband buy that wide-screen TV without consulting me?” She’s like “I guess I should talk to him about it at some point. Maybe tomorrow.” WTF?!

    Yeah, the writers so far have been tone-deaf about relationships—even action-show relationships.

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): yes, the classic, “I care about you, because that’s what it says in the script” line of acting…. some actors can rise above it, others can’t and perhaps this is mostly the fault of the writers….still… should I consult/confront my husband, the one with the secret documents and cash in our floor or do I still not have time to adopt a child with him and gee, how will this affect my security clearance? Will await the maguffin that follows that inevitably huge plot hole.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is an undeniably pretty film to look at, even in 2D. But it fails because it never really works towards an understanding of the real Gatsby, or of Nick Carraway’s fascination with him.

  62. 62
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Amir Khalid: Have you ever thought of going into business with 2 sentence film reviews? I think that’s spot on.

  63. 63
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: update. She’s not miscarried but doctors are still in a holding pattern. Fingers crossed.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Yup yup. That’s what gilding a soap bubble results in – a lot of empty space and an amorphous blob of shiny stuff.

  65. 65
    WereBear says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Twitter account for Amir!

    @TheMightyTrowel: So glad to hear.

  66. 66
    A Humble Lurker says:

    Good news for now at least. Hope she get’s better.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    That would mean coming out of retirement. Eek!

    In other news, an evil minion of Cameron Mackintosh, i.e. the German copyright holder for Les Miz, has had YouTube take down two complete stage performances of the musical — from the Berlin run in 2004, and the Baden run in 2011. I’d been watching those to help improve my German listening skills. :(

  68. 68
    RSA says:


    he just can’t lose that smarmy douchebag vibe

    I like James Spader, and still this is the best description I’ve read of him.

  69. 69
    RSA says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’d been watching those to help improve my German listening skills.

    I’ve recently discovered Slow German, which includes podcasts in pairs: slow speaking speed (which makes things much easier to understand, for me) and then the same text at normal speaking speed. With transcripts. I like it.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    Thanks. I’ve bookmarked it.

  71. 71
    Chris says:


    You bring up a good point: no one on the FBI side is even trying to match wits with Spader’s character. They just constantly ask one another, “Can we trust him?,” and then proceed to do whatever he tells them to do.

    So far, the show has an intense case of “we’re not sure how to make our protagonist look smart so we’re compensating by making everyone else look dumb” syndrome.

    I also kind of end up rolling my eyes through all of the “you and I are connected on some deep and meaningful level” story. The basic story – a professional middleman in the criminal world turns himself in, brings a treasure trove of information about the criminal world – is plenty interesting enough on its own without all the friggin family drama that the actress and the writers aren’t capable of pulling off anyway.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:


    Good points.

    I have enjoyed this discussion. It really helped me sort out why I find the show so damn irritating. I really hope it can get straightened out, because the basic story is good, as you said, and James Spader is terrific. They just need a do-over on almost everything else.

  73. 73
    Chris says:


    I read someone on IMDb suggest “what if it’s all a ploy? What if there’s nothing special about his relationship with the FBI agent, what if he’s making everything up as part of a plan to infiltrate the FBI?” I’m positive that’s not where the show’s going, but I’d love it if it were. It would wipe the slate clean on all the things that suck and let us get on with the interesting stuff.

  74. 74
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Chris: Yep, I’ve been rolling my eyes at the family drama plots too. And about the only thing I might judge as a clever twist is if they reveal that Reddington isn’t her father.

    I get it, the leading lady is a woman with feelings and stuff. She doesn’t have to be Nikita, but for crissakes, can the writers please hard-boil this weepy wench at least a little during her character development?

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