Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Down to the Wire in PA

If Accuweather is to be believed, the Pittsburgh area is far enough inland that only “flurries” are predicted today. I’m partisan enough to hope it discourages the elderly FOX-watching voters, but not their Democratic neighbors…

122 replies
  1. 1
    Tony Jay says:

    Pennsylvania GOP chairman says Tuesday special election is in ‘Democrat district’

    Wow, they must really think Lamb has it in the bag.

  2. 2
    Central Planning says:

    “the other side” has hatred for the president, the country & God.

    I know it’s been said over and over, but so much projection.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Lamb might not be my kind of Democrat, but he will be a Democrat, which is all that matters.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    What to hope for weather wise is for a dusting of snow in the South Hills (suburban Pittsburgh) where the upper and middle class college educated live and a lot of snow in Greene and Westmoreland counties where the racists and stereotypical Trumpsters live. Fuck Saccone.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Central Planning: What President? What country? What God?

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Did I break this blog?

  9. 9
    Waldo says:

    And guns. He forgot to mention they hate guns. No wonder this guy is in trouble.

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve noticed that when der Scheißgibbon shows up in town to campaign “for you”, he’s actually campaigning for den Scheißgibbon. That’s what he did with Saccone: the “vote for Saccone” message got a mere sentence or two in a speech that was all about himself. It makes me wonder why Saccone thinks Trump is worth his loyalty when he isn’t getting any loyalty back from Trump. Has it not yet dawned on some Republican candidates that, as a historically unpopular POTUS, Trump is more a hindrance than a help to their electoral chances?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: California Republicans have.

    California’s Republican leaders, however, may view this political theatre very differently: as the equivalent of a man sawing a tree branch on which they – and he – all sit.

    Bashing immigrants elicits nativist GOP cheers outside the state but in California it could doom GOP candidates in November’s midterm elections – and hand Congress to the Democrats. “He’s gaining cheap applause outside California at the cost of real seats in California. It’s not a good trade,” said Jack Pitney, a Claremont McKenna University political scientist and former GOP congressional aide.

    “California is a convenient Republican punching bag. But punching bags don’t like getting punched. Trump’s presence [here] will remind voters in swing districts about what they have come to loathe in the Republican party. His visit will motivate turnout among Hispanic voters and anger progressive white voters. There’s no way his presence will be a plus to candidates in difficult races.”

  13. 13

    @OzarkHillbilly: Per the news, he’ll be arriving in LA at 4pm, right at the beginning of “rush hour”.

  14. 14
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Scott Brown won a Massachusetts senate seat. No one in the corporate media said Mass was really a red state.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That will really win them over!

  16. 16
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Waldo: I bet he forgot to say Merry Christmas.

    Total Disaster.


  17. 17

    Madame, the kid, and I did an urban hike yesterday. Visibility sucked but all had a good time. I’ve got a couple of pics(and video):

    The interior of the Bradbury building.
    Angels Flight in 4 seconds(hyperlapse).
    Infrared from the top of LA City Hall.

  18. 18
    Spanky says:

    @Central Planning:

    “the other side” has hatred for the president, the country & God.

    I know it’s been said over and over, but so much projection.

    It might be useful to recognize that we’ve been Othered. Again. And, as they get more desperate, it’s getting ratcheted up. I hope this doesn’t come to the point that a command “kill them!” would be easily followed, but history is not on our side.

    Welcome to Radio Rwanda.

  19. 19

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Reminds me of a quote from President Jed Bartlet: “Why is it every time we come to California we turn into the Clampetts?” Life imitates art, etc.

  20. 20
    gene108 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    They probably see the polling, where Trump is still very popular with the Republican base and hope he will help drive turn out.

    Only reason I can think of.

  21. 21
    NorthLeft12 says:

    A nephew of mine has been living and working in Pa. for about four years now. I was a little worried about him being “turned” but the last time I saw him [at Christmas] he was still the same person he was. He does have some entertaining stories about co-workers and neighbours that basically confirm what people on this blog and others that I have read about Pennsylvania political leanings.
    He told me he knows enough not to argue with some of these guys and just basically nods and tries to change the topic.

  22. 22

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh, and quite a few folk will want get home for the UCLA basketball game at 6:10pm.

  23. 23
    Chyron HR says:


    “But punching bags don’t like getting punched.”

    I don’t actually think punching bags have an opinion about the matter. Otherwise it would raise some ethical issues.

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Amir, as far as the late 1970s, Trump’s always made everything about him.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: They’d better leave work at 2.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Punching bag: Come and see the violence inherent in the system! 

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chyron HR: You never went to high school, did you?

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @Spanky: We’ve always been Othered.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    Written by the NRA:

    HARDENING OUR SCHOOLS: President Donald J. Trump is making sure our schools are safe and secure, just like our airports, stadiums, and government buildings.
    President Trump’s Administration will assist States to train specially qualified school personnel on a voluntary basis.
    Department of Justice (DOJ) assistance programs will be leveraged to enable schools to partner with State and local law enforcement to provide firearms training for school personnel.
    The Administration will support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education.
    The Administration will encourage States’ Attorneys General to audit school district compliance with State emergency preparedness activities.
    Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will partner with States and localities to support a public awareness campaign modeled on “See Something, Say Something” to encourage awareness and reporting of suspicious activity.

    I knew they’d dump the whole problem on public schools. Just so you know, “grants” are bullshit as far as budgeting. If schools take the grant and put in the program after the grant runs out the schools pay for it. You’ll be paying for the NRA-drafted “security” program in your local public school and since schools don’t just have piles of money sitting around unused, you’ll be paying for it with money that used to go to something else.

  30. 30
    Tony Jay says:

    Has it not yet dawned on some Republican candidates that, as a historically unpopular POTUS, Trump is more a hindrance than a help to their electoral chances?

    Stephen Fry once related this delightful anecdote. Biologists encamped in the jungles of Peru to study the habits of South American monkeys were grossed out to discover that the normally – very – sedentary two-toed sloths would come down from the safety of their trees and make a bee-line for the camp latrine. Once there they would either hang upside down scooping up handfuls of yummy scrumptiousness or they’d crawl right in there and wallow around slurping happily until disturbed by one of the scientists. No one knows for sure why they do it, only that they keep on doing it and really seem to enjoy it.

    See those sloths? That’s the Republican voting base. I’m not sure who the Republican candidates are in this scenario but they’re stuck with the shit-eating weirdoes anyway.

    Twitler, though, is the latrine.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: And we ‘other’ them.

  32. 32
    Spanky says:

    @Baud: Yeah. It’s totally normalized, as you can tell by the zero pushback.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They “other” themselves. I accept their decision.

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    Just like banning electioneering near polling places, there needs to be a ban on interviews with partisan representatives on election days. NPR just gave a Trump rep five minutes at no cost to boost Saccone.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    And here we go, Russian media is saying there are Ukrainian footprints on the Skripal poisoning. Obvious, right, a country which has no technical means of manufacturing this agent, and has no adversarial relationship with Skripal, will risk world opprobrium to publicly poison him in a NATO member country (which it hopes to become.)

    The Twitter comment heading it is sarcastic: “I was waiting for this news!”

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Wow, they must really think Lamb has it in the bag.

    I decided it means the opposite. That they know they will win by a tiny margin so are lowering expectations. This is how I get.

  37. 37
    Chyron HR says:

    To be fair, if Lamb wins then the GOP’s allies on the left will be quick to remind us that the Democrats really lost because they “only won by [insert margin of victory here]”.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Chyron HR: Fuck ’em. Go Lamb!

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Just as we ‘other’ ourselves.

  40. 40
    Tony Jay says:


    That would also work, and you know a hell of a lot more about the nitty-gritty of American electioneering than I ever will.

  41. 41
    Baud says:


    Our Other’s policies do not hurt the bulk of their Other’s people. Not symmetrical.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: They argue the exact opposite.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They are wrong.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🙋

    @Baud: @OzarkHillbilly: Well, I am happy to be other than the Reichwing. Proud, you might say.

  45. 45
    Tony Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    An einstatzgruppe of those notorious Ukrainian Jew Tartars I’ve been hearing about, no doubt? Naughty, naughty.

    Kiev Delenda Est!

  46. 46
    germy says:

    Did Lamb introduce Biden as “the next president of the United States” ?

    Saw a brief clip this morning on CBS.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Tony Jay:

    I’m just a nervous nellie. He seems like a great candidate. They really seem to like him. They’re all telling reporters he’s a “nice guy” and boy, we could sure use one of those to temper the Administration of Mean-Spirited Assholes.

    The Republican said Democrats in his district hate God. I love how they always equate their careers with God’s. Can you imagine saying that? “I’m not doing well- God’s will was clearly thwarted”.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    CNN and ABC News, citing senior law enforcement officials they did not name, reported that Vance told investigators a passenger’s bag may have inadvertently hit the emergency fuel shutoff button, leading to the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a 14-person team to investigate

    Call me crazy, but shouldn’t the emergency fuel cut off button not be within the reach of passengers?

  49. 49
    germy says:


    Call me crazy, but shouldn’t the emergency fuel cut off button not be within the reach of passengers?

    Bad design can often be lethal.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @germy: Biden is popular in Pennsylvania, I think.

  51. 51
    James E Powell says:


    It can be a shock to those of us who pay attention to political things, but a lot of people will have no idea that there is an election. Or they may not know that it involves the district in which they live.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: I agree, but quite beside the point. ‘Othering’ is human nature, as old as man himself.

  53. 53
    Phylllis says:


    Just so you know, “grants” are bullshit as far as budgeting.

    Preach. Also, the feds used to fund a terrific grant for readiness & emergency response planning. Until they did away with it.

    And, school districts are already supposed to be following a federally-designed emergency response plan. Put in place after Sandy Hook.

  54. 54
    Baud says:


    When I fly, I like to sit in the row with the self-destruct button. The flight attendants treat you with respect!

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @Kay: In a perfect world, Lamb wins and says it was god’s will.

  56. 56

    @rikyrah: He’s better than the alternative, which is what every election is about really

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @JPL: It’s certainly Baud!’s will!

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Same here.

  59. 59
    James E Powell says:


    The press/media regard this as standard Republican speech, a legitimate point of view, nothing out of the ordinary. But when Hillary called unapologetic racists deplorable, they lost their minds.

    That’s 21st century America.

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: You would think.

  61. 61
    germy says:


    When I fly, I like to sit in the row with the self-destruct button.

    I understand it’s right next to the button that controls the seat back.

  62. 62
    Baud says:


    “Kick the seat again, kid, and you’ll be real sorry.”

  63. 63
    Van Buren says:

    @JPL: The Lamb of God, perhaps

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @Baud: If the bag hit it it may not have been within reach. Choppers are pretty small.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suppose it would be rude to ask these people how come the will of their almighty God is so easily thwarted by mortals.

  66. 66
    Tony Jay says:


    It’s reflexive for them, isn’t it? The hard-wired ‘knowledge’ that Democrat = Godless permeates Republican Kultur from top to bottom. Tribal in-speak in its purest form. ‘They’ hate God, so ‘We’ must be on God’s side. Justifies absolutely everything and makes messaging easy as pie for their candidates.

    “Candidate Red, you just beat your Democratic opponent to death with a $12 dollar Thai lady-boy while high on meth and wearing camo suspenders. Why?”

    “God told me to do it.”

    “Oh…. that’s okay then?”

    “Yup, hell of a thing.”

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Van Buren: Ouch.

  68. 68
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): the same thing is going on with Joe Donnelly in IN. He’s a Blue Dog, and the purer among his constituents are chronically unhappy about that on the Indivisible FB page. I pointed out that we need a Dem wave to take majority in Congress of we want Drumpf held accountable, so they better hold their noses if they need to and vote for Donnelly.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: “It’s all part of God’s plan.”

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @raven: I’ll have to wait for the official report. Seems crazy to me that it’s not better shielded.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    Where do you think this is actually going to apply.
    I can’t see Urban districts doing any of this. I can’t see suburban districts doing this either. I can only see districts in really red areas doing this.

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @satby: I can’t understand why liberals in red states can’t appreciate that they live in a red state.

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Everybody wants their magic pony, but only some of us know that magic isn’t real.

  74. 74
    Kay says:


    Well, it’s complicated. I don’t know if you heard this but the NRA and Republicans tried to blame school shootings on Obama’s rule revision regarding school to prison pipeline- school discipline. You’ve seen the stats where black kids are disciplined in school much more harshly than white kids, especially black boys. It’s this huge disparity. So, the Obama Ed Dept issued different guidelines for discipline. Team Trump, of course, operate exclusively on opposing anything Obama did, so the talk is this is a back-door way to bring back “zero tolerance” in schools (which was a disaster).

    I just object to it in general terms, too. Schools aren’t airports. I hate that they’re bringing in Homeland Security. I feel they’re making schools into grim, horrible places in order to protect guns. I don’t think that’s fair to students.

    Kids basically live in school. Anything you do to a school you’re hugely impacting their quality of life. Kids themselves see “home-school-neighborhood” as seamless, because for them it is- they have a smaller sphere. They operate in a smaller world.

  75. 75


    magic isn’t real.

    Bullshit, magic is so real.

  76. 76
    eric says:

    Sounds to me that the big Winner with a Lamb victory will be the Biden for President meme. Not saying that is good or bad, but that will be the narrative instead of Blue Wave.

  77. 77
    raven says:


    Preliminary information from an interview with Richard Vance, the pilot of the red Eurocopter AS350, suggests a passenger’s harness somehow got wrapped around the fuel shut-off switch, accidentally cutting off the fuel supply to the helicopter and resulting in engine failure, multiple officials briefed on the investigation told ABC News.

    As far as location, it has to be where someone can get to it or it doesn’t have much use. I once climbed in an overturned log truck where the engine was running full blast to hit the kill switch that was under the dash.

  78. 78
    Kay says:


    It is a basic misunderstanding of schools and kids to compare a school to an airport. We don’t live in airports. Kids live in schools for 12 years. If their school is grim and horrible that’s a big part of their life. This military language just doesn’t fucking belong there. These PEOPLE, the NRA lobbyists, they don’t belong there.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Kay: People hate the airport, though. I don’t know how the comparison helps them.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Good campaign slogan.

  81. 81
    raven says:

    The pilot of the helicopter that plunged into the East River told cops he believes that a loose tether on one of his passengers’ harnesses cut off the fuel switch, law-enforcement sources said Monday.

    The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the scenario, sources said.

    But one expert told The Post that the theory is “highly implausible” since the lever, which is on the floor next to the pilot’s seat in that type of chopper, needs to be pulled up and back to be activated — and “is normally fixed with a breakaway [safety] wire.

    “I suspect a more plausible explanation is that the pilot simply activated the wrong lever, and this sometimes happens,” said aviation lawyer Gary C. Robb.

  82. 82
    Baud says:


    I once climbed in an overturned log truck where the engine was running full blast to hit the kill switch that was under the dash.

    You’re like one of them superheroes.

  83. 83
    Baud says:


    “I suspect a more plausible explanation is that the pilot simply activated the wrong lever, and this sometimes happens,” said aviation lawyer Gary C. Robb.

    OMG that’s worse!

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    The thing is Kay, the Urban school kids don’t fear these kinds of shootings because of the security measures already in place. That’s why I can’t see Urban School Districts doing any of this foolishness.

  85. 85
    raven says:

    @Baud: It was funny, my colleague said “how did you know what to do”??? I probably should not have done it but it was going to blow if I hadn’t so I did.

    I was driving the same piece of road last week coming back from another work-related event when there was an explosion on the car in front of me. We were going pretty fats but I had enough interval to avoid the car. It turned out that suv and one oncoming one gout close enough that their mirrors collided. This abut how close that one was!

  86. 86
    Sam Dobermann says:

    I’m going to try this which I just saw. I hope I’m allowed.

    BREAKING NEWS: Monmouth Poll @ConorLambPA: 51%@Saccone4PA18: 45% pic.twitter.com/8wwPoMtUAE— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 12, 2018

    We’ll see the only poll that counts soon enough.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    There was an article by a school administrator in Detroit right after the shooting in Florida. She straight up interviewed her students and asked then if they were scared, and they said no. They didn’t see how a shooter could get past their security already in place.

  88. 88
    satby says:

    Well, it’s not a nor’easter but an inch of snow has fallen since about 7 am. Thinking of skipping the market today, since there it isn’t likely that any customers will show up to sell to.
    Though I could always go and pump up the number of steps in my Fitbit.

  89. 89
    Sam Dobermann says:

    Hey, It worked, kinda.

  90. 90
    Chyron HR says:

    @Sam Dobermann:

    We’ll see the only poll that counts soon enough.


  91. 91
    GregB says:

    Does anyone know the difference between Peggy Noonan and a bag of steaming feces?

    In other news, it is going to be Roger Stone’s time in the barrel very soon.

    Also, Republican Congressional candidate in Maine has called MSD student activist Emma Gonzalez a ‘skinhead lesbian’.

    Then he apologized after a firestorm.

  92. 92
    El Caganer says:

    Saccone’s ‘hatred’ statement sounds really unhinged. This is full-blown RWNJ, with the emphasis on NJ.

  93. 93
    Chyron HR says:


    Everybody wants their magic pony, but only some of us know that magic isn’t real.

    I already got my magic pony, I don’t know what all y’all’s problem is.

  94. 94
    raven says:

    @Baud: Well he made a choice and by all accounts it was the best option since who knows what he would have hit if he made for Central Park. The ship apparently had inflatable stabilizers that failed to deploy so it tipped over and sunk.

  95. 95
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @El Caganer: And Saccone doesn’t sound much different from any other GOP operative. Have you listened to Bannon’s “wear the label racist as a badge of honor” speech which he gave to fascists in France? They’re all bigoted egomaniacs. Here’s a recent “we’re going to kill all the liberals” rally cry by Kurt Schlicter. These are dangerous people.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Years ago I was driving down the road when I espied a very attractive young lady standing at the back of her VW bug with flames coming out of her engine compartment. I pulled over and very heroically pulled out my fire extinguisher. With great nonchalance I strolled up to her car, pointed my fire extinguisher at the fire, pulled the trigger and….

    Nothing. It was dead.

    At which point I backed off and said, “Guess we gotta wait for the fire department.”

  98. 98
    raven says:

    Pompeo for Tillerson

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @raven: Tillerson criticized Russia yesterday.

  100. 100
    Another Scott says:

    @Kay: Ding ding ding.

    Yes, kids live in schools. They also look around and see the state the physical plant is in and take it as a reflection of what the school district and local (and state) government values. “We love our kids, our kids are are future.” Yada, yada. It’s just words to kids if they look around and see the building crumbling, or have no heat, or have no working water fountains, etc., etc.


  101. 101
    MomSense says:

    ReXxon is out!

  102. 102
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @GregB: Why are you insulting a bag of steaming faeces?

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Love it! I was spraying carb cleaner in my S-10 in the parking lot of a parts store when it backfired and caught on fire. I felt like I was running in jello when I bolted into the store, grabbed an extinguisher off the wall and ran out and put the fire out. After a dude said “man you were MOVIN”!

  104. 104
    Quinerly says:

    @raven: I thought something was up yesterday. Tillerson came home from Africa a day early.

  105. 105
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @GregB: And said he hopes they can be friends.

  106. 106
    raven says:

    @Baud: He be gones.

  107. 107
    Yellowdog says:

    Please don’t consult or reference Accuweather. The CEO is the guy who has been trying to privatize the National Weather Service. They just use the data provided by the NWS anyway.

  108. 108
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: god help us. Has Pompeo succeeded at anything yet?

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: West Point and Harvard Law.

  110. 110
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Same thing happened to me and a buddy of mine except his hair caught fire. I grabbed a rag and smothered the carb and by that time he had his head put out. Needed a hair cut tho.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: I meant in his political career. Tea party moron from Kansas who did nothing but harm our National interests. As CIA director he buried the investigation into the trump-Russia connection. He’s fucking awful.

  113. 113
    Lapassionara says:

    @Steve in the ATL: worse than Rex?

  114. 114
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Spanky: The terrorist in Austin is just a little ahead of the curve.

  115. 115
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Lapassionara: who the hell knows, but we haven’t seen anything get better in this administration

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Even the electrical outlets in my new porch had to have covers over them – either metal or plastic. Required by law.

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Oops!

  118. 118
    WaterGirl says:


    Republican Congressional candidate in Maine has called MSD student activist Emma Gonzalez a ‘skinhead lesbian’.

    Some bells can’t be un-rung. Saying “I’m sorry I said that” doesn’t address the fact that you: 1) thought of her in that way, and 2) you thought it was okay to say that out loud.


  119. 119
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: love your story.

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Would love to know which one it is – Tillerson already knew he was fired when he said that OR he was fired for saying that.

    edit: a new personal best for me – the last 5 comments in a dead thread.

  121. 121
    RemindsMeOfThatMovie says:

    I’m partisan enough to hope it discourages the elderly FOX-watching voters, but not their Democratic neighbors

    Say what? Republicans will crawl over broken glass to vote every chance they get. It’s the much more apathetic Dems you should be worried about.

  122. 122
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Baud: I’ve flown in helicopters that size. The preflight briefing included pointing the switch out and instructing whoever can reach it after a crash to active it because of post-crash fire &explosion risk. I could tell the pilot thought it was BS to mention it since most helo crash are terminal. We also weren’t allowed to have any bags or anything that we weren’t wearing inside either.

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