Tag Archives: Syria

Distraction barely accomplished in Syria

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Former “President” George W. Bush and current “President” Pussygrabber have a lot in common: Both are baby boomers who were born into wealth, both evaded the Vietnam War, both lost the popular vote and thus had and have no democratic legitimacy, and both believed and believe in using military action to fascistically help themselves politically, knowing fully well that, as has been the case their entire over-privileged lives, they themselves won’t bear any of the pain and suffering caused by their own actions and inaction.

“Mission Accomplished!” “President” Pussygrabber incredibly stupidly proclaimed (via Twitter, of course) after U.S., British and French forces struck what they said were the Syrian government’s chemical weapons sites.

Syria is no 9/11 or post/11 Iraq, but Reuters does remind us that

Trump’s message [of “Mission Accomplished!”] echoed the words of a banner that hung behind former President George W. Bush when he gave a speech in 2003 from the USS Abraham Lincoln during the Iraq War.

That visual dogged Bush’s presidency as the war dragged out, with worsening American casualties, for the remainder of his two terms in office.

Again, “President” Gee Dubya had proclaimed “mission accomplished” way too early. The U.S. had illegally, immorally, unjustly and unprovokedly invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003; on May 1, 2003, Gee Dubya gave his incredibly laughable “mission accomplished” speech (Wikipedia even has a stand-alone entry titled “Mission Accomplished speech”) — replete in a “Top Gun”-like flight suit (just like Pussygrabber, Gee Dubya himself never saw war, of course, his daddy very apparently having saved him from Vietnam by getting him into the Texas Air National Guard).

But U.S. involvement in the wholly bogus Vietraq War that the unelected* Bush regime had created didn’t officially end until December 2011.

There was plenty more death and destruction and pain and suffering to follow in Iraq after May 1, 2003, including the carnage in Fallujah in 2003 and 2004 and the wholly inexcusable Abu Ghraib House of Horrors that was exposed in 2004.

In October 2005, the Washington Post reported that 2,000 U.S. troops had been killed in the Vietraq War, more than 90 percent of them after the mission supposedly had been accomplished by May 1, 2003. Wikipedia similarly notes that “The vast majority of casualties [in the Vietraq War], both military and civilian, occurred after the [“mission accomplished”] speech.”

The unelected Bush regime had strong-armed only two European nations, Britain and Poland, into supporting its launch of the Vietraq War, and the French wisely refused involvement, for which the U.S. right wing ruthlessly excoriated the nation (even branding French fries as “freedom fries,” because we Americans are always mature and high-minded).

Germany and Russia, as well as Canada and Latin America, also refused their support of the launch of the Vietraq War, but for some reason these wise nations for the very most part escaped the excoriation that France received.

Again, Syria is no Iraq, of course; “President” Pussygrabber has had no 9/11-like event to try to use to justify the invasion of another nation, like the treasonous Bush regime had 9/11 to use to justify the invasion of Iraq even though none of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq and even though no connection between Iraq and 9/11 ever was found.

Attacks on U.S. soil and war against other nations (especially following the quite-rare attacks on U.S. soil) are great for presidential ratings. Here is Gallup’s graph of Gee Dubya’s approval ratings throughout his disastrous eight-year occupation of the White House:

George W. Bush's Job Approval Ratings Trend

Note the spike that Gee Dubya got because of 9/11, the biggest spike he ever got, and note that his second, much smaller spike came in and around March 2003, after he launched his bogus Vietraq War.

The trend was downhill from there — Gallup notes that Gee Dubya’s average approval rating in his first term was 62 percent and in his second term was 37 percent — but Gee Dubya managed to leverage the ongoing Vietraq War to get a second term, albeit narrowly (he got 50.7 percent to John Kerry’s 48.3 percent of the popular vote).

Can Pussygrabber do what Gee Dubya did — use bogus warfare to get a second term?

I don’t think so, not absent another 9/11-level event, which I highly doubt is going to happen.

And with an approval rating stubbornly stuck around only 40 percent, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have the level of support that he would need to launch a bogus war like Gee Dubya did.

But mostly, probably, Pussygrabber really would need 9/11 redux. (The American sheeple supported the Vietraq War because they just wanted what felt to them to be revenge for 9/11; they didn’t care that the unelected Bush regime was planning to invade the wrong nation. Some Arabs [albeit no Iraqis] had attacked us on 9/11, so we were going to attack an Arab nation, so help us God!)

So what the fresh strike on Syria has accomplished politically for “President” Pussygrabber is about zero. I expect his approval ratings to remain stuck around 40 percent for the foreseeable future. We Americans know “our” “president” well by now, and I see only tiny movement, if any, from the anti-Pussygrabber camp or even the somehow-still-neutral camp to the pro-Pussygrabber camp.

And Syria never struck the U.S., and so most Americans don’t give a shit about Syria, which the vast majority of them couldn’t find on a good map.

The unelected* Pussygrabber regime still has a litany of scandals and political problems, including the fact that the feds are investigating Pussygrabber’s personal lawyer, special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the treasonous Pussygrabber regime’s treasonous ties to Russia is ongoing, Stormy Daniels just won’t go away, and one day (maybe even soon) that long-rumored pee tape just might emerge.**

Pussygrabber probably won’t get a second term***, and even if he does, impeachment in a second term, by which time the Democrats might control both houses of Congress, ever looms. (After all, Bill Clinton was a fucking Boy Scout compared to Pussygrabber.)

In the face of all of that, lobbing some missiles at Syria — and tweeting “Mission Accomplished!” — is as nothing.

P.S. Don’t get me wrong; absent an attack on U.S. soil by another nation, Pussygrabber began to brazenly falsely demonize the denizens of Latin America as a serious and growing “threat” to the U.S. even before he was “elected.”

Fascists always must have their scapegoats, from within and/or from without, to divert attention from their own treason and other criminality.

*Again, in my book, if you didn’t win the popular vote, as was the case with both Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber, you aren’t the legitimate president of the United States of America. And, of course, if you never legitimately were elected in the first place, your “re”-election is bullshit, too.

**If there were no pee tape, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have nagged former FBI chief James Comey to look into the matter. (I believe the imperfect Comey on this.) I mean, you don’t worry about the public emergence of something that doesn’t even fucking exist, do you?

***As I type this sentence, PredictIt.org has 57 cents on a Democrat winning the White House in 2020 and 43 cents on a Repugnican. That seems about right to me. I put Pussygrabber’s chance of being “re”-elected at about 40 percent, the same as his approval rating has been for months now.

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Don’t know WTF you’re doing? No problem! Become a ‘war president’!

I’d say that “President” Pussygrabber is focusing on military actions right now because he has no fucking clue as to how to handle domestic affairs.

That’s true, but the larger truth, I think, is even worse than that: War is a great diversion from the fact that our corporate overlords – Pussygrabber & Co. and many others – are continuing to rob us commoners blind, through such means as government deregulation meant to increase obscene profiteering, the continuing privatization of the commons and of governmental functions (including, of course, health care, public schools and prisons), and giving even more tax breaks to the rich while the rest of us continue to pay more than our fair share of taxes.

“I’m a war president,” George W. Bush infamously declared in February 2004. Never mind that the Vietraq War that he launched in March 2003 not only was bogus and immoral, but was illegal; the unelected Bush regime committed war crimes, causing the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, giving Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad a run for his money where body counts in the Middle East are concerned.

“War President” Gee Dubya went on to destroy the nation’s economy by the time he left office in January 2009, and, of course, not only did the Vietraq War provide war profits for Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton (and for other war profiteers), but it distracted the masses while BushCheneyCorp and friends freely looted the nation. It was great cover.

This is what it’s about these days when the United States of America goes to war.

That and since Pussygrabber is an egomaniacal man-child who would do anything to get his awful favorability numbers up, expect the remainder of whatever time Pussygrabber has left in the White House to include a shitload of saber-rattling.

Finally, of course, the Pussygrabber administration’s new-found supposedly adversarial stance toward Russia (via Syria) strikes me as a transparent, cynical attempt to try to put to rest the months-long chatter about how Team Pussygrabber has been in bed with Russia (perhaps even literally) even before the presidential election.

When the unelected Pussygrabber administration drops a MOAB on Moscow, then maybe we can believe that the supposed, awfully conveniently new hostility between Team Pussygrabber and Team Putin is real.

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Live-blogging the fourth Dem debate

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speak during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Taunted by Republicans to declare war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally: George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, under pressure to be more aggressive on terrorism, regularly cites his predecessor’s refusal to demonize Muslims or play into the notion of a clash between Islam and the West. As Clinton put it, “George W. Bush was right.” And, Sanders visited a mosque this month in a show of solidarity that evoked Bush’s visit to a Muslim center just days after 9/11. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton spar during the first Democratic Party presidential debate in October. Polls right now have Billary with only a 4-point lead over Bernie in Iowa, which caucuses on February 1, and Bernie with a 6-point lead over Billary in New Hampshire, whose presidential primary election is on February 9.

The fourth Democratic Party presidential debate of this cycle is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, via NBC. The debate takes place in South Carolina, which is friendly ground for Billary, who is big in the South, since she isn’t a progressive but is a Repugnican Lite.

I’ll be live-blogging tonight’s debate, using California (Pacific) time (we’re three hours ahead of Eastern Time).

This is the final Dem debate before the Iowa caucuses on February 1, which are 15 days from today.

Right now, Real Clear Politics’ average of polls has Billary Clinton’s national lead at 12.7 percent over Bernie Sanders’, and the Huffington Post’s average of polls has Billary up by 16 percent nationally.

However, the nation won’t vote on one day, but states will vote over the course of several weeks; and the earlier states’ results will affect the subsequent states’ results in a domino effect.

On that note, RCP’s average of Iowa polling right now has Billary at only 4 percent ahead of Bernie. Ditto for HuffPo. Team Billary must be panicking, and I’m expecting Billary to act desperately tonight, because she has to be desperate, and when she’s desperate, as she was against Barack Obama in 2008, she incredibly stupidly attacks her primary opponent from the right, apparently not understanding the Democratic Party primary voter (and caucus-goer).

Also, as Rachel Maddow recently put it when she had Billary on her show, Team Billary as of late has been attacking Bernie, who “doesn’t have an enemy in the world in the Democratic Party.” (Kudos to Maddow for not kowtowing to and cowering before Billary’s Being A Woman!; every legitimate criticism of Billary that a male dares to utter immediately is branded by the Billarybots as “sexism” or “misogyny” or “mansplaining” or the like.)

Recent polls (which I’ll define as reputable nationwide polls taken within the past month) unanimously show that Billary is disliked by more people than she is liked, whereas the opposite is true for Bernie, so yeah, a candidate whose favorability already is upside down attacking his or her opponent whose favorability already is right-side up probably is making a mistake.

But I digress. (That said, I hope that Billary is a raging harpy tonight; it will only harm her further.)

In New Hampshire, RCP right now has Bernie beating Billary by 6.2 percent, and HuffPo has Bernie beating her by 6 percent, so I’d be surprised if Bernie doesn’t win New Hampshire, regardless of the outcome of Iowa.

Again, I rather doubt that Billary could survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie.

If Bernie accomplishes that, we will see a nationwide phenomenon in which weak Billary supporters (and there are, I surmise, millions of them) seriously and significantly will reevaluate their choice of Democratic Party presidential candidate.

And, again, if Bernie wins both of the first two states, Billary no doubt will act in ways which will only make even more people dislike her. (Seriously, she’ll act much like Ellie Driver does when she loses her remaining eyeball. That isn’t attractive.)

5:45 p.m. (again, I’m using Pacific Time): The debate is scheduled to begin in 15 minutes.

5:56 p.m.: The talking heads of NBC (including Chuck Todd, whom I’ve never liked) are blathering about Bernie Sanders’ “electability” (specifically, his supposed lack thereof) even though the polls have shown for some time now that Bernie does better overall against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) in hypothetical match-up polls than does Billary Clinton.

Facts won’t topple the corporately owned and controlled media’s conventional “wisdom.” (And shockingly, the corporately owned and controlled media wouldn’t want a president who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”)

6:02 p.m.: The candidates are on stage now. Billary already has had some water. She must be nervous

6:04 p.m.: The opening statements are largely an obligatory tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. (due to tomorrow being MLK Day and due to the setting of the debate; I prefer spontaneously heartfelt statements to politically obligatory ones…). Bernie kind of went too quickly from MLK to his standard stump speech yet once again. (At least he’s consistent.) The maudlin Martin O’Malley reminds us of the massacre that happened in Charleston in June.

6:07 p.m.: Bernie gives “healthcare for every man, woman and child as a human right,” a $15 minimum wage, and fixing our crumbling infrastructure as the top three priorities of his White House administration were he to be elected.

Billary says she’d make pay parity between men and women one of her top three priorities, as well as renewable energy and infrastructure improvement, and says she’d improve/build on “Obamacare,” but doesn’t go nearly as far as does Sanders on that issue.

O’Malley lists strengthening labor unions among his three top priorities. I like to hear that, but he won’t win. He’s still mired in low single digits.

6:11 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that the National Rifle Association has given him a rating of “D-” for his support of its priorities, and he basically (correctly) calls Billary a liar for claiming otherwise.

6:13 p.m.: Billary retorts that Bernie has voted in favor of the NRA many times. Whether that’s true or not, as this is an awfully new-found “concern” of human weather vane on crack Billary’s, I can’t see it as anything more than politics. People have died from guns so that Billary could use their deaths to try to win the White House. Craven.

Martin O’Malley says both Bernie and Billary have been “inconsistent” on gun legislation.

Gun control is low on my list of priorities. It’s not unimportant, but we have bigger fish to fry, and I see its being raised as a big issue as an attempt by the Democratic establishment and the Billary campaign (which are the same thing, pretty much) to crowd out the more important topic of income inequality, which kills far more people than do guns (just less dramatically).

6:16 p.m.: Now the topic is white cops killing black males. The moderator brought up Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by a white cop in South Carolina as he was fleeing the cop.

Billary says one out of three black men end up incarcerated, and asks us to consider how we’d feel if one out of three white men ended up behind bars.

Bernie echoes this, stating that we disproportionately have black and Latino men behind bars, and that only China has more individuals incarcerated than does the United States.

6:19 p.m.: The moderator (Lester Holt) asks Bernie how he can win when Billary has minority support that bests him by two to one. Bernie says that when the members of the black community become more familiar with him, just as with the general population, his support among them will increase. (I concur, although I acknowledge that there are some who aren’t smart enough to vote in their own best interests, and so they’ll buy Billary’s bullshit that she’d be better for minorities than would Bernie. Never mind her husband’s “welfare reform,” NAFTA, “criminal justice” “reform,” etc., all of which have harmed minorities and which she would continue as president.)

6:23 p.m.: Bernie says that the death of anyone in police custody automatically should be investigated by the federal government. I concur. He also calls for the demilitarization of our police forces and says that the composition of our law-enforcement agencies must reflect the composition of the communities that they serve. Yup.

6:25 p.m.: Discussion on opioid overdoses and the “war on drugs” now. Bernie adds that the pharmaceutical industry shares responsibility for widespread addiction to opioids and adds that we need to improve mental health care services.

6:31 p.m.: Billary says she is committed to universal health care. She calls Obamacare a “path to universal health care.” She again says we need to “defend,” “improve” and “build on” “Obamacare.”

6:32 p.m.: Bernie again asserts that health care is a right to every human being. Twenty-nine million Americans still have no health insurance, he says, adding that the United States pays more per person for health care than does any other nation. (Yeah, that would be because of the profiteering that we see in wealth care — er, health care — here in the United States.)

6:34 p.m.: Billary again defends “Obamacare” and accuses Bernie of recently changing his plan for health care for all. “To tear it up and start over again” is “the wrong direction,” Billary proclaims of “Obamacare.” This is getting heated.

Bernie adds that not only are 29 million Americans not insured, but that many are under-insured and can’t afford their co-pays. Yup. Bernie says he has no plan to “tear up” “Obamacare.”

6:36 p.m.: Billary keeps repeating that Bernie wants us to start all over again on health care, and that we can’t do that. Sure, we can. How inspiring is Billary’s mantra, however, that we can’t. Bernie says we need to have “the guts to stand up” to the private health-care insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Yup.

6:39 p.m.: Billary keeps saying we have to beef up “Obamacare.” She rejects Bernie’s plan for “Medicare for all,” saying that we couldn’t achieve that under Barack Obama, so we can’t achieve it now. Bullshit.

6:41 p.m.: Bernie says that the Democrats and Repugnicans can’t get along in Congress is a red herring for the fact that Big Money prevents most of the members of Congress from voting in the people’s best interests. Yup.

6:44 p.m.: The maudlin O’Malley is parroting the canard that we all really can hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” We can’t. We shouldn’t. And we won’t. There are irreconcilable differences between the right and the left. There is no middle ground, for instance, on such issues as same-sex marriage (which is a constitutional right) and women’s constitutional right to control their own reproductive organs. And a “middle ground” on such a universal issue as climate change, which needs action, not even more foot-dragging in the name of “moderation,” will result in misery and death for millions if not billions of human beings around the globe (as well as the continued extinction of species and irreversible adverse planetary changes).

6:47 p.m.: When asked why Bernie has the support of young people by two to one over her, Billary stated that she’ll do her best to appeal to Bernie’s supporters. I’m one of Bernie’s many, many supporters who won’t cast a vote for or give a penny to Billary, no matter what — and that’s because while Obama said “Yes, we can,” she says “No, we can’t.” (She apparently says this for the benefit of her huge campaign contributors.) And, of course, I cannot and will not support her because she’s no progressive. She’s a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, centrist sellout.

6:48 p.m.: On break now. Twice O’Malley has tried to break in, but moderator Lester Holt won’t let him. Hee hee. I still wish that O’Malley would drop out already, but I don’t expect him to; he needs a job, apparently, and he apparently still is angling for veep.

6:52 p.m.: The topic is Wall Street and the big banks now. Bernie reminds us that he doesn’t take money from the big banks and doesn’t take speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Bernie says we have to “break up these huge financial institutions” and bring back the Glass-Steagall Act.

6:53 p.m.: Billary now says that Bernie Sanders’ criticism of her having taken money from Wall Street actually impugns Barack Obama, since Obama also has taken money from Wall Street. (The “argument” there, I suppose, is that if someone else has committed the same wrong that you did, then you did not commit a wrong after all.) This is more bullshit Clintonian triangulation. This is classic Billary.

6:55 p.m.: Billary continues her line that Bernie has attacked Obama. Billary is so unpopular herself that she must try to damage Bernie by alleging that Bernie has attacked the much more popular Barack Obama. Pathetic.

6:57 p.m.: O’Malley says that Billary’s proclamation that she’d be tough on Wall Street is “not true.” He says that like Bernie and unlike Billary, he supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, and he totally calls her out on trying to use Barack Obama as a human political shield, just like how in a previous debate she actually tried to use 9/11 as her justification for her coziness with the Wall Street weasels. Wonderful.

7:00 p.m.: Billary tries to deflect from her Wall-Street-boosting corruption yet once again, stating that we should look at the Repugnicans and how they are supporting the Wall Street weasels. Jesus fuck, this woman’s character is abysmal.

7:02 p.m.: Bernie says he has documented how we would pay for his ambitious agenda, including making Wall Street pay its fair share. Billary vows that as president she would not raise taxes on the middle class and also says that she has detailed how she would pay for all of her proposals.

7:04 p.m.: Bernie says that Billary’s criticism of his “Medicare-for-all, single-payer program” is a “Republican” criticism. Well, yeah, she’s a Repugnican (Lite)… Bernie says his health care plan would give Americans a significant net savings by lowering their cost for private health care. Yup. You can pay more in taxes for health care and pay much less (or even zero) for private health care and end up ahead. It’s called math.

7:08 p.m.: Climate change now. Bernie says climate change is settled. Agreed. It’s called science. For future generations we must switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, Bernie says.

O’Malley says we can achieve sustainable energy by 2050. Billary attempted to chime in on this important issue but just got cut off… Break now.

I’m still torn on O’Malley’s continued presence at these debates. It’s great when he calls Billary out, such as for her latest pathetic kick of trying to triangulate among her, Bernie and Obama, since she apparently feels that she has to piggyback on Obama’s popularity, but O’Malley doesn’t poll at even 3 percent nationally.

7:17 p.m.: Iran now. Bernie calls for “normalized relations with Iran.” He states that the agreement that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is a good one, and that we need to move in the direction of better relations with Iran.

Billary says we have to continue to watch Iran, that we have to watch Iran for a longer period of time before we can normalize relations with Iran.

Now Syria. Billary says she opposes American ground forces in Syria. She says she supports supporting existing militaries in the Middle East in combating the problems in Syria and in combating ISIS.

Bernie says he opposes “perpetual warfare” in the Middle East. “As president I would do everything in my power to avoid” such a(n increased) quagmire, he says.

O’Malley says, as Bernie has said, that overall he supports Obama’s current strategy in the Middle East. And he had to get maudlin again, saying that we never should refer to a soldier as “boots on the ground.” Seriously, who advises Martin the Maudlin?

7:24 p.m.: Bernie says the wealthy nations in the Middle East, like Qatar, need to do more in the Middle East to oppose ISIS and other terrorists.

7:26 p.m.: Billary is bragging about her foreign-affairs chops (she was, after all, secretary of state, and spent a lot of time advising the more popular Barack Obama in the Situation Room!).

Bernie says our first priority in the Middle East must be to destroy ISIS, and then to focus on Syria’s dictator.

7:29 p.m.: Lester Holt apparently more or less blamed the annexation of Crimea by Russia on Billary’s having been secretary of state. Meh. I don’t want Billary in the Oval Office, but I’ve always viewed Crimea as belonging to Russia, not to Ukraine. Billary has called Vladimir Putin a “bully” whom always must be stood up to.

7:32 p.m.: O’Malley is speaking in favor of privacy rights as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Yup. O’Malley says the government must obtain a warrant to violate our privacy, and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a privacy violation from the “front door” (that is, a more old-school privacy violation) or from the “back door,” such as via our increasingly more technologically advanced electronic devices. Yup. Yup. Yup.

Bernie says that our public policy hasn’t caught up with our technology, and I agree. We don’t give up our constitutional rights solely because we do things electronically these days. Fucktards who don’t respect others’ constitutional rights have refused to recognize this, so our laws must be updated to fully protect us from those who would violate our constitutional rights.

Billary is cut off again for the break. It does seem to me that all three candidates should have the opportunity to respond to every question, but the NBC moderators are not allowing this.

7:39 p.m.: Billary is given is a chance to address the question, but doesn’t speak in favor of our privacy rights. Hmm…

7:40 p.m.: O’Malley has attacked Donald Trump’s vilification of Muslim Americans, kind of out of nowhere. One of O’Malley’s debating tactics apparently is to try to link anecdotes to issues, but it comes off as more amateurish than anything else.

7:42 p.m.: Billary is asked how much of a role Bill Clinton would have in her economic agenda. She claims that she is undecided, but says she would use him as a “goodwill emissary” around the nation to boost her economic agenda.

7:43 p.m.: Bernie says a White House stacked with Wall Street weasels won’t accomplish much for the nation’s economy. Yup. Bernie says that his Treasury secretary wouldn’t come from Goldman Sachs. Ouch. And yup.

Bernie was baited into talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Bernie called Bill Clinton’s behavior in that “deplorable,” but emphasized that he didn’t want the discussion to be about Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior. Yup. (Billary, unsurprisingly, agrees…)

The corporately owned and controlled media embarrass themselves, the way that they patently pander to the lowest common denominator.

7:50 p.m.: As the debate draws to a close and the candidates are asked if there are any statements they’d like to make that they haven’t yet made, O’Malley remarks that the debate hasn’t tackled such important issues as immigration reform and the treatment of Puerto Rico by the financial weasels. He now launches into his anodyne closing statement.

Billary says she is “outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan.” She points out that the city’s population, disproportionately poor and black, has been drinking contaminated water, whereas rich denizens of a city would not.

Bernie says the Repugnican Tea Party governor of Michigan should resign.

Bernie says that nothing will improve in the United States of America until Citizens United is reversed, super-PACs are abolished, and there is meaningful campaign-finance reform. Yup. Agreed: The hands of the members of Congress are tied by their Big-Money donors.

Another President Clinton would do little to nothing to solve this overarching problem. It would be more of the same: More promises, yet nothing in our lives actually improves.

7:57 p.m.: The debate is over. Like the previous three debates, I don’t see this debate changing a whole lot. That is, if you were a Billarybot before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Billarybot, and if you were a Berner before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Berner. If I had to declare a winner of this debate, I’d say that it was Bernie, but of course I’ve supported him for months, so take that for what it is.

The NBC commentators are discussing right now how Billary wrapped herself in Obama tonight. Yup. This might come back to haunt her.

Not only was it classic Clintonian triangulation, but Bernie Sanders’ supporters largely if not mostly are those of us who never forgot — and never abandoned — Barack Obama’s ubiquitous but undelivered-upon promises of “hope” and “change.”

We haven’t seen the much-promised change (not enough of it, anyway),  but we haven’t lost all hope; we still believe, after several years of disappointment, that Yes, we can. But here is Billary saying No, we can’t.

I’m not saying that she’s entirely wrong about what is and what is not achievable in D.C., but I do know that if we start off with the motto of No, we can’t, then we probably can’t (or at least we probably won’t).

Which is exactly what Billary Clinton’s Big-Money campaign contributors want us to believe: that no, we can’t. They want us to believe that so that we won’t even try.

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Indeed, it’s the ‘Christians’ who wage war on the spirit of Christmas

“[Today’s Repugnican Tea Partiers] are most surely at odds with the spirit of Christmas,” concludes the Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson, adding, “Walls on the border, religious tests for admission, despising the poor — good thing Joseph and Mary didn’t have to encounter our modern-day defenders of the right as they scrambled from one country to another, desperate to save their son’s life.”

Of Mary and Joseph, Meyerson writes:

They were refugees, fleeing for their lives from one Middle Eastern country to the next.

As Matthew tells the tale, Joseph, fearing that the government had marked his newborn son for death, gathered up his wife and child and stole away by night across the Judean border into Egypt. And just in time: Unsure who, exactly, to kill, that government — a king named Herod, who’d heard some kid would one day become a rival king — proceeded to slaughter every remaining child in Bethlehem under the age of 2.

This isn’t a chapter of the Christmas story that has made it into the general celebration, but it’s there in the gospel, for those who give the gospels credence and for those who don’t.

For both groups, it’s clear that the authors of the New Testament intended to recount (for the believers) or compose (for the nons) a story that echoed the Old Testament’s concern for strangers, foreigners and refugees (“The stranger among you shall be as one born among you,” says Leviticus, “and you shall love him as yourself”), that foreshadowed Jesus’ teachings to care for castaways and the least among us, and that laid the foundation for institutional Christianity’s transnationalism.

Which is, perhaps, a long way of asking the question: Who’s really waging a war against Christmas in 2015? Secular multi-culturalists who, stealthily and nefariously, have somehow rendered Starbucks’ coffee cups a tad less festive? Or the self-proclaimed culture warriors on behalf of traditional values, who demand we leave refugees — even small children, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has made pitilessly clear — at the mercy of the latter-day Herods? Who condemn entire religions? Who fear and loathe strangers? …

Indeed, while I don’t believe the “miracles” in the Bible, such as the virgin birth, Jesus’ raising of the dead and his resurrection, it’s clear that today’s “Christians” don’t follow their own supposed beliefs, as exemplified by their rank xenophobia against Mexicans and others from Latin America (and Latinos in general, except for right-wing Cuban Americans [such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio]) and Muslims and other Middle Easterners, perhaps especially refugees from harsh sociopolitical conditions in the Middle East that the United States’ greedy, military meddling helped to create, and it’s clear that we secular humanists, ironically, are far more Christian in our morals than the “Christians” are.

Merry Christmas.

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From ‘audacity’ to a whimper

President Barack Obama will go down in American history something like this…

I have to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment by Michael Moore (who has been too absent from the public arena during Barack Obama’s presidency) that the American history books will mention only (or at least primarily) that Obama was the nation’s first black president. It’s sad that history will remember Obama more for the color of his skin than for the content of his character, but that’s his fault, not history’s.

In fairness, the history books also probably will mention Obamacare (for good or for ill or fairly neutrally), but what else is there to say of the Obama years?*

Allegedly with great audacity and with the dreams of his father behind him, Obama came in with a bang – “HOPE”! and “CHANGE”! “CHANGE”! and “HOPE”! – but he goes out with a whimper.

It’s ironic that Obama’s opposition to the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War – which only ever was meant for war profiteering (such as by Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) and for Big Oil to retake the oil fields of Iraq – helped him into office in 2008 and that now Obama seems poised to end his second term with another war in Iraq (and possibly in Syria).

Yes, of course this time (further) war in Iraq (and in Syria ) can be justified, I think. The Islamic Slate (a.k.a. ISIL and ISIS) – at least in its current incarnation as a rapidly metastasizing, deadly cancer – needs to be stopped. The mass murder and the oppression of those who disagree with certain fascist, religious nutjobs – be they “Christian” fascist nutjobs, “Jewish” fascist nutjobs, “Hindu” fascist nutjobs, “Muslim” fascist nutjobs, whatever – should be met with opposition.

Credible news reports are that the Sunni Islamic State has been slaughtering and oppressing Shiites and other non-Sunnis in large swaths of Syria and Iraq. (No, the Islamic State did not become a problem only when it beheaded two U.S. citizens in propagandistic snuff videos.) Any such mass slaughter and oppression anywhere in the world should be stopped if at all possible, regardless of the United States ’ many missteps and failures to act in the past. (And it should not be the United States playing World Cop all of the fucking time.)

As far to the left as I consider myself to be, I do not believe in absolute, blind pacifism. I don’t believe that in most cases force or the credible threat of force should be the first resort, but nor do I believe that force or the credible threat of force should be taken off the table altogether. It can be a useful tool, and sometimes, the only effective one. And my gut response to the Islamic State, frankly, is: Pound. Them. Into. The. Sand. (With that said, gut responses do not necessarily make for sound actual foreign policy, as we learned with the debacle that was the unelected reign of the illegitimate Bush regime.)

The problem with the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, again, is that of course it never was meant to “liberate” the Iraqi people from the evil Saddam Hussein (who was a “good” dictator until he stopped taking marching orders from the American elite, which then made him a “bad” dictator) – unless you want to call the more than 100,000 Iraqis who died as a result of the Vietraq War “liberated.” No, it was meant to further enrich the cronies of the BushCheneyCorp.

Such treasonously crying wolf, of course, makes it all the harder to sell the American people on military action in the same region, even when military action actually is called for this time – as President Obama surely knows right about now.

And, of course, while the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (redundant) never met a war that they didn’t love (as long as it’s others who are doing all of the dying, of course), they’ll find ways to criticize and condemn Obama no matter how he conducts things militarily in the Middle East. Because if the president is a white Repugnican guy (even one who got into the White House without even having won the highest number of votes of the American people), then to criticize his military actions abroad at all is nothing short of terrorist-lovin’ treason, you see, whereas if the president is a Democrat, and especially not a white, male Democrat, then to criticize his every fucking move is one’s God-given patriotic duty, you see.

So, of course, Obama can’t win, no matter what he does or does not do, but he should have known this political fact from Day One, and so from Day One he should have pushed through a progressive agenda instead of having tried to persuade the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to join him in “Kumbaya” around the campfire in D.C. (You don’t even bother to try to negotiate with terrorists; they cannot be reasoned with.)

Yes, I do believe that having assertively pushed a progressive agenda in the first two years of his first term would have been a winner for Obama. Had he even tried to have delivered upon his campaign promises, he could have been something like the second coming of FDR. He entered the White House with that kind of support behind him, more or less.

Yes, reportedly a majority of Americans deem Obama’s presidency to have been a failure, but these polls that are unflattering to Obama, it seems to me, widely are interpreted, incorrectly, to mean that the majority of Americans embrace the right-wing worldview. But if a pollster were to ask me (or any other actually progressive American) if Obama’s presidency has been a success or a failure, I (or he or she) would say, without even having to think about it, a failurenot because I at all agree with the right-wing worldview and agenda, but because I believe that Obama utterly squandered his chance, especially in 2009 and 2010, to push through an actually progressive agenda, while both houses of Congress still were held by his own party.**

Whereas the unelected Bush regime spent “political capital” that it never even fucking had (I remember when the Bushies called Bush’s “re”-election by only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004 to be a “mandate”), Obama was too timid or too lazy or too stupid (or some combination of these things) to even touch his actual stockpile of political capital in 2009 and 2010, and his failure to have done so will go down in history (history that is thoughtful and critical, anyway) as one of the biggest missed opportunities by a U.S. president to accomplish the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of Americans.

And I judge Obama’s presidency to be a failure because, of course, you judge a politician based upon his or her actual accomplishments in office compared to the campaign promises that he or she made in order to get elected to that office. (Yeah, as cynical as I might be, I’m still not ready to let any politician off the hook for having violated, blatantly, his or her own campaign promises.) Based upon his own relentless campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” of course Obama’s presidency – which has delivered primarily more of the same, not “hope” or “change” – has been a failure.

Of course, pretty much any Repugnican president – John McCainosaurus, Mittens Romney or any other Repugnican – would have done even worse in the Oval Office than Obama has done (except, perhaps, for the 1 percent, for the richest Americans), but that doesn’t let Obama off the hook with me; I judge Obama by actually progressive Democratic (that is, actually Democratic) standards, not by the low bar that has been set by the right wing (probably especially by George W. Bush). And speaking of the devil, of course Obama has been a better president than Gee Dubya was – for starters, Obama actually was democratically elected in the first fucking place, for fuck’s sake – but saying that President X is or was better than was “President” George W. Bush is saying exactly nothing.

And how is Obama poised to end his second and final term? At (further) war in the Middle East, with a new/old enemy this time, the Islamic State. (I write “new/old” because just as the “tea party” is comprised of the same old fascists who were around long before they started to call themselves the “tea party,” the Islamic State apparently is comprised, largely if not mostly, of the same old Islamofascists who were around before Obama ever took office. Of course, it was the Bush regime’s woefully-misguided-to-put-it-mildly Vietraq War, more than anything else, that contributed to the genesis of the Islamic State that we see today.)

I have to wonder if Barack Obama is trying to do Billary Clinton a favor right now, trying to make the Democratic Party look Tough! On! Terrorists! — just in time for the 2016 presidential election. But if more war in the Middle East (and exactly how it should be executed) is going to be the centerpiece of the 2016 presidential election, don’t the chickenhawk Repugnicans play the war card a lot better than do the Dems?

Because of that, how could the Dems expect to win the White House again in 2016 by posing as warhawks, as Billary already appears to be doing?

Didn’t someone once remark that when given the choice of voting for a Repugnican candidate or a “Democratic” candidate who acts like a Repugnican, the typical voter will vote for the genuine Repugnican?

The theofascist Islamic State needs to be checked, for sure, just as would any other insane group of murderers and fascists at home or abroad, but at the same time, potential blowback from military actions that always should be considered aside, Team Obama and Team Billary need to be careful, methinks, not to give the war-drum-beating chickenhawks of the Repugnican Tea Party political validation – and thus political victory – by also beating those tired, old war drums (only less convincingly, in the eyes of the voters, than the chickenhawks do) between now and Election Day in November 2016.

*Obama lost me, forever, after he just fucking sat on his hands while British Petroleum filled the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of crude oil in 2010, and after he failed to visit the state of Wisconsin even once in early 2011, when Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker successfully attacked the right of the workers of the state to collectively bargain.

Candidate Obama had promised in 2007: “Understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you, as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that someone’s standing in their corner.”

Again, Obama showed up in Wisconsin not once. In his first term Obama failed to lead on a huge environmental issue and he failed to lead on a huge labor-rights issue, part of a pattern of failure that his presidency has been. (As I have noted, while I [stupidly] voted for Obama in 2008, I did not vote for Obama again in November 2012, but voted for the Green Party candidate instead.)

**Indeed, I’m not the only leftist who deems Obama’s presidency a failure; the Washington Post notes of its own (with ABC News) recent nationwide poll that “Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel ‘strongly’ that Obama has been a failure.

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Repugs bash ‘subhuman,’ ‘naive’ Obama, ask, ‘George W. WHO?’

So stupid white man Ted Nugent recently (fairly redundantly) referred to President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.” Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus recently remarked of Obama, “This is the most naive president in history.”

Although the likes of Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky and Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Prick Perry were quick to call Nugent’s words inappropriate, McCainosaurus essentially expressed the same sentiment — only in a “nicer” way.

I respect Nugent more than I do McCainosaurus for Nugent’s at least honestly having expressed his thoughts and beliefs, as nauseating as his rank white supremacism/racism is.

McCainosaurus, however, is “nice” and “polite” and “above it all,” you see, so he’ll couch his probably-race-based criticisms of Obama in “statesmanlike” terms.

Obama is a flawed president — no argument there — but every time that a Repugnican (Tea) Party traitor levels any criticism of Obama, I immediately think of the last Repugnican “president” (I use quotation marks, since he never legitimately was elected), George W. Bush, and I do the mental comparison.

So McCainosaurus pronounced that Obama “is the most naive president in history,” adding that “The naivete of Barack Obama and [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry is stunning.”

No, what is stunning is that in November 2008 the American people voted for Barack Obama over John McCainosaurus by 7.2 percent of the popular vote and Obama won a whopping 192 more electoral votes than McCainosaurus won, but Sore Loserman McCainosaurus still is running for president.

Or, at the least, he’s still very bitter that he lost the 2008 presidential election, and thus he feels that he routinely must lecture us “naive” Americans that we made such a huge “mistake” in not putting his old white man ass in the big chair in the Oval Office.

On foreign policy, Obama and Kerry can’t win anyway. They’re Democrats. Obama especially is handicapped among the right wing because he’s black and the vast majority of the wingnuts are white supremacists.

Obama has no desire to revive the Cold War with Russia, as McCainosaurus does, because Obama is not stuck in the distant past like the fossilized McCainosaurus is. (And we, the majority of the American people, also have no desire to revive the Cold War, which is why we voted for Obama and not for McCainosaurus.)

And even if Obama decided to act militarily every time that there were some squirmish in the world — as though every battle around the globe were the United States’ to fight, even though because of the military overextension of the Bush regime, the American empire is rotting from within — the right wing still would find some way criticize whatever he did. Because Obama is a Democrat, and probably even worse, he’s a black man in the White House.

Were Obama actually to send troops to such troubled regions as Syria and/or Ukraine, many if not most of the wingnuts probably suddenly would find themselves to be populists and anti-interventionists and criticize Obama for squandering our resources abroad instead of helping more Americans here at home. (If it were a Repugnican [Tea] Party president launching a military action abroad, however, of course it would be, by definition, a sound presidential decision.)

Again: Obama can’t win. If he doesn’t intervene in another nation’s squirmish, he’s “naive” or “weak” or whatever, yet if he does, the wingnuts will find something about his actions to criticize. I mean, fuck: Since the teatard majority of the U.S. House of Representatives has a history of opposing Obama on everything — because it comes from Obama — do you really think that the House would OK any military action that the Constitution might require Obama to first get from the House (if it were not linked to a mass terrorist attack that already had happened on American soil)? Hell no. But they’ll criticize Obama if he doesn’t act.

As I already have noted recently, the central problem that the stupid white men of the Repugnican Tea Party (and those who support them) have with Barack Obama is that he violates their white supremacist, patriarchal notion that only right-wing white men should be president of the United States.

Ted Nugent is pretty open and fairly blunt about his white supremacism; with the likes of John McCainosaurus, you have to read between the lines, but it’s still not exactly difficult to get the message. In one of his presidential debates with Obama in 2008, McCainosaurus bizarrely referred to Obama as “that one,” as an object, not as a human being, and in his most recent quote about Obama, he again refers to Obama as though Obama were not a human being, but as though Obama were some kind of anamoly, if not even some kind of object: “This is the most naive president in history.” (At the very least, McCainosaurus refers to Obama as being very deeply other.)

The vast majority of the right wing’s criticisms of Obama start at that point (if they radiate outward or not): their deep-seated, visceral belief that Obama’s supposed illegitimacy for the presidency indeed is coded in his DNA (indeed, he is, according to teatard Nugent, a “subhuman mongrel”).

So: Whenever you hear criticisms of Obama from the wingnuts, think of that, keep all of that in mind, and also think about how wonderful a president George W. Bush was:

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he allowed terrorists to attack the U.S. on September 11, 2001, slaughtering almost 3,000 people, despite his having received, the month before, a presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, at the time, you see, and so he couldn’t be bothered with it. (Google it.)

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he pulled a colossal bait and switch, encouraging Americans to support his pre-2000-election desire to invade and occupy the oil-rich nation of Iraq in retaliation for 9/11, even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11. More than 4,000 of our troops were slaughtered in the illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and wholly bogus Vietraq War, which all along was meant only to benefit Big Oil. (Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s oil fields were nationalized; since Hussein was toppled, Big Oil has been back in Iraq. [Google it.])

George W. Bush was so fucking great on national security that he just allowed almost 2,000 Americans to die in Hurricane Katrina.

Add it up — almost 3,000 killed on 9/11, more than 4,000 of our troops killed in the bogus Vietraq War, almost 2,000 Americans killed unnecessarily by Hurricane Katrina.

That’s quite a body count, but the traitors who comprise the American right wing so conveniently ignore all of this while they focus like a laser on the deaths of four (4) people in Benghazi, Libya.

Indeed, Obama is “the most naive president in history”! He is in way over his head! He’s clueless! He has no idea what he’s doing!

Yes, let’s talk about keeping Americans safe: Far, far more Americans died unnecessarily when BushCheneyCorp was at the helm than have died while Obama has been behind the wheel.

Yes, let’s talk about foreign policy: George W. Bush made the U.S. even more hated in the Middle East — the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis because of the Vietraq War alone hasn’t made the U.S. more loved in the Middle East — making us more likely, not less likely, to be the targets of future terrorist attacks.

George W. Bush & Co. started a crusade against the Middle East that Barack Obama apparently felt he had to continue, lest he be labeled by the wingnuts and their sympathizers as “weak” or “soft” or “naive” (which was going to happen anyway, no matter what he did or did not d0).

George W. Bush also left the United States of America in far worse shape than it was when he stole office in 2000. He started with Bill Clinton’s record federal budget surplus and ended his eight years of unelected rule with a federal budget deficit — in no small part because the Vietraq War was meant to be a massive giveaway of taxpayers’ dollars to military contractors and to Big Oil. (Indeed, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which was involved with both military contracting and Big Oil, got to profiteer obscenely in Vietraq without even having to bid for the federal-government contracts.)

So it’s not like George W. Bush even left Barack Obama with the resources necessary to launch more military (mis)adventures, yet here are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pissing and moaning that Obama isn’t sending troops to every nation where there is a squirmish.

There is so much about Obama that I don’t like, but when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pretend that they have the solutions to our problems (most of which they created), you only have to think back to the last time that a member of their party was in the White House, and ask yourself if you really want a deja vu of all of that: a stolen presidential election, 9/11, the Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the crashed national economy, etc., etc.

P.S. Before anyone accuses me of unfairly linking Ted Nugent to the Repugnican Tea Party, know that Nugent has made campaign (or other public) appearances with the likes of Sarah Palin, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (the state’s current attorney general), and many others of the Repugnican Tea Party.

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Asshole Jimmy Kimmel’s pathetic, unfunny cry for attention

Jimmy Kimmel admits 'Twerking Fail' video was a hoax

Jimmy Kimmel | Photo Credits: ABC

ABC images

Jimmy Kimmel recently admitted that he violated your trust by having blatantly lied to you. Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s so funny!

I was one of the millions who viewed via the Internet the viral video of a young woman apparently practicing her “twerking” while home alone before, apparently, her female roommate or friend or relative arrives and forces open the front door (against which the first woman has been “twerking”), causing the “twerking” woman to fall onto a coffee table ablaze with several candles, and then, catch on fire.

The video did strike me as odd: Why the fuck would the second woman force the front door open like she apparently did when it was fairly clear that, for whatever strange reason, the first woman was upside down, up against the door? Is she that clueless and/or that bitchy that she would do that? And didn’t the “twerking” woman, albeit on fire, recover fairly easily from her body-slam onto the glass coffee table?

The viral video’s actual origin — a stunt pulled by “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” using a stuntwoman — explains all of that.

But it eludes me as to what, exactly, Kimmel & Co. were trying to accomplish by having released the fake video into cyberspace.

“Ha! We lied to you! Don’t you feel stupid?”

Was that the point?

Because it’s not especially clever or funny to post a fake video like this one online. It’s just another form of lying.

True, as this Associated Press article points out, we probably trust viral videos’ authenticity more readily than we should, and just because something has gone viral doesn’t mean that it’s authentic.

Certain videos purporting to capture victims of nerve gas in Syria at the hands of the Syrian government come to mind. Even if such videos weren’t faked, even if the victims were indeed nerve-gassed, the videos themselves of course don’t tell us who perpetrated the gas attack, yet the United States apparently just almost went to war based largely upon some fucking YouTube videos.

What would posterity have called that? The YouTube War?

I doubt that Kimmel & Co. were thinking of the Syrian videos when they pulled their stunt, of course.

Most likely, it seems to me, it was just a cry for attention, a juvenile publicity stunt.

I’ve never watched “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” but I have even less reason to do so now. The man’s just a liar, and that’s not clever or funny, and when one is lied to, he or she is not the defective one if he or she partially or wholly believed the lie.

It’s the liarnot the liar’s victims — who is the fucking asshole, and Jimmy Kimmel is a liar and therefore just another fucking asshole.

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