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No reform is better than a public option, Lieberman says

By John Amick

CBS: FACE THE NATION - Lieberman: No reform is better than a public option

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Sunday that no health-care reform bill at all is better than legislation that includes some form of a government-run public option.

"The truth is that nothing is better than that (a public option) because I think we ought to follow, if I may, the doctors' oath here in Congress as we deal with health care reform: Do no harm," Lieberman said.

Lieberman, a critical vote for Senate Democrats in the health-care debate, said a public option, unlike extending insurance coverage to the uninsured and controlling premium costs, was never a priority until recently.

The former Democratic vice-presidential candidate, now an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said he would not filibuster to stop debate on health reform, but he feels strongly about discarding any public option. He called public option backers who have declared their stance as the only way to true reform as part of a "classic Washington" scenario that is stifling debate while broad bipartisan support exists for a host of other important reforms.

He pointed to a report from Congressional Budget Office, released on Friday, that figured "a less healthy pool of enrollees" would probably be attracted to the government-run option, resulting in higher premiums than the average private plan.

Axelrod: Abdullah's drop-out doesn't change much

Senior presidential adviser David Axelrod downplayed Abdullah Abdullah's exit from the Afghanistan presidential runoff election, saying it didn't markedly change the situation for the U.S. on the eve of President Obama's announcement on Afghan strategy.

Every poll that had been taken there suggested that he was likely to be defeated anyway," Axelrod said, echoing similar sentiment from Valerie Jarrett, a fellow adviser to the president, on ABC today. "So we are going to deal with the government that is there. And obviously there are issues we need to discuss, such as reducing the high level of corruption. These are issues we'll take up with President Karzai."

Read more Sunday show roundup after the jump.

Axelrod dismissed commments radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said about President Obama going to Dover Air Force Base for a "photo op" as deceased soldier came home from Afghanistan. He called Limbaugh an entertainer, saying, "It's a surreal day when you're getting lectures on humility from Rush Limbaugh."

On reports of a shortage of H1NI vaccine this week, Axelrod explained that the administration had repeated what vaccine manufacturers told them about vaccine access. Nevertheless, Axelrod said the federal government will be "caught up in a week."

ABC: THIS WEEK - Jarrett: Up to Afghanistan to go forward

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah's exit from the Afghanistan presidential election runoff doesn't make it more difficult for President Obama and the U.S. to devise an effective strategy in Afghanistan, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett said today.

"We don't think that it's going to add a complication to the strategy," Jarrett said. "It's up to the Afghan people and their authorities to decide how to proceed going forward.... We're going to work with the leader of the Afghan government and hopefully that's going to improve the state of conditions for the people in Afghanistan, and also help us as we try to bring this war to a close."

Jarrett would not predict when Obama will announce his renewed strategy in Afghanistan, saying he will go through a deliberate process to ensure the best possible plan is put in place.

Repeating past statements by the White House, Jarrett said the president will not put certain conditions on the inclusion of a public option in health-care reform, but will seek a bill that extends coverage to the uninsured, controls costs, does not raise taxes on the middle class and keeps a rising federal deficit in check.

"He is confident that a bill that's going to be passed is going to be consistent with his parameters," she said.

NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Geithner recognizes growth, persistent unemployment problems

On NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory pressed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on the pace of the economic recovery and whether the administration was considering a second stimulus package. Geithner said the jump in economic growth during the third quarter was good news, but acknowledged that unemployment continued to be a critical problem.

"Unemployment is worse than almost everybody expected," Geithner said. "But growth is back a little more quickly, a little stronger than people thought."

He declined to say whether he believed the recession was over, and brushed aside questions about whether the administration would push for a new round of stimulus. "I don't think we need to make that judgement yet," he said, noting that the deployment of about half of the funds in the initial spending package is "still ahead of us."

Geithner defended White House estimates that the stimulus had saved millions of jobs. "This is fact," he said. "When a school does not have to fire a teacher.... that's a job saved.... Without the actions the Congress and the president took, you would have seen millions more jobs lost" and deeper cuts in critical government services.

He added that the banking system is stabilizing, but warned against lenders learning the wrong lessons from the recession.

"The big risk we face now is that banks are going to overcorrect and not take enough risk," he said. "We need them to take a chance again on the American economy.

Gregory also interviewed former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, who was marking the release of his new book "The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory." Among the highlights was Plouffe's description of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as "kind of playing the role of Pied Piper for the Republican Party, which I'm comfortable with." He argued that as leaders like Palin attempted to bring the party more to the right, Republicans face "catastrophic problems" with moderates and young voters and have been reduced to core support of about 23 percent of voters.

CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - Boehner downplays rise of conservative candidate

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the voluntary exit by moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava -- and the rise of conservative third-party candidate Doug Hoffman -- from the upcoming election for New York's 23rd Congressional District an "unusual circumstance," though Boehner would not say whether he thought party infighting was bad for Republicans.

On another campaign exit, Boehner said actions by Afghanistan presidential contender Abdullah Abdullah to step out of the upcoming runoff election against President Hamid Karzai was a result of seeing the writing on the wall.

"I think everyone expected that President Karzai was going to be re-elected," Boehner said. "So Dr. Abdullah's exit from this race, I think, really says more about the fact that he knew he wasn't going to win."

But, Boehner said, Abdullah's decision shouldn't change American policy in Afghanistan.

"The longer this decision hangs, the more jeopardy and the more danger our troops on the ground there are in the middle of," he said. "We've had the highest casualty totals in years over the last month or two. Why? Because all of the uncertainty around what the president's going to decide. I'm concerned about this delay. I would hope that the president would make a decision and make it soon."

FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Limbaugh: Obama doesn't care about victory in Afghanistan

In a one-on-one interview with Fox News, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said that President Obama does not care about victory in Afghanistan, that Obama recently went to Dover Air Force Base as deceased troops came home only for a photo-op, that in no way is the country safer after 9 months with Obama as president, that Democrats' only motivation for reforming health care is to control one-sixth of the economy and snatch freedoms, that he is not threatened by fellow conservative commentator Glenn Beck, that Sarah Palin is ready to be president and that Barack Obama will not be re-elected in 2012.

Posted at 12:29 PM ET on Nov 1, 2009  | Category:  Sunday Talkies
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When is Joe going to quit throwing temper tantrums over his bruised ego? Give him something to really cry over -- strip him of his chairmanship on HS and don't let him caucas with the Dems. He wants to be a Republican -- let him. It's better than him constantly stabbing his former party in the back. He is toast in Connecticut in 2012 anyway.

Posted by: creatia52 | November 2, 2009 8:02 PM

when has joe leiberman been right about anything? i remember slow joe holding john sydney mccains hand and then being slapped down by the rest of the GOP? joe believed the McCain-Gramn bushcrap about how the financial ruin brought upon America by geo bush jr, was just all in our heads and that American voters were just a bunch of whiners? good ole joe needs to be reminded that second place is first losers and that he was bypassed for Sarah Palin and her trama-drama family for second place as McCains running mate thus making him a sad sack third place loser? Joe is a hypicrit republican so dishonest that he pretends to be an Independant. Joe gets No Respect, because he doesnt deserve any. shame on dishonest joe. rcm.

Posted by: rcbootsmiller | November 2, 2009 6:51 PM

Joe of Confusionville. He is nearly pathetic. Beyond nomadic. The man with no party and positions nearly as shifty as a sand dune. He's not even an Independent, really. He minimized and disrespected the President during the campaign. He sided with his "friend" John and then crawled back to the Democratic camp after the election and when it was politically expedient. I just want to know who was responsible for performing his "soul transplant" following his causing the closest election in history in 2000. He's so against the public option, but would never consider giving the voting public his "Harmful" senate health coverage. The guy is truly and sadly confused.

Posted by: completely | November 2, 2009 5:34 PM

Joe Lieberman is very forthright. He makes no bones about being the Senator from Israel (as years ago Knowland of California was known as the Senator from Formosa) and now he makes no bones about backing the insurance companies who populate his state and saying no health reform beats a public option that might impinge on the revenue of those companies. He also suggests that he will campaign for some Republicans against the Democrats in whose caucus he sits.

The only mystery in all this is why the Democratic leadership and "rank and file" in the Senate (actually, there is no rank and file in the Senate, each senator is a little king or queen because of the undemocratic rules under which the senate operates) kowtow to this man, keeping him in a major committee chairmanship,etc., when he so proudly thumbs his nose at them.

Of course then there are others, like Evan Bayh of Indiana,who because his wife has gotten recently two million dollars from insurance companies, has announced that he will likely vote with the Republicans on cloture, although he says the two million dollars had absolutely no effect on his decision. I suppose it is possible that some people are so rich that two milllion dollars means nothing to them, but the only Senator I can think of that is "rich as Rockefeller" is Rockefeller, not Bayh — or Lieberman.

Money talks, and it talks very loudly in the U. S. Senate. Unfortunately for the average American.

Posted by: bezvodka | November 2, 2009 5:26 PM

Obviously.

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2009 11:43 AM

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

A poster, probably the most vile out of all that are posted here, wrote:

"Filthy jew Lieberman never voted down U.S. taxpayer money for Israel."

Obviously, the WaPo is not endorsing its own policy.

And the liberals continue to prove everyday that when they can't dispute facts, they must engage in personal attacks. Keep it up, guys. You guys will REALLY drive yourselves into the minority with your behavior. And actually, that would be a good thing because it would prevent bad policy such as the "public option" from being foisted upon an already weak American economy.

Posted by: cmb551 | November 2, 2009 11:22 AM

Ah yes, flip-floppy Senator Liberman with all of those insurance companies headquartered in his state and his wife sitting among them. He serves them well.

Posted by: beaone | November 2, 2009 11:10 AM

Hoffman's advancement says it all. Looks like he's ahead and will win. Seems the people in the district are smart and sick of politics as usual and will be first since to express that at the polls since the 2008 election. This will send a message to the other parties (Dems. & Repubs.) Either quit the lying, stealing, manipulation, unethical, immoral and illegal behavior. Protect and defend the Constitution or loose the election.

Posted by: 45upnorth | November 2, 2009 10:26 AM

Hoffman's advancement in NY says it all. Looks like he's ahead and will win. Seems the people in the district are smart and sick of politics as usual and will be first to express that at the polls since the 2008 election. This will send a message to the other parties (Dems. & Repubs.) Either quit the lying, stealing, manulipulation, unethical, immoral and illegal behavior. Support the Constitution or loose the election.

Posted by: 45upnorth | November 2, 2009 10:25 AM

I wish I lived in Connecticut so I could vote against Joe Leiberman. Wait. If that was the case, I'd have to listen to his nasal whining even more than I do now. Also, I wouldn't live in Montana like I do now and wouldn't be able to vote against Baucus. I just wish I had someone to vote FOR.

This entire health bill has become a sick joke. We don't need health care reform and we don't need health insurance reform. We need national health care, and we have for decades. Don't give me any of that crap about not being able to afford it. We can always afford something we really need. We can afford wars based on lies, subsidies to wealthy corporations, no-bid crony contracts, reintroduction of a species of wolf that never lived where we reintroduced them, cigarettes, professional football, collegiate football, NASCAR, bottled water, $5 coffees, Dancing With The Stars, do I really need to go on?

So if we had national health care, maybe Leiberman's wife would lose her job. So what. My wife lost her job because she needed surgery she couldn't afford, and thus couldn't continue to do the job. Leiberman ought to walk a mile in my shoes. He could start at Mystic and head due east.

Posted by: terryhill46 | November 2, 2009 1:19 AM

Now Rush and his GOP coots
Fault presidents seeing recruits;
They call it PR
While Bush from afar
Gave only one-fingered salutes.

News Short n' Sweet by JFD8
http://twitter.com/JFD8

Posted by: jd121 | November 2, 2009 12:32 AM

I'm sure, then, that Sen. Lieberman intends to give up HIS public option health insurance, you know, the cadillac plan that the rest of us are paying for? Maybe when Joe has to walk in the dirt along with us common folk, he'll understand why health care reform is so vital.

Posted by: windrider2 | November 1, 2009 10:05 PM

Obama was right to go to Dover, and wrong to take a "small contingent" of media with him.

No media needed.

Posted by: tru-indy | November 1, 2009 6:23 PM
_________________

You're wrong. I want total accountability, and want the media with Obama 24/7.

Posted by: Grant_x | November 1, 2009 9:25 PM

What further proof do we need that Democrats are clueless on how to reform healthcare?
They played politics instead of reducing costs. Lets show the do-nothing democrats that we're not gonna put up with this. Vote Against any and all democrats up for election. New Jersey will show them.

Posted by: ohioan | November 1, 2009 9:25 PM

"No reform is better than a Public Option." - Lieberman.

Senator Lieberman has been in the Senate for too long and it's time to give other candidates a chance. This Independent does not support him.

However, there are two big problems with employer-based health insurance.

Problem #1: The employer is silently filtering out sick and older workers for their health insurance companies. When employees get sick for a while, they have a limited time to remain with the company. Eventually, they have to quit and get off health insurance if they don't get better. An employer tends to avoid older workers for hire as they cost more to insure and it's safer to avoid higher premiums. That's why private insurance companies love employer-based insurance, because employers would do the gate-keeper job for them.

Problem #2: With an employer-based health insurance system, employees think the employer is paying for it, while employers think the expensive premiums are actually part of employees' pay. This and malpractice lawsuits are the worst combination for ever increasing health care costs. Guess who are paying for it? We are as consumers who buy products from the employers, patients who meets increasing unnecessary demands for tests and treatments at doctors' and hospitals, and taxpayers.

Solutions: Let's break away from employer-based health insurance and treat everyone as an individual for insurance purpose. Anyone that has an income pays a percentage of his or her income for Health Taxes, that will solve affordability problem, which is exactly what the current Medicare tax rate of 1.45% is about. But we will need a higher tax rate than 1.45% as we need coverage now, not till 65. Anyone without a paid job will be subsidized by the government from the fund pooled by Health Taxes. Just my two cents for your thoughts!

I am insured, but I avoid doctors if I can. I don't think it's healthy to be over-treated or over-tested. Patients think they are getting their money worth from their employer, who would just charge more for their products. What they don't know is that over exposure to radiation could cause cancer ten or twenty years down the road. Why do we bankrupt our country for more cancer?

Posted by: dummy4peace | November 1, 2009 9:24 PM

I have lost all respect for Lieberman. I think he is a joke and he doesn't know what he stands for as long as he is getting paid. He doesn't care about the people of America or his party. He is not loyal to anything unless he is getting a monetary reward. I sincerely hope the people who voted for him don't make the same mistake again. I say he should be run out of Washington on a high speed rail. He makes me feel Ill. He reminds me of "Howdy Doody" the dancing puppet.

Posted by: rsn2000 | November 1, 2009 9:05 PM

"""....Rush Limbaugh said that President Obama does not care about victory in Afghanistan......"""
================
And the problem is????? Obama does not care about the soldiers either.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 1, 2009 8:43 PM

Geithner is a liar! Show us the books Geithner. Better yet, allow your findings to be audited by Price Waterhouse Cooper!Counting saved jobs are you?? Are you kidding me?? Did Gregory give you a free pass today?

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 1, 2009 8:39 PM

“He called Limbaugh an entertainer, saying, "It's a surreal day when you're getting lectures on humility from Rush Limbaugh."
----------------------
Poor David, still trying to silence and neutralize, unsuccessfully, Rush. If Rush is an entertainer, what are you David? I know the answer but do you?? Give it up David.
===============
“”On reports of a shortage of H1NI vaccine this week, Axelrod explained that the administration had repeated what vaccine manufacturers told them about vaccine access. Nevertheless, Axelrod said the federal government will be "caught up in a week."“”
-------------------
HaHa!! Another fictitious, fairytale, made up crises. Big Government takeover of Health Care is working sooooo well.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 1, 2009 8:34 PM

""Senior presidential adviser David Axelrod downplayed Abdullah Abdullah's exit from the Afghanistan presidential runoff election, saying it didn't markedly change the situation for the U.S. on the eve of President Obama's announcement on Afghan strategy. Every poll that had been taken there suggested that he was likely to be defeated anyway," Axelrod said, echoing similar sentiment from Valerie Jarrett, a fellow adviser to the president, on ABC today. "So we are going to deal with the government that is there. And obviously there are issues we need to discuss, such as reducing the high level of corruption. These are issues we'll take up with President Karzai."
==================
Yeah David, which polls are you reading from? Yes, that's what I thought. OMG, imagine You of all people, dealing with another country's corruption. And, you will discuss "these" issues with Prez. Karzai? LOL.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 1, 2009 8:23 PM

Lieberman is 1000% correct.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 1, 2009 8:16 PM

If the public option - and thus health reform - goes down now, the economic collapse that follows in 4 years will bring the better result of single payer and the end of the for profit on basic care health ins industry.

Posted by: papau | November 1, 2009 8:14 PM

Lieberman is a liar trying to add a second Democratic President to his trophy wall - or at least make Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party his obedient minions. There is no cost to the public plan - it saves money, It does not destroy the ins. industry as only 2% will take it because so few are allowed to consider it as an option.

Indeed NO PLAN IS BETTER THAN A $600 BILLION WELFARE CHECK TO THE INS INDUSTRY THAT IS THE FORCED SALES VIA MANDATES AND THE TAX DOLLARS GIVEN THE INS INDUSTRY AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES PREMIUM PAYMENTS.

Lieberman wants to kill the plan, and the Dems are too chicken to use the 51 vote budget procedure - so OK - KILL THE PLAN IF NO PUBLIC OPTION AND REMOVE LIEBERMAN FROM ALL COMMITTEE POSITIONS AND REMOVE GROTTON CONN. SUBMARINE DEFENSE SPENDING FROM ALL FUTURE APPROPIATIONS.

COME HOME VICTORIOUS ON THIS SLIVER OF A PUBLIC OPTION - OR WE BRING YOU HOME ON YOUR SHIELD, dead by agreement between "the enemy" and "your former friends".

NO WELFARE CHECK FOR THE INS IND IF NO PUBLIC OPTION.

Posted by: papau | November 1, 2009 8:11 PM

No Lieberman is better than a turncoat Lieberman.

Posted by: gwcox2 | November 1, 2009 6:53 PM

Filthy jew Lieberman never voted down U.S. taxpayer money for Israel.

Posted by: playa_brotha | November 1, 2009 6:29 PM

Obama was right to go to Dover, and wrong to take a "small contingent" of media with him.

No media needed.

Posted by: tru-indy | November 1, 2009 6:23 PM

Senator Lieberman,

I, and millions of other Americans, pay for YOUR health insurance plan, with the hopes that the elected officials will vote in favor of our welfare. This has not been so for the last 30 years. If YOU do not like the insurance plan we provide for you, seeing to our needs, please OPT OUT and pay out of your own pocket. Would that be easier for you to understand?

Posted by: em_doyle | November 1, 2009 5:57 PM

Lieberman is a disgusting pig, whose wife Hadassah has gotten rich working for the health insurance lobby.

This man has blood on his hands and is bought and paid for by the health insurance lobby.

Posted by: leliorisen | November 1, 2009 5:15 PM

The most amazing thing Joe Lieberman said was that the public option "came out of nowhere" within the past year. Is it possible that the 2000 Democratic VP nominee doesn't know that a robust public option has been a core Democratic principle since Harry Truman proposed it in 1945? One can only hope he brushes up on his historical trivia in time for his 2012 Republican VP run.

Posted by: Don32 | November 1, 2009 5:00 PM

RUSH IS RIGHT

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | November 1, 2009 4:55 PM

JOB'S JOB'S JOB'S!!! GET IT IDIOT'S!! WHY DON'T YOU TRY NOT EATIN AND DRINKIN EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET UR GREASY HAND'S ON FOR A CHANGE!!! HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD OLE EXCERCISE!! HOW BOUT TURN OFF THE T.V. AND TAKE A WALK, SOME MATBE A RUN!! WHY NOT GET YOUR HAND OUTTA MY POCKET,YOU WELFARE LOVIN LAZY SON OF A GUN'S!!!WHEN IS ENOUGH!! ENOUGH WITH YOU PEOPLE!! SHOULD I JUST GO TO WORK AND HAND OVER ALL MY PAY TO YOU ALL AND SAY HERE DO WHAT YOU WANT!! THAT IS ENOUGH WELFARE AWREADY, MAN-UP MAN-UP AND GET UR GREASY SLIMY, WELFARE LOVIN HAND'S OUTTA MY POCKET AWREADY!! THAT IS ENOUGH!! PULL UP UR BOOT STRAAP'S AND TAKE SOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND DO SOMETHIN FOR UR LAZY BUTT-ED SELF FOR ONCE IN UR MISERABLE WE;LFARE LOVIN LIFE!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ALREADY!!! JOB'S JOB'S JOB'S!!! REDUCE THE DEFICIT, DEFICIT, DEFICIT!!! GO JOE!! STOP WELFARE IT IS A DISEASE!! THANK GOODNESS FOR COMMON SENSE!! GO JOE, JOE, JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jmb137405 | November 1, 2009 4:39 PM

Joseph Liberman is dead wrong. It is better to have H.R. 3200 with the public option than to have no plan. Doing nothing and having no comprehensive plan is definitely not an option. Conservatives are constantly complaining about how costly this plan is, but having no plan will be far more costly in the long run. Liberman is the hallmark of treachery and betrayal. He should be kicked out of all Democratic caucuses and shunned by all Democrats and progressive independents.

Posted by: abishop2 | November 1, 2009 4:20 PM

Here's my prediction. Rush is going to be more irrelevant in 2010. Sarah Palin will never be president, and the GOP will only win in the south and Utah in 2012. Obama is still wayyyy better than any stooge the GOP decides to run.

Posted by: August30 | November 1, 2009 4:07 PM

I'm sure Lieberman's views have nothing to do with the high number of insurance companies based in Connecticut.

Posted by: nodebris | November 1, 2009 2:42 PM

While I do not listen to Rush he nailed it. We have an incompetent empty suit in the White House who has assembled a truly scary group of Czar's who fringe political belief run contrary to the personal freedoms we are guaranteed under the Constitution. We need to stand against this and in 2010 start draining the swamp and run Obama out in 2012 along with his group of Czar's.

Take the time to educate yourself on the background of the Czar's Obama has elevated. It is nauseating so be sure you have a strong gag reflex.

http://me.jeremybuff.com/blog/list-of-obama-czars/

Posted by: Bubbette1 | November 1, 2009 1:56 PM


ATTENTION SEN. LIEBERMAN: Prove to us that you still retain a sense of conscience and loyalty -- at least to the Constitution. Before the Dem leadership deposes you of your Homeland Security Committee panel, how about doing something about THIS?

***

GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED HONDURAS PREZ

• Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zaleya confirms the essence what unjustly targeted citizens worldwide -- including this journalist -- have been reporting for years...

...MILITARY, SECRET SERVICES, AND INTEL AGENCIES of many nations, including the U.S., silently assault and torture "targeted individuals," including those regarded as "dissenters" or slandered as undesirables, with debilitating, health-degrading, "slow-kill" electromagnetic microwave and laser radiation weapons systems -- reported to include a nationwide installation disguised as cell towers.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez

OR (if link is corrupted): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Gov't Tortures" and "Gestapo USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 1, 2009 1:33 PM

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