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Sweet dreams of democracy… 16 April 2009

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Turkey, WAR!.

Hor al-Hammar, Iraq: Men fish in a partially dried marsh. A severe drought is threatening Iraq’s southern marshes, the traditional site of the biblical Garden of Eden [Hadi Mizban/AP]

Mentioning water… A couple of weeks ago I had read of a dam planned in Turkey that will greatly affect the water inside Iraq… googling and trying to find that article.. was frustrating.  I did however find this report at C-Punch from a woman who attended and made a presentation at a UNESCO sponsored Water Forum in Istanbul.  I think she refers to the same dam project, tho there is no mention beyond its affect on Kurds, I assume Turkish Kurds.

The report reeks of the political oppression inside Turkey, as tho the air is suppressed from the days.  The water suppressed from the rivers…

Talking with a couple of activists from Italy on my way back to my hotel, I shared my plans to speak at the World Water Forum later in the week, and the regret that I cannot attend the alternative forum events. I briefly outlined my talk — a presentation on the legacy of fifty years of large dams and water diversions with global data demonstrating how large infrastructure water development has led to the displacement and widespread impoverishment of the world’s most vulnerable people, especially indigenous groups and ethnic minorities. Drawing upon findings from my research on dam-displaced communities I illustrate how water development has caused ecocide, ethnocide, incidents of ethnic cleansing and, in a few instances, genocide.

I was told to take care. The police were everywhere, with undercover and uniformed security in every corridor and at every session. Using water, dams, and genocide in the same sentence, in public, was not tolerated here in Turkey, where dam development on the Euphrates and Tigris river basin will drown ancient cities, flood the biblical Garden of Eden, and forcibly displace tens of thousands of Kurds without compensation from the heart of a contested Kurdistan. I appreciated the caution, and noted that, truth be told, such intolerance was not unique to Turkey.

I had some sense of the heightened political tensions here in the weeks and months before coming to Turkey. The press regularly reported increased geopolitical tension over water and energy development in the region, including the loss of European Union support for Turkish Ilisu Dam, part of a broader development effort that critics say constitute state-sponsored violence against a cilvian Kurdish population. In the volatile politics of war, water, energy and economic stability, the background currents influencing political tension included an off and on-again bilateral deal to build a water pipeline between Turkey and Israel, and a recently confirmed bilateral energy cooperation deal between Turkey and Russia.

The article reminded me of a couple of instances of disdainful or frantic denial of the idea of “conspiracy” that I happened upon over the past days.  One was Simon Johnson on Fresh Air… even tentatively put forward by Terri Gross that there may be a conspiracy of Goldman Sachs people, inside and outside of government.. Gosh Simon was having none of it.  He did admit to a culture of “shared belief system”.

OK Simon if that makes you feel better… 😆

NO conspiracies in government and none, none, none on Wall St.  Right!

The other was a frantic denial of conspiracies, any, from an authoritarian type on some political show.

OK! NO conspiracies in politics.  NONE.  Right!!

Of course there are conspiracies.  All the time.  This sort of thing always reminds me of a simple line I read in the wake of Watergate.  That “they did not think they conspired.  They thought they just agreed”.

”Shared belief system”, anyone?

I’d laugh but it’s not funny…  We are so awash in misinformation, disinformation, planned diversionary egg rolls and dog shows for the child-electorate… maybe the real conspiracies are not the ones on view.

But they sure as fucking hell exist.  And a big factor in that conspiracy act is the notion of the conspiracy being “against” rights and freedoms. Ones that belong to someone else.



1. lucid - 16 April 2009

You loony tunes, black helicopter afeared person you…. very sad pic by the way.

2. catnip - 16 April 2009

Your post reminded me of this 2003 article: The War For Iraq’s Water

3. marisacat - 16 April 2009

hmm El Heife pens an opinion piece in advance of the Latin American evangelical tour. (Maybe he can carry out baptisms while there…)

As I hear we will consider drug cartels to be terrists. What changed?

“Security for our citizens must be advanced through our commitment to partner with those who are courageously battling drug cartels, gangs and other criminal networks throughout the Americas. Our efforts start at home. By reducing demand for drugs and curtailing the illegal flow of weapons and bulk cash south across our border, we can advance security in the United States and beyond.”

catnip - 16 April 2009

“To infinity…and beyond!”

– Buzz Barack Lightyear

catnip - 16 April 2009

Latin America tells Chavez not to confront Obama

Yeah. Good luck with that! lol

And why shouldn’t he confront him?

marisacat - 16 April 2009

HA! I hope he wears a red shirt!

Just for whatever… 😈

I’d love to see Obdurate trail out that drug warrior scheisse with Morales…

marisacat - 16 April 2009

hmm i Just landed on this at Tiny Revolution.. apparently Morales is just coming off a 5 day fast to obtain electoral reforms. Carried out inside the palace, in conjunction with union leaders.

[T]he superficial similarities between Morales and Obama only serve to highlight the critical differences: Bolivia’s president is a former union leader who draws directly on his experience to fight for his principles, whereas our erstwhile community-organizer president trades on his past to gain votes while actively betraying the principles he formerly espoused. To put it another way, Morales uses his power to further the goals of the popular movement that made him president, while Obama co-opts the power of the popular movement that made him president to undercut its goals.

Just for a moment, imagine what it would be like to have a president who actually possessed (positive) core, non-negotiable convictions, and for whom going on a hunger strike was well within the range of sacrifices they were willing to make to fight for those convictions. While you’re at it, imagine what it would be like to have a populace that demanded this level of conviction in exchange for their support—and refused to settle for less. And finally, imagine how far short of those goals we could fall and still be light years beyond where we are today. …snip…

catnip - 16 April 2009

Yeah. Just imagine. Of course, in the US it would be political suicide for being too gauche/socialist/real.

I’m so incensed by that mcjoan post and some of the absolutely moronic people commenting in it who think Obama is still the greatest thing since sliced fucking bread. They get one crumb out of the whole loaf and drop to their knees wailing with thanks because apparently they think that’s all they deserve (harkening back to whoever wrote about peasantry in the last thread.) It;s pitiful. It’s pathetic. It’s sickening. The lengths these people will go to to defend a president who won’t prosecute torturers because it would be a politically risky move. Well, fuck politics. People were tortured. Some died. Sacrifice yourself for something, Obama, or you’re no damn use at all. This is the ultimate act of absolute self-absorption – walking away from others’ horrendous pain and death because you are too weak to deal with the reality of it. Just how cold-blooded do you have to be to do that?

Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

Very few Americans have convictions (except about what their neighbors SHOULDN’T do), so it’s no surprise that our Lords and Ladies are lacking the same.

catnip - 16 April 2009

Mr Chavez is taking a delegation of 200 to Trinidad, among the largest after the 1,000-strong US contingent. Thousands of guests are being housed on two cruise liners because of a shortage of hotel beds.


Is he taking an entire Floridian town with him?

marisacat - 16 April 2009


CUMANA, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that Venezuela will vote against the declaration of the Summit of the Americas in a gesture of protest against the United States.

The summit, which begins Friday, brings together all 34 members of the Organization of American States. But Chavez said it reinforces a U.S. foreign policy that treats the rest of Latin America as subservient to Washington’s interests. …snip…

4. catnip - 16 April 2009

Today’s Surprise!: Report: Obama may keep some CIA torture details secret

Not sure why that’s ‘news’, really. They expected something different?

5. catnip - 16 April 2009
6. catnip - 16 April 2009

html cleanup on aisle 9!

catnip - 16 April 2009

merci 🙂

7. catnip - 16 April 2009

Oh and I see over at the side that McClatchy has a story: “Obama: No prosecution for CIA operatives in interrogations”

8. catnip - 16 April 2009

The big news at dkos is that the toture memos have been released, only partially redacted. mcjoan, after quoting Obamalama saying this:

But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.


His full statement is below the fold. It provides an indication of where this administration intends to go on investigating and prosecuting Bush adminstration crimes, as the bolded part above shows. But for today, the important part is that the memos, four in total, have been released and with minor redactions.

Fucking apologist.

Via the DOJ’s site, she quotes:

Holder also stressed that intelligence community officials who acted reasonably and relied in good faith on authoritative legal advice from the Justice Department that their conduct was lawful, and conformed their conduct to that advice, would not face federal prosecutions for that conduct.

The Attorney General has informed the Central Intelligence Agency that the government would provide legal representation to any employee, at no cost to the employee, in any state or federal judicial or administrative proceeding brought against the employee based on such conduct and would take measures to respond to any proceeding initiated against the employee in any international or foreign tribunal, including appointing counsel to act on the employee’s behalf and asserting any available immunities and other defenses in the proceeding itself.

To the extent permissible under federal law, the government will also indemnify any employee for any monetary judgment or penalty ultimately imposed against him for such conduct and will provide representation in congressional investigations.

“It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department,” Holder said.

Getting ready for the Spanish prosecution. Yup. You just go right ahead and defend those torturers, Holder. That’s “change you can believe in”, right?

marisacat - 16 April 2009

she writes on her knees.

BooHooHooMan - 16 April 2009


Jeezis, Mcat. LOL. —-> 👿

BooHooHooMan - 16 April 2009

Whoops LOL Wrong Devil! —-> 😈

Need Mr or Ms Smiley Devil for that comment!

catnip - 16 April 2009

No doubt. (Which is exactly what I was talking about in the comment above somewhere.)

9. marisacat - 16 April 2009

WASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that President Obama was imposing financial penalties on members of three Mexican drug cartels, designating the cartels as “kingpins” on the eve of a presidential visit to Mexico, where the issue of drug violence will be high on the agenda.

Mr. Obama leaves on Thursday for Mexico City; he will be the first American president to visit that nation’s capital since President Bill Clinton traveled there 12 years ago. In the weeks leading up to the trip, the Obama administration has said it intends to work closely with Mexico to stem a rising tide of drug violence that is fueled, in part, by cross-border weapons trafficking.

Mr. Obama has the right to identify drug traffickers and their related businesses for penalties under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, a 1999 law that has been used to focus on several dozen foreign operations worldwide, including some in Mexico. On Wednesday, the White House identified three more Mexican drug operations that will carry the kingpin designation: Sinaloa Cartel, Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana.

The act allows the Treasury Department to freeze any assets of the cartels found in United States jurisdictions and to prosecute Americans who help the cartels handle their money. …snip…

So… how many Mexican nationals and US Citizens and others will be wiretapped and eavesdropped as a result of this… ?

It’s nto a conspiracy tho… keep that in mind.

catnip - 16 April 2009

But he refuses to name CIA torturers.

marisacat - 16 April 2009

cuz they are not drug runners. Geesh catnip, get the simple equations the program is built on.. Get With the Program!

Obamalamalovebaby… He Rulz!

catnip - 16 April 2009

Kill me if I ever turn into one of those bots. It would be an act of mercy.

10. marisacat - 16 April 2009

hmmm About 4 hours ago…

Long Beach hospital shooting leaves two dead

By Andrew Blankstein and Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:43 PM PDT, April 16, 2009

Three people were shot — two fatally — just before noon in a lobby at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

A source told The Times two of the wounded died and that the third is in grave condition. Long Beach police closed off the large hospital complex on Atlantic Avenue. …

11. catnip - 16 April 2009

The ACLU has copies of the torture memos (which I can’t read any more of right now because my head is ready to explode) and the latest from Spain is that the AG is against prosecuting the Bush 6.

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s attorney general said on Thursday he would not recommend a criminal investigation into six former Bush administration officials over torture at Guantanamo Bay, reducing the chances the probe will go ahead.

High Court Judge Baltasar Garzon, who came to world prominence when he issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, had requested the attorney general’s advice on whether to probe former officials including former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over the U.S. base in Cuba.

“We cannot support that action,” Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido told reporters.

“If you investigate the crime of abuse of prisoners, the people probed have to be those who were materially responsible.”

A group of Spanish human rights lawyers had lodged a request in Garzon’s court for an investigation to determine whether the former U.S. officials had provided legal arguments allowing torture to proceed at the prison camp.

Asked about the case, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN en Espanol: “I’m a strong believer that it’s important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there.”

I need a break…

marisacat - 16 April 2009

I think when they took it away from Garzon … there was a good chance there was a ‘The Fix Is In’ moment…

catnip - 16 April 2009

Obama clearly pushed the Spanish AG not to prosecute:

Obama said he had not had direct contact with the Spanish government about the case but “my team has been in communications with them.”

marisacat - 16 April 2009

They communicate! This is GOOD.

Joan McBot is now typing USING her knees.

12. marisacat - 16 April 2009

hmm Short guy stamps foot. Or something.. 😈

France has been cooing along with everyone else over the arrival of Bo Obama at the White House, but the master of America’s new First Dog is no longer in good odour with President Sarkozy.

Mr Sarkozy is pouring cold water on President Obama’s efforts to recast American leadership on the world stage, depicting them as unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated. Behind leaks and briefings from the Elysée Palace lies Mr Sarkozy’s irritation at the rock-star welcome that Europe gave Mr Obama on his Europan tour earlier this month.

The American President’s call “to free the world of the menace of a nuclear nightmare” was hot air, Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic staff told him in a report. “It was rhetoric – not a speech on American security policy but an export model aimed at improving the image of the United States,” they said. Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation, the leaked report said.

Personal pique and French politics are also behind the souring of Mr Sarkozy’s self-promoted honeymoon with the United States. On the personal side, the French President is needled by the adulation for an unproven US leader whose stardom has eclipsed what he sees as his established record as a world troubleshooter. “The President is annoyed by what he sees as the naivety and the herd mentality of the media,” said a journalist who is privy to Elysée thinking. …snip…

13. marisacat - 16 April 2009

Change Administration.. they say such innovative things. And you just know follow thru is 100% Who would doubt them… gah.

From Tapper’s column, Tapper v Gibbs:

[T]APPER: Robert, in terms of stemming the demand for drugs in the United States, what can be done more on that? What does the President want to do there?

GIBBS: Well, I think there’s — in stemming the rising tide of illegal drugs, there’s obviously two ways to do it. One is there is — is to try to deal with the problem not just as a — not simply as a law enforcement problem but also as a treatment problem. And the President has certainly talked about that before. But there’s also — and I think this relates also to border security — and that is a hefty investment in the recovery and reinvestment plan of additional police officers on the streets of America.

catnip - 16 April 2009

And people worried about Bush…

BooHooHooMan - 16 April 2009

But our best hope against a further Police State
is that Gibbs will be tasked with the organizational briefings:

“””I think we are going to deploy – yes right – I need to check – what it relates to is – um – I’m not sure if my- I think there’s -“””

Maybe one of the new Uber Cops would draw down on him and just shoot him in the ass to speed things up:

“””Well yes – THAT Hurt – as I was – well D’oh!-
the OTHER ASS CHEEK NoW ! Whoa! – I thing I’ll need to check on- “””

marisacat - 16 April 2009

he is such a loser.

Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

there is one way … legalize them. Period.

marisacat - 16 April 2009

The only small glimmer of hope i have is that he will get pushed, thru the years on MJ legalisation, whether for medicinal or broader.

We’ll see where it goes. With big Drug Warriors in charge, Rahm, Holder and Biden, not expecting much.

14. catnip - 16 April 2009

Child abuse spikes as U.S. economy founders

BOSTON (Reuters) – One 4-month-old baby was shaken so violently she needed surgery. Another 3-week-old suffered fractured ribs from abuse at home. A 9-year-old diabetic boy stopped receiving proper treatment for his condition.

Those cases reported by Boston hospitals are part of a spike in child abuse in United States during a recession that has driven some families to the brink and overwhelmed cash-strapped child-protection agencies.

“In the last three months we have twice as many severe inflicted injury cases as we did in the three months the previous year,” said Allison Scobie, program director of the Child Protection Team at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Typically, her hospital handles about 1,500 such cases a year. That rose to 1,800 last year.

“We’re finding that it is directly attributable to what is happening economically,” she said. “Many of the hospitals around here report an increase of 20 to 30 percent of requests for consultation regarding suspected child maltreatment.”

Many cases bear the imprint of economic troubles, like a 9-year-old diabetic boy hospitalized after his mother, a single parent, could no longer afford insurance co-payments needed to treat his disease. She left him home alone for long stretches on days when he required medical attention.

“She had difficulty with the bare bone things that would keep this child healthy,” said Scobie…

Goldman Sachs’ collateral damage.

marisacat - 16 April 2009

oh I just read … over at Sully’s as it happens, he has a running series of “the recession from where you are”… and a CPS worker wrote in from an inland farm state. They had just handled their first surrender of a child. The mother had been laid off and could no longer care for the child’s medical bills. I forget the malady or illness.

So.. this is just a recession. Right!

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

for those future attacks, when returning soldiers go all McVeigh: Subivor subway emergency kit for terrorist attacks.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009
17. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009
18. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

WSJ: Fear and Greed Have Sales of Guns and Ammo Shooting Up

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — The way Jay Chambers sees it, the semiautomatic weapons in his firearm collection might be the most promising investment in his financial portfolio.

Like many gun enthusiasts, Mr. Chambers, a manager for a door wholesaler here, believes President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress soon will reimpose a version of an expired federal ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons. If such a law passes, he figures his collection — enough guns, ammo magazines and weapon parts to assemble about 30 AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles — could triple in value.

“A guy could easily make a lot of money,” says Mr. Chambers, 47 years old, while at Autrey’s Armory, a gun store about 20 miles south of Atlanta.

Purchases of guns and ammunition are surging across the country. Nearly four million background checks — a key measure of sales because they are required at the purchase of a gun from a federally licensed seller — were performed in the first three months of 2009. That is a 27% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

“He’s just following the long-standing principle of American justice: guilty until proven forgotten about.”

“It’s essentially the same stance taken by George Bush,” Colbert added, “With one important difference: Obama makes the kids like it.” Sad because it’s funny because it’s true.

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

Sarkozy snipes at ‘dim’ Spanish PM and ‘weak’ Barack Obama

The US President is weak, the Spanish leader is dim, the German Chancellor is clinging on to France’s coat-tails and the head of the European Commission is irrelevant.

That, at any rate, is the world according to President Sarkozy, who has spent the week airing his unvarnished opinions of Barack Obama and an array of international politicians — abruptly ending France’s honeymoon with the US and needling Washington on several strategic issues.

In the latest in a stream of accounts from the Élysée Palace, Mr Sarkozy was quoted yesterday as telling an all-party group of MPs that Mr Obama was inexperienced and indecisive. “Obama has a subtle mind, very clever and very charismatic,” the French President said. “But he was elected two months ago and had never run a ministry. There are a certain number of things on which he has no position. And he is not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.”

The US President had underperformed on climate change when they met, Mr Sarkozy said, according to an account of the MP’s session in the newspaper Libération. “I told him, ‘I don’t think that you have quite understood what we are doing on carbon dioxide’.”

Mr Sarkozy was apparently irked by media reports that Mr Obama had saved the day in London by persuading President Hu of China to reach a compromise with France over tax havens. Mr Sarkozy’s version is that he shamed Mr Obama into action, telling him: “You were elected to build a new world. Tax havens are the embodiment of the old world.”

Mr Sarkozy was also reported yesterday to have cracked a dubious joke about Europe’s “Obamamania”. According to L’Express news magazine, he mentioned Mr Obama’s planned visit to Normandy for the D-day anniversary in June, saying: “I am going to ask him to walk on the Channel, and he’ll do it.”

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009

The real unemployment rate? Try 15.6%

An 8.5% unemployment rate is unmistakably bad. It’s the highest rate since 1983 — a year that saw double-digit unemployment, nearly 30 commercial bank failures and more than 15% of Americans living below the poverty line.

But the real national unemployment rate is far worse than the U.S. Department of Labor’s March figure, announced today, shows. That’s because the official rate doesn’t include the 3.7 million-plus people who are reluctantly working only part time because of the poor labor market. And it doesn’t include the workers who have given up scouring want ads for seemingly nonexistent jobs.

When those folks are added to the numbers, the unemployment rate rises to 15.6%. In March 2008, that number was 9.3%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this alternative measure (.pdf file) in 1995.

“The situation out there is very grim,” says Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank. “We have seen the mounting of job losses faster than any point since World War II. I have never seen anything escalate this bad.”

22. Arcturus - 16 April 2009
23. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009
24. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 April 2009
25. Arcturus - 16 April 2009

Some of My Best Friends . . .

Kevin Pina – Electoral Exclusion in Haiti: Obama’s First Foreign Policy Disaster?

The Obama administration and the international community have largely remained silent the past two weeks concerning a decision by Haiti’s election council to move forward with controversial Senate elections scheduled for April 19. A visit in early March by former president Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to ‘draw attention to Haiti and promote development,’ an international donors conference on Haiti held in Washington D.C. yesterday, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Haiti today, have only temporarily distracted attention away from the controversial election.

The apparent decision to green light the contentious ballot follows a ruling by Haiti’s Provisional Election Council or CEP to exclude the Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on procedural grounds. Haitian president Rene Preval met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington on Feb. 5. The election council’s decision to disqualify all of the Fanmi Lavalas party’s candidates was announced the following day. Major stakeholders in Haiti such as the U.S., Brazil, Canada and France have to worry whether excluding Lavalas from the upcoming ballot will be seen as undemocratic and call into question the validity of the elections.

on the scene today . . .

Clinton gave a personal account of her “deep commitment” to Haiti, which she said she visited with her husband, former President Clinton, as a newlywed and again as first lady. She said she has a lot of Haitian art in her home and has several Haitian friends.

bet she just luvs Mingus’ Haitian Fight Song

marisacat - 16 April 2009

she probably laughed as she said it… just as she laughed over the piracy.

26. diane - 16 April 2009

Apparently, the San Francisco Chronicle hardcopy (sfgate) ran an article today titled:

Spam pollutes more than your e-mail in-boxes,

written by staff writer, Sabina Vrhnjak, who apparently wrote:

” ….Put another way: Those annoying e-mails produce the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using 2 billion gallons of gasoline [gasp! What would be the effect on Al “Puffy” Gore as he pedaled up Sand Hill Road beside Powell, to that High Tech, GREEN VC ANGELS, firm in Menlo Park Cali?]…..

Apparently, Hearst heirs weren’t ready to let Sabina comment on similar equations regarding posting whole newspapers online;….all the zillions (Googleplexions?) of important Corporate Sly Con Valley e-mails-blackberry-text messages such as: shred that,….disapear that,….let some feral cats with full bladders in the storage where those Board Minutes are….. ; or Intel/Obama/Rahm’s electrocuting Med records on line……….. (after all….SF loves Jesama!!!!!!)


I loved that cherry tree shot Marisa…


……oh and yeah Ron Paul on the pirates…hmm uhh din’t we hire those fuckers in Iraq……haven’t we put them in place all over the fuckin world?…….ahh well..Ron, no shock – your flat tax and barely veiled racism, always sucked a big one – though I think there me be a grain of truth in those what are we gonna do with all these folks we don’t want to live with hints ;…… is it really that ya’ll each have those special lines? Boxer…Kennedy…You….Kucinich….. Jesama…all of the pacified or not blahghers….who is who and waz up?

27. catnip - 16 April 2009
28. catnip - 16 April 2009

Obama Adviser Said to Be Tied to Pension Deal

The man leading the Obama administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry has been described in Securities and Exchange Commission documents as having arranged for his investment firm to pay more than $1 million to obtain New York State pension business.

Although he is not named in the documents, a person with knowledge of the inquiry said the investment executive is Steven Rattner, co-founder of the Quadrangle Group, the prominent private equity firm.

The S.E.C. complaint, filed as part of an expansive state and federal investigation into corruption at the state pension fund, details the efforts of Quadrangle to gain business from the pension fund beginning in 2004.

The person who received most of the $1 million-plus payment has been indicted, accused of selling access to the fund.

There is no indication in the complaint that Mr. Rattner faces criminal or civil charges in connection with the inquiry.

Mr. Rattner did not respond to messages seeking comment. A Treasury Department spokeswoman did not address the allegations, but said in a statement, “During the transition, Mr. Rattner made us aware of the pending investigation.”..

The bleat goes on…

marisacat - 16 April 2009

Fine lot of Czars.

Maybe if Jesus would call them “apostles” things would go better… 😈 …just a stray thought…

BooHooHooMan - 17 April 2009

Owwwch ~ Ouch!

Ooo! – So the NY State Pension Fund Scandal
goes to the very top of the DP afterall!

Drip Drip Drip: Plonk
{Vital Organ dropped on floor during transplant}
{ Ah What the Hell – just wash it off, eh?}

Thanks for the link catnip. This Public Pension Fund looting nationwide is a huge story, just sitting there, all those Donklephant Governors, Statehouse hacks, and shyster Law Firms up to their trimmed nosehairs in it, too…

(Not to mention what the Utter Kleptocracy did to the well being of people everywhere on the Planet!!)

But all will be well! We can pull this out!

IMF warns over parallels to Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund has warned of “worrisome parallels” between the current global crisis and the Great Depression, despite the unprecedented steps already taken by central banks and governments worldwide.

And coming from the The IMF – Priceless.

I was a slow study, Dem for many years, but really.
How much of a rush is that faux-power, how fulfilling is the payola for the Donks to be the consigned, seatwarming asswipes in the Executive Washroom?

I can remember an account of the French Resistance and Italian Partisans along the lines that their loathing of the Germans and desire for revenge was exceeded only by their merciless pursuit of the Vichy and Fascisti. ….that the killing of Germans was “business” as the saying goes… with the Vichy in France and Mussolini’s Fascisti it was personal.

I think that violent factional resistance will become
more prevalent. Not the occasional rim-shot of a UnaBomber, McVeigh, Seattle, Oakland, or Watts.

The folly of the Donklephants, Centrists and the like is that it can be MANAGED:::: We’re as likely to disintegrate into chaos as we are that some New Consensus will emerge…

I saw in the last few days where DHS Neapolitano released a report warning of RW domestic terror and immediately went on the defensive. So very weak, the whole house of cards they are TRYING TO MANAGE is…

29. marisacat - 16 April 2009

They get around…

Rangel heads south

Spotted on the tarmac in Mexico with Air Force One? New York Congressman and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel.

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009

maybe he has some rent-controlled properties down there …

30. marisacat - 16 April 2009


I bet a lot of towns and areas wish we would just fly on, not stop in. What a fucking mess.

Belying its reputation for gun crime and gang violence, Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad, is little more than a sleepy backwater, boasting low-rise candy-coloured buildings nestled between verdant hills and the Caribbean.

That was until the Obama show came to town. With soldiers, Secret Service and fighter jets in tow, the US President’s entourage swamps the town of 130,000 people, which for months has given its everyday existence over to the staging of the Summit of the Americas.

The town has been put in virtual lockdown in the biggest security operation the former British colony has seen. Whole areas have been cordoned off and businesses closed. Troops have been brought in from Caricom, the regional bloc, along with nearby national forces, including the Sandhurst-trained Guyana Defence Force. The US military has a strong presence, with troops and equipment flown in to ensure the safety of the most powerful man in the world. About 5,000 specially trained security personnel line the town’s streets and patrol boats brought in from the Bahamas and Barbados guard against any threat from the sea. …snip…

Apparently he also has a thousand for his own security. Sounds LOW…

31. marisacat - 17 April 2009


Krugman. Gibbs is so transparently the zeitgeist* of this shitty administration.

Oh, and for those expecting the Treasury Department’s “stress tests” to make everything clear: the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, says that

“you will see in a systematic and coordinated way the transparency of determining and showing to all involved some of the results of these stress tests.”

No, I don’t know what that means, either.

*Not that anyone does not know what zeitgeist means, but the quick and dirty at Wiki is so perfect. We never deal with the past. We just hurtle onward. Dragging it along with us…

Zeitgeist (pronounced De-zeitgeist.ogg [ˈt͡saɪtgaɪst] (help·info)) is a German language expression literally translated: Zeit, time; Geist, spirit, meaning “the spirit of the age and its society”. The word zeitgeist describes the intellectual, cultural, ethical and political climate, ambience and morals of an era or also a trend. In German, the word has more layers of meaning than the English translation, including the fact that Zeitgeist can only be observed for past events.

Of course another word for Gibbs is CRUMMY.


32. marisacat - 17 April 2009

Speaking of Gibbs.. full text from Politico (shorter version: Won’t be happening and we’re not working on it):

The White House is not concerned that taking up such a divisive issue as immigration will be counterproductive to President Obama’s signature goal of uniting the country, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday. But he added that the Obama administration also doesn’t see immigration reform passing Congress until there is “a healthy bipartisan majority” supporting it — something that seems unlikely to happen soon.

“We know this is not an easy issue – I think the president also understands that a number of the issues that he deals with in some way, shape or form are divisive,” Gibbs told reporters Thursday night. “But that doesn’t alleviate our obligations to deal with them.”

Gibbs said that immigration reform would take bipartisan support after he was asked if the strong anti-immigration rhetoric at some of the “tea parties” held around the country yesterday raised concerns about the tone of the debate.

“In order to get immigration reform through Congress and to the president’s desk it’s going to take a healthy bipartisan majority,” Gibbs said. “It’s going to take votes from both sides of the aisle, and I don’t anticipate it’ll happen until there is some agreement to that.”

Where is all that political capital the pundits shoot the shit over. Does it exist?

33. marisacat - 17 April 2009


From Wired:

[O]bama’s release of the memos is a commendable act of transparency.

At the same time, though, Justice Department lawyers are defending the previous administration’s top officials accused in federal court of authorizing and carrying out torture and other abuses. Threat Level examined that issue in February.

On Thursday, the administration extended its protection even further, and said it would defend, at taxpayer expense, other government officials or employees who find themselves before a congressional inquiry, in any court, federal tribunal or in “any proceeding” if they relied on the memos as a legal basis for their conduct.

Oh it would all be so much easier if the Congress had not been complicit. That is the rub, imo.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009

Man assaulted by police during G20 died from internal bleeding, not heart-attack

Ian Tomlinson, the man shortly after an unprovoked attack by a police officer during London’s G20 demonstration, did not die of a heart-attack, as was previously thought. A new postmortem shows that Tomlinson died of abdominal bleeding after the attack by the police-officer. Tomlinson was not a demonstrator — he was a passer-by on the way home.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009
catnip - 17 April 2009

He was more visibly pissed off when he did his special comment about Hillary during the primaries.

I hope he chokes on all of the unabashed shilling he did for Obama.

marisacat - 17 April 2009

Didn’t he call her one of his “the most horrible people on earth”? Or whatever that schtick is he uses… ?

I am not calling her good, but i am saying that vicious villifying of Hillary with hug kiss and deep French kissing of Obama during the primaries was FUCKING DUMB. (the reverse was too)

“It’s the party stupid.”

catnip - 17 April 2009

“worst person in the world”? I don’t remember.

I did use TEH GOOGLER though to refresh my (really bad) memory of what that special comment was about (because all I remembered was that his head damn near exploded while he was giving it because Hillary had committed some sin against Saint Obama that KO decreed was akin to blasphemy). Here’s the HuffPo piece.

marisacat - 17 April 2009

I think htey should just bronze Obama, stick him on the mantle by the bizarre baby shoes, and be done with it.

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009

I see so little obvious human expression on his face most of the time, I just assumed they already had.

37. catnip - 17 April 2009



Naomi Klein: HopeOver, HopeLash, HopeBreak: A Lexicon of Disappointment

Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn’t really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It’s the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: “When I listened to Obama’s economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of layoffs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I’ve got a serious hopeover.”

Hoper coaster. Like a roller coaster, the hoper coaster describes the intense emotional peaks and valleys of the Obama era, the veering between joy at having a president who supports safe-sex education and despondency that single-payer healthcare is off the table at the very moment when it could actually become a reality. Sample sentence: “I was so psyched when Obama said he is closing Guantánamo. But now they are fighting like mad to make sure the prisoners in Bagram have no legal rights at all. Stop this hoper coaster — I want to get off!”

Hopesick. Like the homesick, hopesick individuals are intensely nostalgic. They miss the rush of optimism from the campaign trail and are forever trying to recapture that warm, hopey feeling–usually by exaggerating the significance of relatively minor acts of Obama decency. Sample sentences: “I was feeling really hopesick about the escalation in Afghanistan, but then I watched a YouTube video of Michelle in her organic garden and it felt like inauguration day all over again. A few hours later, when I heard that the Obama administration was boycotting a major UN racism conference, the hopesickness came back hard. So I watched slideshows of Michelle wearing clothes made by ethnically diverse independent fashion designers, and that sort of helped.”

Hope fiend. With hope receding, the hope fiend, like the dope fiend, goes into serious withdrawal, willing to do anything to chase the buzz. (Closely related to hopesickness but more severe, usually affecting middle-aged males.) Sample sentence: “Joe told me he actually believes Obama deliberately brought in Summers so that he would blow the bailout, and then Obama would have the excuse he needs to do what he really wants: nationalize the banks and turn them into credit unions. What a hope fiend!”

Hopebreak. Like the heartbroken lover, the hopebroken Obama-ite is not mad but terribly sad. She projected messianic powers onto Obama and is now inconsolable in her disappointment. Sample sentence: “I really believed Obama would finally force us to confront the legacy of slavery in this country and start a serious national conversation about race. But now he never seems to mention race, and he’s using twisted legal arguments to keep us from even confronting the crimes of the Bush years. Every time I hear him say ‘move forward,’ I’m hopebroken all over again.”

Hopelash. Like a backlash, hopelash is a 180-degree reversal of everything Obama-related. Sufferers were once Obama’s most passionate evangelists. Now they are his angriest critics. Sample sentence: “At least with Bush everyone knew he was an asshole. Now we’ve got the same wars, the same lawless prisons, the same Washington corruption, but everyone is cheering like Stepford wives. It’s time for a full-on hopelash.”

catnip - 17 April 2009

From a comment at HuffPo:

It was just yesterday that I passed a store window nd saw the classic Obama head above the

H O P E and wanted to cross out the O and insert a ‘Y”.

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009

wow, the Stiglitz is really strong:

Stiglitz Says White House Ties to Wall Street Doom Bank Rescue
By Michael McKee and Matthew Benjamin

April 16 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration’s plan to fix the U.S. banking system is destined to fail because the programs have been designed to help Wall Street rather than create a viable financial system, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.

“All the ingredients they have so far are weak, and there are several missing ingredients,” Stiglitz said in an interview. The people who designed the plans are “either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.”

catnip - 17 April 2009

Why does Stiglitz hate America? And what’s up with these la di da Nobel Prize winners raising a stink? They really should know better.

marisacat - 17 April 2009

I read that during the night and was delighted to see


Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009

I vote for both “incompetent” and “in the pocket …”

no reason they can’t be both.

38. catnip - 17 April 2009

Those torture memos by Amnesty International USA

(Obviously, AI doesn’t understand that Obamalama’s only been in office 3 months…and that he’s busy…and that he’ll get around to prosecuting Bush for torture ‘later’…[insert next excuse here]…)

It’s clear to us that the torture memos released yesterday, as gruesome and repugnant the details are within, are only the tip of the iceberg.

As far as we currently know, the interrogation regime spelled out in the Bybee memo is the best case scenario for how detainees were treated. Amnesty International has been interviewing the victims of torture for almost fifty years and our experience teaches us that abuse nearly always escalates over time. It starts with roughing people up at 3am and ends with naked people piled up in pyramids.

All that we know is based on leaked reports, on a handful of interviews, and some pictures no one wanted us to see. What about the hundreds of other detainees, civilian and military staff who worked at these torture facilities? What other files and images exist? Why would the CIA destroy mountains of tapes and who knows what else?

Because as awful as the images from Abu Ghraib, as vile as the techniques outlined in the torture memos, there is so much more that we still do not know.

That’s why we were relieved that at least President Obama made good on his promise for a more transparent government by releasing the memos. This is an important distinction from other nations who practice torture. If what Bush and Cheney did was immeasurably damage our nation’s system of values and credibility, Obama took the first, critical step to repairing that damage by releasing the memos.

But we will not know the truth of what has been done in our name until a thorough, independent investigation has been conducted. It is clear from the Attorney General’s comments that the government cannot be trusted to do this alone. We’ve done plenty of reflecting, and it’s now time to act like a true democracy, built on the rule of law. Laws mean nothing if they are not enforced.

Oh don’t worry your pretty little heads. Obama’s a constitutional lawyer after all and he obviously knows better than you do about what the law is about. Which part of ‘moving forward’ and being post-torture prosecution don’t you understand? How divisive can you be? Why do you hate America? I’ll bet you never liked Obama to begin with. You’re probably a teabagger too, right?

catnip - 17 April 2009

I would think that your group would understand (3+ / 0-)

that in just under 3 months Obama has made significant progress to opening the doors to information. I expect that more will come out in the next few months…not everything will happen instantly.

Justice takes time and I’m surprised your group isn’t understanding of that for the current administration. Or at least that’s my reading of your diary’s tone.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. President Obama

by SallyCat on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:08:19 AM MDT

Timing (8+ / 0-)

We actually think a lot of time has passed already, and the more time that passes, the further and further we are from seeing real accountability on these issues.

We’re here to make the case for what is right, not what is politically expedient.

by Amnesty International USA on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:10:33 AM MDT

Amen to that.

marisacat - 17 April 2009

Sally Cat is an idiot. What a BELIEVER.

And unable unwilling to accept other than Hail America!

She left Boober’s but … wiat for the reason.

Boston Joe did a very low key non inflammatory diary of about 20 CIA ops over the post war period. He had about three in there i had never heard of… You know, versions of MKULTRA or MOCKINGBIRD. His tone in the diary was, “Folks we need a better America”. Very very low key.

Sally Cat lost it. Lost it big. She was unable to cope iwth it. Close to crack-up. Some osrt of existential split in her personality (LOL) And departed back to Dkos. Where her pathologies would be safe.

catnip - 17 April 2009

I knew there was some bizarre history there and I think I might have been around Boober’s at the time but I couldn’t remember the specifics. Speaking of Boober, I haven’t checked to see his reaction to the immunity for CIA agents for torture yet but I DO remember that he defended some of the CIA programs of yesteryear back in the day.

39. marisacat - 17 April 2009

California hits 11.2% unemployment.

But that’s a lagger right? And Wall St and the Dow are just peachy.

So, what is to worry?

40. marisacat - 17 April 2009

Two of catnip’s and one of BHHM out of moderation…

Sorry it took forever!


41. catnip - 17 April 2009
42. NYCO - 17 April 2009

Re gay marriage in New York. You’re going to be hearing more about this guy, David Valesky, and his district, the 49th NY Senate district. Valesky is one of four Dem Senators known to not be on board with gay marriage; he is for civil unions.

He is going to be a difficult target for pro-marriage activists to demonize, if they had a mind to. If they are smart they will give Valesky and the 49th a wide berth and instead concentrate on making Ruben Diaz look like an idiot. I don’t believe the GOP Senators are going to be a unified bloc on gay marriage, but if Valesky is gone after, I think all bets are off.

marisacat - 17 April 2009

A few months ago when some dribbles about the four started to break I read some ugly statements/quotes from Diaz, iirc.

But i had not heard of Valesky… thanks for posting that…

NYCO - 17 April 2009

I really do think they can pass gay marriage in NY without those 4 Dem votes. I have a feeling they’ll find/lure/bribe enough GOP senators, many of whom will be more than delighted to stick it to Diaz. They can even showily punish Valesky by taking away his VP Pro Tempore seat and all the $$$ that goes with it.

43. Arcturus - 17 April 2009

Scott Horton speakingthis am on DN! about the memo release:

. . . But there’s some very serious issues about how this [decision to not prosecute] is raised, in particular because this amnesty—and that’s effectively what it is—is being granted before an investigation of all the facts has been completed. And I think, in terms of proper process, it would be appropriate to lay down the facts to establish them and then make some sort of decision about amnesty.

And second point is we see everything presented in terms of the OLC memoranda and reliance on these memoranda. Well, there’s a very important report still being held at the Justice Department dealing with how these memos came to be crafted and released and the ethics of what went on there. I’m told it’s devastating. And I think that’s going to put a torpedo in the side of this legal argument.

But even aside from that, there is a very strange factual issue here. President Obama says that we shouldn’t prosecute them because they relied on these memos. But a factual review is going to show that the CIA was using these techniques from April 2002, and these memos were commissioned and written, the first of them, in August 2002, so it’s quite clear, in fact, that CIA agents were out in the field doing these things, not relying on these memos, with the memos not even being in contemplation at that time. So, this argument is a fallacy.

What’s really going on here, the CIA agents were acting in reliance on directives that came from the White House, from the National Security Council, that go all the way up the ladder to Vice President Cheney and President Bush. And I think President Obama is concerned about that linkage and that issue, and he wants to blur the picture a little bit.

There’s also a segment on the terr’ist detentions that I posted about a few days ago.

44. marisacat - 17 April 2009

Meet the Press: Larry Summers. Roundtable: Time’s Rick Stengel, Harold Ford, Dick Armey, Steven Pearlstein, Nina Easton.

Face the Nation: Axelrod, Gov. Rendell, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

This Week: Emanuel, House Minority Leader Boehner.

FOX News Sunday: Ex-CIA Director Hayden, Sens. Graham and McCaskill.

State of the Union: Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Sen. Klobuchar.

45. marisacat - 17 April 2009


From Tapper http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ :

President Obama to Face Opposition from Gun Lobby, Possibly Democrats, to Ratify Treaty on Firearms Trafficking

[“A]s President Calderón and I discussed, I am urging the Senate in the United States to ratify an inter-American treaty known as CIFTA to curb small arms trafficking that is a source of so many of the weapons used in this drug war,” said President Obama in Mexico City on Thursday.

The treaty makes the unauthorized manufacture and exporting of firearms illegal and calls for nations in this hemisphere to establish a process for information-sharing among different countries’ law enforcement divisions to stop the smuggling of arms, to adopt strict licensing requirements, and to make firearms easier to trace.

On Thursday evening, the response from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. — who has worked hard to establish a reputation as a supporter of gun rights — was fairly muted.

“We must work with Mexico to curtail the violence and drug trafficking on America’s southern border, and must protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” Reid said in an uncharacteristically unsupportive statement. “I look forward to working with the president to ensure we do both in a responsible way.”

Reid faces a potentially difficult re-election race in 2010. In his 2004 race, he received a contribution from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund. …snip…

LOL I just said in an email that Poor ObRama. He has the standard old, ”God Guns Gays and Abortion” WITH ”Guns and Drugs in Mexico”.

Good luck.

46. marisacat - 17 April 2009

May they claw each other to death…

“I am going to ask him to walk on the Channel, and he’ll do it,” Mr. Sarkozy reportedly said.

47. marisacat - 17 April 2009

From ProPublica

A newly released memo inadvertently reveals the name of a ‘ghost detainee’

Among the OLC memos released today [1], one appears to inadvertently reveal that a top al-Qaida suspect captured in northern Iraq in January 2004 was held by the CIA in a secret prison.

After Hassan Ghul was arrested in early 2004, President Bush told reporters [2]: “Just last week we made further progress in making America more secure when a fellow named Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Hassan Ghul reported directly to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who was the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He was captured in Iraq, where he was helping al Qaeda to put pressure on our troops.”

Military officials and former CIA director George Tenet described Ghul as an al-Qaida facilitator [3] who delivered money and messages to top leaders.

The U.S. government never publicly discussed Ghul again. …snip…

48. marisacat - 17 April 2009

LOL I just heard Leslie Gelb of the … ugh what is its name… Council on Foreign Relations (close) on World Focus say Obster ”has done all he can do” (plate is full!) and ”all he should do” with relaxing the familial restrictions imposed by Bushiter.

How often to restate the obvious. ObRama ran wall to wall, all promises. Marginal delivery.

President Obama — Who Once Supported, but Now Opposes, Lifting the Embargo — Seeks ‘New Beginning’ With Cuba

April 17, 2009 7:23 PM

President Obama will say tonight at the Summit of the Americas that “the United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba. I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled in overcoming decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day.”

According to prepared remarks provided by the White House, President Obama will tonight say that he is “prepared to have my administration engage with the Cuban government on a wide range of issues – from human rights, free speech, and democratic reform to drugs, migration, and economic issues. Let me be clear: I am not interested in talking for the sake of talking. But I do believe that we can move U.S.-Cuban relations in a new direction.”

As the U.S. and Cuba begin the delicate dance of diplomacy — with President Obama relaxing some restrictions on commerce, travel, and travel policy regarding Cuba, and Cuban President Raoul Castro saying his government is willing to talk about “everything” with the US including political prisoners — it’s worth noting that President Obama did not always hold the same position in favor of upholding the US embargo against Cuba, which is his current view.

On Jan. 20, 2004, at Southern Illinois University, then-state senator Barack Obama voiced support for ending the US embargo against Cuba, which began six months after he was born.

“I think it’s time for us to end the embargo in Cuba,” the then-Senate candidate said. “And I think that we have to end it because if you think about what’s happening internationally our planet is shrinking, and our biggest foreign policy challenge — and it fits directly into the battle on terrorism and it fits into issues of trade and our economy — is how we make sure that other countries, in developing nations, are providing sustenance for their people, human rights for their people, a basic structure of government for their people that it’s stable and secure so that they can be part in a brighter future for the entire planet. ..snip…

Some time between then and his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama changed his view and came to support the embargo, though as early as August 2007 he was talking about lifting President Bush’s restrictions on family members being able to travel to visit relatives in Cuba, and to send them sizable remittances.

“I will maintain the embargo,” Mr. Obama said in a speech in Miami on May 23, 2008. “It provides us with the leverage to present the regime with a clear choice: if you take significant steps toward democracy, beginning with the freeing of all political prisoners, we will take steps to begin normalizing relations. That’s the way to bring about real change in Cuba – through strong, smart and principled diplomacy.” …snip…

49. catnip - 17 April 2009

I managed to put something together after finally calming down: Protecting Torturers

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 April 2009
51. marisacat - 17 April 2009

gnu post…


………. 😯 ……….

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