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Richard Larsen: Obama’s Broken Oath of Office

November 22nd, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Our country was founded as a constitutional republic; a federation of autonomous states tied together by a Constitution that stated explicitly what the powers of the federal government were. We have now been unofficially, yet fundamentally transformed into an autocratic “ineptocracy.” And we needn’t look any further for evidence than this week’s presidential attempts to “fix” the increasingly unaffordable Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Having been caught in his perpetual lie, “if you like your insurance you can keep it,” the president this week promised to “fix” it, by allowing people to keep their insurance plans for another year, if they wanted. Not only is that genie out of the bottle and operationally impossible to put back in, but more significantly, it represented another evidence that this president feels his power is not constrained or limited by the Constitution, or by the rule of law.

Article II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution commands the president to faithfully execute the law. The president, and even more broadly, the executive branch, does not make law. That’s the role of the legislative branch, or congress. Once laws are on the books, the president cannot change them; they are to be executed, enacted, and implemented by the president and the executive branch.

Yet, just as he did in July when he delayed the ACA employer mandate by a year, this week he, without authority, said he would “allow” people to keep their policies for another year if they liked them. The president has no such authority! Those are laws passed legally – although regrettably – by congress and signed into law. The president has no authority to arbitrarily choose what laws to enforce, which to not, or change laws arbitrarily and illegally by his own discretion. His oath is to faithfully execute them!

It makes no difference that the law he whimsically changed this week has his name on it, as even he refers to it as Obamacare. He still doesn’t have the power or authority to autocratically change aspects or dates of implementation of the law.

He also acted illegally when he declared he would not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, as well as his fiat that he would implement elements of the so-called Dream Act for immigration reform, on his own, with no congressional action.

An autocrat is one who has absolute power. And that is how our president is acting. The Constitution was written brilliantly with inherent checks and balances on the power of any one of the branches of government. But apparently, when you’re Barack Obama, there’s no perceived limit to your power; you can do as you please, when you please, and when you mess up, claim you never knew about it until you “read it in the press,” like the rest of us. Outside of the fantasy world of the Washington Beltway, such an egocentric and narcissistic attitude would be considered delusional. But that’s what we got when we elected, and then reelected, someone with a messiah complex.

I have long maintained that our republic can only survive if people elected to office honor their oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” Every time Obama spuriously and capriciously changes a law, chooses which he will execute and not execute, he is definitionally acting outside of the law, and he breaks his oath of office anew.

I mentioned that we have an autocratic ineptocracy, and explained the autocratic component. We have been fundamentally transformed into an ineptocracy which is a “political system of government where the incompetent are elected by the unproductive in return for goods and services redistributed from the competent and productive, until the former so outnumber the latter that the system collapses.”

Several years ago Ayn Rand said, “We are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion: the stage where government is free to do as it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.” It seems obvious that we’ve now achieved that state of ultimate inversion of our founding principles. And the inversion is exacerbated by the fact that it’s the arbitrary actions of an autocrat at the helm of the nation that declares that government can do as it pleases, while we paean citizens have our liberty eroded further with every stroke of his pen, and utterance from his lips.

There’s nothing we can do to rein in the autocratic hubris at the head of the country. We can only hope that in three years we may choose someone who respects the law, follows it, and will fervently keep the oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

And we can pray that our fundamental transformation is not irreversible. In the meantime, we can attempt to follow Thomas Jefferson’s counsel to “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Star Parker on Chris Christie

November 19th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

If the last two presidential elections tell us anything, it’s that Republicans don’t succeed with candidates who lack clear vision and conviction consistent with the party’s conservative platform.

Given this, I understand why Democrats think that New Jersey governor Chris Christie should be a leading contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But why would any Republican see a typical political operative like Christie as presidential material?

With the information we have in front of us today, there is every reason to believe that 2016 will be a year of opportunity for Republicans to run a serious and exciting reform-minded candidate — a candidate who is ready and able to provide the kind of leadership it will take to breathe life back into our faltering nation.

The Obama presidency is exuding incompetence and unraveling on all fronts.

Each day we are greeted with new news about the crashing of the ill-conceived and misguided Affordable Care Act — Obamacare.

Looking at current economic realities at home and national security realities abroad, little good news appears evident and there isn’t much reason to expect any big positive surprises.

The American public is waking up to the fact that they elected, now twice, a president who is long on rhetoric and way short on delivery, and they are getting tired of it.

As things continue in this vein, by 2016, the American people will be ready for some real hope and change. The door will be open for a Republican candidate who is ready to take on the real challenges facing us, and offer solutions like across-the-board reform of entitlements, real tax reform, real cuts in superfluous government spending and reassertion of a strong and clear America in the international arena. How can a governor like Christie, who has been at the helm of one of the worst-performing state economies in the nation — unemployment and poverty rates well above the national average, among the nation’s worst in job creation, with one of the highest tax burdens in the country — be the exciting candidate Republicans will be looking for?

Why, when the American people will be thirsty for a real reform-minded leader, would Republicans turn to yet another visionless business-as-usual politico?

And what evidence is there that Christie is anything but this?

We do have plenty of evidence that Christie behaves like we would expect any business-as-usual politician to behave.

He has demonstrated that his own political calculations are more important to him than his party or his nation.

Why else would he not have made a Republican appointment to the Senate when New Jersey Democrat Sen. Frank Lautenberg passed away? Instead, he decided to allow a special election to entice popular black Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker to run for the open Senate seat, taking him out of the game to challenge Christie in his re-election campaign.

At a time when every Republican vote in the Senate is crucial, Christie opted to forego the opportunity of adding another Republican vote there because of his lack of courage to take on a strong Democrat opponent in his own re-election bid.

So running against a weak and underfunded Democrat opponent, incumbent Christie was re-elected.

The nation abounds in courageous, innovative Republican governors.

Unlike Christie, who took federal money available under Obamacare and to expand Medicaid in New Jersey, 21 states are refusing to take this bribe. And this includes states with reform-minded Republican governors like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Rick Perry in Texas, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. And then, of course, we have Christie’s flip-flop on same-sex marriage, announcing that he would not challenge a New Jersey court decision to allow same- sex marriage — after Christie led everyone to believe he would oppose this.

So, again I ask. Why would any Republican think about Christie as a presidential contender?

Star Parker is president of CURE.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Star Parker on Marriage, Abortion and the Economy

November 19th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Marriage and abortion are economic issues.

Because fewer are working for every retiree, our taxation nowhere near covers what the requirements for Social Security and Medicare will soon be.

Political discussions commonly assume there are two separate sets of issues.

There’s a social agenda — issues like abortion and marriage. And there’s an economic agenda — issues like federal spending, debt, taxes, and government programs like entitlements.

It’s usually assumed that these two agendas don’t have anything to do with each other.

But it’s simply false that we can consider the challenges of our federal budget without thinking about the state of the American family, our birthrates and abortion.

Our massive entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — now make up about 45 percent of our current federal budget. These programs are overwhelmingly driven by the demographics of the country, mostly directly, but also indirectly. Their economics are driven both by how long we live but also by how many children we have.

Social Security and Medicare focus on our elderly, to assure they have income and health care. Because the programs are financed through payroll taxes of the working, their viability depends on how many are employed compared to the size of our aged, retired populations.

This picture is changing dramatically, for the worse. And this is the root of our problem. In 1945, there were about 42 working Americans paying payroll taxes for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits. By 1960, the ratio was about 5-to-1. Today it is about 3-to-1. Americans are living longer but having fewer children.

Currently, about 13.3 percent of our population is over 65. Projections from the Department of Health and Human Services are that by 2040 — in a little over 25 years — 21 percent of our population will be over 65.

Meanwhile, birthrates are dropping. According to data compiled by the Pew Research Center, between 1920 and 1970, birth rates varied from a high of about 118 births per 1000 women of childbearing age to a low of about 80. In recent years, this rate has been a little over 60 births per 1000 women.

A report from the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration discusses factors that have led to the drop in birth rates. These include more use and availability of birth control, more women working, postponement of marriage, increased prevalence of divorce, and more women choosing to remain childless.

Not surprisingly, the SSA report ignores the impact of legal abortion. But this is a critical factor. You can look at any chart showing historical fertility rates in the United States and see it bottom out after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and staying around those levels.

Because fewer and fewer are working for every retiree, our current level of taxation nowhere near covers what the requirements for Social Security and Medicare will soon be. Meanwhile, although Medicaid is usually thought of as health care for the poor, it’s the source of funding for most long-term care for the elderly. Today, about 60 percent of Americans in nursing homes and long-term care institutions are being covered through Medicaid.

Just think what this financial burden will look like as our aged become an increasingly large portion of our population.

It’s why projections for the shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined have been as high as $126 trillion.

A central premise of Obamacare is forcing healthy young Americans to buy health insurance to subsidize overall premium costs for older and less healthy parts of the population. What happens as the percentage of youth in our population continues to shrink? It should be clear that it is impossible to separate marriage, children and abortion from our overall economic picture. These factors are at the root of the economic picture. A renaissance in American family life — restoration of marriage and children as central to our culture — and purge of the scourge of abortion — can restore a healthy future that today looks so ominous.

NOTE: Ms. Star Parker will be our Special Guest Speaker on Friday, December 6th, in Boise. If you’d like to attend our Christmas Dinner & Auction, please call 344-8709 to make reservations!

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: War on Seniors?

November 19th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

As more details are revealed about ObamaCare, it is becoming increasingly clear that seniors are under assault. A story over the weekend in the Wall St. Journal shows that health insurance companies are restricting access to doctors as a cost-cutting measure – “rationing” by another name.

Attention is focused on United Health’s Medicare Advantage coverage, a program many seniors rely upon to access quality care at a manageable cost. The company explains that deep cuts in government reimbursement rates are making it impossible for the company to make up the difference.

What does this have to do ObamaCare? Everything.

Remember that the cornerstone of funding for ObamaCare was a $700 billion reduction in funding for Medicare, primarily the Medicare Advantage program.

So much for the promise that “if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor”.

This is part of an intentional, strategic plan to shift health care expenditures away from the biggest consumers of health care services by forcing seniors to find care from fewer and fewer providers.

While Democrats have been successful persuading foolish young women and media allies that the only question of import is whether taxpayers provide them with “free” birth control drugs, the horrific fact is that the Obama Administration is waging a deadly war against seniors that will have genuine, tragic consequences.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Obamacare Ads Promote Casual Sex

November 19th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

There is quite an internet buzz going on about a new ad campaign aimed at young women under the banner, “got insurance?”

The text of the ad copy blatantly promotes premarital sex under the guise of urging young women to purchase an ObamaCare plan. Now that Obama has decreed that every young woman is entitled to “free” contraceptives – young libertines are loosed to pursue free sexual encounters as well.

Some will argue that this campaign is something of a weird aberration, certainly not central to ObamaCare. They are wrong.

The objective of ObamaCare is not improving health care. It is certainly not to provide insurance coverage to the uninsured. The central objective of ObamaCare is to remake American society. One key component of that agenda is to further degrade the sexual ethics of young Americans.

The federal government has long been involved in legitimizing premature sexual activity, but this ad campaign takes things to a whole new level.

Check it out for yourself, then spend some time in prayer for the nation’s future.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: The Biggest Presidential Lie

November 11th, 2013 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

As presidential lies go, this is the biggest, and it’s one that our president has uttered hundreds of times. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.” We now know, and it’s documented, that the president and his staff have known for years that was not true. They lied to us.

On page 34,552 of the Federal Register for 2010, an entry by the administration says their “mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.” That represents over 51 million people who will lose their health insurance, because of provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Let’s make sure we understand all of this. Section 1251 of the ACA refers to a “grandfather” provision that allowed people to keep their existing plans if so desired. But subsequent regulations by the administration interpreted that key section so narrowly that it would be virtually impossible to retain plans that were in place in 2010, unless the firm or organization had a waiver from implementation.

One of those subsequent regulatory changes was that if a plan that had been grandfathered per Section 1251 of the ACA were to make any changes after 2010, they would no longer be grandfathered. It’s inconceivable that any health insurance plans could’ve gone through the last three years of massive premium inflation with no changes! And not just in premiums, but changes in coverage, deductibles, or maximum out-of-pocket costs.

Declaring policies in effect in 2010 grandfathered as long as they made no adjustments the past three years would be tantamount to the administration saying that we could use the freeway for our travel needs for as long as we like, as long as we never change our speed or direction!

The Congressional Budget Office indicates that 156 million of us are covered under employer-sponsored plans. There are also another 25 million who, again according to the CBO, have “non-group and other” insurance coverage, in other words, most of those buy their own insurance. Again, it’s totally inconceivable that there are any plans that, based on the administration’s narrow interpretation of the grandfather clause, have not had any changes since 2010. In short, that means there are no grandfathered insurance plans! Yet the president has the temerity to claim we’re losing our insurance because of our carriers!

That’s not to say that everyone will lose their current coverage. Many of those plans have likely adjusted to accommodate the new requirements of mandated coverage as defined in the ACA. Mandated coverage now includes maternity care, gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, FDA-approved contraceptive methods, contraceptive education and counseling, breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling, sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women, and HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.

Isn’t it wonderful that all of us over age 40, and single men, get to pay for all of those services that we’ll never use? The freedom and flexibility of the ACA just never ceases to amaze me! I guess that explains in part why there were so many (6, officially) Americans who signed up on the first day!

Here are some other lies told by the President, and his Democrat allies in congress about the ACA. We’ve been promised that, if we like our doctor, we can keep him. In all likelihood, we can’t, since that doctor may be out of the network for our new plan that we were forced to buy.

He said our premiums would go down, that the ACA “will bend the cost curve down.” “The average family will pay $2,500 less for their insurance premiums.” Instead, they’ve gone up, $2,581 higher, according to Kaiser Health.

He said it would reduce the amount of healthcare spending in the country, that’s obviously not true. He said it would not add a dime to the deficit, yet it borrows $600 billion from Medicare, which is going broke, and at the current enrollment rate, the entire cost will add to the deficit.

He said he would not raise taxes a dime on anyone making under $250K, yet the bill is partially funded by taxes on insurance companies, drug companies, medical device companies, and health care providers. All those costs are going to be passed on to the patients, most of whom make far below $250K per year.

The further into the implementation of the ACA we get, the more convinced I am that deception, distortion, extortion, and outright lies are the very foundation of it. Even the notion that it was going to provide insurance coverage for everyone is a lie, since according to the Congressional Budget Office, even after 10 years of implementation, there will still be 31 million Americans without coverage. So we’ll have spent $1.93 trillion failing to achieve the primary objective of the Act, and literally destroying the coverage that the rest of us get.

We received our insurance cancellation letter from my wife’s employer the first of October. We were already paying an exorbitant premium that had increased over 25%, for a high $2,500 deductible. As we study our options on the Idaho ACA website, the policies within our capability to pay have deductibles of $8,000. And to make matters worse, we will still be paying up to 50% of our health care expenses after the deductible is met. I guess it’s meant to assuage our concerns that our maximum out-of-pocket expenses per year are capped at $12,700. We will be paying more for a new policy that will exact from us five times as much in out-of-pocket costs. This is not affordable care; this is highway robbery!

And the real kicker is that the administration knew all along what would happen to us all, as evidenced by their own words in the Federal Register. What’s different about this lie, though, is the mainstream media didn’t ignore it like they have all the others. NBC actually had the audacity to run with the story. For those of us who’ve been wondering where the media has been for the past five years, this actually provides a little glimmer of hope. Perhaps they’ll actually start doing their job now.

These lies, continuously uttered by our president, are much more significant than some of the others that have landed presidents in hot water. Certainly more significant than, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and “I am not a crook,” and “No new taxes.” These lies adversely affect all of us.

It’s no wonder that even though the ACA passed in 2009, they made no attempt to start collecting the taxes or implementing the mandates until after the 2012 election. If this had been implemented within two years after passage, in a logical world, there would be no Democrats left in congress today, for they were the only ones who voted for it.

This entire package was sold to us based on lies. And as destructive as the ACA is to the nation, to jobs, to the economy, to health insurance, and to family budgets, no one who supported and pushed for its passage should ever hold elected office again. It’s time to start holding politicians accountable, not for their intentions, but for their actions!

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Pocatello Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Nation’s Spending is Unsustainable

November 8th, 2013 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

There was a time when it was thought to be prudent to not spend beyond one’s means; a time when frugality was a desirable trait, and when such discipline and restraint constituted a man or woman of wisdom in financial affairs. Judging from the predictable reaction to the storyline fed by the mainstream media regarding fiscal policy in our nation’s capital, such fiscal discipline no longer is perceived as wise, but as extremist and radical.

And apparently there’s an ancillary postulate that accompanies that conclusion; that those who desire to not inflict harm on the nation due to bad government regulation fall under the same broad definitional brush of extremism and radicalism.

Just since 2006, the last year the U.S. government had a budget passed by both congressional chambers and signed by a president, government debt has shot from $6.7 trillion, to over $17 trillion. The largest segment of that spending occurred over the past five years with four consecutive years of $1 trillion deficits. Our government has been spending 60% more than it’s been collecting in tax receipts.

Those figures do not even begin to address our long-term debt due to non-discretionary entitlement programs. According to the General Accounting Office’s (GAO) 2012 annual report, their most recent which was issued nearly one year ago, unfunded debt including Social Security and Medicare was $70.7 trillion, an increase of 8% over 2011 levels. Our national debt increases by an estimated $8.2 million per minute, and about $350 billion per month.

The GAO was explicit in its warning to the policy makers about our spending. They said in the very first paragraph, “GAO’s simulations continue to show escalating levels of debt that illustrate that the long-term fiscal outlook remains unsustainable.”

For those who may have difficulty grasping the gravity of the word “unsustainable,” let’s clarify the term. That means it is “not able to be maintained at the current rate or level.” That it is “not able to be upheld or defended.”

Former Comptroller General of the United States, David M. Walker, has been sounding the clarion call of economic disaster for the nation if spending is not reined in, and politicians refuse to deal with fiscal realities of unabated spending. He describes America as a “sinking ship” in a sea of our own debt. He points out that, “The US ranks near the bottom of developed global economies in terms of financial stability and will stay there unless it addresses its burgeoning debt problems,” based on the Sovereign Fiscal Responsibility Index.

“We think it is important for the American people to understand where the United States is as compared to other countries with regard to fiscal responsibility and sustainability,” Walker said in a CNBC interview recently. He predicts that the country is rapidly heading towards a debt crisis that could come within the next few years if we continue on our present course.

Those are the facts, at least a small glimpse at our dismal fiscal reality. And yet, when facing another massively expensive entitlement, and a debt limit, and a government “shutdown” over spending issues, the press and their chorus of ideologically-compliant sycophants across the land excoriate the one group of politicians that sees the threat of our current reality!

The fiscal terrorists are not those in the House, who out of conscience and their commitment to their voters refuse to budge on spending without fiscal reform. The biggest terrorist threat to the nation are those who vote perfunctorily to increase our debt, continue to spend beyond our means, and refuse to say no to new spending programs that threaten to expedite the collapse of the nation from debt implosion! They are destroying the nation minute by minute, and debt limit increase by debt limit increase, by continuing our unsustainable spending trajectory with no attempt at addressing it.

How idiotic it is when the mainstream media rejoices when a debt limit, regardless of how temporary, is increased. When the government resumes full operations without any substantive assessment of our unsustainable mountain of debt, as identified by the General Accounting Office! And how idiotic it is when a majority of the American public applauds the resumption of our unsustainable course of debt accrual, with no apparent concern for the perpetuity of the republic!

The president is claiming credit for a slight deficit reduction this past year. That’s sublimely ironic considering it happened because of an idea he floated, and then denounced, and become enacted as a 5% reduction in spending known as the sequester.

The sequester has made a slight difference in the trajectory of our mountain of debt, but not nearly enough. If the nation is to survive financially, a change of course and reassessment of our spending priorities is critical. Our role is to be an informed electorate, and if we love America, support candidates with a commitment to saving the nation from the spendthrift politicians in control now.

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Wait – It Gets Worse

November 8th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The fiasco that is ObamaCare continues to get worse with each passing day. In the middle of this national tragedy is the state insurance exchange. Very little data has come to light regarding the number of Idahoans signing up for insurance under the $70 million website built by the Otter Administration to facilitate ObamaCare. The last number we saw was something short of 75. Yes, seventy-five.

But under the cover of a MSM black-out in Idaho – something worse may be brewing.

A recent column by Dick Morris suggests that Medicaid rolls could be exploding as the state exchange is merely helping more Idahoans sign-up for taxpayer-funded welfare, rather than private insurance.

Already Medicaid is the largest welfare program in the nation, with some 82 million Americans receiving health insurance coverage through the program. This dwarfs Food Stamps or even Social Security.

Morris reports that 88% of the new enrollments in the state of Washington have actually become new Medicaid recipients. Kentucky has seen 82% of its exchange “customers” become welfare recipients under Medicaid. What are the numbers for Idaho? Who knows.

But it seems likely that the Legislature is going to return to quite a budget shock when they gather this winter. If the numbers in Idaho are anything like those of other states – the State of Idaho will have a substantial increase in Medicaid costs in the next budget year. And let’s be clear: The new enrollees are qualifying under the existing program rules – which means that the federal government will only reimburse Idaho at the old rates of “cost-sharing”, something like 50/50.

As the Insurance/IACI lobbying cabal beats the Legislature into expanding Medicaid next session, we can only wonder if the general public will be fully informed as to the (likely) dramatic increase already taking place through the state insurance exchange system.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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