Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | The Brothers Johnson Week!

Happy Friday, Everyone! Hope you’ve enjoyed The Brothers Johnson this week. More BJ…

Do it for Love

Brothers Johnson – Ain’t We Funkin’ Now [1978]

Louis Johnson Bass Solo, Brothers Johnson Live 1979

Quincy Jones with the Brothers Johnson on Soul Train (1st performance

And for an extra classic today…


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69 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | The Brothers Johnson Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Look at some of the pictures…

    I love looking at vintage wedding pictures….

  2. rikyrah says:

    Report: 5.8 Million People Lose Access To Medicaid Due To GOP Obstruction

    According to an Urban Institute study, if all 50 states expanded Medicaid, “an estimated 10.3 million poor uninsured adults would have new options for insurance coverage.”

    Unfortunately, because the Affordable Care Act gives states the right to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid — the law provides complete funding of Medicaid for the next three years, which means the cost of expansion is covered by the federal government, not the states — many Republican-controlled states across the nation have rejected expansion of the program that offers coverage to the poor, elderly, and disabled.

    In the 25 states that have decided against expanding Medicaid as of January, the study finds that an estimated 5.8 million Americans – accounting for 27.2 percent of all uninsured adults nationwide — will not be eligible for health coverage through the program.

    The reasons have overwhelmingly been tied to ideology and party politics. GOP lawmakers have argued that Medicaid expansion is “big government” intrusion and detrimental to state economies.

    According to the report, in many of these states, uninsured residents with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage through the federally run exchanges. Uninsured adults with incomes below the poverty level will not have access to any new coverage options.

    Several states that have opted out of expanding Medicaid are considering alternative plans that would offer coverage to their poorest residents. Pennsylvania, Utah, and New Hampshire – among the 25 states not expanding Medicaid included in the study – are adopting variations of Arkansas’ “private option” plan that would use federal funds to subsidize private coverage for low-income residents.

  3. rikyrah says:

    SmartyPants: How Political Journalists Gave Up The Freakin’ Plot

    As someone who loves looking at the big picture, I am particularly glad to see Jay Rosen write about this kind of thing. He zero’s in on that second article by Chris Cillizza in a piece aptly titled: Behold how badly our political journalists have lost the freakin’ plot. Nobody knows exactly when it happened. But at some point between Teddy White’s The Making of the President, 1960 and the Willie Horton ads in 1988, political journalism in this country lost the plot. When it got overly interested in the inside game, it turned you and me and everyone who has to go into the voting booth and make a decision into an object of technique, which it then tried to assess.

    We became the people on whom the masters of politics practiced their craft. Then political journalism tried to recover an audience from the people it had turned into poll numbers and respondents to packaged stimuli. Tricky maneuver. In other words, political journalists turned their focus away from being the source of information to become analysts of the power game. Voters/citizens are objectified via the assumption that we are merely the field on which these games are played. This is why Chuck Todd can so blithely claim that its not his job to call out the lies being told about Obamacare. Its not because he is a tool of the GOP. Its because he literally doesn’t think its his job to provide the public with accurate information about policies. He thinks his job is to analyze what works/doesn’t work for the power players in politics.

  4. rikyrah says:

    They Didn’t Even Put Up a Fight: How the GOP Came to Fear Obama

    Thursday, February 13, 2014 | Posted by Spandan Chakrabarti at 12:01 PM

    The last hurdle to a clean debt ceiling increase, Ted Cruz’s proposed second rendering of “Green Eggs and Hams”, was soundly defeated in the Senate today, though all the Republicans who voted to rob Cruz of the opportunity to filibuster then turned around and voted to default the United States. That latter vote was inconsequential, of course, as 55 Democrats voted to do the responsible thing and pay America’s bills.

    The bill was already passed by the House with a smattering of Republicans joining the Democratic minority, as LL reported here earlier in the week, and the president will sign it. But this debt ceiling skirmish smelled and looked different from the ones Republicans have put up in the past two and a half years that they have been in charge of the US House. This one not only has a taste of bitter defeat for the Republicans, it has the hint of resignation. I can’t call it a fight, because they didn’t even put up a fight.

    For one thing, this one was done well ahead of time. Though the debt limit was only technically suspended until February 7, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that extraordinary measures employed by his department would carry us to February 27 without having any bills go unpaid. That made the 27th the real deadline. In each of the previous occasions, Republicans have pushed as close to the deadline as possible before eventually caving. Even after they shut down the government in October, they did not resolve it until a mere 24 hours to go before hitting the debt ceiling.

    And, unlike last time, the extension that just passed Congress doesn’t last a mere 3 months. It lasts a whole year – actually, 13 months. This isn’t just a cave, this is a broad surrender without preconditions.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Paul Waldman: Racial Fears, Gun Fantasies, And Another Dead Teenager

    The basic facts are that Dunn and his fiancée pulled into a convenience store, where she went inside and he stayed outside. Dunn then got into an argument with four teenagers in another car over the volume of the music they were playing; the argument escalated, and eventually Dunn took out his gun and fired ten shots, killing Jordan Davis, one of the teens. Dunn claims that he saw a shotgun, or maybe a pipe, emerge from the teens’ car, so he had no choice but to defend himself. No such gun or pipe was ever found. That part of his story was also contradicted by his fiancée, who testified that afterward he said nothing to her about them having a gun.

    While in jail awaiting trial, Dunn wrote letters to his family that said, among other things, “It’s spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are. This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs.” When he says “racist” in that letter, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about bias against black people. He also wrote, “This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.” That doesn’t sound like a man who’s “crazy with grief,” as he testified he was over the shooting.

  6. rikyrah says:

    See, this is chickenshyt about it not being a Democratic or Republican issue.

    It sure is hell is.

    You keep on voting for muthafuckas that are plain and simple that your asses don’t deserve to have healthcare.

    Your unicorn nonsense that it’s ‘ not a Democratic or Republican’ issue is just another bullshyt way of saying,

    ” I don’t want to sound stupid for voting for people that want to take away my healthcare.”


    ‘It isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue’
    02/14/14 02:30 PM—Updated 02/14/14 02:34 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The longer the Affordable Care Act exists, the more Americans there will be who are thankful that it does.

    The University of South Florida’s news outlet ran a piece this week, for example, quoting a number of local Republicans who’ve embraced the law. “I did not vote for Obama,” Irene Jacusis said. “But I am so in love with this plan.” Jacusis said she knows her party is committed to destroying the health care law she loves, but she doesn’t think Republicans will actually repeal the ACA because “there are too many people out there who need this and require it.”

    The same report quoted another local woman named Mary Fallon who, after learning her monthly premiums would drop from $768 to $150, cried with joy: “I just held my hands up in the air. Thank you, god. Finally, some relief. I couldn’t do it anymore.” She intends to spend the extra money in her pocked to “restart the economic engine.”

    Another local woman, Peggy Arvanitas, literally takes it upon herself to drive Republican voters to the polls on Election Day, but now that she’s paying just $10 a month for coverage, she’s decided she loves the Affordable Care Act. “It isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue,” she said. “It’s a health care issue.”

    And then there’s the dramatic story of Mike O’Dell, who’s alive today in part because of “Obamacare.”

    The Fox affiliate in Kansas City ran this report on O’Dell, who recently received a new heart, saving his life.

    He couldn’t afford a transplant. He qualified for Kansas Medicaid coverage for those with high medical expenses, but he couldn’t meet the spenddown requirements to have continuous coverage.

    “While we could have done the transplant even without charging him, the medication he would never be able to afford,” said Dr. Andrew Kao, his heart specialist. Anti-rejection medicine costs $4,000 a month and must be taken daily to keep the new heart. […]

    He couldn’t get private health insurance because of his pre-existing heart condition. But as of January 1, with the health care law, insurers can no longer deny coverage. O’Dell and his wife were able to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace for $190 a month. That allowed him to go on the transplant waiting list.

    The report quoted the man’s wife saying, “He wouldn’t be here with me or my children if it weren’t for the Obamacare.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Kansas makes anti-gay discrimination easier
    02/13/14 03:18 PM
    By Steve Benen

    For proponents of Kansas’ new anti-gay legislation, well on its way to becoming law, the issue is “religious liberty.” That’s a fig leaf, though, for an unusually odious proposal.

    The Kansas House has approved a bill aimed at keeping individuals, groups and businesses from being compelled to help with same-sex weddings. The House’s 72-49 vote Wednesday sends HB 2453 to the Senate.

    Supporters describe it as a religious freedom measure. Opponents contend it will encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    The bill would bar government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell’s algae problem

    02/13/14 04:05 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunch of the Republican caucus on Nov. 19, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunch of the Republican caucus on Nov. 19, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
    Two years ago this month, President Obama spoke in Miami about energy policy, touting his “all-of-the-above” agenda, and outlining a comprehensive vision. Towards the end of the speech, he mentioned, “We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance – algae.”

    At the time, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pounced, acting as if the president’s comment was the height of ridiculousness. “I think the American people realize that a president who’s out there talking about algae when they’re having to choose between whether to buy groceries or to fill up the tank is the one who’s out of touch,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. He added, “As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of gasoline, the president took algae as a substitute for gas.”

    Even at the time, the line of attack seemed pretty strange. A variety of conservative Republicans – Darrell Issa, Mike Pence, Mike Johanns, et al – have not only supported federally-funded algae research, they even asked the Obama administration to increase support for the projects. Why would McConnell condemn energy research his own party supports?

  9. rikyrah says:

    Core contradictions drive ACA criticism
    02/13/14 11:40 AM—Updated 02/13/14 01:12 PM
    By Steve Benen

    As the Affordable Care Act continues to find its footing and the system grows stronger, its detractors are finding that their arguments are running into each other in unhelpful ways.

    For example, for years, Republicans have argued that “Obamacare” redistributes wealth in such a way as to punish the wealthy. The party stuck to that line, right up until Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued the exact opposite: ”[Obamacare] exacerbates income inequality. This is why the rich have gotten richer under President Obama.”

    You can say the ACA goes too far to help the poor, or the ACA goes too far to help the rich, but you shouldn’t say both at the same time.

    The same is true of enrollment numbers – critics of the law tend to complain that enrollment totals to date are both too high and too low.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The ACA ‘victims’ who aren’t

    02/14/14 09:11 AM
    By Steve Benen

    If opponents of the Affordable Care Act are correct, the law’s victims are everywhere. “Obamacare” has hurt so many people, crushed so many dreams, and caused so much anguish that the right has no trouble at all finding “horror stories” that prove just how awful the ACA really is.

    But despite the ubiquity of these victims, the “horror stories” tend to fall apart rather quickly when subjected to even minor scrutiny. Indeed, in Louisiana, it’s even come to this.

    A new political attack ad from the Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity calls on Louisianans to tell Sen. Mary Landrieu that Obamacare is hurting their families.

    The ad shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianans, opening their mail to find a letter stating that their health care policy has been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act.

    “Due to the Affordable Care Act, your monthly premium has increased,” a voice-over says in the ad as a man in a rural neighborhood opens a cancellation letter and looks at his young daughter standing next to him. “No longer covered, due to the Affordable Care Act.”

    As ABC News found, none of the featured victims are actually victims – they’re actors.

  11. rikyrah says:

    SC Gov. Haley says she backs carrying firearms without permits, training

    S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday that she backs a proposal that would make it legal for most South Carolinians to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit or the training that the state currently requires.

    Haley made her comments after she signed into law a bill that allows gun owners with licenses to carry concealed weapons into businesses that serve alcohol – restaurants and bars – as long as they do not drink alcohol and the businesses did not bar guns.

    After signing the restaurant and bar bill, Haley said she backs a pending state Senate bill, called the “Constitutional Carry Act,” that would eliminate the state’s current permitting and training requirements for citizens who wish to carry firearms.

    “Criminals are dangerous, and I think that every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals,” Haley said when asked by The State to respond to some state senators’ fears that doing away with the permitting and training requirements could threaten the public.

    Read more here:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Cruz making enemies and alienating people
    02/14/14 10:18 AM—Updated 02/14/14 10:47 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for reasons that are still unclear, made this week’s vote on raising the debt ceiling unnecessarily difficult – for Republicans. At a distance, it almost seemed as if he wanted to punish his ostensible GOP allies, orchestrating an awkward political confrontation that could have easily been avoided.

    The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which routinely offers a peek into the minds of the Republican establishment, said Cruz’s antics help “explain why Republicans remain a minority…. If Republicans fail again this November, a big reason will be their rump kamikaze caucus.”

    Soon after, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) promoted the WSJ editorial on Twitter, calling it a “must read.”

    McCain, who has previously referred to Cruz as a “wacko bird,” is hardly the only one in his party with concerns. Byron York reported last night:

    It would be an understatement to say that many of Cruz’s GOP colleagues were righteously ticked off at him [after the debt-ceiling vote]. Nobody wanted to vote to raise the debt limit, but many believed strongly that a losing fight over spending would damage the party. Besides, Cruz didn’t even have a plan for what to do had his Republican colleagues improbably decided to go along with him. […]

    In the end, the gambit accomplished nothing for Senate Republicans. Some GOP lawmakers who already disliked Cruz now dislike him even more

  13. rikyrah says:

    Funding gambits for me, not for thee
    02/14/14 10:43 AM
    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, Senate Democrats thought they’d come up with a way to overcome a Republican filibuster on extending federal unemployment benefits. Because the GOP insisted the jobless aid must be paid for – despite the fact that Republicans believed the opposite in the recent past – Dems crafted a solution.

    The plan was fairly simple: unemployment benefits could be extended through the rest of the year, and it’d be financed by extended some sequestration spending cuts for another year into the future. It was admittedly something of a shell game – Democrats intended to spend some aid in 2014 in exchange for spending cuts in 2024. Proponents of the idea admitted they expected to find some alternate solution to sequestration long before the damage is done a decade from now.

    But Republicans balked, complaining, among other things, that the financing was effectively smoke and mirrors. “I’m tired of these supposed pay-fors where you spend money the first year, and you don’t pay for it, what, until 10 years later,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said. “It’s literally a joke.”

    A month later, however, Michael McAuliff noticed that GOP officials suddenly discovered they like the scheme after all – for one of their priorities.

    It turned out the principle applied only to the unemployed. Nearly all GOP senators voted Wednesday for the very same plan when it was aimed at helping people who retired early from the military.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney would like your attention now
    02/14/14 11:23 AM

    By Steve Benen

    Dan Hicks once asked, “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?” I find myself having a similar thought about Mitt Romney.

    Last May, the failed presidential candidate was reportedly “restless” and decided he would “re-emerge in ways that will “help shape national priorities.’”

    As we discussed at the time, failed national candidates, unless they hold office and/or plan to run again, traditionally fade from public view, content with the knowledge that they had their say, made their pitch, and came up short.

    But Romney has decided he wants to keep bashing the president who defeated him.

  15. My sweet and loving daughter surprised her mother with these beautiful flowers for Valentine’s Day! They were delivered to my house a few minutes ago. I was like who’s that at my door. I don’t know this person. And viola! I get these beautiful flowers.

    Thank you, Jonne’ Michelle! You made Mama very happy! *tears*

    Jonne Valentine1

  16. TyrenM says:

    Happy Valentines Day 3Chics! I’ve liked The Brothers Johnson forever. Louis’ voice and bass guitar work… all that.

  17. Ametia says:

    Note to Rev Al. If I want to know what Fox News aka FAUX NOISE lying, scheming, and ridiculing POTUS & FLOTUS, I’d watch them. Please stop rehasing Limpballs rantings!

  18. Yahtc says:

    21 Things You Can’t Do While Black
    In the United States, sometimes your skin color is evidence enough against you.

    Wed Feb. 12, 2014

    These 21 things are based on events. You will be able to click on each one to learn what happened to each Black victim.

  19. rikyrah says:

    February 14, 2014 9:52 AM
    Republicans Getting the Wrong Market Signals
    By Ed Kilgore

    In his weekly National Journal column, Ron Brownstein uses Chevrolet’s “The New Us” ad campaign in the Olympics rotation to show that Republicans just aren’t keeping up with the country:

    In cascading images, one ad warmly portrays couples of every race and ethnicity, interracial couples, gay male couples, gay female couples—all raising what appear to be happy, well-adjusted children. Not only does Heather have two mommies; in the world Chevrolet evokes, she’s perfectly fine with it. “While what it means to be a family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like, has,” the ad intones. “This is the new us.”

    The “new us” bears more than a passing resemblance to the new coalition that has allowed Democrats to win the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections. As the veteran Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg has said, the modern Democratic national coalition is essentially diverse America and the portions of white America (largely white-collar whites, especially women) who are comfortable with diverse America.

    That doesn’t mean, by any count, that all of the GOP coalition is uneasy with the trends of growing racial diversity and acceptance of homosexuality the Chevrolet ad evokes. But it is fair to say that the portions of American society most uneasy about these changes—particularly many blue-collar, older, and rural whites—are concentrated within that coalition

  20. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweethearts!

    Happy Valentine's Day

  21. Yahtc says:

    Please consider signing this petition (and passing it on to other blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc):

    Chris Cuomo interviewed George Zimmerman, the acquitted killer of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. This is a shameful exploitation of his tragic death. Trayvon Martin should be alive today and we should not be giving an international platform to the man who took his life and now lives his own, freely.

    George Zimmerman is not a celebrity.

    He is not newsworthy.

    He deserves no media attention.

    Show respect to Trayvon Martin’s family and do NOT air this interview as scheduled on Tuesday February 19.

    Cancel The Interview.

  22. rikyrah says:

    WSJ Attacks Cruz For Spoiling the Game
    By Ed Kilgore

    Those hailing what happened with the debt limit increase yesterday as some sort of Revolt of the Grownups that will put the Tea Party back in its place and herald in a new era of bipartisanship should take a look at the Wall Street Journal editorial blasting Ted Cruz as threatening the prospects for a GOP takeover of the Senate.

    They aren’t mad at Cruz for opposing a debt limit increase. They’re mad at him for forcing a vote which revealed the double-dealing GOP effort to ensure the debt limit increased passed without Republican votes.

    Democrats had enough votes to pass the increase with a simple majority, which means they would have owned the debt increase. But then Senator Ted Cruz —the same fellow who planned the GOP’s shutdown fiasco in October—objected on the floor and insisted on a 60-vote majority. This is exactly what Democratic leader Harry Reid wanted because if the bill failed he would have sent the Senate home on recess and returned later this month to join President Obama in flogging the GOP as the debt-ceiling deadline neared.

    The 60-vote threshold was reached only after GOP leaders Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn and 10 others voted to let the final debt-ceiling vote proceed. All 12 then opposed the increase on final passage, but thanks to Mr. Cruz they had to walk the plank with Democrats on a procedural vote.

    It’s all about deceptive GOP positioning, not any desire for bipartisanship or even fiscal sanity. This is why I’m convinced the debt limit saga is probably the death knell, not a green light, for immigration reform. Now an awful lot of Republicans won’t take the risk of coming anywhere near legislation supported by Democrats, even if they secretly support it. Ted Cruz might out them.

    • Ametia says:

      Cruz is a snake in the grass, and the REthugs should be real proud of the Tea party darling that Sarah Palin supported and helped got elected. HA!

  23. rikyrah says:

    Tom Perkins’ big idea: The rich should get more votes
    By Charles Riley @CRrileyCNN February 14, 2014: 8:22 AM ET

    Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote — and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.

    The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would “change the world” at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky.

    “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said.

    “But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

    The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking. Asked offstage if the proposal was serious, Perkins said: “I intended to be outrageous, and it was.”

    Perkins seemed to be aware that he was courting controversy, saying that his voting proposal would “make you more angry than my letter to the Wall Street Journal.”

    That letter, published last month, compared the supposed assault on the wealthy to a wave of Nazi attacks on Jews ahead of the Holocaust.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Koch Brothers Ad Attacking Mary Landrieu Uses Paid Actors
    By Jordyn Phelps@JordynPhelps

    A new political attack ad from the Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity calls on Louisianans to tell Sen. Mary Landrieu that Obamacare is hurting their families.

    The ad shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianans, opening their mail to find a letter stating that their health care policy has been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act.

    “Due to the Affordable Care Act, your monthly premium has increased,” a voice-over says in the ad as a man in a rural neighborhood opens a cancellation letter and looks at his young daughter standing next to him. “No longer covered, due to the Affordable Care Act.”

    But the people in the emotion-evoking ad are not Louisianans at all; they are paid actors.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Chris Hayes on Sandy Money last night:

    As new storm hits, Sandy victims still frustrated

    Angry residents sound off on Sandy aid

  26. rikyrah says:

    New threats to voting rights

  27. rikyrah says:

    Rutherford will not release independent investigator’s report

    Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford ordered a taxpayer-funded investigation, vowing it would clear him of sexual harassment charges. Now, in a monumental about-face, Rutherford won’t release the results.

    The office’s decision could mean the issue will continue to dog Rutherford for the remainder of his bid for the GOP gubernatorial primary nod.

    Rutherford’s spokeswoman cited pending litigation and the “advice of counsel” as driving the decision, which was first reported Thursday by the Sun-Times.

  28. rikyrah says:

    The greatest movie romances
    We count down the top 50 romances on film

    By Glenn Kenny

    The romance is perhaps the most durable and honored of all film genres; it certainly gets more respect, critically and awards-wise, than sci-fi or crime films do. The fact that a romance can be easily slotted INTO any other … more

  29. rikyrah says:

    What State Do You Actually Belong In?

    From quiz to shining quiz. posted on February 13, 2014 at 12:11pm EST

    I got NEW YORK

    • Ametia says:

      I’m sure CNN wants to exploit all of Zimmerman’s many run-ins with the law since the crackpot jury let him go free! /SNARK TEA-NN has no shame.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  31. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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