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Obama: Nation stronger, GOP should back his plans

Posted: February 12, 2013 - 11:22pm
President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)  AP
AP
President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

WASHINGTON — Uncompromising and politically emboldened, President Barack Obama urged a deeply divided Congress Tuesday night to embrace his plans to use government money to create jobs and strengthen the nation’s middle class. He declared Republican ideas for reducing the deficit “even worse” than the unpalatable deals Washington had to stomach during his first term.

In his first State of the Union address since winning re-election, Obama conceded economic revival is an “unfinished task,” but he claimed clear progress and said he prepared to build on it as he embarks on four more years in office.

“We have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is strong,” Obama said in an hour-long address to a joint session of Congress and a television audience of millions.

With unemployment persistently high and consumer confidence falling, the economy remains a vulnerability for Obama and could disrupt his plans for pursuing a broader agenda, including immigration overhaul, stricter gun laws and climate change legislation.

Still, fresh off a convincing re-election win, Obama made clear in his remarks that he was determined to press his political advantage against a divided, defensive and worried Republican Party. Numerous times he urged Congress to act quickly on his priorities — but vowed to act on some issues on his own if they do not.

Obama also announced new steps to reduce the U.S. military footprint abroad, with 34,000 American troops withdrawing from Afghanistan within a year. And he had a sharp rebuke for North Korea, which launched a nuclear test just hours before his remarks, saying, “Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further.”

In specific proposals for shoring up the economy in his second term, an assertive Obama called for increased federal spending to fix the nation’s roads and bridges, the first increase in the minimum wage in six years and expansion of early education to every American 4-year-old. Seeking to appeal for support from Republicans, he promised that none of his proposals would increase the deficit “by a single dime” although he didn’t explain how he would pay for his programs or how much they would cost.

In the Republican response to Obama’s address, rising GOP star Marco Rubio of Florida came right back at the president, saying his solution “to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

Sen. Rubio said presidents of both parties have recognized that the free enterprise system brings middle-class prosperity.

“But President Obama?” Rubio said. “He believes it’s the cause of our problems.”

Still, throughout the House chamber there were symbolic displays of bipartisanship. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., arrived early and sat with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., just returned in January nearly a year after suffering a debilitating stroke. As a captain in the National Guard, Duckworth lost both her legs while serving in Iraq in 2004.

A few aisles away, the top two tax writers in Congress, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., sat together.

But as a sign that divisions still remain, three of the most conservative Supreme Court justices skipped Obama’s speech. Six of the nine attended. Missing were Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

Jobs and growth dominated Obama’s address. Many elements of his economic blueprint were repacked proposals from his first term that failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill.

Standing in Obama’s way now is a Congress that remains nearly as divided as it was during the final years of his first term, when Washington lurched from one crisis to another.

The president implored lawmakers to break through partisan logjams, asserting that “the greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next.”

“Americans don’t expect government to solve every problem,” he said. “They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can.”

Yet Obama offered few signs of being willing to compromise himself, instead doubling down on his calls to create jobs by spending more government money and insisting that lawmakers pay down the deficit through a combination of targeted spending cuts and tax increases. But he offered few specifics on what he wanted to see cut, focusing instead on the need to protect programs that help the middle class, elderly and poor.

He did reiterate his willingness to tackle entitlement changes, particularly on Medicare, though he has ruled out increasing the eligibility age for the popular benefit program for seniors.

Republicans are ardently opposed to Obama’s calls for legislating more tax revenue to reduce the deficit and offset broad the automatic spending cuts — known as the sequester — that are to take effect March 1. The president accused GOP lawmakers of shifting the cuts from defense to programs that would help the middle class and elderly, as well as those supporting education and job training.

“That idea is even worse,” he said.

Obama broke little new ground on two agenda items he has pushed vigorously since winning re-election: overhauling the nation’s fractured immigration laws and enacting tougher gun control measures in the wake of the horrific massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn. Yet he pressed for urgency on both, calling on Congress to send him an immigration bill “in the next few months” and insisting lawmakers hold votes on his gun proposals.

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress,” he said. “If you want to vote no, that’s your choice.”

Numerous lawmakers wore green lapel ribbons in memory of those killed in the December shootings in Connecticut. Among those watching in the House gallery: the parents of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, shot and killed recently in a park just a mile from the president’s home in Chicago, as well as other victims of gun violence.

On the economy, Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 by 2015. The minimum wage has been stagnant since 2007, and administration officials said the increase would strengthen purchasing power. The president also wants Congress to approve automatic increases in the wage to keep pace with inflation.

Looking for common ground anywhere he could find it, Obama framed his proposal to boost the minimum wage by pointing out that even his GOP presidential rival liked the idea. He said, “Here’s an idea that Gov. Romney and I actually agreed on last year: Let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.”

Obama also renewed his calls for infrastructure spending, investments he sought repeatedly during his first term with little support from Republicans. He pressed lawmakers to approve a $50 billion “fix it first” program that would address the most urgent infrastructure needs.

Education also figures in Obama’s plans to boost American competitiveness in the global economy. Under his proposal, the federal government would help states provide pre-school for all 4-year-olds. Officials did not provide a cost for the pre-school programs but said the government would provide financial incentives to help states.

Among the other initiatives Obama is proposing:

— A $1 billion plan to create 15 “manufacturing institutes” that would bring together businesses, universities and the government. If Congress opposes the initiative, Obama plans to use his presidential powers to create three institutes on his own.

— Creation of an “energy security trust” that would use revenue from federal oil and gas leases to support development of clean energy technologies such as biofuels and natural gas

— Doubling of renewable energy in the U.S. from wind, solar and geothermal sources by 2020.

— Launching negotiations on a free trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union

Obama also called on Congress to tackle the threat of climate change, another issue that eluded him in his first term. The president pledged to work with lawmakers to seek bipartisan solutions but said if Capitol Hill doesn’t act, he’ll order his Cabinet to seek steps he can take using his presidential powers.

Taking a swipe at those who question the threat of global warming, Obama said, “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science - and act before it’s too late.”

Tackling voters’ rights issues, Obama announced the creation of a commission that will seek to make it easier and faster for people to cast ballots on Election Day. He used as an example the story of 102-year-old Desiline Victor, a Florida woman who waited in line to vote for several hours during the November election. Victor attended Tuesday’s speech as a guest of the first lady and was applauded heartily by the lawmakers.

Obama also called on Congress to pass legislation giving the government more power to combat the rapidly growing threat of cyberattacks. And, as a down payment on that, the president announced that he has signed an executive order to fight electronic espionage through the development of voluntary standards to protect networks and computer systems that run critical infrastructure.

Associated Press writer Nancy Benac contributed to this report.

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Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/13/13 - 06:25 pm
5
2
Proud to have voted for this

Proud to have voted for this man and am thankful he is in office.

Alaskalad
55
Points
Alaskalad 02/14/13 - 06:34 am
4
1
Marco Rubio

I am currently in Central Florida. The past Chairman of the FRP a Mr Greer just yesterday pled guilty to campaign finance fraud and conspiracies to use those funds for personal use involving several elected officials. and will go away for years over it. Mr Rubio is described as being among the individuals who abused the campaign funds, taking family vacations on those funds,and generally "using the Republican Party's accounts as his personal Piggy Bank" and it appears quite possible he will be the next one charged, which is one of the reasons he is selling his $700,000 home and moving to DC, to presumably be among the blue collar workers there . And this is who the R's choose to be their spokesman . If you listen closely his statement could have come from Romney's mouth, or Paul Ryan's.
Our President is not perfect. I have several areas that is am not in agreement with him. but I believe he is an honest intelligent man and that we are lucky to have him in office, as opposed to what could have been

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/14/13 - 09:54 am
3
1
Impossible !

Why I don't believe it ! 2 Alaskans that agree with President Obama ! Say It Ain't So
SPW

KenaiKardinal88
396
Points
KenaiKardinal88 02/14/13 - 03:33 pm
0
4
Murkowski, Begich vote with Obama

In the latest garbage from DC, our two liberal senators voted for the Nagel nominee.

Two liberals from Alaska - the country is in big trouble.

Unglued
228
Points
Unglued 02/14/13 - 04:30 pm
4
0
Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/14/13 - 06:19 pm
3
0
Pure partisan politics.

Pure partisan politics. Chuck Hagel is a honorable viet nam vet. This deviseness between the 2 parties are tearing this country up.
I am so sick of our elected offcials voting the party line INSTEAD of doing what is right and good for our country.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 02/15/13 - 07:40 am
1
2
norseman/spw

Check out obama's voting record if you are truely sick of partisan politics.And for a democrat to worry about honorable vet of any sort is laughable Bill Clinton comes to mind

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/15/13 - 10:31 am
4
1
So Bob, you think only repubs

So Bob, you think only repubs are "honorable" vets?

I say EVERY SINGLE VETERAN is honorable REGARDLESS of political affilation.

You offend veterans with your ignorant comment.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/15/13 - 11:16 am
2
2
Unity

Fri 2/16/13 Norseman, Bob is one of those Republicans that are in dere need of Counseling for Anger Management.

Only One Percent of All Americans have ever served in Our Military. Military Veterans are a very very Small Minority in a Nation of over 312 Million People.

We Military Veterans need to Stick Together & Stop Back Stabbing Each Other.
If You have EARNED a Honorable Discharge then You are a Veteran Period End of Story Your DD 214 will Prove that.

We Crusty Ole Veterans need to be Standing Up for Our Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans. 1000,s will be Coming Home Soon & they will Need Our Help.

Only Our Military & Their Families, Our Veterans & Their Families are Fighting the War on Terrorism.
No One else Gives a Damn. Just mention the word Afghanistan then witness how fast People will turn & walk away. They Don't Want to Hear It.

Thanks for Listening SPW "Airborne All the Way"

cheapersmokes
827
Points
cheapersmokes 02/15/13 - 04:52 pm
1
3
Agree with most of the comments about vets but!

Agree with most of the comments about vets but for someone to call Oidiot an honest and trustworthy man has to have his head firmly implanted up his arse. This man has never shown a single college records of produced even one single person who knew him when a attended college according to him. He has also spent millions of dollars hiding his birth records when he could of just dropped a certified copy of it on the clerk of courts desk for less than $40 and had it all go away. And he wants us to believe that he can handle money and his plan is the best for America.....give me a break! Propose all kinds of new government spending with no plans on how to pay for it is so typical of the Democrats and why does most of always have to go to their strongest supporters like Unions and Teachers.

I think Alaska should just succeed and charge the military to have bases here and drill whenever and wherever they desire.

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 02/15/13 - 06:37 pm
1
0
Anyone who is proud to be a obama supporter...
Unpublished

...should be ashamed to call themselves Alaskan's and let alone Americans. The fact that people actually support a deceitful, communist traitor as the leader of our once great nation, is a strong indicator of the lack intelligence and patriotism our country now possess.

Of most insult to the American Dream and way of life, is those who have served in the armed forces and still support a socialist president who is driving a nation into civil destruction. YOU should know better! And you KNOW who YOU are! I have ZERO respect for any soldier that bears our uniform and is proud of a commander in chief who tramples on our nations flag of democracy. They rank in the class of those who dodged the draft and should be dishonorably discharged with loss of there 2nd amendment rights to bear arms!

As for Presidents day? There is nothing to celebrate for the next 4 years. The lazy idiots of America have voted a fool back in office, because they think they are entitled to have something for nothing...Boy are they in for a real shocker when they find out obama could care less about our ambassadors and diplomats. Obama only care about one thing...himself!

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/15/13 - 08:47 pm
3
1
>>>>>I think Alaska should

>>>>>I think Alaska should just succeed and charge the military to have bases here and drill whenever and wherever they desire.<<<<<

First of all Alaska is succeeding.
If however you are meaning to leave the union, then the correct word is secede.

Perhaps a little history and spelling lesson is in order. Spend sometime reviewing American History from 1850-1865 and just see what secede meant for our country.

Traitors and treason are the words that come to mind when idiots speak of seceding.

Raoulduke
2889
Points
Raoulduke 02/16/13 - 04:08 am
2
1
records

Cheapersmokes!
I can not believe.We still have die hards such as yourself that refuse to accept.YES! The President of the United States Barack Obama IS a citizen of the United States.Get over it,and quit believe half truths,or outright fabrications.
Norseman!
I agree with you .When secession is discussed.Yes! there are only two words that come to mind,and you stated them perfectly.

Alaskalad
55
Points
Alaskalad 02/16/13 - 04:58 am
2
1
Secession

When you cannot abide the fact that a majority of your fellow Americans have chosen someone other than your choice for public office, it means you do not believe in our democracy.
Our President was a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. You could learn a thing or two from him since he is obviously a much more intelligent and accomplished individual than you are, who can't even spell.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 02/16/13 - 05:37 am
2
3
spw

I have a DD214 discharged 1969,and I still say the democrats are the party of traitors and cowards

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/16/13 - 08:41 am
2
1
Kind Words of Wisdom 2/16/13

Sat 2/16/13 Why Thank You Bob for those Kind Words of Wisdom.
I would suggest that You follow the words of Bobby Jindal-Republican-Louisiana Quote: We have got to Stop being the party of the Stupid"
Your last sentense just proved once again that You sincerely need Anger Management Counseling.

Cottonwood Behavioral Health Clinic 260-2691

SPW "Airborne"

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 02/16/13 - 09:45 am
1
0
spwright
Unpublished

In case you missed it...you are who you speak about! It is liberal obama lovers such as yourself, who have disrespected our heroic soldiers of our armed forces who are risking their lives overseas, that give you the right to turn on your country and support a socialist president who will be regarded as the biggest idiot in office since Jimmi Carter!

By your support of a socialist president, you have disrespected your "Airborne" brothers in arms. At least you should have a little respect for their valor and remove "Airborne" from your name!

Isn't it ironic you describe yourself "party of the stupid" and know the Mental Health Clinics phone number by heart?

(I bet you have the welfare phone number on speed dial too eh?)

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/16/13 - 12:06 pm
2
1
spw, Just like ron white

spw, Just like ron white says....you can't fix stupid.

To infer that all democrats are cowards and traitors shows complete ignorance. The hatred this man has for his fellow Americans proves just how blinded, narrow minded, and bigoted some folks on here can be.

No wonder the repub tent keeps getting smaller and smaller. When you hate EVERYONE who isn't exactly like you, pretty soon all you hear is your own voice. I'll bet a couple guys in here heard 8 of the 10 voices in their head telling them to stay home and clean their guns.......

Alaskalad
55
Points
Alaskalad 02/16/13 - 03:02 pm
2
1
entitlement

It sounds as though Bob's belief is since he claims to have an honorable discharge he is qualified and entitled to make decisions concerning other individual's patriotism and bravery based on his interpretation of their political affiliations.

Is that part of the separation package? In addition to the lifetime medical care? I did not know this.
.
It might be be better to make those decisions and cast those aspersions on a case by case basis . But it is up to him I guess.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 02/16/13 - 04:04 pm
1
2
spw/norseman

I am sorry I left out draft dodgers

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 02/16/13 - 05:00 pm
0
0
Alaskalad...
Unpublished

Perhaps you should pick up a history book and set down the X-Box Dude?

After all, the people of Germany were deceived into voting for a man who they also thought was a true leader...

One who led their country into total capitulation and destruction!

If you read some history books, you will see obama-mama is covertly making the same maneuvers as he seizes more and more power. (try looking up his communications order or martial law acts) Gee? Whut dis dat u say?

Are you one of those sheeples? Do you expect good, hard working, moral Americans to bow down to king obama because idiots of the country voted him in?

I am suppose to follow a leader because of your stupidity?

I think not...

You see, it is also our Patriotic duty to protect the nation against evil sinister, such as obama, from seizing dictatorship.

Perhaps you should set down the bong and read what that nazi has been doing with the use of his executive orders?

Wake up...Join the NRA!

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 02/16/13 - 05:03 pm
0
0
To Unglued...
Unpublished

A fitting name!

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 02/19/13 - 07:59 pm
1
0
Anything for your Vote

First it's the Latino vote, vote for me and get a green ticket for your family and friends. Then there must be a lot of college loans going south, heck vote for me and I'll fix it. And you green peacers heck vote for me and I'll screw the Keystone Pipeline right up. With the O-47 crew to back him up he bought the election.
Now his social agenda of disarming America is coming to the forefront. But there is a News Flash! The Efficiency of Militia Bill H.R. 11654 passed the U.S. Senate and was signed into law May 29, 1902! It strictly prohibits this type of activity, you know Gun-Control. This lovely document also known as the Dick Act of 1902 is very clear in it's acknowledgement of the 3 classes of Militia. First the National Guards of each State, Territory, and D.C. second is listed the Un-organized militia, and the Regular Army is the third.
The Un-organized militia is defined as every able bodied man between the ages of 18 and 45. All members of the Un-organized Militia have the absolute personal right and 2nd Amendment Rights to keep and bear arms of any type and as many as they can afford! You see it's the Efficiency they want to guarantee, we shouldn't be hampered by ineffective weaponry. This law was written to prevent Tyrannical Government, cannot be repealed and invalidates ANY so-called Gun-Control laws deaming them unconstitutional. To repeal this law would violate the bills of attainder and ex post facto laws which would be in violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
You see our founding fathers saw you Gun Grabbing Liberals coming, way back in 1902. Read it and weap you liberal gun grabbers!

bluffbunny
73
Points
bluffbunny 02/24/13 - 07:48 pm
2
1
That sockpuppet in the White House

If there IS any 'history' left for this country after the coming 4 years under this...creature....HE will go down in that history as the WORST PRESIDENT EVER ELECTED.

It is surprising that even a few Alaskans would be deluded enough to believe this...creature.... without ANY qualifications or experience, could have ever been elected in the first place.

Whenever someone hides their past, you can be SURE there are things there they do not want us to see, otherwise he would be proud of his past and just SHOW US THE RECORDS. I would like to know why he and his wife's law license has been revoked.

Having said that, the Republicans are not much better. They have turned into spineless, gutless lap dogs. No wonder so few people actually get out and vote!

What we need is a viable third party and until the Major Media stops their hysterical lauding of the present person in the White House and present the truth about BOTH sides, those who are sick and tired of the current lack of leadership, do not have any reason to get out and vote.

BTW, his 'transparency' is a joke. Many Americans still want to know THE TRUTH about Fast & Furious and the Benghazi fiasco but this bunch of Chicago politicians will never let us know what REALLY happened. If they did, there might be serious retribution instead of more smoke and mirrors.

Alaskalad
55
Points
Alaskalad 02/25/13 - 05:10 am
0
0
Whine on

He won twice, 2008 and 2012, Thank the Great Cloud Being.
He was a Professor of Constitutional law at the University of Chicago.W hat do you think, he had those guys hypnotized ?
Try and grasp that he is our president and that no amount of ill informed drivel from you is going to change that.
The smoke and mirrors are from the Teabaggers in the House of Representatives, who have brought the country to a standstill with their obstructionism.
BTW as far as records go Willard would not even show his final version tax filings, and the next closest hopeful was a horndog pizza delivery guy so the R's really don't have much going for them as far as candidates go.
I guess you could vote for Rand Paul, if you could figure out what that is on his head. I never did trust men who wear wigs, they seem kinda fake on the outside so they are probably fake on the inside too,0r the Canadian Ted Cruz. They both seem wacky enough and as divorced from reality as you are. Or maybe Joe Miller would stop taking money from the government and the Koch brothers and run.
Have whatever kind of day you deserve.

Raoulduke
2889
Points
Raoulduke 02/25/13 - 10:28 am
0
0
A sock what?

This PRESIDENT is not going down as the worst.I am convinced the previous president will hold that honor.This president got BIN LADEN.The previous president couldn't find his rear with directions,and a full length mirror.Bush ran around like the spoiled child he is,and asked.Which way did they go. I am only assuming here,but I bet the previous president.Was your hero.

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/25/13 - 11:16 am
2
0
Some spend waaayyyy too much

Some spend waaayyyy too much time listening to rush limburger and faux news.

Obama wins elections back to back 2008....2012.
There is a petition circulating to have his likeness added to Mount Rushmore.

George "the simple" was the worst president this country has ever had. Got us involved in 2 wars based on lies, fell asleep at the wheel with our economy and propelled us to the brink of a depression that would have made the 30's look like church camp.
I realize that there are still alot of bigots and racists out there that despise the thought of a Black man being President.

Get over it. You will get another turn to vote in 2016. You probably will be whining and crying then too when Hillary is elected.

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 02/26/13 - 08:54 am
0
0
Ronald Reagan next for Rushmore

Since I voted for Obama my taxes have gone up, my employer cancelled my free medical insurance, I can't buy a gun, dammed you George Bush anyway! That's your liberal mindset at work. I don't like the chunk of coal joke pertaining to Obama's likeness on Rushmore either. But trying to put him on Rushmore before the man who said "Tear down this Wall" is a little to much hype. Why would ANY responsible President want to disarm the most valued and powerful militia in the World? Perhaps to reach that goal of Draconian gun control enjoyed by the citizens of Chicago.
Then today I hear that Assad in Syria will negotiate, but only if the opposition lays down there arms. I think those rebels feel the same way as Charlton Heston when he said 'From my cold dead hand". And that is one aspect of the Militia that this current administration doesn't apparrently like. You know that old ready to stand up against Tyrannical Government thing? Hey isn't that what's happening Syria? The Long Long history of the methods of disarming the public at large have shown manditory registration was the first.
I'd like to ask Vice President Bidden if citizens should just surrender if our armies lay destroyed on some foreign shore? Then those enemies attack America would he think it's fair to defend yourselves with that dbl. barreled shotgun? You know just point it out the window and shoot both barrels off, nobody would stick around after that! I just wonder who wrote that for him or did he really think that way? Shooting both barrels could leave her defenseless, and this guy is the NEXT in line to Cammander and Chief. You don't need an AR-15, well sir if that is your mindset perhaps you are right. YOU don't need an AR anything!

Norseman
2964
Points
Norseman 02/26/13 - 12:13 pm
1
0
calm down bigred......no one

calm down bigred......no one is gun grabbing and we are not syria.
I think you have watched Red Dawn a few too many times. We have the mightest military in the world. If our military is ever defeated, you and your ar15 will be of very little consequence.

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 02/26/13 - 08:34 pm
0
0
Every blade of Grass

Sheep by day Tigers by night, is what the Japanese Officer said to the Admiral wanting to invade during the Pearl Harbor attack. He warned his Boss that there would be so many armed citizens that would would seem that every blade of grass had a gun behind it. Guess the officer went to College in California. And there are about 80 million of US gun owners and if you think that we wouldn't make a difference, get real.

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