Howard Dean Assassination
January 24, 2004 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Whatever happened to Howard Dean?
"He was assassinated by Bill and Hillary with the assistance of Chris Lehane, the political hit man who first worked for Kerry and now backs Clark.
Desperate to keep control of the Democratic Party, the Clintons used their negative researchers and detectives to the ultimate and generated a story-a-day savaging Dean. The Vermont governor, not ready for prime time, cooperated by being thin-skinned, surly and combative. "
caveat: I'm not trolling, but as a democrat I find this interesting. Ok, nauseating.
posted by mecran01 (102 comments total)

 
Dick Morris is not a reliable source of information on the Clintons. A bit of googling will tell you why.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:06 AM on January 24, 2004


And don't get me started on the NY Post.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:08 AM on January 24, 2004


Yeah, I know the sources are suspect, and the New York Post is the New York Post. Plus, I guess Chris Lehane is working for Wesley Clark. It does seem true that Dems were (momentarily) worried about Dean's popularity, and the fact that he apparently didn't need the blessing of the National party.

I'm familiar with some of Dick Morris's history, but just came across this letter to Hillary:

The real reason I was reluctant was that Bill Clinton had tried to beat me up in May of 1990 as he, you, Gloria Cabe, and I were together in the Arkansas governor's mansion. At the time, Bill was worried that he was falling behind his democratic primary opponent and verbally assaulted me for not giving his campaign the time he felt it deserved. Offended by his harsh tone, I turned and stalked out of the room.

Bill ran after me, tackled me, threw me to the floor of the kitchen in the mansion and cocked his fist back to punch me. You grabbed his arm and, yelling at him to stop and get control of himself, pulled him off me. Then you walked me around the grounds of the mansion in the minutes after, with your arm around me, saying, "He only does that to people he loves."

I continued to work for Bill since I felt a responsibility to do so until Election Day in 1990. But our relationship was never close and never the same. After the 1990 campaign we parted ways as a direct result of the altercation.

When the story threatened to surface during the 1992 campaign, you told me to "say it never happened."


posted by mecran01 at 9:18 AM on January 24, 2004


I'd blame the usual media behavior more than the Clintons--we all know that Clark is their hand-picked guy...Will they now destroy Kerry?(I doubt it). I've seen Chris Lehane trying and trying to make an issue of Kerry's finances and disclosure, and past votes, but no one's biting. The media has it in for Dean (had it and still has it), which is a mistake because he provides great tv and great stories for them.

And Morris is the last person to trust about anything--he's a turncoat (like Lehane, who is the current "opposition research" queen)...and Morris in the NYP is just a sad joke.
posted by amberglow at 9:25 AM on January 24, 2004


Another bit on Lehane:



Perry: Bush Wars :
:

"Perry: Yeah, Drudge has certainly been entertaining the last few days. Only one problem: Without any major exceptions that I'm aware of, this is not Rove and the Republicans doing the 'opposition research,' as it's called. It's the Democrats themselves, most especially the Clark camp. Didn't you look at that NYT piece about Chris Lehane I mentioned yesterday? (There's a link in yesterday's post.)

It's a very good story, and one of the things it suggests is that the other Democrats usually know when they're on the receiving end of Wes-slime. Clark's decision to stay out of Iowa and let the others fight among themselves might have proven a good idea--except that his fingerprints are all over Iowa at this point, and the others are mad as hell at him about it. When the focus shifts from Iowa to New Hampshire and beyond, it will be interesting to see them take turns going upside Clark's head. He'll get treated very roughly, I think. About time.

There's another testament to Wes's 'character' buried in here, too. He has gladly cultivated a reputation for staying out of the mud in his public utterances about other Democrats; meanwhile his pet lizard is handing the press all the scabrous-sounding bullshit 'scandals' it can turn up. "

posted by mecran01 at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2004


I do tho, think Morris is right about Edwards being much tougher to beat than Kerry against Bush. (i think Clark would be too)

Lehane is really helping Bush get reelected by doing his work for him...it's sad.
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on January 24, 2004


Reason number 5,256 why the Democrats will never retake a leadership role in this country: they still don't have their shit together.

Actually, if you listened to NPR this morning, they were interviewing Dems up in New Hamphsire who had interesting things to say about who they were going to support. Long story short, they all said that while they may like Dean, they're throwing their weight behind Kerry because he is far more 'electable'. The way it was being framed was, "we don't care what the candidate stands for as long as he's not George W. Bush and he's a member of the Democrat party".
posted by tgrundke at 9:31 AM on January 24, 2004


tgrundke, don't worry--it's very early in the (winnowing) primary process yet..we're getting our shit together.
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on January 24, 2004


<? ork reporter told me that from what he can see, the wheels are coming off Dean's campaign. I don't know, but his rebel yell after his loss in Iowa was Not Good.

Kerry. I don't get Kerry. I live in Massachusetts and I still think he's unelectable.
posted by swerve at 9:43 AM on January 24, 2004


Look, bottom line: Dean is, and always was a lightweight leftist freaky sort. The real question is why he was ever perceived as a front-runner. The answer: the failure of the traditional media to catch up with the Internet.

As for Kerry, I met him in Boston when he first won the Senate (I have a picture of Paul Tsongas and me speaking with him). Nice guy, but I think too liberal for most of America. I also think he's a bit too odd-looking for most of America.

But, as I've said before, second-term Presidential elections are, practically speaking, recall votes: you have to be doing a pretty bad job to lose them, and George Bush has done a pretty good job, certain when compared to expectations.

I think there's a 2% chance of George Bush losing, and if you don't understand this, you're pretty lost. Kerry, by the way, I suspect, is just tuning-up for '08, anyway; Kerry-Edwards, perhaps? Kerry-Clinton (ick!)

Progressive forces would be much better off focusing on governor (dump Pataki!) and congressional races.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:59 AM on January 24, 2004


Bah!

Anyone who listens to wingnut radio knows that they can't go 5 minutes without invoking Clinton. This whole "Bill nukes the Dems" meme started there (with Limbaugh) and is merely a way to preserve his role as resident boogeyman. Others picked up on pill-boy's lead and ran with it.

I doubt if Rush even believes his own BS. As long as the mouthbreathers latch onto it, that's all he cares about.
posted by RavinDave at 10:01 AM on January 24, 2004


But, as I've said before, second-term Presidential elections are, practically speaking, recall votes: you have to be doing a pretty bad job to lose them, and George Bush has done a pretty good job, certain when compared to expectations.
Don't forget--we recalled his father over the economy. What makes you think that won't happen this time?
posted by amberglow at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2004


Because the economy isn't shitty; it's just not the economy of the late 1990's. If we had this economy in 1992, GHB probably would have won.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:24 AM on January 24, 2004


My prediction is Edwards 2004.

While all politicians are showcasing, Kerry seems the most transparent. You can always see exactly why he's doing something, to what political purpose. At least with the others, Dean, Edwards, they appear to be acting more natural.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2004


shitty's a matter of opinion--there are millions more unemployed, hunger and homelessness is up, bankruptcies are at a record level, more and more jobs are going overseas, record deficit, funding being cut for social programs and job-training, etc....Millions can say they're not better off than they were 4 years ago.

If only a couple hundred thousand of those folks vote against Bush, he's toast.
posted by amberglow at 10:28 AM on January 24, 2004


I echo the sentiment that Dick Morris's authorship of this story makes it inherently suspect. If you want to know why Dean is faltering, it's because Dick Morris predicted Dean would be nominated, and thus Dean fell victim to the curse of Dick Morris... Whenever Dick Morris predicts you will win, you'll end up losing.

The real question is why he was ever perceived as a front-runner. The answer: the failure of the traditional media to catch up with the Internet.

What does this mean? That the internet saw Dean as the non-frontrunner before the media did?

If you're saying that Dean was the frontunner because he was able to outflank the media via the internet, you are correct. However, he became recognized as the frontrunner by the media, which also played a role in his fall. Dean was perceived as the frontrunner because he had the most buzz, the most money, and the most "mojo." He was perceived as the frontrunner because he was more interesting to cover, which allowed him to be covered more and seen more, which compounded upon itself, allowing him to shoot up in the polls, thus confirming his frontunner status.

Kerry, by the way, I suspect, is just tuning-up for '08, anyway;

Nah. Problem is, Kerry has already been a Senator for nearly 20 years. One is granted a limited amount of media spotlight before one becomes "yesterday's news." There's noone in the race now that could realistically make another run in 2008, except maybe Clark or Kucinich. Kerry and Lieberman will be yesterday's news. Dean and Edwards will have been out of office for 4-6 years at that point.
posted by deanc at 10:37 AM on January 24, 2004


Because the economy isn't shitty

You just keep telling yourself that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:38 AM on January 24, 2004


"If only a couple hundred thousand of those folks vote against Bush, he's toast."

I don't think we're going to see a repeat of 2000. I wish it wasn't so, but the democrats are much, MUCH weaker now, and by the time of the election, even more so: it's a combination of weak candidates, and poor positions on the issues. But no one was going to win this election.

By the way, unemployment is at ~6%, and trending downward; the stock market is way up, and there have been no terrorist attacks on US soil. That's pretty much an iron-clad win for Bush (whether it should be, or not, is a different question). Millions were unemployed, but millions are always unemployed. Ditto with shitty jobs, lack of healthcare, etc. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT YOU (OR I) WOULD LIKE TO BE THE DECIDING ISSUES; AND WHAT ARE THE DECIDING ISSUES--sorry about that.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2004


Reason number 5,256 why the Democrats will never retake a leadership role in this country:

this oughta be good.

they still don't have their shit together.

hmmm...recommend a good shit getter togetherer?

also, can someone define for me "unelectable." ie, what traits equate unelectability?
posted by mcsweetie at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2004


Dean is, and always was a lightweight leftist freaky sort.

Sigh. What are his "leftist" positions? Is balancing budgets considered "left-wing" now? You know, Paris, uninformed statements like that really throw a kink into your whole "I'm a democrat, really" line of shit that you like to trot out.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2004


"What does this mean? That the internet saw Dean as the non-frontrunner before the media did?"

It means that the media don't realize that most of America doesn't use the Internet as much as the phone; that rallies organized, and donations obtained via the Web do not translate into widespread support--just very loud, focused, narrowband support.

Basically, Dean's popularilty was misread because, in the past, the visible trappings of his support--rallies, donations, etc--correlated necessarily with broadbased support; they no longer do.

I wonder if Dean will run as a Third Party candidate? I hope not.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2004


Dead is Leftist due to his virulent opposition to the Iraq War, and the premise that the US has, somehow acted arrogantly vis a vis the UN and other nations. There's more, but that constitutes at least 60% of "Leftist."
posted by ParisParamus at 10:59 AM on January 24, 2004


None of this is new, or limited to a single party. This sort of short knives bitter meanness goes way back, just change the names.
In a Darwinian fashion, I suppose, the one that survives really does reflect the values of his supporters, usually the majority. He has also survived trials by fire and combat, so is ready for the big fight.

And if he becomes President, he will have to keep at it, stepping over the bodies of his fallen like Darth Vader.

It's not an adventure, it's just a job.
posted by kablam at 11:03 AM on January 24, 2004


Oops, Dean; not Dead!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:06 AM on January 24, 2004


Sheer nonsense ParisParamus. There are plenty on the right who also spoke doubts of the wisdom of the war in Iraq. Many of us, both right & left, feel that the war was a capricious example of the Bush's cadres express desires long before he "took" office. The war in Iraq has been a distration to the real war against Al Quaeda. This is not a leftist position. I know of several Republicans who have left the party to either become independents, liberatarians, or democrats as a result of this war. You are simply wrong.
posted by filchyboy at 11:11 AM on January 24, 2004


I'm not trolling, but as a democrat I find this interesting. Ok, nauseating.

"I really hated this ridiculous PoliticsFilter article from a spurious source, so I decided to post it for all to see!"
posted by dhoyt at 11:23 AM on January 24, 2004


Iraq was a distraction from Al Qaeda to the same extent that going after one crime family is a distraction from going after another. Which is to say, it's not a distraction at all, because on a number of levels, all crime families operate on the same terrain.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:29 AM on January 24, 2004


Dean may be gone, but the joy, mirth, and levity he has left us will live on in remixes.
posted by hama7 at 11:39 AM on January 24, 2004


Paris, you're comparing man-eating tigers (al-qaeda) with a caged cockroach (saddam).
posted by amberglow at 11:51 AM on January 24, 2004


>Dean is, and always was a lightweight leftist freaky sort.

If Dean is a "lefty" that makes Kerry what now? A registered communist?
posted by skallas at 11:57 AM on January 24, 2004


Dead is Leftist due to his virulent opposition to the Iraq War, and the premise that the US has, somehow acted arrogantly vis a vis the UN and other nations. There's more, but that constitutes at least 60% of "Leftist."

Pat Buchanan opposes the war in Iraq. Please explain how Pat Buchanan is "60% leftist" while I watch and laugh my ass off.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2004


Osama Bin Laden and George Bush both wanted/would have liked to kill Saadam Hussein: does that make them political bedfellows? Looks like you still have your ass. And asshole.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:21 PM on January 24, 2004


Paris: you're the one painting Osama and Saddam as two of a kind: Iraq was a distraction from Al Qaeda to the same extent that going after one crime family is a distraction from going after another. Which is to say, it's not a distraction at all, because on a number of levels, all crime families operate on the same terrain.

Every Kurd wanted to kill Saddam too--that doesn't make it right for us to invade and occupy, and to make up lies about why.
posted by amberglow at 12:25 PM on January 24, 2004


"I think there's a 2% chance of George Bush losing, and if you don't understand this, you're pretty lost."

ParisParamus, while I respect your opinion, if you think this election is solely about the economy, you're pretty lost. Not just in the eyes of "liberals" -- even solid conservatives are questionning his forign policy decisions, his mishandling of the economy, and his strangely "big government" support of laws like the PATRIOT act.

"One is granted a limited amount of media spotlight before one becomes "yesterday's news."

This is true, and I think this is probably the most favorable political climate someone like Kerry will ever have if they plan on running for president. There's a huge section of true "conservatives" (not Republicans) that are extremely disillusioned with Bush's failure to address real foriegn policy threats like N. Korea (effectively covering his eyes and pretending the problem doesn't exist) and his economically suicidal budget increases. The tax-breaks are fine for the conservatives, but only an idiot would increase defense spending like he has without some way to get back the revenue.

If you really want to be impressed, check out how much veteran support Kerry's gotten. Vets love Kerry. While he may be a "Boston Bhramin" like Kennedy, he also has the "war hero" angle to play. And unlike Kennedy, he then went on to fight against the war in one of the most politically divided times in the nation. I recently read some quote from the Nixon tapes where Nixon describes how they are going to crush Kerry. How many people can say they were on Nixon's shit-list before hitting 30?

And have you ever heard Kerry debate? If you're interested in seeing what Bush will be up against, I highly recommend checking out transcripts from the Kerry-Weld debates for the Senate. Kerry is a phenomenal debater, much more evocative than Gore. I remember one moment in the debates where Weld had a woman come on stage and talk about how her husband had been shot and killed by a criminal. Weld then asks Kerry something like, "Now, why don't you support the death penalty?". Kerry held eyes with Weld for a long second, then responded, "I know something about killing men. My decision to fight the death penalty is a very personal one for me."

That was pretty much it for Weld. Face it, when the television audience sees Kerry and Bush up on stage together, the choice between Man and Moron should be quite obvious.

"Sigh. What are his "leftist" positions?"

The point isn't that Dean is a hard-left liberal. Anyone who knows anything about the Democratic candidates knows that Dean's pretty conservative when compared to Edwards or Kucinich. But that's unfortunately not the point. I understand what ParisParamus is saying: whether that be true or not, Dean is percieved as a lefty by the great majority of Americans. I have a feeling the media's handling of his image has a lot to do with this, though he hasn't helped (though the Letterman appearance was pure, inspired brilliance.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:29 PM on January 24, 2004


What lies? The entire world thought he had WMDs, and he acted as if he did. Again, what if the Soviets only had dummy ICBMs, but we couldn't tell? Would that have invalidated the cold war?

It didn't make it "right"? Was it "right" to leave him in power? Was it "right" for Europe, throughout the 1990's to have ongoing economic and commerical relations with him? Are you really upset over the ~500 fatalities, or are you upset that the President who deposed Saddam also is against gay marriage, and abortion, and thinks Christ is the messiah?

The worst that can be said about the Iraq war is that it was predicated upon falty intelligence. Of course, we won't know that until Syria is bombed and it's leader deposed--STAY TUNED!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:32 PM on January 24, 2004


Dead is Leftist due to his virulent opposition to the Iraq War, and the premise that the US has, somehow acted arrogantly vis a vis the UN and other nations. There's more, but that constitutes at least 60% of "Leftist."

That's what right and left are? So the Bolsheviks were right-wingers because they supported war, along with Stalin, whereas Pat Buchanon is a leftist?

Wow. You don't even try to make sense, do you?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:39 PM on January 24, 2004


The entire world may have thought something, but this administration didn't give inspections time to continue to prove whether what they thought was true or not.

An interesting new Newsweek poll: ...Yet, a 52-percent majority of registered voters says it would not like to see him re-elected to a second term. Only 44 percent say they would like to see him re-elected, a four-point drop from the last Newsweek Poll. (Of that, 37% strongly want to see him re-elected, and 47% strongly do not). ...With 52 percent of registered voters saying they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. this year, the issues that are very important in helping them determine who they will vote for are: the economy and jobs (83%); health care (75%) and education (74%); the situation in Iraq and terrorism and homeland security (70%). The least important is the appointing of new Supreme Court justices and federal judges (42%).
A 53-percent majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners say they are more inclined to vote for the candidate who comes closest to their way of thinking on the issues rather than the candidate with the best chance of defeating President Bush (39%). ...

posted by amberglow at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2004


Enough time?!! Ten years, twelve years, is enough time.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2004


Bottom line, if U.S. servicemen are still dying at this rate in Iraq come next November - another five dead today, folks - then the war remains as big an issue as the economy.

There now have been some 512 Americans killed in Iraq since the start of the war. If, by next November, U.S. servicemen are coming home, the place is not on the brink of a civil war and the number of dead between now and then has been less than what it has been so far, the conduct of the war is not an issue for W. Any deviation from that and it is, particularly if Kerry or Clark, both with solid military histories, are the nominees, and can make the case that Iraq is still unstable because of Bush administration policies.

If Dean is flaming out, the biggest challenge for the Democrats is to keep those who have so vocally (and generously) supported him involved with the process. Frankly, I think the biggest Dean supporters get fed up/disillusioned and don't even bother to vote in November, which kills the Democrats' chances.
posted by kgasmart at 12:53 PM on January 24, 2004


Paris, we only had active inspections for a few months. This adminstration--it's been proven without a doubt--decided even before that to invade. Since when do we invade first and find proof afterwards? Is that a good standard to set? Is that how reasonable people act?

kgasmart: you're right--if the deaniacs drop out of the process, we're sunk (and I hope the other people running recognize that).
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on January 24, 2004


Hmm, guess I'm not politically savvy ... how does coming in 3rd in Iowa (like Clinton in 92), a strong 2nd in NH (like Clinton in 92), and a likely very strong Super Tuesday (he has the best organization currently in those states) translate into "Dean is finished"?

I look forward to watching him "take back the White House"
posted by spacehug at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2004


Paris, are you saying Dean was just another case of Internet Hype?

Maybe that's why he downplayed his latest 'celebrity endorsement':

Come to think of it, the sock puppet yelled a lot too...

Disclaimer: The above graphic does not officially represent my political opinions any more than the Red State Planet joke. If this pic gets hotlinked by several dozen right-wing bloggers, I will blame Paris.
posted by wendell at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2004


What lies?

what lies? you mean like the one about how saddam was trying to buy all that uranium from africa, or the one about saddam's ties to al qaeda, or the one about the drone that could fly 500km and deliver "wmd," or the one about how saddam tried to buy thousands of aluminum tubes to build a centrifuge, or the one about how saddam was an imminent threat, or the one about the mobile weapons labs, or the one about the international atomic energy agency report that said iraq was 6 months away from developing a nuke, etc etc

what lies?? jesus!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:19 PM on January 24, 2004


I don't think the Clintons had anything to do with it, one way or the other. The media built up Dean because it was a good story, then they tore him down because that was a good story too. Same deal for Britney Spears, and countless others. The problem is that in doing so, the media largely ignored Kerry, and now he's basically in the lead by default. If this guy wins the nomination, Bush will cruise to re-election without even lifting a finger. There is just no way Kerry can beat him. Edwards, Dean or Clark, on the other hand, at least they have a fighting chance. Kerry is electable? Please.... He's such a snooty, pompous blowhard windbag that he actually makes Bush's fake downhome folksy cowboy schtick seem real in comparison. America will never elect a guy that looks like the evil trees in Wizard of Oz and orders his cheesesteak with Swiss. Never.
posted by spilon at 1:24 PM on January 24, 2004


I for one will never vote for anyone other than Dean in the general election.

I am disgusted by the way he has been treated by the democratic establishment.

It is Dean or no one for me.
posted by EmoChild at 1:29 PM on January 24, 2004


I was not aware of the cheesesteak thing. in my mind, that's worse than the yellowcake thing. kerry has lost my potential vote.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2004


It means that the media don't realize that most of America doesn't use the Internet as much as the phone; that rallies organized, and donations obtained via the Web do not translate into widespread support--just very loud, focused, narrowband support.

Newsflash-- all presidential candidates 6 months before the primaries have focused, narrowband support (of various volumes of loudness). Every single one of them. The candidates that matter are the ones that are able to turn this narrowband support into broadbased support.

In fact, I would argue that by December Dean had accomplished this, lining up endorsements of major Democratic party personalities. For various reasons, his campaigned stumbled when it came to how to deal with this frontrunner status... in the same way that Kerry turned his small core of support into something that appealed to a broad base of voters in Iowa.

I'm not arguing about your claims about the media and the internet (you make a good argument on the followup), but the phrase that Dean was perceived as the front runner "the failure of the traditional media to catch up with the Internet," does not mean what you said it means. The phrase itself makes no sense.
posted by deanc at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2004


By the way, unemployment is at ~6%, and trending downward

it is roughly 7.2% in Michigan, a state that did not carry Bush in 2000. Now thats high and many of those industrial jobs lost are from Michigan. That is a trend i do not like and i see no trend to recover those jobs that the president will or could deliver on. my point is that do not be so sure about a Bush victory. people, once 'secure" in their 'knowledge" that someone else (Kerry) could offer as strong a stance on defense as Bush and it is a game of MONEY. Like how Bush I was unhinged. It happened to Adams, happened to his son and in somewhat similar times, just in reverse. (John Adams had all the national security issues)

but if the dems want to get on with it they need to drop Dean. Edwards could help deliver the south so it looks like you folks have a potential team.

It is Dean or no one for me.
you mean it is Dean or Bush.

America will never elect a guy that looks like the evil trees in Wizard of Oz

of course that was before television.
wait....
posted by clavdivs at 1:45 PM on January 24, 2004


Bullocks.

That 2% chance of Bush losing is a product of last night's dinner. That is, shit.

If Bush holds to his economic policy, he'll be pissing in the face of fiscal conservatives everywhere. The fact that his team points to predicted huge surges in the future. By taxing less of this imagined future boom, he'll pay off this deficit.

Responsible economists are alarmed by his conduct, and are far from heartened by it.

As far as a Kerry/Bush debate goes, I can't imagine Bush's tactics for it. His only play would be to act more chummy, smirk, and shrug his shoulders as if to say "how am I supposed to know?"
posted by Busithoth at 2:00 PM on January 24, 2004


all crime families operate on the same terrain.

not so. you can hardly compare the big oil crime syndicates with the mafia. big oil moves in much more rarified circles.
posted by quonsar at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2004




I don't think that most people think the President is terribly connected with the state of the economy. And there really is no such mechanism by which he is. Actually, I would argue that if the Bush tax cuts hadn't taken place, the economy would be even worse than it is right now: remember deficit spending in times of recessions? How is the state of the economy in Michigan Bush's fault? Globalization certainly plays a part, but Bush didn't invent that.



posted by ParisParamus at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2004


To add, I think it apparent that Bush is out of gas.

He [Rove] will stir up fear, abortion, and gay rights as election issues (maybe even steroid use.)

Also, he will shepherd the Christian fundamentalist movement, and try to gain support from latinos with bait and switch immigration promises.

Even with tax cuts for votes, there is so little Bush has domestically. People want
1. education
2. health care

The Republicans have historically failed to provide this.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2004


If spending billions on foreign entanglements, corporate welfare and nation building is conservative, then I guess I am a leftist. But I really don't see how Bush's plan to bankrupt our government while THE REAL MOFOS WHO KILLED 3000 AMERICANS ARE STILL RUNNING FREE is particularly conservative. Bush should be trying to get the guys that did instead of looking after Halliburton business and declaring war on the constitution. If I think Rush Limbaugh deserves civil rights does that make me a leftist?

Dept of Ideological Confusion
posted by Slagman at 2:06 PM on January 24, 2004


Look. There has been a huge disconnect between the breadth and origin of Dean's support and that of, e.g., Kerry. Kerry has held serious office; Dean has been the governor of a little silly, if charming state. Dean become prominent in a virtuous circle of Internet->Media>Internet publicity. When the nature of a politician's support base becomes the subject of a NYT Magazine cover story, something's odd...don't you think?

In any case, we'll see what happens to the guy. Personally, I don't find him trustworthy.

Question to ParisParamus: Why did you know that you did not like Bill Clinton?

Answer: When they started playing that Fleetwood Mac song for his victory celebration.

Question: I know of you are too young to get this, but any chance they'll play Carly Simon's "Anticipation" if Kerry actually wins? At campaign stops?--a good tune.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:12 PM on January 24, 2004


Kerry has Carole King as a supporter, so maybe "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" ? : >
posted by amberglow at 2:20 PM on January 24, 2004


I think the real story here is that the Dean candidacy was extremely popular as a concept. The idea was that bloggers and other people not traditionally very powerful within the party infrastructure could start deciding things. In short, it had to do with the eternal grassroots-vs-establishment struggle.

That being said, Dean as a candidate is not as interesting. The whole "rolled-up sleeves" thing didn't work for Dukakis in 88, and it doesn't wear well now, nor does his repeated bouts of losing his cool. Also Dean's more popular political positions seem to have been co-opted successfully by Kerry and Edwards, so things don't look too good for the Dean camp.
posted by clevershark at 2:31 PM on January 24, 2004


Is any one else weary of kerry?

the media loves him - the same bush loving media that seems not to notice the record unemployement and consumer bankruptcies.

He's old school skull and bones and probably knows bush through the organization.

he voted FOR the patriot act, the war in iraq and the 87 billion aid package.

this guy worries the fuck out of me. the recent flurry of support for kerry has all the ear marks of an astro turf movement concocted with the aid of a bush loving media.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:34 PM on January 24, 2004


also, can someone define for me "unelectable." ie, what traits equate unelectability?

stop asking questions and get back in line with the other sheep, mcsweetie!
posted by quonsar at 2:36 PM on January 24, 2004


what this country really needs, is a stinking dumpster-residing wino for president with ParisParamus as his VP.
posted by quonsar at 2:40 PM on January 24, 2004


"I don't think that most people think the President is terribly connected with the state of the economy. And there really is no such mechanism by which he is."

False. Even if you disregard the intelligence of the tax-cuts and tax-phase-outs (the estate tax, the tax on stock dividends, etc.) there's still the matter of the billions spent on the war (or peace, whatever you want to call it). This is billions of dollars, ($402 billion of 'em!) with more projected. That's more than four times the current trade deficit with China ($90.4 billion).

For those of you taking notes, that means the war budget will exceed Cold War levels. You can't blame Osama or Saddam on that kind of spending -- it's a product of GW's hubris in "going in" alone before figuring out how to share the bill with the rest of the world.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:46 PM on January 24, 2004


Is any one else weary of kerry?

Not weary, but leery.

Kerry without a doubt would have to move leftward, if only slightly so, in the general election if he gets the nomination. Because the Dean machine has been largely fueled by anti-war fervor; Kerry loses points in that respect for his support of the war, the Patriot Act and the like. But he has ample credibility when he talks of how the post-war has been completely bungled; he, more than anyone but Clark, can make the case that the failure to plan, the faith-based assumption that we'd be welcomed as liberators and more is a major failing of the Bush administration. In that manner, he becomes anti-war without being, you know, explicitly anti-war. Which sounds cynical, but for those of us who opposed this at the start and feared it might end up this way, it's probably the best we can hope for.
posted by kgasmart at 2:51 PM on January 24, 2004


I'm tired of Senators running, making promises, acting as if they had leadership....when all along they could have been showing that leadership while in the Senate--where is the health care stuff they talk about now on the campaign trail? where is the education stuff? where is the responsible financial leadership? where is everything? They all had ample opportunity to start doing the things that need doing, and didn't. Give me a governor anytime for president--at least they actually accomplished things.
posted by amberglow at 3:20 PM on January 24, 2004


"This is billions of dollars, ($402 billion of 'em!) with more projected. That's more than four times the current trade deficit with China ($90.4 billion).
"

How utterly ignorant of you. Where do you think that money does? Into the economy. Into paychecks, stock dividends, all of which are spent, and taxed, and or invested. It doesn't just go down a spider hole and stay there.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:49 PM on January 24, 2004


Paris, popular sentiment and political reality can be two separate things. i have given you a "blurb" from the sentiment. the reality is much different. I, am a fatalistic pragmatic realist. basically, what Quonsar said.
I said Bush could do little did i not Paris. But to much Coolidge is not a good thing. Bush scrapped the steel tariff, he has done about par for Michigan. And she is but one state. Bush could lose any ground he has gained for a recapturing Michigan in 04' it is but an example. The problem is the Dems can latch on to this fact and blame it all upon the executive branch and not the local government and corporations.

Kerry loses points in that respect for his support of the war, the Patriot Act and the like.

reverse spin...voters gained.
posted by clavdivs at 3:49 PM on January 24, 2004


Question: I know of you are too young to get this, but any chance they'll play Carly Simon's "Anticipation" if Kerry actually wins? At campaign stops?--a good tune.

Heh - good one!
posted by Guy Smiley at 3:58 PM on January 24, 2004


ohhhhh : >
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on January 24, 2004


I honestly can't imagine why so many people think bush is a shoe-in to win. WHY? Just by looking at the electoral math, it is apparent he really doesn't have a chance or will have quite a fight on his hands, depending on how you figure it.

National polls show basically a dead heat or a very slight bush edge, but national polls are not how elections are decided and it is really, really early. Do you really think that many Gore states will flip to Bush? I don't. I can't imagine gore voters going to bush.

Dean is just as 'electable' as Kerry. Dean is by no means a leftist, and if you think he is, you have been swallowing the media hype. He's actually more conservative than Kerry if you compare them on presidentmatch.com, for example by following the 'fully leftist' answers. :)

As far as the primary goes, Kerry has basically no cash / organization in any state after new hampshire. If he doesn't win by a lot, he'll be in trouble. Dean is not done by any means.
posted by benh57 at 4:07 PM on January 24, 2004


"How utterly ignorant of you. Where do you think that money does? Into the economy. Into paychecks, stock dividends, all of which are spent, and taxed, and or invested. It doesn't just go down a spider hole and stay there."

Jesus, Paris, if you wanted to make some return on that cash, putting it in a savings account would do better. If G. Walker's presidency tought us anything, it's that you can't spend yourself out of a hole.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:07 PM on January 24, 2004


I could almost forgive Clinton for Fleetwood Mac, but if anyone must be stopped, it is Wesley Clark. Journey must remain in the ash heap of pop music history! See:

From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democratic presidential candidates have the musical spectrum covered.
An Associated Press canvass of the candidates on what album they'd most like to pop into their CD players turns up gospel, opera, hip-hop, country and rock.
The rock fans are Wesley Clark, who likes Journey's ``Greatest Hits''; Sen. John Edwards, ``The Essential Bruce Springsteen''; and Sen. John Kerry, the Beatles' ``Abbey Road.''
Howard Dean singled out the music of Grammy-winning hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean. Rep. Dennis Kucinich chose country's Willie Nelson (who has endorsed him), and Al Sharpton favored gospel's Yolanda Adams. Sen. Joe Lieberman's favorite album is ``Sueno,'' by classical Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

posted by Slagman at 4:20 PM on January 24, 2004


If you think Bush will do worse in 2004 than in 2000, you probably live on the East Coast, or in some other fairly liberal zone. In any case, I find it somewhat futile to be debating politics with people who view George Bush as the Devil. He can't really do very much without Congress.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2004


THE REAL MOFOS WHO KILLED 3000 AMERICANS ARE STILL RUNNING FREE

The suicidal Islamist pilots who crashed into the WTC, Pentagon and field in Pennsylvania are still running free? Seriously?
posted by dhoyt at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2004


I honestly can't imagine why so many people think bush is a shoe-in to win. WHY?

Because the more the right repeats this meme, the more people begin to suspect it might be true, and act accordingly. Which is to say they don't go out and vote for the Democratic alternative, because why bother?
posted by kgasmart at 4:27 PM on January 24, 2004


bush is not the devil--he's just a really bad president.
posted by amberglow at 4:36 PM on January 24, 2004


Into paychecks, stock dividends, all of which are spent, and taxed, and or invested.

Or, alternatively, secreted in offshore tax havens, thanks to the number of corporations and individuals who now shield their wealth from both taxation and the economy. Making your 'all of which'... um, not true.

It doesn't just go down a spider hole and stay there.

Actually, it does, in many many ways. Consider, for instance, the impact of the US budget deficit on the foreign exchange value of the dollar. That's more like money falling into a black hole. God forbid if China decided to stop buying US debt.
posted by riviera at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2004


mcsweetie: "also, can someone define for me "unelectable." ie, what traits equate unelectability?"

As someone who used the word, I feel sort of obliged to offer an answer. I think Kerry comes across as distant and different without Kennedyesque charisma to back it up. I think voters need to feel that their guy 1. can relate to them and/or 2. is inspiring, and I don't get either from Kerry.

But one thing I learned from working in politics is that my instincts are less than stellar, so we'll see.
posted by swerve at 4:41 PM on January 24, 2004


Simply put - Dean's image is that of populist demagogue. There's a long history of those folks being pulled down, at least as far back as the Gracchi brothers in Rome.

Be safe, be sane, vote Edwards. He's smart enough, liberal enough, and telegenic enough to win. He's also got a hell of a life story, and southern charm to combat W.

I live on the east coast, PP, and I don't see Bush losing, _yet_. But there's a lot of time between now and the election (10 months) and that's time for his policies to founder.

And it's not like the Dems don't have positive things to attack, they just haven't been.

An open letter to the Dem candidates: DROP THE IRAQ ISSUE. It's a nonstarter with the middle.

Here are my talking points for the Dems. You can have them for free. Give them to Edwards and make Clark his Veep, give Clark Clinton's blessing, and give Clark the same spine and backbone we saw in him as commander in NATO.

The Republicans are weak on several issues:
1) Overspending. Huge problem for the repubs, they'll lose a portion of their base.
2) Immigration for Latinos and W's amnesty (It will alienate the Latino vote for the Dems, UNLESS they come up with a better solution, and there ARE better solutions, and this will help carry Florida and California)
3) Enron and corporate fraud.
4) The fact that nobody has been fired over the massive intelligence and military failure that was 9/11.
5) Why the administration hasn't yet moved against the Saudis
6) Constitutional amendment against gay marriage
7) Unfunded mandates beyond anything even Reagan dreamed.

Otherwise, it's W in '04.

Kgasmart: Because the more the right repeats this meme, the more people begin to suspect it might be true, and act accordingly. Which is to say they don't go out and vote for the Democratic alternative, because why bother?

Umm, no, it's because his popularity at the moment is over 50%. Thanks for trying though. And has been since 9/11.
posted by swerdloff at 4:41 PM on January 24, 2004


Only 44 percent say they would like to see [Bush] re-elected, a four-point drop from the last Newsweek Poll.

Explain to me how 44% > 50%? It seems there _were_ some children left behind - at least in math.
posted by bashos_frog at 5:35 PM on January 24, 2004


Give me a governor anytime for president--at least they actually accomplished things.

Note that in the entire history of the United States, only Warren Harding and JFK have gone directly from the Senate to the Presidency. This does not bode well for Kerry or Edwards (or Lieberman, were he a serious contender). E.J. Dionne has a good article summerizing some of the reasons why.
posted by boltman at 5:35 PM on January 24, 2004


Swerdloff, if a 50 percent approval rating 10 months before the actual election ever meant a hill of beans, our list of presidents down through the years would have looked quite different.

Iraq absolutely remains an issue, it's relevance depends on how it's framed. But to assert, a la Joe Lieberman, that Iraq was the right thing to do and we all ought to just forget about it absolutely guarantees that the Deaniacs bolt - and hands the election to the Republicans, regardless of where W's approval rating is 10 months from now.

Swing votes ain't what they used to be. First and foremost, the Democrats have to appease the base. The key, after that, is resonating with those who remain on the fence, and the post-war fuckup in Iraq is an issue, particularly if soldiers keep dying at this rate.

You don't think a vet like Kerry or Clark is going to find an audience with those who might have initially supported the war but are incensed at the fact that insufficient planning absolutely has caused U.S. deaths?

But I'll agree with you that the war isn't the main issue - that would remain, once and again, the economy. Unfunded mandates and overspending, which you touch on; a prevailing sense of slide among a large number of lower-middle class folks who feel this way despite the latest numbers.

I mean, it's the operative question, right? Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
posted by kgasmart at 5:38 PM on January 24, 2004


Also, Bush's approval ratings were 90% after 9/11. At the rate they are currently falling, they will be 36% by November.

Of course it still doesn't mean he will lose. After all, there are voters to purge, machines to rig, courts to stack, opposition to arrest, and 10 months left to get all the pieces in place.

and on preview - what kgasmart said, too.
posted by bashos_frog at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2004


First off, enough with the Dean was a victim bullshit, sorry folks but Dean gave the press plenty to hammer him with. Dean also overestimated his grassroots support, it was very disorganized in Iowa, and Dean should have rallied his troops behind closed doors with no press around.

2nd, Paris,

you would be foolish to think Bush can run on the bullshit record of his. The economy is in a jobless recovery the same thing happened to his old man, also Iraq, according to the CIA, is turning into a civil war, that's not going to bode well for Bush. If the Dems run a Senator who voted to oust Saddam then that Senator can question Bush on why he failed to plan for the post war failure. There was a plan that the State Department had in place for post war Iraq that took into account a lot of the failings that have occurred, but Bush failed to use it. If you ask the old folks who are paying attention to politics they'll tell you maybe it's time for new leadership, Bush's plans have failed, it's not visceral hatred like the liberals out here feel, it's simple pragmatic thinking, the guy hasn't done a good job and a new person will do a better job.


As the failures keep stacking up it's going to be harder and harder for Bush to justify keeping his job, Bush has his fanatical followers, but the moderate folks will be looking for a better leader, and Dean folks, i'm sorry but your boy ain't it, Edwards and Kerry can portray themselves as simple middle of the road folks with better plans then Bush, and they can beat Bush because they start from a stronger point then Dean, Dean is in a weaker position and will have to rise up just to start from the point the other two do.

If you feel Bush's agenda is bad for the country, and I do, then you'll vote for the Democratic candidate and then you'll work to push him in your direction, the best thing to happen to the Dems was campaign finance it freed them up from the grip corporate america put on them during the Clinton years, and after their overwhelming support for Bush the Dems now owe them nothing and winning the White house will be the first step in the payback process. Bush is no Reagan, he can be beat and he will be beat.
posted by jbou at 6:47 PM on January 24, 2004


dhoyt

the hijackers were foot soldiers. they are not the mofos in question. as you well know, ass.
posted by Slagman at 6:48 PM on January 24, 2004


God help me for jumping in on this thread just when I should be walking out the door to eat, drink and be glad I'm not in Iowa anymore, I got two words for everyone who's for Edwards, Clark, Lieberman, Kucinich or Sharpton:

Spending Limits.

Every one of those candidates can only spend $45M before the convention. When they're out, they're out. That means no more travel, no more mailers, no more phone calls. I'm pretty sure their websites will go black unless they've ponied up front. This is what happened to Al Gore in 2000, and I think it is one of the reasons why he lost. Gore hit his spending limits after duking it out with Bill Bradley, and George W. Bush was able to spend like a mofo, painting Gore as whatever-he-painted-him-as. I didn't get the mailer, and I'd been too busy working to watch the ads. Al Gore couldn't defend himself, didn't have the chance to change people's perceptions of him. Bush had free reign in 2000, and he has it in 2004.

The only Dems who have the possibility of raising cash and not being hemmed in by limits are Dean and Kerry. And, no, "527's" doesn't count as an answer, not with the Repubs on the FEC looking for ways to sink them. The only guys who will have the possibility of fighting back are Howard Dean and John Kerry.

And now I'm off to eat, drink and be glad I'm no longer in Iowa.
posted by RakDaddy at 6:53 PM on January 24, 2004


Good story on Dean's life and influences (after you get past the strained hook)
posted by amberglow at 9:50 PM on January 24, 2004


"Actually, it does, in many many ways. Consider, for instance, the impact of the US budget deficit on the foreign exchange value of the dollar."

Actually, a boon to exports is good! The Dollar is week because US interest rates are low, which is fantastic. Next?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:43 PM on January 24, 2004


ParisParamus' comments illustrate perfectly how divided our nation is right now. Bush really isn't the devil, but at the same time, he's not really much of leader either.
posted by nyukid at 10:52 PM on January 24, 2004


In response to Swerdloff's Points:

1) No: how many Republicans are going to jump ship? Few or none. Holding one's nose and voting for Bush still registers a vote.

2) Florida will go Bush (primarily because the average IQ of Floridians is pathetically low); Bush will lose California

4) Not a Bush-linkable issue; if anything, more of a Democrat weakness

5) Possibly could lose Bush some votes, but only if the challenger really has some balls and is articulate.

6) Most people favor banning gay marriage, so not problem for Bush

7) To intangible an issue to sway any sizable number of voters.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:55 PM on January 24, 2004


too digress, one who fails two distinguish between to, too, and two should not make to many snarks about IQ.
posted by quonsar at 11:29 PM on January 24, 2004


ParisParamus: Most Americans might not approve of gay marriage, but that doesn't necessarily translate into support of federal action or even disapproval of civil unions. In fact, most Americans would probably be against such an amendment, if asked to make a decision regarding the issue now. You can read extensive polling on the issue here. The support for gay marriage has in fact been growing, if the polls are any indication. But who can really say? I'm sure not trusting your word on anything, that's for sure.
posted by raysmj at 11:31 PM on January 24, 2004


By the way, unemployment is at ~6%, and trending downward

it is my understanding that the unemployment figure only counts those currently receiving unemployment benefits and does not include the many that are still unemployed but have exhausted their benefits. so, double that.
posted by centrs at 11:46 PM on January 24, 2004


Dead is Leftist due to his virulent opposition to the Iraq War, and the premise that the US has, somehow acted arrogantly vis a vis the UN and other nations. There's more, but that constitutes at least 60% of "Leftist."

1) It was the conservatives who opposed US entry into world war one AND two, Paris. And liberals who wanted in.

2) Dean doesn't oppose the concept of war, or war in Iraq specifically. He thought the current premise was not good enough, and that we could continue to contain him

3) The war isn't even going to be a major issue in this campaign. Most Iowa dems were opposed to the war, yet voted for Kerry and Edwards anyway. The only people for whom the war will be an issue are hard core liberals and neo-cons. Dean's opinion on the war won't matter to most voters at all, so even if you think that makes him 'left wing' it certainly doesn’t make him left-wing enough to be unelectable.

4) You're an idiot. You think bush can't lose, but polling indicates that Kerry would beat Bush today. You know why howard dean was considered the front-runner? Because he out polled everyone else. Thats right, the media thought he was the front runner because they had done scientific tests to determine who was more likely to win, and it was dean. (btw, poll detected deans drop off in support in the weeks before the election as well)
posted by delmoi at 12:50 AM on January 25, 2004


what if the Soviets only had dummy ICBMs, but we couldn't tell? Would that have invalidated the cold war?

Pretty much, yeah.

Prediction: Bush will win if Dean is successfully brought down not on any merits of his own but because the media wants him to win and they own the minds (I use the term loosely) of the voters. Kerry is too liberal for the majority of moderate and independent voters to embrace in sufficient numbers, and too unimpressive and generic to rouse anyone who's not already a fan.
posted by rushmc at 6:13 AM on January 25, 2004


I'm not trolling, but as a democrat I find this interesting. Ok, nauseating.

"I really hated this ridiculous PoliticsFilter article from a spurious source, so I decided to post it for all to see!"


Dick Morris is silly, but the subject of democratic infighting is still worthy of discussion. And hey, it was a slow Saturday.
posted by mecran01 at 6:59 AM on January 25, 2004


I'm not sure about your premise about "doubling unemployment," but if that's true. it's always been the case, thereby canceling out any effect such a "real figure" would have. I also suspect it's not true.

As of today, I would vote for Kerry over Bush. I'm not sure if he's too liberal for me, but a conservative congress would hold that in check.

Unfortnately, a conservative congress might also hold in check the the environmental/energy initiatives I favor.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:02 AM on January 25, 2004


According to an article by CBS News, the true unemployment number is 9.7%. And, it appears that this 65% difference between this rate and the official rate is higher than with past presidents. In addition, the number of these people that have been out of work for more than six months (24%) is the highest in 20 years.

And, finally, while Bush's people are publicly stating that jobs will be created at a rate of 150,000-200,000 per month, apparently they are coming in instead at 1000 per month! This article also quotes "the Labor Department" as saying that the drop in the jobless rate occurred because fewer people were looking for work, not because more people were working.
posted by spacehug at 9:03 AM on January 25, 2004


The constitutional amendment thing about gay marriage is turning off a lot of country club and moderate Repubs...I've already had 2 people at work tell me how angry it made them, (right after the SOTU), and that if Bush pursues it at all, they won't vote for him. Even when we spoke of how it was just pandering to his base, they wouldn't budge--they see it as a very extreme move that has nothing to do with governing the country.
posted by amberglow at 9:53 AM on January 25, 2004


Still, no one has explained what Bush should be doing to create more jobs; increase the deficit more? Maybe more of a tax cut for the middle class and less for the upper end? I don't credit Clinton with the 1990's, and I can't really fault Bush for the current economic climate.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:45 AM on January 25, 2004


job training programs, a new WPA, using his bully pulpit to keep jobs here in the country, special programs for small businesses, etc......
posted by amberglow at 12:12 PM on January 25, 2004


And our crumbling infrastructure and electricity grid could certainly use help (providing millions of jobs), for instance, and provide good training for many.
posted by amberglow at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2004


Once we've eliminated steroids, everything will be fine.
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2004


Rural broadband initiatives could provide much fodder for a WPA-like program.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:40 PM on January 25, 2004


The Dollar is week because US interest rates are low,

The dollar has lost about a third of its value in the last two years and is projected to lose another 30% (meaning people with savings lost money). The dollar, like the stock market, was overvalued (well, the stock market still is, and will correct itself further, despite this recent bubble). Oil in Euros? Soros buying Euros instead of dollars? The Euro gaining a foothold as a defacto currecy of trade to replace the dollar? The impact is enormous, and essentially means the US will not have prominence as the sole world superpower for long.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:16 AM on January 26, 2004


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