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Thursday, February 28, 2013

[OTP - March] Scott wants money for spring training teams

While working at the Detroit Tigers’ spring facility in Lakeland, Gov. Rick Scott announced today he will ask the Florida Legislature to set aside $5 million a year for projects specifically aimed at improving the Major League Baseball training facilities in the state.

“It’s my job as governor to make sure Florida remains the number one destination for spring training and that is why we will work to provide $5 million annually to only be used for spring training facilities,” Scott said in a statement that was released while Scott was participating in one of his “work days” with the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

Tripon Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:05 PM | 2909 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball, florida, ot, politics, spring training

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   201. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4381484)
I was disputing the notion that liberals and pet liberal victims care about anything other than the D next to the candidate's name. If someone is a pet liberal victim, they're voting for the Democrat. They aren't voting for Romney.


The idea of a "pet liberal victim" is simple, intellectually dishonest, and more or less something conservatives tell themselves is true in order to avoid looking at the hard facts of the world and practically managing the edges of their ideologies to fit with reality, choosing rather to demand reality bend to their wills, and whinging incoherently about how stupid and evil the "takers" are when it doesn't.
   202. GregD Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4381485)
#196 And just yesterday his VP was remonstrating with the media about misleading the public as to how serious Chavez's health problems were.

It's not all that often that it goes from, "He doing much better than you're reporting" to "He's dead" inside 24 hours.
...and thus begins Oliver Stone's next movie HRCF
   203. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4381486)
It's not all that often that it goes from, "He doing much better than you're reporting" to "He's dead" inside 24 hours.


You knew he was dying when they started blaming the US for "poisoning" him.
   204. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4381490)
just yesterday his VP was remonstrating with the media about misleading the public as to how serious Chavez's health problems were

Glad to see Baghdad Bob landed on his feet.
   205. ASmitty Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4381495)
The idea of a "pet liberal victim" is simple, intellectually dishonest, and more or less something conservatives tell themselves is true in order to avoid looking at the hard facts of the world and practically managing the edges of their ideologies to fit with reality, choosing rather to demand reality bend to their wills, and whinging incoherently about how stupid and evil the "takers" are when it doesn't.


I disagree. While the group is not nearly so large as the right would have us believe, the idea that there isn't a segment of the population that feels entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility is ridculous. They're out there. Same as there are fringe right-wing pockets that are similarly deluded, but in different ways.

There are professional victims in the world. Some are sincere, some are cynical, but they're out there.
   206. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4381498)
I disagree. While the group is not nearly so large as the right would have us believe, the idea that there isn't a segment of the population that that feels entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility is ridculous.


I don't deny that such a cohort exists. I deny that it's notably aligned to a particular political party. I can tour you around the rural south and introduce you to thousands of people who are as entitled as anyone to government support, who vote R in every cycle.
   207. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4381499)
It's not all that often that it goes from, "He doing much better than you're reporting" to "He's dead" inside 24 hours.


Authorities believe Mets & Red Sox medical staff were involved.
   208. Swedish Chef Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4381502)
I don't think Stalin will be too happy to share his death day with such a lightweight.
   209. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4381504)
While the group is not nearly so large as the right would have us believe, the idea that there isn't a segment of the population that feels entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility is ridculous. They're out there.

That's probably true, but just how many are there "out there"? Is this group anywhere close to being large or influential enough to justify the right's fixation on "takers"?
   210. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4381511)
That's probably true, but just how many are there "out there"? Is this group anywhere close to being large or influential enough to justify the right's fixation on "takers"?


Actually, the right is fixated on people who enable the takers.
   211. Mefisto Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4381518)
I can tour you around the rural south and introduce you to thousands of people who are as entitled as anyone to government support, who vote R in every cycle.


This. The most entitled folks in the US today are white Southerners [edit: and Midwesterners]. In fact, the basic rule of today's Republican Party confirms this: they always scream loudest when they're accusing the Dems of doing what they themselves are in fact guilty of. In this case, Republicans enable those most dependent on government. The false accusations against Democrats serve as cover.
   212. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4381520)
Actually, the right is fixated on people who enable the takers.

A distinction without a difference. For this fixation to be rational, there still must be enough of these "takers" in action that they constitute a serious national problem. So the correct question remains: "just how many are there 'out there'? Is this group anywhere close to being large or influential enough to justify the right's fixation?"
   213. Tripon Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4381527)
Hugo Chavez is dead. Source: Everything.

Edit: And BTF page 2, as well.
   214. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4381529)
A distinction without a difference. For this fixation to be rational, there still must be enough of these "takers" in action that they constitute a serious national problem. So the correct question remains: "just how many are there 'out there'? Is this group anywhere close to being large or influential enough to justify the right's fixation?"


Well, clearly the group of takers is large enough to constitute a "serious national problem" in the eyes of liberals, since Democrats felt the need to hand them a bunch of free stuff in the form of health care. That is what Obamacare is, Steve, and how it was justified, i.e., as a serious national problem. Surely you couldn't have missed this. (Could you have?)

Your question practically answers itself.
   215. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4381530)
If Democrats win by promising free stuff, how do Republicans ever win? Democrats "promise free stuff" in every election, as you well know.

What I'm saying is, if your theory can't explain Democratic losses, then it doesn't explain Democratic victories.
   216. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4381532)
Also, this isn't something for which we lack data. Quantitative political science shows that the major determinant of national electoral outcomes is the state of the economy. The second major determinant is incumbency. 2012 fits this model very well, as do 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2008. The only recent election which doesn't comport to this model is 2000.
   217. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4381533)
Also, this isn't something for which we lack data. Quantitative political science shows that the major determinant of national electoral outcomes is the state of the economy. The second major determinant is incumbency. 2012 fits this model very well, as do 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2008. The only recent election which doesn't comport to this model is 2000.


You'd better share this data with Steve; if I recall correctly he (and several others here, such as Andy) insists that a major reason why Obama won is because of how Romney/Republicans treated minority groups such as Latinos. I forget what your position on the matter was.
   218. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4381536)
You'd better share this data with Steve; if I recall correctly he (and several others here, such as Andy) insists that a major reason why Obama won is because of how Romney/Republicans treated minority groups such as Latinos. I forget what your position on the matter was.
This is a kind of hilarious dodge.

It does appear that Obama slightly outperformed expectations - maybe by a percentage point or two. He also got unexpectedly good numbers with Hispanic and Asian voters. These are probably related, and the overperformance with Hispanic and Asian voters is arguably related to immigration. But that wasn't the primary cause of Obama's victory, that's just a percentage point or two. He still wins with a perfectly normal performance among Hispanic and Asian voters.
   219. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4381537)
Of course, what we have seen with regard to the issue of race is that liberal policies have done great harm to the black community


This is just staggeringly stupid. This is what liberals forced the country to do, and conservatives opposed the country doing:

1. end slavery
2. make immigration quotas non-racially based
3. end the laws in the south that made it difficult to vote
4. end miscegenation laws
5. end segregation in the school system, allow qualified blacks to enroll in the best public institutions
6. enable blacks in the south to hold civil service jobs
7. break the back of the KKK, the country's most notorious fascist organization, and drive them out of the local judiciaries and law enforcement agencies

I suppose if I thought another 5 minutes, I could double that list. What Ray is repeating is a bizarre school of thought, led by conservative think tanks, that emerged in the 80's during the Reagan era to justify the revanching of policies harmful to minorities. I'm thinking of George Gilder, who came out with a book that actually argued that capitalists were motivated by altruism, and that they were the ultimate altruists.

I kid you not.

   220. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4381538)
Well, clearly the group of takers is large enough to constitute a "serious national problem" in the eyes of liberals, since Democrats felt the need to hand them a bunch of free stuff in the form of health care. That is what Obamacare is, Steve, and how it was justified, i.e., as a serious national problem.

Wrong, Ray. Liberals like me consider the pre-Obamacare healthcare system in the US (and even post-Obamacare, but it is a great step in the positive direction) to be the serious national problem. The healthcare system itself, not the existence of a huge population of "takers" who "feel entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility."

In our view, Ray, honest consumers of Obamacare are not "takers" by that definition. Not at all.
   221. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4381542)
If Democrats win by promising free stuff, how do Republicans ever win? Democrats "promise free stuff" in every election, as you well know.


Getting back to Ray, don't the Republicans promise free stuff too? For instance, weren't they the ones who argued if you lower taxes, then more taxes would come back through added investment? And they actually followed through on that in the early 2000's, with the Bush tax cut. And look what happened. The deficit ballooned and the Republicans disavowed ownership of that failed policy, and tried to blame it on the Democrats.

Incidentally, the Laffer curve is a joke, and is openly laughed at by serious economists. All you have to do is extrapolate it to its logical conclusion- that by lowering taxes more and more, the tax revenues will become larger and larger until you receive an infinite amount of tax receipts by eliminating taxes altogether.
   222. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4381546)
2012 fits this model very well

I thought Obama was supposed to be swimming against the tide of that model, with the slow recovery and persistently high unemployment rate.
   223. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4381550)
In our view, Ray, honest consumers of Obamacare are not "takers" by that definition. Not at all.


Well, your unique usage of the word "takers" is all well and good, but I think we'd all just as soon stick with common usages.

People will get a bunch of free stuff out of Obamacare. Or, at least, they'll get far more out than they'll put in.

That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care. I believe even MCOA begrudgingly agreed with this statement a few months ago, but I don't want to put words in his mouth so he is free to correct me if I'm wrong. That is my honest recollection, though.
   224. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4381553)
Getting back to Ray, don't they promise free stuff too? For instance, weren't they the ones who argued if you lower taxes, then more taxes would come back through added investment? And they actually followed through on the in the early 2000's, with the Bush tax cut. And look what happened. The deficit ballooned and the Republicans disavowed ownership of that failed policy, and tried to blame it on the Democrats.


Er, tax cuts are not "free stuff." They result in the government not giving something to anyone, but taking less from them.

Liberals have always pretended not to understand this.
   225. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4381555)
I thought Obama was supposed to be swimming against the tide of that model, with the slow recovery and persistently high unemployment rate.
Nope. There was enough growth that he was a solid favorite, though not a huge one. It turns out, based on the positive revisions of the 2012 economic data we've seen in the last couple months since the election, that Obama was actually a somewhat larger favorite than we thought at the time.

If you go back into the old politics threads, I was arguing this through most of the run-up to the elections.
   226. Tripon Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4381556)
Google apparently annoyed enough with Amazon, that they're going to offer same day shipping in spite of not being, you know, a shipping company.

   227. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4381558)
That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care. I believe even MCOA begrudgingly agreed with this statement a few months ago, but I don't want to put words in his mouth so he is free to correct me if I'm wrong. That is my honest recollection, though.
Obamacare is a massive redistribution of wealth from the upper classes to the lower classes, the largest since the Great Society. Obamacare is also a massive reform of the structure of the American health care system. The two are not mutually exclusive.

You could conceive of an Obamacare-equivalent paid for through highly regressive taxes which was a massive reform of the American health care system but not a massive redistribution. The actual Obamacare is both.
   228. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4381559)
That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care.


We need redistribution. The rich have been taking a larger and larger slice of the income while not providing a larger and larger slice of the goods and services produced. So it's less a case of redistribution than it is a more balanced system of compensation.

That it has to be done indirectly through the government rather than through an enlightened management class does not speak well about American-style capitalism, BTW.
   229. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4381561)
Er, tax cuts are not "free stuff." They result in the government not giving something to anyone, but taking less from them.


But the Republicans didn't make any compensatory cuts in government spending, so they WERE offering "free stuff".
   230. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4381562)
your unique usage of the word "takers"

It isn't my usage, I'm quoting the definition provided by Smitty in # 205. And thus I followed up with the question of just how large and impactful is this particular group.

That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care.

First of all, no, it isn't. And second, even if it somehow was, wealth redistribution is also an issue (a tax policy issue) that stands apart from the fixation on the scourge of "takers" selfishly bilking the system.

Defining every consumer of state services as a wicked "taker" is so overly broad as to render the concept meaningless.
   231. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4381563)
That it has to be done indirectly through the government rather than through an enlightened management class does not speak well about American-style capitalism, BTW.
Or any other form of capitalism that has ever existed. This is just what capitalism is. It needs to be managed through a powerful central government or we end up with dark satanic mills and cascading human suffering.
   232. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4381564)
We need redistribution. The rich have been taking a larger and larger slice of the income while not providing a larger and larger slice of the goods and services produced. So it's less a case of redistribution than it is a more balanced system of compensation.


The standard of living in this country for those at the bottom end of the wealth scale is at an all-time high. So something must be going right.

   233. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4381565)

But the Republicans didn't make any compensatory cuts in government spending, so they WERE offering "free stuff".


Still no. Tax cuts are simply not free stuff.
   234. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4381567)
So something must be going right.


Yes. We have a responsible and empathetic middle class who is sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate than them and who are willing to make sacrifices so we don't have lepers dying on the sidewalks and heat vents. Still waiting for a responsible and empathic moneyed class though.
   235. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4381568)
your unique usage of the word "takers"

It isn't my usage, I'm quoting the definition provided by Smitty in # 205.


The definition -- "feel entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility" -- was fine. It was your application of the definition that was the problem.

That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care.

First of all, no, it isn't.


Obamacare is a massive redistribution of wealth from the upper classes to the lower classes, the largest since the Great Society.

Disagree with what I wrote? They're not my words. They're Matt's words, in post 227. You can take it up with him while I watch.


   236. Publius Publicola Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4381570)
Still no. Tax cuts are simply not free stuff.


Dammit, Ray. Stop being so obtuse. The government has to pay its bills. You can't cut taxes without making compensatory program cuts so the budget balances. If you just do the former, then you are expecting a portion of those programs to occur free of charge. How elementary is that?

Criminy.
   237. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4381572)
Disagree with what I wrote? They're not my words. They're Matt's words, in post 227. You can take it up with him while I watch.
I assume he's disputing "dressed up and packaged as health care", which I would also disagree with. Obamacare is indeed health care reform right down to its bones. It's just also wealth redistribution. The two are not mutually exclusive, and neither is a disingenuous outer covering for the other.

EDIT: After all, Ray, you're the one saying that Democrats win elections by promising free stuff - redistribution. If this is how they win elections, why would they "dress up" redistribution as health care? That makes no sense.
   238. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4381573)
I assume he's disputing "dressed up and packaged as health care", which I would also disagree with.

Indeed.
   239. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4381580)
why would they "dress up" redistribution as health care? That makes no sense.

The whole idea is ridiculous. "Dressed up" in a disguise in order to fool -- who?
   240. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:05 PM (#4381582)
I'm shocked that there might be corruption in Chicago:
The Australian Federal Police is considering an investigation into Redflex, the country’s biggest maker of speed cameras, over allegations an executive bribed government officials in the United States.
. . .
Redflex’s problems stem from major contracts with the City of Chicago, worth 13 per cent of company earnings in the 2012 financial year. The company on Tuesday released the findings of a four-month internal investigation by law firm Sidley Austin, which said a Redflex consultant in Chicago was paid $2.03 million from 2003 to 2012. Most of the money was in turn paid to the city official who managed red light contracts, John Bills.
. . .
“The arrangement between the city program manager, the consultant and Redflex will likely be considered bribery by the authorities,” the report said. “Redflex officials paid for vacation-related expenses for the city program manager for at least 17 different trips from 2003 to 2010.
   241. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4381584)
a Redflex consultant in Chicago was paid $2.03 million from 2003 to 2012. Most of the money was in turn paid to the city official who managed red light contracts, John Bills.
. . .
“The arrangement between the city program manager, the consultant and Redflex will likely be considered bribery by the authorities,” the report said. “Redflex officials paid for vacation-related expenses for the city program manager for at least 17 different trips from 2003 to 2010.


Every time I read about shenanigans like this, one of my questions is, how in the hell did they get away with this for so long? Who's the auditor, Mr. Magoo?
   242. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4381596)
Well, your unique usage of the word "takers" is all well and good, but I think we'd all just as soon stick with common usages.


Lawyers?
   243. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4381608)
Every time I read about shenanigans like this, one of my questions is, how in the hell did they get away with this for so long? Who's the auditor, Mr. Magoo?

Seems like such things are more common whenever there is one-party government.
   244. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4381611)
Seems like such things are more common whenever there is one-party government.

I don't know that that's true, but it's intuitive that it should be. Competition is healthy, and sunlight is the best disinfectant, and all that.

One wishes our country still had two viable nationwide political parties.
   245. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4381622)
I don't know that that's true, but it's intuitive that it should be. Competition is healthy, and sunlight is the best disinfectant


Except for sunburn...
   246. Tripon Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4381626)
Eh, some places just have a very rich tradition of political corruption. Miami, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Chicago, always seem have a culture of corruption no matter who is in power.
   247. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4381651)
I don't deny that such a cohort exists. I deny that it's notably aligned to a particular political party. I can tour you around the rural south and introduce you to thousands of people who are as entitled as anyone to government support, who vote R in every cycle.


Yep, I can vouch for that, my sister is one of those, typical Louisiana Republican. I seriously doubt she has ever in her life worked a 40 hour work week for more than any 6 week stretch of a time, and yet is a radical Republican(her first husband is the same way, typical Oklahoma military good old boy) . In fact, I know that it's only anectdotal, but I personally know more people who are Republican who have collected different types of welfare than I know who are democrats. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I think a large portion of people who collect at one time or another don't feel like they are leeches, just in a situation that they need a helping hand(see Rush Limbaugh and Craig T Nelson for notable examples) and that they aren't the typical leeches that make up the Liberal voting base.
   248. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4381659)
a large portion of people who collect at one time or another don't feel like they are leeches, just in a situation that they need a helping hand

And they shouldn't feel like they are leeches, because they aren't.

they aren't the typical leeches that make up the Liberal voting base

Because this is a species similar to the unicorn.
   249. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4381666)
Fireworks on the O'Reilly show as O'Reilly screams at Alan Colmes, calling Colmes a liar, after hearing Colmes's answer as to whether Obama has named a single program he would cut.
   250. Steve Treder Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4381675)
Fireworks on the O'Reilly show as O'Reilly screams at Alan Colmes, calling Colmes a liar, after hearing Colmes's answer as to whether Obama has named a single program he would cut.

OK, seriously, why should any thinking human being give a rip?
   251. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4381677)
Entertainment?
   252. Steve Treder Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4381679)
Who could possibly consider that their best entertainment option?
   253. Srul Itza At Home Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4381695)
Not a word on the dearly departed Mr. Chavez?

De mortuis nil nisi -- ah fuck it, good riddance.
   254. Tripon Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4381702)
I listened to the O'Reilly scream fest. Just wow, talk about a meltdown.
   255. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4381704)
What is the answer, anyway, since I haven't followed politics in many moons. Which programs has Obama said he would cut?
   256. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:52 AM (#4381708)
What is the answer, anyway, since I haven't followed politics in many moons. Which programs has Obama said he would cut?


Much to continuous liberal outrage, he's put the chained CPI Social Security adjustment on the table repeatedly, going back nearly 3 years.
   257. Tripon Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:34 AM (#4381717)
I listened to the O'Reilly scream fest. Just wow, talk about a meltdown.
   258. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:56 AM (#4381719)
I disagree. While the group is not nearly so large as the right would have us believe, the idea that there isn't a segment of the population that feels entitled to nearly everything from the government and have abdicated virtually all personal responsibility is ridculous.
What is equally ridiculous is the idea that all these people are on the left. What is perhaps more ridiculous is the idea that most of those people aren't in the business/corporate class.

Speaking of takers, isn't it well understood that the red states are takers in the form of getting more from the federal government than they give? Aren't 8 of the biggest 10 states in terms of % of food stamp recipients red states?

In short, what's your point?

That's probably true, but just how many are there "out there"? Is this group anywhere close to being large or influential enough to justify the right's fixation on "takers"?

Actually, the right is fixated on people who enable the takers.


The right is fixated on the nickel and dime "takers", and largely unconcerned with the hundreds of billions in business costs foisted on the public by business.
   259. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:09 AM (#4381721)
If you give people a lot of free stuff paid for on the backs of others, they will gladly take it and will happily vote for you.


Hence the overwhelming vote for the GOP by our corporate 'titans'.
   260. Ron J2 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4381799)
#204 Two images came to mind when I read, "Chavez dead". First, Baghdad Bob. Second, the Black Knight scene from Holy Grail.

EDIT: Kudos to #207
   261. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4381816)
Fireworks on the O'Reilly show as O'Reilly screams at Alan Colmes, calling Colmes a liar, after hearing Colmes's answer as to whether Obama has named a single program he would cut.


I gather Colmes has become quite the buffoon (O'Reilly already was, of course), or at least the nonentity, over the last, I dunno, decade or so. Too bad. Back in the early/mid-'90s he had a radio show that I quite liked.
   262. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4381949)

So now the bridge to nowhere Is a wise investment? I guess so, because Krugman has said we can stimulate the economy by paying people to dig holes in the desert, and then fill them back in, producing nothing. So at least we get a bridge in the first scenario.


So I guess I just can't leave things be, because I've been wanting to find time to respond to this comment on the first page, that everyone immediately forgot about.

Regarding the "digging holes and filling them in again" trope, that is a variant on Keynes' argument. Keynes was dealing with proponents of the gold standard, who opposed going off the standard in order to increase the monetary supply. They felt that having the government create money out of thin air was "illegitimate" and should not be allowed.

Keynes pointed out that proponents of the gold standard never objected to the expansion of the monetary supply that occurred whenever there was a new gold strike. (In fact, it was the gold discoveries in the Yukon and Witwatersrand in 1897 that ended the depression that followed the Panic of 1893). That kind of expansion of the money supply was "legitimate".

Keynes then came up with a clever logical twist: he pointed out that there was no discernable difference between discovering a new gold mine, and having the government bury a bunch of bottles full of $100 bills and advertising that fact to whomever wanted to dig them up. In other words, the government could, in effect, make as many new gold mines as it wanted to. If discovering a new gold mine was a legitimate way of expanding the monetary supply, then so is burying $100 bills. But there doesn't seem to be any reason to bury the $100 bills rather than spending them on something.

Now, given that expanding the monetary supply is a legitimate response to an increase in demand for money (i.e. in a depression situation), then what ought you to do with the money? Well, as the bottles in the cave argument reveals, you don't really have to do anything productive with it. You could, indeed, pay someone to dig a hole and fill it in again, over and over.

Of course, once you consider it, that's not a very efficient way to put the money into circulation. It wastes a lot of people's time. So it would be better to pay people to do something constructive, whatever that may be. A bridge that may otherwise not be cost-efficient would at least be an improvement on paying someone to dig and fill in holes, true (although one has to take into consideration future maintenance costs). Even better would be to pay someone to do something sorely needed, such as replacing old water mains, or improving decaying infrastructure. And that gets us to Keynesian stimulus.

All this was Keynes' argument that one could not consistently be a proponent of the gold standard and an opponent of Keynesian stimulus spending in a recession. And I think the argument was a pretty good one.

   263. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4381953)
a large portion of people who collect at one time or another don't feel like they are leeches, just in a situation that they need a helping hand

And they shouldn't feel like they are leeches, because they aren't.


Someone who needs a helping hand may deserve our sympathy. But that is a separate question from whether they are leeches.

But it's not the people who sometimes need government assistance that are the main problem. Well, I mean, cumulatively they are a main problem. But the most significant problem is the people who are habitually on government assistance even though they are of sound mind and body, young, and able to work. And telling them "It's ok, it's ok, you poor baby, you are a victim and are entitled to the assistance" does little to help them. At the very least some straight talk is in order, such as the type Bill Cosby has dished out.
   264. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4381954)
I, for one, welcome the death of the Daily Caller.
   265. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4381962)
But it's not the people who sometimes need government assistance that are the main problem. Well, I mean, cumulatively they are a main problem. But the most significant problem is the people who are habitually on government assistance even though they are of sound mind and body, young, and able to work. And telling them "It's ok, it's ok, you poor baby, you are a victim and are entitled to the assistance" does little to help them. At the very least some straight talk is in order, such as the type Bill Cosby has dished out.
Brilliant description of farm belt Republicans! Let 'em have it, Ray! Hey ho hey ho, those farm subsidies have got to go!
   266. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4381990)
Brilliant description of farm belt Republicans! Let 'em have it, Ray! Hey ho hey ho, those farm subsidies have got to go!


I have never seen a guy use so many exclamation points. Congratulations. You've used a dozen or two of them in the last two pages alone.

Anyway, I'm happy to completely eliminate farm subsidies right now (along with the silliness of the various environmental subsidies such as for solar paneling, and countless others). If you expected me to support farm subsidies, you've come to the wrong place. But at least the farmers are working. So nice job (well, not really) of avoiding the issue.
   267. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4382016)
O'Reilly's one of those people who, if you just walked up to him and suckerpunched him, the public reaction would be sympathy towards you and not O'Reilly. The man is without integrity or restraint.
   268. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4382024)
But it's not the people who sometimes need government assistance that are the main problem. Well, I mean, cumulatively they are a main problem. But the most significant problem is the people who are habitually on government assistance even though they are of sound mind and body, young, and able to work.


There are very, very few people like this. Almost everybody who needs chronic assistance has a mental, emotional or physical illness of some sort. Chronic depression can be seriously debilitating, you know, Ray. You're probably the type to just shrug and say "They need to suck it up.", which is fine but it does nothing to address the problem.
   269. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4382026)
But at least the farmers are working.
Actually farms can receive subsidies based on past production and so be paid not to grow anything. Quick quiz: Which administration proposed eliminating these?

If you expected me to support farm subsidies, you've come to the wrong place.
Not at all. I just expected you to stop saying demonstrably false things about dependents on government being solely in one party, while the other party disdains the idea of receiving government help. Since that's easily false on both personal and regional scales--best way of predicting Republican voting is by knowing their eligibility for Medicare, best way of predicting a region is by knowing whether it net receives money from the federal government--you should move on to other talking points.
   270. Steve Treder Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4382028)
But the most significant problem is the people who are habitually on government assistance even though they are of sound mind and body, young, and able to work.

This betrays profound ignorance of the way government assistance programs actually work. It's obvious that you don't know anyone actually in this circumstance, and that you simply don't know what you're talking about.
   271. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4382031)
At the very least some straight talk is in order, such as the type Bill Cosby has dished out.


It's been pointed out before that apparently only black people receive or require "straight talk". Nobody has ever said that white people need some "straight talk". Wonder what it is about black people that makes them so unique?
   272. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4382034)
This betrays profound ignorance of the way government assistance programs actually work. It's obvious that you don't know anyone actually in this circumstance, and that you simply don't know what you're talking about.


Every single person person getting assistance is 100% worthy? There are no absolutely cheats? All government safeguard measures against cheating always work?

What about Medicaid? No fraud there?

BTW, Ted Williams saw combat.
   273. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4382035)
Wonder what it is about black people that makes them so unique?


White man's burden and all that.
   274. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4382036)
BTW, Ted Williams saw combat.


?
   275. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4382039)
Every single person person getting assistance is 100% worthy? There are no absolutely cheats? All government safeguard measures against cheating always work?


What a great test. So impartial. And all corporations are 100% worthy and never cheat on taxes or break laws, which of course inspires all the ordinary folk (aka "little people") to be 100% conmpliant with all laws. And thus was Nirvana reached (except for members of the Justice system who are all out of work now).
   276. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4382041)
Every single person person getting assistance is 100% worthy? There are no absolutely cheats? All government safeguard measures against cheating always work?


I've never yet worked in an environment of any size without noting that some were slackers. Public or private, they will always be with us. They should not be used as excuse to not help those who really need it.
   277. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4382043)

Every single person person getting assistance is 100% worthy? There are no absolutely cheats? All government safeguard measures against cheating always work?

What about Medicaid? No fraud there?


If it's efficiency and savings you want -- you're swatting gnats looking at areas like TANF and from the Medicaid/Medicare perspective, beneficiaries... the elephants shitting on the budget are the private enterprises in areas like Defense spending and in the area of Medicaid/Medicare -- the providers.

Go ahead and try to find me instances of Medicaid/Medicare fraud conducted by the beneficiaries... you won't... because that's not how the system works - the fraud is perpetrated by providers because they're the ones who get the checks. It's essentially impossible for a Medicaid beneficiary -- i.e., one of the leeches -- to defraud the system.
   278. cardsfanboy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4382047)
I have never seen a guy use so many exclamation points. Congratulations. You've used a dozen or two of them in the last two pages alone.


Never read comic books I imagine. :)

But it's not the people who sometimes need government assistance that are the main problem. Well, I mean, cumulatively they are a main problem. But the most significant problem is the people who are habitually on government assistance even though they are of sound mind and body, young, and able to work.


As 268 points out, that is such a small handful of people that it's not really that big of a concern to anyone who honestly analyzes what is going on. Yes we could clean the system up a little to remove those people, but the amount of savings from doing that is a drop in the bucket compared to the big picture. As a liberal I would have no problem with welfare reform that is designed to fix the flaws in the system, but keep the system intact, but nobody is really proposing that, instead they are painting a picture of vast swaths of people on welfare, sitting at home, watching cable, texting on their smartphones and collecting a check, and pretending that is the majority.

   279. Tilden Katz Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4382058)
Go ahead and try to find me instances of Medicaid/Medicare fraud conducted by the beneficiaries... you won't... because that's not how the system works - the fraud is perpetrated by providers because they're the ones who get the checks. It's essentially impossible for a Medicaid beneficiary -- i.e., one of the leeches -- to defraud the system.


America doesn't care about the big fish fraudsters. Exhibit A: Rick Scott.
   280. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4382059)


As 268 points out, that is such a small handful of people that it's not really that big of a concern to anyone who honestly analyzes what is going on. Yes we could clean the system up a little to remove those people, but the amount of savings from doing that is a drop in the bucket compared to the big picture. As a liberal I would have no problem with welfare reform that is designed to fix the flaws in the system, but keep the system intact, but nobody is really proposing that, instead they are painting a picture of vast swaths of people on welfare, sitting at home, watching cable, texting on their smartphones and collecting a check, and pretending that is the majority.


This.

I mean, on a personal level - sure, I guess it doesn't exactly sit particularly well with me that there are people out there who certainly are doing those things above.... but I separate that from policy because ultimately, 1)I still wouldn't trade places with such people if I had the choice, and 2)despite all the hand-wringing about deficits, budgets, and taxes -- I know full well that once you cut through the BS and spin -- eliminating those folks from the equation actually isn't going to improve my lot in life (i.e., it's not going to lower my taxes, it's not going to 'fix' the deficit/debt, etc) in the least. In fact, not living in a gated community -- it's more than likely going to have a deleterious impact on my life because presumably, some of those cheats now satiated to sit around and watch TV and eat off of the assistance they 'scam' are going to find alternate methods to put food on the table.... and I'm guessing a good chunk of those alternatives aren't going to be sucking it up with a minimum wage job at mcdonalds.

   281. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4382061)
Go ahead and try to find me instances of Medicaid/Medicare fraud conducted by the beneficiaries


Well, one of the basic, most common Medicaid scams, IIRC, is to pay fake "patients" a slice of the fraudulent ammount the crooked Dr. claims a payment from the government for his "services". So, that would be fraud perpetrated by the "beneficiaries" as co-conspirators.

The Doctor is the main culprit, I'd agree to that.
   282. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4382062)
I am in the minority I guess. I think a safety net (in total) should provide a baseline for everyone - even if they want to sit at home all day doing nothing.

Sure I think they are losers, but as has been stated there are not many of them and honestlty I feel more sorry for them than anything else because they (from my perspective) live boring pointless lives and should do something with their life.
   283. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4382064)
Go ahead and try to find me instances of Medicaid/Medicare fraud conducted by the beneficiaries... you won't... because that's not how the system works - the fraud is perpetrated by providers because they're the ones who get the checks. It's essentially impossible for a Medicaid beneficiary -- i.e., one of the leeches -- to defraud the system.




America doesn't care about the big fish fraudsters. Exhibit A: Rick Scott.


Bingo.

And the scary thing - or at least, the thing people should be focused on if it truly IS government spending and debt/deficits - the line between 'fraud' and commonly accepted and lauded (by certain elements) 'financial modeling' is quite blurred in an area like Medicaid/Medicare.

But - inevitably, we'll keep arguing over the pennies (relatively speaking) that go out in checks to individuals while completely ignoring the truckloads that go out to our beloved corporations who are only doing what corporations do, after all: maximizing profit.
   284. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4382065)
I am in the minority I guess. I think a safety net (in total) should provide a baseline for everyone - even if they want to sit at home all day doing nothing.

Sure I think they are losers, but as has been stated there are not many of them and honestlty I feel more sorry for them than anything else because they (from my perspective) live boring pointless lives and should do something with their life.


I always assumed that there was some kind of tacit understanding amongst most "mainstream" politicians that it was cheaper to pay a tiny minority of people money to sit at home and do nothing than to deal with the effects of a forecast increase in crime if they were to be without resources for basic food, housing, etc. And that assumption went hand-in-hand with the understanding that almost no modern government seriously expects to be able to offer full employment.

In other words, that there was a consensus that 'it may not be fair, but it's cheaper than the alternatives'.
   285. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4382069)
BTW, Ted Williams saw combat.


?


Treder, a "baseball historian", was unaware that Ted Williams saw combat as a fighter pilot. This bizzare knowledge gap is somehow telling,
given Steve's Code Pink politics, and is therefore humorous to me.

What? Babe Ruth grew up in an orpanage?
   286. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4382070)
This betrays profound ignorance of the way government assistance programs actually work. It's obvious that you don't know anyone actually in this circumstance, and that you simply don't know what you're talking about.


I do know people who do this, so thanks for playing. For example I have a relative in MA who stopped working 20 years ago and has been collecting disability ever since. He's not actually disabled; he just doesn't want to work. He sits at home watching tv/sports all day.
   287. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4382071)
Well, one of the basic, most common Medicaid scams, IIRC, is to pay fake "patients" a slice of the fraudulent ammount the crooked Dr. claims a payment from the government for his "services". So, that would be fraud perpetrated by the "beneficiaries" as co-conspirators.


Except - you have a very hard time finding any beneficiaries who actually "in on it"...

At least, if you're a provider perpetrating this, why in the world would you cut someone else into the loop? If you do so - then you have to 1)cut someone else in the profits, and 2)add another possibly loose lip to your conspiracy.

Almost without exception in such instances -- the 'patients' are just fabricated whole cloth, or, 'real' patients/beneficiaries are used -- but without their knowledge.

The nature of the system is that the beneficiaries are almost wholly cut out of the loop in the reimbursement cycle entirely -- there's no reason to make them co-conspirators.... I'm not a legal analyst, but I do work for a company that publishes heavily in this area and while granted, I'm not reading everything we publish closely -- the next time I see an individual(beneficiary, as opposed to a provider) named in a CMS administrator decision or fraud case -- it will be the first.
   288. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4382073)
I do know people who do this, so thanks for playing. For example I have a relative in MA who stopped working 20 years ago and has been collecting disability ever since. He's not disabled; he just doesn't want to work. He sits at home watching tv/sports all day.


So why haven't you reported him?
   289. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4382077)
So why haven't you reported him?


Ray has chosen to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution, I guess.
   290. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4382080)
So why haven't you reported him?


As a matter of personal ethics I don't turn in my friends or neighbors for crimes. Do you?
   291. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4382084)
So why haven't you reported him?



As a matter of personal ethics I don't turn in my friends or neighbors for crimes. Do you?


No, but then, I'm a liberal that doesn't really care much about people 'mooching off the system' because I don't see it as a particularly big or worrisome problem that needs solving*.

*To be clear, though - I do very much buy into the 'teach a man to fish' rather than 'give a man a fish' idea... I'm just saying that my policy solutions would always tend to keep providing that fish until I have a proven curriculum and process to teach fishing.
   292. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4382087)
That's all Obamacare is: a wealth redistribution, dressed up and packaged as health care.

Matt already addressed this, but...
I don't like how the new system is being implemented (and can envision more "free market" and more "gov't driven" approaches that I'd prefer) - and it will have significant redistributive effects, but this is spectacularly wrong.
   293. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4382088)
Except - you have a very hard time finding any beneficiaries who actually "in on it"...


Well, the official govt rolls of beneficiaries would indeed list these people. And some of them might use the program legit one day,
scam it the next day for a quick Dr.-provided cash payment the next. So it depends on you definition, I guess.
   294. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4382089)
At least, if you're a provider perpetrating this, why in the world would you cut someone else into the loop?


In case you get audited, you stand a chance of getting away with it? It happens. Don't ask me if its a bright idea.
   295. The Good Face Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4382091)
I mean, on a personal level - sure, I guess it doesn't exactly sit particularly well with me that there are people out there who certainly are doing those things above.... but I separate that from policy because ultimately, 1)I still wouldn't trade places with such people if I had the choice, and 2)despite all the hand-wringing about deficits, budgets, and taxes -- I know full well that once you cut through the BS and spin -- eliminating those folks from the equation actually isn't going to improve my lot in life (i.e., it's not going to lower my taxes, it's not going to 'fix' the deficit/debt, etc) in the least. In fact, not living in a gated community -- it's more than likely going to have a deleterious impact on my life because presumably, some of those cheats now satiated to sit around and watch TV and eat off of the assistance they 'scam' are going to find alternate methods to put food on the table.... and I'm guessing a good chunk of those alternatives aren't going to be sucking it up with a minimum wage job at mcdonalds.


This is actually a decent argument in favor of continuing the Drug War. All the people we're currently locking up are either going to find alternative criminal outlets or remain dependents of the state in a different capacity. They're not going to get jobs writing white papers for NGOs about sustainable energy development. And if you don't live in a gated community, there's a decent chance some of them will come live near you.
   296. cardsfanboy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4382095)
I am in the minority I guess. I think a safety net (in total) should provide a baseline for everyone - even if they want to sit at home all day doing nothing.


I have no problem with this personally, but at the same time, I know that politically that is unacceptable opinion to spouse, so I prefer to drift more towards the middle. But at the same time, that baseline doesn't have to be that expensive, if people want to live like that, we could set up communities(closed military bases) that would provide housing(barracks), food(chow halls), hygiene etc, and would cost a fraction of the amount that we pay them on a monthly basis.


I always assumed that there was some kind of tacit understanding amongst most "mainstream" politicians that it was cheaper to pay a tiny minority of people money to sit at home and do nothing than to deal with the effects of a forecast increase in crime if they were to be without resources for basic food, housing, etc. And that assumption went hand-in-hand with the understanding that almost no modern government seriously expects to be able to offer full employment.

In other words, that there was a consensus that 'it may not be fair, but it's cheaper than the alternatives'.


Never heard that before(or if I had, it never stuck) but it does make logical sense.

I do know people who do this, so thanks for playing. For example I have a relative in MA who stopped working 20 years ago and has been collecting disability ever since. He's not actually disabled; he just doesn't want to work. He sits at home watching tv/sports all day.


I know a few people like this, and almost every single one of them is a hardcore Anti-Obama, tea party Republican. They will occasionally work and pretend to look for a job, but anytime they get a job over 20 hours a week, they cry "my disability is acting up" and back down their hours.


As a matter of personal ethics I don't turn in my friends or neighbors for crimes. Do you?

Agree with Ray here. If it's not a felony or something that is potentially a danger to someone else, I'm not going to bother reporting them.
   297. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4382097)
I do know people who do this, so thanks for playing. For example I have a relative in MA who stopped working 20 years ago and has been collecting disability ever since. He's not actually disabled; he just doesn't want to work. He sits at home watching tv/sports all day.


Must be genetic.

Ray, I'm assuming you're at work now. Why are you stealing from your employer by posting on a baseball website during work hours?
   298. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4382100)
As a matter of personal ethics I don't turn in my friends or neighbors for crimes. Do you?

No, but then, I'm a liberal that doesn't really care much about people 'mooching off the system' because I don't see it as a particularly big or worrisome problem that needs solving*.


And I'm a libertarian who leaves people the hell alone, even if they're doing things I don't like. My proposal was to address this from the top and fix the broken policies. But fixing problems is hard to do when liberals deny the existence of the problem because they don't like dealing with inconvenient realities that show their worldview to be false. So they deny the existence of leeches, call them unicorns, etc. Like when liberals deny the existence of voter fraud, this isn't really surprising. They are not mature enough to handle realities that exist in the real world, outside their igloo. (Assuming liberals are unaware of the realities, which actually I don't accept on its face. IOW liberals do know there are leeches and welfare cheats; it's just that liberals see these people as Victims That Have Been Screwed Over By Rich People, so see them as doing nothing wrong.)
   299. cardsfanboy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4382101)
This is actually a decent argument in favor of continuing the Drug War. All the people we're currently locking up are either going to find alternative criminal outlets or remain dependents of the state in a different capacity. They're not going to get jobs writing white papers for NGOs about sustainable energy development. And if you don't live in a gated community, there's a decent chance some of them will come live near you.


Yep, I'm for legalizing pot etc... but at the same time, if you do that, you are talking about releasing a lot of people into the world who don't have jobs, and might have other issues. It's a crappy argument for continuing the war, but it is something that should be considered before any actions are taken.
   300. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4382102)
As a matter of personal ethics I don't turn in my friends or neighbors for crimes. Do you?

I'ts an interesting question, probably dependent upon subjectivity. I have a half-aunt whose father tormented my grandmother and mother, after which the aunt tormented and robbed money from my grandmother's estate. My mother, being a better person than I, worked it out with her. If I foudn out right now that she was in the state your relative was in, I'd turn her in instantly. I would also admit, again, the subjectivity and small-mindedness of it. But I'd do it.

For neighbors, or other folks, it would depend on the level of crime, really. A judgement call. But there is definitely a line where I would turn someone in for theivery, I just haven't had to make such a call to this point.
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