Currently viewing the tag: "Campaign 2008"

It had the feel and passion of a real campaign. And the crowd sensed it and picked up on it. More than 5000 people packed into the Pier 30 warehouse and adjoining room. Many were not able to get in the main room. Cars were bumper to bumper along the waterfront and and parked everywhere. And people streamed along the sidewalk. Many parked over a mile away.

The event was in an out of the way place with no bus connection but people still found their way. I asked a number of people around me if they were just curious or undecided or committed and most were strong Clinton backers and said they were definitely attending the caucuses on Saturday at 1 PM.

Hillary flew in from Virginia and roused the crowd which had patiently waited about an hour for her arrival. Former Governor Gary Locke and King County Executive Ron Sims and Congressman Jay inslee gave brief comments but the main event was Hillary and she did not disappoint.

Clinton started about by noting that Congressman Norm Dicks is now supporting her, joining Inslee, Sims, Locke, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, Lt Governor Brad Owen and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

Clinton said this election is about the future of our country – we can either have more of the same with John McCain or we can go in a new direction with the Democrats. It is not an ordinary time. She said we can become an innovation nation pushing for clean energy and combating global warming like Washington State is taking the lead on.

“We need a President ready on Day One, a President with ideas and know how … a commander in chief and a hands on manager” because there is “so much damage to repair” from the Bush Presidency.

She made a strong plug for a new energy future based on green jobs because we need “to transform how we use energy” describing it as “one of the most important challenges facing us.” She asked people to join with her in pushing for clean energy “to transform America and the world so that the future is there for our children and grandchildren and the next generation.”

Clinton said as President she would make sure the American government is on the side of all Americans, not just the wealthy; calling it “unfair that a $50 million/yr investment banker” pays a lower percentage of their income in taxes “than a $50,000/ year teacher.”

“It’s not right to give tax aid” to companies “moving jobs out of America”. Stressing the need to create new jobs and be responsible, Clinton said Bush squandered it all on war in Iraq. “George Bush left us so deep in debt, we borrow money from China, to pay for oil we buy from Saudi Arabia.” The crowd roared.

“Our greatest hope is clean renewable energy” stressed Clinton. She detailed her proposals for green jobs, praising the work of Senator Cantwell and Congressman Jay Inslee pushing for more renewable energy and touting the potential for green jobs and exportable technology.

Included was a proposal to create a Strategic Energy Fund out of money received by ending the excess profits given to oil companies like Exxon Mobil that received special tax breaks that have contributed to their record profits at the expense of American consumers.

Saying she would work for a new agreement on greenhouse gases within a year of her becoming President, she emphasized it would include China and India. But she noted “We can’t do it until the two oilmen leave the White House.” Again the crowd cheered.

On other issues she said she would “end the Bush War on Science.” She will ask Congress to send her the stem cell research bill and she would sign it.

She detailed her proposal on universal health care and called it the “public passion of her life”.
Everyone would be covered. It would include prevention and ending the stigma of mental illness. She said she would “open up the Congressional Health Care System to the public” and make it available to every American.

Clinton said we needed to stop home foreclosures by setting up a moratorium on them , freezing interest rates to stop excessive rate jumps and allowing homeowners the ability to renegotiate their mortgages.

On education she will work for universal preschool kindergarten, ending the unfunded mandate of Bush’s leave no child behind and making college affordable again. She talked about ending the private loan business for colleges and putting the public back in charge by offering government loans at low rates and giving graduates options to have their loans forgiven for doing public service, like teaching, calling it an investment in our country.

On Bush’s cronyism in appointing his friends and business associates to positions of public trust, Clinton roused the crowd by saying “We need to clean house from top to bottom” and “appoint qualified people to government” in order “to restore leadership and moral authority.”

She said it was time to bring the troops home, noting her inquires to date have found no credible plan by the Bush Administration as to how to do that. Starting to bring the troops home will “tell Iraq that Bush’s blank check is no longer valid” and that the Iraqis “have to start making their own decisions” for their people.

Saying Bush “has emboldened our enemies and endangered our allies” Clinton stressed that “the era of cowboy diplomacy is over.” and it is time to lead with our values again. Force should be “a last resort, not a first resort.”

Clinton ended her impassioned speech by urging the audience to help elect a President who is a fighter and who champions the American people and finds common ground and acts on it. She said America needs to be infused with a common purpose – to make America better for our kids and the middle class. “We need a President who gets it”, who will roll up the sleeves and make it happen said Clinton.

Several hundred people milled around the front of the room for the next half hour, holding their cameras and cell phones above their heads, snapping pictures, pressing to shake her hand, say a word or get a poster signed. Campaign workers collected contact information as people exited.

For more on the Clinton campaign in Washington go to HillaryClinton.com.

Click here for information on where your Democratic caucus is on Saturday, Feb 9, 2008.

More stories:
Seattle Times “In Seattle, Clinton vows “new direction” for U.S.”
Seattle PIJoin Me to Change the World – Clinton Touts Experience to 5000 on Waterfront

Senator Barack Obama’s win Saturday in the South Carolina Democratic Primary helps boost his campaign for President. But the big prize still remains all the primaries and caucuses voting on Super Tuesday Feb 5, 2008. Some 22 states will vote including large ones like California and New York. And the outcome is far from certain.

South Carolina Democratic Primary Voting Results:

Obama 295,214 (55.4%)
Clinton 141,217 (26.5%)
Edwards 93,576 (17.6%)

The problem with the hodgepodge of voting so far is that each state has had different advantages to each candidate. South Carolina’s uniqueness to Obama was that 55% of the Democratic turnout was black voters of whom 78% voted for Obama and 19% for Clinton and 2% for Edwards.

According to the US Census, South Carolina comes in 5th in black population at 29%. Mississippi ranks 1st with 37.1%, Louisiana 2nd with 31.7% , Georgia 3rd with 29.9% and Maryland 4th at 29.5%.

As noted in a comment thread on American Renaissance, for Obama to win in November he must be the white candidate. Blacks will vote Democratic when they vote since there is nothing the Republicans have to offer them. Remember the snub the Republican Presidential candidates McCain, Giuliani and Romney gave Travis Smiley and PBS when they ducked a debate at Morgan State College.

Obama will not be taking votes away from Republicans, but even a higher turnout of black voters will not be decisive if he doesn’t draw significantly from all racial groups, including whites.

This is not to say Democrats can take the black vote for granted but further divisiveness among the candidates that accentuate racial differences will not help Clinton in November if she wins the nomination but blacks aren’t motivated to vote. Likewise Obama can not only be the black candidate if he hopes to win.

Population wise, for example, Hispanics comprise the same percentage in the population, 13%, as do blacks. And Clinton won Nevada with the help of Hispanic voters.

This all goes to say the race is far from over – with a lot more to come. Feb 5, 2008 looms now as a major sorting out day for this race.

As of the latest reports filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for the period though Dec 31, 2007, and first available after 1/10/2008, Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire, has raised over $4,665,352 for her re-election campaign, has spent $1,554,766 and has $3,110,586 in cash on hand.

Because of the prohibition of raising funds 30 days before the legislative session begins and during the session, Governor Gregoire’s fundraising stopped as of Dec. 10, 2007. She will be able to resume fundraising after the session ends. The same prohibition on fundraising also applies for other state incumbents running for office.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, who lost to Gregoire in 2004, is re-running and is not subject to the prohibition on raising funds since he is not a state official. He reported receiving $1,707,197 in contributions and in kind donations and spending $393,626 as of Dec 31, 2007. He has $1.303,571 in cash on hand as of Dec 31, 2007.

Rossi’s previous figures were revised as the result of a Public Disclosure Commission dismissal of a complaint that his Forward Washington Foundation was really a campaign committee for his run for Governor.

Lt Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat reported raising $16,635, spending $6917 and having $9717 on hand as of 11/30/2007. No Republican has filed yet with the PDC.

Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican has raised $712,950, spent $318,155 and has $368,252 in cash on hand.
Democratic Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg , as noted at Riddenbaugh Press and first reported by the Tacoma News Tribune, is considering running as a Democrat against Rob McKenna.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, has raised $230,899, spent $62,023 and has $168,875 on hand. He has no announced opponents at this time.

Democratic State Legislator Jim McIntire is running for State Treasurer. The current State Treasurer Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is retiring. McIntire has raised $61.795 and spent 14,494. Allan Martin is the Republican candidate. He has raised $29,480 and spent $2733.

Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, a Republican has raised $170,808, spent $18,655 and has $ 152,153 in cash on hand.
Former Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Goldmark from eastern Washington is challenging Sutherland for this seat. Goldmark has raised $99,644 , spent $30,655 and has $69,025 in cash on hand.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag, a Democrat, has no opponent at this time. He has raised $27,432, spent $4054 and has $23,398 on hand. His last report was 11/30/2007.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, has raised some $40,236, spent $12,046 and has $28,189 in cash on hand. No opponent has filed yet.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson has raised $61,573 and spent $8,488.
Richard Sendler of Richland Washington has raised $8,625 and spent $8,027.

Three Washington State Supreme Court races will also be on the November 2008 ballot. Supreme Court Justices are elected to 6 year terms. No fundraising has been reported for these elections yet.

Position #3 is held by Mary Fairhurst.

Position #4 is held by Charles W Johnson who was first elected in 1991 to the Supreme Court.

Position #7 is held by Debra L Stephens who was appointed in December by Governor Gregoire to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Justice Bobbe Bridge.

Some candidates are getting an early start on raising money for the 2008 statewide races. Financial reports filed for the 2008 statewide races show the Governor’s race getting the most attention.

As of the latest reports filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for the period though Nov 30, 2007, Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire, has raised over $4,156,386, spent $1,368,739 and has $2,678,454 in cash on hand.

Republican Dino Rossi, who lost to Gregoire in 2004, is re-running and has raised $1,435,355, spent $525,748 and has $909,607 on hand.

Lt Governor Brad Owen, a Democrat reported raising $16,635, spending $6917 and having $9717 on hand. No Republican has filed yet with the PDC.

Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican has raised $635,617, spent $267,364 and has $368,252 in cash on hand. Although Pierce Count Executive John Ladenburg has been rumored to be considering a run for this seat, he has not filed with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, has raised $230,899, spent $62,023 and has $168,875 on hand. He has no announced opponents at this time.

The current State Treasurer Mike Murphy, a Democrat, is retiring. Democratic State Legislator Jim McIntire is running for this seat. He has raised $33,945, spent $13,899 and has $20,046 on hand. Allan Martin is the Republican candidate. He has raised $21,530, spent $1786 and has $19,744 in cash on hand.

Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, a Republican has raised $157,459, spent $15,370 and has $142,088 in cash on hand. Former Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Goldmark from eastern Washington is challenging Sutherland for this seat. Goldmark has raised $59,969, spent $29,197 and has $30,371 in cash on hand.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag, a Demcrat, has no opponent at this time. He has raised $27,432, spent $4054 and has $23,398 on hand.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, has raised some $38,686, spent $12,046 and has $26,640 on hand.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson has raised $27,051, spent $1980, and has $25,071 on hand.

If only one name is mentioned in a race, it means no one else has filed with the PDC at this time.

None of these figures include money raised for independent expenditures in these races. In 2004, eg, the Building Industry Association of Washington, through its affiliated PAC called It’s Time for A Change, made $1,053,251 in independent expenditures -most of it to support Republican Rob McKenna in his race for Attorney General. In addition $1.5 million came from out of state from the US Chamber of Commerce opposing Debra Senn in the primary.

Senn received $1,080,028 in contributions for her whole campaign. This approximately matched the $1,211,814 McKenna received directly to his campaign. The $ 2.5 million in independent expenditures supporting McKenna was more than both candidates raised together.

McKenna personally thanked the BIAW for their support on election night saying if it wasn’t for the BIAW he wouldn’t have been elected.

If you need one more reason to vote Republicans out of Congress, just look at the huge $13 billion dollar Christmas present they gave the oil industry. The Senate yesterday passed landmark energy legislation to increase fuel efficiency of cars and trucks by 40% but on a 59 to 40 vote to end debate, were forced to strip from the bill key tax reform provisions to repeal special tax breaks for the oil industry. They also dropped a renewable energy mandate and renewable energy tax credits

One Democrat, Senator Mary Landieu supported the oil industry by voting no to end debate and one Republican, John McCain, was not present to vote. Considering the significance of this bill one has to wonder what he thought was more important than being there for the vote.

The 2008 election continues to shape up as a major turning point for America. It is an opportunity for Democrats to contrast their forward moving agenda to deal with issues like energy independence and global warming with the Republican sell out to corporate America at the expense of the common good for America’s citizens and their pocketbooks.

Face it, the Republicans continue to live in the past and remain beholden to special interests like the oil industry. And Democrats need to show some spine and be leaders in moving America forward. As the New York Times writes today,

some environmentalists said they were unhappy that the bill would not provide large incentives for expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biothermal.
Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth Action, accused Senate Democrats of “capitulating” to Senate Republicans and the White House.
“When the Republican leadership and the polluter lobby have blocked important legislation, Senate Democrats have been all too willing to move in their direction,” Mr. Blackwelder said in a statement. “The result is that the two most positive provisions of the energy bill — a clean energy mandate and a tax package reining in handouts for fossil fuels and promoting clean energy — are being removed, while detrimental provisions, such as a radical five-fold increase in unsustainable biofuel use, remain.”

Carl Hulse in On the Hill quotes what part of the strategy of the Republicans will be during the coming year. It will be to blame the Democrats for the problems Democrats inherited from the Republicans, all the while doing everything they can to be sure that Democrats get as little done as they can to solve these problems.

Here’s what Hulse quotes the Republican National Committee saying in its comments on their recent victories in the Special Elections to fill two Congressional vacancies.

“The underlying economic anxiety that Americans feel toward the tax-and-spend policies of the new, wildly unpopular do-nothing Democratic Congress have led to the emergence of issues such as combating illegal immigration and providing tax relief to working families and will ultimately play to Republicans’ advantage next year,”

Give me a break. “Wildly unpopular do nothing Congress“? The Republicans are the ones obstructing getting things done. And President Bush’s vetoes since the Democrats gained the majority are part of this strategy. The Republican strategy is to try to prevent the Democrats from passing significant legislation so that the Republicans can say it is the Democrats fault.

Look at what the Republicans do, not what they say. They are playing with right wing talk radio hype hoping Americans are easily deceived.

Providing tax relief to working families” ? If you believe the Republicans are going to do this you sure didn’t understand what was happening when they controlled Congress. Tell me how the Republicans, by preventing the repeal of the oil industries special tax breaks, and as a result giving $13 billion in tax breaks to the oil industry, is going to help working families.

The Republicans fought fuel efficiency legislation for cars and trucks all the way. The Democratic sponsored and passed bill according to the Environment News Service is expected to save 1.1 million barrels of oil a day and save consumers some $22 billion in 2020. Proponents say it will also make a significant dent in U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, equivalent to taking some 60 million cars off the road. ”

Thank you Democrats!
The Environmental News Service  noted that the Democratic passed legislation also

“…tightens energy efficiency standards for government buildings as well as for consumer appliances and products.
“People underestimate efficiency, but today household appliances, lighting and electronics use up to two-thirds of energy in households,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat. “By requiring these new standards for manufacture of these products, we will save over 40,000 megawatts of energy. That is the same amount of electricity used in 19 states today.”

Thank you Democrats!

Republicans face a bleak prospect in next year’s US Senate elections. Senator Larry Craig’s resignation added to what was already shaping up to be a daunting task. Craig’s situation just contributed a little more to an already tarnished Republican image that just got a little tougher to try to turn around. And it puts into play another state, that while Republican leaning, has elected strong Democrats in the past like Cecil Andrus and Frank Church.

The Republican’s problem starts with the reality that they have to defend 22 seats in 2008 while the Democrats are only defending 12 seats. And with the Iraq War and Bush’s ineptitude in running the government at a low ebb, they need to win 23 of the 34 seats up in the Senate to regain control.

Republicans are running in 4 states that went for Kerry over Bush in 2004 – Oregon, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire

Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia who is 80 decided this last week to not run for re-election. This brings the state of Virginia into play for the Democrats, where ex-Governor Mark Warner, a Democrat who left office with an 80% approval rating, is considering running for the seat.
In Colorado another open seat exists with Republican Senator Wayne Allard retiring. As the Rocky Mountain News reported, the Republicans actually set his retirement up with the

promise he made in 1996 to serve no more than two U.S. Senate terms.
The term limits pledge was a relic of the so-called “Republican Revolution” of the 1994 election, when the GOP swept to power promising to change the ways of Washington.”

In a close election in 2002 Allard renewed his pledge. “I’m term-limited,” Allard said in reaction. “That has always been my position. I’ve always said I believe in limiting my term. I’ve stipulated in past campaigns that I believe in term limits, and I’ve never wavered on it.”

As the Washington Post reported

Beyond Idaho and Virginia, the field looks barren for Republicans, GOP campaign aides conceded. NRSC fundraising has been weak, and Republicans appear to have only two real Democratic targets next year, Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Johnson’s slow recovery from a brain hemorrhage has impeded Republicans from going on the attack.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report on Wednesday rated the Colorado seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Wayne Allard as a tossup, but the state has been trending Democratic. Anti-war sentiments are turning some voters away from the GOP, imperiling the re-election prospects of Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Sununu, R-N.H., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore.

The Craig scandal is only the latest issue to demoralize the Republican Party, and new wild cards keep springing up, such as an FBI raid on a vacation home of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and questions about the role that Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., may have played in the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias in Albuquerque. Democratic surrogates in labor-backed groups have even been attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The Cook Report considers those three seats and the Idaho seat “likely Republican,” but if the GOP is forced to spend money defending them, it would siphon funds from races where the money would be badly needed. As of June 30, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had $20.4 million on hand, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee had $5.8 million in its bank account.”

Another state that could come into play for democrats is Nebraska. Republican Chuck Hagel has been rumored to be considering retiring. If he does, former Democratic Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey is thought to be very interested in running.

Lots can change in 14 months but it’s all going in the wrong direction for the Republicans right now. It’s probably there bad karma coming back to get them. It was laughable to listen to listen to Senator John Ensign on the George Stephanopoulos show on Sunday. He is heading up the Republican Senators’ election effort.

Ensign said the public wants to elect Senators that “put country before party”. Well there’s one strike against the Republicans. Then he said it was “time to end partisan bickering” That’s two strikes. The third strike was when he said “we need health care we can afford.” That’s not the Republicans. They were the guys that didn’t do it when they controlled both houses and the Presidency. People aren’t dumb. The Republicans are the ones who gave a bonanza to the drug companies at the expense of the public with their corporate welfare drug package that was Medicare Part D. What a joke.

The Republicans are in for more tough times ahead. They are trying to spin it that the country’s problems are the Democrat’s fault. Congress is working under the Democrats now . But our problems are the legacy of a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress. And the American public knows that. There’s nothing more disingenuous than listening to Republicans talk about partisan bickering and inaction. That’s their legacy, not the Democrats.

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Two weeks ago Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to run for President in 2008. I watched him on one of the Sunday news programs and wondered where the fire in the belly was. Well now the fire is definitely out. He has decided not to run according to today’s Washington Post.

One reason – after spending two years and raising some $5 million dollars – a trip to New Hampshire netted small crowds while Senator Barack Obama coming to New Hampshire packed in the crowds.

As Bayh said, ‘”The odds were always going to be very long for a relatively unknown candidate like myself, a little bit like David and Goliath,” Bayh said in the statement. He added that beyond the question of “whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I’m just not the right David,” his chances were slim.

Democrat Bayh joins two other Democrats, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Wisconsin Senator Russell Feingold, in withdrawing from the 2008 Presidential race.

Meanwhile Democrat and former Senator John Edwards says he will make an announcement before the end of the year. When Senator Edwards was in Seattle at the beginning of December he said he had truly not made up his mind. He did a book signing at the University Bookstore on Dec 2, 2006 and acknowledged that he had to make a decision soon.

Edwards acknowledged that it was a mistake when he voted for the Iraq War. I would say that the mistake was voting to give Bush carte blanche, another President might have used the vote more seriously to get international involvement in resolving the situation. He called the present choices bad and worse.

When asked by a precocious 9 year old in the audience what the first thing he would do as President, Edwards noted that there were a lot of important things that needed to be dealt with like energy independence, health care and poverty. But he said the single biggest project was to “restore America’s ability to lead the world.”

Edwards said we live in a dangerous, chaotic world. He said if we look at the last 6 years it is clear that “raw power alone doesn’t make you a leader.”

The 9 year old responded that Edwards sounded like Jimmy Carter, who said “make peace, not war”.

And this is where I lost Edwards, because Edwards told the boy he was correct but he would add that in order to have the ability to lead the world, the world would have to see us as a moral country. We would have to be a defender of human rights, not an offender. Edwards said America was a light when he was growing up but that is not the case today.

Edwards said the world needs to see our better angels. He said the President needs to travel to other parts of the world and both listen and speak to people – show them that we care. We have an enormous responsibility to the world according to Edwards because we are the richest nation in the world.

Why did I lose Edwards here? Maybe its because it sounded pretty paternalistic and messianic. Was he trying to atone for Bush’s mistakes and his when he voted to support Bush on Iraq. Senator Fullbright years ago called it the arrogance of power – that America knows what is best for everyone else. Edwards vision of the President and America leading the world was what got us into Iraq.

I don’t support terrorism or the use of violence to achieve political ends. And I don’t support what some have distorted the Islamic religion to say, that makes women non-citizens and that kills teachers and doctors and other to further their power. The problems are real and the threats are real. I just don’t think we need another foreign policy that makes America a leader.
What we need is a President that respects other nations and their sovereignty. We need to be a nation among nations, not an angel leading others in the world.

We can do more to lead the world by setting a good example and getting our own house in order like by becoming energy self sufficient and not make countries whose internal and external polices we disagree with, wealthy from our money by buying their oil. Bush is making this country economically unstable by both expending our capital and human lives on someone else’s civil war and by sending American capital to other nations for products like oil that we could do without if we change our profligate ways.

The world and the US would be much more secure if instead of spending the billions we spent in Iraq for war, we had it for energy independence within our own nation. Having higher fuel efficiency standards which Bush opposed would help. Increasing energy efficiency would help. Building green buildings would help. More windmills would help. Solar energy.

Maybe I’m over reacting. You tell me. I know Edwards is a good man and that he cares but I hope Edwards gets a better spin on what he sees the Presidency is about before the next time a 9 year old asks him what the first thing is that he would do as President. The vision thing is important.

Edwards’ book unfortunately doesn’t help explain Edwards much since it is a book of essays he edited. The book is called “Home: The Blueprints of our Lives” It is not a vision for a future America or the world as seen by John Edwards. It does not tell us how to get out of Iraq or how to end terrorism around the world or how to feed kids or provide for a good education or eradicate disease. And that is what we need to hear about now from someone who wants to be President.

We don’t need a drinking buddy for President like Bush sold many people on – we need someone willing to lead and propose solutions and answers to real problems facing America and the world.

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