Ted Cruz Says He Will ‘Absolutely’ Filibuster Obama’s Nominee To Replace Scalia…

nra leadership forum

Time for another Government shutdown.

Via Yahoo News:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is threatening to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee made by President Obama to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“This should be a decision for the people,” Cruz said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “Let the election decide. If the Democrats want to replace [Scalia], they need to win the election. But I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial-birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification, and I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution.”

On Saturday, Obama said he plans “to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time,” pressing the Senate to “fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”

Asked whether he would filibuster Obama’s choice, Cruz said: “Absolutely.”

“The Senate’s duty is to advise and consent,” Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday. “We’re advising that a lame-duck president in an election year is not going to be able to tip the balance of the Supreme Court.”

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Schumer: ‘We Democrats Didn’t’ Engage In Obstructionism Over SCOTUS Picks…

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Not what he said in 2007:

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”

Via NRO:

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Republicans should follow the example Democrats set with Anthony Kennedy and help President Obama fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Appearing today on This Week, Schumer warned Republicans not to follow Senate Majority Leader “over the cliff” and refuse votes on any Obama nominee.

Sen. McConnell, Schumer said, “doesn’t even know who the president’s going to propose and he said, ‘no, we’re not having hearings; we’re not going to go forward to lead the Supreme Court vacant at 300 days in a divided time.’”

This kind of obstructionism isn’t going to last.” “We Democrats didn’t do this,” Schumer said. “We voted 97-0 for Justice Kennedy in the last year of Reagan’s term.”

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Iran Exports Oil To Europe…

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Iran is dead broke after the nuclear deal.

Via Times Of Israel:

Iran’s official news agency says the country has exported its crude shipment to Europe for the first time since it reached a landmark nuclear deal with world powers last month.

Sunday’s IRNA report quotes Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi as saying the shipment was the first after five years. He called the shipment “a new chapter” in Iran’s oil industry but did not elaborate.

IRNA said several western tankers have loaded Iran’s oil in recent days.

Iran plans to add one million barrels to its oil production following implementation of the nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear activities.

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Ever Classy: Gay Loon Dan Savage Attacks Justice Scalia

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Obama Urges Russia To Stop Bombing “Moderate” Syria Rebels…

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Obama made the call from the back nine.

Via Reuters:

U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing “moderate” rebels in Syria in support of its ally Bashar al-Assad, a campaign seen in the West as a major obstacle to latest efforts to end the war.

Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties – the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial centre before the conflict.

There is little optimism that the deal reached in Munich will do much to end a war that has lasted five years and cost 250,000 lives.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin and Obama had spoken by telephone and agreed to intensify cooperation to implement the Munich agreement.

But a Kremlin statement made clear Russia was committed to its campaign against Islamic State and “other terrorist organisations”, an indication that it would also target groups in western Syria where jihadists such as al Qaeda are fighting Assad in close proximity to rebels deemed moderate by the West.

Russia says the “cessation” does not apply to its air strikes, which have shifted the balance of power towards Assad.

It says Islamic State and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front are the main targets of its air campaign. But Western countries say Russia has in fact been mostly targeting other insurgent groups, including some they support.

The White House said Obama’s discussion with Putin stressed the need to rush humanitarian aid to Syria and contain air strikes.

“In particular, President Obama emphasized the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria,” the White House said in a statement.

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Ranch Owner Describes Scene Of Justice Scalia’s Death, Including ‘Pillow Over His Head’

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Needless to say, this description will incite speculation.

MARFA — A first-time guest to the Cibolo Creek Creek Ranch, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was animated and engaged during dinner Friday night, as one of three dozen invitees to an event that had nothing to do with law or politics, according to the ranch owner.

Just hours later, he would be found dead of apparent natural causes, which media outlets reported on Sunday was a heart attack.

“He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him. He was very entertaining. But about 9 p.m. he said, ‘it’s been a long day and a long week, I want to get some sleep,” recalled Houston businessman John Poindexter, who owns the 30,000-acre luxury ranch.

When Poindexter tried to awaken Scalia about 8:30 the next morning, the judge’s door was locked and he did not answer. Three hours later, Poindexter returned after an outing, with a friend of Scalia who had come from Washington with him.

“We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,” said Poindexter.

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Judge declared it a heart attack without looking at the body, but after talking with Scalia’s doctor. Scalia has already been embalmed.

Breaking: Two Men Reported With Weapons On Campus Of Arkansas State University…

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Team Hillary Growing Nervous About Nevada…

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Hillary has the delegates in the bag this time, it is preordained.

Via Reno Gazette Journal:

It seems like yesterday.

The Hillary Clinton juggernaut arrived in Nevada last spring, making all the right moves. She hired Emmy Ruiz, a skilled operative who worked for Clinton and Barack Obama here in 2008 (Clinton won the popular vote but lost the delegate fight), to helm her effort. Ruiz brought a Nevada-centric team together, people who knew the state and its burgeoning Latino community, which made up 15 percent of the caucus universe eight years ago. And in May, Clinton held a memorable event, a roundtable with DREAMers, who just recently endorsed her for the nomination.

Nevada was Clinton Country, mostly because of her organizational strength designed to construct a firewall should Bernie Sanders do well in New Hampshire. Indeed, Sanders apparently couldn’t place Nevada on a map – he had no offices, no staff, no footprint at all.

Race? What race?

Now, one week before Nevada Democrats break the tie between Iowa and New Hampshire and decide if the Sanders Surge is real, yesterday has vanished and Hillary Clinton can’t stop thinking about tomorrow.[…]

After spending so much time touting the minority outreach, especially to Latinos, Team Clinton is now repeating the ridiculous and false mantra that Nevada is not so different than Iowa and New Hampshire, two of the whitest states in the union. It’s as if history doesn’t exist.

You know, the history where a guy named Harry Reid went to the Democratic National Committee in 2007 and persuaded key players that Nevada was not just the gateway to the West but to a more diverse place that reflected America’s changing demographics.

That’s why Reid has been so obviously offended by the Clinton canard, a fairy tale if you will, spun by a campaign that gave away its panic as the New Hampshire results became clear. From the top (campaign manager Robby Mook) on down (spokesman Brian Fallon) they pushed the false narrative that Nevada had an 80 percent white voter population. This is so far from true, and they know it (especially Mook, who – wait for it – ran Hillary’s campaign here in 2008).

They know that electorate was at least 30 percent minority, and they know it is projected to be closer to 40 percent this cycle. Nevada’s Hispanic population is about 27 percent, and it is barely a majority white state anymore – not, as Reid so memorably and wryly put it last week, like his 1976 yearbook.

So the story we are asked to buy is that Sanders will do well here because the demographics are so similar. Why does Hillary Clinton not like white people? Or why don’t white people like Hillary Clinton?

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Leftist Social Media Claims Constitution Demands Vote On SCOTUS Nominee, Hugh Hewitt Disabuses Them…

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HT: Twitchy

Abortion, Immigration And Gay Rights Decisions In Doubt As Obama And Senate Prepare To Go Head-To-Head Over Scalia Successor…

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The Constitution is on the line.

Via Daily Mail:

While the nomination battle for Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat has just begun, the repercussions of his death on the Supreme Court will be immediate.

The absence of Scalia, who died from natural causes at a hunting ranch in Texas on Saturday, has left the Supreme Court split with four Democratic and Republican appointees each.

Now a number of pending cases on abortion, immigration and affirmative action, among others, could be left with a 4-4 tie with the loss of conservative Scalia tipping the majority.

The Supreme Court Justice died after spending the day quail hunting before arriving at the ranch on Friday to attend a private party with approximately 40 other people.

He wasn’t feeling well and went to bed early, CNN reported.

When he did not show up for breakfast in the morning, a person associated with the ranch went to check on him and found his body in his room.

The US Marshal Service, the Presidio County sheriff and the FBI are investigating Scalia’s death but there was no evidence of foul play, a federal official told My San Antonio.

A gray Cadillac hearse, coming from Alpine Memorial Funeral Home, arrived at the ranch on Saturday afternoon. An El Paso priest was also called to Marfa on Saturday, KVIA reported.

Scalia leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Maureen, as well as their nine children and 28 grandchildren.

Hours after the conservative Justice’s death was announced, Senate Republicans were already promising they would not allow Obama to fill his vacant seat.

The court faces a crowded docket of politically charged cases that were certain to resonate in the presidential campaign on issues such as immigration, abortion, affirmative action, labor unions and Obama’s health care law.

Decisions were expected in late spring and early summer on whether the president could shield up to five million immigrants living in the United States illegally from deportation.

In some cases a tie will merely leave in place decisions that have already been set by lower courts.

This would be the case in Whole Women’s Health v Cole, upholding a Texas law that has closed half of the state’s abortion clinics in the last three years.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the state’s regulations, but a tie in the Supreme Court would be a blow to anti-abortion advocates hoping for a broader ruling that could set the precedent for restrictions across the country.

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Breaking: Explosive Device Found Under Rental Car In Albuquerque

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The Albuquerque Police Department Bomb Squad confirmed on Sunday a bomb was found under a rental car at the Avis car rental station.

The Avis car rental is near the Albuquerque International Airport.

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Rubio Bashes Cruz For Not Speaking Spanish…

cruz and rubio

Note to Rubio: The majority watching the debate speaks English.

Via Washington Examiner:

Marco Rubio swiped at Ted Cruz for attacking him over a comment Rubio made to Univision on President Obama’s executive action on immigration, saying Cruz wouldn’t know what he said because he doesn’t speak Spanish.

During a lengthy attack on the Florida senator over his record on immigration, Cruz laid out several instances in which he deemed Rubio to be weak on combating illegal immigration, including Rubio’s support of the DREAM Act while speaker of the house in Florida and telling Univision’s Jorge Ramos that he would not rescind Obama’s executive action.

Cruz made the comments after his consistent riff against Rubio for backing the Gang of Eight immigration bill in 2013.

“Not only that, Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty,” Cruz said. “In the state of Florida as speaker of the house, he supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. In addition, Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he wouldn’t rescind President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office. I have promised to rescind every single illegal executive action, including that one.”

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Obama’s Shortlist For SCOTUS…

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Via NYDN:

Obama said Saturday that he intends to be the one to choose Scalia’s replacement.

Here’s who’s on deck:

Sri Srinivasan

The 48-year-old moderate D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has already been labeled Obama’s “Supreme Court nominee in waiting,” by The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Tobin.

Widely seen as the most likely choice, he would be the first Indian-American justice on the highest court.

Srinivasan is poised to be chosen for the Supreme on the D.C. Circuit Court, the second-highest court where John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg all were nominated from.

The Lawrence, Kansas native most famously argued against the Defense of Marriage Act while he was the Obama Administration’s principal deputy solicitor general.

Paul Watford

Watford, a 48-year-old African-American Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge who Obama said “has displayed exceptional dedication to the legal profession throughout his work,” after his 2012 confirmation.

He was nominated with broad bipartisan support to the Ninth Circuit Court in 2011.

Even Daniel Collins, Antonin Scalia’s clerk at the time, praised Watford’s confirmation.

“I don’t think he’ll approach the job with any kind of agenda other than to do what is right and consistent with precedent as he understands it,” Collins said in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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All Hail Diversity! Digital Transgender Archive Launches At Holy Cross…

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Preserving the history of transgenders is of utmost importance.

Via Boston Globe:

A digital transgender archive was launched Thursday at the College of The Holy Cross, a compendium of historic documents, oral-history transcripts, photographs, and newsletters from years past. Organizers believe it is the first time such a trove of transgender-related digital material has been available.

The archive materials have been gathered from 13 collaborating institutions, with eight more poised to donate in the coming months. Seven are universities and include Harvard, Cornell, the University of Victoria, and the University of Michigan.

Holy Cross spokeswoman Cristal Steuer called it the first digital undertaking of its kind. The archive, www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net, came about after a local academic struggled to find transgender-related research materials for his Ph.D.

“I had a lot of conversations about how extensive the problem was,” said K.J. Rawson, an assistant professor of English at Holy Cross and director of the archive. “Eight years after I first encountered these challenging research experiences, I finally started developing this resource.”

Historically speaking, transgender is a relatively new term, appearing at the end of the 20th century, Rawson said. In the midst of his research, he looked at issues of privacy, language, and ethics as well as the broader idea of challenging and transgressing gender norms throughout history.

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Democrats Fundraise Over Justice Scalia’s Death

Scalia

Scummy, it’s what they are.

Via Weekly Standard:

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died today and already the Democratic party is fundraising off his death.

In an email sent out by the Democratic National Committee, supporters are asked to chipping in some money for the coming Supreme Court nomination fight.

The fundraising email reads:

Breaking news from the GOP debate stage:

In tonight’s debate, the Republican presidential candidates were asked whether or not President Obama should nominate a new justice to the Supreme Court. They said Congress should block, delay, or otherwise refuse to allow the President to fill this vacancy.

There’s no excuse for this, You. It’s putting partisan politics above theConstitution and the rule of law, and it’s appalling to hear from any public official — let alone someone who thinks he should be the next President of the United States.

And they’re not alone. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who is responsible for scheduling votes in the Senate — has already said that “this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

But no matter what Mitch McConnell says, President Obama is going to fulfill his constitutional obligation to nominate a successor to fill thevacant seat on the Supreme Court — and that nominee deserves a fair hearing in the Senate.

Add your name to call on Republicans to follow the Constitution instead of obstructing the confirmation of our next Supreme Court justice:

Top Senate Judiciary Democrat Warns Against GOP Stalling New Justice…

Leahy

Time for another Bork nomination process.

Via Washington Examiner:

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Congress should move forward with confirming a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

“I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest that the president or the Senate should not perform its constitutional duty,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Saturday. “The American people deserve to have a full functioning Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to our democracy for it to be understaffed for partisan reasons. It is only February. The president and the Senate should get to work without delay to nominate, consider and confirm the next justice to serve on the Supreme Court.”

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Bill Clinton Downplays Obama: ‘We’re All Mixed-Race People’

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Going full Dolezal.

Via NY Post:

Bill Clinton still wants to be known as America’s “first black president.”

The former president downplayed President Obama’s historic presidency, telling a Memphis crowd Friday everyone has some African ancestry.

“Unless your ancestors, every one of you, are 100 percent, 100 percent from sub-Saharan Africa, we are all mixed-race people,” he said, according to reports.

Clinton credited Obama for doing “a better job than he has gotten credit for,” but chided the current president for doing little to end Washington gridlock.

“A lot of people say you don’t understand — it’s rigged now,” he said. “Yeah, it’s rigged now because you don’t have a president that’s a change-maker.”

He praised Hillary Clinton for being “the best change-maker I’ve ever known.”

“She’s always making something good happen,” he added.

Bill Clinton has hit the campaign trail in recent months to boost his spouse’s presidential prospects as the primary season rolls onward.

She has referred to him as her “secret weapon,” but some Democratic observers fret that his remarks and past scandals could become a liability.

As FBI Goes Through Evidence At Oregon Refuge, Town Awaits Normalcy…

Oregon refuge

Via Salt Lake Tribune:

As the FBI focuses on its criminal investigation at the national wildlife refuge taken over by an armed group, land managers must get ready to reopen the 300 square-mile area, which draws birdwatchers, anglers and hunters and is a key economic engine of the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, snow is melting and filling the untended irrigation canals at the refuge. Tourist groups are beginning to plan summer trips. Local business owners are wondering what their normally busy summer season will look like. Residents are wondering if the deep divisions in the community created by the 41-day standoff will leave lasting scars.

In other words, the clock is still ticking for a community eager to resume normal life.

“People need to heal,” said Linda Gainer, owner of The Narrows restaurant and RV park. The business is just a few miles from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and counts on the dollars spent by birdwatchers and other tourists. “I didn’t have any people say, ‘I’ll never be your friend again.’ But we did have crappy emails. I’m hoping the birders come back.”

One National Audubon Society group from Portland has already contacted the business to make a dinner reservation for their annual trip, which left Gainer feeling relieved. “That was one of the best emails I think I’ve ever had,” she said.

A group of armed protesters angry about federal land-use policy seized the southeastern Oregon property on Jan. 2, demanding the U.S. turn over public lands to locals and exposing simmering anger over the government’s control of vast expanses of Western range. Several people have been arrested during the standoff, and one protester was shot during a confrontation with police several miles from the refuge.

The last four holdouts at the refuge surrendered Feb. 11.

Larry Karl, the assistant special agent in charge for the FBI in Portland, said it will take several weeks for officials to collect evidence and clear the crime scene. Then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be tasked with cleaning up the site, including garbage or debris left by the people who occupied the refuge during the standoff. Because dirt was moved — potentially damaging prehistoric archaeological sites — and thousands of artifacts are stored at the refuge, archaeologists and members of the Burns Paiute Tribe will have to spend time making sure nothing is missing or damaged and repairing any problems.

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FLASHBACK: 1st POTUS In History To Have Voted To Filibuster A SCOTUS Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process…

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Here’s your answer when the left screams delay.

Via ABC:

President Obama’s expressed hope today in his weekly address “that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this (Supreme Court nomination) process, and Congress, in the past” runs against another historical first for the 44th president: his unique role in history as the first US President to have ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.

So while there is little indication Republicans intend to filibuster President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the GOP will likely invoke the President’s unique history whenever he calls their tactics into question.

In January 2006, then-Sen. Obama joined 24 colleagues in a futile effort led by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of now-Justice Samuel Alito.

On January 29, 2006, Mr. Obama told George Stephanopulos on “This Week” that he would “be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know. When you look at his decisions in particular during times of war, we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”

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Canadian Customs Demand Passports From Yukon Quest Dog Sled Racers …

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What are the odds of a refugee posing as a musher?

Via The Guardian:

For the first time in its 33-year history, dog mushers competing in a gruelling 1,000-mile dog sled race from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Whitehorse, Yukon, have been asked to present travel documents to Canadian border officials.

Earlier this week, Brent Sass, a 36-year-old musher from Eureka, Alaska, became the first of 22 competitors in the 2016 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race to reach Canada, gliding into a checkpoint at Dawson City, Yukon, on Wednesday.

There, he presented his passport to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) official.

Asked if he had anything to declare, Sass, the defending champion, replied: “Fourteen dogs.”

Few points along any of North America’s international borders are as remote, wild or forbidding as this, and few travellers are intrepid enough to reach it by dog sled. Yet passports must now be checked.

In previous years, Canadian immigration officials were more relaxed about the Yukon Quest dog-sledders, and did little beyond pre-screening competitors. This year, like all other dog-sled enthusiasts in the city, CBSA personnel in Dawson tracked the progress of the dog teams along the trail via GPS to time their arrival at the checkpoint, said race manager Alex Olesen.

“That’s the first year they’ve actually checked us here,” said the victorious Sass. “We were warned of that, and that’s why we were told to bring our passports with us.”

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