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Passions in Poetry

Bayh Bayh, Cruel World

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Balladeer
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0 posted 02-15-2010 09:50 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), who took a prominent role in campaigning for President Obama in his home state and was briefly rumored to be Obama's running mate before the Democratic convention, is urging Obama to veto Congress's $410 billion omnibus spending bill if it passes, though the White House has said Obama intends to sign it.) In an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal, Bayh writes that the omibus is not the "change" Americans voted for: "Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate," Bayh writes. Bayh's comment seems more directed at Congress, but, it should be noted, John McCain made the same point in bashing Obama over the bill's earmarks in a floor speech Monday: "So much for the promise of change," McCain said. http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/bayh_veto_the_omnibus.php


ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports:

Even before the votes are counted, Senator Evan Bayh is warning fellow Democrats that ignoring the lessons of the Massachusetts Senate race will “lead to even further catastrophe” for their party.

“There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”

What is the lesson of Massachusetts – where Democrats face the prospects of losing a Senate seat they’ve held since 1952?   For Senator Bayh the lesson is that the party pushed an agenda that is too far to the left, alienating moderate and independent voters.

“It’s why moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message,”  he said.  “They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems.  That’s something that has to be corrected.”

Bayh pointed that it’s not just Massachusetts.  Independents also rejected Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia in November.

“ The only we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates,” Bayh said.  “Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country -- that’s not going to work too well.”
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2010/01/bayh-warns-catastrophe-if-dems-ignore-massachusetts-senate-race-lessons.html
Bob K
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1 posted 02-16-2010 06:04 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

"So much for the promise of change," McCain said. http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/bayh_veto_the_omnibus.php



     Let me see; Oh yes, that was that the same McCain who ran on the premise that there was nothing wrong with the American economy, wasn't it?  Wasn't he the guy who said so early and often?  I think he was the guy that the now President had to ask which economy he was now talking about because Senator McCain's comments were so sunny that nobody recognized them as actually talking about anything even remotely recognizable as reality.

     You yourself had some things to say about how well Senator McCain understood reality, if I remember your statements correctly.  None of them were very nice until the man got the nomination, if I remember correctly, when they changed.  Not that they ever became truly happy.  I was respectful of Senator McCain for his service, though I didn't like his economics.

     The changes that President Obama has instituted are changes that Senator McCain seemed to be entirely against during the campaign, as I recall, wasn't he?  I find it curious that Senator McCain has been able to criticisize the President for this.  You'd thank that Senator McCain would be happy that he and his fellow Republican's had prevented the President from making the changes that Obama wanted to make and  has been trying to make since getting elected.  These are the changes that Senator McCain campaigned against, after all, and has devopted himself to working against since the election.  

     I guess that Senator McCain and His fellow Republicans are trying to keep everybody's attention away from the fact that the recession that they'd been pretending wasn't happening, actually was, and that it had been happening as a result of eight years of Republican economics, and eiughty years before that of Republican light economics under Clinton, and the the previous twelve years of Serious Republican economics under the start of the neoconservatives.  Things have a way of catching up.  They'd been spending like crazy, and putting the country into a very difficult situation.  They allowed the balanced budget requirement to lapse.  It was all very discouraging.  After the initial large spending bill in the late Bush second administration wasn't enough to turn things around, the Republicans were still talking as though there was nothing wrong during the campaign.

     If you remember, Mike, I'd been telling you since Katrina that we would have to pay back the crazy spending.  You kept telling me that I was crazy while we were funding a war off the books and passing out tax breaks to people who weren't giving anything back, but were shipping it overseas and people were funding their lives by borrowing against their houses.  I told you if we didn't pay it back at that time, it would be more expensive later on.  Now it's later on and you're shocked that the democrats have done all this to you this year.

     Thank goodness for us Democrats, is all I can say, Mike.  Sometikmes I just can't imagine how we manage to make mistakes that big, tell people about them in advance, explain what could be done to stop them, as them to help us out in doing so, and still manage to fail so badly.  We really are idiots.
Bob K
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2 posted 02-16-2010 06:34 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Bayh is probably right, “ The only we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates.”

     My problem is in understanding his semantics.  Most democrats are moderates.  I am an unusual democratic, and a further left than most liberals; much further than thge President, for example, and further left than Ted Kennedy.  Kennedy seemed like a Liberals to me, and the President a slightly right of center moderate Democrat, like Bill Clinton.  Ike Eisenhower seemed like a basically centrist Republican, as in the center as either Clinton or Obama on most issues, certainly more to the left on many labor, trade and industrial issues than either of them.  I think he would have been more cautious about letting down trade barriers, for example, and he would have been more cautious, and in fact was more cautious with the tax rates than either of them.  He was more cautious about the effects of business on government than either of them, and certainly more cautious than any Republican of recent times.

     I think that the democrats are the natural allies of the moderates and the Centrists.  Even the Liberal democrats are natural allies of the moderates and the centrists.  I think we can ger along with independents very well as long as their independence is more or less of the center.

     The debate over the last thirty years, however, has been skewed horribly to the right, and Evan Bayh is one of the more rightward leaning Democrats, in my book.  He defines catagories in much the same way as folks on the far right tend to these days, and as a result, I think that his statement is mistaken.

     The problem with a lot of the politics in theis country these days is the nature of the dialogue.  The right has caught on the the notion that the folks who are in charge of the dictionary are most likely to be the folks who win the debate, and they have been doing exactly that for a long time now.  Thje political dialogue has a lot to do with  the nature of the truth and the consequences of lying.  Trying to thread the way between truth and opinion has become more and more vital.  I believe it's more and more important to keep that boundary as sharp as possible whenever it is possible, and then, of course, there are people who think it's not that important at all, or that everything's a matter of opinion.  

     I'm always more interested in what they'll have to say about that one once they hit the bottom.  "Bayh Bayh," I wave at them from the roof, as they grow smaller and smaller; then I get on the elevator and press L.
Balladeer
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3 posted 02-16-2010 07:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Not surprising to me that you would dedicate your entire first response to McCain. Finger pointing somewhere else is always a favorite, albeit, ineffective way of avoiding the main topic.

from the fact that the recession that they'd been pretending wasn't happening, actually was, and that it had been happening as a result of eight years of Republican economics, and eiughty years before that of Republican light economics under Clinton,

Surely not the eight years under Clinton that the Democrats keep referring to as the glory days of no deficit! Oh, and those dastardly eight years under Bush, people keep forgetting that the first six of those years were a strong, robust economy but, since the sins of the past (thank you Barney Frank and ACORN) caught up with us, why not go and blast the entire eight. It's the only democratic thing to do, after all.

Thank goodness for us Democrats, is all I can say, Mike.

I agree. Democrats are the only way Republicans can be made to look good. God knows they don't do much themselves to warrant it.
Balladeer
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4 posted 02-16-2010 08:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I think that the democrats are the natural allies of the moderates and the Centrists.

Apparently, Bayh and many other democrats jumping ship don't agree with you but he's only a congressman in the trenches with them every day. What does he know?

He defines catagories in much the same way as folks on the far right tend to these days, and as a result, I think that his statement is mistaken.

I repeat...what does he know? He only works with them, after all, and not as enlightened as our Alley cats  

The right has caught on the the notion that the folks who are in charge of the dictionary are most likely to be the folks who win the debate,

Surely you jest, sir. The only reason Obama is president is because of the dictionary, his use of it, his teleprompters and his ability to deliver a good speech. Take the dictionary away and Obama is a shoe store clerk.

You will not be alone in belittling Bayh, Bob. Now that he is leaving the fold many democrats will do the same thing. With them, he was a golden boy. On his own and following his own path, he is dust in the wind, a fish head to be tossed overboard.

I wave at them from the roof, as they grow smaller and smaller; then I get on the elevator and press L.

Be careful. The L you press may stand for Loser.
Bob K
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5 posted 02-16-2010 10:00 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

Surely you jest, sir. The only reason Obama is president is because of the dictionary, his use of it, his teleprompters and his ability to deliver a good speech. Take the dictionary away and Obama is a shoe store clerk.



     I jest often and occasionally successfully.  I am even funny now and again.  If you say sir, however, you are probably speaking of my father, who was an officer and a gentleman by act of congress.

    You are the one who must be jesting when you suggest that it was President Obama's skill with the langauge that got him the Presidency.  Being able to speak decent English is apparently not a qualification, and the public has a history of voting for people who have trouble speaking it.  Witness the previous two Presidential elections, in which the Republican candidate made up words and was dyslexic.  He may have been able to use a teleprompter, but he wasn't able to use it well.  He was not able to deliver a good speech, nor was he able to debate well, though he was able to remember slogans and to return to pre-tested phrases.  He was able to manipulate the use of language and the use of specific vocabulary and he did this well.  

     While I believe that he was dependant on his handlers for a lot of this capablility, I may well be wrong.  He may have been able to do this on his own, though his genius at this skill didn't show up in his attempts to master complex material at Yale or at Harvard.

     Your comments about teleprompters shows that you apparently don't expect me to understand the source of that material.  Since you have asked me not to mention that partiocular gentleman in our discussions, I won't, but you should remember that if you don't want me to do so, it would be wise not to use material that comes from his programs and that was fatuous when it originated there.  Being repeated here doesn't make it any more interesting or original or even real.  The president can make a good speech because he's actually worked at it and, because the last point in your statement is an exageration, a smear and a lie.

     If you took the dictionary away, you would find that President Obama would still be the President of The united States.  If you took the Presidency away, you'd still find that he was a U.S. Senator, and if you took the Senate away from his, you'd find that he was a Harvard Trained Lawyer and the President of the Harvard Law Review, and a man with his choice of job offers when he left Harvard Law School.  Many of them started with about a quarter of a million doillars a year and some of them went up from there.

     Apparently you believe there are some very highly paid shoe salesmen out there, with extraordinary qualifications and intelligence.  I must congratulate you on your sense of the democratic nature of the country and on the talent of the people in all walks of life.  Unless you intention may have been somerthing else, in which case you should reward yourself as you see fit.
Bob K
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quote:


He defines categories in much the same way as folks on the far right tend to these days, and as a result, I think that his statement is mistaken.

I repeat...what does he know? He only works with them, after all, and not as enlightened as our Alley cats  




     Of course, I'd forgotten; your notion of what's real sometimes gets confused with what the poll results happen to be, and what people happen to say.  Are you inviting me to  agree with the other Alley cats because I could then be another Alley cat?  

     I am a differently contoured Alley Cat, apparently, who finds you lovable and interesting, but I don't regard believing in your point of view mandatory.  I am open to conversation about it, and to learning about everybody's point of view.  I find Threadbear very interesting these days, though I don't agree with him.  I like his thoughts about editorial stuff, and what editing does to reality; I think he's thought about it and is continuing to think about it, and I'm impressed by his curiosity and his interest in exploration.  But I don't feel any wish to hop onto the bandwagon about Evan Bayh, despite Mike's willingness to characterize the Alley as having a sort of consensus position on it.  I simply don't believe that's true, and I simply don't believe that the way Mike characterizes the left to right continuum is correct either.

     I am sorry about that, Mike.
Balladeer
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7 posted 02-16-2010 10:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL.....well, Bob, you won't have me disagreeing about Bush not being able to deliver a polished speech. He became president basically for three reasons (1) He had run the second largest state in the union for eight years, (2) he came across as sincere in his bungling way and (3) he was not running against anyone credible.

Obama became president because of his speeches. He had no experience to fall back on, with the exception of a couple of years in congress in which he did very little, no real work history except being a trainer for ACORN. He also had the same advantage as Bush, not having a worthwhile opponent running against him and an anti-Bush movement working in his favor. He was touted as a possible presidential candidate immediately after giving his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. Why? Because he gave a good speech, nothing more.

Now he says he is going to try to turn things around concerning his waning popularity by doing what? - giving more speeches. He doesn't get it. It worked the first time because people believed in him. They took his speeches as promises...the "no more politics as usual", the "no lobbyists in government", the "openness in government" and all of the other things he touted. They don't have that belief in him any more. As Pelosi said, "Well, he promised a lot of things in his campaign", when asked about the closed door meeting Obama was conducting. They don't want the empty promises anymore. They want action. They want results and they want jobs. Flowery speeches won't cut it any more.

Yes, my last comment was out of line. I'm sure Obama would have been successful in life as a lawyer or anything that required a glib tongue that did not involve running a business. I'll give him that...
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8 posted 02-16-2010 10:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No need to be sorry about that, Bob. You are certainly entitled to believe I'm mistaken in any are you like. it sounds fine as long as personal insults are not intertwined which, in this case, you did not do. Thank you.

I made that statement because I find it interesting that a Senator, involved in the Senate, going to work every day in the Senate, dealing with all of the senators, makes a statement about the senate and anyone here has the audacity to say he is wrong or mistaken in his assessment of what he sees every day, just because they may disagree with his assessment. After all, he IS there and should have a better idea of what goes on than those of us in our easy chairs judging him....and he must REALLY feel it to have to speak out against his own party to voice his concern.
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9 posted 02-16-2010 10:56 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Bayh is a 'constituent's Senator.'  He represents his elected people first; country second; party third.

He's universally demonized by the Lifer's in the Senate for disloyality.

Senators are more like lawyers; Presidents are more like administrators.  Bayh says he wants to be an administrator.

He's setting himself up, I am almost positive, for an Independent Party run for either President or Senate, in a new political guise.  He is the classic 'moderate' in every sense of the word, and he thinks his views have purpose as a third party Moderate, leaning slightly to the Conservative side.  He'll be one of the leaders of this party, I believe.  Palin, Lieberman, McCain, Blanche Lincoln: all might be part of this new group as well.  

Also, watch for the 'Blue Dog Democrats' to quit being a Democrat and jump into this, yet unnamed, third Indie Party.  
JenniferMaxwell
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10 posted 02-17-2010 12:18 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

My money's on lobbyist. His wife’s on the board of Wellpoint so insurance lobbyist doesn’t seem like a stretch.

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I would say: advisor in the interim period until elections.  Thing is, lobbyist for whom,if not Wellpoint?  He doesn't really have ANY ties to any organized body, which is HIGHLY unusual for a politician.  On his last political 'hiatus' between elections, he taught at a business college.  

from Wiki on Evan Bayh:
...Stressing fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, job creation and lean government, Bayh's tenure as governor was highlighted by eight years without raising taxes, the largest single tax cut and largest budget surplus in state history...

The above blurb has 'Tea Party' written all over it.
Bob K
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12 posted 02-18-2010 03:35 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


I made that statement because I find it interesting that a Senator, involved in the Senate, going to work every day in the Senate, dealing with all of the senators, makes a statement about the senate and anyone here has the audacity to say he is wrong or mistaken in his assessment of what he sees every day, just because they may disagree with his assessment. After all, he IS there and should have a better idea of what goes on than those of us in our easy chairs judging him....and he must REALLY feel it to have to speak out against his own party to voice his concern.




     And when a Republican Senator says something about Republicans, would you remember what any of your responses might have been?

     You may certainly have agreed with your comments here, or you may have had other things to say, perhaps, depending on what you felt to be the circumstances, wouldn't you?

     I can't say that you're saying anything terrible here, or off base, mind you.  It seems simply an undigested truism which may be more applicable in some situations than in others.  I refuse to say Bayh is a bad man.  I will say that he is far more toward the Republican side of things than I would like to see a Democrat be.  That's all right too.  I am further left than many Democrats, and it's a big party.

     But I think that your approval of the man suggests that there is a current in the Republican party that is accepting of exactly such a centrist element that has been missing in the Republican party for a generation or more, and that the Republican Party has suffered for the lack of it, and has been forced into an artificially extreme position because of it, and that the Republican party is naturally a much broader and more accepting party than it has been forced into becoming over the past twenty to thirty years.

     This is a piece of discussion we keep coming back to because, for my part, I feel the Republicans have been taken over by something very strange.  Like those lines from Shakespeare about  'a sea-change."  Somebody with a better quotation memory than I have could locate them more easily for you.  Maybe I simply have idealized memories of at least some of the Republicans of my childhood.

     Someone was mentioning on the radio the other day that the President and Senator McCain, presented as they they were — falsely, I believe at that time, as the  archchetypal liberal and then one of the stongest conservativs in the Senate — in fact had a voting record that was identical 80% of the time.  All those senators who hyped the ultra Liberal voting record of Senator Obama and the reverse for Senator McCain may have had some points, but may also had some serious explaining to do.

     They may also have had to spend half their time sitting next to Pinnochio in the waiting room of that great Washington plastic surgury office on the Hill having their rapidly expanding noses reduced after every new press conference.  You are, you will remember, the man who invited me to call you a fool or an idealist about these things not so very long ago.  I think Idealist is the word that would fit here.  Yes, definitely, "idealist."  
Ron
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I wonder sometimes, Bob, if perhaps you aren't a little obsessed with labels?

I have never seen either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party run for an office. Candidates are people, not parties, and like all people they rarely fit so neatly into pigeon holes.
Huan Yi
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14 posted 02-18-2010 03:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
“Also, watch for the 'Blue Dog Democrats' to quit being a Democrat and jump into this, yet unnamed, third Indie Party.  “


“America, its luck exhausted, at last has a president from the academic culture, that grating blend of knowingness and unrealism. But the reaction against this must somewhat please him. That reaction is populism, a celebration of intellectual ordinariness. This is not a stance that will strengthen the Republican Party, which recently has become ruinously weak among highly educated whites. Besides, full-throated populism has not won a national election in 178 years, since Andrew Jackson was reelected in 1832.

After William Jennings Bryan's defeat in 1908, his third as the Democrats' presidential nominee, this prototypical populist said he felt like the man who, thrown out of a bar for a third time, dusted himself off and said, "I'm beginning to think those fellows don't want me in there." In 1992, Ross Perot, an only-in-America phenomenon -- a billionaire populist -- won 19 percent of the popular vote. But because of the winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes, he won none of those. In 1976, Jimmy Carter -- peanut farmer; carried his own suitcase, imagine that -- somewhat tapped America's durable but shallow reservoir of populism. By 1980, ordinariness in high office had lost its allure.

In 1968, George Wallace, promising to toss the briefcases of pointy-headed intellectuals into the Potomac, won 46 electoral votes with 13.5 percent of the popular vote. He had the populist's trifecta -- a vivid personality, a regional base and a burning issue. Actually, he had three such issues -- backlash against the civil rights revolution, social disintegration (urban riots, rising crime) and resentment of the progressive projects of Great Society social engineers (e.g., forced busing of other people's children).

Populism has had as many incarnations as it has had provocations, but its constant ingredient has been resentment, and hence whininess. Populism does not wax in tranquil times; it is a cathartic response to serious problems. But it always wanes because it never seems serious as a solution. “


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/17/AR2010021703507.html  

.

threadbear
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15 posted 02-18-2010 07:38 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

You have something there, Bob, in labeling the new movement as a Populist movement.  But all Populist movements are citizen based corrections to corrupt or horrible politicians.

It's called a mandate, and it's what America is all about.  
Bob K
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16 posted 02-18-2010 09:16 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I would suspect that it's a correction to what I see as a corporatist takeover of the government.  Not business, because I think that business is really basic to the nature of  this country and, really, any country, but to the massive corporations that actually compete with governments for the control of the lives of the people.

     We fought revolutions for the right to elect our governments, and I think that folks generally want to keep that right.  Having coporations buy, bribe or steal that right away from them seems to be something that's a bit unsettling, I think, to Americans on both the left and the right.  If a government is doing something you don't like, you can vote the rascals out.  If corporatists have bought and payed for your government, and maintain control by economic means — bribes and the like, and have set the system up so that no matter who you elect, they have the right to buy the folks in power because corporations are now "people" and money is now "free speech," then we are in deep trouble.

     I suggest to you that we are, in fact, in deep trouble.
Bob K
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17 posted 02-19-2010 06:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I might suggest that we could, at this late date, call it a "person-date."  Since I've vowed to give in to a run of horrible jokes at every possible turn to get out of this head butting atmosphere, I noticed there was a chance, and by golly, I took it.  Run for the hills, people.  I am coming after the remotely serious amongst ye.  Until I don't, of course.
 
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