Archive for the ‘Homeland Security’ Category

After reading this article, sane people are left wondering what Sen. Paul’s supporters are thinking:

The newest Iowa poll conducted by The Des Moines Register reflects a trend which has been ongoing since polling for this cycle began. Rand Paul, in second place at 10%, is well within the margin of error of the lead, currently held by Scott Walker at 17%. Ben Carson finished with 10% and both Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush earned 9%.

While it is debatable how important it may be to actually win the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus, history shows that it is imperative to finish in the top 4, as each nominee from both major parties has done so since the quadrennial tradition began in 1972. With a possible field of nearly 20 Republican candidates, a poor showing in Iowa could prove lethal to several campaigns.

With that information in mind, the fact that Senator Paul has consistently remained in double-digits since Iowa polling commenced in mid-2012 becomes all the more important and impressive. Paul enters the contest with a bit of an advantage, as his father came within 4 percentage points (or 4,000 votes) of winning the caucus in 2012. In fact, the legacy that the elder Paul left is best represented by the fact that 22 of the state’s 28 delegates pledged themselves to his campaign.

Now that Sen. Paul has announced that he’ll force the expiration of the Patriot Act, his days are numbered. From this day forward, his support will drop until he’s left with his father’s core of loyal supporters. By the time the Caucuses happen, he’ll trail Walker, Rubio, Carson and, quite possibly, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz.

The 2016 Iowa field will be unique in that it will be first in history to feature 2 different past winners (Huckabee and Rick Santorum), but Paul has shown himself to be one of the favorites to win the caucus. Other candidates’ numbers have fluctuated, yet Paul has steadily maintained a solid core of voters.

First, Sen. Paul’s support hasn’t grown. Second, Sen. Paul’s support isn’t reaching into other demographics that are needed to win in Iowa. For instance, Sen. Paul doesn’t have a chance of winning over evangelical Christians because of his strict libertarian views on things like legalizing marijuana and his indifference towards gay marriage. Whether you agree or disagree policy-wise, evangelical Christians won’t support candidates that are indifferent on those issues.

Putting it simply, Sen. Paul’s potential for winning Iowa is virtually nil.

The newest person in line in the Iowa “stock market” of candidates has been Scott Walker, who now averages nearly 20%, but has seen his numbers begin to decline. As recently as January, Walker was polling at below 5%, showing that his reign is likely unsustainable, and could be very well a limited one.

Now that’s fanciful. Wow! Scott Walker has led the RCP average of polls for nearly 4 months, usually with solid leads outside the margin of error. If that’s what a “likely unsustainable” lead looks like, especially one that “could be very well a limited one”, then I’m betting most candidates would settle for such an unsustainable lead.

Josh Guckert is the name of the person who wrote this article but it could’ve just as easily have been Baghdad Bob.

In a startling event, President Obama said that the US had eliminated Afghanistan as a source of terrorism:

In addition to his Alice-in-Wonderland declaration, President Obama said that US combat missions have finished. This is additional proof that the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Regardless of President Obama’s sunny talk, the reality is that the terrorists have adapted. They haven’t given up the mission of creating a worldwide caliphate. They’ve just moved their training and planning bases from Afghanistan to another location.

In the days after 9/11, someone stated publicly that 9/11 was the day that terrorists had declared war on the United States. Rudy Giuliani corrected the person, saying that the terrorists had been at war with us for years, possibly decades, and that 9/11 was just the day that we joined that fight.

Similarly, the terrorists’ threat hasn’t ended just because President Obama held a press conference saying that the terrorists no longer posed a threat. The terrorists have a say in the matter, too. In fact, they’ll have a bigger say in the matter than President Obama will have.

That isn’t meant as disrespectful. It’s just that President Obama leaves office in 2 years. At that point, he won’t play the role of principle decision maker. That said, many of the terrorists will still be around 3 years from now. They’ll still have a say in the matter.

President Obama’s statements are either proof that he’s exceptionally arrogant or they’re proof that he’s buried his head in the sand on this issue. That isn’t good. We need a commander-in-chief who is tuned into reality. We need a commander-in-chief who isn’t afraid to see what he sees.

Right now, we don’t have that type of commander-in-chief.

True to his 1970s-style anti-war activist days, Rick Nolan is still a pacifist:

In a statement issued to KBJR, Rep. Rick Nolan said U.S. intervention in “thousands-year-old Middle East war” has cost the U.S. trillions in blood and treasury.

“The arms we supply to any one of these groups inevitably end up being used against us, because we have no friends in this conflict,” Rep. Nolan said. “Our involvement is bankrupting us and making us a target for retaliation, and it’s time to put an end to it. These monies are needed for deficit reduction and rebuilding America.”

That’s frightening. ISIL is definitely a threat to the United States. Similarly, there’s no question that Stewart Mills’ assessment is right:

“He (Rep. Nolan) is advocating for us not to have involvement in Iraq or in Syria,” Mills said in an interview in late September. “But the consequences of us not having involvement in there is that we create a vacuum. And that vacuum is filled up with bad people doing bad things and eventually that will wash up on our shores, probably sooner rather than later.”

That isn’t just Mills’ opinion. It’s an opinion he shares with Leon Panetta, President Obama’s former Defense Secretary:

By not pressing the Iraqi government to leave more U.S. troops in the country, he “created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it’s out of that vacuum that ISIS began to breed,” Panetta told USA Today, referring to the group also known as the Islamic State.

Being a pacifist in the 1970s helps inform Rick Nolan’s views on national security. We’re living in a totally different world, especially after 9/11. If Rick Nolan doesn’t want to fight terrorists before they reach America’s shores, then he isn’t qualified to be in Congress.

Nolan’s type of thinking is what helped create the conditions for 9/11 and for ISIL to take over much of Iraq and Syria. We can’t afford not to pay attention to ISIL. In fact, we can’t afford not to do everything we can to utterly demolish ISIL and other terrorist groups.

Whether Nolan will admit it, the truth is that ISIL and al-Qa’ida are at war with us. The only question left is whether we’ll wage war with them. If Stewart Mills is elected to Congress, he’ll vote to fight terrorists. If Nolan is re-elected, God forbid, he’ll vote for taking a pre-9/11 position.

That’s unacceptable.

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Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:

I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.

Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.

That is—when you can find some down time.

As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.

First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.

When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.

What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?

It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.

The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.

Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.

While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.

When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.

Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.

Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.

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Harry Reid is one of the most deceitful men to ever serve in Washington, DC. He isn’t too bright, either. The things he said in this video contradict each other:

Here’s what Sen. Reid said:

“From all the reports I’ve gotten, the answer for me is no, I won’t support it,” he said.

“I believe our No. 1 concern should be this narrow issue of we take care of this situation we have on the border. As I’ve been told, the Cornyn-Cuellar legislation covers a lot of other issues other than the problem we’re having on the border,” he said.

As foolish as that statement is, this statement is breathtakingly dishonest:

“The border is secure,” he told reporters after the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy lunch. “[Sen.] Martin Heinrich [(D-N.M.)] talked to the caucus today. He’s a border state senator. He said he can say without any equivocation the border is secure.”

I wish I’d been one of the reporters at Sen. Reid’s press availability. I would’ve asked him why a supplemental appropriation was needed to handle the flood of illegal immigrants if the border was secure. This isn’t rocket science. If the border is secure, then they wouldn’t be predicting 90,000 children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

The best way to tell whether Sen. Reid is lying is to determine whether his lips are moving. If they are, it’s likely that he’s lying.

Rick Perry’s op-ed exposes Sen. Reid’s dishonesty:

In recent months, tens of thousands of children have come across the border and are now housed in federal facilities across the U.S., the result of failed federal policies and Washington’s indifference to securing the border.

I visited one of these facilities in June and saw these children, frightened and alone, who left their homes and families, survived a harrowing trip, and are now facing an unknown future. It was staggering to realize that this humanitarian crisis is not the result of a natural disaster, but of our nation’s own misguided laws and misplaced priorities. It’s nothing less than a moral outrage.

President Obama last week proposed $3.7 billion in spending to deal with the continuing crisis. But only a small fraction of that money would go to the actual core of this problem: the lack of sufficient resources to secure the border. The majority of the billions he proposes to spend—including on housing and transporting the minors around the country—is treating the symptoms of the problem instead of addressing its root cause.

Unlike Sen. Reid, Gov. Perry has been to the border. He’s seen the unaccompanied children. He’s gotten daily briefings from his staff on the flood of illegal aliens coming into the US.

Sen. Reid is attempting to hide the fact that 70% of the Border Patrol has been pulled from their normal jobs to help process the illegal aliens. There’s only 2 explanations for doing that. Either President Obama wants to leave the Tex-Mex border unsecured or the agents are being pulled to help with the flood of illegal immigrants who’ve crossed an unsecured border.

Just once, I wish a DC reporter would stand up to Sen. Reid and ask him why he’s saying such obviously contradictory things. You don’t need a $3,700,000,000 supplemental appropriation to handle a flood of illegal immigrants if the border is secure. Period.

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There are few political analysts I trust more than Michael Barone. I trust Mr. Barone because, in addition to being one of the best number crunchers in the business, he’s a superb researcher. That’s why I took note of what he wrote in this article:

A new Washington Post story quotes Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke as favoring “greater emphasis on the interests of these children who are refugees from extreme violence” instead of “an acceleration of the deportation process at the expense of these children.” But the Post reporters note that “O’Rourke added that he has been surprised by the anger he has heard toward the immigrants of many of his El Paso constituents, who ?feel like we can’t take care of everyone, and these children and their families are gaming the system.’” O’Rourke’s district, which includes most of El Paso County, is 79 percent Hispanic.

That’s stunning. When Hispanics are upset with the flood of illegal immigrants, that’s a sign that this issue isn’t hurting Republicans or helping Democrats. Here’s Mr. Barone’s observation on that:

Democrats are trying to blame the situation on House Republicans’ refusal to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. That seems pretty lame: There’s nothing in the bill the Senate passed in June 2013 that addressed this particular situation. As this article in the Hill makes plain, perhaps despite the writer’s intention, this is a troublesome situation for Democrats whose names are on the ballot this fall.

In past elections, Democrats did a good job convincing Hispanics that Republicans were anti-immigration. That led to Democrats winning the Hispanic vote by a wide margin. The border crisis exposed Democrats as not caring about securing the border. That’s hurt Democrats with independent and Hispanic voters.

While the American people generally favor immigration reform in the abstract, they demand fairness and the rule of law. In this influx of illegal immigrants, they’re seeing neither fairness or the rule of law. It’ more than that, though.

As these illegal immigrants get sent to cities across the country, a nasty case of NIMBYism is settling in:

In the other, Lovelace quotes the chief of staff of the mayor of Lynn, Mass., about how many Guatemalan “children” were sent there and placed in public schools. “Some of them have had gray hair and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation,” the official is quoted as saying.

Part of this is due to these illegal border crossers not being children. Another part of this is that cities are getting stuck with the bill from an unexpected influx of people. Mostly, though, they juts don’t want to have to deal with the problem. It’s one thing when they’re someone else’s problem. It’s another when they’re your problem.

If Democrats, including President Obama, don’t work towards fixing this crisis, it’ll be high profile proof that they’re incapable of governing. That’s the worst accusation to hit an incumbent with during election season. If people think that politicians aren’t interested in or are incapable of governing, the other things don’t matter.

This is a tipping point moment for Democrats, especially if they’re on the ballot this fall. If they don’t provide real leadership on this issue, they’ll be hurt this fall.

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For people who want to get an education in border security, I’d recommend watching this video:

I’ve been a secure-the-border guy from the start. It makes tons of sense. It’s the only thing that makes sense. I’ve been a build-the-wall guy, too. After watching Gov. Perry’s interview with Sean Hannity, I’m still a build-the-fence guy but I wouldn’t be if Rick Perry was president.

Rick Perry’s understanding of border security is only surpassed by his commitment to border security. If President Obama was as committed to securing the border as Rick Perry is, the border crisis wouldn’t have happened.

Also, Gov. Perry wants additional National Guard troops on the border so the Border Patrol “can do what they do best”, which is interdict drug traffickers and gather intel into cartel operations. That’s a show of commitment to border security that this president hasn’t shown.

One of the things that impressed me during the video is Gov. Perry’s understanding of the homeland security issues caused by illegal activities along the border. Gov. Perry’s explanation of the equipment that’s used along the border was informative. The gunboats that patrol the river are impressive. They are big, wide boats with 3 outboards mounted on jack plates. Each of the outboards are 300 hp. A boat that big usually needs lots of water to navigate. Gov. Perry said these specially-crafted rigs can operate in a foot of water.

Having fished in bass tournaments, I know a little about boats that can operate in extremely shallow water. Having fished walleyes in big water, I know a little about big, deep-water boats. A tournament walleye boat like the old Ranger 690 Fisherman required 16″ of water to operate. That boat was 18′ long.

By comparison, the gunboats that they use on the Rio Grande look like they’re at least 24 feet long. They’re loaded with some pretty lethal armaments, too, which weigh quite a bit. That these boats operate in a foot of water is astonishing.

I can’t impress on people enough how informative this is. I’d strongly recommend that you watch Hannity’s interview with Gov. Perry, too:

I’ve been impressed with Gov. Perry throughout these interviews. Yes, he’s taken a couple shots at the president but he’s mostly been focused on solving the border crisis. He’s shown he’s serious about securing the border. Most impressively, he’s shown a great command of the issues.

It’s understatement to say that Gov. Perry had a couple rough debate performancess in 2012. Predictably and justifiably, he got criticized for those performances. If this Rick Perry had shown up in those debates, he might’ve been the GOP presidential nominee. This Rick Perry is impressive.

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President Obama is getting eaten alive by an avalanche of crises simultaneously. I’ve never seen a president getting eaten alive by this many crises. Richard Nixon had Watergate. Reagan had Iran-Contra. Bill Clinton had Monicagate. George Bush had Katrina.

President Obama’s crises are crises of his own creation. The IRS scandal happened because he used the IRS as a weapon against his political adversaries. The border crisis happened because he told the world that he wouldn’t enforce the borders. The Iraq/ISIS crisis happened because he told the terrorists that he was giving them the heart of the Middle East. Benghazi happened becausse he campaigned on the foolishness that al-Qa’ida was dead or dying, therefore, they didn’t need to beef up security at the Benghazi compound. The VA crisis happened because he ignored the administrative corruption and the cooking of the books.

It’s getting to the point that the American people, including some DC reporters, have noticed that President Obama isn’t into governing or solving problems. When President Obama meets with Gov. Perry this week, it won’t be good enough to show he cares. (That’s a phrase Rep. Cuellar, D-TX, kept using in his interview with Megyn Kelly tonight.) President Obama needs to reach a solution by working with Republicans. If he doesn’t solve that crisis, he’ll be exposed as just another cheap politician who isn’t interested in solving problems.

Further, if he continues to get slapped by the courts for his extremist unconstitutional agenda, he’ll be seen as the biggest scofflaw in presidential history. If the Justice Department doesn’t start prosecuting criminals like Lois Lerner, President Obama and Eric Holder will become known as the most lawless president/AG duo since Nixon and Mitchell. I didn’t think that that was possible.

President Obama’s crises are policy-driven crises. He’s made one policy mistake after another. Those policy mistakes have caused crisis after crisis. They’re proof that President Obama is the worst president in US history. This isn’t about the color of President Obama’s skin. It’s about his ideology.

The border crisis is turning the American people off to immigration reform. While they like the thought of immigration reform in the abstract, they’re against the lawlessness that’s led to this crisis. The American people won’t sign onto a policy reform until they’re the administration is serious about enforcing the new laws.

At this point, people from across the political spectrum don’t believe President Obama will enforce law. What’s worse is that they’ve seen that Democrats in Congress and the Senate will protect him even when he’s been exposed. The IRS scandal and Benghazi are proof of that.

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There’s no questioning President Obama’s campaigning skills. He definitely knows how to hold a crowd’ attention. What’s at question is whether he can govern. At this late point in his administration, it’s difficult to point to an instance where he intervened and solved a problem..

Most people paying attention to what’s happening on the Mexican border call it a humanitarian crisis. While there’s no denying the fact that real people are suffering, what’s really happening is President Obama’s moment of truth. This is his last opportunity to tell activists in his party that the good of the nation is more important than their campaign contributions.

This video bears that opinion out:

It’s mild news when Joe Scarborough criticizes President Obama. It’s definitely news when Mika Brzezinski joins Scarborough in criticizing President Obama. When Mark Halperin joins in by saying that President Obama’s schedule will change while he’s headlining a pair of Democratic fundraiserss, that’s a shot across President Obama’s bow.

What got this started was Gov. Perry’s refusal to meet President Obama on the tarmac for the obligatory photo op. Rather than getting caught up in that gamesmanship, Gov. Perry sent this letter to President Obama:

“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Mr. Perry wrote in a letter to the president Monday. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”

Gov. Perry was respectful, which is important. What he didn’t do was roll over. Instead, he essentially told President Obama that photo ops weren’t important, that solving problems is what executives like governors and presidents are expected to do.

If President Obama just attends the fundraisers, people will see that he isn’t interested in governing. People will knkow that he isn’t capable of rising above petty partisan politics.

If President Obama doesn’t produce a truly bipartisan solution to this crisis, he’ll be exposed as a politician who isn’t interested in solving problems. That would dry up what’s left of President Obama’s political capital.

At this point, Rick Perry looks like the solutions-oriented statesman. President Obama looks like another Washington politician. That’s why this really is President Obama’s moment of truth.

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Most recent college grads are too young to remember the last time government ran efficiently. Bill Clinton was president and John Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. The reason I mention that is because Byron York’s column about the Obama administration got me thinking.

In 2016, we will have suffered through 8 years of utter incompetence. The Obama administration, apart from their misguided priorities, has repeatedly shown that they’re utterly incompetent of running government. First, I’ll start by saying that things weren’t all rosy during the Bush administration. President Bush’s mishandling of Katrina was embarassing.

That being said, President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, back when government admitted that terrorists were dangerous people, was pretty good. During Bush’s administration, the intel agencies actually talked with each other. Fast forward to the Obama administration, when the Secretary of State didn’t even talk with her ambassadors serving in dangerous parts of the world.

But I digress.

Prior to the Republican landslide of 1994, Bill Clinton was mostly unfocused, adrift on policies. Enter Chairman Kasich. Shortly after Kasich got the Budget Committee’s gavel, he floated a radical idea, namely balancing the federal budget. Suddenly, President Clinton got engaged.

The end result was that Clinton didn’t expand the federal government’s regulatory reach like the Obama administration did. They didn’t have any moments when people wondered if Clinton had the basic skillset to run the federal government.

Fast forward to 2014. John Kasich is now Ohio’s governor. He’s turned the state around. First, he defeated the incumbent governor, Ted Strickland, campaigning on a reform agenda. Once he was sworn in, he started implementing that reform agenda.

Not surprisingly, Ohio’s economic health has returned. At least, it’s returned as much as possible while President Obama’s policies are still in effect. Gov. Kasich’s ideas, unlike President Obama’s, actually make sense. Gov. Kasich’s ideas have actually been used before and worked.

Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Training, aka OWT, is brilliant on multiple levels. Check it out here. Here are the key takeaways:

Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce

Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities

Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses

In other words, the system is integrated. That eliminates the possibility of duplicative programs and excessive overhead, aka an overglut of bureaucrats. Best of all, it fits training with verified needs.

That’s the approach we need to make government work again. Please understand this. I don’t want government reaching into places that it doesn’t belong. Higher education is something that state governments are involved with. Here’s part of Gov. Kasich’s plan for implementing his OWT initiative:

Create a dashboard to highlight aligned workforce success measures:

  1. Expand business resources center currently housed at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  2. Create virtual online access and single point of entry for business and job seeker
  3. Enhance online tools and access to the tools for career pathway exploration for Ohio students

In other words, it’s an integrated system that’s user friendly and focused on Ohio’s workforce needs. That’s what government looks like when it works.

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