NYT’s Maggie Haberman Ensnared In Feud Over Trump Inaugural Funds

Melania Trump with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

In case you missed it, the Trump inaugural saga has taken a new, and very interesting twist lately, with now Twitter-active Stephanie Winston Wolkoff taking a direct shot at Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel of the New York Times(NYT), as being part of the plot to throw her under the bus.

You’ll remember that after the bombshell revelation that a staggering $40 million of Trump’s inaugural funds had mysteriously disappeared, there was an effort by Trump’s allies to pin the blame on then First Lady Melania Trump’s Senior Advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Stephanie Wolkoff talked about this effort to throw her under the bus at an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show on September 1, 2020.

In the interview, a visibly upset Stephanie Wolkoff told host Maddow, that then First Lady Melania Trump basically told her she had to be the fall person for the Trump inaugural scandal. Wolkoff specifically said, “Melania and the [Trump]White House had accused me of criminal activity, then publicly shamed and fired me, and made me their scapegoat. At that moment in time, that’s when I pressed record. She was no longer my friend, and she was willing to let them take me down, and she told me herself, that this is the way it has to be. She was advised by the attorneys at the White House that there was no other choice because there was a possible investigation into the presidential inauguration committee….At first I really did think maybe she would come to my aid? Maybe she would tell the truth? She turned her back, she did. She folded like a deck of cards., and I’m shocked she did it.”

This 05/23/2021 tweet however, shows that Stephanie Wolkoff is not only going after Trump and his allies in her effort to set the record straight regarding Trump’s inaugural, she’s also calling out NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel, as being part of the plot to destroy her. This, if proven, could turn out to be a huge scandal unto itself, given the fact that many liberals still blame the New York Times for Trump’s ascension to the White House. Specifically, many liberals believe NYT’s excessive coverage of the “email scandal”, weakened Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the final stretch of the 2016 campaign.

There’s no other way any reasonable person can interpret Stephanie Wolkoff’s tweet other than NYT’s Haberman and Vogel were doing Trump’s bidding when they wrote the referenced piece. This is especially so considering Wolkoff’s invocation of “SETUP. COVERUP. TAKEDOWN” in her tweet. For the record, accusations of “access journalism” against then White House reporter for the New York Times, Maggie Haberman, persisted throughout Trump’s presidency. Stephanie Wolkoff is not the first person drawing that inference.

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly is not accusing Maggie Haberman or Ken Vogel of any wrongdoing. By all accounts, these are serious journalists, who exhibit a high level of professionalism(my personal opinion). What Yours Truly is simply pointing out, is what any reasonable person presented with Stephanie Wolkoff’s recent tweet would conclude, and that is, Haberman and Vogel were in on the plot by Trump’s allies to throw her under the bus. It would be in everybody’s interest, especially Wolkoff who suffered greatly as a result of the Trump inaugural saga, if Haberman, Vogel or even the New York Times management, addressed this issue.

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From George Floyd To Ronald Greene;The Epidemic Of Lying In Police Reports

George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on 05/25/2020, will go down in history as one of the seminole moments in the push for policing reform, not just in the United States, but globally. It was one of those rare occasions where people on both sides of the police reform debate, after viewing video footage of the incident, agreed that there needs to be changes in the way police officials interract with people of color, and especially, Black people.

Another major takeaway from the George Floyd incident, that rarely gets it’s deserved mainstream media coverage, was the stark difference between how the Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) characterized the event in their police report, and what the public actually saw on the video footage. Simply put, but for the cell phone video footage from a teenage girl, the world would never know what really happened to George Floyd on that fateful day, even after going through the MPD incident report. Police Departments lying on police reports is a very serious issue, so it’s very encouraging to see the mainstream media beginning to address it as such, a good example being this CNN piece by Josh Campbell.

Josh Campbell’s piece highlights the cases of George Floyd, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor and Ronald Greene, all Black victims whose deaths at the hands of police, resulted in very stark differences between the narratives in the initial police reports, and video footage of the events. The initial police reports basically lied about what actually led to the deaths of these Black suspects in their custody, a sad state of affairs indeed. Naturally, this has raised two elephant-in-the-room questions among members of the public; (1) What else do police lie about? and (2) Is lying in police reports more prevalent than we think?

The latest incident involving Ronald Greene, where Louisiana State Patrol officers put out outright lies in their police report about the circumstances of Greene’s death, will certainly lead any reasonable person to conclude that lying in police reports, is probably more prevalent than the public wishes to admit. Think about that, Louisiana State Patrol officers had video footage of the event, yet continued lying to the public for two years. The truth about the incident only came out after a reporter dug into the story, forcing the release of the video footage. There is nothing to suggest that Louisiana State Patrol officers would have ultimately done the right thing, and told the public the truth about Ronald Greene’s death, absent the dogged journalism by this reporter. This just goes to show the very crucial part good journalism plays in not only the fight for police reform, but also good governance generally.

Yours Truly has raised this “good journalism” issue before, with mainstream media taboo topics like “targeted individuals” and “gangstalking”. For those of you not familiar with these terms(not sure what rock you live under), there are growing complaints from individuals in the United States, believing to have been watchlisted, claiming that they are often the targets of abuse by various U.S. law enforcement agencies. Among the most common abuses cited by these people is “organized stalking” or “gangstalking”, conduct if proven to be true, would constitute torture(violation of Geneva Conventions). Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the mainstream media has chosen to totally ignore them, choosing instead to characterize people who make such claims as paranoid nutjobs, or dismissing them as “conspiracy theorists”.

With the rising epidemic of lying in police reports about the circumstances of minorities dying in police custody, one has to wonder whether time has come for the mainstream media to lift it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking, and many other taboo topics related to law enforcement. Given what we know now about police departments’ propensity to lie to cover up their injustices, can the mainstream media justify it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking et al, any longer? What if targeted individuals have been telling the truth all along?

Bottom line folks, the number one lesson from George Floyd to Ronald Greene, is that there is an urgent need for policing reform in this country, and legislative fixes like the proposed George Floyd Justice In Policing Act will go a long way in achieving these desired reforms. True policing reform however, will only be achieved and sustained, if we have accompanying “media reform”, meaning, going back to our good old fashioned investigative journalism days, and ditching the present “access journalism”. Simply put, the media must go back to posing tough questions to law enforcement/government officials instead of always seeking ways to be liked by them for the sake of “access”.

Yours Truly has been consistent on the importance of good journalism, and so should you.

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Fulton County DA Getting Racist Attacks After Launching Probe Into Trump’s Phone Call

Fulton County DA (Georgia) Fani Willis On The Rachel Maddow Show (2/11/2021)

Fulton County DA Fani Willis told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that after her office launched a criminal probe into former President Trump’s infamous phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State, she has been the subject of racist attacks from Trump’s supporters. You’ll remember Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, was very troubled by the call from the former President, which was essentially urging him to commit an illegal act, that he asked his staff to record it. It is quite clear from the phone call that former President Trump wanted Raffensperger to tinker with Georgia’s election results, so as to overturn his Democratic opponent Joe Biden’s win.

In response to Maddow’s question as to whether she and her staff were concerned about their safety given the unfortunate events of DC insurrection, DA Willis responded, “Oh absolutely. Since we’ve opened this [criminal probe], my security has doubled. We’ve gotten a lot of comments. Interestingly enough, the comments are always racist, and it’s really just a waste of time and foolishness. It is not going to stop me from doing my job, and I don’t think that it is an insult to remind me that I am a Black woman, so it is a waste of their time….” The rest of DA Willis’ interview with Maddow is available here.

It is quite sad that as a result of Trumpism, it has become normal for any public official seeking to hold Trump accountable for his myriad infractions, to receive insults and threats of violence from Trumpers. This is especially so for public officials of color like DA Willis, who Trumpers go out of their way to subject to some of the most vile racist attacks imaginable, because Trump has put it in their mind that as long as they are fighting for him, they have a license to use any means.

It will be interesting to see how DA Willis’ investigation plays out, but from her appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show yesterday, Yours Truly came out with the impression that we are dealing with a serious professional here, and Trump better invest on some good legal defense team , certainly better than the one representing him at his Senate impeachment trial.

Bottom line folks, it was well known before, and Trump’s niece Mary Trump recently confirmed it, that Trump pretty much went through life without ever being held accountable for anything. We saw this throughout his presidency too, where at every turn, Republican members of Congress went out of their way to shield him from facing the consequences of his actions. This Fulton County criminal probe is in many ways the very first time Trump is staring at the potential of facing consequences for his actions, and ending up in jail. If Trump does indeed end up in a Georgia jail, it will be impossible to ignore the powerful poetic justice behind it–that the same Black women who Trump routinely maligned and addressed with great contempt as somehow inferior or unqualified, are the same ones who formed the backbone of the successful resistance to his presidency, picked Trump’s successful Democratic challenger Joe Biden (especially South Carolina women), and now one of them, Fulton County DA Fani Willis, appears poised to succeed in what everybody else has failed–holding Trump accountable for his actions.

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Little Known FBI’s Race-Based Surveillance

There have been numerous media reports about a very troubling practice by the FBI to designate Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists”, an often bogus designation which is then used to justify subjecting the said activists to all levels of surveillance–private, local, state, federal and even military surveillance in major cities like Houston, LA, Chicago, New York and others. The rationale, a bogus one, is that a “Black Identity Extremist” or BIE is more likely to attack law enforcement officers and thus needs to be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

The controversy surrounding this program, beyond its prima facie racism, centers around the ease with which a Black activist could end up in this designation. Several media reports have said that even mundane activities like organizing or attending a Black Lives Matter rally could in the eyes of the FBI qualify a Black activist as a BIE subjecting them to unjustified long-term government surveillance, the fruits of which could be used in their criminal prosecution. Needless to say, Black activists who support/sympathize with Black Lives Matter on social media (Twitter, Facebook) can also very easily be designated as BIEs. Simply put, this is a very serious problem that is yet to garner the mainstream media attention it deserves.

Yours Truly has ranted and raved about the lack of mainstream media attention surrounding this seemingly–let’s face it–racist surveillance by the FBI for quite a while now, wondering when House Democrats would take up this serious issue with the justice department.

Well, it turns out Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee (R-TX) did indeed raise this issue with then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a House hearing on November 14, 2017. Rep Jackson-Lee asked Sessions; “My question is, as I hold up the poster dealing with the report under your jurisdiction–Black Identity Extremists. It is interesting to me that you are opposing [meant targeting] individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Reverend Dr Martin Luther King on Cointelpro, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’. Why is there an attack on Black activists versus any report dealing with the Alt Right and the White Nationalists?” AG Sessions responded that he was not aware of the report.

Cointelpro which Rep Jackson-Lee referenced in her questioning was a controversial and secret surveillance program the FBI deployed on Black civil rights activists in the 60s, most notably, on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Historians agree that the primary reason the FBI ran Cointelpro on Black civil rights activists was to scare them into silence. This is precisely why when Black activists hear about “Black Identity Extremists” they are immediately reminded of stories they’ve read about Cointelpro and are justified in questioning whether the FBI has indeed reverted back to its 1960s tactic of stifling Black dissent.

Bottom line the “Black Identity Extremist” debate is one that begs for serious mainstream media attention. The mainstream media and indeed members of Congress must not remain silent as a section of the population is unjustly subjected to heightened levels of government surveillance all in an effort to stifle their first amendment compliant political speech. At moments like these, Martin Niemoller’s famous words come to mind; “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist, then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist, then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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Florida Police Arrested 6 Yr Old Black Girl Over Tantrum At School

In one of the most outrageous cases illustrating the ease with which children of color get caught up in the criminal justice system, we now get a shocking report out of Florida that police in Orlando arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted and took a mugshot of a 6 year old Black girl because she threw a tantrum at Lucious & Emma Nixon Elementary School where she’s a first-grader. Yeah, Orlando police charged first-grader Kaia with battery and threw her in the back of a squad car for a trip to a juvenile detention center. Absolutely outrageous!!

According to her visibly upset Grandma Meralyn Kirkland, Orlando police charged her granddaughter with battery because she got upset and kicked somebody (presumably one of her classmates). Kirkland says she tried to explain to an officer that her granddaughter had a medical condition (sleep apnea) which the family was trying to resolve but the officer was very dismissive. The officer she spoke to apparently responded saying, “I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave that way.”

Rebecca J. Kavanagh a New York City Public Defender has dug up the name of the officer who arrested little Kaia and surprise surprise, the officer, Dennis Turner, also arrested an 8 year old Black boy on the same day for an unrelated incident. Folks, it appears the school-to-prison pipeline is alive and well in Orlando, Florida.

Bottom line folks, there are a lot of problems with the criminal justice system and it may be easy for us members of the public to simply sit on the bleachers and point fingers at law enforcement for all the problems. The reality however is that these are systemic problems in the criminal justice system that sooner or later consume even well-meaning, good-natured individual officers. In other words, even though the officer mentioned above is cast in very negative light, the real problem is that he finds himself in a culture at the Orlando Police Department where it is very normal to criminally prosecute children of color for being children. While there will certainly be an effort to go after officer Dennis Turner individually, one only hopes that this troubling incident will spark a real debate about the real systemic problem which is the school-to-prison pipeline.

On a lighter note, if little Kaia can kick so hard at 6 years old as to warrant a battery charge, maybe the Miami Dolphins or Jacksonville Jaguars should keep an eye on her for a future Hall of Fame Kicker spot.

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Is Tulsi Gabbard The Trump Candidate?

The question as to whether Dem Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is a “spoiler” has been around ever since she announced her bid for the U.S. Presidency. Some in the mainstream media have even accused her of being a Russian plant out there to forment chaos in the Democratic Presidential nomination thereby handing Trump an easy win. Tulsi’s camp has of course vociferously denied these allegations

When news came out after the first Democratic Presidential debate that Tulsi was the most Google-searched candidate, rumors flared up again with some claiming that Russian troll bots were the ones engineering those searches. Google even temporarily shut down Tulsi’s advertising campaign during these wild searches which the tech giant characterized as “suspicious”. Team Tulsi countered Google’s action with a massive $50 million dollar lawsuit accusing the tech giant of among other things, violations of her free speech rights. The lawsuit is still pending in federal court.

The “Tulsi is a Russian plant” controversy however officially blew up yesterday during the second Democratic Presidential debate in Detroit where she eviscerated one of the leading and beloved Dem Presidential candidates Kamala Harris over her record as a California prosecutor.

The issue that got most people’s attention is not the fact that Tulsi eviscerated Senator Kamala Harris, but the manner in which Fox News and it’s most valued customer President Trump, amplified the attacks. This to many “Tulsi is a Russian plant” enthusiasts was the “a-ha” moment they’d been waiting for. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just look at mainstream media’s S.E. Cupp‘s Tweet which says it all. So Team Tulsi before you start gunning for Yours Truly, a near certainty at this juncture, maybe you should go after mainstream media’s S.E. Cupp first.

Bottom line in every election cycle there are always accusations of “spoiler” candidates–you’ll remember Jill Stein in 2016. Yours Truly is by no means saying Tulsi is the spoiler candidate in 2020. All Yours Truly is pointing out is that this “Tulsi is a Russian plant” narrative has been simmering amongst grassroots Democrats for a while now and it appears to have finally boiled to the surface after last night’s debate. Why is Trump’s favorite TV network Fox News so interested in and even cheering on Tulsi? Is Tulsi the Trump candidate? All these are questions that will only get louder as the Dem Presidential nomination contest progresses and as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Trump Says Ignoring Congressional Subpoenas Is Criminal

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett yesterday aired a video clip of then presidential candidate Trump railing about the potential consequences of Hillary Clinton ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Trump is apparently on record saying, “You know when you delete something or when you don’t provide the documents requested after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress, that’s a criminal act.” This is shockingly the same conduct President Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, with seemingly not enough outrage from congressional Democrats and the mainstream media.

Bottom line House Democrats need to counter much harder Trump administration’s stone-walling or even outright rejection of congressional subpoenas and this eye-opening video from OutFront CNN showing Trump saying such conduct is criminal should feature prominently in the Dem counter message.

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Kamala Harris Says Barr’s Conduct Undermines Justice System

Appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Dem Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris pointed out a serious consequence of Attorney General Barr’s conduct that receives very little media attention. AG Barr is often criticized for his overt political bias, but as Senator Kamala Harris aptly pointed out, his troubling conduct is having a real devastating effect on the integrity of the overall justice system. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Sen Harris told Maddow, “Everyday in America there are people walking into courthouses around our country, state courthouses, federal courthouses. And they’re going to walk into those courthouses skeptical of whether justice actually occurs in those places. And that is real, that is a real consequence when we see the kinds of behavior we’ve been seeing under this administration which is that it is undermining people’s confidence in our democracy. And that is not an overstatement.”

Senator Harris later added, “One of our greatest strengths as a nation is that we have a system of democracy that we will fight for, that we will die for, and one of the most significant pillars in that system is our justice system. Now we know it is imperfect and we know it is deeply flawed in many ways. But when the highest official in the land[Barr] presents himself to the world the way we just witnessed, I think it calls into question the integrity of the system overall.”

This was such a profound statement by Senator Kamala Harris especially as it relates to communities of color who as we know are disproportionately targeted by the U.S. criminal justice system. Senator Harris’ forceful argument is that if the head of DOJ(AG Barr) displays such callous disregard for the rule of law (willfully lying to Congress, ignoring Congressional requests for testimony), then his DOJ in the eyes of the public, has lost all moral authority to hunt down other lawbreakers–the thieves, bank robbers, rapists etc.

In essence, Sen Harris’ argument is that AG Barr’s gravest “sin” is not necessarily that he is a partisan political hack, but that his unfortunate actions are seriously detrimental to a key pillar of our democracy–the justice system. Both Democrats and Republicans benefit from a sound justice system meaning Barr is sacrificing a key pillar of our democracy for the benefit of only one person–President Trump.

Bottom line, even though AGs are political appointees, it has always been expected of them to project an image of independence from the executive branch so as to instill confidence among the public that they are not being unduly influenced by external forces when making prosecutorial decisions. With the current state of affairs, no reasonable person can make the argument that AG Barr is not acting under the direction of/in concert with the Trump administration. Trump and Barr echo each other, sometimes even using the same phrases in their public utterances. For this and many other reasons, the only recourse is for AG Barr to resign so that efforts can begin to restore the integrity of the justice system which he has severely shattered.

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Extremely Hostile Ultra Right Wing 5th Circuit Court Strikes Again

Yours Truly has repeatedly warned you about the ultra right wing 5th Circuit Court of appeals that is extremely hostile to poor minority litigants. The running joke in the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi region which the 5th Circuit Court covers is that if you are not a rich white Republican advocating some Republican party ideals(2nd amendment, anti-abortion etc) your petition will fall on deaf ears.

Now the extremely hostile 5th Circuit Court has struck again, this time ruling against the time honored, universally accepted Brady Rule which the U.S. Supreme Court instituted in 1963 requiring prosecutors to share exculpatory information with criminal defendants.


This opens the door wide open for all kinds of prosecutorial abuses the Brady Doctrine was meant to cure. It also sets the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi region back to the path of mass incarceration which even prominent Republicans agree disproportionately affects minorities, especially blacks.


Yours Truly has repeatedly said the 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts are not courts of law but rather branches of the GOP advancing GOP ideals, in this case mass incarceration–profit from imprisoning/detaining as many minorities as possible. Yours Truly suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court either (1)abolish the bogus 5th Circuit Court or (2) create a provision where indigent pro se litigants in TX, LA and MI are allowed to file complaints in other circuits or (3) most preferred option–create a mechanism outside the judicial misconduct process where litigants can air their complaints/frustrations about their experiences at the 5th Circuit Court that would be shared with other federal circuit courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. This would be similar to the complaints hotline most companies have for disaffected customers. As a wise man once said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

There is no reason to have a court that is extremely hostile to indigent pro se litigants when the vast majority of cases in TX, LA, and MI involve indigent pro se litigants. The 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts should be left to handle cases from rich white Republicans, the court’s preferred/favored litigants.

So you ask, “But @Emolclause, how is this relevant to the #TheResistance? You’ve really veered into la la land with this 5th Circuit stuff.” Well here’s why it is relevant, very relevant. We are currently engaged in a major fight over the U.S. Supreme Court(Brett Kavanaugh). It is very important for people to realize that what Republicans have already done with state courts and federal courts like the 5th Circuit Court, they now intend to do with the U.S. Supreme Court–transform the U.S. Supreme Court into yet another GOP outpost for rubber stamping the Republican party agenda. In other words the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts are no longer courts of law in the traditional sense but rather outposts of the Republican party. Republicans want to do the same with the U.S. Supreme Court and you should be terribly worried.

Bottom line our job is to fight like hell to ensure the courts remain an independent third branch of the government like the framers intended and not subservient outposts of any political party.

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Proof That Congressional Republicans Have Become A Criminal Enterprise


Ever since Trump became President, many have wondered why congressional Republicans have totally abdicated oversight functions that all their predecessors routinely conducted and Americans came to expect as the norm. The inaction as regards oversight by House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s congress has struck most Americans as very strange and has spawned many conspiracy theories, the most popular one being that Russian President Putin has “Kompromat” on all congressional Republicans.

President Trump with Congressional Republicans

Well, courtesy of a bombshell article by The Daily Intelligencer, we now find out that congressional Republicans have actually compiled a secret list of things they have vowed to block from any congressional oversight requested by Dems–a sad and totally unprecedented move by U.S. members of congress.


The list of items GOP has vowed to keep away from any congressional oversight includes “election security and hacking attempts”, ” White House security clearances”, “Trump’s Tax Returns”, ” Trump’s family businesses”, among many others. Think about that, we currently have GOP members of congress whose stated mission is to hide from the public any wrongdoing by Trump and his administration–the aforementioned criminal enterprise.

Bottom line Dems and the mainstream media must start calling out congressional Republicans for totally abdicating their oversight functions. Its about time people started calling Trump’s GOP what it truly is–a criminal enterprise. What House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are presiding over in congress today goes way beyond what Americans would characterize as “politics as usual” and is borderline if not out and out criminal conduct.

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