It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:28 am

PavlovianModel146 wrote:I'm still missing the part where this is a cabal,





The Network executives have explicitly biased motives, often times, not only financially driven, but ideologically driven.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:15 am

Those clips were not expressly about inter-network collusion and anti-trust violations, the "cabal". Although based on rumor, a woman was accused of leaking that video then had to leave ABC. When hired by NBC due to the rumor was immediately fired. That kind of news of journalist abuse should have been hot for publication between competitors regardless of the Epstein story. Fox interviewed her and broke the story.

Although there is obvious ideological bias from the US mainstream media (Leftist propaganda), that alone is not direct anti-trust evidence. Evidence is the conspicuous collusion between supposed competitors.

A true democracy cannot exist under the reign of unified propaganda. The majority merely merely votes in the direction promoted by the media.

Again, this is a sidetrack subject from this thread.

The following is Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talking to Bryan Dean Wright (former CIA ops officer) about how the Deep State use leaks to the media like the New York Times and the Washington Post to steer the narrative in a direction more favorable to their interests.



That would be a CIA directed cabal if the outlets were aware of the shared source (and on one level very probably are aware. How could they not?). John Brennan and James Clapper come to mind.

Anti-trust is about covertly sharing information or resources.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:21 pm

PavlovianModel146 wrote:Did Ukraine already agree to do the investigation without being pressured?

Do you agree that the record as we have it establishes that the investigation went away as soon as the alleged pressure went away? Once the wistleblower's complaint was made public, and the military aid was released, Ukraine dropped the investigation.

And if you agree, doesn't that suggest that the pressure was a necessary part of the motivation for the investigation?

PavlovianModel146 wrote:Therefore, where you have an ill-defined charge, then what might count as exculpatory is -by extension- also ill-defined.

This is true, but its reach is not unlimited. On the other margin, if we have one piece of evidence that is a recording of a phone call, we won't get any additional exculpatory evidence from a second recording of the same phone call. Similarly, we get no additional evidence from a blank tape: if the evidence contains no information, it can't contain exculpatory information. That kind of question about the usefulness of evidence doesn't depend on how well-defined the charge is, it's that there's no additional information in duplicative or null evidence. (For the null evidence, I mean evidence that doesn't and wouldn't be expected to convey information; it's possible to get information from a blank tape (e.g. Nixon))

That's not what we have here, but the principle applies to some extent: there isn't much disagreement about the phone call, so the whistleblower wouldn't provide anything by just saying that he, too, listened to the call and heard the same things. And the whistleblower isn't close to Trump, to he doesn't and wouldn't be expected to have access to information about Trump's motivations or similar context.

Your point about the Bidens is fair; I agree that there is a set of answers to your questions that would make knowing whether there was actually misconduct on the part of the Bidens somewhat exculpatory (though I think that set of answers is not a natural set of answers, i.e. you'll only get to them if your goal is to exonerate Trump is innocent, rather than to find the best answers). But even there, I don't think the whistleblower is actually a very good witness to the relevant facts, and even there other witnesses with a similar level of facts can provide the same information. And given the intent behind whistleblower protection laws, and given how small a lift it is to just ask one Ukraine expert instead of another about the situation in the Ukraine, we should prefer someone else.

To sum, even to the extent that the whistleblower could answer a question that would provide evidence relevant to the case, we have and should prefer other sources of that same information.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:If you went to a grocery store and wanted to know how the cash registers work: Would you first ask the owner of the store or a cashier?

Fair, but if one of the cashiers blew the whistle on the owner's embezzlement, I would not call that cashier just to describe how the cash registers work. Any other cashier would do.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:If we want to even pretend that this Impeachment/Removal is this huge, legitimate, meaningful, non-politically driven and solemn process...then we should want to talk to as many people as possible. That neither side really seems to want that tells me everything that I need to know.

There's a difference between 'talking to' and 'calling to testify publicly'. Talking to everyone seems wise. Calling everyone to testify publicly doesn't, because 1) time is a finite resource, 2) additional testimony doesn't always move us towards truth, and 3) calling people to testify publicly has a non-zero cost for those people and for other similarly-placed people who might be in a similar position later.

More generally, both-sides-ism is a good prior, but I don't think it holds up to scrutiny here. Democrats have been significantly less obstructionist on this, and their limited obstruction is much better justified. I know that claim is hard to defend in a world of hyperpartisanship, motivated reasoning, and few common sources of truth, but it's important that both-sides-ism is the beginning and not the end of the discussion.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:the President is the absolute authority for the entire country, from an Executive Branch standpoint, excepting only those things that laws or The Constitution would state to the contrary. I guess also states, he really shouldn't be involved in Executive affairs that only concern one individual state.

This overstates it. The President can't directly fire most executive branch employees. Granted, he can hire people who will fire people he wants fired, or hire people who will hire people who will fire people he wants fired, but in practice his authority gets more diffuse with every step. Not only that, but firing everyone would be incredibly costly to an incoming president, both directly (because people don't like people losing their jobs, many of them are unionized, it would be clearly politically motivated, etc.), and indirectly (because so much institutional knowledge is stored in the minds of career civil servants).

PavlovianModel146 wrote:For now, even if we assume it was illegal, why Impeachment/Removal as opposed to mere censure?

I don't think the illegalness is important, but for sticklers like Urwrong maybe it makes the difference. For me, I'd say impeachment and removal are preferable because he broke the law in order to subvert the democratic order. Just say it out loud: he broke the law to force an ally to announce a non-existent investigation into a political rival to help himself win an election. That is so obviously not what the powers of the presidency are for.

And he kept breaking the law after he was told that it was against the law. It an absolute liability to leave him with the powers of the presidency through the election.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:I don't know why I should ever care about what some foreign leader says.

If you ever plan to travel to France, it matters if the president of France declares you an enemy of the state. If you want to not be assassinated, it matters that the Prime Minister of Israel declares you responsible for a terrorist attack.

It's not about you being insulted, it's about those words being the driving force behind powerful national machines.

But I think this is mostly a failure of imagination. Being accused of a crime by a foreign leader would ruin your life and you would care.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:Would it be a lie, though? Is there no evidence sufficient to justify an investigation? These are important questions, at least to me.

It would be a lie if there were not investigation and Zelensky announced an investigation. It would be a lie if, in announcing the investigation, Zelensky suggested that it was motivated by anything other than pressure from the US. If he didn't mention the pressure from the US, it would be a lie by omission.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:1.) While U.S.-based, Facebook is a company and social media platform offering its services to the entire world. Because of that, there is no responsibility whatsoever for any Russian to not do something on Facebook that would violate U.S. laws unless Facebook has a specific policy that U.S. laws are to be adhered to on Facebook. Even if it did, then the onus would be on Facebook to do something about the Russian user.

2.) Foreign interests can potentially have reasons to be concerned with who wins the U.S. Presidency.

3.) Because of that, I would counter that foreign interests (though it didn't happen here) should be permitted to influence U.S. Elections in any way that they want to provided that way is transparent and does not directly benefit the candidate by way of the method itself. "Russians for Trump," is something that I wouldn't have a problem with, as long as it behaved as its own independent organization.

1) What about buying ads targeting the US? There are national laws that apply to international companies when those companies intentionally target that particular nation, e.g. the GDPR privacy law in the EU.

But more generally, I don't think the standard is whether Russia has the right to do what it's doing or the responsibility not to. The US has every reason to be mad at Russia for doing what it's doing, and to penalize American citizens who support it or seek to benefit from it.

2) Sure, but that doesn't make their interference legitimate or welcome, or make it wrong to, again, be mad at them for doing it and to penalize Americans who participate.

3) I agree that a transparent influence campaign is very different. Obama endorsed Trudeau, and I don't think that was untoward (though the optics were not great). If Putin expressly endorsed Trump, I don't think there would be a problem.

But Russia used deceptive tactics to influence the vote and generally sow discord in the US. That's the opposite of transparent endorsement.

WendyDarling wrote:The Arpaio pardon is an impeachable offense? I thought he did legally separate himself from his business when he took office, signed over his businesses to his kids. I haven't heard anything to the contrary. I'll need evidence. Why does he have to read briefing and why can't he be told what is in them quicker and more succinctly. What are his repeated lies? Name three big ones out of the 1,000,000 that have been reported? Come on the number of lies grows exponentially by the week. I don't understand your descriptions of your proofs about Trump's cognitive deficits or general demeanor.

I addressed these here, can you be more specific?

Urwrongx1000 wrote:I am ... Pro-Constitution ...

You have pretty clearly never read the Constitution.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:To attempt to remove a duly-elected President, for NO CRIME COMMITTED?!?!

What are your thoughts on the illegality of withholding aid?
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:25 pm

Carleas wrote:
PavlovianModel146 wrote:Did Ukraine already agree to do the investigation without being pressured?

Do you agree that the record as we have it establishes that the investigation went away as soon as the alleged pressure went away? Once the wistleblower's complaint was made public, and the military aid was released, Ukraine dropped the investigation.

He was threatened by US Senators to stand down or else lose support. He isn't in a position to get into the US political battle so directly.

But much like John Durham, the investigation might well be going on without you knowing it.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:46 pm

Carleas wrote:Do you agree that the record as we have it establishes that the investigation went away as soon as the alleged pressure went away? Once the wistleblower's complaint was made public, and the military aid was released, Ukraine dropped the investigation.

And if you agree, doesn't that suggest that the pressure was a necessary part of the motivation for the investigation?


Claims to the contrary say that the withholding of aid was due to what was perceived as Ukrainian corruption, in general, including interference related to the DNC server in the 2016 Presidential Election. If that's true, then the whole thing relating to the Bidens is just correlative with that, but perhaps not causative. In other words, if the aid was withheld for multiple reasons, then picking one out and saying that is THE REASON is kind of cherry-picking.

And, according to this:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019 ... verso=true

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General provided Rudy Giuliani (and, by extension, Trump) with information and documents that would point to the existence of corruption involving the Bidens in Ukraine. So, not only had Ukraine (by way of the prosecutor) said they were going to investigate (and didn't announce it) they claimed they had what they believed was proof. From the source:

Lutsenko’s miseries were only beginning. On October 3rd, Kurt Volker, Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine, said in a closed-door deposition, “My opinion of Prosecutor General Lutsenko was that he was acting in a self-serving manner, frankly making things up, in order to appear important to the United States, because he wanted to save his job.” In a closed-door deposition on October 11th, Yovanovitch described Lutsenko as an “opportunist” who “will ally himself, sometimes simultaneously . . . with whatever political or economic forces he believes will suit his interests best at the time.” On the first day of public testimony, Kent accused Lutsenko of “peddling false information in order to exact revenge” against Yovanovitch and his domestic rivals. Lutsenko told me they were all liars. In our conversations, which took place in the course of several weeks, he veered between self-pity and defiance. “I gave my country so many years,” he told me one night, after his third or fourth Scotch. “I had a good story and good results, but I became a bad person. I can’t understand it.”


So, you have the prosecutor saying, "Hey, here's what happened." Then the Administration is asking, "Well, why don't you investigate it?" It looks to me like they were just asking them to investigate what they themselves were claiming there to be a good reason to investigate. The FBI was involved, the whole nine.

It seems to be that there is a chance that all of these things occurred at some level below Trump. Trump is very much a, "Just the cliff notes," kind of guy. He's also not an investigator. "Oh, Biden might have done something bad according to them? Well, that's good for me. Hell yeah, I want them to investigate it!"

It just seems like there is a lot more involved than the narrative that the Democrats want the public to have which amounts to, "There was no reason to investigate the Bidens. Trump just wanted an announcement of an investigation because Biden's son was involved with a Ukrainian company and it might look bad."

This is true, but its reach is not unlimited. On the other margin, if we have one piece of evidence that is a recording of a phone call, we won't get any additional exculpatory evidence from a second recording of the same phone call. Similarly, we get no additional evidence from a blank tape: if the evidence contains no information, it can't contain exculpatory information. That kind of question about the usefulness of evidence doesn't depend on how well-defined the charge is, it's that there's no additional information in duplicative or null evidence. (For the null evidence, I mean evidence that doesn't and wouldn't be expected to convey information; it's possible to get information from a blank tape (e.g. Nixon))

That's not what we have here, but the principle applies to some extent: there isn't much disagreement about the phone call, so the whistleblower wouldn't provide anything by just saying that he, too, listened to the call and heard the same things. And the whistleblower isn't close to Trump, to he doesn't and wouldn't be expected to have access to information about Trump's motivations or similar context.

Your point about the Bidens is fair; I agree that there is a set of answers to your questions that would make knowing whether there was actually misconduct on the part of the Bidens somewhat exculpatory (though I think that set of answers is not a natural set of answers, i.e. you'll only get to them if your goal is to exonerate Trump is innocent, rather than to find the best answers). But even there, I don't think the whistleblower is actually a very good witness to the relevant facts, and even there other witnesses with a similar level of facts can provide the same information. And given the intent behind whistleblower protection laws, and given how small a lift it is to just ask one Ukraine expert instead of another about the situation in the Ukraine, we should prefer someone else.

To sum, even to the extent that the whistleblower could answer a question that would provide evidence relevant to the case, we have and should prefer other sources of that same information.


I agree with that as relates the phone call recording. I just want the testimony from all of the different parties as to what the problem might have been with Ukraine. I'd like to hear from Giuliani officially. It seems like the whole question of an investigation is a closed matter for now. I don't see any proof that Trump would have absolutely believed the investigation to be baseless at the time, so the investigation might have the consequence of aiding him politically, but wouldn't be the sole reason for it. It's not like he's saying, "Shit, just make something up."

As far as whistleblower protection laws, do we know who it is or don't we? I think we can all agree this whole thing is completely silly. If everyone knows who it is, why are we pretending not to? I'd think being outed would be good for his protection. If I'm Trump, I wouldn't even so much as let a gentle breeze muss his hair.

Fair, but if one of the cashiers blew the whistle on the owner's embezzlement, I would not call that cashier just to describe how the cash registers work. Any other cashier would do.


How would the cashier know about....? Oh, right, the whistleblower might be a politically convenient frontman..."Look, this can't come from me, so..."

There's a difference between 'talking to' and 'calling to testify publicly'. Talking to everyone seems wise. Calling everyone to testify publicly doesn't, because 1) time is a finite resource, 2) additional testimony doesn't always move us towards truth, and 3) calling people to testify publicly has a non-zero cost for those people and for other similarly-placed people who might be in a similar position later.

More generally, both-sides-ism is a good prior, but I don't think it holds up to scrutiny here. Democrats have been significantly less obstructionist on this, and their limited obstruction is much better justified. I know that claim is hard to defend in a world of hyperpartisanship, motivated reasoning, and few common sources of truth, but it's important that both-sides-ism is the beginning and not the end of the discussion.


Pelosi doesn't seem terribly worried about time. How many people could we have talked to already? I'd like to think who talks and what they say would have an influence on some people. You don't get 67, I know that, but if a few Republicans vote the Removal route, then I think it at least looks better for Democrats. Similarly if Democrats vote to acquit, like Joe Manchin, then it looks better for Republicans. I could see Manchin being very concerned about the sufficiency of the process and he's one of the few that I would see as legitimately concerned because he's one of what...maybe ten (?)...who I think would even consider looking at this with an eye towards what is fair and correct.

Also, I don't mean, "Ten Democrats," I mean ten total Senators, both sides included. 90 have already decided, probably more.

In general, I look at testimony like I look at many other things, "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." Not every testimony needs to be a bombshell. This really ought be a boring process (other than the supposed implications, of which there are none) not political theatre.

It's really hard to defend a claim of justified obstruction when one of the Articles is specifically for obstruction, yes.

This overstates it. The President can't directly fire most executive branch employees. Granted, he can hire people who will fire people he wants fired, or hire people who will hire people who will fire people he wants fired, but in practice his authority gets more diffuse with every step. Not only that, but firing everyone would be incredibly costly to an incoming president, both directly (because people don't like people losing their jobs, many of them are unionized, it would be clearly politically motivated, etc.), and indirectly (because so much institutional knowledge is stored in the minds of career civil servants).


In practice is my point, it's probably better not to change what happens, in practice, in this regard. In practice, it would be best for the only difference between one day and another to be a different person takes the Oath of Office.

If we're going to be locked into a strictly two-party and partisan environment anyway, which we shouldn't be, but which the Constitution essentially necessitates...I think really a ticket should be President and a selected Vice-Presidential candidate from the opposite party. Maybe even codify some duties for the Vice-President outside of breaking Senate ties.

As far as firing, it's just cost-benefit. I don't think it's impossible, I really don't, where we see one out of every two Presidents Impeached. I mean, one of your supporting reasons basically amounts to, "He's an asshole," and I mean no offense when I say that. Well, guess I have to make sure nobody near me thinks I'm an asshole.

I also see increasingly single-party in the top offices as a very negative consequence, so don't misunderstand that.

I don't think the illegalness is important, but for sticklers like Urwrong maybe it makes the difference. For me, I'd say impeachment and removal are preferable because he broke the law in order to subvert the democratic order. Just say it out loud: he broke the law to force an ally to announce a non-existent investigation into a political rival to help himself win an election. That is so obviously not what the powers of the presidency are for.

And he kept breaking the law after he was told that it was against the law. It an absolute liability to leave him with the powers of the presidency through the election.


If the source above-linked is to be believed, Trump may have believed there was reason for the investigation. That's the whole thing that I am suggesting could be exculpatory, I'd just never really looked into it.

As to the rest, I don't know. Any other conversation and I think we could agree that the law is not always, "Good," and is sometimes justifiably subverted.

If you ever plan to travel to France, it matters if the president of France declares you an enemy of the state. If you want to not be assassinated, it matters that the Prime Minister of Israel declares you responsible for a terrorist attack.

It's not about you being insulted, it's about those words being the driving force behind powerful national machines.

But I think this is mostly a failure of imagination. Being accused of a crime by a foreign leader would ruin your life and you would care.


Well, yeah, and I'd certainly avoid France if that happened. I don't know in what way that influences an American election directly. I don't think being accused of a crime by Ukraine would ruin Biden's life, similarly. I don't think it would ruin his campaign. Hell, I think it would have helped him. The Democrats would have been really pissed...but not at Biden.

It would be a lie if there were not investigation and Zelensky announced an investigation. It would be a lie if, in announcing the investigation, Zelensky suggested that it was motivated by anything other than pressure from the US. If he didn't mention the pressure from the US, it would be a lie by omission.


It was motivated by information that was conveyed prior to Zelensky taking office.

1) What about buying ads targeting the US? There are national laws that apply to international companies when those companies intentionally target that particular nation, e.g. the GDPR privacy law in the EU.

But more generally, I don't think the standard is whether Russia has the right to do what it's doing or the responsibility not to. The US has every reason to be mad at Russia for doing what it's doing, and to penalize American citizens who support it or seek to benefit from it.

2) Sure, but that doesn't make their interference legitimate or welcome, or make it wrong to, again, be mad at them for doing it and to penalize Americans who participate.

3) I agree that a transparent influence campaign is very different. Obama endorsed Trudeau, and I don't think that was untoward (though the optics were not great). If Putin expressly endorsed Trump, I don't think there would be a problem.

But Russia used deceptive tactics to influence the vote and generally sow discord in the US. That's the opposite of transparent endorsement.


1.) I guess it would depend on:

A.) Were they in physically in Russia?

B.) Are they in U.S. legal reach?

C.) If A. is yes and B. is no, then does Russia itself have a law against it that Russia itself cares to enforce?

2.) I'm just saying it explains their actions. Actions that could have been done openly if such actions were allowed and had to be done in a transparent way. I think anything else is akin to saying that they do not, and should not, have any interest in becomes U.S. President. Of course it affects them.

3.) True, but I don't even think it has to be the leaders. I think anyone should be allowed to do it transparently.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:23 pm

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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:01 am

Carleas wrote:For me, I'd say impeachment and removal are preferable because he broke the law in order to subvert the democratic order. Just say it out loud: he broke the law to force an ally to announce a non-existent investigation into a political rival to help himself win an election. That is so obviously not what the powers of the presidency are for.

He didn't though. That's where you and the Looney-Liberal-Left are simply dead-wrong. No Quid Pro Quo (unless you mean Biden). No Bribery. Nothing. Furthermore, if you want to press the matter of "favor-for-a-favor" politics, then you may as well impeach 99% of Congress and the rest of the Bureaucrats. That's always been the matter of politics. Favor for a favor. So Trump is no 'more' complicit in the process than any Democratic or Republican politician. "Personal gain"? This is a non-argument. Trump became president at a loss to his Business empire. Thus he is less corrupt then these corrupt Democrats who you back and represent.

As-if we couldn't go through Obama, Clinton, Pelosi's backlog and catch hundreds of examples of corruption, bribery, and quid pro quo? As-if Democrats accept campaign contributions and donations "for free"???

Surely you're not this naive???
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:09 am

Carleas wrote:You have pretty clearly never read the Constitution.

You and yours are the ones who want to remove a duly-elected President without cause and for no crimes committed.

THAT is unconstitutional. To attempt to do so, is an attempt to undermine the Constitution, which again, you and yours are guilty of doing.


Carleas wrote:What are your thoughts on the illegality of withholding aid?

100% within the directive of the President and Executive Authority.

He can withhold aid for any reason. If you don't like it, run a Democratic candidate who can win Presidency.

Oh wait, you can't, because Democrats have fallen out of power, popularity, and favor.

So that relegates you and yours to underhanded, corrupt moves, like 100% Partisan impeachment attempts.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:20 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:He was threatened by US Senators to stand down or else lose support.

Source? I find this hard to believe as a justification, since the Senate is Republican-controlled, and Zelensky should know that.
obsrvr524 wrote:He isn't in a position to get into the US political battle so directly.

It seems late in the game for this to be a real motivator: he was planning to announce an investigation of the sitting president's political rival during an election year, he was deep in the US political battle already.
obsrvr524 wrote:But much like John Durham, the investigation might well be going on without you knowing it.

This is possible, but we don't have anything beyond saying "X might be possible" as evidence for it. Speculation is weak evidence. The certain evidence we do have is that the they have publicly acknowledged that they were planning to make an announcement, and they did not.


PavlovianModel146 wrote:It seems to be that there is a chance that all of these things occurred at some level below Trump.

There's a chance of a lot of things. It's possible that Trump and Giuliani have access to better information than the career civil servants who have much more experience working in the Ukraine. It's possible that an ousted prosecutor (who has publicly denied any evidence that Hunter Biden had broken any laws) provided Giuliani with evidence that Hunter Biden broke the law. There's a chance that the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory, which seems to have begun with Trump just mixing things up (c.f. cliff-notes kind of guy, doesn't read briefings, etc.), is actually a real thing.

But that is speculation, not evidence. Clever people can come up with narratives that paint any set of damning evidence as totally innocent. But that isn't the test of reality day to day, it's not a sound methodology for accurately modeling the world. The best established evidence better supports the narrative that Trump is appealing to vacuous conspiracy theories to deflect from and exonerate his abuse of power.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:I just want the testimony from all of the different parties as to what the problem might have been with Ukraine. I'd like to hear from Giuliani officially.

I would say this is an example of how two things that might both fit under the umbrella of 'obstruction' are very different. Giuliani was the guy doing the behind the scenes negotiations with Ukrainian officials, he was in touch with both Trump and the Ukrainian administration, and has specific knowledge about what Trump knew and what Trump ordered, and what he passed on to the Ukrainians, and he defied a congressional subpoena. By comparison, the whistleblower was an analyst on a phone call, with only second-hand knowledge of the rest of the affair, and he's protected by law from having information about him publicly disclosed. The degree of obstruction is different, the scope information that the obstruction kept hidden is different. They are both colorably 'obstruction', but they aren't comparably bad.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:As far as whistleblower protection laws, do we know who it is or don't we? I think we can all agree this whole thing is completely silly. If everyone knows who it is, why are we pretending not to? I'd think being outed would be good for his protection. If I'm Trump, I wouldn't even so much as let a gentle breeze muss his hair.

I don't know his name, and I'm pretty plugged in. My understanding is that Trump and several Republicans have tweeted it, but it isn't a household name.

I don't think you're wrong to suggest that being a household name might be safer for him, but I don't think that's the question. Whether he's strategically wrong to exercise the protections of the whistleblower protection laws, he has those laws to protect him and he'd prefer to use them.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:How would the cashier know about....?

It doesn't matter. First, in the hypo, we're calling that cashier for the limited purpose of explaining how a cash register works (comparable to calling the whistleblower solely to describe the workings of US foreign relations). And where we have laws to protect the cashier, and we can get testimony about the facts relevant to the embezzlement without the whistleblowing cashier, we should do that. We're trying to prove embezzlement, not whistleblowing.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:This really ought be a boring process (other than the supposed implications, of which there are none) not political theatre.

As Hamilton predicted, impeachment is a political process. It only works if the jurors (Senators) feel pressure to act against their political interests to hold the president to account for his actions. And so a boring process doesn't work: the public needs to be engaged enough that senators think they care about the accusations and the outcomes.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:It's really hard to defend a claim of justified obstruction when one of the Articles is specifically for obstruction, yes.

Following on my comments above, this is something of an equivocation. Is Pelosi preventing testimony from the whistleblower? Arguably. Is that the same as the obstruction for which Trump has been impeached? No.

So, rather than 'justified obstruction', it might be easier to think of it as 'not obstruction in the relevant sense'.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:Any other conversation and I think we could agree that the law is not always, "Good," and is sometimes justifiably subverted.

Sure, and I'm open to this specific law being invalid for Constitutional reasons; I don't think it's open-and-shut, but the separation of powers argument is there and a good lawyer could make a decent prima facie case. But arguing that the president broke the law as written but it's OK because it's a bad law is a very different thing from arguing that he didn't break the law.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:I don't think being accused of a crime by Ukraine would ruin Biden's life, similarly. I don't think it would ruin his campaign.

No do I. But Biden has been vice president, barring any extremely bad press that's going to be how he's remembered. The point is that, if for someone who hasn't been vice president, the kind of accusation is life-ruining, it's hard to say that it doesn't matter at all to someone who has been vice president.

Compare to a loss of money: A billionaire cares about losing $100k, even though it doesn't really touch their bottom line.

PavlovianModel146 wrote:1.) I guess it would depend on:

A.) Were they in physically in Russia?

B.) Are they in U.S. legal reach?

C.) If A. is yes and B. is no, then does Russia itself have a law against it that Russia itself cares to enforce?

2.) I'm just saying it explains their actions. Actions that could have been done openly if such actions were allowed and had to be done in a transparent way. I think anything else is akin to saying that they do not, and should not, have any interest in becomes U.S. President. Of course it affects them.

3.) True, but I don't even think it has to be the leaders. I think anyone should be allowed to do it transparently.

This part of the conversation seems weird to me, so I think I am not understanding our disagreement. I don't see any tension between the claims:
  • Russia has good reasons for wanting to affect the outcomes of our elections.
  • We have good reasons not to want Russia to affect the outcomes of our elections.
  • Russia is entitled to transparently endorse our candidates.
  • We can be mad at Russia for transparently endorsing our candidates.
  • Russia is not entitled to run disinformation campaigns to affect the outcomes of our elections.
  • We can be mad at Russia, sanction them, and penalize any US citizen who assisted, endorsed, celebrated, participated in, or benefited from Russian disinformation campaigns to affect the outcomes of our elections.
  • We can be mad and take those actions even if Russia only tried to do those things, and failed, and didn't actually change anything.
Do you see a tension here? Do you disagree with any of those claims?


Urwrongx1000 wrote:As-if we couldn't go through Obama, Clinton, Pelosi's backlog and catch hundreds of examples of corruption, bribery, and quid pro quo?

Literally fallacious.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:You and yours are the ones who want to remove a duly-elected President without cause and for no crimes committed.

THAT is unconstitutional.

This is the kind of thing that makes me pretty sure that you haven't read the Constitution.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:100% within the directive of the President and Executive Authority.

There's a law that expressly says otherwise: Impoundment Control Act.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby obsrvr524 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:29 pm

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:He was threatened by US Senators to stand down or else lose support.

Source? I find this hard to believe as a justification, since the Senate is Republican-controlled, and Zelensky should know that.

It wasn't the entire Senate. It was, I think 3 Senators (probably democrats). You seem to have an odd perspective of how US Senators behave. My source was in the middle of a video awhile back. Sorry, but searching videos isn't worth it for this discussion (you are never going to change your attitude regardless of what you see).
Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:He isn't in a position to get into the US political battle so directly.

It seems late in the game for this to be a real motivator: he was planning to announce an investigation of the sitting president's political rival during an election year, he was deep in the US political battle already.

That is only from your perspective. Believe it or not, officials in other countries have plenty to do besides attend to US politics. Zelensky didn't even know the phone call had become an issue in the US until Mr Trump asked if it was okay to release it to the public. And even then still didn't understand the whole quid quo pro complaint.

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:But much like John Durham, the investigation might well be going on without you knowing it.

This is possible, but we don't have anything beyond saying "X might be possible" as evidence for it. Speculation is weak evidence. The certain evidence we do have is that the they have publicly acknowledged that they were planning to make an announcement, and they did not.

Everything that you have been saying has been nothing but your speculations about Mr Trump's intentions and other people's attitudes. And Zelensky didn't say anything about making a public announcement. He promised an investigation. Once again, you act like Ari Melber on MSNBC twisting and misrepresenting (fake news) about what you see to suit what you want seen.

Carleas wrote:
Urwrongx1000 wrote:You and yours are the ones who want to remove a duly-elected President without cause and for no crimes committed.

THAT is unconstitutional.

This is the kind of thing that makes me pretty sure that you haven't read the Constitution.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:100% within the directive of the President and Executive Authority.

There's a law that expressly says otherwise: Impoundment Control Act.

That only applies to budgeted moneys being deferred toward different purpose. The moneys that Mr Trump reassigned were unused and all within the National Defense purpose. The totally partisan Supreme Court agreed that it was Constitutionally compliant.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:17 am

Carleas wrote:This is the kind of thing that makes me pretty sure that you haven't read the Constitution.

Trying to deny or veto the Trump votes of 2016, is 100% Unconstitutional, which is what you and the Demorats are trying to do.

If you want to impeach and remove a duly-elected President, then there must be Bi-Partisan support (there wasn't, at all). There must be a High Crime and Misdemeanor (there wasn't, at all).

Because of these two facts, you and yours, are wrong. You are damaging the US Constitution, the Republic, and Western Society as a whole, with your Corruption.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:34 am

obsrvr524 wrote:My source was in the middle of a video awhile back. Sorry, but searching videos isn't worth it for this discussion (you are never going to change your attitude regardless of what you see).

The real problem is that I don't watch youtube videos as a source of news.

And honestly, until you change your attitude in reaction to something you see here, let's all climb down of our high-and-mighties, yes?

obsrvr524 wrote:Believe it or not, officials in other countries have plenty to do besides attend to US politics.

So no one in Zelensky's orbit had like googled "Biden" while they were being asked to announce an investigation into him? Or remembered that Joe Biden had personally been to Ukraine in his official capacity as vice president?

obsrvr524 wrote:Zelensky didn't say anything about making a public announcement.

Bill Taylor testified that Zelensky was planning to make an announcement, which matches what Fareed Zakaria has said about Zelensky's plans for an interview on his show, and those are corroborated by statements by Zelensky's staff and ex-staffers to Ukrainian media.

obsrvr524 wrote:That only applies to budgeted moneys being deferred toward different purpose.

See the definition of "deferral of budgetary authority" in the same law. It includes "delaying the [...] expenditure of budget authority".

obsrvr524 wrote:The totally partisan Supreme Court agreed that it was Constitutionally compliant.

What does this mean? What case are you referring to? What was compliant, and what was the challenge?

Also, tangentially, what do you see as the Supreme Court's partisan bias?
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:43 am

You can talk about "Foreign Election Interference" all you want, Carleas.

The real truth though? It's domestic election interference when you and yours actively, openly, willingly, try to void, invalidate, and veto the Will of the 2016 Presidential Election.

You are doing more damage than the claims you make. You are the interference.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:36 pm

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:My source was in the middle of a video awhile back. Sorry, but searching videos isn't worth it for this discussion (you are never going to change your attitude regardless of what you see).

The real problem is that I don't watch youtube videos as a source of news.

I watch or listen to cable news because I can do that while doing other things (typing here is a different problem). Youtube provides a means to relay what has happened on cable news into this forum.

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:Believe it or not, officials in other countries have plenty to do besides attend to US politics.

So no one in Zelensky's orbit had like googled "Biden" while they were being asked to announce an investigation into him? Or remembered that Joe Biden had personally been to Ukraine in his official capacity as vice president?

Sondland was trying to find out what was necessary to get the aid released. Mr Trump told him that the only thing wanted was that Zelensky was really cleaning up their corruption by doing what he already said that he was going to do and that there was no quid quo pro concerning it. He merely wanted verification. Giuliani suggested that a public announcement would convey that Zelensky was really trying to clean up their corruption.

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:Zelensky didn't say anything about making a public announcement.

Bill Taylor testified that Zelensky was planning to make an announcement, which matches what Fareed Zakaria has said about Zelensky's plans for an interview on his show, and those are corroborated by statements by Zelensky's staff and ex-staffers to Ukrainian media.

Yes, they were just going to go ahead and make the announcement. But that is when the US Senators stepped in threatening a loss of US support from the Senate and the show was cancelled.

Other Senators spoke to Mr Trump, along with Giuliani, telling him that Mr Zelensky was a straight shooter so Mr Trump took their word (He is a really lousy judge of character on his own) and released the aid.

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:That only applies to budgeted moneys being deferred toward different purpose.

See the definition of "deferral of budgetary authority" in the same law. It includes "delaying the [...] expenditure of budget authority".

obsrvr524 wrote:The totally partisan Supreme Court agreed that it was Constitutionally compliant.

What does this mean? What case are you referring to? What was compliant, and what was the challenge?

Also, tangentially, what do you see as the Supreme Court's partisan bias?

Were you referring to merely the delay? Perhaps I misunderstood.

Congress had already granted 90 days to comply with the delivery (I think it was 90 days). Mr Trump was within the Congress granted time frame. There was nothing illegal about it. And he had a good reason - to help get Europe onboard. Zelensky understood that, although I'm sure didn't like the need for it.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:38 am

How corrupt does a society have to be, to impeach a President who is actively investigating and cleaning up corruption?

That was the real crime; it was to not be a criminal, like the rest of the politicians.

Democrats are ignorant that this is the very, sole reason, Trump was elected in the first place -- because he is not a politician.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:32 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:I watch or listen to cable news because I can do that while doing other things (typing here is a different problem). Youtube provides a means to relay what has happened on cable news into this forum.

I have nothing against Youtube videos per se, I've seen good independent political analysts on Youtube, and it's still pretty good for primary source material. But for basic news coverage it's weak, and the signal-to-noise ratio is abysmal.

Cable news is just trash. Informative only to the extent that it tells you a bit about why and how the public is so poorly informed.

The lack of a shared source of truth is something we haven't talked enough about in the context of this thread, and in that spirit I will share how I shape my understanding of current events. Feel free to critique it. I'm aware of some of the ways in which it is or risks being bubbly (academy heavy, not a lot of "real america", very customized). I'd be interested to know any other blind spots you see, and to know more about where you're getting your news; given we disagree, I'd bet your sources would solve some of my blind spots.

For news I prefer the written word. I don't think video is a very good medium for delivering information, because it's slow (when I do watch, I watch at 2x), it's at a set pace that doesn't vary based on what's important or what's hard to follow, and it's linear where learning is about building a web of connections. I watch big political events like debates and conventions and State of the Union addresses, though I'm always disappointed that they don't use PowerPoint (#yanggang).

I favor larger institutions, because smaller shops are too unknown and too subject to the whims of their staff. But I try to get information directly from the journalists who do the reporting for those institutions and not just the articles that pass through the institutional filter. I rely a lot on Twitter as a starting point, where I follow mostly academics, journalists, specialists in various fields (tech, law, politics, philosophy) -- I follow and unfollow liberally, and I use a few strategies to foster diversity of thought. Twitter gets a bad rap, and for good reason, but with diligent curation it can be a saline drip of expert opinion on everything you care about. Lots of news breaks on Twitter first (and not just because the president is making news on Twitter). The bubble is real, though, and needs to be scrupulously guarded against; I give myself a B on that.

I also check Google News regularly, but I find that less and less valuable as The Algorithm tries to guess what I want to see, and also because it includes so many shitty sources and so much junk news.

From those I get headlines, and from those I get the articles, either clicking through for good sources, or Googling to find the story in sources I trust, which include NYT, WaPo, WSJ, Financial Times, Economist, BBC, NPR, and many others. More than any one source, I trust reading the same story in multiple sources, or, if the story concerns some primary source material, reading or watching that instead. When I say I "trust" a source, it means I think they are not making up any of the facts and that I think I know what direction they're spinning from.

For deeper analysis, I rely mostly on blogs, again mostly by academics or experts. None are particularly current events focused, but they touch on them. My Feedly (blog reader) says I follow 47 blogs, but only about 10 of those post regularly. The two that are most prolific are Marginal Revolution (written by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, economists at GMU), and the Volokh Conspiracy (a legal group blog, leans slightly right/libertarian (currently hosted at Reason, though that hasn't always been the case), mostly law but that is often also politics, especially now). Those two are centered around econ and law, respectively, but end up being pretty generalist. The others are a bit more niche: science news, internet and tech law, SCOTUSblog, rationalism, a couple philosophers; not a lot of current events.

I do podcasts sparingly, and mostly follow the guests more than the hosts. A few I listen to regularly are Conversations with Tyler (Tyler Cowen again, probably the public intellectual who has influenced me the most in the past decade); Sam Harris (I was more into his work ~15 years ago, his current stuff is less interesting and I'll often skip it if I don't know the guest or care about the topic); and Joe Rogan (only because I follow the guests, and he gets everyone).

Podcasts and blogs get away from what I mean by 'news', but they do meaningfully influence my understanding of what happened (and not just how to put it into a narrative), so I included them.

obsrvr524 wrote:Mr Trump told him that the only thing wanted was that Zelensky was really cleaning up their corruption by doing what he already said that he was going to do and that there was no quid quo pro concerning it. He merely wanted verification. Giuliani suggested that a public announcement would convey that Zelensky was really trying to clean up their corruption.

I don't see how this is responsive. As I understand the root of this question, I was saying that Zelensky changing his mind about the announcement once the aid was released shows that the withholding of the aid was motivating the announcement. You responded that he may have been trying to avoid getting involved in US politics, but I was skeptical because he probably knew who Biden was and that what he was being asked to do was deeply political.

Is your claim that, because it's Giuliani asking, it might not seem political? I still think the fact that it's Biden makes that unlikely, but even if so, wouldn't the call in which he and Trump discuss the same investigation make clear that Trump is involved and that the political implications are probably not lost on Trump? It wasn't Trump's involvement, it was the release of the aid that killed the announcement.

obsrvr524 wrote:But that is when the US Senators stepped in threatening a loss of US support from the Senate and the show was cancelled.

An unnamed handful of Senators in the minority party, source = some video you don't remember.

From a little research, this seems like it might be conflating two incidents: one from 2018, where Democratic senators wrote to the Ukraine about their cooperation in the Mueller investigation, and a meeting in September of 2019 where one Democratic Senator went to the Ukraine and discussed Rudy Giuliani's role there. Neither appears to contain an explicit or implicit threat, and the source of allegations to the contrary appears to be Trump.

obsrvr524 wrote:Were you referring to merely the delay? Perhaps I misunderstood.

Congress had already granted 90 days to comply with the delivery (I think it was 90 days). Mr Trump was within the Congress granted time frame. There was nothing illegal about it. And he had a good reason - to help get Europe onboard. Zelensky understood that, although I'm sure didn't like the need for it.

Under the law, a delay is a deferral.

I have heard the 90-day number, but I don't know where that comes from. I see it in a more recent Ukraine spending bill, which might suggest that it was also in the bill that appropriated the that were withheld.

But given that the president withheld the aid for long enough that it literally could not be spent within the period for which it was appropriated, and had to be reappropriated as a result, it seems unlikely that Congress signed off on that.


Urwrongx1000 wrote:It's domestic election interference when you and yours actively, openly, willingly, try to void, invalidate, and veto the Will of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Mate, please, just read the document. Control-F 'impeach'.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:03 pm

I'll sum up the facts:

1. DNC openly admits to calling to 'Impeach' from the moment Trump was elected. This is evidence, and proves, that it is emotionally based, irrational, without merit, and Unconstitutional due to the nature of it being without Due Process. DNC started with the conclusion/result (Impeachment) and worked backward, trying to gain Evidence to support the false charge (Top-Down thinking). There are many recordings of DNC operatives, congress people, and especially the News Mafia, with clips, recordings, and texts to verify this point.

2. The "impeachment" was purely partisan. Because of it's vote down Party Lines, this was what former US Constitutional leaders, Presidents, Justices, etc. warned us about. They warned us of the DNC today, totally corrupt, and their backers (like Carleas). This is the "Deep State" and swamp, that needs to be drained. Because this was purely-partisan, and the DNC made zero attempts to work across party-lines, it can be invalidated and thrown-out on this reason alone. Furthermore, I believe, a further Constitutional Amendment is in order to require a 66% House Majority to launch future "impeachments", to avoid such smearing the Constitution and staining our US Republic. Democrats have severely damaged our nation, and deserve to be voted out of power for decades to come.

3. There is no real, actual crime committed by Trump. The Ukrainian President admitted to this "no pressure". Rather, the leaker/traitor funneled hyped-up information to the DNC (Schiff) who was looking, desperately, for any reason to push impeachment. They moved on something without merit, and without evidence. It is a very weak case, and legally, relies almost completely on Heresay testimony, inadmissible in court. Carleas should admit to this, if you had any backbone.


Because of this very powerful and obvious points, there's not much more to be said. The Senate will strike down this Sham, coup-attempt, and hopefully work to restore the damage being done to our Republic and Constitution, by the DNC and their treasonous operatives.

This is verified Sedition, and again, I hope Democrats will be voted out of power for decades and decades to come. The Fake News Media--Mafia should be de-platformed. If such things do not happen peaceably (Democratically) then force maybe required.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:39 pm

Excellent timing: the GAO has held that OMB withholding aid the Ukraine was illegal:
The Government Accountability Office wrote:Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.

You were saying, Urwrong?
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:50 pm

"Government Accountability", what a joke.

More DNC liberal hackjobs and Partisan pundits, conjuring up "evidence" out of thin air.

I already went over that fallacy, if you forgot. By the time DNC charged him (even though no crime), he was damned to release aid and damned not to. Either way, he's "guilty" according to DNC.


If you can't see how logically fallacious that is, then take a few steps back from the ILP Log-in button.

It's about as low as you can get, politically, to charge Trump for what he impossibly cannot do 'right' upon.

Trump would be indicted for releasing aid, and indicted for not.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:07 pm

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Trump would be indicted for releasing aid, and indicted for not.

Yeah, once you commit a crime you can't uncommit it. Totally unfair, but we take the world as we find it.
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Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:16 pm

It would be a High Crime to release aide to a corrupt country, such as Ukraine, who was paying Hunter Biden untold sums on a no-show job, appointed by Quid Pro Quo...Joe.

There is the High Crime, Misdemeanor, and Corruption. 100% proved, on tape. Yet you and the corrupt DNC, want to impeach Trump, for the crime you and yours committed?!

Just because the DNC owns the Media Mafia, doesn't mean you can charge crimes however you want.


Fortunately for America, the courts are still owned by the Supreme Court Justices. Your impeachment coup will come to a quick end, soon enough. And hopefully your corrupt counterparts will soon be voted out of Washington permanently.
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