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George Bush: The Worst President Ever?


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:56 AM

George Bush will be soon leaving office. He is in my opinion the worse president in US history. He is even worse than Herbert Hoover, the president who presided over the last deep economic recession. However, the problem is now so great that I doubt if Obama can do a Roosevelt on the American economy.

Under the stewardship of Bush the US has developed a trading deficit of $700 billion a year with an operating deficit of $400 billion a year. The US government is currently $10 trillion in debt. That is before it buys up the bad debt held by US banks. (I wonder if that will include the Morgan Stanley that will soon be owned, according to rumours, by the Chinese government). As well as the $10 trillion current debt it faces a $50 trillion liability in order to fund its retirement and health care system.

His policies have resulted in 1% of the population owning 40% of the country’s wealth. Chief executives of large corporations earn (sic) 465 times as much as their work-force. At the same time, Halliburton, thanks to no-bid contracts it has been given in Iraq and in New Orleans, has seen its share-price go up 700% under Bush. (No wonder Craig is the only member of this forum willing to defend this man - whatever happened to Tim Gratz?)

Bush has shown his incompetence in fighting the war against terrorism (after spending $1 trillion the terrorists are stronger than ever), managing the economy and regulating Wall Street and responding to Katrina.

Bush will soon leave the White House leaving those who follow him to clear up the mess. For example, some economists are arguing that the next president will need to triple taxes in order to repay the debts caused by Bush’s policies.

#2 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:19 PM

George Bush will be soon leaving office. He is in my opinion the worse president in US history.


I predict that future historians will declare it a toss-up between Bush and Lyndon Johnson, a war-monger on an even grander scale.

#3 Ron Ecker

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:00 PM

Don't blame it all on Bush. The American people had a chance to get rid of him after four years and didn't. Some say the election was stolen, but there's no way to prove it. Basically, the way crooks have been running things, there is no way to prove anything.

#4 Len Colby

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:17 PM

George Bush will be soon leaving office. He is in my opinion the worse president in US history.


I predict that future historians will declare it a toss-up between Bush and Lyndon Johnson, a war-monger on an even grander scale.


Bush “wins” out because LBJ had a much better domestic policy and inherited an existing US commitment to Vietnam (which he insanely escalated).

#5 Terry Mauro

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 05:45 PM

George Bush will be soon leaving office. He is in my opinion the worse president in US history.


I predict that future historians will declare it a toss-up between Bush and Lyndon Johnson, a war-monger on an even grander scale.


Bush “wins” out because LBJ had a much better domestic policy and inherited an existing US commitment to Vietnam (which he insanely escalated).


Aside from "a much better domestic policy" -- that is, promoting and attempting to institutionalize civil rights progress, the attempted alleviation of poverty, and an enormous amount of progressive legislation (after all, he idolized Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal) -- and inheriting the Vietnam commitment, LBJ also had the more reasonable excuse of being a man of his time in an environment when anticommunism, domino theories, etc were a given -- widely assumed to be necessary and plausible. (And his "warmongering" was never an issue for the real warmongers -- they always bitched because he wouldn't go far enough and there was too much "civilian meddling" in "prosecuting the war.") So there's no contest between Johnson and Bush.......at least Bush and any number of people had LBJ and "the Vietnam experience" to learn from (the problem being they never learned anything from anything).

And Ron is almost right: but it was not "the American people" who didn't get rid of President Bush 4 years ago -- it was only 51% of the voting American people who reelected him. We're apparently being let down by the millions of people who don't vote and could make a hell of a difference.


The "post industrial" society was instituted under LBJ's watch. This was his "Great Society" policy. He also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.

#6 Mark Stapleton

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:05 PM

Definitely Bush. His sheer stupidity gets him over the line. I share John's doubts about Obama being able to fix the post Bush economy because of the magnitude of the problems.

But LBJ was by far the greater psychopath.

#7 John Simkin

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 07:50 AM

George Bush will be soon leaving office. He is in my opinion the worse president in US history.


I predict that future historians will declare it a toss-up between Bush and Lyndon Johnson, a war-monger on an even grander scale.


I disagree. A agree about his failed policy in Vietnam but his main legacy was in passing the Civil Rights Act. Lyndon Johnson was a far better president than his namesake Andrew Johnson. He also came to power after the assassination of a president. However, he then tried to undermine those things Abraham Lincoln had made possible.

In April 1866, Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Bill that was designed to protect freed slaves from Southern Black Codes (laws that placed severe restrictions on freed slaves such as prohibiting their right to vote, forbidding them to sit on juries, limiting their right to testify against white men, carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations).

Johnson told Thomas C. Fletcher, the governor of Missouri: "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men." His views on racial equality was clearly defined in a letter to Benjamin B. French, the commissioner of public buildings: "Everyone would, and must admit, that the white race was superior to the black, and that while we ought to do our best to bring them up to our present level, that, in doing so, we should, at the same time raise our own intellectual status so that the relative position of the two races would be the same."

Johnson's unwillingness to promote African American civil rights in the South upset the radical members of his Cabinet. In 1866 William Dennison (Postmaster General), James Speed (Attorney General) and James Harlan (Secretary of the Interior) all resigned. They were all replaced by the conservatives Alexander Randall (Postmaster General), Henry Stanbury (Attorney General) and Orville Browning (Secretary of the Interior).

In June, 1866, the Radical Republicans managed to persuade Congress to pass the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The elections of 1866 increased the the Republican Party two-thirds majority in Congress. There were also a larger number of Radical Republicans and in March, 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act. This act forbade the President to remove any officeholder, including Cabinet members, who had been appointed with Senate consent. Once again Johnson attempted to veto the act.

In 1867 members of Radical Republicans such as Benjamin Loan, James Ashley and Benjamin Butler, began claiming in Congress that Johnson had been involved in the conspiracy to murder Abraham Lincoln. Butler asked the question: "Who it was that could profit by assassination (of Lincoln) who could not profit by capture and abduction? He followed this with: "Who it was expected by the conspirators would succeed to Lincoln, if the knife made a vacancy?" He also implied that Johnson had been involved in tampering with the diary of John Wilkes Booth. "Who spoliated that book? Who suppressed that evidence?"

Much was made of the fact that John Wilkes Booth had visited Johnson's house on the day of the assassination and left his card with the message: "Don't wish to disturb you. Are you at home?" Some people claimed that Booth was trying to undermine Johnson in his future role as president by implying he was involved in the plot. However, as his critics pointed out, this was unnecessary as it was Booth's plan to have Johnson killed by George Atzerodt at the same time that Abraham Lincoln was being assassinated.

On 7th January, 1867, James Ashley charged Johnson with the "usurpation of power and violation of law by corruptly using the appointing, pardoning, and veto powers, by disposing corruptly of the property of the United States, and by interfering in elections." Congress responded by referring Ashley's resolution to the Judiciary Committee.

Congress passed the first Reconstruction Acts on 2nd March, 1867. The South was now divided into five military districts, each under a major general. New elections were to be held in each state with freed male slaves being allowed to vote. The act also included an amendment that offered readmission to the Southern states after they had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and guaranteed adult male suffrage. Johnson immediately vetoed the bill but Congress repassed the bill the same day.

Johnson consulted General Ulysses S. Grant before selecting the generals to administer the military districts. Eventually he appointed John Schofield (Virginia), Daniel Sickles (the Carolinas), John Pope (Georgia, Alabama and Florida), Edward Ord (Arkansas and Mississippi) and Philip Sheridan (Louisiana and Texas).

It soon became clear that the Southern states would prefer military rule to civil government based on universal male suffrage. Congress therefore passed a supplementary Reconstruction Act on 23rd March that authorized military commanders to supervise elections and generally to provide the machinery for constituting new governments. Once again Johnson vetoed the act on the grounds that it interfered with the right of the American citizen to "be left to the free exercise of his own judgment when he is engaged in the work of forming the fundamental law under which he is to live."

Radical Republicans were growing increasing angry with Johnson over his attempts to veto the extension of the Freeman's Bureau, the Civil Rights Bill and the Reconstruction Acts. This became worse when Johnson dismissed Edwin M. Stanton, his Secretary of War, and the only radical in his Cabinet and replaced him with Ulysses S. Grant. Stanton refused to go and was supported by the Senate. Grant now stood down and was replaced by Lorenzo Thomas.This was a violation of the Tenure of Office Act and some members of the Republican Party began talking about impeaching Johnson.

At the beginning of the 40th Congress Benjamin Wade became the new presiding officer of the Senate. As Johnson did not have a vice-president this meant that Wade was now the legal successor to the president. This was highly significant as attempts to impeach the president had already began.

Johnson continued to undermine the Reconstruction Acts. This included the removal of two of the most radical military governors. Daniel Sickles (the Carolinas) and Philip Sheridan (Louisiana and Texas) were replaced them with Edward Canby and Winfield Hancock.

In November, 1867, the Judiciary Committee voted 5-4 that Johnson be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. The majority report written by George H. Williams contained a series of charges including pardoning traitors, profiting from the illegal disposal of railroads in Tennessee, defying Congress, denying the right to reconstruct the South and attempts to prevent the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

On 30th March, 1868, Johnson's impeachment trial began. Johnson was the first president of the United States to be impeached. The trial, held in the Senate in March, was presided over by Chief Justice Salmon Chase. Johnson was defended by his former Attotney General, Henry Stanbury, and William M. Evarts. One of Johnson's fiercest critics, Thaddeus Stevens was mortally ill, but he was determined to take part in the proceedings and was carried to the Senate in a chair.

Charles Sumner, another long-time opponent of Johnson led the attack. He argued that: "This is one of the last great battles with slavery. Driven from the legislative chambers, driven from the field of war, this monstrous power has found a refuge in the executive mansion, where, in utter disregard of the Constitution and laws, it seeks to exercise its ancient, far-reaching sway. All this is very plain. Nobody can question it. Andrew Johnson is the impersonation of the tyrannical slave power. In him it lives again. He is the lineal successor of John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis; and he gathers about him the same supporters."

Although a large number of senators believed that Johnson was guilty of the charges, they disliked the idea of Benjamin Wade becoming the next president. Wade, who believed in women's suffrage and trade union rights, was considered by many members of the Republican Party as being an extreme radical. James Garfield warned that Wade was "a man of violent passions, extreme opinions and narrow views who was surrounded by the worst and most violent elements in the Republican Party."

Others Republicans such as James Grimes argued that Johnson had less than a year left in office and that they were willing to vote against impeachment if Johnson was willing to provide some guarantees that he would not continue to interfere with Reconstruction.

When the vote was taken all members of the Democratic Party voted against impeachment. So also did those Republicans such as Lyman Trumbull, William Fessenden and James Grimes, who disliked the idea of Benjamin Wade becoming president. The result was 35 to 19, one vote short of the required two-thirds majority for conviction. The editor of The Detroit Post wrote that "Andrew Johnson is innocent because Ben Wade is guilty of being his successor."

A further vote on 26th May, also failed to get the necessary majority needed to impeach Johnson. The Radical Republicans were angry that not all the Republican Party voted for a conviction and Benjamin Butler claimed that Johnson had bribed two of the senators who switched their votes at the last moment.

On 25th July, 1868 Johnson vetoed the decision by Congress to extend the activities of the Freeman's Bureau for another year. Once again Johnson decision was speedily overturned. Johnson critics claimed that he had taken these decisions in an attempt to win the Democratic Party nomination. The party approved Johnson's actions but chose Horatio Seymour as its presidential candidate.

Johnson continued to issue pardons for people who had participated in the rebellion. By the end of his period in office he gave 13,350 pardons, including one for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

On 25th December, 1868, Johnson used his last annual message as president to attack the Reconstruction Acts. He claimed that: "The attempt to place the white population under the domination of persons of color in the South has impaired, if not destroyed, the friendly relations that had previously existed between them; and mutual distrust has engendered a feeling of animosity which, leading in some instances to collision and bloodshed, has prevented the cooperation between the two races so essential to the success of industrial enterprise in the Southern States."

http://www.spartacus...USAjohnsonA.htm

#8 Evan Burton

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:54 PM

Bush. Worst. Evah.

#9 Len Colby

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:26 PM

He [LBJ] also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.


NASA was actually founded during the Eisenhower Administration. I doubt Johnson push to cut it budget funding went up when he was president. Though it peaked in 1966 it was still a lot higher in 1968 than it was 1963 if the information linked below is correct. In anycase it is highly unlikely the US would have made it to the moon 1969 if funding had not be raised above 1963 levels

http://en.wikipedia....et.2C_1958-2008

#10 David G. Healy

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 04:43 PM

He [LBJ] also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.


NASA was actually founded during the Eisenhower Administration. I doubt Johnson push to cut it budget funding went up when he was president. Though it peaked in 1966 it was still a lot higher in 1968 than it was 1963 if the information linked below is correct. In anycase it is highly unlikely the US would have made it to the moon 1969 if funding had not be raised above 1963 levels

http://en.wikipedia....et.2C_1958-2008


probably better to go to a reliable source..... NASA is an off-shoot of NACA created in 1915 (see the link below). "29 July 1958 President Eisenhower signed into law P.L. 85-568, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958" Where's Lampoon-Lamson when you need him?

http://history.nasa....6/contents.html

Edited by David G. Healy, 22 September 2008 - 04:57 PM.


#11 Evan Burton

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:28 AM

David,

Sorry, but I don't understand. Why aren't they a reliable source?

LBJ was a great supporter of the US manned space programme, but he also wanted his 'Great Society' to succeed and there was of course Vietnam. He reduced funding, but still ensured that the lunar landing programme had the money to succeed. The major portion - research and development - had already been done. Still, his (and Nixon's) cuts caused a massive change. The last three lunar landing flights were canceled. A planned lunar base was canceled. The Mars programme was pushed to "long term goals". The orbital laboratory plans were scaled down. The shuttle nearly was canceled itself; instead it needed DoD funding and had to be radically redesigned to meet DoD and budgetary requirements.

#12 Terry Mauro

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 03:32 PM

He [LBJ] also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.


NASA was actually founded during the Eisenhower Administration. I doubt Johnson push to cut it budget funding went up when he was president. Though it peaked in 1966 it was still a lot higher in 1968 than it was 1963 if the information linked below is correct. In anycase it is highly unlikely the US would have made it to the moon 1969 if funding had not be raised above 1963 levels

http://en.wikipedia....et.2C_1958-2008


NASA funding (in constant 1996 dollars) page 18. You can see that funding for space travel "spikes" upward under John F. Kennedy, then makes an equally downward spike after the assassination, under LBJ, Nixon et.al It has remained flat ever since.
http://ibis.grdl.noa...s/asen_2004.pdf

James Webb who was Director from 1961-1968 held a September 1968 press conference where he critized congressional budget cuts to NASA
http://www.arlington....net/jewebb.htm


John Kennedy had used space exploration as a "science driver" program for the US economy. For every $0.01 invested the space program returned $0.12 in spinoff's to the US economy. Kennedy had gone before congress in 1962 asking for millions of dollars to develop nuclear powered rocket boosters. You did not require nuclear powered boosters to get to the moon. What JFK was planning was travel to Mars using the moon as a launch site.

This change in the outlook toward science and technology is one of the more glaring clues in the never ending game of "who killed JFK". They reversed JFK's space program and replaced it with the post industrial society complete with "sex, rock, drugs" counter culture. Had Kennedy not been murdered there is no question that the world would be a much different place today.

But there is no doubt that JFK's killers saw his commitment to science and technology a major threat.

Edited by Terry Mauro, 23 September 2008 - 03:49 PM.


#13 Terry Mauro

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 04:32 PM

He [LBJ] also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.


NASA was actually founded during the Eisenhower Administration. I doubt Johnson push to cut it budget funding went up when he was president. Though it peaked in 1966 it was still a lot higher in 1968 than it was 1963 if the information linked below is correct. In anycase it is highly unlikely the US would have made it to the moon 1969 if funding had not be raised above 1963 levels

http://en.wikipedia....et.2C_1958-2008


NASA funding (in constant 1996 dollars) page 18. You can see that funding for space travel "spikes" upward under John F. Kennedy, then makes an equally downward spike after the assassination, under LBJ, Nixon et.al It has remained flat ever since.
http://ibis.grdl.noa...s/asen_2004.pdf

James Webb who was Director from 1961-1968 held a September 1968 press conference where he critized congressional budget cuts to NASA
http://www.arlington....net/jewebb.htm


John Kennedy had used space exploration as a "science driver" program for the US economy. For every $0.01 invested the space program returned $0.12 in spinoff's to the US economy. Kennedy had gone before congress in 1962 asking for millions of dollars to develop nuclear powered rocket boosters. You did not require nuclear powered boosters to get to the moon. What JFK was planning was travel to Mars using the moon as a launch site.

This change in the outlook toward science and technology is one of the more glaring clues in the never ending game of "who killed JFK". They reversed JFK's space program and replaced it with the post industrial society complete with "sex, rock, drugs" counter culture. Had Kennedy not been murdered there is no question that the world would be a much different place today.

But there is no doubt that JFK's killers saw his commitment to science and technology a major threat.



In the Johnson Administration, the political tide was turning. Pre-eminence in space was replaced by the social programs of the "Great Society." NASA Administrator James Webb made a valiant effort to frame the necessary spending on space exploration within those terms, telling the President that the space program is "in its totality ... truly representative of a Great Society.... It stimulates millions with new knowledge while its technologies upgrade our industries and universities.... This has almost explosive potential and in reality, the space program should be the cornerstone of your Great Society, and it can be if you increase its budget."

It was, at best, a rearguard action. The London Tavistock Institute and co-thinking social control institutions had, in fact, made the takedown of the space program one of the goals of the "Great Society" hoax.

By 1966, with no post-Apollo plan approved by the President, 80,000 layoffs in the space program were already under way. Soon, the real pressure on the budget became not Johnson's Great Society, but the war in Southeast Asia, which was costing $2 billion per month before he left office.

With the 1969 ascension of Richard Nixon to the White House, the future of NASA and the nuclear rocket only worsened. The Federal budget crisis, due in large part to the spending for the war in Vietnam, and also to the international financial crisis, led to government-wide reductions. Despite the recommendation of the Space Task Group which Nixon had appointed, that Apollo be followed by the development of a shuttle to Earth orbit, an Earth-orbital space station, nuclear-powered spacecraft to take men to Mars, as well as a cargo ferry to the Moon, this was not deemed possible.

Edited by Terry Mauro, 23 September 2008 - 04:34 PM.


#14 David G. Healy

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 05:19 PM

David,

Sorry, but I don't understand. Why aren't they a reliable source?

LBJ was a great supporter of the US manned space programme, but he also wanted his 'Great Society' to succeed and there was of course Vietnam. He reduced funding, but still ensured that the lunar landing programme had the money to succeed. The major portion - research and development - had already been done. Still, his (and Nixon's) cuts caused a massive change. The last three lunar landing flights were canceled. A planned lunar base was canceled. The Mars programme was pushed to "long term goals". The orbital laboratory plans were scaled down. The shuttle nearly was canceled itself; instead it needed DoD funding and had to be radically redesigned to meet DoD and budgetary requirements.


simple history Evan, NASA (the creation of; my interest in this thread) did not appear out of thin air. Its predecessor, NACA, was created in 1915 (some of NACA's facilities are still in existence and used by NASA today). NASA was NOT the brilliant stroke of genius of any one president. NASA became a necessity (space race), albeit, a mother of modern invention -- the final off-shoot of NACA. So why go to Wikipedia for the who, what, when, where and why info? Why not the source?

Edited by David G. Healy, 23 September 2008 - 05:21 PM.


#15 Len Colby

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 06:47 PM

He [LBJ] also moved to make major budget cuts to JFK's NASA program.


NASA was actually founded during the Eisenhower Administration. I doubt Johnson push to cut it budget funding went up when he was president. Though it peaked in 1966 it was still a lot higher in 1968 than it was 1963 if the information linked below is correct. In anycase it is highly unlikely the US would have made it to the moon 1969 if funding had not be raised above 1963 levels

http://en.wikipedia....et.2C_1958-2008


NASA funding (in constant 1996 dollars) page 18. You can see that funding for space travel "spikes" upward under John F. Kennedy, then makes an equally downward spike after the assassination, under LBJ, Nixon et.al It has remained flat ever since.
http://ibis.grdl.noa...s/asen_2004.pdf

James Webb who was Director from 1961-1968 held a September 1968 press conference where he critized congressional budget cuts to NASA
http://www.arlington....net/jewebb.htm



Terry – Thanks for providing documentary evidence that the data from Wikipedia is correct and not only did NASA’s budget spike under LBJ but spending was higher during every year of his presidency than during any other year.

Posted Image

You see you need to get your glasses checked and/or improve your chart reading skills, each circle and square on the chart represent a different year. Since you got confused I annotated it for you.

Despite having a highly regressive foreign policy, LBJ’s domestic policy was probably the most progressive of any president.

As for NASA budget cuts that Webb complained about he seems to have blamed congress and they brought spending back to where it was in 1964.

But once again thanks for your help; I couldn’t have proved you wrong without it.



Kennedy had gone before congress in 1962 asking for millions of dollars to develop nuclear powered rocket boosters. You did not require nuclear powered boosters to get to the moon. What JFK was planning was travel to Mars using the moon as a launch site.


I imagine you can provide a citation for that? Considering the various mishaps with space travel perhaps this was not a very good idea. A nuclear powered booster exploding in the atmosphere would make Chernobyl look like a leaky microwave over.

This change in the outlook toward science and technology is one of the more glaring clues in the never ending game of "who killed JFK". They reversed JFK's space program and replaced it with the post industrial society complete with "sex, rock, drugs" counter culture. Had Kennedy not been murdered there is no question that the world would be a much different place today.

But there is no doubt that JFK's killers saw his commitment to science and technology a major threat.


Except that NASA funding under LBJ and Nixon was higher than under JFK



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