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Not Bad. Not Bad at All

Great economic news. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent last month while wages increased by 4 percent.

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last month, down from 4.7 in August, and average wages rose by 4 percent over the previous year -- the best performance for both measures in five years.

The monthly Labor Department report released yesterday revealed that 51,000 new jobs were reported last month, a disappointing figure, but job gains were stronger than reported earlier for the previous year and a half.

"The economy is actually stronger than these employment numbers suggest," said Bernard Baumohl, executive director of the Economic Outlook Group, a Princeton, N.J., economic-advisory firm. The figures were mixed and elicited widely varying reactions from financial markets and analysts.

On top of this, the Dow had a fantastic week with record high closings three days in a row. I can hear the nutroots now: it's a Rovian plot!

Update: More great news. The budget deficit has dropped to $250 Billion:

The federal budget estimate for the fiscal year just completed dropped to $250 billion, congressional estimators said Friday, as the economy continues to fuel impressive tax revenues.

The Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate is $10 billion below CBO predictions issued in August and well below a July White House prediction of $296 billion.

The improving deficit picture _ Bush predicted a $423 billion deficit in his February budget _ has been driven by better-than-expected tax receipts, especially from corporate profits, CBO said.

This is something the Democrats just don't understand. They consistently ask "how are we going to pay for Bush' s tax cuts?" If they understood anything about economics, they'd know that lower tax rates pay for themselves because they bring in more revenue.


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Comments (32)

I blame Bush!... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

I blame Bush!

How does the unemployment r... (Below threshold)

How does the unemployment rate fall with only 51,000 new jobs added? In any given month there are about 150,000 new people added to the eligible job pool.

Bushes employment numbers (last 12 months)

37 354 145 154 200 175 112 100 134 123 188(p) 51(p)

Clintons employment numbers (same 12 months of presidency)

339 307 298 268 185 148 278 401 205 121 355 221


Anyone who thinks this is a... (Below threshold)

Anyone who thinks this is a healthy economy hasn't a clue. Record debt, record trade imbalance, a housing market on the brink, massively expanding income gaps between the rich and poor, increasing numbers of uninsured or under-insured, stagnant purchasing power for the middle class, increased percentage below the poverty level and Americans spending more then they earn. Last time we had such "good numbers" the Republican Great Depression soon followed.

muirgeo, your last two post... (Below threshold)

muirgeo, your last two posts alternate between confusing (the "employment" number comparison) and downright stupid (the doom & gloom about the economy).

Unlike the Clinton "boom" which was based on VERY shaky (if any) fundamentals, the current economy is VERY solid.

But the Left has to find every "something under the bed is drooling" method they can to try and obscure the truly good news. You're just more clumsy than most.

Nice try Murgio, now let's ... (Below threshold)

Nice try Murgio, now let's pull the correct numbers (from your link) for the period leading up to Bush taking office:
Clinton: -12 216 158 -13 80 -47 -295 -32 -117 -154 (impressive numbers)
and all this prior to 9/11. The nations economy was in the toilet Murg, and you know it.

By all means, lets return to the welfare society created by Carter and Clinton. That should make the middle class feel so much better about themselves. The houseing market has been on a boom for the past four years and (finally) there's a slow-down where prices have dropped, which was inevitable, and you call it "on the brink"?

" massively expanding income gaps between the rich and poor,"

GIVE ME A BREAK! There has never been greater opportunitys for the poor to advance themselves today, but don't let them think that. They need you and the government for their servitude.

"Anyone who thinks this is a healthy economy hasn't a clue"

You are the one who's clue-less Murg........but thanks for the left-eco-101 BS.

Like the NYT/LAT, muirgeo i... (Below threshold)

Like the NYT/LAT, muirgeo is not clumsy or mistaken. He is a liberal socialist/communist supporter and flat out lies when confronted with facts. The only reason socialism and communism has failed hundreds of times is that Muirgeo and the democrats weren't in charge. They can make it work, after starving a few hundred million people to death , just ask them.
As for the spread between the rich and poor, this is still America, work for what you get and get what you work for. The top 50% or earners in the U.S. pay 96.54% of the total taxes to the federal government. That leaves a whole 3.5 % (approx) for the lower 50% of us working stiffs to pay. Sounds fair to me since some of the lower 50% get the majority of the top 50% taxes as welfare.

The democrats still like the smoke and mirrows game of the 90's. They enter a million dollars in their checkbook to impress someone. The money isn't there, but it looks good to them.
If you don't pay the bills you can show a surplus in money in the bank, but you're still in debt with bills overdue. That was the Slick Willie surplus. All a lie. Not one year in the eight did the national debt not go up.

Yup muirego, we remember Pr... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Yup muirego, we remember President Clinton's "dumb luck" economy. By dumb luck I mean he was just lucky to be getting some action in the oval office during the healthy economic growth caused solely by the unprecedented expansion of the internet and the "Y2K" bug. I have a hunch that those numbers you posted above were in direct response to Y2K.

Of course, we also remember that after his dumb luck ran out we ended up sliding into a major recession, long before Bush took office. Of course we remember the "dot.com bubble" bursting. Of course we remember those laid off after the Y2K bug was fixed and the million or so jobs lost during the final years of the Clinton's presidency after his luck ran out.

I'd rather have the strong sustainable economy we have today rather than the "roaring 20's" style economy we had in the nineties, full of corporate scandals (reminiscent of Whitewater & young Hillary's commodities trades), that left a lot of people in really bad shape. Had we had a slightly less incompetent and socialist administration we could have skipped the Clinton recession (2000-2003) and everyone in this country would be much better off today. We will get there, but it takes time to recover from 8 years of Clinton.

NO WMD'S! NO WMD'S! NO WMD'... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:


/Lee, Hugh, Brian, et al.

Notice how "mun-go" cut and... (Below threshold)

Notice how "mun-go" cut and ran when faced with facts.(can bet you that old mungie is right not going apeshit looking for links-lmao)

<a href="http... (Below threshold)

Tax cuts lose more money than they generate, studies conclude

WASHINGTON - When President Bush signed legislation Wednesday to extend lower tax rates for capital gains and dividend income through 2010, he suggested that his tax cuts are behind a surge of new revenue into the Treasury, and implied that it's enough to offset the revenue lost by these reductions.

At a ceremony on the White House lawn, Bush said his tax cuts had helped the economy grow, "which means more tax revenue for the federal Treasury."

That's just not true. A host of studies, some of them written by economists who served in the Bush administration, have concluded that tax reductions mean less money for the Treasury.

The cuts Bush extended Wednesday will cost the Treasury an estimated $70 billion over five years. They may help spur economic growth, but they still lose more revenue than they generate. And unless they're matched by lower federal spending, they worsen federal budget deficits.

To be sure, tax revenues grew by $274 billion in 2005, a 15 percent increase over the previous year, and receipts are growing this year too.

But does that mean the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts generated enough additional revenue to pay for themselves?

"No," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin. He was the chief economist for Bush's Council of Economic Advisers in 2001 and 2002, then the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office until late last year.

Holtz-Eakin said other factors were behind the surge in tax revenues. One is that revenues rise as the population and the economy grow. Revenues would have risen in the post-2001 economic recovery with or without tax reductions, just as they did in the `90s.

Treasury Secretary John Snow conceded Tuesday that the much-touted tax cuts for capital gains and dividend income don't drive today's strong economy.

This whole smoke screen of deception on the part of Republicans regarding the strength of the economy will (they hope) distract voters from their record level of corruption.

and there's more bad news:

Demand for labor helped drive workers' average hourly wages, not including those of most managers, up to $16.84 last month. That's a 4 percent increase from September 2005, the fastest wage growth in more than five years.

But other details in the Labor report bolstered some economists' expectations that unemployment will rise as the housing downturn drags on, cooling economic growth to a below-average pace for many months.

The number of jobs on employers' payrolls rose only slightly in September, as employers turned more cautious in their hiring. Retailers, temporary employment agencies and manufacturers cut nearly as many jobs as other employers added. And a measure of the number of hours worked across the country slipped slightly last month, as it did the month before -- a tentative sign of softening labor demand.

The major stock indicators all fell yesterday, with analysts seeing the weak job growth as further evidence that economic growth is slowing while inflation pressures remain high. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had hit new records on three consecutive days last week, lost 16.48 points yesterday, or 0.14 percent, to close at 11,850.21.

The report reflects "an economy with a solid labor force," said Richard Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research Corp. But with low unemployment and rising wages, he said, "there's simply no way you can paint this report other than inflationary."

Americans have seen this kind of tweaking of the economy by the White House just before the election -- where the timing of the bad news will hopefully hit after election day. Inflation is the bad news today, but even though the quote I pulled is from the article linked by this blog -- the writer conveniently overlooked the bad news.

Let's see - falsely claim Bush's tax cuts for the rich are having a positive effect on thee economy, and sweep the bad news under the rug.

The culture of corruption is alive and well in the heart of Republican propaganda machine. To bad the American public is wise to their lying ways...

I left a very important par... (Below threshold)

I left a very important paragraph from the first quote - and I should have gone one paragraph further on what Snow had to say. Remember, this is Bush's Treasury Secretary John Snow.

Asked by Knight Ridder if the tax reductions paid for themselves, Snow acknowledged that they don't. He also acknowledged that economic growth and stock market gains were strong in the late 1990s, when the capital-gains tax stood at 20 percent and dividend income was taxed at rates as high as 38.6 percent.

As we've seen with Hastert's recent behavior (empowered by the conservative media like Fox, Hannity and Limbaugh, and by the conservative lying blogosphere) the Republican culture of corruption and lies has been emboldened over the last several years, to the point where Republican politicians and the Republican propaganda machines think they can go forward lying to the American people indefinitely...

So, Lee, we just never do t... (Below threshold)

So, Lee, we just never do tax cuts again. But then, we're unlikely to have much growth.

Since growth pays for the tax cuts, and tax cuts spur the economy, tax cuts do play an important role in jump-starting the economy.

Even President Kennedy knew this--look how much he cut, and how well the economy did.

Ask yourselves, would I rather be stuck in the '90's with a bubble ecomony that had to crash, mortgage and interest rates about 2 percentage points or more higher, lower home ownership rates, higher percentage of GDP budget deficits?

And, an administration kicking the can down the street on Korea, Iran, Iraq (you name the next one).

At 1.9 percent of gross dom... (Below threshold)

At 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, the 2006 deficit registers far below those seen in the 1980s and early 1990s. The modern record of 6 percent of GDP came in 1983 and deficits greater than 4 percent in 1991 and 1992 drove Congress to embark on a 1993 deficit-cutting drive.

You might recall we had an econ. slow down a few months after Slick stepped down, and 9/11 and war, taking the deficit up. Put part of that back in Slick's column, since he "deferred maintenance" on the country's problems by his do-nothing foreign policy, and left the chore to Bush.

That was the Slick Willie s... (Below threshold)

That was the Slick Willie surplus. All a lie. Not one year in the eight did the national debt not go up.

Posted by: Scrapiron at October 7, 2006 10:05 AM

Oh you want to use those numbers do you Scarp????

The article above says the debt for this year will be $250 billion


Using those numbers the deficit for 2006 is $616 BILLION Still wanna use those numbers???

I will look forward to funny neocon excuses to follow.

"So, Lee, we just never ... (Below threshold)

"So, Lee, we just never do tax cuts again. But then, we're unlikely to have much growth"

If the reports of "growth" you're talking about, Mitchell, is predicated on lies -- all you are doing is helping the rich and lying ot America hoping to gain enough votes ot continue that practice.

Tony Snow shot down the Republican lie about tax cuts paying for themselves, remember? It appeared in the comments directly above yours -- but lie some more if you wish.

The Republicans love those tax cuts for the rich, but what about the rest of America?

Despite welcome reductions in poverty during the long economic expansion of the 1990s, poverty in the United States rose during the economic downturn that followed. From a low of 11.3 percent in 2000, the poverty rate rose to 12.5 percent in 2003 - 35.9 million poor Americans. Much of the increase in poverty occurred among children, who remain disproportionately poor (17.6 percent were poor in 2003). High poverty rates also continue for Blacks (24.3 percent) and Hispanics (22.5 percent). Further, poverty has been deepening. In 2003, more than four in ten poor Americans lived below half the federal poverty line (below $7,340 for a family of three) - the highest proportion on record.

"The highest prportion on record." Hmm, not bad, not bad at all (as Wizbang! would say) -- if you're a well-to-do Republican. Too bad about the poor, but they don't vote Republican -- so screw them, right? Republicans don't govern for America, they govern for themselves, and their lobbyist pals.

Poverty in America dropped during the Clinton years, but increased during the Bush years -- and you consider that good news?

Debt numbers using the REAL... (Below threshold)

Debt numbers using the REAL NUMBERS as Scarp properly suggest.


Year Billion
94 $282
95 $281
96 $251
97 $189
98 $113
99 $130
00 $ 18
01 $133


02 $421
03 $555
04 $600
05 $554
06 $616

Any questions? Funny excuses to follow. God it must suck living the Republican lie. Those numbers are an embarrASSment and only a fool will try to defend them. Especially when all that increased spending/debt is going to the transfer of money to the upper 0.1% in the form of corporate welfare and the ensuing debt is to be paid by your own children.

Along with those numbers ask under which administration did the middle class do better???

Notice how "mun-go" cut and... (Below threshold)

Notice how "mun-go" cut and ran when faced with facts.(can bet you that old mungie is right not going apeshit looking for links-lmao)

Posted by: jhow66

LAUGH CLOWN...LAUGH.....see above post

At 1.9 percent of gross dom... (Below threshold)

At 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, the 2006 deficit registers far below those seen in the 1980s and early 1990s. The modern record of 6 percent of GDP came in 1983 and deficits greater than 4 percent in 1991 and 1992 drove Congress to embark on a 1993 deficit-cutting drive.

Posted by: MItchell

Here is a little better picture of what is and has gone on with regards to debt and GDP.


The Republican liars will b... (Below threshold)

The Republican liars will be busy in the coming weeks -- here's why:

Web Exclusive
By Marcus Mabry

Oct. 7, 2006 - Come hell or high water-ran the conventional wisdom-Republicans could rely on two issues to win elections: the war on terror and values. Then came Mark Foley. The drip-drip-drip of scandal surrounding the former Congressman from Florida, which became a deluge this week, now threatens to sink Republican hopes of keeping control of Congress, says the NEWSWEEK poll out today.

And that was the good news for the GOP. More worrisome still, the Foley fiasco is jeopardizing the party's monopoly on faith and power. For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent.

Chances are you won't see this news in any Wizbang. I wonder why...

And trended deficit to GDP<... (Below threshold)

And trended deficit to GDP



"Poverty in America drop... (Below threshold)

"Poverty in America dropped during the Clinton years", eh Lee?

You're so full of horse****.

Here's how Clinton did it:
Clinton extended and expanded the earned income tax credits. But that wasn't enough. So he raised the minimum wage. Then he had to go on the road to convince businesses to hire unskilled workers at the new minimum wage. (I think I've said all this before) When that wasn't enough, he lowered the bar to qualify for food stamps, medicaid, housing assistance, among many other "programs".

When all this falsely inflated their wages, in some cases to up to $30K a year, he started calling it his "tax cut for the middle class" that he promised and didn't deliver. But they still weren't paying any taxes to cut.

So they were never really "off welfare". They were still poor. They weren't standing on their own. They were still being propped up by government through what the government could milk from the middle class on up.

The middle class never got a break and the "rich" were taxed more than ever to give the appearance that the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowed.

It was a clever switching around of what money came from where. Something you and others so vehemently accuse the current administration of doing. They didn't get as much in government checks per se, but were given things that were still bought with the money others earned. Same damn thing, Lee.

This proves the theory that many of these people don't know how to use money wisely. Give them a check and they spend it unwisely. But give them food stamps and they're forced to use it on food - not TV's, car payments, clothes, etc. Give them a medicaid card and they can only use it for medical care - etc. But all this achieves is still dependence. Being told what to do. Not ever having to figure it out.

The original idea behind our government was to offer opportunity to people and to remove the obstacles to achieve that. Not an open ended handout. Get literate, learn a trade, take responsibility. The hand outs have to stop. But if it makes you feel good to keep giving money to those who 'work the system', do it yourself and quit demeaning we who think personal responsibility is the order of the day.

While Lee is busy spouting ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

While Lee is busy spouting the well-known dishonest news source (Newsweek and NYT who have been dishonestly smear the US on behalf of the terrorists, the communists, and the liberal left), he forgot the view of dailykos (the real boss of the activist left now)


You guys know my official line -- we won't take back the House. But I am ever prepared to be wrong on my predictions for a third cycle in a row.

Kim,I don't know i... (Below threshold)


I don't know if you were being disengenious or just don't understand US deficit figures. The drop to $250 was mearly for the fiscal year not for federal debt. A reduction in federal deficit for a fiscal year proves absolutely nothing about tax breaks paying for themselves. It just shows that we are losing less money than before, that proves nothing about the disproven "Laffer curve".

Muireeeego, Lee. You are b... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Muireeeego, Lee. You are both liars. If you post numbers, give a source. Most will not accept figures pull out of you significant others ass. I have stopped reading your posts because youi add nothing to the conversation and dlspute, without facts or figures that can be verified, refuse to accept truth and call truth lies. You are pond scum. If you have children that are unfortunate enough to have you as a parent, child protection services should be notified that you are not suitable to raise children.

Zelda the closet Nazi -- I ... (Below threshold)

Zelda the closet Nazi -- I have links in my comments which link back to the articles quoted.

Looking forward to you doing the same, that is -- if you ever write anything other than your trollish nonsense.

Lee, What Zeldorf ... (Below threshold)


What Zeldorf was trying to say is....stop picking on me....I have my own little world view and you guys are not gonna change it just on the basis of some facts you have that counter the very basis of my position....

Lee it's sad because these guys aren't CEO's of multinational corporations yet they've been so brainwashed by only listening to one side that they are actually arguing for a party leadership that has the interest of multinational corporations ahead of the the interest of democracy, fair markets and the people of this country.

Rush has got them convinced that he is on their side when all he is is the IT technologist involved in programming the Matrix.

The more I read the more I realize the agedness of this struggle for true democracy pitting the middle class against an elitist aristocratic minority who really are not for true democracy and in fact believe the common man is simply a "beast" to be controlled and governed by their higher moral authority.

These people really have NO CLUE of why we fought a revolution and would gladly return us back to the pre-revolution days of Aristocratic rule. So blinded by their fear of socialism/communism they've been taught to hate the government forgetting that THEY are the government. And they'll gladly hand it all over to an authoritarian fascist regime in the name of false patriotism.

In a nutshell they support Authoritarian rule while we support rule OF BY and FOR the people.

Zeldorf,The number... (Below threshold)


The numbers I used are from the club (link) that scarpion gave me to crush your tiny skulls with.

Let me add them up for you...

TOTAL Clinton debt in 8 years;
$1.4 trillion

TOTAL Bush debt (to date)
$2.7 trillion

That ain't just inflation baby...that's your tax dollars going to corporate welfare, overseas accounts, funding of more political campaigns, accumulating wealth of the top 0.1% wealthiest "Americans", buying votes setting more such policy and a $30,000 credit card already maxed out and collecting interest as we speak for each of our kids to pay off when they finally enter the work force. Oh yeah and along with that maxed out credit card they get to compete in a flooded worldwide labor market that includes Chinese and Indian workers that make $20 for a $70 hour work week with no benefits.

Your kids future;


thanks to your poorly informed support of the return to an Aristocracy.

You lefties don't understan... (Below threshold)

You lefties don't understand economics, so it'd be a waste to try to 'splain it to you.

Yes, tax cuts have a beneficial economic effect. You won't find any economists worth their salt saying otherwise.

You don't see to understand the difference between the terms "deficit" and "debt" in this debate.

And, Zelsdorf is correct, we should call DSS and tell them to take any children in your custody out of your house, trailer, cardboard box, whatever.

Lame brain Leftshits.

He he. See I told you "mung... (Below threshold)

He he. See I told you "mungie"(the linkman) was going apeshit looking for links. He and old "pucker puss" (lee lee) would dry up like prunes if there where no "links". (psst "mungie" did I out you or something?)lol

How is it that people who b... (Below threshold)
Andrew Paterson:

How is it that people who believe this laffer curve to be disproven are drawn to this blog? To believe this is pure economic idiocy. Here's a simple truth: a tax rate of 80% will ALWAYS accrue less tax take than a tax rate of 20%. If you see that as true then you understand and accept the laffer curve, if you don't then you're ecomically illiterate and don't grasp one of the keye tenets of economics: incentives matter.

He he. See I told you "mung... (Below threshold)

He he. See I told you "mungie"(the linkman) was going apeshit looking for links. He and old "pucker puss" (lee lee) would dry up like prunes if there where no "links". (psst "mungie" did I out you or something?)lol

Posted by: jhow66

So your point is that we have to support our points with factual based links???.....And that's bad????... a sign of weakness......

Looks like it's time to pull up the Colbert quote;

My name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say I did look it up, and that's not true. That's cause you looked it up in a book.

Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

Ladies and Gentlemen,... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Look, these are fantastic numbers, no matter how desperately Lee and muirgeo post up links from quite frankly ludicrous Left-wing sites to prove that the American economy is in a depression.

muirgeo is a perfect specimen of the type of person Pinch Sulzberger wants in a New York Times reporter. Blindly partisan and left-wing, willing to go to all lengths to find support for a predetermined storyline and willing to post virtual lies so that enough of the ignorant are fooled into believing what he wants to sell.

For example, muirgeo compares Clinton & the 1990s' Republican Congress' Budget Deficit numbers with the National Debt. Two absolutely different things. He then cites hilariously idiotic Left-wing websites and "reports" to support his nonsense while feigning ignorance (or actually being ignorant) of the significance of budget deficits as a percentage of GDP. All in order to advance his argument that the nation is suffering from a Depression despite a 4.6% unemployment rate and rising wages.

Lee's own way of doing things is also worthy of a New York Times reporter. While obviously stupid enough to believe that there is a machine in the White House that can suddenly make employers hire more workers, the DOW to leap to greater heights and the price of fuel to go up and down at the touch of a button, he knows that there is no such thing as a "perfect" economy.

It is simply impossible that every single economic number would be positive. Employment may increase by 5% across the board in the nation while unemployment could increase in one state. Dishonest journalists will then cite the situation in that state and try to make it seem that despite the high nation-wide numbers, the real situation is like that in the hard-stricken state all over the country.

Note that Lee's Washington Post citation did not actually say that there actually was inflation. It cited somebody in whose opinion, the low employment and wage increases must lead to inflation. In other words, Lee was hoping you'd think that inflation had occured, when there is evidence of it yet.

To be honest, I'm impressed.

Lee has become a great deal more clever in his attempts to mislead and deceive and has since become a much better troll than he used to be.

muirgeo has also improved. Before, he used to just spray little Left-wing factoids (i.e. fantasies) and taunts and then speed away from any challenge. Now he actually posts links to the far Left in the hope that one is dumb enough to think he actually has support for his so-called "arguments."

Keep it up, guys. Just be careful your mind doesn't rot so much you find yourself believing Joe Wilson and the 9/11 "truthers".






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