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Letter from Washington to Democrats Abroad

Letter from Washington
To Democrats Abroad
31 January 2018
Tom Fina
Executive Director Emeritus


Last night Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address. At 80 minutes, with applause, it fell just short of Bill Clinton’s 89 minutes in 2000. And, unlike vintage Trump, it had been purged of his usual Twitter insults that the NYT put at 426 during his first year in office. But, it continued his practice since taking office of 2,140 false or misleading claims that the Washington Post caught by mid-January. Its Fact Checker ticked off 18 more last night.


After a few days more than a year in office, his approval by the public has remained around 40% with about 55% disapproving. At this point in their terms, Obama scored 51% approval, George W. Bush 87% and Clinton, 54%. Bush benefited from his response to the Sept 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks in New York.


Public opinion about the President matters because of the implications that it has for the mid-term elections in November of this year. Right now, Republicans control both the White House and the two Houses of Congress. All of the seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate. At present, Republicans control the Senate 51 to 47 and would lose control if they lost only 2 Senate seats. They have 238 of the 435 seats in the House. Democrats would have to pick up 24 seats to have a majority there.
There are 40 Republicans and 16 Democrats who have announced that they will not run for re-election in the House. It is easier to win an open seat than to defeat an incumbent. That suggests that Democrats have more chance of picking up seats than do Republicans in November.


Generic polling in January 2018 gave Democrats a 5-point lead over Republicans, with 49 percent of registered voters saying they would support Democrats and 44 percent of voters saying they would support Republicans. That is a drop in the Democratic majority from 2017 when they had an 18 point lead.


Since World War II, the party controlling the White House has lost about 36 House seats in mid-term elections.


When the President has an approval rating of less than 50%, as Trump does now, his party loses 33 seats.


These two historic patterns suggest that Democrats have a chance to win control of both the House and Senate in November.


The recent elections in NJ, VA and AL provide additional reasons for Democratic optimism. The Democratic candidate in NJ won by 56% to 42%, the candidates in VA with 53% to 45% and Doug Jones won in AL on December 2017 with 49.97% to 43.34% in a solid red state.


That is all welcome news for us Democrats at a moment when so many Democratic achievements from FDR to Obama are being scrapped by the Trump administration. Secretary of the Interior Zinke’s war on national parks and monuments to open them to commercial exploitation. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s push to fund private schools rather than public schools. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s long history of opposition to the EPA which he sued repeatedly to block its enforcement of environmental laws. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has stripped enforcement powers from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office that specializes in pursuing cases against financial firms for breaking discrimination laws. Trump has refused to reappoint the remarkable Janet Yellen to Chair the Federal Reserve. It is safe to say that if Obama did it, Trump will undo it - if he can.


The only way to end these and more depredations is to elect a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Only a determined Congressional majority can curb the wanton rampage that the narcissistic psychopath roaming the White House, with the complicity of the Republican Members of Congress, promises for next three years. Gear up for November!

DA Guatemala
http://www.democratsabroad.org/
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Non-partisan Voter Registration

Antigua & Lake Atitlan

We will assist all US voters in registering to vote and completing their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) for the upcoming USA elections. The FPCA is required to receive an overseas absentee ballot. You should complete a new FPCA every year!

This event, hosted by Democrats Abroad Guatemala, is open to all US voters – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all others.

Registration Antigua

Enlaces

6a Avenida Norte No. 1

La Antigua Guatemala

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

27 January-done

17 February

10 March

Registration Lake Atitlan

Santiago

Posada de Santiago

18 February

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Panajachel

Solomon's Porch

24 February

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Watch for additional dates in Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala City and other locations For more information, contact Kee Kalwara at keekalwara@gmail.com (Antigua) or Traci Styner attracisd@gmail.com (Lake Atitlan)
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From Julia Bryan: February

It’s Black History Month, and Angela Fobbs and the Black Caucus have begun the month with an excellent kickoff article. http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.democratsabroad.org%2Fblack_history_month_2018

There are lots of great ways to celebrate in your committee – consider a movie night, or an article or book discussion. More resources and ideas here: http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%2Flinks%3Flid%3DaBBMolM7BKDpzYNOmD3yfw%26token%3D%252A%257CTOKEN%257C%252A%26url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.democratsabroad.org%252Fbc-black_history_month

This week’s Tiny Action asks our members to support Congressional bills protecting Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation. We also have advice up for preparing for rallies and protests, which we encourage all country committees to review. http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.democratsabroad.org%2Ftiny_action_protect_mueller http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.democratsabroad.org%2Fbe_prepared

The EMEA regional meeting is right around the corner, on February 9-10th. If you haven’t signed up yet, register now. Don’t miss out on dinner with Howard Dean! http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%2Flinks%3Flid%3DaBBMolM7BKDpzYNOmD3yfw%26token%3D%252A%257CTOKEN%257C%252A%26url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.democratsabroad.org%252F2018_emea_regional_meeting_registration_page

We have thousands of members who aren’t contactable by email – but are by phone. Join our current global Phone Only Phonebanking campaign to call these voters and remind them to send in their ballot requests now. http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.democratsabroad.org%2Fphonebanking

Many thanks to the country committee leaders who have worked hard on DA’s 2018 membership verification these last few weeks. Particular thanks goes to the IT team, led by Shari Temple, which has spent countless hours helping to clean up the database in preparation for today’s count. They have done a remarkable job and I encourage you all to reach out and thank the team for their efforts. http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=mailto%3Ahelpdesk%40democratsabroad.org

Our next ExCom meeting is today at 8am DC time. We will not be meeting next week due to the upcoming EMEA meeting, but will reconvene on February 15th. (Our Excom meetings are on Thursdays at 8am DC time unless otherwise noted). As always we'd be delighted to have you join as a guest. If you're interested, just get in touch with Jeffrey at secretary@democratsabroad.org and he'll send you the link to the meeting.

Thank you for all that you do!

Best

Julia

Julia Bryan

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

Mark your calendars

Black History Month – February 1-28

EMEA Regional Meeting – February 9-10th (Madrid)

Howard Dean event – February 10th (Madrid)

Membership Verification and Bylaws due – February 20th

Earl Fowlkes webinar – February 28th, 2pm DC time

Annual General Meeting – May 25 - 27th (Tokyo)

2018 GOTV calendar:

http://demsabroad.mobilize.io/links?lid=w3lZ76MgvvPUuFSR0GJeOQ&token=xcv5QjTzMzbLKfPbSapE2Q&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%2Flinks%3Flid%3DaBBMolM7BKDpzYNOmD3yfw%26token%3D%252A%257CTOKEN%257C%252A%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%252Flinks%253Flid%253D0npDN9JwWb6CYoFPsfzXAg%2526token%253D%25252A%25257CTOKEN%25257C%25252A%2526url%253Dhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%25252Flinks%25253Flid%25253Djjb8IMKUeYnT5oHOUG2rRA%252526token%25253D%2525252A%2525257CTOKEN%2525257C%2525252A%252526url%25253Dhttp%2525253A%2525252F%2525252Fdemsabroad.mobilize.io%2525252Flinks%2525253Flid%2525253DlLn7v6QvicWX1eXKGjwBiQ%25252526token%2525253D%252525252A%252525257CTOKEN%252525257C%252525252A%25252526url%2525253Dhttps%252525253A%252525252F%252525252Fdocs.google.com%252525252Fdocument%252525252Fd%252525252F1LAk6AEtd0EKY68R2vXiouTCcn29vZrax0YslB_l70rg%252525252Fedit

GOTV Phonebank Trainings:

Sunday, February 4, 2am ET

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Study Abroad Team

I'm really pleased to announce the formation of a new global team - the Study Abroad Outreach team.

Led by Becky Leach-Seymour (Switzerland), the team will be focused on helping get out the vote amongst the hundreds of thousands of Americans who study abroad each year. Becky is in the process of growing her team, and would like to hear from you if you are interested in joining. More from Becky below!

Best,

Julia Bryan

Dear Leaders,

2018 will be a very active year as we build a new program, develop and grow partnerships with global study abroad organizations and help country committees create and implement their own study abroad outreach plans. We are looking for people with a variety of skills and passions, including those who are:

•Excited about working with college students! Interested in learning about study abroad programs and how to market to and motivate college students to vote.

•Comfortable building networks and coordinating the efforts of multiple stakeholders (i.e. country committees, study abroad organizations, College Democrats, universities, etc.)

•Social Media savvy, interested in finding and reaching Study Abroad students where they naturally communicate online.

•Detail oriented, comfortable with online research and spreadsheets.

•Past or present Study Abroad participants who have insight into reaching their peers.

If you are interested in joining the Study Abroad Team, apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEMpoh_aUVMMDkRQ9NeCdcpt9YWngrQYvretEK_o1HbU1-7A/viewform

If you have any questions about the Study Abroad Team, please email me at Becky.LeachSeymour@democrats.ch

We have a lot of work to do to be ready for the 2018 elections, but we’re excited to hit the ground running!

  Best wishes,

Becky Leach-Seymour

Study Abroad Team Lead

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VFA usage over the weekend (Sat-Mon) by country

Below are the stats for VFA usage over the weekend (Sat-Mon) by country. This includes both people that joined/already member of DA and ones that did not join. Hopefully many, many more learned about VFA and will use it soon. I’d like to point out the in Munich we registered/requested ballots for 22 people after our march. We had a 2 tablets along with a portable WIFI printer that we used. We printed the ballot request, provided envelops and stamps, and pointed them to the post box right outside the restaurant door. This was a pilot of the tablet and printer (~€300 for the pair) that we were trying out in Munich and Berlin before buying for other chapters. It worked well. If you are interested in what equipment we used, check with Hilary Bown – dag-vicechair@democratsabroad.org.

  Country VFA Registrations

  Germany 41

United Kingdom 38

China 34

Canada 21

Australia 16

Ecuador 13

France 9

Greece 8

Mexico 8

Switzerland 8

Spain 7

Czech Republic 6

Italy 6

Sweden 6

United States 5

Brazil 4

Austria 3

Japan 3

Luxembourg 3

Netherlands 3

United Arab Emirates 3

Hong Kong 2

Belgium 1

Denmark 1

Guatemala 1

Norway 1

New Zealand 1

Panama 1

Taiwan 1

Tanzania 1

TOTAL 255

Shari Temple DA Global IT Team Chair

DA Germany Voting Representative

shari_temple@democratsabroad.org

+49-8161-232-154 (Germany)

+49-151-212-00115 (Germany - mobile)

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AMERICAS REGIONAL MEETING : Friday, January 26th, 2018

Friend --

The Americas Regional Meeting is days away! The agenda offers a hands-on learning experience with ample time for the exchange of ideas and discussion with other members in the region. If you're not going to be there in person, all the presentations and discussions are available live via WebEx. We urge you to sign up. There is a $15 donation requested for you to participate. Payment can be made via PayPal using the email: DemocratsAbroadCostaRica@gmail.com. It is not necessary to have a PayPal account to make a payment. All credit cards are accepted. WebEx credentials will be sent to you upon receipt of payment.

AMERICAS REGIONAL MEETING Friday, January 26th, 2018

8:00 - 9:00 am

  •Opening Remarks – RVC Jody Quinnell

•Sandra Piszk – Official Welcome from Costa Rica Government

•Global Chair Julia Bryan

•Vice-Chair – Alex Montgomery

•Kathy Rothschild - DACR Welcome

9:00 - 10:00 am

Country Introductions – PPP presented by each Country Chair

10:00 - 10:30 am By-laws introduction by Sam Stone Americas Counsel

11:00 - 11:50 am Membership – the ins and outs of Nation Builder by Rex Ageton IT

11:50 -12:05 pm Global Treasurer introduction by Lissette Wright

12:05 - 12:55 pm Using WebEx for Fundraising and other ideas by Steve Nardi

 1:00 - 2:30 pm Ana Gabriela Zuniga Aponte Presidential Minister speaking about LGBT and indigenous rights

2:30 - 3:30 pm Using Social Media – Presenter TBA

3:30- 4:00 pm Caucus Introductions - PPP presented by a designated member

4:00 - 5:00 pm DNC Update & the relationship between DA& DNC by Ken Sherman

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

9:00 - 9:45 am Keynote Address on leadership -Harry Strachan

9:45 - 10:30 am GOTV Planning – presentation & discussion

11:00 - 12:00 pm Phone Banking Training and discussion

12:00 - 1:00 pm Voter Registration Training - Kathy Rothschild

2:00 - 3:00 pm Roundtable on Registration issues, i.e. mailing systems, etc.

3:00- 3:15 pm Closing remarks

We look forward to you joining us you online.

Jody Quinnell RVC Americas

Kathy Rothschild Deputy RVC Americas

Democrats Abroad

http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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Non-partisan Voter Registration Antigua

We will assist all US voters in registering to vote and completing their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) for the upcoming USA elections.

 The FPCA is required to receive an overseas absentee ballot.

 You should complete a new FPCA every year!

This event, hosted by Democrats Abroad Guatemala, is open to all US voters – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all others.

Registration will take place at Enlaces 6a Avenida Norte No. 1 La Antigua Guatemala

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

27 January

17 February

10 March

Watch for additional dates in Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala City and other locations

For more information, contact Kee Kalwara at keekalwara@gmail.com

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The Americas Regional Meeting is days away!

 

The agenda offers a hands-on learning experience with ample time for the exchange of ideas and discussion with other members in the region. If you're not going to be there in person, all the presentations and discussions are available live via WebEx. We urge you to sign up. There is a $15 donation requested for you to participate. Payment can be made via PayPal using the email: DemocratsAbroadCostaRica@gmail.com. It is not necessary to have a PayPal account to make a payment. All credit cards are accepted. WebEx credentials will be sent to you upon receipt of payment.

AMERICAS REGIONAL MEETING

Friday, January 26th, 2018 8:00 - 9:00 am •Opening Remarks – RVC Jody Quinnell •Sandra Piszk – Official Welcome from Costa Rica Government •Global Chair Julia Bryan •Vice-Chair – Alex Montgomery •Kathy Rothschild - DACR

Welcome 9:00 - 10:00 am

Country Introductions – PPP presented by each Country Chair 10:00 - 10:30 am

By-laws introduction by Sam Stone Americas Counsel 11:00 - 11:50 am

 Membership – the ins and outs of Nation Builder by Rex Ageton IT 11:50 -12:05 pm

 Global Treasurer introduction by Lissette Wright 12:05 - 12:55 pm

Using WebEx for Fundraising and other ideas by Steve Nardi 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Ana Gabriela Zuniga Aponte Presidential Minister speaking about LGBT and indigenous rights 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Using Social Media – Presenter TBA 3:30- 4:00 pm

Caucus Introductions - PPP presented by a designated member 4:00 - 5:00 pm

DNC Update & the relationship between DA& DNC by Ken Sherman Saturday, January 27th, 2018 9:00 - 9:45 am

Keynote Address on leadership -Harry Strachan 9:45 - 10:30 am

GOTV Planning – presentation & discussion 11:00 - 12:00 pm

Phone Banking Training and discussion 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Voter Registration Training - Kathy Rothschild 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Roundtable on Registration issues, i.e. mailing systems, etc. 3:00- 3:15 pm

Closing remarks

We look forward to you joining us you online.

Jody Quinnell RVC Americas

Kathy Rothschild Deputy RVC Americas

Democrats Abroad

http://www.democratsabroad.org/


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ExCom Meeting Minutes: January 10, 2018

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Dave’s & Kee’s house/Via Skype

Attendance: In person: John Chudy, Chair; Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/Membership/Fundraising Coordinator; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Dave Evans, Member at Large, Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; via Skype: Mary Reynolds, Media Contact; Hyungjoon Jin   

Call to Order - 5:35 pm

The agenda and minutes of the previous EXCOM minutes were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:

Our Net Worth stands at Q1,425.40 of which Q310 is a credit at the Revue. This large increase over our previous report includes the sale of hats (Q800) and the first contributions to our Fund Drive (Q400). Also it reflects the Q500 deposit to Casa Belen for our Policy Retreat. The report was accepted unanimously.

Events for 2018:

Film Series:

Once again we discussed the venue and timing of the movies shown so far. It was agreed that Friday is not a good time to show the films as attendance has been low. Kee pointed out that members like the idea of seeing films at CCC and would come if they weren’t shown on Friday. Mary Lou will check on the availability of another evening. If there is no other evening available the films can be shown at Dave Evans’ house.

We will be showing the film ‘LBJ’ in March. The venue and date will be determined.

Fundraisers:

The DAGT online fundraiser was launched on January 2. Thus far we have 6 donations. Kee has set up a spreadsheet to keep track of donations.

We discussed the timing of the fundraiser. Perhaps the response would be better if it took place in July. However we need funds now to pay for our upcoming voter registration events. Dave suggested that people would be more willing to contribute money if they understood why we need it: what we do with it. He suggested someone in DA could appear in a video which would be a great way to express the passion we all feel for getting the vote out in upcoming elections.

The Women’s Caucus calendars are here and are being offered as a prize for contributions of $25 or more to DAGT. More ‘Imbecil’ caps have been ordered and are also offered as prizes for contributions. The caps will also be on sale at DAGT events for Q80.

Voter Registration Events:

Three events are planned for Antigua: January 27, February 17 and March 10. These will all take place at Enlaces.

Hopefully there will be events in Panajachel and Santiago. Hyung will be coordinating events at schools in Guatemala City. Hopefully someone can collect and mail the ballots completed there. He also suggested another event be held for voters not connected to any schools. Sophos was suggested.

DAGT Policy Retreat:

This event will take place on Saturday, January 20 from 9am to 4pm at Casa de Retiros Posada de Belen located on Calle del Hermano Pedro Plazuela Belen. The cost will be Q85 with lunch or Q75 without lunch. John will call the Hermanas Bethalmitas giving a headcount by Monday, January 15.

Kee will facilitate the event. Tom will collect money. An easel will be provided by Mary Lou. John will provide the paper.

The presentations will each consist of a 5-10 minute presentation with no questions. These will be followed by a discussion for 40-45 minutes. The topics and presenters so far include: Tax Cuts in the US Economy, John; Women’s Issues, Sue Patterson; Achieving Universal Health Care, John; The Democratic Party-How to Win Elections, Immigration Reform, Russia and US Elections, Democratic Socialism, Hyung.

Other Items:

DAGT Membership:

We had 13 members with LVD of 2014 or older. John has updated most of them and deleted four. There will be no need for members to make the annual calls to verify membership.

Americas Regional Meeting:

The meeting will take place in Costa Rica on January 26-28. John, Letty and Anne Thornton will be attending. Members can join by Webex.

Books:

Mary Lou will be making copies of a book entitled Democracy to Dictatorship and distribute them to members. She felt it should be required reading for anyone who is disturbed by the similarities between Hitlerism and Trumpism.

Dave expressed interest in a book discussion/book club. He is enthusiastic about a book by Richard Clark: Enemies Within.

The next meeting: Dave’s and Kee’s house at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, February 7. This meeting is open to all members.

Travel Notes: John and Letty will be gone from January 25 to 28; Dave will be away January 29 through March 2.

Adjourned: 7:09 pm.


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Anti-Inaugural Policy Retreat Tomorrow

We hope you will attend our Anti-Inaugural policy retreat tomorrow at Casa de Retiros Posada Belén, Calle del Hermano Pedro Plazuela Belén, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

 Lunch will be provided on the premises prepared by Hermanas Bethalmitas for Q85 per person for those who signed up early. Lunch will be served at 1:00pm.

If you didn’t sign up early and prefer to get lunch off-premises, we suggest a contribution of Q40 to help us defray the cost of the renting the facility.

This link will help you locate Posada Belén in Antigua: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/''/casa+de+retiros+posada+bel%C3%A9n+antigua+guatemala/@14.5542955,-90.7279917,17z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x85890e6e3ff96c89:0x68a993d3a49c8b44!2m2!1d-90.7283109!2d14.5513099

The following issues and presenters have been identified for the day’s agenda:

9:00 am to 9:55 am - Tax Cuts and the US Economy – John Chudy, presenter

10:00am to 10:55am - Women’s Issues – Sue Patterson, presenter

11:00am to 11:55am - Democratic Socialism- Hyungjoon Jin and Dave Evans, presenters

12:00 noon to 12:55pm - Achieving Universal Health Care – John Chudy,presenter

1:00pm to 1:55pm – Lunch

2:00pm to 2:55pm - The Democratic Party Today - John Chudy, presenter

3:00pm to 3:55pm -Immigration Reform: A New Social Contract – John Chudy

4:00pm to 4:55pm Key 2018 House and Senate Races – John Chudy (time permitting)

We’ll have coffee available for free, and we will have Lo Siento por el Imbécil caps for sale at Q80 each and 2018 Women’s Caucus calendars for sale at Q100 each.

We look forward to your participation tomorrow and at the polls in 2018 so we can make this mid-term election year a Democratic wave.

Thank you

DA Guatemala

http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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