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Author Topic: Mandate Upheld!
Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by msquared:
I was poking a bit of fun at him. People almost always tell you about the bets they won but not the bets they lost.

msquared

[DOH]

My bad.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I won $30 on this; I bet a friend specifically that I thought Roberts would be the swing vote in favor of preserving the law.

I didnt think a swing vote would be needed; Kennedy surprised me.
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AI Wessex
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Me, too. BTW, I didn't lose any money on this, so I probably came in second best behind Tom [Wink] .
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cherrypoptart
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I lost a lot of money on this deal, at least a couple of thousand.

Either in the fine/tax (wish they would make up their minds) or by having to buy health insurance.

The only way to win my money back is to have something catastrophic go wrong with my health.

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AI Wessex
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It sounds like you don't have insurance, so if you consider that a loss, I can sort of understand. But imagine if you can that in general everyone won, since insurance is a shared pool of cost AND risk.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
The only way to win my money back is to have something catastrophic go wrong with my health.
IIRC, something always does, sooner or later.

Hopefully you'll live long enough to collect. [Smile]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Either in the fine/tax (wish they would make up their minds) or by having to buy health insurance.
What's your annual income? The vast majority of people, even if they have to buy insurance, won't have to spend a couple thousand.
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AI Wessex
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In theory the premiums will drop as a result of this ruling, but if you're buying insurance today just for yourself or your family it certainly can cost many $,000. Personally, I think it's immoral to not have insurance if you have kids and if you can afford it. How many people have a boat or a summer cabin or an expensive car but don't have health insurance?

I read once a long time ago that in Finland they have a means test to assess a fine for highway infractions like speeding. You have to show your income statements and tax forms and are fined proportionately. We might consider something similar here to determine how much you have to pay for services if you go to a doctor or hospital without bona fide insurance coverage.

[ June 28, 2012, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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cherrypoptart
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I guess I can say my income approaches 50k from tax free muni bonds mostly with some taxable income from cds that I try to keep under my standard deduction so I pretty much pay no federal taxes at all but pay local annual property taxes of about 6k.

So I had brought up before that this may be a backdoor, at least unexpected, tax for some people on what is supposed to be tax free income from muni bonds.

I'm kind of a full time parent with kids who are homeschooled so I may not be as lazy as it sounds, although then again maybe I am. I'm looking into going into real estate since my kids are approaching their teens when they'll be much more self sufficient. I've taken the classes to pass my real estate sales exam and graduated with a degree in logistics and maritime administration from A&M a few months ago so may even be qualified to go straight for a broker license. Then I may look into investing buying properties for taxes or something along those lines as I'm not sure I'm cut out for sales, but I may try that too. Or go into title research as I find that fascinating and would need to be proficient in it as an investor anyway.


Sorry if that's a long story but that's about where I am right now.

--------------------------------------------

In other news I haven't really been as religious as maybe I should be especially for bringing up my kids in a good religion with strong traditions. So this is a good time to look for a new religion and I'm taking suggestions to fill the void. My preference at this time might be for a religious that has an Obamacare exemption. My wife is Buddhist/Shinto. During my request to get married while I was in the Navy, my commanding officer asked me what her religion was and so I asked her to see if she would be okay with other religions and I told him what she told me, that she believes in all the gods.

--------------------------------------------

And now moving on from that, I must say that I do prefer the idea that this is a tax as opposed to a fine. Now it's interesting that President Obama before, during, and now after its passage has been consistent in insisting that this is absolutely not a tax but that is the basis by which Roberts held it to be Constitutional. Be that as it may, I prefer the tax because I'm very hesitant to break the law and as I've said before this tax can be considered as something of an option fee. You pay it while you're healthy and then if you get sick you have paid the option fee required to get health insurance with your now pre-existing condition. Of course as with most options when they don't get exercised you lose the money, but you pay for the privilege of extra flexibility. The key here if it is a tax and not a fine then at no time have you been out of compliance with the law. That's important to some people.

Now it's just a matter of doing the math which is why I provided some numbers. If you are healthy and your health insurance costs more than the option fee then you may be better off dropping your insurance and just paying the tax. If you refuse to do even that then you might look at some different religions. Or looking along the lines of those heading to Canada to escape this socialized healthcare, some people may stand their ground and choose to go to jail rather than give up their freedom.

[ June 28, 2012, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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cherrypoptart
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Texas has a good children's insurance program called CHiPs or something but unfortunately I think I'm right over the limit as far as income.

I'm looking at some insurance policies online, BlueCross BlueShield right now, and when you look at all the exclusions it seems awfully like they are trying to exclude most of the things you are most likely to need.

I was looking for the policy limits but am having trouble finding it. But basically if you have enough cash on hand to cover up to the policy limits then I don't see why you need health insurance. Sometimes there are yearly policy caps too which can be as low as 10,000. They may roll over if unused but that's pretty low. If someone has a policy cap that low maybe that's good for them but for me I wouldn't even see the point, and I certainly wouldn't see why they would be considered more responsible just because they have a health insurance plan than somebody who could afford to pay that out of pocket anyway.

I do have to admit that many of the Obamacare provisions make health insurance a lot less useless than it used to be by removing policy caps and if it got rid of many of the exclusions.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
I've taken the classes to pass my real estate sales exam and graduated with a degree in logistics and maritime administration from A&M a few months ago so may even be qualified to go straight for a broker license.

Oh my gawd!! You're an Aggie?! AND you were in the Navy!?

Bwuaaahhhh!! [Eek!]

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cherrypoptart
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You like that? Cool. Not quite seeing where you are going with that. They have an A&M campus in Galveston that specializes in maritime studies both for business and the environment.
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Greg Davidson
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Roberts was the only one of the 9 who called this a tax.

The size of the tax is actually quite small - I believe that only about 4% of the population is affected, only a small number of people who have enough income to be able to afford health insurance but currently choose not to get covered (waiting for the rest of us to pay their healthcare costs, byt the way)

Roberts also had a 5 vote majority significantly limiting the commerce clause - if that is a position from this point forward it is a radical change of ~130 years of legal precedent and can be used to attack a number of pieces of existing legislation.

I must admit that I got more emotional than I expected, thinking of what this means for my son who is recovering from two herniated disks while he works at jobs that do not provide insurance - he has 22 more months under our healthcare coverage to fully take care of the condition

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cherrypoptart
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It's kind of funny that the only reason this was held as Constitutional is because of the ambiguity over whether it is a tax or a penalty.

Maybe it's a penalty tax.

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Pete at Home
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Sounds like Roberts was the only one to vote on principle rather than politics.
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cherrypoptart
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Would the other justices who approved it have done so if they had considered it a tax?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Sounds like Roberts was the only one to vote on principle rather than politics.
I think Kennedy did, too. And certainly Scalia did.
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Pete at Home
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I will have to read kennedy's opinion.

I am cynical about Scalia's federalist principles since Rausch.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Sounds like Roberts was the only one to vote on principle rather than politics.
I think Kennedy did, too. And certainly Scalia did.
I'm more inclined to agree with Tom, but this is only based on belief rather then any deep study. I don't know how to really ascertain the motivations of public figures.

I can only admit that the cynicism that I extend towards politicians has yet to seep into my views concerning the Supreme Court. Give me more time.

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cherrypoptart
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I think that Roberts must have written his opinion thinking about the safety of his children or grand children. I hope that after this decision was announced they were released unharmed.
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Grant
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I'd rather think that Roberts wrote his opinion based on his belief in consitutional law, rather then on the safety of his children and grand children.

That's what I'd like to believe. That's what I think justices should be doing.

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Greg Davidson
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Roberts may have been the one voting most due to politics rather than his own beliefs. There was some indication that Scalia had the majority position for a period of time during the deliberations (I think there was one reference in Scalia's dissent to the opposition as a minority position), but that Roberts may have changed his position. This argument speculates that Roberts is concerned with the reputation of the Supreme Court, which is at all all-time low (with Citizen's United being a particularly divisive recent case), and he may have seen a 5-4 decision against ACA on what would be seen as solely partisan grounds as being dangerous to the institution of the Court itself.

I am not sure that's why he acted as he did, I am not sure whether it would be good or bad if he acted this way, I am just identifying another hypothesis as to the behavior of the Court that paints Roberts as the most political of the votes.

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Greg Davidson
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Here's an article which lays out the Roberts as politically motivated hypothesis:

link

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Grant
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quote:
Why did he do it? Quite simply, to save the court.
quote:
In the aftermath of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the percentage of Americans who say they have “quite a lot” or a “great deal” of confidence in the Supreme Court has dipped to the mid-30s.
quote:
A 5-4 decision to strike down Obamacare along party lines, whatever its reasoning, would have been received by the general public as yet more proof that the court is merely an extension of the nation’s polarized politics. Add the fact that the legal challenges to the individual mandate were at best novel and at worst frivolous, and suddenly a one-vote takedown of the ACA looks like it might undermine the court’s very legitimacy.
quote:
Roberts wants the institution over which he presides to maintain some remnant of the above-the-fray brand it has created for itself over two centuries.
The above are all quotes from the article by David Franklin on Slate that Greg linked.

I certainly cannot disprove the overall hypothesis. Neither can it be proved, since neither I or Mr. Franklin can read Justice Robert's thoughts.

I sense some weakness in the reasoning behind the formation of the hypothesis, however.

The crux of the argument is:

A. Confidence in the SCOTUS has dropped.
B. A 5-4 decision against the ACA would drop it further.
C. Lack of confidence would weaken the legitimacy of the SCOTUS.
D. Chief Justice Roberts does not want this.

so..

He votes to uphold the ACA.


Right away, this doesn't seem to me to be the kind of reasoning that Judges use, much less a Supreme Court Justice. Maybe I'm naive.

Second, how does public approval weaken the legitimacy of the Supreme Court? How does the legitimacy of the Supreme Court rest on public sentiment? Isn't the whole point of having Justices appointed for life so that they are not swayed by public or political sentiment?

For all intents and purposes, upholding the ACA will only cause MORE public dissapproval for the SCOTUS, since the ACA is still widely unpopular as a whole for the majority of Americans. There is alot to be said about approval concerning different aspects of the law, and the basic level of understanding of what the ACA actually contains that most Americans posses. But that doesn't change the fact that most of them don't like it!

Because of this, the decision by Roberts will only INCREASE the level of public dissapproval of the SCOTUS.

I'm specifically challenging points B & C. First, that public dissapproval would weaken the legitimacy of the SCOTUS. Second, that voting to uphold the ACA would somehow improve overall public perception of the SCOTUS.

The argument is progressive in layout rather then parallel, so challenging both points is not really necessary, but I think that both points are rather weak.

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cherrypoptart
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I haven't heard Mark Levin in a while. It seems like they've taken him off the air in my area or they are just always playing sports in his time slot. But I had to find out what he had to say on this because he's my go to guy for court decisions of this magnitude, and he doesn't disappoint.

I also like him because his show is free and downloadable. I'm only about 30 minutes into it but he is knocking it out of the park in his analysis. I guess anyone could find him and download his audio for June 28 if they are interested.

One point he makes very well is that this penalty/tax duality is necessary to get the law past the anti-injunction act as a penalty and then it transforms into a tax so that it can slip in under the taxing power of Congress. It's at about 16 minutes into his three hour show and he goes into the analysis of Roberts. However, he didn't compare it to the wave-particle duality of light like I just did and which I just patted myself on the back for thinking up.

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AI Wessex
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"I guess I can say my income approaches 50k from tax free muni bonds mostly with some taxable income from cds that I try to keep under my standard deduction so I pretty much pay no federal taxes at all but pay local annual property taxes of about 6k."

At 5%/yr MUNI ROI you've got at least $1M invested and if you're in MUNI funds perhaps as much as $3M. You're stay at home, so presumably your wife is earning a living, so your income s/b higher but you say you pay virtually no taxes, so that's confusing.

I've suddenly lost all sympathy for your sad, sad plight of having to buy health insurance for your family. It's not you who you should be worried about getting sick, it's the two children you've got tucked away at home.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

I've suddenly lost all sympathy for your sad, sad plight of having to buy health insurance for your family. It's not you who you should be worried about getting sick, it's the two children you've got tucked away at home.

Stay-at-home-capitalist-pig-investor-dad polinaise under glass with Aggie roulade.
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AI Wessex
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I said bring me my pistol and three round balls,
Takin' my baby to the doctor and I'm not insured at all,
not insured at all, not at all.

<apologies to Jorma Kaukonen>

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Greg Davidson
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Grant,

I am not sure of the hypothesis, I am just laying out the logic for an alternate perspective.

However, I do suspect that we will get a re-do of some of the polling regarding the Supreme Court, and then we will be able to measure whether the percentage of people who think that the votes are motivated by politics goes up or down from 75% or so.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Because of this, the decision by Roberts will only INCREASE the level of public dissapproval of the SCOTUS.
Grant, I think you are missing one salient point - disapproval of the SCOTUS has recently been linked not with whether people approve of the decisions themselves, but with the fact that in controversial decisions, the court seems to very consistently split on political lines. One group of justices is perceived to be in the pocket of Republicans and vice versa for the Democrats.

That Roberts (a Republican stooge) joined with the Democrat stooges runs against that meme.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Grant, I think you are missing one salient point - disapproval of the SCOTUS has recently been linked not with whether people approve of the decisions themselves, but with the fact that in controversial decisions, the court seems to very consistently split on political lines. One group of justices is perceived to be in the pocket of Republicans and vice versa for the Democrats.

That Roberts (a Republican stooge) joined with the Democrat stooges runs against that meme.

Don, I think that is a good point. But I am dubious.

Ask yourself: Do you really think that all those people that are upset at the SCOTUS are upset because the Justices are voting along party lines?

When the court voted along party lines during the whole Citizens United thing, were the Republicans angry afterwards? Because the court voted along political lines?

Are the Republicans upset now after this latest ruling? According to the premis, they should not be upset, because Roberts voted against the party grain. But if you turn to Fox News, they seem to be upset and somewhat displeased by Roberts.

I think the premis that people are upset because the court is voting along party lines is a sham. People are really upset when the court makes a decision they do not like. If the court rules in their favor, they don't care if it was on party lines or not.

I'm delving deeper into the pool however, without floaties. If you have seen studies that prove the link, then I may be wrong. I'm just utilizing my reasoning and observation. I have nothing solid.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:

However, I do suspect that we will get a re-do of some of the polling regarding the Supreme Court, and then we will be able to measure whether the percentage of people who think that the votes are motivated by politics goes up or down from 75% or so.

[Smile] I think that's clever, Greg. Since obviously in the latest decision, the court DID NOT vote along party lines.

I'm not sure if that number however, correlates to overall "confidence" or "approval" of the SCOTUS, as Mr. Franklin states.

I'm still not sure if any of that has anything to do with the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. There is in fact no way in the constitution for either the executive or legislative branch of the government to challenge the legitimacy of the decisions passed by the judicial branch. I don't think there is a way for the voters to challenge it either.

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DonaldD
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I think you are conflating "upset" with "disapproval", Grant.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
I think you are conflating "upset" with "disapproval", Grant.

I am. In the psychological sense that people usually disapprove of things that make them upset.
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DonaldD
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disapproval with the court is not the same thing as being upset with a court decision...
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
disapproval with the court is not the same thing as being upset with a court decision...

LOL

That's true. But do you deny any correlation or causation?

Is it possible that some, or even the majority, of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court because they are upset with certain court decisions?

It is possible for someone to disapprove of the Supreme Court because they are simply upset at a ruling?

What about Presidential or Congressional approval numbers? Do you believe that disapproval usually has nothing to do with being upset with something that congress or the president has done?

If you dissapprove of something that the President, or Congress, or the Supreme Court does, should you not be upset? [Smile]

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Grant
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If it helps, it appears that Charles Krauthammer agrees with Mr. Franklin.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-why-roberts-did-it/2012/06/28/gJQA4X0g9V_story.html

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DonaldD
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For several hundred years, people have been disagreeing with (and getting upset over) court decisions but so long as they perceived that the process was mostly apolitical, this did not translate into disapproval with the court itself (certainly not long term).

One would expect that all those cases in the past should have had the same effect as recent cases – but they did not.

We are now in a time where the court's approval rating is at its lowest level ever: one theory is that it has to do with the politicization of the court's decisions. This is borne out by some polling, but is obviously not proven causally. Heck, it's also possible that perceived political decisions have had such an adverse effect on the court's approval only because the populace is now more negatively partisan than ever before. It's likely a combination of the two, in practice.

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hobsen
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Karl Rove's comment: "... it's a boost for the President... But it probably enhances the controversy."
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AI Wessex
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My thought exactly.
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