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A Few Observations on the Speaker Vote

A Few Observations on the Speaker Vote

It took 15 ballots for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to achieve his life’s ambition – to become Speaker of the House of Representatives.  If media reports are accurate, it is the second-highest number of ballots in American history – second only to the two-month-long 133 ballots in 1856.

The predominant media narrative was that it was “chaotic.”  Others used words like “disaster,” … “dysfunctional,” … “embarrassing.”  Democrats on the other side of the aisle used the occasion to malign the GOP as a party in “disarray.”  They predicted that nothing could get done because Republicans were incapable of governing.  

Because of the difficulty in securing the Speaker’s chair, many predicted that McCarthy would be a weak Speaker – some even saying the weakest in American history. (Is that necessarily bad?)

In the broadest of brush strokes, Democrats and their media cronies described the prolonged process as a failure of democracy. They lamented that a relatively small group of legislators could prevent a first-round victory for McCarthy.  They called it hostage taking … and even another insurrection.

Despite all the hyperbolic Draconian warnings, I not only believe that the prolonged process to elect a speaker will NOT have any impact on the conduct of the legislative process going forward.  For sure, the late-night voting was dramatic – and movie-style cliffhanger.  When folks talk about the elections of House Speakers, this one will be notable – but how often do we speak about past House Speaker elections?  That is about how often we will speak about this one.  It is one of those tempests in a teapot.

The Face of Autocracy

The person who best personified the idea that the 20 holdout Republicans were anti-democratic was “Morning Joe” professor/panelist Eddie Glaude.  He found it inconceivable that a small group of legislators could hold up the work of Congress by not giving their votes to the establishment’s anointed one.  They are operating as authoritarians, he proclaimed.

Glaude argued that what we witnessed was an assault on the American democracy.  Of course, Glaude is a left-wing autocrat – as are most hardcore left-wingers.  He favors consolidating power in a federal government run by and elite (left-wing) establishment.  He admires the “strong leadership” of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the lockstep dogmatic votes of the Democrat House Caucus.  That is what he calls “democracy”.

Glaude is not alone in his view.  That was the narrative all over the left-wing media echo chamber.  Submission to powerful leadership is democracy and expression of opposition is autocracy. If you find Glaude’s ass-backwards logic compelling, your DNA is missing its democracy gene. 

The Face of Democracy

Every American should be thankful for whatever concessions the 20 holdouts gained.  America will be better for it.  Weakening the Speaker’s power is a good thing.  The reforms they got are mostly good democratic principles – such as allowing amendments to bills on the floor … preventing the Speaker from unilaterally preventing legislation from being voted on … diversity of political opinions on the most important committees … having the budget voted on by category instead of one humongous so-called “omnibus” bill … and that bills cannot be voted in less than 72 hours after they are given to the members, allowing time to read them … congressional oversight of intelligence and law enforcement functions (and other agencies).

One issue that the left claims will cripple McCarthy’s leadership is the provision that one member can move to “vacate the chair” – and if passed, the Speaker can be removed.  It would still require a vote of the entire House to remove the speaker — and it only changes the number from 3 to 1 member compelling a vote.

What the holdouts were asking for was a return to “regular order—for the house to operate in a more democratic fashion as it was intended to do by the Founders.  That was the way it worked for most of American history – until the political left (Democrats and Republicans) eroded the democratic features in favor of a concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands.

McCarthy Deserves the Job 90 percent of Republican Members Support Him

By way of disclosure, those who have read my past commentaries know that I was opposed to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s elevation to speaker.  I opined that he lacked charisma and strategic skills to be effective in that role.  Any doubt of his ineffectiveness should be dismissed by the situation in which he found himself – need 15 ballots.  But that is a moot point now.  He is the Speaker.

And as far as the claim that he had 90 percent of the vote needed to be elected Speaker, the truth is that ALL members vote – and McCarthy had only 46 percent of the necessary vote in the initial ballots.  

And that raises an interesting point.  We all heard the hyperbolic claims that the lack of an operating Congress is a disaster.  It undermines our nation’s security.  It fails to serve the critical needs of the people. Oh … the calamity of it all.  If it was the disaster and eminent danger for the nation, why didn’t democrats end it – save the nation from their alarm?  Just one Democrat – fearing for the fate of the Republic – could have crossed over and ended the problem.  But noooo.  They preferred to let their described threat to America continue unabated – because they either put party ahead of the nation or they knew their clams were nothing by bovine byproduct.

A More Chaotic House

Democrats maybe be correct that things may not operate as smoothly as they have in the past when all the power rested in the dear leader.  We see examples of well-oiled legislative machinery in other nations.  There is no disruption or chaos in the legislatures of … Russia … China … North Korea …Iran. … Cuba.  Those are the models the American left seems to prefer – strong leadership and compliant members.  That is not the model small-d democrats (conservatives) prefer.     

The prolonged election of the Speaker was not a crisis.  It was not a disaster.   And if it was chaos … it was good chaos (to paraphrase the late Congressman John Lewis).

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. mike

    It took what 17 votes to pick a speaker and the left has a melt down. It takes what 3 or 4 weeks to count ballots and the left doesn’t think at it’s out of line as long as the cunt goes there way.

    • Sam

      It helps the cheating

      • Frank stetson

        Why? You still can’t find it. Why wait. Oh, I know, will give you extra time to find the cheating because you’re so incredibly stupid. Especially you.. Bricks laugh at you.

        • pcwalt

          (Sigh.) There is plenty of video of people with stacks of ballots taking pictures of the ballots just before depositing them into the drop boxes in states which do not allow ballot harvesting. And that is just the easiest to see tip-of-the-iceberg proof. There is no one so blind as those who will not see.

          • frank stetson

            Sigh, as much as I want to believe that you found what has never been found, perhaps I would come aboard if you had an actual source? Link? Picture?

            Given Ron DeSantis who manages a state of voter corruption in Florida, came out with the latest allegation which he immediately put into “investigation” of a harvesting scheme in his massive-voter-fraud state of Florida which he apparently manages elections very poorly in, given all that cheating. According to testimony, Florida has massive illegal harvesting since 2014, the witness has videos, testimony, and more. On November 1, 2022, DeSantimonious, the voter-fraud state Governor, widely and loudly announced his investigation of his own state starting September 1, 2022s. Since then, the story has seemingly vanished faster than a migrant seeking asylum on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s seemingly gone, and they had videos too. Supposedly, invisibly apparently, because no one has seen them.

            The previous arrests of 20 florida felony voters by DeSantimonius are churning through the courts, one plea bargained for a no contest, no penalty guilty — a deal they couldn’t pass up. Three have been thrown out of court. It is expected most, if not all, the remaining 16 will either be tossed or never make it to trial. It was a bogus arrest where the State said you could vote, and then arrested them when they did. He manages one dirty state when it comes to voting.

            So you might see where one might ask for sources, links, pictures, something?

            Only five states do not allow harvesting, or more correctly, third party voting so “plenty” is and interesting word. They represent 9% of the total vote so pretty hard to be “wide spread” voter fraud.

            There are 28 states with restrictions, meaning they do allow but with restrictions, perhaps it’s one of those states, but hard to say without seeing whether legal or not. If you take a picture in those states, you may be snapping shots of legal voting which makes you kinda creepy if not a full pervert. If it is those states, and it probably is, most certainly a source is needed since these pics could be of legal actions.

            There are 17 states without restrictions so, of course, those photos would be bogus.

            Of course, there is no proof, here’s my link:

            Can’t wait to see your stuff since it will be GROUNDBREAKING news.

          • pcwalt

            Here is a quote from the Reuters “fact check” concerning video of ballot stuffing videos of Arizona drop boxes:
            “According to Arizona law, a family member, household member or caregiver can legally drop off a ballot on behalf of another voter (here).” And this is *proof* that video of people depositing DOZENS of ballots is legit. (Really. Does anybody believe that is serious?)

          • pcwalt

            addendum: And if the ones dropping off the ballots were “a family member, household member or caregiver”, what was the point of taking a picture of the ballots at the drop box before depositing them?

          • frank stetson

            Pcwalt; you took a out-of-context quote to prove your point, badly, and inaccurately too. The real quote, from your story, was: “Megan Gilbertson, communications director at the Maricopa County Elections Department, confirmed via email that the videos were taken at a Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center.

            A live video feed of the same drop box in Phoenix that was the focus of the social media claims can be found on the Maricopa County Elections Department website by selecting the Phoenix Drop Box feed (here).

            The videos, however, do not show incriminating activity.

            According to Arizona law, a family member, household member or caregiver can legally drop off a ballot on behalf of another voter (here).

            Gilbertson added that, “There is no statutory provision that limits the number of ballots someone can return.”

            Sorry, there was no widespread illegal voter harvesting in AZ in the 2022 midterms.


          • pcwalt

            HOOOO boy! Show how the quote does not mean exactly what it says. You found the source, exactly as I intended. You apparently don’t understand the context. They make assertions, which are blatantly failure to “see” what the videos show. If you think you “BUSTED” me, there is no point in me continuing such “dialogue”.

          • Frank stetson

            The quote specifies that it is legal to perform third party voting in Arizona which is shown on the video’s. The quote says there was no incriminating activity. The quote says it was legal activity.

            I’m not sure how you can see anything else. Thanks bro. But rhis type of third party voting is allowed in AZ so why shouldn’t you see videos?

  2. Rick

    Kevin McCarthy is a member of the world economic forum. You know, the organization that says “You will own nothing and be happy”, and that you will eat bugs and franenmeat grown in laboratory petri dishes. McCarthy kisses the brown spot of Klaus Schwab’s butt crack. He was the chosen one of the nwo to be the next speaker, and therefore it was so. The current ruler of this world is satan. Everything is upside down. Good is considered bad, and boys think they are girls and vise versa. Liberals get their information from the nwo owned mainstream news, so they think everything is normal. It is a sick world and getting sicker by the day. The evil does not sleep, so even while we are sleeping, they are devising ways to destroy.

    • frank stetson

      And Rick, what if you are just bat shit crazy?
      Nine out of ten agree.
      What’s in your cult’s wallet?

      On a serious note: Freudian slips?

      “some even saying the weakest in American history. (Is that necessarily bad?)”
      Only if you are into not getting things done. A top priority of the speaker is getting things done. Their “doings” are legislative, budget, and oversight including impeachment. To do any of these things, the speaker must know the vote count. McCarthy obviously is very bad at that. Terrible at a legendary level. Proven. Thus, one can easily imagine not much getting done in the order of legislation, budget and oversight. IE —- lots of investigations, little legislation, and a lot of stump speeches over the budget items. And bipartisan? He is at war with the other side, good luck with that.

      “Despite all the hyperbolic Draconian warnings, I not only believe that the prolonged process to elect a speaker will NOT have any impact on the conduct of the legislative process going forward.” It already has. We lost the first five days, and the following week was not stelar as Santos seems the issue of the day, at least he’s bipartisan, everyone except McCarthy hates him. The previous regime, as much as you hate it, was productive. You may not like the products, like infrastructure, but nonetheless, things got done. Big things.

      “Every American should be thankful for whatever concessions the 20 holdouts gained. America will be better for it.” I am one American who says, yes, speaker transparency is good and I applaud Kevin’s weakness for allowing them, but there are a number of concessions in here that are bad, very bad, and don’t make things more transparent. Quite the opposite. The single member vote-of-no-confidence rule could lead to massive obstruction and little gain. Sure, you still need a House vote, but gee —- we just went through 15 on a no-brainer ceremonial vote, how many more when anyone who is pissed off can start the process. Wonder if Santos will pull one? I mean if this is the bitch fit they toss for their own speaker, what’s the debt ceiling perfunctory vote gonna be like: Armageddon. To that point, the concession gauntlet is already tossed: Debt ceiling increase MUST have equivalent spending cuts is now a MANDATE, a forced coercive action, a knee jerkism, and that is not speaker transparency. Sounds nice but do we really want to dump our economy while we dick around with the budget while stiffing existing creditors left hanging in the balance? Imagine going to your landlord saying: hey man, I can’t pay you the rent until I lower my spending, sorry. What can go wrong with that lack of thinking?

      There’s also a virtual lock to cut defense based on the rules, is that transparency? No. There’s more but, yes, transparency is good; this rules package has a lot of bad too.

      Was the chaos bad? I found it highly entertaining to watch Repub after Repub give their stump speech. And watching the guy lunge at Goatz will never get old, what was that hand across the mouth and how much bleach did he gargle with after that? Pelosi’s fixation on vote counting, only bringing votes that can be completed tot the floor, sure seems like a more efficient and effective model than Kevin’s chaos convention. And you can pretend Kevin’s chaos corner was democracy in action, but it was really cable news staging for politicians seeking airtime. I feel we are going to see more and more stump speeches, looking for soundbites on cable news, and less and less legislation aimed at helping American citizens.

      Time will tell but I harken to the words of Sweet Lorraine: Would you like to take this magic potion with me. On a trip to a cosmic playground far beyond. She understands, she’s been before. It’s in her hands to find the door. Sweet Lorraine, let the party carry on. You and I can feel the breeze.

      I think we are about to feel a lot of “breeze.”

    • Tom

      Man your knickers are wound tight. How much Imodium do you gobble weekly buddy?

      • frank stetson

        never have taken it, but I did buy some once. how about you and how does that affect the topic?

  3. Tom

    I did not see the chaos as bad. I am tired of omnibus budgets, bills that we have to pass to see what’s in them, late night votes, etc. These are all tools of deceit. Frank thinks that a weak speaker will lead to nothing getting done. I do not see it that way. As an Independent / unaffiliated voter, I see it that a weak speaker may cause such a speaker to have to reach out to the other side of the aisle to get bills passed. SO I am hopeful this 118th Congress will get needed bills passed for We The People. Frank asks, “we really want to dump our economy while we dick around with the budget while stiffing existing creditors left hanging in the balance?” My answer is simply that I am tired of this same old threat every time the budget comes up. Debt ceiling is a big issue, and from my perspective, I do not want to keep passing on more and more debt ceiling to my child and grandchildren. There is much wasteful spending in D.C. Maybe with a weak speaker both sides can come together and make some concessions so as not to raise the ceiling yet still fund the government. So if it takes multiple CRs until both sides agree to lower debt, I am all for it. It became very obvious to me why the budget was passed and why Mitch McConnell voted for it and urged GOP to vote for it. His 1.7 billion dollar bridge that he could never seem to get repaired over 10-20 years was neatly packed away in the budget! Maybe this will stop when we have 12 funding bills, or whatever the right number is – I just do not think the right number is 1. As far as getting things done, I will sit back and observe for a while before I label this 118 Congress and its Speaker as ineffective. Sometimes ineffective has positive unintended side effects.

    • Tom

      And by the way, if Dems want to discuss “sticking creditors” maybe they should start the discussions with all of the landlords they stuck during the pandemic. 66% of small landlords having one or two rental properties, and some larger landlords, lost their properties and incomes. Dems seemed very willing to stick it to landlords who in turn could not pay their creditors. Just sayin….

      • frank stetson

        Wasn’t this done during the error, sorry, era of Trump?

        I think so.

        • Rick

          frank, you are a leftest communist. I don’t trust Trump either, but the democrats are blatantly in your face
          anti-American. You must not have any offspring that you care about. Just sayin commie!

        • Tom

          The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 116th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020, in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Yes it was started with the CARES Act passed by the Democratic held legislature and tied Senate in March of 2020. Then Biden extended it for much more than ever intended until July 2021.

          • Sam

            Frank you back a party of lying crooks and communists. Your character sucks. You know what they say. Birds of a feather. So assuming that the dream of destroying our republic is somehow realized. Where would you fit in other than being a subject. Believe me when I say that you won’t be a happy camper. If and when those days arrive I would love to see you criticize the government or whomever is in charge. You wouldn’t be heard from again

          • Frank stetson

            Trump’s watch. Were the votes majority or super majority? Try again. Coulda vetoed.

            That’s a lot of weasel words to say; oops, Tom’s mistake.

          • Frank stetson

            Sam, you really don’t make any sense at all

            Since you really have nothing to talk about, as much as I like, providing a convenient target and punching bag for all of your frustrations and faults, I think I will have to stop replying since you really have nothing to say. Nothing at all.

    • frank stetson

      Sorry to be extra voluminous today, I am doing taxes, year end accounting, yearly budgeting, and investment plans for the new year and need a break from the numbers. Freakin IRA plan is complex, damned Democrats incentivizing my 2023 projects, don’t want to end up with a new energy-efficient door to nowhere……. :>)

      “I did not see the chaos as bad. I am tired of omnibus budgets, bills that we have to pass to see what’s in them, late night votes, etc” Not only seeing chaos as good, you seem to conveniently link chaos with an omnibus budget. How odd. I find that chaos is usually chaotic and that, especially in finance, stable is better, stable growth is best.

      “ a weak speaker may cause such a speaker to have to reach out to the other side of the aisle to get bills passed.” And pigs may fly too. How you can foresee McCarthy even looking across the aisle is a mystery to me. I think you are a dreamer, at least based on McCarthy’s words and deeds.

      “Debt ceiling is a big issue, and from my perspective, I do not want to keep passing on more and more debt ceiling to my child and grandchildren.” You can pass debt to your kids, the ceiling is just a ceremonial artifact. The establishment of a debt ceiling has nothing to do with incurring debt, or not. One is basically ceremonial, now with stump speeches to nowhere, the other is the actual management of the US budget and debt. I can tell you the answer: the debt ceiling will be passed. Will they kidnap our debt and hold our creditors hostage to make demands for the future spending of Congress. They will try. But why? If they can’t manage the budget, if they can’t manage the debt, why would you think they can fix anything with a debt ceiling vote? Have never done it yet.
      You cannot tell the landlord you will not pay the freight you signed the lease for just because you have to get your dysfunctional family to decide how much they might spend in the future.

      It’s kind of like saying: well, we signed this mortgage a year ago but we’re going to stop paying because we think our debt is too high and we want to have a better budget tomorrow. Sorry guys, I know we owe, but we need to talk some things over and then maybe we will pay you. Can you just wait for a few votes and we will get back to you. I know, we owe, but we need to discuss our tomorrow,,,,,

      “Maybe with a weak speaker both sides can come together and make some concessions so as not to raise the ceiling yet still fund the government.” The debt ceiling will be raised to cover PAST AND CURRENT expenditures already BOOKED. The choice of the Congress is pay or don’t pay. Anything else is Kabuki theatre, politics. Ultimately we will either pay or default —- there is nothing else in the process. We already owe this money. We already spent this money. And somehow, you believe you can use it as a sledge hammer to change future decisions. It’s nonsensical.

      Look it up: there is no financial or practical reason to even have a debt ceiling.

      “So if it takes multiple CRs until both sides agree to lower debt.” Let’s see you manage your finances this way. Will visit you in jail you scofflaw. From Brookings testimony to Congress”:

      “1. The debt ceiling does not serve any useful purpose. It has not imposed any fiscal discipline on Congress.

      2. We don’t know what would happen to interest rates and the standing of the U.S. if Congress someday failed to raise the debt ceiling, but we do know the effects would be negative. This is not a risk we should take.

      3. Our country faces a lot of long-term economic challenges— high levels of inequality and limited economic mobility, slow productivity growth, climate change, high health care costs, and an unsustainable trajectory for the federal debt. We should address those directly. Bickering over the debt ceiling is a waste of time and energy, creates unnecessary uncertainty, threatens the benefits of issuing the world’s safest asset and undermines public confidence in our political institutions.”
      I know what you mean, it’s a laudatory thought, but your chaos will do nothing to further what you mean: it’s totally nonsensical as are the Republicans if they try this shenanigan again. Gingrich remembers.

      • Tom

        Actually its not a mistake at all. It was a Dem controlled house is all I am saying. And yes, you are right, the Dems could have vetoed the whole thing. I suspect GOP would not have minded.Yes it started under Trump and then was continued way past its intentions under Biden. That’s all. Yes both house votes were in favor. My point is it seems that Dems were very in favor of causing defaults of landlords so what is the problem with holding up on the budget or debt ceiling for a few days until we get it all under control?

        • Frank stetson

          The Cares act was passed almost unanimously by both houses. Trump did not veto. It’s as bipartisan as it gets

          I think your 60% is under 20% and mostly the small guys who werecreplaced by the big guys. Eveyone affected had financial ties to the fed. Either loans or subsidized. Non fed property not affected.

          In New Jersey, in reality, even that didn’t matter. There were plenty of conviction notices filed in the New Jersey no one checks so that anyone that would’ve been saved by this program was not caught, and the infection went forward.

          There was also a discrepancy between locations where the southwest fared much better than the north east, and specifically certain cities were affected more than others.

          Number one, it was a bipartisan affair number two, while it may have affected creditors, such creditors were usually in hock to the federal government for a loan.

          I really don’t see an apples to apples comparison between this and the creditors on the hook from the US. Will be on the fact that it was not the Dems, that your numbers seem to be overly inflated, and it only affected federal finance programs, you may have something here. I just don’t know what it is.

          I think you really have apples and oranges here in terms of creditors. Further, when the United States decides not to pay its bills, that’s a big difference from a landlord, not being able to evict a tenant.

          I suggest that you Google effect of pandemic on landlords. I think you’ll find it illuminating.

  4. Sam

    I said it and meant it. I’m happy to represent it. I’m a poet and don’t know if. I can make a rhyme anytime. You’re still a commie and probably was your mommy. Your hair on your dead head is probably red. So give up the game. We’re not the same.

    • Miles collins

      Happy colored day

    • Tom

      Man you are reading too darn many Dr. Seuss books!!!

      • Miles collins

        I know. If I had written the cat in the hat I would have had the kids find a gun in the house and shoot the cat. And then have them stress how their parents trained them and how they could protect their home from rioters and looters Also how they are well rooted in right wing politics

        • frank stetson

          Or take your parent’s easily accessible gun to school and shoot your teachers, friends, and family. That’s why we need to end abortion, we keep killing everyone else…….

          My God, that never gets old:

          in june, 2-Year-Old Fatally Shoots Father. Oh man that’s freakin funny. Mom’s going to jail too!

          in july, A 6-year-old boy fatally shot his 5-year-old sister in their home in eastern Indiana. The bitch!

          Shoot the cat. This shit just can’t be made up, no one would believe you.
          Made in America.

          Racists, gun runners, what fun.

          • Miles collins

            You spoke of some bad shit. That’s why I keep my guns secure. And mostly on my person. People should take their kids to a range and see that they’re properly trained in safety and gun handling. Kids should also be taught that gun control means hitting what you shoot at

          • Tom

            Frank, the problem is obvious! Guns are safe according to the second amendment folks, so it must be the children that are not safe! So if we stop having children (maybe get the Dems and RINOs to pass an abortion mandate that all women between 10 and 70 if pregnant, must have an abortion by six months) we can clear this whole mess up and keep our guns! I’m sure this is what Miles is thinking. Then when we get to old and in need of help, we can shoot ourselves so we do not increase Medicare costs which will reduce the budget!

  5. Miles collins

    Sounds good to me. Also look at the savings on birthdays and Christmas, And that would keep the little bastards from growing up and becoming democrats

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