Bob Kolker

Brown! Brown! Brown! 52 to 47!

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Most importantly - Obamacare died yesterday. the worst piece of legislation in my adult life was stabbed in the heart at the 11th hour. For this, I'll be forever grateful to Scott Brown.

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Most importantly - Obamacare died yesterday. the worst piece of legislation in my adult life was stabbed in the heart at the 11th hour. For this, I'll be forever grateful to Scott Brown.

Please note that the Republicans are a minority in both houses. Don't be so quick to come to this conclusion. Hang on and see what happens. Surprises are always possible, both the pleasant kind and the unpleasant kind.

Bob Kolker

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[photo of Daniel Chester French Minuteman sculpture at the North Bridge in Concord]

(A Minuteman in Concord, MA.)

Here's a link to a quality image of a painting of the clash at Lexington.

Even Kennedy's home town Hyannis Port voted for Brown:

Pundit & Pundette

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown even won Hyannis Port

Remarkable, no?

How big a win was it last night for Scott Brown? The Kennedy compound is in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, which is actually part of the town of Barnstable on Cape Cod. Scott Brown won in nine out of nine precincts in the town of Barnstable and carried the town overall by a margin of 12,331 to 7,543, or 61% to 37%, according to the town election results (pdf). Senator Kennedy's neighbors, in other words, voted for Scott Brown by a wide margin.

Full article

Boston Globe

Rebellious air sweeps even Kennedy turf

photo - Richard and Joan Murphy voted at a Hyannis community center partly funded by federal dollars secured by the late senator. (Vincent Dewitt for The Boston Globe)

By Jenna Russell

Globe Staff / January 20, 2010

HYANNIS PORT - In this quiet seaside village where his family was rooted, Senator Edward M. Kennedy was a familiar figure, known by many residents as a friend and neighbor. But yesterday, Ted Kennedy’s hometown did not look or sound like a place deeply attached to the senator’s liberal legacy, with blue-and-red Scott Brown signs propped in shop windows and driveways, and many voters voicing an appetite for change.

“I’m voting for the opposite of Kennedy, because they’ve been there long enough,’’ Hyannis voter Bernice Latham said. “Maybe we’ll have a say, for a change.’’

Full article

But Lexington and Concord are occupied territory. Both overwhelmingly voted against Brown.

Concord, Carlisle elect Coakley, but Brown wins the seat

Tue Jan 19, 2010, 07:53 PM EST

Concord -

In Concord, 72 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election, and 5,445 of the 8,782 who voted supported Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.

Despite local support for Coakley, Republican candidate Scott Brown will head to Washington, D.C., as Massachusetts' newest U.S. senator. Brown received 3,272 votes in town.

Liberty Party candidate Joseph L. Kennedy received 52 votes in Concord.

Full article

Lexington backs Coakley; commonwealth goes for Brown

By Emily Costello/Staff Writer

Tue Jan 19, 2010, 10:13 PM EST

Lexington -

A whopping 68 percent of Lexington’s voters turned out in the snow to vote in Tuesday’s Special Election.

Town voters overwhelmingly backed the Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley, giving her 9,378 votes to 4,955 for State Senator Scott Brown.

Lexington’s voters were bucking the trend, as Brown, in a major upset, took the election by a margin of approximately 6 percent, according to unofficial returns late Tuesday evening.

Joseph L. Kennedy, an independent Libertarian, got 85 votes in Lexington.

Full article

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Most importantly - Obamacare died yesterday. the worst piece of legislation in my adult life was stabbed in the heart at the 11th hour. For this, I'll be forever grateful to Scott Brown.

Please note that the Republicans are a minority in both houses. Don't be so quick to come to this conclusion. Hang on and see what happens. Surprises are always possible, both the pleasant kind and the unpleasant kind.

When Obama started the assault on health care the Democrats didn't yet have a partisan supermajority in the Senate so in terms of votes in Congress they haven't lost anything relative to what they started with, including the presence of Republican "moderates" like Snowe and Collins. What has changed is the popular revolt across the country, illustrated in spades by the upset of the Kennedy machine in Massachusetts.

But Bob is still right. Obama and his cohorts have demonstrated that they want a government takeover of health care so badly that they are willing to employ even kamikazi tactics, with some of them willing to sacrifice their current positions in government and the size of the Democrat majority in the next election. They will do anything short of risking an outright revolt that would bring them down immediately by just enough Democrats defecting.

If the House goes along with the Senate bill by a simple majority in the House then no further vote in the Senate is required and Sen. Brow's vote is irrelevant. If the House makes changes, they must be voted on in the Senate. One strategy is to regain the supermajority by buying off the likes of Republican Senators like Snowe and Collins with pragmatic "compromises". Another is to split the bill into pieces so that "reconciliation" can be used with a simple majority in the Senate to maneuver final passage.

Neither of the current House or Senate bills is fully what the progressives want; it is only as much as they thought they could get away with now. Their strategy is to entrench legal precedents that will destroy the private health care industry through regulatory and financial strangulation and provide a platform on which to impose a full government takeover later-- as the public screams for government help in a collapsing private system blamed on capitalism. There is a lot of room for further "compromises" that would still do that, even though there is dissension amongst Democrats over what changes should or should not be made. If they come together on the strategy of piecemeal destruction rather than insisting on getting as much as they wanted now, then they will keep going. Obama is still threatening to pass some kind of "reform" "this year". Any kind of surprises are possible.

Meanwhile, don't lose sight of the fact that within Congress where the votes and deals take place the opposition is only Republicans. Whatever happens to the current Senate bill, there will be a continued progression of piecemeal, incremental changes making things worse. What the Obama administration doesn't get through new legislation it imposes through administrative regulatory changes and court battles, as they are doing with the EPA for the "greenhouse gas" agenda and on many other fronts. Obama runs the government with or without new legislation.

There has been the usual reaction nationwide to a sudden lurch towards more statism under Obama and the progressives. An unknown, Scott Brown, heroically came out of nowhere and despite the experts led a revolt against the Democrat machine in Massachusetts and Washington. But opposition to statist abuse is not enough if you are not for freedom. We continue to lurch our way downward in a zig-zagging spiral towards the abyss. Brown campaigned against adding trillions to the deficit, for lower taxes, and against the Obama policies appeasing terrorists, but he made no statements in principle supporting limited government.

Sen. Brown has in particular repeatedly said that Congress should enact health care "reform", even though he emphatically calls for scrapping the current legislation and "starting over". What does "reform" mean? He says that everyone should have affordable quality health care, by which he means partial government entitlements and mandates. As a state senator he has been a big supporter and sponsor of the already failing "Romney Care" in Massachusetts, which requires everyone to buy health "insurance" as approved by the state, partially subsidized with taxes and with additional new taxes on business specifically to pay for it. This has already caused doctor shortages and has escalated costs far in excess of even the new taxes. His response has been to call for "tweaking" it, with no discussion of fundamental issues challenging government control. A lot of people enthusiastically supported Brown against the Obama Democrats for the right reasons, but they are not the ones going to Washington.

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But Lexington and Concord are occupied territory. Both overwhelmingly voted against Brown.
In Concord, 72 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election, and 5,445 of the 8,782 who voted supported Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.
A whopping 68 percent of Lexington’s voters turned out in the snow to vote in Tuesday’s Special Election.

A full third, then, went for Brown. That's at the low end of the percentage of Colonials estimated to have supported the war against the British!

:D

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Don't get too happy. Although it's great that this election put a damper on Obamacare, it certainly has done little in principle to stop plans for government interference in some fashion in the health care industry. Brown supported Romneycare, which says that his principles are nothing more than pragmatism. "Let the states control health care, not the feds" seems to be his mantra.

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Don't get too happy. Although it's great that this election put a damper on Obamacare, it certainly has done little in principle to stop plans for government interference in some fashion in the health care industry. Brown supported Romneycare, which says that his principles are nothing more than pragmatism. "Let the states control health care, not the feds" seems to be his mantra.

No, he wants Federal "reform" to spread Romneycare.

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WABC Radio just reported that internal polls showed that the number one issue for those who participated in the Massachusetts election was the civilian trials of 9-11 terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammaed.

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There has been the usual reaction nationwide to a sudden lurch towards more statism under Obama and the progressives. An unknown, Scott Brown, heroically came out of nowhere and despite the experts led a revolt against the Democrat machine in Massachusetts and Washington. But opposition to statist abuse is not enough if you are not for freedom. We continue to lurch our way downward in a zig-zagging spiral towards the abyss. Brown campaigned against adding trillions to the deficit, for lower taxes, and against the Obama policies appeasing terrorists, but he made no statements in principle supporting limited government.

But it at least means there is a lot more hope left than we may realize. At least it wasn't a nationwide reaction of crushed, quiet, acceptance.

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There has been the usual reaction nationwide to a sudden lurch towards more statism under Obama and the progressives. An unknown, Scott Brown, heroically came out of nowhere and despite the experts led a revolt against the Democrat machine in Massachusetts and Washington. But opposition to statist abuse is not enough if you are not for freedom. We continue to lurch our way downward in a zig-zagging spiral towards the abyss. Brown campaigned against adding trillions to the deficit, for lower taxes, and against the Obama policies appeasing terrorists, but he made no statements in principle supporting limited government.

But it at least means there is a lot more hope left than we may realize. At least it wasn't a nationwide reaction of crushed, quiet, acceptance.

For quite a while there was acceptance. Rush Limbaugh was virtually alone in the public arena a year ago, when he became controversial and widely denounced for saying he wanted Obama to fail. Even before the election there was enough publicly known about Obama, despite his campaign and PR tactics to suppress it, for reasonably educated people to balk. But few think in political principles, which is what Obama counts on in what he calls "pragmatic progressivism".

With all the excitement over Brown's heroic electoral victory, remember that the 47% supporting the pro-Obama Democrats is a lot of people, close to half the population -- as were the nearly half that supported Gore and then Kerry, with Gore, especially, almost winning. In the downward spiral we will reach a point where the American sense of life is no longer enough to effectively rebel even against the most obvious particulars because there won't be enough such people left as education and the influence of intellectuals continues to worsen.

Even now the popular objections to Washington antics are usually in terms of mostly "corruption"; on other fronts you see a popular outcry against cutting back on medicare and you don't hear them objecting to a lot of the worst in the health control bill because it takes principles to know how devastating it is, for example, for the government to control what products insurance companies are allowed to offer and how much they are allowed to spend on their own costs. Meanwhile, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes in government to increase its power which most people don't know about it.

There are still protests that have an effect, and protests can be expected as long as they are allowed, but roller coaster rides always have drops followed by rises on the way to the next drop and the final bottom. Those rises alone are not a cause for hope for anything but buying time because we know the battle is actually at a much deeper level than what is seen on the news. If the progressives succeed in causing enough collapse to panic a frightened pubic into demanding the dictator on a white horse, then it is over.

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WABC Radio just reported that internal polls showed that the number one issue for those who participated in the Massachusetts election was the civilian trials of 9-11 terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammaed.

That what was one of a couple of major issues raised in the Brown campaign. You can be sure that all the issues he campaigned on were carefully verified for their effect on the voting through internal polling and focus group analysis or he wouldn't have wasted the time and money on them.

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WABC Radio just reported that internal polls showed that the number one issue for those who participated in the Massachusetts election was the civilian trials of 9-11 terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammaed.

That what was one of a couple of major issues raised in the Brown campaign. You can be sure that all the issues he campaigned on were carefully verified for their effect on the voting through internal polling and focus group analysis or he wouldn't have wasted the time and money on them.

Sure. But the voters would still have to access this switch in venue as undesirable for the polling to help Brown win.

I'm just pleasantly surprised that MA isn't the lock for the Left that I thought it was. Whether Brown said what he had to say in order to win, or whether he ends up drifting towards the left once he takes office, the fact remains that MA voters went for what Brown projected, just as those already in DC thought they could accelerate the growth of the State to a rate that can only happen with favorable electoral results.

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It's interesting to see how some people respond to this. We achieved a victory -- one battle, albeit a big one, but not the war. It's very frustrating to see a brief acknowledgment of victory followed by a long denunciation of the candidate, or the the work left to be done, or the fact that the candidate is not an Objectivist. My point is to keep this all in perspective. The prior week it was an all but foregone conclusion that Obamacare of some sort would pass, and now it's on life support. We should be celebrating!

There have been many battles, some won, some lost, and there are many more to come before the war is over. The Tea Party movement has shown a tremendous influence in stopping Congress and the White House. We have allies there, of a limited fashion perhaps, but allies nonetheless. The fact that they fought for the candidate explicitly pushing to limit government says a lot. It means there's more hope than ever for returning freedom to America.

So let's not treat a victory as a defeat by focusing on the negatives. The election was a very strong positive.

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There have been many battles, some won, some lost, and there are many more to come before the war is over. The Tea Party movement has shown a tremendous influence in stopping Congress and the White House. We have allies there, of a limited fashion perhaps, but allies nonetheless. The fact that they fought for the candidate explicitly pushing to limit government says a lot. It means there's more hope than ever for returning freedom to America.

I agree. This is a win. Never in my lifetime have I seen such explicitly smaller-government advocates take the stage as I have this year. They have woken up and are making their voices heard to mystified politicians, some of which had no idea that this belief was so prevalent. My guess is that in the next year the ones up for reelection won't forget it, either -- the phrase "Remember Massachusetts" will resonate with many of the middle of the roaders. We may look back on this as having been a turning point -- the time when America almost slid down the slippery socialist path. Of course it's not over -- we've all got to keep doing what we're doing. But if we're willing to drive, the politicians will hang on for dear life. My fear here is that the Republicans have not learned their lesson about what we want from them thoroughly enough -- they need to make this battle about more gov't vs. less gov't... AND NOT SWITCH SIDES WHEN WE ELECT THEM, and we can take it all back. It's not over, but this is a refreshing, exciting event. It's time to celebrate, at least for 15 minutes or so before we have to get back to yelling at politicians :D.

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WABC Radio just reported that internal polls showed that the number one issue for those who participated in the Massachusetts election was the civilian trials of 9-11 terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammaed.

That what was one of a couple of major issues raised in the Brown campaign. You can be sure that all the issues he campaigned on were carefully verified for their effect on the voting through internal polling and focus group analysis or he wouldn't have wasted the time and money on them.

Sure. But the voters would still have to access this switch in venue as undesirable for the polling to help Brown win. I'm just pleasantly surprised that MA isn't the lock for the Left that I thought it was.

What did you think it was versus what you think now? The Governor, the other Senator (Kerry) and every Congressman are Democrats, mostly progressives, including Barney Frank. The Kennedys have controlled Brown's Senate seat for half a century, with a consistently extreme left voting record, even through and after the murder by Kennedy at Chappaquiddick. There are something like 12 Republicans in the state senate with similar Democrat dominance in the House. 12% of registered voters are Republicans with 36% Democrats and the rest unenrolled and mostly liberals. This was the state that overwhelmingly voted for McGovern -- the only state to do so along with Washington DC -- long before Gore and Kerry came so close to winning nationally. It has had several (moderate) Republican governors until recently, who at best slowed the descent. This includes Romney's state health controls which Republicans mostly enthusiastically endorsed, in part because worse was threatened. Every piece of relative sanity against the left that does succeed has been an uphill battle in a downward slide. One instance is that there were enough independents who objected to the antics in Washington to give Brown a 5% margin this time.

Not everyone in the state is a Cambridge communist but the state is as close as you can come to complete Democrat control for practical purposes because of the lopsided majority. Middle class people are abandoning the state. There have been tax revolts, but referendums are now routinely quickly overturned or ignored by the state legislature, which is then promptly returned to office by the same voters, who put their liberal philosophy above common sense. The state thankfully overthrew the Kennedy/Obama machine in this election but it is by no means philosophically pro-individualism.

That is why the Brown upset victory sends such a strong message to the more extreme progressive ideologues in Washington -- not because Massachusetts balked but because even Massachusetts balked. But it is also why there won't be a trend in this state to stop the zigzagging downward spiral any time soon. Don't expect Scott Brown to not appease his liberal constituents if he expects to be re-elected when his shortened term expires. The Democrats have not gone away. And don't expect him not to continue the usual Republican statism moving at only a relatively slower pace towards the me-too abyss. As George Bush illustrated in spades Republicans have some common sense compared to the left, but still think they can manage statism to make it work with 'middle of the road' pragmatism. You have dodged a bullet, but expect that you will still be beaten up. That is better than being murdered now, but is not the solution.

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It's interesting to see how some people respond to this. We achieved a victory -- one battle, albeit a big one, but not the war. It's very frustrating to see a brief acknowledgment of victory followed by a long denunciation of the candidate, or the the work left to be done, or the fact that the candidate is not an Objectivist. My point is to keep this all in perspective. The prior week it was an all but foregone conclusion that Obamacare of some sort would pass, and now it's on life support. We should be celebrating!

Perspective is exactly what has been missing in many quarters. An important victory saving our lives doesn't say anything about the trend downward and what it takes to stop it.

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I agree. This is a win. Never in my lifetime have I seen such explicitly smaller-government advocates take the stage as I have this year. They have woken up and are making their voices heard to mystified politicians, some of which had no idea that this belief was so prevalent. My guess is that in the next year the ones up for reelection won't forget it, either -- the phrase "Remember Massachusetts" will resonate with many of the middle of the roaders. We may look back on this as having been a turning point -- the time when America almost slid down the slippery socialist path. Of course it's not over -- we've all got to keep doing what we're doing. But if we're willing to drive, the politicians will hang on for dear life. My fear here is that the Republicans have not learned their lesson about what we want from them thoroughly enough -- they need to make this battle about more gov't vs. less gov't... AND NOT SWITCH SIDES WHEN WE ELECT THEM, and we can take it all back. It's not over, but this is a refreshing, exciting event. It's time to celebrate, at least for 15 minutes or so before we have to get back to yelling at politicians :D.

You haven't seen this before in your lifetime only because you weren't alive before your lifetime started, which wasn't very long ago. These things have been going on for many decades, including the 'Reagan revolution'. You can't just "tell politicians what we want" and expect them to do it because they don't understand it and neither do most of the constituents in the "we", who would not let them do it even if the politicians understood. It is not a battle of "more government versus less government"; it is a battle over what kind of government which is supposed to do what based on what moral code. That is part of why conservatives have kept failing for a century.

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I agree. This is a win. Never in my lifetime have I seen such explicitly smaller-government advocates take the stage as I have this year. They have woken up and are making their voices heard to mystified politicians, some of which had no idea that this belief was so prevalent. My guess is that in the next year the ones up for reelection won't forget it, either -- the phrase "Remember Massachusetts" will resonate with many of the middle of the roaders. We may look back on this as having been a turning point -- the time when America almost slid down the slippery socialist path. Of course it's not over -- we've all got to keep doing what we're doing. But if we're willing to drive, the politicians will hang on for dear life. My fear here is that the Republicans have not learned their lesson about what we want from them thoroughly enough -- they need to make this battle about more gov't vs. less gov't... AND NOT SWITCH SIDES WHEN WE ELECT THEM, and we can take it all back. It's not over, but this is a refreshing, exciting event. It's time to celebrate, at least for 15 minutes or so before we have to get back to yelling at politicians :D.

You haven't seen this before in your lifetime only because you weren't alive before your lifetime started, which wasn't very long ago. These things have been going on for many decades, including the 'Reagan revolution'. You can't just "tell politicians what we want" and expect them to do it because they don't understand it and neither do most of the constituents in the "we", who would not let them do it even if the politicians understood. It is not a battle of "more government versus less government"; it is a battle over what kind of government which is supposed to do what based on what moral code. That is part of why conservatives have kept failing for a century.

Not to mention the massacre of McGovern in '72 in which Massachusetts was the only state to vote for him. For Obama to be too liberal for Massachusetts says something about change in that state.

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It's interesting to see how some people respond to this. We achieved a victory -- one battle, albeit a big one, but not the war. It's very frustrating to see a brief acknowledgment of victory followed by a long denunciation of the candidate, or the the work left to be done, or the fact that the candidate is not an Objectivist. My point is to keep this all in perspective. The prior week it was an all but foregone conclusion that Obamacare of some sort would pass, and now it's on life support. We should be celebrating!

Perspective is exactly what has been missing in many quarters. An important victory saving our lives doesn't say anything about the trend downward and what it takes to stop it.

Given both what was on the line for the Democrats in this fluke of an election and where this election took place, it's hard to agree with the notion that this victory "doesn't say anything about the trend downward". Clearly, this darkest of blue states, the best "educated" state, jumped at the surprise chance to withdraw some amount of support for Obama at a crucial moment in his presidency. This will stall the progress of an agenda that would make the US more European than Europe. As pathetic it is, that stalling is reason enough for celebration. It also motivates those who wouldn't surrender the world to these roaches to fight on. (Brother, it ain't over till it's over.)

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What did you think it was versus what you think now? The Governor, the other Senator (Kerry) and every Congressman are Democrats, mostly progressives, including Barney Frank. The Kennedys have controlled Brown's Senate seat for half a century, with a consistently extreme left voting record, even through and after the murder by Kennedy at Chappaquiddick. There are something like 12 Republicans in the state senate with similar Democrat dominance in the House. 12% of registered voters are Republicans with 36% Democrats and the rest unenrolled and mostly liberals. This was the state that overwhelmingly voted for McGovern -- the only state to do so along with Washington DC -- long before Gore and Kerry came so close to winning nationally. It has had several (moderate) Republican governors until recently, who at best slowed the descent. This includes Romney's state health controls which Republicans mostly enthusiastically endorsed, in part because worse was threatened. Every piece of relative sanity against the left that does succeed has been an uphill battle in a downward slide. One instance is that there were enough independents who objected to the antics in Washington to give Brown a 5% margin this time.

But my point would be that even with such a massive state machine in place, Obama couldn't get this reliable state to allow him to ram through The Dream before the 2010 elections take him down a notch or two. Further, the dominance of this machine makes that 5% margin a landslide.

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Given both what was on the line for the Democrats in this fluke of an election and where this election took place, it's hard to agree with the notion that this victory "doesn't say anything about the trend downward".

Wait until the first Tuesday in this coming November to judge whether this is a "fluke" or the first sign of the doom of the Obama undertaking. Actually it is the second sign of Things to Come. In two governor's races Republicans won. Anyway, hold on. We are all in for some interesting events.

What comes to mind is the scene in -King Richard III- where the evil King has a troubled night before the battle in Bosworth Field. The spirits of his victims visit him and tell him to despair and die. Ill rest to you Prince Obama. Despair, despair.... . Your time is coming.

Bob Kolker

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