Government Shutdown

The Federal Government Has Shut Down. Merry Christmas!

Yes, it's only temporary. But if it stops Trump from blowing money on a stupid border wall, cheer it on.

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Closed sign
Fottoo / Dreamstime.com

President Donald Trump insisted he wanted $5 billion to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. The Senate said no and refused to add the money to a stopgap spending bill. So now the federal government is "shutting down."

It's really only a partial shutdown. About 420,000 federal employees will be working without pay; another 380,000 will be furloughed, But this is only due to the cut-off of the funding that would have been included in the continuing resolution. Much of the government spending for 2019—around $1 trillion—has already been approved.

As Joe Setyon wrote earlier today, the House of Representatives' version of the continuing resolution included $5 billion for the border wall. The Senate version offered a smaller $1.3 billion for border security, none of it for the wall. And he obviously won't be able to go back to Congress to ask for money after the holidays, because the Democrats will have firm control of the House and most certainly aren't going to give him more money.

The Senate adjourned at 8 p.m. tonight without passing a spending resolution, guaranteeing the government shutdown. They will return to session Saturday at noon

So now we have less federal government, briefly, while everybody hammers things out. Federal government shutdowns are one of those concepts that feel wonderfully libertarian in theory but often end up being anything but in practice. First of all, the government doesn't really shut down. Yes, a lot of employees get sent home, but most of the federal law enforcement apparatus is still in place. As I noted the last time we had a big federal shutdown, "The parts of the federal government authorized to shoot you are still functioning."

And when the shutdown ends, all those furloughed employees are going to get paid. It's not a money saver. Government shutdowns typically don't lead to smaller or more efficient government in the long run.

Nevertheless, a federal shutdown indicates that someone is resisting an expensive and wasteful government project. In this case, refusing to give the president billions of dollars to build a stupid, pointless border wall is something lovers of liberty should cheer on.

So have a holiday toast and celebrate the warm feeling of a federal government that is just a little bit less intrusive and controlling and domineering than it usually is—even if it's only temporary.

Here's Trump announcing the shutdown on Twitter and blaming the Democrats for not giving him the money for the wall:

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  1. Well, Scott was open late to make sure the article was relevant.

    How much do taxpayers save each minute the government is shutdown if taxpayers were not forced to back pay bureaucrats?

    1. Less than you would think. Especially if you think forcing people to work without pay is a good idea.

      1. I don’t think they are forced to work. If they go long enough without pay, they’ll quit.

        1. Many of them will also quit if they don’t get their per-head-count bonus for shooting people and dogs!

          From the article: “The parts of the federal government authorized to shoot you are still functioning.”

          This incentivizes me to perform my self-chosen pubic duty today; I must warn you that you might get shot for unauthorized blowing on a cheap plastic flute! To avoid this needless tragedy…

          To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ ? This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

          1. I thought your pubic duty was to shave “down there.”

        2. And if enough of them quit, they’ll just be conscripted back….

          But they aren’t forced. They can always choose jail time instead.

      2. Even the government itself calls many of these folks “non-essential”. That means “not important”.

        If their jobs disappeared forever, nobody would even notice.

        1. “Non essential” means “people don’t start dying if they don’t show up to work every day”.

          So, for example, Firefighters…essential. Garbage workers…non essential.

          But, if you don’t think Garbage workers are important, well…

          1. How cute. You think garbage men are federal workers. Aren’t you adorbs.

            1. How cute. You don’t understand how analogies work. Or about EPA cleanup sites. Or how garbage is collected from properties…like DC…

          2. “Armchair Lawyer|12.22.18 @ 3:05PM|#

            “Non essential” means “people don’t start dying if they don’t show up to work every day”.

            So, for example, Firefighters…essential. Garbage workers…non essential.

            But, if you don’t think Garbage workers are important, well…”

            Where I live the garbage collection is done by private companies.

            1. Private companies. IE “contractors”.

              What do you think happens to them during a shutdown, if they’re working with federal facilities, properties, or land?

              1. Well, no. I have a private company that I pay directly for garbage collection. I even have competition and a couple different collectors that operate in my neighborhood.

      3. Armchair Lawyer|12.22.18 @ 7:41AM|#
        “Less than you would think. Especially if you think forcing people to work without pay is a good idea.”

        I see I’m very late to the lefty ignoramus parade.
        Hint, asshole, no one is “forced” to work for no pay.
        Fuck off, slaver.

        1. Irony. Calling other people a slaver, when you want to make people work without pay. Or else lose their job and/or suffer jail time.

          1. I make everybody work without pay, or else lose their job. For example, when Bill Gates didn’t wash my car for free, I fired the lazy bastard.

    2. What race is lc? I ain’t no id playa. Just wondering?

      1. Shit. My property. Fag. Gay

      2. Shit. My property. Fag. Gay

      3. Shit. My property. Fag. Gay

    3. Even funnier is that Reason and its propaganda hack writers were sure that Trump had caved to minority Democrats in the House and Senate about the budget.

      He didn’t.

      MAGA!

  2. Shutdowns are great because even though they are expensive, they show people that we can live without government and we won’t devolve into Somalia. It’s like the “Jubilee Year” that G_d commands once every 50 years: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all its inhabitants.” It’s only temporary, but it’s practice for the coming libertarian utopia. As for the border wall, it’s a terrible waste even if the shut down ends up costing a lot more. Why? Because it will be used as a pretext to round up and detain immigrants: “We can’t send them back home, the wall isn’t built yet you idiot.” (Spoiler: It will never be built.)

    1. they show people that we can live without government and we won’t devolve into Somalia
      Rational people, perhaps, but how many of those still/have exist/ed?

    2. Except, the government keeps working, even though it’s a “shutdown”.

      1. Not ALL the government.

        Non-essentials are furloughed.

        1. Which essentially means, the government keeps going.

          People really don’t understand what “non-essential” means, and what it means when the “essential” employees keep going, but the government keeps going (but somehow claim “freedom” during the shutdown).

          It’s basically the blizzard rule. If there’s a massive blizzard, who HAS to be at work to ensure people keep alive? 95% of people don’t need to be at work. But those 5% keep all the critical services going. From the outside, even during a blizzard, the US is a 1st world country, with excellent hospitals, food, etc.

          However, there’s a bunch of services (in the 95%) that support critical services that can be delayed. Garbage collection, hospital supply delivery, law services, maintenance of critical infrastructure, etc. Delay these long enough, and critical services break down.

          1. We’ll find out exactly how many non-essentials arent working come Thursday or sooner.

  3. A federal government shutdown is like your partner’s emotional shutdown after he or she finds out you’re into anal fisting and spider souping. Yes, s/he isn’t responsive as usual, but s/he is still functioning for the most part, and you’ll eventually have to deal with it. But unlike fedgov shutdowns, you can lock your partner into your basement and violently force them into capitulating to your needs, effectively shutting down the shutdown.

    1. ^This. I doubt the alleged “shutdown” will reduce federal spending during the duration of the so called “shutdown” by more than 5%.

      1. It won’t save a dime, and will actually increase spending.

        1. Yes, this is just a paid vacation for the furloughed workers. Everybody gets back pay when it ends.

          1. Not by law. But solely by idiocy of Congress.

        2. Fuck off hihn. It only increases spending because assholes you vote for vote for back pay and we are sorry bonuses.

    2. Wtf is spider souping? Asking for a friend.

      1. I asked Alexa. She shutdown.

      2. “Spider souping” is the process of creating a “spider soup” or “spider cereal.” It involves opening somebody or something’s mouth (It doesn’t have to be only a mouth, but it’s the most common.), depositing freshly laid spider eggs into the widened orifice, pouring enough semen onto the eggs until the orifice is nearly full, and then placing an object to seal the orifice. (An example of such an object would be a tightly installed ball gag.) What happens afterward is up to your volition.

        1. you messed up yellow tony

        2. Bad example. Who isn’t into spider souping?

        3. Damn! Now that’s seriously sick.

  4. Government shutdown and no border wall = win win, in my book.

    1. Do you also celebrate Trump’s GOP adding more new 8-year debt in 2 years, than Obama added AFTER 8 years.
      Or the first administration to EVER increase the deficit 47% … in a single year … with a booming economy?

      Friday’s market crash followed Trump’s senior trade adviser, Peter Navarro, saying there was little hope for a deal with China. As Trump’s bullshit poses an ever growing threat to our nation and our economy.
      His “brilliant deal” with China …. swamp gas. We’ll suffer his crazy tariffs, for nothing (which libertarians always knew)
      His “awesome deal with North Korea … a delusion bt an orange mind.

      After the market crash, Navarro went FULL Trumptard, snearingm, we will deal with China on OUR terms, not Wall Street’s (WTF)

      The stock market is in the worst shape since the Great Depression ,… so what? … we are STRONG.
      American business has lost TWICE the value of the dumbass tax cut. (Kennedy’s and Reagan’s IDENTICAL cuts launched the ONLY two economic boom since the 1920s)

      The Art of the Squeal.
      Playing to his base is dangerous, when they’re as low-information as Bernie’s base. Bellowing blowhards, left and right..

      1. Do you also celebrate Trump’s GOP adding more new 8-year debt in 2 years, than Obama added AFTER 8 years.
        New math?
        Date: Public/Total -> Total -> Daily
        2009-01-20: $6.3T/$10.6T
        2017-01-20: $14.4T/$20.0T -> + $8.1T/$9.4T -> $2.8B/$3.2B
        2018-12-20: $16.1T/$22.0T -> + $1.7T/$2.0T -> $2.4B/$2.7B

        1. Hihn isn’t what we would call intelligent. See he counts tax cuts as government spending. He also states all decreased tax cuts are debt spending. Of course he does not count the Medicaid spending or ACA subsidies as debt spending in the same manner because he is an idiot.

    2. Govt (well most of it) and border wall are 2 laughable expenditures I can live without. Win Win. Let the people see the world just keeps moving on without a multitude of bureaucrats.

      1. There already is a border wall. Its just not run across the entirety of the US-Mexico border.

  5. I wonder what it must be like to be a low- or mid-level staffer in any administration, but especially this one. The stories one must hear! and all third or fourth hand. Like this little incident — what goes through Trump’s mind when logic says he won’t get better funding with the next Congress. I don’t imagine he sweats anything very much — he seems like a confused Roomba bouncing off one chair leg after another, always finding some new dustball to tweet about, not urgent, no panic, just mindless bouncing around.

    No one can predict how this will resolve because Trump himself not only doesn’t know, but doesn’t care, doesn’t think about it, just bounces from chair leg to wall, spins wheels, scoops up dust.

    1. But he’s so cute when he snarls.

    2. “Confused Roomba.” That’s actually pretty good.

  6. Hmm, in a commentariat dominated by the Authoritarian Right, how can Scott imagine any celebrations that Pelosi and Schumer
    a) Kicked Trump’s ass?
    b) AND a stupid decision? (politically)

    Translation: Goobers have had their asses kicked for decades, by progressives, and the mid-terms were just the first blue wave … unless we can dump the goobers,

    Left – Right = Zero

    1. while(1) { print $RETARDED_BULLSHIT; }

      —-

      Shit, guys? I think I found the problem line in this bot.

    2. I heard that 90% of Americans reject the libertarian brand.

      I’m pretty sure that’s cause crazy old coots ranting and raving isn’t very persuasive.

      1. Hihn is a liberal.

  7. Perfect!
    all the money we’ll save by getting out of the war in Syria and Afghanistan, add in the $5 billion by not building the wall and we can have billions more to help the migrants crossing illegally in search of a better life. We’ll have so much money we can pull everyone in Central America out of the malaise.
    What a Christmas gift!

  8. Trump, the Great Negotiator, is calling for Turtle Boy to invoke the nuclear option and change the Senate rules to 51 votes on budget bills just so he can get his $5 billion. What happens after the Dems get control of the button and the launch codes is none of his concern since he won’t be here any more. A slight short-term advantage in trade for a long-term ass-raping of epic proportions.

    If the Dems had a lick of sense they’d use Trump’s insatiable lust for wall funding as a bargaining chip – automatic citizenship for any immigrant who sets foot on American soil no matter how they got here, doubling the budget for welfare spending, free universal healthcare, free college tuition, full funding for Planned Parenthood, tearing down the border wall…..there’s no telling how much Trump would be willing to trade. It ain’t his money, he don’t give a shit.

    1. The only thing really wrong with America is Americans. I’ve written it here before, but I’m of the opinion that citizenship is a privilege, not a right. We should have a citizenship olympics every four years. We’d hold a battery of tests open to all people of the world — math, reading comprehension, writing, framing a house, rebuilding an engine, a 3-mile run — and only those with the highest scores would keep their citizenship. If you’re too fat or too stupid to be an American, we’d give your place to somebody who isn’t a national embarrassment. We’d stick all the losers on a garbage barge and send them to Bangladesh to be used for parts.

  9. The side that refuses to spend more money has always lost these shutdown showdowns, and, ultimately, we’re talking about $5 billion in additional spending spread over an average of ten years + interest. Since when have Democrats ever refused to spend an additional $5 billion on principle?

    I wouldn’t bet on the Democrats to stand on principle.

    1. Haha. I’m new here. Principle. The hurricane of who gives a shit starts to swirl. I know I must obey to magic and magic shitlord. I admire you big large troll. Many great ideas you have.

      1. Just because I can see things the way they are doesn’t mean I like them.

    2. The Democrats (and Republicans) seem eternally ready to stand (or walk, or piss) on principles.

    3. Trump doesn’t even need their approval or support:

      Jason Chaffetz explains:

      Each year the government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on things that are not specifically authorized by Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans have been complicit in this practice.

      Washington’s dirty little secret is that unauthorized spending is not even uncommon anymore. As a freshman member of Congress, this truth stunned me ? and I was not alone. By my estimation, there were many in the body who disapproved of the practice. But to our disappointment, the body as a whole was not inclined to address the issue.

      The Democrats may feign exasperation with the president potentially spending “unauthorized” money on the wall, but they have enthusiastically participated in the budgetary games that will make it possible.

  10. Oh goody. That means I can prorate my taxes, right?

    Or is this like when the cable goes out but you don’t get any reduction in the next bill?

  11. Weird amount of butthurt displayed in the comments this morning. If anybody would be celebrating a government “shutdown” I’d figure it would be those who want less government.

    Anyway, Trump has now forced congressional Ds to twice “shutdown” government to protect the “rights” of central American nationals to enter into and dwell within the US at their convenience and in any manner they so choose.
    Interesting position to take.

    BTW, $5 billion is roughly .001% of the yearly federal budget and dwarfed by the amount spent on foreign aid…

    1. You would be right if you were at an actual libertarian site
      This is mostly not one

    2. You forgot reasons new but trump policy.

    3. How does it not get through you people’s thick fucking skulls that the wall would do nothing to fix the problem it’s meant to solve? It’s literally nothing but a racist monument to Trump’s ego. And since when were you guys so cavalier with public money for doing pointless things? Oh, since Jan 20, 2016, for some mysterious reason?

      1. If by nothing you mean cut the rate of illegal immigration from south of the border by over 70%, then sure, it would do nothing.

      2. If by nothing you mean cut the rate of illegal immigration from south of the border by over 70%, then sure, it would do nothing.

      3. If by nothing you mean cut the rate of illegal immigration from south of the border by over 70%, then sure, it would do nothing.

        1. Say it thrice and it becomes true?

          What’s so special about migration across that border? Why is that a particular concern, considering most overstayed welcomes have nothing to do with people crossing the RIo Grande? Do tell. Please.

          1. Trump has also asked for a Visa exit system and the end to chain migration dumb fuck. He also wants to nationalize e verify as a mandatory requirement. All of these would reduce illegal immigration. But you’re too ignorant to look past headline. A true blue ignorant liberal.

            1. In a rare instance of coherent thought, Tony is correct. The wall is catnip for stupid people.

            2. And end chain migration for all families except his own.

              1. And all the families that already followed the rules and got their naturalization complete.

    4. If anybody would be celebrating a government “shutdown” I’d figure it would be those who want less government.

      Um, it’s fewer government.

      1. Is it?
        IS IT?

    5. Some idiots convinced the LP to mangle the migration plank. It now calls for permitting uninspected entry of armed terrorists infected with weapons-grade biological plagues. If you want to do some good, why not look into who made that decision?

  12. I wish it mattered. Who would wannna put such a gay stupid wall up anyway? Everyone knows it’s political in the most retarded way. Me want wall!

  13. For a little while, at least, our liberties and our wallets are safe.

  14. And you bitches falsely claimed like two days ago that Trump had already caved in.

    When it comes to manufacturing fake news, you guys are as bad as CNN.

    1. This. And how does the staff at reason propose we secure the border and help reduce illegal immigration?

      Is there any writer here that can propose solutions instead of just complaining? I issue a challenge.

      1. They prefer open borders and ignoring the costs.

      2. Yes, the true libertarian position is open borders. You can’t have free labor markets without free labor.

        1. I’ve seen more articles about fucking straws than about solutions…thats for damn sure.

    2. He did cave until Fat Limbaugh gave him different marching orders.

      Real strong president you got there. So decisive.

      1. Oh bullshit, Krugscum. You and your JournoList ilk were engaged in pure wishful thinking.

        1. No, once again, Tony is right about that.

    3. And you bitches falsely claimed like two days ago that Trump had already caved in.

      He did concede. Then he reneged. Now he will cave again — unless he trades most of the farm for a few billion dollars, because Democrats hold all the cards.

      No wall. No way. Carry on without it, clingers.

      1. Good luck trying to survive without your AFDC and food stamps.

        1. I figure my taxes subsidize roughly a dozen families in Trump country.

      2. The Gee-Oh-Pee platform actually called for a “fence”. Wouldn’t a minefield do the job without need of a wall?

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  18. Scott shows he has no actual convictions. Furloughs don’t have to be repaid. Fuck the overpaid federal workers. At a time when you can talk about government overspending you only focus on trump. Grow up Scott.

  19. Ann Coulter is never going to buy “border security.” And what Ann Coulter says, goes. Right there in the chapter “How to Be a Big Fat Pussy while Failing to Pretend to Be an Alpha Male” section of The Art of the Deal.

    1. We know you’re just jealous of Ann Coulter.

      1. Because she has a bigger dick?

        1. Sure, if by “dick”, you mean “gigantic pussy.”

        2. Remember. You can make LGBT jokes against conservatives if you are woke. But don’t you dare say a joke about that community otherwise. Ask Kevin hart.

          1. Somebody is triggered.

            1. All the Lefties…ever.

      2. What’s not to envy about a stale, bottle-blonde, barren spinster and bitter former Guccione plaything?

  20. It’s not a “shutdown”, much less a “furlough” of workers: it’s just a free vacation.

    EVERY budget lapse has ended with full payments to ALL federal workers, whether they worked or not.

    1. Thank Ayn Rand, the federal government bureaucracy works so well on autopilot that it can’t even do much harm when funding dries up over stupid political tantrums.

      1. For someone who prides himself on ignorance and has never actually read Ayn Rand, you sure do mention her a lot.

        1. I read Atlas Shrugged cover to cover on the toilet. It took a while.

  21. Good, better to kill the stupid wall now. The problem is that Trump is a coward and stupid. Will he be a coward and mothball the wall or stupid and try to push it? That’s anyone’s guess.

    1. There already is a border wall. Its just not run the entire length of the US-Mexico border.

      1. Indeed. I’ve not yet seen estimates for the underwater part of the Amerikaner Mauer–out to the 12-mile national boundary the US unilaterally declared when the looter politicians got their Prohibition Amendment ratified and enacted. After that the Coast Guard went out shooting and sinking shipping to pretty much the center of the Gulf of Mexico. So if you thought building monuments to national socialism on dry land with paved highways nearby was expensive, wait’ll you get the bill for an extra 24 miles of underwater construction!
        The other alternative is to remove demands for a Border Wall from the Republican Party Platform. Which will it be?

        1. Good thing Hank has no say in anything American.

  22. Sun came up this morning and I woke up, flicked the light switch, and the lights came on.

    Made a Walmart, grocery store and hardware store run.

    No looting or rioting and all roads are passable with no traffic jams. Our local, volunteer EMT and fire are still making runs.

    Best Christmas ever.

    Please take the time as you gather with your families to point out, that even with less government, we’re doing just fine.

    1. +100

  23. The government’s shut down? Will the interweb stop working? Why is there still air to breathe? Should I fill my bathtub with water before the water lines shut down? Will bakers stop making cakes for gay couples? will no one defend female college students that see something on social media that offends them? Will illegal aliens not be granted asylum?

    1. I’m pretty sure that with the government shut down Net Neutrality will again be in force so you can finally use the internet again after this year of it gathering dust.

  24. There is already a wall between the two nations. It won’t get more “racist” because we augment it or essentially lengthen it. There are weak points that can be exploited, pregnant women and desperate migrants are already jumping over and crawling under holes.

    In the spirit of Christmas, let’s grant that we may not have to spend 5 billion on a super wall and that any government infrastructure project will likely become a boondoggle. That said, we can do something about the wall now or wait until something tragic happens, at which point we get another TSA situation near the border.

    Most people (not being Tony) will grow uneasy at thousands of “refugees” flooding into their nations. Tijuana got tired of the migrants in a matter of days and SURE ENOUGH the “refugees” started complaining about the food and shabby living arrangements.

    What’ll be the cost of expanding housing and manpower to sustain thousands of people who yell “asylum” at the border? And then paying for their legal fees for many court appearances? Three times the cost of Trump’s wall sounds about right? The migrant got incredibly the first time, they won’t make it through Mexico completely unharmed the third of fourth time around. And when something happen we have to pay for it. Go figure.

  25. Even funnier about this shutdown is Trump ordered all National Parks remain open but the park rangers are on unpaid leave.

    Americans can visit the parks at their leisure and realize how little they actually need most federal workers.

    In the past, the parks are closed to inconvenience tourists so they will complain about the shutdown.

    MAGA!

    1. He would really boost his popularity if he refused to authorize giving them back pay. I hope he does it.

      1. Please enter that comment at the White House “Tell Us Your Story” web page, just to make sure the suggestion isn’t overlooked.

      2. He would boost his popularity among disaffected, anti-social, envious, backwater losers — the Trump base.

        1. How are you managing so far without your AFDC and food stamps?

        2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|12.23.18 @ 6:26PM|#
          “He would boost his popularity among disaffected, anti-social, envious, backwater losers — the Trump base.”

          As opposed to the worthless elitist assholes like you?
          Fuck off.

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  27. “The parts of the federal government authorized to shoot you are still functioning.”
    That’s a relief. For a moment there I was getting anxious.

  28. Overheard someone whining how bad it is that TSA gropers are working without pay.
    Of course they are betting they will get paid, but more importantly, they are groping simply because if the left and the US flying public realized how worthless those scumbags are, they’d be out of a job tomorrow.
    Yes, I am Ebenezer Scrooge: I propose a shutdown of TSA as of 12/24/18, and a firing of all who work for it. Close it, send out the severance pay and let those folks find a job.
    Jobs are easy to come by now.

    1. +1000

  29. I think Trump should follows Bernie’s lead and offer free government service to all American’s. Promise them backpay but never reach a budget deal…

  30. This is terrible news.
    How can the feds spend a million dollars a minute and bankrupt our country if our government is shut down?
    Has anyone in DC thought this through?

  31. Yes, all of these would reduce illegal immigration. But you’re too ignorant to look past headline.

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  34. What makes a country? Why is Mexico Mexico and the U.S. the U.S.?

    If everyone in America migrated to Mexico and everyone in Mexico migrated to the U.S. what would the U.S be???? Mexico! And 1/3 of all new “Americans” would want to migrate to the new “Mexico”.

    Immigration can destroy a country by bringing in people with an ideology that has already made their country “less desirable”. We can all hope immigrants will change their ideology after running from a disaster but exit poll statistics say otherwise. They vote for the same disaster they’ve just ran from.

    The federal government is given the duty of international affairs including immigration per the U.S. Constitution. Whether the wall is the right tool or if its worth $5B is a good question keeping in mind that 11% of AZ public school students have illegal parents and 33% of Mexico desire to move to the U.S.

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