Obama playing hardball on Walpin as key Dem calls foul

posted at 9:28 am on June 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration went into hardball mode in its quest to rid itself of a troublesome Inspector General and to protect a sweetheart deal for a political ally.  The White House sent a letter to Congress last night that accused Gerald Walpin of senility in all but name, alleging that Walpin had been confused and disoriented at a key meeting.  However, that hardly fits with the manner in which the Obama administration attempted to push Walpin out of his post:

“Mr. Walpin was removed after a review was unanimously requested by the bi-partisan Board of the Corporation,” Obama ethics counsel Norm Eisen wrote in a letter to senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.), with a copy directed to McCaskill. “The Board’s action was precipitated by a May 20, 2009 Board meeting at which Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.”

“We further learned that Mr. Walpin had been absent from the Corporation’s headquarters, insisting upon working from his home in New York over the objections of the Corporation’s Board; that he had exhibited a lack of candor in providing material information to decision makers; and that he had engaged in other troubling and inappropriate conduct,” Eisen wrote. …

Reached at his home in New York Tuesday night, Walpin called the allegations in the Eisen letter “absolutely amazing.”

“Anybody who’s heard me speaking more than I’m used to speaking on radio and TV in recent days, obviously under great pressure from what happened would clearly know that I know what I’m saying and what I’m doing and I’m not incoherent,” Walpin told POLITICO. “There’s nothing confusing about malfeasance and there’s nothing confusing about what appears to be the fact that they terminated me because I was doing my job because the White House wanted to protect people who proclaim they are friends of the White House.”

Let’s unwind the timeline a bit to test this new allegation.  Walpin pressed hard to prosecute Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson for defrauding the government over more than $400,000 in community service grants.  Johnson, an Obama supporter, got a deal from the White House that allowed him to manage federal funds again and avoid paying back at least half of the grant money he used illegally.  The White House cut Walpin out of those negotiations, and Walpin went to Congress about it.

At that point, the White House called Walpin and told him he had an hour to resign or be fired.  Now, if the White House thought that Walpin was somehow incapacitated or disoriented, why bother to make that call at all?  In fact, wouldn’t an employer with an ounce of empathy send the employee to a physician for diagnosis first?  Even without the empathy, the proper course would have been to address the issue with Congress first instead of making an intimidation attempt to someone the White House now paints as all but senile.

This is nothing more than a bare-knuckled smear job, a despicable attempt to use allegations of mental illness to discredit someone who ran afoul of Barack Obama for taking the independence of his job seriously.  That may play in Chicago, and it used to play in Moscow, but it shouldn’t play in Washington DC and America.

Senator Claire McCaskill became the first Democrat in Congress to demand a better explanation:

“The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal. ‘Loss of confidence’ is not a sufficient reason.  I’m hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible,” McCaskill said.

They can’t provide the real reason, which is that Walpin went after a political ally of the President’s.  That’s why they’re calling him senile instead.  Let’s hope that a few more Democrats with principle stand up to the White House’s bullying and politicization of the Inspectors General.

Update: Michelle has more on the Walpin story:

Far from being “confused” and “disoriented,” Walpin is clear as day. Anyone who actually reads through his audits and investigative reports knows that. You can, should, and must read Walpin’s reports both on CUNY funding abuse and on the Johnson scandal here.

I also continue to hammer at the Michelle Obama angle. Her vested interest in propping up the government-subsidized volunteer industry stretches back to her days leading the Chicago non-profit Public Allies (scroll down to the end of my column for what the AmeriCorps’ inspector general found while investigating money troubles at Mrs. O’s old friends at Public Allies). And we can’t forget her days working to promote national service — and to set up cozy public chat forums with her husband and Weather Underground Bill Ayers — while at the University of Chicago.

Last week, I said this reeked of the Clintons’ Travelgate. It’s much, much worse.

Read the entire column.


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Color me so surprised.

Who wants to take bets on when the “obamacides” start happening at convenient times to cover his graft.

Yah. Hopenchange.

Write your congressmen and senators with a snip from ED’s explanation of the Walpin firing from up top. Don’t let this get shoved under the carpet.

Spiritk9 on June 17, 2009 at 11:54 AM

I asked a couple of my Leftist friends about Walpin’s illegal sacking yesterday.

They both responded that it was more important to go after the “real” criminals who had run the country for the 8 years before O’bama floated in.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23797.html

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 10:39 AM

God bless Jim DeMint!!! So glad you posted that, Upstater, or I probably would have missed it. I think DeMint is one of our best hope for any kind of future.

And, for anyone who’d like to know the lovely Mrs. Conyers a little better, watch as she gets pwned by a couple of Detroit school children:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TvgtGlcdTE

califcon on June 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

It’s another CNN FAIL.

CNN and MSNBC have minimal coverage on this, if any. They’re going to bury this story.

Republigal on June 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

I asked a couple of my Leftist friends about Walpin’s illegal sacking yesterday.

They both responded that it was more important to go after the “real” criminals who had run the country for the 8 years before O’bama floated in.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM
*

That’s the default position for these freaks. They can’t bring themselves to be honest about ANYTHING that might reflect badly on Obama/themselves. Laughably dishonest.

marklmail on June 17, 2009 at 12:03 PM

This is not Chicago style politics. Suppressing dissent by intimating that a critic of the regime is mentally unstable is beyond Daley-style corruption; it’s beyond Nixonian dirty tricks; it’s Stalinist.

Ted Torgerson on June 17, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I asked a couple of my Leftist friends about Walpin’s illegal sacking yesterday.

They both responded that it was more important to go after the “real” criminals who had run the country for the 8 years before O’bama floated in.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Yeah… and what was the big Bush legal blunder… Hmmm… Something with some people getting fired…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Foolishly, I had hopes that more Dems would speak up about this particular abuse of power and utter lawlessness. As Obama usurps more and more power from congress, their necks could very well be the next ones on the chopping block should they disagree with Dear Leader…or, even if he only imagines they’ve crossed him in some way.

Barb Dwyer on June 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM

It’s clear that Obama and his cronies are the real criminals, since they don’t want this IG to safeguard taxpayers money by exposing corruption. Releasing photos of “torture” and hiding corruption is what “transparancy” means to Obama.

(Obama won’t classify the “torture” photos as secret, so his refusal to follow the court decision is meaningless.)

BottomLine5 on June 17, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Quote of the Day
HAhahaha!!

…”It appears to suggest that I was removed because I was disabled — based on one occasion out of hundreds,” he said.

I would never say President Obama doesn’t have the capacity to continue to serve because of his (statement) that there are 56 states,” Walpin said, adding that the same holds for Vice President Biden and his “many express confusions that have been highlighted by the media.

tree hugging sister on June 17, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I heard Walpin on Laura Ingraham and he is anything but confused, demented or irregular. Should Walpin be given a fair hearing, he’ll hand Obama his lunch. This guy is a real lawyer, having been in practice for 50 years at the highest levels.

thegreatbeast on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Never mind Kevin Johnson, CUNY is the playground of Bob Kerrey, former senator & presidential candidate (and a key dupe on the 911 commission). [No, I'm not a truther but the commission was a joke.]

thegreatbeast on June 17, 2009 at 12:36 PM

A couple of things:

1. So he was fired for being disoriented at a meeting, yet Sumners sleeps through his important meetings..

2. Isn’t Kennedy trying to push through mental health laws to prevent this very thing from happening? Oh wait, we do have laws in place..

Pam on June 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

To follow up, I then asked my friends what “crimes” the previous Administration had committed.

Sound of crickets.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

I hate to say this, but remember the guy who looked at Obama’s Passport file? He was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. How much you want to bet that this guy is in line for “suicide” due to “despondency” over his mental health?

GunRunner on June 17, 2009 at 1:08 PM

With great respect and admiration, Gerald Walpin, we salute you for doing your job, for all Americans.

Bless you and thank you.

You standing tall, shows the way for others to follow your example.

TO: All doctors of the AMA, stand strong, tough it out, and vote this commie bastard out out of the WH. Let’s get a president, that will help you for real, honest tort reform, and a climate to let you make as much damn money as you possibly can and deserve. It’s the American way.

Challenge and litigate BO, every step of the way…don’t roll over. We can all unite. What’s happened to the Chrysler dealers is just despicable, and really self-evident what is on the way for all of us.

luvstotango on June 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

What amuses me is the sheer incompetence of how the WH handled this thing. The MSM would have totally ignored Walpin: end of story. But someone in the WH was so enraged by the sheer audacity of this guy messing with BHO’s crony that he just..had…to…go..RIGHT NOW. Sounds like Michelle was flexing her famous guns.

Another thought: this is the same ACORN pig trough for which Congressional Republicans were patting their own backs a few months ago, when they rushed to toss another $6 billion dollars at “under-employed youth”.

A pox on both their houses.

Anyway, within a week or two, this will all be a yawn to the sheepish public. They’re more interestd in getting their “free” healthcare.

guntotinglibertarian on June 17, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Sounds like Michelle was flexing her famous guns.

I could have gone all day without that image. Hopefully the first Klingon shaved first.

GunRunner on June 17, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Sounds just like New Orleans politics.Personally I think they should all be tried for treason for giving the first tax dollar to Acorn and orgs like it!

LSUMama on June 17, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Any experienced HR exec knows one doesn’t comment on fired workers much less smear them. Ever. In a corporate world, what Obama does is illegal as could be. An employer has to have in their hand a signed disclosure consent to give detailed reference from employment.

seven on June 17, 2009 at 1:55 PM

“The [presidency] is ours. Let us enjoy it!”

mankai on June 17, 2009 at 2:59 PM

I hate to say this, but remember the guy who looked at Obama’s Passport file? He was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. How much you want to bet that this guy is in line for “suicide” due to “despondency” over his mental health?

GunRunner on June 17, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Obama would have a difficult time selling that. It would be too obvious even for idiots in the MSM.

Daggett on June 17, 2009 at 3:07 PM

BHO should have sent the guy to Bermuda or Palau.

guntotinglibertarian on June 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM

chicago d. c. and the press says nothing

rjoco1 on June 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Mr. Walpin Sen. Obama was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board media to question his capacity to serve.

/

Christien on June 17, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Fear us. We are coming.

platypus on June 17, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Hats off to Walpin.

Sometimes the smallest little leak will flood and sink even the most sea worthy vessel. Here’s hoping the current pirates in the WH have their ship sunk soon.

Dear Lord hear my prayer.

StockOption on June 17, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Hats off to Walpin.

Sometimes the smallest little leak will flood and sink even the most sea worthy vessel. Here’s hoping the current pirates in the WH have their ship sunk soon.

Dear Lord hear my prayer.

U.S.S. Obambi is taking on water! Hopefully this will be the torpedo that takes her to the bottom.

johnnybgood on June 17, 2009 at 4:48 PM

“The Board’s action was precipitated by a May 20, 2009 Board meeting at which Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.”

He must have had teleprompter troubles

CMonster on June 17, 2009 at 4:52 PM

The crookedest president ever is covering up for an equally crooked Sacramento mayor with the aid of a crooked press by illegally firing an honest inspector general using fear and intimidation. It’s an Alice-in-wonderland world where evil is rewarded and good punished.Worse yet-the excuse for the firing is implied “mental illness”-a nightmare straight out of Kafka.

MaiDee on June 17, 2009 at 4:58 PM

This petition desperately needs to be signed.. Pass it around to your email list…

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/8/an-open-letter-to-our-nations-leadership

reshas1 on June 17, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Inspector General Walpin was indeed “confused” and “disoriented”. He was distinctly heard babbling that Barack Obama was “decent” “kind” “honest” and ‘trustworthy”. We can’t have a liar like that in such a responsible position.

MaiDee on June 17, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Hey! Just checked Fox, MSNBC and CNN web sites. Fox has it as the “problem that won’t go away” but nothing on the other two sites. What gives?

/sarc

Mr_Magoo on June 17, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Personally, I don’t have time for this. I’m busy online ordering my his and her Smart cars. Paper or plastic?

Just saying…

Mr_Magoo on June 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Impeachment NOW!!!!!

Jarhead68 on June 17, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Posted this in the other Walpin thread: at the meeting where the WH accuses him of being “disoriented”, there’d be minutes, no? This part should be easily disproven.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on June 17, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Walpin is on Beck right now.

McBride on June 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Shame on BO and his thugs…Let’s all study up on Alinksy, he is in the White House.

d1carter on June 17, 2009 at 5:43 PM

He was just on with Beck and did a fantastic job!

Branch Rickey on June 17, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Slowly but surely we are seeing a man who thinks he is so far above the law.That anyone who dares to say anything about it is branded a racist.Folks with the state run media in the tank for this man and the way they are going after Rush,foxs news and anyone who dares to say anything but glowing love for Obama.we maybe seeing the end of our country as we know it.Lets face it 40% of the people do not have ant idea what going on and could care less as long as they get there check each Mth.We have raised a gen.of people that could not even tell you the name of there Sen or congressman much less what Obama is up to.GOD HELP US

thmcbb on June 17, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Its amazing how beck’s outrage sounds so much more genuine than olbermann’s. Beck was genuinely pissed, Olbermann is just a douche.

triple on June 17, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Do a search on Gerald Walpin and see who is covering this and who is not…

d1carter on June 17, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Shame on BO and his thugs…Let’s all study up on Alinksy, he is in the White House.

d1carter on June 17, 2009 at 5:43 PM

I’m way ahead of you. I got Rules for Radicals months ago.

Also read up on Cloward-Piven, ACORN, etc. Obama is VERY predictable once you do a little research.

Daggett on June 17, 2009 at 5:55 PM

It was the “Midnight Massacre” when Nixon fired Cox…

Can we name this one “The Chicago Fire?

landlines on June 17, 2009 at 6:16 PM

The one person so far that has shown signs of working for the people and he is considered by the administration as “senile”. Letterman’s joke writers must have drafted the letter. This man is more responsible and sane than anyone else in DC. Beck just read the letter from the Arizona woman today and the site to sign this letter is apparently overwhelmed at the moment. Says everything that most of us feel. Made three copies to send to my reps. Probably won’t read it, but at least I’ll have tried.

hillbilly on June 17, 2009 at 6:17 PM

You can take the boy out of Chicago, but you can not take Chicago out of the boy, or perhaps I should say crook.

Terrye on June 17, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Walpin is a patriot. Obama is a lawbreaker.

Obama screwing a patriot cannot be a surprise. He’s ramming it down America’s throat.

RandyChandler on June 17, 2009 at 6:28 PM

This was just a small theft: $200,000 or so.

So where is the public accounting which we were promised for the $700 BILLION “porkulus” money??

Sounds like we better keep Gitmo open for sure: we’re going to need the space to house the vast Obama graft/corruption team.

landlines on June 17, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Someone in the administration broke a Federal law with this firing and no amount of damage control can undo that. That someone needs to be held accountable. Trace this back to whoever on the food chain actually sent the email and press charges.

Johnnyreb on June 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Walpin documented the phone call he received by writing a response via email. In it he repeatedly says how the call conveyed the president wanted his resignation (Walpin refused and said if he wanted him gone the president would have to follow the law and notify Congress).

KittyLowrey on June 17, 2009 at 6:42 PM

I just sent that B**ch McCaskel a letter, thanking her for pretending to care about this poor guy, before throwing him under the bus for some loser NBA Obama hack. I said that if we were to use confusion and disoriented as a criteria, let’s add Nancy “The CIA lied” Pelosi’s press conference, Ted Kennedy who’s been confused for 50 years and let’s throw in Robert Byrd, “Don’t Mess with Joe” Biden and how about the omnipotent one who can’t speak in sentences without a teleprompter. They’d all fit in that confused disoriented box.

jaimo on June 17, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Walpin’s “confusion and disorientation” seems to have occured at the meetings where he reported on the fraud and corruption of Obama supporters.

Was his “confusion” related to not getting the message to lay off the Obama thieves?

coyotebait on June 17, 2009 at 7:14 PM

He was confused and disoriented in that meeting, because that was where he learned that the nation has gone down the rabbit hole with Alice.

Dee2008 on June 17, 2009 at 7:34 PM

RE: Obama & BR (buyers remorse)

If he can lose my gay, kool-aid drinker neighbors, he’s done.

If he can lose the white, female, middle-class worker (secretary) kool-aid drinkers in Eugene, Oregon, he’s done.

What about the elites in NYC and SF? Do any of you personally know, of any buyer’s remorse chatter, from the elites, or any other group? I wonder if Oprah has any misgivings?

luvstotango on June 17, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Latest: Chuck Grassley (who has his aggravating moments) is being terrific. Jake Tapper just wrote up that Grassley has some pointed questions after reviewing the latest WH letter:

Grassley requested that Craig provide written answers to the following questions:

-Did the CNCS Board communicate its concerns about Mr. Walpin to the White House in writing?

-Specifically, which CNCS Board members came forward with concerns about Mr. Walpin’s ability to serve as the Inspector General?

-Was the communication about the Board’s concerns on or about May 20, 2009 the first instance of any communications with White House personnel regarding the possibility of removing Mr. Walpin?

-Which witnesses were interviewed in the course of Mr. Eisen’s review?

-How many witnesses were interviewed?

-Were any employees of the Office of Inspector General, who may have had more frequent contact with Mr. Walpin than the Board members, interviewed?

-Was Mr. Walpin asked directly during Mr. Eisen’s review about the events of May 20, 2009?

-Was Mr. Walpin asked for his response to the allegations submitted to the Integrity Committee by Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown?

-What efforts were made during Mr. Eisen’s review to obtain both sides of the story or to afford the Office of Inspector General an opportunity to be heard?

-In addition to the claim that Mr. Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented,” the letter also says he exhibited “other behavior” that led to questions about his capacity. What other behavior was Mr. Eisen referencing?

-If the initial and primary concern had to do with Mr. Walpin’s capacity to serve for potential health reasons, why was he only given one hour to decide whether to resign or be fired?

-If Mr. Walpin’s telecommuting arrangements since the beginning of this year were a major concern, then why was Mr. Walpin not simply asked to stop telecommuting?

LINK

KittyLowrey on June 17, 2009 at 7:59 PM

maverick muse on June 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

The comparison is valid.

If you are comparing the policies and positions of the two, of course it is apples and oranges.

My comparison is based on the blatant abuse of the power of the office of the President. The motivations are very different, but the abuse of power is obvious with both.

I personally think that Nixon was a very good president during a very difficult time for our nation, with several exceptions such as giving birth to the now-behemoth and out-of control EPA. His motivations for the most part were unselfish up until the fiasco called “Watergate” that most still don’t fully understand and about which many “urban myths” abound.

However, I stand by my comparison per the abuse of power. Obama’s misuse of his office make Nixon’s mistakes pale in comparison.

hillbillyjim on June 17, 2009 at 8:22 PM

KittyLowrey,

Your posting these 12 questions, of Chuck Grassley, are awe inspiring and the most exciting thing I have read in a long time. I might just have to reread them as a prelude to romance tonight. An adult is in the house. WOW

luvstotango on June 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Last week, I said this reeked of the Clintons’ Travelgate. It’s much, much worse.

Interesting comparison. No matter how many criticisms I might have of the Clintons, the one thing that reminds me of just how tawdry and shameless they were is the Travelgate fiasco.

It’s a shame the impeachment of Clinton wasn’t on those grounds. That would have been a slam-dunk case, and no one could have pretended it was just “lying about sex.”

This also looks like solid grounds for impeachment.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on June 17, 2009 at 10:52 PM

If Obama is willing to go this far to prevent any probe, maybe it’s because there’s a bigger scandal he’s afraid will be uncovered?

We should be demanding absolute transparency in this investigation. No telling what may be uncovered…

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on June 17, 2009 at 11:01 PM

If Obama is willing to go this far to prevent any probe, maybe it’s because there’s a bigger scandal he’s afraid will be uncovered?

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on June 17, 2009 at 11:01 PM

That’s what I’m thinking. That’s why I want to see those deleted emails.

Daggett on June 17, 2009 at 11:28 PM

Quick, someone warn poor Mr. Walpin to stay teh heck out of Fort Marcy Park!!!!1

Knott Buyinit on June 17, 2009 at 11:40 PM

I asked a couple of my Leftist friends about Walpin’s illegal sacking yesterday.

They both responded that it was more important to go after the “real” criminals who had run the country for the 8 years before O’bama floated in.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM

That’s the NPR and PBS slant on things; I guess they know where their bread is coming from. Interview after interview of Wall street pundits stating how the bankers live in their own world of privilege and power, and that the pursuit of said privilege and power destroyed the economy. Not a world about NINJA loans or how the major banks were, as a condition of continued business, forced by the Dems (including, in the case of Citibank, Obama himself) to make these loans and buy the paper bundles Freddie and Fannie concocted to help grease the housing bubble.

I’ve given up listening to KCRW (my local NPR station) because their news and reports is so slanted.

Obama Franks Waters, LLC, destroyers of the nation’s economy.

unclesmrgol on June 18, 2009 at 7:58 AM

… was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.”

I thought they were talking about Obama off teleprompter.

Or Biden whenever he opens his mouth.

RadClown on June 18, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Hope and change? Hardly. And the cracks in the Obama Lovefest damn just keep showing up.

Better go to Wal-Mart now to get those high water boots and rubber rafts ready. ;-)

itzWicks on June 18, 2009 at 11:06 AM

The “man” be going after his “homie” , so like any other gang punk,Obama professionally busted a cap at Walpin. Now Obama be chillin’ at home, bustin’ a cap at the flies his family brought with them.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Sorry, I really can’t speak/write that street/gang/punk idiot speech.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 7:51 AM

This “inquiry” by Senator McCaskill is a slight of hand trick. By looking like some DEM Senator is “getting to the bottom of this” it puts the issue on the back burner where it eventually fades to nothing.It also gives the state run media a defense against NOT following upon it. It’s all slight of hand.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 8:03 AM

PS, I realize McCaskill’s comment was published the same day this post was put up, so I apologize for implying that its omission was intentional. I’m sure you’d agree the updated information is helpful, though.

skylark on June 20, 2009 at 4:59 AM

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