Romney 2009: Obama should look to our mandate in Massachusetts in crafting his plan

posted at 7:30 pm on March 2, 2012 by Allahpundit

A not-so-oldie but goodie recovered from the Internet memory hole by Andrew Kaczynski. Why are you just (re-)learning of this now instead of having been reminded of it by Gingrich and Santorum daily for the past six months? Well, (a) the original op-ed has oddly disappeared from the archives at USA Today (the link above goes to a Romney fan site), (b) Gingrich and Santorum run barebones campaigns which can’t afford robust oppo teams, and (c) I think most people are so thoroughly confused by Romney’s position on federal and state health care that they’re not sure what’s a gotcha anymore and what isn’t. For instance, we already know that Romney said in 2010 he’d prefer to get rid of the bad parts of ObamaCare but “keep the good,” and it was pretty clear at the time that he thought the “incentives” in the law a la Massachusetts’s mandate were some of the good parts. He also allegedly once told a conservative blogger flat out that he wouldn’t repeal O-Care’s mandate, but there was no audio to prove it. And of course, during the last campaign when health-care mandates weren’t the hot button that they are now, he was upfront about how much he liked them. Watch the DNC’s highlight reel embedded below, which includes a memorable exchange with Fred Thompson during one of the Republican debates.

Near as I can tell, he only really started to flip on federal mandates last year when the campaign reached full speed, telling O’Reilly that O-Care’s mandate is unconstitutional whereas federalism protects RomneyCare’s. Back in 2009, though, the constitutional arguments were apparently far from his mind:

Massachusetts also proved that you don’t need government insurance. Our citizens purchase private, free-market medical insurance. There is no “public option.” With more than 1,300 health insurance companies, a federal government insurance company isn’t necessary. It would inevitably lead to massive taxpayer subsidies, to lobbyist-inspired coverage mandates and to the liberals’ dream: a European-style single-payer system. To find common ground with skeptical Republicans and conservative Democrats, the president will have to jettison left-wing ideology for practicality and dump the public option.

Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar. Second, we helped pay for our new program by ending an old one — something government should do more often. The federal government sends an estimated $42 billion to hospitals that care for the poor: Use those funds instead to help the poor buy private insurance, as we did.

Again, watch the clip. Romney’s always thought of the mandate as a conservative measure aimed at making people take personal responsibility for their own health care. (As did some prominent conservatives, Gingrich included, before the issue became toxic under Obama.) It’s shocking that, as late as summer 2009 — actually, even later per the “keep the good” bit linked above — he’d misread the mood of the base badly enough to think he could sell them on the right-wing merits of compulsory health-care purchases, but then that’s what makes him Mitt Romney. And the subsequent flip to the position that of course the mandate is unconstitutional — that’s what really makes him Mitt Romney.

You’ll be pleased to know that old videos shot by Democratic operatives have begun to surface at big media outlets, which means the Hopenchange oppo operation is officially underway. The first salvo: Mr. Washington Outsider touting his D.C. connections in 2002 to reassure Massachusetts voters that he’d secure as much federal money for them as he could. Only eight more months to go! Exit question: I can understand people who think the rest of the field are “conservative nutjobs” backing Romney, but … Ted Nugent?


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Adjoran on March 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Leadership isn’t saying, watching Congress run amuck and saying, well, I can’t do anything because it’s Congress’ responsibility or the votes aren’t there.

You know, Reagan managed to get a few things done with Tip O’Neill running the House.

Elisa’s comments on leadership reflect my concern. I have no confidence Romney can stand firm, much less lead in the opposite direction. Romney equivocates and finds refuge in finding rationale as to why his hands are tied. He did it in MA regarding abortion. He did it in MA regarding same-sex “marriage”.

We need a leader, not a manager.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

. . .Equally silly is the notion that Romney wouldn’t “lead” the Congress to repeal. Are you stupid? Either Congress has the votes for repeal or it doesn’t. It won’t be up to Romney or any other Republican President to “lead” them, and no Republican President would dare veto repeal even if he wanted to – it would poison his approval and relationship with Congress in one fell swoop. . . .

If Congress won’t make the cuts, no President can save us.

Adjoran on March 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM

I don’t think you understand how Congress and Washington has worked over the years. Without leadership nothing gets done. They are sheep only looking to over their own azzes. Few stick their necks out.

Right now we essentially have no Republican leadership in Washington, certainly no conservative leadership in office right now that has any power.

Do you think Congress just came up with Reagan’s tax cuts on their own and Reagan signed them? Do you think it was easy for Reagan to get enough politicians to vote for it? Same with the Bush tax cuts. It’s called leadership. And it’s more than just the gift that Reagan had to communicate. There were Democrats and Republican moderates then too.

In my 52 years the only time I saw action coming from leadership in the Congress was for a short time when Newt became Speaker after no Republican had that position for decades. Because Newt believed in it and convinced other of it.

We have no one in Washington right now who can fill that void.

A leader has to deeply believe in what he is leading and proposing to get others to vote for it.

Elisa on March 3, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Adjoran on March 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Leadership isn’t saying, watching Congress run amuck and saying, well, I can’t do anything because it’s Congress’ responsibility or the votes aren’t there.

You know, Reagan managed to get a few things done with Tip O’Neill running the House.

Elisa’s comments on leadership reflect my concern. I have no confidence Romney can stand firm, much less lead in the opposite direction. Romney equivocates and finds refuge in finding rationale as to why his hands are tied. He did it in MA regarding abortion. He did it in MA regarding same-sex “marriage”.

We need a leader, not a manager.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Great minds think alike. lol

Or “stupid” minds, as the case may be. Which ones are we? lol

Elisa on March 3, 2012 at 1:54 AM

There you go, Allah, keep swinging for the fences trying to find ANYTHING to stop Romney’s surge towards being our nominee. He WILL repeal Obamacare! He has said it and meant it over and over.

What he is saying about the “good parts” is that eventually ALL of the states will have to do something about their out of control healthcare costs that affect everyone. My emphasis is on STATES to do something and this is where I believe Romney was steering his “good parts” comment so that states could look at what works and what definitely will not work and NOT the Federal government to handle health care.

g2825m on March 3, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Romney equivocates and finds refuge in finding rationale as to why his hands are tied. He did it in MA regarding abortion. He did it in MA regarding same-sex “marriage”.

We need a leader, not a manager.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

INC…I know you are biased towards Romney as it is so I assess the source and take what you say with a grain of salt.

Here is what Romney did on those issues:

Romney attempted to block implementation of the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that legalized same-sex marriage in 2003.

Romney instructed town clerks not to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state gay couples, except for those announcing their intention to relocate to the Commonwealth by requiring the enforcement of the “1913 law” (General Legislation, Part II, Title III, Chapter. 207 (Certain Marriages Prohibited), Sections 11, 12, & 13), which prohibits non-residents from marrying in Massachusetts if the marriage would be void in their home state. THIS ONE ACT GREATLY CHANGED GAY MARRIAGE WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE MA THE GATEWAY FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

“Like me, the great majority of Americans wish both to preserve the traditional definition of marriage
and to oppose bias and intolerance directed towards gays and lesbians,” Romney said in 2004.

Persuade the U.S. Senate to pass the Defense of Marriage Amendment. On June 22, 2004 he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, urging its members to protect the definition of marriage. “Marriage is not an evolving paradigm,”

On June 2, 2006, Romney sent a letter to each member of the U.S. Senate urging them to vote in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment.

In March 2002 during his run for governor, said that, “On a personal basis, I don’t favor abortion. However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman’s right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That’s the same position I’ve had for many years

He vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that the bill would expand access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies. He returned from his vacation house in New Hampshire to veto the bill, because the Lt. Govorner, Kerry Healey would have signed the bill into law. The legislature voted overwhelmingly to overturn the veto and pass the bill into law on September 15, 2005.

Vetoed a Massachusetts bill to fund stem-cell research because the legislation allowed such cloning of human embryos. “I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning,” said Romney, calling the practice “a matter of profound moral and ethical consequence” The state legislature overrode Romney’s veto, with many legislators feeling that stem-cell research will be important in the future to the state’s biotech industry

So Romney IS conservative on those issues you brought up and many more…DON’T BELIEVE THE SPIN YOU HEAR ON ROMNEY’S RECORD. This is why he is getting backing from so many people because they actually took a look at his record and not what some sites say it is…

g2825m on March 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM

You’ll be pleased to know that old videos shot by Democratic operatives have begun to surface at big media outlets, which means the Hopenchange oppo operation is officially underway.

Actually Allahpundit, it is not only Democratic operatives but blogs like yours working to destroy our nominees, after all we are talking about the Republican Primaries.

Somehow you failed to highlight this line:

The federal government sends an estimated $42 billion to hospitals that care for the poor: Use those funds instead to help the poor buy private insurance, as we did.

I know the encouragement of the poor to purchase PRIVATE INSURANCE, doesn’t fit your narrative.

And by the way, Rick Santorum’s strong support and assistance in the passage of Medicare Part D, already established government healthcare to the turn of a $16 TRILLION dollar unfunded liability. Of course, that doesn’t fit your narrative at all too.

mark cantu on March 3, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Romney 2012: Because white chocolate is less fattening than dark.

No one voting for Romney over Obama has any way to claim they’re motivated by policy difference.

SDN on March 3, 2012 at 8:52 AM

We’re going down the tubes and our National Sovereignty is at stake.

Romney?, why not. Let’s not change a thing.

I mean it’s not like there is a fourth guy in the race with revolutionary ideas rooted in a limited republican government born of a compact between 50 sovereign states to accomplish three and only three goals:

1) Protect our Person.
2) Protect our Property.
3) Protect our Papers (contracts).

No snail darters, No world empires, No cradle to grave nanny state. Do those three things and get the hell out of the way. Allow 310 million people to create and innovate.

1) Not to have the ATF/DEA/TSA kick our doors in and kill us (oops wrong house on that unconstitutional blank search warrant that is actually no longer required since the shredding of the bill of rights by the Patriot ACT, Indefinite Detention ACT)

1) Not to protect some rich fat cats special foreign interest, draining our treasury, shredding our troops and killing US civilians with the predictable terrorist blow-back.

1) Not to throw us in jail for a differing political view or because we had the audacity to stock up on cough syrup.

2) Not to seize our property at the whim of an EPA bureaucrat or to improve a tax district by property re-distribution under imminent domain.

2) Not to seize our wages with an unconstitutional income tax effectively destroying political opposition from the middle class by siphoning away their fungible time/money and barring them from organizing politically in their church, synagogue or mosque.

3) Not to destroy contracts by “picking” winners and losers based on political bribes and violating long standing bankruptcy laws and customs.

3) Not to destroy contracts by debauching our medium of exchange and imprisoning any one who would offer the public the option of a stable exchange medium such as digital gold or silver.

Yep, let’s go for Romnorumich and keep things just the way they are.

speed on March 3, 2012 at 10:48 AM

The comparison between Reagan and Tip O’Neil vs Romney and MA legislature is idiotic.

Reagan had the powerful weapon of the veto, as it was impossible for O’Neil to get a 2/3s supermajority in the House and Senate to override vetoes.

Romney didn’t have nearly the same leverage available as the Dems had a comfortable super-majority.

Blaming Romney over and over for legislation he vetoed and was simply overturned or legislation that he was able to marginally improve by using his marginal influence is an idiotic exercise routinely performed by idiots.

joana on March 3, 2012 at 1:35 PM

All those sophisticated GOP elitist folks that ganged up to take down Sarah Palin,(Oromneys only real competition)knew full well that this man had this baggage which will neuter his entire general campaign and sink us faster than the McTitanic did. But, they went ahead and selected this unprincipled stuffed shirt as our leader, and helpt take down his opposition.

One can only assume they are so afraid of the social cons and the tea party taking away their power, that they’ll give it away to their friends across the aisle, with this inept power seeker.

I guess, as with the WWII Japanese, suicide trumps defeat.

Don L on March 3, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Romneys problem-he has passion for only one thing-the White House. One gets the feeling that he’s the kind of guy that will turn it into condos and sell them -believing sincerely that he’s accomplished greatness.

Don L on March 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Romney will most likely be nominee but I dont think he’ll make it to the white house. For one, being in the white house is his ambition and it shows in a bad way. Even though the economy sucks, the guy is on record saying it is better (this was sometime before Florida). Obama already has about 230 EVs locked for him, I dont think Romney can sell to independents looking at his numbers now before the media and obama have gone full swing at him.

Flapjackmaka on March 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM

There is nothing wrong with what Romney said.

This proves again it is the republican party which has gone further right not Romney

liberal4life on March 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

g2825m on March 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM

It’s not spin. Those are only two links of many.

You should read my links–which are from the time those events were happening–they’re not recent editorials.

The link on abortion cites events in December 2005–after your September 2005 reference. (I have others on that as well).

As for “same-sex” marriage my link lists all of the steps Romney could have legally taken, but conveniently did not.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 4:31 PM

g2825m on March 3, 2012 at 7:20 AM

You’re such a cultist. Allah is reporting a fact and it is this very inauthenticity which makes Romney such a weak Frontrunner and will seriously damage him against Obama in the general. The says and “means” lots of things, doesn’t he? There is nothing wrong with what Allah reported, it’s right from the serpent’s mouth but all you can do is attack Allah’s credibility. Obama will make Romney look like a complete hypocrite on Health Care, there are more of these hypocritical sound bytes floating about and Team Obama will pound them home while his media sycophants run with the narrative and distract the Romney campaign from talking about other issue of importance.

But we’re stuck with Romney it looks like because Santorum is a useful idiot in letting the media bait him and Gingrich has melted down twice when in the lead.

Seriously, lay off Allah here because this is not the last time you will hear this news. Don’t be such an intellectual midget like this fool:

There is nothing wrong with what Romney said.

This proves again it is the republican party which has gone further right not Romney

liberal4life on March 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

It’s like a parrot for left wing talking points pecking at a key board. A deranged parrot disassociated from reality and living in its own Fantasy world. Even for moderates, even for many Democrats, mandates are not an acceptable intrusion on personal choices.

Daemonocracy on March 3, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Here from the The Missing Governor by Hadley Arkes, is thefirst thing Romney could have done:

Romney could have invoked the Massachusetts constitution (Part 2, ch. III, art. V): “All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the Judges of probate shall be heard and determined by the Governor and Council, until the Legislature shall, by law, make other provision.”

Romney could have pointed out here that the Supreme Judicial Court had actually violated the constitution by taking jurisdiction in a class of cases that the constitution had explicitly withheld from the courts.

From November 11, 2005, No More Striking Down Constitutions by John Haskins:

If constitutions count, homosexual marriage remains illegal in Massachusetts. John Adams’s constitution says explicitly the people are “not bound” by any law not ratified by their Legislature. Four Boston judges struck down a constitution that stood in their way — one they’ve sworn to uphold. The word “treason” comes to mind — a strong word that Liberals would use lustily if they could, but then the Left is all about winning and conservatives are about slowing them down.

Has “conservative” governor Mitt Romney refused to enforce a ruling dissenting justices and Harvard law professors say is bogus? His oath compels him to refuse the court its pleasure. He pleads impotence. Do constitutionalists demand that the outlaw justices resign? Silence. Or Romney? No, they fancy him in the White House. At what point will “constitutionalists” stop siding with the establishment against the Constitution?

Here’s a link to the Massachusetts Constitution. Check out Part I, Article X, XX, XXX and Part II, Ch. III, Article V.

Here’s an excerpt from Part I, Article X:

In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I also have other links.
Maggie Gallagher wrote in 2005:

Take a look at the new unisex marriage licenses that Gov. Romney has decided (without any authorization by the state legislature) to create. Gone is the language of bride and groom, husband and wife, replaced by the new, deeply moving announcement that “Party A” is going to join with “Party B” in something the court insists we call marriage.

So why did Romney not stand firm? Why would he go along with a court ruling when the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction, and when one John Adams, wisely wrote into the Massachusetts Constitution that the people could not be controlled by any laws than those their constitutional representative body passed???????

Well, here’s some insight. My emphasis.

From September 8, 2007, when Romney was actively running for president the first time:


Romney’s Tone on Gay Rights Is Seen as Shift

Mitt Romney seemed comfortable as a group of gay Republicans quizzed him over breakfast one morning in 2002. Running for governor of Massachusetts, he was at a gay bar in Boston to court members of Log Cabin Republicans.

Mr. Romney explained to the group that his perspective on gay rights had been largely shaped by his experience in the private sector, where, he said, discrimination was frowned upon. When the discussion turned to a court case on same-sex marriage that was then wending its way through the state’s judicial system, he said he believed that marriage should be limited to the union of a man and a woman. But, according to several people present, he promised to obey the courts’ ultimate ruling and not champion a fight on either side of the issue.

“I’ll keep my head low,” he said, making a bobbing motion with his head like a boxer, one participant recalled….

Jonathan Spampinato, a Republican activist who is openly gay and worked as Mr. Romney’s deputy political director during the run for governor…

Calling Mr. Romney a flip-flopper on gay rights would be overly simplistic, Mr. Spampinato said. But he conceded that his old boss had promised the Log Cabin members that he would not champion a fight against same-sex marriage.

“It’s definitely a shift in political priorities and strategy,” he said.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM

g2825m on March 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Even if you disagree with me on these issues, the fact remains that Romney shifts his policies at will. He also creates his own myths of his record according to the need of the moment. This isn’t spin, this is a fact.

While I do read editorials, but when something this important comes up I try to find better sources. I will usually try to find more than one source.

One reason I bring these sources in is because my degree is in math ed. My favorite college math classes were geometry and abstract algebra. I love doing mathematical proofs. The links here are part of my political “proofs”.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Great minds think alike. lol

Or “stupid” minds, as the case may be. Which ones are we? lol

Elisa on March 3, 2012 at 1:54 AM

:)

I’ve been commenting here since 2006, and I’ve never been called stupid, idiot, moron and a few other things until the Rage of the MittSwarm.

That certainly puts a perspective on things!!!

INC on March 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

as mittbot ann coulter has so patiently explained to you fools and little unimportant people who believe the bill of rights applies to you: the state may violate all your allegedly ‘inalienable rights” detailed in the constitution whereas the federal government is denied that delicious pleasure.

so that means that, say, descendants of freed slaves aka property can, if one state so desires, be returned to the descendants of their rightful owners. hey. as long as it’s not the federal government it’s ok. as long as state lines aren’t crossed.

and if one state wants to make islam the official state religion and require all it’s residents to submit upon fear of death- as long as the feds aren’t involved, ann and mitt think that’s a states’ rights issue. caliphate of michigan, anyone?

the mandate needs to be put in honest perspective- no insurance company would go along with romney or obamacare unless the mandate was included. period. it has nothing to do with ‘conservative’ or even liberal principles( as most liberals-democrat or rino- want socialized health care not socialized insurance) . it’s a pay off to insurance companies to ensure their participation.

the larger purpose of BOTH mandates(one paved the way for the other) is to eviscerate the constitution and bill of rights. socialized health care cannot co-exist with the constitution.socialism cannot co-exits with the constitution. personal freedom as envisioned by the founders cannot co-exist with socialism.

romney may have been rendered helpless by the MA legislature- that doesn’t mean he did not and does not support the premise of romneycare-he did and does. he has repeatedly stated as much or danced clumsily around it. positing the idea of whether his veto would have been effective- we all know it wouldn’t have been-is largely irrelevant. a true conservative would have vetoed it as a symbolic gesture in my opinion( gov. weld, using executive power, voided a left over dukakis healthcare mess…showing what a real conservative can do…)

romney thinks the states have the right to violate the constitution- he has repeatedly said as much. but the republican base is fiercely anti-obamacare no matter how mittbots try to chirp about it being nothing like romneycare. he’s still trying to cut it both ways. it’s time for him to hack the albatross from around his neck. sadly i do not think he is principled enough to do so nor is he humble enough to say- i was wrong. either he’s lying or he really does not think he’s wrong about the mandate and the spirit of both laws.

mittens on March 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

…romney may have been rendered helpless by the MA legislature…

mittens on March 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

The final legislation incorporates about 95 percent of my original proposal. So I think, overall, it is a major step forward. We will have health insurance for all our citizens without a government takeover and without new taxes required.”
(Jennifer Barrett, “Person Of Faith,” Newsweek.com, 6/7/06)

See p. 102.

That doesn’t sound too helpless.

(But the Mittens have frequently hauled in that excuse on many issues.)

INC on March 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Meet McRomney! I smell what the Mitt is cooking and is the same old Loser Stew! The guy is fake and unauthentic…..

Sherman1864 on March 3, 2012 at 10:02 PM

INC on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

You have expressed my worries perfectly.

Romney has seemed way too comfortable accepting defeat at the hands of Dems with a “sorry guys, I tried!” shrug. I have no confidence that he will even attempt to take difficult positions when it really counts.

Missy on March 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Missy on March 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM

.
The left is already calling Santy- “Mullah Rick” pushing his Catholic sharia.
He’s done.

Who do you have left- Huckabee ? RonPaul ?

FlaMurph on March 4, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Thanks, Missy.

The left is already calling Santy- “Mullah Rick” pushing his Catholic sharia.

FlaMurph on March 4, 2012 at 12:36 AM

As Andrew Breitbart would say, “So?”

When the Left smears, we retreat?

INC on March 4, 2012 at 1:03 AM

This post is garbage. if you read the article he’s clearly warning him to slow down. Read this old news from USA today and then read some logical analysis

grosven on March 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Elisa’s comments on leadership reflect my concern. I have no confidence Romney can stand firm, much less lead in the opposite direction. Romney equivocates and finds refuge in finding rationale as to why his hands are tied. He did it in MA regarding abortion. He did it in MA regarding same-sex “marriage”.

We need a leader, not a manager.

INC on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

You know what made Ronald Reagan one of the greatest leaders of our time? He liked people. He sincerely loved this country and understood the warp and weft of the American people and the special and totally unique fabric of our soul. His messages were straightforward, common sense, without rancor and told with wit and humor. There was never any question that Reagan wasn’t genuine and the people did follow him. He went over the press to tell his own story and Members of Congress worked with him because their constituents wnated them to.

It’s rather a riot, but Reagan never attacked George Bush personally, and when he secured the nomination, there was never any question that Bush and his supporters wouldn’t support him. Romney’s first test of leadership is going to be how he’s going to paste this shattered party back together again.

Portia46 on March 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I’ve been commenting here since 2006, and I’ve never been called stupid, idiot, moron and a few other things until the Rage of the MittSwarm.

That certainly puts a perspective on things!!!

INC on March 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

And I’m just a nice little old lady, and until the Mormon’s I’d never been called the aforementioned names and told so many times to stop acting like a child on a play yard and to get in line. I’ve also never been told by some young wipersnapper to get my head out of my….there is one thing no one will ever accuse Romney and his supporters of: charm.

Portia46 on March 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM

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