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Old 01-10-2008, 10:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It looks like anitram is the only one who mentioned any platform issues such as health care.
You should read my post and phillyfan's.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It looks like anitram is the only one who mentioned any platform issues such as health care.
Foreign relations were also mentioned. On 60 Minutes, he said he would talk to Iran and Syria. Hillary had a more hawkish view on Iran, voting on a blank check for any military action - so I doubt they would talk to her as willingly.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It looks like anitram is the only one who mentioned any platform issues such as health care. Honestly I couldn't give one solid answer about a specific platform issue that makes him attractive to me (I haven't decided yet who I will be voting for). I don't know how many people who have voted for him or plan to can do that. I don't know the specifics of his health care plan, and that is one of my main voting issues. In the next few weeks I am going to research and make my decision. I have been to all of their web sites and watched a few of the debates.

My feeling is that the main thing that makes him attractive to people is that he is a blank slate of sorts upon which people can project their hopes and desires and what they think his platform is (even if they don't really know what it is or his stances are actually completely opposite). When you contrast that with the other candidates- well their slates are already known, you can't do that with them. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.
I think yours is a good answer
and is a better way to approach a decision on who to vote for.


I absolutely believe much of Obama’s support is projection.


I remember during the 2000 election I asked many people I know here is conservative O C, CA
who they would vote for and why.


Most all of them said Bush, because they had good feelings for his father.

It seems like many are going with their "feelings" on Obama.


I expect and hope Melon will return and give "credits" for completing the assignment.

I believe most deserve "no credit" based on the assignment.

There may have been a couple of "partial credits".

By my view, Jeannieco may deserve a "full credit".

But, Melon is the "Professor"

I am just auditing his class.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:30 PM   #24
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Originally posted by deep




By my view, Jeannieco may deserve a "full credit".

But, Melon is the "Professor"

I am just auditing his class.

Hey Deep
Thanks for the nod! I was starting to think no one read my post.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:08 PM   #25
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I might vote for him in the caucus in Feb. and I won't feel so guilty now that Richardson is out of the race. At least Richardson pulled out in time to work on the universal health care legislation in New Mexico.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


I absolutely believe much of Obama’s support is projection.

Absolutely. And you can't blame anyone for that---Obama is this generation's JFK. A quick, bright, well-spoken young guy who gives people a positive, good feeling at a time when the world looks tenuous.

I understand the point of the thread, but tell me that "feeling" isn't what determines 50+ % of Americans' votes in every election.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I expect and hope Melon will return and give "credits" for completing the assignment.
I will, eventually. But a good "professor" sometimes knows when to sit back and listen to what others have to say before he chimes in himself.

So, for now, I'm observing. It's all very interesting reading.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #28
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From the articles I've read in various magazines, specifically in Time a few months back, I have figured out a couple of things about him.
He didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth, so I find him belivable when he say's he can relate to the average man.

I like the idea that his mother took him to many houses of worship when he was growing up - so he's not driven by some religious fervor and is tolerant of how other people believe.

I feel he really means everything he says regarding how to unite the country and regain our standing and respect in the world.

I can't find any fault in his stance on anything. He's almost too good to be true (and I mean that in the most flattering sense.)

In any case, I've decided who I'm voting for and unless something happens to her before Nov that's where my support is.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:39 PM   #29
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Utoo

I understand the point of the thread, but tell me that "feeling" isn't what determines 50+ % of Americans' votes in every election.
True, and look at the idiot we are now stuck with because of it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:28 AM   #31
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I doubt things would be much different if the thread were about any other candidate--I think we'd mostly see the same thing, maybe two or three specific platform points mentioned, with the rest of the post being devoted to far less tangible, impressionistic things like "S/he'll be strong on defense" "S/he'll rebuild our relationships with other world leaders" "S/he's got years of experience in building consensus and reaching across the aisle" "S/he's reflective and sincere and will listen to divergent opinions" "S/he really understands and cares about working-class families' issues" blabbity blah blah blah. It's easy to bitch about all the idiots who 'voted for the guy they'd have a beer with' and I do it too, but on the other hand, if you don't think decidedly noncerebral factors like charisma, personableness, and an uncanny knack for intuiting how best to connect to your audience were absolutely crucial to Bill Clinton's electoral successes, then you are very naïve in my book. I understand the anxiety and/or distaste some feel at certain apparent tendencies to elevate Obama to some deus ex machina figure who'll "heal" the country by emanating hope and open-mindedness 24/7, but he shouldn't be reflexively assumed to be some bantamweight naïf just because he's a born communicator who knows it and draws on it, either.

I haven't decided yet who I'll vote for, but I certainly am seriously considering Obama. For me it's difficult to reference his platform without comparing him to other candidates, because weighing one candidate's e.g. (from my POV) B+ environmental platform versus another's C- against the reverse scorecard when it comes to immigration, and deciding which trumps which, is generally how I make that aspect of my decision. I find his healthcare, education, immigration and civil rights proposals vague and inadequate, and his environmental/energy, economic, Iraq and foreign policy proposals solid starts. I can't think of any one platform point that made me rocket out of my seat and shout 'Yesssss!' (though his community service ideas come close) but on the other hand, I can't think of anything that terrified or repulsed me either (yes, that's a common enough reaction for me when reading these things). I haven't made an exhaustive study of his (or anyone else's) actual voting record but thus far, the same applies there. Like several others in here, I appreciate his early criticism of the Bush Administration's case for war in Iraq, though I take Bluer White's point that he wasn't a Senator at the time and therefore there's some leap of faith involved in assuming that that is how he would in fact have voted. Beyond that, I will also be weighing 'intangibles' like perceived electability, interpersonal skills, and judgment into the equation, like it or not.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:29 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
far less tangible, impressionistic things like "S/he'll be strong on defense" "S/he'll rebuild our relationships with other world leaders" "S/he's got years of experience in building consensus and reaching across the aisle" "S/he's reflective and sincere and will listen to divergent opinions"
I don't think these items are that much less tangible, and in many cases they are more important than platform issues. E.g. given that Bush mentioned WW3 as a possibility, we need someone who will reach out to world leaders instead of voting to bomb them or jokingly singing "Bomb Iran". So that's literally a matter of life and death. IMO the issues of 2008/9 and beyond will be more of the "crisis" variety than they have been in the recent past, and will be as or more important than things like immigration, health care, etc. We'll possibly see painful things like energy shortages related to our oil addiction, a new cold war (which is already here to some extent) with Russia and China, possible bank/financial institution failures, higher unemployment etc.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:56 AM   #33
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So I say: "Okay, fine. Since I must look at the platforms if I'm to get a passing grade in this class, I'll look at the freaking platforms." (Sorry, I've always been a rather rebellious student, if not behaviorally then definitely academically).

So I look at Obama's healthcare platform. I look at Hillary's. They both sound good. As I knew they would.

I mean, come ON people!! These platforms. . .I mean is anyone--even a Republican going to say--"hey, I'm not really going to try to provide insurance coverage for all Americans cause it can't be done for all of you. . so too bad. But, I think I can help more than we're helping now so if you vote for me, some of you will get lucky." These platforms are just like the inspirational speech--there to encourage you to vote their way, regardlesss of how likely it is that that platform will actually be put into action. How can any presidential candidate promise to put far-reaching changes into effect of this nature anyway. They HAVE to have the support of Congress, which automatically means that radical change is NOT going to happen. The plan is going to have to be middle of the road and whatever finally does get passed will probably look the same regardless of who is president. I suppose you could try to suss out what the "real" priorities of the president will be once he/she is elected. Maybe the candidate has a healthcare plan, but once elected ignores health care reform and focuses his/her administration on other issues--is there a way to deduce that before we vote?

A president that is most likely to get their agenda made into actual law is one who can convince members of Congress to see things their way, beyond that, I don't think the platform means a whole hell of a lot. Most centrist's stated platforms are going to be very similar with only the fringe candidates proposing truly radical (and often unworkable) changes.

So, no. I'm not buying this whole "platform" and "stance on the issues" as THE deciding factor in who to vote for.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:09 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by ntalwar
I don't think these items are that much less tangible, and in many cases they are more important than platform issues.
I wasn't at all suggesting they weren't important (and as I said, I will be weighing the 'intangibles' into my own decision, like it or not)--just that what they actually mean in real-world terms is way more subjective than specific policy points are. They're the kind of evaluations whose import you'd feel much more confident about coming from someone whose opinions and judgment you're sure you trust than from someone you're less familiar with, or whose opinions and judgment you don't trust.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:20 AM   #35
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I assume the question is what makes Obama exclusively attractive - in other words, what does he have that the other candidates don't?

I think the fact that he's been on the record as against the Iraq war from the beginning is very attractive. His desire to withdrawl from Iraq quickly is not exclusive, as both of his main Democratic opponents share that desire. But the fact that he voted against the war initially is exclusive. And that's attractive.

I like the fact that he clearly wants to embrace technology as much as possible, to make sure we can make the most use of it(ensuring that the internet stays open and neutral) and making sure that the government itself uses technology/the internet to bridge the gap between civilian and government. Now, it's possible that the other Democratic candidates share similar ideas about making sure the internet stays open and making sure everyone can have broadband access, but Obama's official website is the only one I've seen that has entire subsection of its 'Issues' area dedicated to 'Technology'. That says something to me. Furthermore, I doubt that any of the other candidates are pushing these ideas about using the internet to make the government more 'open' to us. Here is a big chunk of info from the 'Technology' section of Obama's website:

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/
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Protect the Openness of the Internet: A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way. Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet. Users must be free to access content, to use applications, and to attach personal devices. They have a right to receive accurate and honest information about service plans. But these guarantees are not enough to prevent network providers from discriminating in ways that limit the freedom of expression on the Internet. Because most Americans only have a choice of only one or two broadband carriers, carriers are tempted to impose a toll charge on content and services, discriminating against websites that are unwilling to pay for equal treatment. This could create a two-tier Internet in which websites with the best relationships with network providers can get the fastest access to consumers, while all competing websites remain in a slower lane. Such a result would threaten innovation, the open tradition and architecture of the Internet, and competition among content and backbone providers. It would also threaten the equality of speech through which the Internet has begun to transform American political and cultural discourse. Barack Obama supports the basic principle that network providers should not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of some web sites and Internet applications over others. This principle will ensure that the new competitors, especially small or non-profit speakers, have the same opportunity as incumbents to innovate on the Internet and to reach large audiences. Obama will protect the Internet’s traditional openness to innovation and creativity and ensure that it remains a platform for free speech and innovation that will benefit consumers and our democracy.

Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy
Open Up Government to its Citizens:
The Bush Administration has been one of the most secretive, closed administrations in American history. Our nation’s progress has been stifled by a system corrupted by millions of lobbying dollars contributed to political campaigns, the revolving door between government and industry, and privileged access to inside information-all of which have led to policies that favor the few against the public interest. An Obama presidency will use cutting-edge technologies to reverse this dynamic, creating a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens. Technology-enabled citizen participation has already produced ideas driving Obama’s campaign and its vision for how technology can help connect government to its citizens and engage citizens in a democracy. Barack Obama will use the most current technological tools available to make government less beholden to special interest groups and lobbyists and promote citizen participation in government decision-making. Obama will integrate citizens into the actual business of government by:
Making government data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities. Greater access to environmental data, for example, will help citizens learn about pollution in their communities, provide information about local conditions back to government and empower people to protect themselves.

Establishing pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry to help government make more informed decisions.

Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can watch a live feed on the Internet as the agencies debate and deliberate the issues that affect American society. He will ensure that these proceedings are archived for all Americans to review, discuss and respond. He will require his appointees to employ all the technological tools available to allow citizens not just to observe, but also to participate and be heard in these meetings.

Restoring the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials.

Lifting the veil from secret deals in Washington with a web site, a search engine, and other web tools that enable citizens easily to track online federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts with government officials.

Giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days before signing any non-emergency legislation.
Bringing democracy and policy deliberations directly to the people by requiring his Cabinet officials to have periodic national online town hall meetings to answer questions and discuss issues before their agencies.
Employing technologies, including blogs, wikis and social networking tools, to modernize internal, cross-agency, and public communication and information sharing to improve government decision-making.
Bring Government into the 21st Century: Barack Obama will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Obama believes in the American people and in their intelligence, expertise, and ability and willingness to give and to give back to make government work better.

Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

The CTO will have a specific focus on transparency, by ensuring that each arm of the federal government makes its records open and accessible as the E-Government Act requires. The CTO will also focus on using new technologies to solicit and receive information back from citizens to improve the functioning of democratic government.
The CTO will also ensure technological interoperability of key government functions. For example, the Chief Technology Officer will oversee the development of a national, interoperable wireless network for local, state and federal first responders as the 9/11 commission recommended. This will ensure that fire officials, police officers and EMTs from different jurisdictions have the ability to communicate with each other during a crisis and we do not have a repeat of the failure to deliver critical public services that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In the 21st century, our economic success will depend not only on economic analysis but also on technological sophistication and direct experience in this powerful engine of our economy. In an Obama administration, the government’s economic policy-making organizations and councils will include individuals with backgrounds in our technology industry.

Deploy a Modern Communications Infrastructure
To realize Barack Obama’s vision of an interconnected democracy, the nation deserves the finest and most modern communications infrastructure in the world. The technology sector has helped keep the United States at the center of innovation and the job growth and wealth creation that has accompanied it. However, while the United States once led the world in Internet deployment, the Bush administration has surrendered that leadership through its indifference to technology and its lack of understanding of the 21st century economy. By rededicating our nation to ensuring that all Americans have access to broadband and the skills to use it effectively, Barack Obama will position our citizens, particularly our young people, to compete and succeed in an increasingly technology-rich, knowledge-based economy.

Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. As a country, we have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status, and Obama will do likewise for broadband Internet access. Full broadband penetration can enrich democratic discourse, enhance competition, provide economic growth, and bring significant consumer benefits. Moreover, improving our infrastructure will foster competitive markets for Internet access and services that ride on that infrastructure. Obama believes we can get true broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives. Specifically, Obama proposes the following policies to restore America’s world leadership in this arena:
Redefine “broadband:” The Federal Communications Commission today defines “broadband” as an astonishingly low 200 kbps. This distorts federal policy and hamstrings efforts to broaden broadband access. Obama will define “broadband” for purposes of national policy at speeds demanded by 21st century business and communications.

Universal Service Reform: Obama will establish a multi-year plan with a date certain to change the Universal Service Fund program from one that supports voice communications to one that supports affordable broadband, with a specific focus on reaching previously un-served communities.

Unleashing the Wireless Spectrum: Obama will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our public airwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest. Obama will demand a review of existing uses of our wireless spectrum. He will create incentives for smarter, more efficient and more imaginative use of government spectrum and new standards for commercial spectrum to bring affordable broadband to rural communities that previously lacked it. He will ensure that we have enough spectrum for police, ambulances and other public safety purposes.

Bringing Broadband to our Schools, Libraries, Households and Hospitals: Obama will recommit America to ensuring that our schools, libraries, households and hospitals have access to next generation broadband networks. He will also make sure that there are adequate training and other supplementary resources to allow every school, library and hospital to take full advantage of the broadband connectivity.

Encourage Public/Private Partnerships: Obama will encourage innovation at the local level through federal support of public/private partnerships that deliver real broadband to communities that currently lack it.
So, those three things(the fact that he was officially against Iraq from the beginning, his in-depth ideas regarding technology, and the extent to which he wants open the government back up and give us our voice back, and the way he wants to combine the last two) are the 'exclusive' things that make him attractive to me.

Now, I like his education policies - his desire to give everyone the first $4000 of their college education in particular - and I like that he wants to withdrawl from Iraq, and I like his healthcare plan(the description on his site makes it seem like he wants healthcare for everyone, I don't know where it ever says that it's only for children) and I like the fact that he supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, and I like his ideas about energy independence and climate change and so forth, but none of these things are really exclusive to him. They're basically all shared by Hillary and Edwards and so on.

Now, I'd just like to say this premise that we should only make decisions based on facts and not on what a candidate makes us feel is a little silly. That premise would only be valid if we were electing robots to office. That premise says that we should disregard humanity when deciding who should be president. And that's bullshit. You don't think a president's humanity is important when he's trying to talk to and relate to other world leaders, when he's trying to see all different sides of any given conflict in any given area? A president's humanity will show itself in every facet of the job. It is IMMENSELY important that we take a person's humanity into the equation when deciding whether to vote for them. In fact, it's practically impossible not to. The very first question you ask yourself when you listen to a candidate, before you even ask yourself if you agree with what they're saying, is 'Do I believe this person?', and if that question isn't directly connected to a person's humanity, I don't know what question is. The superficial aspects of a candidate(referring to speaking abiiity, charisma, image, etc) are all connected to that candidate's humanity, and that plays into the decision for all of us. ALL of us.

So yes, his ability to communicate, his charisma, his personality, it's all very important, and it IS a significant part of what makes him attractive. When he talks, I believe him without having to try. I can't say that about Hillary or Edwards.

So, with that, I feel I've made my case both on the 'facts' side and on the 'feelings' side.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:23 AM   #36
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So, no. I'm not buying this whole "platform" and "stance on the issues" as THE deciding factor in who to vote for.
Exactly - Bush ran on a platform of compassionate conservatism, which turned out to be a crock. Perceived credibility is as or more important than platforms, and things like sources of campaign money need to be examined more.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:04 AM   #37
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Absolutely. And you can't blame anyone for that---Obama is this generation's JFK. A quick, bright, well-spoken young guy who gives people a positive, good feeling at a time when the world looks tenuous.

I understand the point of the thread, but tell me that "feeling" isn't what determines 50+ % of Americans' votes in every election.
I think that "feeling" is part of it also, and Obama strikes that chord with me and I am a highly intuitive female, but in the last 2 elections don't you guys think that Bush's victory was because of the religious right base and their ability to mobilize to get out the vote? Therefore I think his victory ( if you can call it that) was based on ideologly and FEAR-mongering.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:22 AM   #38
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True, and look at the idiot we are now stuck with because of it.
Absolutely---and that's the downside of it. Unfortunately, I really think that's just the way it is. If we're really to believe that Hil's choking up the other day is really what swung her victory in NH, that Bill was really boosted by the disparity between his answer to a personal question on the national debt () vs. George I's answer, or that the fact that the disparity in image between JFK and Nixon on the first televised debate () is really what swung JFK over the favored Nixon----as all the history books and pundits say----then I truly believe that even some of the most educated voters vote based on a combination of a loose knowledge of only a handful of their candidate's stances and the feeling that they get when the look at or listen to their candidate of choice.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:45 AM   #39
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #40
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