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April 24, 2008

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bgates

I believe!

I believe so strongly in my own ability to change the world around me, that I have no need to fall in line behind a secular messiah who promises to expand the vast power of the federal government to change the world for me.

You know what bugs the hell out of me? People who describe human failings as specifically American failings. Is Klein aware of any immutable pedestrian realities about democratic politics among the 6 billion-odd people who live anywhere else on the planet?

Neo

We've all heard again and again the "themes" like "hope" and "believe" and most import .. "CHANGE".
But behind each of these curtains seems to aways be another curtain with no obvious prizes.

MayBee

The "let's change the way we do politics in Washington" was/is a way to inoculate himself.
He wanted it to be less fun to criticize him-- and it was for a while.
He never meant he wouldn't let others be attacked. He never meant he would stand up for someone else.

Has he ever said something like, "I think people have been too hard on President Bush"?
Did he ever say, "Please don't consider Jack Ryan's personal life when you consider voting for me"?

no.

DebinNC

"Obama">http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1734639,00.html">Obama yesterday: "... voters "are not looking for politicians to be calling each other names and acting with a lot of bluster. That's been the politics we have had for the last 20 years. They are looking for somebody who is tough enough to stand up to the political tides when it is the right thing to do," he said Wednesday. "That is the kind of toughness I have shown for my entire career and public life."

sbw

Obama: "I'M ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours."

Grrr! Can't! ... Do! ... Two things! ... At once!

Neo

A man is taken down to the river to be baptized.

The pastor lays the man back and dunks him under the cold water. After a few moments, he pulls the man out of the water and the man looks confused as the pastor yells out .. Do you Believe ?

Receiving no answer from the man, the pastor dunks the man back into the cold water again, then after a few moments pulls the man back up and yells out .. Do you Believe ?

Still confused and gasping for air, the man doesn't answer, so the pastor dips the man back in the cold water yet again. Pulling him up he yells once more .. Do you Believe ?

The man gasps and finally blurts out ..
I Believe You Are Trying To Kill Me

Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report

Obama is an empty suit. But inside the empty suit lurks the spirit of George McGovern.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

Neo

If it were just George McGovern, it wouldn't be so bad, but unfortunately it is George McGovern and Jimmy Carter.

Danube of Thought

Klein is an elitist sap who is firmly convinced of his own moral superiority. He's been that way for years.

At the end of Clinton's second term, he pronounced his as the "most successful presidency since FDR." Gee--anybody heard of Ronald Reagan?

DebinNC

Michelle Obama is speaking in Fort Wayne, IN at 4:00 today. Indianapolis WISHTV8:

"Michelle Obama is making another visit to Indiana to campaign for her husband. Mrs. Obama will be speaking on Friday at North Side High School in Fort Wayne. She will provide Hoosiers a unique perspective on her husband's ability to bring the country together and bring about change we can believe in."

Another example of our skeptical press.

royf

...But part of the problem with editorial writers — and, truth to tell, columnists like me — is a narrow definition of the qualifications necessary to be President. It helps to be a warrior, for one thing. It helps to be able to take a punch and deliver one — even, sometimes, a sucker punch. A certain familiarity with life as it is lived by normal Americans is useful; a distance from the élite precincts of academia, where unrepentant terrorists can sip wine in good company, is essential. Hillary Clinton has learned these lessons the hard way; Barack Obama thinks they are "the wrong lessons." The nomination is, obviously, his to lose. But the presidency will not be won if he doesn't learn that the only way to reach the high-minded conversation he wants, and the country badly needs, is to figure out how to maneuver his way through the gutter.

 

I'm not a highly educated man and I believe the USA has given more blood and treasure in pursuit of the ideas of Liberty and Freedom than any nation ever recorded. I recognize as a Nation we have made mistakes and sometimes our motives have been imperfect. And I guess I'll never be enlightened enough to consider sipping wine with terrorists as being in good company. But when you imply you need to get in the "gutter" to speak to me well just screw you!

TexasToast

If Obama has crashed back to earth it is in large part because folks are realizing that there is nothing behind the curtain except an utterly conventional far-left liberal with no experience, no history of bipartisanship, and no track record of success in Washington.

This might be an interesting observation if you had ever shown the slightest sign that you believed there was ever anything "... behind the curtain". Obamas support hasn't fallen off because folks are "realizing" anything. Obama has simply failed to peel off enough of HRC's core of support - particularly in states like Penn and Ohio - to put her away - so to speak.

Obama still has great appeal to his core coalition - which doesn't happen to be a typical "democratic" core coalition. Conversely, HRC still has great appeal to her core coalition - which is more conventionally "democratic". Neither has made much headway into the other's base. People who really like Hillary don't hate Obama (still/yet) and vice versa.

The loyalty and enthusiasm of each candidate's base is impressive.

What does this mean for the fall? Probably not as much as you folks would hope. People who are not going to vote for Obama because of flag pins weren't going to anyway. Women like my aunt who are fierce Hillary supporters are as likely to vote for McCain as fierce Romney supporters are to vote for the democratic nominee.

At the end of this campaign this summer - we will still be in Iraq, the mortgage crisis will still be with us and George W Bush will still be in the White House. "No third term" seems like a appropriate slogan - whoever the democratic nominee is.

bgates

Reagan? He was the old guy who was variously portrayed as a senile fool, smiling warmonger, or evil genius in music videos, comic books, and SNL skits, right? Of course, that was "in the era of Republican dominance", when "the low-information signals were really low."

LindaK

BO's empty suit is actually pretty crowded -- with George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Jeremiah Wright and maybe Karl Marx.

Gmax

Does anyone think TT sounds, you know, Bitter?

Appalled

Well, TM. Glad you made it to Obama's website. Did you try clicking on all the substantive positions on the issues that are all over that site? (I admit, you have to find yur way through a lot of hope and change to get over to those links...)

As a good conservative, I'm sure most of the economic stuff would leave you cold. Much of it leaves me cold. But there are actual proposals in that locaton. care to engage on those?

Or is it more, Wright, Ayers, and slams against the NPR set?

Thomas Collins

Klein is being sly. He is well aware that the "change" campaign is an attempt to win on fluff. It is the ultimate in attempted low-information signaling. It worked in the last gubernatorial race here in the People's Republic of Patrickchusetts (in part because of the perceived weakness of Deval's opponent). HRC's most positive legacy to the political process may be that her refusal to quit has resulted in more focus on B_O's campaign of mirrors.

bgates

At the end of this campaign this summer - we will still be in Iraq
Unless we're forced out because of the enlistment crisis the civil war the mighty mighty Mahdi....
the mortgage crisis will still be with us I could point out that there was no crisis before 2006 when the Republicans held Congress, but tying a financial bubble to political officeholders is silly
and George W Bush will still be in the White House. "No third term" seems like a appropriate slogan
Gee, that sounds like the politics we have had for the last 20 years.

Jane

She will provide Hoosiers

That made me think of a pretty fabulous reunion talking place in CA right now!

JohnW

"But part of the problem with editorial writers — and, truth to tell, columnists like me — is a narrow definition of the qualifications necessary to be President."

I hate that "I'm gonna let you in on a little insider secret" tone columnists always take. We know you're fake, dude.

"Re Obama's "I'm asking you to believe in yours" - geez, here he is, already ducking responsibility for his failed Administration. What, now it's our fault for not believing enough?"

Obama left a message on my answering machine (I live in PA) on Tuesday, saying "I need you to call or visit all your friends and neighbors and get them to vote." I thought, this guy isn't even president yet and he's already telling me what to do????!!

Syl

Body language (Klein can drop the 'social') is more important than tomes of policy because it speaks to character and connection.

I think Obama, I see nose in the air.
I think McCain, I see him touching foreheads with Cindy.

ben

Wow, Obama has "substantive issues" on his website!!! I suppose none of the other candidates does. It's statements like this that make Obamabots scary. They actually believe that "substantive issues" on a website indicates a substantive candidate, that the candidate wrote them, that the candidate might actually want or be able to implement them. I can put together a website in 5 minutes with a lot of substantive issues, imagine what I could do with Obama's millions.

More substantive, Rasmussen has just put out poll results showing McCain with a nice lead over Obama on two key issues: the economy and Iraq (hmm, what else is there at the moment?)

MikeS

"low-information signaling"
That seems a bit too grandiose to describe Obama's campaign style. Likewise, "sound and fury signifying nothing," also implies a level of dignity that I'm not willing to concede. If I could edit Shakespeare to just, "A tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing," that captures my opinion of the level of information being signaled by Brocko.

Rick Ballard

"Did you try clicking on all the substantive positions on the issues that are all over that site?"

Why bother, the doofus actually has had a day job for four years that allowed him to present substantive proposals before a body empowered to enact them. His party has had control of that body for the last two years and yet he still sits on his thumb.

Why would anyone think that he can accomplish anything in the future, given that he has accomplished nothing to date?

He has all the "substance" of a dandelion in full blossom during a tornado.

Charlie (Colorado)

BO's empty suit is actually pretty crowded -- with George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Jeremiah Wright and maybe Karl Marx.

And Benito Mussolini.

Elliott

Women like my aunt who are fierce Hillary supporters are as likely to vote for McCain as fierce Romney supporters are to vote for the democratic nominee.

Good point, TexasToast.

Appalled

ben:

Somehow, I don't think I'd find substantive issues on your website. (Well, you probably link to Playboy for the articles.)

Here's a link to Obama's "Blueprint for Change". It's 115 pages of substantive proposals.

Again -- a challenge. The stuff is here -- this is what Obama says he will do. Criticize the substance.

I know you guys want to jump at it.

Appalled

Ben:

A poll means McCain's positions are better? That's substance!

MayBee

Much of it leaves me cold. But there are actual proposals in that locaton. care to engage on those?

I have an idea! Why don't you, appalled, bring up one of the proposals for discussion? Then we (and TM) won't have to guess what it is you want to engage on.

rhodan

It's always amusing what Hollywood people will go for. "Land of Confusion" was in it's
own way, a vicious satire on the "We Are the World" project, which deliveredmillions of dollars of food aid to an Ethiopian Marxist regime. which behaved just slightly less viciously than the Janjaweed regime in Sudan. Miller was young and bitter then, but he didn't turn to guns or religion, heh. I suspect he's had somewhat of a change of heart now, as his directorship of '300' and his uphill struggle to produce
"Batman vs. AQ" Yet another Miller, Dennis. often played the senile ole man bit against Reagan, variation on the 'Button' as the clapper, the lack of celebrity endorsers, (particularly the Brat Pack)yet he's come around. I guess that Winston Churchill line
about age and political orientation is true, then again when he was 24 he held the
line at Omdurman, against the Caliph so how really liberal could he be. I do agree that the total ignorance of the purpose of the war on terror, including Afghanistan, seems to be rather more manifest than the Cold War in many places.

ben

"Or is it more, Wright, Ayers, and slams against the NPR set?"

No, Appalled we can engage in the fact Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax, impacting 100 million Americans that have investments. We can talk how he wants to cut and run in Iraq, handing it over to Al Qaida, providing a huge propaganda coup for terrorists. We can talk about his proposal for socialized medicine. We can debate how he wants to defund critical weapons programs so he can invest in a nanny state. There is no end to Obama's bad ideas, but it seems relevant his ties to Wright and Ayers show he is an America-hater. And would it be ok to mention he has no record, no experience, no qualifications?

ps: You forgot Rezko.

MikeS

"Blueprint for Change"

It would be great if Obama would discuss this stuff on the campaign trail and maybe even take some questions from the media on those proposals. Of course that would leave him with less time to analyze the commoners.

Elliott

Are rhodan and narciso one and the same?

bgates

OT - from the Corner, Name That Theocrat:
"Let us vote no on this budget as an act of worship..."

Hint: that sentence ends with the phrase, "and for America's children."

Bonus hint: "America's children" now include the grandchildren of the history making first ever Speaker of the House to not have a penis (assuming she never picked up something at one of those charming little shops in her district.)

ben

"Again -- a challenge. The stuff is here -- this is what Obama says he will do. Criticize the substance."

Nah, Appalled, the substance is meaningless without the persona behind it. "Substance" is not on the ballot, Obama is. Maybe someday we will vote for a platform instead of a candidate, but until then the candidate matters.

Once you determine the persona behind it is a phony, you can ignore the substance (not that the substance is any good anyway, its basically warmed over big government doctrine.)

Obama's veneer of hope and change has been rubbed off. Now you are trying to sell substance. Good luck.

Syl

Much of it leaves me cold. But there are actual proposals in that locaton. care to engage on those?

LOL

When it comes to working with Congress, I'd much prefer a b*tch to a wimp in the Whitehouse. Even though I don't agree with either's policies.

At least the b*tch will probably keep us safer than the wimp who will apologize to Iran.

hit and run

MayBee:
Has he ever said something like, "I think people have been too hard on President Bush"?


Ummm…

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—Not all the nation’s ills can be blamed on President Bush, Democratic candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday as he called on Americans to change the nature of politics and institute more openness in government.

“Part of the problem here is not just George Bush and the White House,” Obama told a crowd of hundreds gathered at a park in Cedar Falls. “We can’t just change political parties and continue to do the same kind of things we’ve been doing. We can’t just go about business as usual and think it’s going to turn out differently.”


Though if you follow the link, the original AP article has gone missing. And I thought for sure I put this in a comment at JOM at the time (Aug last year), though I can't find it now.

Because I did find it very remarkable at the time.

Gmax

I been listening to socialists for well over 40 years now since I was old enough to understand what a political campaign was about. With the exception of George McGovern, who was quite open about what he believed, most candidates on the Democrat Party ticket since then have attempted to hide their views since unfortunately few of them are supported in sufficient amounts by the voting public allow any of them to obtain public office.

If as I suspect Obama is well aware of the lesson McGovern taught the Democrat Party, then we will only get glimpses here and there of what he really thinks, likely at times when he is under some pressure and must speak extemporaneously and cant run the comment by focus groups and advisers to remove the thorns and burrs and leave only rose petals.

So am I interested in reading pablum on a website, no thanks. I dont by the way, read the platforms of either political party either. Those are great works of fiction, at least in certain areas and boring as a task could possibly be.

I will listen when he starts telling us what he believes, but I will also look for the slips of the mask when we get to see the real Obama. I think I already know what is behind the mask however. All of these advisers with Marxist tendencies to outright Marxist pledges are kinda a clue, whether you or Joel Klein want to acknowledge that fact.

ben

"Ben:

A poll means McCain's positions are better? That's substance!"

No but it might mean smoke and mirrors might not be working so well. Two months ago Obama had a huge lead in both issues.

Obama has taken a hit on a lot of personal traits. He is now perceived to be less honest, less patriotic, less uniting than before. If he is also perceived as being wrong on important issues, what's left? The white horse?

Gmax

I been listening to socialists for well over 40 years now since I was old enough to understand what a political campaign was about. With the exception of George McGovern, who was quite open about what he believed, most candidates on the Democrat Party ticket since then have attempted to hide their views since unfortunately few of them are supported in sufficient amounts by the voting public allow any of them to obtain public office.

If as I suspect Obama is well aware of the lesson McGovern taught the Democrat Party, then we will only get glimpses here and there of what he really thinks, likely at times when he is under some pressure and must speak extemporaneously and cant run the comment by focus groups and advisers to remove the thorns and burrs and leave only rose petals.

So am I interested in reading pablum on a website, no thanks. I dont by the way, read the platforms of either political party either. Those are great works of fiction, at least in certain areas and boring as a task could possibly be.

I will listen when he starts telling us what he believes, but I will also look for the slips of the mask when we get to see the real Obama. I think I already know what is behind the mask however. All of these advisers with Marxist tendencies to outright Marxist pledges are kinda a clue, whether you or Joel Klein want to acknowledge that fact.

Porchlight
The vagueness ought to be a clue - why not argue that Obama simply developed a new method of "low-information signaling" designed to energize previously untargeted groups such as the cultural elite and the young (OK, and the media)?

I think this is the key. One very noticeable aspect of the Obama campaign is its success in the use of social networking. Obamaites just looooove social networking. What do social networkers (YouTubers, FaceBookers, Diggers, Twitterers, etc.) learn about Obama? He's cool, hip, new, fresh - he listens to Jay-Z! He's my new black best friend! All the cool hip celebrities love him too!

This is not exactly "high-information signaling." It's still low-information signaling - it's just different information and a different form of dissemination.

A guy named Clay Shirky is a professor of "social media" at NYU and a noted guru of such things. He was a Dean supporter in 2004 and wrote this excellent post-mortem of the Dean campaign and why it failed. As far as I can tell, he is now supporting Obama.

If you read the article, the words "novelty campaign" will stay with you. If you live in a social networking bubble, I'm sure it does seem as if the entire universe is supporting Obama. The problem with these social media worshippers is that they don't realize that the majority of voters don't use and couldn't care less about this stuff. Obamaites have yet to learn this lesson.

ben

"Somehow, I don't think I'd find substantive issues on your website. (Well, you probably link to Playboy for the articles.)"

Why, do you think I am a working class white who lives in a small town, driven to guns and religion?

Finally, someone believes me when I say I don't read Playboy for the pictures. Thanks, Appalled.

MayBee

Not all the nation’s ills can be blamed on President Bush,

Ha! Thanks, hit!

I was thinking more along the lines of, "When it comes to Guantanamo, I understand the dilemma Bush faced in determining what to do with violent men seeking to kill our troops. I will face a similar dilemma when I become President and close Guantanamo Bay.."

PeterUK

If Obama had anything to sell he would be demonstrating it,running it over your carpet,showing how it could reaching into the dustiest corner,remove the most stubborn stains.Door to door salesmen,who don't carry a product or a catalogue are usually conmen.

JB

"Did you try clicking on all the substantive positions on the issues that are all over that site?"

He's going to punish the rich with higher taxes because it's "fair", regardless of the consequences to the aggregate economy. I think that is sufficient enough for me to giggle at any notion of "substance" in his proposals, appalled.

Danube of Thought

"...if you had ever shown the slightest sign that you believed there was ever anything '... behind the curtain'."

The essence of conservatism is to be skeptical of what is behind curtains until given evidence that there is something there. The essence of modern liberalism is to believe unquestioningly in pleasing nostrums appropriately cooed, without regard to the presence or absence of substance until it is too late.

Porchlight

Bravo, DoT.

Wilson's a Liar

Every candidate for president puts out reams of policy papers and such. But how to know whether he/she really believes in those policies and will follow through in at least trying to implement them? In most cases, you have to look at his/her record in office. Bill Clinton was a plausible candidate of the "center" in 1992 because he had done a few substantive things in Arkansas in a moderate way, like education reform, and he was not a big taxer. George W. Bush was a plausible reformer and bipartisan uniter because he had done those things in Texas.

This is what is killing Obama - he has no record. A bunch of "present" votes in the Illinois Senate and an undistinguished record of voting in lockstep with the Democrats and sponsoring almost nothing in the U.S. Senate.

So, without a record, how else are we to judge whether all those great policy ides will get done? We have to look at who he has associated with and admired. This is why Rev. Wright and Ayers/Dorm have stuck to him like glue. When you decide to run for prsident on such a thin resume and nonexistent record, you had better be ready to be judged on your associations. Obama tried the flim-flam but the voters in the big states did not buy it.

windansea

a neighbor who once belonged to one of the world’s most inept terrorist groups.

hmmm...inept does not seem too apt, weren't there some people killed in some bank robberies sugar baby obtained false IDs for?

Ranger

Speaking of policy issues, TNR calles BS on Barack's "end the war by bringing our soldiers home" http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=6001af15-399f-4b11-b7fb-6f52baca6bcc>claim.

Hat Tip - Hot Air

JM Hanes

TexasToast:

I believe McCain will get a lot of the "independent" vote that might have gone to Obama had the GOP run a bona fide conservative, and I suspect that there may be a surprising number of people who have ended up in Hillary's camp because they think she's less likely to just pull the plug on Iraq than she pretends -- although no Democrat would admit to that in public.

With those two exceptions, however, I tend to agree that the current divisions in the Democratic party are unlikely to translate into any significant crossover to the Republican candidate once the Dems anoint a nominee. If the bruising continues on apace, it could conceivably affect Dem turnout though, which would work to McCain's advantage.

JB

Argh. Sorry.

Google "Obama's 80,000 Man Strike-Force for Iraq"

Soylent Red

Blue ribbon comment, Porch.

Now...

that is, stupid things like whether you know how to roll a bowling ball or wear an American-flag pin.

The arrogance of this statement just amazes me. These things aren't "stupid". That's some knucklehead reporter's opinion of what is and isn't stupid.

I would submit that they are the most important things in the world. Why? Because they matter to the people who cast the votes.

Power to the people. Yeah sure, provided they agree with what we think.

Soylent Red

80,000 Man Strike-Force for Iraq

FM 3-24, almost directly from the hand of Gen. Petraeus, suggests that reduction of forces below the minimum capacity to project strength and fulfill the mission actually increases casualties.

I would also direct Obamessiah to the COIN expert from academe, Anthony Joes, who suggests the exact same thing.

I don't know who is advising obamessiah on this, but they might want to consult doctrine and reassess their position.

Before they get me killed.

Anon

Before they get me killed.

Well Obamamessiah did have his coming of political age baptism at Ayer's house.

The guy that wanted to make the attack on Fort Dix the largest hit on US territory, the guy that brags about bombing the Pentagon.

Sooo Obama did say he exchanges ideas with Ayers at the last debate.

RichatUF

SR-

I don't know who is advising obamessiah on this, but they might want to consult doctrine and reassess their position.

In re the article Ranger linked this could be the beginnings of the pivot, though it is curious that BHO has to lie about what the outlines of his Iraq policy will be to get the Democratic nomination.

graf-

While in broad agreement on the need for a drawdown, Obama's inner circle of foreign policy advisers is still debating the specifics of a future Iraq policy. This circle includes Clinton administration veterans Tony Lake, Susan Rice, and Greg Craig; Denis McDonough, former foreign policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; speechwriter Rhodes, a former aide to Lee Hamilton; former Pentagon counterinsurgency expert Sarah Sewell; and military men like former Clinton Navy secretary Richard Danzig, former Air Force officer Scott Gration, and former Air Force general Merrill McPeak....Closest to the Obama camp are the determined withdrawal advocates at the Center for American Progress (CAP), which is home to McDonough, as well as Iraq specialists and campaign advisers Larry Korb and Brian Katulis. Korb and Katulis co-authored CAP's signature Iraq plan, which they call "strategic reset" and which calls for a swift exit accompanied by intensified diplomacy and a token U.S. force of perhaps 10,000 in the Kurdish north.

Calling the Korb-Katulis plan "strategic defeat" would at least be honest but probably wouldn't get many votes [note it is a hefty 10 meg pdf file].

Porchlight

Thanks, Soylent.

SteveMG

I'm doubtful that young people and white lefties support Obama because of his 87 point plan to deal with industrial waste in the Rust Belt states.

Instead, they have their own "low information-signaling" which indicates to them what type of President he'll be.

And it has nothing to do with 186 page plans on adjusting the heavy machinery tax write-offs by corporations.

Who's kidding whom?

M. Simon

We've all heard again and again the "themes" like "hope" and "believe" and most import .. "CHANGE".

But behind each of these curtains seems to aways be another curtain with no obvious prizes.

OhMama is the prize we have been waiting for.

M. Simon

And Tom,

This stupid Previous - Next - Maybe Later system just sucks for following the flow of a conversation.

Blogspot is better.

M. Simon

Google "Obama's 80,000 Man Strike-Force for Iraq"

Is that supposed to help him with his bowling score?

Elliott

Good one, Simon.

Neo

The Popkin dribble is just that voters are, more often than not, wiser than the pundits. They know that most of what the candidates are promising won't ever happen and what does won't be recognizable once the bureauacy and Congress are done with it .. so why believe any of the "policy points" ?

Instead, it all comes down to figuring out who this person is ? Whom in their own life this person is most like and whether you believe that person would fight for anything that you just might like.

I used to call this the "Joe 6-pack" test. I try to imagine sitting down with each of the candidates with a 6-pack of beer between us, then I figure out who I might drink it with and who I would most likely show the door.

With the remaining 3 candidates it is .. Obama seems the most likely to ask me if I have any white wine (the door), Hiliary's shots in PA puts her in the middle and McCain seems the best choice.

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Wilson/Plame