Michele Bachmann

Bachmann Pledges to Separate Marital Duties from Public Office

Conservatives erupted in anger after Byron York of the Washington Examiner asked Michele Bachmann about her 2006 comments, where she explained that she decided to study tax law and later to run for Congress at the urging of her husband, saying that the Bible tells wives “to be submissive to your husbands.” As Sarah Posner explained, the “submission theology” establishes strict gender roles:

Submission theology is built around the notion that God has a “design” for men and for women; that they are unique from each other and have their designated, God-given roles. The husband is the spiritual head of the household, the wife his obedient “helpmeet,” the vessel for their children, devoted mother, and warrior for the faith. By committing themselves to those gender roles, evangelicals believe they are obeying God’s commands. They see the wife’s obligation to obey her husband’s authority as actually owed to God, not her husband.

When she appeared on Stave Deace’s radio show yesterday, Bachmann was asked to respond to “Christian women struggling with the idea of a woman president.” She seemed to dodge the question by attempting to differentiate the responsibilities she has to her husband in the home and her obligations as a public official:

Deace: I’ve heard from plenty of Christian women struggling with the idea of a woman president, how would you respond to their struggling with that dilemma?

Bachmann: Well I have a husband of thirty-three years and I am his wife. I respond to him as a wife. But when it comes to being a leader, whether I’m running a business or being a member of Congress, I am acting in that position responsibly and faithfully to the people that I serve. This is not a spiritual position, it is a position of authority in our government, it is very different from that of a wife to her husband.

Bachmann Hopes to Reshape the Judiciary According to her 'Biblical View of Law'

Michele Bachmann has made so-called “activist judges” a consistent target of her presidential campaign, dubbing them “black-robed masters” and in last night’s debate she called for Americans to “take the Constitution back” from the courts. Railing against the judiciary is a safe bet for Republicans trying to pander to social conservative voters, but Bachmann’s view of the legal system has come out of her experience as a Religious Right activist and student at Oral Roberts University Law School.

At Oral Roberts, Bachmann worked for Professor John Eidsmoe, and as reported by Ryan Lizza, Eidsmoe taught that when “Biblical law conflicted with American law, Eidsmoe said, O.R.U. students were generally taught that ‘the first thing you should try to do is work through legal means and political means to get it changed.’” Bachmann has consistently trumpeted her work with Eidsmoe, whose legal philosophy has been greatly influenced by Christian Reconstructionist RJ Rushdoony and has urged Christians to promote Biblical law in government.

Today on The Jan Mickelson Show, Bachmann said that her “biblical view of law” molded her view that America needs to disempower the judiciary:

Bachmann: I hold a biblical view of law. If you look at the original constitution and the founding documents of our country, it was clear that the founders wanted to separate power, they wanted to separate the presidency from the Supreme Court and from the Congress, because they thought that the Congress should be the most powerful of all the people’s voices because the people would have the ability to change out the members of the House every two years, originally the state legislatures would chose the Senators and they would have the state’s interest in mind, and the President was meant to execute the laws that Congress would put into place. The courts had a relatively minor function, it was to take current facts and apply it to the law that Congress had passed. So it was really a beautiful system that set up but it’s been distorted since then, and that’s what we need to do, get back to the original view of the Founders because it worked beautifully.

Gingrich, Santorum, and Bachmann All Sign Radical Personhood USA Pledge

Last month, the radical "personhood" amendment in Mississippi was trounced in the polls, with 58% of voters rejecting the Religious Right's effort to implement draconian anti-choice restrictions in the state.

But that has not stopped supporters of this "personhood" movement from moving ahead with plans to try and pass similar amendments in states across the nation. 

And now Personhood USA has announced that Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all signed the organization's pledge to support and promote both state and federal "personhood" laws:

Personhood USA has unveiled a detailed and unique pledge declaring a commitment to advance the personhood rights of every human being, born and preborn. Ahead of the nation’s first presidential caucus in Iowa, Personhood USA is asking the Republican candidates to sign the pledge and declaration.

“I ____________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life,” it reads.

So far, candidates who have returned the pledge with their signatures include Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The "Personhood Republican Persidential Candidate Pledge" reads as follows:  

I __________________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.

I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,” and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

I believe that in order to properly protect the right to life of the vulnerable among us, every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise. I recognize that in cases where a mother’s life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life as well; leaving the death of an innocent child as an unintended tragedy rather than an intentional killing.

I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings.

I pledge to the American people that I will defend all innocent human life. Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited.

If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.

The Family Leader Wants a Winner, While Bachmann Pushes for Religious Right Support

After narrowing their decision to four candidates in the Republican field, The Family Leader is set to announce their endorsement on Monday…or their decision not to endorse at all. With the caucus less than a month away, Bob Vander Plaats claims that their desired candidate must not only be conservative but must also have the strength to defeat Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination and ultimately President Obama. While Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry have all signed The Family Leader’s pledge, Newt Gingrich recently penned a letter committing to their right-wing agenda and pledging faithfulness to his third wife. The conservative Iowa Republican reports:

Bob Vander Plaats and his Family Leader organization plan to make a decision on whether or not to make an endorsement, and whom they might endorse, by next Monday. The group’s backing is one of the most sought after in the GOP presidential race, especially in Iowa.



“That’s going be a great question, because if you read the pledge that he wrote and submitted, there’s a lot of our verbiage in there,” Vander Plaats said. “He takes some strong stances on life, marriage and religious freedom. As we read it, we wondered why he didn’t sign the pledge, but he did almost everything we talked about and used a similar language.”



Vander Plaats says he is looking for an “authentic conservative”, but adds that viability is one of the issues The Family Leader will consider when picking their candidate. “If you’re going to beat Obama, then you also have to beat Romney to get the nomination,” The Family Leader CEO said. “If we were to endorse on what we’re looking for, we’re looking for a very conservative principled, but we’re also looking for someone who can win.”

While Vander Plaats may be concerned about electability, the campaign of the very-unelectable Michele Bachmann organized a group of the state’s Religious Right leaders, including Danny Carroll of The Family Leader, to promote her struggling campaign:

A group of conservative Christian faith leaders are hitting the road to urge conservatives to caucus for Michele Bachmann – not the race’s frontrunner, Newt Gingrich.

 

“Frankly, we’re looking to shake things up a little bit,” former Iowa Rep. Danny Carroll, a conservative Republican from Grinnell, told reporters at a news conference at the Iowa Capitol this morning.

The pastors delicately made it clear that they don’t think Gingrich is the best choice for president. Nor is Rick Santorum, a religious conservative who has been courting the evangelical vote in Iowa.

“(Gingrich) is tremendous in debates,” said Brad Sherman, an evangelical Christian minister with Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville. “Part of me wants to say I’d love to see him debate Obama because I think he would chew him up. But I have to live by principle – and Michele Bachmann has proved it.”



Carroll said during the news conference: “We have determined that Michele Bachmann is Biblically-qualified to be the president, to be a leader. She is capable. She is trustworthy. She fears God and she hates dishonest gain.”

Iowans should to go to the caucuses on Jan. 3 “unless you support someone other than Michele Bachmann. Then you should take the night off,” he said.

Carroll and various faith leaders are embarking on an eight-city tour of Iowa – Oskaloosa, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Mason City, Council Bluffs and Sioux City – to call on Christians “to be informed.”

Bachmann Wins Dobson’s Heart, But Not his Endorsement

Today’s program on Family Talk concluded James Dobson’s interview with Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who both lavished Dobson with praise and accolades. Dobson said they were “in sync on everything I’ve heard so far,” and Bachmann said it was because she “agrees” with everything she learned from him. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network reports that Dobson is not planning to endorse Bachmann or any other candidate for that matter, but will “reach out to Iowa leaders on her behalf”:

Dobson told her afterwards that he plans to reach out to Iowa leaders on her behalf. Dr. Dobson is not planning on endorsing any candidate.



In addition to the private meeting with Dr. Dobson, Marcus and Michele Bachmann spoke to all of the staff and had lunch with him as well.

Beyond the meeting with Dobson, she also met with Jim Daly, president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, along with the department heads within the organization. According to the Bachmann campaign, they discussed the political dynamics of the presidential race as well as the state of politics in the country today. Bachmann did not go there seeking an endorsement but rather to listen to the top concerns from those within the important evangelical organization.

Surely, Dobson’s tacit support for Bachmann may come as a disappointment to Rick Perry, as Perry named Dobson co-chair of The Response and gave Dobson the honor of kicking-off the prayer rally. Dobson may be gun-shy about endorsing a candidate given the struggle he faced in 2008 when he only endorsed Mike Huckabee late in the game and he refused to support John McCain, at least until he put Sarah Palin on the ticket when Dobson changed his mind.

Bachmann and Dobson showered each other with admiration, with Dobson describing the Bachmann’s as “role models” and Bachmann calling the Focus on the Family founder “a legend in modern Christendom”:

Dobson: Well what a pleasure it’s been to talk to you all because we are in sync on everything I’ve heard so far.

Bachmann: Well because we agree with you!

Marcus Bachmann: We were mentored.

Dobson: Why do you think you’re here?

Bachmann: You really have lived a wonderful life Dr. Dobson, I have to tell you, you really have. You’ve given to all of us by your own example and by these shows over the years, you’ve given us a wonderful life. That’s not gratuitous, I’m just saying the legacy that you have left has been built into our life for thirty three years of marriage, it was built into our biological children’s lives, your legacy will be felt in our grandchildren so we want to thank you.

Dobson: That’s so nice of you. I have a very special relationship with the Lord, I steal his ideas and I get the credit for it, it really works well! It’s been great having you here, I appreciate it so much you taking the time to be here out of what has to be a horrendous schedule. We prayed before we started today and just asked the Lord not only to be here in this discussion and he has been; I’m aware of it, aren’t you?

Bachmann: Amen, there’s no question.

Dobson: And also to be with you as you go through this very challenging season of your life, it is a pleasure getting better acquainted with you and I’ll see you at the National Day of Prayer.

Bachmann: Yes you will, God bless you.

Dobson: Thank you Dr. Marcus Bachmann and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, you are the role models that we talked about earlier today.

Bachmann: You have been a legend in modern Christendom, we mean that sincerely, and we’re grateful to you for your living example.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Bachmann Lauds Schlafly, LaHaye for Inspiring Her Political Career

After exalting James Dobson on his show Family Talk yesterday, today Michele Bachmann credited antifeminist luminaries Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye, along with Dobson and his wife Shirley, for motivating her to become a conservative activist. Bachmann has previously called Schlafly, who has endorsed her presidential campaign, her “hero” and “the person that I hope to be someday,” and said that LaHaye is “an extraordinary woman of God.” In fact, Bachmann said that LaHaye’s warnings “on the threats to the family” riled her enough to join LaHaye’s organization Concerned Women for America:

Bachmann: As a young woman I read a lot, I was a big reader my whole life, and I loved reading Phyllis Schlafly, she is just smart as a whip.

Ryan Dobson: Who started off as a homemaker and a mom, and then had a law career.

Bachmann: And who also taught her children how to read at home, she did that, she was self-taught in many ways and she was very interested in national security, as I am, and defense issues, but also very cognizant on financial issues.

And also Bev LaHaye, Marcus and I were brand new newlyweds and I got in our mailbox a cassette tape back in the cassette tape days from Bev LaHaye, talking about where our nation was at. I listened to it, and she was trying to pull the alarm on the threats to the family, like Dr. Dobson was doing, so I joined Concerned Women for America, that was the inception, and started getting materials from her, from Phyllis Schlafly, from Dr. Dobson. Over the course of the years, I’ve poured all of these great women and Dr. and Shirley Dobson into my life, and they’ve really been my teachers.

LaHaye, whose husband Tim is best known for writing the Left Behind series and for his attacks on gays, Roman Catholics and “the Illuminati,” still chairs CWA and has a long history of Religious Right activism. She started CWA because she “knew the feminists’ anti-God, anti-family rhetoric did not represent her beliefs, nor those of the vast majority of women,” and also outlined the “biblical worldview” in politics that Bachmann often talks about: “America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.” According to LaHaye, conservative Christians need to enter politics in order to “stand up against the wiles of the devil.”

Not only does LaHaye have harsh words for feminists and people “who do not use the Bible to guide” their political lives, but also doesn’t take kindly to gays and lesbians, writing in a CWA mailer: “[Homosexuals] want their depraved ‘values’ to become our children’s values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!”

With her role models holding such extreme views, it is no wonder Bachmann turned out to be one of the most far-right figures in contemporary politics.

Bachmann Shares with Dobson Her Religious Right Credentials and "Biblical Worldview"

Today, Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus joined James Dobson on Family Talk. The congresswoman described her career in politics, which started with her working against the public education system up to today as a presidential candidate. Bachmann told a familiar story where she took on two of the institutions most opposed by the Religious Right, public schools and the federal government. She said she entered politics when she became troubled about “what came home in the backpack” from her foster children who attended public schools, and diligently worked until she “overthrew” the “national standards” that public schools followed, which she called “politically correct, dumbed down standards, in many ways they were against the Christian values that a lot of parents hold.”

Bachmann also gushed over Dobson for helping her and Marcus lay “the foundation brick by brick in our life” and credited Francis Schaeffer with leading her to develop “the concept of biblical worldview, that God has something to say every aspect of life, because He’s the creator of life.” Schaeffer’s series, How Should We Then Live?, blames increasing secular humanism and moral relativism for social decay and calls on Christians to fight back and put biblical precepts into law in order to curb society’s unraveling. The film series, along with Schaeffer’s other works such as A Christian Manifesto and Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, had a tremendous role in shaping the modern Religious Right, a movement that Bachmann isn’t just courting but is also a part of.

Bachmann: To be with Jim and Shirley Dobson and your family is a thrill. Marcus and I have known about you since the very earliest days that you went on your show, there’s hardly a show that we ever missed and we almost committed to them to memory.

Dobson: Are you exaggerating?

Bachmann: Not at all, you and Shirley have been tremendous mentors for us. You’ve been a wonderful example, a teacher, a preacher for us in a lot of ways. And we knew of you before we got married and we’ve listened through our early married years as we had our children and you’ve really pricked our hearts on many different subjects and you laid the foundation brick by brick in our life growing up, maturing in our own family life, and we want to thank you for that.



Bachmann: You asked us before about ‘pro-life,’ when Marcus and I were nineteen in college we had gone to see the film series by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live, and when we saw that film series it changed our lives forever. We understood the concept of biblical worldview, that God has something to say every aspect of life, because He’s the creator of life. And Dr. Schaeffer said in that series that the abortion issue is the watershed issue of our time, that struck a chord of recognition with us. And we started reaching out to women in unplanned pregnancies, we got married right after college, and we started inviting women into our home, and informally we counseled them, we took them to pro-life centers, I went through childbirth classes with women, I held their hands as they gave birth to babies, because we didn’t want to just talk the talk, we wanted to walk the walk.

Franks Endorses Bachmann, Adding To Her List Of Far-Right Supporters

Today, Michele Bachmann’s foundering presidential campaign picked up the endorsement of Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and promptly appointed him “Congressional Co-Chair”:

The Bachmann for President campaign has announced the appointment of Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) as Congressional Co-Chair. Rep. Franks joins the growing list of endorsements and support for the Bachmann team, not only in Iowa, but also across the country.

“I know Michele is right on the issues that are important to conservatives across the country and I know she won’t back off,” Rep. Franks said. “I have seen her at work in Washington, standing firm on key issues like Obamacare, the debt ceiling, and TARP.”



“Congressman Franks and I have fought together in Washington for smaller government and responsible government spending, and I’m honored to have him on my team,” Bachmann said. “He’s a respected colleague, and will be invaluable in our work to gain support in Iowa and the early primary states, eventually securing the GOP nomination.”

Like previous Bachmann endorsers like Tamara Scott, George Grant and Peter Waldron, the Arizona congressman appears to be a great fit for the far-right and conspiratorial Bachmann, as Franks:

  • called President Obama an “enemy of humanity” at a right-wing conference, and later tried to explain that he meant to call Obama an “enemy of unborn humanity”;
  • believes that President Obama consistently “acts un-American” and “seems to go against American interests”;
  • demanded the impeachment of President Obama and the defunding of the Justice Department over their decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);
  • floated “birther” conspiracies and suggested that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen, even considered filing a lawsuit against Obama;
  • said the Obama Administration has an “ideological commitment” to “weaken America”;
  • claimed a Muslim civil rights group was using congressional interns to spy on Congress;

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit: A Guide to the Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Mormon, Anti-Choice Activists Spending the Weekend with the GOP

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the Religious Right movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

Romney to Share Stage with Bryan Fischer; PFAW Urges Candidates to Denounce Bigotry

At next week's Values Voter Summit, Mitt Romney is scheduled to take the stage immediately before Bryan Fischer, an American Family Association (AFA) spokesman with a long and shocking record of bigotry against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans and other minority groups. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to speak at the event, which is sponsored by the anti-gay Family Research Council, the AFA, and other Religious Right groups. PFAW is urging these candidates for our nation's highest office to condemn bigotry.

Stemberger To Endorse Perry Because Bachmann Not A Realistic, Viable Candidate

Last month we noted that Michele Bachmann was headlining a fundraising event for the Florida Family Policy Council where she received the organization's William Wilberforce Award.

But just because the FFPC thinks Bachmann is a hero for her willingness to stand "firm for principles of life, marriage or family in the face of opposition," that apparently doesn't translate into support for her presidential campaign as FFPC president John Stemberger is announcing his pending support for Rick Perry because Bachmann is just not a realistic or viable candidate ... and Mitt Romney "wasn’t Mormon enough":

Florida evangelical leader John Stemberger is a step away from endorsing Rick Perry for president, a big coup for the Texas governor and a loss for fellow Republican Michele Bachmann. Stemberger's likely endorsement follows some top-level Perry staff hires.

"We really like Michele Bachmann She has stellar credentials when it comes to our issues. She is an amazing woman. Our primary drive is principle and the issues," Stemberger said. "But we also have to be realistic, pragmatically, and determine who’s viable."

Stemberger said that meant he and the Florida Family Policy Council, which has an email list of about 65,000 Florida evangelical voters, had two choices.

"This is a two man race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And there’s a growing consensus among evangelical leaders and, to some degree, among those in the tea party and pro-life Catholics that Rick Perry is the most trustworthy candidate on our issues," Stemberger said.

"There are too many trust issues with Mitt Romney," he continued. "The issue not that he is a Mormon. The issue is that he wasn’t Mormon enough. If he had been consistent with traditional Mormon values his whole career, that would make me feel a lot more comfortable about where he’s coming from. Perry is a lot more solid on our issues."

Questions for the Candidates: What We’d Like to See Asked at Tonight’s GOP Debate

Tonight, seven prominent candidates for the Republican presidential nomination will take part in a debate in New Hampshire. As these candidates introduce themselves to Republican primary voters, it’s important for them to speak honestly about their visions for the future of the country.

Meet the Leadership: Corporate America and the Religious Right’s New Team in the House

In this Right Wing Watch: In Focus report, PFAW profiles the House Republicans slated to take important party and committee leadership positions in the 112th Congress. The incoming leaders and chairmen profiled share a fealty to corporate America, eagerness to please the Religious Right, and, often, antipathy toward the core purposes of the committees they’re set to head.

Meet the Leadership: Corporate America and the Religious Right’s New Team in the House

In PFAW's latest Right Wing Watch: In Focus report, we profile the House Republicans slated to take important party and committee leadership positions in the 112th Congress. The incoming leaders and chairmen profiled share a fealty to corporate America, eagerness to please the Religious Right, and, often, antipathy toward the core purposes of the committees they’re set to head.

Wall Street Reform: A Big Flop for the Big Lie Strategy?

Big Wall Street banks and their political enablers have been doing their best to block financial regulatory reform. A centerpiece of these obstructionist strategies has been repeating a brazen lie that the reform legislation before Congress would put taxpayers on the hook for "endless" bailouts.

Fight the Right!

They said the Right was dead. We knew they were wrong.

Report: Rise of the New McCarthyism

People For the American Way today released its latest "Right Wing Watch: In Focus" report, "Rise of the New McCarthyism." The document examines the far right's adoption of strategies pioneered by Senator Joe McCarthy during his anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s.

Far Right Leaders Vow to 'Take Back America' from 'Evil' Obama and Democrats Starting with Congress in 2010

The How To Take Back America conference held in St. Louis September 25 and 26 drew some 600 activists and, according to organizers, 100,000 online viewers. The gathering was an expanded version of the annual conference held by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, co-hosted this year by radio personality and far-right activist Janet Folger Porter and promoted by other right-wing bloggers and radio shows.

Huckabee and Five Members of Congress Attended Radical Right Wing Conference

Why did five members of Congress and Mike Huckabee attend the How to Take Back America Conference with Right Wing extremists?
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