Tuesday, February 16, 2010

President Barrack Obama Expectations

“That This Was The Moment”
■ “began to provide care for the sick”
■ “good jobs to the jobless”
■ “rise of the oceans began to slow”
■ “our planet began to heal”
■ “when we ended a war”
Barrack H. Obama II June 3, 2008

See http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/2008/06/this-was-moment-when-rise-of-oceans.html

Why Bayh Is Quitting the Senate - Unions and Congressional Leadership Forces Push to the Left

Here's is a great explanation of why senator Evan Bayh is not running again and the Democrats liberal overreaching leading to Republican comebacks.

See Wall Street Journal February 16, 2010 column by John Fund at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704804204575069383425796398.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion
Why Bayh Is Quitting the Senate
'I do have a sense of deja vu,' the senator says, 'and the movie doesn't have a happy ending.'

"Before Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh suddenly announced he will not seek re-election in November he had issued several warnings to fellow Democrats. Last month, for example, he told Gerald Seib of this newspaper that his party's liberals were "tone deaf" to the fact that they'd "overreached" in their agenda. "For those people," he said, "it may take a political catastrophe of biblical proportions before they get it."

Mr. Bayh knows something about high-water political floods. As a 24-year-old law student he helped run his father's 1980 Senate re-election and saw him go down to defeat under the Reagan landslide. In 1994, Mr. Bayh was governor of Indiana and thankful he wasn't before the voters when they revolted against Bill Clinton. "Every 14 or 16 years we seem to have to relearn this lesson," Mr. Bayh said. "I do have a sense of deja vu, and the movie doesn't have a happy ending."

He isn't the first observer to note the misfortune that befalls modern Democrats when they gain control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. After Jimmy Carter won the White House, Ronald Reagan assembled a group of his former aides in Los Angeles in early 1977 for a pep talk about how the GOP loss would only be temporary if they learned from the party's mistakes and returned to first principles. He quoted from a John Dryden ballad memorized as a youth: "I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain. I will lay me down for to bleed a while. Then I'll rise and fight again."

Conservatives, he said, should be of good cheer. Democrats win the White House when they campaign as moderates, but once in office they find it impossible to do so even if they want to "because the unions and their Congressional leadership won't let them."

But governing as liberals meant Democrats undermined the trust voters placed in them. They also enacted policies that increased economic uncertainty and retarded job creation. "When liberalism fails, people notice. They may even protest," Reagan told his aides, pointing to California's nascent Proposition 13 tax revolt—the "Tea Party" of its day. "And it's then they'll listen to you again if you have a clear set of ideas based on sound principle."

Read other articles by John Fund. .Aides such as Peter Hannaford realized he was planning to run for president again envisioning just such a scenario. The rest is history.

In early 1993, before he succumbed to Alzheimer's, Reagan met with some of his appointees in New York City. The circumstances were remarkably similar to those of 16 years prior—Republicans had lost heavily in the last election due to scandal and economic miscalculations. Larry Kudlow, a Reagan budget official who is now a CNBC host, recalls that the Gipper reminded those at the meeting of what he'd said in 1977.

Bill Clinton had also campaigned as a moderate but was already governing as a liberal—and Reagan said it wouldn't fly with voters. "He said the failure of liberalism would again present Republicans with an opportunity if they ran on a pro-growth, antitax agenda that reasserted America's place in the world," Mr. Kudlow says.

And now, once again, Democrats have overreached and are in danger of suffering a historic defeat.

All of this makes one wonder if Democrats will ever have a "Tony Blair" moment and make a conscious return to the political center. After his Labour Party suffered three straight defeats, Mr. Blair took over as leader. He marginalized its left-wing extremists so the middle class could trust his party with power.

Mr. Blair told the Times of London he realized the "default mechanism" of Britain was closer to that of the Conservative Party, and that his party must move to the center. He then won three straight elections. Now that Labour is returning to its class-warfare roots under Gordon Brown, it once again faces electoral defeat.

So far, Democrats show no signs of thinking the U.S. is a country whose "default mechanism" in politics is to the center-right. They retain faith that Barack Obama can work some magic and make things better. But should he continue to slide in polls and the horror movie Mr. Bayh refers to is replayed this fall, they may want to rethink matters.

At age 54, Mr. Bayh is leaving Congress but declines to rule out another run for office. Should Democrats ever be open to a Tony Blair message, no doubt Mr. Bayh could be persuaded to return to the arena. He's won five times in a red state while compiling a voting record significantly more liberal than Arlen Specter's or Olympia Snowe's. Yet today he's viewed by many Democrats with disdain as a conservative collaborator.

Nothing better sums up the Democrats' self-inflicted problem."

Mr. Fund is a columnist for WSJ.com.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Climategate U-Turn as Scientist at Centre of Row Admits: There Has Been No Global Warming Since 1995

See U.K. Daily Mail February 14, 2010 article "Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995" by by Jonathan Petre at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html#

- Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing
- There has been no global warming since 1995
- Warming periods have happened before - but NOT due to man-made changes

"Professor Phil Jones admitted his record keeping is 'not as good as it should be'

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.

Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data.

The raw data, collected from hundreds of weather stations around the world and analysed by his unit, has been used for years to bolster efforts by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to press governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Following the leak of the emails, Professor Jones has been accused of ‘scientific fraud’ for allegedly deliberately suppressing information and refusing to share vital data with critics.

Discussing the interview, the BBC’s environmental analyst Roger Harrabin said he had spoken to colleagues of Professor Jones who had told him that his strengths included integrity and doggedness but not record-keeping and office tidying.

Mr Harrabin, who conducted the interview for the BBC’s website, said the professor had been collating tens of thousands of pieces of data from around the world to produce a coherent record of temperature change.

That material has been used to produce the ‘hockey stick graph’ which is relatively flat for centuries before rising steeply in recent decades.

According to Mr Harrabin, colleagues of Professor Jones said ‘his office is piled high with paper, fragments from over the years, tens of thousands of pieces of paper, and they suspect what happened was he took in the raw data to a central database and then let the pieces of paper go because he never realised that 20 years later he would be held to account over them’.

Asked by Mr Harrabin about these issues, Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.

But he denied he had cheated over the data or unfairly influenced the scientific process, and said he still believed recent temperature rises were predominantly man-made.

Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be.

‘There’s a continual updating of the dataset. Keeping track of everything is difficult. Some countries will do lots of checking on their data then issue improved data, so it can be very difficult. We have improved but we have to improve more.’

He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled.

Sceptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries.

But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.

Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.

‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’

Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.

Professor Jones criticised those who complained he had not shared his data with them, saying they could always collate their own from publicly available material in the US. And he said the climate had not cooled ‘until recently – and then barely at all. The trend is a warming trend’.

Mr Harrabin told Radio 4’s Today programme that, despite the controversies, there still appeared to be no fundamental flaws in the majority scientific view that climate change was largely man-made.

But Dr Benny Pieser, director of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Professor Jones’s ‘excuses’ for his failure to share data were hollow as he had shared it with colleagues and ‘mates’.

He said that until all the data was released, sceptics could not test it to see if it supported the conclusions claimed by climate change advocates.

He added that the professor’s concessions over medieval warming were ‘significant’ because they were his first public admission that the science was not settled."

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Rich Lowry Explains Why President Obama Cannot Govern

Rich Lowry tells all in his column at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/02/12/the_presidents_reality_problem_100278.html Read it all; it explains Obama.

See New York Post column posted at RealClearPolitics.com

February 12, 2010
The President's Reality Problem
By Rich Lowry

It might have been the most revelatory moment of the Obama presidency. In an interview with Time magazine, a chastened Pres. Barack Obama talked of his sputtering Middle East peace initiative. "This is just really hard," he explained. "This is as intractable a problem as you get."

As an observation, this is as banal as it gets. After all the wars and all the terror attacks against Israel and all the frustrated American diplomatic forays across the last two administrations, no one should be surprised at the intractability of the Israeli-Arab conflict. But Obama sounded as if it were painful new information that had forced an unwelcome adjustment in his worldview.

This speaks to either an astonishing historical ignorance (did he not know?) or a stupendous self-regard (did he not care because he thought he was so special?), or both.

There is already a debate over what went wrong with the Obama presidency. Is his team of advisers - nearly universally considered the best and the brightest until the day before yesterday - serving him poorly? Has he failed to communicate effectively, even though almost all his speeches have been critically acclaimed? Did he fail to "pivot to jobs" fast enough?

Actually, Obama has a more worrisome problem: a reality gap. During the campaign, Obama could throw rhetorical pixie dust over all the difficult choices inherent in governing and the contradictions of his own program, making them fade into a beguiling vision of a sunlit post-Bush America. This magical realism sustained him until November 2008, but couldn't withstand governing.

Consider Obama's most elemental appeal as a candidate: He excited the base of his own party while winning over the center with talk of "post-partisanship." On the stump, he could maintain this balance. In office, he had to choose either partisanship, in the form of his powerful Democratic allies on Capitol Hill, or post-partisanship, in the form of concessions to Republicans that would anger and disappoint his own side. He chose Nancy Pelosi, and watched independents flee from him.

On fiscal policy, Obama could promise massive new programs while at the same time, in one debate, asserting his approach would mean "a net spending cut." A laughable contradiction, it wasn't fully exposed until Obama had to write a budget. With $1 trillion deficits now stretching off into the horizon, his answer is appointing a commission to study the matter.

Obama is still the same illusionist from the campaign on his signature health-care initiative. The new $1 trillion entitlement will reduce the deficit. It will insure millions more people while bending the cost curve down. The hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts will be utterly painless. There's no trade-off or sacrifice in sight, and - not surprisingly - people don't believe it.

Obama came to office under fundamental misapprehensions that hamper him still. It's not true that all that was keeping the Israelis and Palestinians apart was the lack of U.S. engagement, or that the Iranians were amenable to getting talked out of their nuclear program, or that Guantanamo Bay was a pointless contrivance.

Nor is it true that government is a sustainable source of economic growth, or a more efficient allocator of capital than the market. This is why Obama's stimulus program - inevitably, a dog's breakfast of politically driven priorities - is such a shambles that his aides never utter the word "stimulus" anymore. It is on to the next program, a nearly $100 billion "jobs" bill that reflects the touching belief that to work as intended, a program only has to be named appropriately.

Obama's advisers want him to pull out of his downdraft by getting back to campaign mode. It's governance as performance art. He's hosting a bipartisan health-care summit on Feb. 25. Surely, he'll sound great and spin gorgeous webs of fancy - as the reality gap yawns beneath him.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.
© 2010 by King Features Syndicate.

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/02/12/the_presidents_reality_problem_100278.html at February 12, 2010 - 01:03:52 PM CST

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC Process is Started and Finished by Political Officials Who Steer the Information

See February 11, 2010 Best of the Web Today by James Taranto
"Hot Enough for You? Global warmists used to love talking about the weather" at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703382904575059270348147154.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

"To be sure, the global warmists are right to distinguish between weather and climate. A short-term condition sometimes can run counter to a long-term trend".

"The problem is that for years, global warmists have claimed that the weather proved their claims about the climate. This is a New York Times story from June 24, 1988:

"The earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago, and the higher temperatures can now be attributed to a long-expected global warming trend linked to pollution, a space agency scientist reported today.
Until now, scientists have been cautious about attributing rising global temperatures of recent years to the predicted global warming caused by pollutants in the atmosphere, known as the "greenhouse effect." But today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.
Dr. Hansen, a leading expert on climate change, said in an interview that there was no "magic number" that showed when the greenhouse effect was actually starting to cause changes in climate and weather. But he added, 'It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here'."

"the classic of the genre is a piece from the Boston Globe, dated Aug. 30, 2005, which begins: 'The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming'."
The author, Ross Gelbspan, writes "For years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied the media to accord the same weight to a handful of global warming skeptics that it accords the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations."

London's Guardian, a left-wing paper that has long been squarely in the global-warmist camp, carried a damning report titled "How to Reform the IPCC" see Fenruary 10, 2010 article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/10/ipcc-reform :
"The IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] says its reports are policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive. Perhaps unknown to many people, the process is started and finished not by scientists but by political officials, who steer the way the information is presented in so-called summary for policymakers [SPM] chapters. Is that right, the Guardian asked?

'The Nobel prize was for peace not science . . . government employees will use it to negotiate changes and a redistribution of resources. It is not a scientific analysis of climate change,' said Anton Imeson, a former IPCC lead author from the Netherlands. 'For the media, the IPCC assessments have become an icon for something they are not. To make sure that it does not happen again, the IPCC should change its name and become part of something else. The IPCC should have never allowed itself to be branded as a scientific organisation. It provides a review of published scientific papers but none of this is much controlled by independent scientists'."

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Obama Plan: The Jimmy Carter Jobs Credit

The Jimmy Carter Jobs Credit
Congress's latest stimulus idea is a bust from the past.

See Wall Street Journal editorial Feb 10, 2010 at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704820904575055394016616742.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_opinion

"Stimulus Plan A didn't work to create jobs or reduce unemployment. That was the $165 billion of tax rebates and money for states in February 2008.

Plan B flopped too. That was last February's stimulus that has devoted $862 billion into mostly government programs. The unemployment rate climbed steadily until last month, and the main lasting impact has been nearly $1 trillion added to the national debt.

Now comes Plan C, another February stimulus, though this time everyone has been instructed not to use the "s word," lest it scare the voters. This one is a "jobs bill," as if Plans A and B were about something else. Don't expect this one to work any better than the last two.

View Full Image

Associated Press

Former President Jimmy Carter
.This latest Senate Democratic bill will cost $85 billion and is shaping up to be largely a rehash of last year's stimulus: extended unemployment insurance, Medicaid cash for the states, and some public works spending. The one new twist is a proposal for a one-year $5,000 tax credit for small businesses for each new worker hired. President Obama calls the credit "the best way to cut taxes" to help small businesses.

But we've also seen this economic movie before—in 1977 under Jimmy Carter. During the two years it was in effect, a jobs credit worth about $7,000 in today's dollars became a $20 billion free lunch as businesses claimed the handout for one of every three new employees.

In the short term, the Jimmy Carter jobs credit appeared to reduce unemployment. The jobless rate dropped by 1.2 percentage points (to 5.8% in 1979 from 7% in 1977). But that effect was short-lived, and when the subsidies ended two years later the layoffs resumed and the unemployment rate rose again and by 1980 was back to 7.2%."

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Monday, February 08, 2010

UK Paper Reports New Errors in IPCC Climate Change Report

See UK Feb 6, 2010 article "New errors in IPCC climate change report"

See United Kingdom Feb 6, 2010 article at The Telegraph newspaper at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7177230/New-errors-in-IPCC-climate-change-report.html by Richard Gray and Ben Leach

■ "The United Nations panel on climate change is facing fresh criticism today as [UK] The Sunday Telegraph reveals new factual errors and poor sources of evidence in its influential report to government leaders."
■ "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report is supposed to be the world’s most authoritative scientific account of the scale of global warming. But this paper has discovered a series of new flaws in it including:
• The publication of inaccurate data on the potential of wave power to produce electricity around the world, which was wrongly attributed to the website of a commercial wave-energy company.
• Claims based on information in press releases and newsletters.
• New examples of statements based on student dissertations, two of which were unpublished.
• More claims which were based on reports produced by environmental pressure groups."
■ "They are the latest in a series of damaging revelations about the IPCC’s most recent report, published in 2007."
■ "Last month, the panel was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged statements about the melting of Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate."
■ "Last weekend, this paper revealed that the panel had based claims about disappearing mountain ice on anecdotal evidence in a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
■ "The IPCC’s panel had wrongly reported that more than half of the Netherlands was below sea level because it had failed to check information supplied by a Dutch government agency."
■ "Despite these checks, a diagram used to demonstrate the potential for generating electricity from wave power has been found to contain numerous errors."
■ "It can also be revealed that claims made by the IPCC about the effects of global warming, and suggestions about ways it could be avoided, were partly based on information from ten dissertations by Masters students."
■ "The IPCC also made use of a report by US conservation group Defenders of Wildlife to state that salmon in US streams have been affected by rising temperatures. The panel has already come under fire for using information in reports by conservation charity the WWF [World Wildlife Fund]".

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President Obama Hits Lowest Approval Mark

February 8, 2010 see http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/02/obama_hits_lowe.php

"Independent voters see Pres. Obama in a negative light by a nearly 2-1 margin, according to a new Marist College survey, while almost half of voters say he has failed to meet their expectations.

The poll, conducted Feb. 1-3, showed just 44% of registered voters approving of Obama's job as president. 47% disapprove. But among indie voters, Obama's approval rating sits at a terrible 29%, while his disapproval rating is at 57%.

Obama's 44% job approval rating is the lowest he has scored in any non-internet poll since moving into the WH, according to a review of data compiled by Pollster.com.

And while GOPers strive to avoid attacking Obama personally, for fear of offending voters who see him in a favorable light personally, even that aura of invincibility is wearing off. Independent voters view Obama negatively, too, by a 39% favorable to 52% unfavorable margin. All registered voters still see Obama favorably by a 50%-44% margin, but that's down 5 points in just 2 months.

Voters are disappointed in what they got with Obama's first year. The poll shows 47% believe Obama has failed to meet their expectations -- including a quarter of Dems, 65% of GOPers and 53% of indie voters -- while just 42% say he has met their expectations. 38% say Obama's policies are moving the country in the wrong direction, while 37% say they're making the country better.

Meanwhile, members of Congress should brace for a difficult election year. 42% of registered voters said they would back their current member of Congress, while 44% said they would support someone else -- a drop of 9 points in support of the incumbent in just 2 months.

The Marist College poll surveyed 910 registered voters for a margin of error of +/- 3.2%."

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Obama Has Accepted Money Directly from Corporations

See " Hypocrisy in Citizens United chatter" in a Politico op-ed piece Feb 3, 2010 by David Bossie president of Citizens United, notes that Obama has accepted money directly from corporations, which remains illegal for candidates for federal office at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32331.html

"Many states, including Illinois and Maryland, allow corporate contributions to state candidates. As an Illinois state senator, Obama accepted direct contributions from the corporate treasuries of Citigroup and London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, among others. As a Maryland state legislator, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, one of the more hysterical critics of the decision, accepted from business entities about 10 percent of his campaign funds during the four years leading up to his election to Congress.

If, as these detractors and their allies would have us believe, corporate money is by definition corrupting, why did they accept these funds when doing so benefited them? "

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine - Canadian Premier Comes to US for Heath Care

See Great Moments in Socialized Medicine from John Taranto Feb 2, 2010 Best of the Web Wall Street Journal blog at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704022804575041482614796218.html#U10467664188tD

"Newfoundland and Labrador is one of Canada's smaller and lesser-known provinces. Danny Williams is its premier, so his rough equivalent in "the states" would be the governor of Delaware or South Dakota. CBC reports Williams is having some heart trouble, for which he will be having surgery--in the United States!

Why? The report doesn't say, but we can rule out geographic proximity, as Newf-and-Lab is the remotest of Canada's 10 provinces. According to Google Maps, getting from the capital, St. John's, to Portland, Maine, the nearest half-decent-sized U.S. city, is a 2,242 km drive, including a 176 km ferry to Nova Scotia. We don't know what "km" means either, but the point is, Williams is going a long way.

Why? We thought Canada had a great system of socialized medicine for all! Apparently even a provincial premier can get better care in America. What would Williams have done if ObamaCare had passed and turned out to be no better than CanucKare?"

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