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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 5, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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running in 2016, there's no place in the democratic primary for a one percenter. freeing americans from job lock. a republican health care priority for years until it became associated with a guy named president obama. it's wednesday, february 5th, and this is "now." >> the white house has a new health care battle on its hands. >> capitol hill is buzzing over a new nonpartisan report. >> the president's health care law are discouraging work. >> when one misinterpretation gets out of the box early, it takes the truth an awful long time to catch up. >> fewer people are going to be working and the economy will be slower as a result.
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>> democrats are pushing back in a big way. >> there's a big difference in losing a job and leaving a job. >> this isn't employers cutting jobs. more americans will be able to voluntarily choose to work fewer hours. >> all this disaster on the air waves is fear mongering. >> we're very considered about the impact the president's health care law is having. >> paranoid speculation. >> republicans just hate this law. why are they so obsessed with repealing a law that is going to offer millions of people health insurance? conservatives have been tossing confetti and popping champagne after a report was released yesterday by the nonpartisan congressional budget office. the projection that the affordable care act will allow americans to work fewer hours, hour that is add up to 2.5 million jobs over the next ten
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years. what republicans are less interested in is explaining why. namely, people choosing to work less. "the wall street journal" crowed about the jobless care act. it said the cbo estimated the aca will boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years. the director directly refuted the claim that the aca is one gigantic job suck. >> we think people choosing not to work because of the incentives provided by the affordable care act would have no effect on the unemployment rate. we said that very clearly in our report. >> what the cbo actually concluded is that many workers will choose to withdraw from the
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labor force because many low income workers and those close to retirement will no longer experience job block. once you read the fine print, or the actual print, getting freed from job lock is not exactly a terrible thing. >> it allows americans to choose to spend more time with their family or pursue their dreams, and that is not a bad thing. it's a good thing. >> this isn't employers cutting jobs. it's newly empowers workers choosing to go a different path. >> freeing americans from job lock, this is the very thing that conservatives and paul ryan have been calling for. this is paul ryan in the year 2009. >> the key question that ought to be addressed in any health care reform legislation is are we going to continue job lock,
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or are we going to allow individuals more choice and portability to fit the 21st century work force? >> job lock. the key question, paul ryan, a man who is very, very popular in his party. but reality bites. instead of acknowledging that his key question had been answered by the president's health care plan, he pivoted to his new favorite subject, poverty. >> these changes, they disproportionately effect low-wage workers. washington is making the poverty trap much worse. in inducing a person not to work, not to get on the ladder of life to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, joining the middle class, this means fewer people will do that. that's why i'm troubled by this. >> despite paul ryan's newfound concern for the poor, the cbo
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director made clear that the law is actually helping low-income americans. >> the subsidies make those lower income people better off. this is an implicit taxes. >> i understand that. i guess i understand the better off in the context of health care. >> consider that begrudging acceptance that the aca might do something good. joining me from washington is jarrod burnstein and josh greene. i cannot think of any other term other than breathtaking
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hipocracy. >> i think it is somewhat remarkable, but kind of common sense. there is no health care reform left, right, or center that doesn't involve subsidies. you have this labor supply effect that the congressional budget office documented. it is endemic to any kind of plan out there. it's a personal choice. this is an area where you have the same amount of labor demand, but a little bit less labor supply. that means a tighter labor market.
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one of the implications of this is higher wages. >> there's not only the sound of paul ryan we played talking about this. there is a heritage report from the john mccain health care plan under the section of "breaking job lock." under the mccain plan, which links tax breaks directly to individuals instead of their place of work, individuals would no longer feel obligated to stay with their employers. that's what the affordable health care act does. to talk about this politically, i think the thinking yesterday was, this is going to be a huge liability for democrats, and it could be. it also shows, again, hypocracy.
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>> the big debate was whether or not to extend long-term unemployment insurance. in the case of federal unemployment insurance, you have people giving up out of frustration because they can't find a job. one way to address this easily without repealing obamacare would be to extend federal unemployment insurance so you can keep some of these people in the labor force. but the honest debate isn't always the one that takes place in washington. >> i'm sure that house republicans will snap into action once they get josh's argument there. go ahead, alex. >> the cbo report, it's not all filled with sort of republican -- the reaction on some level in the conservative
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circles has been shameless, but there are issues for the white house in the cbo report. these projections of the number of like job hours that will be lost totaling $2.5 million, the initial cbo projection was 800,000. why is there that massive discrepancy? what do you attribute that to? >> they basically went into this literature in economics that tries to estimate how people will react to these implicit tax rates and they boosted their estimates. these are guesstimates ten years out about dynamics that are quite hard to nail down. one of the unfortunate things that happens is cbo says a number with a huge margin of
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error around it and we all run around saying that's the number. there's a lot of uncertainty there. here's the thing. one thing that's been horribly missing because the extent to which the report has been mis n misconstr misconstrued, because the economy has been growing too slowly, our fiscal outlook is a little bit worse. i think all this aca stuff is a big distraction. what the report is really saying is if this economy would grow faster, we'd actually have better fiscal outcomes. >> that is a very fair point. josh, also buryed in the report is the fact that premiums are going to be 15% lower than last year's forecast. and the deficit is expected to be reduced by $1 trillion in the
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next ten years. >> my advice to anybody curious about this would be to go in and read the report. it's written in plain english that a layman can understand. there are things that are buried in there that are useful and important to know. one of the biggest debates brewing up in republican circles, the idea of the affordable care act providing bailouts, the cbo report came out and said, no, that's not likely to happen. in fact, we're likely to get $8 billion, the government is, from the insurers. there's stuff buried in there that's good news. because critics of the law are so seized on this 2 million jobs number.
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>> i think there's a tendency to focus on the narrative here and sort of the political spin on something like this. >> sure. >> and it is incredibly important, this particular moment, especially with the aca, to focus on the facts and figures, which not something to washington likes to do or pundits like to do. to make sense of all of this, what number would you advise democrats to focus most on in the report? >> probably 25 million. that's the number of people that would lose health insurance if we were to repeal this act. we know the plan is now up and running. it's getting close to hitting its targets after a terrible rollout. it's starting to ramp up in terms of coverage. the point of this is to cover uninsured americans and to do it in an affordable way.
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if we were to repeal, we'd be talking about 25 million uninsured. >> thank you both. >> thank you. after the break, the olympic torch officially arrived in sochi. president vladimir putin's human rights record is not anything for celebration. republicans are fighting month themselves behind closed doors. we'll compare and contrast t today's duels retreats when we come back. your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order.
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a tough election year ahead, control of the senate at stake, why not retreat yourself? as a matter of fact, today right at this very moment, senate democrats and republicans are doing just that, huddling with their respective members and plotting the way forward in 2014. for democrats that means circling the wagons on an ambitious agenda for the middle class. it is gathering at washington's national park where president obama made a special appearance and former president bill clinton will pop by. republicans have moved to the library of congress where they are perhaps enjoying the tones of their guest star, arthur brooks, who recently prescribed a formula for happiness. quote, free enterprise gives the
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most people the best shot at earning their success and finding enduring happiness in their work. pocketbook issues are said to be the gop's focus today, but despite the cbo's latest report that immigration reform would boost economic growth, do not expect that to be foremost on their agenda or anywhere on the agenda. >> i think we have a sort of an unresolvable conflict here. the house says it won't go to the senate on a comprehensive. >> joining me now, making his return to this television show is the managing editor of "the washington post" and john
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stanton. you're both triumph victors and we're very happy to have you on the show. chris, the conflict, they might as well just rename the grand ole party, the party of unresolvable conflict. in the long term, the mo -- mit mcconnell's declaration is that immigration reform is an unresolvable conflict. i tend to agree with frank rich on this. it sounds like it is once again doa or dying. >> i think you're right, alex. when mitch mcconnell talks, make sure you listen. mitch mcconnell is a guy who is very savvy has a political
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strategyist and is relatively honest in his public pronouncements for a politician. john boehner hired a woman named rebecca talent on his staff to potential work at immigration. then president obama said some sort of bipartisan things about immigration during the state of the union. now all of a sudden immigration is on the fast track to passing. mcconnell says, wait a minute, it's comprehensive versus piecemeal and those two things don't go together. it is a sort of cooling off period. the number i always tell people, 27%. that's the percentage of the hispanic vote mitt romney got in 2012. >> what accounts for that?
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what accounts for john boehner sort of at least ringing the wind chimes of possible reform and then basically mitch mcconnell stomping on said wind chimes yesterday? are they not communicating with each other? >> to a certain degree, it is a bit to play in terms of his own reelection. you're getting to the point in the election where points the g the house and senate diverge. they want to focus all their efforts on democrats into tough votes and into sides where they have to side with the obama administration. they don't want to give democrats in the senate a huge
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win on something like immigration reform. for mcconnell, he's looking at this as we have a shot this year at taking back the senate. we want to keep the focus on things we want to talk about. >> self-control has not been something the gop has been particularly good at in the last year. ted cruz said about immigration reform, i guarantee you president obama and harry reid are dancing in their offices to light themselves on fire, in a reference on passing immigration reform. we're hearing house republicans may demand some concession in raising the debt ceiling. we thought that was settled. >> deja vu all over again. remember plan "b," that was john boehner's proposal on the fiscal cliff that was going to put obama in a box and make it hard for him to get out of.
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that never got a vote. remember the farm bill? same problem. you've seen house republican leaders whether it is tying to approving keystone or this risk corridor repeal in obamacare, they've tried a couple of things with their conference to say, what if we did this, could we get the debt ceiling passed? the reality is those things haven't gone anywhere. right now to get that debt ceiling passed, they have to sweeten things on it to get democratic votes. they cannot pass it with just republican votes because frankly there are 30 to 40 republicans who will not vote for things that john boehner wants them to vote for. >> i want to talk about the role of democrats here. john, we know the big dog is going to the washington nationals park to speak to the conference. you eluded to the mitch
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mcconnell and taking back the control of the senate. what do you think bill clinton is talking to vulnerable senate democrats about tonight? >> i think he's going to tell them to try to stand firm, but not to allow themselves to get boxed into these kinds of fights. he was always very good at avoiding these kind of pitfalls that republicans lay out. mark pryor and others aren't necessarily as good at it as he is. you can still win with these policies under your belt. you need to find your own path. he's going to try to calm them a little bit and give them a little bit of a boost. the senate democrats are in danger of losing control of the chamber. >> he kind of needs to stand
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underneath the window and speak for mark pryor. >> showing my age. >> you're a spring chicken. >> justin beiber. snap chat. >> we're going to leave it there. thank you. coming up, while climate change deniers ramp up their crusade against science, president obama faces facts. we'll discuss his newly announced executive orders in the climate battle just ahead. first, cbs calls it quits. we'll look at the pharmacy's new plan to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products. that is next. [ male announcer ] this is kevin.
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i rise today to applaud care mark's decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores across the united states. i hope other pharmacies will follow their example. >> that was rhode island congressman praising cvs which is headquartered in his district. president obama also cheered the decision, which is expecting to cost cvs $2 billion in annual tobacco sales. the ceo said, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose. by sarah cliff notes another incentive. cvs can further define its pharmacies as full-fledged
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health care providers. in this case, what is good for the goose is good for the gander and also the bottom line. after the break, california's governor says 2014 could be the year of the megadrought, while america's largest stay suffers its worst drought, climate change deniers are keeping their heads in the sand. we'll discuss that next on "now." this is for you. ♪ [ male announcer ] bob's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yeah. everybody knows that. did you know there is an oldest trick in the book?
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yeah! but i thought you were the queen of the pre-treat soak treat soak? those are fond memories, but those things are amazing. once i saw what they did, i actually started to relax. don't touch my things. those little guys clean, brighten and fight stains. so now i can focus on more pressing matters. like your containers. isn't it beautiful? your sweet peppers aren't next to your hot peppers. [ gasps ] [ sarah ] that's my tide. what's yours? climate hubs, this afternoon the white house announced executive actions on climate change. the seven hubs are designed to help farmers in rural
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communities to respond to the effects of climate change and also remind them that climate change is real. not surprisingly the hubs will be located in iowa, north carolina, colorado, oklahoma, oregon, and new mexico. think of it as outreach to get americans engaged in the battle against climate change. even without the white house efforts, the effects of the earth's warming have been profoundly obvious. there's now a longer crop growing season in the midwest. there's a fire season that's 60 days longer than it was three decades ago. from 2011 to 2013, droughts alone cost the u.s. $50 billion. california is experiencing its worst drought in the state's history. from ice storms in atlanta to balmy winters in alaska, if you
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needed anymore evidence that the climate is getting worse, just open up your front door. joining me now is a professor at pace university. thanks for coming back. how effective do you think the hubs will be? >> i think what's valuable about them is adapting to the vulnerability of climate hazards is there. if you want to convey that climate is changing, just being in the field and having people understand there are ways you can reduce your vulnerability to climate extremes period can get around that whole blockade of global warming. in 2006, i first wrote a story where sociologists were saying
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talk about adaptatiadaptation. then you can start to talk about mitigation of greenhouse gases. it's two things. if you talk about reducing vulnerability to climate hazards, the ideological arguments strip away. >> nobody knows that better than the people on the forefront on farms. what effect do you think business getting on board with the notion of climate change will have? i'll ready an excerpt from the "new york times." the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force. that would seem to be important because it takes it out of the political narrative and places it squarely in the business and economic box. >> to some extent.
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when you look at the companies that are messages about this, there are all kinds of mixed motives. usually there's other reasons why people act. coca-cola uses a lot of water. it's a credible thing to do. but at the same time, they're still marketing coca-cola more than they're marketing stop using water. walmart has gotten a lot of credit for pushing cheap lightbulbs. >> it's the yen and the yang. >> at the same time, politically having big businesses -- this has been happening for a long time. big businesses have signaled to washington they're ready to play by new rules. that's been true even down to
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exxon. >> the climate hubs are seen by some as the opening prelude to more executive actions from the white house, and specifically there's work on an epa pollution rule. they're saying the epa pollution rule could be the most significant action yet to reduce climate change. what are the hurdles as you see them right now? >> there's two different kinds of power plants. the ones yet to be built and the ones already existing. they're part of our infrastructure that were built by companies with the presumption that they're going to be operating for decades. that's tough. that's the one that's going to
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drag out. there's really no sense that this country is going to be building new coal fired power plants. the rules cement that in place for the new ones yet to be built. the fight is about the legacy of this carbon infrastructure we have already built. >> and the cost to the economy. >> the president has the authority. the supreme court said yes years ago. back when george bush was getting his run for the presidency, he promised to do the same thing. restrict power plants. >> do you think the rule is not going to be issued? >> it's going to happen. >> in terms of all the records we have broken, there's more concentration of co2 in the
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atmosphere. what are you most afraid of? >> the one that's most compelling is hot days. the rising records of hot days and hot extremes. that's clearly linked to greenhouse gas. a lot of these other categories, rainfall and stuff, it's a lot harder to judge. winter patterns, the science is still -- i wrote so many stories about polar vortex. there's many factors that people are still trying to figure out. >> focus on the heat. >> focus on the heat, even when it's cold. >> the cold maybe tied to the heat. thanks for your time. coming up, politics does indeed make strange bedfellows, but so too does art, especially when it involves politics. that's just ahead.
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members of the russian punk
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group are in new york today for a concert after being jailed in 2012 for playing an anti-putin song. pete seager passed away at the age of 94. a fixture of the folk scene, he was blacklisted during the mccarthy era before becoming a leading figure in the movements of the 60s and beyond. he wrote from "where have all the flowers gone" to one of my favorites "turn, turn, turn." >> you can do it and you will do it soon. i know. ♪
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>> in 2011 at the age of 92, he joined the occupy wall street movement for a rendition of "we shall overcome." former new york city deputy mayor looks at his influence on modern musicians including springsteen. it was as if the only anti-dote was emerging in the deepest vein of american folk traditions. joining me now is the music columnist from the "daily beast." i've long awaited the segment where we can just talk about music and the day as finally arrived. >> i'm not leaving. >> good.
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playing that old feature gets me choked up. it's a powerful song. i think for my parents that song had so much meaning. i look at that tape and on one level i'm moved and on another level i'm dismayed about where we are now in terms of the intersection of politics and music. in terms of contemporary music, it feels like the political chorus has been silenced. >> the 1960s was the civil rights era and the efforts to stop the vietnam war. he was alive during that period. his music was alive. the rich tradition of american folk music during that period was alive. he's in the middle of a moment in the civil rights movement in
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1966 in mississippi. bob dillon went down to the south in the 60s and sang. so there was a confluence of real passion around politics, real political change in this music. there isn't an equivalent today. somebody like springsteen is making real political music. >> yeah. >> he was very influenced by peter seger. he was somebody who has mostly avoided electorate politics in his year. he didn't get involved in electoral politics. in 2004, he decided to wade in for the first time in his career. is out there on behalf of john kerry trying to defeat george bush.
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it's a failure. john kerry is defeated. springsteen retreats a little bit. he makes a very difficult album, if you will, devils and dust, which is not an easy listen. >> yeah. >> i think he decided i'm going to go back to the earliest traditions of american folk music. i'm going to listen to my pete seger. yes, george bush was elected. we're depressed about that. that doesn't mean we can't be buoyant in our music. >> and the flame of idealism was still not put out, which is remarkable. part of the way to get musicians excited about politics is to believe change can happen. i have to ask you this. the last we saw of bob dillon was this last weekend in a chrysler ad. when you talk about believing in the power of change, when you
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saw dillon do that, what was your response? >> dillon has had an ambivalent relationship around his fame of being a protester. he's at times said he's not a little figure right now. i wasn't particularly surprised about that. the music remains and endures. whatever he conceives of himself now, the music of the 60s will remain forever. >> which musician would you most like to see delivering a message at your candidate's next rally? >> springsteen is pretty powerful. he was great for john kerry and barack obama in 2008. one of the worst moments on the hillary campaign was when arcade fire came out for barack obama.
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i knew we were in trouble. >> next stop bright eyes. all right. howard wilson, i love this new iteration of your career. when you're about to host the olympics and the world is calling out your human rights record, if you're vladimir putin, you curl up with an endangered snow leopard. so you're telling me your mom has a mom cave?
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hi boys! i've made you campbell's chunky new england clam chowder. wow! this is incredible! i know. and now it has more clams! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. what? [ male announcer ] it fills you up right. the olympic torch has arrived in sochi and celebrations abound. that's what vladimir putin would like you to think. yesterday in an act of image rehabilitation, putin found
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himself pawing around with an endangered snow leopard. in russia, freedom of speech is nonexistent. where peaceful protest is met with police brutality, where being gay is a crime. the political crackdown led by putin himself is the worst in the country's post soviet. in russia today, there are no politics or real discussion of views. almost two years ago, pussy riot sang a song of protest against putin. it landed the band in prison for 22 months. they're in new york this week on a human rights tour. appearing on the kolbert report last night, they reminded
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america of their distaste for the guy in charge. >> what do you have against vladimir putin? >> we have different ideas about a bright future, and we don't want a shirtless man on a horse leading us. [ applause ] >> vladimir and i get together shirtless and go hunting all the time. sometimes we don't even get around to the hunting. >> you should take some handsome boys with you. >> this is shirtless vladimir putin on a horse. it's a reminder of his arrogance and the audacity to which putin has conducted himself in russia and on the world stage. the only problem with laughter is it masks fear. as gays and lesbians and journalists and activists can tell you, vladimir putin is a
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very, very scary man. that is all for now. "the ed show" is up next. good evening, americans. and welcome to "the ed show" live from detroit lakes, minnesota. let's get to work. >> a lot of opinions about the debt ceiling, no decisions have been made. >> if congress sees its shadow, we'll have six more weeks of inaction. >> no decisions have been made. >> this is pitiful. >> forced to relive the same day over and over again. >> what? get it right for a change. >> is congress guilty of the same? >> a lot of opinions. >> the next big fight


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