Thursday, 8 March 2012

07:58 - I just got email from our production editor at O’Reilly/MAKE about the schedule for the biology book. Next week, 3/12 through 3/16, is devoted to the QC1 pass. That’s where they send us a PDF of the book in final form so that we can make any last-minute edits. At this point, any such edits should be very minor–correcting typos and so on–and we really hope that no changes are needed that would affect pagination. It generally takes me two or three days to complete this pass. Then, on the 19th through the 21st, I’ll be reviewing the index. For some reason, that’s always difficult for me. I can never think of anything to add. Of course, that’s probably because O’Reilly uses very good indexers. Then, on the 22nd and 23rd, we do the QC2 pass, which is reviewing what we really hope is the final camera-ready PDF. If any changes are needed in this pass, we really, really hope they’re extremely minor. Then we have the final index review on the 27th and 28th, followed by the book going to the printer on 6 April.

UPS showed up yesterday with 2,200 15 mL bottles and the screw caps to fit them. It looks like they’ll work fine, but I’ll do some testing on them to make sure. That means filling several of them with water, capping them and taping the caps, and then tossing a bag of them into the clothes dryer on medium and tumbling them for half an hour or so. If they survive that with no leakage, we’ll assume they’ll also survive shipping without leakage.

Work continues on the re-write of the forensics book to adapt it to a custom kit.


14:50 - Here’s the quote of day, from French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “The economic crisis is still with us, but I think we can say that we have surmounted the financial crisis. The euro is still here. Who would have bet on that four years ago?”

Four years ago? Four years ago, neither Sarkozy nor any of the other eurozone leaders even understood there was a problem. And, until now, they’ve all denied repeatedly that the euro was under existential threat. Now, Sarkozy appears to be saying that for the last four years everyone has believed that the euro was doomed, but now that threat is gone. Geez. As Buffy would say, his logic is not Earth logic.

Meanwhile, regardless of how the Greek debt swap proceeds with the final deadline coming up in about 10 minutes, Greece has already announced it is defaulting. Not “selective default”. Not “partial default”. Not “organized default”. Default default. Greece announced that there are only two choices for its creditors: (a) accept the write-down of 75% in NPV terms, or (b) get nothing. That’s a default by anyone’s definition, no matter what kind of lipstick Greece, the IIF, the ECB, and the IMF try to put on that pig.

And at this point it’s difficult to see how Greece can meet the Troika requirements for approving the new bailout. Even if the Troika chooses to reduce the requirements, and it’s difficult to see how that would be possible politically, the assumptions about who is paying how much are going to bite them in the ass. EU politicians are working on the assumption that the IMF will kick in a third of the required funds, and the IMF has already said it’s not going to do that. The IMF may kick in 10% of the nominal requirements, if that. And the nominal requirements are entirely inadequate. That means the EU is going to have to come up with a lot more money. That, of course, means that Germany is going to have to come up with most of that additional money, and it’s clear that Germany simply isn’t going to do that. So Greece is going down the tubes, one way or another, no matter what happens with the debt swap.

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47 Responses to Thursday, 8 March 2012

  1. Ron says:

    Bob,

    If you’re testing for water leakage in a dryer, wouldn’t the dryer just dry up the leaks? I would add some food coloring and a white hand towel, then you would know even if the leak was very small and dried up.

    I’ve read your blog for years, mostly interested in the computer topics.

    Ron

      

  2. Chad says:

    Interesting WSJ article on e-book price fixing:
    U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers

      

  3. BGrigg says:

    Bob wrote: “camera-ready PDF”

    Tee-hee. Camera ready PDF? Not too many cameras still being used in print shops. I used to work for a blueprint company that had a room camera. Actually, it was two rooms. One for exposing the artwork, which could be placed on the far wall and could be as large as 6′ high and 10′ wide. The other room was literally the camera, and we worked with film that was 24″x36″ sheets.

    I wonder how many of the “modern” print designers even know how to make proper camera ready art, nowadays?

      

  4. Lynn McGuire says:

    When are we going to get POD (print on demand) books ? I thought that POD was going to be all the rage a couple of years ago. Have ebooks killed the POD books, I hope not ? Or is it the cost of POD books is much higher than expected ? I have already not purchased a couple of books because they are ebooks only.

      

  5. BGrigg says:

    I think some of the titles sold through Amazon are actually POD books, or could easily become one. The equipment that can process, print, collate, and bind a book is very expensive, and IMHO I don’t think you’ll ever see a “POD kiosk” at the local mall. Even Staples or Office Depot would choke on the investment, except in perhaps the more populous cities like Boston or New York. A central location that prints and ships for Amazon is much easier to fathom.

    Then there is the actual time required for production. For instance, a book like Bob’s Chemistry book would likely take an hour or more to “RIP” to the processor that drives the printer, and that’s just processing the file, not actually printing the book. Add another hour for that, plus binding time, and most people will not bother.

    For regular black ink on white paper reading, ebooks suffice quite nicely. I’ve not picked up a printed fiction book since I received my Kindle. In fact, I didn’t finish the last printed book I was reading, at the time.

      

  6. Jim Cooley says:

    “In fact, I didn’t finish the last printed book I was reading, at the time.

    But What Women Know About Men was such a short book!

      

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    If you’re testing for water leakage in a dryer, wouldn’t the dryer just dry up the leaks? I would add some food coloring and a white hand towel, then you would know even if the leak was very small and dried up.

    They’ll be inside a sealed plastic bag. If they leak, I’ll know it.

      

  8. BGrigg says:

    Jim wrote: “But What Women Know About Men was such a short book!”

    You mean “What Men Know About Women”, don’t you?

    I started to read a book on ADHD, but never got past the first chapter…

      

  9. OFD says:

    One of the shortest books I ever read was “The Genius of the Republican National Committee,” but that was beat out by “The Big Book of Nancy Pelosi Centerfolds.”

    60 here today and the rivers are rising again, a lot of snow and ice melt from the woods and hills, etc., etc. Plus, gee whiz, it’s raining again, too. Maybe this is the start of a second year of constant rain for four or five months and some more record floods.

    Can’t we get algore to take a look at this situation here? Or the wonderful literary lion, bon vivant and raconteur, Michael Moore?

      

  10. Jim Cooley says:

    “Can’t we get algore to take a look at this situation here? Or the wonderful literary lion, bon vivant and raconteur, Michael Moore?

    I think we’d more than big room and large-format PDF camera to encompass THAT subject!

    Al Gore’s What I Know About Global Warming is another I couldn’t finish in the print version.

    And yes, my HTML tags are wrong. What do I use for underlining?

      

  11. BGrigg says:

    It’s underline . Isn’t it?

      

  12. BGrigg says:

    Hmmm, tags no worky?

      

  13. SteveF says:

    The u tag should do it.

      

  14. SteveF says:

    Guess not. But em for italics (emphasis) and strong for bolding work, I think.

      

  15. Miles_Teg says:

    Bill wrote:

    “I started to read a book on ADHD, but never got past the first chapter…”

    Yeah, too much grass’ll do that to you… :-)

      

  16. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “One of the shortest books I ever read was “The Genius of the Republican National Committee,” but that was beat out by “The Big Book of Nancy Pelosi Centerfolds.””

    PLEASE! I almost lost my breakfast due to that last.

    Still raining on and off here, just a bit slower. A creek near my home is on the point of bursting its banks, but I’m well above it, and the sun is out again. I’m wondering where all this water actually comes from.

      

  17. Raymond Thompson says:

    but that was beat out by “The Big Book of Nancy Pelosi Centerfolds.

    I guess you would not be interested in borrowing my copy of Janet Napolitano Does Dallas.

      

  18. SteveF says:

    Wasn’t her stage name Jizzy Janet? Or was it Jizzqueen Janet? Whichever it was, Janet and Hornball Hillary did a flick together as a fundraiser for Oblowma. Bottom Bitches, I think it was called. I hope the name was because they’re both bottom-heavy; I get queasy thinking about other possible meanings.

    Oh, and did you hear the rumors about Oblowma himself? Something about how back in 2009 he was overheard saying that now that he was Prez, he could finally be on top for once.

    And, this conversation having reached its nadir, perhaps it’s time to talk about other, loftier things. Like Greek debt. And how the Greeks are telling their creditors to take it up the ass.

    Um, oops. Sorry. I guess I just don’t do “lofty”.

      

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    How dare you make derogatory remarks about the lovely Hillary! Not only would she have made a better president than Obama, she’s heaps better looking than 99% of Democrat females…

      

  20. OFD says:

    Shit, I want that same Oz grass or booze or whatever it is that Greg is abusing as he evidently looks at pics or videos of The Heroine of Tripoli, a.k.a. Lady MacBeth of Little Rock. Then maybe I can fantasize about gorgeous Janet jumping on me.

    It would have to be really good shit, though, Greg.

    The Greeks. Are going down, down, down, and just like little dominoes, the other countries of the southern tier will follow, eventually. Meanwhile our lords temporal here are busing ginning up more wars in Syria and Iran, so we can keep the DOD, the perfumed princes of the Pentagon, and the Wall Street banksters and carny barkers happy. I figure the virus will spread to the northern tier and the UK at some point, and then cross the Atlantic, within the next five years.

      

  21. Miles_Teg says:

    Man, what the hell is coursing through your veins Dave? Liquid nitrogen? I agree Hillary isn’t the most beautiful woman in the world – Sandra Bullock has that accolade sewn up – but she’s very easy on the eye even now, especially compared with the other female Democrats mentioned recently. Have you seen a picture of Hillary when she was a Goldwater Girl? Very very cute…

      

  22. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Had to drive through frog strangling rain at oh dark thirty this morning. Plus, some kind semi driver blocked the left lane by driving only 55 all the way to Indy. It was not so bad that I could not have done 60 to 65 safely, and I am sure he was backing up traffic all the way to Ohio, while the lane in front of him was completely clear — an obvious control freak. Actually, Indiana drivers are so intent on driving like they are at the Indy 500, racing to be first and cutting in front of others to be first at the red stop light ahead, that I am surprised somebody did not pull out some firepower and force the guy off the road. Yet another reason I hate personal transportation.

    Temps here have either been too warm or too cold — either near or slightly below freezing, or mid to upper 60’s F. The jet stream has been whipping us with a see-saw rhythm like a belly dancer. Raced into my destination this morning to try and avoid looking drowned, only to realize I left the camera tripod in the trunk, and had to swim back to the car to get it. My hair looked like I just stepped out of the shower.

    The Indy Colts said goodbye to Peyton Manning yesterday, thus avoiding the $28 million bonus — not that Manning needs the money. Reports appear to confirm my knowledge: he failed the Colts physical; and people observing him in practice sessions at Duke this week, indicate his arm is nowhere near where it was when he left playing for the surgeries — and even Manning admitted that. My understanding is it will never regain that strength back, although Peyton seems to believe it will. A USA Today article confirmed another thing I heard: that the operations leave a risk of further damage by the rough game, as Manning appears to have a genetic proclivity to spinal deterioration (note the Wikipedia article on Manning’s dad, Archie, and the confirmation that Peyton’s older brother Cooper has a spinal condition). In fact, what I heard, is that Peyton risks becoming a paraplegic, were he to get hit just right. I am truly surprised he did not hang up playing and start coaching. Too much testosterone, I guess. Why not leave the game in top form, rather than disappointing everyone with ever declining performance?

    Regarding the EU, you guys just cannot wait, can you? I seriously doubt that any kind of collapse will come, but if it does, I strongly suspect it will be worse than anyone imagines, because they are truly not prepared for the fallout. Every step they take is another in the wrong direction.

    All that I read and hear, indicates that Merkel stands alone in her own country in demanding that Germany give Greece the finger. Most of her advisers and every German economist I have read/heard indicate that the austerity Greece is facing means literal death to masses. If one reads the economists I consider reputable (like Dean Baker), they all indicate that Greece has already been through super-stringent austerity in the years leading up the current situation, and more austerity is like stopping even bread and water to a dying man.

    One of the comments relating to the problems the EU faces as it federalizes, is that it will not allow its nations to empty out virtually the entire population, as the US has permitted in North Dakota. But if the EU does not come up with some real aid to Greece, I think you will see it empty out, just like North Dakota. It is already happening according to some observers, although accurate figures are hard to come by.

    If Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland succumb, then Germany had better get their military in fighting order, because the fallout is not going to be pretty. They are all going to go after Germany.

      

  23. BGrigg says:

    Huh? Greg, you either need new glasses, or we’re talking about another Hillary!

    Goldwater was a very long, long time ago.

      

  24. Miles_Teg says:

    Few of us look better as we age but Hillary Clinton is one who has kept her good looks better than most.

    Yeah, I need new glasses but my vision is good enough to see Mrs Clinton’s beauty. Perhaps you’ve been looking at moose and grizzly too long?

      

  25. Miles_Teg says:

    Chuck wrote:

    “One of the comments relating to the problems the EU faces as it federalizes, is that it will not allow its nations to empty out virtually the entire population, as the US has permitted in North Dakota. But if the EU does not come up with some real aid to Greece, I think you will see it empty out, just like North Dakota. It is already happening according to some observers, although accurate figures are hard to come by.”

    Chuck, would you mind explaining the reference to ND please?

      

  26. Jim Cooley says:

    Doctors and diplomacy

    I have something wrong with one of my eyes.
    I don’t know what’s wrong. (Who me, not know? Yes, me!)

    I need expert advice.

    As you know, I hate the arrogance of American medical system, at least for those who pay cash for all but that which insurance ought to cover… but that’s another rant for another time.

    In India, I can easily pay for an opinion, and isn’t tainted by a know-it-all attitude, either: if he doesn’t know, he’ll tell me. Then recommend someone else who might know… and so on. Not knowing IS an opinion, and I’d happily pay for that!

    So I go see the optometrist tomorrow. Charges for a brief visit have yet to be determined. (Don’t you love that! How did that become possible???)

    I’m just going to tell him I’m an asshole, describe my symptoms, and ask for an examination and opinion — and tell him “no idea!” is perfectly acceptable. He can scope my eye, throw in some fluorescein, and send me on my way in 15 minutes.

    I *am* an asshole, but I also shoot straight. Best doc I ever knew was a nurse practitioner who didn’t hesitate to pick up a book, IN MY PRESENCE, and look something up. She, nor the doc in charge, didn’t mind that I’d question their diagnoses or treatment plans; in fact, they welcomed it. Gee, I miss both of them!

    I’m not good at either diplomacy or politics, so I’m wondering how I can make this go more smoothly without sacrificing my dignity at the alter of some white-coated priest (Fr. Milgram?) who has absolute “faith” in medicine rather than being a humble practitioner of the healing arts.

    Suggestions welcome.

      

  27. BGrigg says:

    Greg wrote: “Perhaps you’ve been looking at moose and grizzly too long?”

    Yes, which is why I can recognize ‘em when I see ‘em. She’s a bit of both. I’ve seen the pics, and she only had the prettiness of youth going for her.

      

  28. Miles_Teg says:

    Heresy! She’s one of the best looking 60+ women I’ve ever seen. I’ve said (and my sister agrees) that most women don’t age as well as men. Hillary is one of the few exceptions.

      

  29. brad says:

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “The economic crisis is still with us, but I think we can say that we have surmounted the financial crisis. The euro is still here. Who would have bet on that four years ago?”

    Oops? I think this quote is incredibly revealing. It indicates to me that the European leaders were not surprised by the crisis at all. Instead, they have known about it for at least four years, and have spent all that time trying to suppress the problem in hopes it would go away.

    As Chuck writes all to appropriately: “Every step they take is another in the wrong direction.” Merkel does seem to get it. The question is whether she can continue to hold the line. There’s just no reason to flush even more money down the Greek rathole.

    - – - – -

    @Jim: Sorry to hear about your eye problems – that’s scary stuff, as Ray can certainly attest. Be up front with them, get at least two opinions, or maybe three. Eyes aren’t things with which around to muck…

      

  30. SteveF says:

    The only way I can make sense of half of the preceding comments is to assume that Miles_Teg’s real-life name is Trollboy.

      

  31. Miles_Teg says:

    Nah, I’ve just got better taste in females than you guys. Of course, she’s a married woman so that excludes her as far as I’m concerned but I can still appreciate a beautiful woman, even if she’s married to a slimeball like William Jefferson.

      

  32. BGrigg says:

    I think at this time it’s best to just nod and back away quietly…

      

  33. Raymond Thompson says:

    Jim stated:

    I have something wrong with one of my eyes.
    I don’t know what’s wrong. (Who me, not know? Yes, me!)

    Make sure the eye doctor is a surgeon, not an opthamologist. You can also see a retina surgeon but that usually requires a referral by the eye surgeon. The eye surgeon typically operates on the front of the eye while the retina surgeon specializes on the innards and the back of the eye.

    They should photograph and laser scan the interior of the eye and the retina. I have photographs of the interior of my eyes when they did mine. They also may inject a dye in your veins and watch the progress in your eyes through the device that photographs the eyes.

    I have had it all done. None of it was uncomfortable or pain. Just annoying, especially to my wallet. But it was all worth it. As was stated earlier, eyes are nothing to mess with and the stuff they can do today is amazing. I would pick US (or German) doctors over any other country as the machines, technology and training seem to be first rate. I wouldn’t have a blister lanced in India.

      

  34. Jim Cooley says:

    I’m just going to see the optometrist first. Maybe it’s something simple and stupid I don’t know about. I won’t bore you with the details, and I doubt it’s anything serious. These young little whipper-snappers who think by means of algorithm and not critical thinking piss me off. Not mention how hide-bound they are when it comes to “standard of care” and covering their legal asses. I once got dinged for $60 because the doc insisted on sending a sebaceous cyst to pathology to “make sure” it wasn’t cancer. Yeah, how friggin’ likely is that?

      

  35. Raymond Thompson says:

    I once got dinged for $60 because the doc insisted on sending a sebaceous cyst to pathology to “make sure” it wasn’t cancer. Yeah, how friggin’ likely is that?

    The Dr’s. insurance company probably demands that he do such extra tests.

    When my wife, finally, had her hip replaced it was only after a dozen different tests, other treatments, etc. when her Dr. clearly stated that surgery was the only solution. Instead we had to endure 18 months of tests, other doctor opinions, injections, physical therapy (which really hurt). The end result was the surgery still had to be done.

    I think the insurance companies do this hoping that the individual will change jobs, and/or insurance companies by the time the surgery is finally approved. Insurance companies are running the medical system, not the health care providers.

      

  36. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Boy, you got that right. Insurance companies determine the rates for various procedures.

    Most of what I do, involves seeing inside situations that have gone wrong. Amazingly, my own impression over several years, is that when mistakes are made, it is usually because of a long procedure where the OR people got tired. Or, they did not double-check their work. Samples: hip replacement ball did not match the size of the separate socket; drug in a syringe that was supposed to be applied topically, was injected, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately resulted in a permanently weakened heart.

    Doctors in this country really do know their specialty, and have incredible tools to work with. It is cost and a lack of a system of double-checks that is the problem, IMO.

      

  37. OFD says:

    I agree with Mr. Grigg here; back away quietly and nod in a friendly and non-threatening fashion, any time our guy in Oz uses the words “beautiful” and “woman” in the same sentence mentioning The Heroine of Tripoli. Gad, what a pig. How is it, in the name of whatever god or science we worship, that the Dems and libruls have the most godawful fugly pigs in creation always on camera somewhere? Janet Reno, Donna Shalala, Patty Murray, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Betty Friedan, Diane Feinstein, and the list goes on and on and on….

    I also think Chuck is correct here, and that while I do not wish suffering on any ordinary people like us in these countries or this one, we are gonna see an eventual chain reaction from the Greek fallout at some point. And if it gets bad enough, whole regions will in fact ‘empty out’ but those people all have to go somewhere. A ‘Camp of the Saints’ right there on the Continent itself, while simultaneously more millions try to escape the utter hellish disaster that is Africa. (good thing they booted out all those nasty colonial powers…)

    And sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost in the northern Euro tier, the UK, North America, and Oz. Just a matter of when, as the wonderful globalist house of cards cannot be sustained, and neither can fiat currency and endless debt. Nor endless foreign adventure clusterfuck wars all over the world.

    Greg, Chuck was probably referring to, in re: North Dakota, to its emptying out of First Nations peoples by our thuggish War Between the States murdering war criminal generals and politicians. They did a great job, too, massacring women, children and old men, along with the warrior males. We also did a pretty good job here in Nova Anglia along those lines, mainly with Euro diseases, but also the militaristic depredations of such colonial heroes as Captain Shrimp, a.k.a. Miles Standish. Our tin-potted soldiers from Reformation, i.e. uber-Prod England, came over and slaughtered indigneous peoples and wildlife with crazed abandon and glee. (yes, I know the favors were returned in particularly brutal fashion on our own women and children).

      

  38. Chuck Waggoner says:

    The Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, and Maine, have always been near the bottom of both population and economic well-being in the US. North Dakota seems to be a whipping boy, because even in good economic times, people continue leaving there.

    It’s odd. My grandfather, being the son of a Lakota Sioux, always used to tell me when I was a kid, that the climate of the north forced people to be more industrious. He used to say that about the American Indians — the southern tribes were no match for northern ones. But here we are, generations later, and it is the southern ones who have gone with the casinos and prospered, while those in the North are floundering and the reservations dying. The tables have turned, but he never lived to see it.

    Btw, my son turned me on to some Lakota tribal music through a radio station in Rapid City, KILI (there is a ‘listen live’ link)

    http://www.kiliradio.org/

    During drive time, they play Lakota music; rest of the time, it is country or oldies. Anyway, the English speakers have a Canadian accent. My son tells me that is the accent everybody in the Dakotas has.

    If you are searching for Native American music, use the word “pow wow”, not “tribal” or “native”. Iron Boy is one of my favs. I had a link to some Lakota pow wow music, but seem to have lost it.

      

  39. MrAtoz says:

    OFD, how could you leave out my favorite future Playboy centerfold:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×3626573

      

  40. OFD says:

    Funny that English-speaking Lakotas would have the Canadian accent; the northern border states must be a lot alike in this regard. Our local First Nations peoples here are Abenaki/St. Francis band and went back and forth across the border as if it didn’t exist since said border was ‘defined’ by Euro powers. To the east are Passamaquoddy and northeast, the Mi’c’maq. And to the west are the Mohawks and Hurons. The Mohawks seem to be doing quite well and their IT people are heavily into open source/Linux. They also have historically gotten along nicely with the Hells Angels. Thanks for those music links, Chuck.

      

  41. OFD says:

    MrAtoz, you are an evil man and also seriously disturbed. I fear for you.

    And return the favor, because I also, am evil and seriously disturbed:

    http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/10/18/helen-thomas-retracts-apology-to-israelis/

      

  42. Miles_Teg says:

    Chuck wrote:

    “The Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, and Maine, have always been near the bottom of both population and economic well-being in the US. North Dakota seems to be a whipping boy, because even in good economic times, people continue leaving there.”

    People leaving parts of the central US which are a long way from the sea or Great Lakes I can understand. Of the states named I’d like most to lice in Maine, ‘cuz it’s on the coast. I hear that the north-central US gets crazy cold in winter, something I’d hate.

      

  43. Miles_Teg says:

    Sigh. * live in Maine

      

  44. OFD says:

    There are no lice in Maine, Greg; too frigging cold. And take it from old OFD, that wind coming off the north Atlantic in the winter will turn your marrow to ice in seconds flat. I was a young dumbass walking a midnight shift guarding a nuke weapons storage area and dressed for Arctic conditions and I still got permanent frostbite in my fingers, ears and toes.

    And in the middle of summer try swimming off the central and northeastern Maine shore, if you don’t mind your skin turning blue instantly and causing you to look remarkably like a Pict.

      

  45. SteveF says:

    There are no lice in Maine because they went to Washington.

      

  46. OFD says:

    Yep, yet another Northeast RINO, for decades. I have wondered for roughly the same length of time why they all just don’t quit the Repub side of the War Party and go over to their Dem buddies.

      

  47. Chuck Waggoner says:

    The only thing that keeps Maine going is all the blue-bloods from Mass. that retire to Maine. I think it is a rule that when you cross the state line, any Democrat must switch name affiliation to Republican. I think it has to do with TV networks being different or station ownership or time zones or something like that. Since Abe Lincoln, Republicans will let anyone from Maine in.

      

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