Is Paul Ryan seriously considering a presidential run?

Michael Barone says: Maybe.

In fact, Mr. Barone handed Ryan Paul Rahe’s piece which practically implores Ryan to run.

To a Ryan candidacy I say: “I hope so.”

The full text of Ryan’s recent speech, mentioned by Mr. Barone, is below the fold.

Here’s the full text of Ryan’s remarks:

Thank you so much, Rich, for the kind introduction.

Some of you might be wondering why the House Budget Committee chairman is standing here addressing a room full of national security experts about American foreign policy. What can I tell you that you don’t already know?

The short answer is, not much. But if there’s one thing I could say with complete confidence about American foreign policy, it is this: Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power.

The unsustainable trajectory of government spending is accelerating the nation toward the most predictable economic crisis in American history. Years of ignoring the real drivers of our debt have left us with a profound structural problem. In the coming years, our debt is projected to grow to more than three times the size of our entire economy.

This trajectory is catastrophic. By the end of the decade, we will be spending 20 percent of our tax revenue simply paying interest on the debt – and that’s according to optimistic projections.

Our fiscal crisis is above all a spending crisis that is being driven by the growth of our major entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In 1970, these programs consumed about 20 percent of the budget. Today that number has grown to over 40 percent.

Over the same period, defense spending has shrunk as a share of the federal budget from about 39 percent to just under 16 percent – even as we conduct an ambitious global war on terrorism. The fact is, defense consumes a smaller share of the national economy today than it did throughout the Cold War.

If we continue on our current path, the rapid rise of health care costs will crowd out all areas of the budget, including defense.

This course is simply unsustainable. If we continue down our current path, then a debt-fueled economic crisis is not a probability. It is a mathematical certainty.

Some hear these facts and conclude that the sun is setting on America… that our problems are bigger than we are… that our competitors will soon outrun us… and that the choice we face is over how, not whether, to manage our nation’s decline.

It’s inevitable, they seem to say, so let’s just get on with it. I’m reminded of that Woody Allen line: “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

Look – our fiscal problems are real, and the need to address them is urgent. But I’m here to tell you that decline is not a certainty for America. Rather, as Charles Krauthammer put it, “decline is a choice.”

It is hard to overstate the importance of this choice. In The Weary Titan, Aaron Friedberg − one of the founders of the Hamilton Society − has shown us what happened when Britain made the wrong choice at the turn of the 20th century.

At that time, Britain’s governing class took the view that it would be better to cede leadership of the Western world to the United States. Unfortunately, the United States was not yet ready to assume the burden of leadership. The result was 40 years of Great Power rivalry and two World Wars.

The stakes are even higher today. Unlike Britain, which handed leadership to a power that shared its fundamental values, today’s most dynamic and growing powers do not embrace the basic principles that should be at the core of the international system.

A world without U.S. leadership will be a more chaotic place, a place where we have less influence, and a place where our citizens face more dangers and fewer opportunities. Take a moment and imagine a world led by China or by Russia.

Choosing decline would have consequences that I doubt many Americans would be comfortable with.

So we must lead. And a central element of maintaining American leadership is the promotion of our moral principles – consistently and energetically – without being unrealistic about what is possible for us to achieve.

America is an idea. And it was the first nation founded as such. The idea is rather simple. Our rights come to us from God and nature. They occur naturally, before government. The Declaration of Independence says it best: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

There are very good people who are uncomfortable with the idea that America is an “exceptional” nation. But it happens that America was the first in the world to make the universal principle of human freedom into a “credo,” a commitment to all mankind, and it has been our honor to be freedom’s beacon for millions around the world.

America’s “exceptionalism” is just this – while most nations at most times have claimed their own history or culture to be exclusive, America’s foundations are not our own – they belong equally to every person everywhere. The truth that all human beings are created equal in their natural rights is the most “inclusive” social truth ever discovered as a foundation for a free society. “All” means “all”! You can’t get more “inclusive” than that!

Now, if you believe these rights are universal human rights, then that clearly forms the basis of your views on foreign policy. It leads you to reject moral relativism. It causes you to recoil at the idea of persistent moral indifference toward any nation that stifles and denies liberty, no matter how friendly and accommodating its rulers are to American interests.

This raises an important question: What do we do when our principles are in conflict with our interests? How do we resolve the tension between morality and reality?

According to some, we will never be able to resolve this tension, and we must occasionally suspend our principles in pursuit of our interests. I don’t see it that way. We have to be consistent and clear in the promotion of our principles, while recognizing that different situations will require different tools for achieving that end.

An expanding community of nations that shares our economic values as well as our political values would ensure a more prosperous world … a world with more opportunity for mutually beneficial trade … and a world with fewer economic disruptions caused by violent conflict.

But in promoting our principles, American policy should be tempered by a healthy humility about the extent of our power to control events in other regions.

For example, we share many interests with our Saudi allies, but there is a sharp divide between the principles around which they have organized their state and the principles that guide the United States. Increasingly, we hear voices in the Kingdom calling for reform. We should help our allies effect a transition that fulfills the aspirations of their people.

In Syria and Iran, we are witnessing regimes that have chosen the opposite path. Instead of accommodating the desires of their peoples for liberty and justice, these regimes have engaged in brutal crackdowns, imprisoning opposition leaders, and killing their own citizens to quell dissent.

The Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky has testified to the power of words to those suffering under the boot of oppression. Sharansky said in reference to President Reagan’s inspired “Evil Empire” speech, “This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell’s Newspeak was dead.”

We have a responsibility to speak boldly for those whose voices are denied by the jackbooted thugs of the tired tyrants of Syria and Iran.

In the Arab Spring we are seeing long-repressed populations give voice to the fundamental desire for liberty. But we are also seeing the risks that emerge when the advancement of freedom is stunted for want of the right institutions. In such societies, the most organized factions often lack tolerance and reject pluralism. Decades without a free press have led many to treat conspiracy theories as fact.

It is too soon to tell whether these revolutions will result in governments that respect the rights of their citizens, or if one form of autocracy will be supplanted by another. While we work to assure the former, American policy should be realistic about our ability to avert the latter.

What we can do is affirm our commitment to democracy in the region by standing in solidarity with our longstanding allies in Israel and our new partners in Iraq.

Where revolution has come, as well as in states struggling to adapt without violence, our policy should be guided by a readiness to assist the peoples of the region in the arduous task of building free societies.

Our ability to affect events is strongest in Iraq and Afghanistan, where for the last decade we have been fighting the scourge of global terrorism. In these countries, we can and we must remain committed to the promotion of stable governments that respect the rights of their citizens and deny terrorists access to their territory.

Although the war has been long and the human costs high, failure would be a blow to American prestige and would reinvigorate al Qaeda, which is reeling from the death of its leader. Now is the time to lock in the success that is within reach.

We cannot face these challenges alone. To the contrary, we need our allies and friends to increase their capacity and willingness to act in defense of our common interests.

The first step in that process is robust and frank engagement with our closest allies. We all share an interest in the maintenance of the international order with its liberal trading system, general tranquility, and abundant opportunity – and we should all share the burden of maintaining it.

The Obama administration has taken our allies for granted and accepted too willingly the decline of their capacity for international action. Our alliances were vital to our victory in the Cold War and they need to be revitalized to see us through the 21st century.

We must also embrace the opportunities that trade offers to strengthen our ties of friendship. The administration finally is no longer impeding long-overdue free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These agreements serve our mutual political and economic interests, and they should be sent forward for the prompt consideration of Congress.

Part of revitalizing our network of friendships and alliances is expanding that network to include the rising democratic powers of India and Brazil, which share many of our core principles and interests.

At present these powers are freely consuming the global public goods America provides, but their growing economies and maturing political systems will enable them to play a larger global role. We must be willing to listen and accommodate their legitimate concerns as we preserve the framework of the international system and solidify our leadership within it.

We also have to meet the challenge of rising powers with very different values and interests from our own and of the broader community, most notably China.

The key question for American policymakers is whether we are competing with China for leadership of the international system or against them over the fundamental nature of that system.

It is a debate in which we must demonstrate American strength – economic, military, and moral – to make clear our choice to reject decline and instead recommit to renewed strength and prosperity. According to press reports, some Chinese leaders have started talking about when, not if, the United States will lose its status as a great power. We must demonstrate that planning for the post-American era is a squandered effort on their part – and that America’s greatest days lie ahead.

Also – we should seek to increase China’s investment in the international system. We should welcome the contributions and strengths that over one billion people can offer and push for the government of China to give those people space to express their personal, religious, economic, and civil ambitions.

A liberalizing China is not only in the interests of the world, but also in China’s own best interest as it copes with the tremendous challenges it faces over the next couple of decades. Just as America faces an entitlement crisis driven in part by the aging of our population, China faces an even more severe demographic crisis driven by years of coercive population controls.

The stresses that this rapid aging will place on China’s economy and financial system are gargantuan. The ability of China to meet these challenges tomorrow will depend critically on whether they address their unsound economic policies today. Their export-led growth strategy has produced rapid growth, but it has also required policies that are causing massive distortions in the underlying economy.

Ultimately, we stand to benefit from a world in which China and other rising powers are integrated into the global order with increased incentives to further liberalize their political and economic institutions. Managing the strengths of these new powers – as well as their weaknesses – is necessary to creating vibrant markets for American goods and services, and expanding our influence abroad and our security at home.

A safer world and a more prosperous America go hand-in-hand. Economic growth is the key to avoiding the kind of painful austerity that would limit our ability to generate both hard and soft power.

A more prosperous economy enables us to afford a modernized military that is properly sized for the breadth of the challenges we face. Such a military must also be an efficient and responsible steward of taxpayer dollars in order to maintain the confidence of the American people. The House-passed budget recognizes this, which is why it includes the $78 billion in defense efficiency savings identified by Secretary Gates.

By contrast, President Obama has announced $400 billion in new defense cuts, saying in effect he’ll figure out what those cuts mean for America’s security later. Indiscriminate cuts that are budget-driven and not strategy-driven are dangerous to America and America’s interests in the world. Secretary Gates put it well: “that’s math, not strategy.”

I’ll close on a final thought: Britain’s premature decline was triggered by a crisis of confidence among its political leadership. Once they concluded that they should manage Britain’s decline, it mattered little what Britain was objectively capable of achieving on the world stage. This crisis of self-perception was fatal to Britain’s global leadership.

Today, some in this country relish the idea of America’s retreat from our role in the world. They say that it’s about time for other nations to take over; that we should turn inward; that we should reduce ourselves to membership on a long list of mediocre has-beens.

This view applies moral relativism on a global scale. Western civilization and its founding moral principles might be good for the West, but who are we to suggest that other systems are any worse? – or so the thinking goes.

Instead of heeding these calls to surrender, we must renew our commitment to the idea that America is the greatest force for human freedom the world has ever seen; a country whose devotion to free enterprise has lifted more people out of poverty than any economic system ever designed; and a nation whose best days still lie ahead of us, if we make the necessary choices today.

Thank you.

28 thoughts on “Is Paul Ryan seriously considering a presidential run?”

  1. none of the current crop of gop candidates are going to get the job done. ryan is already laying the ground work for his campaign by going after obama in public forums. like a fish rising to the baited hook, obama and his orcs will go after ryan (even more than they are already doing) and elevate him above the ranks of no-hopers. imagine president uhhhhmmm in a debate with ryan; sublime.

  2. I think Ryan will do very well in a debate with Obama and I think we may have to draft him as he will be the best hope. Sarah Palin did very well in her debate with Biden and he escaped humiliation only by lying. Romney is very personable but I am uneasy with him. What we need is someone who is willing to say, “NO ! Not only NO, but Hell NO!” I can see Romney doing that. Maybe Pawlenty is capable of it but I wonder.

  3. that’s what i am talking about, none of the current crop will “fight”. when has mitt ever faced adversity? never. cristie is a single-issue-conservative; i.e. not a conservative at all. and he’s slighty shady.

  4. Palin fights. I hope Ryan does too.

    Ryan’s speech is excellent; he says all the right things. We could do a lot worse than to have him as a presidential candidate.

    That said, almost any of the possible R candidates would be preferable to Obama.

  5. I do not think Paul Ryan should run for President. For a couple of reasons.

    Let me begin by saying that I have a great deal of admiration for him. I think he is very smart and very articulate. I like the cut of his jib, and one day he should be President. Not, 2012.

    First, he is just 41 years old. I know that the constitution only requires 35, but in my judgement, I don’t think that men of less than 50 should be President. BO is just another example of someone in his 40s trying to handle the job and failing. Many of you are younger than I am, I know from my own experience that passing 50 makes a difference in perspective and judgment, and those are far more important to a President than wonkery.

    Second, Mr. Ryan has no executive experience. Being an executive and leading a large organization is a far different thing than being a legislator and a policy maker. He has plenty of time to obtain executive experience, but he has none.

    Finally, there seems to be a present among many Republicans a desire to find a savior, a man who will ride in on a white horse and who by his aura will convince people to follow him. They think that the right man will be able to articulate their thoughts so clearly, that everyone will be convinced of the truth of his words and the Democrats tongues will be broken.

    It won’t happen. The Democrats have been running the country for three generations. They are not going to quit or give up. Their legions of minions in the media and academia will continue to spout their line, and to vilify and distort conservative ideas and Republicans statements at full volume for the next two years at least. Many institutions from unions to universities to the civil service are committed to the Democrat regime. They are dug in and they will die in the last ditch.

    It is not hopeless. BO can’t run on hope and change in 2012. He has a record and it is pretty bad. If the economy continues to cough and sputter for the next year and a half, like it has for the last couple of years, BO will lose. The Republican will not beat him, No Republican has a chance of doing that (see the previous graf for the reasons why), but he can and will lose if things don’t get suddenly and obviously better.

    As for who the Republicans should run, of the current crop of declared candidates, I think Romney, Pawlenty, or Huntsman would be fine. Santorum, Paul, and Gingrich are jokes. Cain is a 65 year old cancer patient with no foreign policy chops (he did not know what the Palestinian Right of Return was about when asked), and Michelle Bachman has no executive experience. If Sarah Palin could not take the heat in Juneau AK, she better stay away from DC. However, as the Blogfather says, I will vote for a syphilitic camel over BO.

  6. Robert Schwartz:

    Your post is the most clearly stated and cleanly articulated comment I have seen in this Web site in well over a year.

    Everyone on the Right Blogosphere seems to be caught up in the notion that because the outcome of Mr. Obama’s governance is so bad, the public will be caught up in our personal enthusiasm for whoever we think is the dream Republican/Conservative/Libertarian candidate. We may end up with a candidate who will stir up the base and lose the election.

    I don’t agree 100% with everything you said as I thought Mr. Pawlenty’s treatment of the Debt Ceiling showdown was almost as shallow as Mr. Cain’s understanding of Right of Return, but we need more discussion around here at the level of your comment rather cheerleading on the level of the “On Wisconsin!” remark.

  7. Paul – sorry everything I write, even little things like that on Wisconsin comment seem to be totally wrong in your eyes. How about from now on you ignore everything I say and all the posts I put up. I think we both would probably be happier.

  8. Age is relative. Some people are “born old” in that they learn from books as well as from personal experience. Ryan’s apparent maturity as demonstrated by his serious consideration of whether he can make a difference by running to head the ticket rather than the flat out chasing for the office exhibited by Obama before and now after he has the office is a refreshing and encouraging sign to this Independent. Ryan is a principled, intelligent leader and our country needs that now, not after Obama runs us downhill another 4 years. Can you imagine the influx to the Republican coffers after the first televised debate? I hope he runs. He is a winner.

  9. I am surprised nobody on the thread mentioned Gary Johnson. By reading his take on issues on his site and some interviews with him I consider him preferable to all the names mentioned above. Like Ilya Somin @Voloch, I, too, am not agreeing with him 100%, particularly on foreign policy. But he is the most consistent, libertarian principles-wise and does not have Ryan’s minuses mentioned above by Robert, namely: he is over 50, he has plenty of successful executive experience, he not only created and lead to prosperity large business enterprise, but have been a governor twice and left the office with huge surplus while severely cutting taxes and limiting the government.

    What is your opinion on him?

  10. With Daniels out Ryan would be the best mix of good ideas and electability available.

    On Wisconsin!

  11. If Sarah Palin could not take the heat in Juneau AK, she better stay away from DC

    The situation in Alaska, since remedied, was that only the governor had to defend nuisance suits at her own expense. It was a flaw in the code and was bankrupting her family and, once the Democrats recognized the opportunity, was dominating the time of the office of the governor.

    Would she make a good president ? I don’t know. If she chooses to run, we will see how she does in debates. The VP situation was unique in that she had had no national exposure and the McCain campaign botched her introduction. I knew about her and she was one of my choices for McCain, the other being Meg Whitman.

  12. Ryan’s re. U.S. exceptionalism and re. the credo of “all men are created equal” are correct but he goes wrong in emphasizing “all” and not the whole phrase (all men are created equal). This leads him to an evangelizing stance with respect to foreign policy and his argument results in rationalizations for such recent foreign intervention in Syria and Libya. This seems to be accepted cant with both parties and our ruling elite these days. It smacks of globalism and a too liberal rationalization for intervention. It is wrong. Washington’s warning re. entangling alliances should be attended to and the U.S. should lead by example.

    All men ARE created equal but life’s vagaries, their experiences, and their characters make men unequal after their creation. In not recognizing this Ryan essentially makes the argument for “equality of outcome”. We simply have no business, and it’s ridiculous to believe that we (“we” are “foreign elites” in this case) know what’s best for other countries. All other things being equal, it wastes our resources and gains us nothing as a country. Admittedly other things aren’t always equal and there are obligations that must be fulfilled and times when our country stands to lose as a consequence of non-intervention.

    Ron Paul’s outlook reflects this argument, I believe, and makes more sense.

  13. Ryan’s speech shows a balance between exceptionalism and the limits of what we can accomplish. This is probably a good way to balance within the GOP voting base. I would prefer much less exceptionslism talk and zero promises to any foreigners that we will do anything for them. But Ryan is politically very astutely well positioned.

  14. “The situation in Alaska, since remedied, was that only the governor had to defend nuisance suits at her own expense. It was a flaw in the code and was bankrupting her family and, once the Democrats recognized the opportunity, was dominating the time of the office of the governor.”

    That is her alibi. My thought is that a tougher smarter person would have figured out how to cope. The game would be much tougher in the White House.

  15. ryan would make a good vp candidate, with extra authority ala cheney.

    the key trait of the presedential candidate (for the gop) is leadership. of the existing candidates, who has this quality? none of them, as far as i can tell. christie is a pseudo-leader (he’s actually a blowhard). mitt certainly isn’t a leader, nor is pawlenty.

    palin is a natural leader. of course she has high negatives, but guess what, a leader doesn’t have to be loved, just believed in. obama has created just the right sense of crisis to convince people to vote for palin (maybe) in spite of their disliking her personally. this kind of dynamic will never show up in polls, either.

    palin also has one trait that no other politician, on either side has — a genuine and hearfelt appreciation for what makes America special. just my $0.02

  16. That is her alibi. My thought is that a tougher smarter person would have figured out how to cope. The game would be much tougher in the White House.

    They have since changed the law suggesting it was an oversight exploited. Part of her problem was that she had few allies on the Republican side as she had gone after the corrupt Republican machine embodied now by Murkowski. Once the Democrats saw her as a threat, and believe me they still do, she was exposed to this attack that was unique due to the law’s provisions.

    I still favor Ryan as I think we cannot wait and it seems I am not the only one.

    Read Warren’s report. Run it off, and read it again. I think that, if you do, you will see why I think it right that this country do something almost unthinkable that it has not done in more than a century: elevate a mere Congressman to the Presidency.

    There are many reasons why we need to get our fiscal house in order. Perhaps in the long run the most important is that, if we do not, we as a people will lose the hard-won capacity to shape the strategic environment within which we, as individuals, live our daily lives. The political liberty we treasure depends upon our independence — and ultimately that cannot be sustained if ours is an entitlements state.

  17. I will say this. The next Republican candidate for President will need to have the hide of a rhinoceros. And if elected, he will need to be tougher than that.

  18. The dissenting view on Ryan makes points that are irrelevant if our economy collapses. Unless we get the fiscal house in order, it will not matter what our policies are with respect to al Qeada, which has been largely defeated in Iraq. Radical Islam is still an enemy but, while you worry about whether the Muslim Brotherhood will take over Egypt, Egypt will not be able to feed itself by the fall. Tourism in Egypt is gone for a generation. The people who were growing Egypt’s economy under Mubarak are in flight. The non-oil producing Middle East Countries, particularly the Arab countries, will be facing famine by next year.

    Iran is a threat but there is little we can do about it unless they attack Israel in which case Iran will be destroyed.

  19. I hope he runs because the more the merrier and practice makes perfect….if not this time around, then he has practice for the next shot at the big ring.

    I was considering voting for the libertarian candidate in the upcoming election because I have reservations about all of the potentially discussed (and currently announced) candidates but I don’t think this is a good time to make that kind of protest statement.

    I will buy the biggest clothespin I can, hold my nose, and vote for the main opposition candidate to President Obama.

    I don’t dislike him and he has done creditably to date in the war in Afghanistan but the whole NATO-Libya thing is not going well, was poorly thought out, and is one more entanglement that we can’t afford at this date. We can’t afford our current trajectory. We need to focus on economic growth and paring back our spending. But BOTH GROWTH and SPENDING.

    Growth of our economy is the number one thing we need to focus on domestically and our number one foreign policy concern should be countering jihadist groups intent on harming American citizens and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

    Unfortunately, on the latter aspect, I see the same old-same old DC thinking. At any rate, economy, economy, economy.

    – Madhu

  20. Correction to above comment:

    ….our number one *short-to-mid term* foreign policy goal….

    – Madhu

  21. AQ and Iran are trivial threats compared to our self inflicted financial disaster.

    Ryan is a serious person on the issue that matters.

    Good enough.

  22. Yes. Agree completely, Lex.

    As MK says, nothing matters if our economy stops growing. If we recover our mojo, we have lots of options and we can survive almost anything.

    Your point about returning to our 19th century roots in terms of defense are very good. Can’t remember the thread.

    We spend too much and entangle ourselves too much. And no, that’s not isolationism. There is a happy middle between owning the world as our client state and ignoring all threats.

    – Madhu

  23. Dan from Madison:

    Our disagreement is not in end goals but in strategy. You advocate what I consider to be what Liddell Hart would call a Direct Approach. With respect to such disagreements on strategy, permit me to quote from the Wikipedia article on Liddell Hart, the famed champion of the Indirect Approach:

    “During the planning for the Suez Crisis, Hart had been asked by Anthony Eden to submit plans for a campaign against Egypt. After his first four drafts were rejected for a combination of contradictory reasons, Hart was nettled and sent back the original when asked for a fifth version. Eden liked it this time; he called for Hart and patronizingly said; “Captain Liddell Hart, here I am at a critical moment in Britain’s history, arranging matters which might mean the life of the British Empire. And what happens? I ask you to do a simple military chore for me, and it takes you five attempts — plus my vigilance amid all my worries — before you get it right.” Hart replied, “But sir, it hasn’t taken five attempts. That version, which you now say is just what you wanted, is the original version.” According to Leonard Mosley, there was a nasty silence while the prime minister’s face reddened. Then he reached for an antique inkstand and, maddened, threw it at Hart. Hart sat still for a moment and then, with a tactician’s instinct for the devastating counterstrike, stood up, seized a wastepaper basket, and jammed it over Eden’s head.[6]”

    I criticized your support for “Direct Approach” tactics in what has been a campaign that has been going on since at least the New Deal if not since the time of Woodrow Wilson — consider the discussion of Coolidge around here as the last American President who “got it right.” I offered this critique without even mentioning you by pseudo-name, and I am a long way off from stuffing a wastebasket over your head. If my comments are vexatious to you, I will refrain from offering any further comments on this site . . . and also hold off for as long as I can on installing an A/C system that requires R-410a :<{

  24. “I will refrain from offering any further comments”

    Oh please.

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

    Comment all you want, and dish it out, and take it.

    All is well. Par for the course. No worries.

  25. Paul – you are lucky – they now make “dry” r-22 units (they come nitrogen charged). The legislation was written so poorly that the manufacturers found a loophole. I think I had a few posts on the subject here a while ago if you care to do a search up top.

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