prosecute, eject or slap. Otherwise, I’ll take each case in context as it comes.
The more you focus on this, the less attention you pay to the issues.
Four: Moore’s looss may end up becoming a net-positive for the GOP, but, as a Facebook friend put it, “If you’re a Republican who isn’t worried about the 2018 midterms yet, you’re a Republican who isn’t paying attention.”
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
On Tuesday morning before I was headed off to what would be, unknown to me, my last day of work before I was laid off, I headed to the St. Bernards activity center in Fitchburg Ma’s ward six with my son to vote in a special election for the Massachusetts State Senate vacated by Democrat Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster after Governor Charlie Baker appointed her to the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission.
If this had been the US Senate the idea of a GOP governor appointing a Democrat Senator from a district that went for Scott Brown in the past might have made some waves, but as Flanagan had successfully defended her seat both during the 2010 big red wave and the smaller 2014 red wave that elected Charlie Baker Governor (I covered the debates back then) and the fact that a republican hadn’t held that seat since the first George Bush was president (Mary Padula) there wasn’t a lot of worry over it in Democrat circles. Particularly since her GOP opponent Dean Tran had previously lost a special election for State Rep in Fitchburg where he was a longtime city counselor even though popular GOP sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Governor Charlie Baker had appeared on his behalf then and would do so in this race too.
Leominster resident Sarah Tatro said she was more swayed by Tran’s Republican convictions, which she said were more in line with her own views.
“He’s way more of a conservative than Sue Chalifoux Zephir and he lines up with a lot of the policies I care about and my beliefs,” she said, referring to his pro-life stance and support of the Second Amendment.
And when I got home that night after midnight I was delighted to find out that Dean had won with 46% of the vote in the four way race to Chalifoux-Zephir’s 42% Freda picked up 10% of the vote (lower than I expected) and green candidate DiCalogero 1%. This gives the GOP its seventh seat out of forty in the Massachusetts senate and gets them half way toward the 14 seats needed to break the Democrat senate super majority.
Now I will grant you in terms of the composition of the Massachusetts senate it’s not going to make a huge difference this year.
But it seems to be that a Republican candidate, and not just a republican but a Minority pro-life 2nd Amendment republican, flips a senate seat, and not just a senate seat but a seat that Democrats have held since 1992, to represent three cites (Fitchburg Leominster & Gardner) that all went for Hillary in a state she won by over 27 points might, just might, be a Tad newsworthy.
But in fairness that’s the opinion of a blogger who has never been employed in the MSM. What would professional reporters say? Tomorrow I’ll share with you the opinions of a few I spoke to on the subject.
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At my own blog and here at Da Tech Guy, I enthusiastically backed the candidacy of Bruce Rauner, the current Republican governor of Illinois.
Count me as an ex-supporter. I’ll be voting for state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in next spring’s primary.
Rauner was a political newcomer when he narrowly defeated unpopular incumbent governor Pat Quinn three years ago. He became the first gubernatorial candidate in the Land of Lincoln to win a majority of the vote–albeit a very small one–since Rod Blagojevich’s first victory in 2002.
Rauner’s campaign slogans were “Bring Back Illinois” and “Shake Up Springfield.” He hasn’t done either which is why, in its upcoming cover story, National Review is calling Rauner “the worst Republican governor in America.”
After Quinn’s own narrow win in 2010, he and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), by far the most powerful politician in Illinois, ramrodded through the General Assembly what was called a temporary income tax increase, which would expire shortly after the 2014 gubernatorial election. At that point, after Quinn’s presumed next win, the tax increase would be voted on again and made permanent.
But fed-up Prairie State voters, most of whom are corralled into gerrymandered legislative districts created by Madigan, who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party, have no other way to fight back except at the top of the ticket every four years. They chose Rauner to stop the bleeding.
In his previous career Rauner was a venture capitalist. When he took over a company he could fire the CEO. He can’t do that with Madigan. So what followed was a game of chicken. Rauner, as part of his Turnaround Agenda, supported such common sense reforms as term limits for legislators, later changed to term limits for legislative leaders, which was clearly aimed at Madigan, who has been speaker of the House for an unprecedented 32 of the last 34 years. It’s Madigan who Reuters calls “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.”
Other Turnaround Agenda items included tort and pension reform–Illinois has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in America–a ban on public sector unions contributing to state political campaigns, an option for local governments to enact right-to-work laws, as well as a two year property tax freeze.
Rauner said he was not averse to an income tax increase–but in exchange for his support of a tax hike he wanted his Agenda Turnaround agenda passed.
For thirty months the game of chicken continued, and that included an unprecedented two years without a budget. Illinois’ pile of unpaid bills tripled, reaching a level of over $16 billion. In the end Boss Madigan won. Overriding Rauner’s veto and some Republican legislative defections–who provided cover for Democrats in unsafe seats to vote “No,” Madigan’s 32 percent income tax hike became law.
Rauner and the GOP didn’t see a single part of the Turnaround Agenda included in that tax hike. Its passage was a colossal failure for the Republicans and long-suffering Illinois taxpayers.
And Rauner has been a colossal failure too. Yet he’s still running for reelection. In his video announcement Rauner dons a leather jacket and rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which is ironic as southeastern Wisconsin, which is where Harley-Davidson is based, has been a direct beneficiary of Illinois’ decline.
The failures of Rauner don’t end with Madigan winning the tax increase war. Breaking a promise he made Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, Rauner, who is pro-choice, signed into law a bill that keeps abortion legal in the state even if the US Supreme Court overturns the Roe vs. Wade decision. The bill also allows Medicaid funding of abortion as well as funding of abortions for state employees. And Rauner also signed into law a bill, weeks before California did, making Illinois a sanctuary state.
Ives, who is Rauner’s only declared Republican opponent, voted against both bills when they were up for vote in the House.
Last week the governor drove home the gist of his own failures when he said of Illinois, “I’m not in charge.” Who is? Madigan, because he has “rigged the system,” Rauner says. Is that true? Probably. But Rauner has had three years to unrig it. That’s why voters hired him.
What expectation do we have that Rauner can unrig it in a second term?
In her campaigns announcement Ives said that she wants to “realign public sector salaries and benefits to be commensurate with their private sector counterparts who finance it all.” Specifically she favors 401(k) plans for new state hires. Ives, a West Point graduate and a mother of five, also backs property tax reform and in an acknowledgement to one of President Trump’s campaign themes, vows to fight for the “forgotten people in Illinois” Of which there are plenty, including me.
In that campaign introduction Ives refers to the governor as “Benedict Rauner.” While I don’t view Rauner as purposely traitorous to the voters who supported him, he has been a spectacular disappointment as governor. I apologize to anybody who took my advice and voted for him.
Rauner says he is “not in charge” of Illinois yet he still wants four additional years of not being in charge. Who in their right mind can get behind that? Rauner says “it’s time to finish the job.” But he hasn’t even started it yet. Imagine Rauner as a homebuilder and three years after hiring him all that he has to show for his efforts is an unkempt pile of bricks paid for with money borrowed from you.
While driving down Route 55 in Lagrangeville, New York (about 60 miles north of New York City) on the way to a medical appointment yesterday, I spotted a sign outside of Kelly’s Steaks and Spirits that sure lifted mine! The sign announced that they DO NOT air NFL games in that establishment and the sign further went on to say:
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
If I were not driving at the time I would have taken a picture. I do not have the resources to go out for dinner, but that sign alone (in NEW YORK) is enough reason for me to want to check that place out if the opportunity to dine out should ever present itself to me. Predictably, the Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting people has caused an outbreak of hatred and poor reviews for this establishment. At the top of their page, Facebook highlights certain words they think we need to know people are using:
The comments all over their Facebook page are mostly either disparaging them for their signage or from people who are going there specifically because of their signage. The haters are all about bashing Trump and his supporters and of course calling everyone racist. Yelp reviews are a mixed bag as well. I have seen how Yelp goes crazy to destroy a business that does not conform to leftist group think, so it is nice to see some positive reviews of the place there, including a few about the food and service.
I love President Trump, I have always loved Donald Trump and everyone who knows me knows this, but I would be afraid for my family’s safety if I were to put a Trump sign in my yard, a Trump sticker on my car, or wear a MAGA hat here in New York. Funny how nobody around here was afraid to slap Obama stickers on their cars or wear one of those Hope and Change shirts, but then again nobody was violently attacking Obama supporters the way they have gone after people who support Donald Trump.
People were surprised when Trump won the election, but that’s because a lot of his supporters kept their views to themselves until the privacy of the voting booth because of the insanity of people with TDS. May we live to see the day when tolerance includes tolerating people who do not hate the current President of the United States of America. And may Kelly’s in Lagrangeville turn a fine profit by serving people who appreciate their courage. How sad that it does indeed take courage to publicly support this country and its President!
UPDATE: I just spoke to one of my husband’s friends who has been to Kelly’s, and he says the food and service are awesome. This friend is totally apolitical, so it is an honest review!
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.
Al Franken’s resignation is one thing for the Democrats: part of a strategy. They will pretend to lament, but they realize they’re not really losing anything they hadn’t already lost when the allegations were first made. He will be replaced by another liberal Democrat, one who doesn’t have the baggage Franken has accumulated.
Behind closed doors, they’re celebrating. This is a great PR move for them because it allows them to hold the moral high ground. Now they can go after President Trump, Roy Moore if he wins, and all the Republicans who supported either or both of them. They’ll point to Franken and John Conyers and say, “we police our own, but the Republicans do not.”
In other words, they’ll try to ride the wave of sexual misconduct all the way to majorities in the House and Senate in 2018.
Republicans will be cheering today now that Franken has resigned. They shouldn’t. This is bad news for them. As Franken noted in his resignation speech, the Republicans have a guy in the Oval Office who has been caught on tape saying things very crudely against women. It wasn’t enough to keep him out of office, but with the current environment of sexual misconduct accusations taking down powerful men, Democrats are now positioned to build a strong midterm election narrative.
If Moore wins, they’ll attach him to Trump. Whether Moore wins or loses, the Democrats will attach Trump to every Republican running for office in 2018. They won’t focus on policy or political maneuvers. The new agenda is to make this emotional. As many political strategists know all too well, emotion trumps policy when it comes to votes.
As Trump’s popularity rises, it will be difficult for Republicans running for office to abandon him. They can’t afford to lose his base, but they may not be able to afford the damage Democrats can do by invoking him with Independents. It’s a catch-22 for the Republican Party and Al Franken’s resignation made midterm elections seem even more bleak for them.
Sir Humphrey: Well I’m sure it’s a question of us maintaining our relationship the Arabs. The power of Islam. [lowering his tone] Oil Supplies.
PM James Hacker:Humphrey I’m talking about what’s right and wrong.
Sir Humphrey: Well don’t let the foreign office hear you.
Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986
Don Corleone: And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
The Godfather 1972
One might think Donald Trump’s propensity to keep promises that he made to the voters who he considers his customers, enough of a reason for his decision to finally recognize the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when all of his predecessors failed to do so. But even ignoring that character trait of Trumps to see things as they are there are two factors that make this the most opportune time for the US to make this move.
Since the 1970’s the Arab nations have held their control over oil prices over our head as a club to restrain us from serious opposition. Their ability to increase energy prices and hurt the US economy has been a factor for presidents from Nixon to Clinton to consider. Only a massive attack like 9/11 was enough to override those considerations and act.
However the Fracking booms has changed the equation.
With the US now able to supply it’s oil need to the point that we are a net exporter combined the ability of US Frackers who have become more and more efficient, to add to production if prices start to increase suddenly trumps any attempt by Arab nations to push us around on the basis of oil, and that’s not even considering Trump’s actions to enable pipelines and drilling within the country.
Put simply the Arabs ability to mess with our energy supply is now a thing of the past and without the Obama administration trying to regulate Fracking away it’s unlike to return in our lifetimes.
Fracking takes away the ability of the Arabs to muscle us but the rise of Iran and the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program (ironically aided by the Obama administration) has suddenly given states like Saudi Arabia , Jordan and others completely dependent on the US (and Israel) to keep Iran in check.
As none of them are willing or even able to hold off Iran on their own the US and Israel can name their price for that protection.
So while Palestinians will the Jerusalem decision as a justification to commit terrorism and murder Jews (as opposed to all the other reasons they have used for such terror for years) the reality those same Arab nations, while giving lip service to these Palestinian moves will quietly refrain from any concrete or meaningful action because they know that American and Israeli power is the only thing keeping them from becoming vassal states of Iran.
And that doesn’t even count the possibility that Trump might be willing to cut the purse strings that keep the corrupt Palestinian authority in power. Or his willingness to call Arab empty threats and bluffs.
Trump understand negotiating from strength and while he has that strength and leverage he’s going to use it.
That’s what a leader does.
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Finally the math of my now former job is pretty simple. $440 a week comes to $1892 a month over the course of a year. (440 x 4.3) If you divide that by 20 that comes out to 94.6 meaning if I can get 95 new subscribers by the end of this month. I can permanently replace my warehouse job and do this full time.
So far our fundraiser has picked up no new subscribers will you be the first and break the ice?
Everyone knew that whoever let the sadness overtake him would sink into the swamp.
–The Neverending Story
It’s now been a year since President Trump’s election and I, for one, think that’s plenty of time for all the tantrums to have played themselves out. I can understand the disappointment of the losing side in the immediate aftermath of the election, and I can even understand how they could imagine that all their worst-case scenarios might actually come to pass, even if some of them were pretty ridiculous. But come on, after a full year of actual results, isn’t it time for the Left to stop pretending that the country is doomed?
I can understand having policy differences with the administration. Heck, I spent eight years disagreeing with the Obama administration on just about everything, so I know what that’s like. But the economy is growing at more than double the rate it was under Obama, the stock market is at record levels, ISIS is actually “on the run” now that the rules of engagement have been changed to let our military do its job, and consumer confidence is higher than it’s been in over 15 years. So, what’s the problem?
The problem is that, rather than actually being afraid that President Trump is going to ruin the country, the left is, and always has been, afraid that Trump really will Make America Great Again. So they will seize on any issue, no matter how small, as long as they can use it to claim that they’ve been right all along. What do the Russian collusion “investigation” – with no evidence having been found to that effect after more than a year of investigating – and the fake news story of President Trump supposedly over-feeding fish in a koi pond in Japan have in common? They can both be used to claim that the president is unfit for office. And then the left claims these as proof that President Trump can’t govern.
Think of how our allies, and especially our enemies see this. No matter what the president tries to do, foreign leaders will see a divided country behind him, and a relentlessly negative press and this considerably weakens our position. Imagine if President Trump could engage a foreign leader with the same kind of press coverage that Obama received. This leader, whether friend or foe, would reasonably conclude that President Trump would likely be in power for the next 7 years and could enact whatever policies he might use to entice/threaten/coerce that leader to do what we want. The options of either ignoring the U.S. or actively antagonizing us would be off the table because they would know – or at least perceive – that President Trump means business and that the country is behind him.
Regardless of how much they try to spin it, it is obvious that Obama left the country in a hole. They tried to convince us that it was “the new normal” and that things just were the way they were and had nothing to do with Obama’s incompetence or socialist tendencies. Even with the relentless negativity, President Trump has, in less than a year of governing, been able to reverse a lot of that “old normal,” and that scares the pants off the left. So, unfortunately, I predict that the whining, crying and fake news will continue for the foreseeable future. But at least we can see it for what it is: a desperate and disingenuous strategy to weaken the president and the country until democrats can get back in power. SAD!
Despite prognostications by #NeverTrumpers going into President Trump’s first year in office, he hasn’t been the liberal Democratic plant some expected him to be. I expected a couple of liberal programs and policies to hit this year, but so far they have all been pushed forward. 2017 has focused on Obamacare repeal, dismantling the regulatory state, improving border security, getting right-leaning judges on the bench, and our latest push for tax cuts.
This is good and bad news for conservatives. It’s good because we’ve been able to stay focused on the active components of the agenda and so far those active components have been aligned ideologically. I could go into great detail about the failings of the false attempts to repeal Obamacare (we were presented with “tweak and rebrand” efforts instead of “repeal and replace”) or the small degree we’ve been taking down the regulatory state (it should be a three-pronged attack with major cuts instead of the minor PR victories we’ve been seeing), but at least they’re sort of trying. It could have been worse.
Rich Lowry over at National Review went after those who continue to point to President Trump’s liberal actions when in reality, they haven’t been as liberal as many of us thought they’d be. I was on the verge of contacting him to explain what I’m about to write about here, but he finished the article by acknowledging what everyone needs to know.
The good conservative stuff was intentionally frontloaded into the administration’s agenda. Before the midterm elections, expect the White House and Congress to push the populist and liberal aspects of their agenda:
The trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that mirrors Chuck Schumer’s plan nicely will get a big push
Amnesty may be coming, regardless of what they call or it or how the President tries to justify it
“Fair trade” is still being pushed hard as the Establishment tries to convince conservatives in 1984 doublespeak style that we are opposed to free trade and have always been opposed to free trade
Budgets are going to be quietly engorged until the GOP is able to spend more money than we did in the Obama era
A continuation of silence on social issues; we’re still funding Planned Parenthood even today
It’s important for conservatives to be cognizant of all these things and anything else that screams of creeping liberalism coming from the GOP-controlled House, Senate, and White House. All of them, particularly the President himself, have demonstrated a willingness to be reasonable and even malleable when it comes to denouncing liberal ideas. We have to be loud. We have to be willing to oppose even when faux-conservative sheep announce their undying support for whatever their dear leader pushes. Be aggressive. Stay conservative.
If you know a millennial who craves communism, then I suggest that you sit that person down to watch the documentary Karl Marx City by Petra Epperlein and her husband, Michael Tucker, which was released last year. Epperlein was born in 1966 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany, which is now, as it was before, the city of Chemnitz.
And as it is was when she was a child, the most noticeable feature of her hometown is the giant bust of Karl Marx, which looks over the dwindling population of Chemnitz. Its bulk makes it too expensive to remove from its perch on the former Karl-Marx-Street.
The Marx monument is the ideal metaphor for the former East Germany. Just as Big Brother is always watching in George Orwell’s 1984, the Ministry for State Security, colloquially known as the Stasi, was watching too. Cameras were seemingly in every public space, as were Stasi agents and informants. In a nation of 17 million people, there were an astounding 90,000 Stasi agents aided by 200,000 informants. In contrast, the FBI employs a paltry 35,000.
What was the Stasi looking for? Everything. Just grab whatever information that can be found and use it for a case later. Because not only was everyone a suspect in this worker’s paradise, everyone was probably guilty. And if they weren’t guilty they likely would be soon.
Early in Karl Marx City Eppelein tells us that her father, 57, committed suicide in 1999 after washing his company car and burning his personal papers. Afterwards her family discovers cryptic typed letters anonymously mailed to her father that accused him of being a Stasi informant.
Shot in black and white, perfect grim communist hues, Epperlein, looking similar to Liv Ullmann’s mute character in Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, in a bit of twisted humor wanders the decrepit and mostly empty streets of the former Karl Marx namesake town holding a massive boom microphone and wearing vintage headphones while we listen to her voiceovers–in contrast to the clandestine recording done by the Stasi.
Epperlein visits the Stasi archives in Chemnitz and Berlin where we see file after file on multiple floors. She’s looking for her father’s file, but we learn that the German Democratic Republic didn’t organize its files in the manner that Google stores information on mainframes where we can instantly retrieve volumes of information on just about anything. Instead there’s something here, there’s something there.
We see a grainy Stasi film of a couple walking on sidewalk. The man picks up an object. Then he puts it down. Why did he do that? Another man picks it up. The object turns out to be a knife. He keeps it. Why?
Epperlein tracks down a childhood friend who was a true-believer in communism. Now she worships trees. Her father, a retired Stasi agent, recounts his regular break-ins at apartments. What was his most common discovery? Handwritten schedules of West German TV shows and small bags containing a tooth brush and other personal hygiene items, just in case the occupants are arrested–or forced to escape to the West.
Many political prisoners were indeed locked up for subversion. Many ended up in the West, but rather than this being an innocent Cold War liberation, we learn they were sold by the workers’ paradise for ransom to the West for much needed hard currency.
The suicide of Epperlein’s father was hardly an anomaly, taking one’s own life in the GDR was common after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Recently Chemnitz had the lowest birthrate of any city in the world.
One of the experts interviewed for the film scorns the Oscar-winning film, The Lives of Others. While Oskar Schindler of Schindler’s List was real, there was no Stasi hero fighting back against oppression.
Near the end we learn the truth about Epperlein’s father.
Karl Marx City is available on Netflix and on Amazon.
John Ruberry, whose wife was born in the Soviet Union, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.
As I mentioned in yesterdays lead post despite a great month for traffic we not only had a horrible month at DaTipJar but we are a full $15K shy of our annual goal this year, so when I got a change to pick up an extra shift of overtime even though it would make 8 straight days of work I jumped at it.
When I left the Flynn plea was the big news. All over the MSM stories were going out that this was the beginning of the end for Trump. ABC reported that Flynn would testify that candidate Trump asked him to contact the Russians. This was going to be a game changer. In fact even though Mitch McConnell had said he had the vote to pass the Trump Tax bill the prospect of the left getting what they want had already caused the market to crash and had the potential to persuade a weak “yes” to defect and to top it all off the killer of Katie Steinle had been acquitted in what was instantly painted as a defeat for Donald Trump. The entire left was in a state of orgasmic euphoria
Little did I know that by the time I came home it would all change.
On ABC’s world news tonight an anouncement was made that included one detail about the Flynn statement that was left out of the original report.
ABC News spokesperson tells me that “World News” will clarify that this should be president-elect Trump, not candidate Trump. https://t.co/Xm0BuvAstj
I’m sure given the embarrassment he has caused ABC once again, they might have considered firing Brian Ross, but with Pervnado winds still blowing though the MSM reporters who have not been accused or suspected of sexual misconduct, even incompetent ones, are at a premium so odds are he survives.
And if that wasn’t enough the Steinle trial victory proved very short lived
An amended federal arrest warrant has been released for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a Mexican man acquitted Thursday in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier, a case that’s sparked national debate over immigration.
The warrant says Zarate violated his supervised release on a federal sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. by possessing the gun that killed Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015. The warrant was originally issued July 14 of that year but an amended warrant was unsealed Friday following the verdict.
The warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the western district of Texas says Zarate was sentenced in Texas on May 12, 2011 to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally re-entering the U.S.
The warrant says the terms of the supervised release, which began March 26, 2015, barred Zarate from committing another crime and from possessing a firearm. He was still bound to the terms of that release when Steinle was shot and killed. Though he was acquitted of murder Thursday, he was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
So not only does Zarate not go free with time served but he has to be turned over to the Feds, TEXAS feds and yet another round of leftist moping.
And then came the final straw, when I came home after midnight the TV had been left on the Senate channel and I watched the final defeat of the day for the Democrats as just after 1 AM the Senate by a 51-49 vote passed the Tax bill handing Trump and the GOP a badly needed legislative victory.
The twitter outrage was palatable as the left screamed and shouted their frustration to no avail. I can see why they are so upset
In a mere 8 hours the left went from believing they finally had the moment they’ve been waiting for since the day after the election to seeing it go up in smoke.
I’d feel more sorry for them, but that’s what they get for believing the MSM’s fake news.
I’m sure I’ll get sick of all this winning, I just haven’t figured out when.
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