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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16661 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-31, 08:26

For the "No más" files:

Francis Wilkinson at Bloomberg said:

Four years ago, President Donald Trump’s unlikely victory put the world on notice that the U.S. was slamming the brakes on the 21st century. Last weekend, the White House and Congress defined the 2020 election in the starkest terms yet.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN last Sunday that the White House has given up trying to prevaricate the coronavirus into submission. With new cases spiking across the country, the president’s oft-repeated fairy tale about “rounding the turn” against the virus was murdered and dumped in an unmarked grave. “We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

Meadows’ white flag was preceded by Bloomberg News uncovering more White House infections, this time among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence. At long last, the White House message on the virus was consistent and coherent: There is no White House policy, and there never will be.

Read the whole thing.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16662 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-October-31, 10:40

https://youtu.be/hcTXPT5LrL8

What foreign journalists based in the US think about the situation in the United States.
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#16663 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-31, 10:58

From NYT Upshot's Analysis of the day in polls by Nate Cohn

A snapshot of current polling averages:

Wis. +10 Biden
Mich. +9 Biden
Pa. +6 Biden
Ariz. +4 Biden
Fla. +2 Biden
N.C. +2 Biden


Electoral votes counting only states where a candidate leads by 3 or more:

291 Biden 125 Trump

Electoral votes if polling leads translate perfectly to results (they won’t):

357 Biden 181 Trump

Electoral votes if state polls are as wrong as they were in 2016†:

335 Biden 203 Trump

NYT poll averages include all polls collected by FiveThirtyEight. The estimates adjust for a variety of factors, including whether a poll represents likely voters, whether other polls have shifted since a poll was conducted, and whether a pollster has leaned toward one candidate in a state or nationwide. Polls are weighted by recency, sample size, and by whether they're conducted by a firm with a track record of success. More details here. Source for polls: FiveThirtyEight polling database.

† Poll error in 2016 is calculated using averages of state polls conducted within one week of Election Day.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16664 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 08:01

Matt Yglesias at Vox said:

https://www.vox.com/...iden-polls-2020

Saturday and early Sunday saw the release of a final batch of high-quality polling that generally confirms what polling has said along along: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is in the lead.

Evidence for that proposition comes from a tetralogy of New York Times polls conducted in conjunction with Siena College, which were released Sunday morning. They show Biden ahead in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin — easily enough states to give him the win. But even a Des Moines Register poll conducted by the legendary Ann Seltzer that was released on Saturday evening, which showed Trump with a 7 percentage point lead in Iowa, is actually not very good news for President Donald Trump.

The only genuinely solid result for Trump was an ABC News poll showing him up two in Florida. But the same pollsters simultaneously found him down by seven in Pennsylvania.

Overall the message of the polls is crystal clear — Trump is losing the election, including in the key swing states and the margin is not small. That doesn’t mean he won’t win, as large polling errors do sometimes occur, but you’d be well-advised to bet fairly heavily against it.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16665 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 08:42

It seems that Biden will win. But I have learned that when putting down a strong dummy I should never say "Don't make too many". Usually this leads to a 5-0 trump break and inspired defense. No, I am not really superstitious.

Perhaps it is not too early to think about just what we can hope for after Biden takes office. I am aware that the world has changed since I was 20, but we are still the same species. Opportunity is still a good thing, including the opportunity to make a mistake or two and learn. Choice of how to live is good. Biden seems to understand that, as does Harris.

The above is vague, of course. Sometimes vague has merit.

I'll get back to this.
Ken
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#16666 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 13:25

From Why You Can’t Rely on Election Forecasts by Zeynep Tufceki at NYT:

Quote

With all the anxiety about Tuesday’s vote, it’s understandable that many of us look to statisticians’ election models to tell us what will happen. If they say your candidate has an 80 percent chance of winning, you feel reassured.

But after Donald Trump’s surprising victory in 2016 seemed to defy those models, there have been many questions about how much attention we should pay to electoral forecasting.

There’s a strong case for ignoring the predictions.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16667 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 18:58

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-October-28, 12:49, said:

Btw, there is another way to reign in the powers of the SCOTUS.

Article III of the U.S. Constitution provides that:



What this means is that the SCOTUS has limited powers as to when it has "original jurisdiction". Other types of disputes are subject to appellate jurisdiction, meaning Congress can change and even forbid the SCOTUS from having appellate jurisdiction in certain types of cases.

In what cases did SCOTUS claim original jurisdiction? AFAIK, every relevant case was appealed from a lower court.

View Postcherdano, on 2020-October-28, 16:48, said:

But there is no such conflict in this case. What are you talking about?

I wasn't talking about a specific case, just in general.

Which specific case are we talking about, and how did SCOTUS usurp the relevant state's jurisdiction?

#16668 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 19:53

View Postbarmar, on 2020-November-01, 18:58, said:

In what cases did SCOTUS claim original jurisdiction? AFAIK, every relevant case was appealed from a lower court.





Their appellate jurisdiction can be determined by Congress - it is not original jurisdiction, which is granted by he Constitution.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16669 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 20:27

View Postbarmar, on 2020-November-01, 18:58, said:

Which specific case are we talking about, and how did SCOTUS usurp the relevant state's jurisdiction?

As I mentioned earlier Barry, the SCoPA ruled that the "free and fair" clause of the state's constitution meant that it was necessary to extend a deadline for receiving votes. That clause is legal and variations of it are found in around half of the states of the USA. The SCOTUS deadlocked 4-4 on ruling that that is unconstitutional, which requires a rather special interpretation of the Law that would essentially mean that any corrupt legislature could bypass the aforementioned "free and fair" clause, not to mention giving the SCOTUS a right to interfere in any state's elections. With ACB now on the court, the expectation is that this position will automatically turn to being the rule going forward. You should also look into the Kavanaugh's opinion on the recent Wisconsin decision, which quite frankly sounds more like something coming from a dictatorship than a supposed democracy. It was the PA case that started this sub-thread though and that is still going on with Republican lawyers having re-filed to have it fast-tracked now that ACB's vote is available.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16670 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 20:48

Summary of how the electoral college map looks (by my quick mental arithmetic). Assuming Biden wins Minnesota + Michigan + Wisconsin (not quite a lock but probable) he needs (in order of likelihood):-

Pennsylvania; or
Nevada + Arizona + Nebraska2; or
Florida; or
Nevada + North Carolina; or
Nevada + Arizona + Maine2; or
Nevada + Georgia; or
Ohio; or
Texas

Trump more or less needs Texas + Ohio + Georgia + North Carolina + Florida + Arizona + Pennsylvania. If Trump wins all of these except Arizona plus Nebraska2 and Maine2, there is a 269 tie and it goes to the House.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16671 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 22:31

Noah Smith at Bloomberg said:

OK, folks. First we elect Biden. Then we get a COVID vaccine. Then we drop the Medicare age to 0. Then we switch to 100% green energy. Then we double our housing stock and build some trains. Then we build a global alliance to balance China.

We can do this.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16672 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 07:20

From "a volume by Poe" read by Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden on SNL:

Quote

Once upon a midnight dreary,
While Trump retweeted QAnon theories
And rifled through his Adderall drawer,
I was writing my acceptance speech
When something stopped me with a screech.
It was a knock upon my chamber door.
It was someone still a little bit sore.

Into the room came Kate McKinnon, playing Hillary Clinton.

Carrey resumed:

It made me scared of four years more
Quoth the Clinton —
“We lost before,” McKinnon said.

Carrey’s Biden said to her: “But this time is different, I can win. The people know I have a plan.”

McKinnon responded, “But your real advantage is you’re not a woman, you’re a man.”

Carrey endured further visits from the polling analyst Nate Silver (Mikey Day), Mitch McConnell (Beck Bennett) and the rappers Ice Cube (Kenan Thompson) and Lil Wayne (Chris Redd), who have offered their support to President Trump.

Carrey’s last visitor was Maya Rudolph in her recurring role as Kamala Harris. Alternating lines, they delivered a final verse:

So whatever happens America, know that we’ll be OK.
Our nation will endure. We will fight another day.
I’m sure it will be peaceful, no matter who has won,
Though it’s never a good sign when Walmart stops selling guns.
Use your voice and use your vote. Democracy will represent.
This daylight saving time, let’s gain an hour and lose a president.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16673 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 09:10

Don't sugarcoat it, kid. Tell us what you really think.



Quote

The president of the United States is a traitor.

He is a liar. He is a fraud. He is a racist. He is a misogynist. He is incompetent. He is corrupt. He is unfit in almost every respect for the high office he holds.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16674 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 19:58

The big question a day before the election - did Mexico pay?
(-: Zel :-)

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#16675 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 20:59

To follow the earlier post about the electoral college map, a few moments for the possibly more interesting Senate election. There are (arguably) 10 competitive races (blue to red):-

Arizona
North Carolina
--
Maine
Georgia
Iowa
--
Montana
South Carolina
Alaska
Kansas

The 10th race is the Georgia special election, in which the top Democrat is leading but it will almost certainly go to a run-off.

So how does it stand? Outside of these 10, it would work out as Dem 47, Rep 43. So Dems need any 4 for control or any 3 plus the WH. A lot of these elections are incredibly close, particularly Georgia, Maine and Iowa. If Dems win any 2 (and AZ/NC go as expected) they get to 51 with Reps on 48; if they lose all 3 the reckoning is 49 to 50 and even with the WH Dems would need to win the GA run-off to avoid Mitch blocking everything. So while the POTUS election will get most of the headlines tomorrow, keep your eyes on the Senate. Because this is the election that is too close to call even without a polling error. And win or lose the WH, it will fundamentally change the way America is governed for the next 2-4 years and, by extension, also help to characterise the relationship of America to the rest of the world.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16676 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 01:14

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-November-02, 19:58, said:

The big question a day before the election - did Mexico pay?

You must have missed the memo. China is going to pay for the wall, Mexico is going to pay for the tariffs. America is going to pay if the Manchurian President is reelected.
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#16677 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 06:37

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-November-02, 19:58, said:

The big question a day before the election - did Mexico pay?


I have been thinking that the big question is "Should I go in and vote today/" I have voted already, but I could explain to them that our president told me that I should also vote on election day just in case something happens to my paper ballot.

When I was 5 or so I used to have nightmares. They were nothing compared to my waking hours of the last four years. Please let this end.
Ken
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#16678 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 07:35

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-03, 06:37, said:

I have been thinking that the big question is "Should I go in and vote today/" I have voted already, but I could explain to them that our president told me that I should also vote on election day just in case something happens to my paper ballot.

When I was 5 or so I used to have nightmares. They were nothing compared to my waking hours of the last four years. Please let this end.

As a white guy Ken, surely the question for you is whether you are standing by. When you go and cast your second ballot, be sure to take your gun with you in case he also needs you to go and shoot some blacks "in self defence". No doubt you would be a "true patriot" and a "fine person" if you were able to kill a few Biden voters and simultaneously shut down the polling booth for a few hours.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16679 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 11:09

Jordan Weissman at Slate said:

It’s possible that all of this will have a happy ending.

Maybe the polls are right, and Joe Biden is on course for a dominant 7 or 8 point win over Donald Trump. He could pick up a couple of decisive swing states that are supposed to finish counting votes on Tuesday night—North Carolina and Arizona, for instance—and short-circuit the president’s plan to first claim victory, then sue his way to a second term. There’s a chance that Democrats will eke out a Senate majority, too, so that they can actually govern come January, and deal properly with the deadly plague that’s reshaped our lives and crippled the economy. Perhaps there won’t be any violence at voting places, and people will be able to cast their ballots without getting hurt. Knock on wood.

But even if this election does bring an orderly end to the Trump era, do not for a second forget that absolutely everything about it, and the year that has led us to this point, has been utterly, incalculably insane, a 50-car pileup of reminders that we are a broken society with a broken political system that seems ever-more untenable, whether or not we are doomed to spend four more years with our addled president.

It is insane, for starters, that he even has a shot of pulling this race out. Nobody, least of all Trump, believes that he will win the popular vote. It is not even a discussion at this point. But we’re all trapped in a mad house erected upon the Electoral College, an anti-majoritarian barbarism that, according to conventional wisdom, now requires Democrats to win by at least 3 percent to have a shot at the White House and drives otherwise sensible Americans to spend sleepless nights and precious emotional energy freaking out over early voting patterns in Miami-Dade.

Other countries—the ones we like to think of as our peers, even if they see us more like a tragic, strung-out uncle these days—don’t do this to themselves. In normal, advanced presidential democracies, the candidate who gets the most votes actually wins. We’re the only one where the person who comes in second can still somehow end up in charge. There is no good argument for it, in this year of our collective misery 2020. It is nuts.

It is also pure lunacy that after four years of family separations, tax cuts for the rich, transparent corruption, and deadly ineptitude, more than 4 in 10 Americans are apparently ready for another round of Trump. We are literally living through one of the worst-case scenarios experts anticipated when he was first elected: A pandemic that has killed 231,000 Americans, thanks in no small part to the White House’s botched response, and is set to ravage the country for months more, since Republican leaders seem to have mostly decided to let COVID rip and hope for the best. This a man who caught a deadly pathogen because he wanted to look tough and felt silly wearing a mask, turned a White House Rose Garden party into a superspreader event, and ended up dragging the country through a week of steroid-fueled psychodrama as doctors blasted him with experimental treatments to save his life, then somehow concluded that, hey, the disease wasn’t so bad after all. Since then, he’s moved on to talking openly about firing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most trusted disease expert in America, after the election as payback for criticizing the administration’s response.

And yet a substantial portion of the country looks upon Trump, and his record, and sees not only a successful leader, but one they love, a figure they are willing to pack into a cold airplane hanger to cheer on while unmasked, because they apparently want to own the libs and the germ theory of disease. As a polity, we are not well.

I mean, look: If the only thing you care about is stacking the federal judiciary with conservatives, Trump has been a stellar chief executive. I get it. He just scored a hat trick on the Supreme Court. But the fact that a sizable chunk of voters, not to mention Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sees this as the single most important goal in politics is, itself, a symptom of our country’s institutional sickness; in a functioning political framework, picking judges just would not be that high stakes of an endeavor. It would be more like nominating members of the Federal Reserve—important, but not something to wage a cold civil war over. Here in the U.S.A., however, we appoint clerics for life who have final say on what laws are permitted by our two-century-old founding scripture. Much of our governance has been warped around that process of bestowing absurd, anti-democratic power.

Which unfortunately brings us to the question of whether we’ll have a free and fair election, even by our own low standards. I do not know if Trump planned his scheme to suppress Democratic votes ahead of time, or if he just sort of winged his way into it. But, one way or another, the president’s ravings have gradually evolved into a coherent effort by the whole conservative movement to snatch the presidency through the courts that they have jammed full of sympathetic judges. First, Trump spent years barking about voter fraud and warning specifically that Democrats would use voting by mail to steal elections. His supporters listened, and as a result, many more Democrats than Republicans have mailed their ballots in key swing states such as Pennsylvania. And now, Trump has signaled that he will do everything in his power to keep later-arriving mail-in votes from being counted, and insisted that states should announce their results by the end of Nov. 3. “We’re going to go in night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” he warned Sunday. This is not an idle threat. As the New York Times reports, “voting rights organizations and conservative groups are raising money and dispatching armies of lawyers for what could become a state-by-state, county-by-county legal battle over which ballots will ultimately be counted.” We are talking about the voter suppression equivalent of trench warfare.

And the Supreme Court’s conservatives appear happy to serve as soldiers in the battle, at least if the election looks close. They have spent the past weeks advancing exotic legal theories that would allow them to overrule state election officials and disqualify ballots if they saw fit; in a particularly embarrassing opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh even parroted Trump’s talking points about how it would be suspicious if states “flipped” from red to blue after election night.

It’s entirely possible that all of this angling won’t amount to anything; Biden could win so overwhelmingly that a few votes around the margins in the Rust Belt simply won’t matter much. But if the polls are off by a couple of points in the Sun Belt, and the election really does come down to a showdown in Pennsylvania, there’s a nonzero chance we’d be staring at Bush v. Gore Redux, which is fundamentally deranged. And even if it doesn’t, the entire Republican Party has made clear, at this point, that it is dedicated to preserving minority rule if remotely possible, that “we’re a republic, not a democracy” is its smirking, bedrock philosophy.

And what if Biden does win? Democrats will still need to take the Senate in order to have any hope of governing effectively, which at this point is not remotely a sure bet. Without it, Biden’s presidency could easily be smothered in its cradle, as we enter a new period of political gridlock against the backdrop of a public health and economic disaster. It’s unlikely that McConnell will approve a single judicial nomination by Biden; Republicans might greenlight his Cabinet picks, to be polite, but there’s a strong chance they will try to clip a Biden administration’s wings by holding up key regulatory nominations. Perhaps the new president could try to govern like Trump, by signing executive actions and stuffing the administration’s ranks with acting officials, but something tells me the Supreme Court might not look kindly on that sort of creativity from a Democratic White House.

Do we even have to talk about the ambient threat of violence around this election? To be honest, I’d prefer not to, because it’s hard not to sound like a loon going on about militias or Proud Boys or whether Trump would actually use a disturbance at polling places to send in the feds. It’s not encouraging that, so far, he and other Republicans are egging on some straightforward hooliganism, like that caravan that swarmed a Biden-Harris bus on the highway. (The president called them “patriots.” Sen. Marco Rubio said, “We love what they did.”) Hopefully, confrontations don’t rise to anything beyond that.

Again, maybe we dodge all of these bullets. Maybe Biden will pull off a resounding win, and even if Trump refuses to concede, the world will move on, and his refusal to promise a peaceful transition of power will just be remembered as one more inexplicably petulant provocation by a president who refused to make even token gestures toward normalcy. But the mere fact that we have to worry about the arraigned forces of minority rule returning a president this unfit and unpopular back to the Oval Office, or that his successor won’t be able to actually run the country, should make us deeply fearful for the future. If you’ve spent the past week wracked with anxiety over this election, don’t let yourself ever forget it if Biden wins. This is an insane way to run a nation.


Quote

The system is falling apart by itself. We’re just here to give it a little push. -- Abbie Hoffman (1968)

Okay. Enough with the pushing.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16680 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 11:24

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-03, 06:37, said:

When I was 5 or so I used to have nightmares. They were nothing compared to my waking hours of the last four years. Please let this end.

The whole world has had nightmares. America picked a guy that can formulate only one sentence correctly and gave him the key to the nuclear missiles. No big deal, you would think, but this one sentence happens to be: "You're fired!".

I wish you a good night sleep... and many more to come.

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
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