Tag: John Boehner

Apr 28

How To Make A Satanist Angry

This stuff just keeps coming this election season. During an interview at Stanford University about his tenure in the House, former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was asked about the 2016 election, specifically Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Needless to say, the Orange Man didn’t hold back: “Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said of Cruz, …

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Sep 25

John Boehner Resigns (Up Date with Press Conference)

Up date: A jovial John Boehner addressed the press, waking into the press room singing “Zippity Do Da.”

Since the Tea Party revolution that helped the Republicans take over the leadership of the House of Representatives in 2010, that body has slipped into chaos with the hard line right wing refusing to compromise  with the more moderate members of their own party. That chaos had now reached its head. Unable to get any compromise from the Tea Party caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his resignation from his leadership position and his seat at the end of October.

John Boehner, House Speaker, Will Resign From Congress

By Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, announced on Friday that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, as Congress moved to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

“The first job of any speaker is to protect this institution that we all love,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement released later. “It was my plan to only serve as speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the speakership and my seat in Congress on Oct. 30.”

Mr. Boehner, 65, from Ohio, had struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members. [..]

It will be up to a majority of the members of the House now to choose a new leader, and the leading candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who is viewed more favorably by the House’s more conservative members. The preferred candidate among many Republicans, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said he does not want the job.

While he appears to have the support at the moment, there are those who are opposed to Rep. McCarthy so that is not exactly a done deal. Remember the part of the definition of the chaos theory is

Small differences in initial conditions … yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.

As Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi (D-CA) said when she heard the news, this is “a stark indication of the disarray of House Republicans.”

Dec 22

Congressional Game of Chicken: The House Of Unrepresentatives

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

House Rejects Senate Payroll Tax Deal

by David Dayen

The House of Representatives officially rejected the bipartisan agreement that passed the Senate with 89 votes for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefits and a doctor’s fix to prevent a 27% reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates. They did so under a complicated scheme whereby members did not vote on the Senate deal itself, but on whether to move to a conference committee on the package, with the rejection of the Senate deal implicit in the exchange. The final roll call was 229-193, with seven Republicans switching sides and voting with Democrats to reject the conference committee. All Democrats present voted against the bill. [..]

The seven Republican no votes: Charlie Bass (NH), Jeff Flake (AZ), Chris Gibson (NY), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Tim Johnson (IL), Walter Jones (NC), Frank Wolf (VA).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t play:

“My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians. “Senator McConnell and I negotiated a compromise at Speaker Boehner’s request. I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate. “This is a question of whether the House of Representatives will be able to fulfill the basic legislative function of passing an overwhelmingly bipartisan agreement, in order to protect the economic security of millions of middle-class Americans. Democratic and Republican leaders negotiated a compromise and Speaker Boehner should not walk away from it, putting middle-class families at risk of a thousand-dollar tax hike just because a few angry Tea Partiers raised their voices to the Speaker. “I have always sought a year-long extension. I have been trying to forge one for weeks, and I am happy to continue negotiating one once we have made sure middle-class families will not wake up to a tax increase on January 1st. So before we re-open negotiations on a year-long extension, the House of Representatives must protect middle-class families by passing the overwhelmingly bipartisan compromise that Republicans negotiated, and was approved by ninety percent of the Senate.”

A couple of point where I disagree with Barney Frank is that we are doing better than Europe and that the economy is doing better. Maybe for the 1% it is but the middle class is shriveling. The important part of this bill was an extension of the UI which is about expire.

Jul 30

Congressional Game of Chicken: Countdown to Default (Up Date x 3)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Boehner bill on raising the debt ceiling barely passed the House on a strict partisan line with a vote of 218 to 210. Not one Democrat voted for the bill, 22 Republicans voted against it and 5 Democrats were not present to vote. The bill was essential dead on arrival in the Senate where it was quickly table in a bipartisan vote of 59 to 41.

This is what’s next but it won’t happen until very late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Why because Sen. Mitch McConnell says so. McConnell is refusing to even negotiate with Reid

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid’s proposed bill is no prize either but at least it moves the debt ceiling limit to past the 2012 election into 2013 and a new congressional session. (I think Reid is betting on taking back the House.) Reid also said that he is open to tweaking but it’s up to Republicans

At a late Friday press conference, Reid suggested that the door is still open to further tweak his proposal, including by adding failsafes to assure future entitlement and tax reforms — but it’s up to Republicans to offer up their votes.

“We have a closet full of triggers, people have suggested dozens of them but even though earlier this week, I was sitting talking to Jack Lew about triggers for an hour and a half and we can’t get Republicans to move on any trigger. We’re not going to have cuts on more programs without some revenue – that is a line we’ve drawn in the sand,” Reid said. “It’s up to the Republicans, right now we have a proposal…we are waiting for them to do something, anything, move toward us.”

How The Revised Reid Amendment Compares To The Revised Boehner Bill

h/t David Dayen @ FDL and Brian Buetler @ TPM

Up Date, 12:22 PM EDT: House Speaker John Boehner has said that the Reid bill is “dead in the water” and is refusing to meet or compromise with the Democrats. The Senate will vote for cloture on the bill at 1 AM Sunday morning. Boehner plans to hold a symbolic vote on the bill this afternoon to reject the plan preemptively.

Reid’s plan which cuts more without new revenue and creates the “super commission” only differs in the length of time for considering raising the debt ceiling again. The bi[artisan Senate plan extends the debt ceiling through 2012 while the tea party plan wants it rehashed in 5 months with guarantees that a “cut, cap and destroy” constitutional amendment is passed. Boehner is probably the worst house speaker since Newt Gingrich and even he knew how to get his ducks in a row and conpromise.

Up Date: 15:35 EDT The House has voted to reject the Reid bill before it even gets to a vote in the Senate. All of the Republicans votes nay along with a few Democrats. The voter was 173 – 246.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Reid are on their way to the White House to meet with the President to presumably to discuss options and the next move.

This is what you get for negotiating with terrorists.

The Reid bill will still come to a vote late tonight at 1 AM EDT

Up Date 1430 EDT: The Reid bill failed to reach cloture this afternoon it is now back to the drawing board

Jul 29

Congressional Game of Chicken: “Super Congress”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The bills that have been proposed by Republican and Democratic leadership to raise the debt ceiling putting an an to this wholly manufactured crisis, differ little and both will be devastating to most Americans. One of the commonalities is the creation of a bipartisan commission of 12 that on first glance seems innocuous but on looking closer, it is quite toxic and may even be unconstitutional. This “super committee” will be equally comprised of Democrats and Republicans members of congress. Who and how they will be selected is unclear but considering the current corporate owned, deficit hawk nature of both sides, I suspect it will be their worst conservative “cut spending/no revenue ghouls”.

At first glance, this sounds like the President’s Deficit Commission that couldn’t produce recommendations even 14 of the 18 members could agree. The co-chairs, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) and former Clinton Chief of Staff and South Carolina businessman, Erskine Bowles wrote there own recommendations and ran it up the flagpole. Needless to say President Obama saluted and embraced the draconian principles that it enshrined, such as decimating Medicare and Medicaid and drastic cuts to Social Security. The “Catfood Commission”, however, had no “teeth”, everything that was suggested would have to be passed as a bill. This new commission is another game and will have the force of law behind it.

Ryan Grimm at Huffington Post has the best description of how this “new congress” will function and just how powerful it will be:

Legislation approved by the Super Congress — which some on Capitol Hill are calling the “super committee” — would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn’t be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who’d have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a Super Congress a central part of his last-minute proposal, multiple news reports and people familiar with his plan say. A picture of Boehner’s proposal began to come into focus Saturday evening: The debt ceiling would be raised for a short-term period and coupled with an equal dollar figure of cuts, somewhere in the vicinity of a trillion dollars over ten years. A second increase in the debt ceiling would be tied to the creation of a Super Congress that would be required to find a minimum amount of spending cuts. Because the elevated panel would need at least one Democratic vote, its plan would presumably include at least some revenue, though if it’s anything like the deals on the table today, it would likely be heavily slanted toward spending cuts.

The tea party Republicans in the House have informed Speaker John Boehner that the commission is totally unacceptable to them. There main objection is they feel it could lead to tax increases. Other critics from the right like Eric Erickson of Red State are opposed mostly because it just ads another costly layer to the bureaucracy that won’t work. From the left, Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) and MoveOn.org expressed concerns that it would cut the big three social safety nets and the idea that it would supersede congress’s parliamentary power.

The ratings agencies have said that the Boehner bill will result in a ratings downgrade since it only raised the debt ceiling by $1 trillion which will require another cap raise in 5 months, creating uncertainty in the bond market. The White House has embraced the Reid version which would move the need raising the ceiling again past 2012 which is more acceptable to the ratings agencies who think the ceiling should just be removed entirely.

This is going to the wire with both sides deadlocked and hamstrung by a small loud and incredibly stupid minority and ineffective leaderchip on both sides.

Jun 03

The Joke Is On Us

Cross posted from The Stars hollow Gazette

The GOP staged a debt ceiling “stunt” vote by presenting a clean bill to the floor of the House under suspension of the rules. Suspension of the rules requires a 2/3 vote, allows only 40 minutes of debate and prohibits amendments. Chris Hayes, an editor at the Nation sitting in for Lawrence O’Donnell, discusses the House vote on this not so funny “joke” with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Jon Walker at FDL observes

This move is the ultimate expression of political kabuki, and goes beyond just a show vote. Even if there were a majority of the House that supported voting for a clean debt ceiling increase, due to suspended rules, they now have no incentive to actually vote for the bill. After all, voting to raise the debt ceiling isn’t very popular, so knowing this bill can’t get a two-thirds vote, individual members have no reason to take an unpopular vote that will end up doing nothing.

Boehner isn’t having a vote on a clean bill to prove it can’t pass without major concessions, he has preordained the bill’s failure, taking away members’ reasons to actually vote for the bill, therefore assuring the final roll call will look very bad. Boehner will then point to this big failure he himself guaranteed as somehow justifying his making even more demands.

The hostages takers are demanding even more ransom and they won’t be satisfied until all the hostages are dead.

May 15

The Price of Ownership

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

When the Republicans voted lock step on the Ryan Budget plan that would decimate the safety nets of Medicaid ans Medicare, they were not prepared for the harsh criticism from their own supporters and organizations that had praised their agenda in the past. During the Spring recess, House members faced angry constituents and a harsh press. On Tuesday, 42 freshmen sent a letter to the president asking that the Democrats forget that they used Medicare scare tactics fighting the Health Care Reform bill and back off holding them responsible for their votes on the Ryan Budget bill. Sorry, guys, no do-overs. You own it now.

Republican Budget Would Cause Millions of Americans to Lose Medicaid

By Jon Walker @ FDL

The House Republican budget written by Paul Ryan has received a huge amount of criticism for its plan to replace Medicare with a poorly indexed private voucher program that could result in more and more seniors every year being unable to afford health care. Less focus has been put on how equally devastating the Ryan plan would be to people who rely on Medicaid because the plan would stop federal funding for the program from keeping up with the increasing cost of actually providing people with care.

A study from be the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid(PDF) lays out three likely scenarios of what would happen if the Republican plan were implemented.

Critics Fear G.O.P.’s Proposed Medicaid Changes Could Cut Coverage for the Aged

By Jennifer Steinhauer @ NYT

While the largest number of Medicaid recipients are low-income children and adults, who tend to be far less politically potent voices in battles over entitlement programs than older voters, the changes to Medicaid proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House budget chairman, could actually have a more direct impact on older Americans than the Medicare part of his plan.

The House plan would turn Medicaid, which provides health coverage for the poor through a combination of federal and state money, into a block grant program for states. The federal government would give lump sums to states, which in turn would be given more flexibility and independence over use of the money, though the plan does not spell out what the federal requirements would be.

Beginning in 2013, these grants would increase annually at the rate of inflation, with adjustments for population growth, a rate far below that of inflation for health care costs. As a result, states, which have said that they cannot afford to keep up with the program’s costs, are likely to scale back coverage. Such a reduction, critics fear, could have a disproportionate effect on Medicaid spending for nursing home care for the elderly or disabled.

Critical Letter by Catholics Cites Boehner on Policies

By Laurie Goodstein @ NYT

More than 75 professors at Catholic University and other prominent Catholic colleges have written a pointed letter to Mr. Boehner saying that the Republican-supported budget he shepherded through the House will hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable, and that he therefore has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teachings.

“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the church’s most ancient moral teachings,” the letter says. “From the apostles to the present, the magisterium of the church has insisted that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress. This fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers. Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it.”

The letter writers criticize Mr. Boehner’s support for a budget that cut financing for Medicare, Medicaid and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, while granting tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. They call such policies “anti-life,” a particularly biting reference because the phrase is usually applied to politicians and others who support the right to abortion.

The shoe is once again on the other foot and it is up to the Democrats to make sure it causes permanent bunions, by making them own their votes and pay the price.

May 12

Suicide by Political Attack

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

You cannot make this up:

Paul Ryan’s PAC slams AARP as ‘left-leaning pressure group’

Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) political group went on the attack Monday against AARP, calling one of the most powerful lobbies a “left-leaning pressure group.”

   Ryan’s Prosperity PAC sought to push back on attacks by AARP against the House Budget Committee chairman’s 2012 budget, specifically its proposed changes to Medicare.

   “Last week, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a left-leaning pressure group with significant business interests in the insurance industry, launched a national ad campaign that intentionally misleads seniors about the Medicare debate,” wrote Pat Shortridge, a senior adviser to Ryan’s PAC, in an email to supporters.

   Ryan’s Medicare proposal has been a particular point of criticism by Democrats and groups on the left, which say that the Medicare plan would significantly revamp the entitlement program to the detriment of seniors. Democrats have homed in their attacks against that part of the Ryan budget, which has sparked some degree of heartburn among Republicans.

   AARP launched ads last week warning against “harmful cuts” to Medicare and Social Security it said Republicans favored.

History repeating itself from 2005:

Now some people on the right want you to think of gay marriage and Sunni insurgency. The New York Times this morning reported that the lobbyists who brought you the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” have been contracted to promote the agenda of USA Next, a conservative lobbying group. To build support, USA Next is portraying AARP – which opposes the White House’s pseudo-plan for privatizing Social Security – as some kind of liberal extremist group.

How’d that 2006 election turn out, Mr. Ryan?

“Boner” tells Wall St. Medicare is still on the agenda to raise the debt ceiling:

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York in Midtown Manhattan, the Ohio Republican is set to reiterate to leading financial executives that he believes that reforming Medicare should be part of negotiations in raising the debt ceiling, saying that there needs to be “an honest conversation,” because the program is on an “unsustainable path if changes are not made,” according to sources familiar with the speech. Boehner also is expected to advocate for immediate cuts rather than deficit and debt targets preferred by some Democrats.

After his talk, Boehner will take questions from two prominent Wall Street players at the intersection of Washington power: Peter G. Peterson, the private-equity giant who worked for President Richard Nixon, and Observatory Group CEO Jane Hartley, who worked for President Jimmy Carter….

Boehner’s public insistence that reforming Medicare stay a part of debt ceiling negotiations could reaffirm a concern among Wall Street types that Republicans are driving a hard bargain on the limit and will take the negotiations up to the last minute. Boehner said last week Congress must now cut trillions, not billions….

Friday evening, in a sign of unity after a disjointed week, GOP leadership, along with Ryan and Camp, released a statement saying “everything must be on the table except increasing taxes.”

Freshmen, who voted en masse for the Ryan budget, largely want entitlement reform dealt with.

President Obama needs to stand up to these threats to the social safety nets and let the GOP send itself into political oblivion. I have my doubts that Obama can do this. I will be shocked, I tell you shocked, if he calls them in this. This is no longer 11 dimensional chess. It’s now a game of straight draw poker.  

Feb 01

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Comedy Central Presents… Michele Bachmann

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

Trying to watch her taped response is worse than annoying, and the woman makes up her own facts as she goes, which has come to define her.

In short, if this is the best that the Tea Pot party has to offer, then there’s really nothing to see or hear that has not been offered time and again.  I really don’t care for parrots.

Michele Bachmann is also defined by her presumptive beliefs, obtained God only knows where.

 

Jan 06

Healthcare: A Blast From the Past

December 7, 1964  from a newspaper in the national archives

Says Medicare Bill Will Be Passed

Newark – Speaking at a meeting of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters at the Military Park Hotel here Friday, Joseph J. Sear, president and chairman of the board of the Progressive Life Insurance Company of Red Bank, said the outcome of the recent election makes it virtually certain that the 89th Congress, meeting in January, will pass a Medicare bill, and that it will be signed by the President.

“We, in the accident and health insurance business,” he said, “should have no fears that the passage of such a bill will hurt our business unless it becomes the opening wedge for a socialized medicine program such as in Great Britain, which includes everyone from cradle to the grave. The bill before Congress is generally restricted to providing medical aid for persons 65 years of age and older under the Social Security Program, and we are still insuring primarily persons below the age of 65.

“Since I last spoke to you 13 years ago, (note: 1951) the people cared for by hospital expense policies increased from $85 million to $145 million and the people cared for by medical expense policies increased from $28 million to $102 million, and the trend is still upward.”

Forty Six Years Later

March 23, 2010. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Dole/Nixon/RomneyObamaCare, signed into law by “Democratic” President.   2009 Bill passed by Senate still lacks universal coverage and the option of purchasing government insurance, but contains universally loathed tax mandate and excise tax pushed by “Democratic” Senator from Massachusetts and WH “Economist” consultant from MIT.  Bill not designed to add more Medicaid coverage until 2014.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

September 17, 2010. Number of uninsured Americans now rises to 50.7 million, or 1 out of 6, or 16%.   Workers now paying 47% more for family health insurance coverage than in 2005, while employers pay 20% more.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/n…

January 3, 2011 New Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor introduces bill to rules committee called “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Law Act”   “Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111- 148, such act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such act had not been enacted.”

pdf download text here: http://rules-republicans.house…

January 4, 2011  from Kaiser Health News-

House Republicans have scheduled a Jan. 12 vote to repeal the health care law. While the measure is expected to pass the House, Democrats in the Senate have pledged to stop the bill.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…

January 5, 2011 Shuffle the Deck Chairs on the Titanic


The Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, created just after the law passed, is about to be folded into the federal Medicare agency, signaling a major organizational shift just months after the office was created, administration officials said.

In addition, Michael Hash, who has been serving as a top White House health adviser, has taken the reins of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Hash succeeds Jeanne Lambrew,  who has been director of the office since May 2009 and has played a central role on the health law. Lambrew, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, will stay on at HHS as an adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The insurance oversight office was headed by Jay Angoff, who battled with insurance companies both as a Missouri official and a class-action litigator. He’ll become a senior adviser to Sebelius.

The office will become part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and will be managed by Marilyn Tavenner, deputy administrator of CMS.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…

January 5, 2011.   Blue Shield of CA seeks rate increases of up to 59% for customers by March 1st. They blame costs of hospitals

http://www.latimes.com/health/…

Hospitals treat the un insured when their health descends into the most expensive crisis mode,  and pass the markup, make it up prices along to the insured, while charging the uninsured the highest rates, so they can still have their debts “sold.”

And nothing has changed the basic dynamic of leaving a portion of the population uncovered to act as a price lever on the rest.

Nothing.

A million and a half people filed for bankruptcy last year.  The leading cause is uncontrolled medical debt.

Blue Shield spent $16 million on federal lobbyists in 2010.  The top recipient was “Democrat” There Will Be No Public Option Blanche, the former Sen. Lincoln of Arkansas.  Eric Cantor got $22,500.

http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

They have a PAC, too, for their executives to use.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/p…

There’s more – each of those executives will be making other, individual donations.

But in CA, the real action is at the state level.  How they loved Schwarzenegger, the ex governator.  And the Republicans. And the Democrats.  Last year’s money bomb:

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

most complete list of donations in 2009 – 2010 election cycle:

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

Poor Jerry Brown only got $2,500 out of all of that ?  

 

Dec 08

Souls of Pigs and Wolves in the Bodies of Men

Bosch2

Glenn Beck now proclaims the decline and fall of America on exactly the same trajectory as the early Roman Empire, but he missed the most salient parallel.

BCMB2

Souls of pigs and wolves in the bodies of men.

 

   

Nov 03

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections in Editorial Cartoons w/Poll Closing Times

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections



Psycho by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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