Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Script: Palin Even Worse Than we Thought

OK, I said the last post was my last, but this is a kind of post script. Turns out Palin was more of a thorn in the side of the McCain campaign than previously thought. It also turns out her shopping spree was even more splendrific than earlier reported.

This woman truly is a disaster.

Here's the ABC report that finally brings the truth to light:

Strains Between McCain and Palin Aides Go Public

Report: Palin's Wardrobe Is to Be Audited by GOP


Nov. 6, 2008 —

Now that the defeated team of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have gone their separate ways, the knives are out and Palin is the one who is getting filleted.

Revelations from anonymous critics from within the McCain-Palin campaign suggest a number of complaints about the Alaskan governor:

Fox News reports that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent and did not know the member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- the United States, Mexico and Canada -- when she was picked for vice president.

The New York Times reports that McCain aides were outraged when Palin staffers scheduled her to speak with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, a conversation that turned out to be a radio station prank.

Newsweek reports that Palin spent far more than the previously reported $150,000 on clothes for herself and her family.

Several publications say she irked the McCain campaign by asking to make her own concession speech on election night.

The tension is likely to continue or get worse. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee are heading to Alaska to try to account for all the money that was spent on clothing, jewelry and luggage, according to The New York Times.

Reports of agitation between the two camps bubbled up in the final weeks of the campaign as Barack Obama began pulling away and the GOP duo was unable to regain the momentum.

But those reports are no longer in the rumor stage as McCain loyalists are now blasting away at the Alaska governor, who was a favorite of the Republican right during the campaign, but was cited in numerous polls as a reason why many Americans wouldn't vote for the Arizona Republican.

Perhaps the most dangerous allegation for Palin are reports in The New York Times and Newsweek that when she was urged by McCain adviser Nicole Wallace to buy three suits for the Republican convention and three suits for the campaign trail, she went on the now-infamous shopping spree at swank stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

A Republican donor who agreed to foot a majority of the expenses was stunned when he received the bill, Newsweek reported. Both the Times and Newsweek report that the budget for the clothing was expected to be between $20,000 and $25,000. Instead, the amount reported by the Republican National Committee was $150,000.

That wasn't the whole tab, however, according to Newsweek. The magazine claims that Palin leaned on some low-level staffers to put thousands of dollars of additional purchases on their credit cards. The national committee and McCain became aware of the extra expenditures, including clothes for husband Todd Palin, when the staffers sought reimbursement, Newsweek reported.

McCain Aide Calls Palin Family 'Wasilla Hillbillies'

There is one comment in particular from a McCain aide that guaranteed to heighten friction between the two camps. The angry aide described the Palin family shopping spree to Newsweek as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast."

It's unclear how much McCain knew about the clothing debacle. Reports suggest that he was kept out of the loop for fear that he would not approve.

Both Newsweek and The New York Times say McCain and Palin had little contact with each other.

"I think it was a difficult relationship," one top McCain official confided to The New York Times. But a high level McCain adviser told ABC News that the two had a good working relationship.

"He likes her," this senior McCain adviser said last week. "He's had no problem with her. He's very appreciative of what she's done."

The adviser said McCain and Palin talked at least once a day. He also said McCain frequently joked about how large Palin's crowds were compared to his.

However, press accounts today suggest that Palin rubbed many of the McCain aides the wrong way. On election night when it was clear that McCain would be giving a concession speech instead of an acceptance speech, Palin approached McCain with a speech in hand hoping to make her own concession speech, according to published reports.

Vice presidential candidates traditionally leave the spotlight to the top of the ticket on election night and McCain aides made it clear to Palin that she would be a spectator that night, not a speaker, The New York Times reported.

And when McCain and Palin split up in Arizona Wednesday, the personal differences were stark.

McCain drove himself home in a Toyota sport utility vehicle. Palin's departure was a grander event. She left with an entourage of 18 family members and friends and a Secret Service detail, heading to the airport in a motorcade stretching more than a dozen vehicles, flanked by a dozen more cops on motorcycles.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Wins! No More Sarah Palin!

With this post our task is done. And the good news is that this blog achieved its purpose. In some small way,perhaps, our voice was joined with that of many others to show what a disaster it would have been to elevate Palin to a position of national authority. The disaster was averted. Halleluia!

So we end with a video I took at the Obama rally downtown Chicago last night. What a night of joy it was!! (the blog will remain just as a reminder of what might have happened if we hadn't been vigilant).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Neighborhood: Barak Obama's Hyde Park, Chicago

Here's a video highlighting my neighborhood and our next president's neighborhood, Hyde Park, Chicago.

Walked our dog past his house this morning. Found the whole block in front of it blocked off. Stopped to say a prayer for him and his family. Just missed them coming out to vote.

Here's a couple of videos highlighting our unique community.


Obama Wins!

OK, here's a portent of things to come. Tiny Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, which is always the first town in America to vote, registered 21 votes at midnight eastern time. 15 went to Obama. 6 to McCain.


A portent of things to come.

Prediction: Obama wins with 52% of the popular vote and 346 electoral college votes.

And I'll be downtown Chicago to celebrate.

Bets anyone???

Story from CNN:

Dixville Notch Has Spoken: It's Obama in a Landslide

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Cleared - By Board She Can Fire!!

Before people go to the polls tomorrow morning they're going to read that Sarah Palin has been cleared of any ethics violations in the Troopergate scandal by an Alaskan Personnel Board . This runs counter to an earlier finding by a bi-partisan committee of investigation which did find her guilty of ethics violations. So what does this mean?

It means that the board she wanted to investigate her, once she found out there was good evidence to convict her, has sided with her, a board consisting of people over whom she has control. Surprised? Not if you have followed what has been noted all along in this blog - that this is a controling woman who uses threats and favors to keep people in line.

Here's the story as our favorite Alaskan blogger, AKMuckraker, has it. AK is also clear that this is not over as the trooper is going to file suit, in which case Palin is going to have a much harder time controling the outcome.

This from AKMuckraker:


The Legislature decides to investigate Palin for ethics violations. Palin says she will cooperate, so no subpoena is issued. Palin sends out Attorney General Talis Colberg to interview witnesses in advance of the Legislature’s investigation, so she knows what they’re going to say. Palin discovers a taped phone call made by her administration pressuring Troopers to fire Wooten. Palin says she is surprised by phone call and concedes it looks bad. Palin files ethics complaint against herself so that the Republican governor appointed Personnel Board, made up of people that she can fire, will be the group that investigates. Palin says Legislative investigation has become partisan and refuses to cooperate. Attorney General tells state employees they don’t need to comply with Legislative subpoenas. They don’t show for depositions. At the last minute they provide written testimony, but Palin still does not cooperate because she was not subpoenaed. Legislature releases report that says Palin abused her power and violated the Executive Ethics Act. Then, the day before the election, The Personnel Board releases a report clearing Palin and all state employees of everything.

My contacts at Alaskans for Truth, who were involved in supporting Walt Monegan in his request for a hearing, are not pleased. This isn’t over by a long shot. It’s unlikely that this grass roots group is going to let Palin skip off into the sunset without a fight.

Stay tuned for updates as they become available. I expect we’ll be hearing from members of the Legislature soon.


Sarah Palin Pranked, Thinks She's Talking to French Premier

This is too good to miss. Listen to Sarah Palin get pranked by Canadian comedians thinking she's talking to the French Premier, Nicolas Sarkozy. Transcript follows.

She really is clueless . . .


Sarah Palin: This is Sarah.

Masked Avengers: Ah, yeah, Gov. Palin.

Palin: Hello.

Avengers: Just hold on for President Sarkozy, one moment.

P: Oh, it's not him yet, they're saying. I always do that.

A: Yes, hello, Gov. Palin.

P: Hello, this is Sarah, how are you?

A: Fine, and you? This is Nicolas Sarkozy speaking, how are you?

P: Oh, it's so good to hear you. Thank you for calling us.

A: Oh, it's a pleasure.

P: Thank you sir, we have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you and thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me.

A: I follow your campaigns closely with my special American adviser Johnny Hallyday, you know?

P: Yes, good.

A: Excellent. Are you confident?

P: Very confident and we're thankful that polls are showing that the race is tightening and...

A: Well I know very well that the campaign can be exhausting. How do you feel right now, my dear?

P: I feel so good. I feel like we're in a marathon and at the very end of the marathon you get your second wind and you plow to the finish.

A: You see, I got elected in France because I'm real and you seem to be someone who's real, as well.

P: Yes, yeah. Nico, we so appreciate this opportunity.

A: You know I see you as a president one day, too.

P: Maybe in eight years.

A: Well, I hope for you. You know, we have a lot in common because personally one of my favourite activities is to hunt, too.

P: Oh, very good. We should go hunting together.

A: Exactly, we could try go hunting by helicopter like you did. I never did that. Like we say in French, on pourrait tuer des bebe phoque s, aussi.

P: Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done. We can kill two birds with one stone that way.

A: I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun. I'd really love to go, so long as we don't bring along Vice-President Cheney.

P: No, I'll be a careful shot, yes.

A: Yes, you know we have a lot in common also, because except from my house I can see Belgium. That's kind of less interesting than you.

P: Well, see, we're right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes.

A: Some people said in the last days and I thought that was mean that you weren't experienced enough in foreign relations and you know that's completely false. That's the thing that I said to my great friend, the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse.

P: Well, he's doing fine, too, and yeah, when you come into a position underestimated it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder.

A: I was wondering because you are so next to him, one of my good friends, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois, have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?

P: I haven't seen him at one of the rallies but it's been great working with the Canadian officials. I know as governor we have a great co-operative effort there as we work on all of our resource-development projects. You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife. Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of yours.

A: Thank you very much. You know my wife Carla would love to meet you, even though you know she was a bit jealous that I was supposed to speak to you today.

P: Well, give her a big hug for me.

A: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she's so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.

P: Oh my goodness, I didn't know that.

A: Yes, in French it's called de rouge a levre sur un cochon, or if you prefer in English, Joe the's his life, Joe the Plumber.

P: Maybe she understands some of the unfair criticism but I bet you she is such a hard worker, too, and she realizes you just plow through that criticism.

A: I just want to be sure. That phenomenon Joe the Plumber. That's not your husband, right?

P: That's not my husband but he's a normal American who just works hard and doesn't want government to take his money.

A: Yes, yes, I understand we have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France. It's called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit.

P: Right, that's what it's all about, the middle class and government needing to work for them. You're a very good example for us here.

A: I see a bit about NBC, even Fox News wasn't an ally as much as usual.

P: Yeah, that's what we're up against.

A: Gov. Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life. You know Hustler's Nailin' Paylin?

P: Ohh, good, thank you, yes.

A: That was really edgy.

P: Well, good.

A: I really loved you and I must say something also, governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal.

P: Ohhh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this?

A: CKOI in Montreal.

P: In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters.

A: CK...hello?

The Final Reason Not to Vote McCain/Palin Tomorrow

As if there weren't enough reasons not to vote for McCain/Palin here's another. Not for weak stomachs.

Don't forget to vote tomorrow. Too much is at stake to let this opportunity for hope to slip by.

Countdown to Election Day: Six Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Unqualified for President - REASON NUMBER 1

Reason Number One: She is a Divisive, Vindictive Person

Can you believe it? One more day and all of the distortions, bone-headed accusations, mud-slinging nonsense that have been defining characteristics of the McCain/Palin ticket will be over. One more day and we can say "goodby and good riddance" to the most unqualified vice presidential candidate ever to grace a national campaign. The incredible thing is that there are actually people who are beginning to tout Palin for a presidential run in 2012. From where I sit that may be a good thing. It will mean yet another victory for the Democrats.

In our countdown to tomorrow's history-making vote, here's reason number two why Palin is supremely unqualified to serve as VP (much less president! God forbid!):

She is a vindictive, divisive person

A quick glance back at the letter I have put up on this blog more than once from Anne Kilkenny, shows that Palin's vindictive streak has been a defining characteristic of her governing style from day one. In fact, there is evidence that this is what she's been about since high school. Here are just a few things that give credence to this accusation:

  • She tried to get a small town librarian fired simply because she wouldn't go along with her ideas about what books to stock in the library.
  • She had a police chief fired because she found him intimidating.
  • She used her aides and husband to go after her brother-in-law to make sure he got fired. When a police chief failed to follow through she went after him. A bi-partisan committee found in this case clear evidence of abuse of office. She dismissed it as though it was a matter of little account.
  • Starting at the Republican National Convention she has gleefully twisted the truth about Obama's record, belittled and berated her opponents and gotten crowds fired up with sound byte distortions: "he palls around with terrorists," "he's a socialist" "he's not one of us" so that her campaign rallies have begun to resemble lynch mobs. And through it all she acts as though she is oblivious to the hate she is whipping up.
Watch the following videos and make your own decisions:

Palin Attacks Obama with no real understanding of what he is proposing:

Obama "palls around with terrorists"

A typical Palin crowd:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Conservative Republican Re-Assesses What This Election is About

This is a digression from the theme of this blog, but only slightly.  Written by a conservative Republican, it may be the most touching, truth-filled article I've seen anywhere about what this election is about.  

It's so good that I'm pasting it here in its entirely, but I do urge you to go to the Christian Science Monitor where it appears.  The link to the article is below.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

My wife made me canvas for Obama; here's what I learned
This election is not about major policies. It's about hope.

By Jonathan Curley

from the November 3, 2008 edition

Charlotte, N.C. - There has been a lot of speculation that Barack Obama might win the election due to his better "ground game" and superior campaign organization.

I had the chance to view that organization up close this month when I canvassed for him. I'm not sure I learned much about his chances, but I learned a lot about myself and about this election.

Let me make it clear: I'm pretty conservative. I grew up in the suburbs. I voted for George H.W. Bush twice, and his son once. I was disappointed when Bill Clinton won, and disappointed he couldn't run again.

I encouraged my son to join the military. I was proud of him in Afghanistan, and happy when he came home, and angry when he was recalled because of the invasion of Iraq. I'm white, 55, I live in the South and I'm definitely going to get a bigger tax bill if Obama wins.

I am the dreaded swing voter.

So you can imagine my surprise when my wife suggested we spend a Saturday morning canvassing for Obama. I have never canvassed for any candidate. But I did, of course, what most middle-aged married men do: what I was told.

At the Obama headquarters, we stood in a group to receive our instructions. I wasn't the oldest, but close, and the youngest was maybe in high school. I watched a campaign organizer match up a young black man who looked to be college age with a white guy about my age to canvas together. It should not have been a big thing, but the beauty of the image did not escape me.

Instead of walking the tree-lined streets near our home, my wife and I were instructed to canvass a housing project. A middle-aged white couple with clipboards could not look more out of place in this predominantly black neighborhood.

We knocked on doors and voices from behind carefully locked doors shouted, "Who is it?"

"We're from the Obama campaign," we'd answer. And just like that doors opened and folks with wide smiles came out on the porch to talk.

Grandmothers kept one hand on their grandchildren and made sure they had all the information they needed for their son or daughter to vote for the first time.

Young people came to the door rubbing sleep from their eyes to find out where they could vote early, to make sure their vote got counted.

We knocked on every door we could find and checked off every name on our list. We did our job, but Obama may not have been the one who got the most out of the day's work.

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the "big things."

It's not about taxes. I'm pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It's not about foreign policy. I think we'll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don't want us there anymore.

I don't see either of the candidates as having all the answers.

I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It's about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don't know what it's going to do for the Obama campaign, but it's doing a lot for me.

Jonathan Curley is a banker. He voted for George H.W. Bush twice and George W. Bush once.


The Tickets are on the Way!!

 It's official.  The tickets are on the way.  I'm headed to the celebration Tuesday night!!  Go Obama!!

Jim . . . 

Thank you for signing up to receive a ticket for the Election Night event at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park, Chicago. 

Your ticket will be emailed to you on Monday, November 3rd, between 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. 

Each ticket is personalized for the ticket holder and is non-transferable. 

You must print your ticket and bring it with you to the event. Each ticket is valid for you and one guest. 


The Democratic Party 


Countdown to Election Day: Six Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Unqualified for VP (Part 4)

Reason Number Two:  What You See is Not What you Get 

Only two more days.  Can you believe it?  I'll be there when history is being made.  Yes, I've got tickets.  (sound of fireworks going off).  Unless the Republicans manage to pull off election fraud on a North Korean level, Barak Obama will be our next president.   And I'll be there to help him celebrate.  

In the meantime Sarah Palin is still out there pretending she's got what it takes to be a legitimate candidate for national office.  She doesn't.  Here's another reason why:  what you see is not what you get. 

* * * 

People in Alaska who have watched Palin make her moves since high school speak of the disconnect between the person she appears to be and who she actually is.  That's true of many politicians, of course, but with Palin it's almost pathalogical.  Here are  just a few of the anomolies in her biography:

  • She has been an active member of two fundamentalist churches.  To become mayor of Wasila she played the fundamentalist card to the hilt.  Made it a part of her campaign rhetoric - she was out to create a "godly" town.  Her run in with the local librarian was connected to this.  Tried to get her to remove "questionable" books.  When she refused Palin tried to fire her.  The only reason she didn't succeed is because towns people protested.  She was Mrs. Fundamentalist then.  But when she ran for governor, suddenly she was fundamentalist no longer.  Why?  Because she couldn't get elected with a fundamentalist agenda.  Now she declares herself to be a generic Christian.  In other words, don't ask, don't tell.  

         So who is she?  Fundamentalist?  Or not?  

  • She likes to portray herself as a maverick opposed to the "old boy" network.  Yet, those who know her best point out that she has played "old boy" politics to the hilt, firing people she doesn't like and replacing them with people she does, whether they're qualified or not.  With Sarah Palin it's an extreme form of political patronage.  

         So who is she?  Maverick politician or Boss Tweed in a skirt?

  • Palin loves also to portray herself as an opponent of ear marks and socialism.  In point of  fact she loves both.  It's what has made her such a popular governor.   Whatever the oild companies or tax payers in the lower 48 can do to help her buy her way into Alaskans' good graces she'll do.  

          So again, who is she?  Maverick cost cutter or hands-in-our-pockets           socialist?  The later is closer to the truth.  

    I'll say it again:  Sarah Palin is a hypocrite of the highest order.   With her you never know what you're getting.  Hardly the kind of person we need anywhere near the White House.    


Friday, October 31, 2008

Countdown to Election Day: Six Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Not Qualified to be VP (part 4)

Reason Number Three: She Speaks without Understanding 

Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan, wanted Palin to succeed.  She had hoped that she would be a woman of substance, someone who could be an asset to the McCain ticket.  What she discovered after seeing her on a national stage was less substance than symbol, a person who "just says things" without the kind of understanding you would hope for in a candidate for high office. 

Noonan represents an interesting phenomenon: conservative columnists, often women, who have become Palin's harshest critics.  It's a phenomenon driven by a deep sense of disappointment that of all the highly qualified female candidates McCain could have chosen, he chose a woman of such little substance. 

Here's Noonan's devastating critique:


From the Wall Street Journal:

We have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite—a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—"palling around with terrorists." If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts. . . . 

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.


A Halloween Horror Story

Here's a horror story to scare the little trick or treaters tonight.

Sarah Palin, a heart beat from the presidency

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dress Like Sarah Palin: What Could You Buy with Sarah's Clothing Budget?

This one is just for fun, but thoughtful at the same time.

Let's start with the facts. Verifiable, undeniable facts. Sarah Palin spent $150,000 on clothing and accessories for herself and her family. No one forced her to do this. She did it because she could.

The question is, what could you do with that money, money that represents more than an average American family would spend on clothes IN 80 YEARS!

To play the game - click on the picture:

Countdown to Election Day: What We Have Learned About Sarah Palin (part 3)

Top Six Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Not Qualified to be Vice President (much less president!)
Reason Number Four: She is a serial hypocrite. She can't be trusted.

The word "hypocrisy" comes easily to mind in reviewing what we've learned about Sarah Palin so far. It may be what is most definitive about her.

Here are a few examples:
  • Yesterday she launched into a tirade against Obama's supposed inability to meet a security threat, this, the most calming, thoughtful, steady-in-a-storm presidential candidate we've had for a long time.

And who is she? She is a person who touted her national security credentials on the basis of being governor of a state that borders Russia. Never actually met anyone from Russia. But there they are, right next door! She also went to the airport to send off a national guard contingent heading for Iraq. That qualifies her for "commander in chief."

America at crisis with Sarah Palin in the White House (horrors!) may signal the end of the free world. But we can't trust Obama . . .

  • She derides Obama (wrongly - as is true with most all of her accusations) of being a "socialist," when, in fact, she presides over the most socialist state economy in our country. But don't take my word for it. You can read it on Fox News: LINK.

The only truly socialist governor in our country attacks Obama for a socialism he has never espoused.

  • She touts her qualifications as a crusader against pork. But those who have watched her astonishing rise from small town mayor to governor of a small state, note that she has had her hand out for pork from the beginning. It's one reason she's been so popular. And then there's that bridge she was for before she was against.
She is against ear-marks except when she is for them.

Sarah Palin is a hypocrite. She cannot be trusted.

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