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It’s time to stop pretending that Antifa is the only bunch of violent actors in the DFL or the Democratic Party. I’m not disputing that Antifa and anarchist organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party don’t pose a threat to conservative politicians. I’m simply arguing that violent behavior on the left isn’t confined to anarchists and Antifa. This LTE highlights the left’s violent (and frightening) behavior:

To the editor:

Has the radical socialist left become unhinged? The latest incidents include reprehensible threats of harm against the children of Republican officeholders. Our own U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis has received threats of violence against his daughters. The threats of harm to his daughters necessitated a call to the Capitol Police.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York, also received threats of violence against his daughters. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida, was threatened by a man who said he would kill Mast’s children. Fortunately, police were able to arrest the man.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, “suggested” to her followers they verbally attack members of the White House staff and other conservatives — even when they are in a restaurant enjoying a meal!

Locally, Republican state Rep. Drew Christensen has had a campaign sign set afire and others slashed. I point out again that all these threats are made against Republicans. My resolve has thus been strengthened and I will proudly support Jason Lewis and Drew Christensen.

The latest smear against Jason Lewis for comments he made on his radio show decades ago is appalling. He was hired to be provocative and had the right of freedom of speech, the same right that liberals attempt to take away from anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

That’s before talking about the lunatic Bernie supporter who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise last summer in Virginia. That’s before talking about the ‘comedian’ who accused Sarah Huckabee-Sanders of being a traitor of women.

People that violent aren’t capable of making rational decisions. Putting them back in power would be a terrible mistake. Giving in to the left’s violence will only embolden them. BTW, this isn’t the first time violent lefties have threatened Rep. Lewis’s family. Check this out:

This isn’t the Democratic Party of Paul Wellstone. In fact, I’m betting that most of these lefties don’t even know that Wellstone often was a guest on Lewis’s show, where they frequently debated issues. Sen. Wellstone loved discussing issues. These violent Democrat thugs aren’t interested in discussing issues. These Democrat thugs are mostly interested in shutting down debate while stirring up violence. It’s time for people of all political stripes to criticize this growing faction of Democrat thugs.

I just got off the phone with Mitch Berg, who told me that Erin Murphy has picked Erin Maye Quade to be the Lt. Gov. candidate on her ticket. I told Mitch that nothing says geographical and ideological balance like a pair of gun-grabbing Metrocrats that hate mining. BTW, you’ll want to read Mitch’s upcoming post to hear his perspective on this. Trust me when I tell you that he’s got a perspective that you won’t hear from the Twin Cities media.

Here’s a little background on EMQ: “Quade first rose to prominence in speaking out on sexual harassment at the State Capitol — a #MeToo movement that ultimately led to the resignation of two prominent state legislators. Quade also led a 24-hour sit-in on the floor of the State Capitol in April, calling for a vote on several gun control bills before the session’s end. Quade is the first openly LGBT candidate for statewide office on a ticket endorsed by a major party. At 32, she would also be one of the youngest people to serve in the office.”

In her first gubernatorial-level decision, Murphy failed miserably. The Lt. Gov. must be able to step in as governor if, God forbid, something happens to the governor. Erin Maye Quade fails that test:

Maye Quade is serving her first term in the House and previously worked for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison doing constituent services and organizing for DFL campaigns. She is a lifelong resident of Apple Valley, where she lives with her wife, Alyse, who also organizes for the DFL Party.

Basically, she’s a high profile activist. What’s funny is that Murphy doesn’t admit that this ticket won’t be well-received outside the Twin Cities metro:


Here’s the thing: Erin Murphy hates farmers almost as much as she hates miners, loggers and gun owners. The thought that Murphy and Quade will appeal to more than 12% of rural voters statewide is ridiculous. I’ve got to think that the NRA is chomping at the bit to go after this ticket. In the Eighth, I’m betting that there are tons of DFLers that can’t wait to vote against this ticket. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they vote for one of the GOP tickets.

Ken Martin won’t admit it but he’s got to be afraid of what this ticket would do to the DFL this November.

Minutes after Tim Walz withdrew from the endorsement fight, the DFL endorsed Erin Murphy to be their gubernatorial candidate.

This was an event-filled, tumultuous, convention. The first shock happened when unknown Matt Pelikan trailed DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson by just 5 points, with Swanson at 52.2% and Pelikan at 47.2% of the vote. Before they started the second ballot, Swanson pulled out, handing the endorsement to Pelikan. When Erin Murphy won the endorsement after Tim Walz withdrew from the endorsement race, rumors started swirling that Swanson might jump into the DFL gubernatorial primary instead of fighting through the DFL AG primary.

Meanwhile, another rumor has it that Ryan Winkler will run in the DFL AG primary if Swanson opts for the DFL gubernatorial primary. If AG Swanson runs in the AG’s primary, she’d probably win. If she runs in the gubernatorial primary, her chances of winning drop significantly. In both instances, though, her chances of winning the general election aren’t that great, though they’d be better if she ran for AG.

As for Murphy’s chances, they aren’t good. If she defeats Tim Walz, she’ll only do so by running far to Walz’s left. Single-payer health care isn’t popular in Minnesota. People didn’t trust MNsure. They definitely won’t trust single-payer. Further, it’s quite possible that she’ll lose to Tim Walz while pushing him farther left than Walz can afford to go to win the general election.

Murphy’s victory makes life difficult for Chairman Martin because it’s dragging the supposed frontrunner farther left than Martin wanted. Next, whoever wins will have gotten dragged so far left that it’ll be virtually impossible to win in November, mostly because Murphy is a hostile environmental activist. To win, she’ll have to alienate miners and union construction workers like pipefitters. Think heavy equipment operators, too.

This isn’t the script the DFL wanted written at convention-end. Most likely, they’ll have primaries in Tina Smith’s seat, the open Nolan seat, the possibly open State AG seat and the governor’s race. It’s the exact opposite of what Chairman Martin hoped for.

Finally, this situation virtually guarantees a Republican governor in November. Add to that the likelihood of Republicans winning the auditor’s race and the definite possibility of Republicans winning the AG race, coupled with the strong likelihood of maintaining their majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate and you’re looking at a pretty difficult year if you’re Chairman Martin. That’s before mentioning the likelihood of winning the First and Eighth U.S. Congressional districts.

This year, Minnesota has none of the makings of a blue wave.

Prior to Saturday’s DFL Convention, I thought that the DFL’s best chance to hold a battleground congressional district was the Eighth District. Based on Saturday’s CD-8 DFL convention outcome, I won’t predict that anymore. Based on reports like this article, it sounds like the convention ended in discord.

Sam Brodey reports that “it’ll take an August primary to determine which of these Democrats earns the chance to compete in the general election, and that primary has the potential to showcase the party’s rifts on issues like mining and immigration, which were on full display at Saturday’s convention.”

One of the early casualties was Rep. Jason Metsa. Rep. Metsa got into the race late. Still, he might run in the DFL primary. Others sure to run in the DFL primary are Joe Radinovich, Leah Phifer and Michelle Lee. Each of those candidates have flaws.

For instance, Phifer is an environmentalist who worked for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That put her at odds with “members of the Latino DFL Caucus.” Rep. Radinovich was a one-term wonder from Aitkin before losing to Dale Lueck. After that defeat, Radinovich was Nolan’s campaign manager before becoming Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s chief of staff. When Nolan endorsed Radinovich after the 6th ballot, Frey held up a sign announcing Nolan’s endorsement.

Frey, who traveled to Duluth to work the floor for Radinovich, got on top of a chair with a hand-written sign broadcasting Nolan’s endorsement to the delegates. But ultimately, Nolan’s support was not enough for Radinovich to eclipse Phifer.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin addressed the convention:

Addressing delegates earlier in the afternoon, Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin urged delegates to unite behind a candidate. “If we come out of here divided, we’re not going to win,” he said.

It’s still to be decided whether the primary will split or unite the DFL but it can’t be denied that the DFL isn’t off to a good start of uniting the party. It can’t make Martin feel good that the candidates essentially ignored his exhortation to unite.

Looming large over the convention was a candidate who wasn’t even in the room: Republican Pete Stauber, who is a lock to earn the CD8 Republican Party endorsement. Democrats are concerned that a bitter and drawn-out primary will give Stauber time to raise money and consolidate support, boosting his campaign to win this seat in November.

National Republicans like Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner who formerly served with the Duluth Police Department, and they view CD8 as one of their best pick-up opportunities in the entire country. President Donald Trump won here by 15 points in 2016, and Republican candidates are making inroads in places like the Iron Range, which has been a DFL stronghold for the better part of the century. Nolan’s retirement, in the eyes of the GOP, only increased their chances of flipping CD8.

The biggest advantages of not getting primaried is that the opposition doesn’t get additional ammunition against the candidate, in this case, Mr. Stauber. The other advantage is the opportunity to open some deep philosophical differences. Mining is something that the DFL, especially Chairman Martin and Congressman Nolan, have worked hard at avoiding.

That’ll be difficult in the primary since Radinovich is from the ‘other’ Range, aka the Cuyuna Range. Meanwhile, Phifer is a diehard environmental activist. Those wings of the DFL mix together like the DLC wing and the MoveOn.org wing of the DNC.

At minimum, the DFL will spend this summer fighting and burning through cash while possibly dividing the party for both the congressional candidate and the gubernatorial candidate. If the DFL isn’t united this time, it will be a tough year for them up-and-down the ballot.

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Earlier this afternoon, Tim Pawlenty announced that he’s running for governor. Within hours, the DFL candidates and DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin had issued defensive-sounding statements.

For instance, Tim Walz, the supposed DFL frontrunner, issued a statement saying “Tim Pawlenty was a bad governor, and he’s not the leader Minnesota needs. When he was running the state, Tim Pawlenty made decisions that hurt working Minnesotans. Those decisions really hit home on the issues of health care, education, and infrastructure.”

DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin’s statement said “Minnesota needs a governor who will fight for everyday families. That’s not Tim Pawlenty. As governor, he deprived thousands of Minnesotans of affordable health care. He jeopardized our children’s education. He devastated our budget, and left roads and bridges across the state to crumble. From health care to education to infrastructure, Pawlenty failed our state. We need an honest leader who will fight to build a better Minnesota—not a Wall Street lobbyist who cares more about the wealthy than everyday families.”

With all due respect to Tim Walz, he isn’t a leader. Tim Walz is a pander bear. He’s one politician out of 435 politicians. He’s never had the responsibility of being the man before. He’s been a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi, nothing more. What’s worse is that he abandoned his allies the minute he started running statewide. This wasn’t a decision based on gathering new information, then making a principled change. When Tim Walz attacked the NRA, it was a purely political calculation.

As for Ken Martin, he’s fought hard to hide the DFL’s contempt for blue collar Iron Rangers. That’s why President Trump won the 8th district by 15 points. President Trump is fighting for the Iron Range while Ken Martin is fighting the working families of the Range.

Amidst all of the DFL’s angry words, Tim Pawlenty reintroduced himself to Minnesotans with this upbeat-but-realistic appraisal of Minnesota:

The DFL’s angry responses are telling. Is it because they know that their candidates are back-benchers compared to Tim Pawlenty?

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The DFL’s condescension for people came gushing through this week thanks to Vice President Pence’s visit to Minnesota. In advance of Vice President Pence’s visit, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issue this statement. In part, it said “While corporations will see their taxes cut by 40 percent, the plan increases taxes on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. And thanks to the bill, more than 700,000 Minnesotans are now limited in their ability to use the state and local tax deductions. Minnesotans know a scam when they see one, and the Republican tax bill is a bad deal for our state.”

First, saying that the Trump/GOP tax cuts raises taxes “on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans” is an extreme exaggeration. Everyone’s marginal tax rates dropped. The standard deduction increased dramatically. The per-child tax credit increased significantly.

It’s impossible for those things to be verifiably true at the same time Chairman Martin’s statement is true. Martin isn’t the only ‘extreme exaggerator’ in the DFL. This morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge said that Republicans were caught flat=footed with their messaging and that they’re now playing catch-up. Reichgott-Junge then said that all the chaos in the administration is getting in the way of people knowing that they got a tax cut.

This is typical DFL thinking. The DFL insists that people can’t recognize their bigger paychecks if the government doesn’t tell them that their checks are bigger. This is typical DFL condescension. What’s also typical of the DFL is voting against middle class tax cuts. DFL state legislators voted against state tax cuts before Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, Rick Nolan, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Chairman Martin said that “Mike Pence should return to Washington and join Democrats in fighting for a tax plan that puts everyday families first.” I’ve got a better idea. Chairman Martin should tell DFL legislators in DC and St. Paul to start voting for tax cuts rather than hoarding it for questionable DFL spending priorities and a multi-billion dollar rainy day fund. Chairman Martin should be honest for once and admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts have triggered billions of dollars in bonuses, higher wages and better benefits for literally millions of people across the nation.

In this post, I asked this question:

How long will this list get?

Since I asked that question, the list has gotten significantly longer.

While DFL activists think they’ve got the upper hand in the tax fight, the truth is that they’re playing catch-up and don’t know it. That’s because they’re willing to believe their press clippings.

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Anyone that thinks that the DFL is a smooth-running operation isn’t paying attention. The DFL doesn’t have a message. Most importantly, they don’t think highly of people who live in rural Minnesota. Recently, Chairman Ken Martin said “Our brand is [expletive deleted]. Our brand is toxic. People don’t know what the heck it is. If you got a hundred Democrats in this room right now, and ask them what the Democratic Party stands for, you’d get a hundred different answers. There’s no consistency. No one knows what the Democratic Party is.”

That’s because the DFL, like Democrats nationally, have a different message for each special interest group rather than having a unifying message for everyone in general. For instance, it’s impossible to please the environmentalists one minute, then please blue collar unions the next. The messages fit together like oil mixes with water or round pegs fit into square holes.

The other problem that the DFL has is their disdain for people. Recently, a DFL campaign staffer was quoted as saying “Just tell them the trailer-court story; they’re not big thinkers out there.” If you’ve never seen DFL elitism before, that’s what it looks like. You can’t win people’s hearts when you’re disgusted with them.

Why aren’t Range DFLers asking what they have in common with Metro DFL environmentalists? Why haven’t Rangers figured it out that they have much more in common with the GOP? Republicans should exploit the divisions within the DFL. These aren’t microscopic differences. These are gigantic philosophical divisions.

For the entire Obama administration, the DFL locally, and Democrats nationally, hasn’t had a unifying message. They’ve held the tribes together with mirrors. With Trump ushering in a new generation of prosperity, Republicans can run on the unifying message of putting pro-growth policies in place that benefit everyone.

Ken Martin has lots of reasons to be worried about the DFL this fall. By then, the economy will be humming. People will be able to compare Trump’s economy with Obama’s economy and Dayton’s economy. That isn’t a fair fight. The Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate should make economic growth throughout the state the centerpiece of their campaign. Any campaign staffer or consultant that isn’t singing from that hymnal should be immediately fired.

Republicans at all levels should highlight the fact that they’re hoping that everyone in all 87 counties will benefit from their policies. That doesn’t mean redistribution or socialism. It means pro-growth policies that help everyone’s upward mobility.

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Salena Zito’s column picks apart Sen. Franken while exposing the Democrats’ weakness. First, it can’t help Sen. Franken’s ego if he read Ms. Zito say “His prominence in the Senate was pretty reflective of his previous life. There was a lot of noise, but according to research done by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, his home state newspaper, his legislative career was weak. Of Franken’s 141 pieces of legislation (85 bills, 47 amendments, and nine resolutions) none became law.”

For all of the things written by the Twin Cities media about Franken rolling up his sleeves and going to work, his legacy will be that he was a pervert without any consequential legislative accomplishments. It’ll be interesting to see how Franken’s protectorate will spin that. Later in the article, Ms. Zito wrote “Americans don’t just want members of Congress to be decent people, they also want them to actually do things that benefit them, their communities, and the country; what they don’t want is someone who solely uses their elected offices as a springboard to more power (it was the worst kept secret in Democratic circles that Franken was considering a run for president in 2020). In short, voters want their members of Congress to do something.”

When Democratic senators finally abandoned him this past Wednesday, they established a dangerous double-edged sword that they’ll be judged by. Matt Lewis’ article highlights the Democrats’ predicament:

Sen. Al Franken’s ouster Thursday was a necessary step in order to brand the Democratic Party as the “good” party, and to cast sexual abuse as a Republican problem. We know this because… they admit it. “This is a requirement to be able to look at [women] with a straight face and say we’re the party that cares about them,” Guy Cecil, who heads the liberal Priorities USA and previously served as executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Politico. “As long as Republicans don’t do that, there’s a very sharp contrast to be drawn.”

The thing is that this strategy won’t work if Democrats don’t live up to their lofty rhetoric. Frankly, it’s impossible for the Democrats to live up to their words.

Friday night on Almanac, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said “you can say whatever you want about the Democratic Party but we’re taking these things head-on because we believe we have to rise to a higher standard so that everyone else has to rise to a higher standard” before setting the bar too high when he said that the DFL “has a very zero-tolerance policy.” Perhaps, that’s why they immediately insisted on Franken’s resignation … after the eighth accuser came forward.

With all due respect, Chairman Martin, that’s spin, not truth. Let’s see the DFL live up to those standards before lecturing Republicans.

During Friday night’s interview on Almanac, Ken Martin did his best to put Jennifer Carnahan on the defensive on the issue of sexual harassment. During the interview, Chairman Martin insisted that the DFL was into due process. Martin seemed to explain that’s why they initially insisted that Franken subject himself to an Ethics Committee investigation. The problem with Chairman Martin’s story is that the DFL understood that the Senate Ethics Committee “is where serious allegations go to die.”

Further, Chairman Martin repeatedly accused Republicans of waiting forever before calling for Rep. Tony Cornish’s resignation. That’s BS. Chairman Martin said “you can say whatever you want about the Democratic Party but we’re taking these things head-on because we believe we have to rise to a higher standard so that everyone else has to rise to a higher standard.”

Chairman Martin, that higher standard that you’re talking about, does that include waiting until the eighth woman accuses Sen. Franken of grabbing her breast before you call for him to resign? I ask because that’s the truth. Prior to that, the DFL’s position was that Sen. Franken submit to an Ethics Committee investigation. If that’s the DFL standard, I’m certain I wouldn’t call that holding the DFL to a high standard. I’d call that pretty lenient, actually.

Shortly after peddling that garbage, Eric Eskola asked Chairman Martin “Would things have changed for Senate Democrats’ thought on this if Minnesota had a Republican governor who would have picked a Republican to replace Sen. Franken?” Chairman Martin replied “Not for me. As Cathy just said, I’m getting beat up by it but I’m not going to back down. We have a zero tolerance policy. I believe those women who’ve come forward and I think it’s our responsibility to do that so women feel safe to come forward to tell their stories.”

What a bunch of BS. Letting eight women accuse Sen. Franken of kissing them unwantedly or putting his hand on their butt or on their breasts isn’t a zero-tolerance policy. I’d argue that that’s exceptionally lenient. Later, Chairman Martin insisted that the DFL “has a very zero-tolerance policy” that they work hard to uphold.

As for Sen. Franken’s resignation, good riddance. As for Chairman Martin, it isn’t like we didn’t know that he’s a world class spinmeister.

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This article highlights the thinking of the anti-mining special interests. It also highlights the attempts by the DFL to distance themselves from the dominant wing of the DFL.

First, the article quoted Becky Rom’s and Reid Carron’s disparaging quotes about the mining industry. Carron is quoted as saying “Resentment is the primary driver of the pro-mining crowd here. They are resentful that other people have come here and been successful while they were sitting around waiting for a big mining company. They want somebody to just give them a job so they can all drink beer with their buddies and go four-wheeling and snowmobiling with their buddies, not have to think about anything except punching a clock.” Meanwhile, Rom is quoted as saying that “Ely council member and mining advocate Dan Forsman ‘drives to the mine in his truck, comes home and watches TV, and he doesn’t know this world exists,’ referring to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.”

Thanks to social media (and websites like LFR), their comments went viral. One of the first to react was “Jason George, political and special projects director for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, [who] said ‘it disgusts me. There is no other way to put it. In my opinion, and in my experience sitting through public hearing after public hearing listening to environmental activists dismiss and belittle construction jobs, the sentiments expressed by Rom and Carron very accurately reflect the way most anti-mining, anti-pipeline, and anti-development groups really feel about the hardworking people of northern Minnesota. Minnesota’s blue-collar workers, the men and women I am proud to fight for, deserve better.'”

Mike Kinsley once infamously said that a gaffe is when you accidentally tell the truth. That’s what happened here. Carron and Rom made the mistake of saying what they truly felt to a magazine reporter from New York. They never thought Minnesotans would hear their statements. Here’s the guilty (married) couple:

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, in his attempt to keep the DFL together, embarrassed himself:

Amid an intraparty battle between pro-mining union members and environmental interests that have stepped up opposition to copper-nickel projects, Martin said “These judgmental comments wrongfully disparage thousands of hard-working Minnesotans. There’s no question that the issue of mining in northern Minnesota is a contentious one. But there’s no room in the debate for sharp-tongued attacks on Minnesotans who work hard every day to provide for their families and support our state’s economy. Here in Minnesota, we value civility. We treat each other with respect. We must keep this debate healthy, productive, and focused on the issue at hand. Because at the end of the day, we all want the same thing: a better life for our family and a brighter future for our state.”

That’s outright BS. Mining isn’t a contentious issue. I’ll stipulate that it’s a complicated issue for the DFL but that’s only because they’re too spineless to stand up to the dominant anti-mining wing of the DFL. If Martin had a spine, he would’ve forcefully criticized Rom for saying that “anti-mining forces would gain an advantage ‘one funeral at a time.'”

The Bible says that you “can’t serve two masters.” That’s what Martin is attempting to do. Using a different metaphor, he’s trying to mix oil with water. Good luck with that.

In an apology released to a Duluth television station and later sent to the Echo, Rom and Carron wrote that Carron’s was “disrespectful and untrue.” “First and most important, the statement is untrue with respect to the thousands of people across northeastern Minnesota who work hard every day and who believe that developing copper mines will provide worthwhile economic opportunities for them, for people they care about, and for our communities,” they wrote. “We respect people who get up at 4:30 am to drive to work in Minnesota’s taconite mines. Second, the statement is untrue because it does not reflect what we think. Living in the Ely community, we depend on people all the time who we know hold a different view than we do on whether copper mining would be a good thing. When we do business with them, they are helpful and generous, and we treat each other with mutual respect.

“For Reid to say that people like that are sitting around waiting for a big mining company to give them a job or Becky to question if Dan Forsman has been into the Boundary Waters is disrespectful. We apologize for these statements.”

I don’t trust this apology. Why trust someone that’s lied to newspapers about how they tried to secretly sabotage an entire industry?

Finally, check out this quote:

“Reid Carron’s description of people who support copper-nickel mining is nothing short of disgusting,” said Paul Austin, executive director of Conservation Minnesota. “This is an important conversation that requires each of us to work to understand each other’s perspectives on the issue so we can reach a positive resolution. There is no place for demeaning fellow Minnesotans.”

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