Monday Morning Open Thread: Rootless Ex-Cosmopolitans Eroding the Old Ways

I owe somebody a hat tip for this…

Strange days… Per the NYTimes, those snowbird retirees and cheap-housing refugees who’ve been blamed for turning areas in New Hampshire and Maryland from red to purple, or even blue, may also be responsible for screwing up Eric Cantor’s and Thad Cochran’s “solid (Confederate) South” from the reactionary end of the political spectrum:

… [T]he growth fueled by a migration of newcomers from other parts of the country and even abroad is bringing nationalized politics to races further down the ballot. It was these new arrivals, more than any other voters, who most crucially rejected two influential Republican incumbents — the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi — in primaries this month, upending long-held assumptions about the appeal of traditional levers of power.

In the newly built communities of DeSoto County in Mississippi, and the fast-growing precincts in such metropolitan Richmond counties as Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield — what could be called the Chick-fil-A belt — the conservative challengers to the two incumbents led by overwhelming margins…

For all the talk about how partisan polarization is overwhelming Washington, there is another powerful, overlapping force at play: Voters who are not deeply rooted increasingly view politics through a generic national lens.

Friends-&-neighbors elections were already a thing of the past in congressional campaigns. But the axiom that “all politics is local” is increasingly anachronistic when ever-larger numbers of voters have little awareness of what incumbents did for their community in years past and are becoming as informed by cable television, talk radio and the Internet as by local sources of news. In this year’s primaries, the trend is lifting hard-liners, but it has benefited more moderate candidates in general elections….

In a rich historical turnabout, two states once ruled by native-born elites notorious for keeping voter participation low among poor whites and blacks have seen their politics sharply altered this year, in part because of surprisingly high turnout by transplants…

“We have a mobile population and its movement to the Sun Belt is making that region both more conservative and more moderate,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.


Apart from not-lamenting the all-too-slow erosion of the authoritarian privilege of the Magnolia Belt barons, what’s on the agenda for the start of another week?

80 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Seems like a dumb article.

  2. 2
    Baud says:


    That was my reaction from the excerpt.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    Does it?

    It’s conventional wisdom at this point that Republicans from every last corner of the country are expected to sound like old Southern Democrats no matter how moderate their electorates are – because the hardcore of 27%ers in pretty much every last district thinks that way, no matter how out of step they are with their neighbors, and won’t allow anyone else to make it through the primary. (See also “I am not a witch”). The fact that that party reacts to national rather than local concerns seems to be pretty well established.

    Less so the Democratic Party, but the Democrats have always been a far more diverse and argumentative group pretty much no matter where they are.

    Not convinced that it explains Cantor’s collapse (the simple explanation of “he took his voters for granted” makes sense to me), though.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @Chris: Does it what?

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    I clicked expecting to see Bobo’s byline – that was his level of stupid, point-missing, conventional wisdom building, bullshit right there. Pathetic.

    Spent the weekend celebrating 40 years of wedded bliss. Nothing went the way it was planned but we had a good time, you do learn to roll with the punches after that many years. Its back to the salt mines today.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    Ukraine crisis: Russia halts gas supplies to Kiev.

  7. 7
    Chris says:


    Seem like a dumb article. Like I said, the excerpt sounded like conventional wisdom to me.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @Chris: gotcha

  9. 9
    Robert Waldmann says:

    My Lil’ sister lives in once red Frederick Maryland. Her perception is that it is still red. She says she doesn’t quite remember the name that came before the (D) in the last congressional election, but she thinks she voted for Gerold Mander.

    I think you will find that red to purple Maryland districts are dark brown on the Gerrymap

  10. 10
    another Holocene human says:

    @raven: Like a child paying monopoly throwing a tantrum.

  11. 11

    “the Chick-fil-A belt”??? God I hate it when the pundits get creative.

    Well, in some parts of Tennessee, people are deeply attached to their enduring myths about the world. Maybe we need some fresh blood? Y’all come! Lots of RW wackadoodle, but on the upside, low taxes and it’s cheap to live here!

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Robert Waldmann: Thanx for that link, very interesting.

  13. 13
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I understand the premise here: a mobile population tends to be less bound to the ways of wherever they move to. But I don’t understand how it can make politics both more conservative and more moderate at the same time. Does he mean in different places it’s different?

  14. 14
    SteveinSC says:

    Stupid article. I lived in s.e. Virginia for over 40 years and the reason Asshole-of-the-Year Cantor didn’t win, is the redneck crowd in Hanricuh (as it is pronounced) County et al. suspected him of not being a genuine Asshole.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I think he means, “I want it both ways. That way I am always right.”

  16. 16
    WereBear says:

    I know my local rag has a breathtaking range of opinions in it, from George Will to Rush Limbaugh. Any news source that breaks the seal on that can only be good news.

  17. 17
    Eric U. says:

    the tea partiers simultaneously hate earmarks and want to know where their federal dollars are. They also want smaller government combined with responsive government. The new breed of Republican politician doesn’t really understand that selfishness always trumps ideology.

  18. 18
    gvg says:

    Maybe if the transplants voted in the dem primary instead of the repub. one? I really don’t find this convincing but I guess it’s possible.

  19. 19
    Brendan in NC says:

    @Schlemizel: The establishment Republicans are field testing the reasons they’re getting their lunch money stolen from the right of them. Because it couldn’t possibly be their ideas; or their tacit support of the very people who’ve now turned on them.

    PS – Happy Anniversary! In 3 weeks, we’re celebrating my parents’ 50th Anniversary…

  20. 20
    Keith G says:

    Friends-&-neighbors elections were already a thing of the past in congressional campaigns. But the axiom that “all politics is local” is increasingly anachronistic when ever-larger numbers of voters have little awareness of what incumbents did for their community in years past and are becoming as informed by cable television, talk radio and the Internet as by local sources of news

    I work with an age cohort significant younger than I am. Their attachment to local news is minor. As often as not, television is only for watching sports and other big events and even if they were to watch the local news, ongoing coverage of local government and politics is almost nil. Their news is discovered while they are online in route to other things.

    In this environment, national messaging has an important impact. It’s not that the first opinion heard (or the one repeated the most) always wins, but it often defines the debate and has and out-sized impact on the process.

    Edited to fix quote block

  21. 21
    C.V. Danes says:

    Seems like a good strategy to combat gerrymandering is to encourage Democrats to relocate to Republican dominated districts.

  22. 22
    Cervantes says:

    There’s this:

    I am a 47 year-old financially and professionally secure woman in a stable, loving relationship and it took 25 years and your jackass column to get me to speak up about my rape.

    No longer can I truthfully say that George Will is utterly, entirely, eternally useless.

  23. 23

    Here’s a transcript of the conversation between a few police and a (drunk, ignorant, fearful, revolution-spouting) Second Amendment Man here in Kalamazoo:

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Hillary Rettig: One of these guys is going to get himself killed this way.

  25. 25
    RedKitten says:

    @Cervantes: He’s worse than useless. Useless implies that he’s somehow benign. His kind of willful ignorance and misogyny is FAR from benign.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Great work by the officers. If the dude was a brother. . . ?

  27. 27
    Cervantes says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Thanks.

    That debate, hair-raising as it must have been for various people there, was still more intelligent and aware than anything Scalia and company have said on this subject down in DC.

  28. 28
    Cervantes says:

    @RedKitten: I disagree with you that “useless” implies “benign.”

    Cf. our nuclear arsenal, for example.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I hope this story makes the national news. It’s due for discussion.

    And I hope the police are taking a very good look at whether Mr. Houseman should be allowed to own an arsenal. He may be mentally unbalanced, or in the early stages of dementia. The drunk in public does not help either.

    Cops did a great job.

    Am sure the recent Las Vegas case was on their minds: anti-government gun nut and wife decide to murder police and public servants. Too much of this out there.

  30. 30
    currants says:

    @Cervantes: Powerful letter, that.

  31. 31
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Holy crap. The scariest thing is they gave the gun back to that lunatic the next day.

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @currants: How is it that George Will can still show his face in public?

    It’s mind-boggling.

    Or it should be.

  33. 33
    Cervantes says:


    If the dude was a brother. . . ?

    Sixty-four-thousand-dollar question.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    And I love your comment on the newspaper site.

    Here’s the discussion:

    commenter Elizabeth Bentley: Every time I see an open carry individual, I get a vision of individual who thinks and acts like Mr. Houseman. He’s the poster boy for open carry.

    commenter mirights: That is the problem. I have seen many people open carry and none of them have ever acted like Houseman. Same problem in any movement. The fringe element always gets the most attention.

    commenter Hillary Rettig: Yes, but only in one movement is the whole point to carry a murderous weapon.

    commenter Proud2BCentrist: Ya, delusional thinking Hillary. The gun does not commit the murder. It’s the person behind a piece of steel.

    So “Centrist” is fine with a belligerent drunk waddling around with an assault rifle (which was found to be unloaded, but how would you know that)?

  35. 35

    @Eric U.:

    selfishness always trumps ideology.

    I disagree on that. Ideology often, even usually trumps selfishness. The difference here is that small government and state’s rights aren’t ideologies, they’re slogans. What these people believe in is fucking over the weak and especially blacks, and they are quite willing to fuck themselves over if that’s what it takes.

    The rich people’s version is ‘I’m better than you dumb, lazy serfs and should get to do whatever I want, wah!’ They can use the same slogans to make that sound socially acceptable.

  36. 36
    currants says:

    @Cervantes: Guess that’s what “privilege” looks like. Often looks like ignorance to me, but what do I know?

  37. 37
    gene108 says:


    We’ve jumped the shark on guns.

    We’re now in the “guns make everything better” mindset.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:


    I think we’re going to see some pushback for better gun legislation. Mr. Houseman performed a public service by demonstrating what the cops are dealing with, and how they are hamstrung by “gun rights.”

    Would this have been handled differently if Mr. Houseman was near an elementary school? He was armed, drunk, grabbing his genitals, cursing, and militant about his “rights” and his anti-government screed.

    Mr. Houseman feels that he is losing HIS rights.

  39. 39
    Chris says:


    commenter Proud2BCentrist: Ya, delusional thinking Hillary. The gun does not commit the murder. It’s the person behind a piece of steel.

    I’ve always found it odd that this excuse doesn’t apply to nonproliferation.

    Why can’t every country have a nuke? Nukes don’t kill people. People kill people.

  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: You may be right: If anything can move the needle on guns, it will be overreach by idiots like Houseman and the poltroons of Open Carry Texas, Come & Take It, et al. Even the NRA realizes this, which is why they accidentally spoke the truth to the latter batch of morons (before they had to walk it back).

  41. 41
    Joey Maloney says:

    I lived in DeSoto County MS from the early nineties to the early oughties. The population of my town grew tenfold in that period, almost all the growth white-flight douchebags (of all economic levels, housing from crackerboxes to ridiculous golf-course McMansions) from Memphis. Megachurges have sprung up like chancres.

    In both the 2008 and 2010 elections, the votes from DeSoto alone provided the Republican margin of victory in several MS statewide races.

  42. 42

    @Betty Cracker:
    I still don’t think this is possible. Republicans who theoretically would like guns more restricted will vote fanatically to remove gun restrictions. That it’s a conservative vs. liberal issue is much more important to them. Nothing will change until they lose hope or get too weak. Then everything will change at once.

    I would really like to be wrong!

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:


    Why can’t every country have a nuke? Nukes don’t kill people. People kill people.

    Our Bill of Rights does not extend to other countries, that’s why.

    As for Mr. Houseman, please do not give him additional good ideas.

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Maybe not in our lifetimes, but possibly in the future as the country gets more diverse and urban. You’re right to note it’s a liberal vs. conservative touchstone, but it’s also an urban vs. rural issue.

  45. 45
    Cervantes says:


    Guess that’s what “privilege” looks like.

    An excellent point, thanks.

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Joey Maloney: “Megachurges have sprung up like chancres” — I might have to steal that! I had zero use for evangelical fundamentalists even before they went Walmart on us!

    On the other hand, Northern transplants and immigrants from the Caribbean and South and Central America are the only reason Florida isn’t as red as Georgia or Alabama. Changing demographics can cut both ways, praise Jeebus!

  47. 47
    flukebucket says:

    Just wanted to be sure everybody had read the latest from the Stonekettle guy. Damn he is good.

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:


    Our Bill of Rights does not extend to other countries, that’s why.

    No, it isn’t the people who argue “The Constitution says that this stupid policy is the law of the land, and I like the stupid policy, so I’m going to defend it” that are being talked about here. It’s the people who argue that the stupid policy of everyone having a gun is actually the best policy because it makes us all safer.

    If that’s true, then every country on the planet should have a few nukes to not throw around. It would only make the world safer after all. The Bill of Rights doesn’t enter into it.

  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    @flukebucket: Excellent. Thanks for sharing the link.

  50. 50
    Randy P says:

    @Elizabelle: I was pleasantly surprised to read in the article that there is a local ordinance against open carry while drunk. Gasp! You mean a RESTRICTION on second amendment rights? Do the gun nuts know about that?

    Is it possible that we might get them to accept the concept of this type of restriction as being permissible even under their Constitution and that would be a chink in the armor of “no restrictions, of any kind, against any weapon or ammo ever”? Especially since this law ALREADY IS ON THE BOOKS?

    Or barring that maybe we could get the NRA all riled up to defend drunken gun-brandishing. That could work out the same way.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:


    Stonekettle post is worth every moment spent with it.

    Think I’ll have to bingeread some of the archives.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @NonyNony: Did you also think I meant literally that Houseman’s afternoon stroll was a good idea?

  53. 53
    Cervantes says:

    @flukebucket: Thanks.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think we will see pushback on “gun rights” in our lifetimes. It’s obviously become a public health issue, and too many of these “gun rights” radicals are turning against the police and authorities. Symbols of tyranny.

    It’s going from incendiary rhetoric (on Fox News and other rightwing outlets) to actual cop murders.

  55. 55

    I think we’ll see change, I just don’t think we’ll see it because opinions are changing. We’ll see change because conservatives will lose enough power that all kinds of liberal causes will advance in a jump.

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:


    Yes, if only there was a way to hold Faux Noise responsible for causing the Cop murders! Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock, specifically!

  57. 57
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    We need to stop talking about whether guns or people kill people and say it’s people-with-guns, which is a whole different entity.

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:


    It’s obviously become a public health issue, and too many of these “gun rights” radicals are turning against the police and authorities.

    How many police officers are members of the NRA?

    The NRA claims a number in excess of ten thousand. According to some people, the number exceeds half a million if you count former police officers.

    I do not have a reliable independent estimate — but reporter Josh Harkinson offered some thoughts on the whole subject in Mother Jones last year. (I think it was last year. Holler if you look for the article and cannot find it.)

  59. 59
    Mike in NC says:

    @flukebucket: Mitt Romney is officially the Worst Person in the World. Not a new development, as he’s always been a sniveling, hypocritical coward and scumbag.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Tennessee GOP Aim To Unseat 3 Supreme Court Justices – all because they were initially appointed by Dem Gov.

    Three justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court are facing an election-year attack, not for any particular decision they have authored or even for any unpopular opinion they have espoused. No, in an ugly campaign in Tennessee that appears to be getting ever uglier, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, who is also the state’s lieutenant governor, is attempting to oust three state Supreme Court justices in their Aug. 7 retention elections, chiefly for the judicial outrage of having been appointed to the high court by a Democrat. Under Tennessee law, the governor appoints Supreme Court justices, and then they come up for retention elections every eight years thereafter. This is a pretty common set-up in states that elect their justices.

    Knocking off a state supreme court justice is one of the cheapest political endeavors going.

    Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed justices Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark, and Sharon Lee to the high court. They are all up for retention in two months and Ramsey, seemingly unable to get past the first few entries in the “Stock Campaign Insults” dictionary, has mounted a statewide assault targeting the three as “soft on crime” and “anti-business.” As the Shreveport Times notes, Ramsey is going after the three jurists “despite the fact that the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission that Ramsey helped to appoint found them qualified to retain their posts.” Ramsey is a member of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has a history of targeting judicial races across the country and calls the Tennessee race “high on our radar.”

  61. 61

    Isn’t Jonathan Martin ex-Politico? This is the kind of drivel MSM journalists peddle, its lot of words with hardly any substance.

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @Cervantes: Here is the aforementioned Harkinson article.

  63. 63
    Liberty60 says:

    I’m done accepting the framing of open cary in terms of statistics, data points or cool detached logic.
    This notion that they are pushing, that the world we live in is so dangerous, so chaotic, that it is sensible and reasonable to carry a gun into restaurants and churches, is so detached from reality, so unsupported by any shred of reason, that it can only be described as madness.

    I won’t even grant them the dignity of a “civil” debate, or the respect that is accorded a differing opinion.

    Its their conception of reality that I refuse to accept. I don’t live in a world where I need to lay down suppressing fire when I go up to the altar for Communion, I don’t live in a world where the salad bar (at Applebee’s) is hit with sniper fire, or Burger King is shelled with mortars.

    Legislation is a good tool, but so also is social shunning and ostracism. These people and their enablers be made to feel shame and embarrassment.

  64. 64
    Libby's person says:

    Anne Laurie, thanks for the video. It made me smile on a grumpy Monday morning, and gave me the kick I needed to drive to Raleigh this afternoon to attend today’s Moral Monday protest. Got to stand up and be counted.

  65. 65
    marianne19 says:

    Folks who leave Massachusetts for cheap housing and/or lower taxes make the border counties more RED not more purple. They consistently vote for lower taxes above all else. Concord, the capital is Blue. Nashua and Salem suburbs of Boston on the borders are Red,

  66. 66
    Betsy says:

    THANK YOU Anne Laurie for posting that. I put the link up in the “Feed Kay” thread
    but maybe others have sent the link too.

    It is clever, isn’t it??

    PS Ignore the NY Times. It’s the *local* “little people” rising up.

    Frankly, a lot of the new voters who move here are Republicans, from New Jersey and beyond, who are actively trying to re-segregate our schools.

    Similarly, the top yahoo politicians doing the real damage are not from N.C., but came here from northern / mid-atlantic states.

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    RIP Tony Gwynn, dead of cancer at age 54. Watching him play, and watching the evident joy he took from playing, was a big part of what made being a baseball fan worthwhile in the 1980s and 1990s.

  68. 68
    cermet says:

    I notice in the Video a pig videoing recording the crowd – yes, this crowd is sooo dangerous that you, a worthless, ass licking pile of pig shit, must get images of them for exactly what reason? These are the very people you, who are nothing but just a low pile of pig shit, are supposed to serve. It is ridiculous how what once were people who served the community are now just a heard of pigs only serving the power elites – this is sick since we the average citizen pay their salaries. I see why some extremist do consider these pigs the real enemy – which they really aren’t but I see why, as the enforcers of the 0.001%, they are viewed that way; worse, these piles of pig shit enjoy licking the ass of the power elite for the slop thrown their way … sick.

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:


    1968 called. It wants its cliches back.

  70. 70
    Betsy says:

    @cermet: they videoed the arrests as part of the evidence for court, because of the tremendous number of arrests occurring weekly.
    (a total of over 900 arrests last year)

    Actually the demonstrators and the police (we do not call them pigs here) have had quite respectful and decent interactions, thanks to the organizers and a lot of education that went on in advance.

    We in the Forward Together / Moral Monday movement do NOT like to demonize the law enforcement personnel, who after all are only doing their jobs.

    It is the wickedness of the politicians, not the public employees in the statehouse, that we seek to expose and transform.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    We have Chickenhawks and now Chickenshits. Wasn’t there a nursery rhyme were the little kid is afraid of his shadow? There are plenty about being scared of the monsters under the bed.
    I live in a fairly crappy relatively poor neighborhood, lots of industrial sites including a quarry within just a few blocks. And the worse thing I fear when walking a mile to the store is vicious dogs. I see lots of people walking and I don’t fear any of them or feel the need to arm myself. These are pants pissing, immature idiots.
    With guns.

  72. 72
    catclub says:

    @Joey Maloney: The signs for Thad say “Save our Jobs, Vote For Thad”

    I have no idea if they will work. Yes, I inserted a vote for McDaniel in the hope that Childers will have a chance against him. Childers would have zero chance against Thad. I am not sure I will vote in the runoff.

  73. 73
    catclub says:


    selfishness always trumps ideology.

    The Spurs would like a word!

  74. 74
    Visceral says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I think the answer is that ideology and selfishness are in practice the same thing; ideology only serves as the rational and/or moral disguise for “Me want! Give now!” The strongest argument for this is the way that everybody always assumes that their Big Idea – whatever it is or however they justify it – is going to work to their material advantage. Problems occur when people lose conscious sight of the real goal – themselves – and start taking the ideological BS at face value, eventually turning into dogmatists robotically parroting the same old formulas and imposing the same old cookie-cutter policies on every situation. Then they get exactly what they think they want, it blows up in their faces, and they don’t know why … so they either double down or lash out blindly at whatever nefarious powers simply must be thwarting them.

  75. 75
    Jebediah, RBG says:


    Great work by the officers. If the dude was a brother. . ?

    He’d be the deadest fucking guy in deadtown.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: It would give me great pleasure to be able to say you are wrong about that.

    :: crickets ::

  77. 77
    johnny aquitard says:


    The drunk in public does not help either.

    Fuck these armed teabaggers and their open-carry terrorism. Fuck these white rightwing terrorists.

    So much is rotten in this episode about the appeasement of our domestic white teabagger terrorists. So much becomes obvious in the disparity between what cops do with threatening white teabaggers armed with deadly weapons and what they do with threatening black people, armed or unarmed.

    An ordinary drunk with erratic and threatening behavior would’ve gotten his drunk ass arrested. And threatening the police and the cop’s family would’ve done it for sure.

    If a black man with a rifle had done those things he’d likely be dead. Even without a weapon, does anyone here think a black man saying that shit to the cops, telling them someone might have to kill their families, anyone here think he would’ve been escorted home, no harm no foul?

    But put a rifle in a teabagger’s hands, where it becomes political intimidation of the community. And suddenly it’s all good. It’s not terrorism. There’s not even going to be charges.

    The gun is the teabagger get out of jail card. They have figured out they can engage in political intimidation doing shit that otherwise would’ve landed them in jail. But as long as they have the gun is OK.

    It’s all good, because 2nd Amendment terrorism trumps everything, community safety, safety of police officers, and common sense.

    And don’t anybody tell me they aren’t effective at political intimidation because they are old and fat. They are proving to be very useful at it. And as we have seen in Las Vegas, not all of them are old and fat.

  78. 78
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @marianne19: Salem, NH is definitely Republican. Nashua, though, is more complicated; it looks to have a Democratic core surrounded by Republican areas.

  79. 79
    tybee says:


    yup. he pegged it. again.

  80. 80
    Tehanu says:

    Congratulations. Our 40th is coming up in September (on Bilbo Baggins’ birthday). Lots of ups and downs but I sure am glad we’ve hung in as long as we have.

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