Top Issues

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Jobs

Jobs growth, Detroit rebound, Faster turn-around


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Debt

Debt by president, Recession deficit, Deficit Causes


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Energy

Oil-drilling rigs


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Wealth

Class warfare -- who's winning?


Social Security

 


Business

Stock market, Regulation


Health Care

Blank -- comming soon


Government

Reagan on Gun Control


 

 

 

Tom's Issue Briefs

These are 1- or 2-page color PDFs (they also print well in black and white).

Click to view.  Right-click to download.

Gun Control: America vs. the World 12/14/2013

Gun Control: Deaths and Injuries 12/14/2013

Gun Control: Suicides and Murder-Suicides 12/25/2013

Gun Control: Ronald Reagan Quotes 3/15/2013

Gun Control: Executive Actions, Proposals 1/29/2013

Debt Ceiling 1/18/2013

Fiscal Cliff  12/21/2012

Estate Tax  1/5/2013

Better Off Than 4 Years Ago

Accomplishments: Democrats vs. Republicans

Health Care:  Affordable Care Act Summary

Health Care Affects of ACA

Jobs (2012)

Taxes

Energy & Gas

 

 

 

Gun Deaths

Since only 1968, gun deaths in America exceeded the U.S. death total of all U.S. wars by 212,994 deaths. "All wars" means starting April 19, 1775, and including our extremely bloody civil war and the two world wars.
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Reagan and Guns

Reagan-w-gun.jpgBack when the Republican Party was less extreme and Reagan was in the saddle, he said some things that seem pretty surprizing today, but seemed pretty sensible back then. They were senible then, and they are now.

 

"This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety ... While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals."   —Ronald Reagan

 

“Well, I think there has to be some [gun] control.”   —Ronald Reagan

 

Get more of these these quotes (and the sources) on one of Tom's beautiful Issue Briefs (fact sheets). Get "Reagan on Guns."

 

 

Jobs

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  • Since at least 1929, job growth increased every time the Dems took the White House and decreased every time Republicans did. No exceptions.
  • 2.6 times as many jobs per year were created under Democrats over the last 63 years.
  • For 83 years. If you look back to 1929, the up-down rule has held 9 times in a row — no exceptions.
  • Since Obama took office in 2009, Republicans have been trying to stop job creation to make Obama look bad.

Job growth  ♦  Detroit's rebound  ♦  This time was faster

 

 

Job Growth

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  • Bush left office with the economy losing 10 Million jobs per year. (That was the rate of loss in January (see graph).)
  • Obama's Job Stimulus stopped the losses in record time.
  • As of 10/7/2012, 5.2 Million private-sector jobs had been added.

Next  ⇒  Detroit's rebound  ⇒  This time was faster

 

 

Detroit Rebound

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  • Obama postponed the bailout as long as possible.
  • A Detroit collapse could have caused a depression like in the 1930s.
  • In June Obama engineered an ultra-fast 10-day assisted bankruptcy.
  • Although hardest hit, Detroit turned around immediately—and sooner than the rest of the country.

Next  ⇒  This time was faster ⇒  Job Creation

 

 


[#PopNotes]

[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

How to Make Jobs

There are two views of why America lost 10 million jobs:
  1. Because of the financial crisis and its repercussions.
  2. Because of government regulations and labor unions.

These two views lead to opposite goals:

  1. Federal and local governments should help out.
  2. Governments should do nothing but get smaller.
So let's take a look and the auto-industry collapse to see what really happened.
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Auto sales collapsed exactly in time with Wall Street's S&P 500 stock index. It took only one year and occurred under Bush. Does it look like the problem was new government regulations and labor unions?

Sure, the auto industry has other problems, but the collapse was caused by people deciding not to buy cars (duh), because their wealth was being vaporized in the stock market, and they were losing jobs, homes and home equity. But you knew this.

So Mitt Romney wrote two op-eds on how to fix the auto industry and never once mentioned the economy or the financial crisis. In "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," he blamed everything on management and unions.

He figured the government "should invest substantially more in basic research — on new energy sources." Great, it's November 2008; Wall Street is taking down the economy at a million jobs a month, and Romney is saying the federal government should find new energy sources, and let the car companies deal with Wall Street in bankruptcy court.

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Obama postponed the bailout as long as possible, but the auto industry was still sinking fast in June, when he force the bankruptcy, restructuring, and bailout of GM and Chrysler. As you can see in the graph above, it worked.

Even President Bush knew better than Romney when he authorized the first [#$17.4B in TARP] funds for the auto bailout, saying "the impact of a disorderly bankruptcy would be very damaging to our manufacturing base, affecting jobs well beyond the auto industry [and] would likely postpone our economic recovery considerably."

Forbes quotes Jeffrey Coats, CEO of online auto-buying site Autobytel saying, “Usually, housing leads the economy out of a recession, but this time it is manufacturing ... because of the auto bailout, that saved jobs and now it’s driving the economy.”

Amazingly, [#Ford testified before Congress] that its two biggest competitors, GM and Chrysler, should get government help even though it wasn't taking any. That's because, Ford, like Presidents Bush and Obama, and like most of us, understood the problem was bigger than just two car companies. As Ford's CEO said, "It was a bigger issue of systemic risk both on the financial system and also on the manufacturing system. ... The chance of catastrophic failure was very high."


[#PopNotes]

[=$17.4B in TARP]See this on the Bush White House web site for Dec. 19th, 2008.
[=Ford testified before Congress]“I testified on behalf of GM and Chrysler, as you know. The reason we did was that we believed—like two presidents [Bush and Obama]—that if GM and Chrysler would have gone into freefall  bankruptcy, they would have taken the supply base down and taken the industry down plus maybe turned the U.S. recession into a depression. So I think we did the right thing by testifying on their behalf and I think that the government did the right thing for that critical industry at that time to step in and help."  —Alan Mulally, Detroit's best chief executive
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

Faster Turnaround

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  • Bush's second recession was twice as deep as the first one.
  • Obama stopped job losses quicker, although they were going much faster.

Next  ⇒  Job Creation  ⇒  Detroit's rebound

 

 

Debt

What matters is how big the national debt is compared to the national economy. As you can see in the graph, that ratio went down from the end of World War II until Reagan's first budget. So what went wrong?

US national debt-to-GDP ratio. Who did it?

In 1981, supply siders, took over Regan's budget. Their supply-side "theory" said that cutting the taxes of people in high tax brackets, the rich, would increase government revenues. So they did. And since government revenues would increase, it was OK for Reagan to increase the military budget. As it turned out, lower taxes and more spending did just what you'd expect. And, so the Republicans became the party of barrow-and-spend. And for 20 out of 20 budgets under Reagan and the Bushes, the Republicans raised the debt relative to the size of the economy.

When Bush handed the economy to Obama he had the debt growing at the rate of $3 trillion per year, and his last budget didn't end for another eight months. A debt growing like this is hard to stop because when the government cuts spending or raises taxes, the two things that balance the budget, it hurts the economy. And since the economy Obama was handed was collapsing at the rate of 10 million jobs per year, that was not an option.

The green line in the graph shows what would have happened if the Republicans had balanced their budgets, as they claim should be done. Notice that Clinton would have reduced the debt even more. This is because, much of his budget problem was interest on the debt accumulated by Reagan and Bush Senior. Without the burden, he would have almost finished paying of the entire national debt.

 

Recession Deficit

recession deficit

Two Main Deficit Facts

  1. It took off under Bush, because the recession caused it.
  2. Almost half of it is caused by people and business paying less taxes (because they have less income to tax).

Specifics

  • Income tax payments dropped 51% for corporations and 23% for people. So the government had to borrow.
  • Bush signed the FY 2009 budget and the TARP bank bailout.
  • But, the Recession itself caused most of the deficit.
  • Obama's job stimulus barely got started before the FY 2009 budget ended on Sept. 30, and by then the deficit had exploded.

Now see the three reasons spending has increased.

 

 

Deficit Causes

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What Are the Four Causes?

  1. The biggest cause: Reduced tax payments
  2. Second: Automatic increases in unemployment insurance and food stamps, and people starting social security* early because they can't find jobs.
  3. Military spending also increased, but is now fading.
  4. Bush's TARP and Obama's Jobs Stimulus (top layer) account for little of the deficit, and they are temporary.
  • The deficit is from the safety-net helping the poor and the unemployed in a terrible recession, and helping all of us (including businesses!) with lower taxes.

* There are two main definitions of the Debt and the Deficit.  Because Social Security has run a large surplus for years it reduces the small of these definitions, but not the larger ones which excludes its net income. During the great recession, this net income stopped for a while. This caused the smaller (and more common) definition of the deficit to increase.

Now find out: Is the federal government growing?

 

 

Government Size?

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  • Under Reagan, federal employment increased by 200,000.
  • Under Obama, federal employment increased by 38,000  (thru 3/12).
  • Under both, federal employment held the same % relative to population.
  • The up-tick in 2010 was mostly census workers, but also some administration of Obama's jobs stimulus.

So why do we keep hearing about the ballooning federal government? Who started this rumor?

It's pretty simple. The Republicans want to cut middle-class programs. So they argue "the government is too big." But if it was bigger back in the 1950s and '60s when growth was stronger, that argument sounds a little silly.

So they need to tell a story that government is getting huge and out of control. So they just tell that story. As I said, it's pretty simple.

Energy

Obama has presided over the biggest oil-drilling surge in 30 years! Just look at the graph. But, the crazy thing is that when we drill more, the price is higher. And, check the graph, when drilling was lowest the price was $1.00 per gallon!

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This Is Not an Accident — When Drilling is Up, Price is Up.

The same thing happened last time drilling set a record, in 1981. The price of gasoline was through the roof. The reason is that there are two much stronger forces at work:

  1. Oil production in the rest of the world (the US is only 10%)
  2. Oil use by the world, especially in China, India and now Japan.

What's happening now is mainly increased use in China. That pushes the price up a lot, and then we drill and bring the price down a little—so little you can't even notice. And we bring it down for the whole world, not just for the US. So more drilling is good. It makes lots of money for Exxon and BP (which needs it to pay for damaging the Gulf). But there's no use wrecking our environment to lower the price of oil for the rest of the world.

Because the price is high we use less gasoline, which actually helps bring the price down more than the drilling does. And because we use less gasoline, and this is a world market, Big Oil sells the gas to China etc. (see graph).

The big mistake in the Drill-Baby-Drill logic is forgetting that oil and gasoline are world markets. But, for at least the last 25 years, the price of US gasoline has equaled the world oil price (per gallon) plus $1.00/gallon (see graph). There's really nothing Gingrich, Palin, Romney or Obama can do about the world oil price -- unless they could get the world to use less oil.

 

Wealth

Click image to enlarge
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 Between 1979 and 2007 (two peak business-cycle years) incomes in the US became more unequal. A typical family in the bottom 20% gained about $1,800 per year over those 28 years, while a family in the top 1% gained about $620,000 a year in income. That's 344 times more.

This is after accounting for the effects of Social Security, Medicare and all other Federal transfers, and after taking account of Federal taxes.

According to Republican perceptions, this has occurred in spite of multiple bouts of vicious class warfare in which the Democrats tried to take the wealth of the rich and "spread it around." If they keep spreading it around like this, pretty soon the 1% will own everything.

Class Warfare

The best way to deflect attention when you attack is to claim you are under attack. But when the one accused of attacking is getting mauled by the one playing the victim, you can be pretty sure that reality is just the reverse.

 

 


[#PopNotes]

[=1] Sample
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

Social Security

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  • The Social Security Trust Fund is the biggest ever. Eventually changes will be needed. This has always been true.
  • In 1982 the Trust Fund ran completely out twice! It had to borrow a little money both times.
  • But it did not miss a single benefit payment.
  • Now (Jan 2013) it contains $2.7 trillion.
  • Social Security is in the best shape it's ever been in. Yes, eventually it will need adjusting — it's always been like that.
  • In 2012 it grew by $54 billion, and even as a % of GDP it increased a hair to 17.8%.
  • The trust fund is loaned to the federal government, largely to pay for the military, so the federal government pays interest on that loan. Without the trust fund the federal government would have borrowed that money from Americans, Chinese or maybe the Saudis and would still have to pay interest. So the S.S. Trust Fund is helping not hurting.
  • Republicans say "There's no money in the trust fund, just paper." This is like saying to someone with $1 million in the bank, "No you have nothing, your money is gone; the bank loaned it all out." Even Republicans know banks loan out the money you deposit.

 

 

Business

"I have long believed that stock markets are the best barometer of the health, wealth and security of a nation."

—Lawrence Kudlow, former Reagan economic advisor

"The Dow has fallen 18 percent since the last trading day of Bush’s term. Clearly, Wall Street thinks that Obama’s tax, spend, and regulate policies will be a disaster." (March 4, 2009)

—Mark Skousen, former CIA analyst and columnist to Forbes magazine

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According to Kudlow's and Skousen's view, which is standard, the market changed it's mind three weeks after Obama signed his stimulus bill and has been saying Obama's policies are terrific ever since.

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The graph above adjust the S&P 500 to $100 on first day Reagan's term and Obama's term. In four years, the stock market rose only 10% under Reagan, but rose 57% in 3.3 years under Obama (till April 10, 2012).

  • What's the Big Lie about regulation?

 

Regulation Shocker

McClatchy Newspapers (conservative) did a survey (in Aug. 2011) to find out why business is not doing well. They asked about regulations:

"Government regulations are not 'choking' our business, the hospitality business. In order to do business in today's environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order." —Bernard Wolfson, president of Hospitality Operations, Miami

McClatchy concluded, "None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis."

As to what is a problem, McClatchy found that "For many small businesses, their chief problem is an old one: navigating the bureaucracy of the Small Business Administration to secure government-backed loans." In other words, it's to hard to get government handouts.

But why would a business want its industry regulated? Consider China. They have extremely poor regulations, and some companies, ship us bad food. Then we buy less food from all Chinese companies. So the good ones all suffer because of the bad ones. So high-quality companies tend to want the industry regulated to punish the bad ones, and prevent them from harming the reputation of the industry. And that's good for consumers as well.

I'm not saying all regulation is good, but by and large it protects us and rewards the good companies. We need to make it better, not get rid of it. And, like McClatchy said, if regulations have anything to do with recession the problem was too few regulations (for mortgages), not too many.

 


[#PopNotes]

[=$17.4B in TARP]See this on the Bush White House web site for Dec. 19th, 2008.
[=business is saying] When the conservative McClatchy Newspapers interviewed dozens of small businessmen, "None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it." (full story)
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

Health Care

Election 2012 App

This is the Reality App from ZFacts. It covers the 2012 presidential election and election issues and works everywhere — iPhones, Androids, PCs, Macs, Kindels, etc. ( More info.)

 

The Full App -- 30+ Screens.

This is live. Click its links and buttons!

Thanks for liking! 
 

The Reality App, addresses the large-scale distortion of reality that has been building up for 30 or 40 years. This has been carried out systematically, and Romney is taking full advantage. I'm not concerned with the little stuff. The following is part of the alternate reality debunked by The Reality App:

  1. Obama lost 5 million jobs before he gained 5 million. No.
    • This pretends he's responsible for jobs lost from the day he took office. That's crazy, since Bush handed him losses running at 10 million a year. (Romney does not count this own job losses this way.)
    • Democrats have created more jobs (2.6 times more on average) every time they've held the White House for over 80 years.
    • Obama even beat Reagan on job creation.
  2. Social Security is bankrupt. No.
    • It's got the biggest Trust Fund it's ever had. Under Reagan it ran out completely twice. No one missed a pay check, and it was easily fixed.
    • Ryan and the Republicans invent this scare for political reasons.
  3. The debt is all Democratic and mostly Obama's. No.
    • Bush set the record with his last budget and Obama has been bring it down.
    • In fact, if Reagan and the Bushes had balanced their budgets, we would have $12.5 trillion less debt. The national debt is mainly Republican.
  4. Obama's a socialist. No.
    • The stock market is the best indicator of business confidence (listen to their money not their words). It's done 2.5 times better under Obama than under Reagan.
    • Would business gain confidence much faster (or at all) under a socialist than under Reagan? Of course not.

But you know the general outline. The App just helps you prove it, and gives you jaw-dropping specifics. If you have a mobile device, get the App and help stop the lies before it's too late.

Reality App Info

“The Reality App” focuses on the election and on exposing the alterante reality that Republicans have been selling for 30 years — with increasing success.

This App has taken a huge amount of work, and its success depends on people like you using it to counter the lies used to create the reality distortion.

But I also need your help with suggestions for how to broaden its appeal. I’ve done my best to make it easy and fun to use, but I’m better at the technical part. To improve the chance of this App's success and reward those who pitch in, I’ve created a lottery to reward Facebook “Likes” (see below). 

Get "The Reality App" free:
            Install it on your phone: click The Reality App  =  zfacts.com/vote
            Install it on your website! click here
(It's just a webpage that acts like an app. It's a web-app.)
 
Or go to www.facebook.com/VoteTheFacts to comment and "Like."

Try "Hot New Facts"
right here.  It's live >>>

 

  • It works on everything: iPhone, Android, Kindle ... anything with a browser.

 

  • To install on your mobile device:
    • View it on your mobile device:  zFacts.com/vote
    • Click the "Help" button.
    • It tells how to bookmark it and add it to your home screen

 

Discover:
  • The world record for oil drilling
  • Who gained 62 times more
  • who lost 10 million jobs/year
  • Who really ran up the debt?

 

It gets better every day !


To Install on Your Web Site


[#PopNotes]

 
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 














































Testing

Testing App 3

 

Daily Posts

Here's the new Reality App from ZFacts. It covers election issues and works everywhere — iPhones, Androids, PCs, Macs, Kindels, etc.

Go directly to it and then install it on your Mobile device.   More info.
 

This is live. Click its links and buttons!

Thanks for liking!  $500 in prizes?!  —  Scroll to bottom of home screan (in above app) and check it out.
 

[#PopNotes]

 
 
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

Markets v Republicans

Here's the story in the new Reality App from ZFacts. It covers election issues and works everywhere — iPhones, Androids, PCs, Macs, Kindels, etc.

Go directly to it and then install it on your Mobile device.   More info.
 

This is live. Click its links and buttons!

Thanks for liking!  $500 in prizes?!  —  Scroll to bottom of home screen (in above app) and check it out.
 
Here's the spreadsheet with the data for the above table and the graph.
 

[#PopNotes]

 
 
[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.

 

scraps

 
The Reality App  (online version)
Hot New Facts Five Romney Lies
What really happened  ...
1. Disaster 3. The Plot  .
2. Success 4. Sabotage
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Jobs
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Energy
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Wealth
National-Debt-s.png
Debt
Social Security Business
Health Care Government
 

 

 

Election Issues 2012
jobs-lost-gained-bush-obama.png
Jobs
jobs-lost-gained-bush-obama.png
Drilling for Oil
US national debt-to-GDP ratio. Who did it?
Gov. Debt and Size
household-income-distribution-CBO.png
Billionaires
Stocks: S&P 500 and Obama Stimulus
Stocks / Business

Social-Security-Trust-Fund.pngSocial Security


Click a graph to Enlarge and for Information

 

x

Basic Info on Fed Healthcare Reform form NY
 
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” —Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
05/10/2011, John Boehner, House Speaker
"The fact is you can't tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs."
 
 
07/08/2011, John Boehner, House Speaker
“While some think we can go past August 2nd, I frankly think it puts us in an awful lot of jeopardy, and puts our economy in jeopardy, risking even more jobs.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hot New Facts

1. Who set the record of $1 trillion in 100 days?

Actually, $1.1 trillion

2. Who gets the “Drill-Baby-Drill” prize?

Not Sarah P.

3. Which party has created jobs twice as fast?

Actually, more than twice

4. Who improved business confidence most?

So they call him a socialist

5. When was Social Security Richest?

And they say it's bankrupt

 

$1 T / 100 days

Who set the record of $1 trillion in 100 days?
The Gross National Debt* went up $1.1 trillion from July 30, 2008 to Nov. 7, 2008, under George W. Bush. That's the all-time record.
That's a rate of $4 trillion per year!
 

* The Gross Nation Debt, is the measure of debt prefered by Republicans. It includes the debt owed to the Social Security Trust Fund.

 

 

Who Drilled Most?

Party Has Jobs?

Business Confidence?

Social Security Rich?

Five Romney Lies

What Really Happened

Partisan Politics

"Assassinate his monkey children"

 Jules Mason a Tea Part candidate who lost a race for Carson, CA city council on March 8, 2011, recently posted the following on his facebook page:

"This is dedicate to Shane Jones who still believes in that nigger [President Obama] ... Assassinate the fucken nigger and his monkey children."

Now, one awful nut does not prove the Tea Party is bad. But what shows the true nature of a large segment of the Tea Part was a lengthy piece that immediately appeared on teaPartyPatriotsOnline.com and was reprinted on Examiner.com, which claims 20 million readers/month, and which was linked by other papers. That piece was titled, "Jules Manson a true role model." After lengthy excuses and attacks on liberals for being incensed by Manson's language (if the Tea Party can be incensed about liberals being incensed, why can't liberals be incensed by such language?), in the end, it pins the blame on President Obama as follows:

Thanks to the efforts of the Obama administration race baiting, using class warfare, and declaring decent people as potential domestic terrorists while condoning and even encouraging hate speech and threats aimed at their conservative counterparts. 

So there you have it. The reason the Tea Party thinks Mason called for the assassination of Obama's monkey children is because Obama is a race baiter.  Outrageous. Part of the Tea Party is calling this an "ideological divide." And apparently, they are on the ultra-racist side.


 “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” – Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.).