George H.W. Bush Has Died

Former President George H.W. Bush has died at age 94.

This may be the longest obituary I can recall (I didn't finish reading it) but the Times has probably been working on it for years. It mentions that his son, GW, put out a call for eulogies in 2013. It's also mostly a puff piece.

In the spirit of refraining from negative comments on the occasion of one's death, I have finally thought of something to praise about the former President: He refused to endorse Donald Trump.

Condolences to the Bush family.

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    Didn't Bush say (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by fishcamp on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 07:14:39 AM EST
    he knew nothing about the Iran Contra situation while he was the head of the CIA?

    And then (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 07:25:27 AM EST
    Pardoned everyone

    Lawrence Walsh, Independent Counsel, (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 12:31:41 PM EST
    for the Iran/Contra investigation stated: "In light of President Bush's own misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official investigations."  

    Walsh was referring to Bush not turning over his own "highly relevant" notes regarding the operation.

     It was former DOD Secretary, Caspar Weinberger, who was convicted of hiding/denying his notes (the notes where found in the Library of Congress and indicated that he knew in advance of arms for hostages) which, according to Walsh, "forestalled impeachment proceedings against President Ronald Reagan and formed a pattern of deception and obstruction."  

    (Weinberger's aide, General Collin Powell, earned Walsh's harsh comments, but no charges, knowing that Weinberger not only kept a diary, but also, actually, helped maintain the diary and lied about it.")


    Worth noting (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 05:25:38 PM EST
    William Barr, Trumps nominee for AG is the very person behind all those pardons Bush granted in that mess to stop investigators from getting to Bush himself.

    The very person.


    Republicans (none / 0) (#61)
    by FlJoe on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 05:38:00 PM EST
    always circle the wagons.

    And,, Barr (none / 0) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 08, 2018 at 10:44:47 AM EST
    recently stated it was OK to fire Comey, and supported further investigation of......yep, Hillary.    Also, wonder when the media will start using photos of Barr more recent than his First Holy Communion pictures?

    Bush was Ford's CIA Director in 1976-77. (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 09:18:07 PM EST
    He was serving as Reagan's vice president when the Iran-Contra scandal broke. And yeah, he went all Sgt. Schultz on us back then, and said he knew nothing. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

    Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh had deposed Bush on January 11, 1988 when he was vice president. After he became president, Walsh learned that Bush was a meticulous diarist, and so Walsh asked him to produce his diary entries for the period in question (May 1985 - December 1987).

    Bush refused, and since he was the sitting president, and because criminal prosecution was deemed unlikely, Walsh did not subpoena him. Walsh eventually received the diary entries in December 1992. A few days later, Bush pardoned everyone, rendering Walsh's inquiry moot.

    Interestingly, when Bush learned that Secretary of State George Schultz had turned over his notes to Walsh, he wrote:

    "Shultz had kept 700 pages of personal notes, dictated to his staff [...] Notes on personal meetings he had with the President. I found this almost inconceivable. Not only that he kept the notes, but that he'd turned them all over to Congress [...] I would never do it. I would never surrender such documents and I wouldn't keep such detailed notes."

    In his final report, Walsh identified quite a few issues about which he had hoped to question Bush, in which evidence seemed to conflict with his previous testimony. These issues included:

    • His knowledge of Israeli arms sales to Iran;
    • His 1986 meeting with Israeli official Amiram Nir;
    • His knowledge of quid-pro-quo dealings with countries that pledged to support the Contras; and
    • His and Vice Presidential National Security Adviser Donald Gregg's meetings with National Security Council staff member Oliver North.

    George H.W. Bush was a$$-deep in Iran-Contra.

    You know what else I'm really f-ing sick (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 04:32:29 PM EST
    Of hearing?

    I don't want to hear one more f-ing story of how  chummy H.W. was with this reporter or that reporter.  Or how another reporter was invited to Kennebunkport for lovely weekend with the Bush family.
    Or hear from Tweety how he was so f-ing nice to his parents he could never say anything bad about him.

    As if to "in yer face" this point (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 04:40:15 PM EST
    I was amazed CNN dug up Bernard Shaw yesterday.

    oddly this was not mentioned in the panel discussion


    Agreed. I was (none / 0) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 05:22:30 PM EST
    appalled by the telling of that story by Tweety.  An invite for dinner at the WH for wife and parents. Apparently, the co-opting of key media figures was a modus operandi of enduring value.  Maureen Dowd, who still cannot find anything to write about that somehow does not manage to include jabs at the Clintons, always finds something nice to say about Daddy Bush, to this day.  

     And, last night, on Chris Hayes, the really smart, anti-/never Trump, Jennifer Rubin, got into it with Charlie Pierce, over HW's merits/demerits.  She acknowledged that unpleasant Iran/Contra matter, but reminded Charlie that Bush was not a saint.  And, besides, he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, don't ja know.


    I saw that too (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 05:30:55 PM EST
    Charlie looked like he was going to have an aneurysm.

    I'm sad to say he seemed double teamed in order to shut him up.


    It is a tradition (none / 0) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 06:03:50 PM EST
    to speak well of the recently departed. Eulogies, always present the side of the angels, even if it takes some effort.   However, it does not seem to me that, in the case of a public figure such as a former president of the USA, and when speaking extra-cathedral, a degree of truth is not irresponsible. George HW Bush may have contributed to the nation, but he also was a human being, with all the frailties that go with that.

    If that was the plan (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 06:11:34 PM EST
    Inviting Charles Pierce was ill advised



    They shouldn't invite you or me, either. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 02:05:04 AM EST

    I can sort of understand the media with their (none / 0) (#36)
    by vml68 on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 10:36:19 PM EST
    H.W. anecdotes and hagiography. But, I don't get why Michelle Obama seems to have so much love for the Bushes, Dubya in particular.

    Dubya made Barack look good by comparison. (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 02:26:06 AM EST
    Of course, if that's the standard, then Michelle ought be rendered positively orgasmic by the hot mess that's succeeded her husband in the Oval Office.

    But on a more serious note, while I was watching the live coverage yesterday of the arrival of the late President Bush's body at the U.S. Capitol to lie in state, I was struck by the obvious pain and sadness I saw in son Dubya's face, as he clearly tried to hold it together for the family's sake.

    No doubt, it's been a very tough past eight months for him emotionally, losing first his mother last April and now his father last Friday. I found myself quite moved by the scene and had I been standing there at the Capitol entrance, I'd have likely given him a big hug -- which felt odd given my general disdain for the man. I guess there's some residual reservoir of empathy still left in me, after all.



    I know what you mean. I watched the coverage (none / 0) (#45)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 01:15:34 PM EST
    of the funeral service today and choked up when Dubya lost his composure towards the end while giving the eulogy.
    Also, when the cameras panned to James Baker when the minister mentioned him.

    I did get some perverse enjoyment watching the Clintons completely ignore the Tr*mps.


    Pretty sure I saw Bill (and the Obamas) (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 03:05:08 PM EST
    shake Melania's hand when the Trumps entered and sat. It would have been quite a stretch for either of the Clintons to have reached across both of the Obamas and Melania to reach the Don, even if any of them had wanted to do so. And, of course, the Don didn't pay any attention to Bill and Hilary.

    I only saw about 10 mins of it today, and this is what I saw...

    The front row, for some time, camera left to right: Barack, Michele, Bill, Hilary, Jimmy, Rosalynn.

    After some time, the Trumps arrived and Melania sat on the left next to Barack, and the Don sat next to her on the end of the row.

    Clearly, had anyone involved thought it would have gone well, the Don and Melania could have started at the Carters and greeted everyone in turn down the row...

    The Carters, at the end, camera right, might as well have been in outer space. No one, including Hilary and Bill, who were closest, paid any attention to them at all.

    Bill, seated next to Hilary, paid no attention to her at all.

    Bill spent the entire time leaned over in Michele's ear with a big ol' sh*t eating grin on his face constantly talking to Michele, and occasionally Barack when Barack gave him some attention. Michele looked somber and kind of uncomfortable that the guy next to her was yukking it up at a funeral. Barack also looked somber.

    After being completely ignored for some time Hilary found someone behind her to talk to, turning away from the Carters to do so.

    Of the dozen or so people behind the "formers" I don't think I saw a single person chitchatting.

    Gotta say, I bet Bill tells some great stories, and I bet it would be a blast having a beer or three with him. But dam, this really was a funeral.


    I clearly watched a different ten (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 06:19:50 PM EST
    minutes than you. Actually, I watched a bit longer. I saw Hillary and Jimmy Carter smiling and chatting with each other. And Bill leaning toward Hillary, telling her something, and Hillary smiling at him as she responded. Bill then took hold of her hand.

    Neither one of the Clintons greeted Trump. Neither did either of the Carters. And given Trump's unrelenting attacks on Hillary and the disparaging remarks he has made about Jimmy Carter, I don't blame them.

    I suspect the Obamas felt forced to shake hands by their physical proximity to the Trumps. It was quite awkward.


    That's the way it looked. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 06:30:30 AM EST
    It looked like the Obamas were kind of forced to shake hands with the Trumps while Trump waved to those further down the aisle and Hillary nodded. All the talking etc. was going on before the funeral started.

    No arguments there. (none / 0) (#55)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 11:39:44 AM EST
    The TV station I was watching showed a camera shot that sat on the "formers" in the front row for the basically the whole 10 minutes or so that I watched before I left for work.

    After the Obamas shook hands with Melania, Bill shook hands with Melania and it was a bit of a stretch for the both of them across the two Obamas. Donald, being on the other side of Melania, was even farther away from Bill, not that either seemed at all interested in making the effort.


    Too funny. Yes, we must have watched a (none / 0) (#54)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 11:29:28 AM EST
    completely different 10 minutes...

    Saw this and thought you'd be interested. (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 01:41:14 PM EST
    "The Carters, at the end, camera right, might as well have been in outer space. No one, including Hilary and Bill, who were closest, paid any attention to them at all."

    This is why I've learned over the years to take anything offered about the Clintons by the east coast punditocracy with a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of Cuervo. That little video clip from the National Cathedral services was apparently from C-SPAN, not the cable networks.

    To quote newspaperman Maxwell Scott in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," when the legend becomes fact, you print the legend. For over 25 years now, the east coast media has never let the actual facts about the Clintons get in the way of their preferred storyline. And that's how so much misconception and misinformation about the couple, from Whitewater to Benghazi, has since become embedded in the public consciousness.



    Well, there ya go. Fair enough. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 01:58:21 PM EST
    When I tuned in they must have finished talking.

    The Blind Men and the Elephant.


    Not gonna lie (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 11:41:20 AM EST
    It's stuff like this that makes me know for sure I'd never want to be famous.

    I can't imagine what it's like to have your every move/facial expression scrutinized like that.

    Like what if someone has an itch in the middle of their back that they can't scratch and someone thinks the face they are making is because they hate the person next to them.


    Heh. Ya, life is tough for those POTUSs. (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 07, 2018 at 11:55:17 AM EST
    I have to imagine (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 11:32:09 AM EST
    That at the end of the day being in the Whitehouse is a uniquely difficult experience.

    I can also easily imagine that W. was very gracious and helpful to the Obamas during that transition in a way that had a big impact on their personal lives.

    Those interactions tend to have an impact on you whether or not you agree with someone's politics.


    The press is different (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 11:52:51 AM EST
    They are NEEDED to be adversarial

    You can't spend "lovely time with the Bush family" and do their f-ing job.

    Sure.  They were nice.  They were gracious.  They were almost certainly lovely hosts.

    Sorry. F that.

    You want to be a DC reporter?  Do your f-ing job.

    Clearly if only the Clinton's had invited legions of White House reporters to weekend with them and stroked and cultivated them the Clinton years might have been very different.

    They did not.

    And God bless them for that.

    The blatantly incestuous relationship of the press and the Bush family is outrageous.  It's fu@ked up in the most insidious ways.


    a bazillion stars for this comment (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by leap on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 12:06:35 PM EST
    You are so right about the media and the politicians they are supposed to cover...cover up...kiss up...fluff up

    Yea (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    I was talking about Michelle Obama.

    No arguments from me about the press.


    I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 01:03:59 PM EST
    When I said I understood the media's behavior I did not mean to imply that it was acceptable but that given the current state of the media, I really can't see them behaving any other way.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 05:26:09 PM EST
    The logical conclusion to that incestuous relationship you talk about is actually found in our country's sports media, in which the major networks have signed exclusive contracts with various major college conferences and pro sports leagues which their correspondents are ostensibly supposed to cover as journalists.

    As a result, we've already seen a few high profile instances in which questionable or outrageous behavior by athletes, coaches and / or administrators at SEC- and ACC-affiliated universities was consciously ignored by ESPN, because that network has an exclusive multi-million dollar contract with those conferences to broadcast their football and men's basketball games.

    Can you imagine a world where Wells Fargo or Ford Motor Company could literally purchase favorable coverage on ABC News? Well, that world already exists at ABC's sports affiliate ESPN.



    I'll admit I have trouble separating the person (none / 0) (#42)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    from the politics, particularly when I don't personally know the people. From all accounts the Bushes seem to be very gracious people.

    The spouse attended a conference where Dubya was the headline speaker but he skipped Dubya's speech, so I did not get a first hand account of his impression of Dubya. Last week he was at a dinner where Jeb was in attendance and he told me that he was really surprised by how much genuine love and affection there was for Jeb by the other attendees. Jeb was all about civility and keeping an open mind and listening to the other side even when you do not agree

    As for Tr*mp, apparently crass and vulgar is it, even at private functions.


    I have my own odd 6 degrees of separation (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 05, 2018 at 04:40:36 PM EST
    Thing there.  A former spouse of mine later got involved with a (sort of black sheep) member of the family that owned the Beeville ranch.  If you lived through the period you probably remember that name.

    He encounter several members of the family.  I don't think he ever met H.W.  Possibly.  But he met W and Laura and Barbara and others.

    He said they were genuinely nice people.  In the way old money can be.  Not needing to make a show of who they were or what they had.


    A friend of mine's (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 04:28:31 PM EST
    ex-husband went to some conference where George W. Bush was the speaker. I guess whenever Bush gets in front of people he's perhaps different than in private because her ex-husband said Bush Jr. came off as an arrogant little sh*t.

    We went back and forth (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 04:31:45 PM EST
    A lot about W.  Because I hated him at the time.  He wouldn't shut up about his different he was in person.

    Well (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 10:07:04 AM EST
    He certainly looks like a statesman compared to what we have now but Trump makes that too easy to deserve much credit for.
    I think he was way better than both Reagan and W.  
    But I just heard the history of his political life which I guess I never cared enough about to be very aware of.

    Born into a life of wealth and privilege, sent to the best schools.  Got into the oil business.  In 1964, the year he turned 40, he ran for the Senate.  He lost.  Later won a House seat.  Ran again for the Senate in 70, with help from Nixon.  He lost.  Nixon appoints him ambassador to the UN.  Then became chairman of the republican party.  During Watergate.  Escaped Watergate and Ford made him his envoy to China.  Then director of the CIA.   Bush said "..I loved the CIA.  I loved defending the culture when everyone [you and me] were "down on it."  You can probably remember as well as I why "everyone was down on it".
    Then he runs for president.  He lost.  Regan picks him for VP.  Then he runs for Reagan's third term and won.  Then he ran for another term.  He lost.

    Now I will abide by the rules of not saying anything "bad" about him.

    But it seems to me other than saying he was better than Trump, Reagan and W the thing this story most illustrates is that if you have enough money and hang with the right people you can launch a "political dynasty".   And that the only office he ttruly won on his own was a House seat and I would guess the oil money played a role in that.

    Still you can't help appreciate how low we've come listening to the man.  Who would have believed we could be nostalgic for the good ole days when good old fashioned money won elections.

    May he rest in peace.

    VooDoo economics (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jmacWA on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 03:38:35 PM EST
    The absolute best thing about HW was his term for what Reagan was selling as his economic plan during the 80 primaries.

    A policy he embraced completely (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 04:23:35 PM EST
    Never said it.. (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 04:41:45 PM EST
    Maybe that's the big difference between him and Trump: the kinder, gentler lying.

    i always liked him (none / 0) (#2)
    by nyjets on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    Bush senior was a moderate for much of his career. He only became more conservative after his association with Reagan.
    I am not saying I agreed with all of his policies but he was fa, far from being our worse president.

    Well he gave us a great quote... (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 03:46:23 PM EST
    I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

    Not easy for me to (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 03:47:18 PM EST
    find a lot good to say about George HW Bush; not the worst president, if you grade on a curve.  Maybe, being an historical role model for Trump would be considered a good point---by Whitaker.

      Bush swept away the arms for hostages scandal of the Reagan era, by undermining Special Prosecutor Walsh, with pardons as he was going out the door,for one convicted, three guilty pleas, and two pending cases. And, up to and including the last election, paved the way for Republicans, with attack ads that raised fear (cf. Willie Horton).  

    Many of his colleagues have offered kind words, although I am looking for those of April Glaspie and Elliot Abrams. And, the sudden illness that resulted in Bush throwing up on the Japanese was, at that time, considered the worst foreign policy gaff.  Bush did nominate David Souter which is a good point, if we skip over Clarence Thomas.

    He did not believe (none / 0) (#6)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 04:18:58 PM EST
    that I, as an atheist, should be considered a citizen. He also did not believe I could be a patriot. So, meh.

    Secularists are welcomed (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 06:45:48 PM EST
    with open arms in the GOP as long as you view unregulated market forces like the mysterious workings of divine providence.

    He's with Barbara again. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 01, 2018 at 07:55:32 PM EST
    And that's the nicest thing I can think of at the moment to say about him.

    If I have to say something good about him (none / 0) (#11)
    by lawyerjim on Sun Dec 02, 2018 at 07:57:48 PM EST
    I would have to dig deep but he did disavow david duke in the 91 election.

    He enlisted immed after graduating (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 03, 2018 at 01:02:47 PM EST
    from Yale. He had a distinguished military career. During Desert Storm he declined to take out Saddam Hussein. He signed the ADA.

    Not Yale. Bush enlisted as soon as he (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 03, 2018 at 06:34:02 PM EST
    graduated from prep school at age 18. He was a WWII fighter pilot whose plane was shot down. IIRC, he was the only survivor.

    He attended Yale after the war ended.


    Thank you. My daughter also (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 01:34:35 PM EST
    corrected me.

    You have to wonder (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 03, 2018 at 04:46:03 PM EST
    If the idiotic tv bobble heads understand that the fact they make virtually every conversation about how Bush is not Trump makes Trump happy because every conversation is still about him.

    A more grounded opinion (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 03, 2018 at 05:29:26 PM EST
    May I just say (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 12:03:45 PM EST
    The political exploitation of the amazing service dog is revolting and disgusting

    Come (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 12:15:56 PM EST
    on, I am quite sure he is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.

    You don't have a dog (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 12:17:53 PM EST
    Do you?

    to what is this referring? (none / 0) (#23)
    by leap on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 02:42:09 PM EST

    Google Sully (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 04:09:07 PM EST
    Well, Sully made a statement (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by leap on Thu Dec 06, 2018 at 10:19:10 PM EST
    oh for crying out loud, (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by leap on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 05:57:39 PM EST
    as my Mom would say. The mediawhores really are. And now tomorrow is a national holiday to celebrate the death of that nothingburger. I'll be celebrating, all right. Another one down.

    I mean (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 06:09:01 PM EST
    The dog is great.  All service dog are.  He is/was doing his job.  He didn't care Bush was media/political royalty.  Sully would have been every bit as loyal and attentive to any schmuck who needed him.

    If they want to talk about the wonder and value of service dogs I'm totally down with that.

    But that makes me ill.


    Pretty funny (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 08:35:33 PM EST
    FOX NEWS story

    Whining about being called out for the exploitation

    The best part is the top pic of the dog who looks like he is asking "um, ok, what am I doing here again?"


    I haven't been watching the news, so missed (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by vml68 on Tue Dec 04, 2018 at 10:22:18 PM EST
    all the talk of Sully. He is a beauty. I guess the media have never seen a service dog in action before.
    The clip of Sully at the State Capitol is cute. He seems to be interested in everything but the casket.