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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2010 7:30am PT  

We played a few clips from this during Thursday's Green News Report, but if you didn't hear it, or even if you did, the full remarks from Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) are worth watching and worth the awarding of The BRAD BLOG's very rarely bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award."

Inglis, was ousted by a "Tea Party" candidate during the GOP primary this year --- despite his 93% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union --- so he is now the outgoing Republican U.S. Congressman representing South Carolina's 4th Congressional District. He is, for the moment, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee and will likely be replaced in the new Congress with either Texas' Rep. Joe Barton (who apologized to BP) or Illinois' Rep. John Shimkus (who believes global warming doesn't exist, because God doesn't mention it specifically in the bible --- seriously.) In short, Inglis is one of the last sane Republican elected officials in the U.S. Congress.

So here he is Wednesday morning, taking a remarkable parting shot at his fellow Republicans on the committee, all climate change denialists, along with the industry that fuels their cynical anti-science disinformation, the technological ground (and money) being lost to China in the bargain, all while celebrating, at least, that these hearings are "on the record...because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said."

His fist-in-a-velvet-glove comments are not to be missed, such as these near the ends of his remarks:

Meanwhile we got people that make a living, and a lot of money, on talk radio and talk TV pronouncing all kinds of things. They slept at Holiday Inn Express last night, and they are now experts on climate. And those folks substitute their judgment for the people who have Ph.D.s and who are working tirelessly to discover the data.

So, we have some real choices ahead of us. But I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, that we realize it's all on the record. And our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gonna get to see.


Think Progress offers more context for Inglis' remarks and his career. The text transcript of his comments follow below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Senate Minority Leader sought withdrawal of troops from Iraq while excoriating Dems for 'cutting and running'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2010 4:41pm PT  

If you had any doubt of the shamelessness of Republicans, the following report should end any such questions. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow details how, in 2006, at the exact same moment Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was publicly sliming Democrats for their push for a timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, he was privately and directly requesting to George W. Bush that he remove troops in hopes of retaining control of the U.S. Congress in the run-up to the midterm elections.

Got that? McConnell was cynically, and hypocritically, accusing Dems of putting this nation at a national security risk for what he described as their interest in "cutting and running," "retreat," and "waving a white flag" in Iraq, even as he was privately pleading with Bush to bring troops home for purely --- and entirely --- partisan political reasons.

All of that, as learned via a revelation from George W. Bush's new book, Decision Points. McConnell has failed to deny the allegation, and the Senator's hometown paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, decries the new revelation as "contemptible hypocrisy and obsessive partisanship that have come to mark the senator's time in office." From their editorial late this week:

Unless he is prepared to call a former president of his own party a liar, Mr. McConnell has a choice. He can admit that he did not actually believe the Iraq mission was vital to American security, regardless of what he said at the time. Or he can explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States.

As Maddow explains, the paper is calling for an explanation --- as should all Americans...


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By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2010 2:01pm PT  

I'm prepping for tonight's Mike Malloy Show which I will be, once again, guest hosting this evening (9-Mid ET / 6-9p PT, with listen links and live chat right here at BradBlog.com later), but took a short break to chat with Shannyn Moore on Alaska's KUDO about the state of the state's elections right now as the Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski campaign's duke it out in regard to counting (or not counting) write-in ballots from the U.S. Senate race.

As we discussed, there is, of course, every reason to be concerned about Alaska's horrible, error-prone Diebold system. Here's just one such reason that we discussed. As well, after Murkowski announced her write-in bid last August I wrote about how the race is likely to test the oft-failed system they use up there.

As predicted, the fight for oversight and reconciliation of the results is on right now, and the Miller camp has brought in one of the great Rightwing extremists, Floyd Brown (he of the Willie Horton ads, Obama "birtherism" and much more) to take the lead in the campaign's fight for oversight.

Where Brown is inappropriately suggesting "voter fraud" without evidence to back it up, he is exactly right in calling for the right for the campaign to be allowed to reconcile the poll rosters to determine if the lower-than-expected number of ballots so far tabulated are, indeed, accurate. To that, I'm more than happy to support his efforts or any other citizens who want to fight to try to ensure their elections are being counted accurately and transparently.

Shannyn and I discussed all of the above and more for about 30 mins or so. Here's that discussion:

Download MP3, or listen online below...

* * *

UPDATE 11/13/10: Jeanne "AKMuckraker" Devon has more on the developing sitch up there, all the strange bedfellows tucking themselves in, and this hilarious admission: "So, it is with a whiplash-addled heart that I commend…. (pauses for a shot of vodka)… that I say kudos to (mops brow)… that I agree with (deep breath)… Joe Miller."

UPDATE 11/17/10: Joe Miller now suggests his campaign may call for a complete 'hand count' of all ballots. A detailed analysis of Alaska's recent history of impossible election results and it's oft-failed Diebold tabulators suggest Miller would be performing a service to all voters with such a full, transparent reconciliation. Details now here...

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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So will the GOP finally ban 100% unverifiable e-voting for 2012?...
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2010 10:33am PT  

No worries. The election officials in Stark County, OH say the Diebold touch-screen vote-flipping, as captured on iPhone video by voter and University of Akron freshman Ian Sanderson on Election Day last week, was just "an isolated incident"...


In 2007, Ohio's current Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, commissioned the largest independent scientific review of electronic voting systems the nation has ever seen. That report, known as EVEREST, resulted in her recommendation that use of all touch-screen voting systems be discontinued in every county in the state. Nonetheless, election officials in counties like Stark have so much contempt for voters that they persist in forcing them to use these 100% unverifiable, oft-failed, easily-manipulated systems a full three years later.

Last Tuesday, the Buckeye State reportedly elected Republicans once more to the offices of both Governor and Secretary of State. Should be another fun Presidential Election there in 2012, eh? Unless, of course, the Republicans were serious about the concerns they expressed, largely for the very first time this year, about e-voting systems like the one seen flipping votes above.

Prior to Election Day we saw reports in Texas, in Nevada and in North Carolina of Republican votes flipping to Democrats or other candidates during the early voting period. The NC GOP claimed to be so outraged by the reports that they filed (and won) a lawsuit suit after one of their attorneys even went so far as to suggest "the touch screen systems should be been banned."

Even the Republican Party's Fox "News" managed to run a story on problems with e-voting systems without even mentioning the phony "voter fraud" canard once!

Well, good news for Republicans! As of January, they will be the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives! If they really want to ban unverifiable touch-screen voting systems like the ones that failed this year in NC, TX, NV, OH and elsewhere, they've got their big chance! Democrats failed to do so over the last four years, so we'll be looking forward to the Republican legislation calling for exactly that come January, right?

* * *

Video coverage of the incident from Akron's ABC affiliate WEWS 5 follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Charges of 'intimidation' dismissed by Republicans as 'baloney,' highlights hypocrisy of ginned-up Fox 'News'/GOP New Black Panther Party 'scandal'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2010 2:10pm PT  

From suburban Illinois' Daily Herald...

Democratic operatives took pictures Tuesday of Lawrence Moretti near a polling place at 848 N. Mill Road in Addison wearing a black jacket and a blue cap with bright yellow letters emblazoned with the letters "ICE," the logo of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

"First of all, that polling place is located in a heavily Hispanic area," said DuPage Democratic Party Chairman Bob Peickert. "He had choices between hats that he could have put on his head and he chose one that could lead someone to conclude he was a law enforcement officer. What motivates him to stand out in front of that place if for no other reason than to intimidate?"

Local GOP officials in heavily Republican DuPage County say charges that Moretti's presence for hours in front of a heavily-Hispanic polling place wearing an "ICE" cap amounts to any kind of "intimidation" are baseless. Of course, this is the same county where the far Rightwing Republican Party operative, Dan Curry, who runs a blog called ReverseSpin.com is actually paid $3,000 a month by tax-payers [PDF] to serve as Public Relations director for the shamelessly partisan county Election Commission, as we described to the editors of the Naperville Sun following one of Curry's hit pieces on behalf of the Commission in 2008.

The issue also serves to put a long-manufactured and ginned-up Republican/Fox "News" charge of "voter intimidation" from 2008 in an interesting new light.

Here's the GOP's remarkable response to the charges of "intimidation" by Moretti in the Daily Herald...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2010 12:44pm PT  

[Hat-tip Van Jones via Twitter.]

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By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 2:46pm PT  

Late last week, AOL News asked me to contribute an op-ed for their Election Eve coverage. That op-ed, which they've headlined "Cast Your Ballot Against Electronic Voting", is now posted here...

The upshot of its argument: If Republicans are set to take over the U.S. House, as predicted, and if they've suddenly found religion in regard to the dangers of electronic voting, as they seem to be asserting in North Carolina, in Nevada and in Texas, then it'll soon be their turn to take legislative action to once and for all ban the horrific, anti-democratic (small "d"), 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems plaguing our nation before they are again used to pervert results of the 2012 Presidential Election --- just as they have every year since they've been introduced into our electoral system (by a majority Republican Congress, by the way, in 2002.)

Please check it out and leave some nice (or not so nice) comments there, as you see fit. Lot's of disinformed bumpkins seem to currently be weighing in. Please free to straighten them out. Politely.

* * *

Other pieces I've contributed elsewhere of late, in advance of tomorrow's election:
• For Salon: "The Faith-Based Vote"
• For Truthout: "Hacking Harry Reid (or, Sharron's Angle)"

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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Orders 'voter alert' posted at polls, programming materials, records retained...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2010 9:53pm PT  

North Carolina counties which use touch-screen voting systems will now have to post a "Voter Alert" at precincts warning voters about potential problems with the machines following a complaint [PDF] filed in federal court by the state's Republican Party on Friday. The lawsuit, heard today on an expedited basis, was filed after voters in several counties had reported to party officials that their attempts to vote for straight-ticket Republican ballots were flipping on the screen to straight-ticket Democratic ballots.

Those reports of vote-flipping led to the NC GOP issuing a threat late this week to sue the State Board of Elections (BoE) if their demands were not met to order certain precautions be taken at polling places which used the 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems. After the Executive Director for the BoE sent a letter in response to the GOP's demands, downplaying the reported incidents as "isolated" and "no different than ones that must be addressed in every election," the Republican complaint was filed in federal court on Friday afternoon. (The sharp letters back and forth between the state GOP and BoE can be read in our previous report on the NC situation.)

Judge Malcolm Howard tonight also ordered that pollworkers must tell voters to read the printed alert, and that memory cards and other programming materials, records and audit logs from the oft-failed ES&S iVotronic touch-screen DREs must be preserved for examination after the election. Late today, the BoE Executive Director Gary O. Bartlett sent a notice [PDF] to the County Boards of Elections detailing the changes ordered by the federal judge.

The "Voter Alert" to be posted in all precincts using the touch-screen voting systems must read as follows...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2010 4:00pm PT  

I received an email this afternoon from a PR person for CNN, letting me know about their new "Tea Party Documentary" to air tonight, as based on the work of one of their reporters who, she says, has "followed the movement for the past 18 months" in order to offer what is described as "an hour of revealing interviews from their leadership and fascinating profiles of the impact of their energy on the 2010 midterms, their financial supporters and their campaigns."

The documentary, the PR rep's original email went on to say, comes after their reporter "spent considerable time with Lisa Murkowski, Christine O'Donnell, in California with Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express (rode the bus), Dick Armey with FreedomWorks, etc."

You may recall a few weeks ago that CNN ran another documentary with a similar theme, called Right on the Edge following the work of Rightwing media activists. (That one resulted in Republican scam-artist and federal criminal James O'Keefe making an ass of himself, as well as possibly violating the requirements of his federal probation, as we detailed at the time.)

As CNN has yet to run even one such documentary on non-Rightwing media activists or on the non-Rightwing politicians who have struggled over those same 18 months to clean up the unprecedented disaster they were left with when the Bush regime came to a close, I thought I'd point that out --- in my own, snarky-ish (me? snarky?) way --- to the PR person in respones to her email.

The email exchange that ensued follows below, as posted with her permission. I have removed her name as I feel she was only doing her job here, and she appeared to both appreciate the message I was hoping to send, and offered to pass it along to the folks who actually help with programming decisions at CNN...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2010 1:30pm PT  

Unlike Jan Brewer, who was elevated from Arizona's Sec. of State to Governor by Obama's ill-considered selection of Janet Napolitano from AZ Governor to Director of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the state's newly appointed Republican SoS, Ken Bennett seems to have the ability to tell the truth every now and again --- even in the days just prior to a hotly-contested election...

"I take seriously any allegations of fraud in our election process," he said. "As soon as these accusations came to light, we got in contact with elections officials in Yuma County and across Arizona to determine if a fraudulent scheme was afoot. With our initial inquiry complete, I'm happy to report that these latest allegations of rampant registration fraud are without merit."

TPM has the full story...

In related previous coverage, we outlined this year's 'GOP War on Democracy' here a few weeks ago, reporting on the various fraudulent "voter fraud" campaigns of Rightwing groups who were busy gearing and ginning them up at the time, by noting, among many other things...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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GOP attorney: ES&S iVotronic 'systems should have been banned'
Officials: Just 'isolated' probs, 'no different than every election'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2010 6:37pm PT  

[UPDATE 10/30/10: The North Carolina Republican Party has both filed and won their suit against the State Board of Elections. See details at end of article for more.]

It would have been nice if these guys had spoken up years ago, when the bulk of the Republican Party and their sympathizers were labeling Democrats as "conspiracy theorists" and "sore losers" for their documented complaints of touch-screen voting systems flipping votes on screen to Republican candidates. But better late than never, we suppose.

This afternoon, Legal Counsel for the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee sent a letter [PDF] to the NC State Board of Elections threatening legal action if their "demands" were not "immediately" met for taking a number of specific actions to mitigate reported touch-screen voting problems describes as "significantly more widespread than the NC GOP initially understood."

The GOP attorney, John E. Branch III writes that the voting system problems should have been addressed prior to the early voting period "and, to the extend they were not, the touch screen systems should have been banned."

The problems in contention are related to reports of the state's ES&S iVotronic e-voting systems reportedly showing votes as flipping from Republicans to Democrats on the screen. The threat from the state GOP comes on the heels of complaints made last week in two different NC counties, Craven and New Hanover. Those reports were a switch from previous years when voters in dozens of states had reported votes flipping largely from Democratic to Republican.

Branch charges that the party has "received word" that similar problems have emerged in "Mecklenburg...Randolph...Cumberland, Wilson, Pender, Forsyth, Lenoir and other counties," which all similarly use the oft-failed, 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting machines. The same systems are also used in more than a dozen other states...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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County GOP Chair: The ES&S machines 'ain't worth a damn, we ought to go back to paper ballots'
One voter says: 'I pressed confirm and screen went totally black'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2010 9:47pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with additional reports of additional vote-flipping and touch-screen failure from other NC counties at bottom of article.]

Aaand the touch-screen voting machines continue to flip votes during the early voting period. Right on schedule. Just as always. But, for the second time this week we have the unusual occurrence of votes reportedly flipping away from the GOP.

Yesterday our report was of a touch-screen in Dallas, TX, caught on video flipping an attempted vote for Republican Gov. Rick Perry to straight-ticket Green Party selections in Dallas, TX.

Today's report, where the local election official is also misleading voters by downplaying the incident, comes from the same type of 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machine, but it took place in Craven County, NC, according to P. Christine Smith of the Sun Journal...

A Craven County voter says he had a near miss at the polls on Thursday when an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended.

Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern said he pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result, he said. Then he asked for and received help from election staff.

"They pushed it twice and the same thing happened," Laughinghouse said. "That was four times in a row. The fifth time they pushed it and the Republicans came up and I voted."
..
"Something is not right here," [Craven County GOP Chair Chuck] Tyson told the Sun Journal. He said he "got two or three calls" from people describing the same problem while they were voting.

Tyson also went on to report there were long lines reported as voters waited to use the two touch-screen voting machines available at one location (paper ballots don't cause that problem) and, even more disturbingly, "machines reporting 250 ballots cast where 400 voters had signed in to vote."

Well that's a problem, isn't it?...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Twice-yearly meetings closed to media, except for the Rightwing media members, like Glenn Beck, who attend the meetings...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2010 3:10pm PT  

Think Progress has a great report today on the billionaire industry titans, U.S. Supreme Court Justices (including Scalia and Thomas), infamous front-group astroturfers and Rightwing media scammers who meet in secret twice a year --- as they did last year in Aspen and will again this January in Palm Springs --- to plot how they will spend their billions to keep "liberty" and "freedom" available to all (of them) and to plot the 2010 and 2012 elections for Republicans.

The story includes the actual invitation letter [PDF] to the upcoming Palm Springs event, from Vast Rightwing Conspiracy funder, billionaire Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries Inc., along with the agenda and participants of last year's Aspen meeting attached to it.

The letter begins creepily enough: "If not us, who? If not now, when?", but my favorite part is this part from the reprint of the agenda of last year's meeting...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Rove protege, disgraced U.S. Attorney Purge appointee has largely escaped media/voter scrutiny...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2010 4:36pm PT  

And, also speaking of the long-waged Republican War on Democracy, it's nice to see a bit of in-depth coverage of issues that actually matter from local news reporters for a change. Here's Melissa Sims of KARK 4 News in Arkansas last night, on the vote caging of Tim Griffin, the Karl Rove protege installed as U.S. Attorney without Senate confirmation by the Bush Administration during their infamous U.S. Attorney purge.

Griffin, notoriously, was discovered to have sent caging emails to RNC colleagues during the 2004 election in Ohio. He denies any wrong-doing, though BBC investigative journalist and author [and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger] Greg Palast who first reported on the caging emails in Griffin's name, believes otherwise. Several other independent reporters similarly confirmed his involvement in the scheme. Griffin has never been held legally accountable, in any case, despite being forced to tearfully resign as USA during the Attorney Purge investigation. He is now, incredibly, the GOP's nominee for Arkansas' 2nd District U.S. Congressional seat, proving --- yet again --- that IOKIYR.

KARK's Simas took the time to cover the matter in some detail --- a 7-minute report is extraordinary for local news --- even as it's been largely ignored by...well, just about everybody, certainly in Arkansas, until now...

Note: Simas' written report published on KARK's ArkansasMatters.com website along with the video report, is very good as well.

[Much thanks to RAW REPLAY'S David Edwards for the video embed!]

* * *

UPDATE 10/20/10: Palast picks up on this same story and writes over at Truthout that attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., having looked at the Griffin caging emails, believes that what the SarahPAC-endorsed candidate Griffin did "was absolutely illegal and he should be in jail."

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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Plus: A note on our non-partisan electoral system coverage...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2010 2:29pm PT  

Speaking of GOP voter suppression efforts, there's this sleazy little dirty trick today, as now running on Hispanic television in Nevada, where a group calling itself "Latinos for Reform" is deceptively instructing the community "Don't Vote!" this November --- particularly in the razor-thin race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and his Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

You'll be shocked to learn that, of course, as TPM reports, the ads are the work of Republican political consultant, Robert Desposada. Whodda guessed it?

Here's the attention-grabbing spot, as translated into English...


And here's the version in Spanish actually airing in NV...


[UPDATE: ThinkProgress reports Univision, a subsidiary of NBC/Universal, is accepting $80k to air the GOP group's ads in Nevada. | LATER UPDATE: Univision decides to not run the ads after all, telling Think Progress late today, "Univision will not be running any spots from Latinos for Reform related to voting."]

* * *

And, perhaps this is a good time for a note for those who may not be aware as Election Day nears, particularly if you read our report yesterday on the "Republican War on Voting 2010" and little else here at The BRAD BLOG over the years: Our coverage of election issues is non-partisan...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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