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Old 08-17-2004, 07:42 PM   #1
crimsonedge
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Default Kerry's Poor Attendance at Intelligence Committee Hearings

A Bush-Cheney '04 ad released Aug. 13 accuses Kerry of being absent for 76% of the Senate Intelligence Committee's public hearings during the time he served there. The Kerry campaign calls the ad "misleading," so we checked, and Bush is right.

Official records show Kerry not present for at least 76% of public hearings held during his eight years on the panel, and possibly 78% (the record of one hearing is ambiguous).

Kerry points out that most meetings of the Intelligence Committee are closed and attendance records of those meetings aren't public, hinting that his attendance might have been better at the non-public proceedings. But Kerry could ask that his attendance records be made public, and hasn't.

Aides also claimed repeatedly that Kerry had been vice chairman of the intelligence committee, but that was Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, not John Kerry.


Analysis



Kerry often touts his eight years on the Senate Intelligence Committee as a prime qualification for office. The Bush ad takes that on, describing Kerry as a no-show for most of the committee's public meetings. If anything, the ad understates Kerry's lack of attendance.

Bush - Cheney '04 Ad

"Intel"

Announcer: John Kerry promises...

Kerry: I will immediately reform the intelligence system.

Announcer: Oh really...as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Kerry was absent for 76 percent of the committee's public hearings.

In the year after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry was absent for every single one.

That same year he proposed slashing America's intelligence budget by 6 billion dollars.

There's what Kerry says and then there's what Kerry does.

Public Hearings

The Bush ad shows Kerry promising to "immediately reform the intelligence system," then counters with an announcer saying "as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Kerry was absent for 76 percent of the committee's public hearings." As support for that statement, the Bush campaign states that Kerry is listed as present at only 11 of the 49 public meetings of the committee while he was a member, from 1993 through January, 2001, when Kerry left the committee.

FactCheck.org examined the official, published records of those hearings. And indeed, Kerry is listed as attending only 11 of those hearings.

Kerry's apparent absence from 38 of the hearings actually figures out to an absentee rate of 77.6%.

However, the Bush ad's lower figure plays it safe -- giving Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which the record is a bit ambiguous. The record of that hearing, on June 22, 1999, lacks the usual list of the senators and staff members who attended. We checked the full transcript for any sign that Kerry had been there, and found no record of Kerry speaking, or anyone else noting his presence. If Kerry is counted as absent from that hearing as well as the others, he missed nearly 78%. But if he attended and didn't speak, then he would have missed only 37 of the 49, for a no-show rate of 75.5%, which the ad properly rounds up to 76%.

In a rebuttal to the ad, the Kerry camp accused Bush of "fuzzy math and bad stats," saying "They rely only on whether Sen... Kerry made statements in one of a small number of open hearings." That's not true. Records list senators and staff members as being present whether or not they spoke, and -- to repeat -- the 76 percent figure actually gives Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which there's no evidence of his participation.

What About the Closed Meetings?

The Kerry rebuttal also noted that most of the Intelligence Committee meetings are closed and attendance figures for closed meetings aren't public, which is true. But Kerry offered nothing to show that his attendance at closed meetings was better or worse than his attendance at open hearings. He also has passed up a chance to have the full record of his attendance made public.

Over the weekend, the Republican chairman of the committee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, refused to say how often Kerry had attended closed meetings. But Roberts said Kerry could, if he wished, ask that his attendance at closed meetings be made public. Roberts spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press" Aug 15:

Q: Did he (Kerry) attend private sessions or was he not present?

Sen... Roberts: Well, I'm not going to get into whether he was there or not. Senator (Jay) Rockefeller (the Democratic Vice chairman of the committee) and I and the committee would have to agree to release the attendance records for...

Q: Well, it should be a matter of record, though, if you can...

Roberts: Well, it's in a closed hearing. . . . The easiest way out of this is for John Kerry and John Edwards to request of Senator Rockefeller and myself to release the attendance hearings; not only the public hearings, which they have rebutted, but the closed hearings. . . .
Q: Well, has he been a hard-working member?

Roberts: They should request it. They should...

Q: Because that's one of the credentials he cites in his campaign.

Roberts: Well, hard-working member is in the eyes of the beholder. I'm just saying that John Kerry and John Edwards could ask Jay and myself to release the attendance records. It is important because you have to be in attendance to learn the job.

A Kerry campaign official responded to Roberts statement by saying "there's nothing to clear up" through releasing records of closed hearings. Stephanie Cutter, communications director of the Kerry campaign, said Aug 15 on CNN's Inside Politics Sunday:

Cutter: Well, there's nothing to clear up. . . . John Kerry has had a consistent record of improving intelligence over the past 20 years. He joined with many Republicans, including one of the chairs of the Republican campaign, Arlen Specter, to improve intelligence in a post-Cold War era. So this is -- this is just another distorted attack by George Bush, because he can't defend his own record.

As of 6:30pm Aug. 17 the Kerry campaign had made no request of the Senate Intelligence Committee to release records of the closed meetings, a committee spokesman told FactCheck.org.

"Vice Chairman?" Oops!

In their eagerness to dismiss the Bush ad's charges, Kerry campaign aides claimed that the senator had been vice chairman of the intelligence committee, which isn't true. In fact, former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska was vice chairman of the panel for several years while Kerry was a more junior member of the panel. John Kerry left the committee in January 2001. He never served as vice chairman, a committee spokesman confirmed to us.

The erroneous claim appeared in several places on the Kerry website, one dating back to January, 2004, and another in a posting Aug. 13 to rebut the Bush ad. It said, "Kerry is an Experienced Leader in the Intelligence Field – John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for eight years and is the former Vice Chairman of the Committee."Kerry senior adviser Tad Devine told Fox News, which first reported the discrepancy, that the campaign would be "happy to correct the record" if needed:

Devine: I'll have to check with the issues people. It was my understanding he was. But if that's, you know -- but if that's not a factual case, I'm sure we will be happy to correct the record.

Two days later the erroneous claim was still appearing on the Kerry website, however. On Aug. 17 The Associated Press quoted campaign spokesman Michael Meehan conceding the error, adding: "John Kerry, Bob Kerrey -- similar names."

Listen Carefully

The Bush ad also says Kerry was absent for every single Intelligence Committee meeting during the year "after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center." That's true. The official records list four public hearings in 1994 -- the year after terrorists set off a truck bomb in the Trade Center's underground garage -- and Kerry is listed as attending none of them.
http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=241


Whats it take for this man to actually do his job ?

Last edited by crimsonedge; 08-18-2004 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:52 PM   #2
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The members of this committee are not allowed to comment on attendance. For Bush to magically know these numbers makes no sense. He is making this up and has nothing to substantiate it. Sounds like his MOI for his entire term as well.
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:55 PM   #3
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You are an idiot Bumble, just read the article it explains it all for you.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:06 PM   #4
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I'll tell you what, why don't you find something with anyone's attendance listed. They don't exist.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:45 PM   #5
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That's actually pretty good attendance compared with Bush's. He has been absent from the presidency 100% of the time.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
That's actually pretty good attendance compared with Bush's.
He has been absent from the presidency 100% of the time.
Oh look,
The pacifist Canaduck squaks a blurb.

Gee Lurikeen. I miss your cuss-quacking.



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Old 08-17-2004, 09:57 PM   #7
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This is just another weak point in a long series of weak points of John Kerry. Sadly this board has morons like Mumbles and LiarQueen who rather than ask themselves, 'wtf didnt John Kerry attend those meetings if hes so concerned about the intelligence and security of America?' they instead flame the opposition for bringing those facts up. What does that say about you and your priorities?
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:16 PM   #8
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bumbleroot
I'll tell you what, why don't you find something with anyone's attendance listed. They don't exist.
If you are that lazy and refuse to read the article, I will spell it out for you:

FactCheck.org examined the official, published records of those hearings. And indeed, Kerry is listed as attending only 11 of those hearings.

Kerry's apparent absence from 38 of the hearings actually figures out to an absentee rate of 77.6%.
As the article clear shows and does the research on, he missed somewhere between 75.5 and 77.6 percent of the PUBLIC hearings, you know the published record hearings where the record is PUBLISHED (arent you in the publishing business?).

Besides that, Kerry has been given the chance to open his attendence records on the private meetings but has declined to do so, wonder why that is ? Could it possibly be he rarely attended those as well? I would hate to think so, but alas, his very piss poor record is begining to shine through.

Next up his campaign is embleshing his record to the point of lying (or lieing if you would prefer your quaint spelling):

In their eagerness to dismiss the Bush ad's charges, Kerry campaign aides claimed that the senator had been vice chairman of the intelligence committee, which isn't true. In fact, former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska was vice chairman of the panel for several years while Kerry was a more junior member of the panel.


The erroneous claim appeared in several places on the Kerry website, one dating back to January, 2004, and another in a posting Aug. 13 to rebut the Bush ad. It said, "Kerry is an Experienced Leader in the Intelligence Field – John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for eight years and is the former Vice Chairman of the Committee."Kerry senior adviser Tad Devine told Fox News, which first reported the discrepancy, that the campaign would be "happy to correct the record" if needed.


Devine: I'll have to check with the issues people. It was my understanding he was. But if that's, you know -- but if that's not a factual case, I'm sure we will be happy to correct the record.

Two days later the erroneous claim was still appearing on the Kerry website, however. On Aug. 17 The Associated Press quoted campaign spokesman Michael Meehan conceding the error, adding: "John Kerry, Bob Kerrey -- similar names."


So Kerrys campaign doesnt even know how to spell their candidates first or last names apparently. I say good freaking luck in November.

That enough fact for you ? Kerrys supporters should be embarrased by his and his campaigns lack of professionalism. I hope people think twice about voting for this guy just because he isnt Bush. Because, hes much much worse.

Last edited by crimsonedge; 08-18-2004 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
This is just another weak point in a long series of weak points of John Kerry. Sadly this board has morons like Mumbles and LiarQueen who rather than ask themselves, 'wtf didnt John Kerry attend those meetings if hes so concerned about the intelligence and security of America?' they instead flame the opposition for bringing those facts up. What does that say about you and your priorities?
No, it's just fun to see you get your silk thong tied in a knot, Chik.

What you fail to get is the difference between "public" meetings and "private" meetings.

The writer of fact check admits, "The Kerry rebuttal also noted that most of the Intelligence Committee meetings are closed and attendance figures for closed meetings aren't public, which is true."

So Kerry missed 76% of the public intelligence meetings? WOOP-TI-DO! The so-called "Fact Check" propoganda doesn't deliniate the total number of meetings Kerry has been required to attend on any given day. Furthermore, Mr. Fact Check is arguing from an unknown concerning private intel meetings (as he admits) and drawing a conclusion. Guess what you can conclude from an unknown? Nothing but speculation.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:18 AM   #11
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So you are saying Fact Check.org is bullshit ?
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
So you are saying Fact Check.org is bullshit ?
Of course he is, anything that doesnt align with his candidate ,despite its non-partisanship independent status, is always suspect and likely a neo con funded organization that spews hate.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
So you are saying Fact Check.org is bullshit ?
Not at all. I did point out the clear fallacy of drawing a conclusion from an unknown as simply speculation. If you want to believe there is nothing stoping you, but don't dishonestly pretend you know how many of the private intel meetings Kerry may have sat in. Considering that intelligence usually deals with secret and classified information, I would be willing to wager the public meetings aren't very substantial. My speculation is that he attended the private meetings and opted out of most of the public meetings to attend meetings that were much more important. That would mean he knows how to prioritize. Such a speculation is just as good as Mr. Fact Check's.

Oh, and just because they claim to be "non-partisan" or "independent" doesn't mean they can't make errors.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:40 AM   #14
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The so-called "Fact Check" propoganda doesn't deliniate the total number of meetings Kerry has been required to attend on any given day
Silly me for thinking you might be calling fact check .org propaganda , woops!.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
Silly me for thinking you might be calling fact check .org propaganda , woops!.
No, you're right... you are silly.
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by bumbleroot
The members of this committee are not allowed to comment on attendance. For Bush to magically know these numbers makes no sense. He is making this up and has nothing to substantiate it. Sounds like his MOI for his entire term as well.
Bush is the president you know. I'm sure he can easlilly get those records, in fact I bet he would have an easier time getting them then Kerry.
Cutter: Well, there's nothing to clear up. . . . John Kerry has had a consistent record of improving intelligence over the past 20 years. He joined with many Republicans, including one of the chairs of the Republican campaign, Arlen Specter, to improve intelligence in a post-Cold War era. So this is -- this is just another distorted attack by George Bush, because he can't defend his own record.
I think Cutter spilled the beans.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:04 AM   #17
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In the year after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry was absent for every single one.
Either true or not true. If true, and even if Kerry received briefs from those meetings, he obviosuly felt that his contribution, his input, wasnt needed or useful....or, as the picture is painted, he didnt care.

That same year he proposed slashing America's intelligence budget by 6 billion dollars.
Nice. ...but I'm not sure if in its then current state would have mattered though.
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Old 08-18-2004, 10:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Maximus
Bush is the president you know. I'm sure he can easlilly get those records, in fact I bet he would have an easier time getting them then Kerry.
Erm, considering that Kerry was actually on the commitee, regardless of his attendance, I would certainly hope that's not true. Being President does not mean being all-powerful (fortunately), our Founding Fathers were smart enough to realize how bad of an idea that was. (Otherwise I might even consider running for it! woot!)

It does seem clear that Kerry missed an awful lot of those public meetings. The big question, as Chukzombi has pointed out, is why? Until we actually know what he was doing when he wasn't at the meetings, and what his attendance was like at the private meetings, it's hard to draw any conclusions.

This is the same kind of thing Moore did with his Fahrenheit 9/11 movie and Bush's "vacations." On the surface, does it look bad? Sure. But until we know what he was actually doing during that time, it's hard to draw any conclusions, and truthfully I haven't looked very hard. Sure, it made an amusing soundbite in the movie, but I didn't take it all that seriously either.

And I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't feel you can really trust any politician's words. To a certain extent, whenever they make a statement, they're trying to manipulate you in thinking the way they do, spinning the facts in a way that make their position seem right and all other positions seem wrong. It's something that really irritates me as a scientist because it runs so contrary to the way I try to approach things - let the evidence (all of it!) tell you what's happening (critical thinking!). So...look at what they do. Does anyone know what he did instead?

Khalynn, who does seem to get irritated an awful lot lately
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:00 AM   #19
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Kerry has been given the opportunity to explain it and to publish his attendence at closed door meetings. He has declined to do so. Surely it wouldnt be because he didnt bother showing up for those either ?

Here is his campaigns rebuttal:

In a rebuttal to the ad, the Kerry camp accused Bush of "fuzzy math and bad stats," saying "They rely only on whether Sen... Kerry made statements in one of a small number of open hearings." That's not true. Records list senators and staff members as being present whether or not they spoke, and -- to repeat -- the 76 percent figure actually gives Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which there's no evidence of his participation.
Dont see anything there explaining why he would have missed those meetings, just another attack on Bush in place of an explanation.
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:02 AM   #20
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I am not voting if the words "fuzzy math" become common place this election year.
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:07 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Kaltana
And I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't feel you can really trust any politician's words. To a certain extent, whenever they make a statement, they're trying to manipulate you in thinking the way they do, spinning the facts in a way that make their position seem right and all other positions seem wrong.
Actually, they are trying to sell their positions as those that matches the voter's. Let me illustrate...

Your at the National Organization of Sheep Herders Operations and Workers and Kerry is giving a QA interview.

Kerry: I am all for protecting the privavcy of our Sheep Herders

<applause>

You: (inner dialogue) I wonder if he means he will protect bestiality against sheep by that comment?

Kerry: Furthermore, I pledge that all sheep will become the property of the owners if I am elected President!

<applause>

You: Excuse me! Excuse me, Mr. Kerry! Are you saying that you would allow for bestiality in cases involving Sheep and Sheep Herders?

<boos and hisses>

Kerry: Yes, I would but in the sense that Sheep couldn't be abused by their masters. There must be consent between Sheep and Sheep Herder.

You: (inner dialogue) That's just disgusting... this guy's a perv

You: Mr. Kerry I find bestiality sinful! A disgrace. Are you saying you support a sinful, degrading act towards an animal?

Kerry: No, absolutely not. Sheep have rights. Look, this is nothing I wouldn't ask of Theresa... my wife... I always have her consent. It isn't sinful if there is consent. Sometimes I have her bleat two times for "yes" and once for "no". It makes perfect sense. Yes, bestiality is sinful and I pledge that if you elect me president I will pass into law, legislation that requires all animals to be protected by consent.

You: (inner dialogue) That's what I wanted to hear.

<applause>
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by crimsonedge
Kerry has been given the opportunity to explain it and to publish his attendence at closed door meetings. He has declined to do so. Surely it wouldnt be because he didnt bother showing up for those either ?
Or possibly it is unprecedented to ask Senators to disclose such attendence records??

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Old 08-18-2004, 11:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Or possibly it is unprecedented to ask Senators to disclose such attendence records??

Has anyone but you suggested that ? Didnt think so. As a matter of fact its an easy thing to release the attendence records, just has to be requested by the committee member.
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:28 AM   #24
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Crimson, how many Senators have released their attendance records to these private intel meetings?
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:40 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Crimson, how many Senators have released their attendance records to these private intel meetings?
As far as I know, no other Senators have such a poor record of attendence at the public meetings, that a request to reveal the private records becomes necessary.
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