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What Obama Will Truly Be Remembered For

What Obama Will Truly Be Remembered For

Tuesdays are a fun day for me. My best friend and I get to coach some high school kids and teach them a little bit about roundball. Sure, we coach rec-league basketball but still, the kids love it and so do we. So I was a little bummed out when I came home last night to find my sister and mother almost in tears.

 

They were watching Obama’s farewell speech. An American icon said his official goodbyes to a generation he inspired to simply do better. I could comment on the content of the speech itself. Or I could relay to you that within the first five minutes of Sean Hannity’s show he had already given up on celebrating a president and started to delineate Trump’s agenda. It would be more prudent however, to demonstrate just how Obama changed this country for the better. And what better way to begin this discussion than by commenting on today’s Trump Presser.

 

First it was Sean Spicer. The Rhode Island native and Connecticut College graduate walked up to the podium and began condemning Buzzfeed for their horrible journalism. He was right to do so. Then VPEOTUS replaced Spicer and did more of the same. Next up, the PEOTUS himself. You guessed it; he also went ballistic on Buzzfeed and CNN.

 

Predictably so, the majority of questions placed a focus on the recent reports about the Russian influence on our elections. In fact, the first handful of questions basically asked the same thing. After a brief interlude from Trump’s lawyer, who described how Trump would disclose his conflicts of interest, we finally got a question that had nothing to do with Russia. Yes, some brave soul from some news publication actually dared to ask a question about Obamacare. The paraphrased question: “What do you (Trump) plan to do about the repeal of Obamacare and do you have a replacement program?”

 

Trump responded by asserting he will make good on his campaign promise of repealing ACA. Then he made the usual unsubstantiated claims that a replacement program will made into law only a couple weeks after the repeal. Upon first glance, this statement is neither sexy nor surprising. Anyone who has watched at least five minutes of CNN this week has heard about the GOP’s attempts to repeal the law. So, what does this have to do with Obama’s legacy? Surely, the removal of his signature bill can only be detrimental to how historians and the American Memory perceive our first Black president.

 

Well, in the infamous words of the Trumpster himself: Wrong.

 

Life.

Liberty.

The Pursuit of Happiness.

Education.

Military Protection.

Gun Ownership.

Privacy.

Fair and Free Elections.

Entrepreneurship.

 

Those are a list of just some of the principles Americans have accepted at maxims now perceived to be guaranteed from simply being a citizen. Some have been cemented into law (Gun Ownership). Others are theoretical (Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) yet hold a weight as though they were legislation. These things we consider sacred. Untouchable. They are as American as The Simpsons and hating soccer. Well add another one to that list- Universal Healthcare.

 

When parsing Trump’s response to the “repeal and replace” question, one thing becomes clear. Universal healthcare is here to stay. Sure, Obamacare may be replaced. But this is exactly my point! It is going to be replaced, not banished. Remember the days when Republicans were calling for the Supreme Court to rule Obamacare unconstitutional? Neither do I. Obamacare is not synonymous with universal healthcare, it is merely a manifestation of it. When the GOP replaces Obamacare with something else they are tacitly agreeing that accessible, just healthcare for all is an American principle. In fact, it is the newest one added to the list. The 44th President tackled one of the country’s most pressing problems and solved it by insisting that the government had a duty to help everyone obtain affordable healthcare.

 

His bill will be replaced. His movement will not. President Barack Obama has transformed a once radical, communist idea into an American axiom. Ten years ago if you discussed universal health care, you were sneered at and labeled a socialist. Today when discussing universal healthcare, you are a patriot and champion of the little man.

 

President Obama did not change the American mind. He simply revealed what was on. And for that, we tip the cap. Sometimes true courage has the uncanny ability to hide in plain sight. I have a feeling posterity will not forget how a junior senator from Illinois permanently altered the American consciousness for the better, displaying the bravery we have come to expect from our fearless leaders.

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delayed – mother tucker

delayed – mother tucker

MotherTucker is at it again. Merry Christmas, everyone.

A few nights ago Tucker Carlson had Asian American and Harvard alum Jay Chen on his show to discuss affirmative action. The catalyst for the debate was a Princeton study which claimed that when compared to Blacks and Latinos, Asian and White applicants must score considerably higher on their SATs in order to gain admission into Harvard. In essence, Carlson asserted that affirmative action has made it harder for qualified and deserving Asians and Whites to get into the Ivy League institution.

“But if racial discrimination is wrong, and I believe it is, then it’s just wrong. There’s a moral element here.”

In Carlson’s attempt to solidify affirmative action as a racist, Liberal machination, he let those words proudly slip out of his mouth and into the ears of his listeners. From Tucker’s perspective, Harvard has made acceptance easier for Blacks and Latinos and in doing so, has marginalized qualified Whites and Asians. He labeled this racist. And you know what? He’s right. Choosing who gains admission into a university based on skin color is racist. But, to criticize affirmative action as being discriminative and therefore question its existence completely ignores the rationale behind it. Let’s look at some facts about the Harvard population pool and learn why Tucker Carlson is way off the mark here.

First things first, Tucker has inexplicably only addressed one half of this conversation: race. What is missing from this discussion is socioeconomics. How a mainstream commentator such as Tucker fails to mention this is not only confounding but, inexcusable. According to Harvard’s very own newspaper the majority of first-generation college students at the university were non-white (date from the 2015 graduation class). Only 20% of these first-generation, minority students have a family income over $80,000. Compare that to a whopping 80% of legacies who have a family income over $80,000. What is even more shocking is that 93% of Harvard legacies are white! So, what is the synopsis in layman’s terms?

The Crimson admits a little more than 5% of their applicants every year. Yet, they admit around 30% of their legacies. Legacies are 93% white. Are you seeing the math here? Not only is the legacy population overwhelmingly White, they are overwhelmingly more financially stable than their counterparts. It appears as though Harvard has a way of admitting Whites despite affirmative action and quotas. When Jay Chen mentioned this Carlson, he merely responded by saying Chen’s statement was a “non sequitur.”

If you are a legacy applicant at Harvard, the odds are you are White and come from a financially well-to-do family. The numbers back that up. Your chance at getting into Harvard is also 25 percentage points higher than someone who is not a legacy. The connections between Harvard’s acceptance criteria to race and socioeconomic class are not only evident but, sickening. What’s more sickening is that Carlson purposely precluded Chen from making this argument. Carlson asked Chen: “Is it racial discrimination to not let somebody into college based on his race?” Chen responded by firstly agreeing then mentioning legacies. Sensing that Chen could use the legacy argument to gain the upper hand, Carlson acutely cut him off once again using his new favorite phrase, “non sequitur.” He also added that Chen was dodging the question, despite Chen agreeing with Carlson only moments ago.

So what are we seeing here on Fox News? Earlier this week, Bill O’Reilly claimed Democrats were attempting to devalue the vote of the White Establishment by opposing the Electoral College. Not only did O’Reilly acknowledge that America has a White Establishment, he supported its continued political dominance by attempting to expose this Liberal assault. This was followed by Carlson attacking affirmative action because it excluded too many Whites from Harvard. When Chen brought up the fact that affirmative action exists to even out a playing field in which White students begin with a head start, Carlson actually laughed. If you have made it this far into this article (read: rant) then do yourself a favor and watch this video. Go to the 10:00 mark and witness Tucker casually laughing off the idea of White privilege.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fox News has officially adopted the nationalist movement and all of its bigoted accoutrements as their new political platform. Get ready, it will be a long and bumpy ride until 2020.

To be clear, I do not think that affirmative action is a perfect system; a notion that Chen asserted himself during his debate. As Tucker stated, the system makes innocent teenagers pay for the sins of their parents; sins which manifested in setbacks and roadblocks known as Jim Crow and slavery. How Tucker can laugh off the idea of white privilege while acknowledging the effects of Jim Crow is a discussion for another date and time. However, I agree with the man. It is not fair for White children with higher SAT scores to be denied acceptance in Harvard while less qualified non-Whites are admitted.

But Whites in America are hardly in a place to complain about fairness. Whites didn’t suffer through slavery and sharecropping. Whites don’t break out in a cold sweat when a police officer pulls us over. Whites don’t get shot for wearing a hoodie. Whites didn’t risk their life for their country only to return home and be told they still can’t vote. Whites didn’t inspire Billie Holiday to sing “Strange Fruit.” And you can be damn sure that Whites weren’t the motivation behind COINTELPRO.

So if Winton Prepschool IV has to cry because he now has to go to Swarthmore, his back up school, then I am okay with it. After all, education is the only surefire connection to upwards social mobility. Come on fellows Whites, we can suck this up and allow for an entire race to gain equal footing for once. Let’s try and get Tucker Carlson on board…

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thoughts on the nba all star game

thoughts on the nba all star game

The workload for Jesus Christ just got a little bit lighter. No longer will he have to hear the daily prayers of Mike Conley as he begs for just one All-Star birth. Instead of asking for a bid to the NBA’s yearly showcase, Kemba Walker will only pray that his alma mater finds its way out of the gutter. All of this happened because about a couple weeks ago, the NBA finally amended their All-Star voting process and allowed for players and pundits to have some input. So let’s play a game of “who’s in my mouth” and see which players can benefit from this rule change. Whoops, I meant to say “who’s in and who’s out.” You can take the kid outta college…

 

Players and media members will each get 25% of the vote. We’ve seen how the players’ opinions differ from pundits, as it was only two years ago when the players selected James Harden as the league MVP instead of Steph Curry. This should make things interesting come voting time. The rift between analytic-loving critics and actual players is evident. How will this play out? I think I have some found some players both these groups can agree to send to the big game.

 

Let’s begin with Conley and Kemba. Conley returned awfully quickly from a serious back injury and is once again leading the Grizz as they boast a good 22-15 record. Sure, he has missed ten games however, that is not enough to keep him out of the festivities. Coming off signing the biggest contract in league history, Conley has proven his worth. Averaging a career high in points, boards and three point percentage, Conley may finally get the bid he deserves.

 

Skywalker helped Charlotte fly out of the gate this season. The Hornets have cooled off however, Kemba has remained red hot. Critics once claimed Walker would perpetually be an inefficient volume shooter. Now the point guard is shooting 47% from the floor and 42% from three. The Hornets are holding down the 4th seed in a much improved East. I think he has a better shot than Conley of earning an All-Star nod.

 

The Greek Freak is a rebound per game away from averaging a double double. What’s more, he leads his squad in points, boards, assists, steals and blocks. Woah. The Bucks are a contender to be a top four team in the East. Giannis has picked up the slack as The Deer are doing this all without the underrated Kris Middleton. If the pundits vote overwhelmingly for any player, it will be Giannis.

 

“I know when that ZingGod bling, that can only mean one thing.” Kristap is straight hoopin’ for the Knicks. Hey, the Knicks are going to make the playoffs, isn’t that weird? The Latvian made a huge leap this year, avoiding the sophomore slump. He should replace Mr. Drummond as a big this year. If this year’s game doesn’t have KP, then something has gone seriously wrong.

 

When you’re the best player on an 22-14 team in the crowded West, you deserve some love. Especially when your name is Gordon Hayward and you’re putting up an efficient 23, 6, and 4 a night. The Jazz have finally put it all together. It’s a matter of time until they are challenging the Rockets for the 3rd seed out West.

 

An even better question than asking who will make the game for the first time: Who will be left out? If the Blazers don’t get above .500 then I really doubt if Dame Lillard avenges his snub from last year. Winning helps. Will fans vote for an aging D-Wade on a new team? They will, even though they shouldn’t. IT4 has boosted his numbers and helped the injury plagued Cs remain as the East’s 3rd seed. But will he get enough votes to repeat as an All-Star? Does John Wall from the disappointing Wizards get in? The West has some more question marks. Someone has to replace Kobe. I am not sure Aldridge makes it in given his underwhelming performance.

 

Here is what could happen in the West:

 

Conley takes the place of the Black Mamba.

KAT fills in for an injured Blake.

Hayward boots out Aldridge.

 

In the East:

 

KP replaces Chris Bosh.

Smell ya later Paul Millsap; enter Giannis.

Kemba kicks out John Wall and deservingly so.

 

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list on the internets, rappers

list on the internets, rappers

Recently, there has been a list floating around the internet which ranks some of Hip Hop’s best artists. I have zero idea about where this list originated. All I know it that I saw it on a Hot97 post on Instagram this morning and spent way too much time overanalyzing it. The mastermind behind this list decided to break down his or her rankings in terms of tiers, and I love it. Let’s see where he or she was right, wrong or completely out of their mind. Check out the list below:

 

Tier 1: The Elite ­– No complaints here. The Drake selection may ruffle some feathers amongst some older heads. Still, the man has hits which will be played long after he is gone. K.Dot, no explanation needed. In a market which craves mindless, rhythmic beats without meaningful lyrical content, Cole and Chance have found a way to please all demographics.

 

Tier 2: Talented But Not Elite – Absolutely no problems with this list. Big Sean is the most underrated artist in this list but still deserves to be there. Gambino just put out a great album but the ability to crossover is a criteria for being considered elite. Not sure if Gambino has done that yet. Also, if you want to boot Wale from this list, go ahead.

 

Tier 3: Legends Past Their Prime – Okay, here is where we get into some trouble. Who considers Twista a legend? He is more like a nostalgic novelty for a specific demographic who came of age while he was putting out Overnight Celebrity. My three exceptions to this list: Jay, 50 and Wayne. 50 has publicly expressed why he has not put out a typical 50 album in a while. Simply put, the market right now is not receptive to his type of music. Artists like him (Jay, Nas, Wayne, Kiss) are biding their time until this microwave hit phase fades out. And it will. Do not bet against Jay, Weezy and 50 having one more classic left in them. Well, at least Hov and 50. Okay…at least Hov. The market just needs to take a turn in their direction.

 

Tier 4: Underrated – How in the world is Joey Bad not in the “talented but not elite” category? His debut mixtape is better than anything ever put out by anyone in that category. Plus the guy is like 13 or something. Cyhi and Dom Kennedy have faded for a reason. Nipsey is a legend In LA. During my one visit there I heard locals bumping him all day, love him in this category. Also, Dave East won’t be in this category for long. While we’re at it, let’s bump Logic up to the “talented but not elite” section. He is just as creative as anyone there and showed some crossover potential.

 

Tier 5: Overrated – Wow. Some egregious mistakes. If you want to throw Meek, B.O.B and the ASAPs in here, fine. But The Game? Dej Loaf? Young MA? Ew. The Game is not as hyped as he once was, but his recent music is on par with his past catalogue. Just because the current scene does not bump your hits does not mean you are overrated. Dej has put out some fire mixtapes and her best years are still light-years away. As much as I love Joey Bad, he has decided to grow out his hair instead of continue the New York revival. Look for Young MA to pick up where he left off.

 

Tier 6: Overhyped Legends – In what world is OJ Da Juiceman a legend? Anyways, Jeezy being here is a travesty. If you think he’s overhyped I will start to question how much you know about the genre. You don’t get to do features with Jay, Kanye, Cole and everybody else without having some serious talent. Oh, and I promised myself I would not let myself go on a tirade about Boosie’s cultural impact on his Louisiana community.

 

The one person who should belong on this list and isn’t: Mr. West. You can make a case that his catalogue has gotten worse since he dropped his debut album. Take away the shoes, the wife, the rants, the Trump meeting. In essence, take away everything that hypes him up. Look at his recent body of music then compare it to his entire career. You’ll see the light, trust me.

 

Tier 7: Trash – Macklemore and Ty are legit artists. You may not like their music, but it is actually music. The other artists on this list make something else entirely and I’m not sure what to call it. I considered discussing French and writing that he was talented. Except he’s not. People like him, not his music. When’s the last time you heard someone say “Dude, can’t wait for that new French to come out!”

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The world is ending and so is the NBA

The world is ending and so is the NBA

The first month of the NBA is basically in the books and everything is going just as everyone predicted. The Lakers are ahead of Portland for the 8th spot in the West. The Spurs are undefeated on the road but miserable at home. Dallas is in last place and the Bulls have not imploded yet. We all saw this coming…said no one ever.

 

The biggest dance craze is one where everyone stands still. A conservative is proposing a 2 trillion dollar bill. The UConn women basketball team looks beatable. My writing has progressively gotten worse with each piece. In the new Harry Potter spinoff flick Colin Farrell turns into Johnny Depp (spoiler) when normally Depp turns into Farrell (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.) We’re living in an apocalypse and why should this NBA season be any different? Let me give you some stats that surely prove the world is ending.

 

Myles Turner is shooting a better percentage from 3 than Jeff Teague

 

Let’s be clear. Turner is shooting 28% from deep while Teague is only shooting 25%. Still, this is not a good sign from a team that desperately needs spacing. For the sake of a colleague named Michael who shall remain nameless, I will not spend too much time busting on the Pacers. But come one Larry Legend, find a way to get some better shooting. Bring George Hill back.

 

Giannis Antewhatever is leading his team is every important statistical category

 

Okay, not every single category. The guy is literally 0.1 assists away from leading in that category too. But, we are truly looking at something special here. The Greek Freak is still a baby in terms of his development and already a force. Try stopping him around the rim and see how that goes for you. As soon as the Bucks get rid of Greg Monroe and decide to play John Henson more, they will one of the scarier teams in the East for years to come.

 

Marco Belinelli is shooting 45% from behind the arc

 

What a difference a team makes. The Italian Stallion shot 30% last year with the Kings. Many blasted MJ for sending a first rounder to Sacramento for Belinelli but let’s give props to some of MJ’s moves. MKG looks solid, Kemba is the most improved player in the league and the Hornets will be a buyer at the deadline. I’m rooting for this team and for Mr. Belinelli to keep up this career high pace.

 

Stanley Johnson is half the man he was last year

 

Remember that time during last year’s playoffs when Johnson put up a good fight against Lebron and co.? Well, Stan Van Gundy doesn’t. The former lottery pick has seen his moneys cut in half as well as his overall stats and I have no idea why. His position competition (KCP and Harris) aren’t exactly superstars. When Reggie Bullock is stealing minutes from you, something is up. I recent string of DNPs without injury says something may be up between Johnson and SVG.

 

 

Avery Bradley is leading the Cs in rebounding

 

Let that sink in for a second. Sure, the Celtics do not have prolific rebounders. Still, a 6’2 guard should not be grabbing 8 boards a game. Especially with Horford back in the lineup. What is more astonishing is that shooting guards normally don’t see this jump in rebounding ever, let alone in their 7th year in the league. AB has vaulted himself into a top ten shooting guard in the league.

 

George Hill is killin’ it

 

53% from the field. 47% from 3. A great A/T ratio of 3.2. Yes, Hill missed a few games already this year but, he is back and his pace has not slowed down. Hill’s numbers are indicative of a player who has maximized his role on his team and therefore the league. The Jazz have a ton of guys who need the ball in their hands. Hill can move off the ball, hit shots and make the right pass when asked to. If this pace continues, Hill will finally get the shine he deserves.

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Matt’s Week 13 fantasy

Matt’s Week 13 fantasy

This is it. Do or die time. Week 13 determines who gets into the playoffs and who doesn’t. It determines who is going to get the scrill. It determines who might just come in last place (“DFL” among my friends and I, figure it out) and have to rollerblade downtown in short shorts. Before I let you know the ultimate high risk-high reward guys, here’s who I’m rocking with this week.

 

QB: Luck be a Lady tonight                            FLEX: Crief

RB: DJ spin that shit                                       FLEX: The better Thomas reciever

RB: James “Tony” Stark                                 TE: Ertz

WR: 88                                                            D: Honestly do not care

WR: Demore Demaryius

 

 

Some teams will be in a position in which they have to score a zillion points if they want to grab a playoff spot. In my league, we have four teams competing for three spots. The last spot will most likely come down to the season long points total. This is the risk-it-all weekend for fantasy. Let me give you some boom or bust guys who can put you over the top if they hit.

 

QB: Matt Barkley. Against a decent Tennessee defense last week, Barkley through for over 300 yards and 3 tds in his first career start. He goes up against a porous San Francisco defense at home. It will snow in Chicago tomorrow which means defenses should struggle and points will be scored. If the USC man hits, he can give you over 20 points.

 

QB To Stay Away From: Carson Wentz. The guy has not put up over 20 points in a game this year. He won’t do it tomorrow either.

 

RB: Give me some Wendell Smallwood. Ryan Mathews is out again. Spoles is simply not a workhorse back. Philly does not want Wentz to have to throw the ball too often, as he is still a rookie quarterback. Cincinnati can be run on. Look for Smallwood to get into the end zone and end up with over 70 yards too.

 

RB To Stay Away From: Lamar Miller. If you have the guy, you probably have to start him. But, everything about this game screams fantasy disappointment for him. Green Bay played inspired defense last week at Philly and return home to continue the momentum. A reeling Houston offense meets a home team who is playing good defense for the first time all season. Ew.

 

WR: That’s it, I’m all in. Marquees Wilson. Start him. Chicago is injury plagued and forced to start both Barkley and Wilson. Those two spent plenty of time together on second string and that chemistry will continue on field this week. We saw it last week as Wilson posted 8 for 125 and a touchdown on 11 targets.

 

WR To Stay Away From:  Brandon LaFell. The guy has worse hands than a broken clock. I am just not a fan of his talent. Cinci is struggling and have given up on their season. Philly will be playing for their playoff lives. Start anyone else.

 

TE: I know Arizona plays well against tight ends but start Vernon Davis. You can probably get him off waivers too. With Jordan Reed out, Davis should see around 8-10 targets and a couple in the redzone. A touchdown is a likely possibility for the vet.

 

TE To Stay Away From: Greg Olsen. Truly, consider starting someone else. Since his awesome start, Olsen has fallen off a cliff. Seattle will be amped up and ready to go for a prime time game after their embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay.

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romney, etc

romney, etc

One time when I was a junior in high school I asked my World History teacher if we could watch 300 instead of taking a quiz. His response: “You’d have a better chance of seeing Jesus Christ get into a light saber fight with a dinosaur.”

For all those wondering if Mitt Romney will be our next Secretary of State, see that same quote.

Recently, Trump surrogates-turned-advisors have been all over the media besmirching Romney. Kellyanne Conway has taken to Twitter to express just how upset Trump supporters would be if PEOTUS chose Romney for the position. Newt Gingrich has done more of the same except he expressed his dissent on FOX and other outlets. This open dissent has gained steam in all major media outlets and been a trending story over the past 72 hours. This is exactly what Donald Trump wanted.

For 18 consecutive months, we saw Trump surrogates act as a parrot for the mogul. They have defended everything from gaffes making fun of the disabled to audio tapes which bragged about sexual assault. Through thick and thin they have done everything PEOTUS has asked of them. Why would they suddenly break ranks and openly trash someone their boss is considering for Secretary of State? They are doing it because Donald John Trump told them to; loyal to a fault.

For Mr. Trump, this is all about vengeance. This past March, Romney gave a now famous speech in Utah that completely bashed Trump. The former presidential candidate was a leader of the #NeverTrump movement. Every other day on Twitter we watch Donald Trump bully and taunt his naysayers. Why would Mitt Romney receive special treatment and therefore exemption from Trump’s 14 year-old teenager mentality? Some may argue that Trump is attempting to make amends with the Republican Party he spend months dogging. Well, if that were true he would not have selected appointees who are scarily similar to the crew of Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl. For two years we watched Trump mock the GOP. He has no intentions to appoint Romney as Secretary of State in order to appease the GOP establishment. He never did.

 

If you are loyal to Trump, you receive a spot in the White House. It does not matter if you are an anti-Semitic or a proponent of placing Muslims on a national registry. Support Trump and reap the benefits. This is why we must prepare for Rudy Giuliani to be our Secretary of State. The writing has been on the wall ever since Trump hired a White Nationalist to be his senior adviser.

 

But it is not good enough for Trump to simply appoint Rudy and let Romney quietly descend into the political abyss he came from. He must drag Romney through the mud first. This is why we watched Conway, Gingrich, Hannity and others spend a week reminding us of just how awful Romney is. Trump wants Romney to pay for his words. No, the plug cannot simply be pulled on Romney. Instead, Trump must let the man suffer first. Ironically, the entire country may suffer as well.

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