Are You Addicted to Doom Scrolling Through Panic Porn? Help is on the way

Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope is a belief in a...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

One of the reasons that the right loves their conspiracy theories is that when things feel scary and we are without good leadership, clinging to conspiracy theories can give a sense of predictability in the world.  Things aren’t just randomly happening — there is a force behind them.

You would think that believing in an evil force (as most conspiracy theories posit) would actually make people feel LESS good, but it doesn’t, because at least it is SOME force. People really want the world to feel predictable.  We hate bad surprises. Feeling like we can’t predict what is going to happen is one of the most stressful things for us.  So believing that there is some horrible force behind everything is actually comforting in that it makes things seem less random and unpredictable.

The same thing is happening with the left and panic porn and the doom scrolling.  It may seem like reading in detail about every possible negative outcome and awful thing that could possibly happen would be aversive to people.  And yet people are drawn to it for the same reason that people are drawn to conspiracy theories — because it gives a false sense of control.  At least you will know about the awful thing before it happens.   It won’t be a soul-crushing surprise.

But this leads to a terrible compulsion to make read ever panic porn article.  It leads to evenings spent doom scrolling through twitter.  It leads to sleepless nights.  It leads to high blood pressure.  It leads to panic and distress and inaction.

We get a sense of control from feeling as if we won’t be surprised by some awful move.  But it isn’t healthy.

There are people out there who actually have control over things who are plotting out for all kinds of contingencies.  Pelosi is planning for the extremely unlikely event of a tie in the electoral college (and — I am sure completely coincidentally — finding it a useful way to fundraise to flip more seats).  Biden has teams of hundreds of lawyers working on plans for every kind of contested race possible. Pretty much every smart person in America is on our side, and those with power are planning for the negatives that might come.

You know what won’t help at all?  You staying up late at night reading every awful article and comment is not going to do anything to help us.  Are you the speaker of the house?  Are you one of Biden’s hundreds of lawyers?   Are you an elected official?  If not, you are just stressing yourself out with no positive outcome.

The best way to avoid bad things happening around the election is to take actions that are within our power.

Get your sense of control by taking control of the things that you can actually effect:

VOTE and get everyone you know (who votes Blue) to vote.

Volunteer with the Democratic party  or Volunteer with the Biden campaign 

Get people who have registered to actually vote.  You can Get involved with Postcards to voters or send letters to voters with Vote Forward or Volunteer with Beto to turn Texas Blue.

Volunteer with Common Cause’s old school Protect the Vote effort.

donate to fight gerrymandering.  You can donate to take the senate.  You can donate to  VerySmart™ legal teams to track and battle any possible voter suppression efforts across all communities in their states.   You can Donate money to the  ACLU — they have filed 20 lawsuits and counting to ensure every eligible voter can vote by mail.

Because remember, driving yourself mad with worry isn’t going to help you.  Look at this guy:

Trump’s lunacy is only hurting him

It is hard to watch him being this erratic.  But keep in mind that he is hurting his chances of reelection (or even having a close vote he can contest)

Republicans increasingly worried about Trump’s reelection after a wild week in Washington

 Vice President Pence declared to voters at this week’s debate that he thinks Trump will win this election. But many Republicans are privately – and some publicly – say they’re less sure of that.

The last seven days since Trump disclosed his coronavirus test have been marked by chaos and conflicting messages: Trump, who was hospitalized just last Friday and displayed concerning symptoms, returned home three days later to rip off his mask and urge Americans not to worry about the pandemic that has killed over 210,000 people in the country. The likely still-contagious president returned to the Oval Office; erroneously called the therapeutic drugs he received a “cure”; declared he would end stimulus talks before backpedaling to seek piecemeal relief as the stock market went into a tailspin; and pulled out of next week’s presidential debate with Joe Biden. Now he’s insisting on holding rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania this weekend, even though he declined to tell Fox News host Sean Hannity last night whether he’s had a negative coronavirus test yet.

The president’s unpredictable behavior has long been a feature of the Trump presidency, but eight GOP sources  from Capitol Hill to the Trump campaign to the White House  tell Power Up this week has spooked them and they are now bracing for the electoral worst.

Donald Trump seals his fate

Any sliver of hope to avoid a Republican wipeout slipped away from President Trump on Thursday morning thanks to his refusal to attend the next presidential debate in a virtual format (necessitated by his covid-19 diagnosis), his hysterical demand that Hillary Clinton be indicted and his decision to throw insults at Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala D. Harris (he called her a “monster,” “totally unlikable” and a “communist”). It is noteworthy that one of Trump’s objections to a virtual debate is that the moderator can cut you off. In other words, deprived of the chance to bully and interrupt, Trump is pitifully weak.

The reckless disregard for others’ well-being and the gross insults at the only African American woman ever to be on a major presidential ticket will only heighten Trump’s problem with women. It is noteworthy that the most memorable line of the VP debate may have been “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.” There is not a woman in America who has not been talked over, interrupted or put down by a male peer. The all-male Republican ticket remains oblivious.

Barring an unforeseen calamity, we are witnessing the end of our national nightmare. The end cannot come soon enough — especially for those Trump still might infect and endanger.

A Republican Party unraveling’: GOP plunged into crisis as Trump abruptly ends economic relief talks, dismisses virus

Vulnerable Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from President Trump’s dismissive response to the coronavirus pandemic and his dramatic termination of negotiations with congressional Democrats over federal economic relief, with the latest cracks carrying enormous implications for Trump and the party with just four weeks until Election Day.

Facing a political reckoning as Trump’s support plummets and a possible blue tsunami looms, it is now conservatives and Trump allies who are showing flashes of discomfort with the president, straining to stay in the good graces of his core voters without being wholly defined by an erratic incumbent.

For some Republicans, the 11th-hour repositioning may not be enough to stave off defeat. But the criticism, however muted, illuminates the extent of the crisis inside a party that is growing alarmed about its political fate and confused by Trump’s tweets and decision-making.

Trump’s corrupt schemes to save himself keep blowing up in his face

When you step back and survey the last two years of U.S. politics, one of the biggest story lines that comes into view is this: One after another, a whole string of deeply corrupt schemes that President Trump has hatched to smooth his reelection hopes have crashed and burned.

In all these cases, Trump has either blown up the schemes himself or compounded the damage they did to him when they self-destructed. In some cases he did both.

Meanwhile, Trump has also managed to wreck numerous opportunities that he could have easily turned to his political advantage if he had reacted to them in a non-depraved manner. Instead, he sought to pervert or corrupt them in ways that ended up backfiring.

Let’s take these in reverse chronological order.

Trump’s vaccine scheme implodes

Trump blows up stimulus lifeline

Trump wrecks public goodwill toward himself.

Efforts to corrupt vote-by-mail backfire.

Trump’s “law and order” agitprop tanks

“Hunterghazi” flops. 

Which brings us to … impeachment.

Trump’s latest madness may herald large-scale GOP collapse

It’s hard not to see the spread of covid-19 through the White House and the Republican Party as a metaphor for Trumpism: The party hoped and believed that they could keep themselves safe from the damaging effects of the virus.

For a while, they succeeded. But it couldn’t last.

With Republicans tied to Trump’s utter contempt for social distancing and his cultlike command that all Republicans treat the virus as largely a nonissue, they have to hope it won’t spread much deeper into their own ranks.

As one GOP strategist told Politico: “The polls have dropped all last week everywhere, it just feels like the end is near.”

Now the madness is only intensifying. And with it, so is the uncertainty.

Trump may turn a big Democratic win into a romp

Trump, still contagious with covid-19, seems intent not only to convey a dangerous message about the pandemic but also to demonstrate his utter disregard for the lives of those around him. He has taken a spin in a sealed vehicle with Secret Service agents, ripped off his mask upon returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and has refused to fess up about when he last tested negative for the coronavirus. If he does not care about the health of the people who drive his car, clean his home and work in his West Wing, you can be sure he does not care about the lives of the hundreds of millions of Americans living under his administration.

The irony (or karma) is that this cavalier attitude toward a deadly disease is overwhelmingly unpopular. The poll numbers are staggeringly bad for Trump. In the most recent CNN poll, he trails former vice president Joe Biden by 16 points. It’s not just Trump’s collapse but a rise in Biden’s popularity that is widening the gap. (CNN reports: “Biden’s favorability ratings have also improved, with 52% of Americans now saying they have a positive impression of the former vice president, compared with 39% who have a positive view of Trump.”) Biden’s average lead, according to FiveThirtyEight, is nearly nine points.

Trump’s bullying behavior at the debate and his contemptuous and reckless response to covid-19 are sealing his fate. Should these numbers hold, we would be looking at a blowout election of the sort we have not seen in decades.

Democrats rip Trump for suggesting Gold Star families could have given him Covid-19

Top congressional Democrats condemned President Donald Trump on Thursday after the commander in chief suggested that he might have contracted Covid-19 from Gold Star family members who were too close to him when telling stories of their loved ones who died in the line of duty.

Democrats said Trump’s comments, made in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday morning, disrespected military families and shifted blame for his administration’s shortcomings on the coronavirus.

Down in the polls and yearning for an October surprise, Trump lashes at his most loyal allies

perhaps nothing in the interview reflected his precarious position quite like what he said about some of his most loyal allies. And the theme of each was the same: These people aren’t doing enough to further his political goals by linking his prominent foes to crimes.

Less than 12 hours earlier, Trump’s loyal vice president, Mike Pence, won plaudits from conservatives for his debate performance against Harris. But Trump hijacked the debate news with an interview that included targeting arguably his two most loyal Cabinet members — Attorney General William P. Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — along with FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.

and don’t give us any of that “oh this is just some long game chess match he is playing.”  No, child.  Donald doesn’t even play checkers.

The Myth of Trump’s Political Genius, Exposed

It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true: Donald Trump is bad at electoral politics.

The past week has been instructive in this regard. Last Tuesday, he faced off against Joe Biden in the first presidential debate. Trump, who trailed Biden in national polls and in most swing states, had one job: to bring wavering voters back into the fold. With a sufficiently competent performance, Trump could stop the bleeding and maybe even mount a small comeback. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it should have been simple — a straightforward turn that any incumbent president ought to have been able to make.

Of course, Trump blew it. He barked and ranted for 90 minutes, making the debate-that-was-not-actually-a-debate an alienating spectacle for most viewers. He demonstrated the truth of Democratic attacks on his temperament and ability at the same time that Biden dispelled the idea, pushed by the president and his allies, that Biden suffers from serious cognitive decline. The result was a rout.

Trump was the unexpected winner of the 2016 presidential election. That victory led many, including Trump himself, to believe he had some special sauce, some superpower that helped him defy political gravity. There’s no question he has some political skills. A lifelong showman, he’s good with a crowd, or at least certain kinds of crowds. He can distill an entire governing agenda into a few simple phrases. And he’s been able to build an emotional connection with a significant part of the American electorate.

But even with those assets, Trump doesn’t win the 2016 election without a huge amount of luck.

If the president had any appreciation for the role of luck and chance in his election, he would have governed in ways that maximized his advantages and cleared the path for an outright win. Instead, he embraced the myth of his political genius and brought himself, and his party, to the brink of political disaster. It took a fluke to put Trump into the White House, and if nothing changes, it will take another fluke to keep him there.

Biden is doing a great job

Meanwhile, our guy is running a great campaign.

Biden checkmates Trump on Covid

A little more than an hour after President Trump, infected with the coronavirus, made a rash and reckless return to the White House, Democratic challenger Joe Biden made clear at a televised NBC town hall why he is leading Trump in every national poll and in most top battleground states as well.

shortly after Trump ginned up a media spectacle of checking himself out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and posing, maskless, on a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House, Biden was imploring voters to take the deadly pandemic seriously. “I hope nobody walks away thinking it’s not a problem,” he said of Trump’s tweet. “It’s a serious problem.”
And when asked about Trump contracting Covid-19 after months of sowing confusion about the virus, Biden surely must have got heads nodding all over America by simply acknowledging the truth. “210,000 have died already. And the expectation is, if nothing changes, another 200,000 dead by the end of the year,” he said. “That’s 400,000 — God forbid it that happens — more than were killed in one year in America than four years in World War II.”
“The country is ready to be united, I believe,” he told a voter at the town hall. “We have to just change the way we talk to each other. Politics has become so mean and so ugly. We’ve gotta get rid of that. We gotta just start talking to each other like we respect each other.”

Biden looks to seal election after Trump’s week from hell

In a role reversal, the president who mocked his rival for being weak and hiding “in his basement” is stuck in isolation under doctors’ supervision while Biden jets off to states like Michigan on Friday and Florida on Monday, with the battleground map all to himself.

Biden’s campaign, pointing to all the national and battleground-state polling, felt he was winning even before Trump announced early Friday that he tested positive. It has been further encouraged by early voting numbers.

Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political science professor who tracks early voting, said the 3.2 million ballots cast so far is a record, if only a fraction of the number of ballots that will ultimately be cast. Democrats are returning early ballots in bigger numbers and at higher rates than Republicans, he said.

“Normally, you don’t see that from Democrats. Normally, it’s Democrats who sit on their ballots and don’t return them as much as Republicans,” McDonald said. “We’ve never seen anything of this scale before

Some good legal decisions

US judge blocks Abbott order limiting ballot drop-off locations

A federal judge issued an order Friday night barring enforcement of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Oct. 1 proclamation that limited counties to one mail-in ballot drop-off location.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman said Abbott’s order placed an unacceptable burden on the voting rights of elderly and disabled Texans, who are most likely to request a mail-in ballot and to hand deliver those ballots early to ensure that they are counted.

Early voting can start Oct. 13 as scheduled, Texas Supreme Court rules

Early voting in Texas can begin Oct. 13, following the timeline the governor laid out months ago, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, rejecting a request from several top Texas Republicans to limit the timeframe for voters to cast their ballots.

Polls look great for us

FiveThirtyEight has Biden ahead by over 10 points for the first time

FiveThirtyEight.com’s poll tracking is by nature ephemeral, and what I’m posting could go away minutes later, but it’s a milestone all the same. As of 930am Eastern, today Friday Oct 9, Joe Biden is showing +10.1 points over Trump in their composite of all national polling.

Biden crosses 270 threshold in CNN’s Electoral College outlook for first time

In our latest Electoral College outlook, the Democratic presidential nominee crosses the 270 threshold for the first time this year. If you add up the states that are currently rated as solidly in his camp (203 electoral votes) and those leaning in his direction (87 electoral votes), it brings his total to 290 electoral votes.

A wave of polls paints a dire picture for Trump

The new surveys fall into two buckets: those that are bad for the president, and those that are horrible.

He is behind former Vice President Joe Biden by eye-popping margins: 16 and 14 points in national CNN/SSRS and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls, respectively; 9 points in a New York Times/Siena College poll in Arizona and 13 points in a Pennsylvania survey from Quinnipiac University.

Even the president’s favorite pollster — Rasmussen Reports, whose methodology doesn’t meet POLITICO’s standards — has the president behind Biden by more than 10 points.

Biden expands lead over Trump after contentious debate and President’s Covid diagnosis

Joe Biden’s advantage over President Donald Trump has expanded and the former vice president now holds his widest lead of the cycle with less than a month remaining before Election Day, according to a new nationwide CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

Among likely voters, 57% say they back Biden and 41% Trump in the poll that was conducted entirely after the first debate and mostly after the President’s coronavirus infection was made public.

Getting Covid has not helped trump become more popular

Joe Biden’s advantage over President Donald Trump has expanded and the former vice president now holds his widest lead of the cycle with less than a month remaining before Election Day, according to a new nationwide CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

Among likely voters, 57% say they back Biden and 41% Trump in the poll that was conducted entirely after the first debate and mostly after the President’s coronavirus infection was made public.

65 Percent of Republicans agreed that “if Trump had taken coronavirus more seriously, he probably would not have been infected.”

Along the same lines a new ABC News/Ipsos poll showed 72% of adults say he didn’t take “the appropriate precautions when it came to his personal health,” including 43% of Republicans.

people see his racism — the majority of people see him as supporting white supremacy 

The best antidote to hot takes is hard data, and the latest Daily Kos/Civiqs poll is here with your cure. This survey of 1,359 adults was conducted online from Oct. 2-5 and reveals that 51% of Americans think Donald Trump supports white supremacist movements in the U.S. Additionally, most Americans (52%) say that replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court should be left to the winner of the presidential election and next year’s U.S. Senate.

Harris gets higher marks than Pence in two new post-debate polls

Two new polls show viewers of last night’s vice-presidential debate believe Harris outperformed Pence.

In a CNN poll of 609 voters who watched the debate, 59 percent of respondents said Harris won the debate, while 38 percent thought Pence won. The figures are in line with those voters’ pre-debate expectations — 61 percent said ahead of the faceoff that they thought Harris would win, while 36 percent thought Pence would win.

The CNN survey revealed a large gender gap, with women saying Harris won by more than 2 to 1 (69 percent vs. 30 percent). Men were split, with 48 percent saying Harris won and 46 percent saying Pence was the victor.

Another poll by FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos shows that 69 percent of debate watchers rated Harris’s overall performance as “good,” compared with 60 percent who said the same of Pence’s performance. When it comes to the candidates’ answers on policy issues, Harris leads by a wider 62 percent to 44 percent margin.

And no, this isn’t just what we saw in 2016 with HRC

Their support is crumbling all over the country and in all kinds of places

Biden, Democrats see late opportunity in Texas

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign will spend $6 million on television advertisements in Texas as Democrats sense a new opportunity to gain substantial ground in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office in a quarter century.

Biden’s campaign is not alone: Forward Majority, a Democratic super PAC, has committed $6.2 million in spending aimed at flipping the state House. The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican strategists who oppose President Trump, has launched its own $1 million campaign aimed at suburban Republican women.

And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is spending substantial amounts in districts across the state where they see late movement.

Lindsey Graham may be in *deep* trouble

On Wednesday morning, something no one thought would happen in 2020 did: The Cook Political Report, a leading political handicapping site, moved South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reelection race against Democrat Jaime Harrison into its “toss up” category — a move that speaks to how much danger President Donald Trump’s number one Senate ally is in.

A bullish Biden campaign invades Trump territory

Over the past two weeks, Biden had the airwaves to himself in Iowa, Ohio, Texas and New Hampshire, while Trump went dark, according to Advertising Analytics, a TV tracking firm. This week, Trump isn’t airing any ads in Nebraska, where both campaigns are competing for the lone Electoral College vote out of the Omaha-based congressional district, while Biden is dropping just under $500,000.

The spending disparity isn’t limited to Democratic “reach” states. Biden and his allies are also racking up ad advantages in the core battlegrounds that put Trump in the White House in 2016. Biden is out-advertising Trump in 72 out of 83 media markets where the campaigns are spending this week, including dozens of places that played a critical role in deciding the last election, like Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania and Milwaukee and Green Bay in Wisconsin.

Republican super PACs are making up some of the gap, but Democratic ones are still outspending their counterparts in more media markets, too.

Hickenlooper raises $22.6M for Colorado Senate bid

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) raised an eye-popping $22.6 million for his Senate bid in the state in the third quarter of 2020.

The haul is more than four times the $5.2 million he brought in during the second quarter, and he heads into the final sprint to Election Day with $7.2 million in the bank.

The campaign confirmed that the average donation from July to September amounted to $15, and that 485,000 people donated to the campaign. About 97 percent of the donations were under $200.

The haul puts Hickenlooper on strong financial footing in his race to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R), widely seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the Senate. Gardner has not yet released his third-quarter numbers, though he raised $3.6 million in the second quarter and finished June with a beefier bank account of $10.9 million.

Early numbers are looking good for us

‘Staggering numbers’: Early voting is breaking records in 2020, fueled by a big mail-ballot lead for Democrats

More than 5.6 million people have voted early in the presidential election, vastly exceeding the pace of 2016 as Democrats amass a commanding lead in returned mail ballots.

Florida Democrats Post Wide Lead in Mail-In Ballot Requests

With just over a month until Election Day, Democrats are encouraged by a substantial lead in requests for mail-in ballots  The Florida secretary of state’s office shows that 2.4 million Democrats have requested mail-in ballots compared with 1.6 million Republicans — a 767,000 request advantage as the coronavirus pandemic makes some voters leery of entering a polling place. It’s also a sharp change from 2016 when requests — and returned mail-in ballots — were evenly split.

Biden has support from all over

A new group of evangelical leaders forms in support of Biden

On Friday, Hunter will join other evangelicals who represent major Christian institutions to launch a group, Pro-life Evangelicals for Biden, describing the Democrat’s overall agenda as closer to what they call a “biblically balanced agenda,” even though they disagree with Biden on abortion rights.

The pope’s unexpected election message

We are not accustomed to a hearing from a pope, a month before Election Day, who criticizes “myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism,” and castigates those who, through their actions, cast immigrants as “less worthy, less important, less human.”

Nor is it in our political playbook that a pope would call out an “every man for himself” worldview that “will rapidly degenerate into a free-for-all that would prove worse than any pandemic.”

Or say this: “The marketplace, by itself, cannot resolve every problem, however much we are asked to believe this dogma of neoliberal faith. Whatever the challenge, this impoverished and repetitive school of thought always offers the same recipes … the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ — without using the name.”

and this guy:

How about that October surprise they had planned?  Not looking good for them:

They have worked hard to have this BS report ready before the election… and failed.

and this is not leading to positive feelings between two of the worst people in the world

They are showing signs of falling apart

Trump campaign canceling ads in Ohio and Iowa

President Trump’s campaign is canceling planned television ads in Ohio and Iowa for this week to instead focus funding in states where polls show the president trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The president’s reelection campaign canceled $2.5 million in ads in Ohio and $820,000 in ads in Iowa, according to ad-tracking firm CMAG, CNN reported Monday.

This week will be the third week in a row without Trump TV ads in the two Midwestern states as polls show a deadlocked race between Trump and Biden.

“I don’t think the spin is in any way congruent with the reality,” Nicholas Everhart, an Ohio-based Republican ad maker, told BuzzFeed News. “There’s no reason why [Trump] would not be wanting to be on the air in those states, particularly Ohio, at this moment. Clearly there are some unpleasant financial realities impacting the strategic decisions they are making.”

Biden and the Democratic National Committee outraised Trump and the Republicans by more than $150 million in August. Neither side has yet released September fundraising totals.

Donald Trump Is Canceling TV Ads In Midwest States That Made Him President

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is slashing television spending in the Midwest, canceling millions of dollars in advertising in states that carried him to victory in 2016.

He’s been off the local airwaves completely in Iowa and Ohio. The campaign also has given up at least $2 million worth of reservations in both Michigan and Wisconsin since early September. And in Minnesota, a state Trump almost won four years ago and has expressed confidence in flipping, his team already has chopped about $5 million from its projected fall TV budget.

Pete Buttigieg is my new celebrity boyfriend

check him out here:

and here:

and here

Buttigieg channels Pence, offers impression

Former Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who helped Sen. Kamala D. Harris prepare for this week’s vice-presidential debate, shared his impression of Vice President Pence during an interview on Washington Post Live on Friday

I know I am happily married and he isn’t interested in women but DAMN, he had a good week!!

on the lighter side….

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Let’s give the final word to Jon Lovett

I am so grateful and so lucky to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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2 Comments on "Are You Addicted to Doom Scrolling Through Panic Porn? Help is on the way"

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Thomas
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Thomas

Jon Lovett couldn’t have said it better

Alfred Higgins
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Alfred Higgins

Perhaps, once again, the last word belongs to Diogenes.