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One may as well wear a white hood, while the other governed as if he were donning a dunce cap, but make no mistake: Hot garbage may have a stronger stench than its colder counterpart, but trash is trash.

So when it comes to the growing sentiment that maybe, just maybe, former President George W. Bush wasn’t so bad, I say this with love: Y’all have got to get the fuck on somewhere. I know Papaya Batista has us wondering if every churchgoing elder who’s been talking about the rapture since the original airings of Fraggle Rock might finally have his visions come to fruition. But oh no, we are not about to rock our hips and then wave and sip in this revisionist history about that man.

Some of this Dubya-remixed nostalgia stems from his interview on Today to promote his new book, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, featuring portraits of some of the military veterans he has met.

Since Bush managed to pry himself out of self-imposed exile from the press, Matt Lauer did not miss the chance to ask him about what’s happening in our increasingly disastrous world. In turn, W. set out to prove that he’s not a complete fool and a boil on the butt of humanity, unlike the reality-show hack currently in office.

When asked about the press, Bush said that a free press was “indispensable to democracy”—not the sworn enemy of the American people as some nitwits have recently argued. Bush added, “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account.”

He then opted to up the sensible-speaking ante: “Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”

What interesting commentary from a man who led the administration that lied about us getting into war, but sure, this all sounds a lot better than “axis of evil” and much of the word vomit he was known to engage in as president. As do Bush’s comments about 45’s potential ties to the Russian government.

“I think we all need answers,” he said. “I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

And for his thoughts on 45’s immigration policy, Bush explained, “I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law.”

What Bush should have said was, “Immigration reform was probably the one decent goal I could have accomplished as president, but the hateful people of my own punk-ass party cock-blocked me.”

After the Today interview came his People magazine interview in which Bush declared, “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling, and I don’t like the people feeling alienated. Nobody likes that.”

This all prompted applause from people just happy to see a president who doesn’t make them want to cry out to God asking why they have been forsaken.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Thanks to this administration and the congressional cowards who enable it, we have a Secretary of Education, someone in which it is not far fetched to wonder whether or not she knows her ABCs, in power.

And for a person who belongs to a family that has donated money to mindless activities like gay conversation theory, it is amusing to see Betsy DeVos severely struggle to shape shift into the role of someone actually qualified for the position. Somewhat amusing because in the end, DeVos is the lead character in the horror flick that is the future of public education.

DeVos’ gift of gaffe was well documented in both her abysmal confirmation hearings as well as one of the first things that happened after she was confirmed. Yes, bless the hearts of all parties involved, but the Twitter account of the Department of Education misspelled the name of President Minute Maid Mo’s new friend in his head, W.E.B. Du Bois. Not to be outdone, they had yet another misspelling in their tweet professing regret for the previous error.

There is a new error from DeVos, only this time it cannot be blamed on too much sauce (caffeine), autocorrect, or for goodness sake, typing so darn fast.

Following a meeting with presidents of various historically Black colleges and universities, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement exalting HBCUs and likening them to her only real passion with education: privatization under the banner of “school choice.”

A portion of the statement reads:

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have done this since their founding. They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution.

HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

When does Betsy DeVos think the first Black school was founded?

Based on the language here, it seems to be around the time Michael Jackson released “The Way You Make Me Feel,” the third single from Bad. While it’s impolite to insult someone’s intelligence by calling them dumb, it’s even ruder to be dumb-dumb-diddy about the history of Black colleges and universities.

Read the rest at Essence.

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No Comb Conway continues to dance off beat all over my last nerve.

It’s not enough that the Mistress of Propaganda has not been benched despite recent reports and my personal pleas to Black Jesus, but now this liar who helped make her con artist client president of the United States continues to show her utter disregard for basic decency. To some people, the picture of Conway’s feet on the White House couch is much ado about nothing. Those folks don’t have home training.

When you are working in the White House, you don’t kick off your shoes and relax your feet and sit on that couch like you’re about to party on down to the Xscape beat. Or, I guess if you’re working in this administration, some sort of dance remix to a Hitler speech. Whatever; you get it.

I know, I know. I’m Southern, or country as hell, as some in my life would say. I still say “Yes, ma’am” to Girl Scouts and “No, sir” to li’l kids trying to sell me diabetes on the 2 train to fund some mysterious after-school program. Maybe that’s too formal to some, but we should all agree that with respect to professional decorum, Conway could stand to do better given the setting.

Conway is on her phone, probably looking at pro-life jackasses harassing people at a Planned Parenthood on Snapchat for an evil person’s pick-me-up, with her feet tucked under her thighs on the couch like she hasn’t a care in the world. Meanwhile, Sweet Potato Saddam is in a meeting with the heads of presidents of various HBCUs. Conway can’t at least pretend to give a decimeter of a damn in their presence?

The image of those grinning black men with that orange, racist sum’bitch is unsettling enough. However, when you couple that with Kellyanne Conway, a little red Corvette of bullshit, it’s even more upsetting. Like, sis, act like you know where you are.

While I do agree with the crux of what Jezebel’s Rachel Vorona Cote says in “Did You At Least Remove Your Shoes, Kellyanne?,” I don’t want her shoes off. That woman spouts nothing but feces each and every day on the job. And she walks around the same space as Stephen Bannon. Febreze can only do so much to remove the stench of such a white supremacist fuckboy.

Read the rest at The Root.

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They let me country ass from Hiram Clarke on a panel with Soledad O’Brien. Also, my lovely Essence editor, Christina Coleman, and the Desus from Desus and Mero. I think I don’t sound crazy here. Praise be to God and Beyoncé.

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Last November, a majority of white people in America voted for a bigot for president. If you voted for a man who campaigned on xenophobia, racism, sexism and other strains of bigotry, you either share his prejudices or you are complicit in them. The former makes you an audacious racist; the latter, a bystander, which in and of itself is a racist act. Nothing about that reality has changed since Habanero Hitler was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election or officially sworn in to office.

But in senseless fashion, some continue to advocate on behalf of the big basket of deplorables responsible for the ongoing mess that is the 45th president of the United States. Only a week ago, I asked how many more of these disingenuous and intellectually dishonest diatribes will we collectively be subjected to? The

New York Times swiftly flew in with an answer: to infinity and fucking beyond.

In the news analysis “Are Liberals Helping Trump?” Sabrina Tavernise, a national correspondent for the Times, echoes all of the greatest hits associated with any defense of 45’s supporters.

First, there is the introduction of the 45 voter, who in this case is Jeffrey Medford, “a small-business owner in South Carolina” who apparently “voted reluctantly for Donald Trump.” Next we get his rationale for helping to elect a monster who is presently trying to reintroduce a travel ban aimed at people from primarily Muslim countries while stripping protection of transgender children in public schools. For Medford, it was the sentiment that “as a conservative, he felt the need to choose the Republican.”

Then comes the bullshit: the idea that assigning culpability is cruel and unjust, not to mention the cries of victimhood. Tavernise argues:

Mr. Medford should be a natural ally for liberals trying to convince the country that Mr. Trump was a bad choice. But it is not working out that way. Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate—either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles—he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.

“We’re backed into a corner,” said Mr. Medford, 46, whose business teaches people to be filmmakers. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ”

He added: “I didn’t choose a side. They put me on one.”

How ironic that a supporter of a man who campaigned on absolutes like “build a wall” and “Muslim ban” suddenly longs for nuance and gray areas. In any event, Tavernise paints a picture that likely resonates with the likes of the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who once tweeted, “The assumption that ‘Trump voter = racist’ is deeply corrosive to democracy.” Cillizza went on to add, “There is nothing more maddening—and counterproductive—to me than saying that Trump’s 59 million votes were all racist. Ridiculous.”

The same goes for the former host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, who, in an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning shortly after the election, argued:

I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points. But there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him is—has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. Like, there are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities, who are not afraid of Mexicans and not afraid of Muslims and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their insurance premiums.

Many of those people are presently screaming at Republican members of Congress at various town halls across the country. Their anger is understandable until you realize that they voted for someone who vowed on the campaign trail to repeal their health care program. Regardless of their purported motivation, though, Mexicans, Muslims and blacks were rightly fearful of their choice for president—and their support shows that we were expendable. They may not have been afraid, but they rejected their own humanity when they voted for a man who categorized one group as rapists, the other as terrorists, and the last as folks who live in war zones in this country in desperate need of law and order.

Remember, though: It’s wrong to highlight what their votes meant for the rest of us.
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Mike Pence is Lucifer if instead of creating hell after being drop-kicked out of heaven, Lucifer decided to land in Indiana and become a politician.

Pence is nothing more than ugliness presented with pleasantries. Some appear to find that impressive—at least in comparison with President Minute Maid Mao. This is akin to arguing that Jeremih is Luther Vandross Jr. because he sings better than the man behind the “Why You Always Lyin’” video.

Everyone has the right to suffer from the bigotry of low expectations, but when it comes to speaking on Pence’s political work—specifically with respect to fighting HIV/AIDS—you best be informed before offering undeserved praise.

Last weekend, Bono met Pence at the Munich Security Conference and championed Pence for helping to get the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief passed in 2003 and then renewed in 2008. Bono told Pence, “Twice on the House floor you defended that. That’s how we know you, and we really appreciate that.” In response, Pence said, “It was an extraordinary historic accomplishment, and you played a leading role in carrying it forward.”

Bono then jokingly referred to Pence as “the second-busiest man in America.” Somewhere, Stephen Bannon, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Reince Preibus and Ivanka Trump’s declining businesses are all saying, “Bitch, you tried it.”

No one can question Bono’s commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa. However, if one is dedicated to battling AIDS all over the world, why would anyone salute a man whose stubbornness helped create the worst HIV outbreak in his state’s history as governor? In 2013, then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence slashed public health spending, which led to the closure of Planned Parenthood in Scott County—the only facility that provided HIV testing in that county.

Then, in 2015, HIV was spreading at alarming rates among intravenous drug users in a rural area of the state. Local, state and federal health officials all urged the governor to allow clean needles to be distributed to help thwart the outbreak. Pence initially refused to allow needle exchanges because he believed they helped spread drug use. It would be months before Pence changed his mind, and even then, it was insufficient.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Y’all’s president is one vacationing-ass bitch. It hasn’t even been a smooth full month into Tropicana Jong-il’s four-year term (insert laugh track here), and the man has taken every weekend off. To his credit, much like his racism, his xenophobia, his sexism, his narcissism, his creepy obsession with his daughter and his insecurities, 45 has not been shy about sharing his laziness with the world.

Shortly after winning the 2016 presidential election on a gross technicality, the “failing New York Times” reported that he was “talking with his advisers about how many nights a week he will spend in the White House.” Apparently, he “told them he would like to do what he is used to, which is spending time in New York when he can.”

Days before being sworn into office, 45 did an interview with The Times of London in which he revealed that his real first day being president would not be on Jan. 20, a Friday, the day he officially became president, but, you know, after the weekend wrapped up.

“I mean, my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration,” he explained.

You are sworn in as the president of the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth, on a Friday, but you don’t consider your first real day of work until the following Monday “cause you like to party-y-y-y-y-y-y.”

Since then, 45 has retreated to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which he has purposely christened his “Winter White House” because he’s all about the “mu-mu-muny, yen and the pesos.” Speaking of, these little weekend excursions are costing taxpayers a whole lot of money. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department has reportedly already succumbed to $1.5 million in overtime costs in handling 45’s frequent trips back to Florida.

In an interview, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said:

I’m very confident that we’re going to get reimbursed. There’ll be a point in time where I’ll have a conversation, I hope, with the president personally or with someone high up in his administration.

Sis, you’re not getting that money back.

As we’ve recently learned, there’s a bit of a problem with this beyond the sheer trifling ways of a slothful old man who scammed his way into the White House.

While having dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on Feb. 11, news broke that North Korea had launched a nuclear missile. Instead of scurrying away to some secure location, 45 stayed in his very public area to handle the matter—and the nitwits around him pulled out their cellphones to light up classified documents. All of this happened with Mar-a-Lago guests directly in front of them, gleefully snapping pictures of what was happening.

Other pictures include Richard DeAgazio—a retired investor and Mar-a-Lago member—posting a picture with the man who carries the “atomic football.” You know, that briefcase that contains the nuclear codes. Yes, Richard was out here posting pictures of “Rick” on Facebook as if we couldn’t all die from his social media stunting.

Can you imagine if any of this happened under President Barack Obama? Like, imagine Obama, mere weeks into his presidency, saying that he was going to fly back to Chicago every weekend because he needed Harold’s Chicken and real winters. The same goes for a President Hillary Clinton. Let her have taken a nap for 36 minutes anywhere else besides the White House on a Sunday and all hell would have broken loose.

Yet 45 gets to take trips back to his private business because it makes him more comfortable (and also helps him inflate membership prices for Mar-a-Lago).

That said, this big orange waste of the gift of life is lazy in the White House, too.

CNN reports:

The barrage of meet-and-greets suits Trump’s operating style, aides said. He’s not a delve-into-a-briefing-book kind of commander in chief. Instead, he learns by peppering people with questions and prefers to pluck opinions from a rotating cast.

But the dinners also ensure the president is engaged well into the evening, allotting less time for some of Trump’s less productive pursuits—gobbling up cable news and engaging in Twitter wars.

Nonetheless, if he’s going to be lazy wherever he goes, can he at least do it at the White House?

In “President Trump Has Almost Done Nothing,” Politico’s Zachary Karabell explains how very little work, beyond the illusion of him signing various executive orders, the current commander in chief has done thus far. Karabell concludes:

Trump poses a challenge to decades of tradition and precedent. He is masterful [at] conflating words and actions in a way that enrages and alarms his opponents and exhilarates and excites his supporters. It’s more important than ever to distinguish what is from what isn’t. Understanding the difference between what this president says and what he does is one of the only things that will keep our public debate from plunging ever deeper into the hall of mirrors.

All of this is true, though I think in the immediate, narratives matter. We already have to contend with the fact that a stupid man with no political experience managed to become president for no other reason than that he appealed to fears of a black man and potentially of a white woman seizing power, and the overall shifting of a multicultural America—well, also because he had the help of Russian foreign intelligence and a media industry that cared more about the profit margin associated with a shit show than with its real consequences.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Whenever anyone commits an act that can be categorized with descriptors such as “malicious,” “disrespectful,” or “dumb as hell,” there is a tried and true chosen line of defense: “I wanted to open a dialogue.”

This week, conservative cartoonist Glenn McCoy committed an act through his art that is best surmised as malicious, disrespectful, and absolutely, positively, dumb as all hell. On Monday, the Belleville News-Democrat published a political cartoon in which McCoy sought to draw parallels between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and civil rights activist Ruby Bridges. Bridges has long been exalted for being brave enough at the age of six to become the first Black child to integrate a segregated, all-White elementary school. Last week, protesters blocked DeVos, a White woman of immense wealth who recently celebrated her 59th birthday, from entering a public school in Washington, D.C.

Bridges’ story was documented in the Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” In McCoy’s cartoon, which recreates that infamous painting only in his deluded mind, DeVos is equal to Ruby Bridges. To the surprise of no one with sincere respect of the plight of Black people in America, McCoy was instantly criticized for this analogous portrait.

In a statement to Talking Points Memo, McCoy refuted criticism by acting as if he was making some grandiose statement about our current political climate––one that as mentioned, will “start a dialogue.”

McCoy writes: “My cartoon was about how, in this day and age, decades beyond the civil rights protests, it’s sad that people are still being denied the right to speak freely or do their jobs or enter public buildings because others disagree with who they are or how they think. I’m surprised that some readers see ‘hate’ in this cartoon when I thought I was speaking out against hate.”

Perhaps one doesn’t see hate in McCoy’s metaphor, but the sight of stupid in it is far too glaring to miss.

When I think about Ruby Bridges, I think about so many Black students, including my mother, who at some point in their lives, had to help integrate schools and deal with the vileness and unsubstantiated hatred from dimwitted White folks. To compare that plight to a billionaire closer in age to Blanche Devereaux than a damn child because she had to take a separate entrance to avoid protesters is wildly frustrating. McCoy doesn’t even see that to compare a Black child’s burden to an adult, well-off White woman’s issue is to deny not only her full humanity, but the fact that she is a child. McCoy has spent too long living in his bubble to see how asinine it is to infantilize DeVos and trivialize the civil rights movement.

Still, McCoy continued to explain himself: “The drawing depicts a woman passively walking while being protected from angry protesters. Isn’t that what went down the other day when Devos visited a school to do her job? You may disagree with her on issues but I didn’t see any hate coming from her. I did, however see hate going in the other direction which is what made me think of the Rockwell image.”

McCoy’s misreading of hatred and prejudice speaks to his ignorance and White fragility.

Read the rest at Essence.

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White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller has the charm of Hannibal Lector and the ideology of a neo-Nazi who prefers to sit in business class.

While Miller’s name was dropped throughout the presidential campaign, it was only last weekend that the other big racist in the White House really made his presence felt after making the rounds on the various Sunday talk shows (an often lily-white platform that ought to have made him feel right at home, but I digress). And oh, did he make an impression as he switched back and forth from “It rubs the white supremacy on its skin” to teases of young Anakin Skywalker shortly after pledging allegiance to Darth Sidious.

In many ways, Miller was your typical 45 surrogate. He lied like hell about voter fraud. Likewise, Miller refused to be truthful about the travel ban being a ban specifically targeting Muslims seeking to enter the United States. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Miller also wears an ill-fitting suit, which increasingly appears to be a requirement for any man working for that White House.

Excuse me, any man that works for that monster.

Of all Miller’s appearances, though, the one that stood out most, and what separates him from his colleagues, was his segment on CBS’ Face the Nation. There, Miller bumped his pale chest high into the whitest cloud he could find in the sky to let us, the viewing public, know one thing: You do not question Colby-Jack Führer. Miller was asked about the disastrous executive order, which he is largely responsible for writing and subsequently fumbling.

Still, when asked about what he has learned from this experience, Miller decided to go the authoritarian route rather than any apologetic one, answering:

Well, I think that it’s been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become, in many cases, a supreme branch of government. One unelected judge in Seattle cannot remake laws for the entire country. I mean, this is just crazy, John, the idea that you have a judge in Seattle say that a foreign national living in Libya has an effective right to enter the United States is—is—is beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.

The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.

It’s been all too apparent that Colby-Jack Führer has strongman dreams, and he and his team of deplorables are longing to bite the heads off of anyone who stands in their way as they pursue absolute power. However, the more you read about Miller, the more frightening it is to consider that this is a person who writes policy and serves the president.

In his third year at the school, the 16-year-old Miller wrote a letter to The Lookout, a local publication, about his negative impression of Hispanic students and the use of Spanish in the United States.

“When I entered Santa Monica High School in ninth grade, I noticed a number of students lacked basic English skills. There are usually very few, if any, Hispanic students in my honors classes, despite the large number of Hispanic students that attend our school,” Miller wrote.

“Even so, pursuant to district policy, all announcements are written in both Spanish and English. By providing a crutch now, we are preventing Spanish speakers from standing on their own,” he added. “As politically correct as this may be, it demeans the immigrant population as incompetent, and makes a mockery of the American ideal of personal accomplishment.”

In that article, Miller also complained about his school’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the existence of a gay club and a visit by a Muslim leader.

Additionally, there is an exhausting list of Miller’s bold displays of homophobia, xenophobia and sexism.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Like anything else that involves communication, your president’s recent interview with fellow belligerent white man Bill O’Reilly was a clusterfuck. Most of the fallout from it, though, focused on Bankruptcy Batista taking issue with O’Reilly’s categorization of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.”

“There are a lot of killers,” 45 shot back. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think, our country’s so innocent?”

When your new boyfriend is an authoritarian who may or may not have video of you being pissed on in a hotel, it’s unsurprising to see that you continue to serve as the Bonnie to his Clyde, the Bell Biv to his DeVoe and the eager bottom to his aggressive top. That’s what love is. Well, that’s also blackmail, but same difference, in this instance. As frustrating as it was to hear him say that, you’re not going to get my black self to rally too hard for the country that just allowed Attorney General Segregation Now, Segregation Forever to happen.

So while critics were correct in assailing a false equivalence slow cooking in a Crock-Pot of asininity and outlandishness, there was another declaration made by 45 that still slips and slides up and down my last nerve. It is a sentiment that 45 has hinted at before but never flat out said until now.

As he and O’Reilly discussed American Horror Story: The 2016 Presidential Election, 45 had the honeysuckle-colored gall to assert that former President Obama actually likes his bigoted ass. Of Obama, 45 explained to O’Reilly, “It’s a very strange phenomena. We get along. I don’t know if he’ll admit this, but he likes me, I like him.”

Any sensible soul has long been aware that 45 is too many fallen fries from a full order, too much ice for a satisfying full cup of strawberry soda and one nugget short of a worthwhile late-night drive-thru run. Still, how much is this man out of his rabbit-ass mind to think that Barry fucks with him? How could he possibly believe that the man against whom he lodged a dehumanizing, racist-conspiracy-theory-riddled campaign finds him anything other than a village idiot who’s lucky that bigotry and white mediocrity can always take you far in America?

When asked what convinced him that Obama genuinely liked him, 45 responded, “I can feel it.”

Bankruptcy Batista says he can feel it, y’all. Total, help me sing. Total, help me sing.

He continued:

We had a rough campaign. He was fighting better for Hillary then she did. He was vicious during the campaign towards me and I was vicious towards him. We said horrible things about each other. And then we hop into the car and we drive down Pennsylvania Avenue together and we don’t even talk about it. Politics is amazing.

See, 45 is acting like those co-workers who don’t understand that when their colleagues—namely, the black ones who don’t really fool with them like that—are being cordial, they’re simply being professional. In the case of Obama treating his successor with the dignity he doesn’t deserve, that speaks to Obama’s sense of duty. That is not the same thing as sincere affinity for a basket case who ought to be relegated to social media and reality television.

During the campaign trail, Obama repeatedly laid into that man over his bad business dealings, divisive rhetoric and terrible character. Those feelings didn’t suddenly dissipate after Obama was compelled by duty to engage him. Of course, 45 doesn’t know much of anything, much less about matters related to basic social skills.

In the article “For Donald Trump, Friends in Few Places,” Alan Feuer explored 45’s lack of friendship in the “failing” New York Times. “He doesn’t really have a lot of friends,” Billy Procida, a financier from New Jersey who served for years as one of Trump’s top lieutenants, was quoted as saying. “Pretty much all he does is work and play golf.”

And, you know, bash people who don’t align with his warped view about a given topic or affect his frail ego.

Read the rest at The Root.

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