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During the confirmation hearings for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, racist sum’bitch, his Republican colleagues went classic Americana on us as they quite theatrically conveyed their collective belief that the real burden of racism isn’t racism itself, but merely being accused of racism.

There was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who told committee members during opening remarks, “I have never witnessed anything to suggest that Senator Sessions is anything other than a dedicated public servant and a decent man.” According to Collins, Sessions “is not motivated by racial animus.”

Then came Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who asked Sessions, “Would you agree that being called a racist is the worst thing that can ever happen to someone?” Sessions emphatically replied, “Why, yes, sir, I would.”

These two said this even though Coretta Scott King once wrote, 30 years prior, that Sessions would “irreparably damage the work of my husband” when he was nominated for a federal judgeship. Everything about Sessions screams Dennis the Menace if Dennis the Menace grew up to be a racist with power. Still, these politicians argued that he was just a nice ole Southern fella, and it’s so doggone sad that folks want to brand that Confederacy-loving, egg-headed fuck exactly what the hell he is.

Joining them in the lie were two high-profile black Republicans—former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)—both of whom pathetically lent their endorsement to Sessions for attorney general. Rice has long been an apologist for terrible white men associated with the Republican Party. Just last week, she was excusing Minute Maid Mao’s madness. As for Scott, who spent 30 minutes on the Senate floor advocating for Sessions, well, if self-loathsomeness is contagious, may he forever keep the fuck away from ’round me.

Sessions has been off to a rousing start since being confirmed as attorney general. He may very well have perjured himself in those very confirmation hearings during an exchange with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). And while he was supposed to have recused himself from Mother Russia and the investigation into possible collusion between its government and Saddle Tan Nixon’s presidential campaign, uh, ask fired FBI Director James Comey about how that’s gone.

Yet, between being a known racist, a liar and, potentially, someone who helped a sitting president obstruct justice, Sessions remains attorney general. It’s as if nothing matters anymore. That is, almost nothing.

Late last week, Sessions issued a new directive (pdf) for federal prosecutors nationwide: “that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.”

It came along with several other departures from directives issued during the Obama era at the Justice Department. In a news conference, Sessions said: “Charging and sentencing recommendations are bedrock responsibilities of any prosecutor, and I trust our prosecutors in the field to make good judgments. They deserve to be unhandcuffed and not micromanaged from Washington.”

Sessions also argued, “The most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.” Sessions even called the move “simply the right and moral thing to do.” Who better to judge us on right and wrong than the suited redneck who perjures himself and helps another con man try to get out of a federal investigation?

In response, former Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement, claiming: “The policy announced today is not tough on crime. It is dumb on crime. It is an ideologically motivated, cookie-cutter approach that has only been proven to generate unfairly long sentences that are often applied indiscriminately and do little to achieve long-term public safety.”

Read the rest at The Root.

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Even if it can boast of being a critical darling that’s generated historic ratings for the network, Underground‘s fate at WGN America appears to be all but sealed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the slave-centered drama, which wrapped its second season Wednesday, will have to find a new home amid a new strategy employed by its new owners, the Sinclair Group, which recently secured WGN America’s owner, Tribune Media. Previously, WGN America had been trying to fancy itself as a new destination for high-quality dramas like Underground and Outsiders. Yet, in April, WGN America axed Outsiders, its top-rated drama, which subsequently sparked talk that Underground would likely go home to TV glory, too.

“It’s a complete pause at WGN America,” an apparent “agency insider” explained to the publication. “It’s unclear if they’ll still have scripted there. I had something being shopped there, and talks suddenly just stalled. They’re figuring out what they’re going to do and if they even continue on with scripted.”

That means WGN America will likely now become home to reruns of procedural dramas already airing on seven damn networks and cheap imports. Hello, Canada. What up, Britain? Hey, hey, Czechoslovakia. Let WGN America air your shit stateside for that low-low.

All hope isn’t lost for Underground fans, though. Its producer, Sony Pictures Television, has been trying to find a new home for the show, which reportedly carries a $5-million-per-episode cost. The show already has an exclusive deal to air episodes on Hulu, so here’s hoping that Hulu will add the show to its roster of original programming. After all, Hulu could use more color in its programming slate.

For those who didn’t take heed to my previous call to watch the show, stop depriving yourselves of greatness and dive in. The second season of Underground is superior to what was already an outstanding inaugural run. And while every cast member on the show is impressive in his or her respective role, Underground has given me a strong and ever-increasing affinity for the talents of Amirah Vann, who plays Miss Ernestine on the series.

While I’ll join fellow viewers in prayers, happy thoughts and wishes upon a star that Underground gets a third season on a deserving network or medium like Hulu, there is another aspect to WGN America’s new owners that ought to alarm anyone who worries about the role that big, conservative-leaning conglomerates have in our collective viewing habits.

Read the rest at The Root.

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More often than not and now more than ever, once a sitting president leaves office, he does the following: treats his former status as the most powerful person on earth for the winning Lotto ticket it is. This is done by way of lucrative book fees, high-paid speaking engagements and sitting on a board or 27 ½ for a pretty, pretty nice amount of money.

For former President Barack Obama, who can boast of being not only one of the few two-term Democratic presidents but also the first black one, such bonafides make him even more capable of making lots and lots of bread (please read “bread” in the voice of Stevie J).

However, like many things associated with his time in office, what was once considered a norm for others is now suddenly an issue when Obama partakes in the practice.

For more than a week now, a fair number of folks have been complaining about Obama netting $400,000 for a speaking engagement on top of the reported $60 million he and former first lady Michelle Obama earned for their collective book deal. Newsweek writer Chris Riotta asks the following: “How could it be that Obama, the smooth-talking Democratic candidate in 2008 who slammed Wall Street greed and resonated with the working class in a way his party has since been unable to authentically recreate, is living his post-presidential life like an elitist one percent?”

The annoyances in this leading question are twofold. One, to quote many a lovable Negro today, “I just think it’s funny how” suddenly the first black president has to be held to certain standards with respect to making money. After all, capitalism is a religion in America, so it’s peculiar that anyone is perplexed that a former head of state of this capitalistic country wouldn’t follow traditions such as seeing his postpresidency through the lens of “Cash rules everything around me.” Yet the likes of Riotta and others have been asking, “Isn’t $60 million enough?”

Go ask a Clinton, a Bush, a Reagan or a Kennedy that. Speaking of, Obama and Bill Clinton biographer David Maraniss said, Obama “does not need the money and should not accept it.” A Clinton biographer said this. The Clintons treated the White House like an Airbnb for big donors and made several fortunes after the Clinton presidency. But please, Barry, don’t get too rich on ’em. Mind you, the types making these calls are well-paid white folks in media who currently earn far more than I and others like me make for similar, if not less, work.

As for the 2008 Obama who “slammed Wall Street,” there is a bit of revisionist history at hand. Like a kid at the end of an old ABC family sitcom who suddenly saved the day with his naivete, Riotta quotes Obama in 2009 saying, “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street” and ends his piece with this quip: “Maybe that Obama should have a talk with 2017 Obama.”

Obama notoriously raised more money than political opponents like Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Mitt Romney from Wall Street. He even raised more money than former President George W. Bush. The Obama administration has long been criticized over this, which is why, when asked about the fee and criticisms over it, Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said: “With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history—and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since [President Franklin D. Roosevelt].”

That’s long been an Obama retort to criticism over taking so much money from the Street. One could also easily refute that by noting that many of the folks on Wall Street who played a pivotal role in the financial disaster of years past ought to be in jail. Nevertheless, when it comes to Obama and who he’ll take money from, he’s long told you what he was about. The game is the game, and while you can criticize it as you see fit, don’t rewrite history to make your arbitrary, hypocritical point.

Joining the well-paid media people admonishing Obama for taking $400,000 to speak about health care (imagine the man behind Obamacare doing such a thing) are Democratic politicians with curious ambitions for 2020. Enter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who said that Obama is a “friend of mine,” yet he finds his decision to be “distasteful.”

“I just think it does not look good,” Sanders explained on CNN. “I just think it is distasteful—not a good idea that he did that.”

Oh, Bernie. You still think 45’s base cares all that much about their own economic well-being as opposed to the preservation of the white establishment and their frail lil’ egos. 45 has been categorized as an economic populist, but he’s a billionaire and longtime scammer who’s stacked his Cabinet with just about all of Goldman Sachs and various other billionaires who know absolutely nothing. And yet those deplorables still heavily support 45, as evidenced by poll after poll.

Read the rest at The Root.

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For five months, Hillary Clinton stayed relatively quiet. If I’d lost the presidential election to the former host of The Apprentice, I would have gone to the woods, too. Yet, to some, Clinton’s silence and self-imposed exile were a disappointment—even if it was only mere weeks after the inauguration. At the time, I wrote that if I were Clinton and, by extension, former President Barack Obama, I would put the nation temporarily on “do not answer.”

As I noted then specifically with respect to Clinton: “While we are undeniably living in unique and increasingly dire circumstances, not only do I question the push for Clinton to more aggressively speak out against the antics of this amateurish administration, but I also worry about its ineffectiveness this early.”

We already had a sore winner who was constantly invoking the election he won. We didn’t need the person he defeated egging him on in the infancy of his presidency. Besides, typically, unless a defeated presidential candidate maintains public office, he or she is supposed to wait for whatever the political equivalent of Unsung is.

However, now that we are more than 100 days into 45’s first term—which seems to be permanently set at basic bitch level—not only is it the perfect time for Clinton to launch her “Bitch, I Told You So” tour, but she should keep adding dates.

On Tuesday, Clinton did an interview with CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour during a Women for Women International luncheon. While she acknowledged that “it wasn’t a perfect campaign” and that she did make mistakes, she noted, “I was on the way to winning until a few things happened.”

A few of those things would include Russian meddling in the election and, more pointedly, the controversial letter FBI Director James Comey released Oct. 28. Yes, Clinton is still wrong for not campaigning in the states Democrats didn’t win, and of course, she was a fool not to rally enough of “the blacks,” who usually save the Democrats asses. Nevertheless, analysis by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver shows that Comey’s announcement that the FBI was reopening the investigation into her private email server affected her chances.

On Wednesday, Comey defended that action while speaking before the Senate.

“It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election,” he explained. “But honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.” I don’t like wishing ill on people, but if Comey leaves the next seven Taco Tuesdays with problems for each Wednesday and Thursday thereafter, oh well. Why should we all suffer alone?

Speaking of, one of Orange Moon’s greatest election-related insecurities is that he grossly lost the popular vote. “I did win 3 million more votes than my opponent,” Clinton recalled. When asked if her talking that cash-money shit would eventually draw a pointed response from 45 on Twitter, Clinton responded with, “Better that than interfering in foreign affairs.”

And like a moth to a flame burned by the fire, 45—a deeply insecure, narcissistic, misogynistic asshole who still cannot handle being less popular than a girl—took to Twitter to complain.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Why in the hell are Democrats still accepting lectures from Bernie Sanders? Although the Vermont senator deserves credit for certain accomplishments—pulling younger people into the political process and pushing the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction—it’s not as if the man had that great a shot at becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Not when he was 3.7 million votes and hundreds of pledged delegates behind Hillary Clinton.

For all the fairy tales about the system being rigged and the “Mighty Morphin Power” Democratic National Committee going against the will of the people, the reality is that more people wanted Clinton as their candidate.

Last year, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten and Nate Silver wrote this:

As Sanders fans claim that the Democratic primary system is rigged against their candidate and that Sanders wins when turnout is higher, they fail to point out that Sanders has benefited tremendously from low-turnout caucuses. Indeed, if all the caucuses were primaries, Clinton would be winning the Democratic nomination by an even wider margin than she is now.

Somehow, though, Sanders’ failures as a candidate have convinced far too many people that he can solve all the party’s problems. Sanders may presently be the most popular active politician in America, but that doesn’t mean he has the answers to fix the Democratic Party. And what’s most hilarious about this is that he’s not even a Democrat.

Sanders said so himself Tuesday night during an interview on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes. Sanders is currently on a unity tour with the new DNC chairman, Tom Perez, but when asked about party affiliation, he said, “No, I’m an independent.”

To quote Joseline Hernandez, “Ho, why is you here?”

“If the Democratic Party is going to succeed—and I want to see it succeed—it’s gonna have to open its door to independents,” Sanders continued. “There are probably more independents in this country than Democrats or Republicans. It’s got to open its doors to working people and to young people, create a grassroots party. That’s what we need.”

To his credit, Democrat and Republican Party identification is at an all-time low. Moreover, Democrats do suck at mobilizing on the local level. However, many may call themselves independent, but they do have a specific ideology and, in many cases, obvious prejudices. The problem with the latter is that Sanders refuses to acknowledge just how prominent those prejudices are.

At one of those unity events in Kentucky, Sanders said this about the state of health care in the state: “I suspect that the Democratic Party here in Kentucky has not done the kind of job that it should have done. It’s an investment. If people are getting health care, it’s an investment.”

More than 500,000 Kentuckians gained access to health insurance thanks to Obamacare, only Kentucky Democrats long avoided fully embracing it because of former President Barack Obama’s unpopularity in the state. In 2012 Obama barely won 38 percent of the vote, down from 41 percent in 2008. In the 2012 Democratic primary, “uncommitted” netted 42 percent of the vote against an unchallenged Obama. Last fall, a GOP House candidate in the state posted racist images of Obama on Facebook—and then he, a preacher, not only refused to apologize but denied that the images were racist.

This is the part where some—hi, white readers—will insert that not all white people are racist and note that there could be other variables behind Obama’s popularity in states like Kentucky and West Virginia. Sure, but how many reports have we read since the last presidential election in which Tropicana Jong-il supporters are boastful about voting against their self-interest as they profess to continue to support the con they voted for? And why is that? Let me ask my black-ass friend, my trans sis or this dude I know who prays five times a day. If none of them answers, I can text this Puerto Rican bae I know.

If Sanders is to assess why Kentuckians would literally vote against their own well-being, he needs to not simply fault Democrats for not doing a good-enough job talking to the electorate. But no, as he’s shown again and again, he will continue to deny the roles that racism, sexism and xenophobia played in the election.

Last month Sanders said at a Boston rally with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.):

Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election; it was that the Democratic Party lost the election.

Let me tell you, as far as American elections go, history tells you that white people are gonna white. Yeah, yeah; not all white people are Sarah Palin or Susan Sarandon. I’m not Ben Carson. I got y’all. Still.

Then he tweets out nonsense like this:

Faux Yoda still thinks “Make America great again” was about the rent and the coal rather than the racism and the sexism and the xenophobia. Yes, there are millions of people getting involved, but many of them are the people facing deportation, increased police harassment and hefty amounts of overt discrimination. The party should be catering to them, considering that if more of those darker folks had voted, we would have a President Clinton and Bernie would be saying we should primary-challenge her in 2020 (as he suggested with Obama in 2012). Sanders says a lot about reaching out to 45 voters, but what about voter disenfranchisement?

Meanwhile, at this same Kentucky event, Sanders was asked about Georgia congressional candidate Jon Ossoff and whether or not he was a progressive.

“I don’t know,” Sanders answered. “If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat.” He added, “Some Democrats are progressive, and some Democrats are not.”

The statement isn’t that bad, but you know, a quick Google search could’ve done wonders. Moreover, considering that Democrats are really trying to get that seat (bless their hearts with this runoff), this still reads as pouring cold water on what’s been a motivating story to folks in the party. But that’s what happens when you let a person who isn’t an actual Democrat speak about Democrats. The same can be said for placing so much faith in a person who can say that about Osoff yet endorse an anti-abortion Democratic candidate in Nebraska.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Ding, dong, the grand wizard is gone.

Sadly, the baby grand wizard is already on deck.

After much speculation over Bill O’Reilly’s fate at Fox News in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him sparking an advertiser mass exodus, the network announced Wednesday that The O’Reilly Factor would be canceled. In its announcement, Fox said, “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

O’Reilly released his own statement, though if one were expecting acts of contrition from the conservative media juggernaut, they know little about Bill O’Reilly.

The statement reads:

Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history. … It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.

O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, saw that sass and told his client to hold his bag while he upped the antagonistic ante:

Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.

The “irrefutable” evidence Kasowitz speaks of will likely arrive around the same time President Tropicana Jong-il releases his tax returns, Rachel Dolezal gets honored by Khia at the Soul Train Awards, and Jesus swag-surfs back to earth solely to get Suge Knight out of jail.

For the women who said they were wrongly harassed by this man in the workplace and who deserved better than the payouts used to silence them in order for Fox to protect its predatory investment, this is a deserving victory. More will be inspired to share their stories of sexual harassment, thanks to these women who decided to speak up. Meanwhile, there’s a delicious irony in discovering that a man who routinely lectured to black people about their moral failures is alleged to be a serial sexual harasser—one who likes coining nicknames like “hot chocolate” for his black victims, at that.

To wit, in 2002, O’Reilly successfully led efforts to get Pepsi to drop an ad featuring Ludacris. Now, 15 years later, O’Reilly is being booted from his No. 1 show while Ludacris is starring in the No. 1 movie in the country. Yes, this is the perfect time to start rapping along to “Move Bitch.”

Unfortunately, O’Reilly’s firing still feels a bit bittersweet. For one, his now former employer has long known about his accused habits. Fox News had been settling cases for years, so they didn’t ax him because he was a predator so much as because he became a liability. O’Reilly’s ratings were on the rise as the scandal grew; they dropped when he went on vacation, and there is already talk that Fox News’ ratings could drop as much as 25 percent without O’Reilly. If the advertisers hadn’t fled, O’Reilly would still be on the air—to more viewers.

O’Reilly has been the greatest star of the conservative-media complex that orbits largely around Fox News. That industry is built majorly around playing to the prejudices of its audience—notably with respect to racism. O’Reilly has been casually misogynistic for decades, but he often spewed his harshest rhetoric toward black people.

O’Reilly has been spewing racist rhetoric in defense of the “white establishment” for decades. O’Reilly has condemned black women, men and children in the harshest of ways, but none of that had ever been a problem. And sadly, his replacement will be bringing similar issues with him to the same hour.

Like O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson is racist and likes to play to the racist fears of his conservative viewership. Like O’Reilly, Carlson loves to belittle women. One great example of this came during an on-air appearance that Carlson did with Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca. Or the time he described Hillary Clinton’s face as “castrating.” Or the time he argued that 15-year-boys dream of being sexually harassed by their female teachers. Or that time he claimed women were too “sensible” to get involved in politics. Or, better yet, the time he claimed that sexual harassment happens only in private.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Jeffrey Lord has the distinct honor of being one of the dumbest people on cable news. Considering all of the simpletons currently soiling the media landscape with their stupidity, that’s no easy feat.

Last week Lord made headlines for declaring President Sweet Potato Saddam to be the “Martin Luther King Jr. of health care”:

What does that mean, exactly? Not a damn thing, but in Lord’s mind, which sits alongside those of the other members of the lightweight division of thinkers, he clearly thought he was saying something profound or “provocative.” Fellow CNN contributor, and former press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Symone D. Sanders immediately pointed out the idiocy behind Lord’s assertion, but naturally, Lord remained tightly nestled with his nonsense.

So much so that when called to appear on CNN Tonight after the controversial (read: offensive, sophomoric) segment, Lord continued to annoy black people—including Don Lemon—with his ridiculous comparison:

Do you know how foolish you have to be to rile up Don Lemon on a matter that doesn’t involve sagging pants or some black person in Harlem not picking up trash? Although it was nice to see Lemon let Lord have it in a rightful display of disgust, none of last week’s actions have stopped Lord from being himself.

Indeed, Lord has continued to be dim on CNN, to the strong irritation of his black co-workers. On Monday he appeared on a CNN panel alongside former Bill Clinton aide Keith Boykin and CNN’s Chris Cillizza to discuss why 45 won’t release his tax returns. To Lord, considering that income taxes weren’t a thing until 1913, “that means every president from Woodrow Wilson to Lyndon Johnson hasn’t released their tax returns.”

A visibly annoyed Boykin responded with: “Jeffrey, this is 2017; why are you going back to Woodrow Wilson? That has no relevance to what we’re talking about today.”

Lord soon asked if Boykin released his tax returns when he worked in the White House. “That’s the dumbest question I’ve heard anybody ask on television,” Boykin said. “You call yourself a political commentator; you’re asking stupid questions like that?”

On Tuesday, Lord once again went toe-to-toe with Sanders about the issue of 45’s taxes. Sanders was sensible and Lord was everything but, which led to Sanders calling him a hypocrite and Lord clinging to his lies and false equivalences. Crossfire may no longer be on the network, but that verbal jousting this network loves so much lingers on—all to the benefit of the likes of Lord.

To quote my beloved Future, “You do what you want when you poppin’.” Lord has every reason to continue carrying on in this fashion. To his credit, being a buffoon has netted him a cushy contract with a major news outlet. Moreover, he’s been complained about in media for quite some time now.

In “Trumpite Jeffrey Lord Continues Making Mockery of CNN Programming,” the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple described Lord as “a guy determined to drag red herrings across CNN transcripts.”

In “CNN’s Humiliation as Jeffrey Lord Makes a Mockery Out of Their Election Night Coverage,” Huffington Post writer John Amato complained about a specific segment that aired on the network, arguing that its “coverage was hijacked by a paid partisan who is either consciously disruptive, or else is just plain crazy.” Amato added that CNN has “no business putting him on [the] network, and his fellow-panel members should refuse to appear with him ever again.”

Clearly that hasn’t happened, though it’s not the fault of the other paid contributors.

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Donald Trump Jr. is an asshole. He has the intellectual curiosity of a dead sewer rat, the political sensibilities of a racist Twitter egg and the charm of a spider bite. He comes across as the kind of person Richie Rich punched in eighth grade. The sort of prick who, when hearing “Niggas in Paris” blaring, wants to interrupt the moment by blabbing about why can black people say “the word” and not him. There are also teases of Ebezener Scrooge, the younger years, in him.

Basically: Everything about Donald Trump Jr. is fucking annoying.

So when reports surfaced that Tropicana Jong-il II has been contemplating a run for governor of New York, the laughs flooded out as heavily as all of the stupid things that typically fall out of his mouth.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Junior recently revealed the plans to members of an “elite gun club.” Elite, y’all. According to the site’s source, “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.” Likewise, Junior added “that he didn’t want to be one of 100 senators, nor a member of Congress.”

Somewhere, members of Congress are climaxing.

However, this isn’t the first time Junior has professed an affinity for politics and an interest in seeking office.

In July 2016, Junior appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and was asked if he would consider running to be New York’s mayor against Bill de Blasio. “I never like to rule anything out,” he answered. “We always like to keep our options open, so if I could do that as a service to my country, I would love to do that.”

The question hadn’t flown out of thin air. Junior’s appearance came about a week after he spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Some were impressed by his remarks, but that probably had more to do with the speaking slots being filled majorly by people we’d never heard of and whom most of us would never care to hear from again. Not to mention, it was Junior himself saying, “People are saying, I should run for office.” Like his father, Junior has a knack for quoting “people” when those “people” are probably only the voices in his head.

So, sure, Junior managed to form coherent sentences with energy onstage at the Z-list-heavy RNC, but it’s been Tropicana Jong-il’s son himself really stoking the chatter.

That’s why he added during that same CNN appearance: “Well, you know, listen, I had a good time up there. I’m really frustrated with what’s going on in this country. If [running for office] is how I can pay back and give something back … but, right now, I’m more concerned with getting my father in there.”

Funny enough, in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll, 81 percent of registered voters in New York oppose an Ivanka Trump mayoral ticket, while 80 percent oppose a run by Junior.

Thing is, for all of 45’s faults, he is a skilled performer. Being on television all of those years proved to help offset whatever else he lacked as a political novice. He is a terrible human being, but he can be engaging and, in years past, somewhat comical, in a village-idiot fashion. It doesn’t excuse his other poor character traits, but it’s hard to overlook how his talent as an entertainer helped give way to a stunning victory in the 2016 presidential election (coupled with racism, sexism, xenophobia and American stupidity, of course).

Junior isn’t his dad, and that’s why he doesn’t have the range with respect to launching the kind of political career that he believes he can. If there is any Trump kid to worry about helping to create a Trump political dynasty, it would be Ivanka Trump. Ivanka is not entertaining like her father, but she is the sort of woman the Republican Party would nominate and, arguably, the sort of woman this country would elect as its first female president. I can see her poll numbers changing, but not so much for her tacky, white-supremacist-retweeting brother.

Although she is receiving a lot of criticism for her complicity in the monstrosities of her daddy’s administration, frankly, I can just as easily see her scamming her way through a fake mea culpa on national television. By the way, for all the talk of boycotts against her products, sales of Ivanka Trump’s fashion label are up—hugely, in fact. Remember, beloveds, black women save the Democratic Party each and every time, but the kind of white women who buy Ivanka Trump products are the same ones who so often screw us all with a Republican administration.

Many of us may not be convinced by Ivanka Trump’s answers to CBS’ Gayle King about her lack of public condemnation of her father’s bigoted policies, but the rest of the country may be falling for it or, at the very least, can likely be conned by her in the future. Donald Jr. is an obnoxious twit through and through. No one is voting for one of the villains in Wall Street if he can’t even amuse them.

Read the rest at The Root.

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There are many things about Omarosa Manigault that are befuddling. Like, say, why she enters every interview as if she’s Sensational Queen Sherri and everyone else is Miss Elizabeth or Sweet Sapphire.

Indeed, very few ordained ministers maneuver like Omarosa, who seemingly resides in a constant state of “Who the fuck want war?”

The fact that Jesus hasn’t tapped her on the shoulder and enjoined her to partake in a tall glass of chill still confuses me, but other matters pertaining to her are much more clear. Like, when it comes to her work with the Colby Jack Führer, it’s a no-brainer: She’s an opportunist. Of course, she is loyal to the man who gave her the platform to become famous, but for all the criticism lodged at her, she is many things, though fool has never been one of them. That’s why I’ve found the articles centered on black Republicans’ frustration with her wonderfully comical. The latest comes from the Washington Post with the article, “Omarosa Manigault Is in Trump’s White House Because of Her Loyalty. But What Is She Doing There?

The same thing as everyone else, Pinky: not a damn thing.

Vanessa Williams (one assumes not the one who had the legendary performance on The Arsenio Hall Show) writes:

Some African American political insiders already have concluded that she is ineffective, and she is routinely derided on social media as simply providing cover for a president deeply unpopular with African Americans. Some black Republicans were particularly critical of the Trump administration’s handling of the HBCU initiative, which included a White House meeting with the school officials that some viewed as little more than a photo op for the president.

“She raised expectations too high, and now it’s turned into a negative,” said Raynard Jackson, a longtime Republican strategist. “This shows a lack of political understanding. This is Politics 101.”

Do any of the people in the White House know what they’re doing? Between those executive orders, the half-assed shot at dismantling Obamacare and the Twitter-egg prez shooting various conspiracy theories from the hip, Omarosa fits right in.

For months now, there have been multiple stories about Omarosa’s role in the administration—how she is useless or how she angers black Republicans.

Last month, Joy-Ann Reid wrote, “Why Does Everybody Seem to Hate Omarosa Manigault?” for the Daily Beast. In sum, the second verse is same as the first.

Reid notes:

This lifelong black Republican likened bringing in Omarosa to a Democratic president putting ’90s-era anti-affirmative action crusader Ward Connerly in their administration. “He’s got a black Democrat who hasn’t produced a single [Congressional Black Caucus] member to support any nominee that has been appointed,” this person continued. “She hasn’t produced anybody on the Democratic side who is willing to be supportive of anything that Trump has done. So what is her role?”

They added: “She has no mission or goal other than to make Omarosa the head sister in charge.”

First off, Omarosa isn’t a magician, and even if she were, there’s no spell in the world that would spare a black Democrat from the wrath of Rep. Maxine Waters, who, like the legendary Kimberly Jones, has no time for fake ones. As far as “the head sister in charge” goes: 1) I’m offended a black Republican would talk like this; 2) aren’t most of the people in the White House operating from self-interest?

Ivanka Trump is trying to do her spin of Hillary Clinton’s guide to using her time as first lady to launch a future political career. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is operating both like a fake-ass Karl Rove and a shadow secretary of state. Grand Wizard Steve Bannon has never made it a secret that he sees 45 as a vessel to help promote his agenda.

Omarosa isn’t all that different, though Reid does pinpoint the real grievance:

The real source of consternation among her detractors is what they view as her role as gatekeeper; slamming the White House doors on them. Many black GOPers opposed Trump during the Republican primaries, and some continued to do so right through Election Day. But they say that while some white “never Trumpers” and Trump critics have been forgiven, and some have even been rewarded—Kellyanne Conway used to slam Trump on TV on a regular basis when she was a Ted Cruz supporter, and is now counselor to the president—most black Republicans with policy and political histories dating back to the first Bush administration have been cut out. And they laid the blame at Omarosa’s designer shoe-clad feet.

BuzzFeed’s Darren Sands has offered similar findings in his reporting in two separate pieces for Buzzfeed.

In “Omarosa Angers Black Republicans With Invite-Only Meeting,” Sands writes:

“The root issue is black Republicans have no leverage in the party outside of personal relationships,” Charles Badger, a former Jeb Bush campaign staffer with ties to prominent black Republicans, who supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign, said in an email to BuzzFeed News. “It’s because everyone knows black Republicans aren’t representative of most black folks. So the assumption—often true, but sometimes not—is that there’s not the depth of relationships there. So if you want to talk to black folks, are you going to go to black Republicans or through the NAACP, Urban League, black Greek letter organizations, clergy, etc., groups with wider reach?”

In other words, as dense as the man who sits in the Oval Office is, even he isn’t dumb enough to believe that black Republicans have any real sway. Granted, it’s hard to envision 45 having a sincere concern about the plight of black people based on his longtime history of racism, but nonetheless, black Republicans don’t have much in the way of capital, not even among actual Republicans.

While I have written critically of Omarosa aligning herself with a bigoted campaign, she did not do so with naivete. She is keenly aware of the tokenism at hand, but she did so for the sake of a lofty White House title—director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison—and all that comes with it. Omarosa would never have gotten this in a Clinton White House, so she got on the team that could afford her what used to come across as the implausible. Many of us would never sacrifice our morals in this manner, but at the very least, Omarosa knows exactly what’s going on.

So when I read black conservatives blasting her, again, it reads comically. The problem isn’t her; the GOP hasn’t taken black people seriously for decades. For these black conservatives to pretend otherwise is silly.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Ted Koppel performed a great service to his country in telling Sean Hannity to his face that he was “bad for America.” Hannity can simmer in his lingering anger over the widely shared clip that originally aired on CBS Sunday Morning as he sees fit, but it does not absolve him of the sins that led Koppel to make the statement.

Hannity may be a successful cable host, but he is also a proven liar and a man known to make comments that ping-pong back and forth between fatuous and flat-out prejudiced. Considering the offended party’s unusually high level of self-importance, it’s unsurprising that a serious newsman made a pretend one lose it over criticism.

Even so, though Koppel may have been correct in his assessment of Hannity and the damage that political opinion in news media is capable of, the segment itself was rooted in a false equivalence with respect to political opinion shows. Koppel, like many, continues to operate from the unfortunate space that all opinion shows are equal. However, the segment compares sound bites from John Oliver, who hosts a late-night cable political comedy show, and Michael Savage, a conservative radio host who fancies himself an activist—and in doing so, it is helping to perpetuate a false dichotomy.

Oliver is a comedian who opines on politics, but his commentary is often well researched and, by and large, factual. The same goes for Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah. Those are folks whose first job is to be funny, not necessarily to inform. Nonetheless, a decade ago, a study by Pew Research highlighted that viewers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (then hosted by Jon Stewart) and The Colbert Report held the “highest knowledge of national and international affairs while Fox News viewers rank nearly dead last.” So even if, seven years later, a separate Pew Research study noted that many people continued to identify those shows as legitimate news sources, other studies have shown that people do actually learn something.

What are people learning from Tomi Lahren or Rush Limbaugh other than that many people miss the days of water fountains with access based on skin pigmentation?

Other studies have shown that outlets such as Fox News and MSNBC have a negative impact on people’s knowledge of current events, but I question anyone who would argue that Rachel Maddow is like Tucker Carlson, that Chris Hayes is anywhere near Bill O’Reilly or that Joy-Ann Reid mirrors Megan Kelly in any way. The only person on Fox News worth listening to in terms of actual news is Shepard Smith. That doesn’t mean Fox’s opinion hosts are incapable of educating their viewers while sharing their respective ideology, but they opt not to.

It’s not so much that opinion programming on news networks is the problem as it is that we are bombarded with uninformed opinions—primarily because of a conservative media that’s much more invested in playing into the racial and gender biases of its viewership than in educating them. When it comes to problems with news media, cries that it’s too opinionated read as an oversimplification.

What’s MSNBC’s problem? It could use far more color and a bit more youth. Oh, and in the case of the 6 p.m. hour on its Monday-to-Friday lineup, stop trying to make fetch happen with Greta Van Susteren. Simply chasing after old Fox News watchers isn’t going to cut it. Soon enough, NBC will learn that with Kelly. Shoutout to Tamron Hall.

As for Fox News, well, drown that network and hand only Smith a life raft. That station is nothing but a dedication to the white establishment and willful ignorance. It is insulting to compare its mythology-peddling with people who bother to actually know about a given issue before commenting on it.

Now, with CNN … first, join me in prayer.

Read the rest at The Root.

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