Barack Obama has put the Antiquities Act to good use, especially over these past few weeks. The Act allows the President to unilaterally designate national monuments, and only a concerted effort by Congress can overturn that decision. In late December, Obama protected Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada despite some amount of state and Congressional resistance. Just last week, he protected three sites honoring the civil rights movement, and enlarged two existing monuments for good measure.
Even before his most recent spree, Obama had invoked the Antiquities Act more than any other President since the law was passed in 1906. So naturally, just hours before he steps down, I have one last proposal for him: President Obama must use the Antiquities Act one last time, to declare a National Monument on all federal land not already so designated.* If he doesn’t, there may not be much of it left by the time this Congress gives way to the next.
Continue reading Republicans just moved to give away our public lands. It’s not too late for Obama to stop them.
According to YouTube, “hilarious couple” Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert December 15 to “battle for the Smooshed title in this Christmas-themed edition of Late Show’s signature cooking competition.” The competition is as follows: each contestant has about a minute to, well, smoosh together available ingredients — Colbert is the judge.
In keeping with his public persona, St. Nick surveyed said available ingredients and decided to “use that bourbon to fuel my creativity” by taking a couple of long swigs before he started any smooshing:
Continue reading What was Nick Offerman drinking on The Late Show?
Back in June, Mr. Brexit celebrated the event from which he took his name during a visit to Scotland. No one summarized Trump’s take on the referendum better than John Oliver (link to full segment):
Continue reading What John Oliver got wrong about Donald Trump’s post-Brexit speech
Since November 8, we’ve been treated to no end of explanation for Donald Trump’s triumph over Hillary Clinton. Certain segments of the media have branded these “excuses” “lame“, and point to their own preferred explanations. But I’m not here to evaluate the validity of various claims that are essentially unprovable; I’d rather focus on lame excuses that are more verifiably so: ones that self-evidently lack explanatory power to the degree that they could have only been offered to the public in bad faith.
It is difficult to produce an excuse for the race’s outcome that fell unambiguously into this category; political scientists and pundits may debate what actually happened for years to come. So, without further ado, I would like to focus your attention on a slightly different category: the lamest excuse offered by the Hillary campaign for something other than the race’s final outcome.
A few weeks ago, the New York Times treated its readers to a strong contender for the title:
Continue reading The very lamest excuse of the 2016 Presidential election
I’ve been trying to follow recent developments in the deliciously-named* Whitefish, Montana. Of course, I am concerned for the health and well-being of my co-religionists and other wonderful people who have been targeted there. But also — given that the town is less than a nine-hour drive from Seattle — it has occurred to me that the same skinheads bussing themselves in from as far away as the Bay Area** could probably also find their way here. Which is why I find it so frustrating when the esteemed journalists of the New York Times are derelict in their duty to, you know, journalize.
Continue reading New York Times, please do your job
As has been well-documented, our dearly beloved President-elect — the one with an ironic penchant for safe spaces — repeatedly took refuge during his election campaign in the proverbial locker room. Every time he did, I could not help but recall a semi-prescient New Yorker cover originally published back on June 1, 2015:
Continue reading The irony of Trump’s “locker room talk”
Now that the President-elect elected to select the unelectable Rick Perry to direct the Department of Energy — the very agency he infamously tried, and failed, to inform voters he would shut down if they made him President of these United States — I thought now might be a good opportunity to instruct the media on word choice.
Back in May, Grist published an article about Trump’s erstwhile plan to totally abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, and detailed Republican animosity toward that agency more generally:
Continue reading Sometimes, the corrections just write themselves
Just days before his just-post-election monologue on SNL, Dave Chapelle made a few small headlines when he downplayed the seriousness of both sexism and homophobia. And when it came time for him to actually deliver that big monologue, Chapelle put his money where his mouth was, making jokes that could be construed as mild examples of both. The astounding part: It only took him three words, one of which was “a”, and you probably missed it.
The sentence clause in question came during Chapelle’s discussion of whether the Pulse shooter could rightly be considered a soldier of ISIS. See if you can spot the three-word sequence in this excerpt taken from the Washington Post’s transcript of his routine:
Continue reading Dave Chapelle is more worried about being mistaken for gay than for ISIS
Here’s a simple rule reputable media publications should follow, with absolutely no exceptions: If you’re going to reproduce a third party’s factual assertion, you must provide immediate clarification whenever said factual assertion is false. The alternative – that is, current practice – makes it far too easy for the subject of a news story to hijack the vehicle you provide for his or her own ends.
Because I don’t want to turn the hunt for truth into a partisan issue, I’ll give an innocuous example of how this ought to be done. On Saturday morning, the Seattle Times published an editorial by columnist Larry Stone that touched on what a potential Sounders victory in the MLS Cup could do for the franchise in its home city:
Continue reading A simple proposal to normalize fact-checking
… but if you’ve been charged by the SEC with playing “a key role in an alleged scheme that allowed a ring of brokers, investment advisers and their clients to profit from the deaths of terminally ill patients“, then you may not want to think twice before you select one that both touts the position that enabled you to play this exact role, and effectively summarizes the nature of said scheme:
Continue reading Now I’m not typically one to question your choice of cover photo…