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?
I like Tim Egan a lot. So much so that when I had to write an essay about my favorite journalist (in order to enroll in a law school writing class), I chose him like some kind of pikachu. But something in his latest column for the New York Times left me scratching my head.
The central conceit of his column — titled “We’re winning!” — is that, well, we’re winning. “We”, in this instance, being America. “Winning,” in this instance . . . well, that’s what I wanted to talk about.
Continue reading Tim Egan has a funny definition of “winning”
I found The Big Short difficult to watch, not because it does a poor job both man- and womansplaining complicated financial instruments, but because whenever Steve Carell is on screen I can’t help seeing Michael Scott.
And the confusion, in this case, was not purely a figment of my imagination. Indeed, my main takeaway from the Big Short is that the big banks that caused the financial collapse were more oblivious than the World’s Best Boss himself. Don’t believe me?
Compare, The Big Short, around the one hour, nine minute mark:
Continue reading The Big Short taught me one thing: Michael Scott pushed the wrong kind of paper
[Editor’s note: As should be clear from the very first sentence, the following post was originally written well over a year ago. I can offer no explanation for my delinquency in publishing it other than I have been delinquent in publishing just about everything around here.]
I wrote a post last week complaining about an extremely misleading headline over at Treehugger. But upon further reflection, I don’t know what about the #fail it discussed exercised me so. After all, I’ve been aware that Treehugger jumped the shark for quite some time.
My suspicions were aroused back in September, when I came across an unusual “Photo of the Day”. Treehugger has long periodically posted photographs culled from reader contributions. The pictures — how do I say this without sounding like a snob? — typically portray attractive subjects, but the photographer’s execution can sometimes leave quite a bit of room for improvement.
Continue reading That time Treehugger jumped the shark
On Thursday, Trevor Noah opened The Daily Show by reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a stay of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Noah noted that the Court’s move was essentially unprecedented: “The Supreme Court blocked Obama’s climate regulation before the case even reached them. And this is the first time . . . that they’ve ever done this.”
And he followed up with a bit of advice for the Supreme Court that began to sound extremely awkward only about a day and a half after Thursday’s show. Highlights (i.e. the most relevant bits) are in bold:
Continue reading Trevor Noah ignores my advice to demonstrate its limits
Early last year, renowned legal scholar Cass Sunstein published an essay titled How Star Wars Explains Constitutional Law. I came across it through The Washington Post, but the piece was originally posted to a website called The New Rambler, which seems more appropriate — given that Cass managed to hold forth on the topic for over 4,500 words. This post will not carry on for nearly as long.
Continue reading Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done
It’s been a while since I opened this tab and started writing. And the people deserve answers. Luckily, it’s all quite simple. I decided to take a break while studying for the bar exam, but not because I was too diligent in my studies or didn’t have enough time. (I did, after all, blog right through final exams in early May.) Instead, in the event I failed the bar, I did not want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs announcing the creative non-studying uses to which I had put my time. In other words, I wanted to preserve at least the potential for sympathy.
But I took the bar in July. I found out I passed four months ago tomorrow.* There’s obviously a bit more to the story. So here goes:
Continue reading Why I haven’t written in seven months
Dave Goldberg tragically passed away this past weekend when he passed out on a treadmill (though I’m pretty sure we could have passed on some of the details). Goldberg, perhaps better known as Mr. Sandberg, turns out to have been quite the impressive figure in his own right: he served as CEO of SurveyMonkey — which landed a nearly $2 billion valuation late in 2014 — for just over six years.
As it happens, SurveyMonkey was also the target of extended ridicule on the part of Larry Wilmore during a segment of the Nightly Show that aired just two weeks before this past weekend’s unfortunate incident. This screenshot marks just the beginning:
Continue reading You don’t want to be like Larry Wilmore
For some reason, the New York Times recently saw fit to profile British “microadventurer” Alastair Humphreys. To be clear: I am, generally speaking, supportive of Sir Humphreys’s message, which basically amounts to “Go outside even when you’re not on vacation.”
That said, he doesn’t seem to have a strong grasp of how America works. Here’s how the Times’ brief interview wrapped up:
Continue reading The New York Times’ “microadventurer” may be British, but he’s no Sherlock Holmes