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.
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
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
One month before the election, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holdover correspondent Lewis Black turned up on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to record a fresh segment of Back in Black. He highlighted how few Americans choose to vote and urged eligible voters to overcome personal distaste for both candidates:
Continue reading Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy
During the election, media organizations were forced to create new and inventive ways to communicate Donald Trump’s new and inventive relationship with the truth. Here’s one famous example:
Such efforts went over so well that some people have clamored for the networks to deploy such correctives on a more regular basis:
Continue reading The right way to fact-check President Trump
On Tuesday night, Stephen Colbert hit Mel Gibson hard: “Hey, Mel-Mels? When you look back on your life, do you think you’ll have any regrets?” (Mel-Mels’ reply: “No. Not one.”) And had Gibson asked Colbert the same question in return, I’m sure Stephen could have come up with at least one regret of his own: going soft on erstwhile interviewee Donald Trump.
Continue reading Mel Gibson and Stephen Colbert haven’t changed at all
Back on August 10, just after Donald Trump suggested that perhaps “the Second Amendment people” could do “something” about Hillary Clinton, and his supporters explained he meant they could put on an unprecedented display of unity, Trevor Noah had a very reasonable-sounding complaint about a potential Trump Presidency:
Continue reading President Donald Trump is no more difficult to understand than Obama
On August 1, just after Donald Trump spent his post-DNC weekend waging an unusually-misguided jihad against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Stephen Colbert opened his Late Show by exploring one simple question: “Is there anyone Donald Trump won’t attack if they say something bad about him?” A series of brief experiments revealed that Trump would not attack “a kindly old lady” or “a kindergartner with an adorable speech impediment”, but was more than happy to take on a kitten who equated him with Hitler:
Continue reading Why Trump really went after that crying baby