Now that erstwhile campaign manager Steve Bannon helped make the White House white (nationalist) again, President-Elect Donald Trump graciously decided to let him stick around. Unsurprisingly, the announcement that Bannon would fill the role of chief strategist in the Trump administration caused consternation in the Jewish community due to his ex-wife’s allegation that he is an anti-Semite.
Although said ex proffered several bits of evidence to support her claim, only one has been corroborated by independent sources: that Bannon wanted to know why the Westland School’s library stocked so many books about Chanuka. In context, the fact that Bannon singled out Chanuka suggests an unseemly level of concern over Jewish representation at the school.*
Continue reading Steve Bannon is not so far outside the American mainstream, after all
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
The day after Groundhog Day, Colbert outed himself as a ‘Groundhog denier’: “I don’t think all the science is in on whether weather-forecasting rodents exist.” I’d share a link to the clip, but sadly, last Tuesday’s episode will only be up for a few more hours before it disappears into the virtual oblivion of CBS All Access (a gross misnomer, given that a number far short of “All” can access it).
Continue reading That’s my joke, dammit Colbert! Part II
As of last night’s show, Jon Stewart has exactly three months left on the air. Sad face. And he marked the occasion of one of the final Daily Shows with Jon Stewart by welcoming back an old friend, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.
The two engaged in a fairly enlightening conversation about negotiations with Iran and the current state of the United States’ switch to a clean energy economy. That was three puns about electricity, for the record.
Wait, did I say “welcome back”? That’s weird. If you run a search for “Moniz”, the only Daily Show hits are from May 6th:
Continue reading Where has Jon Stewart seen Jon Stewart’s guest before?
When Mark Ruffalo was first cast as Bruce Banner (The Hulk), the internet tripped all over itself in a rush to point out that his promotional photo looked eerily like Derek Zoolander (see above):
Continue reading Mark Ruffalo is even more Zoolander than we thought
Another example of priming on The Daily Show, this time from a segment that kicked off with a discussion of climate change and rising sea levels:
Continue reading The Daily Show provides a veritable cornucopia of linguistics lessons
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Coupla days ago, I published a short post exhorting you all to stop sharing the Berkeley ISIS-Israeli flag video. One of my arguments against the way that video has been presented began, “Even with [unedited] footage, this would still be nothing resembling a controlled experiment.”
A few of you pushed back against my allegation that many of those who shared the original video treated it as some sort of experiment. In short, you claimed that I constructed a straw man: an imaginary person who watched the video and then shared it under the premise that it was an experiment. So as not to call out anyone I know — I’ll just quote a comment someone left on this very blog:
Continue reading Yes, the ISIS/Israeli flag video from Berkeley was widely presented as an experiment
We’re coming up (tomorrow) on the two month anniversary of the People’s Climate March, which was the largest climate gathering in history, and which has been credited by some (OK, by one of its organizers) as laying the groundwork for the recent landmark agreement between China and the United States.
But the parade also left behind another legacy: the need for mountain-trash removal. Predictably, cynics (and some with more nefarious intentions) penned headlines that screamed “People’s Climate March Leaves Trail Of Trash” and gleefully linked to tweets depicting — and commenting on — the mess left behind, like so:
Continue reading Did all that litter really undermine the People’s Climate March?
While reading the New York Times coverage of Obama’s new carbon compact with China, I was stunned to learn that only “twenty-one percent of Americans think producing electricity from coal is a good idea.” For the sake of comparison, a study published in February found that twenty-six percent of Americans could not correctly answer, “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?”
Continue reading The surprising American consensus on coal
I was sitting in bed reading about climate change when I idly fired up the NYTimes app on my phone. New stories quickly updated, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “US and China Reach Climate Deal After Months of Secret Talks“. Under the plan, China committed for the first time to capping its emissions (rather than simply slowing growth), while the United States promised to accelerate the pace of its decarbonization efforts. All in all, a positive step that will hopefully pave the way to a worldwide agreement next year.
But some have expressed skepticism over Obama’s ability to follow through on his commitments, both now and after he’s gone. From the AP story:
Continue reading Mitch McConnell’s outrage over Obama’s deal with China is certainly ironic